Women of Rubies


Kimora Lee Simmons and her two daughters, Ming and Aoki, are collaborating with HatchBeauty Brands to create a Baby Phat Beauty makeup line, according to The Daily News.

“I think it’s very important that right now—in this time of Black Lives Matter, that could be Brown lives matter…to be a young woman, certainly for Ming and Aoki, and for myself, to be a woman, a woman of color—to have your own brand,” Simmons tells Women’s Wear Daily.

Simmons surprised the fashion world by relaunching and revamping the streetwear brand and dropped a surprise on late last year in December.

At that time she stated, “When I created Baby Phat 20 years ago, it was because women—especially women of color—had no voice at all in the streetwear category,” Simmons tells Yahoo. “It’s in our DNA that this brand is created for women, by women—which was rare then and still is today once you really look closely at who truly owns and controls many womenswear brands on the market.”

The makeup line is launching a three-piece kit featuring a lip gloss, body lotion, and scented, shimmery body spray, which is retailing for $45 each. Three different versions of the products, reflecting the personalities of each woman, are also for sale.

“Divine is mine, obviously,” Simmons said. “Opulence is Ming, and Ethereal is Aoki, because she’s a free spirit. We are excited to dive into the beauty space with a unique multigenerational perspective.”

A portion of proceeds from sales of Baby Phat Beauty will be donated to Fair Fight, an organization working to promote fair elections, educate on election reform, and fight voter suppression.

The business of wellness has become increasingly popular over the last several years due to the trend of more Americans becoming conscious of their mental health. For the Black community, racial trauma along with other factors can contribute to more Black Americans dealing with anxiety and depression. One Black woman decided to create a series of workshops to help other Black women cope with their anxieties through breathing sessions.

Jasmine Marie is the founder of Black Girls Breathing, a special workshop series for Black women to practice breathwork, a type of breathing exercise or technique used to improve mental health. Marie found that this type of wellness exercise was critical for Black women who face their own set of challenges.

“After practicing breathwork and incorporating the tool into my life (while experiencing the many up’s and down’s of various chapters) for 4.5 years, I decided to get my breathwork training. During training, I noticed the lack of diversity in our groups (not uncommon for the wellness industry) and thought even more how this work isn’t really known in the Black community or accessible,” said Marie in an email interview with BLACK ENTERPRISE.

“I created Black Girls Breathing when I didn’t see any organizations focusing on bringing this work specifically for us while knowing the power of this tool and how Black people suffer from the highest rates of chronic stress and the related physical ailments related to it.”

Unlike mediation, breathwork can be described as an active practice that lets a person control their breathing, which can be used to boost immunity, enrich creativity, and reduce stress levels. For Marie, it was important to bring diversity in this space that is typically predominantly white to help Black women with their healing journeys.

“Black women have different experiences than non-Black women of color and white women,” she added.”It was important for me to acknowledge that our particular lived experiences and how the world perceives us has an impact on our mental health and create an environment that addresses that reality and offers tools to help us work through and heal through that.”

Customers can book virtual sessions amid the COVID-19 pandemic to take part in group sessions. Marie says in addition to healing in their own individuals, the sessions have also created a safe space for Black women to convene and feel relaxed.

“Most of the Black women who experience it once, come back and have begun to develop a practice. Now more than ever we’re seeing how lack of insurance and low-income due to layoffs have caused additional stress on top of the everyday stress felt of being Black,” said Marie.

“Our community has been so grateful that we’ve made the core of our work available in an accessible way. We’ve begun to host some sessions with a licensed therapist so the community benefits from traditional talk therapy + somatic healing (healing of the body). We look forward to expanding our work so more Black womxn can experience this powerful tool.”

View this post on Instagram

hey sis, stop scrolling.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ close your eyes, tune into your natural breathing.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ relax your shoulders.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ unclench your teeth and jaws.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ expand upon the lengths of your inhales and exhales.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ affirm: i am okay. i am right where i need to be. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ repeat until it feels good.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ sending love and compassion wherever this message finds you.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 📸: @gerald_lg_carter styling: @juststyling make-up: @therefinedglam

A post shared by black girls breathing™️ (@blackgirlsbreathing) on

There have been a lot of conversations within recent years about how Black entrepreneurs have been shut out of the market when it comes to beauty stores and wholesale. However, there have been a few that have managed to bypass traditional roadblocks and secure commercial spaces to open stores in their local neighborhoods. One young teenager living in Brooklyn managed to achieve her goal and make history at the same time.

