When preparing for college, there are some things that are helpful to know.
One, if you fill out applications for scholarships and colleges early, you will be much much much happier. I waited (despite my mom nagging me constantly) and ended up feeling very stressed out.
Two, there are some things you simply can’t worry about until it’s time. For example, the FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, can’t be filled out ahead of time, no matter what your guidance councilors tell you. But you do have to get it done quickly, so I recommend just doing all the tedious typing and information retrieval while recuperating on New Year’s Day, since you can’t submit the application until January 1 anyway.
Three, during you senior year, keep in mind that you will need letters of recommendation. Make friends with your teachers and administrators if you can, and make a list of all the staff members at your school who would be wiling to write one for you. Get a recommendation letter from as many of them as you can, so you can choose the best ones to use for each scholarship or college application.
Four, (also on the topic of recommendation letters) you should proofread your letters before you send them to the company/organization/college. Sometimes a staff member – especially a guidance councilor or principle, who probably has twenty other letters they’re writing at the same time – will write the wrong thing, and you will need to correct them and ask for a corrected copy.
Five, visit the campus to any college you are considering. If you have friends there, stay in their dorm room with them if you can. It’s a great way to see as many aspects of college life at that particular school as possible, not just the glamorized, perfected image they present on official tours and brochures and stuff.