Stay on Track

Checklist for this Week, September 4, 2012

For freshmen and sophomores

  • As the school weeks progress and you get settled into your academic activities, try to discover other ways to make your high school experience meaningful. Get involved!
  • Listen to your school's daily announcements and look for activity postings. Check your student handbook for club listings. Get a friend to go with you to a meeting.
  • Choose activities that you enjoy and that match your interests. Check out the opportunities in your school and neighborhood. If no organization interests you, see about starting one yourself.
  • Make a difference and have some fun!

For juniors

  • Work to make your grades the very best you can make them. Colleges and future employers look more closely at the grades you make your junior year than in previous years.
  • Choose activities that you enjoy and that match your interests. Activities can range from school clubs and community service assistance to working at a business establishment.
  • Check out the opportunities available at your school and in your community.

For seniors

It's college application time. Start preparing your applications and gathering the information you need to complete them.

  • Determine how many transcripts you will need from your school and who needs to receive them. Request these as early as possible.
  • Prepare a resume of your academic participation and your extracurricular activities and achievements in a computer word processing file so that you can copy-and-paste information as you complete applications.
  • Work with your counselors, teachers, employers, and others to get the letters of recommendation that you need to submit for various applications.
  • Write thank-you notes to all the people that help you.
  • Spend ample time preparing your admissions essays. Make sure your completed writing is free of errors and ask others to review your work.
  • Review your calendar and make sure you are keeping up with all the necessary deadlines.

For parents

  • As your teenager gets settled in with the academic demands of the year, there are other aspects of high school that make the experience meaningful. Encourage your teenager to get involved.
  • Whether it is on the athletic field, in a school club, or at your family's church or synagogue, encourage your teenager to volunteer his or her time and talents. Some schools provide a student handbook listing all the school clubs and organizations. Advise your teen to choose activities that he or she will enjoy and that will match his or her interests.
  • As you are guiding your teenager to make the most of his or her time outside the classroom, watch to make sure your child does not go into overload. Being involved does not mean joining every club or activity in sight, or filling every spare moment of the day. Help your teen set realistic limits to his or her schedule. Teaching a child to set priorities and to make choices is an important activity during these high school years.
  • Encourage your teenager to make a difference, have some fun, and keep a balanced lifestyle.