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The 3 Ways I Deal with Failure and Learn From It

Aneesh Konda One of the most prolific inventors in history, Thomas A. Edison once said “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” We’ve all failed at least once in our lives. From studying until 3 am for a math test and receiving an F grade, to trying your best to win an officer position and losing, failure is inevitable. However, it’s not particularly the way you fail I am talking about, but the way you respond to failure. How do you pick yourself up, and move on? Here are 3 ways I deal with failure head-on, and move towards a clearer path of success.

I Accept It:

Before you I even start to move on to bigger and brighter things, I know that I need to accept my shortcomings to deal with failure. NBA legend Michael Jordan himself once said “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” Realizing that I have failed, accepting it, and being able to move on is, in my opinion, the first step in the path to success. This is not easy, and it can take a increasingly long amount of time to do so. There’s no rush; acceptance can take an hour, day or even a week to attain. Having an open-minded and optimistic attitude can help you in these situations.

I Learn:

After acceptance, I embrace failure as part of the learning process. I see it more as valuable feedback, something I use to improve rather than as a big blow and setback. Think to yourself, What have I learned from this? How can I improve on this mistake moving forward? The important thing before even beginning to deal with failure is to start thinking about the situation from this perspective and to be constructive about things. This is more vital to avoid getting stuck in denial or negativity.

I Stay Hungry:

Finally, and most important of all, I never give up. I stay hungry. Innovator and genius, Steve Jobs responded to failure with “Stay hungry. Stay Foolish.” Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Don’t be afraid to fail even more. A path to success is not a straight line of win after win, it can fluctuate. It can drop. It can rise. The most important thing to keep in mind is that every failure is just another step forward. Every failure is something you can learn from.

Every failure and every success is what makes you, you.
Aneesh Konda is currently a sophomore in highschool. He enjoys watching Youtube videos, hanging out with friends, and binge-watching Netflix.


4 Ways to Lead a Peaceful Double Life!

Ananya Veeraragavan Being a sophomore in high school, balancing social life with school work is a constant struggle. High Schoolers are made to think that spending time with friends or going out is unnecessary, time consuming, and instead you could just be studying. However, as I like to see it, work twice as hard as you party and you are gold. For the uninitiated, here are 4 ways to lead a peaceful double life without missing all the important parts!

Don’t Procrastinate:

It’s one thing to say you’re not going to procrastinate and another to actually not do it. Students like to wait till the last minute to finish assignments for a couple of reasons: the thrill of waiting till the last minute, or the laidback attitude many teenagers tend to have. However, this feeling is nothing compared to knowing that you have finished an assignment. You feel accomplished, and now you know you have managed your time wisely!

Stay Focused:

When doing schoolwork make sure you are focused on working and when you’re with your friends try not to think about school. Sound impossible? Many students tend to worry and end up missing out on the rare enjoyable moments when they go out. Staying focused with school work will help you finish the work efficiently and effectively. By finishing all your work before going out with your friends or going on social media, you can enjoy the free time more, with 0% guilt. The thought of going home and finishing your work can be daunting, and by staying focused and finishing it before the fun commences, you can be stress-free.

Finding The Right Friends:

Having a group of friends that are trustworthy and supportive is important to a healthy school and social life. After working hard at school, the last thing any student wants is to be put down or spend time with people they don’t enjoy socially. This is going to reflect on the quality of your work. By spending time with people you are happy with, you are motivated to work hard knowing you can have a great time with your friends.

Spend Time For Yourself:

This current generation is constantly trying to please others, change themselves to be like the “popular” kids, and try to make their life seem perfect on social media. Students are so caught up on getting likes and comments on posts that they start living their life for others rather than themselves. Yes, having a balance between social and school life is important. However, the most important thing is to live life for yourself and no one else!

Ananya Veeraragavan is currently a sophomore in highschool. During her free time she enjoys dancing and listening to music.

Want to read more about making high school memorable? Read this!


Five Tips for Breezing Through the College Apps Essay Writing Process

Melissa Zhuang As a high school senior this year, my fellow classmates and I struggled to write our dreaded college apps essay. I’m not gonna lie, it was a very busy first semester, but it’s a process that truly forced me to take a step back and realize how far I had come. You’re giving yourself and college representatives a chance to see how you think and why you think the way you do. So current and future high school seniors, here are a few tips I have for you:

Read, Read, and Read!

