When Going On a Trip, Here’s 5 Things to Note.

Hey, readers!

in a sing-song voice: I’m baaaaack!

Wow! My two-month exams are finally over. Done with my WAEC senior school exams, done with my NECO senior school exams. It wasn’t easy, it was full of lots of experiences, but I’m finally done.😌

And I’m as well done with secondary school! 🎊🏆😁🥳✨🎉

Also, my WAEC exam results are out, I did pretty well – as everyone says. I say so because I didn’t really know what to expect. I just did my very best and knew that, worse come to worst, I would still get a good result. Highly overconfident? Yeah, I know.

All the same, I got one C6, one C5, one C4, two B3’s, three B2’s, and one A1. The subject with the lowest marks was Economics, and the one with the highest marks was Marketing.

All that said and done, over to the post topic. Having been packing for trips by myself since I was about twelve, and having had the experience of packing for my first trip without my parents or family members, I have a thing or two to say about preparing for a trip.

So if you’re the type of person who always seems to leave something behind no matter how hard you try, or you’d just like to get the insights of another when it comes to preparing for a trip, then here’s my 5 things to note when getting ready for a trip:

EN-joyeeeee! 🥧

Well, first of all, the way and the things you pack are dependent on the type and duration of your trip – you might be going on vacation with your family, going to stay with a friend or relative, or even be going to boarding school! But no matter the kind of trip, the important stuff to know is generally the same in all cases.Any additional things are due to personal preferences.

1. Have a game plan.🐱‍👤

Even if you planned to just relax and unwind during your stay, it’s important to have a game plan –in other words, activities you’d like to carry out while there. Think of this game plan as kind of the ‘goals’ you wish to achieve while there; things that by doing them, make you proud that you utilized your time well.

For example, if you’re going to a country, state or vicinity you’ve never been to, you might plan to visit certain places, eat certain foods, or see the local entertainment. Whatever you pick, know that it’s always a good idea to have a game plan.

2.Start packing early.🧳

Sooo obvious, right? No. Most people wait till the dying minute to pack, for whatever reason they may have. If you’re one of these type of people, I’m sure you forget to pack some stuff all the time. So listen: staring to pack early is important, so you can have all the time to check and recheck your stuff.

And if you might not want to finish packing too early, you can stretch it out: divide the packing into tiny bits every day till the day you’re to leave. Sounds nice, right?

3.Make sure to always be engaged in productive activities.🤸🏿‍♀️

This stands right next to having a game plan. Take along some books, your laptop, a drawing book or a notebook, write a little, make some sketches, finish that motivational book you never could. No matter how fun the stay may promise to be, it’s still important to have productive things to do on slow or boring days.

4.Let your choice of clothing rhyme with the vicinity.👗

By this, I mean when picking out clothes to take with you, choose clothes you know will be okay with the people you’ll be staying with, or with the people of the area, especially in terms of decency.

And if you’re going to a different state or country, it’s also good to find out how people dress there, for both fashion-related and weather-related reasons. You wouldn’t want to downgrade your style, but you’d surely not want to be over- or under-dressed!

5.Have a checklist.📝

Yes, even after making sure to grab every tiny detail, having a checklist to sum everything up is essential. Your checklist will help you to note the exact things you’re taking with you, and it will also help you be sure you didn’t forget anything when coming home.

When I was preparing to leave for boarding school, the checklist I made was very helpful to me. And even when it was time to come back, my checklist helped me make sure I wasn’t forgetting anything in school.

You first need to sit down and jot down everything you know you’ll be needing during your stay; you can also keep adding to the list if more things pop up later. Be sure to remember your toiletries – you know, cream/s, soap, deodorant, toothbrush and paste, sanitary pads, body sprays and perfume, and all the other stuff – and the exact number of them you’ll need. I sometimes fall victim of forgetting one or two of these. You could also write down the books, or the number of books, you took with you, just to be sure.

Whatever you wish to add to it, having a checklist for your trip is very essential.

As I brainstormed for this post, it dawned on me that summer vacation is already almost halfway gone. All the same, even if the tips here won’t be used for your summer trip, you can also make use of them during mid-term trips, at Christmastime, or for any other trips you may be going on. They’re evergreen, and will always come in handy.

*wink*

Is there anything you wish to add? Have any questions? The comments section is here for you. Let’s discuss!

