3 Best ways to eliminate stress as a student

3 Best ways to eliminate stress as a student

As you finally start to get into the swing of things when the back to school adjustment period is over, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by everything going on. With so many activities and classes to keep up with, it can be hard to let yourself take a break and really relax. These suggestions are ways to de-stress while still getting things done and helping yourself out. These four ways to de-stress can make your high school workload seem so much easier.

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5 Things to Do After a Stressful Day/Week

Everybody in today's society mutters this sentence at least once a day or week "I'm stressed." Sometimes when the opportunity presents its self to de-stress, you are so used to being filled with stress, you don't have the slightest idea how to relax. Here are five things to do after a stressful day/week

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The 5 Best Colleges for the Public Health Major

The 5 Best Colleges for the Public Health Major

The Public Health major entitles to learning about the prevention of disease and to promote health on different scales. This could include a small scale such as a community, or a global scale such as different countries around the world. There are many schools that offer this major, but here are the 5 best colleges for the Public Health Major. #PublicHealth #CollegeMajors

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3 Foolproof Organization Methods for Students

3 Foolproof Organization Methods for Students

A conveniently compiled list of 3 of the best organization methods for students. When it comes to planning and organizing, students often don’t know where to start. This article will describe the benefits of 3 different organizational and planning methods that will fit any student’s lifestyle!

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Why You Should Consider Being a Student Abroad


Why students should consider becoming international students, and where to start.

Maybe you've been seduced by cities lights of Paris, maybe you’ve flirted with the idea of researching new animals in the faraway jungles of the Congo. Maybe you are just so done with your parents, and you want a little room to breathe. Whatever the motivation, studying internationally for college is great opportunity to not only experience learning in a new way, but also enhance your cultural knowledge, meet a diverse range of people, gain independence and self-reliance, and try new foods. But mostly try new foods, because c'mon. Food.


Write Your Own Story

On a more serious note, in the competitive society that rules our world today (and if you are applying, or even looking into college, you've experienced it first hand), anything that sets you apart from the next person is something you can use to your advantage. The American school system is very streamlined so it can be hard to break out of the groove that has been set in place for almost a century. However, an often overlooked method of developing your personal resume is to become an international student. An international student is a student that attends a college abroad for the duration of their studies. But let's be real. As easy as it is to read the definition of an international student, it is a whole other ballgame being one. College is a time of new knowledge, friendships, and to experience such an influential time in your life in a new country...well, that's anything but easy. But don't you dare be intimidated! International students are prized and coveted students of universities all over the world, often times increasing the diversity on campus that the staff, students, and institutions benefit from.

It’s All About Ambition

So what does it take to be a part of the population that earned their degrees abroad? Many sources claim that students need to know a second language to study internationally, but with the UK being the second most popular country for international students (with the United States leading), a language barrier is the least of worries. What's more, many colleges abroad (such as Universities in Germany, the Nordic countries, India, and Taiwan) do not charge a tuition. The only costs are a processing fee for the application, and the price of housing, food, and other necessities. So if the language barrier isn't a problem and money is not a prominent issue, what kind of student benefits from an international experience? In short, the type of student that truly benefits from studying international is a student who seizes the day and every opportunity that comes along as well. Becoming an international student is an ambitious feat, so naturally, the student also must be, well, ambitious! To be ambitious in the context of being an international student means consciously seeking opportunities to embrace foreign culture, striving to succeed in a new learning environment, empowering yourself to make smart, important (and sometimes life changing) decisions without the counsel of your parents, and graciously opening yourself up to new people, places, and ideas.


Just Get Off The Couch

At this point, you should be asking yourself, “Am I ambitious? Do I have what it takes to be an international student?” And the honest truth is, the answer to either of the questions above does not have to be “yes”... at least, not yet. Ambition can be an innate trait in people, but often times, ambition is learned. Ambitious people are not always the people who get straight “A”s, or the star athletes of your school. To be ambitious is to set a goal out of your comfort zone, and through trials and tribulations, eventually reach your goal and succeed in an environment you never thought you could. So, since there is no time like the present, start now; be a little more ambitious every day. Raise your hand in class, slay that speech in English class, make friends with the new kid at school, but whatever it is, just keep doing. Every time you pushed yourself to be a more ambitious person will add up, and soon you will be on your way to being an international student, and more importantly, a kick-butt adventure-taking, goal-achieving, all-around-interesting human being. Who could ask for more than that?

In the meantime, evaluate yourself. Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years? Will studying internationally help you achieve your goals or help you be a better person? And, if the answer is yes, get going! Be ambitious, adventurous, every single thing in between! Use those city lights in Paris as motivation, or those new animals species in the Congo you will someday discover. Heck, if it comes to it, use your parents’ nagging as motivation to get up, and get going. A world of opportunity (and new food) is waiting for you. But mostly food, because c’mon. Food.




