7 Things to Consider Before Graduating Early

For those who don’t know, my college experience was very unique. I graduated a year early from a private university; and I was able to get my Bachelor’s and Master’s, and a minor in four years. I loved and appreciated my college experience despite the fact it wasn’t your typical college experience. I want to share why I decided to graduate early, and what advice I have for current college students who are considering graduating early as well.

I’m going to be honest. My decision to graduate early was not an easy decision, and there were many factors that came into play. I knew going into college that I could graduate early because I had a lot of college credits from high school, so this idea was in my mind from the beginning of my college career. But, I didn’t think I would want to graduate early because college is a fun and I didn’t want to cut that experience short, but I had many reasons for wanting to graduate early.

If you’re on the fence about wanting to graduate early, here are some things to consider if you’re questioning whether you should or not:

1| Is it possible?

The first question you need to ask yourself is whether or not you can graduate early. Some academic programs are quite intense and rigorous with scheduling, lab requirements, internship requirements, etc. Make sure you consider all areas of your academic program. If you’re not to type of person who can handle six (or more) classes a semester, this might not be the right choice for you.

2| Find out the why.

Why do you want to graduate early? I personally had several reasons: 1. I knew it was possible. 2. I wanted to save money on my Bachelor’s and Master’s because I couldn’t afford to be in school for six years.  3. And I knew I could graduate early without feeling like I “missed out” on a college experience. Find out your reasons for why you want to graduate early as weigh the pros and cons of graduating in three years verses graduating in four years.

3| Make a plan.

I made my plan for all four years of college during my freshman year. I knew that if I was going to graduate in four years with two degrees, it was going to take conscious planning and effort. I planned all my classes for six semesters, which included courses for my B.A. and M.A. in addition to planning my internship requirements, when I would study abroad, what organizations I would be involved in, etc. Consider everything that goes into your college experience and make sure you write down a plan.

4| Stay dedicated.

Most people tell me that they have considered graduating early from college, but by their third year, they lose motivation and focus, and decide to come back for that final year. Don’t put in time and effort if you’re going to sell yourself short, and not follow through with your plan. It’s so important to keep reminding yourself of why you wanted to graduate early in the first place. Remember the money and time you’re saving, or any other reason why you’ve decided this in the first place. You got this!

5| Don’t overthink it.

I remember overthinking my decision a month prior to graduation back in 2015. I was done, and I was about to go on to finishing my M.A. in my fourth year of school, and I was overthinking whether or not this was a good decision. “But what if I don’t pass my Master’s thesis, and this was all for nothing?” “What if I regret not spending that extra year in school?” Don’t let the “what if” questions get to you because it’s not worth losing sleep over. Again, remember why you started this journey, and follow through.

6| Don’t let school take over your life.

I can’t tell you how many people thought that just because I was graduating early meant that I did nothing but study and focus on school. This couldn’t be further from the truth. I had a social life, I was involved in organizations on campus, I had internships, I blogged, and I took care of myself by getting eight hours of sleep, working out three days a week and giving myself breaks to relax. It’s so important to NOT only focus on school so that you can have a life outside of studying and working.

7| Don’t settle.

I think people settle on a potential job or graduate programs because they’re graduating early from college. If you have dreams to graduate early, but you also want to move to a big city and follow your dreams of working in a law firm—do it. If you want to graduate early, so you can have money to travel abroad for a month, or to start your own business—do it. Don’t let your current decision to graduate early affect the plans you set for yourself after graduation. Always follow your dreams and go for it.


If you’re considering graduating early, I hope this post helped answer some questions and gave you some insight on what goes into the process of graduating early. If you decide that this isn’t the right choice for you, that’s completely okay. But, if you do find that graduating early is right for you—Make a plan, stay dedicated and keep moving forward. I promise that the hard work and dedication will pay off!

Did you graduate early, or did you attend college for all four years? If you could go back, would you consider graduating early from college? Why or why not? Make sure to leave a comment below!

