You did it - you made it through your freshman year of high school! Now let's make sure you continue on the path toward college.
Here is what you should be focusing on during your sophomore year:
Now you have a better idea of what it takes to succeed in high school!
Learn from your freshman year: hone your study skills, perfect those time management skills, complete all of your homework in a timely manner, and STUDY for those tests. You are building skills that will allow you to succeed in rigorous college level classes. That takes practice and perseverance.
Grades and rigor are the most important components of your application!!
If your grades weren't stellar freshman year, know that colleges like upward curves - it's not too late to increase your GPA! Get organized and work hard! You can do it!
If you got excellent grades freshman year, consider taking an AP class or two. Know that your goal is to obtain an A or a B in every AP class you take. Universities - especially highly selective ones - don't like C's in AP classes. Try to find that balance; you want to be challenged but not overwhelmed. If you are taking an AP class for the first time, choose a subject in which you are very strong and a class that interests you. You will have the greatest chance of succeeding that way.
If you are aiming for those highly selective or Ivy League universities, the competition is tough and your GPA should be in the top 5% of your class. Work toward that goal. See your guidance counselor to help you.
If you are aiming for the best universities in Florida, know that UF requires over a 4.3 core GPA. To obtain admission to FSU and UCF, you should at least be in the top 10% to have the best shot at admission. Take a look at the Florida Universities Freshman Profiles to know more and plan your goals for next year.
You only have one year of grades so far! You can get that GPA up significantly and can even turn it around completely!
What is your passion? What do you love doing? If you are lucky enough to have already figured out what your career path is, then benefit from all of the opportunities your community has to offer. For example, if you dream of becoming a doctor, volunteer at a local hospital, join a STEM club if your school offers one, look into programs like the Cleveland Clinic Summer Scholar Program, take health science classes at your local college in the summer, volunteer for a community organization in health related field…perhaps even help a professor or doctor with their research. Explore all of the options that your community offers to help you gain experience and confirm your field of study, while gaining knowledge at the same time.
If you don’t have a passion, that’s absolutely fine too! Explore! Get involved at school or in your community. Join 2-3 clubs and if leadership roles are available, definitely try to obtain one. Your goal is to make a true impact, take initiative, leave your mark on that club! You do not have to be an officer to do that, but you must be committed to that club or organization.
Explore your options! Many high schools offer STEM, Engineering, Debate, DECA, HOSA…discover and participate in what is offered at your school and in your community. It is not too late to try something new.
Find your field of study:
Again, if you have already chosen your field of study, that definitely makes it easier to get a head start on exploring that profession and confirming that it is your path.
If you have no idea what you would like to study, the ASVAB is a great career aptitude test that you can take at your local public high school that will provide you with career ideas. If is offered in the fall at many public high schools.
Broward County public high schools and many private high schools use Naviance which has career testing and also offers information on careers – everything from salaries per state to videos of professionals exercising in that profession. Take advantage of these free tools.
Research colleges that interest you, including taking a virtual tour of each campus. Look into what they have to offer, paying particular attention to your field of study, admissions criteria, and cost.
If you have the opportunity to travel to universities that interest you or are able to participate in a college tour, visit the campuses! Finding a university that is a “good fit” is extremely important and will help determine your success.
Have more questions? Contact us to set up an appointment.
Check out my Sophomore Check List with even more ideas and links.