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Goals

  • Articles, College, GirlSpring.com, Goals, Local, Shero

    Life After College

    “What are you going to do after college?”

    Eight simple words. Every college student has been asked this universal question by friends and family alike more times than they can count. It was a question that plagued my mind on two separate occasions.

    The first time was near the end of my junior year at Loyola University New Orleans in 2015. I was sitting in the career counselor’s office, thinking of the options that were given to me. I wasn’t interested in joining the military, so my remaining choices were grad school or hopping into the workforce. In the end, I chose grad school because I yearned to learn more about creative writing and enhance my craft. In March 2016, after countless applications and sleepless nights, I was accepted to Columbia University’s MFA Writing Program!

    The second time the question popped up was as I was nearing the end of my second year at Columbia two years later. There seemed to be a weight on me. A finality that wasn’t present the first time. I wasn’t planning on obtaining another degree, Master’s or Ph.D., after completing my MFA. For me, that meant, as a lyric from “The Schuyler Sisters” from the Hamilton musical goes, “work, work.”

    I spent the second year of grad school applying for internships, any internship but received rejection after rejection. After returning home in May 2018, I received the call of a lifetime. I would be the New Media Editorial Intern for Marvel Entertainment! I ran around the house that day. I would be spending my summer in one of the coolest places in New York, but as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. The internship wouldn’t last forever; August 23rd was my last day in Marvel HQ. Back to the drawing board.

    So, what am I doing now? I’m currently living in New York, which continuously surprises me, and balancing a few jobs. I’m a Quality Assurance Coordinator at a social work agency, a Freelance Writer for Marvel (thanks to my previous internship there), creating articles for their website, and recently added Freelance Editor to my job list, editing a variety of documents like resumes, essays, and personal statements for college applications. When I have free time, I’m working on the third draft of my sequel to my first book, FATE, and writing short stories. In summary, I’m pretty busy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Although I’m not where I imagined I’d be right now, career-wise, I appreciate every moment that has led me here. Where my journey begins doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be where I end. I look forward to the next stage of this wild adventure called life.

  • Articles, GirlSpring.com, Goals, School, Travel

    Everyone Has Their Own Story to Tell

    study abroad at cambridge

    The trouble with being adventurous and taking risks is you will never know what is going to happen until it surrounds you.  Some are born adventurous, while others have to learn. Personally, I am independent, and, despite usually finding success, I am rarely optimistic about the outcome of new situations. Recently, I learned that taking risks isn’t as scary as it seems, you just have to trust yourself and be open-minded.

    cambridge

    Going on my own adventure across the pond

    In the summer of 2018, I had the invaluable opportunity to study abroad at Cambridge University. It still feels like a dream, honestly. I studied medical science and psychology, with two of the most amazing professors. My classmates were all from different countries around the world. Each student brought a different perspective and opinion. We were able to discuss and make compromises, simply because everyone was respectful. Everyone came into the program with the intention of studying abroad to prepare for future careers, but we didn’t expect that we would be so close or grow so much. I spent a lot of my time studying, as the academics were more rigorous than anything I’d ever experienced before. In my free time, I chose to explore my new environment.

    Want to have your own adventure at Cambridge? Check out some more information here, https://oxbridgeprograms.com

    cambridge

    For months, leading up to the trip, I wondered. What will the town be like? Where will my classmates be from? Will I even enjoy studying abroad? The time finally came and I arrived in England. After getting settled in my dorm, I decided to go for a walk, and in no time, this became a habit. I walked through the park between classes, and downtown after class. Every day, I saw something or met someone new. The diversity within the program, and in the town, was simply beautiful. Kids from all around the world, coming to learn about their passions, surrounded by people in the town who were welcoming and supportive. Allowing myself to be inquisitive and vulnerable allowed me to go on my own little adventures. I learned not to be afraid of the unknown, just to be curious.

    cambridge

    At Cambridge, I learned about more than just medicine

    Obviously, my knowledge of medicine expanded immensely, while at Cambridge, but I also grew tremendously as a person. I’ve found that you learn a lot about yourself while learning about what you love, especially when you are in a new environment. I learned how to trust myself. I studied at Cambridge, as a 15-year-old, and I did extremely well in my classes. I’m usually so quick to doubt that I will succeed, but this experience boosted my confidence. I am proud of what I have accomplished, what I learned, and how much I grew. Most importantly, I realized that accomplishments shouldn’t be labeled by what others find impressive, but rather based on personal growth and experience.

    cambridge

    Stepping out of our comfort zones is something we should all do more frequently because it makes us grow. I am extremely grateful and fortunate for the opportunity I had to study and learn at Cambridge. Every day, I use something I learned during my time there. Remember to have an open heart and an open mind, because every person has a different story to tell. Whether you are across the ocean, or down the street, if you open your eyes and mind you can always learn something new.

