Unconventional Tips for the LSAT (and Affirmations)

Ah, the LSAT. Every aspiring law student’s worst nightmare. Well, at least it was my worst nightmare at the time. I can remember studying for the LSAT like it was yesterday. I was super stressed out and kept scoring a lower score than I wanted to when I took practice tests. I also wasn’t scoring what I needed to get into the school I wanted to go to. My undergrad GPA was decent but definitely not one of the GPAs that make the LSAT less of a big deal. I had spent over $1,000 on my LSAT prep course (I needed a course because I was not self-disciplined enough to study on my own free-will as a recovering busybody who studied when I had time to…not because I chose to). The LSAT I had decided to take was the last possibly one I could take before deadlines for admission materials were due so it was either do well on this one or put off law school for another year (which in retrospect wouldn’t have been sooo horrible but at the time it sounded like the end of the world since I had already taken 2 years off after undergrad).

During my 2-year gap between undergrad and law school, one thing I had really gotten into was the Law of Attraction and all of its subparts like visualization, positive thinking, and affirmations (which I have written about before). I knew that I truly could manifest anything that I wanted if I really believed it, released it, and did the work to make it happen without worrying about. It was the final week before the LSAT and I realized I hadn’t written any affirmations for the test. I had written affirmations for every other life event that I had going on prior to this so it didn’t make sense that I hadn’t made any for the LSAT. They really helped me and have helped other people that I’ve shared them with. I decided to write this blog post with the LSAT affirmations I created for those taking the upcoming July LSAT this Saturday. Read them below!

 

I enjoy the subjects I am studying

I easily understand and retain what I study

I study hard and regularly

I am always relaxed during exams.

During the exams, I recall information quickly and easily.
My memory is sharp.

I pass exams easily.

Reading Comprehension comes naturally to me.

Logic Games are fun and I enjoy the challenge.

I always know the correct answers for Logical Reasoning questions.

I am prepared for the LSAT.

I will conquer the LSAT.

I will get into Law School.

I will be an attorney.

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Hopefully these affirmations give you some last-minute confidence for the LSAT. I have two other tips that helped me get the score I wanted. Of course, I didn’t take my LSAT during a global pandemic so my experience was completely different, but these aren’t reliant on us not experiencing a pandemic so it doesn’t hurt to give them a try.

The first tip is to chant the score you want out loud after you finish practicing for the day (I know it sounds crazy but hear me out). My entire time studying for the LSAT the highest score I got was a 155, which isn’t horrible…but I wanted a 160 to ensure I would get into the school I wanted to (a 160 was higher than their average). I chanted it after every practice tests and practice section I would do. Even though I never scored a 160 on any of my practice tests, I knew I was destined to get a 160. I would chant it and visualize it and guess what? I scored a 160 and in the 80th percentile for that testing period.

The next tip is to make a LSAT day playlist to pump you up on test day! Make sure it’s super uplifting and matches the vibe you want to go into test day with. On my LSAT playlist I had different songs like Bodak Yellow – Cardi B, FORMATION – Beyoncé, CRZY – Kehlani, Blessings – Big Sean ft. Drake, DNA. – Kendrick Lamar, and Know Yourself – Drake. Formation and Bodak Yellow definitely had me feeling like a bad b*tch walking into the testing center, even if I was nervous. Put whatever songs make you feel like you can handle anything thrown your way.

The LSAT is just one of many tests you will take in your upcoming legal career. It seems scary now but you will look back at it once you’re in law school and not feel the sense of terror that you may be feeling now. Keep studying, say your affirmations, and remember YOU GOT THIS!

Share this post with any other aspiring law students you know who are taking the LSAT this year.

 

Why I’m Doing The #ConsistencyChallenge

Hello readers! I know what you’re thinking, “Isn’t it Monday? Do my eyes deceive me? Why is Mara posting a new blog post?” Yes, it is Monday! HAPPY MONDAY. No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you, this post is real. I’m posting on a Monday (straying from my typical Thursday posts) because THIS month I am taking part in Mattie James’ #ConsistencyChallenge. This last part may have added more confusion so let me tell you what I’m talking about.

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Back in May, Mattie James, one of the first influencer/bloggers I ever followed, hosted a #ConsistencyChallenge on Instagram. For that challenge we had to post on our Instagram feeds every day for the entirety of the month of May. We didn’t just do this to improve our analytics (which did happen) but we also had the chance of winning $1,000 prize. That was exciting but I was more interested in proving to myself that I could do it. When it comes to my various projects (Instagram, podcast, etc), I always struggled back and forth with consistency. Now I’ve learned how to plan out my feed and stay consistent on the gram.

