What to do in High School

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Discus: High School Life and Pre-college Issues: May, 2003 and Earlier Archive: What to do in High School
By Stacy North on Monday, July 29, 2002 - 01:53 pm: Edit

I am an 8th grader going into high school next year. This year my grades wern't nearly as good as I would have wanted them to be but I have made it into honors classes for all my subjects except spanish . My only current EC activity is Tae-kwan-do which I have done for two years now. What steps should I take in High School to get into a good college? I would relly like tro go to Harvard.

By Goldmember on Monday, July 29, 2002 - 03:22 pm: Edit

Well first of all, start getting into the habit of proofreading anything you write ;).

Middle school grades don't matter as long as they're high enough to go into honors classes. You should definitely try to get into Honors Spanish - even one less honors course will make it nearly impossible to match the weighted GPA of your classmates in all honors. Also, your guidance counselor will not be able to honestly report that you took the most rigorous courses available.

Merely participating in tae-kwan-do will not be enough, unless (or even if) your scores and grades are phenomenal. Being state or national champion in tae-kwan-do is more likely to help. Find something you truly have a passion for, and the rest should follow.

Don't let freshman year be a waste. Study hard, and make all attempts to get straight A's. This is the year that most kids seem to do the worst in, and they all regret it when application time comes rolling around.

Good luck.

By Merry on Friday, August 02, 2002 - 08:13 pm: Edit

Stacy--Enjoy high school...do what you love...don't waste these potentially wonderful years getting all stressed out about the whole college admissions game...In short, I'd recommend that you spend your high school years in such a way that (regardless of college admissions results) you can look back as graduation day approaches with no regrets. If you let your feeling about your self or about your high school experience ride on how you do in the do college admissions game, I don't think you'll be very happy for the next 4 years... Work hard, do what you love, live well, and it'll all work out (and I'll be that you'll have a chance of getting into Harvard that is as good or better than that which you would have if you should spend your H.S. years obsessing and worrying about college). Just my opinions...I'm a high school junior, and I'm just basing this advice on my experiences and those of my friends. :-)

By Sami Shepherd on Sunday, August 11, 2002 - 02:52 pm: Edit

I am planning on going to CVM~MU after highschool and have heard of people working as vet techs through highschool. does anyone know if there are any training classes or anything like that that you have to take? thanx alot!

By Dadster on Tuesday, August 13, 2002 - 09:16 pm: Edit

Check with your local vets, Sami - I know that some vets employ people without formal vet training for both office tasks and some "patient" tasks. You wouldn't be doing surgery, but it would be a good chance to be around animals and see what the life of a vet is really like.

By sami shepherd on Thursday, August 15, 2002 - 02:03 pm: Edit

ok thanks alot! ill do that.

By calliope on Friday, August 16, 2002 - 03:02 pm: Edit


Focus on getting good grades, as well as reading books of literary merit that you think you will enjoy. Think very carefully about what kinds of activities you really would enjoy doing(this is much more difficult to do than it sounds), and pursue them with energy. I would suggest finding between 3 and 5 areas in which you could both excel, and enjoy yourself.

Try your best to spend your time doing EC's you would do even if you had no plans to go to college. If something new and unexplored piques your interest, do not be afraid to try it.

All of this advice is much easier to give than to execute, but colleges look for dimensional people, and if you are passionate about what you do, you will convey it in the tone of your writing. :)

Focus on this for now, and you will be an excellent candidate for ANY college.

By JadenS on Tuesday, September 10, 2002 - 03:54 pm: Edit

Stacey, I'm in 8th grade this year and going into 9th grade next year. Like you I'm thinking about the college admission process. Read as many books as I could about the process -- one thing for sure, it is truly competitive out there. In all the books I read, besides high scores in SAT's, they look for EC's that are spectacular; however, to be involved in one or two EC's that you are totally committed to is far better than joining several and show no deep involvement.

By Ashley Armbruster on Tuesday, September 24, 2002 - 12:58 pm: Edit

HI, My name is ashley. I'm in eighth grade this year and so far im doing really well. I think i would be able to get straight a's all through the year, but i dont know which high school to go to. I live in salinas, california and I'm thinking of going to Salinas High School but my mom wants me to go to notre Dame High School which is an all girls privet school. I really dont know why I dont want to go to notre dame, but all of my friends are going to salinas, and i have wanted to go there for years! Please help me either at this site, or e-mail me, or even both!! Thank you for your time!

By Dadster on Tuesday, September 24, 2002 - 08:56 pm: Edit

Hi, Ashley. It's hard for me to comment on the merits of each high school, but a couple of the things I'd look at in comparing the high schools:
1) What percent of the kids go to college after HS?
2) What are some of the better colleges kids attend? How many are accepted to top schools each year?
3) What courses are available - honors, AP, etc.? Do the students who take the AP classes usually take the test, and do they score 3s or better?
4) Do you have any extracurricular interests (music, sports, journalism, etc.) that might be served better at one school or the other?

Obviously, these are mostly college-oriented questions. Remember, it might be tough at first to make a new group of friends, but in the long run you'll have twice as many as before! You might try visiting the schools, too - some permit that. Good luck!

By julia on Wednesday, October 23, 2002 - 04:57 am: Edit

I get the feeling that it's impossible to get into *any* college anymore - all the top colleges somehow require you to get straight As, have nationally recognized talents, and unbelievable EC's in both quality and quantity.
Oh, and now they're weighting "hardship" levels.

My school uses an IGCSE grading system. i.e levels of achievement are: A*, A, B, C, D...
This system of achieveing a 'high' A or and an 'average'/low A worries me.
How will colleges take this? If, for example, I get 5As, 3 A*s, and a B - will they see it as 8As and a B, or shift up their own grading scale to view mine as 3 As, 5 Bs, and a C? (!!!!!)

