Category Archives: Leisure

The Rewards of Being an Exchange Student

Exchange StudentMany students aspire to enter an exchange program. Other than taking in a new and more advanced curriculum, what are the other rewards of studying abroad? Here are three of the major advantages.

Visit a New Country and See More of the World

One of the main reasons why students aspire to live and study abroad is because they get to see and experience a new country. Travelling is a given for exchange students, but the excitement seems to have no end. Exchange students experience fresh outlooks, customs, and activities—they learn how to blend into a new country, which shapes their knowledge and personality. Also, studying abroad puts no limit to experiencing neighbouring states and countries; it allows you to see more of the world.

Meet New People and Experience Different Cultures

Many exchange programs offer meetings and trips wherein you can converse with other exchange students. This opportunity allows you to meet new people who are born and bred in different nations; some may even be your lifelong friends. Other than fellow exchange students, you always have the chance to form friendships with people you meet during your stay. He or she can be a friendly barista, a newspaper vendor, or a random person living across the street.  Through this, you open yourself to different cultures, allowing you to understand a deeper sense of the world.

Learn Independence and Money-Handling

Exchange students take on a new level of responsibility, which includes money-handling, sticking to a schedule, and picking up after your mess. For students who have lived with their parents, this new take on independence is exceptionally difficult. However, along the way, one will understand the value of being away from home. Major responsibilities such as finding an accommodation for students in London, Berlin, or whatever place in the world, to minor tasks such as washing the plates can teach you something about reality and adulthood.

Being an exchange student teaches you things you cannot learn in classrooms and books. It opens you to a new world where you can learn and grow. If you have the opportunity to study abroad, don’t skip the experience and work on it.

Competitive Cheerleading: Taking Sports to a Whole New Level of Fun

CheerleadingMaybe you've heard about or have seen a competitive cheerleading show on TV. It can look deceptively easy as each of the cheerleader's jump, tumble, and split in the air, but what you don't know is the sacrifice each and everyone on the team makes, especially on the time they put in their training and practices.

What is competitive cheerleading?

Cheerleading is considered to be competitive when cheer squads compete with each other. 

A cheerleading competition would usually involve roughly a two and a half minute routine of stunts, tumbling, and jumps. A panel of cheerleading experts judges each team based on the difficulty and execution of the routine.

All types of cheerleading teams can compete, but not all school-based teams are competitive. All-star cheerleading squads, on the other hand, are solely for competitions. They are not connected with any school, hence, their routine is purely entertainment and music without any cheering.

While cheerleading started out with a group of men cheering on the sidelines of a football game in an organized manner, competition for cheerleading has become a well-respected sport.

How to be a competitive cheerleader?

Just like any sport, not everyone is cut out to be a cheerleader. It is a strenuous sport that requires training even before you join an all-star team. These are just some of a few other things an aspiring competitive cheerleader must have:

  • Confidence: Cheerleaders must exude confidence in every performance. If they feel like they own the stage and they will not fail, the audience will believe it.
  • Upper body strength and physical conditioning: Upper body strength is a must. Cheerleaders must also be in good physical condition. A cheerleader who does not have a good upper body strength or good physical condition will not be able to perform stunts well, especially when they need to do some lifting.
  • Sportsmanship, determination, and commitment: Select Athletics notes that competitive cheerleading is a team effort and requires rigorous daily practice. And even if it's off season, the team must still attend practice for conditioning. 

If you are convinced that you will make a really good competitive cheerleader, you can visit an all star gym near you and try out. 

Theatre vs. Film: The Beauty of Both

Theatre in BrisbaneActing as an art has its roots way back in Shakespeare’s time and even farther and is still very much appreciated at present, albeit presented differently. Over the years, the art of performing has taken two major forms, the traditional live productions, and the ones filmed.

The Beauty of Theatre Production

The beauty of live shows lies in its rawness and imperfection. An actor suffering from a wardrobe malfunction is acceptable and tolerated when one is watching a live show in Brisbane, but would be never have happened in a film. Lives shows are raw as rehearsals are needed to acquire a perfect performance, Brisbanepowerhouse.org explains. They perform in front of the audience without any room for mistakes. Editing scenes are never possible in a live show. The audience knows what to expect, as the materials for theatre shows are mostly available to the public (i.e. Shakespeare’s classics).

