SRS High School Preparation for College

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by Clarity, Jun 24, 2006.

  1. Clarity

    Clarity New Member

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    Hello, I'm going to start High School next school year. I'm wondering about what I can do to boost my reputation and standing with colleges. My other question is, what is the National Honor Society? Something like Beta, but better?
     
  2. konrad109

    konrad109 New Member

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    Get good grades, but don't forget about extra curriculars. Definetley get involved in either a club or a sport. Colleges want to see people getting involved in their school, not just doing the bare minimum to get by. Plus you will get to know teachers and other staff which is gonna be very useful once its time for letters of recommendation.
     
  3. bigballofyarn

    bigballofyarn OT Supporter

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    Keep your grades up. At least a 3.0GPA is something I would shoot for. (That's usually a B average) The better grades you can get, the more ready you'll be for college. Good grades in HS can earn you MANY scholarships. Some might even pay your entire college tuition, if you do well enough.

    Joining clubs of interest are a good idea. If you're into any sports, it might be a good idea to join a sports team too.

    Community service, and regular jobs are also good. Volunteer work is excellent.

    If you find a teacher you like, see if you can take another class with them. That way if you get to know each other, they'll be able to right you a better recomendation letter in the future.
     
  4. Clarity

    Clarity New Member

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    Okay, I plan on joining some academic clubs, maybe try out for the soccer team :shrug:, and join a community service club. I can keep a 3.0+ easily, I've had a 4.0 average so far. Another question is, on my high school transcript (I took some HS classes in MS), how are the GPA's caculated? By each semester, or every 9 week period?

    Anyone know what the national honor society is?
     
  5. Darketernal

    Darketernal Watch: Aria The Origination =)

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    You want to try to calculate everything you do in life. its always gonna require effort, but if you plan ahead and work hard, its also interesting to ask around what the exams are like, if you can get insight and train the exams(because most questions of this year will look like last year) you will have a lead into getting past them if you trained on them. Set priorities, only focus on the most important things. And remember that its a matter of a long breath, and good results into getting thru all of this. Remember also that you are doing this for a better position in your life. So don't let the lecture's or materials get you down, go for gold in your life.
     
  6. bigballofyarn

    bigballofyarn OT Supporter

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    NHS is an organization whose intent is to recognize middle and high school students in the United States and across the world. The students must show achievement in the areas of scholarship, leadership, service, and character. Typically, members of the National Honor Society belong to chapters, which operate for the most part independently of the national offices. While not always the case, many such chapters are based in middle and secondary schools and maintain their own invitation and induction criterion for membership at that school.
    National Honor Society groups are commonly active in community service activities both in the community and at the school. Many chapters maintain a requirement for participation in such service activities. These chapters will often not allow people outside of NHS to participate in these community services.
    In addition, National Honor Society chapters typically elect officers, who, under the supervision of the chapter advisor, coordinate and manage the chapter as a student organization.

    ^ From wikipedia.org
     
  7. Clarity

    Clarity New Member

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    My GPA is 4.0 (i think, i had an 89 in 7th grade algebra, but my teacher then said all high school courses taken in middle school got +5 average to them (making it a 94). Other than that 89, everything else was an a. So far, im not in any clubs at all. I play rec soccer, but i'm mediocre. i play the guitar, and am fairly new (Started 6 months ago). im starting to learn c++. also, im thinking of picking up a sat book for the psats. those are in 9th grade, correct? thanks for all your help.
     
  8. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    If you want to go to the best schools you should aim very, very high. Accept nothing less then straight As throghout HS. Volunteer your time to some charity or local civic organization. Try to letter in a varsity sport in either Jr. or Sr. year or both. IF you have advanced placement (AP) courses offered at your HS, take as many as you can.

    Yes you will work your ass off for all this but all that work will help prepare you for the rigors of University life. University is much, much more difficult then HS and you need to prepare. Start thinking about different careers that interest you...you don't have to commit to one and only one right now but start thinking about it.

    If you are interested in Engineering, I STRONGLY suggest you take as much math (calculus 1 and 2) and Physics that you can fit into your schedule. Also, you might look at your local vocational/technical schools as many of these offer Engineering Prep courses to help bridge the gap between HS and college requirements. Engineering is one of the most demanding degrees at University and it helps if you plan early (like Jr. or Sr. year of HS).

    Be sure to look into entrance exam prep courses. There are books on these at Barnes and Noble or Borders and Sylvan Testing Centers offers prep courses....to help you get the best grades possible on these tests.

