Survivor. Outwit. Outlast. Outplay.

School can be a difficult time and yet… you may hear… that they are “the best years of your life”!  For some, they are far from the best years! Many experience this time of growing up as a confusing, stressful and painful.

Bella Autumn is filled with articles that help you to survive school!  We want to equip our beautiful Bella readers with some tools and information on how to make these years as painfree as possible.  We can’t take away exams, assignments and school yard politics but hopefully we can help you to be strong and confident in your ability to survive!

 

A recent survey said that 70% of school students believed that bullying was a moderate to extremely severe problem in school.  In the article “A friend in need is a friend Indeed”, you can read some ideas on how to become a hero to someone and possibly truly make school years the best years!

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Miss Bella Autumn!

You have to agree that our Bella Autumn cover girl is one beautiful Bella!  Megan Achilles discovered a love for music at a young age and is now realising her dreams of a career as a singer/songwriter!  In the next edition of Bella, Megan shares the story of finding comfort in her guitar and expression through her music.  Her debut single Pink Lacy Socks is now available to download from iTunes and fans can visit her website (click here).

Bella  is available throughout selected newsagenices and nationally via subscriptions.

Subscription forms are available here.

Beautiful World

Jess Buttsworth is only 13!  She has received a runners up position for her article “Beautiful World”, an imaginative and thoughtful piece.  Well done Jess… thank you for reminding us!

My GPS had been stolen and my car had been vandalized. First I felt scared. Then worried. Then suddenly I felt a sense of being lost. It came over me like a wave. Where exactly was I? I had always relied on my GPS. Now it was gone. My first thought was to see if the vandals had gotten far. I ran up the road and around the corner. Nothing. Being my unfit self I was quite out of breath and turned back to my wrecked car.

My car seats were full of glass. I began to dust it away but gave up. I lay out towels on my seats so I couldn’t get cut and started the motor. At least that still worked. I drove around a little looking out for a person. No-one was in sight. I was alone.

I took what I thought was the way home. Wrong! I must have taken a wrong turn. I was confusingly lost without my GPS!

As I rode around the country I noticed how beautiful it was. My eyes were more focused on the world around me now that my GPS was gone. Flowers were out in rainbow colours and the grass was so green. Everything looked beautiful. The birds sang and the sun warmed my face.

Finally I got home. But as I opened the door I realized that I didn’t need my GPS. The world looked so much more beautiful when I didn’t know where I was going.

Sometimes we all need to get a little lost 🙂

Be the change….

Another great entrant to our writing competition from our last edition! We hope you are enjoying reading these as much as we enjoyed receiving them!  Thank you Danica Young for your article.

Be the Change

When you’re in Cambodia you really feel the call to help those living in poverty. You see tiny dirty shacks that hold more people than there are beds and you realise that you are immediately thankful for your own house. You see the beautiful smiling face of a young child and wonder if they’ll live to see their next birthday. People with missing limbs approach you begging for money. “Please Miss”, they cry stretching their hand towards you to give them some hope. It’s at that moment when something stirs in your heart. You want to give them all the money in the world, give the best healthcare and provide them with the opportunity to go to school and learn. The latest technology, fashions and gossip seems so insignificant and it hits you how blessed you really are.
In 2010 I went on my first missions trip to Cambodia, with a small group of girls and a couple of passionate leaders. We went to orphanages, handed out food, went to a school and helped children practice their English. Maternity hospitals were visited and we handed out packs for mothers and their precious newborn, we went to HIV wards, churches, slums, villages and a home dedicated to loving, educating and restoring the lives of girls as young as five who have been rescued from human trafficking.
Throughout the trip I was astonished that practically everyone in Cambodia is so friendly, you wouldn’t dare drive through the cities of Australia calling out hello or “sousaday” and waving to everyone you passed. The children in particular are incredibly happy and bubbly, despite the fact that they have next to nothing. Whereas in a first world country we have access to everything we need at our fingertips and somehow we are still not satisfied.
A trip overseas to a third world country can really open your eyes.