Okay so you’re probably wondering “what does that have to do with you posting on your blog on a Monday?” Well, this month’s Mattie challenged us to post a new blog posts, EVERY DAY, Monday-Friday. I’m not even going to lie to y’all, I almost backed out. I’m still wondering how I’m going to create a new blog post for every weekday. However, similarly to the Instagram feed challenge, I need to prove to myself that I’m capable of doing this because I AM. It will also help me get better at blogging, something I’m always striving to do.

Here are the rules for the challenge, so you can all know what to expect from me.

During the challenge you must:

  • Blog once a day – Monday through Friday only
  • Monday, July 6 thru Friday, July 31 (20 days total!)
  • Posts should be at least 150 words long and include at least one photo/visual
  • Submit your favorite blog post you wrote of the week in the Facebook group every Friday am (there will be a dedicated thread for post submissions)

(Read Mattie’s entire blog post about the challenge here)

That’s what I’ve got going on this month. I’m super nervous but also excited to see what I accomplish. Wish me luck!

Leave a comment with a blog post you’d like to see from me this month. If it’s selected I’ll shout you out on the post.

An Easy Guide For Your Mid-Year Check-In & Goal Setting Session

As of yesterday we are officially HALF-WAY through 2020. I’m sure we can all agree the past 6 months has been f*cking WILD. I’m not going to get into it because quite frankly I’m tired of it and don’t feel like discussing it but y’all know what I’m talking about. I feel like 2020 has lasted a lifetime and still passed in a blink of an eye at the same time. Okay so I lied, I’m going to talk about it. Covid-19 has shifted stuff significantly. Speaking for myself, I have not accomplished as much as I wanted by now in certain areas of my life, but I have accomplished many things in other areas of my life. It’s important to look at both our wins and where we may have fallen short so far (although, extend yourself grace…we are literally in a global pandemic).

The best way to do this? A Mid-Year Goal Check-In! I know, it might sound daunting but honestly, I did it a few days ago and it made me feel really proud of all I’ve been able to do and hopeful for other things I want to do before the year is over. In this post I will be sharing the essential steps to complete your mid-year check in and important questions you need to ask yourself.

Look at the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year

The first step is the most necessary. You can’t see how much progress you’ve made on achieving your goals if you don’t see what you set out to do. Be very mindful to not judge yourself during this step. It’s okay if you didn’t achieve all of your goals, that’s why we’re doing this check-in! Some of this stuff may not even resonate with you anymore (which is also okay). The point is, you have to look at them.

Track your wins from your list of goals

Did you accomplish some thing(s) on the list? Wooohoo! Write them down and cross them off (or put a check next to them, depending on your style) and sit with those wins for a minute or so. Clap for yourself because you did that and you should be proud at your ability to keep promises to yourself.

Track other wins that maybe you didn’t set out to do, but did anyways

I had many wins this year that I necessarily didn’t some in to the year thinking about doing or plan for but I’m still happy about them nonetheless. You need to recognize these as well because more than likely you worked towards them (even if they weren’t on your list) and it’s important to recognize all of your wins. Maybe between the last step and this step you realize you never celebrated any of your wins and kept quiet about them. Change that! Celebrating and expressing gratitude for your wins puts you in the mindset of achieving more wins.

Take inventory of what’s left

What is no longer realistic to accomplish in a 6-month timeframe? Change your deadlines on those. Make them smaller tasks so that you can at least work towards the overall goal this year. I’m not encouraging a limiting beliefs but some things just aren’t realistic. For example, if one of your goals was to lose 80lbs you could probably do it but not in a safe way. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself and compromise your wellbeing for a deadline.

Re-do your list

What is realistic to accomplish? What steps can you take to make sure you meet this goal by the end of the year? These two questions are important to put the rest of the year into perspective and still accomplish some of your goals or new goals that may be important to you now that we are halfway through the year. Make your list super cute and put it somewhere you can see it every day to motivate you.

*Bonus: Make a “before the year ends” Vision Board

This one is completely optional but I love a good vision board. Sometimes I like making new vision boards in the middle of the year if I’ve accomplished most of the other one OR I just have different things I want to visualize before the year the ends. It’s also completely okay to have more than one vision board. Vision Boards are just fun and I’m probably going to make a new one at some point in July.

It’s okay if you haven’t made as much progress on your goals as you would have liked. You can’t be too hard on yourself, especially this year. We are all trying to get through a global pandemic and keep our sanity (which is enough of a challenge of itself). Extend yourself some grace and do what you need to do. I’m someone who feels better when I have lists and things to work towards so goal-setting helps me keep sane.

Share this article with your favorite go-getter and leave a comment with what steps you are taking to complete your mid-year goal check-in.