    Aubrey is summer blogging intern that also stepped out of her comfort zone and learned lots about herself along the way. Check out more articles like this, Portrait of a Gap Year.

     

  • College, Confidence, Dating, GirlSpring.com, Goals, Mental Health

    From Girl to Woman: 10 Things I Wish I Had Known Before I was 20

    There was something significant about the year that I turned 20 in which a lot of things clicked and finally made sense. I realized that I actually don’t know everything, and things could have gone a bit easier for me had I listened to those with my best interests in mind. Learning from one’s mistakes is a big part of life, which is why I have made a list of 10 lessons that I have already learned for you:

    !. It is O.K. to ask for what you believe that you deserve.

    It is easy to get taken advantage of when you are young and naïve. If you have a feeling that you are being treated unfairly, speak up. Whether it is by a teacher, parent, boss, friends or whoever, do not hesitate to calmly say, “I feel like I am receiving the recognition or treatment that I deserve, and here are the reasons why.” People are not always going to have your feelings or interests in mind, so do not be afraid to remind them to be considerate of you.

    2. What is on your resume is important.

    Now, colleges definitely take your GPA and standardized test scores into consideration during the application process, but your resume is what makes you stand out from the thousands of other kids that are just as much or more qualified as you are. You will have a resume that will be continuously updated for the rest of your working life. Therefore, do not hesitate to start getting involved and take advantage of the activities your school and community provide. Even if you spend your free time working, that reflects your time commitment and work ethic on your resume. College admission and jobs want to see how YOU utilize your talents and time other than schoolwork.

    3. Take care of your vehicle. Just do it.

    This may seem like a lame piece of advice, and hopefully you will not stop reading after this, but if you own a car… please take care of it. Keep up with scheduled oil changes and know what kind of gas your car uses. Little things like that will keep your car running for much longer and save you a lot of money and tears. I destroyed the transmission on my first car because I did not know that diesel fuel was only for special vehicles like semi-trucks. It was expensive and embarrassing.

    You are so lucky to even be able to own a vehicle as a teenager, so do not take it for granted ladies.

    4. Save money… seriously.

    What is obvious to some people is a lesson for the rest of us. I may have had a job of some sort since I was 16 years old, but I never saved a dime of those paychecks. Understanding monetary value came late for me, and for years I would just spend my money on every whim without thinking about how it could benefit me in the future. People are not lying when they say hindsight is 20/20. In fact, go to a bank as soon as you can and open a savings account. It takes about 20 minutes to open one and you can begin by saving 25% of every check or allowance you receive. You will thank yourself one day.

    5. Friends and family are more important than boyfriends/girlfriends. Period.

    Your first love is a great thing. Whether or not you have your first love interest during your teenage years, it is critical to remember what is actually important. Your first serious boyfriend/girlfriend/love interest is probably not going to last. Anything can happen, and who will you turn to when things go sour and you have neglected everyone else important in your life? Friends and family are the most consistent forms of relationships, even if the people who fill those roles change. Hopefully, you will always have a support system, but you are not always going to have a significant other.

    6.  Remember that you are not the center of the universe.

    Yes, it is necessary to set goals and strive towards whatever form of self-actualization you desire for yourself. Still, don’t forget that you are sharing this planet with billions of other people. Being courteous and kind to others will always set you apart from the masses. Remind yourself to ask other people how they are doing and make an effort to remember names. Send a thank you note after birthdays or holidays. Show people that you care.

    7. Don’t forget about personal hygiene please.

    Maybe it’s just me, but I tend to avoid those who knock me off of my feet every time I’m within a 3-foot radius of them. Dirty fingernails, stinky sweat and evil breath should disappear as soon as playground days are over. There is just simply no excuse anymore unless you are being active or doing manual labor. Cleaning yourself up when you go in public is just good practice. If I am too lazy to shower (which happens more than I would like to admit) I spray in some dry shampoo in my hair, put deodorant on, brush my teeth and spritz on some perfume before walking out of the door.

    8. Now is better than later when it comes to failure.

    It is inevitable that you are going to make mistakes and experience failure. However, the way you go about these experiences is what determines self-improvement. Very few people are just handed success and happiness, and adolescence is the best time to start figuring out what you are able to do. It will benefit you more in the future if you go ahead and discover your limitations and talents. Go try out for the debate team. Who knows- maybe you are a natural-born lawyer, or maybe your talents lie elsewhere.

