How I Am Going to Organize Myself For Grad School

How I Am Going To.jpgHello Beauties! Today I am going to be writing about how I am planning on staying organized for my new graduate school program! This is just a potential plan, however, during my post-bacc program, I learned some of the things I was doing to stay organized weren’t working or I want to change to make better in the future. So here we go 🙂

  1. A digital journal/planner! I swear by a good planner! I attribute a HUGE part of my success in school to Planners. Planners allow me to keep everything in one place and stay organized. I rarely forget things because it’s in my planner and it takes the hard part of trying to remember everything out of it for me. I also feel like taking time to write in my planner is a form of mindfulness – I can’t multitask and plan correctly. It allows me to focus on that moment of planning. I recently converted to digital planning using Microsoft One and I am freaking in love. Planners help me see the big picture of everything I need to do. Here is a video showing you how I created it – watch here.
  2. Assignment sheets/checklist – I started creating these my junior year of college. Using all my syllabi I basically I make a chart/list of every assignment due for that semester. I normally have assignment name, class name, due date, and points as headers. For some reason, this really helps me towards the end of the semester when things are getting hectic. I try to work ahead as much as possible and the assignment sheet keeps me on track so I never miss an assignment.

  3. Apple/Google Calendars for iOS. I am obsessed with my apple/google calendars. I literally input everything on them. For me, I like to be able to physically see my calendar/schedule on my phone. It’s convenient for me because I ALWAYS have my phone. I have a calendar for almost every aspect of my life. I am going to be using the following color system.
    • School/Study/Work on Assignments – Pink-ish Red.
    • Blog/Youtube things – Purple
    • Exercise/Walk Nehemiah – Orange
    • Home/Parent/Family things – Blue
    • Birthdays – Red
    • Social/Church/Lunch/Brunch/Hang Outs – Green
  4. An Organized School Bag. I alternate between using an actual backpack and a tote bag (depending on how I am dressed typically). This year, I am really going to focus on carrying less “just in case” things. Since I am planning on taking my notes digitally – will try to only carry my iPad and books.
  5. As I just mentioned above I will be writing all of my notes digitally using my Apple iPad Pro. Depending on how the class is set up I will most likely handwrite my notes and then go back and transcribe them as a study method. However, for some classes I know that will not be feasible and I will have to type my notes using my Bluetooth keyboard. The main reason I want to go digital is that I want to carry around less junk and streamline every part of this grad school process.

I hope this helps you get organized for school! What are some of the methods you are planning to use to stay organized in the fall? Share below in the comments!

XOXO, Tanesha Renae

My Grad School Story – The Truth.

homemade recipe # 5

In an effort to be transparent and truthful about my journey to graduate school. I felt a blog post was in order, I tried twice to condense everything into an Instagram caption, but there was too much left out. I know, popular culture right now says to “move in private, live in private,” but that’s not me. I wanted to share my story in efforts to help someone else who is going through or about to go through the same process.

So, this story actually started in May 2017. I shared this tweet. I wanted to start speaking into existence this goal that had been on my heart for years now. Peep the date (and follow me on twitter!).

Screen Shot 2018-04-29 at 12.12.30 PM

Shortly thereafter, like 2 months later I was accepted into my Post-Baccalaureate program in Pittsburgh. Which has literally been the greatest opportunity ever. I have learned so much and gained so much knowledge about graduate school that I would’ve never gotten otherwise. One of the main purposes of this program is to “bridge” students into a graduate school program preferably a Ph.D. program.

I applied to 12 Schools, 10 of which were Ph.D. Programs. I was feeling pretty good about every application. I recognized that my new application was MUCHHHH stronger than the one I submitted during my senior year at Hampton. Next, I had to play the waiting game, waiting for interviews. For most clinical psychology Ph.D. programs, you have to interview to even be considered for one of their spots. In this field, there is a very limited number of spots available each year. No interview = no admission chances. The waiting game here was pretty alright. I figured I would at least get one interview invitation. The interview invitations started rolling in. 1 here, 1 there… then by the end, I had 8 offers to interview. 1 for a master’s program and 7 for Ph.D. programs. I was feeling pretty good at this point, I had definitely exceeded my expectations.

