Student life: Rewriting your notes…

So how do I study and stay on top of my busy schedule?

Most of the time, I don’t.

But what do I do when I try to study between working, commuting, and trying not to lose my shit?

I recopy my lecture notes. My handwriting is absolutely atrocious. So when I find the time, I sit down with a fresh notebook page and copy my notes down and make them readable. Then when I get time to study, I can review everything that the professor went over in lecture.

So how do I rewrite my notes to make sure all the viable content gets copied down?

First, I start with opening the lecture from the day and start writing the notes I copied down. Whenever I hit a snag from where my writing is indecipherable, I can reference the lecture slides and jog my memory.

So how do my reference notes and lecture notes differ?

In my refernce notes, I use different colors to help with memorization. For example…

  • Red is used for vocab words
  • Green is used to key concepts (either underlined or written in green ink)
  • Blue is used for chapter headings and to distinguish what will be on what test
  • Pink/purple (or another bright color) is used for chapter summaries and to summarize what will be on the test

Does this system really work? Maybe. I’ve heard many conflicting things on this way to study or that way to study. Honestly, this method helps me and that’s what counts. Maybe your method you develop involves making flashcards, or watching Crash Course videos or whatever.

There’s no right way to do anything and whatever works for you is what works.

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Tarot 101: Two of Swords…

The Two of Swords is an interesting card. In Tarot, twos are used to represent choices and decisions. Swords, for me, represent fire and thoughts.

Two of Swords

So what can we see in the Two of Swords? A woman sits on a bench, blindfolded. Behind her is a sea or a very large lake, maybe. It is night time. She holds two swords upright. These are very large swords, as they extend past the border. She holds these very large swords easily.

So what does it mean? The blindfold reminds me of Lady Justice, who is blind but finds the truth. So she must being trying to find the truth or find an answer. Both swords like similar in size, color, and heft. If this card represents decisions, then the swords are the decisions or choices themselves, and they are similar choices.

But we have to remember that the setting is still night time. So perhaps these choices are not about the easy things in life, maybe these choices are more difficult.

Two of Swords Reversed

So what about when this card comes up reversed? The moon looks like it is just rising at this point, so maybe this is still about difficult choices, but it is the start of difficult choices. Both choices are still equally aloft, so both choices, while difficult, are both viable options.

Depending on the reading and the question asked, this card can mean weighing options carefully and determining whether the choices are equal or whether the choices available are difficult choices.

So when this card is pulled, remember the basics.

  • Twos represent decisions
  • Swords represent fire (air in conventional interpretation) and thoughts
  • In reference to time ,Swords refer to days (fire) or weeks (air)

How to survive being an adult…

Adulting is hard.

Super super hard.

And every single adult sucks at it.

Every single post you see on Instagram about how pretty a desk looks and all that bs… It’s the biggest crock of bullshit.

I literally right now have no money in my bank account, mountains of dishes in the sink, my gas tank is riding E, and I’m a week away from payday.

Every single adult is lying about how good they are at being an adult. Some one may be really good at drinking the right amount of water and paying bills, but I can guarantee they suck at taking their car in for oil changes.

I know I’m good at paying bills and keeping my bathroom mostly clean (counters don’t count). My boyfriend/husband person is good at taking care of my our cars and doing the dishes.

However, we both really suck at eating right, drinking enough water and getting enough sleep.

So in conclusion, fuck being an adult. There is no real way to adult and there is no way to adult effectively. People over 40 have practice being adults and grew up in a time when they were allowed to make mistakes in secret, away from social media and the all-watching eyes of the internet.

Maybe we should start an internet campaign called #realadulting where we all post picks of our unfinished laundry and overflowing sinks and soap-scum crusted showers because hell, we’re here for a good time not a long time and sometimes, all the stupid shit that makes us ‘real adults’ gets put on the back burner.

I’m just so sick of everyone posting their damn fitness routines and meal plans and shit and bragging about how amazing they are. Fuck being a real adult. Fuck trying to squeeze in a fitness routine after working your ass off all day. Fuck ‘clean eating’ when you can’t afford to buy groceries on a regular basis. Fuck sleeping 8 hours a night when the only way to make rent is pulling double shifts and working side gigs like ride shares. Fuck drinking enough water when you can barely keep your eyes open half the time (from working all the damn time) so you pound coffee after energy drink after latte after energy drink after coffee.

Fuck thriving as an adult when we can barely stand on our own two feet.

So go forth, fail spectacularly, and learn. Put off whatever can wait if it means you can take a minute to breath.

Student life: Scholarships…

Honestly, I feel like scholarships are an absolute waste of time and energy.

I spent almost 10 hours a week during my sophomore and junior years sifting through scholarship after scholarship to apply for. I spent so much time trying to find ones I even qualified to apply for.

