For most of your life, someone's been asking you what you wanted to be when you grew up.
You've had ideas all along, but nothing real. After all, you once wanted to be a ballerina-dancing, hoops-playing construction worker, or something like that. So when somebody asked you what you wanted to "be" someday, you didn't really know then and you might not know now.
But you're going to college, that's for sure.
Be ready, no matter how much high school you have left. Read "Tom Joyner Presents How to Prepare for College" (c.2009, Amber Books, $15.00 / $16.95 Canada, 129 pages) by Thomas LaVeist and William LaVeist, foreword by Tom Joyner and get the knowledge you need to get the college you want.
Though you might just be in middle-school or early high school, the authors of this book say you should have started preparing for college when you were in diapers! If your parents read to you and helped with your studies, you've got a good foundation for success in higher education. If you weren't so fortunate, it's never too late to get the skills you need. Your school's guidance counselor can help ensure you're taking the right classes and are ready for standardized tests, which are essential for most college admissions.
But grades, SATs, and fundamental knowledge aren't the only important things you'll need when applying for college. LaVeist and LaVeist say that admissions officers also look for community service and extra curricular activities. (Nobody said this was going to be easy).
During this time, you should have been thinking about the college you want to attend. If you're African American, you might choose an HBCU. Maybe an Ivy League is more in your league. As the authors stress, it all depends on you, the student.
But somewhere along the line, somebody is going to mention money. No, it won't be cheap but it won't cost as much as you think, either. There are several ways to pay for your education, and this book walks you through some of them.
And now - look way ahead. Preparing for college doesn't stop when you step on campus. You'll need to learn how to stay there and make your Mama proud.
"Tom Joyner Presents How to Prepare for College" is a thorough book that may seem daunting at first. Forget about being smarter than a fifth grader. If you follow the recommendations of authors Thomas LaVeist and William LaVeist, your first-grader may know more than you know.
Still, the fundamentals they recommend having will undoubtedly point any child toward higher education, and the help they give to the Class of 2014 and beyond is solid. Be aware that, while this book predominantly features Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the information applies to anyone planning to attend any college.
While it's best-utilized for middle-schoolers or freshmen-through-juniors in high school, what's inside this book is also useful for older adults heading back to school to finish a degree or change careers. If college is in your family's future, "Tom Joyner Presents How to Prepare for College" gets an A+.