Finding Your Worth in Relationships

When it comes to the holiday season, there are so many things that run through the mind, including relationships. As a young professional and graduate student, it can be difficult to find ways to provide for friends, family, and even yourself. But there's always something that will replay in the back of your mind: self-worth.

The "W" word has been something I've seen close friends struggle with over the last few years. In the fall of 2012, I took a freshman (we'll call her 'K') under my wing because I could relate to her. Our families didn't have much money, we attended private school ($50K/yr) and were struggling to enjoy college. In the first 24hrs, she practically gave me her life story, including how she had made friends with one of the senior football players. Well, this is where the "W" word comes in to play....sans touchdown (no pun intended).

As a freshman, I never thought I could dare to even speak to a senior boy, let alone an athlete. Having the fabulous physique she still has today, I knew she wanted to play her cards right...that was until I learned that the senior was on and off with his girlfriend. Being the honest individual I am, I told the young woman I didn't think it was appropriate for her to engage with him. 'K' asked why, so I explained that her worth isn't worth risking her person. In college, you don't know someone after a week of being campus-mates, and you certainly don't know them if you don't know their relationship status. However, she didn't take my advice to lightly.

During the late fall/early winter, we began to shop for the holidays. Knowing she had been spotting my Coach bag, I opted to pick something up for her with the money I had saved up. Our friendship was more family like at this point, and I decided to buy her a black Calvin Klein bag, which her face lit up so bright when she opened the package. Shortly after, I spotted her getting ready for a party. I figured it was a campus party, but it wasn't. A campus organization was hosting a holiday gathering off campus and she was going. I knew 'he' (the football player) was going to be there, so I chatted with her. Asking her to be careful of what she consumed and who she stood with, she agreed to text or call if need be. And off she went, in a Christmas red, fitted dress and the CK bag.

After not hearing from her, I text one of my friends and they happened to be with her. The story goes that he saw her, she saw him, and he was with his on-and-off girlfriend of possibly four years. 'K' was devastated, but remembering what I had told her about engaging with him, she bounced back. When I woke up to her on my bed the next day,  she gave me a hug and kept saying "Thank you mom, you were right." Apparently the look on his face was just as devastating as hers, but she took his face and ran with him. Knowing she shouldn't have marched on that situation, she resulted in conquering his position. For the months that followed, he would run into her and not say a word, while she just smiled; he would text her and she would ignore him. Why you ask? She knew her place wasn't with some senior football player who was going back and forth - she realized her worth was more than flirting with some guy who would be graduating in four months. She knew her worth was worth $50K a year for happiness and friendship, not puppy relationships.

You may be reading this and think that the story has nothing to do with holidays, relationships, or even self-worth....but you're sadly mistaken. Worth comes in different forms, and in this case, it came with knowing your stance and making the most of it. I value my friendship with "K," not because we're like family, but because she knew what she had to do, but needed someone to give her that extra push of encouragement.

Break The Mold - Live Through Your Life

       Breaking even is something that every individual wishes they could do, and then some. No, we’re not talking about finances or business; it’s all about the mentality. But the mentality is only a facet of who you are and what you’re capable of being.

            Speaking with men and women out of college is something we partake in every day. As an observer, I tend to notice things that the average person wouldn’t. For instance, I took a walk around the city with my business partner and he made me realize so many things. From stopping and taking photos of building, tourists, and individuals around the city, more people often walk around luxury retailers than that actually have an interest in making a purchase. In a society that influences everything we do, it’s difficult to not want what someone else has. But why is this?

            As I walked around Columbus Circle, I didn’t see too many full-figure people. Granted, this doesn’t depict the rest of the area’s clientele, but it does show that I noticed more than I should. Wanting to take photos of myself, my partner attempted hundreds of times, but each time people kept looking at me with that face. You know, the face of ‘Why is she wearing that and why is she sitting on that in such and such way?.’ I could have let it get to me , but I didn’t. We so often see people taking photos and become discouraged in minutes of years a snide comment, and yes it’s hard to deal with – but you can get through it. I’m a walking example of this. I’ve been guided to an area of a store than I would “fit in” but the clothing was horrendous. I’ve also been told that I should straddle a post or sit with my butt propped up; well, birdie to you too, sir. We are humans and we have rights.

