By Jacqueline Cox '22
Starting high school can be a bit overwhelming. If you are worried about how you will keep up with all that is expected of you when you begin school in September, here are a few things that incoming freshwomen to Fontbonne Hall Academy can do over the summer to help get the year off to a smooth start.
Get Started on Your Summer Reading Early
Over the summer, incoming freshwomen are assigned several books to read. In September, students will be tested on their knowledge of each book. It is a good idea to purchase these books as soon as possible so that there is plenty of time to read each one thoroughly. Also, it would be helpful to take notes while reading each book so you have something to refer back to for studying when the test dates are given.
Take Advantage of Summer Programs
At Fontbonne Hall Academy, there are several camps, clinics, and enrichment programs that take place over the summer. Getting involved in one or some of them is a good way to make some friends with other Bonnies and to get to know some of the teachers and coaches. When you begin school in September, you will feel a little more comfortable having already made some connections and seeing some familiar faces. This can also help you decide which extracurricular activities you may or may not like to participate in during the school year.
Make a List
When school starts in September, all freshwomen will be assigned to an FA. Your FA is your homeroom, which is a mix of freshwomen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors that meet once a day to take attendance, discuss important issues, and share information with each other. It might be helpful to prepare a list of any questions you might have about Fontbonne Hall Academy over the summer and ask those questions to the teacher or upperclasswomen in your FA when you meet with them. You will also be given a senior sister in September who would be able to answer the questions you have as well.
A Few Items to Purchase
If you are doing any shopping over the summer, it might be a good idea to purchase a small gym bag and a pair of sneakers that you could use for physical education class next year. Also, Bonnies are allowed to wear solid gray, solid white or solid navy blue infinity scarves when the weather gets cool so grab one if you see one while you are shopping this summer as well.
Hopefully, these tips will help make things a little easier for incoming freshwomen to Fontbonne Hall Academy in the Fall. Getting a few things done over the summer is a smart way to lessen the load of all that will be expected of you in September.
By Ally Mauro '20
There are certain decisions to be made when deciding if you want to partake in an AP class, and a lot comes along with them. It may not come very easily, but if you want to challenge yourself, then this is the right way to go. Take your favorite subject, for example. If you love to learn about history, maybe try out an APUSH class. You’re going to have to push yourself a little bit, but this will pay off in the end and could eventually look great for college.
Sure, the term “AP” may sound a bit scary, but it really isn’t as bad as you think. If colleges see that you took an AP class and didn’t do too well, it still shows that you challenged yourself and worked hard to better understand that subject. The most important word of advice that I always carry through each challenging class, is to not judge yourself too harshly. If you didn’t do as well as you had hoped on a test, it’s important to remember that trying your best is all anyone can ask for. It’s better to leave the testing room knowing that you gave it your all, rather than leave knowing that you didn’t give your one hundred percent.
Another piece of advice that I feel is necessary is to just stay relaxed. Of course, studying and organization can be stressful, but take a breath and know that it’s going to be okay. We should try to understand that all of our hard work and dedication will pay off, especially when taking tests that we may find difficult.
With AP courses, comes the one thing most of us dread- testing. Make an examination plan for yourself, especially if you plan to take different AP courses, because the more AP courses you take, the more testing. Devote time for practice in an AP test prep book or some sort of AP guide. Begin with light review, and even some material that wasn't widely covered in class. When you feel ready, practice sample questions, and learn to manage your time. Time management is super important, especially for studying, and if you’re having trouble, turning to your teacher or guidance counselor for advice is a great option.
If you’re not too sure where to start for studying, regent questions are the way to go, but if you’re just simply trying to memorize notes, make up silly tricks to help you remember certain material that isn’t sticking. This trick works wonders, and might even stick with you for the rest of your high school career, depending on how creative you make them. Some silly tricks I have made up go all the way back to grammar school, and I still remember them to this day.
Studying really depends on what kind of learner you are, so you should start there. Do you learn simply from listening? From writing it all down? Or maybe you learn from using flashcards the most. It doesn’t matter how you study, but trying out different methods if you’re unsure can be very beneficial. Depending on your personally, maybe you could even use extra help, and that is perfectly okay, and doesn’t make you weaker than any other student.
Getting a tutor when you know, for example, math isn't your strong suit, is a great start! It’s good to recognize your weakness and take the initiative to work on it. Finally, if you are working as hard as you can, then there should be less stress because everything else is out of your control and you can't do anything to affect it. Try applying the right amount of effort to get good grades. If it doesn’t work out the way you expect, which often does happen, then pick yourself up, move on, and get a fresh start. As Shantideva, a buddhist scholar, once said, “If the problem can be solved why worry? If the problem cannot be solved worrying will do you no good.” This is great to keep in mind, and to know that any obstacle can be overcome in a school environment if you strive to do so.
Overall, AP courses could be great for any student. Don’t keep the mindset that you’re either not “good enough” or not “smart enough” because as students, we’re all in the same boat. Nobody enters school knowing everything about everything. That is why we are here- to learn, so ask questions, take a more advanced class, and strive to be the best that you can be.
