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Studying Tunes – Acoustic Edition

In our previous post we mentioned how finding the right studying mix is important. Music can help you concentrate and keep you motivated. It can be difficult to find the perfect playlist and here at GiveTeens20®, we want to make your lives a little bit easier. Every day this week, we will post playlists recommendations from different genres. Today’s genre? Acoustic. Check out the playlists below. Happy studying and listening!

Acoustic

1. A playlist full of covers and acoustic versions of popular songs. Have your cup of coffee or tea next to you and get ready to study.  If you love this playlist, be sure to check out Ms. Williamson’s Beautiful Covers and Acoustics Part 2 playlist.

 

2. This playlist has a good amount of ballads, covers, and folk music. If that is up your alley, check out this playlist. The mix features artists such as Angus & Julia Stone, John Mayer, Boyce Avenue.

 

Be sure to come back tomorrow to check out our next “Studying Tunes” post. Next up: Pop.

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Studying Tunes – Instrumentals Edition

In our previous post we mentioned how finding the right studying mix is important. Music can help you concentrate and keep you motivated. It can be difficult to find the perfect playlist and here at GiveTeens20®, we want to make your lives a little bit easier. Every day this week, we will post playlists recommendations from different genres. Today’s genre? Instrumentals. Check out the playlists below. Happy studying and listening!

Instrumental

1.  From Explosions in the Sky to Debussy, this playlist has a little bit of everything. If you are looking for a good mixture of classical  music, piano covers of pop songs, and post-rock instrumentals, this is your playlist. 

 

2. If you are a fan of Pixar films, this playlist should definitely do the trick for you. The playlist contains film scores from many of their popular films such as Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc., and Up.  

 

3. Sometimes it is hard to concentrate to what you are studying because you feel so inclined to sing along. With this playlist, you get the best of both worlds. A playlist that will keep focused and give you a chance to listen to songs you enjoy without needing to sing along.

 

Be sure to check back tomorrow for our next “Studying Tunes” blog post. Next up: Acoustic playlists.

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Book Recommendations List

Books

GiveTeens20®’s Social Media Intern, Brittany, here. Reading can be good for the body, mind and soul. It has been scientifically proven that reading is therapeutic, enhances your memory, reduces stress, and many more. It gives you an outlet to let your imagination roam and a chance to exercise your brain. It also helps develop your writing and vocabulary skills–skills that are crucial and beneficial to your future. Knowing sufficient vocabulary is one factor that can make or break an opportunity for young adults.

Dr. Seuss got it right when he said, “the more that you read, the more things you know. The more that you learn, the more places you will go.” Reading can take you places. By the end of the day, it is a necessity to your growth. So choose to read, and choose to continue to grow and learn.

Here are eight book recommendations. Happy reading!

1. Perks of Being A Wallflower- Stephen Chbosky

 “We accept the love we think we deserve.”

 A coming-of-age story about an introverted high school freshman named Charlie. Through a series of letters, he details his experiences with love, lost, and the temptations of drugs.

My two cents: An honest story that captures of the essence of adolescence. You often find yourself getting emotionally attached to these characters and by the end of the book, you aren’t ready to say goodbye to them just yet.

2. Notes to Myself: My Struggle to Become a Person- Hugh Prather

“Perfectionism is a slow death….If everything were to turn out just as I would want it, just as I would plan, I would never experience anything new. My life would be an endless repetition of stale successes. When I make a mistake I experience something unexpected.” 

In a journal/diary-esque style, Prather writes a series of notes about everyday observations and musings.

My two cents: Prather offers insight on life that can often resonate to how you are feeling at the moment. It encourages self-reflection and motivates you to start a journal similar to Prather’s.

 3. The Great Gatsby- F. Scott Fitzgerald

“I wish I’d done everything on Earth with you.”

Through the narration of Nick Carraway, the story focuses on the mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby, and his adoration and obsession with the beautiful Daisy Buchanan.

My two cents: A heartbreaking story about love and the American Dream during the roaring twenties. It may be a little slow in the beginning, but do not be discouraged. Once the book picks up, you will not be able to put it down.

Continue Reading


Quotes to Inspire and Be Inspired

Image credit: www.hu2.com

Sometimes life gets rough and you lose your way. Here are 15 quotes to help you find your way back.

