Thursday, June 28, 2012

Surviving the Sun

Recently, I told you all about the dangers of tanning and ultraviolet light. Well, it affects more than your skin.

Why do we wear sunglasses? Oh yeah...because the sun's in our eyes.

The sunlight in our eyes is none other than ultraviolet light and not all sunglasses protect you from it.

Sure, you can rock some shades and look all fly...but to really protect your eyes, you should wear UV ray protecting sunglasses.

You can find them anywhere and your eyes will thank you. They need protection from the sun's powerful light.

Your eyes are directly exposed to ultraviolet light in tanning beds. That is why they make you wear those funny little goggles when you step into those. Your eyes will not be okay otherwise.

According to this informative handbook from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, "excessive exposure to UV radiation from daily activities...can burn the front surface of the eye."

Special protection sunglasses can save a lot of trouble.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

When Boredom Strikes

With rainy weather, tropical storms and possible hurricanes sometimes you just HAVE to stay home and that's when the horrible disease strikes. Luckily, there is an easy cure!

When you're stuck at home for a few hours it is always best to watch a movie, that usually makes the time fly by. Find an actor you like and try to watch all their movies by the end of the summer, saving the good films for "stay indoors" weather. After watching so many movies, feature length films can get boring, and sometimes there is nothing good on T.V. so you'd have to move to the next treatment: crafts.

Using the power of Google and Youtube you can spend an afternoon learning how to make an origami crane or how to cook. Boredom gives you a chance to find new hobbies or develop talents you didn't even know you had. At some point in life cooking becomes essential and crafts become handy, so get a head start and enjoy!

In case the other two treatments aren't your cup of cherry flavored medicine, there is still an answer: be productive. As teens, cleaning our rooms comes second when we have an opportunity to go out with friends. It is important to keep things neat and organized to please the parents. Also, it may be time to clean out your closets and get rid of old clothes or shoes that you don't wear anymore. You can donate these clothes to Goodwill or be creative with them. It is ultimately your decision but either way you'd be productive, organized, pleasing your parents and doing a good deed for society. Seems like a win-win situation.

That is my prescription, just be careful on the dosage and remember to have fun with any option!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Summer Survival: Tanning

Now that it is summer time and school seems miles and miles away, I must recognize one of the hottest summer trends in the Sunshine State: Tanning.

Tanning is every teenage girl's hobby anywhere from the backyard to the scorching beaches. The fun little substitute for tanning (for all you ladies who avoid burning) is bronzer!

To be honest, I do not tan. I could, but I would burn first, plus my seventh grade science experiment was on the dangers of the sun's rays. Here is some healthy information about tanning. Everyone deserves to be informed.

How to Survive a Tan-Filled Summer

First off, the sun is the source of a tan...but it is not just any ray of light that causes your skin to magically change color. The actual rays that create tans are ultraviolet rays, and they are dangerous. 

Exposure to ultraviolet light can cause wrinkles, dark spots on the skin, and skin cancer. 

A lot of people say, "Oh, come on! Everything causes cancer nowadays." 

Can we really call ourselves experts on these subjects? I can not. But there are people and organizations that have spoken up about this issue. 

You should know that using tanning beds does not make tanning any better. There are tons of salons out there that claim that the tanning beds are safer to use and will not cause cancer. In reality, those lights on the inside, they emit ultraviolet light. 

In other words, instead of getting hit by the sun from millions of miles away, you are directly being hit by dangerous ultraviolet light.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has some information on this topic on the website.

According to the FDA, a tan is actually a reaction from the skin. When it is hit by ultraviolet rays, the skin acts up. It produces melanin, a pigment that makes the skin darker. This reaction damages the skin and can cause serious damage (in the form of skin cancer) over time. 

How much time? It depends on the person, but the FDA said it could take decades, meaning that people tanning at a younger age are more likely to get skin cancer. 


If you decide you can go without tanning in the sun, the alternatives will work. What are they?

Tanning sprays and lotions

Using these means no sun damage! Hooray! 

If you are spraying it on, make sure you do not inhale it. Also, the FDA recommends keeping your eyes, nose, and lips clear of sprays:

"[Sunless tanning sprays and lotions] should not be inhaled, ingested, or exposed to areas covered by mucous membranes including the lips, nose, and areas in and around the eye (from the top of the cheek to above the eyebrow) because the risks, if any, are unknown." 

