The Student News Site of Tompkins High School

The Nestline

The Student News Site of Tompkins High School

The Nestline

The Student News Site of Tompkins High School

The Nestline

Smart Decisions, Good Life How to Accomplish Self-Management


This August, thousands of graduated high school seniors will embark on a new journey and travel to a college they have chosen to attend. With the thousands of incoming college freshmen just stepping into a new chapter of their story, the college seniors will be leaving to enter the real world on their own. College serves to be the stepping stones to prepare young adults for a successful future and to manage themselves individually without constant supervision.


“One major change from high school to college was the level of freedom.  I could schedule classes when I wanted, I could wake up when I wanted (for the most part), eat dinner, and sleep whenever I chose,” said Economics and US History teacher Tristan Forgach.


Throughout the early stages of life, kids are under strict supervision, especially from parents that monitor their behavior and the choices they make. Often, if kids make poor decisions or behave in a poor manner they are reprimanded. This correction is a teaching method that allows parents to coach their children on how to be the best people they can be in life. However, by the end of high school, students go through an adjustment from being reliant on the supervision of their parents to becoming independent. As Ruopp stated, college is a time when young adults decide what they wish to do in life, which can ultimately be a very stressful decision to make. People’s top choices might not always be where they end up in life and that is a completely natural aspect of growing up.


“Changing majors extends your time in school and increases the cost, so I felt some pressure to make a quick selection of major. My first major was Italian language.  I had taken five years of Italian in high school, and I had the idea that I wanted to become an interpreter at the UN.  That lasted about one semester.  I then majored in exercise physiology and eventually went on to graduate school for my Physical Therapy degree,” said medical terminology, health science and principles of health science teacher Julianne Ruopp.


Making smart choices is the backbone for self-management as every choice can affect the outcome of one’s life. Smart choices are especially applicable to managing money. First starting off independently, it is best to salvage money and only spend on necessities like food. Unwise spending may lead to financial struggle in the future. Managing money is an important skill because if college students need money they must get jobs instead of relying on the funds provided to them by their parents.


“As an economics teacher, I could go on forever about how to manage yourself financially.  If I were to give two pieces of advice, I’d tell students to go to the grocery store and make their own food.  Learning to cook is fun, healthier, and much cheaper.  Also, try to put $50 from each paycheck into a savings account and don’t touch it,” said Forgach.


Along with managing money, time management is a crucial aspect to beginning life independently. There will no longer be friendly reminders to do homework or to get to soccer practice. In college, students must know when everything is and plan accordingly for events that may transpire. A large portion of time management is remaining organized and focusing on the task at hand. Students that do not manage time and chose to spend majority of their time partying will see negative consequences.


“Time management is going to be your greatest challenge.  Don’t procrastinate.  You will have a lot of free time and your professors will not remind you of tests and due dates.  You are responsible for your own learning and may need to seek out tutoring help or additional resources to help you master the content.  Go over your notes from class every day,” said Ruopp.


Ruopp is a mom of two high school girls and is teaching them based on her previous life experiences on how to properly manage time. A large part of growing up is becoming completely self-reliant and being able to make decisions independently. However, one must stop and think before making a decision. The best decisions are not the ones that one wants to do, but are the ones that will have a positive impact. The consequences of making poor choices are high. Thirty-five percent of college attendees will drop out in their first year, likely due to bad choices. When students make smart decisions and manage themselves on their own, then they enter the life of adulthood.


“Without parents, you have a lot more freedom.  No one is watching you to make sure that you are making good decisions.  I learned pretty quickly that bad decisions have bad results.  I also learned a lot about what it meant to be responsible,” said Forgach


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