Dear College Self…

As a third year college student I’ve learned so many things about myself that I never thought I knew. It’s been a time for growth, reflection, and new beginnings but let’s be honest: nothing comes easy! I’ve written a letter to my younger college self, because I’m still in college, to share some of my best advice over my 3 years. As a 3rd year college student I’ve learned so many things about myself that I never thought I knew. It’s a time of growth, reflection, and new beginnings but lets be honest: NOTHING COMES EASY!

 

Dear Young College Self,

 

WOW…you’ve come a long way since starting college in August 2014! It may have seemed so long ago but little did you know time was going to fly by and you would be here. Over the 3 years you’ve come to learn that many things change and very little will remain the same and it’s important to cherish every single second you’re in college because it’s the best time of your life! There are some things you should know:

Firstly, know that what’s good for someone else may not be good for you whether it’s knowing how you study or doing something your friends are doing. I recall my biology lecture professor telling me, “use logic over your memory to study.” Did it make sense to me? No, but I went with it because as the professor you think it’ll work for you. In the end I didn’t do well in that class because I didn’t trust my gut. You have to find your own way of doing things that makes you comfortable.

Secondly, CREATE A BUDGET FOR YOURSELF! College can be all fun and games until you want to do something fun that costs money that you don’t have! You don’t have to go spending money to do something fun & you don’t have to spend tons of money of fancy food either. I can remember have only $30 left to last me a week. I had a car, which I used to get to and from work, that needed gas, needed food, and wanted to do something fun with my great friend. You can’t complain because let’s be honest…things could be worse. That week I made that $30 stretch far! Instead of going out my friend and I went half on a large pizza and had a “Netflix Movie Night!” With the remaining funds I put $15 in the tank. Budgeting in college is SERIOUS! It’s almost like it’s forcing you to grow up and figuring things out yourself. Being able to budget while in school will set you up for financial success after school. Those student loans kick in just a few months after graduation. The amount that you owe can seem like you will never be able to pay it back. But believe me, you will! Consider looking into a resource who can help save you money by refinancing your student loans. Money doesn’t make the fun because you can make your own fun.

LIVE A LITTLE! Yes, it’s important to study and earn the good grades. Yes, it’s important to go to class but again college is supposed to be the best years of your life too! Sometimes a good friend and a full tank of gas can take you anywhere! Take a 1 Day Road Trip and see where it takes you, go out for a night on the town, and go to that party! Have some fun and enjoy yourself even if that means getting all dolled up just to go out to eat.

College is your opportunity to meet your “Forever friends.” These are the friends that will most likely be in your wedding. Just know that everyone you meet in college aren’t your “forever friends.” There are very few friendships that will actually make out of college while the others will simply fade away. Just know that you can’t hold on to all of your relationships and force them to work because all relationships have a purpose. It’s better to have 4 quarters than 100 pennies because less is always so much more!

Also remember that everything passes and nothing is a bad as it seems. Thing may seem hard at that moment in time BUT it will pass and things will always get better within time.

College is an amazing adventure. Think positive, follow your heart. chase your dreams, appreciate the time you have there, live in the moment the best you can, and most importantly love yourself and grow each day!

 

Wishing you all the best, love, and joy,

~Your Older College Self

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Secrets for a Successful Third Year of College

Last Thursday marked the end of my 3rd year of college! This year has been full of amazing ups, very few downs, and wonderful memories! I will definitely say that this year, out of the 3yrs I’ve been in school, has been my best year by far.

During my 3rd year I’ve even learned some valuable lessons that I will always take with me. These lessons have helped me have not only a fun memorable year but also a very successful one! These are lessons that no one really tells you and we have to learn on our own. You can call them secrets and here are my spilled secrets that no one tells you but you learn them anyway!