Paris McKenzie is the owner of Paris Beauty Supplyz, a Brooklyn-based beauty supply store. The teenager became a viral sensation on social media after announcing the opening of her shop with thousands of retweets and comments of support. McKenzie credits her mother, Senica Thompson, for working with her and letting her observe how she ran her own business from childhood.

“I do have a lot of business experience. I’ve been helping my mom run her business since I was very, very young. So I know how to handle finances and how to market products in the store,” McKenzie told CBS2 about the venture. “I had enough money saved to invest in this.”

The young entrepreneur says that she still tries to enjoy moments of being a normal teenager with friends and learning to balance between time with her girlfriends and running a business full-time, hoping to inspire the next generation of young female business owners. “I don’t really have any more free time, but when I do, I try to go out with my friends,” added McKenzie. “Walking in here every morning, it makes me feel awesome.”

Artificial Intelligence is already making living easy and has the potential to do more for humans, but for this to happen effectively and efficiently, locations in which AI is done will have to be widened and ambitious goals to democratize AI education will need to be set.

Tejumade Afonja, is an AI Engineer founded AI Saturdays (Lagos), also called AI6, “to democratize Artificial Intelligence by creating a community to help enable studying, researching and building AI products for our ecosystem and beyond.”

AI Saturdays is a community-driven, non-profit and global movement across the globe to make Artificial Intelligence education at the quality and rigour of the world’s best universities accessible to anyone for free. The free-to-attend classes offer courses on Data science, Machine Learning and Deep Learning for 16 consecutive Saturdays through structured study groups.

Tejumade is an Intel Software Innovator for Artificial Intelligence in Nigeria was an AI Engineer at InstaDeep Nigeria where she built, tested Machine Learning models and deployed these models.

Tejumade is currently pursuing a a Master’s degree in Computer Science at Saarland University with interest in the intersection of security, privacy, and Machine Learning. She graduated from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology in 2015 with a first class in Mechanical Engineering and has worked as a software developer, frontend developer and AI software engineer in different stages of her career.

She was drawn to tech when she saw photos of NASA’s curiosity rover in Mars and thought that was the coolest thing ever. This sparked an interest in Robotics for her. She’d always been fascinate by how machines think and she knew I wanted to be more than a Mechanical Engineer. So, after her undergraduate studies, she started learning how to code.

Tejumade is one of the organizers of Machine Learning for the Developing World (ML4D) – a NeurIPS workshop and has served as the lead organizer.

In 2019, she was featured in Tech Women Lagos‘ AUDACITY which profiled 50 women in the Lagos technology ecosystem from different backgrounds and at different stages of their technology careers.

She’s also been honoured globally for her work in AI, being featured on FastCompanyIntel Developer Spotlight and Intel Developer Zone, and Artificial Intelligence for Development. She’s also served as an Intel Software Innovator for Machine Learning in Nigeria since 2017 and has won the Intel Top Innovator award twice in a row (2018 & 2019).

We celebrate Tejumade for her work in democratising AI knowledge in Nigeria and we’re rooting for her!

week is Farida Yahya, an author, entrepreneur, and startup coach. She’s the founder of LumoNaturals, an Abuja-based natural haircare solutions brand. She’s also a startup tutor and the founder of The Brief Academy, a learning hub for female startup owners.

Farida’s LumoNaturals provides a combination of natural products, techniques, artistic styles and education about African hair and the importance of healthy and natural hair to naturalistas.

In her book Redefining Beautiful, Farida shared her then 10-year old journey in going natural and starting LumoNaturals.

Farida, a BellaNaija contributor was one of the 10 youth leaders selected to meet (the then) UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon (in 2015) to discuss development, climate change and the role of the youths in promoting the sustainable development goals and increasing momentum and ownership in Nigeria.

She’s also a member of a UNDP-selected group of young leaders as part of a technical group for the sustainable development goals to inspire the next generation of leaders on their roles in localising and achieving the goals in sub national levels.

She launched Northernlife Nigeria in 2016, an online media platform designed to showcase the diversity of the people of Northern Nigeria, using multimedia channels, citizen reporting, and creative writing, exploring the rich cultural history of its people. The platforms is working towards changing the narrative of region as one of under-achievers, and engaging the citizens on collective responsibility to solve the region’s challenges.

She’s also the co-founder of Ja Muje, a platform for citizen-led, community-driven action towards achieving sustainable growth and development of Northern Nigeria, with a focus on education, health, business and innovation. The Forum employs an innovative approach of combining conversations, a think tank of researchers and a mentors’ program to build a community of changers and youth leaders.

