Welcome to Mrs. Casanova's Website!
Last Updated on: February 9, 2024
If you're new to my website, please take some time to look around. This corner of the internet is dedicated to keeping you in the loop on all things related to your academic journey, career exploration, and overall well-being! Be sure to check out the Woodburn Plus resource center for tons of helpful booklets, tip sheets, short Powerpoints and videos on all kinds of topics, from college & career planning to academic skills to mental health and wellness. Woodburn Plus is a great resource for students and parents, provided to you by Lancaster Lebanon IU 13. Here are some other things you'll find on this site:
Updates: What's Happening? 🌐
Stay tuned for regular updates on upcoming events, workshops, and important deadlines. From college fairs to skill-building sessions, I've got you covered.
Navigating the High School Journey 🚀
Embarking on the high school adventure can be both exciting and challenging. Here, you'll find tips and tricks on acing exams, managing stress, and making the most of your high school experience. Remember, you're not alone—I'm here to support you every step of the way!
Career & College Central 💼
Wondering about life after high school? This is your go-to spot for all things related to career exploration, college, and building a path toward your dream job. Unlock your potential and discover the exciting opportunities waiting for you!
Embracing Your Well-being 🌈
Your mental health matters! Dive into articles and resources devoted to mental health and well-being. Whether you're navigating friendships, coping with stress, or seeking advice on maintaining a healthy balance, here you'll find insights to help you thrive.
Spotlight on Success 🌟
Celebrate the achievements of your fellow students from around the country! From time to time, you'll see stories of academic triumph and personal accomplishments that are sure to inspire and motivate you on your own journey. Maybe you'll see stories from your fellow students and alumni on occasion!
Connect with Me 📧
Have questions or need guidance? Reach out! I'm here to support you. Whether it's through email, virtual office hours, or in-person appointments, let's work together to ensure your high school experience is everything you want it to be.
Remember, this space is for you. Feel free to explore, engage, and make the most of your high school years. Here's to a successful and fulfilling journey ahead!
Check out the latest issue of the Staying Connected Scholarships newsletter
How To Stop Feeling Overwhelmed
From The Wellness Society:
Wondering how to stop feeling overwhelmed? In our always-on, busy-glorifying society, it’s clear feeling overwhelmed is a universal struggle. So too is the self-inflicted pressure we put on ourselves.
Perfectionism, defined as “as a combination of excessively high personal standards and overly critical self-evaluations”, is officially on the rise , according to the Wellness Society. Growing perfectionistic tendencies have been identified as a key driver of depression and anxiety in millennials.
When you feel overwhelmed from both external and internal pressures, it’s like you’re signalling to your brain that your demands outweigh your resources. Your brain interprets this as danger, and you risk triggering the ‘fight, flight, or freeze’ stress response. If this goes on long enough, you might start experiencing physical symptoms of anxiety (such as breathing difficulties, heart palpitations and IBS), as well as low mood and energy.
The key to preventing this is to develop your mental wellbeing skills. Without these skills, you might find yourself resorting to your natural instinct: do nothing and withdraw. (Remember: it’s called the fight, flight, or freeze response.) Recognizing your tendency to freeze when overwhelmed is the first step in developing a helpful response strategy. Once you know you’re in the stress response, you can ... decide what to do next.
Here are four ways to stop feeling overwhelmed:
Cultivate the one-focus mindset
When you first notice yourself feeling overwhelmed, you can use the ‘STOP technique’ to help you focus on just one thing at a time. This video explains the STOP (Stop - Take a breath - Observe - Proceed) Technique
Adopt the Can-Control Mindset
Studies show that when we adopt a can-control mindset, we see meaningful and lasting differences in our wellbeing, health and performance. When you notice thoughts about factors outside your control, practice shifting your attention to what you can control.
Develop a relaxation habit
If you regularly feel overwhelmed and have developed ongoing physical anxiety symptoms, relaxation is key to feeling better. To understand why, we need to delve into the science of what’s happening in your body.
The ‘fight, flight or freeze’ stress response is triggered by a part of your nervous system whose job it is to control your automatic functions (e.g., your breathing, heartbeat, and digestive processes). This part of your nervous system is called the autonomic nervous system (ANS). Your ANS is split into two branches: the sympathetic branch and the parasympathetic branch. These branches work opposite each other and only one can dominate at a time.
In chronic stress, your sympathetic nervous system goes into overdrive. This is what gives rise to all of the distressing physical sensations. To feel calmer, you need to balance the activity of your ANS by activating our parasympathetic nervous system (PNS, a.k.a., 'the relaxation response'). This demonstrates a highly important fact: rest and relaxation are productive! Adequate rest helps you be your healthiest self. When it comes to relaxation - and improving your mental wellbeing in general - different things work at different times for different people. It’s important to remember that relaxation is a skill. Finding it difficult to relax is incredibly common. Practice makes progress!
Express your feelings
Finally, expressing your feelings is a powerful way to stop feeling overwhelmed. So powerful, it’s actually an in-built biological instinct. Research shows we release a hormone, oxytocin, that encourages us to seek social support during stressful times.
