PLEASE NOTE: You must be 18 or over to legally use a dating website or app so please bear that in mind.
Online dating has become increasingly popular in recent years and it looks like that trend is only going to continue. Gone are the days of meeting someone in a bar or through a mutual friend. It's easy to see why people turn to websites like Tinder, or Match.com. It is so easy to create a profile and it allows you to meet single people outside your circles who you may not have otherwise given a second look.
But online dating is also scary. With an estimated 323.9 million people using dating apps (source: Cloudwards.net) it can be really difficult to decide who to 'swipe left' or 'swipe right', so to speak. Not everyone on a dating site is going to be trustworthy and who they say they are and, certainly for women, unsolicited pictures (colloquially known as 'dick pics') are a common occurrence. But it’s not just women. Men can also feel concerned for their safety as women online can also be inclined to lie or make omissions about who they are and their life. So do the pros of online dating outweigh the cons and if so, how can you keep yourself safe?
I am extremely inexperienced when it comes to dating. My first and only serious relationship was when I was 15/16 years old and it really didn't end well. I had briefly considered online dating before but I had always been scared as all I’ve ever known is the horror stories you hear about catfishes and dick pics and people just looking for sex. I knew I didn’t want that so I was very reluctant to go online, despite my godmother insisting that I needed to get out there again and give dating a chance. But, despite my reservations, I have recently taken the leap and decided to try Facebook Dating. It’s been an interesting endeavour, to say the least. I was decidedly optimistic about online dating and thought I’d met ‘the one’ the first time I matched and spoke with someone.
That was my first encounter with what I call ‘the bullshitter.’ He told me he’d never met anyone like me, never felt this way about anyone and he was falling in love with me (this was all on the first date, two days after we’d started talking, can I add.) He kept saying how he couldn’t wait to put a ring on my finger and spend his life with me. Cue two weeks later, two days before our second date, he messaged me to tell me he was getting back with his ex-girlfriend… who was also pregnant with his baby. I mean - what, wow. What am I meant to do with that?
Understandably, I was pretty cautious and nervous after that about getting too invested in anyone. I didn’t want to be let down yet again. In the past month or so, I have matched with many people and spoken with roughly half of them. Half of those I’ve clicked with and half of them either didn’t work out or didn’t even reply. I’ve been ghosted, sent unsolicited dirty messages and blocked for no reason at all among other strange interactions. I honestly considered deactivating my profile and just giving up again.
Roughly two weeks ago, I met one of the sweetest guys I've ever encountered. He has one young daughter which is a bit scary for a 22 year old, but he is so kind and makes me feel pretty damn special - not in the way the bullshitter did though, but in a genuine way. He’s made it very clear that he’s fine with me needing to slow down and he won’t pressure me into anything that I’m not ready for or completely 100% comfortable with. It’s early days but we’ve been on three dates so far and thanks to him, I’ve regained a little bit of hope and faith in online dating.
Just because I have met some horrible people doesn’t mean that everyone is horrible. There are some genuinely nice guys online, as proven by the latest guy I’ve met. Online dating is scary and yes, it can be really difficult to navigate like some kind of unsolvable puzzle. But I don't want you to write it off just because of the prospect of meeting someone horrible. So here are some tips from personal experience on how to keep yourself safe and enjoy the experience.
So whilst I encourage you to enjoy the experience of online dating if you decide to try it, I’ll leave you with this thought: be careful and stay safe.
~ Kenzie x
When it’s coming up to Summertime we all like to have something planned. That’s when a bucket list comes into action! A bucket list is when a person makes plans that they would like to accomplish during their lifetime.
Summer is about creating special memories with family and friends. But who’s to say bucket lists are just for Summer?
There are four seasons every year, so we can make more bucket lists! The benefits of having a bucket list are you have something to be excited about but also you can plan it out too! Also, it can make you feel motivated that you’re going to accomplish your dream!
Here are some ideas for each season!
Spring Bucket List;
Summer Bucket List;
Autumn Bucket List;
Winter Bucket List;
So there are just a few ideas on how to create your seasonal bucket lists! But remember these bucket lists don’t have to be big ideas they can be little ones like helping out a neighbour or taking your family out for dinner.
The things you put onto your season bucket list are your personal ideas and you can complete them anytime you want! It’s fun to create seasonal bucket lists so you can have an idea of what you would like to do in the New Year.
Some of the things I’d like to complete in the New Year are;
My bucket list has helped me to grow my confidence to get out more but also have a positive look at life. My future can be filled with exploring but also discovering myself more.
The importance of a bucket list is to live a life with hopes and aspirations. Whilst also reflecting on our values and goals,
Despite going through different things in each of our lives, there are some aspects to life that we share—one of those regarding getting a job. Whether we’re talking about part-time or something you want to do for the rest of your life, this is something we all go through. Working is an essential part of life.
