What Can My Teen Do to Prepare for College?
By Michelle Bailey, M.D.
Prepping for college starts far before senior year. You child needs to show years of volunteer/ community activities, sports participation, music/ arts, and special interests throughout their high school years. What makes them unique? What will set them apart from every other 3.5 GPA student on the wait list for universities? Here’s a list of things to focus on in high school to allow them to be the prized college applicant.
- Learn another language: either learn from bilingual parents starting in childhood, or take 2-3 years of foreign language classes.
- Be involved in a leadership role in your school: join special interest clubs and actually attend their monthly activities, join yearbook club, student council, or prom committee.
- Volunteer through your church or community: animal rescue center, nursing homes, YMCA, anywhere where there is a need. Not just one weekend per year, but show long term commitment of volunteering of your time and talents to an organization that means something to your teen.
- Sports/ music/ art: find your passion, be a good team mate, practice hard.
- Travel: doesn’t have to be far or expensive, but let them experience a part of the world outside of their bubble.
- Take ACT/ SAT early, and allow for a couple attempts, but don’t go overboard. It’s just one test score. Your child may have severe test anxiety and their score doesn’t accurately reflect their true ability.
- Tour numerous college campuses, near and far from home. Research which colleges have the programs of interest for your teen and visit them so you get a feel for how the campus and city could support your (almost) adult child.
- Take AP classes: this will get your teen ready for the fast pace of knowledge about to be thrown at them, and they can acquire college credit when they pass the end of year AP exams.
- Get a part time job: babysitting, youth sports referee, waiter, anything. Some spending money is the bonus, the important thing is your teen demonstrating their ability to be on time and dependable.
I’m a board-certified pediatrician, passionate about ensuring the well-being of patients ranging from newborn through late teens.
I attended medical school at the University of Oklahoma (Boomer!), and completed my pediatric residency in Houston.
Since the completion of residency, I’ve worked in outpatient clinics and enjoy not only caring for my young patients, but becoming a part of every family by building long-lasting, trusting relationships. While I treat common and not-so-common childhood infections and diseases, I especially have a passion for asthma and allergies, nutrition, and ADHD along with other learning disorders.
I’m married and we have a rescue dog named Jack. When not at work, I enjoy attending cultural events and traveling. To make an appointment with Dr. Bailey, click here or call 682-303-1000.