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...

February 23, 2016

On Monday morning, I woke to the buzzing of my phone and the bright light of a notification. Through blurry vision, I read the words, “I’m so sorry for your loss,” and my heart sank through the depth of the mattress. As I scrolled through my Facebook feed in a fuzzy panic, my fears were confirmed. My friend and Miss New Jersey sister, Cara, had passed in the early hours of the morning.

Just the day before, I stood in front of my church with a prayer request for Cara and her family. It wasn’t until that moment that I hadn’t felt confident in her recovery and didn’t have that gut feeling it would only be a matter of time before we were all glitzed up, laughing, and catching up over old memories and new life ventures. With sweaty palms and shaky legs, I was fearful that if I spoke before God and the congregation, the recounting of the few details I knew about her crash and condition would be more than just facts stringed together from different sources to be stored in my mind, but rather,...

February 16, 2016

It’s been almost a year since I wrote. A year.

Part of me was fearful that I didn’t have the right words to say, the right story to share, or moments exciting or glamorous enough to entice people to read my words. We live in a world where people push us into believing “you can do anything,” but instead we hear, “you have to do everything.” It is because of this that we tell ourselves lies. My lie was that I wasn’t interesting enough to share my story because it wasn’t penned by someone with a current title or authority.

Perfectionist. For the past year, this word has slowly written itself all over my skin and seeped so deeply that it completely overtook the entirety of my soul. From the time I was young, I fought to get everything right. I strived to do more, to be more, to please everyone, it was always one more. I can even recall a time where I forgot my homework at school and I was so hard on myself that I actually ran up to the bus driver, with tears in my eyes, asking him to tu...

January 29, 2015

The past few weeks I’ve received a host of good news, including a monumental phone call from George Washington University stating that I was admitted into my top graduate school program in Curriculum and Instruction. As I traveled down to Camden to visit Wiggins College Prep school this past Friday, I started to reflect about my journey and what has ultimately lead me to these moments of triumph. I saw long, sleepless nights slaving over my laptop with the glow of the screen beaming on the large cup of coffee that accompanied me to the library. I saw doors that have been slammed in my face and potential opportunities that simply weren’t meant to be. I saw endless days of going to class, practicing, traveling, speaking, performing, inspiring, mentoring, studying, and pushing to be one step better than I was the day before. Most importantly, I saw all the moments where I called my parents crying out of both defeat and joy, where they sat with pride in the front row of all my performances...

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© 2017 by Cierra Kaler-Jones