The Appeal of Film Production

The beauty of film production, on the other hand, lies in its intricate and professional nature. If theatre production takes months to rehearse and perfect, a film takes months to shoot, edit and produce. Like theatre shows, there are no room for mistakes as everything is expected to be corrected and re-filmed if necessary. After all, editing is expected to be done on the big screen. The art of performing is highlighted by what the director thinks is appropriate for the film.

Cuts can be made, changes in emotions can be demanded as well as removing of scenes can be done for the sake of the film’s perfection. All of these leads to a film’s professional feel, as all angles and even the impossible, are taken care of.

Some prefer live shows over a film and vice versa. Though beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, the beauty of performance as an art is appreciated either way.

5 Tips to Stay Healthy This Winter

Winter MonthsChristmas is almost here. Are you and your family prepared for the cold months ahead? Here are some tips on how you can stay safe and healthy in the winter.

Watch the food you eat

The holidays are all about comfort food. Unfortunately, all the good stuff are loaded with carbs and bad fats. You don’t have to starve yourself of the holiday food fest but try to go limit your intake of the fattening ones and load up on the healthy options.

Stay active

It’s a bit hard to get moving in the winter and the cold season can really lure you into slumberland but do find ways to stay active, especially the kids. Quick, simple exercises, as well as fun games that don't require sitting in front of the TV all the time, can help you squeeze in some workout during the season.

Prepare your home and car for the winter

Before the first snow falls, ensure that your home is prepared for the cold months ahead. Get a head start and check if the furnace and other heating system are working. Inspect your fireplace and make sure there is no blockage that could be a pain to deal with the snow finally arrives. Make sure that every list on your winter preparedness list is ticked off and this includes prepping your car for the snowy months.

Keep emergency numbers in your fridge door

Accidents can occur at any time. It is important for families to have access to emergency numbers fast. These could include police and fire stations, family practice clinics or hospitals in Orem, Utah, such as Revere Health. List them down and place them where it can easily be found, such as your fridge door.

The long, winter months don’t have to take a toll on your family’s health and safety. This time of the year can also get pretty stressful, with all the festivities going on. Manage your stress and your household so you can fully enjoy this time off from work.

Packing Essentials for Your Ski Trip

Ski Trip in VailDon’t make the mistake of going to the ski resort and arriving with incomplete gears and essentials. Make sure that you have brought everything you need with you since ski gears are not cheap.

You can always drop by the ski shop in Vail if you forget something, but might as well make sure that the important things are packed.

  • For families who are bringing kids to the ski resort, it’s essential to pack all the things they need the day before you leave. You want to make sure you get to the resort early and won’t be hassled trying to find their ski boots, head gears, goggles, and other things.
  • Create a clothes checklist. List down all the articles of clothing that you need to bring with you. Making a list makes it easier to focus on what to get instead of running around on the day of the trip like a deer in headlights.
  • You also need to pack miscellaneous things like sunscreen, medicine, Chapstick, hand warmers, hydration pack, and other important things you feel you should bring.
  • Safely pack in a bag your gadgets like cameras, altimeter watch, walkie-talkies, and other things to document your trip. Make sure to bring all the chargers for all the tech stuff and spare batteries just in case.
  •  Of course, don’t forget to bring your ski boots and ski poles. In the event that you find out too late that yours are damaged, you can drop by the ski shop in Vail to get some new gears.

To prevent roadblocks in your trip make sure that you carefully plan ahead. Check your resort bookings, your ski pass, all the equipment you need, and other important things before making your way to the resort.

Mamba Mentality: A Look Into Kobe’s Work Ethic

Basketball Player's Work Ethics“Me, I’m a freak-of-nature dawg because of my size. LeBron could be a scientific dawg like Kobe, but he’s not, he’s got a lot going on like I did, so that’s preventing him from being one.”

