Featured

Views from North Carolina

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This passed weekend, I had the privilege of joining nine of my friends on an incredible trip to North Carolina. We stayed in a lovely cabin located up in the mountains of  Tuckaseegee, where we busied ourselves with a variety of interesting and worthwhile activities. This post serves to provide a brief overview of our journey altogether. I will be giving more detailed accounts of our trip within the upcoming week, just so that you all can get a taste of the experience that I and my friends had. Until then, here are some highlights from our weekend adventure. All photos depicted here are mine!


Day 1: From Tallahassee, to Tallulah, to Tuckaseegee

On our first day, we loaded up three cars and departed from Tallahassee at around noon. It was Friday July 22nd, and the excitement was so real that it was almost tangible. The eight hour drive would be a grueling one, however that was not a concern at all. We traveled through Georgia where we eventually reached Tallulah Falls. Realizing where we were, I urged tour driver to take a small detour so that we could see the gorge in all of its beauty. Upon arrival, I lead my friends down the trail leading to the famous stairs which lead into the gorge’s base. We descended 375 steps down until we reach the beautiful suspension bridge overlooking the 96ft Hurricane Falls. We crossed nervously, then proceeded downward another 200 steps before reaching the base of the falls. It was a beautiful site to behold. Although I had been here before, I was receiving a renewed experience. The last time I visited this place was in February, so this was my first time seeing the flowers bloomed and the trees covered in green. We eventually made the perilous journey back to the top of the gorge, before continuing on to our destination in North Carolina.

Tallulah Falls Trail is a moderate hiking trail. Be sure to prepare yourself both mentally and physically before you try and make your way through the area. Our group was moderately in shape, however we were not prepared for the intensity of the hike at all. Be safe, be smart, and stay hydrated!

We finally reached the cabin late into the night, where we took time to get ourselves comfortable before starting our next day.


Day 2: Bryson City and Deep Creek Tubing

On day two of the trip, many of us woke up at around 7:00 am to watch the sunrise. We gathered all around on the dock behind the cabin, which sits on a lake. The morning air was crisp, yet comfy, and we all sat down and soaked in the calming aura surrounding us. We planned out our excursions for the day, and prepared to move on to Bryson City, North Carolina where we would be tubing at Deep Creek. The drive took about an hour from the cabin, and as we neared our destination, I felt an immense feeling of joy. I had only gone tubing once before near Tallahassee at a place known as Bear Paw, so I was ready to see just how the two rivers compared.

We arrived at Deep Creek at around 11:00 am, just before the afternoon crowd hit. If you have never gone tubing before, I highly suggest coming here. There are various stations where you can rent your tubes (prices increase as you travel closer to the river). We paid $5 each for our tubes, which is a fairly decent price given the size of the tubes as well!

We hiked up the trail leading to the top of the river. Winding up the mountain, we were able to look below and observe the locals as they traveled down the current. We reached the top of the area, and proceeded to enter the cold water. I left my phone near the car, as we went up, but I can assure you that the sight was beautiful indeed! We launched ourselves down the river, and the fun ensued.

Water shoes are highly encouraged when you tackle Deep Creek. Although not 100% necessary, there are plenty of rocks in the water, and you wouldn’t want to accidentally hurt yourself on sharp edges! I bought a pair for $5 at Walmart! An investment that was well worth it. 

The currents were strong as we were whirled around the river. There were plenty of currents, drops, and bumps, that kept the ride really exciting! This definitely was not a lazy river, and I was reminded as I was hurled into the waters. When we were done, we were all exhausted, yet satisfied.I highly recommend a visit to Deep Creek if you ever get the chance.

Tips for Deep Creek:

  1. Bring water shoes
  2. Leave all loose valuables in the car! (yes this includes your phone and car keys!)
  3. Bring dry clothes and a towel for when you’re done!
  4. Don’t stand up! (the currents will take you away!)
  5. LITERALLY DO NOT STAND UP! (some spots of the river are incredibly deeper than others!)
  6. Make your body as flat as possible (it’ll make the process easier, trust me)
  7. Watch out for large rocks!
  8. Paddle when necessary!
  9. HAVE FUN!

Day 3 in Asheville

On our third day, we didn’t wake up as early as planned, which was fine. We wanted to go to Sliding Rock, so we hurried and got dressed and went on our way. We decided to take a more scenic route to the location, so we traveled along Blue Ridge Mountains. Seeing the mountains go by as we drove along, really set the tone for the day. Being from Florida, this was an almighty site for me. As we drove deeper and deeper into the mountains, the urge to stop overtook us so we decided to park at several overlooks along the way. We eventually reached the highest point, where we again stopped to take pictures and explore the area. There were many people sightseeing around us, and we couldn’t help but scurry around trying to find the perfect view. We eventually were satisfied with our time there, so we continued on to Sliding Rock, where we were greeted by a large crowd.

