Black Lives Matter.

“That girl that was screaming on the steps, made me so uncomfortable. To me she just seemed like, I hate to say it, but the angry black girl stereotype” 

This week has left me wrestling with so many emotions. We are willing to fight and protest against the injustices that are happening to our people. These protests have been going on since Tuesday, but these cases and these injustices have been going on for lifetimes. I catch myself in shock sometimes, reading what my classmates have to say. People who I know, old neighbors, friends from high school, kids from home, kids who I see everyday, adults, professors, teachers, alumni have all been so quick to take to social media and say just nasty things. They call us “savages” “monsters” and “idiots”.

I’m living in a community now where I see the way people are looking at me differently. I get glares walking down the street and it is all because of the color of my skin. I’m living in a community where they say the President of the University should have released bull dogs on students or power hosed us off the steps. I’m living in a community where they curse the President of the University, for holding his hands up with us in support. I’m living in a community where they say, we should all “go back where we came from.” I’m living in a community where I am no longer apart of the community. I have been isolated and I have been thrown away. And I know it’s because they’re frustrated because it’s their safe reality that is getting challenged by a truth that they are not willing to accept. “He deserved it.” “He was a thug” “It’s not fair, get over it.” The reality of the situation is not their own reality. People in passing say that the protests make them uncomfortable. That it’s “so close to finals week, go protest somewhere else.”  I saw someone say something about how this was irrelevant to Eric Garner because protests were happening before “they even knew what happened with Eric Garner.” No man, of course we knew what happened with Eric Garner, and we knew long before you did, because we were paying attention.

I find myself shaking because I know I am in the minority even when it comes to my beliefs. Something I think is so easy to understand, something that I think is just common sense, is seen as wrong. People around me are talking about things that seem irrelevant, because they only think about the protests or these issues only some of the time. They want to talk about work, sports, TV shows, parties, but I am just so consumed because my reality is getting eaten alive. And not only eaten alive, it’s getting thrown away. I am told that these things don’t happen to people now because it is 2014 but injustices like this aren’t just what you see on the news, it happens every day.

This is so much bigger than Mike Brown and Eric Garner. This is about my brother. My father. I see Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin in people who I love, because just the wrong perception of them by someone else with a weapon or a position of power could end their life and then the world would tell me that they deserved it. This is us leading a fight against police brutality for everyone, not just for black people in America. When they’re done taking black people’s rights away, they’re coming for all of your white rights. So don’t think you’re safe.

“I Think I Need a Sunrise”

My title is a quote from that song Augustana sang called Boston. Very Fitting. Continue. 

This post is part two in my crazy Boston adventure. Amita let me stay with her and it was very lovely and nice of her to let me bunk with her instead of pay for a hotel room in Boston. I’ll never be able to repay her for that. She doesn’t realize that she wasn’t just offering a roof over my head for the night, but she was supporting me as I get one step closer to my dreams. We all need help and support from our friends and family, and I can’t thank her enough for what she did.

Boston was great. My Amtrak got in around 3 (which was late but that’s not terrible). The Amtrak was nice because it makes me feel like I’m riding the Hogwarts Express…you know, minus all the dementors, and I got a whole seat to myself (ELBOW ROOM). When I got to Boston I had to just eat and get ready for the show. I was on a time crunch, but even after traveling for hours, I had to press on. Amita and I planned to gallivant through Boston after the show because I wanted to see the city a little bit. Who wouldn’t? Boston is beautiful and ever since the last time I went, over four years ago, I’ve always wanted to come back. Boston had different plans, because after the fashion show, it was pouring rain. Guess who didn’t want to walk around Boston in wedges in pouring rain? Instead of walking around at night in the rain, which is not a fun way to sightsee or even go out to a nice restaurant, which were our original plans, Amita and I decided to just order Chinese food and watch Netflix (Silver Linings Playbook to be exact). It felt like we were back at home in Baldwin, just picking up where we left off in the most natural way possible. If I’ve learned anything about friendship it’s that no matter how far away you are from someone or how long you don’t talk, you’re always able to just pick back up where you left off. And help a friend when she’s trying to follow her dreams (even if it’s insane). I had a night of fashion shows, beautiful cities, and traveling, but this was the best part of my night.

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Chinese food and Selfies

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Before the show!

The downside of having a nine AM class on a Monday, meant I had to hightail it back to PA right after the Boston show, so I had to catch an Amtrak at 8:40 am. ROUGH. Amita and I woke up before the sun did, and got ready so that I could catch my train. The rain stopped and the forecast read bright and sunny in Boston for that Sunday. The streets of Boston were empty as the sun just started to bathe the orange and yellow leaves with cool sunshine. It was as though the city who rained us out last night, did so specifically to wash the streets away of everyone so that we could explore it’s treasures on our own. With no crowds or interruption. A small parting gift from a stranger inviting me to look inside, while I still had the chance. So why not go sightseeing…now?

