6 Tips for Success in 2018

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2018 may not be here yet...but it’s going to be here in two weeks. Now is the time to plan for your best year yet! Here are six quick tips for a phenomenal new year. 

Be Self Aware

Think about what you want to accomplish, not what looks good or what other people think you should do. Focus on your strengths and focus on what you need to improve as well. Don’t just focus on one or the other. The world is super competitive and acknowledging your weaknesses is super important when goal setting. You want to have the edge! 

For example, if you’re good at writing but bad at math, focus on conquering math first. You can read and write all you want--but if you ignore your math problems, your GPA and ACT/SAT scores will suffer.  Focus on one concept at a time, just as you would focus on one grammar rule if you were having trouble with English. Instead of constantly saying “I’m bad at math”...say “I’m working on my math skills”.By reframing your mentality, your self esteem will improve and you will feel more motivated! 

Be Tech Savvy

Being tech and social media savvy is an asset. It’s also good to stay up to date and be ahead of tech trends for 2018. There is also the intersection of technology and education. If you are not into technology, 2018 is the year for you change that. There are many innovations on the forefront and there is a big demand for coders and techie’s! 

Think Small

Instead of setting one huge goal...set 10-12 small goals to achieve your big goal. Monthly goals are great too. Think of them as mini victories! 

Get on a Timeline

It’s easy to fall off track, especially in January. The new year seems promising but it’s easy to get distracted. To stay focused, come up with a timeline and dates to accomplish each goal. You can write these in an accountability journal. If you don’t make the deadline, no worries! Just rewrite the date and don’t beat yourself up over it. 

What’s more important is having momentum and confidence! Getting back up and being persistent is more important than being perfect. Successful people aren’t flawless. They make mistakes but they keep going and never give up. 

Keep Company

This could mean surrounding yourself around motivated friends, joining a study group or having a partner to hold you accountable (accountability partner). It has been scientifically proven that people do better in life when they surround themselves with motivational, positive people. You are who you spend your time around. Choose your company wisely and if a friendship is not working out, have the courage to say “no thanks”. 

Work Everyday

Train your brain to retain information by working towards your goal everyday. Whether it’s an education goal, a fitness goal or a passion project...work on it everyday! It’s better to work for 30 minutes to an hour daily than trying to cram everything in one day. Everyone is different and of course, some may prefer to work for longer hours. Try different things and see what works. One thing’s for sure...the more often you work, the better results you will get.


 

“Should I Take AP Classes?”

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Advanced Placement (AP) is a program that offers college leveled classes that you can take in high school. There are many advantages to taking these classes!

The benefits:

-Colleges love to see AP classes because they are challenging and show that you can manage the course load.

-AP classes are great for your GPA too! They make your weighted GPA go up. A weighted GPA runs on a higher scale than the regular 4.0.

-You can choose subjects you know you’d be good at. You do not have to take all AP classes. Instead, you can just take the ones in areas that you are strong in.

-AP classes help prepare you for college. When you take an AP class, you are taking a college level class. 

-These classes count for college credit. This means that you can save money on tuition! Who wouldn’t want to graduate sooner? (Unless you’re just there to party...which you are probably not!)

Yes, AP classes offer many benefits but they also require lots of extra work and studying. Here are some things to consider before taking AP classes:

Your strengths- which classes would you score high in? Are you performing at your grade level?  If you are struggling, it's best to get caught up then consider taking more advanced classes. If you are doing well, do you need to be challenged? AP classes don't just put you ahead of the game, they also offer an exciting challenge! 

Your goals - what kind of university do you want to get into? Are you aiming high? If your dream school also happens to be a top school, you may want to consider taking AP classes to have an edge over the competition. 

Time- are you juggling many responsibilities and extracurricular activities? How much time are you willing to put aside to study. Are you going to be able to study the required hours? 

Your GPA- How high do you want your GPA to be? Remember, AP classes can help you GPA but you must put in the work. You have to be willing to work hard because the classes are more advanced. 

