Are you unsure what you want to do in the future?? It is okay, we’ve all been there. Maybe you’re really indecisive like me, maybe you have a vague idea or maybe you are just completely lost. No matter which one you relate to I’m here to help, by telling you about my experience.
So, I was certain after binge watching all of 'Gilmore Girls' plus the revival that I wanted to be a journalist, just like Rory (one of the main characters). Which is why I started my blog as a way to build up a portfolio of my writing. I even started up a school newspaper in my highschool and then later joined my college’s student magazine. I showed that much enthusiasm towards it that I am now in line to be the chief editor next year. But speaking of college, I even suited my chosen courses around this idea of being a journalist, I mean I chose English and media (two obvious ones but my favourites) and sociology which is what I wanted to be my niche.
However, I recently had a review day where me and my teachers sat down to talk about how I’m getting on in their courses and how I can improve in advance of our summer progression tests. The grades we get in these tests decide if we continue our courses into the second year. In my meetings there was a unanimous trend that my writing wasn’t enough and that I wasn’t fully answering the exam questions. So, as a way to improve I was set the tasks of doing practice essays at home and attending an “Academic Writing Course” during my free periods in college.
Then when I got back home from college I told my Dad, and that's when we came to the realisation that maybe journalism isn’t right for me. I mean there is one journalist apprenticeship in my local area.On top of that it is a highly competitive field and I am having to take an extra course to work on improving the main skill required for this job. Which is how I came to the conclusion that maybe college isn’t right for me. That’s okay, there is a lot of speculation around being a college drop out and it is certainly seen as inferior. But I realised that an apprenticeship could be a better option for me.
My advice is to weigh up your options. Originally I thought that college was the only way and it is not. If you have any further questions I would love to help out, and if you have some advice why not help out??
High school is a time in which nearly every person experiences anxiety, whether it’s caused by the overwhelming amount of homework, or the ever-changing circle of friends. When a teenager is under stress whilst facing the typical anxieties surrounding fitting in, it is easy to fall victim to peer pressure, and ultimately develop an emotional dependency on drugs and alcohol.
Not only do these actions result in significant damage to the health of teenagers with developing bodies, but the psychological harm that teens undergo proves to be major in the effects of substance abuse.
Having witnessed this behaviour in my own home and at school, drug and alcohol abuse appears to be prevalent in teenagers who lack the proper support system at home or within their social circles to confront and work through their emotions. In addition, those struggling with self-image, bullying, family problems, and even the pressure of succeeding in school are more prone to escape these anxious feelings with what seems to be the easiest solution.
Although typically teen addicts may feel that drugs provide relief from stress, relying on a substance for any form of satisfaction only drives a person down a dark path. I have seen first-hand the effects that drugs and alcohol have on teens, such as strained relationships with family and friends, and losing touch of themselves and what truly brings them joy outside of their addiction.
The topic of drug abuse in adolescence is often wrongfully stigmatized. I find that those who refrain from smoking or drinking, or adults and family will judge others who use without empathizing with them and realizing that they are going through something. Those who simply want help for teen addicts overlook why one might be seeking to escape their reality in the first place. Within my school environment, it is difficult for adults and for some students to understand a teen who is reliant on drugs, and the aggressive and judgmental approach taken by parents and schools only widens the void between teen users and non-users. With the difficulty to understand each other, a teen addict is pushed further into self-isolation, ultimately worsening their addictive behaviour. What must be brought to light is how school staff, parents, and peers confront teen addiction, and ways in which both sides can be made to feel understood. Although every situation may be different, teen substance abuse stems from the inability of a teen to have the resources to properly digest and control their anxiety, making it a priority that parents and schools offer psychological help rather than judgment and punishment when confronting a potential addict.
Life as a teenager and young adult can be extremely busy and overwhelming. Especially because we have to balance school along with our personal life and other commitments that we have. This can be a lot and for many it is extremely tough to obtain a good schedule or routine.
One of the most important things to learn as a teenager is time management. Time management allows one to not waste time and spend one’s time in both useful and/or beneficial ways. Some efficient ways to manage your time are:
Another key to balancing school with your personal life is finishing schoolwork and studying in a timely and efficient manner. Easy ways to do this include:
Adding on to that, using your phone is one of the biggest ways of becoming distracted and wasting time. Limiting your screen time and putting your phone somewhere not easily accessible when doing any assignments will significantly improve your work ethic.
