Want VS Need

MoneyWritten by Priscilla Moctezuma

Have you ever walked into your favorite clothing store and wanted to buy every single item? I know I have, and it is extremely tempting. The real question you should ask yourself is:“Do I want it or do I need it?” Teaching yourself not to buy certain things will not be easy, but worth it. It begins with identifying the differences between want vs. need. When you want something it is because you desire it, everyone has it, so now I want one. On the other hand, when you need something it is because you cannot survive without it.In contrast, another way to look at differences is by observing how we eat. For example, needing something to eat vs. wanting to go out to a nice restaurant.

When you are of age to start working, getting a job will help create the boundaries between want vs need. In the mean time, volunteer! Volunteering looks amazing on your college application, and it will help you recognize the differences between your wants and needs.”What you want” will no longer matter because you will surround yourself with people who are less fortunate than you are and it will help you recognize that wanting the new iPhone will no longer be an importance to purchase since it’s something you don’t necessarily need at the moment. Doing so, will put everything into perspective and helps them realize “the new outfit mom bought was not a big deal anymore”.

Amelia*, a high school junior, says she loves to help her community. “It  teaches me that I can change a person’s life by a simple smile or a conversation. Volunteering helped me set aside my wants and focus on the things I already had. So, should you volunteer ? Absolutely! It really change my perspective on life.”

When you are ready to start working in high school, a job and creating a budget will help determine your wants vs needs. Balancing your money is super important.  A job can teach you the value of the dollar by working hours to get more money.  Once you have received your money, set it aside.  Cash can be very easy to spend, so I recommend storing it away. This method can allow your savings to increase and can create the opportunity to spend on something you truly need.

“One thing I have learned about getting a job is that’s it not easy, but totally worth the paycheck. Sure, you have urges to spend, but once you realize how much a meal is at Chick-fil-a that price helps you establish a budget. Especially, if you have the responsibility of paying for your cellphone bill now, like me since I am about to be considered an adult, my parents say. My advice is budget yourself. Once that is done, you can then separate what you need and want,” says Marianne, high school senior.

I know it’s hard to not buy that cute dress at the mall, but other young girls do not have that option. So, next time just think to yourself, “do I really need it? If the answer no, walk away.

*Name has been changed. 

Dealing with Stress

Both at home and school, different things cause you stress. Stress can be a lot to handle! There are many different ways to de-stress, and figuring out which way works for you can help you to cool off, relax, and concentrate better.

Here are some tips to de-stress from fellow Latinitas that you can use when you find yourself in a stressful situation!

Music to Ease Your Troubles

Music can help us relax and take some time to ourselves. “The way I de-stress is to go to my room and put on my favorite music…I mostly listen to 5 Seconds of Summer and One Direction,” says Ariana, 13.  Listening to some of your favorite tunes, whatever kind of music that might be, can relieve stress and will usually brighten your mood, too!

Pets Can Make Amazing Pals!

The love and friendship of a pet can be the perfect thing to take away some stress. You can hang out with them, relax and pet them, or you can take them for a walk! Plus, they’re great listeners and fun company!  Alexis, 11, shares, “What I do to de-stress is play with my dogs. I love playing with my dogs because they relieve stress. Just looking at them makes me happy.”

Get up, Get Active!

stressGetting exercise can be very calming and take your mind off of what is stressing you out. Daniella, 11, suggests to “go outside and ride your bike”, and Celeste, 10, says, “Another tip is to go to your room and do yoga.”  Playing your favorite sport, taking a walk, or going outside for some fresh air are all different ways that getting active can calm you down.

Battle of the Siblings 

Do you fight with your siblings?  Disagreeing with a brother or sister can be very stressful, and is something a lot of us with siblings go through! Nyla, 11, offers this helpful advice for dealing with sibling arguments: “Just don’t talk about things you don’t agree on. If you start a fight then walk away.”

