Kick serio US butt...at anything!
Every girl has something on her mind that she wishes she were better at, or did less or more of. That's your spirit, your inner voice saying, "Baby, I love yuh just the way you are, but can't you stop choking up around your crush and just talk to the guy?" Whatever it is in your life that you'd like to improve on--whether it's a simple attitude adjustment or learning a whole new skill--get ready to rumble. All it takes is your willingness to get out there and give it a try. Just in time for back-to-school, you are officially invited to enter the confident world of being who you want to be. Isn't it about time?
"Recognize once and for all that a guy is just a person," says Julie Taylor, author of A Girls' Guide to Guys. "If you were approaching a girl to borrow her notes or ask where she got her shoes, you'd be polite and friendly without being all stiff and weird, right? So it you're nervous, suck it up and act calm. Sorry, but you have to look confident even if you're scared! Start with a great 'hello' line. My two favorite, non-cheesy lines are, 'Have you seen my friend so-and-so?' and, 'I like your sweatshirt (or sneakers or haircut).' Boys love attention, but they're shy. So make it easy by asking him about a class you have together or, for example, if he thinks the Hulk movie is cooler than Spiderman. Smile, look him in the eye, and leave him with something sweet like 'Oh, I have to run, but I'll talk to you again sometime.' Then, a day or two later, use info from your original line, such as 'I lost my friend again,' or, 'What's up, cool sweatshirt guy?"' Future dude magnets of the world, we salute you!
BE A MATH WHIZ....MAGICALLY
Math takes practice, which is why you get so much homework in numbers classes. Getting a tutor isn't a cop-out It works, and most schools offer free tutoring by kids in honors math--and, with any luck, he'll be a hottie! Math is still the most wretched part of your existence? We know an expert who can help you get math...and even like it. Says Scott Flansburg, author of Math Magic (www.humancalculator.com), "The trick is changing how you 'see' numbers." Huh? We're taught to read the number 8,204 from left to right, but Scott teaches you to read the 4 first. Why? Because, he explains, numbers are units. Identifying the units--before you calculate which algebra-propelled train arrives first or the length of a right triangle's longest border--is something struggling math students typically don't do. "There's only one point to doing arithmetic--to get the right answer," Scott says. "It doesn't matter how you get the answer, as long as your method works." Math Magic shows you easy methods to try for yourself. And if it can help us, it'll help you!
HE MORE FRIENDLY
"Being a friendly person--to friends, teachers, neighbors, guys and even girls you don't know--is cool because it not only increases your odds for making more pals, it makes you feel awesome," says Julie Taylor, author of The Girls' Guide To Friends. "Since you spend most of your time at school, start there. Say "hi" to someone in biology. You have tons to talk about: the lab assignment, the teacher, the cute guy in the front row. A club or sports team you're into is also a great place to bond with people who share your interests. It's as easy as smiling to tell someone she was awesome on the field today! And why not make it your personal mission to introduce yourself to the new girl in school and offer to show her the ropes? As for your friends, do something sweet.. just because. You won't believe how good it feels. I'm never surprised by the letters I receive from girls telling me how happy it makes them when they're nice!" So be nice. It's free, and it feels good. What's not to like when everyone likes you ?
IM LESS, LIVE MORE
"When you're IM-ing, are you growing as a person? Learning a valuable skill? No," says Lili Tan, reformed IM-er and founding editor of the online student magazine KARIZMAmag.com. So why do some girls spend so much time online? According to experts, computer addictions are no different than any other kind of addiction. Says Lili, "I would IM even when I had homework. I'd be writing to friends about clothes, guys, nothing. It was my way of procrastinating." Other girls IM endlessly because they're lonely and it's an easy way to chat with friends. Whatever keeps you facing the screen, you can cut down by asking yourself why you're there. The next step is timing yourself. If you IM for four hours on Saturday, cut it to three hours the following Saturday. Then, cut it to two. And reward yourself for time away from the screen (no, not by Iming--have an extra chocolate chip cookie). Prioritizing and rewarding helped Liii kick the habit: "When I didn't IM until I was done with my homework, I bought a new CD. Soon, I was over the endless IM hang-out, and you will be, too."
GROW UP YOUR ROOM
Does your room still look babyish with dolls or ruffles? "Grow up" your space with little or no money. "When making a teen transition, first remove things that are too childish, like Little Mermaid posters or a porcelain doll collection--storing these things is not the same as tossing them!" says Shelly Amoroso, a San Francisco interior designer. "Then, take all the stuffed animals, and put them somewhere other than the bed, like high on a shelf or on top of an armoire. Paint over any cutesy motifs, such as kittens or silly flowers, on furniture--paint is super cheap! If your parents are game, inexpensive new bedding--something that feels teenager-cool, like a darker color, not girly-cute, like pink flowers and ruffled trims--will grow up a room instantly." Add a plant or two, and you're decorating way maturely.