    9. Don’t sweat the small stuff- life is all about ups and downs.

    Every person on this planet has problems that are relevant to their own circumstances and individualism. However, try not to dwell too much on the negative. Life is supposed to suck sometimes, because that is what makes it feel so great when things are actually going right. A wise Delta agent once approached me while I was crying at the airport after a terrible day and said that “life likes to kick you in the butt one day so you can wake up stronger the next”. Then she proceeded to waive my bag fee. Even small acts of kindness like that show that good still exists in the world. Just don’t forget that life really does have a way of working out sometimes, despite how grim it may seem in the moment.

    10. Learn when it is your fault and how to admit it.

    Some people never learn how to recognize their own fault in a situation. Growth as a person stems from self-awareness. Therefore, learning from one’s own mistakes is a part of that process. People tend to blame others because it is easier than experiencing the consequences of their actions. Next time you receive a bad grade or hurt someone’s feelings, maybe stop and think about what you could have done to avoid that reaction instead of making up excuses. Once I started telling myself that I could have tried more or that joke was too far, I began to stop repeating those mistakes. Acknowledging your faults and weaknesses is the foundation of self-improvement.

  • Goals, Sports

    I Am A Female Sports Journalist

    I am A Female Sports Journalist

    I Am A Female Sports Journalist

    And I Plan to be The Best

    I’ve always had a passion for watching sports, mainly football. I never really considered being a sports journalist until a year ago when I realized I’m good at calling plays and predicting what the announcers will say.

    So, I decided to pursue something I’m good at – covering sports at my high school.

    I created a Twitter page to post articles and interviews of players and coaches. I also started a “Senior Spotlight” dedicated to Senior athletes. Prior exposure is vital to being a good journalist, so I’m starting at school. Also, there are not many female sports journalists on television so my goal is to make it to the top.

    I’ve set my mind on this goal and I do not plan to stop.

    Although the process to get articles written and interviews scheduled has been tedious and stressful, my first Twitter post will be on March 4th. If you are interested in following me and staying updated, be sure to follow @mayakitchens on Twitter.

    My overall message is that it does not matter how much time and effort something takes to achieve, as long as you are having fun and are passionate about what you are pursuing, it will all be worth it in the end.

    This is cliché but one hundred percent true – never give up on your dreams!

  • College, Confidence, GirlSpring.com, Goals, Mental Health, Puberty, School, Stress, Tips, Tough Questions

    Uncertainty is Actually A Positive Thing

    Uncertainty is Actually A Positive Thing

    By Maggie Thompson

     

    Being uncertain is a feeling with which we are all familiar.

    A looming pressure to know exactly what we want in life is placed on us as early as middle school – if not before. This question of what we want our lives to be is actually ridiculous. How could one possibly know what they truly want if they have yet to decide what they do not?

    Uncertainty is how we learn.

    When we acknowledge our uncertainty, we open the door for more opportunities. This is because knowledge is not obtained without first admitting its absence.

    Experiences shape our beliefs – on everything.

    Hesitating to wear a certain color, deciding to study before a test, and avoiding certain types of people are all decisions made due to past experience. We believe the color yellow is not flattering for our skin tone because we read it in a magazine, we study before a test to avoid a failing grade, and we choose not to befriend dishonest people so that we don’t get hurt. Regardless of how big or small the belief – it is formed by past experience. However, some of these beliefs will alter as we learn and grow. This is a good thing. Being open to new challenges provides a chance for a new perspective.

    As a result, being uncertain is the best way to unlock change and growth.

    Do not be afraid to admit uncertainty or lack of knowledge, for this is how truth is uncovered – through exploration. So when you are feeling down about not knowing exactly which direction to go, accept that some of the steps you have taken thus far have been incorrect. Although this feeling is initially terrifying, it begins to dissolve as soon as you take the first step into the unknown. Because before you know it, you will find yourself happier and more engaged with life.

  • Confidence, Goals

    New Year’s Resolutions or New Year’s Goals?

    New Year’s Resolutions or New Year’s Goals?

    New Year’s Resolutions or New Year’s Goals?

    by Maya Kitchens, GirlSpring Springboarder

    It’s the time of year when we realize just how committed we are to our resolutions and goals!

    Having New Year’s Resolutions are very common for people as the clock strikes midnight on the night of December 31st and the early morning of January 1st. I myself have had New Year’s Resolutions, however, I have broken them pretty quickly. I’ve decided to call these “New Year’s Resolutions” something different. I’ve decided to call them “New Year’s Goals” instead. To me, goal sounds more positive than a resolution. The term “new year, new me” is very popular, but I don’t necessarily want to change, I want to accomplish more. Going into the New Year, don’t change yourself, maybe change the way you look at life. I’m going into 2019 with a more positive outlook on life, which in turn will make me more successful.  

     

     

     

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