https://nextsteps.idaho.gov/ As a high schooler, there are many small things you can do now to impact your future in big ways. Getting clear can help you decide how to spend your summer, what classes to take, what summer jobs you should be looking for, what to do with your free time, what great extra-curricular activities you can be looking into, what colleges to look at and will help save time wondering 'what should I do?"
Once you are clear on what it is would like to do after high school, start thinking about what it is you would like to do after college, because that is where your education is headed, to you dream job! Keep in mind that you will probably not find the job that fits you to a t, it is more common that people have jobs that allow them to be fulfilled in their personal life as well. If your career bucket is overflowing, your personal life bucket may be empty, so don't think that a job will complete you as a person, it just has to be something you enjoy doing. Finding something that is 'good enough' is helpful so that you don't spend too much time wallowing in 'I don't know what the perfect career is for me!' keep following your own interests and you will always be right.
Set some time aside to think about your dream job. Writing this down in a journal is a must and many experts would agree this is the best way to show yourself what you are thinking. Once you have identified some interests of yours, start finding ways you can learn more about the fields you are interested in and then meet people in those fields. If you are interested in being a performer, find a performance to attend sometime this year and prepare yourself before you attend. Ask your music teacher if they know of anyone you could interview and find out what it is like to be a performer. Continue exploring different career paths and find paths you could see your self enjoying and find careers you would not enjoy. This process of elimination can help you identify what you are looking for in a job and help you get specific about a career.
Make time to just think about what job you would like to do, it can guide your high school experience and can save money that countless numbers of students spend during their undergrad 'trying things out.' Learn how to study!
Use your summer for meaningful experiences and career exploration. just having a job is okay too. When admissions looks at a potential student's application, seeing "McDonal's" is okay. Working a job takes being reliable, having decent people skills, being a team member and already being in the work force. If possible, see if there are camps that could shed some light on a potential career. Interested in Science?There are plenty of camps. Look at the clarinet camp map under the Resources tab to find dozens of clarinet camps in the USA.
Hopefully by now, you have several ideas of possible career paths you could take. Continue to explore and pursue interviews with professionals in fields you are interested in or connecting with them. Once you have some ideas, start finding the undergrad experience you need to fulfill the requirements of your dream job. Go visit some campuses. Start with your local university so you can get used to the visit experience. Every college wants to make it look like they give out lots of money, but not every one does. You want to know if they could potentially help you or if it really will be cost prohibitive. Ask "How much did you give in merit based scholarship last year? How many did you award?" If they say "we gave out $2,000,000 in scholarships," this may seem like a lot of money, but if it was divided between 22,000 students, that is only $91.00 per student. If you are looking for a music school, a lesson with the professor of your instrument is essential. It is just as important, if not, more important that the rest of the college visit. email the personally and set something up and be prepared to pay around $100 for one lesson. They may not charge, but be ready to pay, it is well worth it. Music students spend more time with their private teachers than any other professor in college and they will have a huge impact on your experience.
This should be a fun process of imagining yourself in someone else's shoes and 'trying them out' and continue to find out what you like and what you don't like. Exploring universities and careers is more about finding what you like and how you feel about them, not the reverse.
Signing up for AP classes in high school may or may not be what you need. Some colleges do not consider a weighted GPA. That means the 4.5 you received in honors english is still a 4.0 in a non-weighted university. BSU is this way. If you find value in the class you are taking, go for it, but do not try to stand out in ways that are not noticeable on your college application.
The year of paper work. SAT, ACT, and college applications!
Do practice ACT and SAT's. Try to determine which one fits your college of choice, many colleges will take either. Applying can get spendy really quick, so look into college application fee waiver. This may mean you need to sign up for free lunch at the beginning of the year in order to receive the fee waiver. See your high school counselor. Your high school counselor should be your new best friend this year. Go out of your way to say hello to them and to let them know what you are looking for. Ask them what you should be doing to get into your dream college. IF you are going to be a music student, it is ver important you are practicing and taking lessons! Your audition will get you in and get you money. Practice practice practice. Learn how to play all of your major scales from memory with various articulations at a high performance level. NO MISTAKES. Prepare a fast technical solo and a slow expressive solo. Sight read regularly and be working on etudes regularly because that is what almost every single music audition is. Even if you took a gap year, it would be fine as long as you can play. Learn those scales! Practice scales with your friends, audition for each other, support each other.
When applying for schools, have 1-3 dream schools Julliard, Rice, University of Indiana, etc, and 4-5 schools are easier to get into for you and still have what you are looking for. Take each application seriously, it is better to have a slim few that you have really considered as opposed to a laundry list you will never get into or cater your application towards. How big a school do you want to attend? Which school fits you best? Does the school support the music program? How many merit bases scholarships did they award last year?
At this point, you should have a good idea of you school list and are sending applications in. If you have been following a few simple steps every year from freshman until now, there will not be a ton of work to do. If you have put off thinking about college until now, you are scrambling! It can be done, but getting everything done on time is the best way to do this right. February of your senior year is usually when the first applications are due, but do a quick search to see when yours are due. Check out this great website! https://www.collegechoice.net/college-application/
Keep getting help from your team of teachers, friends, private teacher and other students looking for the right college or the right thing for you to do.
Write your college application essays and cater each one to fit the college you are applying to. Show some interest in them and some knowledge. What is it specifically about the school you like? What are they looking for and do you have qualities they are looking for? It is okay to re-write the same essay, but be sure it is not totally off base. And be sure to use complete sentences!
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