College Prep

Today’s guest poster is none other than the great Cori! From Cori’s Big Mouth!

This is what she has to say about herself.. I’m a 20-something year old, college student getting a degree in communications and media so I can blog, facebook, and tweet for a living! That sounds so much better than because I have nothing better to do and/or just love talking about myself! (Both of which are true though!).

I think she’s great! We met on Twitter some time ago… not sure how though (I’m old & my memory fails me) but we chat and trade guest posts and have fun!


As I watch my baby sister start her final semester of high school and prepare for the start of her new journey into college, I’m brought back to when I was in her shoes … The excitement.  The anxiety.  The freedom.

As the oldest child in my family, I blindly entered this new found adulthood – looking back I’m slightly jealous of Alex.   She has watched both myself and our middle sister, Kelly, muddle our way through our first years of college.  Flailing as if we were drowning in a sea of unknown.  She has been given a special gift, a gift of knowing what worked and didn’t worked for myself and Kelly.

Over the last four years as Alex has been in high school, I’ve been extremely vocal when it comes to her schooling.  Taking what I learned (or didn’t until later), and giving Alex the keys I wish I had known when I was her age.

1) Treat High School as College Prep & Learn How to Study – I enjoyed my high school years, it was a lot of fun, but the one thing I didn’t do was treat it as college prep.  I must have been lucky (or extremely stupid), but high school school work came easy to me.  Hardly had to study (except maybe in the class period right before), basically no homework and very little need for extra credit.  Heck I graduated high school with honors and a 3.6 gpa…surely I could do well in college if I did well in high school!  Life was good!  If only that was the truth for college.

I quickly learned that everything I had assumed about college based on my high school career was WRONG.  Dead Wrong.  My first quarter of college was a rude awakening.  College wasn’t high school.  College was HARD!

Many years later, I’m still in college and I still struggle with studying.  Having prepared myself with great studying tactics while I was younger would have been extremely helpful!

2) Take a Foreign Language in High School – Still to this day, a foreign language isn’t a graduation requirement for my high school.  I chose to fill my foreign language blocks in high school with fun classes!  Why take a hard class, when an easy A was so more attainable and much more enjoyable?!  However, when it was time for me to apply for college, I quickly realized I had made a BIG mistake.

The majority of colleges require (duh!) at least two years of a foreign language prior to entering their school!  Needless to say, I was limited on the colleges I could apply to!  Several years later, I finally took my two years of foreign language in college and I have no doubt that it would be been so much easier had I taken it in high school!

3) Volunteer Work & Community Service – This would be the one spot of my college prep that I exceeded at.  I may have taken my academia for granite, but I was always active in my community.  Today colleges look at two aspects of an individual (1) academics and (2) volunteer work.  In order to be a college candidate, you must excel in both of these requirements.

The awesome thing about volunteer work is that it’s such a broad spectrum.  You can find a way to volunteer and do something that you love at the same time!  Volunteering shouldn’t just start in high school, I strongly recommend that everyone volunteers, no matter their age!  There is no better feeling then what you feel after you have selflessly served someone else!


There you have it, my top three tips for easing into college and being successful!  There are so many more tips out there, what do you have to add to the list???

Image Citation: mortar board 2

8 Responses to College Prep
  1. Liz
    April 20, 2011 | 4:28 pm

    I agree wholeheartedly with #1 and 2. For #3? Our H.S. forced us to do some in order to graduate!

    • Cori Benson
      April 20, 2011 | 9:24 pm

      I think it’s good your HS forced you to do community service! We weren’t required to, but it defintely helped on college applications! Not to mention nowadays job applications are asking for your community service!!

  2. Jessica
    April 20, 2011 | 6:09 pm

    I had to take a foreign language in high school and college when I lived in California. Then I transferred to Nevada and they didn’t require these classes anymore. So wierd how different states have different requirements.

    • Cori Benson
      April 20, 2011 | 9:23 pm

      It’s definitely interesting to see how different states, and even school districts have different graduation requirements!!

  3. Elena @NaynaDub
    April 20, 2011 | 7:48 pm

    These are great tips! I think I need to share them with my high school students!

    • Cori Benson
      April 20, 2011 | 9:22 pm

      Thanks Elena! I wish someone had shared these tips with me in high school too!!

  4. Cori Benson
    April 20, 2011 | 9:21 pm

    Thanks again Jackie for having me!!!!

    • Jackie
      April 20, 2011 | 10:52 pm

      Thank you!!! I’m glad that you took part!

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