Getting with the summer vibe. 😎

The Experiences of the Average Nigerian Boarder.

Hey, readers!

I’m done with my WAEC exams and am back from my 1-month+ boarding school experience! I’ve actually been back since 23rd July, but was only able to get this post out now.

I’ll be going back by Saturday (16th) to get ready for my first NECO examination paper coming up on Monday (Physics practical). Wish me luck!

Having just had my first-ever taste of boarding school, I can now relate with the things those of my friends who are boarders tell me about what they face in school.

Even though not all Nigerian boarding school experiences are the same, because there are fancy, top-rate boarding schools in Nigeria where their owners try to simulate school life in foreign countries, I still believe that boarding school life will always be boarding school life – the struggle of boarders is a unified one. 😂

And so, here’s what you should know about the average Nigerian boarding school, and what boarders face.

JUST A NOTE: The headings are general boarding school encounters, but the narrations in normal text are unique to my experience.

EN-joyee!

Okay, first of all, the bad experiences:

Little food. I can only imagine our faces when we were served our first ever helping of refectory food. It was barely even up to two normal-sized dishing spoons. We did complain, the management acted like they cared, and then ignored us after that. So, we survived mainly on our provisions: biscuits, beverages, bread, cereal, etc. and on our pocket money.

Waking up early. 😬 The hostel door is opened by 5:03am, and by that time, we’re supposed to start getting ready for the day, beginning with our morning devotion/prayer. For the junior day students, that’s their routine, but for us SS3 arrivals, we can wiggle out of it and sleep till 6am at least. Hehehe

Bathing cold water – all the time!🥶 The only exception to this is if you’re sick and the matron is sure of it, and also on some very cold, rainy mornings. After the morning devotions by 5:30am, the junior boarders go on to bathe cold water by 5:30 in the morning!. Well, that;s for them, we bathe our own share of cold water after six am.

Sunday service and night vigils. 🥱 The Sunday service is okay, and the last-Friday-of-the-month vigil nights are lively, but they really made me miss my parish. 🥺

Manual labour. This activity is supposed to be for every boarder, every Monday morning (because Monday has been declared sit-at-home a day in South-Eastern Nigeria), but SS3’s again have the least share of this for seniority reasons and whatnot.

Night prep. The almighty night prep. Everyone hates night prep. It lasted from 7pm till 9:30pm. Although there are some serious-serious quiet-quiet students who probably like it, everyone generally hates night prep. And we SS3’s thought that the prep regulations would be less on us since we were the eldest, but they were in some ways even stricter on us. It was only after our exams that we were allowed to sleep during prep – and that was only for us science and some commercial art students who were done with their exams, the rest SS3’s had to read and summarize at the end of every night prep session!🤣🤣🤣

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

The supposed presence of spirits. I really don’t know how true this one is, but one night one of my classmates woke up to use the toilet and said she saw a spirit; it was shining with a very bright light and was making a strange sound, according to her. She started crying and woke us all up. We all started crying, thinking that we’d come to a haunted school, and then someone suggested we pray. We prayed and sang so loudly, we woke up the matron and teacher in charge of male boarders. They told us to go back to sleep, that it was nothing. We finally did after hours of sharing stories about spirits and demons that haunt boarding schools.

Before I came to boarding school, I used to hear stories of such things. My boarder friends say they’re true, that they’ve seen some themselves. Even though the stories differ from school-to-school, they remain ultimately true. 👻👻👻

The lack of water.There were so many times we had to manage water to wash our hands after eating garri (granulated cassava) and soup, manage water to wash our plates and clothes, manage water to bath or go to the toilet. There were even some really horrible days where we had to stay hours without taking our morning baths. We could manage without bathing in the evenings, we could just change into our nightwear – for those that didn’t sweat too much during the day.

I remember, on one of those mornings when there was no water, sharing half a bucket of water with my classmate just so we could bathe and get ready for our exams that morning.

