Law School Dropout

My heart was pounding erratically, my hands were shaking, and sweat began rolling down my back as I walked down the cold, dark hallways of Barton Hall. I could barely breathe, let alone open my mouth and speak. What had I gotten myself into? As I approached the brightly lit classroom, there were around fifty anxious high-school students awaiting my arrival in their small wooden desks. I can still remember hesitating for a moment as I stood outside of the classroom. It took a few seconds before I could gatherenough courage to walk inside.

To my surprise, the program directors cheerfully motioned for me to come inside and introduce myself. They informed me that I would be teaching a class of about six to ten high school students for the next nine weeks. The Let’s Get Ready program provides low-income high school students with the chance to maximizetheir post-graduation opportunities by preparing them to take the SAT and apply for college. Through weekly SAT preparation classes, workshops, college visits, and college application assistance, Let’s Get Ready essentially keeps the children on-track for graduation and beyond.

Much like these children, I, too, was faced with the responsibility of discovering who I strived to be, upon entering college. It seemed as though I wasn’t good enough for many things. My introversion and extreme shyness prevented me from participating in several activities, although I longed to be seen and make my presence known. My transcripts reflected nearly perfect grades, but verbally, I was unable to make these two worlds coincide. I came to volunteer with the Let’s Get Ready program in hopes of discovering and releasing my inner voice, while also looking to assist others along the way. It was through this experience that I discovered my desire to be heard.

I strive to be a voice for the voiceless. I feel that I have a personal duty to stand up for those who are unable to speak for themselves. While I have been fortunate enough to possesslife experiences that have compelled me to overcome my debilitating fear of speaking, I am aware that there are others who have not been as fortunate. I often wonder how many people there are in this world that want to speak up, but are simply unable.

As a young African American woman from Philadelphia, I was fortunate enough to attend private Catholic schools for most of my life. However, my home life and school life were two vastly different environments. My teachers always stressed the importance of speaking properly and utilizing correct grammar. However, my neighborhood friends ridiculed me for using proper English. I was constantly plagued with the questions: “Why do you talk like you’re white? Do you think you’re better than us?” Not only did these words destroy my already lacking confidence, but they also forced me to retreat further into myself. As one of the only African American people in my class, I had trouble finding my niche both in school, and at home. However, it was not until I had my first encounter with a lawyer that I found the confidence to act on my desire to speak up.

As a young adult, I quietly observed my mother come to terms with her paralyzed arm, and I sensedhow adamantly her lawyer fought to bring peace and justice to our home after her botched surgery. It was due to this lawyer’s observant and kind, yet assertive nature that each member of my family was left with a positively deep-rooted appreciation for this profession. Attending law school will allow me to beamongst a group of unique individuals who are dedicated to making their voices heard, and advocating for those who are incapable of advocating for themselves. I plan to use my legal education to broaden my intellectualcapabilities, while also leaving a lasting impact on all of whom I come into contact with. I aspire to serve as a community advocate for all of those who do not have a voice. Those seemingly overlooked and forgotten communities such as the intellectually and physically disabled, impoverished families, immigrants, and displaced people, all of who require a way in which to freely express themselves. If I have the ability to speak up for even just a few of these individuals, my endeavors will be satisfied.

#TBT to the days when I thought I was going to be a lawyer…

Thank god I decided to do all of things that I wanted, instead of what everybody else wanted for me. The one thing that I’ve learned is that in order to truly feel happy and fulfilled, you must follow your own path. I’ve spent so much time trying to please others that I was not even pleased with myself. You will get to that place. Eventually.

Job Interview Do’s and Don’ts

A job interview is the deciding factor in whether or not you land a job. This means that the resume and cover letter were sufficient in proving your written qualifications, however, there is still the challenge of meeting face-to-face. A job interview provides the interviewee with a chance to present his or herself in the best light possible, while also allowing the employer to analyze and assess the individual. The manner in which the interviewee presents his or herself will provide the employer with an adequate evaluation of the individual as a whole. Provided that the interviewee follows these simple interview preparations, they will successfully pass the greatest job search challenge: the job interview.

Before the day of the interview, it is best to take the necessary steps to ensure success. Prior to the day of the interview, plan your outfit accordingly. A modest and conservative ensemble is the safest option. Women should avoid wearing high heels, low-cut blouses, or heavy makeup. In addition, men should groom all facial hair, and refrain from wearing loose fitting clothing. The next step is to determine the exact meeting location of the interview, and the amount of time that it will take to reach your destination. There is nothing worse than getting lost on the day of the interview and arriving at the last minute. Career Services suggest arriving for your interview at a minimum of ten minutes early. This provides you with the opportunity to settle yourself and mentally prepare for the interview.


