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The Poet Within Me

Poems in Life, Mistakes, and Learning the Difference

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One Year Down At My First Big Girl Job, And It Had Its Challenges…

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Today officially marks one year since I began my first “big girl” job as a college graduate. Needless to say, there were many things I learned in this first year, and many challenges I faced. As I reflect back, there were absolutely a ton of things I wished I had known or done differently to make my transition a little easier. I began my job assuming that it would be like any other new job or internship I held in previous years. In many ways, UNC did prepare me to enter the real world, but in several others, there was a lot more ‘adulting’ I had to learn to do.

My attitude, for starters, had to go. I don’t think I have a bad attitude problem, but I also never cared about a job enough to feel the need to constantly check it. Having a full time job can be stressful and exhausting. Save for the very few people who seem to always be in good spirits, everyone comes in some days in a bad mood. When you’re the new employee, however, everyone is watching everything you do, consistently evaluating if you were truly a good fit for the company.
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1 Year A Graduate – Here are my top 10 best experiences at UNC Chapel Hill

A Letter to the best university in the world…

Carolina, my priceless gem, you have given me the experience of a lifetime. I have worked hard. I have persevered. I have succeeded. I have failed. I have cried just as hard from laughter as I have from sadness. I made countless mistakes and caught even more lucky breaks. I have rhymed haha. I’ve gone through loss and heartbreak. I’ve found love and friendship. I learned how to be unapologetically black; learned that being a proud brown woman is nothing to be sorry about. I began to learn how to think for myself. We worked together and grew together. We both have a long way to go. But you, Carolina, UNC Chapel Hill, have given me things that no other college or experience could have- a chance to call myself a Tar Heel and make my place in your history- and for that I am eternally grateful. So I thank you for these 4 years and giving me the opportunity to take this journey with you.

– Alicia Joy McDowell, class of 2016

1. Ebony Readers/Onyx Theater (EROT)

I can’t say enough about my EROT family. I never thought I was talented enough to perform my poetry on stage. EROT gave me the confidence to use my voice as a platform and the space to develop my writing. I learned so much about myself and I formed lifelong friendships. EEROOTTT!

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5 Privileges I Acknowledge as a Black Woman

It has been a while since I have made a blog post because my heart and mind have been consumed in the recent happenings around the country concerning police brutality and the black lives matter movement. There is no blog post I can write that will say anything different from what many of my black brothers and sisters have been feeling, so I have avoided those topics, however, I did want to take an opportunity to make one about privilege. As activists, organizers, and protestors, we usually can very easily call out White Privilege and thoroughly explain how it applies to every situation. I think it is also important that we remember our own privilege in the process. When I took the time to think about each privilege I have, I had to fight the urge to reject each one. I think black women continue to be the most rejected and disrespected people in the U.S. However, in order to understand the experiences of others and to continue to effectively explain how White Privilege works, I needed some self-reflection.

 

 

1) Able-Bodied Privilege

 

I have no mental or physical disabilities that affect my quality of life. Disabled people live in a society where they must constantly be on the lookout for ADA compliance. This is one privilege that I realize can be taken away at any moment.

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You Have To Be Twice As Good to Get Half As Much, Even When Your Boss is Black

Two months ago, I started my first big girl job. Fresh out of college and ready to face the challenges this new transition would throw at me, I could not wait to get started. Before I interviewed with the company I would eventually accept a position for, I did my research by searching their website. As I scrolled through the “Leadership Team” page, an impressed grin spread across my face; the CEO (a woman) and COO (younger man) were both black. Lit.

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Hollywood’s Slow Acceptance of Dark Skinned Women

First of all, let me make this clear. I love having discussions about colorism. This is mainly because most people try to act like it’s not an issue, and unfortunately, those people are usually black. For every post about society’s disdain for darker skinned women, there are a pair of eyes rolling and counterarguments dismissing the complaint as black women being too sensitive. Honestly, I almost get it. The black community is fighting hard enough to get non-stereotypical representation in the media at all. Chocolate women need to wait their turn. Right?

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Moving to Florida as a College Grad

It has been almost two months since I packed all my belongings in 2 cars and moved to Tampa, FL. I was extremely blessed to receive a job offer straight out of college and even more excited to be moving to FLORIDA, where the sun is always shining and the old retiree’s are always smiling…or so I thought. I knew that although Florida is technically in the South, it’s not really a Southern state per se. I can’t say I was too sad to leave North Carolina (given the rising amount of L’s the state is currently taking) but I was a little apprehensive to leave a culture I was all too familiar with. Since I have been here, there are definitely some major things I have learned about living in Central Florida. If you are young, Black, and thinking of moving here too, here are 8 things I’ve learned as a new resident of Florida:

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My advice to students who broke the College Do’s and Don’ts

For many of you college students, fall semester is quickly approaching. Pretty soon, you will be swept up in the mania of stress inducing syllabi, Tequila Tuesdays, gossip, and begging professors for extra points. For freshmen, college can be an exciting and scary time. If you were like me, you snagged every opportunity to read endless listicles of College Do’s and Don’ts and grab every piece of advice out there. I was determined to avoid embarrassment and mistakes at all costs.
However, truth is college is all about making mistakes. If you are also hardheaded like me, you will make plenty of them. Whether you are a senior who has done these things for the 10th time or a freshman finding yourself in your first undesirable situation, here is my advice when you have broken these do’s and don’ts that you have been warned about.
SN: I always write with women in mind but these can definitely apply to men too!

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Defining the Carefree Black Girl

Faux Locs or Curly Afro?….Check

Bold Lipsticks?….Check

Flowy Dresses?….A Few

Septum Piercing?…Ehh

Endless Flower Snapchat Filter Selfies?…Ummm

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