by Khyrian Marescaux, Belgium
EF Santa Barbara 4th of July Celebration
Kenneth-Nolan Kross, from Germany,
LeBron James is one of the most famous basketball players in the world. He is 34 years old and born in Akron, Ohio. He has played for the Los Angeles Lakers since 2018. In the beginning of his career, he played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, from 2003 to 2010, winning in 2008 the scoring title and nominated into the All-NBA first Team twelve times. On November 14 of 2018, he scored 44 points in one match. This is the fifth highest scoring in the history of basketball. He also had one of the best averages of scoring in basketball. These are many facts, but what is the secret behind his big career?
His early life was not really easy. He and his family moved from apartment to apartment. A football coach gave James the option to play basketball when he was 9 years old. His parents realized that James didn’t want to be a normal player – he wanted to be better than the others. With an amateur team, James and his friends, enjoyed a local and national level. Then they went to a high school in Ohio. His first season was unbelievable; James had an averaged of 25.2 points per game.
Many scouts watched him because everyone knew he could be a star. James was named the “Ohio Mr. Basketball”. He and his team were the only high school team in Ohio that finished a season undefeated.
After a good college career, he joined the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003. He was the best Rookie in this year. He played in Cleveland for 7 years, but, after failing to win a championship with Cleveland, he left them and joined the Miami Heats as a free agent. With Miami he won two NBA championships. Since 2018 he has played for the LA Lakers.
The secret behind his success are his rules. He always wanted to be a professional player, but he always had 10 rules. The first one is “Never give up”. For example, he started in his own town and had no target, but he always tried his best. His second rule is, “Don’t try to be perfect because you can’t be perfect, but training hard for your dream is important.” He said “Without pain you can’t get better”. “Maximize your potential which means to try your best. You play as a team, but you have to find your play style for yourself. Are you a leader or not?”
“If you have success then share your success.” This is his fifth rule. He helped other players to get better because he didn’t just think about himself. “Ignore the haters, do what you like.” Lebron James is today the leader of the Lakers, but he isn’t a normal leader. His teammates are inspired by him. One of his rules is, “find your leadership style. For example, are you a team player or are you playing for your success?” His personally favorite rule is, “Don’t think you are the best. Train to be the best, but don’t think you are the best if you finished a good training session. “
All in all Lebron is not only a basketball player, he is a big influencer, an idol, and a great person. He changed the game of basketball in the way the game is played. As a person, he is one of the best leaders for a team. He isn’t a player who is just the symbol of a club. He manages to bring along and improve his teammates.
Why Do We Travel?
Alberte Lynge, Denmark.
I love to travel. I have traveled quite a bit already and I want to travel even more. I know that a lot of people like to travel as well. When I travel, I often think of the question, why do we travel? What’s the reason for us to get out of the environment we’re used to and where we feel safe?
I found a whole bunch of answers to this question. Of course, it’s a question to which there is no right or wrong answer, but I found 5 reasons that I think are the best.
#1. We travel to learn.
Whether it’s learning a new language or learning about a country’s history, traveling allows us to learn so many different things. We get to learn about the diverse cultures and ways of living. We learn about how our lives are intertwined and how we can impact one another.
#2. To escape.
Traveling gives us a momentary break from our daily routines and everyday lives. It provides us with adventure and excitement. When we travel and experience a new space or environment, we’re intrigued by all the new and different things that surrounds us. We forget about our jobs, our classes, and all our other responsibilities.
#3. To discover.
This goes hand in hand with the previous point, but traveling allow us to discover, whether it’s an interesting location or a new favorite dish. We travel to not only see more of the world and the people in it, but to also discover more about ourselves in the process.
Through the challenges that we face and the experiences that we gain, we discover our strengths, our limitations, and our potential while traveling.
#4. To make new friends.
When you travel, you meet people of diverse backgrounds and experiences and every single one of them has the potential to play an important role in your life, whether that is a new best friend or your soul mate, who knows.
#5. To experience.
Last but not least. We travel to experience all that we can and all that the world has to offer. We can experience the local culture by eating delicacies and dishes that are unique to the country or a certain region.
We can experience what it’s like to communicate solely through gestures when we don’t know how to speak a language. We might even realize how life in a foreign country is not that much different from our own back home.
Experiences help bring meaning to our lives. They both shape and define us.
These were the reasons I found the best and most relatable. If you have a different answer to why we travel or a point of view then please write it in the comments.
Losing And Finding Yourself
“As we drive along this road called life, occasionally a girl will find herself a little bit lost… she has to let go… and just keep going” – Carrie Bradshaw
Alicia Rank, Germany
Did you ever find yourself in a situation in which you didn’t feel like yourself? I think we all have. But why does this happen? Maybe, we find something in someone else that we don’t have. Maybe, because we admire someone’s style or even more simple, their way of dealing with a specific situation. The only thing we have to be careful with, is not loosing yourself while trying to make this charateristic your own.