Four Bad Study Habits and How to Break Them


 Studying is crucial to success in school. However, many people don’t know how to study. Or, arguably worse, they fall into bad study habits. However, there are ways to break those bad habits that we all have when studying, and here are a few tips that I have to overcome them.

Bad Study Habit #1: Procrastinating

While this is not necessarily a study habit, it is a bad habit which prohibits them from studying. Procrastination is the most common setback that high school and college students have to overcome. When it comes to breaking this habit, the best advice that I have is to just start now. If you have a test in two weeks, start now. If you have finals in a month, start now. You do not have to spend hours studying every day, but if you just start with 20 minutes a day, and then increase your study time as the test gets closer, it will prevent you from procrastinating work until the last minute. Another way I like to combat procrastination is by making to-do lists. This way, I feel more accountable for completing all of my tasks, which helps to counteract the desire to put off work.

Bad Study Habit #2: Studying With Distractions

A bad study habit that I know I am guilty of is studying with distractions Julia Cunningham

. Whether it is loud T.V. or music playing in the background or having your phone next to you while you are studying, studying with any sort of distractions is counter-productive and inefficient. Most young adults are most distracted by things like social media, television, or music. However, if you have these things around you while you are studying, it is much easier to succumb to these distractions. I recommend unplugging while studying to avoid these common distractions. Turn off your phone and T.V. or leave them in a different room while you study. Also, if you are often distracted on by your computer, but have homework that requires the use of the Internet, try using SelfControl. It is a free app that is available for Macs. How it works is you type in websites that you often get distracted by, i.e. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc., and it temporarily blocks you from those websites for a specified amount of time. This allows you to completely avoid distractions, while still allowing you to use technology for homework and studying. Another approach to avoid distractions is to study in a different environment. Personally, I like to study in coffee shops, but a library or café may also be good places to study. These are places where distractions are minimal and you can really get into the zone while studying.

Bad Study Habit #3: Studying Late at Night

As a high school student, I completely understand that there are some nights where it is impossible with all of the work that you have to get a good night’s rest. However, sleep is crucial to performance in school. That is why it is important to not stay up studying late at night. Not only will it keep you from getting a proper night’s sleep, but studying late ate night also will not be productive. If you are studying super late at night when you’re tired, your brain will not be able to focus on absorbing the material. While it may seem like it is benefitting you to stay up and read your textbook or notes at 2:00 am; however, it will ultimately hurt your focus in the long run, and end up not being very successful. What I recommend is prioritizing your most important work and work with approaching deadlines first, that way you know that you will at least have your most crucial work done, and based off of when you finish that, you can decide whether sleep or work is the better use of your time. I would always recommend sleep.

Bad Study Habit #4: Over Studying/ Cramming

A final study habit that people often do not realize is bad is over studying, or cramming. I know how it is when you may have already committed bad study habit #1, procrastination, but cramming is not a useful or productive form of studying. My rule of thumb is that I study very minimally before the day of a test, as I should have already prepared myself before. However, I know this is often not realistic in high school and college, with so much work being thrown at you. If you absolutely cannot study in advance for a test, there are better alternatives than cramming. If it is the night before a test that you have not studied for, start out by reading your teacher’s lecture notes (if they provide them). Lecture notes are often a good overview of whatever topic that test is on, and likely what the test will be based on. This is something that should not take too long, and it is better than trying to read an entire textbook, which is virtually impossible, before a test. If this is all you can do, do not stress. Like I mentioned before, sleep is very important for concentration, so rather than cramming all night, cram as little as possible the day before a test, sleep well, and then at least you will have the focus and hopefully reasoning skills to tackle that test.

With these tips, I hope you can break your bad study habits, and strive for more productive and focused work. Happy studying!


Five Apps Every Student Should Have


Apps every student should have…or at least know about. We all have those apps that are just fun to have but aren’t really useful education wise. You know exactly what I’m talking about: Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter. You might say that we use them for education, but I think teachers would beg to differ. I will give you a total of five apps that you need to download this school year.

  1. myHomework (13.5 MB, free)

Hate handwriting all of your assignments that you need to complete? No problem, the myHomework Student Planner is here for you. This app not only works without internet connection, but it can also go in your notifications bar to help keep you on track. If your teacher has an account with teacher.io, then your assignments will be uploaded automatically, but if they don’t then you can manually upload them. Swipe right when completed, swipe left to delete. Simple right? Definitely.

  1. Google Drive (105 MB, free)

Teacher: “Okay class, turn in your paper on Shakespeare”.

You: *Frantically searches for essay* “Um, Mr. Harshknuckle, I left my paper at home”.

Teacher: “Well you better get it to me fast. I’m not accepting it after noon”.

