Preparing for college can be a daunting process but it doesn't have to be. High school is a time where you as a student can discover your interests and benefit from exploring those interests without risk. Whether you know exactly what you want to do when you enter your professional life, or you are still weighing your options, you can prepare yourself now for your future.
The first step to preparing for college is determining what it takes to get into college. Lucky for you, there are countless resources designed to help you navigate college entry. If you are interested in a particular university check out their admissions guidelines. For instance, at the University of New Mexico you can find those guidelines here. Guidelines from the Office of Admissions can help give you perspective on how to apply and what you will need to know about college before entering. If you want a more in-depth look at college check out Khan Academy's College Admissions process that walks you through six phases of college admissions for any student planning to attend college after graduation from high school.
One college readiness theme you may notice across most resources is that you should, as a student, utilize your high school experience including extracurricular activities, your grades, you honors, and many more things as a tool to stand out in the college admission process. Using a program like math Connection can help you increase your grades in math. Another UNM service that you can consider applying for is Upward Bound. Upward bound provides "rigorous academic support to college bound high school students." Apply to this program or find an AVID branch at your school to receive college readiness support while in high school.
Maybe you aren't sure what you are interested in studying in college or maybe you aren't sure you want to go to college. There are many factors to consider when planning your future but using your high school experience as an opportunity to determine your passions is a great idea. Find programs near you that you can utilize to explore your interests. Below you will find a list of programs that may interest you:
- Microsoft Digi Girlz
- Amy Poehler's Smart Girls
- MIT Women's Initiative
- National Academy of Engineering Engineer Girls
- MIT's Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science
- UNM School of Engineering Research Learning Experience
- National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies Women and Minority Programs
- Khan Academy Computer programming
No matter what you want to do, there are resources to help you succeed. Explore your interests and don't be afraid to try new things to discover your passions!