Category Archives: Gripes and Groans

Tarot 101: New deck…

So if you’ve seen my older posts about the Tarot deck, you’ve seen the kinda rinky deck I’ve been using.

So I thought I’d splurge and get a nicer deck.

Here are some shots of the brand new deck I got. I love it.

The deck is named Santa Muerte and was designed by Fabio Listrani.

And it’s absolutely gorgeous.

I don’t want to give all the neat things away about this deck. Consider this a teaser.

What I absolutely love about this deck is how it feels in your hands. It doesn’t have a cheap finish like my other deck, the cards slide together so smoothly and nicely. The cards are a traditional Tarot size and feel so nice to shuffle. Of course, the size is something I’m still adjusting to, but it fits nicely in my dainty hands.

Yes, I have dainty, girly hands. But if anything, I have to tell you all if a deck doesn’t fit nicely in my hands because then, maybe I can save the rest of you with dainty hands from investing in a deck that your heart loves but your hands can’t hold. A sadder love story never told.

But the colors are so bright and vibrant. The characters are depicted as skeletons (just in time for the spookiest season of the year). But the color correspondences in relation to certain numbers and suits… It makes my little witchy heart sing and my scholarly mind race. The characters are depicted in a much more unique way in comparison to the Rider-Waite deck and I feel much more easier to connect to this deck and its subtle meanings than in a traditional Tarot deck.

The characters depicted have such wonderful portrayals and emotions which is insane considering that the characters are skeletons, but the emotions and stories they portray are intense and just capture your attention.

And the book that comes with the deck? AMAZING! It takes a new look at the traditional cards and I love seeing the different meanings and different perspectives from this deck.

I’m planning on using this deck exclusively for online readings and such.

Let me know if you would like to see more, or if you would like more than a peek, let me know in the comments.

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU CAN’T AFFORD COLLEGE WHILE IN COLLEGE…

Honestly there isn’t too much you can do.

How do I know?

Let me regale you with the tale of little ol’ freshman me, years ago. My parents had told me after many, many arguments, that they were unable to pay for college and where unable to qualify for student loans at this point after having sent my older siblings to college. My parents told me this fact after I had already registered for classes.

No matter where I looked, I wasn’t able to get a job within walking or biking distance from campus. I couldn’t find a work-study position until I was half-way through the semester. I didn’t have a car or a licence at this time, so I couldn’t look for anything more than a couple miles away.

When fall break finally rolled around and my dad came to pick up, since they were kicking basically everyone out for the holidays, we stopped by the financial aid office. Which told him the same thing I had told him; I didn’t qualify for shit because my documents said my parents should make enough.

They told me that I would have to take a leave of absence from campus until I could pay off the remainder on my bill.

So I took a leave and stayed gone for almost two years, since that was how long it took me to pay most everything off and save a little up.

However, the next semester up, even with a full-time job and a work study position, I still had a balance at the end of the semester.

So I left for a bit to get my shit straight again. And then I came back. So now I’m here again. I still don’t qualify for shit and I still don’t make enough to cover costs.

So what am I going to do?

Well, after I finish my depressive, self-destructive spiral of defeat…

I don’t know anymore.

I honestly don’t

But what are you supposed to do when something like this happens?

I don’t know…

Sell a kidney?

Sell yourself on the streets?

I’m at loss. Really. I have no solutions for you.

When my only option to stay in school at this moment is to take another part time job on top of me working full time and commuting, and thus sacraficing any and all sleep I can get…

When my only option is to sell my body, whether through stripping, prostitution, or plasma donation, or selling nudes on the internet….

When my only option is to pop out a kid in literally three weeks to qualify for more aid NEXT YEAR…

When my only option is to leave school again and work doubles and such until I can come back next summer and repeat this cycle for the next 3-5 years until I classify as a dependent student…

When my option is to try to force the love of my life into marriage early in hopes that I can qualify for more money next year…

When my only option is to work harder and harder and harder and leave my school work undone because I fell asleep from working so hard just to survive….

I don’t understand how I’m supposed to keep doing this. I don’t understand how a major university can afford to spend so much money on building new housing and stadiums and redoing academic buildings every 3 years, but doesn’t have enough money to slide each and every student who obviously can’t pay a couple hundred bucks in scholarships and grants.

So if you’re going through this like me… I’m so sorry. I feel your pain, your anger, your anguish, your disappointment, your loss, your defeat, your fear, your bittersweet hope.

