Time waits for No One, So use it wisely

Fall is here and the world has never been busier. Students are back to school, Parents are working double time but the days are getting shorter. It’s almost as if we run out of time during the autumn season. Here are a few tips on how to make the most of your work days with you as a focus.

Being a student is hard work, whether you are in high school or college, there never seems to be enough time for you no matter how many planners you have. “Students are working an average of 30 hours a week, Georgetown researchers found. However, about 25 percent of working students are simultaneously employed full-time and enrolled in college full-time.” Considering this study was done in 2015, I’m sure that number has increased since then.

If this is you…KEEP READING.

“Having great time management” is something that has been preached to you since about 11th grade. Getting a planner and writing down everything you have to do for that week and sticking to that to-do list. Though this tactic is great, you’re still in shallow waters in the sea of time management. Let’s take this habit a step further. What in your to-do list is major priority?

update-1672363_640

These are the task that have to get done ASAP. They usually have a time stamp on them. This can include papers, responding to emails, scheduling appointments etc. Contrary to popular belief, not all task have to get done at that very moment. Find out what is important and needs most of your attention, tackle that first.

Learning how to allocate your free time wisely is the most important skill for managing time. Outside of work and class, what other activities do you have listed that are worth your time? For example, when I was attending Western Michigan University, I purposely scheduled my classes for Tuesday and Thursdays only. That way Monday, Wednesday and Friday were days for work and anything else I wanted to do.  The weekends were days I would do homework and things I personally enjoyed. Moments where I had free time, I made sure I allocated it to something I would be the primary beneficiary.

Most of the time, I took naps but you get the point. Free time shouldn’t be completely spent doing things like studying. Mental health should always be your number one priority.

When do you work best? Are you a rooster or a night owl? Once you find out when you do the best work, you’ll be able to work more effectively and efficiently. Time management is important but never forget to work in a way that’s best for you.

 

 

#MotivationMonday: Advice to The Freshmen Class of 2020

As time is winding down and I begin my final semester of undergrad at Western Michigan University tomorrow, I’m reminiscing on the past 4 years of my life. I have no regrets; however, if I could do it all over, here’s what I’d do differently:

 

1. Meet more people!

Though I can be an extrovert at times, I am an introvert for the most part. I’m pretty quiet and stay to myself. Meeting new people and making friends has never been my forte. I have met some amazing people and even met my best friend, Jade, in college. But I wonder about all the possible friendships I have missed out on because of my introverted behavior. I feel like I didn’t take full advantage of being around 25,000 people of different cultures, backgrounds, beliefs, etc. If I were more open, who knows how many more lasting friendships and connections I could have made.

2. Make time for fun!

I’m a very busy person, and always on the go. I have a detailed schedule outlined for each day. If it’s not on the schedule, I don’t partake in it. Though that can be a good thing, sometimes I wish I could just go with the flow. There have been so many missed opportunities of making unforgettable memories because I was just so busy all the time, whether it be going out, taking a trip, or just simply spending time with my friends. I’m always so stuck on a schedule that sometimes I forget that it’s okay to have fun, take a break, and make time for yourself! Maybe if I did more of that, I wouldn’t have been constantly stressed out or had mental breakdowns every other day.

3. Realize that your mental health is more important than an “A.”

I’m not the type of person that stresses out about getting all A’s. What I get is what I get, as long as I pass the class and tried my absolute best! But still, I stress out about grades just like every other college student, sometimes to the point where I break myself down mentally, physically, and emotionally. Yes, grades matter. Or do they? I mean, all the interviews I’ve had so far for post-college jobs have NOT asked for my transcripts or my GPA. They just want to know if I can perform the tasks needed to be a good employee. They don’t care if I got an A in Film Communication! They just don’t. I guess the situation is different if you’re trying to get into law, medical, or grad school in general and you need a certain GPA to get admitted. But still, sometimes I believe that I overstressed about grades way too much when in reality at the end of the day, as long as I pass, I’m good!