Clock: “Tick Tock”. *Reads 11:56 A.M.*

How many of us have been in that situation? I’m going to save you the shame of getting a failing grade on a paper you wrote because you left it at home. The Google Drive app allows you to access all of your items done within any Google software (Docs, Sheets, and Slides). You can share the items from your phone with anyone. Another benefit is that you can set a document to “available offline” so you can still access it even without WiFi.


  1. Khan Academy (140 MB, free)

I just don’t get it. Maybe it’s the teacher’s voice. Maybe it’s me. No, it’s definitely the teacher, she sucks. No more thinking like that anymore because we now have Khan Academy. Khan Academy is an online classroom, basically, that aids you in any subject you can possibly think of. It all started from a little YouTube channel; which is still active today. You can find help in subjects from Math to Arts and Humanities. You can also type keywords into the search engine  to pinpoint specific videos. They also offer test prep for the SAT, NCLEX-RN, AP Art History, and more. Extra help, total win.

  1. Duolingo (26 MB, free)

Did you know that if you speak more than one language, you have a higher chance of earning a bigger paycheck (CNN)? Well, you do, that’s why your school requires you to take a foreign language course such as French or Spanish. “But I’m not good at Spanish!” You are, you just need more practice; that’s where Duolingo comes in. It teaches you the basics first then helps you advance. When you first choose one of the fifteen languages offered to English speakers, they’ll give you a pre-test to see where your skills are. You also get to set up a daily goal that you need to reach; trust me, you’ll know if you miss one.


  1. Voice Memos (Depends on the phone)

You don’t have to download all apps. Just use the voice memos or recorder on your phone and voilá, you can go to sleep now. No, I’m kidding, do not go to sleep in class. But if you need to take a little five-minute brain break in the middle of a lecture or if you are an auditory learner, just turn on your voice memos or recorder and record what your teacher says. Simple.




Taking the Leap: Why You Should Try Something New This School Year


A new school year means another chapter that you will add to the story of your life and look back on in the future. The only question is this: what will you do to make sure that this year will be one to remember? Trying new things throughout your education will only lead to you becoming a well-rounded person, and with opportunities waiting left and right, it is up to you to take the leap and allow yourself to gain new experiences


1.. If not now, when?

The time that you have as a high school and college student is very valuable. If you pass up chances to do certain things, who knows if you’ll ever come across them again years from now after you’ve already entered your line of work? Take advantage of the opportunities that cross your path this year, because it is unlikely that you’ll see them again as an adult.

If you’re hesitating to try something new because you are nervous, go ahead and push the boundaries of your comfort zone! Sign up for debate club even if you’re terrified of speaking in front of others, or pick up that instrument that always seemed interesting to you. Waiting only leads to more indecision, and soon, you’ll miss your chance to do anything at all. Take a deep breath and allow yourself to be uncomfortable; maybe you’ll find a new hobby!

2. You’ll be able to indulge in new interests.

Finding things that you are passionate about is an important thing because it adds to what makes you unique as an individual and so you can do things that you love when the stress of school gets to you, as it does to every student. You might be super passionate about Biology, but if that Women’s Literature class caught your eye, why not join it? This portion of your life is for exploring different things, even if they are things that you might not have ever thought you would get involved in.


3. New worlds will open up to you and allow you to consider your current career path.

Perhaps what you are studying now or plan to study in college has been what you have always wanted to do and has always seemed so certain to you, but that belief may be challenged if you explore your options. When you find something else that you really love, a whole new realm of possibilities will work its way into your life, and the path that you had planned to take before might not seem as intriguing to you anymore.

Trying something new that interests you in some way as early as possible will give you a lot of time to find out if it is right for you and if it is a viable career path for you to take or something that you should keep on the back burner as a hobby. It may seem a bit frightening that what you’ve always said you were going to study might turn out to be an interest that you don’t pursue, but it’s worth attempting to find new passions and possible majors that could make you happier in life!

4. You will befriend people whom you may have never been able to meet before.

When you become a part of something new, you’ll have the opportunity to become friends with people from all walks of life that you may not come across in your regular classes. This is one of the most rewarding things about finding new interests; sharing something that you’re passionate about with another person is a great feeling that cannot be replaced. These people will be able to understand your love for something and be willing to talk to you for hours on end about it.


Gaining more trustworthy people in your life is a big thing within itself throughout your years of education, for you will have more shoulders to lean on when school gets to be too much, and you’ll be able to enjoy your experience more with friends by your side. Reach out to strangers in whatever new activity you choose; you may just find friends in them!

With so many chances to gain new experiences in life during your higher education, don’t let them slip away due to fear or anything else. This is your time to find what you are passionate about, and you definitely need to take advantage of it. Some of these new endeavors might not click with you, and that’s completely okay; at least you took the time to find out if they were right for you! When you do find something that really makes you excited, though, you know your options. Remember: in the end, we only regret the opportunities we didn’t take.



