First Month of Grad School

When I came up with the title “First Month of Graduate School”, I wanted to speak on (obviously) the events that has happened, the school work, my job, the lack of sleep I’ve gotten, etc. However, the more I thought of this title the more I knew I could do more with it. Yes, school has been rough for me and it’s a huge adjustment. But that’s graduate school: the reading, the writing, the late nights, the all-nighters & then having to work and make time for my passion.

Do I love school? No, I will never love school lol. But I’m learning an enormous amount of information that will prepare me for my future, so I won’t complain about school.

I want to fully focus on me, and how I’ve been during my first month. Especially since I moved to a whole different city. My close friends knew the whole summer I couldn’t wait to move, and not to get away from everyone. But I simply just wanted something new. I craved to be in a new setting, seeking new adventures. So, I moved to Hampton and it’s only an hour and fifteen minutes away from Richmond, but it’s so different.

So, here’s a list of different things I’ve learned or either felt during my first month of graduate school:

1. I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss Richmond though, I miss the little things like Wawa. The Wawa near my house in Hampton? It’s so civilized, unlike the Wawa near my house in Richmond on Brook Road, which is not technically ghetto but depending on the time of the day it’s interesting.

2. I also miss my friends in Richmond. It’s hard being away from people you’re used to seeing all the time. I also have zero friends here, well I have one, but I have no real girl friends here, so I’m lonely and bored on the weekends I choose to stay in Hampton. I talk to people in my classes but it’s just that, in my classes. Then we live all over the tidewater area so it’s hard to make plans in a city that’s neutral for us.

– This past weekend I hung out with an old friend who I haven’t seen in about five months, which was nice and refreshing. But it probably won’t happen again.

3. Living in Hampton has taught me patience though. The drivers here are slow and I run into traffic about three times a week because I travel to Norfolk for school. I’m at the point now where I just play my music and have a mini concert in my car. Therefore, the traffic won’t put me in a terrible mood.

– I love the city of Hampton though, it’s plenty of things to do and places to explore I just must take advantage of it.

4. This past month I have constantly been taken out of my comfort zone, which is wonderful. I’ve always had this fear of speaking in front of people, no matter how many times I’ve done it. I’ve held executive board positions in undergrad and have done a million presentations but still, I’m terrified. It’s one of those fears where you know you must do it, so you do. Well because of my Graduate Assistantship on campus here at ODU, I’m beginning to become more comfortable with speaking in front of larger groups. I host workshops, class visits, and personal appointments and all of those have giving me the comfortability I need. I’m not saying my fear is completely gone, but I’m becoming more comfortable.

5. My faith is still pretty strong. That’s another thing I miss about Richmond, my church. I watch the sermons live or catch up on their app but it’s still not the same as sitting in the sanctuary. But that doesn’t interfere with my faith and relationship with God.

6. I changed my career path and goals. Well, kind of. I didn’t really change it. I just added to it. Which I’ll reveal later because a plan to accomplish everything is still in the works.

7. I wrote a piece on Black Youth Incarceration in Virginia and how they lack the proper education resources & how they are a target. It challenged me to write about a piece that’s not a memoir. I’ve never been so inspired in my life. (A huge thank you to Darryn and Maya!). But it’s one thing to write about it and not do anything about it. So, a plan to help our black youth who are in juvenile “detentions” is in motion.

8. I’ve fallen in love with goal setting: yearly, monthly, and weekly. Also, everyday I make it a point to write down five things I’m grateful for. Both keep me aligned with my goals, passion, and purpose in this life.

9. Lastly, but surely not least, I started writing my first book. I’m not telling you the synopsis of it or the title (mainly because I’m still working on a title) but just know it’s in the works. And I’m so excited to finally start working on it.


I realized, I’ve complained so much about a great number of things and instead of complaining, I need to be grateful. Things could be worse than what they are, and they aren’t. I also realized that fear and doubt can’t live in my life anymore. At one point I almost lost sight of MY goals because of my complaining, my fear, and my doubt. Never again.

This graduate school life is not easy but it will be worth it. I just have to remember the end game.

However, my biggest lesson, was to continue to pour into my passion even when I’m tired and to find motivation even when I’m going through things.

