Operation Get Gritty: How I'm Getting Ready for my First Year of Medical School (& Life)

It’s only been a few months since I wrote my last post but here I am writing this one from a new couch, in a new crib, on a new block. I’ve got a serious case of the sniffles but I refuse to admit that it might be because I’ve been sleeping with wet hair near a fully #turntup AC. My mom would kill me.

I’m just about a week from pre-orientation and 2 weeks from White Coat Ceremony. I am excited, I am ready, and I am SHOOK.

All summer I’ve been (in a very low-key sort of way) working on getting my mind right for medical school. Call it extreme if that’s how you feel…. but the first-generation low-income Latina in me was not going to leave my success up to chance. I haven’t been pre-maturely studying for Step 1 or trying to get a head start on anatomy (although I’m jealous if you did), but I’ve been mindful. Mindful of my sleep, mindful of my stress, mindful of my routines, mindful of my mindset.

Today I thought I’d share with some of my favorite people (you guys, hello) how I’ve spent an itty bitty portion of my summer preparing for MS1. In my head (and to Shaun) I’ve been calling the sum of these 5 things OPERATION GET GRITTY because I wrote them down with every intention of using these habits to become the grittiest, happiest, and most bada$$-y version of myself. So far so good, but if you’d like a more detailed review of my efforts and what habits stick with me during MS1 be sure to let me know in a comment so I can share all the deets with you in a future blog post.



(1) Read/listen/talk for self-improvement… every day.

I don’t know why self-help books get such a bad rep. I’ve read my fair share of lackluster BELIEVE AND YOU WILL ACHIEVE soliloquies but I’ve never been one to let a bad banana ruin the bunch. I’m super passionate about self-improvement— becoming a better person, a better student, a better partner, a better friend— and I’m not ashamed to admit it. If you want to get gritty, be bolder, and live your best life you have to have to HAVE TO invest in yourself every single day. There is a world of difference between wanting to be perfect and wanting to be better.

I started this summer with an explicit goal of building better habits, establishing a productive routine, and increasing my mental toughness (#nerddddd) and although each book had its “shortcomings” The Compound EffectGrit, and Can’t Hurt Me were all full of gems. When I don’t have my nose in a book I like to listen to The Press Send podcast for a little chatty-and-wise girl-boss talk, The Daily for important current events, or The Health Code for all things #healthspo, #hustlespo, and positivity. Finally, LISTEN UP BECAUSE THIS ONE IS IMPORTANT. Talking for self-improvement has been a critical addition to my days and weeks. Every so often Shaun and I will schedule a check-in chat to get some honest feedback and advice on our goals. Think accountability buddy 2.0 because I can always count on Shaun for some tough (but encouraging) love. Regular check-in chats are key. Who’s your person?

(2) Mindfully build habits into your mornings and nights.

This one (for me) is grounded in a deep desire to accomplish two things: (1) to make more of my early AMs and (2) to increase the quality of my rest because I know that both will be critical to my success in med school. I’m sure there are some of you that scoff at the idea of doing the same thing every morning but I have always identified as a creature of habit. If I’m not building good habits to start my day then I’m almost certainly practicing bad ones *insert endless Instagram scroll*. For at least a year I’ve been super aware of my need to cut the crap and do something different... and year 1’s rapid approach has given me the sense of urgency I needed to actually try things out. My routines are still a work-in-progress but I’m currently experimenting with journaling, meditation, prayer, stretching, screen-free coffee/tea time, regular exercise, yoga, skin care, affirmations, to do lists, and a daily goal review (to name quite a few). If you’re in the process of creating or modifying your own morning or nighttime routines (or if you’ve found something that works for ya) let me know in a comment. I’d love to give it a try (and I really need help with this one)!

Mez On The Move opgetgritty.jpg

(3) Actively combat procrastination.

I don’t know exactly when I developed this habit but it certainly didn’t serve my GPA sophomore year. Yikes. Thankfully, I’m fully aware that there won’t be any time for that in medical school so I’ve made an (imperfect) point of challenging the devil on my shoulder trying to convince me to delay submitting my medical clearance. Unsurprisingly, the little things have added up in big ways. In my personal life I’ve taken advantage of some time-sensitive opportunities, started the YouTube channel I’ve been talking about with my friends, and have been consistently paying my rent a few days early for the last couple of months (#smallwins). As for medical school, I’ve read through my pre-orientation materials, ordered my summer reading, and completed the 3 online trainings I needed to get done before I was allowed to enroll. Thank you Jesus. Classes aren’t in session just yet, but I’m praying that my efforts will pay off when it gets real. If you’re struggling with procrastination, I’d highly suggest you start today RIGHT NOW with the to-do list item you’ve migrated for months. Guilty as charged.

(4) Do one “hard thing”.

I wish I could take all of the credit for this one but this rule’s inception comes straight out of Angela Duckworth’s Grit. I won’t say much more about that because she certainly says it better in her book so I’ll just skip ahead and tell you that my hard thing at the moment is the one thing I hate to do more than anything in the world because I’ve never been able to actually do it: pull-ups. What’s your hard thing? It doesn’t have to be a physical challenge but it does have to be something that requires some serious effort on your part. Then join me in doing it every day for a month. I’ve convinced myself that if I can force myself to do pull-ups after every workout, I can develop the mental toughness of…. I don’t know… someone super tough. And so can you.

motm mez on the move.JPG

 (5) Pick yourself up and try again.

This one’s going to require you to re-attempt something you’ve failed at or given up on. But don’t get it twisted. This might look like just another “hard thing” but it’s actually a little bit different because it isn’t about doing something you find straight up difficult; it’s about doing something you’ve found difficult to commit to. I don’t feel strongly about doing pull-ups (my “hard thing”) but I do love the idea of connecting with more people via Mez On The Move and improving my Spanish. Despite my best intentions, I’ve struggled to commit to both.

Remember when you told yourself you’d spend more time writing short stories? Or when you said you’d paint every night before bed so that you could finally open that side hustle Etsy shop of your dreams? Here’s your chance… and I don’t want you to waste any time or energy feeling bad about not getting around to the thing you planned to get around to last April. I like to think that this fifth rule will help me, and you, and whoever you share this with, uproot the last little bit of self-doubt that gets us down: our perception of our own lack of follow-through. That energy doesn’t serve anyone; I’m certain of it. So the final thing I’m doing to get ready for medical school (and life) is getting out of my own way. And instead of pretending that I didn’t completely fail at my goal, I’m just going to go ahead and restart right now.

Get gritty with me.  

P.S. Go check out my first YouTube video. Like and subscribe if that floats your boat. It would mean the world to me. All love always xx Mez


Photos by Carolina Portilho Montoni

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Goodbye March: My Goals for April

2019 is 25% done. Every month feels shorter than the one before it. I don’t know how it’s April already. 2019 is FLYING.


I did so many things and laughed so many times but, like every month it seems, I also left a few things untouched or unfinished. I didn’t take my permit test but I’ve decided that true New Yorkers don’t drive, I ditched my plan to yoga everyday (read about why here), and I wasn’t perfect about reading my Bible but I read it.

March felt good.

_MMM smaller.jpg

Every so often I'll get a message from one of y’all asking me about my daily routines and how I get things done. I regret to inform you that I am not the beacon of productivity you’re looking for… at least not at the moment ;) What I will say is that grinding for your goals is a really difficult thing. It’s not cute, it’s 1000% exhausting,

but it is a BLESSING, and one I try really freakin’ hard, day in and day out, to summon my energy for.


I’m by no means perfect but I do my best, and when I find myself unable to step up I talk to someone I trust. More times than not, what’s holding me back runs deeper than I realize.

