How to stay positive when things aren’t going your way

Brandi Howliet | Staff Writer

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Photo Credit: Flickr user FotoCorline photography

Knowing how to stay positive when life isn’t going in your favor isn’t an easy task. Maybe you didn’t get that internship you wanted, or maybe you’re in the second semester of senior year and you still have no job offer.

The first step to staying positive is understanding that certain outcomes in life are uncontrollable. You can apply for a job and not land it. No matter how quali ed you are for the position, you cannot control the outcome. Keep in mind that good things are coming. Repeating this thought on a daily basis will not only keep you sane but it will boost your confidence. Allowing life’s upsets to consume you will inhibit positive change. Remember, every failure is shortly followed by a success.

Staying productive is another great way to combat these thoughts. Trusting life’s plan doesn’t mean just sitting around and waiting for things to happen. Allowing yourself to stay busy will help defer your negative thoughts and allow you to remain positive through adversity. When you take these actions, you’d be surprised at how many doors and opportunities will open up for you. Start by guring out your life’s purpose. Once you gure that out, align yourself with that purpose and your actions will reflect that. Over time, you’ll realize when things don’t work out that maybe it just wasn’t meant to be.


“When things aren’t going my way, I take a step back and evaluate the situation, said Hampton University student Kiana Taylor, a sophomore journalism major from Maryland. “Stepping back helps me work things out so ultimately everything works out in a positive light, even if it doesn’t work out in my favor. Reacting to the situation in a negative way causes many unnecessary problems.”

Understanding that we all have our own designated plans in life is the key to staying positive when things aren’t going your way. Students at Hampton University struggle with combating this issue as well.

“As cliché as it sounds, I stay positive through faith and remembering that what’s for me will be for me,” said Jaylen Harris, a junior from Hillside, New Jersey. “When I feel defeated, I combat those feelings by looking at myself. l look at what I’ve done to see where I could do better at to improve. Tough times don’t last, so I know I won’t be down forever.”

Dealing with life’s unfairness can be so difficult at times, and it may seem unpromising. When you take the necessary steps to help push through this adversity instead of succumbing to it, you’ll find yourself in a much more positive space.

How to relax during Winter Break

Staff Writer: Taura Kimble

College students tend to push themselves beyond our limits and take on more than we can handle. Between school, studying and work, the first semester can be very hectic for most students. From writing essays to perfecting your craft, we all strive to be the best and most successful in our intended career paths. With finals week coming to a close and the fall semester officially ending, here are some key things to implement into your day to day activities in order to completely unwind. 

Put down the phone: In a technology-crazy generation, many own a smartphone and probably use it way too much. In fact, the average American checks their phone once every 12 minutes for an average of 80 times per day, according to The New York Post. Smartphones have taken control over society and phone usage takes up so much of our time. Cut it off, put it away and learn to live in the moment and have a conversation without letting your phone be a distraction. 

Create “me” time: We often get so busy with school and work that we forget to take care of ourselves. The things we once loved to do become just another task to complete and we start to lose interest in our hobbies. Incorporating “me” time into your daily schedule can make a world of difference and is extremely important. According to the Odyssey Online, no one can ever be 100 percent happy if they are not doing something, they love every day. Whether it’s meditating, taking yourself to dinner or reading your favorite magazine, take 30 minutes to an hour every day to do what makes you happy! 

Don’t let finals get to you: Now that finals are over, let them be over! No need to go back over your notes and worry yourself about what you could’ve gotten wrong or said differently. You definitely don’t want to take this energy home with you over the break. 

Allow yourself to enjoy your break: Don’t let the worries of this semester wreck your brain once you leave campus. What happened can’t be changed, so allow yourself to take it all in and accept it for what it is. This is the perfect example of not letting your professional and your personal life conflict with one another. When you are with your family and friends use that time to catch up and create new memories. 


How to Be Festive Away from Home

Staff Writer: Myeshia Barrett

In college, it can be very overwhelming to be away from your family during the holidays. Christmas is usually a jolly time for most people, but without your family it can be very much humbug! Here are a few ideas to get festive from the comfort of your own campus.


Get a Christmas Tree

Something simple as a desk Christmas tree in your dorm or apartment with shining bright lights and mini ornaments can set the tone for Christmas. Also, it can be the perfect touch for a Secret Santa party!


