6 Questions You Can Ask To Help Students Pick a Major
Choosing a college major is tough—the options seem endless, and students must navigate the waters of overbearing parents, societal standards and personal uncertainty Here are some questions you can ask yourself before choosing a college major: 
  1. “What are your academic interests?                                                                                   “What classes do you look forward to?” “What homework assignments do you enjoy?”

Identifying interests is a form of self-discovery. If a student finds herself fascinated by the human brain, it might be good for her to start doing some research into the coursework behind neuroscience degrees.

Every field of study is different – one may require creative thinking or a detailed analytical approach, a collaborative mindset or dedicated solitary attention. Finding majors that include many (or even all) of a student’s preferred traits is a good way to start narrowing down options. For example, because Alicia may enjoy team-based problem solving, she might consider engineering or project management rather than computer science due to its solitary nature.


  1. “What are you curious about?” or, What do you do in your free time?” “What do you choose to learn more about?”

The answers to these questions are often indicators of what someone enjoys doing. As curiosity typically leads to more enjoyable work, it’s important for students to feel some passion for their major.

Remind students that curiosities aren’t limited to academia. Creative and personal interests are more than valid—in fact, they’re encouraged. If Emily spends her time watching and thinking about her favorite Netflix show, she should start narrowing down what exactly fascinates her. Is it art? Filmmaking? Storytelling? Encourage her to hone in on those subjects.


  1. “What type of work do you enjoy?” or, Do you work better in teams or by yourself?” “Do you prefer working on a computer or working with your hands?”

Even the brightest, most successful person can struggle in the wrong work environment. Encourage your students to identify when they are the most (and least) productive.

If Nick finds that he is more effective in an active environment, a sedentary job in accounting or computer programming might not be for him. Instead, he should consider something in healthcare, education, or engineering where he wouldn’t be sitting behind a desk all day. This small exercise could immediately eliminate certain majors and help a student craft their ideal work atmosphere.


  1. “When do you get excited about your words?” or, “What was a great conversation you had recently?” “What kinds of things do you like to discuss with others?”

When a student’s face lights up, when they become more animated and talk faster, they’re experiencing passion in action. It can be hard to identify exactly what makes someone excited, but these moments are hints. Pay attention and note when they happen, and guide students toward that source of joy and energy.


  1. “What are you good at?” or, “What work do you get compliments on?” “What subjects do you find yourself teaching to others?”

For example, Isabel may be very talented at math, but detest her algebra homework. However, outside of the classroom, she may love helping others and wishes she could focus on that.  In this case, Isabel might consider finding a way to help others using her talent in math. Perhaps she could design the infrastructure for hospitals, schools, or homes. The key here is to find the overlap of what the student is good at and what they love. Ultimately, the goal is to find the intersection of gratification and talent.


  1. “What have you tried? What haven’t you tried?”

Remind students that realizing a passion is a slow process of trial and error. Trying new things – lots of them – can be a crucial step towards finding what you love.

Here are a few suggestions you might offer to a student looking to expand their experiences:

  • Try an extracurricular activity, or just attend a few meetings of a student club to get a feel for it
  • Watch TED Talks about various subjects
  • Read up on different fields of study
  • Find a summer internship, volunteer opportunity or job

Students may be surprised to discover that what they love is something previously outside of their comfort zone.

Through it all, remind students that this process is difficult and lengthy. It can also be comforting to share an often forgotten truth:

 “You will not be defined by this decision.”

Too often, high school students feel like they are deciding what they will do for the rest of their lives when they choose a major. This is simply not the case. At many schools, students can wait to declare their major for up to two years, and they can change their major or double-major as needed.

College also teaches universal, transferable skills. Students will not only absorb specific knowledge in their chosen field, but also learn how to think and approach problems. Earning an ocean engineering degree teaches the skills to be an ocean engineer, it does not require that a graduate become one. Skills and lessons from college will likely overlap with many other career paths. While important, this decision is not a lifelong commitment.

Picking a major is tough. No one can give students the answers, but we can offer them the right questions.

The Burleson Police Department is partnering with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, April 29, 2017, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. The event will be hosted at the Burleson Police Department, 1161 S.W. Wilshire Blvd. and Texas Health Huguley Hospital, 11801 South Freeway.  
Residents may drop off unused, expired or unwanted medications, in both pill and liquid form, for safe disposal. This includes over-the-counter as well as prescription drugs. The Burleson Police Department and the Citizens on Patrol will be working this event. 

keep fear from preventing you

Have you ever tapped into a dream so big that it takes your breath away? Or a desire so true that it lights up your life? Like starting a new business where you can be creative to your heart’s content, writing that book that’s been developing in your mind since forever, or opening up and being more vulnerable in your relationship?

