Freshman Sophomore College Planning

An American flag sits in the main entrance of Highlands Latin Upper School lobby with granite tile floors and an arched hallway ceiling

Preparing for College

Dear Freshmen and Sophomores,

All of a sudden you are in high school heading toward college! It is important to know your college readiness involves more than just getting good grades. Rather it is taking on a challenging academic course load and a fulfilling extracurricular schedule that really helps add to the potency of those good grades. Doing so also pushes yourself to work hard, overcome challenges, and grow in mind and character. It is in this time that you are creating your high school story!

Your high school story is the story that College Admission Counselors will be reading one day through your transcript, letters of recommendation, resume, and college application essay.

While it is your story, that you are building, it is important to remember you are not in it alone. It is essential to seek help from teachers and administration when you need it; this is part of why they are here! Seeking help when needed is a true strength that develops your initiative and your ability to be responsible and not too proud to ask for help.

Finally, remember that engaging actively in your classes will not only form you as a leader but will encourage your peers to do likewise. Your teachers, who write your Letters of Recommendation for colleges, will remember the impact you made and the effort you gave in their class.

All of this is a part of growing in college readiness! The journey toward college, believe it or not, has already begun!


Your College Counselor

Where should your focus be right now?

  • Academics:
    • study hard and participate in class
  • Test Prep:
    • you will take a test prep course in the fall of your sophomore year
    • in addition you will have the opportunity to take the PSAT as a sophomore
  • Extracurriculars:
    • maintain any extracurriculars you already have and love, and continue to grow in them
    • explore and strive to commit to at least 1-2 extracurriculars total (and more if possible) through your remaining high school career
    • continue to try new things, as you do, consider how this may inform a future career interest
  • Continue to develop your college awareness and understanding:
    • attend Admission Counselor visits and College Fairs
    • read emails from the HLS Office of College Counseling
    • explore the HLS College Counseling menu on this site
    • strike up a conversation with your College Counselor; helping her get to know you will better equip her to help you as you prepare for college
  • Reference your detailed grade level timeline on the “College Counseling Menu” located on the main college counseling page of for more pointers and to help you stay on track!