101 Questions You Need to Ask in Your Twenties: What Am I Doing Now?

Long time supporter of Paul Angone’s writing and voice to those feeling lost in their twenties, I’m no less pleased with his latest release, 101 Questions You Need to Ask in Your Twenties!

IMG_2142

Sometimes we need to hear the harsh truth of reality when facing life’s continuous obstacles, sometimes we need to hear others share their real-life stories to be able to relate, and sometimes, we need to reflect on our own life to be able to better ourselves and increase our happiness and well-being, which is exactly what Paul’s new book provides.

If you’ve never read any of Paul’s previous publishing’s, I highly encourage you to do so, but if you have, you’ll know that his style of writing is relate able, humorous and helpful in times when we can’t always see the light at the end of the tunnel.

101 Questions is an integrated guidebook for those in their twenties, an uphill battle that feels almost impossible to win at times. But as an advocate for the millennial generation, Paul poses questions that we’re all thinking in our heads, and some that we’ve never thought to ask but should.

IMG_2137

Whether you’re an avid reader or a read a book once a year kind of person, this book suits you. Even more, it seems to be targeted for those in their twenties, but Angone also makes a note that this book can be beneficial for those of you in your thirties and beyond as well. The lay out and design of this book make it super easy to read fairly quickly but also provides the opportunity to just read specific chapters if you wish, as you don’t necessarily need to read every chapter to be able to get to the end. ( You should read every chapter though because they’re all super insightful!) This set up is similar to his first book that was published, 101 Secrets for Your Twenties, which is when I first found hope for my post-grad life through Paul’s voice and writing.

In the opening introduction, there’s a statement that resonates so well with me, it’s uncanny; and for those of you who have followed me along on this blog, I’m sure you can feel the same. Paul writes in relation to the plunge after college graduation, “I felt confused, afraid, and alone-those visions of making a difference while making a lot of money quickly changing into just making it through another day. In these dark halls, I’d occasionally bump into other twenty-somethings, clearly as confused as me and muttering, I don’t belong here.

IMG_2144

Paul’s vision of what he imagined life after college to look like is probably similar to what all emerging graduates expect. But the harsh reality is that 9 times out of 10, it’s not and it’s up to us to work hard, persevere and have faith that things will work out.

I think that Paul’s approach in this book to stimulate us to reflect and questions ourselves as a way to achieve a fulfilled life and overcome obstacles is genius. Although his other books provided great insight and advice on adulthood, this one focuses more on who we are on a more personal level and what we can do to change.

The questions are categorized into four sections throughout the book which include:

  • Adulting to win: Thriving in the big picture and small details of adulthood.
  • Careerish: How to build a career that is meaningful (while making you money).
  • Relationshipping: Dating, marriage, networking, friendship, mentoring, oh my!
  • Signature Sauce: Uncovering where your passion, purpose, and calling collide.

IMG_2147

With all of that being said, some of my favorite questions from his new release that really got me thinking have been dispersed through picture within this review.

I encourage you all to read this book, use this book, and recommend this book because the community of confused millennial’s, lost post-grads, and worried adults is larger than we can even begin to know. But being a part of, or having a sense of community along this bumpy journey is something that everyone could use whether they realize it or not.

Below, I have provided various links to which you can purchase this book. Please share any and all content relating to the book whether it be this review, someone else’s review, posting pictures of your book, or even writing your own review!

** If you order from Moody Publishers use the coupon code: Questions40 to receive 40%off PLUS free shipping on orders of $25 or more.**

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, I can’t wait for another book of thoughts from Paul Angone!

Moody Publishers

Target

Barnes and Noble

 

23 (Odd) Questions Asked By A College Grad

Researching new conversation topics surrounding life after college, I came across this article form The Odyssey Online which was published in 2015, that adheres to some questions we find ourselves asking after graduation.

However, there were a lot on here that seemed unnecessary and easily answered with the help of a search engine. Not judging… This list gave me more of a laugh than anything, but some questions are valid.

I’ve listed the 23 questions the author posed and provide my own answers and comments separate from theirs.

1) How do I fill out a FAFSA? If you grew up in the last decade surrounded by social media and technology, you’re a part of a digital age and probably college educated, you can teach yourself.

2) How long is it socially acceptable to continue to use my parents’ Netflix account? If you’re still living at home, or even not, use the shit out of that account. I can’t imagine your parents charging you for Netflix rights and usage.

