Silent Disco: The Experience

So a few weeks ago, Hampton University celebrated our homecoming! Every year hundred’s of Hampton University Alum travel back to Our Home By the Sea to spend time in each other’s company, and reminisce on the good times they had when they attended college here. Each year it seems like there are more and more parties to attend. This year the Class of 2010 (QT7) Decided to throw a Silent Disco House Party. A Silent Disco party is basically a party where no music is played out loud – all the music is streamed through wireless headphones. At the party we attended the headphones has three different stations, and each station was linked to a different DJ.

Now when we first walked in, it was a little awkward, because it is dead silent beside people talking. When we first walked in I think as a group, we were like “oh no, what have we gotten ourselves into.” Most parties, you can gauge how good it is going to be based on the music, and the people dancing, however here there was no music, and a lot of people dancing and singing loudly.

So then there was a lady there to explain how the headphones worked and how to switch between stations, and we got some food and went to this other room where a lot of people were partying at. We put our headphones on and started to just listen to the music and let loose. The music quality, to be honest, was just like if we were at a party where the music was played out loud. The headphones were just so bomb!

Now I know what you’re thinking, what about talking to your friends, and people at the party. Literally you just move your headphone and talk. What is probably the greatest part is you don’t have to scream at the other person to be heard.

If you have the opportunity to go and attend a silent party: DO IT! Here are a few reasons why:

  • It was genuine fun. If you like to twerk, there’s a station for that. If you like reggae, there was a station for that. Literally the music catered to what you wanted to hear, and you never were stuck listening to something you didn’t want to listen to.
  • There is literally nothing like it, except for other silent parties. So Why not? You attend the same monotonous parties week in, and week out – why not experience something new.
  • It is a step out of your comfort zone because you will be singing out loud in a room full of strangers with no judgement! It was very liberating for me, and I am sure it will be for you.

  
Let me tell you, this by far was the best party I had ever been to. I’ve been to enough parties where it is just loud music, people twerking and drunkenness. I honestly don’t like to party because of two out of the three things. So to go and experience a party like this where it was just genuine fun was awesome. It was great listening to the music, but it was also hilarious to take my headphones off and listen to everyone singing three different songs at any given time!

I encourage you if you ever see the opportunity to go to a Silent Party to go.

Keep It Classy,

T.Renae

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3 Steps to Building Confidence

Do you feel like you are confident? When asked this question most people either say a solid “yes” or “I’m not really sure”. When reflecting on my freshmen year at Hampton University I thought about what really helped me to succeed and thrive while I was there. What helped me the most at Hampton was being “confident in my abilities and myself”. Confidence is knowing who you are on the inside and not being afraid to express and share your talents and ambitions with others. To me, confidence does not mean simply “popping out” every Friday at 12-2, even though those days are fun too. I compiled a list of things you have to truly understand to feel and be more confident.

  1. Your Mindset

Your mindset has to be aligned with the goals you wish to achieve. Having a positive mindset is key to building confidence. Speaking what you want to accomplish into existence pushes you to your goals. The law of attraction is real. If you put positive energy into anything you’re doing, a positive outcome is bound to happen. It does not always happen as quickly as you want it but having faith brings you a step closer to reaching your goals. Lastly, it is best you put your faith in something. If you believe in God trust in Him and His specific path for you. If you believe in the universe believe that it will give you what you dream and think the most about.

  1. Stepping out your “Comfort zone”

Stepping out your comfort zone has to be the hardest step, for most people. Why? Because most people don’t want to be embarrassed, isolated, or talked about negatively. Think, about it this way everyone has to start somewhere. President William R. Harvey did not just wake up and become Hampton University’s president for 37 years. He had to work hard, grind and have obstacles along the way. To get to the places that you want to go, you have to put yourself out there. Talk to people on campus you have been watching. Make them your mentor, especially if they are doing what you see yourself wanting to do in the future. Join clubs that will help you grow and challenge you. Taking yourself out of your comfort zone is never supposed to be a bad experience. It enlightens you and you learn from every situation. For example, annually Hampton University’s freshmen class runs an event called Battle of the States aka BOTS, a showcase of talent from each region. I cannot sing, I am neither a trained dancer nor a professional model. However, I knew 1. I could walk in heels which was half the battle and 2. That I wanted this to be a part of my college experience. From BOTS, I gained the ability to have a stage presence and be confident while in it.

