ways to stay focused at the end of the year

10 Ways To Stay Focused In School When Springtime Is So Enticing

You can make it to the finish line!

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We all know that feeling when the warmth of spring seems to call your name as you sit in a particularly dry lecture class. You can imagine what the sweet spring breeze would feel like against your skin as your butt begins to mold into that sad, plastic excuse for a chair. You're starting to wonder why you should go to that 10:30 a.m. class as you see the blossoms waking up to wish you a good day.

Before you get ahead of yourself, let me remind you that you are so close. The end of the year is running to meet you, so dig deep inside yourself and find that feeble speck of motivation still dwelling inside you. You have made it this far in the race, and you can finally see that finish line, so why should you give up when you can almost taste the victory of summer? With these simple tips, you can make it to that finish line.

1. Take your school work outside

The sun is finally out! If you are complaining about school work and how you wish it was summer, take a moment to quiet the negativity and go sit in some grass or by a river. Maybe try explaining quantum mechanics to the plants, they're great listeners.

2. Make a summer bucket list.

Instead of letting your daydreaming of tanner skin, sun-kissed hair, and a brighter mood ruin your day, make a list of things you hope to accomplish next summer. That way, you are channeling your negativity into a list of things to look forward to. By writing them down on paper, it will help remove them from your mind and give them a new place to live.

3. Take your time walking to class

A tip for spending more time outside is giving yourself an extra 10 or 20 minutes to walk to your class. That way you can give yourself more time to soak up the beauty of nature waking up.

4. Set yourself up for success

Instead of letting yourself fall into that dark hole of sweat pants and oversized, middle school t-shirts, put some effort into your appearance and make a lasting impression before you leave! You might even get those digits from that hotty in your class. Now that's something to add to your list of things to look forward to this summer.

5. Dress like it's summer

I've found that at this time of year if I start to wear more "summery" clothes, it almost tricks my mind into believing that summer is already here. By showing a little more skin, I get to feel the sun, feel the warm breeze, and not feel so weighed down by my winter attire.

6. Prioritise your school work before your play.

To prioritize my school work, but still allow myself time to go outside, I like to set small goals for myself. I make a to-do list of things I have to accomplish, and once I have accomplished those to do items, I reward myself by going outside. This always pushed me to finish my work quicker and leaves me feeling satisfied with my hard work.

7. Make a pre-summer to do list.

Instead of getting overwhelmed by all of the things you have to accomplish by the end of the year, write them all down in a list format. Once you have them on a list, grab a calendar and transfer the items from your big to-do list to smaller ones on specific days. That way, you can once again free your mind of anxiety, but also see how attainable accomplishing your workload is.

8. Find your purpose

Making goals gives us purpose. If we make some goals for ourselves to accomplish by the end of the year, it gives us something to focus on instead of how much we don't want to be in school. Sometimes just finishing the semester doesn't give us a strong enough purpose, so specify what you want your purpose for the end of the year to be. Maybe it's acing your finals, or getting an A in a challenging class.

9. Find support from other students

If you are feeling stir crazy and unmotivated at this time of the year, chances are, there are others who feel this way. Reach out to your friends and ask them if they want to study by the river, or go on a walk to destress from the studying. Support is key in not going crazy.

10.  Press the restart button and reintegrate old routines

The last tip I have for you is to press the restart button and remember how you motivated yourself at the beginning of the year. Maybe you were waking up earlier, or you were making your bed right after waking up, or you were getting breakfast before your 9 am. Whatever your routine looked like at the beginning of the year, come back to it. This might give you the extra push you need to finish the race strong.

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Unpopular Opinion: I Don't Like Roller Coasters

It's fine, I'll just meet you guys at the end.
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The time has come for shorts, beaches, and making decisions that you’ll probably regret by the time you’re 40––it’s Spring Break!

Most students look froward to this week of freedom and revelry for the whole year, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy it as well. But one of the staples that most other people can’t wait for is one that I personally despise, or even fear: the amusement park.

Don’t get me wrong, if you invite me to go to Disneyland with you, I will have my Mickey ears on before you even finish asking, but practically any other park, especially one such as Six Flags, gives me goosebumps, and not in a good way.

I hate roller coasters. I’ve hated roller coasters my entire life.

I’ll allow you a moment of recovery as your jaw is most likely still on the floor in shock. It’s a ridiculous statement, I know. Hate roller coasters? Impossible! Nobody hates roller coasters! Well, I do. Sometimes I amaze even myself with my odd tastes (while we’re at it, I don’t like cilantro, either––an equally reprehensible sin from what I’ve been told).

But how could I possibly disown such a beloved worldwide phenomenon? The key is all in perception, my friend. Let me explain: for me, the absolute worst feeling one can possibly experience on God’s green earth is the dropping feeling you get in your stomach when you’re plummeting down a 180-degree drop on one of these so-called thrill rides (aside from getting a limb ripped off. Or getting impaled with a metal rod. Or childbirth. But as I’ve never experienced any of these, I’m just going to go with stomach drops for now).

