advice!

everything will be okay, okay?

Redeeming Your Villains.

I recently received an anonymous question about redeeming a character’s bad behavior. This is a great thing to discuss especially when it enters into a moral gray area. This is where an author’s ethics really start to matter. When writing in a morally gray area, remember, you are not your characters. Your characters have their own set of beliefs that may not align with yours. If your character is going to do something that you do not agree with, consider the tone of the scene. You can write about bad behavior that the character relishes without endorsing their actions. Focus on word choice. Show how other characters feel about these actions - that can provide another voice to fight against the other character’s. 

When it comes to redeeming a villain, you want to consider a few things: 

  • Are they remorseful? If a character is seeking forgiveness for their actions (and is looking to change their ways), some characters may forgive them. Depending on the crime, not everyone may be so forgiving. Seeking forgiveness or showing remorse is a good step towards redemption. 
  • How do they justify their actions? Some characters only commit terrible acts as a “means to an end.” They may seem more redeemable because they do not intend to continue this behavior beyond what they have already committed. 
  • Consider what’s realistic for forgiveness. Some crimes are easier to forgive than others. There is a big difference between petty theft and murder. While you might want a neat and tied up happy ending, think about what is realistic for your characters to forgive. 
  • What about punishment? Big crimes may come with jail time or even, depending on a setting and time period, capital punishment. How does this effect the way the characters view the villain? They may be more willing to forgive if they feel that justice has been carried out. 

There are a few other things to consider when trying to redeem a villain. Not all villains need to be redeemed (for example, if the villain is a hoard of zombies, there is an easy explanation to why they need to eat people. No one really expects redemption.) I am not going to get into mental health and mental illness. That is a whole separate issue. If you intend to write about that, do research. Lots of research. Otherwise, I hope this helps and happy writing! 

Senior Year Advice

Hey there!

As someone who just graduated high school back in June, let me start off by saying that time really flies. At first, you start counting the days, but once spring rolls around, everything hits you at once. Or at least that was my experience.

As for some advice:

1. Start your college applications now! Don’t wait until school starts because then you’ll be juggling apps, extracurriculars, and your classes. If you’re like me, and you plan on taking multiple AP classes, then it’s a double-whammy.

A. I don’t have any experience with the appblr community, but if you can think of some great blogs to follow, go for it.

B. For me, the reason I really put it off was because of my college essay. Luckily, I had a great English teacher who was able to help me out. If you’re just as lucky, ask for his/her help, or get someone else to help you start and edit your essay as you go along.

C. Especially if you have a bunch of stuff you need to sort out (i.e. you recently moved so you have to check if you’re in-state or not), start that process now. You really don’t want the added stress of trying to figure that out while studying.

D. CommonApp will be your friend. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a service that allows you to create one college application and send that out to multiple colleges. The only caveats are: 1) You may have to submit some additional writing supplements for certain colleges and 2) Not all colleges take it.

E. Figure out which colleges you’re applying to early and which ones you’ll apply to by the regular deadline, if you haven’t already. Some colleges are early decision instead of early action, so choose wisely.

F. I hope you’re on good terms with your guidance counselor and have some favorite teachers in mind! Their recommendations are needed for your applications. Be sure to talk to them about it ahead of time, especially if they’re popular teachers, for example. No teacher or counselor is going to want to give you a glowing recommendation if you shove the form at them two days before your deadline.

G. If you need to take the SAT and/or ACT one last time, look at the dates they have listed and start studying now! Keep in mind that you also need time for the scores to be processed and made available to you, so an October 20th test date is probably not going to help you make that November 1st deadline.

2. On the same thread, look for scholarships, now, too! The first place to start would be applying to your colleges’ scholarships, but most colleges are really unwilling to give financial aid, and even then, it’ll go to students of higher need or out-of-state students. If that’s not you, then I suggest looking elsewhere.

A. A great place to check is Google. Of course, it’s important to make sure that these scholarships aren’t scams. A tell-tale sign is if they ask you for your Social Security number or any similar information. Check this out for more information.

B. You did mention that you’re not a “typical student,” so maybe this will be useful.

C. I find that making a list of your strengths, as well as anything else of interest (i.e. ethnicity, if you’re a female going into engineering, etc.) helps you narrow down your scholarship search.

D. You need to dedicate a lot of time and effort into researching the scholarships that fit you best, drafting the essays and putting together any other supplements (such as artwork), and submitting them by the deadline. Plan accordingly.

