Category: Education

How to Choose Your Major

With all the different college majors available, choosing between them can be overwhelming. Some students find that there are several potential major choices they like, whereas others struggle to find just one that feels right.

You don’t want to stress out too much from choosing a major, but it’s also not a decision to take lightly. There are a few solid strategies for deciding what your major will be.

Basing Your Major on the Career You Want

If you already have an idea of what your dream career is, you can look up what degree you’ll need for the best chance of success in that field. Not every career will have a specific major you need to get, but many will, and if your chosen career is one of them, it makes it much easier to pick your major. Look for professional degrees such as a law, teaching, or healthcare program.

Colleges have expanded their course offerings quite a bit, making it more likely yours will have a major to fit your career. Be careful, however, that you are not pursuing a career with no real marketplace value. Universities will use all kinds of marketing ploys and catchphrases like “lifelong learning” and “broadening your horizons” to shoehorn you into a degree that may or may not yield any economic return. Always look up average earnings and underemployment statistics for your chosen field of study. You’re obviously set if you’re getting into a traditional career path, such as finance, but you can also major in newer fields, such as software development or graphic design.

Going with a Major That Has the Potential for High Earnings

If you don’t have a specific career path in mind but earning a large income is one of your chief concerns, you can focus on developing your marketable skills by choosing a major with the potential for high earnings. Some of the highest-paying majors include computer science, statistics, finance and nursing. Majors related to engineering, including electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and chemical engineering, also tend to be high paying.

The potential drawback with this method is that you could find yourself majoring in something that doesn’t interest you. This will make it harder to do well and stay engaged during your classes. You also don’t want to end up in a career you dislike, which means you should still make sure you can live with any major you choose.

Choosing a Major Related to Subjects You Enjoy

This is the “follow your dreams” approach. While you’re completing your general education requirements, you’ll get the opportunity to check out a variety of classes. You could opt to major in a subject that you feel drawn to. The main benefit of this method is that you’ll be majoring in something you like, which makes it much easier to learn the material and get good grades. Again, however, be sure that your “passion” isn’t leading you down an educational path that will result in years of underemployment in an unrelated field.

There can be a bit of a stigma surrounding certain majors which others view as wastes of time. Although you shouldn’t let anyone else’s opinion change your major, it is in your best interest to consider life after college when you make your decision. Being a major that interests you is great, but make sure you have an idea of how you can use that degree in the working world.

Your Major Isn’t Set in Stone

Especially at the beginning of your college career, remember that you can change your major later if you want. There’s also the option to say “Undecided” when you’re first asked to select a major.

Being unsure of your major is okay, particularly early on, when you’re completing the required general education courses anyway. As you move further along with higher education, it’s smart to finalize your major so that you can take the courses you need and it doesn’t take you longer than necessary to get your degree.

Since your major could affect you for the rest of your life, there’s nothing wrong with taking some time on the decision. Think about all your options, and when in doubt, trust your instincts.

Six Study Tips to Ace Your Next ACT

If you are planning on taking the ACT (American College Testing) for your college entrance, you’ll want to be ready ahead of time rather than going into the testing blind. Knowing the sections of the test and what is expected is important for college admission, and having a jump start is always a good idea when going from high school to college. Taking the ACT is one way to prepare for the changes that occur with higher education.

This test is divided into four mandatory sections with multiple choice questions, which include English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science tests. Also included is an optional Writing section for a total of five different sections. With these test subdivisions, it is fairly easy to structure study sessions that incorporate each area, as breakdowns for each test are given through study tips for acing the ACT. Here are six that should help.

Start Sooner than Later

Test preparation takes time and a three to six month period for study should be sufficient for most students. In order to ace the test, a full six months should probably be considered to understand the intricacies of the test as well as study for the individual sections. Learning to navigate the test(s) in general is an accomplishment in itself.

Practice Questions

To orient yourself to the kinds of questions asked on the ACT, you’ll want to actually access the practice questions and familiarize yourself with the structure, format, question types, question difficulty, and time limits involved with each test section. There are practice questions as well as preparation guides for the overall test that can be of significant help in preparing for the exam.

