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Don’t tell me it won’t work if you haven’t given it 100%.
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I’ve seen #UTC17 #UTA17 #MTSU17 etc etc etc etc…. and I’m reminded that YALL are getting old…
but that’s not the focus of this blog. The focus is the new babies embarking on a new chapter called COLLEGE.
Do you remember your freshman year? I do! It was like yesterday…
My parents drove me to Chattanooga, TN. We had a problem finding a place to park but when we did I ran to UTC Place 2000 building up to Apt. 2128. See I chose UTChat because of the apartment style housing and its close proximity to Atlanta, where I have immediate family. After unpacking, we said our goodbyes! As soon as I was sure that my parents had driven off, I looked in the mirror at myself and SCREAMED!!!!!!! I was soooooooooooo happy to finally “be on my own” or so I thought. I was so happy for independence or a piece of it.
Thankfully for me, I performed well in high school, as education was top-tier in my household. With the scholarship I recieved and after paying for housing… I never knew what it was like to CASH IN that Refund check.
Most of my peers got refund checks and were “Ballin’”…. at least for a couple weeks.. or a few days, if they bought electronics and clothes. But not I. I had to find another means of income.
Regardless of my family’s financial status, I was always taught that my mama’s money was hers, and I had to find a way to get my own - so now yall seen where I get the “tough love” mentality.
So like the hustler that I am, I started working at EXPRESS in the mall until Christmas. After Christmas I worked at EXPRESS for a few more weeks. I rode the bus to the mall everyday and night to get to work..
(SN: I couldnt imagine riding a city bus now.. but i would if i had too)
After EXPRESS, I worked in the bookstore. Bookstore assignment ended so I was unemployed. While I was unemployed I searched for employment at places near campus so I could walk if I had to… so I went to a neighborhood church but they were not hiring - only accepting volunteers.
Since I was knee high I understood the importance of serving, even in the job arena and sure enough that volunteer position turned into a paid position. It was part-time during the school year and full time during the summer. By the time I wanted to move off campus I knew I needed more income. So instead of asking my parents, I searched for another job. I also saved up to buy a car, so I could get from my off campus apartment to a place of employment. I worked, went to class, went to internship, sometimes went back to work, and had one hell of a college experience.
To bring this up to present-day, I’ve always had a job — all through out college. I also never missed a party while at UTC… unless I wanted to… all while being on the Dean’s List (except for Spring 07..lol) - I dont recommend this lifestyle of partying but I do highly recommend getting work experience while in college.
After getting two degrees and working in my field and out of it… I’ve realized that NOTHING has been more vital in my career advancement than my experience. I was accepted in my MBA program due to my work experience. My GPA was average, my test scores TERRIBLE, but I had WORK EXPERIENCE (in a variety of industries) to match my competition (other applicants). Some may disagree with me, and thats okay - but here’s why I believe this: A degree with no experience < experience with No Degree
I stand behind getting a great education but you are useless in the job market if you are 23-24 years old with no prior work history.
I enhance and restructure resumes DAILY and its sad to see that sometimes I don’t have much to work with.
So I say to you: Incoming Freshman of Class of 2017
WORK while you’re in college. It builds character, a sense of responsibility, progress towards independence, health finacial habits, and MOST importantly - A RESUME!
WORK = internship, volunteer, job, work-study - something!!
Show your parents/family that they have done their part in preparing you for the real-world and now its your time to grow up.
Like I always say,
#SHUTUP & Keep Grinding
If I Wasn’t Black
By: Jada Davis
Written in May 2010
It’s said that once you go black you never go back
And to think back my people have survived the test of time
Never really reaching our full potential
Staying guarded behind “white privilege”
That continues to keep us behind
Behind the concept of supporting one another
Or understanding that we can all be different
Overcoming the stereotypes that keep us bound
Or hegemonic messages the media spreads around
Around we see the differences we face
Up to this date
Or in my place
What a disgrace
When one hates
On another races
That’s some display
When I walk into a room do you assume that my name is Shaniqua or LaQuisha
Larell or Laquan
Assuming that my vocabulary is uneducated, ghetto, insufficient, or even dumb
Does my level of competence or educational background
Exceed beyond your expectations
Or did you think I would have no goals or ambition
Living with a 8th grade education
If I wasn’t black would you automatically think I was raised in the mean streets of Memphis
Without realizing that my family could own the building that your whole family lives in
If I wasn’t black would you hold your purse close
When you see me walking by
Or would you hold your children even closer
Staring at me hard from the corner of your eye
Does the texture of my hair
Cause me to have more stares
Or do you have more fear
With the loudness of my voice coming near
If I wasn’t black would you say that I was “Acting White”
Because I articulated words right
Because I tried to avoid fights
Do I fit the criteria to be a welfare queen
Living on government funding until all my children
Have reached the age 18.
