Every morning at 9 a.m., my phone goes off and a notification lights up my screen, prompting me to open it and read my daily inspirational message. Some days I’m eagerly waiting to see what the quote is, while other days my hectic morning has moved the thought to the back of my mind.

It was one of those particular mornings. I was in a bad mood, tired, and waiting for my coffee to kick in. I was emotional from lack of sleep and an overwhelming amount of stress. Balancing college classes, homework, work, social life, and family time was getting harder and harder every day. I was slowly sinking into a dark mood and putting my personal needs to the back burner.

I was hanging out at my pity party and the last thing I wanted to do was read some cheesy, inspirational quote about how great my life was or how thankful I should be. Especially when I felt like all my problems were piling up at once, and stacking themselves against the never ending list of “to-do’s”.

But, low and behold, it wasn’t some cheesy quote a teenage girl came up with; it was exactly what I needed to read at exactly the right time.

“Scar tissue is stronger than regular tissue. Realize the strength, move on.” – Henry Rollins

I read it a few times before it really sank in. Something that was so black and white captured so many different shades of grey. The twelve words held so much density and meaning. Henry Rollins was a man of words and knew just how to put you in “the feels”.

Every single living thing on this earth is scarred in one way or another. Whether they are physically seen or internally felt, they are there. Each one of us is branded by the life we have lived and the circumstances we have faced. The scars display our growth and change. They are reminders of things we should not repeat. They are trophies won from the challenges we have overcome. They are the small flicker of light that we look to on our gloomy days. They are momentum from the blows we have bounced back from. They are armor that shows we have fought and waged wars. They are proof that when we are knocked down, we still pick ourselves up and say, “Is that all you’ve got?” They have molded us into the people we are today, regardless of the journey or how long it took us to get here. Our individual scars are what set us apart and make us unique from one person to the next. And even though we may go through similar experiences, each one of us is marked differently than the other.

Every wound has healed as a new layer that protects us from the next blow. We have these scars as proof that we are human and to remind us that we are not invincible. That even though our bodies can be bruised and beaten, we are still strong and resilient. Life may have thrown punches and knocked us to the ground, but we sure as hell kicked and screamed the whole way down. It may have taken ahold of us and held our head under water, but you can bet that we returned to the surface with a stronger set of lungs. It may have dragged us through hell and back, but it taught us how to fight fire with fire; that we can survive the burns and the heat. These scars are reminders that we have come out against all odds and that every setback has only benefited us further. Every dream that we accomplish is as a result of our battles, our challenges and our strength. The journey that we endure is what sets us apart from the rest and is what makes it worthwhile in the end. It is the drive and the ambition that keeps us going.

And the only way to keep going is to not look back. Not to dwell or waste precious time on things that cannot be changed. Take time to heal from the scars and the battles, but do not get comfortable amongst the wounded. Pick yourself up, brush it off, and keep going. Keep fighting and keep pushing through. Our circumstances do not determine our outcome. We are not our mistakes or misfortune. Every second of the day, we have the ability to change what makes us unhappy. Life will hurl you through so many obstacles and make you endure so many challenges. But that is the beauty in life; the journey in finding our way along the path that is laid out for each of us. In our own way and our own time, just how we were created to do so.

There is so much ahead of everyone of us and so much to look forward. There are so many beautiful places to see and beautiful people to meet. They will see your marks, welcome them for what they are and love you for your strength and perseverance. Carry your scars with you, but do not let them burden you or weigh you down. Embrace them for what they are and for whom they have helped you become.

I don’t know about you, but when it’s all said and done, I wouldn’t change my scars for  anything.

 

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Today I really wanted to talk about something that’s super important in college- getting involved. Whether it’s Greek, religious, or interest based- it’s important to find a club/ organization (or a few) to join while in college. You get so much more out of the college experience and have so much more fun when you get involved and join a club. However, knowing how to go about getting involved and joining clubs on campus can be pretty hard. Colleges often have so many clubs that it’s difficult to know where to start. So today I want to give you 5 tips to choosing which clubs and organizations to join on campus!

1.  Look for a club that related to what interests YOU.
This is super important because you don’t want to be spending your time doing something you don’t truly care about. So you don’t want to join something just because you think it’ll look cool or just because your friend joined. Look for something your passionate about. You’re bound to love being a part of something if it’s close to your heart. 

