Tag Archives: summer

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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My Sister Mayhem… UGH!

Hey everyone! Sorry it’s taken me a while to write you all. Thanks for those great comments on my last post! 😘

Well last week, I finished my fourth week of summer camp. I’ve got one more week to go!

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My first week of camp was an all high school intensive acting group. I can truthfully say it was the most intense camp I’ve ever taken.

The second week was a Pitch Perfect themed camp. The choreography was the most advanced I’ve ever done at any of these camps, and the vocals were as challenging as being back in advanced chorus!

The other thing about the Pitch Perfect camp is that it’s the first camp I haven’t been alone in. What that means is, my sister was also enrolled in the same camp. It was very different to have to share my week with her and also perform with her. Especially because she wouldn’t leave me alone the entire week!images (2)

I’ll admit, I didn’t want her there. Little sisters can be embarrassing and annoying, and personally I perceive everything my sister does as one of those two.

It took a lot to adapt to the fact that she was going to be in the same camp as I. And once I accepted that fact, I was even more upset about it.

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She followed me around everywhere, sat next to me at lunch, had more friends than I did, and the instructors kept confusing us with each other.

She did everything better then I did too. She sang all the high notes, got the choreography down really fast, and came up with way more interesting improvisation skits then I did.

I was so sick of it.

But after spending so much time with her at lunch and with her friends, I came to the astounding realization that hanging out with my sister isn’t so bad.

Yes, she was the most embarrassing thing ever who wanted to tell every story about our family.

And yes, she wanted to stand next to me every opportunity she had throughout the play.image1 (2)

But I have to admit, having her there was sort of fun. Yup, I said it.

Being in the same performance for once was also kind of fun.

I guess the lesson I learned here is that being your little sister’s friend isn’t so bad after all. It’s just a very “interesting” experience.

Nonetheless, I enjoyed her company and at least we created some great memories together sharing and bonding (by the way, we’re in camp together this week as well 😉 ).

Do you have any siblings? Have you ever been in a class with them, or shared a summer camp experience with them? Have you ever felt annoyed about it? Or maybe discovered after some time that you do enjoy their company? Do share! 😁

Until next time!

-Rina Raj

Amy’s Summer Dilemma – What Would YOU Do?

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

Recently I encountered a situation that my friend is going through and I just had to write about it. For privacy reasons, I won’t use her name. So lets call her…. Amy.

Amy has big dreams for her future. One of the reasons Amy and I are such good friends is because we are both striving towards the same career goals.

Amy wants to become an actress and a musician. This summer she decided to become a bit more passionate about it by taking several theater camps and joining a band.IMG_1872

Amy’s parents are divorced and so her dad usually takes her most of the summer. A couple of days before school ended, Amy’s dad gave her a very difficult decision to make, and it was a huge surprise to her.

Her dad told her that he wasn’t going to take her to and from the camps, or band practice, and that she had to choose between her family (him) or herself.

Amy’s dad has never been very stable with his schedule and has been cancelling weekends as long as she can remember. So Amy decided to do what her dad always does to her.

She chose herself.

Amy feels like her dad doesn’t support her dreams and her goals for the future. After constantly telling her that she needs to show more passion towards acting and music, her dad makes it seem as though she is selfish for choosing to take summer camps and have band practices while on his time.

This is a big deal to Amy. She feels as though she was making the wrong decision and being selfish for choosing herself over her family.

But in truth, she’s not being selfish at all.

She’s following her heart, and when following your heart, it can nIMG_1875ever steer you wrong (or can it?).

Amy was under the impression that she would still see her dad on the weekends and during the weeks when she didn’t have any camps.

But boy was she wrong.

Amy’s mom received an email from her dad saying that due to the camps and his schedule, he wasn’t going to be taking Amy at all over the summer.

Amy was torn.

That night, she had a mental breakdown and couldn’t stop crying.

She was an emotional wreck for two or three days after, then she decided that she didn’t want to spend her summer in tears. She was going to make the most of it.

She scheduled longer band practices, wrote more songs and did IMG_0775whatever she could to take her mind off of it. Everything except calling her dad.

Amy is at a point where she doesn’t care anymore. She’s made it pretty clear that she’s done with the drama. She’s decided to not call her dad throughout the summer and to just take a break. The thing that shocks both Amy and myself is her contemplation of not visiting her dad for the rest of the year.IMG_1874

After being let down time and time again by her father, on his weekends, Amy’s decided that it’s her turn to choose herself.

She’s going after her dreams, with or without her dad’s support. And I have to give it to her, she’s a strong and talented girl.

Now I have a question for all of you my readers…

IMG_1873If you were in Amy’s position and had to make a choice, what would you do?

Please share your comments in the area below. Amy and I are really interested in reading what you have to share. She could really use some advice and support.

Thank you for reading my blog post everyone. I hope you all are enjoying your summer so far! Until next time!  😀

– Rina Raj