Preparing for College: Freshman Year

Get an early jump on building your high school resume by selecting your courses carefully. The more selective colleges will look not only at your GPA, but also at the variety of subjects you studied, and how challenging your courses were. Freshman year is also the time to start getting involved in extracurricular activities. Play a sport, try out for a play, join the debate team. Most colleges are looking for well-rounded students, so don’t limit your school activities to just showing up in class and getting your homework done – although you’ll need to do these too, of course!

Be sure to sign up for a foreign language – if possible, one tied in to your future field of study. Spanish is an excellent language to study if you’re thinking about a career in medicine, social work or criminal justice, whereas French will serve you well for international business and politics. Mandarin Chinese is a great choice for future business majors, and while it can be difficult to master, the fact that you’re willing to tackle its complexities will give you bonus points in the eyes of a college admissions officer. Latin will give you an excellent foundation for learning any of the Romance languages, as well as building your vocabulary for those SATs you’ll soon be taking.

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