The Pressure of Young Success

Hi lovelies,

It’s been less than a week, but it honestly feels like forever since I sat down at my laptop with the intent to blog. I actually miss having all the time in the world for blogging – but now I’m back to routines, time tables and managing college assignments, what a dream!

Whilst getting ready for work, last Sunday I decided to incorporate something new into my morning routine; listening to a podcast! Considering I had a lot of catching up to do, I decided to tune into ‘Stallion’ a podcast hosted by Agnes – Clara Dikoum (available across multiple platforms).

While scrolling through her podcasts, a particular one titled “Pressure of Young Success”, caught my attention. With college back in the works, and graduation 2020 on my mind, the thoughts of success and what to do next, are constantly lingering in my head.

It’s crazy, isn’t it. We go from being children who couldn’t care less about what’s to come, to young people, who desire control in every phase of our lives. If you are anything like me, your mind begins to time travel – and ever so vividly, at that. You begin to imagine yourself 5 years older, financially stable, with a house, car, husband, and a secure job you love. All of which don’t occur overnight but somehow you begin to desire, that this could be your reality.

In May 2018, a survey undertaken by the Mental Health Foundation, found that six out of ten young people, between the ages of 18-24, have felt so stressed by the pressures to succeed, that they began struggling to cope with life’s demands.

Although alarming, these figures don’t even surprise me in the slightest.

In a world that is populated with pressure, not only from your family and friends, but also celebrities, influencers, ‘instagram goals’ and much, much more – it is so hard, not to get sunk into the idea that success occurs over night.

On a daily basis, we are fed unrealistic expectations of what life should consist of, how we should be living, or what stage of life we should be at.

For some of us, our goals are set to be completed by the age of 25 and for others it could be 30.

This mindset however, can be so unrealistic and detrimental for our futures.

I’m not saying you can’t be successful by the age of 30 – Forbes 30 under 30, already argues otherwise. However, it is important to remember that success is not always measured by power, status, fame and/or money.

The word success is described in the Cambridge Dictionary as “the [achievemnet] of … results wanted or hoped for”. These results are not limited to time and can be achieved on the straight or narrow path, depending on the individual and their resources. By staying determined and consistent, and by accepting failures, set backs and obstacles, we each have the ability to come out on top.

Don’t let other people’s definitions of success define you.

“Love the life you have, while you create the life of your dreams”

Love, Nyasha x

Stop underestimating yourself

Hi lovelies,

Before I get into this weeks blogpost, I just want to say my sincere apologies for not posting one last week. I was honestly so exhausted by the time it got to the weekend, and just kept experiencing writing blocks whenever I sat down to write. Thankfully I’m well rested now, the sun is shining and I am feeling super motivated to conquer the week!

Yesterday as I was scrolling through Instagram, I came across a quote that read “Stop underestimating yourself”.

Tomorrow, I start my final year in college – and I’d be lying to you, if I was to say that, I wasn’t feeling worried and overwhelmed. Quite simply, the thoughts of ‘THE THESIS’ scare me! When I think about gathering all the research involved in it, I start to undermine not only my abilities but also myself.

For some reason, in my head I have managed to construct the belief that I am going to walk into my Research Project module and be flung into the deep end with 0 assistance. However, in reality, I know this won’t be the case. I can be rest assured that my lecturers, friends and family will be there every step of the way – to offer guidance, support and encouragement when in need.

This year surely wont be the easiest but I will definitely pull through it.

“Sometimes when you are the closest to your breakthrough the pressure is the greatest. You have come too far to give up now!” – Joyce Meyer

Whether you are starting college, going into your final year, or embarking on a new life venture, do not underestimate yourself.

Believe in your abilities.

Each of us was born with the potential to do great things – but those great things can only come to flourish when we believe.

“You must expect great things of yourself, before you can do them”

Love, Nyasha x

Summer 2019, Recap

“You know all those things you’ve always wanted to do? You should go do them”

Hi lovelies, 

As we are drawing near to the end of summer now, I just wanted to do a quick recap of my summer, and all it had to offer me. This summer I vowed to myself to live life to the fullest and seize any opportunity to do things I found fulfilling. Although I didn’t get the opportunity to fly out to live my best life, or jaiye at Afronation, I can confidently say that, Summer 2019, you have been too good. 

Despite having started my summer sick and brittle, I quickly recovered after plenty of much needed rest and once better, I didn’t waste any time to start making plans with those I love. 

May

After 10 days of not seeing them, the college girls and I met up for a shopping trip in Dublin City. As someone who used not to be very confident in their navigation of the town, I was pleasantly surprised on how good my navigation was. We spent the day gallivanting, and to end the day we went to TGI Friday’s, on Temple Bar.

