I Didn’t Feel Good About Embracing My Identity Until I Got Therapy

Anyone who was not living under the rock for the last few years would know that one of the most significant issues up to this day was racial discrimination. I had no idea how it started, but minority groups practically got tired of being bullied by others one day and decided to rally for their rights. That was especially true for African-American people, who had dealt with slavery for centuries.

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The thing was, when I was growing up; I did not feel discriminated against at all. It must have something to do with my growing up in a primarily black community in Alabama. A lot of kids – including myself – happened to be a product of biracial marriages. There were also a handful of white people in the area, but they were married to African Americans, so there was never any tension whenever they were around.

However, when I was 13 years old, my father accepted a job in New York as a theater director. He was required to be in the city for 360 days a year, so my parents decided to move as a family and leave our little pocket of heaven in Alabama.

Seeing Racial Discrimination First-Hand

During my family’s relocation, I was still naive about racial discrimination. Everyone in the new apartment complex that we moved into was nothing but sweet and pleasant. Some even helped us carry our stuff into the building and told us to knock on their doors whenever we needed anything.

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When I attended the local middle school, though, the first thing I saw was a bunch of teenagers ganging up on a small black kid. They were calling him “Inky” and other derogatory names that I had never heard of in my life. That made me stop in my tracks and worry that I might get the same treatment. To my surprise, no one bothered me at all.

I told my mother about what I saw, and she could not answer me for a few minutes. When she did, Mom told me carefully that it might be because I did not look like a typical African American since I was biracial. I had curly hair, but it was not coarse or thick. I did not have creamy white skin, but it was not darker than honey. In those bullies’ eyes, I might look like I just got a tan.

How It Affected My Mindset

In fear of getting bullied, I hid it from many people at school because I identified as black. It was pretty easy because my father’s job kept him from sending me or picking me up from school. Everyone only saw my mother, and she was white, so no one suspected that I was part of a minority group on that side of New York.

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This little white lie of mine – ironically and literally speaking – came to an end when dad surprised me one afternoon. I had no idea that he would pick me up that day. If I did, I would have faked an illness so that no one would see him. So, when I stepped out of the gate and saw my father waving at me, I pretended not to see him and walked away with my friends.

You could imagine my friends’ shock when dad jumped in front of me and hugged me. I saw one of them was about to scream, probably thinking that there was a pedophile on the loose, but I was quick to tell them to relax since it was my father. Once they calmed down, someone half-whispered, “Did you know Sam’s dad was black? I thought she was Latina all the way.”

My father obviously heard that comment because I saw his nose scrunch up a little, but he feigned like he didn’t. When we got home, he went straight to my mother, and they talked for an hour or so. I held my breath the entire time, unsure of what punishment I would get since I realized in that instant that it was the biggest mistake I could ever make.

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Getting Therapy

When my parents came into view, I saw the disappointment in their eyes. Mom and dad made me explain why I lied about being African American. I felt sorrier than ever for what I did, but the harm had been done.

Still, instead of punishing me, my parents asked me to go to therapy since it was not okay for me to denounce my culture like that. I did it, and the therapist taught me that living a double life could get me in bigger trouble in the future if I kept it up. Not to mention, doing so would make my loved ones extremely sad because it would seem like I was ashamed of who I was.

That last bit did it for me. I stopped pretending to be someone that I was not. I also told my friends the truth, and to my astonishment, they did not care about that at all. It proved that there were still genuine people in the world despite all the harshness we tend to see daily.

Who knew that embracing my identity would feel so good?

I Hid My Identity In College And Required Therapy

I grew up in a little town called Quail in Texas. You might not have heard of the place, and I could not blame you. You could put the entire town in several blocks in the city, but we felt like it was too big for us because it only had a population of more or less 30 people by the time I was born.

Although there were several kids in town, there was no school that you could find. My parents had to apply to get me homeschooled, not to travel every day to another town to get a proper education. They also had to take turns as my teacher, which was not easy because they were busy.

Why did we not move to a town with a school, you might ask? The reason was that Quail had a lot of open lands. My parents always wanted to own a farm, and it was cheaper to do that there than anywhere else. So, even if it was challenging for them to raise a child in a secluded location, they pushed through it.

