Category Archives: Uncategorized

10 Stories of 2017

Hey guys!

Yes, contrary to popular belief, I am still alive and well aware of the fact that I have not written a blog post in literally forever.

As always, it was not my intention to go MIA, and the only excuse I have is that my time management skills are not a thing that got better during 2017, but I will make sure that I work on that next year.

smh gif 2.0

…wait a minute…


*frantic whisper* next year is tomorrow!!!

Just kidding, I TOTALLY realized that.

This year, I made more of an effort to follow through on my resolutions, and I have a story regarding each one.

So, here are my 10 Stories of 2017.

1. Be More Positive

Maintaining a positive attitude is something I’ve always struggled with and I really wanted to be better at it throughout 2017 because during 2016, I’d noticed that when I had a positive outlook on something rather than a negative one, it would have a better outcome and even if it didn’t, I still felt good about it overall. And so, I dove headfirst into 2017 with a positive mindset and a determination like no other. And it payed off.

nothing changes until you change

At every audition this year, I walked into that room telling myself I was going to do great and I walked out promising myself I did great. And regardless of how good or bad I did, whether or not I got the role, and how prepared or unprepared I was for the audition, I felt pretty darn awesome about it. I performed in our spring play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and was even cast in two other shows this year (our One Act, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, which received straight superiors at districts and will be moving on to state level competition, and our upcoming spring musical, The Addams Family) and I was able to enroll in the competitive acting class.the addams family

My positive attitude wasn’t just confined to the wonderful world of theatre, it branched on into my grades and exams back in April and May, and I’m proud to say that I passed my AP World History exam!

2017 taught me that walking into an exam or an audition or even just a regular day with a positive attitude and willingness to make it a good experience will always have a good result.

2. Take Care of Myself (Physically and Mentally)

Funny story… I totally ignored this resolution (at least, the physical care) at the beginning of the year. Then, over spring break, I wound up in the hospital for this really weird pain I was having. It wasn’t anything important, but thinking about what it could’ve been prompted me to try and take better care of myself (aka, actually taking my vitamins and such), and I did for a couple of weeks, but once the pain had gone, I started to lack on the simple everyday preventative care measures I should’ve been taking.

I didn’t think about how my everyday diet could be affecting me and I went back to my normal schedule which consisted of no breakfast, little to no lunch some days, snacking when I got home from school, and dinner.

fall in love with taking care of yourself

Then, of course, the pain returned in August just after school had started back up. I visited the hospital yet again to find out that it was, yet again, nothing important, but that not eating enough and not consistently taking my supplements may be affecting me.

I’m thankful to have had my mother force me to start thinking about my health (and also force me to start exercising regularly) when I was too blind to start doing something about it myself. It sucks to say that I didn’t take the bull by the horns and tackle this resolution without help, but I’m glad to say that for the past few months I’ve been on top of things and I’ve never felt better!

3. Practice what I Preach

This is something that’s a lot easier said than done and I’ve been working at it for a while now. I think that over time, I’ve learned to not give advice that I am unable to take myself. My biggest word of advice this year has been to always keep it real and to be authentic, which are two things I definitely consider myself to be. I’ve had no trouble practicing what I preach in that regard, however, I have in other areas.sometiems the advice you tell other people is the advice you need to follow

Something I’ve been saying all throughout 2017 is that I need to be present. What I mean by that is taking the time to look at today and not worry about what happened yesterday or what’s going to happen tomorrow and just focusing on the moment. Yeah, NOPE, lol! Being in high school consists of a lot of stress and stress sometimes means dwelling on the midterm you took the other day or anticipating the test you have tomorrow and so on and so forth.

And of course, I always say that it’s good to take a break from technology and not be immersed in the land of the cellular for too many hours a day, but let’s be real, I’m pretty darn obsessed with my device and social networks.

Practicing what I preach is something that I have the full potential to do, I just need to follow through on it.

time is what we want most but what we use worst4. Have Better Time Management

Ha. Haha. HA.

