Discussions, Community Building, Young Adults, Low income

“I used to have this appetite for food, for life? and it’s just gone. I want to go someplace where I can marvel at something.” Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth (Liz) Gilbert

It’s been a while since I’ve written about solo traveling mainly because it’s been a while since I traveled. COVID, right?

The last time we spoke on solo tripping I had just lost a parent and was spiraling from the demands of life. In true fashion, this trip was centered on many of the same emotions; burnout, being overwhelmed, and uninspired, I decided to kick the dust off of my suit case and PTO to enjoy life.

However, this time the movie that I felt most like was EAT, Pray, Love (Yes I’m the movie BUT I am reading the book!); from the foods I ate to the adventures I embarked on. I touched my divine energy through culture, adventure, isolation, and self reflection.

I found myself settled on a place not too far from home because again, Covid..right?…I settled in Asheville, NC.

The Stay

I always surf the Air bnb app focused on two things; how does the image of the place make me feel and what is the bathroom and bed like?

When I look for a place it needs to inspire peace and comfort simply from the images alone; from there I sift through endless reviews to gain an understanding of the host, vibe, and location. It’s actually a past time for me if I’m honest and it’s saved me from booking with places that would have sullied my experience like a racist host or an intrusive one. I was booked for two days and decided to extend an extra day.

I was in a private guest suite and didn’t see my host once even though she was always prompt and available for my questions or concerns. The flat that I choose was simple, elegant, and beautiful (and OMG the Shower!). The location was wonderful, nothing I did was more than 15 minutes away while most things were within walking distance. I was able to truly rest.

The Food

You know that scene in eat, pray, love when she’s on a solo date and enjoys a plate full of spaghetti?

Well, that was me with this delicious steak that should’ve been too big for me to finish but with every bite and every sip of my wine it was an enlightenment on the small joys life holds if we just allow ourselves to experience newness. I ate the steak medium-well even though I’ve always been a well-done girl and enjoyed the food the way the Chef intended with all the garnishments/sauces.

I was skeptical at first sight but at first bite I was a believer in culinary art. That’s what the dinner was, art in my mouth *chef’s kiss* the dessert was even more delicious than I had anticipated and lucky enough for me it was the first day many of the items I’d chosen had been placed on the menu. It was hands down one of the most delicious meals I had ever had, the name of the restaurant is The Admiral and its located on a small downtown strip in West Asheville.

Delicious just thinking about it!

The Brunch

To kick off the next day of adventures, I did a quick morning walk and then headed to one of the closest breakfast spots I could find. I came upon Early Girl Eatery and went for a classic; chicken and waffles. I was served a mason jar of mimosa and a big plate of gluten free chocolate chip waffles with crispy, fried chicken.

Doesn’t sound too special? What if I say that it came with a habanero and sweet potato hot sauce that was literally the best condiment I’ve ever tasted? Besides that, the way the chicken was battered and crispy was out of this world too which made the combination a must have again; I went back the morning before heading home.

The Adventures of Solo Girl

I visited the Biltmore Castle; one of the oldest homes in the U.S. to date. Now I won’t lie and act like the little black voice in my head wasn’t saying slick shit the entire time I was at the castle hearing about the history and knowing it meant something totally different for those of my hue but as someone who equally enjoys history and architectural beauty; i thoroughly enjoyed it all.

My favorite part however were the gardens filled with light and life; plants manicured to perfection. You feel like a goddess of the world while walking the endless acres of plant life. I even wore a top with a scene that looked as if it were painted by Michelangelo to fully embrace the moment; a bit campy maybe but I looked damn good.

There was still so much I hadn’t seen on the grounds which are massive because I had a spa appointment that I needed to attend. Still, there were more things I could’ve partaken in like petting the animals on the farm, horseback riding, enjoying wine tasting, or restaurants. The possibilities were endless because I didn’t even see all of the house or garden and I was there for only two and a half hours.

I rushed from the castle to my next adventure at a spa.

The Salt Water Float therapy was a surreal experience. It was amazing and I’m definitely looking to trying it again locally. The premise is to be put into a meditative state by floating in water filled with thousands of pounds of salt; think of the concept of the Dead Sea.

I laid booty, butt naked in a tank with a few feet of water in the absolute dark, alone…for an hour. I won’t lie, me and the dark don’t really see eye to eye; for the first 20 or so minutes I left the door cracked because I was convinced that Nasty Ole Ms. Vera was rising up somewhere at the end of the tank to choke me just like she did that little girl in the show THEM. I’m sorry if you don’t get that reference but it’s true.

Once i did finally relax and allow my body to settle on top of the warm water, eyes closed, it was the most freeing and liberating meditative state I had experienced in a long time. For an hour, I only had to pay $69. Seriously, not bad for a whole new experience is it? You can find the place all of the places I’ve mentioned by clicking the highlighted text as a link.

