Q&A Advice Column

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Dear Q&A,

It’s too cold in the morning to wear shorts, but after PE it’s too hot to wear pants. What do I do? Please help.

Q: Hi. I totally understand what you are going through. When the weather changes in the middle of the day it can be extremely frustrating. Pretty much all through seventh and eighth grade, I struggled with it being too cold in the morning and too hot right when P.E. started. The P.E. shorts I wore were not the new red Nike shorts. Before this year, all the girls used to wear the cotton long shorts. Even though it got much hotter during the day, I still wore pants to school. Then for P.E., I would change into my shorts, and after, I would wear my P.E. shorts for the rest of the day. I really liked doing this because the shorts are super comfortable and I didn’t mind that they aren’t fashionable. However, if you don’t want to do this, then I have another solution: wear layers to school. For example, you can wear leggings/pants and a t-shirt with a sweatshirt over in the morning. Then when it starts to get hot, take the sweatshirt off. This worked for me so I hope this helps!

A: Hey! My suggestion for you is to bring multiple outfits and go from there. In the morning you could wear pants and then after P.E you can just put shorts or a skirt on. I hope this helps!

Dear Q&A,

I am having difficulty with History tests, they are becoming harder and harder as the year progresses.

Q: Hey, thank for coming to us. I recommend that you meet with your teacher, and I know teachers encourage it, too. I have met with all of my teachers much more this year and have benefited greatly from it. Meeting with your teachers with questions and to review material is really helpful because they will explain it to you, so it can be easier for you to understand. You may not want to talk to your teacher if you feel intimidated or embarrassed that you are experiencing difficulty, but your teachers are there to help and support you. It’s also a good idea that you meet with your teacher because they can help you make a study plan for your next test to help you do better. Before and after a test, it is a good idea to meet with your teachers. You can also schedule a meeting with Ms. Gabriel to learn study techniques and create a good study schedule.

A: Hi. I’m sorry you are having difficulty with your history tests. It’s perfectly normal that your history tests should be getting increasingly more difficult, as the year is progressing and you’re learning more and more material and skills. First off, you need to think about why you are having difficulty. Ask yourself: Am I taking notes in class and making a study guide? If the answer to one or both of those questions is no, that could be the problem. It’s really important that you are doing more than just listening to your teacher because history at HW isn’t easy. If you do make a study guide and take notes, it’s important that you review before your test. Reviewing for a history test doesn’t mean cramming the night before; this means studying every night for around 30 minutes three to five days before your test, depending on what works best for you. A huge part of history is thinking about the big picture ideas and studying a lot the night before the test doesn’t allow you to remember the info or make those larger connections. If you are studying an ample amount time before your test and you still are not sure why you are struggling, it’s a good idea to go through your most previous tests to see where specifically you are struggling.

Dear Q&A,

Math has been getting easier. But not the quizzes and tests. The homework assignments have been easy.

Q: Hi! Hopefully, the homework is easier for you because you had a good understanding of the lesson. However, it could seem easy because you rushed through it. Sometimes, I will just rush through my homework and not check it over with the answers. Then, come test time, there is a question that I get wrong that I had gotten wrong on the homework and didn’t know. It is important that you actually do the homework and work to understand each problem fully. To prepare for a test, I go through each homework packet and redo problems a couple days in advance. If there is a problem I can’t do or had trouble with, I will ask my teacher. Also, I will go to the math office and just do problems from the homework and packet then ask my teacher if I did them correctly. Another thing you could do is form a study group with those who have the same math teacher with you. You guys could study in group study and check each other’s work, share materials, and share tips to study for math.

A: I’m sorry the tests feel harder than the homework. It’s a good idea to ask yourself if you are using the solutions while doing your homework or copying off a friend, because that could be a reason why the homework feel easier. What I find really useful in math is to do most of, if not all the practice problems in the packet your teachers give you. That way, the math problems almost become muscle memory, and the test will be much easier. Sometimes, when the material feels really easy, we become a lot less careful and attentive to the problems we do, so we make silly mistakes. These tiny mistakes pile up and can really hurt you on your tests. To avoid these mistakes, slow down and check your work as you go. Also, if you find yourself finishing the test early, that could be a sign that you went way too fast. Going too fast and rushing through tests increases those tiny errors.

Dear Q&A,

I have a teacher who gives more homework than allowed. Almost all of the other students in my class agree. I am getting a good grade, but I am annoyed by the homework load because it is usually the most I have when compared to other classes. The teacher has said before that you should stop after 30-40 minutes, but I don’t think she realizes that she is giving a lot of homework. She seems to think she only gives 30-40 minutes of homework when she doesn’t and always gets confused when students tell her they get a lot of homework in that particular class. It is frustrating because I can’t just not do the work every single day, because then I would fall behind.

Q: Hi there! I would recommend talking to your dean, let them know that you are getting too much work, and ask them for advice on what you should do. Most likely, I would imagine that your dean will say you should talk to your teacher. If this is the case, go meet with your teacher and let them know what is happening. You can also go speak to the head of the department that your teacher isn’t in. I hope this helps.

A: Hi. I really think you need to talk to your teacher either alone or with a friend during a meeting. I strongly advise you to talk to your teacher, but don’t call them out on how much homework they give in front of other students. This can make the teacher feel defensive, and that makes it really hard to have a constructive conversation. If talking to your teacher in a calm manner doesn’t work, I advise speaking to your dean about the excessive homework load and how it affects you and other students. The deans can help you with your situation.

Dear Q&A,

Did you ever have test anxiety? If so, how did you get over it?

Q: Hello! Yes, every time I take a test, I experience some level of anxiety. To feel less anxious, I study as much as I can to fully prepare. I start preparing for the test days before and try to review a little every day. When I feel ready for the test, I have very little to zero anxiety. Even if I haven’t prepared as much as I could have, when I go into a test, I just tell myself I will do my best, and when I get it back, I will meet with my teacher. This school year, I have told myself this going into every test and I can’t recall one test where I felt significantly anxious. If you didn’t study enough and are feeling more nervous, no matter what, do not tell yourself you aren’t ready. That will set you up to fail. Tell yourself you will try and do better next time. Also, I recommend taking deep breaths because this will calm you down and relieve stress. I hope this advice helps!

A: Yes, sometimes I have test anxiety. The way I get over test anxiety is studying as best I can before a test. Preparing fully and correctly for a test can will ensure the best outcome. Not only do I prepare a few days before the test and avoid last minute cramming at all costs, but I tell myself I’m going to try my best no matter what. Once you start the test, there is nothing you can do but try your best. The more stressed and tense you are during a test, the more likely you are to make errors because you can’t stay focused on the task at hand. Another method to relieve test anxiety is to take deep breaths or do a mindclearing exercise before the test. You could also rub some lavender essential oil rub on your neck to calm you down. Sometimes these alternative methods can sound a little bit silly, but trust me, it helps! I also encourage you to talk to Dr. Decker about the stress you feel because she can definitely help too.

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