June

June was such a busy month for me. On the 2nd of June, I decided to finally bite the bullet and start this blog – meaning any spare time I once had, was and is now spent typing. However, thankfully, it has been such a wonderful and surreal experience thanks to all of you who have been reading them on a weekly basis.

Other than working and integrating blogging to my lifestyle, I also tried to spend some quality time with my family.

This was also the month that I got engrossed in all thing Love Island despite my original dismissal of the show. Without getting into too much detail, I’m actually happy that I ended up watching the show, as I gained some valuable life lessons (suprise suprise!!).

  1. Sisters before misters ALWAYS!!
  2. Be confident in you
  3. Always expect the unexpected

July

As some of you may know this year I was resident more so in Wexford than Kildare – meaning I had little to no time with my family and friends from home throughout the academic year.

July, however offered plenty of time for me to catch up with those near and dear. Roadtrips, cinema dates and everything in between were had.


August

As I am writing this, the month of August is not yet over. However, in the next two weeks I will, most likely be spending, most of my days in work, so I will not have much left to recap with you.

So far I have spent this month attending events such as Girlz Arize and CTY 15 hours of Praise. I’ve also been catching up with friends, embarking on road-trips and engaging in family time.

Overall, like I said at the very start of this blog post, I am very content with how my summer has gone this year. I wanted to be productive in whatever I found myself doing, whilst having a nice balance of work and fun – and I can confidently say I did just that.

“Be spontaneous. Be crazy. Leave your comfort zone and live with no regrets.”

Love, Nyasha x

My Midnight Lament

Hi lovelies,

As mentioned from the very creation of this blog – Nyasha’s Nook, is a space, I created to offer seclusion and security to those in need, including myself. In today’s blog post I wanted to take a more serious approach, which I hope will not only provide healing to me, but also to those around me who have been affected or who are in similar situations.

Without delving into the whole story, during the week, a situation arose, that caused me to utter the words – ‘I wish I was never abused’.

Later, as I was reflecting on those 5 small yet mighty words, I began to realize the effect everything was still having on my life, to this very day.

For many years I was aware, yet doubted the fact that I was ever a victim of such. However over the last year, I have come to realize that I was maltreated. I was taken advantage of, whether knowingly or unknowingly by certain individuals.

Without getting into the nitty gritty of it all, I still always question what my life would have been like, if I had never experienced the things I did. Would I have been more ambitious? Would I trust more? Would I have a higher self esteem? The queries only go on and on…

Despite the fact that the reality of it all, is horrific. I choose to not let it define me. I choose to let go of the hurt, bitterness and pain associated with the sheer thoughts of the experiences. I am deciding not to allow it to affect my life negatively any longer.

Yes, there will be days that it will be a lot harder to pick myself up from the bitterness, but I will at least make the effort to stand up tall, and to encourage those behind me.

The sad reality, is that, each of us has been abused in one way or another, whether sexually, physically, mentally, verbally, emotionally, financially and/or spiritually. These forms of abuse can occur, for both short and long periods of time, and their effects may vary from one individual to the next.

If you are reading this and you are/have been a victim of abuse, these affirmations are for you;

I am loved.

I am appreciated.

I am valued.

I will prosper.

I have a purpose.

I will succeed.

I will be patient with myself as I heal.

“Your past is just a story. And once you realize this it has no power over you” ~ Chuck Palahniuk

Love, Nyasha x

“You will overcome this”

Hi lovelies,

Yes, here I am, actually fulfilling my promise to deliver a second blog post this week. Congratulations to me!

Whilst scrolling through Instagram the other night (as you do), I came across a quote that read “YOU WILL OVERCOME THIS” – and I don’t know whether it was the pink writing the words were displayed on, or the words themselves that resonated with me. But I suddenly felt an undeniable sense of comfort.

I began to think about the post I saw on Instagram, at the start of the week, from an individual who was out for a walk but stumbled upon a teenager who had just received their results – under a tree branch with a rope straddling down, within seconds of taking their own life. I began to think about my family and friends who are going through times where they feel like all hope is gone. I also, began to think about me… and the things that worry me from time to time. The things I think I will never achieve or accomplish.

I then began to think about all the things that I had overcome, such as secondary school, consistent negative thinking, state exams and 2nd year college exams (cause those were a real struggle this year). I began to realize that at one point in time, I also believed that I would never overcome these things… but here I am. These things no longer give me any reason to cry or have anxious thoughts, concerning them.

