Beyond High School - December Edition (1) (1)

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For High


A monthly magazine for educators, parents, and high schoolers.

Designed to inspire & prepare high schoolers for life beyond.


Navigating Ambitions

Develop your personal GPS to help you

pursue your goals.

The Science of

Sustainable Habits

Why do some habits stick while

others fizzle out?

Rediscovering the

Offline World

Take a digital detox to open up a

realm of possibilities.

Dear friends and readers,

As we stand at the threshold of a new year, our December issue, “Embracing change as

we turn the page," invites you to reflect on the past and envision the future. This isn't just

about setting resolutions; it's about embracing change as a constant companion in our

journey of growth.

In this issue, we dive deep into the art of building habits that resonate with your core. It's

about finding that sweet spot where your aspirations meet your daily actions. We're not

just talking about study habits or fitness routines; we're exploring habits of mind and heart

that shape who you are and who you aspire to be.

We bring you stories of peers who've navigated the highs and lows of change, finding their

rhythm in the ebb and flow of life. Their journeys are as diverse as they are inspiring,

reminding us that change is the only constant.

As we bid farewell to this year, let's do so with gratitude for the lessons learned and

excitement for the adventures ahead. Whether it's pursuing academic excellence,

nurturing your mental well-being, or exploring new horizons, remember that every small

step is a part of your grand journey.

So, let's turn the page together, with hearts open to change and minds ready to embrace

the new. Here's to a year of meaningful transformations and evolving echoes of our





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As we wrap up the year, let's use these insights to build habits that last. Here's to

creating a future that's as bright and promising as you are!

Ever wondered why some habits stick while others fizzle out? In this edition of

"Research in Focus," we're diving into the fascinating world of sustainable habit formation.

It's not just about willpower; there's real science behind it!

The Power of Tiny Changes

A study by Dr. BJ Fogg, a behaviour scientist at Stanford University, introduces the concept

of "Tiny Habits." His research suggests that by starting small, you can make lasting

changes. Think of it like this: instead of aiming to read a book a week, start with a page a

day. It's all about scaling down big goals into tiny, manageable actions (Fogg, 2019).

The Role of the Brain

Neuroscience plays a huge part too. A study published in ‘Scientific American' reveals that

the basal ganglia, a part of the brain, is key in forming habits. This area processes routine

actions and rewards, making certain behaviours automatic (Graybiel & Smith, 2014). So,

when you repeat an action enough times, your brain starts to automate it.

The Habit Loop

Charles Duhigg, in his book "The Power of Habit," talks about the habit loop. This loop

consists of a cue, a routine, and a reward. Understanding this loop is crucial. For instance,

if your habit is to jog every morning, the cue could be your running shoes by the door, the

routine is the jog itself, and the reward could be a smoothie post-run. Recognizing and

utilizing this loop can be a game-changer (Duhigg, 2012).

The Influence of Social Environments

Your journey in forming habits isn't just a solo adventure. Research has shown that the

people around you play a significant role in your habit formation. When you're surrounded

by individuals who share similar goals, it can greatly enhance your ability to stick to your

new habits. This social support system acts as a powerful catalyst in turning your

aspirations into lasting routines.

Making it Stick

So, how do you make a habit stick? Start small, understand your brain's role, utilize the

habit loop, and surround yourself with the right crowd. Remember, it's the small steps that

lead to big changes.




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Ever felt like you're in a maze, with each turn representing a different ambition or

dream? You're not alone. In the labyrinth of life, especially as a high school student

teetering on the edge of adulthood, finding the right path can be daunting. This is where

Goal Setting and Planning come in – they're like your personal GPS, guiding you through

this maze to your desired destination.

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Navigating life's maze requires more than just ambition; it demands a clear vision

and a well-thought-out plan. As you stand at the crossroads of dreams and reality,

remember that the power to chart your course lies within you. Embrace each step, each

decision, with the knowledge that you are the architect of your own journey, building a

path that leads to a future crafted by your own aspirations and efforts.

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Think of SMART goals as your compass. They're Specific,

Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound, transforming

nebulous dreams into clear, navigable paths. For instance, if

you're passionate about environmental activism, a SMART goal

might be, "I will organize a community clean-up every month and

increase volunteer participation by 25% over the next six



Facing a towering wall in your maze? Break it down into smaller

bricks. If your goal is to excel in a subject you find challenging,

start with dedicating an hour each day to study and understand

its basics. These small, manageable steps help you gradually

dismantle the barriers between you and your goal.


A good plan is like having an aerial view of the maze. It helps you

see the bigger picture and plot a course through the

complexities. Use tools like planners or apps to chart your

progress, set milestones, and adjust your route as needed.


Remember, every maze has its twists and turns. Embrace them

as part of your journey. Regularly reflect on your progress, learn

from the dead ends, and celebrate the milestones.

