Managing Stress While In College

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Greetings and Blessings!!

I hope you all are doing well! I hope that you are getting into the swing of things while being in school. I think for most colleges/universities Homecoming is coming up within the next weeks of October. I hope you all take in the activities for the weekend and attend the Homecoming game! It’s really a great experience during Homecoming week. In this post I wanted to share and talk to you about how to manage stress while in school. Dealing with and managing stress while in college can be a tough and difficult task to do. From classes and bad professors to relationships and time management, the stress of college life always remains present. So what exactly is stress?

Stress is defined as a response to a demand that is placed upon you. Without some stress, people would not get a lot done. That extra burst of adrenaline that helps you finish your final paper, perform well in sports, or meet any challenge is positive stress. It is a short-term physiological tension and added mental alertness that subsides when the challenge has been met, enabling you to relax and carry on. Responses to stress can be physical, such as a headache; emotional, such as fear or sadness; and mental, such as increased anxiety. If you cannot return to a relaxed state, then the stress becomes negative. The changes in your body (increased heart rate, higher blood pressure and muscle tension) start to take their toll, often leading to mental and physical exhaustion and illness. Too much stress can cause problems and affect our health, productivity and relationships. So here are a few tips to learn how to keep your stress in check and how to relax when it gets to be too much.

 

Stressed or relaxed.

 

  1. Don’t Stress About Being Stressed When you’re feeling stressed, you feel like you’re on edge and everything is barely being held together. Don’t beat yourself up too badly about it! It’s all normal, and the best way to handle stress is to not get more stressed about being stressed.
  2. Sleep/Relaxation Getting more sleep can help your mind refocus, recharge, and re-balance. Sometimes, a good night’s sleep can be all you need to hit the ground running amidst a stressful time.
  3. Food Intake Similar to your sleep habits, your eating habits may have gone by the wayside when you started school. Think about what and when you’ve eaten over the past few days. You may think your stress is psychological, but you could also be feeling physical stress if you’re not fueling your body appropriately with the necessary nutrients.
  4. Set Some Quiet Time  When was the last time you had some quality, quiet time alone? Personal space for those in college rarely exists.. Find a few moments of peace and quiet with no cell phone, roommates, or crowds might be just what you need.
  5. Social Time You could be stressed because you’re being too focused on getting things done. Don’t forget that your brain is like a muscle, and even it needs a break every once in a while! Take a break and see a movie. Grab some friends and go out dancing.  Take the bus and hang out off campus for a few hours. Having a social life is an important part of your college experience, so don’t be afraid to keep it in the picture when you’re stressed.
  6. Distance You may be handling your own problems and trying to help others around you. While this can be nice for them, check in and be honest with yourself about how your helpful demeanor may be causing more stress in your life. It’s okay to take a step back and focus on yourself for a little while, especially if you are stressed and your academics are at risk. After all, how can you keep helping others if you’re not even in a state to help yourself? Figure out which things are causing you the most stress and how you can take a step back from each. And then, most importantly, take that step.

These are just a few tips that can be of help to you in dealing and managing stress while in college. If you are feeling too much pressure then go seek help from your campuses counseling center. It is okay to ask for help no one expects you to have it all together all the time. Sometimes you just need a break in order to regroup. Hope you all find this post helpful and useful.

 

Be Blessed

Christina

MYGirls: Let’s Talk About Leadership & Self-Esteem (Part 2: Competition, and “Frienemies”)

*~ MYEvents will run every Thursday evening at 6:00pm, Pacific Standard Time. ~*

*~MYGirls Blog Series will run every Friday evening at 6:00pm, Pacific Standard Time. ~*

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Why hello, lovely young girls!!

Hopefully, by now, you all have been able to follow the MYGirls Blog Series  These blog entries, along with suggested reads from @, @, and @, are here for your viewing pleasure, as well as to provide insight and tips on how to be successful in school, build & maintain friendships, improve on home-based routines and responsibilities, and overall navigate through life in general.  We bloggers speak to you from experience, to both inspire and prepare you for what’s to come in the near (and distant future).

So far within the MYGirls Blog Series, we have covered Social Media Etiquette, Appearance & Personal Hygiene (broken into two parts), Academics, and  Leadership & Self-Esteem (Part 1).  Today we will discuss Part 2 of the Leadership & Self-Esteem topic:  Competition & “Frienemies.”

teen-girls-s22-photo-of-competing-sisters By now, young girls, you should all be well-established in your classes, have developed great acquaintanceship with your teachers, joined clubs & organizations . . . maybe even a spirit squad!  But most definitely, you all should have begun friendships with your peers.  Some of these friendships may end up being temporary, even though they are begun with the goal of them lasting after high school, well into adulthood.

We choose our friends for many reasons.  As stated in Let’s Talk About Appearance & Personal Hygiene (Part 1:  Personal Hygiene), [with our friends, we are] sharing commonalities like favorite colors, favorite “girly” products (lip gloss, sweet-smelling lotions & body sprays, hair pins, etc), favorite courses & teachers, mutual friends, likes & dislikes, and the list goes on.  Much of our self-esteem comes from the influence of our friends.  To go deeper, we choose our friends based on how they make us feel when we are around them.  A good friend will make us laugh, comfort us when we are hurt, congratulate us for our achievements, encourage us, uplift us, and most importantly, support us.  A good friend helps us to discover ourselves and allows us to be ourselves, accepting us for who we are without casting judgment.

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A good friend will push you forward, to help you reach your highest potential.  A good friend wants to see you win, even if it means she temporarily loses.  And she wants to see you win, without jealousy.   A good friend respects you in a leadership role, sometimes more so than those not considered friends who are under your leadership.  Young girls, do your friends support you?  Are they genuinely happy when you win something, especially if you are competing against each other?  Do they feel as though your friendships are mere bouts of competition?

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There are several different ways you can evaluate your friendships; I would like to concentrate on 3 of them:

  • Accomplishments – say you made the Honor Roll, made captain of the basketball team, or earned the position of student body President . . . do your friends congratulate you, or brush it off as if it weren’t as big as something major that they have achieved?
  • Information – say you have the same class as your friends, and you are out of school for the day due to illness . . . do your friends share their class notes with you and inform you of any homework assignments that are due, or do they keep it to themselves which will put you at risk of a lowered grade?
  • Opportunity – say auditions for the school play are approaching, and your friends find out before you do . . . do they inform you of the upcoming date(s), or do they keep it to themselves in hopes you won’t get a shot at showcasing your talents?

