NEED ADVICE…? Ask X,Y,Z! (March Edition)

Q: Are there any paid internships available? How do I find them?

X Responds:  There are many paid internships available, but unfortunately I do not have a list. I believe the best way to find them is to ask around or do your own research. I know sometimes school administrators post flyers about internships or jobs in the guidance office, college office, library, and other places students might read them. Also, if you’re part of a special program, the program directors and/or mentors might know about internship ideas that are available for students.

Although it is nice to get paid and to make your own money, I feel that when looking for internships, you shouldn’t really focus on the paid aspect. The purpose of internships is to give students some working experience and to help them gain some knowledge about a possible future career.
So, even though you might not be making money in an unpaid internship, the great job you land in the future because of this “previous work experience” will make up for that.

 

Q:  How do I pass Chemistry?

Y Responds:  I once took chemistry and I can honestly say I struggled. Though I was known as one of the “smart” students in the class and would have other students asking me to help them out with their work, there were times when I was unsure of what to do.

For me, when I struggle in school, I don’t like asking help from other students unless I see that my teacher is not available. But most of the time I either go to tutoring, or I find out when my teacher will be available for me to ask him/her some questions about the material.

If I truly feel that I cannot learn directly from my teacher (either because of his/her teaching method or another reason), I either ask a student who has taken the class previously and fully understands the material or I would go to another teacher. A last resort for me is to go online and try to learn from videos or practice problems.

So, to pass chemistry, or any class at all, just seek help from anywhere you can. Do whatever is best for you so you can pass the class and be the scholar you have always been.

 

Q:  What can I start doing as a ninth or tenth grader to prepare for the SAT or ACT?

Z Responds:  Being in the 9th or 10th grade is a great time to start preparing for the SAT or ACT because you have a lot of time. The best way to prepare for these tests is to familiarize yourself with what the tests want you to know. This can be achieved through the taking of practice tests and going to prep classes. Also, while taking practice tests, it is always good to time yourself so that on the day of the test, you will be comfortable completing the questions in the time you are given.

Another thing you can do (if you don’t already) is read more. Yes, there is a math section but the reading and writing section combined make up more of the test. If you are already good at math, then you may not need to practice as much for the math section as you should for the reading and writing sections. Reading more every day, or just in general, can help you learn new words. This will help you in those vocabulary questions, and will also help you understand the hidden meaning in stories, something which come up a lot on the SAT.

Also, reading more can help you on the writing section because while reading novels you may notice grammar and sentence structure, which will help you on those questions that ask what is grammatically incorrect in a sentence.

This may sound like a lot, but you have a lot of time to do these things, especially if you manage your time well.  And while I’ve never taken the ACT, the above advice will probably help with that as well.

 

Q:  I personally think the school’s grading system is not concrete.  It therefore seems invalid… with teachers going “too easy” on students. This is something that has been bothering me for a while. Who should I speak to about this?

X responds:  I think teachers may be going “too easy” on students because parents see that their child is failing and instead of making the student do better, they are blaming the teachers. I feel that too much is put on teachers and it is thought that teachers are there to “hold our hands” until we graduate. Although it is true that a teacher’s job is to make sure that we fully understand the material being taught, I don’t believe that teachers should be held responsible for a student’s lack of comprehension. If the student does not understand the material, it is his/her responsibility to inform the teacher, and then the student should go to tutoring. Teachers don’t have to go around asking all the students if they understand or not.

If you feel that this is affecting you personally, maybe contact the Department of Education, or just talk directly to the principal or vice principal of the school.