Fall Semester Goals Revisited + What I’m Looking Forward To In 2018

Fall Semester Goals Revisited + What I'm Looking Forward To In 2018

I just submitted my last assignment of the semester and all I can say is I AM FINALLY DONE WITH FALL 2017. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I pretty much left campus without looking back even once. Okay, maybe just once because I couldn’t remember if I had forgotten my room key in my dorm, but yeah, didn’t look back once. This semester was super packed for me—I was taking seven classes, was (and still am) on the e-board of my club, got a blog post up every week, worked a part-time job, and assisted with the sports broadcast on campus. I was exhausted like I have never been before, and this was the most I’ve ever wanted to give up on anything (and y’all know I don’t go down without a fight!). But I made it, and I can’t even begin to tell you how freakin’ happy I am.

At the end of last semester, I wrote a post on Things I Learned And My Goals For The Fall Semester, a.k.a. this semester I just had. So I decided to revisit that list by reflecting and checking off whatever I accomplished and scolding myself thoroughly for anything I didn’t. Just kidding. About the scolding part. I’ll probably just keep those unachieved goals on the back-burner for next time.

And, in the spirit of the upcoming new year, I’m also going to do a “what I’m looking forward to in the upcoming year” type of thing, too, so you can see what I’m planning and maybe even help me make more plans because nothing’s really set in stone and I’m always up for new plans. So let’s begin, shall we?

My goals for fall 2017…

1. Go to the gym six days per week. NOPE.

Weeeeeeeeell….

I started the semester off doing this, and for two or three weeks, I actually made it work and adapted my routines to suit my schedule—going in the mornings before class, going at night after class, squeezing in some time in between, yada, yada, yada. But then things got crazy and there was a time when I didn’t go for almost two weeks straight. Luckily, I picked things back up in the final month of the semester when I’d start exercising in my dorm room everyday if I didn’t have the time or if it was too cold to walk to the gym. I actually found that I love doing dorm room workouts and even wrote an article about it.

2. Get my bartending certificate. CHECK.

I finally signed up for the bartending class I’ve been meaning to take, and I got my certificate in bartending and mixology!!! The timing was perfect, too, since my school decided it would be a fun idea to cut a program that brings in lots and lots of money every semester because there’s always a mile-long waitlist for it. So, I was part of the last graduating class for bartending. I don’t think I’m going to use it to work at a bar, but I’m glad I now have the knowledge and know a little bit more about alcohol.

3. Make more new friends in my classes. CHECK. 

This semester, I got to know some really cool people in the classes I took, specifically in my photography class, and she made everything so much more fun. And, I got closer to people I’ve had classes with in the past but never really spoke to, so that counts too, I think.

Related: 10 Secrets For Making New Friends In College

4. Keep posting at least twice per week. CHECK? 

Well, there were times when I did post on this here blog twice a week, and there were other times when once a week was as good as I’d get for the time being. I definitely think that planning out my content better would have really helped that process, but what it really came down to for me was having the time to dedicate to planning. Hopefully, I’ll be able to stay on top of this better next semester, though!

5. Get straight A’s. SO FAR, SO GOOD. 

Not all my grades have gone up yet, but so far the ones that did get posted are A’s. I definitely think I worked really hard in all my classes and earned whatever grades I receive, so whatever they are I think I’ll be pretty satisfied. By the way, I have a post that teaches you exactly How To Get A’s In Your Classes, if you’re interested in taking a look. 😉

6. Attend every football game at my school. DEFINITELY NOT. 

I literally hung my head in shame when I read this one from last semester’s post. I love college sports (even if I don’t understand them) and attending football games was one of the things I was most excited about for the fall semester. Unfortunately, I had to go home on almost every weekend there was a game being played, and my schedule just didn’t work out with everything. Super upsetting since I probably won’t get another chance to go to a college game, unless I attend one as an alumna (but I’d have to pay for a ticket…). Moral of the story: take advantage of the free games while you’re still in college, even if you aren’t into sports.

7. Work for the athletics department. NOPE. 

So, I applied for a marketing internship with the athletics department at my school and I GOT IT. Buuuuuuut the position expectations ended up not aligning with what I wanted to do, and I didn’t think I could dedicate time and energy to something I wouldn’t put my whole heart into. Looking back, with the semester I had, I probably would’ve had to given up sleep for good if I had taken this position! So I guess this ended up being a win for me anyway.

8. Actually use my financial tracker. HELL (KINDA) YEAH. 

I started off using my tracker, then not using, then for an experiment I had to track every dime I spent for an entire month, and afterward I really became obsessed with tracking my spending. Like, writing down the amount of money I spend on an iced latte actually gives me comfort now. I really like doing it, and it’s important for post-grad life since one of my friends warned me about financial stability after college. And, I was gifted a beautiful budget planner from my college suite Secret Santa, so I’m super excited to use that.