If your friends cannot congratulate and support you in your accomplishments, share important information with you, or pass along a great opportunity to you, chances are you may have befriended frienemies.

 

27cityroom-wrestling-blog480 Sometimes we find that those whom we consider to be our friends, are our enemies in disguise.  Thus, “frienemies.”  A frienemy is someone who is nice, sweet, and friendly at first, in hopes that she keeps us close.  But because a frienemy thrives off of having someone around to validate them, she will keep us close to purposely turn us into her unwilling competitor.  She always wants to be better than us, so she will find ways to place us in an ‘us-versus-them’ situation.  Over time, a frienemy will eventually become your full-fledged enemy.

 

Young girls, it is very important that we are careful and mindful when we select our friends.  We must choose friends who bring out the best in us . . . and expect nothing less.  Remember, our friends are reflections of us:  we are the company we keep . . . we are who we hang out with.  It is important that YOU are also the humorous, comforting, congratulatory, encouraging, uplifting, and supportive friend that you aim to attract.  It’s okay to have a friend to win something over you.  It’s okay that your weakness might be her strength.  It’s okay that she might make a better class president . . . you might make a better team captain.  We all have our own strengths and weaknesses.  We all have areas in which we make great leaders.  We are equal to our friends, but not always identical, and that is perfectly fine!  Do not let that discourage you, young girls.

We are all winners together, even if only one takes the medal! AR-706209459

 

 

Next week’s blog:  Health (Part 1:  Diet)

 

 

-Kahlelah, MYGirls

 

MYEvents: Thursday, September 25, 2014 – Wednesday, October 1, 2014

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Hello brilliant young girls!!

*~ MYEvents will run every Thursday evening at 6:00pm, Pacific Standard Time. ~*

*~MYGirls Blog Series will run every Friday evening at 6:00pm, Pacific Standard Time. ~*

 

 

MYEvents will list all upcoming events.  They will either be free & open to the community, by RSVP, or by ticket purchase.  If you see an event listed, YOU’RE INVITED!!

 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Community-Plan-Launch-September-25-2014-800x500px

The mission of the South Los Angeles Homeless Transition Age Youth (TAY) and Foster Care Collaborative is to prevent and end youth homelessness in South Los Angeles.  RSVP Here to register for the community event to help end homelessness within our youth.

 

 

Saturday, October 4, 2014 – 

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Inspirational community leaders will come together with Charlotte’s Korner, Inc., to encourage, empower, and uplift our youth, as various issues concerning our teens will be discussed.  CLICK HERE for more information, or how to become a volunteer, vendor, or guest speaker.  (I will be one of the guest speakers, so please come in support of GU4AP!)

 

 

Friday, November 14th, 2014 – 

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Dynamic leaders will be honored and celebrated on this night of wonder.  SEE INFO Here for sponsorship packages.

 

 

ON-GOING EVENTS FOR 2014 – 

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FREE!!  Parenting Classes for Africans, African Americans, and Caribbeans.
Unfortunately NO court- or D.C.F.S.-ordered clientele will be accepted.
Call (323) 777-3120 for more information.

Brought to you by the Coalition of Mental health Professionals, Inc.
9219 S. Broadway Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90003

 

 

Staying in the know with what’s going on in the community, helps us to stay connected to each other. and keep our youth with an optimistic mindset.  We must work together for the good of our world, our countries, our states, our nations, our cultures, our communities, our neighborhoods, our families . . . and ourselves.  For we are all “family.”  Fellow members of the human race.  We need each other more than we might know.

Share these events with your families.  And if there are any events that you know of and would like to share with MYGirls, please contact me, and I will list them.  Let’s get involved, young girls!!

 

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-Kahlelah, MYGirls

Why You Should Consider Studying Abroad in College

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Greetings and Blessings!!

I hope you ladies are doing well. I hope you all are adjusting and enjoying your time so far in college. In this post I wanted to share and talk about taking advantage of studying abroad. I never personally studied abroad while I was in college but I have taken a trip of outside of the U.S. Studying abroad offers a unique opportunity to grow academically, professionally, and personally while going on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. There are a number of other benefits to studying abroad, however, there are also numerous challenges.

The pros for studying abroad may be an ideal opportunity for you to seek adventure with the support network of an established program. For those of you who wish to learn a foreign language or develop existing foreign language skills and immerse yourself in a new culture will also find it beneficial. As well as, if you are considering a career in international relations you should definitely consider studying abroad, as it can increase job prospects upon graduation.

However, the cons for studying abroad is less suitable for you if you have strong attachments to your hometown and are wary of being far apart from your family and friends. Also, some universities also have strict requirements in place, restricting study abroad programs to those individuals who meet a minimum GPA. While there are study abroad scholarship opportunities specifically designed for students who wish to study abroad, their is that possibility that you may not be eligible. If you don’t qualify for a scholarship, weigh the pros and cons to make the best decision, and be sure to expand your search as far as what would be of help to you that would make it possible for you to study abroad.

 

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Why Should You Study Abroad?

1. Experience a Foreign Culture

Visiting foreign countries  in person, is an entirely different experience. When you study abroad, you participate in the day-to-day life of a new locale, gaining a first-hand understanding and new appreciation of the culture.

2. Second Language Skills

Studying abroad can provide you with a perfect opportunity to learn a new foreign language. Being surrounded by native speakers affords you the chance to immerse yourself in the language, which can expedite your retention and fluency.

3. Explore Your Own Heritage

Individuals whose familial heritage stems from abroad will often choose to explore their ethnicity and ancestry.

4. Pursue an Activity

Studying abroad is a chance for you to be adventurous, explore the unknown, and try your hand at activities that may not be offered back in your hometown.

5. Learn How to Communicate Across Cultures

Studying abroad helps you become familiar with the customs and traditions of the country in which you are studying, in addition to the language. By interacting with locals, you can develop an appreciation for the culture and its differences from your own.