Drowning in Schoolwork?
 When homework and schoolwork pile up on you, it can be stressful trying to finish it all! “You can hurry and do the work and be done with it,” Hayle, 10, suggests, if you struggle with procrastination. Keeping track of all your assignments and making time to get work done early can help you avoid dealing with the stress of having to finish it all at the last minute!

Troubles in the Classroom?
If classmates are bothering you or distracting you from work, it can be stressful trying to focus in class. To deal with this and take away that stress, Desiree, 10, advises you to “try talking to the person and try to make friends with them. Maybe you don’t know her/him very well.” Talking out what’s bothering you can help to relieve the stress of keeping it all inside!

Stress can be difficult to deal with, and can come from so many different sources, but with these tips to help you out, you can make healthy steps towards becoming a less-stressed, happier, and healthier chica!

Living La Vida Healthy

Water - healthy optionHealthy chicas share their top tips to staying healthy.

1. Focus on the Whole You

-”You not only have to focus on being physically healthy or good eating habits, but also being mentally healthy, emotionally healthy and physically.” -Ariana

-”Being healthy by staying active and eating well will give you energy and it improves your emotional and physical being.”-Lesly

-”Keep your body healthy both mentally and physically.” – Elizabeth

 

2. Stay Active

-”Stay fit so that you can feel good about yourself.” -Victoria.

-”Exercising is healthy like volleyball, basketball, track, tennis and dancing.” – Ydaliz

-”Go outside and get active for 60 minutes or more.” – Alyssa

-”Exercise to keep your body healthy.” -Kiara

-”Be more active to keep your body healthy.” – Ashley

-”Exercise by doing zumba, yoga or even belly dancing.” – Abigail

 

3. Eat Healthy Foods

-”Eat healthy like veggies and fruit. Eat breakfast every day.  -Ashley

-”Eat vegetables and fruits.  It is not good to eat junk food all the time, but it is okay to eat a little bit for it sometimes.” -Alyssa

-”You should eat a lot of green vegetables and eat lots of colorful fruits to stay strong and safe.” – Natalie

-”We should eat more healthy stuff then junk food.” – Kiara

-You have to stay healthy and don’t eat a lot of junk food.” -Senorina

 

4. Be Confident & Take Care of Your Mental Health

-”Don’t listen to what others think or say to you.” -Elizabeth

-”You should also not compare yourself to other people and never give up on yourself.” – Victoria

-”I’ve been struggling with my self-esteem for a while, but I learned how to stay healthy mentally and physically. I know that I’ll eventually learn how to be content with me and my body.” -Ariana

-”You shouldn’t criticize yourself or compare yourself to other people.” – Senorina

-”Don’t think negative about yourself and love who you are.” -Elizabeth

5. Make Healthy Choices

-”Don’t do drugs like alcohol or smoking.” – Ydaliz

-”Smoking can cause a lot of bad stuff like it can cause cancer and it will cause a lot of problems.” – Kiara

-”Don’t smoke. It can cause lung cancer.” – Avery

-”Don’t drink alcohol. Too much beer can give you brain damage.” -Daniella

Tips to a Stress Free Holiday

christmas-gift1The joyful holiday season can sometimes feel like one of the most stressful times of the year. Between shopping, entertaining and parties, we tend to forget what the holidays are about: happiness. Here are some tips in order to avoid letting the stress take over and bring down your joy.

Get your list done early:  Buying and wrapping gifts takes a while. It is a good idea to get a head start by buying things early when there is more of a selection. If you’re baking something, buying the ingredients days before the actual party will take off a lot of pressure. Also don’t do everything by yourself; cleaning the house and decorating is a job for more than one person. If for whatever reason you end up doing it all, start early one spot at a time. Asking people what they want relieves us from the constant wondering of if they’re going to like what we got them.