*The fact that this was your second concern is somewhat alarming.*

3) How do I file taxes? Turbo Tax makes this easy! Step by Step instructions are included in your purchase.

4) What is a tax deductible? Should I be saving every single receipt? For me, this term is like one of those words that you know what it means but can’t put into words how to define it or describe it. So, turn to Google please. Also, I don’t think you should be saving every single receipt. You’re not going input every single receipt for your $3.49 coffee you get every single morning.

5) Do I have to get my own phone plan once I graduate? This all really depends on how your parents want to handle it. They can either kick you off their plan or allow you to continue to be on theirs and write them a monthly check for your share, which is what I do.

6) How exactly do I pay back my loans? There is no right answer here, you just have to pay them.

7) How early do people start getting job offers? Depends on your field of study, what type of job you’re trying to get, how early you start applying, etc. Some people get offers before they even graduate and others, like myself, don’t get one until one and a half years after graduating.

8) How early is too early to accept a job? If I’m still interviewing with other places, how long is it acceptable to leave the other person hanging while I decide? Typically, if a company offers you a position, there will be a time limit for your acceptance or rejection. But if you’re still in undergrad and already getting an offer, you should probably take it.

9) If I move to another state, how do I search for housing? Or find roommates? Is it weird to live alone? The internet is your friend, take advantage. 

10) Is it weird to live near campus if I stay here? I still will have a lot of friends on campus, but I don’t want to be the creepy alum who can’t just leave. There are people over the age of 25 still living on campus and working towards a Bachelor’s degree, I promise that you won’t be the weird one.

11) How expensive are regular season tickets compared to student season tickets for sports games? Can I still purchase student tickets and just stand in the back? Sporting events was never a concern of mine, but I’m sure the price difference isn’t too steep unless you went to a college with one of the best teams in the league. 

12) Is it acceptable to still use my student ID to get discounts places? I’ll still be a poor *post-grad* college student paying back loans. Yes, yes, yes, yes. 100 times, yes. Use that ID for any and all types of discounts until someone calls you out for it.

13) Do normal adults go out after work for happy hour a lot, or it is just a Friday thing? Do you go with co-workers or does this violate some sort of rule? Happy hour can be any night of the week you want (or need), sometimes it might be an every night thing depending on the type of company you work for. Most likely you will go with co-workers, it’s easier to get to know them in this setting rather than sitting in awkward silence in the break room.

14) Do I have to wear dress pants at work when it’s business professional or is it okay if I wear dresses and skirts that are professional? I think you answered the question yourself. As long as it’s professional and pretty conservative, not inappropriate, wear whatever you feel is acceptable.

15) What do post-grad people do with their free time/weekends? I mean, you work from 9-5, but then what? You don’t have homework or anything to do. What do do with your free time while now? You go out and do stuff with your friends and/or family, you probably have hobbies and watch TV. There’s a lot you can do with your free-time. This doesn’t change much in your transition from college to post grad.

16) How expensive are gym memberships/personal trainers? Really? Moving on.

17) If you’re moving to a new place, how do you make new friends/date outside of work? I still live in the same city I’ve lived my entire life so I’ve never had this issue, but I can imagine you do things like dating apps, join clubs or work out classes, etc. Here’s an article to help with that:  https://post-gradlife.com/2017/06/07/making-new-friends/

18) Also, if you move to a new place, how do you figure out all the fun places to go? What if you work with old/lame people? Do you go out alone and attempt to make friends there or what? Yelp is probably pretty helpful with this. Social media probably has a lot of insights. And also this is question is kind of the same as the last.

19) Where can you get cheap kitchenware? Look for deals. Walmart will probably be your best bet though because of those roll back prices!

20) What’s the best way to find a new dentist or doctor? Ask friends or people in your community, read up on reviews posted online, call your insurance provider, etc.

21) Is it bad to take vacation time during spring break season and go on a spring break with my friends? That’s what spring break is for!

22) What is the best way to build credit? If you’ve already taken out nay type of loan or you use any type of credit card, you’re already building credit. Some additional ways would be financing or leasing a car, taking out another loan, etc.

23) What do I claim on an I-9? How do I fill out a W-2? How much do I have to pay in taxes? Both of these forms are pretty self explanatory once in front of you, but if you’re still sure, ask HR while filling these out. As for taxes, you won’t know how much you have to pay until you know how much you’re making, and more realistically, until you see your first pay check.

If you’re a graduating senior and have more questions in your head, more realistic questions, please feel free to comment below!

