Posts Tagged ‘ advice ’

Senior Send-Off: Advice from Ms. Kauffman

Dear Seniors,
Well, you made it, didn’t you? You’ve arrived at that point in the semester where there are only a few weeks to go, your Dual Enrollment classes are already over, you’re wrapping up the few assignments you have left, and then you’re done. “I can’t wait to get out of here,” you say at the T.A. Desk. “I can’t wait for college because I don’t have to do as much,” you say idly when you should be in study hall. “I’m going to be free,” you say between passing periods. You count down the days, think to yourself or say to your teacher, even, “I only have be in this room eleven more times.” (I mean, none of you have said something like that
to your teacher.) So what can I tell you that no one hasn’t already said to you? What can I tell the 2017 Senior Class of Tri-City College Prep High School that no one else has said before? Here’s the truth of it: nothing.
My friends, you have reached the point in your school career where you have heard enough advice to last you a lifetime. When an interviewer asked Flannery O’Connor where she got all of the ideas for her numerous and voluminous stories, she said that if you have lived past the age of twelve, you have enough stories to fuel a lifetime of writing. Now, not all of you are going to be writers, but O’Connor had the sage retrospect to look back on her life and to be able to recognize that even as a child not paying attention to the world around her, her life was rife with other people’s stories. Her family members had lifetimes before her rich with experiences, disappointments, encouragements, and observations. Her teachers surrounded her with experience, advice, told her what pitfalls to watch out for, which actions in behavior would be unacceptable to a world in front of her, told her which thoughts would take her far, pushed her, encouraged her.
It’s up to you, now, to listen to the advice of your family members and teachers, those of us who have trained you and prepared you, who have told you of regrets and best memories alike, who have recommended and guided, and now you step out on your own. With these stories and narratives of others pushing you forward, it’s time for you to write your own story.
We know you’re not going to listen to all of our advice: you’re going to jump into that harsh world on your own, navigate in it independently, find things out for yourself. Don’t be surprised when it’s different than you thought it would be.
You might fail a college class, or take a job that isn’t what you expected. You might change your major, or go down a path that leads to a completely different career than you planned. It’s okay to make
mistakes, and indeed the best stories are full of them –but the best stories are full of brave chances, too.
When people ask me why I like to teach English, I tell them that English is a Humanities class, and the Humanities study what it means to be human. Everyone has a story to tell that is different
than someone else’s story. You have different backgrounds, different ambitions, different observations, and you’ll make choices different from everyone else. There is no one who can write your
story for you. So take chances. Dream big. Make mistakes. Make observations. Experience things. Give as much as you can to other people. Contribute something to the world we live in whether its charity or art or music or pro bono work. Write your story.
One day you’ll be in a position to share your
story with someone else. Make sure it’s a great one
to tell.
~Kristen Kauffman

Senior Send-Off: Advice from an Alum

For today’s senior send-off, alum Natalie Krafft takes a look at her freshman year in college as a music education major. Below, she lists 100 things she learned in her freshman year, from practice strategies to life advice.

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The Do’s and Don’t’s of Choosing a College

By Amanda Bertsch

By May 1st, all of this year’s college-bound seniors must submit their intent to attend the college of their choice, along with a housing deposit. Many seniors have already made their choices, but some are still trying to decide. If you’re in the latter group (or you’re dreading making that decision in a couple of years), read on.

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a college, but some students consider the wrong things. Avoid making a bad choose by following this advice:

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How To Celebrate Valentine’s Day