15 Free Career Sites For High School Students!
Choosing a career that is a good "fit" requires that you can identify your personal interests, values, and skills, and that you research occupations. A meaningful career match is one that supports your interests, values and skills. Through researching occupations that seem to be a good fit with those areas, you can begin to narrow down your career search. Our friends at Money Prodigy have compiled a list of 15 FREE career planning sites for High School Students that will help you! Here they are:
SITES THAT WILL HELP YOU MEASURE YOUR SKILL SETS:
1. Princeton Reviews Career Quiz - After registering (remember, it's free), you answer a series of 24 questions. You'll receive one of 4 "interest colors" for "Your Interest" and "Your Style". You can then tab over to "recommended careers" for a list of occupations specific to your personal interest and style.
2. Career Girls Career Quiz - A personality-based career quiz for girls that offers 35 different characteristics they can check off about themselves (multiple choice is totally allowed). Based on those personality traits, they’ll receive a list of appropriate careers.
3. O*Net Interest Profiler - You will learn about your "RIASEC" (Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional) Code, and match to occupations that align with your specific code.
4. Education.com On-Line Career Test - Answer 35 questions, register with an email, and then you get your results (on the same screen – not through your email). You will be measured for different career paths. The site also steers you toward the type of coursework you should take based on your results.
5. Career One Stop's Skill Matcher - Career One Stop has figured out 40 workplace skills, and created a skills matcher to help students match their real-life skills with them. You can choose a beginner, basic, skilled, advanced, or expert level in each of the 40 listed workplace skills. In the end, you'll get a list of jobs where your natural skills and the ones you want to develop come into play.
CAREER AWARENESS SITES:
1. Road Trip Nation - A very cool website for students – where young people travel around the US in an Green RV, to talk about and document people in all types of jobs about work that they love, getting lost in their careers, finding their ways, etc. When you click on “Start Your Roadmap”, you'll answer three questions and then be sent to a page of actual job ideas that list, among other info, the trend on that type of career (how much it’s growing or not growing). Not only that, but you can click over to “Leaders” and “Majors” to get more info/follow in the footsteps of how others got to that position. Here's a sample video about building a career in which you can make a difference:
2. Career Girls - This website contains resources to help teen girls discover things about themselves, research different career paths, hear from career role models about specific jobs, figure out how to develop employment skills they may be lacking, and much more.
3. Career Village - Connects students with real-world professionals to get your profession-specific questions answered! You leave a question on the site, and a professional will get back to you. How cool is that?!?
4. Job Shadow - On this site, you can listen to over 400 video interviews from professionals talking about what a day in their work life looks like. When a video isn't available, you can read the complete transcript.
5. Vault's Day In The Life - A collection of written “Day in the Life” pieces from hundreds of professionals in all kinds of career fields. For example, under “Human Services”, you can find a Day in the Life from:
An in-House Grant Writer
A Foundation Officer
A Peace Corp Volunteer
6. Mapping Your Future from CareerShip - Visit a featured career, match your career interests, review careers by cluster (a nice feature because once you get an idea of a broad industry you're interested in, you can drill down into the many different specific occupations in that cluster).
7. U.S. Department of Labor Employment Websites - Click on PA to find links to many different career resources specifically in Pennsylvania. For example, link to the PA Dept. of Labor & Industry to find all kinds of industry-specific information.
8. My Future - You can input a generic industry/career type (like “science”), and it spits out tons of job titles and salary ranges for that industry.
9. The Forage - Actual companies who hire people everyday have created virtual internship experiences.
Not only that, but: You can usually put the certification/experience on your resume (they have instructions at the end of each); and recruiters routinely go through completers of these programs first to find new job candidates. This site was only recently opened up to high school students, so check back frequently.
10. MyCareerTech - This is a website of free online courses created by Career and Technical Education
teachers. Each topic comes with video lessons, a certification, lesson plans, and tests.
New Crisis hotline
As of July 16, 2022, families across the country now have a new and easier way to connect to behavioral and/or mental health crisis services. Dialing 9-8-8 will connect you directly with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
988 can be used by anyone, any time, at no cost. Trained crisis response professionals can support individuals considering suicide, self-harm, or any behavioral or mental health need for themselves or people looking for help for a loved one experiencing a mental health crisis. Lifeline services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at no cost to the caller.
Callers will be directed to a local 988 call center based on a caller's area code where trained professionals are waiting to listen and assist.
Note: Callers will also be given the option to reach the Veterans Crisis Line (Option 1) or a Spanish speaker (Option 2).
If a local call center does not answer the call within 60 seconds, the call will be routed to one of Pennsylvania's three regional 988 call centers.
If a regional call center is unavailable, the call will be routed to the national backup network able to assess the crisis and connect to local assistance.
Covid Updates For Parents & Caregivers
For Reliable Ongoing Covid 19 Updates, check these sites:
Dept. of Health PA: https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx
Lancaster Online: https://lancasteronline.com/coronavirus/
I will add new information and resources to this website, should they become available. Be sure to check your school's website for any updates on policies, practices, and procedures.