For more information on alternatives to sun tanning click here.

Happy tanning!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Enjoy Your Summer, You Deserve It!

After a stressful year in school, you may find it hard to realize that once summer comes you have absolutely nothing to do! This wonderful feeling usually takes time to adjust to and you may feel strange just laying on your couch with no worry about projects or finals. Some people feel that they need to spend their entire summer preparing for their next year in high school and don't take the time to enjoy special days with their friends. While summer can be used to research different scholarship or job opportunities, you should still take a break and give yourself some credit for working so hard. When school starts again, the stress starts to  pile on and you'll be missing those sunny, summer days. So, enjoy your free time and try not to worry too hard.... there will be plenty of time for that next year.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The stress is worth it!

Let’s be honest: High School is not all it’s cracked up to be. Friends and family have preached for years “Just wait until you get to high school! It will be the time of your life!” In retrospect, it very well may be. But, there will come a day when you have three essays due, a test to study for and a best friend who is going through a break-up and needs comforting, and you realize High School is nothing you imagined it to be. There will be countless papers to do, books to read, drama to ignore and tears that will roll down your face. It will seem impossible to keep up, to be smarter, faster, or better.

But, what you have to remember through it all is who you want to be once you cross the finish line. Do you want to attend Harvard, and get your masters in psychology? Do you want to go to California to attend an art school? Or, perhaps you have dreams of saving lives as a surgeon. No matter what path you want to take, you have to remember it, and be inspired by it. Yes, the path will be tedious and exhausting, but imagine the reward, that moment when you realize it was all worth it, and use that feeling to fight longer, read more, and search harder, because you
will become everything you dreamed.
As summer starts, you may by overjoyed to have the weight of school lifted. For two months your biggest concern will be whether to go to the pool or the beach.

But, looking back, will you honestly be able to say you've done the best you could? Will you be able to become that psychiatrist, or artist, or surgeon? High School will go by in the blink of an eye, whether or not you want it to, or think it will! What is important is not only to make it through, but to become a graduate with as few possible regrets about friends, grades, and the use of your high school experience in general. So, as you sit by your pools this summer, with not a care in the world, think about the school years' past and what you will do next year to be able to declare "I have given my all!"

Monday, June 11, 2012

High School Survival Guide: Do’s & don’ts

1.) Do make a good first impression on your teachers, peers and school administrators by carrying yourself in a respectable, mature manner. These lasting first impressions will follow you throughout high school.
Do not build a negative reputation for yourself. Demonstrate respect towards others and do not engage in activities that may possibly land you in trouble.

2.) Do stay focused and take your freshman year seriously. Understand the importance of your freshman year so that you are not left making up credits later on.
Do not develop a careless attitude towards school work. Failure to complete assignments will result in lack of success.
3.) Do join clubs and sports and participate in after school activities. Earn community service hours and engage in as many productive activities as possible.
Do not wait until your senior year to realize that you have noty accomplished anything.

4.) Do challenge yourself. Take honors and Advance Placement courses. They will benefit you in the long run by increasing your GPA and when filling out college applications.
Do not be afraid of a challenge. Be confident in your capabilities to achieve success in certain areas and you will be surprised at how well you do. If you struggle to acquire academic success within an area, do not be afraid to seek help from your teachers.

5.) Do avoid drama. Learn to pick your battles. Decide which battles are worth fighting (verbally and mentally that is) and which one’s to let go.
Do not try to fight every battle. In particularly, those you have no control over. If you cannot control the outcome of the issue, then chances are, it is not a battle worth fighting.

6.) Do chose your friends wisely. Surround yourself with positive individuals who have good motives and want to pursue good goals in life.
Do not surround yourself with negative people. Negative people can encourage negative behavior.

7.) Do keep your relationship separate from your school responsibilities.
Do not make your girlfriend/boyfriend your entire focus and do not spend your years in high school searching for love. Stay focused on academics.

8.) Do stay above the influence. Avoid drugs and alcohol. Talk to a trusted adult if you are struggling to resist drugs or alcohol
Do not give into peer pressure.

