If you still find your grades falling short even after hitting the books diligently, you might be taking the wrong approach. Take this short quiz to find out the best study method for you! 

  1. You open your new textbook and hope to see ____ to help you understand topics better:
    a) pictures
    b) extensive text
    c) diagrams and charts

  2. When you’re bored in class, you tend to:
    a) doodle
    b) sing or hum a song stuck in your head
    c) fiddle with a pen

  3. Your favourite pastime is:
    a) watching TV and movies
    b) listening to the latest hits and gossiping with your BFFs
    c) exercising and doing sports

  4. You’re likely to get in trouble with your teacher for:
    a) drawing on my assignments and textbooks
    b) talking during the lesson
    c) fidgeting and distracting others

  5. During revision of your school work, you prefer to:
    a) draw out mind maps
    b) get a friend to ask you questions and answering them out loud
    c) re-write notes word for word to memorise them better

  6. Your dream occupation would be:
    a) a painter, architect or artist
    b) a radio DJ or musician
    c) a sportsperson

  7. When in class, you would most likely get distracted by:
    a) sounds coming from outside the class
    b) passersby 
    c) having to stay at your desk for the entire lesson

If you got…

Mostly As: Visual Learner

As a visual learner, you tend to remember what you see (like power point presentations or graphs) over what you hear (your lecturer teaching), and you prefer reading and writing over listening to someone explain your study material. When making notes, try including lots of colour with highlighters to help you remember key points. And aside from creating mind maps, visual learners can also try to draw out the images that come to mind (as opposed to simply jotting down concepts) when studying a certain subject topic to help you better visualise and retain information. 

Mostly Bs: Aural Learner

Listening to details comes easily to you, and your strength is picking up on keywords that your teacher would point out. Make it a self-reminder to pin point the essential information and repeat them to yourself out loud during your revision sessions. In addition, get permission to audio-record your lectures or tutorials – they’ll likely come in handy during crunch time when you need to remember that exam tip mentioned in class!

Mostly Cs: Kinaesthetic Learner

There’s no cause for concern if you fall under the category of a Kinaesthetic Learner. Being one means you’re likely able to learn better with some movements or activity involved, and are elaborate in explaining academic theories by using hand gestures. You’re more receptive to practical examples rather than theoretical, which means you should try experimenting or acting out scenarios to grasp a particular subject better as well.

Which type of learner are you? Tell us in the comment section! 

More related stories: 6 Easy Ways To Stand Out At Your Internship, 6 Morning Habits To Help You Be Productive All Day, 5 Pro Tips To Help You Fight Procrastination, 17 Places In Singapore You Can Study At Without Being Chased Away

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8 Effective Ways To Deal With Frenemies

30 Oct 2017 by Germaine Cheah

Have a friend that constantly brings you down with snide words or odd actions? You may have a frenemy in your midst. Read on to find out how to identify a frenemy, and learn a few trusty ways you can handle them. 

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The One Who’s Competitive. This person lives by the “anything you can do, I can do better” motto, and are easily identified when you are unable to talk about anything you’ve done without them immediately following up with their own superior achievement. You ran 5km during your weekend exercise? They ran 10km. You scored 85 marks on a tough exam paper? Great job! They scored 90 marks. 

How to deal: While having an overly competitive friend can be ultra annoying, don’t engage in their petty games or squabbles. Instead, rise above gracefully by acknowledging their accomplishments and giving praise where it’s due. And instead of having them work against you, try adapting their competitive nature to your advantage – partner up in group projects, be their ally in team games, or identify common goals you could work towards together. 

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The One Who’s Narcissistic. All this person wants to do is to relentlessly talk about themselves and their problems. They will pay no attention to any of the people around them, or care if they have any problems of their own. Basically, your role in the friendship is to just nod and agree with whatever this person is saying. 

How to deal: Chances are, these pals care mostly about themselves and little about anyone else. If you’ve decided to stop going along with their one-man love fest, start by slowly distancing yourself from said friend – start establishing personal boundaries and be wary of sharing too much about yourself. Focus on other friendships where you can receive actual care and empathy from likeminded friends. 

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The One Who’s Secretly Jealous Of You. This is the person whom you get along with consistently – they talk to you regularly, you hang out after school almost daily and they even confide in you their deepest secrets. But underneath the friendly facade, they are (almost) always inserting snide remarks that’ll have you second guessing their praise or even trying to downplay your achievements to make you feel bad. At worst, they’re secretly scheming behind your back, spreading rumours in an attempt to ruin your reputation or a friendship you have with someone else.

