Author Archives: Karissa Jacksn

About Karissa Jacksn

Recent university graduate finding her way.

What I wish I knew in undergrad

2017 was a year of immense growth and planning for me. A season of rebirth and re-imaging of the future. A ton of contemplation and thought went into my past experiences, and the steps I need to take to reach my future goals. In looking back, I believe we can find invaluable lessons which should inform our future decisions. So, here are a few of the things I now know, but wish I knew during undergrad.

a bachelor’s degree does not guarantee anything

Education is great, but just being able to regurgitate facts is not enough to survive in the world. Education in our society is quite a paradoxical one because you need a bachelor’s degree to get even a secretary position, but having one doesn’t guarantee you an okay livelihood. As the years pass by, we have more and more graduates joining the workforce so the bachelor’s degree – being lower on the ladder of higher education – becomes trivial. It’s sad because so many people struggle and fight to stay afloat in college to graduate with their degree to be met with a hard slap in the face from the working world as they settle for low-paying jobs or unpaid internships. Cheers to the lucky ones, and good luck to everyone else. It’s important to have a plan, even just an outline, that you stick to and change as your desires change so you won’t be left as lost and confused as you would be without one.

build credit from the beginning

Another gripe I have with the education system is the lack of knowledge provided to students about finances and basic ‘adulting’. Most schools provide very little guidance to students to ensure they understand how the real world works. Students, especially high school seniors, need to be taught about credit and how to improve it, renting an apartment, loans and their long-term effect, how to plan for the future and other such topics. It’s important to have a credit card and know how to use it efficiently to build credit without accruing debt. Better credit brings lower interest rates, and a better chance of getting a loan in the first place. Great credit will make life a whole lot easier in the future with regards to buying a car or a home so we need to teach our teenagers how to make responsible credit decisions.

form strong relationships with professors and network

Almost as important as getting good grades is making good impressions on your professors. You don’t have to become best friends, but being able to have professors who can vouch for your strengths and ambition is crucial for applying to graduate school and getting in to some internships and jobs. Go to office hours, participate in class and try to get good grades. Pro-tip: Try to reach out to professors who are currently in the field you want to pursue.

save like crazy

Life is expensive; as you get older, even more so! Applications, textbooks, food and treats all cost money. It’s a good idea to have at least a 3 month survival stash after you graduate. If you can find time to get a part time job, do it! Having a job really gives a sense of independence and allows you to pay for anything you want. It’s nice to spend money, but better to know that you have money saved so you’ll be okay during any unforeseen situations.

Bruh, life is hard, so use the lessons of others to your advantage. I hope these tips help! Stay strong, and try to learn a new thing everyday!

Karissa ♥



Happy Martin Luther King Jr Day! Go forth and be a beacon for equality and equity.

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Overflowing – an art journal entry

i feel all the creativity in me •

not in a painting drawing illustrating kind of way •

but a journaling collaging words and pictures kind of way •

i watch the movies read the poems see the people •

the words spring to my tongue •

like a dam bursting   overflowing

 

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Karissa ♥

How to Stop Spending All of your Money!

Hello everyone!

As we approach the highly commercialized O.o holiday season, I feel compelled to share some money saving tips. These are not just for the holiday season, but can be implemented in everyday life to help you keep the purse strings closed.

Of late I’ve found myself moving from wanting to buy everything either impulsively or because it’s cheap or both to only buying things that I actually need and can use in my day to day life (most of the time O.o lol). My 6 month job drought in the beginning of the year forced me to stay away from all shops and websites, so I, out of learned behavior or habit, don’t like to spend money on unnecessary things. Yes, I still slip up every now and then, but it’s important to be strict and avoid all unnecessary spending. If you need to treat yourself for your own emotional well-being or sanity, then go ahead! What’s life if you can’t do things to make yourself happy?!

Just a little note before we begin:

  • It won’t work unless you are committed, like anything else in life. You have to be strict with yourself, and be determined to cut out unnecessary spending!
  • This will help even if you have tons of disposable or discretionary income. You can always open a savings account with the money you were once spending or put it towards paying off credit cards or loans.

