Ask Evie: The Senior Who Tells It Like It Is

Evie H.
Managing Editor

Financial issues!
Evie, I really need your help. I have applied to colleges out of state and know that I will not be able to afford them. My parents do not want to take out a bunch of student loans but really want me to be happy with the school that I go to. I am not interested in any of the schools around me; plus, I really wish to get away from this state. Is there anything I can do to make the cost more affordable for me and my family?
Dear Nervous Nate: Of course there are plenty of things that you can do to achieve this goal of going to a college out of state! First, after you have received your acceptance letter, the college should either call/e-mail you with advice on how to get scholarships. You can apply for thousands of scholarships, even ones for being left-handed! Not only can you apply for absolutely random ones, but many schools are a part of the Academic Common Market, in which you can study a major not offered at a college in your state for in state tuition at the college not in your hometown. It sounds confusing, but it saves a lot of money. Also, if you have high enough SAT/ACT scores, the college of your choice can offer up to half off your tuition just because of your knowledge. There are many things that you can do to lower the cost of college; you just have to do the research in order to get there.
I need to improve my scores!
Evie, I recently have taken both the SAT and the ACT, but I was not happy with the scores I got on either of the tests. I have tried to study for both of them, but I feel as if it is a hopeless case. I have lost motivation, and it honestly makes me feel like I will not get into college. My parents are making me take both of the tests again, so I know I need to try my best. Do you have any ideas on how I can improve my scores?
Dear Hopeless Harry: There are many ways you can get your standardized tests scores up. Although you may believe that testing is just not for you, there are so many different techniques to get you the score that you have always wanted. For the SAT, I would focus mainly on vocabulary. There are many different online aids that go through words you may not have heard of, and this can help you learn them in no time. For the ACT, I would strategize around English and Math. If you are not naturally good at math, the ACT can be a bit of a struggle for you. The English section is one in which I would recommend an online or in-person tutor. Although they can be a bit expensive, they are worth it. From personal experience, I can tell you that with my online tutor, my ACT score jumped four points, so I would get a tutor and hammer some practices problems like there is no tomorrow. After doing numerous sessions with the tutor, take a full length practice test so that you can see where you are. If it is not the result you had hoped for, try and try again. It may seem like an endless process, but your future basically depends on it. Good luck!
I am losing motivation!
Help me, Evie! It is senior year, and I could not be less motivated to go to school. I still maintain all A’s and B’s, but everyday, I find myself getting less and less incentive to complete my schoolwork. It seems like such a hard thing to do and I cannot seem to grasp that not passing my classes could mean that I will not graduate. I do not want my grades to slip, and I really need something to keep me from letting them falter. Is there anything I can do to rev up my motivation and get more involved before time runs out?
Dear Tired Tommy: Unfortunately, I am in the same place as you. If you have maintained such high grades throughout all of high school, you cannot throw it down the drain now. You are so close to the end; just do whatever you can to keep your head in the game. If you have to go to Starbucks every morning before school in order to stay awake, so be it. The procrastination will not benefit you and will only keep you from not walking across the stage at the end of the year. Also, try doing activities that interest you more often after school. If you focus on a hobby, school will become just another day-to-day activity, and you will learn to pay more attention until the end. All I can tell you is to keep your head up and stay focused. There is not much time left in high school, so do not waste it on making stupid decisions and mistakes.

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