Is College for Everyone?

So, you’ve graduated high school. You’ve received your diploma, you’re no longer forced to get up at 6 A.M. for school; you’re free…so to speak. Now what?

For some, it’s already been decided for you. You’re going to get accepted (at this point you probably already have) into your dream school or the school that one or both of your parents attended and encouraged you to go to, to keep the tradition going. You’re going to major in something impressive like Biochemistry or something like that. And you’re going to excel, graduate, and begin an equally impressive career. Sounds easy, right? Continue reading Is College for Everyone?

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Major Keys to Success #3: Embracing the Journey

It is very easy to get caught up in visions and dreams forgetting that the end-point is actually but a small fraction of the big picture. In the words of Arthur Ashe, “Success is a journey, NOT a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome”. It is human nature to long for something but not want to put in the work to get our desired end-product. Unfortunately, even when we do choose to put in the work, it is only for the sole purpose of getting the desired outcome, simply neglecting all that the process has to offer.

Success doesn’t come overnight, it takes time and requires honest effort. It is very hard to put in the effort that is needed when we are being narrow minded. There are small victories to be won on the journey to success but we won’t see them as victories if we are so obsessed with what we’ve considered to be the be all and end all. Of course, the journey isn’t going to be easy and yes, keeping the ultimate goal in mind does help push and propel you to keep going, but this often makes the journey a drag. We have to learn to embrace the journey, meaning enjoy every bit of it, even the moments you hate.

The journey to success is a part of the journey of life. I personally like to think they are intertwined because you don’t just want professional success, you want all around success, in every area. On this journey, you discover who you are, you learn new, amazing and fascinating things. You meet some great people and some are there throughout while others leave at certain points and that is completely ok.

Many of us, if not all of us, embark on this journey to success not knowing why or how or if we can even achieve this dream that we have set out for. Then on the journey we are faced with obstacles that cause us to fear and to worry, so we keep reminding ourselves about that dream and try to find another way to make it work. Instead of taking that route, how about you turn that fear into freedom? Take that obstacle head on, and so what if you fail a couple of times, there is no success without failure. With every failure, there is a lesson to be learned. Take what you learn from one failure and manipulate it to overcome the next obstacle. Learn to turn your weaknesses into strengths. That’s really what the journey is all about. It’s shaping and molding you into who you are meant to be, and equipping you with all the knowledge and skills you need to achieve your dream, but this is only possible if you embrace the journey in its entirety.

It took me 20 years to come to terms with this, but I have learned to embrace my journey and I am LOVING every detail of it, so here I am giving you all some insight.

Sadly, we have come to the end of our series: “Major Keys to Success” and I really hope that you were able to grab at least one thing from this series. I wish you all the best on your individual journeys to success. You are more than capable of achieving your dreams. You have all the “Major Keys” now, so just trust the process and remember: find something to believe in (faith), know who your real supporters are, and always embrace the journey, even the ugly details.

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Major Keys to Success #2: Having a Close-Knit Support System

Support comes in various ways, but the sincerity of that support is most important. Sincere support only comes from a genuine supporter.  Who is a genuine supporter? Someone who knows and understands your goals and aspirations, wants you to achieve them just as much as you do and is willing to do all they possibly can to help you in doing so.

In speaking of a close-knit support system, we are going to look at two classes of individuals who play key roles in our individual lives: family and friends. Your support system should definitely consist of both these groups. It is expected that our greatest support comes from our family, our parents. Those who have watched us grow from the diaper stage to the adult stage. Parents and family have our best interest at heart.

However, when it comes to pursuing a career that maybe no one in your family has ever pursued, this becomes something new for everyone. It can become a little hard trying to make your family understand why you must do certain things instead of coming home on holidays and spending more time with them, but it’s the little things they do that matter. Their support now becomes always being within reach when you may want to speak to them, need advice or maybe you just want to talk.  Maybe even just bringing you home cooked meals because they know you have long nights and not enough time to cook for yourself. While they still believe in you and in your aspirations, their inability to fully comprehend the struggle you are currently faced with channels their support to be a genuine act of love, which is very important.

Friends on the other hand, see it all. They are with you on a day to day basis and are possibly enduring the struggle with you as well. Unfortunately, not everyone who says they’re a friend is truly a friend and I’m sure we are all aware of this. There comes a point when you will have to pick and choose wisely who you want to be your friend; many of us have already reached this point or are quickly approaching it. At an early stage in life many of us had more than 20 friends, but as you progress and embark on your journey to success, you will find that that number drastically decreases.

I can honestly say that I have no more than 8 friends at this point in my life and I am certain that as I continue my journey, the number will more than likely drop to about 5 or 4. I’m not saying that those other people are not good or not worthy of being my friends, it’s a matter of who can help me on this journey that I have chosen to take? That’s something you have to ask yourself.