4. Ask for help.

Asking for help has always been a challenge for me. I’m definitely a do-it-yourself type of person. I like to figure things out on my own and I will literally sit for hours – and sometimes days – trying to figure out something before I ask for help. Three words: Don’t do that. You’ll save yourself a whole lot of time and trouble if you just get help. College is filled with numerous resources. Use them! You’re paying for it, so you might as well. Whether it be going to tutoring, the counseling and wellness center, or just talking to your friends about a hard day. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. College is already hard. Don’t make it any harder.

5. Don’t try to do everything unless you want to kill yourself.

I don’t know what it is about college, but if you were one of those overachievers in high school that did everything and was the president of every club (like me) and you try to do that in college, you will die. Point blank period. Trust me, I know. I thought I could be a college athlete, take a full load of classes, work, and be in 10 student organizations. LOL. I learned that that’s impossible. Now as a 5th year senior, I’m a lot more focused and have narrowed down my concentration on a few things that matter to me the most instead of a bunch of things I took even the slightest interest in.

6. If you feel like you’re not going to pass a class, drop it.

Personally, I hate giving up on anything. So dropping a class that I was struggling with was tough. However, I learned the hard way that if you honestly think you’re not going to pass, drop it. Had I just done that instead of being overly optimistic about classes I knew I probably wouldn’t pass, I probably wouldn’t have failed 3 classes throughout my time in college. Failing a class SUCKS. So if you can drop a class, do it. If it’s a required class, figure something out to ensure you pass or just drop it and take it a different semester. Dropping a class can be challenging, especially if you’ve done the work and already paid for the $200 book, but it’s better than failing.

7. Don’t conform to be included in the norm.

I always get teased and made fun of because I’m not a “real” college student since I don’t partake in what “normal” college students fill their life with (according to society and millennials’ expectations and definition of college): drinking, partying, and sex. But it’s not college if you don’t do those things, right? WRONG! I tired the whole party life and honestly, it’s just not for me and something I don’t really enjoy partaking in. I go out from time to time with friends, but that’s about it. I’ve probably been to like 5 parties throughout the course of my college career. And I’m perfectly fine with that! Not a heavy drinker. And honestly, hooking up with random people is gross, sorry not sorry. Don’t ever make or force yourself to like something or do something just because everyone else does. Be true to yourself.

8. Time flies, don’t rush it.

The transition from high school to college was rough for me, but with time, things got easier. Still, I remember being a freshman and could not wait to graduate! I would pray every day, “Lord, I need you to speed up time about 3 notches because I can’t do this.” Now, I’m about to graduate in 4 months. Like, what?! I’m just like, man…the best and worst years of my life are about to be over and it’s so bittersweet. I’m not going to miss college not one bit, but I am going to miss the experiences I’ve had and the friends I’ve made. It was one hell of a ride, and I glad I made it through.

 

So yeah, no regrets, just lessons learned! To the class of 2020, I hope this advice helps you in any way! It sure would have helped me.

Epic Snapchat Challenge: Week 2 Recap

SnapFlyer

It’s week 2 of the Epic Snapchat Campaign featuring many of your favorite media moguls in the entertainment industry. Now until October 8th, these moguls, with the help of friends, will show you exactly what it means to be honest, be humble, and simply being YOU as a social bee using The Social B.’s Snapchat Page! Be sure to follow us for more super interesting videos on Snapchat at @thesocialbshow…

Here’s a recap from week 2 of the challenge:

#FilmMajorFriday: That One Time I (Almost) Landed an Internship in LA

You want to know what the worst feeling in the world is? Giving something your all, but still falling short.

Back in March, I applied for an extremely competitive internship with the Television Academy Foundation in Los Angeles, California. The requirements were extensive: application, resume, statement letter, transcripts, and two letters of recommendation. I spent hours and hours perfecting my materials before I mailed them off, and prayed for the best.