6 ACT & SAT Vocabulary Hacks

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Use flash cards

Vocabulary flash cards are great for improving your vocabulary. You can make your own with common ACT/SAT words or you can buy them on Amazon. The best thing about flash cards is that they are portable, so you can practice anywhere!

Practice with a timer

Put aside a hour everyday to practice your ACT/SAT vocabulary skills. The more you practice taking the test, the better you will be. Like a muscle, you need to practice the test to ace the test. 

Underline key words and phrases

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by a long or complicated reading passage. To save time, underline the most important parts of the passage. What you want to get is the main idea. 

Read directions carefully

There are two things that you have to worry about when you take the ACT/SAT reading test: the answer to the question and the actual question itself. It’s easy to get caught up in the answer that you forget the details of the question to begin with. Even if you have to reread...make sure you are clear as to what the question is asking. Unlike math, multiple answers on the reading test may look correct. Remember, there is only one right answer. Read all of the choices and select the answer that best fits the question, not your own opinions of the passage!

Read good literature, especially classics

In addition to flash cards, classic reads are a great way to brush up on your vocabulary. Reading classic or good literature has been proven to increase test scores! Reading is a great supplement to studying. 

Rephrase confusing questions

If an oddly worded question is throwing you off your game, take a step back and focus on the main idea of the question. If you have to take notes and rephrase the question...do it!! It’s your test and you need to understand what’s going on.

 

5 Common Grammar Mistakes and How to Fix Them

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Everyone makes mistakes! Here are five common grammatical errors and ways you can fix them. Don’t lose sight of why you write: to clarify your ideas. You do not want your sentences to be confusing or wordy. 

#1 Shifting Tenses

This is a common problem. Stick with one tense and double check to make sure you’re being consistent with your verbs.

Incorrect: I went to the movies last night and enjoys the exciting ending.

Correct:  I went to the movies last night and enjoyed the exciting ending.

#2 Run-on Sentence

This one is possibly the worst offence, because run-ons are painful to read and are confusing. The longer the run-on, the less clear your ideas will become. To fix this problem, you may have to reconstruct your sentence and delete multiple words. When in doubt, cross out the run-ons and start from scratch!

Incorrect: I went to play basketball with my friends because they were bored and wanted to go outside because we are full of energy so we are busy bodies and always have to be moving around and releasing energy.

Correct: I went to play basketball with my friends because we were bored and wanted to get out of the house. We are an energetic bunch and have to be in motion. 

#3 Comma Splice

The dreaded comma splice happens a lot. The comma splice is the incorrect use of a comma to combine two independent clauses aka sentences. For a quick fix, you can just use a semicolon (;). You could also just write two short sentences or combine the two ideas with words like “and” or “because”. 

Incorrect: I love my pink sweater, it’s so cute.

Correct: I love my pink sweater. It’s so cute.

Also correct: I love my pink sweater because it’s so cute. 

#4 Subject/Verb Disagreement

This common mistake is easy to spot. Usually, the sentence will sound kind of funny. Make sure you use the correct form of the verb for the subject. Also make sure you pay attention to whether the noun is singular or plural! To learn more, google “subject verb agreement” and learn what goes together!

Incorrect: The dogs chases the cat.

Correct: The dogs chase the cat.

Also Correct: The dogs are chasing the cat. 

#5 Pronoun Victims

In everyday speech, faulty pronouns are not as noticeable. “It” especially gets thrown out a lot in everyday conversations. Sometimes we use them grammatically correctly and other times we don’t. It happens! When faulty pronouns are used in writing, however, they are more noticeable. To fix this offense, make sure your pronouns are clearly connected.

Incorrect: Take the clothes and hats out of the drawer and then fix it.

Ask yourself: What is “it”? The clothes, the hats or the drawer?

Correct: Take the clothes and hats out before your fix the drawer. 

Suggested reading: For a fun read for all ages, check out “Super Grammar” http://www.supergrammar.com/ Available at your local library and bookstore!