(To all of my graduate students click here to read an article I think will be very beneficial to us!)

So Happy It’s Over

Remember how I spent June living my best life? Ha, well July was completely different, I kind of spent July reflecting more than usual, getting prepared to move later this month, and daydreaming about my trip to Miami that’s next week. So basically, I spent the entire time waiting for this month to be over and between my car troubles and the unnecessary heat, I’m happy it’s August.

And even though I’m glad it’s over, there were some good things that came out of July…

  1. Being that I didn’t make any weekend trips in July, I got back on my church schedule (every Wednesday & Sunday).
  2. Grew closer to my dad.
  3. Didn’t spend a lot of money (mainly because I didn’t really have any extra to spend).
  4. Cut off people who I saw as a distraction.
  5. Did daily walks at work and sat in the sun to get out of the office (if it looks like I have a slight tan, that is why).
  6. Pushed myself harder in the gym.
  7. I attended a beautiful wedding
  8. I visited my favorite kids on the planet (even though they got on my last nerves I miss them dearly).
  9. Actually invested time into doing my hair.
  10. Last but not least, went to Orlando with my family.

So, it wasn’t as bad as I thought, but I’m still glad it’s over.


It randomly hit towards the end of the month that I’m really about to be a student again… 

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I haven’t been a student since May 5, 2018 and I haven’t stepped my foot into a classroom since May 1, 2018 (yes, I remember the date). Don’t get me wrong, I’m very excited to start school…I’m studying what I love but I’m a bit scared. I’ve been doing this adult thing for a year and three months, now I have to be a student, again. How am I supposed to do that?

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I know I’m being dramatic but adjusting to sitting in a classroom again is going to be challenging for the first two weeks, but I’ll be fine.

I would say I’ve learned a lot this month, but it’s really nothing I didn’t already know/learned the other months. Each day I’m stronger than the day before, mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially…and as stated in previous blogs some days are tough but I manage through God, friends, and family. 

I did learn two major things though…

  1. It’s never too late to change who you are. If you’re unhappy with yourself, or your choices, you have the power to change that. Just because you’ve been one way all of your life doesn’t mean you can’t change. You can fix your flaws, perfect your passion, and step out of your comfort zone. Do what YOU have to do to grow into the person YOU want to be.
  2. This was my biggest lesson learned… to look on the brighter side of things and to not let little inconveniences ruin your day. Yeah, sure inconveniences are terrible and they make you angry but you have to remember all of the great things in your life and also remember that things could be worse.                                                                      – Literally July was full of major inconveniences for me (my car troubles being the most inconvenient thing ever) but I had to remember all of the wonderful things in my life, all of the blessings God has given me. I had to stop letting that one thing ruin my entire day because why am I giving that one thing so much power? Nothing should hold that much power that it completely ruins your day. Especially if it can be fixed.

Some days will not be as good as others, because of the little things that happen throughout the day, but let’s practice the art of just having overall good days. Let’s not let the little things that happen when we wake up carry over to the afternoon. Speak positive words. Meditate. Pray. Go for a walk. Take a couple of minutes to get yourself together. Do something to help you move past that inconvenience so you can uplift yourself and continue to be that happy person.

Also, Stop saying “Today will be a bad day”, “Today is not my day”, “Nothing is going right”. Because the power of tongue is REAL, so stop speaking bad days into existence. Start saying “Today will be a good day”, “Today will be my day”, “Everything is going right” from now on. Even when something terrible happens, we will speak great things into existence and we will continue to have a good days. IMG_3385

Happy August, let make this month count.

– Briana Morris

A Nice 4 Day Weekend

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Being black in America…we do not celebrate the 4th of July, however we do celebrate having a day off (or two for some of us this year), being around family (or friends), and an abundance of food, well at least that’s what my family does. One thing about my family is that we KNOW how to come together and have a wonderful time, which is exactly what we did. Being that most of us had a 4 day weekend it was perfect! We decided to spend our 4 day weekend holiday in Kissimmee, Florida.

