Importance of the school counselors

I’m sure everyone has seen the counselor’s officer banner hanging in the hallway on the first floor. But why is it important to provide counselors at school? What are the benefits? Here are several reasons to consider when wondering about the importance of school counselors. 

Academic success. Counselors can help students who may be struggling with certain classes or have lower grades. They can provide advice or even connect you to teachers to help solve problems that are the most challenging. Not only that, but if you want to switch out of a class and change your schedule, the counselors are able to figure it out with you. Over time, they want to make sure you are earning credits towards graduation and building your high school transcript and GPA. 

Well being of the students. Although counselors are provided to help with academics and choosing a career path, they also are present for personal issues that may be interfering with school. If this is ever the case, you can schedule a one-on-one conference with your counselor to help get guidance or advice on something that may be occurring outside of school. They also provide an individual focus to students who may be struggling from mental health or are just overwhelmed and stressed about something at school or home. 

Future success. Lastly, counselors work with students to help determine what the future might look like. Especially for upperclassmen, they can help with scheduling, transcripts, and college applications. Most importantly, they want to make sure that all students are ready for the college and/or career path ahead of them.  

In the end, counselors do many important things for the school and the students in it. They provide a support system for students who may be struggling and offer solutions to help them. 

Poodle or Lab?

Choosing a puppy to become a new family member is very hard, especially when you don’t know if the puppy will have the right characteristics.

The first breed I want to go over is the Poodle. This dog, in my opinion, is very family friendly and allergy friendly. If anyone in your family is allergic to dogs, you will be able to have a Poodle because poodles are hypoallergenic. This means that they will not trigger the individual’s allergy. They’re also very smart dogs who are able to learn very quickly. The dogs are among the smartest breeds, so  this will make the training a lot easier. They also adapt to new living spaces. These dogs are also very calm when left alone, so chances of separation anxiety goes down. Another benefit that is a huge pro is that this breed will not shed. They have a very thick undercoat but that can go away with haircuts.

The other breed I’d like to go over is a Labrador. This breed is also among the smartest, they’re also known for being the most friendly kind of dog. They’re very easy to train in almost any category. They make a great family pet. Although they’re very intelligent and friendly they’re also a lot of work. They shed a lot and have some separation anxiety making it hard for any plans to be made unless you have a dog sitter. They’re also among the most energetic and seek a lot of attention. These breeds are recommended to anyone who has a lot of time on their hands. They’re the most kind and loving dogs, making them perfect for kids. But they need all of your time. 

Overall, I recommend getting a Poodle or a Poodle mix. They’re kind and everything a Labrador is, but have all a lot of benefits as well making taking care of them a lot more flexible. They’re perfect for anyone, including kids, and even people with any allergies. They’re very intelligent and perfect for a family looking for a new member.

Yoga for the young

Yoga is a physical activity that calms the body and the mind. Many people use it for different reasons like flexibility building, strength building, and anxiety reduction. Studies have shown that yoga is a great stress reliever. In 2012 a survey went out to a group of people that practiced yoga and 86% of the surveys said it helped reduce stress. 

Young people from ages as young as 5, all the way up to 18, in America, are required to go to school. As each year goes by it gets more and more stressful with classes getting harder and stricter. High schoolers are constantly complaining about stress and the workload piling up each day. Balancing home life, sports, clubs, programs, and homework is certainly hard on students. If young people started to take yoga how would the stress and anxiety levels decrease? 

In the article, “Yoga for the Young” by India Currents, a high school student started doing yoga at age 5. It taught her discipline, focus, and she lives almost stress and anxiety free as she breathes in and out calmly. It is stated that because she’s calmer and knows discipline, it helps her with getting good grades.

Many believe that yoga is only done by adults, but it can also have a great impact on teens and children if they learn to focus on focusing on their inhales and exhales. According to WebMD, studies show that yoga can work certain areas that will help students, and those areas are involved in thinking clearly, decision-making, memory enhancing, and regulating emotions. 

Schools don’t have many classes teaching yoga but at Highland Park Senior High, Kathleen Kramer teaches a class called Stress Management. In class they practice mindfulness, relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, improving flexibility, and improving strength.

