Attend Freshman Orientation (R.O.A.R.) before schools starts. Meet new friends, get the inside scoop and find out where your classes are!
Meet with your counselor - Pick an academy and develop a 4-year plan including academic and personal goals.
Make good grades – Realize when you need help and talk to teachers and students. Self- advocate! Practice speaking to teachers yourself. Attend teacher tutorials, visit teacher websites. Join a study group. Check out homework help sites online. Quizlet.com, for example, helps you practice and learn vocabulary. Ask your counselor for names of tutors if necessary.
Get involved in extracurricular activities – sports, fine arts, student government, and/or clubs (there is a list in the counseling center). Start a club if you don’t like any! (See the principal’s secretary for more information regarding starting a club.) Get involved in community service (Check our website for opportunities.) If possible seek out a leadership position!
Work on building positive relationships with teachers and counselors for future letters of recommendation and scholarship letters. That is going to mean watching your behavior and participation in class.
Sign in on Bridges to take interest surveys which are linked to career possibilities and to explore careers. www.bridges.com Login: dsID#initials (lowercase ds, your school ID, #, your initials) Password: DSID# (capital DS, your school ID, #)
Make a list of 4 colleges that you think you may be interested in and visit their websites. Try to visit them at the College Fair if they participate. Take a virtual tour of their campus online and decide if you want to take a campus visit.
Write down their admission requirements. Be specific.
Start looking at scholarship opportunities now. Familiarize yourself with what is available. It will be helpful as a junior. (Check our HS website for opportunities.)
Talk with your parents about college funding.
Check our website regularly for volunteering opportunities. Keep a log (available on the website). Always get documentation that you put in your hours by keeping a certificate from the organization or person that is giving you a service opportunity, and by getting a signature on your log! Turn in those hours in the spring to the counseling center secretary!
PSAT and PLAN – Take it! Our school offers PSAT to freshmen for a fee. Take it for practice. PSAT counts your junior year. You will get feedback back from PSAT after you have taken the test. They will let you know your strengths and weaknesses!
(PSAT – is the “junior” version of the SAT and PLAN is the “junior” version of the ACT.)
Plan a productive summer now. Get a part-time job, volunteer, intern, shadow, compete, and attend camps. Gather experiences so that you will know what you like and what you would like to pursue…or not!
Travel – see Texas, the US and/or the world whenever possible! Gain culture and experience.
Keep all your academic (college and high school) information in a large envelop or a box. Tag it with a large “9” or “9th grade”. Write passwords and logins on the outside of the envelope to eliminate hunting later. Keep it in a safe place. Share its purpose and location with a parent…just in case!
Summer before 10th grade – organize and prepare
Complete your summer reading and any summer assignments you may have (check HS website).
Write down any summer activities that you have participated in. Include contests, travel notes, college visits and service hours and stash your notes, awards and certificates in your envelope so that you don’t forget or lose anything. You will need all of this for completing your activities resume for your portfolio. These items could trigger inspiration for college and scholarship essays later!