Struggling with grammar? Call us at 410-421-8080 to learn about our one-of-a-kind writing program!

 

7 ACT Writing Tips

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The ACT essay is not just part of your overall test score, it’s a writing sample that the colleges can look at. This writing sample can weigh heavily because unlike your entrance essay, you received no help and performed it in a testing environment. Your ACT essay shows how you perform under pressure and reflects your critical thinking skills. These seven strategies will help you up your ACT writing score. 

1. Organize your ideas. 

You will have 40 minutes to complete this part of the test. Make the best use of your time by staying organized. Underline, brainstorm, and make a simple outline for your paper. Plan out your points and what arguments you will be taking. This part of the test will show how you are able to argue from different perspectives. To score those 12 points, you must understand all of the perspectives that are given and write effectively. Make sure you comprehend what is going on before even choosing a perspective or writing your essay.

2. Write clearly.

All too often, students thinking writing long, wordy papers with big words will result in a higher score. Actually, it results in the opposite: a confusing, unclear, unpersuasive paper. Instead of using big words, which often are Latinate and have obscure meanings, try using shorter more specific words. This makes it easier to express yourself. Also, clean up your paper. Wordiness is not your friend. If you have trouble expressing a thought, stop overthinking and sum up the idea in basic language. State your perspective clearly and analyze how your perspective relates to at least one of the three perspectives given.

3. Pay special attention to how you start and end your paper.

First impressions matter. Make sure you focus on all parts of your essay, not just the middle. With a captivating introduction, you will wow them. Make sure your paper is well-written and logical. If you are pressed for time, make sure you start and end your paper well, because you will be penalized if you are without a thesis and conclusion! 

4. Don’t forget your transitions! 

 Remember to use transitions throughout your paper whenever you change topics or introduce a new idea.

5. Allow time to edit your paper.

This may sound like a common sense but in the race against time, it’s easy to let a few grammatical rules or spelling errors slip. Don’t let it happen! Allow yourself enough time to re-read your essay. Remember, if your essay is full of errors and grammatical drama- you will lose points. You don’t want that. 

6. Add length.

It’s important to write at least two pages. To add length to your essay, make sure you are specific and give lots of details. Remember that if you are doing an introduction/thesis, opposing perspective, multiple body paragraphs and a conclusion- you can easily write a three page essay. Make sure you follow a consistent format, use transitions and develop your ideas well. Push yourself and don’t be afraid to go long. That’s why they give you all of that paper! 

7. Avoid clichés and essay filler words.

Millions of high schoolers take the ACT every year. Stand out by avoiding clichés and “essay filler” words. It’s time to put your paper on a diet and clean up your vocabulary. Essay filler words are words that are either vague or add little to your argument. They are also words that are overused in general. These words are sometimes unnecessarily long or have too many definitions. Though some of these words may sound “smart”, ask yourself if they really mean anything. Are they helping you or hurting you?

Time is limited and these words can cost you time too. Examples of filler words are: principle, element (and we are not talking science here), approximately (instead of about), excellent (use of this word does not guarantee an excellent test score), and convoluted (unfortunately this word sounds just like its definition). Remember, you want to use easier to understand, shorter words. This way, you can be more specific and your paper will definitely stand out in a sea of wordy essays. The best way to do this is to know what you are talking about. The solution is as easy as that. 

 Are you struggling with writing? Call us at 410-421-8080 to learn more about our one of a kind tutoring program.






 

6 Easy Ways to Stay Focused During the Holidays

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The holiday season is a time for fun, family and days off of school. It can also be a time when distractions rule and expectations are high. Here are six easy ways to stay focused during the holidays and show gratitude for what you do have.

Plan Ahead

Plan what you want to achieve in 2018 while it’s still 2017. Instead of setting big goals, focus on what you want to do in January or for the rest of the winter, all the way through spring. It’s easier to see where you want to be in 6 months, rather than 12 months.

