Freshman Year

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.

-Booker T. Washington

Join Student Clubs
& Activities

As a freshman, becoming involved in
student extracurricular activities is
critical if you plan to go to college. Yes,
your grades are important but colleges
want to see what applicants do outside of
class. For example, some colleges ask
students to list what clubs they are
involved in and ask students write essays
on demonstrating leadership.

Putting aside college application reasons,
being in student clubs is a way for you
really get to know your classmates and for
your classmates to get to know you. A lot
of my friends, I met through clubs and to
this day, we are still friends! At the same
time, student clubs can lead to different
opportunities and allow you to explore
your passions.

Learn to Take Good Notes

Taking good notes is critical!

During Homework & Reading: Do not highlight everything. Look for the main ideas and key concepts. Highlight unfamiliar words. Use different colors.

During Class: If your teacher relies on PowerPoint or Google Slides in their lectures, kindly ask if they could share a copy of the slides with you. Pay attention to WHAT TEACHERS SAY . Didn’t catch what they said? Ask them nicely to repeat themselves.

After Class: I recommend students either type up their notes or rewrite their class notes. It allows you to refresh your mind with the material.

Make your notes so good that you could sell them.

Community Service

In addition to good grades and student
involvement, colleges love to see
applicants with community service experience.

Those who volunteer are seen as civic
leaders committed to bettering their

Some clubs in high school are dedicated
to volunteering so be sure to check at
your school for volunteer opportunities.
Check out your local YMCA, public library,
elementary & middle schools, and local
religious organizations that might be
in need of help.

Start Taking Foreign Language Classes

As a freshman, you should look at taking a foreign language class. Even if you are a native Spanish speaker, colleges want 2-4 years of having taken a foreign language class. It is in your best interest to start taking a foreign language class as a freshman and continue through senior year. Here’s why: should you not have 4 years then you will most likely be required to take additional language classes at college. This means paying extra thousands of dollars and less space in your college schedule.

I myself was raised speaking Spanish at home and my reading ability was decent at least prior to starting high school. As a freshman, I was able to take a Spanish class for native speakers where I learned the basic grammar and spelling rules of Spanish. My sophomore year, I took AP Spanish Literature and self-studied for the AP Spanish Language.

Take Practice
Standardized Tests

As a freshman, it is important for you
to start familiarizing yourself with
college entranced exams such as the
SAT and the ACT. The PSAT 10 or
PSAT/NMSQT is a test you will take
as a sophomore or junior. This test
can serve as a basis for the SAT.

Latinx Opportunities has additional
information about these tests.

Get to Know Your Teachers

We recommend freshmen to begin building relationships with teachers because by the time college applications open up, you will need to reach out to teachers for letters of recommendation. On average, colleges ask for 1-3 letters of recommendation, of which 2 must come from teachers. The best letters of recommendation are written when teachers know the students well. Start those relationships by actively participating class and earning high grades. We also recommend you reach out to teachers who specialized in the subjects you are interested in pursuing as a career. These teachers can also become your mentors, guiding you along the way.

When I was a freshman, I met my native Spanish teacher who introduced me to the Hispanic Leadership Club of my high school, a club I would later become president of. He was my mentor throughout my high school career and wrote me letters of recommendation.

Dream Career?
Dream College?

Some of you may already have a dream
career, dream college, or both! Regarding
dream schools, Latinx Opportunities
recommends students to look into the
school acceptance rate, GPA requirement,
and the profile of the newest class to get
a sense of what this school looks for in an
applicant. Schedule a meeting with a college
representative and look at their financial
aid packages. For those with dream
careers, look into what colleges and degrees
professional in that career have. Certain
college are more prestigious for selected
programs. Some careers require additional
years of education such as a master’s degree.

Looking for Advice?

Do you feel a little lost and want to get advice on school or college? Latinx Opportunities is committed to offering free appointments to discuss classes and help students.

Latinx Opportunities offers morning and evening appointments.

Please note: You must have a google account to book an appointment. Should you need to create a free account, you may do so here.