 

 

 

My Summer 2020 Workout Playlist (pt. 1)

I don’t know about y’all but I’m someone that NEEDS a fire playlist before I can even think about working out. The idea of working out without music fills me with sheer terror almost as badly as the terror I feel when I see people workout in jeans (seriously, wtf). I’m also someone who usually has multiple genres of music on a workout playlist unless I’m going with a theme (early 2000s hip-hop was easily my most played playlist in May). Taking all of these things into account, it only made sense that I create a Summer Workout playlist to share with my beloved readers.

I really enjoyed sharing my Valentine’s Day playlist on my blog so I decided to give it another try so I can combine two of my favorite things: working out and MUSIC. Many of these songs came out recently this year and will definitely define Summer 2020 for me. Some of the songs are just my summer favorite in general and find themselves on any Summer playlist I make, workout or not. Some of these I don’t even know when they came out but I heard them somewhere and just have been jamming to them. Either way, this playlist is a reflection of what I’ve been enjoying lately as I continue my home workouts (I still don’t trust the gyms). Hopefully you like it as much as I do and if not, you at least find something new to jam to.

Get Up 10 – Cardi B

This is just a great song to start a workout playlist with. It makes perfectg sense it was the opening song of Cardi’s 2018 Debut album. This song is usually one most of workout playlists because it gets me hype as hell.

Heartless – The Weeknd

Moment of honesty, this song had to grow me on. When I first heard it, it was whatever. Now I’m obsessed. I actually love the whole album but that’s a topic for another day. The energy in this song is just everything.

Ballin’ – Roddy Rich, Mustard

This song is by no means new but I still feel like the first time I heard it every time I hear it. It isn’t as high energy as I would usually have but it’s a vibe nonetheless. I just can’t listen to this song and stay in a bad mood.

Savage (Remix) – Megan Thee Stallion, Beyoncé

Another song I really didn’t love…that was at least until the REMIX came along. Anyone who knows me knows I am the ultimate Beyoncé fan…maybe even stan. I also love Megan Thee Stallion usually but the TikTokers ran the orginal version into the damn ground! Haha, anyways…I really like this song and it totally gives me Summer 2020 feels.

Dura – Daddy Yankee, Bad Bunny, Becky G, Natti Natasha

This song is a forever fave and reminds me of when I went to the Dominican Republic back in 2018. Similarly to Ballin, I can’t listen to this song and be in a bad mood. It’s the perfect reggaeton track for me to level up on whatever workout I’m doing on.

RITMO – Black Eyed Peas, J Balvin

This song is just so damn catchy. I really can’t even explain but this song just makes me super excited to workout and crush it. Never knew Black Eyed Peas and J Balvin was the collab I needed but here we are.

Rain On Me – Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga’s music literally just makes me so happy…unless it’s one of her more serious ones. The subject matter of this song is pretty sad BUT the upeat tempo just makes me wanna dance and/or workout. Takes me back to 2011 even though it came out this year.

Beautiful (MaRLo Remix) – What So Not, Winona Oak

I discovered this song on one of the soul cycle intstructor’s I follows home workout one day and I literally have listened to it every day since then. As a Vegas girl, EDM has a special place in my heart.

Starry Eyed (Jakwob Remix) – Ellie Goulding

This song reminds me of being in my dorm room while my roommate was having her own mini-party. She played this all the time and I loved it so much. It is such a high energy track that is perfect for a workout.

Party Up (Up In Here) – DMX

This is literally one of my favorite workout songs of ALL time. It fits every season, every mood. Truly a timeless masterpiece that makes me want to lift hella heavy and slap a b*tch.

Cash Shit – Megan Thee Stallion, DaBaby

OMG this takes me back to Summer 2019 and now will forever be in my summer rotation. Megan raps “I can’t be fucked with, no…” and that is me at the gym/during my home workout, all day.

ROYL – Chloe x Halle

I talked about how much I loved Chloe x Halle’s NEW album Ungodly Hour in my last post but for some reason I cannot stop playing this song! It was only right I add it to my summer playlist. It’s so damn catchy.

Happier – Marshmello, Bastille

Another sad song with a happy beat that makes me enjoy working out. I don’t think I can ever get tired of this song. You know how I know? I played it on repeat my entire first law school finals season back in December 2018 and NEVER got sick of it.

Save Your Tears – The Weeknd

I just love this song and catch myself singing the chorus over and over to myself more often than I’d like to admit.

Can I – Kehlani, Tory Lanez

A little freaky for my typical workout playlist but it’s still a vibe nonetheless. I really liked the entire album and usually by this point I’m cooling down.

So Bad – Jojo

This song should be muuuuuuch longer than it is but it’s perfect to stretch to after a killer workout. It also makes me wish I was going to pole dancing classes but that’s neither here nor there. Jojo’s album is also REALLY great.

Let me know what you’re jamming out to when you workout this summer! Leave a comment with your favorite workout songs. Click here to view the playlist on Tidal.

