Life Hack #12 – Study Tips

Whether you’re juggling a job and attending a university, one universal trait that college students can commune on is the ability to maintain a strong semester. It’s tiresome, even those who attend universities with a quarter system, or perhaps a trimester system. It’s extremely difficult to maintain your strong momentum, starting and ending strong without getting lazy. It is just as easy to begin the semester strong as it is to end the semester on a week note, and vice versa, of course. At some points, you have meltdowns because another universal ideology that all college students universally share is that you want the best grade possible – whether it be a D, barely passing, or an A, being an successful student. While grades do not define you, in order to graduate from your undergraduate or graduate college, you must pass your classes. Let me be the first to say that getting good grades does not only make it financially fulfilling, but also personally fulfilling.

Finals and midterms seem like the most popular time to have these so-called “mental breakdowns,” as you have simply lost what seems like all of your motivation or care, snd finding yourself not wanting to keep up the excellent effort you have been putting forward. I am suggestible to these year-round, no matter how many classes I am taking, I am stressed because I want the best grade possible, without making silly mistakes.

Silly mistakes, such as forgetting a assignment, not being prepared for a midterm or exam, are things that should not hold you back. As my brother once told me, college is a numbers game – you do not want to a zero on your grade report. It is always beneficial to turn in “wrong work,” or an incomplete assignment, than it is to not turn it in at all. Zeros are bad – way worse than a 30%, which i have received in my collegiate career, because mythology goes that grading in college is much different than high-school and that great grades are harder to attain. My dad keeps telling me that I just need to pass the class, but another tip he told me was to study smart, stop obsessing over details.

Interestingly enough from the guy who gave me a mug that says “hardwork never killed anyone, so why try?” (aka my dad), I thought this was good advice. While it is important to do readings (yes, as you begin upper division classes reading is important as fudge), sometimes long readings and lectures cannot be fully consumed and it is important to learn to note the most important aspects of the articles. Details are important, but understanding and soaking up the material is much more manageable for studying and learnig purposes. Similarly, you can always go back to looking over details. Do remember to take good notes the first time however on your readings, lectures, videos, etc., so when reviewing them you do not need to re-read the entire document. Another important key to long readings and lectures is to do a portion of reviewing every day if possible. This will make finishing strong much easier, as you have been going over the material already.

Staying on top of things, not people, is the most important aspect in achieving your academic goals for your school year. Stay focused and keep the ball moving, not even letting a bad grade get in your way. As my friend told me today, hard work reaps benefits so do your best to constantly remind yourself of your end goal, which will lead to so much self-fulfillment you can sleep at night, or most nights.

Also, staying on top of things does not mean constantly procrastinating, but being able to meet the due date. As noted before, do a reasonable amounts of work every day to complete your weeks assignments, and perhaps you could also try to jumpstart ahead. Being ahead is never a bad thing, as long as you stay updated on the current information. So, do not forget to review current materials from your current lecture, while simultaneously working ahead.

A truly helpful tip is to try to go beyond memorizing the material and applying it to real life examples, or other classes. In order to truly succeed, internalizing information and truly understanding concepts is essential, or simply more self-fufillling. It most certainly takes more time to spend time understanding and digesting the material, but in the long-run, especially during finals week and midterms, it is important to understand the material beyond simple definitions.

An important aspect of success is tests, or exams. I will recommend making notecards, if it is applicable for the test. Perhaps, even utilizing Quizlet on your mobile phone or on your laptop. I find it easier for myself to write them out or utilize Quizlet on my phone. For those of you who are not familiar with Quizlet, it is an application that allows you to make digital notecards, allowing you to test yourself and play memory games with the terms or phrases that you are attempting to study. Since we spend so much time on our mobile applications, we may as well utilize an application that lets us study practically 24/7. Constantly reviewing notecards, through Quizlet mobile or online, or simply just reviewing your handwritten notecards will serve as completely beneficial in your memory skills. Quizlet is great, because it allows you to play games with your allotted terms and concepts noted on your notecards.

Word to the wise, for tests and exams, not only is it important to not cram, but it is important that where you study and where you take the exam is quiet, and most importantly, you are comfortable. Whether it be with a friend, alone at the library, etc., find somewhere where you can feel safe to study. For me, I enjoy renting out an individual study room at my local university library, studying at home alone – I find these places great environments to stay productive, as much as possible. Try to spend at least one day a week at the library, honestly, I would suggest more days. The more frequently you begin attending the library, the more likely you are to complete and do better academically. While studying at home, you are prone to many distractions and the library just forces you to sit there. If a library is not your scene, try a local coffee shop or a local library (not your school library), visiting these options allow for more ability to concetrate with much less distractions, because even the school library can get overwhelming seasonally.

Yes, it will suck in the moment, but I am taking it millisecond by millisecond, at the moment. Pushing myself beyond levels that I never knew I could be pushed to, but I do school for myself and try to make learning as enjoyable as possible. Sometimes, this is a problem as we all want to absorb all the material possible, but do not have time.

A grand, old, classic tip is to look at your syllabus ahead of time, staying updatd on current assignments, in order to know when things are coming up. I suggest looking at the entire syllabus, or maybe a month’s worth of work, and grabbing a planner and writing all this information down. Knowing what is to come ahead and when it is coming up is important and lets you plan ahead before the assignment is due. Maybe, once again, you can get a head-start on an assignment. Planners and calendars are reccommended.

