A Hillview Prep student is going to college this fall, to UC Davis. She is a good student, talented and makes her own money working during the summer. She knows what she wants. She is becoming more and more independent. She is exciting about going to college, to pursue her passion of what she wants to do in her life.
Yet she is apprehensive about college. Can you guess her two big fears?
Her two big fears are not making friends and not getting good grades in college.
We will address her one big fear in this blog post: not making friends. Here are 7 tips to make friends in college.
1. Be yourself.
Many self-conscious students are afraid to be themselves. Often, they fear what people think of them. Maybe they will be rejected by their peers. That is a big error and will cost you angst and grief. Don't care about what others think of you. You should focus on your values, what is important to you and you will find people in college you share your interests and personality. Also, often you may be attracted to people with a different personality. If you are an introvert, you may enjoy the company of an extrovert, and vice-versa.
Our student at Hillview Prep is an introvert. She does not like approaching people. Well, you don't have to do much. Just be yourself and the right people will come to you. The only thing you have to do is go mingle with your peers.
2. Make the dorm your second home.
Dorms are filled with other college freshmen going through similar experiences. Reach out to them and just say hello, even if you are shy. Just say hello. You will be surprised what reaction you will get. You will find many are eager to make friends too and share the same fear of not making friends like you do. Some will be rude or just reject. This may not be a bad thing, since they are either not the right fit for you, or they are reacting out of fear. Say hello again to them later, and they may reciprocate.
The Hillview Prep student loves to bake. We suggested she should bake cookies. People would come like bees to honey!!
3. Do extracurriculars.
Invest in your hobbies! Whatever they are, you will find something on campus. If you can't find it, create your own club. Extracurriculars are a great way to meet people and make friends and invest in your interests.
4. Never eat alone!
As Keith Ferrazi, author of 'Never Eat Alone' suggests to have meals with people. People have bonded over food throughout history. College is no different. Go out for meals with friends or to make new ones.
5. Be curious
Show interest in other people, especially those you like and are genuinely interested in. People will sense that you are interested in them and will talk to you. Remember, people love talking about themselves!
6. Join an intramural or club sports team.
Sports are a great way to meet new people and stay healthy. Join a sports team and have fun. If you are not competitive, join inter-murals and meet people who just like to play and have fun.
7. Get a job.
Often, getting a job as a tour guide, a clerk in the bookstore or cafeteria, or working for a professor will allow you to form common bonds with other students. And you will make money and learn useful skills.
8. Invite solitary people.
There are many shy students and those who are focused on their activities. Some are athlete students and don't have much time to socializing. If you like their activity, say running, ask them if you could join them. They would appreciate that and you may end up developing a good friendship.
So don't be fearful. You will make friends. Just keep it simple. Be curious and open to meeting new people.
Highly successful people know there are 1,440 minutes in every day and there is nothing more valuable than time. As legendary Olympic gymnast Shannon Miller said, "To this day, I keep a schedule that is almost minute by minute."
You must master your minutes to master your life — and your academic life. Mastering your minutes does not mean counting or keeping score of each minute, but it means what you do with them, how you study and what you study. You can spend an hour and not learn much, while you could just spend 15-20 minutes and learn a lot.
We developed the Smart Scoring System to help you learn faster, test smarter and score higher. It compresses the time it takes to prepare for a test.
Many students Take too many classes, and therefore have too much homework. School can become burdensome. Often, students reread what they already learned in school. At other times, the instruction was not clear or not clear to them, so they spend time floundering. The Smart Scoring System can figure out what is going on really quickly. Do you understand the concept? Are you making silly errors? Are your using poor reading skills? Are you using keywords? Etc.
If you are falling behind in homework and at school, try the Smart Scoring System. Contact us to learn more how it can help you.
If you are feeling competitive pressure the Smart Scoring System makes you a better learner and a superior tester in a shorter time. Often competition creates focus, but if you do not have the right tools, you will lose your focus rather quickly and fall behind. The Smart Scoring System can quickly evaluate your strengths and help use your strengths to conquer your weaknesses. You can then learn faster in a shorter amount of time, thereby gaining an advantage over your peers. Plus, you will score higher in your tests. Contact us to learn more.
