Man Crush of the Month: Tra’von Armond

August is my favorite month of the year! The weather starts to break and it is not awfully hot anymore. It is also my pleasure and honor to introduce this month’s man crush Tra’Von Armond Williams or Tra’Von Armond formerly “Traykash.” I first met Tra’Von during Honors Visitation Weekend at Hampton University in 2011 and it has truly been an honor to watch him flourish. He was literally the Big Man on Campus that everyone wanted to either be like or get to know. He’s 22 years old from Columbia, South Carolina. He’s taken (sorry ladies)! Tra’Von Armond is an brand manager, and entertainment connoisseur who is passionate about elevating artistic talents into professional careers. He is involved in assisting talent with the necessary backing in order to propel their brands to higher levels. He has also worked with television and radio networks, and small businesses, which all provided the much needed experience that lead him to collaborate with several notable companies on an array of marketing campaigns to include Revolt TV, and Atlantic Records. With his charismatic personality, humble nature, and determined mentality he is sure to “shake the industry.”

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Now on the rest of the interview!

Do you have any interesting fun facts about yourself?

As a kid, I enjoyed watching shows like Dragon Ball Z, The Crocodile Hunter, 106 & Park.

How would you describe your personality in three words?

Personable, Understanding, Motivated

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

I prefer to listen to my heart. I believe that God speaks to us through our hearts, and not our minds.

Who is your celebrity crush?

She was on one side of the screen and I was on the couch, and ever since we laid eyes while I watching ATL, Lauryn London has been my lady. Of course she doesn’t know this special moment, but I remember it just like yesterday !

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

I think men should make the first move. If a man and woman are both in the same room, and the man doesn’t make the first move, it simply means he isn’t as interested as he could be.

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

The longest relationship I been in wasn’t consistent but it lasted off and on for over six years. Through my mistakes, I learned how to be a man and not a boy.

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

My favorite quote is, “Don’t complain about how much is on your plate, when your goal was to eat.” I use this because we oftentimes want to reach success, however we sometimes fail to realize with on our journey towards success the roads can become overwhelming.

What’s the most awkward date that you’ve ever been on?

Ha, I’m an awkward person, so a typical awkward date in my eyes was a very normal one.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

In the next five years I see myself finishing all of my professional schooling, and beginning to live out all of my dreams.

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

Not to sound like a creep but I try to be in the same environment as her as much as possible without acknowledging her. I promise not a stalker lol, maybe this answer did not come out the way I intended it to !

What is your favorite and least favorite thing about yourself?

My favorite thing about myself is that how determined I am, and my least favorite is that I oftentimes care what people think of me.

Who has been the most influential person in your life?

Behind God and my mother of course, the most influential person in my life is Sean P.Diddy Combs. I admire his work ethic, his own determination and his success.

What’s your personal theme song?

My personal theme song is Hustler Musik – Lil Wayne

What are your lifetime ambitions?

One day I want to be able to impact the world on a global level. It would be amazing to win a Nobel Peace Prize.

What are your career goals?

Honestly, I want to either be a CEO of Universal Music Group or Viacom, and I wont stop until I make it.

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

Guys are conditioned to not show feelings or show their emotions because society deems that as not being masculine enough.

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

I can’t speak for every man but I know for me SLEEP is everything. I feel much better after a good nap.

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

A Trump society, literally !

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

I seize and take advantage of every single day through organization. Recently I purchased this black journal from Office Depot. This journal serves as an organizational tool providing a place to jot down my “to-do list”, notes, ideas, and biblical inspirational quotes.

What’s the most discouraging part about being a man? How do you deal with it?

The most discouraging part about being a man is the burden of trying to fulfill societal expectations of being a good man.

How are you changing the world?

I believe I am changing the world by giving young men a proper role model to admire and strive to be greater than.

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

I want the world to know, that if you get a chance to get to know me, I am not the person you may have heard about. Get to know me for me, and not for what you have heard. I promise you will not regret it !

