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How to Prepare for College

Updated on March 13, 2014

Five Things You Must Do to be Prepared for College

Although this post is named How to Prepare for College, this advice certainly applies to all aspects of life as well. Therefore if you are not a recent high school graduate or current high school-er looking for advice on getting into college, I encourage you to read on all the same. Look for ways to apply these tips in your business, or your personal life as well.

1. Do Your Homework: In my teen years I was not what one would call a book-worm or a top-of-the-class student. I don’t mean to brag when I say this but if I had actually worked a little bit in high school, I could and should have been a 4.0 student. Instead I hardly ever did homework, slacked off in class, and studied once in a blue moon. Because of this I finished high school with a cumulative 3.16 GPA.

I had a great time in high school and I am not one to have regrets. That being said my recommendation to any teens reading this blog would be to NOT follow my example. If you have college in mind, I suggest that you do your best work in high school because frankly it’s not that hard to just dedicate an hour a day outside of school to do studying/homework. I didn’t do that and that was my mistake. If my GPA was just a little bit higher I would have been able to get into the college of my choice. The work you do in high school really does make a difference to colleges.

Listen up athletes! If you are trying to get a college scholarship, YOUR GRADES ARE ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT. When college coaches are comparing two athletes of relative similarity in size and skill and one has a 3.6 GPA and the other has a 2.0, GUESS WHICH ONE THEY ARE GOING TO TAKE!?

2. Learn to Learn: The faster you find out the best way you learn as an individual, the better off you will be in the long run. My mistake was waiting until I was in college to actually put any thought towards figuring out which ways I learn best. I ended up wasting a lot of time and energy trying different note-taking methods, studying methods, etc. I could have easily avoided a lot of wasted time and energy in some of my college courses if I had just taken the initiative in high school.

3. Get Organized: You’ve probably heard it over and over again. You’re probably sick to death of this little bit of advice. But I wouldn’t be listing it if I didn’t KNOW ITS IMPORTANCE. Get organized people. I made this mistake during my high school and teen years as well (geez what haven’t I screwed up?). I cannot tell you how many homework assignments I never turned in because I had forgotten they’d been assigned. A lot of times I would tell myself, “Ah I don’t need to write this down, I’ll just remember it.” Yeah that never happened. Especially in high school with sports, clubs, friends and drama, JUST KEEP A FREAKIN’ PLANNER. Also, after my teen years I discovered something that would have helped astronomically, LISTS! Lists are fantastic! They help me take care of things during my day as well as prioritize the importance of tasks.

4. Stay Motivated: Each new semester of high school (and the first couple of college) I would start off all organized thinking, “This is the turning point. I am going to get organized and be a better student!” Ha. Yeah right. I would write homework down in my planner each day for about a week at the start of the semester, maybe two. After that my planner would get shoved to the bottom of my locker or backpack and lay forgotten for the remainder of the semester. How I wished I had kept up that motivation and organization! It would have made things 100 times easier and my grades would have been so much better!

I understand that many times motivation is hard to come by. But think about this, the one who motivates him/herself will come out ahead every single time. Sure his basketball coaches motivated him, but would Michael Jordan have been the greatest player of all time if he didn’t put in thousands of hours of practice when nobody was watching?

5. Discover Personal Development: By far the most important of the 5 tips I am giving you. I wish more than anything else that I had read books like The Slight Edge by Jeff Olsen, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie and Unlimited Power by Anthony Robbins during my high school years. It would have made me a better athlete, student, friend, boyfriend, and an all-around better person. They don’t teach you this in high school for some incredibly dumb reason. You must discover this yourself and I did when I was nearing the end of my teenage years. I very dearly wish I had discovered personal development when I was in high school; however, I am thankful that I at least discovered it when I did. So many people live their whole lives without ever picking up a personal development book or audio or movie. I feel deeply sorry for those people.

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