Understand the Structure

One of the most important aspects of the ACT is understanding how the test is structured and how to maneuver through it. As in the previous tip, you’ll want to examine how the test questions are configured in order to pinpoint the right multiple choice answers. There are, again, explanations through online guides and prep materials for this process. For example, the ACT English questions appear to be formatted in a confusing manner, and finding the immediate answer can present problems, so the fastest way to complete the answers is to skim through the reading passage to understand the content and context of the passage. From there, go back through any underlined sentences that will help determine final answers.

Eliminate the Obvious

Another effective tip with the ACT is eliminating the obviously wrong answers within any of the test divisions. You always want to look for answers that are blatantly wrong and quickly discard them. To find the correct answer, you want to be very precise about what makes the answer the right one. For example, if you are looking at questions in the English and Reading sections, you want to find evidence that supports an answer selection. The key is if you don’t find the evidence, eliminate the answer choice.

Monitor Time

This aspect of the test is critical, as certain time limits are placed on each test section. Pacing your time is important as you don’t want to linger over one question while there are easier ones to answer. Spending too much time on any question can harm your score. If you are completely puzzled or stymied over one question, move on. Answering easier questions should always take priority. If there is enough time left, go back to the tricky ones. Again, going through ACT practice questions will help you to learn how to pace yourself for each test section.

Know the Content

Within each of the test areas, there will obviously be questions that are less difficult because of the content being familiar and more easily understood. Any subject area that presents problems should be examined for weaknesses. For example, within the Math section, it would be wise to know formulas that relate to algebra and geometry as well as conversions for basic math problems that involve percentages, fractional parts, decimals, etc. The same is true of the English section that requires reading comprehension ability, grammar, and punctuation expertise. Say you’re college plans are focused on getting a degree in business management, which would mean you should probably concentrate on problem solving, critical thinking and number crunching. These general areas will likely appear in some form or fashion in the corresponding test sections.

Taking the ACT involves advanced planning and preparation, particularly if you want to ace the test and present impressive scores to a prestigious college or university, or apply for a scholarship or other higher education financing. Test anxiety and apprehension can be alleviated when the right information and tips are incorporated in an overall strategy to tackle and ace a test like the ACT.

College Hacks Every Student Should Know

COLLEGE HACKS

The college experience often consists of living on a very tight budget, staying up late and struggling to make it that 8am class on time. With so many new aspects of adulthood to juggle, it’s important to learn some shortcuts to optimize your day. Whether you’re going to online college, living on campus or studying abroad, you can use a combination of these tips to make your life much easier.

Use Your Schedule as a Phone Background
How many times a day are you looking at your phone? It’s okay, I know you can’t count that high. Take advantage of your lock screen by setting a photo of your schedule as the background. No more wandering around, hungover from the night before, wondering what building you’re supposed to be in next.

Organize With Toilet Paper Rolls
There are tons of uses for toilet paper rolls! A couple of fan favorites include using them as a way to keep your cords organized. Or you can sit them upright for a nifty pencil holder. Worried about the decor? Grab some Washi tape or scrapbooking paper to upcycle them in a more hip way.


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Take Online Courses
Colleges aren’t the way they used to be. Now, you can easily access your courses and assignments online. Those who must work to pay for schooling should consider enrolling in some online courses, or an online program. Click here for more information about online programs available to busy students.

Rent Textbooks (or purchase online)
Textbooks costs thousands of dollars for you to use for maybe a year (if you’re lucky). For a struggling college student, this is an extra stress. You can save yourself the costly expense by renting your textbooks from sites and apps like Google Play, Amazon and Kindle. These rentals are available as a hardcopy and an e-book. If you must have a physical copy of the book, check out Amazon. They have Amazon Prime for students; which provides you with 2-day shipping and many other cool features at half the price of regular Prime.