How to deal: It’s a delicate situation. Ignoring your friend’s issues may raise even more resentment in the long run, while confronting it head on may cause some serious backlash. Before any action is taken, put yourself in their shoes and try to understand their point of view; what happened to have him/her feel this way? What would they say during a confrontation? Do you behave in a way that could cause them to feel jealous (like bragging or rubbing your successes in their face)?

When actually broaching the topic, do it in a calm, rational and honest manner. Avoid accusing them of being jealous – try sharing your feelings about how distant your friendship has grown, and invite them to share their thoughts. Give constant reassurance about how much you value the friendship, and your honest admiration for their character/achievements. Being open and candid about the matter will help to shed light and hopefully fix the issue. 

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The One Who Gives Backhanded Compliments. This person probably took a page out of our resident favourite Mean Girl, Regina George’s playbook. Every time this person says something to you, you get pretty confused because you’re never really sure if they were complimenting or insulting you. 

How to deal: There are several effective ways to respond to these confusing remarks – either ignore it, acknowledge only the good part and thank them for it (which will probably annoy your ‘friend’ to no end), use humour to counter that snarky statement, or address it straight on: “that comment was hurtful”. Whichever way you choose, don’t raise to their petty bait! 

Other ways to deal

Find Out What The Problem Is

Before taking any drastic action, try reaching out to this person and ask them why they’ve been acting in a particular way towards you. Who knows, they might not have had any idea that their actions were causing you any distress. Talking about what’s been bothering the both of you in a non-confrontational manner can help repair any damage done and help to get the friendship back to normal. 

Set Some Boundaries

We’re not saying that every moment you spend with this person is negative, but it’s important to not be tricked into having a false sense of security. While it might be unnatural to do so, set boundaries around various topics of conversation, and always avoid sharing personal information. The key is to not overshare and give them something they can use against you in the future.

Don’t Fight Fire With Fire

It just creates a bigger flame. It’s easy to want to give them a taste of their own medicine, but it’s not worth it, especially if you think that the friendship might be worth salvaging. Being mean towards them or talking about them behind their back would just mean that you’re stooping to their level, and it would create more tension and could potentially lead to an explosive argument between you two. 

Know When To Let Go

Lastly, if you’ve tried everything on this list and nothing else works, then it might be high time to end the friendship. Some people are just not worth the emotional draining. Losing the friendship may be hard at first, but your mental wellbeing comes first, and removing this toxic person from your life will help you feel better in the long run.

What are some other ways you utilise to help deal with the frenemies in your life? Let us know in the comments below!

More related stories: Students Share Their Tried-And-Tested Study Hacks, 6 Easy Ways To Stand Out At Your Internship, 9 Ways To Make A Good First Impression

Updated Post Divider Ad_30th October 2017

Setting sail on an unconventional journey into the boundless world of maritime, Teenage speaks to MaritimeONE scholars Thaddeus Tan and Calista Chan on their journey thus far. 

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What sparked your interest in the maritime industry?

Thaddeus: When I was young, my dad used to bring me on boat rides. The apartment where I spent my childhood also overlooked the southern coast and port infrastructure. However, my interest in the maritime industry was only crystallised after two internships, which exposed me to the massive ecosystem of the maritime industry in Singapore. It was a combination of these factors that led me to pursue my studies in this field.

Calista: Growing up, I wasn’t really exposed to the industry. So when I first heard about seafaring, it sparked a huge interest because it’s not like your average nine-to-five job. This made me want to venture into this unconventional field.

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Did the industry differ from your initial expectations?

Calista: I imagined it to be very rugged and filled with physically strong people – think Popeye the sailor man! As I’m quite petite, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to take on strenuous tasks. However, after gaining greater exposure to the industry, I realised that it encompasses more than just tasks related to seafaring; it also comprises port operations, chartering, brokering and many other ancillary support activities that might be based onshore. 

Thaddeus: After learning more about this sector through networking events and internships, I found out that it’s more exciting and dynamic than what I expected.

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What are the highlights of being a MaritimeONE scholar?

Thaddeus: Having the opportunity to forge lasting friendships in the maritime industry. From attending various events and workshops such as the recent Scholars’ Advance Programme, I discovered that the MaritimeONE scholars’ community is a close-knit one. We’ve had plenty of self-initiated events throughout the years and I see MaritimeONE alumni coming back to help out.

Take us through a typical day in school.

Thaddeus: As a Year 4 engineering student, my day begins in the lab – where I flit between having my breakfast, to tending to my experiments and handling different software. I meet friends for lunch and we collectively grumble about our final year projects before returning to the lab to work on my final year project. Then I head off for my night classes, since most Year 4 electives are held at night.

