Every year the same days roll around, and every year there’s that one day that should be more important than all the rest. No, I don’t mean Christmas, or Halloween, or even Easter; the ‘special day’ I’m talking about is your birthday. To almost every single person around you, your birthday is just like the rest. It is one of the many seemingly endless endurances in the stream of hours chipping away at that rock called life.
Your birthday should be special and celebrated with those you love. But what do you do when your expectations are let down? How can you believe in the beauty of a birthday, when all you’ve ever known is heartache, tears and a longing for something… more… that you’ve never found?
It sounds ridiculous that I’m even talking about this but I know there must be others like me: people who dread the disappointment of a birthday that never lives up to your dreams; people who can’t remember the last time no tears were shed from their eyes as they waited for something, anything, to happen, when they knew deep inside that nothing would. Because a birthday, really, is just like every other day.
Or is it? I’m turning 16 this month and I hand to heart have no clue how I feel about it, or even if there’s anything to feel in the first place. It seems like turning 16 has such a big taboo around it, but I just don’t know where I fit into this. All my friends have already turned 16 (quite a while ago), and their lives don’t seem at all different, so why would my ‘sweet’ 16th be at all special? All the magic has gone; I’ve felt sixteen for, well, a long time, so my birthday feels less like a celebration, and more like a formality. It’s a way for me to show a new found ‘maturity’ which I honestly feel I had long before the fated date.
Despite this, I’m still adamant to enjoy this birthday. How? By relying solely on myself. I don’t expect a spectacular performance from my family because, quite simply, they don’t have the time. All I ask is to remain happy for the WHOLE day. I know, this might not sound like much but being a teenager is rough, and we tend to get sad at least once a day. Well, not me (at least, not on my birthday), I remained happy last year and you can bet your bottom dollar (‘Lipstick on Your Collar’ reference, you’re welcome) I’m going to succeed once again.
I know the questions going through your head right now. ‘Oh my goodness, Chloë, staying happy for an entire day! Is that even possible?’ Well, I hope so, and here’s what I’m going to do to ensure it does:
So, some people love birthdays, they have massive parties, get all dressed up, and love the attention. I don’t blame them! Others really don’t like the attention, or the awkwardness of sitting there as people sing (usually badly, but the effort is there), or having to call up grandparents and thank them for a gift you will never use. Just, please remember, YOU DO YOU. It’s your day when it comes down to it, so do whatever floats your boat.
I hope this brought a smile to your face :) Have a splendid day xx
I think, by now, we’ve all realised that change is an inevitable part of life. As the seasons change throughout the year, so do we. This might happen once, twice or many times and these changes may be big, small, or a mix of both. Change is inevitable… that doesn’t mean it isn’t scary.
Whether joining a new school, starting a new hobby or cutting your hair, changes will affect you. It’s up to you in what way.
There’s a lot of changes going on in my life at the moment and, to avoid worrying about them, I subconsciously put all these changes to the back of my mind. Well, until now. Something felt off tonight; I felt worried and anxious about something but, I couldn’t quite tell what.
Then, I decided to pull out a scrap piece of paper (yes, I’m a good person, I reuse my paper) and write a single sentence slap-bang in the middle, drawing a circle- very messily- around it: ‘What I could be nervous about.’
From there, I treated my thoughts, feelings and recent experiences as a mindmap (quite literally, mapping my mind) and from there drew out the main things that are important in my life right now. This could include: school, relationship, friendship, hobbies, etc.
Once I had a fair few, I started writing ideas around each topic for why they could be making me nervous. For example, around school I had the following: ‘feels weird having nothing to do’ (I’ve just had my sixth form induction day); ‘clothes to wear’ (there’s a dress code but I’m worried because all of my skirts are too tight). If you try out this method, please remember that it may take some time for you to reach what was really worrying you and, when you do, it can be messy.
I’d gone through school, hobbies and my relationship and was half-way through friends before I realised what I was worried about. The one thing that was making me so stressed and anxious was the one thing that tied all of the main headings together: change.