Not only did it help with all the stiffness, soreness my body held from being overworked but when I say my skin was glowing (After, it was glowing after I washed all the salt away and deeply moisturized my skin) but yes; the benefits were amazing.

Deeper Thoughts

I’m convinced that this trip was linking me to my divine feminine energy.

Being gentle in the curation of events that spark joy and satisfaction in a place much deeper than my heart. I was able to just be. To celebrate, to release, to express, and experience. I had a few days where the only words I spoke was to order food; I needed that as an introvert who constantly finds herself standing out and in leadership roles.

I had whole day where I laid in bed watching Seinfeld and eating junk food; enjoying the luxurious shower at least three times that day just because. I photographed myself and captured the peace I was then experiencing. I took long walks around the local park along the lake and just listened to the birds and trees talk.

I allowed myself to feel whatever it was that I felt moment to moment and day to day; giving myself the space to process it. I lived instead of just existing as I was doing for weeks before trying to just make it to the end of the work day. What would life be like if I curated my whole life around allowing this instead of the hustle. What if I curated a life that didn’t require such a need for vacation. I wondered. And then I set about doing just that; focusing in on the things that didn’t add to this vision to correct or remove them.

It was necessary for me to find a piece of myself that I had not lost but locked away. So often many of us push parts of ourselves aside for the benefit of building a life, a connection, a career…we lock away those parts because we’ve given away the time, attention, and energy it takes to embrace them.

More and more I realize that locking parts of myself away for lack of those things isn’t conducive to the life I truly want. I want to invite into my life that which feeds my free-spirited, peaceful, adventurous parts instead of encouraging me to ignore it or depleting me to the point where I have to ignore it myself. Finding things that are more compatible for my unaltered self. Adjusting my life extensions to who I naturally am and not the other way around.

My solo adventures always bring me back to myself and reveal something new. I don’t disregard the fact that as a true introvert doing everything alone is a part of my nature and that asking others to embark on a solo adventure may not be an easy request.

There were indeed moments that could have been uncomfortable had I not the affinity for those moments. An example of this is being in the restaurant during dinner reservation hours; dressed like a trophy wife and eating alone. There were looks of confusion and wonder at the table of women eating together across from me and also on the men who there with their colleagues talking business. But what made me not care was the look of intrigue. I had the same looks given to me when I visited the castle and frolicked through the gardens. I’m so comfortable in my own skin and in my own aura that I’ve grown to expect intrigue with a shot of confusion from those who wouldn’t dare be so free.

Do something so freely that people both judge and marvel. Dare yourself to be so bold.

Builders! What’s the best solo trip you’ve ever had? Comment below and Let’s Talk!

Free to be whatever I am

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LBF Episode on Closure

The Infamous Reputation of Forgiveness was a hit on the lets build website when I first wrote it in 2017. But talking about forgiveness was only half of the pie.

Recently, I discovered how I’ve conditioned myself to forgive in the absence of an apology; sadly, I had begun to no longer expect one. We are really bad at apologizing , let alone, asking for forgiveness when we’ve wronged someone. We Lean into the thought that the imperfections in another cancels out the need for accountability on our part. We close our connections by simply walking away and thinking “oh well“…convincing ourselves that the other person overreacted. The blind spots in our self awareness comes into play with us avoiding accountability, indulging in our pride, and yes, upholding the fear of vulnerability.

The number one answer that the builders gave to the question Why are we so bad at apologizing?

Pride and Ego.

Eighty Two percent of builders say their Apology game is STRONG.

Eighteen percent of builders say their Apology game is TRASH.

How is YOUR apology game??

If it takes perfection to activate your accountability then you will effectively escape apology often; you will also escape the ability to mature out of those imperfections.

The infamous reputation of (Apology)

Accountability is Uncomfortable

No one likes to admit when they’re wrong or when they’ve wronged. If we’re not careful we internalize apologizing in a way that tells us we’re bad people; when in fact we’re just flawed. But even admitting we’re flawed in specific ways is too much for some. While we outwardly proclaim that nobody’s perfect, we silently struggle with the lived examples of what imperfection looks like. The spectrum imperfection looks like apologizing and yet, not enough of us do it.

The spirit of pride whispers to us that whatever or whoever isn’t worth the apology. Saying “It’s not that deep,” in an attempt to diminish the situation at hand. This in turns diminishes the other person(s) whose feelings and thoughts were affected by our actions/words. The accountability of it all is a tough pill to swallow. Being face to face with the opportunity to apologize opens us up to some serious self reflection and the hard questions that surround those personal events.

