Staying Organized and Productive

Q: Describe school in one word.

A: Busy

School has been ridiculously busy since it started up in September.  Grade 11 is no joke.  Homework has ridiculously increased (last year’s Grade 10 was pretty much a joke as far as school work goes – but that’s another story), volleyball has started up, piano is on the go, dance is on, and on top of that, I have started tutoring a few different kids and am now one of the executive on my schools SRC.

To be honest, I am pretty much barely managing to get everything done.  I am expecting one of these days to end up having a major meltdown.

Until then, I just need to improve on being organized and productive (most teenager’s least favourite words, I think).

Here are some of my tips on managing your time wisely (hey, maybe if I write some down I’ll actually follow them).

1.) Keep a planner/calendar.  I would easily say this is the smartest thing you could possibly do.  Whether you put everything into your phone, keep a calendar, or log it in a planner.  Write EVERYTHING down.  You do not know how many times I have had to scramble to finish up my math questions because I did not remember they were due next period.

I write in a journal.  It is mostly filled with to-do lists that I write every morning before I go to school and than I jot down any other thoughts that may be accumulating in my head.

For the past couple of months I have also been printing off online monthly calendars I find on various places on the Internet.  I find this super helpful because I can jot everything down for the whole month and always know what’s coming up.

2.) Get it done.  I am extremely guilty of this (especially lately) of using up my spare time to just watch TV or do who know’s what.  Then, I end up having to cram and finish everything quite poorly around ten at night because it’s due the next day.  Plus, I always end up frustrated and tend to blame everyone else for why it’s not done.  Why would my teacher set due for the next day?  I have so much stuff due tomorrow – it’s so unfair!  I’m just not going to do any of it because I think it’s unfair.  That type of stuff.  I have to learn to stop complaining (it’s not unfair at all, it’s school, and I’m just lazy) and just get it done.  Something that I have vowed on this year is trying my hardest on all of my assignments, something I have not previously done.  I am still trying to work on this, but it’s always a good feeling, even if you don’t do so great on it, to know that you completely deserved your mark.

3.) Ask for help.  This I need to start putting into action.  The first month, being our school’s activities director, I thought it was solely my responsibility for planning one of our school events (a school-wide game thing we call survivor) and completely stressed myself out about getting it done.

It went over well, but I realized at the end that there are people who are willing to help me out and that if I do mess up on something, it really isn’t the end of the world.  Thank you SRC for helping me realize this.  We have a great group this year. 🙂

4.) Decide what’s important.  Sure yearbook and inMotion would be nice to join, but I do I really want more things on my plate?  Learn to say no because it’s important not to spread yourself too thin.

5.) Don’t forget to have fun.  If you have a ton of assignments due the next day, then be realistic about how much time you can spend on yourself.  Instead of spending three hours of watching TV and surfing the web, spend maybe half an hour or an hour depending on what your situation is.  Maybe watch a couple funny Youtube videos to boost your morale or give yourself a facial and nice shower.  You’ll thank yourself later.

Do you have any tips for surviving school?

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My Future

I found this written last June and thought I should share it.

Today in English class we wrote letters to ourselves in ten years and created bucket lists. I made each pretty light hearted, but both have really gotten me thinking about who I am and who I want to be. I’ve been thinking about my future a lot lately. The #LiveLikeEric story has really inspired me. He was an adventurer (and on The Bachelorette) who recently died this year. They said he made the most of every moment. His goal was to travel to 195 countries in under 3 years and 3 months to beat the world record. Sadly, Eric didn’t get to finish. It makes me think about what I want to do in my lifetime and reminds me to make every moment count. There are so many different paths for me to take and I can really do anything I like. Until then I have to try my hardest in everything, make every moment special, and #LiveLikeEric.

To check out the #LiveLikeEric foundation click HERE

Do you know what you want to do in your lifetime? Has someone’s storytelling touched you?

