31 August 2015

17 THINGS I'VE LEARNED IN 17 YEARS


Last week I turned 17 and I can't believe I'll be 18 next year...And yes, one of the pictures above is that Hagrid gave to harry Potter. I had to put it in here, this what a fangirl has to do! Of course I have also learned other important things, but these are the ones I thought I would be sharing. Here they are: 

1. Spend time with your beloved ones, you don't know when they will no longer be there.

2. Being curious and opened minded is the key of learning. Having the willing to discover new stuff is really good, it means you have an active mind that needs to be feeded! 

3. Staying calm while arguing with somebody helps you control your emotions towards the person you're angry with. It's hard at the beginning, but once you get the hang of it, it naturally comes out!

4. What people think about you is their opinion, not who you are.

5. Accept constructive criticism.

6. Don't underestimate the power of a smile, it can brighten up somebody's day (even yours).

7. Move! Now that you're still young make time to run, jump, dance, even play around! Maybe tomorrow you won't be able to do it.

8.Travel as much as you can, at least for me, it makes me feel extremely free! When you visit a country, show interest for their culture and their habits, natives will appriciate it (speaking their language would be a massive plus as well!)



9. Collect moments, not things, but if you are kind of like me, only keep the useful and joyful things :)

10. Stand up for what you thing it's right, don't be afraid to speak up your mind in a respectful way, of course!

11. It's okay not to be okay. If you wake up one day and you don't feel like pulling a nice face, don't do it. You have the right to be upset and not pretend that everything is fine. Take your time to get better and whenever you feel like you're alright again, move on!

12. Don't be scared to ask. You will never know if you never even try.

13. Be ambicious and positive. 

14. You don't have to regret decisions you made in the past. It's called "past" for something. Learn from your mistakes and don't be too hard on yourself because at the end of the day, we're all humans.

15. School won't teach you everything, but everything you learn will always come handy. Never stop learning, keep constantly updating your knowlegde :)

16. There is no need to rush, there's time for everything. Everybody says that you only live once, that life is too short. In today's world we see tiny girls wanting to act as adults... I think that every stage of your life has to offer you different experiences so don't ruin it wanting to skip from a kid to an adult (for example). 

17. Learn to let go, even if it's painful. The best is yet to come!


25 August 2015

BACK TO SCHOOL: 5 TIPS TO BECOME MORE ORGANISED


It is back to school season! Ever year I promise myself that I'll become more organised and I'm starting to get better at it. That's why today I wanted to share with you some of my tips for staying organised all year long.

1. Gather your notes from last year and classify them. Don't hide them too much because you may need to reach out for them throughout the year. If you have messy notes, copy them again so they are more understandable and put everything in a binder.

2. Create a studying schedule and stick to it. Many people says that you should dedicate 20 minutes to every subject a day, after school. I think that this is not a realistic goal, that's why I only like to read through the notes I have taken during class and focus more on the subjects that I struggle the most. Make a list of all the subjects you have: start with the ones that are more difficult for you and put the easier ones at the bottom. In this schedule you should also plan the breaks you're going to take and the time you're going to spend doing other things that aren't related with your studies. I normally take a 10 minute break after 45 minutes of homework or revision, but you can do whatever works best for you!

3. Have a specific place to do your homework and keep all you school stuff. I recommend you to have your own desk in a quiet place and only go there to study or do school related stuff. This way, your brain will assume that when you're in there it's because you need to work. If you can avoid having your office at the same room as you sleep, it will help you sleep better at night because you won't have in front of your eyes all that you need to do. Keep your working are nice and tidy so you don't feel stressed! Make sure that you don't have any distractions around: television, phone... Having natural light is also very important.

4. Keep your notes up to date. If you miss a class ask your classmates for the notes they took or read the part of your book that explains what they did during the lesson. In case you don't understand something you've writen, ask the teacher before you forget about it.Try to revise them a week or so before the exam so you don't have to read through them the night before your test. 

5. Color code without going too crazy. This can be a bit tricky because people tend to over do it and end up with a paper full of colours that is impossible to understand. The important part here is to have a colour for each subject. Use it to underline (only) the relevant information in your notebooks, write titles... You can also write your homework for that lesson using the same colour, this is a way of seeing what homework you have for the week without having to read it (plus, it looks cute).

These are my five tips on becoming more organised for school. Let me know in the comments below what are your tips for staying organised! Talk to you soon :)

23 August 2015

PROS AND CONS OF STUDYING ABROAD + MY EXPERIENCE

Two years ago, I had the amazing opportunity to spend a scholar year (9 months) studying in Ireland. I was still in high school, so I was pretty young and spending a long time away from home was such a challenge for me. Even though I had some hard times while in there, I wouldn't change it for anything and it is by far one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. 

Let's get into the point of this post. I'll be sharing some pros and cons about studying abroad. All of these are based on my personal experience, but I'll try to be as neutral as possible.

PROS

1. It makes you smarten up. When you're "alone" in a country you barely know (that was me) you need to be clever. You have to keep doing the activities you would normally do, the difference is that you are by yourself and it doesn't matter if you're shy or scared: you still have to buy things and go to places, so you better sharpen your wits!

