5 Things High School Didn’t Teach You about College

January 27, 2014

BrittanyMajorBy Brittaney Major

The four years spent in high school are supposed to teach you the things you will use to prepare for the rest of your life. However, despite what they tell you, countless formulas, Law of Conservation of Mass or knowing every detail of American History doesn’t do much to prepare you for college.

I remember sitting in my room the night before I moved into my first college dorm. There were countless suitcases around me filled with stuff I collected throughout my past 18 years. But none of that helped me plan out the next four years of my life either.  I was trying to remember some type of class or curriculum that prepared me for this time of my life; but the harder I thought, the less I came up with. You’re supposed to move away from your family, share a room with someone you’ve never met before, and learn how to live on your own… with what? The advice I got most frequently was don’t flunk out, don’t get arrested, and make sure you get to all of your classes on time. Well that was all true but it didn’t really tell me much about how this college thing was supposed to work for me. So here’s a list of things that have helped me be a better and happier me.

1. You must learn to be comfortable with your quality alone time.

I was the girl in high school who had lots of friends and loved to be around people. Although that has not changed, I do value the quiet time I spend in my bedroom with my scented soy candle, listening to Jill Scott and writing in my journal. Honestly, I find myself often looking forward to that time where I can just sit alone with my thoughts and allow myself to evaluate who I am and where I want to go. And that is very healthy for any human to want. So make sure you always have some time throughout your busy week to spend time with yourself. You should use this time as an opportunity to reflect, to be completely honest with yourself and to think about your past. A part of growing up and maturing is finding who you are as a person. That can only be done when you take the time to know and learn yourself.

2. It is absolutely IMPOSSIBLE to be good at everything.

As sad as it is to say, life is all about finding the things that you do well and doing them. Especially in school, you have to accept that every class will not come at ease for you. The things that you work hardest for are usually the ones that you will value and take pride in the most. So with everything you do, do your best and be proud of yourself for it; even if no one else is. You have to learn to celebrate your own success because you are the only one who can evaluate your effort. Make sure you are honest with yourself. After completing an assignment, think about the things that you could have done better or differently and use that as a lesson for the next time. There will be people around you who will succeed at the things you failed. But don’t compare yourself to them because you don’t know what they had to go through to fight for their success. I always tell myself, “The only person you should try and be better than is the person you were yesterday.” That means, take your own experiences and learn from them instead of comparing yourself to someone else’s progression.

3. Learn to be your biggest fan.

If you don’t believe in yourself, who will? Many times, people will doubt you, judge you, betray you and even criticize you, but you have to learn to ignore all of that and keep going. College is the first place that you may be forced to learn the importance of having a thick skin. You can’t allow a bad day, a bad grade or a rude comment break you. If someone doubts you, instead of reacting with sharp words, prove them wrong by doing the exact opposite of what they said you couldn’t do. Be humble, but expect great things for and from yourself and you will rise to the occasion every time.

4. Do things that make you happy often.

The little things in life end up being the ones that we value and appreciate the most. Sometimes it‘s not always about the material things or all the expensive things we acquire, but it’s those small things we really hold dear to our hearts. While in school, things tend to get alittle stressful and out of control. So it is important to find those things that will bring you back down and help you regroup. Take time for yourself and go get your nails done, go to a jazz concert or go for a walk. We spend too much time trying to satisfy and make other people happy that we end up forgetting about what’s important to us. You are all you have so why not do things to make yourself smile?

5. Be okay with knowing that your prince may not suddenly appear during these college years.

I admit, I wanted to say that I married my college sweetheart. But, in reality, that may just not happen. And just like all five of these points, you have to learn to be okay with that. It’s been said that college is one of the best times of your life. And it really is. You have a freedom that you have never experienced before. So don’t try and force yourself into a relationship. Study abroad! Go greek! Join a club or organization! Do things that will make you a better person to fall in love with.

