An Open Letter To College Students

I touched upon this topic a few years ago in THIS POST but I wanted to do a recap or an updated version rather.

I’m 26 and now that I’ve been out of college for a few years, when I look back at that experience I realize now that there are things I would probably do different. So to all the college kids out there, or even to high schoolers- take the benefit of my experience. Because I’ve gone through it. I’ve got your back.

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Tips

  1. Plan ahead- It’s always smart to be proactive. Research your colleges, schedule tours, review the courses they offer. 
  2. Choose a school that is right for you- Make sure that the school offers courses in the things you are interested in.
  3. Take college seriously- It’s easy to put it off, to procrastinate, we all do it. But Junior year in high school you should really start the college process.
  4. Utilize scholarships- If you are lucky enough to get any, use them. Because every college kid will tell you, college is expensive! And loans are REAL!
  5. Take your hobbies seriously- Sometimes we love doing something and we think it won’t be anything we can make a career out of. And sometimes we could not be more wrong. Your interests are important, they are what make you, you. And they can point you in the direction of your future.
  6. Study your craft- You don’t think you know enough? Research! You’d be surprised how much information you have available to you with just the click of a button. Look it up, practice it, test the waters. It’s always good to learn something new.
  7. Ask questions- Ask people questions, people who know about your craft, people who have been through the college process. Ask away!
  8. Don’t buy the textbooks- Yes you read that right. I remember buying all the books and then barely using them, and then being stuck with them. And they cost SO much money! What I started doing was making copies. If you’re lucky your professors will give you a syllabus, which can narrow down which Chapters you’ll need to have access to for the semester. Copying is way cheaper. Or maybe split the cost with a friend and share the book. The Libraries often have the textbooks that you can take out too.
  9. Bond with peers with similar majors- This will help you to navigate your coursework and will give you someone to confide in when you graduate and get thrown into the work force.
  10. Have a back up plan- Just in case, think about a variety of options for your career. I’m NOT saying to give up on your dream. But it may take you some time to get it rolling. You will have to pay your dues before you get where you want to be. So make a plan of what you will do once you graduate and build from there. You’ve got to start somewhere, right?
  11. Take internships- Every entry level job still recquires a bit of experience. Internships will give you that extra edge.
  12. Talk to your professors- They are filled with information. And they have been where you are. Ask their advice.
  13. Join clubs- This will stir up your creativity and can help you to make friends all while being able to practice your craft.
  14. Don’t stress- College isn’t clicky like high school, it’s OKAY to be a bit of a loner sometimes.
  15. Take Summer jobs- You will learn how to budget your money and what it means to gain your own finances. And it will feel good to be able to pay for things yourself.
  16. Keep on top of your credits- When I was in college, every major had a checklist and each year you knew which classes you had to include in your schedule. Each major is different. If you don’t stay on top of your credits, you may end up having to stay longer than you planned in order to finish. Check those pre-requisites!
  17. Keep in touch with mentors after graduation- Time passes and you feel weird reaching out. Will they even remember you? Keeping in touch every now and then will make sure they won’t forget you. And it will give you someone that could possibly help guide you through the job hunting process.
  18. Have fun- College can be really stressful, make sure you take time to enjoy the experience. Go out with friends, attend a school function. This time- it only happens once in your life, and it goes by so fast.

 

I do believe that it’s not the college that makes the experience, but the student. The student makes the college work for them. You can go anywhere, as long as your determined you have the potential to do well. These tips can be helpful to current college students, upcoming college students, and future college students. You know what they say Pay it forward and “Be who you needed when you were younger!”

 

Happy Back to School Season Friends!

*I do not take credit for the image used.*

-<3-

 

Scatter Brain

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I recently have been feeling like I have a lot of things going on and I’m getting overwhelmed.

I know what else is new? Right? 

But I’m stuck.

It’s that time of year where it’s getting hotter. I work closely with the school system, so it’s nearing summer break and all the kids are starting to lag and slow down and I feel by some extension that I am too.

There is this improvement list I keep thinking about.