Happy (Early) Juneteenth: Highlighting Black Creatives

The last few weeks have been extremely challenging for me as a black woman in America. Between the killings of many Black people that have taken place in the last few weeks to the collective awakening that seems to be taking place amongst non-black people, and everything in between, I have found myself extremely exhausted. One holiday I have been looking forward to is Juneteenth. Juneteenth is a Black holiday that takes place on June 19th but I post on Thursdays which happens to be the 18th this year. For those of you unaware of what Juneteenth is, here is an excerpt from Juneteenth.com.

“Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.  Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.”

In celebrating Juneteenth this year, I have decided to dedicate a blog post to highlighting two of my favorite Black creatives, their work, and their missions. Both of these wonderful beings are my friends and stay creating beautiful things that deserve recognition.

Angelica Marie – WeAreKarasi.org

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Mission: Creative healing tools. Affirmations and accessible doula care for BIWoC.

Angelica Marie is a Graphic Designer and Doula. She started Karasi to show womxn like me that we all possess the tools to heal and grow. We are all karasi because life and wisdom are already within us. Her goal is to show you creative ways to unlock them. Click here to see her website. You can also follow Karasi on Instagram: @wearekarasi.

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Check out Angelica’s website for affirmation cards, doula servies, and more:

https://wearekarasi.org/

Tey Lynn – Author

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Vision: A world that is not only safe but enjoyable for ALL Black queer femmes
Mission: To inspire Afrofuturist thought and actions through poetry and prose

Tey Lynn’s work consists of mostly her book Awakening the Dragon, which is an autobiographical exploration of sexuality, queerness, femininity, and Blackness. She has self-authored her presentations on emotional intelligence and self-care. She also has a solo published poem called “Anger” in the Aztec Literary Review. Finally, she has a novel called Luma in the works that contains Afrofuturist themes, and commentary on inclusion and liberation politics.

Follow Tey Lynn’s social media accounts and check out her website:

I also featured her on an episode of my podcast, Handle Your Scandal, that you can listen to on apple podcasts, spotify, and soundcloud.

Another way I’ve been finding joy lately is. by listening to music. The album I’m currently obsessed with is Ungodly Hour – Chloe x Halle. I saw them at Coachella back in 2018 and the amount of growth that has taken place between their debut album and this album is insane. This album is everythingggg. I literally can’t stop listening to it. My personal faves are Ungodly Hour, Forgive Me, Wonder What Sh—actually you know what I love the entire album. Please go stream it now!

I hope to highlight more Black creatives in the future and may even focus on highlighting them on my Instagram stories in the future. Make sure you don’t miss out and follow me on Instagram: @musingsofmara

(no underscore, the underscore is someone IMPERSONATING me)

Do you have any Black creatives whose work you love? How are you celebrating Juneteenth? Let me know in the comments and let’s chat!

How To Create Your Perfect Affirmations

Saying affirmations out loud every morning literally changed my life…or at least allowed me to shift my life in the direction I wanted. If you’re not familiar with affirmations, you may be wondering “what are affirmations?” In the most basic way I can describe them, affirmations are usually brief statements that assert something as true or a fact. In the law of attraction school of thought, affirmations are positive statements that reflect the reality that we want. They are a way that we can speak what we want into existence. I may or may not have confused you even more with this statement but it’s okay. Once you read this blog post, you will have a better understand of what affirmations are and how to create the perfect affirmations for yourself.

1. Reflect on what truth you want your affirmation(s) to center around

In order to make your perfect affirmations, you must be clear on what it is you want to affirm for yourself. This may change depending on what is going on in your life. One example of this is that once everything started with the pandemic, I became really anxious about my health. Even prior to the pandemic I’ve always had my own undiagnosed health anxiety and my doctor even forbade me from googling symptoms. Whenever I feel myself getting anxious about my health, I work on affirmations to combat that and calm me down. One of my favorite affirmations is actually 3 that I say together: my body is healthy, my mind is brilliant, my soul is tranquil. The “my body is healthy” part is very important to me maintaining peace about my health.

2. Keep your affirmations in the present tense

Writing your affirmations in the present tense is extremely important. The past is done and over with and we can’t predict the future, we can only try to create it and manifest the life we desire. Which one sounds more powerful: I will become a best-selling author or I AM a best-selling author. The “I am” statement is much more powerful. I know what you may be thinking. “Mara, I’m NOT a best-selling author.” I would respond, of course not with that attitude. All jokes aside, right now you may not actually be a best-selling author but you can make it so by believing it and doing the work to make it happen. The point of repeating affirmations is to create your truth and manifest the reality that already exists. When I was waiting to be accepted into law school, I would tell myself “I’m already a law student, that reality already exists.” Not only was I admitted into law school, I also received a full-tuition scholarship to pay for it. Present-tense affirmations are crucial in creating your own reality.

