Wrapping Up Your Sophomore Year

By Coach Sara   So, it’s February. You’ve been back in school for a couple of months, spring break is in sight, and even summer vacation doesn’t seem that far off. If you’re a sophomore, it’s not a bad idea to start thinking even further down the line, to the start of your junior year and the increased workload it will bring. Your junior and senior years of high school will be your busiest and most academically challenging. Taking advantage of your remaining time as a sophomore can help lighten your load later on and ensure that your last two years of high school will go off without a hitch!     Your CAA coaches recommend that you start by thinking about your academic goals. Is your GPA on track to get you into your top choice colleges? If not, sit down and make a plan for improving your grades from now on. Keep in mind that you will probably start sending colleges your high school transcripts during the fall semester of you senior year. This means that junior year is your last chance to improve your GPA before colleges see it!   Then, before finalizing your class schedule for next year, take some time to consider the course requirements of the colleges you’re interested in. How many years of each subject do they require? Do they recommend taking extras, like additional years of a science or foreign language? How about advanced-level classes, such as AP, Honors, IB, or even dual-enrollment? Challenging yourself by taking at least one or two higher-level classes during your junior year helps you show both yourself and your colleges that you are ready to take on college-level work.   Next, it’s time to ramp up your college research. By now, you should have at least a few college options that interest you. (If you don’t, there’s no time like the present to get started finding some!) If you haven’t been in contact with these colleges already, start by emailing them to request they add you to their mailing list. Colleges keep track of how many times you contact them, so this is important! After that, plan to visit the campuses of one or two of your favorites. As you already know, junior year will be busy, and your future self will thank you for checking a couple of those college visits off your list.   Last of all, take a look at your resume and look for ways to strengthen it in the coming months and years. Have you been involved in extracurricular activities, such as clubs, sports, and volunteer work? If not, plan to get involved ASAP. If you are already involved, look for ways to expand your involvement in your junior year. Run for club office, plan an event at your school, or look for any other opportunities to take on a little extra responsibility. In addition, take advantage of the coming school breaks to add things like internships, summer programs, or part-time jobs to your resume. Not only do college like to see that you were getting involved and expanding your skill-set, these are also great opportunities for you to explore and confirm your career interests.   When you’re sitting in class watching the clock tick by on a beautiful spring day, it can seem like high school is going to last forever. However, as you move into your final two years, you may be surprised by how quickly the time starts to fly. Give your future self a break by getting a head start on these important steps, and call your CAA coaches if you’d like to discuss your plans further!