Tips for College-Bound High Schoolers

By | December 29, 2020

[December 29, 2020]  Leaders in a position to provide tips to college-bound High Schoolers bear great responsibility.  Care must be taken to provide accurate information to anyone considering going to college.  I am frequently asked to give a few tips.  I listed them below.  What will be noticed immediately is how my tips differ from typical “tips for college-bound students.”

First, High Schools today are patently unprepared to ready students for any serious college degree program.  This is a serious problem that is not going to change anytime soon.  However, we are convinced the opposite is true; that our college-prep curricula will make a success out of anyone – it will not.  The trend to dumb-down standards in the classroom will only make this situation worse.  High Schools no longer teach how to read with a critical eye, think, write correctly, logically, or layout a good argument logically.

Second, it is incumbent upon the High Schooler to properly prepare themselves for their near-term future.  This means readying themselves intellectually but also physically, psychologically, mentally, and emotionally.  Preparing oneself where you want to be in the future, a vision of achieving it, creating a realistic plan of action, and focusing your efforts on it beginning now, is the epitome of preparation.

Third, our society – visibly represented by actors, politicians, the news media, and musicians – encourages us to lie, cheat, and steal.  To use alcohol and abuse drugs “as long as it doesn’t hurt others.”  To adopt a personal philosophy that rejects service to others and pledges oneself to the state.  To reject religion as a way of life.  To do whatever it takes to win, regardless of others, rules, or customs.  And recently encourage us to consider ourselves morally superior to those who disagree with us politically.

Fourth, be aware of radical indoctrination and on-campus anti-democratic movements.  I recommend that one steer clear of them and avoid being drawn into anything at all that does direct harm to the United States, their community, or one’s self.

And, fifth, focus on what your degree program will be.  Learn as much as possible technically, network with your High School teachers and your student peers.  Select your friends and extracurricular activities with care.  Chose those friends who desire to do well in life, who are reliable, intelligent, and motivated.  Most importantly, take charge of your life, accept resp

“Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the one who asked why.” – Bernard Baruch

 What I did not cover was “how” to choose the right college for yourself, how to do well on entrance exams like the SAT or ACT, whether you should visit a college before agreeing to go there, or the application process itself.  These are important.  I’ve found that these preparatory efforts are needed but pale compared to the five tips I provided.

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

27 thoughts on “Tips for College-Bound High Schoolers

  1. Jonny Walker

    High Schools are patently unprepared to prepare students for any serious college degree. So very true. The teacher unions have destroyed education. Now they are only interested in PC propaganda. Our nation is going downhill. I once respected teachers. I no longer do. 🤡

  2. Willie Shrumburger

    Excellent article, Gen. Satterfield. I”ll be forwarding this to my kids.

  3. Deplorable John

    For a person without any direct experience in the educational fields (supported by our gov’t), I’m a bit surprised at the “tips” you are giving. Must be from the experience of those coming into the Army without a good education or thinking skills.

    1. Gil Johnson

      Yep, that’s it Deplorable John. The terrible formal, government-sponsored educational system is broken. And, the band aides being applied are making it worse, not better.

  4. Fred Weber

    “Fourth, be aware of radical indoctrination and on-campus anti-democratic movements. I recommend that one steer clear of them and avoid being drawn into anything at all that does direct harm to the United States, their community, or one’s self.” On target comment. For the rest of us, pay close attention to what is written here.

  5. Harry B. Donner

    More articles like this and I will be an even bigger fan. Great advice that extends well beyond High Schoolers.

  6. Ronny Fisher

    Thank you, Gen. Satterfield for another spot-on article. I forwarded this article to my cousin who lives in Chicago to give to his kids. I hope they are paying attention.

  7. Mr. T.J. Asper

    Right off the bat, Gen. Satterfield nails it. “First, High Schools today are patently unprepared to ready students for any serious college degree program. This is a serious problem that is not going to change anytime soon.” This is an eye-opener for many folks but not for me. I’ve been in the High School business for a long time and have seen, with my own eyes, the decline of academic standards and behavioral requirements.

    1. Willie Shrumburger

      It’s a sad state of affairs. Keep on plugging away at it Mr. Asper.

      1. Jerome Smith

        Yes, and things are NOT getting better but are getting worse. Many are recommending we go back to local control of our schools. I agree with that.

  8. Sadako Red

    Ladies and gentlemen, pay attention to what is written here. Gen. Satterfield has gone on record for noting that our current educational system is not just in disarray but is totally non-functional. He doesn’t use those words but that is what he is saying to us. That means we are responsible for our own education and that of our children. This is no trivial matter. Our teachers have become ideologues and propaganda spreaders. They think they are justice warriors doing the world good but in reality they are the very fascists they think the rest of us are.

    1. Wendy Holmes

      Hi Dr. RED. Thank you for your comment. Of course, I’m a big fan of yours. For those new to Gen. Satterfield’s website, just search on Sadako Red to get his articles. They are the best. No PC there. No ideology there. RED is into bashing the heads of liberals and leftists. Fun to read his comments.

    2. Darryl Sitterly

      Good comments. Hey, Sadako Red, when will you write another article for us?

  9. Forrest Gump

    This list of yours, Gen. Satterfield, could be used for anyone going into any career as well. As long as we are not “stupid” about what we want or how we are to achieve it, all will work out. Remember, “ask and you shall receive.” More good advice.

    1. old warrior

      Yep, yet too many young people have no plan other than spending money on the latest clothes fashion and makeup. Even the young men are all about what they wear and how they look. Now there is makeup for men. Can you imagine that,… I can’t. The only makeup I ever put on was camouflage. And then I went out to kick some serious Viet Cong butt.

      1. Darwin Lippe

        Old Warrior, you are just too much. I appreciate you making my day.

    2. JT Patterson

      Forrest, well said. But remember that being stupid is contagious. Just look at all the people who voted in the US for a senile, dementia man who can’t put a sentence together. Joe Biden will go down in US history as the worst president that we’ve ever had. And people still think he’s the greatest thing. How stupid can you get? Not much more.

      1. Linux Man

        You got that right, JT. And we, the people, get dumber by the day. And now the likes of slow Joe Biden want to get rid of school standards because standards are racisssssssttttt.


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