top of page

Andrew and Jaden: Senior Year Advice Column #1

Heyo! This is our first advice column of the year. For those of you who haven’t read one of these before, we basically ask for questions from the community and then try to give advice on whatever you need help with. While we’d like to think we’ve acquired a bit of experience in our four years at CPS, we’re just students, so it’s not like we have all the answers to the universe.  Hopefully, though, our advice can just make it a little bit easier to get through the day 🙂 

For those interested, here are our advice columns from last year: 

Hope you enjoy!

How does one manage their time with a social life?

Andrew: I think we’ve touched on this in a previous article, but I think clearly separating your time really helps. Don’t do that thing where you try to chat with a ton of people online and do your work at the same time; that honestly never works (trust me I did that from freshman year to junior year lol). Instead, set aside some parts of your day for work and other parts for your social life. For instance, I try never to use lunch periods to do work, but instead use them to talk to people or play basketball or something. During Compass or Opens, though, I might go to the library to get my work done. After school, I set aside a couple hours to knock my homework out of the way, and then choose to either get started on other work or just talk to people or video call or something. Just make a schedule and stick to it, but be able to adapt if you don’t finish your work or if something comes up with a friend. 

Jaden: Basically what Andrew said: it’s about balancing fun with work. Just because you’re studying for a test doesn’t mean you can’t make it more fun by studying with a friend or two.  And if I’m going out on a weekend, I try to get to work as soon as I get home to make sure I don’t get overwhelmed later on. Also, this might be something many of you already do, but making extracurriculars things that are both fulfilling and fun at the same time. I think orchestra or track or whatever extracurricular you do can end up feeling like yet another class to get through, but finding a group of friends within that activity makes it so much better. That way you’re maintaining your social life while also getting stuff done.  

Tips for upperclassmen looking to make friends with some freshmen?

Jaden: Speaking from the perspective of a freshman mentor, the freshmen are for the most part integrated into the CPS community already, so befriend them as you would anyone else. Like any other grade, they’re a mixed bag of people with different personalities, so finding common interests via clubs and sports is a good way to start. And if you can recall being a freshman, it can be intimidating to talk to an upperclassmen, so try to take the initiative with this!  

How do I deal with stress?

We’ve addressed this before, but methods of stress relief really vary from person to person…

Jaden: I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts recently just because the speakers’ voices are so calming and relaxed (most of the time). I try to mix up some comedic ones with more lowkey art or martial arts ones such as Joe Rogan’s podcast or TigerBelly. And, as always, music helps me unwind a lot. Just sitting there with my headphones in, warm tea nearby, and my dogs on my lap usually does away with the stress. Also, this last thing won’t work for everyone, but meditation has had some positive effects for me. Reflecting on what’s making me stressed, the importance of that issue, and whether or not it’s even worth stressing over can help calm me down. This stuff comes with experience but I’ve realized that a lot of issues I thought were important turned out to not be worth worrying over incessantly. I think it’s that mechanical break down of my stress and thinking clearly about how I can resolve those issues that can actually bring comfort and relief.  

Andrew: Lately, I’ve started to realize that a lot of my stress comes from myself, either from my procrastinating or me just not being super productive. Along those lines, it really helps to just map out your work for the week and try to get ahead on anything that you think might cause stress: If you have a big test on Friday, study for it ahead of time so you aren’t super stressed on Thursday. All that being said, I know that oftentimes, stress is unavoidable, no matter how well you plan your week. For me, driving around just listening to music and enjoying some alone time to think really helps soothe me, as does eating a really good meal. But figure out what helps you relax, and do that 🙂 

Do you ever choose not to answer a question?

How can 2020 procure a crane statue?

The crane statue is dead lmao. I feel like if we really wanted a crane statue as a class, we could pretty easily vote it in as class merch, but that didn’t really happen, so that just means there’s no reason for 2020 to get a crane statue 😐 

I do think the idea of getting a statue for the campus to commemorate our grade is a cool one though. Maybe something more representative of our grade than a crane? What if we got a troll statue or something? Like this: 

How do you not fail Chinese 3?

Tips for CPS classes in general: 

  1. a) Always meet with your teacher when you find yourself falling behind in class, especially in a fast-moving class like Chinese where you have a quiz every week. 

