The Art of Flirting

By Robine Jean-Pierre

Have you ever stopped to think that flirting is just a form of communication? It is basically behavior that conveys a specific message: either “I’m attracted to you,” “I want you to be attracted to me,” or both. Some people are very intentional with it, while others don’t even know they’re doing it; some are successful, some are not. Being in a committed relationship has increased my interest in what I’d like to call “flirting etiquette.”

From Cooties to Catcalls

To start, it’s interesting to note that the style of flirting seems to change with age. Generally speaking, as children we were taught that if someone teased you, it meant they had a crush on you; Billy sticking out his tongue and calling Sally names were his way of hiding his true affections. As we get older, it seems a more direct approach is usually favored. Traditionally, if a guy is interested in a girl, he has to “make a move” and present himself to her. It is then the girl’s decision to accept or decline the offer.

Got Those Moves?

So what are those moves? Is there a code or a system? Can it be taught? I’ll let you answer those questions yourself, but I figure that just as there are five love languages, there are probably five broad categories in which people flirt. Someone might try to give you a lot of gifts or buy you things (receiving gifts); go out of their way to do kind gestures (acts of service); compliment you frequently (words of affirmation); give you long hugs or pats on the back (physical touch); or spend as much time with you as possible, either in person or on the phone (quality time). Someone who’s really ambitious would probably do a mix of all five. (If you’re interested, see
my previous post about Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages.)

When it came to my fiancé Angel, he hit heavy with words of affirmation. Early in our friendship, the compliments were non-stop. He often texted me things like “I’ve never met a girl as cool as you” and “you’re really an amazing person.” I couldn’t tell if he was just being friendly or if he was flirting; but either way, it started to bother me, so I kindly asked him to stop. (I was really hard to get; I had my reasons.)  So that brings me to the next topic: is it flirting if it’s not being done on purpose? What if that person is just being “nice”?

Oops, I Did It Again

Sometimes your words and actions are misinterpreted (which I talk about in my previous post titled “What Do You Mean?”). During this early stage in our friendship, Angel may not have thought he was flirting, but I definitely took it that way. (In the same way, I may not have thought I was flirting when I gave him bear hugs every time I saw him–but he subconsciously took it that way.) I believe anyone who receives questionable affection has the right to confront the giver of it. The world of romance can be mysterious and elusive, which is what some people enjoy about it; but there’s nothing wrong with asking someone outright, “Do you like me?” and having a mature conversation about it, whether the answer is yes or no (or “it’s complicated”).

I Want You to Want Me

In our case, Angel and I did actually like each other, even if it took time to acknowledge and develop. However, that leads us to another question: is it OK to flirt with someone whom you have no intention of actually pursuing? Again, I’ll let you answer that one; I can only speak for myself.

Some may consider flirting to be harmless fun. It brings pleasure knowing that someone wants you, even if you don’t actually want them; flirting is a way to test the waters, to see if you could get that person to want you.

However, in my opinion, doing this could cause undesirable conflicts. Flirting with other people especially if you’re already in a relationship can lead to jealousy, insecurity, and at the most extreme side, cheating. It can be just as risky if you’re single. It makes me think of a line from Michael Jackson’s song “Billie Jean”: “Be careful what you do, and don’t go around breaking young girls’ hearts.” It’s easy to frustrate and hurt people if you play with their emotions through flirting. And unless you enjoy that, why do it?

The Feeling Is Mutual

Relationships are all about reciprocity. Most of us enter one expecting each party to contribute in some way. At the very least, we desire a mutual physical attraction for one another. Unrequited love is perhaps one of the greatest sources of discontent. No one wants to like someone who will never like them back; if they could eliminate the desire, they would. This must be why we are more likely to become interested in someone who appears to be interested in us, even if we were not initially attracted to them.

A Penny For Your Thoughts

I’m sure I could say a lot more on this topic, but I’ll leave it here. What are your thoughts on flirting? How would you respond to any of the questions I mentioned above? Feel free to leave a reply below.

Life After Undergrad: It never hurts to ask

“You never know until you try” That phrase rings true for many situations in life, jobs, relationships or even something as simple as trying a new place to eat. My mom always told me this whenever I was unsure of myself or a situation– she always says “just ask”. While it seems like something so simple it can somehow seem so daunting too because, how do I ask? It comes down to a confidence thing in a way because if you doubt your voice, you’ll doubt your question.

