Are you unsure what you want to do in the future?? It is okay, we’ve all been there. Maybe you’re really indecisive like me, maybe you have a vague idea or maybe you are just completely lost. No matter which one you relate to I’m here to help, by telling you about my experience.
So, I was certain after binge watching all of 'Gilmore Girls' plus the revival that I wanted to be a journalist, just like Rory (one of the main characters). Which is why I started my blog as a way to build up a portfolio of my writing. I even started up a school newspaper in my highschool and then later joined my college’s student magazine. I showed that much enthusiasm towards it that I am now in line to be the chief editor next year. But speaking of college, I even suited my chosen courses around this idea of being a journalist, I mean I chose English and media (two obvious ones but my favourites) and sociology which is what I wanted to be my niche.
However, I recently had a review day where me and my teachers sat down to talk about how I’m getting on in their courses and how I can improve in advance of our summer progression tests. The grades we get in these tests decide if we continue our courses into the second year. In my meetings there was a unanimous trend that my writing wasn’t enough and that I wasn’t fully answering the exam questions. So, as a way to improve I was set the tasks of doing practice essays at home and attending an “Academic Writing Course” during my free periods in college.
Then when I got back home from college I told my Dad, and that's when we came to the realisation that maybe journalism isn’t right for me. I mean there is one journalist apprenticeship in my local area.On top of that it is a highly competitive field and I am having to take an extra course to work on improving the main skill required for this job. Which is how I came to the conclusion that maybe college isn’t right for me. That’s okay, there is a lot of speculation around being a college drop out and it is certainly seen as inferior. But I realised that an apprenticeship could be a better option for me.
My advice is to weigh up your options. Originally I thought that college was the only way and it is not. If you have any further questions I would love to help out, and if you have some advice why not help out??
High school is a time in which nearly every person experiences anxiety, whether it’s caused by the overwhelming amount of homework, or the ever-changing circle of friends. When a teenager is under stress whilst facing the typical anxieties surrounding fitting in, it is easy to fall victim to peer pressure, and ultimately develop an emotional dependency on drugs and alcohol.
Not only do these actions result in significant damage to the health of teenagers with developing bodies, but the psychological harm that teens undergo proves to be major in the effects of substance abuse.
Having witnessed this behaviour in my own home and at school, drug and alcohol abuse appears to be prevalent in teenagers who lack the proper support system at home or within their social circles to confront and work through their emotions. In addition, those struggling with self-image, bullying, family problems, and even the pressure of succeeding in school are more prone to escape these anxious feelings with what seems to be the easiest solution.
Although typically teen addicts may feel that drugs provide relief from stress, relying on a substance for any form of satisfaction only drives a person down a dark path. I have seen first-hand the effects that drugs and alcohol have on teens, such as strained relationships with family and friends, and losing touch of themselves and what truly brings them joy outside of their addiction.
The topic of drug abuse in adolescence is often wrongfully stigmatized. I find that those who refrain from smoking or drinking, or adults and family will judge others who use without empathizing with them and realizing that they are going through something. Those who simply want help for teen addicts overlook why one might be seeking to escape their reality in the first place. Within my school environment, it is difficult for adults and for some students to understand a teen who is reliant on drugs, and the aggressive and judgmental approach taken by parents and schools only widens the void between teen users and non-users. With the difficulty to understand each other, a teen addict is pushed further into self-isolation, ultimately worsening their addictive behaviour. What must be brought to light is how school staff, parents, and peers confront teen addiction, and ways in which both sides can be made to feel understood. Although every situation may be different, teen substance abuse stems from the inability of a teen to have the resources to properly digest and control their anxiety, making it a priority that parents and schools offer psychological help rather than judgment and punishment when confronting a potential addict.
First time for everything
Despite going through different things in each of our lives, there are some aspects to life that we share—one of those regarding getting a job. Whether we’re talking about part-time or something you want to do for the rest of your life, this is something we all go through. Working is an essential part of life.
To say I am very lucky to have the job I have now is an understatement. Given my circumstances, I would have been foolish to turn down a job like the one I have now. Not only does the job pay $3.75 more than the minimum wage, but it is also across the street from where I live, and it allows me to meet new people and develop more relationships (not to mention my coworker who is very easy on the eyes). I currently work at a gas station which requires me to manage the store by myself most times. Some of the requirements of my job include:
Working is not easy. There are many factors to getting and maintaining a job. While some jobs are easier to perform than others, it is important to recognize the hard work it takes for everyone to perform their job. In this article, I wish to share the process of getting my first job as well as how I am doing so far.
Step 1: Looking For Jobs
This was definitely harder than it sounds. I had multiple things to keep in mind as I searched for a place to work. These factors included:
Step 2: Applying/Interview Process
There are plenty of websites where companies post if they are hiring. Another good tip is to search for a company you want to work for, and call/make a visit to see about applying. What I personally did was look up jobs in my area, then refined that search to a specific company to see if they were hiring. Sometimes, if a company is desperately looking for employees, they may skip your resume and immediately ask for an interview. While this doesn’t always happen, it is important to be prepared for an interview soon after applying. Personally, since the gas station needed workers, I bypassed the interview process and only had to submit a background check. While I had an easy interview process, I still recognize that most people still have to go through a vigorous process for interviews.