But on extremely bad cases, when no one had even a drop of water, we had to go out and fetch water at the house of one of the students of the school. Which was highly embarrassing – walking on the road with buckets and kegs. Luckily for us arrivals, we didn’t know anyone in that vicinity. 🤭

But one day stood out from the rest: the day we left. There was no water in the house of student we normally go to, so one of the SS1 boys had the bright idea that we go to the community stream to fetch water. Well, we were homesick, tired of prep and tired of the little food we were being fed. We’d decided to leave by 12 noon that day, and not even the distance of the stream was going to stop us. The walk was longer than we thought, but many of us got to see a real stream for the first time – or at least the stream’s shortcut; we would’ve gone to the main stream if the road to it wasn’t so steep and slippery. We wondered how it would have been, because the road to the stream’s shortcut was already dangerously hilly, steep and narrow. But all that was nothing compared to how sore our hands were from carrying our buckets and kegs full of water all the way back to school!

And I can’t believe I’m going back for a part 2 of all this for my NECO exams! 😣😩😬

But then, there are some good sides to being in boarding school…

Away from home. Away from the chores, the being yelled at, and the general stress of home.

The feeling of independence. Because in school everyone takes care of their own things, acts individually in most cases, and is seen as a single person, there’s that sense of independence. In the mornings, you have to make your bed, you have to clean – and try to keep clean – your corner, you have to get up early on Saturday morning and do your own washing – although some girls with huge piles of clothes wash together: one washes and the other rinses and spreads – you have to fold your clothes into your suitcase when they’re dry – I love this part best: folding my clothes and tidying up. 😊

For me, it all gives me a kind of foretaste of living on my own or with a roommate when I get into university. And even though I haven’t yet tasted it with the chores of living alone added, I really like this kind of life.

Big-girl spending. 🤑 This is just my personal term for it, it’s not a general name. Driven by the epic hunger we experience, we spend our pocket money on food and snacks. Even though the things we buy are the things we’ve probably eaten at home, that freedom to buy whatever and whenever we want is what’s enjoyable. On school days, when local food vendors come around, we buy food like abacha (African salad) or moi-moi (beans pudding). Day students sometimes help us go outside the school to buy pepper soup or peppered fried fish. 😋

Hostel quarrels.😂 Y’know, it’s really amusing to watch people argue about virtually nothing: who’s being stingy to whom, who scattered someone’s bed, who messed up someone’s corner, and things like that. Of course, I’ve gotten into my share of these, but I still love to add fire to others’ quarrels in a good-natured way that reduces the tension when (and if) they get the joke.

While on the bus, on the day we went back home, we really laughed about those silly fights of ours.

Being a senior. The whole thing is just about the feeling of seniority. The ‘power’ to send juniors on errands and have them scurry away at doing them, and the respect gotten from our immediate juniors (the SS2 students). Unlike the boys who derive optimum joy from this privilege, we girls don’t have the heart to be tyrannical to our juniors, and sometimes see the boys’ behaviour as overly-harsh. 🤷🏿‍♀️

I know that each Nigerian boarder, average and top-rate alike – and maybe even boarders abroad – can relate with these experiences. If there’s any experience unique to your boarding school that I didn’t capture here, I’d love to hear it. Comment on it below, and let’s talk.

For boarders who live abroad, what do you think? Is it the same in boarding schools over there? Leave a comment on it, and let’s learn from each other.

And even if you’re a day student, Nigerian or not, I’d love to hear what you think of the unified struggle of the average Nigerian boarder!

See y’all again by August!

6 Things to Keep in Mind Before Choosing a Career Path.

Hey, readers!

I know, I know, before I made my previous post, I went on another unannounced break. I’ll explain in two words: exam preparations. My posting will be scanty till I go to boarding school in the first week of May. 😥

I recently had an eye-opener on the importance of avoiding destructive influence when choosing a career. And to help me exploit my exposé, I penned down some factors to keep in mind while one decides on a career. And I’m happy to be sharing them with you today.

Here they are!

1.Choose a career that feels natural.🌸

Choose a career path that you’ve always felt drawn to, like it’s been ‘calling’ you, form the time you knew what careers were. A ‘natural’ career often originates from a talent or natural ability of yours.

Look out for that thing you do perfectly with little effort, that thing you always find yourself drawn to no matter how hard you try to suppress it, which – when you finally get it done – makes you feel peaceful and happy.

That should point you to your career path.

For me, that ‘thing’ is writing. I find writing, and words as a whole, so easy to handle that earlier on in my life, I wanted to be a writer. But in later years, I chose a new career path in technology, and I’m learning that tech is so flexible an industry that even writing can be absorbed into it… with the right amount of creativity.

