Category Archives: Advice/How To

Tips to deal with writer’s block

By: Bijou Kruszka

Picture this: you’re a student in journalism class. Your article pitch for the week is due, and you have no idea what to write. You stare at the Schoology submission spot, but not a single idea pops into your head. So, you turn to your classmates, and ask them what you should write about. One of them replies “Write an article about writer’s block.” And, while it was intended as a joke, you have literally nothing else, so you go with it. So, here we are. Please enjoy my tips for dealing with writer’s block.

#1: Ask people for prompts

As alluded to in my intro, sometimes the best way to deal with writer’s block is to ask others for ideas. Often writer’s block will come because you’re limited to your own brain. By confiding with others, you can open yourself up to a variety of ideas, many you would have never once thought of. Often, people may be very vague or specific, which allows for a lot of creative range as well.

For example, one time a friend told me to write a short story ending with the word “grape-tastic,” and no other criteria. I ended up writing a strangely tragic story about a poor grape farmer, barely able to feed his two children. I never would have gotten there without “grape-tastic.” Needless to say, asking others for prompts is often a great way to inspire you. Just make sure that if you use their idea, you thank them. (Thank you to Trump Vang for the article idea).

#2: Look for ideas on the internet

The internet is a vast resource for all sorts of things, and writing is certainly no exception. There are countless social media accounts dedicated to posting prompts, which can also lead you to a community of writers. There are also plenty of online generators for all sorts of ideas. There are some that generate ideas for plots, characters, settings, and so much more. You can even ask ChatGPT for ideas, though you should never use it to create original writing.

#3: Read other people’s writing

Sometimes, one of the best ways to help your own writing is to invest yourself in other people’s writing. You can encounter new stories, which can freshen your perspective. You can notice stylistic and narrative choices that inspire you to change the way you’ve been writing.

More importantly, you will never improve if you keep doing the same thing over and over again. By reading the work of others, you can rework your current perspective and improve facets of your writing you didn’t even know needed improving.

#4: Take breaks and do other things

This will seem counterintuitive, but the absolute best way to deal with writer’s block is to stop writing. Forcing yourself to stare at a blank sheet of paper or blinking cursor for hours will only frustrate you and encourage you to stop writing. What you need to do is set your pencil down, stand up, and go do something else. Go on a walk, have fun with friends, play a game, watch a show, do anything.

The only way someone can be inspired is if they do things that inspire them. Maybe on a walk, you’ll encounter a beautiful flower that inspires you to write poetry. Maybe you watch the news, and get inspired to write an article about some injustices you witness. No matter what inspires you, you’re never going to find it staring at an empty void. So, go experience life. Then, come back and write about it.

Summer jobs

By: Greta Johnson

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Summer jobs are an important part of making money as a teenager. Most people in high school get a job for the summer to make money to spend and save.

If you are 14 or 15 you cannot work past 7:30PM, but if you’re 16 or older you’re free to work as late as you like.

Jobs in fast food and food service are easier to get and will hire you for the summer. Usual pay is minimum wage or about 11 to 15 dollars an hour. Some jobs in food service you will also receive tips that depend on the restaurant, but tips can range from 2-20 extra dollars per hour.

If you don’t want to work a traditional job or are too busy to get one, another good option is yard work. Many people don’t like to mow or weed wack or garden and will pay a good amount of money to you if you do it for them. It’s a good side hustle, or summer job, and it doesn’t take up a ton of your time. Self employed jobs like this are great for teenagers or younger people because it’s hard to find work at a younger age, lots of businesses won’t hire you if you’re under 16. With jobs like yard work, mowing and babysitting, all you have to do is make an agreement with whoever you’re doing the work for in regards to pay. This cuts out the issue of labor laws and getting hired.

The first challenge with getting a job is actually getting hired. Most of the time there’s at least a couple candidates and when you’re younger, companies and businesses are less likely to hire you. This is where a resumé would come in. A resumé is usually a paper about your information, skills, experience and previous employment. A résumé is important to the hiring process because it shows your possible employer that you are serious about getting this job.

Pros and cons of starting your own business

By: Yumna Abajebel

Starting your own company could benefit you in many different ways. You could control your own lifestyle and work at your own pace.

You’ll still have to do work, but it’s on your own time and terms. Mainly you don’t have to answer to anyone or be stressed over deadlines.

Starting up at first may seem a little difficult but it’s worth it after the company is up and running.

Business owners have the option of selecting whichever passion and dream they wish to pursue. Before they might have not been able to do that due to having to support family or it wasn’t financially stable.

People like being their own boss; for some they might have been working in corporations for 10-20 years. Business owners have the luxury of being independent and having flexibility with their schedule.