I’m setting one goal for April:

At the end of every day I want to feel like a took a step in the right direction.

I’ve got all of these things I’d like to do before I finally go to med school in August. They’re whizzing around in my head but part of the work will be figuring out what I need from the next few months.

So every single day in April I’m going to try to get clearer on my goals , how I'm going to go about doing them, and where the heck I’m going to start.


There are a lot of changes coming- medical school being the most obvious one. But there are also changes in the works that I’m not quite ready to talk about (and equally excited for). Ah, such is life. I hope your April is the start of something incredible. I hope whatever seed you’ve been sowing shows signs of growth. If you’d like to focus on 1 THING with me I would love for you to share it below; nothing makes me happier than cheering you guys on. Wishing us the both the best “1 THING April”- like Amerie. Get it? All love always xx

Photos by Carolina Portilho Montoni

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Fitness Routine: How & Why I'm Shaking Things Up

This week was a good week, but TGISaturday because I’ve got a writing bug and a quick update I wanted to share.

Originally I was gonna save this post for the end of the month and use it as an opportunity to reflect (#forwardthinking), but so many of y’all have been asking me about my current routine so I decided there was no reason to put it off.

Is Melody really gonna use selfies as the visual content for this post? Yes. Yes she is.

Is Melody really gonna use selfies as the visual content for this post? Yes. Yes she is.

Before this week I felt stuck in the worst exercise rut. And before you *roll your eyes and dismiss my feelings* I want to be really honest about where my head was and how it was impacting me.

Hint: Not great.

Let me be clear. I truly enjoy the gym. I love making time for endorphin-mediated stress-management (NERD), working up a sweat, feeling myself get stronger as the same move gets easier, and then waking up so sore the next day I can hardly raise my arms to wipe my a$$.

That doesn’t mean I’m jumping for joy to the gym everyday, or that something’s wrong if you never ever love the gym as much as I do. But movement feels natural, whether it’s at the gym doing lunges or in the club twerkin’.

I like to move, and I use movement to take care of myself (mentally and physically).


But, frankly, that’s nobody’s business but my own.

I’m not going to sit on this side of the screen and pretend that socially-imposed standards of beauty don’t exist. There are SO MANY that they overlap, conflict, and overlap again. We face constant pressure, every day, from all sides. So here’s my unsolicited opinion on the matter: all we can do is reflect, dig deep, and move in the way we love (applicable to fitness, wellness, and all aspects of our lives).

If you enjoy that micro-movement pulse pulse tone tone stuff, keep giving your body what it loves. If you run 10 miles to clear your head and feel empowered, keep giving your mind what it loves. If you’re reading this in bed with a bag of Cheetos and no intention of moving today, tomorrow, or the next day, wanna hang out?

There are days when I get on an assault bike, jump around, and do burpees. And there are days when I finish a Dominos pizza with room for dessert. To each her own, always.

Do you understand where I’m coming from? Are you picking up what I’m putting down?

We should reflect on all of our decisions. How much or how little or what kind of exercise we do is no different. Reflect, be honest, and then try to change what needs to be changed. You already know.

I’m shaking up my workout routine because it needed shaking up. I was in my own head. I wasn’t letting my arms move weight or my legs run hills. I couldn’t find my rhythm because I wasn’t enjoying what I was doing anymore. I was getting scared of looking too tall and too strong.

But our bodies’ are always telling us how they want to move.

It’s up to us to listen.

So here’s my “fitness routine”: I’m doing what feels good. Correction: I’M DOING WHAT FEELS BOMB. I found a Spartan Beast training plan and it’s kicking my butt in the best way possible. It’s making it easier to get back to the strength goals that at one point really defined my passion for fitness. Push-ups. Pull-ups. Power lifts.

RIP to my  Adidas Alpha Bounce’s  because I left them on the 4-train last night.

RIP to my Adidas Alpha Bounce’s because I left them on the 4-train last night.

And I’m back on a group exercise kick! There are so many incredible high-intensity classes in the city and I gotta try ‘em all (#Pokemon!).

I have a ClassPass monthly membership. It’s truly a steal if you think about the regular price of these classes. The NYC fitness $cene is no joke, but with my 27-credit membership I can take 2-3 classes for the price of 1. NOT SPONSORED (I wish) but every user gets a link they can share with their friends. If you’re interested in trying it out you can sign up using mine and save us both $40. I appreciate you if you do, and I’ll leave you with this:

Your body is incredible.

It pulled you out of bed this morning and it got you to read this. Nobody should be more grateful for your body than you… so promise me that you’ll move and care for your body in the way that it wants and needs. For aesthetic reasons or strength reasons or health reasons. Or not.

And if you do give ClassPass a try and you’re in NYC, also promise me that we’ll take a class together and be friends IRL.

All love always xx

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R&B Coffee Shop Playlist


Now that I’m thinking about it, it would’ve made more sense for me to release this playlist on Monday since it’s the one that’s been getting me through my to-do lists, but I couldn’t keep it from y’all any longer! Whether I’m working on financial aid applications, prepping for a lesson, or getting things done around the house, these BANGERS keep my head bumping and my eyes on the prize.


Think cute little coffee shop playing songs you forgot about, but better. Give it a listen while you work, chill, or make your morning coffee.

And if you love it as much as I do, share this post with a friend and LET A GIRL KNOW in the comments so I can keep making these for you.

Hope you have the most POPPIN’ weekend. All love always xx

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February Five & My Goals for March

Happy On The Move Monday, my people.

It’s March and I’m not sure how we got here. It feels like yesterday I was watching the ball drop, writing down my goals for 2019, and praying for med school acceptances. Now we’re 2 full months into the new year, I’ve largely forgotten about my goals *face palm*, and the Lord has answered my med school prayers.

While I’m tempted to jump straight into the intentions I’m setting for this new month, I wanted to rapid-fire share some of my favorite features of the one behind me:


(1) Short(er) hair

At the beginning of the month I went in for a quick little trim at a hair studio I’d never been to. It ended in disaster *insert dramatic effect* and the only way to fix it was to get it CHOPPED. Hair is no big deal (& I know that it‘ll grow back) but after spending weeks feeling like a bald biscuit, I’m digging the shorter look. Lesson learned? Even accidents can have happy endings.


I think I’ll dub the month “Friendship February”. For the first time in a long time (with my head finally out from under the #premed cloud) I spent every weekend socializing and living my best life. It certainly hurt my bank account, but it did wonders for my spirit. I didn’t realize how much I’d missed being 7 and having sleepovers, so we made it our mission to bring them back.

Evening tequila => Morning face masks => Afternoon shopping.

Evening tequila => Morning face masks => Afternoon shopping.

(3) Walking sans Headphones

No shade here because I love my AirPods, but sometimes a girl just needs to listen to the sound of her heart, breath, and ‘hood. Know what I’m sayin?


(4) My “It’s not really winter, but it’s also not warm” boots

I’m no fashion blogger so forgive me if these are out of season. Whenever it’s been cold and dry I’ve turned to a pair of boots that sat in my closet untouched for months. Now the price-point on these babies is STEEP (#gifted) but the leather’s finally broken in and ba da pa pa pa, I’M LOVING IT. I don’t expect you to go buy a new pair of boots, but I would encourage you to take a look into your closet and wear something you haven’t worn yet. Can’t find anything? Look harder. We’re all guilty as charged.


(5) Hoops & Acrylics

I touched on lip gloss & hoop earrings very briefly in my last post but February has seen a full-force return of the things that make me feel most connected to who I am and where I come from. “Next time someone tells Bronx girls to take off their hoops, they can just say they’re dressing like a Congresswoman… and a future surgeon. Acrylics not sold separately.


