The Quality of a Friend
by Tiffany (originally posted on ariestrash.com)
If there was one bit of advice that my mother gave me when I was younger that has resonated within me for years it’s that you only ever need just one good friend in your life. Just one. And I guess I have lived my life by that rule. Since I was a kid I was always alone. I wasn’t a loner, but I didn’t have many friends. Sure in elementary school I was nice and well acquainted with all of my classmates, but there really were only about six of them that I ever invited to my house for play dates. Those were my good friends. At least as good a friend you can have when you’re eight.
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In middle school I had even less friends, but I suppose that was because it was in those years where I was able to really begin to pick and choose the individuals that I really wanted to hang out with. I’ve always been a great judge of character. I suppose as a quiet, shy, extremely observant child, I was always able to pick up on little things innate to ones character but rarely–if ever–expressed on first site. I don’t know, I’ve always just called it vibes. I’m really good at picking up on people’s vibes. If I get a really bad or uncomfortable vibe from someone, I generally don’t associate with them much longer after that (course, that’s if it’s in my power to cease all association. Cause sometimes you’re stuck having to be with a person you don’t particularly like for many different reasons that are totally out of your control. In which case, I avoid contact as much as possible, though I’m very subtle about it.)  I can always tell if a person will be a good fit for me as a friend.
I’ve always had one very good friend. I suppose you can call them my best friend (though the term is a bit obscure now that I have more than one best friend). But in my school years I’ve always had the one. In high school, that best friend title sort of became obscured. I suppose it was a blessing in disguise.
Middle school was a horrible time for me. Looking back on it, I dislike those three years even more. The program I was in was very cliquey and there was very little diversity amongst the students. I felt sort of like an outsider , an oddball, and I suppose I was. I had two really good friends and a few okay friends, but that was about it. I could count them all on my hands. So naturally, going into high school I just assumed it would be the exact same atmosphere that I left in middle school. But oh how wrong I was.
I had a group of friends in high school–a rather large (by my standards) group of misfits who just liked being in each other’s company. Honestly, I don’t even know how our little group even formed, but it seems so natural now that I’ve learned not to question it. The idea of having just one really good friend sort of morphed into having multiple good friends. Of course, I find myself closer to a few of them more than others, but we’ve all experienced so much with one another that I can honestly say they are like my family. I have eight really close amazing friends (and a few other good friends, but not many) and I’m okay with that number. And I’ll tell you why.
Since the beginning they have never judged me by how I look, speak, act, my sexuality, my religion, anything. I did the same. They simply accepted me for who I am and I accepted them for who they were in turn, and by that we established a mutual understanding of one another. We are just comfortable in each other’s presence and I think that’s a beautiful thing. All of my friends have something in common with each other and then we sort of branch off in our commonness, but we still try to accommodate what each of us enjoy. And while I sometimes think that we as a group have little in common with each other now that we’re a bit older and have new friends and interests, we still have all of these shared experiences and memories that seem to hold the seems of our friendship together. And you know what? We continue to embrace that and create brand new experiences and memories with each other because we all genuinely care for one another. As we change, our friendships change, but for the most part we are still the same group of misfits who just love being in each other’s company.
I wholeheartedly believe that it’s not in the quantity but the quality of your friendships that make them last, and my friendship with all of my friends have just about proven that to me. I’ve known some of these people for over ten years! It’s quite amazing how we are all still friends with one another, me especially since I’m a hermit at heart. But a great friend is someone who’s patient and understanding; someone who thinks of you even when you don’t think they do. Someone who’ll spot you a few bucks when you’re short, or stop by your workplace and wait around until you get off. A great friend is someone who would go to the ends of the world with you and back, someone you’re not afraid of getting lost in a strange city with, or getting stuck walking (or running) through the pouring rain with. Someone who let’s you crash at their place late at night because you forgot or lost your keys and no one’s home, or someone who’ll stay up with you until dawn, just talking about anything and everything with. A great friend is someone your parents genuinely like and always ask you about even if you don’t always have the answers to their questions because you were too busy having fun with them to ask them about how school or work is going for them. A great friend is someone who will dress up with you in fancy clothes for no reason, or cosplay, or sing karaoke for hours with. Someone who you can geek out with over whatever it is you like to geek out over. A great friend is someone who forgives all your mistakes and understands that you are you and there are just some things that don’t change about that, and that’s okay. They still love and support you because they are a great friend.
I love my friends, the small few that I have, and I’m very blessed to have them in my life. And if you have just one great friend, you are blessed too. High-res

