How to master being a student at Commack High School

Bryan Yuk, Copy Editor

There’s no sugar-coating it; high school is hard. With the heightened stresses of an increased course load, overwhelming number of club opportunities to keep track of, and pesky personal issues that arise at the worst times, it may seem that your time in high school is destined to be an excruciating four-year long torture session. However, even with such seemingly hopeless future prospects, fear not. By combining personal anecdotes with profound advice from experienced students and administrators, I have concocted the perfect guide to help students achieve an otherwise unattainable goal, mastering high school. 

The Counseling Center

To start, let’s discuss a crucial resource at your disposal, your guidance counselor. As your leading guide to the perplexing world known as high school, they can assist you in a variety of ways. 

“We specifically provide academic support, emotional support, and also help students connect with extracurricular activities. We can also provide an avenue to connect somebody with a mental health professional, a psychologist or social worker if needed. Along with that, we […] help with scheduling, and we meet with students every year to create their course schedule. There are a lot of different facets in the Counseling Center, so if you’re struggling to find a way to connect with something, you can always just ask us,” said school counselor Ann Iacopelli. 

When needed, setting up a meeting with your counselor is a relatively simple process. 

“There are a couple ways to meet with your counselor. First, there’s a QR code that is right outside the Counseling Center which you can scan to put in an appointment. Also, you can always stop in and ask one of the secretaries to make you an appointment or you directly email your counselor to make an appointment with them. If you try any of those ways, you will definitely be able to get an appointment,” said Iacopelli. 


Another key resource you have access to is the Peer Leadership Advisory Network [PLAN], a club comprised of academically high-achieving juniors and seniors who are positive role models. PLAN meets during gym periods throughout the year, where they discuss a wide array of topics, such as strategies to succeed academically, club and sports opportunities, and healthy coping mechanisms. 

“We give the younger students someone experienced with the rigors of high school to reach out to if they need any help. During our conversations, we first ask the younger students how they’re adjusting to high school, and how they currently are feeling. Then, we’ll give them advice on how to keep up with their work and things to expect in the future. As the year goes on, we’ll occasionally meet again just for a check in,” said PLAN member senior Tom D.. 

In fact, PLAN had a significant impact on Tom when he was a freshman. 

“Initially, I [had no interest] in participating in the PLAN meetings. But, after sitting down and talking to these people, I realized that they had a vast wealth of knowledge that helped me prepare mentally for the future. They also introduced me to Student Life, which is another club I’m heavily involved in,” said Tom D.

From Seniors

To wrap everything up, senior Meiya L. has some personal advice to share:

“One study tip I’d like to give is to create a one-two page study guide after you finish each unit, for every subject. This will really help you in the future for midterms and finals, as you’ll retain a lot of the content more easily. Also, I would try out as many clubs as possible, even if the name doesn’t sound appealing to you. Best case scenario, you find something you’re really passionate about and worst case, you just lose interest. But, at least you tried it out. Finally, I would also build a good relationship with the teachers. At first, I didn’t see the value of this because I was only focused on getting good grades. However, after starting to participate a little bit, I realized that the teachers are really nice, and they’re willing to help you out with whatever you need to succeed. I wish I did this earlier because my grades definitely would’ve improved,” said Meiya L. 

With all this knowledge, you now have the tools to make your high school experience extremely successful. Go out there, and good luck! 🔳