Posts in "Relationships"

InstaCRUSH or InstaSTALK?

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You know how easy it is to turn into an FBI agent when you’re trying to gather info on your crush. You end up on their sister’s husband’s bestfriend’s cousin’s mother’s page. Well depending on how much information you gather and how often you search, you’re borderline cyberstalking.

Here are 3 ways to know if you have crossed the line:

Catfish– Like many perpetrators on the show, you yourself have developed a fake profile. This is so you can hide behind another identity in order to get more info on your crush without seeming crazy.

Excessive Messaging– Opposite of catfishing, you are not hiding behind a fake identity but you are sending lots of DMs. Even when he doesn’t answer, you continue to send messages in hopes of getting the response you wanted.

You search and search…and search– Not only do you search their Instagram page, but you also look for their Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Youtube, and probably their Myspace too.

-Content Editor, Tia Banks

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Friend Zone: Forget Or Forgive?

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Any relationship should be 50/50 and when you start to notice your friendship becoming strenuous, it might be because you are putting out more effort than you are receiving. Being taken advantage of by a friend isn’t worth it and here are 4 steps to take when you think it’s happening to you.

Give It A Second Look: Determine how the situation makes you feel. If the roles were reversed, would you have done the same thing to your friend like she did to you?

Benefit of The Doubt: Find out if she’s going through a tough time, which is causing her to change her behavior.

Be Assertive, Be Be Assertive: Tell her how you feel and how you think she has taken advantage of you whether it was just this one time or on multiple occasions.

Drop Her: ONLY IF NECESSARY. This is the bottom line. If what you’re saying is going in one ear, out the other, and behavior isn’t changing, it’s best for your own mental health to respectfully move on.

-Tia Banks, Content Editor

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3 Ways To #SummerBae!

Flirting is essential when trying to catch the attention of bae, who doesn’t know he’s bae yet. It’s an ability that some of us have naturally and some of us, well, not so much. Let these tips below be a guide for you the next time you’ve got your eye on a cutie:

Touch N’ Go! When you’re chit chatting with a guy and the conversation is flowing smoothly, lay your hand on his arm. You’ve gotta have good timing on this though!

Mic Check!  There is a big difference between hearing him speaking and actually listening to what he’s saying. Pay close attention to him so you can ask questions based on his responses. That shows that you really care.

It’s All In The Gaze! This is a pretty common flirting tip, but one that actually works. Making eye contact with him while he’s across the room shows initial interest or reinforces the flirting you did earlier.

Tia B, Content Editor

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Campus Crash? Zen Out!

Coming back from spring break + trying to focus on the rest of the semester is the task of the century. That’s not including the laundry list of responsibilities of  being a full-time college student, balancing a part-time gig, a dwindling social life and still trying to  scrape up all the extra-credit in an attempt to hold on to your GPA. Okay, so before you literally throw your hands-up + just pretend all of your responsibilities don’t exist, we have 3 for-sure tips to CREATE YOUR ZEN:

Breathe In, Breathe out + Chat it Out! Just breathe. Instead of stressing yourself with your  infinite to-do list of tasks in your mind, get out of your head. If that means writing out your thoughts or downloading the Talkspace app for a listening ear, it’s important not to drive your anxiety sky-high by bottling up your emotions. Although friends + family are great outlets, oftentimes they’re the ones bringing the most drama. So embracing online therapy can give you fresh energy to your situations.

Cleanse your CREW!– Speaking of friends, some of them you might need to sage. Okay, not literally burn sage everywhere they go, but  take inventory of who’s in your crew + the energy they bring.  Do you have that one friend that every convo is ALWAYS about her? Or the roommate who’s already on academic probation + gives you 10 reasons to skip class every day? Well, this is the time where you need to shower away draining ties in your life. It doesn’t haven’t to be a full announcement, just don’t be as available. They’ll catch the hint.

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Spring Space- So as the seasons change so should  your space! Do you need to be the next contestant on Room Makeover? Not necessarily, but a few tweaks here + there can help bring you peace while you’re studying for finals. So clean up all of your ramen noodles bowls and halfway full Starbucks cups. Add some color with fresh flowers + daily inspo quotes. You’re on the home stretch! Breathe, release + make it to the finish line.

