Things that college + grad school have taught me.

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I’m currently furthering my education and working toward my Master’s degree, so it’s pretty safe to say I’ve learned a lot being in enrolled in college for the last few years.

Not everyone’s experience in college will be the same, but here’s a couple thing’s I’ve learned so far:

 

  1. You need to sleep. Even if it is for 45 minutes, sleep is absolutely necessary. I am not saying that you will never pull an all-nighter, [I am guilty of that myself] – what I am saying that 2 or 3 all-nighters in a row is insane. Nobody likes a walking zombie! You do your best work when your mind has a chance to rest and recuperate and get ready for the next day. Whether it is at 3:30AM or 3:30PM, everything will get done.
  2. Everybody is perfect in their own way. Never ever compare yourself to others. You are smart, you are beautiful, and you are worth it. Your degree is just as good as the next person’s. Everyone is choosing a path that they love. Don’t beat yourself down when you should be building yourself up. No two people are exactly alike, and that is what makes you special!
  3. Getting your degree is a big deal. Not everybody makes it this far, and not everybody chooses to go to college or grad school, so that in it of itself is something you should be proud of! For the endless of hours I’ve put in thus far, I’ve gotten the amazing payoffs of not-perfect-but-still-freaking-amazing GPA’s. One of the most important things is to know that you have put in your best work and maximum effort at the end of the semester. You get what you give, so give it your all!
  4. It is better to be one step ahead rather than one step behind. Professors always tell you to keep on track and to make a schedule to ensure that all of your readings, coursework, research, and internship hours get completed in a timely manner to allow some time to breathe. Being one step ahead insures all is done in case something out of the blue comes up, preventing future stress. Showing up to class early is better than showing up late. Submitting assignments early as opposed to 11:59PM on the dot will prove you didn’t rush through it. If your assignment is due on the weekend, try to get it done during the week. This will allow time to unwind.
  5. It is okay to ask questions. Especially if any of your courses or coursework is completed online. I am not shy when it comes to attending office hours or emailing millions of questions for further clarification. Plus, it helps you to stand out in a group of many other students, while also showing you care! Nothing wrong with making a name for yourself.
  6. Don’t buy your textbook from your college or university’s bookstore. This is a giant waste of money. I repeat, THIS IS A GIANT WASTE OF MONEY. Buy it used. Rent it. Don’t buy it at all. Do whatever you’ve gotta do. But if you do buy it, please, please, trust me when I say to look online. I have [more times than not] literally saved up to $100 off each book when I purchased it elsewhere. From Amazon to Chegg, there is always a cheaper option. Do it!
  7. Sometimes you will feel like you’ve hit rock bottom. Things will get overwhelming. It will seem as if nothing will get completed, that 24 hours isn’t enough time in the day, or that you are failing at everything you do. Even though you may succumb to the stress and feel as if you are at the bottom of the barrel, the good news is, that the only place to go from there is up! Assignments will get completed, you will get through the semester, and you will realize it was all worth it in the end!
  8. Don’t forget to take time to breathe. Even if there are a million things that you have to do during the semester, you can’t forget that me time is important. Whether it’s taking a walk, grabbing a coffee with a friend, or going for a run, focusing on yourself and your mental health should always come first. Even if it’s only 5 minutes stress-free, it will help you feel better at the end of the day.
  9. You will create and lose friendships during this time in your life. I went to college having a solid group of friends from high school and, to nobody’s surprise, my group of friends is no longer the same! Everyone’s priorities suddenly become different. Everyone is trying to figure out their own lives, and your texts will not always be answered in 0.6 seconds. But while it seems as if your core friendships are dwindling, you will create some pretty kickass friendships in the process. At the end of the day, you will always have a couple solid BFF’s that stick with you through it all. These solid few, you will learn, are more important than the 8,000 acquaintances.
  10. You are not alone. There are 8 million times that I can think of that I have had to remind myself that I am not the only one out there that can get overwhelmed. There are people out there that have struggles way worse than being tired from having to pull an all-nighter trying to complete your work. It is important, though, to remember to reach out for help if you need someone to talk to. Sometimes talking to your classmates or friends will help you realize that everyone is overwhelmed and that everyone is in the same boat. It helps when you build a system to support each other. You will get through it together.
  11. You can get just as much work done at home than you will in the library. Just because you don’t spend a countless number of hours in the library doesn’t mean you aren’t as serious about school as the person who does. Not everybody will find success working in the same types of environments. One of my college roommates enjoyed working at cafe’s whereas another couldn’t focus anywhere but the quiet study. Where you complete your assignments does not amount to the type of student that you are. Your best work will be done when you are in an environment that makes you comfortable.
  12. Don’t stress over the little things. The barista didn’t put enough sugar in your coffee? You have a giant pimple on your chin? You broke the tip of your pencil? So what! Focusing on things that don’t matter will only take time away from focusing on the things that do. Stressing over everything will only create one giant avalanche of stress as opposed to one little snowball.
  13. Once you get handed your diploma, you will realize everything was worth it. The feeling you get once you’ve gotten that sacred piece of paper and achieved your goal is something that cannot be put into words. Put in the time and effort. Keep on fighting, power through, and get to that light at the end of the tunnel. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

