How To Accept Your 'Happy Weight' In 2019

How To Accept Your 'Happy Weight' In 2019

Happy Weight (noun): Weight you gain from actively living your best life.

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I've long been told the horror stories of the Freshman 15. The age-old advice of, "Take the stairs" echoes through my mind when I think of the concept. Graduates from my high school would frequently return with terrifying tales about the weight they'd gained during their first year of college, so I was trained to perceive the "15" as a depressing measure of the stress-induced binge eating caused by the toughness of University life. Though this may be the experience for some I find that after my first quarter of college, the 15 pounds I've put on that keeps me from easing into what were my most favorite dresses is comprised of the "happy weight" I've gained from making the most of a new way of life.

"Happy weight" is a new term for me. Though many would call it the weight someone gains after being in a great relationship, I choose to see it as the weight someone gains from maximizing their life experiences; literally living life to the fullest- which is what I tried my best to do this quarter. After late nights out, my friends and I would laugh about our funniest moments over the ever-delectable De Neve Late Night chicken tenders (and milkshakes, if the machine was working). We huddled around a small laptop, wolfing down popcorn as Sandra Bullock described her master plan in Ocean's 8. We celebrated birthdays with cannolis, finished midterms with chocolate, and treated ourselves to ice cream in the dining hall (especially if it was a hard day).

The paragraphs above make it seem like I welcomed this weight, but this perspective only comes after forcing myself to rebrand the traditional resentment I usually have toward my weight gain. Growing up in a culture defined by food, I was always a little bigger. I've felt insecure about my body for as long as I can remember. As early as fifth grade I found myself tearing out the workout routines of Seventeen Magazine, desperately trying to minimize my food while maximizing my exhaustion after exercising. I condemned myself for loving food, which I usually ate surrounded by family and friends laughing until my stomach hurt. Looking back, my "skinniest" times were when I felt extreme pain; I saw exercise as a means of distracting myself from rejection or heartache, only turning to food once more when I felt happy enough to enjoy myself.

For someone with this past, accepting my weight gain after my first quarter has been a challenge, to say the least, but I've decided to reframe my perception of this weight and accept myself in a two-step process.

1. Realize that my weight gain is from "happy" weight, and instead see it as a positive relic of the awesome first quarter I created for myself.

2. Treat it with a growth mindset.

Stanford University's Carol Dweck has popularized this mindset in the classroom by stating that teachers should use "yet" statements for their students. For example, if students don't pass a test for the next level of the class, they do not fail but are told they are "not yet" ready for the remainder of the course and encouraged to try again. I choose to use this mindset to accept my "happy weight" by telling myself that it is not that I have failed in becoming the ideal body type, but that I have work to do in reaching my ideal self. Working out or making an effort to live a healthier lifestyle is then not an effort to escape a body I loathe but contributing to the evolution of my best self.

My Freshman 15 is nothing to be ashamed of but something to be proud of, for it means I'm truly living my best life.

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8 Things You Should Never Say To An Education Major

"Is your homework just a bunch of coloring?"
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Yes, I'm an Education major, and yes, I love it. Your opinion of the field won't change my mind about my future. If you ever happen to come across an Education major, make sure you steer clear of saying these things, or they might hold you in from recess.

1. "Is your homework just a bunch of coloring?"

Um, no, it's not. We write countless lesson plans and units, match standards and objectives, organize activities, differentiate for our students, study educational theories and principles, and write an insane amount of papers on top of all of that. Sometimes we do get to color though and I won't complain about that.

2. "Your major is so easy."

See above. Also, does anyone else pay tuition to have a full-time job during their last semester of college?

3. "It's not fair that you get summers off."

Are you jealous? Honestly though, we won't really get summers off. We'll probably have to find a second job during the summer, we'll need to keep planning, prepping our classroom, and organizing to get ready for the new school year.

4. “That's a good starter job."

Are you serious..? I'm not in this temporarily. This is my career choice and I intend to stick with it and make a difference.

