Category Archives: School/College

Why You Should Study Abroad


The traditional classroom setting can’t even begin to compare to the experience of studying abroad. It just isn’t the same. It doesn’t matter how much time you put into learning a language. What matters is what you get out of it and this is where immersion comes to play.

It is said that it takes 10,000 hours to master something so with that being said, by studying a language for an hour every day for five years you would have obtained 1,825 hours of knowledge. It would take you almost 28 years to master something that you can learn within a month of immersion.

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AP Exams

AP exams are right around the corner. Why does that matter? Your score on the exams dictate the grade that you will get in that college-level course. If you don’t take AP classes, you should consider one for next year- that is if you’re up for it.

Why take an AP class?

AP courses help acquire the skills and habits you’ll need to be successful in college. You’ll improve your writing skills, problem-solving abilities, critical thinking, and develop time management skills and study habits. An AP course is more weighted than any other class. A B in an AP class is the equivalent of an A in a normal class. Colleges not only look at your grades, but also the difficulty level of your schedule. A C+ in Physics is more desirable than an A+ in gym. With that being said, colleges favor AP courses for a number of reasons. Rigorous classes show that you are a hard-working student who wants to excel. AP classes also show what grade you are likely to get in that college-level course.

So how are they scored?

AP exams are scored on a scale of 1-5, with a 5 being the highest possible score. Most colleges and universities will award college credit for scores of a 3 or above.

  • 5 = extremely well qualified to receive college credit and/or placement
  • 4 = well qualified to receive college credit and/or placement
  • 3 = qualified to receive college credit and/or placement
  • 2 = possibly qualified to receive college credit and/or placement
  • 1 = no recommendation for receiving college credit and/or placement

AP Exam scores of:

  • 5 are equivalent to grades of A in the corresponding college course.
  • 4 are equivalent to grades of A-, B+, and B in college.
  • 3 are equivalent to grades of B-, C+, and C in college.

Points are no longer deducted for incorrect multiple choice answers therefore you should do your best to not leave anything blank. AP exams consist of a multiple choice section and a free-response (essay) section. You should look for key words in the questions such as except, not, or always. Also, try to avoid data dumping because this may result in a lower score.

Great Study Sites:

Study well (Aim to work smarter, not harder) and remember to relax while taking the exams. Good luck! I know you all will do great!

3 Reasons to Go to College

As children, we all had dreams. We dreamed of being anything that we wanted: a doctor, lawyer, dentist, or an astronaut (I wanted to be a cowgirl & my sister wanted to be a mermaid). Sometimes those dreams were big and seemed to be beyond our reach but the truth is, nothing is beyond our reach. We can do anything that we set our minds to. Power is limitless and knowledge is immeasurable.

Do you want to know the best way to gain power? I’ll let you in on a secret- all great leaders are also wise. They have a thirst for knowledge. They know just what to say and just when to say it. Not only are leaders great communicators, but they also know how to put their words into action. Do you know where this comes from? This knowledge comes from experience. There’s that word again. Experience. Only good things come from experience. You spent your time in college doing an internship. You did a great job so they offer you a full-time position upon graduation. You continue to work hard and gain experience and five years later you’re the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. You didn’t have the highest GPA, but you got the job because you had the most experience. Experience is a very appealing trait.

College is the perfect place to gain that appeal. It prepares you for the real world and gives you the knowledge that you need to succeed. Pursuing a higher education shows prospective employers that you are a determined, hard-worker who knows what (s)he wants and how (s)he’s going to get it. But it’s not enough to just go to college. You have to actually finish it. Keep reading and I’ll tell you why.

1) A college degree is worth more than a high school diploma.

High school graduates earn an average of $30,400 a year while going to college for just two years to obtain an associate’s degree presents an average of $52,220, which is nearly $22,000 more than what a high school graduate makes. This number increases even more the higher the degree is, with the master’s degree level earning $62,300 annually. A student with a doctoral degree can expect to earn $89,400 a year and $109,600 with a professional degree. That’s over three times the salary of a high school diploma.

2) Lower unemployment rates.

Studies show that as of March 2012, people who didn’t graduate from high school have an unemployment rate of 12.6% whereas high school graduates have an unemployment rate of 8.0%. Students with an associate’s degree have an unemployment rate of 7.5% and a bachelor’s degree has an unemployment rate of 4.2%. The lowest unemployment rate is that of a master’s degree, with 1.6% of its holders being unemployed. Do you know why? This is because a higher education will always be in demand. Anyone with a teaching degree can work in a school, but not everyone can perform brain surgery.

3) Live the life you’ve always wanted.