Chew Gum to Trigger Memory
Whether you’re taking an online test or braving the stress of a classroom, it’s important to increase your memory abilities. One of my favorite tricks is to chew a memorable flavor of gum while studying for the test. Then, when the big day comes, chew the same piece of gum. Because taste is tied to memory, this hack can help you recall important information. Pass your tests and make your Mom proud.

There you have it! Some college hacks every student should know. Make sure to share this article with your friends so their lives can go smoother too!

Homework Tips for Teenagers

 

Even though there are very few teens in the world that enjoy doing homework, it still exists, teachers still assign it, and above all, it still needs to be done! It also seems that nowadays high school and college students have more homework than ever before, which makes them overwhelmed, especially when you take in mind all those extracurricular activities that are needed to achieve a solid academic career. On that note, I am willing to share with you some of the tips that really used to help me with my homework when I was a struggling teenager:

Make a timetable

Set aside a specific amount of time each day that you will devote to doing your work depending on the amount of homework for that day. Divide that time into 45-50 minute sessions with 10-minute brakes. Keep in mind that you are only human and It is very important to give your mind a rest.

Set the Mood

Make sure that you have everything that you need and then pick a quiet and isolated spot that is free from any distractions. If you can’t find that place in your home, good alternatives are public places such as public libraries and study rooms. Turn off your cell phones and gadgets and focus on your homework. Some kinds of music, like classical music or smooth jazz, can also help you with your concentration.


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Use writing service

In an emergency, you can find different kinds of writing services that have proven themselves as a capable homework helper for those students who need help in an emergency. These services offer 24-hour support for desperate students whether they are in need for someone to help them understand their homework or provide a template or “starter draft” to use in preparing the final work. Either way, a writing service it is a great option to save time and help you on your path to achieving academic greatness, as long as you don’t abuse the service and have it do your entire homework for you (which is called cheating and unethical).

Keep it organized

Keep your homework materials organized using the color-coding system with colored folders, stickers, highlighters and markers. For instance, you can use a specific color for each subject. Checklists are also a good way to keep things organized and to keep track of your progress.

Prioritize

Try to set your priorities and work on more difficult and valuable homework first, then you can move on to easier tasks that you can complete more quickly. In that way, you will have more time and energy to tackle your frightening algebra or science homework before you can rest your mind with other, less challenging assignments.

Steal some time

You will probably be surprised how much work can be done if you could just make yourself to use that “hidden” time that all of us encounter during the day. For instance, on that long bus ride home, you can place your headphones to cancel the noise and get on it. Also, if you have an hour or so to kill before your practice it is a perfect time to steal some minutes that can come in handy later on.


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If it gets too hard, ask for help

Sometimes homework can be too challenging for you to finish on your own, and in that case, do not hesitate to ask for help! The first and foremost person you need talk to is, of course, your teacher because he assigned it. You can also ask your parents, especially if it has something to do with their line of work. At the end, you can always turn to your friends and classmates or school organized study groups to give you that necessary geometry homework help.

Reward yourself

Motivate yourself by deciding on a reward for a job well done. It can be anything you like: a piece of your favorite candy, a new episode of a show that you like or an hour or two on your video game console. Either way, it should be something small but enjoyable. It is a great way to create an atmosphere where you feel that you practically get paid to do homework.

With a bit of help and good organization you will be on your way to use homework for what it was originally intended. To help you understand and learn the required material better and ultimately get a better grade!

 

Things to Do Before Moving Into an Off-Campus Apartment for School

If you decide to live off campus at a college or university, there are factors many students fail to consider before signing an apartment lease for school and moving in. In the end, these considerations can wind up costing you a great deal of money and aggravation.

Here are some tips for your first college apartment rental.

off-campus-apartrment

Talk with the Neighbors

Before you sign a lease for an off-campus apartment, talk with nearby neighbors. You may see some people coming and going from the building when you are visiting, or simply knock on some doors. This is a great way to gain information about the area, the apartment building and your potential new home. You will also find out pretty quickly whether your neighbors are the helpful and friendly sort or not!

Check Yelp reviews as well. You will sometimes find that there are serious maintenance issues or problems with rowdy residents which are never disclosed on the slick apartment websites.

