Do Yourself A Favor & Veer From Your Vision

From the moment we're little, to when post-high school adulthood strikes, we're inundated with the notion that we need to have it all figured out.

Think about your childhood: how many times were you asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Then, fast-forward to senior year of high school, and all of a sudden, you're expected to know exactly how to craft your future.

When I graduated high school, I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do, but I knew I was passionate about entertainment and music. When I got to college and chose Broadcasting and Mass Media as my major, I figured I'd end up…

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The Cold, Hard Truth About Haters

Don't fall victim to the hater ideology. Sure, actual haters can exist within your life (or, as many people refer to them as: "fans"), but I'm not talking about those kind.

I'm talking about one type of hater in particular. One you might not even know is super close to you. One that's probably been with you your whole life, knows everything about you and creeps up at all the wrong times.

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Comfort Zones Are Pointless & You Need To Get Rid Of Them... For Good.

Like almost everyone at the end of the year, I like to look back and reflect, before ringing in the next one. It seems like the thing to do, right? Growth -- no matter how big or small -- is impossible, unless you step outside of what you're used to.

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The Weariness Of Being Woke & Why You Still Need To Care

I’m tired. I’m not even going to sit here and act like I’m unaffected. After all that this year has brought, how could you be anything but affected?

Let's face it -- it's hard to be "woke" all the time. It's exhausting and draining... but it's necessary.

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THE OPINIONATED: FEATURES | Smashing Stigmas & Stereotypes With Syreeta

I first met my friend Syreeta Martin while we were both students, attending Temple University. I immediately was in awe of her and her ambition to pursue her goals, by any means necessary. We were in a media production class together, and as I got to know her, I found out that she was actually a mother of two young daughters -- all while pursuing her degree.

I've since caught up with Syreeta, and wanted to continue to share her success story. Syreeta's journey will dispel whatever preconceived notions you had about "teen moms," as she had already done for me.

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The Myth Behind Being An Extrovert & Why It's Okay To Do Nothing

Everyone wants you to believe that they are an extrovert. Outgoing, sociable, and that there's never a dull moment or weekend in their lives. It's (mostly) all a lie.

Social media has done a great job in perpetuating this myth and can lead us to think that we have to always have be doing something. After all, if you don't post it to your Instastory, did it even happen? If you don't check in on Facebook, were you ever really there?

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THE OPINIONATED: FEATURES | Street Art On A Mission With Amberella

There's nothing quite like stumbling upon some street art gems. After living in major cities like Philadelphia and Los Angeles, we've grown a deep appreciation for the art form and how it can transform our environment.

Meet Amber Lynn, otherwise known as Amberella. She's a woman on a mission to create street art that makes you think, feel and remind you that you're not alone.

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THE OPINIONATED: FEATURES | The American Dream & Reality With Shéila

For many of us, we'll never know the immigrant experience firsthand or even secondhand. This is why I wanted to highlight Shéila Mejia's story for The Opinionated: Features.  As a child of Mexican immigrants, to say Shey has experienced a lot would be an understatement. While there's been great struggles, there has also been even greater successes.  

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THE OPINIONATED: FEATURES | The Purple Area With Arden

Our society tends to assign colors (amongst many other things) to genders -- pink is for girls, blue is for boys -- but what happens when you fall somewhere in the middle? What happens when you find yourself in the purple area?

Meet Arden. Up until a couple of months ago, I referred to them as my cousin Angelina. When I created The Opinionated: Features, they were the first person who came to mind to kick this series off.  It's my hope that through sharing their story and perspective, you can come away with a better understanding of their truth and realize that things aren't as black and white (or in this case, blue and pink) as society would lead us to think.

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What’s The Point Of Being An Influencer If You're Not Making An Impact?

I don't have any desire to be a social influencer. Frankly, I'm "over" the influence.

Weird, right? Especially coming from someone who works in the "industry" and in the land of YouTube, where digital dreams are made.  But what are you actually influencing? A behavior? A trend? A style choice? And where's the balance? What's the point of it all?

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My Bullies Made Me Better... But Not Before They Made Me Bitter.

I just finished binge-watching Netflix's 13 Reasons Why and I would be lying if I said it didn't trigger me.

However, for me, it wasn't high school that was a literal nightmare -- it was middle school. Guys were mean. Girls were even worse. Kids were cruel. I can still name them all, and I wonder sometimes if they knew what kind of impact they had. Certain incidents still remain vivid in my mind, to this day, over 15 years later. 

For me, the worst of the bullying didn't hit until sixth grade. For some reason, that year was a living hell.

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Social Media Is Ruining Your Self-Worth & Sanity.

You don't have to be a celebrity or "influencer" to feel the pressures of social media. 

Lately, a ton of stars have been expressing their fatigue and at times, disdain, for the form of communication that has quite literally taken over our daily lives. Honestly, it's nice to know we're not alone when it comes to this topic.

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Being Likable Is Overrated. Here's Why.

Growing up, I always thought being well-liked was the ultimate goal. That as long as people "liked" you, you'd be alright. As a result, I spent years striving for the approval of others and popularity.

Years later, social media came along and made it worse with an actual "LIKE" button, causing many of us to further seek outside validation.

I found that when seeking another person's acceptance -- when I didn't even accept myself -- always caused me to come up short.

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Deceptive Beauty Ideals & Why They're A Waste Of Time

If someone gets plastic surgery and they are praised for their beauty, are you complimenting them or their doctor? And does it matter?

This happened to me recently. I was on Instagram when an older photo of Bella Hadid popped up on my explore page... and I was shocked. Just a few years ago, she looked completely different, aside from your usual teenage awkwardness that mostly everyone goes through.

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#BlackGirlMagic & The Intimidation Of Beyoncé

Beyoncé's #blackgirlmagic makes people mad. No, it doesn't just make them mad... it fills them with rage. Her power intimidates them. It makes them feel inferior

On February 12th, Beyoncé gave one of the most prolific performances of her career at the 2017 Grammy Awards. While pregnant. With twins.  And it still wasn't good enough for some people.

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The Problem With Red Carpets & Why They're So Outdated

I've done my fair share of covering red carpets. Movie premieres, award shows, you name it.

When I first started out working in media and the wonderful world of entertainment news, I loved every second of it. There's a certain indescribable rush you feel when you get that quote that was needed to make your package complete or when you really lock in an exclusive. 

Not to mention, it's always amazing (?) to finally come face to face with artists, actors and celebs that you've looked up to or admired for years. Well, for the most part. For a girl coming from small-town Pennsylvania, I never could've dreamed of being in the same vicinity of such stars.

But, as the story goes for most things in this town, everything isn't always as it seems.

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