Honesty, Writing, & Bright Futures.

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Fanueil Hall, Boston 2016

As a national contributing writer for Her Campus, I’ve had a lot of opportunities to write about various topics, trends in pop culture, and serious issues. This range of article assignments opened my eyes to different styles of writing but also helped me to recognize a common theme – the importance of honesty.

Honest writing is truly the best writing. It has taken me years to fully embrace this concept, as it’s scary to dig deep sometimes, but wow, was it worth it. Genuine writing derives from the ability to be honest with yourself. Whether it’s grappling with who you are or what you want out of life, the most important thing is to give yourself the opportunity to change.

My most recent article for Her Campus, titled “I Took Risks in My Love Life for One Week & Here’s What Happened”, was the most challenging yet rewarding piece I have written yet. I pushed the boundaries of my comfort zone, officially told the world I’m bisexual, and learned a lot about my self-worth in just one short week. An added bonus was the feedback I received from loved ones and strangers alike. It was heart-warming to have so many people reach out to me to share their stories or appreciation about my article.

I have now begun living my life as my authentic self. It’s a beautiful reality to wake up every single day and recognize how far I’ve come. This feeling came from being honest with myself, no matter how difficult and frustrating it was at times. Point is, I’m here and I’m so proud to say my future is even brighter than it was before.

Whether it’s in your writing or everyday life, be sure to stay true to who you are and be honest about what you deserve. It doesn’t have to be scary.

Cheers loves – to honesty & genuine people!

XOXO – Autumn

Below is a short clip from my national article, check it out!

“I bought an attractive stranger a drink.”

“I’ve seen this done in movies. The confident woman buys an attractive guy a drink, turning the tables on the standards of dating. I had to see for myself how this scenario would play out in real life. Naturally, I chose Thirsty Thursday to make my move. Sitting at a table with a few of my girlfriends, I scanned the bar for a potential prospect. This part of my night was funny, somewhat stressful, but overall entertaining knowing the power was in my hands.

As I was scanning the nearby tables, a tall blonde guy walked out of the bathroom and past my table. We locked eyes and he smiled ever so subtly. Without hesitation, I whispered to my friends, “I choose him.” I watched where he went to sit – a table with another guy and three girls. Crossing my fingers none of those ladies were his girlfriend, I asked my server to find out what he was drinking and buy him his next round. Apparently, his drink of choice was a watermelon margarita, go figure.

Margarita in hand, I watched my server walk over to his table and place it down. His friends began to laugh and his face lit up when she said, “the girl in a pink sweater bought this for you.” His reaction was everything I could have hoped for. I mean who wouldn’t be grinning over a free marg? Funnily enough, a server came over to me a few minutes later and handed me a black business card. It belonged to watermelon margarita guy. I was caught off guard but loving every second of this little charade. Soon enough he came over to the table to thank me for buying him a drink and introduce himself. The conversation was casual, I could tell he was nervous too. In his very distinct Boston accent, he ended the conversation by telling me I should text him. Mission accomplished.

I miss hearing stories about people meeting in person and going on incredible dates. And here I was, trying to make it happen for myself. No, I never ended up texting him, but his little black business card will be a reminder that even the smallest rewards can come from simply putting yourself out there.”

  • Article was written for Her Campus By: Autumn Dube
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Success is Better When Shared

 

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Boston Public Garden, fall 2016

This morning I woke up to find that my best friend’s article had been shared nationally on Her Campus’s social media. I was beyond giddy. I quickly sat up in bed, read the article, tweeted about it and of course texted my friends the fabulous news. I was experiencing the same emotions I had felt when some of my articles were picked up by nationals before I was hired by them this summer.

I was especially excited because I knew exactly what emotions she must be feeling. Having your thoughts and opinions shared with fellow college students across the nation, through a successful online magazine, is spectacular. I thought about this for a while, her accomplishment and what’s to come next. And then, as expected, my competitive thoughts kicked in. Her Campus is my find, my platform for my work, that I’ve been working so hard to become recognized on. I’m not one to share or be overlooked and now my best friend was being noticed too.