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Our family would still get some breaks from the quiet life in Quail. That typically happened during the yuletide season when we would visit my grandparents in California. We would go to Disneyland, get In-and-Out burgers every day, and do every single thing that we could not do in our little town.

When My Insecurities Began To Creep Up

I had not always been bothered by the fact that I lived in a place many people might not know of. We had a car, electricity, satellite internet, and everything else we could have asked for, so I thought that was not a big deal. However, I began to feel insecure about people knowing where I came from when I was on holiday at 15 years old.

I could still remember when my grandparents took me to a trampoline park near their home. Since I was a very active kid, they thought that I would enjoy the place. I genuinely did until I thought of talking to a group of teenage girls around my age.

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In the middle of my introduction to those girls, one of them lifted a hand to stop me. In a very snobbish way, she asked, “What kind of accent is that? Did you live in the mountains?” The girls left while laughing, and I was bolted to the ground, unsure of what to do.

Well, I had always known that I had a thick Texan accent. Everyone in my family found it endearing and said that it gave me character. But hearing others laugh because of it made me want to get rid of my accent.

Preparations For Reinventing Myself

When I got my high school diploma, I decided to go to a university in California. It was not easy for my parents to let go of me, but they knew that my life was out there. My mother even offered to help me pack my stuff, but I told her that I still wanted my room to feel the same way whenever I came back for semestral breaks.

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I did not tell my mother that I did not want to bring my things because I wanted to reinvent myself. Since I had a lot of free time as a homeschooled kid, I spent most of that watching TV shows and practically imitating how the actors talked. I sometimes surprised myself because it sounded like another person was talking instead of me.

Before the semester started, I had already decided how to introduce myself to people. I would go along the lines of, “Hey, I’m Anna! I live here in Los Angeles, but I have always been homeschooled.” I also changed the way I dressed subtly to keep my family from noticing it. For instance, I began to wear more colorful clothes and got rid of my plaid shirts.

Facing Reality

I genuinely believed that hiding my identity would be THAT easy. I had three years to prepare for it; I was more than willing to lie to people about my hometown. Then, I went to college and did that, and my efforts paid off for quite some time since I managed to mingle with the “it” people.

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But I made a fatal mistake: I invited my new friends to my grandparents’ home. We did not do anything wild, but they found out that I hid my original accent when my friends were around. That caused them to tell my parents about it, and they staged an intervention for me – with a therapist in tow.

In reality, I had no idea that my mindset was not usual. I thought everyone did everything to feel a sense of belonging somewhere. However, the therapist clarified that I shouldn’t have had to change to be likable for others. “That’s how life goes. Not everyone may not like who you are, but it does not mean that you should listen to them. If you do, you may lose yourself.”

What Did I Do?

I returned to my true self, of course. I lost some of my newfound friends along the way, but I eventually found people who liked me for me. I never had an issue with hiding my identity again.

Help Increase Student’s Success By Working Through Specific Motivation and Autonomy in Counseling

There are times when you feel drained and almost everything feels like a chore. It feels like you’re stuck in the quicksand that you can’t escape—all the things you enjoyed before no longer bring the same amount of enjoyment.

When students feel demotivated, other aspects of their school lives are also affected. Their academic performance may dwindle. The relationship they built with their peers or parents can be shaken. More importantly, if they fail to cope well with what they’re experiencing, they may fall into adopting bad habits. This article offers a deeper look at how counseling can help students who are experiencing motivational problems.  

What Is Motivation?

Motivation is one of the central tenets connected to understand human actions and behavior. Motivation refers to the force that drives someone to do something they need or want to do. There is always some motivation behind any action.  For students, their motivation levels have a direct connection with their performance and well-being. Thus, maintaining or raising their motivation is vital in making students’ lives within the school setting enjoyable. Tending to the motivational needs of the students is a critical function of the school. They have to identify the possible practices or events that lead to the students losing their motivation. 

