Category Archives: School

Be real. Be authentic. Be YOU!

Hey guys! Long time no see?  :))))look-at-all-this-good-food-i-cant-eat Yes, I’ve been MIA but it’s been for very good reasons.

I’ve actually accomplished a lot over the past few months, and I really needed to stay focused. Blogging just had to take the back burner for some time being. I took two virtual classes over summer (and passed with A’s – go me!!!), got braces (*cries*), chopped half my hair off, and poured out chapter after chapter of a book I’m currently working on.

Yes, I’ve accomplished a lot!

I’ve also started my sophomore year in high school and it’s been pretty good so far!

Going back to school has made me come to several realizations. For example, the realization that I’m no longer the youngest in school (good-bye freshman year) and of course, the realization that the cafeteria food just isn’t very good (yep, no change there).

I’ve also discovered that I have a lot of pet peeves. And when I say a lot, I mean a LOTsharpay-meme!

They range from topics of bullying and judging others to simple things such as pouring your cereal into the bowl before pouring the milk, and making sure to never pair orange with pink when coordinating outfits.

For today’s blog post, I’d like to talk about one particular pet peeve. It’s been something that’s been on my mind for quite some time.

It’s about being authentic, being genuine.

Being real.

Now, I know a few of you are probably going “Ahem, I am indeed flesh and blood ma’am”, however, that’s not the kind of real I’m talking about here.

Being real sometimes just isn’t that easy, unfortunately. And it’s all because of the society we have created. There are so many reasons why many of us choose to not be real.

In my perspective, being “real” consists of two main qualities. These are honesty and authenticity.

keep-calm-and-be-honest#1: Honesty

Being honest is such an important quality to being real. Honesty is the setting stone and foundation for “trust” and “trust” is the setting stone and foundation to friendship.

I personally feel as though I’m being fake whenever I tell even the tiniest of fibs, things such as “no mom, I don’t have any homework,”  or “yeah, I totally took my vitamins today”. Even though honesty is something I’m still working on in certain areas of my life (I really don’t like taking vitamins), I feel like I can’t stress its importance enough.

But think about it for a moment.

If you aren’t honest, how do you expect others to be honest with you?

If you aren’t honest, how can you be a good friend to someone, or even trustworthy, towards those you care for?

To be real, you have to be honest. Honest with yourself, and honest with who you are as a person.

And if you’re unable to be honest, it’s important to take some time to figure why that is the case. Take some time to journal about it, maybe talk to a close friend or a family member about it. Reflect on your feelings and figure out why it may be challenging for you. Sometimes it just has to do with giving yourself permission to BE yourself, and allowing others to see you for who you really are. Our society doesn’t make it easy, which leads to the second quality I’d like to talk about.

#2: Authenticitysay-what-you-feel-its-not-being-rude-its-being-real

Authenticity is another important factor in being real. And what I mean by being authentic is not being fake.

I’ve become very outspoken and blunt over the course of months. Personally, I prefer not to talk about anyone behind their backs nor engage in those types of conversations (gossiping about someone). What I’m saying is, when I don’t feel comfortable around someone or I don’t like them, I choose to let that person know directly why I may be unhappy versus gossiping about them behind their backs or telling others negative things about them. In my opinion, this is the best way to be authentic, and the way I choose to do so.

And choosing to be authentic and honest (yes, I can indeed tie my points together 🙂 ) with someone is a much better feeling than being fake.  I feel like a better person, and it makes me feel good to be myself.

I do know that it’s hard sometimes because people around you – and society – make you feel like you have to be someone you’re really not. And it’s so normal these days to be indirect.

be-real-be-yourself-be-unique-be-true-be-honest-be-humber-be-happyBut… telling the truth, being honest about how you feel, and being authentic 100% of the time is giving yourself permission to be your own truth. You have a right to be yourself, regardless of what anyone says or thinks of you. I feel like these are the basics that we all expect everyone to give to us (honesty and authenticity), yet we choose to not BE this ourselves. Makes sense?

Be real.

Be authentic.

Be you! 

Don’t pretend. It will honestly make your life so much easier (I’m speaking from experience) and you’ll be a much HAPPIER person in general. You’ll feel better about yourself, and you’ll notice that you’re making a difference by simply being you.