 

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31 Tips To Stay Blissful All-Month Long

Let’s be honest, friends—life can be stressful. Work can be too much, and we forget to enjoy moments outside of the office and be present in the moment. Needless to say, the last two months at work have been a lot and I’m making it my mission to focus on life outside of work because self-care is important and you should always be focusing on things that make you happy.

1| Take a walk.

2| Read a book.

Read: Why you Need Hygge in your Life

3| Two words: Adult Coloring.

4| Take a drive.

5| Watch your favorite movie.

6| Call a friend to catch up.

7| Treat yourself to a manicure or pedicure.

8| Binge-watch Netflix.

9| Do your favorite workout.

10| Meditate.

11| Write down five things you’re grateful for.

12| Wake up 30 minutes early and enjoy your morning.

13| Blast your favorite song and SING!

14| Be present in the moment, whatever that moment may be.

15| Write a list of everything you love.

16| Have a glass of wine (or three).

17| Treat yourself to your favorite Starbucks drink.

18| Have a girl’s night in.

19| Try a new restaurant in your city.

20| Have a no-complaint day.

21| Buy yourself flowers.

22| Make your favorite meal.

23| Declutter your closet.

Read: 10 Things to Remove from your Closet Right Now

Read: 8 Tips to Master your Closet

24| Buy the cake & eat it, too.

25| Dog Therapy (Yes I’m serious and you’re welcome in advance.)

26| Go to bed early.

Read: Mental Cleanse Challenge Week 2

27| Drink water.

28| Write for fun.

29| Take your workout outside.

30| Put on a face mask.

Read: 5 Holy Grail Skincare Products that Will Change Your Skin

31| Think positively.

I hope you find time to slow down this month and truly enjoy every moment that comes your way. Life is too quick not to appreciate all the little things that make it special. 

Make sure to share how you focus on self-care and what you’ll be doing this month to stay blissful. Share how you treat yourself after a stressful day (or week) so we can all focus on the good this month!

 

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More for Mom: Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day

It’s time to celebrate your mom who packed your lunch for years on end, made sure you had clean laundry, and who (still) gives you extra food to take home after a family dinner. #Blessed

Mother’s Day is a day where we remind ourselves of all the work our moms have done. Real talk, when you’re a mom—you do it all. So I give TONS of credit to the moms out there who act as a chef, house cleaner, laundry-doer, driver, personal cheerleader, doctor, and so much more. Y’all are amazing.

With that in mind, it’s always nice to do a little more for mom around this time of year, which is why I’m sharing five simple but thoughtful gifts to give to your mom this Mother’s Day that won’t break the bank. These are gifts and gestures your mom will surely appreciate. Be sure to leave a comment below telling me your plans for your mom this Mother’s Day! 

1| What I Love About Mom Book: Francesca’s

I enjoy a personalized gift that will show the time, effort and energy you put into a gift. I had no idea when I got this for my mom, she would cry tears of joy simply from reading my messages inside. If you enjoy personal gifts for your mom, I would definitely recommend this!

2| Coffee Date

Because what’s better than taking time out of the day to relax for an hour or two over some coffee with your mom? Treat her to Starbucks or your favorite local shop in town. It’s a simple gesture, but it’s perfect for the mom who simply prefers to spend time with you rather than receiving gifts.

3| Alex and Ani Mom Bracelet: Alex and Ani

If your mom hasn’t been introduced to Alex and Ani, she will love that her first bracelet is a Mother’s day bracelet! It’s a simple gift, but it’s versatile and can be worn with other jewelry she may have. If she already has her fair share of Alex and Ani bracelets, opt for something more unique from a local boutique in your town.

4| Edible Arrangements: EdibleArrangement.com

Ya’ll, let’s be honest. Everyone knows that Edible Arrangements are amazing, and there’s no one more deserving of this gift than your mom. There are several different packages to choose from, and no matter what—she will love this gift because who doesn’t want chocolate-covered fruit!?

