Tips for the SAT

First of all, the best feeling in the whole entire world is riding a horse. Especially riding a horse on a hot day outside and getting dirty and then giving the horse a bath. Can’t top it:D So I highly recommend you do it at least once in your life.

Moving along, this past Saturday, I took the SAT for the second time. I think I did significantly better than the first time I took it which was last spring. Two factors that I think will bump my score…okay three. 1) It is my second time taking it and that usually means your score goes up. 2) I have taken two semesters of college English and college math so I am a bit smarter than I was last spring:) 3) I used a study program to get me ready. It is called College Prep Genius and it truly works wonders!! The lady that made it has done a lot of research about the SAT and the new SAT and knows the little tricks that the test writers use. It also works for studying for the ACT. She doesn’t teach the subject material. She teaches ways to answer each question quickly without being a master of the subject. For instance, every math problem can be answered without a calculator, quickly, even if math isn’t your strong suit. I should have started studying earlier, but it definitely helped me.

So these three factors take me to my first three tips:

  1. Take the test more than once unless, by some outstanding feat, you get a perfect score your first time.
  2. Make sure that you are actually ready to take the test school wise.
  3. Find a study program or method that works for you and stick to it. I recommend College Prep Genius, but there are many wonderful programs on the market like Kaplan Test Prep.

And here is the rest of my test day advice:

  1. The night before, go to bed at a normal time-not too late and not too early.
  2. Don’t study right before you go to bed. Just relax and let whatever studying you did sink into your brain. Don’t tired yourself out the night before because you will need your energy for the test.
  3. Set out your clothes, calculator, pencils, snacks, etc. before you go to bed so you don’t have to worry about it the next day. Better yet, put it all in the car!
  4. Don’t wake up too early. Wake up at a time that will give you just enough time to get dressed, eat breakfast, gather your things and go. This is a personal strategy of mine. I find that if I wake up too early then I have extra time that I spend just worrying. If I can wake up just on time, then I can focus on getting ready and not on the upcoming test.
  5. Eat a good breakfast, but not a large breakfast. I ate eggs and toast because that is what fills me up. But I didn’t stuff myself. I know that if I eat too much food, I will get really sick, and I did not want that distraction.
  6. Take good snacks and water. At every break make sure you get out of the testing room to eat a bite and take drink and stretch your legs. If you have time, go to the bathroom-even if it is just to wash your hands. Any bit of break from sitting and reading you can get will help you in the long run.
  7. Wear comfy clothes. You don’t want to be sitting there constantly adjusting your clothes during the test. Wear sweatpants, a t-shirt, and a sloppy ponytail if you want to. This test is about you and your future, not how well dressed you are ūüôā
  8. Above all, don’t psych yourself out. Yes, this is a very important test, but it is just that–a test. If you have prepared well, and done what you can, then you will do fine. And if you don’t get the score you want this time through, you can take it again.
  9. Finally, when you are registering, don’t put down colleges to send your score to unless you are confident that you will do well. When I took my ACT in December, I put down three colleges to automatically send my scores to, and I wish that I hadn’t done that. You can always send your scores after the scores come out. That way, if you don’t want a college to see a score, they won’t.

I am taking the ACT this Saturday, and hopefully I get a good enough score that I won’t have to take it again. I have one more piece of advice: DO NOT SCHEDULE EITHER TEST DURING FINALS WEEK and if you can NOT DURING SCHOOL AT ALL. I made that mistake with my ACT. It was at the end of my finals week, and I was so busy studying for them that I didn’t have time to study for the ACT. Never again will I make that mistake:)

The Past 5 Weeks

A few more than five weeks ago I posted a post with some pictures that perfectly described my state of mind at the time:). Since then, I went and returned from Spring Camp, started volunteering, went to school and studied whenever possible, and…FINISHED SCHOOL.

Let’s get into it shall we?

Spring camp turned out to be more of a soaking wet, freezing cold Winter Camp. However, we did get to have campfires and cook over a fire amid the snow hikes and near-ice fishing so I guess it all balances out. Despite the arctic temperatures, I was able to have a fantastic weekend with my camp friends.

It doesn’t look like it, but there was a lot more snow on the ground!

Then, the next weekend, I actually got to start my volunteering in the Emergency Room! I love it so very much. I volunteer every Friday in the afternoon, and every time I leave to go home, I am just so happy. it has made me want to be a doctor even more than I ever wanted to. I love interacting with the registrars and the patients/visitors.