This is when good time-management and prioritizing comes handy. Of course, sometimes circumstances come up, but it should be our goal to finish our obligations, whether we enjoy them or not. We signed up for them. Prioritizing is an extremely important lifeskill I am still learning. It is incredibly difficult, as time-management and priorities go hand-in-hand. I usually try to prioritize my hardest, most rigorous assignments immediately over smaller, less difficult assignments. This has proved to be the most efficient. Also, if you have smaller assignments that can be finished in a short amount of time and lack utter concentration – start them and try to complete them. This takes a lot of stress off your plate. Beginning assignments early and breaking them down is basically the underlying concept behind time-management. A to-do list or a calendar are useful to have around to remind you of what you need to get done for the week, or the month. This is also where planning gets involved. Planning, another important aspect of life, allows you the freedom to have a little less stress in your life, as you can plan obligations, schoolwork, etc. visually for yourself. Visual aids of things that need to get done allow you to tackle one thing at a time. If I have a lot on my plate, I make it a goal to at least accomplish 3 things off of my to-do list, minimum.

While you may spend hours grinding it at out on all your subjects, do not forget to eat, stay hydrated and take study breaks. These are all important in retaining information. Similarly, try to get your sleep schedule on a proper cycle, as that plays a big role in mood, behavior, and your academics. Sleep is important, as it recharges our internal batteries, just like good food does.

Also, think about laying off the booze and picking up some more sober activities. While a couple glasses of wine or a few beers never hurt anybody (this is a lie statistically – so, I apologize), there’s no need to go all out. These intense celebratory festivities can be partaken much less frequently and toward the end of the semester. Do not get me wrong – I am not not condoning partying. I love a great glass of red wine or a Kolsch, but I am simply not going to the club every night until 2 a.m. Talk about taking a toll on your bodily functions, life, responsibilities, mood, behavior – to. name a few. Lay off for a little, and save these times as celebrations. There’s no real reason you must be partying every night – it is possible and it is fun, but it just makes school that much more harder and stressful for me, at least.

You know how when you party you meet random strangers? I find this experience useful in classes, as they are utilized as a way to get to know the strangers, or other students, I will be spending the next few months learning from, sitting next to, etc. Think about it, as if you were in a party environment, drunk or sober. You usually form bonds with random strangers, this can be come extremely beneficial to have companions in class. In contrast to having friendships with strangers for one night, or one hour, you can build a relationship with fellow peers, who can help one another with school and life problems. It’s a 2 in 1 package deal that no one can pass op on.

Can you say relationship with professor – And, no i. do not mean an intimate one. I mean building a relationship with both the professor and the teacher assistant is also a vital key to maintaining consistency with your studies. Not only do you get to know them personally, but having access to resources who are willing to help is an incredible opportunity we need to utilize.This service is especially helpful when you are not understanding a concept within the class. Similarly, it shows effort in your part that you are trying beyond the means of jus the lecture, notes and books. Professors do not expect everyone to understand everything and they are there to help – they are very similar to academic advisors who provide resources of help about one’s degree, among other things. You should also build relationships with them and visit them at least once a semester. They offer free guidance and can help you finish your undergraduate degree in the most efficient way. Do not forget to utilize these people – they are your best friend. Friends are not generally afraid to ask other friends questions, are they? So, neither should you.

These are my tips for how to get through the tough times of college and I hope you enjoy!

What are your suggestions for succeeding in academics? Let me know.

xo,

Aichan Tewahade

Life Hack #3 – Wholesome Learning

Days should be spent learning, and not just the typical textbook learning, but learning from other sources outside of your traditional learning tools. Experiment with expanding your horizons with things you encounter every day, whether it be learning more about people, science, odd topics, the news, etc. Maybe, even learn more about work, or where your even from.

We, as a society, are blessed with technological advancements that allow us to access the most variety of information. We are not limited to the mindless pages of our textbooks; we have our whole universe to learn about.

If learning is limited to our textbooks, we are simply confining our minds from a handful of knowledge. All of our learning at our educational facilities may not cater to all of our needs, values, and general interests. That is okay. Learning things you do not like is also helpful, as you can find it interesting or find it somewhat interesting.

Learning, beyond traditional learning, can be a fun, enjoyable activity, and being informed, and most importantly mindful, about what is going on in our world is important.

We can create our own value systems, morals, and broaden our minds with information that is not given to us directly from our school. Additionally, enjoying what you are learning is something that we can all become a little bit better about, seeing that this kind of accessibility to information of all genres, topics, and sub-topics, is not something that we all are able to attain.

Taking something out of every day and taking interest in something that you enjoy, or do not enjoy, is a life skill that assists in keeping life fun, lively and interesting.

Tap into your curious side and experience, learn and be knowledgeable about learning, and the power of learning. Being knowledgeable and accessing, and processing new information, can be an exciting.

Want to be in the loop? Give learning a try. Utilize your life skills that allow you to access the world, at the ease of your finger tips. The Internet and Google can become your best friends.

Experience some passion towards making your life more wholesome and meaningful. If you truly want to juice the fruit, learning will help you get the juice. I can assure you that!

xo,

Aichan Tewahade

Ballin’ On A Budget

As you soon begin to realize that money does not simply grow on trees, you will also realize that you have less money to spend on things you enjoy. For me, my joy is coloring books, candles, clothes, shoes, food and accessories.

All these things can be found at just about any retail chain, however, it all depends on whether the price is right.

I have to ball out on a budget, sort of speak, as I am in college and have obligatory payments that I must make.