I get it and I’m so so sorry we have to live like this.

LIFE AS A COLLEGE STUDENT…

I can feel it now. The air is changing. Girls are exchanging their running shorts for leggings, their hydroflasks for starbucks cups.

Frat guys are….well, they won’t change until the first snow storm hits campus then they’ll exchange their stupid shorts for stupid sweats.

Pumpkin spice is back.

It’s truly the start of the fall semester.

And we’re kicking off our seasonal school depression early this year.

How do I know that we’re kicking the depression off early? How can I possibly know?

I’m horribly moody, I’m not eating, I’m not excersing, I’m sleeping all the time, I’m angry, I’m unmotivated in every way to do even things I want to do (like, I don’t even want to binge anything on Netflix, even with all the scary movies set to pop up).

I know that if I don’t pull myself out of this, I’m going to fail this semester. And I know because I’ve done this before.

My first college semester, I ended falling into a similar depression because I felt I couldn’t add up. I didn’t have all the stuff everyone else had for school supplies and dorm room decor and snacks and cars. And because I knew that I couldn’t afford my one semester, that no matter what I did, I would be leaving at the end of that semester.

So why am I back in that state of mind now? Well, I’m going through something worse than my freshman year. I have no friends, no hobbies, work all the damn time, and still, I can’t make enough to stay in school to finish a degree I should been done with by now.

And I’m so sick and tired of people telling me ‘this is where you’re meant to be.’ Because no. It’s not where I’m meant to be.

I’m supposed to be in grad school, learning veterinary medicine, volunteering at the local shelter and working at a local coffee shop as the spunky, sweet barista that everyone loves.

I don’t want some advice like ‘you can change your reality at any time’ or ‘why not do what you want to do’ or ‘take chances and it’ll all work out’.

Because it won’t.

I’m not in a position where I can just quit my job today and find one tomorrow paying the same or better with the same or better hours.

I can’t just make money appear out of nowhere, or even apply for student loans because I don’t have a cosigner.

I can’t just speedrun through the last 8 semesters of my undergrad, nor can I just take a test to pass them and get credit, because none of my remaining courses are ones that you can learn with on the job experience.

I can’t just move to a whole new city or whatever and start over because I have obligations, like work and school and my family, keeping me where I am.

This isn’t something where I can just sit in the sunshine and hope that the world will get better magically or that my brain will kick itself into gear.

This isn’t something where I can ‘just drink water and hydrate’ the problem away.

This isn’t something where I can self-care and skin-care routine the problem away.

This is a problem that I will be trapped in until my life is over because if I want to get anywhere, I have to play this absolutely stupid game of jumping through hoops.

Student life: Should you join a club?

Should you join a club in college? Depends. Ask yourself these questions things…

  1. Do you need to work in any way to support yourself?
  2. Are joining a club to actually help yourself or just to make yourself look good?
  3. Can you afford to join the club?
  4. Do you have the free time to stay in the club?
  5. Is this club a passion or just a passtime?

Now think about why I listed these questions here. What am I really trying to ask you? What is the point of a club on campus?

Honestly, if you find a club that is about your passion and you love it and you can make new friends and do things you love, then go for it.

But if you feel unsure in any way, if you’re looking at this because you have no clue if this is something you really want to do, if you feel like you’re being pressured into signing up for something you’re not passionate about, then don’t do it.

Like, seriously. Why are you looking for confirmation of what you want on a two-bit blog that is run by a sleep-deprived raving lunatic of a college student?

CATHARTIC rant about life

What, pray tell, I am supposed to be doing with life?

I feel life a failure.

I am a failure.

I should’ve been done with this by now.

I shouldn’t be putting this off.

I shouldn’t be worrying about this.

Why am I so worried about this?

I’m not going to have enough money for lunch let alone a damn parking pass.

I’m not going to have enough money for my car, let alone the rest of teh semester.

Gods, I wish I could curl up under a tree and sleep for a millennia.

I wish I could fake my death and escape into the woods to become a local cryptid.

This isn’t worth it anymore.

This was never worth.

I’m going to see this through and it will all be for nothing.

What if I’m just wasting my youth?

Gods, I’m just wasting my youth.

Why is this all so hard?

This part isn’t hard; what am I forgetting to do now?

