4 HS Senior Year Resources For The Stressed Fam Out There

4 HS Senior Year Resources For The Stressed Fam Out There

To my fellow overwhelmed seniors: here are some apps that will help you survive senior year.
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You’re a senior this year. Maybe you’re excited about graduation. Maybe you’re suffering from early-onset senioritis. Or maybe you’re like me, and you just feel so overwhelmed that you don’t want to do anything. Whatever it is you’re feeling, it doesn’t change the fact that senior year is happening. What you can control, though, is how you get through your senior year. This is likely the most important year of your life so far. If you’ve flubbed the past three years, well... maybe try a little bit harder this year. After all, for most of us, the next step is college.

If you’re struggling, you’re in luck! Here are some websites and apps that will hopefully help you out now or in the near future, focusing on key ideas to keep you grounded senior year. Get ready for lots of pictures.


1. Procrastination is a problem.

First and foremost is an issue that plagues the average high schooler: procrastination. Procrastination has always been an issue for me. You can probably relate. Over the past three years, however, I’ve built a little collection of things that help me get (and stay) on track.

Here are four that have helped me stay on top of things!

Cold Turkey Writer

Cold Turkey Writer is a simple computer application that only allows you to do one thing: write. You can set it to how many words you want to write, or how long you want to work, and that's it. It’ll give you a blank document to write on. A progress bar at the top of the screen will tell you how far through your goal you’ve made it. Though the application doesn’t really have any sort of formatting, it’s great for getting something down that you can work off of later.

Forest

Forest is a cute little productivity mobile app that rewards you with coins and a cute little garden. Do you hate the thought of murdering that cute little tree up there? If so, this app is for you!

Every time you open an app that’s not on your whitelist in the middle of a timed session, you kill a tree, and you’re left with the dried husk of what used to be an adorable plant. You are free to open apps on your whitelist without endangering your tree, so it’s a good way of categorizing your important applications and the distracting ones. Plus, you get to create a cute little forest!

Habitica

Habitica is definitely my favorite app on this list. Available as a mobile app, a website and Chrome extension, this program is a fun way of “gamifying” your to-do list and earning virtual rewards for getting things done.

And here we see ZombieMerlin (me!) with her pet cactus in the upper left.

Anyways, every time you check off a task, either something on your To-Do list or a daily task, you earn coins that you can use to buy quests, armor and other rewards. You can hatch adorable pets with hatching potions, chat in the tavern, take on challenges and go on quests with your party. Habitica is honestly one of my favorite things ever, and I hope it can help you out as much as it has me.

StayFocusd

StayFocusd is a Chrome extension that helps you do exactly what it says: stay focused. You let it know what websites you find distracting, and it’ll count down on a timer whenever you’re on one of them. I personally allow myself 30 minutes of distracting time a day. After that, whenever I try to go on a time-wasting site, I’ll get this redirected to a screen that asks, "Shouldn't you be working?"

Again. Pretty simple, but it works wonders for getting me on track (even if it gets pretty annoying sometimes).


2. School those tests!

Most people can probably agree that testing is pretty annoying and stressful, especially when you don’t know the material. The internet, however, is a vast and wonderful place, so here are four sites to help you out.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy has saved me more times than I can count. The 93 I got in Pre-Calculus last year can definitely attest to that. It covers pretty much any school subject you can think of and then some. Whether you’re looking to understand the quadratic formula or study the intricacies of a circuit, Khan Academy has got your back. You can also hook up your CollegeBoard account to study for the SAT, learn to code in a fun and easy way and watch lessons from Pixar employees about how they create movies.

Plus, whenever you get frustrated in math, you can do what I do and tackle some kindergarten and first-grade math, and then cackle at how smart you are. It does wonders for the self-esteem.

AP Worldipedia

APWorldipedia is for the brave few willing to put themselves through the torture that is AP World History (no offense, Mrs. Leonard). This guy goes through almost all the key concepts in excruciating detail. He’s probably a big reason for the five I got on this AP exam. (Again, no offense Mrs. Leonard.)

Symbolab

Symbolab is an amazing calculator for solving that one homework problem you can't figure out. You'll be hard pressed to find another calculator that can help you solve matrices and chemistry equations. Not only does it give you the answer, but it also has a step-by-step breakdown of how the calculator arrived at the solution.

