Tag Archives: advice

Formal Dance? Don’t Sweat It!

formal happy danceUgh, yes, once again, formal dance season has arrived. I, myself, just had one this past Saturday, my school’s own version called OLOT. But, yes, here they come again, the Spring Flings and spring formals and all the stress that comes with each one of them.

As a girl, I know the rash amounts of anxiety over the dress, the heels, the nails, the hair, the makeup, the group, and not to mention getting asked to the dance in the first place!

But let’s back up a bit, and let’s have me explain the typical etiquette of my school’s spring formal: OLOT.

  • When: usually the 2nd or 3rd weekend of March.
  • Where: This is the dance where the school chooses an off campus venue, whereas our winter dance, TOLO, is held in our school’s cafeteria. This year, we scored the Pacific Science Center.
  • How is works is that it’s a guy ask girl dance. While at most schools the guy just approaches the girl and says, “Hey, want to go to the dance with me?” the ask is actually one of the most important parts. Usually the guy should come up with a pun or have a poster or bring the girl a baked good.

People have gone all out in the past: renting a pig, scavenger hunts, spelling out the letters “OLOT?” in the windows of a school building, or in my case, an ask imitating the scene from Say Anything where the guy wins the girl by holding up the boom box to the window. (Ok, mine was a little different…him and some of his friends just came up to me carrying the boom box playing The Way You Make Me Feel by Michael Jackson and he asked me. But close enough).

I’ll have you know that asking season gets catty, especially amongst the female half of the grade. So here’s my first word of advice: if you can, avoid the asking drama. If you get asked, great! If you don’t, that’s fine too! There’s so much silly high school stigma around not getting asked, but so what! You should still go to the dance. Rally up a group of friends and go as a big group! Also, hopefully your school dances have an atmosphere inviting towards people of all sexual orientations and genders. Ask whom you feel comfortable asking, dress how you feel comfortable dressing, and just be yourself!  It’s supposed to be fun, and it’s a whole lot easier to have a good time if you feel comfortable in your own skin! Continue reading

No-Stress Zone: Desk Transformations

spongebobhomework Welcome back to The No-Stress Zone! In the last two posts, I’ve suggested some ways to better organize your school papers in binders and/or folders (depending on your or your teacher’s personal preferences) and how to choose the right school bag or backpack for you and how to organize to find what you need, when you need it.
In this post, I’m going to suggest some ways to organize your homework and study hub a.k.a. your desk. Continue reading

The No-Stress Zone!

The No-Stress Zone Welcomes You!

Whether you’re in middle school or high school, you’re most likely going to have at least one stress per week:

A biology test on Wednesday, but you haven’t even read the chapter yet; a book report on Pride and Prejudice due in a week but you’re not half-way done with the novel yet; a project in history about the Revolutionary War due in two weeks, but you’re not sure what happened first, the Stamp Act or the Currency Act? Continue reading

Getting over the Doldrums

bored teensOnce in a while we all get bored of everything and everyone.  Even ourselves!  Especially when the weather gets gloomy.  Life becomes a routine and we want change.  On top of that sometimes our past is annoying us in the present and starting over would make everything better.  Unfortunately, there is no restart button to life, but we can give ourselves the illusion there is one.
I’ve obviously had experience with this recently, or I wouldn’t be blogging about it.  If you’ve had this issue too, I have some advice for you.  I’ve made a sort of “restart button” for myself. I found that wanting a fresh start when were in the middle of everything is easy to achieve–it has a lot to do with environment.  For example, I changed up the furniture in my room by moving things around.  I also dyed my hair a less common color (red), while looking to change my over all fashion.  These are just looks, but new looks play a huge part in making us feel like we’ve changed and that life is at a new chapter.  Some other things you can try to stop a routine are picking up new hobbies or changing your activities. 
When that’s not possible in our busy lives, just a change in environment can be key.
–Jesslyn, Northeast Teen Adviser

'Tis the Season… For College Interviews

The Bound-for-college GuidebookLast year, I watched many seniors stress and struggle through the college application process.  I have finally joined their ranks and now benefit from the perks, but have also inherited the additional burden of applying to colleges.  As a senior, I must begin my personal quest for the perfect college, while balancing normal school work and a copious number of other extracurriculars.  Who ever said that junior year was the most difficult, clearly wasn’t planning on higher education!