It was a Sunday afternoon, and the area was packed with people of various demographics. We pushed our way around the crowd, set our stuff down, and began to walk around the immediate environment. Again, I wish I had my phone on me, but I was too nervous about getting it damaged, so I left it. We walked to a restricted area, where a sign was on display reading “Do not enter”. Of course we ignored this sign and continued on to discover what lay beyond, and after slipping, falling, and stumbling along the slippery rocks, we were welcomed by this beautiful open area surrounded by large trees. There was what I can only describe as a “mini Sliding Rock” which let off into a shallow pool. There were children playing with their parents, and I was taken back by how gorgeous everything was. I felt a childlike energy overcome me as I slid down the rock and into the water below. It sure was a thrilling time!

After practicing here a few more times, we decided to turn back and tackle the big rock located at the main area. Unfortunately, right as we were nearing the rock, a crack of thunder was heard so the lifeguards evacuated everyone. We didn’t get to slide down large stone, but that didn’t stop me from getting a great photo! Soon after, we left the scene and headed to Asheville, North Carolina, where my heart still roams.

Arriving in Asheville, I was immediately in love with the certain aesthetic of the architecture, the sounds, and the people. I felt as though this was a place that I could call home one day. We decided to get dinner at this wonderful restaurant called Mayfel’s. We entered the eatery through the back kitchen entrance, after finding a staircase leading to an outside bar. The inside of the restaurant had a calming essence, and the service was unparalleled to anything that I’ve experienced before. The food itself was fantastic as well. I ordered a burger with fried egg and bacon, and fell in love instantly. We all left great tips after eating our fill.

After dinner, we decided that it would be best to just wander around the city, entering any shops that may catch our interest. The boutiques, galleries, the street performers, etc. were all very pleasing to the eye. If I had the money, I could spend hours there just looking at shops and purchasing items that I really don’t need. The people were all very friendly, and there was music flooding the streets at every turn. We remained in Asheville until the sun set, and when we departed, I promised myself that I would be back soon enough.

We returned to the cabin, sore and tire from the day’s activities and went to bed. We’d be leaving to return to Florida in the morning, so we all needed to rest. I went to bed sad that the adventure was over, but happy that I had the chance to have such a great time with some great friends.


As I mentioned earlier in this post, I will be updating you all on some more of the specific details of the trip soon. I said that this was going to be a brief post, but clearly I got carried away! Please tune in next time for an update, and I hope to hear from you all soon!

 

If you want to stay up to date with the happenings in my life, feel free to follow my Instagram! The link to my account is here, and I update daily! I will also be linking the websites to all of the places that I visited while on this trip, so please feel free to check those out as well! Thanks for reading, and I hope you all have a pleasant day!

 

Little Walks

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

With recent events in the news, I noticed that I started feeling an overwhelming amount of stress and anxiety. I began feeling really pressured, and I knew that I needed a few days to get my mind back on the right track. With that being said, I decided to go for little walks around campus and to a favorite spot of mine so that I could clear my head. As a kid, I used to always love wandering about outside and admiring my surroundings. I was always so amused by the little things that caught my eye, and as a 20 year old college student I can say that nothing has changed. I started my walk on Landis Green (FSU’s large grassy area) where I began walking towards the west side of campus. It was the early morning, so the sunlight was starting to peek from behind the trees. I walked and walked until I cam across a group of cute flowers near one of the statues, and I stopped to take a picture. Continuing on, I decided that I wanted to enjoy some coffee, so I walked towards Dirac Library so that I could get my usual Starbucks order.

The outside deck of Dirac was recently redone this passed year, so it’s now a really pleasant open area that is very scenic. I figured that it was time for yet another shot, so I tool out my camera and went at it. Upon walking into the coffee shop, I was greeted with a lively “Welcome to Starbucks!” from the team of Baristas, and it made me feel a little happy. Although they say that same line to everyone, there’s something in the way that they say it that makes a person really feel as thought they’re wanted in that space. I ordered my caramel latte, and they also gave me a free one since there was a miscommunication with my order. I sat down in the back of the store and started listening to music. I was enjoying this time to myself because of the calm environment, and because it gave me a chance to really forget about all the things that were worrying me at the time. I’ve noticed that I always tend to feel really calm in coffee shops, so I might do a coffee shop revue in the near future so keep your eyes out!

After finishing my latte, I gathered my things and headed towards the door. I decided that I wanted to do some more exploring, so I started to head back to the east side of campus. Walking in a slightly different path than which I originally came,  I watched as campus was beginning to show signs of life. I saw students jogging with their dogs, long boarders, a family touring the campus, and I watched as a young guy taught a woman how to download and play this new game called “Pokemon Go!”