6. Gain Independence

Studying abroad removes you from the normal support network that you are accustomed to back home. While on the one hand, being away from friends and family can seem daunting, it is also a chance for you to hone your own skills and gain some independence.

7. Manage Your Own Finances

One major aspect of being an independent adult is having the ability to manage your own finances. Regardless of whether your study abroad program is financed by a scholarship, grant, or another source of income, chances are that it will be your responsibility to pay the bills.

Also, living in a new country also forces you to learn to understand a new form of currency, and familiarize yourself with the various living expenses. Understanding how to manage your expenses will especially be beneficial when you no longer rely on the support of your family.

8. Increase Your Employment Opportunities

Employers value prospective candidates with international experience, foreign language skills, and the ability to communicate across cultures. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in international relations, diplomacy, or government, these skills will be especially useful.

Use your experience studying abroad to expand your set of abilities, and make these a determining factor that will separate you from the others in a pool of applicants.

9. Form and Develop New and Rewarding Relationships

Without your regular support group of friends and family, you will be confronted with new situations on a daily basis. However, studying abroad offers you the chance to meet new people and form friendships that may last a lifetime. Whether you’re living with a host family or in a student residence, make an effort to form relationships with those around you.

10. Networking

In addition to making friends, you can also form professional contacts while abroad. Generally speaking, course loads tend to be comparatively lighter while studying abroad, so this can be an ideal occasion to intern, work part-time,  or volunteer while you’re studying.

If you are considering studying abroad while in college go and speak to your college and/or university’s study abroad department and find out all the information concerning your schools study abroad program. They will tell you all you need to know and help you in getting all the information that is needed in order to study abroad.

Be Blessed

Christina

MYGirls: Let’s Talk About Leadership & Self-Esteem (Part 1)

ATTENTION ALL YOUNG GIRLS:

*~ The MYGirls Blog Series will run every Friday, at 6:00pm Pacific Standard Time. ~*

Greetings, outstanding young girls!!

Hopefully, by now, you all have been able to follow the MYGirls Blog Series  These blog entries, along with suggested reads from @, @, and @, are here for your viewing pleasure, as well as to provide insight and tips on how to be successful in school, build & maintain friendships, improve on home-based routines and responsibilities, and overall navigate through life in general.  We bloggers speak to you from experience, to both inspire and prepare you for what’s to come in the near (and distant future).

So far within the MYGirls Blog Series, we have covered Social Media Etiquette, Appearance & Personal Hygiene (broken into two parts), and Academics.  Today’s topic (now broken into two parts) will zero in on something that affects all young girls, worldwide:  Leadership & Self-Esteem (Part 1).

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Leadership & Self-Esteem are extremely important to me when it comes to young girls, because they are things that young girls struggle with everyday.  But what is a leader?  A leader is someone who can make decisions with a sound mind, considering both the pros and cons of a particular situation.  A leader is someone who takes initiative, without having to be instructed to do so.  A leader is responsible, and holds him- or herself accountable for any mishaps.  A leader is knowledgeable, in one or many areas, by either study or experience.  Simply put, a leader handles business, and other people trust in leaders.  Many young girls lack the traits needed (confidence, bravery, ambition, strength, focus) to exhibit effective leadership.

This is largely because girls are typically discouraged from displaying their leadership abilities, and because the two go hand-in-hand, such discouragement directly affects their levels of self-esteem.  discouraged_child-250x250

Many times in school, girls are teased for raising their hands if they can answer questions presented to the class by their teachers.  How many of you young girls have been called offensive names like, “goody two-shoes?”  What about “know-it-all?”  I know I have, when I was your age.  Girls are often ridiculed for showing their intelligence, and it is treated as though it were against what society considers normal girl behavior.  In many cultures around the world, girls are discouraged or even restricted by law from learning anything outside of domestic duties (cooking, cleaning, raising children, being a wife).  Because boys grow to be the men who will lead the families & communities and males are to protect females, it is believed that a boy’s worldly education is more important, whereas a girl’s focus should be on homemaking skills.  It is believed that males are supposed to lead and females are supposed to follow (by nature, which is a topic that should be taught by your parent(s) ).  While all cultures are different in their traditions, it is no secret that girls are unfortunately kept from expanding their minds beyond what is accepted by their families, friends, and others in society. Attending school, which would take their minds away from the home, is definitely out of the question.

Here in America, girls are able to attend and participate in school, however the treatment isn’t too far off from being discouraged from attending school altogether.  Girls are usually shy, and that shyness is fueled by fear of being put on the spot by their peers.  A fellow student, most commonly a boy, will blurt out a joke in an attempt to embarrass a girl, and silence her from speaking up any further in class.

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Young girls, I’d love to know, and I’m sure you’d like to know within yourselves:

  • Do you find yourselves raising your hands slowly, and halfway in the air, to avoid attracting too much attention to yourselves?  When the teacher calls on you, do you answer in a low-toned voice?
  • Do you have trouble making eye contact, or do you hold your head down when speaking?
  • Do you say “I’m sorry,” “excuse me,” or “I don’t mean to . . . ,” more than necessary?
  • Do you find yourselves holding back on correct answers?  Do you hold back on your thoughts and opinions?
  • Do you hold back on group projects, for fear of being called “bossy” if you can facilitate the progression of group work?  Do you adhere to when people say that you can’t be in charge?

 

Young girls, I’ve been there before.  I know what it feels like to second-guess yourself because someone has challenged your thinking . . . even when I know I had the right answer.  I know what it feels like to not put my all into a class project, for fear of being called names.  I know what it feels like to not be sure of the sound of my own voice, and to speak timidly.  It is a painful feeling, and believe me, I know how it feels:  it’s like we’re expected to be clueless, and then ridiculed for being clueless.  Seems like a losing battle, doesn’t it?  Well young girls, I’m here to tell you, it’s not.  As a matter of fact young girls, it’s not a battle at all.  Especially, if we don’t make it one, or allow it to become one.  self-esteem

 

Young girls, there will always be people who will try to divert your attention away from your goals.  There will always be people who will try to discourage you from achieving.  There will always be people who will doubt your skills, your smarts, your intelligence, your potential . . . and many of those people will do so simply because you are a girl.  Many will try to take control of your confidence and self-esteem levels.  Well young girls, this is where YOU come in.

