Students: Middle School Checklist

Getting ready for college starts now. Explore what you can do to prepare for your future today.



  • Do well in school.

    Set academic and personal goals for the year.
          Know that any setbacks are opportunities to learn and grow.

    Go to all of your classes. Attendance counts!

    Discover how you learn best and adopt strategies to support your learning style.
    Build good habits now to get ready for high school.
          Learn how to take notes, make outlines, and do research.
          Doing well in school is like getting good at a sport – you need to practice in order to improve.

    Ask for help from your teachers, parents, counselors, tutors, or friends or use online resources.

    Turn in all assignments.

          Reading improves your focus, concentration, imagination and knowledge – in short, it makes you smarter!
  • Take the right classes.

    Challenge yourself with honors or advanced classes, if available at your school.

    Take Pre-Algebra and Algebra – it’s a jumpstart on high school math.

    Take a foreign/world language if offered.
  • Get organized.

    Use a paper or digital planner or calendar to keep track of assignments and deadlines.

    Find a system that works for you to keep notes and papers organized like a binder or folders.

    Determine the place that you study best (at home or at the library, for example).
          Practice good study habits like turning off unnecessary technology. Use class and advisory time wisely and attend after school study programs.



  • Get involved.

    Get involved in school activities.

    Join community-based organizations or recreational centers.

    Volunteer in your community.

    Make a plan for summer like volunteering or summer programs.

    8TH GRADERS: attend high school orientation with your family.
  • Spend time with good people.

    Choose to hang out with friends that share positive goals and interests.

    Find a mentor – a parent, teacher, counselor, coach, other trusted adult, or older student that you can talk to.

          Share the educator or family checklist with them so they know how to support you.
  • Make good choices.

    Be safe online and on your phone.
          Choose appropriate privacy settings on social media.
          Only share information with people you know and trust.
          Always ask yourself: would I want my grandma/teacher/religious leader to see this?
          Remember that whatever you post or share can live forever online.

    Avoid risky behaviors like drinking, doing drugs, and having sex.

    Be kind; treat others with respect.