 

Quickly slapping myself out of it – why would her success diminish mine in any way? My initial reaction was full of joy and pride. The article she wrote was important, talking about mental health which she has advocated for throughout her college career. The article was well done and her voice was beautiful, all qualities I admire in writing. So why did I experience that moment of anger towards the situation? As if it took away from everything I have accomplished with Her Campus.

I will always believe success is more meaningful when shared. And, who better to share it with than your best friends? This girl has been cheering me on since day one, supporting my every move and giving me the strength I need to thrive. I have succeeded in many ways but I know I couldn’t have done it as easily without her consistent motivation. So yes, I’m hitting myself for even having those brief thoughts of jealousy towards her.

Both of our voices deserve to be heard. We have found a wonderful platform to share them on, reaching an audience that can relate to us. I think competition is fun, and her success will only push me to do better, but it will never take away from what I will accomplish.

The idea of applauding someone else’s success is an important message being spread in today’s modern world (especially among the feminists – hayyy) and I finally found myself in a situation that allowed me to see it clearly. I purposely surround myself with beautiful, intelligent, and courageous people – obviously they are going to be doing inspiring things throughout their lifetime. This is what draws me to them in the first place.

The most important thing you can do is to be confident in your own ability to succeed. Give the same support and encouragement to your friends when they are seeking greatness and they will surely return the favor when it’s your time to shine.

Everyone wants to be successful, but doesn’t it mean that much more when you have people to share it with?

I’m so proud of you, J.

XOXO – Autumn

“I’m busy.”

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Rose Garden, Boston

Busy. Everyone wants to be seen as busy. Our culture promotes the idea that a busy lifestyle means you’re worth something. It means you’re actually doing something, contributing to society in some way. Whether it’s taking crazy course loads or working overtime at your job, being busy means you’re being productive. In other words, you’re not just sitting around.

It makes us feel good to utter the words, “I’m so busy,” does it not? We tend to compare our lives to others, seeing who’s schedule is more demanding, and subtly declaring a “winner” based upon that alone.

I have always supported this hectic lifestyle. Getting involved in as many things as possible, pushing my limits each day, and challenging myself to still be better than everyone else who are doing similar things. Yes, I’m a bit of a competitor. I love the rush that comes with being busy and feeling as though I’m in demand. But at what cost?

I’m a senior this year (yayy!). I’m involved in just as many things as I have been these past years but for some reason I don’t feel as stressed. I actually have some solid free time! I know, crazy right? Funny thing is, I’m not sure what to do with myself. Is it okay to simply kick back and relax? Shouldn’t I be looking for something to do or getting ahead on homework? I was creating stress from my thoughts of what I could be doing, not even what I had to do.

I’ve made the decision to cave. To appreciate my free time and be okay with doing nothing. Eat Pray Love, one of my favorite books, holds a memorable and applicable quote, “The sweetness of doing nothing,” as they say in Italy.

It’s a refreshing thought. How doing nothing can be absolutely beautiful. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t make something of yourself, probably because I disagree with a lazy lifestyle. But why does relaxing have to be seen as a bad thing? Why can’t we enjoy the moments we get to take a breather, and better yet enjoy them with people we love.

I know I’m excited to embrace this new mindset as I take on my last year of college. It doesn’t feel natural, at least not yet, but I want it to. So here’s to coffee dates, pointless walks in the city, and afternoons reading books for pleasure.

If you really think about it, we’d all be a bit happier if we took this time for ourselves. We may feel obligated to constantly stay busy but maybe it doesn’t always have to be that way.

XOXO – Autumn

 

Vulnerable

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Reflecting Pool, Boston

Being vulnerable is scary. It is. It can make you extremely self-aware and show you sides of yourself you may not be comfortable embracing yet. So why succumb yourself to this feeling?

Society teaches us to be strong. To be fearless and seek power through success. This mindset instills in us the thoughts that pain and emotions are unnecessary, as if they are only standing in our way. This made sense to me at first. I mean, who wants to willingly feel anger or sadness? Well, according to a Ted Talk I watched today, whole-hearted people do.

