Most students, at some point, feel like high school is a waste of time and energy. But you can’t think like that! That kind of thinking puts you in a negative place not just mentally, but in your life that you don’t want to be in. High school can be the most beneficial four years of your life if you do it right.
The moment you step onto the school grounds you have access to all sorts of resources that can help you do incredible things with your life. Every person has a vision for what they want their life to look like, whether you think a year in advance or ten, you’ve got a vision. The adults you find inside of a high school are your biggest asset in reaching those goals, so use them!
Your administrators, your teachers, and especially your counselors, are looking out for your future as much as you are. Their job is to help you build what you want your future to be. They are there to help you, not hurt you.
I leaned that lesson later than I should have. I had some things I thought I wanted to do with my life, and I had a definite list of things that I did not want to do after high school. I figured that out when I was a sophomore. However, I thought that the counselors were there to make sure I had a full schedule with no problems and talk out my feelings if I needed that. It wasn’t until senior year that I learned differently, and I wish I had known much earlier.
While registering for my senior year classes she asked what I wanted to do after high school. I listed off the possible careers I had thought of, and then I told her what I didn’t want. I didn’t want to be broke straight out of high school, I didn’t want to go to a university, and I did not want any sort of office job.
It took that short little explanation of what I did and didn’t want for her to open up and give me a whole list of paths that I could take to get to that point. I went further into what I wanted and she gave me even more specifics. After a short conversation we had a plan in place for my senior year that would lead me right to where I wanted to be at graduation. This was my vision and no one else’s.
I was one of those people that felt like what I wanted couldn’t be given to me by a place I didn’t want to be. I wish I had known sooner that I was so wrong.
Graduation can feel like forever away, but one day you wake up and it is tomorrow. It is extremely easy to wake up that day and look back thinking you got nothing out of high school.
It doesn’t have to be like that, and it takes only a little effort on your part to change that trend. Take your life by the horns and do what you aspire to do. No one is waiting to watch you fail, and no one is holding you back.
The easiest way to get something good out of high school is to make sure you and your counselor are on the same page about what you want. Then all you have to do is be a good student, which doesn’t mean having the highest grades in the class or being the ‘teacher’s pet’, it simply means being respectful and doing the work.
Take advantage of what you have while you have it. Life doesn’t help you plan for your future, so do that now before you’ve got all the other things to worry about.
Have you ever found yourself trying to fit in with that “cool” group of people and not being accepted because you are different from them? Many people have been through this and have ended up changing themselves so that they could fit in. They lost who they were so that they could fit in with the crowd. My advice to you is to be who you are and not be afraid to show it. It doesn’t matter what other people think of you. It only matters if you like who you are. You are a unique person, and being unique is more than okay. Express who you are and where you are from. Stay happy by staying true to you.
Let other people think what they want of you. It doesn’t matter what they say or think about you. Yes, some of the things people say can hurt, but you can choose to let it go and ignore what they say. You can tell them that you are proud of who you are, and if they don’t like it then they do not deserve to be in your life if they put you down. It is better to surround yourself with people that make you happy and lift your spirits. Those are the type of people that will tell you to be who you are no matter what.
Being unique or strange is perfectly okay. Not every person is the same, and that is what makes it amazing. You are the only person in the world that is just like you. Dr Seuss said, “Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you!” That quote is very true. You are the best you that you can be. Prove to the world and yourself that being unique or strange is amazing and that you are perfect the way you are.
Hobbies, cultures, fashion styles, music choices, and talents are just a few ways that you can express who you are. Do not be afraid to show who you are and what you like to do. If you love to dance then dance, if you love to sing then sing. Do what you love to do and what you are good at. It doesn't matter if there is someone who is better at what you like to do. Do things your way and express being you.
College is a part of many people’s futures that is emphasized from the time they are a child until they earn a degree as an adult. As far back as middle school, college preparation are emphasized, and opportunities are given for students to live the college experience through visits and camps. However, it is sometimes still difficult to know the steps to take to prepare yourself for choosing where you are going to continue your education. As a senior, I am nearly done with this process, so I wanted to give some advice on how to prepare yourself for college as early as freshman year.
Everything you do in high school can impact your college decision, even during freshman year. Grades are extremely important, especially if you have aspirations to get into a school with a low acceptance rate. Develop strong study habits from day one and strengthen them as you progress through high school. While the grades on paper are important, the knowledge and study skills you gain will also leave you better prepared for a rigorous learning experience in college. Get involved in extracurricular activities starting freshman year as well. Many colleges ask for a resume as part of your application for admission or scholarship consideration, so getting involved all four years is important in helping you stand out from your fellow applicants. Keep a list of all the awards and honors you receive, no matter how small you think they are. They will build upon each other and show that you have something to offer to the university in more than just academics.
