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Newsletter #67 - How to carve a pumpkin; creating a class schedule; coping with nightmares.

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Posted October 31st 2015 at 11:50 AM by TeenHelp

TeenHelp Newsletter

TeenHelp Newsletter #67 - October 31st 2015 - http://www.teenhelp.org

Welcome to the TeenHelp Newsletter! Our Newsletter contains a lot of useful information about our current work, including updates to our site and services, new resources, details of upcoming events, short bits of advice, interesting links and more!


TeenHelp News

TeenHelp regularly makes changes to its site and services. Some of these are large and noticeable, and others are small and much less so, but each one contributes to the positive development of TeenHelp and how our users experience our community. Below are some of the most recent developments.


Latest articles (October 9th 2015)

Our team of talented writers bring our users a constant stream of fresh articles to read each month. Articles are being published regularly, so be sure to check regularly to see what we're doing. Some of our latest additions include:

The difference between bisexuality and pansexuality

Labelling your sexuality is an individual matter. This article helps to explain the difference between bisexuality and pansexuality so people can find the label that works for them.

The basics of going vegan

Are you considering going vegan? This article talks about the basics of veganism, such as foods included in the diet and tips on consuming meals outside of your home. It also has some helpful resources to aid you in your journey.

The myths and superstitions about cats

Cats are well loved today, but they have been through a lot to get to this point. Myths and superstitions have shown them in a negative light for a few hundred years. Read this article to learn more about the common superstitions.

Binding safely

Binding is a way to flatten breasts to create a masculine looking chest. When worn safely, binders can be an empowering and positive experience for transgender individuals. Read this article to learn about binding safely.




TeenHelp works with a range of different organisations and websites in order to help and educate young people. Below is a selection of some of them. For a full list of the organisations we work with, please visit our Resources page.




RAINN is the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network. The website has lots of information about sexual assault, and how you can reduce your risk. Additionally, they have a variety of resources to get help, such as an online hotline, information about local counselling centres, and even information on how to help a loved one.



Tips Of The Month

Each month we share small bits of practical advice that you can implement to improve your life or that of others.


Pumpkin carving

Carving pumpkins can be a fun activity with striking results. Even if you don't celebrate Halloween, you can still create decorative lanterns to brighten up your house this autumn. Here are some tips on how to carve a pumpkin.
  • Plan your design ahead of time. If you're designing the template yourself, consider sketching it out for size on a sheet of paper. Otherwise, look around online for different pumpkin carving templates to choose from. Choosing your design early will help you decide what kind of pumpkin to look for when it's time for pumpkin picking.
  • Scoop out the seeds using an ice cream scooper. The edges will help you hollow out the pumpkin and the spoon will help to remove more seeds at once.
  • Tape your template to your pumpkin and use golf tees or push pins to puncture an outline. Be sure your paper is as flat as possible, otherwise it will be difficult to correctly outline your template. This outline will make it easier for you to carve your pumpkin.
  • Don't use pumpkin carving sets. Most of the tools in those sets don't have enough strength to carve larger, thicker pumpkins. Use kitchen knives instead for less aggravation. Care should be taken when using a knife. For our younger audiences, it is recommended that this is done under parental supervision.
  • Use glow sticks or battery operated tealights. These are a good and colourful alternative if you don't have candles available.
  • Bake your pumpkin seeds. Mix them in a bowl with melted butter and salt. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 150 degrees Celsius and bake for forty five minutes for a healthy snack.



Creating a class schedule

Creating a schedule for university can be difficult, but there are ways to make the process easier. While these tips are primarily for American students, some of them may be applied to students from other countries.
  • View your degree evaluation to see what classes you need to take in order to graduate. These can be general education or major-related courses.
  • Decide on a credit load. Depending on your needs, you may take the minimum or maximum course load, or somewhere in between.
  • Make a list of the classes you are interested in taking. Determine if these classes will fit well together or not. For example, sometimes two classes have heavy workloads or may be too difficult to take together, and should be taken at separate times.
  • Research the professors. Sites like ratemyprofessors.com offer reviews of the professors. If possible, try and take classes with professors who have better reviews.
  • For each class you are considering, write down the days of the week and times they are scheduled for. Ensure that you have enough time to get work done and take breaks. Also create a backup schedule in case the classes you wish to take become full before you register.
  • Meet with an advisor. They will answer any questions and make suggestions.


