College Preparation & Planning

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

College Myth #2: I tanked my freshman and sophomore years...I can't get into college.

What was it – trouble making the adjustment from junior high to high school? Problems at home? Going through an “I don’t care about anything” phase? Dog ate your homework… every day for two years? Whatever the reason, it isn’t the end of the world.

Sure, an admissions office would prefer to look over your records and see four spotless years. However, there aren’t many students who make it through their entire high school career without at least a little hiccup, and it is much better for your “off” years to have come earlier rather than later. Way better. In some venues, just showing this kind of improvement actually helps ya.

Colleges know that there is a learning curve, and that it takes some kids longer than others to settle into the high school lifestyle and begin to either take things seriously or figure out a system of completing homework and studying for tests that produces sufficient results.

If you got C’s as a freshman and B’s as a sophomore, but A-’s as a junior and A’s as a senior, that’s an awfully promising trend, don’t you think?

An admissions office is probably going to overlook your shaky start out of the gate as long as you were able to pick it up down the homestretch and nose out most of the other horses before reaching the finish line.

However, don’t go thinking you can just blow off your first two years of high school and you’ll be fine. Even if you are a smart kid and a basically solid student, you can engrain in yourself some pretty bad study habits in two years’ time, and it may be impossible to reverse them before it’s too late.

Not to mention that you’d be playing catch-up to most of your peers who actually put in a good deal of effort during that span, and you may have more trouble than anticipated comprehending the material.

The best plan is to strive to do your best for all four years, but not to despair and lose all hope should you bring home a couple C’s on your first report card. Learn from your mistakes, and turn those C’s into B’s, and then into A’s.

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