Ms. Kramer has seen many changes in her emotional, mental, and physical state before and after she started teaching the class. As a teacher, Ms. Kramer has seen improvements in her behavior at work saying, “I feel more calm after leaving this class. When I go to move on to teach my next class I feel that I am able to handle curveballs that are thrown at me daily.”

Many of her students also started seeing changes in themselves like Conor Gregg Escalante. Conor enjoys having this class in the middle of the day because it allows him to reset and regain his energy for the rest of the day. He has seen himself become more open minded after taking this class, improving his focus and engagement in class, and he’s been more open and flexible in his relationships.

From both the teacher and student perspective, there was great improvement in many areas. Yoga is a highly recommended activity that is proved to increase strength, flexibility, and decrease stress and anxiety. If youth all around the world were to practice this activity, it would impact them positively.

Why do students procrastinate?

Why do students procrastinate? Students often procrastinate when homework or a specific project is not due immediately, if it is not important, or if it is difficult. Other causes of procrastination are no motivation, low self confidence, or not understanding the concept in school.

Procrastination could affect not only students’ grades but also their health. If a student procrastinates on a big project, it is clear that they will not put a lot of effort into it, and this might cause them to get a bad grade on it. Or, if a student procrastinates on studying for an important test because they didn’t know how to study for it or do it, they might do poorly on the test and get a bad grade.

Procrastination usually tends to affect college and high school students because of the fact they have more homework, projects, and work loads.

For example, a student at HPSH has 7 classes, with work assigned in each. With having more than one class to pay attention to, the student who procrastinates, then waits until the last minute to do their work, and receives lower grades than their classmates who didn’t procrastinate.

Procrastination can be avoided with helpful tips to guide people. Making a schedule and actually sticking to it will help because you can see how your day plays out smoothly once you have a solid schedule. Buying a planner to write down homework and deadlines will help. Also, setting reminders on your device will be just as helpful.

A couple of other things can help can include creating a dedicated study place, breaking the homework and projects into smaller tasks, eating healthy, and getting lots of sleep. 

Procrastination may seem very hard to stop doing but with routinely following these tips, you’ll gradually stop being a procrastinator in no time. 

Preparing for your driver’s test

Taking your driver’s test can seem terrifying and be nerve racking, but with having preparation for it, there’s no need to feel anxious. To take your driver’s test, you must first have completed quite a list of things.

First, you have to take a driver’s ed course which you can take once you turn 15. The driver’s ed course can be taken at places in SPPS schools after school, or programs like Safeway. The cost of driver’s ed is $330, which you can pay fully at registration or, you can also pay half at registration and the other half on the last day of the course. The course usually lasts 2 weeks if it’s on weekdays, but if you play sports or have other extracurricular activities on weekdays, there are classes every week on Saturday, which last around 10 weeks.

After you finish your driver’s ed course, you will be handed a blue card which is your ticket to take your permit test. You can take this blue card to any DMV to take your permit test. There are helpful apps to study for the permit test like “DMVGenie.” There are 40 questions on the permit test and if you get more than 8 wrong, it’s a fail.

Once you pass your test, expect up to 4 weeks for your permit to come in the mail. Until then, you are given a temporary paper permit. There are rules for once you obtain your permit. You can’t drive alone and must drive with a licensed adult over the age of 21.

After you receive your permit, you must take behind the wheel in order to get your license. You drive with an instructor for 6 hours, 2 hours each day, lasting 3 days. After that, you will obtain a white card which will get you a step closer to your driver’s test.

Now, all you have to do is wait until you’re 16, and even if you have passed the age of 16, everyone still also must wait 6 months after you got your permit. During this duration, you can call to make an appointment at any DMV for your driver’s test.

Once the time comes to take the test, you will need your permit, driving log, proof of identification, and a working vehicle. During the test, you will need to able to make turns, parallel park, uphill and downhill park, and do a 90 degree backing. If you fail, you can retake the test up to 3 times before paying a fee.

Once you pass your test, you will be able to drive alone. But just like with the permit, there are restrictions. Your first 6 months, you can’t drive with more than 1 person in the car, that isn’t in your family, and you can’t drive from 12am-5am unless you’re coming from school or work.

Driver’s test can be scary, but with enough practice and preparation, you will pass.

What to do over winter break

Winter break is coming up very soon and I think everybody can agree they are looking forward to leaving the school this Friday. Though you can only imagine two great weeks of lounging and relaxing, what are you actually doing? Here are a couple of ideas that may inspire what you will do this winter break.