Were you intentionally hurting, dismissing, disrespecting? Was it unintentional? Both questions along with your answers come with their own weight. Weight that many aren’t prepared to carry. It’s too uncomfortable when we think about the ways in which someone else has experienced us negatively. So we stuff down the thought that there’s even a need for an apology in creative ways that are not only harmful to the one(s) deserving of our apology but to our growth as well.

Imperfection Gives us an excuse

We deflect because accountability is uncomfortable; we try avoid it. Finding any excuse to dodge feelings of guilt, remorse, and regret; the easiest way to do this is to focus on the imperfection of the other person or the situation itself. Life doesn’t just cleanly happen, so we find ourselves often in situations where the other person may be wrong on some level as well. Factors surrounding the situation could also act as an influencer on the negative display of our actions/words and the need for an apology.

When we decide to take this morsel of truth and stretch it out in an elaborate excuse by saying “I mean I was wrong but they weren’t right either.” or “It’s really not on me because (insert outside factor)…We deny ourselves an opportunity to grow and yes, be the bigger person. We can acknowledge the facts of a thing and still hold ourselves accountable for the ways we participated and contributed to the final results. The results could mean hurting someone or mishandling a particular situation, person etc…If it takes perfection to activate your accountability then you will effectively escape apology often; you will also escape the ability to mature out of those imperfections. The blind spots in our self awareness may only come to light when others are negatively affected by our actions/words; if we don’t pay attention to this then we will never fully see the truth of who we are. Effectively being blind to ourselves.

Tip: When someone explains to you how they felt this is not an attack nor does it negate your apology. They could still be processing your apology and informing you on exactly what it is you’re apologizing for. You should not immediately go into defense mode.

The Naked Truth

To apologize often means we care enough about the other person’s feeling to bypass the pride, admit the imperfection, and don the accountability; this is also why I believe many don’t do it. We show we care on some level when we offer this mental and emotional work; we’re vulnerable in apologizing and sometimes not even asking for forgiveness. Ideally, we want to apologize no matter the person but some may find it easier to offer a “my bad” to a stranger than to a friend, lover, or family member. Holding back that part of us that is honest and transparent for the fear of truly being seen as anything other than what we present. If I’m always presenting myself as someone who is confident and sure of themselves then I may find it hard to admit that I’m wrong.

Others may see this simple human flaw as an opportunity to discount me in the future and deny the image I project for them to buy into. Fear drives so much of our avoidance even when we’re confident people; even when we feel self aware. I don’t want this person to know I cared that much or that I’m imperfect in that way. We’re afraid to be real although we claim to what nothing but realness. We have some work to do.

Well I messed up so bad I know she/he isn’t going to forgive me.

We’ve gotten into the habit of either expecting forgiveness upon apology or avoiding apology because we don’t expect forgiveness. It is imperative that we recognize that accountability is one of the most important reasons we should apologize and not always think this is a golden ticket back into good graces. This understanding can also be used to follow through with the act of apology too. Many factors may come into play with a personal apology. The person may still be processing your actions and their emotions. For this reason they need time to offer genuine forgiveness; they could be angry still, or may not believe forgiveness is something they can offer based on the offense.

That doesn’t give you the green light to opt out of the apology. I’m not talking to you serial apologizers who abuse the word and the action with repeated offense. For regular situations and non-maniuplative reasons, apology should be offered even when forgiveness may not be. Some hate the idea and phrase of “YOU OWE AN APOLOGY.”

As if you are in a debt that can only be paid in full by an “I’m Sorry,” but there’s truth there. You have cost that person something for those offended and affected by your wrong. It could be peace of mind, money, opportunity, trust; you name it by the offense. You are in a special kind of debt to repay what you cost them and sometimes the price of an apology is the cheaper way out than you deserve.

Sloppy Apology

Stop saying sorry for shit you’re not sorry for

Stop saying sorry for shit you’re not accountable for

And Stop giving half ass apologies then acting Fake shocked when the offended party gets more offended by your sloppiness

“My bad”

“You know I ain’t mean it.”

“It was just a joke, damn you’re sensitive but sorry then.”

Like WTF is any of that? Because I know what it’s NOT, an apology. Again, accountability is the secret ingredient in a sincere apology so if you’re not going to fully accept responsibility for your offense then don’t do it. The sloppy apology is a cheap way to continue the cycle of avoidance. Another attempt to excuse yourself by saying you tired to apologize but it didn’t work so the problem isn’t you. It’s all deflection because you’re not honest in your self reflection.

Time is also NOT an apology. Time can be a buffer and needed space to process through the emotions but it does not serve as a way to apologize simply because you’re choosing not to actually deal with the situation. How can you process through something you refuse to even acknowledge. This is the same reason why speaking on your part in the fuck up is important. You’re letting the person know you understand what your actions were and attempting to understand how they impacted another; accountability isn’t just for your personal growth but is the truest way to move forward.

