5 Reasons Why Technical Schools Come Out On Top

5 Reasons Why Technical Schools Come Out On Top

Students at technical schools are breaking through the stigma.

I will never forget my parents reaction when I told them that I wanted to go to our county's technical school... I had straight A's in middle school, top of my class and aspiring a career where I would be able to run a non-profit organization. They were like... "Lily, you want to go to slow-tech?!"

I remember that moment so clearly and thinking, "Why would she ever think that this wasn't the best option for me?" In all reality, I owe all of my current successes to my technical school education. Here are the top five reasons why Technical/Vocational schools are teaching the future generations in the best way.

For some reason, be it the way that it used to be or people's predetermination about them, technical schools have a terrible stigma. They are apparently for kids who have fallen behind when, in all reality, kids who attend technical and vocational schools are really the kids who are very, very far ahead. With a whopping of 89 percent of the students nationwide enrolled in tech schools graduating, they must be doing something right. The following five reasons are what makes technical and vocational schools, the number one choice for upcoming students.

1. They're selective.

In my county, as well as many other counties and states, there is an entire application process to get into a technical school, as well as an overview of grades, absences and an interview process to make sure the teen will fit well into the school and their intended major. This means students have to have drive to be able to make it into the program of their choice, and they have to take the time to make the decision to apply and interview.

2. The offer a variety of classes.

Now, I did take a less conventional "vocational" route by studying business, but I was in school with people who participated in engineering programs, culinary, cosmetology and much, much more. Students who not only took traditional core credits such as math, science and history but classes in their field as well. This makes the students not only educated in various subjects but also well versed in a trade.

So, when you're well versed, and in a school that you actually have to apply into, I'm not sure how it could be construed that this type of schooling in some way may be lesser because, believe me, it's not. Not only do we offer "technical programs" that will suit the engineers and CEOs of the future, but we are also offering programs that are hands-on: Automotive programs, HVAC, Electrical and Graphic Design to name a few. These are the hands that are crafting, designing and repairing things you use on an everyday basis.

3. They offer certifications AND college credits.

Some of the courses that are offered have the students coming out with certifications within their technical fields, which will help them get a career right out of high school. Other programs, such as business and engineering offer concurrent college credits that students can take during their junior and senior year at a fraction of the cost of what you would pay at the community college. My school also offers classes in English, Math, Science and History. (I was able to take over 27 credits during my junior and senior year, making me eligible to graduate from my four-year college an entire year early!)

4. They're connected with industries and work on career readiness.

The other thing about technical schools is that the variety of programs and industry connections not only gives you a competitive edge in your career field, but the teachers have to take the time to make sure that you are career ready. We host different things such as job fairs and college fairs as well as holding mock interviews and meetings with industry professionals. Technical schools help students become not only career-oriented but career ready as well.

5. They offer a much more driven learning environment.

One of the best things about attending a technical school was that the learning environment was SO much more positive than it ever was at public school. Unfortunately, when you have half of a school population that has a desire to learn and the other half that... just doesn't. Well, there can be a negative vibe. Technical schools are "choice" schools, which means the kids who are there want to be there. And that alone can make a crucial difference in the learning environment. Everyone, whether they are in a class that the love or hate, knows that at some point in the day, they will get to work with their passion- and that can cause a serious attitude change.

And if all of that wasn't enough to make you believe technical schools rule, I don't know what else will. They offer comprehensive classes in a variety of fields, different electives, all of the core content classes that regular public and private schools offer, college credits and they have a focus on career readiness! If you have children approaching high school age, or just want to be well versed for the future, keep technical schools in mind. They might be exactly what students need.

Cover Image Credit: Keystone Edge

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.

Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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Calming Music, And 9 Other Study Methods To Prepare College Students For Any Major Exam

When your week gets booked, there are simple ways to help get your mind in the zone.


Making through the first two months of a new semester without breaking down might be considered an accomplishment for college students. If the homework assignments are not as difficult as you originally believed, there should be nothing to worry about. The one major thing that is still considered a pain among college students is exams. The one- or two-page quizzes or long midterms, upon discovering the exact date and time, will send any student into an emotional frenzy. These techniques will help students to overcome the challenges they will face during these terrifying days.

1. Go for a short walk an hour or two before you have a test

Exercise is a great way to distract the mind from stress and improve your memory. It helps if you are walking to get lunch or you are going to the library or another class with someone. Having a conversation with friends about their major and the exam you have that day is beneficial. Talking not only only keeps you focused, but you might learn something from your friends, and they could possibly have advice for you when it comes to preparing for exams.

2. Take frequent 10-minute breaks

When studying for an important test, it is crucial that you take a break after every 45 minutes to an hour of reading or writing something. Even if you are in a study group, leaving to get food, use the bathroom, or just standing up to stretch is good for your mind and body. Make sure the meals you eat are healthy to increase memory retention. Doing a quick 10-minute workout is another method to strengthen your mind.

3. Put on some calming music or perform other small tasks

While studying alone for a midterm or test, putting on soft music while you are reading will help you to stay calm during your study session. When taking a break, doing other activities like cleaning your dorm room, doing yoga, or meditation are other ways to keep your mind focused. Switching up your methods or moving to a place where you can study without any distractions is a priority to achieving success.

4. Watch a Netflix documentary related to the subject

Although television is a distraction from your studies, it might be useful to search on Netflix for an interesting documentary about the exam topic. This is especially great if you are majoring in business, health science, criminal justice, or history. You will hear about all the information related to your test within a few hours. Unlike a lecture, you can pause and leave to get a snack or go to the bathroom without missing anything. As a bonus, if you have to write an essay, you can mention the documentary and reference some facts and other useful information you learned.

5. Make flashcards

One of the best ways to help retain information fast is creating flashcards. Either buy the cards yourself or use a study app. Fill the cards with key terms, facts, essay topic ideas, famous quotes, math problems, or science formulas as something to review (or practice with friends) while studying for an exam.

6. Try making a mind map

If you are having difficulty organizing and summarizing ideas that you have for a topic you are studying, creating a mind map is a unique strategy. Mind maps can be created on paper or by using a computer. This is a simple way to understand material that will be on an exam. Include visuals, words, and ideas, which may help you to remember information.

7. Create a study schedule

During the weeks that students are having midterms, it is challenging trying to balance school and social life. One solution is to make a schedule dedicated to studying for your exams. Mark down on a calendar (or your phone) the times that you have free to study. Putting at least two hours of work a day to prepare for exams will increase your chances of success.

8. Find a secluded place for studying

Another great way to make sure you are retaining the information you are studying is finding a quiet and comfortable area for reading and writing. By relocating yourself to a location you feel relaxed in, the chances of doing better on exams will increase. Make sure that the place is clear of any distractions like televisions, electronic devices (unless you need to use a computer), and loud noises. Some of the best spots can be your dorm room or a reserved spot in the library.

9. Do practice exams

If you want to get in some extra practice for an exam, trying looking on websites or use apps that have quizzes related to your test. Find questions with multiple choice, true or false, short answer, or math problems. Checking your textbook for examples is another good option. This will prepare you for any possible questions that you might see on your exam.

10. Review exam material before going to sleep

When studying for an important exam, try to get some reading done around one or two hours before going to sleep each night. Reading over material or doing some practice questions before going to bed will help you retain information. This is a method known as sleep-learning, and it is effective for college students. While your body is recovering, the brain is processing information during sleep, which means that everything you learned will be stored in your long-term memory.

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