Senior Advice Column

  1. What’s your advice for staying on top of classes?

If it helps you feel more in control of your workload, promise to yourself to get a small chunk of something done, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Breaking assignments or responsibilities into smaller, more manageable steps will help you get over the initial stress and get you closer to your goal! —Emily

You can’t catch up by going at a slower pace. Set a regular time for schoolwork, and try to stay ahead if possible. This way you’ll build yourself a “cushion” with things like history notes and textbook readings so you’re prepared if something happens. This saved me last year when I was out of school for a week. —Elliott

Take everything one step at a time, and remember that nothing will ever be perfect. When you are juggling lots of classes, extracurriculars, and other responsibilities, stress can make your schoolwork seem even more daunting than it is. In these scenarios, try to let yourself make mistakes and tackle your assignments in short-focused time periods, rather than viewing your whole to-do list at once. —Ava

  1. What is one thing every freshman should know?

You’re bound to have unlikeable teachers. They may be unbearable or suck the soul out of you every day you walk into the classroom, but they are still people with emotions and a life. Unless they are genuinely rude or offensive, please give them the benefit of the doubt. —Emily

Everything’s better when you’re in good company. Find some people who bring out the best in you and stick with them. It makes bad classes tolerable and good classes become fantastic. Plus, you have people who you can drag to school events. —Elliott

Your years in high school are an opportunity to explore your interests, so take advantage of classes that look intriguing as soon as you can! In the end, learning about topics you are interested in will help you stay balanced and feel more optimistic about learning. —Ava

  1. What are the best clubs to join?

Young Progressives meets every Thursday in room 815 and is a great way to stay involved in current events and be part of a dynamic and welcoming community —Emily

Gender Equity Association is a great place to get involved! We cover everything from menstrual equity to feminism and cooperation between social justice movements. Come to 851 Tuesdays and Thursdays during lunch! —Elliott

 If you love writing or staying on top of current events, join the Sword & Shield! Also, Spartan Youth Service is a great place to meet many new people and participate in a wide variety of community service events throughout the community. —Ava

  1. PSAT is coming up. Any tips for studying, self-care, etc.?

Success in preparing for standardized testing often comes from focused practice! Juniors especially are super busy and I suggest dedicating time to only the most prevalent areas you want to improve. Previous years’ tests are a valuable resource for feeling confident when you do take the test. (Also do take the time to sit down and take timed practice tests! It helps tremendously with pacing) At the end of the day, please do not feel like your self worth is determined by a number, and be proud of how much you’re capable of. —Emily

Get a couple good nights of sleep before your tests. Don’t try to cram the day before; any last minute studying won’t help you. Trust yourself, and don’t let some silly standardized test define you. —Elliott

Definitely look through sample problems to familiarize yourself with the format, and take a practice test if you have time! Always try to put your best foot forward, but also remember that you have many strengths and abilities beyond the scope of standardized tests, so never forget to be forgiving and patient with yourself too.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

To all of the students walking in large groups in the crowded hallways: please don’t block the hallways, it’s rude. —Elliott

Developing a relationship with your counselor is so helpful in the long run and might give you access to opportunities you wouldn’t have otherwise known about. —Emily

Do whatever you can to stay organized, balanced, and get the right amount of sleep! You’ll thank yourself later.  —- Ava