Biding Your Time: The College Application Process

Debby
Debby Bartz, UNHS Academic Adviser

Patience, internal fortitude, self-control and poise are all traits required when waiting for a college admissions letter. After all, the past year was spent studying, completing forms, preparing for important tests, writing essays, reading college websites, consulting with college admissions advisers and visiting campuses – one more time. 

 

It’s been a very busy time and now you are checking the mailbox daily for any letter that could contain good news from the multiple applications submitted. The formal acknowledgement is just around the corner—and it will be one of the first big decisions of your life. You will finally get to say, “YES! This is it, I’m going to ____________!”

 

Congratulations, if you’re an Early Decision or Early Action Admission letter recipient. Congratulations, if you have received a letter of intent and/or will be invited to National Signing Day. Congratulations, if you have been awarded a college scholarship. However, be advised that only a few colleges begin notifying students in mid-December to the end of winter (as early as late February). Be assured that many colleges load the mailboxes in March to late spring, and the most competitive colleges allow their applicants to test their patience until April Fool’s Day or later. Rolling college admissions is an ongoing process.

 

In the meantime, what should you do?

 

1.       Check online to review the status of your application.

2.       Check to see if pieces are missing from the application (e.g., order the necessary transcript, test score report or request a recommendation letter).

3.       Call the college if you do not receive an email confirmation within 10 days to three weeks after submitting the application.

 

Chill-lax. Waiting for a college acceptance letter means you are just like thousands of other students worldwide.

 

What’s Your Hangtag?

Debby
Debby Bartz, UNHS Academic Adviser

Along with academic advising of students and parents at the UNHS, I enjoy shopping and comparing products and services in stores and online. Of course, it is exciting when I have found the best price, but I also make sure to look at the merchandise or service carefully. The hangtag always grabs my attention, because it usually conveys the price, the designer or manufacturer of the product and much more important information needed to make your buying decision.

So how do you convey to someone why they should “buy” into what you are saying? I personally think we each have an invisible hangtag that explains our professional branding image to each person we meet. I personally want my hangtag to tell others that I am a hard worker and that I care about my students. Everyone’s hangtags are different—we all have unique styles and brand images that separate us from others.

Even though we cannot all wear a physical hangtag, we can all take steps to make sure we are communicating to others our positive and professional brand image, one that stands out from the others.

How to live your hangtag:

  • Actively think about how you want others to see you.
  • Be true to yourself.
  • Separate your professional life and personal opinions.
  • Learn from your coworkers or colleagues.
  • Surround yourself with those who can help you grow.
  • Talk positively.
  • Ask for constructive feedback and make changes accordingly.
  • Be respectful.
  • Have great online etiquette.

What would your hangtag say?

The Power of One

Ray
Ray Henning, UNHS Academic Adviser

Cancer does not play fair.

Recently, I had the privilege of attending the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Ball. This event is a big fundraiser for cancer research in Nebraska. Many accounts were told of families who have lost loved ones, or have friends or family members who are currently battling some type cancer.

My wife, Marcia, was one of the people who shared her story.  She was diagnosed with stage IV mantle cell lymphoma four years ago and after many rounds of chemo and a stem cell transplant (her total treatment took about one year) she is now a survivor. One of the points she noted in her remarks was from a card she received which had this saying that became very important to her:

“Cancer is a villain and it does not play fair, but it can’t take your spirit and it can’t silence prayer.”

Immediately after the Cattlemen’s Ball, she received many words of appreciation and encouragement for her willingness to be vulnerable with her cancer journey.

What makes this empowering event possible are the hundreds of volunteers. Because of their hard work, vital money for cancer research isn’t the only thing being raised—those who are affected by cancer can have a carefree night to lift their spirits and faith that one day they or their loved ones will be cancer free.

Volunteering comes in many forms. From picking up trash on the side of the road to serving dinners at a local homeless shelter, volunteering is any act that provides a service for another. More importantly, this service is done for the benefit of someone else and even the smallest things can make another smile. Seeing a clean road might make a commuter smile on their way to work, while a full stomach might empower someone who may be down on their luck.

With that in mind, my challenge to you is to volunteer for something that is important to you!

American author, Edward Everett Hale once said, “I am only one, but I am one.  I cannot do everything but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do”.

The power of one can make a difference. Make a difference for someone today!

4 Tips for a Successful School Year

Hugh
Hugh McDermott, UNHS Principal

For many high school students, August seems to be the favored month for the start of back-to-school. For students involved in sports, many have actually been training and working out even before the traditional pre-season of the school year officially began, and August means the start of when they can demonstrate their hard work. For others, the start of school means the reduction or the stopping of work for summer jobs as they begin to focus on their studies.

As a high school principal, my previous talks to students at the start of the school year focused on these four rules—applicable to all whether you’re an athlete, have a part-time job or anyone else.

