College & Stress

College & Stress


As an only child and the oldest cousin, I was the first to go to college. My mother stayed home and went to college and my father only went away to college for a short time. I didn’t really have anyone to give me any real advice on how to handle a lot of stuff.

So when things got difficult, I had trouble managing. I didn’t really know what exactly to do.

At one point there was just so much going on in my life. Classes were getting harder, my relationship with my boyfriend was on the fritz for like the umpteenth time. My grandmother, which I was very close to underwent heart surgery and didn’t ever recover. On top of that, things at home weren’t great either.

Plus, it was college and like I mentioned in my previous post, “College 101: Making It On Nothing” money was tight. I was a broke college student, who didn’t have much cash to work with and tuition, gas money, food, etc. was a constant worry.

To put it lightly, I was overwhelmed!

School is hard! There’s no argument there.

Be very careful with stress during these times. In college, there is a ton of easy access to drugs and alcohol. It may seem like a simple solution at the time. However, we know what adverse affect this can have on your body and your life. It’s dangerous!

Plus, it’s only a temporary fix.

I’m not sure about you, but when I’m overwhelmed all I want to do is find a way to relieve my stress. Back when I was in I was partying was my solution was drinking and smoking. Partying and drinking was a easy way to forget all of my problems. Was it the best solution? Absolutely not! (Disclaimer: Hangovers SUCK!!! Hugging a toilet and making your friends bathroom, your room for the night is NOT cute!)

Here are some alternative ways to handle college and stress:

Sometimes going home for a weekend to clear your head can help. Being around family, people who genuinely care about your well being.

Find somewhere to just go and chill and meditate. Quiet, is hard to find on a college campus. You may live in a noisy dorm or apartment where your roommate(s) are always there. Even sometimes the library can be noisy. If you can find sometime to yourself to gather your thoughts. Do it. Maybe even a local coffee shop in town? Because who doesn’t love coffee or a hot cup of cocoa in the cooler temps?

Pray. I realize everyone isn’t spiritual or religious. But, I sure wish I would have talked to God a lot more in college. I usually only talked to him when I was in trouble, to very frank. Prayer in many different religions is the center. If this is something you do, do more of it!

Keep a journal. Even in college, while I was super busy and really didn’t want to write by hand because I had been doing it all day in class taking notes…I used to keep a little journal. I still have it to this day. It really only has a few pages with a sentence or a small paragraph of writing of my feelings, but it was helpful. Even just jotting down something small as to how your feeling can be a way to blow off some steam. I believe journaling can be very therapeutic!

Talk to someone. If at all possible talk to someone outside of your circle. If you feel like you need help, it’s there. Don’t be ashamed! Many universities have counselors on campus, who are willing and waiting to listen and try to offer some solutions.

Lastly, I want you to remember that this thing with studying and all the other pressures of college are temporary! Try to focus on the big picture, which is graduating and getting that degree girl!!!

If you’re in college currently, away or at home. How do you manage stress?

Comment below!

Until next time ladies…

-Nicole Alicia


Be Happy With Yourself First


Be Happy With Yourself First

I am odd. I love reading books and writing. I’d rather sit at home and read, than go out most of the time. I enjoy being alone sometimes. I am socially awkward. I rarely speak in social settings, because I am in deep thought or analyzing a situation. I am very slim and that hasn’t changed and I’m almost certain it won’t ever.

A lot of these things may be interpreted different by different individuals.

For years I was told by teachers and peers that I need to be more talkative, more assertive, more this and more that, less this, less that.

Now in my thirties, I just recent was able to accept me.

In previous relationships, I was told that I was weird, too closed off and stayed to myself too much. I was also told that I was needy. I was told that I was too skinny, too hairy and not pretty enough. Unfortunately, because I had all of the confidence knocked out of me by this bad relationship, I began to believe these untrue things about myself.

Another guy came along and told me that I was all that and that I was beautiful and wasn’t too skinny and that what I was asking for in a relationship wasn’t a lot or abnormal. For some reason I was looking for outward affirmation. But I needed to realize who I was and be happy with myself. Looking for approval with in your relationship or with another person is so unhealthy.

