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Tips for Underclassmen


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Senior year is stressful. Filling out college applications, scholarships, and so many other forms can leave any student up to her head in stress, but it doesn’t have to be this way. As I’ve been doing all these things every other senior in the building is, I’ve realized that starting young takes the workload off as a senior and opens opportunities.

I have a brother in eighth grade. He’s just now starting to take high school classes, so these grades will go on his official transcript. Not that I ever had bad grades in jr. high or at any point throughout high school, I simply wish I would have known that these grades determine our class rank and definitely show up as a permanent grade on the paper that gets sent to the college of my dreams. Before deciding that studying for that freshman biology test or forgetting to look over English vocabulary words is pointless, remember that colleges will see that percentage. Do not settle for the bare minimum. Also, don’t forget how important finals are! I remember sitting in class crunching numbers to see what the lowest grade I could get while still keeping an A in the class was, but that is definitely not the way to do it. My tip to all underclassmen is to study like this test is what determines if you pass or fail. Overall, this grade makes up a big chunk of the semester grade and someday you’ll be sitting on a laptop punching that percentage into the common application.

Grades aren’t the only thing that matter when it comes to the future. The SAT or ACT is crucial. Many colleges have a set number that determines if an applicant makes it in. No matter how smart a student is, I definitely recommend taking it early and more than once. The more proactive you are about taking one of these tests, the better off you’ll be. Also, don’t be discouraged if the score you’re hoping for doesn’t come the first time. Sometimes students are just bad test takers or aren’t used to that kind of test, so getting a tutor isn’t the worst idea in the world because, after all, these scores are super important to colleges. Although they aren’t the only thing colleges look at when selecting students, these scores can sometimes make or break a decision.

Finally, listen to the advice your parents, teachers, and responsible upperclassmen have to give. Most parents have been through the process. Teaches deal with this every year and many of my teachers have been very helpful to me when it comes to college applications so don’t be afraid to ask! If neither of those options sound appealing, talk to a friend who’s going through it right now, and if they’re not willing to help, I’m always around.

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3 Responses to “Tips for Underclassmen”

  1. Bspen52 on October 5th, 2017 2:01 pm

    I wish that I would have tried harder in jr. high. I look back now and wish I would have studied harder. Great article!


  2. Hayden Vest on October 6th, 2017 8:47 am

    This is a lot of great advice for younger kids if they want to prepare for their future! When I was in junior high it never came across my mind to think of how what I was doing would affect my future. Great article!


  3. Morgan Miller on October 13th, 2017 8:47 am

    This is great advice that I wish I would’ve had four years ago. I didn’t try very hard freshman year because I didn’t think my grades would matter. Great article!


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Lewis Cass High School, Walton, Indiana,
Tips for Underclassmen