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It is always wise to anticipate the questions that you will be asked, and have a general idea of your intended answers, beforehand. While you don’t want to memorize all that you are going to say throughout the interview, you should practice talking about yourself ahead of time. Research your prospective employer and find something that is of interest to you. Be prepared to talk about yourself, as well as your prospective employer.

Upon arrival, make sure to greet each and every person that you come in contact with. From the secretary to the actual interviewer, every greeting matters. It is very likely that the various individuals in the office will converse with one another after you leave, and share their thoughts about you. Thus, it is advantageous to maintain good eye contact, utilize a firm handshake, and avoid using slang when interacting with each and every person in the office. Furthermore, be sure to use the proper title, as well as the last name of each person, unless you are told to do otherwise.


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Although most people are aware of the potential interview gaffes, there are a few little known indiscretions that will immediately displease your prospective employer. While confidence is key, it is possible to be overly aggressive. You must find a balance between being extremely confident and being respectful. An integral part in showing respect is waiting until you are offered a chair to take your seat. It is never a good idea to smoke at any time before or during the interview, even if you are offered. The smell of smoke is not appealing when trying to make a good first impression. Although seemingly obvious, chewing gum during an interview is also unfavorable. Due to the sensitive nature of the current social and political climate, telling jokes during an interview is also widely frowned upon. You never know how your jokes will be received, so it is best not to make them at all.

Your job interview will ultimately run smoothly if you engage in or refrain from all of these simple behaviors. While the majority of these tips are considered to be common sense, many of these are often overlooked and undervalued. In mastering all of these methods of job interviewing, it will be nearly impossible not to succeed.


Written By: Janae Grier

Instagram: @JanaeGrier



Worst Date Stories

Male or female, I think we can all agree that we’ve each had some horror stories when it comes to love and dating. Whether you are blindly meeting a person off of Tinder or Bumble, or rekindling a relationship with an old friend or acquaintance, dating is one big game that each of us must play if we hope to find “the one.”

I’ve always wondered how everyone is so happy and in love with their significant other, when my friends and I are still sitting at home promising to marry each other if our love lives don’t work out. Personally, some of my worst dates were with a guy who I had known since the seventh grade. We worked together in high school, and we had been close friends for years. He used to beg me to give him a chance and go out with him; so reluctantly I agreed. One time he got so drunk at dinner, that he was stumbling down South Street. He was shouting and cursing and falling into people on the sidewalk. Everyone on South Street was staring at us, as he could barely stand up straight. He was leaning on the stop sign trying to keep his eyes open, and his feet on the ground. Needless to say, I was incredibly embarrassed. I eventually called an Uber and left. I later found out that he was not only drinking, but he had also taken prescription pain medications, which is why he was so intoxicated. That was it for me.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve asked some friends (and strangers) to share their worst date stories. Here are a few:

“This girl’s breath smelled so bad. She tried getting me to make out with her and her friend….then she asked me to have a threesome…” said Jon D.


Nicole P. said, “I went all the way to Florida to meet up with this guy who I had been talking to for months. He talked such a good game before I got there. I was so excited in the days leading up to it. When I got to Florida, he stayed in bed for the entire week and played video games. Then, I asked him if we could go out somewhere, and he told me that he just paid his rent and that he could barely pay his bills. We sat in his room for the entire week until it was time for me to catch my flight home.”

Brianna D. said, “I went out on a Tinder date with this guy and I was so mad because he was on his phone the entire time. Then, he asked me to pay for my own bill because he told me that he wasn’t trying to spend a lot of money.”

Thoughts? Do you think that a man should always be responsible for footing the bill?




“I met this guy when I was leaving my doctor’s appointment,” said Gabrielle S. “He was a boxer, and he asked me out on a date. I thought, why not? What’s the worst that could happen? I try to give everyone a fair chance, you know? During our date, though, he was like a dementor…he sucked the life out of every conversation that we had. It was super awkward. Like, we had a good time I guess, but it was just weird. I could tell we both weren’t feeling it.”