Intrinsic And Extrinsic Motivation

The concept of motivation has many layers. Experts say that there are two major kinds of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. When a person is intrinsically motivated, they are doing an activity because they find it inherently rewarding. They might find the activity in itself rewarding, satisfying, or fun, and that’s why they keep on doing it.  The rewards in intrinsic motivation are leaning towards your psychological needs. For example, a student may join study groups because they find meeting new friends highly rewarding.  On the other hand, extrinsic motivation is in conjunction with getting an external reward in return for doing something. The rewards don’t necessarily tend to a student’s psychological needs, but it involves external gains like money, fame, or avoiding punishments. A student may aim for high grades in their exam because their parents promised an increase in allowance. This becomes the extrinsic motivator for a student to study well and aim for a high score in the exam.

Encourage students to build up success through motivation and autonomy in counseling. Help them become aware of their strengths, especially when having motivational problems.
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Symptoms Of Lack Of Motivation

There are many observable symptoms when a student is having motivational problems. Here are some of the common symptoms:

  • Poor Follow Through 

A student may start multiple tasks but fail to follow through in any of them. They fail to finish tasks and break commitments they set for themselves.

  • Procrastination

When a student lacks motivation, they also tend to procrastinate their tasks. They wait until the last minute. They may even turn in their assignments late or not all. 

  • Self-Sabotaging Behaviors 

This kind of behavior holds back the student and prevents them from doing what they want to do. They might feel that they’re not competent enough and quit too soon when faced with obstacles.

  • Isolation

Lacking motivation also affects how a student builds and maintains relationships with the people around them. They might feel lonely and isolate themselves. 

  • Hopelessness

Students with motivational problems can also feel that everything wrong in their lives will not improve. This leads them to believe that they’re hopeless and there’s nothing they can do to better their situation. 

  • Fatigue

Lack of motivation also affects a student’s energy levels. Often, students that are experiencing motivational problems find themselves to be constantly exhausted. 

Lacking motivation affects student
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What Causes Motivational Problems?

There are many possible causes of motivational problems among students. External factors or conflicts within themselves can cause them. Sometimes, a combination of factors can cause these. Some of the common causes of motivational problems in students include:

  • Family Problems

When there are conflicts within the family, the home becomes an unfit place for learning and studying. The tension in the family has a silent and subconscious effect on the students and, ultimately, their motivation. 

  • High Expectations

A healthy level of expectation can help students and children to achieve great results in their academics. However, when expectations become too high and unreachable, it might negatively affect the students. In worse cases, high expectations can push students to have depression and anxiety. 

  • Anxiety and Depression

Mental health concerns like anxiety and depression can extinguish the remaining motivation left in a student. When these issues are left unattended, they might bring about negative habits harmful to the student’s well-being.

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What Is Motivational Interviewing, And How Can It Help?

Motivational interviewing is a method in counseling that aims to help people to find internal motivation. With this newfound motivation, they can change their previous habits and adopt healthier ones.  This approach highlights the student’s autonomy and ability to make their own decisions. The counselor will empower the student to create their motivation and inspire change in their lives.  Through motivational interviewing, the students may be able to:

  • Feel empowered and confident. The students are reminded that they have control over their lives.
  • Maintain relationships, whether inside or outside the school premises. 
  • Have conflict resolution skills, which are also crucial in building relationships. 
  • Self-regulate their emotions. They can acknowledge the feeling they’re having and act upon these emotions more healthily.
  • Be able to set for themselves reachable goals that they can reach. 

A critical aspect of motivational interviewing is in highlighting the strengths of the students. Counselors are making the students acknowledge their skills and talents, which are significant in overcoming obstacles and reaching their goals.


Motivation is an essential element in achieving success in life. It’s natural sometimes to feel that you’re stuck and unable to reach your goals. This happens to everyone, including some of the students. What’s important to point out is that there are ways to deal with students’ lack of motivation. One of these ways is motivational interviewing. With this approach, students are reminded of their valuable skills and abilities. Counselors empower them to bring back the motivation and be successful in their lives. 

Multicultural Counseling Benefits And Counselors

Every individual we meet has their background, gender, religion, ethnicity, and customs they adhere to. More often than not, these social and cultural elements shape our identities and circumstances in life. Multicultural counseling takes these sociopolitical and cultural factors to give perspective to your individual experience. Counseling works to understand that our background may play a part in the problems we face in everyday life.  This multicultural counseling approach helps us hone our understanding, acceptance, and respect for other people’s backgrounds. 

