How to Earn a College Degree Without Debt

 How to Earn a College Degree Without Debt via PCOSRa.com

In a few months, I will graduate with my 4th college degree (!).  I’ve never had a student loan of any variety nor did my parents pay for my college tuition.  I graduated from college debt-free.  You can do it too!

Several family members and other real-life acquaintances have asked me for advice on how I stayed out of debt while pursuing educational opportunities, so I decided to do a blog post about it even though this doesn’t quite fit with my usual themes.  I’m not an expert on funding your college education; but, now that I’ve finished 1 associate’s degree, 2 bachelor’s degrees, and almost 1 master’s degree–I  think I may have a few words of wisdom for others who are just starting on the journey.

There’s no secret to graduating debt-free.  All it takes is a commitment to do so.  You absolutely CAN graduate from college without debt.  It is not an impossible dream.  Student loans are an optional part of life, and you can opt to not have them.  There is no reason to go into debt for an undergraduate degree, and most graduate degrees can be earned without debt too.

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Ask Ra: Can I remove skin tags at home?

How to Remove Skin Tags at Home, via PCOSRa.com


Dear Ra,

I have PCOS  and it brought along skin tags that are all over my neck and armpits.  There’s even a few between my thighs.  Is there anything I can do to get rid of them at home?  I don’t have money to go to a doctor for such a silly thing right now.  They’ve been here for a long time.  I’m so sick of them, and I want to be able to wear sleeveless shirts again!  Do you have a DIY home remedy for skin tags?

 -Kendra in USA

Do you have a question for Ra?  Visit the Ask Ra page!

Ah, skin tags.  Those annoying little bits that plague most of us women with PCOS.  I feel your pain Kendra!  I do actually have a home remedy for skin tags.  I used it myself a few years ago to remove 35+ skin tags in my armpits (stop judging me for things beyond my control) and they never came back!  Continue reading

PCOS and Acne: STOP the Fish Oil

 

If you have PCOS and Acne--Stop Taking Fish Oil Supplements!  via PCOSRa.com
Last year my acne was completely out of control.  It was horrendous, awful, disheartening, and depression-inducing.  I’ve always had acne, but last year it truly was SEVERE.  My whole face felt like a giant eruption and I couldn’t bring my introverted self to voluntarily be around other people with such severe acne.

I spent a long time trying to figure out what was causing it–my exercise pattern had not changed, I was eating the same foods in the same quantities as I had been previously, my menstrual cycle was the same, my other PCOS symptoms were unchanged, my prescription medications were the same, I was using the same cleanser and lotion on my face, my makeup was the same, my linens were being washed with the same detergent that has been used since the day I was born…ugh.  All this acne and no idea where it was coming from. Continue reading

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Dealing with PCOS: Three Things You Can Do Right Now

Dealing with PCOS:  3 Things You Can Do to Start Feeling Better Today via PCOSRa.com

PCOS brings along a train full of baggage.  Once you discover that you have PCOS, you suddenly feel like you must eat only organic GMO-free gluten-free calorie-free vegan locally-produced foods,  exercise for fifteen hours a day, and sleep for precisely 8.75 hours per night.  That’s all while dealing with the maddening amount of body hair (Oh the hair!  It doesn’t stop!), popping zits and finding makeup to cover your now red-splotched face, inventing ways to get some sort of volume into the ever-decreasing quantity of hair on your head, purchasing clothing in manatee sizes, and oh let’s not forget that your neck and elbows are brown and look like you’re incapable of bathing.  All the while you still need to maintain your family, work, social, educational, religious, and community life.  It’s enough to drive a person mad.

If you were just diagnosed with PCOS, or you’re just getting back on the wagon, here are three reasonable things you can  do today to help things get better.  Will they solve all your problems?  Nope.  Will they help?  Absolutely. Continue reading

How to Prepare to Teach Relief Society

 

How to Prepare to Teach Relief Society via PCOSRa.com

Part 1:  How to Teach Relief Society in a Meaningful Way
Part 2:  How to Teach Relief Society Lessons about Difficult or Controversial Topics
Part 3:  How to Prepare to Teach Relief Society

There are many, many ways to prepare to teach Relief Society.  Over time, you’ll figure out what works best for you.  Me?  I never actually sit down to write a Relief Society lesson until the night before I teach (my mother probably just had a heart attack from reading that–hi Mom!).  However, that doesn’t mean that my preparation is left until the night before.  Continue reading

How to Teach LDS Relief Society Lessons about Difficult or Controversial Topics

How to Teach Relief Society Lessons about Difficult or Controversial Subjects

Part 1:  How to Teach Relief Society in a Meaningful Way
Part 2:  How to Teach Relief Society Lessons about Difficult or Controversial Topics
Part 3:  How to Prepare to Teach Relief Society

 

I taught Relief Society last week, and the assigned topic was #11 from the Jospeh Fielding Smith manual:  Honoring the Priesthood Keys Restored through Joseph Smith.  When I first saw the title, I had a bit of trepedation.  The priesthood, especially women’s role in the priesthood, has been a highly controversial topic lately.   I was worried that our discussion time would turn into a full-scale argument.  I wallowed in my thoughts for a bit, and then buckled down and read through the lesson. Continue reading

A PCOS Dilemma: What Do You Say if You Think an Acquaintance has PCOS?

