Patriot Post

Counseling Corner: December

Second Semester Begins January 6!

Check your schedule in Aeries for any possible changes or updates.

Wellness Corner

Stress and Anxiety Parent Wellness Workshop

Where: Columbus Tustin Middle School

When: January 8, 2020 at 6pm

Hoag ASPIRE will be presenting on signs and symptoms of stress and anxiety. Many teens struggle with asking for help and may need validation and encouragement from others. Learn the science of stress and anxiety and how it impacts children.


• Get strategies on how to help your child express, soothe, and cope with their anxiety

• Tools for responding to a stressed or anxious child

• Obtain practical strategies on how to support the mental health of your child

  • T'is the season for gratitude! Why is it important to incorporate gratitude into your daily life? Research supports a correlation between gratitude and well-being. Furthermore, grateful people are more skillful at coping with stress and regulating their emotions. Take a couple minutes to think of a few things you are grateful for during this winter break.
  • Are you a high-achiever? Are you stressed? Are you ready to take action to reduce your stress? Read this article to learn more about how to ease the stress in your life with 3 simple steps!
  • How do you spend your time? Use this Time Wheel Activity from Challenge Success to find out if you are getting enough sleep or PDF (Playtime, Downtime, and Family Time) in your day!

How to Handle the Holidays as a College-Applying Senior

Tips for Managing the Holiday Blues

Senior Scene

  • Most colleges have regular deadlines in December so make sure you are keeping track of them. Don’t leave anything to the last minute since December is always filled with extra holiday-related activities, not to mention the end of the first semester. By now you’ve taken your exams, written your essays and have asked your counselors and teachers for letters of recommendations. Confirm your test scores have been officially submitted to the schools you’re applying to.
  • Most colleges require you to submit a FAFSA. Start exploring financial aid and scholarships at the schools you apply to. If you applied thru Early Decision or Early Action and get accepted, you should hear from the school in December. Make sure you understand the timetable and their deadlines. Also, it’s a great courtesy to notify the other schools you applied to so that it will open a seat to other applicants.
  • Remember, your counselor and teachers are on winter break enjoying the holidays as you are and will not be at school or check their emails during the break. As gifted as they are, they are not mind readers. So, if you should add a college to your Naviance list, please let them know beforehand so all supporting documents can be sent.
  • Midyear Reports will be sent by the counseling department after 1st semester grades are finalized at the end of January.

Happy & Healthy Holidays to you and your families!

College and Career

  • The latest episode of College Admissions Decoded, "What Colleges Are Looking For: Facts and Myths About the Application Process," is now available for you to listen here. This episode features Rick Clark, director of undergraduate admissions at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Brennan Barnard, director of college counseling at The Derryfield School (NH). You can also read the transcript here.
  • Are you interested in college or applying? Learn the ten most common college application mistakes here.

Junior Junction

Self-Care Tip:

  • Tips for Finals Week (From LeadMN)

    • Stay nourished. Eating healthy foods and getting your nutrients is one of the most important ways to keep your mind sharp.

    • Think positive. It may seem obvious or even cheesy, but positive thoughts can go a long way toward boosting your confidence. If anxious thoughts are invading your mind, try this exercise: instead of focusing on negative “what if’s”—What if I fail the test? What if my paper gets a bad grade?—try forcing yourself to consider positive ones: What if I ace the test? What if I crush the presentation?

    • Give yourself a break. Your brain can only take in so much information before it starts to get overloaded. Take study breaks intentionally, leaving the books behind for something that relaxes and allows you to recharge. Maybe that is a bubble bath, or maybe it’s taking time to work on a hobby, or just watching your favorite TV show with someone you love.

    • Move around! Exercise releases dopamine in your brain and can increase your mood and concentration in a huge way. If jogging or weight lifting isn’t your thing, try a mini dance party, a few jumping jacks, or some yoga to keep your mind focused. Even just five minutes of movement can greatly increase your performance and leave you feeling more relaxed and less stressed overall.

    • Keep things in perspective. Acing your English final might seem like the most important thing in the world right now, but in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t actually matter all that much. Try your best, and then allow yourself to let go of some of the pressure you put on yourself.

College & Career Readiness

  • SAT/ACT. Those planning to attend a four-year university after high school should plan to prepare for and register for the SAT with writing and/or ACT with writing. Visit or to learn more.

Roadtrip Nation. Are you starting to ponder potential areas of study, majors, and careers? Roadtrip Nation is included in your Naviance account! Thousands of diverse and interesting interviews from career professionals who work in almost every industry you can think of are available for you to watch now. Log-in to your Naviance account with your TUSD info and click on the “Careers” tab to get started. This would be a great winter break activity!
Getting Started with Roadtrip Nation in Family Connection

Sophomore Stop

Workplace Mentoring Program:

Big Brothers Big Sisters approached Beckman with an opportunity for a select group of students to work with a mentor for three years in high school. The students start in sophomore year and work with their mentors until their senior year. The participating students will gain invaluable insight and guidance from their mentors on the world of work. Beckman has a strong group of dedicated students that have begun to understand the opportunity that they have been afforded and are making the most of their time. This was not an easy task to accept as there are meetings to attend and responsibilities to master. We want to congratulate all the students that are a part of this wonderful possibility.

  • Part of the focus for tenth grade is to engage in extracurricular activities and for career exploration. All students have access to our Naviance program where interest inventories, career clusters and related career assessments can be explored. Parents also have access to explore the Naviance program and learn how to navigate it. This tool will become very useful junior year, as this will be the primary source for researching majors and colleges.
  • Start to research colleges. Visit schools during winter break as this can motivate students by showing them how all their hard work can pay off. Colleges care what a student accomplishes outside the classroom so continue to do extracurricular activities that you are care about. Don’t just “check a box” for college. Research and learn what schools and programs interest you, then create a filing system for each college.

Freshman Forum

  • Finals week (Dec. 17th -20th) can be a stressful time for students. These exams draw upon your knowledge from the entire semester. Knowing how to properly prepare for finals is the key to avoiding stress. Here are some helpful study tips.
  • You can also few a video on how to stay calm and organized for finals here
  • 9th grade students will register for their 10th grade classes starting January 27th to prepare, students will attend an informational meeting with their English class on January 14th in the PAC and will be given a lesson on 10th grade course selection.
  • In addition, you are invited to have coffee and treats at the annual 9th grade Parent and Counselor Coffee on January 13th at 8am in the Commons. During this presentation you will receive information on course planning for 10th grade, upcoming important dates and activities, how to keep track of grades and graduation status, and summer school.
  • Please be sure to review your student's 4-year planner and course selections in Aeries.

Upcoming Dates

Student Dates:

1/21: Tips for Success Goal Setting Lunch & Learn

1/31: Last day to request to purchase AP exams

1/31: Last day to make 2nd sem schedule changes

Parent Dates:

1/8: Stress & Anxiety Parent Workshop at 6 pm at Columbus Tustin Middle School

1/13: 9th Grade Counselor Coffee at 8 am in BHS Commons

1/14: 10th Grade Counselor Coffee at 8 am in BHS Commons

1/16: 11th Grade Counselor Coffee at 8 am in BHS Commons

1/17: 12th Grade Counselor Coffee at 8 am in BHS Commons

Counseling Haiku Pages

Need immediate information related to academics or college & career?

Check out our grade-level Haiku pages or the Beckman Counseling page linked below.