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East High School says Welcome Back!

August 14th finally rolled around and I couldn’t have been more excited! It was the first day of school and what made it even more exciting was the fact it was the first day of my SENIOR year! I got to school early to meet up with my friends and I don’t think we could have been more excited! We walked around saying to each other “09?…09!” Nerdy I know, but we were just so excited to finally be starting our senior year at East High.

The first day jitters I had experienced the previous years seemed to just disappear. As I walked into the school and around the rest of the day I held myself high because I knew that I was now at the top of the totem pole! My friends and I were untouchable, or so it seemed. It is finally our turn to rule the school and we can hardly wait to see what the school year has to offer us!

Although being a senior is amazing, it is also very humbling in a sense. The under classmen are expected to respect you, but at the same time, I feel that the same under classmen deserve respect from me in return. Sure, occasionally scaring one may be slightly entertaining, but remembered how I felt being a freshman or even a sophomore, I felt more sympathetic towards the younger students and tried not to come off as too cocky or scary, because I want to be like a lot of the seniors I knew the past years. The seniors I knew were far from scary and treated us under classmen as one of them. That is how I want to present myself to the other students; I want them to view me as approachable.

So as I walked through the halls of East High the very first day of my senior year not only did I feel like I was on top of the world, I also wanted the younger students to see me and look up to me rather than view me as someone scary just because they are a senior. Let’s hope the rest of my school year goes just as smooth as my first day back!

McCain and Obama Speak on College Financial Aid Issues

Want to hear what the two major party political candidates have to say about student loans, Pell Grants, and other issues related to financial aid?

Here’s John McCain, losing the art history student vote.

And here’s Barack Obama.

So what do you think?

Luxury College Dorm Room Splurges

Most students don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on decorating their dorm room.  And that’s fine, as there’s no reason to turn this small space that you’re going to live in for nine months into something that looks like a magazine.  However, if you’ve got a little money to splurge, treat yourself to a few terrific indulgences to make your room more homey and your life more fun.  Here are some suggestions for luxury dormitory splurge items. (And if there’s a student in your life who needs a gift, here are some ideas.)

  • High thread count sheets
  • A super-cozy comforter
  • A down pillow
  • A fabulous bath robe (try chenille)
  • Super plush towels
  • A basket of great bath products
  • One fantastic framed piece of artwork
  • A beautiful frame for one special photograph
  • Colorful curtains
  • An iPod dock
  • The latest game system
  • A great pair of walking shoes
  • A warm and cozy sweater
  • Super nice gloves, mittens, and hats for winter (try cashmere)
  • An amazing laptop computer bag
  • A subscription to a mindless magazine

College Entrance Exams: SAT vs. ACT

sat testIt seems more students are taking than ACT college entrance exam than the SAT. The test has grown in popularity, as 1.42 million high school graduates took the ACT this past year. The average score was 21.1 out of a possible 36.

Comparing the two college entrance tests there are many similarities. SAT tests critical reading, writing and math; while the ACT tests reading, math, english, science and an optional writing portion. The cost for the SAT is $45 and the ACT $46 (with writing). The SAT takes twenty minutes longer at 3 hours, 45 minutes; the ACT takes 3 hours, 25 minutes.

Watch this video from ABC affiliate WSYR to learn more, and help determine which test is most appropriate for you.

College Grads Are OK with Living with Their Parents

Telling people you live with your parents doesn’t quite have the embarrassing ring it once did. According to, more college graduates are moving home with their parents following graduation than have in the past few years.father and son

Up ten percent from just two years ago, 77 percent of college graduates are settling back in with their parents. The economy seems to be part of the reason, but a career services rep at University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Sarah Zehr, suggests Generation Y has “close relationships with their parents” and that the usual stigma associated with living at home don’t apply. It’s a trend she says isn’t completely related to the economy.

Do you have plans to move home after graduation? Did you move home after graduation, and what were your reasons?

Dealing With Death

This past Sunday night, a very close friend of mine passed away. She has a virus that attacked her heart, causing too much damage for it to repair itself and making her too weak for a transplant. She was 10 days away from the beginning her senior year. All of us began to question why exactly someone so young and talented would be taken from us at such a young age. A nurse told my mom how before things took a turn for the worse that she talked about how excited she was for her senior year.

As my friends and I sat with one another after we found out, comforting each other, we decided that there has to be something that comes from this situation, some sort of silver lining. Although we can’t see this silver lining now, we will be able to see it eventually. Dealing with death can be a very difficult thing, but it is possible to deal with the death of someone, I have discovered, with help from others around you.

The hardest part for many of us to deal with was that we didnt get to say good-bye to our close friend, but when we thought about it we realized we were happy that it was a quick death for her and not as painful as something else could have been. I would much rather have her die quickly without much pain than have her die slowly even if we did get to say good-bye to her. We will get final closure when we attend her funerals.