And in the end?

Nothing. Not a single damn scholarship.

I had nothing to show for my efforts, nothing to show for hours I labored away.

Does this mean you shouldn’t apply for scholarships?

Maybe.

I feel like the market for scholarships is over-saturated and the people applying for scholarships are over-applying.

There’s no limit to applying for multiple scholarships and if some are lottery-based, then yeah, other kids are going to have a better chance at winning certain scholarships.

Honestly, if I could go back in time and spend those hours upon hours differently, I would’ve picked up a hobby or a sport or a club instead. Then I would’ve been able to narrow the field of my scholarship search.

But then again, my dear cousin, who I think is brilliant and talented, never won any scholarships for her photography, IB and AP scores, for being over 5 foot 10 as a girl, or for both parents being divorced.

It’s a flawed system, making children compete and jump through ridiculous hoops just to find money to better their future.

Intro to Witchcraft: Incense…

God I love incense.

I feel like incense is one of those things that every witch loves passionately and lately, it’s been getting a bad wrap from those moms. You know, the ‘Gregory doesn’t need vaccinations, I have essential oils and gluten-free pasta’ moms.

But for witches, incense is like… my jam.

Incense is used to bring fire into a spell or ritual, safely (cause you can’t logistically have a bonfire in your living room). Then, the fact that each scent has it’s own alignments.

Like, every one secretly loves incense and lighting shit on fire. It’s something in our primal caveman brain.

So what do you need to get started with incense?

Nowadays, most stores are carrying incense (for those Karens out there).

So you can trek down to local grocery and pick up some sticks and light up.

Here are some of my go-to flavors I love to have around the house.

  • Lavender – I mean, duh. Any witch worth their salt keeps some lavender around the house in one form or another. Incense is one of the easiest form to keep around and light up when you need it. Lavender is used for promoting peace and calming, whether through aromatherapy or through potions (i.e. some Celestial Seasonings Lemon Lavender Lane tea, which is also my jam).
  • Sage – While not a traditional sage bundle, I keep a couple sticks around to help with quick, on-the-go cleanings. Like, when I need to sequester myself away and recharge, I can sit in my office space and light up some sage, and create a space just for me to recharge my energy.
  • Lemon – I just really love citrus. Citrus, especially lemon and orange, always makes me feel like something is clean and fresh and bright. Lemon incense is good for luck and success.

Now a few things you have to know about incense.

You can’t just light it up like a blunt and start smoking.

Okay, you can, but you need a little something extra.

Just like with candles, you have to watch incense around small children and animals, and you should never leave it unattended for extended periods of time (if you have to leave for a moment to get your cup of coffee, then cool, but don’t light it then go out partying with your friends all night).

If you do have to leave (emergencies happen, no biggie) then make sure to put out your incense. You can put it out by dunking the tip in water, wetting your fingertips and squeezing the tip (like an old-timey candle), or mashing the tip, like a cigarette butt, into an ash tray or the incense holder ash groove.

Lavender and cats don’t mix. If you have cats and want to burn some lavender incense, just be aware they cannot breakdown certain aspects of lavender and it can cause moderate health issues, like nausea and vomiting. When I want to burn lavender incense, I seclude myself in my office away from my cats and my cats’ food with an open window and the fan on. I make sure the room is completely clear of smoke before allowing them back into the room.

There’s no right way to pick incense. Of course, there’s some traditional flavors everybody swears by, but honestly, if a certain scent gives you a headache or brings bad memories to mind (cinnamon is my bane, if you know what I mean), then don’t try to make it work. There are always alternatives you can use, and you can always tweak a spell to work for you. Maybe lemon doesn’t bring to mind wealth, but pine does (you know, pine trees are green, money is green), then focus on the intent instead of the community.

So here’s a quick breakdown of the most common incense flavors.

FlavorAlignmentUses (rituals, rites, and spells)
AmberFire and Airwisdom, truth, love and desire
Cinnamonpersonal power, protection,
inflaming passion,
countering love spells
CitrusLemon for confidence, good luck and
goal accomplishment
Orange for joy, good fortune, prosperity,
and marriage happiness
Dragon’s
Blood
FireThe coffee of incense: because of the
rarity and power, it adds a kick
to any spell work, esp. useful in love
magic, protection, and oath-making
Evergreenwisdom, cleansing,
protection, money magic
FrankincenseThe stand -in: because of the commonality
works for most spell work, including
setting sacred space, offerings, and
purification
HoneyIdeal for works for drawing prosperity
wealth, and luxury
JasmineThe MoonFor New moon and Full Moon rituals,
encourages prophetic dreams and
spiritual magic
Lavendercleansing for the home, body and mind
useful for healing and meditation
Patchouliattraction magic, like money spells
Raincleansing, healing, relaxation,
esp. good for ‘clean slates/fresh starts’
and calming anger
(Fresh Linen scent can be used in a pinch)
RoseVenuslove incense: attracting and keeping love, usher in romance and self-love,
can also open the heart
Sandalwoodonly for benevolent works; cannot be used
to curse or compel, used to consecrate, heal,
removing negativity, , bringing peace,
wishes, bless altars and ritual spaces
Vanillacalming an area, promoting mental and
physical arousal, stimulate good luck
happiness, prosperity, and knowledge-seeking

