How to get what you want: The Guide to Personal Confidence

Everybody has wants in life. From financial success to those new jeans you saw at the mall, there are so many things that we just desire. While some people are just “go-getters” and will do what it takes to achieve their goals, others are a bit slow to grab what they want. It starts with your personal self esteem and confidence, and how you feel about yourself. You need to be able to believe in yourself to be able to get what you want. There are a bunch of different ways to achieve your goals and wants, and everybody has different strategies. Here are a few things that I put together to help you be the best you can be.

Setting Goals:  Your goal is essentially what you want, and sometimes that can’t be achieved. You need to be able to set appropriate goals for yourself, and make them something you can do. If you are trying to save up some money for a new phone, you don’t want your goal to be able to raise enough money in a week. That’s not something that’s really achievable unless you work at a really high paying job that makes $2,000 a week. Try for more like 3 months, depending on your lifestyle. Your goal should reflect on what you are physically, and mentally, able to do. However, don’t make it something that is easily achievable, or set lower expectations. This way, you won’t really get what you want, just the bare minimum. To set the ideal goal, it should be something that will take a lot of effort to achieve, but is not impossible. For more detailed steps on setting goals, see this article.

Be Prepared:  It’s easy to want things. It’s not easy, however, to be ready for these things. You could spend days, weeks, and even years dreaming about something only to realize that you are not ready for it. It’s best to know the risks and responsibilities of something before getting it, because then you enjoy it better. For example, if you are thinking of getting a pet. You know you want a dog and you have been thinking of getting one for a long time. But if you take a look at your bank account, you realize that you really can’t afford to care for an animal. By saving up for a dog (see above) you are more prepared and ready to financially handle what you want. Not only should you be financially ready, you should also be mentally prepared. Handling a dog is a time consuming job. You have to sacrifice somethings to be able to take care of it. By preparing yourself for something, it allows you to enjoy it even more.

Ask for Help:  By asking for help, you are not showing weakness. It takes a lot of strength and courage to let people know that you need a little assistance. Sometimes your goal requires you to ask other people for help, whether it’s from family and friends, or people you just met. Different situations require different conversations with others, but the goal is what you want. One thing is for sure: you won’t get what you want from other people if you don’t tell them, so talk to them! You shouldn’t have a completely independent mindset, where you feel as if you have to do everything by yourself. You also shouldn’t feel like you can’t do anything without other people, because then other people are completing your goal for you. Instead, try to do everything you can by yourself, and if you need help, ask!


I Bet You’ve Never Heard of This Dance Style

What do you think of when you hear the word dance? Ballet? A tap dancer? Well, believe it or not, there are actually many other forms of dancing, and I’m going to share with you the dance type I myself study. I practice Indian dancing, which connects me to my Indian culture/heritage, because of the traditional moves we are taught. It consists of Bollywood and Bharatanatyam (I don’t expect you to be able to pronounce that.) Bollywood dance is the combination of Bombay (now known as Mumbai) and Hollywood. Basically, it is the type of dance you would see in a Hollywood movie, but the Indian variation. Bharatanatyam is an ancient, traditional portrayal of the Indian culture.

    I like to do Indian dance because it is different than other typical styles of dance. Although in a way, they are a little similar. Think of it this way: Bollywood is almost the same as jazz, or energetic, modern dance. Bharatanatyam is a little more classical, like ballet or contemporary. I think it is better to do Indian dance than regular because pretty much everyone thinks of American modern when they hear the word dance. Also, doing Indian dance is a way for me to learn more about my culture than I would if I didn’t do these dance styles. Bollywood and Bharatanatyam are two fun ways to boost your physical energy, and to learn about the Indian heritage at the same time as letting it live on to this day.


Walking on a half day? Good or Bad Idea

Dodd Middle School gets a lot of half days, well at least so far in the year, and this is a problem for some people. As you might already know a large amount of the students walk around after school gets out on these days. Many of the students head to the Maplecroft Plaza in town because its so close and it has a variety of places to eat. When there are a large amount of kids all together it can’t come to a good outcome. Kids go through stores knocking things off shelves and making a giant mess within the stores and also disrupting residents. And businesses have had enough, some of the smaller stores kick kids out before they get a chance to do anything. For example last half day on the 21st of November,  I walked. Subway kicked me out when I walked in to say “Hey” to a friend. They were asking kids if they were gonna buy anything when they first walked in. If the response was no, you were out. But places like Rite-Aid and Stop and Shop can’t do anything about it, and just end up cleaning up after us.