You see these words over here?  These are all POSITIVE traits. womenroles.euwomen-300x187

And each one of these traits, can be found in each and every one of you wonderful young girls.  Each of you has the ability to master every trait listed in this fun illustration.  It would be damaging to believe that girls cannot be powerful, or ambitious, or outspoken.  It would diminish the confidence in a girl who is ridiculed for giving a presentation in front of her class.  Consider these words, your self-esteem boosters.  Utilize your tools, these boosters!!  Because I can bet that if each one of you amazing young girls repeats each word listed here in the above illustration, in the mirror, affirming it by first saying “I am,” and then each word right after . . . what I believe in you, you will be believe in you, too!

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Remember young girls, all great leaders didn’t start out that way.  Not everybody believed in them.  BUT, they found what they were good at, and excelled, becoming a leader (or expert) in that particular activity.  They fought through failures (which are only temporary setbacks), they continued on despite naysayers, they believed in themselves even when others around them didn’t.  Boys and girls are fit to be leaders, and it doesn’t have to be in the same activity, line of work, belief or practice, etc.  Remember that there will always be people who will purposely try to put you down.  However, you continue on regardless.  Girls are just as valuable, just as important, just as special, and just as powerful as boys . . . all in your own ways.  A boy might lead in math, a girl might lead in science.  A boy might lead in history, a girl might lead in social studies.  A boy my lead in business management, a girl might lead in economics.  A boy might lead in a group project based on art.  A girl might lead a group project based on literature.  Both might lead in finance.  Both might lead in politics.  Both might lead in medicine.  See?  We ALL can be leaders!  So young girls, let doubters (or, as many of you say, “haters”) motivate you to excel even further than you thought you could!  Those who try to discourage you, might be intimidated by you . . . so, let them be!  The only person you can control, is you.  The only person you have something to prove to, is yourself.  So make yourselves proud, young girls!  Prove yourselves right!

Believe that you achieve goals, and excel in school.  Believe that your voices matter.  Believe that YOU matter.  Don’t fear raising your hands if you know the right answers . . . be afraid of keeping it to yourselves!  Be afraid of NOT letting your lights shine!  Do not be afraid to be who & what you are! Screen-Shot-2014-03-10-at-11.27.06-AM

Our last GU4AP / MYGirls event on July 12, 2014, “Park Beautification Day” in Moreno Valley, CA, incorporated a Leadership workshop from Ban Bossy, an initiative brought to you by Lean In & Girl Scouts of the USA.  The Ban Bossy website has various downloadable activity & workshop booklets for students, teachers, parents, and troop leaders.  Each booklet contains several facts regarding females in school settings, the workforce, and environments in which girls interact with their friends.  I encourage you all to check out these booklets, as MYGirls will be using them for our upcoming Mentor / Mentee workshops.

As I conclude, young girls, I want to leave you with another list of self-esteem boosters:

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Though all of these tips may not apply to your lives, some of them will . . . so utilize your tools, your boosters!!

Next Friday’s blog:  Competition, and “Frenemies” (Part 2)

-Kahlelah, “MYGirls”

MYEvents: Thursday, September 18, 2014 – Wednesday, September 24, 2014

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Hi there, outstanding young girls!!

*~ MYEvents will run every Thursday evening at 6:00pm, Pacific Standard Time. ~*

*~MYGirls Blog Series will run every Friday evening at 6:00pm, Pacific Standard Time. ~*

 

 

MYEvents will list all upcoming events.  They will either be free & open to the community, by RSVP, or by ticket purchase.  If you see an event listed, YOU’RE INVITED!!

 

Sunday, September 21, 2014 – 

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Hair stylists from across America will come together for a chance to be honored as the Bobbi Boss 2014 “America’s Next Top Stylist.”  CLICK HERE for information, stylist registration, and consumer tickets. (I will be one of the models on the runway!)

 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Community-Plan-Launch-September-25-2014-800x500px

The mission of the South Los Angeles Homeless Transition Age Youth (TAY) and Foster Care Collaborative is to prevent and end youth homelessness in South Los Angeles.  RSVP Here to register for the community event to help end homelessness within our youth.

 

Saturday, October 4, 2014 – 

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Inspirational community leaders will come together with Charlotte’s Korner, Inc., to encourage, empower, and uplift our youth, as various issues concerning our teens will be discussed.  CLICK HERE for more information, or how to become a volunteer, vendor, or guest speaker.  (I will be one of the guest speakers . . . updated flyer coming soon.)

 

Friday, November 14th, 2014 – 

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Dynamic leaders will be honored and celebrated on this night of wonder.  SEE INFO Here for sponsorship packages.

 

 

ON-GOING EVENTS FOR 2014 – 

banner

FREE!!  Parenting Classes for Africans, African Americans, and Caribbeans.
Unfortunately NO court- or D.C.F.S.-ordered clientele will be accepted.
Call (323) 777-3120 for more information.

Brought to you by the Coalition of Mental health Professionals, Inc.
9219 S. Broadway Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90003

 

 

Staying in the know with what’s going on in the community, helps us to stay connected to each other. and keep our youth with an optimistic mindset.  We must work together for the good of our world, our countries, our states, our nations, our cultures, our communities, our neighborhoods, our families . . . and ourselves.  For we are all “family.”  Fellow members of the human race.  We need each other more than we might know.

Share these events with your families.  And if there are any events that you know of and would like to share with MYGirls, please contact me, and I will list them.  Let’s get involved, young girls!!

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-Kahlelah, MYGirls

A Freshman Girl’s Guide To College Dating Part 2

College-Romance-Dating-in-College

Greetings and Blessings!!!

I hope you ladies are doing well!! In the last post, I shared with you all dating and relationship tips when it comes to dating in college. I really do hope that post was helpful and useful to you. This post is part two and I will be sharing and talking to you all about the topic of sex and the use of contraceptives and choosing to be celibate or abstinent. This topic can be a bit uncomfortable for people to open up and talk about. I am in no way shape or form encouraging any one to be sexually active while in school. But it is important to be knowledgeable and aware about this topic. Sexual health is one of the most important things a college student should manage while at college. Studies show “Somewhere between 20 and 25 percent of college students are or have been infected with an STD”, hopefully this will get your attention. If you think you may become sexually active in college you need to know the risks, and ways to keep safe. You only have one body, and a poor decision one night could change your life forever, effecting every aspect of your future.