  2. b) Try to always do your homework; CPS teachers tend to be really good at making sure the homework builds up to the tests/mirrors the types of questions on tests. 

  3. c) For a lot of classes, I find it really helpful to find groups that you can study with. Try to explain concepts to other people, and also to get answers to your questions. For Chinese especially, it’s hard to test yourself on the words since all of them are right next to the definitions in the textbook, so having someone to test you on them really helps. 

Tips for Chinese 3, specifically: 

  1. Chinese 3 is when you start getting two quizzes per unit, the first on grammar patterns and the second on actually writing the characters. Make sure you do well on the first—it tends to be easier than the second and helps cushion your grade a little. 

  2. Chinese is already one of the hardest classes at CPS, so make sure you’re spending enough time on it as a result. Take your character workbook seriously and make sure you actually remember how to use and how to write the characters. 

How do you not fail Math 4BC?

See above for general tips. 

For Math specifically: 

  1. Make sure you understand the homework! It can be really easy to quickly fall behind in math especially since the curriculum moves fast, so do the homework diligently to the point where you get the main ideas. Also, I like to organize all the problems into five or six central ideas so that way it makes studying and identifying your weaknesses easier.  

  2. Get the basics down. Since you’re learning the fundamentals right now, get those down solid before the class starts moving onto more complicated stuff. Of course, this goes for any class, but most importantly math, just because everything builds on itself very quickly.  

I feel like someone doesn’t like me but I’m not sure why, what do I do?

It always sucks to have this feeling, but I think it’s important to try to delineate what’s actually happening with what you’re imagining. Make sure that this person is legitimately acting like they dislike you, and it’s not you overreacting to a lot of small things (which CPS students tend to do). Along those lines, usually people start acting distant towards you for a reason; if you can identify what happened, that’s a good first step towards resolving whatever conflict is happening. Of course, I think the best way to clear up all of this is to just ask them what’s going on. If it’s just a misunderstanding, it’s better to get that from them than spend a long time worrying about it, and if they are annoyed at you, starting that dialogue can really help you address whatever issues are happening. 

How do I talk to a pretty popular guy who could probably get any girl he wants, but other more extroverted girls are always talking to him?

Andrew: Um, idk, just talk to him like you’d talk to any guy? It helps if you have shared classes/clubs with him that you can start a conversation through, but even if you don’t, just go up to him one day and start talking to him. I know a lot of freshmen come into CPS with this perception that there are popular and unpopular students, but honestly, it’s not really true. All of us are just students, and no one really thinks of themselves as “popular” (we’re all really big nerds lol). Along those lines, just talk to him like you would any student. If the conversation doesn’t go that well, it’s not like he’s going to hate you. It just means you two don’t have too many common interests and probably weren’t going to be super great friends either, which is entirely okay. Take all of this with a grain of salt though: it’d probably help to ask someone who’s actually popular and not two social outcasts 😛

Jaden: True dat.

What’s the best food near campus? 

Jaden: Gordos for sure. My brother has said they’ve gone down the drain, but I personally think their burritos are some of the best you can get.  

Andrew: I’m not sure—it kind of depends on my mood. My friends and I tend to hit up Oori really often (their short rib is honestly amazing), and that’s kind of a place to stop for a quick lunch and go back to campus. If I’m looking for a place to sit down and have a kinda fancy meal, there’s an Italian place on college called Belotti Ristorante E Bottega that I really like. (I think Gordos is a bit too far from campus to qualify as “near campus” for my taste, but eh, Jaden always says Gordos, so not much I can do). 

Are you the one?


What was Jaden eating at assembly?

Leftover noodles…it was delicious. 

Wikihow to AP Bio

I’m not gonna add pics here, so just visualize in your head. AP Bio is one of those classes where getting together and studying with other people really can help a lot. Since the tests are mainly focused on writing and how well you can support your answer, brainstorming with other people is incredibly helpful. Coming up with practice problems and prompts, as well as what evidence you might use to answer them is a really good way to study. Making a Quizlet for all the terms is pretty nice to have too. And c’mon…just use Wikipedia. We’re intellectuals here.


bottom of page