My First Time at the Polls, and This is Why I Voted

This year was the first year I could vote, and I did. I’ve never been the person that openly debates issues and honestly, I didn’t understand the world around me politically. It wasn’t that I didn’t know it is important, but most things had no direct effect on my adolescent life. This past year, and well, the last two years with our new president, I began to slightly feel the impact of our government on my own life.

I am a Mexican American who is saddened by our President’s banter and ideas concerning Mexicans and Mexico. When someone like myself who has never run into a personal issue politically hears the President saying people like my sweet grandmother aren’t welcome, I suddenly run into a problem. This issue is just one of the things that caused me to want to make a change.

Another issue that confirmed my want to vote was the Oklahoma teacher strike. My dad is a Spanish teacher at Norman High school and has been for almost 20 years. Him and the rest of my wonderful, well qualified teachers deserve better pay to support their families but not just that. They deserve better pay because they are leading the future and devote their lives to it. Knowing that my dad works for the state that ranks last in funding sickened me. Teachers organized well for the most part and created awareness throughout the nation. The Oklahoma Teachers United Facebook page kept thousands of community members informed and continues to do so. I cried with my english teacher, attended the marches at the capitol, and waited patiently for November.

I am so grateful that I have the right to vote in this country. Although I could not vote in the previous presidential election, I did vote in our state election November 6th, 2018. Standing in line at 7am in the cold never felt so empowering. There was more voter participation in this Oklahoma election than any other. Despite growing division in the state and in the country, there was such a strong sense of unity at the polls. Voting for the first time was a very positive experience and taught me how important it is for my generation to be aware of what is going on locally, nationally and globally.

What Makes A Great Film?

hugh jackman dance GIF by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Movies are a huge part of American culture and some are better than others. But, what makes a movie worth watching, meaningful, and successful? There are many elements that make movies entertaining and a movie doesn’t necessarily need every element to be a good one. Comedies, romances, horror, children’s, and tragedy movies all contain one or more of these characteristics. Engaging character development, script, actors, and a good message. This is what separates a decent movie from a great movie.

For example, The Greatest Showman was a hit in 2017 and one of the greatest box office hits of all time. This movie was so successful because it contains interesting characters, script, actors and has a great message. Even with all the musical theatre which might not be a lot of viewers cup of tea, it was successful. The audience is taken on an emotional rollercoaster of light-heartedness, sadness, and beaming happiness. To watch a clip of what the greatest showman is as a whole, you can watch the song “This is Me” from the film. The spirit of the movie as a whole is shown through this song and its positivity is contagious.

Because I’m a complete Hugh Jackman fangirl, The Prestige also comes to mind when I think of great movies. “The prestige” is very different than the greatest showman and is meant for more mature audiences. It’s a science fiction thriller that emphasizes the character development element more than others. The audience is trying to figure out who exactly the characters really are and by the end, the truth is revealed. Throughout the character development, suspense is created. The message of the movie is well represented by the storyline and adds to the film also. Unlike “The Greatest Showman”, the theme of the movie is unclear till the end but works well.

These two movies that are very different in genre, theme, and style are also both great movies. The message, script, characters, actors, and character development are what makes a good movie great. Without these elements the audience wouldn’t be connected to the movie. Film is so entertaining to people because we get a change to escape our world and enter the world of someone else. If film is executed correctly, it can be life changing. Movies are objective and one person may hate a movie with high ratings and and vice versa. But, for the most part without these elements it would be hard for a movie to be successful.

College: How to Successfully Study and Stay Calm

calm down chill out GIF by Feibi McIntosh

After a little over a month into my freshman year in college, I’ve learned that the workload is much more than it was in high school. Since it’s more challenging, I had to find a way to remain calm and do well. I’ve had a few exams in the past week and I took a few steps to relieve some stress and prepare. Things like taking good notes, actually going to class, and not over studying or stressing can make a big impact on test scores. I’ve learned that being successful in school is not about going above and beyond in every class although It’s not a bad thing. How i’ve learned to be successful is to consistently put in effort and do little things to make a big difference.