“We just don’t know how amazing we have it. We might see things on TV or learn about the extreme poverty of countries in school, but until you’ve been to a place where it is real; a place where you can hold a child and not know how much longer they have to live. I read somewhere before I came here [to Cambodia] that one in seven children living in Cambodia dies before they reach their fifth birthday, many from preventable diseases. It is unfathomable to that this can still be happening in the world.” Louise (team member)
Volunteering to be part of an outreach trip is definitely life changing, however you don’t need to leave the country to reach out and change someone’s life. There are people in our own backyard that need hope in the lives. You just need a willing heart and have a passion for helping and serving God’s people. Start anywhere, help anyone. Be the change.

“Alone we can only do so little, together, we can do so much more.” Helen Keller.

If only everyone lived by this motto Danica!  We know you’ll change the world with that attitude.

Dreams

We were so impressed with the entrants to our Bella Writing Competition!  Emily Lenton is only 14 and we loved her entry piece called “Dreams”.

Dreams. What does that mean exactly? And I don’t mean the dictionary definition, but rather what that word means to each and every one of us, what is the first idea that comes into your mind when you say the word ‘dream’? Maybe it means becoming a famous movie star one day, maybe it means meeting your prince charming, and maybe for some of us it simply means going to sleep and ‘dreaming’. But for me, the word dream is described in one word, England.

For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to go to England, the snow, the royals, the shopping, the family, what more could a girl want? But its more than that, I think the longer I have wanted to actually fulfil my dream, the more determined I have become. Whenever people doubt that I will ever actually be able to get to England, I become even more focused. For me it’s about realizing that I am able to do anything I set my mind to, and that I can reach any goal that I really believe in. I want to show everyone that never thought I would ever do it, that I actually can. In 3 years time I’m hoping to complete my dream, and finally board the plane to England, and I believe that it is going to happen.  When I do finally see ‘Big Ben’ and ‘Buckingham Palace’ it’s going to mean more to me than just seeing the sights, it will mean completing a long journey and ultimately making my dream a reality. And I know that 3 years is a long time, and a lot of things can change, but I also know that if I am really dedicated to following this dream than it will happen. I know I will reach England one day, I just have to keep believing.

We believe you’ll get there too Emily. Your future is bright with possibilities!  Dream big beautiful girl!

And the winner is……

In Bella Summer Edition 2011 we announced our writing competition.  We were thrilled with all the entries and excited at the talent and excitement that all of you showed.  It was a hard job to judge them all! After much deliberating, we are very happy to announce the winner is………… *drum roll*…………….. ERIN CANAVAN!

Look out for Erin’s winning piece in our next edition, Bella Autumn 2012!  Congratulations also to our runners up; Brittany Smith and Emi Hohnke!  Fastastic effort girls and your entries will also be published in our next edition!  Exciting hey!  The quality and enthusiasm of the entries were such that we would love to share them with you all… so, over the next week we will post some of our highly recommended pieces.  Watch this space!

Naomi Lamont, aged 14, sent us this entry and we hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Popular?

Whenever someone mentions how they desperately want to be popular, I feel like banging my head against the wall in frustration. Because they almost NEVER mean “I want to have more close friends”- they mean they want to upgrade to the “popular” crowd.

                The definition of popular is “Widely liked by a particular group or people in general.” Yet in many high schools, the word “popular” takes on a new meaning. The popular or “cool” crowd marks being at the top of the social hierarchy, bringing ultimate security and happiness…or not.

                Because this superficial version of popular isn’t all it’s talked up to be. While having a large group of good friends is priceless, many members of these (less cool) groups still see themselves as “unpopular” because they do not hang out with the cool crowd. All too often we will see high school students (especially girls) abandoning their real friends to hang out with a popular crowd- which, ironically, often has less people.  By trying to feel more secure, they throw away more meaningful friendships. The result may mean less negative attention, but more often it only means less genuine friendship in your life. Is being popular worth that sacrifice?

                Being popular is more trouble than it’s worth. If you be yourself you are just as likely to feel as comfortable and well liked as those in the “popular” crowd.

By Naomi Lamont