  1. Stay in your “own” lane

Building confidence in yourself is your journey to make and no one else’s. You have to be willing to condition yourself and trying to become a better you every day. “What is meant for you will be for you”. Telling yourself this every day is essential. If you are in a competitive major such as journalism or business administration. You often here “everyone in here is your competition” and “you have to be better than the next man.” Instead of taking this to heart, use it as a catalyst to push you. But, to motivate you be glad in the fact that nobody can do things like you. Knowing that you are equipped and bring a different skill set and background, will build your confidence. Being unique is an advantage because we all have our individual paths to take.

Building confidence is not always easy, but it can be made easier by following these steps. In the end, being let down or disappointment can bruise your ego. It is going to happen because it happens to everyone. But don’t let it take away your confidence.

With Love,

-Mion E.

“I am a man who appreciates a woman who….”

I have been thinking for a very long time, what makes a man appreciate his woman. I know we always talk about how guys are this, and guys aren’t that, but lately i’ve been thinking about what makes a guy really appreciates their woman. Or what they really want/love in their woman. So this is for all the women out there who don’t feel appreciated by the guys in their life. I asked a bunch of guys I know, that are really sweet and charming what they appreciate in a woman. They had to complete the sentence: “I am a man who appreciates a woman who…”

  • “I am a man who appreciates a woman who cleans the toe jam out of my toes…. In other words cares about me in an extra capacity. ” -My Dad
  • “I am a man who appreciates a woman who is ambitious and shows greater or equal determination and drive to reach individual goals and dreams while still supporting his own. ” – Chris H.
  • “I am a man who appreciates a women who loves life and cares for others like she does herself.” – Gregory B.
  • “I am a man who appreciates a woman who appreciates me for who I am, can give me mutual support and meaningful conversation and has a good sense of humor. ” – Wilifred C.
  • “I am a man who appreciates a woman who is Self motivated and appreciates me back. ” – Zachary P.
  • “I am a man who appreciates a woman who can love and hold a man down through thick and thin. ” – Larry
  • “I am a man who appreciates a woman who can push me to be better in everything that I do and who doesn’t allow me to get complacent.” – Devin
  • “I am a man who appreciates a woman who is faithful and is there for you through anything, no matter how good or bad it is.” – Tony
  • “I am a man who appreciates a woman who isn’t just a woman, but a lady. ” – Chad H.
  • “I’m a man who appreciate a woman who loves herself, who loves God, who wants to be successful, who loves her husband, who cherishes her life,  who is committed to loyalty, honesty and peace, who loves her natural hair,  who knows that life isn’t easy but overcoming obstacles is a goal she must attain, who loves and respects her parents, who loves her kids (if and when she has them). ” -Devon
  • “I am a man who appreciates a woman who appreciates me and my efforts.” – Andrew
  • “I am a man who appreciates a woman who adores me, loves me for who I am, doesn’t judge me for my past, see’s the good in me, supports me in all that I do, and builds me up. ” – Charles J.
  • “I am a man who appreciates a woman who appreciates herself and is on the same or higher level of motivation than myself. ” – Reese
  • “I am a man who appreciates a woman who understands that her man sometimes needs to be babied and cared for instead of being hard on him and making him be a man 24/7 365. Who allows her man to be weak sometimes and not bash him for being weak but to help him in his time of need. ” – Charles T.
  • “I am a man who appreciates a woman who pushes me to be the best man i can be. ” – Philip D.
  • “I am a man who appreciates a woman who is intelligent, ambitious, hard working, and a pleasure to be around.” – Jordan W.
  • ” I’m a man who appreciates a woman who is honest, who is secure within themselves, who is resilient and can communicate, who thinks of others an not only themselves, and who is forthcoming with their intentions.” -Benjamin M & Joshua M
  • “I am a man who appreciates a woman who is independent, god fearing, great at communicating, and loves to travel. ” – Bryant

Keep It Classy,

T.Renae

How To Make College The Best Experience of Your Life

So, My college years are quickly wrapping up here at Hampton Unversity. I feel like I’ve had one of the greatest experiences. I stay busy on campus, and with my school work, and scholarships. So here are some tips (and things I did) to have the best college career ever!