If you decide that you want to work with other people, it could be people you’re comfortable with, which is beneficial for you and your company in the long run.

Running your own business isn’t easy financially or mentally. If you work alone that means you would have to be the salesperson, accountant, customer service representative, and marketer all as one person, which can be very difficult at times.

Starting your business has its pros and cons which you should think about. But should consider the benefits.

5 things to do when you’re bored in summer

By: Hannah Gliedman

Summer is one of the best times of the year. No school and all you have to worry about is hanging out with friends and not getting sunburnt. However, because summer is so long, not having things to do can make the time pass slowly and feel like you’re wasting the best time of the year. So here are 5 things to do when you’re bored and don’t know what to do in summer.

1. Make Friendship Bracelets
A very important summer staple is making friendship bracelets. These are extremely easy to make and have so much room to be creative. Whether you are making them by yourself, for your friend or with your friends they are always fun to make.

There are so many designs and tutorials, on or TikTok, out there to make very intricate and complicated, or cute and easy bracelets. With limitless colors and designs there is a chance you’re making a one of a kind design.

2. Beach Day
A super fun way to spend your day during the hot summer is at the beach. Find a lake or ocean and a group of friends to spend a day swimming, playing football or volleyball. Bringing a picnic could also be a fun way to pass the time while at the beach.

3. Bike Riding
One way to stay active and enjoy the warm weather during the summer is going on long bike rides. Especially in the Twin Cities there are many places, roads and trails, that provide beautiful scenery with just a little bit of biking. Whether you’re going for a leisurely ride to get some fresh air or on an intense ride for a workout, biking is a great way to mix the outdoors, hanging out with friends and getting in a great workout.

4. Backyard Campfire
Whether you have a fire pit in your backyard or go to a local park with pits, a campfire is such a fun way to pass the time with friends. Setting one up is easy and it’s a cute thing to do while just hanging out with friends.

5. Make a Scrapbook of Memories
One of the great parts about making summer memories is reminiscing on all the fun you had, and what better way to do this than to make a scrapbook. Fill it with a summer bucket list, pictures, quotes, stickers, and antidotes of good memories.

To find more ideas, look up summer scrapbook pages on Pinterest. If you want to splurge to make it extra special get a polaroid or disposable camera to get physical pictures with a vintage feel.

Ideas to get rid of boredom

By: Mya Olson – Williams

Image taken from: The Guardian

Whether you’re stuck in the house, or have nowhere to go, being bored is no fun. Whatever the situation is, here are a few ideas to get rid of boredom.

1. Find a new show to binge

There are so many good shows out there. If you have enough time, and nowhere to go, find a new show and watch as much as you wish. This not only is very entertaining, but passes time quickly. This should keep you busy for a while.

2. Cook/bake

Staying in the kitchen is a lot of work, but quite some fun. There’s a variety of things you could make, sweet or savory. This may or may not take up a lot of time, depending on what you choose to do. Either way, at the end you get something to eat!

3. Go for a walk

If the weather is bad, skip this one. But maybe it’s sunny, or warm with a breeze and you wanna get outside. Try walking without having a route. You never know where you’ll end up, and you’ll go home having wasted a lot of time.

4. Call a friend or family member

Talking to someone close to you is always good. You could talk to someone you haven’t interacted with in a while and see what they’re up to. Whoever it is, I’m sure they’d enjoy talking to you for a bit.

5. Clean/organize

It’s officially spring, so maybe there’s spring cleaning that needs to be done! Whether that’s your room, a closet, or anything else. This may take awhile, but turn on some music and get it done.

Now these are only 5 ideas, but there are many more activities that could help get rid of boredom. Hopefully one of these could help.

Tarot cards

By: Maya Breininger

Tarot cards, (pronounced tare-oh) are a way of mediating with your spiritual side, and connecting with what the universe is trying to tell you. They are a method of translating between your internal desires and the world, they give you advice, and they’re a fun way to connect with yourself.

Tarot cards originate from the early 1430s in Italy, and it is custom for them to be given to you as gifts. It contains five suits; Swords, Cups, Sticks, Wands, Major Arcana and Minor Arcana. Each suit represents a different law of spirituality, and depending on how you set up your cards, each one can mean different things.

When picking your cards, the spiritual pull to them is the most important thing to consider. You can visit your local mall with a Witch healing store inside, or a small business associated with witchcraft. The location is irrelevant; you can just as easily purchase them online. As long as you feel a sort of connection to the cards you pick, you have picked the right cards.

Seeing as the cards are generally tools of guiding you through your life, there are different set-ups that will tell you different things about your life. For example, a Celtic Cross spread will allow you to identify your present life, your current problems, and what obstacles lay in your way.