While most people have heard about writing essays for college applications, the interview process is a little less well known.  Many schools require some sort of writing supplement, but the interview component is much less consistent with some schools requiring it, recommending it, offering it or not even offering it.  I recently applied to a school early decision and they insisted on interviewing 100% of those applicants.  Once my application was submitted, my contact information was sent to an alumni in the area and we coordinated a time and place that would work for both of us.

Campus Visits & College InterviewsIn preparation, its better to be excited about the interview rather than being overly stressed and worried about it.  If you know anyone currently attending the school I would recommend asking them some questions to give you some background knowledge.  The purpose of the interview is for the interviewer to get to know you in a casual setting, not to interrogate or intimidate you.  They are usually thrilled that you want to go to their alma mater!  Additionally, the conversation shouldn’t be one way because this also gives you the opportunity to ask the alumni questions about their first hand experiences at the school.

The location is important and should be a nice place where it is easy to talk.  I ended up having my interview at a small coffee shop in the Central District that had a slight hipster vibe.  Another saying to keep in mind is if you aren’t ten minutes early, you are late because the interviewer will likely have arrived early and by no means do you want to be late.  The first impression is critical and you want to seem like a confident and collected individual instead of running in barely on time or a little late.  Setting up for success is important but your responses to the questions themselves are obviously the most important.

I had anticipated many of the generic interview questions such as, “What activities do you do now?” and, “Why do you want to go to this school?”.  My answers were genuine, well thought out, tied in my knowledge about the school and crafted my image as a dedicated student who would be an asset to the university.  Then I hit a few road bumps in the form of some questions I didn’t expect.  It was hard to think of my main weaknesses and even harder admitting them to the interviewer in a positive light.  Another odd question I was asked was what I would do for a month if money wasn’t a factor.  While some ideas popped into my head I had to think about my answer so it showed a certain side of me that I hadn’t already expressed.  I settled on traveling Europe and Asia with a focus on France because I learned French for four years and China because I was adopted from there and had never been back since.  I also emphasized that it would make me a worldly person because I knew that the school stressed that its alumni would have to learn skills to impact the world.  Knowing what the school valued helped me shape my other answers in a similar way to show that I would fit perfectly at the school.

Throughout the interview you want to seem attentive and naturally enthusiastic.  Don’t be afraid to talk about your goals at the school and what you have done in high school.  If talking about yourself is difficult that is something you will need to practice because essentially you are selling yourself as the ideal student for whichever school is interviewing you.  If all goes well, a strong interview can push your application above the other equally great applications thereby increasing your odds of acceptance.

-Rebecca, 17, Teen Center Advisor


The Pros & Cons of Summertime

pros_consPro: You have time to relax!

After a long school-year, summer has just begun and you can finally have a bit of time for yourself.  It is around this time that you can begin planning exactly what it is that you want to do to relax.  Whether that means finding a spot to lay in the grass and read or catching a few extra hours of sleep—you’re now free to do as you wish when it comes to relaxing!

Con: Your sleep cycle can become irregular.

The majority of people that I know have the ability to stay up late if they try and often don’t even have to try.  During the summer, when one isn’t constantly thinking about school, this can means that one can be subject to staying up late on a regular basis.  Sometimes, one can be distracted by surfing the Internet, reading a book or simply losing track of time—either way, this can become a pattern that is hard to break.

Pro: You have time to explore and experience new interesting places.

Due to an increase in free time you’re able to go out an explore at your leisure.  You can go to a park and discover trails or go on a picnic and discover nature first-hand.  If you’re a tea or coffee person, you can search for new fun tea/coffee places.  If you’re an artsy person, why not take the time during the summer to plan out a few museum days?  With Seattle’s wide-range of awesome museums you’re bound to discover something interesting! (You can even get free tickets for many of them from the library!) Continue reading

High School Advice: What I Wish I'd Known My Freshman Year!​

Been There Survived ThatMost people think that freshman year is a breeze and for me in terms of academics, it was.  However, I learned some things along the way that I wish I’d went ahead and done. I ’m here to share my advice with you to hopefully better your freshman year experience. Continue reading