I wish I could take a nap in this wonderful autumn sunshine and enjoy the green before the snow, but no. I have to work.

I wish I could find a better job where I’m not treated like a damn babysitter for grown adults.

I want to stop. Just Stop.

I want to be there already.

What if I’m not on the right path to begin with?

What if I’m wasting my time trying to force something when really I’m meant to do something else with my life?

What if my only purpose is to waste my youth and remaining hope working a deadend retail job?

What if I finally get stabbed in the parking lot at work tonight?

What if my tire blows out while I’m doing 80 on the highway trying to make it to work?

What if I get fired and have no other job?

What if everything I’ve worked so hard for collapses under me?

I need real food.

I haven’t had anything but coffee today.

No wait, I had a burrito for breakfast.

I need more sleep.

I wish my back and hips and knees didn’t hurt.

I wish I could travel.

I wish I wasn’t so apathetic.

I wish I wasn’t so…. depressed?

I wish I had a prettier face.

I wish I could be there already.

I wish I was a doctor already.

I wish I had enough money to last me to next payday.

Oh gods, how am I going to make it to next payday.

Shit, I still have to find a concert to go to for music appreciation.

Shit, I still have to go to the math building for that exam due last week.

How come this looks so easy and effortless for everyone else.

What am I doing wrong.

Thank you for coming to my anxiety fueled braindump. I just needed to get some of this out somewhere, so thank you for being patient and bearing with me,

Student life: When you get off track…

Everyone dreams of working through college in their 4-year program and then shuttling into adulthood with a career.

But what happens when you get thrown for a loop and your 4 year plan because a 4+ year plan?

The first thing I want to say is…

I know it sucks. It sucks so much. You want to scream and cry and punch a wall because now you’re entire life plan is shot.

I get it. I really get it. I’m 22 and just now finishing the half way point on my SOPHOMORE YEAR. And I started college straight out of high school.

So what happened that I fell off track?

Well, go check out some of my other posts about the First World Problem and then come back here.

So I had to take a couple years and work through some money problems and all that jazz. So here I am, about 3 years behind the curve and working to try to get things right.

Am I pissed off? Every damn day of my life.

Am I upset that I’m not graduated yet and not in grad school yet? So fucking upset that sometimes, I have to stop myself from crying in the middle of class.

Am I mad that I know other kids have it easier than me? Damn straight I am.

But what I am going to do about?

Well, I’m going to right about so that other kids going through this bullshit know that someone out there knows what it feels like to feel like an absolute failure and for life to keep kicking you in the teeth.

But how do you get back on track and make sure you stay on track?

Three easy steps.

  1. Come up with a course plan. Write down every single course you need to take and when. This is your road map. Sometimes you’ll have to take a detour, but it’s okay.
  2. Be prepared to fall off track again. Between you and me, when life decides to fuck with you once, you are never going to be let off easy again. So just be prepared to keep on failing.
  3. Don’t listen to what anyone has to say if they haven’t been there. Your advisers, while meaning well, will try to lead you astray because they honestly don’t understand what it’s like to be in the position you are in. You are in a very unique position and unless they themselves can tell you about how shitty their time at college was, then don’t trust them to know how to help you. Take their advice with a grain of salt and keep working.

So keep your nose to the grindstone and just keep working.

Is it all worth it? Probably not.

Will you probably regret finishing school in 10-20 years when you’re still paying off all the loans and you hate your career? Yeah, most likely.

But keep going anyways because then at least you’ll have a story to tell at the end of the day.

Why Blogging doesn’t work

If you’re like me, you’ve hit a block or two and started scouring the internet, looking for ways to make ends meet and help set yourself up for a comfortable life.

You’ve come across the same advice I did; start a blog. It’s not hard. Just find a topic and write away.

So why am I bitching about something I am currently doing? Like doing right now, between classes and a real job?

Because I didn’t start a blog to make money. I started a blog to get my thoughts down somewhere outside my head. I started a blog to connect with others and just shout my opinions into the void of the internet.

But why doesn’t blogging work?