To say I am very lucky to have the job I have now is an understatement. Given my circumstances, I would have been foolish to turn down a job like the one I have now. Not only does the job pay $3.75 more than the minimum wage, but it is also across the street from where I live, and it allows me to meet new people and develop more relationships (not to mention my coworker who is very easy on the eyes). I currently work at a gas station which requires me to manage the store by myself most times. Some of the requirements of my job include:
Working is not easy. There are many factors to getting and maintaining a job. While some jobs are easier to perform than others, it is important to recognize the hard work it takes for everyone to perform their job. In this article, I wish to share the process of getting my first job as well as how I am doing so far.
Step 1: Looking For Jobs
This was definitely harder than it sounds. I had multiple things to keep in mind as I searched for a place to work. These factors included:
Step 2: Applying/Interview Process
There are plenty of websites where companies post if they are hiring. Another good tip is to search for a company you want to work for, and call/make a visit to see about applying. What I personally did was look up jobs in my area, then refined that search to a specific company to see if they were hiring. Sometimes, if a company is desperately looking for employees, they may skip your resume and immediately ask for an interview. While this doesn’t always happen, it is important to be prepared for an interview soon after applying. Personally, since the gas station needed workers, I bypassed the interview process and only had to submit a background check. While I had an easy interview process, I still recognize that most people still have to go through a vigorous process for interviews.
Step 3: Training
Once you have successfully passed the interview process, you will have the training to teach you the ropes.
This happens with every new job you get to ensure you are able to successfully complete the tasks assigned to you. With my training, I had two phases: computer and on-the-job training. Computer training is essentially taking courses, while on-the-job is more hands-on.
Some tips I have to get you through training are:
While there are plenty more things to consider when completing training, the steps
listed above helped me tons getting through it.
Step 4: Maintaining Your Work Performance
Once you have completed training, it is now time for you to put your skills to the test. Since I work at a gas station that only allows one person per shift (with the exception of the manager and trainees) I was quite nervous to handle the customers by myself whilst ensuring the gas station is clean.
Below, I have compiled some tips to help you maintain excellence, regardless of where you work.
Working is a part of life. Everybody experiences it and will have different encounters each time. While my experience won’t relate to everyone, I have compiled advice that could help in a broader sense. Getting a job is not an easy thing and will take time. Don’t feel discouraged by getting rejected, there will always be a job out there that is perfect for you. Good luck to everyone that is looking for a job or already working!
Best of Luck,
One of the worst things imaginable is waking up early, especially on days where you are allowed to sleep in. You spend hours tossing and turning, hoping sleep will eventually happen, except it doesn’t. If you have ever experienced waking up too early for your liking, you are not alone. Up until recently, I spent years waking up at 4:00 in the morning, even on weekends. This was especially bad since I ended up going to sleep too early.
Some people who don’t experience this might see this more as a blessing than a curse because they are unable to wake up early without an alarm clock. However, waking up too early can be detrimental to one’s health, especially because a good chunk of teenagers go to sleep very late.
Waking up too early was something that I absolutely hated about my body. Sure, I can brag about being able to rise before my alarm, but that doesn’t mean that I want to be up and about at that time. Problems that have occured to me waking up too early include:
In order to understand our bodies, and why we arise too early in the morning, it is essential that we learn about our circadian rhythm. A circadian rhythm includes physical, mental, and behavioral processes that occur in a 24-hour cycle. A healthy circadian rhythm allows you to go to sleep and wake up at consistent times. However, you still need to aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
Finding a good circadian rhythm for me took years, because my body was waking up despite being constantly tired. Below, I have provided some tips that have helped me gain control of my circadian rhythm again.
Now, these may not necessarily work for you. Everyone’s body is different, so you may have to try new methods to fix your circadian rhythm. Below, I have compiled a list of even more solutions in case mine didn’t work.
Waking up early is a part of life, it is something that is necessary for everybody. However, it is possible to wake up too early. It is important to listen to your body and figure out how you can maintain a healthy circadian rhythm so you’re getting as much sleep as necessary.
Writer’s block can feel like the worst thing to overcome when you’re stuck in the middle of it. To help you get through this, I’ve come up with a list of writing prompts that could help!
My first day of 11th grade was my first day back at school in over a year. It was one of the weirdest days of my life. Being on campus with over 3,000 students again after being in only zoom classes for over a year was a dramatic change. Going back to sitting with groups of people and having normal social interactions, rather than breakout rooms with minimal interaction, while being in the comfort of your own home, in whatever clothes you want, eating whenever you want, and pretty much doing anything whenever you want, is a big change compared to in-person school. Seeing people and being surrounded with numerous others was a big change, not only literally but also emotionally.
