High School Timeline

Here’s what your teen should be doing now.

Here’s what your child should be doing now according to this high school timeline: 


  • List five careers that interest you
  • Start job shadowing people in those careers
  • Sharpen study skills: This is the last year before the GPA clock starts running
  • Plan your high school course work
  • Read, read and read to become a fast reader


It’s ON – Your next three years of grades will affect your college admissions and eligibility for scholarships (senior year grades are not usually considered for admissions) 

  • Find a cause and volunteer (Put it on your resume – Yes, start a resume)
  • Increase your vocabulary by reading
  • Get involved in clubs, sports and music
  • Go to a college fair
  • Start learning street signs and how to drive
  • Get your learner’s license
  • Go to camp in the summer


  • Take the PSAT in October
  • Keep a calendar of your assignments and learn how  to organize
  • Start seeking and taking leadership roles in clubs and activities
  • Keep on volunteering
  • Identify colleges you are interested in
  • Take the ASVAB for career exploration and aptitude
  • Take Drivers Ed
  • Celebrate your Sweet 16
  • Get your license
  • Start earning and saving money for college
  • Take an ACT- or SAT-prep course


  • Take AP classes and study for these tests
  • You’re in the home stretch for important GPA-building grades
  • Be a National Merit Scholar – Get ready for the October PSAT!
  • Take the ACT and SAT. Decide which one will give you a higher score
  • Take a test-prep course or download the free tests and practice
  • Start visiting colleges
  • Consider dual enrollment for senior year
  • Get your guidance counselor to review your resume and college admission essays
  • Start applying for scholarships
  • Apply to the Potential “Reach your Potential” spotlight and scholarship
  • Give or Accept a “promposal”  and enjoy prom


  • Take the ACT/SAT at least one more time
  • Apply to colleges – Turn them in early!
  • Smile for your Senior Portraits
  • Take college tours and get to know the admission counselors
  • Get teacher recommendations
  • Complete a FAFSA application in February
  • Pick a college (and roommate, and housing, and… and…)
  • Go after scholarships!
  • Sign-up for a Graduation Gift Registry
  • Hug your parents at commencement and thank them

As an editor, copywriter, and social media manager at exploreMedia, I work to develop content that is relevant and interesting to our readers and coordinate with contributing writers.

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