2018…a year to remember

2018 was a big year and it is hard to believe that some things I did, happened a whole year ago. I am excited to share all the adventures and my professional career as well. So lets begin, shall we?

2018 started off with my cruise in the middle of January. The cruise was for school credit as we were “taking” a class while on the ship. We went on a 7 day cruise to the Caribbean. We sailed to the Bahamas, Jamaica, and the Cayman islands. It was a fun cruise and I met a few new cool people on that trip. We had to have class for a few hours on two of the days but it was well worth the trip. This was the first real trip without my family or even friends as I went by myself. I will be writing a blog more in depth about my cruise later on, so continuing on…

In March, I turned 21 and In April, my brother got married and I got to be a bridesmaid. Both of those events were lots of fun.

Next I knew that I had enough credits to graduate earlier and was ready to apply to graduate after the Spring semester ended. My application to graduate was preliminarily accepted as I still had a few classes to take that summer. I was not able to walk in that graduation ceremony; however, my brother did and I went to celebrate him. I applied to graduate right before the graduation ceremonies and applied to grad school. I got accepted into grad school at the end of May before my trip in May.


The end of may, I went on a trip to San Diego, California to visit my good friend and her daughter. I went to high school with this friend and we were super close during that time. I had planned this trip and it was so much fun. This was my first time on the West Coast as I have not been further west ever. I went to London in my senior year of high school and the Caribbean but never further west. We went to the San Diego zoo, Coronado beach, and small amusement/carnival park on one of the beaches. This trip was so fun and I enjoyed eating all the wonderful Mexican food (so delicious) and of course In-N-Out burger.

After I got back, I had to complete my classes for that summer. While the summer went on, I went to an awesome Paramore concert and Busch Gardens; but still continued working on my summer classes. I completed all my classes and passed in August and started grad school 2 days later. In September, my degree was conferred and I received my diploma. I now have a bachelors of science in business administration: project management and am in the MBA in project management at my university.

During this time, my dad lost his job as a change in VP happened and they got rid of the top paying directors under him to make way for a lower paid, younger person. At this time, I did not know what I was going to do as I still lived at home and this meant possibly moving. My dad was scared something like this would happen for over two years, even before the change in VP since other offices were experiencing this. This also meant, no more free tuition for me as my dad would no longer be working there. The day after my dad got layed off, a new university called him about a position and 2 weeks later they bumped the job up from director to dean and he got the job. My dad moved down the first week in October and started his new job on October 1st. During this time, I realized that I would be moving two states away and was excited but did not fully feel at peace. Two days later on October 3rd, I was reached out to about a potential job and eventually got the job. I will write more about the way all this worked out in another blog as well, but I am happy to say I no longer work for target and now work full time as a project manager apprentice at the IT department where I work.

Last few things that I did was I started my first full time job on December 3rd, I moved into my apartment December 21-22, and I completed my first semester of grad school with a 3.66 gpa (1 A, 1 A-, and 1 B+).

This year has been crazy and there has been so many ups and downs. This year was one of the best, from graduating a year early, starting grad school, starting my first full time job; 2018 was a great year for my professional career. Not only was my professional career great, but I have so many memories from events with family and friends as well as trips that I will remember for many years to come. This is what I did and accomplished in 2018. Lets see if 2019 can live up to it….

Restarting my blog

I have been a little awol for a while on this blog but have had so many things happen in the past year and a half. I am excited to try and get this blog back up and running. I will be writing blogs about what I did in 2018, my adventures, school, work, interesting stories; but I will also be writing more pieces giving advice about college, finances, jobs, etc. I liked the advice and style of blogs I previously posted, but will make a few small changes to revamp this blog. I hope that I can take you through all that I have learned as well as this new year, 2019.

I will try to post once a week on fridays and once every 2-4 weeks if I get busy and overwhelmed with work and school. Looking forward to starting this blog up again.

Adventure Awaits…in 2018?