God made you unique! There is no one on this planet exactly like you.

Once I learned to accept me, I was able to say this is who I am. Love me or hit the road!

However, I had to realize it for myself. Sometimes it’s an on going battle because we all have our bad days when we get down on ourselves right?

It’s so important to learn to love yourself. I know it sounds cliche, but it’s so true.

If you don’t accept yourself first and who you are as a young lady. Be happy with you!

Take a moment between relationships, take a moment before you get into a relationship.

Don’t let anyone change you for the worse! You’re beautiful!

Until next time ladies, peace and love!

-Nicole Alicia

College 101: Time Management Tips

College 101- Time Management Tips

When my main character Melody Thomas from my debut novel “Drama University” was in College in the early 2000’s, there weren’t any iPhones or Google Calendars to keep track of all of her assignments and social events. She just used her good ‘ol student planner like she always had. Many people still use a paper planner. I know I prefer to!

Now days there’s so many choices to uses to stay organized. But this isn’t even about staying organized. It’s about being on your own for the first time in you life.

There’s no one to tell you when to wake up, when to eat breakfast, when to go home it’s all up to you (unless you have a dorm curfew, which I suggest you abide by).

College is a great experience! Enjoy it, savor it! I loved my college experience for the most part. I am a very disciplined person, but I still had to reign myself in and know when it was time to study and such.

I loved to party and enjoy myself like everyone else but I also knew and kept in the back of my head that there was a specific reason… to get that degree!

So with that being said here are a few Time Management Tips for you that helped me tremendously in school:

College Can Be A lot Harder Than High School! Do NOT say I’ll do it later too many times. It will turn into a bad habit. You’ll likely forget about that assignment that’s due or Quiz you have Monday in Econ class. Plan ahead and accordingly when possible. Always try to have your assignments done ahead of time so that you can go have a good time guilt free!

Distractions Will Kill Your Study Time! There are a ton of distractions in college. Especially if you live in the dorms or on campus! I liked to study in the comfort of my own room, but sometimes that wasn’t possible. I had loud suite mates and some roommates who preferred to have their music on while I preferred quite to study. It’s just hard sometimes to find somewhere good to study! If it’s not your environment, sometimes it’s your phone that keeps going off with alerts (Silence that sucker and hide it in your bag or away from where you can grab it easily to check it). Whatever you do, try to find a comfortable spot that fits your study style whether it be the quiet of the library or a student lounge area. Get somewhere where you can concentrate and get ‘er done!

If You’re Late All The Time This Is For You! In college, often times I found myself constantly rushing here and rushing there. Sometimes it was my fault, sometimes it was because I had things to go to back to back and couldn’t help it. But often times it was my fault. I rushed everywhere! I rushed to work, I rushed to get to class, I rushed to get to Dinner in the Cafeteria. You get the point. I just was pretty horrible about keeping track of time. Say if class is at 9 am, I would often wake up at 8:45 am and expect to get to class on time walking from the furthest end of campus. Instead of waking up a bit earlier, so I could get breakfast and get to class on time and not have to run I chose to sit in class. What often happened is I would forget something. A book, my phone, my notebook for that class. It was horrible. I didn’t learn until about senior year when I had to be at work at 8 am in the morning and had class all day I better have everything I needed for the day because ain’t nobody got time to run all the way back to my apartment to get what I forgot I needed.

I hope some of these little tidbits help!

Until next time…

-Nicole Alicia


5 Reasons Why My College Experience Was NOT An Episode of “A Different World”

My College Experience Was Not An Episode of -A Different World-

As a matter of fact, I don’t know why it would have been because I didn’t attend an HBCU.

I was actually accepted to Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri although my parents quickly crushed any hopes of me traveling that far to attend school. I also thought well what if I could go even further. See I had set my sights on Grambling State University in Louisiana along time ago. I was a band kid back then, with hopes of going to a school with a dope band. My mother quickly explained to me that was too far for her only baby to be going.

