Self-Esteem During College & How It Can Mess with Your Life

having self-esteemSelf-esteem is one of the most important aspects of an individual’s personality that can shape their identity and affect their entire life. Adolescence is one of the crucial periods in a person’s life when their self-esteem can significantly decrease. This is a rather challenging time because of physical and psychological changes that occur, as well as the newly discovered perspective of the world and its challenges. During adolescence, a person also makes one of the most important steps in their life – going off to college. This is yet another challenging and exciting period that brings numerous changes that can have a major impact on their self-esteem and, thus, their entire life.


Pre-College: The Roots

students studying

Experience before enrolling in college can greatly influence one’s attitude towards the upcoming period and their belief in their abilities to cope with it well. A person who has been bullied throughout high school and become socially alienated might be anxious about going off to college. Since these individuals typically have low self-esteem, they might think that they won’t be able to fit in, which can affect their academic achievements. Individuals who are simply uncomfortable about changing their environment or have social anxiety can also start their college years alienated from others and depressed, thinking that they won’t be able to get through it.

On the other hand, hardworking students confident in their knowledge will be enthusiastic about college. If they have a healthy self-esteem, they will be more likely to achieve academic success. However, students who have fallen behind with their education might encounter major changes that might be too overwhelming. These individuals should start preparing for their entrance exams early on to avoid disappointment. This is particularly important for students who want to study medicine because they might be under the greatest pressure. They should ask for additional help to get through this stressful period and talk to their teachers or school psychologist to see if they can guide them through the process. If they don’t feel comfortable asking them for help, they can always prepare online by opting for a comprehensive UMAT tutoring or GAMSAT tutoring depending on their high school education. This way, they will feel more confident in their knowledge and abilities, which will lead to better academic performance.


College: The Problem

young woman in glass house

College experience itself can be quite stressful and overwhelming, affecting one’s self-esteem and general personal development. Even a person who has got into the desired college can be disappointed because it didn’t meet their expectations.  With their families and partners being on the other side of the continent, they might feel lonely, depressed and anxious. They can start focusing on negative outcomes, which will lower their self-esteem and self-satisfaction. All of this can impede their academic achievement and cause them to become socially withdrawn and wallow in self-pity.

Individuals who haven’t got into college can also lose their self-esteem. They start doubting themselves and feeling as if they weren’t in control of their life. They can give up from trying to get into college next year because they believe that they will fail again. Even if they do try, the belief that they will undoubtedly fail will be a major source of anxiety, which can lower their chances of success. Consequently, this will reinforce their low opinion of themselves that they can have for the rest of their lives.


You: What Matters

young woman in fields

If you’ve identified yourself with any of these cases, it’s time for you to stop and take an objective look at your life. You should talk openly with your parents who can provide you with help and support. Don’t focus solely on the negative aspects of your life because they will only bring you down and prevent you from overcoming the challenges that you come across. If necessary, you can even make a list of both positive and negative sides of your life. Take a look at what you can change and how you can improve your self-esteem and then take one step at a time. Not only will this help you get out of the vicious circle of self-pity, but it will also help you be more successful at college, meet new people and have a healthy relationship. If you keep being insecure, there are people who might take advantage of your insecurities. If you believe that you can’t do it on your own, you can always seek professional help. A counsellor or psychologist can always help you overcome this difficult period and become a stronger person.

Adolescence and college experience will present you with many challenges that can affect the rest of your life. It’s important that you remain strong and self-confident because only then will you be able to overcome them.


Isabel Williams

Isabel F. William Body&Mind Balance Consultant. Lover of literature and philosophy, runner, and Tai Chi master. She believes that sometimes it is just enough to enjoy a really good book, smooth jazz and a cup of coffee to travel somewhere else.

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10 Career Mistakes to Avoid (Pt 1)

10 Career Mistakes to Avoid (Pt 1)

Hi all! I honestly believe that people have become more ambitious, more driven and more career minded than a few decades ago. We want to strive to do better in relation to our profession. I meet many young people who are business minded and career driven. They won’t settle for less. However, there are many of us who make avoidable mistakes. For this reason, I’m sharing the 10 career mistakes to avoid.


