Category: High School Hacks

Bucket Lists

Do you have a bucket list? I do, and I’m constantly adding stuff onto it. So much that I fear I won’t be able to finish even half, especially considering how unwilling I am to try new things. And so, a solution: A Teen Years Bucket List. A list of things I’d like to accomplish before I turn 20 and am no longer a teenager.1- Say ‘Yes’ When I’d Like to Say ‘No’

I have a bad habit of agreeing to do things I’d rather not do. It’s how I end up printing essays at midnight and staying up later than I want to helping classmates with projects I finished days before. Just once, I’d like to say no.

2- A Roadtrip

I have this one saved for the summer after graduation. My friends and I will pack our bags, pile into a car, and take a road trip across the country. It’ll be sort of like a final hurrah before we all leave to our separate universities, and we’ll make life long memories.

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3- Dye My Hair

I used to be pretty protective of my hair, but then I realized that it’s just hair and it’ll grow back if something happens to it. This summer, I shaved the back of my head and cut my long hair down to my shoulders. Next, I want to dye all the hair on my head a crazy color, like blue or purple.

4- Cliff Diving

I really, really want to try this. When I was a kid, I was not scared of big rides and twisty slides. As I got older this bravery sort of disappeared, but I’ve always been excited at the thought of cliff diving. It just looks so fun! I plan to corral a few of my friends into trying this with me, though I’m unsure how many of them actually will.

5- Try a Food Someone Else Picks

I’m a picky eater but my friends and family are always trying to get me to try new things. Sometimes, I’ll consider it, but my picky side always wins. One day, I will let someone order my food and I’ll eat it without complaining.

I realize that this list might be a little unexciting to some, but isn’t that the beauty of bucket lists? Each of us gets to pick the things we’d like to experience in our lives. Teen Years Bucket Lists allow us to create the best memories of our teen years so we have amazing stories to share afterwards.

E-Book Textbooks

Exam season! The time for stress, anxiety, and sleeplessness. I’ve got to start studying this weekend so I had to lug all of my textbooks home. My teachers were so shocked at the weight of my bag, as if each textbook doesn’t weigh a ton.

I understand the need for textbooks, okay? I know they’re important, and I understand why they’re so heavy. We have so much stuff to learn they couldn’t possibly make a textbook that isn’t heavy, unless the writing is miniscule.

Of course, publishers could print multiple volumes of a textbook, but that just becomes cumbersome and adds unneeded responsibility on the student.

Rather, the solution should be ebooks.

At enrollment, parents can choose whether they want to pay for all the needed textbooks in print or in e-book version.

The school could provide students with e-readers instead of iPads or similar tablets to minimize unwanted, distracting activity. Or, the student could bring their own e-reader if they already have one.

The school would still make money from selling e-readers and e-books, albeit a little bit less. Families would save a lot of money on unnescearily expensive textbooks. Students would be spared the agony of carting textbooks to and from school and classes. Most of all, it’s much more environmentally friendly.

Many schools in my area have started transitioning to e-books. They atarted with one or two at first, but eventually just transferred all the books.

My school is a little less progressive. We still use regular old paper and ink. If a student manages to find an online version of the textbook, he or she is allowed to bring their iPad to class, but the school does not sell e-books.

This is slightly better than schools where the only thing they’re allowed to use is the textbook administered by the school.

But why not move over to e-books? They’re much more affordable, they’re portable, students are able to carry all their books at once, etc. The pros greatly outweigh the cons in this case, if you ask me.

Time Management

Students are busy, right? This is a universal truth. But complaining never does any good because we’re always met with comments like “time management is key!” or “you’re not kids anymore!”

Admittedly, I do have a problem with time management, and I know my classmates do as well.

This does not dismiss students’ claims that their workloads are too heavy, but I do agree that time management is important, not only in school but also once you enter the work force.

A few blog posts ago, I wrote about goals. Setting goals is essential to time management. It helps organize your thoughts and prioritize your tasks, which is possibly the best way to get things done. Less important things should always be left for last.

Organization helps prioritize as well. Personally, to-do lists work best for me. A new one every day is how I organize my tasks. Creating a weekly or monthly schedule could also help. Play around with a few different methods and find what works best for you. Let it be fun. The more ‘you’ it is, the more likely you are to enjoy paying attention to it.

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Just because you now have a schedule does not mean you have to follow it rigorously. Allow time to relax for a few minutes or be open to schedule changes. At the same time, be realistic. Don’t switch out studying for your SATs for decorating your bedroom, for instance.

Avoid procrastination. As the poster child for procrastination, this is quite difficult for me to admit: procrastination can only be detrimental in the long run. As we advance in life, our tasks need more attention and often take much more time to complete than our 7th grade English projects did. Procrastinating might’ve flown under the radar earlier on in life but it doesn’t anymore.

Overall, time management is deeply specific to each and every one of us. We all prioritize different things and so I can’t give you an exact outline to follow. Advice I can give is that life shouldn’t be all about work. Leave some room for play.

 

E-Books?

If you were to ask me, I’d give you the age-old spiel about how books are always better than their movie counterparts. Further than this, I’d tell you how I think traditional books are better than e-books. Nothing compares to the feeling of holding the books in your hands, of watching your books age with you, of the smell of ink on paper and bookstores.

 

Nevertheless, I am a reader and I’ll read a novel in any form, meaning I’ve tried all methods. I can confidently say that there are pros and cons to each, and it’s not easy to choose which you prefer.

 

 

E-Books Traditional Books
Pros Cons Pros Cons
1.     Easier to travel with

2.     Travel with multiple books

3.     Eco-Friendly

4.     Cheaper (sometimes free!)

5.     Customizable

1.     Not every book has an e-book copy

2.     The light from the screen can cause eye-strain (though e-reader companies have made efforts to minimize this)

3.     Batteries die

 

1.     The feel of the paper in your hands

2.     Little to no eye strain

3.     More resilient – slight water damage won’t damage a book like it might a device

4.     Second-hand books are quite cheap

5.     Books in general are available widely

1.     Not easily portable

2.     Take up space to store

3.     You need a light to read

4.     Books deteriorate

5.     Not eco-friendly

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I have a huge problem choosing between e-books and regular books. On one hand, I care greatly for the environment. On the other, I’m very sentimental and absolutely love the feelings associated with reading an actual book.

 

Ultimately, I don’t think it matters how you read, as long as you read.