Tag: tips

What to Do if a Friend or Family Member Has a Drug or Alcohol Problem

In 2014, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration concluded that approximately 22 million people suffered from a substance abuse disorder. In 2016, that number dropped by only 1 million. The same study found that 8.2 million of those people also suffer from a mental health disorder for both years. While living with addiction is hard, knowing someone with that addiction can be even harder. You want to help them, but feel that your voice will fall on deaf ears; especially, if they are your peers or family members. The right strategy will not only give you the confidence you need to speak up but will also save their life.

Be Well Informed

Before taking the plunge into a deep conversation, you should thoroughly know your topic. Many websites will give you in-depth information on the causes and effects of addiction. For example, the SAMHSA.gov website offers yearly data reports on substance abuse. The site also provides material on how to get help for someone who suffers from substance abuse and mental health disorders. In most cases, the addiction is used to hide depression, self-esteem disorders, and other mental health issues that are being suppressed by your friend or family member. You can also call a rehab facility and discuss your concerns with a professional without having to commit to anything. After you have studied on the subject, approach your loved one when they are not under the influence of their addiction. Explain to them how you feel and reassure them that they are not alone in the journey.

Be a Positive Support System

While the urge to take your friend or family member straight to a rehab center or AA/NA meeting is strong, sometimes the best therapy is knowing that you are there for them in their darkest hour. The most frustrating part of addiction for both you and your loved one is understanding the addiction recovery process. Recovering from addiction is different for each person. There will be times of anger, resentment, and withdrawal from your loved one. There will be times where they will mess up. Be patient with them and remember each day is a new day. Of course, if you do have to take them to a rehab center, be sure and maintain that same positivity. Their quality of life in the rehab center is just as important to their treatment as the therapy. Remember, addiction is just a disease, and you are just visiting a sick friend or family member.

When someone has an addiction, that person is not the only person who is affected by the habit. You have suffered the emotional rollercoaster of their addiction. While they are in a rehab center or meeting, take that time to go to Al-Anon meetings. These meetings are structured to help you understand their sufferings and help you learn how to deal with the recovery. Furthermore, plan events to distract your friend or family member during these hard times you know they are weak. The road to recovery might be a long journey, but in the end, their life is worth the trip.

Resources:

https://americanaddictioncenters.org/rehab-guide/addiction-statistics/

https://www.samhsa.gov/

http://www.midwestinstituteforaddiction.org/

How to Organize Your Gear Before Boarding the Boat

Organization is the key to become successful in anything, even something as simple as packing for a fishing trip can be made better by good organization. It might be tempting to throw a few things into your tackle box right before you head out of the door, but take a few minutes, or maybe the day before to properly prepare yourself for the trip. What you keep within your tackle box is up to you, and there is not a set list as to what needs to be in your tackle box at all times. However, we do recommend a few things to guide you on your way to a highly successful fishing trip.

Preparation

One of the most important things you should know before packing is how long you will be gone and what type of fish you will be fishing for. Knowing these two things will affect the amount of gear you pack, and the type of gear required. Maybe you’ll be saltwater fishing, ice fishing, or simply fly-fishing. Look up the location and weather and prepare your outfit, type of boots, and coat. After arriving you’ll probably be carrying your gear and tackle box with you so be sure it is lightweight and able to be moved easily.

The Gear

Excess is not always a good thing, especially when packing, but you should have an excess of a few things. Be sure your fishing rods are working and that you have the right ones for the job. Bring the right kinds of baits, but don’t overstuff your box with types you won’t need during the trip.

A Small Wallet

When you are fishing on a boat all day long, you want to keep things light and easygoing. Having a bulky wallet in your pockets can be tiring and carrying around a huge jacket or case full of personal items can get annoying. A light wallet that keeps all your necessary belongings, cards, fishing license, ID and money compact and small will help you focus on fishing and remain comfortable.

Fishing Line

You never want to run out of fishing line, which is why we recommend packing extra. Remember the part where we talked about knowing what you will be fishing for? That is important here, as it will impact the type of line that you pack. Getting a specific subscription tackle box for your preferred fishing style can help to keep you stocked each time you go out on the water.

Hooks

Although you will have a clue as to what type of fish you will be fishing for, it is best to pack a few different types of hook. This small addition to your tackle box will impact your options should anything change during your trip.

