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Freshman year of high school was not what I had expected. I thought it would be easy and fun -- but it turned into a horrible experience. The school year is going by very slowly. There is too much pressure being put on me. All of my teachers want me to meet their requirements -- and more. They say that we should spend two to three hours doing homework each night, but I spend double that. It is like I never get a break. I thought that the teachers would go slow on the students because it is their first year of high school. Instead, the teachers push the freshmen because they want us to get used to the life of a high school student and to be mature. In middle school, I had time to let the lessons sink in and understand them. This year, my teachers are moving at such a fast pace that I am not able to keep up. For example, in one class my teacher spends just a day teaching a whole section of the book. Although we are an honors class, I do not think there is enough time for us to understand what is being taught. In middle school, we were given at least two days to pass in our work. This year, they do not give us any chances to pass in our work late unless we are sick. I am a JROTC cadet, and I think it is a good program, but it adds to the stress. We have a yearly inspection and the instructors over-prepare us. They want us to memorize a lot of Navy knowledge, such as the Orders to the Sentry and the National Chain of Command. When inspection day came, however, it was not that hard. All they did was make sure that our uniforms were in good shape. This year, all I worry about is trying to pass my classes instead of understanding what I am being taught.
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College is one of the top choices that students make after finishing high school, but not all students are being properly prepared to face the challenges of higher education. Many schools are too busy getting them ready for standardized tests to have time to pass along actual knowledge. Data released last year by the College Board revealed that only 43 percent of those in the class of 2013 who took the SATs graduated from high school ready for the rigors of college academics. According to educational experts, students need to develop reasoning strategies, the ability to work independently, and time management skills to better succeed. One strategy educators would like to see is the expanded use of tougher coursework. According to the College Board, more than 300,000 students in the graduating class of 2012 who were identified as having the potential to do well in an Advanced Placement course did not actually take one.
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My wish list Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 11.43.34 AMA word of advice: You have made it through another year of high school. Congrats! This does not mean to slack off, because you will be sorry later. With my words of encouragement, I hope you will make the right choices. Here is a list I wish I had followed: 1. Do not value first impressions highly. Do not judge someone without getting to know him or her. 2. Stay as far away as possible from DRAMA. If the problem does not involve you, do not get involved. 3. Get your driver’s license. Get your permit ASAP and start practicing. 4. Do not try to please everybody. B e true to who you are because it is impossible to make everyone happy. 5. Play sports and volunteer. S taying active is the way to go. Volunteering helps the community and looks good on your college application. 6. Stay on top of your work. Always remember that your academics can take you a long way. 7. Be yourself. Do not change to fit in with the crowd. 8. Take responsibility. Before you point fingers, check yourself. 9. Have fun -- but not too much fun. Stay in school!
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