Archive for the ‘High School Life & Advice’ Category

7 Ways to Survive Summer School

Back when you signed up for summer school you were probably patting yourself on the back. Now with the warmer weather and longer days, you might be second guessing that decision. You don’t have to dread the hours you’ll have to spend indoors, because your first instincts were right — the benefits of summer school far outweigh the cons.


Summer school is a great way to get ahead, possibly giving way to a lighter course load your last few semesters of college or, even better, obtaining your degree early! Another benefit of summer school is that it gives you the opportunity to succeed in a tough course requirement. Without a full schedule, you’ll have more time to focus your brainpower on the topics at hand, and possibly receive a better grade than you would during the regular academic year.

The summer semester is shorter, with sessions typically lasting from five to eight weeks or less; however, this means each class session will be several hours in length, making you highly susceptible to cabin fever. Stay focused. The class is only temporary, remember? Here are some survival tips.

1. Before the semester begins, turn to social networks to see if anyone has had a class with the professor you’ll have. Some professors might have a rigorous syllabus and be very critical on grading. Easier professors may dismiss class early and grade on a curve.

2. Go to class. This should be obvious, but attendance is critical in summer terms; missing a single day of summer school can be the equivalent of missing two weeks of regular school.

3. Energize by bringing snacks to recharge, and use class breaks as an opportunity to walk around outside to stretch your legs and get fresh air.

4. If the course material is really dry, sleeping in the back of class won’t help you. Engage by participating in class, asking questions, and getting to know the professor.

5. Complete your readings and other assignments as early as possible so you can enjoy fun summer activities.

6. Use on-campus resources like the library instead of taking work home. You can easily get distracted by roommates and friends, especially if they aren’t enrolled in class too.

7. Stay on top of upcoming exam dates and when projects are due. Put your smartphone’s calendar to good use by inputting all the important dates.

Do your best not to let summer distractions affect your work. Classes will be over before you know it, and you’ll be that much closer to graduation.

Are you taking a class this summer? Share your survival tips in the comments below.

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7 Great DIY Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for Any Student on a Budget

In a time crunch for a unique Mother’s Day gift, but working with limited funds? Nothing says “I love you ” more than something handmade and from the heart. You don’t need to be crafty to creatively show your mother how much she means to you with one of the simple and inexpensive DIY gift ideas below:


1. Bath Scrub

Creating a homemade bath scrub  is incredibly quick and easy. All you’ll need is white or brown sugar, table salt, or epsom salt  and something to hold everything together, such as olive, coconut, or almond oil. Mix the ingredients together and present the finished scrub to your mom in a decorative mason jar. To give the scrub an aroma, add a few drops of an essential oil of your choice, honey, or flower petals.

2. Customized Glassware, Mug, or Teacup

Flex your creativity and use a paint pen or chalkboard marker to give a personalized touch to your glassware gift. Paint pens come in a variety of colors, are quick drying, and you can use them on virtually any surface. Whether you choose to draw designs or write a short phrase (“World’s Best Mom!”), your effort won’t go unnoticed.


3. Spray-Painted Planters or Vases

Give your mom something that will hold all those flowers she’ll receive! Re-purpose old bottles, jars, tin cans, or vases of various shapes and sizes and spray-paint them in bright or metallic colors (include your mom’s favorite). You can make several in just a few hours.

4. Handwritten Letter

For this one, all you’ll need is a blank card, sturdy card stock paper, or just a simple sheet of notebook paper. In this letter, take time to write a note thanking your mom for all the things she’s done for you – try to include specific examples of how she provided you support, praise, and advice. The result is a sincere and meaningful expression of appreciation beyond a store bought “Happy Mother’s Day” card.

5. Framed Photograph

Photographs always make great gifts – framing a nice photograph or a series of family photographs will allow your mom to display them at home or work. While picture framing can be expensive, there are many DIY frame ideas that will save your wallet.

6. Special Video

Perhaps you’re more technical than “crafty.” If you have a few memories of or with your mother that you were able capture on film, create a special mother’s day video. If you don’t have any old footage, put together a video with a reel of several photos  and record yourself expressing your thanks and appreciation. Funny or sentimental, record something your mom would enjoy.


7. Note Jar

Fill a jar with little notes that each feature a unique reason why your mom is the best. Find a glass jar of any size at home or the dollar store and insert colorful notes, each featuring a sweet note about what make’s her awesome. Invite her to read them one day at a time.


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8 Things High School Seniors Should Do Before Graduation

If you’re a high school senior, you’ve probably already started your official countdown to graduation. Although this period is one where your symptoms of senioritis may be at their highest, making the most of your final weeks as a high school student with a mix of fun and productive tasks will make everything go by faster.


1. Check out a school event you’ve never attended.

Appreciate while you can all the activities your school has to offer and show support for your fellow classmates outside your social circle. You might even make a few new friends you wish you had all four years. Channel your last-minute school spirit by attending a sporting event, play, musical, art showing, or choir or orchestra performances you wouldn’t normally.

2. Go to the Senior Prom.

Maybe you’ve been planning this date months in advanced down to your dress or suit, shoes, and limo ride, or maybe you’re doubtful about the whole experience. If you’re interested at all, the answer is simple – just go. No date? No big deal. All you need is a few awesome friends to create a memorable night.

3. Say “thank you.”

Leave on a positive note with teachers and counselors, especially your favorite ones. Let them know about the difference they’ve made for you during high school and ask for their email address. You’ll begin to experience various instances where you’ll need references or a letter of recommendation (scholarships, internships, part-time jobs, etc.), so stay in touch.

4. Start becoming self-sufficient.

With independence comes more responsibilities. If you haven’t already, learn to do your own laundry, budget, cook, and clean. You won’t become a master chef, but it’ll be helpful to know a few basic recipes before you start college (Microwaving Ramen doesn’t count!).

5. Be active.

Now is a great time to develop regular exercise habits. If you’re feeling overwhelmed about all the changes quickly approaching in your life, exercise is the perfect stress reliever. If you establish a good routine before Fall, the “Freshmen 15″ won’t be a problem. Just keep it up!

6. …but first take a group #selfie.

Snap pictures and record videos with friends and family. Exciting new opportunities await you in college, but it also means you won’t see your family and high school friends as much. Before everyone goes their separate ways, take advantage of your last few weeks in high school by capturing as many fun moments as you can. You may even want to start planning a summer trip together to keep adding to the memories.

7. Apply for summer jobs now.

If you’re seriously lacking the motivation to study, try temporarily switching your energy toward another important task – finding a summer job. A summer job will allow you to save money for college and keep your time management skills sharp.

8. Above all, stay focused.

While you’ve likely already received your acceptance letters and made your #CappexCollegeDecision, remember that most colleges require final transcripts at the end of the school year. It’s a rare occurrence, but if your GPA takes a significant dip, your admission decision can be revoked. There’s just a few more weeks left, so keep going to classes and study what you need to. With your high school diploma in hand, you’ll have the entire summer to celebrate your amazing milestone.

Congrats class of 2014!

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