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6 Things You Should Do in High School to Prepare for College

While in high school, we are often told with the importance of getting good grades and having a great GPA. In college, though, there are many more things to take into consideration aside from your grades and GPA. There are a variety of skills from high school that are very beneficial when you get to college. These are just some of the things I learned in high school that I found to be essential at the collegiate level.

1. Vary your skills

High school is a great time to try out everything you think you may be interested in. In the first year of college, you are not necessarily tied down to your major and are given some time to explore different majors. At the University of Florida, there’s an “exploratory” major that allows you to experiment with different courses that can help you choose between different majors. However, it is a good idea to start getting a general idea of what you want to do and high school is the perfect time to do so. With many clubs, honor societies, elective classes and extracurricular activities, you have the opportunity to do a little bit of everything. The desire to get involved is a great quality to have and to bring with you to the collegiate level. Check out my article from last week on the importance of getting involved!

2. Join something and give it your all

While it is important to vary your skills, it is also extremely important to find at least one thing that you are extremely passionate about and invest your time in it. Doing something that you love and dedicating a lot of time to it helps you get an idea of what college is like. Often times in college, you can focus your attention on one big thing, or a few things that help round out your interests. In high school, I focused a lot of my time on TV production, building my portfolio and overall just creating an image for myself. This helped a lot when it came to applying for college because not only did I have a major in mind, but I had something that I was passionate about to share with others. Whether you dedicate your time to a sport, an art form or a club, it is important to show your focus and concentration on a specific interest.

3. Enroll in college-level courses

Whether you take AP classes, IB classes or you take classes at your local community college, it is extremely beneficial. When I got to UF, I was able to jump right into classes for my major because I transferred over so many credits. I gained a year and a half worth of classes that I could use to explore different tracks or take classes in things I was genuinely interested in. Nonetheless, even if all the credits don’t transfer over, you will learn what it is like to take a higher-level class. However, it is not only about taking the college-level courses, but also about excelling in them, which brings me to my next point.

4. Take every class seriously

This not only has to do with the importance of getting good grades (which you should do in even the simplest and seemingly worthless classes), but also with the fact that you can learn very valuable lessons in every class from the teachers you have. I learned so many useful life skills from my elective classes in high school, especially things that go beyond the classroom. It is many of those skills that have helped me excel at both the collegiate and personal level. Because of those teachers, I have become a more well-rounded person.

5. Be nice to people

At the end of the day, as eager you are to attend college with your best friends, it unfortunately may not pan out the way you plan. My best friends and I swore we would attend the same university and keep our friendship dynamic as close as it was in high school. In the end, the three of us ended up at different schools. In high school, it is important to be friends (or at least acquaintances), with everyone, because you don’t know who you will end up going to college with and possibly even sharing a dorm with.

6. Accept that high school goes by faster than you think

I don’t think I can emphasize this enough. Although in the moment it may seem like a drag, high school goes by in the blink of an eye. Soon enough you will be on your way to college where you will start all over again. Use high school as an opportunity to take risks, but also to do your best. Enjoy every moment of it.

No matter your high school experience, it’s up to you to make those four years your own — and remember that the best is yet to come.

Alexis Howard is a first-year telecommunication student at the University of Florida. Ever since she can remember, she’s had a passion for communication and telling stories. She began her career in broadcast journalism back in high school and continues to pursue this passion at the collegiate level. Aside from being a features writer for Her Campus UFL, she is currently a writer/reporter for WUFT Noticias and is also involved with the Hispanic Student Association as part of their Hispanic-Latinx Student Assembly’s marketing team. She is also part of the office staff for the Florida Scholastic Press Association. Alexis is very passionate about writing, storytelling and bringing light to issues underrepresented in current media.
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