May 2024

Plan your Summer Adventure

As summer approaches, it’s time to start thinking about how you want to make the most of your break. There’s a whole world of opportunities waiting for you, whether you’re eager to dive into new experiences, explore your passions, or simply have some fun. 

Here are some ideas to get you started on planning your summer adventure:

Internships and Volunteering

Why not consider diving into the world of internships or volunteering? It’s a fantastic way to gain valuable experience, make connections, and give back to your community. Whether you’re interested in environmental conservation, healthcare, or technology, there’s bound to be an opportunity out there that aligns with your interests. Plus, it looks great on college applications and resumes!

Summer Job

If you’re looking to earn some extra cash and gain some real-world experience, consider picking up a summer job. From lifeguarding at the local pool to working in retail or food service, there are plenty of options to choose from. Not only will you develop essential skills like time management and teamwork, but you’ll also have the satisfaction of earning your own paycheck.

Pursue your Passions

Don’t forget to make time for yourself and your passions. Whether you’re into art, music, sports, or anything in between, summer is the perfect time to dive deep into what you love. Take up a new hobby, start a personal project, or simply spend time outdoors soaking up the sunshine. Whatever you choose to do, make sure it brings you joy and fulfillment.

Whether you’re exploring new opportunities, gaining valuable experience, or simply enjoying some well-deserved downtime, make this summer one to remember!

Get some Reference Letters

Students, spring and summer is the perfect time to get reference letters. 

What is a Reference Letter?

A reference letter, also known as a recommendation letter, is a document written by someone who knows you well and can speak to your character, abilities, achievements, and strengths. 

Why do I need a Reference Letter?

These letters are often requested as part of college applications, scholarship applications, job applications, internship applications, and many other opportunities where you need to demonstrate your qualifications and suitability. Reference letters are an important part of your application because they provide insight into your character and abilities from someone who knows you well. 

These letters can be especially helpful for applicants too young to already have a string of jobs and other accomplishments under their belts.

Who do I ask?

It important to choose someone who knows you well and can write positive and detailed letter that highlights your strengths and qualifications. At school, this could be a teacher, coach, club advisor, school counselor or any other school staff. Outside of school, this could be a pastor, dance teacher, karate teacher, supervisor at work, etc.

If you get a summer job, internship, or participate in volunteer/community work, establish positive relationships with your supervisor or mentor and ask for a reference letter before you finish these positions. 

Tips

Always be polite and courteous when asking for a reference letter, and make sure to give your potential recommender plenty of time to complete your letter. Make it easier for your recommender by offering relevant information about your achievements, extracurricular activities, and goals. If there are specific achievements or qualities you want your recommender to highlight, make sure you make note of it. This information will help them tailor the letter to highlight your strengths and accomplishments.

And remember, always express your gratitude to your recommenders for their time and support. A handwritten thank-you note can go a long way in showing your appreciation.

Future Seniors: Planning on going to college?

This summer, use these three tips to prepare for your upcoming senior year. 

  1. Recover and Restore. It’s a great time for you to take some time to recharge. Rest. Give yourself permission to step back for a time. Go hang out with friends. Take a hike or a walk. Sleep in. We are not talking about playing video games for 12 hours per day or watching endless videos on your phone. Yes, do a little of that but actually take time to rest and recover for a time. If you get a job, don’t forget to spend a little time resting at the beginning of the summer. 
  1. Organize and Prepare. Start by cleaning out your backpack and getting rid of anything you don’t need anymore (old papers, assignments, etc). Get a simple folder and start putting anything college related in it. This will include college lists, a copy of your transcript, and any materials you’ve collected that are college related. 
  1. Stop Procrastinating and START the Process. Most students find the beginning of their college search overwhelming. If you start this summer, you will avoid the stress that comes with finishing high school and trying to figure out college. What are some easier ways to get started? Go to a college website and look for information on prospective students. Take an online tour. Or better yet, go take a tour. The college will give you a lot of information and also be able to answer any questions you have. You can also look at BigFuture.org as it has a lot of information for upcoming college students.  