2. It will teach you the value of money. Unless you're a rich person, you'll have to deal with X€ per month. I wasn't used to this at all, that's why it took me a lot of time to learn how to distribute my money so that I didn't spend it right away. Maybe you'll struggle the first months, but then you'll realise that "the real life" isn't as easy as it seems when you're living with your parents.

3. The amount of things you'll learn is overwhelming. I went to school every day, therefore, I learnt stuff, obviously. However, the most valuable things I learnt weren't in class. I discovered their culture, lifestyle, improved my English... Make sure you keep your mind opened, because you'll need to soak up a lot of information every day. As I said before (point 1), you'll grow as a person, but you won't realise that until you come back.

4. You'll meet amazing people. Whether they are your host family, new friends you've made, the shop assistant or your neighbours, chances are that you'll keep in touch with them. When you are alone in a remote place of the planet you always need somebody to lean on, and I reassure you that you'll find wonderful people with whom you'll become friends forever (as cheesy as it sounds).

5. The overall experience and the memories. I'll go deeper into that at the end of the post, but I just want to mention that you can never go wrong with going to study abroad. 

CONS

1. You'll most likely find people from your country. At first you won't think it's a big deal but I would recommend you to stay away from them (not in a bad way): if you want to learn the language and befriend other students it's the best you can do.

2. You may feel homesick or out of place. It is totally normal and it depends on your character as well. What you need to know is that it's only a matter of time before you get used to the place and the people. Sooner than you think you are going to be settled down and comfortable with everything. Try to remember that you have an incredible year (or month, or whatever) ahead and you'll make the most of it.

3. Money, money money. Studying abroad it isn't cheap. Normally people who choose to do it have been saving for a lot of time. You need to have money for the course, the living, the expenses you'll have in there, the plane ticket (remember that you may also fly home for Christmas or Easter, which means four more tickets).

4. Agencies want what's best for them so be careful, read the smaller print and choose wisely. A solution would be to go there by yourself, but in order to do that you need to have friends or family that could help you.


MY EXPERIENCE

Before deciding that I wanted to spend a year abroad, I searched online for information and talked to people that had already done that. Everyone gave me positive feedback and encouraged me to do it. The reason why I'm including this last section a part from the pros and cons is because unfortunately, my experience wasn't as incredible as I was told it would be. I might be in this 2% (approximately) of people that hasn't had too much luck and that's why I think it's worth sharing it. 

Earlier on, I told you that I was very young, that's why my parents and I agreed that I would stay with a host family. It turned out that the mother was the coordinator of all the students so everyone had to reach out to her if they had any problem with the family or whatever, which means that if I had a problem with my family (aka, her family) I had to tell her? Yes. I don't think the coordinator should have had a student, but that's not the point. At the beginning everything was okay, however, it didn't last for more than a month. I won't talk much about it because I think it's personal and I wouldn't like to offend anybody. The conclusion is that I didn't like the way I was treated. You may think: oh, but you only went there to sleep and that's it, is not that much. Well, it may not be that much but when you're away from home and the ones who are supposed to take care of you don't do it, it's really frustrating and it makes you feel unloved and lonely. Although it wasn't always easy, having a tough time has taught me many things that I wouldn't have learnt otherwise. Don't get me wrong, I still had an incredible experience thanks to the other people I met there. Everybody was aware of my situation and they were always there to help me and when I was with them I felt the most fortunate person in the world. These are the people who made my stay as awesome as it was and that's what is all about, keeping the good memories above the bad ones!!

If you have any questions of doubts feel free to leave a comment down below or email me!

21 August 2015

LET'S TALK ABOUT FEMINISM

We all have heard the word "feminism". Everything started thanks to Emma Watson, yes, the well known Hermione Granger. As a Harry Potter fan, I was watching some interviews on YouTube when I came across a speech that did for the United Nations regarding a project called HeForShe. This project is about rasing awareness amongst men to fight for equality between genres (I'm not sure if I support the point of the campaign... maybe I'll do a separate post about it).

At first I used to think that, if  a male chauvinist is somebody who denigrates females in the belief that they are inferior, a feminist would be someone who thinks that women are superior to men and stands up for it. WRONG. Since "feminist" means:

The advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes

I consider myself a proud feminist. Then I wondered: "If feminism doesn't mean what I thought, there may be another word that describes so". WRONG again. I don't think there is any word to describe something that has never existed (if so, tell me in the comments!)

On the 8th of March we celebrate the International Woman's Day, but one day doesn't change much. Feminists have been fighting for decades and, although there has been a huge change, there are countries were women don't have the right to vote, decide what do they want to do with their body or even choose who they want to marry. Just because this situation isn't happening where you live, doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. 

However, this "problem" does not only affect to women, remember, we're talking about equality, so why is not accepted for men to cry? Or why do they always have to put a brave face? Why can't they show their feelings without being judged or called "weak"? Why most of the times, men can't get the custody of their children after getting divorced? These are just some examples. As you can see there's a lot of work to do, society has also made huge damage and those influences have left scars.

I'm still a very young woman (can I consider myself a woman?), I haven't my own belifs yet (working on it) and I'm constantly trying to learn as much as possible. I'm very open minded and this sujbect is something that has truly inspired me. This is just a general idea but I really want to go in depth and really get involved in the movement.