9. Start building good credit. CHECK. 

I finally got my own credit card this semester, and while I have been using it quite a bit recently, I’ve been really good about tracking what I spend and paying everything off. Credit cards are so daunting, but it’s definitely better to start building good credit now and not when you’re ready to rent an apartment that you hope to move into by next week.

10. Decorate my room really nicely. SURE. 

Okay, I didn’t go as overboard with the decor as I thought I would, but my dorm looks cozy at least! My faux fur throw on my bed adds the perfect comfy texture, and I have a decal of the world map adding to some of the black and white aesthetic. And of course, you can never go wrong with a wall of sunglasses and pretty looking perfume bottles on your desk. Maybe next semester I can up my game a little, but this semester was good enough to pass.

What I’m looking forward to in the upcoming year…

1. Spring Break 2018.

This will be the FIRST spring break that I actually do something besides chill at home—I swear on my middle school goth self’s grave. I’m planning a trip to Florida with my friends, so we’re excited to have everything mostly worked out by the end of January. Last spring break, let’s go!

2. HerConference and College Fashion Week.

I have been attending HerConference for the last two years and I’ve had positive experiences both times. I’m always excited to go, and now I can get excited for College Fashion Week, too. I attended for the first time this year and I had an AMAZING time. I got to attend as a VIP and had access to so many amazing free goodies and activities, and got to get really good seats before the show! Plus, I got to bring a friend and everything was so fabulous! Definitely looking forward to the 2018 show.

3. The BlogHer conference.

I’ve never been to this conference but it’s one of the biggest ones in the world, and people come from all over the world to attend it. It’s located in Florida, so it would also be a chance for me to travel. I know the tickets are usually expensive, but hopefully I can swing it this year an end up going.

4. Getting my book off the ground.

You know that book I briefly mentioned I wanted to publish this year? Yeah, it’s still a work in progress. An by work in progress I mean, I have half of one chapter complete. Slow and steady, right?

5. Graduating!

I’m finally about to be out of college! I’m so excited for the dress shopping, the graduation photoshoots, and the walking across the stage for a fake diploma thing. After May 2018, I’m going to be an actual adult and hopefully I’ll have a job or internship or some type of gig lined up.

So that’s my post! I know it was insanely long, but if you made it this far, thanks for sticking with me! And thanks for sticking with me throughout this whole journey. In case you’re wondering what’s going to happen to my college blog when I’m no longer in college, it’s still going to be right here! I would abandon you like that, after all. I hope you’re as excited for 2018 as I am!

What’s your favorite memory from this semester? 

Blogging Goals For 2018

My 2018 Blogging Goals

Okay, where did 2017 go?? I feel like it was just a few months ago that I was turning 21, going to a red carpet premiere and attending my favorite conference of the year. This year has seriously been huge for me in terms of blogging. I got to attend some seriously amazing events, I made more money blogging and I got to work with some really great brands. I decided to do a post on my goals for the upcoming year now because I don’t want to wait to start working toward my ambitions—no time like the present, right?

And because I want to make sure that I keep improving so that I can give you guys resources on things that actually matter to you, I’ve created a short reader survey at the end of this post that I’d love for you to take. The feedback will tell me exactly what you guys like and what you don’t like, and what you hope to see from me in the coming year. And, if that’s not super *exciting* I’m giving away a NYX Meet The Metallics Lip Vault as a special thank you for taking my survey! *squeals with joy*. I don’t know about you, but I love, love, love products from NYX, and the super sexy, metallic shades will make you the center of attention at any holiday party. So if you want to be entered for a chance to win this set of 12 lippies, take my survey at the end of this post!

So let’s get back to those blog goals, shall we?

1. Make more YouTube videos. 

Starting a YouTube channel was on my bucket list for 2017, and I finally started it in October…with one video. Baby steps, right? That video was a product swatch video for Too Faced’s I Want Kandee and Peaches and Cream collections, and it was so much fun to do (Check out my video if you want to see awkward me talk about beauty on camera!). I want to do more videos where I talk about my favorite products for the month and share recipes and hairstyle how-to’s. Let me know what other kinds of videos you’d be interested in seeing me do!

2. ACTUALLY SEND OUT NEWSLETTERS. 

Over the course of this entire year, I sent out a total of TWO EFFING NEWSLETTERS. Mind you, I promised myself I’d commit to newsletters this year, too. But since three’s a magic number I’m going to make it my mission to send out one more newsletter before December ends—it would be magical if I actually stuck to it this time.

