One of the most exciting experiences on the road to adulthood is going to college. Yes! As a growing teen, you will look forward to all the years you get to spend away from home, living independently for the first time. You’re going to meet new friends, and spend so many grueling nights studying for exams only to go to parties the next day to take the stress away.
Before your imagination takes you to more places, keep in mind that the road to a successful college application is not a breeze. Getting into the best schools will take up most of your energy and effort. But don’t worry, because this article will help you to collect your thoughts and give you an idea of how to manage your time in preparation for your future.
Time to Get Ready
You’re stressing over your college applications. Where do you want to go? How do you want to do it? And most importantly, how will you pay for it? Who knew it would be so crazy, right? Check out these steps to ease some of your pain:
- Start planning – pronto! To lessen your stress and anxiety, start planning as soon as you can. To do this, make a list of the things you want to concentrate on in your last few years of high school. This will allow you to easily adjust your time and pace in preparing for college.
- Take the right classes. During this time, you need to focus on classes that will most likely be related to the course you’ll pursue in college. For example, if you’re planning to become a political science major, it’s best that you take classes related to history as this subject will allow you to learn about the past and how governments were created.
- Explore your talents and advocacies. What are you good at, and what do you believe in? When applying for university, evaluators will look at your grades and involvements in extracurricular activities. Take some quiet time during your breaks, and think about the things you do well with. If you’re good at acting, you should sign up for the drama club and join the school play. If you’re more into sports, try your best to excel in your chosen field. The point is that your extracurricular activities should have substance.
Ask yourself again, “What am I passionate about?” There’s a wide array of possibilities. One could be your love for the environment, or a call for a better future. Organize activities related to this. It will look really good on your applications. Also, make sure to keep a record of your achievements so that you actually have something to write in your biodata. Keep all your certificates from any training or organizational activities that you took part in, as well as your awards; these are proof of your dedication.
- Build relationships with your teachers and mentors. This journey is very crucial, and you will need a lot of help and support along the way. You should try to develop good relationships with your teachers and your mentors, because they will be the ones to guide you in making the right decisions – aside from your parents, of course! Also, they have been in this field for so long, and they’ve spent most if not all of that time helping students. They may not be a sure thing, as nobody’s opinion is regarding your future but your own, but they do have experience and are worth listening to.
- Visit different campuses. Aside from doing your online research and attending virtual orientations for different schools you might want to go to, allot some time during the weekend to visit them yourself. This way, you can explore the place more deeply and have a better, more subjective idea of what it would feel like to be there. These tours will familiarize you with the place, and make it easier to choose where you want to go because at some point, one of the campuses will really feel like home.
- Study for college exams and take them. Mass application is not a problem; it will actually provide you with more options. Applications require you to take exams to see if you’re a good fit. College applications are a tedious process, and if you make sure to do good in the first step then it’ll be easier in the next. If you’re not doing very well in school, it’s time to up your game and develop a good study habit. This will help you review for your entrance exams, and make it easier for you to actually pass.
- Take mindfulness meditation. This might seem so random, but your brain is probably going haywire from all the studying you’re doing for the entrance exams you’re about to take. Taking mindfulness meditation will calm your mind and allow you to think clearly for the future. When faced with a stressful situation, always prioritize your mental health; otherwise, you will get burnt out, and instead of being productive, you’ll lose interest in what you’re doing and blow off all of your plans.
- Look for scholarships and financial aid. College is not cheap; it will require your parents to shell out a lot of money and likely take a huge chunk out of their savings. If you want to help them, it’s time to consider applying for scholarships or financial aid. How will you know if you’re qualified to apply for a scholarship, and who is eligible for federal student aid? Your research skills will come in handy here – get to Google and start searching.
Ready, Set, Go!
Now that you have an initial idea of what you should be doing, start with the first step and explore your creativity. The first step is always the hardest, but once you’re able to outline what you want to do and achieve, it will get easier. Working through your tasks will allow you to be as stress-free as possible. Likewise, always keep an open mind of what’s to come. The future’s always uncertain, but we can always do our part to make sure it’s a good one.