Begin your college search no later than the middle of your junior year. I began researching colleges at the beginning of my sophomore year, which gave me extra time to research majors and other necessities that were offered at each school. As you begin your search, make a list of all the things that you want at your dream school, and if there is something essential missing from the school you are researching, namely your major, don’t look at that school any further. No college list is too big. I made a list of 70-plus schools before actually researching the details, and it gave me lots of options to consider as the picture of my perfect school changed. Make sure this list gets narrowed down by the time you are ready to begin visiting schools so you can begin to focus on the schools that start to stand out from the others.
Consider visiting colleges starting your junior year. Some people believe this is early, but I made eleven college visits during my junior and senior years, and if I would have started during my senior year, I would not have had the opportunity to explore all these different campuses. Prioritize which schools you want to see and try to make a trip to visit all the ones in close proximity to each other over a few day span. Go to see all the schools you are considering over a break from school or try to visit schools while they are in classes. Either way, you should get a feel for the school before committing. While you are on campus, make an appointment with a professor in your intended major and ask them questions. Getting to know the faculty can be the thing that tells you that this is the place for you or to steer clear. If the professor makes time for you and gives good information, you can expect that they will treat you the same way when you arrive on campus. If you get repeatedly passed off to advisors or other people who don’t have as much face to face interaction with the students, odds are that you will get a less personalized experience as a student at their university. Getting a feel for the town and the people is important because you will have to live there for the next four years. If you can’t make it before applying, make an attempt to see the campus after you are accepted to make sure that the school has everything you want.
When preparing to apply to schools, make sure you write down every deadline that will apply to you in the coming months. This includes all application, scholarship, and honors college deadlines. Apply early to every school that offers it. You will get a much earlier decision and priority to scholarships and honors opportunities. Getting your decisions in December and January instead of February and March gives you more time to allow scholarships and aid to come in, which lets you make a thoroughly informed decision.
Just because a university looks expensive on paper doesn’t mean that it will be for every student. Some universities have high price tags but are generous with aid, making a $70,000 per year college experience almost free. Do not be scared away by the price tag. Apply and allow the university to make the decision on money for you. You might be surprised on what kind of aid they are willing to give.
Apply to safety, match, and reach schools. Safeties are schools that you know you’ll get into based on your GPA and test scores, match schools have many students with similar stats to you and should be possible for you to get into, and reach schools will probably reject you. Choosing a balance of each type of school gives you opportunities if your top school is a reach or really expensive. However, if you know that you will get into and be able to afford your top school, feel free to apply to just one.
After you receive your decisions, consider which school is the best fit for you academically, socially, and financially. Consider which school has the best major and where you will have the most opportunities to pursue activities in and outside of school. When the right school presents itself to you, you will know, and if the experience doesn’t turn out to be what you thought it was, you always have the opportunity to transfer in future semesters.
Begin researching early and often, get your applications done early, and visit as many campuses as possible. Maintain your grades and participate in extracurricular activities. If you don’t know where to start your research, go to the internet to look for suggestions. Many people have been through this process before and are willing to help those who are just beginning their search. I wish you luck in the coming years as you prepare for your future and hope this this advice helps you on your college journey.
Alexis Robinson, Pershelle Rohrer, Jackson Mallory, Natalie Barfuss
As upperclassmen we know how hard it is to be freshman, so we put these ideas together in what we call the Freshman Survival Guide. We hope that this guide will help you face the rest of the school year and give a good foundation for the rest of your high school years.
One of the biggest recommendations that we have for freshmen is to make friends and be social. This includes people from all classes. Make friends with people in your own class because they will be with you for your entire high school career, and befriend upperclassmen as mentors. The more friends you have, the bigger support group that you have. If you are in a relationship, do not isolate yourself from your other friends for one person. You may not always have that one person with you, and it is not worth losing your other friends over someone that may only be a temporary part of your life. Trust us it’s not worth it.
Another recommendation that we have is to respect your teachers and be friendly to them. They are there to help you, and they will be some of your biggest supporters as you go throughout your high school years. If you form close bonds with some of your teachers, they can recommend you for colleges, scholarships, and jobs as an upperclassman. They can be one of your biggest assets if you are nice and respectful to them.
Have pride in your school, and get involved in as many activities and extracurriculars as you can. Go to games, join clubs, play on a sports team, go to dances, and participate in the school’s biggest activities. Freshman year is one of the best times to explore these things because pep assemblies and other activities are usually best enjoyed as a freshman. Dances are fun to go to, and some people want to go with someone. Here is something one of our seniors said: “If you are a girl, don’t be afraid to ask a guy to a dance. They are idiots and wait till the last minute. Just do it.” Asking someone to a dance is not a right reserved just for the guys. Don’t be afraid to ask someone to a dance, no matter who you are.
During freshman year it is good to develop certain skills to help you throughout high school and college. One of them is to get a good note taking method. Notes are good study tools that help you retain information from your classes, and they will be essential as your classes become more challenging. Put some money aside for emergencies and savings, and don’t spend it all in one place. As a freshman, the future may not seem that expensive, but college and living expenses are important to save up for, even if they seem like they are a long ways away. Writing may not be the most enjoyable thing to do, but developing good writing skills will make your education much easier as you approach college. Obey the rules when it comes to school and other places. If you obey the rules it helps your conscience, and others will not mark you as a rule breaker, which helps your reputation. If you try your best in school and get the work done, all that matters is that you put in the best effort you can.