When it comes to the use of contraceptives there are many different forms of birth control that one can choose to be on. There are two different types of birth control methods and they are hormonal and nonhornmal. Hormonal approaches include injections, hormonal intrauterine devices (IUD), implanon, oral contraceptives (the pill), nuva rings, and patches. Nonhormonal practices comprise of contraceptive sponges, diaphragms, female and male condoms, nonhormonal intrauterine devices (IUD), and spermicide. Each of these different usage of contraceptives vary in terms of effectiveness and the duration of time for when to be used. It is important that you speak with your doctor concerning the best form of birth control to use if you choose to be on it.

SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES

STD stands for Sexually Transmitted Disease. These diseases can be transmitted during any types of sexual contact where direct contact occurs. There are several types of STDs.

Common STD’s include:

  • HPV (human papilloma virus)
  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • Syphilis
  • HIV / AIDS
  • Herpes

Sexually Transmitted Diseases are very much really and anyone can contract them. Do not just take a person’s word that they are STD HIV/AIDS free. Go and get tested!!! Most if not all college campuses have free STD HIV/AIDS testing in their community health center. My college health center had free testing every Wednesday so check with your campus health center and see if they provided this service. If they don’t ask them where any free clinics are to see if they provided these services. It is important that you know your status and the person that you are considering sleeping with and/or sleeping with status.

Choosing To Be Abstinent/Celibate 

There are many advantages to choosing not to have, or postponing sexual activity while in college. You can have great, fulfilling relationships without having sex until you are absolutely ready! It is okay to say “no” and choose to wait to have sex until you are ready. There are some advantages to being abstinent or celibate and a few of them are:

  • If the relationship lasts without sex, there is a good chance it will be a strong relationship.
  • Confidence: You’ll know that the other person likes you for you, and not just for sexual attraction.
  • Freedom from worry: You’ll have no concerns about unintended pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted infections. Also, there will be less confusion about relationships that become intense too fast.
  • Less stress: There will be time to learn more about yourself and your feelings.
  • Peace of mind: You won’t be risking your future for a few minutes of pleasure now.
  • Simplicity: You won’t have to worry about birth control.
  • Security: It feels safer to know a person better, and wait until you think this is the person you may.

Choosing to be abstinent or going from being sexually active to celibacy is no easy walk. There is temptation and the feeling or thought of what having sex would be like. It is important that you surrounded yourself with a good positive friends that will be supportive of you. Whether you are sexually active or not, it is important that you take care of you!! There are so many STD’s that can become contracted without any symptoms appearing right away. If whoever you are interested in or dating really cares and likes you then they will respect your decision to wait. It is important when it comes to dating that you get to know one another before any sexual encounters take place. Do not let anyone pressure you into doing something that you don’t feel comfortable with. Please always remember that it is okay to say NO! Everyone is not having sex and it is perfectly okay if you choose to be one of those people who is choosing to wait! You only have one life and one body and it is important that you take care of it the best you can!

 

Be Blessed

Christina

MYGirls Blog Series Update: Let’s Talk About a New Addition to MYGirls . . . . . . MYEvents!!

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Hi there, radiant young girls!!

 

So after attending last Saturday’s event, the Swearing-In of LAUSD District 1 Board Member, Dr. George J. McKenna, III, I became inspired.  I wanted to not only share my experience at the open community event, but also create an opportunity for all our Girls Unite 4 A Purpose members and MYGirls to share similar experiences.  Community involvement is imperative for the advancement and upliftment of all community members, especially our youth.  Thus, MYEvents.

 

*~ MYEvents will run every Thursday evening at 6:00pm, Pacific Standard Time. ~*

*~MYGirls Blog Series will run every Friday evening at 6:00pm, Pacific Standard Time. ~*

 

MYEvents will list all upcoming events.  They will either be free & open to the community, by RSVP, or by ticket purchase.  If you see an event listed, YOU’RE INVITED!!

 

 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

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The mission of the South Los Angeles Homeless Transition Age Youth (TAY) and Foster Care Collaborative is to prevent and end youth homelessness in South Los Angeles.  RSVP Here to register for the community event to help end homelessness within our youth.

 

Friday, November 14th, 2014 – 

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Dynamic leaders will be honored and celebrated on this night of wonder.  SEE INFO Here for sponsorship packages.

 

 

Staying in the know with what’s going on in the community, helps us to stay connected to each other. and keep our youth with an optimistic mindset.  We must work together for the good of our world, our countries, our states, our nations, our cultures, our communities, our neighborhoods, our families . . . and ourselves.  For we are all “family.”  Fellow members of the human race.  We need each other more than we might know.

Share these events with your families.  And if there are any events that you know of and would like to share with MYGirls, please contact me, and I will list them.  Let’s get involved, young girls!!

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-Kahlelah, MYGirls

MYGirls: Let’s Talk About Academics

ATTENTION ALL YOUNG GIRLS:

*~ The MYGirls Blog Series will run every Friday, at 6:00pm Pacific Standard Time. ~*

 

Hi there precious young girls!!!

 

So last Friday, I completed Part 2 of the 2-Part mini-series, Appearance & Personal Hygiene.  The focuses were taking care of yourself, and presenting the best of yourself.

While the next blog is Academics, I think @ has this department covered.  She is an expert in academic preparation:  staying on top of your grades, effective study habits, campus involvement, and financial responsibilities (for college students, so this would mean our 18-year-old MYGirls).  Follow her blog entries for great academic advice!!

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Before I go, I do want to leave you with a few pointers on balancing academics with other aspects in your lives:

 

Balance your time between academics and friends.  We love spending time with our friends.  We love to hang out, go to the mall, the beach, to each other’s homes, and we love relax a little, without responsibility.  However, we DO have responsibilities.  Young girls, you are responsible for completing your own classwork, completing and turning in your own homework.  You are responsible for your own studying, and you must develop your own study habits (for example:  you might not be able to concentrate on your work with music playing, even though your friend can).  You are responsible for making good grades.  Because your name is the only name on your report card.  So, let your name shine in lights with awesome grades!!

