By Stefanie Scotto '18
For seniors, the late months of school can become incredibly stressful, as they only have until May 1st to decide on what college or university they will attend in the fall. Having too many options can make decisions difficult, and having limited options causes lots of stress. Here is a guide to help decision making a little easier.
First, narrow down your top choices of schools that you have been accepted to. Having a smaller group of 3-4 schools will be much less complicated than picking out of a range of 5+ schools. For each of the schools that you have picked to be your main focus, find a few majors in each school that you can see yourself doing. If some schools have fewer options than others, it may be best to rule them out of your list, unless you are absolutely certain about your major and that they offer it. If you are going in undecided, follow the same rule of thumb: pick out a few majors from each school, and see if you can picture yourself studying that. If it has a few options, you can move onto the next step.
Another important factor in deciding on a college is the amount of scholarship money that you earned, along with financial aid. You should take into account the amount of merit and financial aid awards each school gave you, and make sure that you can afford that school. Students should also apply for financial aid and extra scholarships that the school or outside programs offer. Often times, your parents’ jobs will provide benefits and programs that can provide aid in paying for tuition, so be sure to look into those options.
Students should then look into the other programs that the schools offer, such as sports, clubs, work study, and sororities/fraternities. Having activities to do after classes are important to keep a good resume while enjoying your college years. Think about a few clubs or activities you would like to be involved in, and see if your schools offer those or similar programs. If you plan on dorming, you should definitely look into the size of their dorms, along with the pricing of them. Dorming is a great way to make new friends when coming into a school, but may not be for everybody.
The last step to deciding on a college is taking one last look at your schools, and see where you feel most at home. If you feel comfortable in the school’s environment and can see yourself doing well there, it is a good option for you. Take one last visit to your main schools, and weigh out the pros and cons of each. Wherever you see yourself being successful and happy should be the school of your choice. Good luck to all seniors who are deciding on colleges.
By Gabriella Agliata '19
Having trouble with your grades? No need to worry! Finding a studying strategy that works for you is difficult, but possible. You must have patience and continue working to discover the key to your success. Here are a few tips that can help you achieve your goals on this academic journey:
1. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep
By Falon Veccia '18
It’s that time of year again. The period consisting of late nights, stress, and migraines. It’s none other than the beginning of the midterm season.
But there are ways to ace that midterm exam without all the stress. Getting enough sleep, nutrition, and time management all serve as an aid during the study process.
Studying overnight is a main strategy students take in preparing for a midterm. But this studying habit will hardly get them where they need to be.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, teens need at least 8-10 hours of sleep. The time spent sleeping is just as vital to their health as eating and breathing. The concentration needed in order to study would be completely thrown out the window without just enough sleep under the belt.
For freshmen, the round of high school midterms may be very different. They’re in a new environment and should expect some harder work. At Fontbonne, students should expect rigorous courses that challenge their abilities. Studying one whole night would not help them absorb the information in the long run.
Before birth, the fetus needs the proper nutrition from the mother in order to have proper brain development. Being properly nourished during the teen years are incredibly important for cognition.
Ever noticed getting a headache while trying to study? Well, that can be a lack of food in your system. It’s a way for your body to tell you to take a break and eat more. Midterms consist of an incredible amount of information to retain, and with one element of your day nagging at you, concentration would be lost.
Dr. David Just says, “Deficiencies in other vitamins and minerals, specifically thiamine, vitamin E, vitamin B, iodine, and zinc, are shown to inhibit cognitive abilities and mental concentration. Additionally, amino acid and carbohydrate supplementation can improve perception, intuition, and reasoning.”
Time is independent of both sleep and nutrition. Therefore, time needs to be made for these important factors throughout your daily routine. After everything is taken care of, make sure you make time to study for these midterms.
After all of the information you had to learn for past exams, it would be a shame to let it all go to waste. Looking it over every now and then to refresh your brain is only a positive activity.
When we learn new information, we remember it the best immediately after we have learned it. We then forget details as time passes. Even after a few days, we may be able to recall only a little of what we initially learned. Review activates the knowledge you already know.
The best way to study for midterms is to be in tune with what you body is telling you. If there is anything you physically need to take care of, that is the priority. Studying comes after the essentials, and in the long run, will better your study habits.
By Gabriella Agliata '19
If you’re anything like me, anxiety is a daily struggle. Most of the time, it feels almost impossible to overcome. You must realize that you aren’t alone. Over 40 million adults in the United States suffer from this constant state of apprehension. This is about 18% of the population. People all over the world are looking for solutions to reduce this overwhelming stress we constantly face. Hopefully, some of the following will make your day-to-day life more relaxed.