One day I just decided to go for it and ask– I was at work and my boss had suggested something that just seemed a little counterproductive so, I asked if we could try it another way– and she said yes. It doesn’t always work but I’d say about 70% of the time it does. When you ask a question you force people to think about something in a new way, a way they may not have considered before. Getting people to think is a powerful thing because new ideas and new collaborations mean progress.

Now the key here is to ask with poise and diplomacy; not in a condescending way. When you communicate properly and with respect you get way better results. Remember this acronym,

Always be respectful

Say what you mean

Know what you’re looking for

Hair We Go Again



I am a sucker for makeovers. I love movie montage makeovers and the character transformations in novels. I love seeing people in the hallways that I don’t quite know change up their look, or have a brighter smile. I love when someone flips their hair the opposite way and it changes their mood slightly. Makeovers are physical changes, but it can bring out hidden confidence and quirks by presenting deeper emotional changes.

In the saga of my life, having no hair touch my neck is a new and epic adventure. Ever since I was young, I’ve wanted to do something wild with my hair. Either it would touch the ground or I’d get a mohawk. My hair has taken its time, getting shorter and shorter over the years and finally getting a pixie cut is super liberating.

But, I’ve found that there are pros and cons to this dope decision:


  • Less time getting ready


  • Feeling super confident and suave


  • Having something to run my hands through when bored, nervous, or stressed
  • Curls!
  • Earrings!
  • Floof!


  • Light weight
  • No more eating hair on windy days
  • Easy, breezy, beautiful 




  • Forgetting that I can no longer make a bun and therefore cannot conveniently place my writing utensils for easy access.



All artwork by Pebbles.

A Letter to You

a sunset overlooking a boardwalk

Image by: Cal

Dear You,

I am writing this letter to you as April is National Letter Writing Month so it’s fitting.I know that you are struggling with piles and piles of homework as you slowly prepare yourself for the upcoming end of the semester with finals. Let me start off by saying thank you for reading. I want you to know that you as my readers, mean the absolute world to me. Having someone reading the words that I carefully pieced together to make a written masterpiece, an art piece…a way to somehow make sense of this crazy puzzle of life.

I can only hope that as you read my posts, no matter which one that it inspires you…that it gives you hope to be better…to always strive for success. I so often in life have wanted to quit on my dreams…to fold my cards in this game of life poker. Life is so unpredictable, the events that occur each day are often unknown or unexpected because nothing in life is ever fully guaranteed. And we must all deal with the cards that we have been dealt. I want to be able to offer hope to all those who have decided to take time out of their days to read my posts. I am optimistic that I can be a symbol of strength to help you through the daily struggles that you may be facing. I have challenged myself to be as honest as possible by sharing my personal journey. I know what it is like to question your self-worth…to frequently ponder what my meaning is in this world. I know how it feels to not fit in and to evoke the sense of being a pariah in all areas of your life

Though I graduated from college, there are a lot of necessary things that college didn’t educate me with and these are just day-to-day instances that readily occur. College doesn’t tell you how to get placed with the right job for you, ways to choose a job, finding a passion that you truly care about and wish to spend your life pursuing, or how to conquer the unforeseen circumstances that life brings you. Life is a difficult thing to persevere through at times, believe me, I can understand that. But upon finding my passion for baking, I have come to understand the meaning of purpose. We all have a purpose in this world and most of the time, we wonder what that purpose is and why our lives are meaningful in this world. We frequently question our value but I knew that I loved to make others happy by way of having a delicious pastry as well as educating others to become bakers themselves. And perhaps, that is my purpose in life…to bring happiness to others by way of my desserts. I enjoy baking so much for a variety of reasons, it is a very fulfilling experience but it has a special value to me. I have baked many desserts for celebrational purposes as well as for recreational fun but either way, it helps me to relax and remain calm from the chaos that is life. It relieves my stress and reminds me of the talents that I have hidden within me regardless of the difficult days that I have endured.

Remember this when you are battling through a rough day, that you are strong…that you have the power within you to be happy and to be successful. No matter what comes your way in this crazy rollercoaster of life, you have the opportunity to write your own story and you are always the hero. No one is as heroic as you in your life story as you are the one seeing the chances that you take and being brave enough to pursue your dreams. If you always dream big and strive to achieve your goals then you are your own hero because you continued to be successful for yourself.

