Class of 2021

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

The stress of being a freshman is over. Your comfort levels are up and stress levels are down, now that you know what to expect from high school. Your tenth-grade year is a great time to stretch yourself and try new things—new activities, new kinds of classes, new challenges. It’s also a “directional” year—a time for you to start figuring out your college and career goals. In other words, it’s time to start thinking about what comes next.

The key to your future is determining your goals, and then planning your path to achieve those goals. Keeping your “eyes on the prize”—your college and career goals—throughout high school will keep you motivated to do your best.

You don’t have to know exactly what path you’ll take after high school just yet, or even how to find it, now you can set a course based on the things you enjoy doing and what kinds of college and career paths might be the best fit for you.

Your Sophomore Year Checklist

Make the most of this time in your life by putting together a plan that puts you in the best position for your future in high school, college, and your career.

Learn how to make the most of your sophomore year by:

  • Understanding the courses you should take and how they can help you become ready for college
  • Beginning your college search and comparing your options
  • Figuring out your interests and skills
  • Looking at jobs and volunteer opportunities that help you build connections and develop work skills

Learn How to Learn

Developing good habits in the classroom will make a huge difference when you get into college. Now is the time to improve those habits and skills. If you follow these tips, you’ll get more out of class, and you’ll probably enjoy being there!

  • JOIN IN ON CLASS DISCUSSIONS. Don’t sit quietly in the back—get engaged in the classroom.
  • ASK QUESTIONS IF YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND SOMETHING. As the old adage goes: if you didn’t understand it, there’s a good chance others didn’t either.
  • KEEP UP WITH CLASS ASSIGNMENTS. Keep a checklist of when they’re due—or finish them before the due date.
  • CHECK FOR PHONE APPS to remind you about deadlines, assignments, and exams.

10 Skills All Students Need to Succeed

Readiness and Success in College and Career Aren’t Just About “Book Smarts”

You also need critical skills and attitudes to persist and succeed in high school, college, beyond.
Google identified the common characteristics and skills of their most successful managers. The results were surprising—soft skills are more important than key technical skills. In fact, the top seven qualities of success at Google are soft skills:
  1. Being a good coach
  2. Empowering team members
  3. Creating an inclusive team environment, showing concern for success and well-being
  4. Being productive and results oriented
  5. Being a good communicator
  6. Supporting career development and discussing performance
  7. Having a clear vision/strategy for the team
  8. Having key technical skills to help advise the team

Google’s successful management and team qualities closely align to the Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) skills that are increasingly being taught and measured in US schools. This means a greater emphasis on SEL skills could have a long-term impact on your academic career, your professional career and your lifetime success.