Step One: Figure out your spending habits

Take note of your spending habits for the day, week or month. Find out what you are spending money on? You can write on your phone on the notes app or journal, get a specialized budget app or make a spreadsheet. Once you know how you spend money day to day, you can use that info to create a working savings plan that works for you.

Step Two: Figure out bills and expenses 

The next step is to figure out your daily, weekly or monthly  expenses. Make a note of all of your bills, loan, insurance or credit payments, food, gas etc. so you know how much money will definitely be leaving your bank account each month. Also note how much money you expect to earn or get each month.

Step Three: Budget time

Make a budget. Deduct your bills and necessary monthly expenses from your incoming funds to calculate your discretionary income. Savings should always be a part of your expenses. Think of it as something you have to pay like a bill so your mind won’t think of it as free money sitting in an account that you can touch whenever you want. Once that money hits your savings account, condition yourself to think that it’s locked away in an outer-space vault which only opens when you hit your savings goal to buy that expensive item, or when something unfortunate happens.

Budgeting is an amazing tool to help you recognize and cut unnecessary expenses. Be ruthless with cutting things out for the first week or month. By taking things away, you’ll see how much you really need them or if you just like wasting money on some trivial things. For the following month, add in the things you really need and can afford. This also a good time to brainstorm ways to increase income.

Step Four: Eyes on the prize 

Stay away from websites which usually draw you in. It’s important to remove temptation as much as possible in the beginning until you’ve built up good money spending habits!

Save for the things you want! Make a vision board of the things you would like to save towards or keep photos of the item or experience as your screensaver or on your mirror so you will be constantly reminded to save.

Learn to live with the things you already have. Better to buy quality that will last forever, than trend pieces which will disintegrate after the first use.

Try diys to salvage the things you have or can afford now instead of throwing away things that can re-used or irresponsibly spending.

Step Five: Savor the little things

Find free or inexpensive things which will make you fulfilled and happy. It can be a painful time when you are used to spending for fun, but it’s all for a great cause!

Final Thoughts

Who knew being a responsible adult who handles money well would be this difficult and time-consuming! Well everyone else who is older than I am lol. I want a refund from this whole adult thing; the whole thing was misrepresented in all the adverts and commercials!

Anyhoo, I hope you try out theses tips! Leave your money-saving tips below so we can help each other out! I know so many people end up being broke when January in the new year rolls around, so put away some dough so you can be comfortable in the new year!

With Love,

Karissa ♥

Healthy Super Grains and Veggies Stir-fry

Post-Thanksgiving Healthy Super Grains and Veggies Stir-fry

Hello my beautiful friends! I hope you guys had an amazing thanksgiving holiday, and spent it with people you love and care about. The holidays can be a hard time for people who struggle with loneliness, FOMO and mental health, so I hope you were surrounded by love and happiness. I am always here to chat with you, so leave me a comment! 🙂

After all the gluttony of Thanksgiving Day, I needed to find a way to use up leftovers in a healthy way. This recipe really came together on the spot. I was making a stir-fry for my mom and decided to switch out some ingredients to make a healthier option for myself. I hope you guys enjoy!

Grains to know:

Quinoa is a 7,000-year-old plant that originated in the mountainous regions of South America. It is actually a seed that does not contain gluten. It is a complete protein source because it contains of all 20 amino acids, including the 10 essential acids our body doesn’t produce on its own. There are about 120 varieties of quinoa, and there are three commercialized categories: red, white and black.  Learn more about Quinoa here.

Millet’s uniquely high content of nutrients, lack of gluten and ability to survive in harsh conditions makes it a great option. The most common of the many varieties is pearl millet. Different varieties are primarily produced in India, Africa and China. The grain originated in Africa, but then spread through Asia and the Middle East as early as 10,000 years ago. Lean more about Millet here.

Buckwheat has been around for thousands of years. It is a naturally gluten free whole grain which is a good source of proteins, fiber and resistant starch. Most of the buckwheat grain for human consumption is marketed the form of flour. Learn more about it here.