3. Build a more active social media presence. 

This semester, I felt a major disconnect from social media and it sucked. I wasn’t engaging as much on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook as much as I would over the summer, but I want to work on that more. My Pinterest has really blown up over the last few months—I went from just over 200 followers to over 800 in almost no time, and those numbers are still growing. I’m pretty proud of my Pinterest now, and I want to keep using it to attract more people to my site and to discover other sites.

4. Turn blogging into a side hustle. 

This year I was fortunate enough to make more money than I did in 2016 (yayyayyay!) But I want to be able to make a significant income from doing what I love most. I’m going to be graduating in May and who knows what the future holds for me—Maybe I get a full-time job out of college, and maybe I don’t. Maybe I’ll get a cute post-grad apartment in a nice city, and maybe I’ll stay with my parents for a little longer. Either way, I want to be able to afford more things on my own. I do have specific ideas for monetizing more, I just need to start working on them!

5. Reach 200k page views. 

This year has been insane in terms of traffic for me! I can’t believe how many more people I’ve reached since 2016, and honestly I just want to keep on growing and keep on helping people. I’ve seen my numbers transform from 30,000 to 60,000 to 90,000, and with more hard work, I know I can keep increasing my views.

6. Attend more fun events. 

This year, I attended College Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week, a Red Carpet Premiere, and other really cool events. I hope to have way more of those this year. Plus I hope to attend BlogHer this year in Florida since I’ve never gone before.

7. Get a blogging planner. 

I used a blogging binder that I designed myself in 2016, and it was pretty damn helpful for keeping track of stats and goals. But as I got busier and busier with school, I felt like I didn’t have enough time to re-group at the end of every month to record progress and goals, so I just stopped using my blogging binder. But this time around, I know that organization will be key to helping me get what I want, so you best believe I won’t stop searching until I find the perfect blogging planner for myself. If you have any suggestions for planners or print-outs for blogging, please please please let me know in the comments! 😀 😀 😀

8. Create a blogging e-book. 

Something that I actually don’t do on this blog is provide tips specifically for blogging. I love talking about blogging, and people constantly ask me for tips about blogging and how to start a blog—seriously, I could talk about this all day. I’ve been wanting to create an e-book specifically for people who would like to start a blog. I’ve actually started it already and I have it all designed, I just haven’t had the time this semester to actually write the content! So, I want to move my butt and get working on that ASAP.

Thanks so much for sticking with me in 2017, and be on the lookout for my 2-year blogiversary post on December 26!!! I’ll be going through all my favorite posts that I’ve ever written—you might see your favorite on the list! Don’t forget to take my survey below to be entered for a chance to win the NYX Meet The Metallics Lip Vault!

Create your own user feedback survey

Thanks for reading, friends! Is there something specific you’d like to see me work on in 2018? If you’re a blogger, what’s your biggest goal for 2018? 

My New Year’s Resolutions

Confession time: I’ve never made New Year’s resolutions! However, I am familiar with this yearly “tradition” of sorts that many tend to take part in. It makes sense. What more inspirational way to ring in the new year than to pledge to make improvements to your life? But phase two of this tradition includes breaking every single resolution within the first month of making them. Suddenly those life improvements don’t seem so important or exciting anymore. This is what has become a societal “norm.” When you tell your friends that your resolution is to lose 10 pounds, chances are they’re rolling their eyes at you and thinking, I give her two weeks before she gives up. Well, anyone who knows me knows that I tend to defy common thoughts held by society (totally on purpose). Seriously, anyone who tells me that I won’t stick to my resolutions will earn a death glare, free of charge. Who are you to label me or anyone else a failure “ahead of time”? To kick off the new year, and to show that amazing resolutions can come in tiny packages, I have my first ever list of New Year’s resolutions to share with you!

