Saying Goodbye to WCU

Although I am not walking the line at the commencement ceremony May 12, I am still waving my hands goobye to the best four years of my life.

I just finished my last semester of my undergraduate career and I have mixed feelings about this great accomplishment. I will be doing a Summer internship at Mission Health in the Marketing & Communication Department until August, but I will not be rejoining another semester here at WCU. I will drive back up the mountain one last time to walk the line in December 2018.

Lessons have been learned and memories have been made. Everyone always said to enjoy your time because it will fly by, but I always went on, not believing them…but, they were right all along. It’s time for a new era of life and I am not afraid of what the future holds, but excited.

My advice for current and future students at WCU is to be present and focused. Enjoy yourself, but push yourself. Be consistent, fruitful and passionate and most importantly, NEVER give up!

The causes of acne

Acne in general is awful, but not knowing why you are breaking out is a nightmare in itself. There are so many things that cause and influence breakouts such as: cosmetics, environment, stress, horomones, diet and genetics.

So, what can you do to help prevent and clear your acne?

Cosmetics and Acne: millions of women suffer from cosmetic acne, which is caused by makeup or cosmetics. The KEY to avoiding this condition is to use cosmetic based products that are not hypoallergenic (causes an allergic reaction) or non comedogenic (something that does not block pores). A lot of products contains oil and other pore-clogging ingredients and these worsen acne.

Make sure you wash your face regularly, cleansing makeup brushes on a weekly basis and DO NOT sleep in makeup! Some recommended cosmetics that are healthier for your skin include: Laura Mercia oil-free foundation, Almay fresh oil-free foundation and Elizabeth Arden oil-free foundation.

Environment and Acne: Pollution and exposure to grease and oil can clog your pores, which can lead to pimples. Heat and humidity can affect your skin, which increase oil production and in the winter, colder weather can cause dehydration. The sun is a big influence on acne, for example, prolonged sun exposure can create dead cells which eventually become blackheads, whiteheads and pimples.

To avoid sun-exposure that creates acne, try and wear light-sunscreen and moisturize daily. This protects your skin while also minimizing breakouts.

Stress and Acne:  Stress can cause many things, including acne, which is extremely annoying. School and work are usually the leading cause of stress.

Try doing activities that relieve your built-up tension such as yoga and even meditations like “mindfulness” and breathing exercises. Exercise in general is associated with lower stress levels so try and include at least 20 minutes of activity to help with those levels of high tension.

Horomones and Acne: Whats happening inside of your body is just as important as what is going on the outside. Horomones are chemical messengers that travel throughout the body coordinating growth and metabolism, which place an important role with acne.

Estrogen in women can cause horomonal acne while testosterone is a type of androgen that caues acne for men.

Diet and Acne:  Each of us respond to what we eat differently, so keep a food diary to help keep track of what breaks you out.

Try bringing more Omega 3’s into your diet and Vitamin A. The anti-flammatory provides numerous health benefits. Reduce your intake of iodine and foods high on the glycemic index like white pasta, rice, bread and sweets to keep your blood sugar and insulin production under control.

Genetics and Acne: Acne genetics determine how our immune system responds to acne bacteria. One person can experience blackheads while others experience explosive red and tender nodules. Genetics also factor how easily your pores clog.

It’s easy to become frustrated with acne, but you have to understand there are many things that factor in as to why some people have acne worse. Just remeber to wash your face twice a day, clean your cosmetic brushes weekly and eat healthy!

How to Manage Stress

Stress is defined as a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.

Maintaining an academic, social and work life can be challenging and stress can begin to take a toll on your mind, body and health. So, here are some tips to help manage stress!

  • Time management: make a calendar and spread out your time to avoid cramming.
  • Talk to someone: talking to someone and even self-talk can relieve your stress.
  • Exercise: getting involved in physical activity can take your mind off things and improve your mental and emotional health.
  • Get more sleep: having 8 hours of rest is vital for your mentality and strength.
  • Try relaxation techniques: breathing exercises, stretching and yoga.