            It’s hard to break barriers, but it’s even harder to maintain them. I’ve learned that if I make a statement, continue it. I’ve seen the negative comments on Instagram and I’m sure people on my Facebook say things to each other, but that’s you. I’m writing this to help change – change a stereotype or ‘norm’ that shouldn’t be so normal. Go ahead girl, straddle the pole stump (whatever it’s called) and take a picture! If you don’t, you won’t get that moment back (especially if you’re wearing a cute lace shirt and thigh high boots!

The Post-Grad Reality

Our country has made it quite known that securing a job after graduation is one of the most difficult things we could possibly do in this economy. But do we really understand the reality of it? And do we know how to overcome it? Probably not, but let me help you get an idea of what to expect.

   Just the last few months have given me exactly what I expected: no luck and no job. This isn't uncommon amongst college grads, but it is frustrating. I've written countless cover letters and attended several career fairs. Sound familiar? I thought so. In the communications major, thousands of students will graduate in the tri-state area (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut). Sounds scary, but it's probably one of the more popular majors around and everyone wants to do it. So what happened to me?

  Having interned with several small businesses and two (2) non-profits, I have gained experience in different areas, allowing me to understand a business. But what I find interesting is that I have experience, but companies want their own unique type of experience. So...this has led me to pretty much checking Indeed.com almost every day. I've written probably over 100 e-mails and letters and what's the most time consuming is the waiting game. Tedious? Yes. Worth it? Totally.

  Now, some may wonder what I've been doing while waiting for callbacks. Simple: I applied to a store in the mall, Rue 21. I had my first day this past week and I love it. My goal is to work in fashion and beauty, and that's exactly what they're giving me the opportunity to do. Rue has amazing fragrances and they're only $9.99!! And instead of spraying multiple times a day, they are oil based and you may only have to spray a total of 2x depending on what you're doing. I sprayed Revert, a nice clean, refreshing, and eco-friendly fragrance, only once and it lasted me all day. And no, I'm not just saying that. But let's get back to the point: stay occupied!

 Whether you're interested in psychology, education, or communications (like me), keep yourself busy. By researching happenings in your field of choice and current events, you will become more aware and confident on any interviews you will go on. If I hadn't decided to apply to Rue, I would be stuck in my room looking for almost nothing. A start is a start and that's the reality of it.

  Tips For Staying Occupied Post-Graduation

  • Apply, apply, apply!
  • Network (Use LinkedIn to connect with Alumni and group members)
  • Research and read
  • Go on an informational interview
  • Take up a hobby related to your field
  • Work retail (you'll want extra $$ for the commute to interviews anyway)
  • Ask Questions 
  • Spruce up your resume
  • Read All Work, No Pay
  • Pre-order Welcome to the Real World

Selena Gomez Battles It Out With Lupus: Let Her Be

   Privacy. Something that doesn't exactly exist in  limelight. Singer and actress, Selena Gomez, has done a pretty good job with keeping her personal life on the DL until now.

   For the last week or so, rumors have been circulating with reasons as to why Gomez cancelled her tour. Not that it's really anyone's business, but she does have a few things going on in her personal life. According to the Huffington Post, Gomez has been battling Lupus since her late teens and from what they are saying, her flares are shining their way to the surface. For those of you who do not know what Lupus is, it's an autoimmune disease that can damage parts of the body such as joints and organs, including skin from as little as six weeks to a few years.

 What can you do and how does this effect the entertainment industry? Well, considering Gomez has cancelled a number of shows, there's nothing we can do. This is a personal matter and it is up to her and her family as to whether or not continuing is in her path. It may just be best to stay close with family and wait for the flares to tone down and take the loss. From a public relations perspective, I think this would be ideal and she has made the best decision for HER health. It seems that her family and friends are getting a hold of the reins, so let's pray that she recovers and stays clear of any further flares.

What Did I Get For Christmas?

If you follow me on YouTube, Instagram, or even Twitter, you probably have noticed I did not upload a "What I Got For Christmas" video. Just to catch everyone up, things have been really hectic and I haven't filmed at all, probably in about two months. It's not because I don't want to, but because I've been super busy. So why am I even mentioning this?

My family celebrates Three Kings Day/El Dia De Los Reyes in January, so I didn't think it would be fair to post separate videos. Maybe I should film separately, but I'll explain why I'm combining the videos during the week. In the meantime, I will be blogging a little more (hopefully) this week and hopefully throughout 2014.