Everything was going to change. At this point, I was crying. That’s okay. It felt like a dam that had been under pressure for who knows how long had finally burst open. Let it. Let those emotions pour out of you and don’t ignore them. Acknowledge how you feel and actively try to find a solution. That’s what I did and, trust me, it worked.
The first few suggestions from Google weren’t right for what I needed but, then I found it. The way I would resolve my worries would be by writing down each anxiety I had about something in my life that was going to change (e.g. lessons, school life, friendship group, my boyfriend going to a mixed school) and coming up with three positives that would come from them. I cried, a lot, but it was worth it and by the second bullet point, I realised I wasn’t afraid anymore.
This simple task allowed me to reevaluate these changes, viewing them from a positive light and then growing from them. Change is inevitable, so you might as well embrace it rather than shy away.
Look at me, I’ve turned this somewhat negative experience into a positive by not only altering the way I view change, but also writing an article to help others who are in a similar situation to how I was around 20 minutes ago.
I hope this helped :) Have a simply marvelous day xx
I love staying up late. I love how quiet and peaceful and dark it is. I love how there are no distractions. No buzzing phone, no annoying siblings, no nothing. Just me, sat in my room, doing, quite frankly, absolutely nothing.
Over the summer holidays, this was fine. I would go to bed at some ungodly hour and wake up at midday. The world was my oyster (note the sarcasm). Of course, on some days, I did have work, but I really enjoyed this, so it wasn’t a problem. I would stay up late listening to music, writing my novel, and living my best life.
But, now that school has started, things have changed. Dramatically. Initially, I had tried to stick to my summer sleeping schedule, but when I found that it hurt to keep my eyes open, I couldn’t focus on lessons, and I felt nauseated until around midday, I realized that something needed to change. Apparently, going to bed at one in the morning and waking up 5 hours later isn’t too good for your body. Who knew, right?
At some point in your life, you may have been asked whether you are an early bird or a night owl. Put simply, this question is asking if you function better in the morning or at night. Although I would usually define myself as a permanently exhausted pigeon, recently I’ve noticed just how unhealthy my sleep pattern has become and, in this article, I will try to explain how I overcame this issue.
You might think the solution is easy, just go to bed sooner! That’s what I thought too. I did try, I really did, but something always stopped me, whether it was just one more math question, or song, or Netflix episode, something always made me stay up later.
That night, I asked my mum to take my phone from me at 10pm, and I went to sleep straight after. Now, you may think I’m done, everything’s dandy, now I sleep like a lamb. Well, not exactly, or, at all really. The following evening, I 'forgot' to remind her to take my phone and, surprise, surprise, guess who got a solid 4 hours of sleep that night. It wasn't good, and I needed this to change.
After going online and asking my friends for suggestions on how to make my sleeping pattern better, I came up with the following ideas:
So, what I'm trying to say is that it is not healthy or at all beneficial to stay up late at night, regardless of how much work you think you are achieving, or even if it's just because you want to continue watching TikTok for the 5th consecutive hour. As teenagers, it is scientifically proven that we need a MINIMUM of 8 hours sleep, but to be honest I've found that I actually need around nine to function properly the following day. So, tonight, please try to get enough sleep.
I hope you have a fandabydosey day :)
I have always wished I could sing. I‘ve recorded myself singing along to my favorite tunes; I sit at my desk, disregarding my actual work, searching up song lyrics and giving them a go; I even tried singing exercises from the one and only BBC the other day. I have always wished I could sing, but I’ve never really done anything about it.
Sure, the option of lessons has always been there, and some may say they are no different from the lessons you take to learn an instrument. I disagree. Singing is such an emotional part of a person, and to then go to a stranger who is an expert in that field… that’s really scary.
My first singing lesson is in a few days and I’m half excited, half terrified. What if she laughs at me? What if I start to cry? What if she says I’ll never be good enough? It’s such a daunting experience but I’m still going to do it because, to quote Emma Watson, ‘If not now, when?’
The reason I decided that now was my time is quite simply because I want to audition for a musical and, apparently, I need to sing in the audition. For some reason unknown to any, I’m also going for the lead part and, although I understand there’s no way I’ll get it, that isn’t going to stop me from putting in 110%.
