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  • Articles, Body Image, Confidence, GirlSpring.com, Makeup

    The Blessing and Curse of Make-Up

    make up

    Every girl comes to a point when she must decide if she wants to begin the journey of wearing and using make-up or not. Some girls don’t see the point or hate the feeling of practically painting their faces. Others enjoy the whole process and have fun with it. Then there are those who wear it because they are expected to. She might think she can’t impress her crush unless she’s dolled up, or she doesn’t look professional without it on in a workspace. There are also girls who feel like they don’t look good without it. Not everyone is blessed with genes that give them the looks society likes to see.

    Everyone has insecurities about something.

    Some people can hide them well while others become easily uncomfortable because of them. Make-up does a good job of how hiding the things you hate and enhancing what you love. It can give people confidence when they appear in public where they might not be without it. Make-up even covers those pesky blemishes that everyone hates. It does so many different things: give you a smaller nose, the illusion of cheekbone, well-maintained eyebrows. However, not everyone wants these things. They might not know how to do these things, but the more common these things become, the more they want to figure it out.

    With more commonalities in using make-up, expectations are changing. The main trend right now is having perfect eyebrows. Many different products have been made just for this use. There are pencils, gels, brushes, and stencils all dedicated to eyebrow shaping. But even with all this, does it truly matter if eyebrows are rectangular going in and thin out? They are just hairs on your face. Making your eyebrows look nice is something that some enjoy doing, but you shouldn’t feel like you have to do it. It can be hard to accomplish the perfect brows as well.

    Make-up is a tool to help make people appear nice and well put together. However, it also could make people afraid to ever go out without it.

    Any time you go out, you might be afraid of running into someone you know or you could meet someone. Also trying to look your best makes it hard to know when it’s okay to dress down and not worry about it. This only leads to more insecurities. Never feeling your best unless your face is covered doesn’t make you feel better about yourself as a whole. It could embarrass you more to be without it.

    Beck Lomas got over the fear of having to look good all the time, check out our post about loving our own imperfections.

    For some people, make-up just feeds into the idea that you’re not good enough. If the only way to get a job is based on whether or not you look put together or not and the only way to do that is to wear some make-up then what are credentials or experience even for? The way you look won’t tell an employer the type of worker you are. This also feeds into the idea that women have to wear make-up. It can make something fun become a chore instead.

    Make-up should be something that women actually get a choice in using.

    Make-up can become expensive and start to feel like a necessity. Women shouldn’t be expected to have product on their face to look nice. They shouldn’t be under the impression that the only way to get someone else’s attention is by wearing eyeliner and having boxy brows. Make-up needs to be something that women want to wear because they feel like it not to meet society’s expectations of what a woman looks like. If you despise wearing make-up then don’t put it on. Don’t feel like make-up is something that you absolutely need to have. It is okay to be bare-faced in public. Guys don’t need make-up, and they still can look good. Guys can wear make-up if they want to. Girls should be the same. Do what you’re comfortable with.

  • Articles, GirlSpring.com, Money

    The Importance of Financial Literacy

    importance of financial literacy

    In high school, one of the most useful classes I took was Personal Financial Planning.

    An online, single semester course, PFP was an engaging class that covered a lot of important and relevant material. From learning conceptual information using EVERFI’s financial literacy modules to participating in an online stock market simulation with my classmates, I liked that my teacher used multiple learning tools to help students understand the content.

    I thought my personal finance class was fairly straightforward, and it took a few hours each week to complete the assignments and assessments. The class was well-organized, interesting, and very applicable and useful for my life. Many of my peers who have taken a personal finance class in a traditional classroom setting or online (like me) have also had a positive experience, and they tell me that they definitely felt that the class was worthwhile.

