Soaring at Seton By: Rylee Jung

This year has just taken off and already our Saints are soaring! Strong goals are the key to a successful life and career. Seton is a special environment that particularly nurtures this desire for impressive goals; that fact is proven through the shining students and alums who discussed their future plans and goals that are still underway or have finally been achieved.

But what is it about the Seton environment that is so unique? One of the most predominant values that Seton community found was our family atmosphere and supportive staff. Mrs. White, Seton’s principal, believes “We are a family and we support one another…We all know each other and if we don’t know someone, we take the time to learn about them and that’s not something a lot of places have.” Miss Tighe, Seton’s new English teacher also noticed how “the seniors are looking out for the freshman in their house and that inspires them to grow and do big things and have big goals.” Students’ close proximity to encouraging staff has proven to be beneficial in inspiring great ideas. Mrs. White discusses how she helps students through “The opportunity of senior project, by throwing out ideas, supporting them, and mentoring them!” Meghan Cappel, Class of 2011, explains that “you develop good relationships with your teachers [at Seton] which translates to if you need to go talk to your professor in college; you won’t be afraid to go to their office house because you’ve already had that interaction.”

Empowering women is also a standout Seton quality according to staff and alums. Student life director, Mary Agricola explains, “All of the adults and all of the kids are constantly trying to do their best…We are always challenged to do things better than we did last year. We are always trying to improve.” When it comes to inspiring big goals for young women, Mrs. Agricola also points out that “we allow our kids to just think and we empower them to go”. Allison Hinker, one of Seton’s biology teachers, explains how “we want to reach those high expectations as a student so we are willing to push ourselves a little bit more and we’re given a comfort zone to do that in.” Mrs. White states that Seton’s desire for strong goals is “set by example from all the strong leaders and strong alums.” Strong alums are definitely something Seton is plentiful in. Emily Igel, class of 2012, is currently working in a metabolic lab and recently passed her Ph.D. qualifying exam in pharmacology. Emily explains “The teachers at Seton created a classroom environment which encouraged critical thinking…The teachers know how to push the students outside their comfort zones, and help guide the students to overcome obstacles and achieve things they may not have thought were possible.” Meghan Cappel, who is currently a marketing director at Burke and plans to go back to UC for her MBA, adds that Seton really teaches young women about “giving your own opinion and knowing you have a voice” in a male dominated world.

But what about our own students? In their lives, students claim that Seton is the encouraging and academically challenging environment in which they have found their true selves. Senior Lilly Witte comments how “Seton has shown me that in order to be successful, I can’t just be smart or talented in some way. I have to work hard, find something I love, and attempt to better myself in any way possible.” It is within Seton that our students find inspiration to soar through Honors Programs, sports, house government, INTERalliance club, Saints for Life, StrongHer, new AP classes, and much much more! Sophomore Amanda Rapien told the Seton Connection that Seton inspires her to soar by “pushing me to work harder.” Freshman Shay Espich notes that she is inspired by Seton because “Seton puts a lot of work in keeping me happy and comfortable which makes me want to be the best me I can be.” Lilly Witte mentions that Seton inspires her by “allowing me to be myself…The people – teachers, friends, staff, peers – all amaze me every day in more ways than I can explain.” All of the students interviewed said they were planning on going to college and will continue soaring through impressive careers.

This year’s theme has definitely presented the student body with a challenge. A challenge to go beyond your limits. A challenge to turn your betters into bests. From thinking about college or volunteering somewhere new or making a new friend, there are endless possibilities for potential goals here at Seton. How will you soar this year?

Organization: Essentials for your Laptop By: Rylee Jung

Of course. It’s 7:45 am and you have an essay due first bell. You’re at the printer, holding up the line of sleep deprived adolescents, scrambling to find the document under whatever obscure folder and file name. The stress that comes from situations like this does not have to happen! The Seton Connection has gathered your survival guide to organizing your files until your laptop is all tidy. Organization can seem like a nitpicky task, especially when you have a desktop full of files, but it really is a key skill when it comes to saving time, stress, and pleasing your teachers. Technology doesn’t always work the way we want it to, so you must take control, save early and save often, and don’t let it delete your beautiful eight-page essay because your laptop decided to restart at the exact moment you finished writing.

