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5 Reasons Why This Twenty-Something LOVES Her New Job

6 Feb

Work Hard Have Fun No Drama I’ve been at my new job for 8 months now, and really… I can’t even begin to tell you how crazy-fast time has gone by. One minute I’m interviewing and BAM!!! Here I am almost a year into it. Taking this new job was a huge leap for me. For starters, I knew nothing about the industry. While most people being interviewed had years of experience doing the job at other companies… I. Had. Zero. But man was I willing to learn! People warned me. People told me the job would be terrible. People asked me if it was really something that I wanted to do. And although I didn’t know much, I knew that it was an exciting opportunity and that I needed a new challenge. 8 months later, I thank God every day that I made that jump. So to help explain exactly why I’m so happy, here are 5 reasons why THIS 20-something LOVES her new job…

  1. I’m Surrounded By People Who Are Willing to Teach Me

Like I said, I was a newbie. I accepted a job as a Contract Administrator in a large Supply Chain department and I didn’t even know what a backorder was. This could have been a total failure. But it wasn’t. And you know why? Because the people around me are really freaking awesome. Because from the minute I stepped foot in this department, my co-workers took me under their wings and they taught me everything they know. Because they were secure enough in their own abilities and talents that they didn’t feel threatened by the thought of sharing what they’ve learned over the years. And I’m eternally grateful for that.

  1. We’re Treated Like Adults

Imagine a workplace where you can go to the bathroom without your boss staring at his computer counting the number of minutes that you’re away from your desk. Imagine a workplace where you can go to work and if you need to leave to a doctor’s appointment or to pick up your sick kid, you can do that and no one gives you a hard time about it. We can do that here. After a really hectic morning we can go have a nice lunch off campus, come back to work, and we’re not looked down upon for taking a break. It’s kind of awesome. We’re treated like adults. And you might be thinking well yea, we should be treated like adults since that’s what we ARE, but you’d be surprised how absolutely rare this kind of work environment is. We’re treated like professionals and even though we may not be at our desks glued to our chairs every moment of every day, everyone knows that we’ll get the job done. We always do.

  1. Our Work/Play Balance is all Sorts of Fantastic

You can go to work, work super hard, and have fun doing it. It’s true, I promise! And although I’ve questioned this notion in the past, I swear on my life I’ve never had so much fun at work. And you might think okay… she’s a contract administrator…sounds kinda super lame and boring. But dude, we laugh and we joke and we have so much fun. And the best part about it is that even though we laugh and we have a good time, we’re still taken seriously because we produce excellent work. I don’t think you have to be miserable and serious all the time to be considered a professional. I think that you can work and play and play while you work. Because really, if you don’t, it’s so easy to go crazy.

  1. My Bosses Are Approachable, Nice Human Beings

It’s not something that I take for granted. My bosses are really one of a kind. They’re legit humans. Like… super- down- to -earth –real- people- who- have- feelings- and- know- that- I –have- feelings –and- so- they’re- nice- and- not- mean-and- they- don’t- scream- at- me- and- belittle- me- and- make- me- feel- like- I’m- stupid. In a nutshell. Do they do their jobs? Yes! Really well, in fact. Do they tell me when I’ve made a mistake and help me fix it? Yep. Do they provide guidance? All the time. But do they have huge egos? No. Do they walk around thinking they’re better than anyone? No. Do they scream and yell and embarrass their employees? Never. And that’s why I love working for them. They have an open door policy and we can talk to them about anything whenever we need to and we’re not scared of them, because they’re super cool. I mean, on what planet should we have to be scared of our bosses? How does that make us perform better? If you figure that out, let me know. But in the meantime, I’ll stick to working for bosses who really know how to lead.

  1. They Took A Chance on Me

I’m like 500% positive that there are people who would have never hired me for this position. There are managers who would have taken one look at my resume and would have thrown it in the trash simply because I didn’t have experience in this field. But my leadership took a chance on me. They decided that I had potential and that I could be taught, and so they were willing to invest in me. They were willing to give me a shot and by giving me that shot, I feel the need to prove to them every day that they made the right decision. I respect them so much for that, and I feel so lucky every day to be a part of this kick-ass team. Other stuff you might like:

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Our Very Busy Lives

11 Jan

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Yes, I’m still alive!

