High school alone is a challenging time in a teenager’s life. However being a Detroit Cristo Rey student makes it even more challenging due to its college preparatory curriculum and Corporate Work Study Program (CWSP).

The CWSP allows students to work in professional settings like law firms and hospitals to gain experience in fields they find interesting. As a freshman you need to mature faster than others beginning high school, because the program is what makes Cristo Rey unique.

As a senior, I know how difficult it can be to balance both school and other personal things, but I believe I’ve overcome most obstacles to be able to provide some advice in becoming a successful student.

During high school, writing down goals is a constant reminder of what you wish to accomplish. Goal-setting allows you to outline your expectations, and it builds confidence each time a goal is achieved. As time goes on, you should be pushing yourself to higher expectations.

Grades and scores aren’t what determine whether you’re successful or not, but they are still factors of becoming a better student. Being a top student takes dedication. If you don’t put energy into learning, it shows a lack of interest for improvement.

A dedicated student shows responsibility and organization. As corny as it sounds, completing your homework only helps you become an independent and capable student. It shows that you take action for your education. Most students consider homework to be unnecessary, but it’s an easy way of maintaining your grade and perfecting a certain skill for the class. Using a planner is a simple technique for staying organized. Taking eight classes every day can be difficult to handle; you need to remember when certain assignments are due and when tests are scheduled. A planner helps organize your day by prioritizing, giving you a higher chance of completing important tasks first and preparing for the upcoming ones.

Although high school is only for four years, it should be a time where you can look back and see growth in yourself. I encourage freshmen to seek out different opportunities to get out of their comfort zone.

At the beginning of my freshman year, I was a quiet and really shy student. By my junior year, I was more confident in myself and I was comfortable enough to give a presentation in front of three judges for a robotics competition. Presenting has always been one of my struggles. I tend to get nervous and lose concentration on what I want to say, yet it didn't stop me from representing the team. Once you're able to see the change in yourself as a student, then you've become a successful one.