  1. It takes too long to make money. Seriously, with how everyone who is a major blog brags about how easy it is to set up a blog and make money, it’s a sham. You have to have the blog going for literal YEARS before you start seeing income come in from either ad space, or affiliate marketing or sponsored posts. Major bloggers will give some much advice and just tell you to get out there and connect with people, but honestly, the market is so damn saturated right now, that to start making money, you’re going to need a crazy scheme or an infallible theme.
  2. You have to dump too much money in to start a blog. Depending on where you partner, you have to dump money in at some point, whether to buy to domain, or buy hosting, or buy the theme, or buy a service of some kind to promote yourself. So not only do you not see any returns immediately, you have to invest so much just to start throwing your writing out into the void.
  3. The market is saturated. No matter what niche you have, what your theme is, how you write; there’s at least 10 other blogs out there doing the same shit. And that’s at least. If you want to write something like a mommy blog, a fitness blog, a fashion blog… Good luck coming up with something original that your audience hasn’t read 20 times already.
  4. There’s so much you have to do to even be seen as credible in your field. You could have graduated with a master’s from Harvard in financial planning (or whatever) and could be a visionary in your field, but your blog is still going to be competing against Al’s Bargain Finances, who graduated from some online college with an associate’s, but has been running his blog for over 10 years. You could be recognized in real life as an expert in your field, but damn, if your blog just looks wrong or unprofessional or old-fashioned (re: 1990s style with minimal pictures, sloppy color scheme, poor formatting), then you are never going to be taken seriously online.
  5. It’s an almost full-time job in itself. As much as everyone brags about how easy it is to start a blog, at least the major bloggers won’t sugar coat the time you need to invest. Blogging is almost like it’s own full-time job. Between the actual writing, designing graphics, social media cultivation (sharing, connecting, collaborating), setting up affiliate marketing, setting up Etsy store listing links, performing services advertised on the blog, brainstorming, editing, site editing and modifying, writing sponsored posts, researching topics, researching the market, researching sponsors, researching on behalf of your audience, weeding through the comment sections on posts (spam comments!)…. It’s a full-time plus overtime gig. And you DON’T GET PAID RIGHT AWAY FOR IT!
  6. You have to learn everything on the fly. You weren’t taught how to code in high school right? I sure as shit wasn’t. So I’ve learning this and that on the fly to set up ads and pop-up forms properly on my site. There’s so much that goes into learning how to set up a blog that you’ll spend so much time on Youtube and Google learning how to just set up your site properly. And while these resources may be free (or nearly free, since you’re probably paying for internet service and your blog already), it still takes a long time to learn and apply. My site doesn’t look like it was designed by a marketing rep, but it still looks better than some of the sites out there. But I did it all myself from a free theme available. I’m still picking up all the bs for SEO and search engine recognition and blah blah blah.
  7. You’re building a brand on the fly and it’s hurting you right now. All the major bloggers out there started their blogs 3, 5, or even 10 years ago. They’ve had the time to set their blog up and rotate through the topics until they found their niche. If you’re like me, you’re new. Super new. I’m still trying to set up my brand. I’m still trying to find my niche, but that’s what hurting me (and you). I’m constantly changing my theme from month to month, I’m kind of happy with my icon for the time being. But all this change scares people off. It doesn’t spark trust that you know what you’re talking about. That’s why the big blogs don’t change their theme once they find one that works. It’s like if you walk into a store; you’ll be okay walking into your local corner store and will forgive a face-lift or paint change every so often, but if you were to walk into your local Target and saw they were changing the colors every week and changing the logo every week, then you would feel uncomfortable. But as a new blogger, you need to change every month or so to try to find where you fit in the internet void.
  8. Your niche is too niche. Maybe you know your niche and you know it’s an untapped industry. Great. But think really hard about it. Is it something that is maybe just a little too niche? What do I mean by that? Well, maybe you have a market and you’ve made a few sales here and there on your site or your online store, but is it something that is just a little too specialized and is flying under the radar. Maybe you make hats for dogs without ears. But the people who can buy those products are very small. Maybe you write specifically about the happenings of the homeless community in a particular spot in your city . While you may have great content and can write forever about it, it’s a market that is very, very, small. Eventually, you’re going to run out of people who want to keep reading or buying into your niche.

Maybe you don’t think I know what I’m talking about. Maybe you’re in denial that your blog is failing. So let me explain how I know what I know. As of this post (Sept. 2019), I have made absolutely $0 on this site. I have no ad revenue, no services rendered, no affiliate link click-through. I have posted about 100 posts since starting the blog in Jan. 2019. It’s taken almost 10 months since starting the blog to find a niche I can write about, and it’s still a little too niche (I mean, who wants to listen to some girl whine about working in retail and rant about the occult?) I just made an icon and logo-esque picture and I’ll probably going to change it soon. And I put of a follower counter, so you can go to the side bar and see exactly how many people I have following me. As of this post in Sept. 2019, there are 28 followers (29 technically, but it’s me, so I don’t count myself). 28. After 10 months.