As I mentioned earlier, time management was not a thing that got better in 2017. If anything, it got worse. I developed a very lazy mindset this year, and I’m not too certain why that is, but I found myself waiting until the last minute to do things rather than completing them early as I’d done last year. I was lazy when it came to school and extremely lazy when it came to keeping up with this blog. While that is also due to lack of inspiration and motivation, I didn’t even make an effort to try, and that is completely inexcusable.

Towards the end of the year (November into December), I started to get better at being on track with my homework, but managing my time to make sure I can get everything I need to get done and still keep up with the blog as well as take time for myself is something that needs tremendous work.

5. Be a Better Friendtrue friendship

Throughout 2017, I’ve gained as well as lost many friends. Some I lost because the friendship just wasn’t working, and some because I made the decision to not have them be a part of my life. I made these types of decisions so that I could be a better friend to the friends I consider close.

Over time, I’ve learned that it is extremely difficult and quite near impossible to be a good friend when you are holding on to those that aren’t adding to your life. This year, I’ve been a better friend to my good friends by choosing to only have the friends that accept me for me, add to my life, and are good friends in return. And whether or not those friends are in the same state, or even the same country, doesn’t matter. They’re still the best friends I could ask for.

The friends I have are such amazing people and I strive to be a better friend to them every day. I couldn’t ask for a more perfect bunch. ❤

6. Be Self Confident Always

love yo selfSelf confidence is something that has been such a roller coaster this year. I’ve learned that being confident doesn’t just mean liking the way you look, but also loving your flaws and personality (even the embarrassing parts) with all your heart. I also learned that if you don’t love yourself, it’s hard to love someone else. And surprisingly, learning that lesson really helped me to be fully happy with myself. Here’s my experience.

Earlier this year, there was this guy that I really liked. Let’s call him Jeremy. Jeremy and I were already pretty good friends, and it didn’t take long for our friendship to take a different turn. We talked for a few months and I was certain that my feelings for him were strong and that he felt the same way I did. Eventually, he asked me to go on a date with him. Now, I’m not allowed to date, and so I had to ask (or beg) my mom for permission to go on this date. While she was open to the idea, she also tried really hard to bring something to my attention. I wasn’t 100% happy with myself and who I was. I was really confident in how I looked at that particular time, but I was still struggling with loving certain things about myself.

I, of course, as teenagers typically do, chose to ignore what my mom was saying. I thought I was happy with myself. I thought I was ready to go on this date. My mom thought not. And so, I didn’t get permission to go on this date for maybe a month. By that time, Jeremy had realized that he didn’t want to go on a date with me and that maybe he didn’t have feelings for me after all. Which, of course, hurt. worry about loving yourself

Here’s the thing: Jeremy was one of the reasons I felt confident with myself. I mean, someone liked me! I had to be pretty, didn’t I? I had to have a good personality, didn’t I? But no. I had it all wrong. I was pretty. I am pretty. I do have a good personality. I’ve got plenty of flaws too, but heck, those are pretty great as well! And it shouldn’t have mattered what Jeremy or anyone else thought. And it’s not at all Jeremy’s fault that I was so hurt. I know he didn’t mean to hurt me as much as I ended up being hurt, and I’m glad he decided to walk away as soon as he realized how he really felt. I should’ve loved myself before trying to allow someone into my life. Now, today, I can honestly and completely say that I am 100% happy with myself the way I am, flaws and all.

7. Have Better Focus

i don't have a short attention span, I just...Focusing is something that definitely needs work. I have a horrible habit for zoning out… a lot. For example, it’s taken my maybe 4 hours to write this blog post (which, really, was an hour long task) and I’ve taken maybe 50 breaks.

I have such a short attention span, and that’s a HUGE issue, especially for someone with so much going on. And while it’s gotten better, it still has a long way to go before I can say that I have decent focus. And so, the journey with focus continues on into the new year.

8. Communicate My Feelings

Feelings are so complicated, but I’ve learned that they’re more complicated if no one knows what you’re feeling. Humans aren’t mind readers, and it isn’t anyone’s job to pay super close attention to you and decode your mood for the day.

