Jacki Cisneros: Maximizing Your Time in High School

Looking back on my days in high school, I could have never foreseen how much everything I did then would have such an impact on me in college and later on in life. High school is the setting where you can begin planning for your future, building a foundation of connections, and using resources that are available to you right on campus.

Planning ahead and managing your time right will play a big part in your success.

Start planning your schedules ahead of time by identifying what your goals and priorities are. Instead of planning at the last minute, begin to prioritize around the most important things to get done. Look at the present week, then the next week and the next month. Get organized and take advantage of any tools, including digital ones, to establish calendars and block out the time you need to accomplish each task. Remember to set realistic expectations and manage your time wisely. Rather than trying to do 10 incredible things at once, choose five things you can work diligently on and that you’ll be able to do extremely well.

Another integral key to success is building your social skills. One of the richest resources you have all around you now are your friends and contacts. Create and foster meaningful relationships in high school. Form a good relationship with student peers in both your classes and as you participate in sports and other extra-curricular activities. Building these social skills in high school will be pivotal when you transfer to college, as you’ll now have the skills to network with peers at all levels. These friends could one day be strong connections in finding jobs and in helping you nurture a successful career.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you find yourself struggling in or outside of the classroom. While many of us prefer to ask advice from our friends and family, and may feel uncomfortable stepping outside our comfort zone, it’s important to realize that others in our community also want to help us and we should take advantage of this kind of help to make progress. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the adults in your life. Even people with busy schedules, and important titles, enjoy helping others. Get to know your teachers, coaches, and other staff on campus.

Finally, take advantage of the programs and resources available to you. Look into tutoring services, or special clubs of interest on campus where you can meet with a mentor and discuss your plans after high school.

If you’d like to find more resources on preparing for college, visit The College and Career Center on campus. Here you can learn more about our programs such as Generation 1st Degree-Pico Rivera’s “Be A Leader” program, the Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP), and The College Blueprint.

Every day on your high school campus counts. With the right plan, the right people behind you and by making use of important resources, you’ll be well on your way to a successful college career and beyond.