Read the Fine Print

A lease is a legal document. This means you can be evicted and/or sued if you violate what is written its clauses. Most of the clauses are there to protect the property, but many are in place so the renters themselves can enjoy living there without undue disturbance.

Expect restrictions on noise, pets, use of common areas (schedules), trash disposal, number of days guests may stay — things which you might have taken for granted when living with mom and dad. Now that you are in college, expect to be treated like a responsible adult (and act like one!)

college-apartment-lease

Document the Flaws

When you move into an apartment, before you unload any boxes, hang any pictures or take your first shower, you need to go around with your camera, turn on all of the lights in the apartment and begin looking for damage. This is the time that you need to be OCD about every single flaw that is present, no matter how tiny it may be. Both video and stills should be taken and stored on a site such as Google Photos which handily keeps things organized by date.

Each stain, crack, hole, dent and scratch should be recorded and documented. Just because the landlord seems to be a nice person, it does not mean that they will not charge you for any issues that are present when you move out. If you have documentation of its presence when you moved in, you can avoid the sometimes huge fees that go along with these problems.

Be Sure Everything Works

Light switches, garbage disposals, toilets – it is important to go around the apartment and be certain that every single fixture and feature works, and works well. Take something with you that you can plug into every electrical outlet as well, because if many of them do not work when you move in, it can create a seriously frustrating problem, such as not being able to charge your phone while lying in bed.

Turn in a written report and keep a copy (just take a picture of the form with your form). Again, video and still pictures should be taken of any issues to avoid your landlord charging you for “broken electrical outlets” or other nonsense.

Check Inside the Cabinets

It is important to check inside the cabinets, but probably not for the reasons that you are thinking. While you need to ensure that there is plenty of room for your food and cups, it is also important to determine if there are any unwelcome guests residing inside of these cabinets. In addition to looking for the actual critters themselves, you should also look for signs that they have been there – droppings, spider webs or any other issues.

Report anything you find to the landlord in order to schedule a fumigation.

college-apartment-tips

Renting your first apartment is not something to be taken lightly. Take time to consider the factors here to ensure that you find a clean, healthy and safe place to live.

closet-organizer
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Becky G Joins Yoobi to Donate School Supplies to Thousands of Students

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Inglewood native Becky G and Yoobi joined forces to donate thousands of school supplies to every single elementary school student from the Inglewood Unified School District, over 7,800 kids! The Yoobi Give Event took place at the Frank D. Parent Elementary School in Inglewood where Becky spoke to kids during a morning assembly, inspiring them to chase their dreams and that change starts from within. She then visited classrooms at the elementary school, handing out the supplies and hanging out with the kids. She colored with them and even sang with them when they asked her to sing her hit “Shower.” Yoobi partners with underprivileged schools were 70% or more of the students are enrolled in free or reduced lunch, making this donation mean a lot to students and teachers alike who were moved by today’s incredibly generous donation.

Yoobi is based on a bright yet simple idea: for every Yoobi item purchased, a Yoobi school supply item will be donated to a classroom in need, right here in the U.S. Yoobi believes that students all across the country should have access to the necessary tools to learn and be successful. This back to school, Yoobi hopes to continue to reach students with the materials they need to succeed, while inspiring kids to give back to their communities. Since their launch in 2014, Yoobi has impacted over 1.5 million kids across the U.S. and it doesn’t stop there!

Some of the most memorable moments included:

– Students screaming when they were surprised by Becky G at the morning assembly during the Yoobi Give Day.

– Becky G handing out donated Yoobi school supplies to excited students.

– Becky G hanging out and coloring with students in their classrooms with their brand new Yoobi supplies.

– A student asked Becky G if she would sing their favorite song with them, “Shower,” and began to sing promoting all of the students to join in and sing with her!

– Becky G having fun and laughing with the kids and talking to them about what they want to be when they grow up and inspiring them to chase their dreams.

