Wednesday, May 18, 2016

BS: Top 6 Reasons You Should Get Off Your Phone!

Many a time we find ourselves spending countless hours on our phones and other devices. Below in no specific order, are my top 6 reasons why should you should put done your phone!

1. Being present

I think one of the biggest downsides to always being on your phone is the fact that we often do not live in the moment. Rather than experiencing something with friends and family, we miss it by checking our instagrams and other social media. Many times when I am out with friends I have found myself texting someone or posting a picture on Instagram whilst we are eating lunch or walking around. I now make an effort to not go on my phone when I am with other people and only use it to check the time or take photos. I can post them on instagram later.

2. Stimulates your brain

Research has shown that being on your phone at night before you go to bed actually delays and minimizes the level of melatonin produced. Melatonin helps relax your body and prepare it for sleep. The brightness of the screen really stimulates your brain. This stimulation is often increased when you play are game or watch videos. Try not bringing your phone to bed with you or even put it on the other side of the room so you don't use it. 

3. Socialize

So many people these days maintain their relationships with people via facebook or facetime, but rarely see each other. If you are able to, organise with them to actually meet up and talk face to face. Not only will this get you out of the house but you are also creating a new experience with that person that you can cherish. The people in my life who I am closest to I talk to over the phone but we also make the effort to catch up every now and again and to hang out. This is so important for all kinds of relationships!

4.  Procastination

Many people when they want to avoid doing what they know they need to, find themselves getting lost in the world of youtube or even starting conversations with friends. I am completely guilty of doing this - I do a lot of my uni work on my laptop and so tend to get distracted scrolling through my social media feeds and texting friends on Facebook. Just think, if you did not do this, the time taken to complete whatever you need to do will be reduced - you can spend longer surfing Facebook and Instagram later!

5.  Living in the real world

Rather than spending hours and hours watching videos of other people living their lives vlogs), why don't you start to live your own? I used to spend hours watching vlogs on Youtube and found myself feeling silly because I was spending so much time watching other people's lives unfold. Create new experiences for yourself and go on your own adventures. If you are in the position to, rather than watching other people go on holiday, go on a holiday yourself! You will feel so much more fulfilled when you start to live for yourself!

6. Health

Lots of research is constantly being done in relation to heart disease, obesity and other diseases and increased screen time; a strong correlation has been found with increased susceptibility to illness and increased screen time. Rather than spending hours lying on the couch listening to music, why don't you listen to music whilst you go for a walk or do some other activity. You could use going on your phone as a reward; do thirty minutes of exercise every day and and then go on your phone. This could also be done for other devices such as laptops, tablets and TVs.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

President's Guide to Exams



It’s that time of the year that everyone dreads, the exam period. It’s coming and it’s coming fast. Luckily for people like me who have no exams, we just get a nice break, mwahaha. But for the rest I decided to use my previous years of exam experience to use and give you a few tips for exam period.

First of all, let’s start with obvious study, study a lot. When it comes to cramming three seconds before the exams however it becomes a bit of a grey area. For subjects that involve a lot of facts and question-answer learn-by-rote stuff cramming if fantastic. 3 seconds into the exam and you find the question looking for a word you read 6 seconds ago, awesome. However for subjects that involve formulas, complex concepts and a generic “understanding” of topics cramming is a disaster. Your minds still going over what you studied three seconds ago but the question is on a different topic, you’re screwed.

Cramming is the tool of a stressed person, but it usually helps, cramming works much better for some who is calm and confident, or at the very least resigned to their fate. For stressed out people I recommend the other approach to pre-exam prep, food. Nothing calms you down like a McFlurry. Added bonus is the sugar rush you get during the exam itself.

However no matter what your attitude or strategy is one thing remains the same: don’t get comfortable. Even if there is a train that arrives at the hated Caulfield Racecourse 10 minutes before your exam, don’t take it. It’s much better to take the one that arrives an hour and a half early, trust me, you’ll feel much better. And no matter what always check the date, time, and seat number at least 10 times the week of your exam(s), those are the things you can’t afford to bugger up.

Now on to the exam itself. For essay-type exams, god save you. Your tutors expect you to write 1000 words per hour, but your hand will start to cramp up within the first 15 minutes. The only advice I can offer you is to plan your time well, never finish an essay, but make sure you use the correct amount of time to consider it, then move on to the next. Always leave yourself at least 15 minutes to go back and add a conclusion to each of your essays.

