Prepare For College
If youre still in school and youre looking ahead to college, there are few steps you can take that will enhance your ability to prepare for the college of your choice.
Taking classes at a community college is a great way to prepare yourself for a four year university. This method works well whether youre still in school, just out of high school, or looking to get back in the education game after a long absence. If youre in high school, you can start taking classes for college credit before you ever get to a four-year college. Why take your pre-calculus class during fourth period when you can go to a community college after school, take the same exact course, and apply it to your high school and college credits? Start early, take classes at your local city college and kill two educational birds with the same academic stone.
If youve just graduated high school, community colleges can give you a taste of the university experience at a fraction of the cost. If you have yet to decide on a major, then community college will afford you some extra time to gauge your academic interests and choose a focus of study. You can take your general education requirements at community college and transfer them to a university. If you excel during your first two years at community college, youll have an easier time transferring to the university of your choice. This option is especially good if you didnt get into youre the college thats number one on your list. Just bide your time, take your GEs and reapply in a couple years.
If youve been out of school for a long time, and youre wondering whether or not you still want to go to college, then taking a class or two at a community college is a great idea. You can experiment with different subjects until you find the area of study that you want to invest in.
When preparing for college, its important that you make yourself into a quality applicant. You need to have balanced, well-rounded abilities. Consider taking a foreign language, playing sports or learning a musical instrument. Participate in extra-curricular activities. Start a club. Get a part time job while youre in school and consider doing some volunteer work. The more challenging your schedule is, the more potent your application will appear. Just dont over do it, you need to illustrate that you have excelled in all you ventures, and you cant succeed if you have too much on your plate.
Be sure to apply to early. Admission officers tend to be less picky at the beginning of the application process (because theres so many spots left to fill). If you get rejected from your first choice, try appealing. You may not get in on your second (or third or fourth) appeal, but its worth a shot.
However you decide to prepare, make sure you realize that you are in control of your own academic destiny. You get to shop for whatever school you want, and you get to study whatever subjects interest you most. Take time to research your options, because in the end, you are the only one responsible for your college preparation. The more you know going in, the better your experience will be once you arrive.