Today I just wanted to encourage anyone and everyone… including myself, who may be reading this. I wanted to remind you that irrespective of the current tribulation you may be experiencing, YOU WILL OVERCOME! Trust me, I know it’s a lot easier to say when you are not in the moment yourself – but those 4 words hold a lot more truth than you may realize. You will overcome this, no matter what the situation may be. There is hope for you. You are not a failure. You are loved. You will succeed.

Love, Nyasha x

Everyday Makeup Favourites!

Hi lovelies,

Today I’ve decided to dive into the world of beauty by sharing my go to everyday makeup favourites. I am definitely no makeup artist, but I like to believe that I have mastered the art of doing my own makeup over the years – and that would not have been possible without the following products I have grown to adore, that I am going to share with all of you, today.

Brows

Although I am very confident in my natural brow shape and shade, I can’t imagine doing my makeup without carving and filling them in to give that extra fleek. My go to products for my brows are the Essence Longlasting eye pencil in the shade ’01 Hot Chocolate” and the Clear Brow Mascara you get in the Collection Eye Brow Kit.

Foundation

As for my foundation, for daily use I tend to reach for the Maybeline Dream Satin Liquid in ‘Golden Caramel’. However, on the rare occasion that I am looking for a bit more coverage, I also top up my foundation by applying the Black Opal ‘True Color Foundation Stick’ in the shade ‘Nutmeg HT5’ , to the areas of my face that tend to suffer from discolouration.

Concealers

To conceal my under eyes and smile lines, I tend to interchange between the PS ‘My Perfect Colour’ liquid concealer from Penney’s and Maybeline’s ‘Fit Me’ concealer in the shade ’50’. I love the consistency of both products and how easy they are to apply and blend.

Powder

Applying powder to my face is definitely one of my favourite steps when doing my makeup. The Black Opal ‘Deluxe Finishing Powder’ is EVERYTHING. It locks in all the products I would have already applied, whilst also beautifully highlighting the areas of my face that naturally attract the sunlight.

Contour

After setting my face with powder, the next step is contour. I have been using this specific NYX palette for more than 4 years, and couldn’t imagine completing my makeup routine without it. The shade I use to contour my cheekbones, jaw and forehead is called ‘HCPS08 Hollow’.

Bronzer

The B by Superdrug, Radiance Powder, is the product I never thought I would need and love. I use this product to add a natural looking glow to my face after all the setting powder and contour. With a fluffy brush I apply my bronzer to my forehead, cheekbones and chin, to achieve a radiant glow.

Mascara

The Essence ‘Lash Princess’ ‘False Lash Effect Mascara’, is definitely a current favourite of mine. It was recommended to me months ago, by a friend of mine, and since then I have ditched all my previous ones and find myself constantly reaching for this one.

Some of you might be questioning the fact that I have not included a setting spray within my product favourites for my everyday makeup routine – and that is because I still haven’t found one I truly love or one that actually makes a significant difference to the durability of my face. So if anyone has any suggestions of setting spray’s they swear by, I would really appreciate either a comment or dm on Instagram.

Once again, thank you so so much for reading today’s blogpost. If you have any questions or queries concerning prices, feel free to comment down below.

Love, Nyasha x

Tips for Settling into College

Hi lovelies,

So after many weeks of promises, I’m finally sitting down to deliver a blog posts that is college related. Firstly, in case I forget to formally say it, I want to wish each of you awaiting results next Tuesday, the best of luck. For those of you, who may be anxiously counting down the hours, just remember that everything will work out, even if it doesn’t seem like it will, at first.

“In the end everything will work out fine. If it doesn’t. It’s not the end”

As discussed in my previous blog post entitled “It’s Not Over… It’s Just The Beginning”, there are various routes with multiple ways, to get to your desired destination, so don’t ever lose faith. For those of you hoping to go into third level education, I have been asked to share some tips on settling into college.

In September I will be going into my final year of studying Early Childhood Education and Care in IT Carlow, Wexford Campus. Upon reflection on my first few weeks of college in first year, I came up with the following four tips for those of you, who will be continuing on into third level education in September.

1. Come Prepared

Unlike secondary school, college is based on self directed learning. Lectures are there to help their students, prior to assignments and exams, but ultimately it is the effort the student makes that will earn them their desired result. That is why it is so important to come to lectures prepared. Always have a notebook and pen at the ready to jot down any terms, or better yet assignment hints that are mentioned in passing.