“Kobe was great. He practices as if it’s Game 7. He wants to prove that he’s the best player in the world every single practice.”

The first quote was from Shaquille O’Neal and the second on was from another NBA great, Jason Kidd. You may have heard other similar stories about Kobe Bryant’s insane drive and work ethic. These have turned him into one of the greatest basketball players of all time. It took years for him to get to this point. As a budding player, starting early and learning from the best will get you closer to your dream.

High School Sensation

You may have heard coaches from high school basketball camps talk about the importance of practice. You may be one of those bright young stars who could dunk over and out run others with sheer athleticism, but what separates the best from the rest is work ethic. Kobe Bryant was able to make it to the NBA at 18 because of his training regimen, which started at 5 A.M. before school started.

Other than getting to the gym earlier than everyone else, Kobe played one-on-one games with his teammates. This isn’t just any pick-up game; he would often run the score up until he scored 100 points before claiming victory. All those hours and games paid off for Bryant, he played against Michael Cooper in a workout for the Lakers. He shredded Michael and convinced Jerry West.

Unsatisfied

After several all-star selections, Olympic medals, and championships, Kobe’s work ethic never stopped — he kept going. Kobe practices before anyone else on the 2008 Olympics and lost 16 pounds for the 2012 games. He follows a strict diet and works out for six hours a day, six days a week for six months before the season began.

The year 2016 may have been Kobe’s swansong, but the legend of his work ethic lives on and inspires basketball players, whether current or aspiring.

Exploring Singapore: 3 Things to do in Sentosa Island

Singapore TripA visit to Sentosa Island is a great idea and if you do your homework, you can enjoy the best possible sights to see. It’s no secret that Sentosa is a popular island resort in Singapore and about 20 million people visit there every year. If you’re planning to be among those lucky people, you should do some homework about what to do to make the most of your visit.

Marine Life Park

This part of Resorts World Sentosa is home to two attractions: the SEA Aquarium and the Adventure Cove Waterpark. These two attractions house the world’s second largest oceanarium. It holds more than 45 million litres of water and has more than 100,000 marine animals of over 800 species. The viewing panel is a giant 118 foot by 27-foot marvel that gives visitors the feel of standing on the ocean floor.

The Merlion

The Merlion is an iconic mythical creature that has come to symbolise Singapore. Of course, this one is a must-visit. It’s similar to the heraldic sea-lion used as the logo for the tourism board. If you’re paying for the entrance fee for Sentosa Singapore, you shouldn’t miss this one as well.

Universal Studios Singapore

Another theme park located within Resorts World Sentosa, USS is a must-visit and is a one-of-a-kind theme park in Asia. Spread over 120 acres and has 24 attractions, it features one of the world’s largest pair of roller coasters, a castle from the world of Shrek, a live musical show, 30 restaurants, and seven themed zones based on popular movies and TV shows.

In addition to this, you have a two-kilometre stretch of pristine beaches, two golf courses, Madam Tussauds, game and entertainment centres, the Sentosa boardwalk, the Singapore Cable car, Halloween Horror Nights and much more to choose from. Make sure you have a great time when you visit Sentosa.

Teeth Whitening: 3 Myths You Should Stop Believing

Teeth Whitening Myths in GlenviewOne of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures in the U.S. and the rest of the world is teeth whitening. Many people still do not believe in them and the benefits they offer, however. This is probably because they believe in the myths surrounding this dental cosmetic treatment.

Here are some of the most common myths about teeth whitening procedures and why they are just that — rumors.

Only the appearance of your teeth will improve

Although this is the primary goal of teeth whitening, it does not mean that only the appearance of your teeth will improve. Aside from a sparkling and beautiful smile, this procedure also helps you in many other ways, especially in terms of emotional and mental health. With whiter teeth, you can nourish your emotional and mental well-being, improving it and resulting in a stronger self-confidence and self-esteem.

It costs a significant amount

Many people think that teeth whitening — since it falls under the category of cosmetic dentistry—is costly. Although it is true that an experienced and reliable cosmetic dentist in Glenview will not charge you with extremely low rates, this does not mean that they will charge extravagant prices. In addition, teeth whitening offers health benefits and you will realize that the price is worth it.

