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Hey guys I have been busting in the seems with ideas on what to write next. if you haven't read my previous post definitely check it out. in this post I will be sharing with you guys some ideas to keep busy during the self-quarantine period.

Are you at home out of your mind thinking to yourself what should I do to occupy your time, well I have a few suggestions for you?

Spring Cleaning:
This is a very good time to clean out your closet. you have the time to go through your clothes thoroughly and see which once that fit you and then once that don't fit anymore. this is the perfect time to clean your closet for real now. With respect to spring cleaning you should also do a good house cleaning. go through your drawers and throw out the junk, go through your mail and do the same thing.

I really don't know about you guys but I really can't be bored. the only time I will ever be bored is the day I don't have books to read. reading is amazing and it is a really good way to pass the time. it's finally time to read all the books you have been wanting to read. also its time to discover new authors and genres of books. so far as there are books you really can't be bored.

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Watch movies:
Have you heard of the expression Netflix and chill? then this is the perfect time to do so. watch the movies you have been wanting to watch. also discover new movies, tv shows, and also different genres. if you have the time to have popcorn and a movie, that to me is a day well spent.

Go through your contact and call people:
we actually have time to catch up with old friends and family. we are always busy all the time and life is so fast most of the time. this is the time to look through your contact and actually call family and friends. Also, delete the contacts that are just taking up space in your phone you will be surprised how good that feels.

Digital cleaning:
Yes I mean clean your screens, but for real go through your emails and just delete a lot of stuff make up space and storage on your devices. I just did that and I gained close to 30gb on my phone and I was so surprised because I wanted to get a new phone for extra storage but I had a lot of junk on my phone. same with my emails. I have so many email addresses that serve their purposes don't get me wrong but having close to 10000 unread messages is a lot. taking the time to clean all of those out is a way to pass the time and also gives me peace of mind. Give it a try and let me know how it works out for you.
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Hey guys! so I have been trying my best to bring you as much content as I possibly can, I am so excited to have a little more time to myself to concentrate on my blog. if you want more content from me I have been posting more often on Instagram as well as on my podcast so please don't forget to check out those other platforms as well for more content from me.

So most of us are going through self-quarantine and as a college student starting on Monday things have to go back to normal because the spring break is over and school resumes. tell me about it what a spring break. I had two weeks of spring break but I already feel like the semester is over and I should just pack up my books. But that is not the case I have to get ready for the next half of the semester and adjust to having my classes fully online. Some tips and tricks for staying motivated and studying during this time of self-quarantine are as follow;

Create a schedule:
Creating a schedule is one way to stay motivated. Having a clear vision about your day helps you get in the mood and it also helps you see what you have to do and that will push you to keep on track. with creating a schedule you could do it any way you want. you could make it as detailed as you want using the bullet journal method, a calendar or just by jotting it down on a sticky note, again it's up to you how you want to tackle this.

Clean your environment:
Yes I said it clean your space. a clean space is a clean mind at least I believe so. I don't know about you guys but for me if my space is dirty or just messy I find that I am very lazy and also very distracted. taking even if it 10 minutes to tidy up your space will do you some good. in that regard making up your bed also is a good way to get motivated. I am the type of person that when my bed is made up I really don't want to climb into it until its time to go to bed. so doing the small things all help in the long run.

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yes I know that there is a lot of stress on exercising during this period but actually it is very true. when you stay home all day you get weak and lazy and just don't feel yourself. exercise releases endorphins and also just makes your mind sharp and you are ready to tackle the day.

It is important to eat when staying at home and working from home or studying from home. again I don't know about you but when I am at home I tend to have very bad eating habits. I tend to eat late or not at all which brings down my energy and messes with my mojo so eating regularly and on time will really help you stay motivated.

Keep your schedule as simple and as normal as it was:
keeping your schedule simple is very important. I have the tendency to over cramp things in a short time. It can be very overwhelming when you have too many things to do and it can end up being too much and in the end you end up not doing anything.
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So this is a different post than i normally do but i feel like this is important and i am very very passionate on the topic. As an international student myself I know how it feels in this time of confusion. It is very scary when you live in a different country and in my case a different continent and don't have the option of going home. also a lot of international students don't have family in their host countries and don't have the option of going there and with campuses closing and closing their on campus housing it can be a scary thing. also since most of us work part time and don't have any benefits and don't get assistance from the federal government if you don't have family or guardians or any other source of income then it is difficult. also remember that international students can't work in the US without permission and mostly can only work on campus and with campuses being closed you can only imagine.
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in this post i hope you can understand how difficult it is to be an international student and i hope we all can show compassion for one another. also to everyone who is going through this tough time i hope we all can be safe and can overcome this obstacle together because we all need our lives to get back to normal. it has been a crazy couple of days and i hope we all come out of this ok. on the bright side we all have some time to ourselves and i believe we can take it negative experience and turn it into a positive experience. i am hoping that we can use this time wisely. as a student i have a lot of studying to do and i will definitely be posting a lot of content on my social media about school work on my instagram and i hope you follow me on there.
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to everyone i wish you all a happy spring break and i hope we all stay safe and in the end we all can get through this together.
Photo by The New York Public Library on UnsplashAre you an international student in the united states and wonder whether or not you need to file taxes?, well here is some information for you. I want to start by saying this information is out of experience and this should encourage you to do more research on your own, ask questions especially through the international student office at your school. This what i have learned in my 3 years of living here.

Who actually should file taxes in the united states. Its very important to know whether or not you need to file taxes in the US. one way to know whether or not you need to file taxes is by checking the IRS website. This is because they always have the right and updated information. If for some reason you don't want to check the website which again you should, definitely ask the international student office at your school. Listen they are there to help you its better to know and file your taxes than to owe the IRS money.