 

7 Things All Teens Should Know About Applying to College

college student
Picture Source: https://flic.kr/p/nzfebX

Let’s face it: whether you’re just starting to look at colleges or racing to finish your personal essay before the deadline, college applications can be intimidating. The good news? They don’t have to be. With a little guidance, any teen can navigate the college application process like a pro.

As a content fellow at Khan Academy, I’ve spent the last year and a half talking to admissions officers, financial aid professionals, and students who’ve been through the college application process themselves. They all had a ton of wisdom to share – things I wish I’d known back when I was applying to college!

#1: Your phone is your friend.

Phones aren’t just for texting – they’re also a great way to get homework help on the go. With more and more free learning apps available every day, the information you need is literally at your fingertips. Khan Academy, for example, has practice problems, video lessons, and articles on math, science, history, and much more on its Android and iPhone apps.

By using the resources on your phone, you can take charge of your own learning. That’s important, because your high school grades are a big part of your college application. In fact, most colleges say that your high school transcript is the most important part – they want to see that you’ve taken challenging classes and done well in them.

Student story: High school classes:

#2: Don’t be discouraged by the sticker price.

Some teens avoid applying to specific colleges – or applying to college at all – because they worry they can’t afford it. There’s no denying that college can be expensive. On average, it costs almost $20,000 per year to attend a four-year public college, including tuition, meals, and housing. The average cost of attending a private college is even higher: over $40,000 a year.

Fortunately, financial aid can make college much more affordable. Financial aid includes scholarships, grants (which don’t have to be paid back), and loans (which do). You can apply for financial aid from the federal government, private organizations, and colleges themselves. In fact, the schools with the highest sticker prices often provide the most financial aid.

Perhaps you’ve heard back from your first-choice school about your financial aid application, and they didn’t offer you as much aid as you’d hoped. The conversation doesn’t have to stop there – it’s perfectly acceptable to appeal the school’s decision. For example, if you’ve received a more generous offer from your second-choice school, you can share that info with school #1.

Student story: Overcoming financial obstacles to college

#3: You don’t have to pay big bucks to do well on the SAT.

For many students, taking standardized test like the SAT and ACT is the most intimidating part of applying to college. Fortunately – since the SAT and ACT test what you’ve learned in high school – you’ve been preparing for them since freshman year, even if you didn’t realize it at the time. Better yet, you can find free resources online to help you study.

For the SAT in particular, check out Khan Academy’s Official SAT Practice. It includes information about the test, personalized practice recommendations, and tons of practice questions. These are all free, and all developed in partnership with the College Board, the non-profit organization that writes the SAT.

Student story: Standardized tests:

#4: Ordinary events can inspire extraordinary essays.

Many teens think that their college application essay needs to about something epic – curing cancer or starring on Broadway or competing in the Olympics. I haven’t done anything like that, they worry, so how can I write a good essay?

The truth is that some of the best essays are about everyday events. In fact, one of the admissions officers I interviewed – someone who’s read thousands of essays – said that his favorite essay of all time was about working at a fast food restaurant!

Your personal essay is the most personal part of your application. It’s a chance for admissions officers to get to know you – how you reflect on your experiences and what makes you unique. So don’t worry about whether your topic is important enough – write about something that’s important to you, and let your thoughts and feelings shine through.

Writing a strong college admissions essay:

#5: Do your homework.

There’s no better way to gauge whether or not a school’s a good fit than the gut feeling you get from actually stepping foot on a college campus. Visiting campuses is one of the most enjoyable parts of the application process and arguably the best way to get a sense of what attending that college is really like. For many colleges, an interview is also part of the application process. Before your interview, get to know the school – what makes it different from other colleges? Exploring the school website is a great way to start your research.

You can use what you learn as a starting point for your interview, but make sure to ask questions that can’t be answered just by reading the college’s website. For example, you might ask about the school culture, or what it’s like to participate in one of the programs you discovered in your research..

Doing your homework shows that you’re really interested in the school, and that you’ve thought about why it might be a good fit for you. You’ll also learn more and get more out of the interview if you can ask specific questions about specific programs.

Student story: Admissions interview:

#6: There’s another reason to schedule a campus visit or interview at a school.