Your senior summer can be a great time to recharge and work. Choose to get started early to avoid the stress of procrastination!

How do I take a college tour? It’s easy and stress free!

College tours have dramatically changed in the past ten years. Instead of only having one option of taking an in-person tour at a specific time, campuses have greatly improved their access to all students. 

Most colleges and universities have online tours, professionally done Youtube videos, and even tours in a smart phone app.  These show students taking tours while giving you information about the campus, the university culture, and even some of their traditions. The online tours are a great place to start for students that are a little nervous about college and jumping into it.

Once you’ve taken some online tours, it is time to schedule an in-person tour. It’s very important to get on the campus and meet with their admissions representatives. You will get a lot of relevant information regarding admission, costs, financial aid, on-campus housing, and majors. Typically, tours run throughout the month and you can schedule what works best for you. Most schools offer one on one tours as well as group tours. 

How do you take an online tour? Google any college and go to their website. From there, find the link that sends you to the tour page and sign up!  That’s it! 

Taking an online tour and then an in-person tour is a great way to get you motivated to start your college or university journey! Like most things in life, the earlier you get started, the better. 

May is Mental Health Month

Mental Health Month is all about raising awareness, breaking down stereotypes, and making sure everyone knows it’s okay to talk about mental health and ask for help when you need it. Your mental health is just as crucial as your physical health!

What can you do to keep your mental health in check? 

First off, take care of yourself. That means getting enough sleep, eating healthy, staying active, and making time for stuff you enjoy. 

Learn to deal with Stress

High school can be a stressful time for many students due to academic pressure, extracurricular activities, and social challenges. Learning effective stress management techniques, such as mindfulness, deep breathing exercises, time management skills, and even less screen time can help us cope with stress in healthy ways.

It’s okay to ask for help if you need it.

Whether you’re feeling down, anxious, or just overwhelmed, there are people who want to support you, such as your parents, teachers, or school counselors. 

Supporting each other is key! 

Be there for your friends, listen without judgment, and let them know they’re not alone. By fostering a culture of understanding, empathy, and support, you can make a positive impact on mental health outcomes for yourself and others.

Want to make a difference? 

Get involved! You can organize events, start conversations, or join clubs that focus on mental health. Together, we can break down barriers, fight stigma, and create a community where everyone feels supported and understood.

Don’t forget you can schedule a 1-on-1 meeting with your AzSOC Counselor for any type of support with school, life, college or career planning!

To schedule your meeting, go to: https://calendly.com/azsoc-counselors or access it through the AzSOC Counseling Center in Canvas.

 

Choose a date and time that works for you to meet with an AzSOC Counselor.  Select your preferred slot and schedule your appointment today!

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month

Since 1983, each President has proclaimed May as National Physical Fitness and Sports Month to promote the importance of physical activity, physical fitness, and sports participation. 

Engaging in physical activity is vital for overall health and wellness. Physical activity can help strengthen your heart, muscles, and bones. It can also increase fitness levels, reduce stress, lower the risk of chronic diseases, and even alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. 

Sports can play a role developing skills like leadership, time management, and relationship-building. Trying different sports can help you learn new ways to move and you find an activity you enjoy. If sports are not your thing try other physical activities like dancing, hiking, yoga or anything that gets you moving.

Career Spotlight: Mining

A career in mining offers a range of options for students wanting a challenging and fulfilling career. It offers competitive salaries and job growth for students going straight into the workforce and for students going for a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. 

Typically entry-level positions can start at around $40,000-$60,000 annually, while some of the higher paying positions can earn well over $100,000 per year. A number of mining jobs provide on the job training so students can earn while they learn. 

Some careers in mining include drillers, mining engineers, heavy machinery operators, safety coordinators, maintenance technicians, and mine managers.  There are also some other areas related to mining including environmental scientists and safety specialists. 

A career in mining might be perfect for a student that doesn’t want to spend four years going to college. There are many hands-on jobs for students that need something more than an office and desk job.  But it also has a number of opportunities for students looking for a college degree. 

For more detailed information about specific mining careers, you can visit the Arizona Mining Association website at https://www.azmining.com/careers/