5| Mom Mug: Target

If you don’t live in the same state or city as your mom and can’t be with her for Mother’s Day, send a cute mug like this one from Target with a gift card to her favorite coffee shop, or a package of her favorite coffee to make at home! It’ll be the perfect way for her to enjoy a little down time and think of you every time she uses her mug.

What are your plans for Mother’s Day? What other gift ideas do you have for your mom? Be sure to share in the comments below!

 

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5 Things to be Happy About: May Edition

Throw your hands up if you tweeted/shared/posted anything yesterday regarding today being May 1st! I don’t know about you, but I was singing, “It’s gon’ be May” ALL. DAY. LONG. without any shame. And I spent most of the day sending some pretty ridiculous snaps to my friends as well.

It’s safe to say that I’m looking forward to a new month. April was a whirlwind of adventures and lovely things between turning 23, traveling to Boston for a week and planning some exciting surprises here on the blog. I promise I’ll be sharing more on that soon!

In the meantime, I’m sharing what I’m looking forward to now that it’s May. Be sure to leave a comment sharing what you’re looking forward to this month!

1| One-Year Work Anniversary 

I don’t know how a year already flew by, but it has been one year since I began my first marketing job. Needless to say, I couldn’t be happier with where I’m at in my career after one year. I feel so blessed to wake up and go to a job that I love, and where I’m constantly growing and learning about the field I’m in. P.S. I’m thinking about writing a post on what I’ve learned so far in the marketing field for those who are interested. Let me know if this is something you would want to read.

2|  Cinco de Mayo

Because who doesn’t want a reason to grab some margaritas with your best friends and celebrate? Or, if you would rather have a girls night in, check out some of these awesome recipes to make while you’re watching Netflix.

3| Spring Flowers, ya’ll

I promised myself I would be treating myself to the things I enjoy. And if you know anything about me, you’ll know that I love some fresh cut flowers. Peonies and Tulips are two of my favorite flowers, but I’m not discriminating on any other beautiful blooms. So I’m encouraging you all to treat yourself in some way this month, even if it’s a bouquet of flowers. Because it’s all about the little things in life that can make a day better. #amiright?

4| Unexpected Visitors

I’m learning more and more that last-minute plans turn out to be the best type of plans. I’m thankful for my friends who are always encouraging me to be spontaneous. Two of my best friends from college are driving down to visit me this month, and I’m so excited. The last time all three of us were together was more than two years ago, so this is going to be a great time to catch up and spend time together.

5| Memorial Day Weekend

Cooking on the grill, playing backyard games and relaxing for a long weekend is something I’m definitely looking forward to. May is going to be a very busy and productive month, so it will be nice to enjoy the end of the month with family, friends and a little bit of fun as we move on into June!

What are you looking forward to this month? Make sure to share any exciting plans (blogging related or personal) in the comments below!

 

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23 Things I’ve Learned in 23 Years

While you’re reading this, I’m off adventuring in Boston for the first time with Josh in celebration of our birthdays. Yesterday, I turned 23 (eek!) and I have to say that I’m happy with where I’m at with this age. Today, I want to share 23 things I’ve learned in 23 years with you. Make sure to share some important lessons you’ve learned over the years as well!

1| Do more of what makes you happy.

Why wait until you’re 30 to pursue your dream job? STOP WAITING. Go out and do all the things you want to do right now. I’ve realized that your passions are your calling and you should always pursue them. So go out and start doing what you love!

2| Love above all else.

Let’s be real, friends. Life is too darn short to waste it on hatred. Giving love even when you think that person may not deserve it is one of the strongest things you can do. When in doubt, let love win. Always choose love and always give love.

3| Don’t let social media fool you.

That girl took more than 40 selfies to get the right angle to post on Instagram. The lighting isn’t always perfect, and yes—everyone reuses their Starbucks cup for several Instagram photos because no one wants to spend $50 a week on coffee.

4| If you can’t get a miracle, be a miracle for someone else.

Simply remember the words.

