Finding Your Dream College

March 18th, 2014
Finding Your Dream College
As your junior year winds down, it’s time to start coming up with the list of colleges that you will be applying to. Maybe you’ve had a dream school in mind since you were a little kid, or maybe you haven’t even started thinking about it, but you’ll need to come up with a mix of reach schools, safety schools, and a few in the middle of the road. There are around 4,000 colleges and universities in the United States, so trying to narrow them down can be overwhelming. Unfortunately, there’s no magic formula for choosing your mixture of schools, but here are some criteria you can use to find schools that would be a good fit for you.
  • Kind of college- Are you looking for a two year or four year school? Public or private?
  • Location- Do you want to be able to do your laundry and eat dinner at home, or only fly home for winter break from a whole new environment?
  • Size/Setting- How do you feel about being at a school where everyone knows your name? Or would you rather find your niche in a large, diverse student population?
  • Life Outside the Classroom- Do you see yourself in a fraternity or sorority? How important is school spirit to you? Do you want to be able to go to “the big game” every weekend? What about volunteering, or an active student government? What kind of balance are you looking for between being academically challenged and having a fun-filled social life?
  • Major- If you’re not sure what you want to do with the rest of your life, or want a lot of variety before you work on a major, don’t worry! That’s totally normal. If you want a specialized degree, such as engineering, it’s important to find schools that have the right program for you.
  • Cost- This is one of the most important factors in choosing a college. Talk with your parents about college costs, look into applying for financial aid, and research different scholarships.
Once you’ve come up with a manageable list of schools, go on some campus visits to get a feel for the school’s unique vibe. Each school has its own “X-factor” where even if it sounds perfect on paper, it might not feel right in person, or you might fall in love with a school you didn’t think you would. To make your search easier, the College Board website has a school search, information about schools, and background on the application process. Visit https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/find-colleges/how-find-your-college-fit to start searching for the school that’s right for you!

Back to School Shopping

August 17th, 2012

As a kid, one of my favorite times of the year was when my parents would fork out money for me to go back to school shopping. I would go with my mom to pick out the newest styles. Requirements were new shoes, a new backpack, and at least three new outfits, one for each day of the first week of school. My brother and I would always want to wear our new shoes right away, but were forced to wait until the first day of school.

Along with the back to school shopping came orientation. Mira Costa has their orientation this week as well as Manhattan Beach Middle School. This was always exciting because the students got to see which teachers they had, and also,more importantly, which friends made it in the same class.

Now that I am no longer in school I see more of an importance on the preparation academically rather than the outfits and classes. Students are starting to trickle into The Manhattan Beach Study Hut to get their mind in gear and ready for the whirl wind to begin. Most students need refreshers on math and Spanish. It is extremely important for the seventh graders to come in and review their foreign language. Spanish, French, Latin, and even Chinese are subjects the middle school offers. These are such new topics to the students that they often forget how to conjugate a verb. However, after a simple refresher they are ready for the school year. Moral of the story, don’t forget about tutoring when you are shopping for back to school. The Hut is open for appointments!

The Importance of One-on-one Tutoring

September 12th, 2011

There is a huge difference between what a student gets out of a classroom and how a student benefits from one-on-one tutoring sessions. A school teacher has to cater his lesson to a group of students, from many different backgrounds, learning styles and interests. While our teachers do phenomenally well at one of the toughest jobs, a student that receives one-on-one tutoring, catered to their needs, makes leaps and bounds academically.

First, they can gain a tutor that relates to who they are. This is important. Many students have a difficult time studying subjects that to them, are irrelevant. Having a tutor that they can relate to helps students understand: if their tutor feels the need to know it, maybe they should know it also. A musical student? Perhaps the tutor has a music background and understands why mathematics is still important for someone in that field.

One-on-one tutoring also allows for the lesson to be catered to a student’s particular learning style. Some students are visual learners, who need charts and diagrams of the concepts to really grasp them. Others need repetition to help them retain the information. Some students benefit from more example problems and the ability to ask questions throughout the practice. One-on-one tutoring really helps a student grasp the subject in a way that is most beneficial to them.
Lastly, a tutor can really get to know their student. Who they are as a person, their interests, families and events going on in their lives, all affect their academics. We get to know their aspirations, other stresses they are dealing with and who they are outside of the classroom.

There is no substitute for a good teacher. However, the benefits of one-on-one tutoring are invaluable for a student’s academic achievement.