By Shania Kuo
With the school year drawing to a close, most of us have our summer plans set. However, the life of a student is rough, and for you underclassmen, there’s a lot you can do this summer to get a head start for next year.
Visiting colleges is an important activity for all students, but it’s especially important for incoming juniors and seniors. College visits can quickly narrow down whether the school you’ve been dreaming about is really all that it’s cracked up to be. Here are a few questions to consider when you’re looking at colleges: Where are the dorms located? What are the class sizes? Where are the classrooms located? Is there a lot to do in town?
Going on campus tours can reveal a lot about a typical student’s life and the overall atmosphere of the campus. However, there are both pros and cons to visiting colleges during the summer. For example, a pro is that there would be fewer people on campus. Another advantage is that there are more experts available to talk to you. During the school year, admissions officers are often swamped with applications. A con of visiting during the summer is that it'll be difficult to get an authentic feel of a campus. For example, it’ll be harder to understand how students interact with faculty or how crowded it can actually get.
2. Learn the Curriculum Ahead of Time
It’s difficult to learn content without a teacher, but it may help to take a look at what you’ll be learning next year. As you get older, academic content becomes more difficult. Preparing for certain subjects ahead of time can prep you for the content you’ll learn next year. The Internet has a myriad of information and resources available to you, so why not use it? In addition, researching certain content areas can be beneficial since information processing requires a great deal of time. You`ll be able to recall more information later on if you study a bit over the summer.
There are many great resources available online. Khan Academy is a great tool to use for math and computer science if you find yourself struggling in either field. For those going into AP U.S. History or AP Government, there are multiple channels on Youtube, such as Adam Norris’ channel, that help prepare you for what you will learn. However, for those of you who plan to take AP classes, keep in mind that College Board can change curriculum each year.
3. Look for Scholarships
Scholarships are a great way to save money for college, and you can start as early as 7th grade. There are scholarships available for students with a wide variety of talents. These scholarships focus on students’ writing, academics, athletics, and community service.
There are thousands of scholarships available, but some of the major ones are the Gates Millenium Scholar Program, the Davidson Fellow Scholarship, Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, and the Dell Scholars Program. Scholarships are helpful, so it’s important to try and get as many as you can. There will be competition for most of them, so always put your best foot forward!
With the 2017-2018 year coming to an end, it is my hope that you readers will relax and recover before tackling next year with the same effort. Your hard work has definitely paid off, so keep the momentum going!