Go tech- free: “My mom always taught my sister and me to not use any technology at the table, and it’s a custom we also use on holidays. The whole family goes tech-free because once we’re all together we don’t need anything else,” said Diana Palma, age 15

Avoid expensive gifts: Almost nobody is at the top of the mountain when we’re talking about economic situation, and sometimes the holidays just make us resent it even more. It is not easy to buy gifts for every single member of the family especially in Hispanic families because we tend to be very large. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars in gifts, search for alternatives. DIY gifts are always a good optional. There are dozens of websites with great ideas to copy. If you’re not a crafty person, you can always look for coupons or start a family gift exchange. The American Psychological Association recommends being open with family if money is an issue.

Focus on the season of giving: Helping others can five us a warm feeling. Volunteering to aid those in need also helps us appreciate what we have. “Every year my family gets involved in some kind of volunteering. We are picky and try to do just one or two volunteer projects together,” shared Claudia Escobedo, age 16

Learn to say no: You’re only one person and can’t always attend to every single party you’re invited to. You may think that it is rude to say no, but it’s not. Besides what is the point of being at a party that you’re clearly not enjoying? People will appreciate your presence more when you are stress free and in a good mood.

Connect with Family: After not seeing your relatives for a long time, holidays are the perfect time to reconnect with them. According to the American Psychological Association, being with those who care about you can help alleviate stress. With this purpose in mind, you can organize get-togethers where each member of the family brings something to the reunion, so the load is not only on one person.

Benefits of Keeping a Journal

Latina Girl Writing - LatinitasKeeping a journal or diary is often painted in a poor light. It has probably had a bad wrap as the chore assigned to you in elementary school, and it sounds like a cheesy thing to do, but it can actually be very helpful and beneficial. If you are shy at the thought of really owning the concept, know that this does not have to be a public item. It does not have to be advertised to your peers that you reflect on paper, it can be a secret, and a happy one at that!

A journal or diary, whichever you prefer to call it, can bring personal comfort during times when you wish to meditate on things in a constructive manner. Consider this mental exercise where you can rid yourself of bad thoughts and stress. When you see your words on paper, it helps put things in perspective when you have pressing things on your mind. If you are preparing for a speech or difficult conversation, writing it down can help you be more articulate in your argument.  As they say, “practice makes perfect.” In this sense, writing anything down, even for fun and/or personal use, helps with articulating yourself in other non-journal writing.

Reflecting in your journal clears your mental clutter so that you can have a healthier head space. Writing down your thoughts, or anything you wish to keep in your journal helps as a cathartic release for pent up thoughts or emotions. Writing after an upsetting event can help you process your feelings and better understand how your thoughts and emotions connect. Outside of being a release, it can help with your mood by lifting your spirits. When you are feeling low, write down the things that you like the most about yourself. They can be anything from physical traits, to personality, or other things that you think you excel at.

With a documentation on your thoughts, wishes, dreams, daily life, or whatever you choose to write about, you can track your progress regarding goals that you might have. For example, writing about your goals in school and how you are making it every step of the way will help you in the long run when you see your steps laid down on paper in front of you. A journal is super helpful once you start planning your road to college!

The beautiful thing about keeping a personal journal is that you can do this whichever way and however often you like. Some will find that writing on a daily basis is very rewarding exercise and might choose to make it a part of their lives that often. Others might find that reflecting every couple of days, once a week, or even once a month is the best for them.

Fun Ways to Be Fit

While it may not be the thing that many of us look forward to doing, exercise is very important for living healthily. Being fit has countless benefits that assist in living well. Beyond getting some endorphins flowing and toning your body, exercise gives your muscles and bones better longevity when it comes to bodily wear and tear. Exercising regularly also helps with relieving stress and lifting a bad mood. The following are some ways to make fitness a fun and enjoyable habit:

1. Zumba

The hype surrounding this is here for a reason. These latin-dance inspired fitness classes offer fun and invigorating ways to be fit. Check your local dance studios and/or gyms to see if they offer classes. If you like dancing, these are the fitness classes for you.

