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(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

By Mae Mastin, Joliet West

In 2016, I want to keep myself motivated and use the many resources that are available to me to start preparing for my future. This is a list of some of the things that I’m planning to use.

1. “The Code: The Five Secrets of Teen Success” by Mawi Asgedom

I read this book last summer when I read Mawi Asgedom’s “Of Beetles and Angels” for the Joliet Township Summer Reading assignment. It was so motivational and interesting. Asgedom talks about five things that you can to to work towards being successful in any aspect of your life, using examples and stories from his own experiences to illustrate the ideas. I’m planning to read it again in 2016 to help keep myself motivated this year.

2. “Crash Course” videos

These videos were started, and many are presented, by John and Hank Green. My teachers often recommend them for us as a resource to support what we’ve learned in class (my history teacher, especially, often suggests them). There’s a wide variety of topics, so I’m hoping to use them to learn more about what we’ve done in my classes, but I’m also interested in some of the other topics they offer, like psychology.

3. “50 Educational Podcasts You Should Check Out” article

Currently, I don’t listen to any podcasts, but I think that they will be a good resource for me this year. This is a great list of educational podcasts, and I’m interested in trying a lot of them! Listening to podcasts is something that I can do in the evenings or on weekends to help me learn more about school-related topics, even when I’m busy doing other things.


This website is such a great idea! I made an account over winter break, and I’m hoping to use it a lot this year. By entering achievements, like good grades and time spent in clubs, students receive micro-scholarships to a ton of colleges. I added most of my grades, clubs and activities from freshman year over break, and I’m hoping to continue entering achievements this year.

5. Growth mindset information

On the first day of school, my awesome English teacher provided us with motivational articles and a video on having a “growth mindset.” [This is a Ted Talk on having “grit,” this is an article about growth mindset, this is an article about the effects on growth mindset that come from the flawed way we praise correct answers and label kids as “smart,” and this is an article about changing mindset (at the end, there is a super helpful list of things that you can do to change your mindset).] I want to focus on having a better focus this year, and I’m so glad that I have these resources to help me work on it.

Happy 2016!

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