Question-answer based examinees? You should be familiar with this: do the short/long answer questions first. Thems where the points at. You can always half-ass the multiple choice at the end and still get a decent amount right. Another thing: use the correct amount of space. If there is a lot of space free it usually means you haven’t done enough, double-check your formulas and working out. However before attempting a question make sure you’ll have enough space, if there isn’t enough you might be over thinking it. Or you can find/get a spare space somewhere else so you don’t make a mess of your exam paper.

Now you can finally breath, but don’t worry about if you did this wrong, or that wrong, it’s all over now, one way or another. I hope this helped, good luck everyone.



Stephen Wynton

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

BS: Top 6 Tips For Getting Out Of A 'Rut'!

Can you believe there are only three weeks of Semester 1 left?!?! I feel like it went by so fast! Many of you are probably feeling like "yaaay, holidays are nearly here" whereas others may be thinking "how on Earth am I going to get through the next three weeks?" We all have down periods or 'ruts' where you feel stuck. Hopefully my 6 tips on how to get out of a rut will be of some benefit to you!

1. Admitting

The Key To Happiness Is Letting Each Situation Be What It Is Instead Of What You Think It Should BeAs cliche as it sounds, the first step
 is to admit you are in a 'rut'. Many people who feel stuck try to push through it and deny what they are feeling. Admitting and accepting that you need help or guidance is one of the first steps. Sometimes when I feel stuck, I become really moody and snap at those around me. Tell those close to you how you are feeling. It could be as little as feeling stuck on an assignment. Talking about the assignment with someone could give you some really valuable insight. 

I did this with my own mum the other night; I was completely confused as to what avenue to take on a geography assignment and she provided with with a lot of very valuable information that I took on board - she ended up really helping me decide on the side I wanted to discuss in my essay!

2. Be active

Do it for yourself! #gymtimegtd:

Sometimes if you feel stuck you tend to feel unsuccessful - doing something you can be proud of for doing could be the thing that turns your mood or mindset around. This could be as little as going for a run or walk or even just walking your dog around the block. 
When I used to get into down moods I would just lie in bed and feel sorry for myself when I had planned to work out. Pushing through this and completing a workout with my sister made me feel a whole lot better afterwards. I felt like I had accomplished something and in a way, felt more prepared for whatever was to come next!

3. To Do Lists



At times, you may not even be in a 'rut', you could just be feeling really overwhelmed. Writing down everything you wish to accomplish can really help you to focus! Even if it as simple as go grocery shopping, manually ticking it off your list after having completed it can give you strong feelings of accomplishment. Accomplishment is something I feel is really important to attain when you are in a 'rut' as I feel, (for me at least) it can give you the spark you need to persevere! 

4. Redefine 'happiness'

Choose to be Happy Everyday! http://www.motivationiscalling.com http://facebook.com/motivationiscalling: This tip is based off an article I read 
and have started to try to live by. Reading thousands and thousands of positive quotes online is only so good - you need to begin to live for yourself and practice what you preach! I have to admit, I am guilty for not doing this; rather than simply repinning your favourite quotes, why don't you start trying to live by them?? So many people feel that the only way to be happy is through other people but at the end of the day, you came in this world by yourself, you will leave the world by yourself too! 

You need to begin to find happiness in yourself and begin your journey to do so - this journey differs for everyone; there is no 'right' way! 

5. Set your priorities


the choice is yours.: One of the questions to ask yourself when you are in a 'rut' is to ask if you feel stuck because of those around you or because of yourself? Many people, especially students, feel a lot of pressure from their parents and begin courses that they, deep down, do not want to do. This is not the way to live at all. You can't live your life for other people instead of yourself. What I would suggest doing is to stop and evaluate your priorities. What is it that you really want to do? 

Even if you feel like it is unattainable, dedicate your time to trying to achieve it. Trust me, you will feel so much more happier and accomplished from doing so!

6. Live in it for a bit



I know, you are probably thinking, "WTF!" but hear me out! Rather than doing whatever you can to get out of your 'rut', why not explore your feelings for a bit. Try to assess where you stand and what you want out of life. Sometimes, just sitting there and pondering, rather than running around like a headless chook can be the most beneficial. This sort of links back to my first tip about accepting it - it is okay to feel how you are feeling. Everyone does at some stage in their lives and you are definitely not alone. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Annabelle Movie Review




For any of you scared of dolls (or enticed by them O.o) this movie is definitely for you!