What to do When I Feel Insecure

1. Prioritize – Realize insecurities are not the end of the world (good way to do this is to watch the news and realize what is going on in the world)

2. Do something special for myself

3. Exercise 

4. Try something new (ex: hairstyle, food, book, etc.)

5. Watch a feel good movie

6. Talk to someone

7. Play piano

8. Eat something delicious

9. Think of things I am thankful for

10. Do something nice for someone else

11. Clean

12. Let it out

13. Wear comfy clothes

14. Wear my favourite outfit

15. Sleep

16. Have a fresh start

17. Come up with a mantra

18. Think of my role models

19. Do something fun

20. Learn to love myself

 

My Week in Alberta: Nature at Its Finest

I just spent a week in the mountains in Alberta on a quading trip with my cousins and aunt and uncle. I went last year with them, too. We stay with my uncle’s old friend in his little log cabin in the middle of nowhere! He is a goat farmer and has around twenty goats roaming around. There is no Internet or phone service, either. We went quading in the mountains almost every day and I even got to see my first rodeo!
I feel bad for those who don’t get to experience nature in its finest. Concrete and skyscrapers just don’t cut it. We went on trails that probably no one had ever been on before. We were discovering things for the very first time.
I think that nature is very good for the body, mind, and soul. It can destress you and leave you feeling very calm and refreshed. I was feeling very overwhelmed before I went because I’ve been working a lot and was left feeling exhausted. As soon as I got a view of the mountains and smelled the crisp, fresh air, my worries went away. I think that nature has this affect on people because it’s so simple. There aren’t any complicated wiring on a tree; your mind isn’t focused on a new reality show; it doesn’t smell like a mixture of sweat and fast food (haha, thank goodness). Nature lets your mind wander and be free, which is one of my favourite parts about being in the Alberta rockies.
Nature also allows you to experience new, exciting things (much more exciting than going up a level in your new app). I got to cuddle with a baby goat, swim in a river (which was ridiculously cold, btw!), get stuck multiple times while quadding, see some amazing views, and we even got the chance to see some wild horses!
I think that everyone needs to take some time in their life to spend it in the outdoors. I mean, the real outdoors. Not just your fenced in backyard. Go hiking or have a picnic by a river or pond.
Taking in all of nature’s beauty also had a different affect on me. Get hands on experience really makes you want to save nature and the forests. We got to view a few areas that had been clear-cutted. It’s not very impressive or nice. It gives you a new respect for the earth and how important it is.
I implore you all to go spend some time outside and away from technology!

Gossip and Rumours

I just finished read Beacon street Girls 10 Just Kidding and it made me think a lot about rumours and gossiping and teasing.
I am one who believes we can’t ‘bubble wrap’ ourselves from any harm or danger and that we have to go through challenges in order to grow.
That being said, we should also be learning how to be better, greater people.
One thing that I think makes a great person, is being kind. People who gossip and choose to talk about other people private lives aren’t being kind.
We’ve all gossiped before. I have. It is sort of fun and interesting and sometimes it’s all you have to talk about. What’s bad is when it turns negative and you start spreading it around. The truth can get twisted and can really hurt people.
What also hurts is making mean comments and then adding ‘just kidding’ to the end. Of course friends will always tease, but some comments can really bring people down and if you don’t laugh it off, then people assume you have no humour.
I have one really good friend who I like to tease a lot. I never meant any of it, but I sort of knew that she didn’t find it funny any more. One day she told me that she was sad because of the mean comments we hadn’t even really realized we’d been making. We felt really bad an apologized and stopped. We still tease one another, but we’ve learned to bring it down a notch so it’s not hurtful.
I like to think that people who actively gossip and spread rumours must have very boring lives if they have to spend time talking about others.
Always remember if you are being gossiped and having rumours spread about you, that you should remember who you are. Rumours don’t define you. If it’s a close friend talking about you, confront them instead of talking behind their back. If it is someone who barely know, who cares? They don’t know you enough to know the truth.
If you are gossiping or with a group of friends, try to stop. Change subjects or just stay quiet. Think how you would like to be treated.
You can either choose to be a better person or sink down to others levels.

Jealousy

Chances are, you’ve probably gotten hit by the green-eyed monster some time in your life.  You’ve been jealous over how someone looks, their athleticism, their smarts…the list could go on forever.

I’ve been there, and still go there.  It’s hard to realize what amazing things you have when all you do is compare yourself to others.  Jealousy has the opposite affect that you want it to have.

