Who you callin CURSED?

The other week, I went to a party in Manhattan (because YOLO) and met two people who each told me interesting things about myself:

“Oh, you are cursed,” a beautiful womyn with waist length braids took my hands as she walked past. It was the most action I’ve had in months. Continue Reading

death life light yellow melanin sunlight grade21 blog

How Death Inspired Me to Live

This post isn’t about productivity, organization, or finding inspiration.

It’s a personal reflection about how someone’s death motivated me to live. I’m not writing it for you, though I hope you find something worthwhile here.

I am looking at this website, imperfect and new, and it feels like something is missing. I can’t launch this project until I fix it.

It’s missing me.

So, here I am… and here we go. Continue Reading

8 Tricks for New Thrift Shoppers (Even Macklemore Would be Impressed)

“I’m gonna pop some taaaaags!” (Thrift Shop, Macklemore)

Thrifting is an art. Perhaps even a sport. My mother would be considered a competitive thrifter – finding exquisite pieces for a fraction of the original price. She knew where all the best deals were and which stores had the most quality items.

Luckily, I picked up this penchant for thrifting. Whenever I am looking for something specific, I will price compare until the cows come home. I toggle between websites for ages, drive around from store to store and raid the sale rack. If I can get exactly what I’m looking for at a decent price, it’s worth the time.

If you just aren’t into shopping, don’t have the time, or are brand new to thrifting – I’ve got you, boo! Below are my top 10 tricks for thrifting. Do you have any thrifting tips? Comment below! Continue Reading

Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid in College (Grown Womyn Edition)

This post was requested by a special friend who is beginning college as a grown ass womyn. She wants to start off her journey on the right foot and asked for some advice. I hope my experience is helpful. If you have any additional advice for my homegirl, sound off in the comments below.

Unpopular opinion, but college is not the time for careless mistakes. Sure, oversleeping and partying too much is understandable. Taking out loans without a second thought? Avoiding office hours? All are rookie mistakes that will cost you in the long run. Trust me, I’ve made plenty of poor choices that I am still literally paying for years later. Don’t be like me, get yourself together NOW, not later. Your future self will thank you. Continue Reading

7 Money Saving Hacks (That ACTUALLY WORK)

I have saved hundreds of dollars with these little known tips and now you can too! Don’t play yourself, a little bit goes a long way. Start saving here and there and it will pay off in the long run. Do you have any other tricks that work for you?

Write a buy list

Physically write down the items you wish to buy (description, price, reason for purchase) on a piece of paper or in a notebook. It’s easy to add things to the Amazon wishlist without thinking, but something about writing it down makes it more real (similar to the argument that cash slows spending because you can feel and see it leaving your hands – it’s more real). Continue Reading

3 Simple Ways to Reclaim Your Time (Long Live Maxine Waters)

This post may include affiliate links. This means a percentage of your purchase goes back to support Grade 21!

Auntie Maxine Waters made this phrase go viral, but the concept? Old as time (get it?). We all have 24 hours in a day – even Beyonce. What you do with this time will set you apart from your peers. When you are intentional with your time, you will see major changes in your life. All of those big dreams that seem impossible will become within reach.

Related post link to why big dreaming leads to failure…

I am currently reading The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey and he says, “It’s what you do with your waking hours… that makes the difference in how productive you are”

Managing your time is not easy when you have others encroaching on your time, energy, and attention. This is why you need a few tips on how to reclaim your time and design your days that get you closer to the life of your dreams. Continue Reading

The ONE Reason You Must Self Educate (Stay Learning)

This post may include affiliate links. This means a percentage of your purchase goes back to support Grade 21!

In graduate school, I learned many life lessons (See 6 Life Lessons from Graduate School). One of the most important lessons? I am responsible for my own education. No one tells me what I should be studying or tells me how to balance work and life. I looked at what I didn’t know and set out to do better. I started to research self care… and productivity… and personal finance… and entrepreneurship. Once I learned how to teach myself, I started reading up on everything that sparks my interest. I am better for it.

(I heard Elon Musk does the same thing. Great minds think alike, amiright?)

Once I started learning, I never stopped.

I started learning about different topics, but most importantly, I learned about myself. Graduate school exacerbated my anxiety and made me physically ill, but I committed myself to working through the challenge. After years of hard work, I am on the other side. I am content. I haven’t felt depression in ages. My anxiety is under control. Dare I say… I’m happy?

It feels absurd to admit to myself, but I am happy.

I finally reached happy. Everything I thought would bring me to this state of being was an illusion. More on this in another post.

The number one reason why you should stay learning? (or ‘keep learning’, if you don’t speak AAVE.) Continue Reading