EducationLearn

Senior year of high school is a big milestone. We have prom, graduation, and plans for where we are going post-high school. Senior year was my favorite year of high school, and I had a lot of fun. Remember to make the most of every second without letting anything fall to the wayside.

1. Maintain Your Grades

Don’t forget to maintain your grades after you get accepted into college or figure out your plans after graduation. Some people think that once they get into the college of their dreams, they are free to do whatever they want. You should enjoy yourself! However, if there is a steep drop in your grades without explanation, you could lose your place in college. I’ve even known people whose grades dropped so badly, they nearly didn’t graduate at all. Just one class could separate you from your goals, so keep giving it all you’ve got.

2. Avoid Trouble

It is wise to avoid trouble during your senior year. Once you get accepted into college, a weight is off your shoulders. More than that, it’s time to celebrate! When your future finally seems secure, it’s tempting to cut loose. Just keep in mind that there could be consequences for out-of-control behavior. If you get suspended or if things escalate and you get arrested, you could lose your place in college. You may be having senior fun, but colleges don’t want someone who will reflect badly on the school.

3. Create a Legacy

I recommend creating a legacy. The end of high school provides many mementos and keepsakes such as yearbooks and photos. Some people regret how they left their mark. Some are worried that they didn’t make an impression at all. You can start a club or get involved with planning an event. You could participate in a fundraiser. It’s not just about making your mark. It’s about leaving your school a slightly better place than when you entered it.

4. Don’t Miss Out

Lastly, don’t miss a single moment. There were times when I was too tired to go to senior events. Though I don’t regret anything, I do know it was my last chance to be around the people I grew up with. Many of those people I never saw again. Treasure all of the memories you are making.

It’s okay to have fun in your senior year. Everyone does. Make the most of every single second. It’s the last time you get to live comfortably at home and to hang out with everyone you grew up with. Just don’t let enjoying the year come between you and your future.

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CultureExploreTravel

 TRAVEL SERIES

Traveling comes in all forms. Whether you are taking a one-week road trip or flying across an ocean to reach your destination, visiting new places is an integral part of learning about yourself and others. Seeing how different people live, work, and experience life helps break down the barriers between us and reveals that perhaps we are not all as different as we might have thought.

This travel series will cover a wide range of topics about how to travel, where to travel to, etc. Tune in next week for traveling on a budget. Let’s get going!

STAYING SAFE

 1. Be aware of your surroundings. This does not mean you should be paranoid, but rather be aware of who is around you and be conscientious of anything that seems unusual or strange.

 2. Watch your pockets. The smallest details will make the biggest difference. For instance, it is always a good idea to keep valuables such as your wallet, keys, phone, and identification (passport, drivers license) in a hard-to-reach pocket. This is to prevent pick-pocketing or accidentally allowing a precious item to drop from your bag without realizing it.

 3. Tell someone where you are going. It is always a good idea to inform a close friend or family member of your travel plans. If something unexpected happens it is essential that somebody knows where you are and has a way to reach you in the case of an emergency. If you are traveling alone this is a crucial part of your planning, and is beneficial for you and also the people who care about you. If you are traveling with other people, this is still a good idea and highly recommended.

 4.  Keep extra cash hidden on you. It is always a smart idea to keep about twenty dollars of whichever currency you need on you at all times for those “just in case” moments. Tuck the bill(s) into a small pocket of your jacket or bag. Perhaps you get lost in a city and it becomes dark out – if you feel unsafe or have no idea how to get back to where you are staying, having that spare cash will likely enable you to grab a taxi and get home safely.

 5. Decide on a meeting spot. If you are traveling with others, consider choosing a central meeting spot where you can go if someone loses the group or visits somewhere on their own. A good meeting point is one that is well-known by locals so you can ask for directions and is also typically busy during both the day and night in case a member of the group is waiting by him or herself.

 6. Have information. This step will take you about 10-15 minutes, but it is well worth the hassle. Go through your itinerary and write down or type in all phone numbers of hotels and friends you are staying with, addresses of your accommodations, and emergency numbers of whoever city you are traveling to. Having this information might help you enjoy yourself because you can concentrate on having fun rather than trying to remember where you need to go at the end of the day! Also consider writing down all flight, train, or car reservation information ahead of time and print any tickets you will need. Store these in a safe and secure spot in your luggage.

In order to travel as stress-free as possible, it is essential that you plan. Like most situations, planning is the key to success. Spending 30 minutes going over these safety tips and collecting important information will save you hours of stress, confusion, and anxiety during your adventure!

Check out Travel Series Part II: Traveling on a Budget and Travel Series Part III: Choosing the Destination!

Skills

The holidays are not just a great time for seeing family, listening to Christmas music, or enjoying time off from your studies, but it is also a great excuse to get ahead and use that time wisely. When on holiday break, create a healthy balance for yourself by lounging and doing absolutely nothing so you can recover from the late nights school often requires, but also spend some of your days taking advantage of not having work to accomplish some other things you may have wanted to do. Here are 10 ways you can be productive this holiday season:

1. Get active.
If you’ve been swamped with school work and haven’t been able to find time to workout, this is the perfect time to start an exercise regimen that you can take back to school with you. You can test out new exercises that work best for your schedule and body so that you can maintain an active lifestyle when school and work picks back up.

2. Evaluate the past year and set goals. 
Now that you don’t have to worry about finals, take some time to think about how your past year went and what things you can improve upon. What goals do you have? Are there any bad habits you want to break?

3. Pick up a new hobby.
When academics, extracurriculars, team sports, and side projects take over your weekdays and weekends, it can be hard to fit in a fun hobby when it isn’t something that might “look good on your resume.” Use the holiday break to learn a new hobby and try an activity that you have been dreaming of doing.

4. Reach out to people.
Use your time to re-connect with old friends, or to make new connections. Set-up brief informational interviews to get ahead during your time off. The holidays are a busy time for many, but you never know, people might have a spare fifteen minutes to take a phone call to answer questions you have about the industry they are in, their job, or advice they have for getting your foot in the door.

5. Read. 
It can be as simple as that. Read a book that isn’t required. Spend your afternoons relaxing and catching up on great literature.

6. Do a Winternship.
Depending on how long of a break you have, you may want to use these couple of weeks or month to shadow a professional in an industry that you are intrigued by, or to try to get a winternship. Even though the winternship or job shadowing would only be for a couple of weeks, you can still get a good idea of what a certain job entails and if it is still something you are interested in.

7. Volunteer.
During this time of year, there are many organizations that can use a pair of extra hands. Volunteer at a toy drive, soup kitchen, animal shelter, or book drive. There are endless opportunities for getting involved, and your time will be greatly appreciated.

8. Sleep.
You’re probably exhausted from working so hard during the quarter/semester, so why not use this time to catch some zzz’s? Sleep in, go to sleep early, take midday naps – anything that will give your body the rest it needs.

9. Be a tourist in your own city.
It is so easy to take your city for granted. Spend a day going to visit the local museums, tourist attractions, and walking around the city parks. Who knows what you’ll learn or discover. Maybe you’ll even grow to love your home even more.

10. Make plans.
When school picks back up, you won’t have as much time to plan for the months ahead. Get a head start on summer internship or job applications, spring break plans, service trips, and family time. Even if they are brief notes jotted down on a piece of scrap paper, get your ideas onto paper. This is the first step in making your ideas come to life.

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