And what do you do with such dreams? Honor them and work toward them, or set about actively shrinking them down to the size of your comfort zone?

If it’s the latter, that’s fear at play, in the form of a built-in defense in the face of desires. It’s the work of a mind that operates on learned behaviors from the past, based on experiences that you or those around you have had.

And so your desires stay just that, and eventually turn into regrets of chances not taken and dreams left untouched.

Instead of shrinking your dreams down to your safety levels, you need to expand your mind so it begins to step away from its fear-based response and embrace the possibilities that surround you. That way, the next time your dreams come a-knocking, you’ll welcome them in instead of shutting them out.

Identify Your Defense

Neuropsychologist Rick Hanson says that the way to be true to our desires is to work backward from our defenses. How do you react when a purpose speaks to your heart and calls your name? Do you feel a sudden rush of fatigue, an urge to run away, or perhaps a surge of mental justifications—like how you’re not good enough, competent enough, or presentable enough? Or perhaps that it’s not the right time, right work, or right fit? Such thoughts are self-focused, and the best way to counter them is to look beyond yourself to the difference you will make to others—if you were to follow your heartfelt desires.

Know Your Past

This is the time to get curious about your defensive bodily response and the mental chatter that accompanies it. Why is it there? How did it defend you in the past? What were the experiences that gave rise to it? Knowing that it exists for a reason is essential to creating space from it. Remind yourself that you’ve grown and changed—and so have your circumstances. A short, mindful moment can help you ground yourself in your current reality and allow you to open up to your desires.

Create a Plan of Action

In this less fearful state, you’re ready to plan the steps you’ll take toward turning your dream into reality. Again, work backward with timelines and milestones. What action steps do you need to take to reach each milestone? When will you take them? Who will you be accountable to? And who will support you through your struggles and celebrate your successes with you? The more specific you can be, the better your chances of reaching your dreams.

Build Your Inner Resources

Unless you’re made of psychological Teflon, it’s normal to feel thrown off every time your defense response tries to barge its way in. A steady diet of inner resources that buffer you from its intrusion will keep you steady, despite the obstacles that are part of every journey. Identify what will best help you, given your past experiences. Is it reliving the love you’ve experienced, or will savoring the times you’ve risen up to life’s challenges help you more? Think of what your own armor will look like, then find real ways to develop it.

Remember, fear is part of our biological inheritance. It’s what we have in common with every other creature on the planet. But what sets us apart is the uniquely human ability to visualize a better future, the desire to pursue long-term goals, and the need to make a difference to the world. If we are to find fulfillment, fear needs to become a silent partner in this common journey we call life.

Homaira Kabir is a positive psychology coach and cognitive behavioral therapist. She offers courses and coaching to help women develop the self-confidence and inner strength to identify and achieve their biggest and boldest goals. You can take her free quiz on learning to grow authentic self-worth at her website.


  1. One in three teens in the U.S. will experience physical, sexual or emotional abuse by someone they are in a relationship with before they become adults. 

    Some teens may find it difficult to identify what is healthy and what is not.  Loveisrespect.org identifies the following as characteristics of a healthy relationship:
    Partners respect each other's individuality.
    • Both partners feel safe being open and honest.
    • Partners support each other's choices even when they disagree.
    • Both have equal say and respected boundaries.
    • Both partners understand the need to study or hang out with friends or family.
    • Feelings can be communicated without being afraid of negative consequences.
    • A healthy partner is not excessively jealous and does not make you feel guilty to spend time with family and friends.
    • Partners encourage each other to achieve individual goals and do not resent accomplishments.


September is Suicide Prevention Month. 

If you know someone who is considering suicide: 
Be direct. Talk openly and matter-of-factly about suicide.
Be willing to listen. Allow expressions of feelings. Accept the feelings
Be non-judgmental.  Don't lecture on the value of life.
Get involved. Become available. Show interest and support.
Don't dare him or her to do it.
Don't act shocked. This will put distance between you.
Don't be sworn to secrecy. Seek support.
Offer hope that alternatives are available but do not offer glib reassurance.
Take action. Remove means, such as guns or stockpiled pills.
Get help from persons or agencies specializing in crisis intervention and suicide prevention.
Not sure if someone is considering suicide? Learn the warning signs:

For more information, call our General Counseling Program or contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. 









