How can a Freshman Prepare for College?
You’ve just entered high school as a freshman and have started getting used to being in this new environment. This is the perfect time to start thinking about where you’ll go to college after your graduation; it's never too early. This may seem like a lot to take in at first, but today the academic environment is very competitive so it is a good time to start thinking ahead.
Plan Your High School Curriculum
You’ll need to start planning the classes you’ll take your senior year. Today, many colleges have stringent curriculum requirements for students graduating from high school to gain admittance into their program. In order to meet these requirements, you must start thinking and planning your freshman year.
Most colleges now require a high school student to have taken three years of a foreign language. Therefore, you’ll need to start taking a foreign language in your freshman year to complete this requirement.
Start planning your freshman courses around the requirements of the college you want to attend. Talk with your high school counselor and find out what courses are available for you to choose from and lay out a plan for all four years. Select your college required courses and the ones that interest you. Most college administrators like to see new students that have a well-rounded, diverse class schedule.
Requirements to Enter Most Colleges
- Four years of English: Composition, Creative Writing, English Literature or American Literature.
- Two years of History: World History, Geography, or US History.
- Two years of Government and Economic: US Government, Economics, or Civics.
- Three or four years Math: Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, and Calculus.
- Two or three years of Science: Physics, Biology, or Chemistry.
- Two or three years of a Foreign Language: German, Spanish, or French.
- Three years of Electives: Psychology, Music, or Art.
Visit Your Counselor
It is important during your freshman year of high school to make an appointment with your counselor. Prepare all of your questions before your appointment. When you arrive at your appointment, bring a notebook with you to take notes. This will help you remember what your counselor has said to you. Your counselor is there to help you plan your high school curriculum for college; they can suggest some honors courses for you to take that will help you get accepted to the college of your choice.
Volunteer Over the Summer
During your summer vacation, apply for a volunteer job at a community organization. If you have trouble finding a volunteering position, check your career office bulletin board. Many organizations post volunteer work at high schools. Having volunteer work on your college application shows dedication, commitment, and empathy for others.
It is important to start preparing for college in your freshman year of high school. By planning your high school courses for the next four years, you'll have a better chance of being accepted to the college of your choice. Anything you can do now will only help you upon graduation. Don't forget, your guidance counselor is there to help you. Take advantage of their help and make an appointment to talk about your college plans early on.
Shada is a retired teacher, freelance writer, loves to garden, and do crafts with her grandchildren.