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Standing Out on College Applications

By Tara Patwardhan sheher 10 September, 2021

Standing Out on College Applications

I am of the belief that every year, getting into top-ranked #colleges becomes harder and harder for high school students. The problem then becomes a case of #standing out on #college applications. But how can one do this? How can one go about putting their best self forward on their #applications? Here are 5 things you or your child can do to stand out: Show #Leadership. Leadership is an important quality that colleges love to see. Colleges want to know that a student will contribute to the well-being of the #university and will bring their skills to the college’s clubs and organizations. High school students can show this on applications through leadership #positions in #volunteer organizations/clubs, sports teams, and other extracurricular activities like ASB. Show #personality. If there is one thing that colleges know what to look out for, it’s someone who shows who they are through their extracurriculars and #essays. Admissions officers know when students participate in #extracurriculars just to have something to put on college apps - make sure that with every extracurricular, there is purpose and drive behind them. Participate in #research! There are many research programs available to high schoolers out there. #SkoolMentor offers exceptional remote research programs for students interested in Life Sciences, AI/ML, Biology, Neuroscience, and many other fields! These are #invaluable for students to gain #collaboration, research, time management, and study skills, along with lots more. Check out our #youtube page for testimonials from students who have participated in these programs! Taking an #active approach to your education will always be rewarded. The most #important tip? Be #yourself. Don’t try to be anyone else. Show the admissions officers how amazing you are!
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Is your Teen Video Game Obsessed? Help them Turn their Passion into a Career

By Tara Patwardhan sheher 31 August, 2021

Is your Teen Video Game Obsessed? Help them Turn their Passion into a Career

For many teenagers, #gaming is life. If your teen is obsessed with video games, why not help them turn their passion into a career? The #video #game #industry is growing and has a projected value of $200 billion by 2023. Plus, #software developers – including video game #developers – have a median annual salary of $110,140. Overall, there’s a lot of potential in the field. If you want to help your high schooler prepare for an #exciting #career in video game development, #SkoolMentor shares what you need to know. The Skills Video Game Developers Need Video game development is incredibly #technical, requiring a broad range of hard skills that ensure a professional can handle their responsibilities. Exactly which skills your high school student needs to acquire can vary depending on the role or the #employer. However, certain skills are broadly beneficial, making them solid starting points. Here is a list of some of the most in-demand hard skills for video game developers: ● Programming Languages (C#, C++, Python, GML, PHP, etc.) ● Game Engines (Unreal Engine, CryEngine, etc.) ● Software Development Methodologies (Agile, DevOps, Waterfall, etc.) ● Mobile Languages (Swift, Objective-C, Java, etc.) ● Animation Software (Unity, Maya, etc.) ● Web Languages (JavaScript, HTML, CSS, etc.) ● Testing / QA ● SQL ● GUI How to Acquire Must-Have Video Game Developer Skills Now that you understand what skills your teenager needs, it’s wise to explore how they can get those capabilities. There are a few viable paths, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. The classic approach is with a college degree. Many video game developers have a Bachelor’s or Master’s in video game development, #computer science, digital #animation, software engineering, or similar majors. Those options give them the right #foundational skills, allowing them to work in the video game industry or a related sector. Another option is a #bootcamp. Bootcamps are short, highly focused #educational programs that use a hands-on approach and real-world scenarios. They concentrate on practical skill-building related to a specific technical role, such as software development or coding, making them a reasonable alternative to a #college degree. Getting Their Foot in the Door In many cases, simply having a relevant degree or bootcamp certificate isn’t enough to hop straight into a video game developer role. The field can be competitive, so many professionals start their careers in different #entry-level opportunities. One excellent option is an internship either during college or after completing an educational program. Skoolmentor also offers high schoolers the opportunity to work with a mentor for hands-on training in new technologies. Learning is the main focus here. Your teen will acquire new skills in an actual work environment. Plus, they’ll build #relationships with other #professionals, opening doors that were closed before. Getting a job as a video game tester is another viable approach. It’s a great way to learn about QA processes and other critical aspects of the industry. Plus, part-time opportunities may be available, allowing your #teenager to start in the field while working on their degree. Fast-Tracking Their Video Game #Career If you want to help your teen fast-track their video game career, encouraging them to pursue an advanced degree online is an excellent option. Since most #online degree programs are very flexible, they can work in an entry-level role while furthering their education. For this option to work, it’s best to get a #Master’s degree in the right niche. There are online schools that offer Master’s degrees in game design and #development, game programming, computer animation, and similar fields. Plus, Master’s degrees in information technology #management, data analytics, or cybersecurity are widely available and could all be great choices, too. Written By: Micah Norris
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Accessibility in Education

