By Guest Blogger on July 10th, 2017
This is the final post in a series by former FLVS student Makaila, a model, author, and student advocate.
Hey FLVS, it’s Mak – with my very last summer post in what has been a fun year writing for The Virtual Voice.
Summer. Summer. Summer. Those three words used to play on repeat in my head, and where from? High School Musical of course.
Summer is in full swing and you know what that means…vacation! Get excited, and enjoy your time off before a new school year begins. You earned it.
So, to get you amped for the rest of summer, let’s talk summer plans! This month, I plan to go to the beach with all my friends. I can’t wait to soak up the sun, play some volleyball on the sand, and go swimming. I go to the beach all the time, but going in the summer is always my favorite. I don’t have to worry about studying for a test, doing an extra credit assignment, or turning in a new essay.
Of course, at FLVS you may be taking a course over the summer – but that doesn’t mean you can’t relax! Continue reading
College and Beyond
By Guest Blogger on June 9th, 2017
This is the twelfth post in a series by former FLVS student Makaila, a model, author, and student advocate.
Hey FLVS teens! As you look ahead to your final year(s) of high school, the next couple of years may seem challenging. You may spend most of your time focusing on studying or on making straight As. It can be a challenge, and some days it can seem impossible.
I can assure you – it’s possible and you can do it (and if worse comes to worst, then a few Bs or even Cs may not be the end of the world).
So, what’s the next step? College.
It may seem so far away, and that’s what I thought in high school too. But it’s not. It is way closer than you think.
Before you know it, you’ll be going on college tours (try to schedule a few this summer!) and getting merchandise from schools you may not even attend in the end. I know I did. I only went on one college tour, and that was to Florida State. Turns out I wouldn’t get into Florida State, so here I am to this very day with shirts, hats, and mugs that I refuse to use. Continue reading
The Last Stretch
By Guest Blogger on May 12th, 2017
This is the eleventh post in a series by former FLVS student Makaila, a model, author, and student advocate.
Hey FLVS! Summer is almost in your reach.
The unlimited time at the pool, lack of homework, and more importantly, sleep. Summer feels closer than you think, but don’t let it cloud your last grades of the year.
So, to save you in your last few weeks of school, I am going to give you some tips that will lock you in for success.
When I was in school, I was an avid procrastinator, waiting until the last possible minute to do something. Don’t do that to yourself.
I promise the extra time you think you’re giving yourself isn’t worth it. No amount of television or even just hanging out with friends is worth it when it comes to exams. The moments where you will end up cramming could be spent sleeping. And sleeping is a necessity when it comes to not bombing your last exam! Continue reading
Be the “Good” Kid
By Guest Blogger on April 6th, 2017
This is the tenth post in a series by former FLVS student Makaila, a model, author, and student advocate.
High school welcomes territories that were once uncharted.
What’s crazy about the media today is that they push the likeness of drugs and drinking on shows geared for young kids, like us. It can be difficult to see things on television or on your favorite show and not wonder what they are. And if we’re going to be honest, sometimes it affects us.
We see some of our favorite celebrities drinking at a party or smoking something they shouldn’t, and we start to think it’s normal…that it is normal to drink and party the way the television portrays people of our age doing.
The line becomes blurred and people start to do things they normally wouldn’t, all because they want to fit in and be “cool.” It’s an interesting way to think about it.
The people you surround yourself with are sure to affect you in one aspect or another and only build upon these existing ideas. Peer pressure surely influences this beast. Continue reading
Donuts, Desserts, and Dieting
By Guest Blogger on March 17th, 2017
This is the ninth post in a series by former FLVS student Makaila, a model, author, and student advocate.
You just so happen to only have one body and the way you treat it will follow you for the rest of your life.
As kids, I know we like to sit down on the couch and pop open a bottle of Coke and binge on potato chips, but let me tell you: those days are dwindling. And by dwindling, I don’t mean that you couldn’t eat this way as an adult, because the truth is, you can. But your metabolism won’t be as great as it used to be.
Growing up in the entertainment industry, and especially as a model, I always had to watch what I ate. I never had a stage where I was so privileged enough to eat McDonalds or swing by Cold Stone every day. I was the kid who packed celery and rolled meats. Gross, I know.