Things I want to do and be better at, for myself-my career, my health, for my students, for my family, for my friends…

I teach 5 different creative activities and although it was my choice, I feel like I’m not doing as well as I hoped. I always have this vision and then it gets crazy and scattered and I end up scrambling in the last weeks.

And yet I am still also needed in a lot of other areas in my life- I’m in three more weddings- two of which I am maid of honor for, I’m going to be a Titi (An Aunt) in the fall I’m going to have a niece! And I’m planning for family occasions that keep popping up…the list always has something new added.

So I feel like I’m trying to be everything to everyone and still tryin to have some sort of social life and make time for myself. 

My relationships in my life with family and friends are everything to me.

And I want to show up for everyone… for everything.

And lately, I just feel kind of all over the place, and pulled in many directions.

I feel like I’m dropping the ball, and I don’t know what to do.

To the point where I just want to throw myself on my bed and sleep to forget it all.

I’ve been going and going since what feels like forever, and I’m still going.

I don’t know how to get over this bump in the road.

There is so much I want to do for myself, and I feel like my career has been put on hold for so long, and I know that it is my fault.

But I’ve made strides to better my situation in the past and I feel like now I’m just stuck and safe.

I get worried that my dream of being a writer will never happen for me.

I know I have to push myself, and when I lack motivation, I need to learn to push past it.

But it’s difficult. For sure.

I don’t know where to start.

How to change.

I’m always buying, and doing for something else, that it’s easy for me to forget or slack on going after what I really want for myself.

I need to learn how to prioritize.

I need to learn how to use my time wisely.

I need to plan accordingly and not let myself get stuck in my comfort zone.

I need to realize that the change is within me, and no one else.

I can’t keep saying I’m stressed and overwhelmed and then just shut down.

Because what good is that then?

I can’t just keep going through the everyday routine without any progress or change.

But I don’t know how to do that.

And this is not a “feel bad for me” post, this is literally my way of trying to sort this mess out.

I know I will, I’ve done so in the past.

One day things just clicked and did what I had to do even though it was scary…even though it was hard.

So I’m hoping I get my click into place day soon.

Thanks for letting me vent, friends.

And if you can relate, tell me in the comments how you push past that feeling stuck feeling!

XO

Michelle

 

*I do not take credit for the image used.*

-<3-

 

 

 

 

Before That Summer

Before that summer

Bailey stands in line at the local Starbucks, excited to get her daily dose of much needed caffeine when her phone starts to ring.

She looks down and her breath catches in her throat.

Him, she thinks.

What could he possibly want?

It’s been months and they haven’t spoken.

She freezes in line not knowing what to do. Her palms instantly clamming up.

“Next,” the barista calls greeting Bailey with a warm smile.

Bailey stares and looking behind her she smiles at an older woman standing there.

“You can go ahead, I really need to take this,” she says stepping aside.

“Oh thank you sweetheart,” the silver haired woman with a bright pink smile says, stepping up to the counter to place her order.

Bailey walks to step outside the coffee house doors and into the corridor. She inhales sharply, her heart beating a mile a minute.

She exhales even more strongly before answering the call.

“Hello?” she says trying to remain calm and collected, because remaining “cool”- at this point-wasn’t an option.

He- was her kryptonite. And she didn’t necessarily mind.

“Hey. (Jimmy’s eyes light up as he paces his apartment floor) Wow. You answered. I really wasn’t expecting you to,” he says his voice light.

Just the sound of Jimmy’s voice makes Bailey’s heart smile.

“Oh well you know I could- just hang up-” she says in a playful tone.

He laughs.

“No, I just meant I figured you’d be in class, or at some fancy New York City gala, or brunch, brunch is big up there, right?”

“We have been known for our brunch scene, yes,” she says with a slight laugh.

“Oh, I miss that laugh,” he says picking up a frame on his desk, he smiles at the picture of he and Bailey from their high school graduation.

Bailey’s stomach flips and fills with butterflies. Jimmy’s heart rate increases.

“I miss you. (Jimmy closes his eyes, taking it in for a beat) How are you? How’s everyone back home?”