So by embracing my talent, my career path is a nice balance of writing + tech + creativity!

2. Don’t be daunted by sayings of ‘going out of your comfort zone.’🚀😴

There are a lot of sayings about pushing limits and getting out of comfort zones, but don’t let that influence your choice. Everyone has a natural limitation and a special role he/she is meant to play on earth.

Know that a comfort zone can be our little get-away for brainstorming, and it can also be the birthplace of an unexpected leap of progress, depending on how we choose to utilize ours.

3. Remember the academic requirements of the career.🤓

Take time to ask about and google out the subject requirements for of the course you wish to pursue, so you can be sure you can handle it when you face it properly in the university.

4. Have friends of similar interest /career paths.💕

This helped me so much in the early days choosing of technology as my career path. In times of frustration and confusion, a little chat with such friends of mine refueled my confidence. 💪🏿

And even with writing. Seeing fellow bloggers who write about relatable topics gives me the morale and joy to keep writing. 🤗

And even if you have no ‘physical’ friends of similar interest, there are always chatrooms, social media groups, organizations that reach out through internet platforms, and other online outlets where you can connect with like-minded peeps.

Such an organization that reaches out to people online is Girls Who Code. Although they operate physically in America (New York, mainly) and India, I believe, they reach out to, encourage, help foster sisterhood in tech, and give opportunities to girls outside of these countries who wish to venture into tech.

5. DO NOT choose a career because of ‘people’.🏃🏿‍♀️

I repeat, DO NOT choose your career path only because of:

  • your grades in school. It’s normal (at least in my country) for teachers and counselors to advise students with high grades to go into sciences. It’s okay to listen to your gut feeling and pursue your interest, even if it conflicts with the advice you’ve been given.
  • people’s expectations. Maybe, just maybe, there is a person/persons who’ve supported you for a long time, majorly because of your initial career path.

Don’t let the fear of their reactions or of disappointing them keep you from dropping a career you’re no longer interested in.

people’s general perceptions of you. Maybe people who’ve been around you for a really long time that know you at a personal level might often suggest a career path as ‘right for you’. If it really doesn’t appeal to you, don’t be influenced.

6. Be sure that you aren’t just trying to take the easy way out.🤔

Yeah, yeah.

Even after all, the truth should still be said. Some people just back down from their initial career choice because they want to run away from the challenges of that career. And most times they find that, in hindsight, they were actually capable of scaling those challenges, if only they had tried harder.

Most times, people back down from careers like engineering because of maths (like I wanted to). But we should learn, even as we know our limits, not to be afraid of obstacles – ‘cause we’re going to have to overcome them at some point in order to move forward.

So be sure before making a choice of career. Even though we can always make a change, I advise not wasting our creative energy on frequent changes. 😊

Which of these headings can you relate to the most?

Is there any point you wish to add?

We’re all learning here, let me know what you have to say in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

Stay cool… and springy, 😎🌺🌼

A Pre-Val’s Day Appeal.

Hey readers!

As we all know, Valentines Day is coming up in some days’ time. Gifts will begin moving out to friends and loved ones and all the Val’s Day cheer will be all over the place.💕

But there’s a problem.

Correction: I have a problem.

I have no idea what to do for Valentines Day.😭

I’m on a really tight budget, so tight that I can’t afford fancy gifts. And what’s worse, any reasonable, beautiful, worthwhile gift is expensive in my area!

So, what I’m trying to say is: I need advice on what to get my friends and family for Valentines Day.

Your input will be very, very much appreciated.

In angst,

After School Routines I Recommend.

Hey, readers!

This seemed like the most appropriate blog post to write, since my school life has been trespassing into other parts of my life for the past few weeks.

Thus the reason I didn’t post for some weeks.

In a sense, apart from my encroaching academic life, you can also say that I’ve kinda gotten into my ‘get through it’ routine again. But I’m out of it… as soon as I realised I was in it.

So, with the introductory ramblings done, I guess I should move into the post proper.

For this post I’ve drafted down two of my after school routines. I hope they’ll be of help for anyone who finds it hard to get things done and still have a bit of breathing space at the end of the day.