2. Look for a club that fits your schedule.
Sometimes clubs/ organizations can take up a lot of time, so you want to pick something that you have time for and can put your all into. If you take on a club that requires too much time from you, it can leave you feeling stressed and disappointed, even if you love the concept or message- and we don’t want that!

3. Look for a club where you connect with the other members.
Being in a club with people who you don’t get along with wouldn’t be very fun, even if you love the concept or message, so it’s important to find organizations where you get along with or work well with the members. This doesn’t mean you have to be best friends with them all, but mutual respect and comradely is super important. This will make your time in the organization more meaningful.

4. Utilize the student organization showcase on campus.
A lot of times universities will hold a student organization showcase or something similar that allows you to walk around and talk to members of a bunch of different clubs on campus. This gives you a chance to see an overview what’s available on campus and who you immediately connect with. The members will be able to talk to you and give you more information about what they do and how to go about joining, so it’s super important to go to these events and pay attention if you’re looking to get involved.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask members specific questions.
It’s likely that you come up with a question that you can’t find the answer to just by looking at an organizations social media or website. It’s ok and totally normal to have these questions, so it’s important to ask the members those questions! This is especially true if you’re seriously interested about joining or if the answer will be make-or-break for your membership. The members you talk to really do want you to join their club, so they will be more than willing to answer any of your questions or address any concerns you may have, but after asking the questions you decide not to join- that’s ok! Just don’t make a decision without having all your questions answered. 

I hope y’all find these tips to be super helpful and that you can use them and get involved on your college campus- I promise college will be more fun when your apart of an organization!

If you’re part of a club or organization what tips do you have for newbies? 

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Happy Wednesday everyone! Halloween is just a few days away which is so exciting! Whether your plans include hosting your own party, trick or treating (no one is too old for that), going to a haunted house or pumpkin patch or even a college party I’m sharing a few easy, simple, last minute Halloween costumes!

I’m also linking up items that you can buy to recreate it each costume. Most are from Forever 21 so they’re pretty inexpensive and easily accessible. Other places to look for items are Target, Charlotte Russe, Marshall’s/TJ Maxx and Old Navy. Most of this stuff you have already and only will need to get one or two additional items.

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First up and very fitting for today is Wednesday Addams! Go as the goth anti- princess with a black dress, white collar, tights and heels. Wear your hair in two braids and get a foundation lighter than your skin color for a Wednesday all grown up look!

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Dress Tights |  Heels

Next up is the bank robbers!  Don’t break the bank creating this costume! Grab a striped shirt, black pants, shoes, gloves, beanie and a black mask for the sneakiest and easiest costume ever! Don’t forget to grab your partner in crime too!

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Hat | Shirt | Pants | Gloves | Shoes | Bag | Mask 

Grab a bestie and twin it out with the dancing emoji girls! All you need is a black leotard and black bows/headband and black flats. You’ll be dancing your way out of the house and on to the party!

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Bow | Leotard | Flats

Next is a costume that touches on fun and classic! Marry Poppins! You don’t need a magic carpet bag to make this costume. All you really need is a black skirt, white button down, black brimed hat, tights and heels and with a little fabric you got yourself the perfect Poppin’s costume! You can easily make this a couple’s costume by adding your chimney sweep!

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Hat | Top | Skirt | Tights | Heels | Umbrella | Purse

There you have it, 4 super easy and inexpensive, last minute Halloween costumes! You can also head to Pinterest here and check out more DIY costumes! 

What are you going as? Leave a comment or tag us in your photos! 

Have a safe and fun Halloween everyone!

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Dear you,

I know you.

I was you.

And at times, I still am you.

I know how you feel to have the weight of the world on your shoulders and you don’t know what to do. You had this plan. You knew what you wanted to do with your life, but the rug was ripped right out from under your feet. You were the person in high school that had a plan. Heck, you had your whole life planned out right before you turned 18. Graduate college in under four years, start your profession, and get married before 25. Life had another path for you instead and you tried to fight it.  

