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Female Phenomenon: An Intro to Cardi B’s Fame

Female Phenomenon: An Intro to Cardi B’s Fame

“Rapping is for males.” “You will never make it in this male dominated culture.”
“Hip Hop is for the men who need to listen and recognize their story in a musical form.”

False, False and False. Hip Hop and rap plays a major part in today’s society and of course, the industry is male dominated. I appreciate all of these men who work hard for what they have:
the marketing skills they have used to build their audience, staying up late nights,
touring city to city, and even continent to continent. A man’s hard work in the music industry will
never go unnoticed but a woman’s work always seems to be overlooked. (more…)

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

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. (more…)

Drop the Scissors: Alternatives to the Big Chop

Three years ago, after my failed attempt and short lived experience going natural, I decided to give it another try. I watched Youtube video after Youtube video, read blog after blog, and was sure this time I was ready. But seven months after my last perm and four months into my natural hair journey, I was over it.

I started out well with braid outs and twistouts, (braidouts were my favorite) but as my new curls grew in, my styles would not look as nice anymore because of my stringy, straight ends. On top of that, my hair was shedding by the pounds. I was not sure if it was due to the stress I had senior year or if this is what vloggers warned me of. I am talking about the infamous demarcation line.

Whatever it was, I was sick of transitioning. I wanted to be fully natural already, but I was not ready for the big chop. And for the ladies reading this blog who are finding themselves in the same position I was in, I have a few words of advice that may help ease your natural hair journey.

Instead of going for the big chop and heading straight for the TWA, I decided to do a mini chop, multiple ones. As scared as I was, I got the scissors and handed them over to my sister (there was no way I could trust myself) and she cut about 1/3 of my relaxed hair into the trash bin. The next day I got braids for the first time. I was not used the heaviness of it on my neck but I got used to it. I left them in for a tad bit too long, but when I took my braids out in March, I could not believe how long my hair was. It made me wish I just went for the TWA instead.

After taking out my braids, I worked with a bun for a few weeks. Soon it was time for prom. At that point, I cut off what I thought was the last of my perm and had a weave installed. I had leave out, not realizing that I would have to re-straighten it every, single, day, but I made it work. I left my weave in for graduation and then tossed it. I realized I still had a few relaxed ends leftover. I cut those off and had braids put in one last time for the summer, which resulted in my hair growing incredibly once again. I straightened it in August for my sister’s wedding and a year and a month later my hair was down to my shoulders.

So rather than doing the big chop, I chose the mini chop instead. Thanks to protective styles, I was able to maximize moisture and retain length throughout the entire process.

For ladies who are not ready to go for the big chop all at once, I definitely encourage you all to take it step by step, cut little by little, or in increments. If all else fails, remember, it is just hair. It will always grow back.

LaToya’s Natural Hair Journey

LaToya’s Natural Hair Journey

In November of 2013 I received my last relaxer. I did not realize it would be my last until a feeling of guilt came over me as my hair dresser applied the chemical to the very intriguing waves that had started springing out of my scalp. I felt bad for my natural roots. I felt like I was denying them or like I wasn’t giving them a chance.

As I sat in that chair I decided that it would be my last relaxer. I was going to give the “natural” thing I try. Mind you, before I made this decision, I was that girl that declared I would never go natural and would continue to use relaxers until they stopped manufacturing them.

My relaxed hair: Dec. 2013

My relaxed hair: Dec. 2013

I had a negative opinion of my natural hair because I didn’t like my hair when I was younger. I didn’t understand why it didn’t lay flat like the other girls in school. I guess I felt too different. I viewed my hair as ugly and not beautiful. When I was in 7th grade my mom allowed me to get a relaxer. I continued to relax my hair up until my sophomore year of college, November of 2013.

I decided that I would transition instead of doing the BIG CHOP. I wasn’t comfortable with having super short hair. My plan was to transition for two years but just after the one year mark, it became too difficult for me. I was wearing weaves or braids throughout the majority of my transition, but I became tired of that. I wanted to have my own hair out. I wanted to feel my own scalp.

So around the year and four months mark I tried to wear my hair out, but it just did not look right. My roots were super thick and my ends were pretty much see-through. It was not a cute look. So I decided when the semester came to an end, I would do my big chop, or transitioning chop, and I would finally be completely natural.

Leading up to the day, I was really excited but super nervous. I did not know how I was going to look with shorter hair. I had no idea what my hair texture would be, but I was determined to learn to love it.

In May of 2015, I invited some friends over and we had a Transitioning Chop Party! I ordered pizza and we played music. I think this was the best way for me to shake my nerves and to celebrate this turning point in my life.

Before big chop vs. after big chop

Before big chop vs. after big chop

And it turns out, I loved my hair! I was so surprised to see curls on my head. I had no idea that my hair was curly. It’s weird to think you’re 21 years old, and you are just discovering what your hair looks like.

That’s why I think this natural hair movement is so important. Although everyone has the right to wear their hair in a way that makes them feel beautiful and confident, I think it is important that we all learn to love and embrace the hair we were born with. There is only one you and we are all unique in our own way. So embrace every part of you.

It has been 5 months since my big chop and I can still say that I love my hair. My hair is not like anyone else. My curls are just for me and I love them!

