Sent on the last Thursday of each month, the Counseling Newsletter provides extra guidance and information to assist you during the university research process. Please read each issue carefully. The newsletter is also shared with your parents and teachers, and it can be used to help create more dialogue about your future.
WELCOME TO YOUR JUNIOR YEAR!
CONGRATULATIONS! YOU HAVE MADE IT TO YOUR JUNIOR YEAR OF HIGH SCHOOL. It's important that you take the time to look back on all that you have accomplished up to this point. You will find that this year will, perhaps more than any other, have you prioritizing all of the things you have been involved in. As a quick exercise you may want to jot down answers to the questions below in regards to all clubs and activities. Keep this list handy as a guide to help direct the choices you make in the next few weeks. It is common to become overwhelmed in junior year, but this need not be the case. Take this time to clearly consider how you want this year to unfold.
Which ones are important to me?
Is there a common thread, or central interest that connects a few of them?
Are there any activities I want to become more involved in?
Are there any activities I want to explore but have not?
Which activities am I not genuinely interested in?
Which ones am I putting in a lot of time and not getting much out?
Are there any activities I can drop to save myself time to invest in other things?
Big changes are in store for you this year; this can be both exciting and intimidating. Hopefully you took some time to refresh and recharge over the summer in order to be prepared for this very important year!
You are moving from the world of IGCSE into the world of IB. For many of you this will allow for you to highlight your critical thinking skills. You will be expected to take the knowledge which has been imparted in the classroom and extend your thinking in ways that are new. Trust yourself! You will be asked to not only show what you know, but also how and why - not all answers will be found in a textbook. You will also need to learn to time-manage in different ways. It is key that you keep informed about all assignments and delegate your time in ways that allow you to manage the many demands that this year will bring. Read this short article on how to survive the IB to alleviate stress of the unknown.
Along with this new curriculum, you will be expected to seriously think about yourself as a student and what future learning environment will best suit you. Many of you will already have universities that you have in mind for your post-secondary education. Sometimes these lists have been well-thought out, but oftentimes students rely on name-recognition without having done the research necessary to determine "Best Fit". It is crucial that you take this year to research different universities and reflect on yourself as a learner. This can be an intimidating proposition, but if done well, can be incredibly exciting and revealing!
TAKING TIME TO TAKE TIME
You've heard the reports - this year is going to be busy! As mentioned you will need to hone those time-management skills. Perhaps more important is taking time out from the hustle and bustle to make sure that you are practicing self-care. Whatever current stress-relief techniques you practice, one of your focuses for this year is to nurture and perhaps grow your repertoire. Although it may be difficult at times, do not get into the habit of saying to yourself "I just have to get through this and then I can relax". Certainly there will be times where your focus will preclude other distractions, but remember that a well-lived life is a life of balance. Junior year is not a year "to get through", it's a year of your life to enjoy and grow. As you will see below, the counseling department has built in some social/emotional sessions to ensure that you are practicing self-care. If, at anytime, you feel yourself overwhelmed, please make an appointment with your counselor to discuss strategies that you can use to maintain that very important balance!
A LOOK AHEAD AT THE YEAR AS A WHOLE
August - Nuts and Bolts of University Research
September -Uniquest Assignment - connecting university environments with my learning style, personality, and preferences
October - What program is right for me? Hands-on university research session.
November -Social emotional session based on needs-survey
December - Preparing for the Post-UniQuest Meeting in January/February
January - What should I have done by now? Mock-admission session
February - RD/EA/ED? Social-emotional session based on needs-survey
March - Preparing for three way conference in April/May
April- Where am I at with my research
May - What do to do over the summer - university tours/summer programs. Social-emotional session based on survey.
The next issue of the newsletter will be posted on Thursday September 27.