There are card spreads that will reveal your past, your present, your love life, your problems and your ambitions. You can also create your own spreads, and once you’re comfortable with your cards you can use them as you like.

Tarot cards are part of many different spiritual rituals, and if you are a person who is trying to achieve the witch healing lifestyle, I definitely recommend you start by purchasing your own pack of tarot cards.

The benefits of yoga

By: Calla Fragassi and Mackenzie Malek

Image taken from:

Yoga is a form of exercise that is very accessible to anyone at any age. There are different yoga practices that you can begin at any point in your life. Yoga is filled with different benefits and is a great addition to your workout routine for your bodily health.


“The most cited reason people selected for doing yoga was to increase flexibility” according to Yoga can improve your flexibility by stretching muscles and joints, and the more you practice yoga the more flexible you will get. As you get older you often get less flexible which is a natural part of aging.

If you want to avoid this and reach the full potential of your flexibility, you should try to practice around 3-4 times a week. Flexibility is a very important part of your health and on its own has many benefits such as increasing muscle blood flow, a decrease of your risk of getting injured and overall helps improve your performance in physical activities.


Having good balance is essential for daily life movements. Yoga has been shown through multiple studies that it can improve the overall performance of athletes. Famous NFL Quarterback Russell Wilson uses yoga to improve his balance and remain calm in stressful situations.

As people age, we tend to lose balance. Many doctors and physicians recommend elders to practice yoga to improve balance and decrease the risk of falling as people get older. More accessible yoga includes adaptive yoga or chair yoga. This is more commonly seen with people with injuries or elders who aren’t mobile enough to perform traditional yoga.

Increases strength

When people first think of yoga, they might associate it with stretching and flexibility. Although yoga can be helpful in those areas, there are designated yoga classes that are mainly focused on strength and muscle building. By starting with simple movements that test your body and its strength, overtime you will see the difference yoga has made for your body.

Yoga can help to build and tone muscles in your body, improve endurance, and improve cardiovascular health. If you plan on solely doing yoga to increase strength, it is important to stay consistent and incorporate different movements into your sessions.

Better posture

Good posture is something that everyone wishes to have, it can reduce pain and lower your risk of injury. Yoga can help with your posture in a few ways, the first being it strengthens your core. This might not be what you always think of first when thinking about good posture, but when having a strong core you are more likely to both sit and stand tall.

Another way yoga benefits your posture is through body awareness. After practicing yoga for a while you are more aware of your own body which helps you notice how you are sitting, and if you are slouching you are more likely to quickly notice and change your posture.

Improves mental health

Yoga is essential for your physical well-being, but many yoga users start for the mental benefits over the physical. Yoga is commonly used as a way to relieve stress and anxiety. Breathing exercises, sound baths and meditation have been shown by the National Institutes of Health on multiple occasions to relieve stress in the body.

MDD (Major depressive disorder) is one of the most common mental health disorders in the world. In 2017, 23 different people living with MDD observed that their symptoms significantly decreased after going through yoga-based treatments. Yoga therapy and breathing practices have become more common in the past few years, and are used to decrease depressive symptoms.

Yoga can also help improve self-esteem issues in teenagers and adults. Practicing yoga may be helpful with body image and confidence with patients with anorexia.

If you want something that can improve your physical and mental health, yoga is the perfect practice for you. Taking that time from your day to slow down and focus on yourself is beneficial for many different reasons. Having a consistent yoga routine where you are practicing a few times a week, can overall keep you clear-headed and relaxed.

Fun summer activities to do in the Twin Cities

By: Mackenzie Malek and Calla Fragassi

With the summer months coming up, we wanted to share with you some fun indoor and outdoor activities you can spend your summer days doing if you are bored, or you just simply want to try something new.

Outdoorutdoor activities

In the Twin Cities area, mainly Minneapolis, there are a variety of different lakes that have many different trails, parks, and beaches. Biking around the lakes is a great way to spend your day in the Cities. The lakes are all within a couple of miles of each other which allows you to get a good ride in during the warmer months. Each lake also has its own unique qualities, for example, Lake Nokomis is a very popular lake where people rent boats or paddle boards, go bridge jumping, or play volleyball on the beach. This could be compared to Lake of the Isles, which is a much smaller lake that is mainly just for walking and biking. Some of the other main lakes include: Bde Maka Ska, Lake Harriet, and Lake Hiawatha.

The Minnesota State Fair is one of the highlights of the year for residents in the state. It lasts 12 days every year beginning at the end of August, and ending on Labor Day. The State Fair was first held in 1859 in what is now downtown Minneapolis. The fair traveled throughout the state until the early 1880’s when they found a permanent home in Ramsey County that is currently standing at 322 acres. The fair hosts an average of 2 million visitors annually, increasing more and more every year. It attracts people from all over the nation for its different foods, rides, music, and entertainment.