Life of a Tech Student

City life and nature balanced in a near perfect unison, beautiful isn’t it? Central Park Is one of New York’s most visited areas by both residents and tourists alike. It’s refreshing from all the crazy street life, like stepping into a new world with wildlife and peace. In my previous post I had mentioned I’d be going somewhere and well here I am! I also mentioned that nature brings peace and is what keeps me calm, it’s my personal way of releasing stress.

Central Park is the Place to go if you’re in the city and you can’t make it out to another place like Corona park or Forest Park. Nature is beautiful, even with the cycle of seasons seen year after year, it’s beauty is never the same and it never gets old, always fresh and always beautiful one can never get enough of such a breathtaking view. Nature is like food for the soul, the more we take in the more we grow and the healthier we become. College life can be stressful, trust me I know. I had so many moments here in City Tech, wandering the halls during my class breaks and wondering, “ how in the heck am I going to make it through this semester? It’s way too much work, can I even handle it?” I always ask myself the same question and the answer always remains the same being yes I can, thing is I often find myself in need of a little push to get there and that’s where mother nature comes in, she is my mediator in my battle within myself when I fear the worst in my academics, It takes one train ride to get there and many steps to clear the battlefield. We have to remember that at the end of the day, we are only human and we can only do so much but we must never sell ourselves short as we are all full of potential. Going back to Central Park, with or without blooming flowers it looks as beautiful as ever, it is my escape from the world of academics, if you find that you’re low on time but need an escape I recommend this as one of the go-to places, and I’ll end it with this one question, when was the last time you treated your body mind and soul to a moment of peace? TREAT YO SELF!

Spreading HOPE around the world

Last week I discussed part of the origin of the LOVE pop art icon, and now I will continue to discuss the birth of this beloved print.

the hope sculpture from behind

As referenced last week by Mental Floss, Robert Clark was working a few part time jobs while trying to find his calling in the art world. He vied to discover himself in an abyss of popular artistry. He wanted to make something interesting and, most importantly, avant-garde (something new and unusual). Clark soon made his first print called “Stavrosis,” this was a painting depicting his own version of the Crucifixion of Christ. After finishing this abstraction he finally felt a spiritual calling to his artistry; something akin to a divine epiphany. Clark then changed his name to symbolize his spiritual rebirth; he decided to rename himself Robert Indiana, after the place in which he was raised..


In 1961 Indiana caught his first break, doing a piece called “The American Dream.” This piece is what got him noticed as one of the contributors to a new art style called “Pop art.” When most people hear Pop art they automatically think Campbell’s soup, weird blond wig, and some wonky ‘80’s glasses, but Indiana actually played a large part in the art cultural movement and even worked closely with Andy Warhol. But he decided to refrain from the public eye since he didn’t want to lose his faith in a sea of drugs, sex, and intense limelight.

Andy Warhol glaring into the distance while holding a dog

We see ya, Andy…
Image Credit: Giphy

Indiana went on to get commissioned to do a piece for the World’s Fair of 1964 in New York City, which was one of the precursors to the LOVE art piece as he slowly introduced typography into the art world. This one was called “EAT” and was a print of that word. Everyone got confused by the piece, mistaking it for a cafe (or maybe one of those automat things that went out of style) but the simplicity of the word was secretly really poetic.

the hope sculpture from the fronta close view of the hope sculpture from behind

1958 was the year of early conception of the beloved typography piece called “LOVE” and almost instantly the icon was born. He toyed with the poeticism of the word “LOVE”, separating the LO and VE, and tilting the O the side. Some viewed this inquisitive “O” as sensual and others saw nothing of the sort. By 1965, MoMA had commissioned him to make a version for their year end Christmas card and in that day and age his LOVE piece went, what we know today as, viral. Everyone wanted a LOVE print since it symbolize so many different things in that time. The Hippies used it to “…spread love, not war.” and the popularity only increased from there. MoMA gave Indiana his own show in 1966 since people loved LOVE so much. By 1971, sculptures of LOVE made of COR-TEN steel debuted in New York and Boston.

But there was a MAJOR issue in this rise to stardom…

Since Indiana didn’t want interrupt the print with a copyright, insignia, or watermark, he didn’t exactly have legal jurisdiction over his own piece. Therefore anyone could buy, sell, or trade his work without any chance of plagiarism. Soon, paperweights and other tchotchkes began to surface in retail, without permission of resale to Indiana. The more it was used, the more Indiana was forgotten. His typographic poeticism and wit was sold to the highest bidder, unbeknownst to him. And his LOVE piece soon fell prey to cheesy gimmicks in advertising.