The Ted Talk explained, after extensive research, that we tend to numb our emotions. Whether this is by blocking unsettling feelings from our minds or turning to vices, many of us tend to suppress what we are feeling rather than actually dealing with it. You would think that numbing the bad would allow you to only focus on the good, right? Wrong. This is what we as humans need to recognize and change as we grow.

You cannot choose when you feel pain. Sure, you can strive for a positive outlook and handle uncertainty with grace but ultimately life will throw you some curve-balls and it’s okay to be upset when this happens. When you numb your pain (from heartbreak to shameful moments) you also numb your chance at joy and happiness. Which in turn leads to searching for meaning in your life, being dissatisfied, reliving your negative emotions and as a result continuing this cycle.

Break the cycle. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. This not only gives you the chance to connect with others in a more genuine way but it will help you find what true happiness means to you. Vulnerability comes with being honest with who you truly are which overtime leads to accepting who you are. The study showed that those who were accepting of themselves, and have a strong sense of love and belonging, are the same ones who believe they are worthy of love and belonging.

This took me a second to grasp, the concept of the beauty behind vulnerability, until I realized I have caught myself living my life like this more and more over the years. As I become more comfortable with who I am it has become easier for me to reveal myself to others, whether this is through words or actions. I have definitely texted my crush asking them to grab a coffee (and even been turned down too), wrote essays about very personal topics that I later had to share with classmates, and continued to learn how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. It may not always be ideal but knowing what I deserve has given me more courage to go after what I want.

Vulnerability, in the sense of expressing who you are and what you deserve, is worth adapting into your lifestyle. Be strong and powerful but brave enough to love yourself. Like anything, it takes time, but it’s worth the effort of learning to be aware.

Life is better when filled with deep connections & self-love.

XOXO – Autumn

The Secret

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Camp Ellis Beach, Maine

About 8 years ago my parents showed my brother and I a movie called The Secret – which is based off a book. The message throughout shares the benefits of tapping into your own internal power, whether you realize you’re capable of greatness or not.

Stories of attaining wealth, overcoming obstacles, and achieving goals that may seem unrealistic are told by a range of people who have experienced this first hand. It all has to do with one’s mentality and the belief in the powers of the universe.

I have held this message close to me throughout the years. I whole heartedly believe even my subconscious embodies this way of being. I have been deemed a “lucky person” many times and I know my blessings come directly from the universe and my own outlook on life.

Your thoughts control your life. This is why many people preach the idea of “good vibes” but not everyone truly knows the importance of actually practicing this mindset. The Secret describes how you can have any life you want. The first step to attaining what you want is to believe you deserve it and continue to visualize it each day. Truly picture yourself attaining your goals and desires, feel the emotions that will come with it, and trust in the universe to make it happen.

One of the more difficult things for me is to trust the universe to create a way for me to attain the lifestyle I want. I am capable of envisioning desires and believing I deserve them, but I have always been taught to find my own way to success and happiness.

The universe will create a path for you. You don’t need to stress over the how aspect, you simply need to look for signs and act without hesitation. The universe will speak to you if you let it. This doesn’t mean sit back and relax, but rather have faith while pursuing your goals and know you will get what you want in the end.

This message is too important not to share and it is one I can personally  attest for. Maybe this is the reason my life goals are so big or my days are so bright, because I know they can be. One of my favorite lines from the movie describes the universe like a catalog. All you have to do is pick what you want out of life and the universe will hear your thoughts and find a way to bring your desires to you. It’s as simple as that. The people who are able to believe this, as crazy as it may seem, are the ones who will reap the rewards.

You can now watch The Secret on Netflix – it’s worth your time, trust me.

May your thoughts be as bright as your future.

XO -Autumn

 

Looking Forward

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Biddeford Pool, Maine

I’m the type of person who enjoys a busy lifestyle. Hell, I thrive on it. Whether it’s during finals week of college or the sunniest day in the dead of summer, I’m happiest when I’m doing things and going places. I love the rush that comes with this style of living. Always down to experience new things but prioritizing what’s important; it’s the type of journey I have grown to embrace every day.