Secret Santa

Secret Santa is an exciting Christmas tradition to bring friends together. Get a few close friends together, draw random name assignments from a bowl and pick a gift for that friend. It can be really exciting to go Christmas shopping and get in the spirit of giving.


Seeing the Lights

Riding around town to see all the pretty decorations and lights in the community tends to be a personal favorite for college students. This not only is fun and relaxing, but gives you decoration ideas for your own apartment, room or dorm.


Christmas Movies

The simplest, yet most effective way to get in a jolly good mood for Christmas: watch Christmas movies. A classic like Elf, or an oldie like Home Alone can set the perfect Christmas mood. You could even get friends over and have a Christmas movie night.


Christmas Pajamas

Christmas-themed pajamas not only set an attire for Christmas parties, but they make the best Instagram photo ops. Stores like Old Navy and Walmart have cost-effective PJ sets festive enough for you and your besties.


Bake Christmas Cookies

You know the sugar cookies your mom used to bake with Christmas trees and candy canes on the front? They make the perfect addition to any Christmas gathering this month.


These ideas are guaranteed to spice up this holiday season. Merry Christmas!

How to enjoy the holidays while being single

Staff Writer: Brandi Howliet

Do you scroll down your timeline and constantly see couples in love? Does it drive you 

crazy, especially around the holidays? Don’t worry, below are a few steps on how to alleviate the struggles of being single during the holiday season. 


  1. Be grateful for the ones you do have. 


The first thing you need to do when you feel down about being single is count your blessings. Dwelling on what you don’t have in your life and constantly obsessing about it is not going to make things better; it will actually get worse. Allow for a relationship to happen naturally instead of obsessing over it. You’ll drain yourself mentally and lose focus on what matters. Stress over the uncontrollable factors on life only leads to one thing more stress, so why put yourself through it when you don’t have to? Look away from the fact that you’re single and be grateful for the friends and family that you do have because many don’t have those at all. When struggling with loneliness, it’s best to pull yourself out of your misery and surround yourself with loved ones. Keep in mind, the energy you put out is the same energy you’ll receive. If you’re constantly down and out about being single, well, you’re going to stay single. 


  1. Get over the fear of missing out. 

A lot of us have friends and family members who are in relationships. Whether we know 

them to be good or bad, we often take things at face value and assume what we want. It’s important to know that you’ll never fully know a relationship unless you are the one in it. A couple could appear happily in love when in reality things aren’t so sweet. Feeling as if you’re missing out on something when you don’t know the full extent of the situation isn’t progressive. This only prolongs the feeling of loneliness and feeds your want for a relationship rather than distracting it. 


  1. Recognize that you aren’t alone 


Understand that you aren’t the only single person on the face of the earth. Take the initiative to spend time with friends that happen to be single. 


“I think spending the holiday season single is perfectly fine,” said HU student Kimberlee-Mykel Thompson, a sophomore from Winston Salem, NC. “Of course, it’d be nice to have a significant other for the holidays but I’m just fine without one.”


Hanging out with another person who’s in the same predicament as you makes things feel better. Plus, it’s way more enjoyable than third-wheeling! There are plenty of people who enjoy being single during the holidays. 


  1. Know that the singles are ready to mingle 


The Christmas spirit sends everyone into intense joy and celebratory moods. If you plan on attending any Christmas parties soon keep in mind that there may be other singles present as well. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and try to meet someone new. Sometimes, the best cure to being single is to just get out and mingle. Being constantly wrapped up into your own head only intensifies your lonely feelings, so let go of this mentality. 


Utilizing these steps and actively putting them into your life will help ease the pain of being single during the holidays. Keep faith that love will come along one day, but don’t let the absence of a relationship ruin your holiday season. 

Finesse the Freshman 15

Staff Writer: Kailah Lee

We’ve all heard of it. Students come to college and just lose it when it comes to their diets. It’s not a myth; it happens. However, gaining weight is not always a bad thing. Besides, some people actually want to gain weight. 

College is about the convenience. College students have busy schedules, so a quick, unhealthy meal is often the solution. Fast food is always a convenience, plus some students might not enjoy the food at the cafe. 

So how do college students enjoy food, stay in shape and save money? The answer is self-control. Sometimes we must put aside our desires for a few days a week and reward ourselves on the weekends. Technically, the cafe isn’t free, but because the money is not directly coming out of pocket, we take it for granted. 

