Welcome back to China! I hope everyone had a fantastic summer pursuing amazing opportunities whether in summer programs, traveling or just hanging out. Sometimes it is just good to relax, breathe some fresh air and get some perspective.
With the end of summer comes the start of school and most schools are underway – well, international schools for the most part. If you are just starting or about to start, it is important to get yourself organized and mentally ready for all the things that need to be sorted out for the year ahead.
If you are a graduate and on your way to university or the parent of a university Freshman, I would like to direct you to the following article written by my good friend from Trinity College in Hartford Connecticut. Heading to College? Let’s Make Sure You Graduate. He gives fantastic advice for how to set your self up for success. Making the right connections and setting appropriate goals is key to finding your way to graduation. I would add another comment – Get Engaged. No not the married type of engagement but by engaging the community – find three different clubs/organizations to join. One has something to do with academics, one is social, and one is personal. By finding good clubs or organizations, you will expand your network, make different kinds of friends and really become a part of your school.
If you are a Senior (Grade 12) – Whoa you have a lot to do: School, testing (SAT/ACT, TOEFL), applications, essays, interviews (IntialView and School) and most importantly school. Your plate is full, and there is a lot to get done. Being organized, planning ahead is key to making your final year in high school a rewarding experience. One thing for sure, the end is coming and getting down to business right from the start is your job. Get on it!
As a Junior (Grade 11) – this is, in some ways your last year. By that I mean you need to make sure your grades this year are the best they can be. Whether you are an A-Level or an IB student everything you do this year goes toward your Predicted Grades. This is the last evidence of your academic prowess. It is also important to know that entering AS or IB first year courses will take a big jump in intellectual and quality of work expectations. Be ready and again organization and planning are vital. In addition, you need to be thinking about the next step in your education path. Start thinking ahead for testing (PSAT (especially if you are a US Citizen) and SAT/ACT, TOEFL), attend college visits to your school or Beijing, university fairs and begin building a good list of schools. But remember a good list takes into account good grades!
When you’re a Sophomore (Grade 10) university feels a million miles away. It’s not. Planning actually needed to start a year before – i.e., Grade 9! But as a Grade 10 student, this is the year you should be hitting your stride. The awkwardness of being a Grade 9, new high school student are over. So jump in, get involved in sports and clubs and make it a great year. Spend a bit of time investigating universities. This is really quite important and will help you know how to target your energies. Also, plan on taking one of the pre-tests for SAT or ACT. These are great ways to know what lies ahead and they will help you determine specific subject areas you need to work on. Pre-tests like the PSAT are great because the only people who see the scores are you and your counselor. P = Practice.
And finally, Freshman (Grade 9) – the first year in high school. Your grades matter! This is when everything begins, so begin with a positive. The nice thing about Grade 9 is that students don’t need to worry about standardized tests at this stage. Everything is about school and getting settled into a good routine. Get involved, try new things, explore and have fun.
No matter what you are embarking on, make this year the best yet. Get your head in the right space and go for it!
Photo: Bored Panda