I guess I never really knew anything different. While my friends went out to eat junk food, I sat at the same table and watched. So my perspective is a little different when it comes to what you eat. There were times I was jealous. I wanted to eat junk food like the rest of my friends and be a normal teen. Continue reading
Love and Respect Yourself and Those You Love
By Guest Blogger on February 6th, 2017
This is the eighth post in a series by former FLVS student Makaila, a model, author, and student advocate.
When I think of February, the first thing that pops into my mind is Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day seems to be the only thing that people think about when February rolls around. Love is in the air (and sometimes the leap year is too), but more importantly, Valentine’s Day approaches and poses a dramatic urgency with questions like “Will I be single?” or “Do they like me?”
All questions that, at the time, seem to be the main focus.
I remember when I was in school, every Valentine’s Day my peers would anxiously await the teddy bears and notes that the SGA (Student Government) delivered to certain kids. The concept was something like a candy gram, but instead, you could be given a teddy bear and note. The whole thing was either anonymous or your crush would tell you over the note. Continue reading
Kick the New Year’s Resolution for Something Better
By Guest Blogger on January 4th, 2017
This is the seventh post in a series by former FLVS student Makaila, a model, author, and student advocate.
Ah…the New Year. It seems to be that every New Year, we set our expectations so high we surely cannot keep them.
Well, not this year!
Instead, set the bar high for yourself in 2017– but keep it attainable. Better yet, instead of having some New Year’s resolution that we both know won’t last, focus on something that matters – your dreams.
Ask yourself, what is it that you want to accomplish this year? Do you want to chase your dreams and be the best you can in school? Maybe your vision is elsewhere, America’s Next Top Model…or perhaps an X-Games stunt driver?
No matter what your dream is, focus your efforts on how to get there.
When I was younger, New Year’s became my “crunch time.” Continue reading
By Guest Blogger on December 12th, 2016
This is the sixth post in a series by former FLVS student Makaila, a model, author, and anti-bullying advocate.
The holiday season is upon us, which means two things. One, the holidays are almost here, but more importantly, winter break is closer than you think.
Let this winter break be one that will go down in history as one of your most productive times of the year. After your finals or year-end assignments, sit back and relax and hangout with those who mean something special to you.
The past year may have been rough, and at times like this, it is perfect to reflect on those who have stuck by your side through thick and thin. And for those who haven’t, maybe this is the perfect time to let go so you can start fresh in the new year. Weed out the negative people in your life, and appreciate the right ones.
Take time this holiday season to learn and reflect on the things you wish you could have changed, like relationships and other endeavors…or even if you procrastinated a little too much. But wait – if you are focused on becoming better next year (which is so close), you may wonder “What did I do wrong?” Well, we all do things wrong. No one is perfect and now is a great time to realize that. Continue reading
Ups and Downs of Friendship
By Guest Blogger on November 15th, 2016
This is the fifth post in a series by former FLVS student Makaila, a model, author, and anti-bullying advocate.
It’s finally November, a time to be grateful for everything that we have. I am grateful for so much in my life: my family, pets, opportunities, and friends.
However, in this particular case, I am so grateful for my friends.
I haven’t always had the best of luck when it comes to lasting friendships. When we are young, we want to believe that every relationship we form will last forever, and clearly, that just isn’t the case. At first it hurts, realizing that someone will not always be there for you. Unfortunately, that is what happens when it comes to life. But I have learned that people come into your life with a purpose; once fulfilled, they have done their part in making you, you.
This isn’t to say that you will not find your forever friends – rest assured you will have a few. Continue reading
By Guest Blogger on October 26th, 2016
This is the fourth post in a series by former FLVS student Makaila, a model, author, and anti-bullying advocate.
Did you know October is National Anti-Bullying Month?
Let’s be honest. How many of you have suffered at the hands of a bully but chose to do nothing about it?
I’ve been there too.
As a matter of fact, when I was 14, I was bullied unmercifully.
It all started when I began modeling and I had to lose weight. At 5’11 and a weight of 135 pounds, one wouldn’t expect to be told to “lose 10.” But, I had to – and let me start off by saying it was beyond difficult.
I no longer could eat potato chips, ice cream, or other foods I once loved so dearly. Instead, I munched on veggies, protein, and more veggies. I was proud of myself for establishing some self-control and saw the pounds melting off, but my peers thought I was crazy. My once former “friends” (and I use that term loosely) became some of my biggest opponents. Continue reading