What’s interesting about this is that these stomach drops are exactly the reason most other people (you included, probably) love roller coasters so much. Whenever I tell someone I don’t like the feeling, they invariably respond with, “Oh, I LOVE that feeling! It’s so great! You can just feel your stomach floating all the way up to your throat!” Yes. I know. That’s what I don’t like about it. And you reiterating how much you adore that feeling makes me think that you either didn’t hear what I just said, or are trying to invalidate my opinion simply because you don’t agree with my perspective.

I realize I’m in the vast minority here. I’ve met only a handful of people who share my distaste for drops, and if any of you are listening (or reading in this case), I appreciate you. But the reason this topic is so divisive is because that dropping feeling registers as something entirely different for me than it does for any given roller coaster buff. While they feel a thrilling rush of adrenaline, I feel pain. It hurts. It doesn’t make me feel nauseous or dizzy, it is just incredibly painful, and it only gets worse when I’m made to feel guilty for not wanting to subject myself to something that (according to my brain) is harming me.

I may sound defensive about this, but that’s because I am. I’ve had to be. I’ve learned over time that out of all the different squeamish discomforts people have about amusement parks, fear of drops is probably the least respected.

If someone doesn’t like the spinning teacups because it makes them feel sick, that’s fine. If someone doesn’t like roller coasters because they’re afraid of heights, that’s fine. And I agree with both of these statements. But usually people look down on me for not liking drops because they don’t understand how something they perceive as so enjoyable could be perceived as so abhorrent to someone else.

As I understand it, roller coasters are so well-loved because they give you a sense of danger but simultaneously a sense of immortality. They bring you just close enough to death that you can feel the panic and adrenaline, but then whisk you away again, like you have the power to fly away from your inherent human fragility with no repercussions. For whatever reason, my brain likes to interpret this phenomenon as a near death experience regardless of how strong I’m harnessed in.

If you enjoy roller coasters and are appalled by how I could denounce one of your favorite pastimes, I’m not looking to start a fight––I’m merely looking for recognition. Not everyone’s experience is the same, and in many ways, it’s our different perceptions of experiences that make us unique. In short, don’t hate––appreciate the fact that if you go to an amusement park with me, you’ll automatically have a ready and willing bag-holder.

Cover Image Credit: https://fthmb.tqn.com

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6 Way To Fight Off Your Annoying Pollen Allergies This Spring Season

It's springtime again! This is an article to help you deal with those awful springtime pollen allergies. When your body just wants to FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT that pollen, while you just want to FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT all that sneezing, tearing, and high-key dying.

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So, to just start off, I want to have a brief science lesson explaining what allergies really are.

When the body comes into contact with foreign threats, it does its best to protect itself. In this case, during the springtime, the body often mistakes pollen- tree pollen, flower pollen, you name it!- as a foreign invader, trying to harm the body. Therefore, when the body's cells come in contact with these invaders, they send out signals to warn the body of the threat. These signals are known as histamines. When the cell is in danger, they start sending out histamines like a 911 call. Except, in the case of pollen allergies, there is no emergency, and your body is just being a drama queen. However, as a result, the body, who believes the world is ending, starts fighting off the pollen causing the body to try to flush it out, either through coughing, sneezing, a runny nose, or teary or itchy eyes.

1. Stay indoors whenever possible

Pollen throughout the day is at its peak during the day between 5 a.m and 10 a.m. while the trees are trying to send out their pollen to a special lady friend. Pollen is usually released during sunny days as evaporation of moisture helps spread the pollen further. Staying indoors and away from the pollen infested trees could be a great way to stop encountering some pesky pollen. If the pollen count is high for your area and you have to go out, remember to plan accordingly, either by taking medication or wearing a mask.

You can also check the pollen count for your area using this link.

2. Take a shower

Just like how rain stops pollen from spreading, a good shower can wash off the pollen off of you. This can help if you want to wash off any unwanted pollen that might be sticking onto you like in your hair, skin, or clothes. This may help you especially if you want to take a quick shower before you sleep to sleep more comfortably.

3. Stay away from booze

Alcohol contains histamines. Histamines are produced by the fermentation process of yeast or bacteria during the brewing process. As a result, this may aggravate your body even more when pollen is introduced. In addition, some alcohol like wine and beer contain sulfites that can stimulate allergies.

4. Drink more water

Like when you get sick, mucus is produced to catch, trap, or excrete harmful pathogens. And, sometimes one gets such a stuffy nose because of this! In order to decrease the mucus viscosity and allow for easier breathing, drink lots of water. In addition, because of the constant tearing and runny nose, your body loses a lot of fluids, so it is good to stay hydrated to make sure you are replenishing your body's lost liquids. Sounds gross, but helps a lot!

5. Eat these foods

There are some theories that eating your local honey would help incorporate pollen immunity into your body because your body is able to digest this pollen. In addition, kiwis are able to cut down on histamines, and pineapples can apparently reduce inflammation. Although foods are not the end all be all cure, these foods are known to help.

6. Exercise the allergies away

Although exercise is not the end all be all cure for allergies, it can help manage the symptoms when one exercises regularly. In general, exercise helps improve one's immune system. Exercising your lungs and heart can also help maintain the health of your body so that it makes it stay in tip-top shape to fight off those pesky harmless, foreign invaders.

Hope this helps! And, may the odds be in your favor.

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