University has gone from being the only thing you need to get a great job to the bare minimum in the workforce. That being said, there are still many ways to use your time during university to set yourself up for success later on. The difference is that today you need to go beyond what’s on the curriculum. Universities are full of societies, competitions, talks, internships, mentorships, and so much more. Investing your time and energy into these extra activities can help you stand out in the job market.
Going above and beyond like that is also how you’ll increase your chances of getting into your top choice university as well. That’s why every student needs to aim for these key goals during their high school career:
- High Grades and Great SAT Scores
Getting good grades and doing well on the SAT is longstanding advice, but you don’t need to do this in the dark any longer. Thanks to online sources like CampusReel.org, you can understand the GPA, SAT, and ACT averages for university students attending your dream choice university. This way, you can aim to exceed the average to help your application stand out.
Take New York University, for example. NYU is a popular school that’s a bit easier to get into than options like Stanford. Even still, the fact that NYU only has a 32% acceptance rate means that the majority of applications get rejected. To get accepted, you’ll want to go above and beyond what their current student average is. This means, for example, that if the incoming students got in with an average SAT score of 1375, then you should aim for 1480.
- Good School Ranking
In line with high grades, you should also aim for a good school ranking. This doesn’t need to be across the board. Being the best in one subject (that you plan on focussing on during university) is a decent place to get started. High rankings usually also automatically make you qualified to earn awards, with no extra steps needed.
Awards are a great way to showcase excellence. Start by looking at what awards are offered at your school, and see if there are any that can easily be achieved based on your current habits or if there are any you would like to strive to achieve. Valedictorian is one of the most famous, but there are many that will help schools from all over recognize your hard work.
- Club or Sport Participation
Extracurricular activities are so important for your university application, for making friends, and for helping you learn more about yourself. Join a club, sport, or both. Aim to get into a leadership position so that you can showcase more than just participation, like key skills you’ve learned and milestones you’ve helped your club reach.
- Out-of-School Activities
Volunteer for causes you care about, join clubs or societies, intern, take on personal projects, compete – all of these out-of-school activities can really help you build up a great resume for your university application. They’ll also help you when it comes to finding internships and later jobs, especially in niche areas like the NGO sector.
In short, students today need to prove their excellence inside and outside of school. This means doing more than just participating in different activities; it means leading them and aiming to be recognized for their efforts every step of the way. This is how you’ll stand out and what universities look for.