Get out of Holiday Mode

It’s wayyy too easy to use the holidays as an excuse for just about everything, from lateness and not studying to not every trying. The time between Thanksgiving and New Years is when the epidemic known as Holiday Mode can hit, making December feel more like a vortex where goals get sucked out of existence. There is hope though! Staying focused and motivated will help you resist the temptation to throw your goals out the window. Plan when you will be studying and when you will spend time with your family. It’s all about staying balanced. You can still have time, just make time to study and work towards your goals everyday.

Set smaller weekly goals to finish the year off with wins

If you are feeling overwhelmed, it may help to set smaller goals. See these baby steps as mini milestones that will lead to your big goal. Everything adds up in the end. Celebrate all of your victories and track your progress in a journal.

Improve your performance by focusing on the positive.

Fear is the worst possible motivator. Maintain a positive mindset to stay focused. Try meditating daily or using a relation app like Calm to get your mind right. Though the holidays are a time for getting awesome gifts, the materialism of it all can be downright depressing. Instead of focusing on what you are lacking, focus on what’s really important: the everyday blessing that you enjoy. Your family, your health, being able to have a good education and enjoying your favorite treat. The most positive you are, the less foggy your mind will be...making it easier to concentrate.

Study in the morning

It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday festivities, especially during the weekend, so it’s a good idea to study in the beginning of the day! To retain information, studying everyday for less time is often more effective than studying a few times a week for longer periods of time. Review what you did the day before and tackle your weaknesses first.

Remember your why

When you want to forget about your goals and take December off...remember why you want to get into your dream school or earn an awesome scholarship. Your why will motivate you and also remind you that taking a month off is not a good option. You want to stay on your path. Never lose focus of your goal and act as if you’ve already achieved it! 

 

Five Tips to Help you Prep for Finals

Five Tips to Help you Prep for Finals

It’s time to prep for finals, and you need a win to finish the semester strong. So to help you, we’ve put together some tips to make sure you get the most out of your studying and preparation before the big test day. And don’t just take out word for it… these tips are all based on science! Tip #1: Don’t cram When you cram information all at once,

5 Quick & Easy Geometry Hacks for High Schoolers

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  1. Invest in tools and a calculator that you are comfortable using. Think practical over flashy even though calculators are not usually seen as fashion statements. To find your perfect graphing calculator, click here. Remember to use a clear protractor and ruler too. You will need the following: straightedge, ruler, compass, protractor, highlighters and preferably a mechanical pencil for precise marks.

  2. Focus on one concept everyday. Keep yourself from getting overwhelmed by focusing on mastering one concept at a time.

  3. Study everyday so you will train your brain and retain the information. Your brain is wired to learn by frequency. This is why studying everyday for 30 minutes can be more effective than studying one a week for five hours.

  4. Keep cheat sheets and flashcards with formulas handy and review often. You can buy geometry flashcards or make your own out of index cards. Keep your materials organized with an index card holder. These quick and easy tools will help you to retain the information and better understand the language. They are also easy to grab when you’re on the go!

  5. Get homework help. If you are struggling with geometry, do not sit around frustrated. C2 learning centers offer free homework help to current students. At our Severna Park location, students are in and out everyday for this reason. We provide a peaceful stress-free environment where they can truly focus.

Winter and Holiday Themed Books for Kids and Teens

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For Kids

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss

The ultimate Dr. Seuss Christmas classic — no holiday season is complete without the Grinch, Max, Cindy-Lou, and all the residents of Who-ville!

The Story of Hanukkah by David Adler

No celebration of Hanukkah would be complete without recounting the events of more than two thousand years ago that the holiday commemorates. In a simple yet dramatic text and vibrant paintings, the story of the courageous Maccabees and the miracle that took place in the Temple in Jerusalem is retold. For readers who want to continue the festivities, a recipe for latkes and directions for playing dreidel are included.