So maybe you’re much better than me and can tell me what I’m doing wrong. but honestly, I just want everyone to understand that blogging is not the answer to your financial issues. Blogging is not some golden egg you can tap into and be wildly successful. Blogging is kind of a sham way to ‘make money quick’.

It’s more like ‘make money very, very slowly, while hoping and praying someone will find you relevant and love what you’re doing, all while dumping your money into a pit that may or may not sprout a money tree in the distant future’.

Student life: when you don’t add up compared to your peers…

So you just got into college and you’re a fresh-faced freshman, ready to take on the world.

Until you hit midterms and you fail miserably, while everyone else is acing it. And you thought you were good at math or English, or whatever it is.

So now what do you do? You’ve hit a snag in your plan and you honestly feel like shit. You were supposed to be good at school. You thought you were good at school. At least good enough to get into college. So what are you doing wrong?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

While you may not have access to all the resources available, just remember, you got into school and you got into school on your own hard work (hopefully).

So am I telling you to just buckle down and get to work?

Kind of.

I know what you’re thinking right now. You’re stuck comparing yourself to everyone because you thought you were good enough but all these other kids seem to be better than you. You’re stuck thinking how can you compare to Tiffany with a 4.0 GPA and boyfriend on the debate team and she’s part of a prestigious sorority.

Those braggers and put-togethers are like your rival in a Pokemon game. They have just enough to be a tough opponent to to challenge you, so you have to get crafty and wise up to the moves they’re going to use.

So if you know that Tiffany in your Lit class only works 10 hours a week at her club, then make her do more work in the group project because she has time to spare. You do not.

So if you know John in your Calc class is a math major, ask him for help and just smile and nod when he gets all high-and-mighty. Because he already knows everything and you can use that resource for free.

If you know that the TA in your lab is majoring in this exact field, then go to office hours or see if they’re available via email, at the least, to answer questions of the lab.

So what I’m really saying is start grinding and getting crafty with your resources. Pretend you’re a spy thrown into this life and you have to seamlessly integrate to keep your cover from being blown. Just start working harder than they are because damn, one day they are going to slip and it is going to be a spectacular fall.

And when then see you at the top, already covered in mud from fighting your way up this mountain, they’ll know, and you’ll know, that you were always more worthy and more qualified than they ever were.

Working retail: retail vs the real world…

Working in retail is like working in a whole different world.

It’s a world of perpetual smiling, nodding, and degrading yourself for the customer.

It’s a world where ‘professional’ is thrown around like salt on fries.

There’s nothing professional about it, honestly. How is it professional to ask children to show up and then refuse to tell them the rules of professionalism, subjecting them to a trial by fire?

How is it professional to ask that only certain employees can dress for the environmental conditions, while asking more who deal with those same conditions to wear other clothing?

How is it professional to allow dating within the company, but only until one party of the couple is promoted from their own hard work and dedication?

How is it professional to allow some employees to bend all the rules but some still have to follow them to the tee for no reason other than the managers have an attitude problem?

I worked in the real world. I worked in an office where I was required to be professional. I was required to wear a certain dress code and act a certain way based off my position. I understood that going into that job. I understood that I couldn’t wear certain clothes or talk in a more casual way and I knew that I was getting paid to act that way.

In retail, not only are you not paid enough to really care how you act but, with how stressful it is dealing with not only your customers, but fellow employees, people wonder why there are some many stories revolving some of the biggest retailers in the world.

I can’t comprehend how consumers still choose to shop at these places that are obviously horrible to work, let alone shop.

My own parents continue to shop at a retailer where not long ago, people experienced domestic terrorism and died from gun violence. My parents weren’t apart of the tragedy, but they still choose to shop at the place where things like that happen.

Maybe what I’m trying to convey is that as consumers, we can end this cycle of high school drop outs being underpaid and underappreciated, just by taking our business elsewhere. We can end this cycle of poverty where the CEOs of the big retailers take so much of the profits and the low-level employees struggling to make ends meet between 2-3 jobs by refusing to give these people any more of our money.