The Quality of a Friend

by Tiffany (originally posted on ariestrash.com)

If there was one bit of advice that my mother gave me when I was younger that has resonated within me for years it’s that you only ever need just one good friend in your life. Just one. And I guess I have lived my life by that rule. Since I was a kid I was always alone. I wasn’t a loner, but I didn’t have many friends. Sure in elementary school I was nice and well acquainted with all of my classmates, but there really were only about six of them that I ever invited to my house for play dates. Those were my good friends. At least as good a friend you can have when you’re eight.

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The Power of Positivity: A Two Sided Argument
by Reese
I recently had a conversation with someone about the power of positivity. There’s no denying that positivity is a key element in completing difficult tasks. Positivity allows for the ability to delve into creative projects and more importantly, to take chances in your daily life. As pessimistic as I am by nature, I find that positivity is a must for surviving finals and overcoming work and life obstacles. 
But positivity is not my thing, you might say. I don’t know how to be positive.
I know how you feel. I was there myself a few years ago. And because of procrastination and a large bevy of unrealistic expectations I set for myself and others, it was hard to remain positive about my abilities, the strength of my relationships, and to not put down my accomplishments. The cure to these negative feelings? Positivity. [[MORE]]Unnatural and completely forced positivity. Because that’s how it starts for us non-positive people. Like with most things, you have to fake it till you make it. And it’s important that you do because if you don’t force that positivity, you’ll be too distracted by your insecurities to accomplish your goals. 
Negativity can keep you from doing amazing things: not traveling for the fear of the unknown, not seeking new job opportunities for fear of failure, etc. It is positivity - the telling yourself that you can do things you might be afraid of or understanding how much you’ll get to experience despite how scary it is to take a chance and delve into the unknown, that allows you to takes chances that will enrich your life and benefit you in the future.
So the next time you feel like you’re not going pass your final? Tell yourself that you will if you learn just one more thing. Doing this will allow you to focus better during your studying, will make sure that you ace at least one topic in the exam (be it a specific kind of math question or facts on a specific book), and, if you’re the kind of person to really power through during studying, may get you through more material than you had planned!
The next time your job asks a task of you that you’re not sure you can complete? Tell yourself you can with some hard work and some assistance from Google. There have been multiple times when I’ve been asked to tutor in a subject I don’t specialize in. I used to freak out. I used to drive myself crazy thinking I might get fired because I didn’t know EVERYTHING. Forced positivity allowed me to minimize anxiety, put more time into learning the material, and allowed me to feel proud of myself for being able to get through the material successfully. 
And the next time you’re thinking of saying no to an experience that scares you (as long as it isn’t dangerous and doesn’t hurt others)? Do it. Take a chance and experience something new. You’ll usually be glad you did. 
But as great as the power of positivity is with its far reaching benefits, it also has its downfalls. Too much positivity can lead to stagnation and resting on your laurels. People who are too positive are in danger of accomplishing something and then riding that accomplishment for months or sometimes years. 
So what if I got a C- in this one class? I’m doing so much better than two years ago when I failed most of my classes and didn’t learn anything.
So what if I’m an adult with a minimum wage job? It’s better than when I was an unemployed college student and my parents paid for everything. At least I have a job, even with the economy being bad. And I live with my parents and I don’t have many bills to pay anyway. I’m still young. I don’t need to worry.
Looking at these situations in a positive light will keep you from dwelling on your failures and encourage you to learn from your mistakes but you don’t want to tell yourself that it’s okay to be mediocre or to not realize your goals. Instead you want to tell yourself that you’ll do better next time and work hard towards those results.
Also, people who are too focused on positivity have a tendency to push aside negative emotions in order to “remain positive”. This tendency is unhealthy to your emotional needs and growth and the negative emotions being pushed aside have no outlet or release, resulting in a build up of negative energy that will eventually drain you emotionally and physically before you explode. 
In these situations, you should give yourself some time (but not too much time) to mope about your mistakes before looking positively at what your failures have taught you and how you’ll respond differently to the same situation in the future. 
Harnessing the power of positivity is a balancing act of understanding and accepting your limitations and failures, allowing yourself to mourn and mope about your mistakes, and thinking about making positive changes in order to work hard for the future. So be keep these thoughts in mind and be careful not to fall off the edge.
Keep on keeping on,
Reese
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The Power of Positivity: A Two Sided Argument