Continue reading “Multicultural Counseling Benefits And Counselors”

Complete Guide To Anxiety: Frequently Asked Questions


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Each of us has felt tense or worried. You might have been apprehensive about an upcoming public speech or worried over a financial problem. It’s not uncommon to feel anxious. But for other people, anxiety is permanent. It’s floating in their heads, even on their best of days. If you’re lucky not to have to suffer from anxiety symptoms, most likely there is someone you care about who is. Anxiety is the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting about 40 million adults.

When someone you love has anxiety, it may be hard to comprehend why he feels how he actually feels. But you don’t need to understand him to respect that. Concentrate on support and positive comments. Say, “I hear you feel really scared” or “I believe that you’ll overcome this tough period.” Don’t say comments that push the person to question himself. Don’t say, “Just stop being anxious already. Everything’s going to be fine,” or, “I don’t get why you’re so disappointed.”

Encouraging someone to engage in other healthy activities with you is very useful. Distraction is a practical coping skill for those who suffer from anxiety. It’s also important to remember that merely spending time with a person who feels anxious can be a tremendous form of support. It is reassuring even if the anxious symptoms don’t disappear.


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Below is a list of frequently asked questions and answers about anxiety and more.


How do I completely stop anxiety?

You cannot completely get rid of your anxiety, but you can reduce your symptoms by trying these:

  • It is great for emotional and physical health.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol, as it is a natural sedative.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks.
  • Meditate and do deep breathing.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Maintain a healthy and well-balanced diet.

What are the 4 levels of anxiety?

The four levels of anxiety are mild, moderate, severe, and panic levels.

Is there an end to anxiety?

You can’t really make anxiety go away forever. It is the same as any other emotion that you experience – happiness, sadness, anger, frustration, love, disappointment, and so on. Just as you can never get rid of these feelings from your brain, you can make anxiety disappear forever. 

What does severe anxiety look like?  

In severe anxiety, the person presents with extreme worry during most days of the week for at least six months concerning several events. He finds it difficult not to worry. He also presents with three or more of these symptoms: trouble concentrating, muscle tension, restlessness or feeling on edge, irritability, or sleep disturbance. 

Can you be in a constant state of anxiety?

Most of us feel anxious from time to time. Still, if you are feeling worried and afraid constantly to the point that they hinder your capacity to function, you may be having generalized anxiety disorder or GAD. This is a common type of anxiety characterized by chronic and constant worrying, tension, and nervousness. 

Does anxiety medication help with physical symptoms?  

Depression presents with symptoms associated with thoughts and emotions, but it is indeed a very physical condition with often incapacitating symptoms in the body. Antidepressant medications can help reduce these physical symptoms while also working on the nervous system’s neurotransmitters, which affect both psychological and physical symptoms of depression. 

How do I know if I am suffering from anxiety?  

You’ll know if you are having an anxiety attack if you are:

  • Feeling tense, nervous, or restless.
  • Experiencing increased heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Hyperventilating
  • Shaking
  • Having difficulty focusing or thinking about other things except for the current worry
  • Feeling tired

How does your body feel when you are stressed?  

When you feel stressed, your body responds by tightening its muscles and increasing is breathing. The heart rate and blood pressure increase, and the senses are sharper as well. All these physical alterations due to stress cause a person’s stamina and strength to increase and his reaction time to quicken and prepare the body to defend itself or escape the threat through its fight or flight response.

Can anxiety make you feel like your skin is crawling?  

The physical indications of anxiety may involve tingling or skin-crawling without any medical explanation. Individuals who have experienced it describe it in different ways but generally, anxiety for many people feels like their skin is tingling or crawling. 

Can stress cause tingling in the head?  

Stress can occasionally cause head tingling. Stressful events and circumstances stimulate your body’s fight and flight reaction. Stress hormones, like norepinephrine, push blood to the parts of the body that require it most. Consequently, you may feel a tingling sensation or a loss or decreased sensation in other parts.

How long does anxiety take to heal?

Treatment success differs, but most individuals that suffer from anxiety can be remedied with professional care. The advantages of cognitive-behavioral therapy are typically seen in three to four months. Medications may also be an option, but it will depend on the level of the anxiety, the person’s situation, or other medical illnesses. 