For cheaper teeth whitening, go to a beautician

This is something you should avoid. Only licensed cosmetic dentists, dental hygienists, and dental therapists have the experience to perform teeth whitening procedures. Going to a non-professional for teeth whitening will only put you at risk since they do not have the required licensure, accreditation, experience, and training.

In a nutshell, whether you believe them or are already starting to, you should first dig deeper to know whether there is any truth to these teeth whitening rumors.

What to Expect When Exploring Uluru

Attractions in UluruThe Ayers Rock, also known as Uluru, is located at Red Centre desert within the Northern Territory of Australia. There is no possibility of you missing it as it juts out into the horizon, a gigantic red monolithic structure. The beauty of this area, however, is not the only thing it offers visitors to enjoy.

The Uluru Single Day Tours – Believe it or not, there’s more than one way to tour a mountain. Other than the typical strolling, hiking and cycling, you also have the option to ride on camels or even fly up high via helicopter. You can even choose what time of day you want to do your tour. There are a number of tour companies who offer these packages, so make sure you get a reliable and affordable one that suits your needs.

The Uluru Multi-Day Package – For the more adventurous Uluru tourist or backpacker, ask for the two-day or three-day offers. You get to go beyond the Ayers Rock and visit other well-known tourist spots in the area such as Kings Canyon, Kjata Tuta and Alice Springs. There are also accommodations at the nearby Uluru Caravan Park if you choose to stay for days at a time. You can try camping under the star-studded sky of Australia, too.

Handicrafts and Arts – Believe it or not, Australia offers a unique cultural experience through exposure to bush crafts and arts. You can learn how to do Makaru dot art painting by attending workshops that are being regularly offered at the Park Cultural Centre. At the Circle of Sand of the Ayers Rock Resort, be treated to aboriginal storytelling. For authentic aboriginal dancing while under the stars, visit the Sounds of Silence dinner.

These are only some of the main attractions in Uluru that have fascinated numerous tourists and visitors. If you still want to know more about the area, go ahead and visit and ask for suggestions from the locals. After all, the best information is experienced firsthand.

Raving 101: An Aural and Visual Experience

Rave PartyJust like your typical rock concert, a rave party is a musical journey, but instead of having bands or musicians performing, you have a DJ or a producer – sometimes with an emcee or a hype man – on the mic, playing their mixes at booming volumes. EDM, or electronic dance music, is becoming mainstream with the prevalence of online streaming sites and the popularity of bars and clubs. EDM artists are also into remixing popular radio-played songs to the delight of rave-goers who want to sing along and experience ‘the feels’. As a growing fad in music, more and more EDM songs feature vocals and lyrics – a deviation from its roots of disco, beats, and electronic music.

Attending a rave concert is sure to leave an impression because it can get really wild. The two essentials to appreciating a rave are marveling at the lights and basking in the sounds.

Of course, what kind of party are you attending if you isolate yourself? A rave is also about enjoying the company, because as much as it is a concert, it is also a venue for partying and socializing.

An Aural and Visual Journey

Beaming gobo projector lights, laser light shows in vivid neon colors, strobe lights flashing in spasms, blasting amplifiers, and throbbing bass speakers generally characterize a peaking rave. You will see people jumping up and down, pumping their fists in the air, euphoric, skins touching and eyes wide open – these people are on a journey to happiness.

Feel your heartbeat race as you move to the music and have your mind blown as you try to catch the lights through your pupils. You then realize why people call these parties a ‘rave’ – they literally gush about how much of an amazing time they’re having. You will see people exchange hugs, thanking each other with arms around each other’s shoulders. This is the effect of a visual and aural experience, the convergence of two senses resulting in an extreme, trance-like happiness.

There are a number of music festivals lined up for the year. Some of these concerts go on for days, exclusively playing EDM, while others offer more diverse music, usually saving the EDM performances for when it’s dark out – usually the best time to enjoy the lights and sounds.