5| Friday nights are different. And that’s okay.

Because there’s nothing better then spending a night in with good friends, some Disney songs and a lot of sushi. You don’t always need a night out to enjoy your time with people you care about.

6| Surround yourself with people who lift you up.

You deserve to be around people who love you and appreciate you. Don’t waste time on people who are negative and don’t bring anything positive to your life. You’re a product of your environment, so make sure you’re spending it with amazing people.

7| Savings are too important to ignore.

Girl, pay off your debt and start putting aside money every week and every month. You can’t pretend that savings aren’t important because they are. Set a budget, prioritize the necessities, and start saving money for your future house, travel, your business or anything else that is important to you.

8| Quality over quantity.

Now is the time to invest. Invest in one pair of high-quality shoes that you will love and use for the next 10 years. Invest in your skincare products, invest in good luggage, invest in a a good piece of jewelry you’ll wear every single day. But always remember quality over quantity.

9| You are enough.

You are enough. You are so enough it’s unbelievable how enough you are.

10| Take care of yourself.

Drink water. Get enough sleep. Keep your home clean. Make yourself healthy meals you truly enjoy. Make regular doctor’s appointments. Ask for help when you need it. Take time for yourself when you’re overwhelmed.

11| On that work/personal life “crisis.”

In the midst of what seems to be a disaster, ask yourself: will this matter in five years? The truth it, it might not even matter a year from now or a week from now. Take every “crisis” in stride and remember that this too, shall pass.

12| Minimalism matters.

Get rid of anything in your life that isn’t beautiful, useful or brings a sense of joy. You’ll be amazed what a difference this makes.

13| Forgive yourself & others.

Things happen and everyone makes mistakes. Forgive others if they have wronged you, but also remember to forgive yourself of your past mistakes, too.

14| Travel and explore.

The world is too large and beautiful to stay in one place. Spend money on adventures and traveling. Traveling is the only thing you can buy in life that will make you richer.

15| Spend time alone.

The most important relationship, and the relationship you’ll have for the longest is with yourself. Enjoy time alone and use it to learn and grow. Your future self will thank you.

16| Never stop learning.

You have a degree, but that doesn’t mean you should stop learning. Read as much as possible. Listen to podcasts. Watch documentaries. Listen when someone is speaking. Travel (See number 14). There are so many opportunities to learn in your lifetime.

17| Treat yourself.

Treat yourself to a hot bath with Lush products, or to a glass of wine, or your favorite dessert. Buy that Starbucks drink when you know you haven’t had it in months. You deserve it. Remember it’s the little things in life!

18| On working out.

Working out isn’t just about “looking” good. You should be spending time working out because it’s good for your mental, physical and emotional health. Work out because it’s a priority for your well-being. Find exercises you enjoy and do them regularly.

19| Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Don’t let that negative email from your boss or the evening traffic get to you. Life is too short to get worked up over things you can’t control. Remember this when something unexpected and frustrating comes along in your life.

20| It’s okay to not have it all figured out.

Of course, we want to be able to say we know exactly what we want and have our 5-year plan mapped out. This isn’t always realistic. It’s okay if you know where you want to be in 5 years. But if you don’t, that’s okay, too because plans change. It’s all about being able to roll with the punches.

21| Dress up. Show up. Never give up. 

If you’re having a rough day, dress up and spend a little extra time getting ready so you feel good. Put on an outfit you can rock all day. It will help with your productivity and happiness throughout even the most difficult Monday. I promise.

22| Learn when to say yes and no.

Say yes to adventures, new experiences and things that will bring you the most joy. Say no when you know you’re unable to fully commit to something and when you need a break. Learn when to say these two words, and you’ll always find balance in your life.

23| Be thankful.

Be thankful for every positive and negative experience in your life because it was either a blessing or a lesson. Regardless, it was able to help you grow! Express gratitude at every opportunity.

What are some life lessons you have learned over the years? Make sure to share them in the comments below!

 

 

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