Preparing for College: Sophomore Year

Sign up to take the PSAT in October. If you do well on this test, it can qualify you to receive a National Merit Scholarship. You should also meet with your school counselor to discuss your future plans, including the colleges you might like to attend, as well as other scholarships you could potentially qualify for.

Get involved in extracurricular activities, if you didn’t do it in your freshman year, then start now; if you did, then keep it up or add to it.  Besides the fact that activities can be fun and enrich your life, your participation in them shows colleges what you are interested in and demonstrates that you can handle more than schoolwork.  They are also a great way to begin building connections and networking.  The range of what you can do is huge: from joining student government to being in a play (there are backstage roles also) to volleyball to math team, to dance recitals.  It’s also important to be consistent throughout the years in what you do.  Try to get involved in things you find interesting enough to continue with for the next two years.

If you’re old enough to get a job by the time summer rolls around, see if you can find an internship or a job-shadowing position or even any entry-level job that ties in to a career you may be interested in. Even if your summer job consists of flipping burgers or babysitting, look at this as a learning opportunity. Be sure to track the number of hours you work and how you balance these with your other responsibilities, and start thinking of how to put a positive spin on any job you do (for the personal statement) – i.e., learning customer service and money management skills from working at the mall.

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