Like me *hehe*

So ‘ere it is:

After School Routine 1

  • I get back from school by, say, 4pm at most, so 4pm is the starting time. From 4pm, I give myself 2 hours to get house chores done.
  • First, I put water in the kettle for my siblings and I to have our after-school baths.
  • While the water’s on the fire, I wash plates and then clean our school shoes.
  • Most times, the water gets ready before I’m done with cleaning or washing, so I turn it off and then finish.
  • When I’m done, I go and have a bath, bathe my little sis, and then wash our school uniforms.
  • As I go to spread the clothes I washed outside, I start to warm the food we’re to eat. 🥧
  • We eat, I wash up the plates.
  • My siblings and I chat a little, and before I know it, it’s 5:45 or 6 already.
  • *I sometimes prepare our evening food, or the food we’re to take to school the next day. (Whenever I do this, I finish my chores by 7 or 7:30pm).
  • I set my alarm for 10pm and go to bed.
  • I wake up by 10pm to read, ‘cause by then, everyone is asleep, and I can read in peace. 😇 I also set another alarm for 2:30am (or sometimes 3am, if I wake up by 11pm), so I can go back to sleep in preparation (that word sounds too serious 😂) for my next wake-up-time: 4:30am.
  • And by 4:30am, I wake up and prepare for school.
Photo by Monstera on Pexels.com

After School Routine 2

  • I get back from school by 4pm.
  • Eat.
  • Have my after-school bath, alongside my siblings, and wash our school uniforms.
  • Spread the washing outside and clean our shoes.
  • Wash plates.
  • *As the case may be, I prepare our evening food, or food for the next morning.
  • As always, I chat a little with my siblings before I move on to do my homework or read.
  • I usually do my homework or read till, like 7:30 or 8 before I feel sleepy and need to rest. When this happens, I set my alarm for 11pm and go to sleep.
  • I wake up by 11pm, or sometimes 12am and begin reading or finishing up my homework. I set my back-to-sleep alarm for 3am.
  • By 3, I go back to sleep, to wake up for school by 4:30.

My after school routine depends on how I feel for the day. If I come back from school extremely fatigued, I know I have to eat once I come back. But the personal dislike I have for Routine 2 is that by the time I’m done eating, I’ll be full and then begin to feel lazy.😂

Routine 1 is my all-time best, and I try to follow it the best I can.

Yes, there are days when unexpected events pop up and eat deep into time frames, but at such points I just have to do the most important things and leave the rest.

Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

-Mathew 6:34.

So these are my after school routines. I really hope they’ve been of help to anyone who’s having a hard time making do with all the commitments of each part of their life… after school.

I’d really love to hear from you! Tell me in the comments what your after school routine looks like, and if mine helped you in any way.

Ciao. 😘

P.S

Just a little note: It felt really good to write an Ideas and Info post from my own ideas alone. I haven’t written in this category in a long while because I’ve always felt that to write a post that passes across info on how to do something or on how to improve a part of your life, you need to have made ‘substantial research’ and stuff like that.

But having seen ‘how to’ and ‘tips’ blog posts from fellow bloggers written from their own ideas, it felt just right to write one of my own.

After all, 90% of the stuff we read on the Internet has already been thought of and written by someone else. In reality, one article is only more popular than the next because of:

  • Search engine rankings by date, relevance and SEO.
  • And the simple truth that the writer of the article you liked just managed to make his content more interesting than the former.

Are Intelligent People Socially Awkward?

Let me ask it again: Are intelligent people socially awkward? I’m glad curiosity dragged you to this blog post. Welcome.

We all know our levels of intelligence; we all know how ‘book-smart’ we are. Still, it isn’t uncommon to notice that most intelligent people, people with high grades, tend to find it hard to make friends and be active in group or one-on-one conversations.

Although this fact isn’t true for all brainy people, it is true for a handful. In this blog post, I’ll show you why most intelligent people seem to be socially awkward, and show you, if you’re in the brainy category, that you don’t need to think much when it comes to socializing, because it’s all a question of impulse.

While average people flock together and develop their social skills, high IQ people are often stuck on their own with almost nobody to talk to. At best, they will have that lone high IQ friend and maybe one or two teachers to talk to…

– Quora user

We live in a society where bluntness is not appreciated at all, by the contrary, hypocrisy, superficiality and shallowness are highly priced. High IQ people despise all that.

– Quora User

So, the answer you’ve been waiting for is: YES, smart people are socially awkward, because:

Smart people are quiet.