Apologizing just to shut someone up is also not effective especially if the person can sniff out the bullshit. FYI.

Let’s Get Better at apologizing as we build up the skills of adulthood that makes us the best versions of ourselves.

When did school become so geared toward the traditional idea of success that it abandoned the teaching of actual basics?

First comes graduation, then comes college then comes the career without the baby carriage.


Home Economics in high schools provided tools for developing young adults capable of knowing the most basic ways to take care of things at home. A home econ class revamped toward building great adults would do more than even the previous model. I’m sure the course lacked in areas but instead of taking away the program for budget cuts why not take the foundation earlier versions have laid a step further?

I believe a home econ class for today’s generation is needed because so many young adults today definitely could have used it. Myself included. Learning things the hard way when it comes to changing a tire or understanding student loans is a little unnecessary when you’ve spent years in school learning information you may not ever use.

Imagine a course that would go beyond cooking lessons to the garage where it shows students how to change a tire. This course could cover down on all the things schools aren’t teaching right now like how to do your taxes, or how to open a savings and banking account. It could go beyond sewing lessons to teach budgeting, how to price compare consumer products, networking, investing, and more.

A course designed to help students learn things that they will use on a daily basis would benefit the communities in which they are implemented because students would be given the tools needed to become knowledgeable adults in a host of areas. Knowledgeable young adults could then make conscious, informed decisions that could potentially elevate the economy as a whole.

For all of those out there saying “school is not supposed to be responsible for teaching students what parents should” or “Isn’t that what college is for?” then let me further explain…

1. Parents are only able to pass on the knowledge that they have readily available, in many circumstances, parents are not able to give their children certain information on things like taxes, loans, and banking because they do not fully understand it themselves. Factor in the growing number of students that come for low income families and you should realize that there is a knowledge deficit in many American homes toward basic information.

2. Too often students learn a plethora of things in school and never understand how it’s relevant or how to apply it to daily life. Throughout high school and college I zoned out in my required general classes to ask myself “When the %*&! am I ever going to use this?”


And despite the groaning from all the educators out there, it’s a valid question. If you don’t relate/show how understanding basic math is incorporated into things like finances and cooking then young Tiffany will continue to see math as a language she doesn’t understand.

Young Tiffany will then make basic mistakes in finances due to her lack of understanding that will affect her life for years to come. Now, Tiffany is on government assistance, she can’t cook, and doesn’t know how to put air in a tire but at least she remembers y = mx + b from high school algebra.
OK, Ok, I know that was a little dramatic but you get my point. You can’t not give a generation the tools they need or make getting a college degree a luxury item but then complain that they aren’t being good stable citizens. Speaking of college it brings me to my next point…

3. For the “isn’t that what college is for?” crowd, please understand that college is not for everyone and if a young student doesn’t learn the basis of loans, interest, networking, budgeting etc…then they are only going to end up like young Tiffany even if they attend a higher education institution.
Even if they don’t the main issue is not whether high school should be responsible for teaching these things but the real question is; Why wouldn’t you want your tax dollars invested in a course that would build a foundation in becoming a stable adult for those who will be responsible for taking the torch from you.

Our communities are not what they were 50 years ago. Little Aaron may not learn networking from his father at the barbershop because his father may not be present for various reasons.

College for many young adults is an avenue for self-destruction once they enter without the tools necessary in understanding what they are getting themselves into financially, economically, and educationally. The following is an excerpt from a Forbes article that articulates the disparity of high school preparation brilliantly.

Millennials do demonstrate a sobering measure of hindsight, though. 57% report that they now regret how much they borrowed and, more sadly, over a third say they wouldn’t even have gone to college if they had realized in advance the true price tag of their education. Both stats point to a glaring knowledge gap in the high school to college pipeline that ostensibly focuses on preparing students for college academics, but neglects to inculcate any understanding of the economic realities of this path.


Full article:

So, little Aaron went to college, took out student loans, got decent grades but didn’t understand networking or the impact of loans. Now he has a BS in biology working at Best Buy. He has $40,000 in student loans because he was told he needed to go to college to be successful but wasn’t given the tools or “how to” before he got there. Schools at the earliest levels are institutions for learning but can you really say you taught someone something if they don’t know how to apply it to life outside of school?