Pursuing a Career For Others


Many of us have fallen ‘victim’ to pursuing a wrong path as a result of the advice and judgements of friends, family members, peers and colleagues. Whether it is because they want the best for you, they feel threatened or want to steer you in the wrong path, you should never make decisions solely on the opinion of others.


If you are certain of what path to take, ensure the necessary research and work is done and endeavour to reach your desired goal.


Being led by others can be a recipe for disaster as you’re not allowing yourself to use your own intelligence. If someone says turn right, you’ll turn, but if they say ‘no wait, turn left’, you’ll go back and turn left. You will end up becoming like the wind and wavering in the air.


Uncertain Career Goals


It can be very frustrating when you’re unsure of what path to take. This can result in undertaking jobs purely for financial gain, instead of working somewhere you will enjoy. It can be easier said that done, but you must figure out which profession you should pursue,


A good tip is to ‘dig deep’ within yourself and find out what you’re passionate about and what you’re good at. Envisioning what you would like to conquer in the near future ie five years from now can help you to gain an understanding of the type of job that would interest you. For example, desiring to have a huge collection of clothes may insinuate the desire to work in fashion retail.


Lack of Focus


Your CV is a piece of you. It tells employers a bit about who you are, what you do, what skills you attain and what career path you are taking. If your CV appears to be inconsistent it may send red flags to potential employers.


Freelancing or progressing on to new jobs within a specific field is absolutely fine. Nonetheless, having jobs in different sectors can indicate that you are uncertain about your profession. Most companies use their own resources to train employees and would not want to spend their finances on training you if they feel you may divert career paths after a few months. To add, many employers will not hire people they believe lack focus.


Assuming “It’s not personal, it’s business”

I used to believe this saying. I believed that friendships and relationships obtained from a work environment shouldn’t and wouldn’t ever interfere with your job. What occurs at work, stays at work and being hired is purely depended on whether employers deem you to be fit for the role. I was wrong. Business is always personal. From the moment you meet your interviewer, you are being judged. They judge you on how you look, how you present yourself, if they feel they will get along with you, if they like you as a person, if you will get along with your colleagues and so forth.


As a freelancer, I’ve had experiences where I would solely focus on my job at hand. I would rarely go to work related social gatherings and meet ups because I wanted to focus on my job and thought that it was ‘unprofessional’ to attend such events. I behaved this way until I was told to ‘work smart, not hard’. You have to be hard working, but you also have to build relationships with your colleagues and bosses.


Working whether in a business, creative or organisational environment is about having a balance. As the saying goes, ‘it’s about who you know’. Additionally, you have to be concerned with who is promoting you when you’re not there. Who is singing you praises?


Being Pigeon-Holed


It is important to be a person of many skills and talents. It may sound like I’m contradicting myself in relation to the ‘Lack of Focus’ point, but I’m not. Striving to learn as much of the job you’re in will put you in a great advantage. You should want to learn additional skills and job roles within your field. Doing this will help you with future job opportunities and pay increases.


It puts you at an advantage, particularly as the job market is always changing and more people are looking for multi skilled individuals to recruit. There may be instances where managers will want to put you ‘in a box’ but that shouldn’t deter you. Increasing your knowledge and experience will always be a good thing.


Those are the first five career mistakes to avoid. Subscribe to my blog to be kept updated about part two. In the meantime, what are your thoughts?


HettyAsh xx



Follow You Passion and Not Others

Follow You Passion and Not Others

Follow your passion and not others! This is a bold statement. Follow your passion and not others! Each word in this sentence has a meaning. Sometimes our passion is calling us, whether it be working in the creative industries, owning a business or pursuing another path. Aside from our individual talents, people are also calling us. People can be anyone from your parents and your siblings to your teachers and your friends. Others always feel they know what’s best for you better than you do. They feel they know you more than you know yourself.