Well, first of all, all smart people (or at least 95% of smart people) love reading books. Many smart people find more comfort in reading a book, gaining knowledge or just reading a story, than in talking to people.

Most smart people are quiet due to the fact that in order to learn and understand, you must be quiet. Smart people have mastered this art of shutting up and letting the knowledge flow in. This skill is amazing in academic and intellectual areas, but not too super in social settings. Smart people find it hard to be relevant in conversations because they are too quiet. And because being quiet paves the avenue to think and rethink, they often find themselves thinking and rethinking their utterances. They think: “This would be good to say.” And are just about to say it when someone else chips in something, and then they think: “The moment for this has passed, it would sound stupid if I say it now. Maybe later.” And then, someone might make a joke, everyone laughs, and the ‘right moment’ to make your statement just never comes, till the conversation breaks up.

Smart People like to be smart

They like to improve their smarts with every opportunity they get, and talking to people who don’t talk about things that can help them, career-wise, academics-wise or success-wise is a waste of time. For example, small talk:

Hey, how far, na?

What’s up?

is not something they engage in, because it, in the actual sense, doesn’t really make any sense. But what they fail to know is that it is these small threads of conversations that aid human relationships.

In any conversation, they’d always want to put in something relevant. But in the case where the only relevant things they know of will not appeal to the group of people they are talking to, they’ll have nothing to say.

It is surprising to find that, smart people, notwithstanding how smart they are, never seem to have anything to say in real world conversations.

Due to the fact that meeting people as smart as they are all the time in the same space is a rarity, smart people many a time have to deal with people that are lower in intelligence than them, people that would find it boring to talk about exploring the world, innovations, theories and whatnot. In such circles of people, they will often be lost, because territory such as fashion trends, celebrity news, around-the-town gossip will be new to them. The truth is, there aren’t as much smart people as there are average and below-average intelligent people in our societies, so smart people will often find it difficult to find people who talk about ‘things that make sense’, and not just fads and ephemerals.

Many intelligent people have gotten to that point where they see beyond trends, and have realised the things that make the world tick, the things that make people stand on top of others. They must have read a lot of books on success and the keys to success, and they don’t want to ‘waste their time’ talking with people who they know they’re are above in intellect, who have the tendency to bring them down, won’t talk about the things they like to talk about, won’t talk about the ‘things that make sense’.

Smart people approach being social like an AI robot would.

They think that there is a fixed pattern for social interaction. They think that there is an ultimate approach to a conversation that will work in any scenario. But that’s wrong. For every set of people, for every scenario, the conversational approach will always be different.

Just like in anyone else, there is a constant fear of failure.

It’s normal for people to feel downhearted when they’ve tried something for some time and are still failing at it; the same is to smart people. In the case where they’ve tried to be social, and they keep failing, they start avoiding social settings, asking themselves, “What’s the point?” And because of this, they avoid social settings they’re not used to, or ones they have established that they are no good in.

Truly, what’s the point? What’s the point of going to that outing, that get-together, when you don’t have any friends, when you find it hard to start a conversation, when it seems like everyone talks about things that don’t interest you?

Personally, I know how it feels to walk into a place, see people in small groups of their own, and wonder where on earth to start. You walk up to a bunch of people who seem promising, listen a bit to what they’re talking about and find that you can relate with that. In the course of the conversation, you chip in something… and everyone is just quiet and looks at you. (I hate that thing e!). That’s a real pain, especially when you put a lot of hope on that statement. You might then feel awkward and ‘un-part’ of the conversation, since a statement you made didn’t get the response you hoped it would get.

Well, I’ve learned that just because you made a statement that didn’t get the laughs or remarks you hoped it would, that doesn’t mean that all the people in the group didn’t like what you said. Sometimes, it just means that they don’t know how best to reply to your statement. And if you look at this in another way, it can be a cause for unrest in its own self, because you might think: ‘They didn’t know how to answer me because what I said was stupid.’ Yeah, it probably was. But it’s these ‘stupid’ statements we make that will help us figure what type of utterances work with what types of people; and it is these continuous lessons that will help us become better socialites.

So, keep getting into social settings, keep being yourself, keep making comments in conversations. Not everyone will like the smart, quiet, sometimes shy person you might be, but those who will turn out to like you for who you are should be the people that give the courage to continue trying to find out your own unique way of being social.