My preference on exams and tests is multiple choice and short answer. No matter what form your test is in though, taking good notes will make the biggest difference. It’s a small thing to take good notes but it will make the biggest difference in your confidence and grades. Not only taking good notes but looking back on them will refresh the information and help remember it. Studying and looking at my notes throughout the day is most beneficial for me because it keeps my afternoons open for other things as well as helps me retain the information.

Keeping your priorities in line is crucial to being successful in college. Sometimes it’s hard to stay in your dorm room or go to the library when your friends are out having fun. Something that helps me stay focused is knowing that if I get my work done now, I wont stress about it later. Stress can take a toll on mental health as well as grades. I do think there is a fine line between being smart and going overboard. Research has shown that students should be getting around 8 hours of sleep a night. Sometimes that’s just not a possibility but it’s important to try and get enough rest most of the time. If you want to know more about how important rest is when it comes to school, this HUFFPOST article shows how some students made time for sleep and the positive impact it had. As much as its important to study and make school a priority, it’s also important to make time to relax and take care of yourself. If you don’t get enough sleep, or don’t nourish yourself, your studying might not reach its full potential.

Cutting Back On Spending $

white and black floral cap sleeved shirt

I am not the best at saving money and I “treat myself” too often for sure. Since I’m in college and don’t have time to work as much as before, I’ve been forced to realize where my money goes as well as how quickly it goes. I’m attempting to be smarter about how I spend my money so here are some things I’ve been doing to cut back on spending. I noticed that there are three things I spend too much money on and could avoid fairly easily. 

The number one thing I spend too much money on is food. Obviously we all need it but do we need it at the most expensive brunch restaurant in town? Sometimes. Seriously though, eating out is difficult sometimes because healthy things are almost always more expensive! So, to cut back on the unnecessary spending, I’ve been trying to eat at home when I can. I’m lucky in this way because since I’m living at home, I have this option. If you don’t live at home and feel me on this one, what are some things you do to save a little?

The second thing I spend a lot (like, a lot) of money on is CLOTHES. My boyfriend says that target is genius because they know exactly how to target people like me. He is right on that one.. Target is a weakness of mine and you can find me there way too often. Not only that but in today’s age, they make it even easier for addicts like me to spend. Online shopping?? Yes yes yes. I fill up a cart at Nordstrom Rack just to sadly exit out of the page. The way I combat this bad habit is A- Not to go to a store unless I actually need something and B- ask myself things like “Do I really need this?” and “How many times will I actually wear this?”. These questions usually make the answer clear. And that answer is NO.

The final thing I spend a big chunk of money on is my nails, hair, and facial products. I don’t spend much on these things very often, but when I do it’s a lot. Getting my nails done is one of my favorite things. I’ve limited myself on it because it tends to add up the quickest. Hair and Facial products (Skincare and Makeup) are the hardest not to spend a lot on because the best quality is usually the priciest. I don’t feel as bad knowing I spend money on products that won’t damage my hair and skin as long as it’s not too often.  

I’ll be the first to say there’s nothing wrong with splurging once in a while if you are able! However, I think there’s value in self control. Plus, cutting back on unnecessary spending is helpful in the end. I’m still going to eat overpriced brunch, buy clothes, hair, and skin products but maybe not as often as I have been.

Social Media: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

social media followers GIF by The Orchard Films

Social media is something I’ve become more passionate about the older I get. I don’t mean that I use it more or less than before, I just believe it’s sooo important how current generations and future generations use it. Five years ago, If someone asked me “do you think social media is bad or unhealthy?” I would have said “no” without a doubt. I would have said that because I was only 13 years old but also because social media isn’t what it used to be.

From my experience, social media can definitely have a negative impact on an individual. On the other hand, I truly think it’s the greatest innovation possibly of all time. Social media (especially today) has so much power or rather it gives anyone with access to it so much power. To me, that’s amazing. The hard thing about social media is finding a balance between healthy and damaging.

These are the cons of social media based on my experience. First, It has the capability to create a strange form of anxiety. I’m not an expert and I’m sure there’s a scientific reason for this but something about constantly (I mean CONSTANTLY) seeing what other people’s ~glorified~ lives looks like creates anxiety. This doesn’t happen to everyone but surely I’m not the only person who’s experienced this phenomenon. Comparison is almost impossible not to do when you’re on social media and maybe that plays a part in the anxiousness it creates.