But, if we do lose ourselves a little bit, we feel kind of lost. We don’t really know what happened and how this situation could have gone so far. We have to realize that we cannot always change who we are, even if it might be for the better. Remember, that nobody in this world is perfect in every way, so why should you? Accept your flaws. They make you beautiful and unique, so why change?
You want to find the one unique thing again which reminds you of yourself. You relate everything to this one object and without it you think it is impossilbe to go back to your usual self. But all of this isn’t quite true, maybe we feel like our personalities depend on this one thing, but let me tell you, that you have to get past projecting and relating it to that object. You can do it without it, I promise. Surround yourself with those freinds who remind you of who you really are and find the confidence again that you used to have. While trying to be something you’re not, you might lose a piece of this confidence. As soon as you realize that you’re still the same person, you get this confidence back and you will feel like yourself again. Accept that this was a lesson of life. You might feel as if you have failed, but you learned from it and that that’s what matters.
Our Past Is Who We Are
“Maybe the past is like an anchor holding us back. Maybe, you have to let go of who you were to become who you will be” – Carrie Bradshaw
Alicia Rank, Germany
For sure, our past is what shaped our personality. The decisions we made to this point and the friendships we build, define who we are. We don’t have to let go of all those memories to move forward, but that’s just what I think. We should be proud of who we have become.
The first thing to become who you will be is to accept your past. With all the mistakes you might have made, they made you who you are now. Without accepting your flaws it’s impossible to move on. Always worrying about old decisions will make you feel “stuck”. You cannot change spoken words anymore anyway, so why keep worrying about the past? Open your eyes and realize how much time has already passed by, in which you could have made decisions for the future. Don’t miss out on those opportunities; you might regret it.
Your past might have left some scars, either on your body or in your mind. Ether way, accepting them is the only way to guarantee future happiness. Trust me, once you have had your first heartbreak and you get over it, you know what I’m talking about. Life will put you in situations where you have to make choices. And you might not always make the right ones, but you will learn from them and next time you will do it better.
All of this is who you are, and you should be happy about it. Your past is a part of you that will never go away. “One moment doesn’t define you. The people around you define you. And you’re loved” – Raquel, Hit The Floor
You Want To Be a Cool Parisian Guy ? Follow my Advice
Rudy FRANÇOIS-MÜLLER, France
1- The Style
- A lot of big luxuous companys come from France, like Louis Vuitton, Chanel or Yves Saint Laurent. Parisian guys are inspired a lot by the street mode. For exemple, when people wait at the pedestrian crossing, it’s time to find your inspiration.
Paris fashion week 2018.
2- Good Place to Be!
- Paris is a big city, but not so big when you want to discover beautiful areas without a lot of tourist. The district of Saint Germain des Pres is a really good place to be! I really like to seat in the “Cafe de Flore”. This is an really expensive coffee, but I can see a lot of celebrities (from France or Internationnal) and thst can inspire some people!
3- Are You Really Already Going to Paris?
You can’t say that you are going to Paris if you have not made these trips:
- The Eiffel Tower is one of those must sees! I don’t recommend it to anyone who is afraid of emptiness but when you are in the Tower, we can see a beautiful view of Paris! And for the richest you can even eat in a starred restaurant in the first floor.
- The Champs-Elysees is the most beautiful street in the world. They are many shops for all budgets. In the winter, all the trees are illuminated and this makes the street even more beautiful!
- Montmartre is a very old district in Paris. Hilltop Montmartre district is a former artists village once habited by Picasso and Dali, and home to the domed Sacre-Coeur basilica. There are sweeping views of the city from its steep, winding streets, while the iconic Moulin Rouge cabaret below draws tourists and night clubbers.
4- The French Food
During your trip you should try the beef Bourguignon in a restaurant! It’s a beef stew braised in red wince, often red Burgundy (very delicious), and beef stock, generally flavoured with carrots, onions, garlic and a bouquet garni, and garnished with pearl onions, mushrooms and bacon.
I hope you will soon discover the city of Paris and share your experience :).
Why Danes are The Happiest People on Earth
Louise Mohr, Denmark
Again this year the Danish people are dominating the World’s Happiness Report and ranks among the top three happiest of 155 countries surveyed. On the other hand, the U.S. is with a four-spot drop, ranked 18th this year.
So why is it that these pastry-loving, LEGO building people are winning the happiness race? And how do they compare to the States?
The Danish welfare state works.
Danes pay some of the highest income tax rates in the world (45% on average), but, in exchange, every Dane gets free health care, free K-college education (the students are paid approx. $900 a month by the government to go to school), highly subsidized child care and generous unemployment benefits.
Some might lift an eyebrow over the high tax-rate, but the Danes don’t look at the tax rate as a burden, but as an investment in our society and quality of life.