By Tara Patwardhan sheher 27 August, 2021

Accessibility in Education

#Education is a #human right. To take away education from any #person, #able-bodied or not, is to take away the #opportunity for that person to gain the self confidence to be in charge of their own life #path and journey. The systemic #negligence of #disabled folks in academia is a topic that is not talked about nearly enough among able-bodied people. Because this #issue is so broad and has so much nuance, I want to focus on one aspect of this in particular: the problem with the premature transition back into in-person #university classes. #Remote classes should be kept as an option for disabled students. In the era of COVID, going to #class can potentially mean life or death for an #immunocompromised student. We have seen over this past year just how easy it is to make classes virtual and accessible to everyone. Why is it so hard to do so now? Why is it that universities are prioritizing profit over student lives? Making #reasonable #accommodations for students with disabilities isn’t just common human decency, it’s the law. We need to advocate for the disabled community by making it an #expectation that universities give the option of remote #learning. This post is not to demonize universities. I am writing this to bring awareness to a subject that we, as students, as a community, as a society, don’t necessarily think about if it doesn’t directly affect us or anyone in our circle. I am writing this in the hopes of a brighter future where reasonable #accommodations for our disabled community is no longer a luxury, but rather, a necessity.
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Back to School in the era of COVID

By Tara Patwardhan sheher 13 August, 2021

Back to School in the era of COVID

This past #year and a half (almost) has been nothing short of a #whirlwind. With the #coronavirus infiltrating its way into nearly every aspect of our daily lives, how can we make sure that #students and #parents are comfortable returning to the classroom? With the threat of the #Delta variant and the fact that children under 12 cannot be vaccinated yet, it’s a completely reasonable concern to have regarding the safety of our society. Robin Gurwitch, a #psychologist and #psychiatry professor at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, states that we need to do our part in understanding the following: 1) Yes, people are tired of this pandemic. But the coronavirus hasn’t loosened its reigns yet. 2) Parents should be @discussing this matter with their children. They should reiterate the fact that their children’s #safety is the number one priority here: and universal mask mandating is a proven strategy for keeping the rate of #COVID cases at bay. As far as tips go for going to #school in the era of COVID, here are some to keep in mind: keep clean #masks with you at all times, keep hand sanitizer on you, communicate with others about #vaccination status, and social #distance when possible.
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Back to School in the era of COVID

By Tara Patwardhan sheher 13 August, 2021

Back to School in the era of COVID

This past year and a half (almost) has been nothing short of a whirlwind. With the coronavirus infiltrating its way into nearly every aspect of our daily lives, how can we make sure that students and parents are comfortable returning to the classroom? With the threat of the Delta variant and the fact that children under 12 cannot be vaccinated yet, it’s a completely reasonable concern to have regarding the safety of our society. Robin Gurwitch, a psychologist and psychiatry professor at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, states that we need to do our part in understanding the following: 1) Yes, people are tired of this pandemic. But the coronavirus hasn’t loosened its reigns yet. 2) Parents should be discussing this matter with their children. They should reiterate the fact that their children’s safety is the number one priority here: and universal mask mandating is a proven strategy for keeping the rate of COVID cases at bay. As far as tips go for going to school in the era of COVID, here are some to keep in mind: keep clean masks with you at all times, keep hand sanitizer on you, communicate with others about vaccination status, and social distance when possible.
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Practicing Self-Care

