How to be Smarter: Just because you can’t have your dream job right now doesn’t mean you have to take a dead-end job while you wait. It’s always better to be climbing the ranks somewhere, even if it is not your ideal industry, than to spend time at a job with no future while you wait for a better fit.
How to be Prettier: I own these headphones in white, and I love them, but I was pretty jealous when I saw them in my favorite mint color.
How to be (less) Awkward: To me, one of the only things worse than sitting on a delayed bus, plane, or train is being hungry on a delayed bus, train or plane. I never travel without an extra bottle of water and something to snack on (plus, even if the transportation system isn’t delayed, I always end up enjoying having something to nibble on).
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How to be Smarter: Some people go faster as the finish line gets closer; some people crawl on their hands and knees once the end comes into sight. Some people skip across the line joyfully; some people cry when they finally finish. But even if you spent the whole race walking and not running, even if you felt like everyone else was going faster, even if the race was harder on you than someone else, you still crossed the finish line. Sometimes accomplishments are less about how fast you can achieve them, and more about not giving up during the race.
How to be Prettier: When shopping online at stores where you are not 100 percent sure of your size, look for details like adjustable straps on tops, dresses with tie-backs, and pants that can be cuffed or belted so there are ways to slightly alter the fit of the item without needing to return it.
How to be (less) Awkward: A really cool site that is both nostalgic and sweet.
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How to be Smarter: If you really love your major, you will stay up until 2am perfecting your essay. If you really love your work, you will be awake at 2am thinking of new ideas to bring to your boss. If you’re deciding to accept a new project, ask yourself: would I want to work on this at 2am? If the answer is yes, take it on.
How to be Prettier: For almost all body types, the most flattering maxi dress style is a defined waist, with a detail that plays up the dress’ length. (This is a good example of a belted waist with a vertical pattern).
How to be (less) Awkward: Even if you are shy, you can and should still say something if you are hurt or offended. Standing up for yourself and your values can be just one line, spoken sweetly and authoritatively. Your statement doesn’t need to be a threat and it doesn’t need to be mean-spirited for your point to come across. Some examples: “Please do not talk that way to me,” “I’d appreciate if you kept that remark to yourself,” or “That joke is insensitive and I do not want to hear it again.”
P.S. I was thrilled to write a piece for my sorority’s national blog about the positive effect sisterhood had on the development of Smart Pretty and Awkward. You can read it here.
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How to be Smarter: 5 Time Management Tips. [A 40:20 Vision guest post I wrote].
How to be Prettier: My hunt for the perfect pair of wedges has led me to this pair; which I have worn near-constantly for the last three weeks. I highly recommend; they are the most comfortable heels I have owned in the past five years. (They are shown in olive, but the pair I have are nude-cream).
How to be (less) Awkward: When others say you are unique, what they are generally referring to is that you make unique decisions–you chose to do things other don’t. I think being called unique, or quirky, or different, is one of the best compliments you can be given–it means you have the bravery to pursue avenues others are scared to, and the courage to live a life that makes you happy.
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How to be Smarter: When studying for a test, laminate a list of terms or equations you should know, and put them in the shower for you to stare at while you let the conditioner soak in.
How to be Prettier: If you are considering joining a sorority this fall, follow the dress code given to you during rush. However, do chose one piece–whether it’s a necklace, shoes, or a hairpiece–that is interesting and different, providing a way for the girls who meet you to easily identify you later. “Did you meet Molly? She had on that pair of turquoise pumps!” This is also a technique to use when going through a day of interviews, when you know the employer will be meeting other candidates that day.
How to be (less) Awkward: I think a sweet way to stay in touch with someone in another time zone, or who gets up much eariler than you for work, is to set your alarm for the time you know they will be getting up, wake up in the middle of the night, and send them a quick ‘good morning’ text. You can go back to sleep right after, and a friendly text at an early hour will surprise and delight. (Whenever I do this, I actually write the text before I go to bed, so then when my alarm goes off I literally hit ‘send’ and go immediately back to sleep).
P.S. Check out this cute interview with my friend Poppy over at Loeffler Randall’s blog.
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