Now it’s your turn to share. Do you consider yourself a real person? If yes, why? And if not, what exactly is holding you back? Are you afraid of being judged? Are you afraid of not being accepted for who you are?when-your-favorite-blogger-doesnt-post-on-time

Share your experience in the comments below and let’s discuss!

Until next time (hopefully soon 😉 )!

~ Rina Raj



10 Lessons I Learned My Freshman Year

summer adventures here I comeHey guys,


Well, a few days ago, I finished my freshman year in high school and I’ve been reflecting on some of the lessons I’ve learned throughout the year. I wanted to share these with you.

Here are ten lessons I’ve learned throughout this school year.

#1: It’s not as easy as it seemseasy

A lot of students (myself included) are under the impression that freshman year is going to be the easiest thing ever.

Lol, nope!

I jumped straight into taking all honors and an AP class, with my mind set on the fact that it wouldn’t be as hard as middle school.

It was challenging. It really was.

I’ve never had a C before in any of my classes, but this year I did. I was a bit upset with myself at first but, I learned a lot about why it happened.

I’m not trying to discourage anyone from taking all honors or AP classes during their freshman year at all. But I will share that you will need to up your game.

You should always give every project, every assignment and every test everything you’ve got. Be prepared to work harder!  Meet with teachers before or after school, get extra help if needed, form study groups with students, take extra time to study, look at different resources.  Prepare yourself to work harder and you will succeed!

become a teacher they said itll be fun they said#2: Teachers deserve a TON of credit

Students in general often look at their teachers as being annoying, or mean, and I admit to being one of those students for much of the school year.

We DON’T often notice that our teachers have to plan the lessons out and grade all the homework, tests and projects while dealing with hundreds of students (who can be thoroughly disrespectful at times) all while being under paid.

Yes, I said it. Teachers are underpaid and they deal with a lot on a daily basis.

Students may have some relaxation time at home, but teachers bring work home to grade. They’re at school early to help their students, and they stay after school to help their students as well. We just don’t give them enough credit. Remember that whenever you blame a teacher for not teaching, or explaining a topic sufficiently, they are not the only problem. Ask your teacher questions, and you may be very surprised. Teachers are there to help you, not destroy you. 😉

#3: Don’t give upthe mystery of edwin drood

Our Town. Into the Woods. The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Three shows, three auditions, and I didn’t get into any of these shows.

What does this mean?

I know a lot of people who would be devastated by that, by not making it into one show. But I also know a lot of people who wouldn’t be discouraged by it, either. I’m not going to pretend that I wasn’t upset when I didn’t get into the first show, and that I wasn’t equally as upset when I didn’t get into the second. Or the third.

However, after not getting a part in Our Town or in Into the Woods, I started to tell myself that it was okay. There would be other shows, there would be other opportunities to audition, and one day It’d be my turn to shine.

And so, when I auditioned for The Mystery of Edwin Drood this past week and didn’t get a part, I congratulated everyone who got a role and reflected on what I could’ve done better during my audition to improve myself.

The moral of the story – learn what you can do to improve and don’t ever give up. Sometimes, it’s just not the right timing. But when the time is right, it will happen. Just keep going and don’t give up!

push yourself because no one else is going to do it for you#4: If you think you’re pushing yourself hard enough, push harder!

I’m guilty of not pushing myself hard enough this year. Yes, I took vigorous courses this past school year, but I didn’t do any extra credit or do anything more than what was actually assigned. If it wasn’t required, I didn’t feel I needed to.

Extra credit isn’t something I HAD to do to in order to pass a class. But it’s something I should’ve done anyway.

Because in the midst of all the A’s on worksheets and quizzes, an F on one test could bring that grade down to a C in a heartbeat. And that extra credit, well, it would’ve helped. In high school, every point helps. So if you have an opportunity to earn free points, do it. It won’t ever hurt to have extra points.

#5: Friends will come, and friends will gopeople come into your life for a reason a season or a lifetime

For over three years, I had one of the best friendships I’ve ever experienced. I’d never had a best friend until sixth grade, and when our friendship lasted throughout middle school, I thought it would last forever.

But just like in middle school, high school is about discovering yourself, and finding out who you are. When my best friend “found” herself, she was a completely different person. We didn’t have much in common anymore. Recently, she chose to end our friendship.