But while you wait for my "Holiday Gifts" video, here are some photos of what I received from my family.

**I am in no way, shape or form bragging. I am only sharing with you items I received and a entirely grateful for all that I have.**

Being Driven

The seasons are changing and so are the lifestyles of the average person. Okay, corny opening, but you see my point. We're already in November and each time I look at the calendar, I ask myself where the time has gone. But there is one thing that I have noticed that I cannot question, and that my dear is my drive. 

   Many of you are probably reading this wondering why I'm writing out of nowhere, and the truth is time. I have not had time to really sit down and write any blogs because of my other obligations. Now, I have filmed a few YouTube videos, but those are quick and easy; writing, not so much. But I haven't let that stop me. I love to write and I could do it all day (with the occasional writer's block). At the beginning of the semester, I was hired as the Features Editor for my school paper, and I absolutely love it. Now, I won't lie about the difficulty I face when looking for weekly pitches, but nonetheless it's a great position. And let's be real for a moment: It's nearly impossible to land a journalism gig without clips. Yes, blog writing is great, but many bloggers who don't send their work to be "published," and that hinders them. I'm not saying it hurts everyone, but it does hurt quite a handful. Which, again, is one of my drives. 

   Being driven doesn't just mean to have a goal, but it does mean to be motivated. You can have five goals, but you're probably only motivated to reach one or two. My drive happens to be instilled in me by my father. He doesn't want me to live the life I lived for eighteen years, so when I went to college, I also went to town. I knew what I wanted to do, but then I was intercepted by a new program at my University so I took a stab at it and now I really know what I want to do with my degree. My "drive" is to not be in the same place my parents were when they were my age. I can't say I don't have other goals (because I do), but I do know that I have to be realistic. For right now, I'm driven to complete my Bachelor's and soon begin my Master's (and to find a job in my field). 

   What are some of your goals? What drives you to do what you do? Tweet your responses to me at @Laprincesalola.

XOXO

Am I Latina Enough?

  "Where are are you from?" he asked me, while I was ordering food at the Cuchifrito in El Barrio. 
     "I'm Puerto Rican," I responded.
     "Stop kidding yourself; You're una blanquita?"

     I didn't know what to think, say, or even how to react to that. But I do remember looking at him and saying "If I'm not Puerto Rican, then you're not a man?" It was the only thing that I could think of to say, leaving him a little insulted,..and a tad bit stunned.

    Whenever I meet someone new or walk in my own neighborhood, people stare at me and my cousin, who's lived in East Harlem her entire life. She and I are very similar in that we finished high school, have jobs, enrolled in college, and went about our business. My cousin is very tall, thin, very light skin, and speaks Spanish...fluently. Me on the other hand? I'm 5'3, average, medium-light to tan skin, and I speak 'Spaniglish'; however, I didn't grow up in East Harlem or New York. I've lived in various because of my dad's job, so I was never forced to speak Spanish. Why do I bring this up? Because apparently my upbringing doesn't make me "Latina."

   Ever since Cosmopolitan for Latinas caught my eye last summer, I've been hooked on every issue. It just so happens that when I saw Summer 2013 on the newsstand (you know, the one with Michelle Rodriguez), I immediately picked it up. Coincidentally, there's a "Real Talk" article about what makes us Latina. According to article "You Talk like a White Girl," 69% of 3rd generation Latinos are English dominant. My father moved from Puerto Rico in the late 1980s/early 1990s and my mother was born in Brooklyn, NY after my grandparents decided to stay in New York after individually moving back and forth from Puerto Rico and various areas around the world. I don't know if that constitutes me as 3rd generation, but I think it's close enough.

   I was born in Brooklyn, New York where I lived until I was 3 or 4; that's when I moved to Hawai'i.

   Did I speak Spanish when I was younger? Yes, but I wasn't forced. Everywhere I moved to after that, the Hispanic population was fairly small and rarely present...at least until I started high school in Georgia. All of my friends in high school were of different races, so I never thought about identifying with any specific group. The difference between my school and others? It was predominantly white. But when I went off to college, is when I began to question my identity.

