Seeking Silver Linings

 

As a post grad, there aren’t many things that come easy. However, there are moments of most days that can be seen as small wins. Someone brings in lunch for the office, you won $5 on a scratch off, you got over 100 likes on an Instagram, etc.

Some of these things could be perceived as shallow and meaningless, but I see them as silver linings.

Waking up early at the crack of dawn five days a week is not my idea of fun in any way. I unfortunately look like I’m still rolling out of bed to get to class most days I go to work just because I value those 10 extra minutes of sleep I should be using towards fixing my hair. But at the end of the day, 90% of my day is spent staring at two computer screens, and I don’t think they mind what I look like. I’m not saying I look like a total slob, but I could definitely look better. But those extra ten minutes of Z’s? Small silver lining.

I commute to Jersey for work, which has it’s pros and cons, but the most obvious con is traffic. Going to work, traffic isn’t terrible, but going home is a nightmare. For anyone that drives to work, I know you understand. However, there are those days that maybe you leave a few minutes earlier than usual, or even a few minutes later, and you overpass all of the rush hour traffic. Bliss. Or, another silver lining of the day.

Among these other silver linings could include things like the people at Dunkin perfecting your iced coffee with the right amount of cream and the right amount of sugar, gas going down 2 cents, avocados being on sale, your parents not questioning your every move on occasional days, realizing you have enough money left over after bills and factoring in weekend expenses to get your nails done, etc.

Even when you’re having a bad day, it’s always nice to take into perspective the good things that happened too, no matter how small they are.

With each new season comes new opportunity, potential, and excitement. Today is the first day of Spring, and unfortunately a Monday, but that doesn’t mean it has to be dreadful. Grab a coffee, do some online shopping, get your nails done, watch a feel good movie, treat yourself to a dinner out- whatever! Then, reflect on your day to appreciate the silver linings that happened, and then just maybe, you can say you had an okay day. Happy Spring, post-grads!

Note: NOT thinking of what you were doing a year ago at college (slumming it, drinking, easier life) every continuous day, WILL make it easier to realize your days aren’t so bad.

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All Groan Up by Paul Angone

Over the summer, I had read this book I found on my older sister’s bookshelf, in search of some answers. I was in a really big slump; I had just returned from an endless month of binge drinking, an unemployed lifestyle, and living with my friends at the beach. For the first time in a  long time, I didn’t know what was next, since I wouldn’t be returning to school in the fall.

At first, I was in no rush to seek a full-time job. I felt I had earned this time off somehow, but slowly realized that a life of doing nothing can be endless, mundane, and cause a lot of anxiety.

Once I got a new car, I began babysitting again, which made things better, but as summer came to an end, I felt this internal pressure that just kept screaming “What now?”

A question that many of us face, and unfortunately, never have an answer to.

This book entails a time line of a guy who struggled a for a long time with post-grad life. Unfortunate endeavors, dead ends, highs and lows, and small victories. His story and his writing is inspiring and made me feel okay about the current state I was in. He makes his readers know that it’s acceptable not to have a concrete plan or a road map to success, and sympathizes with the struggles faced by recent graduates who live in a world full of unknown. Paul Angone outlines what it’s like to be in the real world with absolutely no answers, through his personal experiences and endeavors, and how he finally got to where he wanted to be through hard work and a lot of trial and errors.

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And he was right, things do work out, even if takes some time to and even if they end up in ways you didn’t expect.

I’m working in an industry I never would have imagined myself in, and maybe I won’t work in this industry forever, but it’s a starting spot and has put me in a really good place personally, financially, and professionally.

Do I know what’s coming next? Probably not, but at least I know I’m stable and excited to continue on this journey.

For anyone who feels the way I felt over the summer and the months following, I highly advise reading this book. At a job you don’t love? Read this book. Contemplating grad school? Read this book. Feeling like the world after colleg is out to personally victimize you? Read this book. Get the point?

In addition to this read being emotionally fundamental, it’s also super funny and witty so super entertaining!

If you do end up reading this book based off my suggestion, I would love to hear feedback! Enjoy!

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Cheers to 23 Years

Exactly 1 year ago today I was in Myrtle Beach, SC blowing up for Spring Break, and it just so happened to be my 22nd birthday. This year, I’m sober and getting ready for bed at 9 p.m. to wake up in the morning and adult. Bittersweet.

The timing of me being offered and accepting my first full-time job was like a birthday gift in itself. Finally stepping into adulthood and trading in my free time for a real paycheck. No more sleeping in on Tuesday mornings, Sunday Fundays, or binge watching in the middle of an afternoon weekday. However, I know that once I get into the groove of my new job and adjust, it’ll be well worth it.

Celebrating my birthday this past weekend was incredible, and I feel so humbled to have the friends that I have. Even though it was a regular night out, I had a great Saturday night in Mannyunk. Aside from having a good night out in lieu of my 23rd birthday, today I’ve thought of so many reasons to cheers to 23 years!