BE A SINGER! YES, YOU
"If you want to find out if your voice is good, audition for a school musical. They'll tell you straight up--don't you worry," says Liana Allday, singer in the San Francisco-based band Madera Road. "Everyone who has trouble singing, myself included, can have an array of varied and amusing problems. it takes practice to improve your voice, so don't be afraid of voice lessons." Think you're good but suffer stage fright? Sing to a best friend in the dark. Graduate to family and friends. This is how you warm up your performance chops. Next step? Karaoke in front of strangers at the pizza joint. Next, school musical. Then, who knows? Maybe...American Idol?
SPEND MONEY WISELY
One word: budget. "Budgets have a bad rep because they require a degree of discipline," says Susan Shelly, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Money for Teens (BarnesandNoble.com). "But a budget puts you in control. It will tell you exactly what you can spend each week or month at the mall, Burger King, wherever." Write down all the things you need money for: lunches, bus fare, etc. Then, for a month, write down everything you spend and for what. "Once you've listed your expenses, compare what you spend to what you earn," says Susan. Now, the hard part--trimming the fat "Look first to entertainment, then to personal items," Susan suggests. A lunch expenditure as low as $3 a day over the course of one year adds up to more than $1,100! Why not buy your lunch only on Fridays, and pack a sandwich the other four days? How much did you spend on makeup, CDs, movie tickets? Cut back! You're not "doing without" when you slash spending-you're simply becoming more picky about how you spend.
BETTER YOUR BACKPACK
"Your backpack is like your mobile bedroom. It's got school stuff mixed in with stuff you want while you're away from the comforts of home--cell, aspirin, ponyholders. If it's organized, you'll be able to tote more without trashing your back.," says Shelly Amoroso, our designer bud. "Dump your pack's contents on your bedroom floor. Set aside what you need easy access to--that stuff's going on top or in a reachable front pocket Decide what needs easy-reach priority by putting little items, like makeup or nutrition bars, in separate cases, like small makeup cases, instead of everything mixing into one big mess in a front pocket." If you don't have money for little cases, use plastic sandwich bags. You'll have your 'pencils and pens' baggie, a 'makeup' baggie, etc. "Then, put your books in the large section, lighter books near the front pockets, heavier items closest to part of the pack that touches your back." Our spines thank you, Susan!
PICK OUT COOLER OUTFITS
"You need to be organized, not spoiled with new clothes, to look really put together," attests Lisa Robinette, wardrobe stylist for TBS' Dinner and a Movie. "Organize your closet by grouping pants with pants, skirts with skirts, shirts with shirts. And organize shoes in a shoe-rack or on the closet floor. My best advice is to try on outfits the night before. My biggest fashion rule is balance. If you have on all solid colors, try a printed bucket hat or interesting-looking purse or cool cuff bracelet. Balance also applies to exposed skin, If you have skin showing on top, like with a midriff, cover the bottom half with long pants. if you're wearing a mini, cover your top with a sleeved shirt. Then, lay out your outfit on a chair, along with shoes and accessories." The next morning, you'll be lookin' fine before breakfast!
RELATED ARTICLE: Dance As Good As JLO
Jennifer Lopez is good, but she's not the most incredible dancer. Yet, she's electric to watch--why? "Confidence, whether truly heartfelt or a temporary put-on, is the most crucial element," says Gillian Marloth, dance instructor at L.A.'s Swerve Studio. "Practice," says Gillian. "Use a mirror, and figure out moves you like. Then, repeat them 100 times. Watch everything--your hands, hips, chin--and change the moves, Play with it, and you'll start to feel it. When it feels good, then you're not self-conscious. You're a dancer!" Doesn't that feel good?
ASK OUT A GUY
"Fake it," says Hillary Rosen, an actress in the L.A.-based sketch comedy troupe For The Kids. "I've asked out boys thinking about Phoebe on Friends. She always has dates on the show. So what would she do? She'd win him over with a smile and a joke, or just say something silly. Being goofy about it loosens things up." Even though you're playing the five-minute actress, you should not have a 'script.' You can have an idea of what to say, but not full-on, memorized dialogue, which will make you sound robotic.
GET GREAT GRADES
"Talking with teachers is the fastest way to improve grades" says Christy Lawrence, a textbook publisher who earned straight A's all through school. "Tell your teachers where you're struggling. Next, create a study space by clearing a table, turning off the TV and adding a good lamp. Do whatever subject is hardest first so your mind is fresh. If there's stuff to memorize, write the info on cards, then read those notes over and over--this 'brands' the info onto your mind. And it's proven that students who eat breakfast score better on exams." Hello, straight A's!
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|Date:||Aug 1, 2003|
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