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When Should Your Teen Start Getting Ready for College?

I am here to talk to you today about when you should start getting your child ready for college. I had a few parents bring that question up to me so I thought I’d address it today.

My answer…

ASAP - That’s when…. Seriously…

I would say as soon as middle school. I know that sounds incredible. I mean, kids don’t know what they want to wear to school in the morning, let alone pick a major for college.

But, here are some interesting points about starting early and it has more to do with life than with college applications:

Personally, I think kids do know what they like and that is precisely where they should start building their résumés. ~

Music - for one - I remember practicing hours during the day in middle school. I remember volunteering my time by playing for people at assisted living centers and look at me now. I am a musician. You can see the same with science, reading or math. Most young people know what their interests are. Of course they should be allowed to change their minds and discover new things. They are kids. Maybe they should be allowed to change their minds simply because they are just pulled in so many different directions at school. In following all of these different subjects, they might not realize what their interests are at this point in time. But, If your child loves music then have them perform at assisted living centers. If they love reading, then have them start a reading program at a local library or day care center. These are projects that your teen or preteen can use to learn how to give back to the community. This is all in itself an important lesson whether the volunteer hours go into a college résumé or not.

As far as what these middle school volunteer hours can provide for your child, I have looked at many different scholarship applications from different organizations and they all have one thing in common. It is this question: How long have you been volunteering for this organization and what was your role? If a senior in high school puts down 6 months and holds a menial volunteer position, it looks (to the scholarship committee) as if this student is only interested in volunteering for the sake of looking good on a scholarship application. And, they’d probably be right.

The more time you offer to these groups, the better it looks for you. If you cannot find any organizations that inspire your child, have them start their own. If your child starts in middle school, by the time they get to high school, they will not only have established a leadership/founder role, but they will have established a decent organization as well.

Next question: Auditions: Should my child audition if he or she is not majoring in music? Auditions for music scholarships are extremely competitive but if you want your son or daughter to try for a little extra funding I would say, depending on the size of the school and their music program, it could be worth your time. If you are majoring in music, you also can look for competition wins (That always looks great on a college résumé.) and if anyone here has been in a competition, you know how much time it takes to get to a place of winning them. Lot’s of preparation, strategic practice and performance practice.

The earlier your teen begins to prepare for the real world, the more time you will have to establish a winning mindset and winning habits. One thing is certain, solidifying your teens' habits and mindset are priceless.

Check out my FB Live - Get In! - I do them every Saturday night at 4pm PT

And remember, I am giving a free online Masterclass “The 5 Critical Concepts to College Admission” It comes with a free PDF The 5 Critical Concepts that will enable you and your teen to get together and begin your journey into higher education. Start with clarity and confidence! The dates for my masterclass are: August 29th - September 2nd at 5pm PDT.

If you would like to listen to my Get In! Podcast, you can find my latest episode ~

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