 “There’s a blessing in every breath you take. Even when it’s hard to breathe you have yet to suffocate. I commend you for your endurance even when the air is thick– keep breathing, keep loving, keep going.”
-Alexandra Elle

Brittaney C. Major  is a Class of 2015 Mass Communication- Print Journalism major, Marketing Minor at Winthrop University. Brittaney is also a member of National Association of Black Journalist- Winthrop University Chapter, President Office of Student Activities Student Assistant, Style Guru Reporter for Seventeen Magazine, Roddey McMillan-Record, Staff Writer, Girl Talk Foundation, Inc. and Volunteer
Social Media Specialist at Jumping the Broom Bridal Magazine.


The DAILY Message for Tuesday January 7th, 2014

January 7, 2014

AskDerrickAboutEach week day Derrick Hayes encourages you through a Derricknym, App and Idea to Lift You.

(Please read , Like, Share, Retweet or Reblog The DAILY Message)

  • Derricknym: Make Your Dream EXPOUND (Even Xraying Purpose Opens Universe to New Destiny).
  • App: Today’s word is Senior. High School and College is when we mostly think about Senior years. Think how you can help elderly as you will be a Senior one day?  Receive Today’s word in Motivation To Your Mobile app on Android and i-phones.  
  • Idea: Find a base to make your salary.

Please visit Derrick’s website at http://www.DerrickHayes.com and to book him for a speaking engagement or media event, send an email to info@DerrickHayes.com  or call (706) 615-1662.

Encouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes Provides Back To School Motivation For Students and Staff

July 10, 2012

Countless students and staff vow to come back to school energized and ready for success. Be it in the classroom or outside the classroom goals cannot be accomplished without the right motivation to take the necessary steps. With a guiding hand and powerful words, Encouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes is here to help.

From assemblies for students to Professional Development workshops and seminars for staff Hayes empowers his message, “There’s More In STORE For You” to lift scholars and educators to their next level.

“There’s More In STORE For You” is an ideal program for meetings, conferences, and events at schools, colleges and educational organizations.

With over 20 years experience Derrick Hayes has been featured as the keynote speaker at several events sponsored by such entities as Fulton County Board of Education, Muscogee County Board of Education, U.S. Department of Commerce, Brown Sanders College, Georgia State University, Tennessee Childcare Facilities Corporation, Mississippi 4-H, American Camping Association, Bowie State University, Tennessee State University, Georgia Power, Jackson State University, and many others.

As a featured writer, Hayes has had articles and columns appear in several publications and on many Web sites. Hayes has written for Next Step Magazine, www.BlackEmerge.com, www.DiversityInc.com, The Anointed News Journal, and others. Most recently, Hayes has was a author contributor in The Power Of Persistence and Facebook For Your Business. Derrick Hayes current book is entitled 1 WORD Is All It Takes™.

Contact Derrick Hayes:

Hayes, an alumnus of Tennessee State University is available for small and large meetings, church events, academic speaking engagements and workshops. Please visit Derrick’s website at www.DerrickHayes.com and to book him for a speaking engagement or media event, send an email to info@DerrickHayes.com or call (706) 615-1662.

DELAYED But Not Denied

May 19, 2012

by Encouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes

In my journey I have been DELAYED where my course was Detoured and I became Easily influenced. This put me at a Loss and I became Absent and then just Yawned all together. The Echo of trouble kept repeating in my life and soon caused Damage. Even with all that happening I was DELAYED But Not Denied.

Detour. Growing up I wanted to be a pro athlete or Hip Hop star. Year after year I would play various sports including basketball, football, track and field and bowling thinking this was the answer to my destiny. Rap helped me develop writing skills and I kept working on new ideas all of the time. Writing skills were different then study skills as I started to fall behind.

Easily. I didn’t even see it coming. Girls started to like me and if you had a girlfriend back then you were the man. More time was going into trying to meet Miss right than my academics and even my athletics started to suffer. There was no he said she said it was all about what she said.