Pablo's Christmas by Hugo C. Martin

On a small, dusty farm in Mexico, in the Valle de Guadalupe, a young boy named Pablo lived with his mother, father, and two little sisters, Isabella and Teresa…

Christmas means family: everyone gathered together in joyful celebration. But what if one beloved member is missing? That’s the situation so movingly explored in this exceptional—and stunningly illustrated—holiday tale, set in the Mexican countryside.

Llama Llama Holiday Drama by Anna Dewdney

If there's one thing Llama Llama doesn't like, it's waiting. He and Mama Llama rush around, shopping for presents, baking cookies, decorating the tree . . . but how long is it until Christmas? Will it ever come? 

Hanukkah Haiku by Harriet Ziefert

Here's a cultural crossover that pays off: a traditionally Japanese poetic form used to celebrate the eight nights of Hanukkah. There's one haiku for each night, and stepped pages add one candle to the menorah every time the page is turned. The simple poetry is set off perfectly by Karla Gudeon's vibrant, freewheeling artwork. A perfect gift, or good to reread each year, Hanukkah Haiku is a jubilant, unforgettable journey through the eight nights of Hanukkah.

The Shortest Day: Celebrating Winter Solstice by Wendy Pfeffer

The science, history, and cultural significance of the shortest day of the year: The Winter Solstice!

Seven Spools of Thread: A Kwanzaa Story by Angela Shelf Medearis

In an African village live seven brothers who make life miserable with their constant fighting. When their father dies, he leaves an unusual will: by sundown, the brothers must make gold out of seven spools of thread or they will be turned out as beggars.

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser

A modern classic in the making reminiscent of the Penderwicks series, The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street is about the connections we make and the unexpected turns life can take.

Grace at Christmas by Mary Hoffman

Grace loves everything about Christmas, especially acting out all the parts in the Nativity. But when strangers come to stay with Grace and her family, she wants to say "no room at the inn." Will Grace learn to give up the spotlight and make these new friends feel welcome?

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YA Books for Teens

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

This classic 1843 tale by Charles Dickens has all your favorite characters in their original telling: Scrooge, Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit, and the rest.

Winter Town by Stephen Emond

Every winter, straight-laced, Ivy League bound Evan looks forward to a visit from Lucy, a childhood pal who moved away after her parent's divorce. But when Lucy arrives this year, she's changed. The former "girl next door" now has chopped dyed black hair, a nose stud, and a scowl. But Evan knows that somewhere beneath the Goth, "Old Lucy" still exists, and he's determined to find her... 

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

This charming classic takes place in the winter. The novel follows the lives of four sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March—detailing their passage from childhood to womanhood, and is loosely based on the author and her three sisters. The sisters face Christmas without their father, who is at war. 

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia (Publication Order) #1)

Another great classic that has a winter theme! This iconic fantasy novel takes place in Narnia when it is ruled by the White Witch who has ruled for 100 years of deep winter. Yikes!

'Ex-Mas' by Kate Brian

The title of this YA book may sound a little campy and corny, but who doesn’t like holiday puns? Seventeen-year-old Lila Beckwith's parents just left for vacation, and Lila's all set to throw the holiday party of the season. But when her Christmas-obsessed little brother, Cooper, discovers that global warming is melting the North Pole, he and his best friend, Tyler, take off on a runaway mission to save Santa. 

'My True Love Gave to Me': Twelve Holiday Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins

Twelve romantic holiday stories by twelve bestselling young adult authors edited by Stephanie Perkins.

'Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares' by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn   

A whirlwind romance from the New York Times bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist!

Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle

Major motion picture in the works! A Christmas Eve snowstorm transforms one small town into a romantic haven, the kind you see only in movies. Well, kinda.


 

ADD/ADHD Teens: Studying Tips for the ACT/SAT

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Wouldn’t it be wonderful if ADD/ADHD test takers had their own test? Of course it would! If it’s any consolation, most students find standardized tests challenging. ADHD teens have their own unique learning style and needs. Here are some ADD/ADHD tips for your best test score.