Your support system should consist of individuals that you know without a doubt will put you in check when needed. Individuals who can pull you up when you fall. Individuals you can fall back on and know that they’ve got you no matter what time or hour of the day. Individuals who have something to offer you, something to teach you. Individuals you can growth with.

These pictures I’ve shared are some of my very close friends. Two of these girls have been with me all the way from high school and our bond is one that can never be broken. We have seen each other at some of our worst times and we have tirelessly supported one another through everything. They know how badly I want to achieve my dreams and they want it for me as bad as I want it for myself and vice versa. The other two young ladies I was so blessed to have met my freshman year in college and I couldn’t have asked for more genuine and supportive individuals to call friends, but even more sisters. And you know, friends that slay together stay together, haha !

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Major Keys to Success: #1 Believing in Something

Hi there curly friends! I am super excited about our new series “Major Keys to Success” and I hope you all are too!

Today we’re going to be kicking things off by delving deeper into Major Key to Success number 1: Believing in something. In other words, having faith. Yes, that’s right faith. I’m sure when many of us hear this word what initially comes to mind without a thought is religion, which is absolutely ok. However, that’s not necessarily what we’re here to discuss today. Before we get back to faith and what exactly I mean by that word, let’s talk a little about why having these so called “keys to success” are important.

I want to believe that success is a chief component in the ultimate goal of all human existence. We all work very hard, sacrifice so much all in the confidence that one day it will all pay off. We hope to one day be able to look around and be satisfied but moreover, strongly convinced that we have achieved the highest level of success which we want to attain.

This is the dream, but getting there is the difficult part. Many people start off so well but along the way, things go south because they weren’t equipped for the journey on which they embarked. So here I am sharing with you all some major keys that have helped me on my journey thus far, and these same keys have helped many successful people.

I sat in an auditorium about 3 weeks ago listening to a pediatrician share her story of how she became who she is today, and I was touched because where she is, is exactly where I hope to be in the coming years. She shared with us her top 5 keys to success which I grouped together for a total of three and number one is faith. For the purpose of this journey to success, faith is believing in a supernatural power.  This does not mean that you must be religious, you just have to believe and be convinced that there is a power higher and much greater than your own.

Now you may be wondering why so here it is: There will be times when you want to genuinely give up. There will be times when you sacrifice all that you have accomplished in hopes of achieving one great reward but it does not play out the way you envisioned. There will be times when that dream that seemed so close to becoming reality now appears to be far out of reach. In times as such, only your faith can get you through.

For me personally, my faith lies in God and in Christ. I know that I have only begun my journey and have seen only the smallest of the tests and trials that there are to come. However, I can assure you that during these testing times, the one thing I know for sure that has gotten me through is trusting in God and relying on him for strength to carry on even when I feel that I no longer can.

So, whatever you choose to put your faith in, stick to it because in the toughest of times, that is what will carry you through. Inner strength to fight even when the battle appears to be lost only comes from a greater source. What will yours be?

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Dress for Success…Stylishly!

Don’t ever think that you can’t look professional while looking stylish! Just because a pantsuit, slacks and a button up, or a business-like dress is required in a workplace, does not mean you have to lose your sense of style. I am a fashion rebel, so I will still look professional and presentable, but I will make sure my personality shines through as well.

Neutral colors such as gray, brown, and black are popular colors in the business world because they are calmer than bold prints and bright colors. I believe that you can wear a bold print or a bright color and still look professional; I do it all the time!

If you are a colorful person, like me, you might want to wear a sunny yellow blazer to an interview. Pair that yellow blazer with a black sheath or shift dress, and the outfit looks classy, professional, and still has your personal touch.
Accessories are another great way to turn your business attire from “Plain Jane” to “Stylish Sue!” One of my favorite ways to accessorize my professional look is with a clutch handbag.

A clutch is usually a tiny bag that is small enough to fit in your hand or under your arm. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors and they add chicness to an already super sleek and sophisticated outfit.

Businesses that encourage creativity, will probably want you to dress modern, trendy, and colorful. Figuring out what not to wear in a business environment, is a lot easier than figuring out what to wear.

Anything that you wouldn’t want your granny, mother, or pastor seeing you wearing, you probably shouldn’t wear it to work or to an interview.

Once you know you personality and what colors make you feel the most confident, you can easily include those colors into your professional looks. I have a colorful personality, so it is easy for me to add my personality into what I wear because I just add color.

Whatever your personality is, just remember to create outfits that make you feel beautiful and confident. Whenever you need some inspiration about how to dress in the business world, think about this phrase, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.”

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