Things I Learned In My Post-Bacc Experience

101.jpgHello Wonderful People! Happy Wednesday! By the time this blog post goes up, my post-bacc experience will be completely over. The actual program ended in April, but I have been working part-time as a research assistant with my advisor – so it doesn’t really feel like it’s ended! Let me start this blog post by stating that the Hot Metal Bridge Program at the University of Pittsburgh is AMAZING. I can personally speak for the psychology section of the program and this program has really been life changing. It allowed me to get a “taste” to be immersed into a graduate school program – I was considered a first year graduate student.  This program taught me alot about psychology and graduate school, but most importantly this program taught me alot about myself. I will forever be grateful.

  1. The first thing I learned was the importance of time management.  Within a graduate school program, at least for psychology, the amount of time that is structured is very slim outside of your classes. You have to decide when and how you will do your research, assistantship obligations, etc. For me, this was a hard adjustment at first. I have always been a scheduler/calendar person – but it took me until the second or third week to fully understand that I basically am going to have to make my own schedule. Once I got into a system with doing that, it was much easier. But I had to get used to no one breathing down my neck  not having to check in with my advisor every second of the day or having someone telling me what I need to be doing or where I need to be.
  2. I also learned that I need a social circle/community (not saying that my social circle was bad at Pitt). As I am about to transition into a clinical psychology Ph.D. program, I recognized that I am going to have to be more intentional about building my friend group and community once I move to STL. There are times in Pittsburgh, where I felt very isolated and alone (not the fault of my cohort). It’s something about being the only Black girl in the entire 1st-year cohort that really messed with my head, so I am going to have to be more intentional about creating these spaces for myself. This way I don’t have to call/facetime my parents 50 times a day when I need to vent.
  3. Additionally, I learned that graduate school is going to be tough. Applying to graduate school was super rough, but my being persistent and steadfast is what really carried me through. This is a journey or a marathon BUT not a sprint. I am going to have to remind myself to pace myself. I won’t be able to get to the finish line without taking proper care of myself in all ways. During this first year, I am going to try to schedule in self-care more, so even when things are getting hectic I will be able to handle it.
  4. It is okay to outgrow and grow into people and places. Moving 7 hours from home and my social support system has really taught me that some of the people I considered close where only close because we lived near each other. And while it hurts, sometimes i just think that we outgrow people and places. Instead of framing it as a loss, I am trying to frame it as there are spaces opening up in my life for new, exciting people and places.
  5. I’ve learned really what it means when people say, “its okay not to be okay.” I really don’t have to have it all together all the time. Even though I really want to have it all together. I don’t want to come off as I am living this perfect life – because I am not. There have been tough times and I have spent months not being okay – but also not feeling up to admitting to people mentoring me that I wasn’t okay. Thus making me suffer in silence. I am trying to be as transparent as possible with my social media, but it still feels like a highlight reel. I am working on it though and allowing people to be there for me.

Have you learned anything about yourself in the last six months?? Share below!

XOXO, Tanesha

Advertisements

Sunday Soapbox: Watch How You Speak To Yourself.

Sunday Soapbox: Watch How You Speak To Yourself.

Your inner monolog  or the voice you use to talk to yourself will literally make or break you. You have to be especially careful how you talk to yourself. I am a firm believer in whatever it is that you think about anything will manifest itself into your life. Your body responds to whatever it is you’re saying to yourself. If you’re always looking down on yourself, saying you’re not good enough, or pretty enough, or smart enough – you won’t be. If I’m being honest, some of the things I say to myself, I would never say to even my worst enemy. I’m a bully in my own right, to myself, and even just thinking about it makes me sick. Especially considering all the kind things I’ve said and how gentle I am to others about their feelings, I don’t even give myself the same in return, but I should. You and I both deserve to talk to ourselves kindly.

Personally, I’ve been trying to combat my negative self-talk. But it’s hard.  My favorite strategy currently is redirecting. If I notice myself becoming too negative about myself, I’ll immediately stop that thought, do 5-10 circle breaths (like in through my nose, out through my mouth), and rephrase the thought. For example, if the thought goes like this, “I am really screwing everything up, my life is never going to be the way it should,” – I rephrase it like this, “God’s plan is perfect and even if I don’t see how it’s working out right now, it’ll work itself out. I am still discovering who I am and how everything works, but it will be worked out in the end.”