Calista: We attend lessons from 8am to about 3pm, depending on our stipulated timetable. Lessons are held mainly in the classrooms, but there are also opportunities for a more hands-on experience. We get to operate speedboats and receive practical lessons on lifeboats and life rafts at Singapore Polytechnic’s (SP) Poly Marina located at West Coast Ferry Road. After spending 12 months out at sea, we then learn about navigation at SP’s simulation centre in Year 3.

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What’s the most challenging and rewarding aspect of being in the maritime industry?

Thaddeus: The most challenging aspect would be keeping up with the trends as this is an industry that never sleeps. It has many diverse sectors from port to maritime services; global trade is ongoing and shipping runs like clockwork.

Calista: I would say the most rewarding part is how every aspect of the industry is interconnected. This creates a lot of opportunities and good career prospects for those interested in joining this field!

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What’s a misconception about the maritime industry that you would like to set straight?

Calista: Many think that the maritime industry is a male-dominated one. While this may be true, there are more female captains on the rise, all of whom are very good at what they do. I would say the industry is rather diverse – anyone is welcome to join!

What are the important takeaways from your journey thus far?

Thaddeus: I realised that I should always look at the big picture and ensure that my efforts pay off in the long run. During my internship, I also learned how to handle dynamic situations with ease and get creative when solving problems.

Calista: I’ve learnt that I’m not someone who gives up easily. I face challenges with a positive mindset, which puts me in a better position to overcome them. I also firmly believe in reaping what you sow, hence I devote a lot of hard work to everything I do.

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What’s a piece of advice you would like to give those who wish to pursue a maritime career?

Thaddeus: Internships are one of the best ways to really understand what this industry has to offer, so go for it!

Calista: Have passion for everything you do. With passion, work would seem less like a chore because you’d love what you do and even look forward to it every day.

Calista is studying the Diploma in Nautical Studies, Singapore Maritime Academy at Singapore Polytechnic, while Thaddeus is pursuing his Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical Engineering) at National University of Singapore. This article was brought to you by Singapore Maritime Foundation. Click here for more information on applying for the MaritimeONE scholarship programme. 

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8 Tips To Love Yourself Better

13 Oct 2017 by Lynette Goh

Neglecting our emotions and innermost thoughts for too long can lead to insecurities and negativity. If this year hasn’t been too good to you, and you’re understandably feeling a little burnt out, here is a guide to self-love and appreciation because all you deserve it. 

#1 Aim to strive healthily 

If you find yourself feeling lousy about yourself because you cannot keep up with people’s expectations of you, then perhaps it is time to define the differences between striving healthily and being a perfectionist. Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfectly, look perfectly and act perfectly, we can avoid the pain of blame, judgment and shame. It will keep you asking yourself, “What will they think of me?” Meanwhile, healthy striving is different – it targets your growth, your emotions and personal goals. It is about chasing after something you value, instead of what people want from you. No one is perfect anyway, and this consistent pursuit to meet people’s expectations is a never-ending race. Quit that to run your own, and you’ll be happier.

#2 Compliment yourself

“Love yourself like Kanye loves Kanye” and jokes aside, Kanye is totally an emblem of #SelfLoveGoals. The rapper even has a song about himself named “I Love Kanye” and even though he may come off as an arrogant egomaniac, his compliments are not frivolous or thoughtless. We can learn a thing or two from his confidence to give our self-esteem a little boost and realise how recognising our strengths is just another form of encouragement we need when times get tough. 

#3 Take care of yourself

Yes, you hear it from us: be good to yourself. Nothing beats celebrating your body and looking after it. “Honour its needs through thirty-minute runs, long showers, flossing my teeth and drinking lots of water,” are Mary Dunlop of Tiny Buddha’s top tips. Clean up your diet, ensure you are getting enough sleep and treating yourself occasionally are little things that we miss out on when our schedules get busy, and it will help you feel better about yourself.

#4 Be unafraid of vulnerability

Vulnerability comes in many forms – taking responsibility for something that went wrong at work, telling your parents you love them, or acknowledging that you are worthy of love – and we often find it hard to come to terms with the reality that we are flawed. Some people translate vulnerability into rage or disconnection, but one thing you can do for yourself differently is to transform it into courage; to recognise them, slow down and seek support. “Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance”, Brene Brown writes in her book, Daring Greatly.

#5 Explore different art forms

Art soothes and relaxes. It could be a new canvas with some paints and brushes, a karaoke session, making music, or pottery. Channel your inner Picasso or Adele by picking up a new skill that allows you to explore the realm of creativity. Art is liberating, and it will allow you to express yourself in many ways. Who knows, you might discover a new talent you never knew you had!