  "You don't look Puerto Rican," These are words I hear on a constant basis. Even other Puerto Ricans and Latinos don't think I'm Puerto Rican. My mom is fair skin, dirty-blonde hair, blue eyes and my father has olive skin, black hair, hazel eyes. Me? Curly, dark brown hair, medium-light skin, brown eyes--but of course this isn't enough. When I was born, I had Asian features; I was never told I looked Latino. The only thing that I probably have going for me is the stereotype that some Latinas tend to be larger chested, but I can't that at the moment. Do I care about this? No, but I do care about being called 'ma,' 'mami,' 'chula,' and all of the other names women are called that surround our culture. Boys, it's not attractive.

   Acting Latina? Being called those names may be a part of urban culture, but I think it's a personal choice. I've been told I don't belong in my own neighborhood and that I don't act Puerto Rican, but what is acting Puerto Rican or Latino? No, I don't throw around slang terms, nor do I try and act like something I'm not. Yes, I may sound like a "white girl," but I wasn't raised around an abundance of Latinos to gain or keep a dialect or accent and it shouldn't matter where I, or anyone else was raised. Am I in college? Yes I am and yes, it is Caucasian-dominant, but so was my high school. Does this make me a "white girl?" No, but it does show that I can adapt to any environment and that my family wants the best of their children. Adapting and being confident is how we should all handle life situations. As for acting 'Latina', does that constitute going clubbing or hanging in the street or even dressing like the staged segments we see on television? I would hope not; it's only a stereotype, and television is scripted and costumed. Guess you didn't think about that, now did you?

   Thus being said, here's a little information about me and I'll let you decide based on my perspective and my YouTube videos.
 

  • I'm Puerto Rican
  • I'm a college senior, graduating a semester early
  • I recently applied for graduate school
  • I don't speak fluent Spanish
  • I've been straightening my hair for over 10 years and recently stopped straightening it 
  • I cook (and yes, I cook Spanish food)
  • I have a diverse vocabulary and speak properly
  • I do not like being called 'ma,' 'mami,' 'chula'
  • I'm not much of a fan of Spanish music 
  • I enjoy community service
  • Hockey is my favorite sport

Now, please tell me if I am "Latina" or if I'm just a good person.

**These are my thoughts on how I have been treated based on my upbringing. I am not sponsored or endorsed by any organizations, as these are my own thoughts.**
 

SHARE a DYMOND Moment With a CURVY COACH

You may be wondering what I've been up to this summer. Originally, I was set to work full-time at Pure Dymonds, an event planning and design company in Virginia Beach, however, under personal circumstances, I had to resign my 'physical' position and leave Virginia to take care of some business. Now, I am back in New York where I am a Communications intern at SHARE (Self Help for Women with Breast or Ovarian Cancer). I didn't think I would find a position that would give me office experience (since I have mostly been working virtually and one-on-one with companies), but I've found with dedication, positions such as mine, can be obtained.

    I was first introduced to SHARE at the February event, ManiCURES, hosted by Cherry Girls NYC and Diosa Nails. This was a fundraising event to raise money for SHARE and bring awareness to Breast and Ovarian cancer. It just so happened that a few months later (end of May), my university posted the position just after I found out I would have to change my summer situation. Since June I have been working with SHARE virtually and physically (since I am now in the area) and I have enjoyed each moment of it.

  What am I doing at my internship?

   We've all heard the horror stories about interns being abused by their employers, being overworked, harassed; the list goes on forever. My job description is simple: work with the Director of Communications. Honestly, I wasn't sure what I would be doing aside from managing their social media accounts, creating social media for blog posts, and assisting in ways to promote their events and programs. Because I was able to manage all of these tasks and create e-blasts (newsletters), other employees began to ask me for help with minor things. (psst....Asking the other departments if they need help WILL HELP YOU!) I have learned a little bit about everyone's job, what they're responsible for, and how the Communications department interacts with the others. So now do you understand why I like my job? I hope so; working at a cancer organization is probably one of the best internships I've had (and I'm still working with Pure Dymonds and another company that you'll find out about later). I can certainly say that I will miss working at SHARE, come August.

   Do I get to do anything fun?

    Yes. I think it was my second or third week at SHARE and I was asked to assist at a function. I knew what the event was, but I never thought I would be asked to attend. After a pep-talk from a volunteer, I knew that it was in my best interest to attend. Not only does attending events and after-hours programming show your commitment, but it also gives you an opportunity to meet with others in the area that share the same interest (you're both at the same event; there has to be some type of connection). I've also stayed and assisted with programming that SHARE offers to those living with breast or ovarian cancer. It really gives you a sense of awareness and allows you to see beyond the desk you sit at.