9.) Do make your years in high school enjoyable, and memorable. Get involved and participate in school activities and take advantage of opportunities.
Do not let life, opportunities and 4 years of high school pass you by.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Summer Checklist

Okay, we get it...High School Musical II is really the only thing on our minds during those last minutes before the final bell rings and we are free for three blissful months.

Oh, COME ON (you know it's true).

So nine months of school are finally over. And three months of sun, surf and excitement are just around the corner. All of you high school survivors deserve to have a little fun. 

While the ladies are getting ready to get their tan on and the guys are cannon-balling into the community pool, here are a few must-haves for your handy-dandy summer survival kit. 

The Summer Survival Checklist

What to keep in your beach-bag

First off, you need sunscreen. Don't get me wrong, tans are great but burning is not and no one wants peeling skin.

Stylish shades are fundamental. Florida already means sunglasses are a must 24-7 (with UV-ray protection). During the summer they are necessary for survival. 

Swim suit! Even if you don't plan on going swimming, you should pack it. Once, I was out with the family and we were passing the beach. My parents were dressed in slacks and heels but that did nothing to stop us from grabbing our swimsuits and jumping in. You never know when these urges will show up and you might as well be prepared. 

Emergency towel: When out with friends, you never know whose pool you'll be jumping into.

Flip flops: I wear sandals all summer, but flip flops are best for the beach.

A hat: Who enjoys face burn? I doubt anybody does. If you do not want sunscreen on your face, a hat will keep you safe. 

Goggles. Swimming with the fish implies seeing the fish. Goggles will provide this freedom. Scuba gear also bestows this joy (and assists breathing).

What else should we add to the beach bag?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Looking Back On Freshman Year

It’s the first day of high school and although I am convinced that no nerves are negatively affecting me, as soon as my mother pulls up in the car loop, my body virtually transforms into the anxious and jumpy middle school child I was not too long ago. However, my mom assures me that I will do just fine and to keep my head up and so I would. As I stroll into my algebra II honors class (just a tad after the bell rings), I realize this is the beginning of my high school career… high school career… MY high school career.

In retrospect of my freshman year of high school, I recall being stressed, radiating joviality, at times feeling no interest of a social life, eating chocolate ice cream with strawberries as a power snack, and developing bonds and interests that are here to stay. Over the summer I had anticipated becoming involved in clubs (which have allowed me to meet congenial new people), excelling in my academics (which is rewarding beyond words), partaking in volunteering (which I become more fond of the more I do it), and so on the list goes. My goal was to be the best I could be and never back down from an obstacle solely because it was difficult to surmount, and so I did.

Yes, there were times that I asked myself Why are you putting yourself through this, is it even worth it? with tears brimming my eyes not having had a good night's sleep in a long time. I've come to find Yes, it is worth it. 

I can’t wait for the next three years of high school, and beyond that. I must declare that it is quite the experience. The years go by faster than able to be perceived. High school is what you make of it. I had a great time because of my school spirit and myriad of diverse ambitions (striving to achieve them... and achieving them). I’ve managed to get straight A’s both semesters, be class president, and win awards in JROTC, HOSA, yearbook, and more. 

There was a lot on my plate, and I loved every second of it.

Advice for anyone? Do your best, and never forget that you are capable of greatness when your heart is put into what you aspire. 

“We are what we repeatedly do. Therefore, excellence is not an act. It is a habit.” -Aristotle

Cheers to high school success and happiness, because YOLO. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Summer Reading

Just when I think that I’m finally free from the bonds of required reading and headed to a blissful two months of no productivity, I get my summer assignments.

Every year, when I receive this fateful list, I rush to, determined to make this the summer that I actually finish the books before the last three days of summer. For the past three summers, I’ve started out with one goal: to start my essays in mid-July and finish nice and early before August even starts. I’ve written out reading schedules, told my parents to keep me accountable, even promised myself rewards for finishing early. Somehow as I lay on the beach and work on my tan, school sinks lower on my to-do list.  It resurfaces a few weels later with the panic of “oh my gosh I have five days to read three novels and 8 chapters in my AP Art History textbook.” So will this, my last summer as a highschooler, be any different? Probably not. But hey, a girl can dream.

Does anyone else have this problem? How did you overcome it