After this devastating loss, Indiana disappeared from the art scene for the next thirty years. But, in 2008 he felt compelled to make another shock in the art world. Indiana came back to aid in former President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign; he made HOPE. It was modeled after LOVE but had a different word in mind, curated to mean a million things in one print.

the hope sculpture from the bottom left corner

According to New York Daily News, In 2014, Indiana released more public sculptures of HOPE in New York City, Venice, Caracas, Munich, Miami, Vinalhaven, and Maine, vying to fill the world with hope. It was engineered to take selfies with and post them for International Hope Day which also is Indiana’s birthday, September 13th.

a black and white view of the front of the hope sculpture

Both sculptures still stand in their original places today; a five minute walk between each other. They are free to visit! So feel free to take your own selfies with them.

Watching Seeds Blossom Into Flowers

As a child growing up in Brooklyn, I’ve always been very loving and willing to open up to others unconditionally. As I got older and my life evolved I’ve tried to hold on to the people I held dear to me as much as possible. I know that anything could happen in the blink of any eye, and I do not want any regrets. Days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into years, and I began to see all the people around me grow. As they grew, I noticed how much their progress in life resembled flowers, and how beautiful their success looked to me.

Each time that I spoke with someone who was doing well for themselves, I felt overwhelmed with joy. To see people work diligently towards a goal, and try their hardest to make their dreams come true makes me feel warm inside. This warmth that I feel is genuine happiness to see other people in my life aspire to be great, and do what’s necessary to achieve greatness.

Often times people go through life with the “crabs in a barrel” mindset. For those of you who may not be familiar with this phrase, it basically means that people will try to  hinder the success of others attempting to get ahead, in order to better themselves, or if they aren’t talented enough to attain the same goals as others. If this definition doesn’t resonate with you think of a time where you visited the seafood section of a grocery store. Do you remember seeing the live crabs in a wooden barrel that is left open for customers to pick and choose form? Have you ever noticed how the crabs climb and step all over each other in attempt to get to the top of the barrel and get out. If so, then you have a visual representation of what  this mindset actually means. In retrospect,this mindset is in no way shape or form a part of my personal values or beliefs. In all actuality, I’ve always wanted to help people around me as much as I can. I believe that we as people should help others, just as we were helped into the positions that we are all currently in. I believe it’s only right to keep the trend going.

In retrospect, as I look back on my life I can see how much people in my life have helped me to get to the position that I am currently in. Now that I have a platform or a position where I can help others, I would like to introduce you to a young man named Christopher Jordan Livingston. Chris J as he likes to be called is a 14 year old young man, who is a wordsmith, or as many people say today, an aspiring rapper. He uses his passion for music, along with his words and his voice to personify his experience and create art. I see him as a visionary, just like how people in my past saw me as a visionary. So I have decided to share his art with you through this soundcloud link, with hopes that I can help him get closer to his dream just like how so many people have helped me.

When I was a seed I had people who gave me the proper nutrients such as water, support and food for the soul so that I could be successful.  Now that I have blossomed into a flower I can help someone else do the same. We are all seeds that require different nutrients to grow. However, the main nutrient that we all need to grow and blossom into flowers is support. So my goal is to support others just like I have been supported, and how people close to me continue to support me. In doing so I hope to aid someone on their path of success so they can in turn help someone else and keep the cycle of success going. In the past I’ve heard the saying “Hate Begets Hate”, and I’ve seen how hate can turn a person with promise bitter. So, I put positivity out into the world so that my positivity can beget more positivity and the people around me can grow, and blossom into whatever they want to be.

I know that life can difficult at times but having positive people in your life can drastically change your outlook on life. Now that I have told you about the way that I hope to help others achieve their goal, can you tell me about a time when you were helped or when you helped someone be great?

More Life

April is almost like an early holiday season for me and my family. It is a month of birthdays galore! I wanted to use this post as an opportunity to acknowledge a handful of my family members who have birthdays this month and wish them many many more blessed, happy and fulfilling years of life!
Like Drake says “MORE LIFE”!

girl excited at her birthday party

GIF Retrieved from GIPHY

First on the list! I talk about my mom so much you all probably thought she made me on her own. Well plot twist, she did not make me on her own, lol, I have a father whom I love and adore very much and His name is George.