Incense is a great way to jump feet-first into witchcraft. It’s pretty affordable, and even if you spend too much at first, there’s no way you’ll burn through 50 sticks of incense super fast.

Working retail: culture…

I hate the culture of working in retail. I absolutely hate it.

So you’re asking, what about ‘retail culture’ do you hate?

The entire entitity that is retail.

I hate that you start in a position at this corporation and they go on and on about how wonderful the company is, with these benefits and this policy.

But it’s all a lie. It’s the culture of lying.

The policies they brag about don’t do shit for you, the employee.

The benefits they brag about don’t do enough for you, the employee.

I work every day in a place where men are constantly listened to before a woman opens her mouth. I work in a place where customers and employees alike are not only rude and aggreesive to me, but I work in a place where no matter who I talk to about it, they are allowed to act that way.

I have worked my ass off so much for the last year and where have I ended up? No where. Because the only place to go in that retail establishment is to go up the managerial ladder and get worked even harder until I either quit or collapse.

I work in a place where as an hourly manager, I was the only person not given the schedule they wanted, or given a schedule where I could work more effeciently.

And NOW! Now, that I’m out of that manager position, the person who has taken over is listened to more than me and people praise her to the moon and back for doing what they wouldn’t do for me.

I work in a place where we lie and cheat and scam every fucking day, not only our associates but our vendors and our selves.

We lie to ourselves every day when we walk through the doors to work and say to ourselves, ‘maybe, today won’t be so bad’, ‘maybe, today I’ll actually get my 15 minute break for once’, ‘maybe, today, I’ll get out of work without being harassed in any way’.

I fucking hate the culture around retail and the fact that we are used and abused like late-model Honda Civics are abused by first-time drivers and car guys that are too poor to afford a nicer car.

Getting married on a budget…

I can’t understand why people get so stressed over planning a wedding.

Why would you want to spend thousands and thousands on a wedding?

My two budget tips for planning your own wedding?

  1. Don’t bother having anybody come. It’ll cut down on how much money you ave to spend on food, entertainment, etc.
  2. Don’t hire a wedding planner. Do you really want a big wedding? Do you really want to invite your entire family and spend hundreds on clothes and food and booze?

Seriously, weddings are a waste of money. There’s no reason to spend thousands and thousands on giant party that acts as nothing more than a status symbol.

Spend that money on something else. Save up for a down payment on a house for you and your new spouse. Spend that money on a well-deserved vacation/honeymoon.

Don’t buy into the idea that you need to do this or that for your relationship to be seen as a ‘real’ relationship.

Student life: failure in 200 words…

Everyone says failure is just a mistake.

An opportunity.

Failure is actually…

Disappointment.

Anger.

Losing.

Failure is knowing that you could’ve been better and not achieving anything.

Failure is looking at yourself in the mirror every day and wanting to fight yourself because you are the only reason you didn’t become something.

Failure is having more hurdles set up in your path and being forced to jump over them.

Failure is slipping down the mountain and having to start from the bottom every single day.

Failure is not an opportunity. Failure is not a mistake to right. Failure is not having to rethink your situation.

Failure is a slap in the face every single day. Failure is trying to get up every single day and the universe pushing you back down and kicking you in the teeth, daring you to get back up.

So you get back up every day. And ask for more. Because to lie there and take it, is to let your spirit die. Failure is the sidekick in your story who gets you into all sorts of trouble and laughs from the sidelines as you figure out the puzzles and monsters.

Failure is what it is.

What is failure to you? Let me know in the comments. Or let me know why I’m wrong.

Working retail: hitting your breaking point…

My breaking point at work has definitely been when I told my manager I had to back off my hours to focus on school and he bitched at me and tried to change my mind.

Now, I’ve talked about a lot of the bullshit I’ve been through at work, from being threatened by fellow associates, being hit on by coworkers and customers alike, being pushed to the point of working 12 hour days alone to meet unrealistic deadlines, but this… This is the straw that broke this camel’s back.

I try my best to communicate with my managers about what may be happening in my personal life that can affect my work life. I try my best to work with my managers so they are not left high and dry during rushes and busy days. But this incident…

I will not allow someone to stand in the way of my future. I will not allow someone to look at me like I don’t do enough as is for my team and bitch at me about it.