Of course real life cannot be ignored. Working a job, maintaining relationships, and continuing to strive towards your goals are all part of the craziness that comes with building a life.

Not all days can be thrilling and eye opening but they never have to be entirely dull. I like to ask myself “what would make you happy?” when planning out my days. It’s a simple question but it can have a great impact. You may not want to go to work, but you know you have no choice (sadly, money will always be a reigning factor in our decisions). Within this mindset of having to go to work, it’s important to find a positive. You already know what to expect, so why not find a way to make your day more enjoyable? Switch up your routine by making time to do something you know will put a guaranteed smile on your face.

Prioritize your happiness within the life you’re living while working towards the life you desire.

Part of living a busy lifestyle is taking the time to appreciate it. I do this by giving myself things to look forward to. Whether it’s knowing my favorite meal is waiting for me in the fridge at home (hello BBQ ribs) or buying tickets to a concert that is months away, I always give myself a reason to smile. Knowing my future is as bright as my present moments is what continuously gives me the push to keep going every day.

Plan ahead. You know yourself better than anyone, what makes you happy? Now go do it.

XO – Autumn

 

Scribbles Will Do

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French Caribbean Sea, Guadeloupe

With each new day comes fresh thoughts, emotions, and interactions. The combination of the predictable and the unexpected is what keeps our days interesting. It’s also what makes some days better than others. Whether you’re out exploring with your friends or getting lost in a novel, surely enough you’ll be having new thoughts or being reminded of old ones.

Certain memories may be ones we try to ignore while others are ones we can’t wait to relive. We rarely get to choose our emotional reactions that accompany these but we can control how we handle them. Writing has become my go to outlet over the years. I write in a journal from time to time, keep notes on my phone, scribble random thoughts for new articles on colorful sticky notes, and of course write on this blog when I feel inspired.

Between the craziness of work, my social life, career opportunities, and back & forth relationships, writing is my quick escape.

I’m the type to overthink but rarely become overwhelmed. Getting my thoughts down on a piece of paper, no matter how scattered and raw they may be, allows me to get out of my own head for awhile. I can see my thoughts from a different perspective before I have time to dwell on them for too long – the negatives ones at least.

Scribbling down my stories, emotions, and ideas is my way of reflecting on my life and myself. During the not so great times it gives me a chance to see the bigger picture while writing down my happier moments lets me replay them again in my mind.

English may not be everyone’s favorite subject, but I believe writing is beneficial for all. No, this doesn’t mean you should write a book or start a blog, passion needs to accompany those paths. Writing is simply a way to reflect on your thoughts and express yourself whenever you need to without expectations.

Maybe I’m slightly bias, but when I give a journal as a gift to my friends they always end up using it – even if they were hesitant at first. Better yet, they end up loving it.

“Happiness is a string of happy moments,” so why not give yourself a way to cherish those moments even longer while also giving yourself a way to calm your thoughts when life gets the best of you?

Try it. It can’t hurt ~ happy writing!

XOXO

Autumn

 

 

Having It All

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French Caribbean Sea, Guadeloupe

In one of my classes we recently discussed if women can truly “have it all”. The focus being on women since men’s ability to attain what they desire is rarely questioned. I’ll save my opinions on that frustrating reality for another time.

One of my biggest takeaways from this discussion is the lingering question of what it means to have it all. Does this generally mean the same thing to everyone or does it differ from person to person? I’d like to believe it holds a unique meaning for every individual but I think most could agree success is measured in career, love, family, and a social life. Let’s not forget about health either, a highlighted favorite these days.

I would have to agree – Having it all can be defined by finding success in these areas of your life. This is not to say other areas aren’t important but these seem to be where society puts an emphasis, and why not? Career can bring stability in money, love is unlike anything else, a good family dynamic makes each day better, and your friends are always there to show you a good time. Thriving in all of these ways while being healthy is ideal, but is it attainable?

