9 study tips for finals

By Natalie Braga, Piper Gallivan, Alivia Arredondo

As any high schooler will know, finals week can be a very stressful time and can feel very overwhelming. You may find yourself distracted, or lost, on how to use your time most effectively, but luckily we have 9 studying tips to help you succeed!

Work With Others
Taking on many assignments and materials all by yourself can be very hard, but luckily there’s a class full of people who are going through the exact same thing. Two, three, or even more brains are better than one, and by getting together with friends and classmates you can share opinions and ideas.

It’s also a great way to pick up any small details about a topic that you may not have remembered from class, but someone else did. Setting up study groups outside of school helps with reviewing, and this way, if you have any questions, you’ll be able to get quick and helpful answers. Remember when studying with friends though, to stay focused, motivated, and positive.

Divide Up Work
Studying for 7 classes all at once the night before your finals is never a good idea, which is why it is important to divide up your work. By planning out when and what to study for the days or weeks leading up to finals, it is easier to make sure you have covered everything, while also making it less stressful the night before.

For example, you can plan to study Math for a half hour on Monday night, and Science for 45 minutes on Tuesday. Dividing and planning your work gives you enough time to study while also keeping your mind focused and organized.

Take Breaks
Taking breaks is important to not overwhelm your mind, especially if you’re feeling tired or frustrated. Working for too long can decrease the quality of your work if your brain is simply too exhausted.

Try taking a walk away from your studying space or doing a different task like making a snack for yourself. By taking a break from your work, you may come back with a whole new fresh mindset that can make learning much easier.

Flash Cards
A great way to study is using flash cards. For me, using flashcards is a great way to memorize things quickly. The best way to do this is to rewrite what you have in your notes, but in a shorter more summarized way, that way you can fit the key points on your flash card.

A key thing to do while using flash cards is to actually write them – not type them and print them – but actually write them. Studies have been done, and it is proven that actually writing things out helps to remember things better.

Finally, flash cards are easy and portable and can be shared with other friends to quiz each other.

Reward System
Often times, people use a type of reward system to help study. These rewards can vary from little candy treats, to 10 minutes on your phone, to an episode of tv, basically anything.

The way this helps is that once you memorize a certain portion of your notes, or finish a paragraph of your paper, or whatever you are doing to study, you get something in return. This helps to motivate you to finish faster so you can receive your next reward.

Often times, this works best with treats such as candy because it is quick and easy to return to studying afterwards.

Crying
A great way to just get rid of all the stress is to cry and let it all out. Finals are hard and holding in all the stress and emotions that come with them just makes it harder to focus on your work, and just all around makes things worse. Crying helps relieve stress and makes you feel better after to continue studying.

Exercise
If crying isn’t your thing another great way to relieve stress is through exercise. Exercise is a great way to let out frustration and clear your mind. It also helps with that restless and overwhelming feeling that comes with finals.

Exercising is also a great way to forget about everything going on and all you have to do and just makes you feel more relaxed.

Also, exercise helps with feeling accomplished and after a good workout it’s easier to feel more determined to get all of your studying done.

Finally, exercise helps to feel more energized and awake that way it is easier to focus on what you have to study for.

Study Space
Your work area is key for having a clear mind to focus on your studies. Whether that means clearing out your desk, going in a separate room for studying, going away to the library, or a coffee shop, having an organized space will go a long way.

Quizlet
As people in the 21st century, we are very blessed with the app and website called Quizlet. It is versatile, with ways to make your own study sets or search and find people that have already made them.

Teachers can also create classes where you can join and see all the things you will need to study for an upcoming test. You can put in as many cards you want and can study in many different ways.

You can opt to study in the classic way, which is just an electronic version of regular flash cards. You can learn in the “learn” section which is like a practice quiz with things like fill in the blank and true or false questions.

You can choose to do a simple practice with the “write” section where you just write the corresponding answer to each card.

A great way to really test your progress is with the test. It is formatted like a regular test with different ways to test your knowledge (it has been said that some teachers at Highland have just printed this out and used it as their real test so pay attention).

Lastly, a fan favorite is the match game. It is a throwback to the game we all used to play as kids but now filled with facts and statistics instead of pictures of animals. The time is very motivating as you can see a leaderboard with your other classmates.

We highly suggest using quizlet for your upcoming finals!!

Good luck on your next finals!!!