By Tara Patwardhan sheher 3 August, 2021

Practicing Self-Care

In today’s fast-paced world, we are hard-pressed to be on our “grind” 24/7, #working constantly towards something in our lives. Whether it be our #career, getting accepted into the best #colleges in the country, or whatever #goal we have in mind, something that we always need to keep close in #sight is self-care. Self-care can mean a lot of different things -- taking a break when our mind/body tells us to, making sure we’re putting ourselves first when it counts, and treating ourselves on occasion. One aspect of self-care that I believe is not as well #publicized is #challenging yourself. Many times, we may blow off #schoolwork and avoid #responsibility under the guise of self-care, but I would argue that completing such things is the highest form of #self-care one can do: self-improvement. Now, obviously there’s a healthy limit to self-#improvement, but taking care of the hard tasks now so that you can rest easier later is far more nourishing to yourself than any spa day, in my opinion. Challenging yourself in healthy doses can build your self-confidence, self-esteem, and improve your overall well being. I can speak from personal experience that when I’m feeling down about myself, the first thing I want to do is crawl into bed and binge-watch Netflix. But I notice that when I push through that urge and complete just one task off of my to-do list, I feel #enormously better, and more confident in myself. Try it out today and let us know how it works for you.
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The Importance of Scholarships

By Tara Patwardhan sheher 30 July, 2021

The Importance of Scholarships

Going to college is no small feat. Students go through the trials and tribulations of applications, choosing the right major, and trek through countless hurdles and obstacles to get into the right college. But the one major obstacle for students and their families when it comes to college is the price. It’s estimated that the cost of attending college in 2021 is 31 times higher than the cost of attending college in 1969. That’s a 3,009% jump up, twice the rate of inflation (Forbes). So, it’s clear that these tuition hikes affect our marginalized communities the most. The obvious answer is policy change in the government to address such inequalities, but what can everyday students do for themselves? Scholarships are the best way to get free money to go to school, whether it goes toward tuition, books, housing, or any other school-related expenses. There are several websites that showcase the scholarships that are available to students, with filters to choose what issues affect you most, along with what kinds of scholarships you are eligible for. These include Niche.com, Scholarships.com, Collegescholarships.org, Fastweb.com, and Smartscholar.com. Go forth and apply for scholarships!
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Finding your Niche

By Tara Patwardhan sheher 27 July, 2021

Finding your Niche

When choosing a #major for #college, it’s important to think about what you like and what you’re good at. But have you ever thought about #work that gives you #purpose? Work that you look forward to doing every day, because it #fulfills you? This is called finding your #niche - the intersection of what makes you #thrive, what makes you feel #challenged, what makes you feel #invincible, what #inspires you, and what you do to inspire others. But let’s be real, most of us don’t know where to start, and that feels like an awful lot of boxes to tick. The key here is to get involved in activities outside of class - like sports clubs, greek organizations, and cultural clubs, to name a few #extracurriculars. By doing this, you will be learning the soft skills that you excel at: #communication, time management, working in groups, problem-solving, adaptability, and leadership, to name a few. By learning these aspects of yourself, you can then apply this to your education, and eventually, your #career. Then, when it comes time to start applying to jobs, you can state that you were involved in a plethora of #organizations that helped you hone your skills in different ways. For example, I’m a #UX designer. But I also have a passion for social media marketing, for writing, and for working in teams. This gives me an advantage when applying to jobs - I won’t be applying blindly. I’ll know exactly what I want to do in the field, based on the intersection of my skills - UX writing. I still have the #skills of a UX designer, but my passion for #writing allows me to fill the niche of UX writing. All of this is to say that your life shouldn’t be “grind city” 24/7. Learn about yourself, #explore your #passions, and you’ll have a successful career in no time!
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Motivation vs. Self-Discipline

By Tara Patwardhan sheher 10 June, 2021

Motivation vs. Self-Discipline

We’ve all been plagued with the feeling of being #unmotivated. When the feeling of not wanting to do anything, apathy, and sheer lack of interest in anything arises, how do we proceed? How do we make it through? The #answer is self-discipline. #Motivation is fleeting, but #self-discipline is a skill that can be built, nourished, and grown. According to Second Nature, a world leader in #behavioral sciences and change, it takes around 66 days to build an automatic habit. We need to start small. In order to truly make change in our lives, we need to build our habits in small, manageable steps. For example, if my goal was to read one book a month for a year, I would set a much more reasonable, manageable goal of 1 chapter a day before bed. This would, firstly, create the #building blocks that lead me towards my #ultimate goal, and secondly, create a timely habit in my head that would remind me to read every day at a certain time. You might be thinking: does anybody actually like being self disciplined? What does it do for them? It’s easy to think that the person who wakes up at 5am every day and goes mountain biking does it out of pure self-hatred. The truth is, if you ask them about it, they’ll tell you how much they actually love it. So it’s important to make self-discipline fun for yourself and make it a routine that you’ll look #forward to every morning. I am of the belief that everyone has it within them to be the best #version of themselves. Whether this means staying self-disciplined or even #understanding when to take a #break, only you will know what works best. Good luck, because it’s brutal out there.
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What's your why?