At my CreatHers event, one of the guest speakers, Jade Keshia Gordon, spoke about the challenges she faced in relation to her career. She went to university but didn’t complete the full length of her degree. Her talent and skills lay in photography. It was something she was and still is very passionate about. Her mum didn’t understand this as her normality was to get a degree and work in the NHS. There are many parents who want their kids to undertake a corporate role or become a doctor, lawyer ­– you know to get ‘real job’.

“Believe in yourself even if no one believes in you” – Jade Keshia Gordon

Due to their background and experiences, they didn’t comprehend that photography could actually be a job and that you could make real money from. Jade had grown up in a West Indies household and like many people from a similar background, getting a job didn’t include photography.


Initially, Jade’s mother felt embarrassed to tell people that she was a photographer. I can imagine exactly how her mum would have felt. After all, most photographers are freelancers and many people see photography as a hobby and not an actual career. It was not until Jade’s mum saw her work in Cosmopolitan that she became proud and understood that people could make an income and be successful from photography. Jade has showed us what it truly means to follow your passion. One thing that she said at the CreatHers talk was “believe in yourself even if no one believes in you”.


I am a testament to this exact statement. I had to and still have to believe in myself. Many people won’t believe in someone until they see success pouring out of their lives. People need to see something tangible, something real, before they even begin to buy into your goals and future plans.

My mum wanted me to get into politics. Imagine me in politics. I am a creative person. I am an ideas’ person

I am by no means where I want to be in life, but guess what? I’ve made progress. I can sincerely relate to Jade. I wanted to work in television but I realised very early on that I was the only one who really believed in this goal. I wasn’t 100% sure of how I was going to achieve this, as I didn’t know enough about the television industry and certainly didn’t know anyone who worked in it.

People have literally suffered at the hands of others who thought they knew best for them

Just like Jade, my mum initially wanted me to take a more ‘serious’ path. In fact, my mum wanted me to get into politics. Imagine me in politics. I am a creative person. I am an ideas’ person. I now work in television production and development in London and have worked on some of the most notable programmes on the most watched channels.

If we were all doctors, lawyers and politicians, who would feed the news to the citizens?

People have literally suffered at the hands of others who thought they knew best for them. Don’t get me wrong, many of those in question love these people, but that doesn’t mean that they should dictate your life for you. One thing I have to state is that your parents do know what’s best for you overall, however, I disagree with the idea of them ‘choosing’ a career path for their kids. If we were all doctors, lawyers and politicians, who would feed the news to the citizens? Who would take professional photos of brands, companies and individuals? Who would make the clothes we all wear, and who would entertain us with the programmes we watch?


Think about it! Don’t let others dictate which career path you should take as after all whatever decisions you make will affect you first. You will only ever have yourself to blame and although we can regret our choices, we can’t change them if they’ve already been put into place.


Have a read of my ‘Get Out Of The 9’5 Mindset’ blog – you may like it.


What do you think about the above?


HettyAsh xx


Get Out Of The 9-5 Mindset

Get Out Of The 9-5 Mindset

There are so many of us who attain big aspirations, big dreams and want so desperately to own businesses and brands that we can be proud of. It’s one thing to want to be an entrepreneur or a business owner but it’s another to bring said ideas into fruition. So how can one get out of the 9-5 mindset?

Get out of the trap of having ‘the 9-5 mindset’ and break out and work for yourself – Joanna Abeyie.

I organised an event for female creatives and entrepreneurs called CreatHers which consisted of an amazing industry panel. The wealth of knowledge that was in that room was incredible. I never thought I could put on such an event that would receive such a positive reception until I did. The information that was relayed to the guests was packed with a powerful punch!


“Get out of the trap of having ‘the 9-5 mindset’ and break out and work for yourself” – Joanna Abeyie. Being a business owner or an entrepreneur is not for everyone, but for those who strive for this on a daily basis – you have to break the mould.