Growing up  my favorite sitcoms (and still are my favorite) were Cosby Show, Fresh Prince, Family Matters, Martin, Living Single and A Different World. We watched them together as a family religiously!

I particularly liked, “A Different World” because being the only child and being the oldest grand child I didn’t have anyone else around me who had this type of college experience. My aunt went to Lincoln University in the 80’s and had some stories for me. My mother stayed home and attended UMKC and my father went to NWMSU, but stayed only a year. So I didn’t have much to go off of other than this show.

Plus, Hillman College not only gave the black college experience but it gave the experience of black kids attending college for this first time.

The show “A Different World” was so important to the culture then and now. It covered so many different issues and topics that still important to this day.

So, I’d like to share 5 Reasons Why My College Experience was NOT an episode of            “A Different World”

1. I didn’t go to an HBCU – The University I went to was in the city of St. Joseph, Missouri (whoot, whoot Go Griffons!) which has roughly 45 minutes north of my home in Kansas City, Missouri. Honestly, I was accepted to a few different schools, UCM, Lincoln University and MWSU. MWSU was the most cost effective and my parents felt comfortable enough that if something happened, they could reach me. I ended becoming friends with a few people who went to HBCU’s and because of this, I visited Lincoln Universtiy, Spelman College and Morehouse. So, I did get to briefly experience what that life was like. I don’t feel like I missed out at all.

2. Although I was light skin with “pretty hair”,  I was no Whitley Gilbert– Matter of fact far from it! It was through blessings of Jesus Christ himself, I graduated at all. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth and like many other students I went to school with, how you were going to pay tuition was a struggle from semester to semester. I didn’t even have a car on campus until my junior year. I had worked all summer to fix this hooptie, because the transmission was shot when I bought it.

3. There was no Colonel Taylor or Mr. Gaines I think the one black guy on staff when I started MWSU was a guy by the name of Mr. Karl Bell. He was about the closest thing we had to anybody like that, with wise banter and to keep us in line. He was head of the Black student group on campus and I think he left our school my sophomore year.

4. The guys I dated in college were NOTHING like Dwayne Wayne-Most of them cared academically, but some didn’t. Now that I look back, I think some of them were honestly just there for the girls and the partying. Dwayne Wayne was a borderline genius and I think all those kind of guys were taken or some how we never crossed paths.

5. My roommates where nothing like Kimmy or Julissa– Whew! I could tell you some roommate horror stories! But, I’ll save that for another post. Let’s just say, 1 out of 3 of my roommates was decent. Only one of them was older than me. She was very wise like the character Julissa and did try to steer my clear of trouble. None of them however, was going to school to be a doctor like Kimberly Jones.

My junior year, I went to visit a friend who attended Spelman College in Atlanta, GA. We toured Spelman and the neighboring school Morehouse. It was awesome, to say the least. It was a bit different, but mostly the same from what we experienced on campus in St. Joseph, Missouri. Just with a ton more style and swag! I actually did get to see that famous dorm they cut to and often showed on “A Different World” which was cool as well.

My character Melody Thomas in my upcoming novel, “Drama University” experiences college for herself, but it’s nothing like a sitcom!

Until next week…

-Nicole Alicia


My Summer Read: The Help


My Summer Read- The Help

I think by now everyone has seen the movie adaptation of the book,”The Help” by Kathryn Stockett.

This Summer, though I decided to tackle reading all 400 some odd pages of the book.  When I first picked this book up, I thought, “oh, shoot this thing is thick! It’s gonna take me awhile to get through this thing!”

I let the book sit for awhile, before I was able to find some space to pick it up and read nightly and often sometimes in the morning at breakfast.

I didn’t know anyone who had actually read the entire book.

I just knew I had to tackle this, because everyone knows the book is always better than the movie, right?

So this book takes place in the 1960’s in Jackson, Mississippi. Enough said. The south was known particularly for it’s racism during the civil rights movement, Mississippi in particular.