If I think about it, I’m more alive than I’ve been in quite some time, actually.

But things are a little different these days.

For starters, I’m getting married. And yes, as exciting as it is, there’s only so much talk of flowers and dresses and tablecloths that I can deal with at any given moment.

My brain is fried, honestly.

My energy level = zero.

I’m also 6 months into my new job that I love. It’s crazy and chaotic and there are times when no one knows what they’re doing, but hey, it’s so worth it! I have a pretty kick-ass team that I love working and laughing with and really- what more could I ask for?

So yea, life’s been good to me…

I’m eternally grateful for it.

But my lack of writing during this phase of severe change in my life has finally gotten to me.

And I suddenly feel the need to put down words on paper.

I hate that I’ve been neglecting something that I’m so passionate about.

And I don’t want to feel that way anymore.

So here I am, getting back to something that I love.

And is it absolutely terrifying?

Hell yea it is.

Because it’s been way too long.

But I’m gunna put my fear and my insecurity aside, and I’m gunna get back to it.

You gotta start somewhere, right?

It’s a new year, and I’ve run out of excuses.

So for all of you who’ve maybe been neglecting a hobby that you’ve at one point enjoyed…

Or for those of you who’ve been saying that you want to try something new and you just haven’t gotten around to it…

Get up off the couch, and go do it.

We’re all busy.

We all have points of craziness in our lives.

Babies.

Weddings.

Groceries that need to be bought.

We really could make a list of excuses that goes on and on and on.

And we could tell ourselves… “Oh, I’ll get to it when I’m a little less busy.”

Once the baby’s born.

Once my classes are over.

Once the wedding’s all planned.

But here’s a secret….

We’re always gunna be freakin’ busy.

ALWAYS.

If it’s not one thing stopping you, it’s something else.

Because that’s life.

Life is busy.

Life becomes busy, and it never stops.

There will always be things that need to be done, people that you need to see, events that you need to go to.

But that’s no reason for you to give up on things that you’re passionate about.

We make time for the things that matter most to us.

So don’t put them off.

Pencil them in to your ever-growing schedule.

Because if you don’t, you’ll find yourself six months later wondering how and why it’s been so long since you’ve done that thing you love to do.

And then, you’ll want to kick yourself for it.

Happy New Year everyone! I wish you all the very best!

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My Crazy, Chaotic, Twentysomething Life

16 Jul
My life right now.

My life right now.

I’ve been anxious all day.

And if I’m honest with myself, I’ve really been anxious for a couple of weeks now. 

And it’s not because I’m crazy…

It’s because every day, in the back of my mind, I keep telling myself, “hey lady! you have to write! you’ve abandoned your blog for a while.” 

And ughhh…I hate it when it gets to that point. 

But I promise you, it’s for good reason. There’s a lot going on in my life right now. 

I started a new job a month ago and I’m really loving it, which means that if I want to learn as much as I can so I can be awesome, it requires a lot of my time. 

So don’t think that I’m just dropping off the face of the earth just yet! 

I’m just having a crazy chaotic moment- and we all have those. 

But I have had the opportunity to write for Elite Daily recently, so if you’re interested, head on over to read my articles! 

What It Was Like to Break the Rules of My Catholic Family and Move in With My Boyfriend

This was a pretty personal post, but it was a story that I really wanted to share. Us twentysomethings feel a tremendous amount of pressure all the time from family, friends, the media, and sometimes, you just have to do what feels right for you. I chose an unconventional path, but there’s not one second I regret it. 

Why You Can’t (and Shouldn’t) Try to Escape From Your 20-Something Life

Another post on the overwhelming nature of our twenties, and how we really ought to embrace the hard times rather than just quitting. 

Enjoy! 

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Four Ways Millennials Can Be Happier Right This Minute

23 Jun

happy-happiness-millennials

So tell me, are you happy?