Continuing my stroll, I ended up walking to an area known as College Town, which is filled with restaurants, clubs, and apartments. During the night there is typically an older crowd of students attending, however during the day the demographic is a little more mixed. I walked passed a restaurant known as Cantina, which features an outside bar area. There’s a nice walkway that leads towards the back of the establishment, where I took another photo. I remembered that Urban Outfitters had just opened up, so I ventured over to see what types of things were going on, and how much money I’d end up inadvertently spending.

Urban Outfitters is always a very fun trip for me. I take enjoyment in looking at all of the merchandise and really being able to immerse myself in the calming setting of the store. I ended up purchasing a new pair of socks, and a hat before I took my leave. Walking back to my room I remember feeling really good about myself, and being ready to tackle whatever life throws at me next.


Remember that both your mental and emotional wellness are both very important components to your everyday life. If you ever feel stressed, tired, upset, or angsty, please try and do an activity to take your mind off of whatever it is that is making you uneasy. For me, I go on walks and take photos. For you, it might dancing, or cooking, or running. Find whatever it is that can make the difference in your mood, and learn how to adapt it into your daily routine. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll be in finding your relief.

If you have any comments or suggestions, feel free to drop a comment below! I’d be thrilled to read about all the ways everyone de-stresses! 

 

Life Hacks For The Ambitious Procrastinator

For anyone who knows me well enough, I am a person who has a lot of ideas, and goals. I’m the type of person who can come up with an elaborate strategy, and know how to execute it with little to no discrepancies, and I can also make quick decisions if a plan isn’t going exactly as originally predicted. For those of you who really know me, you’d know that I can often be lazy, unwilling, or generally too tired to really get going on a project. Those two behaviors sound very contradictory, however these are aspects of myself that make me who I am. As someone who loves to take on any new challenge, it can be pretty disheartening when I find myself losing motivation or dedication to a task. It can lead to a lot of self-deprecating behaviors that only hinder any further progress. With that being said, I figured that it was about time that I stopped with the laziness and started finding my drive again. In order to do so, I created some life hacks to help anyone who feels as though they’re stuck at a standstill. This post is being generated for anyone who has the mindset of a high achiever, but the habits of a sloth. I know these tips have helped me, so I hope that they help you all too!


Write it all down!

One thing that has definitely helped me so far is writing all of my goals on paper. I’m the type of person who comes up with a lot of different plans of action and ideas to the point where it can seem a bit overwhelming. When one feels overwhelmed, they are more likely to put off their project for later, rather than buckle down and get to work. When you write it down, you can then easily sort out all of your goals in a way that makes sense to you! Once that is done, your ideas will seem more realistic and manageable!

Turn theory into reality!

One of the biggest pitfalls of goal setting is getting too caught up in the hypotheticals instead of going out and taking action. Although it is good to plan and talk about your ideas, it is also important for you all to be able to change these plans into something tangible. A good way to do this, is to add imagery to your work. Get connected, get the conversation going, use pictures, travel, etc. Once your ideas become more than just words in your head, it can be easier to comfortable move towards your desired end result. Use this tip in tandem with writing it all down. Break your vision down into smaller milestones that are easier to reach. It’ll keep the momentum going, and make the impossible feel possible! The more real your vision is, the easier it is to attain. (This doesn’t mean limit yourself or your ideas, all I’m saying is to break your goals into smaller pieces that lead up to the big picture)

Talk it out!

We all need a little reassurance every now and again to keep the ball going. Once you start working towards your goal, you may encounter moments where you’ll feel as though progress isn’t being made. You’ll probably think that your idea wasn’t as good as you thought it was, which will cause you to lose energy and motivation. When this happens, know that talking it out to the people around you can really help to get your mind back on track. I have personal experience with this one, where I felt like what I wanted to do was just a waste of time. It wasn’t until I talked it out with multiple people that I realized that I wanted to do was something worth fighting for. You never know much people support your voice until it’s spoken.

Rediscover why you did this!

Sometimes when you’re working towards a goal, it is very easy to get caught up and forget the reason why you started working in the first place. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What’s your passion?
  2. Why are you doing this?
  3. What results do you want to see?
  4. What do you want to change?
  5. What inspired you to start this?

Finding the answers to these questions may very well reignite the fire you had before! It’ll bring a new freshness that’ll allow you to devote more energy to your tasks, and it’ll provide you with a focused mindset similar to the one that you had before.


 

Overall, it is very important to be able to always continue being able to reach for your goals. Experiencing feelings of exhaustion, stress, and worry are very natural processes, however if you can work on the steps above, you should be able to relocate your ambition to obtain the results you’ve always wanted to see!

If you have any tips or additions, feel free to leave them in the comments below! These are just things that have personally helped me out in times where I felt lethargic or unmotivated. Now get out there, and make those dreams come true!

Thanks for reading, everyone!