Although not as good as the first movie The Conjuring, it acts as a really good prequel to it. Without giving too much away, strange occurrances begin happening around a doll known as Annebelle, which happened to be present during a murder that took place in 1969.

The main characters, John and Mia Form believe they throw the doll out after a savage murder occurs but Annabelle the doll keeps reappearing! In the beginning, the couple believed the doll was evil but it was not until later that they uncovered something even more sinister!

Here is the trailer for anyone interested:

 
Honestly, I preferred The Conjuring over Annabelle and actually found myself getting really bored during this movie. Sure, there were a couple of jump scares but there was little to no suspense. If you have watched other similar movies, you may even think of it as a 'copy-cat'; the movie itself uses ideas from other 'better' movies :/ I did not engage with the plot, nor the characters which made it worse - I found the two main characters really annoying and the acting was not great. It was also made all the worse by the anti-climatic and disappointing ending.

The back story of Annabelle was very briefly mentioned in the first movie, which made it sound deathly scary and creepy. The movie did not do the actual story justice though. This being said though, those scared of dolls and similar things would probably be creeped out! Horror is one of my favourite movie genres and this just did not take the cake for me!

Rating: 2/5 



 

    

Monday, May 2, 2016

President's Guide to Parks



Everyone needs to relax now and then, and none more than uni students. It’s week something now and assignments, placement and the looming threat of exam period is weighing on everyone’s head. But some fresh air and hopefully some fun with friends can help take your mind off, so this week in giving you a guide to parks near Berwick.

Obviously the one that first springs to mind is the one right next door. With all the rain recently the duck pond will soon be full and sparkling, so that’s nice. And in spring we get ducklings! Which can take anyone’s mind off uni for a few moments, as long as you stay away from the angry parent ducks. This park also has a relatively new skate park, which I am ambivalent about if I’m honest. Another quirk is the interesting pavement on the other side of the pond that is actually in the shape of Australia, with several tiles painted for the major cities. Interestingly enough, this is where I learnt to ride a bike.

Further along the road there is Pioneer Park, which is where Berwick Primary School used to be. This one has a lot of open sunny fields, good for actual sporty things, or less sporty things like Frisbee, whatever you’re into. It’s also got a pergola to do, pergola things in, and a playground, duh. There is also a cafĂ© on the corner that seems to be quite popular.

Akonah Park is much larger, but is well known for hosting the Berwick Show as well as like every local school’s cross country. But it’s also got quite a few bushy paths to wander along, and Cardinia Creek runs through it so it’s much more naturey than others. There is also a football field and some tennis courts, but I’m not sure if visitors can use them.

The final big park in the area is Wilson Botanical Gardens. This place is on the site of the Berwick Quarry, which made the soil fertile. It’s got heaps of hills so it’s great for an exercise, and there’s a lookout at the top where you can see heaps from. On a sunny day the views are spectacular, both looking into the gardens and lakes, and looking out onto Berwick. They even do occasional events such as movies, but they’re probably more a summer thing.

Anyway, if you feel the urge to get away from it all, I’m sure you can find something relaxing to do in one of these. Enjoy.




Stephen Wynton

BS: Top 6 Reasons You Need a Break!

One thing I have found hard at times to do was to stop studying and to have some 'down time'. I thrive on working and 'doing something' all the time and so it gets challenging to wind down. Here are my top 6 reasons why you need a break!

Preventing the 'burnout'

Sometimes, when you have worked really hard for a long time it is good to have a break. Studies actually show that not breaking up your study sessions can actually be disadvantageous to you. So much is going through your brain at the time that you need time afterwards to consolidate the information and let your brain rest. 

Balance

This year for me has been exceptionally challenging in terms of trying to balance uni, socializing, work and downtime. Sometimes, you just need to say "I am not going to even think of my units or my assignments" so that you can fully be present in the moments spent with family and friends. I know it is easier said than done but sometimes it is necessary to turn your brain off from your studies to socializing. Your friends and family will love you for it in the long run!

Distance

Think of it like a relationship. Everyone needs there space every now and again. If you are with your 'studies' 24/7 you may start to go crazy! Distancing yourself for a short while to have your own downtime can be so beneficial for you. Obviously, don't forget about your studies (like you won't forget about your significant other haha) and go back to it the next day or after a couple of hours.

'Me Time'

Putting off studying or even working to spend time with yourself is not a selfish thing to do! It is necessary every now and again. You need to have a break every so often and do thing for you so you can come back refreshed and ready to kick butt! Even if it is as small as painting your nails or having a shower, this breaks up what you are doing and allows your brain to think of other things!

