Playlist of the Month: February 2017.


Hello everyone!

After my extremely long and somewhat unnecessary hiatus, I am reviving my website! Stay tuned for some exciting changes, as well as a new layout.

I’d like to begin each month with a Spotify playlist. Not only do I think it’s my secret calling in life (Seriously. I love making playlists.), but I also just am generally enthusiastic about sharing music with people. Music is such a great way to connect and communicate with others. It is so raw and inspiring. From jazz to rock, there is something to be learned in each song.

Being that February is generally considered a month of love (Valentine’s Day, snow, and the continuing cuddle season), I thought this playlist was a wonderful embodiment of the month. I hope you feel all of the tenderness and warmth this month has to offer.

(Click HERE for the playlist!)

À bientôt!


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Rejections/Acceptances: a list


Since my last post,  everything that was actually post-worthy happened. May 1st is tomorrow, and I’ve narrowed down my college decision. I’ll be paying a deposit to the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, but due to difficulties in the financial aid (on my side, not theirs!) spect of things, I have not received my financial aid package; the non-refundable payment doesn’t finalize things (so Southern is still looming).

I hoped to introduce Oakwood into the conversation (I need the “vision,” as a friend of mine says. I need to be in a place in which I am finally affirmed that I am just as capable as anyone, and being a successful, “classy” black girl isn’t a rarity), but even though the cost is comparable with Southern, my dad closed that option.

Anyway, that’s what’s going on. Without further ado:


Brandeis University (big ups to the Jewish tradition, which would allow for Sabbath rest, on top of its stellar academics and proximity to Boston)

Hampton University (surprisingly because I thought I never completed my application, decision was promised for 3 weeks post submission, got it a few months later)

Oakwood University

Fordham University (when things started feeling real!)

Milwaukee School of Engineering

Case Western Reserve University

Southen Adventist University

Marquette University

Loyola University Maryland

Macalester College (a personal favorite of mine for everything that isn’t academically-related, EVERYTHING; ask me about it because it’d be a long explanation)

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (huge surprise, especially since last year only 7% of accepted students had GPAs lower than a 4.0, and only 15% of out-of-state students were accepted, not to brag because I actually feel like HOW DID THIS HAPPEN FOR ME)


Washington University in St. Louis

Stanford University 

Harvard University (another one that I never finished the application [missing required standardized test])

Georgetown University (of which I once obsessed with, that I thought I would get accepted,–or even wait listed–of which I thought things were looking up with fewer applicants that year and then what I could bring to the particular school I applied to)


Washington and Lee University (I loved that school. So generous with aid, too)


It’s amazing how things are turning out. I just want to make sure people know what I wish I knew.

On the Cusp of Greatness

Dear fellow high school seniors,

Before you lies a world brewing in bedlam caused by lack and greed and inattentiveness and false wealth.

Before you is a universe of possibility with many of its doors locked, and within you, wrapped up in your imaginations, your passions, and your capabilities, lies the key to one of these veiled opportunities.

You are on the cusp of greatness, and whether or not you will find yourself at the doors of an ivy-covered gate this fall, or whether or not you graduated with a 4.0 GPA, what you decide to do with the rest of your life will have an impact somewhere.

Most of us will decide to create plans for our lives that allow us to live comfortably, choosing careers for the promise of comfortable earnings or for the hope of personal satisfaction. 

Nurses for job security.

Painters for constant contentment.

Surgeons for high wages.

I am troubled.

In our hands, in our nation of abundance, we wield great power. With our bountiful opportunities, we will very likely, unfortunately, channel them to the fulfillment of one–to our own individual satisfaction.

I challenge all of us to reach into our depths to resuscitate the parts of us that feel compassion for the plight of others, and then maintain that compassion, that awareness of the poor conditions in which many in our planet live in, in order to be promoters of good. We have 





what are we going to do with it?

I suggest we do good. For others.

She said I’d get in, no questions asked.

We ran into our dear family friend today. She shared her woes and her victories with us, highlighting her son’s recent educational success. My mom and I smiled and said, “Praise God.”

Then my mom told her about my application to Georgetown. “Joelle worked so hard on it, and I know she wants to go there.” 

“You know,” I said, “The more people who know about me applying to Georgetown, the more painful the rejection letter will be.”

Our family friend responded. “You will get in. I know that. And I’m glad your mom told me about your dream because we are family. The Lord put this desire on your heart, and you will get in; do not waver in your faith.”

“I’ll tell my son to pray for you because he is a prayer warrior,” she continued. “Keep praying. But have faith. Believe in this all the way through.”

I thought about her words and I thought about the verse she kind of referenced in James (that I’m about to kind of reference), that a doubter is like a ship with no sail, wavering and drifting. And then I tried to imagine myself praying, “Lord, please give me Georgetown,” but it was impossible because I know how I pray, and I know that my thought process would elicit all thoughts of praying for God’s will as in “Lord, I would like to go to Georgetown, but I won’t pray that because you know what’s best for me and I don’t want to demand anything from you” even though I’m pretty sure that’s not the right way to pray knowing about such people of faith as David and the persistent widow.

My defense mechanism against rejection is to guard my heart. Not allow myself to get attached to what’s attainable (the male species has something to do with this). But I’ve allowed myself to want Georgetown so much that it’s going to hurt when I get that rejection letter, and I’m still not capable of seeing things like our family friend who said that she knows I’ll get accepted into Georgetown.

In the conversation, she did say that God will give me what is best for me. I’m more prone to hold on to that promise, but I definitely think Christians should adopt this kind of faith. It’s biblical. Our God is bigger than our troubles. And He owns it all.

Sitting, Waiting, Wishing.


I’ve tried.


I’ve tried to focus on the Echolier, A&P, NHS–anything to distract me from the pending admissions decisions. With approximately 47 days until April 1st, the day on which I will for sure have all my rejection and acceptance letters, I know that allowing myself to be overtaken by the anxiety and curiosity of my final college options will leave me drained, due to my wasted emotions.

However, the very aspects of my life that are prevalent enough to act as distractions actually end up pulling me back to college worries. Will the admissions officers read my Echolier articles? Will I get the A that I need to make the burden of A&P–and the honors diploma—worthwhile? Is NHS even really a credential that helps to distinguish me from every other perfect charitable applicant?

So you see, my admissions decision anxiety is unavoidable.

But I’m not sure if I, along with my friends and family, can take another 47 more days of the unknown, of charting out the possibilities based on unknown possibilities. I’d love to be able to give people an answer when they ask, “Are you going to Southern?” (Notice it’s not “where are you going to college?”)