A night on the Mississippi

On Friday night, May 18th, 500 of Highland’s students danced the night away on the Mississippi River. The Boat Dance was open to students at 6:30 pm, on Friday, at Harriet Island, on the West side of Saint Paul, MN. The boat took off around 7:15 pm and returned to Harriet Island at 10 pm.

The dance has been a Highland tradition for many years, and by the number of students that attended this year, it will continue to be a tradition for many more years in Highland’s future. This year, the dance had the most attendees it’s had in years – so many that the school couldn’t continue selling tickets – filling up both of the boat’s capacity of people pretty quickly.

There were two different boats for student’s to enjoy; one boat was for the people who wanted to dance, and the other boat was for the people who preferred to sing karaoke with friends or sit back and watch others sing. No matter what boat you were on, there were dozens of different groups of people who were making the best of their night for themselves, their friends, and others around them.

If you chose not to, or were unable to attend the dance this year, make sure to attend Boat Dance 2019! Hopefully, the boat’s attendance remains high throughout the rest of its years at Highland, and hopefully the energy of the attendees remains the same as well!

Senior Vs. Staff basketball game

The Senior vs. Staff basketball game took action on Friday, May 18th. This game was a way to keep the seniors and teachers blood flowing as we close off this school year! The game took place during 7th hour & before the game started, the senior side in the stands filled at a rapid rate. The seniors were guaranteed to win the basketball game to show the staff who’s boss and that’s what ended up happening.

Highland Park Senior High hosts an event called the Senior vs. Staff basketball game every year. It’s a moment for the students to show the staff who’s in charge and for the staff to show the seniors what they’re made of. With the help of the Senior Class Council, they helped organize the whole game. Each half was 16 minutes. There are a total of six teams with 5 people per team. Every few minutes there would be a rotation so everyone would be able to participate.

Since there were rotations, everyone had the opportunity to show what they could do, and to prove that the seniors rule the school.

After the first half ended, the Senior Class Council introduced a halftime shooting game that lasted 3 minutes. One team was on the left side of the court while the other was on the right. Each team consisted of six people and the team with the most points at the end of the 3 minutes would win. So, the Senior Class Council took some initiative and picked 6 random people from the stands, and as an audience we all sat back and cheered for everyone. People got some water and were ready to be put back in the game.

Some of the things people liked about the game were the different skills some of the players carried. People even admitted that the staff had skills too, and were surprised when some of the seniors were getting crossed.

With all the hard work each and every player put in, the game ended with the staff winning: 59 to 58. We asked one of the staff what they thought about the game and one replied with, “I think the scoreboard is cheating, we scored more points than that.”

This is one of the events people get excited for because it’s exhilarating to watch and it’s always fun to cheer for your favorite player. Although no team gets bragging rights, this game was a close one and everybody’s a winner. #ClassOf’18

The Senior Send-Off


The Senior Send-Off is an event that Highland Park Senior High School does every single year. This event takes place a week before the school year ends. This year’s send-off will be on, June 1st, during second period, in the gym.

During the send-off, the school shows a slide show of seniors, with pictures from their 4 years at school, and they also have a video where they have underclassmen give a goodbye speech to their senior siblings.

On the day of the send-off, the seniors also wear their senior class shirts, and they say goodbye to teachers and friends.

So, I decided to ask some students how they felt about the Senior Send-Off:

The first person I talked to was Brendan Vellenga, a senior, who explained, “I am going to miss both the soccer and tennis team, and also a select number of teachers.”

The second person I talked to was a junior who has a sister in the senior class, he told me that, “I am going to miss her because she was like counselor in school. She was also fun working with, and hope she has a great year in college.”

The third student I talked to was a senior name Sunthany Vang, who explained, “I am grateful for everyone who was there for me from freshman year till now, and teachers that made me learn a lot of stuff.” It was a long journey but she is happy that she is finally done with high school.

The fourth person I interviewed was Tsion Boke, who’s best friend is also a senior. She told me, “She has been my best friend from middle school and she has always help me with my school work, especially math, and she had always have my back. Now she leaving school I am going to miss her and I wish her the best of luck in college.”

After all my interviews, I came to realize that all these seniors have done different things for the school and their friends, in different kinds of ways, and I hope they have a good time in college.

Lunch Lady love

Lunch time is many students’ favorite period of the day. It’s a time where people can be themselves while nibbling on some food. But have you ever wondered who makes the food? Who goes through the stress and time to make these dishes for us? Lunch Ladies! These lovely women go through the struggle to make each and every student food, while getting ready to serve, and then clean, at the end of each wave of students. Not all heroes wear capes.