  1. Stop eating junkfood out of boredom. You don’t have to be a doctor to know that excessive junkfood is bad for you in the long run. Even if you can’t physically see the effects of eating all those cookies, cakes, chips and crap, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t doing bad things to you internally. I already know that I can go weeks without eating sweets (chocolate, etc.) because I’ve done it before. However, at some point during the semester, I felt like having a chocolate bar as a midnight snack and a well-needed pick-me-up. One chocolate bar one night turned into a chocolate bar every night, which turned into a pint of ice cream a few times a week! I had completely destroyed my no junkfood streak to the point where I’d go out and get junky snacks because I was literally bored and wanted to chew on something! Um, no. This isn’t going to cut the mustard this time!
  2. Travel around the city more. I always get weird looks when I tell people I’m from the boroughs of New York but I very rarely go to Manhattan. Always. It’s kind of disappointing to know that I wouldn’t be able to give clear (or correct) directions around the city if I ever needed to. Plus, I personally would like to explore some of the hidden gems in the city. Everyone knows the Statue of Liberty, Rockefellar Center and such (which I’ve neber visited, by the way) but I’d like to skip that and go hunting for the lesser known awesome places in the city. I have nothing against the fabulous landmarks in our city, I’d just like to explore the way I want to explore.
  3. Make new friends. This is especially important for me because some of my absolute closest friends who I met in college are seniors and are graduating this spring! Sure, I know some people my age but I didn’t always click with them the way I clicked with my older friends. I’ll be losing my Zumba buddy, sadly. While I still plan to keep in touch with my friends after they graduate, it’s equally important that I meet new people and grow new friendships. I’m sometimes good at starting conversations with random people, but following up is where I have the issue. I don’t always text people asking if they want to grab dinner or if they want to study together sometime. I really should because these are super easy ways to get to know someone new and build a friendship. But that’s what the new year is for – working on a few things!
  4. Gain membership into blogger networks. I’ve been blogging for two years now, but this is my first super legit website/blog and it’d be really cool to gain valuable insight from being part of blogger networks. There are two networks I already have in mind: The Her Campus Blogger Network and Blogger Babes. Blogger Babes is especially cool because it can help female bloggers be competitive in the industry while fostering a sense of community and oneness. Plus, gaining membership will give me a step in the right direction and show me that every ounce of work I’ve put into my website is paying off.
  5. Enhance my makeup skills. I’m fairly decent with applying foundation, winging my eyeliner, making my eyelashes look ginormous and doing pretty eyeshadow, but I’d definitely like to pick up a few new skills and master some new makeup looks. There are so many ways to do a smoky eye and I’d like to find one way that’s completely my own. I also want to learn how to make wild eyeshadow colors look flawless! Yes, I would be that girl walking through campus with yellow, green and orange eyeshadow and I would totally own it! To do this I will try to go to free beauty classes offered by Sephora stores to those who are members (like I am). I will also try looking around for other makeup events and such around the city (Whoo! Resolution #2).
  6. Practice photography and improve skills. As a blogger, I feel that having great photography skills of your own will help you out immensely because you’ll be pulling stockphotos off the internet less and less if you have your own fabulous masterpieces to put online. Plus, in the journalism industry (especially magazine journalism) if you can take your own high quality pictures, it’s a huge advantage when looking for employment because more and more content platforms are pushing for original photographs to accompany articles. I’ve been playing around with my iphone and trying to take better pictures using that for now, but I’d like to get a DSLR camera so I can really take pics like a pro.
  7. Enhance mental skills. Ever wonder what hidden abilities you might possess? No, I don’t expect to be able to move my eyeshadow palette with my mind (yet) but I definitely know that I want to be able to use my brain more. We probably all have more mental capacity than we might think, but the truth is, more often than not, we are slowing down. I want to pick up speed and be sharp as a tack. There are dozens of apps nowadays that allow you to train your brain and stretch cognition. I’ve tried some in the past (which can be addicting but frustrating if you don’t hit the goal you want to hit) but I have never sought to make it a habit, until now, that is. Thinking can be improved, problem solving can be improved, not to mention other cool abilities. Telekinesis is overrated, anyway.
  8. Get my first paying part-time job. Confession: I’m a sophomore in college and I’ve never had a paying part-time job. Ever. I’ve been an intern and volunteered before but I’ve never performed a task for monetary compensation. I would really like to get on that part-time employment train. Making my own money means that I’ll have more responsibility to save and monitor it properly, which is actually a really good thing because it teaches you habits that you’ll have to have when you’re older. Plus, I’ll be able to add to my list of references and experience by getting a job.
  9. Start reading again. I used to be able to go through novels in a day. That’s right, a day. I used to devour books and could recall every detail in them. When I got to high school, I stopped reading during lunch and instead listened to whatever gossip was going around the table that day. Now, reading books for class seems like a chore, and my reading speed has definitely slowed. My passion for writing started with my passion for reading, after all, and it would be great to get back into the reading zone.
  10. Get my clarinet fixed and play again. I’ve been a band geek for nearly 10 years. My instrument of choice: the clarinet. After high school, a key on my clarient broke and I never got it fixed. I’ve definitely been meaning to pick it up and play again, especially an awesome Game of Thrones cover, but I can’t do that with a broken key! I hope this will be the year for me to get it fixed and back in shape so I can get back to playing in my free time.
  11. Learn more Italian. I took Italian during my freshman year of college and it’s a really great language! I definitely would like to travel to Italy someday and being able to speak the language would be pretty helpful. My goal here is to refresh my memory on what I’ve learned and learn new things about the language and culture.

I hope you enjoyed reading my New Year’s Resolutions and I hope I even inspired you to make your own – no matter how big or small! Have a Happy New Year guys!

What are your New Year’s Resolutions? 

JS