What does anxiety do to your body?

Anxiety triggers your fight or flight response and causes a surge of hormones, such as adrenaline, throughout your body. Subsequently, this surge increases your breathing and pulse rate for your brain to get more oxygen. This also prepares the individual to react properly to a dangerous or extreme situation.

What is paresthesia anxiety?  

For some individuals, it feels like pins and needles – a kind of prickling that a person gets when a part of your body is ‘asleep.’ Others say that they feel a complete lack of sensation in a part of their body. They also notice additional sensations such as hairs rising, tingles, and a mild burning sensation.

Can anxiety make your eyes feel weird?  

When a person feels extremely anxious and stressed, increased adrenaline levels can often cause eye pressure, which may lead to blurred visions. Those with longstanding anxiety also experience eyestrain regularly during the day.


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It is crucial to increase your knowledge about mental health illnesses. This is particularly true if you know someone who is going through mental illness. Educating yourself can help in increasing your understanding of your role during the treatment process.



Different Cultural Perspectives On Mental Health Disorders

Culture is a group of people’s way of life, encompassing beliefs, arts, heritage, cuisine, and other traditions. Because each culture is different, what is acceptable in one does not necessarily mean the same for the other. This gap is especially evident in highly stigmatized topics. 

As the world adjusts and becomes more open, there are still a few cultural barriers that we need to bring down, particularly when it comes to mental health. There have been countless studies on the impact of culture on an individual’s psychological well-being.

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Western Culture On Mental Illnesses

Statistics show evidence of western countries, such as the United States of America, Canada, Germany, and Australia, having higher numbers of citizens suffering from psychological problems. With this, experts link mental health disorders to a cultural phenomenon, not just a biological or psychological one.

For many years, America has always been on the pedestal. I’m sure a lot of us know about the American dream. It was the ultimate goal. The West was generally a place where dreams are fulfilled, goals are achieved, and life is fantastic. So it sure is surprising to see the data that many people in these western countries are mentally unstable.

However, in reality, life in the West is far from the glamor portrayed in the media. Media and technology are huge culprits for the rampant development of mental illnesses in western countries. Western culture is regarded as the epitome of all cultures, they are pressured to excel, and their media always save “face.” Not everything we see on television or the internet is genuine.

With that, it seems like western people put a high value on happiness more than other cultures. Everyone in the world is closely watching their every step as if there is no room for mistakes, sadness, or fear. This notion is dangerous to people’s mental health, as sometimes they get their feelings dismissed, and they feel unimportant.

Other factors that contribute to the increasing number of mental health sufferers in the West are that western culture is predominantly patriarchal. Women abuse and men refusing to seek psychological treatment are common. Even though the West is advancing in so many ways, they are still far behind battling mental disorders.

On the other hand, the good thing about Western culture is that they are much more open to discussing psychological conditions. And that they have the capacity and resources to seek treatments.

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Eastern Culture On Mental Illnesses

Asia is the largest continent globally and comprises several ethnicities—again, each one sharing diverse cultures. It is, perhaps, the top continent where there is heavy stigmatization on mental health problems—thanks to the variety of religions, beliefs, and traditions in each country.

We have all heard of Asian stereotypes such as having tiger parents, the tantamount pressure to excel in school, and the filial piety. These may be stereotypes, but they are real. To many Asian people out there, they are nightmares. They are contributing factors that affect their psychological well-being.

Unlike in the West, Asian culture is more conservative. Taboo topics such as mental health and gender identity are rarely talked about. These are often shrugged off and regarded as “just a phase.” 

In Asian culture, their beliefs, religion, and customs are often more important than the medical field. Words like depression and anxiety seem to never exist in their vocabulary. Many Asian kids find a hard time reaching out and seeking treatment because of this.

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African Culture On Mental Illness

Africa is another culturally-rich continent. Unfortunately, like Asia, Africans still highly-stigmatize mental health. Studies found that low-income countries are highly vulnerable to developing both physical and psychological problems. However, in African culture, both are often underreported.

The lack of education, resources, and religious beliefs often hinder African people from getting the help they need. Instead, the mentally ill hides in fear and embarrassment. It is found that having a mental health disorder also reduces an individual’s chances of getting married, a tradition which is huge and symbolic in African culture.

