1. Earning top grades and learning. Take this opportunity to build a solid academic foundation and develop skills in reading, problem solving, writing, math, listening, communication, and analysis.
2. Taking challenging courses. All students should be challenged in their academic classes.
Depending on your school system, high school classes may be offered to seventh or eighth graders. These courses are a great way to challenge top students. Just remember if high school credit is awarded, these classes and grades will appear on the transcript sent to colleges.
3. Experimenting with interests and activities. The focus isn’t resume building; activities allow students the opportunity to expand their talents, interests, and strengths. Elective courses help, but students should get in the habit of participating in extracurricular activities. You aren’t limited to school activities. Consider community organizations, youth group, sports, and volunteer opportunities.
4. Developing study and organizational skills. Students who effectively make the transition from elementary school, learn to prioritize, balance the demands of classes and activities, organize their work, and become responsible for themselves will be ready for the challenges of high school.
5. Promoting positive peer groups. Grades 6-8 are socially challenging times. Unfortunately they are also the years when many students begin to associate with “the wrong crowd” out of a desire to belong.
Colleges focus on student achievements in high school, so grades 6-8 are your dress rehearsal for what’s to come.