By Natalie Krafft


Valentine’s Day is finally here! A day of romance, chocolates and roses awaits us all, whether we want it or not. For some of us, we’ll be waiting till tomorrow where it’s not only after Valentine’s Day sales, but Presidents’ Day sales that’ll get that fancy box of heart shaped chocolates down to 99 cents. However, if you want to celebrate V-day with a partner this year, here are some pointers to enhance your Valentine’s Day experience.
1. Flowers are always a good idea, regardless of gender.
Whether it’s the typical roses or an unconventional orchid, flowers are a beautiful way to express ones love for another. It’s a good way to brighten up not only their living space, but their day as well. They may not last a long time, but they’re still a very nice thought.
2. Chocolates are still pretty awesome, because it’s chocolate.
Unless they’re lactose intolerant, don’t be afraid to get chocolates. It can be the boxed chocolates or even just a bag of your loved one’s favorite candy! There basically isn’t a day where candy sounds like a bad idea.
3. Go on a hike, bike ride, or something outdoorsy.
Instead of the conventional romantic movie followed by an equally romantic spaghetti dinner, go to the outdoors and cherish your love alongside Mother Nature. Here in the Prescott area, we’ve been having oddly warm weather, which makes it convenient for long hikes or epic rides. It’s a great way to just disconnect from people and focus on each other. Plus it’s free to use the trails here! Star gazing and canoeing are also other fun ideas!
4. Make dinner and/or dessert together because let’s be honest: who doesn’t love food?
Not only does this allow you to have the opportunity to show off in front of your date, but it’ll also guarantee the perfect meal as you are both supervising the dish. It’s also extremely personal since you’ve put time and effort in, just for them. The two of you could make pizza for dinner with half of it being yours and the other half theirs, then dip your own fruit in chocolate for dessert! After all, the quickest way to a man’s (and woman’s) heart is through their stomach.
5. Do what you both love to do.
If there is a common ground between the two of you, use it. Are you both competitive gamers? Then try to kick each other’s butt at good ol’ fashioned Smash Bros! Do you both secretly love romantic comedies? Then watch one! Or do you both just have no idea on what to do on V-Day? Then just hang out and treat it like a normal day.
If you’re the sappiest romantic to ever swoon on this planet, then go ahead and make it the most romantic day ever. If romance is like a foreign culture from a different galaxy that makes you uncomfortable, then feel free to not do anything at all. In the end, it all comes down time. Spend time with each other and make it meaningful. While we shouldn’t be using Valentine’s Day as that once a year way to show our love, we should be making it special. Every couple (and single) is different, so celebrate this holiday in your own unique way.

Memorize That

By Amanda Bertsch

This post is part of our new series Study Spot. Check back bimonthly for study tips and college advice. This special post is for finals.


At some point, everyone has to memorize something, whether it’s dates for a history test or formulas for physics. Luckily, there are several proven methods to speed memorization and make studying less of a chore.

  1. Start early: Unsurprisingly, studying takes some time. Set aside time to study at least a week or two before any major test; even if you haven’t covered all the information yet, you can study the early stuff first. Don’t be that person that crams everything the night before, because that person doesn’t tend to do well on difficult tests.
  2. Write it: Handwritten notes have been proved to help you retain information. What this means for memorization is that rewriting information multiple times will help you memorize it much faster. This method is especially helpful for subjects with exact wordings, like poems or formulas.
  3. Say it: Speaking information also helps retention. Try reciting notes or passages out loud, adding enunciation and gestures. This method also doubles as practice for public speaking!
  4. Study late and early: You’re more likely to remember information that you review right before you go to bed or immediately after you get up in the morning. Just be sure to avoid online studying before going to bed because the light of the screen will make it more difficult to sleep later.
  5. Teach it: Teaching something to someone else helps you remember and understand that information better. However, there’s not always someone willing to listen to three hours of Japanese characters or European history. Try teaching to an empty room or a pet for a similar effect.
  6. Memory Castle: Anyone who watches BBC Sherlock will be familiar with the concept of a “mind palace” where information is organized. A similar method involves associating concepts with specific areas of your home. Walk into the kitchen, for instance, and associate the stove with the boiling point of water. Or simply recite a passage and dedicate a specific section to each room, then walk to that room whenever you recite that piece. This is especially useful with information that has to be remembered in a specific order.
  7. Story time: Any kind of history is just a real-life story. Instead of reciting dates and names over and over, tell the information in a story format. Don’t forget to mention all the dates, but telling it as if you were telling a story to a friend will help you associate causes with effects.
  8. Take breaks: Cramming for four hours straight won’t help as much as you think it will. Instead, break up studying and take frequent breaks to relax, do other work, or go outside.
  9. Do what you can, where you can: We all have busy schedules, but once you start studying information you can take it with you on the road. Recite a poem in the shower, quiz yourself on dates on the van ride to a sporting event, or reread notes on the way to school if someone else is driving. There’s a lot of wasted time in the day, so take advantage of some of that time to reduce stress later.
  10. Think sideways: Instead of just repeating information the same way over and over, look for other ways to think about the information. Form a mnemonic (a play on letters or words to help remember information), recite information backwards, or analyze how historical events tie in to what’s happening today. By breaking patterns, you’ll force your brain to process the information again and thus aid memorization.

By following these tips, you can make your studying more productive, efficient, and stress-free. Get started early, and good luck on all your finals!