Introduction: X, Y, and Z are three clever MCSM students who will use this space to offer solutions to common problems all high school teens face. They welcome anonymous questions from fellow classmates on health, academics, the college process, or how to keep family, friends, work, and school from driving you crazy. Submit your questions—with or without your real name—either on paper (dropped into the “Ask XYZ” Questions Jar in the Writing Center) or via email sent to Remember: we are here to help you!!!!


Q.How do I pass Chemistry?

X responds: Chemistry. Chemistry is like a puzzle-piece game. Everything is sweet and simple at first, but the more you solve and try to fit the pieces together, the harder things will get. Not everyone will get the first puzzle piece in correctly at their first attempt. Chemistry is just one big puzzle-piece game that needs to be solved. There are many ways to pass Chemistry. To make things easy, I’ve split it up in two sections:(1) How to pass Chemistry at School and (2) Passing Chemistry at Home.

At School:
Chemistry might be the class that you dread going to but attendance is crucial. In other words, just don’t even think about skipping the class, because it’ll only hurt you more if you do. Attending the class gives you more exposure to the subject, and you can possibly even get on your teacher’s good side. Arrive on time, the teachers are most likely to review concepts from previous days at the beginning of class.

Take notes and ask questions! I’m sure you have heard it before but it must be said here…”There is no such thing as a stupid question.” If you haven’t fully grasped a particular topic, ask questions. It might be difficult during your teen years (trust me I know), but do not take heed of what the other students might think. At the end of the day it’s about you understanding the topic and passing Chemistry. Not only will this benefit you, but the other students who are afraid to raise their hands as well. If your instructor tells you to copy what is on the board, copy it. Don’t rely on other people to copy the notes.

Go to tutoring. If you have a test coming up in a few days, attend the tutoring sessions that your teacher offers. This is not the class you cram for on the last day! It will also show the teachers that you are putting forth an honest effort.

At Home:
The place where you desperately just want to get to after that last bell rings! There’s time for relaxing but there is also time for Chemistry! It’s easier said than done but if you want to get your Chemistry homework done then stop procrastinating. It’s understandable to be tempted to open your phone onto Snapchat and see what everyone else is doing in their life, or binge watch your favorite T.V show on Netflix (again, trust me I know), but as we get older we must learn to block out the obstacles, abandoning the puzzle pieces that do not fit at the right time.

If your teacher doesn’t have tutoring sessions, then there are always tutoring websites that are willing to help you. For example, Khan Academy is a great website to use that supplies you with practice problems and answers with explanations.

Your notes are there for a reason. You should review them every day, even if it’s just reading them over again. Returned tests are also a great way to prepare for future tests. Make sure you understand the questions that you got wrong. There’s a chance they could appear on the final exam.

Last but not least, think positive! If you can’t get the answer to a problem no matter how many different ways you have tried approaching the problem, it is not the end of the world. Having a positive attitude can be a key to success. Stay motivated and hydrated!

I wish you the best of luck in passing this big puzzle-piece game!

Q: As a high school student what type of relationships are smart to make freshman year?

Y Replies: This question I feel is one that many people never really take into consideration. But it’s important, especially being that one’s first year of high school is always one to remember; being that it comes with new experiences, more responsibility, and an environment many of us have never experienced before. This is especially true of MCSM. One thing is for sure, an abundance of relationships—from friendships to significant others—will emerge, and some will even break.

I however think that strong relationships with teachers and upperclassmen are very important. This is because if you are able to build a relationship with the right teachers and maintain it throughout your four years of highschool, when the time comes for your recommendation letters, you already have teachers that will absolutely write them for you.

Having relationships with upperclassmen has its benefits as well. They are able to tell you each teacher’s style of teaching, making it easier to know if you would learn in that class. They are also able to tell you which subjects/ electives to avoid, recommending that some may be unnecessary, while others can be an “Easy A.”

—yours truly: Y

Q.How do I learn to relax and have fun?

Z says: I’m an expert when it comes to having fun. So let me enlighten you. I usually just hang out with my friends to unwind. My friends and I can usually be found in the library after school. I know what you may be thinking, “Library?! I asked for fun!” Well my friends and I always find a way to have fun. I just think it is more about who you’re with, than what you really do. But the library isn’t for everyone. It depends on what you like to do. It’s a little cold to play sports at the moment, but if you’re dedicated enough, the park is right next door from our school. The basketball season just recently ended, but my friends and I usually went to our home games after school. A surefire way to have fun is to join a club that you like and would enjoy (Newspaper for example). Just make sure that whatever you’re doing, you’re being safe and having fun. I’d love to join your fun but you’d need to find out who I am first! That’s truly gonna be the most fun. —Z out!!


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