After all the interviews began the REAL waiting game and this is the part I felt like no one really prepared me for. Everyone was telling me and encouraging me that I would hear back in about a week or so after the interview. But I wasn’t, it was just silence – on all fronts. So naturally, I started getting stressed out about it, because I should at least get one offer, right? Wrong. I start getting rejected instead. Being rejected from schools really hit my self-esteem as a person and as a researcher. I also was being waitlisted and for several schools, I was 1st alternate. I was basically everyone’s second choice and it made me feel really really crappy. I was borderline depressed, to be honest.

The month of March was so hard because nothing was coming through for me Ph.D. wise. It was a very very very sad time for me (ask my parents). It was like I was grieving the loss of potentially going into these Ph.D. programs. I cried a lot, almost every day. It felt like a crushing blow, like being hit in the face with a brick. I pushed people way fearing that they would not understand, and even when I did open up to them – they didn’t understand. “Oh Tanesha, just do the master’s program. That’s okay too.” I felt like everyone was pitying me. I was overcome with shame like I had let everyone down who was rooting for me – my mentors, advisors, parents, friends, everyone.  Which wasn’t true, I am sure that they would’ve been supportive of whatever I chose to do. But it hurt. It hurt like hell. I felt like a disappointment, to be honest, I didn’t have the problem of having all these offers like I believed, and my peers believed I would have.

After the 5th rejection, I figured the Ph.D. life was not going to be for me. There was no way, I had just been rejected basically everywhere and was still waitlisted at two programs. I decided to throw in the towel. I had 3 master’s program admissions in my back pocket that I was holding. I started making arrangements to go into a social work and public health joint program. Let me note here, that even though social work was my back up plan – but that doesn’t mean that I don’t think that social work is super amazing because I do. I kick it into high gear with trying to get everything together to learn as much as I can about social work and public health. Essentially, going into both programs blindly because my focus has always been on psychology programs. I just wanna add here, shout out to all the Hamptonians that I reached out to about MSW programs and that helped me decide that this was going to be my next move. Also shout out to Dr. Duncan, who helped calm me down on several occasions.

By this time is the first week of April, I was fortunate enough to meet a woman who put me in contact with all these public health professions and set up meetings with them. And I was able to finally really see myself in these programs. I had a game plan, it might not be the straight shot for my goals that I thought it was going to be; however, it was nonetheless a round-about way to getting to do everything that I wanted to do. I was ready to transition my goals to this new journey!

I was ready, I was preparing to submit my deposit for the MSW program and submit my application for the public health program. For some reason, I got distracted and had to take care of something that was away from the data lab. I was gone for like ten minutes before I realized that I left my phone.  So, I run back to my office to grab my phone and there was an email from one of the advisors at the two schools I was still waitlisted at. I just figured it’s just another rejection email, so I decided to wait to open it.  Rejection hurts, and I wasn’t about to cry in the data lab. So, finally, I decided to go ahead and open it. And Y’all guess what –

I WAS OFFERED ADMISSION INTO A CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY Ph.D. PROGRAM!

Have you ever seen the Pursuit of Happyness? I literally felt like this scene below. I sat at my desk and cried with such happiness and joy. I finally felt like someone was taking a chance on me and my academic abilities. There are no words to describe that feeling. Just an overwhelming amount of happiness and relief. I literally just cried, I couldn’t do anything else for a few minutes just sit there in awe.

 

After basically a month of crying, and rejection a program that I was waitlisted at offered me a spot of admission. I wrote all this out to say, if you are on this journey to graduate school – it is not going to be easy, but don’t give up! It’s super messy, emotional, expensive and it will challenge you in many, many different ways. This was my second cycle applying and honestly, I would not have done anything differently, as a matter of fact; I was considering applying again after I finished those masters programs. I posted this quote on Instagram, but I think it applies here as well: “If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan but NEVER the goal.” I think that even if you have to take a roundabout way to accomplish your goals – you should still do it. You deserve to still do it. You are smart enough to still do it. Be persistent. You (and your goals) are worth it.

