Preparing for College? Tips for High School Students

College is an extremely important investment in your future, and the more time you spend preparing during high school, the smoother your transition into college life will be. It may seem overwhelming to have the responsibility of selecting a college put on you while you’re still trying to keep your current grades up, and this goes double if you’re involved in extracurricular activities. Still, you really can’t afford to miss out on all the benefits of attending college.

If you already have some colleges in mind, then you’re doing better than many high school students. Here are a few tips to help you get into the college of your choice and make the most of your time while you’re there.

Start applying to colleges today.


The best colleges in the United States are extremely competitive, so you’ll want to start the application process as soon as possible. If you’re still a year (or even two) away from graduating, this is a great time to speak to your high school counselor about what classes you should be taking now to best prepare for your college journey. If you already have a major in mind, you might consider getting a tutor for that subject as well.

The college admissions process is never easy, and admissions committees will judge college applicants based on their GPA, performance in extracurriculars, test results (like the SAT), and possibly even their background check. It’s important to note that not all colleges will conduct criminal background checks, and those that do are mainly looking for offenses like sexual crimes, violent crimes, and possible drug-related offenses. This is primarily to protect students who live in dorms. Even if you’re worried about something in your past, it’s absolutely worth it to complete college applications regardless.

Get advice from college counselors.


Some colleges will have a more rigorous application process than others, and you may find that you’ll need to write a personal statement, complete a personal interview, or provide additional test results for college admission. The best college counselors can help with all of this and give you your best shot at higher test scores and acceptance to your college of choice.

With modern digital platforms, you can receive real-time support from expert counselors who see high success rates from students. Each consultant is familiar with the admissions process for the school you’re trying to attend, including interview questions and written statement requirements, and they’ll show you the best way to prepare for each requirement.

Take advantage of campus resources.


This tip is for after you get accepted, but it’s worth hearing now. College campuses provide a great number of resources that many students fail to take advantage of. Don’t make that mistake. Take advantage of study groups, college tutoring services, and every other resource you have, so you can perform to the best of your ability.

Your college should also have resources to help you find a job relevant to your degree after you graduate as well. Once you’re no longer a student, your access to these services is gone, so act on them while you can.

Remember to make lasting memories.


Your studies are the most important part of your college adventure, but it would be a mistake not to live in the moment as well. College is a fantastic opportunity to make new friends, travel, find love, and do all sorts of things. Ensure your college experience is one to be proud of, as you make enough memories to fill up several of the best photo books.

A photo album is one of the best ways to record precious memories forever, and Shutterfly helps you make it happen by letting you choose your layout and other customizations for each photo book. You can even use your photographs to make custom mugs, canvas prints, and more personalized keepsakes, so you’ll always remember the best times of your college experience.