How to survive finals week

Ah yes, the dreaded finals week. Of course, before finals week comes dead week.

I don’t know why, but dead week doesn’t really mean anything to me. Finals week though? Ugh, kill me. Thankfully, my finals are now over, but I have to return to school tomorrow. Sadness. Oh well. I have to go back eventually.

The actual finals aren’t what bother me either. I just get super stressed about borderline grades, and every small thing frustrates me. Gah! This whole week I’ve been so on edge and so tired. It doesn’t help that I have a sore throat and two ear infections. Life could be worse, right?

Anyways, back to my point. Finals aren’t that bad. Odds are, they won’t even change your grade much due to the fact that you’ll probably do as well as you do on regular tests in that subject. That can be good and bad. For a few of my classes that isn’t too great, but none of my grades changed drastically. (Again, this could be good or bad).

Here are just a few quick tips for finals:

1) Don’t psych yourself out.

2) Get sleep. Staying up all night to study won’t help if you end up falling asleep during the exam.

3) Drink lots of water and eat a good breakfast. Seriously. Don’t get dehydrated.

4) Study ahead of time.

5) Stick to your gut, and be confident.

6) Remember that it isn’t the end of the world. No matter what people say. Just try to stay calm.

7) Do the study guides.

8) Go to office hours.

9) Take your time reading the questions carefully.

10) Celebrate! You’re done with finals! You can’t change anything now, so don’t worry. You deserve a nice break.

I didn’t really do all this, but I’m sure it would help. It certainly wouldn’t do any harm. After all, most people are done with finals now, but this can be applied in the future too. Hope you all did well!

Happy Second Semester!

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27 quotes to motivate you to write

I love quotes. I look at them when I wake up every morning, and I love to find new ones. On my english binder I have a bunch of quotes that motivate me to write. I thought I might as well share them. Who knows? Some people might enjoy them like I do.

1) “Look at the blank pages before you with courage.”

Don’t be discouraged or scared when you’re about to write and all you get is a blank stare. Go ahead and write with full force. Get some words out, and it won’t be blank anymore.

2) “Editing is like killing your story and then very slowly bringing it back to life.”

Oh my gosh, the amount of times I run out of ink when I’m crossing stuff out. To be honest, editing is my favorite part, because it’s like you’re really making the story jump off the page. I once edited a story so much that I eliminated a main character from the whole story. It was worth it.

3) “Write like the wind.”

This. This simple little quote, just makes me smile. It’s simple and sweet, and seems to always push me when I need a good shove.

4) “Writing is a craft. It’s a lot of work and your work is always evolving. If you want to be a better writer, you must write more and read often.”

Seriously! I don’t understand when people say they’re bad writers, but don’t even write. I’m not saying you have to write every day, but take some time out of your week to just sit down and write. Don’t lose your focus. Reading is also such an important detail. You can’t be a writer if you don’t read what’s around you. Our writing is honestly always changing. I look at my old stories and shutter sometimes. It was good back then, but it’s horrid compare to what I know now.

5) “The desire to write grows with writing.”

Have you ever started writing just to finish a chapter and then not want to stop? You probably have, but I love that feeling. I stay up so late writing. It takes priority over homework for me. Bad, I know, but writing is worth it.

6) “A day in which I don’t write leaves a taste of ashes.”

Before I go to bed, I like to reflect on my day. I get sick in my stomach when I realize I didn’t get to write even though I promised I would. I’m not going to lie, I get distracted really easily, but then I feel guilty and get out of bed, even if it means writing one crappy paragraph. I can always fix it later.

7) “Writers turn dreams into print.”

I take this in so many different ways. I’ll stick with the fact that most of my ideas actually come from dreams I remember when I wake up. Also, when I want something to happen really badly, why not make my own version. That way, I know I’ll be happy with how it turns out… hopefully.

8) “Writer’s Block: When your imaginary friends won’t talk to you.”

YES! This is one of my favorite quotes! When I have to make a conversation between characters I will record myself talking as both characters. Half the time it’s stupid, but it turns into a natural conversation. Yes, I talk to myself. Yes, I’m insane. Welcome to the realm of writing known as madness, my friends.

9) “If I waited till I felt like writing, I’d never write at all.”

There are days when I really don’t want to write, whether it be because I’m tired, or not at the point I want to write, or whatever it may be. If I don’t write though I’ll never get to the point I want to be at. It’ll also just remain in a blank stage with no change. Boring. I mean, think of your poor characters, frozen in time. Help them out! They’re getting a bit stiff.

10) “It is impossible to discourage the real writers–they don’t give a damn what you say, they’re going to write.”

