#RelationshipGoals Ain't It || LIFE

Thursday, April 20, 2017

It’s been extremely popular on many social media platforms to label an Instagram photo, Vine video or even tweets as #RelationshipGoals. It’s common to fantasize about how your first date will be or the moment you get engaged when you’re thinking about your future with someone, and often those moments were inspired by what was seen on Pinterest or from a popular romantic comedy.
The concept of #RelationshipGoals has set standards for dates and proposals online that now influence how people make romantic decisions in their personal lives. Has the phenomenon of creating relationship rules online done more damage to dating than people realize?
It seems that if your significant other hasn’t done anything meme or Instagram-worthy for you, then your relationship is invalid through popular opinion. There are $200 dates, elaborate proposals, Pandora promises rings or extremely long text messages that express undying love. Then, you can take a picture or screenshot it and post it on Twitter. These are all examples of online #RelationshipGoals.
The way people look to validate relationships due to #RelationshipsGoals seen online influences why people have issues in their relationships. They put importance on how others view their relationship as opposed to what truly matters. How does idealizing photos or videos of unknown couples distort expectations of what a relationship should be?
Relationships are not always as they appear online. It’s extremely easy to see one photo of a couple online and think, “Wow, they must have an amazing relationship.” Creating the fa├žade of a perfect relationship is easy, but what’s most important is the quality of a relationship when no one is looking.
Being fixated on having your relationship look perfect online can often taint organic experiences in a relationship. If your significant other does something that really warms your heart, you don’t have to tell him to reenact it for an Instagram photo.
Not everything needs to be a photo opportunity. Yet, people feel if they don’t post it online, it never really happened.
The unhealthy obsession of Pinterest boards filled with wedding plans is another example of how #RelationshipGoals taint an organic experience in a relationship. The planning of a wedding should, at least, begin once you’ve actually met your partner.
Having your dress, invitations, the rings and even the cake picked out before you even meet your partner is a problem. You should never plan a union of two people with only one person’s ideas in mind. The wedding plans should reflect the relationship, not a Hollywood cinematic experience.
After having my fair share of ruined relationships in the past and then finally being in a healthy relationship, I’ve realized one extremely important thing about relationships and social networks. What works for one couple may not work for the next, and that’s OK.
For some, $200 dates will work, while for others, froyo and a movie are an equal display of affection. Just because your date idea isn’t given admiration online does not mean it wasn’t an amazing date. Social networks shouldn’t be used to validate any personal dating experience.
It’s OK to get ideas or even inspiration from your favorite YouTube or Instagram couple, but never allow the Internet and hundreds of strangers to set rules and limits in your relationship. When you allow the opinions and judgment of others to influence your relationship, that is when issues will arise.
If you are anything like me and use different social network platforms multiple times a day, it is important not to let your Instagram likes and Facebook feeds get in the way of your relationship. Most people think, “If social networks can ruin your relationship, it wasn’t strong enough in the first place.”
This comment is valid, but if issues arise in the beginning of a relationship due to the fact that your standards are set by online dating rules and #RelationshipGoals, you’re ending your relationship before it even gets a chance to truly start.
At the end of the day, your #RelationshipGoals should come from within your relationship, and they should never be based off of what’s trending on Twitter or Facebook. The less of a relationship you see online, the more likely it’s a sign of a healthy relationship. Set your own standards and create your own boundaries for what a healthy relationship is to you.

 Also featured on Elite Daily

With love,

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Cultivating Your Soil | LIFE

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Do you ever get to a point where you’re craving for something new? Something that will change the way you experience life? I’ve been dealing with similar emotions lately which have caused me to lose focus and make it difficult to figure out what in the hell this season of my life is teaching me. After journaling and reflecting, I realized I still am not 100% sure of what this season of life is telling me but I do know it’s demanding for a change.

As I flipped back over my planner and looked at all the things I’ve accomplished I also noticed a common theme of the task I neglected… they all had to do with my body. A task of working out, going to yoga, or a monthly goal of losing 3 pounds were all neglected. I’ve talked about the struggle with my weight and accepting my shape on the blog before, this isn’t what this post is about. Now I’m not here to tell you to lose weight but I want the weight loss to be a metaphor. Stop neglecting whatever area of your life that you been placing on the back burner. For some, it may be getting back into school or staying committed to learning a new skill while for other it may be wellness or health related. Whatever it is for you I encourage you to place that goal in the forefront of your life.