Above all, the biggest piece of advice we have for you is to be yourself. Be loud, get excited, and be weird. Popularity may sound amazing, but it is not everything. Find friends who will accept you for you. Don’t change yourself to fit in with the crowd. Stand out, and stay true to you.
Not only do schools have to struggle with getting the right kind of funding for school lunches, but they also have difficulty making food that the students will enjoy eating while also staying within the strict federal nutrition standards, which are intended to combat childhood obesity and to make those lunches affordable. It is not affordable for families to pay for the high cost of a school lunch and then to have their children either eat only a small portion of the lunch or simply throw the whole thing out and then eat when they get home from school. For example, when Obrien Wood serves whole wheat spaghetti with meat sauce, in Buffalo, New York, some students only eat the meat sauce. This is not a balanced nutritional meal for the students, but there is not much they can do about the situation. Making food that stays within the federal nutrition standards but also is tasty and good to the student has proven to be a difficult obstacle. Obrien Wood argues that “it’s not nutritious if they don’t eat it,” which I believe to be a very strong argument. There is no way for schools to force the students to eat their food so schools must come up with a healthy way for students to get their nutrition. This means the students will like the food so they will voluntarily eat it. The way school lunches are prepared right now there are many students who simply won’t eat it, and that is big problem because that stops them from getting the nutrition that they need.
Another example of the very strict federal nutritional guidelines is the standard on student sodium intake. This standard limits the amount of salt that the schools are allowed to use. When they serve the students French Fries they are not like French Fries that you would normally get at a restaurant and more like the cardboard that you would find in the garbage can behind restaurants. Obrien states, “You put a little salt on something, they’ll eat it”. Putting slightly more salt in the recipes for school lunches would dramatically decrease the amount of food thrown away and wasted in our schools.
More and more children are either throwing their food out because they don’t like it and refuse to eat it or they are choosing to bring home lunches and just not even bother with school lunch. There has been a movement to make the laws on school lunches less strict, in particular, the laws that control whole grain food and sodium levels that are required in student lunches. This will make school lunches much more enjoyable for students to eat and drastically decrease the amount of food that is being wasted in school trash cans around the nation.
In conclusion I believe that school lunches have way too many regulations. There definitely needs to be some changes to make school lunches more enjoyable for the students so that they get the nutrition they need without wasting or throwing away good food. I also believe that school lunch needs to be more affordable while also being higher quality so that the parents will be able to pay for the lunches and the students will also enjoy the lunches. This not only affects students because they are the ones who have to eat the food but it affects the parents too because they are the ones who are paying for it.
In a world where study and education have a profound impact on the course of our lives, many young people have begun to turn to music to aid in their quest for focus as they study. It is important to know that music is a tool that can be used to boost a student’s academic success, and yet many schools are drifting away from the usage of their music education programs due to budgetary constraints.
This subject is not only something that can enrich the students’ lives, it can greatly increase a child’s academic success. For some people, academic achievement is the primary reason for providing music lessons to their children. However, music can have a different impact on some of us than others. For some students music can be a distraction and may not allow them to concentrate in class. Harvard University made a study and found that if your volume is too high it will not allow you to concentrate nor allow you to focus on the things around you, and showed loud music hinders reading comprehension. The music agitates rather than focuses the student. However, music set at a volume that does not isolate the listener, meaning they can hear conversation around them or when others address them, creates a more focused mental attitude. Listening to music while studying can be harder for some people than others. If you are the type of person that gets distracted very easily or has some difficulties with multitasking, then it might not lead to good results. It will be very easy for you to lose focus from what you are studying and listen to the lyrics instead.
A recent study from the University of California found that music trains the brain for higher forms of thinking. Second graders that were given music lessons scored 27% higher on proportional math and fraction tests than children who received no special instruction. Research indicates that musical training permanently wires a young mind for enhanced performance.
Students who have early musical training will develop the areas of the brain related to language and reasoning. The left side of the brain is better developed with music, and songs can help imprint information on the young minds. Even when performing with sheet music, student musicians are constantly using their memory to perform. The skill of memorization can serve students well in education and beyond.
A 2012 study from the University of Maryland showed that students who participated in some type of musical education scored an average of 31 points above average in reading, 23 points above average in math, and 31 points above average in writing.
Researchers say that if your tasks require keeping track of several pieces of information at once while processing them, then you may somehow be affected by any kind of background noise. Your personality may also play a role in whether you benefit from listening to your favorite tunes while studying. Music is a tool that can be used to boost a student’s academic success, and many schools are drifting away from the usage of their music education programs. This subject is not only something that can enrich the students’ lives, it can greatly increase a child’s academic success.
While there are pros and cons to this it should at least be an available option to each and every student. It may not help all of us, but music used wisely will be a useful tool to allow people to focus on the task at hand. The choice lies with the individual.
We Grizzlies are an opinionated bunch, hm? Speak out and be heard.