Like, honestly… happy?

Do you even know what happiness is, really?

Or are you like most of us… stressed out all the time?

Do you spend hours in your room crying because life isn’t working out the way you thought it would?

Because if the answer is yes, I’m going to tell you right now…you gotta stop doing that.

Our twenties are a mess.

A legit freaking mess.

We’re constantly stressed out and confused and don’t really know what to do with our lives.

Then, the real-world welcomes us with an even bigger slap in the face.

We’re suddenly wearing five different hats…

We’re suddenly juggling 700,000 responsibilities at once…

Of course, it’s stressful.

And it sucks.

Big time.

Mostly because we’ve been taught our whole lives that things are supposed to get better as time goes by.

Not worse.

The older we get… the happier we become. So we’ve been told.

Because, you know… when we get older, we graduate college and we get awesome jobs and we get married and we have the cutest kids and everything is wonderful.

That’s the story we’ve told since before we can remember.

But the truth is this…

We don’t just somehow get happier.

We don’t just wake up one day and feel happier.

It doesn’t happen like that.

Happiness isn’t a given.

It takes work.

It takes time.

And most importantly, it takes some serious self-reflection.

So in the meantime, while you’re figuring out what makes you happy and what doesn’t, here are a few things we can all do to make our lives a little bit better…

To make things a little more bearable…

Because we really can be happier.

Right. This. Very. Minute.

And I refuse to accept anything other than that.

1. Stop living in the future  

Today isn’t tomorrow. Today isn’t five years from now. Today is today, so enjoy it. Sure, we should all have dreams, but we need to make an effort to stop living our lives completely in the future. We spend so much time thinking about and planning for the future that we often miss out on so much of the present. Focus on what’s in front of you. It’ll be gone before you know it.

2. Stop buying so much stuff

Money lets you buy things. And sure, things are great. But you know what’s even better? People. Relationships. Experiences. Stop spending so much money on things that’ll end up in the trash next year. You know you don’t need half the things you have in your closet. Instead, save money. Give yourself that peace of mind. Instead, use that money to visit your family. Use that money to travel. But infinite amounts of clothes and shoes and electronics? Such a waste.

3. Stop seeking everyone’s approval

You can’t get everyone to like you. There. End of story. Now stop trying to please everyone. Do things for yourself. I promise you, it’s probably the best thing you can do right now if you ever want to live a happy life.

4. Stop second guessing yourself all the time

Ugh. Should I? Shouldn’t I? But… what if…all these questions ultimately lead to inaction. Listen to your gut. Learn to trust your intuition. If you want to do something, do it. Because if you second guess every move you want to make, you’ll never go anywhere, and how absolutely lame would that be?

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Please Stop Asking Me Where I See Myself in 5 Years

21 May

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I really do hate it.

“The” question…

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Apparently, everyone wants to know.

Have a job interview??? I can almost bet my left hand that someone will ask you.

Go to a networking event??? It’s more than likely.

I’ve been hit with this question more times than I can count.

And every time, I’m sure that I’ve disappointed the person asking with my answer.

Because here’s my answer…

I have no idea.

Now before you start thinking that I lack ambition, understand that I’ve read tons about why goal setting is good. I’ve also read about why goal setting is bad.

I get both sides of the arguement.

But when it comes to where I see myself in 5 years, my answer’s still the same.

I have no idea.

I never grew up wanting to be something specific. I never grew up wanting to be a doctor or a nurse or an astronaut or an engineer.

I don’t know why, exactly, but I just didn’t.

The only thing I DID know was that whatever it was that I ended up chossing as a profession…I wanted to like it.

I wanted to be good at it, and I wanted to enjoy it.

So where do I see myself in 5 years?

I can’t tell you exactly what job I see myself holding, but I CAN tell you that I see myself working at a job that I love. Working somewhere that allows me to use my talents appropriately. One that lets me bring the best of myself to the table, and one that lets me use that to help other people.

