While your freshman year was all about transitioning to high school, your sophomore year is all about kicking off your college and career planning. This is the best time to start thinking seriously about what is in store for you after high school. You do not have to make any major decisions just yet, but you do need to start exploring and understanding your options-as well as what it takes to make them a reality.
Before heading back to school, review your objectives for this year-and for high school in general. As a benchmark, research a college you might want to attend and see how you stack up thus far with the average admitted student in terms of GPA and activities. If 9th grade could have been better, get yourself into shape for this year. You've still got time to improve that GPA and get more involved before you apply to colleges. So...if you have some ground to make up, get started now.
*set your goals for the year-both academic and personal
*review your schedule and make sure that you have signed up for the right classes; see your counselor before classes start if there are any problems
*consider taking more challenging courses if you aced your freshman year
*use a calendar or organizer to stay on top of assignments, events, and your social life (you get a new agenda every year-use it for more than just the passes)
*look up data on at least one college
November and December
You will be busy finishing out your semester and preparing for your end of term exams, but don't lose any of your college-prep momentum. Researching colleges is a skill in itself. The more information you can gather about what makes a school a great match for you, the better chance you will have of making an informed choice when that time comes.
*Consider investigating the different TYPES of colleges especially if you have very specific interests, such as art schools, military academies, or culinary programs at a Career and Technical Education (CTE) Program-sophomore year is a great time to learn about the broad categories of post-secondary opportunities that exist
*make sure that you are involved in at least one extra-curricular activity either in or out of school
You are halfway through the academic year!! Stay focused, but try to have some fun along the way too (extra-curricular activities are a wonderful way to release tension and stress.)
February and March
You are thinking about summer by now, right? That means summer school, summer travel programs, community service, work opportunities (especially unusual or creative ones)-anything to bolster your experiences and stay focused!!
*if you are still looking for something to do this summer, get moving!
*many programs, especially travel programs, have March application deadlines
April and May
By now, your parents have probably started in with the advice on preparing for college. Listen to what they say, but trust your own experiences and interests too. Keep exploring colleges, majors, and career options. The more familiar you are with all the options out there, the more you will be able to focus on the things that interest you the most.
*speaking of exploring, it would not hurt to familiarize yourself with some scholarships, even ones from local universities and colleges
*a ton of scholarships are based on grades and test scores; many scholarships will ask for a list of activities, letters of recommendation, and sometimes an essay
*in other words, it is important to know now what you will be judged on later
June and July
Congratulations! You made it through your sophomore year! You know what that means...your high school career is half over.
*if you plan on attending a summer program, prepare for it
*get a summer job; it will look good on your resume and college applications; plus you will earn some extra money
*touch base with your parents about a saving for college plan
*stay busy by doing things that you enjoy
*college may seems like a long way off, but what you do now will help your chances of admission later
*stay on top of any correspondence from school; you don't want to miss any important deadlines