I technically had a 5 day weekend because my boss let me off Wednesday, but I almost went into work (thank God I didn’t because I had SO much to do Wednesday, including packing because I am such a last minute person). We hit the road Wednesday evening and arrived to Florida Thursday morning, and literally from the time I got there until the time I left I was 10.

Crazily, I was about to pass up this mini vacation to go to Midsummers (a pool party/cookout/event that happens every summer in Charlottesville, VA). After talking to my best friend I decided to cancel Midsummers and take my ass to Florida with my family. Thank God I did that because I had so much fun doing a numerous of things such as… 1. me and my cousins bonded, a lot, 2. we went to Universal Studios, I was sweating so much I felt gross but loved it at the same time, weird yeah I know, 3. We went to this place called Andretti Indoor Karting & Games, a place you can do go-karting, play in a huge arcade, bowling alley inside AND bar lol, (I also will never bowl under the influence ever again because I suck even more). and 4. We also had a pool at our house so I spent some time there as well.

Overall..I ate too much, drank too much, sweat a lot and had crazy fun.

Here are some lessons I learned from being with my family for 4 days straight:

  1. Being in the house with 25 people doesn’t feel like 25 people when we’re all scattered
  2. My support system is wonderful
  3. I don’t really like kids like I thought I did (it was about 6 little girls from ages 6-9 and they drove me insane lol) 
  4. Next time we go I’m definitely flying
  5. My back can’t handle being in the car for 10+ hours twice within 3 months lol
  6. I might drink way too much (who am I kidding, what’s drinking too much kiddos?)
  7. My cousins are the literally funniest people on the planet
  8. Brooke sucks at getting pictures of me when I need her to lmao
  9. I’m a little washed, I need naps during the day or I’ll crash early which I did…twice lmao
  10. I have the best family in the world.

Don’t take your family for granted…everyone is getting older and though we are still young, some aren’t. Love your family. Accept your family. Spend time with your family. They’re the best support system you’ll ever have (especially mine might I add, again). 

So my 4 day weekend in one word? Amazing. One of my favorite weekends of the summer (with Memorial Day weekend being the first, ha)

Ayo, It’s Really July.

02AA780F-5320-4CFE-9E47-53BBA57DAEF7-15543-00000791C7F39B52 Happy July Everyone

 

Sometimes we need a mental break from everything and everyone to get our thoughts together, kind of like a mini refresher. I wish I could say I did that in the month of June, however, if it’s one thing I didn’t do it was that. I spent June (in a way) living my best life. From celebrating family accomplishments to going out with friends in Richmond to traveling to the 757 area & visiting my friends there, I spent June just being Bri. A person who I kind of lost touch for a while and have missed dearly. I’m not saying the person who I was before June wasn’t Bri, but it wasn’t authentically me. No matter how happy I am (which is really happy might I add lol) I’m still really finding me in the process but I think everyone has that problem every now and then. 

The only downside to actually “living my best life” in June was the lack of God in my life. I mean, I continuously pray everyday, talk to God all of the time but I wasn’t doing my devotionals and church wasn’t a priority (and the saying “God knows my heart isn’t acceptable it’s just an excuse to run away from Him, trust me). So I was living my best life but I wasn’t living it through him, no matter how many times I prayed and talked to Him. Which isn’t good at all, but me and God had a long talk and we agreed that I would do so much better. I made a promise to Him.

Also, I didn’t post any blogs in the month of June, and the reasoning behind that is I’ve been having a mean writers/creative block… but was it a true block or was I just distracted? I was distracted lol. I came to the conclusion that I wasn’t really trying to get out of my block and I wasn’t really pouring into my passion like I should’ve to continue my personal growth. I was getting a little too comfortable in this “adult life” that isn’t made for creatives. The whole 9-5 Monday through Friday, off weekends, boring lifestyle? Nope not for creatives, it actually dims our light. BUT we’re supposed to find a way to still be creative in this non-creative environment, I’m still finding my way. And I promised myself that I would dedicated my time into finding that.

