What do college students wish they'd done differently in high school?

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Our counselors answered:

What do college students wish they'd done differently in high school?

Scott White
Director of Guidance Montclair High School

What do college students wish they'd done differently in high school?

Most students are happy with their experiences in college and don't have regrets about high school. For every student who wished he was challenged more and with brighter peers there is a brilliant slacker who is perfectly happy not working any harder than they did in high school or college.

William Chichester

What do college students wish they'd done differently in high school?

Start college planning sooner! Choose your high school classes wisely and make sure you're taking the most challenging classes in your high school. Participate in after school programs and clubs.

Dori Middlebrook
Owner Dori Middlebrook Educational Consulting

What do college students wish they'd done differently in high school?

Many college students report wishing they had worked harder in high school and challenged themselves more with Honors and AP classes. Friends in college started with many college credits due to their success on AP exams. Others wish they had started testing (SAT and ACT) earlier in order to have more time to improve their scores. Some wish they took SAT subject tests so they had those scores in case they wanted to apply to a school that required them. Some college students regret not getting more involved at their high school or in their community with clubs, organizations, sports and community service. Many wish they had visited more schools before their senior year or taken more of an interest in the process early on.

Francine Schwartz
Founder/ President Pathfinder Counseling LLC

What do college students wish they had done differently in high school?

As the former College Consultant at a large independent high school, I hosted return of the alumni events. Former students returned during the winter holidays to share their insights with current juniors and seniors. Invariably the one thing that they always mentioned was they wished they had developed better study habits, particulary being organized, and not procrastinating. Developing that discipline in high school will serve you well when there is not one keeping track of whether or not you complete assignments or even show up at class. You simply must have that internal motivation and organization to succeed in college! Francine Schwartz Founder and President Pathfinder Counseling LLC

Laura O'Brien Gatzionis
Founder Educational Advisory Services

Executive Management Skills

Often they wish they had learned executive management competencies: how to organize, study skills, time management and prioritizing. All of these skills are essential to handling your new responsibilities as no one will be looking over your shoulder to make sure you finished your papers and projects OR getting you up in time for that 9am class.

Gail Goetz
Educational Consultant Private Practice

Skills to master in high school

While learning content material in high school is important, the three skills to master that are most important for success in college are time management, organization, and self-advocacy. I have seen many bright students become overwhelmed and stressed because they cannot manage their time properly or stay organized.

Donna Landreth
HS Counselor/Educational Consultant Founder and Owner of Expert College Planning

Academic Choices in HS Affect College Admission

Many times, high school students do not realize the importance of taking a challenging curriculum in high school, but also performing well within those classes. By the time you enter 11th grade, you have already established half of your gpa/rank that you use to apply to colleges your senior year. Another issue would be to be involved in extra-curricular clubs and organizations as well as volunteering for community service opportunities. It's important to show leadership and in-depth involvement. It's also important to take a challenging schedule every year. Be careful not to over-extend yourself academically as it can have a reverse affect on your gpa. In that case, focus on taking your rigorous classes within your strength subject areas.

Tiziana Cotumaccio

What college students wished the'y done differently in high school

Studied more, had a higher GPA, and more community service.

็Ž‹ๆ–‡ๅ› June Scortino
President IVY Counselors Network

What do college students wish they'd done differently in high school?

I think that most students can benefit from early guidance and planning in high school. by having a plan in place, students can save time and more productive for college admissions especially financial aid.

Helen H. Choi
Owner Admissions Mavens

Study More But Worry Less

Most college students wish that they would have gotten their academic act together a bit sooner in their high school careers. Why? Having better grades and possessing more finely tuned work habits -- lead to more college options and better college performance! College students also counsel high school students to worry less about college admissions. This is great advice because worrying never got anyone into college! Instead of worrying or regretting -- put your energy and resources into making the most of your present!