Junior High & Middle School
Junior High and Middle School are essentially the same thing. The only real difference is that when talking in terms of a Middle School, they usually serve grades as early as 5th or 6th, and continue on through 8th grade. Traditional Junior High schools only have 7th and 8th grade level students, but sometimes allow a 6th grade level.
When thinking about things that you can do for college as early as Junior High or Middle school, it all comes down to preparation and putting yourself in the best position possible for your entrance into high school. 8th grade is the year when things start to come together and you can really set yourself up for a great start freshman year.
Although colleges look at very little from your Junior High school days (if at all), these are a few things that can make a difference at the high school level and when you start to apply for college your Junior Year…
- Foreign Language
Taking a foreign language class as an 8th grade student can really reap some benefits down the road. Many colleges and universities look for foreign language on a potential student’s transcript, and many require 2 years of it for admission! By taking a Spanish or German (whatever language you prefer) class while in Junior High, you may be able to get credit for it at the high school level. But how?
If you do well enough in 8th grade, you will be recommended to go directly into the 2nd year of that language as a freshman, saving you a whole year in the process. Many high school students don’t start their foreign language until they reach the high school. But, if you start it in 8th grade and do well enough, you stand a good chance to get that first year out of the way and opening up room in your high school schedule for other courses!
Math is another area that you can get a “jump start” on in Junior High and Middle School. Much like Foreign Language, if you do well enough in your 8th grade Algebra class you stand a great chance of not having to take Algebra in high school! Or, you could be recommending into an Honors Algebra course which also has some big benefits with regards to college admission! Both Math and Foreign Language at the Junior High and Middle School levels count for college if your school district recognizes and lists them on a high school transcript. Most do, but check with your school system to see if they do or not!
- Study Skills and Time Management
A couple much less tangible aspects of Junior High and Middle School that you can use during high school are Study Skills and Time Management. As an 8th grade student, you are taking a full load of courses and more than likely you’re involved in a club, activity or sport. This is a good experience in time management, whether you realize it or not! Figuring out when a good time to get your homework done, while balancing extra-curricular activities will help you get ready for the high school level. Activities and coursework at the high school level are much more time intensive, so figuring out what works for you at the 8th grade level is good experience!
The same goes for study skills! Find out how, and what time of the day you are most focused and use that to your advantage. As stated before, you will have a lot more on your plate in high school and finding the time to fit everything in is a challenge. So, figure it out NOW while your in Junior High/Middle school and you’ll save yourself some frustration down the road!