If you are a high school junior, chances are many of your classmates are either celebrating their college acceptance letters to their first choice schools, or awaiting the mailing of admissions decisions from the colleges that they have applied to. Lets fast foward; one year from now, this will be you!
Preparation is the key! Here are a few things to do now that will help you get a good idea of what you want out of UMBC, or any other school that you have applied to:
Determine your learning style. Are you drawn more to research assignments, or lecture based courses? Would you rather work on projects in groups or independently? Do you prefer to studey alone, or study collaboratively with your peers.
Colleges and universities have different philosophies, so figuring out which learning style is best for you will help you narrow down the schools that could be the right fit for you.
Pick a favorite subject. You will find that when you are in college, there is a lot of freedom and many more choices when it comes to class options. Figure out what intrests you and why so that your application can convey why attending a certain school will support you in following your interests.
Get out of the classroom. Go look for opportunities outside of your school walls to pursue something you’re interested in. Summer programs, classes at a community college, or research projects are all ways to apply what you learned in the classroom, to things outside of the classroom. Find something that you really enjoy, and explore it further!
Challenge yourself. Think about taking courses that will prepare you for the rigor that comes along with college-level academics. Our admissions officers are looking for students who have taken advantage of those high-level, challenging classes available to them at their school.
Go beyond academics. The admissions committee is looking not just for strong students, but also for students who will contribute to the UMBC community. Find opportunities (whether it be through clubs, organizations, or teams) to make an impact. Contribute to whatever it is you’re a part of—leading a membership campaign or fundraiser, organizing a team outing, or maybe even starting a new group in your school.