1. Embracing the Exam Time Stress

    Published on January 27th, 2012

    Original Link

    It’s exam season and suddenly some minds are clueing in — gears are snapping in place and textbooks are being cracked open to pages that were at first, ignored.

    Other people have been ready all along, thumbing through pages and pages of review work, or trusting their natural knack for the subjects for which they are writing exams.

    It can be a stressful and an emotional time for many people.

    It definitely has been for me, and I know that many of my peers are struggling as well.

    No one can think of anything but the negative consequences that could come from an exam that may not go well for them.

    A bad final grade in the course, having to face disappointment, screaming, and punishment from parents — those are the biggest factors contributing to the terror that students suffer prior to examinations.

    Tears are spilled, paper cuts from intense textbook page flipping are bandaged and migraines are tamed with a few headache pills before the student sets foot into the examination room.

    After stepping out of the room, more tears may be spilled; maybe out of joy, maybe out of anguish. Those previous paper cuts may throb because a pen was held to them so long. The headaches may come back.

    There is an unbelievable amount of pressure on students to do their best, and that pressure can be dangerous.

    Student stress rates are arguably the highest during exam season.

    People can memorize dozens of formulas and definitions, but most fail to remember that even if this time may not go well for them, it’s not the end of the world.

    I don’t blame them, though.

    Rarely does someone come along and say, “You will be fine, and there is always a second chance.”

    Just to hear that someone is rooting for you can be such a reassurance to a struggling student.

    Each one of us is good at something, and just because an exam doesn’t go well doesn’t mean that it is all over.

    Confidence and hard work is what will get you through this time.

    Not the lucky charm that you bought at the Niagara Falls gift-shop.

    Not that good karma that you have been waiting for since you gave that homeless man a dollar.

    Exams aren’t really about luck. They’re about preparation.

    Looking for success if you haven’t practised anything is like trying to harvest where you haven’t planted seeds.

    With a little diligence and persistence, you can do your best.

    We all want to move mountains, but a fraction of us are willing to practise on little molehills, first.

    Chances are, you still have time to do as well as you possibly can. Give it one hundred and ten percent.

    Just like every other season in the year, exam season will pass as well, and you will have plenty of time to relax until the next one comes along.

  2. Teen advises Sharpies and others to stand out

    Published on January 8th, 2010

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    A disease has spread through the teenage world. I call it mainstream ‘I-itis.’ 

    You know, where you dress, walk, talk, and act like everybody else.

    My school prides itself in being self-expressive, so why does everybody look exactly the same?

    Everyone has the same jeans, the same hair, the same shoes and the same sweaters.

    I love the way some of these clothes look on some people, but on others, it just looks like a fraud. ‘If you stand out, you’re fashionable…,’ literally.

    Neon colours are suddenly a fad. To be honest, everyone looks like a highlighter.

    If anyone is trying to step up to the plate and really be who they are, I can’t see them through those bright colours. My eyes hurt.

    People might say, “Why are you accusing me of being a poser? I am a skater.” Those people know for sure that dressing like a Sharpie is what they like doing. Those people are assured that is who they are, and I’m not going to mess with that. If that’s who you are, then that’s cool.

    But then there are those who aren’t who they dress to be.

    These are the people who will constantly be checking to make sure that they look like a skater.

    These are the people whose personalities aren’t self-chosen, but carbon-copied.

    These people limit themselves to one option for everything. That choice is — what everyone else is doing.

    It’s extremely difficult at times to tell people apart. It’s like someone has placed two pieces of paper in front of you — one original, one photocopied.

    How in the world are you supposed to tell the difference?

    Look closely.

    One piece of paper has strong, bold ink all over it. This one is the original.

    The other one has faded words, not as bold.

    That’s because when the machine copied the original, it couldn’t quite make the copy as perfect.

    Meaning, the copy can’t pull off being the original. It isn’t as put together. It’s either not trying hard enough or trying way too much.

    When you’re not trying hard enough, people might be able to see right through you.

    When you’re trying way too much, it’s a little noticeable.

    It’s a ‘teenager see, teenager do’ world.

    Haven’t we evolved?

    Can’t we make our own choices?

    I am one of the few people I know who loves dressing brightly for myself. I don’t put on a show. I am the same person whether on the stage, or behind the curtains.

    Are you?

  3. Student tackles gender discrimination issue

    Published on June 13th, 2008

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    Gender Discrimination is ridiculous. Girls can do whatever boys can.

    Of course, there are some things women are incapable of doing, but that goes for men too.

    I have heard boys at school exclaim to their friends in disgust, “You throw like a girl.”

    Or even, “She can’t play soccer with us, are you crazy? She’s a girl. She can’t play soccer here.”

    In fact, when my gym instructor declared that we would be having a girls vs. boys volley-ball game, the boys in Grade 6 started making comments like, “The game will be forfeited by the girls because they’ll break a nail serving the ball” and “They’re going to get new outfits to play the game.”“

    This whole Battle of the Genders was ended when our gym instructor found out about the ludicrous comments and put off the tournament.

    Did you know that women weren’t allowed to play soccer in the Olympics until 1996? That’s so sexist. Especially when you consider the fact that the record for most international goals scored by a woman in world matches is set by a woman called Mia Hamm from the U.S. with 144 goals.

    Whereas, the men’s record is only 103 by Ali Daei from Iran. Mia Hamm scored 41 more goals that Ali Daei.

    Have you heard of the Boston Marathon? It was first held in 1897, but women were not allowed to run in the marathon until as recently as 1972. It took the U.S. government 75 years to realize that women should be allowed in the marathon.

    Well, actually, a woman did run the Boston Marathon in 1967 but she was being chased by a group of men trying to rip the contestant number off her back because she was an illegal entrant.

    The ancient Greeks invented the Olympics more than 2,000 years ago and women were not allowed to compete in them, let alone even watch the events. (But the fact that the men competed naked probably had something to do with this decision.)

    Anyway, back to the 20th century.

    In the 1928 Olympics, some women running the 800 metre race tried so hard to win they collapsed after the race and passed out.

    Today, we call that a great effort. In 1928, people called in ‘unladylike.’

    All races longer than 200 m were then outlawed for all women in the Olympics until around 1958.

    I’m not trying to say that women are better than men, or men are better than women.

    We’re all the same in many ways but different in so many more but that’s what makes us special.

    Okay, that sounded cheesy.

    But women can do absolutely everything men can and, if all you girls and women out there do something, someday receiving the comment, “You throw like a girl,” will probably be the best comment anyone could receive.

    So please help stop gender discrimination against women.