3. Speak in a positive manner

Another key part of creating your perfect affirmations is focusing on what you want to be true, not what you want to avoid. I’m not going to get too deep into the law of attraction but the basics of it is that whatever you focus on is what you will attract. If your affirmations focus on something you don’t want to happen, you can actually attract that thing to you instead of avoiding it. This may trip people up but it’s so important to keep in mind. Instead of saying “I no longer have debt” you can say “I am debt-free.” They are saying the same exact thing but just as the best-selling author example I mentioned earlier, the “I am” affirmation about being debt-free just sounds more powerful and in a positive tone so your desires can’t get lost in translation. Make sure to write your affirmations in the positive to send the correct message of what you want.

Here are 3 of my favorite affirmations to give you more inspiration.

My body is healthy, my mind is brilliant, my soul is tranquil.

Today I eat for my goal weight. Today I exercise for my goal. I am my goal weight.

I recall information quickly and easily during exams.

Saying affirmations every morning can really start your day on the right track. Hopefully this How To Guide allows you to create your perfect affirmations and work towards cultivating the life you desire. Keep these tips and mind and get to manifesting.

Did you find this post as a good starting point for writing affirmations? Leave a comment with a new affirmation and this post with somebody who could use it today!

4 Important Things You Should Do The Summer Before Law School

This post has been updated due to Covid-19. The read the original post click here.

If you’re anything like the average person getting ready to start law school, the months before your first semester will be filled with soooo many emotions: excitement, anxiety, pride, fear, and everything in between. First, take a deep breath and exhale. Everything is going to be okay! It’s going to feel like it’s not many times between now and the end of your first year, but it will. There are books dedicated to preparing you for your first year of law school…I didn’t read any of them so I can’t testify (ba dum tshh) how effective and helpful they are for the 1L experience. However, I do feel that besides one or two things I did wrong, my summer pre-1L year was pretty great. In this post I’ll be discussing what I did that I believe was effective and what I wish I had done to be better prepared.

Save money

Many different faculty, lawyers, 2L and 3Ls will tell you that you shouldn’t work your first year of law school and I’m inclined to agree. I worked only one day a week until November of my first year and I wish I had just quit, to be quite honest. I understand that is a privilege many people may not be able to afford but if you can, you should not work your first year of law school. Due to this, I think people should save as much money as they can before they start law school. You may get financial aid or scholarships, but it never hurts to have a well-funded savings account. This is especially important if you don’t want to take out loans. I can’t relate to that but it’s a noble goal to have in law school. I know this may be harder due to Covid-19 and everything else going on but definitely try.

Read for fun

I’m sure there are people who can find the time and energy to read for fun while they’re in school, I’m not one of them. Even when I was in undergrad (which was not even ½ as hard as law school for me), I never made time to read for fun. The summer before law school I decided that I wanted to read as many books for fun as I could because I knew I wouldn’t be able to do so once school started and I had to read dozens of cases a week. I’m personally a self-help/biography of powerful women junkie so I read many books of that nature but read whatever it is you enjoy because chances are you won’t be able to do that once the semester starts.

Spend time with your family and friends

Once school starts, you’re going to have way less time to spend with your non-law school friends and even your family. I live with my parents and I still didn’t have much time to spend with them throughout the week between classes, readings, and going to the gym. My friends and I rarely saw one another during the semester due to us all being in school or working and being busy. While I did spend some time with them during the summer, I wish I had spent more time with my parents before 1L started because now I feel like I hardly see them enough. One thing I want to do this upcoming school year is schedule dinners and time with my parents and days to hang out with my friends and treat it like any other appointment I have in my planner/google calendar. The point is, the summer before you will hopefully have more time to dedicate to seeing your family and friends more often and you should take advantage of that, if that’s something you value. If you are going to school out-of-state I can’t recommend this enough.

Get a semblance of a routine

My biggest fuck-up in 1L was deviating from the schedule/routine I had planned for more often than I should have. Sticking to your routine is one of the most important things an incoming 1L can learn in the summer before law school begins. Many people don’t struggle with this but I did and still do. In the first semester of law school it’s very easy to feel overwhelmed and I sometimes combatted this by abandoning my routine all together for weeks at a time and just going with the flow. Don’t do this. In undergrad, I was so busy with other clubs and interning and working that my schedule had to be followed otherwise nothing would have been done. Law school granted me much more independence and freedom than undergrad or my two gap years where I was just working and working out. A lack of a routine in law school is dangerous. Before you know it, it’s December 1st and you don’t have any outlines or well put together notes and you’re submitting your major legal writing assignment at 11:55pm and you haven’t even had time to proof-read it that final time before submission. All of this is to say, practice sticking to a routine before school starts if you’re someone who doesn’t necessarily have to in order to be successful now because all of that will change soon.

Get started on implementing these tips today! If you have any other law school related questions COMMENT BELOW and let’s chat.