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They say if you step in the middle of that seal you DON’T GRADUATE. So I’m playing with fire.

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Amita is too.

Intersection of Commonwealth Ave. and St. Marys St.

Intersection of Commonwealth Ave. and St. Marys St.

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Penn State Meets Boston. Thank you for everything.

College Fashion Week Boston 2014

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Last week I had an incredible opportunity and was invited to attend College Fashion Week in Boston as a VIP! My weekend was full of travel, great friends, fashion, and so much fun. I’ve only been to Boston one time before (shoutout to the Wind Symphony Band Trip 2010) so traveling to a fairly new and unfamiliar city alone was an experience in itself, let alone going to a fashion show and documenting it for my blog which is also something I have never done before. I made sure to document as much as I could so without further ado, here is my experience at College Fashion Week Boston!

The stage and seats for all of the VIPS  !

boohooSTYLESQUAD supplied all of the fashions for the runway this year and they were to die for.

We had great talent perform in-between the sets for the show!

All of the models rocked the runway in there booho style!

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VIPS got this awesome goodie bag! A big thanks for TRESemme, bareMinerals, SimonPOFashions!

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I had a blast at #CollegeFashionWeek Boston ! I could not have asked for a better experience!

We Need to Talk: Sexual Assault on Campus

So this post was a long time in the making, because for a long time I’ve been trying to word my thoughts correctly, because topics about injustices often turn into rants. I want these ideas to be taken seriously as the issue of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape is something that often gets dismissed because the discussion is sensitive, harsh and loud and the exchange of ideas is lost when people get offended.

I want to talk first about about sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is very hard to identify and define. One person could not be offended by someone’s actions whereas another person could feel violated. I bring this up because when people are not on the same page about what is defined as harassment, then that is when walls get thrown up, people get offended, and an actual discussion about sexual harassment is again, shut down.

Being a Public Relations major, I’ve always been really interested and even fascinated by the media.  We have so many different platforms where we can get our message across. So many different and unique platforms for different ideas and messages to be conveyed.

YouTube is a unique platform, because there are people on there who make these videos of different genres and share them, on a periodic basis. It’s almost like having your own personal TV show. They have growing fan bases and they’ve become these kinds of influencers where young people, look up to them. Recently over the weekend, there was a particular YouTube Star, Sam Pepper, who released a prank video. The video (which I will not post on my own personal website) was about him, pranking girls on the street by pinching their butts without their permission and without them knowing. The video is so painful to watch as these girls are confused and clearly uncomfortable as he violates them on camera. One girl even says, “I don’t like that,” and instead of an apology, he laughs and proceeds to hug her.

The reason I bring up the Sam Pepper video is because, he does not understand that by doing this, he’s sexually harassing women. Because if he understood, there is no way this would have ever been made. These women were clearly targeted. Young. Pretty. Alone. Vulnerable. As someone with a fairly large fan base ( an “Influencer” if you will) going around and targeting young women is not something that should be made into a “comedy video.”

Youtube-Famous, is very weird in that, people don’t know whether to consider these people celebrities, so it’s very hard to point fingers at them and say, “you have a social responsibility to your young audience to not act misogynistic  and uphold good values.” They don’t have any laws telling them what they can and can’t say. They can be offensive and use offensive language and talk about very crass things because, their videos are not for TV, and the FCC hasn’t gotten to them yet.

This video, who’s audience is largely targeted towards young girls, is very problematic. Many comments on the video were saying, “it’s okay he was just trying to be funny” or “it’s okay because he’s cute.” Some comments were harsher and directed towards the women who were featured in the video, and some were in fact saying how Sam Pepper was very wrong for promoting and participating in this kind of humor and activity, which is indeed identified as sexual harassment. Sexually harassing women for humor to further build your brand and career as a “Youtube Sensation” is something that needs to be condemned. This gray area, that I call the Internet, allows for a lot of freedom of expression and now it allows for people to start to have actual careers making these 5 minute videos so that kids especially can watch them and laugh. Sexual harassment however, is not something that should be taken lightly. Condoning sexual harassment on a very popular media platform, can only lead to worse things happening.

The title of this post references to campus life; Sexual Assault on Campus. I attend Penn State University. One of the most well known schools, and the best schools in the country. I’m blessed to be here, and be in school, and I love it here. However, here on campus things aren’t going great. Just this semester alone (as of August 25, 2014) there have been six sexual assaults reported. Three of which happened just last weekend. Three in one weekend. Isn’t that just mind blowing. And the reports that I get, sent straight to my cell phone, name streets that are just right down the road from me, or buildings that I pass by or go into everyday. Places that I call my home where innocent people are getting attacked.