ADD MOTIVATION- Stay motivated by reminding yourself of why you are studying for the test. Make it the first thing you think about when you wake up, meditate on it, write it on your bedroom wall…remember it! In combination with your GPA and extracurricular activities, you’ll have an edge over the competition. In fact there is NO competition. You rock and you can do this! Have ADD/ADHD? Don’t let it keep you from achieving your goals…just add motivation to the mix!

Work Methodically- Studying for the ACT/SAT can get overwhelming. This is an invitation to give it your best, so take it as an opportunity to progress one step at a time, one section at a time. Figure out what you want to tackle first…math, reading, etc. and focus on your challenges. Do not try to study for all subjects at once. You will go crazy.
Pace Yourself- Look at how much time you have and how many hours you will commit in a day to reach your goals. Even a quick daily review can make all the difference and can prevent last minute cramming.

FOCUS!- Once you have learned how to pace yourself, it’s time to work on your concentration. Wear comfortable clothes and choose a place with minimal distractions so you can really focus. Sometimes ADD/ADHD means reading a passage again or taking extra notes so you don’t forget valuable information.  This will help you answer the questions the best that you can.
Keep a schedule- In the colorful world of ADD/ADHD there are many things structure is not one of them. Structure is something that you can create even if it does not come naturally and getting on a balanced schedule can really help. This schedule will include work/school, exercise, sleep and social activities. Don't forget your me time to recharge. Committing to studying for the ACT/SAT may be a challenge but little daily changes lead to big victories. Reward yourself when you stay on schedule!

Get plenty of exercise and sleep- Exercise and sleep are super important to a student’s ability to focus. Exercise every day and you will find that you will study harder and sleep better.
Consider a Tutor- Everyone has a subject that is their weakest. We all have our strengths and our weaknesses, yet if you are struggling, it may be time to consider getting help. The one-on-one experience of having a tutor is unbeatable. They provide skills and expertise and can act as your motivator, your coach and the person who can fill in the blanks. We offer tutoring customized tutoring programs for ACT/SAT prep and work with students with ADD/ADHD and learning differences.

Feeling stuck? Take a free ACT/SAT test to see where you are with your test-taking skills. At C2 Severna Park, we provide a relaxing, constructive environment and have many ADD/ADHD students. Our tutors are the best of the best and our ADD/ADHD students find success after going through our tutoring program. You can call us at 410-421-8080 for more information.  Happy test-taking!
 

College Money Saving Tips

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Attention, college-bound seniors: You don't have to spend the big bucks to have an enriching college experience. Here are some ways you can save money while in college. Though you are most likely still in the application / college search phase, you'll find these tips useful while considering a college.

Think Maryland

College is a time for adventure and exploring new things. Staying in-state does not have to be boring...it can be just as adventurous and you don't even have to travel far for the holidays. Maryland has everything! There are country/rural areas, there's cities, beaches and there's even mountains! There's lot to explore and many historical sites are based here. Tuition is less as well and there's plenty of amazing schools right here in Maryland.

Financial Safety School / Scholarship Friendly Schools

These schools offer big scholarships for high performing students. If your application is awesome, they may offer to pay for most of your tuition.  Do your research. Find schools in your state, especially public colleges, whose standards match with your GPA and test scores. You want to have at least 1 or 2 safety schools in your college list. Iffy about applying to a public college? There's plenty of quality public colleges...just sort your school results by the schools with the best graduation rates.

Use Find Your Fit Tool to find your school

The internet has made finding your school so much easier. This online tool will help you to find a school that works with your financial needs.

Fill out the FAFSA

Fill out the FAFSA and stay up to date with financial aid news or visiting their website: https://fafsa.ed.gov/

You may be eligible for FAFSA even if you do not think that you are and it does not hurt to apply. For example, you may be eligible if you have a sibling who is already in college. 2 tuition = super expensive.

