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?

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


Role Model: Payson Keeler from Make it Or Break it

Name: Payson Keeler

Status: Fictional Character from ABC Family show Make it Or Break It

Occupation: Training to become an Olympic gymnast


Why Payson Keeler is special: Payson is special because she is so dedicated and passionate about her sport.  In the first season, she is the top gymnast due to all of her hard training, but then she suffers a life-changing injury.  We watch Payson defy the odds and climb her way back up to the top, despite what anyone believes.

Why I look up to Payson Keeler: Her work ethic is amazing.  She won’t stop until she reaches her goal and she always gives her whole effort.  Payson also is an awkward teenager (very much like myself).  Even, being a top gymnast, she has body issues and troubles with boys.  It is nice to have a TV character so relatable.  Payson is a good teammate and friend, too.

Lessons to Learn from Payson: Give it your all, don’t stop until you’ve reached your goals, dream big, and believe in yourself – I like to apply some of these things that I’ve learned from Payson to when I play volleyball.  Whenever I get really tired, I just think to myself: Would Payson quit?  I think it’s a great motivator.



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.

My Goals for Summer

I just out of school and one of my favourite things to do is to write down the things I want to accomplish for summer. I’ve done this past years and think that it’s really fun and helpful. If you write something down I find it is so much easier to follow through with it.

1) Stretch, stretch, stretch! – I want to have a good over split in both sides, get my middle splits, and have a good scorpion by the time dance starts again in September.

2) Make money – At the moment I do not have a summer job so I will probably end up working on the farm for my dad. I really want to make money this year and work hard to get it.

3) Spend time with family – I hope to make some new memories and I want to take my little cousin swimming a few days.

4) Be more grateful – I want to look at the bigger picture and be more thankful for what I had and get to do.

5) Read

6) Be responsible and trustworthy – This is referring to any parties I may or may not go to. I want my parents to know that they can trust me and I won’t abuse their trust.

7) Try something new – This could be a yoga class or biking to town or just getting out of my comfort zone

8) Make the most out of my time – I don’t want to spend the whole summer inside watching tv. I want to make memories!

9) Slap on the sunscreen – No burns for me

10) Be more considerate – I want to be friendlier and listen more and be more approachable.

11) Be healthy – I want to go for runs, swim for endurance, ride my bike, you name it! I also want to eat very healthy!

What are your goals for the summer?

Art Class

Tomorrow is the deadline for my distance ed art class.  I really enjoyed it, though it did stress me out a bit.  I love being challenged and this really pushed my creativity.  It gave me a good excuse to sit and draw all afternoon!  I’m not very good, but I liked learning some new techniques and reasonings behind art.

For my final project, I need to do an exhibition displaying some of the art work I created during my class.  I decided to create an Instagram account and posted the pictures there.

I would really appreciate it if you would take time and like and maybe comment on my pictures.  I love getting feedback and my project is due tomorrow.  I’d be more than willing to check out and follow your account if you like!


My user is: artbyharper5

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

Finding Happiness

I’ve recently been wondering a lot about what it means to truly be ‘happy’ and how to be it everyday!

I’m actually quite a happy person, but I know there are so many ways to improve our happiness and stop the unnecessary negativity in our lives.

Check out this video below.  I love Bubzbeauty and her videos are always so refreshing and inspirational!

Take a look at her website HERE!

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?