Preparing for your driver’s test

Taking your driver’s test can seem terrifying and be nerve racking, but with having preparation for it, there’s no need to feel anxious. To take your driver’s test, you must first have completed quite a list of things.

First, you have to take a driver’s ed course which you can take once you turn 15. The driver’s ed course can be taken at places in SPPS schools after school, or programs like Safeway. The cost of driver’s ed is $330, which you can pay fully at registration or, you can also pay half at registration and the other half on the last day of the course. The course usually lasts 2 weeks if it’s on weekdays, but if you play sports or have other extracurricular activities on weekdays, there are classes every week on Saturday, which last around 10 weeks.

After you finish your driver’s ed course, you will be handed a blue card which is your ticket to take your permit test. You can take this blue card to any DMV to take your permit test. There are helpful apps to study for the permit test like “DMVGenie.” There are 40 questions on the permit test and if you get more than 8 wrong, it’s a fail.

Once you pass your test, expect up to 4 weeks for your permit to come in the mail. Until then, you are given a temporary paper permit. There are rules for once you obtain your permit. You can’t drive alone and must drive with a licensed adult over the age of 21.

After you receive your permit, you must take behind the wheel in order to get your license. You drive with an instructor for 6 hours, 2 hours each day, lasting 3 days. After that, you will obtain a white card which will get you a step closer to your driver’s test.

Now, all you have to do is wait until you’re 16, and even if you have passed the age of 16, everyone still also must wait 6 months after you got your permit. During this duration, you can call to make an appointment at any DMV for your driver’s test.

Once the time comes to take the test, you will need your permit, driving log, proof of identification, and a working vehicle. During the test, you will need to able to make turns, parallel park, uphill and downhill park, and do a 90 degree backing. If you fail, you can retake the test up to 3 times before paying a fee.

Once you pass your test, you will be able to drive alone. But just like with the permit, there are restrictions. Your first 6 months, you can’t drive with more than 1 person in the car, that isn’t in your family, and you can’t drive from 12am-5am unless you’re coming from school or work.

Driver’s test can be scary, but with enough practice and preparation, you will pass.

What to do over winter break

Winter break is coming up very soon and I think everybody can agree they are looking forward to leaving the school this Friday. Though you can only imagine two great weeks of lounging and relaxing, what are you actually doing? Here are a couple of ideas that may inspire what you will do this winter break.

  1. Relax and take advantage of the break. Ever since school started, it’s hard to go one day without saying you’re tired. This may be the break you were waiting for to catch up on some much needed sleep. Also, just relax and hang out. School is pretty fast paced and any extra curricular activity only helps to fill up your schedule, leaving barely any time to just sit down or do anything with your loved ones. So if it’s possible, try your best to build in some time to wind down this winter break and do whatever you’d like to. 
  2. Hang out with friends. In general, it can be kind of hard to make time during the week or the weekends to hang out with your friends, especially the ones that don’t go to the same school as you. So maybe you could find a time during break to get together and catch up. 
  3. Do something outside and have fun with the snow. Going outside, especially with snow on the ground, may not appeal to everyone’s interest but for those who like outdoor activities, do something outdoors. You could try something new like skiing or snowboarding, or something more fun based like sledding or a snowball fight. This also gives you the perfect excuse to get all your friends together for a good laugh. 
  4. Stay inside and take the opportunity to make some hot cocoa. A warm fire, blankets, and a comforting cup of cocoa is always a great idea considering the conditions outside. Maybe just take a moment this break to get as content as you can and relax in the comfort of your own home. 
  5. Find the balance between relaxed and lazy. Though winter break sparks a sense of laziness in everyone, don’t let it get the best of you. Some teachers will still be giving out homework during break, so don’t put it off and just get it done as early as you can so you don’t have to worry about it. Also, make the most of your break and do more than just camp out in your room doing nothing. And if you take part in a sport, don’t skip practice for poor excuse like sleeping in or just not wanting to go. Stay on top of what you have to do, but still make sure you relax over the two week long winter break. 

5 DIY Christmas decorations

Here are 5 different DIY Christmas decorations you can make at home to get everyone in the Christmas spirit! 