    Personal finance is important and useful

    I feel that in high school, certain courses that students take aren’t as easily applicable to daily life. For example, calculus isn’t something most individuals in the real-world use on a day-to-day basis. However, personal finance is definitely important. Through this class, I learned many useful skills, including how to create a budget, the basics of filing taxes, how to deal with student debt, and even what factors to consider when buying my own vehicle someday. As myself and many other students my age go off to college or other post-secondary opportunities soon, these skills will become more and more useful. I think all high schoolers need to be taught personal finance in some sort of school setting because these are real-life skills that will come in handy in the future. Nowadays, many young people make unwise financial decisions and have to deal with the consequences—sometimes for the rest of their lives. Many times, this happens simply because they didn’t fully understand what they were getting themselves into. Having an understanding (even if it’s just a very simple, basic understanding) of financial concepts and ideas before graduating high school would be so helpful and beneficial for success in the real world.

    Schools are starting to make personal finance a requirement

    Although taking a personal finance class wasn’t a graduation requirement for me personally, my high school very recently made it a requirement for students beginning next year. This isn’t a change just in my high school; in fact, many high schools across the nation are requiring students to take a personal finance classes, and the U.S. Treasury has recently called for mandatory financial literacy courses for college students because of concerns regarding student debt. It’s really no wonder that such high significance has been given to financial education for high school and college students in recent years; currently, U.S. student debt is at a record high of more than $1.5 trillion. There has been a lot of concern that students and families are taking on debt without realizing the long-term impact it could have.

    Thinking about college

    With college tuition and related expenses currently at exceptionally high rates (and only rising year-to-year), it is important for families to really consider their finances and think through the implications of debt before making college and other educational decisions. Having a good understanding of debt and its effects will only make it easier for students to have productive conversations with their families about important topics like this, and it may allow students to view a situation from multiple perspectives and make an educated decision with their family that takes multiple factors, including prestige, finances, resources available, etc, into consideration.

    When making a college decision a few months ago, I had a lot to consider, and I think having a good understanding of personal finance really helped me see my options from multiple perspectives. I was able to think beyond just the next four years and really consider how I wanted my life to look in the long-run.

    Personal finance was a high-impact class that was both simple and interesting. Even if your high school doesn’t require students to take it, I still recommend that you take the class if it is offered to you. If you are not able to take personal finance as a class through your school, I would encourage you to look into online options such as EVERFI and just go through the modules during your free time. These courses are usually very easy to understand and don’t require very much time or effort. I was able to get a better understanding of many important financial concepts and topics, and I definitely think I am better prepared for college and life in general because I took a personal finance class.

  • Articles, College, Confidence, School

    5 Things I Wish I Could Tell my High-School Self

    high school advice

    5 Things I Wish I Could Tell My High School Self

     

    If I had the choice to travel back in time to my first day of high school, to do everything differently, there’s no way I would do it. High school played its part in shaping me into the woman I am today. If I had a choice to send a letter to my 14-year-old self, however, I would give that girl supporting words and advice on how to carry herself. Words that I think every high-schooler should live by.

    Be okay with being alone.

    You’ll run into days when it feels like nobody is on the same wavelength as you like everyone else lives in a different dimension. Don’t strain yourself to fit in with the “cool” group. Don’t try to find a boyfriend because it’s what everyone else is doing. You’re always going to be your own best friend, so the sooner you accept yourself for everything you are and everything you’ll become, the sweeter life will be.

    Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

    This is going to play a big part in preparing you for life outside of high school. Ask yourself, what’s the worst thing that could happen? Take risks. When you challenge yourself and push your own boundaries, you open the door for beautiful, unexpected things to happen.

    Don’t worry what others think of you.

    Tell yourself this every morning when you wake up. And again in the middle of the day. And again. And again. Everyone is so concerned with what they’re doing and how they’re portrayed during high school, not what others are doing. Focusing on your own happiness and success will lead to the best memories.

    Stop worrying about the future.

    I was notorious for this in high school, and consequently, it tainted my final two years. Trust me, you’ll do well on that test. You’ll be accepted into a good college. You’ll find a career doing something you love. There come a time and place to focus on those thoughts, but don’t stress out about it too much right now.

    Realize that high school doesn’t last forever.

    You might not believe it right this moment, but you’re going to miss the hallways you stroll down each day. You’re going to miss those homework assignments because trust me, they get a lot harder. You’re going to miss seeing those familiar faces every day. While there may be some excruciatingly painful parts of high school, you never realize what you’re going to miss. Don’t take a minute of it for granted. Don’t be in such a hurry to grow up; be present in each moment.