If you lose a job in Denmark, it’s not a big deal. Unemployment is built into the system. This is in connection to the “flexibility model”, which, quickly explained, is a system built on freedom for employees. The government programs retrain workers and position them better for the job market. By doing this, we create strong connections and also provide a guaranteed safety net, giving unemployment benefits for up to two years.
The government also has a great retirement system, providing for the elders over 65+ population through a combination of state-founded pension and private employer-funded pension programs. This not only relieves the stress for the elderly, but makes them feel secure about their retirement.
Here’s a video that explains further: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=095ULhvaH5E
The perhaps most important aspect of the Danish culture is “hygge”, which they value as a cultural construct. It refers to high-quality social interactions. It’s used as as a noun, adjective or verb, and events and places can also be “hyggelige” (hygge-like). “Hygge” is most commonly translated as “cozy”, but is more an intentional intimacy, which can happen when you have safe, balanced and harmonious shared experiences.
“Hygge” is the Danish sense of well-being. Although Denmark is a highly individualized country, “hygge” promotes egalitarianism and strengthens the trust between people. It’s fair to say that “hygge” is fully integrated into the Danish culture psyche and culture.
But Denmark is not the only country that has a concept similar to hygge – the Norwegains have “koselig”, the Swedes “mysig”, the Dutch “gezenlligheid” and the Germans “gemütlichkeit”.
The U.S. also places a high value on individualism, but there’s no real cultural equivalent of “hygge”. Income is generally associated with happiness. Even though the GDP is on the rise and the unemployment has been declining, levels of happiness in the U.S. have been steadily decreasing.
The U.S. income also continues to be an issue. There’s been a marked decrease in interpersonal trust toward institutions like the government as well as the media.
At it’s core, “hygge” is about building trust and intimacy with others. Americans could probably use a little more of that in their lives.
As a Dane in America, i find the the lack of free healthcare the most problematic. The United States reminds to be the only industrialized country in the world that fails to provide universal healthcare for all citizens. The concerns regarding this are significant and continues. Most people here are scared to get sick, and because of the high cost they avoid the doctors. American healthcare is the source of innumerable issues for many, both those withe and without coverage. These issues are not limited to the financial prospect, but has a far-reaching influence on their quality of life, psychological stability, and fundamental happiness for society at large.
After spending 3 months here, i can vouch for the rudimentary differences between America and Denmark. The divergences extend beyond policy, logistics or political agendas. There is a complete different feel to the place, a different tone to the culture on a fundamental level. I truly believe that America could learn something extremely vulnerable form the danish culture, if they had the trust to do so.
How to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
Having a healthy lifestyle starts with a healthy mindset. You need to be in peace with yourself to be able to have access to that stable lifestyle you want. It’s all about finding that balance between self-care and allowing yourself to have a treat. It is important to know how your body works and how to improve your way of living.
The motivation and will to become healthy comes from within and you are the only person controlling your body. If you really want it, go and get it. It is as simple as that. You have to find certain sources of motivation to keep track of that lifestyle you want to achieve. As long as your mindset is in a good place, you will be, too !
One of the first things that is crucial to know and that you’ve probably heard a billion of times is drinking water. It makes you feel cleansed 24/7 and it is recommended to drink 180 ml per day. It will keep your system going and your skin clear!
Eating healthy always sounds so boring and like it’s something you have to endure, but it is way more easy and delicious than it sounds. You can find tons of easy recipes online that are so healthy and really tasty. Another way to achieve health in general is finding healthier options for things like butter, sugar and other harmfull products we might use a little too much. Coconut oil, Agave syrup are way better options for those two examples. Try to include plant-based products as much as you can in your diet because those are the most beneficial food sources you can eat. Vegetables and fruits are really important but, they’re not the only ones out there ; quinoa, all kinds of rice, grains, beans, lentils … are fibers and protein sources that are so easy to make, way healthier and better for the environment than meat or fish.
After you get your diet down and decide which kinds of food are working for you and your inner body, you need to focus on your body image. That is where exercise will become part of your routine. Try to find ways you like to exercise because going to the gym is not always a pleasure for everyone. Dancing, hiking, yoga, swimming sounds like fun to me and are really nice activities you can do with other people.
Finally, you need to see this as a better way of living and not a restrictive way of living. You need to enjoy it in order to maintain it. That’s why balance is the most important thing. You should be able to treat yourself, but have a healthy lifestyle in general.
Halloween in Santa Barbara
Mohammed Alnasser, Saudi Arabia
First of all, this is the first time I have visited the U.S.A. and of course it is a nice fun and good experience at the same time. During my stay there were beautiful events and festivals including Halloween.
This was an interesting event for me because it was the first time I have been involved in this event and it was a beautiful experience in my life.
I participated in this celebration with the wonderful EF Institutes and it was a wonderful celebration. My costume was about a character in the circus. We were in competition with most of the students at the institute for the best costume and for the first time I won and I took fifth place.