This does not mean that you have to quit your full-time job on a whim and take a ‘leap of faith’ (although, some have done just this and have gained success because of it). You have to assess your situation and decide what the best course of action would be. I am someone who can decide on something in an instant and use my faith and jump. It worked for the CreatHers event I co-organised.


Your 9-5 job should be viewed as an investment opportunity whilst you have an employer. Jen & Jay spoke about seeing your job as an opportunity to learn, grow and develop. They are investing in you as you’re learning valuable skills. Additionally, your employer is supporting you financially.

The 9-5 mindset is thinking that you are only good at one thing, or that you can only be successful if you’re working for someone else.

People are afraid. People have plans and goals for the future but there is only one thing standing in their way. Fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of success, fear of breaking out from the repetitive lifestyle and the list goes on.


To me, the 9-5 mindset is thinking that you are only good at one thing, or that you can only be successful if you’re working for someone else. It is thinking that your only source of income can only ever be from your employer. It’s the notion of attaining and maintaining the repetitive lifestyle of working 9-5 for a person, a company or a brand. It’s fitting into the norm.


Look out for part two when I delve into a successful fashion photographer, Jade who pursued a career that was not considered the norm by her family members. I will also address how Vaby and Joanne, owners of a skin coloured clothing brand re-built their social media profile.


What are your thoughts on having a ‘9-5 mindset’?


HettyAsh xx


Creative Access, Expectation Entertainment, CreatHers

Creative Access, Expectation Entertainment, CreatHers

Hi all,

I have heard many people exclaim that they are not where they want to be and that they are certainly not working in the industry they are actually passionate about. As cliche as this may sound, nothing is impossible. If you truly have the desire to achieve something, you can. However, it takes a lot of research, perseverance and self-belief to make a dream come into fruition.

I am a freelance television production and development researcher. I am currently working at Expectation Entertainment, which is a new production company founded by a former ITV director of television and a previous president of Endemol Shine Group. In general, I conduct research and develop formats and ideas for broadcast and digital shows.

My career thus far has consisted of me working on popular factual entertainment programmes for major broadcasters including, Channel 4, ITV, BBC One and E4.

I initially heard about Creative Access via a friend who also works in television. I cannot express enough how glad I am to have been told about this charity as it really helped to further progress my career. Nonetheless, it took a lot of research, networking and hard work before I actually came into contact with such opportunities.

I have always been passionate about being the first point of call when it comes to referring people work or assisting people with potential work related opportunities – friends will vouch for that. I’m usually that person who will say things like, ‘oh I know so and so who could do that job, or oh this person is great at doing this and that’. I’m always trying to connect people.

Working in the television industry and being the person I am made me realise that I want to be able to provide other creatives with more opportunities. A friend called Shini James approached me in the beginning of the year and proposed we organise an event for female creatives and entrepreneurs. She had just launched an online platform called The SheLancers Hub to help female creatives.

She said, “I created The SheLancers Hub after noticing that the majority of the TV productions I was working on largely consisted of a male workforce. Stereotypically, women would take up secretary and coordinator roles. The notion behind this event is to break boundaries and support women who want to increase their opportunities”.

We want to bring women together in the form of vision board parties and networking events such as the one we are organising on the 23rd of April 2017 at 4pm called CreatHers: Envision My Dreams.

CreatHers as a brand will host various female creative and entrepreneurial events in the form of networking, collaborations and vision board parties. The purpose is to give female creatives and businesswomen from various industries the chance to meet and network with an array of fellow female professionals, whilst receiving advice and tips from other successful women. The notion is that by the end of the day, each attendee would have collaborated with likeminded women, thus creating their own unique one to five year vision board.

There will be an industry panel which will include Joanna Abeyie, journalist and founder of Shine Media and Hyden Talent.

One thing I will certainly be getting from the event is how I can further market and promote my blog – and how I can progress it to the next level. Each attendee will definitely benefit from such an event, which I’m proud to be a part of.

Tickets to the CreatHers event can be purchased via Eventbrite.

HettyAsh xx