What’s Huang? Ask Amy!

I want to do something involved in acting, but my parents would never allow or approve of it. What advice do you have for situations like these?

I would say to follow your dreams but only if you know you’ll regret it if you don’t. You have all the time in the world to convince your parents, but regret is forever. Remember, this is your life, not anyone else’s, and you don’t owe anything to anyone—much less do you need approval.

Where should I go to college?

I’m a big believer in first impressions, so you should go to the college that makes you the happiest. Don’t ever chose a college based on friends or your boyfriend/girlfriend because these relationships can always disappear or be replaced and you’ll still be stuck there. Don’t be influenced by your family because it’s you going to college, not them. Be independent in your thoughts and go where you feel most right. In the end, you’ll end up where you were meant to be.

How can I get good scores on my ACT and SAT?

I know you submitted this the day before the October ACT, so if you’re a senior, it’s kind of late. For all other classes, there is no key to get good scores except to pay attention in class and learn, not copy off of your classmates. You may think what your teachers are saying is useless, but I promise you that the days you decide to skip class or not pay attention will cost you points on the ACT or SAT—and that makes all the difference between no money and a full ride. That’s the easiest way because you’re learning the information slowly, and you have time to ask for help. For those that choose to ignore this advice, I would say take a lot of practice tests and for each question you get wrong, write it down in a journal, solve it, write down why you got it wrong and what you will do next time to prevent this. I know this is tedious, but I only did this for a week and saw a 5 point increase. As for book recommendations, use official guides, not Barron’s or Princeton Review or Kaplan.

Is completing your associate’s during high school actually beneficial? Wouldn’t there be more disadvantages?

My unpopular opinion: an associate’s degree is useless. A better opinion: it depends on circumstances. If you’re looking to stay in the valley or Texas in general and attend a public school, I’d say it could be useful because it would allow you to double major in college or graduate early. However, if you’re not the motivated type, taking junior level courses your first year in college will plummet your GPA because you’re not used to taking courses of that level. Also, if you decide to pursue college courses in high school and are looking at graduate, law, or medical school, take it seriously. Graduate, law, and medical schools can see your dual-credit courses and grades, which factor into your GPA, which is very important for admission.

If you’re planning to attend a private or out of state university, your courses likely won’t transfer and you will be wasting your time.

Most importantly, don’t take more classes than you can handle and remember to take a break. Overloading yourself with college classes in the summer can leave you burned out when it really matters—senior year—which is when all your college and scholarship applications occur. I never took a college class in the summer besides freshman year, and I am doing fine in rank and in terms of graduation requirements. It is not necessary. Leave your summer to relax and pursue something fun or that excites you—I believe that will be more impactful in your applications.

What’s some of the most helpful advice you’d give to a stressed junior?

Take it easy and have fun—this will ease the stress. I’m more stressed as a senior than I was as a junior, but I’m having more fun than I have all my other years of high school so I honestly don’t feel the stress. Remember to take some “you” days to de-stress and ignore your responsibilities—as long as you don’t have anything important due the next day of course. Most importantly, take care of yourself. Sometimes, sleep is more important than a few extra points on an assignment.

Also, don’t procrastinate. Something I have found helpful is that when I have to do an essay or assignment, I force myself to at least open the word document or have the assignments spread out before me, and I open my study playlist. Then, I’ll procrastinate on my phone but usually having the assignment ready to go makes it easier to start. Also, having the word document staring at me will bother me enough that my OCDness will make me start because I won’t allow myself to close the word document or move from that area.

What advice do you have for incoming seniors who want to excel in their studies while also enjoying their last year in high school?

Start on your college stuff early. Write your essays in the summer—this is something I wish I had done. That way you won’t be rushing your senior year or procrastinating. Write a sentence a day if you have to—at least you’ll be done by August and ready to submit. Also, get all your testing done before your senior year. If you’re looking at Ivy leagues and prestigious colleges, this includes SAT Subject tests.

Dear Amy, I’ve liked this one guy for the longest time and he only notices me at my worst moments so talking to him is kinda hard. What do I do? Ps I’ve only talked to him like twice.

Walk up to him on your good days and start a conversation. I find that complaining and procrastination are generally good ice-breakers. Talk to him more and don’t be afraid. Think about it like this, there are 2000 people in this school. If you embarrass yourself, you likely will never have to interact with him ever again, and if you’re a senior, you’re graduating. Good luck!

If you would like more detailed advice, feel free to contact me. I’m always down to chat and spread my (lack of) wisdom, young grasshopper.

What advice do you have for a junior who still has no idea what direction they’re headed to after high school?

I have two methods.

  1. Fake it till you make it. Pick a random job or career path that kind of interests you or just sounds cool. You could find yourself liking that career more as the year progresses. I once said I wanted to be a doctor because I liked the sound of “Dr. Huang”, but now I am actually seriously considering the career.
  2. Immerse yourself in school and explore every class, even if they don’t initially interest you. You can always drop the course. I want to major in engineering because I was forced to take an introduction to engineering class my freshman year but I found out that I liked it so much that I want to major in it.