Some states still implement a home econ course in their high school curriculum as a part of a student’s general education. I remember stories of the home econ teacher at my local high school (S/O Mullins, SC ) from my older sisters. I couldn’t wait to take the class only to find out that they had gotten rid of it. So when buttons were falling off my favorite coat and my boyfriend expertly sewed it back on for me; I tried to take the shock out of my voice when I asked him how he knew how to sew. His reply…home econ in high school.
It would be wonderful if the same response were true for other skills that would actually uplift young adults. I believe a class like this could assist in deterring the ever growing mountain of debt that my generation unwittingly and necessarily accumulated. Millennials now have accumulated 1.2 trillion dollars in student loan debt as a result of the ever rising tuition and college expenses. We are now holding off on things like purchasing a home,  a new vehicle, and investment because we simply can’t afford it.

Would it be too much to think that students should graduate with the skills needed to combat some of these issues by understanding the realities more?

Is the concept of a course geared toward this information overzealous? Let me know what you all think. Comment or contact me at waltonkrystal@ymail.com

Found this article that says a lot of the same things and almost shouted because now I know that information I put out is real and relevant:



Also known as the “Glo’ up,” it’s funny how we define this phrase on so many levels. Financially, physically, and generally, the “Glo’ up” can happen in various aspects of life. BUT, for those of us out there that have been perpetually late to the glo-up in all its levels since birth ( Me too Sis! ) let me explain why it’s okay.

For one, we all get concerned about fitting in at an early age. Trying to dress a certain way to attract the cute guy at school (I know you see this poppin’ outfit), wanting to have the new technology first so you can be included in discussions, or even changing your hair to the new wave.

We’ve all been there in some form or fashion; the difference for late bloomers is that trying to fit in doesn’t actually work. We fail miserably at it. A late bloomer is a person whose talents or capabilities are not visible to others until later than usual. Most of the time a late bloomer’s talents and capabilities are not even visible to themselves.

That is why being an outsider as a late bloomer is exactly what you need. Late bloomers are able to take their time in building a better understanding of themselves because generally, nobody else is going to understand you.

Some of the most amazing people have been late bloomers in life. Like Samuel L. Jackson who upon recovering from drug addiction landed his breakout role in pulp fiction. He was 46. J.K. Rowling, Tina Fey, Stephanie Myers, and Julia Child, Colonel Sanders, Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad’s Walter White). I loved that show! Anyway, you get the point. Developing “on time” is not everyone’s destined path.


Bryan Cranston

Nowadays, we’re all so focused on having everything figured out in our 20s that we miss the benefits of taking our time. Late bloomers often have no choice in the matter. Whether its being a late bloomer financially, or a late bloomer who is just now accepting all your curves (or LACK thereof LOL); being late to the game teaches you a thing or two.

1. Many times you develop empathy for others. Late bloomers often feel like outcast and develop empathy for those who are different from mainstream society.

2. You have a strong sense of who you are because you were never able to fit into popular stereotypes.

3. Playing catch-up to different milestones helps you appreciate the experience more.

4. You learn from the mistakes of those who have gone before you.

5. Once you get older you’re not burnt out or bored by having already experienced things at an earlier age.

As a late bloomer don’t ever think that being different is a bad thing. Everyone is different in some way. And as corny as it sounds your lateness is what makes you special.When you discover your talents and skills at an older age you often are then equipped to nurture them.

I had two older sisters who were popular throughout high school because they already had a strong sense of who they were.While I loved seeing their experiences, I couldn’t mimic them even if I wanted to.

I was still lame through college. I think I might be lame still but in MY mind I’ve been poppin’ since Junior high sooooo who knows. However, being a late bloomer has taught me to appreciate exactly who I am, the way I am. I hope that all the late bloomers out there will feel the same way about themselves because Glo’ ups are inevitable but loving yourself; well, that’s entirely up to you.

Also Toni Morrison was a late bloomer and I absolutely adore her work.If you don’t know who she is DO BETTA!

Check out these articles!




The term Internship has often been viewed as something solely for undergraduate and graduate students. I started thinking about all the benefits that taking on an internship offers and wondered, why wasn’t this something encouraged to high school students as well?

Honestly I didn’t even know what an internship was until I became a sophomore in college only to find out I needed to complete one to graduate. However, internships help to build a strong foundation for young adults who will eventually enter into the workforce. Isn’t that something everyone needs? So why not start early.

Internship describes the position of a student or trainee who works in an organization, sometimes without pay, in order to gain work experience or satisfy requirements for a qualification.

Internships help to teach personal responsibility, accountability, work ethic, and reinforcement of work culture for young adults who may or may not have entered into a professional setting before. There are some adults out there that could benefit from taking on an internship but that’s a topic for another post LOL.

This post encourages professional internships at places like law firms, the educational system, city offices, etc.…Please don’t try to intern at Burger King because you like the Hersey pies. Nowadays it feels as though the main focus of school is to prepare students for college; but, even though statistics show the benefits of earning a degree, college is not the right fit for every student.