If you’re already in law school, COMMENT with some tips you think I may have missed that helped you during your summer before 1L.

3 Tips for Getting Out of a Creative Funk

I’m not sure if it’s the fact that I can’t remember the last time I left my house or what but the last few weeks I have been struggling with deciding what content to put out on both my blog and my Instagram. My podcast has been a tad bit easier just because I usually do interviews and for my solo episodes, I always have something that’s easier to talk about than to write about for a blog or put in an Instagram caption. Whatever the case may be, I have definitely been going through my own version of writer’s block…taken a step further and an overall creatives block. As I mentioned on the most recent episode of my podcast (listen here), I started Mattie James’ #ConsistencyChallenge for my Instagram feed. Long story short the challenge consists of posting a picture on your Instagram feed every day, preferably ones that represent your brand and such. I have actually enjoyed it and will probably write more about it at some point in the future. However, after a few perfectly planned pictures and captions, I started to draw a blank. That carried over into my blog and finals season being in full effect didn’t help me. This led to me not having much to blog about and having to figure that out and how the hell I was going to post for the rest of the month. I would like to say I somewhat figured it out and decided that I should share this process with all of you.

Do a Brain Dump

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The first thing I do when I’m not sure what I want to create is to have a brain dump session. A brain dump session consists of me getting a blank piece of paper, setting a timer (usually for 5 mins or so), and just dumping all of my thought onto the page. The fact that I already know what the purpose for the brain dump is probably helps my mind focus on thinking about content, my assignment, or whatever it is I’m trying to garner creativity from. I feel that 5 mins in the perfect amount of time to force yourself to just get everything out and then figure out what to do with it later. After I brain dump, I sift through the words on the page and see if anything sounds like something I can expand on and usually I have at least 1 or 2 good ideas to run with.

Research What Other People in Your Niche are Creating

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I’m not saying that it’s entirely impossible to create never before thought of content or posts or whatever it is you need to create but let’s be real, many things have been talked about before and THAT IS OKAY. As a lifestyle blogger the topics aren’t necessarily what make me unique. What makes me unique is my perspective and experience with a topic. When I’m particularly stumped on what to create or write, I google “lifestyle blog ideas” or whatever topic I’m interested in writing about, whether that be “fitness blog posts”, “law school blog posts”, you get the idea. It’s okay to get inspo from other content creators. If the topic is entirely too specific, be sure to give that person credit and link back to their blog. The same goes for Instagram content as well. Creatives deserve credit, which I’ve made my thoughts on such known on my podcast as well (listen here).

Ask Your Audience What They Want to See

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Don’t get me wrong, this may not be the best approach depending on your audience and/or your relationship with them but it doesn’t hurt to try. I remember when I was not entirely new to blogging but also still figuring it out I used to come up with ideas and conduct polls on my Instagram stories to see what kind of content my audience wanted to see. After all, they are going to be the ones reading and/or engaging with it. You might as well see if they have any suggestions for topics they’d like your opinion or help with. Definitely don’t do this one too often or your audience will wonder why the hell are you a content creator if you can’t think of any content. I would say this is good to do once every few months or so. When done properly, it can be extremely help. The reason I even thought to write this blog was due to a suggestion from one of my mutuals on twitter. Thanks Della girl!

These are some of the ways that I deal when I can’t for the life of me think of what kind of content I want to create. Usually if I do one or all of these 3 things, I can get out of my creative funk and figure out what it is I want to write about or create. Hopefully these tips can help you if you are having a similar block.

Did I forget a suggestion that has helped you? How do you deal with writer’s block or get out of creative funk? Let me know in the comments below!

If you enjoyed this article and found it helpful, please share it on your social media or with a fellow creative!

Reflecting On My 2L Year

Hey readers! I know it’s been a little while since you’ve heard (read?) from me but I can explain…it was finals season! There are few things in my life that are as stressful as law school finals season. Mix in everything else going on in the world and it’s just a bit much. I actually took a break from both my blog and my podcast (listen here) to focus on my studies. I’m not sure if it actually made a difference but we switched to Pass/Fail back in March so hopefully I passed all my classes. Aside from that, one of my biggest regrets from 1L year was that I didn’t write a reflection post so I decided to do one this year.

What was 2L Like?

This year was by-far my busiest year in law school (so far). My 1L year was more centered around getting used to the law school experience from reading all of those cases and trying to understand legalese to using proper terminology in your cold call responses and whatever else. It’s a whole new way of learning that undergrad (no matter what your major was) can’t prepare you for. My 2L year was very different.

There’s an age old saying that says “1L they scare you to death, 2L they scare you to death, and 3L they bore you to death.” (feel like the last part isn’t true but okay) 2L year they definitely work you to death. People told me that 2L things would get easier and although the class part definitely did, everything else did not! Your 2L year in when you actually branch out, get involved in more clubs, and serve as a junior staffer on journal/law review if you choose to do write-on the summer before. It all can get pretty crazy.

