This guest blog is from one of Laurel Springs’ School Counselors, Christina Baumann. This is Ms. Baumann’s third year at Laurel Springs School. She attended Rutgers University for her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and West Chester University for her Master’s Degree in Secondary School Counseling. Ms. Baumann’s passion for education shines through as she provides guidance and help to our diverse students from all over the world.
Back to school season is in full bloom at Laurel Springs. It is a bittersweet time of year as we say our final goodbyes to the class of 2014 and enthusiastically welcome both familiar and new faces to the 2014-2015 school year.
With a multitude of options and opportunities pulling students in every which way, high school can be a challenge to navigate. Do not worry; there are countless resources available to you at Laurel Springs to help you on your journey this year. There is one group of individuals, however, who just walked through your shoes, and they wanted to provide you with some wisdom and advice to get your school year off to a great start.
Hindsight is 20/20. Last year’s graduating class of 2014 has departed for college, and before they left they were able to look back and reflect on their own high school experiences. These years only come around once in a lifetime. Be sure to sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride because before you know it, you will be in their shoes.
Jennifer Shelver- University of Wisconsin, Madison
“No longer a kid and not yet an adult, the high school years are already a unique time of life; adding to this the vast possibilities provided by an online school like LSS, these next few years have the potential to be highly memorable. My advice to new high school students is to take advantage of all that LSS has to offer: cultivate friendships with classmates from around the globe, including aspiring Olympians, famous actors, non-famous actors, people in or near your state, people from different cultures, and everyone in between. Go to symposiums featuring highly influential speakers. Participate in clubs. Improve the school for current and future students through the student council. Use the live help room to finally understand difficult subjects. Learn more from your teachers than just the course material. Freak out with excitement when you meet everyone face to face at prom/graduation in California. And, perhaps most importantly, work diligently knowing that you can use your impressive LSS education to plan and pursue whatever life you desire in the future.”
Haley Stofflet- Colorado State University
“I would say that the most important advice I could give an incoming freshman is to be proactive in their studies, work on time-management and involve yourself in extra-curricular activities so that your mind can rest from all the school work :). It is a balance, work and play, and I think once you find that balance, your whole life will start falling into place exactly how you want it to.”
Taylor White-Louisiana State University
“One of the most important things in high school is finding out who you are and staying true to that self. There should be no shame in being different. Set yourself up for a great future by caring about your studies and finding a passion. Take these four short years and use it for self-discovery and development. There is beauty and potential in everyone, you just have to find it.”
Kirsten Ward- Elon University
“My advice would be to get involved in the Laurel Springs community as soon as possible. Join any clubs you may be interested in because they are so much fun, you meet new people from around the world, and they help in the future when you are looking at colleges. Communicate often with your counselor and teachers as I have found that this was the most helpful resource in staying on top of my coursework and completing assignments.”
Rheeya Doshi-Northwestern University
“Any problem or difficulty with school work, don’t hesitate to contact your teachers or counselor as they are really helpful and friendly. As long as you manage your time well, you will be fine!”
Ian Nelson- University of Southern California
“The most personal advice I can give is this: enjoy spending time with your family. Read a ton. Explore your interests. Do not think that college is a destination, but see it more as an airport terminal where you are making a connection flight. It’s a journey, and I as a nineteen-year-old, I am fully aware of the “cliche” tone of that advice, but it’s true. Life is truly a journey, but don’t think of it as a passive quest. Take an active stance and drive towards discovering your interests, cultivating your passions, and not being afraid to be authentically you. Something I have learned is that there is a wholeness to being who you are, and this unity will never be achieved if you choose to hide behind illusion. Don’t wish this time away because believe me, it will pass. Quickly. Like speed of light quick.”