I think that everyone’s fuss about it is legit, I’ve seen it happen, kids wrecking stores. I’ve been there when it happens and I completely understand why this is a problem. The other day I was sitting in Froyo after the rush left with two of my friends, and we were just sitting there talking, and the manager started sweeping and from under one of the tables out came a donut with one bite taken out of it. My friends and I laughed ‘cause we didn’t expect that to really be there. After we laughed the three of us started to talk to him. We asked what kinda stuff he finds and he said all types of crazy stuff. I then said “well with all the kids from the school you must do pretty well on these types of days” He then said “We always do well, these days we just need to do more clean up”. I thought that the stores might be a little happy because they make so much on those days but it seems they think of it as more work at the end of the day. I think it’s fun walking with friends but in the end it’s just stupid to go to Maplecroft because everyone goes there and you’re more likely to get in trouble there than anywhere else. So, if you’re going to walk, go somewhere else.


Erin Cox

A little over 2 weeks ago, Erin Cox got a phone call from one of her friends to ask Erin if she could give her a ride home, since the friend was too drunk to drive.  Erin agreed, thinking that she was doing her friend a favor and keeping her out of trouble.  However, just minutes after Miss Cox went inside to find her schoolmate, the police entered and accused some of the group of underage drinking.  Even though the police proved that the honor student (Erin) had not been drinking and had no contact with alcohol or drugs, her school still demoted her from volleyball team captain and benched her for the next five games.  Once she got home, she was devastated, and many of her friends and family members are trying to get the school to reverse its punishment given to an innocent girl.

I think that North Andover High School should revoke Erin’s punishment, because she was just trying to do what was right and help her friend.  The school said that they have a very strict rule on alcohol and drug abuse, but I think if it includes punishing a perfectly innocent girl for trying to help, it’s much too strict.  Would they rather have the drunk friend try to drive and end up killing someone?  Honestly, they should rethink their decision.  After all, aren’t the counselors always telling us to help out our friends and make the right decision, even if it’s persecuted?  They should not ever be the ones making the worse choice, especially when almost everyone who has heard about the situation has agreed with the Cox family.  If you were attempting to do something good and got one of the worst punishments the school could give you as a prize, don’t you think that would be unjustifiable? (Hint: the answer is yes.)


Dancing for a Cause

Many of you have probably heard about the event Lights of Hope. Lights of Hope takes place every year in Cheshire and is usually held at beginning of November. This annual event raises money for local charities. To raise the money, families in Cheshire can buy paper bags and candles to put on the curb in front of their house. At night, the whole town is lit up. This year there will be a performance done by Rhythm Dance Academy, which is where I dance. This performance will be held at the high school before everyone lights their candles. The dancers from the competition team will be showcasing their dances for the new season! Even though theses dances are not yet finished, the audience will get a sneak peek of what they will be like when competition time rolls around. Speaking of the audience, anyone is welcome to come and watch on Saturday November 9!

Personally, I can’t wait to dance at Lights of Hope! My team has been working on our dances since the beginning of September and even though they may not be finished, it will be lots of fun! I’m so glad my team chose to support this cause because when we donate to local charities, we help our community grow and become better. I am excited because different teams will be performing different types of dances. If you go, you may see jazz, tap, lyrical, modern, or hip hop dances. I love watching jazz dances because they are usually upbeat and fun, but all the other dances will be amazing as well. I have never danced at Lights of Hope before so I wonder how it will be. I have danced for other causes before, but I have a feeling that this one will be different because it is for my own town! So, if you are free on November 9th, come see Rhythm Dance Academy Dance at Lights of Hope!


A Celebrities Insecurities

Being a teen in the spotlight, Demi Lovato was put under a lot of stress at a young age. She was first seen on television at age 10 on the show Barney and Friends. Later, she  got a lead role in a Disney movie called Camp Rock. After that, the world wanted to see more of this new star. So, Disney created a new comedy show with Demi as the main character. On screen she was a funny, bubbly person, but little did everyone know that on the inside, she was almost the opposite. On top off all that, she also started up her music career. Nobody knew that deep down, Demi was hurting. After almost every meal she would go to the bathroom and make herself purge. She then picked up the habit of self harm, more specifically, cutting her wrists. By the year 2010, she had cracked. She went into a depression and everything got worse. She finally realized that she had a problem and needed serious help. She left her show and was put into a rehab facility. There, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, bulimia, and anorexia. This was Demi’s wake up call.