To my surprise, I made it as a finalist! I, Tirrea Billings, was a finalist for a PAID internship in LA! I was elated.

The last step I had to complete was a video interview answering multiple questions about myself and why I wanted to intern with the TV Academy. Honestly, I felt like I completely nailed it.

By this time, it was the end of May. I had been working on this for two months! I gave it everything that I had, and I was fully confident that I would be chosen.

But…I wasn’t.

For the past month, it’s really been bothering me. Yeah, I was a finalist. But I didn’t win. I felt like I was worth more than 2nd place. And it’s not that I feel like I didn’t try hard enough because I know I did. It’s the fact that I did try my absolute hardest and I still wasn’t good enough. I fell short, and I really let myself down.

Being the competitive person that I am, I’ve been asking myself what did I do wrong? What could I have done better? What do I need to improve on? Who got chosen and what did they do better?

Yet, after beating myself up about it for a while, I grew tired and knew that it was time to change my perspective and look at the situation differently.

For a long time, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I didn’t discover my love for filmmaking until my sophomore year of college, and didn’t produce my first documentary until late last year during my senior year. I literally just started taking film seriously only 1 year ago.

And to make it as a finalist for a very competitive internship in LA after only doing this for a year says a lot. Then I reminisced on this past year, and really had to pat myself on the back.

My first documentary I ever made received an honorable mention in the 2016 Broadcast Education Association’s (BEA) Media Festival of the Arts – a highly competitive, national competition for student filmmakers. I’ve interned at several different locations, continue to receive a tremendous amount of opportunities for paid, freelance work, and I’m all over Western Michigan University’s websites and news for my work.

People are noticing me, and that’s an amazing feeling.

So, instead of feeling sorry for myself, I had to realize that my work is definitely not going unnoticed, and I have accomplished more during this past year than what some people have accomplished who have been doing this much longer than I have.

I had to realize that in this field, and in life in general, there are going to be times when you are told no, when you get denied, and when you give something your all but still fall short. And you know what, that’s okay. Though finally being able to catch a big break in LA would have been amazing and that $4,000 would have looked pretty nice in my bank account, I know that God has even bigger, better opportunities planned for me in my future. I just have to keep working hard and continue improving as a filmmaker.

Most importantly, I can never give up.

I also have to remember that this career is not easy at all, that there will probably be more times when I’m told no versus being told yes, and that I’m still young and new to this field! So I just need to relax. As long as I keep striving for greatness, I will make it to where I want to be: a director/producer for documentary films and advocating for more diversity and inclusion in the film/media/TV industry.

Lastly, to anyone reading this and to everyone that I know, thank you so, so, so much for your undying love and support. I am a very confident woman, but affirmation always feel good! Thank you for seeing my potential even when I don’t see it in myself. Thank you for your continuous encouragement and motivation, and thank you for believing in me and my dreams.

Celebrate your victories, and celebrate your losses. Actually, don’t even look at them as losses. Instead, look at them as opportunities to learn, grow, and become better. Don’t get discouraged because when one door closes, another door opens. You just have to keep striving for greatness, and want it for yourself.

I want it, and I will get it. It may not be right at this moment, but I will make it to LA, I will prosper, and I will reach heights greater than I’ve ever imagined.

DSC_4640

 

 

#MotivationMonday: Keep On Keeping On

I really don’t know where to start. I’ve written and rewritten this blog post about a dozen times now.

I mean, I could say the usual stuff. College is hard, but it’s worth it. It’ll get better. You’re almost at the finish line. Don’t give up! You got this.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

But honestly, those words don’t have any worth to me anymore because I’ve been hearing them for the past four years now. It just goes in one ear and out the other. When I’m drained and stressed out from school, saying that stuff doesn’t really make me feel better.

At this point, the only thing that’ll make me feel better is graduating.

