5 Things for College Students to Remember

August is here. Summer is fading out and fall is pushing in. Gone are the days of beach and swimsuit commercials, they have been replaced with back to school commercials. For those getting ready to start a new semester of college, or even those going away for the very first time, it can be very overwhelming. College brings about a lot of freedom, joined with alot of responsibility. So, here are the most important things I leaned while tacking my undergraduate career.

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Call your parents! I can not stress this one enough. Your parents want to hear from you, and not just when you want money or a care package. My mom and I had awesome conversations while I was a way in school. There was a shift in dynamic, I was no longer just her child, but a responsible adult. I’m not saying call and check-in every day but, at least once a week. Set aside about 20 minutes once a week to call and check-in, let them be involved in your week, and get involved in theirs. That phone call may mean the world to them, because believe me they miss you more than you know. giphy2

Make nice with your professors! Remember in grade school when you made fun of “teacher’s pets?” Well I’m here to tell you, you shouldn’t have. In college it’s not abnormal to have a professor that has no clue who you are. Going to class is not enough! You need to be proactive, get to know your professors. Go to their office hours, discuss assignments, or just pick their brains. Now most would confuse this with sucking up but in all actuality, this is to your advantage. Every professor likes to know that their students are engaged and actually gaining knowledge from their class. Every professor grades differently and looks for different things. Once you get to know their style, I guarantee you will have a much easier time scoring high. You pay tuition for them to help you through the semester, there is absolutely no need for you to struggle. But, you will have some late nights and early mornings, but you can do it! I had one professor that truly gave me a run for my money. In the beginning I could earn no greater than a C on her papers. I had never gotten a C on a paper in my life. I started going to her office hours discussing my papers, learning her layouts and expectations and by the end of the semester earned an A in the class! giphy3

Get Active! Try to become an active part of your college community. I don’t just mean being the life of the campus parties, or being known for the person that can take the most shots, but actually get to know key people on campus. Take time finding the student centers, counseling center, and especially tutoring centers. Utilize all of your resources! Whether it be with a campus job, internship, or joining clubs, get involved. When you graduate you will be looking for jobs. You will also need references and reference letters. Since up to that point you may not have had much work experience, your campus activity will give your future employer an idea of who you are. Sitting in your dorm room listening to music is cool, but you have to get out of your comfort zone sometimes to set yourself a part from the many others who will be graduating with you. In my last semester of college I was working for the university newspaper, held an internship in the Alumni office, and knew all of my professors. They were all good people who in turn did not hesitate to write me reference letters, or anything else I needed when it was time for me to graduate.

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Use your meal plan wisely! In beginning of the semester you generally get a hefty amount of meal plan money. Although, this may differ from university to university, the one thing that’s the same is no one wants to be starving by the end of the semester! So, use your swipes wisely and try not to get in the habit of swiping your friends meals!

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College Will Eventually End! I heard it so many times and I let it go in one ear and out the other, “These are  the best years of your life.” College allows you to be selfish, make decisions, and mistakes. You get the opportunity to learn who you really are outside of your parents. Although this time will come to an end, make the best of it while you have it. Party, hang out, meet new people, take this time to live your authentic life. Once you cross that tassel, it’s nothing but bills and adulthood waiting for you. 

Also, take this time to think about the person you want to be once you graduate. Start considering if you want to go straight to gradute school or to the work force. Don’t wait until the last minute to start your job search. Be proactive! Make time during your last year to mentally prepare for the transition that is up ahead.

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Overall, have fun! Although exams, midterms, and finals seem like corporal punishment, that’s a cakewalk compared to what you will face in the real world. Take this time to learn and grow in your purpose! 

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What is something you wish you knew in college you know now? Or college students, what would you like to know? Let’s talk about it in the comments! 

Spotlight Series: D’Laun Montgomery

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D’Laun Montgomery has always had an eye for fashion. He grew up in the south suburbs of Chicago.  He is the co-owner of fashion boutique Lost and Found.

“I developed a passion for entrepreneurship because of the freedom it would give me… we are our own bosses.” There is a great deal of respect that comes with being a business owner, and a young business owner at that. Montgomery and his partners are definitely earning that respect.

Montgomery met one of his business partners in 2012, they were college roommates. He took interest in his style. “Marc was always at least 2 years ahead of fashion trends, and I admired his fashion sense.” Montgomery went from just admiring, to searching and really diving into the fashion scene.