What's coming up next?

   Well, as mentioned earlier, there are many events that SHARE hosts, which includes fundraisers. Right now SHARE is preparing for their annual fundraiser; A Second Helping of Life. This year will mark the 10th anniversary of the fundraiser, which has granted SHARE with the opportunity to raise a generous amount of funds. It is a wonderful night of food prepared by the top female chefs in NYC with a few local NYC celebs. I think I know where I'm trying to be that night!

Anywho, yes, I am working with three companies: SHARE, Pure Dymonds, and Live Beautifully Health Coaching. How am I managing this? I have no idea, so if you know, please tell me. Pure Dymonds is honestly an amazing company and founder Tricia Epps has such a creative mind and is a great supervisor. I am currently writing blogs for Ms. Epps that relate to the latest trends in weddings, children's parties, milestones, and so much more. I am also working with Kalyea Moss, a plus size model who is also a health coach (also known as The Curvy Health Coach). I am currently responsible for updating and promoting events and programs on LBHC's social media accounts. In addition, I have been responsible for press releases for both Pure Dymonds and LBHC.

Where does this leave me?

 A dedicated, creative, senior, and professional.

What have you done this summer?

Visit SHARE, LBHC, and Pure Dymonds' websites here!

Girl What? Girl Code.

Live it. Breathe it. Know it.

         Girl Code is a new series on MTV that is taking the time of females by storm. MTV's Guy Code had ratings that were absolutley fantastic that they decided (or it seems to be) to create Girl Code. With each episode filled with various topics and truths, there is no line that can be crossed. Why is there no line? Because girls don't know where the line is! #GirlCode

       Okay, in all seriousness, Girl Code has become my go-to-show when there's nothing else on and I need the "elders" around me to understand how the youth operates. My mom watching Girl Code is an issue, but hey, at least she's hearing it from someone that's not me. But what is it that makes the show addicting? The truths.
       In each episode of Girl Code, the topics range from friends to sex to girl night out, and everything in between. Having watched Guy Code made me realize a few things about males, so I'm assuming there will be that one guy that watches Girl Code and learns a thing or two. I'm not saying everything has to be accurate, but they have it pretty well down-pat. I can't help but think to myself that the things we learn in life aren't important, and then I think about what we as a society believe, and I think of this show and what's talked about and BAM! It all makes sense now.

      #GirlCode

This image is NOT affiliated w/MTV. I thought it was cute and decided to use it instead of Girl Code's official image.

To Disappear or Not to Disappear

As we all know, I have been on a little disappearing act for the last few months (maybe even this past year). I've had a lot going on personally, with family, and academically. I do hope that since it's the summer, things will begin to settle and become a tad easier. However, do check out my Youtube channel (Laprincesalola) for videos on products, services, and life events that I feel you all will enjoy. And remember, if you have any ideas, feel free to contact me via Twitter (@LaPrincesaLola) for immediate responses and a more set activity of what's been going on.

Melon Bowl, What?

    The summer time is one of the largest event seasons, stretching from weddings to graduation, even children's birthday parties. But have you ever wondered if the kids at your event recognize common things such as plates or serving platters? Well, Uncommon Goods, a Brooklyn, New York based company has a few items that may enlighten you with products out of the ordinary and may need a second look. 

    Artist Melanie McKenney found her inspiration in nature, but we're not talking about the cookie-cutter flowers and trees. Melanie McKenny finds inspiration in the abundant textures and colors of ordinary fruits and vegetables.
    

How does it look so perfect and clean cut? She makes a slip-cast mold from an actual watermelon. After, she then recreates the texture from the naturally formed rind (outer shell is what I call it). To add the quenching detail, each piece is decorated with a vibrant, food-safe glazes. Is it microwavable? No. Is it dishwasher safe? Yes. Will the kids love it? Yes.  Each bowl is handmade in Tonawanda, New York and vary in size based on the melon. 

$60, uncommongoods.com

    

A Summer of Chic!