    Just take the moment to soak it all in, because when you look back you’ll think that is so high school. Think about that and other advice in the article “It Will All Be Over Soon.” 

  • Articles, GirlSpring.com, work

    Career Aptitude Testing

    career aptitude

    Sometime in your middle and high school years you will be asked to participate in career aptitude testing. This means you will be sat down with a booklet in front of you and a bunch of answer bubbles to fill out that could possibly determine your future. The test can be stressful whether you have an idea of what you would like to do after graduation or not.

    It’s A Test, But Not Really

    The best thing to keep in mind while filling out your answers it to be honest. The test is not for a grade. It does not determine whether you pass a class or not. This test is just trying to help you figure out some possible career choices. It bases its analysis on what you answer. What you like versus what you do not like. It is a simple algorithm that could help save you the trouble of guessing what on earth you should do with your life.

    When the results come in, you do not have to agree with them. There will likely be several career options listed, and some of them may be more similar than others. This just means that for the similar ones, you must have liked 70% or more of the things required for those jobs.

    What To Do After You Get the Results Back

    Try not to discard the test before checking into the results. The employment options given could be work fields that you may not have considered otherwise. It would be in your best interest to give them a chance, even if it is a small chance. Google can quickly give you the information you are looking for.

    If you find that some of the career options seem interesting, then you can move on a step. Check to see if there are local businesses that offer those type of jobs. Then, you can reach out to those businesses and ask to interview an employee or even request to job shadow someone. Job shadowing is just taking the time to watch the employee work for a couple of hours. It can go on for one hour or if the person working agrees to a longer period, it could last for several days.

    When interviewing or shadowing, try to take note of the things you did not know were required for that job. Ask them questions about other things that they did not know before getting into their field of work. Find out how much school and time goes into the position.

    If you are in high school, you may be able to ask for an internship if there are any available. Explore as many different work fields as possible before settling on one. This way you can experience the variety of options available to you, and can determine which best suits you. If you get a head start before entering college, you may be able to save yourself a lot of time and money.

    An Opportunity to Explore

    There is currently an opportunity available to you, if you are interested in pursuing a career in writing of any kind. This site, GirlSpring, is always on the lookout for new talent to showcase. Even if you do not know if writing is for you, just give it a try. Everyone has something they would like to say, so why not use this platform to be heard? It would be a great addition to any resume and gives you a feel for whether it is something you could pursue for career purposes.

    At the end of the day, if you still are unsure what career choice you should make, do not worry. You are young and have plenty of time to try out different things. I know some people who are in their sixties and are back in college for a career change. You can easily get a degree that covers many different fields. I, for one, am an English major. I plan to pursue writing, editing, teaching, researching languages, event planning, and marketing.

    Here are some extra links to check out if you want to try an aptitude test on your own:

    https://www.whatcareerisrightforme.com/career-aptitude-test.php

    https://www.yourfreecareertest.com/

    https://www.buzzfeed.com/ashleyperez/what-career-should-you-have

  • Articles, GirlSpring.com, Music

    Amazing Women in Music

    women in music

    I’ve been thinking about music a lot recently; looking through my saved songs on Spotify and scrolling through my different playlists. While doing this, I have noticed how early music has influenced later music and pop culture. Women in music have contributed so much to society. In this article, I’m going to be looking at seven powerful women throughout different genres in music who I’ve been loving recently (from both the past and the present). 

    Aretha Franklin:

    Genre: Soul, R&B, Gospel, Jazz

    The Queen of Soul. Aretha Franklin is widely regarded as one of the most talented and influential musicians of all time. Her music encompasses a large variety of genres. Her voice is powerful and loud, singing about the social issues of her time. She was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and won plenty of music awards throughout her life. Franklin performed at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s funeral, was featured on the cover of TIME magazine, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005, among many other achievements. Aretha Franklin was one of the most powerful people in the music industry, and her songs continue to shape artists today.