The cafe isn’t always as bad as people make it out to be. Open yourself up to trying new foods and vegetables. Also, seasoning, in moderate amounts, can make a world of a difference.  Baked chicken can get old, but there are people in the world who would kill for bite. We are truly blessed to have what we have. If you are adamant about not eating at the cafe, at least pick healthier options when you eat out.  Refrain from ordering sodas when you eat out and just order the entree instead of the meal. If you must have a side, there are always healthier options.  

A nutritious diet isn’t the only way to avoid extra weight. Physical exercise is another key factor! Most people know that weight loss is 80 percent diet and 20 percent exercise. What health and wellness experts don’t tell you is that you can cheat a little more when you have a consistent workout routine. That doesn’t mean cancelling out your workouts by eating trash after every workout. It just means that on your cheat day, you can order the fries and Coke with that hamburger. 

It is not an easy task to balance fitness, health, and any other activities you may do with school. Try to plan your workouts around your classes/schedule. If you’re organized now, then balancing multiple activities in the future will be a piece of cake.

“I hated working out—in fact, I would have never step foot in the gym before meeting my trainer,” said Randolph Macon student, Alana Stokes. “I never had a weight problem, but I was so out of shape. I’m thankful that I decided to make a healthy change at an earlier point in my life.”

If you cannot find the discipline or motivation to workout, find a person who does. Good energy rubs off. Once you start fitting fitness into your schedule, on top of finding enjoyment in hitting the gym, you’re headed in the right direction. Don’t be shy or intimidated if the gym is new to you. Ask questions if need be. 

Remember, food is fuel and your body is the engine. Treat your temple with care.

How to deal with family over the holidays

Jordan Sheppard | Staff Writer

Thanksgiving is approaching us. With the food-laden holiday right around the corner, this signals that the holiday season is about to be in full effect.

Holiday season is a time that is jam-packed with joyful cheer and celebration. It is meant to be spent with those you cherish the most. You feast with them on Thanksgiving, show appreciation with gift exchanges in December and then celebrate the new year.

For many, the holiday season is the best part of the year, but there are many who dread it, and it is due to one common denominator: having to deal with family members.

Most people have experienced the cousin, aunt or other family members prying into their personal life, asking invasive questions and making rude comments.

Ranging from questions about your relationship status, your physical appearance and your life choices, unnecessary stress and drama can be created at a time when you are supposed to be enjoying the holidays.

For second-year college student Tynesha Smith, dealing with family who constantly cross the line adds more stress that she already has from school.

“I’m coming back home to get away from the stress of college, so bringing it up now is making me feel uncomfortable,” she said. “I’m thinking of all the work I have to do, and I’m not enjoying the break I deserve.”

So how do you handle dealing with rude comments and questions without causing an intense situation?

According to former FBI agent Joe Navarro, in his article “Ten Ways to Keep Family Members from Ruining Your Holidays,” written for Psychology Today, some of the best ways are to “set boundaries on what you will and will not tolerate” and to “recognize reality and don’t sugarcoat it.”

Navarro believes the best way to handle situations such as these is to immediately make it clear to your family what is acceptable, what is appropriate to ask and what is not.

When those lines are crossed, address the problem and try to solve it without delay, so the person’s behavior is not repeated through the rest of the night.

Other ways of dealing with it is by removing yourself from the situation or complete avoidance of those members.

“I don’t deal with them,” junior Wakeelah Bashir said. “It’s like they are not even there.”

While ignoring the existence of someone may not help a situation, it is sometimes the best action to take. The holidays should be a time to celebrate and not a time to be stressful and possibly get into an altercation with someone.

Family is your first introduction to relationships when you come into this world, and while family is blood, it does not give them a pass to behave any kind of way.

Family can have some of your best friends. They also can be the people you don’t want to be around at all.

Easy side hustles provide extra cash

Taura Kimble | Staff Writer

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Photo Credit: Flikr User: Worlds Connection


The holiday season is quickly approaching. That means it’s time to get great gifts for friends and family.

As a college student, the budget for gifts may be a little low and you may need extra money. You’re probably wondering exactly where the extra money for these gifts is going to come from. Here are some easy side hustles any college student can do to make some quick extra cash:

Rideshare/food delivery

Uber and Lyft are popular options because you can not only make your own schedule but also avoid a haggling boss and worrisome coworkers. On average, rideshare drivers make roughly $13.60 per drive they make, according to an independent study performed by The same results would apply for someone delivering food through Doordash or UberEats.

