I’m Employed!

trunkclubskyBefore I started this semester, I made a list of goals (what else is new). At the very top of that list was locking down a job before graduation. I had several peers (and even mentors) tell me I was aiming too high or to not get my hopes up. Truth be known, December graduates have a tough time because we’re trying to apply for jobs right before the holiday season and the new year. Companies aren’t always looking to hire during this time. However, I persisted. I began applying for jobs in the beginning of October. I did research on Glassdoor religiously and sent more e-mails than I can count. I received plenty of rejection letters, held several phone interviews and visited a few offices for in-person interviews.

There were times when I wondered if this was going to pay off or if I was going to continue searching after graduation like everyone else. To my surprise, an HR representative from Trunk club contacted me! There are several companies that contacted me but almost all of them were scams. Luckily, I remembered that one of my friends from North Texas Sweethearts works there.

I will be working as an Associate Stylist at Trunk Club Dallas. I will be in contact with clients and in training for the first few months. I  will be providing styling advice and manage relationships. Trunk Club is part of the Nordstrom family. Yay for Nordstrom discounts!

You can learn all about Trunk Club here.

Closing Chapter: North Texas Sweethearts

Tuesday night, I became a North Texas Sweetheart alumna at closing ceremony. I am so thankful to have joined an organization that I cannot imagine my college career without. These are a group of women that I call my sisters at UNT.

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What is North Texas Sweethearts?

We are an all-female student organization that dedicates our time and effort into promoting Mean Green student spirit as well as going beyond our campus by involving ourselves in a plethora of service around the Denton community as well as working close with our philanthropy, the National Brain Tumor Society. Our other focus is to not only develop a sisterhood within our organization but to help unify the clubs and organizations of the University of North Texas by attending and participating in different campus-wide events.

You can read all about North Texas Sweethearts here.

My Sweethearts Story

Sweaty palms, nervous laughter and an obnoxiously big smile are a few words to describe myself at North Texas Sweethearts recruitment two and a half years ago. In fact, I was so nervous I almost didn’t go to recruitment. I was a brand-new transfer student to the University of North Texas from Tarrant County College. Even though I had a few friends at UNT I did not know one person in North Texas Sweethearts. I am by no means an introvert but the idea of walking into a room with 60 plus females I don’t know struck fear.

Fast forward four semesters and this is truly an organization I cannot picture my college experience without. Sweethearts is a circle of sisters where I have found some of my (not so future) bridesmaids, someone I can always grab coffee with and my closest friends. North Texas Sweethearts is an experience that I do not regret in the least bit. I am thankful to have found a sisterhood that makes UNT feel like home.

As a senior, I am glad I got to give back to this organization in my last semester. Although I graduate this month I want to extend help to members who may need help around campus or just need a friend in Denton. I have enjoyed mentoring girls who want advice regarding anything from Public Relations (I love talking about my major) to blogging. I know that Sweethearts was extremely comforting to me when I barely knew any familiar faces upon transferring. Just a few of the reasons I am thankful for North Texas Sweethearts include: making countless memories, several close friends, unlimited photos and an entire sisterhood that I can count on.

This experience serves as a testament to get out of your shell and try new experiences. Fear of rejection stops many of us from shooting for what we want whether its friendships, a career move or learning something new. It’s important to throw yourself out there no matter how vulnerable you feel because we often think of all of the things we can lose when really you have everything to gain!

Even though I hold many responsibilities on and off campus I have continued to dedicate time for an organization that I call home, North Texas Sweethearts. If anyone has any questions about joining or would like to grab coffee, please reach out!

Thank You Her Campus

Thank you for a platform to share my ideas. Thank you for a network of strong college women. Thank you for a chance to write for the #1 online magazine for college women.

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There is a lot to be thankful to Her Campus for as I reflect on four semesters of being involved in the organization.

What is Her Campus?

“Her Campus is the #1 new-media brand for the empowered college woman. Written entirely by the world’s top college journalists – with 11,000+ contributors and counting – HerCampus.com features national Style, Beauty, Health, Love, Life, Career, Entertainment, News, DIY, LGBTQ+, High School, and After College content supplemented by local content from 350+ campus chapters nationwide and in 11 countries.”

Basically, Her Campus is a great place to go if you want to find anything from the best study spots on campus to how to write a cover letter. Her Campus blogs are written in a conversational tone that should feel like you’re getting advice from one of your best girlfriends. I started reading Her Campus when I was a freshman in college and I found several articles that were helpful in my transition from a community college to a four-year university. Her Campus is aimed for the modern collegiette at every university.