When it comes to my career, I guess I’ve chosen a less-than-conventional path. Rather than focusing on one specific discipline, I think that there are lots of jobs that I could be good at and happy with.

I don’t have ONE specific dream job. I don’t have ONE specific job that I aspire to have one day- one that if I never get, I’ll be devastated.

That’s just me.

And while some people may think that makes me unfocused, I like to think that it makes me more flexible.

And in today’s super-unstable job market, that’s probably not such a bad thing.

It’s just kind of funny, really, becuase it seems that people expect us to have it all figured out by the time we graduate college.

graduation-geny-millennials

Yep! We did it!

By then, OBVIOUSLY, we should know what our dream job will be. We should know where we want to be in 5…10…15 years.

And again, if you don’t, some people think you lack focus.

But the truth of it all is that some people NEVER figure that out. People spend their entire lives figuring out what they like…what they don’t like…what they’re passionate about.

It’s a process of trial and error.

So if you’re like me and don’t know exactly where you’ll be 5 years from now, don’t worry, you’ll figure it out as you go.

Just make sure to enjoy the ride.

Other stuff you might like:

Yes, Failure is an Option

15 May

Last night, I was sitting on my couch stuffing my face with strawberries and Nutella when I came across this Domino’s commercial…

And you know what?

I loved it.

Because it was probably the most refreshing thing I’ve seen in a really long time.

Now I know you’re probably thinking, “what the heck is so awesome about a pizza commercial??”

Thing is… it wasn’t about the pizza.

It was about the company, and its culture.

A company that’s okay with admitting that it’s not perfect.

A company that’s okay with accepting failure.

A company that’s willing to learn from that failure and then makes changes.

I don’t know…maybe I’m crazy, but I really liked their honesty.

Because that honesty is really hard to come by these days.

True. Story.

It seems that organizations spend way too much time trying to be the best…trying to be perfect.

AKA… no failure allowed.

So when failure does naturally happen at some point or another, corporate execs spend more time pointing fingers than on actually learning from that failure and continuing to make progress.

I guess that’s why I like this commercial so much.

Because if more companies embraced a culture that’s okay with failure…that sees the value in learning from things that don’t necessarily work out…maybe employees would go out on a limb more often.

Maybe there’d be more innovation.

Maybe we’d actually find solutions to most of our problems.

But we don’t, because we’re scared.

We don’t because, again… most organizations punish people who venture from the norm and then fail.

That’s not cool, and quite frankly, we’re not gunna get anywhere in life with an attitude like that.

So props to you, Domino’s, for being smart enough to say, “hey, we’re not perfect…and we’re fine with that.”

That’s the kind of company I’d like to work for one day…

One that’s not putting on a front.

One that’s honest and sincere.

One that’s accepted that not only is failure an option, but failure is necessary in order to experience growth.

Way to go, Domino’s. You’ve got my attention.

Other stuff you might like:

4 Ways to Increase Productivity at Your Apartment

1 May

productivity-at-your-apartment

Now that I’ve graduated school foreverrrrr, I’m gunna have to learn to be productive at my apartment. It won’t be easy… with my super comfy couch and NetFlix so easily accessible…it’s so much easier to just lay back and be lazy.

But I won’t do that. At least, not ALL the time. I’ve still got tons to do and plenty of goals to reach, so if I can find a way to increase my productivity at my place, that would be kind of awesome.

In today’s guest post, Allie shares with us 4 ways to be a little more productive at home, and her tips are super helpful. Enjoy!

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How many times has this happened to you – “I can’t focus on work from home” or maybe there are so many distractions, you need to go to Starbucks to get stuff done. While this might not be a big deal at first, in the long run, it could be harmful. What if the coffee shop is closed for the night, but this project is due first thing in the morning? Or have you thought about how much you could save financially?