Now, you sit there with the world crashing all around you, your plans all going out the window, and you have no idea what you are doing. But you don’t ask for help. You don’t tell people what is going on because you are so afraid that it will change people’s view on you. Instead, you walk around with a smile on face, pretend that everything is okay, and keep right on trucking with your day. No one never suspects anything, no one knows, and you are carrying around more weight than what you know to do with and more struggle than anyone can imagine. You continue to smile.

It is so much easier to walk around with a smile on your face because the world does not want to hear “I AM ACTUALLY DROWNING AND I NEED HELP!” That would be a sign of weakness and no one wants to be around that. No one wants be around the person that has an anchor tried to their ankle and cannot come up for air, no matter how hard they try.

You’ve been told your whole life that everyone wants to be around happy people. That is what you focus on. You stick to yourself while your friends never know that your panic attacks and anxiety are taking over your life. Keeping calm is much harder when you don’t have someone beside you. Staying in bed and not wanting to even go out in the world is easier than keeping calm. Your thoughts start overwhelm you, anxiety creeps in, and panic attacks occur when no one else is around. You don’t ask for help, because that’s a sign of weakness. The last thing that you want to is for people to know how weak you are; when you feel on the inside you are crumbling to the ground.

It will always surprise people when you mention this to them, because they look at you, get confused, and don’t believe you. They will say, “Someone as happy as you doesn’t have to deal with it.” “You are always so happy.” The words sting as you just grin and nod and pretend that you didn’t tell them what you just said. Eventually, there will be someone that reach out, bring you close, and tell you they know how you feel.

I am not here to tell you that it gets easier, that all of sudden you will wake up and not feel like you are drowning 24/7, because that just does not happen at all.

I will tell you that you will find your people. They will make getting out of bed a little easier. They are the ones who accept your quirky traits and make life a little easier. They are the ones who know when something is wrong before you can even speak it.

You will slowly start to come up for air and won’t feel the weight of the world holding you down anymore. Life will start to get easier and you won’t feel like staying in bed for the whole day. You will want to go out and have fun, because soon you will realize that you don’t always have to walk around with your smile on your face. You don’t have to pretend that you are always happy to make people like you or love you.

I was you.

And at times I still am you.

Sincerely,
The Girl Who Smiles No Matter What

 

I was at a wedding event for my part time job a couple of weekends ago and noticed that the majority of the couples were in their 30s, which was interesting to me coming from the Midwest where couples get married in their early 20s. I commented on it to my boss who said that 30 is the common age to get married in California. People tend to go to college then have a career, meet their significant other and then get married. I told her how I feel so discouraged that I’m not in a serious relationship and that so many of my friend are getting engaged and married and how hard it is to see that. She told me “everyone has a different stage of life they’re in”. Her quote really stuck with me and I kept going back to it.

Today it is so easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing with their lives; compare yours to theirs and think that you need to be where they are.  You see a girl roughly your age with a cute guy on her arm and think you need a guy too or to be engaged and planning a wedding. Or someone who has a ‘crushing it and taking names’ career and you need to have an awesome, ‘crushing it and taking names’ job too or else you’re a failure. Or if you’re in the online world you see someone who has a ton of followers, gets thousands of likes on a photo, gets to go to NYFW or other super cool events or even gets sent stuff for free and you think wow I want, no need to be like them to be somebody.

I’m here to tell you that “everyone has a different stage of life they’re in”. Some are in their school stage, career stage, others are in the marriage stage, family stage, finding themselves stage, traveling stage, enjoying life stage, whatever else they’re doing stage. Mine is going to be different than yours, than your neighbors, than every single person’s. Everyone is at different point in their life doing different things. Just because you aren’t at that stage right now doesn’t mean you won’t ever be. You’ll get there, maybe not today but you’ll get there. So stop comparing where you are in life to everyone else’s.

Remember “comparison is the thief of joy”. If you spend your life comparing it to your friends or people you see online you miss out on all the great stuff that’s in it. I know it’s hard, easier said than done. I play the comparison game every time I see a blogger have tens of thousands of likes or go to fashion week or get a brand collaboration or heck even when I see a classmate get engaged via Facebook. But I just tell myself “everyone has a different stage of life they’re in”. And that I will get to that stage one day too.

