5 Tips for Maximizing your High School Years

Why am I so enamored with Top Tips lists? I’m always attracted to them, whether the topic is organizing my closet or becoming a more effective public speaker. Top Tips are such a great way to synthesize and distill paragraphs of information into a quick view format.  Here are my Top 5 Tips for students entering high school now.  If you can follow these general guidelines, your upcoming college application process – whether 2, 3 or 4 years away - will go much more smoothly:

  1. Find your passion.  What are you interested in solving, improving or inventing? What impact do you want to leave on this world, either locally or globally?
  2. Go beyond the four corners of your classroom. Forge your own learning path and find opportunities to pursue your academic interests in new and interesting ways.
  3. Plan your summers. A student who leverages his summers has almost a full academic year more than some who doesn’t.  Think of this as uninterrupted time to explore an interest in depth.  What could be more fun?
  4. READ. If you show me a student who reads, I will show you strong standardized test scores and great writing skills. Choose a variety - biographies, science articles, newspapers – you will develop a better grasp on vocabulary and sentence structure and you will gain an understanding of the world beyond your own. 
  5. Do your homework every day. While this is the least glamorous tip, it is THE most important. Homework is how you get good grades, and more importantly, it’s the path to building a solid academic foundation.
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