Friday, May 18, 2018

3 Years


Three years ago, I took a leap and did something I had been wanting to do for a long time. I launched this blog. I had no idea what I was doing, I just knew that I loved writing, found blogs fascinating, and there weren't many blogs that were realistic to the place I was at in life. All of that is still true. 

I've learned a lot along the way. Blogging is a lot more complicated than it looks. From graphic design, photography, website design, social media promotion, even just coming up with post ideas, there is a lot that goes into it. Honestly, all of that other stuff gets in my head and keeps me from doing what I originally set out to do - use my words to help other girls who didn't see someone that represented them online. 

A lot has changed in 3 years, I've been through the rest of my college career, figured out what I want to do, had some of the most trying times of my life, gotten into graduate school, graduated college, and so much more. My little corner of the internet has grown with me. It got a new look and has gotten close to 20,000 page views, which may be daily views for some people, but I find it really impressive. I have had the opportunity to work with some great brands and connected with other bloggers, like sweet Katie, who not only came to Clemson, but also became my sorority sister! 

I have been really conflicted on whether I want to keep my blog going in this next season of life. Seeing all these big time bloggers who started their blogs after I started mine or even other college bloggers with large followings can be disheartening. However, that's all part of this comparison game we play. Other people's success is not my failure. Their social media perfection is a highlight reel, just like mine is. So I'm really excited to keep this website going and figure out the direction I want to take it as I transition into grad school then adult life.

Friday, April 13, 2018

What's Next?

I graduate college in less than one month.
I'm sorry WHAT?!?!?!! I have no idea where the time has gone. I was hoping this semester would slow down, but it has turned out to be the fastest one yet. 

Over the past few months (years really), I have gotten the same question more times than I can count, the question that every graduating senior dreads: so, what's next?
whats_next_for_me
It seems like from the time that we start thinking about college, we're meant to have a plan. Well meaning friends and family want to know where you want to go to college, then what you want to do after that - grad school, job. People so easily forget that they were once 21 without a plan. Even still, that question is wrapped up with so much shame and fear. At least it is for me and a lot of people I know. I think to explain this well, I have to give a little background about myself.

I went to an amazing private high school were I received a fantastic education. Due to the high standard of excellence of the school, most graduates are interested in Ivy Leagues or prestigious liberal arts colleges. When I chose to go to Clemson, most people had not heard of it and had no idea how great of a school it is. I also chose to major in psychology, because I've always been fascinated by how people think and behave. From the second I said that people assumed one of two things about me: 1) I am not that smart and wanted to major in something "easy" in college, or 2) even if I did well at my degree, it is a useless degree and I would have to pursue higher education in order to make a halfway decent living. 

It is a terrifying thing to be told at 18 that your degree is not going to be worth much. I have always placed a high value on my intelligence and education. Being told that my degree was useless made me feel useless. In order to change people's minds about the first part, I made up my mind that I was going to go to med school to become a psychiatrist. But that wasn't me, never was. I realized that, but still had no idea what was the right path for me. 

Fall of my junior year, I started to find it. I chose a business minor because of its practicality the year before, but last fall I took my first marketing class. My eyes opened to a whole new field, an intersection of psychology and business. I was hooked. In the spring, I took consumer behavior and my fascination continued to grow. My professor introduced me to the idea of pursuing a graduate degree in marketing research. 

I was hesitant to go down a completely different path than I set out on at 18. I didn't want to confirm the uselessness of my degree, but I could not deny how much I love this field. I drug my feet while applying because I doubted my capability, a product of the doubt I received from others in the past. Eventually, I got it together and nervously pressed submit on my application.



With shock, amazement, and glory to God, I will be pursuing a Master's of Market Research at the University of Georgia starting in June! This is my dream program and I am so excited for the next year. 


But guess what? After I get my master's, I don't know what's next.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Staying Organized for Midterms

Hi friends!!
We are in that CRAZY time of the semester where there is so much going on and spring break seems to still be forever away. As midterms come, I feel myself going a little bit crazy. Tests in every class, papers, assignments, social life, whatever else, it all seems to be SO much!
midterm_organization

Today, I'm going to share with you how I've been managing to keep myself sane with help from Kahootie Co. If you've never heard of Kahootie, they make the absolute cutest planners and stationary products to help keep life on track. They were nice enough to send me their Two Category To Do List and y'all, it is a game changer!