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What I did at UNT Her Campus

In my first few semesters, I would produce bi-weekly articles. This semester, we grew exponentially in size so only one post a month is required. There are opportunities to run social media accounts, event planning for events on campus and leadership positions. Writing isn’t the only position within Her Camus but that’s what I took advantage of because you can’t get this kind of platform anywhere else with such little experience. Being a part of organizations like this in college is a great way to dodge the dreaded phrase “sorry, but you don’t have enough experience” when applying for jobs post-grad. Personally, I’ve written about not graduating on time, why it’s okay to be jealous, and profile stories on fellow students to name a few.

Advice that I have for girls who are interested in joining HC

I would tell girls to write outside of their comfort zone. College is your chance to try new things and figure out what you love! I would definitely make a point to network with this group of college women. It is a diverse group of women but you all joined HC for a reason so you will have common ground. This could turn into friendships or business partnerships down the road.

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What’s next

I definitely can attribute my love of Her Campus to push me to start a blog. Although my blog is still in the beginning stages I’m excited about where it’s going to take me! Her Campus is a great trial run for what it’s like to produce content on a deadline that readers are going to want to actually read. You never know until you try!

HC XOXO,

Lauren

My Life as a Redhead

I have grown to love my red hair, but it hasn’t always been this way. As a child, I begged my parents to let me dye my hair blonde or brown, basically any color but red. I would plead “please, all the kids are making fun of me and I just want to be normal.” Normal is such fallacy. The truth, is there is no such thing as normal.

IMG_2439As a child, I was bullied mercilessly for having red hair. However, it comes to no shock that elementary school children are mean. Anyone who is different is called out. So much so, that in 2016 there was a fake story of a kid who sued his parents for giving him red hair *insert eye roll. Apparently, a believable enough scenario for people to think it was real. Hate crimes like “Kick a Ginger Day” inspired by South Park don’t help either.

In middle school, bullying morphed into boys calling me “ginger” and teasing me about my freckles. They would make jokes about kicking a ginger or other distasteful terms. Growing up, I was told “you’re pretty for a redhead.” Can I never just be pretty? In high school, I was finally old enough to dye my hair so I tried everything from blonde to brown. It wasn’t until I started dating Chase that I started to love myself for who I was. He always disapproved when I wanted to color my hair.  There is nothing wrong with coloring your hair, but I was doing it for all the wrong reasons. I was trying to become someone I wasn’t and it was anything but healthy.

 

“What sets you apart can feel like a burden, and it’s not. A lot of the time, it’s what makes you great.”

– Emma Stone

It has been years since I have been made fun of for my hair. Growing up, people always told me I would grow to love my red locks. I didn’t believe them until I reached college age and realized how unique I am. I also happened to meet two amazing redheads I regularly refer to as my sisters. I met Kyleigh and Eryn at recruitment for an organization called North Texas Sweethearts my junior year of college. At first glance, I was automatically deemed Eryn’s doppelgänger and we all connected from the start. There’s just something about a redhead bond, am I right?

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Ever since meeting my ging sisters I have refused to color my hair. Just by having red hair we connect on so many levels like shared trauma from bullying to foundation that will actually match our fair skin. We also regularly discuss different tanning lotions, but for the most part decide to ditch them altogether. I didn’t see how beautiful my hair was until I saw it through them and now you couldn’t pay me to change it. We love going out and tricking people into thinking we’re triplets. Two out of this trio have even successfully swapped ID’s *not recommended.

Red hair comes with a lot of unsolicited questions like “Who did you get your red hair from?” and “OMG is that your natural color?”. But I don’t mind now. I am proud of what makes me different.  Everyone used to make fun of my fiery locks but now, they’re one of the things that everybody says they love. I know my experience of being bullied pales in comparison to others. Instead, I want this story to serve as an opportunity to lift others up and stop critiquing each other for what we’re born with.
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If I have a daughter with red hair in the future, I would hope that she grows up in a world that tolerates people for all of their different characteristics. But if not, I’m sure that experience will turn her into a resilient young lady who hopefully shows empathy towards others for things they cannot change.

Proud Redhead,

Lauren

What makes you different? Did you ever wish you could change it?

How To: Smoke Bomb Photography

I have received SO many messages asking “how did you do that cool smoke thing in your photos?” that I decided to write a blog post about it! I had seen several bloggers and friends post surreal looking photos so I compared several different companies and reviews before trying it myself.

lauren-27I bought my smoke bomb from Shipped Yesterday. The specific product I used can be found here here for only $9.99. I chose to buy green for my school colors (go mean green) and for how much it would make my eyes pop in photos. They carry eight different colors, so choose as your heart desires.