By Gabriella Agliata ‘19
As students, it seems almost impossible to achieve all that we want to do and more. While we develop these goals and imagine the most ideal situations in which we exceed, failure to do exactly as planned is beyond disheartening. As the manifestation of all our hopes don’t reach our unreasonably high expectations, we’re sent into a state of immediate panic. It seems that anything less than perfection is implausible.
To get rid of this feeling is easier said than done. After being a student for many years, I can say from experience how difficult it is to deal with this. Whether it be getting rejected from a college, not understanding a certain subject, or not qualifying for a class you wanted to take - we all deal with failure one way or another. Whatever you’re facing may feel like a life-shattering dilemma, but the important thing to remember is that you can only learn from your mistakes and build from where you are.
Although it may sound cliche, it’s true. The only way that you’re going to deal with these problems is to evaluate what went wrong and trying to do better the next time. Being distraught and fixating over the past is not going to help your future. It’s not only destroying the possibility of you recovering from what you failed at but damaging your self-esteem by the second from becoming more engrossed with negative thoughts.
Even though it isn’t easy, you must remember that with failure, comes success. When you finally attain this feeling of accomplishment, know that you are going to fail again and when it happens you can’t wallow in self-pity. Take a deep breath and go back to all the other times you’ve failed and then redeemed yourself. Life is not always perfect, nor is it without obstacles. It’s when you overcome these obstacles that you can finally be the most confident, productive, and successful person you can be.
By Gabriella Agliata '19
As graduation day slowly approaches and the acceptance letters from colleges begin to come, the strong perseverance seniors once had as freshwomen begin to die.
Developing senioritis is inevitable, and if you already have it, then it is imperative to get rid of it as soon as possible. Although it may seem futile to do things to the best of your ability at this point in your high school career, your grade point average is still making an impact. If it drops too low, the colleges that you were accepted to can withdraw their acceptance. Not only this, but if you’ve made significant progress from previous years, then there is a possibility to get more scholarship from schools. Here are some tips to help shake off senioritis:
Try to do the majority of your work in school or as soon as you get home
This way, you are still focused on getting your work done, but still get to enjoy doing other things later and avoid procrastination.
Remember that grades still have an impact
As mentioned before, colleges are still looking at your grades. Don’t let your grades drop just after you get accepted because it can still get revoked.
Don’t forget that the end is near
Even though the last day of classes might seem so far away, it’s coming quicker than you think. Make the most out of these last days, because you don’t want to look back on the end of senior year and remember all the responsibilities you avoided.
Think of this as further training for college
You want to be as prepared for next year as possible. It wouldn’t be wise to shirk off everything now, just when you’re about to start a new academic journey.
You only get one senior year, so make sure to make the most of it!
By Gabriella Agliata '19
I'm feeling a little left out by my friend group at school, maybe it’s just me but I feel like I'm slowly drifting away from them. Any advice?
There is a girl that always hangs out with me and sits and my lunch table, but I know she is a bad influence on me. How do I separate myself from her in a polite way, without being mean?
How To Fit in Exercise During a Busy Day
What courses should I take for the next year?
By Gabriella Agliata '19
Submission: How should I deal with racism? I’m Islamic and the media makes it seem as if we are dangerous but we really aren’t. Some girls in FHA don’t want to understand this and it makes me upset. Please help.
Unfortunately, there’s no simple solution to end racism but there are ways to handle it. First and foremost, you must realize that it is never okay for someone to judge you based on religion or race. You should never just “accept it,” or “let it slide.” If someone is treating you differently or in a way that is unfair compared to others and will not stop, you need to inform an adult right away.
Even though Fontbonne is an all-inclusive and loving environment, everyone comes from different backgrounds, which may make it difficult for others to understand another culture besides their own. The best thing is to teach others about your faith, and explain what it means to follow this religion. It is important to remain calm and collected when doing this rather than responding in a negative tone. If simply explaining does not work, that is the time to notify someone. Talk to a teacher, counselor, family member, friend, etc. - anyone that you trust. After doing this, simply kill them with kindness and walk away. It is no help to respond with hateful words or disrespect.
If someone is disrespecting you because of your background, simply remember that you are perfect in your own way. Despite what others may think, you are your own unique person who does not adhere to stereotypes and degrading opinions. It is important to know that you truly aren’t alone in this struggle and have many people who do support you in and out of school.
By Gabriella Agliata '19
Bonnie to Bonnie is an advice column in which students are encouraged to submit their questions and concerns so they can be guided through their daily challenges. This month one of our readers asked, “How can I get my grades up?” If you’d like to have one of your questions answered, submit it using the button located in the sidebar.
It’s that time of the year again- the first quarter has come to a close and everyone is in a state of panic because of their final grades. Unfortunately, it’s too late to change any unsatisfactory marks right now, but there is still the rest of the year to excel in your academics. Here are some tips to ensure that you reach your goals in the future:
1. Turn to a teacher for extra help in subjects that you’re struggling in