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10 Tips to Prepare Yourself for Graduation Day

10 Tips to Prepare Yourself for Graduation Day

Graduation day is an exciting time, but you want to make sure you plan ahead so you can truly enjoy it. Here are ten tips to make your graduation day go smoothly!

1. Keep up with your schoolwork

First things first, if you want to enjoy your big graduation day, make sure you do the work to get there! It’s easy to get caught up in college applications or just celebrating your senior year with friends, but make sure you’re still doing your schoolwork and keeping your grades up.

If you need motivation or a helping hand, you can look to parents, teachers, or your guidance counselor for advice and assistance. Plus, there are tons of great organizations devoted to helping students reach their dream of graduating and heading to a better college! Here’s an example of heart-touching story of Christopher Yanov who helped many such students get scholarships and transformed their lives. You can’t expect a better helping hand than this.

2. Plan for the future

Though it may sometimes seem like high school is going to last forever, senior year will be over before you know it and you need to have a plan for life after graduation.  Whether that means going off to college, joining the workforce or travelling the world, you need to start planning for it before graduation.

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If you are headed to college, make sure you have your finances in order, too, from filling out FAFSA to applying for scholarships. Last year, in 2015, these 7 students cracked Gates Scholarships of more than $500,000 each. When things are already planned out, you will feel way better, when you walk across that stage to get your diploma as you have done everything to make sure your college dream can become a reality!

3. Create a schedule

From dealing with college applications to planning the day of your graduation, you have a lot of things to organize during your senior year. To make sure you stay on track, draw up a schedule for yourself.  If you have scholarship or school application deadlines, add them to your calendar.

If you need to request graduation tickets or order your cap and gown by a particular time, put those on the calendar too. Even for things that might not have specific deadlines, it’s a good idea to come up with some dates to aim for, just to keep yourself on track. If you do everything on your calendar in time, your graduation day will be a piece of cake!

4. Get senior pictures

Senior pictures aren’t just for the yearbook, they’re the photos your parents will frame and you’ll want to give copies of to your friends. Lots of people choose to go to a professional photographer to do a special photo shoot for their senior year. You can take formal pictures as well as more casual ones like snaps of you doing your favorite activity, from football to ballet to hanging out with your family dog.

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Just be sure to schedule your photos early, because lots of other people will want to take their senior pictures around the same time. Plus, you need to make sure you get them in time to get them in the yearbook and have copies ready to share with friends.

5. Send announcements

It’s a tradition to send graduation announcements out a few months before the big day to let everyone, from your grandparents to your neighbors, know about the big day. It’s basically a formal way for your parents to brag about you. You’ll want to order invitations in advance to make sure you have time to send them out well in advance of your actual graduation day.

6. Invite friends and relatives

For an occasion as important as graduation, you want to have your closest friends and family in attendance. Schools often have a policy where they reserve a couple of tickets for each student right off the bat, but you may be able to request a few additional tickets if you get around to it early enough. Once you’ve made sure there will be seats available go ahead and invite your friends and relatives.

7. Order your cap and gown

Every graduation picture you see features happy students properly wearing gowns and tossing their caps into the air. If you want to be one of them, though, you have to remember to order your cap and gown in time for the ceremony. Usually a salesperson will come to your school with order forms or you’ll receive information from the school about how to order them online.

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This can also be a good time to get a class ring or any other graduation paraphernalia you might want. Or, if the cost of the cap and gown are a little steep for you, there are also options to rent or buy used.

8. Pick your outfit

While it’s not quite prom, graduation is still an important event and one definitely worth dressing up for! You’ll be walking across a stage, having your picture taken and spending time with all of your closest friends and family, so you want to find a nice looking outfit for the occasion.

Guys usually wear a suit or nice pants with a shirt, and girls usually opt for a nice dress, though, of course, you should wear whatever you feel comfortable in. Also, be sure to plan ahead for the weather – graduation can be really hot, especially if it is an outdoor ceremony, so try to pick something light.

9. Get gifts for teachers

Yes, graduation is supposed to be about celebrating all of your hard work, but it’s also a time to recognize your teachers for helping you along the way. Usually the last day or so of classes is a good time to give something to teachers to show your appreciation.

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If you’re strapped for cash, you can just write a nice card to a few of your favorite teachers or bake them some cookies!  Just be sure to think about it in advance or before you know it you’ll be done with classes and it will be too late!

10. Plan your celebration!

Whether you just want to go out for a nice dinner with your family after the ceremony or you want a graduation party full of friends (or both!), be sure you make your plans in advance. Since there will likely be a lot of people planning graduation celebrations around the same time, you’ll need to start planning early.

If you want a graduation party, plan it for a weekend before or after graduation—people will have too much going on during graduation weekend itself! For getting dinner the night of graduation, remember that most other graduates will have the same idea, so you want to get a reservation at your favorite restaurant before it’s all filled up!

Graduation is an important and exciting day – just be sure to get ready for it in advance so you can enjoy it, when the day comes. After all, you are marking the end of over a decade of grade school – that’s going to take some celebrating!

Featured photo credit: pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on January 17, 2019

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

Listen carefully:

We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

1. Pray Daily

You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

3. Smile Often

Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

4. Organize Your Working Desk

A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

How do you do that? This is my formula:

First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

8. Go Exercise

Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

The Bottom Line

It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

More Resources About Mindfulness

Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

Reference

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