“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.”
— Winston S. Churchill
September 11th – Deadline for Sophomores and Juniors to register for the PSAT (see e-mail sent yesterday from Mr. Haymore).
September 18 – Sophomore Field Trip to Engineering Career Fair at McKimmon (Dress to impress).
September 19 – WCPSS Workday – No High School Classes – COLLEGE COURSES ARE STILL IN SESSION – Parents you must provide transportation to and from NCSU for college classes (Math Classes for Juniors at NCSU and all courses for Seniors and Super Seniors).
September 25 – FAFSA Night – All students who plan to graduate this year, come and hear about Financial Aid. Forms come available in early October.
Ninth Grade Parents – Mark your calendar for October 25th at 6:30. We are hosting a “9th Grade Parent Night” to discuss ways to help your student achieve success after the first quarter. Helpful hints will be provided by teachers along with ideas and supports for moving forward successfully.
Life as a STEM Student
High School is a time of growth: growth in education, growth in self, and growth into the future. For some, this growth is just beginning, but all of us are growing in new ways every day.
The Freshmen here at STEM are growing in many ways. Learning the transition from Middle School to High School is difficult, especially considering the rigor that is apparent in all classes available at Wake STEM Early College High School. This is also an important time for personal growth. To remain a successful student, you have to remain true to yourself. Life is too complicated and too short to pretend to be someone that you’re not. Once this is learned, the rest of High School will be less susceptible to outward distraction.
Sophomores are growing into a higher education because soon they’ll be attending NC State and learn alongside college students as college students themselves. This looming knowledge requires personal growth. It requires a certain preparedness that one can only find through one’s self. It’s easy to get distracted at this stage in life but as long as focus is maintained and practiced, success within the Sophomore class will overflow into their Junior year.
Juniors are similar to Freshman once they have begun taking college classes. These classes are less personal and this may be difficult to adapt to. Like the transition from Middle School to High School, the transition from High School to college is tricky and may impede on grades in college classes as well as your High School grades. This implies a huge personal adaption that one needs to make. Tutoring is a huge aspect of success. If you feel like you need help, don’t wait until the last minute to ask for it.
Seniors experience a new sense of growth, one less about education and more personal. If you’re applying to college, whether consciously or not, you undergo an introspection. You have to portray yourself in a way that can be understood on paper. This can be difficult, so don’t hesitate to reach out to your counselors. If you’re not applying to college this year, this is a great time to focus solely on your college classes.
High School is a small part of your garden of life, plant seeds of success. Remember always that you reap what you sow.
Last week, I sent out a form asking the following questions and received amazing results.
Freshman Question: How has high school been different when compared to middle school?
- “The workload has been a lot heavier, and staying in the game requires more effort now.”
- “In middle school, you have a more laid back time. You have a social life and you have time for other activities. In high school, however, because if the amount of work per class, most of your day is spent learning the material and then working on it more when you get home. While I have enjoyed high school, the gap from middle to high definitely was an adjustment.”
- “I have a lot more freedom here at STEM, as well as a more challenging environment with more encouraging teachers and students.”
- “So far, High School has had its similarities and differences compared to middle school. There is more freedom and the workload is definitely a lot more. There are also a lot fewer people so each individual student gets a lot of attention… Finally, there is a lot less of a reliance on phones and a much bigger purpose for laptops.”
Freshman Question: Are the academics at STEM what you expected? Yes or no, and explain.
- “Yes, I did expect more work to be given to us because we are moving really fast with the workload.”
- “Yes, they are what I expected. This is because the school is a lot more challenging than a traditional middle school but I feel that I was prepared for the challenge. The teachers do definitely give a lot of work but they do it in a way which is less tedious and more on the side that the homework given is important, not busy work.”
Sophomore Question: After Freshman year, what helped you make the decision to remain at STEM?
- “The environment at STEM helped me to make the decision to stay because it is very lively and friendly…”
- “The teachers and how dedicated they were to helping us learn, plus the really good college opportunities in future years.”
Sophomore Question: What advice would you give to 9th graders to help them through the rest of their year?
