Oh, By the Way…

how to survive highschool

school is like an awesome pain in the butt…. if that makes any sense…..
this page will have information about study aids available at the library, study tips, AP help, test taking tips, ACT help, scholarship info, help with college searches, and advice on how to get through the personal struggles that come with growing up.  it’s really not so bad, we promise. so stay in school and don’t do drugs!
how to pick a major:

You’ve heard it a thousand times before, usually people change their majors a few times while in college. While that is true , it  is extremely beenficial to have one in mind when choosing a college and the earlier you get started taking classes for that major- the better! If you know what field of study your major is in, it will be best for you to pick a college that specializes in that field- like the University of illinois in Urbana- Champaign is a fantastic engineering school, if you are considering that as a major it would be unwise to go to  Loyola for example, which excels in fields related to medicine. Colleges may pressure you to take gen-ed courses as a freshmen, but if you’re still unsure about your major while registering for classes, pick a few that reflect your interests. Colleges have classes on just about anything you can imagine, usually anyone can enter for the basic level- you can learn more about turf grass or shooting stars, your choice! Below are some personality tests that can help you determine which area to consider a career in based on your personality. these will help you get started thinking early about a big decision you will have to make later on!  And for those of you making this decision soon, please remember:

“Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life!”- Confucius











distance from home

setting/collete town

academic standards

Greek life

religious affiliation

what the college is known for

national ranking

cost, before and after financial aid

type of degree

















DEALING WITH DEPRESSION: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/depression_teen_teenagers.htm











DEALING WITH BODY IMAGE: http://teenadvice.about.com/od/selfesteem/tp/body_image_tips.htm







S C H O L A R S H I P S: Every one will need money for college eventually, might as well get started collecting scholarship money early! Scholarships vary, some are as detailed as college applications, some just require you write an essay or an art project. The best thing you can do for yourself is apply for as many as possible, shoot for ones with smaller amounts of money offered, you are more likely to receive those because they are probably not as popular. Do not expect to apply for three or four and receive all of them- shoot for about a dozen. Yes they are time-consuming, but it will take much less time to write an essay than it will to pay off your debt! Here are some great search engines for scholarships, do not forget to ask your counselor and the deans of your colleges  to recommend some more! Happy applying!

http://www.scholarships.com/    http://www.studentscholarshipsearch.com/

http://www.scholarshipexperts.com/   http://collegenet.com/elect/app/app

https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/scholarship-search      http://www.fastweb.com/

BECOME THE MASTER: these websites have a variety of great tips to help improve your study skills such as: take breaks! stretch during breaks! create a good study environment! repeat information to yourself aloud while walking around! study one hour before bed! and many more! With midterms/finals just around the corner It would be beneficial to start implementing some of these techniques to ease some stress later. ALSO, check out the first few links with great tips on how to improve your MEMORIZATION SKILLS!







You know what is pretty crazy? The fact that no one uses books for research anymore, at least barely in high school. The internet seems to be faster, easier, and you can do research at 3 a.m. in your pajammies- which is a perk. BUT! The Library has tons and tons and tons of really awesomeeeeee sources that guarantee that your information is current and credible! These reference materials are super easy to find and use! You flip to the table of contents, pick your topic, and search through only a few pages of credible information as opposed to dozens of websites who all seem to say the same useless junk. Give books another chance ( or a chance in the first place!) Check out our  expanding super helpful HOMEWORK SECTION next to the classics!!

It may appear as a speck on the horizon right now, a thought so distant it hides in the depths of your mind like a little crab at the bottom of  the Mariana trench….. but it is there, slowly sneaking up on you, growing closer and closer each day- soon you will be able to hear its’ footsteps, feels its’ cool foul breath on the back of your neck. It will give you goosebumps, then heart palpitations, and eventually, a stress fracture in your brain which will require months of rehabilitation. UNLESS! Could there be a solution? Is there a way to face this monster head on and prevent it from defeating you?! THERE IS! START PRACTICING E A R L Y FOR


as a freshman in college, having taking the ACT (a few times) before and dealing  with my fair share of anxiety here are a few things tips and things I would have done differently:

first of all, this test does by no means determine how smart you are. And if you get a high score and boast about it,  you will not have any friends- nobody cares. It simply determines how resourcefully you can use your skills and how quickly you can problem solve and gather information. It does not determine whether you are a genius, it does  not determine whether your dumb. Getting a high score does not mean that you will be successful in college. You do need it to get in to college, so you have to do well- but trust me that is the only purpose it serves.