2. Be open to new experiences, friends and opportunities

Whether you are going to college, university or a post leaving cert, it’s important to be open minded. The truth of the matter is, you are about to experience a whole new journey that you can’t always control. Allow yourself to experience new ideas and thoughts. Allow yourself to make mistakes, recognize them and get back up again. Be confident in you, what you stand for and your beliefs. Although college may seem like the next step after secondary school, it is in fact a whole new experience that will shape you not only as a student, but as a person – so allow yourself to experience that journey wholly.

3. Be organized

As mentioned above, college is all about self directed learning. Take my advice when I say, get a planner or even a notebook where you write all your deadlines in order of importance. College will be a lot easier for you, and those around you, if you stay on top of your assignments and readings. If you were one of them students who would leave their homework till the night or morning before a class, in secondary school, I would strongly advise you, not to carry that habit into college as it will only result in tears (*I’m not even being dramatic*).

4. Prioritize your time

College life has so much to offer – a new routine, new hobbies, new friends and new experiences. You may want to experience everything your college has to offer all at once, but remember to try not to take too much on, as you may risk burning out so early on in the year. Try to prioritize getting into a routine of attending lectures and meeting deadlines before you start taking on too much socializing – aim to strike an equal balance of the two.

In finishing I want to wish each of you, all the best, as the new academic year approaches, whether you are going into first year of college or not. I hope the year brings you joy, success and minimal stress.

Love, Nyasha x

Gratitude.

Hi lovelies,

It honestly feels like I haven’t talked to you all in forever, but I’m back! I hope you are all keeping well and enjoying life and what it has to offer, at the moment. I know I am. This week alone has been such a good one for me.

On Wednesday, I went on a little day trip to Wexford to see my main ‘huns’. The sun didn’t disappoint us, so we used it to our advantage, and went on a little road trip to Forth Mountain Quarry…. where the scenes did not let us down.

I don’t know if seeing the world from an elevated point of view made me develop a strong sense of gratitude, but I certainly found myself feeling much more thankful and appreciative for the people I’m surrounded by, the fact that I have a job, a roof over my head, clothes I can wear and food on my plate – all the things I tend to take for granted every other day.

Gratitude is described as the quality of being thankful and the readiness to show appreciation.

By developing a sense of gratitude, we obtain the ability to disconnect from toxic, negative emotions, increase our happiness, become less materialistic and less likely to experience burn out while developing patience, humility and wisdom. Expressing gratitude not only benefits an individual, but it also benefits their society. Despite the numerous benefits, expressing gratitude has to offer, many of us often fail to show gratitude to those who make a difference in our lives on a daily basis.

We struggle to find the right words to express ourselves and assume that the person we want to appreciate, will feel just as uncomfortable hearing us express our gratitude as we will feel, expressing it. This however, is not the case. When we show our gratitude to others, we make them feel valued and significant. As individuals, we thrive on positive feedback. Being valued and appreciated reinforces a positive sense of self worth.

From today onwards, I am going to make the conscious effort to find one thing I am grateful for, every night before I go to sleep. If it happens to be an individual, I will make sure to show my gratitude to them one way or another, so that they too, know that I value them.

On that note, I would like to say a massive thank you to each of you reading my blog, sending kind messages and interacting with me. It means a lot more than you may realize. If you live in Ireland, I currently have a giveaway running on my Instagram account @niiash_a. Unfortunately it does end tonight, at 23:59, but please do enter up until then, you never know you could be the lucky one.

I definitely hope to do more giveaways in the future, so don’t be disheartened if you missed this one.

You are all making a dream of mine a reality, so I will continue to thank you in any way possible.

“Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness. It’s the spark that lights a fire of joy in your soul” – Amy Colette

Love, Nyasha x

Shauna’s Summer Social

Hi lovelies,

So last weekend, I was fortunate enough to attend Shauna Doyle’s very first event – ‘Shauna’s Summer Social”. I have been following Shauna’s Instagram for a little less than a year now, but I immediately fell in love with her content because of the authentic online presence she conveys across all her socials. I also love that she is very much an all round blogger and does not shy away from any category – this really stood out for her at her event, where she discussed all things makeup, fashion, biodegradable glitter, sustainabilility, relationships, love island, mental health, future goals and much much more. There was literally something for everyone.

In today’s blogpost I decided to share some highlights I captured, of the outstanding event. Shauna really went above and beyond with every single detail in order to host a fabulous blush babies event that was instagrammable.

Shuana’s Summer Social was held in the luxurius River Lee Hotel, a member of The Doyle Collection, in Cork. Upon arrval, each attendee was greeted, offered a glass of orange juice and photoraphed by @johnarthurphotos infront of the Blush Babies moon gate.

