College readiness isn’t just about the academic aspects of a high school student’s resume and overall profile – it’s essential, no doubt, but it’s only one element of a broader, well-rounded skill set. Think about college preparation from the following perspectives:

Academic college preparation. A four-year bachelor’s degree demands an inquisitive mind, plenty of hard work, proper study habits and much more. Many high school students look at their college readiness in terms of simply getting admitted to a university. However, the culmination of all those college prep classes and other academic coursework is the start of something, not the end. The academic aspect of college preparation means the ability to complete your chosen degree program with distinction. If you’re fully prepared academically, you’re ready to take the next step and excel beyond high school – at college, in the workplace and well into adulthood.

Emotional college readiness. Whether you commute or stay on-campus, the college experience demands a certain level of maturity, confidence and perseverance. College isn’t easy (especially if you’re going for a degree in the hard sciences), and you have to be prepared emotionally to handle the rigors of a busy schedule. Juggling all of the school-related work requirements along with the other parts of being a college student – holding a part-time job, involvement with extra-curricular activities, etc. – requires emotional maturity.

Social skills. Communication skills are a bonus in high school, but they’re absolutely essential in college. Much of your social skill development is a work in progress as you enter college, but you can shorten the learning curve by getting involved in as much school-related activities – academic clubs, sororities & fraternities and more – as possible. If you can handle a busy schedule as a freshman, go for it. But if you need a few semesters to adjust, don’t overdo it; gradually build up your involvement in order to ensure your academic work doesn’t suffer along the way.

Preparing For College – How Pre-University Preparation Paves the Way for Success

“Do something today that you’ll thank yourself for in ten years.” This inspiring quote is fully illustrated by the benefits of taking college prep classes while in high school. In fact, enrolling in a high school college preparatory program is one of the best things you can do now – and your future self will be grateful for!

Here are three college readiness tasks to keep in mind:

  • Take college prep classes. Nearly every high school in the United States has a college preparatory program. This academic curriculum is specifically designed to develop the skills and habits necessary for success beyond high school.
  • Give back to the community. A strong sense of civic pride helps build lasting roots and fosters a positive business environment. Many professionals that work in the area they grew up in actively give back to their community, and it’s never too early to start this encouraging trend. As part of our college preparatory program at Reality Changers, we routinely engage in productive community service Plus, our Alumni Network helps create opportunities for Reality Changers college graduates to give back to their communities.
  • Streamline the process. Tools like the Common Application allow you to apply to multiple colleges with one application. This not only saves time, but it’ll help reduce the stress associated with preparing for college.

With the right mindset and this “mini-roadmap” in place, college preparation can be productive, rewarding…and even fun!