This is mostly dangerous for the younger generations. Although the effects of social media can affect anyone, older generations weren’t born into the era and they usually aren’t as exposed to it therefore its impact isn’t as great. I also see social media taking a part in depression.

A lot of times, anxiety and depression go hand in hand but not all the time. Studies have shown that negative social media experiences are linked to depression as seen in this USN article. For these reasons and so many more, I strongly think that we should regulate our social media intake or at least make sure our intake is healthy.

Even after thinking about the negative effects that social media can have, I still think the pros outweigh the cons. The way social media can unite people and inform the public is extremely moving. Whether it’s through hashtags activism like #metoo, #bringbackourgirls, #alsicebucketchallenge, #Ferguson, #prayfor____, or just instant access to world news, Social media can unite.

Some say that social media is part of why the world is so divided and I can agree with that. But, I also believe that if it has the power to divide, people have the power to use it in a way to unite. Users need to educate themselves and be careful what they put out there so that it’s full positive potential can be shown.

I encourage you not to believe the first thing you see on the internet but to do your own research and tell others to do the same. Part of the reason why I’m going into media is because I want to learn more about how to make social media a tool instead of an issue. The internet and social media aren’t going anywhere so It’s our job to equip ourselves and others on how to handle it!


College: Staying Concentrated, Calm, and Collected


I’m almost one month into college and the time is absolutely flying by. These past few weeks have taught me so much not just academically but about myself. More specifically my work ethic. I want to share some tips and ideas that i’ve been trying my best to stick with so that I don’t feel super overwhelmed with the workload.

Most people going into their first year of college from high school will start to feel the weight of all the work build up. My wake up call came when in the first week of school I already had hours of reading to do. Balancing being a full time student while maintaining a social life can be a struggle. Add a part time or full time job to that mix and you can have a full blown mess (not even including family obligations, clubs and organizations, etc.).

Even if you’re not the type of person to carry around a planner with highlighters, sticky notes, and multi-colored pens; you should have a system of organization. As students, due dates and deadlines are all over the place so I can’t imagine relying on your memory to keep things in order.

These are 3 tips and ideas that could reduce the amount of stress you feel throughout the semester. I’m not a study expert or the ideal student by ANY means. I do know that so far, I’ve found comfort in these things and maybe you will too.

#1- Priorities

Keeping your priorities in line is the first step to success. Without priorities, you might commit to too many things and not reach your full potential in any of them. It’s a struggle sometimes when there’s something much more fun going on and you’re in your room doing homework or at work. One way of thinking about it is that your priority should always be the thing that could potentially cause the most stress. Say a paper is due on Wednesday, don’t put it off because you’ll just end up stressing! I’m definitely preaching to myself on this one but its important and something i’m working on.

#2- Take time to relax 

Taking the time to unwind is so healthy. When we don’t take time to relax and refresh is when the anxieties begin to creep in. I’ve found that finding a relaxing, quiet place on campus in between classes is helpful. Even if you are studying or doing homework, being alone in a quiet space works wonders. Another way I unwind is spending time with my family. If you have family nearby, spending time with them can really take your mind off of school or whatever else is going on. If you don’t have family that lives close enough to visit, give someone a call and tell them how you’re doing. Lastly, Exercising is such a great stress reliever… if you’re into that. If not, I encourage you to try it even if that just means going on a walk.

#3- Its the little things!

Small things like taking quality notes, putting things in your calendar, leaving yourself enough time to get from one place to another, and going to class usually make the biggest difference. To be a successful student doesn’t mean you need to go above and beyond and try to outshine everyone else or do a bunch of extra work. The little things that seem obvious make the biggest impact if you are consistent.

How I Deal With My Acne


The red bumps that weren’t there the night before and miraculously appear in the morning… Acne is not fun and it happens to the best of us. It’s natural, but causes issues that I believe can be pretty serious for some people. Some go through a small stage of acne then it doesn’t come back. Some people get a couple zits here and there. Some people (like me) cannot remember the last time their skin wasn’t broken out. I’m talking years.. About 6 actually.