Poverty and war continue to exist in African countries, making it even harder for them to talk about the topic and have good mental health care access.

Hispanic Culture On Mental Illness

If you have Hispanic or Latinx friends, you’ll probably say that many of them are always happy and fun to be around. They host the wildest parties and are often very welcoming. But even the happiest people are hiding something.

Most Latino communities live near or migrate to the West. Being a minority and a person of color, they face all types of discrimination at work, at their own homes—just about everywhere.  Generational trauma, lack of access to healthcare, and education are all causative agents to their mental well-being.

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Many Latinos view mental health as a sign of weakness, so most of them do not seek advice from a medical professional. Most fear being called “loco,” which is the Spanish equivalent of crazy. In Hispanic culture, having psychological problems is a great embarrassment to the family and the community.

United As One

We all come from different races, ethnicities, with varying cultures. But we all face similar problems. We come together and raise our voices to eradicate the stigma, especially on mental health, in our culture. Let’s fight for everyone to have equal access to mental health care.

Learning About Beaches In Florida For Your Next Family Trip

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The first time I went to a beach was when I turned 18 years old. The reason was that my parents were a little overprotective of me, their only child. Whenever they thought of the ocean, they assumed that a tsunami would occur, and the water would take me. But the older I became, the more I insisted on going to the beach until my folks eventually gave in. 

Now, I can never claim to be a beach expert, but I can tell you about a couple of beaches in Florida that your family may like.

Atlantic Beach Area

During the 1900s, Atlantic Beach was a small residential community located by the shore. Then, Henry Flagler of Florida East Coast Railway decided to construct the Mayport division of the Railway and put up a station where Adele Grage Cultural Center is presently positioned. More or less halfway between the railroad distance of Jacksonville Beach and the depot, the Continental Hotel—with approximately 300 rooms—was made. The area around it was sold to people who wanted to build their summer houses on the seaside.

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Changes took place in 1913 when Atlantic Beach Corporation, the company that bought a large portion of the land, started installing lights and sewers on the newly paved streets. When the corporation went bankrupt due to World War I, parts of the property had been resold. This time, Atlantic Beach became a real town in 1926 and finally, a city in 1957.

The city of Atlantic Beach further developed when the Matthews Bridge and the Mayport Naval Station were created and opened to the public. From then on, the inhabitants made it possible to build a water plant, a sewer plant, a fire station, a police station, and a garbage collection system–all with paid workers and the right equipment.

Overall, this city had been faring well financial-wise. They had a manager who regularly reported to the commissioners and the mayor. More than a decade ago, the commissioners saw the need to buy and develop more land for recreational purposes. So, in 1994, the Tideviews Preserve came to life. In 1998, together with Jacksonville City, Atlantic Beach City increased its parkland by acquiring Dutton Island Preserve with the Florida Barge Canals funds.

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Atlantic Beach City covers three square miles of land area and two miles of the beach. Its northern boundary was stretched out in 1987 by taking over the Seminole Beach area, while its western edge extends to the Intercoastal Waterway. Roughly 14,000 residents currently inhabit this new residential city.

Ponte Vedra Beach

Before it was even called Ponte Vedra Beach, a seaside area was not as populated as the other communities nearby. St. Augustine had been established here during the 16th century, and Juan Ponce de Leon might have seen the place, but there was not enough evidence to prove this idea.

In 1914, it was popularly known as the Mineral City because of the National Lead Company’s mining operations conducted there. With Henry Holland Buckman and George A. Pritchard at the helm, the people started recovering titanium, rutile, and zircon from the sand. These minerals’ sales were high during World War I, especially for the titanium, because it was previously used in manufacturing poison gas. However, when the war ended and the need for such minerals reduced, the National Lead Company ventured into another business. That’s when Buckman and Pritchard hired Telfair Stockton Company to develop the area.

Source: pxfuel.com

With the development came the necessity to change the name of the community. At that time, there was a literary piece about Spain’s Ponte Vedra Beach where the infamous Christopher Columbus was said to be born, and so Mineral City turned into the Ponte Vedra Beach.