You may be reading this thinking I’m being a wuss, and that a simple singing lesson is no big deal. Or, maybe you’re feeling second-hand nerves, possibly taking the form of sweating palms, or a rise in heart rate. I’m feeling a bit of both.
Around an hour ago I was anxiously anticipating what was about to happen as I sat in the ‘waiting room’ of the zoom call with my singing teacher. I was scared but, surprisingly, nowhere near as scared as I thought I would be. I’d expected a million butterflies to swarm in my stomach, my throat to close up and tears to brim in my eyes. I was still scared, but that was inevitable.
As soon as I joined I knew I would be fine. Nervous, but fine. The lesson was absolutely amazing and I honestly cannot wait for the next one. We talked about singing techniques, went through breathing exercises and just got to know each other.
So, how did I cope with the nerves? How did I manage to produce any sound whatsoever when my throat was threatening to tighten for the first 15 minutes of the lesson?
What have I learnt from this experience? I’ve learnt that it’s actually really fun trying new things. I loved every single emotion I felt because of it: the nerves which grasp you in their tight grip and then melt into adrenaline as you begin; joy as you realise how much fun you’re having; relief when it’s all over and pride as you go through the ‘holy moly, I can’t believe I just did that!’ emotions.
It’s honestly amazing and I encourage you to go and give that thing you’ve always wanted to do a try! I donkey dare you (you have to now, it’s the rules).
I hope this helped :) Have an epic day, you deserve it xx
Staying healthy in itself is no easy feat, let alone staying healthy whilst housebound all day. We all struggle to find the motivation to get out of bed some (or most) mornings, and so I hope this article will enlighten a few ideas on how to stay as healthy as you can at the moment. But first, I want you to know that it’s okay to have bad days. Trust me, we all do.
Recently, I’ve been feeling really disheartened and almost disgusted when I look in the mirror. Before lockdown, I would do around five hours of exercise every week (not including walking), but now I am doing practically none. I have had no motivation because of thoughts like ‘What’s the point, no one’s going to see me anyway?’ I’ve had days where I’ve just sat in bed doing nothing except eat and watch Netflix. It’s hard for me to admit that, but I want you to know that if you have been in that situation recently, you are not alone.
It’s completely natural for you to feel more sad and unmotivated at the moment; we’re living in foreign, uncertain times. However, no matter how much you want to, you should not let this quarantine defeat your physical health. Okay, you can have a few days off every once in a while- I don’t blame you! - but you still need to find the energy in yourself to get up, put on your workout music and just do it! (Nike, please don’t sue me)
So, here’s a few tips to keep healthy during quarantine:
I want you to know that however you are handling this quarantine, you are not alone. Yes, you are stuck in your house, but there are people who want to help you, and who love and care about you. If you are ever struggling, reach out to someone, be that your parents, guardians, partners, friends, even us here at TWE! We all want the best for you, and we want you to thrive.
I hope this has made you feel better :) Have a fantabulous day! x
I’m sure you all know about everything that’s going on in the world now, and I also know how stressful and troubling these times can be. However, in this article I want to focus on the positives of being housebound. You can completely change your perspective on staying at home by simply taking up a few new hobbies.
At first, I must admit, leaving school a month before I had expected and being told that the past two years of work have been for nothing made me feel completely useless and obsolete. Still, I decided to put all of my revision guides and textbooks away, accepting that it was over, and actively deciding to move on. Instead of dwelling over lost hours, I sat down and wrote a list of everything I want to achieve in the next few months.
Of course, this is easier said than done. Telling someone you are going to learn how to play the piano or learn a new language is very different to actually sitting down and doing it. Therefore, in this article, not only am I going to give you a few ideas on goals you can set yourselves, but also ways to ensure that you achieve them.
First, I would recommend writing a list of all the new hobbies you’d like to pick up. For me, this included playing the clarinet, learning a new language, writing a play, writing music, and learning to draw. Second, you should write a schedule which loosely includes time to work on your new hobbies. What I’ve found most important about this is being realistic with the amount you want to achieve, and at what times you factor these into your daily schedule.
