Thursday, May 18, 2017

Summer Break Has Begun

Me (this semester) struggling
to finish a paper in time.
Captured by my buddy, Rebekah. 
I submitted my final assignment on Tuesday morning so now I'm free.The semester was extremely stressful, not so much because of my classes, but because I was worried about securing a summer internship and struggling to figure out what I want to do once I graduate.

I have one more semester to complete at Smith College and then I am done. During the semester, I wanted to just spend time sorting out my life, which often looked like me just lying in bed, crying, and panicking about the future, if I'm being honest. I struggled to work on homework assignments because I felt frozen in place half the time. I cried more than I ever have during my time at Smith. I looked and felt like shit and even experienced some rough patches with friends. I didn't feel like I could talk to anyone about what was bothering me most--the idea that I could fail, not so much academically, but in life. 

Not many people know this, but once I graduate from Smith, I cannot afford to not know what I plan to do next. The reason being, I have not been supported by either one of my parents in years and even if they wanted to help, they couldn't because they are currently still dealing with their own personal struggles. My grandmother has been generous enough to allow me to crash on her couch since my Junior year of high school. Her place has always been home, but I know that someday I'm going to have to branch out and find a place of my own. My grandmother has been trying to hold up our family for years and I can tell that she's tired. I often worry that no one else in my family notices and if they do, their actions don't show it. My point is, I cannot fail. I put a lot of pressure on myself, but I think it's necessary. 

I am thankful that at Smith, I have two best friends who I know (without a doubt) love and care about me. I also have professors/advisers who I know would go out of their way to ensure that I succeed despite whatever I may be going through. Not only that, but I have people back home, family and friends, who are constantly in my mind while I struggle through numerous obstacles. The people in my life who genuinely love and care about me, give me the strength to overcome on a daily. 

Good News

NYC summer. Let's get it ;)
  • Towards the end of the semester, not only did I secure a summer internship, but I secured Smith College PRAXIS Funding. I will be interning at Cave Canem ("A home for black poetry") as their Productions & Communications Intern. It is an unpaid internship, but due to the Smith PRAXIS Funding, it'll be as if I am being paid to work. Even if I was unable to secure the funding, I would have still been happy to accept the position because as an Africana Studies and English double major, this is a tremendous opportunity. If you care to learn more about Cave Canem feel free to click here
  • I have decided to pursue an MFA in Creative Writing so once I graduate, that is what I will be heading off to do. I haven't applied or chosen a school yet, but I think it would pretty dope to get into NYU's MFA Program. I spoke to my Smith academic advisors, career advisors, and a number of my Africana Studies advisors about my future plans and this is what feels right. My goal is to take the 2-3 years and work on writing a book that will center around my grandmother's life. Thanks to my special studies professor... I think I might even have a title for it. 
  • This summer, I will be devoting my time and energy into thriving as an intern at Cave Canem, reading, writing, networking, exploring NYC, traveling, and working on this blog. I am very determined. I feel like I need this blog now more than ever because I am not the best when it comes to transitioning so I thinking writing and working on being consistent will be extremely helpful. 

-xoxo 
Yolanda 

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