Trends: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Trends are as inconsistent as the USYD wifi. Sometimes you might feel the vibration in your pocket of your friend sending you a doodled Snapchat of Gilgamesh and you know you’re in a wifi hotspot, feeling the joy of connectivity. But it’s not all good news and devil horns – you never know when it’s going to drop out, cancelling your last minute reading plans and depriving you of lousy newsfeed scrolling. Then there’s the ugly. The times when you can’t understand why the hell there’s no internet in the quad, of all places.

Trends can be difficult to navigate, but here are some reminders that should hopefully make life a bit easier for you and put things into perspective:

GOOD: Memes are fun, so get on board even if they make you cringe. Memes are my favourite trend ever, mostly because they don’t rely on buying expensive items of clothing, simply a wifi connection (when it’s there). It’s so easy to get involved in and have a good laugh, especially since every computer has Comic Sans installed.

BAD: DO open that outrageously embarrassing umbrella to protect yourself from the rain. DON’T spend $20 to buy a new, serious black one just to fit in. “Keep Calm it’s Raining” is a fair piece of advice, even if it is screen-printed on a bright red umbrella. Rock it don’t knock it. Don’t think you have to buy a new umbrella, or shoes or bag just to fit in.

UGLY: Trends can have terrible, terrible consequences. Remember this when you decide to go out on Wednesday night before you’ve started that Writing assignment that’s due on Thursday.

Note: It’s important to remember that you don’t have to follow trends if you don’t want to. Don’t do anything that makes you uncomfortable or puts you or others in danger. Look after yourselves, homies.

Much love,

M xx

Photo credit: Clemson University

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Reflection: Confidence and Some Advice

My days in high school are coming to a close, which has prompted me to reflect on the past six years. One change I have noticed in myself is the confidence I have gained since first entering into the depths of high school.

When I was twelve, I had little confidence in myself and my abilities. I had backed into the shadows during primary school and refused to be involved in anything.

High school truly changed me. My commitment to learning and education was recognised year after year, and these encouraged me to slowly creep out of my shell in my senior years. I found an amazing group of friends, competed in debating and public speaking competitions and genuinely enjoyed the ride.

The point of this post is that confidence is important in order to be the best possible person that you can be. To persevere and to do what you dream of doing. That’s not to say that you should be narcissistic. Narcissism is defined as an excessive or erotic interest in oneself and one’s physical appearance. It is an extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration (copied straight from the New Oxford American Dictionary). This is bad, for anyone who cannot distinguish otherwise. To be confident is to accept your flaws and to persist despite them. To be narcissistic is to believe that you do not possess flaws. This is detrimental and anyone who believes that they do not possess flaws cannot mature and grow as a person. I know people who believe that narcissism is a virtue. These people have a stunted view of the world and will not get very far. They cannot offer you more than a wee spoonful of pleasure and anything you offer them is a waste of your beautiful talents.

This is what my high school experience has taught me, and it is knowledge I intend to carry with me throughout my life.

Have confidence in yourself and remember to stay humble.

Much love,

M xx

Stress Less!

Seeing as I have exams coming up pretty soon, I need as many de-stressing strategies as possible!

Therefore, I am going to share with you a few of my favourite techniques and websites for when things get a bit tough.

Music

A universal relaxation technique enjoyed by pretty much everyone. Although, stress relief does come in more than one genre. Typically associated with de-stressing is the classical/soft variety of music, however, I personally enjoy mixing it up with some energetic anthems to keep me feeling positive and awake (especially with my late-night-last-minute cramming).

Musicovery is a website where you can choose the degree of energy, genre, tempo etc. of music from a vast range of radios/playlists. It’s really simple to use and it’s free (though there is a subscription option). There’s also an iPhone/Android (?) app so you can take it anywhere. I’ve found it makes great background music for studying (if you’re into that).

Another awesome website is ZenCast. ZenCast is a site where you can customise various elements of sound in nature to your liking, volume, etc. and just sit back and relax to the sound of 60% campfire, 20% Calm River, 20% European Robin (my settings as I write this!) I love using this when I’m writing study notes, or writing an essay or story. It can also be used to help you fall asleep, and has a sleep timer, too!

Doing Nothing

As counterproductive as it sounds, doing nothing can help you to prevent procrastination and stimulate effective study! Sometimes, especially if you’ve just completed a strenuous task, having a five minute break allows you to rest, as well as de-clutter your mind before moving onto another task. I find that after about an hour of solid study, I begin the open tabs of tumblr. and youtube, distracting me and forcing my motivation to slip.

 

Food

Having the right food around you when you are stressed is essential! Many foods (especially fruits and veg) can help your body fight against physical and mental barriers: including stress! So I’ve compiled a list of foods that alleviate stress, with some serving suggestions:

  • Avodaco: Spread 1/4 of an avocado on a slice of toast, or on your favourite wrap or sandwich!
  • Berries: Try a mixed-berry smoothie, or yoghurt. Also, slice strawberries and dust with icing sugar for a slightly more indulgent snack.
  • Chamomile Tea: A lovely desk-side companion! Try having some before bed, too, for a soothing sleep.
  • Walnuts: A light snack you can take to your desk and munch on while working. Also tastes amazing with sour-cream and in various salads.
  • Chocolate: Ok, so even if Chocolate’s stress relief properties are claimed to be myths, it’s important to reward yourself for all the hard work you’re doing.

Reading

Escapism is always the best form of stress relief, for me personally (best ’till last!). I find that sinking into a nice book and absorbing in the setting, and empathising with the characters just lifts a great amount of weight from your shoulders. Nostalgic books work best for me (Harry Potter), because they not only take me into another world, but remind me of the times of when I discovered the book, or first read it – simpler times. I am not going to be compiling a reading list (maybe another time? Let me know if you’re interested in this) as I would feel bad for undoubtedly leaving something out, and your favourite books are completely subjective.


 

Thanks for taking the time to read this long and probably unamusing post! Good luck to anyone who has a test or stressful event coming up in the future!

xx

Markarid