Internships will assist in reaching children who may choose not to pursue a higher education AND it will also benefit those who do. IT’S A WIN WIN SITUATION GUYS! Let’s take a closer look at how high school kids can get the jump on life by taking on internships.


It teaches personal responsibility. As with any job your child or student would be expected to arrive on time, in the correct attire and in the right mind frame to start their work day. These are all qualities that will be expected of them once they enter the workforce. Getting use to a schedule and tackling the tasks given to them will help high school students discover their strengths and weaknesses outside the classroom.

It teaches accountability. We never want kids to grow up too fast but once a child becomes a junior or senior in high school the reality of adulthood begins to set in. One of the things that every young adult needs to be equipped with is the tolerance for accountability. Young adults will need accountability for a boss under a deadline or accountability for the payment of bills on time.

This skill is closely related to personal responsibly but slightly different because it encompasses factors outside of one’s personal responsibility. I believe accountability goes hand-in-hand with the tolerance of authority. In the workforce, even in entrepreneurship, there will be things in which you are held accountable for.

Maybe it will be the completion of an important project by a deadline or expensive high tech equipment that you need to inventory; you will be held accountable for different things in life so why not get practice with this first.

We all need a strong work ethic. How often have you heard someone use the phrase “Oh, he has a good work ethic.” You have an idea of what that means but may not fully understand it. Webster defines work ethic as a belief in work as a moral good: a set of values centered on the importance of doing work and reflected especially in a desire or determination to work hard.

Some definitions describe work ethic as inherently good but I don’t believe in those definitions because many people have poor work ethic aka they’re just plain lazy. Internships will ideally place young students around individuals with a strong work ethic to expose them to how effective it can be. Personal responsibly and accountability on the job will also help develop a strong (good) work ethic.

Reinforcement of work culture. Depending on the type of job the internship is with, the work culture will vary. Someone interning at a law firm will probably want to dress more conservative as oppose to someone interning at an auto repair shop.

Students would be exposed to a work culture whose expectations concerning attire, language, and professionalism would be different from the classroom. In meeting these expectations students will develop an understanding on how to incorporate themselves in a working environment.


Positive experiences with internships could be confidence boosters for students that come from low income households. By developing the skills listed above they will feel prepared and reassured in their ability to provide a successful life for themselves.

Not to mention that by interning students are already building a network within the professional world. Taking on an internship in the field that a student thinks they want to enter into can allow them face the reality of the job. Alice could think she wants to go into law but after interning at a firm she now realizes that it may not be a good fit. Now when she goes to college she will have saved precious time and money by narrowing down her career choices.


Small towns may have less obvious opportunities for High School internships but it never hurts to improvise. Ask your local law firm, talk to the school career or guidance counselor, talk to your church to see if they are willing to provide an internship or information on an internship for high school students.

Internships will help to prepare college bound students for a world in which supervision is limited yet they will be expected to perform and complete tasks. Military bound students will learn basic military values like accountability, personal responsibility and work ethic.

These learned skills will only be reinforced once they start their military careers. Lastly, students who choose to enter the workforce after graduation will already have professional work experience, a professional network, work ethic, and a possible job from their place of internship. Students will then be ready to enter the workforce confident that they are able to perform.

By the way, not all internships are unpaid but not all will tell you that. So definitely ask. Shoutout to my boss from my internship at a police department who shared this information with me and paid me.$$$


There’s a stigma that comes with identifying yourself or family as being low-income.
But for many children it’s a reality and if those who know about this harsh reality don’t discuss it, then the long lasting effects of poverty will be felt well into adulthood.

Join me as I tackle the dreaded “low income” talk, explain it’s effects and how to overcome them.


Before we get started let me just say that I had a fair childhood and a mother and older
sisters who gave me the moon every chance they could. Many children fare far worse by not having the essentials that they need from day to day.

Being from a low-income family doesn’t mean that your loved ones aren’t trying or doing their best; often times it means that they’re not receiving the help they need.

Many times they’re coming from a similar situation in their childhood that manifested into adulthood. That is why it is important to discuss generational poverty to curb it’s effects.

So, what are some effects low-income children and young adults face? Well, I’m glad you asked because I have a list that describes a few down below:


1. Students from low-income households suffer in school.Children are sometimes ill prepared for school in their early ages; this ripple effect carries on throughout their school career. Too often there is no real emphasis put on school work or studying.

Parents who are low income may work usual hours, long hours, or in poorer conditions just to put food on the table. Sometimes, the last thing on a parent’s mind is asking little Debbie does she have homework. Even if the answer is “No, ma’am” as it often was for me, establishing study habits early will go a long way.