Four Ways to Become More Efficient and Organized


 “I can’t, I have to (insert mundane task here)” We’ve all been there. Friday afternoon, just when you’re finally decompressing after a taxing week of school, you get a surprise text from one of your friends (who seemingly never have any work to do). They ask you to hang out, and suddenly everything that you planned to do over the “endless” weekend seems to pile up in front of you. Your mind gets bombarded with schoolwork and clubs and oh god, no, laundry!! You cancel, saying that you really need to get caught up on your to do list, which really means Netflix until the memories of your responsibilities disappear (but you’d feel guilty going out when you have so much to do). Luckily, there are small habits that you can build to help you optimize your time.


Month by Month to Beat the Funk

Having a big picture view of your obligations can help you get a grasp of how much you have to do and which obligations are the most important. This is the time to break out a calendar. Things like school don’t need to be marked on the calendar since they happen daily, but if April is the beginning of lacrosse season and your new SAT class, then it would be helpful to mark the days of games and classes to make sure that you have a clear idea of what activities you have to juggle.

It could be helpful to also color code your calendar, such as by having green highlighter for sports and blue highlighter for family activities. Having a color system would help you see easily whether this month is more green heavy (meaning you have many extracurricular activities) or more blue heavy (meaning your family is getting together a lot this month), showing you where your priorities should lie for this time.

This calendar would also be the place to mark any special events that happen only once, such as your sister’s dance recital or your friend’s birthday party (trust me, you do not want to suddenly remember that it’s your friend’s sweet sixteen thirty minutes before her party). Make sure to put your calendar in a very visible place, so that you can easily see your obligations.

Week to Week, Get the Free Time You Seek

Now that you know where your priorities lie, make weekly goals so that your tasks don’t seem so large and looming. If you have to read a book for English class this month, write down that you want to read at least one hundred pages this week. If you have a big piano recital coming up, say that this week you’ll learn the second half of the song or perfect that part at the end. Weekly goals are large enough so that you can see your work building up, but small enough so that they’re not overwhelming. Keep your list of weekly goals somewhere that you see daily, so that you can see if you’re really working to accomplish them.

It also helps to have a designated rest day during your week, sometime to just relax, hang out with friends and family, or just make sure that your room is clean. After reading this article, you probably will be so inspired that you’ll want to get on that grind every single day, but having a rest day will help make sure that you don’t burn out. Mani-pedi Sunday with your sister or that movie on Saturday with your friends might be the thing that gets you through a tough week of studying.


Day by Day to Keep the Stress Away

In all honesty, it really helps to have a daily plan that you never deviate from. Having one builds structure and helps prevent that “Oh my gosh, my life is falling apart!” feeling that high schoolers are so used to having. Little habits build the foundation of a really productive person. Having a set homework time (and snack time, so that you don’t die of starvation while doing calculus) may seem like an unnecessary inconvenience, but a strict schedule will help you make sure that you always have your work done and that you never find yourself in the dangerous haze of the procrastinator (aka every high school student ever).

Sample Schedule Suggestion

In the morning:

  • Eat breakfast!!!! (extra exclamation points because this one could save your life)
  • Put pajamas away in a laundry basket
  • Read over everything that you have to attend (club meetings, practices, lessons)
  • Make a list of everything that you need to get done today (homework, projects)
  • Smile and face the day!

In the evening:

  • Put clothes away in a laundry basket
  • Make sure that your room is neat (so that you don’t have to wake up to a dirty room)
  • Lay out clothes and supplies for the next day
  • Write down important events for the next day


Sometime or Another:

  • Talk to your friends and family
  • Build in at least 30 minutes of a relaxing activity (playing with a pet, reading a book, watching an episode of Friends for the third time this month)
  • Pick up objects when they’re out of place, so that you never have to do a big clean up
  • Shower and do other cleanly activities

With all of these tips in mind, it is also very important to make room for adjustments. Surprises happen to everyone, almost regularly (almost). Your mom might forget to tell you that you have to babysit your younger brother, or your laptop might break down (like mine did today). These things will happen, but all of that extra time that you’ll have because of your efficient planning will help you deal with these surprises and still have time and energy to spare!



How to Ask for Help When You Are Struggling in School


Option for who/where to ask for help when you are struggling with a certain topic, situation, or class.

“You can do anything but not everything” -David Allen

Asking for help can be hard for many reasons. We are admitting that we aren’t perfect and for some who always understood everything in school, asking for help is quite difficult.  That fear of being seen vulnerable can cause us to think that we may are stupid or give us a sense that people have lost respect for us. But asking for help is a necessary life lesson.  Help is always available even though you may feel like there is no one around. Asking for help is the first step toward progress.

