Thinking about next year? Summer plans? What courses to take?
Here’s our advice:
• Set Goals: The first question I always ask students who come in to see me is have you set goals for this year? Many students seem to be taking classes because they think they should, to check a box or because they think it’ll be better on a transcript. We can’t put a plan in place without identifying goals before we start working together.
In addition, goal setting is a terrific motivator; it allows you to dream big and then prioritize to get you where you want to go.
• Challenge Yourself: Whether you are in middle school or high school, you should be taking a course load that stretches you. Taking a hard class that is a challenge and making mistakes is ok. That’s how we learn and move forward. Sandbagging and getting all As isn’t necessarily the right move (and if you are in high school, colleges see through this and might think you are not taking advantage of the resources around you).
• Set Limits: This might sound odd after telling you to challenge yourself, but are you taking too many classes? Are they rigorous enough or too rigorous? Do you have time to take on something else? Are you sleeping? Do you have time to do the things you enjoy outside of school? Balance is key here, but only you can answer this question.
• Choose Extracurriculars That Interest You: What do you enjoy? Music, art, woodworking? Find the class that gets you excited and stick with it.
• High Schoolers-Focus On Your Strengths: If you like English and History, challenge yourself in those areas. Do you love math for math’s sake? Take AP and honors classes in those areas. Colleges see through avoiding harder classes in a subject you are good at.