I've talked about it a ton before, but I swear by the Simplified Planner because it has a daily to do list. I love that I can write down a million things every day and never run out of room. The only problem I run into is that I don't have a big weekly overview of all of the things I need to get accomplished this week. Enter Kahootie's Double To Do list.

to_do_lists


For the past couple weeks, I take some time at the start of the week to just brain dump every single thing I need to accomplish or turn in during the week. I use the first column of the Double To Do list to write down all of my assignments, chores, and other random tasks to do this week. I use the second column to detail out bigger projects. For example, this week, I am going to an academic conference to present research. So I used the second to do list last week to list all of the things I needed to do before the conference. This week, I used the second to do list as a packing list for the conference.


Being able to see two lists at once really helps me stay organized for the week. I'm able to reference my longer list in order to plan each day and see what I still need to do. Having this big to do list would also be helpful to write out what's coming up next week, separating work and school, work and chores/errands, or so many other combinations. It can be really be whatever you need it to be and you can change it from page to page, which I think is awesome.

planning_in_college

Kahootie has helped me better manage the chaos of all I’ve got going on. What do you do to stay on top of everything during midterms?

Monday, February 19, 2018

Formal Dresses Under $70

We are officially starting one of my favorite times of year - formal season! 
In college, all spring is filled with a variety of formals - sorority, fraternity, ROTC, other student organizations. Throughout college, I have averaged 2-3 formals each spring (my sorority, my boyfriend's fraternity, and his military ball). That's 12 formal dresses in 4 years! Now I have re-worn dresses a few times, which I highly recommend, but no one wants to wear the same dresses every year, especially if you're posting tons of pics - which you definitely should if you're getting all dressed up!

I am pretty good at finding awesome dresses at better prices, if I do say so myself. I have never spent more than $70 on a formal dress and have loved my dresses every year. Today, I'm rounding up some of my favorite affordable formal dresses and giving suggestions on other ways to save on a dress for your next fancy occasion - including the dress I bought (can you guess which one it is?).

twelve_formal_dresses_under_seventy_dollars
1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12

Tips for Finding Cheap, Great Formal Dresses

 // Check online boutiques and flash sale websites //

Big online retailers or department stores tend to be more expensive. Online boutiques can have some really great prices, and they'll be more unique than the dresses that everyone else found at Nordstrom. Flash sale websites like Hautelook or Rue La La usually have amazing dresses for a fraction of their original price.

// ALWAYS check the sale section //

If you are looking at big online retailers, check the sale section! Some stores separate their sale and clearance items from their in season items. Search everywhere on the website - women's, juniors, sale, etc. You never know what you'll find.

// Consider the reviews //

I know some people who have had great luck with buying dresses on Amazon for formals. While this is great because free shipping and returns, Amazon quality can be risky. Also cheaper sites like Tobi, Romwe, and Shein can have iffy quality sometimes. Read through customer reviews to get an idea of quality, sizing, etc. This way you're more likely to get a dress that fits and looks great.

// Take your measurements before buying online //

This is something my mom taught me! Before I buy anything online, I always take my measurements - bust, waist, and hips. Then, I compare that to the size chart on the website. If you do this, it's a lot more likely that your dress will fit when it comes in, so you won't have to worry about returning it and rush shipping another dress.

// Consider renting a dress //

Rent the Runway has really pretty designer dresses, if that's what you're looking for. (Personally, that makes me a little nervous, because I wouldn't want something to happen to that dress and be on the hook for something expensive.) The Curtsy app allows you to rent from other girls on your college campus! The girls' also tend to rent their dresses for very cheap.

// Buy secondhand //

Poshmark, resale Facebook groups, or even from your friends. There are tons of options out there for buying previously worn formal dresses.

// Borrow dresses //

I borrowed a couple of my cousin's old bridesmaid dresses for formals. My sister has borrowed some of my dresses for her formal events. Ask around your sorority house or text your older sister and cousins to see if they have that gorgeous bridesmaid dress that they're never going to ~shorten and wear again (lol)~. Best part of borrowing dresses? They're free!