The Pros and Cons of Year Round School

It’s hard to imagine life without summer vacation. What would we do without lazy summer days catching up on sleep, spending the day at the beach, or trying to earn some money in a seasonal job? The summer-off schedule evolved when we had a more agricultural society, so that kids could help families on the farm. Some say that this is an outdated model in our modern society, especially given the academic declines that occur for some students during the summer break. As a result, the shift to year-round school is becoming a more common practice. Continue reading “The Pros and Cons of Year Round School”

Shifting Attitude to Gratitude

Junior year has been just as strenuous and time-consuming as everyone said it would be. From the first week of school, I found myself completely overwhelmed with my AP classes, ACT prep, the school newspaper and cross country. Before I could catch my breath from one busy day, the next one started. All the pressure I was feeling left me feeling depleted. I realized I needed to shift how I was thinking about all my work, in the hope it would shift how I felt. Continue reading “Shifting Attitude to Gratitude”

Traveling in Nice

I am fortunate enough to have spent four summers in France. The first three stays were informal French-exchanges with a neighbor’s friend. My most recent experience in France was this past summer with the Abbey Road immersion program in Nice. In Nice, I stayed for a month in a dorm with other students and fully immersed myself in the learning and cultural experiences there. Continue reading “Traveling in Nice”

College Admissions: New Opportunities

Top universities pride themselves on creating diverse learning environments where students of different ethnicities and backgrounds can come together. Over the past few decades, colleges have been increasingly more diligent about aiding minority groups, developing affirmative action programs, and creating reliable support systems for all students. However, the college admissions process is still systematically set up so that wealthier applicants and legacies (i.e. children of alumni) are more likely to be accepted into college than their peers in the bottom socioeconomic quartile. Continue reading “College Admissions: New Opportunities”

MORE Zzzz PLEASE

Sleep is crucial for healthy brain development and overall physical and emotional health. When you sleep, your brain strengthens the neural pathways that synthesize the information you learned that day. According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), not getting enough sleep can limit academic success, lead to aggressive behavior, cause one to eat unhealthy foods, intensify the effects of alcohol, increase the use of caffeine and nicotine, lead to drowsy driving and contribute to illness. Not surprisingly, lack of sleep is correlated to depression. According to NSF’s 2006 Sleep in America poll,  Continue reading “MORE Zzzz PLEASE”

Your Brain on Social Media

Most teens spend their days attached to their phones, the pull of social media so strong they can’t look away. In fact, in the documentary “Screenagers,” researchers explain that the average American teen spends more time on electronic media than they do going to school. Scientists, educators, and parents are not only concerned by the amount of time teens spend online, but also about the impact this screen time has on the brain. Researchers have discovered that social media, in particular, has a far greater effect on the brain than one might imagine. Continue reading “Your Brain on Social Media”