Get to know your professors. Your professors are such an invaluable and underused resources. Not only are they most likely in the career you are aspiring to, know people within that field of study. Professors good resources for professional development, as well as the professors can also help you with your classes. For example, if you are taking a class with professor A, and you’re not understanding it, you could go to professor B with whom you have a relationship with and they could possibly help you. Many of my professors (in and out of my major) send out TONS of opportunities for you to take advantage of. Sometimes professors will even put in a good word about you to others for more opportunities. Also, you may need a letter of recommendation or two down the road, with the relationships you build now with them will make them more likely to write a letter of recommendation letter for you.

Get Involved in Activities. Join some clubs or organization, rush a sorority, and do some activities! Do things outside of your comfort zone. Join things that are you are interested in, and a few things youre not! On campus there are tons of things to do, you jsut have to find them. Adventure outside of your dorm/apartment! Become well rounded, because graduated schools and some work force look for well rounded involved. You need to get out of your dorm, because saying in there you won’t meet new people, or learn who you are.

Get great grades. Sure, grades are arbitury measures of intelligence but they still matter. If you are planning on going to graduate school, or maybe playing with the idea of going to graduate school. Remember you are spending A LOT of money, to go to school get the most of out your money! Getting good grades also raises self-esteem because you are mastering a skill enough to be tested on it! I dont know about you, but learning in its self is a big deal to me. When I learn and understand a new concept, I always feel super excited and intelligent!

This may just be a Hampton University thing, but as a freshmen in college you should never eat by yourself (sophomore year is more acceptable). Freshmen year, you are still getting to know people so basically everyone is a friend you haven’t met you. Also freshmen friendships are still very fluid, just because you are friends for right now, doesn’t mean in three weeks you will be. There shouldn’t be any hard feelings but college is an adjustment period and you are still learning who you are as a college person, and so is everyone else in your year. I am saying all this to say meet new people, even people you don’t think youre compatible with.

Glo up in every way possible – mentally, physically, emotionally. College is exactly the right time to become your true self. If you want to stop all your bad habits, dye your hair blue, get a nose piercing, and stop taking people’s mess – GO FOR IT! Almost everyone recreates themselves in college. So build your confidence and self-esteem up, and walk in your purpose. As they say at Hampton, become Hamptonized. Change is not a bad thing. People often say when you come home from college “you’ve changed so much,” and “I don’t even know who you are anymore.” And that’s okay. You’re not supposed to remain the same person from high school or your childhood. Keep growing.

Be nice to everyone. I heard once that you should always behave kinder than you feel. Always be nice to janitors, cafe workers, staff, faculty, and anyone you pass by. You never know what someone is going through in their life, and a simple “hello”, “how are you doing,” or “you look nice today,” could chang their whole outlook on the day. I know personally when someone says have a good day to me, when I’m feeling crappy it always makes me feel so much better. Also going along with this smile, and make every day a good day. A lot of things in life are out of our control, but how we react and feel is mostly in our control. My mom told me once that happiness is a choice, and every day you should wake and choose joy. Even if you don’t feel happy, if you just smile it may make you feel better! Just try it for a week and see the different it will make. 
YOU MUST Document your college experience. Take pictures, and videos. Get a photo album, something! College goes by so quickly, and you will never get to go back to these moments. College is known to the best times of your life, so why not remember it forever. And when you are old with your grandchildren, you can show them how the world was different in comparison. It’s the best four years of your life, you’ll want to remember them when you’re old. Trust me. Take a lot of pictures, and videos and save them forever! 

What are some tips you have to make the most of your college experience? Or what will you be doing to make the most of it?

Keep It Classy,

T.Renae

Dear Age Aint Nothing But A Number

Hello Ladies and Company, So recently I started dating this guy. He’s super amazing, but the only problem is he’s 26, and I’m 19. Do you think that my age will become an issue with him? Or friends and family? – Age Aint Nothing But A Number?

