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5 Tips to Help High School Students Prepare for College

When should teens start thinking about life after high school? Now!

It’s never too early to have a conversation with your teen about preparing for a career and college. I started talking to Elijah and Michala about college and jobs once they started high school. It has been an ongoing conversation over the years. I have encouraged them to research careers they are interested in pursuing and we have also had many field trips to explore various career fields.

A couple of weeks ago, I read an article, by author and career & leadership coach Tamara S. Raymond, discussing tips on how high students can succeed in school and also prepare for college. I loved the tips Ms. Raymond shared and asked her if I could share them with Good Life Detroit to help other parents who may have a teenager in high school. She was very happy to share the five tips she recommends.

Ms. Raymond is also the author of Careering: The Pocket Guide to Exploring Your Future Career. She believes high school students must realize that it is never too soon to start thinking about their careers.

“Many careers require a college degree; so even if you’re not sure what career you want to pursue—or believe you know beyond a doubt that college is not in the cards for you (things could change!)—you must do well in high school to become a good candidate for colleges and universities,” says Tamara S. Raymond, author of Careering: The Pocket Guide to Exploring Your Future Career.

Ms. Raymond advises young adults to take high school seriously and do well in school even if they decide not to pursue college after high school. In her article, she advises, “…you can’t slack off just because you’re still trying to figure the career thing out! You might choose [going to] college after all.”

Careering: The Pocket Guide to Exploring Your Future Career (PRNewsfoto/Innovative Management Consulting)

Ms. Raymond tells students, “Take high school seriously and apply yourself to your studies. That’s good advice—and career insurance—no matter what career path you ultimately choose.”

Here are five of tips Ms. Raymond recommends for teens to help them succeed in high school and look good to colleges:


Tip #1: Strive to have a good high school attendance record. 

A good attendance record shows that you are serious about school. It may be impossible to have perfect attendance—people do get sick after all, and family emergencies can arise—but, under ordinary circumstances, you should go to school every day. Besides making you look good to colleges, being in the classroom the majority of the time will help you do better on assignments.


Tip #2: Listen in class, take notes, and ask questions. 

A key to doing well in many endeavors requires listening attentively. In class, stay focused on the instruction, take notes and review them later, and ask questions of the teacher when you need clarification on what you’re studying or what he or she may require of you for a homework assignment.

Help High School Students Prepare for College
“A key to doing well in many endeavors requires listening attentively.” Tamara S. Raymond

Tip #3: Don’t play around after school. 

Establish an after-school schedule. If you participate in extracurricular activities, map out the days and times you participate in them and factor in when, where, and how you will do homework around those activities. For instance, if there is a half hour or more delay between the time your activity ends and your transportation for home arrives (whether that be Mom, Dad, or the school bus), take advantage of the library, cafeteria, or other room the school may provide to do your homework.


Tip #4: Do your homework— and do it the best you can. 

Don’t be that kid who tosses all their class books in their locker at the end of the day, only to retrieve them when they return to school. When you have homework, DO IT the best that you can and turn it in on the due date every time. The only excuse for leaving your schoolwork in your locker is if you’ve already completed it during the day in study hall, while on school lunch, or after an extracurricular activity while you were waiting for the bus or another ride. And if you are in need of homework help, pair up with a study partner and/or take advantage of after-school and weekend programs designed to help you do well.


Tip #5: Get involved in extracurricular activities you’re interested in. 

Extracurricular activities can help you more clearly define what you’re good at doing—and like to do—while, at the same time, making you a more attractive candidate to colleges. This is the time to try out many types of activities, but take on only as much as you can handle so that you can still do your homework and do it well.

Help High School Students Prepare for College
“You must do well in high school to become a good candidate for colleges and universities.” Tamara S. Raymond


What advice do you give your teen(s) about succeeding in high school?


Also, check out, #FinalThoughts: Make a Change and 5 Things Worth Sharing (5.9.2018).



Special thanks to Tamara S. Raymond for sharing her article and tips with Good Life Detroit!

Tamara C. Raymond (PRNewsfoto/Innovative Management Consulting)


About Tamara S. Raymond:
Tamara S. Raymond is the founder and CEO of Innovative Management Consulting ( and the author of Careering: The Pocket Guide to Exploring Your Future Career, her first book, which can be found on Amazon and other sites where books are sold. Raymond coaches individuals and groups across the career spectrum. You can find her on Facebook (Tamara S. Raymond) and Twitter (@TamaraSRaymond).


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