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  • GirlSpring.com, School

    Plan A Perfect Semester With This Course Checklist

    Course Checklist

    Choosing Courses That Work For You!

    Plan A Perfect Semester

    It’s that time of year again. Everyone is fretting about which courses to choose for the upcoming semester. Many rely on the opinions of others to make this choice, but this only hinders self-growth. That being said, I am here to tell you a few things about choosing courses for yourself and the effect this will have.

    During my Sophomore year, I registered for Advanced Placement Chemistry.

    However, as finals week approaches, I am second guessing my decision. I also registered for Advanced Placement United States History during this time. Additionally, I refused to give up any extracurricular activities.

    Therefore, my Sophomore year began with a sense of unbridled arrogance.

    Very soon, it blew up in my face. I was getting very little sleep, my grades were slipping and my positions in the band, SGA, and robotics became difficult to maintain. Now, my social life has vanished and stubbornness is how I manage.

    However, I’m not suffering and I’m not upset about it.

    Last year, I made sure to sign up for one class in which I could study. I know what I want to do after high school, and I understand the full extent of what I will have to do to get it. If you commit to yourself, it will be easier to succeed. As I have been planning for next year, I’ve made a list of questions to ask myself and other students interested in my input.

    1. Is this class/extra-curricular relevant to your future career path? If you are working towards a leadership position, it is important to take courses that give you experience or communication skills. If the course does not provide useful skills, replace it with one that furthers your educational journey.
    2. How many time demanding things are you involved in? Don’t take seven AP classes. Seriously, do not. Unless the majority of them are relevant to your future major, don’t put yourself through that. You won’t have time to develop yourself in other important areas colleges look at like community service and extracurricular activities. If you have a job, take even less. To enjoy the fruits of your labor, you’ve got to be a functional human being.
    3. Are you taking classes that are too easy? If you constantly receive 95 percent averages with no effort, it’s time for a challenge. Take a chance at a higher GPA.
    4. Weigh all sides. If a certain standard level class is known to be difficult, take the Honors or Advanced Placement course. In standard level courses, there is a 10 point margin between each letter grade. However, in AP courses, a C grade is equivalent to a 3.0 GPA. Consider this when you choose between classes.
  • GirlSpring.com

    2019 Best Affordable Prom Dress Websites

    Best Prom Dress

    Affordable Prom Dress Websites

     These dresses won’t break the bank!

    Paying a fortune for one night is not necessary. If you are having no luck finding a prom dress within your budget, I am here to help! This list includes the best websites for affordable prom dresses.

    Lulu’s

    Affordable Prom Dress Affordable Prom Dress

    Price Range: $21-$294


    ASOS

    Affordable Prom Dress Affordable Prom Dress

    Price Range: $19-$637


    Pretty Little Thing

    Affordable Prom Dress Affordable Prom Dress

    Price Range: $14-$140


    Boohoo

    Affordable Prom Dress Affordable Prom Dress

    Price Range: $6-$90


    Forever 21

    Affordable Prom Dress

    Price Range: $14-$72


    Prom Girl

    Affordable Prom Dress Affordable Prom Dress

    Price Range: $39-$728

  • GirlSpring.com, Interview

    This Shero Went From Art School to the Air Force!

    This Shero
    In life, we never really know where our paths will take us.

    It is common to begin in one direction then reroute. Deciding to explore the unknown leads to new opportunities.

    Enter Helena Urban, our newest Shero.
    Air Force Shero

    Helena is very familiar with this predicament and GirlSpring had the opportunity to sit down with her and discuss life’s many pathways.

    Air Force Shero

    Helena was adopted from China on Valentine’s Day. This is when her journey began. As an only child, Helena says she was always in search of something attention-grabbing. “Being an only child, I really found the time to be creative and do stuff with my hands”, she recounts.

    Air Force Shero

    Helena remembers a time she got in trouble for writing her name in chalk on her bedroom wall. “They got me a sketchbook after that to prevent that from happening again”, she laughs. From there, Helena’s creativity blossomed. She was enrolled in the Alabama School of Fine Arts (ASFA) so that she could better develop her craft.

    Helena first heard of ASFA from a friend of her mom’s. The friend described it as the “best unknown high school for the arts”.

    “When I was shadowing another student, I witnessed ASFA’s diversity. The variety in courses proved this was the school for me”, she says.
    Air Force Shero

    At ASFA, Helena was exposed to a variety of art forms. From sketching to dancing to sculpting, I was really drawn to sculpting,” Helena says, “because it allowed me to work with my hands.” Creating pieces that are often about adoption and using a variety of Chinese symbols, she is able to illustrate her life journey thus far. Never in her life, however, did Helena think that the military would enter the plan.

