Several of you have emailed me asking, "Where do I start?" I'll answer that question in a three-part series.
Sophomores, this post is for you. It's time for you to crack down and take some notes. Juniors and seniors, keep checking back for your official unofficial guidelines, which I'll post over the coming days.
Note to everyone: Don't panic if you can't follow my suggestions to the letter. It's no big deal if you're off track by a month or two.
August (aka NOW):
The dreaded SAT and ACT
- Buy a guidebook that's thicker than any textbook you currently have, and read it. You don't have to read it cover to cover, but do get the gist. You want to understand what the heck is on this test, anyway.
- Do practice questions daily.
- If you know you'll slack on practicing solo, consider hiring a tutor or signing up for SAT Prep as a course at your high school. Many high schools offer the course an elective credit and, trust me, it's totally worth it.
Start thinking about it
- I know it's tough to think in the summer, when the sun is out, the books are away, and that awesome vacation is coming up next week... did I lose you already?... but try to do the most you can.
- Talk with your friends about college. Hearing other people's opinions can help clarify your own. Ask about what they think they may want to study. Ask if they think they'll want to go somewhere far away or stay closer to home.
- If you or your friends have older siblings who are already in college, ask them what they like and dislike about their school.
Attend an open house or two
- I recommend trekking back to one your parents' alma maters with him/her. It will take the pressure off if the visit isn't geared solely toward you. Definite bonus: you get early exposure to those big, scary college campuses. Possible bonus: you get to hear some scandalous stories about your parents' college days.
Got a question for Corinne? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.