Do you have a brand? Share what it’s purpose, mission and goals here –

Well you guys are the first to hear it but I am in the process of rebranding from “TrayKash” to Tra’VonArmond. Still stay #PluggedIn for what’s to come. I am still the same me, just the documentary from a different angle. Meanwhile you can follow me @Tra’VonArmond ( I think this article will release after the big switch)

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

To check out all of Tra’Von’s Pictures follow his Instagram

Tra’von’s Adventures via Twitter or Snapchat

Check Him Out on Facebook

travonarmond.com COMING SOON

The Armond Foundation a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization COMING SOON

Man Crush of the Month: Quenton Jordan

Happy  June!!! I know you all have been waiting so patiently for this month’s man crush! This month’s crush is Quenton Jordan. He’s a major heartthrob from Chicago, IL – he’s 22 years old and single (!!!). We both attended Hampton University and he is a person I definitely look up to. He has this crazy work ethic and natural intelligence that I admire so much.  He embodies the “grind day is everyday” lifestyle. He is currently juggling two careers: one as a business and technology integration analyst at one of the world’s largest consulting firms (fancy lol) and the other as the Co-Founder of a non-profit organization geared towards revitalizing the concept of financial literacy and spreading it to underrepresented groups throughout the U.S. His main hobby is to give back to those who’ve paved the way for myself and others and to those less fortunate than myself. He also enjoys long walks on the beach, candlelight dinners, and other overly romantic activities (“ladies, peep the relationship status”). He truly enjoys trying new foods, watching movies, arguing about sports, and learning new things.

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What makes Quenton most unique is that he is extremely fun to be around and that’s not something everyone can honestly say. He came from a difficult background and now he’s making it to where he is today, puts him in a great position to where he is relatable to people from, almost, all walks of life. He tends to have a different perspective than most people on a number of topics, which makes conversations with him very informative and just great overall. Everyone walks away with some additional knowledge. That’s unique because most people can’t tell you the last thing they learned while in a random conversation.

Now on the rest of the interview!Quenton 6.PNG

Do you have any interesting fun facts about yourself?

I’m the funniest person I’ve ever met.

How would you describe your personality in three words?

Dope Ass Individual

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

Brain – I’m a logical person

Who is your celebrity crush?

Draya

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

Ladies first, as any true gentleman would say.

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

3 years – Working relationships are all about sacrifice and timing.

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

If you don’t plan on giving 100% just stop while you’re ahead. Half-ass effort breeds half-ass results. You’ll be beaten by someone who’s fully committed every time.

What’s the most awkward date that you’ve ever been on?

I went out with a girl who was extremely attractive, based on appearance, but she couldn’t hold a convo about anything relevant. I hate wasting words about dumb stuff, so I cut the date short.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

In the next five years, I’ll either be in my final year of an MBA program (Harvard or NYU, fingers crossed) or I will have just obtained my MBA. My nonprofit will have tripled in size and quadrupled in impact. I’ll be working on becoming a life coach, and hopefully, my first child will be here making me the happiest man in the world.

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

Like pictures from months ago on IG.

What is your favorite and least favorite thing about yourself?

My favorite thing about myself is that I’m fully aware of my strengths and areas that could use improvement. My least favorite thing about myself is that I don’t take the time to really appreciate small things, achievements, etc. I’m always looking for what’s next as soon as I complete the last thing. I don’t celebrate myself enough.

Who has been the most influential person in your life?

My grandfather.

What’s your personal theme song?

Turn My Swag On – Soulja Boy aka Big Draco

How are you changing the world?

I’m directly and indirectly challenging every person I interact with to step their game up and become the best them they can be.

Why do men often look over the average girl?

Because if you’re ‘average’ then that means there are millions more like you, and I already know everything I need to know about you without you having to tell me. There needs to be something unique that attracts me to you over the tons of other ‘average’ people walking around. I don’t think anyone should refer to themselves as ‘average’ or ‘typical’ or anything of that sort. Makes you sound dull. If I ask you to tell me about yourself, you should be able to go on forever because you know yourself better than anyone else and should love talking about how great you are. I know I’m not average, so why would I settle for that?

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

This has traditionally been viewed as being feminine. Most men, including myself, still live with this mindset in certain situations.

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

I set daily goals – what do I want to get accomplished today, what do I need to ensure that it happens. I set long term goals with incremental steps in between and work on achieving them daily. I ensure that I leave every day with a new piece of knowledge on at least one topic.

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

People, in general, aren’t recognized enough for their individual contributions to making the world a better place. I wouldn’t categorize it based on gender. I actually wouldn’t categorize it at all. I think this is better when looked at on an individual basis.