It’s almost everyone’s dream to have the ability to draw but if you honestly think you will achieve this by scrolling through artist’s Instagram accounts, I’m afraid to say you are probably wrong. I have planned a way for myself to improve this skill over time in what I hope is one of the best ways possible. After a long, hard day working, I realised that the perfect way to both relax as well as gain another skill is by watching Netflix and drawing whatever I want. There is no pressure on what you draw, how, or for how long, as long as you sit down and actually do it. I’ve found that this is most effective after I’ve just eaten dinner, because I honestly can’t face doing anything else.
Learning a new instrument is a great hobby to pick up. Of course, you may not own an instrument, but if you do, I would really recommend going online and finding a tutorial on the basics. My Grandad has wanted me to learn the clarinet for years, but I’ve always complained that I’m ‘too busy’- well, I clearly can’t use that one anymore! I would recommend practising your new instrument early in the morning to wake yourself up and prepare for the day.
One hobby that is easily accessible to pick up is learning a new language. There are various ways you can do this, from using Duolingo to simply watching films in a different language with subtitles in your language. I have decided to learn Spanish, and I am doing this by using Duolingo, and I found a great Podcast on Spotify called Spanish Lessons with Pablo- Learn Spanish. Honestly, I think learning a new language is one of the most important hobbies to pick up, because it will clearly help you later in life. Personally, I have decided to do little bits of Spanish learning throughout the day. So, it might help to allocate maybe three 10-minute slots into your day dedicated to maybe reading a book in the language you are learning, watching a movie, listening to a podcast, or going on Duolingo.
Another key hobby we all need to pick up when at home is exercise! I know, this isn’t the most appealing one to some, but science clearly tells us that exercise is good for us as it not only burns off fat and builds up our strength and endurance, but it also releases endorphins, or, as I like to call them, ‘happy hormones’.
I would suggest trying to spend at least one hour every day doing something active. Before you start complaining, let me just explain that this really isn’t as difficult as it seems. First, you do not have to do it all at once, you could split it into two half-hour slots, or maybe four 15-minute slots. It doesn’t matter! Next, exercise does not mean forming a sweaty heap on your bedroom floor as you follow a toned and perfect instructor on a YouTube video. Of course, this is a very easily accessible and recommended method to do exercise, but I understand that this really isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. There are so many other ways you could fit exercise into your day: maybe you want to learn a new dance; maybe you want to go outside (into your garden) and practise your netball or rugby skills; maybe you simply want to go outside for a walk in the fresh air. Whatever it is, it will release endorphins and ultimately make you feel better than you did at first.
Baking is another great hobby to pick up. Instead of leaving your parents or guardians to cook your meals every night, maybe you could offer up your services! If you are a beginner, like me, I would suggest starting off with a classic mac and cheese or risotto. Both dishes require learning some of the basics when it comes to the food world, and they taste really good! Of course, you can also go online, maybe to BBC GoodFood, for some more inspiration.
If you want to work on your cake or cookie skills, I would recommend using anything Mary Berry, she’s honestly magic! I try to do any baking around an hour before dinner, as a nice round-off to the day.
So, if you find yourself stuck at home, why not try to find a new hobby! This will be so beneficial in helping to pass the time, as well as making sure you are doing the best you can to keep yourself growing as an individual whilst stuck at home.
I hope this helped :) Have a fantastic day!
It starts as a whisper gliding on the wind, strong yet fragile, it battles the never-ending tide
Of hate and evil constantly breaking the peace of the bay, suffering in silence against
The relentless storm like the roll of the drums as the sun rises. Birds fly from their nests.
It continues to grow, a spark of hope in the darkness surrounding it, beating down on it,
Trying to conquer it. It will not prevail. Peace sows its seeds of hope and support and
Comfort, aiding streams of light, piercing the darkness, guiding more to join the quest
As it travels further into the abyss of humanities worst desires and greatest nightmares.
