Embrace Your Inner Artist

A few months ago I had a meeting with a mentor of mine. We usually meet twice a month to discuss my career goals, classes, issues, etc. She listened to me when I confessed that I no longer wanted to be a physician. In fact, she encouraged me to explore other interests and find my niche in life.

At this point, I had no idea how to go about this. I had different hobbies that I enjoyed, but how was I going to turn them into careers? Then it came to me. One of my favorite Youtubers, Jouelzy, said on her video that before she turned 30, she was going to make a list of her childhood dreams and include reasons why she didn’t follow them. What dreams that didn’t have reasons, she was going  to follow them.

That was my answer, so I followed suit.

My childhood dreams consisted of:

  1. Being an Artist
  2. Being a Scientist
  3. Being a Radio Personality

You’re probably thinking, why isn’t “physician” included? Well, I made the decision to pursue medicine in high school.

So, I didn’t pursue art because I had no clue what career that would put me in. As a high school student, I didn’t know about the different aspects of art.  Out of fear, I kept art as a hobby. I can’t stand working in a lab, so being a scientist is definitely out of the question. I never tried to become a radio personality because I’m extremely shy lol, and after a while, I stopped listening to the radio.

My first post consisted of me stating that I had a change in career plans. Since then, I’ve researched different things and what I would have to do and in order to pursue them. I’ve decided that whatever I pursue, I have to satisfy the creative spirit that has been stifled all of these years. It doesn’t necessarily have to be in the arts, but it has to creative. I received a notification from my SITC app that confirmed this transition. It included a scripture that stated:

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

I have to embrace my art, my blog, my creativity. I’m glad that my mama is on my side. More importantly, God is on my side. No more resisting my purpose. It’s only up from here. So, if you are anything like me, embrace your inner “self”. For me, it was my inner “artist”. For you, it may be your inner “athlete”, or inner “scientist”. If you are confused about your career path, reflection and prayer is the best way. Reflect on things you truly enjoy, and pray about moving forward.

Be great everyone,

Alexis:)

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Ways to Prep for Finals Week

Once again, the time has come: Finals Week. The last two weeks of a semester can be extremely stressful for a college student. Preparing for finals is not only an academic thing, but a mental thing. So it’s important that you are prepared. Here are a few ways I prep for finals week.

Study !

You’re probably thinking, “Of course, this is a no brainer.” Well, you’d be surprised. In college, your classes end before finals start. That means, you will be on campus, until you’re done with all of your exams. Use your time wisely. It’s common for people to throw end of the semester parties, so plan accordingly. If you know you have an exam in a class that you’re struggling in, it might be helpful to miss that party and stay in and study. Whatever the case is for you, use your better judgement.

Put the Phone Down

When you start studying, put your phone on “Do Not Disturb”, or Airplane mode, so you can concentrate. I know a lot is happening on Instagram and Twitter, but you can’t be focused on that now. There have been times when I’ve told myself, “just 5 minutes of Tumblr”, and it turned into 45 minutes lol. Don’t let this be you. If you want a little bit of motivation, reward yourself with your phone during your breaks.

Create Study Guides

Study guides are vital. It’s an easy way to compress all of the information you need to know in one central space. Rewriting information for the study guides is also a way to review the information. They also come in handy for on the go study sessions.

Stay Hydrated and Well Fed

Coffee and fast food is often the food of choice during this time. Mainly because it’s quick, cheap (unless it’s Starbucks), and it keeps you awake. However, it’s important to eat a well-balanced diet and drink fluids that keep you hydrated. Although coffee does keep you awake, a healthy meal can also give you a burst of energy. Trust me, the last thing you want to do is eat a meal and become sluggish 30 minutes later.

Take Breaks

It’s important to have a mental breather in between study sessions. Breaks give you and your brain the opportunity to reset and recharge. During this time, you can eat a quick snack, get a sip of coffee or water, send a text or two. You can even take a quick nap if you’re able.

Get Adequate Rest

Along with taking breaks, it is important to get enough rest. When I was in high school, my English teacher told me that test taking is all about endurance. You have to have the ability to keep going after tests, so you have to stay energized. You can’t run a marathon on an hour of sleep, so don’t expect to make it through the week on an hour.

Prayer

Prayer is super important, you guys. Throughout this week, it’s normal to be angry, fed up, or just plain tired. In fact, we all are. However, it is important to pray about it. Prayer allows you to get your mind off of the negative aspects of finals week, and focus on your reward. It’s also helpful to meditate on some scriptures that are centered on encouragement. One scripture that will definitely be on my mind is Hebrews 10:35-36:

“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” (NIV)

Attend Any Study Sessions

If any of your classmates or professors are holding any study sessions, make sure that you are in attendance. Make sure that you bring your notes, and any questions you may have about the material.

Protective Styling

Okay, this one is for my natural college girls lol. Trust me, this saves a lot of time. The last thing you want to do is be late to your 8:30 AM exam because you woke up late and you have to unravel those twists. Before finals start, install a quick protective style to save your hair, and your time.

These are all of the tips I could come up with to help prepare for finals. Hopefully, these will help you as you endure these next two or three weeks.

Let me know how you prepare for finals? 