I try to make purchases that are:

  1. Reasonably Priced – Who knows how much money you have on you, or whether you are just trying to spend your last paycheck. Make sure that the price is right on what you are buying. Take into consideration the pros and cons of making your purchase. Try shopping at places, such as Amazon, Safeway, King Soopers, Walmart, Walgreens, H&M, Urban Outfitters, Ragstock, PacSun, Forever 21, Crossroads Trading Company, Buffalo Exchange, and/or any “buy, sell, and trade” store. If you are feeling conflicted on whether or not to purchase the item, see how much you truly want it and come back later. Chances are you can find better deals online or in-store, if you look hard enough.
  2. Quality Over Quantity – Check to see the condition of the quality of the product. In this case, less is more. This may not be the case for food, however, the quality of your food, aka what you put into your body, is important. In regards to clothing, accessories, and shoes, quality is of utmost importance. You would rather have an item that is made well and will last a lifetime, over clothes that will fall apart on you quickly. Investments in essentials, such as jeans, pants, and basics, are things that directy correlate with the idea behind quality over quantity. Art supplies are best bought in quality if you are pursuing an art career or are truly passionate about the activity.
  3. Skip The Brand Names – In regards to everything I purchase, brand name does not matter to me, just as long as the quality is there. Food does not apply to this rule as buying brand name items from, Kroger, Safeway, and Walgreens make the purchase much cheaper. In terms of clothing, shoes, and accessories, it is the complete opposite. Brand name products, such as, Free People, Steve Madden, Gucci, Fendi, Yves Saint Laurent, Repossi, and Louis Vitton, to name a few, are not essential to your wardrobe. I find that consignment stores and “buy, sell, and trade” stores, such as Crossroads Trading Company, Buffalo Exchange and Plato’s Closet sell brand name items for much cheaper, at an affordable price to the public.
  4. Head Straight To The Sale Section – Ignore the full-priced items and aim to buy things from the sale section. If you look hard enough in the messy sale section of retail stores, such as PacSun, Urban Outfitters, H&M, Ragstock, Crossroads Trading Company, and even Free People you are always bound to find something that is below retail price and a good deal. Scanning the entirety of the sale section helps your wallet and your bank account. Waiting until things go onto sale is something that I do. Keep eyeing what you want, and hopefully, fingers crossed, the item will be set aside on the sale racks for you to buy discounted.
  5. Mall Employee Deals – Take advantage of any deals and discounts you may receive if you work at a mall or a shopping district. Always mention that you work around the area in case you are able to get a discount on regular priced items. Some malls offer amazing discounts, such as 10%-20% discounts on their merchandise. Always ask and mention that to any employee that you encounter in your shopping district.
  6. Patience – Being patient and looking carefully, all while comparing prices is vital. As mentioned above, weigh out the pros and the cons, and see whether or not this is an impulse buy or not. If the item you wish to buy is still there next time you return, then perhaps it’s fate that you should buy the item.
  7. Only Buy Full-Priced Items If You CANNOT STOP THINKING ABOUT IT OR ABSOLUTELY NEED IT – I apply this rule to most of my attire. I refuse to buy anything full price unless I cannot stop thinking about it or actually need the item. Most times, items will always be in stock, unless you wait a few months, especially in regards to retail. In regards to food, do the same. Try to find deals on food items that have a special deal, such as 2 for $7 on an item. Places like King Soopers, Walgreens, Walmart, Safeway, Trader Joes, etc. offer deals on regular priced items. Keep your eyes pealed. Additionally, if you feel as though you will absolutely eat the food, buy it. Make sure to be careful about buying items that you will not eat or use in the future.
  8. Keep Your Eyes Pealed For Additional Discounts & Random Sales – Many retail stores and grocery stores change up their sale and discounted food. Subscribing to online emails allows you to stay updated on current deals that are only for a limited time. Be sure to be aware of them! Shop carefully and smart.
  9. Decide How Much You Want To Spend Ahead Of Time – If you decide a number in your head of how much money you wish to spend a day, you will not only be budgeting, but saving money on the useless crap that fills up our closets, refrigerators, and houses. Shopping is not a sin, however, it is easy for one to get caught up on spending money. Just before you even realize it, all your money is gone. Pulling out a certain amount of cash assists me in budgeting, allowing me only to spend a certain amount of cash.
  10. Sign Up For Their Rewards Program – Sign up for reward programs with as many stores as possible, as you will gain points, while simultaneously spending less money, through the designated program. Most times after a certain amount of money spent at any place, you will receive rewards, discounts, or even gift cards, or free items. Not only are you helping yourself, but you feel less guilty spending money at the location.
  11. Make A List Of Things You Need – This helps, in the case of food, clothing, art supplies, etc. Deciding what you need or truly want is important, so you will not get sidetracked while you are there. All the distractions, especially at the cash register counter, are all items placed strategically so that the customer will spend more money. Go in knowing what you want and need, and always do not hesitate to ask for assistance. A list will allow you to also budget and will give you a general idea of how much money you will be spending. Though this is a little bit harder when it comes to clothing, shoes and accessory shopping, having a general idea of what you are willing to spend and what you are looking for is always key.
  12. Check Out More Than One Store – Look around and be patient with your shopping. Do not just limit yourself to one, single store. Shop around, find deals, compare prices, and find a store that will give you the biggest bang for your buck. I shop around at many retail outlets, being especially selective about prices and the quality of the product. The quality of the product and prices often differ from store-to-store, try to find a reasonably priced retail outlet to get the best deals. Similarly, when it comes to shopping for food, art supplies, interior decoration, school supplies, check out more than one store. All stores are competing with each other to achieve the lowest price for your best dollar. The choices are endless and chances are you will find a place that will satisfy your budget and your needs.
  13. Shop Online – Online stores usually have sales ongoing that most stores do not have. Similarly, the online shops may have more merchandise than that displayed in the stores. Additionally their sale sections are naturally much more organized, with a wider selection. Online sale sections for stores listed above are much more extensive, including more of a variety of the merchandise, than that in store.This list provides a set of rules that you can follow, especially when you are ballin’ on a budget. Save money for all the things you enjoy in life, while also budgeting, and deciphering the pros and cons of the purchase. Shopping smart and hard are always key! Keep your eyes on the prize and realize that deals are out there, as long as you look hard enough.


    xo,Aichan Tewahade

Growing Pains

Oh, the pains of growing up. What does growing up even mean?