 

The highs + lows of insomnia. 

blue-cartoon-moon-night-favim-com-1176403Day 4 of this blog writing thing and, as you can see, I’ve changed it up a bit! Welcome to my new blog!!

This all came to me last night when I couldn’t sleep. For lord knows what reason, yesterday was one of those days that dragged on – I was tired, couldn’t wait to leave work and lay in bed, etc. Now that’s all fine and dandy until it came time for normal people to actually sleep and there I am..wide awake.

I sat there contemplating all of the different reasons as to why I could possibly be awake when I was so tired all day long. I hadn’t had a coffee since before work, didn’t consume loads of sugar before bed. I had no distractions, I was laying there in the pitch black mentally screaming to myself “whyyyyyyyy!”

So, instead of wasting away precious hours of my youth, I was up until 3AM *yawn* researching different/easy to use blog sites and then began creating this page! There are still some things I’d like to tweak, but for now I am so excited!! Who doesn’t love a lil’ pop of color or being able to see my shining face on screen?!

I have uploaded all of my previous posts onto this site so everything is in one place. To everyone who has been reading what I’ve had to say so far, thank you! I appreciate you and can’t wait to keep this thing going. xoxo.

Softer than a baby’s bottom.

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So, as we all now know, yesterday was my birthday. With a birthday, comes the free birthday perks from different retailers and restaurants. So yesterday, I “treated” myself to a [free] venti chai latte from Starbucks, a [free] pastry from Panera, and some free little perks from Ulta.

I just recently became more aware of the wonderful world of makeup. Up until about a year or so ago, I couldn’t give a crap about any of it. The entirety of my makeup routine consisted of $5 mascara from Target and maybe some Chapstick. *cringes* I am still shaky when it comes to achieving the perfect makeup look, but I can surely pat myself on the back for my liquid winged eyeliner abilities.

Anywho, yesterday little ol’ me goes bopping into Ulta with my boyfriend ready to spend some money. I was running low on a few things, and I had my birthday coupon in tow. I desperately needed a face cream, as my face has been so dry lately, I’m patiently waiting for a camel to waltz across it.

I had been reading up on various face moisturizers to try on different websites, so I had a couple in mind that I wanted to look at. When I got into the store, I asked one of the girls working there what she would recommend. One of these items was the Total Moisture Facial Cream by Benefit. I had read great things about this cream online, so when this was also suggested to me in person, I figured I’d try it. And let me tell youpurchasing this is one of the best decisions I have ever made.

I have always wanted to try Benefit products, but could never justify spending the money on them. This cream is retailed at $42 for a 1.7oz tub, which is way more than I would ever pay for a skin care product. But, all Benefit products are 25% off this week and after my coupon, I walked out paying $20 for this item!

So far, I used it last night and this morning and my skin feels light and airy and is so extremely soft, I keep wanting to touch my face! It hasn’t been more than 24 hours and I already feel a huge difference in my skin. I would highly recommend this moisturizer to anyone who, like me, is struggling with extremely dry winter skin.

I hope this helps at least one person. xoxo.