I have been focusing on changing the way I talk to myself and think about myself for about a week now, and it has honestly been so worth it. I found that my mind is starting to go straight to the positive thoughts – this isn’t to say that I don’t sometimes fall short, but it is a work in progress.

What are some positive thoughts that keep you going when you get into a negative rut? Share below in the comments – I would love to hear them!

XOXO,

– Tanesha

10 STANDOUT IDEAS from 2016 (thus far)

I feel like 2016 has been the year of learning for me. I am forever reflecting on this year and what things I could’ve done better, what things were good. I think self-reflection is one of the most beneficial things a person can do, because change has to come from within. People can tell you all they want about the things you do wrong, or the things you are doing correctly – BUT until you recognize it yourself, you probably won’t make longterm changes. So here are some of the main things that I’ve learned and that I plan on keeping with me for the rest of my post-undergraduate life.

  • Dream HUGE, and don’t limit yourself, even if other people try to. You are the creator of your destiny, and absolutely nothing is out of your reach, unless you put it there.
  • Being Sure of yourself is a process, it takes practice. And by practice I mean every single day, looking yourself in the mirror and saying “You got this girl!”  You must be sure of yourself, because if you aren’t – who else will?
  • Trust God and his path for you, he will never lead you wrong. Romans 8:28 in the Bible says: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
  • People only take from you what they know you will give them. This goes hand in hand with the saying, “people will only treat you how you allow them to.” (Thanks mom!) Folks are probably walking all over you and treating you the way they are because you are allowing them to by not standing up for yourself or correcting their behavior. Only you can change it tho.
  • SAY NO: with conviction. Stop doing things you don’t want to do and things that make you unhappy. Life is literally too short for you to do anything you don’t want to do. Say no, and leave it alone. You don’t have to explain yourself to ANYONE.
  • Friendships are reciprocal, and not everyone is your friend. If I’m being honest, I’m still learning this. But you shouldn’t be the one always reaching out, and always planning. You should be getting out of the friendship, the same things you’re putting in.
  • Plan early in your relationships, especially with marriage. Honestly ask yourself (and your significant other) what your intentions and expectations are up front. There’s no point of your intentions to seriously date, and your significant others intention’s are to casually date around. I believe that preparation is the key to success and that it should be applied to your relationships as well.
  • Explore the world – take in every opportunity, even opportunities you don’t think you will gain from. I think you should take advantage of every single opportunity and open door that comes your way, because you may gain skills that you wouldn’t have before. Also you could learn what type of career you don’t want to have.
  • The difference between you and someone else is what you are willing to sacrifice. I think there is something profound about being the person to go above and beyond the normative path. You should be able and willing to sacrifice for your goals. Sacrifice is temporary but the reward and feelings of accomplishing your goals are forever.
  • You can have it all, as long as God says the same. Galatians 1:10 says “Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant!”As long as you are focused on living your life as an offering to God, everything will work out the way it is supposed because God favor’s His Children.

What are some of your stand out ideas from 2016? Share below in the comments!

XOXO

– Tanesha

Unplugged part 2. 

So it’s been officially a week (and a few days) of no social media!

I thought I would have this miraculous feeling of freedom and motivation but I don’t. I honestly feel almost the same as I did with social media, but I will say I don’t feel this invisible audience watching me all the time or criticizing my pictures or snaps. I felt like I always had this enormous pressure on my social media to say the right things, only post the most perfect pictures with the perfect caption – not because I’m a perfectionist (I mean, I am, but that’s not the reason), but because I want to be a person and source of inspiration to people. I want people to say “seeing you be great, inspires me to keep pushing towards my dreams and goals.”

 
However, people (including myself) get caught up in other’s folks perceived perfection. I’ll be the first to admit I’m struggling with that. We don’t see all the hard word, blood, sweat, and tears that went into a person’s achievements. I want to be more transparent about my life and my struggles (which is honestly why I blog). There is this weird strength I feel when I am vulnerable with people – and if (or when) I go back to social media I want to integrate more of that vulnerability.

