Preparing for school?

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The much dreaded back to school season has finally arrived. Although it is a disappointing time for most, the best way to enter the new school year is to be prepared. By setting yourself up for success before the school year starts, your future self will be thanking you once the workload begins to pile up. 

One tip I would recommend is to get a daily planner before the school year starts. One of the hardest parts of being a student is keeping track of assignments, test days, and extracurriculars all at once. Finding yourself a planner that works before the school year starts will help boost your efficiency and time management. I would recommend looking on amazon to find cheap and durable planners. They have a wide variety of options where you can even choose which month the planner starts and ends on.

Although this tip seems simple it is important. Most students neglect to check if there is ever summer homework and it always comes back to bite them in the butt. So, before school starts make sure to check your high school’s website to ensure you have all the summer work you need to do. This way the first tests on the summer information will not cause your grade to drop as soon as school starts. 

Another tip I would recommend is refreshing up on your previous year’s math concepts. One of the most difficult parts of returning to school with math is carrying over the skills you learned. Unlike other subjects, math tacks on the cumulative information that you have been learning since middle school. Going to Khan Academy or simply watching review videos on YouTube will help tremendously in starting the school year off strong and with a high grade.

For those taking AP classes, another huge tip I would recommend is buying test prep books at the beginning of the school year, along with reading the basics of the class which is available on the college board website. AP classes throw so much information at you all at once. Having a very simple basic understanding of what you are going to learn will help. Also with review books, you can make sure you understand each concept as you learn it by trying the practice questions.

Although these tips are simple and seem quite basic or unnecessary, they will be very beneficial once you begin receiving 2 assignments for each of your 7 classes. These small changes and advancements will put you ahead and will helps you receive that strong starting grade that is crucial in determining how you will success in a class. 

–Lilly G.

Back To School!

SOS! It’s that time of year again where every student excitedly buys new pencils and backpacks only to step foot onto campus and dread the long looming 180 days ahead of them. Leaving summer’s clutches and watching the warm days melt away is definitely bittersweet but the school year has so much to offer!

Needing motivation? Here, read this:

  • Remember that education is a privilege and you are incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to broaden your knowledge for free. There are so many children around the world that dream of being in your shoes. Take advantage of this opportunity and spend this year making the effort to enjoy and indulge in learning!
  • Find something that makes you look forward to school each day! Maybe it’s seeing a friend in French class or maybe you love the way your history teacher makes class interesting. Maybe it’s a club you can regularly hang out with or maybe it’s heading to the library and reading all the amazing books it has to offer. School will be so much more enjoyable and tolerable if you find something good about it.
  • Make incentives! Reward yourself each day once you get home from school because you deserve it. Whether it’s allowing yourself to watch your favorite Netflix show for an hour or going outside for a bike ride, make something to look forward to throughout the day.
  • The experience. Let me explain this more thoroughly: going to school and interacting with others teaches you so many important life lessons–some of which are more important than the academic lessons taught. A humanities based education broadens your mind and improves your critical thinking skills, communicating with your peers improves your social skills, hearing opinions of others opens your eyes to new ideals and possibilities. There’s so much to gain by going to school and being attentive and engaged.

Need some good studying music? I have you covered! (*=my personal favorites!)

  • If you’re into dream pop, psychedelic rock, indie pop, or lo-fi, I suggest listening to Peach Pit*, Hippo Campus, Spissy*, Swimming Tapes, The Growlers, COIN, Yellow Days, Mac Demarco, Summer Salt, Beach Fossils, Billie Eilish, or The Kooks! They all give off a very laid back, dreamy vibe that is perfect to play as background music as you complete math homework!
  • If you’re still wishing you were sunbathing at the beach instead of studying, I recommend Sublime, Hockey Dad*, Golden Coast, Viola Beach, Bob Marley, Blossoms, Real Estate*, Cage The Elephant*, Circa Waves*, or Jon Bellion. They create a peaceful illusion that soothes you and sends you right back to sandy, sunny bliss!
  • If you’re more of a punk rock, alternative rock, grunge, pop rock type of person, you’re bound to like at least one of the following bands: All Time Low*, Green Day*, Nirvana, Boys Like Girls*, We The Kings, The All-American Rejects, The Smashing Pumpkins, Guns N’ Roses, Nothing But Thieves, or machineheart. Definitely more upbeat, slightly feisty and very fun to dance around to during a studying break!
  • Finally, if you’re one of those people who dread the uncomfortable stickiness of summer heat and you can’t wait for cool fall days, I have a sweater weather playlist for you. You can almost smell pumpkin everything when you listen to artists like Lana Del Rey*, LANY*, Little May, Arctic Monkeys, The Neighbourhood*, The 1975*, Two Door Cinema Club, Ed Sheeran, X Ambassadors, Josh Groban, or Seafret*.

In a perfect world, this post would amp all of you up about going back to school but alas, we live in a fallen society. Hopefully this at least encouraged a select few of you to view school in a positive way. Best wishes this school year, everyone!!

-Jessica T.

Essay: Should school be starting earlier?

For as long as we can remember, school has started in September, usually after Labor Day. However, this year it started two weeks earlier, a controversial change among parents, students, and teachers. While some think that this change will benefit students, a popular belief is that it is a dreadful decision.

Summer means late nights, beach time, and sleeping in. As a result, the remaining question is: is it okay for the school to cut our summer? Of course, there are academic benefits but they introduce us to nights of little sleep and stress earlier than normal.

Of course there are many benefits to school starting earlier. For starters, it gives teachers more time to prepare their students before AP and IB tests. Furthermore, it means less time wasted after AP and IB tests. And starting earlier means getting out of school earlier, a benefit to some seniors since all University of California schools with the exception of Berkeley start in late September.

However, there are many downsides. One of them being that you have less time to do summer homework. It is very hard to find time to play sports, go on vacations, and have fun with your friends as it is and school starting earlier doesn’t help the situation. Cutting our summer could give us even less time to finish the pages and pages of summer homework we have.

Another issue that comes along with school starting earlier and a shorter summer are the constraints it puts on family vacations. Trying to find a time when sports don’t conflict with vacation time becomes very difficult when school starts at a different time.
One factor that must be taken into consideration is that only this summer and next summer will be affected. After these two summers, the school year will fall into routine again. Although it may seem inconvenient right now, over time this will become insignificant due to the fact that school in August will become a standard start to school.
In the end, school starting earlier may be better academically, but it introduces stress, summer homework, and many other problems sooner than necessary.

-Melika R.