There comes a time in every child’s life when he or she parts ways with middle school friends to enter the scary yet exciting world of high school. While it may be intimidating and awkward to start over and make new friends, many teenagers relish maturity. However, part of being mature means accepting responsibility and putting in the amount of work that garners the ultimate results: graduating from high school with a high grade-point average.
At this stage in a teen’s education, his or her continuing education and career are contingent upon academic success in high school. In order to garner the level of success deemed outstanding to teachers and college admissions boards, high school students should possess the following qualities:
Enthusiasm for learning
While students may not like every subject taught in high school, it helps to show interest in and be attentive during classes. Although strict teachers may only care about test scores, more relaxed ones want to know that they are appreciated, and that students are, at the very least, paying attention. Regardless of the type of teacher a student has, his or her enthusiasm may potentially increase the willingness to learn new material and obtain a passing grade for the class.
High level of focus
Many high school students naturally want to fit in with others. However, their peers may be negative influences and pressure them into cutting class and even school. But it takes a certain level of determination for students with positive goals in mind to stay focused. While this quality covers going to school and getting there on time, it also extends to taking the initiative to attend tutoring sessions if a class or two is difficult, and cultivating good study and note-taking habits. With regard to the latter, jotting down only the important notes and asking relevant and thoughtful questions during class ensures that a student retains specific information with ease when the time to study for a pop quiz or big exam approaches.
Good study habits will reflect in grades, and although it won’t be easy, students who remind themselves of the goals that they want to accomplish will remain on the right track to finishing high school with flying colors.
Students who are confident in their ability to achieve goals and excel in a subject that they are most interested in may receive opportunities such as “shadow days” (where they visit a company in their intended field) or the chance to assist a teacher or guidance counselor during the summer months (for a small stipend).
If a student is doing his or her best in school, he or she shouldn’t be afraid to ask for recommendations from guidance counselors and teachers when the time comes to apply to colleges. Although a student may feel like his or her hard work goes unnoticed, recommendation letters can provide validation.
High school is no walk in the park, but if students possess the aforementioned qualities and set short-term and long-term goals, they will be better equipped to stay on track to obtain a high grade-point average, graduation, and ultimately, attend the college of their dreams.