Upperclassmen give advice for high school success

By Isabella Ainsworth, Mahan Carduny, Isabel Montesanto and Dante Yasui,
Bluedevilhub.com Staff–

Difficult classes. Time-consuming sports. Drama. All of these things can add to a high school student’s stress. Luckily, no student at Davis High School is the first to go through the ordeal, and experienced students can share what they have learned.

Time Management

Senior Sheela Thorenson says that her biggest challenge in high school so far has been “procrastinating.”

“You should definitely start everything as soon as you can. Do everything ahead of time,” Thorenson said.

While working ahead can relieve stress, it isn’t always the best idea.

“Don’t work ahead on something you don’t understand,” senior Virginia Salomon said.

Salomon has had to learn how to balance her time between school, dancing and teaching dance at the Pamela Trokanski dance studio. Usually, she does start work as soon as she can, but a lot depends on the teacher.

“There are some teachers who will give you an assignment the day of and want it due tomorrow and there are some teachers who will give you a whole plan for the next month,” Salomon said.

Senior Luis Zarate-Sanchez has to juggle track and field and piano on top of regular schoolwork and has a strategy similar to Salomon’s.

“I try to get my homework done as quickly as possible. Usually I’d do my homework for one class that was due the next day,” Zarate-Sanchez said.

And for students reading “Macbeth,” Zarate-Sanchez has a very specific tip.
“Start the ‘Macbeth’ study guide the first day, just don’t procrastinate,” he said.


Working with Others

Senior Chelsea Cornilsen did not expect to have so much group work at high school. At Holmes Junior High, she mainly worked independently.

“I just kind of did my work,” Cornilsen said.

But at DHS, and specifically in her Race and Social Justice class, she had to work in groups to complete projects, which was difficult if she didn’t get along with the group members.

Junior Peter Zhou thinks that collaboration is a key part of group work.

“When one person does all the work a lot of people get mad and the final product isn’t as good,” Zhou said.

Junior Ipek Midilliloglu has had to work in groups several times, and says the most important thing to have is “patience.”

“You may not agree with [the people in your group], but you have to compromise,” Midillioglu said.


Junior Will Fraser has heard of a method of studying for finals where a student is supposed to study for twenty minutes and then take a break for five. What he actually does is slightly different.

“I usually lock myself in my room and don’t come out until I’m done,” said Fraser, who also makes sure not to study with music.

Midillioglu goes over the chapters that she struggled the most with and uses flashcards.

Junior Rebekah Kang breaks her studying sessions into segments and tries both to start in advance and to limit her amount of stress.

UC Davis Plant Biology Professor Katayoon Dehesh gives her students advice on how to do well on big tests.

“Students need to understand the value of coming to class, listening to the teacher and reading the academic literature,” Dehesh said.

Dehesh also emphasized the importance of taking notes in class.

“When you take notes, do not copy every word the instructor says or writes. First, listen to them and make sense of what they are saying. Take notes on important concepts or ideas that require extra attention.”

There are a lot of ways of studying for finals, and not all of them will work for everyone. Ultimately, students have to remember what really matters.
“Don’t put too much pressure on yourself,” senior Mikaela Manzano said. “Getting an ‘A’ is not as important as your mental health.”

Click on the video below to hear seniors give advice on making friends.

Enjoying High School

Former varsity men’s tennis co-captains Louis Pak and Dan Ferenc Segedin now attend UC Berkeley and shared their own secrets on how to make high school as simple and fun as possible.

“[Underclassmen] should work hard no matter what; slacking off and having a bad attitude is just a waste of time no matter how tempting it is,” Segedin said. “And socially, don’t be afraid to meet new people and be kind to everyone around you regardless.”

Pak believes that underclassmen should take time and enjoy their extracurricular activities, especially sports.

“Focus on every [game] possible. It’ll surprise you how fast the season and your high school career goes by. Your teammates and coaches are going to be some of the closest friends you’ll make in high school so cherish them!”

Click on the audio link below to hear more advice from DHS teachers.

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