Archive for the ‘High School Life & Advice’ Category

Grades Slipping? Here’s How to Get Them Back Up

CP0R1Y A graded test form with red scoring pencil marks indicates frustration and failure in the education system.You started out the school year feeling all right, but a few failed tests and missed assignments later, your grades have slipped and you’re getting nervous. Not only do you not want a bad grade on your transcripts, you don’t want to start World War III when Mom and Dad see you’re failing. We’ve got your back – here are a few ways to push those grades back up.

Go to Your Teachers and Ask for Help
It’s a simple and obvious first step, but it’s amazing how many students don’t use their teachers as a resource even though instructors are there to help you. If you’re uncomfortable asking for clarification in class, visit during study hall, lunch, or before or after school starts. Not only will you finally start understanding some of the material you’re struggling with, your teachers will be impressed you’ve taken the initiative to improve your grades.

Use Your School’s Tutoring Center
This is another easy way to fix slipping grades, but there’s a little bit of a stigma surrounding high school tutoring or study centers. Ignore the stereotype that these sessions are for nerds and get yourself in there. Getting one-on-one help or hearing something said differently may make everything click.

Get Organized
Get a calendar (no, not the calendar on your phone – a paper calendar) and write down every test, homework assignment, and essay you have coming up in the next month. You can use this to create a study schedule and make sure you’re prepared for every test, turning in every assignment, and staying on top of your work.

Ask for Extra Credit
Not every teacher offers extra credit, but it never hurts to ask. Doing some extra work or turning in old assignments you missed for partial credit is an easy way to earn a few extra points.

Don’t Procrastinate
Whatever you do, don’t wait on it. Time is critical when you’re falling behind – every day you wait means it’ll be harder and harder to earn the grades you want.

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Why You Need a Better Relationship With Your Counselor

counselorHave you met with your counselor yet this year? Before you groan and tell us it’s a waste of time, we’ll give you a list of the reasons developing a good relationship with your counselor is so important.

Scholarship Opportunities
You’re only a freshman but that doesn’t mean you can’t start setting money aside for college. Your counselor may know about local or school-sponsored scholarships you can apply for now. Remember, getting some money for school now means less work (and fewer loans!) later on.

The Right Classes
The better your counselor knows you, the more effectively he or she will be able to recommend what classes you should take next year. So get into that counseling office and start chatting! If your counselor has no idea you love history and struggle in science, you could find yourself with a schedule that doesn’t interest you, challenge your abilities, or allow you to succeed.

New Programs and Clubs
By now you’ve probably noticed there’s always something going on at your high school! Typically counselors are some of the first people to find out about new clubs, teams, or organizations, so if you’ve been thinking about getting involved, the guidance office is a great place to start.

A Neutral Party
Need to vent about a frustrating family situation or have some mediate an argument you’re having with a friend? That’s part of your counselor’s job. Sometimes it feels awkward to go to your counselor for help in a personal situation, especially if it’s personal, but trust us – they’ve seen and heard it all before.

Stop by your counselor’s office and introduce yourself – you’ll be glad you did once you need help.

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You Need a Mentor

mentorEven if you’re not shy, sometimes it feels a little awkward to build a relationship with an adult who isn’t a relative. But finding a mentor during high school is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Here are a few quick tips if you need help finding someone you can turn to for advice about school, family, careers – anything!

Who Can My Mentor Be?
Anyone! If there’s a teacher, coach, guidance counselor, religious leader, or club organizer you really admire, you can try to build a mentor-mentee relationship with them. Your mentor can even be an upperclassmen or a college student – it’s all about finding someone you feel comfortable with and think you can learn from.

What’s My Mentor Supposed to Teach Me?
Your mentor isn’t there to help you memorize algebraic formulas or battle dates (though they could, if you asked them to). The person you choose acts as a sort of role model for you, giving advice when you need it, setting a good example, and helping you grow as a person. It doesn’t sound too flashy, but it’s true – your mentor will help you in ways you may not notice right away, but over time, you’ll realize what a huge role they played in making you a mature, confident, successful adult.

In the short term, your mentor is someone you can go to if you’re having academic or personal problems, someone who can suggest colleges or classes, and someone who can write you a college or scholarship recommendation letter, if you need one.

It’s Way too Awkward to Ask Someone to be My Mentor
We agree. Unless you’re pretty fearless, approaching a teacher or coach and asking them to mentor you is intimidating. Luckily, there’s another way to find a mentor without feeling weird about it. Start visiting the person you look up to regularly during their office hours. If they’re an older student, ask if you can get together over coffee or lunch to chat. Make it a habit to talk to these people in a one-on-one situation regularly and you’ll soon easily develop a mentor-mentee relationship.

Make it your goal to find at least one person you can call a mentor this year. There are plenty of interesting, accomplished people in your life, but it’s up to you to get out there and build those relationships.

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