Read the requirements, the deadlines, the essay prompts, the college website, and even the fine print! Take note of supplemental applications and their deadlines. You may have to upload your materials through a separate link/website. Pay attention to the details!  Colleges will reject essays if they do not fit their prompt, so don’t risk it! As you are writing your college apps essay, be sure to pause and re-read the prompt to make sure you haven’t gone off track.

Mark Your Calendars

Make sure to keep track of your deadlines. Some of my classmates created spreadsheets, others kept track with Google Calendar or their phones, and others took note in their planners. Here is what I did: I wrote down each school and my application deadline on a post-it note and stuck it on my wall to be sure I had an in-your-face, bold lettered reminder of the approaching deadline. I find the process of physically writing down my reminders much more efficient and memorable versus an online calendar.

Research for Your College Apps Essay

I’m sure at some point in the college apps essay process, you’ll be asked something along the lines of: “Why do you want to go to our college?” It could be a short response or an essay answer and one of the best ways to show your passion for the school is to make specific references to the programs, student/faculty activities, and other strong points of the school. Remember that there are literally hundreds of other applicants that will write similar-sounding responses about:

  • Active, diverse student body
  • Study abroad programs:
  • (All schools have programs like this, so if you mention it, be sure to take note of any university-specific quirks. For example, schools may have study-abroad programs targeted towards the study of film-making in London or programs that focus on volunteering for the needy. Emphasize why you want to participate in those activities)
  • Amazing/ talented/ award-winning faculty

Don’t Be Afraid to Delete

Go back to the first tip. What does it say? READ. Read the prompt and read the requirements. College apps essay requirements include “word count.” College admissions reps have to filter through hundreds of essays everyday so they must limit the length of the essays they receive. Make your words count. Remove unnecessary sentences, phrases, and words that do not contribute to your story or your message.

When you write your essays, the first draft is going to be absolutely, positively, dreadfully terrible. Read your drafts out loud or, even better, have someone else read it out loud to you. (*shudder*) Sometimes I found myself deleting full paragraphs and realized that it helped improve the flow my essay! Please, PLEASE remember to press save and make copies of each draft you make. Feel free to change your essays, but just make sure to have a backup in case you liked your original better.

Reduce and Reuse

Reduce your workload by reusing your essays. Now pause again and look back to the first tip. Re-read your essay and re-read the new essay prompt you are writing for. Similar essay prompts do not mean same essay prompts. There could be slight differences and you want to make sure you are answering the specific questions they are asking. Please also remember if you mentioned the university’s name anywhere in the essay, be sure to go back and change it so that it matches the university you are applying to (it happens more than you think)!

Here is an example:

Florida State Uni – Personal Journey Statement 2016 Film Application:

“A 500-1000 word essay describing who you are as an individual and why you want to be a filmmaker. This statement should concentrate on how your background has influenced your storytelling and filmmaking development…”

Uni of Southern CA – Personal Statement 2016 Film Application:

“We are looking for a sense of you as a unique individual and how your distinctive experiences, characteristics, background, values and/or views of the world have shaped who you are and what you want to say as a creative filmmaker. We want to know about the kind of stories you want to tell…(1,000 words or less)”

Both essay prompts are looking to see you write about your:

  1. Individuality
  2. Background Influences
  3. Storytelling

BUT only the USC prompt is looking for “the kind of stories you want to tell”

Applying to colleges is like dating. And in the words of Rhianna, make sure you make them feel like they are “only girl in the world.” Convince them that you’re in love with them and that you two are “destined for each other.” The college application process isn’t as hard as it seems!

Suffering from a slump that is making your college apps essay writing impossible? This might help!

 


Four Ways to Make Junior Year a Memorable Part of Your Life

Muskan Sharma Everyone knows that junior year is labeled as the hardest year of high school. People often tend to look back at their junior year with a lack of fondness due to the stress it caused. Although there are many challenges that lie within this year, there are also lots of ways to make junior year meaningful. To ensure that you make junior year a memorable part of your life, here are some easy tips and tricks. Follow them to make this year as fun, productive, and least stressful as possible!