Throughout the day, students get hungry, and no one is happier then when they are getting ready to go to lunch. Lunch is a very chaotic place that is often located in a bigger area of the school. Some kids call it the “place of relief,” while filling their stomachs with their favorite dishes, but others just think of it as lunch time.

One of the students’ favorite dishes, that they serve, is called Italian Dunkers. It’s a cheesy-bread type food that is given with a side of Marinara sauce, along with other sides given to the students in the “bar” section.

My fellow writers and I thought it would be a good idea to show thanks to our Lunch Ladies at Highland Park Senior High by handing them a big poster saying how much we appreciate them, along with some candy on the side to signify how sweet they are. Everything they do for us is very helpful in ways that isn’t always addressed when necessary. If it weren’t for these ladies, we would be hungry throughout the day and wouldn’t be able to focus as well as we do with food in our system.

Lunch Ladies are really helpful, and as students of Highland Park Senior High, we thank you for the work you do to keep us fed and focused.

Boat Dance

The annual Boat Dance is just around the corner! Many students are super excited for this special dance. There are so many things to do there, which makes students fall in love with this dance. Everyone talks about this event. You definitely do not want to miss out on it, so get your tickets!

The Jonathan Padelford was being readied Thursday afternoon April 4, 2013 on Harriet Island as the three boats owned by the Padelford Packet Boat Co. will begin their runs this weekend. (Pioneer Press: John Doman)

Come on board to the Boat Dance! This year, the Boat Dance will take place May 18th from 7-10pm, and the boat will leave Harriet Island at exactly 7:00pm, so don’t be late.

Tickets for the Boat Dance will be sold for $20, the week of Boat Dance, at both lunches and in room 3211 after school.

Don’t be fooled though, although it is a Boat Dance, that does not mean swimsuits. The Boat Dance is a formal dance where people dress up, but it’s really your choice, just don’t show up in a swimsuit. Bringing something warm is suggested because the dance does go rather late, and you will be on the river, outside, so it can get chilly.

The Boat Dance is a really fun way to spend a night with your friends and bring in the spring. Many Highland students say it is their favorite dance of the year, and look forward to it all year round. The boat consists of two levels with a variety of activities to do like dancing and singing.

Beginning at Harriet Island, you go on an about 1.5 hour ride that loops back to the start. There are many ways to enjoy your time on the boat, depending on your preference. You can hang out on the upper deck, where you can see some great views while chilling at the tables, and lots of people take their pictures there. There are 2 other indoor sitting areas; 1 on each level. There is also a karaoke setup on the upper level, which has almost any song you want to sing with your friends. Finally, there is the dance floor. It is jam packed with other students dancing, and is a super fun way to spend the night. You might want to escape to one of the sitting areas every once and awhile though to get some air.

A really fun part of Boat Dance is the time before it starts. Lots of people get ready, and then go out to eat with a group of friends. The downtown area of St. Paul is full of restaurants and places to hang out with friends. Black Sheep Pizza, Mickey’s Diner, and Cossetta’s are all great options for affordable dining near Harriet Island.

Overall, the Boat Dance is a night you will never forget. We cannot stress how much fun it is. It’s a great time to hang out with friends, and also a great opportunity to meet new people in your class or other classes. This dance appeals to many people, and it is impossible to not have a great time. Make sure you get your tickets!!

The 4-1-1 on prom

Prom is right around the corner and everyone’s anxiety has surpassed capacity. Whether this is your first or second time going to prom, this article will: provide a few helpful tips you need to know for prom, hopefully ease your anxiety, and put some common misconceptions to rest.

First and foremost, comfortable shoes are a MUST!

This goes for everyone, but mainly the ladies. You’re going to be dancing a ton, and you don’t want to cramp your style and not be able to show off those moves. Wearing comfortable shoes is essential to prevent you from having a stressful and painful evening.

Eat before coming to prom

Make sure not to overstuff yourself, but do remember to eat before coming to the event. There is no open buffet. In terms of snacks, there will be cookies, cheese, crackers, and more snacks. You want to make sure that you aren’t overeating before you start dancing for hours, but you also don’t want to go hungry for the night.

Just have FUN!

Don’t stress out about getting everything right, prom is not a wedding. You don’t want to over plan and not have prom live up to your expectations. Try to enjoy the moment and not control it! Dance with your friends and eat a crazy amount of cheese!

It is perfectly fine to not have a date!