2. At Home Workouts

For a workout without leaving the comfort of your home, look into YouTube for everything from yoga tutorials to weight training, and more. Find a fitness video for whatever you seek to do whether it be toning your core, or simply a new cardio workout. You can search for videos to work with equipment of your own, or find videos on tutorials for equipment-free workouts. Best of all, this is free!

3. Exercise With Friends

Pair up with a friend who will pledge to workout with you. Knowing that someone else expects you to take time to exercise with them is an incentive to keep doing it. It also helps if you share your goals with others. When you know that someone expect you to be held accountable for progress, it is more motivating than doing it alone.

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4. FitSugar

FitSugar is a site dedicated to keeping up with the best trends in fashion, cooking, lifestyle and fitness, of course. Find a variety of fitness videos for any kind of workout you wish. This is a fun site for a quick and easy selection of fun workout tutorials. The tutorials range from ten to forty-five minutes, and the routines are exciting and challenging. Within each video there are modified instructions for beginners, as well as more challenging routine instructions for those with more advanced fitness levels. If you have a pinterest account, you can find pins with links to the variety of fitness tutorials, or you can follow the board for constant updates.

Essentially, you can be fit on any budget and with any schedule. No matter how busy you get with school and other stressors, make sure you make time to be fit. You will find that it is one of the best things you can do for your body, it will help you stay healthy and happy and it is never too late to start.

Advice: Dealing with la Familia

hispanicfamily

Family is family,  but every family is different. Some families were raised with two parents, some families might have none. Some families might have no brothers and sisters, and some families might not have a lot of money. And that’s ok.

Every family relationship is different. There is not one way in which a family should be. However, there are certain things that can be done to improve a family dynamic and make the family the best it can be.

One of the things a family can do to make sure the family structure is healthy is to have family dinners together with no television or cell phones. Nowadays, families that still gather around the family table tend to do it while watching television while having one hand on their cellphones and the other hand in their food. Make it a priority to have your parents stop what they are doing, or your younger siblings from playing video games, to gather around the dinner table and bond. This should be done at least once a week, but if possible, should be done once every day.

Another thing a family can do is to have family game nights. Whatever it maybe, have an activity your family can do together. It does not have to be movies! This can be trivia night, or Youtube video watching night, or fishing night. The possibilities are endless! Just find something that all of your family can have fun doing!

 If you find that your family might be going through some problems, it is not out of the ordinary. Do not be afraid to bring your concerns to the attention of your parents or guardians. If you think your family is not spending enough time together, tell your family that! If you feel as if your parents have been too busy with work, let them know.

If this does not work for you, do not be afraid to reach out to an adult. It is ok for your family not to be ok. Do not be afraid to talk to a counselor, teacher, or any other person about issues that your family might be going through.

This is especially true when it comes to your friends. While it might seem like your friends will not understand what you are going through, they will certainly try to make the effort to do so. Sometimes, your friends might be like a source of therapy for you. They will always be someone who is willing to listen. Sure, writing in a journal, or keeping your feelings to yourself is a bit more private, but your friends are people who are just like your family – they will love you no matter what.

 However, if you truly feel like this might not be something you can do, evoke your emotions into a story or poetry. Sometimes letting all your emotions out bring out a new set of emotions that can result in the creation of a beautiful painting or an amazing new song. If this feels uncomfortable to you though, sports are another source of therapy. Being around a group of people who are all passionate about something can provide an even bigger place for you to let out all your emotions.

Whatever the case may be, know that you are not alone. Your family is someone who will always love you, no matter how hard that might be to believe at times. Do not take advantage of them and try to work through all the kinks in your family relationship because when you are finally able to do so, your family relationship will be incredible.

Sizzling Makeup Tips

IMG_2729As we wrap up the end the end of summer, we have the need to keep fresh and sweat-free as long as humanly possible, and your face is no exception. And there are certain rules to live by during the summer for your best facial care. For example, when temperatures rise, it is far more comfortable to wear light makeup than to pack on the foundation.  As most trends in the summer go, your makeup routine should get lighter as well. This means no cakey foundation, and no mineral powder on top of your liquid or mousse foundation. Everything from your blush to your eyeshadows should change for maximum comfort. Read on for some simple tips and tricks on applying and wearing long-lasting makeup.

