Wake Up And Live

Wake Up And Live

"I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly." John 10:10

As I enter into my second semester of college, I can’t help but reflect on how quickly life is flying by.

My roommates and I will often reminisce on the fun we had in high school, and sometimes even take it back to middle and elementary school. The memories are so fresh that it is still so hard to believe that we are in college. While these memories are fun to look back on, I find myself constantly looking forward to the future.

I think that we can all agree that life sometimes gets the best of us. We get wrapped up in things like work, school, relationships, comparison or pretty much anything that we can allow into our minds. I am so guilty of this. I get caught up in trying to figure out how I can fix this problem, or how I could change my appearance to be more like this girl that I follow on Instagram. I get so stressed about everything that I have to do in the next few days that I refuse to leave my room until I do it.

While getting things done and being motivated is important, I feel like sometimes we forget that life has so much more for us than our to-do lists. We are called to live outside the ordinary and live our lives to the fullest. With each day comes a new opportunity. We have no idea who we will get to meet or the experiences we will get to have. I looked through my planner from last semester and realized that I literally took time out of my day for a nap. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good nap, but I don’t even want to think about the other things that I could have done with that time.

Life is flying by. It feels like last week that I was going to my high school freshmen orientation, and just yesterday that I was wearing my toga for the first day of senior year. Now here I am, in the best days of my life. Don’t let the day just slip by. Make the most of it.

Cover Image Credit: Whitney Weldon

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Instafame: Unattainable Or Realistic

Everything you need to know about this up and coming career

There's no magic formula or secret code that will automatically bump your follow count into the hundred thousands. Even if there was, I wouldn't be sharing it. Young people have been changing industries since the beginning of time, and recently the digital media market has seen amazing growth thanks to young people. Often called influencers, millennials are specializing in sharing their lives with the world, some even making a living doing so.

If you're looking for a list of foolproof ways to make money on social media, you've come to the wrong place.

Success does not come easy on platforms like Instagram or Youtube. It can take weeks and even years to rack up numbers that equate to paid sponsorships and ad shares. This is discouraging for most young creators who put countless hours into their work. Many who join social media platforms are almost immediately discouraged by how little attention their hard work is receiving and give up on their craft before they have even a taste of success. There are a select few creators who, for whatever reason, make it big on Youtube and Instagram. These internet sensations rack up millions of views monthly and thousands of dollars each year.

A study done by "Business Insider" in 2015 revealed that Pewdiepie earned $7.4 million in 2014. At the time, he was one of Youtube's most followed channels. While this number alone is impressive, a more recent study has shown just how much social media is changing. More recently the new estimate of Pewdiepie's earnings came in around $17 million for 2017. He is now the most subscribed to person on Youtube with over 61 million subscribers.

While the numbers above sound enticing, don't quit your day job just yet. Earlier this month "Business Insider" published an article about a millennial living in New York City who, like many young people today, dreamed of a "Gossip Girl" lifestyle. And who can blame her? After settling down in NYC, Lisette racked up numerous credit card bills buying superficial things like Louis Vuitton purses, 5-star meals, and the latest fashion trends. The 26-year-old Miami native admits to at one point having ten thousand dollars in credit card debt. Ten. Thousand. Dollars.

"I was living above my means. I was living a lie and debt was looming over my head."

Following the publication of the article, the young influencer fired back with her own version of the story which explains that over a year she accumulated smaller debts of one to two thousand dollars, and paid them off relatively quickly. Whichever side of the story you are willing to accept, no Instagram is worth thousands of dollars of debt. So while it may be easy to dream of the picture-perfect life, no amount of debt is justifiable chasing an unattainable fantasy.

While there are two sides to the coin, to pursue social media careers or to stick to your current job, there is no clear answer. Though only a small percentage of influencers make enough money from social media to live comfortably, who is to say that couldn't be you? When you are considering pursuing a social media endeavor, Lisette says the most important things will always be being authentic and creating connections. These tips have been echoed by professionals in the business, like Michael Humphrey, a "Forbes" contributor specializing in social media.

So if you decide social media is the right path for you, pursue it wholeheartedly, but with a grain of salt. If those likes and comments don't start pouring in immediately, don't panic. It takes time, patience, and dedication to see success at any level.

Cover Image Credit: Desi Perkins

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Being The Girl Who'd Rather Be Reading

Reading is an escape. Reading is relaxing. Reading is fun.

I love to read. I am the black sheep of my family in that way. My grandmother loves to read but besides her, I am the only one that thoroughly enjoys reading and would choose it over other hobbies.

My family is more outdoorsy and more active. When we go fishing, I have a book to read. I fish a little, catch one or two fish, then I read a book for the rest of the time. When I went hunting for the first time, I had my iPad that had about a hundred books on it. I started reading one and ended up not liking it and it was funny because my stepdad was like, “Oh I guess you can’t read.”

Ha, joke was on him because I had many different books to choose from. I ended up finishing one book while waiting on a deer. So, as you can see, I am a huge fan of reading. It’s something I really enjoy. I wanted to let everyone know why I love reading.

It allows me to escape the world

Sometimes I can’t take what’s going on in the world. Sometimes I need a breather. Sometimes I need to get away. Since it costs money to get away and I can’t always hide, reading helps with that.

I love stories. I love hearing about adventures.

When people talk about their adventures, they get so excited to tell you, their eyes light up and they are smiling the entire time. This

I get to live someone else’s life without living someone’s life.

I get to experience things I have never experienced before. I get to live vicariously through someone else’s life. Say someone is a spy and I am reading his or her story. I get to be a spy too, in a way. I get to see what they see.

I get to see things from other people’s point of view.

This is similar to what I said above except what I am getting to with this one is say the author and the main character are women of color, I am not a woman of color so I do not know what they have experienced or what they go through every day. I am able to see that. It’s not the same as experiences by any means, but it definitely opens my eyes as to what is going around me.

I get to do it with or without internet.

I can read an ebook saved on my iPad. I can read a paperback/hardback book. I can listen to an audiobook. The world is my oyster when it comes to how I can get books: library, online, or Barnes and Noble. I don’t need it to be light outside. I don’t need internet. I can read whenever I want: waiting in line, at the table, anywhere really.

It’s fun for me.

I have so much fun reading books. I learn. I dream. I hope. It makes life fun.

You get your own freedom with books by imagining the characters in each book.

Hermonie Granger’s actress is the same actress that plays Belle in Beauty and the Beast. She is also Lena in Colonia. Emma Watson is a wonderful actress that plays many wonderful characters. I love that. But, in books, that is not the case. When you read a book, that character doesn’t appear in any other books unless it’s a series. When I read a book, I see the scene play out in my head. I see what the character looks like. (I hate when they make a movie from the book and the actor/actress is not what I pictured).

It is very relaxing.

Reading is a calming hobby. It can be loud and busy around me and to just sit down and read a book is so calming and relaxing. When I read, I can block out anything that is going around me. That relaxes me because my mind is constantly running and reading puts all that to a halt.

Books capture thoughts.

In a movie or tv show, the only way to know what someone is thinking or feeling is if they are writing in a journal, narrating, or they are opening up to someone. In a book, you literally know what the main character is feeling and thinking. You are privy to their thoughts. In a movie or tv show, you don’t know what they are feeling.

I was the girl that would finish her test first and then would grab my book to read. I am the girl that has a book with her everywhere she goes. I usually have my iPad with me at all times and it has about a thousand ebooks on it. I am the girl that would rather read than go outside. The beach is a nice to place to go...if I have a book that I can read while sitting on the sand. I don’t care if that makes me a nerd. I am a nerd. I am a book nerd.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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