Since 1949, Mental Health America and their affiliates across the country have led the observance of May as Mental Health 
Month by reaching millions of people through the media, local events and screenings.
This year's theme for Mental Health Month is-Life With A Mental Illness-and Mental Health America is calling on individuals to share what life with a 
mental illness feels like for them in words and pictures and video by tagging their social medial posts with #mentalillnessfeelslike (or submitting to MHS anonymously). 
Posts will be collected and displayed at mentalhealth.net/feelslike.  Posting with the hashtag will allow people to speak up about their 
own experiences, to share their point of view with individuals who may be struggling to explain what they are going through-and help others figure
out if they too are showing signs of a mental illness.  Sharing is the key to breaking down negative attitudes and misconceptions surrounding mental 
illnesses, and to show others they are not alone in their feelings and their symptoms.

How does it feel to live with a mental illness?  Clinical terms are the words used by doctors and other professionals to describe the symptoms of a 
disorder, but often times those words don't do justice to what life with a mental illness feels like.  We know that two people with the same diagnosis 
can experience the same symptom and describe it in very different ways.  Let's take fear for example: one person might describe fear as being scared 
to the point of feeling paralyzed, while another might describe fear as an overwhelming urge to run away.  It can be confusing to align your personal experience with 
mental illness to clinical criteria, and sometimes contributes to ongoing silence or hesitation to get help.  It's important for people to 
talk about how it feels to live with a mental illness.

                            HOW TO PARTICIPATE?                              
Tag your Twitter and Instagram posts with #mentalillnessfeelslike; they will be collected and displayed at www.mentalhealthamerica.net/feelslike.  
Submit an anonymous post with images and/or text at www.mentalhealthamerica.net/feelslike.
Check out www.mentalhealthamerica.net/feelslike to see what other people are saying about how it feels to live with a mental illness.
Share with www.mentalhealthamerica.net/feelslike page with your friends, family and other members of your social networks to help spread the word that mental health 
problems are real and common, and people do recover.  
Learn more about how common mental illnesses are, how people describe them, tips for tackling symptoms and the recovery process by checking out the info:
        • Life with Depression-http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/infographic-life-depressi
        • Life with Anxiety-http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/infographic-life-anxiety
        • Life with Psychosis-http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/infographic-life-psychosis
        • Life in Recovery-http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/infographic-life-recovery
        • Life with Bipolar-http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/infographic-life-bipolar


April, traditionally a rainy period, gives way to May when flowers will bloom because of the water provided to them by the
 April rains.
  As the school year is rapidly drawing to a close, it's important to think about what we have done to help people 
around us be successful.We can ask ourselves, "Do we contribute to the betterment of society, or do we shirk our 
responsibilities and selfishly concentrate on what makes only us happiest.  An act of kindness towards another human

being can be one of the most rewarding feelings we can ever have.  It not only makes others feel better but it also puts us

in touch with how good it feels to give.  I believe we are all the "gardeners" of the world.  When people come into our life 

it is just like someone giving us a plant as a gift.  We can either water and nurture oshun and destroy.  Let's make a

promise to be the best "gardeners" we can be and surround ourselves with beautiful blooms!




It Feels Like Love — But Is It?
Sometimes it feels impossible to find someone who's right for you — and who thinks you're right for him or her! So when it happens, 
you're usually so psyched that you don't even mind when your little brother finishes all the ice cream or your English teacher chooses the 
one day when you didn't do your reading to give you a pop quiz.
What do you think is the #1 ingredient for healthy relationships?
Ability to talk about anything
Honesty and trust
Respect for the other's values
Ability to be yourself with no pretense
Fun and compatibility
Equality (no one is more important or in charge)

It's totally normal to look at the world through rose-colored glasses in the early stages of a relationship. But for some people, those 
rose-colored glasses turn into blinders that keep them from seeing that a relationship isn't as healthy as it should be.

What Makes a Healthy Relationship?
Hopefully, you and your significant other are treating each other well. Not sure if that's the case? Take a step back from the dizzying 
sensation of being swept off your feet and think about whether your relationship has these seven qualities:

Mutual respect. Does he or she get how cool you are and why? (Watch out if the answer to the first part is yes but only because you're acting like 
someone you're not!) The key is that your BF or GF is into you for who you are — for your great sense of humor, your love of reality TV, etc. Does your partner listen when you say you're not comfortable doing something and then back off right away? Respect in a relationship means that each person 
values who the other is and understands — and would never challenge — the other person's boundaries.
Trust. You're talking with a guy from French class and your boyfriend walks by. Does he completely lose his cool or keep walking because he knows
 you'd never cheat on him? It's OK to get a little jealous sometimes — jealousy is a natural emotion. But how a person reacts when feeling jealous 
s what matters. There's no way you can have a healthy relationship if you don't trust each other.
Honesty. This one goes hand-in-hand with trust because it's tough to trust someone when one of you isn't being honest. Have you ever caught your girlfriend in a major lie? Like she told you that she had to work on Friday night but it turned out she was at the movies with her friends? The next time 
she says she has to work, you'll have a lot more trouble believing her and the trust will be on shaky ground.
Support. It's not just in bad times that your partner should support you. Some people are great when your whole world is falling apart but can't take 
being there when things are going right (and vice versa). In a healthy relationship, your significant other is there with a shoulder to cry on when you 
find out your parents are getting divorced and to celebrate with you when you get the lead in a play.
Fairness/equality. You need to have give-and-take in your relationship, too. Do you take turns choosing which new movie to see? As a couple, do 
you hang out with your partner's friends as often as you hang out with yours? It's not like you have to keep a running count and make sure things are exactly even, of course. But you'll know if it isn't a pretty fair balance. Things get bad really fast when a relationship turns into a power struggle, with 
one person fighting to get his or her way all the time.
Separate identities. In a healthy relationship, everyone needs to make compromises. But that doesn't mean you should feel like you're losing out on 
being yourself. When you started going out, you both had your own lives (families, friends, interests, hobbies, etc.) and that shouldn't change. Neither 
of you should have to pretend to like something you don't, or give up seeing your friends, or drop out of activities you love. And you also should feel 
free to keep developing new talents or interests, making new friends, and moving forward.
Good communication. You've probably heard lots of stuff about how men and women don't seem to speak the same language. We all know how 
many different meanings the little phrase "no, nothing's wrong" can have, depending on who's saying it! But what's important is to ask if you're 
not sure what he or she means, and speak honestly and openly so that the miscommunication is avoided in the first place. Never keep a feeling 
bottled up because you're afraid it's not what your BF or GF wants to hear or because you worry about sounding silly. And if you need some time 
to think something through before you're ready to talk about it, the right person will give you some space to do that if you ask for it.

What's an Unhealthy Relationship?

A relationship is unhealthy when it involves mean, disrespectful, controlling, or abusive behavior. Some people live in homes with parents who fight a 

lot or abuse each other — emotionally, verbally, or physically. For some people who have grown up around this kind of behavior it can almost seem 

normal or OK. It's not! Many of us learn from watching and imitating the people close to us. So someone who has lived around violent or disrespectful behavior may not have learned how to treat others with kindness and respect or how to expect the same treatment.

  1. Qualities like kindness and respect are absolute requirements for a healthy relationship. Someone who doesn't yet have this part    down may need to work on it with a trained therapist before he or she is ready for a relationship. Meanwhile, even though you might feel bad or feel for someone who's been mistreated, you need to take care of yourself — it's not healthy to stay in a relationship that involves abusive behavior of any kind.

Warning Signs

When a boyfriend or girlfriend uses verbal insults, mean language, nasty put downs, gets physical by hitting or slapping, or forces someone into sexual activity, it's a sign of verbal, emotional, or physical abuse.

  1. Ask yourself, does my boyfriend or girlfriend:
get angry when I don't drop everything for him or her?
criticize the way I look or dress, and say I'll never be able to find anyone else who would date me?
keep me from seeing friends or from talking to any other guys or girls?
want me to quit an activity, even though I love it?
ever raise a hand when angry, like he or she is about to hit me?
try to force me to go further sexually than I want to? 
2. These aren't the only questions you can ask yourself. If you can think of any way in which your boyfriend or girlfriend is trying to control you, 
make you feel bad about yourself, isolate you from the rest of your world, or — this is a big one — harm you physically or sexually, then it's time to 
get out, fast.
Let a trusted friend or family member know what's going on and make sure you're safe. 
3. It can be tempting to make excuses or misinterpret violence, possessiveness, or anger as an expression of love. But even if you know that the 
person hurting you loves you, it is not healthy. No one deserves to be hit, shoved, or forced into anything he or she doesn't want to do.

Why Are Some Relationships So Difficult?

Ever heard about how it's hard for someone to love you when you don't love yourself? It's a big relationship roadblock when one or both people 

struggle with self-esteem problems. Your girlfriend or boyfriend isn't there to make you feel good about yourself if you can't do that on your own. Focus 

on being happy with yourself, and don't take on the responsibility of worrying about someone else's happiness.