“I’m good, everyone’s good. (He continues pacing) Home is home. Same ole small town filled with weird celebrations of the strangest things.”

“Ah carnival season.”

“It’s coming in like a freight train.”

“Oh I remember it well. So what’s the theme this year?”

“Love. Pink and Red basically threw up all over town. And they’ve got this cupid’s jingle playing every second of every day. Donny Fonny actually goes around dressed in a diaper with a Cupid’s bow and arrow shooting people and ordering them to “Love each other.”

“Oh my god, Mr. Old Donny Fonny in a diaper, I would pay big money to see that,” she says leaning against the wall of the corridor, just enjoying talking to him.

“And here I am complaining and I get to see it for free.”

 “Well I mean it’s basically Valentine’s Day in June. You must be overjoyed,” she giggles. “I know- it’s your favorite holiday,” she says sarcastically.

“Hey, my recent hatred has to do with the commerciality of it. I don’t think guys need a specific day to make them realize what they have should be celebrated. I could look at you every day and feel that. Hallmark doesn’t need to remind me. I know you’re amazing.”

“Jimmy.” She says her heart falling in her chest.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to call and hash up the past. I just…this whole love theme thing, it just made me think of you…more than I already do, and I wanted to hear your voice. Tell you that I’ve been thinking about you, and that I miss you. But that I’m so proud of you for making it out of Everdale and going for it. Chasing after your dream. I’ve always just wanted the best for you, even if it took you away from me.”

“You know…we could always revisit the fact that I did ask you to come with me? But you were the one who thought ending things worked best. I never understood that. It broke my heart. It still does.”

“It broke mine just as much you have to know that. But come on, did you really want to ruin your college experience by bringing along an anchor.”

“You were never an anchor Jimmy, come on, you know that.”

Jimmy flops onto his couch as he sighs.

“What?” Bailey asks as she steps outside the Starbucks doors and makes a B-line to the nearest path into the park.

“Nothing.”

“Talk to me.”

Bailey sits on a park bench as she watches couples interact in public displays of affection all around her.

“I can’t. Not over the phone. Not about this. I wish I could see you. Any plans to visit home anytime soon?”

“Well I actually have my last final in just a bit…so then my summer is wide open.”

“Interesting,” he says his smile bright as he kicks his feet up onto his coffee table and puts his free hand on the back of his head, lounging out.

“Very.”

“I guess we can call it perfect timing.”

“I guess so.”

“Do you think there’s any chance that you’ll look me up when you get home, city girl?”

“Hmm, I don’t know about any city girls looking you up, but I can promise you you’ll be this country girl’s first stop.”

“Country girl, huh?”

“Hey I may be in the Big Apple, but I will always love Everdale more than any place I’ll ever go, its home. Besides I packed my cow girl boots, no one’s taking the country out of me.”

“Glad to hear it. Because this old town misses you and your cowgirl boots.”

“Really? Do they now?”

“Yea I mean I know one guy in particular who kind of had a thing for a blonde in leather brown boots.”

“They were always your favorite.”

“They still are. So why don’t you hop on plane and bring them home. And maybe you and I can pick up where we left off?”

“Maybe. Like I said my summer is wide open.”

“New adventures.”

“And a few old ones.”

“I can’t wait to see you.”

“I can’t wait to see you.”

“Bye Bailey.”

“Bye Jimmy.”

Bailey hangs up as her lips curl into the biggest smile, the fluttering in her stomach settles into a warm feeling, a sense of hope and home.

Jimmy hangs up the phone as a smile spreads across his face, he walks over to his computer and sits down. On his screen a list of apartment listings in New York is shown.

Bailey gets up as she sets off to walking toward her campus and her last final, the key to the start of her most exciting Summer yet.

Jimmy opens one of his desks drawers and reaching into it he pulls out a small black box.

He opens it, displaying a sparkling diamond ring. His eyes shift from his next adventure to the same picture of he and Bailey on his desk. He smiles at her smiling face.

“I’m never letting you go again,” he says to himself as his heart flutters in anticipation.