Stay Organized

It’s incredibly important for us to know our schedules well. Write down all the things you have going on- sport’s tournaments, dance recitals, finals, AP exams- on a calendar. Being able to know these dates ahead of time will help you plan because fewer conflicts with your schedule will make things less stressful.

Do the homework and pay attention in class

This one sounds pretty basic but it is one of the most important ways to marginalize pain in your junior year . You don’t have to be a genius to do well in school. All it takes is doing your homework, showing up to class, and reading what you’re supposed to. When you do these things you will see that everything else works itself out.

Pick a test and stick to it

The choice between SAT and ACT is always hard, but it’s important that you pick one and stick to it rather than try to study for both. Take diagnostic tests early on and analyze them based on which one you score better, which one you felt you had better time management with, and which one you found to be more difficult. Based on your results, make a well thought out decision and stick to it! Also remember not to stress out too much about it because at the end of the day, it is just a test!

Enjoy time with your friends

This is probably one of the most important things to ensure that you have a junior year filled with enjoyment, Although it is easy for us to often become absorbed in school, it is also extremely important for us to make time to have fun with our friends. Go out, do something crazy, you don’t want to look back on this time of your life and just remember stacks of textbooks piled high on your desk. You’re only going to be 16 once, so remember to make the most of it!

Muskan is currently a junior in high school student. In her free-time she enjoys listening to music, hanging out with friends, and trying new foods. Muskan also enjoys writing and aspires to be a journalist one day!


An Optimist’s Guide to Exploring Life

By Akshaya Narasimhan

I moved from India to California 6 months ago. This transition was big and it was hard for me because this is the first time I would be staying away from home. Back in India, the whole idea of living in the US has always been considered a golden opportunity, all of which added to the excitement. I always believe that meeting new people and experiencing new things constantly helps me evolve as a person  so I was hoping that I would be able to take this lesson forward in exploring life better.

Life in the US has been almost a complete antithesis of my life in India. I used to work for a market research firm as an Analyst back home, spending more than 10 hours at work. Talking to clients, reaching out to potential customers and, of course, constant research made my work fun because I used to end up learning a new thing every day! I was longing to get back to work and use my brain cells as soon as I moved here. But restrictions and my visa status meant I had no option but to wait; so resuming my career seemed like an impossible dream. Over time, meeting new people and talking to them helped me understand that losing hope was not an option at all!

As I explored options, I chose to explore my new city and keep myself busy while my husband was away at work, so I started figuring out my options here. As the saying goes, “A person who stops to grow will continue to decline.” Since stagnation is the last thing I wanted to experience, I took up a course at UC Berkeley to advance my education in Marketing.

In addition to this, volunteering at GiveTeens20® has been yet another journey I have been excited about! GT20 has helped me gain new exposure, insights, meet new people and be inspired by them. It also gave me an opportunity to test out a newer and rather exciting aspect of marketing, Social Media! In such a short time, I have learnt so many areas that I didn’t in my previous job.  As I look back at the past few months, I realize that I wouldn’t change a thing about this journey!

I guess I would say California has been a catalyst by opening my horizon and I am hoping the journey continues to be as enriching as it has been so far. As I take this opportunity to make a brand new beginning to my career, one of Seth Godin’s quotes keeps resonating in my  mind:

“Optimism is the most important human trait, because it allows us to evolve our ideas, to improve our situation, and to hope for a better tomorrow”

blog-8-akshaya

Akshaya is our brand new Social Media Strategist for GiveTeens20®! When she is not busy engaging GT20 fans on Social Media, she enjoys listening to music and reading. Have a question about Indian cuisine? Akshaya is your girl!

 

Image Courtesy: www.pexel.com


Not All Who Wander Are Lost

blog-5-maluck-pic

Maluck Nawabi

It is no easy task trying to decide what you want to be when you ‘grow up.’ This becomes even more complicated when you have to write a ten-page research paper on said area of interest. For my sophomore English class, I had to research a career that I wanted to pursue, which could be fun for some people who have known since they were nine years old exactly what they wanted to do with their lives. Unfortunately, I was never that person. It is safe to say that I was dreading this assignment from the moment my English teacher brought it up.