I was used to waking up for school just minutes before my first class and being half asleep throughout most of it, but being back in-person completely changed my mood in school and towards school. Overall, I felt much better and much happier, however, it was quite overwhelming going back with so many people and so many expectations.
Although I am happy to be back and get back into the normal groove of things, it will take sometime. Recently, due COVID, I haven’t had to or haven’t been able to make new friends and really try to make connections, but now I do because it is important to do so. Even though being super social is not everyone’s strong suit, as it definitely isn’t mine, I found it quite easy and natural to make new friends in my classes, and just in general.
One thing I thought that was interesting about COIVID and my experience throughout COVID is that I have actually become more social. I used to be extremely shy and although I still can be, I find it much easier to talk to others, although presentations and public speaking are still extremely difficult for me. But now that we are back in-person, presentations are a part of many classes and even though they can be scary, practicing and being prepared will make it easier.
Another thing about being back at in-person school is getting involved in school and school activities. Dances are finally back, football games and other sports events, clubs, and even just being involved in classes. I know I am going to take full advantage of these things and be as involved as possible because I have missed so much this past year. I highly recommend getting as involved as you can with school and school activities because they are so much fun and only last a few years.
Although going back to school can be crazy overwhelming, I’m so glad I am able to go back because I feel that I’ve missed crucial parts of my high school years. I’m ready to fully enjoy these next couple of years and I hope you are too!
“You have been trapped in the glass room for so long that your head is foggy, like the time when alcohol took you into oblivion. Your hand looks shrunken and your shoes look enlarged. The world from the glass room looks like it belongs to a classic black and white movie, almost fake. It seems like you are one of the characters in the movie and people with blurry, distorted faces and hoarse voices. A sigh that escapes your dry lips is slow, almost as if your brain needed that time to process the surroundings to escape the numbness. Your eyes are fixed on your contorted reflection, on the glass, that looks more unsettling than yesterday.”
This, reader, is derealization and depersonalization.
Derealization is a mental condition where an individual feels detached from their surroundings. While in depersonalization, an individual feels detached from themselves, as if they are watching themselves as an outsider. They aren’t just limited to feeling like being in a dream or numbness. They can be severe and can interfere with your daily life. There are various causes of derealization and depersonalization, ranging from trauma to depression and anxiety.
Describing episodes of derealization and depersonalization is difficult. It can cause individuals to be occupied with checking what is real and what is not. Here are a few symptoms:
Majority of my day goes by sitting behind a glass observing my distorted surroundings or myself. Even as I am writing this, I feel like I am observing myself from the back and I know exactly how I look from behind. I have always felt like I am observing everything from a third person point of view, almost like an alien spying on the human world and every activity. My memories lack emotion and seem unreal. It feels like my memories aren’t mine and it is something from a movie, book, or imagination. During my episodes, time usually goes slow, voices seem hollow and my vision is foggy. I know I am going through an episode, but there is no way out of it. After the episode, I forget whatever I did during the episode.
I have taken this concern to my mental health professionals. They assumed stress as the main reason behind this and would probably change my medicines to help me out. My psychologist suggested stimulating my brain by using five senses to help me out of my episode. Stimulation can range from bubble bath, music to coloring a book. She suggested I engage in physical activities and continue with the techniques she taught me during CBT.
One of the best techniques to help derealization and depersonalization is mindfulness, which basically just means to be aware of your present and stimulate your brain. Here are few mindfulness techniques for when you have your episode:
Remember to keep your eyes moving and your brain working. Don’t continuously zone out on a single thought. Occupy your 5 senses! I usually carry stress toys, gum/candy and small perfumes. They help me stimulate my senses.
Meditation, therapy and medications are other options you have. Remember that these episodes can last for a few minutes and even months! Visit a professional if it lasts too long and/or interferes with your daily life.
Remember that you are not alone and these episodes won’t last forever.
Healing isn’t linear.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depersonalization-derealization-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20352911 (learn more)
https://cimhs.com/ (therapy for depression)
https://ticktalkto.com/ (therapy with certified professionals)
In this article, Nataliya Davis will be highlighting some important aspects of how to improve your mental health, explaining how to set aside some time to really think about the things that are important to us. Therefore making room for those things. Prioritizing our mental health should always be one of our main concerns day-to-day, and in general life too. Making the necessary changes in order to improve your mental health is so important, even if it's scary. Even when you are unsure Where the changes will lead you. Outside of any obligation you may have, making sure you are okay is the most important, because it's so easy to forget!