Motivation

  1. You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. – C.S. Lewis
  2. Stay hungry, stay foolish. – Steve Jobs
  3. Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you can do it. –Maya Angelou
  4. You don’t have to be a genius or a visionary or even a college graduate to be successful. You just need a framework and a dream. –Michael Dell
  5. It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any. –Hugh Laurie

Knowledge

  1. The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go. – Dr. Seuss
  2. I love wisdom. And you can never be great at anything unless you love it. Not be in love with it, but love the thing, admire the thing. And it seems that if you love the thing, and you don’t just want to possess it, it will find you. –Maya Angelou
  3. Any fool can know. The point is to understand. –Albert Einstein
  4. Change is the end result of all true learning. – Leo Buscaglia
  5. Action is the foundational key to all success. – Pablo Picasso

Life

  1. As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people’s ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life. – Amy Poehler
  2. Whatever you are, be a good one. – Abraham Lincoln
  3. Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long shot. – Charlie Chaplin
  4. Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. –Ferris from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  5. Life’s hard. It’s supposed to be. If we didn’t suffer, we’d never learn anything. –Before Sunset

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5 Ways to Skillfully Balance Work & School

A person's shoes balancing on a beam.Students, whether in high school or college, find it challenging to successfully navigate the burdens of school and work without wanting to tear their hair out.  It may seem too stressful, but it is possible!  It’s all about balance.  We’ve come up with 5 tips to help you create a manageable flow between your school and work lives.

1.  Use a Calendar or Planner.  They’re Your Friends!
Considering that one person think an estimated 70,000 thoughts per day, it’s no wonder we’re liable to forget new information, whether it’s an upcoming event or just simply something you need to remember for later.  That’s where a calendar or planner comes in.

Test out a few different types of planners and figure out what works best for you.  Most of you probably have an iCal or something similar installed on your phone, so why not use it?

Once you become aware of an event in your life with a deadline (a test, due date for a project, work meeting, and so forth), enter it into your calendar immediately, then set a reminder alarm.  If you set that reminder for a day beforehand, (or even multiple alarms) it’ll give you some relief.  You’ll take peace in knowing you’re organized;  you’ll be notified, even if it slips your mind.

2.  A Little R & R
You’re not a robot.  Every now and then, it’s important to clear your mind and rest your bones.  For every hour of studying or work, make sure to take a 5-10 minute break, especially if your job requires you to sit at a computer or a desk without much movement.  Go for a short walk and soak in some nature.  You’ll arrive back at work or to your homework refreshed and ready to concentrate.

3.      Leave School Out of Work & Vice Versa
It’s tempting to pull out your math book and work on some problems during your lunch break or while on babysitting duty, but try to resist.  Believe it or not, only about 2% of the population can successfully multitask.  While 89% of those with smartphones use them at their job, 45% also complain they’re already expected to multitask too much within their work situation.  So why add another element that makes your job even more difficult?

As difficult as it may seem, leave your phone in your pocket or purse.  The “what if there’s an emergency” excuse doesn’t hold water when you know you could easily be notified at work.

4.  Sleep Easy
It’s vital to get plenty of sleep to increase cognitive function, alertness and many other positive effects.  The National Sleep Foundation recommends that teens ages 11 to 17 slumber for 8.5 to 9.5 hours per night, while adults 18+ should get anywhere from 7 to 9 hours.  Easier said than done for most teens and young adults, but establishing a recurring night-time ritual will help.  If you always fall into the same routine, your body will naturally adapt and automatically enter a more relaxed state.

5.  Be Realistic
After you’ve sat down and mapped out your needed hours to effectively complete your work and school tasks, take a good look at what you’re asking yourself to accomplish.  According to the 2005 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), 55% of high school students study three or less hours per week, while a mere 8% study 10 hours per week.  While we could say this has to do with laziness, it also may easily chalk up to over-worked students juggling way too many facets of their lives to dedicate enough hours for studying.

Are you ending up still feeling overly exhausted and feel like a zombie?  Do you still find yourself stressed to the point where you lose sleep or it effects either work or school, or both?  You may be overdoing it, regardless of how much you think you can tough it out.  Keep in mind this also depends upon you as an individual.

