Yes, I’m A Fashion Major, No, It’s Not Glamorous Or Easy

Yes, I’m A Fashion Major, No, It’s Not Glamorous Or Easy

While there are certainly outrageously excessive aspects of the fashion industry, like a Chanel or Dior Haute Couture show, the majority of the industry involves small, day-to-day behind the scenes work.

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I think I was about 10 years old when I discovered what I wanted to do with my life. It was my birthday, and my grandmother gave me a children's fashion sketching kit. Equipped with a small lightbox and pre-designed garment templates, I was set. While it probably seemed like a fun arts and crafts activity to keep me busy, the small, unsuspecting kit changed the course of my life.

Prior to receiving the gift, I had been introduced to sewing by my grandmother and had attended my first sewing camp at age 8. I think she tried to acquaint all the girls in the family with sewing, but I was the only one to take any real interest. I'd spend my summers sewing Simplicity patterns here and there with her. And while I always enjoyed our time together, none of those experiences sparked an interest in me like the design kit she gave to me.

By the time I got to middle school, I'd doodle and sketch designs in the back of notebooks or on scrap paper. Even though I didn't know how to produce them, I just loved to think of new looks. I'd always imagine what it would be like to have one of my designs make it to the red carpet. So much so, that I used to joke with my friends saying that I'd dress them when they finally became famous. (If you're reading this, that offer still stands).

As I moved onto high school, I decided it was time to get more serious about sewing. I enrolled in a sewing class my sophomore year of high school and discovered that I had much to learn. I initially assumed that I'd learn all the tricks of the trade, but I was quickly set straight by coming to terms with my beginner status. Although I enjoyed the projects, they felt like a chore on top of my schoolwork. I stopped by junior year, but the classes hadn't entirely killed my passion for design.

By the time senior year rolled around, and it was time to choose a college, a major, and everything else about the rest of my life, I didn't have to think very long. I also didn't have to make very many decisions. During my senior year, I came to the realization that I'd never actually considered different career paths. Nothing else ever caught my interest- nothing. With ease and little concern, I chose to enroll at LSU in apparel design. I didn't know anything about the competitiveness of the industry, starting salaries, or relocating for potential jobs- I just went with it. There was nothing else I wanted to pursue a degree in.

The reality of this choice starts once I got to college. As a freshman, I didn't take many classes related to my major, but I still loved the idea of being a "fashion major." Cue the "oohs" and "ahhs." To work in the fashion industry?!? It was 10-year-old me's dream come true.

What 19-year-old me quickly realized, though, is that it wasn't going to be quite the dream I'd imagined.

When sophomore year rolled around and the six-hour sewing labs and six-hour illustration labs followed, I started to see my future for what it was really going to be. It wasn't going to be "The Devil Wears Prada" and rubbing elbows with celebrities. It was work — lots and lots of work. It was 8 extra hours a week in the sewing lab, it was staying up till 3 a.m. to finish illustrations, and it was anything but glamorous.

Gone was the false notion of a mysteriously fabulous life as a leading industry designer. My reality of the fashion industry shaped up to be a bit lackluster and mundane compared to the cinematic stereotypes people often think of. And yet, I still wouldn't trade it for the world. To me, my major has been a true "labor of love." The tedious, time-consuming work is what has made pursuing design such a worthy choice for me. Nothing brings me a greater sense of accomplishment than to create.

I've made quite a few garments during my time at LSU, I've illustrated a handful of mini collections, and I've even signed up for an elective couture technique class. As much frustration, impatience, and doubt as my major has brought me, it has also brought an equal amount of pride, excitement, and motivation.

As American radio host Earl Nightingale thoughtfully said, "never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway." Yes, this "dream" of mine has been a long time coming, and it's also been an extensive amount of work, but I wouldn't have wanted to spend my time any other way. From churning out lightbox sketches at 10 years old to be able to produce the patterns for original designs at 21 years old, my dream of designing has continued to live on.

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So, You Want To Be A Nurse?

You're going to find that nursing isn't really about the medicine or the assessments. Being a nurse is so much more than anything that you can learn in school. Textbooks can't teach you compassion and no amount of lecture time will teach you what it truly means to be a nurse.

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To the college freshman who just decided on nursing,

I know why you want to be a nurse.

Nurses are important. Nursing seems fun and exciting, and you don't think you'll ever be bored. The media glorifies navy blue scrubs and stethoscopes draped around your neck, and you can't go anywhere without hearing about the guaranteed job placement. You passed AP biology and can name every single bone in the human body. Blood, urine, feces, salvia -- you can handle all of it with a straight face. So, you think that's what being a nurse is all about, right? Wrong.

You can search but you won't find the true meaning of becoming a nurse until you are in the depths of nursing school and the only thing getting you through is knowing that in a few months, you'll be able to sign the letters "BSN" after your name...

You can know every nursing intervention, but you won't find the true meaning of nursing until you sit beside an elderly patient and know that nothing in this world can save her, and all there's left for you to do is hold her hand and keep her comfortable until she dies.

You'll hear that one of our biggest jobs is being an advocate for our patients, but you won't understand until one day, in the middle of your routine physical assessment, you find the hidden, multi-colored bruises on the 3-year-old that won't even look you in the eyes. Your heart will drop to your feet and you'll swear that you will not sleep until you know that he is safe.

You'll learn that we love people when they're vulnerable, but you won't learn that until you have to give a bed bath to the middle-aged man who just had a stroke and can't bathe himself. You'll try to hide how awkward you feel because you're young enough to be his child, but as you try to make him feel as comfortable as possible, you'll learn more about dignity at that moment than some people learn in an entire lifetime.

