Discovery Wednesdays

Here’s why Shine Text is worth it. You’re probably wondering what Shine Text is, am I right? It’s a company that was started by two women and the platform sends you a message with positive, daily affirmations and actions to get you through each and every day (minus Saturday and Sunday). It helps to empower women and men by sending content that will encourage you to be your BEST self. Can you ask for anything better to start your morning with?

Below is the text I received today. Click here to sign up – I dare you!

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#FirstDayOfSummer

Living in New York City, sometimes I forget to take advantage of all the cool exhibits and places to explore. Here are five places I want to go to this summer:

1) The Martin Creed exhibit at the Park Avenue Armory

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2) Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

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3) Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration

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4) Smorgasburg | A Brooklyn Flea Food Market

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5) Wave Hill, a public garden and cultural center

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Cleaning up is not my strong suit.

Fact: When you come home from college, it’s hard to organize and figure out where to put all of your “old” things from the past 21 years of your life and all of your newer things that you’ve acquired during your 4 years of college.

The first thing I tried to start with was finding a place for everything… including my clothes. I didn’t realize how many I had until I took them out and tried to put them in piles and ended up feeling defeated because I didn’t know what to do with it all. I decided to simplify my closet and with some research, I found this helpful chart. Let’s see if it works!

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Now what?

I’m officially post-grad and just like the billions of others who graduated with me, I don’t have a job! Living in New York City is great because I’m able to apply for many more opportunities than people who live in smaller towns. I didn’t realize how tiring applying would be! Don’t get me wrong, I’m 100% dedicated to applying for a real life job, but I’m also okay with taking a little time off to just relax and enjoy my summer. I’ve officially decided that I’m going to take a year off and go to grad school next fall, but there’s a lot to do before then. Some of the biggest things I want to accomplish this summer are:

  • Finalizing my communications portfolio
  • Blogging more (didn’t I say that last year?)
  • Finding somewhere to volunteer my time/ skills
  • Reading more (of course, I’m re-reading Harry Potter)
  • Learning how to cook (using my slow cooker recipes)
  • Exploring more of New York City
  • Redecorating/ reorganizing my room

Keep checking my blog to see what I’ve been up to.

How a VoxBox is made!

Hey, everyone! Some of you may know that I signed up for Influenster a few months back because it was something I decided to check out because you can possibly be eligible to receive free boxes of products and all you have to do in return is review the box! Cool, right? I thought you guys might want to see how the boxes are made! Check out the video below 🙂

I Asked For Advice and I Don’t Regret It

The other night I couldn’t sleep. It wasn’t just one of those times where I was up for 20 minutes and I still couldn’t sleep kind of things either. I laid down at 8pm, thinking I was exhausted, and wanted to be asleep by 9:30pm or 10pm, the latest and I didn’t actually close my eyes because I felt calm enough to sleep until about 12:30am. Now, I wasn’t sure if I couldn’t sleep because I had napped to late that day or if I took my melatonin too late and it just wasn’t working, but I realized I was stressing.

I was stressed out about the future that isn’t here yet and the realization that I may not know what I’ll be doing with my life by the time I graduate next year. I’ve only been home for two weeks, but I already have a Google Docs spreadsheet filled with jobs, internships, teaching abroad opportunities, and other things I want to apply to because I don’t want to be another college graduate who doesn’t know what they’re doing because they aren’t going to grad school. So, to put my mind at ease, I reached out to someone who has been through it all not that long ago. I knew her because she was a counselor at the teen camp I attended for about 3 years and we were Facebook friends, she graduated college a few years ago, and I’d say she’s pretty successful since she works for BuzzFeed. What she told me put my mind at ease, so I decided to share the love:

Hey Jelani! Congrats on almost graduating, it’s exciting and also terrifying, I know. What kinds of jobs do you envision yourself doing? I really wanted to be a writer and so I did a ton of internships in writing, and wrote for anywhere that would let me. Try to do the things you would be doing in a real-world job as much as you can, even if it’s just in an intern or volunteer or personal blog capacity. Also I worked part time for a few years and spent that whole time applying for jobs and getting rejected, or getting really close and still not getting the job, or accepting jobs then realizing they werent right for me. sometimes it takes a bit to find one that’s a good fit and it can take awhile to find a place that sees your potential, but thats common, and you can spend that time honing your marketable skills. also remember that what you see on social media is basically BS, it’s just a facade of people’s happiest moments and never actually shows the obstacles and low points that everyone goes through. So don’t spend too much time on it or thinking about it because it’s just going to get you down on yourself, when those people are almost certainly living the same struggle. teaching abroad could be really fun! you only really get your 20s to do kinda crazy adventures until everyone starts settling down so don’t worry about getting a job right away or that you’re wasting time. everyone catches up to the same place for the most part eventually.