Blessings & XOXO

-Tanesha Renae

Drowning & How to Stay Afloat

Hello Beauties, I’ve missed you all so much and I know this blog post is coming to you late and I’m sorry about that. I am entering (well almost done with) my sixth week of my graduate school fellowship!

Connection

About two weeks ago on Tuesday, I became extremely overwhelmed about the upcoming application season, my research project for the fellowship, and all my “adult” responsibilities. I’m not sure why but application season this time has become an extreme source of fear and anxiety. I really want to get into a specific PhD program – like more than anything. And as the time to apply gets closer and closer – I was just feeling so scared. I literally feel like I was drowning in my own created stress.

But I realized that it’s because I am trying to handle too much all at once. I am not superwoman and I don’t know why I try to be either. Its truly baffling. But I came out of that week of stress and figurative drowning knowing a lot more about myself and who I want to be. I realized that as I get older and more advanced in my career that the stress is just going to increase. Also, the way that I am handling the stress now will influence how I handle the future, more intense stress that is bound to show up.

What I need to do is stopping letting these stressors and fears get the best of me. First of all, I refuse to let these stressors and fears cripple or stop me from achieving my goals. Sure, they might cause me to pause for a hot second, but it wont hinder me from getting everything I need to get done, done.

So here are some new ways I am conquering my stress levels especially within the world of academia and I hope that they will help you conquer yours as well.

  1. Get the stress out of your head. This is actually something my mentor suggested here at school. She said, “instead of having all that stress in your head, write it all down. Every little thing that is stressing you out on to the paper. Once its all out of your mind, take a few moments and reflect on the items. Are these things you can change? If they are, change them. If they are tasks, finish them quickly so you won’t have to worry about them any longer.”
  2. Prioritize. One of the main things that helps get my stress when I have a lot to do in check is if I put tasks that need to be done into categories. I normally do three categories: urgent, can wait, postpone. Urgent means the task needs to be done first or within 24 hours. The Can wait category is for things within that week that need to be done, and postpone is for things that can be put off until the following week.
  3. Take breaks. I was told once that for every 55 minutes of work you do, you should take a 10 minute break. I really try to follow this unless I am on a roll in a project. During my breaks, I often go outside to walk my dog or sometimes I’ll watch an episode of my favorite show or just sit there with my eyes closed (just be careful not to fall asleep!). Also with taking breaks, whenever I feel like my stress is bubbling up out of control – I literally stop everything I’m doing and take a few moments just to breathe and relax. This stress is not the end of the world.
  4. Consider the stressors from your past. Thus far, you’ve conquered every stressor and problem thrown your way. You’ve survived every bad day, every bad situation that you thought you would never get out of, every negative interaction – you have conquered them all. I try to always remember that I have overcome a lot of stress and obstacles in the past so this one before me is not going to ruin my record!
  5. Talk it out. Take caution with this tip, but I’ve heard that talking about your stress to someone often helps. However, for me, sometimes when I tell people about my stress I feel like they diminish my problems and that stresses me out more. Find people in your life that you can go to about these stressors and that can help. For example, my grad and faculty mentors at school have been great sounding boards for my stress, but my friends not so much…

I strongly believe that stress is a necessary part of life but that it doesn’t always have to be a negative experience. Sometimes, at least for myself, stress propels me forward into success that I didn’t even imagine before.

You are a strong, stress handling boss and I believe in you! Share below some of your stress handling tips!

Until Next Time,

Tanesha

Tanesha’s Guide To Back To School (Tips & Tricks)

plan the perfect

I don’t know about you, but I am super excited for this new school year! Not only am I in an amazing grad program, I am able to get back to my first true love: learning (in school)! For some, I know a new school year causes a lot of anxiety because you want to be organized and want to start the new year off on the right foot! I would like to say that I am generally a SUPER organized person, at least when it comes to school work. I am going to share some of my best tips and tricks!