 

Whether you’re new to Seton or a four-year veteran, the Seton Connection understands that organization is not everyone’s best skill. As Seton continues to find better ways to share and save our files, it is easy for everything to get mixed up. We are here to help.  First thing’s first. Basic organization. Folders are a great tool to help keep subjects separate. Folders within folders are an even better tool to help separate large assignments and projects. However, the best tool of all is labeling. Saving your latest essay as “Essay 1” or “Assignment 9.19.17” is not going to help you when you’re in a hurry to find it again. Good labels describe your paper fully. For example: “Great Expectations essay”. Or if it is a document that you had to pick up, get signed and turned back in, save it as “Letter of Intent Signed”, so you know you’re picking up the right one when you’re attaching it to an email or printing it out at the last second to avoid three conduct points. It is not a good idea to have files saved to your desktop. It is too easy to slip into that bad habit and end up with a screen full of various assignments instead of that super cute puppy you found online or that ~artsy~ picture you took. But now, as Seton becomes more accustomed to Google Drive and all of its features, we know that a lot of our documents automatically go into the folders of their corresponding classes. It’s like Google does half the work for you! To help clean up a few of those outlier papers, create a miscellaneous folder to create a clear Google Drive that will satisfy anyone on a stressful day. As great as Google Classroom has proved to be, there have been questions about the program as we make the adjustment over. The Seton Connection reached out to your very own Help Desk and got the inside scoop on the most asked about topics of Google Classroom. According to Yoon Ha, the most frequent Google Classroom question is integrating OneNote with Google Classroom. Yoon explains the problem and the solution and saved you a trip to the Help Desk by explaining, “I think a lot of times when they try to print from Google Classroom to OneNote it doesn’t go there…usually the problem is there’s a setting under ‘options’ where it will tell you to ‘print to OneNote’ and for some reason it got set to a specific file location versus ask where to go.” If you’ve experienced lost Google Docs worksheets that you would like to mark up on OneNote, head over to your options settings on Google Docs and check it out. The Help Desk, in their infinite wisdom on all things Google Drive, also disclosed the best way to manage Google Drive. Yoon suggests, “have Google Drive on your hard drive, so you have it there and on the cloud.” How do you download Google Drive to your File Explorer? Simply look up “Download Google Drive”, click the link that pops up, and hit the download button! This way you’ll be able to have your files on and offline. And because of Google’s cloud system, if you work offline, as soon as you get back on wifi, the cloud will sync up your online and offline versions. No stress. No worries.

 

When it comes to turning in assignments, we often play the game of guess what the teacher is thinking. Every teacher seems to have a different preference or method of correctly turning in documents and how to store files for their class. The Seton Connection met with two teachers to get their perspective and how they expect their students to organize their files. Gary Collins, who has most of his students turn in assignments as word documents, expects his students to turn in files labelled: last name, first initial and usually a name related to the topic of the assignment. Why is this method effective? Mr. Collins explains, “my method is about when I go to grade it…I should find all of their work in alphabetical order…this is the most efficient use of my time to grade with how I grade.” Google Docs, however, are a little different. Alexi Murray has her students working with Google Docs. As we all know, Google Docs – when the teacher assigns each student their own copy of a worksheet – generates an automatic label for the assignment. Google Docs really takes off all pressure on the student to organize their files because it will automatically place the document in whatever class the assignment goes with and assign it a neat label for easy finding. Ms. Murray explains that she uses Google Docs because, “if someone forgets to turn it [an assignment] in, I can still see what they worked on.” No matter what method a teacher uses for collecting assignments, they all agree that laptop organization is important. Mr. Collins notes that “With a laptop, it’s the equivalent of putting everything away in a cupboard and to be able to go to that right spot…They need the skill of knowing how to find things, they need the skill of learning how to store things.” Ms. Murray understands the temptation of random saving saying, “It’s so easy to magically have twenty-five documents in one folder and none of it matches together” but goes on to stress that, “taking a step back and taking the extra five seconds to put something in the right folder will save you twenty minutes on Monday when you’re trying to find something.”

 

The constant call for organization is not just empty preaching! Organization has key important when it comes to success and has numerous benefits. Emily Schoenhofer, Cedar academic advisor, explains that “organization saves you stress and time.” Sounds logical right? But exactly how does organization do this? According to Organizeyourlife.com, organization saves stress by, “instill[ing] confidence by knowing where things are…reduces stress related to lost items or lost information.” If you have everything labelled clearly and in a specific folder, you should be able to find any file within seconds! The beauty of technology is its speed. Organization helps with that too! An article on LinkedIn.com points out that an organized laptop, “improve[s] processing speed.” That’s right, you can watch Netflix even FASTER if you have an organized laptop. Kiss buffering good-bye! A faster laptop and less stress is way worth taking the time to sit down and organize your documents.

 

Organization is essential in a school such as Seton. It creates a sharper focus and higher productivity. It reduces stress and saves time. It may be a pain to untangle the mess of papers and files in your File Explorer, but it is worth the time! There is no such thing as “messy organization” or, having your files randomly named and placed on a laptop while the user claims to know where everything is. Organization is subjective, everyone has a different method, but it has a core foundation of being clear and neat.

“Benefits of Being Organized.” Benefitswww.organizeyourlife.org/Benefits.htm.