    There is simply no substitute for excellent grades. HOwever, it's not a requirement for success and many people have made very nice lives by not doing all that I suggested in this post. Only you can decide how high you want to reach. g/l and try to enjoy the journey. Your life isn't over if you get a B or a C.....especially if you get a date and/or a kiss from a really cute girl. :)
     
  9. Clix

    Clix New Member

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    PSAT is 10th grade in Texas atleast. It doesnt matter if you suck at whatever you do honestly. I knew people in HS who joined crap to join crap and didnt have a clue at what they were doing. As for C++ stuff if you are interested in that if you can learn it well enough and your school offers it see if you can get certified. I took a computer maintience/networking class and got certifed in them. Just something else that looks good on your application.

    As always if you want to slack off do it your senior year becuase if you got a really high GPA it wont matter by the end of your senior year. Freshman year though is truely the make or break on your final GPA.
     
  10. Hey, clarity; [cool name] There's an thread about the SAT's and stuff in "on topic" you should read. Also, you might understand this better than most adults around here:
    http://forums.offtopic.com/showpost.php?p=58729089&postcount=32

    Find out what fascinates you. What do you like to read on your spare time, what kind of hobbies interest you? These are poignantly important in describing who you are in what I considered to be a stiffling learning environment like high school.

    but congrats for the high GPA.

    Toodle-loo;
    Neil
     
  11. PSmitty87

    PSmitty87 New Member

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    Dude, have as much fun as possible while it lasts. Go to as many crunk ass parties as you can...and try to get laid more than your friends. That's what it's all about. That way when you get to college you will know what you're doin...my 2 cents
     
  12. Memor

    Memor Active Member

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    People here have said it all - but as an addition as far as extra curriculars go...you're better off finding one you really enjoy and commit to for a few years, then finding 1,000 of them and doing them all a little bit just to have 1,000 on the record.

    In the end your college apps are not going to be read that carefully, and when lumped in with the entire rest of the nation, good grades, clubs, honors are all repeated thousands of times over. So find something unique about yourself or that you plan to do or have done, and stick with it. I know that the schools that had replied to me personally back when I applied a few years ago never talked about grades or acheivements - they all talked about the story I had written, which was about summiting Kilimanjaro with my Mom and how I admired her. So keep that in mind ;)

    Also important to try and remember that prestige isn't everything - I passed over a lot of great and diverse schools and picked the one I'm at now just because it's one of the top in the country - but I regret doing that every day and will most likely be transferring to one of the others. Go where you see yourself happiest, don't get caught up in all the tiny things.

    The college app process is a zoo nowadays so don't let it get to you. Make sure to have fun in all other aspects of life.
     
  13. Clarity

    Clarity New Member

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    So I need to have an outstanding GPA, join in different clubs, do community service (beta club, or national honor society comes to mind), and some other extra curricular activities. I played the piano for 5 years, now I play the guitar (not very well =P).

    Cootie - what do you mean when you say "letter in a varsity sport"? I've had experience with soccer, football, and basketball. I don't really like basketball or football. However, I have a friend who is going to try out for the HS soccer team, and he's really good. I went to watch them play once, and frankly, I'd never be able to get that good =(. I'm doomed to medicority at sports.

    For unique stuff...

    1. Built computer by myself when i was 13...
    2. Started C++ when i was 12...,

    and I can't think of much more =(

    I'm planning on joining Academic Bowl, the Math Team, the Computer Club, maybe the science thingy, Beta Club (I heard it's invitation only...), and anything else that piques my interest and i have time for.

    during the summer, as of now, i honestly haven't done much. I did buy a big 'ole c++ book last weekend, and started to read it. I must say it is bounds and leaps better than online tutorials. I ordered some SAT prep books off amazon too, they will be arriving in 4 days.

    My HS has some AP classes, the first one being Ap world history in the 10th grade. I hope to be allowed entry - what are the requirements for entrance into an AP course? For math, I started Hs math in the 7th grade. I know I got a 89 in algebra once, but i dont recall if it was a semester grade. i believe it was the 1st quarter (i skipped a math level from 6th->7th grade).

    I will bust my ass off for the best future i can get.

    Any more suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

    EDIT - I heard from a friend at another HS, that he was taking summer courses. He aimed me a week ago, and told he he was back from his hiatus. So, i think it's too late for this summer. I would love to get some courses out of the way during summer - one thing I don't like about the school/summer cliche thing is, there is a huge gap. 100% or none at all. I would like my school year load to be lightened, and my mind to be lightly stimulated by some summer courses. I guess I Should call my school huh...I'll suppose ill ask when im a freshman
     
  14. Clarity

    Clarity New Member

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    how is georgia tech and cal tech for a scientific school? ultimately i would shoot for MIT, but i heard good things about GATech/CALTech.
     
