Stay Calm and Plan for College

by Kim Lifton

As high school seniors put finishing touches on college applications, the rest of you –  freshmen, sophomores and juniors – might be thinking about your own journeys beyond high school. Stay calm. There is a college for each of you.

Yes, many four-year colleges will like it when you take honors, advanced and AP classes – if you can do well in them. They are happy with regular classes too – as long as they are challenging enough for you.

If you excel in Spanish and want to try French, go ahead. If you have always enjoyed running, consider joining the cross country or track team.  And if you like to build things, robotics might just be a perfect fit.

But be careful you don’t overdo it in the name of the college resume.

Stay true to yourself. Try new things, but don’t spend four years of high school in a club that does not interest you; there is no point in taking AP classes that are too hard.

At Wow, we interview admissions professionals to keep up with the trends, and we know this much is true: colleges like students who get good grades and take challenging classes. They also want to know who you are beyond your grades and test scores. For most colleges, you will get an opportunity to tell them who you are with a meaningful application essay.

Ready to get started? The National Association for College Admission Counseling created this College Checklist to help guide you on this exciting journey.

Next, put a reminder on your calendar to enroll in a Wow writing workshop before you take the ACT. Wow offers standardized test writing workshops, classroom and online college essay workshops, and Wow Online – College Essay, the first self-guided online tutorial for college application essay writing.

Kim Lifton is president of Wow Writing Workshop. You can read our blogs and get useful tips about the college admissions process by signing up for Wow’s weekly newsletter; Wow is also on Facebook and Twitter.