 

Balance your time between academics and extra-curricular activities.  We love to play sports.  We love to be involved on campus.  We love to gather with our friends and our peers for club meetings, school dances, team tryouts, school play auditions, talent shows, and other fun activities.  These exciting things to do, really stimulate the artistic sides of us.  They can also interfere with our academic progress.  Young girls, understand that extra-curricular activities are an EXTRA part of school; they do not make up the entire reason for being in school, and should not be the only reason for focusing on your studies and maintaining good grades.  Campus involvement is very important, as it makes for a well-rounded student . . . make sure, young girls, that you put scholastic activities at the same level of importance.  Maybe even a little higher.
**All work and no play makes Jill a dull girl, but no work and all play keeps Jill from graduating! 

 

 

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Balance your time between academics and boyfriends.  In school, we sometimes find that special someone of the opposite sex, who makes us laugh, comforts us when we cry, buys us lunch and other nice things, carries our books for us, defends us, protects us from harm, supports us at our games, and might even help us study.  Just like our friends, we need to find time away from our boyfriends to stay on track with our studies.  Love is a beautiful thing, and sometimes, we find it at a young age.  Young girls, please understand that love is a very strong word, with a very deep meaning, and you might be too young to fully understand it.  When you’re in love, it can take your mind away from so many things . . . including your responsibilities.  Our boyfriends cannot turn in our work for us to our teachers.  You must find a balance between the boy you love, and the schoolwork that will get you to the next level.  Talk to your parent(s) about it!

 

Balance your time between academics and household chores.  Our parents put a humongous effort into raising us.  Their children.  Their offspring.  Their reflections.  We must honor our parents.  Therefore, we must adhere to the responsibilities they give us, as well as our scholastic responsibilities.  When Mom says to wash the dishes, we do so.  When Dad says to clean our rooms, we do so.  When we are told o vacuum the livingroom floor, we do so.  No questions asked.  Why?  Because our parents are molding us into well-rounded individuals who can later function in life, as adults.  This may sound like a bit much, but truthfully, young girls, it’s not.  With time management and learning how to balance everything, it’s a piece of cake!

 

Young girls, it helps to invest in an organizer.  Or a monthly planner for the year. cd90133890fa6c20e977ac3162c31815

In it, write down all homework assignments, class projects, club meetings, team practice dates & times, and other important school-oriented responsibilities.  You can also write down your household responsibilities, like when you are to wash the dishes, do the laundry, clean the bathroom, clean your room, cook, and anything else your parent(s) delegate as your task.  Besides, when you leave for college, you might attend a college or university far away from your family.  So life skills must be intact if you plan to succeed on your own . . . which I’m sure you all want to eventually do!

 

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Let’s stay focused!!  Have a beautiful weekend, young girls.

 

Next Friday’s blog:  Leadership & Self-Esteem

 

-Kahlelah, “MYGirls”

Re-cap of the Community Swearing-In Celebration & Administration of the Oath of Office of District 1 Board Member, Dr. George J. McKenna, III

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What a day it was!!

Last Saturday, I attended the open community event, in honor of Dr. George J. McKenna, III.  A man who is a nationally-renowned leader for our youth in inner-city school districts throughout the Greater Los Angeles area.  It was such a beautiful sight to see:  parents, students, teachers, LAUSD board members, community leaders, and other key attendees offering support for the induction of our new LAUSD Board Member, representing District 1.

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It was such an honor meeting a divine gentleman, with a stellar vision for the advancement of our youth.  I also had the extreme pleasure of meeting U.S. Congresswoman, Maxine Waters, Representative of the 43rd congressional district of California.  Thank you for giving the youth a voice, Dr. McKenna!!

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The full press release is below.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 12, 2014

Nationally-Renowned Educator George McKenna Elected to LAUSD Board of Education
Despite being outspent over 3 to 1, McKenna prevailed by building a coalition of community and educators.

Los Angeles, CA – Dr. George McKenna, the internationally-recognized educator whose turnaround of South Central Los Angeles’ Washington Prep High School led to the made-for-TV movie starring Denzel Washington, “The George McKenna Story,” overcame a 3-to-1 funding disadvantage to be elected to the District 1 seat of the school board that oversees America’s second largest school district.

McKenna ran a comparatively lean campaign that heavily relied upon a superior campaign strategy and the support of activist teachers and education, parent, community, and ecumenical leaders/organizations. The campaign built on the grassroots effort to appoint McKenna to the vacancy caused by the unexpected death of long-time board member Marguerite LaMotte on December 5, 2013. In January, the LAUSD school board rejected that call from the community, opting instead for a special election, which has left District 1 unrepresented for over 9 months.

In response to the 53% to 47% electoral result, McKenna said:

“The community won and sent a message that District 1 is not for sale.

“I am honored to succeed my long-time friend and colleague Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte. She was a champion for children and can never be replaced.

“I feel so privileged to have earned the trust and confidence of District 1 voters to be their school board representative.

“Today was an important day for the district, because of our election and because it marked the first day of school. Tonight, at dinner tables across our region children are telling stories about new adventures in learning, and teachers are assessing the day’s successes and challenges. They all should know how proud I am to be their board member, and how committed I am to their success. I am here to help every student reach their God-given potential, and give every teacher the support they need to fulfill their calling to education.

“The coalition we have built of parents, community and educators will not dissipate now that the electoral process is complete. Now begins the hard work of transforming our district, liberating our children, and emancipating our communities. Our task is not easy, but I welcome the challenge. I have never accepted an easy assignment in my career, yet I have always improved the educational outcomes of children. I will draw on the best of my experience, assemble an able team of advisors, and work in partnership with parents, teachers and the community to pursue excellence in our schools.

Let’s get to work.”

 

With five decades of experience, George McKenna has served at all levels of the educational ladder, including classroom mathematics teacher, principal and local district superintendent within LAUSD. Additionally, he served as Superintendent of the Inglewood USD, Deputy Director of the Compton USD and Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Schools in the Pasadena USD. He currently serves as an educational consultant, providing professional development and support to school districts and community organizations throughout the country.