by Reese

I recently had a conversation with someone about the power of positivity. There’s no denying that positivity is a key element in completing difficult tasks. Positivity allows for the ability to delve into creative projects and more importantly, to take chances in your daily life. As pessimistic as I am by nature, I find that positivity is a must for surviving finals and overcoming work and life obstacles. 

But positivity is not my thing, you might say. I don’t know how to be positive.

I know how you feel. I was there myself a few years ago. And because of procrastination and a large bevy of unrealistic expectations I set for myself and others, it was hard to remain positive about my abilities, the strength of my relationships, and to not put down my accomplishments. The cure to these negative feelings? Positivity.

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Survival Guide to A Successful Interview
by Reese
Personally, I’ve never really had trouble with job interviews – I know how to be confident, play to my strengths, and admit to but not be limited by my weaknesses. And when something goes wrong and I don’t get the job, I know exactly what I’ve said (usually it’s what I SHOULDN’T have said) to make that happen. But not everyone is as confident about getting through professional interviews as I am so here’s a quick survival guide to successfully getting through an interview. [[MORE]]
Things to be aware of:                                                                               
—> Know your strengths and weaknesses. They’re good to know in general and show self-awareness, which is a trait all employers appreciate. You shouldn’t lie about what you’re good or bad at but you should know how to showcase your strengths, and how you make up for your weaknesses.
—> Know that while you are in a professional setting during an interview (be it a job interview or an interview to enter some sort of program), an interview at it’s core, is a conversation. Make eye contact, be polite, and be professional but also make sure to be genuine. Be your best self. No one wants to hire a robot. 
—> Be thorough and specific. A lot of people have a hard time finding a balance with this one. When asked a question you should be specific with your answer but feel you should also have a small list of details in your answer. 
—> Always be positive. I’m a pessimist at heart but you would never know it during an interview. I explain my weaknesses as challenges I’m battling to overcome, look at past failures as learning opportunities, and if I mention a problem I have noticed with something (for example with the education system in America), I mention a way to fix it. People respond well to positive energy and will see your positivity as an asset when stress or a complication arises on the job.
—> It’s important to talk yourself up and list your accomplishments, but also mention what you can offer your employer. It’s great that you have so many strengths and that your resume may list some impressive places of employment but the likelihood is that you’re not the only person with an impressive resume and what’s going to set you apart is that you have something to offer your organization. So if you’re an especially hard worker, are willing to stay late in order to finish a project, or are willing to work from home, mention that to your employer. They’ll appreciate that you’re taking one for the team and that you’re a team player. 
—> Know your stuff. If you’re interviewing at a specific company, do some research. It’s always good to know about the place you’re applying for and will show that you have initiative. If you’re applying to something more low key, like a tutoring or babysitting position, mention some impressive job skills (CPR certification, what you know about the common core, that fact that you make your own worksheets and lessons plans) that others may not have.
—> Finally, be grateful. Thank your interviewer for their time and tell them to have a great day. Even if you don’t get the job, they may remember you and keep you in mind for future employment or refer you to someone else. Every interview is an opportunity to get better until you finally land that job you wanted so appreciate your experiences and opportunities and don’t be discouraged by rejection.
So the next time you find yourself being called into an interview, take a deep breathe, follow these suggestions, and remember: being called in for an interview is a GOOD thing, they like you and want to get to know you so if all else fails, BE YOUR SELF, YOUR BEST SELF. 
Best of Luck, 
Reese High-res

Survival Guide to A Successful Interview

by Reese

Personally, I’ve never really had trouble with job interviews – I know how to be confident, play to my strengths, and admit to but not be limited by my weaknesses. And when something goes wrong and I don’t get the job, I know exactly what I’ve said (usually it’s what I SHOULDN’T have said) to make that happen. But not everyone is as confident about getting through professional interviews as I am so here’s a quick survival guide to successfully getting through an interview.

