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

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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

New Semester Preparation CheckList

So today is my last, first day of classes in my undergraduate time at Hampton University. So instead of writing a long post about what I do every semester to prepare for my upcoming semester – I decided to make a quick checklist for you to follow to start your semester!

New semester checklist!

  • GET A PLANNER (Like my cute one from Erin Condren)
  • Put all known dates (like from your school’s academic calendar)  on your calendar.
  • Price text books.
  • Clean out old folders and binders of stuff you won’t need.
  • Input class schedule into phone (and other known events), as well as work out times, meal times, times for homework, etc.
  • Get new cute school supplies.
  • Once you get syllabi, mark down any major assignments into your planner.
  • Create a new assignment sheet based off of your course.

I hope this is a quick tip sheet to help you start off the new semester off on the right foot! For more detail on how I prepare for the semester check out this and this and this !

Keep It Classy,

– 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

Dear Friends or more?

Hi Ladies, So I dated this guy like three years ago, and due the distance we broke up (I went to another country). We still remained friends, i mean best friends even! We can both be freely ourselves, as Christians. We are both waiting until marriage for sex and stuff. And it was a genuinely great time together. But now he’s coming to the same country as me to study. We’ve considered redating but I fear young people may judge our relationship because he’s a year younger than me. I mean he’s going to be at a completely different university as a freshman, and freshman year consists of A LOT of partying. Do I continue as friends with him, or date him and risk our good friendship? – Friends or more?

Dear Friends or More,

I would say follow your heart. Don’t worry about what other people will think about him being younger than you. I have dated men younger than me and nobody ever judged me for going younger. If you walk in confidence and feel comfortable about dating a younger man than nobody will even notice that he is younger, but if you walk around feeling like people are judging you then they will. As TdotRenae’s mother advised us, “You want a man that is younger than you because then you can train him to be the way you want him to be.” This is great advice because it makes sense and it is doable within a maturity level. If he is mature enough to be trained and still act his age then you have a keeper. I hope this helps!
Peace, Love & Harmony,
Averi Simone

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 Depressed and Ready to Mingle

Hi Ladies & Co., I have recently been diagnosed with depression. But I really don’t want it, or like for it to define me. I haven’t been in a relationship in over a year, but I feel as if I would like to start getting out there again. How should I go about it? Like no one wants to be in a relationship with someone that could be so negative all the time. – Depressed and ready to mingle?

Dear Depresses and ready to mingle,

If you want to be in a relationship I would first make sure that you want it for the right reasons. Make sure that you won’t be using a relationship as a way to get through your depression. You must first learn to manage your depression on your own before you bring someone else into the mix. Make sure you are aware of yourself and your feelings. You want to be able to communicate what is going on in your life you’re your partner effectively and in a timely manner.

I don’t think being diagnosed with depression should stop you from getting back into the dating world I just think that they are some things you need to make sure you will be able to do in a relationship. Make sure you will be able to support your partner despite your feelings. I believe that communication and understanding will be vital in the relationship. Find someone who understands and is able to console you when you need it. And who is strong enough on his own to be able to be strong for the both of you when you are not. You need someone who is just as committed to you and helping you to create and maintain a stable relationship as you are.

And then there’s always trying to be positive. Even though you may have negative thoughts that does not mean those thoughts can’t be counteracted by positive ones. I challenge you to flip every negative thought that comes to you mind into a positive one and then to either say that positive thought aloud or write it down and read it.

I wish you the best. Love endures all things,

– Heather

The Weekend After The First Week of School

After the first and hectic week of school, I always try to just get through the week without doing any organizational things. I do this because it is often easier to organize everything at one time, as opposed to going back and forth as you add, and drop classes, and change your schedule around. So here’s how I get organized and ready for a productive school year.

First things first, I always buy a planner/agenda for the upcoming school year. Normally this happens before the school year because I am obsessed with planners! I’ve always had a strong love for planners if I am being completely honest. 
Put all the important academic calendar dates in my planner. It is good to always have these dates already in your planner, so you won’t have remember them all off hand, they will already be put down!
Whether it be in your phone, or in an excel sheet. Make a schedule of what your daily life will be while in school. I normally use both my phone and planner. Just so I am sure not to forget anything. I like having a schedule because it makes me accountable for every half hour, of every day.
Next I go through the syllabi for every class and make a list of important dates. So every assignment, project, exam goes into this master task list. I put the name of the assignment, teacher, class, and due date. I also sort the list by date and print. Won’t have everything but close enough. This semester I am using one notebook/binder thing for all my classes and I taped the list to the inside cover.
Lastly, I try to do any easy assignments I can before the semester begins to get too busy. Doing these assignments now, will eliminate undue stress later in the semester.
The only way to stay organized during the school is to remain dedicated to the process. Sometimes you may fall a little short, but just pick yourself back up, and keep it pushing!
How do you stay organized for the school year? Let us know in the comments!
-T.Renae

Thoughts I Have Going Into Senior Year of College.

So Today is my first day of classes going into my last year at Hampton University. I am so overwhelmed with thoughts of everything because being a senior in college (about to graduate) is a huge deal! So here are some of the thoughts I am having going into my senior year of college.

Applying to Graduate school is expensive. Between the cost to take the GRE, GRE prep books, application fees, transcript fees, and everything else that goes along with I’m going to go broke – just from applying. I better get on somewhere all this investing I’m doing into higher education!
I’m not ready to be an adult. You know I don’t want to make My doctors appointment or have to go to the dentist alone. I appreciate my parents doing all these things for me I mean it doesn’t make me feel sheltered. all my money problems or if I need anything – they take care of me. Like I’m going to have to learn on my own how to do these things on my own soon, and I am not prepared.
I really don’t want this to be my last year of Hampton. When I applied it was a fluke I was just like this is my backup school. And then when I was excepted and invited to honors visitation weekend I just fell in love and I’ve been in love ever since. Why Should I leave the place I love so much.
But on the other hand, I am so ready to be done with school. I’m so tired of school. I just want to relax in my pajamas, and watch Netflix all day. Binge eat pizza, with no responsibilities. Why can’t life be that simple again?  I miss being a kid – when my worries were who was I going to play with at recess and what my mom packed for lunch today. In college, I actually have to pay attention and learn – yucky!
What am I supposed to do now? Graduating from grade school and I’m applying to graduate school. But this is like The overarching question that everybody asks is “what now?” It’s to the point where every week you asked at least twice. What’s your next plan? Are you applying to graduate school? then what and then what? And some people tell you that your plan isn’t good enough and then have the audacity to suggest their version of a “better” plan.The questioning is becoming so overwhelming.
I’ve heard that life is not so much about what happens to you, but how you react to it. Even though my senior year is already a bit overwhelming, I am determined this year to tackle my problems head on! I am determined to make this year the best and most memorable year yet!
Keep It Classy,
T.Renae