To give you some perspective about this entire situation, I am not the only person going to school right now on my team. 2 other people are and honestly, I feel I work harder than them. One team member only works 4 days a week, and not even weekend days, just a regular Monday through Thursday schedule. The other teammate works 2-3 days a week and only 6 hours per day. And me? I work 5 days a week, especially weekend days and rack up about 38 hours a week.

But I get bitched at because I had to back down from 40 hours a week. I get bitched at because I’ve only been on the team for 3 months and have already been asked to be evening shift lead after the managers leave and I have to take the angry customers and angry calls. But I’m the one letting the entire store down.

So what am I going to do about it?

Honestly… I don’t know yet. I wish I could find another job, but I won’t be able to find anything where I can retain the hours and pay rate I need to stay in school and pay my bills.

So I’m stuck. And stuck griping on the internet because I need to work hard to live and everyone wants to bitch about it.

So thanks for coming to my bitchfest, leave a comment about how idiotic and ridiculous I am.

Student life: support systems…

Colleges go on and on about setting up a support system to help you succeed. But honestly… You can’t just force someone to be there for you.

I think that’s one of the major reasons I’ve done poorly in college. For the longest time, I had just my grandmother vocally supporting me. And it hurt. Shit, it hurt so bad. Because I thought that nobody was there for me.

I went through some of the toughest years of my life leading up to college and then when I got there and I thought I was going to do well, and I didn’t… I felt like a failure.

And now, I feel like I finally have some people in my corner. My grandmother is there as she has always been, and now my husband is in my corner too. And because now I have people I can vent to and talk to and teach about everything I learn, I’ve actually done so much better in school this semester.

So when your school starts saying that they have resources available, don’t be disheartened. Please don’t. Don’t worry that you don’t have anyone in your corner. Because if you don’t, I’ll still be in your corner.

I know how hard it is to be trying to learn some material or write a bullshit essay and feel like you have absolutely no clue what to do and no one you can turn to. I know what it’s like to hold onto the fact that you maybe didn’t do so well, but you can’t bring it up to anyone and mourn your failure.

I agree that support systems are important. I wish I had a support system in my younger days (not that I’m that old yet), but I just have to acknowledge that the idea that everyone can come into college and have a support system and all the necessities for succeeding.

You can’t force anyone to support you and you can’t always just have a support system available when you need it. And colleges don’t understand this. So kids are walking into this world with no one in their corner, confused and scared of failing, and completely unsure of who they are supposed to be and what they are supposed to do. And then people wonder why kids fail out of college or just straight up quit and it’s because they had no one to help them through one of the hardest transitions from child to adult.

If you are a struggling college kid and feel completely lost and alone, hit me up and let me know. If nothing else I can be an open ear and listen, and at best I can maybe actually help in some way.

Witchcraft: learning about the zodiac…

The zodiac has been really popular in meme culture of late. So your friends probably already forced you into looking into your sun sign.

But now you’re getting deeper down the witchcraft rabbit-hole, and you are getting left, right, and center about rising signs, your venus, houses, mars, ascendant…

Honestly, it really is a lot to take in. So take a deep breath.

First thing first, ask yourself if the zodiac is something you really want to learn about. If you don’t feel you’re a celestial witch, then don’t really bother. It’s like knowing your Hogwarts house. If you’re not a die-hard Harry Potter fan (and honestly, we all love the series but we’re not all die-hard), then you don’t need to know all the ins and outs of your Hogwarts house. Same goes for the zodiac. Maybe just pick up just enough to know yourself, but you don’t need to go in depth and learn something you have no passion about.

So let’s say you do want to learn anything and everything about the zodiac.

Then you need to decide what you want to start with. Which zodiac are you going to go with? The traditional zodiac (Aries-Capricorn), or maybe you want to learn more about the Chinese zodiac, or maybe your culture has some aspect of the zodiac you want to learn about.

Once you decide your focus, my only advice is start small.

Ignore all the memes you’ve seen floating around and dive deep into the internet for research. Learn about the differences between the signs, then learn about what moon signs are, then move on to the rising/ascendant signs, then the houses, until you can understand what a whole birth chart means.

So what do the basics mean?

Sun sign is the position the sun was in when you were born. It’s mostly described as the You of your self. Which makes no sense. I think of the sun sign as the canvas your entire personality is painted on. Each canvas is a little different, but each canvas has unique characteristics.

Moon sign is the position the moon was in when you were born. It’s been described as the emotional side of your personality. Keeping with our painting allegory, the moon sign is the middle ground of the painting. It’s what helps set up the painting and gives it some character . Like the landscape.