If you already know that you want to attend a particular school, you might think there’s no need to visit it. But visiting isn’t just a way to learn more about the school – it’s also a way to show admissions officers that you’re interested.

Also, if the college’s admissions website “recommends” an interview, you should view the interview as required. Visiting a campus and scheduling an interview, tour, and/or overnight stay are all great ways of demonstrating that you’re especially interested in a school.

If you’re worried about the cost, you can always ask the school whether they have any programs to help lower-income students visit, or whether they hold virtual interviews for students who can’t make it to the campus. More and more schools are offering these options, and It never hurts to check!

Visiting campus: Campus Visit Alternative: Online Tour

#7: Get excited!

There’s no doubt that applying to college is a big job, but it’s also the start of a big adventure. College isn’t just a continuation of high school. It’s a chance to explore, make new friends from around the world, and choose what you want to learn.

College is what you make of it – so dream big, and enjoy the ride!

Student story: College brings new friends, learning, and freedom:

For more college application tips, check out Khan Academy college admissions site. And if you have your own tip to share, let us know below!

Madeleine Traver is the College Admissions Content Fellow at Khan Academy – a nonprofit with a mission to provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. Having recently graduated from the University of Southern California, she now helps other students achieve their college dreams.

Top 10 Biggest Myths about High School


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High School!

Looking back at those years, I am filled with bittersweet agony. I, like so many millions, looked forward to entering high school and did so with the best of intentions. However, I made a few missteps — a lot of which were a result of pressure built on by the numerous myths which filled my head about high school from movies, T.V. and books which made high school look like some sort of a wild jungle party.

In the following, I will be debunking a few of them for every teen out there who is about to enter high school.

a21. Only the popular kids have fun

No high school is anything like what we were shown in the movie Mean Girls! There is no elite group which runs the whole school. Yes, there will be certainly people who are more outgoing than others and have a wider circle of friends, but the truth is that most high schools are so big that people don’t really care about how popular you are. And there are not going to be crazy parties every weekend being thrown by this popular clique, with being invited to the party as some sort of acceptance criteria.

The idea is to find your group of friends or like-minded people and have the best time possible while focusing on learning as much as you can (and proving it with good grades). Most parties or hangouts are among close group of friends and are low key. The supreme power of the popular clique is a total myth, unless your high school has like 30 kids in it total. 

Do not enter high school with a mindset that you need to be part of any clique to survive that place. You just have to be yourself for the right kind of friends to like you just the way you are.

a32. I’d better hide on Freshman Friday

I remember walking scared all day long on the first Friday of my high school year. All you freshmen out there, you may breathe a sigh of relief there is hardly such thing as a Freshman Friday any more!

It took me a whole day of holding my breath to realize everyone’s just too busy and don’t really care enough about the freshman to torture them. Some seniors might make you feel that they are superior to you in some ways, which they really aren’t except for their knowledge about the building. There might be some ragging or some people might pull a few pranks but people rarely get physical, unless you somehow end up involved with the wrong kind of kids — in which case get an adult involved if you do not feel safe or are bullied harshly.

Many high schools offer freshmen some sort of mentoring program to jump start their high school experience, so make sure you check out what your school has to offer before the school year starts.

a43. Everyone drives a wicked cool car in high school

Not everyone comes to school in their own personal Benz or Mustang GT — most of the cars in the parking lot probably belong to the teachers or the staff.

Unless your parents got bucks, the usual way you get your first car is that you finish school, get a job and then get your own car, even if its a jalopy. Do not expect your parents to buy you a car automatically when you turn 16, and do not enter high school thinking you need a ride to impress people.

If you want to impress people impress them with your talents and your personality.

a54. Appearance is the key to acceptance

Yes, it is true that we become more aware of our sense of style and fashion in the high school years, but it certainly doesn’t mean you have to be on some sort of a bandwagon.

It helps to look presentable and take care of your grooming, because that is just polite and also makes you feel good, but your style or the label on your clothing is not the key to your social life. Within a couple of weeks after school starts everyone gets so busy with exams, projects and other stuff that people hardly pay attention to what other people are wearing.