It’s okay to grow into different people. Friendships do not necessarily need to come to an end. Sometimes being “different” will make a friendship grow stronger. Other times, it doesn’t quite work out that way.

dont let people bring you down focus on those who love you forget the ones who don'tI do miss her a ton, and I have so many wonderful memories with her that I’ll always cherish. But I’m learning slowly that as new people come into my life, others have to leave it.

#6: Focus on the people who matter

The people that care about you are the people you should focus your attention on, because those are the ones IMG_4162that truly matter. The ones who uplift you, the ones that are always there for you. If someone doesn’t care about you, don’t put your energy or time into them. Focus on the people who do care, for those are the ones who will bring value into your life.

#7: Embrace change

Again, high school is a time of self discovery. We learn more and more about who we are as a person. 

you may think you know someone so well but people change and they're always more than what you think about themYour friends might start to hang out with different people, and find themselves discovering different interests. They may start to dress differently, listen to different music, until they’ve become a completely different person. And that’s okay.

Change is okay. It’s healthy, and a natural part of life. Embrace it, learn from it and use it to your advantage. Change isn’t something to be afraid of. Change helps you to learn more about yourself and who you are as a person.

stand up for yourself#8: Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself

One of my friends has been getting picked on a majority of the school year, and she chose to not say anything about it to the teacher.

However, during a class when we had a substitute teacher, the kids picking on her took it a bit too far. She ended up with a lollipop stuck in her hair and tears running down her cheeks. Another friend and I decided enough was enough. After escorting our friend to see a guidance counselor, we gave the substitute teacher a detailed description of what had happened.

The kids never bothered her again.

If you’re someone that’s been getting bullied, speak up and say something. I cannot stress enough how important it is to stand up for yourself. It will continue until you put a stop to it. So be courageous and stand up for yourself!

#9: Be present and enjoy every momentnot everything lasts forever but enjoy it while it lasts

While I’m excited for this school year to be over, I’m also in disbelief that my freshman year is over. I only have three more years left in high school. While that may be a good thing, I can’t help but think of how sad it’ll be when high school is officially over in a few years.

I’m a bit disappointed in myself for not trying my best to enjoy my freshman year to the fullest. I know now (*singing*AND I KNOW THINGS NOW, MANY VALUABLE THINGS…) how important it is to be present during these next few years of high school. I will be more mindful, and I will enjoy every moment of my high school days.

When high school is over, it’s over.  You can’t turn the clock back. All you will have left are the TONS of memories that you’ve created which will hopefully give you something to always smile about. That’s a gift.

#10: Watch out in the parking lot!

No joke.

Upperclassmen can be CA-RA-ZY drivers. 😛

watch out sophomore year, here we comeAll in all, freshman year was a good one, and I definitely learned a lot about my teachers, my friends and myself.

Sophomore year, here I come! 🙂

Now that this school year is over, or is coming to an end, what are some lessons you have learned throughout this school year? Comment below and let’s discuss! I look forward to reading about it!

Until next time!

~Rina Raj

Is Sex REALLY Worth it? *music starts* BABY I’M WORTH IT UH HUH I’M WORTH IT

bollywoodHey guys, it’s definitely been a while! I’ve done so much over the past month and a half, it’s hard to keep track.

In February, I turned 15 years old (though my mom still says I’m 14 *rolls eyes*) and I (successfully!!!) performed a Bollywood dance at a fundraising event with my sister and dance instructor. It was an awesome experience!

In the beginning of March, my school’s chorus program traveled to MPA (music performance assessment) and all 4 choirs received superior ratings (the best you can get, which means we all get to go to state MPA now!!!).

One of the most important things I’ve noticed – especially throughout February and March – is how lightly our generation takes sex.  Yup, you read that right.  Sex is the hottest topic of discussion in school as early as elementary school these days.

In my opinion, sex is an important topic, something that needs to be discussed and that’s worth bringing to light in order to better understand. We can’t pretend it isn’t happening. It is, and with consequences in many situations.

After conversing with a girl my age who was having unprotected sex with multiple partners, and was having a pregnancy scare and planning to abort her baby (which she promptly did), I couldn’t fight the urge of wanting to gather statistics and write a post about this.