The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is a great way to spend some time outdoors while enjoying many iconic sculptures. The sculpture garden is free and is open all year long from 6am to 12am every day. You will find 40 different kinds of modern and contemporary arts here, and they are most known for the cherry on a spoon sculpture. The average time it takes to walk around and look at all the sculptures is about 2-3 hours, so come prepared and be ready to take lots of pictures.

Indoor activities

Since 1883 the Minneapolis Institute of Art has been sharing artwork with the community. The Minneapolis Institute of Art, often referred to as Mia, is an art museum filled with over 90,000 pieces of art. Different kinds of sculptures, paintings, artifacts, from different cultures are all found at Mia. Mia’s goal is “Inspiring wonder through the power of art.” Next time you’re looking for something to do, stop by Mia to learn a little something new.

Located in St. Paul, the Como Park Conservatory is a great way to spend a rainy summer day. The conservatory is entirely free but accepts donations from visitors. Open 365 days a year, the conservatory welcomes visitors of all ages with something for everyone. Filled with colorful plants and flowers, you will find yourself spending hours inside here. It’s a great place to study, walk around with a friend, and even a popular place to take prom pictures!

If you have younger kids or siblings and you want to bring them somewhere fun, the Minnesota Children’s Museum is the perfect place to go. The museum has three floors filled with different fun activities that kids are sure to enjoy. Some well known exhibits include:

  • The Scrambler, which is a four story jungle gym
  • Our World, which is a fake town with a post office, and fire station
  • And the Studio which is an area for kids to do arts and crafts

The museum also always has a special limited time exhibit, depending on when you are there. They currently have an exhibit called Framed, which allows kids to look closer at famous art pieces. The Children’s Museum is a perfect option for a rainy day in the summer for kids!

All of these places and activities have a little something different for you to try. Whether you’re into biking, looking at art, or simply just spending time outside, the Twin Cities have many great places for you, always feel free to come back to this list when you find yourself bored in the summer.

Benefits of listening to music

By: Mya Olson Williams

Image taken from: The Harvard Gazette

Most teens these days are listening to some sort of music. Especially during school days. But is it doing any good? Yes, it actually has a very positive effect.

According to John Hopkins Medicine, listening to music can reduce anxiety, pain, and blood pressure. Not only that, but it improves your mood, the quality of your sleep, and memory.

Music is so universal and there’s something for everyone. Because it’s so beneficial, you should find what you enjoy and listen when you can.

Along with the other benefits I mentioned, listening to music can start up your creativity. Especially when listening to new genres you maybe aren’t a fan of or haven’t heard before. Challenging yourself to listen to them causes the brain to try and understand the new sounds.

Music can also be great for recalling old memories. Maybe some familiar music from many years ago reminds you of an old friend, place, or time in your life.

Another few other great reasons to listen to music is because it reduces stress, and relieves symptoms of depression. If you struggle with one or maybe both, turning on a good and uplifting song could make you feel better in the moment. The music you’re listening to relieves this stress by triggering biochemical stress reducers in your brain.

Aside from mental health, music positively affects your physical health as well. It boosts your immune system, keeps your heart healthy, and eases pain.

Now, if you think your student, or child constantly has their headphones in, maybe it’s a good thing! Because of all of the amazing health benefits music has, we could all listen to it every once in a while. And I’m sure most of us do.

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Best airlines to fly

By: Sophie Johnson

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The best airline that I have flown on is Delta. The reason why this one is the best is because the environment feels very clean and organized. I have had many good experiences with Delta in the past, and they have never let me down. I love that they have free entertainment like movies and games as well as their delicious Biscoff cookies.

Delta planes seem to always be on time and have everything under control. I feel very safe and comfortable on these flights and always find something good to watch on TV.

One airline that I do not love as much is Sun Country. I have had several bad experiences with Sun Country in the past, and it always makes me nervous to fly that airline now.

One of those experiences was when I got stranded in the Newark Airport in New Jersey for upwards of five hours because of a delay. Not only did they make us all wait that long, but after five hours of hoping to get home, they announced that we had to spend another night at a nearby hotel. They could have avoided such a long wait by rescheduling the flight earlier.

One positive thing about Sun Country is that they have the internet and a website with many TV shows and games to play to entertain yourself and others on the plane. Overall, Sun Country is not my favorite but it did have some factors that redeemed it.

The last airline is Southwest. I have flown on Southwest 2 times and both have been good. Both of these flights were on time and I had an enjoyable experience.

Although this airline does not provide televisions on the back of the headrests, I still had an above average time on the flights. I always get great views out the windows and have a fun trip in the plane.