Subject Choices: Seek advice from teachers and councillors on which subjects need to be taken for the degree you are interested in. Athletes who want to study and play sport in the USA need to be aware of the NCAA subject requirements, making bad choices here can derail a college career. Academics are important in grade 9, as USA colleges don't just look at your grade 11 and 12 marks but they look at your GPA from grade 9 to 12.
Get into the habit of having a schedule: Most students have smartphones. Use the calendar on your devices to set daily reminders where homework, sports, reading and relaxation times are scheduled.
Reading: College application essays often ask students who their favourite authors are and what publications they are interested in. We advise students to read books, newspapers, magazines and blogs. Choose what engages you and remember to look up unfamiliar words. When done, write a short summary and describe how you felt and why you felt that way.
Get involved: Stanford University recently came out to South Africa and gave a talk at Crawford College in Sandton. One of the biggest parts of admission into Stanford was not the marks but the student's involvement outside of the classroom. Top colleges are not looking for top academics only; they want to see students developing their talents and interests outside the classroom. You need to have 5 area's of involvement, here is an example: U15-A soccer team, 83% academic average, 25 hours of community services per year, a member of the school play and writer for the school blog. Your high school extracurricular activities may be the detail that catches your dream college's eye.
Make sure to look out for our Grade 10's 'To Do List' on Friday.