Doing this step now will save you valuable time later when you’re fully into college and scholarship application and are preparing your brag sheet.
An old-school 3-ring is one of the best tools to keep track of your lists, your outlines, drafts and other bits you collect in the process.
Create a list of your extracurricular activities
both inside and outside of school.
Ultimately, this is more than just a list. It is an important reflection of who you are as a person and what you value, so time spent on this step helps you be strategic with the limited space you have in any given application.
List all of the extracurriculars you have been involved in from 9th grade forward.
Next, shuffle the list into sub lists – this will help you narrow in on which activities to highlight on the common application or, use it to provide great ideas for writing application or scholarship essays.
Sublist 1 – List your activities in order of most meaningful to you.
Sublist 2 – List your activities in order of the most time committed.
Sublist 3 – List your activities in order of preparation for your intended career or college major i.e. if you intend to major in pre-med, your volunteer gig at a local hospital or organizing a blood drive at your school will be at the top.
Compile your honors.
Make a list of all of your academic honors.
Do the same for other honors i.e. volunteer of the month, employee of the month, leadership award, Eagle Scout, etc.
As you did with your extracurriculars, shuffle each list into the honors that mean the most to you or, best demonstrate your preparation for an intended career major.
Round up miscellaneous stuff
you never really think about.
What is the address of your school? You’ll need the zip code, too.
Name and email address of your counselor.
Your parents/legal guardian information – the app will ask for their birthplace, educational background and occupation. (Save this – you’ll need it for FAFSA, too.)
Test scores and test dates for the ACT or SAT.
Names and contact information for prospective recommenders.
If you have access to your unofficial transcript, print it out and put it in the notebook to refer to when you begin your apps. Even though your school will send an official transcript, you still have to “key in” a lot of detial about your grades and classes you have taken.
If you’ve moved around during your high school years, you’ll need to fill in the schools you attended.