Sunday

Just the Little Things - Fall Edition

Jessica R., Girl Talk Ambassador

This is a time of new beginnings. This is Autumn, better known as Fall, the season of endless colors, simply satisfying spices, and continuous feelings of coziness and comfort. There are countless things to love about these short but wonderful months of September, October, and November.

The trees dance in the howling, soaring wind, as they shed their vibrantly colored snowflakes upon the world. And all of the cerulean sky is swirling with various shades of crimson and saffron. Just take a moment, and look at all the beauty that surrounds you.


Everywhere you look, the leaves are falling from the trees, painting the sky in a truly entrancing waltz. You feel a sense of overwhelming happiness, like you’re hugging a big warm marshmallow. The weather finally starts to cool down, and the desert heat is replaced with a beautiful crispness, like a bite from a freshly picked apple. Long walks in the afternoon are the best way to spend your time. Every step you take is met with the satisfying crunch of leaves, perfect for jumping in. Road trips are an absolute must. The wind blows in your hair, and all your worries just fly away like the leaves in the sky. Every single thing you pass by looks like the prettiest painting imaginable. And now you can finally start wearing the comfiest pieces of clothing in your closet.

There’s sweaters for every shade of the rainbow, the fuzziest of all scarves, and boots so fluffy that it actually feels like you’re walking on clouds. And let’s not forget about the emergence of flannel with its wonderful intersecting stripes of sapphire and scarlet. There’s also the necessity of perfectly warm fluff-filled socks, that feel like a warm embrace from a giant adorable teddy bear. And no feeling in the world will ever compare to the feeling of bundling up under a blanket cocoon like a caterpillar beside your freshly lit pumpkin spice candle, while sipping on your steamy mug of hot chocolate, and watching your latest TV obsession.

Hot chocolate is the perfect fall weather beverage. Every sip is filled with joyful warmth and tastes like life at its finest. The sound of marshmallows plopping into a heavenly hot tub of delicious creamy goodness and the glorious white swirls of whipped cream gracefully resting on top are both wonderful additions to an already magical beverage.

All the food of Fall just tastes better. It’s filled with soothing warmth and love that protects you from the chilly outdoors. Pumpkins and apples are everywhere, and every place you go is like a scratch and sniff sticker of cinnamon goodness.

Fall also means the beginning of the holiday season. It all starts with Halloween, the day of ghouls and goblins and children and candy. It’s the one day of the year where everyone takes on a new persona and walks from house to house, getting huge piles of candy. The streets are filled with bloodthirsty vampires, dazzling princesses, and daring superheroes. Every house is decorated from top to bottom with delicate silver cobwebs, hauntingly deadly skeletons, and the iridescent glow of jack-o-lanterns. The air is filled with an eerily mysterious fog, and scary movies light up the screens in every household. Then, another month goes by, and it’s time for Thanksgiving.

All the schools close, and everyone’s stress flies away into the deliciously chilly air. The only things that matter are family and friends. There’s tables filled with food, ranging everywhere from turkey, gravy, and stuffing to mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, and pumpkin pie. Everyone watches the Thanksgiving Day Parade and eats and laughs and then eats again.

The next day will be filled with sales galore on the glorious day of Black Friday, but for now you’re just thankful to be here with so many people that love you. 

Fall is a wonderful season filled with magic and love. Take the time to appreciate all the little things around you. There are so many people and things in your life that you’re so lucky to have. I hope that you all experience the many wonders of this incredible season.
 To end where we started, “Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go”- Unknown.

Monday

Top 5 Tips to Make Your Resume Stronger & Your Life Easier

(brought to you by The Lion King, just because!)

September is National Update Your Resume Month and, it's that time of year…Whether you’re in high school preparing to apply for college, in college applying for internships, or in college preparing to face the real world and applying for jobs, it’s time for everyone’s favorite pastime: building a resume. 😉

Okay, so maybe it’s not that scary, but it can be a stressful undertaking, especially when potential colleges, internships, and jobs are in the mix and deadlines are looming over you. So, have a spoonful of sugar, remember a few of your favorite things, read our top tips, and then you won’t feel so bad!

1.      Keep it to 1-page and make sure your formatting is simple and consistent.

Think of your resume as part of a first impression, you want it to be straightforward, informative, and unique, then your personal statement/cover letter makes the reader want to know more. (More on that later…)

2.     Create a header that gives your name, contact info, and LinkedIn URL (if you don't have one, make one, and personalize your URL, you're a person, not a bunch of numbers that a website generates). 

3.     Utilize action verbs, like “utilize”! (See what we did there?) Try not to use the same verbs in a row (check out this list if you’re stuck) and use words that are in the actual job/internship description so a computer can identify you as a match.

