Tag: tips

9th/10th Grade Zoom Academy: Will THIS summer make a difference on my college application?

Join us for tips on what Freshmen/Sophomores can be doing the summer of 2023 to make the college application process easier.

*Does planning my summer NOW really make a difference?
*How will THIS summer’s plans make it easier to apply to college?
*What can I do NOW to help me decide what I want to do AFTER high school?

Freshmen/Sophomore students AND parents are invited to learn more about utilizing your summer to get ahead with college planning and preparation!

We will discuss what activities are beneficial to explore to help put your best foot forward on college applications!

Students begin the college application process the summer after their Junior year.  We’ll cover what you can be doing NOW!

5 Tips to Improve Your Art Portfolio

What makes a successful art portfolio? The answer to this question may vary depending on who you ask, but within the context of college admissions, there are a few key elements that most art programs look for.

Demonstrate your drawing abilities.

As a creative, a basic understanding of drawing will serve you well regardless of your desired career path. In fact, many art programs recommend applicants include at least one drawing in their portfolios, illustrating the ability to depict the world on paper realistically or imaginatively. 

Emphasize your skills.

No matter where you are on your artistic journey, you possess a skill set that should be highlighted in your portfolio. Don’t be afraid to experiment and go beyond your artistic limits; this will indicate your willingness to try something new and stretch your creativity. Additionally, be sure to include works that exemplify your attention to detail and comprehension of the building blocks of art.

Present a variety of pieces.

As you create or begin to select your best work for applications, you’ll want to showcase your ability to express yourself through different mediums. The inclusion of both 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional pieces is encouraged for most portfolios, as this is a clear display of artistic range. Of course, you should call attention to your strengths and preferred medium(s), but consider exploring varied ways to spotlight your unique point of view. 

Pro Tip: Give yourself enough time to plan and develop your portfolio. It’s never too early to get a head start! 

Take quality pictures of your work.

Documenting the artistic process and end results through high-quality photographs is an integral yet often overlooked step in portfolio creation. Good news: you don’t need to be a professional photographer or own expensive gear. However, using your available resources to ensure that your artwork is in focus, well-lit, free of a distracting background, and appropriately positioned will add a noticeable layer of professionalism to your portfolio. 

Play up your personality and creative vision.

No two portfolios are exactly the same, but those that succeed often reflect an artist’s distinct character and style. So be yourself, and remember that an art portfolio is much more than a collection of work. It is a one-of-a-kind visual expression of your past learnings, present identity, and artistic aspirations. 

What to Expect as a Rising College Freshman

From walking across a graduation stage to stepping into the world of higher education, the life of a high school graduate can change drastically leading up to the highly-anticipated — and sometimes nerve-wracking — first day of college. To hopefully ease your mind a bit, here are a few tips and tricks to simplify your transition and help you expect the unexpected during your first year.

Prepare to be independent!

As you’ll come to discover, the choice to attend a two or four-year institution comes with great freedom, and as a result, great responsibility. From scheduling, enrolling, and attending classes to making time to work, eat, and sleep, the life of a college student can be a hectic one. Though, it doesn’t have to feel that way. Setting realistic goals, creating to-do lists, planning, and eliminating procrastination are just a few ways to reduce the stress that comes with pursuing any degree or certification. 

To get the most out of college and your newfound independence, you’ll want to walk away with something learned. So, in addition to gaining the tools and knowledge needed to succeed in your chosen career path, actively strive to discover something new about yourself. You’ll be better for it.  

Prepare to walk!

No matter the size of your college, you’ll want to anticipate traveling on foot. To prepare your body and mind for this change, consider taking a walking tour of your campus and class schedule before FDOC (the first day of class). Of course, cars and on-campus transportation are available options at some institutions, but be mindful of any parking fees or costs that come with these alternatives. 

Your goal, hopefully, is to enjoy your time in college. With that in mind, familiarizing yourself with your new environment and the physical limits of your body can positively impact your on-campus experience. In other words, if you’re not traveling by car, bus, or metro, you may want to bust out those walking shoes. 

Prepare for FUN!

Now for the best part. After a long week of classes and studying, you’ll want to find ways to relax your mind and enjoy the extracurricular offerings available on campus. If possible at your school, take advantage of student clubs, volunteer opportunities, art programs, athletics, Greek life, or other ways to get outside of your dorm. Not only can participating in university activities bring you lifelong social connections but professional relationships can also be developed by putting yourself out there. So, don’t be afraid to have a good time; it’ll definitely be earned! 

Of course, everyone will experience college differently, and you’re bound to make mistakes. But, with proper preparation, dedication, and an open mind, you’ll grow to learn from your shortcomings and find that freshman year is not what you expected at all. It’s so much better.

4 Tips for Better Studying

A joy for some and an unbearable chore for others, studying is something many of us can’t avoid. However, no matter your approach to the task, there are so many ways to make studying more enjoyable. Here are a few that you might consider.

  1. Listen to Music.

Listening to music while studying is a scientifically proven way to help you focus on and remember information. Of all the study-friendly musical genres, classical seems to be a popular choice, though the possibilities are endless when it comes to crafting your studying playlist. However, if you find yourself easily distracted, try to choose sounds that don’t heavily draw focus away from your work. 

2. Form or Find a Study Group.

Let’s say you miss a day of class, and you need someone to update you on the current lesson. This is where a study group comes in handy; you’ll have a backup plan and supportive peers to help you succeed. Additionally, studying in a group setting can be fun; you’ll often learn helpful — and sometimes hilarious — ways to memorize your notes, all while enjoying the company of other students. Though, be sure that your study group will hold you accountable and push you academically. Trust me, this will save you a lot of stress come test day. 

3. Review your Notes Often.

Make it a habit to look over your notes every day. This will help prevent cramming and improve your memorization of coursework. Though sometimes difficult to do, you’ll thank yourself once exam season comes around.

4. Don’t Cram.

This one is for my procrastinators. While tempting, cramming the night before a test or presentation doesn’t seem to work for most people; studies have even shown that a good night’s sleep before an important event improves the brain’s ability to perform. So, if you think that cramming is a good idea, you may want to think again. 

Of course, no two students are alike, so finding a study style that works for you can take time. But, as long as make an honest effort, you’ll quickly find that studying isn’t as horrible as it seems.