Everyone has 24 hours, but athlete students have to juggle between athletics and academics. There is no more time available. According to The Los Angeles Times, an average teenager spends about 3.5 hours a day just on homework. Athlete students in particular have a major challenge in balancing athletics and school work. They may find themselves unable to keep up with both athletics and academics, and sooner or later one of these two will suffer. The students will continue to try to balance the two, and frankly, there is no such thing as balance!
Take the case of Sasha, who plays volleyball and hopes to get a scholarship for college. She practices volleyball 20+ hours a week on top of school and homework. She has the same hours as everyone else, but her work load is much more than others. How can she make the best use of her time to excel in both sports and academics?
Do you love Pixar movies? Do you want to do computer animations and work on cool projects like Pixar movies? If so, you should read this blog.
If you are a good physics and math student, you will have no problem with animation. Interestingly, according to Tony DeRose, Pixar's Senior Scientist, computer animation models objects at greater scale and detail than even physics. For example, a big challenge in animation is quickly generating smooth curves with high fidelity.
For years, in both computer animation and video games, researchers mapped 3D objects with polygons. But the problem with polygons is that at close detail, you can see every one of them — a fatal problem when the illusion depends on ignoring individual frames and pixels. The trend has been is to replace polygons with parabolas, curving surfaces that are continuous at arbitrary levels of detail. But you still need to define these curves quickly to match a finite number of points or planes. So mathematicians have worked to develop different methods for quickly generating smoothly curved surfaces. These are typically called subdivision surfaces because of how they're calculated, by repeatedly splitting and averaging the midpoint of a line.
Today more high school teachers are handing out A's. They have a stack of A's to give out. You should be delighted with your A's. You can show it to your family, your friends, your neighbors. They will give you an attaboy or an attagirl and you will be tickled pink. You will feel you own the universe.
A fool's gold?
Recent findings show that nearly half of America's Class of 2016 are A students, up from 38.9% in 1998 to 47% in 2016. Yes, half of your classmates have an A grade.
According to Michael Hurwitz of the College Board, the folks who bring you the SAT, and Jason Lee, a doctoral student at the University of Georgia’s Institute of Higher Education, the rise of the A average is "really stunning." Interestingly, in the same period, 1998 to 2016, the average SAT score fell from 1,026 to 1,002 on a 1,600-point scale.
Recent research suggests that the problem isn’t just showing up in high school. Even in colleges, most popular grade is now an A, according to Stuart Rojstaczer, a former Duke University scholar and founder of the website GradeInflation.com.
Does this suggest that all these A's on your report cards are just a fool's gold?
USA's public high schools are graduating a record number of students: the graduation rate is now 83%, according to federal statistics. But that's not always translating into success: more college diplomas and good jobs. A recent study by the Harvard Graduate School of Education found that just 56% of college students complete a four-year degree within six years of entering college. For students who start at two-year colleges, it's even worse: Just 29% earn a degree within three years.
So if half of students are getting A's, why are they failing? And what can you do about your situation?
College Application Rates are the Highest while Acceptance Rates are the Lowest in History. Got Rejected? This is What You Need to do.
Free Image from Pixabay
It is crazy out there in the college world.
College application numbers for the Class of 2021 defied expectations, setting records at many universities. The number of application for the Class of 2022 is expected to be even higher. While there are record number of applications, the acceptance rates at Ivy Leagues and other top ranked universities have tanked. Well, it makes sense. They have a limited number of seats, so if there are more applicants the acceptance rates will drop. Simple math.
Cornell University got more than 47,000 apps and said accepted only 12.5%. The University of Pennsylvania got more than 40,000 applications, including both early and regular apps, and they admitted only 9.15%. The acceptance rate is the lowest in UPenn’s history. Brown received their highest number of applications with 32,724 and accepted a record low of 8.3%. Yale University accepted the largest freshman class in its history of 2,272 (normal class is 2,000). They got a record of 32,900 overall applicants — both early and regular decision applications — and accepted only 6.9%. Harvard University received 39,000 apps and accepted only 5.2%. Princeton University accepted 6.1% of over 31,000 applications. At Columbia University, early applicants set a new record – but accepted only 5.8%. Stanford University was the most selected: Out of a record 44,073 applications, they accepted a mere 4.65%.