5. “That must be a lot of fun."

Yes, it definitely is fun, but it's also a lot of hard work. We don't play games all day.

6. “Those who can't, teach."

Just ugh. Where would you be without your teachers who taught you everything you know?

7. “So, you're basically a babysitter."

I don't just monitor students, I teach them.

8. “You won't make a lot of money."

Ah yes, I'm well aware, thanks for reminding me. Teachers don't teach because of the salary, they teach because they enjoy working with students and making a positive impact in their lives.

Cover Image Credit: BinsAndLabels

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10 Study Habits You Should Never Break

Tips and tricks to surviving finals and midterms.

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It's starting to become that time of year again - wrapping up the semester and preparing for the dreaded week of finals and mid-terms. I couldn't be more excited to be done with high school. But finals stink. I luckily don't have many classes that are going to require taking a test, mine are mostly projects.

All throughout high school, I had really struggled with testing and study habits. I didn't know how to study and therefore continued to do poorly because of my study habits or lack of. It was not until my junior year in high school, I had found my way of studying and it has worked for me for every test since. I color coat everything and write things down a million times. It is time-consuming but it is worth it in the end. You just have to find what works with you and stick with it. Here are some tips and tricks to hopefully help you with your study habits. I wish I had someone to tell me these things when I was struggling at the start of high school.

1. Time management

Don't be silly and study the night before the test and expect to do well. Some people can actually do this but I am a person who has to work their tail off for what kind of grades I receive so studying the night before a test would result in me not doing well. But it is different for everyone. What I typically do is if I know the test date ahead of time, I write it down in my planner and then as we learn something I add it to a notecard so as we go on with a unit I remember what we have learned in the start of the unit. I typically study a week prior to the test.

2. Find a study space

I like when my environment is completely quiet, I find it hard for me to focus when I am surrounded by noise. I usually study in my room or somewhere where no one is at

3. Choose a style of studying you like

I am a freak when it comes to studying. I am a very visual person. I will read the chapters in the book, highlight the important stuff, take notes and color coat them, highlight them. Draw diagrams or pictures if needed. And sometimes write small important things a couple of times. Yes, it's time-consuming but it has gotten me to not fail my test. With more unvisual classes like math, I write a notecard of all the formulas and buttons I will need for that unit. I do all of this as we go through each unit. I also use Quizlet to help me remember vocabulary words.

4. Actually do the study guides or Quizlets, they help

I complete the study guides a couple of times. Sounds crazy but it helps me memorize stuff so much better. There are tons of resources out on the internet, use them. Quizlet, Books online etc can all be valuable resources, just got to know what is available. Sometimes my friends will make a Quizlet and we will have the same class and I will use her Quizlet. Why make what's already made for you?

5. Write things out

I love technology and all but I think some of us have gotten away from writing things actually down on a notebook. Believe it or not, it has been proven that physically writing things out helps you memorize things better. I use a notebook for class and color coat my own notes. I also use flashcards for vocab words and color coat them as well. As you can tell I love color coating.

6. Have a study buddy

Personally I study better alone but when I do study with groups we bounce ideas off each other to get a better understanding of the material. It again depends on how you like to study.

7. Eliminate distractions

I used to have a problem with getting distracted from being on my phone and then I'd realize I just wasted 30 minutes scrolling through Instagram when I could have been studying. So turn your phone off or put it where you can't see it because it really does shorten your time of studying without being on it.

8. Use memory games (pneumonic devices) 

This helps me so much! When I am working on a test I always remember pneumonic devices before anything else.

9. Take your time

Don't rush through the material, you'll get it eventually. If you don't know it, highlight it and come back. Also if you have already mastered and memorized a topic, don't keep studying that study the things you don't know and haven't mastered.

10.  Find what works best for you!

You have to find out what works for you and what doesn't. Your study habits are completely unique to you. If something works for you, continue to do that.

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