First Semester

My plate was not as full as it could have been this past year. I didn’t work, aside from teaching MixxedFit at a gym from October-December) so I luckily didn’t have that to balance. The two main commitments I had in my 2L year was serving as the Vice President of Programming for my chapter of Black Law Students Association (BLSA) and as a junior staffer on Gaming Law Journal. However, I was taking 5 classes and all of them required a final the first semester (only one take home). Adjusting to adding journal and planning and attending multiple events for BLSA made my first semester of 2L just as much as getting used as my 1L year. Even though I was extremely busy with balancing school, journal, BLSA and my non-school hobbies/job, I still managed to get the best grades of my law school career that semester and finally got my overall GPA to one I could be happy with. I even CALI’d my Criminal Procedure class and it was super affirming for me as Criminal Defense is the type of law I’m leaning towards. In the middle of finals season my dad had something wrong with his stomach and could have died and my mom had a fall and was hospitalized so I honestly wasn’t expecting to do that well.

Second Semester

The second semester finally felt like I was getting the hang of things, and then Miss Corona struck and lowkey ruined my whole flow of school. The week prior to spring break I was staying at school until midnight or so working on journal assignments just because I really enjoyed being able to leave everything at school and let home be my resting place. That all changed once we switched to Zoom School of Law after spring break. Having to take online classes has never been my strong suit. I literally avoided them in undergrad because the few times I took them I just didn’t learn as well and struggled. Zoom School of Law was no different. This past semester was soooo challenging for me and there is honestly still one class where Idk what the hell was going on in there. It was also really hard because at the beginning my family wasn’t understanding that yes, I actually work on law school stuff all day, especially if we have a journal round due that same week. It was just really stressful. Many arguments took place but we eventually came to an understanding. I’m really just glad it’s over and praying that Fall 2020 meets in person (so long as it’s safe to do so).

 

BLSA

I enjoyed my time as BLSA’s VP of Programming immensely! My president and right-hand woman, Jazmine, was such a great leader this past year and is an even better friend. I also enjoyed how well our board got along and all of the wonderful events we brought to Boyd’s campus. Regardless of my political beliefs or who I wanted to be president, the fact that we were able to bring Pete Buttigieg to our campus in the spring was pretty amazing. Even prior to the spring we switched up so much of our programming and had great events all around. I also went to our Western Regional Convention for the first time and it was EVERYTHING and more. I met so many beautiful and brilliant fellow black law students. I ran into two friends from undergrad and it was so great seeing them! We also got to go to a Clippers game and even though I’M a LAKER FAN til forever, I root for Kahwi because he went to SDSU. The trip also allowed me to grow closer to my friends from my own school. I even got to record a wonderful episode for my podcast with Jazmine and Aariel. All 3 of us decided to be on the regional e-board for next year and I’m super excited for whats to come from that! I’m so happy I became more involved with BLSA after my 1L year and so proud of our board for everything we did!

Gaming Law Journal

I will say that even though journal is A LOT of work, I’m really glad I chose to write-on. I debated back in forth the summer before 2L and decided just to do it and I don’t regret it. My citation skills have grown sooo much and I feel like I’m starting to know the bluebook like the back of my hand. The best part of being on journal was grabbing food and a beer or wine from Cheba Hut and the fun late-night editing sessions my friends and I had in the journal room. Those are some of my favorite memories of 2L. So many non-academic and hilarious conversations happened in that room and even though I sometimes dreaded going there, I miss it now! I clearly loved my experience on journal a lot because I decided to try and get the position of Managing Editor for my 3L year and I GOT IT. I’m still a little nervous even though I’m technically the current Managing Editor. I have some big shoes to fill because our last one was AMAZING. I’m excited to help the journal continue growing in the right direction.

 

So that’s my 2L year summed up. It was unlike any academic year I’ve ever experienced before and I’m sure I left some stuff out.

 

Leave a comment below if you want to know more about my 2L experience or law school in general!

 

Have a great day!

Book Review: The Defining Decade

There are fewer things as of late that make me happier than chilling in my bed with a book and reading right before I go to sleep. As I mentioned in  a previous post, one of my goals this year was to read one book a month, every month. While I can’t say I’ve managed to do that…I am pretty close to having read 7 books so far this year. I decided instead of just reading these books, taking notes, and going on the next book, I wanted to start sharing the books I really liked with my readers by starting a new series dedicated to reviewing books I’ve read. My main focus will be books I believe twenty-somethings should read. That being said, it is more than fitting my first book review is on one of my favorite reads this year “The Defining Decade: Why your twenties matter—and how to make the most of them now” by Meg Jay, PhD.