Hey, smart guys, you are smart –  and that’s a gift. You may not be the best at being social, you may not always be the ‘life of the party’. But know that all the knowledge in the world, every book ever written will never be able to replace the satisfaction of being around friends that makes us human. Whether you never seem to have anything to say in conversations or find it hard to make friends, start changing today, remembering that social skills must be learnt with practice, and being social has little to do with saying ‘the right thing’ at ‘the right moment’.

Yours Intellectually,

Interactions are  more than paramount to me. Let me know how helpful this post was to you in the comments section below!

(ORIGINALLY POSTED ON MY OLD BLOG)

What is My Natural Hair Type?

The beauty and glory of natural African hair can never be over-emphasized. While some people choose to relax their hair just to tame the coily locks that are ours, some others choose to sport their ebony ‘fro and look good while doing it.

But then, have you ever wondered why certain hair products work for a friend of yours but not for you? Or why your hair is kind of ‘elastic’, while most people you know don’t have ‘elastic’ hair? Well, the answer is simple: Difference in hair types. In this blog post, I’ll lay out the different natural hair types, which are determined by curl patterns, hair porosity, hair density, diameter and so on, so that finding out the right hair care approaches and products for your hair won’t be so hard anymore.

Hair Density

Your hair density is determined by the number of single strands on your hair. There are three types of hair densities, and to know your hair density, you can carry out this simple mirror test:

Take a section of your hair in your hand and look in the mirror.

If you can see your scalp, you have thin hair density.

If you can see only a little of your scalp, you have medium hair density.

If you can barely see your scalp, you have thick hair density.

Hair Structure or Diameter

Hair structure refers to the thickness or width of your hair strands. Your hair strands can be fine, medium and coarse or thick. The structure of your hair determines the way your hair will hold certain styles or react to certain hair products. You can figure out your hair structure by:

·         Considering how well your hair holds a hairstyle.

Fine, thin hair is predominantly delicate and thus cannot hold most hairstyles very well. Medium hair is a lot thicker than fine hair and can hold hairstyles better and longer. And coarse hair can hold styles the longest, but it is the hardest to style among all the hair structures because it is less bendable or flexible than they are.

·         Carrying out the thread test.

Take a strand of your hair and a piece of sewing thread. Place them both on a flat surface and observe.

If your strand of hair is thinner than the thread, you have fine hair.

If your hair is far thicker than the thread, then you have coarse hair.

Medium hair falls between being fine and coarse.

·         Checking with your fingers.

This one is by far the simplest. Take a strand of your hair in-between two fingers.

If you can hardly feel the strand’s presence, then your hair is fine.

If you can feel the strand slightly, then your hair is medium.

If the strand’s presence is well-defined and unmistakable, then you have coarse hair.

Hair Porosity

The porosity of your hair is defined by how well your hair absorbs or retains moisture. The type of hair products you should use will be a reflection of the porosity of your hair. Your hair porosity can be determined by taking a strand of your hair and placing it in a cup.

If the strand sinks to the bottom of the cup, your hair has high porosity. That means that your hair easily absorbs moisture and hair products. Hair is of high porosity because of the high number of pores and rips in one’s hair cuticle. These breaks and tears cause the hair to give off moisture more than usual, thus making the hair often dry, frizzy, rough and never hydrated enough. Hair of this nature is most prone to damage, as it easily absorbs all products and their chemicals.

People with highly porous hair should avoid hairstyles that involve heat (like stretching or hot-combing), blow-drying and products with high chemical compositions, as all these de-moisturize one’s hair. Rather, air-dry your hair, use oils, leave-ins, hair masks and products made with natural ingredients, all to seal the hair cuticle and keep your hair as moist as it can be.

If the strand of hair is submerged in water but does not reach the cup’s bottom, then your hair is of medium or normal porosity. Hair with normal porosity is often wet but not sticky after washing, holds in just the right amount of water, and does not require a lot of maintenance and frequent moisturizing.

If the strand floats above the water’s surface, then your hair is of low porosity and takes very long to dry. For hair with low porosity, the hair cuticle lays flat, has fewer pores and blocks moisture from being absorbed into the hair strands. When you wash or apply products to your hair, the moisture in them does not sink in, but stays on the surface of your hair, thus making your hair often feel wet or sticky.