Illness

A lot of people in university and even in high school work so hard that when there is nothing left to do, their body is physically exhausted and they become more susceptible to colds and viruses. During this time, it is more than okay to take a break - overworking yourself during periods of sickness can be extremely negative for your overall health and may make recovering a lot longer! I have found this hard to do when I am going well with my workouts. I could workout 5 times a week for two weeks straight and all of a sudden I get sick; a lot of the time I try to work out through it but it does nothing but tire my body out more!

You deserve it! 

Most of all, you deserve to take a break for all the hard work you have done! There is absolutely nothing wrong with treating yourself. It doesn't have to be as big as going on a holiday; you could do something as simple as taking the week of work or study to catch up on TV shows or even hang out with friends! I try to do this every now and again because without this, I would go crazy!

Hope you enjoyed this post. Feel free to comment below your favourite 'break activities'. Stay tuned for Wednesday where I will be reviewing Annabelle the movie!


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Conjuring Movie Review


I don't know about you guys but I sure do love me a good horror movie! 

Directed by James Wan and based on a true story, The Conjuring follows the story of two world renowned paranormal investigators, who are called upon to help the Perron family who experience hauntings in their secluded farmhouse. I don't want to give too much away as the story line is really good and it is made even scarier by the fact that it is based off real life paranormal investigators and events. For anyone who is interested, I have linked the trailer below:


One thing I must say I really liked was the trailer itself. By itself, the trailer was actually pretty terrifying! A lot of the trailer in horror movies tend to more or less give away the ending - this one built suspense before you even watched the movie!

As a whole, the acting in The Conjuring was really good and there were a lot of jump scares to keep you on edge! I loved that the overall feel was really creepy - seeing the clips of bodies hanging from the tree and swinging in the wind really got to me and made it all the more suspenseful!

"This James Wan scarefest is frighteningly effective and surprisingly spiritual. But the images it offers will haunt you long after you turn the lights back on". Full review
Paul Asay

This line from Paul Asay's review on the movie is one that I really agree with. Although, I did not find the movie itself overly scary, what made me a little scared afterwards was the whole idea of it actually being real. In his review, Chris Stuckmann summed this up by stating "the scariest thing to an audience is has nothing to do with what you see, but what you don't". This is very true for this movie. After the movie finished, it gave me a lot to think about and made me really uncomfortable for a good couple of hours!

I am sure in the years to come, Wan's The Conjuring will be known as a 'classic'. It is that good!

Rating: 4.5/5


Monday, April 25, 2016

BS: Top 6 Youtube Channels to Help You Study!

As a uni student, I have found myself studying content and terminology for countless hours but with still little solid understanding at the end. Because of this, I love to watch youtube videos as I go as it provides a visual representation of the content I am studying and puts it into context. Below, in no specific order, are my top 6 youtube channels for studying!

CrashCourse
 
I honestly cannot recommend this channel enough. Many different topics on this channel are taught by different people, including Hank Green who is John Green's brother. The videos are very colourful, engaging and interesting! I would not rely on this youtube channel as your sole study option for your unit but it is a very good resource for before, during and after studying for a basic understanding. 

TEDx Talks

 
I have found this channel very helpful for my teaching units as the channel offers a lot of teahcing related talks that I have found very beneficial. The guest speakers are usually from certain fields and have experience in what they are discussing. Some of the speakers are hilarious and really engage you!

SciShow

 
Like CrashCourse, every week various topics are explored by Hank Green and another speaker in a very interesting and engaging way! The thing I love about these channels is Hank's voice. I don't know what it is about him but he is just so easy to listen to. I also really like all the animations that are used when discussing various topics and subjects!

MinuteEarth

 

There are many people who present the videos on this channel. It is mainly a channel about scientific topics relating to the Earth. The thing I love about these videos is they are quite short, only a couple of minutes, and they are very engaging! 

 CGP Grey

CGP Grey
This channel is good in that it offers a wide range of videos on all different things; from the Lord of the Rings mythology to videos on technology and European cities. They have something for everyone! I wouldn't say this channel is effective for uni courses but it is pretty good for random facts and information you never knew you needed!
Veritasium
 

Similar to CGP Grey, Veritasium offers hundreds of videos on all different random topics and provides facts and information on things that are not normally explored or even mentioned in normal classes. This is more of a channel to watch for your own benefit, rather than for a specific unit of work.