Hi everyone! In accordance with my last post regarding what you should do freshman year of high school to stay on track, here is what you should do to maintain that during your sophomore year of high school.
#1: Think Carefully About Classes
By sophomore year, you are being introduced to so many new types of classes, including APs. When making decisions on what classes to take, it is imperative that you think carefully about what high-level courses you would like to take. Remember, APs are weighted more than other classes, and thus affect your GPA much more. This means that you should only take APs based on your strong suits. For example, if you enjoy humanities classes (history and english), I would take AP US History or AP Language and Composition. If you enjoy STEM classes (science and math), I would spring for classes like AP Biology or AP Statistics. It all depends on what APs your school offers sophomore year, but make sure to pick wisely.
#2: Electives Matter!
You may have taken pretty basic electives in freshman year like Photography or Ceramics. However, if you are someone who is looking to go into fields of STEM or humanities, you have to shape your electives around that! Try and find courses that your school offers that align with what you would like to do in the future. Electives are the best way for colleges to see what your interests are, as they are your choice. If you enjoy taking a particular elective, it should be in your area of focus. However, this is not to say don’t take art electives, as I know they can be therapeutic for a lot of people. Just try to keep a good balance within your schedule of easy-going electives and electives that interest and challenge you.
#3: Keep Consistent With Clubs
My biggest piece of advice to sophomores is to stay consistent with your clubs. If you did not get an officer position going into sophomore year, chances are that you will be getting them this year. All upperclassmen graduate sometime, and you want to make sure that you are the first person they think will take over the duties of the club. Make sure you are an active member and a leader for the group of students that attend the club. Being a leader includes helping run activities, advertising events, and picking up some of the club work if needed. These qualities demonstrate drive and passion, everything that a future officer embodies.
#4: Start Finding Your Passion
When you hear the college acceptances of individuals around the world, the one key aspect they highlight is the theme that flowed through their entire application. When you begin sophomore year, you have experience of high school under your belt and feel comfortable at school. Now it is your time to shine. Find a specific area or niche that you feel passionate about. This can include everything from animal rights to issues pertaining to diversity. Whatever you feel needs change in your community is something worth paying attention to. Start a club, fundraise, or collaborate with town members. If you use this passion to develop a theme that you pursue throughout high school, your theme is created and only needs to be maintained in the future.
#5: Start Thinking About the SAT
I know, I know, the dreaded SAT! It is a portion of the college application that has been long debated and even more so since the beginning of COVID-19. Even though some top colleges like Harvard and Boston University are deciding to omit the SAT from their applications, other schools like MIT are bringing it back. Since the future of the SAT is so unknown, it is way better to be safe than sorry. Start preparing little-by-little for the SAT starting now. This is useful as it gives you so many more opportunities to take exams when you are a junior. Instead of waiting until March, you could begin taking your SAT in September or October! This puts you on the track of getting your desired score much earlier.
I really hope you all enjoy this post and stay tuned for the next post for what I have been doing to manage the junior-year workload!