What College Major Should You Choose?

What College Major Should You Choose?

Choose the major that excites you.

When I graduated high school, the million dollar question was, “what do you want to do next?”

College was inevitable for me— I always knew higher education was the path I wanted to go down and eventually, I’d find a career that I love. Yet, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to go to school for or what my end goal was. I wouldn’t consider myself indecisive, but after different experiences and exposure to new knowledge, my priorities, goals, and mindset began shifts and alter.

That leads to where I am today.

I’m on the brink of entering my senior year of undergrad at a university I love, and I will be graduating with degrees in majors I love even more.

Pressures to be a certain way or choose a certain path can be very real, daunting, and even promising; the people with influences on our lives try to guide us in what they believe is best for us— but, just because they think it’s best for you doesn’t mean it is. What’s really the best for us is to be free thinking individuals who are able to be held accountable for our decisions and ultimately, our mistakes.

When you make decisions and choices that are going to impact your life, it’s essential to remember that you are worthy and deserving of happiness and that with dedication and drive, your wildest dreams aren’t just wishful thinking.

Those aspirations can and will be your future if you allow yourself to absorb knowledge, grow through what you go through, and embrace the beautiful uniqueness of your soul.

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When you pick a major you love, you blossom and connect with a new sense of love for learning and growth.

You can envision a tomorrow better than your yesterdays. When you choose to expand your knowledge in a field that inspires you, you are setting up yourself for success and with that optimism and fortitude, you’ll either find or create a career that brings out the best in you— whether that’s through leading, educating, care-taking, and the list is never ending.

When you allow yourself to follow passion, working doesn’t feel much like work, but more as an opportunity for betterment and fulfillment. Good luck, you’ve got this!

 

21 Things I’ve Learned By 21

21 Things I’ve Learned By 21

Some of us 21 year olds are getting engaged and starting families, some of us are in college or finishing cosmetology school, some of us are working away and joining unions, but there are three things we have in common: we are three years into adulthood, we are legal to consume alcoholic beverages, and we don’t really have it all figured out yet. However, I’ve journaled down thoughts that I’ve learned over the years and I think they may serve as nice reminders for you all. So here are the 21 things I’ve learned by 21:

  1. You’re young— know the difference between being selfish and valuing yourself. It’s okay to put yourself first, your future depends on it.

  2. When you’re upset, mad, or frustrated with someone, don’t start texting them a million things that you’ll later regret. Take a breather, and call them and meet up with them later. Texting solves absolutely nothing.

  3. Forgiving yourself and forgiving others is not an easy task, but it’ll set you free and allow you to move forward with your life.

  4. Quality over quantity, especially when it comes to friends; valuing close, genuine friends is so much more important than being surrounded by the masses.

  5. Your greatest power is being you, embrace that with everything you have.

  6. No matter how old you get, you have to follow the golden rule: treat others how you want to be treated because being kind and loving doesn’t cost you a thing.

  7. Make decisions that excite you, don’t make decisions based on what someone else wants you to do. You’ll end up, going in circles.

  8. When you put in the extra mile, it always pays off. The effort will serve as guidance for what the next move should be for you.

  9. There are spiteful people in this world, that are venomous with their words, but those people don’t deserve a place in your universe.

  10. Although there are hurtful people out there, there are also absolutely incredible ones who bring so much light and love into your life.

  11. With that being said, you never regret telling people you love them, value them, and appreciate their existence. Whenever you get the chance to engulf others in your admiration, do it.

  12. Enjoying your own company better be on your to-do list because people come and go, but you’re a constant and when the day turns into night, your mind must be kind to you.

  13. You don’t have to be who you’ve always been; there is room for change and growth and realizations to become who you are meant to be.

  14. You aren’t going to be liked by everyone, you’ll be too much for some and not enough for others. That discernment has nothing to do with you, and entirely to do with the person making those judgements.

  15. You DO NOT need a significant other to be whole. You DO NOT need a boyfriend. You DO NOT need someone to tell you you’re pretty, valued, and worthy; you should know you’re all those things without relying on those words of truths from someone else. You are complete, whole, and enough on your own.

  16. Taking the opportunity that fuels your curiosity and excitement is one well taken. Whether that’s moving, taking an internship, exploring a new country, you will find out new things about yourself along the way.