Its radiance reaches each corner of the Earth, forcing all evil into Hade’s cavern as it blossoms
In every blemish and scar and tear from the Old World. It will not give in. For peace is the force,
The almighty force, searching, seeking to rectify all evil in the world. Until it stops, admits defeat,
Ceases from existence. The bite has been taken, the bell has been struck, the world forever in evil
I found out about TWE on Instagram and, since then, I haven’t stopped loving it. So when my application to be a writer was accepted, I was over the moon. The experience so far has been very different to what I had initially expected. In fact, it has been much, much better. Everyone here has been so incredibly kind and helpful, even going out of their way to make sure I feel comfortable and fully understand my role. They’ve made me feel like a part of a community, and I am so grateful to them for that.
Ever since I was five, I’ve dreamed of becoming a writer, but I never really thought I’d get anywhere. I would sit in my room writing stories, imagining one day becoming a well-known author or journalist. TWE has given me the opportunity I never thought I would get. It has allowed me to write in a friendly, supportive environment, creating articles which are really important to me.
If you think that being a member of TWE sounds amazing, which it is, but you are nervous or worried about being a ‘newbie’, you really don’t need to. I was scared too, but regardless of my relentl was ess questions to Kaitlyn and Emily, they continue to guide me to become the best writer I can on this site. I would strongly recommend joining this team of caring people who all have incredible stories to tell.
I found it quite daunting when I applied for a writing position, so I’ve decided to write a few tips on the application process and on writing my first:
I really hope this article has helped you to understand more about what joining TWE is like - have a great day :) xx
Netball has been in my life since I was seven years old and it has honestly been a horrific journey for me to get to where I am today.
I first realised that my club only saw me as a player, rather than a human being, when I was seven years old and I was being let down. At every single game, I sat at the side-line watching my teammates improving and having fun. I can’t count the number of times I wanted to just give up nor the number of times I cried on the way home from another humiliating game where I never played. However, rather than giving up, I carried on and I tried even harder at my training sessions.
You’d hope that would have been. When I tried harder, automatically my netball ‘career’ would improve. Nope, not for me. I was moved down from my team at the next try-outs. All my friends stayed together and I was put with people I’d never met before. I know this sounds shallow, but the only good thing was that I was one of the better players and actually played in matches. This gave me a massive boost in confidence. However, we were still losing every game. The main problem was our shooters. They were amazing people, but they didn’t do much practise outside of training.
I decided that I’d had enough of losing. I spent the whole of that summer learning how to shoot. My team started to win and I was so happy with all my new friends.
At the next try-outs, I was shocked: I got moved up. Finally, I had been noticed. The new team was incredible but, once again, I knew no one. It was so much harder to make friends this time because the whole team had already played together for a year. I was the newbie who no one wanted. Even still, I kept practising. My team did really well and I was finally feeling good and playing well. The only problem was that I wasn’t close to anyone on the team.
In the following season I moved up an age group. This is where things went downhill. The team were still winning, but I began to slack off with my practise. My stats were honestly shocking. However, instead of pulling myself together, I just cried for most of the year when my stats got worse and worse. We went to Regional Qualifiers and didn’t get through. which was a major set-back for the whole team. After that, no one really bothered trying. I, regretfully, gave up.
At the next try-outs, I got moved down again. I was so close to quitting, but something made me stay. My friends had been moved down as well to make room for better players, but they didn’t seem to care but, I did. The coaches knew it. Over summer, I did some intense training, working on my foot work, ball placement, and my shots. When I came back, I was happy with my team. We weren’t the best by far and we weren’t even being put forward for Regional Qualifiers. Our coaches didn’t really care about us and we’d only trained together once.
Then, I heard that someone on the higher team had quit and there was an extra place. I knew I was being watched by the coaches so I tried hard in every training session.
A month ago, I was invited to one of their training sessions and was asked to be on their team. My team is incredible and I’m finally happy. I have Regional Qualifiers next week and I honestly think we have a shot to get through. I’m so excited!
So, overall, I hope, if nothing else, that this story inspires you to never give up! No matter how hopeless it seems, this netball club has taught me more than I thought. It’s taught me how to build myself back up, be a team player, make new friends and to love myself when it feels like no one else does.
Just remember, when the going gets tough, the tough get going (Joseph P. Kennedy).
I hope this helped :) Have a great day!