PREPARING FOR COLLEGE STARTS NOW!During freshman year, most students are focused on acclimating to life as a high schooler. Junior and senior year are often geared towards academic independence...
During freshman year, most students are focused on acclimating to life as a high schooler. Junior and senior year are often geared towards academic independence, which includes taking the SAT/ACT exams, researching colleges, and beginning the application process for secondary education. Sophomore year represents a unique transition period.
Sophomore year is a great time to take some initial steps toward success in the college application process. It is a time to start thinking about colleges, make plans to better understand the college application process, and pursue opportunities for academic and extracurricular growth.
To help you better understand how sophomore year can help you prepare for college, here are 5 things to think about as a sophomore in high school.
As a sophomore, you are no longer learning how to survive life as a freshman, and you don’t yet have the stress (advanced classes, SAT prep, college applications) that comes with being a junior or senior in high school.
So, take this time to begin thinking about life outside of school. Home in on your interests and strengths and start to really think about what you may want to do when you get older. Take some time to research and explore various job fields and career paths that interest you. Think about your strengths and start to identify paths where you can best use those talents. Ultimately, there’s no way to know unless you start trying things!
Though it may seem early, sophomore year is a great time to begin considering potential colleges. You don’t have to worry about touring or the application process yet – rather, take this time to begin creating a list of colleges and universities that you want to learn more about. Have conversations with the people around you about their college experience and begin to envision yourself on a college campus living your best life. This is an excellent time to consider what you may like about a college. Would you prefer a smaller private school or a large public university? Would you rather stay in state, or do you envision yourself spreading your wings in a faraway location?
Junior year is when you master and take the SAT/ACT exam. Toward the end of your sophomore year, you can begin studying and expose yourself to the material on these tests. If you know that you want to ace the SAT/ACT, you might study for one full year. Consider taking a Mock SAT or ACT exam to get an idea of what you are facing.
A year-long study plan provides you with plenty of time to understand the content, fine-tune your strengths, address conceptual or strategic weaknesses, and become familiar with the time requirements. Look at the following blogs to better understand why studying in your sophomore year is a good idea.
Freshman year is about exploring the high school environment and getting your feet under you. Use your sophomore year to get more deeply involved in extracurricular activities and outreach programs offered at your school. While colleges love a great GPA, they also love students that are well-rounded and have experienced all high school has to offer. Try to focus your time on one or two activities/sports/clubs that really mean something to you. Colleges want to see not only that you were in clubs but also that you made significant, genuine contributions. They do NOT care about a mere list of multiple club memberships.
Junior year is traditionally the most academically challenging; it is the year where your course load gets more demanding and classes become more advanced. Junior year is also when you take the SAT/ACT and begin the college application process. Your sophomore year is an important preparation time for the challenges ahead. Getting good grades in your AP classes will require a strong foundation in those subjects. Utilize sophomore year to better understand your studies and develop solid study habits.
Sophomore year is a great time to really prep for the rest of high school and get ready for the college application process. It is a transitional year that, when done correctly, can lay a solid foundation for your future. Take this time to properly plan and set yourself up for success in your junior year and beyond!