What you need to do in order to do well is P R A C T I C E. remember, this test measures your resourcefulness and ability to gather information. If you are familiar with the types of questions asked ( and you can only become familiar by practicing them- not by simply knowing “well this is a main idea question, and this one is a generalization question…”) you will do well. This test is an entity from another plant and you need to crack the code. Start practicing early, yes- a week before the test is not early enough. You do not need to do the whole test every day, just  five or six questions- and then read the answers in the back when you are done. The Library has tons of great ACT prep books, but you can get your own if you really really want.

Review basic math problems, play vocabulary games online, practice reading quickly when you are doing your homework, work on sharpening the skills you know you will need! A great thing you can do is download vocab and math practice apps on your smart phone and use them once a day.

Gather all of the tips from your various sources into a single list and try to keep that list next to you while you are practicing– I remember a few of my sources had tips like: “Beware of the letter A, sometimes they make the first choice attractive to trick you especially since you are stressed about timing- when really one of the other choices is a better answer”

Know the test inside and out, know exactly what each section will contain, know what passages to expect and most importantly- know how much time you have per section! Be mindful of it during the test but do not let it stress you out, keep as close to the time as you can and bring a watch.

Take the test again. And again and again and again. It is not smart to take it only once even if you are happy with your score. I believe you have the opportunity to retake about once a month,  do not skip 3 months between retakes- this will not give you time to sharpen your skills, you’ll just forget everything and it will be just as stressful as the first time. After you take it say, oh, about 3 times or so, it is not a stressful experience at all- and anxiety can really impact your performence the first time especially.

DO NOT DRINK TOO MUCH CAFFEINE BEFORE HAND, you will be jittery and nervous and you’ll have to pee. This will make you more anxious and even less focused, your mind will be racing! Another thing  you can do to maintain focus is to take the test actively– make notes, highlight, underline, scratch out the unimportant stuff, circle important words in the questions.

Those are just a few things I remember from my experience, but since every one is different here are some websites with other tips. It is never too early to start practicing!







no matter what you’re going through, there is help. if you cannot find anyone to turn to, relate to, or ask for help- a book just might be your answer.  you are never alone in your struggle.  use our SWAN catalog (http://swan.mls.lib.il.us/search) , or ask your local librarian  to help you find books about dealing with death, drugs, violence, depression, and general self-help.  then, check out some books about inspirational stories of surviving the struggle afterwards to inspire you to keep pushing! you are beautiful, you are worth it ♥

The Gifted Teen Survival Guide     What Are My Rights?      GLBTQ

there are people and organizations that want to help you, check out these helpful website resources and feel free to call these hotlines in the time on need:  


Alcohol and Drug Abuse 800.234.0420
Alcoholics Anonymous 800.371.1475
Child Abuse, National 800.252.2873
Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline 800.422.4453
Crisis Center of South Suburbia 708.236.5197
Crisis Counseling, General 847.228.6400
Crisis Counseling – Will County 708.258.3333
Crisis Counseling, Teens 847.228.8996
Crisis Counseling, Children 847.228.5437
DCFS Hotline 800.252.2873
Domestic Violence – General  800.603.4357
Domestic Violence Hot Line – Chicago 800.603.4357
Domestic Violence Hot Line – Will County 877.335.3020
Emergency Services, Chicago 800.654.8595
Grand Prairie Crisis Center 708.331.0500
Sexual Assault, General (RAINN) 800.656.4673
Sexual Assault Hotline  – Chicago 888.293.2080
Sexual Assault Crisis Line – Hickory Hills 708.741.4500
Suicide 800.273.8255
Police, Fire, or Medical Emergency  911


that the Eisenhower has all of the study aids that you are looking for? dictionaries and encyclopedias and thesauruses and prep books for AP tests, and the ACT, and the SAT,  and tons of reference materials, and tons of classic novels you’ll need for english, and  information about careers, and books on any subject that you could possibly dream of!( or might need for your research projects or history papers!)