  1. Time Management is the MAJOR KEY to success! I attribute all my success in undergrad at Hampton University to having great time management! I wrote about time management before on the blog (click here). But I wanted to recap and add some other things I’ve learned since this post.
    1. Set A Schedule (and stick with it!). There is literally no point in putting together the perfect schedule if you don’t follow it or if you don’t put everything in it. I personally like to use my iPhone calendar because it syncs across all platforms. I have multiple calendars going at once. For example some of my calendars include: Tanesha’s Calendar (for events), Pittsburgh things (for school), Family Calendar, Ladies&Co Calendar, Renae’s Calendar Schedule, and even one for birthdays!
    2. USE A PLANNER. It really doesn’t matter if your planner is digital or an old-fashioned handwritten one. It helps to have a planner so you don’t forget assignments. No matter how amazing you say your memory is, be sure to write down assignments and things you need to do. Not only will this keep your organized but it will help to physically see all the things you need to do. I used to put my assignments in my phone calendar but it began to get to cluttered, which is why I switched to this system. However what I will do is schedule time to study/do homework on the calendar which would be based on my assignments/things to do in my planner. Get it?
    3. Self-care and Rest are apart of your schedule! You cannot run on empty you must set aside time to just relax and get yourself together. If you are running at 100% all the time, your body will literally give out on you. Trust me, mine has done it before. Your body giving out might be you getting sick a lot more, headaches or fatigue. Everyone is different – some people need just one day a week, while others need a little time everyday. Listen and care for your body! Just be sure to have a good balance of being productive and taking care of yourself. Also, during this self-care time – be sure to set aside time to work on the things you’re interested in. Work on knitting, video games, blogging, vlogging, etc.
  2. Take Effective Notes! For me, I like to take physical notes in class and then as a study method I go back and TYPE my notes on Microsoft Word or Microsoft OneNote. When I type my notes, I use the textbooks to supplement my notes and fill in any gaps or things that I wasn’t understanding. When I am writing my handwritten notes in the margin I often write questions and if I don’t ask the teacher, I will use my textbook/google to find the answer and put it in my TYPED notes. But I suggest you use a note system that works for you! For me, Microsoft OneNote has literally become my lifeline! I absolutely love that I can use it across multiple platforms: my MacBook, my iPad, and my iPhone. Especially if I want to study on the go or on the bus, I don’t have to whip out the huge laptop. Just a little tip tho, make sure you are paying attention in class and taking really great notes! This will make studying a breeze!
  3. Make an assignment check sheet. What I do when I first get all my syllabi, I like to write down all my assignments in Microsoft Excel (or Microsoft Word) and sort them by due date order. So I normally make a table with Assignment Name, Course, Points (or the percentage it’s worth), and Due dates. I then print out the list and put it in my planner and remember to makeGo thru your syllabi and write down all your assignments in excel, then sort by date! Mark off as you go so you can see your accomplishments!

I think that is it! If you have any questions or even have some tips of your own – Share below in the comments! I would love to see your tips too!

XOXO,

– Tanesha Renae

Man Crush of the Month: Chris

Chris Nazien is a 22-year-old from Hampton, Virginia. He’s currently single and studying marketing at Virginia Commonwealth University. He will graduate this May! He wants to pursue a career in business. His passions are music, fashion, and sports! A fun fact about Chris is that he’s been to 25 of the 50. Chris was my very first friend at Church once I moved to Virginia and is so kind-hearted and sweet.

img_7008

How would you describe your personality in three words?

Cool, Calm and Collected.

Which do you prefer to listen to your heart or your brain? Why?

I prefer to listen to my brain because you shouldn’t make decisions based on emotions.

Who is your celebrity crush?

Chantel Jefferies

Who do you think should make the first move males or females? Why?

Males, no particular reason.

How do you get a girl to know that you’re interested in her?

It depends on her personality. Either being assertive or gradually showing interest.

What’s the longest relationship you’ve been in? What did you learn?

9 months; I learned that successful relationships require a lot of communication

What motivational words would you tell someone on the come-up?

Work while they sleep, Learn while they party, Save while they spend, Live like they dream.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

Excelling in my career field and building an empire.

