It is August and a few things come to mind. It’s time for teachers and students to wonder how summer already came and went. I can feel the excitement and anxiety from graduating seniors that are getting ready to go off to college. Then you have the new seniors who are getting ready to go through the last phases of high school!One thing I know for sure from reading all of the tweets, blogs, and posts from NTAC last month is that this year will be another great year for learning. It is encouraging to know that more schools entered into the Network and I’m proud to say I assisted one of the new schools in rolling out New Tech to their students. One the things I mentioned last year is to challenge the challenge. With new goals and expectations, a great staff and student leadership a school can only going higher and deeper into learning.New Graduates, I remember around this time getting ready to leave and the difficulties I faced once I began college. Know this: IT WILL BE FINE! Here are a few tips as you start your college journey:Just like on culture days in high school, go and find new people to meet. Know you won’t be the only person experiencing a new college life so make friends and connect with your mentors and student life staff.The more organized you are, the better your semester will go. Once you are on campus you will have access to your online syllabi and all that good stuff. Make sure you have planned out all the important deadlines, test dates, midterms and finals. All these things make you an agent of agency.Know this: just like your high school ID or trust pass was your life, your college ID will be your life. Your ID will most likely be your access to dorms, how to swipe for meals, even how to do express printing so make sure you keep up with your ID.Explore your College Town- While you’re moving in, explore where you will be living during this new phase of your life.Prepare for change- Realize that you’re now considered an adult and a lot will change. You are now responsible for your actions and your college success. Only you can make the best out of the experience.Seniors:It’s time to really get into the college spirit. Get those apps in, essays written, FAFSA completed, community service hours finished and prepare to make this last year count. I know it’s hard to believe that the end is almost here and it feels like freshmen year wasn’t that long ago. This is the time to reflect and ask yourself if you have done everything you can to have a strong finish to high school. I told my story at NTAC last year and I stated that I didn’t start off the leader and mentor that I had become, but I knew that I wanted to finish strong and I did.As I get ready to head to my second year of college, things have changed. I will be enrolling at Purdue Northwest this fall and will be working with Lake Ridge’s afterschool program as a vocal coach where I will teach singing and instruct young musical artists. I will also continue to mentor students and visit New Tech Network schools.For more from Jaylen, follow him on Twitter at @jaylenjreese.

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