Planning Ahead: Unconventional College Majors

As we prepare to say goodbye to our graduating senior class, we want to remind our students that college is an experience meant for them to grow, learn, and find a career path that means something. There are traditional majors available at every school such as Business, Communications, Psychology, Pre-med and more, but there are also many other exciting options out there for students wanting to try something different.

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Do you dream of working with the stars? At USC, you can major in various facets of Theatre, numerous types of Performance, Dance, Animation & Digital Arts, and even Writing for Screen & Television!

If owning a bakery has been a life-long dream, then the Bakery Science & Management major at Kansas State University should be considered. The major trains students for research, administrative, production, or executive positions within the industry, or students can choose to study quality control and research and development.

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For the students who love binge watching their favorite shows on Netflix or obsessing over celebrities, the Pop Culture major at Bowling Green State University is a perfect match. This major prepares students for careers in journalism, mass media, public relations, and advertising.

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Do you work well with people and want to help them? You can help athletes by becoming an Athletic Training or PGA Golf Management major at UNLV! If you aren’t interested in sports, there are also majors in Restaurant Management and Meetings and Events to help you understanding of the significance of the hospitality industry.

There are also majors in Costume Technology at DePaul University, Floral Management at Mississippi State University, and Adventure Education at Green Mountain College. There is always an option to major in Business or Communications, but minor in Dance, Gender Studies, and more. The possibilities are endless with the help of your trusty counselors, so be sure to visit them early to plan out classes and get advice on majors and minors!

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College is a time to continue your education and prepare yourself for your future. Every major requires the same general educations classes of Math, Science, English, and History; all courses that will help you in the future. It is important to remember to find your passions while you’re there, too! No matter the major or minor, your JSerra family will always be rooting for your success!

Lion Pride!

How To Find The Right University For You

The college application process is difficult; however, sometimes the decision process can be even harder. Yes, it is nice to have received an acceptance letter(s) to the school(s) of your choice, but now it is time to make the decision to where you will spend the next 4 years of your college career. We also understand that this choice can put a lot of pressure on you. If you’re having a tough time deciding where to attend in the fall, here are a few tips to choosing the right university for you!

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Think About What Is Important To You
This is a huge, important decision. It is smart to take a step back and breath for a minute. Ask yourself, why you initially choose to apply to these schools. What was important to you when you applied to them back then? Was it a program? A club? Close to home? These are all factors that will have an effect on your final decision.

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Visit The School
Many, if not most, colleges and universities offer campus tours. In fact, many campuses have special days dedicated to those students who have interest in attending their university. You may find yourself feeling out of place or not at home when you visit certain schools, but if you visit the school and it feels like home for you, it will narrow down your choices. The school you choose will be your home away form home for these next few years.

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Consider Curriculum and Your Future Career
College is a place to prepare you for your future. Look at the curriculum. Do the schools offer any classes you are yearning to take? Do they seem challenging and like a good learning experience for you? Do your research because it will help you determine which campuses will provide you with the classes to help pursue your career dreams.

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Think About Student Resources
Student resources will play a colossal role in your college successes. Do they have a career center? A library? A student union? Many college career centers have resume building workshops, provide lists of internship opportunities, and perform mock interviews to help prepare you for future interviews. A library is important because you will spend many hours studying there, this also goes for the student union. These often have study rooms, food restaurants, and places to relax while on campus.

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Deadlines for decisions are quickly approaching! Do the research now and go on campus tours. Now is the time to ask all the questions you have. Use the time you have left to research the different aspects of a college atmosphere that are truly the most important to you. Good luck!

Lion Pride!

Senior Class Parking Spots

We have many traditions at JSerra, one being our seniors having their annual paint day at the school parking lot! Senior students have the chance to get creative and crafty for this classic tradition at JSerra.

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Each senior is assigned their own parking spot and has the opportunity to paint it however they’d like. This is a special opportunity for the graduating seniors to make their mark at JSerra. It is a tradition at JSerra that has been a huge success!

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We love seeing all of the unique and fun designs that students come up with! Senior Paint Day is a fun event that brings all of the students together to make senior year one to remember!

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Each spot is unique, just like each Senior! What would you paint on your parking spot?

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Lion Pride!

JSerra Blog: New Year, New Year Resolutions for Students & Parents

A new year filled with new resolutions. For many graduating high school students and parents 2015 will be a year full of change. It’s an exciting time of choosing which universities to attend in fall and parents figure out where they will be sending their children. On the brink of so many changes, it is important to start the year off right and set New Year Resolutions that will make 2015 a year of success!

