- Start your resume early!
A high school resume is basically just a list of why you are awesome and what you have done in your life. Every time you do something you think could be impressive, every club you join, every job you hold, every volunteer opportunity you take, and every event you compete in, write it on a sticky-note or on a piece of paper. This will save so much time and effort as you sit at the intimidating blink of your cursor not being able to remember all that you have done! When you start early, the compilation of the resume is super easy.
- Be thinking about which teachers you want to write possible recommendation letters for you sophomore year.
Once you have determined which teachers may be best able to represent you to potential colleges and scholarships, start getting close with them! If you start making an effort to connect with teachers sophomore year you are already a step ahead when it comes to recommendation time. An easy way to create this connection is to ask if your teacher would be interested in being your mentor.
- Know what you want.
This may sound like an odd point to eliminate stress, however, if you know what you want and where you want to be you can reach for that with less stress. I’ve found when you truly want something, the applications don’t seem as monotonous and essays don’t seem as difficult if they are setting you on the proper trajectory to get there. Find your dream school and reach!
- Start early and realize this takes time.
I suggest looking at applications to college as your job, I mean it sets you up for your job in the future so you might as well start looking at them like that! Applications take time, allow yourself plenty of time to complete them and stay positive in the working process, after all, this is your job.
- When you reach a roadblock in your essay writing, take a break!
This is a good rule to learn in high school, knowing your mental limits and listening to your body. If you are too tired to think, it is time to take a break. It is better to spend productive time on your application essays than just time.
- Find a favorite mantra and LIVE IT!
In a world full of Pinterest worthy inspirational quotes, you are bound to be able to find one that is perfect for you. Write it out on a piece of paper and tape beside your bed. Look at it every morning and remember, you are awesome and can do this!
Contributor: Melanie Smith