Although this next year will be difficult without her, I know she will still be here guiding all of us that she held dear. Dealing with death at my age, especially the death of someone else my age, is very difficult but I know that it is possible to cope. All I need is a support group (which happens to be my close friends!) and eventually I will be able to accept the fact she is gone.

A friend said to me “I’m sure she is looking down at us and telling us to cheer the heck up”. I agree. She was always such a positive person, making everyone smile no matter what.

Zip Cars: A Green and Convenient Solution for College Student Drivers

Having a car on campus can be a pain.  First of all, there’s the cost, especially considering the high cost of gas–plus insurance, maintenance, and parking fees.  In addition, on many campuses, parking can be a serious pain. When I taught at Indiana University, where the parking situation was horrible, students regularly worked in the price of parking tickets into their annual budget!  And even if having a car isn’t a pain, these days people are becoming more and more aware of the environmental costs of car

So here’s a solution that some college campuses are implementing: the Zip Car!  This is a car students (and others on campus) can rent for an hourly or daily fee.  The price of the rental includes gas and insurance, and usually a prime parking space on campus.  This way, students can have a car to run errands, get away for the evening, or to make a short visit home–without the hassle of keeping a car on campus.  By implementing the Zip Car program, colleges and universities hope to reduce the number of cars on campus, along with the corresponding traffic and parking issues.

Here’s a very informative news segment about the Zip Car.

20 Ways to Annoy Your College Roommate

Living in a small dorm room with a total stranger is a universally stressful experience.  Learning to be polite and considerate to each other is a must, as is mature, open communication about what the two of you expect from each other. But if you really want to get on your roommate’s nerves, here are 20 great strategies.


  1. Use your snooze button whenever possible.
  2. Avoid cleaning, especially things involving food and dirty underwear.
  3. Have an extra loud ring tone, and make sure it goes off in the middle of the night.
  4. Have an extra loud everything, for that matter. The noisier you are, the better.
  5. Make sure you have lots of company whenever your roommate has an exam.
  6. Buy a comforter that completely clashes with your roommate’s.
  7. Borrow your roommate’s things–no biggie, right?
  8. Break your roommate’s things–no biggie, right?
  9. Gossip about your roommate to everyone on the floor.
  10. Forget to mention that visitors have stopped by.
  11. Spill perfume or cologne in the room.
  12. Study in the room all the time.
  13. Eat your roommate’s food, and drink his or her milk right out of the carton.
  14. Make sure your guests are rude to your roommate.
  15. If you have a “special” guest, be sure to be be intimate in front of your roommate.
  16. Eat things in the room that gross your roommate out.
  17. Spill things on your roommate’s homework
  18. Be rude when your roommate’s parents visit (bonus points for being drunk).
  19. Put political and religious messages all over your side of the room that your roommate disagrees with.
  20. Flirt with your roommate’s ex–or current.

Oh! The Anticipation of the First Day of School

School is a mere 4 days away and I can barely take the wait much longer! I mean, it is my senior year! I’m ready to walk through the halls knowing that I am now the oldest and most experienced at the school.

Although I am anxious, at the same time there is a lot of pressure! Knowing I am the oldest also makes me realize that the younger students, especially the freshmen entering the IB program, will be looking up to me. I realized that I will be setting an example so even though I am a senior, I don’t want to make myself look like an idiot or do something completely ridiculous that the freshmen will see and think its OK to do. So with my senior year not only comes fun, but also much more responsibility since students, no matter what grade, look up to you.back to school

Also with my senior year comes the realization that next fall, I will be heading of to college on my own. Thinking about it, I have a lot to learn before I go off! I mean, I don’t even know how to do my own laundry yet! It’s just weird to think about, in one year I will be almost 100% independent. This makes me realize that I have a lot of growing up to do, but of course this is a hard thing to accept because I’m the type of person that has always been a kid at heart but everyone has to grow up eventually. With planning on going so far away, I realize I may have to do my growing up here pretty soon to ensure my success going so far away.

So with my senior year starting in only 4 more days I realize that although I will be facing more responsibility than in recent years, I will also be having so much fun with my friends and everything that will be going on! I have a feeling that things that seemed ridiculous these last couple of years will be so much more exciting and fun since it’s my last chance to do.

Avoid These Common Mistakes When Applying to Colleges

These college freshman offer some wise advise to high school seniors and their parents for successfully completing college applications. Pulling from their own experiences, and the mistakes of their friends, they suggest:

1. Devote plenty of time to applications

2. Carefully proofread and eliminate all spelling and grammatical errors

3. Write legibly

4. Use an appropriate email address

5. Have an overall professional appearance

6. Apply to multiple schools


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