During a three day weekend, what is the one thing you want to do? Rest, and not do any work. And that is exactly what I wanted to do. Since it’s the end of the first semester, and a three day weekend, it was the perfect opportunity to not do much and just relax. And maybe even get out of writing a blog this week.

                                                 

Methods to have your parents agree with you ( and let you take a break from writing a post this week): 

  • Homework excuse

This is the first one that came to my mind. As much as this excuse may possibly work, it really just makes things worse. All I’m doing is giving myself more work and another thing I don’t want to do. Plus, parents will then be making sure you are doing your work, and then you will absolutely HAVE to do it. So, no.

  • Trading/Negotiation

Similar to the first one, but different. Instead of saying you have homework, try a negotiation. “If you let me not do any work for this break, I’ll work extra hard for the next semester. This break will let me clear my mind and loosen up. That way I can focus and work harder when school starts again.” Or, “If you buy me a new iPad, I’ll take digital notes which will be more organized. That way I can study better and do really well on tests.”

  • Tired/Resting or Pitying

“It’s a three-day-weekend, the end of the first semester, and I’m exhausted after all those tests. Can I please have a pass this week and not have to write a post? ” The resting excuse seems the least likely to be accepted, but it can work. If not, then try getting on their soft side. Exaggerate a little, not too much, in order to emphasize the importance of getting out of the work. Also, don’t lie. Don’t make up things that never happened to back your claims. That will only make it more unlikely to get your way. Use things that have happened, but add onto them. “Resting is really necessary for me this three day weekend. As soon as school starts, I’ll have even more work and I’ll get really stressed again. I won't be able to sleep as much with all the assignments, and that extra day off will help me catch up on that missing sleep. Please??” Okay, maybe that’s a little too…cheesy, but you get the point. Highlight the key points where parents get soft on: seeing you work so hard, staying up really late, pushing yourself, etc. ( This is actually an excuse I’ve never used before. I’ve always thought of it, but I’ve never done it- not that I know of at least. )

  • Comparing

Compare it with something bigger to make it seem like something that can easily be said yes to. Compare with something of higher value, and then with what you want. Casually bring it into conversation, and then after some time ask them about what you want. They’ll be forced to compare it to the item with a greater amount, and are more likely to say yes.

  • Making the effort

This excuse needs some extra time put in. For me, when I want something my parents will usually decide based on my behavior or how well I’ve been doing in school. Based on this, I know that if I want something, I should put in a little extra effort so that when the time to ask them comes, their judgement will be slightly more lenient towards the answer I want. This one and the previous excuse may not go with getting out of doing something, but they could work if you want something. This could also work with the resting excuse. You could bring up those moments where you really pushed yourself to achieve something really good and how this break is a reward and boost for you.

  • Being honest

No matter what way you convince your parents, be honest. Or even just deadpan it without even trying to convince them. One, it’s safer. Instead of trying to butter them up, tell them what you want. Of course, not when they’re in a bad mood or at the wrong time. Time it right, and ask them. If you butter them up, they’ll immediately know something is up and you want something. Add some sugar, but not too much. Two, it shows how much you want it. Tell them clearly what you want and why you want it. With a solid reason of course. You can even give several options/negotiations as well. This way makes it easier for your parents and yourself to know what you want. Also, don’t get upset if they say no. Accept it, and know that it was worth it to try. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t have known what their final answer would have been. Who knows. Maybe by seeing how accepting you are towards their answer, it could change their mind.

“ Is it okay if I just skip writing this week’s post? I know that it’s a weekly thing, but I really just don’t feel like writing one this week. I was hoping, since it’s the long weekend, I could just relax and not do anything until school starts again.”

Also, note that if there’s a negotiation, keep the promise. It’ll show that you really do care about what you receive, and next time you want something, they’ll most likely be likely to say yes. MAYBE.
I also want to put this out. Parents do want kids to want things. They want to make you feel that you appreciate and deserve what you get, and will look for opportunities to make your life better. The only part you need to do is ask. Ask the right way, and you will be rewarded.

Ha. Well this is awkward. I got tricked into writing a post this week. As you can tell, I ended up being unsuccessful with my reasons. Not only did I have to write a blog, but I also had to write one on how my fate ended up being this way. That’s okay though. At least I was able to come up with 5 other ways to hopefully convince my dad next time.


Kids have become so spoiled it’s unbelievable. Recently, or not too long ago, a new trend started to surge throughout TikTok. It’s been known as the “Devious Licks” trend, where students will go around and, usually from the bathrooms, steal or vandalize school property. I’m not talking about just toilet paper, but kids have been stealing sinks, toilets, soap dispensers, etc. Then they post themselves doing it on TikTok, showing how great of a feat it was. Not only is it sick, but it’s also incredibly selfish. But before I share my view, let's see theirs. 

Lets' first ask, Why would they do this? Obviously, for view, right? But what do they even mean? For a teen in today's world, what do all those likes mean? Popularity, or even status. Think about it. If you suddenly started getting so many views for one video you post, wouldn't you want to keep making more of that content to get even more? I know I feel that way sometimes. This would drive them to go for even bigger things. Perhaps even outside of school. But, why would they even do it in school in the first place? Why not at home? Well, for one, it's riskier. By doing this, you're defacing property and committing vandalism. These are all misdemeanors, or even felonies if what they damage is worth lots of money. Apart from that, it's breaking the rules. You're doing something daring, something others wouldn't do. The adrenaline from breaking the rules and trying not to get caught also fuels them. 

They are literally stealing school property simply for views or to be part of a trend. Apart from that, what else are they going to do with it? Do they even think about the students who ACTUALLY need these items? What happens if a student really needs to use the restroom, but the soap dispensers have disappeared, or perhaps there aren’t even toilets! What do they do then? But what will happen if they aren’t even allowed to use the bathrooms themselves? To prevent students from damaging and stealing more property, some schools have gone as far as closing down bathrooms entirely for large parts of the day. Mainly it’s for cleaning as students have been drawing crude images and writing on the walls, or for the soap spilled all over the floors, but also as an attempt to control the situation. Some schools have increased security and supervision for this, and students must go to the bathroom in the nurse's office, or have an adult go with them. Considering how busy the staff is, and the number of students who use the bathroom in a day, it sounds extremely uncomfortable. In my school, even with open bathrooms, we have to stand in a short line to use the bathrooms as so many kids have the urge to go. Those kids must have to wait for even longer, and perhaps a whole period.

Apart from it being stupid, it also shows how ungrateful and how much these kids have taken things for granted. What is considered common for us, is considered a luxury for others? Kids should be lucky to be able to have nice bathrooms every day while some don’t even get clean water. Thinking that it isn’t a big deal is absurd. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean that others can. These kids are ungrateful to the fact that they can get these things easily while others can’t, and instead start wasting them for no reason. And not to forget that they actually think it’s funny. There are posts of posts saying how people are thinking too small in the licks and then they show off even worse items. They actually think it’s a friendly game that doesn’t mean anything. And to think people actually are liking this? That only makes it worse. It drives them to go for even bigger things and to keep doing what they’re doing. Traffic lights, other people’s vehicle doors, fire extinguishers, etc. Kids are trying to steal computer equipment. COMPUTER EQUIPMENT. Here’s a more drastic scenario. What happens when there is an actual fire in the school, but some stupid kids who were too immersed in a stupid trend stole the fire alarm? What happens then? Shame on those students who think of this as a fun trend, and to those who liked it as well. 


                                            

But, there is one part I really appreciate. To beat the Devious Licks, people have been doing Angelic Yields. Basically, kids go out and replace the stolen things with anonymous donations. For example, more rolls of toilet paper, a new faucet, more soap, etc. Some even just give some cash as a gift for someone to find. I really appreciate these students who go out of their way to correct the behavior of others. It’s a good counter, and I think the schools would also be grateful for those who do the yields. 


And then there’s regular vandalism. Writing and drawing inappropriate things on water fountains or on bathroom stalls. I have a few examples in my school. In one of the first-floor bathrooms, on the last stall in the girl's bathroom, there are at least 10 scratched-out areas where curse words used to be. I think there are some new ones, but you get the point. There was also an incident that happened not too long ago. Apparently, there was some vandalism on a water fountain. 4-20 was written ( I’m not sure if it was written exactly like this) and during math, a few boys were all asking to go to the bathroom to see it themselves. The matter was resolved, but why would you even do that? What’s the point of writing a random date on the water fountain, or even drawing anything on the bathroom stalls? What does that even do? Are you trying to show off that you’re cool and know so many swear words? It’s really just immature.

Another thing I also want to include is school lunches. While it doesn’t exactly relate to the topic of vandalism, it does relate to kids taking things for granted. So, school lunches are free for the 2021-2022 year, and the number of students buying every day is unbelievable. In my school, for both lunch lines, there is a line of 20-30+ students waiting to buy lunch. And a little less than half of them aren’t genuinely buying lunch. Along with their own lunches from home, they buy a school lunch as well. I don’t have any problem there, but what really ticks me off is how these kids finish their entire school lunch and throw the uneaten lunch in the trash. At least take it home!

There are an estimated 14 MILLION kids under the age of 5 worldwide who suffer from malnutrition. Kids who are lucky to be able to have packed lunches every day, or lovingly made food from their parents simply throw that all away for no reason. I really don’t mind if they just leave it as is, but throwing it away? Parents go out of their ways to make sure you eat well for lunch, but their kids throw it away. What should I say… But then some kids don’t even finish most of the food they get from the school lunch and throw it away. It’s like taking advantage of the fact that you don't have to pay. I personally dislike buying lunch, so I rarely buy. But when I do, I usually get a side of fruit with a meal and let me tell you. I try to finish everything I’ve gotten, but after 5 minutes of peeling a stubborn orange and finding out it tastes horrible, I couldn’t do anything but throw it away. There was also a time where my chicken sandwich seemed anything but crispy or chicken. It was a very vivid orange and had no crispiness whatsoever. I understand that, but some kids eat only half of their meal and throw it away just like that. Then why even buy it in the first place?! It upsets me how ungrateful people can be for things not everyone gets.

I think the main point of this blog was to show how ungrateful some students are. It shows when they do these stupid trends or vandalism, simply for views. These kids should see how other students in other countries live. They should see how lucky they are to have huge, resourceful schools, and be grateful. They should know that others are the same age as them and don’t get the same luxury. They need to see it themselves to know how stupid, and ungrateful they are when they do these trends. The same goes for kids wasting food. Be grateful that your parents put in time in the mornings to make home-cooked lunches or simply pack one for you, instead of throwing it away like it’s nothing. Because to others, it could mean so much more. Just be grateful for what you have. Not everyone has the same luxury you do, so don’t take advantage of it.










What is emotion?

Emotion

<noun>

a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one's circumstances, mood, or relationships with others.

There are several types of emotion. Happiness, disgust, anger, disappointment, sadness, etc. When we say someone is being emotional, we often think of the negative sides of it. Crying or sorrowful. We don’t realize that it could also mean being overjoyed or heartwarmed. So many different factors affect how our emotions change. Setting, mood, relationship, situation to name a few. Let’s break it down.




For many students, coming back in-person to school from remote learning can be stressful. Everything changes and we have to remember a lot of our old good habits from before. We have to have a lot more focus now as we were very easily distracted in the previous year. We also need to get back in the habit of managing homework after school as we can no longer easily complete it during other periods. Not to forget, we aren’t used to walking around every period anymore. Instead of disconnecting and clicking on the next meeting, we have to quickly transition from one class to another all over the school. Then we have after school activities which take out time from our afternoons when we get back from school. This leaves kids working from late in the night to early in the morning. This then results in not having enough sleep, and not focusing well during classes. The cycle then continues. This builds up so much stress in students, it’s unbearable, and starts to affect their emotions. It can result in students becoming frustrated in everything, or even having meltdowns.

Even though crying cannot solve anything, it really helps to let everything out. After crying it’s like a huge burden from inside is lifted, and it becomes easier to start working again. That’s what happened to me. Not too long ago I came home and had a meltdown. I realize now that it was over something small and could be easily fixed, but back then, I really just couldn’t do anything about it except let it out. Sometimes, in certain situations, it’s best to let your emotions out instead of letting them stay inside for too long. However, when we do it’s considered childish. At this age, we should have better control on our emotions compared to small kids. We know better than to cry over trivial things and be able to deal with problems in more mature ways. Hence, when someone does cry, they’re seen as weak.

But let me ask this. If someone is overjoyed and lets out tears of happiness, are they considered weak? Tears can be let out as a form of expression. It’s often associated with sorrow and pain, but isn’t it also for happiness or delight?

Then again, there are limits to when you should let your emotions out. Simply because crying isn’t weak doesn’t allow one to be able to cry all the time. If so, then you actually are weak. It’s not right to cry over the smallest, fixable things. Things that easily can be solved should not have tears be shed upon. Not only is it unnecessary, but it’s a waste of time. For example, if you have so much work and little time to do it, instead of crying about it, why not just grit your teeth and get it over with? In the time spent moping around, you could have used it to get started or be half-way into an assignment. Now, you’ll only end up taking more time to complete it. 

Being emotional has two meanings. You can be emotional by being overjoyed, or you could be emotional by being upset. It’s not always a bad thing to be emotional, but you shouldn’t necessarily be crying about the things that can be fixed. Control your emotions instead of letting them affect your actions and thoughts.




Picture Day. For me, whenever I hear this I think of three words.

What to wear? 
I’ve never been so concerned about what I wore, only hoping to look good, but this year I was in full panic mode. Perhaps there’s more stress on what to wear now that I’m older. Middle school is the time where you start to take notice of yourself and what you do, so naturally, looking good for picture day would be a big deal. Or so I thought. Before I share my recent picture Day experience, let’s travel a few years into the past.

Elementary School. The time where we would have everyday outfits chosen by our parents until we were allowed to do so ourselves. Hence, the numerous pictures of us dressed up extremely fancy for picture day. Slowly over time, we've started to grow out of that, like I’ve said, and we start to have our own choices. Some kids don’t dress up at all. Some do. Either way, it’s simply for a picture. But, this year’s Picture Day has been playing on my mind, and that’s why I’m bringing this up.

This year was a shock to me. As soon as I stepped into the school, I began to grow more and more unsure of my outfit after seeing the other students. I had worn something semi-fancy that day. It felt as if no one dressed up at all, and I had made a fool of myself. Everyone wore something so basic, I wondered whether they remembered it was picture day or not. I was even more surprised seeing how many of the girls also didn’t dress up as well. Almost every year I would see stylish blouses or flowery dresses for pictures, but instead, it was the regular ripped jeans and shirt. I couldn’t understand what changed through the past year, causing this to happen. It wasn’t until later where I had a possible theory.

Maybe it’s just that people have started to care less for Picture Day. Well, I doubt many people would be excited for Picture Day. Maybe they are, but generally, kids don’t like Picture Day that much. It’s a hassle to have to dress up and pose nicely while giving your best fake smile. Other than possible pictures to buy for updated portraits, what else is Picture Day for? Ids? I don’t mind if it’s used for IDs or maybe for the yearbook, but otherwise, it feels so unnecessary. For me, I don’t even keep my pictures. I can’t be bothered to buy pictures of myself that will be replaced after a year. Not only that, I can take better pictures in places besides photoshopped green screens. ( No offense towards the Picture Day photographers.) So, really what is Picture Day meant to be for. Other students might have also realized that by now, and that’s probably also why they stopped dressing up. But, there is also one more possibility.

Dress Codes. Dress Codes are there for a reason, but right now, I want to state some opinions. Dress Codes suck. This may stray a bit from the Picture Day topic, but I believe this must be brought up. I feel like every Dress Code that exists, is meant just for the girls. I was reading through my school’s Dress and Grooming section in the Student Handbook, and frankly, it seems to be mainly towards girls. There are a few points directed to both, but in a given diagram of appropriate wear, there are far more labels for the girl than the boy. There are logical reasons for this, and I agree with them. But it seems so wrong. With the number of guidelines towards clothes for girls, it’s almost like they can barely wear anything we like. In fact, most of the time, girls doubt their favorite outfits or clothing choices because they’re worried about whether they will get dress-coded or not. And even when they are sure they won't, they still can’t help but remain tense the whole day. So, that could also be a reason for the lack of dress-up on Picture Day.

Apart from girls, boys have also started to dress up less. Even less than they usually do. Every year, I only see a mere handful of the boys dressing up. Boys aren’t that concerned about dressing up as girls normally have been. Even now, I don’t recall seeing a single boy stick out who was dressed up. Maybe they wore a simple, nice shirt with slicked-back hair, but otherwise, it wasn’t that “grand”.

It doesn’t bother me if people dress up on Picture Day or not. Never has. But, the reason I wanted to write about this was because of the strange interaction I had that day. I just found it unbelievable how not many people, especially the majority of girls, didn’t dress up. I thought that now we were closer to high school, even more people would dress up. Never expected the opposite. Still, it was a good insight into what Picture Day really is like these days. But I genuinely want to know, what was the cause of change this year?


Recently, when I came back to middle school in person, the biggest change I recognized was the appearance of makeup. Seeing this made me think that they were trying too hard to be someone else, or that they were doing something unnecessary or their faces. But through the weeks, I’ve started to discover that there was more to makeup. It seemed that most people wore makeup to fit in and not be different. This led me to a big question. 

Is makeup necessary to fit in, in Middle School?

Yes, and no. Makeup can be used to fit in, but that isn’t the main reason why it would be worn. For example:


  • Insecurities

  • Self-confidence

  • Performances

  • Drawing attention away from something eye-catching


I’ll talk about these more throughout the post. Along the way, I’ll share my views on these, as well as the opinions of many others on this topic.




In order to collect this data, I sent out a survey to several of my classmates and teachers. Throughout the week, responses have been flooding in with so many different perspectives, that my own opinion on makeup has changed a lot. 


Here’s what they were asked: 

  • Do you think girls at this age should wear makeup?
  • Why or Why not?
  • How much would some makeup be?
  • How much would a lot of makeup be?
  • Why do you think others would wear makeup?
  • Is makeup a need or a want? Why? 
  • Is makeup only for girls? Can boys wear it as well?
  • Does wearing makeup make boys girlish and less manly, or not?


When I first saw the responses, I was shocked, yet pleasantly surprised. I thought that the general answer for whether girls should wear makeup or not would be no. It was the opposite. The most common answer for why was expression. A lot of people replied that makeup can be used to express their feelings or even themselves in new ways, as well as to become more confident in their appearances. Reading this, I realized that they were right. In my mind, I thought that makeup showed a fake appearance of someone, and was used only to look good. I didn’t realize how it could be seen as something completely different for others. 


 For some, it helps define their personalities and even can help improve their confidence and self-esteem. Middle school and high school are the ages where we start to become more aware of our appearance to others. We become self-conscious about every trivial thing about ourselves and become insecure about them. Makeup is a way we can hide these insecurities. By doing so, makes us feel more physically attractive, and make us feel confident. 


How? By using makeup, it allows us to present ourselves in a way we want to be seen, and be comfortable. 


I can relate to similar concepts. When I dress up or change my appearance through nails or hairstyle, I feel a different personality. The adrenaline and excitement from it peaks my mood, and I feel absolutely incredible. It’s like acting. With a new boost of confidence, I feel like a whole other person. I think that those who wear makeup might also feel the same way. Wearing it makes them feel special and lets them become a different version of themselves. It lets them be themselves, and because of that, I think that they should be allowed to wear makeup. However, I also believe that kids should try to feel confident by being themselves. Once they are confident with who they are, then they should use it. I will say though, that they should only do so if their parents allow them to. Makeup can be harmful to your skin and wearing it every day will damage it even more.


Another reason for makeup is, taking attention away from something eye-catching. A blemish is an example of this. Blemishes are usually the first thing one would notice since it’s something eye-catching. These things draw our attention from the main thing and make us focus on it instead. For people, it can make them insecure, or even annoyed. Perhaps, when they’re talking, the other person’s attention might be drawn from the conversation to the blemish. To prevent this, that person could conceal it with makeup.


Scars or even wounds are also examples of eye-catching marks. For example, in The Karate Kid, Dre uses his mother’s foundation to hide his black eye so she wouldn’t find out about his fight. Dre is using makeup to hide something eye-catching so attention is not drawn to it. 


Besides insecurities and self-confidence, makeup is very commonly used in performances. Be it movie filming, dance performances, plays, etc, makeup is used. It’s used to take on the appearance of the character or act they’re performing as/for. A lot of theatrical makeup can be used to really portray the character to the full extent so the audience can be convinced. 




How much is some makeup? How much would a lot of makeup be? 


The responses to these two questions were very similar. For some makeup, the most common answers were mascara, lip gloss/lipstick, eyeliner, some blush, and concealer. I agree as well. I don’t know much about makeup, these being the only ones I know and think that at this age, this should be the most used. I would consider anything more would be too much, and perhaps improper for school. It doesn’t feel necessary for people to use so much every day. 


Everyone expressed the same answer for a lot of makeup. A full face, or an amount that changes the natural appearance of someone to the point they are almost unrecognizable. I have a connection to this. I see a girl every day, and she wears makeup. There’s nothing wrong with it. But, whenever I see her, I get confused. On the first day of school, I mistook her for a high schooler. I’m not sure if it’s how her face is, or because of the makeup, but she looks as if she’s in 10th grade. I don’t want to assume anything, but I  couldn’t help but wonder about it. I remember trying to figure out what she would look like without makeup. Perhaps that’s the type of look she’s going for. I’m not criticizing or throwing any hate at her. I’m really just wondering. But, to me, it feels as if her appearance is different because of it. So, would that be considered a lot of makeup?


Why do you think others would wear makeup?


I’ve already shared my opinions, and I’d like to share the responses here instead. 


Some respondents mentioned insecurities and self-confidence like I mentioned before, and others mentioned dressing up. Someone mentioned it makes us feel special. I can easily relate to that. I’ve always felt different, in a good way, whenever I got to wear makeup for special occasions. It felt…magical. 


Another respondent talked about how girls are raised to believe that their value lies in how they look. That’s true as well. On social media, influencers show photoshopped and filtered images of themselves, creating an unattainable beauty standard. These fake images have a bad influence on others. It can become a social norm to reach that standard and develops into pressure. 


There was also a mention of “artistic flair”. After all, isn’t a face also like a canvas? Using makeup is very similar to painting something. I remember when I was younger, I and my friend would use her makeup kit on each other. Well, I would use it on her. What I would do is try out different styles and looks on her, and would experiment with them. ( With her consent of course.) I really enjoyed those moments because I was able to try a new form of art and try to express myself on a different canvas. I liked to find what matched my friend and to try and make her look amazing. Others could feel the same way. They might like expressing art through makeup and enjoy trying different styles and shades of colors on themselves. 


Someone also said that it could be worn to impress someone. I’m not sure if that’s a common reason in middle school, but definitely in high school. Girls will often try to change their appearance or use some makeup to make themselves appealing for a crush, or even in general. Boys as well. They could try to be strong or amazing at sports in order to impress someone they like.


Is makeup a need or a want?


Once again, everyone had a similar response. It’s a want. It’s not something you cannot live without. It can be seen as something important in one’s life if people use it every day, but it’s not a need. 


The respondents said the same thing. One said makeup is a want and is used to feel beautiful, but it’s not needed to look so. Very true. Even though makeup can help boost our image, it cannot compare to the natural beauty you already have. Everyone is beautiful, and we all don’t realize it. Another said it’s not something needed to function in everyday life. Makeup isn’t something you will die without. Food, water, and oxygen are some of the main things we cannot live without. Everything else comes after that. 


People say that makeup is something they absolutely cannot go without. Some people use makeup to hide excessive scarring or permanent wounds. Because they use it so much, it’s almost like a habit for them. Even so, it’s not to a point it’s a need. It may be something really important and a way to not make them stand out, but it wouldn’t count as crucial. It is not something that they will die from if they don’t have it. I’m not trying to sound harsh, but state the facts. 


If you were in a situation where you were stranded, would the makeup be the number one thing you would need at that moment? No. You would first have to find some kind of shelter, food, and water before planning a way to get some help. Your first idea would be to survive in a new environment. How you look would, and should, be the least of your worries. 


Is makeup only for girls? Can boys wear it as well?


In this discussion, I’ve used the word ‘us’ many times. By doing so, I’m not just referring to myself and other girls/women, but also to boys and men as well. In my opinion, makeup shouldn’t have a label and should be considered gender-neutral. I’ve expressed this before in an earlier post, and want to say it again. Shirts and shoes are seen as gender-neutral, but when it comes to dresses or makeup, it’s immediately labeled as feminine. Why is that? One of the earliest cultures to use cosmetics was ancient Egypt, and even then both men and women wore makeup. Back then it was considered gender-neutral, yet because girls use it more often today, has it started to become feminine? The gender that uses it shouldn’t necessarily define what it is. Makeup shouldn’t be only for girls if they use it more commonly. Boys shouldn’t be afraid to use makeup if they like it, simply because it’s only for girls. Makeup should have no label, like clothing. 


The respondents also felt the same way. In fact, the majority of responses to this question were very positive. Many of them answered it as if addressing a boy instead of a survey, and were encouraging them that they were allowed to wear it if they wanted to as well. They were very open to the idea of boys wearing it as well. 


I also received some responses about how it would be strange for guys to wear makeup. There’s nothing wrong with that as well. Despite that makeup can be gender-neutral, it can still be seen as awkward whenever boys wear it. Since makeup has become more common with girls, seeing a guy wearing makeup can be strange.  I think that makeup is gender-neutral, but if I see a guy wearing it, I might be hesitant. It seems out of place and we might wonder what’s wrong with them, or why they want to do such a thing. It doesn’t feel right. 


I think the answer to this depends on society. It really depends on what you’re exposed to or sees commonly. In America, it’s not very common for guys to wear makeup, making it be seen as something only girls would wear. In other countries, it’s different. For example, in Korea, it’s typical for boys to wear makeup. Several male K-pop idols wear makeup, and it’s considered normal. But to other countries, they can be seen as gay or feminine. Because of the society, they are around all the time, seeing something completely different is a shock. 


Does boys wearing makeup make them girlish and less manly, or not?


The responses for this were similar to the previous question. Many replied that makeup can be for both. Someone said that if a guy wears makeup, people can be confused about their sexual identity. Since it’s not common, seeing it makes us find a reasonable explanation for it and assume something different, even if the guy really just likes to wear makeup. 

A couple of respondents also mentioned how makeup can also be used for guys to express themselves and enhance their looks like girls do. 


I want to point out one response that caught my attention. This respondent replied that a guy wearing makeup isn’t girlish, and is more manly because they are not afraid to be judged for their actions. I wholeheartedly agree. When a guy wears makeup in our society, he’s indeed very brave. That guy is defying social norms for something he likes and isn’t worried about others’ opinions. He could be terrified, but then again, he wanted to do something outside of what is normal. That courage is truly remarkable. 


Another respondent also talked about makeup being gender-neutral and explained how there’s a huge stigma around men/boys wearing makeup. They also said how it shouldn’t be girly as it’s a form of self-expression. This also relates to K-pop idols. Makeup can be used to help them with performances, and can also give them a boost of confidence like it does for girls. I know that Jimin from BTS finds eyeliner important when it comes to performances. For him, without it, he feels shy and cannot dance in a more powerful manner. Aren’t the situations similar?


Both boys and girls use makeup for similar purposes. It lets them express themselves, and feel confident. So why should makeup be labeled as feminine? By taking that away from boys who like it, aren’t you restricting them from being themselves? If makeup is how they want to do that, then shouldn’t they be allowed to? Don’t classify it as only a girl-thing, when the purposes of it are common between boys and girls. 



Let's go back to our question. 

Is it necessary to use makeup to fit in, in Middle school?

No. Makeup is not NECESSARY to be used to fit in, but it can be. We shouldn't use makeup only if others are wearing it, but only if we want to. It's something that should be your choice. Not everyone has to wear makeup if they choose not. If it's your choice to wear makeup to fit in, that's fine. But try to be yourself when wearing it.

Makeup can be used to not stand out and be different, but it also serves as something greater for others. It can be a form of confidence, a way to hide insecurities, draw attention away from eye-catching marks, and so much more. It also can be used by both genders. I believe that makeup should not have a limit to what it is used for, or to who uses it. It should be used by anyone, anyway, they want, no matter what. 




Welcome back to Part 3 of the “Middle School Tales: Experiences from a back-to-in-person-learning middle school student” series. Yes, I did just come up with that name and yes, it is very long. Anyways, I wanted to share some more funny and interesting stories from my in person learning experience.

Like I’ve said many, many, many times before, I have been an online learner for 1 and ½ years. Coming back to school in-person has been extremely challenging, and very different. Everything in your learning environment changes. But, what changes in the students during middle school?

Growth Spurts:

You know how when you go to a new grade or advance to a new level of school, you always admire how tall the oldest, senior-most kids are? Well, that’s similar to what happened with me and my friend. Except, it was us who were amazed at how tall our peers were compared to ourselves. Standing next to them, we look so small! And yet I was so proud to be 5’3 and the tallest in my friend group. Some kids in my grade are extremely tall, no doubt there, but overall, if you line up all the students in my grade, I will most likely be somewhere near the front. In fact, we actually did that in two of my classes, and both times I ended up near the beginning of the line. ( It went from shortest to tallest.)

It’s funny how that happened because it only felt like yesterday when we were all in elementary school and were all the same height. It felt like we were on the same level as one another but now it’s surprising seeing how we’re not. I remember a girl who was in my 2nd grade class who was the same height as me, and now, she’s at least 3-4 inches taller than me. When did that happen?

Not to forget the boys. Oh my god, when I came back to school, I was so shocked with how different the boys were. The most specific thing to me was the voice. I’ve always known that boys’ voices deepen during puberty, but I was so caught off guard when I heard them. There’s a boy who was in my 5th grade class before, and his voice used to be a bit high-pitched. But now, it’s deepened. Hearing him speak feels awkward now.

Conversations:

A lot changes over time. Both boys and girls talk about similar topics; what new cool things are going on, and joking around. But as the years go by, the conversations start to become more…dry. 
Lately, I find myself growing more distant from the usual girl groups or in the topics with girls. Before, when we used to talk about silly fantasies and make jokes, we now talk about who’s cute and hot and what shampoo you use and stuff. I don’t mind from time to time, but I have one specific example of this happening that I really want to share.

So in CCR- College Career Readiness class- we were supposed to share our results from a personality assessment we took the day before, with a group of three. My tablemate invited me to join her group with her friend and we all shared our results. We finished our discussions early so we ended up talking the rest of the time. Or more like, they ended up talking. They started talking about haircuts and what lotion or shampoo they use and stuff. Less than 5 minutes in, I was already bored. I didn’t want to sit around and listen to how you wanted to cut your hair or what products you used. Giving up on listening, I turned my head forward, as our seats were currently in rows, and found a more interesting conversation with the boys.

Boys are interesting. There may be times where they can be incredibly stupid and will make you want to kick them in the leg, but, at least they have a conversation of variety that’ll make you want to listen further. And that's exactly what happened. I don’t remember the exact conversation going on between the boys, but I do remember how they were all joking around and talking about the most random things.

It made me remember a specific memory I kind of cherish back from 6th grade. I and a few other students part of my Leadworthy Class got to help out in an 8th grade parent-student lunch event. We were supposed to give each parent a name tag, hold the doors open, and take them to the lunch area. Anyways, I and two other boys were on door-holding duty for some time. It got pretty boring as no one showed up for some time, so we started making small talk with one another. Standing some distance away from us was an 8th grader waiting for his parents, and had been waiting for a while. I don’t remember exactly how the conversation was initiated, but I do remember how we were all coming up with these crazy theories about how the boy could have gotten here. Teleportation, aliens, undead armies, etc. It was probably one of the best and most interesting conversations I’ve ever had in my life.

I’m not saying that all conversations with girls are boring, but definitely most of them have started to become so. Of course, I do enjoy listening to my friend talk about her crushes and giving my opinion every now and then. 

Comparing:

I’ve also noticed how comparison has become more common in middle school. At this age, everyone looks to be the -est. Who’s the prettiest, smartest, funniest, kindest, etc. It’s all about who’s better than each other and a competition that drives it. 


In this past week, I have had numerous experiences with classmates and friends comparing themselves in grades with me and with others. I don’t mind from time to time to share my scores, but it really upsets me when a person starts sharing my score with another person when it wasn’t necessary. Firstly, that’s not yours to tell, and secondly, why? If I stay quiet in that situation, then isn’t it obvious I don’t want to bring it up? I’m not criticizing anyone who did it, but I’m just saying that it makes the person in that situation uncomfortable. We can’t always control the fighting ambition in us to become the best, but there is a line that shouldn’t be crossed. 

Blending in:

Blending in is probably one of the biggest factors in middle school. At this time, nobody wants to be different. If you’re different, it’s a problem. Everyone’s looking for some kind of group or some category where they can belong and not stand out. It’s terrifying to stand out. Standing out draws attention. It makes everyone see that you’re different, and because you’re different, you get judged. For that reason, everyone wants to fit in. But in high school, everyone decides to be different. We realize that we cannot blend in all our lives and need to show a level of unique within ourselves to become the best. But until then, no no. 

I don’t have an examples of this happening to me, but I’ve seen it happen a lot of times with different clothing styles and activities. 

I’ve only listed a few changes that happen in middle school. Of course, there are many other that I’ve encountered this past week, bit these are the main ones I wanted to share. It’s interesting how only a day ago we were all elementary kids, and now we’ve all grown up and are in our last year of middle school. Not only that, the change from 6th to 8th is huge! How much have I missed from online school?! Still, I enjoy discovering what I’ve missed, and look forward to finding out what is next. Until then, bye!





For the last 1 and ½ -ish years I have been doing remote school. That means, I have not been to school for over a year…until now. I’ve only given you a small glance into what the first few days have been for me, and now, I’d like to share my experience after a full week.


Before I talk about my week, let me give a quick explanation of how school last year was like for me. 

In remote learning there wasn’t much expectation set for us as compared to in-person students. For example, several activities or projects would be taken from our curriculum because we were digital learners. Because of that, most of the assignments were extremely simple. (With the exception of Shakespeare.) Not only that, the teachers were very easy going on us. There was no pressure on us about coming into Tutorials to make up/redo  work or any “before class ends” deadlines. From that type of relaxed mindset, it was easy for students, including myself, to quickly lose a lot of the good study/working habits we used to have and develop some unhealthy ones. For example, listening to music all the time, completing assignments during another class, taking advantage of the off-camera feature of zoom and snaking messages to friends, or even just procrastinating and lazing around a lot. 

( I’m not saying all remote students were like this as some did really well throughout the online school year, but I’m giving out some of the habits I, and possibly many other students, developed throughout it.)  


I didn’t think much about it at first, but during our school’s awards ceremony, the realization dawned on me. And when it did, I was unbelievably upset. Throughout that night, my friends each went home with at least two awards, including an A honor roll. I went home with just an A honor roll. I never got called again, and watched and clapped as my friends got called up many times. Later, as the auditorium emptied out, we all came together and talked for a bit. We all laughed and chattered as if it was no big deal how they all could barely hold their medals while I held onto a measly paper. Nothing clicked  in my mind that anything went wrong. Not even when we took a photo all together. In that photo we’re all smiling, and even through my mask, it looks as if I’m proud. I hate that photo. I hate how I  have the audacity to even smile. I hate how it looks as if I’m fine and it was the greatest thing that had happened to me. Later when we were driving home, my parents pointed it out to me and I agreed. Even at that time, it still did not come to me what had happened. It was only until we came home and were reviewing for my Marathi finals that I realized what happened. It was as if the weather followed my mood. The grey clouds had darkened more and more as we went home and poured down on us as soon as I left to use the bathroom, and cried my eyes out. Everything came to me and I realized how the year became. I scolded and criticized myself for everything I did, and believed I had failed. I felt low and realized how foolish I must have looked hours before. I couldn’t blame anyone but myself for wasting a potential year and for dropping to a level lower than acceptable. I felt extremely humiliated with myself and swore that it would never happen again. From that moment onwards, I decided that I was going to pull myself up and make next year the best I can, no matter what it takes. 


Starting a new year is always challenging. But it was especially challenging for me as I had been remote for more than a year. I forgot how I’d have to skillfully navigate through the densely packed halls of students bustling to get to their next class within a span of 4 minutes, work in a fast-paced curriculum, manage and use my time in class effectively so I have less work at home, and so much more. In addition to that, I also have kickboxing, tutoring, and the usual Friday Marathi class after school, giving me less time to complete my work. So, the first week of school pretty much drove me mad. Maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration.


With a new environment and fully-packed weekly schedule, what else is left? Goals. I had decided last year that I wanted to work hard this year. How hard? So hard that I need to maintain a 100 average in every class, on every test, assignment, activity, etc. I needed to fully ace everything I did this year, and that meant by going beyond what is expected. It’s a challenge, but a necessary one. I needed to pull myself up from where I was last year. And so far, it’s been a rocky start.


One, I’ve already gotten a few grades below a 100. Two, I’ve taken on kickboxing and tutoring my neighbor who has just started his middle school era, leaving me with less time than before to complete my work. Third, I got sick. 


Let me start with the last one. No, it’s nothing major, just the common cold. After doing online learning for over a year, you pretty much stay at home for the whole day. As a result, my immune system didn’t get much exposure to any viruses, causing me to get easily sick within my first week out. That’s pretty much why I spent 3 days of school acting like an alien. It was incredibly awkward when I get up in the middle of class to randomly blow my nose or when all of a sudden I make a sound that sounds like I’m laughing. Good thing masks hide most of your face. 


I have kickboxing every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday- 6 to 6:45 on the weekdays while 10:45-12 on Saturday- and have decided to tutor my neighbor on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I then have Marathi School on Fridays. AT the end of the day, I’m already exhausted from school, and half an hour to get only the review portion of my work done. After that I’ve got to go to class or help out my friend, and resume my work by around 7-8:30. I’m not used to having such a packed schedule like most students do so I’ve been having some trouble with getting all my work finished. Hopefully it’ll get easier soon and I’ll be able to complete everything without any worries. 


Lastly, grades. For me, the main reasons for some of my “worst grades” so far is because of 7th grade review and working with partners. I don’t like to work in groups that often, but when I have to, it stresses me out a lot. For example, on Friday in my ELA class we got an official seating chart, and I am table mates with two boys. I don’t mind boys, they’re pretty chill and I like hanging out with them. But, my problem is that our next grade in that class, analytical paragraph, involves working with our table mates. Oh boy. We barely got a proper topic sentence within the 30 minutes given because the boys would do everything but focus on the assignment. Who knew boys would talk about haircuts and stuff? I was so done with them, and it had only been a day. Apart from that, there was a measuring activity in my engineering class which we had to solve with a team. We ended up getting a terrible score, and so we’ve planned to go fix that. 

And then there's the 7th grade review. I had a Science quiz on review from 7th grade science, and I got an 86. Saying that I remember at least half of what I learned in science last year, is a lie. I took the entire course through an app, and I barely remember 30% of it. So, when I took the quiz on Friday, even after reviewing the concepts, I blanked out and got an 86.  But, the past is in the past. The most I can do is assure that my next grades are all 100’s. 


Long story short, online school sucks. It’s not really the curriculum’s fault, but rather mine. I was the one who got into the relaxed mood and took everything so easily. But, I have to say the way that online school works is what causes the mood to be developed. In the end, I am extremely glad to finally be back at school. I have missed going to school in person and actually participating in projects and activities a lot, so, going back was really special for me. I hope that I can get used to the feeling though. Hopefully everything will calm down soon. Until then, bye!