I'm a freshman who wants to get into UNC. What do I need to do?Answered
After the first semester, my unweighted GPA is 4.0 and my weighted GPA is 4.5. I'm in Duke Tip, a member of the National Beta Club, and have taken all Honors courses thus far. I made an A in Honors Math 1 last year in the 8th grade and am currently taking Honors Math 2. Last semester, I took Honors English 1 and Honors Earth Science. I made an A in both of those courses as well. I plan on taking dual enrollment courses starting next year and intend on taking as many AP courses as possible in high school. My goal is to get into a highly selective school such as UNC, Duke, or Wake Forest. Any advice someone is willing to offer will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
You sound like you are well on your way to having a strong profile for these schools. Just the fact that you are asking these questions as a freshman means you're thinking about the right things and are willing to take the steps necessary to reach your goals. That's awesome!
So, trying not to state the obvious, but you'll definitely want to keep those grades up as best as you can. It seems like you're planning on challenging yourself academically with your classes which is a good thing. Just make sure not to overdo it. You're also going to want to start thinking about the SAT or ACT sometime next year. You might find this article I found helpful in deciding which one to take: https://blog.collegevine.com/sat-vs-act-everything-you-need-to-know/. You've got plenty of time to prepare for those tests so don't stress yet.
Perhaps the biggest thing you can work on right now are your ECs. Consider both what you're interested in academically and what you like to do outside of school. Clubs, jobs, hobbies, volunteering, etc. are all great things to start out with. Generally, colleges are usually going to assess extracurriculars by the level of involvement they require—how much time was committed, how much initiative did you need to take to get/stay involved, what level are you involved at, and what leadership or responsibilities did you end up with. Considering you're a freshman you should be able to commit a lot of time to your ECs and hopefully work up to some leadership positions. If you can align some of your ECs with your intended major that's awesome and you should definitely do that. However, don't forget colleges also like to see other sides of you. You can come off as "boring" if all your ECs are directly tied to your major.
Last piece of advice: make sure you're not adding activities just for the sake of adding them. You want to add them with a purpose. You're more likely to do well and enjoy your activity if you have a genuine interest in it! Hope this helps and I'm more than happy to answer any follow-up questions you might have.