 

Now that you have properly prepared and gathered the right gear for your fishing trip, consider how you will arrange everything for maximum space. Extra space will allow you to pack extra snacks or an extra beer or two. However, do not try too hard to become an expert in packing. Remember that fishing is supposed to be all fun!

Steps Anyone Can Take to Feel Prepared for College Courses

College courses can be a unique challenge, especially if you’ve never taken one before. Whether you’re just out of high school and moving onto secondary education, or an adult furthering their education later in life, here are five tips you can follow to feel prepared and ace those courses!

Tip #1: Time-Management Skills

Take the time now, before you get fully immersed in the college experience, to sharpen your time-management skills. A major part of the anxiety and stress of college courses is the workload. Balancing any given class’s material with other courses’, as well as your personal life is essential. Buy a calendar and start using it. Set reminders on your smartphone, computer, or tablet. It might take a bit of refining to find what system works for you, but once you know what is due when, you’ll have a better idea for how to plan the rest of your week, month, and year. Allot yourself enough time, daily, to complete your assignments and still have personal time.

Tip #2: Focus on Technical Skills

Being comfortable working with technology is so important to college readiness. Find out what programs and applications your courses will be using and become familiar with them now. If you are taking an online course, you should review what programs and software might be needed for each course. You should also practice typing and making accurate searches online to reduce research time. As the lines between technology and the traditional college experience blur, this will become ever more important not only in school, but in most professions.

Tip #3: Establish Prerequisites

Making sure you have the necessary requirements to succeed in any given college course is a great way to feel prepared. It would be unwise to attempt a rigorous course without the building blocks needed for succeed. If you’re still in high school, this is not the time to slack off! Work hard and make sure you’re ready for the more challenging courses you’ll take. If you’re an adult and haven’t been to school for many years, make sure you’re brushing up on your core foundations as well. If you are starting a specialized course or degree, be sure you have the background and prerequisite classes ready to go.

Tip #4: Don’t Neglect Social Skills

Social skills, or soft skills, are how you will navigate with other people you interact with in school and in work. Being able to communicate effectively with your professors and fellow students, leadership skills, and the ability to collaborate are very important.

Tip #5: Take Care of Yourself

Above all else, you have to take care of yourself. Do things that make you happy, be around people that make you happy. Take necessary time to refocus on your goals after a failure or setback. Get enough sleep and give yourself the important vitamins and nutrients you need to be healthy. And, be confident. You made it this far, don’t stop now.

Personal Beauty: How to Fall in Love with How You Look

No one looks perfect all the time. Even supermodel Cindy Crawford once said, “Even I don’t wake up looking like Cindy Crawford.” If you have attributes that you don’t like, you may be able to improve them and help yourself become healthier at the same time.

Skin

Your skin is your biggest organ, and taking care of it is the first step to a beautiful you. One of the biggest mistakes people make is washing their skin too often. This dries it out, which can lead to redness, flaky skin, and other problems. To combat dryness, your skin may produce more oil, which can lead to breakouts. Unless your dermatologist tells you otherwise, there is no real reason to wash your face more than twice a day. If you have to skip one of these washes, skip the morning. You shouldn’t ever skip your nightly face washing routine. Make sure that you remove all your makeup and use a moisturizer after washing your face. Moisturizers trap the water in your skin, which makes it look and feel better.

Hair

Your hair is one of the first things people notice about you, so if you have to deal with difficult hair, you may spend a lot of time trying to get it to cooperate with you. While there are some things you can do with all types of hair, different styles and treatments can make your hair easier to work with. For example, curly hair should not be washed every day, fine hair gets weighed down by heavy moisturizers, and thin hair looks stringy if it isn’t volumized. If you have tight curls, using a hair relaxer can help keep your hair under control. Look for products for your hair type, so you get the best results. You can also talk to a stylist about getting your hair cut specifically to make your hair more manageable.

Makeup

Makeup is a great way to feel better about how you look, but you can easily make things worse. Investing in a good foundation is a great start. Cheaper foundations have a limited range of shades and can make you look like a clown. Almost all makeup stores will do a free color match for you, which will get you the right shade with the right undertones. Don’t apply too heavily; it’s bad for your skin. Only do heavy makeup on your eyes or your lips, never both. You will look like you are wearing too much makeup. Once you find a look that works for you, stick with that. You can modify it a little bit for special occasions, but having a go-to look will not only help you feel good about how you look, but it can also help you get ready quickly.

