Life Update: Graduation, Summer Work and more!



My life has changed so much and yet so little. I wanted to update you on everything that has happened. Also, the above picture is unfiltered and just me smiling and purely happy with my life at this very moment.

I graduated. Yup, you read that right. I just graduated from college after a six-year journey that has led me with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Costume Design. I am so happy to have graduated with amazing people and I hope to continue working with many of them in the future. It has officially been a little over a month it doesn’t seem real but my mind and body are truly at peace.

I am working my first real paid job. As many of you know, I have worked before and it has been minimum wage and I have also worked for free without housing or stipend. I have “paid my dues” so to speak and it has paid off. Let me know in the comments if you want to hear more about what I have done in the past in terms of work and why I chose to work where I did. I am working in Massachusetts until end of July. In July, I am leaving to go back home for about two weeks before heading to New York.

I am moving to New York. You know, I never really thought that I would move right out of school. Technically, a summer away counts, right? I am moving there for an apprenticeship that I had two interviews with and then “the call.” I am so happy that I will be able to work with amazing designers and artists to create theatre. Of course, my end goal is still to work in the film industry but this is a great way to gain contacts and really get to know the city.

Blogging tossed to the wayside. I am 100% guilty of slacking on blogging because of finals and since graduation, it hasn’t really hit me. I won’t promise weekly blogging. It isn’t realistic for me in a lifestyle of working late a lot and preplanning doesn’t seem genuine unless they are my travel posts or something like that. So, I will post when I feel like it and let it go from there. I have seen a lot of YouTubers recently who are draining themselves creatively by sticking to a schedule. I don’t want to drain myself and I also don’t want to lose the community I have created on here.

Also, head over to my Instagram (link below) to see what I have been up to and to see more of my day to day life.

Sending lots of love.


Find me:
Facebook: The Mermaid Network
Twitter: @MermaidNetwork
Instagram: @themermaidnetwork
Trip Advisor: Tiffany’s Reviews


How I Use My Agenda! | Organization | Washi Tape

I don’t know about you but as a college student, I cannot afford stickers that are huge for the planner community. If you don’t know what I am talking about, Erin Condren planners are the big thing right now. Due to my budget, I decided to go for the cheaper and sensible route for me. If you love stickers, just remember that you can always get a great deal at craft stores if you use a coupon.

So, to start off, my planner is from Target. The company is Blue Sky and I am obsessed with how cute this is. I purchased this for $7.99, I think. The great thing about Blue Sky is that they had different formats that allows you to have options with each design.


I decided to go with the kind of planner that is broken down by time. It is hard to see (sorry!) but the top row is “Today’s Top Three” which is great for my daily goals of what I would like to accomplish for the day. The middle row goes from 7AM-7PM. The bottom row is “Tonight” which I use as a to-do list for the day that is not necessarily a goal. Homework goes in the bottom row.


Hopefully, this edit is brighter for you to see. I did not write my week because my class schedule usually goes on the pages. However, I think you will get the idea. I use a binder clip to make sure I can quickly flip to the week. The washi tape I use is really great to add a little more character. The yellow and brown anchor washi is to designate when my lunch is when I am at school. The chevron is for big breaks of time for myself to do other work. Anything that I need to do, class or meetings, is written in pen.


What I use:
-washi tape: I get most of my washi from A.C. Moore and they come in bulk sometimes so you can get a tube of 10 for a good deal. The chevron was in the group of 10 and it is pretty great!
-pen: I use the Pilot G-2 pen in 0.7mm. This pen is my absolute favorite!

How do you plan?


Find me:
Facebook: The Mermaid Network
Twitter: @MermaidNetwork
Instagram: @themermaidnetwork
Snapchat: @mermaidnetwork

Food For Thought: The Most Important Thing to Learn In Your 20’s

I know that I am in my early twenties and this might be speaking a little too early but I think that this statement is true: Finding out who are is the most important in your 20’s. I have never been in a relationship before or even been on a date. I think that although I might be missing out on that, that it isn’t the most important for myself. I think that growing as a person and finding out who I am will help me in the future with any relationship. Growing up in high school most teens don’t know who they are when it comes to themselves. I think that the separation away from family in college is honestly the perfect time to get away and find oneself.

