High school is a time of making friends and memories for most young adults. As they escape childhood and start down the path toward adulthood, all but a very few students believe achieving social success is hugely important. For those unique young adults with foresight, however, there is something even more important than friends and fun to think about: college, because the right post-secondary education can nearly guarantee a bright future. But college is both expensive and competitive. Furthermore, preparing for the tests, applications, and essays that are necessary for college acceptance is a process that can easily take all four years of high school. And, even with the most careful advance planning, no one can assume that they will be accepted into their first choice college.
In Moving from Ordinary to Extraordinary: The Teen’s Guide to High School Success, Dr. Sharnnia Artis outlines the steps necessary for any teenager to turn his or her school years into a productive journey to the right college. Artis discusses her own high school years: she maintained a 4.2 GPA, was an all-state athlete in three sports, and managed to earn over 100,000 dollars in scholarships. She asserts that her success was not a result of high intelligence and that with enough drive, any student can accomplish his or her dreams. She states, “…most experts will tell you that achieving success isn’t ultimately about talent, superintelligence, or luck. It’s about the Four-D’s: dedication, discipline, determination, and dependence. Therefore, I am absolutely convinced that you, too, are capable of all this and more—If you choose to be Extra!”
The journey outlined in this book is an arduous one. Beginning in freshman year, the author provides instructions in what type of classes to take, how to find mentors within the school and community, what type of extracurricular activities to engage in, and when to start each step in the college application process. She discusses college entrance exams, summer internship programs, and student athletics. She recommends looking at scholarship opportunities during freshman year so that there is plenty of time to meet all of the requirements, and building a resume so that no achievement or accomplishment is forgotten when it comes time to compile it all for college and scholarship applications.
Readers will find this book a wonderful resource. Though many young people will be overwhelmed by all of the steps necessary to gain entrance and pay for a top college, for the student who is truly driven to be extraordinary, this book will prove to be a valuable guide along the path to high school success.