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September 22, 2008


-- Insider's Guide to High School --


Freshmen, don't wait to fill in the blanks


By Donicea Johnson

Junior Reporter, Youth Journalism International


Woodstock, Georgia, U.S.A. Ė Senior year at last! Itís such a relief to know that finally all my hard work has paid off. All those sleepless nights I spent cramming for a test or writing a paper are drawing to a close, but then again, thereís college ahead.

I canít even begin to describe how it feels just knowing that Iím nearing the finish line. For nearly four years Iíve been working my butt off, thought along the way Iíve definitely made some mistakes.

Now as I spend my days college surfing and filling out applications, I know the pressureís on.

For most of my high school career Iíve been an A/B student. I took a few AP and honors classes and I won at least one award (third place in the Social Studies Fair) but truthfully, compared to my classmates, I havenít done much.

Iím definitely lacking in the extracurricular activities and community service department. I mean, I know a girl who took a trip to Jamaica with her church over summer vacation just to help underprivileged deaf children. And then thereís this guy whoís been swimming for forever!

Now as I sit down to fill out my own college applications, Iím noticing the abundance of blank spaces.

If I could do it all over again, I would have taken freshman year more seriously. Instead of being shy and all reserved, I should have gotten more involved and been more active.

Itís only recently that I discovered a great online volunteering site that helps you find opportunities in your area. Colleges donít only want someone who was in all the school plays, but a person who gives back to the community, too.

They also donít care about ďquantity,Ē as my counselor says. It isnít exactly about how much you do, but about how dedicated you are to one thing.

A college would much rather have a student who has been continuously involved in something theyíre truly interested in, than someone who is involved in many things. If youíre the type, though, who likes to do a lot of things or has many interests, keep it up, itís better than nothing!

Lastly, remember that itís always important to have a plan. You want to make the middle school to high school transition as easy as possible.

A lot of times as a freshman, you tend not to look at things in the long run, but you should.

Before you know it, high school will be over and you want to have something on your application that will make colleges interested.

For those of you who are sophomores and juniors, it isnít too late to spice up your high school resume.

If you take my advice, you wonít be struggling to fill in the blanks when it comes time to fill out your college applications.


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