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Like I already said, the full time job was an incredible gift alone and something to feel fortunate about. Although it’s within an industry I’m unfamiliar with, I’m determined to stay optimistic. Every thing from here on out is a stepping stone towards one day landing my dream job, whether it’s through connections, good work ethic, grad school, or just being lucky, it all starts with my first real job.

To my very dearest friends, thank you for always wanting to celebrate and coming out! Over the years, I’ve always had a good celebration, even when I turned 21 and 6 of my closest friends were out of state or out of the country!

To the simple gifts that are the best gifts. The best gifts I’ve ever received were either homemade, thoughtful, or sincere. This year, I got a little of everything. A homemade memoir of our summer in sea isle, touching cards, and a book so perfectly and beautifully picked out for me.

To my family, who always celebrates in the most traditional sense. A homemade dinner at the birthday persons request, followed by homemade cake, that usually has a potluck of arranged candles, usually only amounting to no more than 2 or 3… But it’s always quaint, nice, and humbling.

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Maybe as we get older, birthdays become more simple and less stressful. This birthday was very laid back, but it may have been on of my best yet. I appreciated the day and weekend more because there was no expectation and hype that usually comes with it. I understand that both me and most of my friends are on a budget, so spending like crazy just for one person’s birthday isn’t an option, or a considerate idea. I never want someone to feel obligated to spend money they don’t have just for my birthday.

All of this being said, I think 23 year is going to be the best one yet, full of new experiences, opportunities and open doors, and lot of surprises. Looking forward!

 

5 Times Hollywood Misconstrued Life After College

Before actually being here, I thought this point in my life was to be glamorous- cabbing all over the city to meet up with your friends after work to sip on some cool restaurant’s signature cocktail, sushi dinners, looking like you’re ready for a Saturday night out after sitting in an office for 8 plus hours, and somehow being energized enough to do it all again the next day.

When I pictured life after college, I guess sometimes my vision was a bit exaggerated. I just pictured skyscrapers, attending meetings in different and foreign cities, coffee breaks at hip cafes, and endless after work happy hours. And for some people this life is true, but for me, it is unfortunately not- yet!

But I’ve realized I had this idea in my head because of Hollywood, and how easily they can portray lifestyles to look so attractive, enticing, and easy. But in return, we’re forced to face the harsh reality that these illusions they create are unrealistic. So ponder with me all the different scenarios they’ve created to make us crave this “exciting” thing called adulthood.

  1. Apartments on the Upper East Side – In all the movies and TV shows, there is a precedent that right after graduation, you move out on your own, and never return to your bedroom at mom and dad’s. Again, for some people this is an actual thing, and kudos to you, but for most of us- there is no option but to move home right away. Even if moving out is affordable, the idea of living in the heart of any major city is a bit far fetched. Hollywood creates these sets of spacious, beautifully decorated, remote apartments in locations of prime time real estate for corporate America goers. Basically something out of an IKEA catalog. Fun to dream about? Yes. Realistic? No, not after college while your monthly loan payment is probably almost always higher than your checking account balance.
  2.  Red Carpet Ready After Sitting in an Office Since 8 am– Think about the girls in the movies that meet their friends or boyfriend/ girlfriend after work for dinner and drinks and look like movie stars- no pun intended- yet, they’ve been in the same clothes all day, most likely sitting at a desk the majority of this time, and have been awake for almost 12 hours. Somehow, their make up still looks fresher than ever, curls still perfect, and clothes not wrinkled one bit. Honestly, I wish this was realistic, because at the end of the day, my face is either A) oily, B) covered in mascara, or C) makeup free. And my hair? Most definitely frizzy and in a bun.
  3. The Endless Wardrobe – I haven’t even started my job yet, and I know I’m gonna be an outfit repeater. RIP to college when having Mon, Wed, Friday outfits aside from Tuesday and Thursday outfits was acceptable on campus. Hollywood would never dress a character in the same outfit twice, and as the idea of that would be incredible, I’d rather spend my money on weekend clothes rather than clothes I’m wearing to the office. Also, no one actually looks cute in business attire, don’t let Hollywood fool you. Finding a decent pair of work pants that fit well everywhere is like finding the needle in the haystack.
  4. Looking Like You Survive on Water and Veggies– Obviously in Hollywood, the societal image associated with them is a size 2, which is fine, but the lifestyle the characters indulge in like eating out, getting drinks, etc., don’t match up with their figure, especially since they seem to never work out. If only…
  5. Spending Like You’re Loaded – Finally, the root of all things said above, MONEY. Seriously, after paying loans, bills, insurance, gas, groceries, and basically anything- I’ll be lucky enough to have some money in my checking to go out on the weekends and build a small savings.

Obviously, movies are movies, whatever. They’re there to be appealing and enticing and full of envious lifestyles, but maybe they could be a little more realistic. The lifestyles they set for post grad life seem to be more suited for someone that is 33, rather than 23.

Maybe Hollywood is right, life after college is pretty glamorous in some aspects, but not in the same ways they think. Honestly, I’m perfectly content with my life right now, as long as I’m out of my parents by 25, I’ll be happy!