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The Panther's Paw

Success Tips for College Entrance and beyond

Chris Woodson, Feature Editor

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Graduating is among the most satisfying moments in a person’s life. Graduation marks the completion of an almost 13 year long journey on an academic ferris wheel, and also inducts graduates to the “real world”. The end of High School comes with a vast array of emotion and is also a lengthy, complicated process that has many moving parts. The goal of this article is to show graduation through the lens of a Spring Hill High School senior, as well as provide an outlook to the broader High School experience as a whole.

Standardized Testing is kryptonite to High School students. Getting over the hurdle of SAT/ACT can be anything from a graceful leap to a tragic pitfall. Studying for the SAT/ACT can be extremely stressful, but the solution to the stress is to remain calm. “While taking the test,” Senior Micah Moore said, “I just reminded myself to remain calm, and not to stress.” It is best not to stress out, even if you are unprepared, as stress will cause you to do worse than you would normally. Obviously prepare well for the test, take the PSAT and other practice tests, eat right the morning of, go to sleep on time night before, and study, study, study! If you plan on taking the SAT you must register an account on the College Board website , and  here you can see the dates and deadlines for the SAT. If you want to take the ACT you will have to register on the ACT website and you can click here to check dates and deadlines for the ACT. The difference between these 2 tests is basic, but not simple. The ACT tests knowledge based on a set of learned skills and your mastery of them. The SAT, on the other hand, is more of a thinking test, a test of application of learned knowledge. There are also considerable variables between each test. The SAT is offered by College Board, the creators of the AP test, meaning if you have taken an AP test in the past you will have experience with the same style as the SAT. The ACT is only connected to the standardized test, meaning you won’t have had any experience with the test style other than the STARR Test and EOC’s unless you take a practice ACT. Here you can find a lengthy compare and contrast between the ACT and SAT, to find out which one is right for you. To prepare for the ACT, they offer a free ACT Academy. For the SAT they also offer free support through Khan Academy. Prepare well, and you will do well.

Managing stress is extremely important, especially in High School. Stress management can be anything from taking a few deep breaths, to taking a yoga class, to meditating, and even to turning off your seductive cell-phone to get homework done at a faster rate. All of these methods work at improving your outlook on life and efficiently allow you to get work done faster. Stress is the number 1 enemy of high schoolers around the world, and the irony is that they are in control of it. Meditation is a very common practice to keep a calm and centered mind. Not only does meditation and yoga allow for more calmness in everyday life, it has also been proven by Harvard neuroscientists to promote growth in the Hippocampus of the brain  responsible for learning, memory, and emotional regulation. This is very practical and very useful, but not many people take advantage of doing this, as daily meditation is required to notice significant effects. A simple tool for all high schoolers is to keep a day-planner to track assignments and homework. This personally has been a saving grace, and has kept me from forgetting my homework on a number of occasions. A touchy subject for high school students is the cell phone. On a deep level most people are aware that the phone has a negative impact on their academic performance, but all power at your fingertips is a very seductive feeling. To counterbalance this addiction, a company created an app to allow you to turn off the phone for a set amount of time. Flipd gives you the ability to turn your cellphone off and keep it off for a set number of time. You can use this for homework, reading, studying, meditating, etc… The benefits of this app are clear, and I recommend all Spring Hill High School students at least try it out.

“What advice would you have for people who are freshmen this year, and getting used to high school?”, I asked Senior Micah Moore. “The advice I would give them is to find something that you’re passionate about and stick to it. Stay true to who you are, and don’t let popular opinions shape what you do. Treat people with respect and always be truthful. These are some valuable things that I have learned throughout my time at Spring Hill.” Freshmen should see the wisdom in this advice and follow it, as it will make your high school experience better and easier.

Graduating is a daunting yet triumphant feeling. While one has completed their High School education, they are now about to embark into unknown territory, “The Real World”. This must be faced with courage, like the great explorers who first set to travel the world. “I am nervous about what comes after graduation,” Micah Moore says for one last question, “ but I am also relieved to be almost done with high school. [My Brother] graduated 2 years ago, and now I am able to fully relate to the stress and pressures he went through when applying and choosing a college.” Cherish the fleeting 4 years of high school before they are gone, to never be experienced again. Life goes on after high school, but it changes drastically. Be prepared to face “The Real World”, and make a success out of the accomplishments that you have made during your high school experience and hopefully onwards.

About the Writer
Chris Woodson, Feature Editor

Name: Chris Woodson

Grade and Graduating Year: Junior, 2020

Position on Paper: Feature Editor

Year’s on Staff: 1

Hobbies: Watching Netflix

College / Career Plans: UC Berkeley

Fun Fact:I’m 5’8.5″

Favorite Food: Crunch rolls

Favorite Aspect of Newspaper: Features

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Success Tips for College Entrance and beyond