The Allure of Digital Order

These apps offer features like goal setting, progress tracking, and reminders, transforming

your habit formation into a structured, visual process. As you balance academics and other

activities, these apps can seem like a perfect solution, offering a clear view of your progress

and helping instill discipline.

The Psychology at Play

Psychological principles like positive reinforcement are at the core of these apps.

Completing tasks and maintaining streaks can feel rewarding, but it's important to ask

yourself: is your motivation coming from within, or is it driven by the app's rewards?

Potential Downsides

Relying too much on these apps can hinder the development of self-discipline. There's a

risk of becoming more focused on the app than the actual habit. Also, constant

notifications can lead to screen fatigue, adding to the digital overload you might already


Using Apps as Tools, Not Crutches

The key is in how you use these apps. They should aid your habit formation, not become

the sole reason for it. Reflect on your goals independently of the app to ensure your

motivation is intrinsic.

Tailoring to Your Needs

Remember, what works for one person might not work for you. Choose an app that aligns

with your personal preferences and learning style.




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In your journey to build and sustain new habits,

you might have considered turning to habit

tracking and productivity apps. Tools like

Habitica, Forest, and Todoist promise to streamline

your goals and tasks. But let's take a closer look:

are these digital assistants truly effective for you?

In essence, habit tracking and productivity apps can be valuable, but their

effectiveness depends on balanced use. They should enhance your productivity

and well-being, not overshadow them. As you navigate your digital world, use

these tools wisely, complementing them with your motivation and self-reflection.


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Picture this: You're sitting in your room, the glow of your phone screen lighting up

your face, fingers scrolling endlessly. It's the same old cycle – social media, texts,

videos – but does it really make you feel fulfilled? In this month's Chillin' is Fulfillin',

we're exploring the forgotten art of unplugging and rediscovering the joys of the offline


The Digital Treadmill

In a world where being online is the norm, it's easy to forget there's a whole world outside

our screens. Constant notifications and endless scrolling can leave you feeling drained,

making it crucial to step back and take a digital detox.

Embracing JOMO

Let's talk about JOMO – the Joy of Missing Out. It's about finding happiness in disconnecting

from the digital world and engaging with the real one. Imagine a day without your phone.

Initially daunting, but it opens up a realm of possibilities.



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Unplugging and Creativity

Unplugging can be a gateway to creativity. With fewer digital distractions, your mind is free

to wander and explore new ideas. Maybe you'll pick up that guitar again, start a sketch, or

write a story – the possibilities are endless when you give your brain some off-screen time.

Activities to Reconnect

What can you do when you unplug? Try activities that engage your senses and creativity.

Whether it's journaling, painting, or simply taking a walk in nature, these experiences can

be incredibly grounding and fulfilling.

The Power of Self-Reflection

Unplugging also means reconnecting with yourself. It's a time for introspection, to reflect

on your goals, dreams, and what truly makes you happy. This self-awareness is a key step

in personal growth.

So, challenge yourself to step away from the screen. Rediscover hobbies, connect

with friends face-to-face, and enjoy the world in its unfiltered glory. You might

just find that the best moments happen offline.

Clinomania, Sangfroid, or Chinook…

Googling such words is only cheugy. It may hit

different, but it is time for you to reach the

dictionary for newer words like rizz, beige flag, goblin

mode, and others which have captured a global

chokehold on the gen-z lingo. It’s all English, but all


Gone are the days when using words like ‘selfie’ or

‘LOL’ would make one feel like they fit in. That’s a

new dimension of delulu, gen-z believes so. In the

new world, the only way to remain relevant is to

employ and decode the usage of such words.

But what is rizz? We believe that you might possess it even before you know what it is. Or

you may do rizz every once in a while, cos for all we know it could also be a verb.

Essentially, rizz is short, and easy, for charisma. It took rizz a whopping 32000 votes against

all 7 options to become the Oxford word of the year. Unlike Tom Holland, we believe usage

of this word can hike your rizz meter by a point, hopefully, for good.

We may well believe that the very creators of this word, the gen-z, contain a lot of pent up

rizz within themselves and are here to transform our speech and thought with these

influential touches.


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Smridhi Chadha

Office of High School Programmes

Ashoka University

Researcher of History and culture

from Delhi and Oxford University

I’m just a girl

When something elicits a specific vibe

Girl Dinner

I am literally just a girl!?

Its giving

An assemblage of 2 fries. 1 chicken nugget, and a carrot

Ate and left no crumbs

When you feel that second-hand embarrassment in your soul


“Main apni favorite hoo” moment

Main character

Literally smashed it1

Big Yikes

Relishing the reputational crisis of the next person

Sippin’ tea

If you’re on your own kid...

Find how well you understood the assignment in this silly little game:

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