Most people enjoy traveling and seeing new places, but do not get the chance to do so often or if ever. I am excited that I have 3 potential trips planned starting in January. One being an academic cruise for one of my course credits, one being a birthday excursion for me and my friend during spring break, and one being a trip to visit a friend who moved to the other half of the country. I am excited to be able to write about these trips in the near future as time has just been flying in 2017. I believe that if you are able to travel a bit while you are young, you should. I know that once I settle down and have a job, husband, and kids; I won’t be able to do all the traveling that I want to do. These trips will be fun; but I am not done traveling after this. Two of the trips are still in the USA and the cruise is a cruise so will be off the coast at some islands near there. The two trips in the USA will still be fun as I really want to go visit these places. Who knows, maybe I will get to travel a bit more next summer? I am hoping to get an internship over the next summer. I do not care where the internship will be and I am keeping my mind and eyes open for any cool opportunities. This summer has been ok so far as I was able to take a quick get away to the beach and have hung out with friends a few times, but with work and school; I haven’t had a ton of time to really do anything exciting. Traveling is something I love to do and have always loved. Whether it is going to the beach somewhere new or visiting family friends 10 hours away; it has always been fun. I think that I really got the travel bug after my high school senior trip to London. London was so much fun. Despite the fact that it was still really cold in March and having a severe cold for 2 weeks afterwards and losing my voice, I would definitely go back and I definitely want to. One of the best times I had was at a Lush in Stratford-upon-Avon where me and one of my friends talked for over an hour to the employees there. They were obsessed with our accents and we loved theirs as well. Even though we didn’t go to all the shopping places there we were going to go, we still had a ton of fun just talking to two of the nicest British people we ever met. I know that, that is a memory that me and my friend still keep to this day. Getting to know the people and embracing the culture of the places you go. Another fun trip was a cruise that my family went on for my parents anniversary, my sister graduating high school, and a belated vacation for my high school graduation the year before. We took a cruise to the Bahamas and I enjoyed every minute of it. The blue waters, the beaches, the music, the food, and the markets; all were so beautiful and amazing. The cruise was really short and we only got 2 actual days on 2 different islands, but we had enough time on the boat to enjoy ourselves and have fun. I have been blessed to be able to do these things so far and for the possibility of even more next year. I understand a ton of people don’t get to experience everything that I have already experienced; but I am beyond excited and grateful for the opportunities that I have ahead of me. Adventure is waiting if you just take it by the hand.

Our Country Tis of Thee….

So it is July 4th weekend time. Tomorrow is the day for traditions and family. Whether your traditions are going to a parade, having a cookout, and/or going to fireworks; it is about spending time with family and friends. Ever since I can remember, we have always gone to the same parade the day of the 4th and it has always been fun. As we have gotten older, we have stopped going. I might go with some friends or part of my family goes, but all of us no longer go together. We also always went to watch the same fireworks show every year the weekend of the 4th. It has always been a fun time for us to go to the dollar store before and to grab a bunch of junk food and candy as well as pop-its and sparklers. Traditions may not stay the same as the years go by; but nonetheless, it is still a good time. For this years festivities with my family, has been busy. We just helped my brother move into his apartment a couple hours away for his internship. He will be working there until he finished school in March and then afterwards he will be moving in with his fiancé after their wedding in early April. He will not be joining us this year for the 4th of July festivities as he is preparing to start his life up there. My sister likes to hang with her friends almost 24/7 that she is not working so we will be lucky to see her at all tomorrow. So that leaves just 4, my parents, me, and my little brother. I plan to take my little brother to the parade tomorrow and then I will be helping my mom prepare food for a cookout that we will be having. Once it is dark, I hope that we will be able to shoot off some of the small firework stuff. It is never the same as actual fireworks as they don’t shoot up towards the sky; but they are fun sometimes. I missed all the firework shows near me due to work and helping my brother move in. It is just a fact of life now that we are all getting older and starting to have lives of our own. I say all this not to make you sad that traditions do not always last; but I say to let you know that despite no longer following all the traditions, you and whoever you chose to spend the holiday with will always remember all the fun that you had while doing those said traditions. Some of my fondest memories were of meeting my friends in a parking lot and sitting in the trunk of the vans on blankets and watching the fireworks while shoving a ton of candy in our mouths. It was always something that we looked forward to as soon as summer hit. Traditions make memories that will last a lifetime.