Amazon Prime driver

For students who don’t have their own personal vehicle but carry a valid driver’s license, Amazon is always hiring new drivers for their speedy prime delivery service.

With the expansion of its warehouse locations, Amazon created “prime vans” that are filled with members’ online orders and delivered right to their doors.

Creating your own schedule is easy, and the hours are flexible. Hourly pay starts at minimum wage and can increase depending upon your level of experience.

Task Rabbit

Don’t have a car or a driver’s license? No problem. Task Rabbit allows you to advertise your services for odd jobs such as organizing, being a virtual assistant or tutoring. From Task Rabbit, task seekers can locate you based on your location and what services you offer and then hire you. The best thing about this hustle is that you can make your own hours and set your hourly rate. What’s better than deciding how much money you get paid?



While this isn’t considered a job, per se, it’s the perfect option that never requires you to leave home. Poshmark is an online company that allows you to sell your gently used clothes, accessories and shoes at prices you pick. You simply take a picture of the item you want to sell and post it to your account. Super simple. Super easy. So, when you’re ready to make space for your new wardrobe, don’t waste your time going to Plato’s Closet, grab your phone and post it on Poshmark.

“I have tons of clothes, and I would definitely use Poshmark to get rid of them,” said HU student Imani Moore, a second-year journalism major from Philadelphia. “I want to get my parents something special for the holidays, so the extra money would help.”


Now while this may not make you as much money as the other options mentioned, it’s good if you want to put in minimal effort. Swagbucks is the top-rated, paid online survey app. You simply sign up and start taking surveys that the website recommends based on your gender, age and occupation. Not to worry as everything is confidential and you don’t have to use your real information. The average survey will earn you $5 and takes 15 to 20 minutes to complete.

Eating heathly during the holiday season

Leenika Belfield-Martin | Lifestyle Editor

There are two things that fill the holiday season: gifts and food.

How ironic is it that days after people stuff themselves like turkeys, they hit the gym for their New Year’s Resolution? Why wait until after the holiday season to be more conscious about our meals?

The average person gains a little over one pound around the holidays, according to a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine. While this might seem like a small amount, researchers in that same study also pointed out that people are also less likely to lose this weight after the holidays.

Here are some tips on how to avoid this extra weight during this time.

Don’t skip breakfast

For most people, breakfast does not exist on Thanksgiving Day. They instead wait for the main course of the day to dive in. Skipping meals, regardless of the occasion or day, can lead to overeating. This is because when you hold off on eating, then you have a larger appetite when it’s finally mealtime. A larger appetite then leads to piles of food on your plate, which is not ideal.

People who do eat breakfast have the tendency to make better eating choices throughout the day, according to research by Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab.

You don’t have to eat a large, sitcom-family-style breakfast, but instead try something packed with fiber.

Even if it’s something as simple as some buttered toast, it can make a big difference later in the day.

Leave some leftovers

The buffet, all-you-can-eat style of holiday meals can cause people to go a tad overboard. The rule of thumb is to wait 10 minutes after finishing your first meal before going in for a second serving. During this time, you might actually realize that you may not be able to finish that second helping of macaroni and cheese. Think of it this way: The less you eat on Thanksgiving Day or for Christmas Dinner, the more leftovers you’ll have for the new year!

Vary your veggies

Holiday meals tend to be packed with sodium, fats and starches. From the mashed potatoes and gravy to turkey and ham, the holiday kitchen table is packed with all different delectables. However, something is typically missing from the spotlight: vegetables! This year don’t skip the salad. If anything, try to grab as much non-starch vegetables as possible.

If your family typically avoids vegetable dishes at events, start a new tradition by bringing a vegetable dish this year. Some easy suggestions are sautéed Brussel sprouts, steamed carrots and cauliflower, or even a roasted sweet potato and squash soup. The possibilities are endless. Just be careful with adding extra ingredients such as cheeses and dressings.

It’s fine to indulge during Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. Just remember that the typical health rules still apply when it comes to the holidays. Challenge yourself this holiday season, and maybe the good habits you create can help you with your New Year’s resolutions!