The movie went with the main character Aibileen, a black maid who worked for Elizabeth a woman who was racist as well.

I’d like to share with you what I liked about the book…

(WARNING: Their maybe a few spoiler alerts ahead for those of you who haven’t read the book!):

I liked that the author wrote from different characters perspectives. I am so attracted to authors that write like this. Terry McMillan is one of my favorite authors because she tells the entire story by writing from different perspectives. “The Help” switched back and forth between Skeeter, Minnie and Aibileen to tell the story. The movie just sort of told the story through the eyes of Aibileen and incorporated the other characters into the story.

It sheds a light on peoples backwards perspectives in the 1960’s which sadly today is some folks same way of thinking. Their is definitely a historical factor to both the movie and the book. The mentioning of civil rights activist Medgar Evers murder and JFK’s assassination being noted in the book, does give you a very solid time period and gives you a marker as to what times these were.

Back then talking ill of your employer, sharing stories with others and discrepancies with their employers wasn’t just a threat to their lively hood, their job, but a threat to their life and their families.

I love these books that have a certain historical factor to them because it makes me thankful for the life I live now, but also seeing how far we have come and how far we have to go.

I actually found the copy that I ended up reading at a local thrift store (hint: some thrift stores have some pretty current reads for sometimes less than a $1.). I often just pick up books at the thrift store, at different book sales and place them in our library. Then when I have time, or am looking for a good book to read, I don’t have to go out to the store and get one.

That is unless I’m wanting something that was just released.

Thanks for reading!

-Nicole Alicia

Hey Young Love

Hey Young Love

Young love sucks! Well, sometime.

Thinking back on it, I always seemed to have a crush on someone who wouldn’t even give me a second look. Ha, they probably didn’t know that I even existed. It’s a challenge for some of us who aren’t necessarily with the “cool” kids. Back then I really thought I was doing something. I understand now, I wasn’t necessarily “very cool” in school. I tried my best to fit in, but what my interests were, were normally was different than most. I liked to read, zone out to music, write stories and poetry. (OK, I admit I was a nerd and still am).

Young love can be so fickle and flaky, so vulnerable.

Everything’s so fresh and new, until one day someone says or does something wrong or decide they just want to date someone else. The next thing, you’re breaking up. Now days, it’s just even more complicated with social media and all. Who wrote what on whose wall and who liked whose pics. I can imagine having social media back in my day in school and boy, that’s an ugly picture!

In the early 2000’s when my character Melody, from my upcoming novel (to be released this fall) is in College, she has a pretty rough time with love. Being able to reach your boyfriend anytime, anywhere by cellphone was just becoming a “thing”.  Back in 2002, dating you had to pick up your house phone and return a call. If they weren’t home, they weren’t home and you had to wait for them to get back home to call.

This might be giving away my age, but it’s true!

In College, Melody is able to feel more comfortable to be herself though. However, dealing with missed calls, a seemingly confused boyfriend and the pressure to continue to be a scholar student in school is a lot. She’s finally came into her looks and all these different young men on campus, are actually taking notice. This is most certainly a distraction. For Melody, this is a whole new world.

Young love is wishy washy, it’s sweet and it can get a bit grimy.

So, moral of the story is don’t sweat it too, too much when that long relationship of 6 weeks doesn’t work out for you. There are other guys out there. I promise!

Heartbreak sucks too! But I think I’ll make this a whole separate topic.

Come back Tuesday for my post on heartbreak.

Have a great weekend you guys!

-Nicole Alicia

What’s Your Book About?


Well…I’m glad you asked.

Most of the time when I casually mention that I’ve written a novel, the next question is “Oh, what’s it about?”

Now for me, it’s hard to summarize my work for some reason with out telling the whole story and being my own major spoiler alert. I get so excited about sharing sometimes, I forget I do want people to actually buy my book, LOL.

I am currently working on the finishing touches for my debut novel to be released in the fall. I am still working on a narrowing down a definite release date though, so stay tuned. Be sure to follow me on this blog or Instagram for the definite release date, cover reveal and more.