Since turning 21, I have realized that the concept of growing up is absolutely absurd, and extremely difficult, especially in your early 20s. The early years of your 20s are some of the most uncomfortable, yet fufilling years of your life, as you try to navigate through all the bullshark that life ends up throwing your way. Even your parents slowly become distant figures in your life, as they push you to try to make you the most independent version of yourself. You may even find yourself having multiple panic attacks about experiencing quarter-life crisis’s, and will definitely find yourself facing more challenges.

Your early 20s are spent figuring out and discovering that the world is not so black-and-white, and things are never always in your control. Not having control over every aspect of your life is something that you need to realize quick, as you may grow apart from friends, experience anxiety about your future, etc.

Spending time by yourself, just trying to figure yourself out is one of the best ways I have dealt with my uncomfortably, awkward anxiety attacks. Honestly, I did not even have my life mapped out for my 20s, as they always seemed so far away.

With that said,

  1. Speak your mind and utilize your voice.

    The best life advice I have received of coming of age is that you should always speak your mind, and speak it well, and intelligently. Lauren Conrad wrote a similar article on her blog stating 10 things she wished she would have known in her early 20s, and speaking your mind is one of the most efficient ways to maintain healthy friendships, standing up to bullies, etc. Your voice should be used to be heard. Do not let anyone or anything silence you, asking for what you need and want is far from a crime. The worst thing that could come out of asking for something and speaking your mind, is the answer “no,” or a negative comment.

  2.  Spend as much time alone as possible.

    This seems counterproductive and a little depressing, however, the positive benefits of hanging out with oneself plays such a huge role in the process of growing up.

    Finding what you like and what you do not like are some things that come out of hanging out with yourself. Finding independence in a society that places the utmost importance on co-dependence is almost a freeing experience. You are no longer held back by the fear of doing stuff alone, rather you crave doing things alone and find solace in your daily activities.

    Induce your creativity and find new hobbies to partake in. No matter how old you are or how awkward it may seem dating yourself is one of the best ways to make the growing pains a little less painful.

  3. Place importance on your education and obligations.

    Whether you’re in school or not in school, and simply just working, it is important that you make these things a priority in your life, as they play a huge role in your life outside of school. Attend work and school obligations on time and realize how much working hard at aspects of your life will result in ultimate happiness.

You may not be happy, in the moment while you are working hard, however, in the long-run many opportunities may present themselves.
Whether it is setting yourself apart by cleaning the bathrooms at work, picking up coffee for the administrative assistant that you work for, seize every opportunity to set yourself apart from others. Being self-motivated is one of the best attributes to attain, when you are going through the process of growing up.

   4.                             Grasp every opportunity for success that you may come across.

This is incredibly important, as life does not offer too many free lemons for you to make unlimited amounts of lemonade. After a while, the opportunities stop presenting themselves, if you keep denying them. Whether you are grasping an opportunity to make a new friend or grasping a job promotion, work hard for it, try to say “yes,” as often as possible. You do not want to be left with the question “what if?” that will constantly haunt your mind.

5.                          Forget the drama, and do not even leave it for your mama.

Literally, you may fight every one of your so called “good friends,” while you are facing life’s biggest challenge of growing up. Yes, your group of friends will downsize considerably, as you begin to realize that most of the friends you made over the last few years, have become distant enemies or acquaintances. This is quite normal and perfectly alright. However, when it comes to drama, leave it alone and let it be. Do not pay any mind to it, because in a few years, your name will be nothing but an old ghost town. Drama is pointless and a distraction from what really matters. Try to avoid it as much as possible. Leave rumors alone, and do not entertain them.

              6.                              Start a bucket list

Make a bucket list full of your biggest fears, dreams, ect, and most importantly, start checking off the activities you have completed. Bucket lists can almost serve as goals you want to achieve, or just can include fun activities that you can participate in when you have the time. Things like, cliff jumping, graduating college, bungee jumping, starting a blog, traveling to Iceland and finishing a whole entire coloring book are things that are on my bucket list.

           7.                               Find new hobbies or join a club

Forget the partying, after you hit your early 20s, no one even cares to go out every night of the weekend, due to circumstantial obligations. New hobbies, other than partying, can serve as healthy activities that you can utilize when you are feeling super bored. This is not to say that you should not go out at all, but to find a balance between having fun and hobbies. Partying should NOT be your only hobby, as this will not get you very far.

Journaling, coloring, hiking, blogging and shopping are some of my favorite past times, as I try to engage in healthy hobbies every day. Find something you like, and stick with it. If it makes you happy, who cares what you are doing.

Joining a club can also serve as a positive outlet to meet new people and form new friendships. Volunteering is also a fun way to assist your local community, all while spending time doing something positive.