Farida has a BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Maiduguri and had work as a laboratory assistant in Dangote Flour Mills in Kano.

Farida was on Leading Ladies Africa’s “100 Most Influential Women in Nigeria” list in 2020.

We celebrate Farida for being an inspiration in entrepreneurship and for her work in achieving the sustainable development goals, especially in northern Nigeria.


Due to the pandemic, the educational sector has faced some of the most profound changes, and so many of our children have been homeschooled for months through online learning, radio, and television. 

With the new directive to reopen schools this month, many schools continue to maintain distance learning, but many others will reopen for physical classes. The government, school proprietors, teachers, parents, and the students themselves have been forced to innovate and create workable solutions. Education is a critical component that’ll help children realise their goals, and technology is key to fast-tracking our development as a nation

As physical schools begin to reopen, I hope we will merge the various forms of learning and not lose the life-changing skills that so many parents, teachers, and students have gained by embracing technology at this time.

Every new school year presents huge opportunities for children, along with some challenges for parents. The academic year comes with significant costs: school fees, uniforms, supplies, and all the paraphernalia that must be paid for. For most parents, particularly at this time with finances stretched and some job losses, it can be a huge challenge to prepare for children to go back to school. 

Here are some things to consider as you prepare for the new term:

Plan ahead

Ideally, parents and guardians should have started planning for the school year long before the resumption date. When you shop early, without the pressure of time, there’s no rush and you can take advantage of sales. When you wait until the last minute, most items will be at full price. This is probably the most expensive time to shop for the school year. If there are some items that your child doesn’t need right away, you can decide to wait for when unsold inventory is being sold at discounted prices.

Review the school list

The school supply list can be quite daunting, so go through the list critically and determine if your child really needs every single item there. Check to see what your child brought home at the end of the last term, you will be surprised to find that there are many items at home that can be used this term. That way, you can avoid wasting money or duplicating items. 

Make an inventory, it is important to keep track of what you’ve actually bought. Keep a list and give one to your child as they leave for school. Children should be accountable for their belongings and, at the end of each term, should be expected to bring them back home largely intact. Unpacking when they come home and ticking off the items that could still be used for the next term is a good idea. To encourage this habit, some parents give a small reward to children that respect, manage, and care for their personal possessions.

Prepare a budget 

Most people cannot afford to buy every single thing on the school list. How much money do you have to spend? Set out a budget for school supplies including school books, lunch, the school bus, uniforms, allowance, and so on. Shop with your list, prioritise, and stick to it.

Going through the school list with your child is an opportunity to teach some valuable money lessons. Talk through the difference between wants and needs. For instance, the standard trainers that the school recommends for PE can be compared with the much more fashionable high-end trainers that they would rather have. This provides strong lessons in costs, prioritising, and budgeting. It is also a good idea to go along with them for some of the shopping trips. 

Hand me downs 

Uniforms are essential and are a constant part of a school-shopping list. Every child would love to have a brand new uniform each year but where there are older siblings who attended the same school, it makes perfect sense to hand them down to a younger child if they are in good condition, even if you can afford to buy new ones. Some schools offer second-hand uniforms in perfect condition for a fraction of the cost but many Nigerian parents are embarrassed by this. Don’t be.

The booklist 

As children go through the same stages year on year, one can find second-hand books in good condition. When handing in your book list to the shop, request that they check for available second-hand alternatives in the correct edition listed on the book list. Talk to friends and relatives with children who have just completed the year above. So many parents find that they can do book swaps. Children should be taught to protect their books, so they can be used by others after them.

Buy in bulk 

Some people advocate buying school items, such as stationeries like pencils and notebook paper, in bulk. This can lead to waste so be careful. This technique is most effective for households with multiple students. For single-child families, consider doubling up with others for extra savings on basic supplies. If you buy too much, they will get lost, lent out, given away, misplaced, or just never used. 

Buy quality over quantity

It is tempting to buy a cheap school bag, lunch box, or water bottle, but what may seem cost-effective now will fall apart in no time at all. It pays to spend more on good quality, sturdy items that will last for a long time. 

Quality and durability are key as opposed to being trendy or having the ‘latest’ version. Children face enormous peer pressure and when they start school and see that their friends are all using the latest version, they are embarrassed. It is important for parents to take the time to talk through these challenging issues as they seek to raise confident, well-adjusted children.