Overall, June was a wonderful month though, filled with family, love, new responsibilities, spending time with family, and saving. My goal for July is to not lose touch with God, no matter how busy or distracted I may get, because without him my life wouldn’t be what it is today. Because of God I live the life I want to live. I’ve ask for so much and he’s blessed me with literally everything, and for me to kind of put Him on the back-burner is kind of embarrassing.  It was something my friend Sharai said that stuck to me, she said “How can He bless me with the things I’m asking for if I can’t do what he asks” …that sentence has been on my mind heavily. So, as stated… July’s goal is to continue to live my best life BUT with God.   

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Being that July started on a Monday (start of a new month at the beginning of a new week, whew chile, is that isn’t motivation to start over I don’t know what is)…. I challenge everyone to write down your goals for the month of July. Make a list, it doesn’t have to be a long list either, and dedicated this month to achieving those goals!

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SN: Happy Birthday Darryn! 🙂

To New Beginnings.

Is it just me or has the month of May felt like last year’s January? …long. as. hell. Which I’m not trying to rush the year away but listen, this month was supposed to be over a long time ago.

However, with it being Mental Health Awareness Month I guess it just gave us all enough time to actually work on our mental health. After my blog on Mental Health, I fell into a really bad writer’s block (technically before that blog but who’s really keeping time?).

So, for me, I decided to take this long month and utilize it. And it wasn’t until this past weekend that things started to come together, mentally (and somewhat emotionally) that is. It’s like I finally put pieces to the puzzle God was giving me.

As you all know, over these last couple of months I’ve been struggling with things spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally.

  • Spiritually, I’ve grown so much about giving my problems to God, the effectiveness of speaking things into existence, understanding my passion & how it can help others, and building that relationship with Him. Currently learning how to be on God’s timing and not my own because I have the tendency of wanting to go at my own pace and cut corners.
  • Physically, I’m not where I want to be with my body goals but that one is on me and my not so great eating habits. I’m still an active gym goer but I’m not eating the right foods, which is causing everything to slim down (or buildup) except my stomach lol. (Hi my name is Briana and I’m addicted to bread). But with the help of my trainer, I stay on top of things, somewhat aha.
  • Mentally & emotionally, I was struggling in that department. (which caused my writers block). Still some days I struggle with who I am and what I want but I’m not as clueless as I once was. I’ve learned to love myself. I’ve learned that no man, friend, or family member is worth losing yourself over. I’ve learned that all of my mistakes we’re supposed to happen for this moment right here. So mentally & emotionally, I’m wonderful.

Clarity.

Like I said I had a really bad writer’s block since before my mental health blog. And Memorial Day I was inspired to write.

You ever have an idea that you KNOW isn’t a good idea but go with it anyway? I did that. And it wasn’t a good idea however, it gave me clarity and the inspiration I needed to write again.

It made me realize how happy I’ve been during the month of May (yeah, I have down moments but who doesn’t?). It was a conversation I had with an old friend; they didn’t say anything important that gave me this clarity… it was just being in their presence and having that casual conversation that did it. It made me realize that I was never actually happy and that I allowed other people to take that genuine happiness from me in a sense. The happiness I have fought so hard to get back and now that I have it back, there is no one that can take it away from me.

At this very moment in my life, I’m actually the happiest I’ve ever been. And that my emotional and mental state had to be put to the test for me to be this happy. Yeah, I’m an emotional mess sometimes but that’s because I watch waaaaay too many romance movies & thoroughly enjoy classic r&b music.

Ideally, happiness was the goal for me, it’s still the goal even though I’ve found that happiness. and I found it within myself. A true blessing. A love that no one can break. I’ve found myself. And for the first time in a very long time, I can truly say “I’m happy” without a doubt in my mind.

And with this newfound (well, not really new) happiness, I’ve decided to start from scratch. I’ve decided to start my life over, with God’s help of course. I’m giving myself a clean slate. A slate I should’ve given myself a long time ago… It’s never too late to get control over your life and it’s never too late to start over.

And as we transition into the new month, let us leave all of the hurt, anger, and negativity in May. Let June be filled with amazing new opportunities, networking, community service work, new music, new friends, traveling, love… or whatever you want it to be! Let June be the start of new beginnings.

 

 

SN: Letting go of what needed to let go was the best decision ever. Moving on is never a bad thing, but a blessing. Thank you.