Avoid overspending while back to school shopping

Dorm space is limited anyways. Buy what you need and don't overstock on items that you could easily get later on or that may be provided to you.

Use Your Student Discount

Discounts are not just for senior citizens. Student discounts come in handy and make for plenty of savings while shopping. Find which businesses offer them and shop there.

Manage a Full Course Load

Do you really want to be that guy or gal who spends forever in college and never seems to be able to graduate or decide on a major? A great way to end up as that girl or guy is to be unsure of yourself, constantly add and drop classes and never really manage a full class load. If you are unsure of what you want to do, seek academic advising. Stay on task, stay focused and don't worry if you don't have it all figured out. A degree, no matter what it's in, is still better in your hand than having nothing. If you do not manage your work load, you may have to spend even more time in school, racking up tuition costs. Yikes! Seek guidance, stick with your major and go for it! You've got this!

Get a Part-Time Job

Working while in school doesn't have to be a drag. It can be a fun opportunity to get real-life work experience, learn the workforce and make new friends. Find a job that works with your schedule, don't spread yourself too thin. School's the priority and nothing will ruin the money you're saving by working faster than flunking a class or losing an academic scholarship. Another advantage to working while in school is that it teaches you how to balance different things--you'll need that when you graduate! You can also build inter-personal aka people skills or even get a head start in your field. If you work in a store, you'll get a cool discount too.
 

Holiday Tips for High School Students

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The holidays are among us and though it’s a jolly time...it’s a season that’s full of distractions. From Thanksgiving to New Years, it’s easy to get lost in the vortex and forget your goals. Follow these tips to enjoy this holiday season without falling behind!

Stick to a schedule

-With the sun rising later, it’s tempting to sleep in later as winter approaches. By the time morning comes, it’s dark and who wants to wake up when it’s still dark?

-Avoid sleeping in too late anyways! Not only will you have less time to take care of your business but it also can make you lazier. 

Prepare for your family

-Know where you’ll be going and what you’ll be doing.

-Work out how much time you’ll spend with your family, and how much time you’ll spend studying. Schedule fun time and work time so you don’t feel guilty about having fun. What are the holidays without fun?

Keep your moods up

-The holiday season can be cheerful but it can also be sad. The sun is out less, and with high expectations...we can dwell on what we do not have. Advertisements do a great job of showing teens and young people what their family is supposed to look like and what material things they should be getting.

-Giving back, volunteering, and expressing gratitude are great ways to combat this. As for gifting, try making gifts this year. Gifts from the heart will leave your family and friends touched. Just make sure you stick with something you’re good at!  

-For example, if you’re not good at crafts but enjoy writing, try writing poems and frame them as décor. 

Give Back

-Help your family decorate the house and tree, volunteer and donate toys.

-Help a friend study for a test or form a study group. 

Organize your study space

-With family visiting and days spent at home, instead of at school, boundaries can become blurred. Make sure your study environment remains a place where you can study and do your work.

-Add holiday cheers to your desk by adding plants and holiday themed décor. Be minimal, though! Less is more and you don't want your desk to be too busy. 

-Invest in a desk with drawers and keep your study essentials in order.

Dare to say “No”

-You don’t have to do everything and go to every gathering. Be polite and say “no thanks” if it interferes with your goals.

-You can always get together another time. You need to stay focused and spreading yourself too thin will catch up with you.

Do your work in the plane or car

-Let’s face it, sometimes taking a week off isn’t an option. When you know that you need to study and will be traveling during the holidays...bringing your work is a good idea.

-Winter break is a break from school but what about your other goals? Stay committed and focused and it will definitely pay off in the New Year!

-You don’t have to study for hours on end. Committing just one hour a day to studying for your ACT/SAT or AP tests will pay off big in the long run! Don't forget your GPA too! 

Study early in the morning

-Before family members wake up, start studying! You’re able to get a great deal of work done during one of the quietest times of day.

-This also works well for students with A.D.H.D. because there are less distractions and it’s quiet in the house.