Hey, Age Aint Nothing But A Number! Well, I will tell you like my dad told me, “You can’t have friends or date 3 years older than you, or two years younger than you.” He then went on to explain the reason. He explained how he used to hang out with people five years older than him and he missed out on a lot of experiences that kids his age were supposed to have.

Right now it is probably fun and exciting to date an older guy, however because you are 19 and he 26 you both are in different places in your lives. He is most likely working on his career and you are trying to have fun while in college. You are probably going to get tired of him not having time for you and he being upset that you “play too much.” I’m not telling you to break up with him, but I want you to be aware of the things that may happen later down the road.

Peace, Love & Harmony,

Averi Simone

Dear Best friends or more,

So hi Ladies and Company, I just graduated [from high school]. And there’s this guy and he has been my boy best friend the whole way through my senior year of high school. He was talking to my friend and having sex with her. But he didn’t want a relationship with her. She thought that she could keep him that way, you know with sex. And me and him being “best friends,” we workout together, go bike riding together, talk on the phone for hours and are always there for each other. I like him a lot but considering the fact that he was kinda with my friend, i dont know. My feelings don’t have an on and off switch. Am I wrong for wanting to be with him, since I’m pretty sure he likes me back but he’s been with my friend? – Best friends or more.

Hi sweetie,

I don’t think that your feelings are wrong, but I would not act on these feelings, for numerous reasons. The first reason is because this is your friend, your boy best friend. You don’t want to jeopardize/ruin your friendship over these feelings, that may or may not be reciprocated. The second reason is because even though they (your boy best friend and your friend) aren’t in a committed relationship, they are still engaging “activities,” which could potentially grow into a relationship (It also could not – we never know with these things). Even though he says doesn’t want to have a relationship with the friend, he’s already smashing. As a woman, and young lady you really only have two options: (1) approach your friend and tell her how you feel and ask her to back off, or (2) tell her how you feel about the best friend and tell her you want her to be happy so you are backing off.

If it was me, honestly I would pull a Frozen and just let it go. You just graduated high school, and there will be plenty more (better) fish in the sea for you!

Keep It Classy, 

T.Renae

Things I Would Tell Freshman Year Me!

Dear Freshman Year Me,

First of all, CONGRATS! We made it to college!! This is such a huge blessing and accomplishment that not many people get to have! Here are some things you need to keep in mind to make your freshman year, and collegiate career the best time of your life.

Focus on school. Don’t lose sight of why you are in college – you’ve come to obtain an education to get yourself further in life – further than you could’ve with just a high school diploma. So many people lose sight of why they come to college. It is too expensive to lose focus! You could’ve stayed home to party, and waste money to be honest. Also, freshmen year is the foundation year, so get your GPA up super high because once it’s low – it stays low. School is the ONLY mission!

Experience life. Go out and do something that scares you (or makes you feel adventurous) – at least once a week. I’m not saying go out and get shit-faced drunk, (hey if you want to get shit-faced, take a buddy – safety first!), because that may not be your idea of an experience. Go and travel the world (like study abroad), try new foods, learn new skills, do anything – but experience life the way you want to, not the way you think society may want you to just because you’re in college.

Take advantage of literally every opportunity – academic, professional, or personal. Many opportunities are lost because you are too afraid to try or think you are unqualified. Do not be afraid, just do it. No bad can come from it, if you get the opportunity: great, you’re about to do something awesome, if you don’t get the opportunity – that is okay too because you’ve gained the experience of applying for these things, which you can use when applying for other opportunities.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions or for help. Have the confidence to know and accept that you don’t know everything about everything (I know you may think you do, but you don’t). It takes a lot of confidence to ask the hard questions, and you will probably help someone who wanted to ask the question too. Asking questions is not a sign of lack of intellect, rather a yearning for a deeper understanding.

Love will come, just wait on it. As a person who has been there, done that – its not always worth it. I’m not saying don’t go on dates, or have an interest in people, I’m just saying that you will know when it is right. You will feel it in your heart, and within your soul. It will happen when you’re ready, but only then. And in all honestly college may not be the time when you become ready. Focus on building yourself, and your brand – and the rest will fall into place.