NOTE TO ALL: YOUR EARLY 20s ARE SOME OF THE MOST UNCOMFORTABLE YEARS OF YOUR LIFE. EVERYONE IS GOING THROUGH SIMILAR EXPERIENCES DISCOVERING WHO THEY ARE, WHAT THEY WANT TO DO WITH THEIR LIVES, ETC. We all deal with the uncomfortable growing pains of life. Learn to embrace them and find ways to combat your uncomfortability. This is a crucial time in any individuals life, as we are all learning how to come of age, how to be mature, and how to be independent. Do not let life discourage you. WE ARE ALL GOING THROUGH QUARTER-LIFE CRISES, it’s up to you how you choose to handle it.

xo,

Aichan Tewahade

 

 

Call It An Autobiography

Simply put, I am an anonymous 21-year-old blogger, who is so curious about this world that I felt the need to share all my thoughts and feelings online. I entertain myself with blogging, hiking, coloring, working, discovering new fashion trends, and just about anything that soothes my soul (this list never ends). Some would even say I am boring or too eccentric, but my boredom and eccentric attitude are what have landed me on this page. I have made this blog, because, as Jonah Hill once said in 21 Jump Street, “this is my temple. This is where I come to find peace.”

Now that you know some surface level details about my life, I also would like to say that I live in Boulder, Colorado, attending the University of Boulder, Colorado, pursuing a double degree in Advertising and Psychology. I am a locally grown native of Boulder, Colorado and have yet to get sick of the beautiful views of the Flatirons.

Normal, eccentric, friendly, crazy, and bored are all words I use to describe myself. I will go a little bit deeper and disclose my deepest, darkest secret…I have been diagnosed with six types of ADD, ADHD, OCD, social anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. My diagnoses generally turn people off, as they often complain that they are scared of me, scared to trigger or enable me, or treat me differently than they normally would if I had not been diagnosed.

Though I have been labeled with these diagnoses, I do not want to hide the gifts or hide the unique biochemical makeup of my efficiently functioning brain. Though many individuals, including society, have stigmatized my “mental illnesses,” I’ve decided to not let this hold me back.

With that said, I embrace life. Perspective is the key to success, and one of the best ways I cope with my anxiety. Society spends so much time masking and shunning those who are considered “disabled,” when in fact, these labels are not disabilities, rather they are powerful abilities that I have been blessed with. Stigmas are the world’s Miracle Whip (no one really likes it).

My life can be difficult at times, but happiness is not hard to come by for me. In fact, I choose happiness; I do not look for it or try to locate it. The happiest times and the most memorable times are the times in which I’ve practiced mindfulness and perseverance.

At times, my gifts have served as a disadvantage for me, as it has been used against me time-and-time again. Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unforunate Events could be viewed as an actual representation of my life, as it is a constant trainwreck, where I am always adjusting to change. My life may mirror A Series Of Unfortunate Events; society even foresees that my life will be an eternal train wreck, but I beg to differ.

Despite all these stigmas and roller coaster rides, I have decided to make a blog, in order to let people in and show how normal those who have been diagnosed are.

Things that are important to me are as substantial as non-materialistic items, such as family, positive, meaningful friends, pizza, art, nature, photography, making memories, practicing kindness and patience, and the small surprises that life throws my way.

It has been a hard journey to find comfortability and love within myself. I am not talking about just spreading love to others, just like you spread peanut butter and jelly on bread, I am talking about finding self-love. This blog marks the day that I have decided to let everyone know how much self-love was hard to come by and that I finally love myself. I love every single gift, every single “flaw,” even though I hate the word “flaw,” and fragment of myself.

Every day that I choose life, I am also choosing to beat the statistics. In fact, on average 98% of PTSD patients commit suicide. This statistic is a very important statistic for me, because it proves that anything is truly possible if you set your mind to it, this even includes self-love.

Self-love is never taught in school, though I personally believe it should be. Celebrations, including celebrating life and yourself, are not held frequently enough, especially in our society. Society has become toxic, constantly thriving off of the failures of others. We are all human, however, and deserve to celebrate ourselves, because we are all connected in one way or another.

I love humans, I love meeting new people, I love making new friends, and I thoroughly enjoy getting to know everyone. I also love celebrating people and their successes, especially in a society where we constantly forget to pat ourselves on our back, let along acknowledge one another.

The reason I love talking and meeting people is because we can all learn something from every human being we encounter in our lives. Whether the human is toxic or a positive force in your life, every human being has something substantial to offer and has good qualities. If you just look hard enough, you will realize how much good there is in the world and in every single human being. Though you may clash with many individuals in your life and you may have some hate left for certain people in your heart, no human is truly bad to the bone.

Seeing the world in just black-and-white, just as good vs. bad, is a clouded, and distorted way to view your life. You miss out on opportunities to forgive, opportunities to make more memories, expand your horizons, and most importantly, miss out on truly finding love within yourself and finding love with others. It is always easy to blame others for your own faults, trauma, anxiety, etc., however, humans shape the world and make the world go round.

When you break it down, every single human being is molecularly and genetically unique from one another, this includes personality as well. I believe it is important to encounter every single human, including yourself, in order to truly live a life filled with love and passion.

Getting to where I am today was difficult, and full of many bumps in the road, as I still continue to struggle to be a better version of myself every day. I had to spend over 21 years dating myself, encountering people who I altercated with, finding hobbies, becoming self-aware, and becoming self-motivated.

As a child, I was enrolled in a Montessori school, where I learned the importance of kindness, respect, independence, celebration, schedules, having hobbies, and learning to be an inclusive human being, who should get to know everyone. Most importantly, I was taught the importance of kindness, how to be kind, to always forgive those around you that may have made a mistake, and to celebrate everyone’s uniqueness. I also learned how much I love art, how much I love to travel, and how much I still practice these lessons I learned to this day.

