As a freshman, I want to know about any good programs to get into next year and the following 2. It could be during the summer or during the school year, is there anything like that on this site with info? I want to help boost my transcript (if the program appears on there, idk where it goes). I'm good at a little bit of everything but sports, but I may try out next year when Covid dies down. I'm in North Carolina if that helps.
First, you should begin exploring and figure out what you really love to do, both academically and non-academically, so you can choose activities that line up with your theme and will eventually create what we call a "spike" in your application. For example, if you find that you want to go into the field of medicine, you should start by trying to take more classes in school that are geared toward that direction (biology, chemistry, etc. rather than filling up your courseload a bunch of english and history classes), then look for volunteer experiences or internships at clinics or hospitals to gain experience, then create a spike with some kind of passion project (creating your own blog, initiating a local medical mission, doing research with a university professor, etc.). These don't all have to be super big things. They just have to show commitment, leadership (leadership means showing initiative even on an independent project by yourself, not just leading a team), and spark (intellectual curiosity, genuine love for a certain topic/idea). Since you asked for specific programs, you might be interested in applying to YYGS (Yale Young Global Scholars) and Harvard Pre-College or Secondary School, which are both summer programs that offer financial aid. Don't think that these will significantly help you get into college, though. They're just a way to learn more about whatever subject you find you love. Another great way to use your summer is to either take classes for real college credit at a university or even a community college near you or to find an intership or become a research assistant in a field that you really love. In terms of the whole year through, just find things that you really love and get into those activities really deeply. Work really hard on them and try to show initiative in any way you can. For example, I'm part of a mental health awareness organization, and even though I'm not the Founder or President or anything, I show initiative by initiating projects so that gives me the opportunity to lead the team and make that project kind of my own mini accomplishment. I hope this was clear and helpful. Kudos to you for starting college apps prep so early. Good luck!