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

I don’t have any talents that others can’t acquire. I simply take advantage of every learning opportunity and train myself mentally to be able to tackle any obstacles in my way. If everyone did the same, the world would be a better place.

Do you have a brand? Share what it’s purpose, mission, and goals here –

RichBefore25 has been my personal brand for the last few years and has recently developed into a business concept, which is in the beginning phases of building its own brand. RichBefore25 is a nonprofit agency focused on spreading financial literacy to members of traditionally underrepresented groups throughout the United States, motivating individuals to pursue their passions, and providing mentorship to those in need. Acting as a connector, linking forward-thinking firms, organizations, and individuals to members of the target demographic, RichBefore25 seeks to leave a lasting impact on communities across the country.

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Want to connect with Quenton – Here are his social media:

To check out all of Quenton’s pictures follow his Instagram

Also, Check Out Rich Before 25’s Website

 

Man Crush of the Month: Greg

Gregory Budd, also known as Greg is a 22-year-old, Hampton University Alumni from Woodbridge, Virginia. He’s currently taken (sorry ladies, I know he’s adorable!) and he has a BOMB job at the International Spy Museum. He has a deep love for history and wants to eventually pursue a job working for the Smithsonian Institution as an archivist. He also loves to and has a great talent for dance. He wants to in the future be able to teach and create a creative lane (or program) for his God-given gifts. Something unique about Greg is that when he was 10-years-old, he performed for Jay-Z in an NBA store!

fullsizerender-3How would you describe your personality in three words?

Dedicated, Funny, and Humble

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

Heart because I feel like me heart sees the real in a situation while my brain sees the logical option.

Who is your celebrity crush?

SZA 

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

Males because it is all in taking the initiative. If you know you have the confidence to start the conversation why not not make the first move? 

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

Be myself and make her laugh. 

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

3 years currently the relationship I am in now. I have learned to quit the selfish attitude and work together and treat your queen like a queen 

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

Always work and have the ambition to put in that work. Like the Bible says Faith without works is dead. 

What’s the most awkward date that you’ve ever been on?

Back in high school, I met a girl on Facebook who just so happened to go a rival high school in my city. We met each other at a track meet I was running at and as soon as she opened her mouth and her voice came out I was instantly ready to go. The whole track meet I kept trying to avoid her.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

Working in the National Park Service or the Smithsonian Museum as an archivist. 

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What is your favorite and least favorite thing about yourself?

My least favorite thing would be my skin, I got diagnosed with skin lupus during my sophomore year. And it creates small blotches on my skin that are very noticeable and becomes a pain at times. Especially when people ask and I have to explain it over and over. And my favorite thing about me is my smile. Like J Cole said we ain’t picture perfect but we worth the picture still.

Who has been the most influential person in your life?

My father because he is my greatest motivator and wise mind when I need help. He always seems to know how I’m feeling when I don’t. He is my best friend even thought I am his son you wouldn’t tell the difference 

What’s your personal theme song?

Immortal- Kid Cudi 

What are your lifetime ambitions? 

Be married and have my dream job which would to be an archivist 

What are your career goals?

Become an archivist for the Smithsonian Institution 

How are you changing the world?

Teaching others in any way possible through dance, history, or life lessons. 

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

I am an aspiring mind that just wants a chance to show how great I can be. 

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

It has always been the status quo for a guy to be strong and fearless of what life throws at them. Personally, my dad is a solid rock if he did show any emotions he would show it in private. You could never know what he was thinking.

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

Relax change from my work clothes, watch Netflix and just relax 

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

Paying off my student loans 

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

Wake up and smile. Once I smile it makes my day better and keeps me from letting anything negative mess it up I know I god has given me the opportunity to start a new day and make the most of it 

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

To check out all of Greg’ sPictures follow him on Instagram

Or Find Him on Facebook – Gregory Budd

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

Man Crush of the Month: AP

Aaron Peters, also known as AP, is a 22-year-old graduate student at Hampton University pursuing a Masters of Business Administration. He is from New Jersey, a brother of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated and is currently single. He’s the owner of the amazing clothing line of Another Perspective, which he plans on continuing for the rest of his life. However, AP will also be working with Deloitte Consulting once he graduates in May 2017. He loves to play basketball with his “bros,” taking pictures, editing videos, enjoys a good party and to have fun! He stated, “I would lie and act like I have some cool hobbies that you guys wouldn’t expect of me but that’s wack.” What’s unique about AP is that he is always trying to go out of his way to help others. If he knows your goals or ambitions, he will try to connect you with people in that field. AP said that he thinks that’s unique because “nowadays people just want to get put on and forget about everyone else. I like to always lift as I climb [the ladder of success] because people will forget what you said, forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them felt and people get a good feeling when you help them out.” On top of all that, he is certainly handsome!

