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Perhaps, the most anticipated time of my college career is about to happen. Going abroad for a semester has been at the top of what I look forward to in college, and thankfully I attend a University which makes it so easy and attainable. If you did not already know, I will be studying in Florence, Italy from January to May! Today I wanted to share how I really feel about studying abroad...


Classic Instagram ads sucking me in... showing me products they know I will think are cute... it is honestly so rude. Anyways, I bought this jacket on a whim because it caught my eye immediately. It is from Macy's, on sale, AND you can add another coupon on top so I got it for only $35! Such a steal for a bold and staple piece in your closet.

out with the old, in with the real

It still hasn't really hit me that it is the New Year! There is so much to look forward to in 2019, I am going to study in Italy and after that, I will be a SENIOR in college... like what!? 2018 has been a weird year, don't get me wrong, such an incredible year, but personally, the root was a lot of reflection and growth.

I hit a lot of holes and found myself stuck in ruts and unmotivated way more than I was motivated and moving forward. I learned it was okay to take time for myself, to spend the day doing what I wanted to do, and that it is okay to be vulnerable. I am definitely someone who was anti-feelings for a long time, but this past year I really became in touch with emotions and was not afraid to express them (thanks TJ). Pretty sure I cried more this year than I have all of college lol, but it honestly all needed to happen. Do not get me wrong, this past year I was presented with a lot of amazing opportunities - I worked the Masters Tournament, had the best internship, finally traveled Greece with my family, was a Pi Chi to the sweetest girls, started dating an incredible guy, and so much more. But I really needed to learn that it is alright to sit and dwell when things are not okay, instead of pretending everything is perfect.

Since I am not one to make New Year's resolutions, this year I kind of wanted to, more so to keep myself accountable throughout the year by looking back and achieving all I said I wanted to and actually bettering myself. Here are a few of the aspects of my life I want to work on/goals I hope to achieve:

  • Be more compassionate - I am definitely not an empathetic person, so I want to work on being more aware and understanding of other peoples feelings instead of ignoring them. I want to be more accessible to my friends, family, and others if they ever need to talk to me. My boyfriend has the biggest heart, sometimes he is so nice it drives me crazy, but instead of all that bothering me this year, I want to learn from him and reciprocate the same kindness. Being from the South, I have good manners and know how to treat strangers, so I want to be sure to implement those when I am traveling next semester, whether the Italians will appreciate it or not, we will see! 
  • Stop judging myself AND others - I am so guilty for judging those around me, whether it is out loud to my boyfriend or subconsciously and it has taken me a while to realize, none of that is necessary or even matters! We gotta let people be who they are, wear what they want, and do as they wish, just as we hope others let ourselves do. This also leads to my constant issue of judging myself more often than I want to admit, we all do this and it tears our self-esteem down so much. I am by no means the thinnest girl, nor am I always in shape, but I am trying to learn to embrace my body and appreciate all the good instead of dwelling on all the bad. One thing that I really did improve on this year was finally accepting that I will always struggle with acne (thankfully, not as bad as I did the first 18 years of my life), and realizing most everyone else does too! Something that used to hold me back from wearing certain things or going certain places barely phases me anymore. 
  • Be more spontaneous - Reality is, I am way too good at saying no. I am the kind of person who will usually rather stay in than go out or not go to that dinner with everyone even I want to see my friends. To be honest, this year I just got lazy, I fell out of love with Columbia and school in general. This upcoming year, especially since I will be in Europe, I want to be more spontaneous! I hope to travel as often as I can and say yes to any and every opportunity, whether that is going out, finally trying that new pizza place, or going skiing in the Swiss Alps... I am going to stop letting fear and anxiety control my decisions.
  • Post more regularly & gain more followers - If you don't follow my Instagram, @just.jojo.things, you should start because it is about to get way more poppin. It will mostly be filled with my European adventures woooooop! I really hope to get to 5k by the time I come back from abroad, which may not seem like a huge number, but I am all about growing slowly. Another goal I have is to start a YouTube channel! I have wanted to do this for a while now, and hope it will be easier to share more makeup and hair looks with y'all. 

My blog was something I did not feel fulfilled me enough this past year... I realized the direction and execution of my blog was not what I wanted nor what kept me excited to post. I curated content based on what I thought people wanted to see when in reality my best posts were the simple and real ones! I am taking this mindset and motivation into the next year, which is also why I took the leap to re-brand and sort of re-design my blog. I wanted a base to inspire me and a fresher slate to get me going. So here is a mini breakdown of my hopes and plans for my blog this year:

  • I tried to keep style at the center of my blog, but that is just too difficult for me. Realistically, most days I am in norts, sweatpants, and some sorority t-shirt. I do not dress up every day and am the girl who wears makeup less often than not! I did not think it was fair or fun to keep forcing myself to seem more glam or put together than I am, because that is just not the real me. Do not get me wrong, I love fashion and styling, I mean it is my major after all! Give me an event or a reason to dress up, and I will be there all extra, full beat glam on, but day to day life I keep it simple and I love to let my skin breathe. Outfits will still be at the heart of my blog. You can expect specific style posts less often, but with better execution than before! 
  • Travel posts are pretty scattered here, since each month it varies whether I travel or not. This year, traveling will definitely be the center of my blog. Due to my ya know, entire semester abroad. Definitely expect some bomb photos, city guides, and a lot to come about living in Italy! I am beyond ready for my time abroad to be transparent on this blog and am so eager to share all my new adventures.
  • Lifestyle is definitely the largest part of my blog, which gets me so giddy! I love lifestyle type content, all the college, beauty, and product posts will be coming your way, as well as a lot of posts like this, me rambling about my life. I also have lost touch with my creative side and cannot wait to get back into graphics and photos, and possibly sharing more makeup looks (@ that YouTube channel I need to start). 

So here's to 2019... thanks to everyone who helped me make some great memories in 2018 and for going into this new year by my side. Hopefully, you will follow along throughout my year and as always, thanks for reading!