 

So, I went to the beach on Friday and I really wanted to snap chat the moment because it was so beautiful and peaceful. This was the first time since getting off social media that I really debated downloading it all back. I just sat for about an hour and a half and read my book Perfect Match by Jodi Picoult in silence. It was so wonderful (until this lady and her 5 obnoxious and loud children decided to sit wayyyyyy too close to me – but that’s another story). And it just kinda hit me (while writing this) is that those private moments when it’s just God, me and nature are somewhat destroyed as soon as I share it on social media. The special and precious moment then becomes God, me, nature and my 150 snap chat followers, plus my 1,000 IG followers plus whoever else follows me on various other platforms. (I know I’m contradicting myself by sharing a picture – I’m not perfect! It was a beautiful day!) There’s something to be said about moments that only you have the privilege of knowing. It’s like holding on to and protecting the last bit of privacy you have in the world. It’s sacred.

 
I’m not going to lie, some days I really miss social media because it’s great entertainment and time consuming (especially since I’m not doing much these days). But also because it helped connections with my friends. Instead of having to check in with them by way of a call or text, you can just check their social media and be kept up to date about what they’re doing. And that’s the part that sucks, I thought more of my friends would’ve noticed that I wasn’t on social media (especially since I notice when they’re not on as much).

 
It’s only been a week and some change, maybe it’ll be different soon. I also am finding that I’m just holding my phone sometimes – just staring at it like, “what do I do with this thing now?” I also think I’m getting addicted to playing games on my phone, so I might have to delete those soon too.

 
XOXO,

 
– Tanesha

Unconditionally Loving Yourself

On facebook one day, I saw this quote, “This day, I vow to myself, to treat myself as someone I love truly and deeply – in my thoughts, my actions, the choices I make, the experiences I have, each moment I am conscious, I make the decision to love myself. ” It really took me aback, because I feel like in today’s society everyone is pretending to be confident. Which could just be my perception, but I really want to live my life in a way that exudes unconditional self-love. I said unconditional because when I was younger I used to say things like, “I’ll really love myself when I lose 15 pounds,” or “When I get older I’ll love myself more.” When truthfully, I should love myself right now, because I exist and am deserving of the love I express to others.

So, I decided to share with you all my steps to self-love, and I hope that you can use some of these steps in your journey to self-love.

  • Remove Toxicity. Your space is sacred. Get rid of everyone and everything that threatens your peace. I don’t know about you, but this is extremely difficult for me because I sometimes feel like removing people from my life is an act of anger, but it’s often an act of self-preservation.
  • Find happiness in everyday things. Happiness is often all around us – someone laughing at your joke, the sunset and it’s beautiful colors, making it through the day without complaining – These are all things that could make you happy. Choose to look for the good in the world, and acknowledge the bad – but don’t let it consume you. I like to think that keeping myself happy is a form of love.
  • Relieve stress in positive ways. Stress is a natural part of life and there is no way to avoid it. However, how you deal with  and react to the stress is entirely up to you. Learn to deal with stress in a  positive manner. Such as if you get too overwhelmed with stressed, take 5 minutes to just think about nothing, or work through your anxiety by doing an intense workout routine. Keeping your mind in a healthy state is a part of upkeeping your overall wellbeing healthy.
  • Indulge in Good Karma. Treat others good, not for them to reciprocate, but to make yourself feel good about yourself. Doing something good for someone 9 times out of 10 will make you feel good. Just don’t do too much for another person, where it is creating a burden in your life. Love yourself enough to spread the love to others.

How do you work on loving yourself unconditionally – Share below in the comments!

Keep It Classy,

– T. Renae

2015 Reflections

As 2016 has just started, I’ve given myself a few days to really reflect on the past year and figure out what I’ve learned, what I’ll do differently and what must change for this new year. I’ve learned so much and I just want to share my reflection as a means to inspire you to reflect over your past year as well.