Children need accountability when it comes to homework to build good habits for school and later in life. Parents can start small by sitting down with their child on a day off to go over school work. Getting an assignment calendar from teachers at the first of the year will help parents keep track of what lessons their child is doing week to week.

Parents can then look at the lesson calendar and say, “Well your lesson for this week is fractions so pull out your book and let’s sit down and study for 30 minutes.” I promise you no child wants this but many definitely need it and will wish they got it when they’re older.



2. Socializing. Now, I don’t know if this was statistically proven because I’m just going off my own experiences. However, it makes sense that socializing or developing a social life is effected for children from low income households.

One reason why I think social life suffers is because there’s this unwarranted shame that comes with being financially challenged growing up; as if being a pre-teen or teen isn’t hard enough. Factor in the pressure to fit in and keep up with the trends you can’t afford and you have a recipe for an anti-social or overly social child.

For example, I was put in an advanced class as a pre-teen. I will always remember my classmates as I stayed with them through high school. Learning and socializing alongside them was an eye-opening experience. They shared a lot of experiences that I would never get to be a part of. Small references to cable videos or wearing the latest fashions was something I couldn’t relate to.

Many children miss out on social engagements and experiences because they lack the resources to participate. This can lead to the child being distant or over compensating socially.I think in this case talking with your child about the financial differences they face between peers will alleviate the anxiety they may feel.


3. Future Success. There are of plenty successful people who come from humble beginnings and make it to whatever they consider “success.” However, the notion that “We all have the same opportunities” is bullshit. You may have gone to the same school with someone or lived in the same town but opportunities stemming from the household can vary greatly.

Small feats like getting your first car when you turn 16 or start college is often not plausible for someone from a low-income household. In reality, It may take that individual years and saved money to acquire something that was given to their peers. Small milestones like this have a financial impact for young adults.

Low-income young adults find themselves playing “catch-up” to obtain financial stability and items that could ensure future success. It’s no wonder why many opt to join the workforce instead of tackle the debt of getting a college degree.

Being realistic about the disadvantages low-income children face helps to usher in combative solutions. Encouraging students to discuss their futures will help them to better make decisions based on college,entrepreneurship, workforce or military.

Finding internships designed for High School students will expose them to a different environment and help build confidence that they can succeed in their endeavors.Visit local college campuses for free open houses, allow your child to shadow someone who is in the field they believe they want to go into.


If lil Darryl thinks he wants to be a rapper let him shadow an entrepreneur. Seriously, get your children to think about their futures in a realistic sense because many times the most important question for low-income children isn’t “What do you want to do when you graduate?” But “How do you plan to get there?”

Take a look at this article:

I know that there are many other things that low-income children and parents face but I wanted to keep this post brief to get the main points across.

What you can take away from this is that low-income children need guidance and parental involvement. Learning stress and hardships at an early age can lead to psychological issues that manifest themselves in the future.

The BEST way to combat generational poverty or low-income households is to encourage children to dream bigger, higher, and better. I hope this post helped someone and as always, for any suggestions please comment below or email me at waltonkrystal@ymail.com.





In a time where everyone is flashing expense trips and purchases on Instagram it’s difficult not to mimic the trend.


As young adults we face financial hardship greater than that of generations before us because many of us take on debt in the form of student loans before we even fully understand money. However, there are ways to enjoy life and to secure “the bag” for your future. Here are some tips on how to save responsibly:


1. Save something every month. There are so many tips out there that tell you to save at least 10% of any income you have; while that sounds great, percentages to young adults just sound scary or foreign. My rule?…save at least 20 or 50 or 100 dollars every month.

If you work part-time or full-time it doesn’t matter, the goal here is to get you use to saving. I’ve always been a hoarder of money because saving money gives me a rush. Once you see your savings account building, the same will likely happen for you. Some months you might be short on cash but save what you can because there’s a peace of mind in knowing that even when you’re broke, you’re not totally broke.

2. Practice delayed gratification. This is basically the opposite of impulse buying. Look…Ri Ri had on those fire thigh high boots but do you really need those right now? Fashionova will always have another sale so save your money for now so that you can better enjoy it later.

I admit that I fall off the wagon every now and again by over splurging on myself but there was a time when before I brought anything I asked myself “Do I really need this?” I did it often in the mall and by the time my best friend and I left the store I only had what I really, really wanted and hadn’t over spent. Don’t get it twisted, too much delayed gratification will leave you on the outskirts of life looking in. So enjoy yourself while you’re young especially but don’t blow a check on the new J’s because you may not get it right back.

3. Buy generic brands. As a low-income college student I found all kinds of life hacks and one of them was Dollar Tree LOL. I get my toothpaste, snacks, kitchen ware, party supplies, and just about everything from dollar tree. Why?…because the same set of forks or tube of toothpaste would cost a little more at Walmart.