McKenna has been recognized locally, nationally and internationally for his work in transforming schools, improving student performance and increasing community interest and involvement in local schools. With more than 400 citations, he has been profiled in national publications, including Time, People and Ebony magazines; television shows, including “Nightline” and “The Oprah Winfrey Show;” and numerous newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times and The Christian Science Monitor.

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We at Girls Unite 4 A Purpose & MYGirls salute you, Dr. McKenna!!
**Special thank-you to Gwendolyn Cross of California Women 4 Women for the invitation.

-Kahlelah, “MYGirls”

A Freshman Girl’s Guide To College Dating

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Greetings and Blessings!!!

I hope you ladies are doing well!! I hope you all are starting to become comfortable in the college setting and not letting it overwhelm you. It can be overwhelming at times. But remember that if you are having trouble with your schoolwork or with anything personal it is okay to seek help. This post will be broken down into two parts. In this post I wanted to share and talk with you about relationships while being in college. College relationships can greatly differ from middle and high school relationships. In no way, shape or form am I a relationship expert, but I’ve had witnessed the good, the bad and the ugly in college relationships. Whether you are doing the long distance thing with your high school sweetheart and you are trying to maintain that relationship or looking to see what the dating scene is like while in college it is good to have a guide to figuring out the ins and outs of college dating.

When it comes to developing and forming a friendship and/or relationship with guys it is important to define the boundaries within that friendship and/or relationship. In all honesty, the majority of relationships in college tend to be a lot of game play from both sexes. Even though the majority of the time it’s the males that are seen to be doing wrong, females are known to play games with who they are seeing as well. When it comes to relationships it is important to know and understand that guys have their own perspective of a girl who is their friend and a girl is who their girlfriend. If you’re a friend, they may be attracted to you, feeling you, or crushing on you, but until they actually TELL you something, you’re still just a friend. You all may hang out together and talk frequently but unless they have stated their intentions, it is best to avoid thinking that there are any desires to pursue a relationship. When it comes to them wanting more than just a friendship with you and they are looking to be in a committed relationship with you, you’ll know. There will be no “maybe” floating around in your head, no second guessing anything. Their actions will speak and their words will match up with these actions!

Here are some tips for you to keep in mind regarding friendships and/or relationships while in college. It is always important to remember to take things slowly and be wary. Stay grounded and always have an understanding of what someone’s intentions are while making sure that your own intentions are as clear as crystal.

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  • It is okay to be single There is nothing wrong with being in college and being single while in college!! This is the time to find yourself and find out what you want out of life. We’ve all got that friend who can’t stay out of a relationship. Dating can be great, but when you move from person to person, you start to lose sight of YOURSELF. Get to know you and focus on what you want and what you need. When the time is right, the one for you will make an appearance.
  • If your heart’s not in it, get out. Don’t stay with someone who doesn’t make you happy. Let me repeat that: DON’T BE WITH SOMEONE WHO DOESN’T MAKE YOU HAPPY. It seems so simple, but why would you SETTLE for something your heart isn’t fully in? Know that you are worth more and you deserve more than being in a relationship for the sake of being in one.
  • Don’t doubt it. If you have misgivings about your significant other, chances are there’s a reason. Trust issues don’t just appear randomly. Have they been dishonest in the past? Did they cheat on you? Are they flirting with someone else in front of you? You can’t be happy with someone if you’re going to spend all your time worrying about what they’re doing when they’re not with you.
  • Common Interests Really think about this one. Do you have ANYTHING in common aside from being physically attracted to one another? I certainly hope so! If not, it is best to reconsider and re-evaluate your relationship with this person.
  • Be Honest Trust and honesty are the foundation of EVERY relationship and/or friendship.
  • Define your relationship. Just because you change your relationship status on Facebook or tweet or post pics of lovey dovey messages on Twitter/Instagram does not make your relationship official. Knowing what you are to the other person and what they are to you makes it official not displaying it on social media! If you are making all these changes to accommodate them and if you are doing all the posting on social media about your relationship and the person that you are with is NOT, then that person isn’t invested in the relationship as you are.
  • Manage your time. Yes the saying is true, that people do make time for what they want. In relationships as well as friendships it is important for both individuals to make and spend time with one another. How can you know anything about this person if all you do is text or talk on the phone? Also, it is important that you don’t spend all your FREE TIME with your significant other. You need time for you. How can you miss them or ask them how was their day or get anything important done if you guys are together all day every day! So many relationships fail because individuals spend too much time with each other and not enough time on themselves. You and the person you are dating should be able to function when you are a part from one another.

When it comes to friendships and relationships of the opposite sex they are not complicated! Its people who complicate them because of the lack of honesty from the very beginning. If you have to question, “where is this relationship going?” then its probably not going anywhere because that person is not emotionally invested in it. It is important that you know what you will and will not put up with in relationships. If you don’t know your worth. If you don’t know or have a voice then these guys will see that and take advantage of you. And trust me they can see and spot that a mile away. What you allow will continue and I am speaking from personal experience when I say that. Get to know you and get to know who you are in Christ before jumping or rushing into being in a relationship. As always, I hope you find this post helpful and useful and I look forward to writing part two of a freshman girl’s guide to college dating,

 

Be Blessed

Christina

MYGirls: Let’s Talk About Appearance & Personal Hygiene (Part 2: Appearance)

ATTENTION ALL YOUNG GIRLS:

*~ The MYGirls Blog Series will run every Friday, at 6:00pm Pacific Standard Time. ~*

Hello lovely young girls!

How are you all doing???  School is back in session, how are you classes going?  Are you well-adjusted to the teaching styles of your instructors?  Are you grasping the work in class, and understanding your homework?  Hopefully the answers to all these questions, is a confident “Yes!”  However, do not be discouraged if you have to answer “No.”  It is okay to need, and seek, help for yourselves.  We all are imperfect creatures, and a helping hand is typically a non-judgmental hand.

Last Friday’s blog piece was on Part 1 of a 2-Part entry:  Appearance & Personal Hygiene, with Part 1 being Personal Hygiene.  Last week’s topic focused on the importance of minding how often you allow your friends to use your health & beauty products (soaps, lotions, body sprays, lip balms & glosses, etc.), lest you make yourselves susceptible to the passing of germs, which can lead to allergic reactions, infections, and other possible ailments and illnesses.  As Part 1 pertained to how you take care of yourselves, Part 2, Appearance, will focus on how you present yourselves.