#1 Wooden Christmas Trees: 

For this decoration you will need: 

  • Paint brushes
  • Craft paints
  • Liquid gold leaf
  • A wooden pyramid block

You will first need to decorate your wooden block by using the paint brushes and craft paint. You can then use the liquid gold leaf at the top to create the star or a snow cap. 

These trees are easy to make and hard to break which makes them perfect decorations to be out and about during the Christmas season!

#2 Marbled Ornaments:

In order to create these marble ornaments you will need:

  • Enamel paint
  • An ornament
  • Water
  • Tablespoon
  • Paper towel
  • Wooden skewer stick

You will first need to put about a tablespoon of water into the ornament and swirl it while it’s inside the ornament. You will then need to add in the enamel paint. You can use a wooden skewer stick to swirl the paint around. After this you will need to lightly tap the ornament against your hand in a circular motion; hold the top of the ornament closed with your finger and a paper towel. 

Once the paint is looking the way you want it to, let the ornament sit for 24 hours. During the 24 hours, turn the ornament on different sides so that the paint doesn’t sit in only one area. This will get you a marble ornament!

#3 Popsicle stick snowflakes:

For this decoration you need:

  • A hot glue gun
  • Popsicle sticks 

All you need to do is come up with a design, place the popsicle sticks to mimic your design, and then hot glue the popsicle sticks together and get a nice decoration that you can hang up anywhere!

 

#4 Plastic spoon Christmas trees:

For this decoration you need:

  • Plastic spoons
  • Spray paint
  • Hot glue gun
  • Paper mache tree 

You will first need to cut the top of the plastic spoons off. Then you can spray the spoons with spray paint and give them some color. You will then need to wait for the spray paint to dry off.

After you wait for the spray paint to dry off, you will need to hot glue the bottom part of the spoon and place it on the paper mache tree. You should vary the spaces on the different layers that the spoons go and work your way up the tree. And that will get you a cool looking Christmas tree!

#5 Ornament Wreath: 

For this decoration you need:

  • Glue gun
  • Wreath frame
  • Different ornaments
  • Tinsel garland 

You will first need to wrap the wreath frame in the tinsel garland. Then you can use a glue gun to glue the bigger ornaments on the wreath, and then glue the smaller ones on to fill in space. You will then have to wait until the glue dries and then you can put your ornament wreath up for everyone to see! 

All images taken from: https://www.housebeautiful.com/entertaining/holidays-celebrations/g3952/diy-christmas-decorations/?slide=25

Top 5 gifts for hockey players

  1. Pacific rink hockey bag

Image taken from: https://www.pacificrink.com

I’ll start with the most expensive gift at $150, a pacific rink hockey backpack. 

These backpacks are admired by all hockey players because of their perfect design to carry your skates, gloves, helmet, and any other clothes or items you choose to bring with you. This backpack is the perfect travel bag for adventures out to play some pond hockey, or just going to the outdoor rink. As one would say, the price is worth it.

  1. Lizard skin stick grip

Next is a very affordable stocking stuffer, called the Lizard Skin. It’s a better substitute for your usual hockey tape; instead this one lasts 10 times and long and has 10 times the grip. This product is 10 dollars and comes in many patterns and colors. 

  1. Light up puck

The Lit Puck is a super cool invention to keep the hockey player out of the house until the cows come home. Instead of hockey fun being over at dark, this light up puck allows you to see the puck and play the game from dusk to dawn (if you can handle the cold). This product starts around $19.99.

  1. Sauce kit

The hockey sauce kit is a portable, all year around and fun product. It’s two small individual nets that you set apart from each other very similar to bean bag toss, except you’re trying to shoot a puck into the net. This product can also be used for accuracy training in your shooting. This product starts around $30-40.

  1. Stanley cup glass

This legendary trophy could be the next cup for your favorite drink (like root beer). You can use it for the next championship or just to show off to your friends. This product is a hockey collectable, and would surely impress a hockey player or hockey fanatic. This product goes for $30

Flu

Influenza is a contagious virus that gets spread around fast. The flu is caused by the influenza virus. It can sometimes cause very severe illnesses, can cause a person to be hospitalized, and can even cause death. Babies, older people, and people with severe health conditions are at high risks. Each year millions of people get sick with this flu. 