With higher employment comes a higher salary. Do you know what comes with a higher salary? Whatever you want. College graduate will often achieve more in their lifetime simply because they have the money to do so. A college degree is accompanied by a more luxurious lifestyle. A brand new Ferrari and a dream trip to Spain certainly begins to make that professional degree seem a lot more enticing. The possibilities are endless.

College is the one thing that can make our childhood dreams come true. College has a way of empowering people and giving them the ability to do anything that they set their minds to. What does that doctor, lawyer, dentist, and astronaut all have in common? They all fulfilled their dreams by going to college.

Deadlines- Don’t Miss Them

The application for your first choice school is due tomorrow and you haven’t even begun to fill it out yet. The application for that program you’ve been dying to participate in is due in two days and you haven’t completed it yet. That scholarship application is also due tomorrow- oh, wait! That was yesterday.

Deadlines are extremely important for anything that you do. Missing a deadline often results in your application either going straight to the bottom of the pile of other applications- which were on time- or not being reviewed at all. If you miss the deadline, you’ll likely miss out on a great experience. Being prompt says a lot about one’s character. If you’re on time, or early for that matter, employers and application reviewers will see that you are truly interested in whatever you applied for. It shows that you are mature and reliable.

What is the point of having an outstanding application that you can’t even turn in because it was late? Missing a deadline is like missing your paycheck. You wouldn’t miss your paycheck would you? You worked hard on your application so someone should see it.

If you miss your paycheck, your piggy bank will look like this.

Time management is a valuable asset that can enrich your future. Time management and promptness goes hand in hand. They’re practically engaged. If something has a deadline, don’t hesitate to mark it in your calendar. It’s a lot better than rushing to do it the night before. Trust me, nothing good ever comes from procrastination.

In short, if you’re early, you’re on time; if you’re on time, you’re late; and if you’re late, you’re fired. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Deadlines are very important and should not be missed. Some applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, which means that they are continuously reviewed in the order that they are received. If you send in your application early, you can quickly be accepted if you qualify and you won’t have to worry about being wait listed.

It’s better to do it now than later. Time management and promptness can enrich your future.

They say better late than never, but never late is better.


Say No to Wasted Talent, Vote Yes to the DREAM Act

This song features the amazing Gueroloco, Alyssa B, and Malik Rain. Visit Gueroloco’s  facebook page to hear more great music that will inspire you and make you want to dance.

DREAM Act 2012!

Majors: Computer Science

What is Computer Science:

Computer science graduates are called upon to design, install, and maintain complex systems in diverse environments, the types of high technology networks that serve as the economic lifeblood of modern civilization.Computer science majors program computer systems, maintain communications networks and develop the core digital technologies that influence our lives. They may study specialized fields such as artificial intelligence, computer vision and machine behavior. The purpose of computer science is to investigate algorithms, design efficiency, implementation and application of computer systems to the problems of businesses and government. The goal of a computer scientist is to maintain and create the most effective computer systems using the most current technology available. The field of computer sciences is one of the fastest growing industries today. As people rely more on computers, the development and maintenance of computer systems is critical. The computer science major or its equivalent tends to be offered most frequently within a college of engineering or in a college of arts and science.

In countless old Star Trek episodes, a baffled captain asked the computer for help, and the computer promptly replied with an answer. What was once science fiction is becoming reality, thanks to computer scientists working in voice recognition.

If you study computer science, you may learn how to design computer programs that allow humans and computers to speak to one another. Keep in mind, your work is more likely to help a vision-impaired person than a captain navigating the universe, but you never know. Computer science majors learn about computer systems and the way humans and computers interact from a scientific perspective. Instruction includes programming and the theory and design of software.

Are You Ready To…?

  • Regularly stay up until all hours trying to debug your computer programming
  • Build teamwork skills and friendships while problem solving with other students
  • Complete an internship designing Web pages, developing software, testing software, or building other computer skills
  • Join the campus chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery


Starting salary for graduates with a bachelor’s in Computer Science: $63,017 – $105,000