Send them to school healthy

Before your children go back to school, see to it that they are healthy and have had all their checkups: eyes, teeth, and general health, to avert any festering problems that could cause them to miss classes. The premium on a family medical and dental insurance plan is a small price to pay to ensure that have access to the best medical care. We all know packed lunches prepared at home are much healthier and cheaper than the fast food alternatives.

Coronavirus has not disappeared, but we must learn to live with it for the foreseeable future. While your child’s school is obliged to enforce the COVID-19 protocols, the onus is on you to ensure that they understand how to protect themselves and others by wearing face masks, washing their hands frequently, using sanitizers, social distancing, and sneezing or coughing responsibly. Without being healthy, they cannot learn effectively.

The most expensive school may not be the best

Today’s harsh economic climate has left thousands of parents struggling to pay for their children’s education. If your child is bright and talented, there may be opportunities for scholarships and bursaries, which should be explored. But where you have run your numbers, cut back on family expenses, even sold assets, and are still struggling to meet your obligations, it is time to have that serious conversation about withdrawing your child from a particular school and enrolling in a cheaper option. 

For many parents who are earning in Naira and have children schooling abroad, the exchange rate and availability of foreign exchange make it increasingly difficult to keep paying the fees. Be careful not to jeopardize your livelihood and retirement plans to pay exorbitant school fees at all costs. It will be worse for everyone if you go broke!

Whatever you decide, the key to successful educational planning is to plan ahead and take advantage of the various products available including long-term educational plans, investments in property, etc. Start to plan for your children’s education from the time that they are born. This gives you the advantage of time to plan and prepare effectively for this important obligation. Your child’s education is the greatest legacy you can leave them. has a new editor— Chioma Nnadi, replacing Stuart Emmrich, who announced his departure in June.

In her new role, Chioma will oversee all of Vogue’s digital content.

The fashion journalist and editor has made a tremendous impact in the fashion industry especially in recent times where she has been a powerful and notable voice in the fight for inclusivity and diversity within the industry.⁠

She started her career at the features desk of the Evening Standard Magazine in London, before moving to New York to write for Trace, an independent style magazine. She then went on to work as the Style Director at Fader and landed at Vogue as a fashion writer in 2010. Nnadi was named Fashion News Director in 2014 and has stayed in that position up until her newly announced promotion.

She studied English and French Literature at Manchester University.

In a statement, Chioma Nnadi said:

In these unprecedented times, it feels especially urgent and exciting to be telling stories. And now the touchpoints through which we communicate are more expansive than ever. Vogue has first and foremost been a place of discovery and I think in this moment it feels especially important to amplify the new voices in fashion and culture who are changing the zeitgeist.

“I am so thrilled that Chioma will be the new editor of,” said Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue and the artistic director of Condé Nast, said in an official release according to WWD. “Above all, we know her as someone who intuitively understands fashion and brings to it a genuine love of discovery. She looks in unexpected places and all over the world to find out who is doing the best work and who we should be celebrating now. I absolutely rely on her eye and her cosmopolitanism and her taste. Even better, she is forward-looking and understands that Vogue needs to reach new audiences and do so in new ways.”


Photo Creditnnadibynature

In this Observer Magazine, cover shoot TV girl, producer and all-around creative Issa Rae is lauded as the golden girl, who started as a comedy outsider, now she’s Hollywood’s hardest-working star. The Emmy-nominated and Golden Globe-nominated actress speak to Observer Magazine about her upcoming HBO film “Coastal Elites“, being the booked and busiest, the importance of legacy and more.

Her hit HBO show, “Insecure”, has indeed transformed her into the patron saint of black millennial creatives.

In the magazine, she shared how story growing up in Senegal and LA. Being “too black for white kids, too white for black kids”.

She grew up middle class, her father a Senegalese paediatric doctor and her mother a teacher. In childhood, her family moved a great deal, first to the primarily white suburb of Potomac, Maryland, then to Senegal, until they finally settled in LA. Issa was in the sixth grade then – an 11 year old. She was one of the only black girls in her elementary school in Potomac and then the only American girl in her elementary school in Senegal. She struggled to belong in each setting. When she started at a school in LA, attended by predominantly black and Latino students, she found herself the subject of the ballad of many black middle-class teens – “too black for white kids, too white for black kids”. When Tupac died in 1996, she attempted to find common ground with her mourning classmates and mispronounced his name, becoming a social pariah in the process.

Read some excerpts from her cover feature below:

On “Insecure”.

