Spring is considered a time of new beginnings and opportunity. How does this relate to high school and college admissions? The answer is, selecting your courses for the upcoming school year. True, that answer was pretty basic, but it’s important to remember because of the positive and sometimes negative impact the final selections can have on the student’s future.

In the months of March and April, high school students across the country are discussing, debating and sometimes fretting over the courses they should select for the next year. And let’s not forget the 8th graders out there who have much to decide on top of mastering the entire transition into 9th grade.

Students…this process takes time and requires the support of teachers, parents, your guidance counselor and last but most certainly not least YOU. I cannot stress the importance of the individual student taking the time to plan out each and every course to their desired goal and future dreams.

Why? The student is taking ownership in their education and goals. If you already have an idea on what you would like to major in you must build those courses into your schedule. If you love science and plan on studying that in college great, better max out on as much as possible. Want to be an Engineer when you grow up? Outstanding, better have those electives as part of your day. The reason why I give those examples is because colleges and universities are looking to see if you “took advantage of the curriculum offered” at your high school. This shows them you are serious about this major and future career and more importantly were you successful. If you are unsure about a major that’s just fine, your overall goal must remain the same- which classes best fit your strengths and interests in a challenging environment. Last, the colleges and universities are looking for applicants/students who are prepared and readily perform at a high level in the postsecondary setting- the sooner you take control the more confidence you obtain.

Points to consider when building your course selections:

·      What are your strengths and weaknesses?

·      Considering an Honors or AP? Match with your strengths/goals!

·      What makes you happy?

·      “Are you taking advantage of the curriculum offered?”

·      Take the highest-level course possible that is appropriate for you.

·      Balance is key- do forget about extracurricular activities, chores, etc.

·      Don’t’ be afraid to ask for help.