There is always the buzz phrases and advice, “girls should walk in groups,” “don’t wear revealing clothing,” “call for help if you feel unsafe,” “yell ‘fire’ if something is happening because people won’t come to help if you yell ‘rape.'”

This is the part where people get defensive. Now the phrases are “don’t teach boys to take advantage of girls,” “teach our boys to not feel the need to assert their masculinity over women in order to feel powerful,” These are all great because we are changing the conversation and working our way towards a conversation where we no longer shame victims or victim blame.

Yes, men get sexually harassed. Yes, men get raped. Yes, men are victims. And this is all part of the conversation that needs to be had in order to stop these kinds of crimes from happening. I am not disregarding the fact that there are a lot of cases, that aren’t regularly talked about, where men are victims to sexual crimes. It is just more prominent for women. These issues should not be dismissed from conversation because it’s a “women issue.”

We aren’t having a conversation about the increased number of sexual assaults on campus. There is just no way it is happening because these crimes keep happening. What is the board doing in order to make it’s students feel safe around campus? What kind of punishments are being given to the offenders? What are we doing as a community to prevent these crimes from happening again? One sexual assault is too many, but six? We need to talk, and more importantly we need to act.

Music Review: Souled Out- Jhene Aiko

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On dreary and rainy days, like what I’ve been experiencing over the course of the past week, sometimes I don’t want heavy, pop music playing on my spotify playlist. You know those kind of songs that just vibe really well. And make you think about all the things going on in your life, and then help you make the hard decision to let go and live. If you are looking for some serious soul searching, you need to be listening to Jhene Aiko’s new album, Souled Out. I was listening to this yesterday while I was doing my homework, and I just could not concentrate the songs were so good.

I reviewed Jhene’s last album, Sail Out, and talked about how her music really gets me because she’s always very vulnerable and honest in her music. I know the summer is for fun pop music, and I love “radio music.” The Top 40 is my jam from May – September all the time. But it’s nice to know that there are still some young artist that are still so raw with their music and their lyrics. Jhene Aiko’s music reflects her past experiences with love, her daughter, and her brother who just recently passed away. For me, especially someone who know that kind of pain of losing a loved one, I connect with her album at the heart and I feel her words putting me at peace.

If you don’t have time to listen to the whole album (which I think you should) my personal favorites are Promises, Pretty Bird, Brave, and Spotless Mind. Clink on the link at the bottom of this post and let me know what you think of her album and if you loved it as much as I did!

Jhene Aiko – Souled Out (Deluxe)

Things Are Happening

Hello Readers!

Being MIA for this long should be a crime and you guys should slap me on the knuckles or something, but I am back, and back for good.

I’ll be honest with you on the real reason I have been away so long. Branding and rebranding, and thinking about the kind of blogger I want to be or that I am is really hard. The blogging scene right now is very congested. Everyone wants to do it and everyone wants to write and now if you want a job or an edge on your competition, running your own blog is a pretty good leg up. With this kind of atmosphere being so heavy with people, it was really hard for me to stand out and shine in what I do, because I felt like, everyone else was doing it.

But this is a confidence reboot. I just received excellent news and things are happening. I will keep you guys in the know how, and instead of trying to be a blogger that I’m not, I’m just going to be me.

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Starting Over

The beginning of a new semester is finally here! Things are very different now. After surviving an 11 week wonderful marketing internship, it feels weird going back to studying. After seeing and talking to adults for 8 hours each day it’s strange now seeing 20-year-olds on a daily basis.

The first week of school is officially over and now I’m back to reading, studying, test taking, and blogging. The summer was a good break to find peace with myself and get my mind on the right track. I have big plans for my website and I can’t wait until it all gets to be in full swing.

The thing about blogging is that, you have to write for yourself. It’s so easy to get lost in the hype of blogging. You think you’re supposed to write certain kinds of posts, and that you’re supposed to be a certain kind of person, but really the only person you’re supposed to be is yourself.

So cheers readers, to a new school year, new beginnings, and starting over.

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Fashion PR Confidential

The Photobooth!


Last week I had the awesome opportunity to attend Fashion PR Confidential in NYC! I can’t even begin to express how awesome this experience was. I got to meet Crosby Noricks of
PR Couture and Danika Daly of Danika Daly PR and so many other PR professionals.

No matter what type of business you go into in PR, there is always going to be a need to specialize in something. Fashion PR is tricky because there isn’t really a class that specializes in Fashion PR in most universities. This program was great because not only did we learn some basic PR essentials, but also some Fashion PR essentials that are necessary when working in the Fashion industry.

The conference was composed of a small group of people and there we got to listen to lectures given by Danika and Crosby and also got to listen to some guest speakers as well. We worked in groups in our own little PR agency and also got some awesome goody bags.

