College students share their advice to incoming freshmen

According to the dictionary, a College/University is defined as an institution of learning of the highest level, having a college of liberal arts and a program of graduate studies together with several professional schools, as of theology, law, medicine, and engineering, and authorized to confer both undergraduate and graduate degrees.

What the dictionary fails to mention is all of the hardships and fun students face along the way. College promises to be the best time of your life, but also one of the most difficult. We asked college students to share their valuable advice about adjusting to a new place with new faces, rules and expectations. Here is what they said:

Think you are ready for the real world? Think again. Corinne Simon, a student at Juniata College  located in Huntingdon, Pa., and a graduate of York Catholic High School, has learned that there is so much more to being an adult than just independence.

Corinne Simon is currently studying abroad in Australia.

Corinne Simon is currently studying abroad in Australia.

“I have learned that I actually knew nothing about being an adult in high school. College forces you to grow up because you don’t have your parents there to constantly remind you to do homework, go to class, etc.,” said Simon, class of 2016.

Her advice to new freshmen? Take it all in stride and do not lose hope

“Remember that it WILL be hard in the beginning, but once you get settled in, it will be the best years of your life,” said Simon in an email.

College is a time for self-discovery and self-mastery. No idea how to accomplish that? Do not sweat it because you will figure it out. Daniel Pyle, a student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, or UMBC for short, who just completed his first year of college, gained more confidence in himself and his abilities.

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How to keep up with academics over the summer

Summer is coming, along with promises of sunny days, trips to the beach, and endless free time. After the final bell rings on the last day of school, homework, tests, and anything that involves academics is pretty much out of everyone’s minds until the end of August.

While this care-free approach to summer is relaxing, throwing out your textbooks isn’t the best choice.

According to the National Summer Learning Association, most students lose two months of math skills over summer vacation.

Students’ hard work during the school year might go to waste without practice over the summer.

Lottie Smith, a guidance counselor at the Red Lion Area Senior High School, says that reviewing over the summer might be beneficial, but other things are important too.

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#yocoprom: See your York County prom photos here

To see your photos show up, add #yocoprom to your Instagram photos.

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Light it Up Blue: Celebrating Autism Awareness Month

In the state of Pennsylvania, there are about 219,300 children, between the ages of six and 21, who have a disability. Of those 219,300 children, 3,304 of them have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (source).

Autism’s growing commonality in children is why Autism Awareness month was created. Throughout the month of April, people across the world are encouraged to raise awareness by wearing blue and rallying support for families who are personally affected by Autism every day.

Local organization, Autism York, celebrates Autism Awareness Month with their annual event, the Autism Expo and Walk, which is held at Central York High School. The event hosts several educational booths where guests can enjoy a raffle, food vendors, bounce houses for kids, Autism information booths and a fundraiser in which teams raise money by walking around the gymnasium track.

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Red Lion hosts their second annual formal fashion fair May 9

These are just a few of the hundreds of dresses collected for Red Lion's second annual formal fashion faire.

These are just a few of the hundreds of dresses collected for Red Lion’s second annual formal fashion faire. Submitted.

Dresses dominate the Student Council storage room at Red Lion Area Senior High School. Dozens of cardboard boxes overflowing with lace, sequins, tulle, and satin are stacked on top of each other throughout the room. Every color of the rainbow is represented in the hundreds of dresses. Clothes, racks, and boxes of hangers are also stashed in the storage room, ready for the second annual formal fashion fair at the high school.

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Brother and sister duo win speech contest

Annually, York Catholic hosts a competitive speech contest to celebrate the power of the written word. Finalists perform speeches in front of the entire student body. Many students create their own original speeches, like brother and sister Brian and Lauren Hand.

Brian Hand's expression when he placed in the speech contest.

Brian Hand’s expression when he placed in the speech contest.

Although some students might loathe public speaking, the Hands relish the opportunity to speak in front of the student body.

“The opportunity to speak and share a voice with the entire student body through the speech festival is a fantastic opportunity that I greatly appreciate,” Brian Hand said.

“The speech contest is a great opportunity for students who want a chance to try out their voices and share what they have to say with their peers,” said Lauren Hand.


Lauren Hand won the speech contest two years in a row. But can she do it for a third time?

Nerves often get in the way of good public speaking, but the Hands say taking a deep breath usually helps.

“I always get nervous, even when I get up to speak just for my English class.  But I shake it out before I go on, take a deep breath, and then let it go,” said Lauren on presenting speeches.

“While presenting my speech to the student body my nerves strangely became inexistant. Waiting back stage on the other hand was very nerve racking, but after I began to speak, the words just flowed and I didn’t feel at all nervous or nauseous.  Having friends in the audience and backstage was a tremendous factor for that as well.  Quite frankly I don’t remember half of it,” said Brian on speaking at the speech contest.