“It is a compliment and a burden that people take so much ownership over the show,” Rae says, “because there aren’t a lot of shows about us, so people feel like you have to tell all the stories that can be told, and if you don’t you’re failing us.”

On how sharing a name and face with her character on “Insecure”, has made privacy a priority.

“People have a lot of shit to say and I just don’t want it to be about me, unless it’s talking about my work,” she says. “People fill in the blanks about my own life because of the characters’ choices, but I’m fine with that. As long as it’s not my real shit and it’s wrong then talk away!”

On the upcoming film “Coastal Elites”.

“I actually had never heard the term ‘coastal elite’ until this movie so I’m just like, “What does this mean? Oh OK, it’s me.” Rae and her character, Callie, both live in LA, and they’re both “outraged by the current administration”.

“You see so much of the concentrated fuckery of this current president in one place,” she says. “Hopefully you’ll watch the movie and say, ‘This is not normal. I should be upset, I should be outraged.’ Satire or not, we’re living in this and to accept this is to be part of our own destruction.”

“Do I get burned out? Hell yeah!” she exclaims. “That was why I took a break last year because I didn’t really think about how to do everything and do everything well. But it’s not just me – I get a lot of credit, but I work with really great people.”

On the complicated diversity within Hollywood.

“It’s just another way to divide us, unfortunately,” she sighs. “Seeing Daniel Kaluuya in that Fred Hampton trailer, I was like, go the fuck ahead! You transformed, you’re an actor! Sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised when I’m watching white shit and I’m like, ‘Oh! The bitch is Australian? That’s so dope! I would have never known.’”

On her legacy.

“As far as legacy is concerned, I have so much to do,” she says. “And I’m fine with that, but it definitely keeps me up at night. My feet aren’t firmly planted just yet. I’m still walking, I’m still paying my dues, in a way that I’m not mad at. I want to earn being here.”

Read the full feature at the Observer Magazine


Photographs: @daniellelevitt
Styling: @jasonrembert
Hair: @lovingyourhair
Makeup: @joannasimkin

For the first time, married women in Botswana will now be able to own lands independent of their husbands, following a new amendment to the 2015 Land Policy which prevented married women, widows and orphans from inheriting land or acquiring new land entirely.

President Mokgweetsi Masisi shared the news on Twitter and started off by saying that he was fulfilling the commitment he made during Botswana’s Democratic Party campaigns last year.

The Botswana Land Policy of 2015 was discriminatory against married women. Section 72 (iii) stated that since only one spouse can apply for a plot, the surviving spouse must as a right inherit their land allocations.

This clause did not give married women equal treatment with men and I am happy to report that this discriminatory subsection has since been repealed.



Historically, land that belonged to husbands followed patriarchal traditions of inheritance. A World Bank research shows in 40% of countries, women encounter a host of obstacles owning land, be it through skewed inheritance rights or restricted authority over assets.

This new policy will protect widows and orphans who may be the head of their households.

The Revised Botswana Land Policy of 2019 now gives married women the right to apply for land.

It reads thus:

“Each Motswana will be eligible for allocation of one residential plot at an area of their choice within the country, on both state land and tribal land. ”

Section 72 also of the Botswana Land Policy 2015 recognises that there are instances where some widows and orphans are compelled to head households and find themselves in an urgent need of land for residential purposes as a result of being denied access to their deceased husband’s or parents’ property.

However, the rights of these are protected in the law and Policy and encourage Local and Land Authorities as well as Non-Governmental Organisations to step up campaigns to educate women and orphans about their legally protected rights and offer them legal support to successfully claim their legitimate land right.



In 2015, the African Union addressed gender inequality as it pertains to land rights and stipulated that women should be allocated 30 per cent of land across Africa. However, even this meagre percentage has yet to be achieved. Zambia, Ethiopia and Uganda are a few of many African countries where land rights are still not afforded to married women.

They are the best of times, and they are the worst of times… yes, I’m referring to your roaring 20s! This unique, awkward, blooming, uncertain time of your life is pretty essential to how you’ll live the rest of it. And there are A LOT of growing pains you won’t be able to avoid during these times of development. Just remember that you will not be experiencing them alone.

1. Friendships will get weird, deteriorate, or fail.

The sad truth is, some of your friends now won’t be your friends forever. Some of your best friendships will fade. And as daunting as that may sound, it isn’t always a bad thing. As you travel through your personal journey as a 20-something, your pals will be trucking on their own as well. You may go months without speaking, have moral-related disagreements, or just simply fall out organically. As much as you’d like to keep your #girlgang alive, you may have to let them go like those old Lil’ Bow Wow posters.