I've talked a lot about fear and doubt in the past and those emotions really have the ability to change the way to look at a goal. In your mind, whatever you've been avoiding has become a daunting or unattainable task when in reality you have the power to 'David your Goliath', it's all about your mindset.

I woke up one morning and decided that I would stop neglecting myself, I think for someone with my personality it’s a bit difficult to put other task and obligations to the side in order to work on a personal goal but there comes a time where you have to find a balance in life. Your personal goals are just as deserving of attention as your professional goals. Over the last 4 weeks, I’ve mad the commitment to changing the way I look at self-care. I put so much emphasis on my mental health and getting to where I want to be in my professional life that I've always made excuses for not dedicating time to my body.

I'm ready to change my life. Lifestyle changes are different than goal attainment because in order for lifestyle changes to become effective you have to be diligent and practice self-control. It unlearning all your negative habits while reinforcing positive habits.

I hope that you feel inspired enough to decided that today, right now, in this moment that you’re ready to unlearn and make space for new, life-changing habits.

with love,

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Graduate School Application Toolkit || LIFE

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The power of the pen is something I stress a lot but that's because I truly believe it. As I flip back through my Passion Planner from 2016 and look at my goals I’m amazed at all that I've accomplished, in large part due writing down what I want to achieve.

In August of 2016, I wrote down that in 6 months a goal of mine was to be accepted into a doctoral program, and here I am, 7 months later, accepting a fully funded offer to the doctoral program in sociology at the University of California, Merced. If it wasn’t for my faith, relationship with God and my Passion Planner I doubt accomplishing my goals would’ve been that ‘simple’. Even though it was far…far from an easy path I’ve learned a lot of lessons along the way that I want to share with you.
I’ve gotten a lot of questions that aren’t possible to answer in one blog post so I plan on doing a series of post and a Periscope on all things GRE/grad school related. For now, I want to prep you with a ‘toolkit’ on all the books and resources you’ll need to prepare for applying to grad school and sitting for the GRE. 

Here are three major keys to the graduate school application process -

So where do I even start the process of applying?…

Before you begin the process of considering programs to apply for or how you plan on studying for the GRE you have to do your research. I’m a first generation college student so there were certainly times throughout the process where I felt confused and misguided but these three tools made my preparation a bit easier -  

Test preparation: Most schools/programs require standardize test for their application process. Even though there are a lot of findings that point out the biases of test like the GRE, LSAT, MCAT but unfortunately it still remains to be a large part of the grad application process. If you’re preparing for any test I suggest preparation at minimum 6 months in advance, learn from my mistakes, 3 months of prep is not enough time - even with Kaplan courses.  

Start early and create a steady flow of study, don’t memorize facts - learn test techniques. The GRE is all about mastering the test, not the materials in my opinion. But as I’ve stated before don’t let your GRE scores stop you from applying to whatever program you feel is the best fit for.

Along with the GRE being an expense test, the prep courses are just as outrageously expensive. As someone who took the Kaplan course, I will say that I suggest getting the prep books and online materials, but paying over $1,000 for an instructed course isn’t worth it. Buy the online options and workbook and carve out consistent study time on your own.

Books: So if you don’t know where to start the best book you could invest in would be “Graduate Admissions Essays” by Donald Asher - now the title may be a bit misleading, this book goes far beyond the basics of writing a graduate essay and really gives you a plan to the entire process. It asks the difficult questions you need to hear before you consider start the application process.

Mentorship: I would not be where I’m at in my academic career if it weren’t for the women who’ve rallied around me and supported me through the process of applying to doctoral programs. I strongly encourage you to seek advice and perspective from your professors, get to know them beyond what’s in the syllabus. Ask them about their academic experiences, what they enjoyed and what they wish they had done differently. I truly believe this is the most important key in preparing to further your education after undergrad.

In the next few weeks, I’ll have post tailored to more specific parts of the process of applying to graduate schools like choosing programs, sitting for the GRE, and getting your personal statement in its best form. If you have any question or comments feel free to email me or leave them in the comments below.

with love,

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