ACTUp and SATUp are great apps to help you review for those annoying standardized tests. You can take practice tests, hammer down on your weak areas and work steadily towards the score that you’re aiming for.

Pro tip: Try to take the SAT or ACT as soon as you can, if you haven't already. It'll save you a ton of headache later in the year. To my underclassmen reading this: take one as soon as you feel ready! I took an ACT in the spring of my sophomore year, and I'd be lying if I didn't say it's made my life a whole lot easier.


3. The Dreaded “C” Word

College. There, I said it. A good majority of us don’t like thinking about it, but for most it’s inevitable. The pressure to get into a good college, to get scholarships, to fill your resumé up with activities so you can impress college admissions officers... I feel you. I really do. That’s why I’m sharing these links with you.

College Info Geek

College Info Geek, AKA Thomas Frank is my favorite guy who I’ve never met. His entire website, blogs, podcasts and all is dedicated to making you a better student. I’ve been subscribed to him for years, and I still haven’t explored his entire website, but he’s worth looking at. Maybe you want to build a personal website. Maybe you need help staying motivated. Maybe you’re just looking for some good ol’ mental fodder.

Also, just look at that face. Look at it. He's adorable.

College Essay Guy

College Essay Guy is another great site. As his name may suggest, his specialty is college admissions essays. Any question you have about college essays, he's the man for you.

Unigo Scholarships

Unigo and the CollegeBoard’s Big Future Scholarship Search

are great places to find scholarships. I like Unigo for its weird scholarships, like the Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship or the Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Scholarship Contest, but it also has plenty of other scholarship categories such as merit-based, athletic and minority. The CollegeBoard’s scholarships tend to be a little more what you’d expect from a scholarship database, but I highly recommend looking into it.


4. Take a second and breathe...

With all the stress of school and extracurriculars and college, sometimes you get so overwhelmed that you nearly drive yourself to the point of breaking. That’s when you need a mental health day.

I’ve had more than my fair share of stress-related breakdowns, all because I’m a workaholic who has a tendency to forget to stop and take care of myself. Don’t do that. Not only is it awful for your body, but it also takes away from the experience of high school.

High school is supposed to be fun! I’ve often heard it described as “the best four years of your life,” and even though I’m not out of high school yet, I think I agree. Don’t get so caught up in academics that you forget to be a teenager. Take a break for two minutes. Hang out with your friends. Go to random websites. Go to a party or two. Marathon "Supernatural." Whatever it is that you do to relax, do it. As long as you make it an exception and not a rule, it’s perfectly fine.

With that, I leave you with my final link. If you ever feel overwhelmed, hop on over to that post. You’re stronger than you think.

Cover Image Credit: Claire Lin

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22 Girl Names Your Random College Roommate Will Have, And The Type Of Roommate They Are

Will she be your BFF?
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Every roommate situation in college is going to be different.

All you can do is hope and pray that they'll just leave you alone for the most part. A lot of the time, you can get a hint about what kind of roommate they'll be just knowing their first name.

1. Hailey

Her dad pays her rent. She can't cook. Litters the kitchen with take out boxes from the local vegan joint.

2. Beth

Totally wants you to go to SoulCycle with her at 6 a.m. on a Saturday. Room is littered with leggings and sneakers.

3. Michelle

Comes home at 3 a.m. after a night of heavy drinking. Loudly makes some sort of frozen meal. Sleeps through her noon alarm.

4. Victoria

Probably has dark hair and an acoustic guitar. Keeps pretty much to herself. Does homework in the living room at obscure hours.

5. Madison

Was on the dance team in high school and has not stopped telling you about how great it was. Does work out videos on the TV in the living room.

6. Kim

Brings her boyfriend over every night of the week. Brings different boys home on the weekends.

7. Megan

Actively avoids cleaning the bathroom. Leaves her dishes in the sink. You haven't seen her shower in four days.

8. Erica

Normal. Quiet. Wants to be a high school English teacher.

9. Erika

Wild. Emotionally distraught always. Is always hosting the pre-game. Never comes home with all of the clothes she left wearing.