Wear Sunscreen

Sunscreen is the holy grail of all things makeup. It should be the first thing you apply in your makeup routine, and you should never go a day without it. If you simply cannot give up your foundation routine, you can find some makeup that comes with a little bit of SPF protection. It is always best to have a base or primer in your makeup routine for lasting coverage, and you can use a moisturizer with sunscreen in place of that for the summer or year round. If you would prefer a sheer finish as opposed to medium or heavy coverage, try BB cream, or Beauty Balm cream. Every makeup brand has their own version, some with matte finishes, others with shine. Depending on your preference and skin type, you can find one that suits your skin for a natural summer look, or use during the rest of the year for light coverage throughout.

 Use Cream Eyeshadow

The most recent revolution in eye makeup is the lovely new, cake-free, long-wearing, cream eyeshadow. Maybelline has a lovely collection of varying shades, from vibrant teal to nude beige. You can wear these alone for some color that you can build by simply adding more, or you can use these as primers underneath powdered eyeshadow. The application is quick and easy- just dab your finger in the pot and gently rub onto your lid, spreading the color upward and onto your crease.

 Use Cream Blush

No summer makeup routine is complete without cream blush.  Swap your powdered blushes that appear cakey in the summer, for a light, cream blush for a more natural, dewy finish. Cream blushes can be applied the same way that cream eyeshadow is, using your fingers to spread it across the apples of your cheeks, or you can use a stippling brush to help you spread the color. However you choose to apply it, wearing this new trend in blush will leave you with a summery sun-kissed glow.

Try the Smudged Eyeliner Look

Clean lines and precision in the perfect cat eye is great, but when you want things shaken up a bit, and if you like the idea of “lived-in” liner, follow these simple steps for a eye liner with just the right amount of edge. I highly recommend doing this look with neutral, matte shadows since the eyeliner alone will be a lot of color. For this look you’ll need any color eyeliner that you wish to smudge, and a “C” eyeshadow brush which can be found at your local drugstore. I like to use e.l.f. brand brushes which are both inexpensive and good quality. The first step to achieving the smudged liner look is taking your regular pencil liner and lightly lining the top lash line. This line doesn’t have to be perfect since you’ll be smudging it, anyway, so don’t worry about precision.  You can also dab a little bit along the lower lash line for an even more smokey look, but if you prefer a cleaner look, just do it on the top. Once you have lined your eyes, take the “C” brush and swipe it across your lash line, effectively spreading and smearing the eyeliner. The longer you smudge, the lighter the color will be, and it will spread across your lid, eventually covering your eyeshadow, and this is a great day look, since the color will be diluted. If you keep the eyeliner only smudged along the lash line, you’ll have a darker, more smokey effect. If you decide to do the lower lash line, make sure to apply less eyeliner and smudge very little and very gently with the brush.

If you like these tips and tricks enough, keep them in mind for your makeup routine all year. I suggest changing your palette at the very least, from lighter and brighter colors, for example a shimmery peach blush, to a more matte or subtly shiny pink blush for the winter.  Eyeshadows colors in the summer usually lean towards neon or pastel colors for a look of airy lightness, and in the fall and winter seasons, you can trade those in for a more neutral and slightly darker palette.

Advice: Fixing BFF Troubles

Have you ever been in a sticky situation with your friend and you don’t know what to do or how to face it? Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s an extra hand to show you that you’re not alone. Fighting with your bff can be stressful, so what should you do when you and your friend(s) are not seeing eye-to-eye?

friend-fight

I am fighting with my friend because she tells me what to do. Is it wrong of her to do that?