This goes back to over planning the perfect night with the perfect date. Truthfully, the majority of the people who have dates are already couples, therefore, you shouldn’t stress and just go with your friends! Going with a friend is not lame; it will only increase the amount of fun you will be having. Think of the prom pictures!

Common misconceptions of prom

Prom is nothing like the movies. First of all, in terms of prom king and queen, everyone has an equal chance of winning, everyone is Blair Waldorf and Nate Archibald. Highland uses a vote system, therefore, literally any senior could win.

Another misconception is that prom is all fancy slow dancing. FALSE! Prom is fun, full of excitement and no one is that uptight. It’s all about having fun and looking great.

All-in-all, don’t over stress about making prom the perfect night because you’ll forget that it is meant to be a night of fun with your friends!

Highland Park blood drive

Highland Park had its annual blood drive on Friday, March 16th. Every year, in the early spring, Highland Park Student Council teams up with the Red Cross to put on a blood drive. It is a great cause because all the blood donated goes to people who need it. Anyone who comes into a hospital needing blood can greatly benefit from donated blood, and it can possibly save their life.

This drive was especially important because the Red Cross has had to cancel over 10 drives due to the harsh Minnesota winter this year, so they had a shorter supply of donated blood, and so were very appreciative of us for helping out.

Each year, Student Council plans a fun theme for the drive, and this year it was “March Madness.” Lots of people had their favorite jerseys on, and games were broadcasted on the projector where everyone could see it. Highland had so many volunteers that there was almost always a few people giving blood, and many extra people were there for backup. This year was definitely one of the biggest blood drives that Highland has had.

Donating blood is a serious matter and there are some rules that cannot be broken if you decide to donate blood:

  • You must be 16 years old
    • If you are 16 you and your guardians need to fill out a parent consent form
  • Males must be at least 5 feet tall and weigh 110 lbs
  • Women who are 4’10 must weigh at least 146 lbs
  • Women who are 4’11 must weigh at least 142 lbs
  • Women who are 5’ must weigh at least 138 lbs
  • Women who are 5’1 must weigh at least 133 lbs
  • Women who are 5’2 must weigh at least 129 lbs
  • Women who are 5’3 must weigh at least 124 lbs
  • Women who are 5’4 must weigh at least 120 lbs
  • Women who are 5’5 must weigh at least 115 lbs
  • The day before you donate blood you must eat plenty of food and stay hydrated

If you decide to donate blood, there are many opportunities during the day. Donating blood starts second hour, but there is a sign up sheet to sign your name on what time best suits you. The times go throughout the school day until the end of 7th hour, but there is no guarantee on how long the process will take. Oftentimes, for some people, the process of donating blood can be quick and take roughly 10 minutes, but for others, the process could be long and take up to a half hour. The process really depends on the person.

After you have finished donating blood, you still have to wait another 10-15 minutes before you can leave. During this time you are supposed to just sit and relax and eat some of the snacks provided to make sure you are O.K. before you can go. This is also done to prevent sudden movements like standing up too fast, which could lead to you being lightheaded or fainting.

There are some things to consider before you decide to donate blood. One of these major considerations is whether or not you are involved in sports. Donating blood could render you unable to participate in some sports for a short period of time. For example, if you are playing a sport that involves high activity, such as running track, and you decide to donate blood, you would not be able to do track for a short period of time due to the fact that it takes a while to recover from losing a pint of blood. Participating in these sports could cause health risks such as fainting.

However, if you are participating in a sport that does not involve high activity, such as golf, donating blood shouldn’t affect your ability to participate in that sport.

Talking to your coach about donating blood is also a good idea before you decide to donate blood.

Another major consideration when it comes to donating blood is your own personal health. If you have any health factors that could affect your ability to donate blood, you should talk to your doctor and guardians to make sure donating blood would be a safe choice for you.

We encourage everyone to participate in a blood drive, whether it’s next year at Highland, or somewhere else throughout the year. When Student Council would talk to people who were drawing blood, we asked why they chose to participate today, and almost everyone said that they wanted to give back to the community and give back to people that need it. It really is an amazing opportunity to do good in the world.

Everyone who participates walks out feeling really good about what they did, and proud of helping people. Many people go into it thinking it will be super painful, and a terrible experience, but those that have done it have said that it does not hurt at all, and after a few minutes they were totally comfortable. Giving blood is a really fun experience. You are surrounded by medical technicians that want to help you, and Student Council members are there to help you ease through the process. There are stuffed animals, music, an area with mats to hang out on after your donation, March Madness, fun movies, and tons of snacks!!

