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Doing something new

Posted on Mar 25 by

First times can sometimes make us squirm, but before you know it you could be loving it! Image Credit: D. Garding @Flickr

For something to be new, it is to be novel or unfamiliar (Merriam Webster Dictionary). By definition, doing something new means doing something that you aren’t used to, or something different – and that can be scary. Whether it be your first day in a new class, at the hockey club, or at a new church – you get those nervous jitters, the ‘I’ll just follow the crowd, see what happens’ vibe, keep your head down but eyes darting as you try and take it all in. Everyone else knows the rules regardless of whether they’re the ones written up on the wall or the ones that everyone else seems to know but weren’t in the handbook.
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Hosting an exhange student

Posted on Mar 19 by

Image by Robert Emmerich @ Flickr

Our German exchange student was only 15 (turning 16) when he came and stayed with us. “We will only take him for a couple of weeks while you find a more permanent home,” Mum had told the company. Well, that worked well….when the agency called back a couple of weeks later, Mum renegotiated because she didn’t want to separate with this teenage boy who became part of our family. 11 months later when he finally had to leave for Germany, Mum cried for a day solid. Our German exchange student was part of the family.

Hosting an exchange student can have its challenges. At times, it was stressful for my parents – I only just turned 13 at the time, which meant our exchange student was their first experience of handling a more stereotypical teenager. I’m sure it also placed financial strain on the family at times (if you are looking at hosting, consider the types of payments that can be made by the organisation to cover rent, food etc.). Sometimes expectations didn’t much up – Mum would expect him to do something which he wouldn’t understand, he would do something he deemed ‘normal’ which wasn’t quite as such in our family (one example being that he taught me how to silently climb out the front window of the house, a skill I never needed).
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Online Friends vs “Real Life” Friends

Posted on Mar 04 by

Photo by Mimimalniemand from Flickr

All my life I’ve been an avid video gamer, ever since my mum bought my sisters and me a Nintendo 64 at a Car-Boot Sale back in the years before touch screens, Ipads and Candy Crush Saga was a “thing”.  As my experiences went from Nintendo 64 to Playstation 2 to PSP to Playstation 3/Xbox 320 to now Playstation 4, I’ve constantly found my love for games and the art of creating it evolving. Most of my experiences have been playing single player – as my family has never really had a powerful enough internet to allow me to game online with others – with a few online Halo/Call of Duty matches here and there with, yes, random 12 year old boys cursing and screaming at me and calling my relatives a lot of bad names when I would beat them because apparently being a female and being better at shooting with a fake gun inside a video game means I’m a cheat. Anyway, these few past experiences with “online play” left a sour taste in my mouth,  I didn’t take what they said seriously because I didn’t value myself on what these random strangers thought but it still scared me off from mindless ranting from people worldwide.
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Go find the sun

Posted on Feb 16 by

Head outside to the park, walk through your street or down the beach to help keep stress manageable.

Life can be pretty crazy at the best of times. School, traffic, family – everything can cause us to be stressed. Just the right amount of stress can be ideal for performance in day to day life, however too much stress isn’t real good for you though. You feeling it right now? Finished exams and can’t figure out what to do with life/finishing  exams at the moment/school/work/life in general? Yep, that’ll set the stress train going. Especially if you live in a city….

Stick with me here, I want to tell you about something that might just help. People tend to like nature – I know it seems obvious, and I’m not just talking about greenies living in tree sits here. Have you ever considered that generally the houses with views are the ones that people want to live in, or that peoples favourite places are generally outdoors? It’s called the biophilia hypothesis, which refers to the idea that humans developed in natural, wilderness environments – not the cities we generally live in now. Because of this, cities require a lot more mental energy to figure out everything what is going on than natural environments. This can make us tired – and stressed. As the story goes, natural environments such as forests and beaches give us opportunity to restore the brain batteries that get run down by urban environments (if you want more info, check out the biophilia hypothesis or the attention restoration hypothesis).
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Religion

Posted on Feb 04 by

We live in a day where the words of Macklemore are more influential than the words of Jesus. Mention religion, and people instantly begin to quote something regarding how religion is related to terrorism. As a Christian all my life, I believe that faith through Jesus Christ is the right way. That, however, does not equate to me hitting you over the head with a placard telling you that you are an evil human being. I know with the ISIS issues going around, there are many individuals in Muslim communities who have been brought back into the spotlight, for nothing other than their religion. Yes, there are extremists in every group of people, no matter who or where you are, but it is important to remember that these people are not representations of the major population. Loving people, regardless of who they are and what they believe, can be such a challenge because it’s so easy to see someone and judge them due to the stereotypes we grew up believing.
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But Facebook told me so – why Facebook isn’t the real life.

Posted on Feb 03 by

Facebook Global Connection. Source ABC

Facebook is one of the world’s biggest networks, with approximately 1.23 billion users this year (www.abc.net.au). People from all around the world, in almost every country use it. This picture is one of my favourite descriptions of the impact Facebook has on the world, as it visually describes 10,000 virtual relationships – parts with the brighter blue have more connections, while you can see that some places have barely any, often due to legal/cultural/population issues.