Loss. When my grades and athletic ability started to decline I was not just at a loss for words I started to lose confidence. I was great with the girls but where it counted most I was replaced as a starter on the field. When you lose at one thing a feeling comes that you will lose at another.

Absent. By the time I graduated from High School I felt like my life was empty. I had played sports since I was 5 years old and had no scholarships offers to show for it. My confidence was gone and I hadn’t even taken the ACT Test so I could get into college.  I graduated from High School but the thing that was absent was my purpose.

Yawn. When you lose track of your goals and have no purpose you become bored. When you are not excited about too many things you will do whatever it takes to have fun. The hard lesson I learned was that in order to have fun in life you have to make life fun.

Echo. When you have no direction you will follow what everyone else is doing. I became an alcoholic at an early age. I mastered how to lie to my parents and stay out all night. I never knew the things I did as a child I would see done exactly the way I did them by my own children.

Damage. Sitting on the porch of my mother’s house I realized that I was damaged goods. I had to look in the mirror and hear the truth. I made it through High School but had not even applied to any colleges. My ACT score came back and I failed the test. Due to my health I had already ruled out a military career.

Just like many of you I was DELAYED But Not Denied. If you are on Detour turn around and get back on track. If you are Easily influenced buckle down and be the one that starts to inspire others. If you are tired of Losing, start winning. If you have been Absent show up and give quality time. If you don’t want to Yawn get up and make it happen at the break of dawn. Nothing is wrong with an Echo just find positive things to repeat. Guess what? The word is Damage and not done. Damage means you have been hit but not too hurt to holler back. When you are done it means that it’s over for you Rover.

I was DELAYED but that’s when my mother prayed

My son is DELAYED but don’t let him be denied

Let him do right and hear words from the wise

Inspire him to create what others want to buy

Bless him when he tries so his dreams are multiplied

Through the prayers of my mother and with the help of my Brother David I was able to pass the ACT and enroll in Tennessee State University and receive a B.A. in Business Administration.

I was DELAYED But Not Denied.

If you go to http://www.derrickhayes.com/guest-blogging-opportunities/ I can support what you do and if you go to http://www.derrickhayes.com/article-writing/  you can support what I do.

Encouragement For Parents and Teachers To Keep Students Engaged Over The Summer

May 4, 2012

Presented by Encouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes

The purpose of this message is to supply educators and parents with tools they can use to keep youth engaged over the summer.

-When adults are engaged – Diamond ring

-When youth are not engaged – Ring from School, Police Department, or Juvenile Detention “Come get your child”

When you get married you stand before witnesses and give your vows. A vow is a small word with a big responsibility. Since this is to uplift education we will use our vowels, AEIOU.

AEIOU is for Activities, Exercises, Ideas, and Optimism and Understanding.

School principals please share this with your staff and staff share this with your children.

Please say this Pledge:

 I’m a parent, and I will use my vowels AEIOU to engage youth daily with Activities, Exercises, Ideas and Optimism to help our youth Understand they can be successful.

A is for Activities

During the summer boredom can set in when students don’t have anything to do and we don’t provide them with something else to do. Here is a list of 10 things that you can do with your children to help them stay engaged over the summer.

1. Art Projects

1. Begin a business

3. Create a puppet

4. Dog training

5. Exercise

6. Fact Find

7. Go on a trip

8. Help the homeless

9. Inspire a poem

10. Journal writing

E is for Exercises

Here is an activity that you can do with youth to open them up to their purpose and possibilities. Answer the following questions by yourself and with them.  These questions come from my ebook 1 WORD Is All It Takes.

1. What is your favorite word and why?

2. What does your word inspire you to write?

Action Step: Each day for the next 21 days write down in a journal what your word inspires you to write.

I is for Ideas

Brainstorm with youth to see what they are good or great at. Help them develop their gifts and take advantage of opportunities in front of them. Turn what they like to do into something they can do forever.  When you find out what they like to do brainstorm with them to see what type of business or organization they could start.

