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It seems as though the second you get into to high school, sometimes even middle school, you start to feel the pressures of getting ready for college. These pressures are in addition to the ones you already have from high school classes.

While it even as a sophomore in high school it feels so far away; I am inclined to remember that it is definitely closer than it feels. It may feel that you have forever to get ready for it, but in reality the sooner you start preparing the less stressful it will be in the long run. Here are some ways to start preparing as early as a freshman.

Get volunteer hours

By starting to accumulate volunteer hours the summer going in to your freshman year you can realize some stress of having to get a large amount of hours in a short period of time. When you do volunteer make sure that you are aware of the way your school wants it documented. At my school there is a form you can print off online and fill out and have the supervisor of the volunteer work sign. By doing as little as fifty hours each summer you can have 200 by the time you graduate!

Keep an eye on your grades

Making sure that your grades don’t drop to low is a key part of making sure you look appealing to colleges. Challenging yourself with honors and AP classes both aids your GPA and helps you learn more. While they may seem difficult just think of the long term pay off.

Start looking at colleges now

While again it does seem very far away, it can’t hurt to start looking at colleges now. With the cost of college nowadays it’s something that needs to be looked at far in advance to help aid in the possible student.

Make sure you have extracurriculars

Try to make sure you have well rounded extracurriculars. For example, one with music, one with sports, maybe writing for your local teen newspaper (hint hint). All of these show colleges that you are involved in your community and that you don’t just focus on school.

In conclusion to those four things just do your best and remember that college is sooner that it seems.