GIF Retrieved from GIPHY


Photos of my Dad

I always joke and say it’s the guy in those pictures up there that bamboozled my mom into having all these kids lol. My father has got to be THE FUNNIEST man I know. He’s also super annoying. As soon as he walks in the house, the volume goes from 0 to 100 real quick.

GIF Retrieved from GIPHY

Sometimes I even run and hide in my room so I wouldn’t have to hear his rants lol; but I wouldn’t have it any other way. My father looks out for me like no one else. He may go on and on about how I “need to be more responsible” or how I’m “not a kid anymore” and he shouldn’t “have to do all these things” but he does it because I’m ALWAYS gonna be his “kid”. They say fathers always have a weak spot for their daughters but he shows the same love to my brothers as he does for me and my sister. He shows us love in his own “tough” way and is always giving us the best advice and using his own past experience and life lessons to help us avoid the same mistakes. Of course we don’t want to hear it at the time, but he is always on point. He’s smelled some of the “clowns” I’ve called boyfriends from miles away lol. So Mr. Francis, happy birthday! I love you and I hope you see many more years. Enough to walk me down the aisle, enough to meet and be a part of my future children’s lives, and enough to get on my nerves for however long you feel. But just remember, if you get on my nerves too much, it’s straight to the nursing home for you,lol.

P.S I’m not just saying all this to butter you up for a nicer car I swear.

GIF Retrieved from GIPHY

Next up, this one is a big one. The oh so Sweet 16. My second niece, Nia.

two photos

Photos of my Niece

I look at the person in the picture on the right and can’t believe she was once the picture on the left. Now she’s 16 and has her own independent personality, even rude of course. Her and my first niece, Anaya, are only a few months apart and I remember Nia being in the walker and my older niece would bite her fingers when no one was watching. Kids are so mean, lol! She would be crying randomly and we just couldn’t figure it out. We eventually realized what was going on but there was one day that Nia bit Anaya back. It was then that we knew that now the tables had turned and she was getting ready to be her own force. They still go head to head just the same and it’s a hot mess. She is one of the people that I want the best for and want to see succeed in this world full of a mixture of adversity and opportunity. Happy birthday to my niece Nia!

GIF Retrieved from GIPHY

Then there’s my favorite little person, My 3rd niece, Sanaa.

two photos

Photos of my niece

This little girl has been here before I swear. She’s so smart and sassy, and literally a ball of love. We have new nicknames for each other every day and she can change your mood to a happy one in 2.5 seconds like it’s her superpower. She looks up to me and I take that to the highest degree. I want to show her that she can be whatever she wants, do whatever she wants, and that happiness should always be the motivation. Not only do I support her, but she supports me. She’s always offering to help, always asking how I am, what I’m up to; grown people can take a page or two from her book. She also just might be the funniest person in this family lol, love her.

Happy Birthday “Bunny”! The most spectacular thing about me writing this to her is that she is turning 7 next week and she reads my blogs on her own. Yes, that’s what I said. With the exception of a few harder big words, she reads these posts on her own!

GIF Retrieved from GIPHY

Lastly there’s Akeem, my friend of over 12 years, Sanaa’s godfather (the “frick” to her “frack”), and someone that I definitely love to hate lol.

woman with frustrated expression

GIF Retrieved from GIPHY

man sitting with young girl on couch looking at laptops

Photo of my niece and friend Akeem

I already told him that at my graduation he has to wear a t-shirt with my picture that says “Nefertiti is the smartest person I know”. He’s one of those people who pushes my buttons on purpose, so you know what, I do the same back. I also think he’s at the top of the list of competition for my niece’s love lol. It’s always something with him lol. He says he doesn’t eat meat, but begged my mother for some of her Chic-Fil-A the other day. I told him I don’t do hair anymore, he’s always asking me to braid his. Do you see where I’m going with this? Just ANNOYING lol. All jokes aside though, he is someone I can always count, and call on, and I will always appreciate that about him.
From being my friend, he’s become my family, and despite any ups and downs we will always be there for each other. Happy Birthday!

Some say life is short, I personally like to think life is long, and birthdays are anniversaries. Even if it’s not someone’s birthday, to be able to have another day with them is a blessing. Be sure to tell those you love that you love and appreciate them all the time. As people get older, one day you may not have the luxury of to telling them these things face to face.

Give your loved ones their flowers while they can still smell them. 🙂

P.S Happy Birthday also to my Aunt Michelle, my great niece Athena, my Aunt Jennifer, and my late Uncle Darrin. Love you all.