     Summer is quickly approaching and many college students are struggling to find work (internships, part-time, etc) or something to do. As a student who is serious about her career and education, I found it only necessary to search for an internship that would not only enhance my skills, but give me a chance to grow as a professional. Over the Spring Break, I interviewed an event planning and event design company, Pure Dymonds Events. All I can say is that from the moment I walked in to CEO/Designer/Special Events Manager Tricia Epps' office, I knew this was the employer for me.

     For the clients who like feathers, Pure Dymonds is for you. If you like unique lamp shades and decor, Pure Dymonds is for you. Oh, and if you like being able to go to one place for all of your event planning needs, Pure Dymonds is defiantly for you. Tricia Epps and her team take every step to make your event a night to remember. This is a company that takes your vision and makes them a reality with packages for every budget.
 

    Pure Dymonds is where simplicity meets chic!

To learn more about Pure Dymonds Events click here.

When You've Hit Rock Bottom....

It's mid-term season and many college students are beginning to feel the pressures of assignments and exams. As someone who has experienced rock bottom, I can safely say that I am amongst the many college students that are about to hit the floor...hard. Why don't I take a break? No, it's not my pride or dedication; it's my tolerance level. 
     A college junior/senior who's taking 18 credits, carrying an internship on her shoulders, and positions within organizations, there's only so much I can hold back. My studies have not been effected, but a lot of my "slack" is because I am waiting for professors to reach back out to be with my assignments to edit. This seems rather odd and unconventional, but I do assure you that it makes sense. Why haven't I blocked out time? I have, but there's only so much that can be done in that block of time. School is just like a job; you have a set amount of hours to work and if the job gets done, it's done, if not, then worry about it the next day. Currently I am writing a research paper (which I have a screen report and critical essays due around the same time), preparing for a History mid-term exam and essay, as well as a group project for Event Planning. Am I crazy? Maybe a little. 
     My high school took college very seriously and from this I learned that my high school practically taught me how to procrastinate, and to do it extremely well. No, I do not encourage procrastination, but everyone will listen to my advice differently. I do my best work when under pressure and believe me, I do it extremely well. Oh, and did I mention I'm applying for graduate school as well? From all of my assignments, work, and my application I have to say that I will be hitting rock bottom very soon and I am ready for the consequences I may face. 
     "Tamara, do you have any advice?" Yes I do. Take everything in doses and organize yourself. Each Sunday I set up a schedule for my internship (social media), and Tuesdays I sleep in a little and get right to work unless I have appointments or tutoring. Honestly, these are things that make your life so much easier and will benefit you in the long run (especially tutoring because your work can be completed here). On a lighter note, make sure your time is well distributed. As I write this, I'm actually waiting for a friend to bring me my English binder so I can work on my paper. This allows me to send my readers a message showing them how I deal with the situation. 

     I hope you found this slightly useful. If you have any questions just leave them in the comments below or tweet me on Twitter (LaPrincesaLola). 

XOXO

Hookah Luxury to Go

Have you ever wanted to go to a hookah or shisha lounge, but didn't have the time or money? Luxury Lites, a company specializing in electronic and disposable hookahs and cigarettes, is making a difference in lives everywhere. Luxury Lites offers an array of  flavors from strawberry daiquiri to mint chocolate, apple cider, and more. Each Hookah is designed for up to 700 puffs (according to my distributor). All I know if that this is probably the best $12 I've spent in a very long time; that's a promise!

      Can Luxury Lites products be ordered online? Yes! Luxury Lites ships across the country and internationally.  Shipping varies by location, however they company does provide a tracking number, and if ordered before 2pm, shipments go out that same day. This is an offer that can't be passed up, but of course, you must be at least 18 years old to order (for all of you underage smokers, I do apologize, but it's the law). If you find this to be a product you can benefit from or enjoy try it; Luxury Lites is the way to go!

My favorite is Strawberry Daiquiri (far right)

Facebook: Luxury Lites

Luxury Lites Website

NACA What!?

Okay, so for the past couple of days (and until Wednesday morning) I've been in Nashville, Tennessee for the National Association for Campus Activities Convention! For those of you who do not know what NACA is, most colleges and universities have an office for campus activities. This rangers from clubs, honor societies, Greek Life, and so much more. The options are endless. Where I attend school, our clubs do their absolute best to put on events for the student body. Our programming committee and and student activities office (as a team) put on events throughout the year for students, and the first 50 days and 50 nights are geared toward incoming students. Many schools find it difficult to plan events for theri demographic, and as a delegation, my university chose nine (9) students to attend the NACA conference to bring back and plan events for the coming semester and year.