Vacay Time

So it is summer and that means…..Vacation time!! Vacations can get very expensive. If you cannot afford to go on a long vacation, here might be a solution. Day trips. Day trips may not be far, but they are fun. You may even be able to just spend the night in a hotel. Let me tell you what I did. So for two college students working part time, it was an easy decision to go on a short trip, stay the night, and leave early. This was hard for us as the nicer hotels near the beach had a 21 age check in policy. The 18 age check in policy at the very few at the beach either had awful reviews and/or were far away. We were stuck with what to do. Then I thought about a vacation home. I looked up places through airbnb and we found a great condo with 2 bedrooms for $200 a night. The condo was 1 block from the beach and was in a great location. The condo was very clean and we had no trouble with the owner. For us, airbnb is worth checking out and you might be able to find a better deal than we did. So we booked the airbnb and picked the dates. Then we had to figure out what we wanted to do. We had spent about $100 each for the condo and wanted to keep the rest fairly cheap. A lot of the activities would have been great for a long trip and were more expensive than we wanted to spend. We easily found  great, cheap things to do. We went to a mini golf place, we went to the beach obviously, and we went to a carnival/amusement park at night. The amusement park was the most expensive because we paid for unlimited but still wasn’t more than $35 each. They had $1 ticket options but most rides were $5. So we could have just bought a few tickets instead of unlimited if we wanted it to be cheaper, but we did not mind paying a little more. The next day, we cooked breakfast in the kitchen, cleaned up the condo, and checked out. At this point we were tired and almost ready to go home. We knew that we needed to hit some of the shops up. For my friend, she needed to get something for her boyfriend and her step-dad for a belated father’s day present. For me, I just bought taffy and popcorn for my whole family. We headed back after this and only stopped to eat lunch. We tried to keep the food budget to a minimum and I think we did well. We tried to mainly eat at fast food places while on the way and while at the beach. We bought some groceries for snacks and breakfast. Overall, we didn’t spend a ton and could have even spent less if we wanted to. It is possible to go on a small vacation, have fun, and not spend a ton. Time to get your vacay on!!

Adulting is hard

If you at least have a job and are starting college, you have probably learned the hard way that being an adult is not easy. It is hard. Paying bills, tuition, gas, food, etc. But what does being an adult mean besides expenses? Being an adult is making the hard choices. Being an adult is giving up your weekends to study or work. Being an adult is giving up hanging with your friends for your school or work. Being an adult is having to pay for necessities. Being an adult is being responsible for yourself. There are many more things that being an adult can mean but for me, I know it is all about responsibilities. Being a responsible adult may not always be fun, but can be very rewarding in the end. It is not always fun having to say no to friends in order to work or study for that exam you have. Your professors are not going to baby you. That is one thing you will learn if you have not already. You are an adult and they do not need to keep reminding you over and over. You will get your syllabus laying out all your work for the whole semester. Some professors may remind you, but others will not. You have to be responsible and remember that you have school and ultimately, that comes first.

One thing I can tell you is that even though being an adult is hard and does not come with a manual, you will get through it. Sometimes the stress of it all will seem to overwhelm you, but remember that, it will only last for a short time. You will still be able to have fun and spend money on yourself every once and a while. You will make mistakes, you will probably be broke more times than not, and you will learn a lot from these times. You are going to be adult for longer than you were a child and it will get easier with some things. Do not stress, but enjoy these times despite how hard they can be.

Look them straight in the eye and get that job.

This is the second part of the interview series. Last post, we talked about what to wear. This time we will talk about what to do to be impressive in your interview.

Step 1: Stand up and shake their hand with a firm handshake before sitting back down. Make sure to greet them as well. A nice handshake can go along way in the interview.

Step 2: Hand every person interviewing you your resume and a list of reference. If you typed a cover letter, give them that as well. Make sure to have multiple copies of the resume and references incase there is more than one person interviewing you. Bring at least 10 copies to be on the safe side.

Step 3: Look them in the eye when answering their questions. Making sure to look them in the eye is very impressive to most people in interviews. It shows honesty and that you are really interested in that position.

Step 4: Be honest for the most part. Do not come straight up and tell them that you are only here for the money. That is very unprofessional. No matter how true that is, try to come up with a good answer. Try saying that you were looking ways to improve yourself economically, mentally, and depending on the job; physically.

Step 5: Ask any questions you can think of at the end. Asking questions are a good thing in an interview. If salary, hours, and other things along those lines are not touched in the interview; feel free to ask them. The people will understand and some are even impressed that you are asking. Do not be afraid to ask questions.

Step 6: Call back in to check on the status after a week or two and keep calling if they keep pushing the decision back. Calling shows your determination as well as it helps them to show that you really are interested in the job.

