I know I have not written in a few weeks. However I was in the mist of finals and I honestly could not think of what to write. Finals to me are the worst time to attempt to do other things. Usually because I get stressed to the point that I want to sit in a corner and cry rather than confront my problems. Then it did not help that the fact that things were not going well at work. However I have learned that during the tough times, you have to learn to pull through until the end. I know that sounds cliché but that is honestly what has kept me sane over the past few weeks.
This blog entry is about coming to the realization that in one week I will have another degree. A master’s degree. Since its graduation season, I wish everyone who is graduating nothing but the best and i am hoping for great prosperity for you. For me I honestly do not know how to feel. This whole experience this semester has made me numb. Some may be confused about how someone who has achieved a major accomplishment would feel numb. Well let me explain. For the past semester I have been working two jobs, which is honestly the most tiring thing I have ever done. I do not have a post-graduation plans such as a “big girl” job nor any desire to continue my education at this point. Which honestly, I am not too worried about because I can easily work myself up to the ladder at my second job. Then i get this feeling of I should be doing what every other 23 is doing. Then i remember that i am not like every 23 year old. What I want to do and what I need to do will always differ from the next person, it may look similar.
My message to anyone who is about to graduate, first congratulations you did something many people would not consider doing. Second, don’t worry if you do not have a set plan upon graduation its OK never make people feel as though you are falling behind, everything will make sense in due time. Third and finally, never ever compare yourself to anybody. Comparison will get you in a dark place and will cause you to think that you are a bad person for not being further along in your journey, when you are where you need to be.
Please feel free to like and comment about a time you felt numb or when you when you were unsure of things in your life. But remember to always smile.
Being a student is already hard, but when you put in trying to do professional task such as job searching or attending conferees can add an extra bit of stress. That is my current week. I am getting closer to my final months of graduate school, which means the work load has increased since many of the deadlines are close together. (I wonder if teachers sit together to plan this out) I that begins this week and even though it would not typically interrupt my schedule since it starts on a Friday (all of my assignments are due on Friday by midnight), however when I travel I really do not like to do much of my normal day to day task. I honestly just want to go sightseeing and enjoy my time. Over a short period of time I have learned a series of tips and tricks that can potentially help those who are trying to seek professional development and being a student while working. So here are three ways to help those who are in the same boat as me.
1. Set aside time each day to do some school work: like many people when they travel, I enjoy sightseeing and experiencing new things while I am in a new town. I have learned after several failed attempts to make a to do list even when I am not in my home state. By having a to do list I can always place things that I want to do in that city on there, while still making sure I am completing all my assignments. I am typically a morning person when it comes to errands, so while traveling I will do my tourism stuff in the morning and then sit down to do some homework in the afternoon
2. Try to get the important task done before the main event: when going to conferences, the main event is the conference itself, so if we take the time to prepare our sleeves professionally and homework wise, when we return from to our rooms at the conclusion of conference day we can just relax and maybe do a few small things. Usually after a day of being a professional the last thing I want to do is write a term paper. I just want to reflect and maybe eat something So getting the major task done in advance can help ease the stress.
3. Focus: I know many people say that they can multi task, however when you give a specific task all your focus, you are able to get more done in a short amount of time. The less time you spend on a task, frees up your time to do things that you want to do. Always make sure you are always giving your all and that you are producing quality work.
Those are my tips for being a student and a professional at the same time. What are some of your professional student tips? Please feel free to like and subscribe. 😊
Also would you like to join a group of women who are going through the same task as you, please join the Facebook group Black Women in College! This group has great conversation about the graduate school, college and mental health while in school.
Is normal even a thing? I know I have not posted in two weeks, however I am back and posting every Friday. I honestly missed posting however, life got in the way and I learned how to manage myself better before taking a trip and after.
