Back-To-School • A Rainbow of Advice!

Hi! School just started again (NOOOOOO), so I thought that I’d better post before things get TOO hectic and crazy! 🙂

If you’re a student like me, you know that going back to school – especially if you are starting at a new school – can be really stressful and even a little (or a lot) scary!

I’ve done girl power posts in the past, but always about famous girl power stories – never any about your own girl power. I just want you to know that it’s there! It’s inside you! Everyone has power and strength inside themselves, and it’s just a matter of digging it out and letting it show!

So this post is going to be a mashup between girl power and school. Girl power at school! Advice on how to be confident and not stressed, even when going to a new, scary, or difficult school.

That’s it for the introduction. Oh, one more thing: I hope it helps! 🙂

RED – the color of power!The color red can make you feel strong and powerful. When you see the color red, remember that YOU are strong and powerful. The color red can make you feel like your energy is renewed. Red is the strong desire to work hard and persevere; red is self-empowerment; red is the blazing fire inside of you, the voice telling you not to give up. At school, if you can’t seem to get a math problem correct and want to give up, if you have a huge project and not a lot of time to complete it, whenever you’re feeling a little hopeless, be like the color red, and don’t give up!

ORANGE – fun!I like this description I read of orange: “Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow.” It’s true! Orange can represent joy and sunshine. It can also symbolize enthusiasm, happiness, creativity, and determination. Those are all such great qualities! The one that sticks out to me the most is creativity! Even though you may not think so, creativity is actually super important in school. Even if you’re not taking art classes, you can see creativity in pretty much all subjects of school. Science: see God’s amazing creativity in action as you learn about His creation! History: look at others’ creativity in the past, and learn from it! English: creativity is definitely prominent in writing and literature! Math: use your own creativity to think of a new angle to look at something, or a better way to solve a problem. So like the color orange, be cheerful and creative!

YELLOW – the color of happiness!The color yellow can evoke pleasant and happy feelings. Bright yellow grabs your attention immediately. It makes me think of sunshine! The color yellow can remind us to be happy and joyful. Yellow is cheery and warming; it can make you feel happier. Use yellow to help you out when you need to smile. Yellow can make you think of smiley faces. Whenever it seems like there are clouds and no sun, yellow can remind us that the sun is still there, shining just as brightly as ever behind those clouds. Try to emanate joy and friendliness at school, like the color yellow, even when you’re feeling down! Just smiling can make you feel happier. Acting happy, joyful, and sunny, like the color yellow, can make you feel that way inside!

GREEN – the color of growth and new life! Green is Mother Nature’s personal favorite – it represents plants, flowers, growing, freshness, fertility, and living things! Wow, that’s a lot! Since green represents growing, it can also remind us of improvement. School might feel boring and pointless sometimes – or A LOT of the time – but remember that YOU are learning! You’re growing! You’re improving! Just like green plants are growing. Green can also represent life. Remember that life is a gift; enjoy it! Time spent at school may seem wasted, but it’s actually not! You are alive; living, breathing, and thinking! Every moment you are alive is a miracle, a gift from God! So the next time you’re sitting in math class counting ceiling tiles, focus on every breath that goes in and out of your body. Be grateful and happy to even be breathing, even if it is in math class! So go through school (and life in general) with a mind open to learning and a heart grateful and happy to be alive!

BLUE – the chill color!Personally, blue is my favorite color! It is so calming and soothing! Blue is associated with tranquility, trust, wisdom, and confidence! It is suuuuuuuper relaxing. At school, it’s a really good idea not to be uptight and tense all the time. Being relaxed and going with the flow a bit will be very beneficial. Blue can remind us not to freak out if we have a problem, like not being able to get your locker open, forgetting a book at home, or worrying about being late to class. If you freak out, the problem will only get worse! Taking deep breaths and remaining calm helps you to keep a clear head so you can solve the problem quickly. The Bible tells us not to worry, and to instead pray! Philippians 4:6-7 says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” The color blue can be a fantastic reminder of that! Like the color blue, we should be relaxed, calm, and confident that it will work out. So the next time you get a HUGE amount of homework, remember that you didn’t study for a test, or don’t understand something in class, breathe deeply and don’t stress. You got this!

PURPLE – the noble, royal color!Purple is another one of my favorite colors! It’s kind of like a mesh between blue’s stability and red’s energy. It symbolizes power, nobility, and dignity. Purple is largely associated with royalty. Purple can remind us that we have power, nobility, and dignity! It can remind us to be confident, and that we are dignified. We should hold our head high and walk with confidence. The Bible says that we are God’s children. (John 1:12 “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…”) God is the creator of the universe, the king of all existence, and we are His children! That means that we are royalty, too! Purple can remind us to carry ourselves with dignity and confidence – we are royalty!

GOLD! – treasure!Image courtesy of freecreatives.com

Gold is associated with wealth, quality, and value. It can remind us that we are of value! We should know that we are treasured! Romans 5:6-8 “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” We were, and are, worth enough to God that He would send His own son to die for us. We are worth that much to God! So therefore, there is no reason for us to tear ourselves or others down. We should treat ourselves and others like they are valued and worthy. God created us in His image! Genesis 1:27 “…God created man in His own image…” We are made to be like the creator of the universe! And He claims us as His children! How amazing is that?????? We should always remember that we are worthy, treasured, and of value to the ruler of the entire universe.

I think that the key to succeeding at school is having a combination – a rainbow – with all these character traits – colors!

  • Red: perseverance and passion
  • Orange: creativity and cheerfulness
  • Yellow: joy and happiness
  • Green: open-mindedness and gratefulness, enjoying the miracle of life
  • Blue: calmness
  • Purple: confidence and dignity
  • Gold: knowing our own worth and value, and treating others like they have worth and value

Bye for now! Good luck at school! Now I have to go tackle my own schoolwork… 🙂

Girl Power!!! – Bethany Hamilton

Oh my goodness! I’m so excited for today’s girl power post! Bethany Hamilton is definitely someone you think of when you think of girl power. She’s someone I’ve wanted to write about since the beginning. Her story is one of amazing perseverance and incredible faith – and it has a happy ending, too! Well, actually, her story isn’t over! She’s still continuing to influence the world today!

Bethany Hamilton was born in 1990 on the island Kauai. Both her parents were surfers and Christians. Bethany grew up in a home that loved surfing and loved Jesus. By the age of 13, she was already an awesome surfer and was being sponsored by Ripcurl. Then on Halloween of 2003, Bethany’s life was changed forever.

On October 31, 2003, the day started just like any other for Bethany Hamilton. She got up, got dressed, and was ready to surf. She decided to go surfing with her friend Alana Blanchard and Alana’s dad and brother. They drove to Tunnels Beach, Kauai. Bethany paddled out in the water, looking for a wave. She never saw it coming.

Bethany Hamilton was attacked by a shark. She was floating on her surfboard with her left arm dangling in the water when a 14-foot tiger shark decided it was hungry. Bethany lost her entire left arm up to her shoulder. She never even saw the shark. About the attack, Bethany says, “I felt a lot of pressure and a couple of lightning fast tugs. Then I watched in shock as the water around me turned bright red.”

Bethany was rushed to a hospital. By the time she got there, she had lost 60% of her blood. The doctors weren’t sure she would live. But Bethany was tougher than that. She fought hard to recover, and soon went home. While in the hospital, Bethany learned that if she had lost her shoulder as well, there was a tiny chance she would have survived. Already she began to see God working in her life, protecting her.

In the weeks that followed the attack, Bethany struggled. She learned there were some things she would no longer be able to do, ever again, and many things became harder. Even the simple task of dressing herself became a challenge. Bethany also struggled with God. The question that would keep her awake at night was “Why?” She couldn’t understand how a loving God could let something so horrible happen to her. She thought her passion, the thing she loved to do most, had been taken from her. Bethany dreamed of becoming a professional surfer, and she thought she might never get back on her board.

Even through these hard times, Bethany held tight to the faith that kept her going. She continued to trust God with her life and knew that He had a plan for her. Sure enough, God was using her to tell a story.

Bethany got back on her board. It was the day before the doctor said she could surf again. She ended up realizing her dream of becoming a professional surfer, and is now one of the world’s most recognized sports figures. But how did this happen?

Bethany wrote a book, titled Soul Surfer that described her experience, faith, and journey, which was published in 2004. It was a huge success. In 2011, a movie based on the book, also called Soul Surfer, was released. Bethany Hamilton has said that because of the shark attack, she has been able to reach more people with her story of faith, trust, and never giving up than she ever would have with two arms. It was all part of God’s plan. She trusted in it, and that took courage. That’s girl power, for sure!

P.S. Here are some pictures from when I got to see Bethany Hamilton live! It was super cool!  She was really genuine and down to earth. It was very inspiring to hear her talk about her life and personal experience, especially her relationship with God.

Girl Power!!! – Misty Copeland

Hi everyone! It’s that time of the week… GIRL POWER FRIDAY! Yay!

Have you ever heard of Misty Copeland? She is AWESOME! Trust me, once you hear about all the things that she has done, you’ll agree.

To start off, I think the most amazing thing about her is that she’s not your typical ballerina. She’s different, and I think that’s one of the things that makes her so great. Also, he had to overcome so many things to get to where she is today, but she persevered, and look where she is now!

 Misty dances for ABT, or American Ballet Theatre. She is the first African-American woman to become principle dancer in ABT. She was named one of the most influential people in the world by Time magazine. She has been in commercials for companies like Under Armor and Dr. Pepper. She has been on television shows, written two novels, narrated a documentary about herself, and to top it off, she recently performed on broadway in On the Town. (Yeah, she acts too.)

All that is incredible! But in my opinion, that’s not even the most amazing part.

What age do you think she started ballet? Guess!

What did you guess? 5? 6? 7? Guys, she started when she was 13 years old! That’s not old or anything, but most people who dance professionally, or play sports, or do anything professionally, start at a really young age. Like those numbers I mentioned earlier: 6 or 7 years old.

In addition to that, do you think she just started off at the best ballet school in the world, and became the best dancer right away? No way! When she was 13 years old, she was told that she had the wrong body for ballet. She was accepted into almost none of the schools she applied for. She was basically told that she would never amount to anything in ballet.

But did Misty give up? She could have just stopped and said, Oh well, I guess that’s too bad. She persevered, and if she hadn’t, she wouldn’t have done all the amazing things that she has done!

It’s true that she has a different body than most ballerinas, but I definitely think she’s doing an amazing thing, in that she’s defying the standards and breaking down barriers on what a ‘typical ballerina’ should look like. I don’t think that ballerinas should be defined by what they look like or by what type of body they have.

Misty is such a good example of how if you are brave and have perseverance, you really can do anything you set your mind to. Now that’s girl power!

P.S. There is an Under Armor commercial where she reads one of the rejection letters from a ballet school she applied for. Check out the link below!

Under Armor Commercial

Girl Power!!! – Malala Yousafzai

Hi everyone! Sorry I haven’t posted in a little while. I’ve been super busy!

Aaaaaaaaanyway, guess what day today is! Guess, guess, guess!

Fine, I’ll just tell you. It’s…GIRL POWER FRIDAY! (Yay!)

Have you ever heard of Malala Yousafzai? She is a female education activist and the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Prize. But that’s not the whole story…

i am malala            malala     

Photo courtesy of missionpropelle.com. Photo courtesy of blogs.vancouversun.com.

Malala was just a young girl who loved school living in Pakistan, when her country was invaded by the Taliban, a terrorist group. They took over Swat Valley, where Malala had been living with her family. 

Soon after, in 2008, BBC was looking for a schoolgirl to anonymously blog about the situation in Swat. Nobody would volunteer. The danger was too great. Finally, 11-year-old Malala stepped up. 12 days after Malala posted her first entry, the Taliban placed a ban on girls attending school. By that time, the Taliban had already destroyed over a hundred girls’ schools. Malala wanted nothing more that the mere right to learn, and it had been taken from her.

The ban was in January of 2009. After the ban, the Taliban continued to destroy schools. Malala’s blog went on, where she wrote about what was happening and how she felt. Her blog ended in March 2009. After the blog ended, Malala was approached by a New York Times reporter about filming a documentary.

In May, Malala’s hometown was evacuated and her family was displaced, because the Pakistani Army had moved into the area. Malala’s father separated from the rest of the family to speak and protest in Peshawar,  After speaking out at a press conference, Malala’s father received a death threat by radio broadcast.

Her father was Malala’s inspiration. That summer, she declared, “I have a new dream … I must be a politician to save this country. There are so many crises in our country. I want to remove these crises.”

When the announcement was made that the Taliban had retreated and it was safe to return to Swat Valley, Malala and her family reunited and moved back to their home.

After Malala’s documentary was filmed, she began to become more and more recognized. Among other things, she was interviewed numerous times, appeared on television, was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize, and was awarded Pakistan’s first National Youth Peace Prize.

But with this recognition came danger. Death threats began to appear everywhere: published in newspapers, slipped under the door, and even on Facebook!

Finally, it all came to an end. On October 9, 2012, Malala Yousafzai was shot by a Taliban gunman.

There. I could end it right here. She lived, she died. Right? But that’s just it. She didn’t die. She went on to have a huge, huge, HUGE impact on the world, and is still alive and influential today…

The bullet went through her head and neck, and ended up in her shoulder. She was taken to multiple hospitals in the next week or so. Doctors were forced to operate on her skull because her brain, which had suffered some damage, was swelling. They took out a piece of her skull and stored it in her stomach! (Don’t worry, later it was removed from her stomach and given to her as a gift. She got a titanium plate in her skull to replace the missing piece.)

Malala was in a coma for most of this, but came out of the coma on October 17. By October 21, she was stable, though still fighting an infection. In November, Malala was discharged from the hospital and able to continue her rehabilitation.

Today, Malala lives with her family in Birmingham, England, and attends Edgbaston High School in Birmingham.

The attempted assassination caused the world to erupt. People protested the shooting in cities in Pakistan. Over 2 million people signed Right to Education campaign’s petition. Madonna dedicated a song to Malala! Angelina Jolie wrote her a letter! She was invited to speak at the United Nations, and is a frequent speaker in different locations. She is also the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Prize.

In her book, I am Malala, Malala wrote, “One person tried to silence me. And millions spoke out.”

This is the story of how one girl stood up for education and changed the world. Now that’s girl power!

Sources: I am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malala_Yousafzai#

Girl Power!!! – Carli Lloyd and Madeline Stuart

Hey everyone! Did any of you watch the World Cup Finals recently? It was amazing! Carli Lloyd scored the fastest hat trick in World Cup history (3 goals in 13 minutes)! The United States soccer team works crazy hard and has loads of determination, and evidently, it paid off!

carlir lloyd

Photo courtesy of vanityfair.com

Carli Lloyd has said in interviews that her life revolves around soccer. She worked, worked, and worked some more to earn that World Cup trophy. But she isn’t finished yet! When interviewed after the World Cup, she said, “The first words out of my trainer’s mouth were, ‘This is great. But you’ve got more work to do and I want to see this every single year until you retire.’ So I guess I do have my work cut out for me.”

“If you want to play, practice. If you want to win, practice harder.” -Carli Lloyd

In the same week, Madeline Stuart’s story made the news, big time! If you haven’t already heard, Maddy is an 18-year-old model with Down Syndrome, hoping to change the face of the modeling world. 

Madeline stuart

Photo courtesy of madelinestuartmodel.com

Madeline-Stuart-Model-Down-Syndrome

Photo courtesy of popsugar.com

Models don’t all have to be 10 feet tall, and practically disappear when they turn sideways, do they? Besides, it’s the beauty inside that counts, and even though I don’t personally know her, I can tell that Maddy is beautiful, inside and out! 

If you ask me, we should all aspire to be more like her.

The fact that Maddy is different makes her more beautiful! But wait, is she really all that different? She has her hopes and her dreams, her ups and her downs, her triumphs and her failures, just like the rest of us, right?

Some people believe that people with Down Syndrome are limited. In an interview, Maddy’s mom said, “People with Down syndrome can do anything. They just do it at their own pace.”

She also said,”Give them a chance, and you will be rewarded beyond your greatest expectations.” Maddy, who is working hard to alter society’s view of true beauty, is certainly showing what one 18-year-old girl with Down Syndrome can do, if given the chance!

Both of these girls are showing the whole world what we girls can do, one modeling contract or World Cup trophy at a time!