Recently, I was jealous of my friend for a bit.  She’s very pretty, nice, smart, athletic, and is really good at meeting new people.  I’m a little more shy and awkward in new situations.  I began comparing everything I had to her.  The number of Instagram followers, likes on a picture, grades, awards…creepy, huh?  The thing that really gets me now, is that I would acknowledge the things I excelled at, too, and would just skip over them, like they didn’t count.  I was thinking that I had to be better or the same to her in every single category that she was good at.  I wasn’t taking time to realize that we will always be different.  We aren’t supposed to be or want to be exact molds of anyone.  So why was I so obsessed and jealous?

I was watching a video (think it was by Bubzbeauty, but I’m not sure) about jealousy on Youtube, because I wanted to hear someone else’s point of view.  At the end, I think I had really understood that I am supposed to be different, and that’s not a bad thing.

I can draw okay.   I am good at school.  I think I am a good role model to my younger cousins.  I’m a good team player in volleyball.  I like playing piano.  I like blogging.  I like reading.

All of these things define me and make me different.  No one else will ever be like me and I will never be exactly like anyone else.

So I think the key to getting over jealousy, is really think about what you are good at and appreciate that you are different.  Don’t just think grades or after school activities – dig deeper.  Life isn’t a competition.  Just do your best and do what you love.

Bucket List

I mentioned in a previous post that I had started writing a bucket list in my English class. I thought I would post it here and add on to it when I think of stuff. Do you have a bucket list? If so, what’s on it?

1) Live in another country for at least 4 months
2) Travel and do a handstand in every continent!
3) Do something to help the world before I’m 25
4) Swim with dolphins
5) Go to the ice festival in Montreal
6) See a broadway show in New York
7) Meet a role model
8) Go a regular week with no technology
9) Do something crazy/terrifying (ex: skydiving, repelling)
10) Learn another language
11) Learn to surf

5 Ways to Have a Great Day

My favourite teacher who retired last year was the guest speaker at graduation (not mine!) this year. He was funny and totally inspiring like he always is. He decided to give us some easy steps on how to have the best day ever!

1) Get enough sleep – Studies say that even if you are twenty minutes deprived of a good sleep, you won’t wake up super happy. Go to bed early and feel good when you wake up!

2) Smile – I’ve heard so many times that smiling really makes you happy. Even if you are sad. It sort of tricks your brain! Who doesn’t look more approachable and happy when they’re smiling?

3) Focus on the positives – So many things and thoughts happen in your day and the ones we remember are mostly negatives. Reflect on your day and really think about the positives. They will almost most definitely outweigh the negatives! Focus on them instead of the negatives! You will feel so much happier.

4) Spend a part of your day doing something for someone else – You always feel better at the end of the day when you help somebody else!

5) Just be a nice person – No one feels happy when they are tearing down people all the time. Just be nice and you won’t feel guilty at the end of the day!

Too Loud

I’ve recently come to terms that my biggest issue (not only!) in being a good person is that I am too loud. It sounds quite simple to fix right? Wrong.
Being too loud I have learned has made me come off as obnoxious, show-offy, cocky, insensitive, and annoying. Even if am not saying anything mean, a lot of times, I’m just saying stuff to say something. Does that make sense? I blurt out my answers before anyone has a chance and sometimes even shut others down when I’m not even realizing it.

There are positives with this problem I guess: I’m outgoing and speak my mind and I’m not afraid to be myself.

I think I will always do that. But there are ways that I can still express myself without being such an obnoxious loudmouth.

My new personal goal is to be a little more quiet. Meaning that I will listen more before blurting out my answers, and I’ll think before I actually speak. And I won’t make my voice so loud (which tends to come off as cocky and annoying). I won’t stop expressing myself or sharing my ideas. I’ll let other people share there’s too.

I know this is going to be harder than it looks. My thinking before I speak is a real habit that I have to break (along with chewing my finger nails, lol!).
I’ve come up with a small list of things that would be better if I was a little more quiet:
1) I’ll be a better listener – And will probably get a whole new perspective on things!
2) I’ll be a better friend – I tend to not get my friends opinions. And I know I must be annoying.
3) I’ll be more approachable – I don’t like people who are always boasting and laughing too loud. Why should I act this way?