She tried her best to ease us into it by saying that we would take things step by step and work on finding people in certain jobs to interview. The following week we had to come up with our top three career choices and write them down on these posters that would be displayed in class for everyone to see. I watched as my classmates wrote down occupations such as physical therapist, non-invasive cardiologist, police officer, etc. All the while I was struggling to brainstorm two possible careers. I felt like there was something wrong with me. Why was it difficult for me to find something I was even remotely interested in while those around me clearly had it all together? I knew I had to take this assignment seriously, so I started researching careers.

To play it safe I search online for high paying stable jobs. I thought it was best to be practical and stay true to that anecdote that we have all heard: go to school, get a good job, make money, and be happy (in no particular order of course). As I was looking up careers, I stumbled upon one that caught my attention- Chief Executive Officer (CEO). I was relieved, I had finally found a job that was stable, paid well, and that I could see myself doing. Going forward with the assignment, I interviewed two amazing women in this position who gave me great advice. For a while, I thought that this was what I wanted. I had convinced myself that being a CEO or at least working in business was perfect for me.

However, the world of business was far from ideal for me because I was doing it for all the wrong reasons. I was being safe instead of being ambitious and going after something else that would make me happier. What this something else was I did not know exactly, yet I knew that I would be miserable if I just decided on a field of study based on the potential salary. I know how the world works, and you so have to factor in money at some point when it comes to deciding on a career. On the other hand, it is equally important to do what makes you happy so one must take the time to know themselves and find out what sparks their interest.

Currently, I am working on a  degree in Health Science, and I have a mild amount of interest in the subject. I am not entirely sure if I can see myself working in this area, but I know that I can always make a change. Sometimes I feel lost like I do not know what I want to do, and that is all right. There is nothing wrong with feeling confused and unsure of where you are heading. Explore all of your options, take risks when necessary because eighty percent of life is just showing up.

Author Bio: Maluck Nawabi has been an SAC member since my sophomore year of high school. Currently she is a health science major at CSUEB. When Maluck is not busy training for her dream career, she enjoys reading, swimming, and watching classic films.

Photo credit: www.pexels.com


Tips on Finding Vacation Employment in Your Community

Img of author Muskan Sharma

Muskan Sharma

No one wants to hire a sixteen year old with no experience. This was the hard truth that I was becoming aware of as my job search continued to drag on. I never thought it would be this hard. In my head I always thought that I would just walk into my interview with a big smile and a go-getter attitude, charm the interviewee, and then walk out job in hand. Clearly, this was not the case. Week after week, interview after interview I was getting no response.

Finally, feeling defeated and desperate, I went to Kathy, Founder of GiveTeens20®, education non-profit that helps teens find their career fit; thinking that she was probably the most qualified person to help me with this dilemma. I was correct in going to her. Kathy was quickly able to give me some important advice on what I should be doing.

“Print out your application, take it in, and give it to a manger. This will show initiative and your manager will get to know you before your interview. A lot of times managers don’t even consider online applications from 16 year olds, or they only look at the most recent applicants. That’s why personally taking your application in is so important.”

I did as Kathy explained and went into my interview a week later and received a job offer at the end the interview. I am now happily working at a store that I really love and owe it all to an internship with GiveTeens20® that gave me access to people like Kathy.


The Importance of Staying Awake During Summer Break

Marwa Doost

by Marwa Doost

Let’s be honest and admit that sleeping is the next best thing about summer right after the absence of school in your life. For one thing, you no longer have to worry about school deadlines when you’re asleep. You’ll also able to ignore your annoying siblings as they start yet another game of “let’s annoy the hell out of the parents until they call for the oldest child to do something about it.” And if that’s not good enough, you’ll also able to get out of doing errands for your parents, which most of the time consists of getting groceries from Walmart (which just sucks because it’s always busy) or driving by Aunt Marge’s house to take her dogs to the vet (which usually subjects you to standing at the front door of her house while she spends ten minutes fussing over you, your career choice, and your cheeks as she gives in to the urge of pinching them). All in all, sleeping in is pretty great.

However, there will always be a couple of people who disagree with this and more often than not, it will usually your parents. I mean I would be complaining as well if I suddenly lost someone to push all my work and errand drives onto. Still, it can be a pain when our moms complain about our sleep schedule to the dads, which- I don’t know about you- always ends with me on the receiving end of a lecture on the beauty of sleeping and waking up early (Warning: don’t stare into your dad’s eyes during the lecture, they can be just as convincing as the gen-jutsu the Uchiha’s put on you with their sharingan in Naruto).