Benstock 2018

Benstock: an event where students of Highland Park join together under one roof to be able to watch their peers show off their incredible talents. The range of skills included singing, dancing, spoken word, and rapping; the students put on quite a show. Even teachers were a part of the show! Mr. Dirks, Mr. Berndt, and Mr. Rumsey performed together in their rock band, and it brought the crowd to its feet.

Before the big night, performers would do mic and lighting checks, as well as doing a run-through of the show. Performers go over their dances, songs, and even skits, through the 3 days of rehearsal, and make sure that each move and note is perfect. When rehearsing on the stage, the director and stage hands guide the performers through stage directions, and make sure that every performer exits and enters correctly, so that the show goes smoothly on performance day. Rehearsal took place after school, and performers were free to go to different spots to practice their performances. When walking around the auditorium, you would see all different types of people and performances, going underway, and the students working hard to make sure their big day went well.

March 9th was the big performance day! For many of the performers they felt very, very nervous. We asked a number of the performers about how they felt before the big show:

“ I was super nervous about the whole show but I was also super excited too! We had a lot of talented people performing and I just knew that it was going to be a good one.” – Calista Vang (Senior).

“My group has been practicing really hard and were really excited to be able to perform for our friends and family.” – Fiona (Junior)

The show was about three hours long with a short intermission in between for the performers and audience to be able to stretch out and get some food. The show started out beautifully with performer Danasja Hall, who showcased her singing skills to the crowd. Through the show we had a great magic act and also a beautiful spoken word piece. All of the acts were absolutely stunning and we could just tell that everybody in the crowd just loved it!

Winter Pep Fest 2018 in Hmong

Lub ob hli ntuj nees nkaum peb, Highland Park Senior High tsev kawm ntawv tuav lawv qhov Winter Pep Fest. Winter Pep Fest pib thaum hoob xya, tag nrho cov xib fwb thiab cov menyuam kawm ntawv mus rau lub gym. Txhua txhua xyoo, lawv tuav Winter Pep Fest hauv lub gym. Thaum pib, lawv qhia peb cov leaders nyob hauv peb cov clubs tiab cov sports. Cov clubs tiab cov sports yog: basketball, newspaper, Black Student Union (BSU), gymnastics, thiab ntau heev.

Thaum lawv hu tag nrho cov clubs tiab sports, lawv qhia txog khoom lawv ua tiab haiv txog lawv ua dab tsi hauv cov clubs thiab sports. Thaum lawv hais tag, cov gymnastics pab los seev cev rau peb saib. Lawv seev cev tau zoo saib heev. Thum lawv seev cev tag lawm, cov ntxhais, thiab cov tub hauv qhov basketball team los ntaus pob rau peb saib. Lawv ntaus pob saib seb pab twg yuav yeej. Ob pag pawg taub ob lub pob, lawv yuav tsum pov lub pob nkag hauv lub basketball hoop. Thaum pib, cov ntxhais lawv pov tau zoo tshaj, tab thaum tag, cov tub yeej lawm.

Lawv pov tab cev cov dance team los seev cev rau peb saiv. Thaum lawv seev cev tag, cov menyuam kawm ntawv tawm lub gym mus tsev. Winter Pep Fest mus tau zoo heev.

For those of you unable to read Hmong, here is the English translation:

On February 23, Highland Park Senior High had its Winter Pep Fest during seventh period, all students and staff reported to the school’s gym where the pep fest is held every year. At the beginning of the pep fest, they started it off by introducing the leaders of different school groups and sports. These included: Basketball, Newspaper, Black Students Union, gymnastics, and many more.

After all of the school groups and sports leaders had their chance to speak out about their group, and tell the students what they do, the gymnastics team took the stage and showed us just how talented they were. It was hard to look away, with all of their flipping and bending. It’s no wonder why they had such a great season.

After their performance, the boys and girls of the basketball teams came out, front and center, to show us their skills. It was a great game; the students in the crowd were shouting and screaming their hoorays! The game was a race for which team could make more shots. They were given two basketballs each. In the beginning, the girls were pounding the boys, making shot after shot. Though people thought that the girls had a good shot of winning, the boys quickly caught up in the end and won. The game was a very, very close one.

After the game, the dance team came up to perform. At the end of the performance, everyone left and headed home. The Winter Pep Fest went well.