The high school years are a very important stage in every teenager’s life and are meant to teach us valuable lessons. However, as students, we sometimes fail to recognize the principles being taught and often find ourselves regretting the choices we made. As a graduating senior, I have learned a couple of things these past four years that I would like to share with the upcoming seniors. My number one piece of advice is to take every little assignment seriously. Do not wait until the end of the term to try to make up work because we all know that is stressful and you don’t really end up with the grade you want. Also, giving teachers attitude and refusing to do their assignments because you don’t like them is not the best thing to do. You are the one who is going to lose in the end because that teacher is going to get paid and you are going to end up with an F. Do not wait until senior year to start looking into colleges and trying out the SATs. We all know applying to colleges is not easy but it becomes more difficult if you wait for the last minute. Remember that you cannot get back time wasted so instead of using your time cursing people out on Facebook and Twitter, do something productive. Granted, you cannot take away the drama that comes with high school but when you spend most of your time on social networking sites insulting other students, that becomes a problem.
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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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