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Middle School Matters

Middle School Matters

Get Organized

Use colored folders and a calendar to keep track of your assignments, due dates and test dates.  Learn how to manage your time and balance schoolwork, family commitments, friends and activities.  The busier you are, the better you will be at managing your time.

Surf Safely

The Internet is an incredible way to socialize and obtain information. You have to be smart, though, to stay safe. Follow the rules of your household about computer use and never give personal information online. Be aware that what you post on the Internet may follow you for a very long time. For more information about using the Internet safely, visit ConnectSafely.

Explore Careers

What would you like to do some day? Volunteer or job shadow in a career that interests you. Ask people whose jobs look or sound interesting to explain what they really do and how they got to where they are now. Begin with these questions and add more as you think of them:

  • Describe your typical day?
  • What did you study in college?
  • What courses best prepared you for your career?
  • What do you like most about your job?
  • What do you like least about your job?
  • What advice do you have for someone interested in this career?
Think About College

It's not too early to explore higher education websites and visit college campuses. Remember, a visit is not a commitment to attend a college but rather an opportunity to experience a college first-hand. Here are a few websites to get you started:

Not sure what to do this summer? Participate in a summer camp, workshop or after-school program and get a head start on a SUNY education. Select from many options which include academic and enrichment opportunities for middle and high school students, Upward Bound programs and sports camps. Many of the academic programs will educate you in a variety of subject matter and may even include college-level courses (and college credits). Summer programs at SUNY are as diverse as the campuses! Here are a few to whet your appetite:

To learn about these and more SUNY summer options, go to the , select a SUNY campus, and search by "summer camps and workshops" or "pre-college programs."

Talk and Ask Questions

Your family members can help you succeed. Talk to them about your high school schedule and career interests. Seek advice from your parents/family members, teachers, counselors, coaches and mentors. Listen carefully to what they say.

Save for College

It's not too early! Learn about 529 plans at The College Savings Plans Network -- a national non-profit association dedicated to making college accessible and affordable for families. Another way to begin saving for college is by earning points when you shop. Learn more at Upromise.

Get Involved

Make the most of your time outside of school, as well as breaks and the summer. Join a club or activity to build your leadership skills. Find a summer job, volunteer in a career field that interests you, learn or perfect a skill or hobby, go to summer school to get ahead or catch up, attend a summer program or camp and read. Colleges seek well-rounded students who are involved in their communities and earn good grades.

Academics Count

The courses you take in high school are important. Get a head start by taking Algebra I or the first year of a foreign language in 8th grade. Research accelerated programs and/or classes that will enable you to get ahead. Unsure of where to begin? Ask your teachers and counselor. They can help by providing tutoring, counseling and advice to help you make the right class choices. 

Most colleges prefer, even though they may not be required for graduation, that you take the following courses in high school: 4 years of English; 3 years of math (including Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II); 3 years of laboratory science; 3 years of social studies; 2-3 years of the same foreign language; and courses in fine arts and computer science. 

Many high school seniors realize their grade point average is too low for the colleges they wish to attend simply because of the grades they earned in the 9th and 10th grades. Don't let this happen to you! All grades count from 9th to 12th.

Challenge Yourself

Take the most challenging courses you can, study hard and earn good grades. Your hard work will pay off. The better you do in rigorous courses, the better prepared you will be for the exams and assessments you'll take later. Take at least five academic classes every semester in high school to develop skills in reading, writing, speaking, listening and reasoning. Make it your goal to do more than to just "get by."

You can succeed! Strengthen your reputation by doing your best - always.
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