Your biggest concern in this hair type is product buildup, and that is why you should apply products to your hair while it is still damp, to make sure they are well absorbed and dispersed evenly in your hair.

Each hair porosity type has its own demands, so the moral of this is: if you meet the demands of your hair type, there will be nothing to worry about.

Hair Greasiness

The greasiness of your hair outlines how often you should wash it and whether or not you should use clarifying shampoos and conditioners (for oily hair, which builds up residue faster). So without further ado, you can determine your hair greasiness this way:

Wash your hair and let it air-dry before going to bed. When you wake the next morning, take a tissue and dab it at your scalp (hair at the back of your ears and near the crown of your head are good places to check).

If the tissue picks up a large amount of oil, you have oily hair and an oily scalp. You need to wash your hair 4 to 5 times a week to prevent buildup.

If an oil patch big enough to be barely noticeable is seen, you have normal hair and a normal scalp. You should wash your hair 1 to 2 times a week.

If no oil was noticed on the tissue, then you have dry hair and a dry scalp, your hair lacks moisture. Make frequent use of moisturizers to keep this fact in check.

If oil was only seen in certain places in your hair, then you have combination hair. Hair behind your ears and above your temples secretes high amounts of oil.

Hair Elasticity

The extent to which your hair strands can stretch before they return to their origin length or break describes one’s hair elasticity. Hair elasticity is a superb indicator of healthy hair.

Determining your hair elasticity can be done by plucking out a wet hair strand and stretching it till it reaches its maximum point.

If your hair stretches all-out and doesn’t break immediately, then your hair has high elasticity. Elastic hair is the healthiest and strongest of all the hair types, and it is known fact that when wet, it can stretch up to 50% its original length before breaking. Girls with coarse hair structures often have elastic hair.

If your hair stretches to a point and then breaks, then your hair has medium elasticity. A majority of girls and women have been found to have hair of medium elasticity, but your hair can be strengthened with oils and natural hair masks.

If you hardly even begin stretching your hair before it breaks, then your hair is of low elasticity. Your hair is chiefly bendy and breakable. Choose your hair products wisely, making sure that they are not of harsh chemical composition, but strengthen hair cuticles.

Curl Pattern

There are basically four types of curl patterns: straight, wavy, curly and coily or kinky, and even these hair types have sub-divisions (as you can see from the diagram above). The tilt of your hair follicle coupled with the way it grows into your scalp all play a role in determining your hair’s curl pattern. Here’s a visual illustration in case you have no idea what I just said means. (You’re welcome):

Now, let’s delve into the types of hair, according to curl pattern, proper.

TYPE 1: Straight Hair

Straight hair does not possess any curls, thus is flat and straight from its roots down. Its texture is predominantly soft and silky, and it is very shiny. Girls and women with straight hair often have fine hair. The super-success of this hair type is also due to the amounts of natural oil secretion it is adorned with.

TYPE 2: Wavy Hair

Wavy hair is halfway between being straight and being curly. Its curls start towards the end of the hair, while the hair is straight from that point up. This hair type has a rough texture, a thick diameter, and is sub-divided into three:

·         2aTHIN WAVY HAIR

·         2b –  MEDIUM WAVY HAIR

·         2c  THICK WAVY HAIR

TYPE 3: Curly Hair

Curly hair has s-shaped curls that stay s-shaped no matter the amount of straightening. It is higher in density when compared to straight and curly hair, and is more likely to frizz and tangle easier than they do. It is also sub-divided into:

·         3a – HAS LOOSE CURLS

·         3b – HAS MEDIUM CURLS

3b – HAS TIGHT CURLS

TYPE 3: Coily or Kinky Hair

Kinky hair might look rough and abrasive, but it is actually very fragile and soft. Kinky hair is prone to breakage if not well taken care of. Coily hair is of high density and is made up of tight z-shaped curls. It is as well sub-divided into three:

·         4a – SOFT COILY HAIR

·         4b –  WIRY COILY HAIR

·         4c – EXTREMELY WIRY COILY HAIR

And without delay, I think I have the right to lift my fingers from the keyboard at this point. Having read this article, you can now make better hair-care choices in respect to your hair type, so you can keep your ebony locks looking as alluring as they’re meant to be.

Keepin’ it kinky,

(ORIGINALLY POSTED ON MY OLD BLOG)