Chris H. said, “On my very first date with my girlfriend, she ran over a speed bump, and the entire bottom of her tiny little car fell apart. We stood on the side of the road for three hours because we were waiting for AAA to come. For some reason, AAA couldn’t get to us because we were in the middle of the parkway. We had to call a tow truck, but the tow truck never came either. Then, we decided to call the police, but they had to go to another accident, so I guess we weren’t at the top of the priority list. Eventually, my friend came and got us, and we left my girlfriend’s car on the side of the road. Apparently, the tow truck arrived like five hours later.”


Do you have a really bad date story that you want to share? Drop it in the comments below. We want to hear your story!

Written By: Janae Grier

Instagram: @janaegrier/@janaegrizzy


Sexual Assault: Explicitly Inexplicit

Picture this.

You eagerly stand in a dimly lit studio in front of a gray backdrop. You feel excitement because you finally have the chance to be back in front of the camera and pursue a unique hobby. You have finally become more confident in your appearance. This is the next step in furthering your career goals. Suddenly, a tall dark skinned man with glasses, long salt and pepper dreadlocks, a white tank top, and cargo shorts walks into the studio with his camera. He asks if you are ready to continue the photoshoot. You skeptically tell him that you are ready. In your mind, however, you feel uneasy. This tall dark-skinned man has been a little handsy with you for the past hour, but you dismiss this uncomfortable feeling. In your mind, he is just an eclectic artist. In your mind, you wonder why there is no makeup artist in the studio as per usual, but nevertheless, you remain silent. The tall, dark-skinned man interrupts your thoughts and tells you to turn around and face the backdrop. You hesitate, but you follow his instructions anyway. Suddenly, the tall dark skinned man pushes you into the corner and blindfolds you. He takes a rope and ties it around your forearms, pinning them behind your back. You don’t quite know what is happening. He, then turns you around and brings your hands towards the front of your body. He places an ice cold set of handcuffs around your wrists. You shakily ask what he is doing but he doesn’t respond. You hear the camera begin to take pictures. In an internal panic, you still feel unsettled and unsure of what to do.

After a few moments, the man walks over to you and yanks your halter dress down to your waist. He smells like a combination of sweat of tobacco. The top of your dress becomes untied. Your breasts are exposed. You struggle to pull your dress back up. The man walks back over and pulls your dress back down, as the camera snaps once more. Because of the blindfolds, you remain unable to see exactly what is going on. Your half naked body shivers from the air conditioner. The man comes closer, and tells you he knows what how to get what he wants from you. He begins to insert his fingers into your vagina. You immediately close your legs, but you are unable to stop him because of the restraints. He then places his mouth on your breasts. You anxiously ask him what he is doing and why. He refuses to remove the rope that holds your forearms behind your back. Slowly, he works his way up to your mouth, and kisses your lips. His breath reeks of cigars. You tell him to stop, but he continues. He bites your ears. You ask him if he does this to all of his models, and he replies, “I’m doing it to you.” The man tells you that he wants you to feel all that he does to you, so that you can portray this feeling in your pictures. You beg him to remove the restraints. Finally, he removes the blindfolds. He tells you that no one will know what really happened behind the camera in order to get these “beautiful” pictures. You wonder if this is art, or if you have just been sexually assaulted. Do you take your chances and try to escape, or do you stay in hopes that it will all end very soon? These were all of the thoughts running through my mind.

As a natural skeptic, I wondered how I could have ended up in a predicament like this one. When professing my extreme discomfort to this photographer, he insisted that I was simply uncomfortable with my body, and that I was taking things too personally… and I believed it. Deep down, I knew what had just happened to me was completely wrong, but my mind was in a panicked state. My mind was in such an impaired state that I ran from his studio, leaving my bra behind.

I felt like a harrowed Cinderella, in that, It was not until a few days later, that my best friend at the time told me she saw a Facebook message from the photographer, stating that he had my bra still in his possession.

In the end, I chose to remain in his studio, in hopes that I would make it home in one piece, both mentally and physically. While I escaped without any physical harm, I was emotionally scarred.

I was unable to differentiate between what actually occurred in that present moment, versus what the photographer alleged. As an already anxious, depressed, and mentally debilitated individual, it was easy for this man to manipulate my current mental state.

