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Rewind to 2003: Make your goals happen.
Want to join the dance troupe or become a pilot? Here are 12 ways to make your goals—big or small—happen.

1. Play

Want to lost weight or get firmer arms? Get into a sport! Swimming is a great whole-body workout. Badminton can make you drop pounds from all the running around. Cycling can really strengthen your legs. The best thing about sports? Your body gets into tip-top shape while you're just playing and having fun!

2. Do it yourself

Is there a girl in school who just oozes cool? Somehow she looks like she's got a look that's all her own. Hey, achieving your own style is easy-with a little creativity. Make your own jewelry, design your own T-shirts, or hem your own jeans with a unique accessory. It's the coolest way to put a personal stamp on your look.

3. Smile

The easiest way to make friends is to stretch your mouth from ear to ear. Same rule goes for that boy you're hoping will ask you to the movies this weekend. Basic fact: People like friendly faces better. With a smile you appear nicer, warmer, and more approachable. So if you want to connect with someone, just flash those pearly whites.

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Becky Kho
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Katherine Go A day ago

Cold Food

The most thrilling and delightful moment of any school day is opening up your baon during breaks. There is always so much excitement in unveiling your homemade meal and snacks housed inside matching heat-insulating containers. Because preparing packed meals is an age-old tradition of showing parental love, loved ones pour effort into curating a nutritious meal accompanied by a selection of side dishes, desserts, and beverages daily; it reminds us that we are being taken care of, even from far away.

Baon plays a significant role in a Filipino childhood. Almost every Filipino child comes to school with baon made especially for them by their parents or household helpers. Even Filipinos in the labor force continue to bring baon for varying reasons: to save money, recycle leftovers, cater to personal taste, or attend to special needs. Nonetheless, eating your baon is a heart-warming experience that allows Filipinos to bring a piece of home along with them wherever they go.

Even other cultures practice making packed lunch. In Japan, mothers create bento--Japanese meals in partitioned boxes. Because of the popularity of bento, trends have emerged, such as the Kyaraben, or character-themed bento. Naturally, Japanese parents and students began competing for who had the cutest and tastiest bento, and this is similar to what I have witnessed in my own childhood. I remember seeing my classmates sharing their snacks and lunches. They would compare and boast about their parents' or yayas’ cooking. In my case, I never had the chance to join in the competition or indulge in homemade cooking. Up until this day, I have never brought any baon to school.

For a long time, I envied others. As trivial or petty as it may seem, not having baon became a problem for my grade school self. During that time, I had to sit in a separate cafeteria away from my friends because the kids who bought food were assigned to sit elsewhere. You could consider me spoiled, but I wanted to experience something most kids did. I had food at home, so what made it so hard to bring some with me to school?

Now that I am on my final year in high school I have come to realize the benefits of purchasing my own food. Since I spent on food everyday, I learned to budget my allowance at a young age. Over the years, I learned to practice self-control whenever I wanted to eat more greasy fries and drink sweetened beverages. I have tasted the strangest viands at the school cafeterias, and I have repeatedly satiated myself over my latest delicious discoveries. Despite the struggles, I am thankful that I have never had baon because of what I have learned. Not to mention, I never had to experience eating cold food.

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