  1. Show up. Attendance is critical to your success—you have to be there to get the instruction offered by your teachers. For online students, you have to open up your coursework and you have to submit assignments frequently so that there is evidence of your involvement and participation on a frequent basis. Ask questions of your online teachers [unhsteach@nebraska.edu]—this lets them know you’re engaged in the process.
  2. Do your work. Not only is it critical that you do the assignments and work assigned to you by your teachers, but you should do quality work. Remember, everything you turn in has your name on it. Your name should mean something—it is who you are and stands for the integrity of your good character. Be proud of each and every assignment you submit because it represents (or should), your very best efforts.
  3. Practice civility. Students who really care about their education demonstrate great amounts of civility toward others—even folks they don’t know. Your words and actions matter, whether it is how you speak and act towards members of your community, others are forming an impression of how you manage yourself as a human being. Keep your words and actions positive and reflective of your dedication to yourself. Your words matter to your teachers as they grade your work and your projects. Use them wisely and carefully. Online teachers can quickly pick up the “tone” of your comments in your writing. Make it a point to practice your civility online!
  4. School comes first. If you continue to work during the school year, which is perfectly fine (and more power to you!), just remember that your schoolwork should be your priority.

If you follow these simple rules, you are more likely to enjoy the learning experience this year.

I hope that what you will take away from this is experience is a life-long love of learning that will guide you along a very productive life. Have a great start to your year!

“Luck of the Irish” To You!

Barbara
Barbara Wolf Shousha, UNHS Director

St. Patrick’s Day is an annual celebration on March 17. What began as a commemoration of the patron saint of Ireland has become a fun-filled celebration of all things Irish.

Not Irish? It does not matter!

At celebrations throughout the world, you will be informed that everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day! You will see green clothing, green hair and green shamrocks. The city of Chicago even dyes the river green. You will hear St. Patrick’s Day expressions such as “Erin Go Bragh,” “Kiss the Blarney Stone” and my personal favorite “Luck of the Irish to You!”

“Luck of the Irish!” I love this expression because for years I misunderstood it. I believed it meant something like extreme good fortune. But an Irish-American friend explained that it really encompasses the sense of luck that you make yourself through your own positive outlook and determination. I liked that meaning so much better!

While I enjoy the idea of luck—wishes on a falling star, crossing my fingers—I believe in being positive and being prepared. Whether facing an exam, hoping for an opportunity or approaching a challenge in your life, it’s fun to make a wish, but you are more likely to find the luck you need when you put forth effort and have a positive attitude.

So when I wish you the “Luck of the Irish,” I really wish you the happiness and good fortune that comes from knowing that you have prepared yourself for the good things you want to come your way.

Finding Students’ Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity

Hugh
Hugh McDermott, UNHS Principal

As a long-time educator, I am constantly aware of the importance and the responsibility I have in making sure the doors of opportunity are wide open for students, regardless of their educational situations or circumstances. But to get their attention, we have to pique their curiosity and engage their spirit.

Students arrive in our classrooms with so much individuality, wide-ranging different backgrounds and experiences, but somehow great teachers present their course content in what seems like magical ways to pique interest, stretch imaginations and challenge students to learn more.

This is actually exactly what the fine folks at NASA have been doing for many years through the Mars rovers.

On January 4, 2004, the rover Spirit landed on Mars and worked diligently for us for more than six years to cover 4.8 miles of the Mars surface before getting its wheels trapped in the planet’s sand. Even then, it adjusted itself to act as a stationary science platform to help us know more about the planet. NASA stated that Spirit completed its planned 90-sol (day) mission and actually functioned effectively over twenty times longer than expected!

The next rover to land on Mars was Spirit’s twin, Opportunity. Landing three weeks later on January 25, 2004, Opportunity ran around the planet, covering more than 25 miles, close to a marathon. It is still operational and mobile, celebrating its twelfth birthday today—a pre-teenager!

Opportunity
Mars Rover Opportunity at Rock Abrasion Target ‘Potts.’ Source: NASA Mars Exploration, Retrieved January 25, 2016.

Curiosity went to Mars on Aug. 6, 2012, and continues to operate today. It withstands slightly extreme weather environments that we are not used to, built to work in between -197 degrees Fahrenheit through 104 degrees—and it has no coat, gloves or hat!

Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity are more than land rovers on Mars—they are definitions of the characteristics that we want to plant in students every day. We want students to:

  • Grow their spirit and enthusiasm and be life-long learners.
  • Engage with zeal in the moment of discovery as they unwrap.
  • Adjust to situations with positivity and a good attitude.
  • Work hard and delight in their success.

Teachers and parents play a critical role in building the learning spirit that lives within each of us, and when observed we must recognize its priceless value.