-The End-

(for now)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

High-school & College Advice.

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So I was talking to my younger cousin a few weeks ago at a family party. She’s about to enter high school and I wanted to share some thoughts with her. Considering I’ve been where she is, looking back now there are things I know for sure that I would have done differently. And I wanted to share some of the lessons I learned along the way with her, because I know that I wish I had someone to tell me these things when I was just starting high school or transitioning to college.

I told her the best advice I could give her was to take high school seriously.  Take your interests seriously. And to follow them. Some people chalk their interests off to being just a hobby, something to past the time. Well guess what time is precious and obviously if you’re using it to do something you enjoy, it means something to you. And that’s the best way to spend it. Your interests may point you in the direction of your future career. Try everything, and explore what you’re good at. This way when you get to college you’ll have a much clearer picture of where you want to go, and who you want to be.

I think there’s this misconception about high school and college. That high school is just there to get you the grades to pave your way to college. A time to still be immature and go with the flow. Your future is years and years away. But guess what? It creeps up on you pretty quick. And before you know it you’re a freshmen in college trying to navigate semi adulthood. Wondering why the hell you feel so ill prepared for all of this.

At the same time, people think college is the time to find yourself, and find what you want to do with your life. You don’t have to declare your major until your second semester anyway. But guess what? In college, shit gets real. And if you prep yourself in high school, your aim will be much more precise in college. College can definitely be a time to find yourself, but all’s I’m saying is don’t limit yourself to your comfort zone. It’s nice to have a schedule and to find your groove, but trying the things that scare you, and going after the things you want are much more rewarding. Don’t hesitate, be the person you want to be. Be the best version of yourself. Go for it! Try out for your school talent show. Create a new club. Enter a contest. Meet new people. Make new friends.

I’m not saying to give up your high school years, be a kid, have fun. But do the work. You’ll never regret it in the end. Because it will pay off.

I’ve always been a school kid. It’s always been my thing. Even if I wasn’t particularly good at a subject, I’d try. I’d get tutoring, I’d ask to do extra credit. I worked my ass off. And I’m proud to say that in college, I wrote papers like a boss. And somehow I managed to find my groove in every class. (Even philosophy) My shit was together on an academic level. But I found out too late that I was in the wrong place for what I really wanted my career to be.

I went into college having an idea of what I wanted, and came out with a more precise view. Some people would say that now is the perfect time for grad school. It’s always been on my radar, it’s something I’d like to do in the future. Go to school specifically to study the art of screenwriting, writing for television and film. But I can’t fathom taking on more loans at this point. It’s just not feasible. The only thing is now I feel like I still have so much more to learn. In my case college was only my first step. And I’m sure that’s true for many. But I’m someone who wants to have a plan and now that plan is all out of whack. I wish I would have done all that soul-searching in high school, then I would have been way ahead of the game, once I got to college.

End result is, we can’t go back in time. All we can do is move forward. And make the best of the now. Going to college and finding what I want to do and getting to explore a few ways to tell stories through video and writing was a vital piece of my life’s puzzle. I don’t regret that. But now I have to take it and put it to good use. Everything in life is a stepping stone. This was just my first one. Time to find my next one. Good vibes and good things to come.

So I leave you with this. Study your craft. Do research. Ask questions. Try. Fail. Try again. Plan ahead. Bond with fellow peers with similar interests, pick their brains. You’re gonna need them around later to give you feedback on your work. Choose the right school for you. I can’t stress that enough. But most importantly find something you love to do. And if you find your interests vary, do it all. Because you can. That’s what double majors are for. Breathe. Take breaks. Learn the beauty of a mental health day. Understand it’s a lot of work, but you can do this, and you will get through this. And Graduation day will feel all that much sweeter. Find what you love, and go for it. Too many people in this world, have jobs they hate. And if you ask me, that’s a shame. No one should hate going to work in the morning. It’s a terrible way to live. Because pardon the outdated term but, You Only Live Once.

Best of Luck this year young-ins!

You got this!

Rock what ya got!

-<3-