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Why You Should Take a Gap Year and Explore the World
by Tiffany
It’s safe to say that when you’re a kid, your parents told you that you must stay in school, do well and graduate, so that you can go on to a good university and get a college degree. “Education is important!” they said. Well, yes, yes it is. The idea of going to college and furthering your education is great. But having said that, college is not for everyone. I would know. I dropped out of college after my freshman year, and even though I eventually went back (“transferring” to a different school), I can understand those who don’t go to college straight out of high school. To be honest, I wish I took a gap year and actually thought about what I really wanted to do at uni before enrolling and spending a year’s tuition on something that I wasn’t even happy about.
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Being “undecided” when you enter university isn’t always a bad thing, but it’s definitely an indicator that you should take some time off and do something else. In my opinion, you should go off and explore the world. Though, that could be taken in many different ways, three ways stand out:
I know a few people who instead of going to school took up a job or some sort of trade and gained work experience. That’s definitely a great way to figure out what it is you would like to do, but most importantly, it helps you figure out what it is you don’t want to do. Knowing beforehand what you don’t want to do is fantastic for trying to decide what you do want to do. The more you know about what you dislike, the better off you are in your journey for trying to figure out what to do with your life. You might even end up with an amazing job and never want to leave. If that happens to you, you my friend are very lucky.
Volunteer! Volunteering is a great way to stick your foot into different jobs without the guilt of quitting after just a few days because you just didn’t like it. You can find volunteer work almost anywhere (people like it when other people want to work for them for free) and if you think working for free seems stupid or a waste of time, head over here and read why it’s not. The best advice I can give you is to look into subjects, places or organizations that interest you and see if they have a volunteer program. You never know what may happen. You just may like volunteering at one place so much, you want to do it again every single year (*cough*BEA*cough*). Or even better, they might like you so much that they end up giving you a full time paid job.
Travel. This is probably the best and most appealing idea ever (and maybe the most expensive, depending how frugal you are) for exploring the world. Being the most literal option, traveling is a great way for you to find out little things about yourself and other people. You end up learning how you adapt to change, how to meet and deal with people of different backgrounds, and definitely how to read a map! It’s the easiest way to learn about different cultures and while super enriching, it’s also just really fun to explore a new place. You make friends from different parts of the world, which is great when you want to visit where they live. Hop around, explore different countries, different cities and towns. Hey you never know, you just might end up really liking one place that you decide to never go home.
Now, I’m not saying you should never go to university because you should. Getting a college education is fundamental nowadays for acquiring an excellent job. Jobs in all fields hold a college education very strongly when deciding on who to hire. But definitely take some time off beforehand to decide what you’re interests are. It makes choosing a major a lot easier. Plus, it puts certain things into perspective because you’ve experienced the “real world.” And that’s the great thing about university, you can attend whenever you want. College waits for you, the world does not. High-res

Why You Should Take a Gap Year and Explore the World

by Tiffany

It’s safe to say that when you’re a kid, your parents told you that you must stay in school, do well and graduate, so that you can go on to a good university and get a college degree. “Education is important!” they said. Well, yes, yes it is. The idea of going to college and furthering your education is great. But having said that, college is not for everyone. I would know. I dropped out of college after my freshman year, and even though I eventually went back (“transferring” to a different school), I can understand those who don’t go to college straight out of high school. To be honest, I wish I took a gap year and actually thought about what I really wanted to do at uni before enrolling and spending a year’s tuition on something that I wasn’t even happy about.

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