  17. Holding onto rage and anger hurts you more than anyone else; let that baggage go and know you don’t have to be bitter.

  18. Your circumstances do not and will not define you; you are not a statistic, you are a person and you can beat the odds.

  19. Sex can wait, but it doesn’t have to; whatever you prefer is right. Whether you’re in love or looking for a fun time, you must remember to be kind to your body and soul and make sure to value yourself and your sexuality. You don’t have to give yourself away to anyone who asks.

  20. Let life take you where it wants you to go, you’ll end up exactly where you’re meant to be.

  21. As cliche as it sounds, really don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game. You are an important and have a valuable mind that is unique, so know you have the ability to stand out and achieve all your wildest dreams. You will fail, oh you will fail plenty, but you just have to keep getting back up and try again.

So if you take anything away from my lengthy list, it’s that you are important, loved, and valued, and you should live your life with your urgency and drive.

A Key To A Happier You: Forgiveness

A Key To A Happier You: Forgiveness

This past week I was in Chicago for the holidays and somehow, Chicago has a way of inspiring me to produce my best work. So here are some of my recent thoughts on forgiveness and self-love.

The city evokes my curiosity, the wonderment of the unknown, uncertainty, and largeness of the masses. As I grow older and have new experiences under my belt, I begin to wonder, could I find sanctuary in the chaos? I don’t say home because home, for me, is more of feeling and less of a residency— home never quite felt like home and love from just family never felt quite whole, so I searched for a substitute for what I lacked my whole life.

I came up empty, filled with resentment, anger, and even jealousy to those who had what I did not.

Now, my heart understands and my mind is on the same page— disappointment runs in my veins because I create these expectations in my head about how people should be, act, and care for me when the reality is, most things don’t revolve around me and their inconsiderate manner is just part of their universe.

I can’t change them, especially when my resentment covers me like a silent plaque, until I am no longer accepting their existence. I go ghost into my own world, uninviting and shrill to their ideology, because no matter how they cling to me, I act as though it’s never enough, and that is entirely on me. My skin screams to be touched, to be hugged, and to be loved, but their presence only lingers in the back of the room, refusing to put forth effort I desperately crave.

For a long time, this one undeniable thought laid prominent in the center of my mind through all my acts, “I’ll never be enough for you.”

But through the years, it’s not that I am not enough for them, but actually the opposite begins to ring true. That I know, and how is that fair for me to be so judgmental and act as though I am superior? When I am not, nobody in this world is.

So I chase it back to the source—

I take a look at who I am and what my needs are, and focus on some of my truths.

I would never be happy in a small town with small minds and small endeavors with the social norm being to marry young and have babies to carry on the name to raise up to be football jocks and record breaking stars. I would never be happy to work for someone day in and day out with little growth, no new knowledge, no experience that leaves me feeling fulfilled and enlightened. I would never be happy, if I chose to stay instead of leaving for my next adventure, but with choices comes opportunity costs and trade offs.

In order to take on a new adventure, I had to say goodbye to the only house I ever knew, goodbye to the closeness of my father, goodbye to my best friends who have been by my side almost every hour of every day.

I had to embrace the loneliness of the newness in hopes of finding what my soul needed most; Fear lingered, but I never allowed it to make me back down. See, I have no problem engulfing myself in new passions and desires, but when I try to free my heart of the restraints of sadness I’ve endured, I refuse.

I refuse to start new with the ones I love most— I refuse to truly forgive and let down my walls I’ve built up to keep them out, but that’s the start of my journey to self-love.

In order to love myself, I must be free from my burdens, relinquish any hate festering in my soul, any and all unsettlements to my soul and I’m starting with taking responsibility for my soul actions and acknowledging my imperfections, bruises, and lackings in a vulnerable way to heal and repair what I view as broken.

Who I am— is what my soul exudes. I have the choice to be a better, more loving version of myself, who honors effort and has faith in mankind, who understands most people are just doing the best they can. People love differently, handle stress differently, communicate differently— not wrong, just because it’s different than what I choose to do. I’m aware that love needs to be at the center of all interactions, and people deserve second, even third and fourth chances, without having burdens held over their head.