24 things I want to accomplish + focus on in my 24th year

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Today is my birthday, and I have made it my goal for this year to complete everything on this list during my 24th year of life. Let’s get it!

  • Worry less about the things that don’t matter. [I tend to stress over every little thing, so this is my main goal for this year].
  • Learn to put down my phone and pay more attention to life around me. Sometimes I can get so caught up in technology that I forget there are things happening in the now.
  • Attend at least one concert. Doesn’t matter who or where, just one
  • Get a 4.0 GPA for at least one semester. This has been a goal of mine for a while, and I always come so close, but never have accomplished this feat.
  • Religiously go to the gym [and lose 10 pounds]. I’ve been feeling kind of blah about myself lately and the way I look, so losing some weight will help build my confidence.
  • Eat better / more nutritious foods. I’m usually not too terrible in this aspect, but pizza is my friend, and also my enemy.
  • But also continue to eat ice cream every once in a while. Because who doesn’t love ice cream?
  • Drink more tea instead of coffee. I waste sooo much money on coffee, it’s borderline ridiculous. And I’ve recently gotten into a bad habit of adding cream and sugar that I don’t need.
  • Watch my brother graduate from high school. This will happen. But it’s an important milestone.
  • Send my brother off to college. He doesn’t know where he’s going yet, but he knows he is moving away from home, as every college he’s applied to is out of our hometown, so moving him out will also be an important milestone this year.
  • Reorganize / redecorate my bedroom. I desperately need to de-clutter and get rid of some old clothes.
  • Save more money. I’m usually pretty good with this, but I can definitely do better.
  • Travel. A lot. Preferably to places I’ve never been before.
  • Try seafood. I despise everything that swims, but I’m ready to try and face my fears. At least once.
  • Find a new job doing something I love. I feel like I am at a dead end with my current job, so a fresh start might be good for me.
  • Enroll in a how-to class — like cooking, painting, pottery, etc. with my best friend or boyfriend. This is something I’ve talked about a lot, but now I just need to man up and do it.
  • Continue to take dance classes once a week. I love this, so this shouldn’t be any issue to continue on.
  • Spend more time with family. I still live at home, so this isn’t hard. But with our 4 different schedules, sometimes it is harder to all sit down as family than one might think.
  • Capture more memories. Sometimes I regret not taking pictures of important moments. I need to step my game up.
  • Read more books. I love reading, but I tend to get distracted by other things. I need to force myself to make time to do this.
  • Have more me time. I tend to focus on everyone else. I need to have some time to myself to relax.
  • Start going to church more. This is a big one. I used to go religiously, going to Catholic school and all, and have really fallen off this path.
  • Spread love. So important. Everyone needs to know they are loved once in a while.
  • Be happy.

Cheers to 2017 years!

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“When you start to feel like things should have been better this year, remember the mountains and valleys that got you here. They are not accidents and those moments weren’t in vain. You are not the same — you are grown and you are growing. You are breathing, you are living. You are wrapped in endless, boundless grace. And things will get better. There is more to you than yesterday.” — Morgan Harper Nichols

I saw the above quote by Morgan Harper Nichols on Instagram a couple of weeks ago, and I feel like it is very fitting to use to kickstart a new year.

Here’s to 365 new pages in a new chapter that is the story of your life. Cheers to 2017. Let’s do this thing. xoxo.

Target: Every girl’s best + worst nightmare.

“I only need one thing, but I’ll grab a cart just in case.” — Me

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Ladies, ladies ladies. I know I’m not alone when I say that I am unhealthily obsessed with none other than the wonderful superstore that is Target.

I would be lying to you if I said that I was not there at least twice a week. I know, I’m sick. When people tell me they prefer other stores to Target, I literally go as far as to question their mental stability. How is this possible?

Just yesterday I went to Target for one thing, a Christmas gift bag [since of course I am always 12 steps behind]. Mind you, the entire Christmas/Holiday collection at Target is 50–90% off, making this gift bag a whopping — wait for it — 90¢. I should have walked out of there spending under $1. But did I? Of course not!