You can not cure anxiety, and it is definitely not easy to cope with. In fact, finding a way to control it is just half the battle. Find a way to build upon these ideas, and create your own mechanism to not let doubt get in the way of seizing opportunities and living life to the fullest.
Never forget, positive thoughts lead to positive outcomes.
By Emanuela Gallo '19
This app is immensely popular and well known as being a powerful and helpful tool for all your grammar and spelling needs. It works well as an extension on Chrome, and isn't as intrusive as other spellcheckers. It does require an account to use though.
This extension specifically gives you feedback on your writing and assists with many grammar and writing issues. It pops up in practically any window, and offers many suggestions on how to improve on writing, be it on multiple subjects such as research or fiction.
This extension essentially works as a webpage saver, but it's true ingenuity lies within its easy to use filing system. You can color code and folder specific tabs you'd like to save for later at any time and can be transferred over multiple devices via the login account. It also now has a mini version for convenience.
4. Strict Workflow
If you have issues in time management, this extension might just help. It is a timer that works in frames of 25 minutes with strategic breaks implemented for an even work and rest schedule. It also block specific sites that you know suck up your time and attention, such as Facebook and Instagram.
For times when you need to dictate your notes, this app works well in many regards. It helps categorize your notes into documents with a built in word editor to format your text as you please. PDF and .docx files are supported. It requires permission to use the computer's microphone.
6. ReadLang Web Reader
If foreign languages give you trouble, this Web Reader can give you real-time practice. It can translate webpages you don't understand, and later create flashcards and word lists for you based on what you struggled with.
This is a simple and distraction-free todo list and task manager. It is well organized and you can instantly share lsts you've created with your friends, family, and team.
Many students complain of noise distractions and the lack of focus in noisy areas. This website extension brings calming sounds and simple ambiance to help center your thoughts and attention.
A simple tool that helps your productivity time. It simply scans webpages for example, long articles and other readable content, and tells you how long it will take to read them. It works well for times when you are rushed and need an approximate reading time estimate.
A simple extension that when clicked, shoots bright confetti over your screen. Especially useful in bringing a smile to your face or celebrating a good grade!
By Gabriella Zuardo '20
Preparing for the SAT is an exciting and stressful time for us high school students. We are reminded of college and our upcoming future as adults, and as much as we would like to ignore it, the SAT also brings a substantial amount of anxiety. It is perfectly normal to be nervous for a test such as the SAT. The SAT is a major contributor to our pathway to success. To help, I suggest following these tips on how to not feel as stressed about the exam.
The first step you should make is searching for places that offer SAT prep courses. Fontbonne Hall Academy has our very own SAT prep course run by Mr.Ugenti. Mr. Ugenti shares useful tips and techniques on how to take the SAT exam. Besides taking a preparation course, I also suggest starting to study for the exam on your own. You may use many different studying strategies for the exam, including studying vocabulary, taking practice tests, or reviewing questions and sections of the test you feel uncertain about. It is important to take your time learning how to understand answering SAT formatted questions.
For the day of the exam, I recommend a good night's sleep with an additional breakfast meal in the morning. Breakfast will keep you from getting hungry during the many hours of the test. You want to make sure for certain you don’t have to worry about your stomach growling during the exam. Make sure to have everything prepared the night before in case you forget something in the morning. Try your best to arrive at the test location at least 15 minutes prior to checking yourself in. You want to make sure you don’t have any further anxiety from being late.
Lastly, make sure to manage your time studying and be sure to pace yourself well when taking the exam. You want to feel prepared and will feel your best if you take your time.
By Vicki Zougras '21
Completing Community Service hours is a very important requirement for students in High School. The criteria is that you need to complete a certain amount of hours in order to graduate. Some students might be participating in community service activities just because they’re being forced to so they can graduate. But, community service should be a good learning experience that could help you when you are older. There are many options you choose from to get community service hours done, but it does not have to be boring if you pick activities or sites that interest you.
If you want to become an artist, then you can volunteer in an art room. If you want to become a teacher ,you could volunteer in the school you went to for elementary and middle school. In addition to that, you could help an after school program that kids stay in if their parents have to work to provide for their family. You could volunteer in a animal hospital if you want to become a veterinarian. You can observe and learn what you will be doing if you do become a vet.
You can help in a soup kitchen so you can help make food that poor people can’t afford. When you do community service, you really help people in need and that is a really great feeling to have.
The feeling that you made someone happy today is a feeling you could never get over. You never know community service might help you realize what you want to be when you get older.If you are a freshman even though you are young, community service lets you put the mindset of an hard working adult who has a professional job.
