Five tips to improving memory: Strengthen your mind for exam preparation

Our mind is constantly active in every aspect of our lives, whether it is solving a math problem, studying for an exam, or simply waking up in the morning. The workings of the mind are complex and require careful maintenance. The memory aspect of the brain is especially crucial to upholding a happy, fulfilling life, from helping to remember everyday details to recalling important information needed to succeed in school and at work. Taking steps to improve memory can serve to benefit the future.

“My memory is decent, but if I could remember more that would make life easier,” says Daniel Bonello, a junior at Howell High School. “To remember things for tests, I normally just repeatedly read the information. I’ll read over my notes and look over my worksheets and such multiple times.”

A helpful tip to improving memory is setting time away in the day to read over notes. For high-schoolers, AP tests are nearing, and it is detrimental that knowledge learned from class not be forgotten. If a student has other subjects to worry about also, simply taking five minutes to read over notes can help prepare for the exam as well as reduce stress. If you procrastinate on studying a certain subject, eventually the work will stack up and cause a great increase of unnecessary stress.

Although it may be hard to believe, staying healthy and getting exercise can also help improve your memory and keep your brain on par. According to, taking the initiative of physical exercise helps to increase the level of oxygen reaching the brain. Additionally, exercise can help reduce risk of diseases like Diabetes which can lead to memory loss. Exercise doesn’t need to require non-stop weight-lifting or a high-costing membership for a fitness center. Easy ways to exercise can include turning on music and dancing with friends to using gaming platforms, such as the Wii. The Wii Fit is a fun and easily-accessible way to keep both body and mind healthy.

Sleep greatly effects how the mind functions. Without a healthy amount of sleep, the mind will began to feel rundown. Many teenagers have experienced late-nights, often followed by an unfocused school day. Without sleep, the mind is too focused on regaining lost energy and misses out on learning new information and retaining the old. Finishing any work early in order to get a healthy eight hours of sleep will benefit the mind for the following day as well as in the long run.

“I get up to ten to nine hours of sleep,” explains HHS junior Bethany Robinson. “I feel that I feel better and can remember more [with more sleep]. I can’t remember new information when I have less than that.”

While it is important to stay healthy and keep the mind sharp, simply taking a break and relaxing can help improve memory. Constantly worrying about work or remembering information for a test can cause the mind to become bogged down. An overload of stress will cause negative feedback rather than benefit the mind. Taking time to hang out with friends, read a book, or watch a movie can give your mind a break, which will in turn insure a stronger memory.

Stress is one of the biggest predators of a healthy mind. My final tip to improving memory is to keep a check on stress. A way to do this is by using meditation techniques. describes meditation as a state of awareness. This occurs when the mind is peaceful, calm, and silent, while remaining alert. Meditation can improve focus, concentration, and learning skills.

There are many resources that can assist in strengthening the mind. offers fun games that serve to improve cognitive and reasoning skills as well as improve the memory. Other games can be found that also help to increase the mind’s potential and insure a strong memory. The memory is an important asset of the human body, and it is important to keep it in shape. While it doesn’t take much time or energy to improve the mind, it does take effort. Simply taking the initiative to want to improve memory is the first and hardest step. With persistence and a desire to succeed, an improved memory and healthier mind can be quickly achieved.



Steps to overcome television addiction

Spending a relaxing evening in front of the television is always nice, especially when the stress from earlier that day has caught up to you. But spending hours upon hours in front of the screen everyday isn’t nice; in fact, it’s hazardous to your eyes and health in general. Like getting rid of any habit, half the battle of television addiction is acknowledging the problem and making the pledge to change. Below are helpful tips on getting the job done.

  1. Find another activity to do when bored. Instead of turning to the television to help cure the everlasting boredom, try turning to a good book. Reading can bring the same relaxation that the television can, if not more. Reading allows the mind to rest, which is better than staring at the gleaming light for a continuous amount of time.
  2. Only turn on the television to watch certain shows. Rather than channel surfing for a lengthy amount of time, memorize the times of your preferred shows and tune in at that time. When there’s channel surfing involved, hours are hastily wasted, switching from one show to the next, watching all and none at the same time.
  3. Hide the remote control. Ask the people nearby to hide the remote control where you won’t be able to find it. It wouldn’t be worth searching for the remote, and it wouldn’t be worth using the buttons on the television because that would waste even more time.
  4. Don’t turn on the television when eating a meal. It’s common to want to tune into the television when eating a meal, or snack, because it’s something that’s enjoyable to do. But don’t permit yourself to do so. Chat with your family, or friends while eating, which will surely cause the time to pass by, and be just as entertaining.
  5. Set a rule that television is not allowed if the sun is shining. Go for a run, walk, bike ride, or another kind of healthy physical activity that will distract you from being glued to the screen. Spending time outdoors is better for your health, and it sure beats sitting inside all day doing nothing but watching fake reality shows.
  6. Say no to the shows that have been watched one too many times. Often we can be oddly drawn into watching shows we’ve seen plenty of times before, especially when you haven’t seen it in a long time. Well, don’t cave in to watching it for the fifth, or so, time.
  7. Cut down on the celebrity talk fests. Don’t get sucked into watching a person talk for over an hour. It is atypical that a television interview or conversation is sincerely insightful. Consider cutting entire sports games. Sure it’s compelling to join in on the ball game, but why spend three hours watching an entire game when the score and highlights can be captured in the last five minutes?

