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10 Lessons I Learned My Freshman Year

summer adventures here I comeHey guys,

ARE YOU JUST AS PUMPED AS I AM FOR THIS SCHOOL YEAR TO BE OVER?! 🙂

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

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Hello High School? Yaaaayy??

image3Hi everyone! Thank you for all the wonderful comments on my last post! 🙂

So last week Monday, I started high school. I’ll admit, for the past month or so, I’ve been scared out of my mind about meeting new teachers, new people, having to talk to others and make new friends. Also, the schedule is so different compared to what I’ve been used to in middle school.

For starters, I now have to wake up at 5 a.m. in order to make it to school on time. Also, there is no day during the week whatsoever where we get to attend all of our classes in sequential order. 7th period, usually the last class during the day, ends up as our mid-block class during lunch.

image4 (1)On that first day of school, the teachers got right into the material and started teaching. And they meant business!

I had an essay in English as my summer reading test that Thursday, and a syllabus quiz in Biology as well.

image5On Friday, I had a test in Human Geography on the locations of all the countries on the globe. And despite studying for over a month, all I had mastered was Asia!  :/

My elective classes consist of theater and choir.

image6Theatre is very basic so far and we haven’t done anything acting related just yet. But I have learned that the school’s spring production will be a musical that is none other then Into the Woods! I’ve been obsessed with this musical for quite some time and recently, I saw the movie and fell in love with Cinderella’s role.

I’ve decided I want to audition!

Now, part of entering high school is also making new friends, and I’m not the most social person to say the least.

The first three days of school, I only spoke to individuals that I knew from middle school and during lunch, I made sure to find my best friend and we sort of isolated ourselves from everyone.

Thursday however, this one guy had a guitar with him and was sitting alone on a bench playing and writing music. I looked to my friend and she had already gotten up to go listen to him play. I’ll admit, I sort of hid (hid meaning I let my hair hang over my face and put my hood on).

I tried to hear what song he was playing, but he was too far away from me. Eventually, I decided to go over there so I could hear him better. By the time I’d walked over, he was done playing and had given the guitar to my friend so she could play something.

image2 (2)Within minutes, we had informed him that we were in a band together and quite into music as well. The three of us instantly became friends talking about music for the remainder of lunch. It was actually very fun!

Then, in gym, I was introduced to a friend of a friend and we instantly bonded over our love of cupcakes and our hate of most sports.

I was so proud of myself for being social and actually talking to students I didn’t know. It wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. 😀

I learned that it isn’t so bad to be social once in a while. You never know what you may learn from others, and how that new friendship may benefit you.

Were you ever in a situation where you decided to spontaneously be social? How did your first week of school go and how are you adapting? Did you make any new friends? I would love to hear about it!

Until next time! 🙂

~ Rina Raj

Thank Goodness Middle School is OVER! *sniffles*

Hi everyone! Welcome to my second blog post! 🙂

Last week Wednesday was my last day of middle school. For three whole years of intense studies, torture, and bullies *rolls eyes*, I had been waiting anxiously for the day to come when I would escape it all.

Then when I entered my eighth grade year, I was struck with the reality of my situation.

I was growing up and life was starting to take a turn.

Suddenly, I had to think about my future career and what I wanted to be. All I knew at that point was that I didn’t want to be the girl with no plan.

I decided on a career involving what I love.

I wanted to write. Not just articles, but I wanted to write a book which I started soon after.images

I wanted to sing, so I started teaching myself how to play an acoustic guitar.

I also started taking piano lessons and writing melodic lyrics. And just recently, I started a band.  😀

And last but not least, I wanted to act. I decided I wanted to take several summer theater camps. The camps include advanced acting, singing and dancing.

After a whole year oIMG_1639f being the “big kid”, I was counting down the seconds to my last day of school and sadly, it didn’t hit me that I should just enjoy my last week as an 8th grader.

In just a matter of days, everything began happening really fast. Before I knew it, the last day of school was here.

In first period, I said good-bye to one of my close friends who was going to a different high school. I didn’t cry.

In third period, I left behind two seventh grade girls who completely made my year (and I am going to miss them so, so much). I didn’t cry.

In fourth and fifth period, I walked out on five extremely close friends, three of which are going to a different high school, and a teacher that has been an amazing inspiration and influence in my life these past two years. I cried for maybe five minutes.

Then in seventh period, I looked around at my group of four friends and for one class period, we didn’t even think about food (like we usually do in seventh period). We just hugged each other and begged the one friend that was going to a different high school to move in with one of us.

I bawled like a little baby.

Then the announcements came on and the eighth graders were dismissed early.

When I walked into that courtyard for the last time, I realized exactly how much I was surprisingly going to miss that school.

I want to thank all of the teachers I’ve had over the last three years for putting up with my negative attitude and helping me to grow.

I want to thank my best friends for sticking through thick and thin with me for what seems like a whole lot more than just three years of school together. You guys are the absolute best!

For those of you teens reading this post who still have a few days left of middle school,  please enjoy them. Savor every moment because they are going to end and they’re going to end faster than you might think.

And although you may be under the impression that the second that last bell rings, you’re going to run out of that school with the biggest smile on your face and not think to look back, there’s a high chance that you will be wrong. I know I was.

And if you just finished elementary school and are scared about middle school, that’s okay. Be scared, but enjoy the journey.

Cherish every challenging exam and every IMG_1637difficult teacher. Believe me, you’ll regret it if you don’t.

My life is changing and rapidly. I’ll admit, I’m not quite ready for it and frankly, I don’t want to grow up. But growing up isn’t a choice and as long as you have a plan, you’ll be okay.

Thank you for reading my latest post.  I hope you all have a great summer! I am enjoying mine so far. Until next time!  🙂

– Rina Raj