It isn’t as if parents are against us sleeping, because they aren’t. They just would like to control that aspect of our lives. This is a very big problem if you ask me, because Mom and Dad, I may love you, but I also love my sleep. And let’s not forget that Summer time is the only real time we get to sleep in as much as we want.

When to Stay Awake

Usually, most teens are awake from 7:00 AM to 12:00 PM during school days. During the summer, though, it’s obvious that no one follows that rule. The new “rule” is staying awake from 6:00 PM to 5 AM. Every teen knows these are the best times to pack your schedule with activities. For one thing, you don’t have to deal with your siblings as much because unlike you, parents can still control their bedtimes. And in an hour or two after you wake up, they’ll be shipped off to their rooms after daddy gives them a good night kiss. Not only does this leave you to your own devices for the next couple of hours, but it also means that your parents will be too tired from a day of watching the kids use the house as a jungle gym to criticize you for anything you might do.

What’s the good of this, you ask? Well, you can probably get away with most of the things you wouldn’t when the sun is still out. For instance, mom probably wouldn’t even blink an eye if you told her you were going out for a drive with your friend and wouldn’t be back until much later (of course she doesn’t know that the drive will probably end up with the two of you munching on IN-N-OUT after spending the night movie hopping).

Other benefit of staying awake is all the food that will be available to you during that time. Can you just imagine opening up the pantry and getting your hands on the half hidden bag of Doritos that mom covered up with the huge bag or rice? Or the Cookie Dough ice cream in the back corner of the freezer? As if that’s not already good enough, you get to jump into it without worrying about sharing!

Why is This the Right Thing?

If you’re a teen, the chances of you agreeing with everything I said are pretty high. Give or take, it would probably be around eighty percent of the readers. The other twenty who disagree would probably be full of the juniors and seniors who are already stressing about their college applications coming up soon. While you shouldn’t completely ignore the idea of doing well during the four years of high school, you shouldn’t obsess over it either. Doing so will not only give you a short life span, but sooner or later it will be the cause of you burning out. Be aware of your surroundings, what colleges expect of you, and what you think will be the best for you, but don’t forget to still enjoy the little things in life like the box of ice cream waiting for you in your freezer. You only get to be a teenager once, so you might as well enjoy it.

Image Courtesy: Shutterstock


Four Techniques to Avoid Stress and Keep Your Sanity

Maluck-NawabiWe’ve all had to deal with stress in our lives at one point or another; whether it be from school or work, it’s something that can bring discomfort to our lives. When I started high school I found myself overwhelmed with many stressors and needed to find ways to make a positive transition. I found that I was the one who put the most pressure on myself. Right from the start I wanted everything to be perfect. I wanted straight A’s, I wanted to finish all my service hours as soon as possible, and I wanted to get involved in clubs. I thought that everything would be fine, but I never anticipated that some of those things would not work out.

I struggled in Spanish and was never able to get the GPA I wanted during freshman year and this was a major blow that made me feel trapped. I was struggling and I felt like I had no one to turn to. It was during this time that I realized how important it is to ask for help.

Ask for Help

We like to think that we have everything under control and that we don’t need anyone, but in reality we could all use some assistance. You should not spread yourself too thin and just because someone else volunteers their time to do extra work does not mean that you have to do the same if that is not something that you can handle. For instance, when I knew I had a test and a group project on the same day, I would talk to my group members and tell them that I couldn’t contribute as much on a certain day. This was effective because I let them know ahead of time rather than saying I would do something and then forgetting to do it when they were clearly counting on me.

Write it Out

One must always be aware of his or her stress in order to find ways to manage it properly. Over the course of high school, I learned new ways to deal with my stress. I would keep a journal and do stream of consciousness entries. This is when you write down whatever you’re feeling as you are feeling or thinking it. I found this helpful because it allowed me to express my thoughts on paper and then see where I could make adjustments. Exercising daily was also an effective way to cope with stress as it allowed me to clear my mind. The exercise you choose to perform does not have to be complicated, it can simply be taking a walk outside to get some fresh air.