2013 US

I decided to gather opinions from 30 females (friends, and friends of friends) who are currently in high school regarding their thoughts on sex. Here’s what some of these female students had to say.

“Do what you want, it’s your body. But it’s better to love and trust the person first.”

“Wait until after high school.”

“We’re all still babies!”

“You should not do it unless you wanna be 16 and pregnant and on TV.”

“If you don’t wanna do it, then you’re just f***ing weird.”

“It should be embraced. You’re in high school, you should have fun.”

“Don’t do it.”dont have sex because you will get pregnant and die

“I don’t think you should have sex in high school.”

“You shouldn’t have sex in high school.”

“If it’s with someone you truly love, then okay if you want to.”

“I don’t think you should in high school, you have your whole life ahead of you.”

“I think it’s stupid to have sex in high school, unless it’s rape and you don’t have a choice.

“I think you should wait.”

“I think you should wait because you don’t know if that person is just using you for your body. In high school, sex is just something for people to brag about.”

“It depends on who it is.”

“Definitely not in high school. Wait until marriage. Sex should be special because it’s for your life long partner and so you shouldn’t, like, waste it on other people.”

“As long as your intimacy is in private and you don’t publicly flaunt it, it’s okay. It is your body and you do what you want. If you believe in abstinence then go ahead and abstain. If you feel confident and you are willing, then go right ahead. Personally, I’m not sure if I would have sex in high school. I’m a freshman and I’m naïve. You make mistakes. You learn from them. If I absolutely love the person I’m with and know that this is the person I want to be with forever, I probably would.”

with sex comes great responsibility“No amount of protection can save you.”

“As long as you have protection, go for it.”

“Sex is awesome, and anybody who doesn’t agree with that has issues.”

“Sex equals babies, and babies aren’t always fun.”

We also asked these students if they, personally, would have sex in high school. 13 out of 30 females said yes, and 17 out of 30 females said no.

I was so surprised that almost half of these students said yes to that question. I’ve always been told that sex is something special, and something that should be saved for someone you know you’re going to be with forever.

Which brings me to the final question these girls were also asked: Do you think sex should be special or not?

22 out of 30 said yes. 8 out of 30 said no.

This one had me thinking… why wouldn’t sex be considered special?

I thought about it a lot, and I realized that most girls give up their virginity because they think that -to put it bluntly- having sex with a guy will make him like her.

It’s sad how young girls think that the only way to have a guy truly like them is to offer their body, and assume that afterwards the guy will stick around.

Though many girls in high school facing this situation are blinded from the option of saying no, it’s still there and it’s still a choice.

It’s your body. It’s your choice.dont be afraid of being different

If you’re a female in high school and you don’t want to say no, then that’s your choice. Just make sure you love yourself and your body before expecting someone else to. Make sure you’re not doing it out of insecurities, or to make a guy like you or stay with you.

Always remember that It’s OK  to say no! It’s okay to choose to wait. And more importantly, it’s okay to be a virgin.

I feel like my generation has totally thrown the importance and beauty of sex out the window and focuses on sex purely being a tool for pleasure, and pleasure only. I’m not sure when being a virgin became a bad thing and sleeping around became a trend. But this is pretty much the way it is portrayed in my high school. One is looked upon negatively if they choose to abstain from sex.

We all have different beliefs on the meaning and basis of sex, and there really isn’t a solid or definite right or wrong opinion. It’s a personal choice. It’s common these days, but we need not shame those who choose to wait.

Several students at school have already asked me what my personal take is in regards to this topic, so I’d like to share my thoughts with you.

No, I would not give myself to someone in high school. I’m too busy trying to find myself, and I have quite a vision for my future.

Yes, I do think sex should be special. You can’t force a special guy and special moment to happen, and expect it to be real. I do believe when I’m older and wiser, love will be the reason BUT at a much later time in my life, when I’m ready to settle down.

Please, let’s not shame those who choose to wait. And if you choose not to wait, please do it responsibly. Remember, there are risks and consequences if you’re not careful.

please dont do itUntil next time…

~Rina Raj

P.S. TO THE MALE STUDENTS: What are YOUR thoughts on sex in high school? Would you do it? Should it be special? Do you plan to wait? We’d love to hear your opinions. Comment below and let’s share in this discussion!