Starbucks was my work place of choice whenever I wasn’t in the Trimark Properties office. I always bought a specialty Starbucks coffee and some type of pastry to snack on. Yes it’s delicious, but it starts adding up real quick. As a gal on a budget and watching her figure, I decided to find a way to utilize my apartment. I took the time to get my temp “office” or aka corner of the room set up, put up a few calming pictures, and voila! On average, it helped me save about $60 a month (that’s about $720 for the year!). Crazy right? Now that I have your attention, check out a few of these tips that helped make this happen:

1. Have a Designated ‘Office’ Space

It can be a small corner of the apartment or a whole room. The main thing is that you know it’s your working space. When choosing the office area, try to look for a quiet space, preferably not in a heavily used area where lots of people hang out and socialize. Once you have the space, set up an organizational system. Create a to-do list that prioritizes your workload, and get a filing system going so there are no loose papers floating around. Messy areas tend to overwhelm us and decrease productivity levels dramatically. Save yourself the stress and begin with a fresh start by having everything in order. Desks aren’t necessarily needed, but a place for everything in the room will lessen cleaning maintenance.

 2. Set Some Rules

Get a timer out and allocate the amount of work time before you take a break. Then, during the break, really treat yourself with a cookie or watching a short TV show just to let your mind unwind. Remaining calm and not overly stressed will help you focus. Also, it never hurts to let your roommates know that you’ll be working. If your roommates are nice, they’ll try to be quiet and won’t bother you until you come out of your work cave. Rules might sound like a strict standard to set, but they’re a great way to set guidelines to getting things done!

3. Apartment Décor

How is the lighting? What about the color scheme of your office space décor? The way you decorate, heavily impacts your productivity levels. Boost productivity by opting for lighter colors such as light blues, coral, and yellows to give the apartment a happy & fresh look. A little tip, avoid dramatic colors or patterns that could distract. The point is to find a color that will subtly motivate and not take up your attention. Then, let’s get some light in the office. Lighting sets the mood, and nothing says “get to work” like a lot of light waking you up! Mirrors are great ways of lighting up the room too.

 4. Inspiration -*Cue Rocky theme*

Get motivated and inspired to complete your projects. Before working, read some inspirational quotes and/or listen to music that will get you pumped. One of my favorites lately is Pharrell’s song, “Happy”… it always leaves a huge smile on my face. It’s important to be excited about being productive and knocking a few things off your to do list.

How about you? What do you do to keep you productive at home?

 About the Author: Allie Castillo is a marketing guru for apartments in Gainesville FL. She is a young 20-something professional and recent grad from the University of Florida. During her free time, Allie enjoys playing with her pet Yorkie, traveling, and baking.

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The 5 Most Valuable Lessons Grad School Taught Me

17 Mar

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I honestly can’t believe it. 43 days till I’m done with school… forever!!! There are no words to express how absolutely elated I am. No words at all.  

For the past two years, I’ve been working full time while pursuing my Master in Public Administration degree.

I’ve written paper after paper after paper…

I’ve had more group projects than really necessary…

And I’ve also been sleep-deprived (Dear God I so look forward to getting more sleep.)

So now that this chapter in my life is coming to a close, I thought I’d get drunk and celebrate  reflect on the most important things I’ve learned in Grad School. Because I really have learned a lot.

Not just about my field of study, but about life in general and about my future in the workplace.

And in writing this, I’m really really happy. I’m happy because I DO feel that I’ve learned things.

Two years and way too much money later, it really has been worth it.

1. It’s the quality of your work, not the quantity.

I’ll honestly never understand why some students feel the need to write 20 page papers when the professor asks for 5. I mean, come on… really? 15 extra pages?? Do you have nothing else to do? Some people really think that by writing more pages, they’ll get a better grade. It’s kind of funny actually. Some people think to themselves, “I have no idea what to write this paper about, but if I hand in a really big stack of paper, and write 10 extra pages, I’ll probably get a better grade than someone who hands in 5.” Well…um…it doesn’t work that way.

In both grad school and in the workplace, your teachers and your bosses are more often concerned with the quality of your work rather than the quantity. It’s all about efficiency, people… producing great quality work in the least amount of time. So you can be the student who spends 15 hours on a paper and turns in 15 pages, and yes, gets an A. Or, you could be the student who spends 3 hours on a paper, turns in 5 pages, and ALSO gets an A.