No matter what you decide to do to improve your look, remember that there is no one way that you have to look to be beautiful. As cliché as it sounds, a lot of your beauty comes from how you present yourself and how you act. Find something that you love and make it yours.

5 Degrees that Pay Off

When considering where to go to college and what to study, you need to consider your end goal. What career do you want to end up in? Is money an important thing for you? Figuring out how to balance your interests with a livable wage is one of the biggest things to think about when deciding what course of study you want to take in college. Here are a few options that pay well that you may not have considered.

Computer Science

If you enjoy working with computers and easily learn new programs and applications, you should consider a degree in computer science. In general, this field is associated with computers and computational systems, but you also have the option of specializing in areas such as programming, digital system design, or artificial intelligence. This type of degree is also considered the first step toward a career in software development. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the demand for software developers will increase by over 20 percent by the end of 2022.

Accounting

If you enjoy solving complex problems, crunching numbers, and doing general math, you will find a virtually limitless number of career options after obtaining your accounting degree. Since there is always a high demand for accountants in essentially all fields, from retail stores to law firms, you will always be able to earn a lucrative income. Additionally, if you continue your education in the future, you can secure a job as a financial analyst or adviser. If you have a good aptitude for math, it is almost impossible to go wrong with such a degree. Because this degree goes hand in hand with business, it also offers the opportunity to branch out from the accounting field. Many of today’s executives began as accountants before they were promoted to their current position.

Petroleum Engineering

Engineering has always been a high-paying field, but you can expect to do particularly well if you obtain a degree in petroleum engineering. Engineers in this field design and develop methods for extracting natural gas and oil from beneath the Earth’s surface. This work is highly scientific and usually requires an in-depth understanding of geology, physics, mathematics, and chemistry. The BLS anticipates a 26 percent growth in the demand for petroleum engineers through 2022. This growth rate is significantly higher than the average growth rate for other occupations.

Information Technology

Although it is somewhat similar to computer science, information technology focuses specifically on how data is stored and transmitted within a computer system. Those with a degree in information technology often secure jobs as IT managers, business intelligence specialists, or web application developers, all of which are found at the highest end of the computer field pay scale.

Nursing

Qualified workers are always needed in the healthcare field, and the demand for nursing assistants and registered nurses is expected to continue increasing for the next several years. Depending on the kind of work in which you are interested, it may be possible to break into the field of nursing with an associate’s degree. However, keep in mind that the higher your education, the more earning potential you will have in this field. Although a nursing assistant with an associate’s degree only makes approximately $25,000 annually, it is a good stepping stone job to hold as you are completing your bachelor’s degree, at which point you can become a registered nurse.

The career path you select should reflect your passions and interests, but it is certainly a good idea to choose one that also brings you financial security. Ultimately, choosing your career path with care improves your odds of securing a good position with a lucrative salary.

Where Does Sexual Education Need to Catch Up?

It seems as though everyone vividly remembers how they were taught sexual education in high school. While a few may have had positive learning experiences, it seems the majority had ones that were very short-sighted in being useful. High school classrooms are always awkward for bringing up sensitive subjects, but sexual education should be one area that is thoroughly explained and taught with care. Unfortunately, sexual education and anatomy is something most public schools fail at teaching, and here’s why.

Homosexuality is Never Mentioned

In a study researching the experiences young people had in sex education, many had classes that were very science-based and technical, focusing on only relations between men and women. This leaves lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered students completely out of the picture, making the material much less relevant or useful. With rising numbers of LGBT youth in America, it doesn’t make sense to exclude them from this important conversation.

Some Sexual Activities Are Not Covered

Only sexual intercourse between a male and female is ever mentioned in most high schools, and no other sexual activities are recognized in classes, some of which could even be considered “safe sex”. While a high school course shouldn’t have to cover everything, such a limited view of sex is hurting students, and making the information outdated.

Only Abstinence is Discussed as a Contraceptive

Some schools go as far as teaching abstinence as the only ‘safe’ option, failing to educate about any contraceptives at all. Not only is this teaching method proven to be ineffective, but unexpected pregnancies that occur without the right education can be far more dangerous to teens. Not only that, but many schools don’t even consider discussing unplanned pregnancies with their students, so these women aren’t taught about safe options to take in these situations, such as adoption or the few abortion centers that help young mothers with child care and family planning rather than just kill the fetus.