These are the general steps that you should go through to have a good interview. Just remember that a decision will take time and be patient. Just relax and do not underestimate your self. Stay positive, have faith in yourself.

How to dress to impress – interview style

What you wear to an interview really does matter. What you wear can make or break an interview. Your outfit is not the only thing that matters during an interview, but that is what I will be focusing on today. Lets start for retail and fast food for girls. You don’t have to dress up too much but you should dress up a little bit. You should wear khakis, navy blue, or black pants. Try not to wear the blank skinny jeans that are so skin tight. You want to look classy so I would suggest some skinny jeans that are not completely stuck to your legs, straight legged, or bootcut. The second thing you is a nice shirt. I would suggest a nice blouse, a dressy top, or just adding a nice jacket over top of a plain tee. Nice jackets are not a flimsy little black jacket. Nice meaning: blazer, jean jacket, etc. Shoes, some of my favorite parts of an outfit. Wear some nice sandals, flats, heels, or nice booties. Do not wear your sneakers, flip flops, or birkenstocks. One thing I like to do to add my personality in to an outfit, is to always add jewelry. Not only does your personality show with your jewelry, but it also can spice up an outfit.

For an office position for girls: Make sure to wear either a dress, skirt, or dress pants. If you wear a dress, a blazer can add more of a professional look. For a top, wear a really nice blouse. Try to wear a blazer with whatever outfit you wear. Jewelry helps with this kind of interview as well; however, do not overdo it. You want to look classy and not overdo it. Lastly, you can wear flats if you would like but heels really sell your outfit.

For guys, wear a nice pair of navy blue, khaki, or black pants. Next wear a nice polo or a button down shirt. For fast food and retail, you don’t necessarily have to tuck it in, but you can if that is what you desire. If you tuck it in; however, I would suggest wearing a nice belt. Lastly, wear a nice pair of dress shoes.

If you follow these general guidelines, your outfit should help you look professional and get a head start on your interview. This is the first part of my interview series and I hope you are liking my posts. Please let me know of any topics you would like me to discuss.

Being on top of deadlines

One thing that you may end up learning the hard way is to make sure you submit everything before the deadline. I am not talking assignments; however, that is true for that as well. I am talking about school deadlines.

One important thing to know is when your payments are due. One thing about college is that it is expensive and most likely, you will be paying off small amounts at a time. You do not want to be late making a payment as you can be dropped from your classes or a late fee will be added.

Second thing to stay on top of is class sign up dates. You want to know when you are able to sign up as classes may fill quickly. You will need to sign up for certain classes each semester and you do not want to fall behind because you were unable to sign up for classes on time.

Now this might be the most important thing for you or it could be the least, housing deadlines. If you are going to be staying at home or renting an apartment, this does not apply to you; however, for those living in dorms, it does. You may want a specific dorm and if you do not sign up in time, you may not get it. If you do not care which dorm you get, you may miss out on the chance if dorms fill up. You never know if dorms at your school are going to be completely filled or not. You can never know, so best thing to do is make sure that you are on time.

Don’t worry if this may seem stressful. Trust me, while you are at college, you learn this quickly and it becomes easier to remember. College has many deadlines so just make sure that you know when they are, and figure out how to complete them on time.

How to deal with working and school

The long debate on whether freshman in college should work while in college has been going around for ever. Most people tend to think that you need to focus on school and not work your first year of college.n However, some people don’t always have the luxury of not working. One thing I will tell you, is to not overdo it.

My first semester I had just started a new job as a work study on campus. I was still planning on working at my previous job as well for the weekends. I thought that I would be able to handle two jobs and school. I ended up working 7 days a week and was stressed out. Eventually I started working 6 days a week instead of 7 which sounds great except that it was the same day as my other job. I would go to classes from 8am-12pm, grab lunch, go to work 1pm-5pm, pick up my friend from campus, and going to my other job from 6pm-9pm. I was not able to go home and change as I had to change at work. I also was not able to drop my friend off at her house as I was not able to get to work in time if I dropped her off. I would arrive at my other job 15 minutes before work and change. I did not even have time to eat supper until I got back home after 9. At my work, you only got a 30 minute lunch break if you worked 4 hours, but I was working only 3. Sometimes I had to stay till 9:30 because we were busy.  Continue reading