Now I’ve got a million and one ideas about how I’d like March to look so it’d be fake of me to suggest that my list was anything short of 15 bullet-pointed items that I’ve sub-divided into targeted To-Dos and broader #Goals.

I’m a little crazy. I know.

That’s why on my crazy list of things to do I’ve marked 3 goals as highest-priority and I thought it’d be helpful for me to share those.

(1) Good for the Mind: Yoga. Every damn day.

Your girl’s been trying to get into meditation for what feels like twenty lifetimes and I think I’ve finally figured it out. I need something a little more physical! This month I’m challenging myself to 28 consecutive days of yoga. Woosah.

(2) Good for the Body: Plants & Sobriety.

This one is kind of two-fold. The first fold: my body is craving leafy greens and coming off of one too many consecutive tequila weekends. And the second: NYC nightlife is TOUGH on the funds $$$. So for the same 28 days I will be cheering myself on as I consume a plant-based diet and re-live my middle school dancing queen glory days (#sansalcohol).

(3) Good for the Soul: Read the bible. Apply it to my life. Every damn day.

And that’s it! I know it’s not particularly ground-breaking or innovative but I love using new months, weeks, and even days as opportunities to reset and restart. This March is no exception and I’m so excited. If you’ve got a goal or two that you’re willing to share, I wanna hear it! Leave it in a comment below so I can root for you as we both move through March.

All love always xx

LOL // issa vibe.

LOL // issa vibe.

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My 7-Minute Minimal Makeup Routine

Happy Friday, hustlas. It’s a beautiful day to feel beautiful.

If you’ve been following me on the ‘gram you may or may not have noticed that I’ve recently been dipping my toes into a glowy but super natural everyday makeup look. I say dipping because it wasn’t long ago that I was “one of those girls” that “didn’t have the time” or “energy” to “put on a face” “every day”.

*Yawn* x1000, because that “not like other girls” narrative is sooo 2013. NEWSFLASH TO MY PAST SELF: using makeup does not threaten your authenticity.

So I’ve been doing it.. applying a little makeup whenever I’ve felt like it (but never out of obligation). Whether I’m interviewing at a medical school or just walking down the block, I’ve turned my minimal makeup routine into a mindful self-love practice. I didn’t think it was possible.

Mez On The Move Everyday Makeup.JPG

So because I’ve gotten a few DMs asking about the products I’ve been using on my eyes, lips, and face, I thought I’d round it all up in one place for your easy shopping convenience. It’s minimal-ish enough for any formal meeting, or interview *sigh, the patriarchy* but it’s never ever basic ;)

F a c e

  • Moisturize. I use EltaMD on most days but because it’s winter and the wind is killing me I rotate in this thicker moisturizer whenever I feel like it. Done.

  • Perfecting Skin Tint for the everyday, “no makeup- makeup” win. It does enough to make me glow a lil somethin’ somethin’ without making me feel caked up. Apply with hands when I’m extra tight on time but I prefer to use a damp BeautyBlender to keep my fingers off of my face. Also, they recently added more shades for my #melanated mamis and THAT is something I can stand behind.

    • For those of you looking for more coverage, this is not that.. but I did mix it with my Sheer Glow just the other day and (on my momma) it looked GOOD.

  • A couple dabs of concealer under the eyes are enough to make me feel like 8 hours of sleep. I’ve been loving Glossier’s because it’s thinner and dewier than the average (which I can appreciate). And because I think matte finishes are so 2018 (LOL) this product is all that and a bag of chips, in my book.

  • My roommate put it best the other day: “I want my face to look wet.” Queue all of the highlighter. I’m pretty sure highlighting sticks were made for 7-minute makeup routines and I don’t think I’m ever using a powder highlight again. I use Revlon’s highlighting stick for my day- and night-time looks (because I’m ballin’ on that #drugstorebudget) but I’ve been eyeing Flesh’s for a while now and my roommate swears by it.

  • Bronzer is optional. Blush is not. Blush everywhere.



  • On most days I’m not feeling like eyeshadow and my eyebrows are finally growing back in after a threading disaster. Who hasn’t had one? So MASCARA- I’ve been using this blue and white tube of “The Edgiest” by Estee Lauder but I couldn’t find it online so you’ll have to search your local drugstore.


  • My inner 7th grader is screaming at the re-rise of lip gloss. Now, I would argue that it never left Harlem or the Bronx, like hoop earrings and acrylic nails, but *sips tea* I digress. Glossier’s lip gloss keeps my lips poppin’ like I’m Lil Mama, but on interview days I stick to the OG lip product all time.


That’s it! I’m no beauty expert but I do love the products I’ve been using and I truly think they are great for those of us #BLESSED with sensitive, acne-prone skin. If you have any recommendations or products you love, please sound off in the comments because your girl loves to spend money she doesn’t have.

Wishing you the dopest weekend of all time xx

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New Year’s Resolutions Every 20-Something Should Make

We are just 12 short hours from a new year which means many of us are busy reflecting on the past one and setting our sights higher for the next. Whether you set “resolutions” or “intentions” or decide to focus on a single word in 2019, I have always been of the opinion that every new day, week, month, and year are all opportunities to just be better. Not better than anyone else, but better than you were before. And YES. It is 100% possible to love yourself while you work on yourself.

I’ve got all kinds of goals for this year but 4 resolutions have been on my mind. I think they’re the kind that every 20-something #femalehustler should consider, so I thought I’d share them with you in hopes that you might join me in making one or two (or all!) of them your own.

Boots  are  ON SALE ! YAAAAAAS.



It feels like everyone is making a dream career out of their side hustles and I couldn’t be more excited. I joined the ranks of the “self-employed” myself just two months ago, but the loss of my 30-minute commute to work has drastically reduced the amount of time I spend in the crisp NYC air. Important: fresh air is good for the soul. So in 2019 I’m making the extra effort to spend a few minutes roaming the concrete jungle everyday. If you work from home, Uber everywhere, or lock yourself in the library for hours on end, you should definitely consider joining me on my quest to become #outdoorsy (ha).


Whether you do it for the environment, the animals, or your health, there’s a lot to be gained from a plant-based diet. I won’t scare you with the v* word, but there’s a 30% chance you need to increase your veggie intake. I’ve been trying to keep meat, dairy, and eggs out of my kitchen for a few months. It’s not full-blown veganism* but it’s easy and affordable. So in 2019 I’m keeping my #plantkitchen habit around and this invitation for you to join me will really kick it up a notch.



Finances - the bane of every 20-something-New Yorker’s existence. I grew up in a home that experienced a lot of financial instability. Pair that with the fact that I’m a rich person stuck in a poor person’s body, and I’ve managed to develop some pretty bad spending habits.


I’m talking budgets, bank statements, savings accounts, and personal finance books… while I continue to live my best life.

First few books in the queue? You Are A Badass at Making Money, Refinery29’s Money Diaries, and Money Is Everything.


Join your neighborhood council. Go to your community meetings. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Speak up for your co-worker. Speak out about injustice. Help your aunt’s friend’s sister’s daughter ace the SAT. Be a mentor.

Your 20s are supposed to be selfish years, but that doesn’t mean every moment of them has to be. In 2019, I’ll be actively searching for ways to pay everything I’ve been given forward. Join me.

All love always xx

Boots  are  ON SALE ! YAAAAAAS.


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Wishing You a Very Merry Christmas

It was around this time last year that I launched this blog. I remember it pretty vividly. I spent weeks putting it together- writing a few posts, playing with the layout, and picking out fonts. I was so excited about my new creative outlet that I worked late into the night, in bed next to my mom and sister while they slept. It was only when the sun rose that I’d quit typing and close my laptop.