According to the IRS website filling is required for "non resident alien students and scholars" that have

  1. A taxable scholarship, fellowship 
  2. Income that is partially or totally exempt from tax
  3. Any other income that is taxable under the Internal Revenue Code
They also go ahead to say that filing is not required from "non resident alien students and scholars" who have income only from
  1. Foreign sources
  2. Interest income
  3. Investment that generates portfolio interest
  4. A tax free scholarship or entity
  5. Any other non taxable income
Again for more information be sure to check on the website which i will link in this post. Now once you find out that you have to file your taxes you have to make sure you have the right documents. As international students that work on campus make sure you have your W-2 form and also make sure to find out whether or not you also have to file state tax because in my state you have to file that differently so make sure you find out.
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on UnsplashAnother big difference when you are an international student is that you don't fill the regular 1040 we fill the Form 1040NR-EZ if you have a job and also a Form 8843. You also cannot use turbo tax to file your taxes, I know its tempting to do so i will strongly advise you not to as many international students are advised not to do so. One advise I have for international students is to know how to file your own tax. Take a class online or something, now I will admit am a little biased and i know how to file my personal tax. If you need help and you cannot understand all the instructions and you don't want to pay a CPA, make sure you ask the international student office at your school. I don't know about other schools but in my school there are sessions that are held and help is given to us, try and ask to see if that type of help is available for you. 

You could also use Sprintax. This is a nonresident federal and state tax return. It is basically like turbo tax (it is actually a tax partner of turbo tax) but there is a fee. It costs $37.95 for federal tax and $29.95 for state tax. For the state tax you could go to their offices and ask for help because in my city they help international student file state tax for free. Again make sure you are asking questions. Be sure to ask Accounting professors if you have a good relationship with them because chances are most of them are CPA's.

A word of advise make sure that if you know how to file your own tax that you are careful when helping others because it literally can turn and bite you in the butt. If you owe money to the IRS by any chance make sure you file your taxes and try to look in to the payment plans they have that suit you because if you don't there are so many penalty fees you could end up paying. FILE YOUR TAX BY APRIL 15 preferably before.

This is it for this post, I really hope this is helpful to you. Let me know in the comments.

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Well hello guys, so it seems like this year is starting off great because I am motivated as ever and I am literally going all out with the different types of content I am creating for you guys, again follow me on all of my social medial platforms.

In this post, I will be sharing with you all the importance of credit in the United States. If I am honest with you this is a very tricky subject and so don't take my word for it. Read this post and then go ahead and do your own research because there is nothing like too much research.
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As you already know or if you didn't know credit score is very important in North America, you need a credit score to rent an apartment, buy a house, buy a car, take a loan like honestly credit is very important. As important as it is also very tricky and if you are not careful you will literally fall into a trap. Before you know it you will be swimming in debt so if you don't want to be in that situation then make sure you are aware and do your research. There are several ways to build credit;

  • take out a loan
  • get a credit card
  • pay your bills
just to name a few. One of the fastest ways to build your credit is through a credit card. Now when deciding to get a credit card definitely do your research, look at the benefits they all offer and make sure there is no annual payment needed. I personally recommend having just one credit card with a really minimal amount of credit line especially as students just to be safe because again it is credit you are technically borrowing money and when you borrow you have to pay it back and with interest. Some starter credit cards are;
  • discover it
  • capital one quicksilver one
  • tourney
  • wellsfargo
  • bank of America
again these are just a few, if you feel overwhelmed go to your local bank and ask them for assistance and it will be given to you.

One thing to note is that if you don't pay your card on time it is going to affect your credit score in a negative manner so be careful and always know how to pay your credit card bills.
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Happy new year to everyone and thank you for reading my blog. If you have been reading my blog for a while then you know that i recently changed the direction of my blog and the name of my blog from its Bertie to a new jourii with Bertie. This change is long over due and I decided to start the new decade with a new chapter. I just posted a video on youtube about how to make a digital vision board if you are interested please definitely watch and tell me what you thing in the comment section down below.

In this new decade there is a lot of things that i want and a lot of things that i wish for. It has not been easy at all but unfortunately I start the year with some not so great news. I really debated sharing this with you guys but the way i see it it is a way for me to vent and also share my story with anyone who is going through a similar situation.

At the end of last year i got an opportunity to have an internship and let me tell you i was the happiest person on earth. It felt like things were finally going my way, as an international student it is extremely hard to get an internship and getting one with a great organization well, that was the icing on the cake. Unfortunately today i had to turn down the internship because i did not have the right prerequisite to take the class i needed to qualify for the internship. Now this is no bodies fault it literally is just life, it is one of those things that happen. I honestly felt like the world was falling on my head and i literally slept all day just because i did not want to deal with my emotions and felling about the whole situation, if i slept then i did not have to think about the disappointment and how I want to cry but here i am writing about it because at the end of the day i have to deal with it sooner or later.
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Another thing that just sucks about the whole situation is that I had to quit my job so i could do this internship and now I have no job and no internship. Yesterday I read psalms 1 and if your christian like i am i will encourage you to read it, if your not Christian that's ok too but all in all what i learned from it was that every thing will happen in due time. I honestly thought this post was going to be about how not so good my 2019 was and how I wish my 2020 will be better, but instead its just me rambling on.

If there is one thing you can take out of this story is just that things will happen as an international student this are the things we face on the daily, but in the end we have to move on and find the strength to keep fighting. Now i am sad but i am really good because I know that everything will be alright.

As this year starts i really hope that we all could take a moment to be grateful to be part of this year and also embrace the troubling times because it comes with the good.