At the end of the day,  who’s more efficient?

It’s no secret that companies want efficient employees. It’s no secret that employers want great-quality work. So if you can find a way to be efficient with your time while still producing great quality, I’d say you’re pretty set in terms of life after college.

2. Importance of time management.

I don’t care if you have the world’s best memory…Nor do I care if you can memorize a whole deck of cards in under a minute. If you don’t have a calendar/planner/phone reminder system, you will fail miserably as an adult.

Like, big time.

Like I mentioned before, these past two years I’ve juggled work, school, my slowly-becoming-non-existent social life, a relationship, a house, crossfit, this blog, and my family.

Miraculously, I’ve managed to keep some of my sanity.

When you get to grown-up status, you realize just how crazy and hectic life becomes.Like, there’s really no time for anything. While in grad school, I’d go to work, then go to school, and by the time I got home, you know what I wanted to do? NOTHING!! Absolutely nothing!

I’ve been living a life of pure exhaustion.

But I’ve certainly found that having a planner helps organize my brain, because without it, I’d have zero idea about what I have to do.

So regardless of how crazy things get, make time-management a priority. It’s super important. Because as you get older, there’s a lot more to your life. More responsibilities, more to remember, more to accomplish. 

But I’m absolutely positive that if you organize yourself you can somehow become a fully-functioning member of society. Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself.

3. Corporate America is very bad at implementing best practices.

This lesson makes me very sad. This lesson also makes me want to punch a giant hole in the wall and the only reason I don’t punch a giant hole in the wall is because I don’t have money to fix it if I did.

But anyway, this lesson that I’ve learned makes me extremely mad. Because I go to school and I read these massive books that are more often than not, quite boring. And then I write paper after paper after paper. And then somehow, throughout that process, I learn things. Through my Public Administration degree, I’ve learned about…you guessed it! Administration! Administration, and leadership, and organizational behavior. I’ve learned about HR practices and what it takes to run a company in the most ethical way possible.

I’ve learned and I’ve studied extensively about what the workplace SHOULD LOOK LIKE.

And then through my work experience, I’ve seen what it REALLY LOOKS LIKE.

Total opposites most of the time.

There’s so much dishonesty in the workplace and there’s a lot of poor leadership. That’s the reality. And it’s hard to deal with in a sense because knowing what I know, there are days when I just want to slap people and say, “Hellooooo?!?!?! What are you doing?!?!?! This is NOT how you’re supposed to do things! That’s not what I learned in my HR class!”

But I don’t slap people at work because that’s also one of the things I learned. You don’t slap people if you want to keep your job.

So what does that mean for us? What does that mean for us recent college grads? It means that we have a lot of work to do. It means that we’re going to see things that we don’t like in the workplace. And really, it’s up to us to do something about it.

Maybe we’re not in the position at this point in our careers to make a huge difference, but one day, when we can make decisions, we’ll need to make the right ones. Because, maybe naively, I still believe that the workplace can be a much better place if we fight for it.

4. People will surprise you.

When you’re in a class that requires you to complete a group project, you spend approximately 5 minutes praying that your group members are smart. So that’s what I did a few months ago and well, my prayer was not answered.

One of my teammates, let’s call her Ashley, had zero interest in the class we were taking. Why do I say that? Well, we had a quiz a few weeks into class and our professor allowed us to use a note card as a “cheat sheet” to write down stuff so we wouldn’t forget.

She was filling out her note card 3 minutes before the quiz.

Let’s see… she also rarely attended class. Then, the day of our group presentation, while our whole group showed up 15 minutes before class…she was late. We almost had to start without her. So obviously, my impression of Ashley was that she was the worst group member ever and that she wasn’t very smart.

A few weeks after our group presentation, we were doing another group project where our goal was to build the tallest structure using marshmallows and spaghetti… one of those team-building, hands-on kind of projects. And as time was almost up, my group had no idea what to do to get the marshmallow to stay at the top of the structure without knocking it down. Point is… Ashley had an idea. And you know what I did with her idea? I didn’t listen to it.