Even with its new name, though, they had a hard time selling some parts of the land. Hence, the developers cut back initially with their asking price. As more buyers came to buy a piece of the land and build an inn there or their residential home, Florida finished constructing the road that connected St. Augustine to Jacksonville Beach. Hence, it gave the owners a lucrative idea of converting the whole place into a large resort.

In 1942, the National Lead Company sold its shares to the Ponte Vedra Beach Corporation. What has once been a small golf course has been developed into a resort that operates all year round. Some families still live permanently, but tourists frequent Ponte Vedra Beach because of its immense golf course, approximately five dozens of tennis courts, and a beautiful strip of beaches with white sand.

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Final Thoughts

Once it is safe to sunbathe or swim with strangers on the beach again, you should take your family to either place. After all, if beach newbies like us loved them, there is a high chance that you will also feel the same way.




Experiencing Art And Culture In The Face Of COVID-19


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For people who have a passion for art and culture, they often think about their heritage in these challenging times, the essence of cultural exchange, the inspiration that they gather from their travels, and the effect it all has on the communities across the world. The present circumstances have turned much of this upside down.

Typically, when March comes, we see a flourishing art activity all across media – movies, visual arts, performances, and a lot more. As the craft booms during the spring, cultural summers begin to unravel. The cultural period kids off with the summer art festivals, new theaters on Broadway, and a variety of concerts to choose from.

For 2020, things will be different.

While the whole world struggles to contain the coronavirus, how we are usually involved in the arts is changing tremendously. Person-to-person gatherings are now prohibited in public places at this time. However, for the lovers of art and culture, we can still try to engage artistically and culturally while we continue to follow social distancing measures that are being implemented in our community.

Look into museums worldwide through the web.

Traveling by plane is quite difficult these days, and public institutions like museums remain closed, so if you want to learn more about the magnificent museums that you plan to visit when this crisis subsides, you can see exhibits and other art-related material through the web with Google Arts and Culture. Discover the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, or the rugged National Museum of Indonesia, or learn interesting facts about the Hammer Museum in California.


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Similarly, a lot of museums have their online presentations for people to enjoy at home. Some of these museums are on the verge of closure due to COVID-19, but they upped their game by creating virtual shows for their online audience. MCA Denver has weekly themes for their shows through Instagram, for example.

Utilize Virtual Gallery Fairs and Other Art Festivals

Though we are practicing physical distancing to prevent further spread of the disease, we do not necessarily have to remove ourselves from what’s in on the art world. You may be sad to hear that the Art Basel in Hong Kong is not pushing through this year, but you can watch live streams and visit their virtual galleries. There are also several arts-based webinars and podcasts online about other museums in Hong Kong that are equally spectacular.

If you want to learn how to make art or enroll in art classes, you can find someone online who can help you with that. There is a broad range of YouTube videos, most of which are free, that offer art lessons and culture podcasts.

Improve your creativity while building relationships with the community.

This can be done in a gymnasium where you community members that practice appropriate social distancing guidelines. Art classes for kids and adults can be held during community festivals and help build creativity while establishing bonds between other members. If this is impossible, you can hold a videoconference through Skype or Zoom and exchange fresh ideas on what to create while staying at home. You can also encourage the community to participate by holding an art challenge online.

Also, if you’re bored at home and perhaps feel the negative vibes of the global health crisis, brush it off and draw inspiration from other artists by watching their techniques and following these techniques for a change.


Source: needpix.com

Take advantage of free learning materials and resource sites.

As COVID-19 persists, take this as an opportunity to widen your view of the world. Order books online. You don’t have to buy brand-new. There are a lot of second-hand books that are equally interesting and look good as new. If you’re interested in doing crafts, shop for affordable materials online, and maybe involve the family in doing what you plan to create. This not only expands your horizons in art but strengthens family bonds as well.

There are endless art and cultural opportunities that you can discover while your travel plans are put on hold this year. Hopefully, next year you will be able to fulfill these plans. But today, explore the world art in the comfort of your own home and stay safe and healthy.




Importance Of Hygiene (Student Learning Section)

In the last water and sanitation events 2019, there is a discussion about how poor hygiene affects health. Though many of us already know it, some are still not taking enough care of themselves. Perhaps that is because many people believe that their immune systems can somehow tolerate the dirt and bacteria buildup. But what happens when you stop cleaning yourself?

