Everyone wants to be successful. It is a natural part of life to want to achieve success whether in personal relationships, wealth, sports/music/school achievements, etc. These achievements allow humans to feel fulfilled, happy, safe and loved. But, achieving success takes more than just wanting it; it takes work.
As Malcolm Gladwell tells in Outliers: The Story of Success, it takes 10,000 hours of intensive practice to achieve mastery of complex skills and materials. That’s a lot of hours and honestly, quite overwhelming. While I certainly don’t claim to be an expert in life or mastering success, I do believe that the steps to achieving anything begin with being intentional. This certainly applies to planning for college. Let’s take a look:
Selecting your classes:
Choosing your high school classes to meet high school requirements is obviously necessary, but being intentional with your selection of rigor throughout high school is important for providing you the greatest possible number of options when choosing where to apply to college.
Selecting extracurricular activities (school clubs, sports/theatre/band/work) and how you spend your time outside of class is important for your personal growth, but also for how you present yourself in your college applications. Being intentional with your selections can offer new experiences and open doors to college opportunities.
I’ve written an entire post about Summer and making the most of its potential. It bears repeating that being intentional with how you use your summertime can be impactful to your college search.
Strong readers make better writers. Strong readers comprehend more easily. The pace of reading increases exponentially as you advance in education (high school, AP courses, college classes). Taking time to read for pleasure can benefit you throughout your lifetime, but specifically during the formative high school years. Find a genre you enjoy, schedule time, set a goal of 20 pages a day….be intentional and choose to read for pleasure.
Being intentional requires discipline, but the rewards can be tremendous and will last a lifetime, so get started today. Success awaits!