    After graduating from her small class of 52 students in 2018, Helena had a repetitive thought. How does one pay for college? “I was really set on the University of South Alabama and was looking for a way to pay for it. A recruiter from the military had reached out to me about joining and that initially sparked my interest,” Helena says. Her mother convinced Helena to join the Air Force and take advantage of the opportunity.

    Helena broke ground on an unknown path.

    While in the Air Force, Helena became a Structural Civil Engineer. “It revolves around welding, carpentry, and handiwork. I enjoy it because it allows me to very be involved with my hands”, she said. Although she was worried about her performance in Basic Training, Helena says the paperwork is most stressful. “There’s just so much,” she says, “and you have to remember every detail of your medical history. It’s almost like adopting a child there’s so much paperwork.” Helena also recounts the difficulty of the physical test. “It was really hard, but I discovered that the body is capable of more than you think. It’s all mental. You have to constantly tell yourself to keep going” she says.

    After Basic Training, Helena will attend UAB. She will be studying Art with a concentration in Sculpture. When asked what she hopes to gain from the Air Force, Helena replied with, “I really hope to gain confidence, a calm mind, and self-growth.” She also hopes to develop physically. Helena’s advice for girls considering a military career is to “Always be thankful – even when you don’t know why. Gratitude creates a positive environment.”

    Air Force Shero
    Thank you so much Helena Urban for talking with us and for being a Shero!
  • GirlSpring.com

    Choosing Your Graduation Dress – A How-To Guide

    Graduation

    Choosing Your Graduation Dress

    A How-To Guide

    Graduation season is quickly approaching. By now, you are probably anxious to begin searching for the perfect graduation dress. Rather than dropping by the mall and impulsively buying the first cute dress you see, take time to make a practical decision. There are many considerations to ponder before discovering the dress that is perfect for you and the occasion.

    The first thing to consider is the style of the dress. Obviously, you want to stick with the latest trends, but there are some trends that are not suited for a graduation ceremony. It is best to choose a conservative dress. By conservative, I mean a dress that is appropriate – not flashy. If you feel restricted by this, keep in mind that this is a formal ceremony and celebration for YOU. Why not look your best?

    However, it is important to choose something comfortable.

    It is likely that you will be sitting for at least an hour. Most schools require the use of a graduation gown. These gowns are thick, so keep in mind that you will be wearing an additional layer. Cotton is a great material to consider since it is lightweight and breathable.

    Remember that graduation requires walking across a stage. Therefore, it is smart to choose a dress that does not restrict movement. Disregard Body Conditioning dresses. Instead, go for a simple style that will encourage natural movement.

    Dress code should also be kept in mind. One might think that it is quite peculiar for a school to enact a graduation dress code when the gown entirely covers the outfit, but it’s actually necessary. Before making a final decision, have an understanding of your school’s graduation dress code.

    Although these tips are simple and straightforward, they are helpful. In many cases, practical advice is the best advice. Overall, choose a dress that is comfortable and best suited for the occasion.

  • Articles, GirlSpring.com, Holiday, Home Life, Lifestyle

    Spring Break with Parents vs. Spring Break with Friends … What do I do?

    Spring Break

    Spring break season is upon us.

     

    In our heads, we think of this glorious, week-long break from school as a time to relax and recuperate from the trials and tribulations of spring semester. But in all actuality, is it really as revitalizing as we make it out to be?

     

    Spring break falls into two categories: making memories with friends or spending quality time with your parents. Although both have their pros and cons, spring break is never actually as relaxing as we make it out to be.

     

    I spent this past week in Arizona with my parents. After long days packed with hiking at the Grand Canyon, searching for wild horses and watching baseball in the desert heat, I’m finally back home– and let me be honest, I’m more tired than I was before the vacation.

     

    On the other hand, a group of my closest friends spent their spring break in California. Even though laying at the beach, sightseeing around Beverly Hills and chatting around a bonfire doesn’t seem to strenuous, they’re ready to return to everyday life, as well.

     

    So if spring break is going to inevitably end up in exhaustion, how do you make a decision on what you’re going to do?

     

    In my opinion, spending vacation with your parents is always the way to go. Yeah, you’ll miss your friends (and probably encounter quite a bit of FOMO), but after a short week, you’ll be back together again.

     

    Spring break-ing with parents is much more smooth– the group is more organized and overall does more activities (and hey, not paying for everything with your own money is a perk). You don’t have to worry about travel or living situations, and they’re you’re family, so you know you’ll get along. Sometimes.

     

    Experiencing new things with friends is always a good time, but truthfully, spending too much time with them could produce some difficulties.

     

    I missed my friends this past week, without a doubt. But there’s nowhere else I would’ve rather been than with my family. Plus, family vacations aren’t forever– milk it while you still can!

     

    If you’re debating on whether to spend spring break with friends or family, follow the number one rule: family comes first. Besides the perpetual state of tiredness after it’s over, a great time is guaranteed.