1. Accept it and you will receive it

The first step of getting help is accepting that you need it. This is always the hardest part for most us. For a student who has never needs to ask for help suddenly realizing that they are struggling, it’s debilitating. However, you have to swallow your pride because without accepting that you can’t do it on your own, you will go nowhere. When you are not moving forward, the feeling of frustration and torturing yourself for hours is a worse feeling than just going forward and finding someone who can assist you.

2.What do you need?

Now that you’ve admitted that you need help, the next step is to determine what exactly you need help with. This will help you in finding the right person to help you. When you determine where the issue is, it become a lot easier to find someone to help as well as easier to communicate to this person where you need help. One way to accomplish this is by creating a list of things you need help with in order of desperation: the most important to the least important. Next to your problem, list the people you know that could assist you and how they can assist you with your problem. This makes it easier to approach them and get straight to the point so that they can help you quicker.


3.Find Someone

The next step is finding someone to help you. As mention above, when you have a plan of attack; what you need help on, why you need help, and why that person can help you; it will be a lot easier to find someone. Asking for help from your friend and family is a lot easier than a professional because its common amongst people you know understand you. However, in situations you feel as though need professional help, seek out someone you know if qualified to help. In a class you are struggling in, a teacher or tutor can be helpful. If you are chronically unhappy, seeking out the help of a counselor or a doctor can provide you with an answer. Professionals, our friends, and family, they exist to help you.



Thanking your helper is the last step to receiving help. You don’t always have to give them a gift but simply helping them is a good sign of faith. Telling them how much you appreciated their help means that in the future, they will be willing to help you again. They may even come back and ask you for help in the future.

I hope these tips will help you out these upcoming years. Leave a comment down below if you have any questions. And as always make sure you follow us on Instagram and Facebook.



Investing in Yourself: Choosing the Path of Your Own Future


Family, finances, fear of failure, and friends: the four main sources of academic pressure. As you’re surfing the waves of the high school and college experience, you’ll come to realize that making decisions that will greatly affect your imminent future and possible career path will be anything but easy. With relatives constantly asking you want you want to do with your future and pressuring you to do well in school, the heavy costs of college tuition, the little devil on your left shoulder telling you that you’re not good enough, and your peers always making remarks about how they have their whole future planned out, deciding what path you want to take after high school is one of the most difficult, yet important decisions you’ll ever make. However, if you keep these pressures at the forefront of your mind, you may lose yourself in the heat of it all. You may end up taking a left turn, and drive along a road that you never wanted to take in the first place. Here are ways to make sure you take ahold of your future before others do. pduzzrvrmruidvz6wuym.png

Make Yourself a Priority

When considering all the factors that contribute to deciding your career path, you should always remember that this is your future; no one else’s. The decisions that you make will impact you, not your grandparents, not your teachers, and not your friends. For some, the opinions of loved ones play a huge role when making choices about one’s future. However, in the case of choosing colleges and career paths, you may have to make your own opinion a priority above those of your loved ones because like I said, this is your future.


Finding What You Love

So many people end up pursuing career paths that they aren’t completely happy with because they didn’t have enough confidence to do what they really wanted to do, or they didn’t think it would be enough to keep them financially stable, or because their family is expecting them to carry on a legacy of a specific career; the list could go on and on. There is a plethora of pressures, fears, and risks that come with deciding what career path you want to take, but it is important that you go through with what you want to do regardless of these fears and risks. You should decide upon a career path based on something that you enjoy doing. Pursuing a job that you love and enjoy is one of the most rewarding things in life. Think about all of your passions and your hobbies. Take into consideration what you want to accomplish in life, your interests, and your values. What do you find exciting? What kind of working environment do you prefer? What’s important to you? What do you excel at; what skills do you have? Combine all of these aspects and create a list of possible careers that fit your criteria. Maybe even consider fields that you’re not so familiar with but are interested in pursuing in the future. Which of these things can you see yourself doing for a living? Once you’ve narrowed the list down, research the remaining topics as careers. Look at how many years of school are required/recommended for a degree in those fields, the average annual salary for employees, and all of the aspects and positions of the job. When you’ve done your research, choose one, or maybe two, careers that you think will satisfy your desires and needs. Keep these career fields in mind as you continue your high school and college journeys, and participate in things that you think might help you in grasping a better understanding of them. Interested in going into politics? Join the debate team! Want to be an engineer? Enroll in an engineering course and/or a physics course! Interested in becoming a photographer? Join the yearbook staff, or join a photography club! Participating in these things will help you determine whether you truly enjoy certain subjects or not, and possibly help you decide what you want to do in the future.