Every class will teach you about empathy, but you won't truly feel empathy until you have to care for your first prisoner in the hospital. The guards surrounding his room will scare the life out of you, and you'll spend your day knowing that he could've raped, murdered, or hurt people. But, you'll walk into that room, put your fears aside, and remind yourself that he is a human being still, and it's your job to care, regardless of what he did.

Each nurse you meet will beam with pride when they tell you that we've won "Most Trusted Profession" for seventeen years in a row, but you won't feel that trustworthy. In fact, you're going to feel like you know nothing sometimes. But when you have to hold the sobbing, single mother who just received a positive breast cancer diagnosis, you'll feel it. Amid her sobs of wondering what she will do with her kids and how she's ever going to pay for treatment, she will look at you like you have all of the answers that she needs, and you'll learn why we've won that award so many times.

You'll read on Facebook about the nurses who forget to eat and pee during their 12-hour shifts and swear that you won't forget about those things. But one day you'll leave the hospital after an entire shift of trying to get your dying patient to eat anything and you'll realize that you haven't had food since 6:30 A.M. and you, too, will be one of those nurses who put everything else above themselves.

Too often we think of nursing as the medicine and the procedures and the IV pumps. We think of the shots and the bedpans and the baths. We think all the lab values and the blood levels that we have to memorize. We think it's all about the organs and the diseases. We think of the hospitals and the weekends and the holidays that we have to miss.

But, you're going to find that nursing isn't really about the medicine or the assessments. Being a nurse is so much more than anything that you can learn in school. Textbooks can't teach you compassion, and no amount of lecture time will teach you what it truly means to be a nurse.

So, you think you want to be a nurse?

Go for it. Study. Cry. Learn everything. Stay up late. Miss out on things. Give it absolutely everything that you have.

Because I promise you that the decision to dedicate your life to saving others is worth every sleepless night, failed test, or bad day that you're going to encounter during these next four years. Just keep holding on.

Sincerely,

The nursing student with just one year left.

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12 Tips Before Getting Your First Eyelash Extensions

I know you are in the middle of making your appointment, but here are a few pointers.

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If you are like me, you are super hesitant about trying new things in the beauty realm. I have finally tried lash extensions and can easily say I am obsessed. 10/10 recommend! If you are considering getting yours done, here are a few pointers!

1. Shower before your appointment.

This seems logical, but I wasn't aware. Luckily, I did shower before my appointment and wasn't shocked when my lash tech said, "don't get them wet for 24 hours."

2. Not all extensions are over the top. There are lash extensions for EVERYONE. 

I was super worried my lashes were going to be crazy over the top and I would look crazy during my runs. I asked my lash tech and she gave me a set of natural lashes. You get to pick the style of lashes you want! You can get them for fuller volume or just a natural look. There is a style of lashes for everyone!

3. Yes, they are SO much better than mascara and strip lashes.

I was already a firm hater of mascara, so lash extensions didn't have to work hard to win me over. As for strip lashes, I use to love putting them on for a night out or date night. It seemed as if a makeup look was not complete without them. Now, I wear less makeup on a night out because I feel as if my lashes really just pull the simplest of looks together.

4. Not all lash techs will charge you an arm and a leg.

One of my favorite nail salons offers lash extensions, STARTING at $100. Luckily, if you live near a college campus, the chances are high that a student is certified to do them and charges well under $100. I get mine done for $60 and leave happy with the work done every time.

5. You can go bare-faced and still feel flawless.

I have never woken up and felt so gorgeous right after stumbling out of bed. Lash extensions really give you an extra boost of confidence in feeling like you don't even want to bother with putting on makeup for the day.

6. You will need to wash your face in the sink, not the shower. 

You can get your lashes wet, but water coming forcefully out of a showerhead directly onto your lashes is not good for them. Makeup wipes and a careful face cleaning in the sink will take care of all your facial needs while avoiding causing damage to your lashes. I still use face masks when I have mine done!

7. Check the ingredients in your makeup removing products. 

To remove makeup, I LOVE using coconut oil. If you have lash extensions you should NOT use coconut oil. In fact, when your down to the last few lashes and are ready for them to come off, use coconut oil on a cotton ball and gently rub it along your lash line. Certain oils breakdown the glue used for lash extensions, so be aware of them before using them on your eye makeup.

8. Some people will truly believe they are your natural lashes. 

Here are some responses for their inquiries:

"I wish."

"Lash extensions, 10/10 recommend."

"I woke up like this."

9. You will need to sleep pretty. 

I have a tendency to sleep on my face. A tendency which I soon broke after getting lash extensions. You will have to learn to stay on your side or lay on your back so you don't rub all of your extensions out in the night.

WARNING: Be extra cautious on a night out where adult beverages were consumed. Ruining your lashes by drunkenly rubbing or sleeping on your face may cause heavy lash-loss.

10. They last about two to three weeks.

I have found that mine stay in pretty thick up until about 2.5 weeks. If you are careful, they could definitely still look flawless pushing week three.

11. They aren't damaging to your real lashes.

As long as you go to a licensed lash tech and aren't rubbing your face or pulling your lashes out, your natural lashes are safe and sound!

12. Once you get them done, you'll be going back for more.

It's not an addiction. And if it is, I don't think there is an issue to being addicted to feeling great about your lashes!

Making your lash appointment now? I figured.

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