1. You’ll LEARN how to make friends that are lifetime friends!

Yes, we learn “how to make friends” during elementary, middle, and high school but we don’t “learn.” Lets be honest: How many friends do you still have from elementary/middle/high school? If you can answer this truthfully you may have said less than 2 or none at all. That’s because the friendships have faded away and that’s okay!

When you get to college you learn how to make friends that will last you for the rest of your life! Most likely, the friends in college will be your best friends and possibly the friends that are in your wedding party!

2. We always say failure isn’t an option BUT sometimes we have to accept it!

I had to learn this the hard way a few times and this time was the last time I was going to learn the hard way! We, as people, always say that failure isn’t an option but sometimes we have to accept our failure and keep it moving. I had to drop a class this semester because I knew there was no coming back from that class and it would have KILLED my GPA. I knew it was time to drop the class and accept that.

Let’s be honest…you didn’t fail. You just knew that you had to look after your GPA and whatever sanity you had left!

 

3. Get more BANG for your BUCK!

Even with a job you are BROKE! You’re going to always need something for this class, food to survive the entire week, and gas which is seriously so overpriced that you may consider buying a bike and peddling everywhere! The important thing is to get as much as you can with as little as possible. Don’t purchase anything if you know you don’t need it and if it’s free it’s better!

 

4. Have fun & make as many beautiful memories as possible!

Yes we are attending college to get a degree and yes we are there to work so hard that we are sleep deprived but you are also there to step outside of your comfort zone. You step outside of your comfort zone so much that you have no choice but to meet new people. Those people will become some of your greatest friends, like I mentioned in the 1st lesson, or they can become your worst enemy.

The important thing is to have fun and make beautiful memories that will last a lifetime! You’ll tell your children these stories. The people you create these memories with will be the reason you continue to make memories.

I can say I met 2 of the most wonderful spirits this school year and I have created memories with them that I will tell my children at least a hundred times! I’ve made so many memories that I can’t wait to make more with them this summer when I go on a road trip to visit them.

 

Again, these are the reasons I had such a wonderful year! I’ve finally met some friends that I can rely on and that I am truly happy with. I couldn’t have been more happier and I already can’t wait for June so we can go on adventures in their city and also August so we can go on adventures that will probably make great books one day!

I never understood what people meant by “College is what you make it” when we are always told to study, study, study but I get it now. You can study and still have time to enjoy school. You’re only an undergraduate once…make the best of it while you can.

 

“I didn’t know I was having fun in school until I began making memories!”

~Erriel JD 

 

 

 

 

2017 Experience Bucket List

“Materialism is the ONLY form of distraction from true bliss.” ~Douglas Horton

In today’s world we are all about our iPhones, laptops, and anything else money can buy. We are so glued to our materials that we forget to stop and enjoy ourselves. Personally I always find a way to enjoy myself although many people in older generations say that my generation doesn’t know how to enjoy ourselves without the aid of technology.

In this post, I will be sharing my 2017 Experience Bucket List on things I want to experience this year that have NOTHING to do with materialistic things. As a blogger and as a college student with limited funds I believe that there are things we should experience that don’t involve expensive materialistic things that won’t be around for a long time.

Traveling!

o   Now it’s always been my dream to travel and explore the world! Being a broke college student it seems IMPOSSIBLE to actually travel which is why I have created myself a “Travels Jar.” In my jar I save up with the hopes of traveling to a certain destination. My dream locations to travel are Bollywood, Italy, Greece, and Hawaii.

Photography

o   I have numerous hobbies and photography is definitely in my top 3. I would definitely love to get back into photography this year because it is so relaxing and I am able to see the world through a stronger lens other than my own.

“Crawls”   

o   I know what you’re asking: “What exactly is a crawl?” A crawl is almost like hoping from place to place. The term is mostly used as a “bar crawl.” I, on the other hand, want to use the phrase in many different ways. I would like to go on festival crawls, bar crawls, and even food crawls with a few close friends. It feels good to be out doing things just to have fun without sitting in the house and you get to meet new people.

