Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - March/April 2016 - (Page 43)

planning ahead for college Skills and Knowledge for College Success Concern over the competitive nature of college admissions leads some students to load up on as many advanced courses, clubs, and community service activities as possible in the hope that a longer résumé will impress admissions officers. An emphasis on quantity over quality may backfire, however. Not only are colleges seeking students who exhibit a strong engagement in fewer areas, but, by pursuing haphazardly collected activities, you may fail to gain specific skills and knowledge you will need to be successful once you get to college. Evaluate your competencies while you still have time to make thoughtful choices, and consider what you might devote your time to that will help you turn a relative weakness into a strength. Study skills and time management With classes that meet less often, assignments due at the end of the semester, and fewer examinations affecting your grades, time management and study skills will be more important in college than they are now. If you find it at all challenging to get your work done on time while juggling activities, learn how to budget your time and manage long-term assignments, as well as how to take notes and study for tests. Enroll in some tough courses that require you to study efficiently in order to master the material, and, if you still have concerns, take a study skills class. ISTOCK.COM/DENIS_PC Writing and reading skills It's a significant jump from the writing skills required in high school to those you will need in college, where you will need not only clear syntax and excellent grammar, but the ability to communicate complex ideas in a variety of contexts including long research papers. You will also need to be able to comprehend and critically analyze advanced texts. AP and other college-level courses can help develop your reading and writing skills, but consider whether you would also benefit from a writing course or working with a tutor. Read challenging, thought-provoking literature in your free time. Oral communication skills As a college student, you will need to participate in class discussions, and you may have assignments or leadership roles on campus that require public speaking. If this is not a strength of yours, plan to hone your oral communication skills before leaving high school. Work with a coach or on your own to practice speaking out loud. Take a speech class, or join the debate team, drama club, or student government. by Linda E. Brody, Ed.D. Research skills Being able to do independent research is vital to success in college. You will need to know your way around a library; how to access information online; and how to differentiate reliable sources from less reliable ones. Take courses in high school that require independent research, and/or engage in research-based activities such as preparing a submission for a science competition. Interpersonal communication skills Even if you are a bit of a loner in high school, you may be confident that you will find like-minded peers in college. But cultivating your social skills before you go is essential so that you will be able to get along with a roommate, interact with students who are not quite like you, approach faculty with confidence, and advocate for yourself when necessary. Put yourself in social situations now that give you practice in developing these skills, and seek help from a counselor if necessary. Skills for independent living If you plan to live on campus, you must be ready for independent living. You will need the navigational skills to get to campus from your home, and to get around your new city. You will also need to manage your money, do your laundry, clean your room, and shop for essentials. Practice these things before you leave home. Enrolling in a university-based residential summer program can be good preparation for college life. Content knowledge To be academically prepared for college, take courses that give you a broad background in math, laboratory science, computer science, the humanities, and the arts, and become knowledgeable about current world events. A liberal arts knowledge base will be invaluable regardless of your major. If you know your intended major, also take advanced courses in that subject. Leadership and special talents Colleges look for evidence of leadership in their applicant pool so that they will have student leaders to take charge of campus clubs and activities, as well as students who are likely to excel in academic domains, the arts, and athletics. Work toward gaining expertise and achieving excellence in your talent area-not just for the purpose of getting admitted to college, but also so that you will be ready to continue as a leader once you get there. n imagine 43

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - March/April 2016

Big Picture
In My Own Words Senator Barbara Mikulski
Run, Ride, Sell! Funding causes that matter
Start Something! Initiatives by kids, for kids
Changing Lives, One School at a Time Making a difference for students in need
Empowered to Make a Difference The Civic Leadership Institute at CTY and CTD
Sharing the Gifts of Music The Forget-Me-Not Family Ensemble
Service, Leadership, Entrepreneurship . . . Launch! Learning the art of the startup at MIT Launch
Sharing the Rewards Building a shadowing program for my peers
Discovering the Leader Within Exploring leadership and social justice at Brown
Gap Year A time to refresh, serve, and grow
Research at the Edge of the World An Antarctic photo essay
Selected Opportunities and Resources
Off the Shelf Review of Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See
Word Wise
Exploring Career Options Interview with entrepreneur Henry Albrecht, CEO, Limeade
One Step Ahead My college startup
Planning Ahead for College Skills and knowledge for college success
Students Review: Lehigh University
Mark Your Calendar
Knossos Games

Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - March/April 2016