4.    Maintain a working resume. Every time you do, accomplish, or receive something that is or might be “resume-worthy,” add it to your working resume so you don’t forget about all your valuable experiences and achievements further down the road…

5.   Build an individual resume for each job or internship that you apply for. Let that working resume be the one that holds ALL your information, jobs, responsibilities, skills, etc. That way you can pull from that master resume to create resumes tailored to the specific requirements and descriptions for each job or internship.

BONUS!

Writing a personal statement or cover letter is the other part of this “first impression.” This is where you can elaborate upon things that are in your resume and include the less tangible things about your personality/work ethic that the resume doesn't include.

You have the opportunity to show your potential college or employer who you are and what sets you apart from other applicants. One of the best ways to do that is to make it personal, make yourself memorable--why should they want to have you in their organization, and why do you want to be a part of their organization?

You have the opportunity here to make a connection—maybe a lesson you learned or experience you had taught you something that connects to the company’s values, the organization’s mission, or the school's motto. (This also shows them that you’ve you’re your research on them, which is key!)


The short version is that you can and should take advantage of this opportunity to make yourself stand out and tell your story, because that’s a story that only you can tell.

Schools and employers of all kinds generally have a few questions in their minds: Why should they pick you? What will you bring to the table that no one else will?

So take this chance to tell them.

See? No worries.



Love + gratitude,
Katherine


Missing: #MondayMotivation | Reward Offered

I don’t know about you, but this week my #MondayMotivation was seriously lacking. Sure, going “Back to School” or starting any new chapter is exciting for a while, but then a Monday is a Monday is a Monday, right? It happens to everyone.


I usually have big plans for my Mondays—wake up early, have a great breakfast, put together a super cute outfit, get to work early, accomplish everything on my to-do list, go to the gym, and drink 64 oz. of water while leaping tall buildings in a single bound. And sometimes, it happens, and you have a picture-perfect day and can post a cute pic of your completed to-do list or #OOTD! 

It’s a great feeling.

But real talk, sometimes it really doesn’t happen. Sometimes you wake up late, throw on a go-to outfit*, grab a granola bar, get where you need to be later than you want, and drag yourself through the day until you get to skip the gym and go home. It’s harder to accomplish what you want to, or to feel like you’ve accomplished anything. (For me, those days are usually Mondays.)

Those days happen, and though they don’t feel great, it’s okay to have them.

Most importantly, Monday or not, you just can’t let the bad days define your whole week. Having one bad day doesn’t mean that your whole week, month, year, or life has gone off track, even if it feels that way.

Whether you’re in school, in the working world, at home, or anywhere, this is for you. You can control how the rest of the week goes, and here are some tips to get your days back on the “right” track.

Take it one day at a time. Each day is an individual opportunity, independent of the day before it. If Monday wasn’t the best, it means you had a bad day, not that you’re going to have a bad week. (Apply as needed to any other day of the week.)

Be intentional and decide to have a better day. A new day is a new opportunity to be more positive, to be happier, and to set and accomplish your goals. But those things won’t just happen. You have be intentional about them. Choose to look for the positive, to experience gratitude, to let those little frustrations roll off your back, and to hold yourself to a (realistic) to-do list.

Clothes, lunch, backpack? Plan ahead. Pick out your outfit and make your lunch for the next day before you go to sleep at night (unless you have a uniform and/or a meal plan). Pack up your backpack with all your homework, books, etc. before you go to bed, too. Do as much as you can the night before to make getting out of the door in the morning much easier.

Make a list, then re-evaluate. So many of us have huge, unrealistic expectations of ourselves and what we “should” be able to accomplish. (I have a chronic issue with this.) Go ahead, make that long, long master to-do list, but then be kind to yourself. Make a shorter list of things that absolutely have to be done today, and what you can realistically accomplish without losing your mind. Please hear me: You are not a bad person because you can’t accomplish a hundred pages of tasks (for school, work, home, you, etc.) in a single day.

Get enough sleep. Take care of your body. Trust me, everything will be easier if you do. (Pro-tip: If your mind starts spinning with things that need doing as soon as you lie down, keep a notepad by the bed. Do a brain dump to get it all on paper, and deal with it tomorrow.)

I hope these help! Let me know if these tips work for you, or what tips you have for being intentional about your life and time.

Now, I’m going to try to take my own advice…😉

Love and gratitude, 

Katherine

*always have a go-to outfit, always.

Friday

#FreshmanFriday Kyla's Keys to College


My tip for college freshman is to not be afraid to put yourself out there! 

Go to the organization fairs on campus. Organizations and clubs are one the best ways to meet new friends at your new home! 

Take advantage of the career fairs your school offers, and broaden your scope of potential careers. 

Go to a performance put on by your school’s performing arts department. 