I’m currently taking three summer classes. Summer I semester ends in about two weeks and then I’ll be taking two more summer classes during the Summer II session. Mind you, summer classes are condensed into a 7-week period instead of the usual 14. So I’m doing 14 week’s worth of work in 7 weeks.

Don’t even get me started on the other things I do on top of school: working, writing, video production stuff, and everything else because you know you have to be a multidimensional superhuman these days to get anywhere in life.

Anyway, I’d much rather be enjoying my summer, filling it with beach days at Lake Michigan and taking road trips to Chicago and being at home more often with my family.

Instead, I’m spending most of these beautiful 80-degree days inside reading and writing papers. I do enjoy my classes, and I like what I’m learning about. But you know how college is. It gets tough, stressful, more and more difficult to keep on keeping on…

But at the end of the day when it’s 3 A.M. and I’ve finally finished all of my work, I realize that I have to because I know that in December when I walk across that stage, I’ll be so happy that I did keep on keeping on. I will be so happy that I made it through the most difficult, challenging yet rewarding years of my life.

I may not be able to do all of the things that I want to right now. And it’s hard watching and seeing everyone else do what you’d rather be doing or be where you’d rather be. However, I have to remember that I’ll get there, too. And next summer, and all the summers thereafter, I’ll be able to do whatever I want, whenever I want.

AND. I. CAN’T. WAIT.

I just have to keep going, keep going, keep going.

College is hard, but the moment you want to give up is the moment that you have to work harder than ever.

#MotivationMonday: Your Work Is Worth It

When I tell people that I’m a film major, there are two different types of responses: one where they are supportive and think that’s really cool, and one where they kind of look at me thinking, really? You’re $20,000+ in debt to study film? Film is a hobby, not a career. Have fun being a starving artist!

In today’s society, it seems like people think that you’re wasting your life and devalue your work if you’re not pursuing a career in business or something in the STEM field.

Well, I’m here to tell you that without us, without artists, the world would be bland, colorless, and lack depth. From the books you read to the movies you watch, they all require at least one thing: someone with the mind and the original, imaginative, artistic ability to create them.

Art matters. To all the photographers, filmmakers, writers, musicians, painters, sculptors, dancers, fashion designers, graphic designers, drawers, poets…Your work matters. Your craft matters.

Don’t let anyone tell you what you can’t do and what you can’t be successful at. And don’t let anyone tell you to have a “plan B.” Will Smith says that there’s no reason to have a plan B because it distracts from plan A. He is absolutely right. It’s like you’re already expecting plan A to fail by having a plan B. So, stick to plan A. Stick to your art.

I think the best thing about being an artist is that you get to create something from nothing. As artists, we get to be new, unusual and inventive every single day. We all have something unique and special that we want to share with the world.

Your work is worth it. It’s not about the money. It’s about being able to integrate the mind, body, and spirit. It’s about cutting across racial, cultural, social, educational, and economic barriers. It’s about enhancing cultural appreciation and awareness. It’s about giving people the opportunities to express themselves. It’s about bringing the inner world into the outer world and developing new, concrete realities.

I’m glad that I am finally able to ignore all the noise and be true to myself. I love film. I am a filmmaker, and I will spend the rest of my days doing what I love. My work is all that matters.

 

#MotivationMonday: Changing Your Perspective During Challenging Times

Minion

Life can be pretty difficult, stressful, unbearable, and other sulky adjectives that make it hard to get out of bed in the morning. Though lying in bed Netflix and Chilling by yourself with your chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream to mask the pains of life may sound like a great (and quite delicious, if I might add) idea, there’s an even better solution for getting through those tough times that life loves to throw at us.

So, what’s the solution? Change your perspective.

It’s the challenging times in our life that makes us stronger, wiser, and better than when we were before. The hard times that we all go through are happening for us, not to us. The challenges that you encounter are on your path for a reason. Use these moments to challenge yourself and explore these phases of your life to analyze what’s going on, why it’s going on, and what you can learn from it.