Fast forward 365 days- I have a room to call my own and rent to pay every month. I haven’t blogged very much but my passion for writing/sharing/connecting is alive and well. It’s been a year and a half since I graduated from college, I’ve started my med school interviews, and I’ve left my full-time job. Life is a whirlwind… or a highway…


But enough about that for now. The real purpose of this post is to wish you well during this season. I hope you find a little bit of peace today amidst the holiday hustle and bustle. I hope you find time to spend with those you love (your pets, your plants, and yourself, included). I hope that if this season should bring you pain, you find a way to work through it… or sit in it… or just feel it. Do what feels right.

And perhaps above all, I pray that if you’re in a position to spread holiday cheer, that you find a way to do so. Gratitude for everything you’ve been given is best expressed by sharing it with whoever you can. That’s the stuff that matters.

Happy Holidays, mi gente.

All love always xx

My Struggle With Acne and 5 Skincare Tips

Six months ago, if you’d told me I’d be writing a blog post about skincare I wouldn’t have believed you. My skin has been the bane of my existence since the summer of 2013. In high school I suffered the occasional breakout and complained about them like nobody’s business, but the summer before I was set to “start my new life” in college I was struck by the worst acne I have ever experienced.

It was no longer confined to my T-zone and had worked its way onto my cheeks. It was big and red and painful. And to make things worse, I was the only person in my family not #blessed with poreless, butter-soft, Puerto Rican skin. My acne sent me into a hole of self-consciousness that made meeting new people uncomfortable. I was embarrassed.

Now, I should preface this by saying that everyone’s skin is different… and what works for me might not work for you. But I do believe that the tips I’ve included below have profoundly changed not only the appearance of my skin, but also my relationship with it.


So here are five skincare tips that I have personally implemented to clear things up and out of my pores:


No more benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid for this girl! I know these ingredients are supposed to be the holy grail of treating acne but they hurt me to use and leave my skin irritated. I now use this cleanser once or twice daily (after workouts and/or before bed) and it leaves my skin feeling clean and calm!


My product arsenal is limited. In the AM: I splash my face with cold water, tone with Dickinson’s or Thayer’s Witch Hazel, and moisturize. In the PM and/or after a workout: I wash my face with my papaya enzyme cleanser. I’ll double cleanse with micellar water when I’ve worn face makeup. And then I tone with a problem skin toner. I’m honestly not sure if using a different night toner is necessary but Shea Moisture has been holding me down so I’m not going to change it anytime soon.

This is no beauty blogger’s #shelfie but these products have been getting it done.

This is no beauty blogger’s #shelfie but these products have been getting it done.


I ride the subway and hold on because the A train is no joke as it speeds from 125th to 59th. I open the door to a cute little café packed with people and laptops. I wipe my hand on my jeans because it’s raining out and the door handle was wet. I order a coffee and hand the store clerk my credit card. Then I sit down and pull out my laptop which I take with me everywhere. As I begin to work I rest my cheek on the same hand that touched the subway pole and seat and door knob and credit card. And then I act surprised when I develop a pimple on said cheek.

Stop touching your face. Seriously.


The biggest change I’ve made since taking my skin more seriously is dietary. Although I’m not vegan and don’t completely identify as plant-based, I drastically cut back on meat and dairy earlier this year and it has made a world of difference. Now, I know this might not be what you want to hear but I do believe that a lot of the hormonal imbalances we experience (aka ACNE) stem from what we put into our bodies as much as they do from what we put on them. I now know that my skin is very sensitive to dairy, grease, and refined sugar. It hasn’t stopped me from indulging in sweet treats and french fries on occasion but knowledge is power.

Post-extractions in August 2018. It doesn’t look great (I was still struggling with a lot of acne) but it does get better!  NOTE: If you struggle with hyperpigmentation, consult a derm before exploring this option.

Post-extractions in August 2018. It doesn’t look great (I was still struggling with a lot of acne) but it does get better! NOTE: If you struggle with hyperpigmentation, consult a derm before exploring this option.


I was never one to pop pimples because I am terrified of scars and have no idea how to do it properly!

Even recently I’ve given myself an abrasion or two trying to pop my own white heads. Lesson learned: quit while you’re ahead.

Instead, I now see an esthetician semi-regularly for extractions (Hi Vee!) and I’ve learned a lot from her because she notices changes in my pores even before I do. So in I go, every month, to have her clean those bad boys out.

This tip is a luxury and I am certainly very lucky to have a friend that knows what she’s doing. Invest what you can. If you don’t have $200/month for full-blown facials (I SURE DON’T) opt for “just extractions” which are much more affordable. I would 100% recommend consulting an expert dermatologist or esthetician… or a combination of the two. Whatever is within your means.

Finally, please know that acne is not the end of the world! I truly wish I had spent more time addressing the insecurities that came out of my struggle with it. Instead I let a few red bumps on my face impact my social life and self-confidence.

I now choose to understand my acne as a signal that something I’m doing is throwing my body out of wack, and instead of being bitter about how my sister can eat and do whatever she wants and never develop a clogged pore, my skin cares enough to put that warning right where I can see it! :) Take it one day at a time, be consistent, and be kind to yourself.

All love always xx


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Blueberry Maca Smoothie Recipe


Happy Monday hustling humans! If you follow me on Instagram you've probably noticed that I've been sippin' on a new breakfast smoothie lately. Many of you have asked me to share what's in my cup so you'll find the recipe down below. Honestly this smoothie is great for any time of day. I've just gotten into the habit of drinking it in the A.M. because some of the benefits of maca include increased energy and reduced stress-hormone levels... both of which sound good to me.



  • 2 tsp maca powder

  • 1 cup unsweetened original Almond milk

  • 1/2 cup blueberries

  • 1 banana (preferably pre-cut and frozen)

  • 1 tsp cinnamon (more or less depending on preference)

  • 1 tbsp almond butter (you can buy my all-time favorite here) or peanut butter.

  • 1-2 cups ice

*Serves up a big smoothie for ONE.


  1. Add ingredients to your blender.

  2. Blend until smooth.

  3. Serve and enjoy!

NUTRITION INFORMATION: 57 C | 12 F | 8 P | 348 calories

Personally, I don't count calories or macros. I never have and I don't see myself doing it anytime soon. However some people do, especially when they're preparing for a specific event or pursuing a specific physique, so I thought it might be helpful to include the nutrition information.

My motto: focus on how you feel. There's no problem with having aesthetic goals, but never let numbers define you. Not in school. Not on the scale. Not in your food. 

If you're planning to try this recipe let me know down below!

All love always xx

Wellness Realness: My Cryotherapy Experience


Happy Friday beautiful humans! I've decided to kick off this weekend with a series I've wanted to start for a while now: #WellnessRealness.

Is it just me, or does anyone else sometimes feel like they need a gazillion dollars and daily shots of apple cider vinegar to be well? Instagram feeds and wellness blogs can make it hard to shake the feeling that if your fitspo is doing it, so should you. 

So here's the plain truth: Move your body.  Drink enough water. Eat your veggies. Be well. Period.

And #WellnessRealness? Well... just 'cus we can get by without matcha lattes in the morning doesn't mean we aren't curious to know which of these cool wellness trends will add real value to our lives. So I'm kicking off this series with the latest and greatest freeze-your-butt-off wellness technology: cryotherapy.


Cryotherapy is "the use of extreme cold for therapeutic purposes". If you've spent time in an ice bath, think of cryo as its boujee and more charismatic cousin. My thoughts? Cryotherapy > Whirlpools, any day.

Freezing my *peach* off.