Oh! I turned 17!! ūüėÄ I¬† had a wonderful birthday day-day and weekends on either side of it:) The Sunday before, my family and I went out to dinner and then the weekend after we actually did presents and cake/ice cream.


Age of absolute favorite movie:D

Kaitlyn made me this beautiful photo album

Kaitlyn made me this beautiful photo album. I also got a Fitbit from my parents! But I didn’t have a clear picture of that.

Cake was really good...

Cake was really good…


And then came final’s week.

And then I wasted time taking pictures.


My mom showed me this video when she was helping me study for my Bio final. It is perfect for anyone in final’s week.

But I made it through…with all A’s. What a relief!

And then I finished school.


google images ūüôā School’s out, let’s scream and shout!!

google images :)

google images ūüôā

I had an appointment with my guidance counselor the week after I finished, and he told me that the only classes I need to graduate would be Modern American History, Economics, and Physics. That is really exciting because now I can fill the extra spots in science!!

My classes for next semester: Anatomy and Physiology¬†1 (A&P), College Algebra 2, Computer Science, Modern American history, and Latin 3. Then I am hoping to take A&P 2, Econ, Physics, and Sociology in the Spring. I have been waiting to take A&P for several years now, so I am really excited–for all of my Senior Year classes!

I have applied to one college so far, I should get that decision this summer. The rest of my colleges are on the Common App which doesn’t come out until August 1.

I have a busy summer up ahead:

*Studying for my second, and hopefully last round, of the ACT and SAT.

* Camp Med: This is a three day camp in June for Juniors and Seniors. We get to stay on the college’s campus and work in their cadaver and Physiology labs, and work with faculty from Biology, Chemistry, Kinesiology, Physics, and Psychology on topics that have to do with Cardiology. We also get to attend sessions about college and medical school admissions to figure out how to better prepare ourselves and our applications. Plus, I get college credit for this!

*Visit from Grandma Rychener!

*Summer Camp: I will graduate CILT and become a camp counselor! Lots of work between now and then to make sure that I will actually graduate, but finally all of this work is paying off.

So anyway…I took this past week to be on Summer vacation for real, and I will start the work for real this week:)







Three weeks and 1 Day

Well, I have three more weeks of school. And I have less than 1 day until Spring Camp!!!!!!!! While the three weeks part is kind of giving me a nervous breakdown, I am ecstatic about heading out for Spring Camp this evening. Kaitlyn and I and our friend Katy are going, along with Katy’s younger brother and sister and two of their friends. This will be a very fun weekend:) And I get to see¬† a few of my CILTees and counselor friends.¬†It is supposed to snow tomorrow, and since it is near the lake, that could mean a lot of snow…oh well. It’s camp, so everything is OK:)

Today I will be¬†camped out at my grandparent’s house (as we are dog¬†and house sitting for them for a few days) doing a bunch of homework that I should¬†be doing over the weekend.

I had the weirdest moment last night…

Yesterday afternoon, I got a call from a student ambassador¬†from a¬†college that I will be applying to telling me about¬†a preview day coming up and how they got my ACT/SAT scores and that my class can¬†start applying right now. I¬†got off the phone and I was doing a little happy dance¬†in my head, maybe it wasn’t so much in my head, I don’t know. But I have a “class”. I’m going to college next year! Next summer will be the summer before I go to¬†college. Okay, anyway,¬†I was really surprised that¬†I can apply there now and that someone called me to tell me those things. In fact, I think I told my mom right then and there that it was decided, I’m going to that school. Which it’s not, but it was really nice:D

So then we went over to Noni’s house and I started my application!!!! I wasn’t freaking out or anything, it wasn’t any special type of application, just like the ones that I have filled out before for different summer programs and such. Then I got down to the part where it said “Personal Statement”. I looked at Mom and said, “What do I even write for this?” And she said, “This is your college application.” Or something of that sort, and then it hit me that THIS IS MY FIRST COLLEGE APPLICATION THAT I HAVE BEEN DREAMING ABOUT EVER SINCE MY FRESHMAN YEAR OF HIGH SCHOOL.

WIN_20160408_08_51_46_ProSo, needless to say, I haven’t actually applied yet. I am going to get a meeting with one of my guidance counselors to help me get that personal statement started.

Anywho, I just wanted to share that moment that I had with ya’ll. I know I just wrote a lot of rambling, but it sort of fits me right now:)

Have a good weekend. Stay warm!