Having everything consistently go your way is rare. I’ve found the best way to hold onto happiness is through balance. Invest yourself in each of these areas but never spread yourself too thin. Not only does this help you look at the bright side of any situation but it gives you a safety net when one aspect of your life isn’t going as planned. Relationship problems? Turn to your best friends and they’ll remind you of the many reasons you still have to be happy. Overwhelmed with school or work? A quick phone call home is enough to calm your thoughts and bring you back to center.

Inevitably, times will occur when you’re more invested in one area of your life than the others. A new significant other or career opportunity? Hell yeah, you deserve to be excited! It’s healthy to linger in your happiness but it’s important to remember to maintain all aspects of your life that are important to you. This way, you’ll have multiple reasons to smile despite what upsets may occur.

Finding balance doesn’t have to be difficult, it’s more of a personal awareness if anything. Hug your loved ones, open your heart & mind, and always work hard – success will surely follow.

You can have it all, whatever this may mean to you. Cheers.

XO – Autumn

 

 

Strutting for All Shapes & Sizes

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raffle prizes courtesy of Her Campus National

I am still beyond overjoyed with how well the Her Campus Emmanuel Body Positivity Fashion Show went last night. I couldn’t have hoped for a better turnout or genuine support from such lovely people. It was truly a memorable evening.

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One side of the runway, hey Sammy!

This event was designed around the idea of self-love, something we all need to work on every day. To show our support for all body types, our models ranged from a size small to an xlarge. And damn they all looked fabulous. Seeing their faces light up more and more after each outfit change was inspiring. The crowd was so into the show and the models said they had never felt so loved. How awesome is that?

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This experience was so much more empowering than I initially thought. Everyone has their insecurities. Whether it’s stressing over your weight, analyzing your skin, or doubting your beauty, I’m sure you can all relate to not feeling confident at one point in your life.

The idea of creating a fashion show that celebrated these “flaws” was incredible. My heart felt so full after hearing the crowd cheer for every single model. It humbled me unexpectedly and reminded me everyone is uniquely beautiful, especially when they smile.

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our fabulously confident models

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We all have the ability to empower each other – from beauty to brains. So why not? Why not celebrate your friends’ looks and your own wonderful qualities. We all deserve to feel a sense of self worth and the pure happiness that comes with it.

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Her Campus Emmanuel Executive Board 

I am so proud to be a part of such a wonderful group of people through Her Campus. I can’t wait to see who we can inspire next.

Cheers to feeling beautiful – HCXO

Autumn

follow our Instagram: hcemmanuel to see more pictures from the show!

 

 

Living for Your Resume or Eulogy?

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I recently had a talk with one of my close friends here at college. It’s junior year and the pressure is on to excel in our classes while expectations surround future internships. Everyone wants to succeed and stand out, naturally. But when do we draw the line between success in school and overall fulfillment in our personal lives?

I believe the two go hand in hand. I’m all about balance – yes, I’m a Libra – so I make it a point to invest myself fully into school and personal relationships as well. Overwhelming at times? Of course. Some of my friends really struggle to differentiate between these two aspects of their college lives. We’re supposed to be making crazy memories but also setting ourselves up for our future, no pressure – right?

There’s a TED talk that asks the question “would you rather be known for your resume or your eulogy?” This means that focusing on our resume characteristics, as we all tend to do at this point in our lives, highlights our skill sets rather than who we genuinely are. Whereas focusing on eulogy traits digs deeper into who we are, emphasizing our hearts and true selves.

It’s a powerful question. Most people would probably agree they’d rather be known for their eulogy – the funny memories, love-able traits, and recognition of the good in them. But if we really think about it, this is a generation that truly focuses on building their resume, even if they have a memorable personality. It’s not a bad thing because success also brings a lot of good into our lives, but it’s important to recognize what traits you focus on.

I’m all about competition, so I love the competitive world that we live in but I love my sincere relationships and memories more. Don’t put too much pressure on your resume, trust that being authentic will get you where you’re supposed to be. Better yet, you’ll have some great people and memories to go along with your success if you don’t lose sight of who you are.

So ask yourself, resume or eulogy?

XOXO – Autumn