People sometimes get influenza mixed up with the stomach flu. The stomach flu is called gastroenteritis. They are two different things. 

The symptoms of the flu are: having a high fever, coughing, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body sore, and muscle aches. Headaches and vomiting a lot are also possible signs of the flu. Also, little kids may have diarrhea. 

63581880 – sick man with thermometer in his mouth vector flat illustration character. flat icon set of cold and flu season items. Image taken from: https://www.abqjournal.com/1373502/flu-hits-three-county-residents.html

People can sometimes not tell the difference between the flu or a cold. A cold comes in slowly and is less severe. Colds often just cause headaches, fevers, and a runny nose. Influenza is way more severe then a typical cold. 

The flu can cause other illnesses such as: bronchitis, ear infections, sinus infections, and pneumonia. Many people with the flu recover on their own without any medications, but if anybody is diagnosed with the flu they need to stay home and not go around anybody else.

If you have high symptoms of the flu you should reach out to a health care provider. The best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot every year. 

How to manage stress

There is no doubt that at one point or another you have most likely felt stressed about something, or maybe even someone, making your life a little more difficult. Unfortunately, it can be incredibly overwhelming but there are ways to help you work around it.

So, here are a couple of minor things that you could do to help yourself out, especially during the school year. 

One day at a time. It is extremely important to only take one day at a time to avoid stressing yourself out and getting overwhelmed about something that can not be changed. Saying a week is seven days is harder to process rather than just taking on the day when it comes.

Stay calm and breathe. I think everyone can understand when everything gets so piled up that sometimes you just need to stop and breathe. The thing is, being stressed has no benefits whatsoever. It is not pleasant to do anything when you feel overwhelmed, so the best way you can help yourself out is just by remaining as relaxed as you can. This doesn’t mean you should be lounging around on your couch, but instead just trying to figure out a way around whatever is working you up and finding an achievable solution. 

Do something that makes you happy. It might help if you can take your mind off whatever is making you stressed. You could start by doing something that you enjoy or surround yourself with people you know make you happy. This way you can find better things to influence your mind set and spend less time focusing on the negative stuff going on in your life. 

Organize your life. School can be a very stressful and fatiguing time of the year, not to mention what goes on outside of school in your personal life. The worst part is trying to remember everything you need to do in a day, such as your schedule, homework, and extracurricular activities. It may not be this way for everyone, but it can’t hurt to try writing stuff down. Whether you would prefer to write in a planner or journal is a personal opinion and should be based on what you can keep up with and enjoy doing the most. 

Holiday gift guide

By Charlotte Lane

Whether you are buying a gift for your brother, mom, sister, best friend, dad, or cousins, gift giving can always be a little challenging. 

Here are a few things that I think are great gifts for whoever during the holidays. 

1. Cool socks 

When you were little getting socks for Christmas almost felt like a punishment at the time, but honesty if you find the right ones socks can be a great present to receive. This is a great gift for anyone in your family or could even be great for a Secret Santa gift. 

2. Tickets to a game/concert 

You really can’t go wrong with this gift! If you know of any artist or team they like, look to see if any venues are holding shows or if a game is coming up. Getting two would be a hit because then they could bring along a friend. 

3. Bite Beauty products 

I don’t know if it’s just me but I love a good chapstick, and Bite Beauty has that. This is a great trendy yet realistic gift anyone will use over and over. 

4. Slip pillowcase and Slip scrunchie. 

Another great gift that will get amazing use out of, these silk items are reasonably priced and will wow anyone you give them too.

5. Priceless moments 

Always remember that the holiday aren’t only about presents, sometimes the best gift you can give someone is quality time together!

I hope these gift ideas help some creative juices get flowing in your brain so you can hopefully find the perfect (or almost perfect) gift for anyone. 

Enjoy the holidays and happy gift giving!

Hosting your first Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just around the corner if you’re hosting your first Thanksgiving here are a few ideas.