Not a single bit.

Because I had completely written this girl off as my incompetent teammate who shows up late and doesn’t study. So we obviously failed, we didn’t have the tallest structure. And when our professor briefed us on how we could have done better, that same idea Ashley had…that’s what he told us we should have done.

People will surprise you. Good ideas come from anywhere. So you need to be open to listening to them.

5.  Importance of a strong support system.

I’ve had serious panic attacks in the past. Like, I-can’t-breathe-I’m-never-going-to-finish-this-paper-but-it’s-my-own-fault-because-I-procrastinated- panic attacks. They’re not fun. There have been days when I’ve gone to work on 2.5-3 hours of sleep and I look and feel like a  zombie. It’s just like being drunk. Only I’m not drunk because I wasn’t able to go out and drink because I was finishing an assignment.

There have been days when I’ve felt like just quitting half-way. “So what if I’m only 9 credits away from graduation? I’m totally over this.”

And I definitely would have, if I didn’t have such a strong support system in my life.

I have an amazing family that has encouraged me my whole life really, but especially these past two years.  

My boyfriend, who I live with and love like crazy, has endured my mood swings, calmed me down during my panic attacks, and has reminded me that I’m not allowed to stop.

Must. Keep. Going.

So in 43 days when I graduate, I’m going to wear some weird dress/robe thing and I’m going to be handed by diploma, and I’m going to look out into the audience and I’m going to see my family and my boyfriend. And I’m going to feel so eternally grateful to have them in my life. Because without them, I know for a fact that I would have given up. I know that I wouldn’t have made it this far.

Because life in general is just way too crazy and too much for any one person to deal with alone.

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5 Easy Ways to Make This Year Awesome

5 Feb

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It’s February already. Can you believe it?

It’s semi-depressing to me, really. 

Time keeps going by more quickly (aka…I’m getting old).

I kind of need to focus here, though…only 11 more months to make this year the best one yet.

So here’s the list I’m using to make sure this year is awesome.

Because to tell you the truth, I’m not settling for anything less than that.

1. Make Time For Travel

If you’re looking for excuses to not travel, there’s plenty. Can’t take time off work… don’t have any money… the kids are in school. Traveling isn’t just going to happen magically, and again, you can always come up with 5 different reasons why you shouldn’t plan a vacation. 30 years later though, you’ll regret not taking that trip.

Traveling is an important part of life. I really don’t think this whole giant world was made so beautiful for it to not be seen. So go out there, and see something. Anything. Even if that means driving an hour away from home to stay at a little bed and breakfast you haven’t stayed at before.

2. De-clutter & Organize

You know that spare bedroom you have that’s become a storage unit? Go clean it! What’s the point of having so much space if you can’t even use it? You really can’t have friends and family come visit if you can’t move in your own home. So fix that. 

Nothing makes me more anxious than when I look at my apartment and see that everything is thrown everywhere and there’s a huge mess. Sure, it resembles what’s going on in my brain, but it stresses me out to no end. When you take time to de-clutter and organize, you eliminate the things you don’t need in your life anymore. Maybe there’s clothes you don’t need. Maybe you’ve got 500 boxes you can throw away. You may even have some people in your life you can do without. So out with the old, in with the new. Make space in your life for things that  make you happy.

3. Stop & Reflect… A lot

We get so caught up in our everyday routine that we don’t take time to reflect on what’s really happening. We just go and go and go and go and then we get burnt out. And then we rest a bit. And then, we repeat the cycle. Reflection is the key to growth, so if we want to make our lives the best that they can be, every once in a while, we need to stop. EVERYTHING. Just stop. And then think.

What’s working? What’s not? Am I happy? Am I sad? Why am I sad? Is there something I’ve been needing to do? Why am I not doing it? What could I be doing right now to make things better?

When you actually stop and ask yourself these questions, you get to know yourself a whole lot better. Otherwise, you just continue your routine- which you very well might hate and not even realize.  