I learned a lot about myself this weekend, and I’m especially proud of myself because this is one of the first things I’ve done on my own. I braved the subway solo for the first time and even got stranded at Jamaica station on my way home (typical LIRR). All in all, this was a fantastic weekend, and I wouldn’t have changed it for the world.

 

 

What Am I Up To This Summer? #SummerBloggerChallenge

This summer I’m going to be participating in a weekly challenge where I blog about certain topics that are summer related. Charlotte, who blogs at  Velvets and Vinyls, was the one who came up with this brilliant idea and she has put in so much work and behind the scenes action to make this all possible, so thank you Charlotte! I can’t wait to meet some other wonderful bloggers and read all about their adventures! This is also cool for you, my readers, because if you follow the hashtag, #SummerBloggerChallenge, you’ll be able to not only read my post, but other cool blogger’s posts as well!

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This week kicks off the challenge and the first prompt is, What are you doing this summer?

What am I doing this summer?

Nothing.

Okay I’m just joking. I’m actually doing a lot. With interning, commuting, conferences, and just seeing friends and family, I hardly have time for power naps, let alone, large elaborate things to plan for the summer.

This summer is actually quite the makeover for me. I’m really starting to get my professional life together. The internship is giving me a lot of confidence, work-wise, and socially as well. I can confidently walk around the city with my head up and do a little exploring, and not just move from point A to point B. A summer spent in the Center of the Universe is a summer worth exploring! So I plan to take advantage of that.

Speaking of a career-driven summer, I have signed up for a couple conferences that I cannot wait to tell you guys about. So to answer the question, What am I up to this summer?, in addition to BBQ’s and walking on the boardwalk, I’m going to be attending Fashion PR Confidential and the Her Campus National Intercollegiate Conference in NYC this summer!

Fashion PR Con and the Her Campus Conference are both going to be great, but like the internship I just started, I really don’t know what to expect. All I have are internet testimonials and high hopes. Not only will I be attending these workshops, but I’ll also be attending them by myself, which also makes for some new experiences. I’m pretty okay now being the lone ranger, but I have it up there on my to-do list to be as social and bubbly as possibly at these events, so that I can make the most out of them. Loud, chatty, and expressive, “me” always tends to become more introverted whenever I find myself in an intimidating situation that puts me outside of my comfort zone, so this will be one fear to face as I put my best foot (or heel) forward for these two incredible weekends.

Since I don’t know much about what’s going to be happening at these conferences, I guess all I can say is, look out for the posts when I come back from them! I’ll be as detailed as possible, I promise. I’m finally starting to take my life into my own hands, and if I want to go and gallivant around the city in a blazer with resumes flying everywhere, well then that’s what I’m going to do. Hello Summer. 

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Hello World!

Happy Summer! I haven’t blogged for about a month now ( I know, shame on me) but I am going to try to get into a routine again with writing. This post is going to be an update on everything that has been going on, because a lot has been happening this month. Onward!

Internship

I’m a marketing intern! I made it guys. I work in the best city in the world in one of the most famous buildings in the world. Can you guess which? I have my very own desk, in the Empire State Building. This is one of the bigger reasons why I haven’t been blogging as much. I’m a full-time worker now, and I commute from Long Island to the city back and forth. Now that I’ve been working there almost a month, I’ve gotten used to the long commute. The internship is great, and I am really lucky to have such an awesome supportive system there. The management is great and my supervisor is very encouraging and helpful. Also Grandpa works downstairs so I get to see Grandpa everyday! This was a good gig to get this summer and I couldn’t be happier.

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The Empire State Building on my walk to work. Super cloudy day.

Birthday

HA! I’m twenty-years-old now. I didn’t make a post intentionally about my birthday for a couple of reasons. I don’t have a post that’s titled 

20 pieces of advice 

or 

20 things every 20 year old should do in their 20s

or

20 different new snacks to try now that you’re an adult

or 

20 things you can’t complain about now that you’re 20

because I think posts like that are kind of not super genuine. I didn’t have this grand revelation when I turned twenty and that’s okay. I also didn’t have some super mid-midlife crisis either. There’s nothing wrong with my teenage years being done. I by no means want to stay a teenage forever ew. I don’t plan on peaking at 20 or after college. I think if you’re afraid of getting older, that’s more what you’re afraid of, not improving as a person. You’ve got to take each year as it comes and also each decade. If I know anything, it’s that I’m not the same person I was when I was 10-years-old. So that’s awesome.

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YUM.

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 Our Best Friends came and surprised us with Carbs and Icing YUM AGAIN.

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The Birthday Girls! Lipstick games are strong.

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 This is what a 20-year-old looks like. Good Grief.

Well this is all I have for today! I pinky promise to keep posting more often this summer. Have a happy summer everyone! 

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