Planning Timeline - Freshman
At this stage in the game, you're laying the foundation for high school success. This is a time to establish your academic and cocurricular credentials. You should also begin to explore options for your career or further education.
Cocurricular activities (both school- and non-school-sponsored) are an important part of high school. Make the effort to get involved with groups, clubs, or teams that interest you. These activities are fun and make you a well-rounded student. Become active with volunteer service activities. See any religion teacher for info.
Pick the right classes.
Make sure you're enrolled in the appropriate college-prep or tech-prep classes and that you're taking key core requirements, such as English, math, science, history, and a foreign language. Develop good study habits.
- 4 years English and religion
- 3-4 years math
- 3 years science
- 3 years social studies
- 2-4 years foreign language
- 1+ visual/performing arts advanced and honors courses
Make the grade.
Get off to a good start with your grades because they will impact your GPA and class rank. A rigorous academic schedule is also the best way to prepare for the ACT exam. Although college seems like a long way off right now, grades count toward college admission and scholarships.
Explore your interests and possible careers.
Take advantage of career guidance services at school. Identify and discuss your skills and interests with your Guidance counselor. Learn what career areas match your interests.
Consider a college savings plan.
Talk to your parents about planning for college expenses. If your family already has a savings plan, continue to add to it. If not, now is a great time to start saving for college.
Build your credentials.
Keep track of academic and cocurricular awards, community service achievements, and anything else you participate in, so it'll be easier to remember later. Doing so will help create a quality resume and college application portfolio.
Start learning about college.
Look at the college information available in the Guidance office and libraries. Use the Internet to check out college websites and view their profiles. You may even want to start a list of colleges that might interest you.
Begin to get a feel for college life.
Visiting relatives or friends who live on or near a college campus is a great way to get a sense of what college is like. Check out the dorms, go to the library and student center, and walk around the campus. Don't worry yet about where you want to go - just get a feel for college in general.
Make summer count.
There are plenty of ways to have fun and build your credentials during the summer, such as volunteering, getting a job, or participating in an enrichment program.