Tag Archives: Hispanic and Latino

What to do this summer to prepare for college

Congratulations! Graduating is another step towards being fully independent! 

I know many of you have put a lot more thought into the prom dress than your future.  Now summer is here and you need to get ready for college.  Take a deep breath and know that it is never too late to start working on your dreams of going to college and summer is a great time to get ready. College mostly starts in September and hopefully you have been admitted.  Here are things you can do this summer to prepare.

College is harder than high school.  If you had difficulty in high school know that college is the next level up.  Hundreds of people are not ready for college level work but in just a summer you can learn enough to make the transition easier. This summer find a tutoring center, a prep course, an online course such as in the Khan Academy to prepare you for college especially in the dreaded math and writing, essentials for a great college career.

Start reading lots and lots.  There are great books in your library for free.  If books are too long for you find a couple of magazines that interest you.  You will be assigned tons of reading so get used to it.

Don’t let fear and self-doubt stop you.  Start pretending you can do it, and all of a sudden you are actually doing it.  Like I always say “Fake it till you make it.” Stand up to yourself, shake it off and get a new attitude.

But its summer, it’s time to have fun and I just don’t have the discipline to study?  Try this.  It’s called time boxing.  Get a timer and say ok I will do this for half an hour and then I will take a break and do something I want to do.  Work furiously just for that half hour.  When the buzzer goes off, evaluate, can you finish this is another 15 minutes?  Do I want to dash the momentum I have on the project?  I you just can’t stand it anymore go ahead and take a break.  You will be surprised how much you get accomplished and how many times it’s all you needed is to get started.

Visit your new college! Go to all orientation events at your college and meet your counselors. Summer is a little more relaxed around a college campus and it’s a great time to find our counselor and get to know them.  Take a little token of friendship, a single flower or a cookie will make you stand out.  When there are opportunities like a special scholarship or a great class, you will be the first to know. Check out the Tutoring Center, the Library, the Student Success Center, the Multicultural Affairs Office, and the Student Activities Office. All these people are there to help you but you need to take the first step.  Introduce yourself, ask them what they do, leave your new business card, get on any list serve or email list for their department. 

Ask about student work-study opportunities.  If you qualify for the federal program called work-study, you need to find a job on campus in fall.  Summer is a great time to scope out the jobs that will be available and make some contacts so when the time comes you are set!

Get your tool kit ready.  Order business cards from a free service as Vistaprint, get an email that is professional, and get that resume in the best shape you can.

The door is open, all you have to do is prepare for the challenges, work on it each day by pushing yourself and prepare to have the time of your life in college.  Write to me with questions and comments at EducateLatina.com

 La College Guru

Ana María Soto




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Filed under Getting into college advise, Opportunities & Events


One of the things that I know for sure is Latinas need to support each other to make it.  I am so blessed with a great group of mujeres that have always given me their advice and support in all of life’s decisions.  Each of us has wisdom and resources to share across the world, especially using the web to create what I envision as a movement that will transform our life, our community, our country and the world.  Once Latinas get it, we are persistent, talented and ready to change our world!

I am honored to be “la College Guru” at the Latina Smart Facebook Wall!   I will be sharing advice on getting to college and beyond. You will also be able to post questions on education and I will answer on a weekly video blog!    We all have educational aspirations and dreams but there are strategic decisions that you will have to make along the way.  I have spent the last 20 years working in education and 14 of those years in higher education.  This past year I worked at New Futuro  and created  workshops that teach Latinos how to prepare, apply and pay for college.  Over 3000 people in the Chicago region attended the series of workshops!

I know the challenges and the dreams of our community.  I hope to show you step by step the way to a better life with a college education.  I believe that there is an educational option after high school for every person in this country.  It is going to take hard work but that never scared a Latino.

I created this blog for you and this is your opportunity to ask lots of questions, share your life experiences, take part to the fullest so we can together become the smart Latinas that we were meant to be.  So consider me your friend, your advisor and together with the partnership of Latina Smart, we will celebrate your achievements, present super Smart Latinas, and urge you to reach for a better life for you and your family. Together we can do it.  Juntas Salimos Adelante!

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