I'm in a completely different mental space now, because I was committed to making those changes. Which I'll highlight a little later in this article! I'm glad I did so, but it didn't happen so easily, I finally made those adjustments after months of hesitation! Hesitation is normal. Not being sure whether or not you're making the right decision is natural. Let's go over some mental health blockers.
Some things that could be affecting how you feel right now are:
Improving your mental health can also include doing things that bring you joy! Some of those things include starting new hobbies or getting back into old hobbies like:
I am also aware that doing things that we enjoy to do to improve our mental health can be just as hard as cutting off a friend, or quitting a job. We all live busy lives, and sometimes it's hard just to get in the regular things that we want to do to have fun, or pursue passions.
Over the last 4 years of my life it's been a rollercoaster to evolve, and improve on my mental health, it's something that you will always have to work on! It's just a matter of making sure you never stop doing it! I've had to quit 3 jobs, I started my own small business and have slowly gotten back into my passions and joys, such as reading and writing which were some of my favorite things to do years prior! Although it wasn't easy slowly getting back to those things were some of the best decisions I've ever made.
What made it a gradual process to do these things were, being in a relationship, working full time and being exhausted. In addition to that having family and friendship stress! I had to reevaluate what I needed as a person, to get back to myself, outside of everything around me! If you have a lingering thought about doing something, even if you are unsure about it in the moment - write it down! Keep lists of goals you want to accomplish to improve your quality of life! Whether it's just one or two things, it's good to start somewhere! It's okay to start small too!
I have always said this in relation to making sure you are okay, "your mental well being is something you will always have to deal with for the rest of your life. It's apart of you. This is your body, and your mind. Things people say and do, Relationships with people, and jobs, will come and go." You will have to maintain your mental health forever, and you will never regret making the necessary changes to keep it in tact. So, if something doesn't feel right or safe let it go. If it's mentally and physically draining you sit and access the resources you have to make those changes. If you know there are things out there you can do that are going to make you happy, take those small steps at a time to pursue it! You will thank yourself in the longrun!
Hi my name is Josh and I’m new to TWE. Seeing as I love writing and my dogs I thought why not put the two together and help you find the perfect pet pal!! Also, as this was a collaborative piece it was a great opportunity for me to meet other members of TWE and their furry friends.
These two are Tiger Lily and Nala!! They're my dogs Nala (on the right) is a Shitpoo and Lily (the happy one on the left) is a Cavapoo. As these two are both quite small and fluffy dogs they are perfect for cuddling up on the sofa with.
This is Menna's dog. He is a Cocker Spaniel. These dogs are very social, however if you don’t train them properly they can become very fearful. Proper training is important for all types of pets to ensure they live a happy life.
This is Alex. He is a German Shepherd and he belongs to Weronika. These are large dogs typically associated with the idea of being police dogs, despite their ability to get on great within the home.
This is Ebony's partner's Cockapoo called Charlie. Not only is he adorable but cockapoos are highly energetic dogs so they will need lots of mental and physical activities, to keep them constantly occupied.
Kenzie has a cat who is also called Nala!! Unlike dogs, cats like their independence and so caring for one won’t be as demanding but they won’t say no to a belly rub.
And lastly we have Sid the bunny who belongs to Katie. Due to their small size these adorable balls of fluff will need to be kept in a pen whilst you’re away to make sure that they don’t escape!!
Choosing the correct pet is a big decision that requires lots of patience and lots of thought. But after all that work you will have found yourself a friend for life!!
Already, there’s probably some of you thinking, what IS a young carer? Without directly quoting Google, a young carer is a child, or young person who looks after someone with a physical, or mental disability. This is an umbrella term, because a lot of people think young carer and see the stereotype of looking after a parent, often in a wheelchair or with another physical disability. It’s so much more. There’s mental disabilities, there’s substance abuse, there’s so many different things to being a young carer. And they can also care for other family members, even siblings. It doesn’t just have to be a parent.
There are hundreds of thousands of young carers in the United Kingdom alone, and so many more worldwide. It’s a tiresome battle, but they’re not alone. With the support of friends, family, school and work, that’s half the battle.
Being a young carer myself, if I could give any words of wisdom to people on what to do in order to help, all I would ask is to listen. We need someone to talk to, and sometimes things at home can get a bit too much. A rant, a listening ear. And compassion from work and teaching staff. Although there is some understanding, they should all be aware.
Although there are negatives, in the last 5 years, so much awareness has been raised about young carers, in Scotland there’s even a grant for those between 16-18 with a caring responsibility. If you actually are a young carer, there are loads of online forums that are helpful, teachers and bosses can help, and there are Young Carers support groups, not as cliche as it sounds. My group changed my life for the better.
Just remember, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. And if you aren’t actually a young carer, just try your best to support us. It goes a long way.