4. Make an Effort to be Social

This is big on my list this year because basically, I’ve become a hermit. I’ve got so much going on in my life that I don’t even have a minute to breathe. And when I do have a minute, all I want to do is sleep. All the time. Forever. Because I’m exhausted. So yes, I’ve become a bad friend and I don’t get invited to social functions all that much anymore. For good reason, though, because whenever I do get asked, I respectully decline. Go out to a bar? LOL, negative. My bed just looks too comfy.

But hello! I’m 23 years old! I need to be social. I need to make a better effort to continue developing the relationships that I have. I also *cringe* need to make new relationships. Make new friends?? Ugh that sounds so stressful. But I’ve got to. So this year, my man friend and I have made that a priority. We redecorated our place so that we can invite people over. Because we realize that without family and friends, life kind of sucks.

5. Find Something You’re Passionate About & Dive In

Purpose. You’ve got to have one. So if you want to make this year 10 times better than the last, try finding something you love and throw every ounce of yourself into doing that. Maybe it’s a social cause. Maybe it’s just opening up a book and reading. Maybe it’s learning how to cook. Maybe you’re lucky and it’s your actual job. Just find something that you enjoy doing. Find something that puts a smile on your face because you’re  doing something good or something challenging- something that requires personal growth.

When you’ve got things in your life that you look forward to, the daily grind seems a whole lot more bearable. So try to find these things, and when you do, don’t lose them. Don’t forget about them. Don’t stop trying. Because there’s so much that we can look forward to in life…so many things that we can experience. It would be a real shame to waste our lives doing nothing.

So tell me…how are YOU going to make this year a great one? I’m curious.

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Using Technology for Good

30 Jan

It used to be that we had to travel miles and miles to send a message.

Heck, people used to ride on horses for days to deliver a piece of paper (think about just how uncomfortable that must have been).

Smoke signals.

Telegrams.

Messages in bottles.

But today we’re lucky enough to have this beautiful thing called the Internet.

Let’s face it…it’s where we get most of our information.

Yea, there’s a lot of pointless stuff on the Internet. There’s a lot of focus on celebrity gossip and drama.

But there’s also really important stuff too.

For example, I love it when I come across amazing social media efforts conducted by organizations like Rotary.

Rotary has put together an amazing campaign – End Polio Now.

They’ve put together live tweet sessions, Facebook posts, and they’ve even had a video contest.

And they’ve done all of this because they believe it’s important to share this information with the public. They want people to know that we’re so close to eradicating polio, and that Millennials could very possibly be the last generation to see this terrible disease.

Now some people might not like these campaigns. They might say, “But helloo…I have no money…I can’t donate to your cause! Stop pressuring me.”

And I get it…trust me. I’m a poor broke college girl too.

But guess what!

It only takes 60 cents to protect a child from this terrible disease.

That’s it… $0.60.You can’t even buy a soda these days with $0.60.

On top of that, the beauty of social media is that you can easily spread a message for others to see.

You can share information with just the press of a button.

And you know what makes that so awesome?

By sharing the message with others, even more people who have the ability to donate might just hear about that cause.

So you can tweet about your favorite celebrity’s new boyfriend, or you can tweet about something bigger.

And by doing that, you can make a difference.

As a Millennial, your voice does matter.

We’ve come a long way since the days of horse and buggy.

Information is at our fingertips.

So there’s no excuse.

We can keep using technology solely for entertainment, or we can take responsibility for making a difference.

Because we can and we should.

And we can use this technology for good.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/80940373″>What will your generation be the last to see?</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user4516804″>End Polio Now</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>

Join in, Share your Voice, and Donate. Let’s make history together.

  • Generate Social Media Buzz – Share the video with your social networks and help raise awareness that we are this close to making history.
  • Give Financially – Visit EndPolio.org and make a donation. Just $0.60 can protect a child from the disease. Every $1 you donate to Rotary will be matched with $2 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, up to $35 million/year.

While this post has been sponsored by Rotary, I’m proud to serve as an ambassador for their End Polio Now campaign.

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