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Here are some great ideas for New Year resolutions for both students and parents:

  • Stop procrastinating. As a student and a parent, it is important to give yourself the appropriate amount of time needed to get the job done and to give the best effort you can.
  • Don’t do it all. You are a high school student with a hectic schedule and a million things to do. You may want to do everything with everyone, instead concentrate on a handful of things and excel at them.
  • Commit to keeping a calendar. With another busy year ahead, both students and parents should make use of a calendar planner to keep track of appointments, classes, sport practices and games to stay on top of everything and meet all deadlines.
  • Try something new. High school is the perfect time to spread your wings and branch out from what you are used to. Join a new club, make new friends or go on new adventures. This is the time to find what you like and dislike, so stray from your comfort zone and get out there!

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Make a resolution and stick with it! Happy 2015 Lions!

Lion Pride!

Christmas Break Reflection: What are you most grateful for?

“It is not happy people who are grateful. It is grateful people who are happy.” Christmas break is here! From loving friends and family to a wonderful education to amazing extracurricular opportunities, Christmas is the perfect time to take a moment to reflect on the breathtaking life moments we are given and spend time with your loved ones.

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As you’re on Christmas break, take the time away from school to relax and enjoy the time you have to spend with your family and friends. It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of day to day life. As students, you have so many things going on that it’s easy to forget about the people and things that you have been blessed with. As parents, there are countless details of life to focus on, whether it’s work-life, home-life, or your students’ lives. Be sure to take a moment to tell loved ones how grateful you are to have them in your life!

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It is important to remember the reason for the day. Take advantage of a break away from your hectic schedule to think of all of the things you have to be grateful for.

What are you grateful for Lions?

Lion Pride


Congratulations to our five Visual Arts students that were winners at the Laguna Beach Festival of the Arts Junior Art Show. JSerra’s five shining students, Quetzal Arevelo, Megan Lasken, Nicole Kurrasch, Shane Noviello and May Han were among the 13 student winners for the show. The student’s artwork was chosen from a field of thousands of entrants from schools across the county.

JSerra CHS Blog_Festival of ArtsThe Junior Art Show has been around since 1947 and has become a highlight to the summer event. It displays work from over 300 students, grades K-12, and keeps the importance and value of the arts alive in our youth.

Hundreds of family members and friends gathered at the festival art grounds to congratulate and acknowledge the recipients of the Junior Art Awards. Our students did an amazing job representing their artwork and JSerra.

Lion Pride!

Contursi Named Artist of the Week by the OC Register


The Orange County Register profiles this week’s artist of the week, JSerra senior and Ladera Ranch resident, Nikka Contursi.

What art form(s) do you work in? Photography

How did you get involved in photography? I started taking pictures at my parents’ Christmas parties when I was about 4 years old. The angles were pretty hilarious – mostly shots of headless guests, legs and shoes. After that, I put down the disposable camera for a while until I borrowed my mom’s Nikon N2000 in middle school, and I haven’t put it down since!

What is your favorite work of art/photograph? Who is your favorite artist/photographer? I have loved Richard Avedon’s “Dovima With Elephants” since I was about 12, and it’s still one of my favorites. Something about the photograph just always seems to draw my attention. I admire so many photographers’ work, but to name a few: Avedon, Mark “The Cobrasnake” Hunter, Hugh Lippe, Arthur Elgort and Annie Leibovitz.

Who have been your influences? Did you have a mentor in your development as an artist? If so, how did they help you? Ms. Stehney, photography instructor at JSerra, has inspired me since the day I stepped foot in her classroom during my sophomore year. She has accomplished a wide range of work during her very successful career, and stories of her travels and work inspire me to continue shooting. I would not be where I am today without her enthusiasm and constant encouragement. She treats me like a professional rather than just a teenage student. She has continued to help me grow.

What inspires you? During the creative process I can be inspired by anything, but if I am looking for inspiration, I often go to couture and street fashion, people-watching and pop culture.

Other than photography, are you involved in any other activities?  If so, what are they? I am on the varsity tennis team at JSerra. I also volunteer by helping young children learn the fundamentals of tennis, and I work on my online

What do you get out of taking pictures? I am a very visual person, so photography allows me to express my ideas without speaking. It’s also lots of fun because there are no rules and I’m able to create whatever I want. Photography also gives me a break from the real world. I can sit on my computer for hours editing photographs and never get bored. It’s something that brings me happiness.

How do the arts figure into your long-term goals? I hope to attend either Parsons in New York City or Academy of Art in San Francisco. I’d also like to spend a year studying abroad. My ultimate goal as of now is to become a fashion photographer and travel the world doing what I love.

What is the best advice you have received? Some of the best advice I have received has come from my parents. My mom and dad have been my support system since Day One, always catching me when I fall, and constantly telling me to never stop pursuing my dreams and not to let anyone get in my way. I don’t know what I would do without all of their continuous support.

Do you have any other thoughts about being a photographer that you would like to share with us? Don’t let anyone or anything hold you back in pursuing your dreams, shoot every single day and have fun doing what you love!