Photo by Siu's View. www.siusview.com.

Photo by Siu’s View. www.siusview.com.

Study Tips/Study Habits

Study Tips/Study Habits

I am in college now, so I feel as if my job is to my good grades and be successful.  Studying is the key. However, the method to studying is not that simple, but I am here to help.

How do I study? I do not have one method of studying; I have several. The way I study depends on the level of the test. If the test material is very detailed I use flashcards. Flashcards help me relate and associate what is on the front of the card to what is on the back of it. They help accommodate how my mind works. For example, for my survey of Art History class, my professor requires us to know the artist, title, period, and place of the art piece, along with specific details about the artwork. Since she gives us fifty images to study making flashcards is very important because there is so much information to take in. For the tests that are not so detailed and that are lecture based, I just reread my lecture notes and other supplied materials. As I continuously reread the information, it begins to stick with me. For instance, my World History tests are based on factual information. Therefore, my professor lectures using PowerPoint. She also supplies us with passages that are related to each chapter. I take at least two days prior to the test to review the information.

Where do I study? I have to be alone in a quiet place in order for me to retain information. Since I live in a dorm room with three other people, it is very hard to study there. Even if I am in a separate room from them, it is hard to focus because I can still hear them and the walls are “thin.” I try to study during the times that they are not there. If I cannot study in the dorm room, I go to the library. I find the library very effective because I feel as if I am in a homework and study environment.

How long do I study? The amount of time I take out to study goes hand and hand with how I study. For the more detailed material I spend about six hours on it, and for the less detailed I spend about two to three hours studying. If I spend more than an hour studying something in one day, I always take a break after each hour. This allows my brain to rest a bit, so I go either listen to music, eat a snack, or both. My breaks range between ten and fifteen minutes.

Other study tips:

  • Ban social media during study time. From experience social media can be a huge distraction.
  • Don’t procrastinate. I am a big procrastinator when it comes to studying. Procrastination leads to late nights and cramming.
  • Do not study hungry. I know this sounds crazy, but when I am hungry, I tend not to focus as much. My attention goes towards “what do I want to eat?”
  • Develop study habits that are effective for you. Knowing what works for me decreases my study time and allows me to be more successful on my tests.

How do you study? What is most effective for you? What isn’t so effective for you?

 

The Clean-Up

The Clean-Up

Overwhelmed with school? Work? Tv sitcoms that try to seem unpredictable, but give away the entire plot in the first few episodes? Well, don’t let a messy room add to your daily frustrations. In the past, I’ve let my room get to the point where I literally would have to jump onto my bed in order to get through the door, it was like a real life game of Super Mario. As fun as that may sound, it made life difficult for me and it made my room a generally uncomfortable place to be. So if you want to avoid spending precious hours (I may be exaggerating) of your life looking for keys, then try some of my tips on how to keep your room clean.

photo credit: http://www.valleymagazinepsu.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/BrittanyTrappe.SpringCleaning.jpg

Okay, so the first thing you need to do to clean a mess is to make a mess. As counterintuitive as it sounds, the first thing to do when cleaning your room is to gather all the things that are out of place and make a pile. Once you have your pile, you need to take all of your clothes from the pile and get to hanging. Assuming you have a closet, or drawers, the clothes should be the easiest thing to hang up because they already have a designated spot. So whenever you’re home or have a couple of minutes to clean, just be sure to put away your clothes, it makes a huge difference.

 

So, that brings me to my next point, consistency!!!!!!! With so much, it is absolutely necessary for you to designate spots for your things. A mess is really just a room without structure, so once you create that structure, things get way easier. But don’t worry, this is not as scary as it may sound, try to think about it as if you are playing tetris with your room. Grab things with similar sizes and functions, group ‘em together and then just find a spot.

Now that we have some small solutions to our mess, here’s the hard part—getting rid of the excess. I know, I know, this is the part where things get deep… Now wait, before you click off, remember you don’t have to throw your whole life away, but just by taking a few moments to get rid of the old you can clear out a lot of space. So whether you give your things away to a friend or to the Salvation Army, sometimes reevaluating what’s in your room can make cleaning a breeze. Easy, right? No?… wow you’re stubborn, but I like that…

 

The Passive-Aggressive Approach

You’ve made it this far, and it seems like you still need some help. Well, this is another one of those counterintuitive moments for you: sometimes getting more things can help. By buying bins to sort hair products and clothes, you can organize your things into compartments that allow you to maximize your space and to keep old and out-of-season items out of sight and out of mind. By simply re-organizing the furniture in your room, you can give the illusion of a clean room, which can make it easier to prep for occasions when friends come over and to motivate yourself to keep your room clean. Keeping your room clean also means keeping your furniture clean. I’m sure your mum or someone else in your family has a furniture steam cleaner that you can borrow from time to time. You will soon notice the difference, and your friends will too when they come and visit. Little aspects like this will make your room a cleaner and better place to be. Just make sure that you don’t put your clothes on that piece of furniture anymore.

As they say “Home is where the heart is,” so instead of digging under piles of jeggings and t-shirts to find yours, keep your room organized by following these tips and by doing a quick clean up at the end of every week to make your home is as cosy as it can be.

Good luck,

Kayla