10. Sarah

"Definitely should have got into Harvard, but I ended up here instead." Too into trying to get a 4.0 to pay attention to you.

11. Julia

Studies music performance. Screams expletives at her keyboard. Cannot play the trumpet, but still tries really hard.

12. Hannah

So tall she almost hits her head on the doorways. Plays basketball. Raps to old Kanye in the shower.

13. Jenny

Should not be allowed to go out. Goes out every weekend anyway. Throws up in your bathtub and doesn't always address it in the morning.

14. Heather

Stressing about her internship. Is currently failing all of her classes. Will somehow still get a 3.5 GPA this semester.

15. Grace

You never see her, only the hairballs she leaves all around your place.

16. Emma

Only has guy friends because "it's easier." Guy friends who leave empty beer cans out after every sporting event on TV.

17. Caitlyn

Has a 4.0 as a biology major. Is going to med school. Sterilizes her room, the bathroom and the kitchen sink every four hours.

18. Sam

Always has a paper about feminism to write. Rosie the Riveter poster in her room.

19. Alex

Is probably dating her boss. Has straight Ds in all her classes.

20. Taylor

Is somehow always home when you're home. You know nothing about her other than where she's from.

21. Alyssa

Trying to become the next big YouTuber. Has lighting equipment all over the place. You constantly hear the phrase, "Hey guys, welcome to my channel!" She squealed because yesterday she hit 25 subscribers.

22. Jesse

Is probably plotting your murder. Lurks around like a cat.

Cover Image Credit: Morgan Yates//YouTube

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11 Thoughts All Rising Seniors Have As Junior Year Ends

Inside the mind of a rising senior who eager for summer yet scared of applying to colleges.
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The end of junior year brings some inner turmoil; students want to enjoy their summer before the hassle of applying to colleges, but they also don't want to slack off too much and put their admissions at risk. Here are some common thoughts that some of us may have.


1. Yesss, it's finally summer!

No more late nights, assessments or terrible cafeteria food and two months of binge watching Netflix. We choose to ignore the fact that we'll have to start the grind again for senior year.

2. Gotta start cracking on those SAT subject tests.

Now that all school work is done, it's time to start studying AGAIN for those pesky subject tests that show how much you've forgotten since the AP exam. And on test day, you will be reunited with your fellow classmates a little too early.

3. Senior Pictures!

Let's be real, your yearbook picture must look flawless. That is why you need to perfect your makeup routine and make an appointment with Cady Studios to get that amazing picture. And think of a bomb senior quote to go with it.

4. Me n' my girls

Finally, you and your friends can get together and stuff yourselves with ice cream or have spontaneous photoshoots at the Ponce City Market... either way, it's a girls' night out!

5. The Beach

Everyone will go to the beach at one point during the summer, and you'll be seeing bikini clad girls all over your Instagram feed. But it doesn't matter where you go as long as you are taking a break from school and exploring some exotic locations!

6. Oh no . . . AP Exam scores?

Around July, College Board will remind you to check your AP Exam scores via email. You can choose to ignore it or stress over your potential score. Remember, it is OK if you do not get a five; you did your best!

7. Shopping, shopping and more shopping

Chances are that you haven't shopped in forever because of your busy schedule but not anymore. Hit up Northpoint Mall for a new wardrobe and accessories! Gotta set the bar high for the seniors after you!

8. Summer homework?

The two months of freedom we get is simply an elongated version of a weekend, meaning there will be homework due on the first day back. And if you are taking more AP classes, you can expect the homework to be extremely confusing.

9. Weight gain . . . yay.

Eating is hard when you are in a stress filled environment with 50 assessments due the next day. But you won't be able to let your inhibitions hold you back when you have two months off with junk food all in the fridge.

10. What's cardio?

You will be content sitting sitting on the couch, texting all your friends and Netflixing. In fact, you may notice a lack of vitamin D and your skin getting paler. Don't be alarmed; your true potential as a couch potato is shining through.

11. Sleeping a little too much . . .

You might get a little bored with nothing to do, so sleeping comes naturally. You may lose chunks out of your day, but at least you'll be well rested for your late night festivities.


Though these thoughts may reign supreme on your to do list this summer, make sure you forget about school for a while and have some fun!

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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