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Saving money before having a full time job or a career can sometimes be frustrating and stressful. However, by taking time to make a few short changes to your money-saving routine, you could be well on your way to saving money before your career!

1.  Keep track of your spending.
Use a check register aka your checkbook table or use a spreadsheet. This may sound a little old school, but it’s a sure way to know exactly how much you have spent at any given time. It’s also a good way to consciously know how much you can spend and how much you have saved. Take the time to record each purchase, withdrawal, and expense. This could save you in the long run!

2. Use Cash
Instead of running a large credit card bill each month, try using cash. This way, when you run out of cash, you can’t spend any more.

3. Budget, Budget, Budget
Split your money in to thirds. Get third to save, a third to spend, and a third for bills/dues. Portion out your money on a spreadsheet or document and tape it up to your wall. The visibility of your budget will remind you of your spending/saving budget.

4. Have a Goal in Mind
“This week I will save an extra $30 in my account.” With a money-conscious goal for saving money, you have something to stick with and work towards. Make sure your goal is attainable for your budget and it’s something you can achieve. You’ll feel so accomplished reaching your goal and want to beat it the next time!

5. Savvy-Shopping
Limit yourself to one or two big purchases a month. That purse you really wanted? Save up your money and make the purchase! For other things you want to buy, look for sales or coupons. Have a clothing swap with friends or head to a second hand store such as Plato’s Closet. The clothes may not be brand new, but you will probably be able to find some clothes for a fraction of the price you normally would pay for them. And besides, you were only going to wear that blouse a few times, right?!

6. Use a Piggy-Bank
Have a cute piggy bank? Make it a habit to dump all your loose change into the bank each day. Watch as your loose change adds up. When the bank is full, take it to a Coinstar or bank to exchange for cash. Voila!

7. Dinner Out?!
Yes! Go ahead and spend the money on a dinner with friends! When you’re looking at the menu, choose meals which are on the cheaper side, and stick to water with your meal. You’re saving the $2.50 on a fountain drink or soda and that adds up! This works the same way as buying coffee each week from your favorite coffee vendor. If you have a coffee-addiction, {try to} limit yourself to one or two drinks a week, or better yet, try to make some of the drinks at home! A Starbucks drink can range up to $5, and totaled up, each week that could be a pretty penny. Think of the money you could save!

8. Rewards Programs
If you are still interested in having coffee each week, try a rewards program. Rewards programs are actually more common than you may think. Smaller boutiques and even larger chains have reward systems which could really benefit you in the long run. For instance, use Cartwheel at Target, or Shopkick to gain Kick points to use later on for a gift card of your choice. Often, these reward programs will give you coupons as well.

Money saving doesn’t have to be stressful. By taking steps to save money, you are becoming more money-conscious! Have any money-saving tips?

Leave your answers in the comments below!

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Alternately titled “How to feel like you accomplished something without getting out of your pajamas or brushing your hair”

1. Clean Your Room

After years of your parents relentlessly scolding you about your messy room, it can be tempting to just let it go and live your life when you move out. Even if you don’t mean for it to happen, it inevitably will. The day will come when you look around your room and realize it has reached the point where even you don’t know where things are anymore. You could shove some piles in different places and pull out a couple important things, or you can dig down deep to that little place inside of you that desperately wants to try to be a real adult. Embrace this little feeling and run with it. Put everything in a place; maybe even break out some new organizational strategies while you’re at it. If you’re feeling really motivated, you can even break out a vacuum. The feeling of internal pride and accomplishment you feel when you look around and see your floor is well worth the work!

2. Eat a Piece of Fruit or a Vegetable

Growing up, the only green foods I willingly ate were green frosting and green Skittles. But then, I grew up and went to college where my eating habits evolved to include the three classic collegiate food groups: foods stored in the freezer, foods that can be cooked in a microwave, and pizza. To truly set yourself apart from your peers who are eating cheap and convenient food, grab something healthy. Aside from being good for you and helping stave off scurvy, eating fruits and veggies every now and again go a long way to making you feel like you have it all together!

