Top Tips for High School Students
August 12, 2021
Marmion Academy recently tweeted a variation on this list of advice for high school students based on suggestions from recent college grads.
Here is our version of the list.
1. Follow your interests
Pick the extracurricular activities that interest you. If you pick activities that you think will look good on a resume, but that don’t interest you, you won’t have as much fun or learn as much. Don’t lose sight of your passions.
2. Take the extra step
Don’t skip physics because it’s hard. You may surprise yourself at how well you do. The logical thinking of a math or science class can sharpen your results in other classes.
3. Learn a language
You may never know where your classes may come in handy. If you ever get to travel abroad, any language you attempt may help you read or start to communicate with others. Plus, you get a sense of how other people think about the world if you know a little of their language.
4. Be yourself
Shakespeare said it first: “To thine own self be true.” Don’t copy the latest trends just because others are doing it. You’ll be happier being yourself and, who knows, you may find out you’re a trendsetter.
5. Take care of yourself
Self-care is important even when you are struggling to maintain grades or prepare for tests. You need to give yourself time for rest, and usually teachers will undestand about one missed assignment. They’re human, too.
6. Look ahead
Don’t wait until your senior year to plan for college. Start thinking about your interests or where you’d like to go in your sophomore or junior year. It doesn’t have to be super specific yet.
7. Don’t lock yourself in
So don’t plan your schedule just for Harvard or Notre Dame. Be open to different interests, too. You may be drawn to different classes as you progress — through high school or college  — that you hadn’t even thought of to begin with.
8. Practice tests
Nobody really likes standardized tests. But there are plenty of practice options before you take them for real. And there are tricks to taking them that make them a lot easier. There are classes your parents can sign you up for, and you may be able to get help on line.
9. Keep your eye on the prize
You are learning, in both high school and college, for a life, not a degree. Don’t focus only on your GPA or your college application. Take time to think about how these short-term goals fit into your long-term life plans.
10. Ask for help
Don’t forget, guidance counselors can help if you feel a little lost. And teachers are there to help you, too. Don’t be afraid to approach them. If you have favorite teachers, start with them. They can often tell you where to go next. They can also talk about where they went to school or what college they went to. 
— Megan Peterson and Sharon Boehlefeld
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