The Hands hold a legacy at York Catholic for placing in the speech finals. How do they write such fantastic speeches?

“I pray that I can think of a good topic and then when I do, I see how far I can possibly take it and then evaluate its potential,” said Brian.

“I never really know where they’re going to come from.  I try to think of something that’s relevant to my life and then put my own spin on it. Freshman year that was the challenges of being a ginger, this year it was the challenge of writing a job resume! Usually I work on a few ideas and then pick one to use,” said Lauren.

Brian, a freshman, won third place in the speech contest for his original story about a boy and his love of Goldfish (no not the fish, but the beloved snack cracker).

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March Madness: An overview of the Bracket Challenge

We all know the feeling, seeing our March Madness bracket fall apart because of a Cinderella team or Duke choking to a 14 seed like Mercer last year. If you did enter a bracket in ESPN’s Bracket Challenge you were one of 11.57 million people. If you didn’t submit one you saved yourself stress and frustration.

Even the four play-in games has a great deal of competition. The average point differential in the four play-in games was just under five points. The first round of games offered excitement as well as shock to some teams like it usually does. With upsets such as Georgia State over Baylor and University of Alabama Birmingham’s win over Iowa State, some people may think it’s impossible to get a perfect bracket. Well your chances are actually one in 9.2 quintillion according to ESPN. It’s never been done before since the tournament was created in 1939. According to ESPN, the tournament in 1939 began with just eight teams, but has expanded to 68 teams. In 2011, the field of play was expanded from 64 to 68 teams to offer a more entertaining experience for fans and boost revenue for the four extra teams.

Under the new rules the last four teams in would have a game before the round of 64 to play in. The winner would go on to play in the round of 64 and the loser would be eliminated from the tournament. In the past three years there have only been three teams that have advanced past the round of 64. The team with the most success that had to play-in was Virginia Commonwealth University or better known as VCU. The Rams made it to the final four in 2011 but fell to Butler in the opening game of the 2011 Final Four. The Rams run in the tournament was one for the history books after beating Kansas, the number one seed in their region. The Rams won by 10 points to move on to the Final Four.

As of 5:55 p.m. Friday March 20 ESPN reported there were only 32 perfect brackets left of the 11.57 million entered in the Tournament Challenge. There were 273 perfect brackets left entering Friday morning. Then after plenty of close games Friday evening there was just one perfect bracket left going into Saturday. One of Central York High School’s students, Tommy O’Neill, was among the top 275 brackets entered of the 11.57 million entered to ESPN. O’Neill got just one of the 16 games incorrect the first day. When asked about his strategy for March Madness O’Neill said, “I just go with my gut and hope I get it right.”

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Everything you need to know about the SATs

The SAT, is a three hour and 45 minute test on writing, critical reading and mathematics to determine if a student is prepared to enroll in a post secondary education. This test is the focal point, and biggest stressor, of an 11th grade student’s year of high school.

With balancing extracurriculars, volunteering, school work and sports, it’s hard enough to find time to study for classes, let alone study for a test that determines what colleges a person can be accepted to. However, by taking early action and getting a better understanding on what the SAT is, this process can be much easier to handle.

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The redesigned SAT

Beginning in March of 2016, the SAT test will have undergone major redesign changes. Not only will this affect the material on the test, but it will change the scoring system as well.

The redesigned SAT test will feature eight new concepts (Information found from the College Board website).

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York Catholic’s Mini Thon Raises over $14,000

Video by York Catholic’s Kenneth Clouser, class of 2015.

York Catholic’s Mini Thon, held on Mar. 7, raised more than $14,000 for the Four Diamonds Fund. The Mini Thon is a benefit to raise money for pediatric cancer research. The Thon is held as a celebration of the money raised and involves literally taking a stand for the kids (or FTK for short). Many York County schools hold Mini Thons (For a complete list of Mini Thons in your area, check out the link here) and it really brings a sense of unity to the student body for a good cause.

“Mini Thon was a wonderful time. Everyone really banded together. We did it for the kids,” said Catherine Doyle, a senior at York Catholic.

Various activities kept the student body entertained as they stood for six hours in solidarity. Students were able to try Zumba for the first time and have fun dancing with their peers.

“It was really fun dancing and trying out Zumba,” said Kelsea Dvorak.

A Family Feud style game show was held in the auditorium to show off student’s knowledge about YC. Some questions included, “What is the most popular lunch item at YC? Who is the best dressed teacher? What are YC student’s favorite subjects?”

“I liked that we had Family Feud. It was new this year, very competitive but fun,” said Cassie Moore.

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