I get discouraged. I know there are so many writers that are better than me, but I idolize them. I want to be a great writer like them. I don’t care if I’m not the best. I’ll keep getting better. If I want to write, I’m going to write.

11) “I don’t remember deciding to become a writer. You decide to become a dentist or a postman. For me, writing is like being gay. You finally admit that this is who you are, and come out and hope that no one runs away.”

I don’t really know what to say about this. I love this quote, but I think it speaks for itself. You don’t decide to be a writer. You write? You write. Cool. Great. Keep doing it. Do you.

12) “You can make anything by writing.”

Harry Potter. Twilight. The Hunger Games. Percy Jackson. Enough said. (Yes, there are many more. I know. Please don’t say I forgot ____. There are way too many to name. I’m leaving out some of my favorites too.)

13) “If you can quit, then quit. If you can’t quit, then you’re a writer.”

You can’t not write. There are just too many ideas. It’s too difficult to get away from.

14) “Write about what you don’t know. Research, invent. Write about people of other ages, sexes, nationalities, and periods in history.”

If you write about something new, that will make you excited. You’ll be learning and teaching your readers as well. Be excited! Try new ideas. Be original. Be unique. Be weird.

15) “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”

If you’re bored with your story, chances are your readers will be too. Keep things spontaneous.

16) “If you’re going to be a writer, the first essential step is to just write. Do not wait for an idea. Start writing something and the ideas will come. You have to turn the faucet on before the water starts to flow.”

You can’t expect things to suddenly fall into place. Don’t freak out and stress. Just let your thoughts fall onto the page. You can organize everything later. That’s where editing and revising comes into play.

17) “Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for the love of it. Then you do it for a few friends. And finally you do it for money.”

I have no words, except for the fact that this makes me laugh and smile every time.

18) “A writer never has a vacation. For a writer, life consists of either writing or thinking about writing.”

… I sang in amazing churches in Europe over the summer like Notre Dame and the Sistine Chapel. I still wrote every day on that trip.

19) “Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good writing day, and on the good writing days nothing else matters.”

Be proud of what you’ve accomplished! It’s always a big step. There are no little steps. A step is a step.

20) “Sometimes I get the start of a story from a memory, but that gets lost and is usually unrecognizable in the final story.”

You’re never going to end up with what you started with. Your thoughts change. Your views change.

21) “Writing is an escape and a passion.”

Writing is like a portal into whatever world your story takes place in. It’s a passion, because of the excitement and happiness it brings.

22) “You might not writer well everyday, but you can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”

Don’t not write. Don’t get discouraged. Write. Just write.

23) “Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.”

This often scares me. I get anxious when I let other people read my stories, because it’s like they’re looking inside of me, but it’s also a form of therapy for me. It’s like I’m letting go of a balloon with my secret tied to it.

24) “You fail only if you stop writing.”

You can always go back and fix mistakes. Don’t give up. It’s okay to put things aside, but don’t give up. You may only keep a page or a line, but don’t get rid of all your work.

25) “A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”

It isn’t just writing. It’s an art. There are so many ideas, choices, options. You have to make it perfect. You can’t leave gaps or loose ends, unless it’s planned. It’s difficult.

26) “If I don’t write to empty my mind, I go mad.”

A writer is an artist. We have so many thoughts swirling around in our minds. We need to let them out somewhere.

27) “I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I’m afraid of.”

Every story, character, scene is an extension of the writer himself/herself. It’s like exploring uncrossed territory. It’s an adventure. There are going to be tasks, but I’ll overcome them.

West Side Story

Love. Humor. Sadness. Regret. Life. West Side Story.

This Friday I watched a play that had some of my friends in it. First of all, I love plays, but having people you know in it make it even better. Yes, I only knew four people, but it made me want to see the play even more. I wouldn’t have even known about it otherwise, to be honest. Second of all, I got to see it with awesome people.

The cast consists of forty people, mostly students in college or high school. It’s amazing seeing how much talent people have. When I was younger I wanted to be in plays really badly, but didn’t have the talent for it, or the guts. I had never seen West Side Story before. I didn’t even know what it was about, so naturally I googled it. I mean, that’s what teenagers do, right? We google stuff.

Anyways, I was stuck on this post for a while, because I couldn’t critique what they were doing. They poured their hearts out on stage. I’m no master in theater. I can’t critique them when they obviously know more than I do, but overall I thought they did a fantastic job. I even got to see an old friend who played in the orchestra. She was my old pianist at school, Eryn Allen. I knew she was going to see the show, but I didn’t know she was actually in it.