Although I am only 23, I know that I do not want to be in a relationship right now because I am still finding out who I am as a person. I have realized that I tend to change when I continue to nurture a friendship with someone. Sometimes I am growing for the better while other times I see the negativity that starts to take over. I cut the negative relationships out but it might not be soon enough to where I can be okay with my decisions. Well, that sounds a little dramatic, but you really do have to live with those choices you make.

Separating myself from a lot of the negative relationship and taking the time and energy to focus on myself really helps. I have realized that I tend to invest a lot of time to relationships that may not be good for me because I just want people to be happy but that isn’t always the best and so many people take advantage of other people’s willingness.

“I’m Just Joking With You.”

Well, yesterday, I experienced something odd. I don’t know why I thought so, but I think that it will be helpful for people, like me, to read something that they can relate to and to know that they are not alone.

At the end of every school day, the whole class of 40+ cleans the shop up and organizes and places things where they go. I was helping people with a dust pan and one of my classmates makes a motion to air-punch me. The motion was playful, I have done this with other classmates I have grown closer to. I find it to show that I can joke around with them. This classmate and I are not close but we are more acquaintances than anything else. I guess you could say that I have not had enough of an interaction with her.

In my head, I am very cautious about who I can talk to and about what. I have been in bad relationships with people who take advantage of me and I have learned to stop myself if I see any of that in myself. I am quite respectful of boundaries, maybe too much so, and I have noticed that I must seem tight lipped and serious. In college, most people go there to get an education, have fun, and make friends. I suppose you could say that my “school self” is very much focused on school and little on fun and friends. I am learning still to cope with stress by letting people in my life, it is hard.

Anyway, I think that it opened my eyes because the classmate who made the gesture to air-punch me said that she is always trying to joke with me. It has been about three months, or so, since the semester started and I am still the same in their eyes, I suppose. Her best friend, another one of my classmates joked about how this was a facade and I wondered if it was. Personally, my demeanor is a product of who I am as a person because I wouldn’t want people to be mean to me. Granted, it hasn’t always been easy to be kind or polite but it is something I keep in the front of my mind when talking with people, even friends, even my own sister.

I guess my next step would be to open up more to people since I have found that I have made friends but I still haven’t opened up to them. I would say my version of friends is what most people would consider acquaintances, but what would my acquaintances be called? Anyway, still struggling with relationships with other people. I know that this isn’t a solution but it is something that I want to document so that, hopefully, I can look back and see that i have progressed more than I have in the past.

-The Mermaid Network

College Talk: It Is Okay To Take A Break

So, I think that it would be helpful to pick up my college series again. I wish I had someone who was helpful to me when I needed it because my college experience happens to be different from the norm. Since I transferred in my junior year, there are things I wish I had told my younger self, specifically, “it is okay to take a break.”

Right now, I need to get renderings done but I decided to just breathe and take a nap. Now, you might be thinking, that is bad! But, if you take a short nap that lasts anywhere from 15-20 minutes, it is okay. Granted, I took a longer nap than I should have, but I have been trying to find ways to fit in a nap. I am on my last day of fall break today and just taking a chance to not stress and put myself first is great.

So, when you are having a rough day or just need that nap. Take it. Take it with the notion that you WILL get up at the time that you assigned to yourself on your phone. I hope that you are all going through college right now and putting yourself first when you need to. College is important but you are top priority.

Most Eloquently Written Letter to an Ex

I have never been in a relationship, but I have seen the aftermath of what it does emotionally to people. I see when someone is extremely jealous or plot something to sabotage someone they used to love in their new relationship. Anyway, I don’t want to get into too much detail because Presley does an amazing job of taking you through her journey to finding a way to accept that her relationship is over and releasing all of the petty emotions. Sure, she has sass in her writing but it makes her seem like she is talking with you over coffee. I find her take on relationships refreshing and pretty wise for someone in college. You can read all about below!

-The Mermaid Network

Presley Strickland | To: My Ex’s “Upgrade”

How High School Should Be Helping You To Prepare For College

Let’s be honest, high school doesn’t prep you for college. AP classes aren’t any more help than a regular class because all the college-level classes feel like high school classes. I think that there are a few ways that high schools and colleges can really help each other out. I know that there are factors of budgeting, faculty/staff, student count, etc. but I think that these things would really help any high school student take the next step with a steady stride.