  15. Clarity

    Clarity New Member

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    that link is a single post, but ill look around in ontopic, thanks :bigthumb:

    edit - found the thread (small link in top right hand corner, sneaky little devil =P) but it doesn't seem to be a SAT thread
     
  16. Drifter87

    Drifter87 Yippi-kay-ay, Motherfucker

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    Go to a good High School, get a 3.2GPA, join clubs, play Varsity sports, and volunteer outside of school.

    I played 3 Varsity Sports (was captain of 3 of them my senior year), did Model UN and Science Club, put on 4 theatre plays (2 musicals) was a Volunteer Jr. EMT (was president my last year), volunteered at a wild life resuce center, and during the summers had a full time job (40hrs/week)... while still holding a 3.2GPA

    Yes I stilled partyed every weekend and had tons of friends... High School for me kicked ass.
     
  17. Clarity

    Clarity New Member

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    3.2 GPA? Most B's?

    I doubt I'll get into Varisty Sports, LET ALONE a captain =O. I'm fairly shy, and I'd never do a play. I think science/math/academic bowl teams>plays for a scientific degree.

    What is Model UN club, and a Jr. EMT? What job did you have? I don't really need money (I don't want alot of stuff), but I suppose extra cash couldn't hurt. I tried signing up as a bagger boy at kroger/publix with a friend, but I wasn't of age, and there were no slots for him. I might start refereeing soccer games for the young children, like what one friend does. dunno how that will go.
     
  18. Drifter87

    Drifter87 Yippi-kay-ay, Motherfucker

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    3.2GPA is a straight B...

    Model UN is like the Real United Nations, but for students, basiclly internation politics.

    Jr. EMT, (EMT = [SIZE=-1]Emergency Medical Technician)[/SIZE]have to be 18 to be a full EMT. So Until then, you just get training and get to go on field trips and go on a feel calls. Kinda like Boy Scouts, but better!

    For a Job, I am an Information Technology Pro for the GMATS on the campus of the United States Merchant Marine Academy. I fix computers all day...

    Colleges like to see that you do more with your life then just Study and Watch TV. To be honest, I didn't get much sleep during High School and I was always very busy. I still had a awesome time!
     
  19. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    Speak to your guidance councellor.

    And since you seem to be into engineering, complete projects on your own as part of your computer club stuff, things that interest you, and keep a record of the projects.
     
  20. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Here's a link to explain varsity letters:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varsity_letter

    You don't have to be great to get a letter in sports...in fact regular participation can also earn you a letter. If you do your best, hopefully your coach will recognize your efforts. Sports can be fun and provide a welcome break from the books. They are even more fun when friends are there with you. But it's not a requirement to be in sports....it's just another thing for your resume.

    Since I've been back at University working on my second bachelors degree, I've taken summer courses every summer. I love it because the courses are much faster paced, shorter and I can easily knock out 2 courses over a summer....sometimes not so easily but it's usually easier then fall and spring terms. Plus, it keeps me in study mode and lightens my load for fall and spring semesters.

    One thing I've found VERY helpful is regular exercise. It's helps lower stress levels and helps me think and sleep better. School can be hard and it's nice to take a break and sweat for an hour. I like to walk but when I was younger I ran and rode bicycles. Just find some form of physical activity that you can do for more then 30 mins that gets your heart rate up. You don't have to run 10 miles...but you may find that you like running. BTW, you can usually letter in cross country running if that's your thing. Local YMCAs have all sorts of sports programs and activities that you can get into (swimming, running, weight lifting, etc.) they should be able to help you find something you enjoy. The mind/body connection is very well known. Working on getting your body healthy also helps get your mind healthy.

    Also, remember to take time for fun. HS is not all about work and college prep. It can also be tons of fun. Try to enjoy the journey. Go to HS sporting events with your friends, ask out some really cute girls, participate in a school play. There are soo many fun things to try. g/l
     
  21. Memor

    Memor Active Member

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    Interesting you ask that, since I went to school originally with mechanical engineering in mind for a major but now do economics / mathematics.

    CalTech and MIT are the top of the top, they're probably two of the hardest in the nation to get into, and you're competing with people from all around the world. They're very course intensive and keep in mind - you'll be surrounded by engineers, 24/7. It revolves a lot around the hours of work and the hours of studying. While that can be good, and while I'm sure people that go there have fun (sometimes), college is about branching out, figuring out who you are, meeting all types of people, and trying new things. So you'll miss out on a big chunk of it (big parties, interesting clubs/outdoors stuff, big-scale athletics like D1 football or basketball, etc.) by going to a place that is very intensive in one academic area.