  1. What if you feel that your girlfriend or boyfriend needs too much from you? If the relationship feels like a burden or a drag instead of a joy, it might be time to think about whether it's a healthy match for you. Someone who's not happy or secure may have trouble being a healthy relationship partner.
  2. Also, intense relationships can be hard for some teenagers. Some are so focused on their own developing feelings and responsibilities that they don't have the emotional energy it takes to respond to someone else's feelings and needs in a close relationship. Don't worry if you're just not ready yet. You will be, and you can take all the time you need.
  3. Ever notice that some teen relationships don't last very long? It's no wonder — you're still growing and changing every day, and it can be tough to put two people together whose identities are both still in the process of forming. You two might seem perfect for each other at first, but that can change.       If you try to hold on to the relationship anyway, there's a good chance it will turn sour. Better to part as friends than to stay in something that you've outgrown or that no longer feels right for one or both of you. And before you go looking for amour from that hottie from French class, respect your current beau by breaking things off before you make your move.
  4. Relationships can be one of the best — and most challenging — parts of your world. They can be full of fun, romance, excitement, intense feelings,       and occasional heartache, too. Whether you're single or in a relationship, remember that it's good to be choosy about who you get close to. If you're     still waiting, take your time and get to know plenty of people.
  5. Think about the qualities you value in a friendship and see how they match up with the ingredients of a healthy relationship. Work on developing   those good qualities in yourself — they make you a lot more attractive to others. And if you're already part of a pair, make sure the relationship         you're in brings out the best in both of you.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Reviewed by: D'Arcy Lyness, PhD


10 New Year Resolutions for High School Students

The New Year is a great time to reflect on the changes we want to or need to make. If you’re a student looking at ways to 
improve yourself and make the transition to college easier, International College Counselors offers a few more resolutions
you might want to add to your list.

1. Stop procrastinating. 
How often have you underestimated how much time it will take to get something done? Then, how
sad are you when you don’t have the time to do your best. At some point, the procrastinator has to write four college essays 
in one night – on top of completing schoolwork. Usually, this doesn’t turn out so well. If you finish a project earlier than you thought 
you would, then consider yourself ahead.

2. Commit yourself to getting good grades. 
Good grades are entirely necessary to get into a good school unless you’re a top 
notch athlete. The best case scenario is that you have good grades from the beginning. However, if you start off badly and 
improve your grades, colleges will give you points for this. Many admissions officers won’t look at your application if your 
grades are too low or show a steady decline. Spending a night studying while your friends play Wii may not excite you, but 
you need to look at this long-term. Think of it this way, grades are a bridge. They will serve you to get into a college where 
you will have more freedom. In college, grades may not be as important as in high school.

3. Don’t do it all. 
It’s better to concentrate on a few things and excel in them than if you join every sport, activity and club 
that you can cram into your schedule. Anyone can join 10 clubs and be marginally involved in them all. Schools are looking 
for commitment that shows you’re willing to stick with something and make the most of it.

4. Keep a calendar. 
Deadlines creep up quickly. And the closer the date, the more you’ll feel the pressure. Most students don’t
 do their best under pressure. And colleges, scholarships, federal aid, and standardized testing services are not going to be sympathetic 
to any excuses you have about missing a deadline. If you miss a deadline, you miss an opportunity.

5. Take standardized tests early. 
You won’t know how high you can score until you take the test. Wait too long and you 
won’t have enough time to retake it. And many things can affect your test score on any given day, including the state of your health, 
and you can’t plan not to get the flu or food poisoning. Taking the test early will also allow time to take a test prep 
course if necessary.

6. Do your research. 
Know what the choices are when it comes to colleges. This way you can avoid any coulda, shoulda, 
woulda regrets later in life. Research could be as simple as visiting a school’s website.

7. Try something new.
High school is a great time to spread your wings. It’s about new experiences and self-discovery. 
Want a certain internship, there’s no harm in calling up and asking if they have any room for an eager high school student 
to work there. Want to try a new sport or activity, go ahead and try it. You’re not expected to leave high school knowing 
exactly what you want to do, but this is a chance to start narrowing down your interests. You’ll never know what you like – 
or how good you are at something – until you try something.

8. Be excited about going to college. 
Wherever you go to college, you’re going to meet new people, learn new things, and 
have a great time. That’s reason enough to be excited whether you end up attending a first choice school or a safety.

9. Do what your college counselor tells you. 
Counselors are there to help you to get you what you want out of life.

10. Banish the self-doubt. 
Doubting your own abilities only holds you back from achieving what you want to achieve. 
Just say no to these thoughts and others like them:

“I can’t do this.”
“I’m not as smart as my classmates.”
“I’ll never get better than a 2.7 grade-point average.”
“I’ll only get into a community college anyway.”
“There’s no point in thinking I’ll get into my first choice college.”  


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