 

Early this morning, I received a phone call from my mother. She asked me about my night and was wondering if there was anything that I needed from her, or if there was anything in particular that I wanted to talk about. Having just woken up, I was still kind of disoriented and unsure of what exactly was even going on, but I told her that all was well that that I had a great time last night just hanging with friends. My mother was on her way to work, so she didn’t have a lot of time to talk, but she made a point to bring up a comment that my younger brother had made the night before. See, I have three siblings in total where I am the oldest at 20 years old, and my brother is the youngest, being 10 years old. My sisters are aged 19 and 16 so they’re spending a lot of their time tending to their own manners as well, so my brother often feels a bit lonely. I try to make the effort to speak with him as much as I can, but with my job and school, it can be very hard to find the time. My brother is naturally a very charismatic and optimistic human being. I think that emotionally and mentally he is quite mature for his age, which is very impressive considering he hasn’t had much of an opportunity to travel or experience as many things as I did growing up. My mother was telling me that last night, my brother went to her room to talk about how much he missed me already. Although I’ve only been gone for two weeks, I only ever really come home about 6 weeks out of the year, so the time that I have with my family is very minimal. My brother expressed his concerns and told my mother that he wished that I was home with all of my rainbow brothers so that we could be one big happy family.

When hearing those words, my mother was taken back. Her immediate thought was that my brother was someone referencing the fact that I am bisexual, and she was unsure on how he found out that information, and she was worried because she did not know how to start that type of conversation. Eventually, my mom collected her thoughts and asked my brother what he meant, and he started to further explain. He was admiring the fact that my group of friends here at Florida State are incredible diverse. As someone who hasn’t had the opportunity to experience anything besides other black people and white people, he was interested in knowing about the backgrounds that my friends share. In his eyes, since these people are my friends, he considers them his family too. Thinking more on the subject, I started to understand that the negative behaviors and mannerisms that we’ve grown so accustomed to, are in fact attitudes that are learned. The racist slurs, misogyny, and marginalization of identities are all principles that are not necessarily inherent.

With this being said, I want to pose a challenge to you all. I want you all to try your hardest to learn about the different ways in which language can harm not just those who are being oppressed, but how your language can hinder the social intelligence of our young children. In order to eliminate the increasing levels of hatred, we need to educate our youth and teach them to appreciate the complex differences that we all encompass as humans. We need to be able to establish an atmosphere that functions as both a safe space and a brave space, and we need to be able to harbor feelings that empower everyone, and not just the selected and privileged few.

A Day In The Life

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

With the first week of classes reaching an end, I wanted to share with you all some photos taken as I gallivanted across campus and throughout Tallahassee. We experienced a lot of rain this week (unsurprisingly) so campus had a particularly gloomy, yet calming aura to it. There were plentiful things to see as I aimlessly walked to class in the early morning, which really started to pique my interest further. Florida State is known to have a really beautiful campus filled with a variety of plant life. This particular aesthetic is one of my favorite things about FSU, and with the rains coming in, it felt as though all of the vegetation was revitalized with a new freshness. The vibrant hues created contrasts that left me awestruck. (This is probably why I was almost late to class to be completely honest.)

Later that day, I went to the Railroad Square district located on Gaines street. We have a monthly event here called “First Friday” which features live music, local vendors, food trucks, and other incentives. As you have probably guessed, it occurs on the first Friday of every month, and it usually generates a large turnout. Being in this area of Tallahassee really makes me feel right at home. The quirky environment, and whimsical demographic of people really helps to illustrate a more exuberant personality of the city that often goes unnoticed. If you are ever in town, you must experience this fun-filled event!

Greetings from Gilchrist

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Recently, I had moved into my Residence Hall for the Summer C and Fall semesters. Gilchrist Hall is Residence Hall located on Florida State University’s main campus in Tallahassee, FL. As a Resident Assistant, I had the chance to move in a week before the incoming freshmen students arrived so that I could assist in building preparations for move in day. The photos represented in this gallery provide a glimpse into how I personally adjusted into the new environment, and how I am slowly beginning to consider this place my home.

The first image is of my desk space, where I have set up some of my favorite trinkets. The space is much larger than the one I had last year, So I was particularly excited upon discovering it. You can really gain a lot of information in regards to my personality, values, and interests just by glancing at it, which fully encompasses what I wanted to accomplish. It took me a while, but I am happy to say that I have established my own aesthetic, which really helps in making me feel more comfortable.

 

The Site of the Orlando Shooting Wasn’t Just a Gay Nightclub. It Was My Safe Haven. — Discover

“Pulse became the place where my best friends learned to be themselves. . . . Pulse was where I learned to love myself as a gay man. Pulse was where I learned to love my community.” Daniel Leon-Davis reflects on Pulse as a haven for LGBTQ individuals in Orlando, Florida.

via The Site of the Orlando Shooting Wasn’t Just a Gay Nightclub. It Was My Safe Haven. — Discover