 

Inspirational Quotes

“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” Lao Tzu.

This has to be my favorite and most reassuring quote. I firmly believe that on any kind of day, this quote can rest my mind and put me at ease.

Photo by: Lucy Jones

It is easy to get caught up in daily activities, whether those are negative or positive experiences, it is undeniable that we all get worried and uneasy at times and find ourselves overthinking.

I use this photo that I took on a day when I felt completely present in my life. I hiked to the top of Wayuh Bald in the Nantahala National Forest and felt liberated, peaceful and awake. I felt so small compared to the mountains that were right in front of me and realized how small my “problems” are compared to what many people go through daily.

As much as it is easier to say “everything happens for a reason, not too worry. That doesn’t relieve the pressure people face everyday, including myself. This quote puts everything into perspective and allows me to take a deep breath and realize that I cannot change the past or worry about the future, but to be present and live for today.

Stay focused and live in the present. That is what I got out of this quote and it motivates me daily to do nothing less.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thoughts on Binging Netflix

Binge watching (noun): the practice of watching multiple episodes of a television in rapid succession.

As a current binger on the television series ‘Scandal,’ I can fully vouche that this a real thing and it can be unhealthy. The key is giving yourself breaks and being a good multitasker.

I think it is almost impossible to stop watching this. Shonda Rhimes created this series airing in April 2015, but I never thought about giving it a chance until I watched another series Rhimes created in 2014, ‘How To Get Away With Murder.’ I began that series and was instantly hooked, but only for the first two seasons…after that, I lost interest.

Until a friend of mine told me to give ‘Scandal’ a shot and by the end of episode one, I was obsessed.

Kerry Washington (aka) Olivia Pope is a successful, confident and bold woman who is the best fixer in D.C. She doesn’t just fix problems, she fixes people. I won’t ruin the show by giving details, but I highly reccommend giving the show a chance.

You will admire the determination and motivation Olivia Pope embodies. This show has given me the ability to be motivated and stay focused to reach the goals I have set for myself and to never give up. I appreciate how Kerry Washington knows her strength and worth on and off the screen.

 

Why Being Selfish Sometimes Is Okay

Being selfish is often looked at as immoral, distasteful and rude…but why?

At some point of our lives we have been selfish in one way or another. Now we may not have felt good about that decision, but sometimes being selfish is exactly what we need to do. 

Making decisions to please other people will not make you any better of a person and it especially will not make your life easier. Don’t get me wrong, being selfish for the wrong reason is just unfriendly, but sometimes people need to do what is best for them and sometimes those decisions involve selfish actions.

In my experience of being “selfish,” I have been asked to do things that will benefit the group of people I am with, but will work the opposite for me and I use to feel guilty when telling people “no, I don’t want to do that.” Why can’t people understand that no means no…stop trying to make me feel bad.

You shouldn’t feel bad about doing something for yourself every once in a while. Self-care is so important and many individuals often ignore it and aim to commit a full time responsibility of pleasing everyone except for themselves.

People pleasing is exhausting, irritating and overwhelming. You are human. Take time for yourself and do what you want for once. Stop letting others rule your life, mind and soul!

Stop belittling women and their appearance

It is the 21st century and women are still objectified. “If she didn’t want that to happen, she shouldn’t have dressed that way.” First of all, what a woman wears on her body is not an invitation for anyone to critique or approach.

As a woman, I can confidently state that I wear certain outfits for the sole purpose of pleasing myself and boosting my own confidence. Sexual violence should not happen period, but especially if the reason is “appearance.” Every woman is different and has their own style, with that being said, if a woman wants to wear high-waist shorts and a cut off shirt because she feels beautiful and comfortable, leave her alone. Judgement and comments can be kept to themselves.

Young girls are constantly being ridiculed and told that they should look a certain way and even what boys “like.” Women seemed to be judged by both men and women even if they are dressed modestly. I’ve noticed on several occasions women making snarky comments on how a women is dressed for school, work and even leisure wear. Women need to unite instead of divide and empower one another instead of bashing and belittling one another.