Happy Easter Monday!

I hope all your Easters were fabulous. We had a really great day with family yesterday. It was a full house:) On top of the family and food, the weather was fantastic. 70 degrees, sunny, breezy. And then it rained last night. The ultimately perfect day.


See that gorgeous sunlight?


all three of us


happy Easter all!


I’ve got a crazy week ahead of me, but I was happy to have a nice weekend.

He is risen!!

Right now

I officially have 5 weeks of school left. Of my junior year. Okay…technically, I have to finish this week, go for five more weeks, and then take my exam week. But let’s just 5 weeks!!! 43 Days!!! 1032 hours!!! 61,920 minutes!!! 3,715,200 seconds!!!

I am just in the mood for pictures right now. I’m taking a study break so I though I would post:D

My mood right now in pictures:


happy, happy, happy


only 5 more weeks! Summer, summer, summer<3


5 weeks, I can do this.


Wait. 5 more weeks? What. Here comes my slow death.




And I am just in a really random mood right now. But I had better get back to studying.

Oh! Dancing with the Stars started again this week! And so our Tuesday evening dinner and DWTS with Noni and C.C. has one again started. We’ve been waiting a long time for this:D

Notre Dame University: College Visit #4

And so ends my semi-recent dream of attending Notre Dame. Yes, I visited Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana yesterday.

Good things about the school:

  1. Amazing, amazing, amazing research opportunities for all undergrads.
  2. Dedicated staff.
  3. It has a neuroscience major (what I am personally looking for)

Not so good things about the school:

  1. Did not seem “lived in”
  2. All similar architecture and appearance on the outside
  3. Insane price tag
Alright, Notre Dame is an excellent school with wonderful faculty, tight community, good values, outstanding academics…but it is not the school for me.
I went into this visit expecting to love the school, maybe it would turn into the school of my dreams?! From the second we drove onto campus, though, I had a feeling that it would not be so. The grand buildings, perfect grass, stone architecture everywhere. I didn’t feel the click that I felt with say, Butler University.
From the very moment that I drove onto Butler’s campus last year, I fell in love with the school.
With Notre Dame, I didn’t feel welcome…or I just felt out of place. Of course the rigor and reputation of the school are sort of intimidating, but that is not what is driving me away.
I guess the biggest thing that makes me feel uneasy is the not lived in feel I get when I am on the campus. The buildings are all annoyingly the same appearance on the outside. The grass spaces really are not that welcoming. Everything looked perfect.
Compared to Butler’s campus (which I walked around today just to get another feel of) with its gorgeous yet varied buildings, wooded areas, not perfect grass, warm, college feel.
Now, that is all talking about how the campus felt to me–which is the important reason that I am deciding that I do not want to attend here.
If my decision rested solely on academics and career opportunities, I would apply here in a heartbeat!
Research: Our admissions counselor who led the meeting told us that almost any undergrad interested in any sort of research will probably be funded by the university, and students are encouraged to do so. With me hoping for medical school, research–and being published on a paper–during undergrad is one of my top priorities. The fact that I would have great access to such a wonderful network of faculty members to help me with that goal, makes me almost cringe to cross it off. I know there are other school with wonderful research, but NDU is the first to emphasize it so much.
Neuroscience: This is a fairly new major at NDU. I am very interested in this major and I want to be sure that I will be able to either major in it or duplicate the experience by ‘mixing and matching’ my major(s) and minor(s).
Overall, I think anyone who is accepted is very lucky and should be excited to attend such a wonderful university.
Now for the pictures:)
Kaitlyn and I

Kaitlyn and I at NDU

Oh, and I should mention that if anyone happens to be in South Bend for one reason or another, they should definitely stop by The South Bend Chocolate Company!!!

The sun was in my eyes and I could not stop laughing...I was so tired I was slap happy:D

The sun was in my eyes and I could not stop laughing…I was so tired I was slap happy:D

There. A good picture. The sun was still in my eyes, but at least I was not laughing!

There. A good picture. The sun was still in my eyes, but at least I was not laughing!

Sign got cut off...