Downloading Google Drive
Step 1: Google “Google Drive Download” and download
Google Drive 2
Step 2: Click on “Personal” and Download
Example of an Organized File Folder
Google 4
Example #2
Google 7
Example #3
 

Genrich, Sara. “6 Benefits of Organizing Your Office & Your Computer.” LinkedIn, 27 Aug. 2015,https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/6-benefits-organizing-your-office-computer-sara-genrich/

Staying Positive Throughout the School Year By: Moira Metz

Seton, as any high school, is full of students who simply want to get good grades, get into a good college, and have the most fun high school experience possible. But often, students become so stressed that they lose faith in their ability to fulfill these wishes and therefore lose faith in themselves and even in their education.

This is a friendly reminder that it is possible and even believable that a hardworking student, who just wants to have a good time while getting the good grade, can, in fact, stay positive throughout the year if she just steps back and takes a deep breath. Being able to keep a positive mindset while remaining calm and accomplishing what needs to be done is difficult at times, but it is absolutely possible.   

First, she must pinpoint what is making her stressed, and why it’s making her feel that way. Let’s take a look at that whole mess of a storm cloud hanging over all four years of high school- good grades plus college. Bella Mazza, treasurer of Seton’s positivity-promoting club StrongHer, says that this is the central source of stress because many students have an “immense pressure placed on us to be successful and reach high standards. We are pressured to take rigorous courses, get high grades, be involved in everything we can, play sports, and have a social life.” All of these combined make it difficult to give 100% to everything, so students often have a hard time trying to devote as much time and effort as they feel adequate to each priority. Lilly Witte, StrongHer’s president, explains, “It’s easy to look at everything that is happening and needs to get done as a big, dark cloud that is never going to go away. This all has to do with mindset. But I think this has more to do with the anxiety and negativity associated with everything than how it actually is.” 

That’s why it’s important to get into the right mindset. Getting organized, taking little breaks, focusing on the big picture, and simply taking deep breaths are ways to start. 

Mady Nutter, PR and Marketing representative of StrongHer, states that “sometimes students struggle to stay organized when they get busy, and that is actually the most critical time to force yourself to stay organized.” Staying organized in your daily and long-term tasks—whether you’re an obsessive write-down-everything in a planner type of person or not—is a big part of keeping a positive mind. Being able to see everything in front of you rather than having it in a hurricane of to-do’s swirling in your mind will not only gain you a little more sanity but will also make you realize that your hectic schedule isn’t as hectic as it seems. “Take one day at a time. If you take each day at a time it will make things easier and the stress will be less,” says Ellie Gardner, Event Coordinator of StrongHer. “God never gives you more than you can handle. If you have faith that everything will work out, it will,” Bella adds. 

Sometimes the best thing to do to de-stress and drain out the negativity is simply taking a step away from everything you need to do, just for a little while so that you are able to recharge before you continue working. Lilly suggests “finding something that allows you to put all of your negative energy into it and turn it into something positive. Whether it be journaling, playing sports, reading, singing, or art, finding something you love to do can be your little paradise from the stress of school.” Even taking a break to watch some lighthearted YouTube videos or an episode of a sitcom (“Friends” is always a great choice) can ease stress and make what you have to do not seem so horrible. “I find it helpful to break up my time with listening to music or treating myself to some kind of reward for getting my work done,” Mady says of her own way of taking breaks. “A nap, snack, getting on my phone, whatever can distract my mind for a few minutes and give me a break.”

It’s also very important to remember that health often equals a happy and calm mindset. Although it might seem like the least of your problems, good sleep, eating nutritiously, and a bit of exercise can not only make you feel good but also make you more motivated and energized to get work done. “Always make time for sleep. Yeah, naps rock, but actually getting sleep at night really rocks too.  I really wish I prioritized it more. Sleep is so important,” Mady stresses. Even if you have a lot to get done, make a little time for yourself to get some sleep, eat a healthy meal, or even take a brisk walk. Any of these will revitalize a positive outlook in yourself, refreshing your mind and body and ultimately helping you get things accomplished.  

If you feel like you can’t do it all alone, that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. It means you can do it with the help of others. Advises Robyn Schwarz, school counselor and house advisor to Segale, “Ask [your] Advisor or [your] parent for some time to sit down and talk about what is stressing them.  Sometimes it helps just to be listened to. Getting one-on-one help from a tutor or teacher” is one way to achieve your goals in school. Simply asking for help, whether it’s a teacher helping you understand your homework or a counselor or parent helping you manage your time or finding a friend to listen, is one of the best ways to de-stress and have a more positive outlook on school. Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help.  Your parents and the faculty and staff at Seton are here to assist you. While we want you to become independent, we are always here to assist you, or to listen to you.  Have faith in yourself.”

 

(Thanks to the StrongHer board members, specifically Ellie Gardner, Bella Mazza, Mady Nutter, and Lilly Witte, and Mrs. Robyn Schwarz for taking the time to answer some questions in regards to this article).