3. Keep up whatever you did last year. Get involved in the same clubs you were in last year – maybe even go for an officer position.

4. Remember to have fun! Don’t forget to go to prom or hang out with your friends over winter break or something. You’re still young – enjoy your final year of high school.

Hope I helped,

Harika

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I am so sorry that this was so long – I just really want people’s high school experience to go more smoothly than mine did. You’ve probably heard a lot of this stuff before, too.

But in any case, message me if I missed anything and/or you want more advice. Enjoy your senior year!

[from @hornedwampus]

3 tips for undergraduates wanting to do their thesis project in a research lab
  • do not wait until your senior year to find a lab to join. things in science are slowww–one experiment can take a week or more to run–so learning the skills necessary to carry out your own project may take a few weeks to a few months. and then add on top of that at least a semester needed to write/revise your thesis… i mean it’s doable! but not ideal at all. not only will you be stressed, but the grad student or technician supervising you will also be stressed as they have their own things to do. joining a lab junior year or before is ideal. 
  • i know scheduling is already a mess but do try to have 2-hour-or-more-blocks of time each day to be in lab (and unless approved by your PI, it has to be during the time frame when someone is also there to supervise you.. so usually between 8 am and 6 pm weekdays). most experiments are continuous, and 1 hour here and there won’t get much data
  • get as much done during the summers as possible. your PI may even pay you as a student worker if you inquire. 

i’m making this post because i just got an undergrad this summer who wants to write her honors thesis on a project in our lab. but she’s a double-majoring senior and i’m looking at her schedule and feeling reaaally stressed bc i can’t think of a project that would fit her schedule and time frame. and this semester is going to be particularly busy for me so i’m not going to have much time to help her as much as i’d like. thankfully she came in part time during june and july to learn the basics but it’s still going to be a tight race. 

also writing this because i myself screwed up my senior year during college and had like 3 months to write my entire thesis and slept every other night for a few weeks and it was absolute hell so yeah. don’t do what i did. 

anonymous asked:

How do you help a close friend who hates themself? He is overweight but doesn't understand that there's more to life than physical appearance! You post a bit about mental health so I hope you don't find this to be too much of an odd ask! 💓

Not an odd ask at all! I think it’s a very common situation, and it can be very difficult and frustrating at times to help a friend look past and overcome an insecurity. This is just my personal perspective, but having dealt with severe self esteem issues in the past I hope my advice can help.

If it seems his insecurities are heavily impacting his life, it may be worth suggesting proffessional help. It may sound a bit dramatic but there is only so much you can do as a friend, and a therapist/psychiatrist will be trained to help him deal with and hopefully embrace what he previously hated about himself. 

As a friend, with situations like these I think its important to ‘show not tell’ in a sense. I’ve learned you can’t really convince people with argument and reason about why life isn’t all about being attractive. Most of the time they know their thoughts are irrational, but that doesn’t stop their feelings from screwing everything up. What you can do is try to ensure the people around him (including you) and his environment aren’t further contributing to his self-hate. Watch your own language- don’t talk negatively about your own weight/appearence or that of others. Stand up to people who do. Don’t associate food with guilt. Compliment others, including him on things other than their physical appearance. These things are only very small gestures but are very important in helping not only your friend but also others around you who may also be suffering from crippling self hate. 

I want to share a quote that really helped in my recovery about 4 years ago now, and it seems relevant to your friend’s situation too. 

anonymous asked:

sorry if this is awkward but how do I know if I'm asexual? I'm so lost

Don’t worry! (I know that’s easier said than done, but hear me out) Try to remind yourself that there’s no time limit to learning about this stuff. You don’t have a deadline and you can take your time to research things and learn and figure yourself out at your own pace. Being asexual typically means you don’t long for sexual relations with others. It doesn’t mean it can’t happen or that if you ever have/have had sex that you can’t be asexual. With most people who identify as asexual it just means you don’t really experience a longing to, and prefer to choose not to. It’s like you lack the desire to engage in sexual relations or have a low or absent interest in it. 

You can read more about it at these links!:

Asexual Visibility Network
What is asexuality?
Tips on How to Tell if You’re Asexual

I hope this helps a little! Remember to try and take it easy, there’s no rush! There are a lot of options out there and different places on the spectrum of it all! Take your time.