Graphic Designers- $32,600 and $56,620
Computer support specialists- $33,680 and $55,990
Multimedia artists and animators- $41,710 and $77,010
Network and computer systems administrators – $51,690 and $84,110
Database administrators- $52,340 and $91,850
Computer programmers- $52,640 and $89,720
Network systems and data communication analysts*- $54,330 and $90,740
Computer systems analysts- $58,460 and $95,810
Computer applications software engineers- $67,790 and $104,870
Computer systems software engineers- $73,200 and $113,960
Computer scientists- $75,340 and $124,370
Computer hardware engineering- $76,250 and 122,750
Computer and information systems managers- $88,240 and $141,890
Information and Technology Specialist- $64,200
Popular Computer Science Degree Jobs – Full List
Software Developer $80,500
Software Test Engineer (STE) $84,000
Senior Software Engineer $98,000
Software Development Manager $115,000
Software Architect $116,000
Programmer Analyst $74,800
Systems Developer $93,800
Web Developer $58,000
Software Development Engineer, Test (SDET) $82,000
Application Support Analyst $69,000
Computer Systems Analyst $68,300
Database Administrator (DBA) $85,100
Systems Administrator $62,900
Systems Engineer (IT) $83,300
Systems Analyst $81,900
Network Administrator, IT $59,000
Network Engineer, IT $83,900
Business Analyst, IT $81,500
Program Manager, IT $111,000
For 2011 graduates, several computer-related majors were on their list of the top-paid majors for bachelor’s degree graduates. More than 56 percent of computer science majors of the class of 2011 who applied for a job before graduating received an offer, making computer science the major with the highest offer rate.

Here’s a tip for incoming and current college students: If you want to have a high-paying job on graduation day, study computer science.

#5 on list of top 15 lucrative degrees, right after Computer Engineering as of July 24, 2009

Top 10 Colleges for Computer Science:

(If you’re unsure about college go to (See College Search Made Simple) it has all the information you need about school. It allows you to fill out a profile about what you plan to do and what colleges you’re interested in then colleges can contact you and you choose whether to share your information with them or not. They also have hundreds of scholarships and it tells you what your chances are of getting in and what is required to apply.)

  • 1 RANKED

Carnegie Mellon University

School of Computer Science 5000 Forbes Avenue Pittsburgh, PA, 15213-3891

  • 1 RANKED

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Room 38-401 Cambridge, MA, 02139-4307

  • 1 RANKED

Stanford University

Department of Computer Science 353 Serra Mall Stanford, CA, 94305-9025

  • 1 RANKED

University of California–Berkeley

Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science 205 Cory Hall Berkeley, CA, 94720-1770

  • 5 RANKED

Cornell University

Department of Computer Science 4130 Upson Hall Ithaca, NY, 14853-7501
SCORE: 4.6

  • 5 RANKED

University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign

Thomas M. Siebel Center for Computer Science 201 N. Goodwin Avenue Urbana, IL, 61801
SCORE: 4.6

  • 7 RANKED

University of Washington

Computer Science and Engineering AC101 Paul G. Allen Center, Box 352350 Seattle, WA, 98195-2350
SCORE: 4.5

  • 8 RANKED

Princeton University

Department of Computer Science 35 Olden Street Princeton, NJ, 08540-5233
SCORE: 4.4

  • 8 RANKED

University of Texas-Austin

Department of Computer Sciences 1 University Station C0500 Austin, TX, 78712-1188
SCORE: 4.4

  • 10 RANKED

Georgia Institute of Technology

College of Computing 801 Atlantic Drive Atlanta, GA, 30332-0280
SCORE: 4.3

The Power of a ‘Thank you’ Note


It feels good to be appreciated. A simple ‘thank you’ goes a long way. Just like you feel great when someone appreciates something that you do, others feel the same way, especially when it’s in the form of a note. Never underestimate the power of a thank you note.

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How to Reduce Test Anxiety

There’s just something about tests that freaks us out. You study all day and feel confident, yet that all changes when the test is in front of you. You start to panic and, as a result, you get a lower score. This has happened to everyone, especially on the SAT and ACT. But luckily for you, it doesn’t ever have to happen again.

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I’ve recently taken both the SAT and the ACT. I, personally, was much more comfortable with the SAT and I kind of enjoyed it because I was able to do something that no one else could- relax.  I wouldn’t mind taking it again. In fact, I plan on retaking them both soon. I didn’t feel that either of them was hard (I get the scores back from the SAT on March 29th. EDIT: I got a 1670), however the time frame for the reading portion of the ACT really nipped me in the butt. I just can’t read fast enough to answer 40 questions in 35 minutes. Seeing how I’ve already experienced both of these very important tests, this article is about how I can help you do better.

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Valedictorian Avoids Deportation

Daniela Pelaez is a high school senior with a GPA of 6.7 (Yes, you read it right) and according to, she is top in her class of 823 students.
She and her sister were scheduled to be deported until they were given a 2 year reprieve under prosecutorial discretion because they have not been in any trouble with the law.
Instead of deporting talented DREAMers, the DREAM Act should be passed. It would greatly benefit the US. Who knows, maybe Daniela will find a cure for cancer.
President Obama’s views on the DREAM Act & Immigration:

What is the DREAM Act?: