All Posts By:

Alivia Beck

  • Articles, GirlSpring.com, Goals, Mental Health, School, Stress, Tips

    Are You Managing Your Time? Or Is Your Time Managing You?

    Staying organized and keeping your schedule up to date is a tricky skill to master. It takes a lot of trial and error, in addition to finding what works for you personally. Without knowing how to properly manage your time, it becomes really easy to fall behind on your assignments and responsibilities. Thus, giving the potential for stress and anxiety. A big part of time management is the ability to prioritize and know when to ask for help. Prioritizing different aspects of your life that require your time is essential to be able to contribute your best effort in each area. Assigning priority can be difficult when it comes to things like personal life or hobbies.

    How do you really know how much time is appropriate to use on certain activities? Remember, trial and error is okay. In a larger sense, prioritizing is about assigning meaning and importance to the things that matter and that you need to accomplish in your life. When thinking about priority and time, you must consider things like deadlines and value. For example, say you have a 100 point final research paper due tomorrow that you’ve been working on for several weeks, that might take priority to finish first over something small like finishing up your BFF’s birthday gift. Finding out what is important to you as a person, and what’s worth your time, will help you make prioritizing an easier step. Keep reading for some extra tips and tricks to ensure you will stay on track and be organized! 

    Tip 1: A Killer Planner

    A good solid planner is critical. There are endless shapes, sizes, colors, and layouts to choose from. Find which works for you! Some people do better seeing their month to month planned out, and some people do better working week to week. Some planners even offer both, it’s up to you. When you think about size, think about how often you want to use it, and how many places you want to be able to take it. Do you have a large bag, where size wouldn’t matter? Or do you need a pocket-sized portable planner? Think about these things when you pick one out. Have fun with it! TJ Maxx and Marshalls are great spots to find discounted fun and effective planners! 

    Tip 2: Highlighters and Post-It Notes

    Using highlighters and Post-It Notes can help catch your eye for reminders, and allow for yourself to leave a visual cue. Similar to the planner, you will find endless colors shapes and sizes. Some people prefer bright neon colors, some respond better to more mellow colors. Sharpie has a great selection of colored highlighters! Post-It Notes have a wide size and color variety. Maybe Post-It tabs work better for you, to serve as a reminder to flip to a certain page or maybe full-sized ones to leave on the mirror to remember things in the morning! These few supplies can go far in your organizing world! 

    Tip 3: Making Errands Fun

    Errands can drag. Spending extended time getting small yet necessary tasks done can be unmotivating and difficult to bring yourself to do. There are a few things you can do to make the time pass and get a little enjoyment. Try bringing a friend along! A lot of times you can find a friend that needs to get some similar stuff done, and the company always makes time go by! Next, bring your headphones! Going grocery shopping? Plug in and focus on that list! Bringing a pair of headphones to the store can make the time go by and give you the choice of what you want to listen to! Finally, don’t feel guilty to reward yourself. If you’re driving around to a bunch of different stores, check out the clearance rack, find yourself a little trinket! Or if you’ve been doing chores and homework all day, make yourself a snack and turn on your favorite show. Taking small breaks is so important to maintaining a productive day. 

  • Articles, GirlSpring.com, TRENDING

    The Best of October

    pumpkins

    Right around October is usually when the temperature drops, and the seasons begin to change. Kiss those 95 degree sunny summer days goodbye, and dig out your coat. While the warm weather is nice, fall brings so many fun activities and changes of pace. If you’re still mourning the bright hot sun, dive into this fun list of ways to get excited about the season! 

    Pumpkin Spice Everything

    Yes, it’s time for pumpkin spice! Nothing rings in the smell of fall quite like pumpkin spice. Restaurants and brands love to take advantage of limited time tasty treats and sweet smelling products to get you excited about the season. If pumpkin isn’t your favorite flavor, I still encourage to try at least one of the items on our list, because surprisingly, not all pumpkin flavors smell/taste the same! Here are some products you can try with limited fall flavors. 

    • Pumpkin spice latte from starbucks
    • Pumpkin spice Kind bars
    • Pumpkin spice Cheerios 
    • Pumpkin Pie Poptarts
    • Pumpkin spice scented candles from Bath and Body Works 
    • Jeni’s pumpkin cake ice cream
    • Pumpkin pie Kit-Kat
    • Mrs. Meyers Pumpkin scented cleaning supplies
    • Burt’s Bees Pumpkin spice lip balm

    The list goes on and on… like I said. Don’t be afraid to try one of these items even if you don’t think pumpkin is your thing. You might be surprised by what you find! Anyways, it’s always fun to take advantage of limited edition seasonal products

    Halloween

    Yes, Halloween. It’s what we all primarily think of when we think of October. Struggling to come up with the best costume this year? Use the Instagram explore page or try searching on Pinterest for some inspiration. Building your own Halloween costume can be tricky, yet rewarding. Try out your local thrift store to find some pieces. Additionally, don’t be afraid to pull a wig or an accessory from previous costumes to make the look work. Be creative! Halloween is the one day out of the year where you can be literally anything you want. Take advantage of this day and let the creativity flow. 

    Layers

    While you might be missing your tank tops and bikinis, fall calls for a change in wardrobe. And it can be fun! As the temperature drops, the more layers the better. Play around in your closet and try to come up with new looks. Layering sweaters and jackets is a current fashion trend that will make you look super cute, while staying warm. Reach outside your comfort zone and try pairing together some pieces you normally wouldn’t. Be confident and rock those looks to school this season!

    Pumpkin Carving

    As you can tell, October has so much room for creativity, and pumpkin carving is no exception! 

    Whether you want to stick to a traditional ghost design, or carve out your favorite artist in a pumpkin, go for it! This can be a super fun activity with friends or family. Head over to your local pumpkin patch or supermarket and pick out a pumpkin and get carving. Carving tools and kits can be purchased for a fairly low cost at most supermarkets or dollar stores. And don’t forget about the best treat that comes along with pumpkin carving, the seeds! If you’re a fan of the salty snack, when gutting a pumpkin, keep the seeds aside. Wash them off, mix them in a bowl with salt and butter, then put them in the oven at 300 degrees for about 45 minutes or until golden brown. They’re a delicious DIY seasonal snack!

  • Articles

    Mattel Honors Rosa Parks and Sally Ride

    Rosa Parks

    Barbie dolls have been a staple in the childhood of young girls since the 50’s. There was nothing quite like the fresh plastic and shiny packaging of a new doll. Mattel is an American toy company that started in the 40’s. Over the decades, Barbie has been featured with various occupations, styles, accessories, athletics, and many other customizable elements. In honor of the recent 99th anniversary of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote, Mattel released a Rosa Parks and Sally Ride inspired doll. On August 26th, 2019 Mattel debuted the civil rights activist and the first female American astronaut dolls. Parks and Ride were both ambitious, fearless women who are remembered for their contributions not only to women’s rights, but towards the nation as a whole. 

    Who Was Rosa Parks?

    Rosa Parks is most well known for her activism in civil rights. Specifically, during the Montgomery Bus Boycott in the 50’s. During this time Parks had chosen to sit in a “whites only” section on a bus, and refused to recognize the demands of a white man during the laws of intense segregation. Parks played a pivotal role in the progression of the boycott. She is remembered for her determination and bravery to fight for what she believed in. She continued an active participant in many activism groups and organization until she passed away in 2005. 

    Who Was Sally Ride?

    Sally Ride was the first ever American woman to go into space, and the third ever woman to go into space. She was a highly intelligent astronaut and physicist. She applied to work with NASA after seeing an advertisement from a local newspaper, she then was was one of 35 selected out of 8,000 applicants. Ride completed her training in 1979, at this time there were very few women working in her field. On June 18, 1983 on mission STS-7 Ride became the first American Woman to enter space. Ride returned to space once more before moving to Washington D.C to work for NASA’s headquarters. Following her work with NASA, she went to Stanford University and University of California San Diego to teach and do research. She then retired, and passed away in 2012.

    So What?

    It’s important to recognize and appreciate the wonderful women we have throughout America history. Mattel’s decision to honor Parks and Ride was a choice to acknowledge women’s rights and accomplishments, and is something to remind individuals to continue to do so in the present. Mattel works to inspire young girls and encourage them to aspire and dream big. The representation of these women who have worked so hard is a reminder of greatness for young girls and our society!

  • Articles

    Managing Social Media Usage

    woman sitting at a desk on a computer

    It can be super easy to get lost in the world of social media today. While it has rapidly become a huge part of our society, it has its ups and downs. Social media is great for keeping up with friends or family you don’t see frequently, being able to freely express yourself, and even to access news outlets. On the other hand, however, we all know the toxicity it can come with. Comparison issues, over analyzing, time wasting, and fake news. It seems to be with each positive it brings, there’s a negative to counter it. Nonetheless, it’s almost unavoidable today if you have a smartphone. Here are some tips on how to manage your social media, in order to take it in doses that will be helpful rather than harmful! 

    1.) Monitor your screen time. 

    With a relatively new Apple iPhone update, you will receive a weekly notification of your average screen time daily, along with a percentage to tell you if it is up or down from the previous week. This has been a great tool to stay aware and conscious. When you think about your day, we are typically awake for about 12-14 hours. If your screen time is reporting you average seven hours a day, that’s a strong indicator for how you’re spending your time. Now, obviously, this won’t all be from social media. However, it usually ends up being most of it. Furthermore, if you click on the notification it will pull up a page in your settings with a breakdown of how and where each minute went while your screen was on. Additionally, you can set time limits on apps and schedule downtime away from your phone. Take advantage of these features and resources to stay alert of how much time you spend on social media.

    2.) If you don’t have an iPhone,

    While iPhone accounts for a large portion of cell phone users, it’s not something that everyone has. Look into your specific phone settings and see if there are any similar features or resources. If not, that’s okay! If you find yourself needing to keep track of your social media usage, grab a notebook or piece of paper and jot down the times you log in to the time you log off, and analyze the times at the end of the week and set a new goal. You can also set alarms on your phone to start and stop social media usage. 

    3.) Frequently check how often you post.

    Most social media platforms will keep track of how often you post. Instagram keeps track of posts on your profile, Twitter also does this with the number of tweets you have. Snapchat also has a “score” that increases with the more snaps you send and receive. Don’t feel like you need to obsess over these numbers, but don’t be afraid to look at them from time to time. This can also be a good indicator of how much time you are dedicating to these apps. 

    4.) Understand not everything is as it seems.

    We know that our eyes can deceive us on social media, but that concept strays away sometimes. As much as it can be hard to identify, yes, FaceTune exists. And YES, people use it! Don’t let unrealistic physical features allow you to feel self-conscious, because a lot of Instagram influencers with thousands of followers are using an app to edit their appearance! The same goes for other content as well. We have to remind ourselves someone’s whole life isn’t reflected on their Instagram. Even more so, it’s only exactly what they want us to think their life is. Additionally, don’t believe everything you read. Twitter specifically, has been known for having fake news go viral. If you see a piece of news that catches your interest on social media, Google the topic to find credible sources to see if it holds true or not. 

  • Articles

    It’s Okay Not to Feel Okay

    sad girl

    September is national suicide prevention month, which calls for the conversation we must remind ourselves to have. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people between ages 10-24. The youth struggles with mental health more than we commonly acknowledge, which is why it’s important to speak out, especially during this time of year. The stigma around mental health can sometimes cause young girls and boys to struggle with expressing their emotions. With every conversation, society can work towards breaking down this stigma. 

    There is nothing wrong with asking for help, society relies on humans working together, not against each other. It’s important to seek help if you are struggling yourself, or recommend help if a friend or loved one is struggling. There are so many stories of people finding hope and that light at the end of the tunnel, it’s inspirational and can motivate others to share their stories as well. It can be very hard to voice the struggle while going through something as deeply emotional and intense. 

