Ask Austin: The senior who tells it like it is

Austin B.

Senior Managing Editor

Senior Struggles

“Dear Austin: Senior project is the most stressful thing ever; what can I do to make it less stressful?”

Dear Senior Sam: Senior project is stressing out most seniors because it is the first time that they have had to really buckle down and truly commit to something that will affect whether or not they graduate. Seniors must nurture this project into a product over the span of nine months; senior project is essentially a baby, and raising this baby can be tough. The easiest way to reduce the stress of senior project is to do everything that the teacher says to do. Teachers are here to help the students, and they have been through all of this before, so they know exactly what they are doing. Finally, ask as many questions as possible. If the student is not sure about the smallest portion of the project, all he or she has to do is ask the teacher, and the problem can be solved. Students spend so much time stressing about the project that they forget that they have a teacher to guide them through it. Einstein said, “The only dumb question is the one left unasked.”

“Dear Austin: As a junior, what can I do to prepare for senior project?”

Dear Junior Jessica: Senior project now gives seniors a summer option; to get a jump start, students can come up with an idea and submit it in the spring of their junior year. The summer option is extremely beneficial, as seniors can work on it while not even in school yet. Essentially the summer option gives students the chance to get much of the project done over the summer as opposed to adding onto the stress of the school year. However, if this is not the route a student is looking for, there are other initiatives that students can take. The best way to be prepared for senior project is for the student to consider what he or she would like to do for the assignment. Advanced composition teacher Johanna Marcusky gave this advice to her students: “Consider Advice AB 1who you and your parents know who could be your project facilitator; it’s easier to find a project that you can do when you have a facilitator rather than trying to find a facilitator to match your project.” Senior project can be facilitated easily if the student takes initiative.

Fretting Freshmen

“Dear Austin: I’m not sure what electives I want to take later in high school.”

Dear Hesitant Heather: Electives are the few classes that students have complete control over, so electives are immensely important. The easiest way to pick electives is for the student to consider what he or she wants to do after high school. For example, if a student yearns to be a law major in college, Woodstock’s law and justice course would be the right path, but if he or she longs to go to a culinary school, the food nutrition and wellness class would be the right choice. If a student picks the appropriate electives, it can easily be a boost to getting the student to where he or she wants to be in life. Too many students see electives simply as a chance to have classes with their friends, but that should not be the goal. Electives are stepping stones that make getting into a credible college easier. Students also have the false belief that electives are just a study hall or an easy grade, but not taking electives as seriously as other classes can drop a student’s grade just as quickly as any core class could. Electives can be incredibly beneficial if taken seriously.

Driving Disadvantages

“Dear Austin: The student parking lot has become unmanageable since the student pickup line was moved; how can I avoid getting stuck in that traffic?”

Dear Driving Devin: Given that the buses leave the school at 3:38 in the afternoon and take about four to six minutes, there is a four to six minute time period during which drivers will be completely stopped waiting to leave. There are two known ways to avoid the traffic: leave as soon as the bell rings at 3:30 or wait until 3:45-3:50 to leave. If students have jobs to get to, they will have to leave as soon as the bell rings, abandoning any locker visits they had planned and somehow managing to get to their cars and depart before any students being picked up get to their parents’ cars. Should a student not be in a rush, he or she may take the time to go to his or her locker before heading to the parking lot, with the consequence of being stuck behind the buses, pedestrians, and parents picking up their children. Essentially, there is very low flexibility of the time during which a driving student may leave without being stuck behind buses or the large number of parents. Since parking lot traffic is something students must live with, they should make the best of the situation.

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