So as many people know from my last entry I took a MUCH-needed adventure out the country. I went to Cuba and enjoyed myself. I was there to support and in return I was supported by those who helped me. But when I returned from this adventure, that’s when things got a bit off track. The day I returned to the U.S., my flight to my home state was canceled due to a nor’easter. I had never encountered a canceled flight. I went to airline customer service and found out if I could potentially get on the next flight out of Tampa. They told me the next flight I could get was literally 24 hours after the flight I was originally supposed to take to take that night. I accepted the flight and cried. I was crying because my plan was to arrive home on Wednesday, and have a day to recoup, reflect and begin my assignments that were due that Friday and still go to work the next day. I found a “cheap” hotel room and slept there for the night. Before I went to the hotel, I went to get some food. After I checked out, I went to the airport because I did not feel like traveling around Tampa (plus I just spent a lot of money on my trip). So I sat in the airport and began watching my lectures on my phone and taking notes. Some may find this weird however, I wanted to make the best of my time even though I could have been reading leisurely I knew I had to get some homework done.
After several hours, I finally checked into my flight and proceeded to TSA. I was honestly as excited as a kid in a candy store to make it as far as TSA. Then there was more waiting for the plan to arrive. After a 30-minute delay I finally was on my way home. I arrived home at 2am and went to work at 9 am. I did not go my second job that night. That night after I got home from work I started doing my school work and started reflecting. I finished all my assignments before the deadline on Friday and I slept. The rest of the weekend I tried to get back to normal
Honestly, I never understood when people said, “getting back to normal”. In graduate school or in life there is no normal day, at least for me there isn’t. In taking adventures there is no normal (at least for me). Each day we change, grow, and shift. It has been hard for me to get back to normal because “what is the normal for me” is the question. Since coming back from my adventure, my normal has been shifted to go with the flow more and just let things take their course. However, I also learned that sometimes you must take control back when things begin to rapidly take out of control. This week I am embracing the changes and being ok with not being “normal”. Plus, I believe we define what normal for us is. To me being normal is going each day and doing what I need to do and being when I need to be. With this definition, my day is constantly evolving and changing. This week I challenge you to define normal for you and please put in the comments below what normal for you is!
While going through your “normal day” be sure to smile because i smile can truly make a difference.
Next week will be my “final” spring break. The reason why final is in quotation marks is because unless I decide to get another professional degree, then this is the last time I will have a week break from school work. So, for my final spring break I have decided to embark on an adventure that I believe will change my life in a positive way. I would encourage everyone who may have a vacation or a break coming up to take it and run with it. Like the guy in the hobbit. Taking a break is crucial to life and just our overall well- being. However, many people believe that by taking adventure that they need to go off to some foreign place, when they can just take a walk in a different area of their neighborhood or campus.
If you want to stay indoors and may not want to venture outside yet, sometimes exploring your mind and being by yourself can be helpful to your growth. I know it was for me. By taking an adventure in my mind I learned that I only create a dating profile when I was bored. Even taking an adventure in your studies can happen. For example, one night when I was working on a paper about the mortgage crisis and I started to research different avenues of my topic such as past mortgage rates past and present and have a lot of legislation that we only believed to affected one area of policy affected the housing crisis. I know somebody may believe that finding an adventure in school work to be nerdy but, I enjoyed it and still do.
For me I promised myself that each year I would explore a new country because it was a feeling of excitement I felt when I explored Morocco through study abroad and that same feeling comes to me when I went to new country. I always want to feel that feeling at least once a year because it serves as a restart button. I may have not changed, but I know that I can start over especially when life seems distress. Plus, adventures provide new perspectives that some may not consider.
My challenge for you is take an adventure, smile and just allow yourself to enjoy it.
Time management does not always work out in graduate school. I can always map out what i will do and try to maximize my time by doing readings while riding on the train. However, when you also work while in school or even having a lot of family problems going on during the semester can alter your schedule in a drastic way. That is the case for me. This week I have been physically and mentally exhausted from papers, work and just life in general. Most days I want to lay in bed, pull the covers over my head and just hide from my problems that are still waiting for me when I take the covers off. I created a schedule that I was going to follow because I knew myself and I thought I would break it up so I would have a limited amount of work each day. However, it’s funny how life will through a wrench in your plan.