As I walked into the room more, my eyes quickly gravitated to each and every detail. Shauna did not miss any opportunity to personalize the event and make it her own. The whole room was embellished with baby pink tones, stamped with her logo. It was evident that she was involved in the entire organisation process.

As we all approached our seats, waiting for us, was the goodie bag Shauna had teased prior to the event, along with a programme and slithers of cake made by @traceofcakes.

Inside the programme, along with the schedule of activities and sponsors, was a page dedicated for us to jot down ‘what we learnt’, our ‘wishlist’ and ‘notes’. This was a fantastic addition to the programme as it gave each of us an opportunity to write down any products, tips and word’s of advice, that were mentioned as the event progressed. Once we were all settled Shauna then went up and welcomed us all, to her very first event. She spoke with such humility and gratitude, not only to her sponsors, friends and family, but also to us, her blush babies who support her on a day to day.

She then moved on to the first segment of the day, which was ‘Makeup’, where she was joined by Caoimhe (@caoimhebhmua) to do a makeup look on Lucy (@lulusbits). Throughout the process, Shauna and Caoimhe were generous enough to share all their tips, favourite products and answer the ‘hape’ of questions we all had. Once the dewy makeup look was complete, Shauna then invited us all outside for some lunch.

Moctails @thehitchingpost.ie Cupcakes @traceofcakes

After lunch we went straight into the the ‘Styling Session’. For this session, Shauna invited Ali (@ali123_), who is a student brand ambassador for Boohoo, to talk all things fashion. Shauna and Ali had both brought staple pieces from their wadropes, to give us tips on how to style them. I loved that they discussed sustainable fashion in this segment and how it is okay to wear an outfit more than once. Something I had never considered, that Ali mentioned was, if like her, you’re someone who loves wearing dresses and then struggles to switch the outfit up for another occasion, maybe try buying trousers/skirts and tops so that you can alternate pieces to switch up the outfit. The minute she said this it immediately resonated with me, as I am that person who buys dress after dress but never has any other way to change up the outfit besides the original way I wore it. I can’t wait to try out her tip next time I go shopping and see if I can save myself a few euros in the long run.

The final segment of the day, after another short break, was the ‘Q+A & Panel’ where Shauna was joined by four other fabulous ladies.

@carolbyrne30 @aoifeesull @niamhdebrun @cliona_o_hanlon

Together they discussed how they became the influential women they are today, while sharing the reality of their lives behind the screen. Each of them had their own experiences and goals which I really loved hearing about as there was something for everyone to relate to. They did not shy away from their truth but instead shared their raw real life experiences.

All in all, I really and truly enjoyed #shaunassummersocial. The time and dedication she put into the organisation of it all, in the months leading up to it, was really worth while. I wish events like this were on every single weekend. The whole event was very intimate and felt like a massive sister chat.

I am very excited to see what is next for Shauna, but for now I will hold onto what is now a fond memory of mine.

Love, Nyasha x

It’s Not Over… It’s Just The Beginning

Hi lovelies,

Firstly I would like to say a massive thank you to those of you that interacted with my polls and questions on Instagram at the start of the week. It was really insightful to see all your responses on what you would like to see on the blog, over the next few weeks. I promise to try my best to deliver. One particular request I got was to write about results, and seeing as the leaving cert results come out in a little less than a month and the junior cert after that, I decided to share some encouragement for those awaiting their fate.

Exam season is often an extremely stressful period for the best of us. The manner in which they are prepared for and examined often leave students feeling anxious as results day approaches. Although exams usually mark the end of one phase of life, and influence the choices for the next, they are not to be considered the be-all and end-all. It is important to remember that a rounded education is much more valuable than good grades.

From a personal perspective, the lead up to any results day usually leaves me feeling a whirlwind of emotions, which include anxiety, excitement, stress, nervousness and eagerness. Thankfully I’m not the only one. The lead up to exam results is undoubtedly the most stressful time for students, talkless the pressure of needing specific grades for college, or simply, to sit higher level subjects in senior cycle. You may feel like the results you achieve, will determine how your life will pan out in the future, but I am here to tell you that they are just a small part of a much bigger picture, and not the be-all and end-all of success.

Whether you get the results you’re aiming for or not, when you open that envelope, remember to continue to follow your dreams. Just like when you’re on a road trip, in life, there are many routes to get to your desired destination, do not limit yourself based on everyone else’s experience. Take the road less traveled, and see where it might take you.

I’m a firm believer in speaking things into existence, so I would encourage each and everyone of you awaiting results, academic or not – to start speaking positively concerning it. “To achieve great things, you first have to believe”.

Love, Nyasha x