By Emanuela Gallo '19
Tired of dealing with pop-ups reminding you of your declining space every time you just want to take a picture on your phone? To all my fellow 16GB users, these are some tips and tricks on making more space on your phone.
2. Delete pictures
This also seems obvious, but it’s important to try to cut down your Camera Roll space, as it usually takes up the most. You don’t need all those pictures from your latest friend group photoshoot; delete any doubles, ones where people aren’t looking, and so on.
3. Go through apps to minimize their size.
For the apps you can’t bear to part with, or are unable to delete because Apple has put them there, try to minimize the space they take up. Delete old podcasts you’re done listening to, ibooks you’ve finished reading, old notes you don’t need anymore, reminders you’ve already done, calendar events that have passed, and clear conversations on Snapchat. If you have Whatsapp, archived chats still take up space on your phone. Make sure to delete them completely.
4. Delete your old messages
I know it might be hard to delete those month-old conversations, but space takes sacrifice! Messages take up more space than you think. Make it a routine to delete old conversations you don’t need anymore.
5. Trade in your iTunes library for a streaming service.
While downloading another music app will take up space, streaming songs takes up significantly less than having them actually downloaded. There are a myriad of apps to choose from, including Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music (available should you have Amazon Prime), and Soundcloud.
6. Upload all your pictures to Google Photos and delete them in Camera Roll.
Google photos is reliable app where you are able to upload, backup, access and organize all your pictures easily. Similarly to streaming, using this app takes up less space than actually having the pictures in your Camera Roll. Keep in mind, however, that you won’t be able to access your photos unless you have an internet or service connection.
by Elyssa Silverman '17
Q: How can I balance school work, tests, extracurricular activities, and social life? I want to have a fun year but I also want to have good grades.
It can be tough to balance school, extracurriculars, and a social life, especially during junior and senior year with the added pressure of things like the SAT and college applications. It is totally possible to have a fun year while maintaining good grades. Here are some pointers on how you can do this!
First, don’t put too much on your plate. Sign up for a few clubs, take some tough classes, but don’t take all APs and join 5 clubs if you haven’t even taken one AP before. Know your limits. If you struggle in advanced classes and want to challenge yourself, try one class in a subject you like and see how you do! If you challenge yourself in a healthy way, you can grow without sacrificing your social life.
Second, manage your time as best as you can. Do as much work as you can at school and use every minute to your advantage. If you are finished with a test 10 minutes early, find something to do for that time. Don’t waste free periods! This way, when you get home, you can relax and catch up on a little studying instead of having truckloads of homework to do.
Another important thing to do is ask for help. Isn’t it the worst when you’re trying to do math homework but you have no idea what you’re looking at? Resource periods are there for you to get extra help. Plenty of teachers are available in the morning and afternoon (before and after school) and are more than willing to help you. Study in groups and do homework with your classmates- if you are struggling, someone who gets it may be able to help you. Make sure it works the other way around, too- help friends who are struggling in subjects that you are good at. The most important thing is to find a healthy balance between work and free time. Once you do this, you can have a great year without endangering your grades!
Q: How should sophomores prepare themselves for the SAT?
Sophomore year is a great time to start preparing for the SAT, this way you don’t have to overload yourself with test prep as junior year gets closer. There are a lot of things that you can do to familiarize yourself with the content of the test and sharpen your skills. These tips are also great for juniors and seniors who are planning to take the SAT.
The most important thing you can do is become familiar with the layout of the test. Read the directions on your practice tests so you don’t have to waste time reading them on test day (especially for the fill-in math questions). Learn what types of questions will appear on the test and how long you have for each section. You can do all of this by reading outlines, taking practice tests online or practicing questions in books. I’m personally a big fan of Barron’s SAT prep books, but you can use whatever book you like best.
After you get comfortable with how the test plays out, start getting comfortable with the content of the actual questions. What types of concepts will be tested in math? What genres can I expect to see on the reading section? You can answer these questions by taking practice questions and full tests. Khan Academy has a great (free) online program for SAT prep. I used this program and nothing else for the new SAT and did really well, so I highly recommend it!
Some people also feel that prep classes are helpful. While they don’t help everyone, they can be great practice for people who are struggling in a particular subject. Look into local test prep centers to find the class that works best for you.
The most important tip is to remain calm. The SAT is a test. It does not measure your intelligence- don’t beat yourself up if you don’t do well the first time. It is a difficult test, and the more you prepare for it and remain confident in yourself, the better you will feel on test day!