Accepting: Tips for Freshmen

Now that I’m a college student, I have decided to start an Advice for High School Students category. Here I will provide advice for anxious freshmen as well as lazy seniors. There are mistakes to avoid, lessons to be learned, and great opportunities few probably know about.

The USAMO is a national competition for math lovers. If you score high enough, you will reap huge benefits.

Practice for the PSAT. Your score sophomore year won’t count, but when you’re a junior, score a qualifying score and you might get a full ride to that college of your choice.

Don’t get caught up in media hype. Movies like Mean Girls and John Tucker Must Die are entertainment. Don’t get caught up in popularity contests and “who’s who” drama. Really.

Participate in class! I cannot stress this enough. That’s the only regret I have: I was never too active in class discussions in high school. I had those qualms that now seem ridiculous but at the time very real: What if I look like a teacher’s pet? What if my classmates roll their eyes if I ask too many questions? What if I’m seen as a know-it-all? What if my question is stupid?

If you’re a regular contributor in the classroom, chances are your teacher will remember you clearer than she will the other students. When it comes to recommendation letters, you will have ample proof that you were an active, vivid, and bright student eager to learn. (And really, who wouldn’t want that added to their name?)

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