Freezing my *peach* off.


Appointments are typically  10-15 minutes long. When you first arrive you'll be asked to change into a robe, socks, gloves, and special cryo footwear.  Girls are asked to remove all clothing; guys are told to keep on their briefs. After your BP and heart rate are recorded IT'S GO TIME and you can step into the big silver tube. Once inside, you can hand your robe to the cryotherapy specialist and the 3-minute session begins.

The exact temperature of the session can vary from wow that's cold  to OMG why am I doing this, but first-timers will start "warmer".

Now that I've gone a few times the average temperature of my sessions has dropped to a whopping -265 degrees F. It's FREEZING but it's worth it.


A quick Google search will give you a list of benefits so long it might make you wonder why you haven't tried it yet. I'll leave the Googling to you and stick to the benefits I can actually vouch for:

  • Improved sleep - I'm listing this first because to me it's probably the most impressive. I'm a horrible sleeper and I don't sleep through the night, but on days that I get my cryo on I sleep like a baby.

  • Reduction of inflammation - I had ACL surgery done on my right knee 4 years ago, so after a day of intense physical activity I really start to feel it. The incredible thing is that I enter the cryotherapy machine with serious aches and pains and leave feeling 1000x better.

  • Increased Energy/Improved Mood - The "cryo high" is real. My mind and muscles feel so good after a 3-minute session. I leave hyper and ready to take on the world.

  • Improved muscle recovery - Like I said before, cryotherapy is a souped-up ice bath, making it the most incredible preventer AND alleviator of muscle soreness.

Overall I'm so happy with my cryotherapy experience! I'm glad I worked up the nerve to try it, and I feel so lucky to have found a facility with staff that I truly look forward to seeing for my sessions. It can get expensive, but if it's within your budget to incorporate a session semi-regularly, I WOULD DO IT. If it's not in your budget to go regularly but you could swing it once, I WOULD TRY IT. And if you're ever in Aspen then maybe I'll be seeing you at The Fix.

All love always xx

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My Morning Green Smoothie Recipe


Happy Friday beautiful humans. The weekend has arrived! Today I thought I'd share a highly-requested recipe: my morning green smoothie. If you follow me on Instagram you know that I've gotten back into the habit of drinking a green smoothie everyday. It doesn't always fit the ~vibe~ of snowfall and winter but I LOVE smoothies so I have no problem drinking them all year round. 


I'm one of those rare souls who actually enjoys the taste of kale smoothies. It's not that I'm a huge veggie drinker. Blended beets or carrots? I don't think so. But for some reason blended greens don't freak me out.

I truly think everyone can benefit from a green smoothie a day, especially if you struggle to eat your veggies. My philosophy is this: eating your veggies is better than drinking your veggies (#fiber), but drinking your veggies is better than nothing. As I try to transition into eating more plants (like I said I would in my 2018 resolutions) having my green smoothie every morning brings me just a little closer to my veggie goal. 

Mez Hack:    You can hover over and pin any of the photos in this post to your Pinterest to save the recipe!

Mez Hack: You can hover over and pin any of the photos in this post to your Pinterest to save the recipe!


  • 2 cups of kale (packed)

  • 1 cup of chopped mango

  • 2 cups of ice

  • ½ of a medium-sized banana (preferably pre-sliced and frozen)

  • ¾ - 1 cup of almond milk

  • Optional: Add a handful of blueberries and/or 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder.

* a cup can also be measured out as roughly equal to a handful.


  1. Combine everything in your blender. I currently use this Vitamix (it's so powerful and worth every penny) but I've also used my NutriBullet and it gets the job done.

  2. Blend until everything is just-blended.

  3. Adjust thickness to your liking by adding ice to thicken or almond milk to thin.

  4. Pour and enjoy!

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Fitness Goals: Trying To Get Upside Down

A few posts ago I wrote about the things I wanted to leave in 2017 and the intentions I was setting for the new year. Number 4 on that list was to get inverted and I won't lie... I waited a full month before doing anything about it. It happens.

Then a few days ago I realized it was almost February and I'd made no progress, so in the middle of the night I brought a yoga mat into my room and got started. Word on the street is that it takes 2 weeks to make something a habit but it's been a daily practice ever since. Here's to hoping I haven't jinxed it.


Conquering my fear of being upside down took more than I thought. On the first day I could barely get my feet off the ground. Google suggested a "Wall T-stand" was a good beginner yoga inversion so I tried it. I also experimented with moving my legs in space from this position. Let's just say it's harder than it looks. 


One thing's for certain: consistency is key. Only 3 short days after getting my feet in the air for the first time I started feeling like I was actually getting better. I'm not walking on my hands or anything crazy just yet, but the head- and Wall T-stands are coming along.


  • Invest in a decent yoga mat (like this one or this one)

  • If you have an irrational fear of being upside down, practice against a wall and use yoga blocks to help you get into an upside down position. You don't have to do anything fancy. Just hang out and remain calm.

  • For working on headstands:

  1. Start in a table top position and drop onto your elbows.

  2. Pike up, keeping a slight bend in your knees and inch your feet forward.

  3. Lift one leg up, and then try the other. At first you might need to use momentum (I was practically jumping into it!) but over time try to keep your core tight and the movement slow and controlled.


It's not perfect but the girl who was once afraid of getting inverted is well on her way. I hope you will be too! Keep me posted on your progress via Instagram by using #MOTMgoals. xx

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MCAT: 4 Habits For Improving Your Score

When it comes to exams like the MCAT everyone is looking for easy ways to make big improvements. A disclaimer though: to do well you'll need to work really freakin' hard. Period.

That's not to say that small things can't add up and make a difference. It's just that the biggest differences will come when small things become habits.

With that in mind, here are 4 things I did daily while studying for the MCAT that helped me improve my score:

ONE: The Question(s) of the Day.

You can get Kaplan's questions sent straight to your inbox. I did, and it helped me ease into my studying every morning over coffee. I also bookmarked this page which gives you a daily question for each section. You don't need more than that. Trust me.

TWO: Read a scientific paper every morning.

For me, the hardest part of the MCAT was getting through the science passages. I was constantly short on time, and I'd get questions wrong not because I didn't know the material, but because I didn't read the passages correctly. If you're having similar trouble, try reading a paper every morning... one with lots of diagrams and genes with names like Sirt4. That'll do it.

THREE: Download apps for studying on the move.

My go-to apps were the Amino Acid tutor and the Kaplan flashcard app. The Kaplan app is actually "free" when you buy these MCAT flashcards. Even though I rarely used the hard-copies the app was enough to make the purchase worth it. I used it to study for the Behavioral Sciences and Biology sections, and it was perfect for making the most of my long commutes.

FOUR: Study the difficult stuff regularly.

I created an MCAT deck on Anki and used it to review difficult content every morning. Anki has a really cool Image Occlusion card type which makes it super easy to study things like pathways and chemical structures. The hard stuff takes time to master, so review review review regularly.

You don’t have to do all of these and there will definitely be days where you don't get to any of them. That's pretty standard. The important thing is that you try and figure out which ones are really worth your time, and which ones are easiest to incorporate into your own routine. I hope this helped, and if you have anything to add leave it in a comment so that others can benefit from it too. Happy Hustlin! xx


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Tips for Sticking With A New Workout Routine

New year, new me, am I right?! Whether you like the phrase or absolutely hate it, you can't deny that there's something so magical about a ton of people feeling inspired to set goals at the same time. My motto: never knock someone for trying to be better.  No matter the goal, and as long as it hurts no one, why not support it?