And I’m sure some of you are thinking, but don’t you work at one of those places? Won’t you be affected by them losing business?

Sure I will, for a little bit. But I can always find a new job better serving my community and existing outside of the drama and hysteria that is retail work. Or I’ll die from homelessness after 6 months without a job. But either way, I win in the short term.

Student life: what they don’t tell you about college classes..

College is a fantastic time. It’s a great time to learn about the world and your self and your place in the world. But lately, more and more kids are heading into college and struggling through their first year(s).

Why is that?

In my opinion, from what I’ve observed being a college student, and being asked questions by kids at work (I have teenagers on my team who want to know everything about college), college is set up to fail a vast majority of incoming students.

What is the disconnect between what kids are told by their high school teachers and what actually happens at college?

For one, most classes are actually self taught. I know, I know… You’re paying thousands and thousands just to be there, plus the hundreds on textbooks, so that means the professor should show you something right?

No. The professor is just there to make sure you get evaluated for the class. The actual learning part is up to you. You need to actually do the ‘optional’ reading and do every activity. The lecture is just to see what the professor will test you on. No actual learning happens in a lecture. It happens in your dorm room at 3am as you struggle through the same chapter for the 10th time trying to memorize the equation for cellular respiration.

Another thing kids don’t get told about is how to effectively time manage. Every kid thinks they know how to manage their time and those who took extracurriculars in high school are extremely sure about their ability to time manage.

What nobody wants to tell them is that, real time management involves prioritizing tasks and pushing some tasks off until last minute because more important tasks come up.

For example, knowing that a big project is due, these freshies will spend hours trying to finish a 10 point homework assignment instead of plotting out and researching for the project that’s due in two days.

Just because something is due immediately doesn’t mean you absolutely have to complete it if it’s going to put your grade in jeopardy for another course.

Honestly, there is so much they don’t tell you about college when you’re a high school junior or senior.

And even with all the advice out there from kids like me who have just finished college, or are still in the middle of it… There’s still so much nobody tells you.

Like, syllabuses will save your ass time and time again, so don’t lose them or throw them out after the first class.

Or stock up on tissues and cold medicine before cold season hits, especially if you live in the dorms, because you will catch something.

Pick one day a week to always do laundry otherwise you will run out of clean underwear and usually before a big event (date, job interview, family dinner).

Write notes in class in pen because a pen will 9 times out of 10 work more consistently than a pencil.

Do not make in class notes pretty. You will spend too much time switching between highlighters and then lose information that will definitely be on the test.

Do not wear impractical shoes or clothing, no matter how cute you think you look. Those heels will be your bane when you have to walk all the way across campus in the sudden rainstorm.

Do not party. Just don’t. Not only are the legal implications shitty (wait until you have to pay your first ticket), but if you party with strangers, bad shit happens. Maybe not to you or your friends, but bad shit happens.

Always carry a charger and a snack. Always. There will be days you get stuck in class and miss lunch or dinner.

Set alarms and reminders on your phone for everything. Everything, from taking out the trash to a project due next week to reminding yourself to take a break from studying so you can actually make it to the dining hall for food.

When you move out of the dorms, you will trash your new place at least once in the semester. And not party-trash. I mean, working 30 hours, projects galore, haven’t done the dishes in weeks trashed.

You will get at least one shitty professor. One who makes you hate that class and their department. Suck up dealing with them because honestly, they can and will fail you for a shitty attitude. Happened to me. But that’s a story for another time.

No amount of words I put out will actually make your experience any different.

Lay off the coffee shop lattes because you will inevitably go broke. Trust me.

Coffee and energy drinks are not meal replacements.

Most assignments are listed only in the syllabus and it’s your responsibility to know what is die when. These assignments will only be listed in the syllabus and never brought up in class.

Check and double check everything you write for essays. If your allowed opinion based(usually arts and some literature classes) then just make sure everything makes sense. If you need sources (science reports), please learn how to academically write.

You will spend thousands to be here, but you will be expected to pay out of pocket to print 90% of anything you need printed, including notes, project, reports, and more.

Everyone is pretentious and completely full of themselves. Avoid who you can, be courteous to those you cannot avoid.

Splurge on pens because the last thing you need is for your pen to quit working in the middle of lecture. Don’t share pens for anything.

You will think you are starving. You are not. Eat only meals 3 times a day and 2 snacks a day between major classes.

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.

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.

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.

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.