  1. Relax and take advantage of the break. Ever since school started, it’s hard to go one day without saying you’re tired. This may be the break you were waiting for to catch up on some much needed sleep. Also, just relax and hang out. School is pretty fast paced and any extra curricular activity only helps to fill up your schedule, leaving barely any time to just sit down or do anything with your loved ones. So if it’s possible, try your best to build in some time to wind down this winter break and do whatever you’d like to. 
  2. Hang out with friends. In general, it can be kind of hard to make time during the week or the weekends to hang out with your friends, especially the ones that don’t go to the same school as you. So maybe you could find a time during break to get together and catch up. 
  3. Do something outside and have fun with the snow. Going outside, especially with snow on the ground, may not appeal to everyone’s interest but for those who like outdoor activities, do something outdoors. You could try something new like skiing or snowboarding, or something more fun based like sledding or a snowball fight. This also gives you the perfect excuse to get all your friends together for a good laugh. 
  4. Stay inside and take the opportunity to make some hot cocoa. A warm fire, blankets, and a comforting cup of cocoa is always a great idea considering the conditions outside. Maybe just take a moment this break to get as content as you can and relax in the comfort of your own home. 
  5. Find the balance between relaxed and lazy. Though winter break sparks a sense of laziness in everyone, don’t let it get the best of you. Some teachers will still be giving out homework during break, so don’t put it off and just get it done as early as you can so you don’t have to worry about it. Also, make the most of your break and do more than just camp out in your room doing nothing. And if you take part in a sport, don’t skip practice for poor excuse like sleeping in or just not wanting to go. Stay on top of what you have to do, but still make sure you relax over the two week long winter break. 

5 DIY Christmas decorations

Here are 5 different DIY Christmas decorations you can make at home to get everyone in the Christmas spirit! 

#1 Wooden Christmas Trees: 

For this decoration you will need: 

  • Paint brushes
  • Craft paints
  • Liquid gold leaf
  • A wooden pyramid block

You will first need to decorate your wooden block by using the paint brushes and craft paint. You can then use the liquid gold leaf at the top to create the star or a snow cap. 

These trees are easy to make and hard to break which makes them perfect decorations to be out and about during the Christmas season!

#2 Marbled Ornaments:

In order to create these marble ornaments you will need:

  • Enamel paint
  • An ornament
  • Water
  • Tablespoon
  • Paper towel
  • Wooden skewer stick

You will first need to put about a tablespoon of water into the ornament and swirl it while it’s inside the ornament. You will then need to add in the enamel paint. You can use a wooden skewer stick to swirl the paint around. After this you will need to lightly tap the ornament against your hand in a circular motion; hold the top of the ornament closed with your finger and a paper towel. 

Once the paint is looking the way you want it to, let the ornament sit for 24 hours. During the 24 hours, turn the ornament on different sides so that the paint doesn’t sit in only one area. This will get you a marble ornament!

#3 Popsicle stick snowflakes:

For this decoration you need:

  • A hot glue gun
  • Popsicle sticks 

All you need to do is come up with a design, place the popsicle sticks to mimic your design, and then hot glue the popsicle sticks together and get a nice decoration that you can hang up anywhere!

 

#4 Plastic spoon Christmas trees:

For this decoration you need:

  • Plastic spoons
  • Spray paint
  • Hot glue gun
  • Paper mache tree 

You will first need to cut the top of the plastic spoons off. Then you can spray the spoons with spray paint and give them some color. You will then need to wait for the spray paint to dry off.

After you wait for the spray paint to dry off, you will need to hot glue the bottom part of the spoon and place it on the paper mache tree. You should vary the spaces on the different layers that the spoons go and work your way up the tree. And that will get you a cool looking Christmas tree!

#5 Ornament Wreath: 

For this decoration you need:

  • Glue gun
  • Wreath frame
  • Different ornaments
  • Tinsel garland 

You will first need to wrap the wreath frame in the tinsel garland. Then you can use a glue gun to glue the bigger ornaments on the wreath, and then glue the smaller ones on to fill in space. You will then have to wait until the glue dries and then you can put your ornament wreath up for everyone to see! 