    Here are some Aretha Franklin songs to check out:

    I Say A Little Prayer Chain of FoolsSpirit in the Dark

    Stevie Nicks:

    Genre: Rock & Roll

    Stevie Nicks is a member of the band Fleetwood Mac, but she has also had an amazing solo career. She is one of the most accomplished women in music today: the only woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice, has won Grammys, hit number 1 on the US Billboard charts with her first solo album release, and has had countless songs go Platinum. Her unique voice always stands out against any instrumentals. No one sounds like Stevie Nicks.

    Stevie Nicks songs to listen to (both solo and with Fleetwood Mac):

    Blue DenimSeven WondersAfter the Glitter Fades

    Sade Adu:

    Genre: Soul, Smooth Jazz, Sophisti-pop

    Normally referred to simply as Sade, this singer created (and continues to create) smooth music with soul influences. She was born in Nigeria and raised in the U.K. Her band (also known as Sade) was very popular in the 1980s and 90s. Adu’s voice is calming and pairs beautifully with her soothing instrumentals. Several of her albums have gone Platinum. Her music always has a distinct tone. 

    Here are some great Sade songs to listen to

    The Sweetest TabooBullet Proof SoulNo Ordinary Love

    PJ Harvey:

    Genre: Alternative Rock, Experimental Rock

    PJ Harvey probably has the most ear-catching music of all of the women on this list. This English artist tackles controversial topics with her typically loud and surprising music. She has been nominated for Brit Awards and Grammys. Harvey explores femininity and female sexuality with her lyrics and imagery. She is not afraid to express herself exactly how she wants to, no matter who she shocks.  

    Great PJ Harvey songs to check out

    Happy And BleedingDown By The Water50 Ft Queenie

    Mitski:

    Genre: Indie Rock

    Mitski is one of the most recent artists on this list. She released her first album in 2012. Her music is real and raw. Her poetic lyrics hit deep and connect with her listeners; at one moment you hear a slow ballad, then switch to a dance-worthy rock tune. She was nominated for a Grammy for the packaging of her last record, Be the Cowboy, released in 2018. Mitski’s lyrics are some of the most hard-hitting on this list.

    Some Mitski songs to get into:

    Liquid SmoothA Burning HillA Pearl

    Lizzo:

    Genre: Hip-Hop

    Lizzo has only released one album, Cuz I Love You. It came out this year. Despite her new career, she has already performed at a few award shows and been nominated for awards. Her music explores self confidence and social issues. She is a role model for young girls, preaching self-love. Her music is fun and catchy, and her voice is dynamic, too. She is known for her rap and hip-hop songs, but she can also sing very well. You can hear this in her song “Jerome.” I can’t wait to see what else Lizzo has in store.

    Some fun songs by Lizzo:

    Truth HurtsJuiceLike A Girl

    Jade Bird:

    Genre: americana/folk

    Jade Bird has also only released one album. Her first album, Jade Bird, was released earlier this year, but she has released a few EPs in the past. Her music has been quite successful, too with a song hit number 1 on Billboard’s Adult Alternative Songs chart in 2018. She toured with Hozier as his opening act this year. Although she is from England, Jade Bird is very inspired by American folk music. Her style mirrors that of the 70s. Her songs talk about relationships and struggles. There’s a lot to come from Jade Bird.

    Some songs by Jade Bird:

    I Get No Joy Good At ItLottery

    Hopefully, this article helped you learn more about the history of women in music (and maybe introduced you to some new artists).

    Here’s a Spotify playlist of all the songs mentioned in this article:

    Musicians can shape lives, look at one of our Springboarder, Audrey’s, experience with Betty Who, and how she changed Audrey’s perspectives!

  • Articles, GirlSpring.com, Movie Review

    Falsettos: significant and timeless

    falsettos

    Some works of art have clear messages, while others you have to hunt for. Art makes us feel and causes us to think. It should make us ask questions. Falsettos is a musical that ticks all of these boxes.

    What Falsettos is all about

    Falsettos is a two-act musical comprised of March of the Falsettos, written in 1981, and Falsettoland, written in 1990. They’re written by William Finn and directed by James Lapine. The show opened on Broadway in 1992, revived in 2016, and had a national tour in 2019.