Just a warning, this is definitely a smoke bomb. The first few photos where I am nervously laughing, I was actually thinking “Oh gosh. Is this thing about to blow up on me?!” and just hoping for the best. The first five seconds it emits sparks so it’s important to point it AWAY from your body (and not at your photographer). Mine was a wire pull but for other companies you may need to bring a lighter with you.

 

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I would only use these smoke bombs in an open area you have a lot of space. We made sure not to do it on the concrete because we did not want to leave any stains. I stood in an empty grass field so we would not be near anyone.

The color did not stain my clothes or skin but my hair definitely smelled like smoke afterwards. The product will emit a thick colored smoke so I wish that I would not have stood still. We got a great shot of the smoke covering me, but a few seconds later I was coughing like crazy (shown below).

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The smoke output lasts roughly 90 seconds, so you need to have your gear ready before you pull the wire. That may not sound like much time but you’re really going to get your best shots in the first 30 seconds and the rest will be extra.

It’s imperative to have a professional photographer take the shots if you don’t want the fog to appear messy or cover your entire face. Because my photographer, Nick used high quality equipment you are able to see the detail of my face past the smoke.

Overall, I am pleased with how my photos turned out! The green is not only my university’s color (go mean green) but helped my eyes pop in contrast.

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*This is not a paid post or advertisement.

10 Things You Don’t Know About Me

I tried to avoid making a boring list including things like “my favorite food is…” or “I love ____ movies…”. Instead, I hope this is an interesting list of things you did not previously know about me!

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1.     I am made up of almost all recessive traits. Yes, most of these you can see by just looking at me including: red hair, blue eyes, and freckles. I am also left-handed! I am a poster child for recessive genes.

2.     I am a foodie thanks to Chase. My mantra for life is to always try new things (including food). I have tried everything from crickets to sea urchins. One of my favorite foods is sushi, especially sashimi like smoked salmon. Why make food boring when it’s something you have three times a day every day for your life!

3.     I am Type A to the max. Yes, I can still cut loose and have fun. No, you will never have to move trash or items out of the passenger seat of my car to sit down. I live by my planner and the thought of losing it strikes fear. That’s where I write down everything I need to do and don’t know how some people get by without one.

4.     I have a serious case of wanderlust. This is something most people know about me, but I love learning about the world even while I’m at home. I love Anthony Bourdain’s series Parts Unknown and watching YouTube travel vlogs from bloggers like Mimi Ikonn. Anyone who has been to my apartment has seen several maps plastered on my walls with pins of places I have been and lists of places that I want to go. This world we live in is too vast and full of too many interesting people to stay confined in a bubble.

5.     I am the ultimate city girl. I claim Fort Worth because I was born here and my family moved back when I was in middle school but I actually grew up in a small town called San Angelo, Texas. Now, I can’t imagine living outside of a metroplex like DFW. Don’t get me wrong, I would enjoy camping or visiting a small town for a weekend but I thrive off of meeting new people. To each their own, but I love the energy a city carries and how there is always something to do.

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6.     I used to hate having red hair but now you couldn’t pay me to change it. The truth is, redhead kids get bullied a lot growing up just for being different! I plan on writing a blog post about this experience soon.

7.     I am obsessed with Pinterest. I love all things creative including: crafting, photography and fashion. I could spend hours pinning ideas that I love and hopefully try one day.

8.     I am super competitive, but not in the way that most people think. I’m not really into sports to be honest. I’m always competing against myself. I know that may sound silly to some people but if I don’t reach a goal I’m really hard on myself. The reason I get such good grades is because I know what I’m capable of.

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9.     I love coffee. I remember trying coffee in high school and almost spitting it out on the kitchen counter. Now, I can’t make it to my internship on time without it. I’ve gotten to the point where I can drink my coffee black but I prefer some cream and sugar. It also bothers me when people tell me it’s bad for you. I bite my tongue so I don’t scream “Well, that diet coke and cheeseburger you’re eating aren’t good for you either!”. Let people drink their coffee in peace, please.

10.      I am ecstatic about starting this blog! For those of you who read my first blog post, you already know that I have wanted to start one for years. I am so glad I finally did and fully intend on making it the best I can.

Thanks for reading! Anything you didn’t expect? What are some fun facts about you?

My Community College Experience

I felt compelled to write a blog post about my experience as a community college student due to all of the stereotypes these students face. I understand that situations differ from person to person so the following is simply my opinion. I hope to help someone who has gone through a similar situation or to just share my side of the story.

