18 days ago

Any Advice?

I'm currently a junior who has moved to the US from Australia. Any advice on anything? I have zero idea of how to navigate the American school system!

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@Jael_S23818 days ago

Any specific questions you have? You can send me a whole list if you like :) I would be happy to do whatever I can to help!

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2 answers

Accepted Answer
13 days ago

I'm not sure if you're asking about just navigating high school or if you are hoping to start preparing for college applications this year, so I'll just leave some general advice here.

Academic Related Advice:

1. Sign up for classes that sound interesting to you, and try to avoid classes that you think will be boring to you. For example, I love history in general, so I've decided to take history classes from 10th-12th grade, but since I absolutely hate science, I'm generally trying to avoid having to take more classes than I have to. However, there are some exceptions to this. If you're planning to go to college and would like to have some college credits by the time you attend college, I would suggest taking classes that would fulfill you're major requirements, even if you don't like the class, which brings me to my second point:

2. AP (Advanced Placement) vs. DE (Dual Enrollment). Both of these options will allow you to get college credits, but there's different ways of obtaining them. AP classes are college level classes offered to high school students, and are generally considered harder than DE classes. With AP classes, you must take the AP test (you have to pay unless your school offers financial aid for it) for that class and get a 3-5 to recieve credit, however that varies depending on the college. DE classes are actual college classes offered by community colleges to high schoolers. At least at my school, DE classes are free. With DE, you automatically get credit if you get a passing grade (C or higher), at least in my experience. So there are pros and cons to both options, and I would suggest doing more research on this topic concerning your school and or a community college, what courses they offer, as well as your financial situation.

3. This is optional, but I would also suggest taking challenging courses if you enjoy that, as I feel that they're more interesting and more beneficial for your education anyways. Obviously, don't push yourself too hard if you can't do the class for whatever reason. Find what works best for you.

4. Stick to a healthy studying schedule. You should never have to feel that you have to sacrifice any of your basic needs to secure a good grade on an assignment, so make sure to eat, drink, sleep, etc as is healthy for you. Also, if you really feel like you need extra time on assignments, please ask your teachers for that. Many of them are understanding and want the best for their students, so at leatst try and ask them for help first.

5. However, if you need extra assistance, then utilize the resources around you. If you can afford it or there are special resources in your area, look into one-on-one and personalized tutoring. I personally prefer just looking online for help, especially in subjects like math and science. For those two subjects, I would suggest Khan Academy, although they have other subjects for K-12. If you need help with history, I would suggest Brittanica or Wikipedia, as I find those most useful for informing myself on certain events or people. For English, I would definitely try Grammarly if you want specific help on organizing an essay, for example. I would also use Easybib if you need to cite your sources in a specific format and you don't know how or want to double check that you're doing it right.

5. Finally, make sure that you are on track for graduating with the rest of your class. Check if your classes transfer over, or if you are missing out on certain requirements to graduate on time. Ask your counselor for help if you find you can't fit something into your schedule but need it for graduation and they should be able to help you.

Non-Academic Advice:

1. Try to get involved with your community. Look for clubs that interest you that are offered at your school, or even start a club of your own if you don't find anything that interests you. Or, yough might join a sports team for your school or outside of it if that's what you want.

2. Don't be afraid of trying new things. If you have free time, I would look into fun hobbies that you can start. There's no harm in doing this, and you'll hopefully find new opportunities for you that are fun, entertaining, or fulfilling for you.

3. If you want, and you believe that you will have the time for it, try looking for internships (paid or not) or jobs in your area, especially if you believe you will need extra help in paying for college and scholarships aren't enough to cover the cost. They don't have to be anything fancy or crazy, but hopefully can introduce you to potential career fields you're interested in pursuing, or will just help you develop job skills that will be necessary for unrelated careers anyways (communication and organization, for example). These also tend to look good on college applications.

4. (This one depends on if your school requires that you need community service hours or if you want to help out your community): Look into non-profits that interest you and believe will benefit from your assistance. I assume that there are plenty for you to choose from, and it's all a matter of what take you want to start with helping with. Make sure that the non-profit accepts high school volunteers, and/or that your school will accept the hours from that specific institution. Try and get to 200 hours for one non-profit in particular if possible, as that generally shows passion for helping your community.

5. Just try to enjoy your last years of high school. College applications and admissions in the US can be scary and overwhelming for many, especially if you want to get into a prestigious college. There's no actual good reason as to why applying for college in the US is so stressful compared to other countries, so just try to be well rounded academically and concerning extra-curriculars, and you should be good. If you don't plan on attending a higher education institution or non-traditional path ways after graduation, this still applies. Have fun! Just don't get carried away, of course.

These are just tips that came to me at the top of my head, so if you need anymore help with navigating either high school or college, feel free to ask me.

18 days ago

Hi! Send me any questions you may have, I'm more than happy to help

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