    Best thing is, if you're looking into engineering, see how you like AP physics / Calc in HS, and if you still enjoy it, then get a broad range of schools with solid Eng. programs, from the very focused like CalT and MIT to the much broader, for example UMich or something that has a lot more people, tons of different programs, a massive athletic program and still great engineering resources and academics. So make sure to broaden it. Also don't shoot too high with what you apply for, make sure safety schools are SAFETY schools so you don't end up getting shot down all across the board; happened to quite a few kids I knew back in HS that applied to like 6 Ivies and MIT and got rejected from all of them.

    The good thing about most places is that they're very flexible and accomodating if you don't like what you started out with. As soon as I knew MechE wasn't for me, it was simple and quick to switch over majors and get into the Econ program (albeit going from Engineering --> Arts & Sciences is much easier than the reverse).

    Oh and if you're doing engineering in college then for god's sakes take AP Chem in HS so you have to bypass pain in the ass Chem requirement courses in college. I fucking hated Materials Chemistry first semester at college Freshman year.

    I really can't stress enough how important finding that "unique" aspect is. As great as your GPA is or whatever it translates, kids with 1600 SATs (or whatever the max is with the new ones, 2400?) 800 SAT IIs 5s on all their APs and a 4.0 GPA get rejected all across the boards while the guy with a 3.1 GPA but who did Habitat for Humanity for 4 years of HS, and his summer junior year headed to so and so country, loved it, had a meaningful experience that wasn't generic and actually meant something, and who speaks 3 languages gets accepted over those kids. Schools don't want tons of kids with perfect GPAs and records. They want SOME, but they want a diverse range of academic and social experiences too. So do well in school but grades aren't everything. All the stories about getting drunk and high with friends, lighting a dock on fire by accident, running from the police, stories of significant others, losing it on junior prom night without going to junior prom, sneaking into NYC to get pierced then almost getting killed by my father for it, hitting 155mph on the highway in my friend's car and having the pedal shoot back up from the speed governor, getting my ass kicked by 4 guys that jumped me senior year in NYC....as silly as it sounds THOSE are the things I will remember and love about HS for decades to come, not my grades or my awards or prestige or college acceptances. So make sure to make years count and have fun.

    Hope that helps!

    :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2006
  22. Timdog

    Timdog New Member

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    For sports, I might suggest track or cross country if you feel you're mediocre at sports. Those don't require as much skill, the only thing that makes you better in those is hard work and having the mental edge. Sure, some people are genetically better at running faster, but it's probably the easiest sport to improve in if you work hard enough. And if you start your freshman year, it will be even easier.

    PSATs are sometimes taken in 10th grade as a little prep and then you take them in the fall of your Junior year. At that point, they count for scholarships. Good luck with that though. It's very hard to get scholarships with the PSATs.

    This is all coming from a rising HS junior, so don't take it all as 100% truth. Especially about the running part. I only have one season of track under my belt and I'm doing XC this year. But I have noticed that just with running a lot over the summer, my times have improved drastically. From the beginning of June, I've improved 3:11 on my 5k time which is quite an improvement. That was from running but also from learning to use my mind to carry me through the run and endure the pain. Also, don't wait around to start doing things and making friends in HS. I was a loner most of my freshman year and then my soph year I just completely changed. Now I have a large circle of friends and one inspired me to start running (he's our best runner and almost to the level of best for the state).
     
  23. Sorry about missing the thread; that other link with links is signif too. Here:

    http://forums.offtopic.com/showthread.php?t=261879

    My hobbies were astronomy, in which I ground a couple of telescope mirrors, entered Foucalt Tester into the Science Fair Project. Later, indoor plants. Continuous interest in reading SF; Hogan, Vinge, Asaro, and Stephenson are especially educational. Best prep for grokking wisdom, not just fancy college learnin.
     
  24. John Blaze

    John Blaze New Member

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    "Speak to your guidance councellor."

    BEST ADVICE YET, DO THIS!!!
     
  25. Clarity

    Clarity New Member

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    Hmm...I will be fluent in 2 languages, and I'm taking Spanish in High School.

    I will try to get good academic ratings, but I have to branch out too. I should do community service (habitat for humanity?), which I wouldn't mind doing. Clubs, etc. To relieve stress I suppose I'll run on the treadmill my dad has. For sports, I guess I'll wait until I get into HS to see what they have to offer. Running isn't fun for me, and I tried track once. I hated it. I was the last one in, and it's mind-numbingly boring. There is no objective - just run as fast as you can...I think I will have to do with "Played rec soccer and basketball..." I don't see myself taking all honors in freshman + computer programming + AP courses in 10th grade + a crapton of clubs and finding time to devote myself to obtain a varisty letter. =(

    What is a good thing for my resume i can do during the summer? habitat for humanity looks somewhat interesting, what would i do there? go to Africa?:noes:
     

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