You’ll thank us, later!

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Love Yourself IRL x Shelby Bentil

Scroll, double tap, scroll. Repeat. This describes our daily habit as we operate without even thinking while subconsciously comparing ourselves to glimpses + fake images of both friends and strangers. With social media acting as the number one addiction, learning to love yourself in real life can seem almost like an impossible task. Young + thriving author Shelby Bentil shares an impactful story of a teen girl struggling to discover herself + dreams in her first book, Diminished Dreams. Get to know how Shelby was inspired to create this story and how it represents numerous girls learning to love themselves while going after their dreams!

Your new book Diminished Dreams is a fiction story that shares the journey of a teen girl + her struggles after she finds out about her pregnancy. What inspired the story line of your book?

My inspiration behind Diminished Dreams is actually pretty complicated. I created the story at the age of 16 and at that time my focus was making the character this deranged teenager who became fed up with everyone hurting her and turning their back on her. This was actually an issue I was dealing with at the time. During my teenage years I experienced so much hurt that I channeled all of it into the character Castel. Now over the years, as I developed emotionally, mentally and spiritually, Castel’s story evolved and I used the character to express only that small part of me. If you notice in the book, Castel is constantly trying to be the positive one and give people chances regardless of how they betray her. In the first draft this was not the case. Castel was actually out to destroy everyone.

How important is it for young females to be proactive when it comes to attacking their goals rather than simply reacting from what their environment gives them? 

For me being proactive and focusing on your goals should always be number one on your to do list. Now don’t get me wrong I know it can become very difficult to not react to what happens in your environment, I myself had to learn the hard way. It took me years to realize I couldn’t fight the world and I am still working on what to give my energy to. What I’ve learned is the more I focus on who I see myself becoming the more I tune out the negativity in my environment.

Getting a grip of who you are as a girl is tough due to a collage of media, school, life’s pressure, & the list goes on. How did you relate to the main character in your book when it came to understanding true self-love?

Castel is me. Well part of me. As I became a woman and learned self-love I transformed her story to reflect that. This is why in the book she grows the way she does. She goes from this girl who is so wrapped up in pleasing others and living how she is told to putting more focus on doing what is best for her and cutting the strings of control.

As a girl do you feel like it’s pressure in high school + college  to conform to be accepted in different areas of your life? For example do you believe you have to be a completely different person with your boyfriend than you are with your parents or friends?

Oh, absolutely there is pressure to conform if you want to be “accepted.” Ironically, as I got older I found myself conforming in different ways than when I was a teenager or a child. For example when I was a child and a teen my main struggle with conformity was the pressure to be “tough.” Growing up in an urban environment, if you were not tough or getting into fights then you were an easy target for bullying. This resulted in me actually turning into a bully and being a very angry and mean child just to have a voice among my peers. As a young adult the levels of conformity transformed into what I looked like, who I dated, what I believed and more. It wasn’t until about several years ago that I really started to embrace me just the way I am. This started with my big chop. Cutting my hair during the “long hair don’t care” movement was a very significant moment for me because I was finally breaking away from labels and other people’s opinions.

(Beautiful comparison photo of legendary author + poet Maya Angelou to young + thriving author Shelby Bentil)

What’s one way girls can block out the noise of distractions early on and embrace their insecurities instead of trying to bury them?

As a young girl what I found most helpful to avoid distractions was getting lost in a hobby connected to my passion, which was writing. Going back to one of the previous questions, your reactions to your environment can really make you or brake you, so for me taking out a pen and my journal to write down what would have gotten me in trouble, allowed me to express myself, move on from an issue and keep pushing forward to my goals. Girls need to find outlets that are not friends, boyfriends or social media but hobbies that will help them discover their seed of greatness. From baking to sports, anything positive and productive will help them keep their head afloat. In terms of insecurities, I understand that is a lot more difficult to deal with because it has to deal with loving yourself. Self-love is easier said than done especially with this wave of social media that pretty much every female you look at appear to be exactly the same. What I believe is most helpful is to always keep positive sayings around to read and tell yourself something positive everyday. When we speak to ourselves positively we feel and live a positive life.