This week’s pre-determined schedule did not work because it is always hard to determine what each day will bring after planning things out. For me, it’s back to the drawing board. Each day this week has truly had it’s surprises. I admire how some people have their schedules set in place and things just go their way. That’s not possible for me right now unless I make some changes, even though I know I cannot control certain situations from happening such as death or the train breaking down. But I know that I can always shift my perception from thinking everything is going downhill, to this is a bump in the road and I will get all my work done. If your reading this and you feel as though your time management skills may be like mine, just know we all have our moments when things do not go the way we manage. But it’s what we do when things go wrong that determines how far we willing to go for our goals and dreams. If your reading this and everything around you seem to be falling apart, I would say even if you plan out everything and it does not go according to plan, I challenge you to keep going and smile. Don’t worry we still will achieve our goals. But if we don’t keep moving forward even when things go wrong, we cannot accomplish them.
If you have been reading my blogs all February, then you know that I have been discussing love especially self-love and while in graduate school. This entry will be a bit different because I want to write a letter to the love of my life. But this letter is not necessarily to the person I hope to spend the rest of my life with (it could be though) but rather to my future self. Some may find this strange, but know that if you do not have unconditional love for yourself, then nobody will fully love you the way you deserve.
Dear Love of My life,
I would like to first say that you are truly an amazing person. You have truly stuck by myside when there was less than $5 in my bank account several times. Rather than give up and tell me to stay in bed you encouraged me to not look at this as though this were my destination rather my first bump on a road to greatness.
I thank you for loving me during the times when I was at my lowest crying in my colleges bathroom because I did not know what to do about all the work piling up. I thank you for being next to me at my lowest moment when I would cry about how I would earn money and obtain experience while studying in an accelerated program. Rather than walk away, you sat next to me and reminded me that I had a great deal to accomplish. You me told that all of the great things I wanted to do, I needed to take things one step at a time.
You taught me that I was beautiful. For the longest time, I did not like looking at myself in the mirror and always believed that I was not attractive because I had a larger stomach than most. You taught me that no matter my size that I was still amazing and can still dress in away that made me look appealing to myself. Also, you reminded me that if I am find myself beautiful is all that matters. Even when I was sick and felt a wreck, you showed me the strength deep down.
The most important lesson you taught me was no matter if I went to graduate school or choose to get a job straight out of college that I was still amazing. You showed me that my confidence was never lost rather hidden for the right moment. You taught me to always protect my peace and energy, while reminding me that not everyone deserves to be near my radiant spirit.
In sickness and health. Richer or poorer. To death do us part. I promise to love and commit myself to you in a way no one would ever imagine. If I am growing, no one can ever take you from me because with each passing day we are coming together as one.
If you read this letter i hope that it helped you. Remember that your first love of your life is yourself. When you show unconditional love for yourself the right person will come to you.
I hope if your reading this whether you are in a relationship or single that your valentine’s day was wonderful. For me it was a day of relaxing and figuring things out in my life. I did not spend it with a boyfriend because as many people know I am not dating for a year. I honestly did not even do no school work. But during the day it made me think of how many women and even men want relationships and will do just about anything to get/ keep a partner. However, that has never been me.
I will admit that at times I do want to be in relationship at night. But, I have learned thus far in my graduate school journey that I must be responsible for my own love and happiness. I cannot wait for someone to come in and love me or create the happiness I desire. When I love myself it not only places a glow upon me, but it allows for people to see how I want to be treated. Also, self-love shows people that its ok to love yourself no matter what. When you love yourself in your sad and happy moments it allows you to see the growth inside of you. It also teaches you lessons that you may have once considered irrelevant. In regard to happiness, happiness can be as simple as smiling at the fact of being alive. When you embrace the small moments, especially in the craziness, it not only helps to get through the small moments but it helps you to appreciate things even in the down moments.
Personally, in graduate school I have had mental break downs where I did not know what to do. I would cry and scream and honestly, I may do these things again before the semester is out. I would even focus on meaningless task when I knew I had an assignment due. Then I would procrastinate. However, when I begin to express gratitude for the things I am doing or even my mini successes, I begin to feel as though that everything will be ok. So if your reading this, I want you to go out, be happy, love yourself, express gratitude for the little things and smile.