I deserve better. I’ve put up with a lot of things that I shouldn’t have in 2015 with my friends. For me, it’s especially hard for me to voice my opinions or feelings because of fear of hurting someone else’s feelings. There’s no reason why I put up with as much as I did, and this year I am looking forward to standing up more for myself and not allowing myself to be treated any kind of way.

Along with this, I’ve found that you are your biggest support has to come from within. No one is going to support you, like you. Even if you support everyone and their momma’s businesses, startups, and ideas – it won’t be reciprocated. I don’t know why I expect the support and love I pour out into people to be returned but quite frankly it probably won’t ever be. And that’s okay.

I need to take more time to work on myself, pamper myself and love myself unapologetically. Sometimes I give too much to other people, and not enough to myself. In 2016, I plan on giving the same amount to myself, as I give others. Also, just work on loving myself flaws and all – no one is perfect and I shouldn’t expect to be either. Sometimes I feel like I hold myself to this unobtainable standard of living and how I live. I have to learn that the standard in my head isn’t the end all to myself. It’s okay to mess up sometimes.

With that being said, I’ve also learned how strong I am as a person – not physically, but emotionally and mentally. I can handle almost anything anyone throws at me. This year has been the year of challenges. With the pursuit of graduate school, and applying for everything humanly possible (scholarships, trips, diversity weekends, etc). I can do pretty much anything I put my mind to and I need to walk in that truth.

I think those are the main takeaways from 2015 for me. What were you major lessons in 2015 – Share them below in the comments!

Keep It Classy,

– T. Renae

Love Yourself Challenge Week 6: Self-Reflection

So this week’s love yourself challenge was to do some self-reflection. I’m sure we’ve all seen and read blogs about self-reflection, so I took a personal spin to the topic. This summer I’ve grown closer in my walk with God which has led resulted in major moments of reflecting. I believe when you allow God to be the lead and guide your steps, HE allows self-reflecting to manifest. When rely and depend on God you gain a clearer outlook on yourself, others and where your journey in life. When focusing on your relationship with God, you gain joy, peace, love, patience, forgiveness and understanding not only for others but for yourself as well. He allows you to become more aware of HIS plan for your life. God truly allows you to see yourself for who you are, where you are and where you are going.

Life changes aren’t always easy and sometimes growing in God and yourself is difficult as it will reveal some tough truths about yourself you aren’t necessarily ready to face or conquer. Reflecting with God on yourself, allows you to eventually forgive those who have wrong you and forgive yourself for tolerating their idiocy which lead to change and growth. For what does not change, does not grow. During this time of reflection, you will experience tears, heartaches and pain but it’s totally worth it in the end. The growth the people will see as a result from the changes you’ve made will continue to push you to higher heights.

How did you self-reflect this week? Share below in the comments section!

– A. Rochell

Love Yourself Challenge Week Three: Meditate On This!

So week three’s challenge was to take 3 minutes of my day, and really think about this quote and what it means. “People often say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder,” -Salma Hayek.

Meditating on this quote gave me the opportunity to more deeply understand how I view beauty. Beauty is different to everyone. I am the beholder of beauty. I am the judge of what is beautiful to me. When I journey throughout my day I notice things, I notice the earth, other people, my environment, and myself. I think to myself of the things I long to see, and I awe at sights that I deem beautiful. It is so easy to look into the mirror and to think that I am not beautiful, but it is also so easy to look into the mirror and to think wow I’m so beautiful. When I look in the mirror I either see myself how I think other people see me or how I truly see myself. How I truly see myself is always more positive than how I think others view me. I’m not sure why so often when I look into the mirror I think of how others see me first. The truth is that I will never know how others see me, so it is pointless for me to try to imagine. I am beautiful to me and that is all that matters. God granted me, and no one else, authority over my body. Therefore, I should never give someone else power over me by placing their opinions of myself above my own. When I look in the mirror I see God’s precious daughter. I see a Godly woman destined for greatness. I see God’s masterpiece, a one of a kind sculpture. When I look in the mirror I see my beauty. I see my perfections and my flaws and I marvel at how they work together to make me who I am. We are the beholders of our own beauty. No one else should ever hold that power over us. We are beautiful, we are God’s magnificent creations.

With Love,

– Heather