The really really beautiful thing is that the most common resolutions are to eat healthier, get more exercise, save money, focus on self-care, and get more sleep. It's like at the beginning of every year people realize they should really be putting themselves first, and nothing could make me happier. Wellness for the win.

Because I've gotten so many questions about how I make time for working out I thought I'd bring you a couple of my hacks for sticking to a new workout routine FOR REAL this time around. Disclaimer though: No one is perfect about their routines and making it a habit takes time. All you can do is try and, when it comes to your health and happiness, honestly that's enough.



What do Rome and your workout routine have in common? They weren't built in a day. Getting used to working out takes time, so don't try to go from 0 to 100. Start with a smaller goal, like 2 walks or workouts/week, and then build from there. Your muscles will thank you later.


If you hate running, then don't. If you hate yoga, then DON'T. Trying to force yourself to do something you don't enjoy is the quickest way to sabotage your goals. Save this for later (if you have your heart set on it) and start with activities you genuinely enjoy.


Maybe you can set a gym date with your roommate every week or maybe you just send each other sweaty selfies after every workout. No matter what you choose having somebody sweat with you can make working out that much better.


Sometimes fitness goals are centered around weight loss, and while that's fine (your goals are your goals), you have to make sure you're eating enough and staying hydrated. Cutting crazy calories  won't produce long-term gains... it'll just make you feel like crap. Promise.



When you're trying to take anything seriously planning is key. The great thing about workout routines is that there are so many parts you can plan in advance. I like to roughly plan what days I'll be getting my sweat on, what times, even what I'll wear. If you're working out first thing in the morning lay out your clothes the night before (or wear them to bed... that's what I do). If you know your schedule is packed this week, plan to sweat early in the day or over the weekends. Plan. Plan. Plan.


Sleep is everything and while some days you might have to drag yourself out of bed just short of a full night's rest, there are few feelings worse than being exhausted during a workout. Do yourself (and your wellness goals) a favor and prioritize your rest.


People workout for different reasons and while aesthetics might be one of them it alone has never been enough to make me workout consistently. So instead I like to think of the gym as my space for working through things. I run to get my heart pumping, I lift heavy to feel strong, and I sweat to clear my head. The feeling keeps me on track, so try to focus on that.


My favorite part of starting a new workout routine or setting new fitness goals is hands-down buying new stuff. Something about fresh socks and new leggings helps me get to the gym more often. Want to feel like a boss while you workout? Put on a carefully-coordinated sweatsuit (joking kinda, but not really).

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5 Things We Should All Leave in 2017

It wouldn't be a new year without goal-setting and a fresh list of intentions.

I know because I jump at every opportunity to start over. I'm the girl that gets a new phone and doesn't transfer any of her old photos. If you get me, you get me. 

This year though I decided to do things a little bit differently, and instead of writing my intentions first (which I eventually did.. pictured below) I actually made a list of things and habits I needed to cut out of my life. 

// Shop the journal/notebook/or whatever  here . //

// Shop the journal/notebook/or whatever here. //

At first it felt like a really negative thing to do, like spreading negative energy or something. But it's IMPORTANT because sometimes the things we carry with us year-after-year are the very things that hold us back from the goals we keep setting. So here I go sharing 5 things we should all  leave in 2017... because if it doesn't add to our lives, it will only subtract.


Comparison is the thief of joy... Theodore Roosevelt wasn't lying. That's why in 2018 the first thing I'm getting rid of is my tendency to compare. It's a hard thing, knowing that all of your life all you've done is value yourself in relation to others. I've wanted to be smarter, funnier, more athletic, more well-rounded, thicker, and then thinner (lol at standards of beauty, f that)... and joining the Instagram and blogging communities didn't exactly help quiet that voice in my head. But here's one thing I know: comparing will do nothing good for you. So let's stop doing it, and replace all of that negative stuff with a desire to just be better than yesterday.


This kind of defined my 2017. I was preparing to take the MCAT with a relatively low-GPA (#premedprobs), I wanted to start a blog but I didn't think anyone would read it, and I was scared if I did start a blog that people would judge me. But guess what? I took the MCAT, started this blog, and received nothing but support from the realest friends a girl could ask for. Moral of the story here: Go after everything your heart desires because YOU CAN.


I'm guilty of putting EVERYTHING off, small or big, whether it'd take 5 minutes or 5 hours. So this year I'm saying no to putting off the stuff that I really have no excuse for procrastinating. If it takes less than 30 minutes to do, or if you'll be drastically happier when it's over, DO. IT. NOW.


This one's self-explanatory so I'll keep it short and sweet. Few things make me sadder than women putting down other women. I'm as guilty as the next girl so in 2018 I'm making a point to cut it out. Whether she wears make-up or not, whether she's loud or soft-spoken, whether she commands a room or prefers to mingle in the middle... let. that. girl. live. And the next time anyone tries to compliment you by saying you're not like other girls, punch them in the mouth* for saying something so sexist. #womenempoweringwomen

*don't actually punch them.


You don't have to be everything to everyone, but to serve others you do have to take care of yourself. Know when to say no, when to say yes, and when you've got nothing left to give. It's hard enough trying to be better for yourself and I'm guilt of constantly trying to be better for everyone else too. Respecting your limits does not make you weak, and self-care does not make you selfish. Remember that.

I hope you'll join me in getting rid of the things that hold you  back. We can, and we will.

All love always,


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2017: A Year in Review

Happy New Year my people! 

With the first day of 2018 well underway I thought it’d be nice to look back at all that was great about 2017. It was a year full of its own trials and tribulations, but every year has them so I hope this encourages you to look back at your own to try to find the incredibly beautiful bits for yourself. Sometimes they're just too easy to overlook.



I participated in the Boston Women's March and skied for the first time ever. Can I ski well? No.

FullSizeRender 7.jpg


was filled with friendship, drugstore highlighter (literally my favorite), and so many smiles. I visited my BFFL at Lehigh after not seeing her for 2 years, made some of my best friends at Harvard (shout-out to T and L), and did A LOT of yoga.


... the glorious month I decided to take 2 years off before medical school. I postponed my MCAT and still have NO RAGRETS.


I walked/performed in two incredible, student-run charity fashion shows. NOT my comfort zone.

Identities Fashion Show 2017

Identities Fashion Show 2017


On the 25th of May, 2017, I got that Harvard degree. It's crazy to me how quickly the four years flew, but what really shakes me to my core is that I did exactly what 6 or 7 year old me set out to do. "When I grow up I'm going to Harvard." The thought gives me chills.. and it wouldn't have been possible without my people. We really did it.  #firstgen

Was I hype? or was I HYPE?

Was I hype? or was I HYPE?



I started studying for the MCAT and I turned 22. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!  

This was also the month I decided I would start a blog (eventually) so I bought the domain name for Mez On The Move.


I continued to study for the MCAT but roped my sister into getting some studying done too.

This was a difficult month (it was hard to see how much she was struggling) but it was incredible to have a study buddy as intelligent and energetic as her.

Let's just say the MCAT blues were no match for little J.

Late-August, working through test strategies pool-side, with my  MCAT 528 .

Late-August, working through test strategies pool-side, with my MCAT 528.


To say I was feeling stressed in August would be an understatement. With my September test-date approaching I was a BALL OF STRESS- a literal BALL OF ANXIETY AND STRESS.

That's why when #7 asked if I wanted to take my studying to Jamaica with him I did not hesitate. Don't worry... about a thing... 'cus every little thing... is gonna be alright.



I took the MCAT on September 9th and while it left me feeling defeated, it was OVER.. and that was kind of nice. I chilled for the rest of the month and tried not to think about it.

A screenshot of my MCAT celebration.

A screenshot of my MCAT celebration.