According to the Colorado springs Dermatology Clinic, around 85% of people age 12-24 experience at least a minor form of acne. It can be embarrassing and a struggle for males and females alike. So the question is… How in the world do I fix it?

The answer is sad but true, you probably can’t fully fix it until your body grows out of it. Not to say that there aren’t things that help though. In my experience, doctors can prescribe pills and creams and cleansers and scrubs but for some people it will just come back as soon as you stop using those things.

The Hard part about acne is learning how to balance your effort to cure it and your self love. There is nothing wrong with not wanting it, trying every product you can find, and possibly seeing a professional. I believe that when you start looking in the mirror and hating what you see, you need to come to the conclusion that you’re beautifully and wonderfully made and acne doesn’t have the power to change that. It’s a process to reach this mindset- I know because I’m trying. It’s hard and sometimes I can’t help breaking down and complaining. It’s in those times that my loved ones remind me they don’t even see those “flaws” when they look at me. This goes to show that a lot of the time we are way too harsh on ourselves. I’m lucky to have people to encourage me with this but I wanted to share a little bit of encouragement with you guys. Everyone needs it at some point or another!

Like I said, if you have moderate to severe acne, over the counter products might not get rid of your breakouts. On the other hand, there are some products I’ve used and seen noticeable improvements.

Three products I have used for a while and got positive results:

#1- Thayers Witch Hazel Toner

I love this product and definitely see a noticeable difference in my skin since using it. It thoroughly removes makeup and dirt from skin and is all natural. To use it i just put some on a cotton ball and gently wipe away residue from the day.


Guys. This is so important. I used to have the false idea in my head that

 moisturizer would just make my skin oily but that’s a myth! There are times that call more lighters products and times for heavier products though. For the hot days I use Peter Thomas Roth “Water Drench”. This is pricy but a little bit goes a long way and leaves your skin feeling amazing. For the winter months I use CeraVe Moisturizing Cream because I have very dry skin in the winter. If you don’t, this product might be too heavy for you.

#3- Oil Cleansers

There are so many options for oil cleansing but I am loving this trend. I suggest researching what oil is best for you because there are so many options and so many I haven’t tried yet. There are also a lot of tutorials on how to oil cleanse. I love this method because of how clean it leaves my skin but also how nourished it feels afterwards.

If you have any products you think I should try or if you’ve used any of these and want to share your results, comment below!

Starbucks Joins the Anti-Straw Movement, And So Did I


As a college student, Starbucks has become a weekly expense. Us students get excited about things like pumpkin spice lattes and seasonal cup designs despite the high cost. That being said, Starbucks announced a change that will fully take place in 2020. This change is in regard to a controversial topic in recent news. Plastic straws, no straws, or straw alternatives?

Oceanconservancy.Org is showing that straws are among the top 10 items found in the ocean and on coast lines-endangering ocean life. The thought that someones straw could end up stuck in the nose of whale has sparked interest in using reusable straws. Starbucks got innovative and eliminated straws completely so of course many people are following their lead. This movement has picked up and now people are wondering, “where do I buy a reusable straw?”, “is this practical?”, and “what kind should I use?”.

Companies have started selling straws made of different materials and its up to your personal preference which you choose. Stainless steel straws are low maintenance and durable but they are temperature sensitive. There are also horror stories of Stainless steal straws chipping teeth so take that into consideration. Silicone requires more cleaning because of mold buildup but aren’t temperature sensitive. Glass straws are obviously less practical because of how fragile they are but they look nice. Bamboo is another popular option if you don’t mind the wood look.

I have recently purchased the stainless steel option from amazon for around $10. So far I don’t mind the switch. The only downside is remembering to take them out of my purse and clean them. I’m going to knock on wood and hope I don’t chip a tooth. I don’t know how much of an impact I’m making on the environment but it makes me feel good knowing i’m doing my part.

Starbuck GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

What are your thoughts and experiences with plastic straw alternatives? Feel free to leave a reply!

Click the hyperlink below to find the straws I use!

Amazon: Stainless Steal Straws