Embracing your natural beauty

Kailah Lee | Staff Writer

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Photo Credit: Pexels User: Inimfon Ekpoh


In a world full of Instagram baddies, bundles and beat faces, being natural can come as a task.

Not only do jobs require you to look “professional” and “neat,” but so does society. It’s nearly impossible to be the real you. You would think that being natural—whether that means wearing your natural hair or just rocking a bare face—would come easy, but it doesn’t. Call it a double standard or call it unfair, but that’s just the way it has always been.

Women, particularly black women, must put their best foot forward or they’re not seen as good enough. It’s daunting but it’s a necessary evil we must often comply with to maintain comfort in our daily lives. So many women feel they always need to look their best, but little do they realize, they’re already born that way.

“One of the best feelings in the world is kicking off the heels, letting the hair down and grabbing the makeup wipes,” said HU student Dana Williams, a senior nursing major from Henrico, Virginia. “It’s just a breath of fresh air to be effortless.”

Just imagine living life as comfortably as you would in the comfort of your home. That would be a utopia, but unfortunately the world expects too much. Sometimes people fail to realize that you can, in fact, be just as presentable with a little less. We cannot change how we were born. So why is there so much demand in modifying it? It just turns into a “pick me” competition between other women. It’s so easy to compare oneself to the next, but there is only one “you,” and the faster you cherish and accept that, the happier you will be.

“I used to think that that piling on tons of makeup, straightening my hair and wearing tight-fitting clothes would land me the man of my dreams,” University of Virginia student Jenay Lynch said. “That changed when I decided to not live by anyone else’s standards and live by my own. I chose to love my natural self. I chose to be OK with me. That changed my entire perception of things.”

You can’t get up every day and decide to live for what someone else may want. You must be in tune with the real you. You are a strong independent individual, and once you recognize that, the world will be able to see that across the room.

You need to know that it’s OK to be natural outside of the office or running a few errands. Try going a day without any makeup—as natural as you can be—and write down how you feel. Who cares that your skin isn’t perfect or that you’ve had a breakout? Stop being so hard on yourself. Whoever chooses to accept you in your rawest form is who is here to stay. Let the curls down, wipe your makeup off and just own it.

Holiday giving ideas

Myeshia Barrett | Staff Writer

Screen Shot 2019-11-05 at 2.34.14 PMPhoto Credit: Flickr User Dennis Sylvester Hurd

With the holiday season sneaking up on everyone, it is important that college students focus on giving back.

Depression gets harsher when the seasons change. November and December can be very dreadful to people who have experienced things like losing loved ones or not getting gifts. Some don’t even have families to spend holidays with. To ease the pain of the seasons, here are some of the easiest ways to give back.

Canned goods drive

Most families have a grand feast for Thanksgiving. They invite the whole family over and cook big meals and throw the leftovers away.

However, not everyone can afford the huge turkey your grandma made or the expensive ham your auntie bought. Be considerate of others and take some canned goods to your local soup kitchen. Maybe even take some leftovers to your neighbors or a family in need. Get creative! Take a nice big box and place it in a popular busy area and collect can goods for the needy.

Challenge your friends to give back by donating to your canned goods drive.

Christmas caroling 

Believe it or not, performing your favorite Christmas songs for the less fortunate can make their entire holiday season better.

“You could sing songs like ‘Jingle Bells,’ ‘Silent Night,’ ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’ and even ‘Feliz Navidad,’ said Hampton University student Brandon Ballard, a sophomore from Virginia.

Christmas caroling is a holiday art and always a fun time. You don’t have to sound like Mariah Carey when you sing; simply spreading holiday cheer is enough.

Ring the bell 

The Salvation Army does a special service to volunteers for youth groups that allows people to ring a bell for donations to the needy in return for community service hours. You usually catch these people outside of grocery stores and shopping centers. You can sign up easily on the Salvation Army’s website.

Donate clothing 

Most people have clothing articles they haven’t worn in years. The holidays are all about giving, so it’s the perfect time to give up some of those old clothing items. The products you donate are cleaned and sold for almost 75% less than the original price.

“Goodwill, local thrift stores, and the Salvation Army are where I like to give my old hats and shoes,” said Hampton University student Melvin Forrest, a sophomore cybersecurity major.

This is our community; this is our would. Spread some love whenever you can.

Make the best out of the holidays.

Don’t let the holidays make you.