(for high school)




many different colored pens



flash cards

flash drive

post it notes

small first aid kit

small beauty kit for after gym class


healthy snacks

Tupperware ( to pack dinner incase you’re staying  for sports or other clubs)

some art supplies to keep in your locker for projects (like  some colored pencils, glue, scissors, markers)

reuseable water bottle and lunch bag

a library card!

a positive attitude


if your teacher recommended that you take an AP class, or if school isn’t quite challenging enough for you, you are  certainly ready  to go AP. Some are more difficult than others, but each deserve the same amount of attention and effort. You can and will be succesful in your class if you remember these  helpful tips:

-read read read.  do all of the reading that you are supposed to do thoroughly. your text-book is your new bestest friend!

-do not get behind on your assigned reading! you will end up playing catch-up and  skimming through important information.

-some days are much busier than others and you may come home at 9pm after track and dance practice and work with no dinner in your tummy and sores on your feet. if that is the case, get in the habit of going to bed early, and waking up early to do your homework and reading then. get use to setting your alarm for 4:45am!

-listen in class,  come alert and don’t let yourself day-dream! be proactive, take notes- always take notes.

-take notes when you read as well, some teachers might provide you with “reading guides” ( there are reading guides available for AP biology free online) others might not. talk to them about how to identify important information while you are reading and taking notes in class.

-form study groups with your friend, or other students who you think would be essential to your learning. if your friends are goofballs, they are obviously not the kind of people you should be studying with.

-stay motivated. always find a reason to keep yourself interested in what you’re learning, and find a way to keep yourself from falling behind.

-dont half ass it. it might work to get you through a class period or two, but if you’re not getting what you’re suppose to get out of the reading or lecture- life is going to be much more difficult when its time for the ap test and you’re cramming information that you never learned into your brain. do the work now, study less later. don’t put it off, it really doesn’t work if you just “study realllly reallly hard the week before”

-make study guides as you go, they will be helpful during your tests and they will be helpful when it’s time for the big test.

– find some review videos on you tube if you don’t understand a certain concept, or find questions to practice with online, and search for power points made by other teachers in the field- they can be more helpful than your own teachers.

-if your stuck with a bad teacher, that stinks. the responsibility is now on you, you have to learn on your own, sorrrrrry. but it is not worth just blaming the teacher, not trying in the class, and getting no college credit. that’s a big waste of time and money. do your best no matter what!

-sleep, don’t kill yourself, don’t become addicted to caffeine. good luck!

It is 11 o’clock at night, and you have a research paper due to school the next morning. You have no thesis, no outline, and, most importantly, no support. You forgot to check out reference materials for the paper and now the library is closed. What can you do? While we can’t help you with your thesis, we’ve got your source materials covered. Welcome to the wonderful world of the internet library. Some of the most important sources for research come from books, and thanks to the efforts of organizations like the Internet Public Library (IPL) and the World Digital Library (WDL), these valuable materials are more easily attainable than ever. Below, we’ve detailed some of the most important sites out there. Just click the images, and it will send you directly to each organization’s homepage. So, read on and enjoy!

Internet Public Library

The Internet Public Library (ipl2) features a searchable, subject-categorized directory of authoritative websites, like online texts and newspapers.

The IPL is many things:

  • the first public library of and for the Internet community
  • an experiment, trying to discover and promote the most effective roles and contributions of librarians to the Internet and vice versa
  • a group of highly talented, creative, strong-willed people, working hard




World Digital Library

The World Digital Library (WDL) makes available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world.

The principal objectives of the WDL are to:

  • Promote international and intercultural understanding
  • Expand the volume and variety of cultural content on the Internet
  • Provide resources for educators, scholars, and general audiences
  • Build capacity in partner institutions to narrow the digital divide within and between countries




Google Books

Google Books allows internet users to search and preview millions of books from libraries and publishers worldwide. Discover a new favorite or unearth an old classic.

Google books allows you to

  • Search
    Book Search works just like web search. Try a search on Google Books or on Google.com. When we find a book with content that contains a match for your search terms, we’ll link to it in your search results.
  • Browse books online
    If the book is out of copyright, or the publisher has given us permission, you’ll be able to see a preview of the book, and in some cases the entire text. If it’s in the public domain, you’re free to download a PDF copy.
  • Learn more — fast
    They’ve created reference pages for every book so you can quickly find all kinds of relevant information: book reviews, web references, maps and more.
  • Buy the book … or borrow it from the library
    If you find a book you like, click on the “Buy this book” and “Borrow this book” links to see where you can buy or borrow it.

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