You are not the victim of your struggles. You are the beneficiary. So put that ice cream away, log out of Netflix, and tackle the obstacles you may be going through like the warrior that you are. We only get one life, and it’s important that we live it to the fullest through the good times, and the challenging times, too.

The moment you change your perspective, that certain obstacle is no longer an obstacle. Instead, it becomes an opportunity for growth.

#FitandFine for Summer 2015!

By Asmaa W

[Credit: Pinterest]
[Credit: Pinterest]
It’s the summer and everyone is scrambling to find their cheats and hacks to getting that summer body quick! I’m going to share a few tips I’ve picked up on looking good and feeling great so far this summer!

  • The Infamous Teatox

I’m sure you all have heard about the million different types of deatox teas out there. With so many different brands it’s hard to know which ones really work and are worth your time and money! BooTea is one of the pretty popular teatox brands. They offer a 14 Day TeaTox that includes a day time tea and a night time tea. They also offer a 28 Day TeaTox. The day time tea and night time tea can also be purchased separate.

I’ve actually tried BooTea so I’ll give you guys my opinion on it.

How did it taste?

The daytime tea tasted okay. It is reminiscent of any herbal or green tea. Well, the nighttime tea was a bit different. It has a very strong smell with a taste to match. It wasn’t awful but it’s not something I would drink just for the heck of it. I used brown sugar to sweeten the tea because I did not have honey but I tried my best to only add a small amount of sugar. I would recommend using raw honey because it’s all natural.

Did you notice an immediate difference in your body?

Well, I knew the tea worked the first day after using the nighttime tea. The night tea acts as a laxative. Make sure you drink it at a reasonable hour! I would recommend around 6pm or 7pm because any later than that you’ll be on the toilet all morning. The greatest benefit of BooTea was the energy boost it gave me. I was in the gym almost everyday and the tea gave me that extra energy to do it!!

Did you lose weight?
I was not drinking the tea to lose weight so I did not track my weight. I just wanted to cleanse my body.

Was it worth the price?
I paid around $30 for the 14 Day BooTea Teatox. Yes, I believe it was worth it because while doing this teatox I felt GREAT! I’ll definitely be buying more very soon.

  • Part-time Vegetarian? 

Sounds weird right? Well, after you watch this TED Talk by Graham Hill, the founder of the sustainability website TreeHugger, it should make a little more sense.

Why even bother?

Hill’s approach was more environmental but cutting out meat is a great opportunity to cut calories and increase your weight loss. Added with the proper workout regiment you may meat your goal a bit quicker than you expected. It will not be easy. I’m currently working on cutting meat out of my diet. Last week I only ate meat four days out of the week and this week I plan on cutting it back to three days a week. Give it a try!

  • Instagram Motivation

It may sound a bit silly but I follow accounts on Instagram that motivate me to hit the gym and eat better!

@AngelaSimmons

FullSizeRender_3
[Credit: IG: @ANGELASIMMONS]
FullSizeRender_4
[Credit: IG: @ANGELASIMMONS]
FullSizeRender_2
[Credit: IG: @ANGELASIMMONS]
The lovely Angela hits the gym on the regular. I love following her! She works very hard and her results show!

@BundleofBrittany

FullSizeRender
[Credit: IG: @BUNDLEOFBRITTANY]
Leader of the #FitThickArmy Ms. Brittany Renner takes working out very seriously! Just look at her body! My body might never be as banging as Brittany’s, but a girl can dream right?

@Healthyfitnessmeals

FullSizeRender_1
[Credit: IG: @HEALTHYFITNESSMEALS]
Need some ideas for a post workout meal? Check out this page! It’s full of delicious and healthy recipes.

Okay guys I’ve shared a few of my fit tips to get summer time fine. Try them out and let me know how they work for you! Also if you have any leave comments so I can try them!

-xoxo Asmaa W.