Any thoughts on this? ultimately, if it turns out to be the latter, I might change schools - which i do not want to do...my school has an excellent curriculum and is quite rigorous and challenging : ).

By Dadster on Wednesday, October 23, 2002 - 01:59 pm: Edit

I'd guess that most colleges would count the A*s as As. Plus, they will look at your ranking if your HS offers it. If the HS is a good school with a rigorous curriculum, I definitely wouldn't change because of the A* thing.

By Stephanie on Thursday, November 21, 2002 - 01:52 pm: Edit

When i first started school at another high school i was behind on a few credits so i decided to take 7 night classes figuring that will help me make up for the ones I needed.But it was more than i needed to catch up. So when I heard that i will be a Senior next Semster and that i was able to gradute a year early, but i only have to take 2 more night classes next semester i know i will do fine. But i am completely clueless on what to do such as applying for colleges and writin gmy essays. Can anyone help me figure out what i need to do. possibly help me on what and when i need to have certain things done. Thank You

By Jessica on Sunday, January 12, 2003 - 08:30 pm: Edit

I am in 8th grade and I want to be a vet or a vet tech. Which is better? I want to be successful and get into a great college. Can you give me any tips? I also need to do well in high school. Any tips there? Should I do more activities than acting with local theatres and horse back riding? Are there any colleges that have programs where you can get into riding activities? What classes do I need to take in high school? Are there any colleges that will fit my needs that are close to Maryland? Thanks!

By kelli on Wednesday, January 15, 2003 - 03:36 pm: Edit

I am an American freshman living in Switzerland for at least this year. In US jr. high I achieved high a's and had good Ec's. Here, the grading scale is from 1-7 and Ecs are limited. I play flute and piano and I am also and academically gifted student. I also speak almost fluent French. The school I attend is a private international school. What can I do to make my college app stand out? I would really like to go to Harvard. I am not sure if I sure take the IB or not.

By Jamie on Thursday, January 16, 2003 - 12:46 pm: Edit

Jessica, I would reccomend Mt. Holyoke for horseback riding, even if it is in Massachusetts. They have a great academic program. Though be warned, it is an all girls school, but it has many close co-ed colleges. You should definitely take honors or IB biology if you want to become a vet. Look in your local community for theater activities. Good luck!

By Jessica on Sunday, January 19, 2003 - 03:56 pm: Edit

Thank you so much Jamie!

By Marcie on Wednesday, January 22, 2003 - 03:04 pm: Edit

to the junior high girls on this thread:
Start now to find some kind of volunteer activity that you like and can stick with through high school. Starting some sort of program yourself can make you stand out, but colleges also like (and even expect, these days) some sort of regular volunteer work.

By adf on Wednesday, January 22, 2003 - 06:46 pm: Edit

Dear Stacy North,
First of all, Dont ever give your real name on-line. You never know what kind of pedaphiles like Jessica here may try to snatch you. Also, as for whay you should do for high school:

By Marie Ilagan on Friday, February 07, 2003 - 04:34 pm: Edit

I am in eighth grade and I have really good grades. I even got into the honors class in my high school. My worry is that my mom might not have the money to pay the 5,120 dollar tuition each year. I really don't want to go to public school, so I need to get a scholarship. Does anyone know a sight where I can win one?!?!

By olive oil on Friday, February 07, 2003 - 07:54 pm: Edit

Marie~ there are various scholarships available, but it depends on the area you live in

By Tasha on Friday, February 07, 2003 - 09:02 pm: Edit

hi i was wondering do colleges look at AP classes? What if I got a A in a regular class and got a B in an AP class would they prefer the A or the B?

By aa on Sunday, February 09, 2003 - 09:23 am: Edit

i am also and eigth grader ... good until higher classes until now..done tae kwon do for more than 8 years and track for more than 2...
i want to enter harvard and mit

By we be ropin 24/7 on Thursday, February 13, 2003 - 08:29 pm: Edit

hi my name is Ashly and i would like to become a large animal vet so if anyone has any imfo on high school vet courses let me know.

By alemchu2002 on Monday, February 24, 2003 - 11:14 am: Edit

hi my name is Alem T michael, i am an 10th grade student and i would like to go harvard. so please tell me what i need to do go there.

By Aatherealone (Aatherealone) on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 08:42 am: Edit

help me i am aa

By Dionatau (Dionatau) on Saturday, July 26, 2003 - 10:10 pm: Edit

Hello, My name is Dion. All my life I've dreamed of becoming a vet. I want to major in livestock and large animals and minor in various house pets. I want to breed dogs and horses in the future so I'd like to do both. I've always looked onto Auburn University as my holy land, and I'm working hard to get there. I'm going into my sophomore year in High School and I figure it's time to start doing some research .... What courses should I take. What Sciences and Maths do I need to get into pre-vet school? This year I'm taking Chemistry I and last year I took and passed Biology. I plan to take Anatomy and Physiology, Genetics, and 2 years of Allied Health at our Vo-tech. That still leaves one course open ... should I try Chem. II, Zoology, or something even more advanced. In math I've taken Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, and will take this year Algebra II. Next year I will take Advanced Geometry, but what should I take my senior year? Trig, Pre-Cal, or something else. I'm taking Spanish and I have 4 years of Saxophone with the band behind me. Is there other stuff that might help my chances??? As you can see ... I'm very serious about this. E-mail me at DION1506@aol.com if you have ANY suggestions or comments what so ever. You never know how helpful you might be. Thanks! ~Dion~

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