The Gifts of Wisdom & Common Sense

Debby Bartz, UNHS Adviser

Every day I hear from parents who worry about the safety, health, happiness, and confidence of their children and teens, as well as the quality of their education. I completely understand these feelings not only from the perspective of a parent, but as a grandmother too. I have worked as a University of Nebraska High School academic adviser for eleven years and one important skill I have learned is that it is important to apply wisdom over worry for the most difficult situations and planning for the future.

“Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning.”
– Commonly attributed to Winston Churchill

Our life experiences have taught us as parents to use our strengths and common sense to make the best decisions. As we are currently facing unprecedented times, we have had to use common sense to make decisions for the health and safety of our families. We have discovered our talents for making masks, exercising wisely in our neighborhoods, socializing with distance and precautions, all the while rediscovering the gifts of having more time with immediate family members. We, as parents and grandparents, can teach the same principles of lifelong wisdom and rationality to our children and teens. COVID-19 has reminded us to lead with examples in self-care, self-motivation, self-regulation, self-organization, and self-confidence.

Schooling at home is not for everyone, but if it feels right for your family, the opportunity for your children to study independently with a well-written curriculum can help to reinforce their strengths and talents. Advance thinking and planning allows the University of Nebraska High School diploma program to affirm that students are successful now and will continue to be in the future. They will take the life experiences of living through a worldwide pandemic and come out stronger. They will know how to be resilient, how to use their independent-thinking skills to make good decisions, will hang onto the memories of having more time with family, and take this with them to someday be our future leaders.

The Next Ten Years

Ray
Ray Henning, UNHS Academic Adviser

As the year 2020 begins, you have probably heard the saying that “time flies.” I am not sure of your personal experience, but for me it seems like the past ten years have flown by so quickly!

With the start of a new decade, I’d like to look back and review some notable events in our history at UNHS, across the globe and within my own personal life since the year 2010.  Perhaps you may even recall a few of these during the years 2010-2019 (a very haphazard list):

  • We witnessed two high profile royal weddings (congrats William and Kate; Harry and Meghan)!
  • In 2010, the 21st Winter Olympics were held in Vancouver, Canada, and a total of 258 medals were awarded across 26 nations.
  • The world did not end on December 21, 2012 as some people had predicted it to (according to the Mayan calendar).
  • In 2013, UNHS joined the University of Nebraska Online Worldwide, now known as University of Nebraska Online, or NU Online for short.
  • In 2014, many people were doing the Ice Bucket Challenge to promote ALS awareness.
  • In 2016, the Chicago Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians and won the World Series for the first time in 108 years.
  • In August of 2017: For the first time since 1918, we experienced a total solar eclipse.
  • In 2019, UNHS celebrated 90 years of academic excellence!

Personally, I will share three important items that happened in my life during the past ten years:

  • In 2012, my wife was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, and after a year of treatment, she is now seven years cancer free.
  • All four of my grandchildren were born (the oldest is now six and the youngest is two years old).
  • I started working at the University of Nebraska High School (UNHS) in 2014.

Now as you look to the future, how do you predict your world will change over the next ten years?  Maybe you will graduate from high school and/or college, get a job, travel, start a family, etc. As I have shared above, so much can happen in ten years’ time!

Noted author J.R.R. Tolkien once said this about time, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

I would encourage you to make the best use of your time and the University of Nebraska High School (UNHS) will be here to support you in your academic and personal endeavors! In fact, we have already been here for over nine decades and continue to be an excellent option for many students who desire to learn independently from an accredited, college preparatory high school.

Let’s count on us all having great things to share when 2030 rolls around!

The Future is Bilingual – 5 Reasons to Learn Spanish

If there was ever a time to follow the crowd, this would be it. More than 400 million people speak Spanish. The future lies in knowing at least one language apart from English.

 

sumitThis post has been written by Sumit Jagdale, Social Media and Communications student intern with the University of Nebraska High School. Sumit is an Advertising and Public Relations major at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Being multilingual, he brings a unique and valuable perspective to this article.

If there was ever a time to follow the crowd, this would be it. More than 400 million people speak Spanish. The future lies in knowing at least one language apart from English. Even if you are a native Spanish speaker, being able to converse isn’t enough. True proficiency lies in being able to read and write just well as you can speak. If English is your first language, Spanish is one of the easiest languages you can learn. Stats look great on paper but there are some tangible benefits to being fluent in Spanish as well. Read on.

  1. It Makes You More Marketable

That near-perfect GPA might open some doors for you, as would being president of that popular student organization on campus, but Spanish-language fluency would get you a definite foot in the door. Large companies have an increased global presence and prefer to hire bilingual employees as it simplifies their operations in other countries. So whether you’re pursuing your company’s interests in Guatemala or helping develop relations with businesses in Argentina, you’d be dealing with native Spanish speakers. Chloe, an advertising and public relations major at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln declared Spanish as a minor because Hispanics are one of the largest growing demographics in the United States. Understanding both the language and their culture will definitely work in her favor.

  1. Don’t Settle for Safety Schools

You’ve sacrificed enough in high school to get good grades and clock in all those extra-curricular activities, as have most of your peers. Well-rounded students make universities look better. You need to bring more than just academic potential and your charming personality to the table if you hope to enroll at a prestigious university. Most universities require two or more years of the same world language training for admission. Start your Spanish courses early. The competition’s heating up.