Escaping the couch potato syndrome can be difficult, but with determination and a little help from others, it can also be trouble-free.

Top ten tips for moving into college dorms

The time is coming; for seniors, college is only four months away! It can be a scary thing at first, and the last thing you should be stressed out about is the move-in day. You want to make sure you’re just as comfortable in the new environment as you are in your own home. Here are some tips for having a successful, stress-free move-in day.


  1. Measure your room first. Getting an idea of what will fit in each part of the room beforehand will make it an easier move-in; especially when you’re put in the dorm on the fifth story!
  2. Hang a dry erase board on the exterior of your door so that friends can leave you messages. It’s a great way to get to know people on your floor and in your building.
  3. Call your roommate prior to Move-In Day so that you can divide up items to bring such as a TV, radio, gaming system, fridge, microwave, or any other various electronics/appliances.
  4. Bring posters and pictures of family and friends. Add some of your personality to your walls. Again, it will make it feel more like home, and gives you a say in self-expression.
  5. Bring flip-flops or shower shoes for trips to the bathroom. Sharing a bathroom with eight other people, or even four depending on your dorm style, may not be the most pleasant thing in the world. It takes getting used to, because some living facilities may have grungier showers than others, so keep it safe with some simple flip flops and avoid the germs!
  6. Do not use nails or screws around the walls in your room. Most housing contracts include certain rules in which if you damage the walls, you’ll be charged for it at the end of the school year. Instead, they make simple putty, that doesn’t peel pant or cause any other damage.
  7. Ask your family and friends to send care-packages to you. There’s nothing better than receiving a care-package from home during stressful exams!
  8. Bring your favorite food and snacks. It might be a while before you make it to the grocery store. Stock up in advance. It’s especially important to make sure you have a spacious fridge and potential cooking utensils so you can enjoy your favorite snacks and meals.
  9. Bring the right equipment to haul your belongings, such as a dolly, especially if you live on the second or third floor. This will provide less stress on you and greatly ease the move-in process.
  10. Enjoy the day, and get to know your hall mates. You’ll spend a lot of time in your dorm and around campus getting used to people and different things. Be yourself and relax.


Everyone goes through this the first time, and don’t feel like you’re the only one who’s nervous. It’s a huge change and also a new chapter in your life, it will take some getting used to. It’s important to make sure your move-in day goes smoothly. Follow these steps to have a successful move-in to your dorm.


Top ways to maintain nourished, healthy skin this winter

No matter the season, taking care of your skin is vital, especially when winter rolls around. With the bipolar Michigan weather we experience, it’s important to not let the temperature be harmful to your skin. Winter takes all the natural moisture hidden in our skin away and leaves us with dry, rough, and flaky skin. However, it is still possible to enjoy the beauty of winter by keeping your skin intact, which is fairly simple.

Whether it’s your face, hands, or body, following these basic yet essential tips will leave you with perfect skin all winter long.

