What to do in all 4 years of high school

What to do in all 4 years of high school

By: Dalimar Rentas

Hey guys! Welcome back, this week’s topic is all about tips to prepare middle schoolers and high schoolers for their high school experience. When I was in 8th grade, I was very nervous about becoming a freshman. I remember that I spent all summer watching Youtube videos about how I could prepare myself for high school. Personally, don’t take tips from movies, high school is very different from what you have seen in High School Musical. Sadly, you won’t see people dancing on top of tables in the school cafeteria singing that it’s finally time for summer. Now let’s see some tips.

Freshman Year:

  • Get involved in school activities such as:
    • Extracurriculars = This includes sports, clubs, and anything you like to do on the side
    • Giving back to your community = This includes helping in your church, a youth group, and other organizations
  • Taking your work seriously
    •  Colleges check your grades from freshman year to senior year so it’s better not to slack off
    • Start developing good study habits that would help you throughout high school and college.
  • Develop good time management skills
    •  Practicing time management skills in freshman year will save your time when you arrive at college and have to turn in assignment deadlines.
  • Take advanced courses
    • If your school offers it you should take advanced courses. Challenge yourself if you can, it will do good in the end.

Sophomore Year:

  •  Take the PSAT
    •  It’s a good practice for when you have to take the SAT. Plus if you get a good score you might qualify for a National Merit Scholarship.
  • Start researching college costs
    • We all know college is very expensive and searching up scholarships you want to apply to will make things easier
    • College financial aid is also very complicated, but becoming familiar with the process early will make things easier when you’re a senior
    • If you’re eligible to apply for any financial assistance now, even better.
  • Your future
    •  Don’t stress if you still don’t know what you want to do there is still time left
    • It’s often helpful to start thinking about what makes you happy and what your future goals might be as a sophomore.
    • Your decision might change in senior year but it helps to take off some pressure

Junior Year:

  • College Fairs
    • Going to college fairs will allow you to talk to college representatives 
    • You can ask any question you might have 
    • Learn more about the programs they might have 
  • Take the SAT and ACT
    • Taking them early is the best option so you can retake them if you need to
    • Some colleges are test optional so you might not need to turn the test results in
    • Studying in advanced will get you a higher score
    •  Start studying at the end of sophomore year 
  • Research colleges
    • Start your college research 
    • Visit colleges
    • Determine where you want to go based on location, your major, financial aid, and size 

Senior Year:

  •   Narrow down your college list
    • Make a list with 5-10 universities
    • Base them on reach/dream, match, and safety
  • Fill out your application
    • Follow the directions and double check everything 
  •  Complete your college interviews
  •  Make your final college decision
    • Making sure you understand your financial aid letters when you get them with your acceptance package.



Panic Attacks

Panic Attacks

By: Dalimar Rentas

People experience anxiety in many different ways and it might kick in only a few times in their lives. Experiencing anxiety a few times is a normal part of life. However, people with anxiety disorders have intense, excessive and persistent worry in everyday situations. It may lead to other fears and mental health disorders, problems at work or school, and social isolation. That is why this week’s topic is about a specific anxiety disorder which is panic attacks. 


Panic Attack:

·      A sudden episode of intense fear that triggers severe physical reactions when there is no real danger or apparent cause.

Panic attacks typically include some of these signs or symptoms:

·      A pounding or racing heart

·      Sweating

·      Chills

·      Trembling

·      Breathing problems

·      Weakness or dizziness

·      Chest pain

·      Sense of impending doom or danger

·      Fear of loss of control or death

Causes of panic attacks:

·      Family history

·      Major stress

·      Temperament that is more sensitive or prone to negative emotions

·      Certain changes in the way of your brain function

Complications that panic attacks may cause or be linked to include:

·      Development of specific phobias, such as fear of driving or leaving your home

·       Frequent medical care for health concerns and other medical conditions 

·      Avoidance of social situations 

·      Problems at work or school

·      Depression, anxiety disorders and other psychiatric disorders

·      Increased risk of suicide or suicidal thoughts

·       Alcohol or other substance misuse

·       Financial problems

You should always talk to your doctor about your symptoms. The doctor will make sure to check your health history and may refer you to a mental health specialist, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist.



  • Psychotherapy 
  • Medication 
    1. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) 
    2. Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) 
    3. Beta-blockers Benzodiazepines


*If you or someone you love is experiencing panic attacks, panic disorder helplines can be a useful resource to get through a crisis and find a treatment program.*

  •  Panic Disorder Information Hotline: 1-800-64-PANIC (72642)