3. Make a To-Do List

As a serial procrastinator and semi-pro Netflix binge-watcher, getting things accomplished can be hard sometimes. Accomplishing a task is one of the best adult feelings out there. When you make a list, it gives you something to aim for so you don’t feel so overwhelmed trying to think of things to do or trying to remember if you’ve done anything. A list doesn’t have to be long, and they can be anything you want. Sometimes my list for a Saturday will only be: make your bed, drink a bottle of water, and walk out to get the mail. Simple things that don’t take much effort, but give you the satisfaction of accomplishment when you cross them off.

4. Read a News Article

With our 21st century lives the way they are, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the amount of news and information we see every day. It’s also easy to think we know everything that’s going on in the world. But how often do we take the time to really learn the story behind the headline? By picking one news story to read you make yourself a more well-rounded and informed person. Being able to say you’ve heard of a news story is one thing. However, knowing a story beyond the title and be able to have an educated conversation about it brings you to a whole new level.

5. Make a Phone Call, Even if it’s Just to Mom

In a world where making phone calls is hard, making phone calls can be hard. Few people enjoy phone conversations, but regardless of your feelings towards them, they are a part of life when you become an adult. Calling a real business or scheduling a real appointment on the phone can be a little daunting, but there’s a pretty simple solution if you want the feeling of accomplishment of a phone call without having to talk to strangers. Just call someone else, like your mom or your grandma. It doesn’t have to be a long, deep conversation; just a phone call.

What things do you do to help you feel like an adult? Share in the comments below!

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A Note From Katherine & Samantha

We promise that we tried to come up with a more catchy title for this, but we couldn’t think of anything.

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Dear Tribe 21 Fam,

Let me introduce myself first. My name is Katherine Kriesky and I am a senior at Murray State University majoring in advertising and English. Typically, I am way too sassy for my own good, make terrible puns, and laugh at way too many jokes that are not funny. My friends call me the perfect mixture of Brooke Davis and Tami Taylor. However, I like to think of myself as the Jess of the world and Samantha is Cece. She is my right hand man (or woman in this case), my go to person, and the person whose phone I blow up 24/7 because I am having a minor freak out. There is also no one else I could imagine starting Tribe 21 with, but I digress.

When I came up with the idea of Tribe 21 almost six months ago, I never believed that we would have gotten the kind of feedback and support that we did. Now fast forward with me to almost a month ago when we launched all of our social media platforms. There are almost 2,000 of you guys now. I’m in awe. I’m shocked, confused, and most of all I’m happy. What I normally tell my team is “I’m not crying, you’re crying.” Samantha and I have a team of six wonderful and fabulous young ladies working underneath us; all who bring different aspects to this wonderful team. I am certain that I would not know what to do without them at this point.

Tribe 21 is a place for you to connect with people who are going through the same things you are. A place to get ideas and to get answers. A place to have someone who knows what you are going through, who might not live near you, but can help. Tribe 21 is so much more than just a website that has articles on how to survive high school, college, and the life after graduation. It’s a place where you can have an impact on people. And most of all, we want to have an impact on you.

Welcome to the tribe!

Love always,
Katherine

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Hello Tribe 21 fam-

Welcome! I want to be the first to welcome you to Tribe 21! I am SO excited that you are here & a part of this online community! I started Tribe 21 with Katherine—my Internet best friend turned real life best friend—as a place to inspire, encourage, educate, & just help girls navigate this crazy world we call life.

Tribe 21 is the female’s guide to work, school, relationships, & life in the 21st century. Aka we’re like Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide (anyone remember this show?! Or am I just old? Haha!) but online.

I hope you stay awhile & that our articles, tweets, & posts help you through whatever you’re going through. Whether it’s needing help with how to ace your big exam, tips for a first date, or just outfit inspiration, we’re here! I hope that we impact you just as you impact us. Lastly, I hope that you make friends on here & they turn into real life friends like me & Katie and the rest of the Tribe 21 team. There is nothing better than having a group of friends you can tell everything to; good or bad & big or small, they celebrate & and encourage you in it all.

If you ever want to get ahold of me for anything, my social media is linked on the About page or you can email me at sgoble1@yahoo.com. I am here for you 24/7, 365!

I am so excited for the future of Tribe 21 and the amazingness that is to come. I’m so glad I can share it with you!

So welcome to the Tribe!

Cheers,

Samantha