Even state colleges are tougher to get in today. San Diego State University and Cal State-Long Beach are currently among the most competitive, with acceptance rates around 34%. And California Polytechnic accepts about 30% of applicants.
The internet and the common app makes it easier to apply -- and in some cases spam. People are just applying for the sake of applying hoping that they get in. This makes it harder for good students to get in. There are strategies to stand out. For example, this is what Eni did.
Anyway, you worked hard and applied to a good school, but got rejected. Your plan A failed. What can you do now? If you are in California, you can do 2 things (other states may be similar).
#1. California State Schools
California State schools are actually making it easier to get in. Yes, you did not read this wrong.
So while many qualified students have been rejected in the past from these schools due to competition, a new initiative could open the door for more students trying to get into the system.
According to California’s new budget deal, all — all — students who qualify to get into CSU will be admitted into one of the 23 campuses within its system.
“I think that this is such a positive movement and a positive step forward,” says Riley Nilsen, student body president at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo. “I think that this gives more students access to higher education.”
“Take what you want, and pay for it.”
There is only one catch! You have to pay for it, as the new admission policy comes amid a tuition increase. Annual tuition is set to go up by about 5%, or $270 per student. However, that should not be a deterrent to get into a college.
According to the university, in the 2015-16 school year, 80% of the student body received financial aid. In-state tuition for the 2016-17 school year was $5,472. 52% of undergraduates receive federal Pell grants.
In addition, you can win scholarships. For more information, check out Hillview Prep's Scholarship Page here.
#2. Community Colleges
Yes, go to your local community college. Many such colleges have transfers to larger schools like the University of California. You can save a lot of money going to community colleges and take your credits there. Once you met the basic requirements, you have the opportunity to transfer to a 4-year college -- perhaps of your choice.
Let us know if you need support. We have helped students get to UC Berkeley via the community college route. You can even speak with one of Hillview Prep former students, who we helped get into UC Berkeley via the community college route. Perhaps, we can help you as well. Do not hesitate to contact us.
Before you got asking for a letter of recommendation for your high school or college application, think about what you are trying to accomplish with them. What is the purpose of a recommendation?
What do you want your letters to do for you? There can be many purposes. One, it could be highlighting a character trait that is admirable in you. It is like endorsing you as a person. Two, it can personalize your application and tell a story about you as a student and as a person.
Your grades, test scores, and activities highlight your accomplishments as a student, but they do not paint a complete picture of you as a person. Letters of recommendation can go beyond your scores and help you come to life in the eyes of admissions officers. Recommendation letters can speak to your academic potential, character traits, and personality, as well as about how you've connected with others in the school community over the past few years.
2. Who do you ask
Ask recommendations from two types of teachers. The first is the one you have built good rapport with. You interacted with her as a human being. Talk to them about how they see you as a unique student. Can they judge the essence of what makes you unique? If so, you know this is the teacher who can speak about you as a human being and help you stand out.
The second one is more technical in nature. For example, if you want to take computer science or math, and you excelled in math in school and took computer programming as well, ask the math or the computer science (or both) for a recommendation. Remind them how well you did in their classes and show any projects you have done using what you learned in their classes.
Guest post by Anna Salieva, a Hillview Prep student
From the first year I came to St. Francis, the biggest thing that stood out to me was how much interests have a place to shine on campus. And it's easy for a freshman to find a place where they belong. While there are many stereotypes about Catholic Schools that incoming students are afraid of, the biggest truth I've come to find over my three years at SFHS is it's rich, diverse, accepting atmosphere. Saint Francis is a college preparatory school. Its academics are challenging, its teachers are effective, and its students are incredibly talented. And among the hard academics and busy student lives, Saint Francis students all have their own activities and clubs.
There are more than 60 clubs on campus, ranging from Baking Club to programming workshops, and all demonstrate the dedication students put into their interests and work. There are fourteen different Varsity teams, for men and for women, to participate in, and diverse visual and performing arts programs. Here, a choir student can easily be on the tennis team, and work in Robotics as well.