How does writing allow you to go deeper into yourself and grow as a person?

Writing allows me to awaken my creativity. When I write there are no boundaries, no rules. I can create a whole world based on my thoughts and events in my own life. The more I think, the deeper I dig into myself and it amazes me the where my mind wonders off to when I glide my pen on paper. Writing opens this door to an unknown place that only I have access to and from there I begin to challenge what I know and who I am until I reach the next door to the next unknown place, which will lead me to another path of understanding.

Check out more of Shelby here!

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Find Your Holiday Chill!

Christmas is coming and we are all excited about the various gifts that we will be receiving. Bells are ringing, stockings are being hanged, carols are being sung, and snowmans are coming to life. Though this is a season of celebration and festivities, we must not forget reality.

I want to focus on stress. Those in high school are taking midterms next month. High school seniors have college deadlines due and college students are currently taking finals. It seems as though Santa isn’t the only one busy this season. For it is the season of preparation and rigorous work for many of us!

With so many deadlines and pressures, it is understandable that you are stressed or filled with anxiety. Luckily I have a few ways that we can deal with these issues…

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  1. I believe everyone is good at something…so I recommend you find time to yourself to do something you enjoy.
  2. Sometimes taking up a new hobby can help relieve stresses
  3. Meditation! Take the time to become one with yourself and the universe ;)Interact with people…sometimes being by yourself isn’t the best, especially if you are a people’s person and find enjoyment in those around you.
  4. Go out and have fun with friends!
  5. Music…not only does it connect us as a peoples but it also take us to a realm of excitement, relaxation, and contentment.

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A lot of the pressures we feel not only come from school, but from home and those we choose to surround ourselves with. Though everyone deals with these stresses differently, I encourage you to look deeper into what makes you happy. And to remember the immense amount of potential you hold and the power you have to benefit and change the world. With all these external expectations, it can be easy to forget just how amazing you are. Sometimes the key is to express your feelings…shamelessly. Furthermore, to achieve your goals I encourage all of us to step into the world shamelessly. With that level of confidence, your stress and anxiety will diminish because you are taking control of your life.

-Written by Brynn Hutchinson

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Racing Against The Clock!

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Time Management…oh how I love the thought of doing it successfully. The reality is that many of us are struggling. We have so much to do but we have little time to do it.…scratch that. We have so much to do and we aren’t aware of all the time we have to do it.…That’s better. School has begun. Many of us are entering a new stage in our lives. Becoming a freshman…becoming a senior. Though we are diving head first into these new experiences, there are a few things we can keep in mind in regards to managing our time.

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Assignment written. Assignment complete! Many of us are guilty of pushing back work with the hopes of completing it at a later date. This can be problematic because realistically we find that the time spent watching YouTube or on Snapchat, could have been spent starting, and possibly completing, a paper. So I advise you to complete your assignments when given.  This leaves you with more free time later.

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Shut it off and Tune in! As briefly mentioned before, many of us are active on various social media platforms and some of us have a small addiction to it. Your ability to shut off your device and tune into your work is a challenge but I believe you can do it. When you think of time management think of discipline. Your ability to control your bad habits not only helps with time management but also in life.

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Charts. Calendars. Timers. Timing is key. Literally. If managing your time is spent complaining about lack of time, it is time to get a planner and calendar. You can track all your assignments and put them in time slots. This is where discipline is needed. Though you will not receive penalties for going over the time you’ve given yourself, the stress that will result will be punishment enough.

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Help me! Help me! This one is simple. If you spend your time looking confused at your homework-get help. Work in friend groups, get tutoring. There are many different methods one can use to get help. You are never limited in your resource when you have access to the internet. The time spent will help you greatly in the long run. The key for time management is staying focus.

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Written by teen blogger, Brynn Hutchinson

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Dear Jane…

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So, you’re a teenager now or at least almost there. You’re at the moment in your life when you are discovering more of your likes and dislikes. You may be trying to come up with your own sense of fashion; trying to discover who you are, what you want to look like, how you want to be received. Well, I’m thirty-two years old. I’ve been where you are before. I’ve had self-esteem issues and so many of the feelings that all preteens and teenagers experience.

