- Take the most
rigorous courses offered. Taking the easiest courses accomplishes
nothing. Yes, you might make a very good grade, but are you pushing
yourself to learn the most you can? Eventually easy grades catch up
with you; learning is what helps you earn a good score on college
entrance exams and get into college.
- Read, read and
read some more. While it may not be as much fun as playing video
games and watching television, a well read person will do much
better in high school and college and will earn a higher score on
college entrance exams. The better vocabulary you have, the better
you will do in the future. Reading also directly influences your
writing ability because you learn how good writers write. College
admission and success is not based on the latest video game or
- Earn a good
reputation with positive, college bound peers. Friends who do not
take school seriously will only pull you down. Being smart is
always in fashion no matter what others may say. Making the right
kinds of friends is important.
- Earn a good
reputation with your teachers, your counselor and your principal.
Let them see that you are serious about school and learning. You
never know when a good word from one of them could land you a great
opportunity. Conversely, you never know when a negative report
about you could really keep you from getting an opportunity that you
really wanted and needed. You may need these people someday, and
what they remember about you and will say about you really does
- Begin volunteering
now in your school, in your community and in your church. Find
something that really interests you and make it your passion.
Giving back and making your city, school and church better places is
the American thing to do.
Remember to keep a record of your hours or ask the agency to keep a
record for you. You want to be able to document your hours.
- Again, take the
most rigorous courses offered. Push yourself; don’t take the easy
route. Plan to graduate on the Distinguished Achievement Program
plan. Earn the 25 credits you need to graduate plus complete four
advanced measures— take dual credit classes and earn a 3.0 or higher
in the class, earn a 4 or higher on AP exams, earn National Merit
recognition, complete an original research project under the
direction of a high school teacher and then have it judged by
outside professionals. You can combine these measures to earn the
four measures for the DAP diploma. About 10 percent of the senior
class usually qualifies for this diploma.
- Find your niche in
high school. Get involved in an extra-curricular activity and stay
with it. Don’t quit! If you are an athlete, pick a sport and play
all four years. Band, choir, theatre, debate and drill team are
excellent choices as are all UIL competitions; again, stay with it
all four years. Don’t get in the habit of quitting when things
don’t exactly go your way in the activity. If the coach benches
you, practice harder; don’t complain and then quit.
- Join high school
clubs as soon as possible—the Science Club, Anchor Club, Z-Club,
Interact Club, foreign language clubs, Student Council. Don’t just
become a member so you can have your name on the membership list.
Become an active member and earn a leadership position in the
club—president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, events
chair—something to show a college that you have leadership and
organizational ability. Scholarship applications always ask for
this information. Show the sponsor that you are dependable and
- Begin a resumè—a
list of all your school activities, community activities, church
activities, honors, awards, volunteer hours and projects, work
experience, technology skills, advanced courses you have taken.
Don’t leave out a thing. Then when you are ready your senior year
to compile a professional resumè to attach to your scholarship
applications, you won’t need to try to recall all that information.
You will have it at our fingertips.
- Again, watch the
reputation you are earning in school with your teachers and the
school staff. These are the very people you will need to call on
for letters of recommendation for college admissions and
scholarships your senior year. In fact, if other opportunities
arise your freshman, sophomore and junior years, you will need those
letters much sooner. Your behavior counts; school personnel will
not write a favorable letter of recommendation for someone who has a
discipline record. Your best behavior counts every day—not just
when you want to look good to your teachers.
- Again, read, read,
read and learn the vocabulary words your teachers are teaching you
in class. A good vocabulary is essential for success in college and
in the business world. Being able to write well is certainly
essential in college. Being articulate when you speak and write is
worth lots of money and respect in the future.
- Continue to
volunteer for school, community and church projects. Record all of
these experiences on your resumè. This is very important to
colleges as some scholarships are based solely on volunteer and
community experience. Almost all ask for your volunteer experiences
as do college admission applications.
- Plan to attend
College Night at Maude Cobb Activity Center in November in Longview.
Listen to the LHS announcements for the date and time.
- Look for summer
academic or volunteer opportunities. If you are an identified
gifted and talented student, Region VII Education Center in Kilgore,
Texas, offers scholarships every year to academic camps at
LeTourneau University, Texas A&M at College Station, Texas, and
Galveston, Texas, and Southern Methodist University in Dallas,
Texas. Attending one of these camps would be a great academic
experience and would look great on a college admissions or