Being in the audience just felt so nice and refreshing, especially after a week of death studying for finals. Yes, sadly my finals are this week. So much left to do, but I like to think this is more important, yes?

As for the play, there are still more shows. The leads switch every other night, but no matter what I’m sure you’ll get a great show. I went the night the people I knew were leads, and I just want to quickly say their names. Chris Aceves, a man I know will end up on Broadway one day. Justin Chen, a guy who’s like an annoying older brother. Oliver Rubey, whose voice I often get jealous of and reeks of confidence, in a good way. Brandon Sheih, a guy I’m not super close to, but definitely showcased his talent for acting (I already knew he could sing).

Just because I don’t know everyone, doesn’t mean they weren’t good. Honestly, everyone in the show is amazing, and I wish I knew all of them, so I could give all of them more credit, but sadly I don’t.

To end this I just want to say that if you’re in the Walnut Creek, CA area, you should go see the play. You can buy tickets online and get all the information at stars2000.org

How to survive going to your parent’s work party

Raise your hand if you’ve been forced to go somewhere!

Now then, you can all put your hands down. This happened to me yesterday, mostly because my mother’s manager wanted to make sure families came. There was only one other teenager, and two little kids. The teenager left in an hour, because his school had its winter formal. My school does not have that.

Originally, I was told it would only be five families. Boy, was that some false information.

Being a high school student, going to my mom’s work party last night did not appeal to me. First of all, I’ve never met most of my mom’s coworkers. Second, I’m sick. In the end though, I managed to survive, and here are just some tips as to how I did that. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Be polite

Being surrounded by adults, I don’t know about you, but I’d want to make a good impression. Not only will they learn something about you, but it can also be beneficial to your parents. One lady actually told my mom that even though I was quiet, I was “very polite and had excellent manners”. Apparently, I have a good head on my shoulders.

Step 2: Learn to step out of your comfort zone

You’re going to be bored out of your mind, if you stand alone in the corner. Yes, these aren’t the people you’d hoped to spend time with, but make the most of it. I for one kept repeating this to my mother. My mother isn’t a very social person. At the dinner party, there were maybe two or three Indians who my mom followed. It was a little depressing. My mom didn’t even know everyone, because her manager had invited old coworkers as well. You have to be open to mingle. I’m not saying you have to copy the crowd, but you need to approach people. If they don’t seem interested in talking to you, at least you tried. I for one am very shy, but I tried to keep conversations going when I talked to someone. If all else fails, talk about school. You’d be surprised how many questions someone can ask you about when it comes to school.

Step 3: Find someone you have things in common with

At of all the people there the person closest to my age had gone to a school dance. Once he left, I found someone who was only six years older than me, but she works with my mom. She also lives near me, and coaches soccer at my rivalry school. She felt as awkward and confused as I did, because she didn’t know many of the older coworkers either. We talked together more than she spoke with her actual coworkers. It made getting through the dinner a lot easier.

Step 4: Meet the other teenagers/kids who were forced to be there

This didn’t exactly help in my case, but it can. For me the guy who was actually my age left, like I said before. The two younger kids followed their mom everywhere… Not very helpful for me last night, but if you’re ever at one of these events and see a kid around your age, don’t be afraid to say hi! Odds are, they didn’t want to be there either.

All in all, it really isn’t that bad. Just think of it as something you’ll have to get better at. What are some times you’ve been forced to go somewhere you really didn’t want to go to?

Hello, 2015

Happy New Year!

Yup, it’s officially 2015, and if you didn’t know that, I’m a little worried.

New Year is such an exciting time for most people. There are gatherings and other fun events people go to. People tend to make New Year resolutions/goals. It’s invigorating, because it’s a fresh start. Here are my views on the New Year.

Personally, I don’t care too much about New Year resolutions, because I feel that every day is a new day, and I can set a goal any time I want. Why should one day out of 365 be the day I make my goal?

Goals also tend to change; however, I felt a kind of relief to know the year was over, just like when I know a day is over or a school year is over. I know another one is coming, and I’m ready for it. I enjoyed the past, but I’m ready for the future. I learned a lot and changed a lot, but it will only help me.

2014 was a strange year for me. I did amazing things I will never forget, such as singing in churches in Europe (like Notre Dame) with my friends and family whom I discovered in choir. I also went through a lot of hardships, but the positives outweighed the negatives of the year. I want 2015 to be like that, but even better.

I don’t want a routine. I want to live every day like it’s my last. I want to fly, even if that means falling. I just don’t want to stop.

What’s in store in for me in the new year? Who knows, but I’ll make the most of it.

What are your thoughts?