If there is any one purpose for the High School years, it is to lay a firm and broad foundation for life-long learning. Read all you can--not just homework and assigned reading, but also books on other subjects that interest you. Read challenging books, works beyond your current "reading level". Stretch your comfort zone; don't be afraid to try new and unfamiliar things. Those are the activities that will make you a well-rounded individual, and they will help to prepare you for the challenges of college. Plus, a wider range of experiences give you more common ground with a larger diversity of individuals. That is a great help, because meeting and relating with people is an integral part of all adult life (college and beyond)! Most of all, don't fall into the trap of imagining "college" as a far-away event that will happen "someday". It's closer than you think! What was once distant can sneak upon you suddenly if you are not aware of its coming. Always act to prepare as if college were two steps in front of you. Because, in many ways, it is.
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The sources for school statistics and data is the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.
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