The boutique has been in operation since November 15, 2015. He has no plans of stopping his train to success. He feels that fashion allows people to express their individualism, and rightly so. He has his future on his mind as he has been strategically moving forward with his business partners. Ultimately, he wants his store to become the standard for all retail. Working for other people did not give him the same satisfction as working for himself, and towards his own goals.

Montgomery has more than present satisfaction in mind, he is aiming toward generational wealth. “I want to start building generational wealth…I don’t have any kids now but I’m putting in 18-19 hours into my business regularly now so I can spend time with my kids later on in life.”

Montgomery’s major influences include Ralph Lauren, Greg Selkoe, Curtis Jackson, and Dame Dash. At just 24 years old he has accomplished so much and is looking to conquer so much more!

You can support him and keep up with all of his exciting upcoming endeavors and information by following him at…

Facebook:
D’Laun Montgomery

Instagram:
@Poppadopolis_

Twitter:
@Poppadopolis_

 

 

Girls Trips: The Good, Bad, & Ugly

Girls Tip was full of #BlackGirlMagic! The movie is centered in New Orleans during Essence Fest, which is the ultimate girls trip! Queen Latifah, Tiffany Haddish, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and Regina Hall assemble to make the perfect story of  sisterhood and friendship. I laughed, almost cried, cheered, and of course I went to see the movie with my girls!

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If you a part of a friend group, you know just how genuine this movie is. Groups of friends can constantly experience ups and downs. Ceratin friends may become closer than others in the group. You sometimes go through rough patches and petty arguments in friendships just like any other relationship. Between careers, kids, and even financial hardships it gets hard to keep up with your friends. Outings become fewer and farther between, phone calls become text messages, and before you know it large amounts of time pass and you’ve missed chunks of each others lives. But, the ultimate goal with sisterhood is to continue to grow together instead of allowing yourselves to grow a part.

The movie truly showcases the importance of sisterhood and friendship. Life throws us numerous struggles, and those struggles become easier to handle with when you have a support group. It is encouraging to have your girls behind you cheering from the sidelines, ready to fight for your honor, or wiping your tears after a disappointment. Girls trips give you permission to pull out that dress and heels you’ve been dying to wear, eat all day everyday, and dance like there’s no tomorrow. It’s an opportunity to relax, drink, be adventerous, and just let your hair down away from your everyday life.

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Girls trips can also bring unresolved issues to the forefront. If you and one of your friends attending the trip have had an issue, you better believe it will come out on that trip. Make sure when you agree to a girls trip you have a solid relationship with each person going. Try to resolve any and all conflicts before you leave. The last thing you want to do is spend your money and be uncomfortable for a few days!

It can even bring out hidden personal issues. Someone may get too drunk and suddenly start spilling their guts and start crying. But, this is what girls trips are for! Once you agree to go on a trip with your girls, nothing is off limits! You are allowed to be on your worst behavior! You can look forward to days and nights of endless girl talk, which in essence can be very theraputic and rejuvinating!

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 I have had my fair share of girls trips. Each time I go on a trip with my girls, I come back with a greater appreciation for each one of them. Girls trips are a way to strengthen your bond all while exploring the world together.

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Girls Trip, New Orleans 2016
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Girls Trip, Northern Illinois University 2014

 

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Girls Trip, Atlanta 2015 

Have you been on a girls trip? Are you thinking of planning one? Which character are you most like from the movie? Tell me about it in the comments!

 

#Summer17WritingChallenge-3

Q: Tell the story of your favorite summer memory. 

A: My absolute favorite summer memories took place at least 20 years ago. My family would get up pretty early go to church on Sunday mornings. After church we would come home and BBQ. While we waited for the food to cook, we would have massive water fights! We used super soakers, water guns, water hoses, and even buckets! Nothing and nobody was off limits. My brother, mom, and dad were all a part of the fun. This was fun, but also a great way to cool off from the heat. We would eventually dry off and enjoy the BBQ. I hold these Sunday summer memories very close to my heart!

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What are some of your favorite summer memories? Let me know in the comments! 

#Summer17WritingChallenge-2

Q: What is your summer go-to makeup look?

A: Since the summer sun brings along a lot of heat, I tend to keep my makeup pretty simple. I rarely wear a full face of makeup as it is,  in the summer I do it much less. Usually, I will only wear a full face of makeup in the summer if I am going out at night. In all honesty, nobody wants a sweaty face of foundation! So to keep it simple, I stick to lipstick or gloss, mascara, and occassionally lashes. Pretty simple, but it works!

