The Biggest Lesson I Learned in 2018

The Biggest Lesson I Learned in 2018

2018 was a HUGE year for me. I saw many of God’s promises come to fruition in my life. I moved, married my best friend and gave birth to my son. My life has changed in beautiful and powerful ways. While there’s no one thing that  fully defines me, these roles mean that my identity is evolving in profound ways. I’m excited to see what all of this entails.

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Tips for First Generation College Students

I recently created a video where I share a few tips for first generation college student. As a first generation college student, I know that college can be a daunting experience as you try to navigate your academic and personal life while planning for a future career, and I remember the many questions I had as a college student over a decade ago. I hope that this video will provide some insight for your or your friend and family member as they navigate college.

Cheers,

Nika

Reflections on My 10 Year College Reunion

This past weekend, I attended my 10-Year College Reunion. I still can't believe it's been 10 years, where did the time go? Below I'm sharing a few thoughts and reflections on lessons I have learned since I graduated from college 10 years ago. Enjoy!

Reaching Your Goals Require Action:

I encourage dreaming and dreaming big, but dreaming alone isn’t enough. Achieving your goals will require you to DO. DO those things afraid if you must.

Be Flexible and Embrace Change:

It’s great to make plans, but when things don’t go exactly as planned, be flexible enough to re-chart your path if needed and embrace the changes that life brings.

Continue Learning and Growing:

I learned a lot of life lessons during college. My professors and peers helped to shape me into the socially conscious woman I am today. My experiences in college strongly influenced my values, worldview and  and my decision to pursue my current career path. I continued to embrace learning after college through a variety of ways including books, films, podcasts, travel and conversations with a variety of people. Continue to feed your mind with thoughts and ideas that open you to greater possibilities.

Do Not Compare, We All Have a Different Path to Walk:

You were born to live one life…YOURS. It’s human nature to measure ourselves against our peers, but resist the temptation when it arises. We are all human beings with our own share of unique challenges despite how “perfect” things look to outsiders. I have learned that defining what success means to me, staying true to my values and practicing gratitude helps me to remain grounded when I'm tempted to compare.

Make an effort to maintain friendships:

During college, I lived on campus with my friends so I saw them almost daily and we created many shared memories. After college as people start their careers, go to grad schools, move to different cities and start families, maintaining friendships will take more  effort. You may not get to see or speak to your friends as much, but there’s nothing like setting aside time in my busy schedule to speak or spend time with some of my "nearests and dearests."

Everyone will not like or accept you, and that’s O.K:

Being overly concerned with what others think of you can stifle your ability to express yourself and achieve social satisfaction. Be kind, but realize that not everyone will agree with or accept you. Be your best self and focus your energy on those who love and accept you. To quote Brene Brown, "Don't try to win over the haters; you are not a jackass whisperer."

Assessment and Growth is Workable, Judging and Deameaning Yourself is Not:

Self-awareness often leads to growth. Asessing your strengths and weaknesses gives you the ability to know what will work for you and your life and also create room for improvement. Becoming more self-aware led to some of the best changes I've made in my life. Nevertheless, self-awareness can create the temptation to judge or demean yourself, recognizing areas of improvement doesn't mean there is something "wrong" with you. It simply means it's a growth area that can lead to a better you. Always remember to be kind and patient with yourself.

Cheers,

Nika

A Pop of Red + 10 Lessons Life Taught Me About Love and Relationship

A Pop of Red

I am a romantic, thus I enjoy and look forward to Valentine's Day. This year I originally planned on wearing a Missguided dress I recently ordered (yes it's that Missguided love affair thing again) for our dinner plans, but the current polar vortex passing through NYC required a different (warmer) outfit. Although I thought my dress was perfectly classy, sexy and stylish, it was not perfectly warm, and I do not enjoy being cold.  No sir!  

I went with these olive green pants, the frayed blazer from my last look and a grey blouse. To brighten the look and pay homage to the festive weekend, I added a pop of red with a small red purse. I love using statement accessories to make my outfits pop! 

Flowers for the lady :).

Blazer: Banana Republic,sold out, similar in brown available here BlackBoots: Nine West Red Chain Purse: Olivia & Joy, similar, here  Pants: Random Brand

10 Things I Learned About Love & Relationships

  1. Love is an action word. Your daily actions can mean a lot more to your significant other than words of endearment (although those matter too!) Remember to also show your significant other how much you love and care for them.
  2. A relationship sometimes requires negotiation and compromise. Two imperfect people coming together can create friction and conflict, which will sometimes demand some give and take to make things work.
  3. Practicing self-love is one of the most important decisions you can make. Loving yourself doesn't only affect your relationship with yourself, it affects how you relate to others and the standards you set for your life and your heart.
  4. "You have to know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em." Some people and relationships are worth fighting for and some are not. There are times it's best to walk away and there are times that you have to fight for what you want. If you're unsure, pray for the wisdom to know the difference.
  5. Appreciation goes  a long way. This bears repeating, appreciation goes a long way.
  6. A healthy relationship will add to your growth as an individual.
  7. Real connection requires vulnerability. Being vulnerable is scary for me, but it's been worth the risk. Plus, vulnerability requires courage and authenticity, two qualities I admire and want to embody.
  8. Making a relationship begins with two people making a decision to commit. "You do or you don't, there's no try."
  9. Laughter adds spice to life. Choose someone who you can laugh with and who makes you laugh.
  10. Cliche as it may sound, make communication a top priority in your relationships, and remember to listen. I promise you, the information you learn by listening more will surprise you and may also provide the insights that you need.

Cheers,

Nika