I'm in 8th grade, how can get prepared for college with flying colors?Answered
Typically, I have all A's with one or two B's, I am in 8th grade graduating in 2024, I want to know how to prepare early for things like the SAT and ACT and PSAT and the SAT II because I would really like to go to Purdue in Indianapolis, Spelman, Harvard, as you can tell, various prestigious schools. I'd like to be an architectural engineer and I am currently in Project Lead The Way (PLTW).
Tips could come in handy on help with deciding what to do because I'm torn between choosing animals and being an engineer. I've rescued a bird, a bunny, two dogs, two cats, and a possum, fostered them all and then gave them to either a wildlife center or animal shelter and were successfully rehomed all of them. Animals are my calling, and I love them, but I also like the creativity of being an architectural engineer, as it's helping people, and it's a good thing.
Also, I need help with early advice on how to handle all of the school-work and if I should do any extracurricular activities and how I can maintain friendships or a relationship (dating) while doing all this. I understand it can/will be stressful and I just need some help on what to do. Thank you for thoroughly reading my post and be blessed ! <3
P.S. I like to hear how personally you handled/are handling these things.
The fact that you're already starting to think about college AND you've done so much work saving animals is really cool! Congrats!
For deciding what you want to do for your career, my advice is to wait a while to decide! You will learn and grow so much over the next four years before college, and that alone will help you see more clearly about what you want to do. You might find something completely new that you didn’t think of before! You may not even decide until you’re in college. So don't feel pressured to decide now, but definitely keep thinking about it as time goes on!
That being said, it seems like you do have a few promising interests in animal sciences and engineering. What you can do to prepare is challenge yourself in your science classes and math classes. Look at your high school course catalog and see what classes you might want to take by junior and senior years. Do those courses have pre-requisite classes that you need to take freshman and sophomore year? If yes, make sure you try to take those!
For me personally, I had a few ideas in high school for what I eventually wanted to do (mechanical engineer or math teacher) but I was undecided. In college, I decided to major in statistics because I loved my math and stats classes. I ended up getting a job in data analytics but didn’t figure out what I really wanted to do until 2 years after starting that first job. The most important thing I learned along the way was that, even since high school, I was most interested in building things, helping people, and solving problems. In high school I guess I thought there were only two careers I could have - be an engineer or teacher - but since then I learned that there are many more options to do those things!
The best advice is to continue doing what you love to do in your free time.
For school, start taking the hardest and most challenging classes and do well in them. Strive for an A always.
Also in school start doing meaningful ECs that will look good on your college applications. For example, if you like STEM, join the robotics club, Math and science clubs, and try to have leadership positions by 11th grade. If you are good at sports, pick 1 or 2 you are really good at and stick with them.
Outside of school, get involved in your community like joining a GREEN TEAM or volunteer at the NATURE CENTER etc.
If you do lots of things you love and you are good at them you will get into a good college.
Try your best to be the best version of yourself always.
Character counts so be a kind, happy, positive, kick a@@ kind of person and people will be drawn to you and remember you.
Sounds like you are a really good student! Sometimes the best early prep for the SAT/PSAT is doing well in your regular classes and taking them seriously, especially math and english classes. I also used Khan Academy (https://www.khanacademy.org/sat) and really liked it.
@alyssa33 gave you a really solid answer, I figured I'd drop in with my 2 cents too. It's great that you have some ideas of what you want to do when you get older and that you're trying to plan for it all now. Like @alyssa33 said, it's ok to wait to decide on your career. You're only in 8th grade and chances are your interests will change over these next four years. Who knows, you might change them while you're in college too! Most schools don't make you declare a major until your sophomore year of college, that gives you a lot of time to figure everything out. Since you're interested in both animals and engineering, it does make sense to pursue math and science classes where you can. Try to get some of your extracurriculars to be related to those topics (rescuing/fostering animals is a great start!) but don't feel that everything needs to be related to what you want to do. Colleges want to see you have other interests as well!
For the SAT or ACT, crackACT.com and crackSAT.net are two fantastic websites. They have tons of full practice tests and practice questions for the SAT, SAT IIs and the ACT. Cracksat.net/psat will help you with practice materials for the PSAT.
Handling school work, ECs, and friendships can be difficult for some people. My best advice would be to make sure you are able to properly plan, stay organized, and working on having strong time management skills will make things easier. Based on how you're asking this question already and your current grades I imagine the school work won't be too overwhelming your freshman year. You'll get used to the workload over time. You asked if you should do extracurriculars, the answer is 100% YES. Your ECs are going to be a very important part of your profile so you will want to focus on those over the coming years. For friendships/relationships, those will come with time. Don't stress too much about that. Try to strike a balance with those where possible. Don't focus on friends 100% of the time because your grades/ECs will suffer but also don't spend 100% of your time on grades/ECs because your personal life might suffer and it can be hard to stay happy. Hopefully some of your ECs (clubs, sports, volunteering) will help you make friends and that way you can still have a social life while also improving your profile. Study groups could also be a good move!