  1. Make a plan– Get a paper and pencil out. Figure out the following things: How many people are attending? What are people allergic to? What am I going to prepare? 
  2. Create a menu– When making your menu don’t choose over complicated dishes that take many days to prepare, choose dishes that are simple and easy to make. 
  3. Accept help from family members and friends- Don’t refuse help. If someone offers to bring a beverage or a dessert, let them. Or if they want to help prepare the meal or help set the table, accept the help.
  4. Buy your groceries ahead of time– Make a list of all the things you will need, and go to the grocery store ahead of time, so you don’t go in the store at the last minute having a meltdown. 
  5. Set the table the night before– Don’t fuss with the table on the day of Thanksgiving. Sent it the night before, so you have time to prepare any last minute things.
  6. Keep food warm– Use the oven if necessary so you can keep dishes warm, just don’t burn the food. 
  7. Have fun– Thanksgiving is all about being with family. Being with family provides the opportunity for family members to spend a day engaging with one another, it’s also about being thankful for what you have. 

For information visit: https://www.realsimple.com/holidays-entertaining/holidays/thanksgiving/first-thanksgiving

Healthy habits

There are lots of things you can do to make sure school goes smoothly. You have to develop good habits that are helpful to your body and mind. If you continue to work hard and stay healthy you’ll be great! Making good decisions and preserving a healthy lifestyle is always good.

Now, the first thing you can do is drink lots of water. You have to have at least 64oz. Which is crazy, but it’s really good for you. Water is a great way to drain your body of unhealthy bacteria and keep your body ready for action. 

Eating healthy is pretty obvious. Avoid fatty foods and junk food because they don’t help your body. You should try to plan your meal instead of just throwing something together. 

Skipping a meal doesn’t help either. Don’t skip breakfast!! Breakfast is a great way to start your day. It boosts your metabolism and helps you not overeat during the rest of the day. Make something quick like a cereal bar or just a bowl of delicious cereal. 

Studying? Finishing homework? Make sure to take breaks! Work for as long as you can and once you feel antsy just walk around a little, do some lunges or stretch. Don’t go for another glass of coffee, move around. 

Is 11 o’clock too late? No, one more hour is fine. Not!! You need to sleep. Getting 7-9 hours of sleep a night is something to aim for. We all know math takes more than 10 minutes to finish most nights but you should try to go for it. Sleeping for a reasonable amount of time is 100% necessary. It puts you in a better mood 

Working on assignments at a decent hour is important too. You should strive to do it all once you get home, or while you’re eating a snack, or in free time in any of your classes. Just make sure your grades reflect your best work while keeping you in a good and healthy space. 

If you stay on a good schedule, and have a positive attitude, you will surely make it through high school happily. Stay positive!

Positive mindset

A positive mindset isn’t something you can easily achieve in one day or overnight. It’s also not something that will stay constant. Every person has their ups and downs. With a better mindset, however, you’re bound to have more ups than downs. Or, you’ll be able to switch your downs to ups.

Always thinking positive can be hard sometimes. It’s something you sort of have to memorize in your brain. You train it to think happy when something bad in your life is happening. For example, when I’m stressed with school work I try not to get angry or frustrated because that won’t help me. Instead I think of ways to manage my time and I set goals for myself to finish the work. 

There is so much you can do to help grow your brain into a positive mindset. Starting your day off right is key. How you make up and spend your time in the morning could affect your whole mood for the day. Some good morning tips can be eating a good breakfast, getting in a light workout, meditation, or music you enjoy. Some people have their alarm set to songs they love so that the first thing they hear makes them happy.

In the morning it’s also nice to just takes a few minutes and meditate. You can sit and think about your daily goals and remind yourself how you’ll approach things and your day. 

There are a lot of things you can do during the day too. You can try to focus on the things that make/are making you happy. Do your best to not let little situations or things make you upset. Anything could switch up your mood. It’s always best to try to see the bright side of things or see them from a different perspective. During the day, it’s also a good goal to remember to smile, say “hi” to people, give compliments, and overall be nice.  

During the night, before you go to bed, is a great time to recap on your day. A good idea is to keep a journal of your thoughts, where you can share everything you’re feeling. Some ideas to help recap on your day is to share three new things you appreciate in your life everyday. You can also share three things that made you happy everyday, and explain one of your favorite moments of that day. Doing this can help you focus on the good things that happened instead of the bad. 

Everyone has their own ways of looking at things. People can have different ways of staying positive. These were just some tips and ideas on how you can go about your day. Doing this for one day may make you feel better for a short time. But doing things like this constantly will make you feel better for a long term.