Desire, Pleasure, and Consent are not Mentioned

For many schools, consent in never brought up or explained adequately. Everyone sticks to the physical mechanics of sex, while emotional aspects are always left out. In a similar vein, female sexual desire is sometimes not even acknowledged. One teen girl in a 2009 U.S. study said, “I think that they depict it was the guy wants to have sex and the girl doesn’t… They don’t realize that a lot of girls want to have sex, too. And so I don’t think that they focus on that enough at all.” Most sexual education makes it seem like only men have sexual pleasure, making for a very skewed depiction of straight sexual relationships.

Schools today are falling short on the information they teach in their sexual education classes. Whatever you may have been taught could be better or worse, but it’s definitely a subject worth discussing and changing for future generations.

Six Study Tips to Ace Your Next ACT

If you are planning on taking the ACT (American College Testing) for your college entrance, you’ll want to be ready ahead of time rather than going into the testing blind. Knowing the sections of the test and what is expected is important for college admission, and having a jump start is always a good idea when going from high school to college. Taking the ACT is one way to prepare for the changes that occur with higher education.

This test is divided into four mandatory sections with multiple choice questions, which include English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science tests. Also included is an optional Writing section for a total of five different sections. With these test subdivisions, it is fairly easy to structure study sessions that incorporate each area, as breakdowns for each test are given through study tips for acing the ACT. Here are six that should help.

Start Sooner than Later

Test preparation takes time and a three to six month period for study should be sufficient for most students. In order to ace the test, a full six months should probably be considered to understand the intricacies of the test as well as study for the individual sections. Learning to navigate the test(s) in general is an accomplishment in itself.

Practice Questions

To orient yourself to the kinds of questions asked on the ACT, you’ll want to actually access the practice questions and familiarize yourself with the structure, format, question types, question difficulty, and time limits involved with each test section. There are practice questions as well as preparation guides for the overall test that can be of significant help in preparing for the exam.

Understand the Structure

One of the most important aspects of the ACT is understanding how the test is structured and how to maneuver through it. As in the previous tip, you’ll want to examine how the test questions are configured in order to pinpoint the right multiple choice answers. There are, again, explanations through online guides and prep materials for this process. For example, the ACT English questions appear to be formatted in a confusing manner, and finding the immediate answer can present problems, so the fastest way to complete the answers is to skim through the reading passage to understand the content and context of the passage. From there, go back through any underlined sentences that will help determine final answers.

Eliminate the Obvious

Another effective tip with the ACT is eliminating the obviously wrong answers within any of the test divisions. You always want to look for answers that are blatantly wrong and quickly discard them. To find the correct answer, you want to be very precise about what makes the answer the right one. For example, if you are looking at questions in the English and Reading sections, you want to find evidence that supports an answer selection. The key is if you don’t find the evidence, eliminate the answer choice.

Monitor Time

This aspect of the test is critical, as certain time limits are placed on each test section. Pacing your time is important as you don’t want to linger over one question while there are easier ones to answer. Spending too much time on any question can harm your score. If you are completely puzzled or stymied over one question, move on. Answering easier questions should always take priority. If there is enough time left, go back to the tricky ones. Again, going through ACT practice questions will help you to learn how to pace yourself for each test section.

Know the Content

Within each of the test areas, there will obviously be questions that are less difficult because of the content being familiar and more easily understood. Any subject area that presents problems should be examined for weaknesses. For example, within the Math section, it would be wise to know formulas that relate to algebra and geometry as well as conversions for basic math problems that involve percentages, fractional parts, decimals, etc. The same is true of the English section that requires reading comprehension ability, grammar, and punctuation expertise. Say you’re college plans are focused on getting a degree in business management, which would mean you should probably concentrate on problem solving, critical thinking and number crunching. These general areas will likely appear in some form or fashion in the corresponding test sections.

Taking the ACT involves advanced planning and preparation, particularly if you want to ace the test and present impressive scores to a prestigious college or university, or apply for a scholarship or other higher education financing. Test anxiety and apprehension can be alleviated when the right information and tips are incorporated in an overall strategy to tackle and ace a test like the ACT.