2. There will be trial and error in your relationships.

Unless you’ve decided to stick with your middle school sweetheart, you’ll find out that dating and relationships will not be the fairy-tale you dreamed of as a child. This is the time when you’re not only figuring yourself out, but you’re also figuring out the type of people you want to be with and what you will or will NOT tolerate in relationships. You’re older now and when shacking up and long-term commitments come into play, you’ll find yourself kissing A LOT of frogs trying to find your perfectly-flawed prince. You’ll most likely get your heart broken, pieced together again, and broken one more time.

3. You might hit a point in your life where you don’t know what to do. 

Let’s be honest, there’s more than a few of us out here who have no clue what we’re going to end up doing with our lives. We feel the pressure after comparing ourselves to our peers that seem to have it all together and examine our own lives and say “What the heck am I doing?!” We want to make an impact in the world, but we don’t know what we want to do, who we want to be, or how we’re gonna go about making that impact.

4. Decisions about your career, education, and life will be made…and made again.

One minute you’re enrolled in five classes at a university and the next you find yourself taking a year off in hopes that you’ll figure your life out. There’s never really a one-and-done system with making decisions during this time. There’s always a, “Oh! I want to be a psychologist” followed by a, “I think I’m gonna move out to L.A. and sell art for a living”…  Do you move, do you stay, do you pursue your dreams? Like WHAT DO YOU DO?

5. You can’t always pay yo’ bills.

As much as we may be warned about managing our money, we will still spend our last savings on some Takis after getting fired from Old Navy (thanks Bibi). Bills are foreign to us until we have a few of our own, and our cashier position at Wal-mart may not cover that light bill you’re already late on from last month, so naturally, we learn to penny-pinch and pinch some more….and some more to be able to partially pay our bills but still hit the sale rack at Charlotte Russe.

6. You’ll get cut off or decide to go it alone without your parent’s help.

If this never happens to you, God bless your soul. If so, then brace yourself for a very rude awakening. Being cut off financially doesn’t feel so great. It’s like having a fur coat yanked from your body during winter in New York.  On the other hand, some of us tap into our pride and decline our parents help because we want to do it by ourselves…. until we can’t and we have to borrow $40 for gas for the week.

7. The pressure of your parents will be REAL. 

“So what exactly are you doing with your life?”

“Why aren’t you spending your money right?”

“You should just come back home and let us take care of you again”… Truthfully, I don’t think our parents will ever trust us as adults. There’s always something we’re doing wrong, and they aren’t shy about letting you know it.

8. Every few years, you won’t recognize yourself.

Think about who you were in 2015, and who you are now in 2017. I bet if you look at pictures you’re amazed (and a little embarrassed) at what you see. As you go through these inevitable experiences, your perspectives, appearance, and just about everything else about how you once were will change.

9. People will still think you’re too young to have real-life issues.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “You’re only 21, you don’t know what it’s like to (insert “something I know what it’s like” here). Even when you’re older, people older than you will always think their experiences are grander and that they’re much wiser than you are. Truthfully, they still consider you a 15-year-old high school student who’s only concerned about the homecoming dance next Saturday….if it’s any conciliation…I get you, I understand…we see each other.

10. You will struggle to try to balance school, work, and a social life.

School is taking your mornings, work is taking your mid-day and sometimes nights, and your social life is thrown in every chance you get an hour or two between or after school and work. There is no such thing as balance really….

11. You’ll want to go back to being a young adult so badly.

Naps will become a thing again. Running to your parents for help will become a thing again. Pouting and not getting your way in life — will become a thing again. But the luxury of just being a kid in an adult world will become a fantasy that you’ll never be able to get back into your reality.

12. You will become self-aware.

The twenties are generally referred to as the “finding yourself” years as well as your prime and many other things. But I refer to it as the accountability “call yourself out on it” stage. And from there, you make the appropriate changes or remain an irresponsible self-sufficient twenty-something forever. We all know we do NOT need any more of those. As of now, you’ve been pretty much told who you are and what you can and can’t do. But as you navigate the world alone, you’ll explore every area of yourself that will kind of punch you in the face when the time comes. You’ll find out how you are in relationships, how you treat other people, how you treat and feel about yourself.

Truthfully, we shouldn’t allow our twenties to make or break us. Because they’ll be different hardships in our thirties, forties, and so-on. But our foundation and self-awareness do begin here, make it count!