How to prevent and cope with nightmares

Coping with nightmares can be a frightening experience for anyone who has them. Here are some tips to help prevent nightmares, and how to cope with them after having them.
  • Make your bedroom a safe place to sleep. You may want to leave a nightlight on, or the TV for noise. You can also keep things next to you in bed, such as comforting stuffed animals, books, colouring books, or fidget toys. Try to give yourself fifteen minutes to use these things every night before you try to fall asleep. This will help you wind down and refocus your thoughts.
  • When trying to fall asleep, think of what you want to dream about. This might help give you a little bit of control over your dreams. Also think of things that comfort you, like a happy memory. Try taking deep breaths and counting them.
  • If you have a nightmare, ground yourself. Remind yourself that you are safe. Get out of bed and press your feet firmly on the floor. Focus on objects around the room and name the uses for them. Do something to make yourself feel safe before trying to go back to sleep.
  • Keep a dream journal by your bed to document your dreams. It can help to have them documented to refer to them in the future, like in a counselling session, for instance. Documenting them will not allow you to bottle them inside. While it is good to release the nightmares from your mind, do not dwell on them.


Interesting Things (on TeenHelp)

A lot of content is posted to TeenHelp every single day, from threads to articles, social groups to albums. But it is difficult for even the most veteran user to keep on top of it all, so we have selected a few items from among the masses that we thought were interesting to draw your attention to.



International Give-Yourself-A-Second-Chance Day
Mulligan day is known as the day for giving second chances. It was recently celebrated on October 17th, but it's not too late to give yourself a second chance. What kind of second chance are you going to give yourself?

What song is stuck in your head?
A lot of us listen to music while we're on TeenHelp, and plenty of us have songs that get stuck in our heads throughout the day! What song is stuck in your head right now?

What is your favourite cereal brand?
From Cinnamon Toast Crunch, to Cheerios, we all have our favourite type of cereal. What's yours?

What is your favourite field of science, and why?
There are so many fun and interesting fields of science. What field of science do you like, and why? Share your thoughts here and read the posts of others.


Social Groups

Rob's stalkers
Rob works very hard to keep TeenHelp running smoothly. Are you a fan of his who gets excited to see him online? Join this group to meet other Rob enthusiasts.

Self-harm help
Self harm is an unhealthy coping strategy that can be difficult to beat, but you are not alone. This group offers support and encouragement from people who have also been there.


Picture Of The Month

Each month we feature a picture by one of our users. If you would like to see your picture here please contact us by replying to this Newsletter, emailing us at contact@teenhelp.org, or messaging our Publications Team Leader (Halcyon) on the website.

Picture by coolkid98


Upcoming events

Discussion: Managing break ups (Saturday October 31st 2015)

Have you, or someone you know, recently been through a very painful heartbreak? In this discussion, we will cover many areas, including, coping strategies, recovery stories, learning to hold your head up high, and much more.

Discussion: Caring for others (Saturday November 7th 2015)

Many people are having to cope with the daily struggle of being a young carer, which can often be difficult to deal with. Join this discussion on young carers to learn how to deal with being a young carer yourself, and meeting others who are just like you.

Discussion: Dealing with triggers (Saturday November 14th 2015)

Triggers are anything that reminds you of negative feelings or makes you want to perform unhealthy or dangerous behaviours. Often these are unavoidable parts of life and are tough to deal with on your own. This discussion will help you learn to control any urges the triggers may cause and how to prevent them from affecting you.

Discussion: Opening up about sensitive subjects (Saturday November 21st 2015)

It can be difficult to tell friends, family and significant others about the things that are going on in your life, and this is particularly challenging when you're disclosing complex and sensitive issues such as mental health. This discussion will help you to find ways to open up about the things in your life, whatever they may be.

For more information about upcoming Facilitated Chat Room Discussions (FCRDs), and the times that these discussions will take place, please visit our FCRD page.



Donate to TeenHelp

In order to continue providing free services to young people around the world, TeenHelp requires a constant income of voluntary donations to support our regular costs. If you are able to, we ask that you please donate any money you can to us, even if it's only a few dollars.



Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr

Our social networking pages are a great place to get a lot of high-quality information. We aim to connect you to interesting organisations, volunteering opportunities, events, news stories, pictures, videos, and more!

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Editorial team

Publications Team Leader/Editor-in-Chief: Haley (Halcyon)
Senior Newsletter Editor: Cassie (Calico.)
Newsletter Editor: Dez (*~Sparkly Queer~*)
Newsletter Editor: Jenny (coolkid98)
Newsletter Editor: Nicole (eumoirous)
Newsletter Editor: Rishy (Pirouette)

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