Dodging the Bullets

Like I said before, this process comes with many pressures, fears, and risks, but it’s essential that you dodge these challenges when it comes to your future. Perhaps you’ll disappoint your parents by deciding to pursue the arts when they wanted you to become a neurosurgeon, or maybe your peers will ridicule you for wanting to become a psychologist, but in the end, doing what YOU want to do and following through with it will make YOU happy, and that’s all that should matter.



How to Create the Perfect Kick-Butt Resume


There I was, sitting in my first college class. The teacher had just given us our first big assignment….to create a resume. As a dual enrollment student, I was struck. What exactly is a 17-year-old supposed to write about on their resume? I knew this assignment was very important. After all, a resume is a key to success. You use it for jobs, internships, scholarships, and college. But many teens like myself may have little to no work experience. Creating a resume doesn’t have to be difficult, though. With careful reviewing and processing, anyone can come up with a resume that’ll leave future admission officers and employers in awe.

Personal Information

Begin your resume by providing your background information. Don’t, however, provide your race, social security number, or age. All resumes should include your contact information. This should include your first and last name, your email, and a phone number you can be reached at. Be sure to make sure that this information is as current as possible because you never know when someone may call to offer a position or admission!


Next, you need to include your highest level of education. List where you attend or have attended school and when you graduated. If you are still in high school, put down your anticipated graduation year. If you are a dual enrollment student, be sure to put the name of the college you are currently taking classes at. Your GPA and class rank may also be included next to your school’s name if it is appropriate. You should also list any awards or recognition you may have received. This can include Regional Science fair awards, academic honor roll, art competition awards etc.



Now this is the important part! Listing the activities you do outside of the classroom gives others a view of you as a person (test scores only tell so much). It gives future employers and admission committees a glimpse of your interests and passions. You may want to begin by listing the activities that you have gained valuable skills and experience from that are school related. When writing these experiences on your resume, be sure to spell out the names of clubs or societies like National Honor Society. Even though you know it as N.H.S., others may not know what it stands for. Also, include a brief description of the club if it is unique. For example, you may need to describe what clubs like Key Club are. It is also important to include any leadership roles you have taken on. Taking a leadership position is a great way to show others that you are capable of having many responsibilities. When you are describing what your responsibilities are, avoid using “I “or “me”. Instead, use action words like “organized” or “cooperated”. Having a commitment to a certain activity also shows colleges what type of person you would be on their campus.



One of the most important parts of your resume is your work experience. As usual, having more experience makes you look more favorable to whoever is looking at your resume. However, as teens, we may have less than stellar experience. But that’s normal for people just entering young adulthood, and colleges and employers will know that. So don’t worry if you don’t have much to put in this area of your resume because that’s where your involvement in extracurricular activities will benefit you!

If you do happen to have work experience, that’s great! Work experience can mean anything where you put your skills to work. Specifically, on a part-time job, at an internship or through volunteer work. Keep in mind that even a simple after-school job can leave you with a positive effect on future employers and admission officers. It shows your maturity and ability to handle responsibility. You also get bonus points from admission officers when your part-time job or internship relates to your intended area of study.

Even though it may seem as if you won’t need a resume until you are out of college and looking for work, that’s not the case. Many colleges are recommending students to send in resumes along with their application for review. So if you use these tips, you’ll be well on your way to getting accepted or landing a job!



The Truth About the First Day of College


How that first day makes you realize how big everything truly is.

Well it’s happened, summer came and summer has gone. You’ve partied, traveled, and most importantly, slept. Now comes the real world, college.

I just started my freshman year at the University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras Campus. This university is very prestigious in Puerto Rico and is considered to be the best university in the Caribbean; it’s an honor if you are able to attend. When I got accepted my family was more excited than I was since I was following in the footsteps of my aunts who had both graduated from there and had loved every second of it. The thing is that I never dreamed to attend that school, in fact I had no interest in it because there are always a lot of protests or what we call them in Spanish, “huelgas”. When a “huelga” happens, the university is shut down completely while students remain inside doing protests. I remember that the last big protest happened about seven years ago and it was so big that students chained themselves to the gates so that no one could get in or out.

Today, 18-year-old me thinks that those protests are the best part about the university, but not for the reason you may think. I just love that the school is so liberal and that everyone can express themselves freely. When you walk on to campus, the first thing you’ll notice is that the sidewalks are filled with graffiti of phrases and words about current situations that students oppose. They mostly involve the current economic state of Puerto Rico; I won’t get into detail about it.