As a past community college student, I know first-hand the stigmas these students face.As a high school senior, I was asked “Where are you going to college?” and “What are you doing after you graduate?” more times than I could dare count. When I announced that I would be attending Tarrant County College I received little to no positive remarks. The truth is that I lied over and over again to make my situation seem socially acceptable. I would list a few state schools and say I had not decided on one yet. In the beginning, I made the mistake of answering truthfully with the local community college I planned on attending and I received nothing but criticism. Adults would sympathize for me and whisper “oh no, how come?”. Phrases like “you know that’s where slackers go to school, right?”, “why are YOU going to community college?”, and “don’t get comfortable” were the norm. This is not to say that senior year was an awful experience for me (because it wasn’t) but anything that involved college was nauseating for me. Everyone from counselors to underclassmen felt the need to share their disapproval with me. In fact, I have been tempted to go back and share what a great experience I had at TCC. Instead, I can write this blog post for the world to see and hopefully help someone who has struggled with a similar situation. 

Community college was nothing like I expected it to be. Everyone had made it seem like some sort of jail for students who were destined to failure, which absolutely isn’t the case. In my first semester, I became Vice President of Student Government Association and greatly recommend it for students that want to get involved. My sophomore year I was elected President of SGA and even though it was a challenging experience, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I made great friends and got involved in a variety of clubs on campus. It can be hard to make friends with students at community college because everyone is so busy juggling jobs, classes and sometimes even families. I am thankful for these organizations because these are people that I would never have become friends with otherwise, but have changed my life for the good. It can be easy to get stuck in a bubble, but being around such a diverse group of students daily changed my perspective on life greatly. I applaud non-traditional students who come back to school to follow their dreams. Yes, I have worked during every semester of college but I look up to those who make great sacrifices for their education.

The truth is, life is what you make it.

The main message to take away is to always make the best out of whatever situation you’re in. Sure, I could have accepted my “fate” and slumped into classes barely getting by. Of course, I felt a pang of sadness watching my friends move into their freshman dorms and join sororities. Without a doubt, my journey isn’t the typical “four year college experience”. When in reality, I avoided student loan debt and met some of the most brilliant people I know to date. Through TCC, I earned a scholarship to study abroad in Salzburg, Austria with the Salzburg Global Seminar in summer 2015. This is an opportunity that earns its own blog post and will be coming soon. 

I am proud to have graduated with my Associates Degree from Tarrant County College in May 2015. Everyones journey is different and I am appreciative of the battles I faced because it’s what makes me stronger today. If anyone has questions about community college or has had a similar experience, please reach out! I would love to hear your story.

Better Late Than Never

As a Type A individual, I am usually not one to procrastinate but I am writing this post as a promise I made to myself. As a freshman in college, I made a college bucket list of all of the things I wanted to accomplish by the time I graduated with my Bachelors degree. One of those things was to write a personal blog. As a public relations major, I have written countless blog posts for my classes and internships. However, I never made time for my own. So here I am half way through my last semester of college with my first blog post.

Better late than never, right?

            I came close to launching a blog several times but something always stopped me. Whether it was coming up with a catchy name, cool domain, or fear of hopping on the blog bandwagon and churning out low quality content I always paused. However, if I’m learning anything during my last semester it’s that time flies fast. I am not striving for perfection with this blog. Instead, I’m trying something new knowing that I’m going to make mistakes along the way. So whether it’s to check-in with me, live vicariously through my college life or just for fun I hope you enjoy my little corner of the Internet. 

 A Little Bit About Me 

Hi there! I’m Lauren, For those of you who don’t know me or want to know me better. I am a Public Relations major at University of North Texas with a passion for blogging, DIY, food and learning about the world. I am a self-proclaimed Pinterest addict, coffee lover and constant smiler who can (almost always) be caught eating. I have a serious case of wanderlust and hope to one day work for a lifestyle and PR firm, as well as publish work focusing on travel. 

 I am blessed to have traveled to 7 countries, 13 states, and counting! My life travel partner is my aunt Diane. She has taught me to always keep an open mind and to be open to world cultures. 

I am currently engaged to my high school sweetheart, Chase Sepulvador. I’m not going to go into deep detail about that here because I’m sure there are going to be a lot of blog posts about that part of my life. To keep it simple: everyone deserves a Chase in their life. 

I am obsessed with my family dog who is a strange (but adorable) mix of German Shepherd and Corgi. Even though we rescued her from the local pound we joke that she saved us. I am proud to say I was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas with my family. 

I felt led to finally start my blog to keep these memories. Everyone is telling me “you’re going to miss this” and I want to remember it all. Hopefully I can offer advice to help some, provide some giggles and be an inspiration. If there are any specific topics you want me to write about please let me know! I am so excited about this new journey and glad you’re along for the ride.