Moreover, managing your time, planning, and making schedules will help you be more efficient and will then allow you to have more time to spend with your family and friends. Additionally, you will have much more time to relax and spend time doing the things that you want to do. Another tip about spending time with friends is planning to hang out with friends only on the weekends or on days you have finished all of your work so that you are not interfering with your schedule or schoolwork.
Balancing school and your personal life can be stressful, but there are many ways to make every day a little bit easier and a little less taxing. Although some days can be really extremely hard and stressful, that’s okay because there will always be good days with your friends, and even at school!
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!
taking up bullet journaling
I am sure many teens, myself included, have a lot of pent up emotions that are not always easily understood or easy to express to others. In addition, many teens have so many everchanging personal goals and thoughts that are worth keeping and never forgetting. As an adolescent, so many emotions and thoughts run through our minds that are worth looking back on for self-reflection. The way one can relieve themselves of their emotional troubles, without the pressure that comes with speaking to another person, is through journaling.
As someone who finds it quite difficult to trust others with personal information, due to the fear of being judged, journaling has proven to be a very therapeutic way for me to relieve myself of stress. Each day, I like to keep a routine of journaling throughout the day, whether it be about random thoughts or ideas, or a dream I’d had the previous night. I like to also incorporate memories in any way I can, by writing with intent so that when I look back on my entries, I will have a clear view into my past. I have been doing this on and off since I was a little girl, and have just started back again as quarantine began. The feeling of looking back on your memories and your troubles back when you were in middle school or high school is especially heartwarming, as you get to see how much you’ve grown and overcome throughout your life.
Bullet-journaling, or just writing your thoughts out, can be an incredible outlet for teenagers, as there are endless ideas and goals that we are bound to lose track of. In addition, recording your own ideas and goals can make them more likely to actually be put into action, and be given clarity as to how it will be accomplished. This process can be made even more fun by personalizing your notebook, or giving it theme and structure. I recommend dedicating sections and pages to different aspects of your mind like a daily mood tracker, a bucket-list, or a collection of favorite songs from a given point in your life.
Personally, I believe that journaling is a key way to organize your thoughts and emotions, especially if sometimes you feel that your emotions are constantly fluctuating. Ultimately, everything is worth it once you are able to look back on all the progress you’ve made as a person in terms of your emotional state and life accomplishments.
Overall, there are infinite sources that can give someone the emotional relief they need, like drawing, singing, or watching sad movies, all of which are extremely helpful to different people. I encourage you all to explore that for yourself and prioritize it, because especially in these times of uncertainty, your mental health must come first.
Amidst the stressful situations that may occur throughout teen years, especially at home, school has always managed to be an escape in many ways for most. However, with the new remote-learning system in place, most of the benefits to school have been limited. Not only does this have an impact on students’ motivation to learn and put effort into their schoolwork, but also on teens’ overall mental health, as remote-learning deprives us of school’s social benefits.
For me personally, the switch into a remote-learning environment has hit especially hard, as prior to isolation, school had motivated me to succeed in school because of the social aspect that it provided. Spending meals with my friends, conversing with teachers, or just getting to leave the house each day was something I am sure many people looked forward to. However, it gets frustrating to be so isolated from the people you once saw everyday, and that is why many of us have lacked the motivation to stay attentive in our classes, among various other reasons. All that seems to remain of school is its endless stress from daily exams and assignments. I have noticed that many of my friends, as well as myself, fall victim to procrastination, as without the physical aspect, online school can lack the sense of realness, and therefore motivation to complete work has slowly perished.
However, there are many strategies that make it possible to overcome these hardships:
Overall, I am sure that every teen worldwide understands the struggles of keeping motivated during the introduction to this brand new school environment. Regardless of your potential skepticism, I encourage you all to push yourselves out of your comfort zones, and reflect on the bad or good habits that you may have developed over this unusual and crazy period of time.
Eating disorder recovery: Text 741741 (International)
National Suicide Prevention: 1-800-273-8255 (International)