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Presentation is SO important when it comes to showing yourselves to the world.  There’s an old saying that goes, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.”  While it is true that wo/man makes the clothes and not the other way around, the way that one dresses sets the tone for others to formulate their opinions about him or her, whether accurate about the person or otherwise.

When you are making yourselves visible to the world, you are showing the world who and what you are, based on the first impression they get from you.  No, you should not judge a book by its cover, however there is a reason why an author puts much time & thought into how he or she would like to illustrate the book title and cover.  Something has to attract the reader, and the visual must be persuasive enough to prompt the reader to check out the book’s overview . . . and possibly make the purchase from the bookstore or check-out from the library.  It’s all in the presentation!

Young girls, how do you see yourselves when you look in the mirror? stock-photo-10337028-young-girl-tries-on-crown-looking-in-mirror While we are defining ourselves based on likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, and how we relate to the rest of the world, we must also keep in mind that we are defining ourselves AND being defined.  Not initially by others, but rather by what we do when we present ourselves.  While no one else can define you, what you do to define yourself, can actually work against you.

If you have been keeping up with the blog entries from our GU4AP / MYG bloggers (outside of the MYGirls blog series), you will notice our fabulous blogger Ashley ( @ ) gave insight on great ways to present yourselves in her blog entry, “Age Appropriate Back to School Fashion Outfits for Young Girls . . . ”  I would like to expand a bit further on the importance of presentation, regarding possible messages others could be interpreting when viewing your first impression.

  • Wearing age-appropriate attire is extremely important, especially in young girls whose bodies have developed into shapes usually seen on adult females.  A young girl must first understand her body and its development, puberty, her sexuality, the vast differences between an adolescent and an adult, and the possible message she could give off if wearing makeup, tight or revealing clothing, high heels, hairstyles typically seen on adult females, long acrylic or press-on nails, and anything that screams “grown-up.”  Makeup is not for young girls.  High heels are not for young girls.  Tight or revealing clothing is not for young girls.  Multiple ear or body piercings are not for young girls.  Certain hairstyles are not for young girls.  We stress confidence, self-love, and we also stress self-respect.
  • As much as we must pay attention to how we are fixing ourselves up, we must also pay attention to the times we make NO effort to give good presentation.  While the exterior does not speak for the interior, the exterior could possibly distract the viewer, turning him or her away from the main goal of getting to the interior.  Hairstyles nowadays straddle the fence between ‘neat’ and ‘unkempt’, so there is really no defining base.  However, that does not mean to present yourself looking as though you rolled out of bed five minutes prior.  We must dress for what we want, and look the part.  Why?  Well, because you wouldn’t want to sit at the station of a manicurist who has dirty nails.  You wouldn’t want to sit in the chair of a hairstylist whose hair is all over the place . . . not in any particular style or pattern.  You wouldn’t want to buy food from a chef who came to work looking like he or she ran through a dust storm.  What clients would trust them and their service(s)?  None of those people would be dressed to look their parts.  It’s only fair that they don’t expect business to be good.

Young girls, remember as I said, you always want to “look the part.”  You always want to dress for what you want.  Your initial appearance is what gets others to believe in your words, your business, your product(s), your insight, your views.  And this means way more than the labels and price tags attached to the clothing you wear.

If you want success, you must dress like you’re going to find it. iammichelleO_v2

 

 

Please understand, young girls, that paying attention to your appearance and presentation, is not to make you stuck-up, snobby, self-conscious, or to make you superficial.  Paying attention to the way you look, is exhibiting self-love, self-worth, self-respect, and self-esteem.  When you look good, you feel good, and when you feel good, you tend to want to DO good.  And when done with the proper guidance, you’ll always BE good.

 

Remember young girls, 1098168_10152162918519128_581882700_n1, and show the world how to love you too!!

 

-Kahlelah, “MYGirls”

Maintaining And Forming New Friendships

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Greetings and Blessings!!!

I hope you ladies are doing well!! I hope that you all are getting adjusted to being college and embracing this new experience and adventure. In this post I wanted to share with you how to deal with in maintaining friendships and forming and establishing new ones. Maintaining long-distance friendships while in college can be difficult. But there is also that wonderful experience of forming and developing new ones. A friendship that was formed at home usually shares a kind of bond that is irreplaceable. Friends like these do not grow on tress, so holding onto these friendships while away from home is just as important as forming new ones. When it comes to maintaining your friendships with those back home, open communication is very important. With the friends that you have back home you can stay connected with them either through phone calls, emails, or both and of course social media. Also, homecoming and the activities surrounding your homecoming is a great way for you and your friends to hang out and see one another.

When it comes to forming and developing new friendships while at school, it can be a challenging time. You’re  in a new environment and you are becoming adjusted to your new surroundings. By living in a dorm and having a roommate that can be a great opportunity to establish friendships. By having a roommate, it is a great way for you to bond together over how it feels to be in college and see if you share any other interest in common. Now, having a roommate is great but it can be a real test to see how well you both can handle being in each others space. Being able to compromise and respect each others differences is very important when you are living with someone that you don’t really know. Some people who are roommates are just that and haven’t developed that bond and trust factor with one another to become friends. It is okay if you and your roommate don’t end up being the best of friends. Just be cordial to one another and if issues arise go to your floor monitor and work out any issues you guys are having.

 

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A great way to build on and develop new friendships with other students is becoming involved in organized campus activities. As you increase your involvement in college life, you will build new friendships and relationships, which will have a positive effect on your well-being. You will maintain and improve your relationships, as you build your communication skills, show concern for others, and develop your problem-solving skills.

It is important to know that when it comes to friendships whether its close friends from back home or new ones that you’ve formed, that it takes the work of both individuals in maintaining that friendship. A true friendship is not one-sided. It is important to surrounded yourselves with individuals who are helping you in achieving your goals and dreams and vice versa. If you are surrounded by individuals who are yes people and people who are not doing anything productive with themselves it is time to re-evaluate that friendship. Everyone that you come across is not meant to be your friend. Having a true and genuine friendship with someone is a blessing and it is important that one cherishes it.

 

Be Blessed

Christina