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Interview with author of The Reality Check Fairy’s Guide to Making High School Count, Amber Godwin!


The Reality Check Fairy’s Guide to Making High School Count

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The Reality Check Fairy offers guidance through checklists, charts, and tough love style, practical advice. Through four chapters build on self-reflection, the guide offers readers the opportunity to see a breakdown of how they can make their high school years count toward big picture goals like college acceptance, a successful career and a well-adjusted adult life. There are Thoughts to Think segments featured periodically throughout the text to get readers to consider their own ideas about goal-setting and the purpose of their life. Each chapter is divided in three sections-the explanation of the chapter, a breakdown of what activities the reader will participate in for the chapter, and then WHY the reader needs to do these activities. The goal of the Reality Check Fairy is to help empower high school students to think purposefully about their time, more fulfilling lives while in high school, college, and beyond.





Welcome to the Reality Check Fairy’s Guide to Making High School Count! If used properly this guide should help you begin to find yourself, map out a plan for your high school experience, and know how to prepare for the years following graduation. This guide sometimes goes in a direction you weren’t expecting. That’s ok, it will make sense in the end. Trust that every activity has a purpose.


Speaking of random direction: let’s talk about the movie “Alice in Wonderland”. If you’re anything like me you probably can’t count the number of times you’ve watched and been amused by Alice’s misguided adventure. My favorite part is when Alice asks the Cheshire Cat, “Which way do I go?” and then the Cheshire Cat responds, “Well, that depends on where you want to get to.” Alice then says “Oh, it really doesn’t matter,” and the Cheshire Cat responds, “Then it really doesn’t matter which way you go.”


Alice seems very frustrated at this point and the plot moves forward but that part always stuck with me. I think you’ll agree that the amusing thing here is that the Cheshire Cat is right-if you don’t have a plan for where you’re going then it really doesn’t matter which way you go. The purpose of this guide is for you to formulate a plan that works for you so you don’t turn out like Alice.


The Reality Check Fairy’s Bottom Line:

Alice got lost because she didn’t have a plan.

You don’t want to get lost like Alice did.

Use this guide to make a plan so you don’t get lost in high school.


Let’s get started, here are the rules.


There are no rules. You make the rules on how to use this guide. Nobody will ever know what you’ve written or decided unless you choose to share that information with them. Use this guide as a tool to learn about yourself and what you want for your future. The chapters are numbered only so you can reference them easily but that does not necessarily mean that you must go through them in numeric order. Find a path that you’d like to go down for the moment and explore to see where it leads you, you can always come back to the beginning and start again if things don’t work out the way you thought they would.


Throughout the guide you will see many “Thoughts to Think”. The purpose of these mini-activities is for you to reflect on what you think or believe about the “thoughts” that have been provided. Thinking critically on these will help you not only practice forming your own opinions but also to realize what it’s like to make a decision completely independent of someone else.


Speaking of independence, the Reality Check Fairy will frequently make appearances throughout your guide to remind you that the future is in your hands-and that ultimately you control what path you choose.


To be clear, high school is a special time for students…you’re starting to learn how to be on your own but you’re still living at home. You need to start branching out and taking care of yourself. This is called “self-advocating” and as soon as you are comfortable doing it, the idea that the end of high school is going to launch you into the real world won’t seem so scary.


By choosing to use this guide you’ve already exhibited a need to take responsibility for your actions-that’s good; it means you’ve already begun to self-advocate. Remember, self-advocating means that you are using your voice to approach problems that you face head-on instead of enlisting the direct assistance of a third party. That means you take care of your own business, without relying on someone else to step in and save the day. You are in control and you need to practice self-advocating.




Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!

Hey, I’m from Northwest Florida-currently living in Texas. I come from a huge family, and I love it! I am a full-time history teacher, which is the best job in the world, I get to talk about the stories of the past. I enjoy reading, doing yoga, swimming, and Zumba!  


Tell us about your book? How did it get started?

My husband Phillip and I have both had unique high school and college experiences. One day, many Aprils ago we were stuck inside. It was raining and we were bored-our conversation started veering toward that time in our lives and we decided that we should write down things that we would tell past high school and college-aged selves if given the opportunity. We wrote all afternoon, even into the night.


That rainy-day conversation became the framework for “The Reality Check Fairy’s Guide to Making High School Count”. Originally there were cartoon art pieces included drawn by Phillip and only four chapters. The content has gone through an evolution as well as we have experienced so much life since writing the RCF started; once we had children we started adding to or taking out what seemed irrelevant.


What do you like to read?

Our family reads-I read for fun, Phillip reads for fun, our sons read for fun as well. We read storybooks, non-fiction, literature…you name it! I think reading is so important not just to gain information about a subject, not only to exercise your imagination, but also to learn more about yourself.


When you read you’re able to explore new ideas and then process how you feel about those and discuss that with others, I think that critically thinking about what we have read and sharing that with others leads us to a new kind of personal development and perhaps an enriched relationship with those dearest to us.



What would your advice to be for others seeking what you achieved?

Oprah Winfrey once said “Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.” Writing is raw and terrifying, it’s releasing something of yourself onto a page or canvas. That takes courage. Be brave-write for yourself, write for your reasons. Trust your journey.    


Anything else you’d like to share?

It was our goal in writing the RCF that we would begin a series that is somewhat philosophical and introspective so that we can help others through our life experiences. We hope you enjoy the Reality Check Fairy’s Guide to Making High School Count.







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