Sign got cut off…

Consoling myself with chocolate PB fudge before translating my Latin HW

Consoling myself with chocolate PB fudge before translating my Latin HW

***I give a complete 5 for academics and opportunity. If my decision was based solely on what the school has to offer, I would still consider Notre Dame. The problem is that I have to give a 0 for campus feel. It was a beautiful campus, but the style of the outside of all the buildings was pretty much the same, making it boring and not hom-y. That’s all:)

CCP- Some Tips for MUN Delegates

Now I know that my Model UN trip was a few weeks ago, but I wanted to write out the things that I want to do better while preparing for next time. Maybe these things will help a first time delegate. Now I have no idea how to really go about doing these things, but these are the things that I wish I would have known about before going. Here goes:

  1. Figure out a way to learn the language used in real resolution papers.
  2. Learn about the real life council of whatever council you are on.
  3. Study your country in depth. Know what countries they are friends with, which countries they don’t like, and who they don’t really care about. Learn your voting preferences. Learn to really represent your country and not vote how you personally would vote.
  4. Learn recent treaties, laws, etc. your country has signed.
  5. Know what committees your country is on. For example: Spain is on NATO which I didn’t know:) So when the other NATO countries said, “Spain can we talk to you? We’re having a NATO meeting over here.” I was clueless!
  6. Learn how to think on your feet so that you can continually be on the speakers list. If you don’t know how to change what you are going to say dependent on other speakers, then being on the speakers list will be hard.
  7. Learn how to write resolution papers.
  8. Learn how to come up with ideas for resolution papers.
  9. Know how your government communicates with the citizens–are the citizens valued when making decisions? Are the citizens supportive of the government?

So there you go! I was on Simulation Security Council so some of these points definitely are more geared toward SimSec, but I bet that they would be useful for other committees as well.

Good luck!



Let’s Just Take a Moment

I got to thinking today about how many things seem to be happening so fast all of a sudden. Things that I have waited for and dreamed of for so long and never thought would get here! As you might know, I love lists:

  1. In 19 months I will be graduated from high school.
  2. In 12 months, this time next year, I will probably have my college decisions from the colleges. Maybe I will even have accepted a college offer. What do I think about that?!
  3. In 9 months…actually applying to college.
  4. In about 8 months, I will be a high school SENIOR. when did that happen?
  5. In 6 months I will be a counselor at Cedarbrook. Less than a year. I will have that envied walkie talkie, wear my brain around my neck, and get that tall milk cup at meals. Oh the things about being a Cedarbrook counselor ūüėÄ It is so scary to think about! I will be leading girls, teaching activities, walking inside the¬†‘staff only’¬†cabin.
  6. And in 2 months I will be 17!! Eep!
  7. CCP. Umm, I know I am¬†right in the midst of it, but this time last year, I was wishing that right now would be here. Does¬†that make sense? Of course it doesn’t. ūüôā
  8. And I am driving.

All of a sudden, it just seems like, everything that I have been dreaming about since the 5th grade is coming true. Accept it is happening too fast!!


exciting but terrifying


Day 1: Model UN

Hi guys! Today was so long–10 hours in session. But I have loved every single moment of my trip so far. Yesterday, we drove down here and I love car rides, but this one was so much fun. These people are great:)

My roommate and I were up until about 11:45 going over our notes for today and I was so tired when I finally got to sleep. Then we were up at 5:30 this morning (technically not out of bed until 6:00 though…)

We might not make it back alive though! If those elevators keep closing on us! Almost every single elevator we have walked into has closed on at least one of us. And now it is the running joke:) Among others.

But I guess I should talk about the conference itself…it is held at a pretty nice college here. They have free snacks and coffee and pop and water and such for us all day, which is amazing. They take it seriously so that it seems real, but it is a teaching conference, so if we make a mistake they just correct you and move on.

model UN

There is me looking all professional. Or so I hope:)

I plan on writing a real post about the convention and tips for future delegates and such, but that will come on Monday hopefully. Or maybe like in 2 years when I catch up on homework and sleep :p

Okay. I am absolutely exhausted right now:)

model un1

Good night!!

Fun Weekend Ahead

Hello all! First off, I am loving this weather today. Rainy and close to 50 degrees outside (I just made that number up…I have no idea, but it feels like it!!) We had a lot of rain last night and a lot of wind. Just the kind of weather I like to fall asleep to:p However, I do wish that we would get snow, it being February and all.

Anyway, this weekend (Thursday-Saturday) is my Model UN convention! It snuck up on all of us, our faculty advisor included, and I think we all kind of wish we had more time to prepare, but I feel ready to go. I’m also really nervous! But that’s okay because I am more excited:)

I had my first Bio exam on Monday. I think I did alright on it. No one in my class is really confident about it…maybe we all just did a lot better than we think?! *Wishful thinking*