You shouldn’t let your friends tell you to do something you don’t want to; talk to her in a respectful manner and tell her you don’t like the way she treats you. Once you talk to her and if she doesn’t understand, she is not a real friend. Don’t let other people push you around. If she is really your friend, then she will understand that you are hurt and will need to stop treating you poorly.

I have a friend that does not hang out with our other friend. What can I do to fix it?

First, you should ask your friend why she doesn’t like hanging out with your other friend. If it’s a serious reason, for example: they had problems in the past, or because your other friend treated her with disrespect, then respect her decision and don’t force her to hang out if something happened between them. But if your friend doesn’t hang out with the other person only because they don’t know each other, then just tell your friend to give your other friend a chance to get to know one another instead of judging before hanging out. Hang out all together so that your friend can see what a good friend your other friend is, try talking about things they might have in common, make jokes, basically something to avoid awkward moments; sooner or later, they will end up talking to one another and becoming friends.

My best friend has been hanging out lately with another girl that I don’t like so much. Although I have never spoken to this girl, I don’t know if I should get mad or not. What should I do?

If the other girl is being a bad influence and is causing your bff to start acting negatively, talk to your best friend about your concerns. If this is not the case, talk to your best friend about possibly hanging out together so you can meet her. Even though your bff is hanging out with someone else, you’re still her best friend. Perhaps your best friend is hanging out with her because she’s a cool person. Give the girl a chance so that it doesn’t cause problems with your best friend in the future. You might end up liking the other girl.

 My friend and I were supposed to do a big project together. It was really important to me because it counts towards my grade, but for her it was voluntary for her class.  We had to work on it, but every time we tried to work together she didn’t feel like working. This frustrated me so much! My teacher says I have to think about what’s best for me. I am thinking of kicking her out of the group. What should I do? 

Try talking to her first to see if there is a reason why she’s not putting in the same effort. Explain to her that even though she’s not getting a grade the project is really important for you. Avoid yelling or accusing her of being lazy. Instead, talk to her nicely about her behavior and that if she doesn’t want to help out then you will have to take her name off of the project because it isn’t fair that you do all the work and she gets credit for it too.

Have an advice question you want answered by one of our teen writers? Send questions to mylatinitas@yahoo.com.

Tips for Talking to Mamá

tumblr_mjwvnxzOhf1qdlkkxo1_500One conflict young girls are faced during their pre-teens and well into their teenage year are conflicts with their mom. It is inevitable to not disagree with the woman that has always had the best interest in mind for you; the problem is not always being able to handle the situation the best way. When handling an argument with your mom, always  be honest and keep calm and listen.

Tell the Truth:

Believe me, losing the trust our mothers whole heartedly place in our hands is not worth it. Be responsible and think twice before deciding to lie to your mom. We think it is just a little white lie to say: “Hey mom, I’m going over to Sara’s house for a while,” when in reality you are going to see the guy you’ve had a crush on since the sixth grade. It is not worth it. Your mom has seen you grow up and has given you morals and values to live up to. My mom would always tell me, “I am your mother before I am your best friend,” to set a boundary. She basically told me I could trust her with everything I ever needed. This boundary is called respect and must always be honored; the moment you lie to your mom, you slowly begin to erase that line…. it is not worth it.

Keep Calm and Listen:

Always stay calm and listen to the point your mom is trying to get across to you. Think about the situation from her point of view, and then speak your mind. The basic “you don’t understand!” never works. Our mom is the biggest source of knowledge we, as girls, have, especially when we are still trying to figure who they really are. The pre-teen stage is perhaps the hardest stage of puberty for most girls. The pressures fitting in in society and being popular in school may seem like the biggest accomplishment, but it can sometimes be very overwhelming. This leads to hasty decision that can later have negative consequences.

All relationships are going to have conflicts once in while, but learning how to deal with them, instead of making them into bigger problems than what they are, is important. Whenever you don’t see eye to eye with your mom, relax and take a deep breath. There is always a solution without having to overreact and push our moms away from our lives.

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