Forgiveness for yourself, forgiveness for others will be the one thing that will restore your faith in unconditional love.

I’ve linked one of my favorite articles below, so check that out!

Forgive… And Feel Happier

You’ve got this,

Ash

 

 

 

Love The Guy Who Doesn’t Love You Back

Love The Guy Who Doesn’t Love You Back

Then, KICK HIM TO THE CURB!

We have a long list of what we want in a partner— loving, compassionate, honest, understanding, stable, etc. It varies from person to person, as wants and needs are different for everyone, but at the end of the day, we want someone who loves us wholeheartedly. We jokingly say we want our own Thomas Rhett and Lauren Akin love, or we want the relationship our parents have or our best friends who are so madly in love. We see these beautiful couples with so much love for one another, but we only endure another letdown and heartbreak, not trying to be dramatic when I’m only 21 and I have so much going on that doesn’t involve having someone by my side.

You’ll find exactly what you’re looking for in the end, but here’s where some of us end up for a period of time in our love stories.

You end up falling for the guy who doesn’t love you back…..

The guy who doesn’t make plans with you.

The guy who uses you when at his convenient.

The guy who leaves you left on read for three days.

The guy who doesn’t communicate with you.

The guy who leaves you hanging on by a thread.

The guy who isn’t enough for you.

You should love the guy who isn’t enough for you.

Then, leave and know you deserve so much more than mediocre, more than decentish times.

Love can be complicated at times because it can’t be one-sided to be true. I once had a boyfriend, for a very short period, who adored me and treated me with so much respect and love; I could even compare him to Thomas Rhett in countless, thoughtful instances, but I wasn’t his Lauren Akin. My heart didn’t desire that love, and it ended. He deserved more than I was willing to give, so I set him free and I only pray those experiences touch his life in a positive light.

Then, there’s the polar opposite: you get a guy who you fall for and treat him as though he walks on water, but it isn’t mutual. This is important and I think it’s vital to experience— loving someone who doesn’t love you in return. When you constantly have to fight reality and convince yourself this is worth keeping, you’ve already lost.

When you are in a situation like this, once you are done, you will never, ever settle again; you will look right through the bullshit of excuses and know they just don’t feel the same, and it isn’t worth your time, energy, or tears.

You are meant for a beautiful love, and after experiencing this, it will only make you appreciate it more and in the future, you’ll give your love more wholeheartedly to someone who actually deserves it and honors you.

One day, you’ll find a love that’s mutual and full, so in the meantime, you should leave behind the guy who isn’t right for you, no matter how YOU feel about him.

xo,

Ash

 

A Whole Lot Of Optimism And Faith

A Whole Lot Of Optimism And Faith

I know something great is coming because I believe God is putting battles and obstacles in my life, so I can appreciate my life, my future accomplishments, and the relationships with my loved ones even more. Everything in my being tells me something big is in the works, and when I finally let go of other’s burdens and let go of my own resentment and pain, my energy can go towards the life of my dreams. Recently, life hasn’t been a walk in the park, like I had planned, but somehow, everything is working out exactly the way I need it to.

Although it’s not turning out picture perfect, I know I needed to experience the pitfalls to get to where I am now.

I guess there is a way you want things turn out, and there is a way you actually need them to, even if you don’t see it at the time; sometimes you need a win and sometimes you need to learn a lesson and use that to make better decisions for yourself in the future.

Things aren’t always going to turn out the way you thought, but life’s about figuring out how to make things work when everything seems to be falling through. I’ve learned lately and many of you can probably relate to the fact, we can’t control other’s actions or the way they treat us, and we definitely can’t control who loves us and who wants to be in our lives, but we can make conscious decisions to value ourselves, our needs and not be content with being in environments that don’t support us.

With every failed relationship, marriage, friendship, and opportunity, it’s best to focus on what you’ve learned from it and how it’s going to better you, and with that mindset, you are free and no longer have to carry around burden of another ending.

You have a choice: you can either play victim and act as if life is crumbling when your plans are interrupted or you can embrace the change coming and use that transition time to rebuild and become the person you want to be. It’s all up to you, but I promise when you let go of resenting change and open up your heart up to all the possibilities, your life will be hundred times better.