Then your rising sign (also called the ascendant) is the way you make a first impression on others. To me, it’s the detail in the foreground that draws your attention for the first time in someone else’s painting.

So what are the rest of the signs in your birth chart? Honestly, I never bothered to learn. They’re the little background details that fill out the painting and give it life. Sometimes it’s better to just better to appreciate the picture than dissect it.

So each sign corresponds to certain elements, fixtures, and colors. Out of teh twelve signs, each correspond into different categories.

Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius are Fire signs.

Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius are Air signs.

Scorpio, Pisces, and Cancer are Water signs.

Capricorn, Taurus, and Virgo are Earth signs.

Each sign corresponds to different colors and characteristics.

So go forth and learn. Figure out who you are first if you’re interested in this.

Let me know in the comments what your zodiac sign(s) are. Personally, I’m a Leo sun, Sagittarius moon, and Aries rising,

Witchcraft: 5 things every new witch needs…

As a new witch, sometimes called a witchling or in the new hip kid phrases, a noob, I get to ingest all the good advice I get from everyone who’s been doing this a whole lot longer than me.

But if I had to give some advice myself?

There’s seriously only a couple items you need to really start practicing witchcraft.

  1. A couple of good playlists
  2. A good pair of shoes for walking in
  3. Passion
  4. A notebook
  5. Access to the internet

You don’t really need any of the fancy crystals or incense or candles to start practicing witchcraft.

Part of being a witch is learning about those who came before you and what they learned. It’s about teaching and growing and learning about yourself.

So let’s break this down.

1. Playlists

So why are playlists important? Music is incredibly important in every aspect of life; movies alone need soundtracks, let alone every aspect of life that needs music. Weddings, graduations, parties, funerals… Not to mention the pychology behind music and the way it helps your brain work.

So set up some playlists to help you get in the witchy mood. Playlists for meditating, happy playlists to help you manifest, hardcore playlist to help you banish, sad playlists to help you do shadow work, playlists for anything in between. Whatever pumps you up, or fills you with some emotion, put it in a playlist.

And the best part, playlists are basically free. Depending on what streaming service you use, it’s a relatively cheap option to help get started with your witchy journey.

2. A good pair of shoes

Why do you need a good pair of walking shoes? What could possibly be the point in a pair of shoes? Well, you need to ground yourself.

You’re thinking, okay sure, ‘ground’ myself. Haha. But seriously.

A good pair of shoes will take you on your journey, whether it’s a walkabout cross-country to find yourself, or a walk to the park to enjoy the sunshine before a thunderstorm.

Grounding is the simplest witchcraft you can do. I’ll post about grounding later.

3. Passion

This one is actually free. It takes just yourself. You need passion, in some way, for witchcraft. Maybe its a passion to learn about everything you can. Maybe its a passion to find a group of like-minded individuals. Maybe its just a passion to discover yourself. Maybe its passion to heal yourself in ways that modern medicine hasn’t quite discovered yet (I wholey endorse medical professionals for fixing physical illnesses, but we just haven’t found a cure for things like PTSD and depression).

Passion is what drives you down this path. If your passion is just to learn about this aspect of your culture, and find out why women were victimized for this lifestyle, then there you go, there’s your drive.

But take heed, this path isn’t for the fainthearted. It’s a path that will push you to see yourself and your place in the universe. But that’s why passion is important. You can turn away from this path at anytime, after you’ve found your answers. But your passion will keep you moving, keep you growing.

4. A notebook

This one is a gimme. I mean, come on. Why else do you keep notebooks around? That’s right, FOR NOTES!

Modern witches use notebooks all the time for their grimoires (aka the Book of Shadows or BOS). And as soon as you start taking notes, bam, you started your own Book of Shadows.

Witches take notes about their deities, their practice, their spells, and all sorts of information they find. They use their BOS for journaling, notes, sigil drawing practice, planners, etc.

A notebook of your choosing is the prefect way to get started. Just grab a $1 notebook from the local store, maybe a pack of pens (if you’re anything like me and lose yours all the damn time), and get started.

Take notes on cryptids from your area and culture, deities you follow or are fascinated with, colors and candles, sigils you find interesting, playlists you’ll make someday when you quit forgetting to actually make them, moon phases, notes on spellwork, etc, etc.

5. Internet access

This one also is a gimme. If you can access the internet, you can access the entire world of witchcraft (as well as World of Warcraft, which is completely different but also available online). You have access to all of the information available from different bloggers, different cultures, even actual books that have been digitized in archives.

The internet is your garden you can harvest information from. Back in the olden days, witches would form their covens to exchange information with one another about spellwork, sigils, and spiritwork (ya know, the whole dancing naked in the woods bullshit the pilgrims demonized, literally). But today, with the amazing interconnectedness of the world, you can log on to any social media platform and see people who have been doing this for years and people, like me, who are brand new and sharing their own journey. You can get the information you need from all across the world and learn everything.