What do you usually do to let a girl know that you are interested in her?

I would just get her contact information and set up a date to get to know each other. 

What is your favorite and least favorite thing about yourself?

My favorite thing would be my sense of humor and my least favorite thing would be my tendency to over think.

Who has been the most influential person in your life?

My mother (she’s pretty amazing).

What’s your personal theme song?

Dom Kennedy – When I Come Around

What are your lifetime ambitions? 

Start a family, travel the world, become financially independent

What are your career goals?

Work for a company that allows me to travel, grow and perfect myself as a person.

How are you changing the world?

By mentoring the youth, telling them the mistakes I’ve made and showing them that they can succeed in life.

What’s one thing you want the world to know about you and who you are?

My name is Chris Nazien and I love food! (All kinds)

Do you have a brand?

I would consider myself a brand. My purpose is to make my community better. Also, to excel in and outside of my career and become a successful man. 

Why do guys tend to hide your feelings and not fully express them?

I would say that most men hide their feelings because it is a so-called sign of weakness.  

what do guys do to make them feel better after a long day? What are your forms of self-care?

Personally, I listen to music or go out this a group of friends.

What are you most afraid of living in today’s society?

I’m not afraid of much mainly because I know that God is on my side. 

How do you seize and take advantage of every single day?

I seize every day by at least taking one step forward. It depends on what I have listed on my “to-do-list”. 

What do you feel men aren’t recognized enough for?

I feel that the “right” black men specifically aren’t recognized enough. There are black men that are in the spotlight but they do not offer much or just living recklessly. 

img_6115

Want to connect with Chris – Here’s his social media:

To check out all of Chris’ Pictures follow him on Instagram

Or Find Him on Facebook – Chris Nazien

 

 

Beating the Post-Graduation Blues

Are You A Recent Grad? If so this post is for you!

Graduating college is nothing like I imagined. I imagined, I would graduate on May 8th, 2016 and complete a summer internship, get into the graduate school program of my choosing, move out of my parents’ house into a cute little apartment with my Yorkie (dog) and all of these other things that a lot of my other friends were accomplishing or at least what I thought a 20-something should be like after graduating college. One of my very best friends, graduated, moved into this bomb ass apartment and started his full-time job about 3 weeks after graduating – and like in October, he called me and was like “What? You’re still at home? When are you going to move out? What are you doing with your life?” And here I was sitting at home (my parents’ house), with no job, no graduate school, essentially nothing. (NOTE: Thankful my parents are not the type to just kick me out of the house – Thank God!) So on top of already feeling mighty shitty about my situation, one of my closest friends had confirmed basically what I had been thinking for months – that I was a bum, I was wasting all this potential that I had acquired in college, and that I wasn’t going to amount to anything (especially with all this time just passing me by). All of that made me extremely sad (and still does to think about from time to time). I stopped doing the things I loved, just sat at the house – sometimes went to the gym, sometimes went church, but that’s about it. So I spent about a month or 5 months, sad, crying, upset.

I honestly think I needed to go through those things and experience those emotions before I was able to fully be able to trust the process of my life and begin to conquer a lot of the negative self-talk I was doing. But this blog post isn’t for me to vent about how sad my life sometimes is… This blog post is to help you conquer these feelings – well at least the things that have helped me.