  1. It’s Not a Niche

No, you aren’t going to be restricted to embassy jobs (which are pretty cool, by the way) or work in some stuffy cubicle translating the pile of documents lying on your desk. Learning Spanish is a value-add irrespective of your degree. Taylor, a business major at the University of Nebraska– Lincoln, decided to learn Spanish because it helped her connect with her extended family who are of Mexican descent. Needless to say, a minor in Spanish also complements her business degree and opens up a world of possibilities that otherwise would not have been accessible to her.

  1. Immersion Is a Click Away

While traveling is a great way to expand your horizons, Spanish cultural immersion won’t require you to travel several thousand miles away. Netflix and HBO already have several Spanish language programs and your laptop is your gateway to the world. Your favorite podcast probably has a Spanish option. Broadcasts of most sporting events have an option to switch to Spanish commentary. You won’t just expand your vocabulary, you will end up learning colloquialisms and master the cadence and pronunciations of the native speakers.

  1. Hola! At Me

Language skills are the best ice-breakers. There are at least 21 countries with a majority Spanish-speaking population. You can bring a smile to the face of the person you interact with by just saying “Hello” in their native tongue. Imagine what you could do by conversing entirely in Spanish!

Have we given you enough reasons to add Spanish to your course load next semester? The University of Nebraska High School has four years of comprehensive Spanish-language courses. Students can increase their vocabulary and their understanding of grammatical constructions as well as their knowledge of Hispanic culture.

Confused about where to start? Take the University of Nebraska High School’s Spanish Placement Test and find out what level of courses to apply for.

UNHS advisers are happy to discuss our Spanish courses with you and, if necessary, develop a personalized curriculum plan. Contact our advising team at unhsadviser@nebraska.edu or visit highschool.nebraska.edu for more information.

 

Advice to My Younger Self

Catherine BrackettThis post has been written by Catherine Brackett, a former student intern with the University of Nebraska High School. She offers advice to students about to begin their lives as freshmen and what she wished she could have told herself before she began her journey through college.

There are many tidbits of advice I wish I had known when I was younger–even just a couple years ago. I’m sure many of us replay events that could’ve gone differently if we had just known what the outcome would be. Although we are unable to rewind and give ourselves the advice that we thought we needed, mistakes and trials help us become the people we come to be proud of presently–flaws and all. If I can’t go back and change little mistakes that I had made when I was a fresh face in the university dorms, I hope I can provide future students with knowledge that I wish I would have known as a spunky 18-year-old.

I first advise all of my younger peers not to take courses too lightly. I was astounded when I found that many of my high school peers were flunking and were punished to academic probation–even brainiacs who did well in school. Never think that it couldn’t happen to you, because that’s when you let your guard down and assignments fall behind.

This brings me to my next point–don’t let your mistakes define you as a person. It isn’t the end of the world, even flunking out of university isn’t the end of the world. The most important thing to keep in mind if you are ever in a situation where you think there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, is to keep moving forward. These mistakes are just that–mistakes. They’re usually fixable and they are meant to be left in the past.

You might not have had to study in high school, but now is the time to pick up a good habit. I never studied my freshman year, and I got a huge wake-up call my sophomore year. I wasn’t able to get by that long without hitting the library, but now, the library is one of my favorite places on campus. Find a good study spot with no distractions and make it a “home-y” place for you to enjoy on those late nights of hitting the books. Also, just because your friends may be taking the same class doesn’t mean they may be the best study tools for you. Know when to cut your friends out of the study equation if they start to become a distraction.

With all of that being said, don’t take yourself too seriously. Learn to let loose sometimes and enjoy yourself. Many people may tell you that the best years of your life were in high school, but I disagree–college is. Be active and involved and you’re sure to have the best experience possible!

Learn From the Past…Prepare for the Future…But Be Engaged Today!

Ray
Raymond Henning, UNHS Academic Adviser

An anonymous quote I found states it well: “If you worry about what might be, wonder what might have been, you will ignore what is.”

As a longtime educator and coach, I have greatly benefited from past experiences and have also planned for future situations. But I have determined for me, as much as possible, it is best to live in the now.

What is the correct balance of the past, future, and present in your life journey?

In this post, I want to focus briefly on each of these three timelines and illustrate how the past and future can be beneficial and/or detrimental to you. However, I want to encourage you to focus on the present.

Remembering our past can be useful, but fixating on it too much can be damaging. It’s essential to learn from our past experiences or the experiences of others, but sometimes we can dwell on previous mistakes or regrets and that can hinder our progress. Learn from the past, but move on to the present.

Preparing for the future is also very important. Advance preparation and planning can help alleviate potential adverse situations and gives you an opportunity to utilize your past experiences to better prepare. However, daydreaming and always thinking about the future can take away from what you are doing right now. Personally, I sometimes struggle in my mind with the “what is next” mentality instead of enjoying or maximizing the current moment.

So how do you stay engaged in the present? I would like to share three practices that help me:

  1. Set a goal and focus on manageable time frames. For example, if you work a six to eight-hour day, break it down into smaller units like an hour,half an hour, or even fifteen minute intervals or shorter.
  2. Be flexible and react in a positive way to interruptions.
  3. Take mental and physical breaks as needed.

Make the most of your GIFT of today!