Yes, I know I got fat and my semester was fine, thanks for asking.

It’s that time of the year again for college students. That time where you pack up all of your stuff to move out of your dorm, when you stop being walking distance from all of your friends, and you come home for four months to relax or intern or work or maybe even a mix of all three.

As soon as my mother called me to let me know she was in front of my dorm, I came downstairs expecting a hug and something along the lines of “How was your semester? Where’s your things?”, but, the first thing my mother said to me when she got out of the car to greet me was, “Oooooh, girl! You got FAT. ”

Yup, she called me fat. Now, this wasn’t a new realization for me- about two weeks before I was scheduled to go home for the summer, I remember doing my makeup, looking in the mirror, and seeing that my face was a little chubbier. I knew that I had been stress eating and I Instead of being okay with the fact that I had gained a little weight and not worrying about it, the first thing I wondered was how many people saw my weight gain before I had and the second was what my mother would say when she saw me. This isn’t anything new to me, she always tells me that I should watch my weight and I should try and eat less, but, it was still a little shocking that it was the first thing she said to me. Instead of being upset, she gave me the motivation I needed to start going to the gym on a regular basis.

I’ve always wanted to be the type of person who went to the gym everyday, but I’ve never had the motivation to do so. Once I got home, my mom calling me fat started to get worse. I would come home and she would tell me that I don’t need to eat certain things or just telling me that I need to be more active, so I’ve been slowly but surely changing my “at-home lifestyle”. I got a gym membership, I drink low fat milk and use low-fat yogurt to make smoothies with fresh fruit, and I drink more water. I started officially going to the gym on Monday, May 10th and so far, I’ve been going everyday for at least an hour. They say it takes about 21 days to form a habit and I’m ready for the gym to be my new habit. Now, I hope you’re not reading this and thinking “This poor girl, her mom is so mean!”, because this was what I needed to get my act together and finally accomplish something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.

This is another journey that I knew I needed to take and although I’m a little scared, I know I can do it because all it takes it 21 days, a little motivation, some workout advice from Pinterest, and the will to wake up early 5 days a week.

Obligatory post about the seniors graduating

A year from tomorrow the Class of 2016 is going to be graduating and there are going to be underclassmen who are sad about me leaving… but, I need to slow down. We’re not that far into the future yet, this is still the Class of 2015’s moment.

I knew this was coming… because it’s inevitable, but I’m still trying to grasp the fact that my friends are leaving me. No, not all of them, just the select few who decided to do well enough in college and were able to graduate on time (or in some cases, early). I know, it was probably a hard decision to make when it came to thinking about graduating on time or not doing so well and getting to be with me for an extra year, but the decision has been made. As I sit here, listening to Spotify, checking my grades and writing this post, I can’t help but wonder how my senior friends are going to spend their last full day as college students. I know they’ll be at graduation practice, but what else? Packing? Having the last dinner at BJ’s? The last beer at Bots? Or maybe just hanging out in their yards in 18th Street playing music and pretending like this is just another weekend at Susky.

Some of the people leaving knew me at my worst. Okay, maybe not my worst, but they definitely knew me at a time where I needed a lot of work. I was a stupid freshman and they dealt with me. I was able to look up to them, go to them for advice, and they were always there to lend me some ears and listen to me. People who kept in contact with me while I was abroad last year and helped me through the hard times and always made me laugh or feel better about whatever I was dealing with. There were others who I met after coming back from being abroad in the Spring. I was grateful enough to see them multiple times a week and they advised and guided me through the hard journey called Readjusting to America. Some of them were people who were always there for great conversation and just talk to about a little bit of everything. I’m forever going to be grateful for how each and every one of these people was able to change me for the better and I hope I can always keep a little piece of them with me.

I’m sad today and I’ll probably be sad tomorrow, but I know I’ll see them again. They’ll come back for Homecoming at least once… they always do.

So, I’m a serious blogger?

I can’t believe I’m actually blogging right now. I know I haven’t written anything cool yet, but I’m trying to relish this moment, I want to remember as much of it as possible so when I become a big time, serious so I’ll be able to relive the moment exactly as it is right now. This first blog post isn’t as cool as some of you were expecting, but it’s important. You have to start somewhere, especially this far into the beginning of the end, right?

See: probably self explanatory, but the backstage part of WordPress

Smell: Yankee Candle- Sunset on the Beach

Hear: Sunshine by Wale, cars honking, people talking outside

Taste: nothing

Touch: the (old and needs to be replaced) plastic cover over my keyboard