- “I would tell them to enjoy every bit of freshman year and to not get too worked up about things because everything is going to turn out just fine, as long as they keep working hard and stay determined. You’re going to have some really tough and emotional nights, but just always keep in mind that it’s going to be more than worth it in the end. YOU CAN DO IT!!”
- “Make sure to ask for help and make little study groups at the library for any of the classes you need help with.”
Junior Question: What are you most excited about being enrolled at NC State?
- “Meeting other people and learning the college life.”
- “Having the opportunity to experience college classes in a relatively low-risk environment.”
- “I’m excited about getting a better feel about how college life is and learning how to make sure I manage my time wisely.”
- “Having at least a couple hours every day to do work for classes without being in a class at the time.”
Junior Question: What advice would you give to the 10th graders in preparation for taking college classes?
- “I would tell them to make sure you are able to manage your time well because, at State, you have different classes on certain days at certain times and even if you don’t have that class that day, you have to keep up with all your assignments and know what’s coming up. Teachers at State don’t remind you when things are due often so YOU have to be on top of your stuff.”
- “Establish good study habits! No one is going to be nagging you to finish your assignments on time. Make sure that you form the habit now of being organized and not procrastinating.”
Senior Question: How has a limited presence at Cherry changed your everyday life?
- “It’s liberating to not be confined in that building anymore, but now I have to walk 10 minutes to get from one class to the next…”
- “A greater sense of independence because I am relying more upon myself to seek out resources I can use and benefit from.”
Senior Question: What are your plans after this year? Are you planning to graduate or stay the fifth year? Why or why not?
- “I am staying the 5th year because I plan on going to Virginia Tech and all of the credits are transferable. Since I wouldn’t have to pay for classes, I’d be getting credits for free”
- “Planning to graduate if I can receive a good financial package. If I do not, I will stay for the fifth year.”
- “I’m planning on graduating because I want to play sports in college.”
Super Senior Question: What colleges are you applying to?
- “NC State, Campbell, Appalachian State”
- “NCSU, Georgia Tech, Clemson, ECU”
- “NCSU UNC-CH, UNCG”
- “NCSU, UNC, ECU, Wake Forest”
Super Senior Question: If you could change anything throughout the course of your high school career, what would it be?
- “Prioritize time better so I can do more things!”
- “More independence when dealing with college courses.”
Super Senior Question: If you could give advice to any of the underclassmen, what would you tell them?
- “Study hard, but don’t forget to have fun and do things that make you happy. School is just one part of our life.”
- “Don’t overwork yourself, but don’t sell yourself short either.”
- “I would tell the underclassmen to not procrastinate on college assignments. Most college homework assignments have due dates days or weeks later than when the assignment is due. You have this much time for a reason: make sure you use it.”
Underclassmen: If you could ask a question to any grade above you, what would you ask?
- How did you go about choosing your own classes for State? Or your dream majors and colleges, for that matter????
- Do you have to stay after school hours to take college classes?
- Does Wake STEM get harder the more years you spend at it, or easier?
- Which year of high school is the hardest?
- I would ask whether it was difficult to transition to the “college classes” and how they coped with being stressed with a lot of work?
- Do you have any tips on getting through High School?
- What are the future teachers like?
- I would ask them how much more difficult does high school get?
All: How has being a student at STEM changed your life? (Or how do you think STEM will change your life?)
- “Being a student here has opened me up to a lot of different people from different cultures. I understand other people’s opinions. It has a lot taught me a lot of key information for life.”
- “It has made me a more dedicated and conscientious person.”
- “All other academic pursuits seem shockingly easy in comparison to what the STEM teachers subjected us to. Even some (a lot) of the college students know way less than we do! That came as a HUGE shock.”
- “It has allowed me to think more critically about my plans beyond high school such as different colleges and career options available. It has also helped me grow my network with individuals that have helped me with both my academic and personal life such as other students, teachers, faculty at NC State, etc.”
- “It will make me much more prepared for the challenges that will face me in my everyday life. These include me working at a future job or college. But being in this school will make me independent, creative, problem solver, and help prepare me for the rest of my life. This school may be a tough task, but the reward and the years of free college are well worth the effort.”
- “Being a student at STEM has definitely given me a sense of independence and responsibility. It has helped me to enjoy and appreciate learning and education more than I used to.”