     I know it sounds cheesy, but it's really a lot of fun. There are education events, and I'm not going to lie, they are a tad uninteresting, but maybe that's because some of the things they go over are common sense (at least for me), but it's a really great program. From education offerings to career preperation to club and lecture showcases, and even the campus marketplace, my first conference has been so much fun.

    Did you think I was going to let myself stay in a convention center all day? Um, that would be a no! As a team, my peers and I (along with our advisor of course) have branched out and vistited Braodway (downtown Nashville) and visited some interesting eateries. Let me tell you something; I don't think I've eaten this good in a very long time. I love BBQ and that's exactly what I've had since we've been here. Would I change my mind? Nope!

    For those of you who think I'm a little hyper at the moment, I am. Energy drinks are not in my vocabulary, however, tea and sugar are (I apologize for the craziness in advance via YouTube). Tuesday night or sometime on Wednesday when I get back to New York I will be doing a video on YouTube on my experience at NACA. Yes, I will be posting it here, but I have so much to share with you all that I cannot possibly type it and it sound at all enthusiastic. However, until then, please be careful with the consumption of Arnold Palmer and alcohol you consume (I am not condoning drinking, however if you are over the age of 21, Arnold Palmer and a little bit of vodka or tequila does the trick--at least that's what I've heard).

Have a wonderful week!!!!!

XOXO

Intern SPR 2013: Latino U College Access :

As many of you know I have not been actively blogging since November 2012. To my loyal readers, I deeply apologize for my absence. Since November I have been interning for a brand new non-profit organization, Latino U College Access. The goal of the organization is to educate the Latino community in the local Westchester, NY area on the importance of an education. I absolutely love the organization and being a part of a movement that impacts many people, to include first generation Latino students.
Being an intern has taught me so much, and every day I learn something new. I was hired by the CEO/Founder, Shirley Buontempo at my university's career fair, and I am the developer of the organization's Facebook (Latino U College Access) and Twitter (LatinoUAccess). You can find daily tips and information on the college experience from admissions to financial aid to successful Latino grads (I call the, Latinos in the Spotlight)!

Take a moment to think back to your college admissions process and what you went through. Tough, huh? Visit our Facebook and Twitter to slip a peak at what Latino U can offer to Westchester community.

Be safe, choose wisely, and fill out your FAFSA!

XOXO

Up, Up, and Not Getting a Pricey Ticket

As the holiday season approaches, many college students, families, and companies are planning their annual trips across the country and abroad. Since the economy has been, for the lack of a better word, falling and crashing, the price of airline tickets has gone up dramatically, and the longer you wait to purchase tickets, the higher the tickets get. I'm not saying the economy is on a rock-bottom field, but the country is struggling. Though I would love to go into depth about this topic, I'm not going to because it'll make your journey home or vacation rougher than it needs to be. How do we fix this problem?

      Organization, strategy, and budgets are very important. You may not think this is the solution to the problem, but in reality it does help a tremendous amount. In my various trips through the years, I have found that airlines love the hike of prices around Thanksgiving and the beginning of December, especially because they know some colleges don't post the schedules for finals until that time, making finances a little more difficult for students to overcome. My suggestion? Talk to your professors as soon as possible. Many of my professors have their own dates set for finals, which tend to be different than what the university advertises. Be safe and speak up around October/November to get the best answer and the best estimate of time.

      Now, what airline is the most efficient for college students? Personally, I feel that Southwest Airlines is my airline of choice for domestic travels, especially when visiting my parents. Not only are the tickets reasonably priced (typically), but you get two (2) checked bags for FREE! They don't fly everywhere, but check your local airport and your destination just in case. As far as international travel, I suggest Delta Airlines (even though I'm not a huge fan, my international flights have gone very well with Delta), Jet Blue, and sometimes United Airways or American Airlines. Granted they're not as good as one would like them to be, they work with you and are usually the only companies that fly to almost every airport in the country. Either way, make the best decision you can, and always call for assistance (some give student or government rates depending on the situation). Be smart!

     I hope this helped with your travel questions and worries. Flying isn't always the easiest or cheapest, but it is the most efficient. Research, question, book, and save.

Happy travels!