You can still form a coven or join one if you want, and the internet has created such a wonderful platform for exchanging information with one another. Of course, you have to be careful about that information; sometimes people purposefully mislead or misrepresent information. So do your research and make up your mind about what information is relevant and what doesn’t apply to you.

For example, one area of debate within witchcraft is hexing. Some witches disagree with hexing, while some agree with the practice. So do your research, hear both sides of the argument, then decide what you believe in.

Witchcraft is a complex system. So don’t feel disheartened if you don’t know which way to go. There’s so much to unpack and learn about. That’s why it’s a learning process. Everyone out there will give advice and opinions galore about how to practice and what to learn about.

Maybe you feel a little late to this party and you didn’t bring any chips or dip. It’s okay. The party has been going on for years now and half the party goers will be happy you showed up (even if the half are mad you showed up without more salsa). And by years, I mean like hundreds of years.

So find your groove, your niche, and live.

Student life: what to do when you’re overwhelmed…

Okay deep breath.

Take a minute.

Cry if you have to.

Or if you’re like me, you don’t feel like you have enough time to even have a breakdown.

So multitask your breakdown. Cry in your shower so your hair is clean and so is your slate.

But seriously, what do you do when you’re so overwhelmed by school you can’t think straight?

Procrastinate responsibly.

You’re thinking, wtf? I can feel it. But bear with me.

Don’t think about school. Just for a moment. Scrub at the mysterious stain on your counters for a solid 10 minutes then, when your arms are jelly, come back to your computer and grab a sticky note.

On each sticky note, write one task you know you have to do. Write the due date under the task. Make each date a different colored sticky note of you want.

Now on a flat surface, arrange your sticky notes in order to most recent due date to furthest out date.

Now take all the ones due most immediately. Arrange them from most to least important.

Now start on the first task.

If you don’t get everything done in one sitting, oh well. Call it a loss and move on to the next day.

Things will slip through the cracks. Work or a project or one little homework assignment. Push it to the back burner and cry when the semester is over.

Is this the best way to live your life? No. But it will get you through to the next day. There’s never going to be a time when you have it all down. And all those kids in your classes that brag about getting everything done and brag about their A’s, just remember that they are basically the NPCs in your life.

So just take a deep breath. That’s all I can tell you. Because there is no magic fix for your life. There is no advice I can offer you that will magically make it all better. I can’t tell you how many times I was in the middle of a breakdown, scouring Google for answers to pull me out of the hole I had dug myself into.

Maybe that’s how you ended up here; looking for answers just like me. Honestly, I wish someone would’ve told me years ago that there is no fix. There is no magic way to organize and be on top of everything. It’s all a lie what those other bloggers and your classmates tell you. There is no magic way to pull an all-nighter or to pull your grade from a D to a B in the last 4 weeks of the semester.

So take a breath. And quit pushing so hard. Clean something and come back to it all with a clear mind and a clear path. Don’t beat yourself up over missing an assignment or a shitty grade. Shit happens.

Student life: making ends meet…

How do I make ends meet as a full-time student?

I don’t more often than not.

I’ve tried those ‘get cash over the weekend’ suggestions and they honestly don’t work.

Don’t try to come to me about how you somehow managed to make ends meet working 3 jobs and a side gig and went to school full-time with clubs. I don’t want to hear it.

This is about people like me having to play by the rules, not people like that who can ignore the rules.

So what have I tried?

Blogging. You won’t make much, if anything, off that. Trust me. If I was making bank off this blog you would see a lot more bullshit ads and paid posts.

Those apps that promise you can win money don’t do shit. You will not make money off them. Treat them as a game and nothing more. I’ve tried about 5 different ones including…

  • Lucktastic
  • Lucky Day
  • Swagbucks (app and site)
  • S’mores (an app that pays you literally pennies a day to unlock your phone)
  • Playspot( one of those apps that asks you to download and play other apps and you can earn points to redeem for giftcards)

Out of all of these, after using them for months and months, I had one $25 payout from Swagbucks and one $5 payout from S’mores. Not worth it, especially when you have to devote so much time as is to even accrue points.

I tried Upwork, for freelancers. I was hired literally twice in an 8 month period. I earned about $70 after fees. This was after I would max put my potential apps for jobs and did my best to get to the top of their algorithms. This may work for you if you have a more in demand skill; I worked as a ghostwriter, so maybe programmers or translators or virtual assistants may make more or have a better chance at getting hired.

I did a couple work-study positions but honestly, it’s like trying to balance two jobs and school.

How do I make my ends meet?