I am no longer discouraged by societal norms, as I found that basing my self-love on what others think of me more toxic than ocean water after an oil spill. Every day I live is another day that I can better myself, smile more, laugh more, and make more memories. It has become essential for me to take a moment out of every day to realize and count all my blessings, and to realize how rare the gift of happiness is. Taking a minute every day has allowed for me to realize that every day is, and should be, a blessing and celebration, full of surprises. Every day is full of presents for me, and I have realized that the more that you look for and acknowledge the simple, synchronistic, and beautiful things in life, the more life will gift them to you.

I face fear every day, however, my fear used to be based on what others thought about me. Now, I face more rational substantial fears, involving how much more I can challenge myself to make my day better, whether or not I am budgeting enough, whether or not I should call in sick to work, what I want to wear today, or whether or not I should even finish college.

I strive to be the most raw, real, and resourceful human being to those around me. My curiosity for the world is what combats my six types of ADD, ADHD, OCD, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety, and PTSD. All of those words put into one sentence brings fear to not only me, but to my team of therapists. I, unfortunately, am asked on a daily basis how I am able to wake up every morning and simply just live. This question is mind boggling, because living can be as simple as just breathing and opening your eyes. To me, when you break everything down, life is the simplest gift that has graced my presence. I choose to live, because I am afraid of not living.

The definition of life is very interchangable. Personally, “living” involves daily adventures with myself or my friends, engaging in constructive behavior, going to work, being responsible, passing on kindness, and being a support system for someone else.

The only fear I face is the fear that my mental diagnoses will be used as a hindrance towards my success, or may stop me from living a “normal” life. I can not say my life is not difficult and/or hard at times, because it truly is hard to live with my unique biochemical makeup. In fact, it took me years to figure out how to live with such an active mind and how to manage my stress when I truly do have more issues than Vogue.

Instead of hiding in the dark, I’ve finally decided to test my own courage by releasing my biggest secrets to the public. It’s not quite opposite day, and I can not take this blog post back, just like I can not take back my mental diagnoses. These labels no longer define me, but are used as tools to my advantage.

My life motto is, “life is life, you have got to face reality.” You can not choose the cards life hands you, but you can take the cards life hands and try to find solutions to make it better. Trying is better than never trying at all, as “what if?” is a constant question that runs through my brain. Choose life and give me a chance to let you into my complicated, distorted, adventurous world.

~Always remember that no one, but yourself, defines you. No one but yourself can dictate your happines!s ~

~Even if your cheerios get peed on in the morning, eat it well and eat it all! ~

xo,

Aichan Tewahade

Things To Do When Bored

I get bored so, so easily and have had to come up with some things to when boredom hits me harder than the bricks on the Great Wall of China.

  1. Coloring – Coloring and anything related to art therapy helps soothe my anxiety and assists with stress management. I love coloring and have about nine different coloring books, which are also manufactured for those adults who are interested. They are sold everywhere from your local bookstore to 711. Barnes & Noble is also a great place to find a variety of them. Do not just limit yourself to just using colored pencils, try crayons and pastels as a fun new medium.
  2. Crafting – Coloring and crafting are the two C’s that I thoroughly enjoy. Crafts and DIY’s are my absolute favorite. I personalize and distress my own clothes, and often craft things in my room. My next mission is to be able to make a white and sea foam green dream catcher, with florals and sea shells as ornaments. Crafting can include things, such as, origami, basic DIY’s, tie-dye (one of my personal favorites), plant crafts, crafts to put on your wall, drying out flowers, etc. You can honestly find DIY videos for everything these days, as YouTube and the internet have become so accessible to us. Making jewelry is also something I am trying to learn. Many crafts are fairly easy, but require many items in order to make them. JoAnns, Hobby Lobby and Michael’s often carry amazing supplies and materials, as they are crafting enterprises.
  3. Photography – I may not have a professional camera, nor do you need one, however, I love photography. Nothing makes me feel better than when I finally get “the shot.” “The shot” takes me one million hours to get and about 40 photo bursts on my iPhone, but hey, whatever gets the job done! Channeling your energy into capturing memories is a fun way to exert some positive, and creative energy. Fuji Mini Instax Polaroid cameras are a fun way to get a great photo and have the photos developed instantly. Polaroid cameras are easy to find and retail at places, such as Urban Outfitters, Amazon, Walmart, etc. They are a great investment and the polaroids are a great decor for your walls!
  4. Hiking – Any form of exercise really helps with boredom. You are actively able to exert energy outwardly and forget about all your troubles. I choose hiking, because yoga, cycling, etc. are too much for me to afford. If you are a college student, you usually have a gym included, however, I have never been to mine in the four years of attending the University of Colorado Boulder. I choose the outdoors, because the therapy that nature gives me is unlike any other. Not going to lie, I am a little spoiled with the Flatirons and do not nearly spend enough time exploring all the hikes in my area. I am also a little more spoiled, due to the amount of hikes there are in Boulder. Sorry to toot my horn, but I know there are plenty of places to walk or hike everywhere! Spending time outside getting some Vitamin D is important for your physical health, as it is an essential to keep your immune system running properly. Similarly, when you workout and/or exercise, keep in mind that extra endorphins are released, giving you the ultimate high that is thoroughly enjoyable. Kickboxing, yoga, hiking, cycling, zumba, or hitting your local gym are some extra fun ways to exude your energy and forget about your boredom.
  5. Interior Decorating – Want to make your chill space better? Then, do it! I love spending time mindlessly tacking up every single magazine clipping that I find visually stimulating, and have all my walls decorated with tapestries and drawings.Similarly, I love spending time doing more than just decorating my walls, but other areas of my room. I display candles every where, and try to get amazing decor from local decorative stores in and around the Boulder area. I also love mandalas, so I have plenty of tapestries to cover my walls, as well. For a fun, sophisticated touch, try covering your ceilings or walls, by putting up some Christmas lights. They add a beautiful touch to a bland room that has yet to be decorated. HomeGoods and Target both have eclectic decor that matches the taste of a wide audience. They also have so much variety, including minimalist decor, extravagant decor, etc. These items are also all very affordable to the public. Stop by your local HomeGoods or Target and take a peek at their selection! Chances are you will walk away with something!
  6. Retail Therapy – Hey, I am the worst at budgeting, but love to spend cash. Any one else the same way? Whatever forever is my motto about that. I love spending money on clothes that I absolutely adore. Fashion is always changing, so my taste in clothes is always adapting to the new, and current trends. Shopping, whether it is for groceries or clothes or gifts, are all good fun. It is a great way to get out of your living space, and hopefully treat yourself or someone else.Cash deserves to be spent, and if we are spending money, are we not helping the economy? These are the things I think about, while I mindlessly spend my hard-earned $300 paycheck in a matter of seconds.
  7. Free Events – If you look hard enough or are bored enough, looking up events in and around your area is something fun to do. It’s cheap…dirt cheap. Free events are always happening, and there’s generally not a shortage of things to do. Usually, finding a local bar, coffee shop, etc. assists in the process of finding free events. During one of my most recent job hunts, I visited a local coffee shop and eatery that held events, like karaoke night, slam poetry, etc. This is something fun to do! Similarly, if you attend a university, there are always free events, with free food included. And, the best things in life are most definitely free! Get to know your campus a little more, and look for local listings for free events. There are usually posters for fun events, or announcements in your classes. Free food is too hard to pass up on for a broke college girl like me!
  8. Volunteering – If you are into helping out the community and society, I think that volunteering may be right up your alley way. Volunteering for local homeless shelters, the local Humane Society, retired living homes, etc. are great ways to spend time helping others, instead of being bored. It also allows you to have a perspective on how blessed you truly are, and I am always counting my blessings when I volunteer. Helping out the community not only helps others feel better, but most importantly, makes me feel better. Talk about another head high! It is amazing the people you will end up encountering, during your volunteering. Plus, you can get a good recommendation or two out of it. Whatever helps, right?
  9. Get a job – This is what your parents want from you, right? What does being self-sufficient even mean? My parents have allowed me to learn really quickly the value of a dollar, as I am personally responsible for outward expenses, such as clothes, rent, food, events, etc. I am financially responsible for myself, except for my tuition and part of my rent, which my parents pay. Getting a job not only builds character, but helps you develop essential skills, such as being respectful, being a team player, being outwardly kind, being punctual, and allows you to have a sense of responsibility. Though I moan and groan about having another responsibility on my plate, I love working hard for my money. Spending my money and saving it feels ten billion times better when you have made it yourself. If you are trying to find new outlets to make a new social group, a job will definitely help with that! While working with your coworkers, after just a week, you already feel like you have known them a lifetime. Slowly but surely, they become one of your support systems and friends, just through simply working with them part-time, or full-time. Work is not supposed to be fun, but you can make it fun! Having a positive attitude and an uplifting work environment is hard to find. I usually challenge myself to find a job that makes me feel comfortable, happy, and holds me to a high standard. I also love having a great manager or managers, depending on where you work. This makes all the difference in the world! So, to sum this up, getting a job is one of the biggest blessings and most efficient way to actively combat your boredom. If you are trying to make your parents proud of have gotten cut off financially, take a stab at taking on a career as a responsibility.