I was on my merry way to the self-checkout, basket in tow, ready to scan my things and move on with my day. From the time I picked up the 90¢ gift bag to the time I got to the checkout machine, I honestly think I blacked out. Well, not think. Know. I know I did. All the sales had my adrenaline pumping to the max, and I lost all self control. $67 later, I have added a turtleneck, nail polish, hand and foot warmers, a bag of ground coffee, a set of earrings, trail mix and a plethora of other goodies to my basket. I didn’t even want this stuff, but I needed it all, and walked out 3 full bags later.

I can go into Walmart, Hobby Lobby, or even Wegmans and walk out with exactly what I need. In and out, no questions asked. But 9 times out of 10, I not only leave Target with shit I don’t need, but also forget the sole item I was looking for, only resulting in yet another Target run. It is a vicious cycle, and I love every second of it. Target is a drug and I am a full-blown addict. Is it the dollar section? The crazy sales? The Cartwheel app? The ever-so-cute home decor? How about the clothes? I don’t know what it is, but my room is too full and my pockets are too empty.

I can’t be the only one wound up in this madness. I know there are more of you out there that are addicted like me. With that being said, happy shopping to all my fellow Target lovers. I know how you feel.

And to Target, I love you. I’m sure I will see you soon.

What we can learn from George Michael.

“I’ve achieved what every artist wants, which is that some of their work will outlive them.” — George Michael

It’s been widespread breaking news since Christmas Day — George Michael passed away, much too soon, at the age of 53.

Growing up in a household where music was always a staple, this somewhat rocked my world. When I was as young as 3 or 4, I can remember being introduced to various artists, mostly artists that my mother and father grew up listening to and learned to love. The list spanned across a wide aray of genres — anything from Van Halen to Bon Jovi, from The Police to LFO, and to none other than George Michael.

George Michael was someone that was adored by both of my parents; my mother loved him for his looks and charasmatic dance moves, my dad for his unquestionable musical genius. You don’t find artists like George Michael today — ones who write, produce, and perform their own songs. He was a true talent.

He found success during both his career with Wham! and his solo career. After winning 3 Brit Awareds, 4 VMA’s, 3 AMA’s and 2 Grammy’s, having 8 number one hits on the US Billboard Hot 100, and being one of the best-selling British acts of all time, it is almost impossible to find someone who doesn’t know at least one of his songs.

For today’s celebrities, the preferred method of coming out is to be on the cover of a magazine or to formulate an intricate tweet or Facebook post, ensuring they get the proper amount of fame and are talked about on every early-morning network show. Mr. Michael was quite the opposite. He had a quiet aesthetic. He never truly had to come out, as those who knew what to look for, knew. He avoided controversy by being subdued against the provocative queer aesthric given off by many of his peers. The single earring, the tight denim, the coded messages in his songs. He let audiences decide what they had seen or heard.

He was never ashamed of any of his beliefs or actions. Even after his arrest for lewd behavior in a public restroom in Los Angeles, he addressed it with poise. It was after this event, in the infamous CNN interview in which he announced to the world that he was gay. For many years following his coming out, he was open about the thrill public sex gave him, he was open about having non monogamous relationships, he was open about his entire life. Not once did he hide who he truly was. He was an activist for HIV/AIDS before it was “cool,” he was an activist for LGBT rights, he had a positive attitude toward sexuality, and most importantly, he was a role model.

Some important things we all can take away from George Michael are

to always stay true to yourself,

“Be good to yourself ’cause nobody else has the power to make you happy.” — George Michael

to never be ashamed of who you are,

“I want to say that I have no problem with people knowing that I’m in a relationship with a man right now. … I don’t feel any shame.” — Michael to CNN in April 1998

to work your way to success,

I watch people who are not driven by creativity any more, and I think how dull it must be to produce the same kind of thing. If you don’t feel you’re reaching something new, then don’t do it.” — George Michael

to stay humble,

I believe I have some kind of gift, but I don’t believe in myself as a star. To be happy as a star, you have to believe you’re really removed from people. I’ve never been comfortable with that. I know that deep down I’m the same as everyone else.” — Michael to USA TODAY in September 1990

and most importantly, to listen to your heart.

“You’ll never find peace of mind until you listen to your heart.” — George Michael

Rest easy, George Michael. You will be missed.