Back-to-School Hacks to Start the Semester Off Right


It’s August, so that means a new school year is about to start. Whether you’re dreading or excited for this new school year, we all set expectations of how we want the year to go, and they may or may not happen. Regardless, I wanted to share some back to school hacks to make your year easier and cheaper.

1. Make Your Own Planner

Having a planner keeps you organized (for those of us who still like to use pen and paper), but they can get expensive. Why not make your own? That way it will be customized (which motivates you to actually use it) and you will save money (always a great thing). I found some tutorials on Pinterest and Youtube.

2. Rent e-textbooks

Textbooks are a necessary evil- necessary to pass class, but evil with the prices. However, renting e-textbooks are usually a cheaper option because the publisher doesn’t have to pay to get them printed. I use services like Chegg and Amazon.

3. Go to Events on Campus for Free Food

At Mizzou we have Fall Welcome Week which is where we welcome all the new students to campus through free on campus events. A majority of these events have free food so if your cabinets are bare, go to one! You might also make some new friends.

4. Use Khan Academy for Free Tutoring
If your school doesn’t offer free tutoring services, no worries. Khan Academy is a website that provides helpful videos on STEM topics. You even have the option of asking a specific question and having it answered by a knowledgeable source. Don’t forget about Sparknotes for English!

5. Use Online Flashcards to Study For Tests

Sometimes, we have to use the tried and true method of using flashcards to study for a test. Luckily, the internet has streamlined things and online flashcards are now available. Also, if you use Quizlet, you can find flashcards for the same class and use those for review too.

What are you looking forward to this semester? Comment below.


How to Create Your Own Internship

  Internships provide great experience whether we like them or not. The greatest benefit is that you get to meet people in the industry and network with them. But what happens if the company you really want to work for does not offer any internship programs? Or what if you live in a city where there aren’t many opportunities? Here’s some help:

Company Doesn’t Offer Internship Program

Sometimes if your dream company doesn’t offer an internship program, you have to present it to them. What I mean is that you should gather all information and pitch it to them. To do this you should:

1. Go on the website and learn about the company

2. Determine which areas you would like to assist in

3. Craft a pitch explaining who you are and what your experience is. Use this to persuade them as to why they should open a position for you. Mention things like why you want to work for the company, what sets you apart and what the logistics of the position would be.

You Don’t Live in an Area with Many Opportunities

The internet has opened so many doors for those who don’t live in major cities. Many companies offer virtual internships so you can do all of your work at home and still be able to add experience to your resume. To find a virtual internship, you can use a search engine, internship search websites like or social media.

I hope this was helpful. P.S. Don’t forget to read these:

Need help with your resume or job interview? I can help! Click here

30 things to Do Before Turning 30 

A Conversation with Academy Award winner, Common


Photo taken by Dekonti Davies


Academy Award and Golden Globe winner Common visited my school (University of Missouri) and spoke about greatness. He was truly a great speaker and had the audience cheering on more than one occasion.

As a special treat, he began with a freestyle, incorporating elements of our Mizzou culture like Sandy from Plaza, College Ave and Rollins and the Berg (if you go to Mizzou you know what I’m talking about).

Then he proceeded to tell us about greatness (how to be our best selves).

Here are the five things that I took away:

1. Don’t allow others to dim your light

It’s very easy to want to please someone that you love to the point where you don’t take care of yourself. He mentions that when he was in a relationship with Erykah Badu, he would often dim his light in order to not make her mad. If we want to be the best we sometimes have to let go of those people that are holding us back.

2. Practice, Practice, Practice

When Common was 12, he played basketball but he wasn’t very good. He would try to play it off by pretending he had a stomach ache, but his uncle (the coach) caught on and told him that if he wanted to be good at something he had to work hard on it.

3. Believe in Yourself

You are your biggest supporter. If you don’t believe in yourself then no one else will. Common said that once he started believing in himself, he started to have a better outlook on life, especially when he released the album Be.

4. Finding Your Path Isn’t Easy

Trying to figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life is not easy. Common originally thought he wanted to be a basketball player, but once he was introduced to hip-hop, he knew that was his path.

5. There Will Be Haters

No matter what you do, there will always be someone doubting you. That doubt can even come from within yourself, but you have to believe in yourself and be confident in your abilities.

Seeing Common was exciting, have you met any celebrities? If so, comment below. If not, who is a celebrity that you would like to meet?

30 Before 30: 30 things to do before turning 30

30Before30My 20th birthday is next week! So I thought I’d make a list of things to do before I turn 30:

  1. Travel to NYC, LA, ATL and Texas
  2. Graduate college
  3. Eat a restaurant that serves expensive cuisine  (I’ve eaten at 3 Forks in Chicago, as a part of my internship with BET Networks).
  4. Invest in a start up
  5. Donate and support a worthy cause
  6. Find my dream job
  7. Conquer a physical challenge (run a 5k)
  8. Cross country road trip
  9. Get a car
  10. Throw an epic birthday party
  11. Go on a retreat
  12. Pay off student loans
  13. Sky diving!
  14. Go to a state festival
  15. Get a hobby and stick with it
  16. Stay up all night and watch the sunrise
  17. Attend a concert
  18. Scuba diving
  19. Go camping
  20. Attend a sporting event (I’ve been to a Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls game. Now, I just need to go to a Chicago Bears game.)
  21. Apply for my dream job
  22. Throw a great dinner party for friends and family
  23. Track my family ancestry
  24. Be on tv
  25. Travel to an exotic location
  26. Splurge on something expensive
  27. Stay at a luxury hotel
  28. See Cirque du Soleil or Blue Man group
  29. Become a mentor
  30. Forgive myself for mistakes