Learning to Say No to Good Things

“During the first eighteen years of our lives, if we grew up in fairly average, reasonably positive homes, we were told ‘No’ or what we could not do, or what would not work, more than 148,000 times,” Dr. Shad Helmstetter states in his book, What to Say When You Talk to Yourself.  

If this is true, I figure saying no is not that hard for most people. However, I have said my fair share of no’s to myself, friends and family, but I realize that in certain cases, it’s quite challenging to say it. I don’t mean that I’m a pushover or susceptible to peer pressure, even though I will admit that sometimes I struggle with desiring to please everyone; what I mean is I have trouble turning down opportunities, even when it is very necessary to turn them down. 

Rapper Lil Jon and a caption that reads "turn down for what?"

from QuickMeme

I’ve had a terrible habit of biting off more than I can chew, grabbing at nearly every positive opportunity that has come my way. My reasoning is this: my school and home life combined are very stressful, and I get tired of having to do what I don’t really want to do. In order to counteract the negative, I go to the other extreme and jam-pack my schedule with positive. I engage in events that I know will benefit me, even if the benefit is simply a good mood.

The problem is that this behavior has often compromised my other responsibilities. A lot of times I’ve had lunch with good friends when I could have been doing homework, or I’ve gone to a social gathering on a night that could have been spent relaxing and reflecting alone at home. After all, who wants to do homework? And who wants to be alone?

It’s very hard to say no to good things, because, let’s face it: they’re good things! Sadly, there is such a thing as too much good. My friend Cassandra loves to use this analogy: cancer in the simplest sense is an abnormal reproduction of cells. Cellular reproduction is necessary for our survival, but when there are too many cells, it can be harmful.

While I have been aware of all of this for quite some time, last week was the breaking point that forced me to stop thinking it and start doing it. Having a super busy schedule that did not account for legitimate, intentional rest (aside from sleep) meant that the little time I had leftover was spent with Angel, and my “leftovers” are not pretty at all; I was burned out, could barely muster up a smile, and at any given moment I was ready to either break something, scream, or burst into tears (the most common, less violent option) from sheer exhaustion and overwhelming stress. I realized that I could not keep treating him, or myself, like this.

Practicing saying no will not be easy, but I know it will pay off in the long run, and that I must start now if I want my situation to change as soon as possible. I believe setting boundaries is the only way you can enjoy and protect true freedom. It will require the guts to temporarily disappoint friends, family, Angel, and myself; but delayed gratification is more worthwhile and long-lasting than instant gratification. My future self will thank me.

Life After Undergrad: How I overcame my fear of public speaking

In 2008, my very first college class was at 8am, on a Monday, and my commute was an hour and a half long. That class by the way, was public speaking 101. On the first day of class the professor handed us the list of assignments and dates they were due and there were at least 6 or 7 instances where I’d have to get up and speak to the class. I loathed public speaking and to make it worse, I’d found out I was pregnant a week into the semester. So now not only did I have to get up in front of the room and give a speech now I’d be doing it while pregnant.

I considered dropping the class but by the time I mulled over that choice it was too late to do it. So, instead I opted for trying to get the professor to excuse me– which he didn’t. He told me the whole point of this class was to break students out of their fear of public speaking and at the same time make us self advocates. At the time I was totally over it and wanted no parts, I figured I could do the bare minimum to pass and never look back. What I didn’t know though, was that the skills I took away from that class would serve me for years to come.

When I became a mother I also became an advocate for Ava. Seeing as she was a baby and couldn’t speak everything she needed came from me. At doctors appointments, in school and anywhere else she went I had to speak up and make sure her needs were met. Part of my being able to do that was learning valuable communication skills and not only did these skills serve Ava; they served me too.

When my transcript got sent to the wrong school I had to speak up and get it fixed, when my credits were applied incorrectly I had to speak up and get it fixed and most of all when I felt I was done wrong or disrespected, I had to speak up and get it fixed.

All of these instances would be much tougher had I not learned how to communicate. When I got to City Tech I quickly found my major meant a lot of communicating and a lot of self advocacy. I became regarded for my communication skills in and out of the classroom, which led to multiple opportunities to work on campus. Overall now that I look back that public speaking class was probably the best thing I ever did for myself– even if it was at 8am (LOL). My takeaway here is, challenge yourself, be a little uncomfortable but most of all be a better you!