Don’t be afraid to get lost on campus. Some days I purposely got lost on campus so I’d get to know my campus better. 

If you are struggling in a class, utilize your professors’ office hours! They want you to succeed and will be glad that you are taking the initiative to succeed in their class. But if going to your professor is a little too daunting for you, find out if your school has a peer tutoring program. My school had numerous peer tutoring programs facilitated through different departments like the residence halls, the library, and academic services. 

Go ahead and apply for the internship that you don’t think you’ll land. You never know what may happen! 

Overall, make sure you don’t graduate college wishing you hadn’t missed out on some awesome opportunities.

--Kyla Thomas

Meet Kyla!

Name: Kyla Thomas
School: Georgia Southern University
Major/minor/year: Special Education; Sophomore

How did you get involved with GT? I was searching for internships on a job/internship search engine and Girl Talk popped up. I did some research on the organization and knew that interning with them would be a great way to give back to my Atlanta community, so I applied!

What is your best advice for high school girls who will be going to college in the next few years? Don't be afraid to let go of friendships that have run their course. Acknowledge it. Talk about it with the other person. End things respectfully and with love. People outgrow each other, and that's okay. The friendship isn't over. It's just complete.

What’s your favorite thing to do when you aren’t working or studying? I like to have movie nights with my friends. We grab blankets, order pizza, make popcorn, and will watch movies until the last person falls asleep.

Current dream job? I'd like to work for the Board of Education in a struggling area to help provide them with access to better education.

What’s your go-to coffee order? The only coffee I've ever had is a vanilla bean frappe from Starbucks. I don't drink coffee that often.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? The journey is just as important as the destination.

#FreshmanFriday Surviving and Thriving: From High School to College

The Next Chapter:

High school has ended and you are preparing for college. If you are anything like me, you are experiencing so many different feelings; you’re happy, scared, excited, nervous, etc. Trust me, I’ve been there. These emotions are normal. You are beginning a new chapter of your life. Everything you have known until now is changing. You may be moving away for college, or you may be staying home, either way, it’s a big change.

For the first three weeks I went through a rollercoaster of emotions. There were days I didn’t think I could do the whole “college” thing. There were days I wanted to move back home. But then there were days where I knew this place was now home. There were days of exploring my new city and days living in the library. There were tears, but there were even more laughs with new friends who would become “my people” <3. I know it’s scary……. being in a new place, with new people, and being able to do your own thing. You get to learn how to adult! Sometimes it’s not fun, but it’s worth it. It pushes you to learn and grow.


College can be a place of extreme growth. You are surrounded by people of different cultures and beliefs and it makes you take a step back and look inside to find who you are and who you want to be. Maybe high school wasn’t your thing. Maybe you didn’t like who you were in high school. Well now is your chance to be who you want to be. College is a clean slate. It will be hard somedays. Hang in there. Growing pains always come with growth, but in the end what the pain can produce is amazing. 

--Aimee, Girl Talk Intern

Celebrating Aimee's birthday at Girl Talk HQ!
Tiara and cupcakes required.
Meet Aimee!

Name: Aimee Dykes
School: Samford University
Major/minor/year: Business Management and Entrepreneurship Double Major, Senior

How did you get involved with GT? I first met Haley through my mom at the Thirty-One Conference in Atlanta. I fell in love with the mission of Girl Talk and the heart behind it. At that point in time I was transitioning out of high school, so I wasn't able to get involved in a chapter, but I helped where I could.

What made you want to be a Girl Talk Intern? As I mentioned before, I fell in love with the mission of Girl Talk a few years back, and I knew I wanted to help support the organization in any way I could. I also knew that it would be an amazing learning experience about the field I would one day like to go into.

What is your best advice for high school girls who will be going to college in the next few years? Study in high school. If you learn how to study now, it will be a lot easier making the transition into college. Do not be afraid to put yourself out there; whether that means applying to your dream school despite you thinking it's not possible, or maybe it means you don't want to go to a university and instead you go to cosmetology school. Never forget who you are and who you want to become. Do not let others dictate your future.

What’s your favorite thing to do when you aren’t working or studying? My favorite thing to do is explore the city I live in; finding new coffee shops, or eating at a local restaurant, hiking the trails. I love trying new things!

Current dream job? My current dream job is to manage a non-profit that rescues and aids in the healing process of women and children who have been affected by human trafficking. 

What’s your go-to coffee order? For sure a vanilla latte!!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? I know, this may sounds cliche, but I am telling you, if you take this advice to heart, it can be life changing. {Chase your dreams. Sometimes you are the only person with that dream and if you don't make it happen, nobody else will. But here's the thing about dreams -- they will stay dreams, unless you work hard to make them happen. It will be hard somedays, but power through it. What's waiting on the other side of the hard work is something beautiful.}