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Vey simple and subtle lip and lashes!

What are your summer makeup routines? Let me know in the comments!

Viva Las Vegas!

I just conquered my first trip to Las Vegas! It was everything I thought it would be and more! Flashing lights, Elvis impersonators, cigarette smoke, and casinos literally everywhere pretty much sums up “the strip”. The hotels were beautiful, and filled with activities. Although the weather was at record-breaking highs, people were still out and about all day, everyday. Here is a quick list of things you should definitely check out if you are traveling to the “Sin City.”

Las Vegas Sign: Make sure to stop by the famous Las Vegas sign and snap a picture! There will be many others there doing the same thing but, don’t let the line deter you.

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It was 117 degrees, but we couldn’t pass up our photo!

SlotZilla Ziplining: After seeing so many different people on tv go ziplining at Fremont, it was on the top of my must-do list while I was there. It was well worth it. If you plan to do this, make sure you go at night when the sun has gone down and the lights are turned way up!

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Fremont: Ziplining isn’t the only thing at the Fremont strip. It’s filled with music, snacks, casinos, drinks, and street performers. I even ran into Welven Da Great, the “Deez Nuts” guy! There is a lot happening at Freemont, you are sure to find or see something interesting.

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New York New York Roller Coaster: This roller coaster was no joke. There were twists, turns, inclines, declines, and my personal favorite up-side down loops. It lasted all of about 2 minutes but it was a thrill filled 2 minutes that will have you screaming at the top of your lungs!

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High Roller: The High Roller was an amazing experience. It is similar to a ferris wheel, but composed of several huge pods. The pods are air-conditioned and you are able to bring along your adult beverages while you slowly make your way to the top of the wheel.

Stratosphere: The Stratosphere was a very romantic and intimate outing. There are several things to do in the building, but I visited the lounge. They had a great drink special. If possible do this at night as well to see the entire city and the beautiful lights.

Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum: The museum was filled with so many lifelike figures! They featured about 3 floors of wax figures. Celebrities such as Mike Tyson, Will Smith, and of course Elvis. This was a great way to get out of the heat for about an hour! Make sure you have your camera ready!

Fat Tuesday’s: These stands are located all over the strip. They feature tasty alcoholic slushies available in several sizes. Once you purchase your first drink, you purchase the cup. The cup can be refilled for a lower price how every many times you can handle!

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Shopping: Shopping is another great way to esacpe the heat. There are so many malls. Even if you just end up window shopping, it is a great way to cool off. I highly recommend going into Ceasar’s Palace. There are many upacale shops, but regular shops as well. The ceilings and design of the mall are simply gorgeous. There are fountains, statues, and more.

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Gambling: At first I was totally against gambling, but with casinos at every step, I eventually gave in. If you are not a gambler at least give it a try on the slots with as little or as much as you feel comfortable with. You never know, you may come out a big winner!

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Whether you are going to elope, for a girls or guys weekend, you will see some unforgetable things and make some euphoric memories. Remember, what happens in Vegas…you know the rest! Let me know about your must-do events in Vegas in the comments!

30 Before 30 List

In a few short months, God willing I will celebrate my 26th birthday. In four short years I will be celebrating my 30th birthday. That is definitely a hard pill to swallow. But, I have an intricate plot of how to make the most of these next four years. I have made a list of things I want to accomplish before my “Dirty 30.”

Travel

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  1. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

2. Detroit- Visit the famous Motown Musuem

3. Memphis- Beale Street

4. California-Disneyland 

5. Myrtle Beach South Carolina

Education 

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6. Learn a new language

7. Get a Master’s

8. Learn to contour my face

9. Learn to crochet

10. Learn to knit

11. Read one new book each month

12. Learn to roller skate backwards

13. Learn a musical instrument

14. Work on my photography skills 

Adulting 

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16. Pay off my student loans

17. Start a family

18. Buy a house

19. Pay off credit card debt

Go, See, Do 

20. Go to the Ellen Show 

21. Go wine tasting

22. Visit an art show or gallery

23. See a fashion show

24. Go Sky Diving

25. Go Ziplining

26. See R. Kelly in concert

Career 

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27. Find a writing job/ career

28. Publish more books

29. Continue to grow Miss Ashley’s Anecdotes 

30. Become fully financially stable

Well, that’s all folks! Let me know in the comments about your 30 Before 30 plans!