Farro originated in the Fertile Crescent, and has been very popular on the Italian menu for centuries. It’s actually a specific type of common wheat, so it is not gluten-free, but it is a great source of fiber, iron and a little protein. Read more here.

Healthy Super Grains and Veggies Stir-fry

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup ancient grains – I used a mixture of Quinoa, Millet, Buckwheat and Farro
  • 2 handfuls of leafy greens
  • 1/2 cup diced bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced cooked sweet potato
  • 2 shakes of All purpose seasoning
  • Soy sauce and salt to taste
  • splash of olive oil (optional)
  • Diced turkey and ham (optional)
  • Sliced avocado (optional)

Method:

  1. Boil grains until al dente or a firm.
  2. Add oil, meat and veggies (not greens) to hot skillet on medium high.
  3. Add seasonings and grains then mix
  4. Incorporate greens and stir for 2 minutes or until heated through
  5. Remove from heat and serve
  6. Add avocado for extra goodness!

 

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Enjoy!

Karissa ♥

Happy Studying! (and good luck!)

How to Make a Four Year Plan for School

Hello folks! Today i’d like to share with you a little tool that has helped me tremendously during my time as an undergrad. The four year plan can be done electronically or on paper and easily saved as a reference when it’s time to register. It is malleable, and will change with your changing course requirements or needs. Give it a try!

What is a Four Year Plan?

A tentative 4 year schedule which displays the electives and major requirement courses needed for each semester or quarter in order to graduate and obtain your degree.

Benefits

  • Displays all requirements in one place
  • Helps you to remain organized
  • Lists alternative courses to help during registration if you are not able to get into your first choice courses

How To

1. Create a Spreadsheet or Table

The best way to remain organized is to have a a visual to display everything. An excel spreadsheet or word document can both be used. You can find a simple word table here or here, and a link to the excel document provided by my home school here.

4 yr plan

2. Obtain Major Requirements

These are usually listed on your school’s advising website or on the specific major’s or department’s website. You may also find these by doing a general search on your school’s website for your specific major, or by calling or showing up to the department directly.

Below are two examples of where you can find the major requirements on your school’s website.

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Some courses are offered all quarters or semesters, while some are only offered once per year. Figure out when your courses are usually offered during the year and add them to your spreadsheet in the semester or quarter you would like to take them.

3. Figure out Pre-Requisites for Upper Level Courses

After you’ve found the requirements for your major, the next step is to review the pre-requisites needed for your upper-level courses. Meeting with an adviser may be the most accurate way to ensure that you have all bases covered, and know all classes needed. You can also review the course catalog for your school for each of the required classes and make a note of the specifics. After you have that info, fit it into your document so you can tell which semester you need to take which course.

4. Add in your Electives

My school has a core curriculum where all students have to take courses from different subject areas, regardless of major, to complete their degree. Most universities have these core classes in areas such as science, literature, history, art and others. They may be offered in a tier system where you have to take two courses, one upper and lower; or you may just be required to take one; or some other combination.  Check your school’s website to find the many electives from which you can choose to fulfill the core requirements. This is an example from my school.

Fit the electives into your schedule for the next four years. I think it’s important to take heavy major courses with light electives, and heavier electives with light major classes. This may not always be possible, but try to have an even course load to keep burnout at bay! While adding in electives, ensure your classes add up to the minimum credit requirement for your major and school so you ca graduate on time.

List any courses or activities like research or volunteering you would like to accomplish on it as well, so you’ll have a complete picture of how your time will be divided during each term.

5. Find Courses which Double Dip

It’s a beauty when you find courses that fulfill multiple requirements! Be on the hunt for these.

6. Be Flexible

Life never goes exactly as we plan, so be open to change. Remember that this is  tentative, and can be changed around to fit the individual needs of each term. Always list alternatives courses just in case you weren’t able to get into your first choice during registration.

 

If you feel unsure about any requirements, don’t be afraid to email your adviser or drop by for a meeting to clear things up. Being prepared is the first step to success!

Happy Studies!

Karissa ♥

minion studying