#6 Spend some time alone 

A great part of learning to be comfortable in our own skin is to enjoy some time alone. The whirlwind of life is unending, and it can get exhausting at times. Setting aside some alone time can help you learn more about yourself, organise your thoughts, and deal with your emotions calmly. The more time alone time you have, the easier it is to develop a sense of self-confidence and self-love. 

#7 Think positive thoughts only

If all of the above is not working out, you can try changing perspectives and possessing a positive mindset. We all have our inner critic that’s unnecessarily harsh on ourselves and you need to know when to shut it up. 

Start by giving yourself credit for the things you do – practice positive affirmation, forgive yourself for your mistakes, look at the bigger picture and be grateful for the little things in life. Positive thinking is a step ahead of recognising your vulnerabilities, and it needs to be put to constant practice. Make a conscious effort and it will impact your life greatly.

#8 Guilt is not bad for you

If you feel guilt, it is good. Guilt allows us to change the things we do and the decisions we make. It occurs when we compare something we have done, or failed to do, with our values. Guilt is: if you made a mistake that really hurts someone’s feelings, you will say “I made a mistake, I am sorry.” It is different from shame where it makes you go, “I am sorry I am the mistake.” Knowing the distinction is important because there is a difference in who we are and what we did. It provides a more positive outlook on life because we can change what we do.

Featured image: Bart LaRue on Unsplash

How do you pick up the skill of feeling good in your own skin? Let us know in the comments section!

More related stories: 6 YA Books About Mental Health Every Teen Needs To Read, 7 Tips For Quality Rest Every Sleep-deprived Student Needs To Know, 10 Things We All Do But Won’t Ever Admit

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First off, the facts: one in five young people may be suffering from a mental illness, while the number of teenagers who have called a suicide hotline has doubled in recent years. Yet despite the alarming increase in today’s youths experiencing such pressing concerns, there’s still a lack of discussion surrounding the topic of mental wellness.

In light of World Mental Health Day on 10 October, we hope to break the stigma of mental health – starting with you. Ahead, we share the stories of these inspiring millennials who braved the odds and emerged stronger than ever.

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“Depression has many angles of attack. Some days it feels like a stifling boredom, other days an existential despair. In its harshest form it becomes a self-imposed exile on Life via suicide. I feel that therapy is very often a conflict between the values of the therapist and the client. There really are no ‘silver bullets’ to things, whether you look at philosophy, psychology or psychiatry. In fact, the many interconnecting and sometimes conflicting views provide great anxiety. Sometimes all we need is for someone to tell us, ‘You aren’t okay.’ And that’s okay.” 

– Andrew Yuen, The Glitter Mask Project*

“I always wished that I could be like other people. I tend to compare, especially with my friends who have been working a few years at the same job. I can’t even stay at one myself for so long.

I don’t know how other people do it, but my situation is different so I can’t really compare. But there’s something that I always keep in my head and I got this from my psychiatrist who told me that, ‘You take a few steps forward, like five steps forward. Even if you fall back, like two or three steps, you’re still ahead’.”

– Nawira Baig Bte Israr Baig, The Glitter Mask Project*

“What I felt for a long while was that I hadn’t moved on from being an insecure teenager. Sometimes I really feel like I’m being immature and I’m always worried about making a fuss out of nothing. But I also realise that when you go through this, you are forced to examine yourself. You’re forced to face your fears, because that’s the only way you can really move on from this. And I know that I have grown up because I acknowledge that life is really short and struggles are not necessarily bad. You’re not a bad person because you’ve faced these difficulties and challenges.”

– Melissa Rachel Kwan, The Glitter Mask Project*

Lyn

“Dear you,

You were a person who constantly strived to be perfect. Failure wasn’t an option because there was only perfection. You just got out of a relationship, you’re not doing well in school, and your family was a mess. Sinking into a dark hole where your mind ran wild with negative thoughts, you thought about how you could end your life. Having been in and out of counselling, you always knew there was help out there but you just weren’t rational enough to take the first step. One fine day, you were walking home and a neighbour asked you how your day was. That changed everything. You’re getting the help you needed and I’m proud of you. You know you can’t be perfect, but you know you can be you.

Dear me,

I was diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder the day before my 22nd birthday. Like in Taylor Swift’s ‘22’, everything wasn’t alright – but it will be.”

– Lyn, Teenage reader

Samantha

“Growing up, I’ve heard my fair share of offhanded comments people make about ‘being OCD’. They laugh at it like it’s no big deal, but what they don’t know is that it’s more than just a penchant for cleanliness.