By Tara Patwardhan sheher 29 May, 2021

What's your why?

Throughout my life, I have felt like I've been wandering aimlessly going through the motions of life. That is, until I found my "why". Why am I doing what I'm doing? Growing up, my parents always taught me the value of a good education, and the light it can bring into someone's life. Education has the ability to lift people out of hard situations. I know this because my mother has told me that if she hadn't received a quality education and performed to her best ability in grade school, she wouldn't be where she is today, living in the US. This put things into perspective, and most importantly, it reminded me of the immense privilege that I have living in the US, getting a college education. It gave me a chance to realize that not very many people have the ability to "do whatever they want". This is my why. I want to succeed in order to help out those who may not have been blessed with the opportunities that I have. What's your why?
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The Importance of Mentorship

By Tara Patwardhan sheher 11 May, 2021

The Importance of Mentorship

How can we #learn from others’ #mistakes? Where can we go for #advice when we don’t know what the best #path is for us to take? Who can we talk to when it feels like to world is against us? Enter mentors. #Mentors know what’s up, because they’ve been through it before. They have been through the trials and tribulations of #college #applications, job searches, and building a name for yourself in whatever field you want to get into. Think about a time when you had to lean on someone for advice. Whether that person is a parent, friend, #professor, teacher, coach, or anyone else, we know that two heads (or 3, or 4!) are (almost) always better than 1. I was thinking about how our world has changed so exponentially within the past 200 years. The reason society as a whole has been able to progress such leaps and bounds is because of shared #knowledge and shared learning. It’s because we know, for the most part, not to repeat the mistakes of the past (take the dust bowl and advances in agriculture afterwards). History is taught in order for us to learn what worked and what didn’t, and how we got to where we are today. The same principle can be applied to mentorship. A mentor-mentee relationship exists to benefit both parties, but the reason it benefits the mentee is clear: mentors provide knowledge, help them improve, and are there to help the mentee broaden their #professional #network. They are also there to provide much-needed encouragement, lessons from their experience, and a shoulder to lean on when the world feels like it’s going up in flames.
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"Nature is Healing"

By Tara Patwardhan sheher 22 April, 2021

"Nature is Healing"

Happy #EarthDay! Earth Day 2021 brings us an interesting perspective when it comes to eco-consciousness, as we were able to collectively see firsthand how our #planet was able to heal every so slightly during the months of (somewhat) strict lockdown in March, April, and May 2020. Though quickly made into a joke across social media platforms, the phrase “nature is healing” being thrown around last year gave us a glimpse into what our future could look like if we take action NOW. Firstly, air quality across the world greatly improved due to the enforcement of #lockdown measures in China, we saw an almost 50% decrease in levels of nitrogen and carbon dioxide. #Global increases in carbon emissions from the past ~150 years, starting with the #IndustrialRevolution, is directly linked to global warming and rising sea levels, events which greatly impact the habitability of #Earth for future generations to come. The current generation in positions of power across the world do not take the matter of #globalwarming seriously enough. It is up to future #generations to make a difference in terms of greener policy decisions, #advocacy, and #education in order to secure a livelihood for the future of this planet. Of course, on the flipside, we have seen a greater increase in trash #pollution from the coronavirus #pandemic. PPE such as “disposable” masks, gloves, and face shields added even more trash to the world’s estimated 269,000 tons of trash floating in the ocean. That doesn’t even include the amount of trash in landfills, which is an estimated 40.32 million tons of trash in California ALONE. All of this is to say that we can do better. We can advocate for change from our policy makers, work towards building a greener future with #clean, #renewable #energy sources, and in the meantime, we can all take strides towards living a more #eco-conscious lifestyle.
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