After checking the AAMC site three times I found out I would never have to study for the MCAT again. OH HAPPY DAY.


Now that the MCAT was completely over I had time to really jump into my newfound creative passion: blogging! I started working on what has now become this tiny blip on the WorldWideWeb, I took my sister to her first football game, I brought yoga back into my life, and I bought my first denim jacket. VERY exciting stuff.


I launched this blog on the 19th (only 13 short days ago), I met Instagram friends IRL, and I started to feel really freaking happy about my decision to start sharing.. and blogging... and focusing on happy living and wellness.

2017 had its tough moments, but it was filled with so much joy and brought me a new passion and sense of purpose. I love to create but what I love to do more is connect... and this past year the universe set me up to do just that. I cannot wait for what 2018 will bring. This space has hands-down been the best thing to come out of 2017 and for you I will be forever grateful. All love always, xx


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MCAT: How To Get Started


WHAT'S UP MY PEOPLE!? This is a longer and niche kind of post but some of my pre-med followers have asked me to talk about the MCAT.  If you have any friends or family planning to take this exam, please share this with them! And if you'd like to inquire about 1-on-1 MCAT tutoring with me, shoot me an email here with [MCAT] in the subject. xx

There really are two types of premeds: the premeds who have their MCAT test-dates picked before they even step foot on campus as freshmen and the premeds who have no idea what they’ve gotten themselves into. Guess which group I belong to? Here’s a hint: I didn’t think about the MCAT until winter break of my senior year. I hadn’t even registered for a test date but in my mind I was applying to med school that June. Fast-forward 6 months… mid-June… graduated... didn’t take the MCAT… didn’t apply to med school (#badpremed).

So how and when did my MCAT journey even begin? Well, that January I decided to get my toes wet and start working through the basics. I read two chapters from a Biology prep book, started taking detailed notes, and looked through Khan Academy’s free MCAT resources. Once classes started back up I pressed PAUSE on the MCAT and it wasn’t until late February that I picked up my books for a second time. I passed on Cancún and spent Spring Break on campus. I registered for an April test date and completed a full-length diagnostic. At this point, I still had it in my mind that I’d apply to med school in the 2018 cycle (#stubbornaf) and it really took me weeks to realize that it wasn’t my time. By late March, I'd given up my test seat and lost the GWAP it'd cost me ($$$). At the time it felt like an “L”, but it was 100% a WIN.  I wouldn’t lie to you guys; deciding to take 2 years off before med school was hands-down the best decision I've ever made. I didn't have to rush my studying and I got an MCAT score I was more than happy with!

I borrowed these headphones from my brother (found  here ), and eventually bought  this  affordable pair for my MCAT study sessions. The cheaper they are, the easier it is to throw them in your bag and GO (and honestly, the sound quality on the pair I bought for myself is pretty good!).

I borrowed these headphones from my brother (found here), and eventually bought this affordable pair for my MCAT study sessions. The cheaper they are, the easier it is to throw them in your bag and GO (and honestly, the sound quality on the pair I bought for myself is pretty good!).

I say all of this to show you that your MCAT journey doesn’t have to be perfect; mine was full of indecisiveness and poor planning. But you know what? The MCAT is the exception to the rule: it’s more about the destination and less about the journey. After all, the ultimate goal is med school. Even if the path ends up longer than you expected, who cares as long as you make it (#realtalk). And if by now you’re thinking dang when is this chick gonna tell me how to get started, don’t worry, I’m almost there.

I chose to self-study for the MCAT for two reasons: (1) I couldn’t afford a prep course and (2) I trusted that I had enough self-discipline to get it done at my own pace. For me, self-studying really only came with one downside: I had to figure it out on my own. I truly wish I would've had the funds to invest in private tutoring- not so much for studying, but more for guidance. Now, trust me, no matter what route you go you’ll have to personalize your studying to get the most out of it. But as a first-generation pre-med who knew few people who had taken the MCAT already and even fewer who were willing to talk about it, finding what worked took a lot of trial-and-error. Lucky for me, that trial-and-error was built into all of that STOP/START/NAH NEVER MIND stuff I talked about. The MCAT covers way too much material for you to approach it like a sprint; so treat it like a marathon. I only found my stride when I stopped rushing the process and started trusting it.

On that note, here are 5 steps I think you should take before diving head-first into your own study plan:

ONE: Pick your test date. This is number 1 for a reason! You can’t take the MCAT if you haven’t registered for it. Some important things to consider:

Will you be applying for the Fee Assistance Program? This is important because if you’re planning to apply, you should get that done as soon as possible. The way the program works you can’t be reimbursed after you’ve registered, so getting your app in early will lead to an earlier approval and a less stressful MCAT registration process.

How much time will you have to study? This is key. Everyone says the average test-taker studies 300-700 hours before taking the MCAT (which is a huge and not super helpful range lol). Where you fall will depend on how well you already know the material and the score you wanna get. Think about how many hours you’ll be able to put in each week. Be ambitious, but realistic. Account for a couple “WHOOPS I didn’t study” days but don't drag it out to "be on the safe side". In other words: don’t play yourself. I studied 30-40 hours/week for 9 weeks and then 45+ hours/week for the remaining 5 weeks leading up to test day. That's 3 months and roughly 500-600 hours of full-time studying (with a 5-day vacation somewhere in the middle and 1-2 days off every week)! Decide on your own target number. One thing to keep in mind is that even if you study less than full-time each week, your studying should be intensive and regular (at least 15-20 hours/week). My two-cents: If you can't commit 15+ hours/week, consider taking it another time.

Is there a test date that allows you to study full-time leading up to your exam?  I think it’s completely doable to get your general content review done on a part-time schedule. However, the biggest improvements in my practice test scores came during the month before my test date when I was living and breathing the MCAT. Practicing a lot and working on my weaknesses full-time really helped me zone-in and get ready for test day... definitely a game changer.

TWO: Decide on your study route. Do you feel comfortable self-studying? Do you have the resources and prefer the structure of a prep course? Would you only feel comfortable self-studying if you had a tutor to guide you throughout and help you with difficult content? Be honest with yourself, but don’t be fearful. Trust in your abilities, but know your limits. This decision is entirely personal (and financial) so it’s worth thinking about. My two-cents: if you have the funds, invest them. Doing well on this exam is so important and I can't emphasize how much the process of studying taught me about how I should've been studying. Having a tutor coach you through it from the beginning will save you time, but if you don't have the funds trust that you can still pull this off on your own and take advantage of the free MCAT resources available online. Either way YOU'VE GOT THIS.

THREE: Take a FULL-LENGTH diagnostic. If you've been checking off your premed classes* I put this at number 3 for a reason. First, you register and reflect. Then, you take your diagnostic. Why? Because your diagnostic is just a starting point and it shouldn’t affect how you choose your test-date. Don’t study before it. Don’t put it off. Just do it! No matter how you score it’ll motivate you to study and it'll give you a sense of what to study first. 

Screenshot of my MCAT diagnostic score, courtesy of my laptop.

Screenshot of my MCAT diagnostic score, courtesy of my laptop.

Here’s a fun fact: The entire exam was my weakness (except maybe CARS). I got more than half of the Psych/Soc section wrong and scored in the 42nd percentile overall, so the only thing my diagnostic told me was that I needed to study. Here’s another fun fact: everyone needs to study to improve their scores! A wise man once said: Started from the bottom- now we're here. There’s nothing like putting in work to get the score you want and looking back to see how far you’ve come. 