Now on to the interview portion!

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How would you describe your personality in three words?

Funny, Relatable, Motivational.

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

Males should make the first move because ladies like to know that they are interested in by someone. They usually know in their head if they like your or could see themselves with you but you won’t know most of the time unless you approach them. So be a man and go up and take that initial step.

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

Keep grinding even when no one notices you, even when you think it’s not working keep grinding it will pay off. Whatever energy and time you put into the universe it will repay you. Watch the movie “The Secret” you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

Let’s see – 27? Sheesh I know I’ll have a stable relationship with my future wife and will be preparing to take that step to marriage and all of that and I feel like I will be financially stable at that point.

What is your favorite and least favorite thing about yourself?

My favorite thing about myself is my grind I could lay out a list of things I’ll get done and get it done that’s like the best feeling. Least favorite thing would have to be the fact that I’m cool with so many people that I don’t always know how to tell someone no when they ask something of me.

Who has been the most influential person in your life?

Mom Dukes and my Pops – they asked a lot of me growing up and I feel like that helped me in the long run.

What’s your personal theme song?

Currently, Dab of Ranch song that Quavo made up in like 30 seconds and that new Kodak song is pretty much going to be my theme song when it drops when he do the new kodak dance to.

What are your lifetime ambitions?

I would like to start a family one day but I would have a successful clothing line that provides enough money for me that I don’t need to work for someone else on some 9 to 5 type of stuff.

What are your career goals?

My main career goal is to open up a warehouse for my clothing line to be able to make all my clothing and to make other people’s clothes.

How are you changing the world?

Motivating those that are younger than me to do what they want, follow their dreams and that anything is possible like literally anything they want to do they can do just got to put the work in.

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

In today’s society, they hate to see a young black man doing well and when they do see it – they try to kill us. I’m not afraid but afraid of how impactful that could be to my family if I get gunned down by one of these policemen out here.

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

Man listen, a fresh cut will put you right where you need to be I promise you. Everyone starts saying hi to you, people smiling at you, it’s like you just won the lottery when you get that perfect fresh cut. 

Why do men often overlook the average girl?

I’m not going to be cliche and say because they are looking for something different but if you are the “average” girl.  It’s easy to look over that “average” girl because you’re just blending in. How you going to get noticed if you’re just blending in feel me?

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

I don’t do that. I don’t think at least but I think because they think other GUYS will judge them. Like a girl likes that I believe (guys being expressive of their feelings) but I think that a guy feels the need to act or be tough at all times when in reality, it’s not that deep.

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

Make a list and get everything done, and get up early that helps too.

What’s the most discouraging part about being a man? How do you deal with it?

I will say the most discouraging part for me is how people will support everything else with these people that they don’t know but when it’s a black business around they got to ask for a discount or they say they rock with the movement but still don’t support. I deal with it by just keep doing what I’m doing I know my bros will always support each other and that’s all I need sometimes when it’s hard out here.

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Share information about your brand. 

Another Perspective is the brand and the mission of my brand is to make people think from their perspective. All of my designs have a gas mask on and it’s not to just look cool but it has a bigger meaning. The gas mask is to block out the world’s gas and thoughts and how the world wants you to think it’s blocking all of that out and making you think in a Another Perspective. AP is my nickname so I got to make sure I’m always promoting myself in a positive way. New clothes on the way for the new year, check out anotherclothingline.com!

Want to connect with AP – Here’s his social media:
To check out all of AP’s AMAZING Pictures follow him on Instagram
AP’s Adventures Via Snapchat and Via Twitter
Another Perspective Clothing Line on Instagram
Another Perspective Clothing Line’s Website is here

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

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

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.

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)