Or do I resemble the next jezebel
With characteristics that are fit for a music video
Where you consistently refer to me as an object
Saying your video b—ch or your video h-e
What about when I’m shopping in a store
And the manager is breathing down my back
To make sure that I am not shoplifting
Would that happen to me If I wasn’t black
The media has portrayed to us what is right
The media has portrayed to us what is wrong
Tell us what to think about
Giving us enough to think on our own
Stereotyping and Profiling
Displaying only the images that are viewed through “White Gaze”
Successful politicians, teachers, and doctors
My people are more than chicken and kool-aid.
Am I “unclean” because the color of my skin
Is different from yours or your best friend
Or does it depend on how I carry myself
Or will you that even help
To change the way that you have historically felt
The way that I am
Is the way that I am going to be,
If I wasn’t black, would that change how you treated me.
“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breath then you’ll be successful”
So I basically have ONE question:
How bad you want it?
This applies to any change you want in your life- do you really want to change?
If so what are you willing to sacrifice and how hard are you willing to do.
I function in a daily mode called: Tough Love. Anyone that knows me knows that you have to have tough skin to talk to me about anything.
Reason #1: I rarely sugarcoat ANYTHING – so you’ll get my honest opinion when you ask
Reason #2: I think lying to you will only hurt you in the end.
I’m an encourager, inspirer, motivator, pusher, puller, but I’m not a DRAGGER. I WILL NOT Drag you to success.
You have to want more for you than I want for you.
Disclaimer: I never attend to hurt anyone’s feelings but if I have to choose between my integrity vs. your feelings – being honest will always win
Now… back to the blog at hand.
Right now you are battling something major and internal.
It’s probably finding a job/starting a business, managing finances, losing weight, finding love, etc.
In a previous blog I told you that you can “Grind or Be Broke” – this is STILL the case. How bad do you want a new job or a new business to work?? Have you even applied yet? And after applying have you CALLED to follow up with the status of your application. Does anyone even KNOW you’re in business?? What about meeting new people? When is the lady time you’ve been to a professional event to meet new people to let someone know you were looking.
When it comes to finances- do you REALLY want to save money? Or do you think it sounds fun to say.
Look in your closet – how often do you go shopping and go out to eat with your “savings”. Oh yeah and that 42′ inch TV you just had to have – i see you decided to financed it instead of just saving for it. STOP borrowing from Paul to pay Peter We live in a microwave society that has convinced us that we need things NOW no matter what.
I’m guilty of it. But I’m now making the steps to correct my mistakes. If I can’t pay for it cash – I don’t need it.
(excluding a major purchase such as a home and maybe a car)
How bad do you really want to stop living check to check? What are you willing to let go of to make this happen?
I’m going up step on toes (even my own) with this one– but y’all know I do NOT care. The truth hurts…. But we need it.
Weight loss struggles….. *sigh*
I’ve never really dealt with this struggle personally (kind of but not really) but I’ve seen it’s challenges from those around me. Now I’ve needed to lose a few pounds here if there – well I should say I wanted to for my Miami trip – but that’s not the point.
The point is I’ve made excuses about why I haven’t worked out or started eating better – and I KNOW I’m not the only one.
My encourager Toni Harris says when you really want to change you have to make a DRASTIC step! That may mean doing something uncomfortable, unconventional, and unexpected. You’ve been wanting to lose 50lbs for 5 years – yet you haven’t completely changed your MIND (first), your eating habits, or your physical activity.
Now I know like anything else – losing weight is HARD!!!! But just like running a business – how bad do you want to succeed? What are you willing to sacrifice?
And now this brings me to something I can personally speak on… Finding love.
Well I don’t know if I’m certified to speak on Love but I can speak on the mistakes I’ve made.
You want a man…. You want a woman?
How BAD Do you want it. Like seriously??
You have a long list of qualities you want in a mate – 6’7, brown skin, Six-figure income, family man, hard working, etc etc etc – BUT what steps have you made to be the WOMAN that a man like this deserves.
Without lowering your standards what are willing to sacrifice or tolerate? No one is perfect – right?
Have you done ANYTHING different this time than the last 32 times you have love a chance?
This is how I view success in every aspect of my life:
“If you ever had a asthma attack before your short of breath S.O.B shortness of breath,
you wheezing (breath sound) the only thing
you trying to do is get some air.
You don’t care about no basketball game,
you don’t care about what’s on T.V.,
you don’t care about nobody calling you,
you don’t care about a party.
The only thing you care about
when you trying to breathe is to get some fresh air.
And when you get to the point
where all you wanna do is
be is successful
as bad as you wanna breathe then you will be successful.”
So Every day, ask yourself:
How BAD do you want it?!
- Jada D,