Which test-prep company should you use for your diagnostic? This is a question I get a lot but I don't have a perfect answer for it. I hear NextStep’s practice exams are very good and you can actually sign up for a free full length! I used one of the Kaplan full lengths that came with my books but, while I loved their content review materials, I didn’t love their practice tests. Not sponsored- just my two cents! Otherwise, my biggest piece of advice about your diagnostic would be this: do NOT use the AAMC official practice tests because you should save those for closer to test day.

FOUR: Get yo' books. Across test companies and materials, I know at least one person who used x book and got the score they wanted. I used Kaplan and it worked for me, a close friend used ExamKrackers and it worked for her, and a friend of a friend got the score he wanted using The Princeton Review. All three of these are consistently listed as the best prep materials for the MCAT so I don’t think you can go wrong with any of them. In the end, I think it’s just a matter of picking the one that works best for you. You don’t have to take my opinion as Bible, but here are my thoughts on the two I'm most familiar with, strictly in terms of content review:

Kaplan MCAT Complete 7-Book Subject Review: This is what I used and it really worked. I think the visuals are great and the text is well-written and straight-forward. It’s also super detailed so I felt confident that there wouldn’t be any surprises on test day. With the exception of the Psych/Soc section (which is apparently tripping up all of these test companies), everything I saw in the AAMC practice materials and on test day was covered in these books. I would 100% recommend this series if you have the time get through it and can appreciate what might be a little too much detail.

10th Edition Examkrackers MCAT Complete Study Package: I actually purchased this set in early July when a friend told me she preferred these books over Kaplan but I ultimately decided not to use them. I was already well into the Kaplan books and I’m not sure why I thought I’d "just use both". A word of advice: pick one and stick to it. EK is great for to-the-point, concise content review. Some might say it's too concise but, like I mentioned before, my friend used these books and did really freakin' well. If you’re looking for simple and targeted high-yield MCAT review with none of that extra stuff, or if you’re strapped for time and need to study quickly, this is the set for you. I've also heard this set is “fun to read”- whatever that means.

If you decide to purchase your content review materials through these links I may make a small commission. Thank you for helping me keep 'Mez On The Move' up and running. Real talk, I appreciate you.

FIVE: Dive in but don’t plan (yet)! Depending on how far you are from your test date, I’d recommend giving yourself a little bit of trial-and-error time for your study methods to develop. By 2 months out (if you’re studying full time) you'll want to be in your flow with a content review system that works. Before then, I think it’s worth investing some time into just figuring out what that system should look like. By the time I found what worked for me it looked nothing like how I had started. I went from highlighting and re-writing entire chapters to minimal note-taking, writing in the margins, using videos for difficult concepts, and actually ENJOYING prep (*gasp*). Moral of the story here? You’ve really got to do you.

That’s it! I have no doubts that if you’ve read this far and follow these steps, you’re on your way to killing content review and getting the score you want! I know, I know… it’s easier said than done, but these first steps really do set the tone for your studying!

ONE LAST THING! Remember that everyone is different and you might have extra things to consider before getting started. If you're still finishing your pre-med requirements (gen chem, orgo, physics, biochem, and biology) you'll have to study more for the subjects you're missing. It isn't impossible and I don't want to discourage you, but it does take longer to master things you're seeing for the first time. That being said, I know for some of you there's no way around it. If you're dead set on taking the exam anyway I would recommend two things: quickly looking through what's on the MCAT (just to get a sense of what you'll have to learn) and increasing your goal number of "total study hours". As a reminder, I studied for 500-600 total hours, and the average test-taker studies for around 350.

If you have any questions or anything to add, leave it in a comment below so that others can benefit from it too. Happy Hustlin! xx


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A Holiday Message from Me(z)



Having the nerve to build this space was one thing, but the love and support you've given me has been the most incredible freakin' gift. It wasn't wrapped and sitting under my Christmas tree this morning but it's meant the world to me. Thank you for laughing with me. For tolerating my Instagram car-rides and bathroom music videos. For helping me spread kindness. For supporting female hustle. FOR BEING A HUSTLER YOURSELF. I appreciate you and I hope you find your own reasons to be happy and hopeful today.

I know sometimes the holidays can be so freakin' difficult. They're weird that way- joyful for many and not-so-merry for others.  I know that because I've been there... so I see you. I know what it's like to to put your younger siblings first. To open nothing on Christmas day and have to listen to your friends talk about everything they got. To have no special dinner or traditions. To feel left out. I get that... I SEE YOU. 

That's why I'm here to let you know that however you feel today, it's okay. If you're feeling #blessed, yaaas I'm happy for you. May this remind you of all the things in your life you have to be grateful for. Writing this has certainly reminded me. But if you're stressed or sad or lonely or "over it"- that's okay- I get you too. I've been there... so trust me when I say that things will get better. Find something to celebrate. Remember that you are here. Sometimes that's enough to humble you.

I'll be over here celebrating the fact that you've read this. For that I'll be forever grateful. 

All love and realness always, xx

Big ears since (before) '99

Big ears since (before) '99

Mom was too busy taking the photos, so here she is.

Mom was too busy taking the photos, so here she is.

4 Reasons To Do More Yoga


Happy Friday! After nearly 3.5 months away from my mat I'm slowly (& finally) getting back into my practice. But don't get it twisted! I'm very much a beginner yogi and I've never been well-seasoned or consistent. 

If I'm being honest, I've never even practiced yoga with the intention of "getting really good". I just love what it does to cleanse my soul and that's enough to keep me coming back...

But just in case it isn't for you (I get that), here are 4 more reasons why you should be getting your YOGA on:

Ommmmmmmmmm .


1. Flexibility is fleeting and everyday we get older.

You know that saying, you'll never be as young as you are right now? That's the first thing I thought when my instructor tried to get me into full-blown camel pose (that and not gonna happen sis) .

But here are two undeniable truths: (1) without flexibility, daily activities can get really difficult, and (2) yoga is a great way to relieve the stresses of our daily lives. So  s t r e t c h  it out hustler, like your strength and mobility depend on it. Because they do.

 2. Crunches do NOT build strong cores.

My first day back on my yoga mat I found ab muscles I never knew I had. Don't take my word for it though. Swap your current ab-routine for an hour of yoga each week and experience the burn for yourself. It's no joke.

3. It's ok to just BE, and you should make time for it.

If you've taken a yoga class, then you've probably found your body in a position that your mind wasn't too happy about. The same sort of thing happens IRL. So, if you're constantly feeling like you could and should be doing more, then YOGA . It's a mental, physical, and spiritual affirmation that we are enough as we are, at any given moment. A reminder to just show up. I'm into that. 


4. Because sometimes you need a reminder to breathe.

When things get hard you've always got two choices: work through it or get out of it. And no matter what you decide, in yoga and in life, you've got to remember your breath. You are alive. You are here. Your quads are burning but you are breathing. K e e p breathing.


I really can't recommend yoga enough! Invest in the essentials and just do it. This yoga mat is hands down my favorite but you could also opt for a quality affordable option. Yoga blocks were so important for improving my flexibility and this combo lets you get two blocks and a yoga strap for less $ (thank the Lord) . My third and final essential would have to be a nonslip mat towel. If you're not a super sweat-er (like me), then you can get away with passing on this one. But if you do sweat and want to avoid turning your mat into a slip-n-slide, you should probably invest. You can't go wrong with Manduka- they play no games when it comes to yoga- but you can also find other mat towels (like this one or this one) for less.

So you see.. you don't need a $30 yoga class. You don't even need to leave the comfort of your home.  Just get your mat, lay it down, search for a "yoga flow" on YouTube, and get started.

And if you're still not ready to practice alone... you can buy 2 of everything and drag your mom's best friend's cousin into it, or your unsuspecting roommate. That's my favorite. Wishing you a wonderful freakin' weekend! xx



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