What do you say if you think someone has PCOS?  via PCOSRa.com

I have a dilemma, and I’d like your help with it.  I don’t have the answers–just the problems.

Here’s the scenario:  You are acquainted with someone (through work, school, church, a community group, etc.) who you think has PCOS.  You know her name and a few things about her, you exchange “hellos” when you see each other, and one time you sat at the same table for a dinner party; but, you really don’t know her well.  Her appearance highly suggests that she has PCOS.  You have PCOS too.  What do you do?  Do you say something?

I’ve been in this exact scenario more times than I can count, and I never know what to do.  What do you do?  I want to talk about PCOS.  I want people to know that they aren’t alone.  But I also don’t want to offend them. Continue reading

Things I Hate About Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Things I Hate About PCOS via PCOSRa.com

Yesterday started out as a good day.  I got enough sleep, I woke up in time for scripture study in the AM, I had a roasted tomato sandwich from Bocata for lunch, my hair behaved itself, I was able to resolve two big outstanding issues at work, and I got home in time to weed the garden and go for a 4-mile walk.

Then I went to check the mail, and I caught my reflection in the rear-view mirror.  Horror.  Absolute horror.  I had a full-on mustache of raven-black hairs that were longer than my arm hair.  That’s all it took to completely undo all of the good things about yesterday.  And thus this list was born:

Things I Hate about PCOS

  • Complete strangers commenting on your “contralto” voice
  • Mustaches that you didn’t know about, despite the giant mirror with six lightbulbs that you stand in front of for 30 minutes every morning
  • Simultaneously having wrinkles AND acne
  • Hair that is both thin and oily, so it requires daily washing even though your friends get away with washing/styling their hair every 3-4 days
  • Shaving your legs twice in the same day
  • Plus-size clothes are either ugly, cheaply-made, or both
  • Stretch marks but no baby
  • The beginnings of male-pattern baldness when you are neither male nor old
  • Eating one sandwich in an entire day, and still gaining weight
  • Not remembering what it feels like to not be overweight
  • Periods that come all the time, or don’t come at all

What do you hate about PCOS?  Please share in the comments and then I’ll add them to the list.  I want a big long list here so that others know they aren’t alone!

PCOS and Acne: 3 Products That Will Change Your Life

Acne and PCOS:  3 Products That Will Change Your Life via PCOSRa.com

Part 1:  PCOS and Acne–Strategies for Success
Part 2:  PCOS and Acne–3 Products That Will Change Your Life

Acne has been a huge source of frustration in my life for…12 years?  15 years?  A long time.  PCOS means that acne wasn’t a transitory teenage frustration.  Rather, it’s been a never-ending battle.  To add to the fun, I also have very sensitive skin and eyes (thanks Mom!).  Even products that claim to be safe for sensitive skin wreck havoc.

Just when I was about to give up hope, I finally found a set of 3 products that works wonders!  Hallelujah!  It’s my HG regimen (“holy grail” for those unfamiliar with the lingo used by beauty product junkies).  I still have a few acne problem areas around my nose and temples; but, overall, my skin hasn’t looked this good since elementary school!

Without further ado, here are the three products that will change your life if you have PCOS and you’re frustrated with acne… Continue reading

“Gardening is the most therapeutic and defiant act you can do, especially in the inner city. Plus, you get strawberries.”

I find TED talks to be a welcome respite from this world where petty arguments and gossip are too-often the highlights of conversation.  These free talks give regular ‘ol people like me the opportunity to think about something larger, to believe in change, to challenge our minds, to witness great performances, and to continue learning even after formal education has ceased.  TED talks are a fabulous example of something that is going right in the world.

“If kids grow kale, kids eat kale. If they grow tomatoes, they eat tomatoes.”  Ron Finley's TED Talk, from PCOSRa
I planted the beginnings of my garden last week–peas and lettuce.  Now I’m realizing that I don’t know how to distinguish between lettuce starts and weed starts.  Oh well.  I’ll let them all grow and then sort it out in a few weeks when there are more distinguishing characteristics.  This evening will bring the addition of rainbow carrots (That’s the kind of exciting life I lead!  Planting carrots on a Saturday night!  Woot!).

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