  1. Revamp your resume, application pieces, and other things. I took about three days to really revamp my CV/resume. So often, at least for me, I never update my CV – it’ll be two or three new things that need to be added every couple of months, however, I won’t put it on there. I created cover letters (for jobs). I also took the time to work on my personal statement for graduate school. I purchased some new GRE study books and guides, and sign up for a Kaplan course. I feel like this was so important so that when I begin to start applying for school and jobs I won’t have any excuses because all of the “hard things” are already done.
  2. APPLY FOR EVERY-FUCKING-THING. Listen to me, even if you think you are not eligible or not qualified – APPLY. My mother always says, “Let them tell you – no.” – You never know an employer or school admissions board might like you enough to give you the opportunity or the chance. You never know.
  3. Practice some Self-Love. Self-Love for everyone is different. You may want to eat the things you love, start a weight loss journey by working out, read a BUNCH, listen to podcasts – whatever it takes. For self-love includes working out, taking a break from social media, spending time with the Lord, and knitting.
  4. Spend time learning new things – career oriented or otherwise. I think taking time to read some educational books and learn new skills is so important. Not only will it fill you time, it is good to put your energy into projects. My new skill that I learned was really perfecting my videography and being able to start a vlog. Not only does this feed my need to be creative, but it also gives me a way to document my experiences.
  5. Spend Your Time Wisely. I’ll admit I didn’t do this at all, but I regret not spending my time doing more productive things. I spent a good 2-3 months wallowing in self-pity and borderline sadness. But I think if you get into a really good routine of doing different things you will be able to transition smoothly into something new (whether that be a new job or graduate school or new move across the country).
  6. Give yourself time and stop negative self-talk. Graduating college is such a huge accomplishment – ABSOLUTELY DO NOT minimize your accomplishments. So many people do not graduate from college and you have. You are not going to magically be happy again overnight, that is going to take time and effort. I have to intentionally wake up and tell myself, “Today is going to be a great day – no matter what.” You have to believe in the things you are telling yourself as well. One of the main (and most challenging) habits you are going to have to kick is negative self-talk. A good friend of mine gave me this positive affirmation that I have been using lately and it goes like this – “I can have success and success is for me,” and “I can have love, love is for me and I deserve it.” You can just fill in the italicized words for the things that you want – love, money, success, happiness, or literally anything.

 

Have you recently graduated college recently? How did you beat the post-graduation blues?

XOXO,

– Tanesha

How To Recover From A Bad Day

Let me tell y’all. I had the shittiest of days today at work/internship. My overall boss yelled at us for about thirty minutes about how crappy our first rough draft of the proposal was, the entire system is a hot mess, the building was super cold and I cried in front of my work Bae. Plus all the things that are going on in my personal life with my ex-boyfriend, academic career, and everything. Needless to say, today was not my day. But I got home and I was determined not to let this bad day linger any longer. Here are some tips I use to get rid of a “Bad Day Funk.”

  • Take a super long shower (at least 30 minutes)
  • Do a facial
  • Go get a manicure/pedicure
  • Take a Nap
  • Meditate
  • Get on Tumblr
  • Call your mom
  • Watch Cartoons (or whatever your favorite show is…) (I particularly am in favor of starting a Netflix binge)
  • Facetime a friend
  • Use a coloring book
  • Listen to loud music
  • Get a smoothie
  • Pig out on junk food
  • Make a new Spotify playlist.
  • Vent to your best friend
  • Order Take Out Food
  • Stay in Bed

These are just a few suggestions that I do! What are some things you do to recover from a bad day? Share below in the comments!

Love Always,

– Tanesha (with help from Dillion)

Monday Thoughts: Face Your Fears

Happy Monday Everyone! My internship wanted us to have some “lasting memories” and team building activities before the program ends. So they paid for us to go to this Adventure Park in Virginia Beach. So basically, it’s like a ropes obstacle course up in the trees. So I have a slight extreme fear of heights. I had already decided earlier in the week that I was not going to get up in the trees – they can’t make me do anything, right?

So fast forward to getting there, I spent 30 minutes debating if I was actually going to go up in the course. Mind you, this is probably the safest way to go climbing they have steel ropes that can hold up to 500 pounds. I finally go out there on the ropes and I felt so connected with God. Possibly because I was scared out of my mind, but I feel like my faith increased by like 50 million. It was just me and God, and my friend in front of me screaming for me to “keep going.” Afterwards, I felt so good. I accomplished something on my bucket list, as well as faced my fear. I feel like I can do anything I set my mind to with a little prayer and faith.


I encourage all of you to do something that scares you. I believe that doing something that scares you, builds your confidence up. Even if it is something slight like making a phone call, doing mental math, public speaking, or even talking to your crush.

Go Forth and conquer your fears, as well as build your confidence.

Love Always,

– Tanesha.