My boyfriend blindly shops without ever really looking at prices. It drives me crazy because I know that with a little more attention and price comparison; he could be saving coins. Yea, Sara Lee’s bread is delicious but the Walmart loaf costs less and tastes fine. Oh yea, that bacon looks like its cut well but imma get this off brand for $2 less. It may not seem like a big deal but shopping for anything without paying attention to price will eventually add up.

I wouldn’t compromise on everything though. Weak 1 ply tissue from Dollar Tree will never compare to Charmin! Just be a smart, conscious shopper to understand where you can bend a little on the brands to save precious dollars every month.

4. Set some kind of budget. Hanging out with friends? Cool. Set a budget so that you won’t over spend. Need groceries? Set a budget. The ideal scenario would be to set a monthly budget that includes bills, savings, and miscellaneous expenses. Anything left over from that would be yours to do as you please. However, even I have trouble with this type of budget so I start small. Add up your bills then set your money aside for that. Put $50 into savings and set a money cap for a night out with the girls.

Baby steps people, baby steps.

5. Break up with your debit card. Like me, I’m sure most of you have been in a steamy relationship with your debit card. You take him everywhere you go and aren’t afraid to show him off (or swipe). The problem with this is that you’re not in a personal relationship with your actual money.

By taking out the amount of cash you need and leaving your card at home you won’t be so eager to spend. You’ll only spend on what you truly want…in theory. Swiping is addictive, handing cash over, not so much. So leave debit card bae at home more often.

6. Don’t be too bougie for coupons or discounts. Listen, I look forward to the first of the month mail because there will always be Dominos Pizza, Ruby Tuesdays, Hardees, and Checkers coupons in my mail.

On dates, I’m never ashamed to ask if they offer a military discount. Why?…because could I pay full price for a meal? Yea. Do I want to if I don’t have to?…Hell Naw. So get cute girl, put on that ruby woo and that cute dress but remember to pack that 15% off coupon in your purse.


Below are some additional links to get you thinking about savings:




IMG_0504There is a sense of pride in knowing that you were the first in your family or group of friends to venture outside the “norm.”

For some that may be going to college, for others that may be joining the military. For some that may even be doing both or neither OR starting a business, moving to a different city, buying a house, vlogging.

Whatever the source of that pride and the knowledge that you are the first to push outside the box; I think it’s safe to say that with the pride also comes the pressure.
With the pride comes the anxiety, the fear, and the feeling of not having what it takes to succeed in your dreams. I write this blog for you. I’ve experienced the feeling of not belonging and I’ve also, at different points in my life, allowed that feeling to paralyze my growth. Many times it can be frightening to start down a path that no one you know has taken or maybe they have and didn’t succeed.

However, you should know that there are many others with stories just like yours and that the best way to feel sure of yourself in a new environment is to prepare.


  • Prepare yourself by learning all you can about your endeavor
  • Sharpen your circle to include others who are on the same path
  • Find a mentor who can properly guide you


If you’re starting out in college and feel like your small town high school did NOT prepare you *raises hand* then spend that extra time studying, socializing, and exploring instead of taking that afternoon nap.

If you’ve decided to enlist then take time in advance to learn rank structure, creeds, and study the materials your recruiters give you. Becoming a small business owner? Great! surround yourself with other small business owners to get an idea of what you can expect in the first few years.

Nothing compares to the confidence that preparation and surrounding yourself with the  right people gives you. Growth is hard but it’s also exciting and if done right, rewarding. So, never be ashamed that you seek growth in a different way. Don’t allow yourself to feel like an outcast when your uniqueness gives you something those around you don’t have.

Find a way to take advantage of your disadvantage.
Often, children and young adults who are first generation successes find their journey to be a lonely one; this is one reason why networking is so very important.

Sometimes, MOST times you have to stretch your comfort zone to include the unfamiliar
but it is necessary to find individuals who will understand certain areas of your life. I have a best friend who went to college and joined part-time military just as I did. I know that I can talk to her about various issues concerning both.

On the other hand, I have a friend, who like me, was also from a low-income family. I can confide in this friend with issues others in my life may not understand because they did not experience it. I hope to connect young adults to each other  with similar feelings and experiences. That is one of the goals of this blog and the Let’s Build initiative.

The Let’s build initiative is all about uplifting our communities starting with young adults who may not have the direction and mentorship they desire and deserve. I offer this blog as a mirror, an outlet, and a source of relief with you knowing that you’re not alone.

This blog will serve as a format to encourage healthy discussions, provide  relevant  information and a sense of community for young adults and their parents. Stay tuned for weekly posts about the things that matter.