Step 3: Training
Once you have successfully passed the interview process, you will have the training to teach you the ropes.
This happens with every new job you get to ensure you are able to successfully complete the tasks assigned to you. With my training, I had two phases: computer and on-the-job training. Computer training is essentially taking courses, while on-the-job is more hands-on.
Some tips I have to get you through training are:
While there are plenty more things to consider when completing training, the steps
listed above helped me tons getting through it.
Step 4: Maintaining Your Work Performance
Once you have completed training, it is now time for you to put your skills to the test. Since I work at a gas station that only allows one person per shift (with the exception of the manager and trainees) I was quite nervous to handle the customers by myself whilst ensuring the gas station is clean.
Below, I have compiled some tips to help you maintain excellence, regardless of where you work.
Working is a part of life. Everybody experiences it and will have different encounters each time. While my experience won’t relate to everyone, I have compiled advice that could help in a broader sense. Getting a job is not an easy thing and will take time. Don’t feel discouraged by getting rejected, there will always be a job out there that is perfect for you. Good luck to everyone that is looking for a job or already working!
Best of Luck,
My first day of 11th grade was my first day back at school in over a year. It was one of the weirdest days of my life. Being on campus with over 3,000 students again after being in only zoom classes for over a year was a dramatic change. Going back to sitting with groups of people and having normal social interactions, rather than breakout rooms with minimal interaction, while being in the comfort of your own home, in whatever clothes you want, eating whenever you want, and pretty much doing anything whenever you want, is a big change compared to in-person school. Seeing people and being surrounded with numerous others was a big change, not only literally but also emotionally.
I was used to waking up for school just minutes before my first class and being half asleep throughout most of it, but being back in-person completely changed my mood in school and towards school. Overall, I felt much better and much happier, however, it was quite overwhelming going back with so many people and so many expectations.
Although I am happy to be back and get back into the normal groove of things, it will take sometime. Recently, due COVID, I haven’t had to or haven’t been able to make new friends and really try to make connections, but now I do because it is important to do so. Even though being super social is not everyone’s strong suit, as it definitely isn’t mine, I found it quite easy and natural to make new friends in my classes, and just in general.
One thing I thought that was interesting about COIVID and my experience throughout COVID is that I have actually become more social. I used to be extremely shy and although I still can be, I find it much easier to talk to others, although presentations and public speaking are still extremely difficult for me. But now that we are back in-person, presentations are a part of many classes and even though they can be scary, practicing and being prepared will make it easier.
Another thing about being back at in-person school is getting involved in school and school activities. Dances are finally back, football games and other sports events, clubs, and even just being involved in classes. I know I am going to take full advantage of these things and be as involved as possible because I have missed so much this past year. I highly recommend getting as involved as you can with school and school activities because they are so much fun and only last a few years.
Although going back to school can be crazy overwhelming, I’m so glad I am able to go back because I feel that I’ve missed crucial parts of my high school years. I’m ready to fully enjoy these next couple of years and I hope you are too!
Along with a large number of students, I am about to become a university graduate; something that both excites and terrifies me. After speaking to a lot of my university friends I have realised that this seems to be a universal feeling, especially brought on by attempting to navigate graduate life whilst still in the swings of a global pandemic. To go from living independently for a minimum of three years with people in a similar age group to you, whose priorities are extremely similar to your own, to potentially moving back into your family home can be an overwhelming idea to process. However, it can be just as overwhelming to make the decision to continue to live independently and attempt to get a graduate job. Therefore, I thought I would not only share my experience but also some of the advice that my fellow university students have imparted on me as the process of leaving university begins.
Take a break
Ask anyone close to me and they would be able to tell you that I have never been particularly good at taking breaks, even when I’m at work I’m not a massive fan of sitting around. However, the long nights of studying and writing my dissertation took a toll on me so when I completed studying I crashed. This was not healthy, something that I can admit now, but what it allowed me to do was rest my body and my mind to the point that I felt comfortable moving away from university work and turning to a new adventure. Giving yourself time to rest is necessary, not even necessarily after university. Allowing yourself to sit and process any big achievement in your life is important, even if the emotions you have surrounding this are not always positive. If you feel like you’re struggling with processing leaving university, make sure to speak to someone. Whether this is a parent, a friend or even a GP, talking through your emotions is vital to keep up a good physical, emotional and mental health.
