With winter fading away and spring just around the corner, you may find yourself struggling to put a spring in your step. Whether it is because of a class, new sibling, or a fight with your best friend, these circumstances do not have to define you. The months of spring are not only for flowers blooming or birds chirping, it also is typically know for a rebirth of all kinds.
Always try and remember you are in control of how you react to each new situation. You can choose to be upset or take action and decide to view it as an opportunity for inner growth. Take the examples above and read on to see how a “lemon” situation can be turned into lemonade and what is more refreshing than that on a spring day!
Also ask your parents how you can help whether by babysitting or driving to the store to get more diapers. It might even lead to an increase in your allowance!
Another important aspect of the season, mentioned above, is the re-birth of various things in nature. You can take a cue from Mother Nature and let your inner beauty shine. Some ways of doing this are listed below.
The above are a few ideas to start the season right. Whether you trying a new hobby or helping the new kid in school, you can take a step in the right direction. Spring is times for growth so why not try to grow into the best version of you possible?
By Erin Sweeney
Music doesn’t come from a sound studio, as much as the fat cat record execs would have us all believe. No, it comes from the heart-and the loving, hard work that people pour in to the sound that they create.
There is a way for dedicated listeners to become involved in new projects, new songs…and work hand-in-hand with the musicians that are making the melodies of tomorrow.
Become involved in the process. You don’t have to travel to Hollywood to find an artist.
Here are some ways you can have a part with the sounds in your own community:
Get a hold of your local school and see if there is a way for you to be able to fund their musical arts program.
If there is, hold a bake sale, rock a lemonade stand, or sell off last season’s kicks in order to invest money in a child’s musical education.
There is music in every town. Find where the local groove is in your city. See if you can become part of a street team that hands out flyers or tweets for a local band in your community. Volunteering can take as little or as much effort as you want to put in. Being part of a grass-roots movement to get the word out about your town’s talent is a great way to get people to open up to new sounds.
If Blogging, tweeting, and Facebooking is where you shine, get those thumbs moving for the music that inspires you. If you love a band or artist, shout it out! Start a WordPress blog dedicated to your musical interests, follow your Muse online, or get your friends to open their hearts to a new genre of sound that you have discovered. Music is the universal language, after all.
Vote for the county measures that support arts in school, use your legal voice to vote on propositions that endorse free speech movements. There are broad ways that you can throw your support behind the music that moves you, and making sure that music remains open to all forms of expression, can be played on the radio, and continues to be an unhindered source of joy for future listeners can be done with a single vote.
You don’t have to be a professional singer or artist in order to influence the music industry. You have a voice. Let it be heard in your town.
- Jenn Cobb
Music has been around for centuries starting with the Stone Age and their chants. However over the decades some artists have changed the direction of music from inspirational to derogatory through its negative imagery and language. Music used to be a means of celebrating, not a vehicle for demeaning women or praising violent acts.
According to an article from the May 2003 publication of New Scientist, where they published the results of a study conducted at Iowa State University, the analysts “believed listening to violent lyrics could have a long-term effect – contributing to the development of a more aggressive and confrontational personality.”
The team lead, Craig Anderson was quoted as saying, “The message is important for all consumers, but especially for parents of children and adolescents.” “The study concluded with the finding “listening to angry, violent music does not appear to provide the kind of cathartic release that the general public and some professional and pop psychologists believe.”
This observation is not surprising considering the plethora of hip-hop artists producing hit songs one day and getting arrested the next. This is not to stereotype rap artists or metal bands but there are many other options of music to listen to other than aspiring to be like Chris Brown or screaming your head off with the newest Metallica song.
Music in its simplest form should transform your bad day and take you to a more relaxing state of mind. This article is not meant to say you cannot listen to your favorite pop station but just wants to point out negative connotations in music can have negative side effects on your personality down the road.
Below are some listening alternatives to the otherwise flood of images about harming women and selling drugs found in the majority of today’s popular songs. Read over the list below provided by the website www.helpmyselfesteem.com, sample the songs, and you might even surprise yourself and enjoy them.
If you don’t like these songs, maybe think of a song as a child you loved or a song that reminds you of your favorite summer trip. Remembering happy moments in your life will make you feel happier in the moment. So sit back, listen, and enjoy the tune of a brand new you!
- Erin Sweeney
Being green is not only the new black, but it keeps our planet clean and helps you save money! So what’s to lose? Here are some super easy tips to keep the planet and your wallet happy this summer:
Bike: With average gas prices approaching $4/gal, quit spending your money on gas and use a greener mode of transportation such as biking. It cuts down on air pollution and it keeps you in shape too!
Visit Your Local Farmers Market: Ditch the banana that traveled 3000 miles to get to your mouth and feast on local goodness that was grown in your area. It tastes better and cuts down on transportation pollution.
BYOB: Bring your own reusable water bottle with you when you’re out and about. You save about $200 a year and 14 lbs of plastic!
Shopping: Bring your own cloth bag to the store, whether its grocery or apparel. If you reduce plastic bag consumption to two per week, you’ll throw away 100 fewer bags per year.
Thank you for making a difference!
- Hannah McMerriman
The cliché saying “if they don’t like you for who you are, they are not your true friends” is cliché because it is true. Nowadays, even starting in elementary schools, cliques are formed and peer pressure is in full swing once you hit middle school and high school. Peer pressure can come in many forms: teasing, spreading rumors, and even physical bullying.
So is it that easy to rise above it all and stay true to you? It may not seem so but the best way to avoid giving into peer pressure is to avoid the unhealthy situations altogether and maintain your close support system. Support systems can also come in many forms such as friends who have the same interests as you, an older sibling, and yes even your parents.
These unhealthy situations are not just parties or the popular hangouts after school although these seem to be where peer pressure thrives but can occur on the bus or your neighborhood. Although avoiding the next party is easier than avoiding the other students on the bus but what matters is not even opening the door to peer pressure by talking to the bad influences.
Say you have to study or have a date to avoid even starting the lines of communication. You don’t have to lie but there are many other activities you could be doing other than giving into the latest gossip of who is doing what. Staying involved in extracurricular activities is a step in the right direction whether that is a sports team or art club.
Maintaining your true friendships who have the same interests as you can help you and them stay grounded. Although staying true to who you are is the best way to avoid peer pressure. Knowing what you believe in and your core value system, whether that is not smoking or drinking, even simply avoiding parties where there is no adult supervision will keep you on the path to success.
The cliché statement at the start of the article still rings true, people who pressure you to change your look, whether that is clothing or hair style, or even be more extreme such as cheat on a test or skip school are not your true friends and accepting of who you are. Just like your family who accept you no matter what, your real friends will react the same way.
This article is not meant to be a lecture on how to not enjoy your middle or high school years to its fullest. However living them to the fullest does not equal breaking the law like with underage drinking or hurting other people’s feelings.
You will find being popular changes as you get older and it is more about being confident in who your own skin are instead of acting out just to impress others. So live each day celebrating your true self and your true friends.
- Erin Sweeney