After going through a full year of rehab, Demi wanted to get back into the music business  She eventually got two tattoos. One on her left wrist that has the word “stay” and one on her right that says “strong”. This reminds her to never cut and to stay strong for herself and her fans. Personally, I feel that this is an important issue that every girl (or even boy) might have trouble with in his or her life. I’m not saying that everyone takes to the extent that Demi did but everyone has their insecurities. A lot of people are fans of Demi Lovato because she proves that everyone has problems but in the end, they can overcome them.

~Hailey Monroe

Should Teens Work?


As teenagers we are constantly asking our parents or grandparents for the latest gadget or article of clothing.  We would be able to buy these things on our own if we had our own money, and I’m not talking about our college savings, but our own earned money.  The cost of raising a child born in 2011 to age 17 will cost a family an average of $235,000 and that doesn’t  include the cost of college.  Activities and special clothing alone can add extra expenses to a family budget.  If jobs were available to teens then we could help with these extra costs.

Do you think teenagers should have jobs?  What types of jobs are available for teens who are still in school? If teens had jobs they would earn money while learning new skills and proving to be responsible citizens. Teen jobs help you to discover what you’re good at and help guide you in your decision for a future career.  Earning our own money will also help us to learn about finances and how to budget our money as well as our time.  I think some of the best jobs for teens would be babysitting, working in a grocery store, restaurants, library, veterinary clinic, or helping at nursing homes like Elim Park.  These jobs can be very rewarding for both the teen and the employer.

~Felicia Rosadini

Babysitters Guide…

To be a good babysitter you have to be experienced, good with children, and always put safety first. Babysitting may look easy, but it really isn’t  I enjoy babysitting because I like children. The parents usually talk to you before they hand their kids over to you, and they tell you some rules. ALWAYS follow those rules! If a child ever does something wrong, you should put them in a time out for 5 to 10 minutes, usually after that, they won’t want to mess around again.

Before you go to a house to babysit, you should think of some games you can play with the kids, that way the kids will be distracted and they’ll have fun. You also should bring over a snack for yourself just in case you get hungry, you don’t want to be sneaking food from their cabinets! You should read the children stories before they go to bed, it makes them fall asleep faster. After they go to bed, you can help out by cleaning up or doing the dishes. This way the parents will want you to come back, and maybe you’ll get a little more money. If you follow these few tips I’m sure you will be a great babysitter.

~Julie Roche

Cinnamon Challenge. What’s the point?!

You have all heard about the new “trend” among teenagers. It’s called the Cinnamon Challenge. It goes something like this…. you invite your friend over,and soon become bored out of your minds’ from sitting on your couch watching reality TV all day. Suddenly, your friend jumps up from the couch. Your can almost see the light bulb glowing above her head. “Hey… We should take a video of ourselves attempting the Cinnamon Challenge, and post it on youtube! Everyone is doing it!”  Your thinking hmmmm…“Wait a minute, so you want me to eat a spoonfull of cinnamon so that it coats my mouth and throat, making me cough, choke and probably throw up? Um, no thanks!”

What seems like a silly game can have very serious consequences. Internet sites like Youtube are filled with videos of teens trying the challenge. This is sending the message to kids that The Cinnamon Challenge is fun and cool. But seriously, how is that fun??? If you don’t believe me, click here.

~Taryn Murasso

Important to Him Important to Me

Something very important to me is my dad’s old teddy bear. When I was six years old my dad gave me his teddy bear to keep as my own. He had it since he was a baby which makes it over 40 years old! His teddy bear’s name is Teddy. Teddyis an orangish brown bear with a faded red tie (so faded now thats it a light pink almost white). You can tell that he has been loved for many years, by the worn away fur, the stitched up holes and the loose eyes.  I will love the teddy bear as much as my dad does.

I will keep the teddy bear and give it to my child when the time comes, and hopefully my child will give it to theirs and so on.  This bear means a lot to me. It has helped me mentally when I was sick, and sad and sometimes when I was mad. He has been a friend when I thought I didn’t have any, he listens without judging, and he holds my deepest secrets. I will never forget the day my dad gave me his best friend. I can see what my dad saw in this bear and I will cherish the bear for a long time.Will he always be there? Will I take him to college?Will he be next to me when I’m married? Or will he be stored away in the attic for safe keeping until the time comes for him to become someone else’s best friend? Only time will tell. For now he’s got a job to do; be with me.

~ Zachary Warner