    Experiencing trauma at a young age can be confusing and hurtful to anyone that experiences it, especially youth between the ages of 10-24. Some people might not even fully understand the feelings or emotions they’re having in result to an event. However, it’s not just trauma that can trigger a suicidal response. It can come purely from a chemical imbalance in the brain, and a lack of serotonin. This is okay! Depression and anxiety are the most common mental health related issues that coincide with suicide. Dealing with a chemical imbalance doesn’t mean that person is any less capable of accomplishing and living a healthy happy life. What is important, is to watch for warning signs of risk in oneself or in friends and family, and seek help when needed. 

    What to Look For

    If you become worried for yourself or someone you love, there are significant signs to be aware of. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) tells readers to be aware of changes in talk, behavior, and mood. 

    Talk

    Pay attention to the language used. Is there about feeling like a burden to themselves or those around them? Talk of feeling hopeless? Or vocalizing unbearable pain? These are all warning signs the AFSP points out to be alerted by. 

    Behavior

    Behavior changes when someone experiences the feelings of suicide. Maybe they will stop engaging in activities that once brought them joy, or any type of isolation is also a red flag. Social and academic withdrawal are to be noted as well. If the person becomes angry and aggressive frequently, or starts engaging in substance abuse behavior (drugs, alcohol, etc), these are all signs to check up on yourself or the person you notice experiencing them. Additionally, sleeping too much or too little, as well as giving away meaningful possessions. 

    Mood

    The mood of those experiencing suicidal thoughts will come across as typically negative. However, that doesn’t mean it will be obvious. Increased depression, anxiety, lack of interest, humiliation, shame, and irritability can all be warning signs that something is wrong as well.

    What to do When Warning Signs are Present

    Suicide can feel very lonely. It’s a dark feeling that heightens isolation, and at times can be very scary. The most important thing to know, and to tell others is that you are never alone in the fight. Each life is precious and important to contribute to the human race. If you experience warning signs in yourself or others, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a 24 hour serivce waiting to help. They employ trained professionals that work with certified suicide prevention specialists highly skilled in suicide intervention. For more information about how you can help yourself or loved ones, visit www.afsp.org or call the 24/7 hotline at (1)800-273- 8225

  • Articles, GirlSpring.com, Lifestyle, School, Social

    How to Find Your People

    three friends laughing together

    Its the end of summer… and we all know what that means. Goodbye summer nights and tan-lines, hello homework and teachers! The start of a new school year can be overwhelming. There’s the slight excitement of seeing all the people you didn’t see over the summer, buying new shiny school supplies, but there’s always some bit of anxiety about the unknown. A lot can happen in the summer, and returning back to school can come with a little stress. 

    The excitement and nervousness that comes with the school year can bring new people into your life. While this can be scary, accept it! School is always easier when you have the people that make you comfortable by your side. It’s not always easy to find your people, and that’s okay. Some of the best friendships in will come later in life, but for now, its time to make the most of the year! Follow these simple tips to keep an eye out for your people.

    1. Don’t be afraid of the small talk.

    It can be awkward and uncomfortable, but it’s necessary. Get all the quick facts out of the way, in order to talk about things that will give you a good indication if you are similar or not! Don’t let the anxiety of small talk prevent you from putting yourself out there.

    2. Find common interests.

    Find out what they like to do after school, how do they spend their free time? You never know who might be super into the same things as you! Exchange sports, hobbies, activities, and see what they like to do. Who knows, you might get recruited for an awesome new sports team or club!

    3. “Is that seat taken?”

    Take advantage of an empty seat! If you see someone sitting alone or with an empty seat next to them, push yourself outside that comfort zone and take a seat. This can be a great way to show someone you notice them and are interested in striking up a conversation! It’s also a great ice breaker to get the dialogue flowing.

    4. Be open-minded.

    Just because someone might not wear the same colors or styles as you, don’t write that person off as someone you wouldn’t like. As I said, you never know who you’re gonna meet. It can be refreshing to find a friend in an uncommon place!

    5. Meet someone new in town.

    There are always families moving in and out of town. If you notice someone you haven’t seen around town, or in school in years past, say hi! Ask them where they’re from and how they like it here. The simple gesture can go a long way for both of you!