Upon returning home that evening, my roommate cried at the graphic description that I had just created in her mind. She too was unsure of how to interpret this horrific event. We were both so anxious and emotionally confused, that she convinced me to go and seek help. The next day, I went to the emergency room, still unconvinced that I had been sexually assaulted. When I began reciting the story to the triage nurse, however, she immediately took action. By law, the hospital employees are required to call the police. I wondered what I had just gotten myself into. With every single day that passes, I still wonder. At that point, I had spent a week in a psychiatric hospital struggling to make sense of what had happened to me, while also attempting to sort through the rest of my complicated life circumstances. While everyone around me was adamant that I had been sexually assaulted, I was still unsure. I made excuse after excuse; insisting that it was just art. I even considered the notion that maybe this photographer was just a typical eccentric artist who was simply trying to evoke genuine emotion for my photographs.

Once discharged from the psychiatric hospital, I spent the rest of my summer in an intensive outpatient program. Four days a week, for two hours a day, I met with a group of 4-6 individuals who were in similar situations as me.

While everyone told me nobody needs to know what really happened to me, I decided that I wanted people to know. I went through a phase where I was embarrassed and ashamed. I felt alienated and peculiar. In the long run, however, this experience forced me to rebuild myself starting from my most basic foundation.

So many of my friends, and even strangers, came to me and told me about their anxiety, depression, and even some of their sexual assault stories. It is surprising to me how prevalent sexualt assault, depression, and anxiety are within my friend group. Yet, no one discusses these issues because mental health, rape, and assault are considered taboo. It was not until a catastrophic event like this one took place, that my friends began to speak up about the personal experiences they went through, along with the rest of the women in this world.

Experiences like these come down to power and control. If you permit the pain and the negativity to take control of your mind and your body, you will never see your way through. The strength and understanding that you gain from taking charge of your thoughts and your reactions, will override these negative experiences each and every time.

This entire ordeal has pushed me to work on myself, and cut negative people and harmful behaviors out of my life, while also creating a greater awareness of myself and of those around me.

While I was incredibly disappointed and nervous about making drastic life-altering changes, like deferring my enrollment in law school, for example, I am happy that I finally have a chance to rest, relax, and decide what I want for myself. I have spent years molding myself into everything that everyone else wanted from me, and I have put everyone else before myself. I have also seen who was really there for me in my time of need, and who definitely was not. I felt bad for putting myself first. I then realized how ridiculous that sounds. I learned that if I do not want to respond to text messages, then that is okay. If I cannot make an event, or drive my friends around, then that is okay, too. Society makes you feel like having feelings is abnormal, and that showing those feelings is a sign of weakness. Social media has also perpetuated the idea that everyone is happy and living life with no cares in the world. In actuality, everyone is dealing with their own personal struggles.

It pains me to know that there are so many women in this world who suffer in silence out of fear of being judged or being perceived as a liar. In the words of my therapist, FUCK what other people think.

I would like to say that I am surprised so many women keep silent when it comes to sexual assault and rape; but, I am not. It is incredibly bothersome that very few people believe or defend its’ survivors. Society looks down upon these individuals, and labels them as “victims” who are either after money, attention, or both. My question is this: why would anyone want to falsify such graphic and horrific incidents? I do not know one person who would willingly spread such sensitive information about themselves, especially if that information was untrue. In reality, if the hospital employees and the Women Against Rape advocate had not urged me to come forward, I probably never would have done so…or maybe not for a very long time after the fact; much like many of the women who have recently come forward. Coming forward is just as hard as keep silent, if not more.

Society shames women for staying quiet, and in the same breath, they shame us for coming forward. Once we as women come forward, the word “victim” is carelessly thrown in our faces. This word drives me insane. Society expects us as “victims” to sit at home and never leave the house ever again. For some reason, we are no longer allowed to do the things we once enjoyed because we are somehow more susceptible to being “victimized” once again. God forbid we wear a dress that reveals our legs, or we show our shoulders or chest ever again…

After the assault took place, people looked at me like I was crazy when I went back to working, vacationing, and hanging with friends over the weekend. I was told that I was a “victim” and that I should be staying home and keeping safe in a closed environment. If I were a man, however, I would be praised for resuming my daily activities. Nevertheless, several others encouraged me to be brave, and resume the activities that once brought me happiness. Since the sexual assault, I enjoy spending time with friends and partaking in my regular activities more than ever before.

It bothers me that social media decides which issues are relevant and important. Sexual assault has been a very real concern for many years in several circles across all professions. The fact of the matter is that it will unfortunately continue to be a point of contention for years to come. It is my hope that matters of sexual assault do not dissipate once social media decides that it is no longer a hot topic. Now that men (and some women) are publicly being held accountable for their actions, I would like to see a societal shift in the way we interact with one another, both in the workplace and in our homes.