Many of you read the excerpt from the book I posted on this blog Thursday, from Chapter 5 and the small piece I shared on Instagram.

However, I realized this weekend that I kind of started in middle with out giving you guys any context as to what my novel is about.

How rude of me I know, I apologize.

I’ll post an official book blurb later on, but for now I’ll just share a little about what the book is about.
My main character Melody Thomas, is starting her first year of college. She is very excited and is looking forward to being on her own. Up until this point she’s been pretty sheltered by her parents and is ready for a change of scenery. She’s expecting to have a smooth transition and wonderful time, since her high school sweetheart, Xavier is going to the same college as well.
Melody’s expectations are high. Coming off a great summer spent mostly saying goodbyes while hanging with friends staying back home and hanging out with her boyfriend. During freshman orientation however, things start going left and Melody is left feeling very confused.
This novel covers so many different topics. Some of the topics I’ll be blogging about and engaging YOU my readers in are:
Love & Relationships
Surviving Heartbreak
Being Broke aka Learning to survive on less
and more
I guess I’ll leave it right there, for now.
Thursday, I’ll be blogging about young love and heartbreak.
Until Thursday, I’ll catch you on social media.
Thanks for reading!
-Nicole Alicia

My Novel Writing Process

My Novel Writing Process (1)

When I first got the idea that I wanted to write a novel, I felt overwhelmed.

I kept pushing the thought away that I could even be a writer, let alone write an entire novel. I thought to myself, who would want to read anything I have to written? But you and I both know if you have that attitude you wont get to far anyway.

When I started writing my first novel, I was 23 years old. I had been journaling and writing short stories off and on since I was about 5.

It was 2007, I started writing down my ideas for the story line. I knew it was going to be about relationships and school and that was about all I had. I kept thinking what else?Like, what was my story going to be about? Then I thought about who my main character was going to be.Then from there I wrote out some of the events I wanted to have occur and got more detailed about who my main character was and where she was from, etc. From there the wheels just really started to turn in my head.

At this point, I was using paper and pen only.

I love, love, love notebooks and journals (p.s. I make notebooks also and sell the over at Dear Alice Company). For some reason, I love the feel of paper and pen in my hands. It just feels more real to me. I am a bit obsessed with it. In the beginning, I would just keep a pad of paper on my desk at work and jot down little ideas about my story line or characters. At the end of the day I would tear off those sheets and take them home with me.

Even though I had a computer with MS Word on it, it was so super hard for me at first to just sit down at a computer and begin typing words onto this blank screen so I began writing my story in a notebook with pen. This turned into me filling up the entire 70 page single subject notebook with the first 3 chapters.

I would have loved to continue on like this, but I feared that if I kept going it was going to be entirely to hard to go back and type all of this handwritten mess. Instead I forced myself to type up what I had. From there I brought in my knowledge from past English classes and started a actual outline and kind of just filled in from there. I started like a I was writing a play and used Acts.

Yes, “Acts”!

If you’ve ever seen a playwright you have Act I, Act II, Act III and so forth and so on. I chose to divide mine into three different Acts and outline each chapter from there.

I know some writers don’t go in chronological order from the jump. I did at first, but then I hit a wall around say Chapter 5 which is the part of the beginning. I then started writing my ending chapter and working my way back and it helped me finish the rest.

Now I know many of you are like, “WOW it’s 2017 and you’re just now trying to edit and publish this thing?”


While I was writing this novel I had more than a few of life tragedies, health scares and the birth of my first child occur that have derailed me in my quest for publishing. I took breaks, had moments of why am I even doing this in the first place and time where I just let it sit for no reason at all.

Writing a novel is most definitely is a journey and not a destination! But, so is being a writer, period.

As with anything in writing or anything creative for that matter, you just have find what works for you. Disclaimer: This is only what worked for me. I am not writing a how to article just sharing my knowledge!

Do you want to write a Novel? Have you written a Novel? What was your experience?

-Nicole Alicia