Make a Schedule

I believe that most of my stress in high school came from feeling as though I did not have enough time. When it came to picking classes, I would always load up on difficult classes that required a lot of work, both in class and outside of class. I now see that I should have come up with a schedule that worked better for me; that means taking one or two rigorous courses that I could handle along with other courses that were not as loaded. If you are rushing to complete assignments and find that you have little free time develop better time management skills, keep a schedule that includes deadlines, as well as time to relax and take a break. Sometimes I like to create mock due dates for assignments to avoid procrastination and get things done earlier.

Engage in Prep Work

If you are anything like me, you probably tend to get a little lost during lectures simply because you are so preoccupied with mindlessly copying down notes from the PowerPoint. To get a better grasp about what your teacher is talking about during lecture, try reading the chapter before the lecture. In high school you will be faced with assignments that seem difficult; however, it is important to break down large assignments into smaller parts that you can work on a little bit each day.

My high school experience consisted mainly of trying to deal with stress. This got in the way of me enjoying high school and making the most of new experiences. Do not allow stress to play a bigger role in your life than it has to because in the end it is truly not worth it. Find methods that help you relax and clear your mind. Have a support system of people who you can easily turn to for help and do not be afraid to ask for help. Some high school courses are more difficult than others; therefore, you must find a way to balance your schedule and make the most of your time. High school is an exciting time in one’s life, and no matter how intimidating it may seem at first, you just have to remember that everything will work out well.

Image Courtesy Paleoplan.com

By Maluck Nawabi

 


May 2016 Newsletter

Here is the May 2016 Newsletter, Featuring Kathy’s Corner and details of some GT20 upcoming events.

Kathy’s CornerKathy

Greetings, Teen Supporters! Check out some of the upcoming projects GiveTeens20® is currently working on:

  • GT20’s Career video with Tyler Layfield and the late Kalimero continues to inspire teens to become K9 officers. We are starting a K9 Retirement Fund for Fremont Police Association (FPA) as all expenses rest on the handler’s wallets once the dog is retired. Join us at our Chamber Mixer, July 7th Concert in the Park, and the Fremont Festival of the Arts to support this effort.
  • GT20 continues to encourage and equip teens by providing in-class presentations at no cost to schools. In the sessions, teens are encouraged to Know Themselves by honest self-assessment, then to Learn about careers they now know are interesting to them and are given no-cost tools to accomplish this. Contact office@giveteens20.org to get on our schedule.

Upcoming Events

May 24, 5-7pm
GT20 Fremont Chamber Mixer
at Critosphere,
7100 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont

Concerts in the Park
July 7, 6-9pm
Supporting the K-9 Officers
Retirement Fund

August 6 & 7
Fremont Festival of the Arts
Supporting the K-9 Officers
Retirement Fund

September 8, 6-10pm
All in White Casino Night
Magnussen Lexus

FIND WHAT LIGHTS YOU UP
Thursday, September 8th 6-10pm
at Magnussen Lexus of Fremont $50 per person
Available Monday, May 24th on GT20.org or from any GT20 Board Member
All in White Casino Night
510.789.3902
info@giveteens20.org
39270 Paseo Padre Pkwy #446
Fremont, CA 94538


 

LOYAL MEALER – 2016 FOUNDERS AWARDLoyal
Given by the organization’s Founder, this award honors an individual who has made a substantial contribution of time and talent to GT20 that has significantly impacted the organization’s progress.

The 2016 Founder’s Award will be presented to Loyal Mealer with Enerongoso, a web services consulting business, who was GT20’s first partner and cheerleader. Loyal has provided invaluable support and expertise since 2011.

TEEN CHAMPION AWARD
The GT20 Teen Champion is nominated by the community at large, voted on
by the GT20 Board, and recognizes an individual, or individuals, who provide
teens with opportunities in learning/education, training, societal awareness,
employment and advancement. The 2016 Teen Champion Award recipient will be presented at our All In White Casino Night.

INTERN SPOTLIGHTbrittany
Brittany Hang graduated Long Beach State with a degree in Journalism in May, 2014 and was brought on as GT20’s Social Media Intern. She was hired by Facebook in July, 2015 and states, “Reason why I’m getting an interview and have gotten this far is because of my work with you. I have you to thank for this!”

 


Download a PDF version of this newsletter:

GT20_Newsletter_May2016 pdf