 

10 Things I Learned Since Being in College

College can be a tumultuous time in one’s life. Leaving home, moving to a new town, and managing things on your own can be frightening. In the past three years, I’ve made so many mistakes. I’ve also learned from the mistakes of others. Here’s what I’ve learned since being in college:

Save Your Syllabus

Your syllabus is like your golden ticket to the Willy Wonka Factory. Seriously. It’s that important. In your syllabus, professors will include information like office hours, dates of tests, and even dates when classes may be cancelled. Some professors even include what information will be covered on that particular day. Trust me guys, it’s vital.

Network, Network, Network

Getting your name out there is so important. Especially once you get close to the end of your college career. So when you meet people, try to put your best face forward. You never know who you may meet. A simple conversation could turn into an opportunity.

The Friends You Make will Probably be Your Lifelong Friends

When looking back on my high school experience, I could honestly say that I was only friends with people because I had to see them every day (with the exception of a few, of course:). In college, not only will you attend class with your friends, but you’ll probably live with them too. You will have the chance to vibe with your friends on a deeper level because all of you are embarking on a new life journey together. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to hold on to your friends from home, but also be open to the new people that may come into your life.

Shadow, Intern

This goes with the Networking tip. Job shadowing, or holding an internship is another way to network. However, it is also a good way to get experience in your field. My first blog post was about me having a change in my career aspirations. This change was due to an experience I had in my field at the time. A lot of people come to college wanting to pursue one career, but finish with totally different career plans. Don’t worry if this happens to you. Utilize your sources on campus. Don’t be afraid to talk to a Career Services Counselor. They can find internships and shadowing opportunities for you so you can figure out your niche.

Chances are, if you’re going through it, everyone else is too

Social Media can convince you that everyone has it all together, but in reality, they don’t. A lot of people tend to post things about their accomplishments, but they refrain from posting about the hard work it took to get there. Everyone has a season, so don’t beat yourself up if things aren’t going the way you would want them to. I had to learn this the hard way.

Review your notes after each class really works

This. You don’t understand how important this lesson is. In college, your professors tend to cram a lot of information in one lecture. In high school, it was okay to wait until the week of the test, or even a few days before to study. Not in college. It’s important that you constantly study and review information because you are learning new material every class period.

Utilize Office Hours

In high school, all of your teachers were pretty accessible. In college, not so much. Office hours are times set aside by your professor to meet with students. If you have questions about the material that was taught in your last lecture, go to your professor’s office hours. This should probably be a separate tip, but please don’t hesitate to ask for help. Some people make college out to be an intimidating experience, but your professors are really there to help you.

Communication is Key

I can’t stress this enough. Please communicate. No one can read your mind, so if you are struggling, don’t be afraid to speak up. Your professors can’t help you if you never speak up. If you are having an issue with a roommate or a friend, politely try to talk it out. Don’t write notes, and don’t assume that people can read your minds. Trust me, when it comes to working out conflict, how you communicate will determine how well you overcome the conflict. When dealing with dorm issues, try to talk to your roommate as soon as possible…in the most calm and polite way as possible. Don’t hold it in, try to discuss it as  soon as possible.

Get Involved

There are so many different ways to get involved in college. You can run for a student government position, become a campus queen, join a sorority or fraternity, or a service club. You can even become an orientation leader. The good thing about college is that there is something for everyone. Being involved on campus is a good way to meet new people, but it also looks good on your resume’. Don’t be shy, guys, jump outside of your comfort zone and find an organization that fits you!

Have Fun…but be safe, of course

Last but not least, have fun. I’ve always said that college was your last chance before becoming a full-time adult. So make the most of it. Four years will sound like a long time, but it’s not. College will go by so fast. So while you’re getting your education, make some memories.

What have you learned since being in college? Did you become a campus queen, or join any clubs or organizations? If so, comment below. Thanks for reading:)

Be blessed everyone:)

A New Direction.

I’ve been in college for three years and I just realized that I don’t know what I want to do after I graduate. Like, I honestly have no idea…

When I started college, I wanted to be a doctor and own my own practice. My ego loved everyone’s reactions once they heard my goals. Looking back, that’s probably what kept me going as long as I did. I managed to endure three long years of Bio 121 and 122, Chemistry 121 and 122, Organic Chemistry, Physics, Cell Biology and Microbiology…only to find out that all of this was in vain. After having the opportunity to work briefly in the health care field, I realized that I didn’t want anything to do with a hospital. If I was a freshman or a sophomore, this wouldn’t be a problem, but I’m a junior. I’m too far to start over, but I want to pursue something else. I want a new lease on life.

My doubts happened a couple of months ago. Fast forward to the present time, and I am still in the same spot. I’ve kept the same major, but my career plans have changed multiple times. It took me a couple months to accept it, but I realized that it’s okay to be unsure. A lot of people may side-eye me for making changes to my life at such a time, but I have to go with my gut on this one. If pursuing an MD isn’t my dream, then why would I continue to pursue it? At this rate, if I continue down the pre-medical track, I would be living someone else’s dream, and not my own.

I wish I could tell you that I found my niche, but I haven’t. However, I’ve made the decision to just take it day by day and focus on the present. I know, easier said then done, right? Trust me, I still have my days where I’m completely bummed out about not knowing. However, instead of focusing on the negative aspects of not having any career plans, I plan to focus on the positive. For example, instead of getting depressed about not having an “earthly” purpose, I can get excited about the fact that there is still a “spiritual” purpose. I can get excited about the fact that I still have life. My beliefs tell me that as long as I’m focused on my “spiritual” purpose, my earthly purpose will reveal itself.

Until then, I’ll be blogging and pressing on. Be Blessed everyone:)