© 2017 by Cierra Kaler-Jones

March 30, 2016

It’s Monday morning. My alarm goes off three times – 15 more minutes, 15 more minutes, 15 more minutes. My eyes are sullen, my hair is in a ratty bun at the top of my head, and there’s a crust of exhaustion lining my eyes. As you can tell, mornings are not my jam. I’m already running behind schedule. I grunt loudly to give myself an extra umph to lift my body out of bed. I woke up like that. 


We often try and measure success quantifiably, with a check-list. Go to school, get a job, start a family. Two checks. I will probably live and die by my to-do list and I genuinely feel a personal high off of checking off a completed task. I re-write my to-do list every morning to keep track of what needs to get done, out of a pestering fear that I will forget to do something. Some measure success through the purchasing of an expensive car, or being able to rock the newest shoes in various coordinated colors. Others place success on the number of degrees they’ve earned, how much property they...

March 20, 2016

For twenty-two years, I’ve been on overdrive. You can even ask my mother, who signed me up for dance class at an early age simply because I never stopped moving. Some things never change. 

I would work, work, work(cue Rihanna) and never stop to pause to take a breath out of fear that if I did pause to rest, or actually enjoy myself, then my successes would come crashing down, leaving me back at square one. I thought to myself, “I’ve worked too hard to stop now.” I used to live by the motto “sleep is for the weak.” I’ve never actually learned what it meant to be present in the moment. I never basked in the joy of the now and celebrated the reaped benefits of my hard work. Instead of patting myself on the back or kicking my heels off in honor of a job well done, I sat and plotted my next big undertaking.

When I graduated from college with honors, instead of spending my final moments lauding the triumphs with friends and family, I was physically en route to a new internship. When...

March 9, 2016

As I’ve been contemplating topics to write on that are real, I’ve realized that for a lot of what I’m experiencing, there’s a common thread of “what I wish I knew about (insert here).” As a 20-something, I’m still learning, still adjusting, still thriving, striving, and simply trying to survive. There’s a lot of uncertainty and instability that comes with being at this pivotal point in life, where many times I feel like I’m a ‘fake’ adult.

I live on my own, provide for myself, and am financially stable to go about the day-to-day, but I still don’t have the added pressures of a responsibility to others or financial obligations. Every morning I wake up, play dress up, and pretend I’m an adult, like I used to do when I was a little girl, except now I actually fit into the clothes and don’t smear lipstick all over my face. I still have a lot of unanswered questions stuffed into the pocket of my dress pants, only to have the answers revealed through lived experience and personal truth.

W...

March 1, 2016

As a 20-something, the question that comes up quite too often in everyday conversation is, “So what exactly do you DO?”(insert emphasis on the do)

In a success-driven, restless society, an individual’s life worth is defined by what they do, rather than who they are. When we ask someone what they do, it’s actually a more polite way of asking them how they are contributing to society. As I play text tag with old friends from back home and meet new acquaintances in graduate classrooms, this question frequents the onset of conversation. When asked, I nervously giggle and proceed with a signature, “Now let me tell you…’ simply because my job cannot be easily weaved into conversation or explained in a mere few sentences.

Being a Resident Director is probably one of the most intimate and rewarding jobs you can have. You see the absolute best of some college students, and support students in their lowest, most trying moments, all within the space of the residence hall. Resident Directors live wh...

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