Students Prepare for Life After High School

by Maggie Korneta, Reporter, The Beat

(photo credit / Maggie Korneta)

College is nearing for upperclassmen at Waubonsie Valley. The thought of college is overwhelming for most, but there are a lot of ways you can prepare yourself for life after high school. 

Waubonsie Valley school counselor Karen Kuhlman thinks planning ahead is a key element of getting into a college. “The more prepared you are, the easier the process will be,” said Kuhlman. “Students should utilize Naviance / SchooLinks for college and career readiness. There are also parent and student evenings, and there’s the annual career fair in November, so you can meet with employers.”

Waubonsie Valley offers a variety of classes, including honors and advanced placement courses. The classes students take in high school play a role in the prospects of their getting accepted into a college. “Colleges look at your GPA and the courses that you took,” said Kuhlman. “For admission purposes, the universities will look at the amount of rigorous classes you took and how well you did in that class.” Taking advanced classes will prepare students for college, and AP courses can earn students college credits.

Along with the course requirements needed to graduate high school, there are standardized tests that are also required. In April, every Waubonsie student is required to take the SAT, and the ACT can be taken outside of school, along with the SAT, if a better score is desired. There are many ways students can improve their score. “Students can use their Khan Academy account, which is through College Board, helps them practice the problems that they didn’t do well on,” said Kuhlman. “The college test prep class is always available along with classes outside of school that you can sign up for, and the library has practice exams throughout the year.” 

If students are considering pursuing a career in a specific field, there are many things they can do to further explore the field before attending college. “I tell kids to talk to one of their teachers that have a background in that area to get more information,” said Kuhlman. “I also would recommend meetings with your [school] counselor to explore possible career options.”

Sometimes, a four-year university is not for everyone. “Some might do a 1-2 year program for certification and some may do apprenticeships or trade schools. The Military is also an option and most make a life out of that or attend a college after completing their time,” said Kuhlman. “You have a lot of options. Your options and ideas are going to change, but you’re always going to have a plan B.”