ROADMAP TO RAIDERLAND!
It is never too early for you to start planning for college. By exploring your options and preparing early, you can strategically navigate your academic path, identify interests and strengths, and lay the foundation for a successful application for admission. Early planning allows ample time for you to engage in meaningful extracurricular activities, build a strong academic record, and seek guidance from mentors. We've created a roadmap here to support you in this process!
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- Stay informed about events on campus and in your home area;
- Get information about your interests;
- Get insights on how to make your application stand out; and
- Remain informed about scholarships, deadlines and more!
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TIPS TO PREPARE FOR COLLEGE
Starting the college search process early may require time and discipline. In the end, you'll be better prepared, reduce stress, and better enjoy your time in high school! (source: greatvaluecolleges.net)
This may be one of the most important steps you can take to ready yourself for whatever lies ahead. Don't wait until your junior or senior year to develop a relationship with your guidance counselor. You will thank yourself later for getting to know this person earlier in high school. They are there to support you through the challenges of the next four years and can help you set goals and make specific plans to help keep you on track.
Your counselor can help you create a plan for your future career or aspirations. They have the resources and connections that can make things much easier and will help you make choices that are realistic and make sense for you. Nothing needs to be set in stone just yet. Simply developing a solid relationship with your counselor will set the stage for smoother sailing.
Your Texas Tech admissions counselor can play a crucial role in the college application process, assisting you in navigating the complexities of admission, and answering your questions along the way. Your admissions counselors can provide you and your family with information about the university's academic programs, admission requirements, and application processes. They can connect you with resources at Texas Tech from financial aid to other areas of interest to you. Don't hesitate to reach out to them no matter where you are in the college search process.
If you have a specific degree in mind already, you will want to find out the requirements needed to pursue that subject. Most universities focus on the core classes of English, math, science, and history, so make sure you cover these bases. However, depending upon your ambitions, you may need additional coursework like foreign language or advanced math. Finding out the requirements well ahead of time can avoid any last-minute stress.
Once you know the type of courses you will need for the degree you want to pursue, it's time for an actionable plan. Sit down with your counselor and create a four-year blueprint to help you reach your goals. A multi-year plan will help ensure you have time to complete all the requirements necessary while still allowing you to enjoy your high school years.
College applications that are rich with high-quality extracurricular activities are highly attractive to admissions officers. These electives help them understand who you are as a person and how you might contribute to the student body as a whole. They reveal your personality better than numbers, grades, and test scores ever can.
While many students think that playing a sport is an automatic ticket into the college of their choice, this is not usually the case. In fact, colleges don't necessarily care what you choose for electives. Instead, they will use the information to understand qualities like consistency, leadership skills, passion, and your ability to influence the world around you.
There are hundreds of activities you can participate in that will meet this requirement. Nothing is too insignificant as long as it is something you enjoy and you can be immersed in.
While they are not necessary, internships can be a great tool to help you decipher your own preferences. An internship will usually involve having a mentor who can be a valuable resource for you as you see your future career in the real world. Not only will you get a glimpse into the realities of your chosen industry, but you will also gain a better understanding of the programs you want to apply for. This type of hands-on experience can help you narrow down your options even further.
Listening and note-taking skills will become even more crucial in college classes, where the number of students and distractions during a lecture can be even higher than in high school. During college courses, professors often speak quickly and expect you to follow along. Unlike high school, the instructors are not accustomed to repeating lessons and pausing to let students catch up.
While many students use their smartphones to record lectures, most experts say that taking manual notes is best. And while it may be tempting to type the notes on your laptop or tablet, they argue that even this has its drawbacks. Learning to take handwritten notes is the most effective way to retain information and will put you a step ahead of the game.
You will be doing a lot of writing in college, and now is the time to take advantage of all the resources you can to learn how to be a better writer. Research skills and grammar are similarly essential too. If you can write a near-perfect term paper with impeccable grammar, you will be on your way to smooth sailing when it comes time for college writing.
If you still find yourself struggling with writing, take a few classes at a local adult education program or community college if you can. Sometimes all it takes is finding the right instructor to turn a difficulty into a genuine interest.
If the thought of speaking in public is terrifying for you, you are not alone. Most people get nervous when it comes time to speak up in front of others. Start by raising your hand more often to ask or answer questions in class. If you still find yourself tongue-tied, you might want to check out a public speaking class or try out for a small part in community theater to build up your confidence.
Up until now (and probably still to some extent), you have likely been relying on your parents to help you manage your time. But when you get to college, you will begin making your own schedule. Many students find that this newfound freedom is harder than it sounds. With nobody to remind them that it's time to study or suggest they get some sleep, it's easy to become undisciplined and overwhelmed.
Start managing your time now, and you will be well on your way to handling whatever adult responsibilities the future brings. There are lots of ways to do this. The old-fashioned way is to purchase a planner and use it to set aside blocks of time for each activity and then stick with it. In the digital age, however, many people prefer to use a time management app or draw their schedule up on their laptops.
Whichever way you choose to manage your time, the most important thing is that you are consistent and stick with the schedule. Dedicate specific times for studying and breaks so you don't get burned out. Notice when you need extra sleep and be proactive by getting to bed early if you have a big exam at school the next day. Taking responsibility for managing your own time will not only help you grow but will demonstrate your readiness for the challenges of college classes.
There's no better way to find out what it's like to be a Red Raider than to see it for yourself! Campus tours are offered Monday through Friday and select Saturdays.
Most high schools require their students to take tests like the ACT, SAT, or PSAT during their junior and senior years. The majority of colleges will accept one or more of these as a requirement of entry. They look at these scores as a factor for admission, so you will want to get the highest marks that you can. Additional studying is essential, even if you feel like you have all your bases covered. There are lots of websites where you can take quizzes and practice tests to prepare you for these exams. When the testing day comes, you will be glad you took a little extra time to study so you can proceed confidently to the exam room.
There will be essays, tests, recommendation letters, and a lot of paperwork to pull together to have your application completed. If you are applying to more than one school, that adds additional work to the list. Keep in mind that colleges can set their own schedules and will have different deadlines, so make sure you leave enough room in your calendar to get everything in on time—preferably early. Texas Tech begins accepting applications through ApplyTexas in July and the Common App in August before the start of your senior year.