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YHM Special: Staying Genuine to Yourself with Sarah Jaihe Lee

Committing yourself to following your dreams isn’t an effortless road to travel. There are so many distractions young people can get tangled up in from school to friendships. But, with a plan of action and a driven heart you can make the impossible, possible.

YHM’s very own, Sarah Jaihe Lee, breaks down her accomplishments from 2013 and gives us a peek of the year ahead. With a background in English and a craving to share what she loves, this young woman is surprising herself by checking things off her to-do list!

YHM: Who is Sarah and what is she all about? 

Sarah Jaihe Lee: I’m a senior at Rutgers University majoring in English with a minor in music. I enjoy blogging, cooking, baking, writing and singing. I have been interning with YHM Magazine since June 2013. I was also a Style Guru for CollegeFashionista and wrote for “Fashionista Spotlight”.

YHM: In what ways have you accomplished your dreams/goals of 2013?

SJL: I have accomplished many things in 2013 but I didn’t do it alone. I believe God was with me this entire year and provided me with great opportunities. Getting an internship with CollegeFashionista was a huge accomplishment because I didn’t get the position the first time I applied. However, after developing my skills for a year, I received an email saying I was chosen to be a Style Guru.

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I was also given the opportunity to attend New York Fashion Week 2013 featuring Long Tran and Irina Shabayeva with YHM and that has always been a very big dream of mine. I never thought I would get the opportunity to go to one while in college. I accomplished some academic goals as well. I passed all of my classes and met my GPA goal.

My interests and passions are always evolving.

YHM: Tells us about the idea behind your blog, SarahJaiheLee.com and why you started it.

SJL: My blog serves as a creative outlet and I like to write from a personal and professional prospective. A lot of blogs I read focus solely on fashion or beauty, but I wanted to write about other areas of interest such as reading and baking because that’s what I’m genuinely interested in.

I didn’t want to put myself into a mold such as “fashion blogger” because my interests and passions are always evolving. I also share my feelings and opinions on issues such as diversity, that affect us in real life.

YHM: What excites you about journalism?

SJL: Journalism excites me because you can write about a variety of different topics such as fashion, the arts and issues going on in the world. As a student majoring in English, I write a lot of essays about books that have to follow a certain format and always have a thesis statement.

In journalism, depending on what you’re writing about, you can write more freely and it’s not as technical. Print journalism really sticks out to me because our generation loves technology. My school’s newspaper is offered every single day and I love seeing students picking one up or reading it on the bus.

My number one advice would be to stay genuine.

YHM: Your website says you took a “leap of faith” when starting your blog. What inspired you?

SJL: I was inspired by other bloggers. I’m always on blogs such as Lily Pebbles and Sincerely Lara. I love the personal aesthetic and writing style each blogger has. I always wanted a place to express my thoughts and opinions and one day, I decided to create a blog. I was getting a lot of great feedback from family and friends so I decided to invest in it a little more. It’s amazing how far it’s come.

YHM: What are your favorite topics to talk about on your blog?

SJL: My favorite topic definitely has to be baking. On my free time, I like to look for new recipes and try them out. Baking is a stress-reliever. I also get great feedback whenever I share my baking related posts on Facebook.

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YHM: What advice would you give to others in your field or who share the same interest?

SJL: My number one advice would be to stay genuine. Your readers can sense when you are trying to come off a certain way or be someone you’re not. Write about what you are genuinely interested in. Also, don’t forget to have fun! I never feel like I’m obligated to write on my blog. I write whenever I’m feeling inspired or want to share something.

YHM: It’s January and tons of opportunities await you. What are your top 3 New Year’s resolutions?

SJL:

  1. Save money. I am expecting to graduate in May so I want to make sure I have some money saved up for post-college. I don’t know if I’m going to be hired right away so I want to have financial security.
  2. Do my best in school. Although I love to blog, my first priority right now is doing well in my classes. I never forget my obligations and responsibilities as a student. I want to have the right balance of school and blogging.
  3. Be happy. No matter what’s going on in my life, I want to be happy and be surrounded by people I love.

by hana

YHM: How do you stay focused on making things happening for you?

SJL: In the end, the only person that is going to push you is yourself. You won’t accomplish your goals or dreams if you don’t do anything to make them happen. I know what I want for myself and the life I want to live. My mom had to have more than one job to support me and my siblings and I always saw her working hard to give us a good life.

She was able to provide an education for all of my siblings on her own and she has also accomplished many personal and professional goals. She has taught me that anything is possible if you work hard and stay determined.

The future is bright for Sarah and all of you who go after your dreams. Let’s make 2014 the year of passion, drive and assertiveness. Create your own opportunities by never giving up and crafting your skills like Sarah. We wish her the best for 2014 and hope to snag up a few of her baking tips!

By Yegide Matthews

Photo courtesy of Sarah Jaihe Lee

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