  • Only buy generic
  • Only buy what I need
  • Don’t have fun
  • Don’t go out ever
  • Never take a break
  • Learn to be bored
  • Give up all hobbies
  • Give up all activities outside of your house
  • Learn to live without or make it stretch

It fucking sucks. It really does. There’s no easy way to make ends meet and everyone has some little advice or tip on the subject.

None of it really works and you’ll wear yourself out faster working 2 jobs or a job and a couple side gigs.

School can always be put on hold. And if they bitch at you about leaving, give them hell for not giving you the resources you need to succeed.

Eloping…

I know I know. I’m that bitch that goes on and on about how marriage is a sham and how I’ll never get married.

But…

I recently decided to elope.

Why?

It solves all the problems with a traditional wedding.

Shitty family?

They don’t have to be involved now.

Super fucking poor?

I only paid for the marriage license at my county courthouse. Which was infinitely cheaper than planning and paying for a big event. Or even a small private one. We didn’t even buy rings.

Same-sex relationship?

This is so much easier than planning a big wedding and trying to get your homophobic family members to come (everyone has at least 1 homophobe in the fam no lies). You get to be married and without condescending comments and unreasonable rage.

On the fence about marriage?

Then quit looking here. This is about eloping. As in, you run away with someone and get married then return and tell everyone so they can’t do anything about it.

So was it the right choice? Honestly, for us, probably. We both have too much family to keep a ceremony small and we both don’t want to spend thousands and thousands on clothes we get to wear like twice and on rings neither of us can wear outside of the house because of our professions’ safety hazards.

I’m not against the idea of marriage, just the sham industry that is wedding culture.

Being married legally makes things so much easier for me, like insurance forms, emergency contact information, taxes, financial aid for school, etc.

But I’m not doing this to prove a point. Okay, I kind of am. But the point I’m proving is that marriage itself is a stupid societal construct and the only good marriage is the kind where both parties are equally benefitting from the relationship.

Student life: balance…

Being a college student is hard. Like really really hard. Harder than it was 10 years ago even.

Schools are becoming more and more competitive and more and more expenisve.

I can barely afford to keep a roof over my head and go to school.

So how I do I keep from drowning in the stress of keeping afloat?

Honestly… I don’t deal with it. Balance is an illusion. It’s a lie you tell your parents so they don’t worry about you at college. It’s a lie you tell your boss at work to keep the hours you need to eat. It’s a lie you tell yourself to make it day to day.

Balance is the lie your advisors and teachers will tell you to make you feel like shit. Because you’ll sit down at your desk and cry every night after work, for the only reason that you’re tired and overwhelmed and stressed and busy.

Your advisors will look at you and scoff if you come to them complaining about not being balanced and having too much on your plate. They will look you in the eye and tell you all the things you could do, but are actually unable to do.

Cut hours at work? Not a real option if you need to eat.

Drop a class or two? Not an option if you need to maintain a certain credit hour balance to keep financial aid.

Find a better job? When are you going to find time to do that between your already packed schedule?

Is there a solution? Fuck no there isn’t. Unless real resources are allocated to help you, like scholarships you actually qualify for or a raise at work, you’re stuck drowning under the pressure.

But I’m right there with you, so I understand. I understand what it’s like to have a 4 minute breakdown in your car in your driveway after getting home from work after taking an extra shift because you need the money to pay for a mechanical issue on the car you can’t afford to fix.

I understand what it’s like to sit in class and realize that you fucked up so badly on the test that you’re going to have to pull a miracle out of your ass to pass the class.

I understand what it’s like to be so alone and stressed and mad at yourself because hey, everyone else can do this, so why can’y you?

I understand. Honestly.

SO just remember that balance is an illusion and that asking for help will get you nowhere. Just take a deep breath every couple days, pull yourself through your breakdowns and remember that one day, you’ll be able to rub this bittersweet victory in everybody’s faces.

At least, that’s what gets me through my days.

Working Retail: professionalism…

Retail is the most unprofessional environment you will ever work.

Seriously.

Everyone thinks they’re allowed a peak into your personal life just because you see them 10 hours a day, 5 days a week.

Everyone gossips and interdates and shares confidential information.

Am I guilty of some of this? Sure.

I told everyone I could about how a coworker threatened to assault me because he didn’t like the way I was talking to him. I told them because I was afraid for my safety and the more people I could have be witness to an event the better.

But lately, my managers have been completely unprofessional and rude to me, for no reason other than he stays out too late and comes in completely hungover. A girl on my stocker team is trying to get another girl fired over their boyfriends.

I went into my personnel office to fill out paperwork and my manager and the training coordinator proceeded to talk in front of me about another associate’s attendance record and personnel paperwork. In front of me.