6 Things Hampton University Has Taught Me.

So I choose 6 because 2016. Get it? I know I’m corny. I spent 8 semesters at this wonderful institution of higher learner called Hampton University and it has taught me some truly invaluable lessons. So I thought who better to share these lessons with than the beautiful and intelligent followers of this blog.

  1. It is not always what you know, rather WHO you know. Networking is soooooo important. Literally, every internship and opportunity I’ve received are due in large part to networking. Even within your own social circles and friendships. There are numerous times when opportunities are sent my way, and the opportunity might not fit your goals and ambitions but might fit another friend – there is no need to be holding on to what you can’t use. Sharing is caring, especially when it comes to opportunities.
  2. Act like you have some sense. I know you have heard this from your mother and grandparents at least growing up. But I feel like while I was at Hampton, I really started to understand that how you behave is a reflection of everyone around you. You are not only representing your family, friends, but also everyone who has every invested in you. Also, how you act in public will follow you. Your reputation is everything. First impressions are made within the first 7 seconds of meeting someone and takes about 12-15 interactions after to change that impression.
  3. Balance work and play. I cannot stress this enough. You have to be able to balance what you HAVE to do, and what you want to do – otherwise, you will be miserable fulfilling other people’s dreams. I can always sense when I am doing too much work because I begin to get super overwhelmed with the simplest tasks. If you are getting easily overwhelmed, frustrated or irritated – stop what you are doing and immediately take some time to refresh your life.
  4. Speak Up, but sometimes silence says it all. I’m always told that I don’t speak up enough. In an effort to avoid confrontation with people, often I am just silent. Partially because not everything in life needs a reaction or response, but also because I am generally passive. But, I have learned there are specific times and spaces where your voice needs to be heard. Especially if it deals with your money, your reputation or your emotions.
  5. Choose Happiness & Love. There was a young man at school who was a minister, and every so often he would say that “Love is a choice.” I don’t know why of all things that really stuck with me, but it made absolute sense. And the same could be said for happiness. Lou Holtz said that life is ten percent of what happens to you and 90% of how you respond to it. Respond with love and happiness.
  6. The experience is what you make it. One of the first things they told us during New Student Orientation is that “Hampton is literally what you make it. You can choose to make it lit and have the greatest of times, or you can choose to make it boring. The choice is yours.”  Honestly, this goes for anything. You choose how things are going to go up to a certain point. Even when things are going badly in your life, you can choose to stay positive and moving forward as opposed to remaining stagnant and unhappy.

So to Everyone in Onyx 11, who just started precollege and everyone at the illustrious Hampton University. Enjoy and trust the process. Even when things seem to not going your way, all things work together for your good.

Love Always,

– T. Renae

Quintessence IX’s 100 Days Celebration.

(This is our 300th blog post!!!!)

The last weekend in January was literally the BEST weekend of my entire life with my class. QT9 is absolutely the best class at Hampton University. Not only did we come together to celebrate, we put aside everything to have a great time.

So just for some context, at Hampton University since about 1970s each incoming class has a name. So in recent HU history the class names have just been in a rotation, Quintessence, Onyx and OPhiO. Each senior class gives the freshman class their name, and basically pass down the legacy of that class’s name. So my class, the seniors, is Quintessence IX, and the freshman class is Quintessence X. Get it? Cool. So for maybe the last 10 years, the graduating class has a celebration in honor of the last 100 days until graduation. So my freshmen year, my bigs QT8 had thee BEST 100 days celebration (check out their video here.). The student center was packed, and everyone just thoroughly enjoyed themselves. So my class being apart of that legacy decided that we had to do our 100 days celebration even better. So we did a “Color Run” right before mobbing to the Student Center, the peer counselor organization dropped balloons and like our bigs’ money was thrown from the third floor. Overall it was an awesome experience that I will never forget. So I basically recorded a lot of it using a GoPro camera, and I made a cute little video commentating the occasion. I made this video for my class – I love each and every one of y’all. QT9 were the best to ever do it.

Quintessence IX’s 100 Days. from Tanesha Renae Johnson on Vimeo.

Enjoy.

– T. Renae