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Let me talk to you for a minute. Listen to your parents and/or your guardian. They want the best for you. I was always really close to my mother (grandmother). She was an incredible woman. She taught me so many jewels in life that I cherish and I am now able to share those same jewels with my two beautiful daughters. I want you to focus on your school work. There’s nothing wrong with having fun with your friends, but understand that there should be a balance to everything. Your parents share a lot of experiences with you because they too were your age before. They love you and want to see you blossom beautifully in life. You may think you have all the answers, but you don’t (smile). I’m sure you’re intelligent for your age, but there’s so much more in life to learn. Take your time and act your age. Be young and responsible. This is the only time in your life that you will be a preteen or teenager. After this stage-you’re an adult forever. And, that can be a wonderful time for you too, but understand that a lot of decisions you make now can shape your upcoming years to be easier or harder.

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Are you experiencing a difficult moment in your life right now? How did you get there? Take responsibility for your contribution to the issue. That’s the only way you’re going to learn from it. Whatever you’re going through will get better. It may not seem like it right now, but better days are ahead for you and you can share your experience with whomever you choose. One day someone is going to need your advice. And, never allow anyone to make you feel less that you are. Never allow anyone to hold you to yesterday. Surround yourself around ones who want the best for you and who are genuinely happy for you.
You are capable of being that outstanding person that you aspire to be. Just believe!

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Sincerely,

Jane

 

Guest blogger Jamie Jones

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Hitting the SOCIAL scene!

Take a stroll on the social side! In 2017 it’s pretty impossible to not be attached to some sort of social media platform. From friends to your fave brands, it just seems that you’re always missing an update every minute of the day. But remember to create a life that you love IRL and not just online. So let’s hit the social scene!

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Reality, much? – So let’s be honest. How many takes did it take for you to get the perfect selfie? I would be surprised if it’s less than 10. No worries, that’s all of us! Even your favorite blogger and celebs (and they have a full makeup + hair crew) take multiple pics in special lighting before hitting the ‘share’ button.  So drop the comparison game of you and others on social media and love your life + who you are each day. Remember, you’re only seeing the best parts of people’s lives which is a small percentage of reality.

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Keep It Low-Key– So we admit it’s super fun to share pieces of your life BUT that doesn’t mean you have to share every aspect. Being cool + comfortable is keeping parts of your life mysterious or private. Trust us, it brings peace and less drama. So the next time you think about updating a status about your rotten ex-boyfriend. Think twice. Not everybody needs to know your business and plus he’s not worth one keystroke on your laptop, right?

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Give It A Break! – You get holiday break, summer breaks and lunch breaks during your school year, what makes you think you don’t need a social media break too? Okay, don’t completely lose your mind yet. But think about it, you’re surrounded by teachers, parents and friends every day. Don’t you just want to check out to get to your OWN thoughts together for once? Just a little breather for a couple of days can help a ton, especially when prepping for big exam or project.

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So be social but start creating an awesome life of your own in real life!

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Selfish or Self-full?

You’re pretty much amazing. The problem is that everyone around you knows this and wants a piece of you, your time and your energy this semester. So it’s times like these that we give you full on permission to be SELF-FUL! Yep, it sounds better than selfish right? See how to master protecting your time + creativity.

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Ummm NOPE! Have you heard? No is the new black. Or whatever color you want it to be. Okay, we’re going help you get  this ‘no’ thing down in four simple rules:  1.) Don’t lie. 2.) Don’t make excuses. 3.) Don’t over-explain yourself. 4.) Just simply decline. And VOILA! You just nailed the art of saying ‘NO’ to people and situations that drain you.

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Love you but love me more- Yeah spread love…when you have it to spread. Passing out your energy when you don’t have any is like  constantly cooking for others while you’re one the verge of passing out from starvation. If your glass is not full with love for yourself you don’t know how to truly love others around you.

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Your #CHEERsquad- Alright, pull out your mic and your speakers and get ready to give the biggest pep talk of your life. Oftentimes we have so much positivity to say to your friends and fam but when it comes to yourself  we run out. Remember to stay positive, be gentle with yourself and bring on all the joy coming form you.

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Love yourself!

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