Monthly Archives: December 2014

14 Teen Activities for Winter Break

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Don’t get bored. Do something fun! Even better. Grab a friend or family member and do an activity.

1. Bake something yummy. Donate some to the Trinity Rescue Mission. Yes! They will take your homemade baked goods.

2. Volunteer! Visit Hands on Jacksonville to learn about opportunities for teens.

3. Settle down with a good book.

4. Play board games.

5. Do some Geocaching. It’s a fun scavenger hunt! Click here to learn more.

6. Reorganize and decorate your bedroom.

7. Send a card or letter to a soldier.

8. Write in a journal or diary.

9. Go to a local park and walk on the trails. Ft. Caroline area and UNF have amazing trails!

10. Go for a walk on the beach. Build a sandman. =)

11. Help mom and dad with things around the house.

12. Create a video with friends. Add music to it. Create memories!

13. Start a photo project.

14. Gather some friends or family together for a game outside. Play football, soccer, basketball, etc.

15. Write down your goals for 2015. Make a goal map. Use color and visuals and then post it in your room.

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Have an awesome break and here’s to success in 2015.

Student Futures helps students develop life skills through academic coaching. Academic coach, Melanie Black, gives students strategies to increase self-efficacy, self-motivation, and self discipline. Contact us today for a free consultation. Click here to learn more about academic coaching and how we are helping students in Jacksonville, FL and surrounding areas.

Test Taking Tips: Strategies on How to Reduce Test Anxiety

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Tis the season for tests! High school students are getting ready for mid term exams and college students are preparing for finals.  Just the word test turns our holiday season smiles to frowns. How do you prepare? How do deal with test anxiety?


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Good study habits: General preparation for tests or exams builds the test taker’s confidence.

1. Organized note-taking – color code, and fold side of paper and quiz yourself

2. Create a daily study schedule. Always do the hardest things first!

3. Curve of forgetting: Click here to read the secret to success!

4. Use a whiteboard at home to study

5. Talk out loud

6. Be aware of your learning style

7. Use mnemonic devices:  Create mental associations with material. Click here for more info.

7. Join a study group/ Get a partner

8. Eat snacks – Water and fruit will keep you alert while studying.

9. Self Questioning while studying greatly improves comprehension. Click here for more info.

10. Communicate with your teachers! Ask questions!

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Reducing Test Anxiety

1. Breathe! Relax. How many tests have you taken? You have survived them all. This is just another test. “If you’re feeling nervous when you sit down to take the test, take three slow, steady breaths. Remind yourself that you’ve been getting ready for these tests all year long.” – Ted Dorsey

2. Plan a reward for yourself when the test is done. It will be a great positive motivator.

3. Know when to stop studying. Set a time limit. Too much studying will not create retention.

4. Sleep! Get enough sleep before the test. Do not cram the night before.

5. Energize yourself the following morning with a healthy breakfast. Don’t study! Listen to music. Create a power playlist.

6. Exercise! It has been proven that just 20 minutes of exercise each day  can improve memory.

7. Use ALL the given time during the test. Don’t get nervous when students start handing in their exam.

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During the Test from Study Guides and Strategies 

  • Read the directions carefully
  • Budget your test taking time
  • Change positions to help you relax
  • If you go blank, skip the question and go on
  • If you’re taking an essay test
    and you go blank on the whole test, pick a question and start writing. It may trigger the answer in your mind
  • Don’t panic
    when students start handing in their papers. There’s no reward for finishing first
  • Snack on a peppermint candy


Feeling overwhelmed? No worries. Student Futures’s academic coach, Melanie Black has a passion for helping students in addressing all of the above. Click here for more helpful resources. Contact Student Futures today and schedule a free academic coaching consultation and learn more about how we help teens succeed. Student Futures serves middle school, high school, and college freshman students in Jacksonville, FL and surrounding areas.We want to help you succeed!

Keep smiling and reach for the stars!