Don’t compromise your morals – ever. This is advice more so for the future, not just for college! I would be doing you a disservice, if I didn’t tell you that compromising is easy, like almost too easy. Sticking to your guns about your beliefs, morals, and values is going to be hard as hell.You will have to intentionally stick to them at first, but then over time it will become second nature. Your college years will be the ultimate test of your faith, beliefs, morals, values, and everything else. Be sure to stick to what you believe, no matter what. It will help you in the long run. Your parents spent a lot of time raising you to be the woman that you are today – don’t put all their hard work to waste!

College is going to sometimes be awkward. You are growing, and maturing at a rapid rate. It’s not going to be the best days of your life every single day – but most days will be great! Don’t be afraid of growth, and development – staying the same will get you nowhere.

But above all, have fun! These years will become the best times of your life – act like it!

Love Always,

-Me (T. Renae)

Travel Tips!!

So since May 2014, I’ve been on 24 flights, (and will probably be taking four flights more before the summer ends) and about two or three. Traveling sometimes is such a hassle, so here are some tips to make your time traveling much easier!

Pack light and efficiently. Normally when I am traveling, I only travel with a “carry-on” suitcase and a rather large purse. When I bring my laptop, I put it as well as anything I will need immediately (such as the TSA liquids Baggie, Book, Snacks, Etc) in the large purse. Normally TSA makes you take your laptops and liquids out anyways, so it makes it so much easier to just whip it out your purse, instead of digging in the suitcase.

  
In my main suitcase, I have a system. Heaviest items such as shoes go at the very bottom. Normally I put shoes in a plastic Walmart bag because I don’t want the bottom of my dirty shoes touching my beautiful clothes! Speaking of clothes – it has to be strategic! I would suggest light clothes that can be worn in multiple ways depending on where you’re going. If it’s summer time, and you are just going to a weekend trip, dresses are the way to go! I also try to stick to the same color palette so that you don’t have to bring as many accessories because they could go from outfit to outfit every day.

After you have planned out every outfit you need to take then pack the clothes, I roll the outfits together in a way. So I fold the item like half way, then just roll it up and pack it as tightly as I can in the latter half of the suitcase. Then on top of that, I pack underwear, bras, socks, and hair products, anything else I think I’ll need.  I have recently started just having a prepackaged toiletries “grab bag,” equipped with bobby pins, face wash, toothbrush and deodorant, and all the other things I use daily – just in travel size, already ready to go. Zip up the suitcase, and be ready to go! Then if I am carrying my laptop, or need any cords, with my suitcase already zipped and standing upwards, I place the cords and stuff in that mini section after everything has settled in the suitcase.

  
 Dress smart and light on the day of travel! This is so important. It’s okay to be cute, but comfortable, and functional is the way to go! My go-to outfit is a pair of black leggings, cute shirt, and flats, usually with a sweater, or scarf (because planes are cold!). The way you dress will make your TSA security check go either really good or really bad. For easy TSA security check, I suggest the following. Good easy to remove and put back on shoes, such as flip-flops, or flats. I would leave your belts (if you need one) and jewelry in your carry-on “purse.” That way you don’t have to worry about taking them off while in the security check line and save yourself time. Then after you’ve gone through the checkpoint, put all those things back on and be fly!

Arrive early to the airport. You never know if it’ll take you a long time for security. Or how much time boarding will take. It is better to be early for your flight than running to catch it! Early arrival to the airport will give you the opportunity to get snacks if you need it, go to the bathroom prior to getting on the plane, or find your gate in a complicated airport. As the beloved Hampton University saying goes: “To be early is to be on time, to be one time is to be late, and to be late is unacceptable.” I would also try to be as kind as possible to all the staff, TSA agents, and ticket people because they can make or break your entire day!

Bring headphones! I cannot stress it enough. Something about being isolated in your own little musical world. I would also create the playlist. I have a specific playlist if I am sleepy, or trying to stay awake and do work. It may just be me, but I hate with great passion the sound of the plane’s engine. So to prevent me listening to that awful and horrific noise, I bought some BOMB Bose headphones to block out that noise!