  • Stay away from heat. The cold weather will make you crave a long hot bath even more, but the damage the heat will do to your skin is unfortunate. As tempting as it is to turn up the heat, or stand in the scorching shower longer than necessary, hot water dehydrates skin by breaking down the lipid barriers and stripping your skin of its natural oils. Even a small space heater can irritate your skin by majorly drying it out due to its harsh pressure. Limiting your shower time, staying away from baths, and grabbing a cozy blanket will indubitably be better for your skin.
  • Moisturize. I cannot emphasize this enough. Moisturizing with lotion or cream will keep your skin hydrated, which is imperative during winter. As soon as you’re done washing, apply moisturizer to your face and body. Moisturizing lotion on your hands and feet is extremely important seeing how these both become exceptionally dry, especially around the nail cuticles and heels. If your skin is already on the dryer side, choose a thicker lotion. Try to only use products that contain lactic acid, glycerin, sorbitol, or alpha-hydroxyl acids. These products will attract more moisture to the skin. Massaging olive oil will even do the trick. Make moisturizing a daily routine.
  • Pay close attention to your hands. The skin on your hands always seems to get the driest during the harsh weather. The reason is because this particular skin is thinner than most other parts on the body due to having fewer oil glands. Combined with the cold temperate and hard winds, your hands will be cracked more than usual in the winter. Make sure to lather on more lotion on your hands, and do so after every hand wash. Wearing gloves whenever you step outside will help protect your skin from the brutal elements.
  • Take care of your face. Make a habit of rinsing your face every morning and night thoroughly. When done rinsing, dab your face with a washcloth ever so gently to not irritate your skin. Apply a quality of night cream afterwards.  If you wear makeup, then you know that makeup clogs your pores. That’s why removing your makeup before going to bed is crucial. This way while you’re sleeping your face can be free from all the dirty substances buried in makeup. Using makeup wipes that contain vitamins will not only help clean your face, but keep it nourished. Sleeping with makeup on is unhealthy, and uncomfortable. You’ll notice softer skin if you continue to do this as a routine.
  • Drink plenty of water. In addition to applying moisturizer to your skin, internally keeping hydrated is just as important. This can be done by drinking lots of water. Fluid intakes will be beneficial for your skin, helping you earn that natural glow. Water will fuel body functions that will protect your skin from the cold climate. An intake of at least eight glasses of water per day is adequate. Drink water throughout the day whenever you get the chance.
  • Love your lips. Chapped dry lips are nowhere near cute. Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate! This can merely be done with a toothbrush. After brushing your teeth, rub your toothbrush over your lips so the dead skin will fall off. Applying lip balm is EXTREMELY important during the winter.  Using lip balms that contain SPF, bees wax, or Shea butter is suggested due to their natural moisturizers. If you wear lip color regularly, apply lip balm before applying the color. Avoid licking your lips at all costs. Saliva increases dehydration and makes chapping worse. Under no circumstances should you bite the dead skin off your lips because that will cause bleeding. All in all, keep a lip balm handy throughout the day.
  • Cover up. During the summer you wear outfits that will keep you cool, so make sure during the winter you wear outfits that will keep you warm. Adding extra clothing will help your skin retain its moisture. The less your skin is exposed, the better off you are. Slip on a pair of gloves, a cozy scarf, or even a hat. Avoid wearing coarse fabric such as wool.
  • Exercise. Daily exercise promotes circulation, digestion, and elimination which helps keep your skin healthy. Plus, you can get ready for that summer body you’ve been wanting since last summer!
  • Get a good night’s rest. Winter nights are peaceful, so take advantage of this. Not getting enough sleep is unhealthy for your skin. Get at least seven to nine hours a night and you’ll feel rested up for the day ahead.


Winter is a season meant for spending time with your loved ones. Make it enjoyable by maintaining a healthy glow.


10 helpful study tips

1. Time

Giving yourself enough time to study is very important. Do not wait till the last minute. Cramming all the information the night before the test is not the best way to study. Setting a timetable for all your test and divide a reasonability amount of time for each, Recommended by Jason Schrock Howell High School principal.

2. Practice

It’s good to have an idea of what kind of question might be on the test or exam. Use your old test and quizzes to get a good idea of what kinds of questions will be on the test. Also, go over your answers and try to fix ones you missed. Also, retake the test, but time yourself to see about how long it will be to take the test. Referred by

3. Notes

Make your own notes out of the notes you already took in class. Also, you can take a look at chapters or sections in your textbook. Write down bolded words, look at headings, subheadings and titles.  Bolded words are key words that give hints to what the text is about. Credited to

4. Flash Cards

Flash cards are a great way to help study for exams. They are a great help for vocabulary words, definitions and to help remember things like important dates, and true or false facts. They give you the option of looking at either the question or the answer and making you figure out the other part. Flash cards are not help to everyone. Some people need different ways to study. Credited to 12 year old John Brown in 7th grade.

5. Study Space

Find a comfortable study place where you can focus. Don’t go some place with a lot of distractions. Ask yourself these questions:

  1.  Do you prefer silence or listening to music?
  2.  Do you work better alone or with a group of people?
  3.  Do you like to study at home, at school or in the library?

When you find a place with little to no distractions and somewhere comfortable stay at that place and stick with it.

Referred by

6. Motivation

To get motivated think of what the outcome of all the time you spent studying will mean to you. Think about how the success will make you feel and keep the end result of doing well on something in your mind. You can also motivate yourself by finding a quote or a picture that helps you get motivated and put it somewhere you can always see it when your studying.  This tip was also referred by

7. Avoiding confusion

Making note of what you are confused about on notes, old test sor homework will help you study on things you missed the first time around and can help you by learning new things you missed or was confused on before. Ask your teachers specific questions about the things you made note of that you are still question. This tip was referred by a Howell High School Accelerated English teacher Mrs. Erin Root.

8. Study Group

Studying with a group of friends or classmates can also be very helpful. Some students may know things you don’t and can be able to help you on things you are confused about. You may also be able to help others understand and learn things they not know. If you study with a group of friends or classmates, remember to stay on topic and not to be fooling around and to actually study. Mrs. Root recommends this study tip to anyone who needs help with studying.

9. Goals

Make goals for yourself. Make goals like how much you are going to study in one day or how many subjects you will study in one day. Goals help motivate you and help you keep on track and keep you going. Goals are a good thing to set, it gives you something to look forward to beating and setting higher and more challenging goals in the future.

10. Being organized

Organization when studying for a test or exam is very important. Keep your notes, papers, old tests and quizzes in a separate area. Keep each class’s papers separate and neat so you don’t forget anything or lose something important. To help keep organized use folders, paper clips or manila folders.