I am so thankful for the hardships I’ve endured recently because it teaches me to be flexible, receptive to the environment around me, and enjoy life, even when it seems to be beating me down.

Life is too short to be unhappy, but your happiness is a choice and you get to make that choice for every situation, no matter how heartbreaking it may be.

Optimism is your door way into your next big endeavor. You must believe that when one door closes, two more are going to open up for, and it’s imperative you take the leap and have faith into your next journey because what is to come is greater than anything you are leaving behind.

I’m not sure what’s next or what’s coming, but I have heard many times, “God laughs when you make plans.” so I trust that something monumental is upon me and I’m ready for the adventure ahead.

Ladies, This Is Not A Competition

Ladies, This Is Not A Competition

Better than I was yesterday. That’s who I want to be.

Going through life changes and actually evaluating yourself is at often times challenging, but we make it more difficult than it needs to be. When we look in the mirror and analyze who we are, we are gazing over the exterior first and then sinking deep into our soul; we constantly highlight our flaws and what we’d change, both physically and in our personality, and as we do that, we are subconsciously comparing ourselves to the girl who seemingly has it all together. “Comparison is the thief of joy” but it’s all we do. 

Social media will be the death of us. We see the girl who is Instagram famous with a million guys pining over her and two million girls dying to be her. We see her highlight reals and perfect selfies. We see her excelling, and having the perfect hair, body, friends, family, house, etc. We see perfection when we analyze her, but when we look into ourselves, we see flaws and imperfections. We see everything that is wrong. But why? Why are we so quick to adore others, but forget to see our worth? Ladies, we are not in competition with one another; we all have different strengths and weaknesses and far different hearts. 

Having a pretty, symmetrical face doesn’t make you more beautiful than the girl who has a soul that radiates.

We have this mixed up perception that others don’t struggle with the things we do, but I promise they do. We work tirelessly to keep our flaws hidden, like we are the only one who struggle with anxiety or depression or have shaming circumstances. We assume the girl that is smiling with her perfect friend group is what we should be aiming for, but we have no idea what goes on behind closed doors. We don’t know who she is without her mask; being real, especially on social media, is seldom the case, but yet we compare like it’s our day job. We are all guilty of it, like highlighting or acknowledging our flaws to the world is lethal, but it’s needed.

Self-love is a crazy concept because that means accepting and loving yourself with all your craziness included.

You can love yourself while wanting to better yourself, but do it from a place in your soul that craves to be a better you for you. It’s all about intentions so only compare yourself to the person you were yesterday and keep improving to be the best version of yourself. You will be so loved and beautiful.

 

xo,

Ash

Time For Change: Goodbye To The “Dumb Blonde” Stereotype

Time For Change: Goodbye To The “Dumb Blonde” Stereotype

Defying stereotypes one day at a time.

The other day someone said to me, “No offense, but before I got to know you, I never expected you to be so intelligent and thoughtful.” She said, “I thought you were going to just be another cute girl with nothing going on up there.”

That’s when I realized that’s the message I want to bring to the table and my passion brings me to this point; we are not our stereotypes, we are not people’s prejudices, perceptions, or judgements. In this world, it’s simple and easy to fall into a category that you don’t belong in, but at the end of the day, you need to be your real authentic self and the rest will follow.

We can’t control how other’s view us or their judgements or biases towards us, but we can control how we present ourselves and react. I know who I am; I am Ashley— a loving, intelligent, courageous, thoughtful leader, who isn’t belittled by someone’s idea of me as a “dumb blonde” or incapable of hanging with the big dogs.

Ask yourself— who are you? Be confident in your answer, feel it in your heart, and forget what other’s may think. Your confidence will drive you, and allow you to create success and your brand.

Another thing, being an Economics major, a large percentage of my class is made up of men, but that’s just a reminder to me that I am worthy and capable of making a difference and bringing insight to the table. I belong there, and so do you.

I want to represent, well-rounded women in all aspects of my life while defying stereotypes that women can’t be both pleasing to the eye and intuitive, profound, and inspiring.

I see women doing it everyday, making strides and being successful, and we won’t stop until we can live in a world where we are viewed as worthy, capable, and beautiful. Let’s empower one another to make that happen. 

 

 

Xo, 

Ash