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While planning for college seems like something only seniors or juniors in high school should worry about, it's really never too early for you to start doing things to help prepare to make your college experience the best ever.

9th Graders

You worked hard all year and survived the first year of high school. The last thing you want to think about is doing more work for college, right? But there are things you can do during your summer break that broaden your life experiences and help you figure out what your interests and skills are.


Keep a Journal.

Get a journal and jot down your experiences, impressions and thoughts.


It will help you improve your writing skills and will remind you of stories you may want to share in the future for your college essay. So many students aren't aware that they do interesting, meaningful and important work, just because they don't think about it.

Here are some more things keeping a journal can help with:

▪ Helps you to remember good times

▪ Writing can lead to introspection and learning about yourself

▪ A journal helps when the time comes to write your college essay - you will have so many memories and impressions right in front of you.



You can start small, right in your backyard. Find a local group whose cause you're passionate about and volunteer.

Want to read books to young children? Spend time at an animal shelter? Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community, and develop new skills.


10th Graders

Keep writing in your journal. Keep recording your experiences over the summer break and throughout the year. Keep adding to your memories, experiences and stories. 


Volunteer some more. Volunteer and continue to do community service. You'll be developing valuable skills, and you'll learn more about the world by working and interacting with people of all ages.


Push yourself to learn more. Try taking more challenging classes in 11th grade, in the meantime maybe sign up for a summer class? Even if you're not in a formal summer program, you can keep your education coming. If there are academic subjects that interest you, watch Kahn Academy or other academic videos online. 


There is no better time than now to prepare for your future college career.


How My Gap Year Transformed Me by Piper Jenie

Great Summer Creative Writing Programs for High School Students by Eileen Cody

"I Was Rejected From All My Colleges. A Year later, I'm grateful" - by Stella Lau

Co-Op College Programs: The Classroom Can't Teach You Everything

In Praise of Mediocre Kids by Julie Suratt

How to Help a Teenager be College Ready by Mark McConville

The Tune Up That Every First Year Student Needs by Deborah J. Cohan, PhD

Why this Tech CEO keeps Hiring Humanities Majors by Michael Litt
On Campus, Failure Is on the Syllabus by Jessica Bennett

Early Action Vs. Early Decision: Explanation, Pros and Cons by Christin Perry

Additional Resources
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