  10. Education – Focus on your school! For crying out loud, you are probably not even bored…you probably are just avoiding your homework! Do not just settle for your grades, work hard for them. Attend classes, take notes diligently, get to know your professors, and make friends in your classes. Friends are easily made in class, seeing that you are all on the same boat – trying to pass with the least amount of effort exerted. Studying and school can be incredibly boring, this is why I am currently taking a year off of school. I love double degree in Psychology and Advertising, however, it is a lot of work. Be realistic – every day, if you set aside one or two hours from mindlessly watching television, you could study, revise, and review your notes, instead of feeling crammed and stressed, by the end of the week. I have found that planners help me stay on top of everything and not forget assignments. Also, reviewing your class syllabus is one of the most important things you should do when the class begins. You will then have a more general understanding of the class, and will not feel bothered and stressed when your professor gently reminds you that you have a test next class. Rewriting notes is one of the ways I try to understand concepts from class, and I generally rewrite them the day after the class. This has helped me retain all of the information into my long-term memory, as opposed to cramming and losing all the information. Finals are no joke, and to do well, you need to also be attentive during class. Concepts can be hard to understand, especially when you are vigorously writing notes, however, I found that listening and writing down examples that professors give on concepts assists me in understanding the overall concept. Examples to big concepts allow me to understand the concept more than memorization. In college, tests test beyond just simple memorization, and were created to test your thorough knowledge of the topic.
  11. Journaling/Blogging – With all these technological advancements, I have found solace with blogging and journaling all my thoughts and emotions. Journaling is what led me to making a blog, as I wanted to let my creative ideas out on more than just paper. Journaling has a way of being extremely therapeutic and has allowed me to mature, by using it as a way to identify problems in my life, solutions to problems, ways that I can grow, and a way to celebrate myself and my accomplishments. You do not need to write in it every day, or really at all, I also color and doodle in my journal, because it is your journal and you can use it any way you like it. My journal is something personal to me, and I have already accomplished filling out on whole journal with my thoughts. I used to journal every day, and for hours. The amount of anxiety and stress we, as humans, feel every day is tiring and rigorous. Journaling is where I vent, and is my imaginary girlfriend. Instead of venting so negatively about others to others, journaling is a great avenue for venting about small, petty stuff about your “stupid friends” who are annoying you. Better out of your system, than kept bottled up in your system. I would not spend so much time “venting,” as I use it as a way to make solutions, but I do have a full novel of things I have written about all my wonderful friends. Trust me, I do not need it released to the public. Journals keep you out of trouble with friends, drama, and help with stress-management and self-awareness. Honestly, it is also something to be proud of. Apple Inc. has even released a basic journal application that allows you to take pictures, while simultaneously allowing you to journal about the photograph. Journaling is very accessible these days. Try the old school way and write, if you are really feeling adventurous.
  12. Conquer A Fear – Whether it’s a piercing or a tattoo, it is always good to push yourself out of your comfort zone. My fears of heights and deep waters were tested this past summer, when I went cliff jumping for the first time. The cliff was tall, and was about 40 feet tall. I had about a 16-person audience that would not stop calling me a “pussy.” This went on non-stop for about 3 hours, when the sunrise had slowly begun. So, I just jumped to a song called “Twenty One” and took a leap of faith. Mind you, I was completely and utterly sober. I blacked out for the whole experience, as I hit the water hard. It was cold, not to mention I was under water for longer than everyone had told me. But, I was safe, so who cares, right? After the jump and after I got warm again, I realized how good I felt. I finally had done something that was on my bucket list, and I had done it without the use of any alcohol. My emotions reset themselves and I immediately felt a trillion times better about myself. I also just really could not stand being called a “pussy” any longer, and a bunch of middle schoolers had just pulled up to the scene. I did it for myself, if you look at it from my perspective. Just kidding! Either way, if you are doing it for others or youself, do something fun and adventurous. I would love to recommend cliff jumping to everyone, though I will never do it again. But, things, such as zip lining, skydiving, and scuba diving are all on my list of things I would like to do. For some reason, all of these activities involve my two biggest fears of heights and deep water, but I am always willing to get out of my comfort zone. Be brave and be bold!
  13. Pampering Yourself – When I pamper myself, I usually indulge in a long, hot shower and a face mask. I also get it on with nail polish, constantly changing my nail colors, according to the season and my mood. Similarly, I try to dress better, in order to pamper my ego and feel good. My ego is almost non-existent, but my clothes are endless. I love dressing better and being passionate about taking good care of myself. This obviously goes beyond just dressing nicely (and when I say nicely, I mean what ever makes you feel best)! It goes as far as getting enough sleep, hygiene, exercising everyday, eating better, drinking lots of tea and water, getting all of your nutrients, etc. These are all vital to pampering yourself and being at 110% everyday. Because, we are all functioning at 100% at this very moment, as we are currently the best versions of ourselves to date. Pampering also includes practicing self-love, self-awareness, isolation to a certain extent from stimulation, and engaging in healthy habits. I like to spend most of my days simply pampering myself, and think my overall wellbeing has improved simply from pampering. If Pampers’ diapers pamper babies, why can we not make our own imaginary Pamper’s and pamper ourselves?  I do not think anyone, but yourself is holding you back.Now, do not get too crazy about over-pampering yourself, because hard work is necessary to get places in life. And, the real world is cruel and will not spend time pampering you very often.
  14. Make a bucket list – I call mine my “YOLO list,” aka the things I want to do before I die. I have accomplished quite a few since turning 21, seeing that I did not plan to even make it to this age. I would even go as far as to say that I have only completed about 1/10 of the things on my list. My list includes traveling abroad in Australia, New Zealand, and Asia, going to Europe, meeting a koala bear, which is my spirit animal, going to the Blue Lagoon, going to the white sand dunes, going to a SuperBowl game, attending the Grammy’s, going to the Salt Flats in Bolivia, exploring all the national parks, like antelope canyon, hiking all the trails at Rocky Mountain National Park, getting a nice Nikon camera and a GoPro, zip lining, competing in an eating challenge and winning, sky diving, graduating from college, getting a job in the fashion industry to do fashion marketing and advertising, going to a music festival, landing an ad campaign with Kendall Jenner, Cara Delevigne, and Gigi Hadid, learning to become self-sufficient and responsible, etc. The list honestly continues to grow every day that I am alive, but it makes me feel great once I have accomplished them. One of my things on my bucket list was making a blog, and actually blogging. I finally have gotten around to doing this and it is one less thing I have to do before I die? Bad joke? Probably.
  15. Cooking & Baking- This one is NOT my front running skill, but I still take a stab at it once in a while. I wish I was better at cooking and baking, but this is a great mechanism to learn to kill boredom. Recipes are online everywhere, making it easy for even a beginning to learn how to cook some chicken and pasta. Tasty and Spoon University are two major foodie online websites, that feature videos and short tutorials on how to make amazing recipes.
  16. Text/Call/FaceTime friends & family- Your friends and family are your ultimate support group. In fact, you rely on them more than you know, especially when you are bored. One way to kill boredom is to take a minute or three hours to go through your contacts and text, or call, or FaceTime your loved ones. Random calls and texts from others that you love can only do one thing: warm your soul up. Recognize the role they play in your life and thank them for blessing you with their presence. See, Christmas can be every day? I try to envision myself as Santa Clause. Just like Clause on Christmas Eve, I deliver messages and gifts to my loved ones, just so they know I care. This is a very effective way to stay in-touch with your friends more often, who you probably do not see or talk to enough. Use your technological devices to your advantage!

Boredom feeds my soul, but finding new hobbies also feeds my soul, because through boredom I find new hobbies and activities that I can engage in, in order to live my life to the fullest.