I think that, for the most part, I’ve done a good job with communicating whether or not I’m in a good mood throughout 2017. I can always get better at it, and I definitely still have days where I’m petty and don’t give my family or close friends a warning. Granted, they may not always care, but speaking from experience, they’d rather receive a head’s up than an unnecessary outburst because they said something that triggered my already bad mood.

9. Finish my Book

Ah, yes. The book. While I (yet again) did not complete the book I’ve been trying to write forever, I did write a play. I had a lot of fun writing the play and I’m really glad that I took the time to do it. I plan to add on to it and edit sometime soon. Going back to my 2016 reflection, writing the book this year was just not meant to be. I have faith that when it is time for the book to be written, I will have the inspiration and motivation to do so. Maybe that time will be in 2018, who knows?

10. Motivate Myself to Do My Best

I have to say that I’ve landed at 50/50 on this one. There have been plenty of days that I’ve felt motivated and I’ve done my best, and there have been tons of days that I haven’t. I think the blog is a huge example of not being motivated to do my best. Just like focus, this is one I’m gonna have to take into 2018 with me.2018

Reflecting on 2017 as a whole, it was an amazing year. I think I fell into tune with myself this year and that has helped me accomplish so much. I do, however, have a bunch to accomplish in 2018. My resolutions and goals for the new year are as follows…

  1. Manage my time (get done what needs to get done and still have time for myself)
  2. Focus (a blog post shouldn’t take 4 hours and an essay shouldn’t take 3 days)
  3. Be present (really think about the moment I’m in and thrive in it)
  4. Maintain my self confidence (I built it up, now it needs to stay up there)
  5. Set goals and follow through (this goes with practicing what I preach)

What are your goals for the new year? Are they the same as your goals for 2017? Are they different? Let’s talk about them in the comments below!

Happy New Year Everyone!

Until next time,

~ Rina Raj


Netflix and Chill (literally)

Hey guys! The weekend is almost here which means MOVIE TIME! 🙂

After a long week of hard work, stress, and tons of effort (aka school), it’s always refreshing to sit down with friends and/or family and have a movie marathon (OR just one movie as my mom enforces).

In my experience, typically when everyone is trying to decide what they want to see, it takes a good 30 minutes to decide what to watch. I thought it may be helpful to have a list of really good movies on hand that either leaves you in tears, angry at the unexpected ending, laughing hysterically, or with a great meaningful message.  AND, if you’re feeling like singing or dancing, I’ll share some great Bollywood suggestions for you as well!  😉


So here’s a list of A-Z movie recommendations.  Go ahead, kick back and have a relaxing weekend (and don’t forget the snacks, and pizza)!

A – Avatar, After the Ball, Another Cinderella Story, Alice in Wonderland, Aladdin

B – Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice

C – Clash of The Titans, Clue, Cinderella

D – Daddy Daycare

E – Ella Enchanted, Everybody’s Fine

F – Fantastic Four

G – Guardians of the Galaxy

IMG_4008H – Harry Potter (ALL OF THEM!!!), High School Musical (ALL OF THEM!!!)

I – Inside Out, Into the Woods, If I Stay

J – Just Go With It

K – King Kong

L – Lady and the Tramp, Legally Blonde, Legally Blondes

M – My Sister’s Keeper

N – New Year’s Eve

O – Oz the Great and powerful

P – Pocahontas, Paper Towns

Q – Quantum of Solace

R – Ratatouille, Revenge of the Bridesmaids

S – Snow White and the Huntsman, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Step Up Revolution, Step Up All InIMG_4010

T – The 5th Wave, The Hunger Games, The Notebook, The Last Song, The Intern, The Princess Diaries, Twilight (ALL OF THEM!!!), The Proposal, The Fault in Our Stars

U – Underclassmen

V – Valentine’s Day

W – Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior, Where the Wild Things Are

X – X-men

Y – Yes Man

Z – Zootopia

For all my readers who love Bollywood as much as I do:

FullSizeRender (1)A – Aaja Nachle

B – Bachna Ae Haseeno

C – Chup Chup Ke

D – Dilwale

E – Ek Paheli Leela

F – Fanaa

G – Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela

H – Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

I – I Hate Luv Storys

J – Jab We Met

K – Khabhi Kushi Khabhie Gham, Kal Ho Naa Ho, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai

L – Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in Indiaimage1 (1)

M – Mohabbatein

N – Na Tum Jaano Na Hum

O – Om Shanti Om

P – Pyaar Impossible

Q – Queen

R – R… Rajkumar

S – Salaam Namaste

T – Ta Ra Rum Pum, Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic

U – Umrao Jaan

image2V – Vivah

W – What’s Your Raashee

X – **If you find one, let me know 😉

Y – Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani

Z – Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara


If you have any additional movie suggestions, please feel free to share in the comments below.  If you watched any movies this week, share!  What did you think of it, how would you rate it? Would you watch it again?

Until next time,

~Rina Raj


Hi guys! Happy February! 😀 february is that you.jpg

2016 is moving along so fast, I’m sure many of you may agree when I say it feels like a race!

guitar.pngI’ve already taken 3 tests and 10 quizzes, learned about 75% of the 6 pieces of music we’re focusing on in chorus right now, written 3 songs (with guitar >.<), and read 7 books.

While all of those things were incredibly exciting (minus the tests of course) and made for a great January, I’d have to say that my biggest accomplishment so far this year was trying something new.

Typically, upon hearing the words ‘try something new’, many of us feel the urge to hide under our blankets. Try something new? No thanks!

However, trying something new may open doors to new possibilities for you. You may discover something about yourself that you hadn’t known before. You might discover new strengths or talents. You might find out that you like something new.

Or that you like trying new things. 😉

Allow me to share my experience…

Our first unit in theatre was specific to musical theatre. The unit started with a lecture about the golden age of musical theatre, some of the most important shows, and all the different types of musical theatre.sweeney todd.jpg

Once the lecture was over and we had taken our test on it, we watched the staged version (which, sadly, doesn’t have Johnny Depp in it) of Sweeney Todd to get a feel for what musical theatre was really like.

After watching the entirety of the show and taking yet another test (this time on Sweeney Todd), we were allowed to pick groups of individuals to create our own musical theatre number!  😀

I was ecstatic to be included in a group made up of my friends and some of the most talented kids in our class!

We were given two weeks (with a little under 10 hours) to complete our number. We had to have the song memorized, choreographed and have costumes, a backdrop and props. And yes, emoji singing.pngwe had to *le gasp* actually sing!

Our first step was to pick the song we wanted to perform. monty pythons spamalot.jpgHe’s Not Dead Yet from Spamalot turned out to be the best choice for us. Everyone would have something to do, and we could be as crazy and over the top as we wanted, as this was a very humorous number.

Once we decided who would play who, and who would sing what, we attempted blocking. For those who don’t know, blocking is when the director tells the actors where to move onstage for proper dramatic effect (when to sit down, when to stand up, etc.).

group project time to relax while you watch someone who cares do all the work.jpg

As a group, we left the weight of blocking the entire number on the shoulders of one kid. And though he had some great ideas that we ended up using, surprisingly I found myself coming up with random ideas for what the choreography could be and what the other characters, that were being a bit neglected, could do in the background.

After two days of trying to come up with more ideas (five days of rehearsals), I decided to speak up.

The kid who had been blocking everything was actually happy to have some help.

And the result of trying something new from my end (versus just going with the flow) yielded an amazing musical number that lots of people loved including our theatre teacher!

So what did I learn? I realized that my ideas are worth something. I also discovered that having a contribution from more than one person in a group project can have a great outcome. I learned that I have skills that I wasn’t even quite aware of!

Going with the flow is the easy way, and sometimes the easy way is okay. But other times, you have to challenge yourself to try something different, do something different. You never know what gifts will be revealed about yourself. 😉

When was the last time you tried something new? Or stepped outside your comfort? Share, and let’s discuss!

Until next time!

~ Rina Raj