Learn a new skill or hobby
With the addition of free time from not having to write a 10,000 word dissertation, it can be difficult to know what to do. For the first couple of weeks after I finished all my coursework I definitely felt like this which meant I turned to Netflix and other streaming services to catch up on all the programmes that I’d missed. However, this didn’t make me feel like I’d accomplished anything in a day. In order to combat this I made the decision to spend a couple of hours a day doing something new. Recently I’ve taken up learning a new language, I will admit that I’m not great at it but it’s a learning curve, as well as taking up scrapbooking seeing as I seem to have collected a lot of memory driven objects from my time at university. Doing something new might not even be necessary, maybe you used to have a hobby that you haven’t taken up in a while because of the focus towards studying.
Try not to compare yourself
Although learning about what your fellow classmates or housemates are doing when they go back home can be exciting, it can also be extremely daunting. It can often feel like you should be doing exactly the same thing as your friends in relation to getting work experience, interviews and eventually a job. This was definitely something that I struggled with at first. Making the decision to take a year out to work before going back to do my master’s degree is what is best for me, something I acknowledge now, but was difficult to come to terms with. Understanding and learning that going with the crowd is not always the best just in order to conform is difficult. It feels like the standard, however, in the current climate there is no standard. There never has been, students do different things after they graduate, it happened in high school and it will continue to happen in all forms of education. To not compare yourself is difficult but if the path that you take after you graduate makes you happy, that is what is most important.
I hope that this was helpful to my fellow soon-to-be university graduates and that some of the advice that I’ve shared has eased your anxieties about what is next for you. Remember that not everyone is at the same stage in their process but that does not mean you are any less successful than your friends. Take some time to breathe and rest, after three years of hard work, we all deserve it!
ACT vs SAT
The ACT and SAT are created by The College Board - the people who create the heartbreaking AP exams - and The ACT, respectively. These exams test your knowledge obtained in grade school overall, but the scores do not define you. Many colleges use scores for admission, but colleges also take in account of GPA, activities on-school/after-school and more to determine if you are granted admission. Not everyone is a good test taker and that is okay.
The ACT has more areas like science and social studies and does not rely on math or english that much, but rather reading.The breakdown for the ACT: a 35-minute reading test, 45-minute English test, 60-minute math section and 35-minute science test. The SAT is more math and english: grammar orientated. The breakdown for the SAT: 65 minutes reading test, a 35-minute writing and language test and an 80-minute math section. The math section in the SAT is divided in two: one with a calculator and another with no calculator. Both are timed around equal times but the cool thing is that there is no punishment for guessing on these tests. It is better to mark down an answer if you don’t have one since you have a ¼ chance of it being right.
The ACT and the SAT are both stressful since you are timed, for each question you have about 1 minute and sometimes second, but there are some strengths to both of the tests that might help you. I actually took the ACT in 7th grade and the PSAT in my 8-10 grade so I have taken these exams for the last 3-4 years. The PSAT is a smaller version of the SAT that many Americans take throughout high school. If you like the PSAT, then the SAT is the right choice for you. Additionally, the SAT may be your best bet if you are good at math or you could take the ACT if you are not math oriented and more of a science-based person. For either one, I recommend studying and taking practice tests a couple months before and not on the day of the test. Procrastination is not the key for trying to do well on your college admission tests.
You can decide which score to give your college if the first time wasn’t your best score. Both tests have essays but it is up to your future college if you need to take it. Plus you have resources to actually practice and prepare yourself. It is good to see how you do on a practice test to give you a heads up on your mistakes and problems before-hand.
Take time to pick your exam and maybe even take both to see for yourself if you just do not know. The differences allow for students to have different experiences with each exam like me. You got this!
Here are resources to practice the ACT and/or SAT.
319.337. 1270. ACT Helpline if you have more questions
1 (866) 630-9305. SAT Helpline if you have more questions
1 (800) 273-8439 Princeton Review. For help on both exams
Amidst the stressful situations that may occur throughout teen years, especially at home, school has always managed to be an escape in many ways for most. However, with the new remote-learning system in place, most of the benefits to school have been limited. Not only does this have an impact on students’ motivation to learn and put effort into their schoolwork, but also on teens’ overall mental health, as remote-learning deprives us of school’s social benefits.
For me personally, the switch into a remote-learning environment has hit especially hard, as prior to isolation, school had motivated me to succeed in school because of the social aspect that it provided. Spending meals with my friends, conversing with teachers, or just getting to leave the house each day was something I am sure many people looked forward to. However, it gets frustrating to be so isolated from the people you once saw everyday, and that is why many of us have lacked the motivation to stay attentive in our classes, among various other reasons. All that seems to remain of school is its endless stress from daily exams and assignments. I have noticed that many of my friends, as well as myself, fall victim to procrastination, as without the physical aspect, online school can lack the sense of realness, and therefore motivation to complete work has slowly perished.
However, there are many strategies that make it possible to overcome these hardships:
Overall, I am sure that every teen worldwide understands the struggles of keeping motivated during the introduction to this brand new school environment. Regardless of your potential skepticism, I encourage you all to push yourselves out of your comfort zones, and reflect on the bad or good habits that you may have developed over this unusual and crazy period of time.
Eating disorder recovery: Text 741741 (International)
National Suicide Prevention: 1-800-273-8255 (International)