 

That’s it! That’s my 2017 Experience Bucket List! I want to be able to enjoy my younger years without having to worry about materialistic things. Let’s be honest, the materialistic things won’t be around forever but memories will last FOREVER! This tool can help you plan your own get together’s with friends

Now I want to know how are you going to create new memories and experiences without materialistic things?  Leave a comment below!

21 Things I’ve Learned in 21 Years

On March 25, almost 2 weeks ago, I officially turned 21! I’ve been waiting to post 21 things I’ve learned because it’s hard to think of 21 things you’ve learned that you necessarily didn’t learn in school. After today I can finally say 21 things I’ve learned in 21 years!

 

1. Take risks even if you’re scared!

Have you ever thought to yourself, “If I would have not done that things would be different?”

When you take a chance you are taking a risk! It’s ok to take chances because with every risk we take there’s always a lesson whether it’s good or bad.

 

2. Baby steps are KEY!

I am a semi-fan of change. I like certain changes but other changes I try to stay away from BUT I do believe in taking steps to better myself. You don’t have to take huge steps immediately. Small steps add up to something HUGE!

 

3. It’s ok to screw up!

I can’t stress this one enough! It’s perfectly fine to screw up because WE DON’T HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS! I have screwed up many times and for the most part learn from my mistakes! In fact I’m STILL learning from my screw ups but let’s face it our screw ups make the best stories!

 

4. You are worth it!

No need for an explanation! You are worth it…END OF DISCUSSION!

 

5. Don’t allow anyone’s opinions to influence you!

For a while I’ve allowed the opinions of others, including my family, to influence my me and my decisions even if I didn’t agree with them but I realized that I am 21 and this is my life and I have to live it! People will always have an opinion on how you should do things or what they think and they don’t matter!

 

6. You don’t need a large group of friends

I’ve never been the one to have a large group of friends but in college I can say that I can count on both of my hands the number of true friends I really have! It’s not about the quantity of friends you have but it’s about the quality.

 

7. If someone decides to walk out of you life LET THEM!

If someone threatens to walk out of your life then kindly show them the exit! You can’t force anyone to stay in your life.

 

8. It’s ok to be SINGLE!

Yes I’m single and ready for Pringles! Being in a relationship is not as important as loving yourself and knowing your self worth. Be single! Go out and turn-up! Go out with your girlfriends/guy friends! Have fun living the single life!

 

9. Start travelling!

Everyone who knows me knows that if I could be a certified traveler I would in a heart beat! Starting next year I’m going to begin traveling with friends and exploring this world. I’m even in the process of purchasing a passport! Again small steps lead to big things!

 

10. Always be open to learning

Even though I am a college student I am always up to learning something new! Learning extends farther then a classroom. I can walk outside and see something that catches my eye and want to learn more! Don’t limit yourself to learning just in class!

 

11. Your entitled to any emotion but don’t let the negative take over

Yes we are entitled to our emotions! We feel them we should be entitled to them but don’t let the negative emotions create a home inside of you. I’ve learned the hard way that it’s ok to be sad, angry, and even ashamed but don’t allow yourself to live there because once you’re there it’s hard to get out. Give those negative emotions an eviction notice and kick them OUT!

12. Always speak your mind

Leave NOTHING unsaid! If you feel the need to say it then say it! Don’t wait until it’s too late.

 

13. Don’t compare your life to others 

I always compared my life to my friends lives because they always made it seem like their lives were amazing compared to me who’s life seems so boring. Soon I realized that comparing my life to everyone else’s won’t change anything! You don’t know their personal journey and wanting their life means you want their journey and sometimes your life is better than it seems.

 

14. You heal with time

We all understand pain but the pain I feel is a pain that seemed like it would never go away. What it took me time to realize was that I had to give time time! I didn’t heal overnight. Healing is a process and we just have to learn to flow with time.