Source: pexels.com

When you give up cleaning yourself, there are probably a lot of things that might happen. One of the common elements in the development of body odor. Yes, you might consider using some deodorants to tone down the smell temporarily. But if you don’t wash, the things you put in your body will create more bacteria. That instead of trying to cover the smell, it will soon add to the unpleasant smell that might become hard to get rid of overtime.

When there are bacteria around your body, it becomes sweatier, and skin becomes itchy. In some unfortunate instances, you develop allergies and skin diseases. That is, by the way, one of the things that eventually happen when you don’t clean yourself. And because there is no proper hygiene, the bacteria on your body can spread into the stuff you usually touch. It can spread on your bed, chairs, and your smartphone. In the worst part, you can spread your bacteria to others through public seats, transports, as well as paper and coin bills. All of those things can become exposed to your bacteria.

Source: pexels.com

So you see, the danger of not cleaning yourself does not entirely revolve on you alone. Chances are, you can become the host of infection that might endanger someone else’s life by contributing to giving them a disease. So if you think about giving up on hygiene because you believe it only affects you, you might want to think again.


Education And The Outbreak: Losses And Opportunities


Source: commons.wikimedia.org

As of March 2020, in the midst of this COVID-19 outbreak, almost 2 billion children in the world are out of school. That is including the existing global educational crisis that was a 53% rate even before the outbreak. Now, it has become worse. We must be worried about the heightened dropout rates and learning losses. Additionally, there are countries in the world that have unequal educational systems, where the poor don’t get as much education compared to those in the middle and upper-class children.

We must find ways to counter these losses with opportunities to help children catch up on learning and not completely drown in the hands of illiteracy.


Children must remain engaged, specifically the high school students, where dropout rates are high and continually rising as we speak. Attending school doesn’t only mean learning science and math, but it is about developing friendships and improving social relationships. Students should remain connected with their schools now more than ever. Parents and family members, on the other hand, play an important role in instilling these children with good characters such as honesty, self-love, confidence, and resilience. In light of this, media platforms like television and radio can offer advice to parents on how to provide support for their kids.

School Meals

Source: pendleton.marines.mil

A lot of countries provide school meals, and these are very important, especially to those school children whose families are poor and cannot afford to feed their kids with nutritious food. It is not easy to organize such feeding programs, but other countries have found ways to provide these. They utilize their school or community buildings for children to go during lunchtime in an organized way. Currently, this has not been possible as schools have closed down. Thus, administrators should expand their thinking to reach out to children and provide them with nutritious meals. They can probably have their meals delivered to the community or homes, or if that is not financially possible, cash transfer initiatives can be put to place. It is important to plan carefully and be prepared for whatever changes may arise, as the pandemic may not subside any moment now. The government must also support the schools and provide them with assistance to make these plans feasible and convenient. There are many opportunities for government and school to work together, some of which are visible today, which is good news. A lot of investments and improvements that the system is undergoing currently might have a long-term positive impact on school children.


With the schools shut down, learning in classrooms will definitely be delayed and, in some countries, will even be impossible. Undoubtedly, this interrupts the lives of the children, teachers, and the children’s parents as well. But some measures can be taken to minimize the negative effects that this situation brings, and one of the best alternatives in online learning. This is gaining popularity and is already done in more improved and wealthier countries. Remote learning won’t be easy to set up. Teachers will be dumped with a lot of work coordinating with IT people to create remote learning materials that are useful and age-appropriate. Parents will have to make adjustments at home, creating an environment that is conducive for learning and setting up a desk, laptop, and internet connection. Some children may not get this easily, particularly if they do not have supportive parents, but this will be part of the challenge that we must surpass. The opportunities are there, and we only need to grab them and make use of them for our children’s sake.

Source: defense.gov

The goal of every educational system is the same – to get through the learning crisis that has already existed and to keep it from being lost because of this pandemic we are facing. One way of doing that is to reduce the negative impact it has on school and learning. We must take this from experience and regain the path of improvement. As we cope with the global crisis, we must also find ways to heal quickly and strongly. We must have a better understanding of the need to decrease the losses by taking the opportunities in front of us. Children must have the same opportunities for quality learning and education.