The Best Four Years

Yesterday, my sister graduated from high school. It was an exciting and special moment to share with her, and also a little bit nostalgic. Pretty soon she’ll be off to college and be making more memories that will last a lifetime.

Some people say that college is the best four years of your life, and to an extent, they were right. They were the best four years of my life… so far. However, I don’t want my best four years to be so early on in my life that everything goes downhill after that. I hope that I have even better moments as life goes on and that I could have even more “best years of my life.”

Where does that mentality about college come from anyway? Why do people speak of the “glory days” when referring to the past? Shouldn’t we be striving to make every day a little bit better than the last, rather than glorifying something we will never again experience?

As she moves onto college, learns more about herself, and works to become the best person she can be, I hope that she’ll enjoy every moment. I hope that she can look back at her four years of school and say that they were good, maybe even the best for the moment, but that she’ll see the bright future ahead of her and go forth with a positive outlook on it.

As for me, I am still a little bit sad that four years of school went by so quickly, but I am thankful for all that I experienced and for the people in my life that I met because of going to college where I did. I may never see some of them again, but I will forever cherish those memories and continue to live life making new ones.

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Accent Marks in Spanish

Throughout my first semester of tutoring for Spanish, I have noticed that many people have trouble with the same topics. Recently I started a series on my YouTube channel for those who are learning Spanish. Each episode will answer a frequently asked question that I get based on those that I tutor. The first episode addressed where to put accent marks in a word. So why am I writing this post? For those that prefer to have something written, I wanted to give my readers and subscribers the option to learn from my explanation. Here, I can also elaborate on things that I missed in the video.

Where do accent marks go? 

There are four rules. First, you listen to the word being spoken and determine which part gets stressed.

If it’s the last syllable, and the word ends in a vowel, -n, or -s, then there is an accent. Ex. francés, catalán, canté

If it’s the second to last syllable, and the word ends in a vowel, -n, or -s, then there is NO accent. Ex. cante, hablas, perro, dicen

If it’s the third to last syllable, then there is an accent. Ex. esdrújula (the official name of these kinds of words where the third to last syllable gets an accent), dígame, cuéntame

If it’s the fourth to last syllable, then there is an accent. Ex. ábremelo, infórmaselo, rápidamente

All of the rules have a specific name for those types of words. I avoided mentioning them because many people get confused by those names when still trying to get down the rules. Instead, get the accent rules down first and then learn what each word is called. I hope this post helped!

Here is the video for those of you that prefer a visual:

Why Goal Setting Is Important

School is back in session. Many of us are in school right now, from elementary school to college. There are so many different ages of students. Are you in middle school just starting to get the hang of a new building? Are you an adult looking to go back to school because you realized what you want to do? While ages of students can widely range, there is one thing we have in common that none of us can escape: homework. Homework can be very time-consuming and seem unnecessary, but I invite you to try something new: life homework aka goal-setting. Some people are known for being goal-oriented people. Others find goal-setting to lead nowhere except down the Boulevard of Broken Dreams and land of wasted time. As a goal-oriented person, I find that they can really help anyone if you go about making smaller goals that eventually lead to the big ones. Why should you set goals?

You will feel like you accomplished something, even if it is something small. It can be exercising between half an hour to an hour every day for the purpose of living a healthier lifestyle. It can be listening to one podcast a day of the language you are studying. It can be setting aside a certain amount of money each month to save up for a trip. In the end, you will get something done. You won’t be where you were at before.

It will make you feel more motivated. Who doesn’t want to continue what they are doing if it’s working for them? Why stop now? If you are setting the right kind of goals which are small and realistic enough to be attainable, then you should be achieving them. Maybe your end goal is not so realistic, but it’s the small realistic ones that help you reach the monster goal, and it’s the small successes that motivate you to go even further. Look back, but only enough to see how far you’ve come. Let that progress drive you to do even more.

You will feel like you have a sense of purpose. While you should not root your sense of purpose and self-worth in your work and your achievements, goal-setting can help you get started down the path of feeling fulfilled in life. Did you realize you like writing but can never finish a story? Start off small, giving yourself deadlines for each chapter and writing a little bit each day. If this is what you love to do, you will start to get a fulfillment out of accomplishing the steps toward your goal, in this case, a novel.

You should always strive to be better than the person you are right now. We all need work. There is always something to better about ourselves whether it be trying to break your bad habit of procrastination or trying to be kinder to others. If you are an artist, you can be very good but there will always be those who are better than you. Strive to be a better artist and create even more beautiful works. This applies to anyone: athletes, musicians, scholars, makeup artists, dancers, etc.

First you need the push to go out there and do it. I made Nike’s phrase “Just do it” my motto for accomplishing my goals. Arguably, the hardest part of reaching a more long-term goal is to find that motivation, that push, to go out there and get started. Once you start somewhere, you are already on the path to victory.

Goal-setting helped me reach my dream of being bilingual and even beyond that. Check out my YouTube channel for more encouragement and content on language-learning and travel. If you find it helpful and want to know when I upload videos, make sure to subscribe and share!