All images taken from: https://www.housebeautiful.com/entertaining/holidays-celebrations/g3952/diy-christmas-decorations/?slide=25

Top 5 gifts for hockey players

  1. Pacific rink hockey bag

Image taken from: https://www.pacificrink.com

I’ll start with the most expensive gift at $150, a pacific rink hockey backpack. 

These backpacks are admired by all hockey players because of their perfect design to carry your skates, gloves, helmet, and any other clothes or items you choose to bring with you. This backpack is the perfect travel bag for adventures out to play some pond hockey, or just going to the outdoor rink. As one would say, the price is worth it.

  1. Lizard skin stick grip

Next is a very affordable stocking stuffer, called the Lizard Skin. It’s a better substitute for your usual hockey tape; instead this one lasts 10 times and long and has 10 times the grip. This product is 10 dollars and comes in many patterns and colors. 

  1. Light up puck

The Lit Puck is a super cool invention to keep the hockey player out of the house until the cows come home. Instead of hockey fun being over at dark, this light up puck allows you to see the puck and play the game from dusk to dawn (if you can handle the cold). This product starts around $19.99.

  1. Sauce kit

The hockey sauce kit is a portable, all year around and fun product. It’s two small individual nets that you set apart from each other very similar to bean bag toss, except you’re trying to shoot a puck into the net. This product can also be used for accuracy training in your shooting. This product starts around $30-40.

  1. Stanley cup glass

This legendary trophy could be the next cup for your favorite drink (like root beer). You can use it for the next championship or just to show off to your friends. This product is a hockey collectable, and would surely impress a hockey player or hockey fanatic. This product goes for $30

Flu

Influenza is a contagious virus that gets spread around fast. The flu is caused by the influenza virus. It can sometimes cause very severe illnesses, can cause a person to be hospitalized, and can even cause death. Babies, older people, and people with severe health conditions are at high risks. Each year millions of people get sick with this flu. 

People sometimes get influenza mixed up with the stomach flu. The stomach flu is called gastroenteritis. They are two different things. 

The symptoms of the flu are: having a high fever, coughing, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body sore, and muscle aches. Headaches and vomiting a lot are also possible signs of the flu. Also, little kids may have diarrhea. 

63581880 – sick man with thermometer in his mouth vector flat illustration character. flat icon set of cold and flu season items. Image taken from: https://www.abqjournal.com/1373502/flu-hits-three-county-residents.html

People can sometimes not tell the difference between the flu or a cold. A cold comes in slowly and is less severe. Colds often just cause headaches, fevers, and a runny nose. Influenza is way more severe then a typical cold. 

The flu can cause other illnesses such as: bronchitis, ear infections, sinus infections, and pneumonia. Many people with the flu recover on their own without any medications, but if anybody is diagnosed with the flu they need to stay home and not go around anybody else.

If you have high symptoms of the flu you should reach out to a health care provider. The best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot every year. 

How to manage stress

There is no doubt that at one point or another you have most likely felt stressed about something, or maybe even someone, making your life a little more difficult. Unfortunately, it can be incredibly overwhelming but there are ways to help you work around it.

So, here are a couple of minor things that you could do to help yourself out, especially during the school year. 

One day at a time. It is extremely important to only take one day at a time to avoid stressing yourself out and getting overwhelmed about something that can not be changed. Saying a week is seven days is harder to process rather than just taking on the day when it comes.

Stay calm and breathe. I think everyone can understand when everything gets so piled up that sometimes you just need to stop and breathe. The thing is, being stressed has no benefits whatsoever. It is not pleasant to do anything when you feel overwhelmed, so the best way you can help yourself out is just by remaining as relaxed as you can. This doesn’t mean you should be lounging around on your couch, but instead just trying to figure out a way around whatever is working you up and finding an achievable solution. 

Do something that makes you happy. It might help if you can take your mind off whatever is making you stressed. You could start by doing something that you enjoy or surround yourself with people you know make you happy. This way you can find better things to influence your mind set and spend less time focusing on the negative stuff going on in your life. 

Organize your life. School can be a very stressful and fatiguing time of the year, not to mention what goes on outside of school in your personal life. The worst part is trying to remember everything you need to do in a day, such as your schedule, homework, and extracurricular activities. It may not be this way for everyone, but it can’t hurt to try writing stuff down. Whether you would prefer to write in a planner or journal is a personal opinion and should be based on what you can keep up with and enjoy doing the most.