 

15. Be vulnerable!

If you know me you know I strongly dislike the word VULNERABLE! I’m not as open as people think and honestly I’m just now learning to be vulnerable and open up. I’ve shut so many people out because I was feared vulnerability but I’ve learned that people can actually help me when I open up.

 

16. Dress-up, Show-up, & Show OUT!

The sassy is finally coming out! Don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can’t wear well unless you have to be in uniform for whatever reason. Dress-up in whatever makes you feel good, show-up to your destination, and show out! Shut the room down because you’re making heads roll! Show off your confidence!

 

17. Don’t be afraid to shine

I was always the one person in the shadows of things because I really didn’t want to be in the way but I never understood why. I allowed others steal my shine for so long people wondered if I’d ever shine. Now I shine so bright you need shades on to see me! Don’t allow anyone to put you in the shadows because they want the spotlight. You deserve the spotlight too!

 

18. Live like everything is a passion

Our passion fuels us! I have many passions, seriously I have a love for many things, and I’ve learned to use my passions to my advantage! Everyday I wake up and go on about my day I do things with a passion. If you love what you do you’ll want to continue doing them even if you’re tired or having a bad day.

 

19. Laugh!

Laughter is the best medicine I don’t care what anyone says! It may be an old cliche but it’s a true cliche!

 

20. You don’t have to go out every night/weekend!

Don’t get me wrong I love going out with my friends BUT when does it get old? Yes I am 21 but going out every night or every weekend gets pretty old pretty fast! Sometimes staying in and having a movie night is fun.

 

21. ALWAYS make time for YOURSELF

The last thing I’ve learned is to take care of ME! Sometimes I get to focused on others that I forget about me and I have to take care of me before I can take care of others!

 

Now is that all I’ve learned in 21 years? OF COURSE NOT! But these 21 lesson are the most important! These 21 years have been interesting. I’ve had my good and I’ve had my bad but I wouldn’t change it for the world! I’ve seen 21 years and I can’t wait to see more! So even though my birthday was 2 weeks ago I must say it: HAPPY 21ST BIRTHDAY TO ME!

Summer FUN with Halee Bug!

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Everyone this is Halee (many may remember me talking about her in recent posts & featuring her in one of the graduation outfit of the day pictures). Today was our day to just chill & enjoy a great summers day!

For a while Halee had been wanting to have a lunch date with me & we both had been busy with certain things. Well FINALLY we got the chance and we had so much fun!

She said we could eat somewhere in Downtown Fort Worth so that’s exactly where we went. It was my first time trying P.F Changs & I have to admit that it was actually pretty good! They are pretty pricey though so we both chose something and split it & still managed to pay almost $40! We also had cupcakes & enjoyed some girl chat which I know I was in need of because I haven’t had it in a while.

Today was great! We laughed, we ate & it’s time to spend with a great friend who I love dearly. How can anyone pass up a day out with a friend? I don’t know but when ya’ll figure it out let me know because I had a great time!

Fun Week!

I can honestly say that this week was pretty damn good! I caught up with my friends and now we have a routine for when we are al out of class so we can have our time in the commons to do homework, talk and watch TV. I actually like all of my classes especially since I have plenty of time to myself. I still have to figure out what I’m going to do about my math class but I will figure it out.

But I am buried on homework so I will most definitely be updating you ya’ll this weekend but now I MUST do some work so I won’t be buried in it this weekend! Love you all!

Signed,

Erriel J 🙂

Annual Family Christmas Eve Breakfast

My family’s Annual Christmas Eve Breakfast  was a SUCCESS like always! I made waffles, like always, and everyone showed up and showed their love. My Granny Virginia was excited to hear everyone’s voice and I was excited to see her and the rest of my family that came. It felt good to see everyone, well almost everyone, and I had a chance to tell my out of the box college experience.

Well I am going to do some “Batman” research for a special someone and I will keep you all posted as always!

 

Signed,

Erriel J