AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) —School is starting and this is a new chapter for a lot of youth. A big milestone is freshman year of high school.
This year provides a lot of changes for youth.. being in school with older kids, trying to find one’s place, moving from the straddled fence of kid to adolescent. This is also when really beginning to prepare for college begins. This preparation has changed drastically over the years so some parents may have some questions/ anxiety if they are doing the right things to begin this journey; what does my child need to do to be competitive, are you worrying for no reason?
Here are 6 prep topics to consider:
· Find the right path and start by figuring out the goal. Freshman year is the time to begin to think broadly about goals and next steps. What kind of school do I want to attend (trade/vocational, community college, 4 year university, ivy league). This is the time for your freshman to begin exploring this options.
· Enroll in the right courses and study to reach your goal. Discuss with your teen that they cannot wait until their Junior year to buckle down and obtain courses/grades they need to get in to certain schools. Encourage your freshman to meet with their school counselor in order to ask questions and obtain information about different paths. This can be from what type of high school certificate do I need to what classes do I take, how many AP classes do I need, how many years of math/science/foreign language.
· The right focus, finding and following passions. The idea of being well rounded to having an academic focus has changed over the years. Experts recommend that teens focus on clubs/activities that are within their focused interest and future goals. Concentrate on 2 to 3 specific things and gain experience/ leadership skills in them.
· The right records, keeping track of experiences and activities. Have your youth make sure and keep track of these things by keeping a notebook of certificates, journal notes, etc. Be sure and document years involved in various activities and any leadership position held. Having this documented will help when it comes to writing college application essays.
· The right behavior, be careful with online presence. Discuss with your teens that what is out on the internet stays on the internet. We have seen
post from years past come back to haunt individuals running for office, being hired for leadership position in schools/companies, etc. And yes, college admission staff will look at an on-line presence with your child, especially the more competitive the school is.
· The right attitude, enjoy yourself. Although is all can be overwhelming high school needs to be fun. Help you child look at their options and decide where their passion is and what path they want to take. This can be a challenge for parents when a child does not choose the path a parent has in mind for them. Encourage your child to get to know themselves better, figuring out who they are and what they want out of life.