This past week, I asked my manager to call 2 customers about an issue that had been resolved in our network. He told me, in front of customers, that he didn’t have time to call customers, that he was too busy. I admittedly got frustrated with him and snapped at him. I then got chastised by another manager about having said conversation in front of customers.

In short, professionalism doesn’t exist in retail. And what can you really expect from a group of people who are little more than high school graduates and have never left their hometowns and now think that being a manager at a big box retailer is hot shit.

Maybe I’m kidding myself into thinking that one day I can walk into work and get mutual respect and consideration. Or I’ve just jumped off the deep end finally.

Share some of your horrifying experiences where a manager straight up embarrassed you or shared confidential info or even put you in a position where you felt that had to act outside of a professional capacity.

Spite not sugar…

Remember when you were having a hard time in elementary school with someone and you would ask your parents for help and they would say ‘kill them with kindness?’

And remember how frustrated you were because Stacy was not going to be nice to you first and why should you be nice first to some dumb slide-hog? And you would moan ‘but mom, killing her with kindness isn’t going to work!’ And you were right, because your mom had never met Stacy or knew what a raging cold-hearted bitch she was.

But then as you grew up, it was still the same advice of ‘kill them with kindness’. Well, do I have news for you friends.

You can now cut them from your life spitefully and still live a great life.

But that’s not the only place I’m going with Spite. Spite is what makes the world go round, not kindness. You don’t see drug lords and politicians being nice to regular people 9 times out of 10. You don’t see your managers at work being completely nice to everyone.

Maybe you’re afraid to take that leap into being a bitter hag like me. So let me tell you a thing; hate is just as passionate as love. You get as much emotional energy from hating something as you do loving something. So why not live in spite of everything?

When you harness spite as an emotional energy source, you feel more motivated to get shit done just so you don’t have to do it again. You feel more pressure from yourself to get that stupid meeting over with or to finish up that dumb project with so-and-so.

I live in spite of my foundations. I decided that I hated how I grew up and the foundations my family provided so I decided I was going to turn that hate into something productive. When I finally finish school, I’ll be the first doctor in my entire family. The first.

To hell with all the bullshit ‘good vibes only’ and ‘thinking positive’. I’m positive I’m going to get further than half of those wackos who only want to be positive and I’m positive I’ll have better emotional health because I’m not trying to push aside my negative thoughts or my ‘bad’ emotions.

I want you all to give me an example of how killing with kindness has worked for you, because in all my life and all my experiences I’ve never seen it work. So comment below and tell me why I’m wrong.

Working Retail: Job Hunting

I think you can figure out where this post is going.

Job hunting while you already work retail.

How do you avoid another retail position?

How do you break out of a retail cycle of bouncing between retail to retail to fast food to retail to food service to fast food to retail etc?

How is it even possible?

That’s where I come in. I’ve done job hunting. I’m sure we all have. But how do you get out of the hellhole of retail?

Start simple. Sign up on a job board, like Indeed, and keep your eyes peeled. Be patient. As soon as something even remotely plausible comes up, apply.

How do you know if you are even remotely qualified for a job?

Little tip: doesn’t matter, apply anyways. The worst that can happen is they don’t call back. The best that can happen is they have you come in for an interview.

Apply for anything and everything that comes in and fits your schedule.

And what if you do get an interview? Go. Schedule it as soon as you can. If this means calling in for a day, do it. If you’re job searching, then obviously this place hasn’t done right by you and you don’t really owe them anything.

Does it suck? Sure. It sure fucking sucks. But sometimes to get better, to be in a better place, you have to go through some shit.

Working Retail: What to do when you feel like quitting…

Honestly, from the bottom of my heart, I can offer only a few words of advice on this. Mostly because of the fact that the last three times this issue has come up, I’m rejected my own advice. So maybe one of you will have more common sense than me.

Quit. Just quit and move on.

Maybe you’re the overly responsible type like me and just can’t quit. So what do you do now?

Step 1: Find a new job. Seems hard and scary, but it will save you the headaches and emotional detachment that comes with working retail. Take advantage of having days off in the middle of the week to get interviews. Take advantage of the fact that you have some of the best customer service experience out there and people will kill for that. Take advantage of the fact that you can have flexible hours and can work well with others (if on paper).

Step 2: Quit. Just like that. Put in your two weeks if you’d like, but honestly, if you burn that bridge on the way out of the door, you’ll be less likely to want to return to that hellpit that is retail.

It’s that easy. I promise. The hard part comes in finding another job and worrying that job is going to be just as bad as a retail job.

Just have a little faith that anything will be better than retail. How do I know?
I’ve worked so many other places and retail is by far the worst. So don’t worry when an equally-shitty job pops up. Anything that can get you out is a win.