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The thing I enjoyed about this book was how much applicable advice it has for twentysomethings going through the post-grad struggle. From finding a job, to relationships and marriage, and even family planning, this book touches on topics that many of us like to put off as some abstract thing in the distant future when really…the future will be here before we even have time to blink. Okay, I’m being dramatic but that’s only because the author does such a great job of making the reader come to the realization that future is not as far off as we believe (or try to convince ourselves) it to be. Now is the time for us to not get caught up in going with the flow but to  actually make plans and lay the foundation for the rest of our lives while we have the least amount of strings (read: life partners, spouses, children) attached, according to Jay. She is a therapist and discusses her various twentysomething year old clients, their struggles, and solutions to the common twentysomething year old’s problems. I like this book because for once, there is a book talking to twentysomethings instead of about us. In this review I will share my three favorite quotes, two criticisms, and one overall review of the book and who I think should read the book.

1. “Shoulds can masquerade as high standards or lofty goals, but they are not the same. Goals direct us from the inside, but shoulds are paralyzing judgments from the outside. Goals feel like authentic dreams while shoulds feel like oppressive obligations.” pg. 47

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I particularly enjoy this quote because in the social media age everyone is guilty of comparing ourselves to our peers based on what they are uploading on their profiles, the new job they just got, their engagement announcement, etc. However, as Jay reminds us, thinking we should have these things based on what we see on social media (in the book she is actually talking about Facebook but I think it can apply to all social media we use) is detrimental to our well-being. I really enjoyed the chapter this quote is from.

2. “More and more twentysomethings are careful not to rush into marriage at a young age, yet many do not know what else to consider.” pg. 73

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When talking about twentysomethings and relationships (or meaningless hookups) Jay holds no punches. She gets really real about random hookups, cohabitation (living with a partner before being married), and actual marriage. I enjoyed this section because even now I am still guilty of putting off marriage in hopes that it will make for a better marriage but that is not realistic. The chapter on love was a good gut check for me and I’m sure it will be for any twentysomething “living in the moment” when it comes to love and relationships. It also offers suggestions of traits/values that partners should have similarities on before deciding to take the next step, and other stats (which she provides citations for) in regards to loving together before marriage, a list of other things that come up in relationships.

3. “Most twentysomethings can’t write the last sentence of their lives, but when pressed, they usually can identify things they want in their thirties or forties or sixties—or things they don’t want—and work backwards from there.” pg 198 (last page before the epilogue)

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I think this was a great quote to end on before the epilogue. Many times the idea of the future can be daunting and overwhelming. However, the beautiful things about our twenties is that we can get really honest with ourselves and decide what it is we truly want our lives to look like and make the changes/take the steps towards doing those things and stop our behaviors that are getting in the way of that. We may not know what our twenties have in store but with some deep reflection and introspection I’m sure we can decide what we at least want our lives to look like when it’s all said and done and Jay reminds us of that.

Criticisms of the book:

Although I honestly love this book very much and it has been one of my favorite reads, that’s not to say the book doesn’t have some flaws. I will be discussing two of them.

1. This book is aimed towards a very specific type of twentysomething: non-married college grads with no kids.

While non-college grads twentysomethings who may or may not have kids could probably take the meat of what is written in Jay’s novel, the novel does work around the fact that our twenties are the best time for us to do x, y, and z because we don’t have children (yet) or aren’t married (yet) and thus doing certain things to advance our careers and lives, etc are easier. I don’t think much of the advice would be as relatable to me if I wasn’t a college grad or at least in college right now. However, the overall theme of the book would be: the twenties set the foundation for the rest of your life. Because let’s face it, they do.

2. This book assumes that every twentysomething wants a (heteronormative) monogamous relationship with children to come soon after marriage.

The times are changing and I know many people, especially women who don’t want children, ever. Even for those who may struggle with fertility, the section on getting older and fertility doesn’t even suggest adoption or anything of the sort, only being mindful of not putting off having children when you are too old. Either way, there is a specific lifestyle in mind when Jay is writing which I think is fine, people should stick to lakes and rivers they’re used to but for those who may not adhere to these things, especially the desire to have children, a good section of the book might be useless. That’s not to say the rest of the book is useless. I’m sure all twentysomethings can find a piece of advice in this book that is relatable, but a only a certain type of twentysomething will be able to relate to all of it.

Overall Rating: 8.5

I really enjoyed this book but as I have mentioned, I very much fall into the intended audience demographic. For those who find themselves in the post-grad struggle, unsure about their current non-career related job, love and relationships, and exactly when they should entertain the idea of children this book is a MUST READ! I do think ALL twentysomethings could stand to read it and learn a thing or two that relates to the uncertainty that comes with our twenties and “making the best” out of them.

What do you think is are MUST READS for twentysomethings? Let me know in the comments!