1. College tours. I never got to visit my first university as a potential student and that is rather unfortunate. Not to mention that some students can’t afford to visit a campus because of financial stability. I know that there are so many colleges that all high schools cannot help with but this is where students come in. What if students in their junior/senior year of high school send in a vote to take a tour of a campus? A campus speaks volumes about the environment that a student will experience every day for however long they attend. I think that there have to be guidelines but if the schools don’t want to give students that much of a choice, how about taking them to the local community college and a four year college?

2. A class about college. There should be an actual class about college. I remember that the guidance counselor office had a huge book on every school and a little bit about them. I think that a class about college would be immensely beneficial to help students plan ahead. The class could go over things like financial aid, programs, classes, degrees, work study opportunities etc. There are so many things that high school graduates are left to learn on their own when they don’t have the guidance in a classroom setting. How about going over what your GPA actually does to factor in a decision? Scholarship opportunities should also be in this class because then the students could get help with an essay, get it proof read, and then submitted for the best possible chance of earning the award.

3. Student-to-student communication. I always wanted to hear from another student about their experiences without interruption or pressure from professors or admissions to “sell” their school. I am not going to buy what you are selling unless I know you are being genuine. I think that it would be great for a college student to communicate with high school student on social media. I think that a Facebook page or news feed of some sort would be beneficial to help any students in your local area. Is there anything that you wish/want your high school to do to help you prep for college?

-The Mermaid Network

Orientation Week

Hi Fleeters! By the time you are reading this orientation will have been completed. I decided to do this diary style and post how I felt, what happened, and what the experience was like to have a week long orientation. I think that I will definitely be doing a comparison orientation because this has been a whirlwind of a week!

Day One: Move-In…for other students.

I am so thankful that I live with my sister because I would have had to arrive to campus really early to check in and then move in all before 1:00 PM because the mass part of orientation for students and parents started then. I drove onto campus around 11:00 to check in and make sure that I was going to the correct place. I made it through every single table they had without having a nervous breakdown. Can I also mention that my mailbox is at the very top?! There is a step up that you can use but I still have to get on my tip-toes to see the numbers! AGH! Orientation went pretty well and all I had to do was sit and listen to people talk. I have never laughed so much at the speakers because they were at ease with us and filled our heads with information without making it so boring as going through slides. I can honestly say that I hadn’t been wiped out in a long time than I was that day because I slept at 9:30…that has been the earliest I have been asleep.

Day 2: Back-and-forth and all around!

So…I could have gone to something at 8:00 AM but it would have ended 5 minutes before the next thing I needed to go to. Since I didn’t know the location of the thing I needed to go to, I decided to skip the 8:00 AM session and Well, my schedule was really spaced out today because I went to an orientation for working on campus. I didn’t have anything else until 3:00 PM, so I just went back to my sister’s house and relaxed, ate, and took a nap. I knew that if I didn’t take a small nap that I would fall asleep real quick. I went back to campus around 2:00 and stayed until about 5:30. There was another event happening later that night but I decided to opt out because I didn’t want to go. I know that it is important to attend as many sessions as possible but I already felt wiped and it was raining really bad on this day which meant that I would be driving in the dark and in the rain…not cool.

Day 3: I actually talked to people…SURPRISE!

Well, this day started out really late, I went in around 3:30-4:00 PM to meet with all the other new students who were accepted into the same program. I am one of 26 who were accepted into my specific area. We all met with the faculty and I met a girl too who was very nice and we headed to the meet-and-greet after, food was involved! I also saw a girl who had interviewed at the same time as me and I met the person she was talking to as well. I am glad that they were nice enough to even be around me because I honestly went up to her and said, “Hi…” and then I blanked. I am awful at making friends or even putting myself out there so I tried and the three of us talked for the rest of the time.

Day 4: Check-in and a failed meet-and-greet.

Well, today was a day meant for checking in with the office to let the employees know that I was on campus and ready to get started with the school year. I also got a test for a respirator and various other things. I left after that and went home and relaxed until around 4:00 PM to go to a meet-and-greet in a really, really, hot room that made me want to cry. Others arrived and when someone finally spoke up, we all learned that there was supposed to be food and painting and other things. I bolted out of there and went home.

Day 5 and 6 were optional days for me because they were full of recreational things to do for all the schools to get together and relax, have fun.