Being diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) since I was 13, I was neither the person who would wash their hands till it’s scrubbed red and raw; nor would I check the door exactly seven times before leaving the house. OCD creeps up on people in different ways, and for me: it’s walking on the streets as I fight the urge to turn back home and check whether the toilet lid is shut; it’s waking up in the middle of the night, heart pounding as images keep replaying over and over again in my head; it’s deluding myself into thinking that I am a horrible person and I will never get better.

Four years later, I still have thoughts keeping me up at night, and I still worry about things I know will never happen. I’ve lost some battles, but that doesn’t mean I’ll ever stop fighting. Some day, I hope to live a life where obsessions and compulsions no longer control me. What does it feel like? I don’t even remember. But till then, I’ll keep going. And I know you, reading this, can too.”

– Samantha Lai, Teenage reader

SEAGATE-LIM

“I have Asperger Syndrome and a Sensory Disorder, but I found sanctuary through the process of creating art which allowed me to deal better with my emotions. In the world of art, there is no right and wrong. I can express myself boldly and freely in my artworks. It has taught the perfectionist in me to see things in different perspectives. I learned that I can be imperfect to be perfect. I hope that my piece will encourage everyone to understand that we’ve all made mistakes. Look up to the light that brings hope; it will lead us out of the darkness.”

– Seagate Lim, Hope, Little Artists’ 20th Anniversary LAUREATES Exhibition

Tricia-Chua

“It’s been years since my first encounter with a psychiatrist, and so many things have changed. While I still have low days, I’ve learned to address my emotions and come out stronger. I am not confined by my illness, nor am I defined by it. Rather, I am in a period of growth, just like everyone else.

As I write this, I want to express my thoughts about mental health. Major Depression is a nasty illness and I wish no one has to go through it. My doctors tell me that while it is a very real illness, I can get well with their help. I’m on my way to getting better now that I have the support I need. I remind myself that relapses are not the end of the world.

This year, I started a project named REdisCOVER with my friends who are also conquering mental health issues. It’s a taboo topic in our society, but we hope to spark conversations about it so others in similar shoes won’t feel alone. I really hope other people facing the same challenges will find the strength to seek help, because they are deserving of all the love they can get.

I think the hardest part of recovery is that very few people truly understand what I am going through. It can be difficult to talk about any of my feelings with other people, because they just think I’m ‘crazy’. There has been such a stigma surrounding mental illness that we often feel like outcasts. But really, we are just like everyone else. The fact that I am about to cross the finish line for my A-level studies at MDIS proves that life goes on and that things will work out in the end!”

– Tricia Chua, Teenage reader

*A collaboration between UNSAID and Anya Likhitha

Have a story to share? Here are three youth platforms where you can speak your mind and be heard.

The Tapestry Project | www.thetapestryproject.sg

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Having struggled with depression and anxiety since her formative years, freelance writer Nicole Kay founded The Tapestry Project in 2014 as a creative space where readers are able to share their stories and find help within the community. Her passion project has since taken off, garnering an outpour of thought-provoking entries through the years that shed light on the widely misunderstood topic of mental health. Today, Nicole is in the process of recovery. If you’re interested in writing for Tapestry, drop them a note at [email protected]

UNSAID | www.unsaid.sg

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A student-led collective started by Timothy Seet and friends, UNSAID runs in a similar vein to The Tapestry Project – encouraging dialogue via the power of storytelling. Instead of restricting themselves to one singular theme, the UNSAID team aims to tackle a different issue every year, with mental health being the core focus for the whole of 2017. Beyond words, they also seek to raise awareness through a series of original plays such as How To Be Happy and How Did I Mess Up This Bad: An Analysis.

Human Library Singapore | www.humanlibrarysg.org

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First launched in Denmark back in 2000, the concept of a Human Library has since gained traction around the world, with Singapore jumping onto the bandwagon. The idea is ingenious: readers will be able to ‘loan’ a Human Book, in which real people share their stories in an intimate reading session. Recently, PsychKick co-founder Shafiqah came onboard to share her experience battling depression and suicide. Through this initiative, Human Library SG hopes to challenge the stereotypes surrounding mental health and other issues.

If you are thinking about suicide or know someone with suicidal thoughts, please call Samaritans of Singapore at 1800-221 4444 (24-hour hotline), or email them at [email protected].

This article was adapted from the October 2017 issue of Teenage. Featured image: UNSAID

More related stories: 6 YA Books About Mental Health Every Teen Needs To Read7 Tips For Quality Rest Every Sleep-Deprived Student Needs To KnowHow A Young Local Artist Found His Voice Through Art

Updated Post Divider Ad_30th October 2017

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