This blog wasn’t meant to be a description of the site with the big blue logo – it’s about the way we use it. I know for me personally, Facebook can be the biggest time-waster, but I won’t delete it because it is a valuable source of communication between people I know interstate, overseas, and with my family when I’m not home. It has many positive aspects, and I have been involved in everything from organising weddings to uni projects to the old BBQ on Saturday in the backyard through Facebook pages. Mine currently inspires me to see places around the world and investigate when the next Aurora Australis is on in Tasmania.
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Help! My parents are staying together!

Posted on Jan 28 by

I’ve never been a child of divorce. My parents married young, and have happily had 25 years of marriage together. ‘So what?’ you say. My point is, sometimes I’m starting to feel like I’m part of a minority – I get to see both my parents together at Christmas, and don’t have to worry about them running into each other at my graduation. Divorce rates are something like 40-50% in Australia, which means that almost every second marriage isn’t for life.
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When a suicidal friend talks to you about what they’re feeling.

Posted on Jan 20 by

In the past I’ve had many different friends, with many different feelings, talk with me about a various amount of things, but a few weeks ago for the first time one of my friends came out as having severe depression and that he’s thought about suicide before. It’s a confronting thing, and hard for both the person sharing their feelings and the one being told. When my friend – who I’ll call Matthew in this blog as to not reveal his real name – told me that he’s almost always depressed and has tried committing suicide before, I was shocked beyond all belief. Matthew is the type of guy to always make jokes, smile constantly, and has a overall sunny disposition whenever I’m around him, so to be told he hates himself and his life was shocking.

Matthew and I met a little over a year ago and we’ve been close friends ever since. I can’t explain the pain I felt when he told me how much pain he’s been in internally for years now. He comes from a house with an alcoholic father and a mother who prefers to impress her housewife friends over caring for her son. When Matthew told me how he’s been feeling he said it was part because he was afraid he’d become his father, part because his mother only ever talked to him when she wanted him to drive down town and pick her up some alcohol or food, and part because of bullying he’s suffering at his high school. He said that lots of little things keep adding up and up and up, and they chip away at his confidence and has left him questioning the worth of his life.
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Entertainment Envy-off!

Posted on Jan 15 by

I want to share some advice to those of you who wish to pursue a career in the performing arts industry. Today I went to an entertainment audition. Just like everyone else I got up early this morning, did my hair, put some makeup on and shrugged into my gym clothes: the usual audition attire. But when I arrived at the audition it dawned upon me that not everyone else there was as laid back and stress free as I felt, and they were most certainly not as friendly as I was towards their “competition.” It comes as no news to me that the entertainment industry is EXTREMELY competitive, but the nastiness of some people towards others, even sometimes their colleagues, just astounds me.

Truth be told that every time I attend an audition I bring my A-game. I am focused on the task at hand and I give one hundred percent energy to make sure I am doing my best to cease the opportunity at hand. However, what I definitely do NOT do at auditions is feel the need to become completely and utterly horrible towards others who are their trying to do the exact same thing as me: try to make the most of the opportunity at hand.

This morning when I looked around the room I saw three types of people. I saw people who were conversing happily and exchanging good luck wishes, I saw people who were keeping to themselves in their own space, and finally I saw those who felt it was necessary to put others down.
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Hearing Voices

Posted on Jan 12 by

Throughout history, every culture has had a small group of people who have experienced things that no one else was aware of. Sometimes they heard a ringing in their ears, a buzzing or other annoying sound (ala tinnitus). Sometimes they saw visions of ghosts, angels or animals. Most commonly, people have heard voices in their heads. Sometimes the voice was their own, or that of a family member or friend. Other times it belonged to someone they’d never heard before. Generation after generation, these have all been common experiences throughout human history. For the purposes of this blog post, I will refer to all of the above experiences and more under the general term “hearing voices”.
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Five Little Words

Posted on Jan 09 by

There are five little words that no one in a relationship wants to hear: “We need to break up.”

Coping with 'After the break up' can be tough

Isn’t it funny how five little words can change your present and your future instantaneously? Sometimes no matter how hard you try or how hard you work at something, sometimes it just isn’t meant to be. The thing about break ups is that not only are they hard and hurtful, but they can also get ugly… and ugly is never fun, so from personal experience here are some little tips to help you and your partner be civil with one another in an attempt to not make things harder than what they need to be.

Firstly, I would not recommend using Social media as an outlet to vent your feelings. I understand it can be comforting to express these feelings through a status and that you want your friends to be aware of your parting ways, but your business should remain your business. By advertising your feelings or expressing a disliking towards someone over social media it provides others with an excuse to become involved in your private life and to post their opinions on the situation or towards someone which doesn’t always end well. The last thing you need when going through a grieving process or a tough time is people ganging up or taking sides: it only adds to the drama and puts a bigger burden on your shoulders. It’s unnecessary and makes everything a lot more painful not only for you, but for your ex-partner as well. Remember that you cared for this person a lot, otherwise you wouldn’t have been in a relationship with them, and feelings don’t turn themselves off at the drop of a hat.
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