Looking Ahead- Strategies for Acceptance before It's Too Late

<p>I'm the high school class of 2008, or a current freshman. A few years ago I promised myself that I would apply to Dartmouth College for it is my dream college. I am an overall good student but I want to know what I should plan to do throughout high school to raise my chances. (The rest is background information about myself and it not necessary to answer this question).
We have only completed one quarter so far this year and I had a GPA of 4.283 weighted, which I hope to sustain or even raise. I attend a locally respected public high school in an upper-middle class suburb and the size of my class is around 220. I do not know my rank, but where should I want to be? My courses this year are as follows: Exploratory Art, Biology Honors, English Honors, Algebra 1, World History, and Spanish II. Math is really holding me down since I am not in honors and am able to easily hold an A+ in there. However, this summer I plan to attend summer school for geometry so that I may be on the honors track next year. I am in a service club and planning to try out for softball in the fall. I had the intentions of joining many more clubs and I am not sure what happened. If there is anything else you'd like to know, feel free to ask.
Thanks so much!</p>

<p>do your homework, go play outside with your friends</p>

<p>don't start worrying for another two or three years</p>

<p>Take the hardest classes you can, have fun, read lots of books and newspapers. Spend some time over Christmas thinking about what YOU like to do - academics, sports, music, helping others, learning about business, babysitting, art, theater, debate whatever. Then, think about out of the ordinary ways to pursue that interest - whether it is starting a business, outside activities, joining a club, taking a course. Sports are great because they cover several bases at once - determination, potentially leadership, time management, teamwork,etc. It seems to be all about quality, not quantity - most kids who are potential selective college material naturally seem to have the quantity part, they tend to be born joiners.</p>

<p>Course selection and ECs that you enjoy - that's what it is about.</p>

<p>What Cangel said.</p>

<p>Do well in math, because most Dartmouth applicants took either Geometry or Algebra 2 their freshman year. By the time you're a senior, you'll only have gone through Precalculus. You'll be competing against kids who are in or have already taken Calculus. So do well in math. :-)</p>

<p>But yeah, don't slack off, get involved and stay involved in things that mean a lot to you, polish your writing, read everything you can, and don't go crazy. I'm not even in yet, but that's what I'd tell you if I were. I don't think it's ever "too early" to plan ahead like this (within reason...no "Dartmouth Class of 2020" or anything), but don't let it consume you,</p>

<p>Thanks for all that great advice in such a short time! I'll definitley take them into consideration! About math- after I go to summer school I will be able to take Calculus AB or BC my senior year so I am looking foward to that! haha
I guess I want to know what I am doing early somewhat because of math. In my school district it's uncommon for anyone to be in honors math if they are not in it in fifth grade. I was in it in fourth grade... but fell off in fifth. So if I only would have known THEN how frustrated it would make me to be in a way held back, I'd be much happier!</p>