So no need to fret over what to wear every morning, just follow what is your true style or whatever you are in the mood for.

napa photo booth company youboothsf.com5. These are the best years of my life

A lot of teens enter high school thinking these are supposed to be the best years of their lives and they should live it up as much as they can before its all over.

Also, just because everyone seems to be dating, doesn’t mean you have to be in any hurry…because the best years are still to come. Your thirties and forties will be way better than this, believe me.

These are the years to make mistakes and not take things too seriously. I was so nervous about “being trapped” that I ended up being in an open relationship. I thought with this no strings attached kind of thing going I would be happy and free, but the truth is I ended up being miserable and multiple commitments even effected my grades.

High school can be a different sort of an experience for everyone. You shouldn’t enter high school with too many preconceived ideas. It is the best time to explore yourself, and what options you have for the future. Your college admission also depends on what you do in this time, so sacrifice a little here by hitting the books and it should pay off in the best years of your life later.

a76. The only thing that matters is my grades

Another myth which should be debunked here is that teens often think “I don’t need to participate in extra-curricular activities; I should just focus on my grades.” This statement is completely false.

Colleges and Universities always look for well-rounded applicants. Even if you are the smartest kid in your school academically, colleges will debate whether they should accept you or not just because you did not participate in any extracurricular activities. Even without college plans, extracurricular activities teach you so much more than what books can. You get to learn patience, persistence and discipline, as well as develop artistically, athletically, and/or spiritually. These are desirable qualities and part of your life education, so do not focus only on your grades, but try something new to expand your horizons.

a127. There is a gang of kids drinking, smoking and/or and doing drugs in every bathroom 

I was terrified of entering bathrooms when I first went to high school, because nearly every movie I have ever seen shows a bunch of tough looking kids in leather jackets that hang out in bathrooms all day ready to beat nerds up in between drags of their cigarette or swigs of beer — or smoking weed and being stupid.

While you may encounter a few kids here and there being naughty, this is rare. And definitely not like what you see in the movies. In fact, if teens are going to misbehave, they usually do it far away from teachers — meaning they wait until after school on their way home.

a88. I don’t have to worry about the SAT or ACT until Senior year

Many students believe since they need their standardized test results just before they need to apply for college of their choice; they should wait until the very end to even think about these tests. Actually the earlier you prepare for your ACT and/or SAT exams, the better off you will be. There are plenty of resources for taking practice tests, study guides, and more online which will help you prepare. It is better to take the SATs as early as possible, as it gives you more time to restudy and retake the test for better scores.

This comes from personal experience.

a99. I must strive to shine like a lone star

Another very interesting myth that is sometimes manifested is that the lone star shines the brightest. In truth, teens need to learn the importance of teamwork and getting along with people.

When working together, sometimes team members become competitive and try to outshine each other or focus only on their part in the project. There has been a paradigm shift in the corporate culture over the past few years. Every company now looks for a team player and wants to see how well you will blend in. Therefore, it is very important to participate in all sorts of group activities. High school is one of the best times to get exposed to the concept.

So, whenever you are part of a group don’t just focus on yourself and sulk in a corner or try to dominate: see how you can contribute to the success of the whole team.


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a1110. I must lose my virginity in high school

No you don’t. You also don’t need to do so in college either. The truth is, there are no 100 percent, across the boards rules about this. Instead, it kind of depends on your upbringing, your parent’s guidance, your cultural background, your religious beliefs, and even what part of the country you live in. Mots of all, it depends on your gut, and what makes your comfortable in accordance with the previous factors.

The point is…there is no rush.

So there you have it. High school is what you make of it, and hopefully you will get to know yourself much better. It is a phase where some of the lessons you learn will stay with you for life, so do not let these myths spoil your experience for you.

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Samar is a senior writer for OLWOMEN.com, an avid reader, fashion and make up enthusiast who simply lives to write and talk about all kinds of stuff. Focusing on open-relationship rules these days and especially about the signs he’s cheating you!