20 hours of work and 25 hours of school (in-class, studying and homework) combined with other obligations may end up well for some, but not others.  If you aren’t sure, try handling both for a couple of weeks and see how your body reacts.  If you find yourself on the brink with stress flying at you from all aspects of your life, don’t push yourself.  Decrease your work hours and focus on school.  You body and mind will thank you for it.

This blog was provided by Westface College Planning. For more tips and information, sign up for a free College Funding workshop or webinar.

Photo Credit: westpark


Merit Aid: Some Assembly (May Be) Required

Man looking at assembly instructions.Seniors: if you believe all colleges only require their application for consideration of merit aid, think again.

If you’re unfamiliar with merit aid, it essentially grants students with funding stemming from academic or other achievements, such as an impressive GPA or recognized honors, not based upon financial need.

It’s true that most colleges only request you fill out their school-based form along with the FAFSA, but about 300 of them signify you must also submit your CSS Profile.  To search for your top college picks and whether or not they need your CSS Profile, consult this College Board list.

Merit Aid Isn’t Always Automatic?

NYU is one of the few institutions that requires both the CSS Profile and FAFSA for all financial aid considerations, including merit aid.  A few of their scholarships may blend need-based and merit aid requirements, therefore the forms are necessary.

Special applications separate from the admissions form may also be desired, but typically only one or two, such as the Barnes Scholarship at Colorado College or Johnston Scholars at the University of North Carolina.

On the other hand, a total of 14 scholarships through the University of Michigan require individual applications.  They, like NYU, also prompt students to complete the CSS Profile regardless of merit or need-based aid.

Look Out for the Details

Unfortunately, you’re left to read the fine print.  Students and parents must scrounge through each school’s financial aid program to figure out special stipulations.

While not many fit into this category, it pays to check just in case the college of your choice does need the FAFSA or CSS Profile for merit aid.

If your student’s SAT scores are through the roof or they consistently receive top marks, definitely consider the possibility of merit aid to lessen the burden of college-related debt.  Just be aware of possible extra applications so they don’t miss out on the opportunity.

This blog was provided by Westface College Planning. For more tips and information, sign up for a free College Funding workshop or webinar.

Photo Credit: Sharyn Morrow


Does what you HAVE matter more than who you ARE?

Mother’s Day, 2012

For many years, Doug and I told our son that if he didn’t have a college degree and a successful career, hot chicks weren’t going to date him; basically we were telling him that an achievement mattered more than who he is. We researched pay grades and scoffed at his desire for a career in the military, wondering, How would he be able to afford to live on this measly salary?

We pushed him in directions he excelled, like athletics, sales or public relations, but none of those things interested him. Instead Trace went to an Automotive Trade School because he kind of liked working on cars. Once he got there, he discovered that kind of liking something didn’t mean he wanted to do it the rest of his life, so he enlisted in the Marines. He is currently in Boot Camp (Recruit Training), working harder than ever before, and looking at his future with a high level of excitement.

He will work it out, supporting himself on the salary he will earn, which will be yet another Life Lesson to make him into the responsible and mature young man he aims to be.

Am I HAPPY that this is the direction in which my precious, only child has gone????? Oh, HELL No!

Am I HAPPY that my son will live life well, doing what he has wanted to do since he was just three years old?

YUPPPP


The ‘Why’ of GiveTeens20.org

My son and his friends graduated from High School in June, 2011.

During the years before graduation, I‘d ask Trace’s friends about their post-high school plans. Not surprisingly, some had chosen a path and others were still waiting for that directional lightning bolt to hit.

 

 

I began volunteer teaching at the local High School in 2006, working with the students to analyze their:

  • Vocational Interests (what you do when nobody is telling you what to do) and their
  • Non-Negotiables (what you will not live with, and what you will not live without). (See ‘Self Awareness’ link at GiveTeens20.org)

Once a path (or 2 or 3) have been chosen, interview a person working in the career that you are interested in. Ask them:

  • What made you choose this career path?
  • How did you get here? (Education/Experience)
  • What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone who wants your job?

GiveTeens20® is a tool that will help determine directional options for your future AND provide filmed interviews for your research.

Take the time to assess yourself then pick some possible career fields. Click around the Interviews and see what it is going to take to operate within those fields.

Do not let anybody tell you that you won’t be able to do something that you have a desire to do.

You just have to go for it!