So there I was this past August 8th, 2016, standing in those graffiti sidewalks looking at the long way I had to walk to get to my first ever college class. I was very nervous, and hungry. It was a 7am class and I had to eat breakfast on campus and that was my first stop. I go to the University Center and purchase a sandwich at Burger King. I eat it on my way to the DMN, the General Studies building, and sit outside my classroom. I was sitting there and a professor walks by and sticks a paper on the door. I stand up and look at it and my stomach dropped, it said “CISO moved to ERA 213”, my class was moved not only from rooms but from buildings. When I looked at my watch it said 6:55 and the building was very far away. I did what I could, I grabbed my bag and ran. I got very lost as you can imagine but I found the building. When I finally entered the classroom, the class had already started, to my horror. To me, it was the worst first impression you can give on your first day of college. Luckily the professor was aware of the change and he did not get mad or anything at all of the students who were late.

In my college, all freshmen are called “prepas” and during the first day of college the “prepas” are bullied by the other students. It’s nothing serious; they just yell “PREPA” very loudly or make us dance the Macarena or “La Pelua” a traditional Puertorrican party dance. They mean well later on, wishing us luck and happy trails. Still, getting called “prepa” is something that must be avoided and over the years, incoming freshmen have developed a set of rules to avoid it. Some of those rules include:

  • Don’t wear any college gear at all during the first week or two.
  • Don’t show up the first day like a fashionista, wear the least attractive clothes you have.
  • If you see any of your high school friends, don’t run to them, just wave at them.
  • Don’t hang out in such large groups.
  • The most important one of them all, if you get lost DO NOT ask for directions. If you truly are desperate, ask a security guard or maintenance people.

Those are just some of the few unwritten rules for incoming freshmen and obviously those are not for the whole year, they are just for the first month.

I spent the entire first day doing everything possible so that no one knew I was a “prepa”. I had a map of the campus on my phone and I pretended to text or something anytime I needed to look at it; I had my class schedule there too. As fate would have it, I got very lost, again. I didn’t see anyone, other than students, who could help me so I came up with a solution: I called my cousin who is currently a sophomore. She laughed and came to my rescue, literally, I was so lost that she had to come get me and take me to the building.

When I returned home after that first day, I was exhausted. I had never been that tired in a long time. The thing about college that you don’t realize until you are there is how much you walk or run, in my case. It’s incredible how much you need to walk because everything is so distant. My theory is that when this school year ends my legs will be so fit that it will make Blake Lively jealous. I can’t feel them and I just finished this week. I’m guessing this is payback for never liking gym class.

My advice for students who are on a big campus, wear running shoes and a watch that way you can be comfortable and keep track of time. I did not wear running shoes, I wore Converse and they destroyed my feet the first day because I wore the wrong socks. After that accident I wore a pair of very comfortable flats and that day it rained, no it didn’t rain, the sky fell and my flats turned to water-shoes. I finished the week in boots and it went well.

During this first week, we didn’t take classes per se, the professors just discussed their plans for the semester and what not. We were later told of upcoming projects and exams. It was at that moment that I realized that my life was a mess. Guys! Get a planner for college! It is more necessary than a phone! I’m not exaggerating when I say that after almost having a crisis that day I bought a planner the next morning. My planner at least shows me that a part of my life is organized.


It is totally normal to be a nervous wreck the days before college. Believe me, I was stressing out the week before. Personally my biggest insecurity was that I would walk in and not like the place one bit. What are my thoughts about the place one week later? I really love the patio found in the Humanities building. I go there every day and just sit there and look at people, not in a creepy way, I just like to observe how life goes on. The train ride there is so therapeutic to me! I just sit there, put on my headphones and it is so relaxing. The library is amazing too, I love how there are people working on their computers and there are others watching Netflix. I just love how you can meet or just observe all these different kinds of people who you never see in high school.

I have finished my first week as a “prepa” and how do I feel? Normal and dare I say, more free. I have a newfound sense of freedom and I kind of like it. I am prepared to conquer next week and to wear all of my college gear next month.

The most important piece of advice I can give you is to flow like a river during those first few days. College is a big place and you are just dropped there and you are just another student. It’s not like high school where everyone knew each other. While some people will give you advice on how to adjust, you’ll realize that you are not the same and what could make them comfortable might make you uncomfortable. You have to flow like the river until you find your pace and what will help you adjust. You can start by finding a place in campus where you can just sit and relax. Explore campus during your free time and find a good place to eat. Meet new people however you are comfortable. You can do a lot of things in college and it is all up to you.

Good luck to everyone and here’s to a great freshman year!



Self-Advocacy: Be the Boss of Your Education



As for students with learning disabilities, self-advocacy is a crucial skill to have in the classroom, in order to obtain the best educational experience for yourself possible.  Although, everyone can benefit from self-advocacy in and outside of the classroom.  