Take a bomb travel selfie! My IG is full of bomb travel selfies, I try to make them look very artistic, and sometimes it doesn’t work. However. I suggest taking a selfie with your luggage, to signify that you are in transit, and then a very touristy picture with an amazing background behind you! I have taken to taking pictures of the scenery around me because sometimes there is no one around to take your picture. Also selfies with the scenery is beautiful as well!

    

  

HAVE FUN! Enjoy your time traveling, and make the best of every single moment, because it never lasts as long as it should.

Keep It Classy,

-T. Renae

Renae

Break Out of Your Comfort Zone

Anyone who knows me knows I am very strategic, and a serious Type A person. I like things to be done a certain way, and in a certain manner. I always say if it’s not broken don’t fix it. I focus on planning and making things the best they can possibly be. With that being said, I am often told by many people that I am missing out on  life’s teachable moments and the glory of the unknown. (Which I still think is total bull.) But it was really starting to get to me.
So on my 21st birthday, instead of making a wish, I made myself a promise. I promised to become more adventurous, destroy my comfort zone, and to put myself out there more. I started trying new foods, applying to opportunities I thought I would never get in a million years, doing things that scare me (Like the 10 story slide in STL), and just being more adventurous with my life.
IT IS SO HARD, to break the habit of just keeping with the monotony of everyday life. But it has really changed my life.
It has definitely taught me that life is too short to be scared to do things. It has revealed to me, how much I doubt myself. Doubting myself isn’t good, but being able to recognize, and deal with it is. I am the most capable person to do anything I set my mind to.
So I encourage everyone who reads this to start being more adventurous with their lives because it makes it so much more EXCITING! Start trying new foods, talking to new people, and discussing new ideas. I believe that once you start breaking out of your comfort zone, your life will begin to change drastically. I cannot stress it enough. Once you do it, you will learn more about yourself, have new experiences, and learn about how much you can handle. I promise you won’t regret it!
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Keep It Classy,
-T.Renae

Love Yourself Challenge Week Two: 25 Reasons Why You Love Yourself

Ladies & Co. introduced the “Love Yourself Like A Queen” challenge last week and it’s already making an impact!  The 7-week challenge was created for women to self-reflect and look within ourselves through God. Last week we wrote love letters to our first loves, ourselves! Week 2’s activity was to think about 25 reasons you love yourself and I’m honored to be sharing my reasons. 25 reasons should come easy to a woman of confidence, but it took more time than anticipated to create my list.  I even had to pull in love ones to complete it, but this is my perfect list! Week 2’s challenge wasn’t just about the list, it was an activity to look from within to examine yourself in a positive light. In this life, we are our worst critics but this gave us an opportunity to reflect on the elements, characteristics and qualities that make us the beautiful queens we are!

What you love about yourself

  1. I am a child of God.
  2. I work hard to achieve my goals.
  3. I’m more actively involved in church.
  4. I’m acknowledging who I am.
  5. I’m content in my own skin and with my connection to God.
  6. I’m more aware of who I can depend on.
  7. I’m learning not to let anyone or anything steal my joy.
  8. I am recognizing my own self-worth.
  9. I’m appreciating all the wisdom my parents have shared with me.
  10. I’m walking in my purpose.
  11. I have a 5-10 year plan for my life (knowing everything does not always go according to this plan).
  12. The love, passion and commitment I have for seniors, children, and people in need.
  13. I am not allowing stress to control my behavior.
  14. I’m learning to broaden my horizons.
  15. I’m discovering my happy place!
  16. I’m becoming more humble in my journey.
  17. I know that I am made in God’s image so I am beautiful just the way I am.
  18. I am my sister’s keeper.
  19. I love to motivate and encourage those around me.
  20. I am family oriented.
  21. I have the hope and faith that our generation will positively impact the world.
  22. I am open to what God has in store for me.
  23. I try to see the good in all people.
  24. I’ve been transforming my mind, body and soul to be healthier.
  25. I am a phenomenal woman!

A.Rochell