For Example:

If they can think well encourage them to be a consultant. If they can draw well encourage them to be an artist or architect. If they can count money well encourage them to be an accountant or auditor. If they can make the law, instead of break the law encourage them to be a lawyer or judge.

O is for Optimism

A great way to be optimistic is to teach youth how to look for the positive instead of always looking for the negative. Positive interaction is important to keep youth engaged during school and throughout the summer months. Please watch this video “Engage Others With Optimism

U is for Understanding

With our youth going to and from many events during school and in the summer we have to check in with them to make sure they are understanding what they are learning. Here are 3 simple questions to keep in mind to ask your kids.

1. Have you learned anything today?

2. What have you learned today?

3. Is there anything you didn’t quite understand or you would like to learn more about?

This summer in 2012 if we keep our vowels (AEIOU) and provide our children with Activities, Exercises, Ideas, and  Optimism they will Understand that they can be successful.

Now you can book Derrick Hayes as your Back To School Speaker for meetings, conferences and events for the 2012-2013 school year.


April 30, 2012

by Encouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes

Ivan Gibson known as IG is best friends with Kevin NORANT. When IG and NORANT come together their bond spells out IGNORANT. IG and NORANT use IGNORANT to teach 8 life principles to help youth clear their life of anything that is IGNORANT.

I is for Inspire. When people become inspired they should want to stay inspired. Give powerful words of encourage to each other. Young people should hear you speak great of them like you do to others. The next time a youth messes up ask if you can give them constructive criticism? This will open up doors to better communication.

G is for Give. Back up what you say by giving others a role model to look up to. If we tie our shoes others might want to pull up their pants. Learn how to apologize when you make a mistake. This may be the best gift someone receives in their lifetime.

N is for Notice. Anyone can look and find something wrong with you. Take time and found out what people are good at. Many fall and come short because they never found their strengths and no one in leadership found it either. Look for the light that can keep others out of darkness. When you do others will come through for you.

O is for Opportunity. When you study a person and can’t figure out what a person is good or great at, ask them? You may discover an unhidden talent that can be developed. Just when you think you can’t help someone a few questions can open doors to many opportunities. Open up your database and call to see who can truly help the ones you want to help.

R is for Read. Al Tucker who is a great friend of mine has a gift to inform you what books you should read based on your abilities. When Al saw I wanted to become a better father he suggested the book Maximum Achievement by Brian Tracy. When I was interested in spiritual growth I was presented with the Maxwell Leadership Bible. If we read what we need life will give us what we want.

A is for Adjust. One way to leave ignorance is to become better at the things that are relevant in our lives.  How we adjust to situations that comes to and through our life plays a vital role in how far we go. Learning how to do more or less is the critical balance we have to strive for that will keep us on the beam or off the team. Keep trusting the future by adjusting from time to time.

N is for Navigate. When you learn better you will earn better. Go forth wise so you won’t be caught by surprise. The adjustments you make today shouldn’t keep you from making achievement tomorrow. When you are able to keep going your progress will keep growing. People that used to just look at you will start to look out for you. They will even open the gate so you can navigate through.

T is for Team. I have never met anyone that totally made it by themselves. If anyone tells you anything else it may sound IGNORANT. We have to discuss discernment with the next generation so they will know who or who not they should work with. In business help will be in the form of a mentor or partner. In a life a mate or spouse will be your side. It takes a wise team to multiply your dream.

IG and NORANT don’t want you or your children to be IGNORANT. This is a story with the morals being that we need to camp out in our homes and schools so that less of us will be IGNORANT. Some will stay IGNORANT only because they or the ones before them refuse to leave an IGNORANT life.

If you are a parent that is holding children back from proceeding put that curse in reverse so they can go from worst to first.  If this doesn’t apply thank you for not being IGNORANT.

Today’s word is Graduate

April 5, 2012

High Schools and Colleges will soon have Graduations. Look in your life and find ways to graduate from doing negative to celebrating positive.

Download the Motivation Your Mobile app on Android and I Phones to receive Today’s word.