    The story surrounds a Jewish family in New York. Set in the early 80s, the AIDS crisis created mass panic and fear. The plot revolves around Marvin. He is married to Trina, and they have a son named Jason. When Marvin leaves Trina for a man named Whizzer, their “tightknit” family is quickly disturbed. Trina begins to lose her mind and starts going to therapy. She eventually falls in love with the family psychiatrist: Mendel.

    Just as Trina starts to pick up the pieces of her life, Whizzer becomes sick. Jason is stuck in the middle of all the conflict. He is frustrated, confused, and starts to act out. Much to his parents’ horror, he states that he doesn’t want a Bar Mitzvah. The “lesbians next door,” Dr. Charlotte and Cordelia, are unconditionally supportive to everyone else. Will this family be able to move past their conflicts to support Whizzer, and each other, through his diagnosis?

    How I found Falsettos

    Personally, I was introduced to the world of Falsettos with the 2016 Broadway revival cast. I was a fan of other projects the cast had been apart of, so I thought I would give it a chance. I was obsessed with the cast recording. Something about the arrangements, the vocals, and the lyrics felt different from any other show. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Will Marvin ever learn to control his emotions? Will Jason push through the chaos and grow up to fulfill his potential? Does Jason only look up to Whizzer? Is Trina okay? What in the world is a “banana-carrot surprise”?  Still, to this day, whenever I listen to the album or watch the filmed version, it makes me think.

    I saw the national tour in Charlotte, NC, and got to meet the cast! The production exceeded my expectations. I was in awe of the pure talent on the stage and the emotion in the room. Falsettos is heartwarming, heart-wrenching, and important. Some members of the audience have memories of the time period, while others weren’t even born yet. I think this speaks to the significance of the story, and shows that we still have a long way to go.

    Why Falsettos is Timeless

    Not everyone was accepting of the story and characters of Falsettos in the 90s, and lots of people still aren’t. That’s why the story, and others like it, should continue to be told. Falsettos is simply an illustration of family; it proves that love conquers all. The family is far from perfect, but they make it work. Every person in the audience can relate to something within one, or between two of the characters. 

    Some things, like acceptance, should be expressed until everyone listens and learns. Life-changing pieces of work stay relevant throughout time, and have the ability to impact many generations because family and love are themes that will never expire.

  • Articles, College, School

    The Final Pages of your High School Chapter

    The Final Pages of your High School Chapter

    High school seems like it lasts a lifetime. And then, in the blink of an eye, it’s over.

    Before you realize it, you’ll be cheering on your team at the last home football game, hardly registering the fleeting experience due to the overpowering noise from the bleachers and marching band.

    Soon after, you’ll be adding the finishing touches to your makeup, preparing to slip into your last prom dress.

    Although it may seem like a relief, in a few short months, you’ll be walking into harshly lit hallways and classrooms for the final time. You never realize how much you’ll miss the rooms that had the supernatural ability to make five minutes seem like a full hour.

    Speaking from personal experience, it’s easy to wish away the final days of high school. It’s easy to see everything from a negative perspective– too much homework, too many responsibilities, too little sleep.

    Don’t fall victim to that mindset like I did.

    Enjoy the time you have left with your friends; although you may spend eight or more hours with them now, soon, you will all be dispersed throughout the country, living different lives.

    If you’re involved in sports, give your full effort without taking the game too seriously. Some of my favorite memories began with goofing around with my best friends at track practice. This will also be the last time someone forces you to exercise… take advantage of that.

    Go all-out during spirit weeks and pep rallies. You’re not going to remember how silly you looked, you’re going to remember how much fun you had doing it. Don’t dull your high school experience by worrying about what others think.

    High school is a whirlwind of stress and emotions, but somewhere in between all of that mess, lifelong memories were made. Don’t take the time you have left for granted– live in the moment. Spend that extra hour with your childhood friends.  Dominate the dance floor at prom. Attend every sporting event that you possibly can, and don’t be afraid to cheer at the top of your lungs.

    These are the final pages of this chapter of your life. Make the most of them.

    Check out this letter from a college student to a high school senior. And remember you’re only in high school once!

    Even though you may be starting your senior year, that doesn’t mean you don’t have a chance to grow and change. Here’s some advice on how to your own person in high school