Prepping for College as a High Schooler
It feels like a lot of my time in high school was spent prepping for college, but I feel like I was able to enjoy myself while working for a bigger goal. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be a professional musician until high school, but with the help of my teachers and friends, I was able to form clearer goals. The idea of college can be daunting, but it’s important to keep these things in mind:
1. Talk to lots of people! Your teachers and guidance counselors are there to help you start planning for college, and they will have plenty of suggestions to point you in the right direction. If you have a private instructor or coach, they especially will know you best and help you start looking for schools that will work for your learning style and career goals. It’s good to talk to your friends, too, to get an idea of what their aspirations and school outlooks are, and if possible, getting in touch with students already attending schools you’re interested in is a great way to get “insider” information.
2. Work hard (but know your limits!)--high school is the time to develop your interests and absorb information, but there’s no need to force yourself to have a 4.0 GPA and pull all-nighters all the time if it’s hurting you more than it’s helping you. Grades are the easiest way for colleges to assess a student’s abilities (so don’t fail all your classes, either!), but schools like Juilliard will take it one step further with live auditions and applications that will help them see your personality and your current knowledge with your craft. Use high school as a time to become well-rounded and begin your artistic career journey--but don’t overwork yourself and burn out!
3. Have fun! Lots of people say that high school is the best years of your life. High school is a great time to savor growing up--with friends learning how to drive, celebrating milestones, and applying to college, it should be both a learning experience and an enjoyable time. There’s no need to rush growing up--look to the future with optimism, but be sure to enjoy the present moment as well!