The Issue

As elementary school students, we so often hear the term “stick up for yourself” without receiving a complete understanding of what it truly means to do so.  This results in naïve misinterpretations about self-advocacy; that it is an easily manageable task that accumulates with time and age.  Well, at least that was my belief.  I was met with the harsh realities of not “sticking up for yourself” as a high school freshman.  Because I did not have the confidence, courage, and acknowledgement, I found that my academic wants and needs weren’t being met to my full satisfaction.  Thankfully, because of the experience, I discovered the secret power that lies in self-advocacy and the impact it can have on one’s educational (and life) experience.  Start the school year off right and be assertive in your education.


Identify Your Voice

Our educational lives are constantly monitored by a small army of adults including our parents, teachers, guidance counselors, club advisers, etc.  In this triumphant sea of elders, it becomes very easy to lose your voice.  Especially if some of these adults feel automatically inclined to exercise their authority over those younger than them, rather than with them.  This lack of a platform can be discouraging to certain students, causing them to withdraw from the nucleus of their educational process rather than towards it.  One of the most significant ways to dispel this unequal share of powers in one’s personal education is to know yourself well enough to vocalize your presence.  By the simple act of acknowledging your academic wants, needs, strengths, weaknesses…etc. you lay the foundation for strong confidence and assurance that cannot go unheard by the adults in your educational journey.

Effective Communication

A large part of self-advocacy is communication.  And for my fellow introverts, allow me to rid of the ridiculous myth that extroverts are the only ones who can naturally speak for themselves.  It merely takes a thorough understanding of self in order to communicate fluently and effectively with those who can provide aid to you.  Taking initiative and being assertive means, in no way, to overrule the authority figures in your education.  Rather, it means to be proactive and engaged in the learning process alongside them.  The learning process is different for everyone.  As for myself, I struggle with severe-to-profound hearing loss, which puts me at a slight disadvantage in certain oral-orientated classes. (Yes, I am calling you out, Honors Spanish.)  Because of this, I had to commence personal conversations with my school advisers in order to address and accommodate these issues.


Self-advocacy does not come easily.  It stems from self-confidence which can, in most cases, take time to build.  With that being said, however, confidence is constantly evolving, so you should not decide to “wait” until you feel that you’ve reached the status quo of confidence that the media portrays.  In the end, you must find what is most important to you as a student and person and inform people of the internal and external barriers making it difficult to attain the educational experience that you deserve.

Leadership Opportunity for Teens

During the summer in which I was a rising sophomore in high school, I was invited to a leadership program for teenagers with hearing loss called LOFT.  It was here that I learned to be self-advocate.  If you are a high school student with any measure of hearing loss/deafness, click on the hyperlink for more information about the program.



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New Year, New Me: How to Reflect on your Past Academic Mistakes and Move Forward


“This is my Year.”- Every Student Ever.

There isn’t a school year where you don’t reflect on your past self and realize you need to drastically change. Whether it be a behavioral change, a work ethic change, or just a change for yourself. Most people try to change the small things before the major aspects that goes into your school reputation. Yes, changing your wardrobe can improve some things but what about your GPA? In this article, I will give you 5 tips on how you can improve yourself for the upcoming school year.

Tip 1: “How was I?”

Find a quiet space to sit down and concentrate. Find something to write on and something to write with. Ask yourself, “Last school year, how was I?” Be completely honest with yourself; don’t sugarcoat anything. The purpose of making this list is so you know what you did wrong and how to improve from there. It could hurt to say you were a distraction in class, but in the long run you’ll thank yourself. If you can’t think of anything, phone a friend or email your teachers and ask them.

Tip 2: Confide in others.

How can you change without at least other person knowing your plan? That same friend and teacher who helped you find your flaws should be the same person who knows your game plan. Who knows, maybe your friend will decide to change with you. Not only will you not be doing this alone you’ll have people to hold you accountable in case you slip up.

Tip 3: Make amends to past conflicts.

Whenever you go back to school apologize to everyone you’ve wronged or had problems with. First, apologize to your teachers. If you can’t verbally apologize, write a nice letter and hand it to them in person. Your teachers truly will make your school year… and later down the road you’ll need them. Next, apologize to your peers. You have to have class with them, eat lunch with them, and truly just see them all day long. You can’t change if the person sitting next to you is hoping for your downfall.

Tip 4: Hold yourself accountable.

Regardless of what you wish to change you need to be aware of yourself. If you find yourself slipping into your old habits, punish yourself. You didn’t do your homework, ask the teacher for more work plus the work you didn’t complete. You find yourself having too many side conversations in class, remove yourself from your friends. Another way to hold yourself accountable is to ask one peer and one teacher in each class to observe you. After they made their observations ask them for a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly report on your behavior; sort of life parent-teacher conferences… but with only you.

Tip 5: Relax.

Chill out, change doesn’t happen overnight. It takes 21 days to break a habit, 21 days to develop a habit, and even longer to master that habit. Hold yourself to a standard but don’t break your back trying to improve yourself. This is a process; take it day by day, you’ll see change. Trust me.