Cheers.

 

Side Hustles: Why You Should Have One

I first heard the term ‘side hustle’ while reading Ann Shoket’s millennial guiding book, The Big Life  , and it’s a term that has stuck with me since then. Typically, a side hustle is a way of earning extra cash outside of your primary income, which I think is great and incredibly smart and responsible especially for those of us in our early stages of adulthood without the responsibility of kids or running a household. However, Shoket has her own terms and conditions surrounding this term that seems to be on the rise.

Get a Side-Hustle. The idea that one job can be your everything feels so dated, doesn’t it? Sometimes you need a day job that pays the bills or gives you security, even if it doesn’t feed your soul. That’s when you need a side-hustle—a project you work on to put yourself in charge or build new skills in your career. This is how you pay yourself in self-respect.”

I think the idea of this is incredibly inspiring, especially in today’s society, and urge all of you to give this some serious consideration.

I, myself, do have an actual side hustle in it’s truest form, a second job at a local restaurant and brewery, that provides me extra cash outside of my bi-weekly paycheck from my 9-5. Which is awesome considering the loans that need to be paid off, the monthly bills, attempting to lease a car, and all other expenses life has to drown us in.

Even though that side hustle was intended for its primary purpose, it’s turned into much more than that because I genuinely like what I do when I go there and I’ve also made so many new friendships.

So, if you’re contemplating finding your side hustle but hesitant because you might just feel like it will make you more miserable than your existing job while also taking time away from leisure activities, find something that works for you; try different roles out, or, best case scenario, find a way to make money off of something you already love doing.

This recommendation brings me to my next point of my other side hustle, the one not entirely intended for extra cash.

I started this blog about 18 months ago and I’ve watched it progressively grow which has been super rewarding in regards to many aspects. In contrast to my side hustle that compensates my bank account, maintaining this website compensates areas of my life that lack substance. It helps me improve my writing skills, enhances my time management and organization, provides insights into social media and sharing, and pays me in self-respect. This website is minimally profitable, but with more views I get, the more money I potentially earn. 

cropped-cropped-cropped-fullsizerender-11.jpg

I’ve read that other people’s side hustles often include playing music in clubs, dog walking, organizing book clubs, life coaching, and blogging, among other things.

Sometimes our jobs, especially early on in our career can leave us feeling undervalued, bored and passionless. Finding a side hustle can help with all of that.

We all have hobbies, so why not find a way to turn the things you’re passionate about into profit or productivity? And even if that’s not possible, it’s nice to work at things that make you feel good, inspire you and reward you in different ways.

If you do have an existing side hustle, comment below, I’m interested to hear different answers! Cheers!

 

6 Books To Help You Through Your 20s

As an avid reader, I’ve always found a comfort in books due to the way they can take you away from all of life’s distractions. But, this past year the distractions have been harder to silence and more prominent in noise, that I’ve had to adjust my reading list from fiction to non-fiction.

The 6 books I discuss in this post have been helpful while navigating through adulthood, familiarizing with post-grad life and overcoming everyday obstacles. The stories that line the pages of these books are a true comfort to anyone simply just trying to figure life out. Also- any of these would make for a perfect Christmas or graduation gift! Hope you find something of interest

The Big Life by Ann Shoket

In this empowering book written by Ann Shoket, former Editor in Chief of Seventeen magazine, ‘The Big Life’ is defined as that delicious cocktail of passion, career, work, ambition, respect, money and a monumental relationship. Shoket stresses that this life is something that you want on your own terms, which is important to remember throughout your life. This bad bass babe wanted to be able to provide advice for those women who thirst for this kind of life and she crafted this book in her own unique way- through hosting a series of dinners in her apartment. Each dinner consisted of a group of about 6 or so friends of a friend of a friend coming together to talk about their life and what they felt was missing. After a few of these dinners, Shoket began recognizing that a lot of the questions these women were feeling internally were similar across the board of all different demographics. These included:

  • How do I find a career that is also my passion?
  • How do I find a partner who honors my ambition?
  • How will I be able to have a big, demanding career without taking my foot off the gas when I have children?
  • How do I get paid what I’m worth?
  • How do I get the respect I deserve from my bosses?
  • And finally, will all this struggle be worth it?

These questioned framed the story for this book and the real-life stories you will read are pure, hard-core and relatable. This book resonates so well with many of the posts I have written on this blog and was also very entertaining and educational. It definitely does not disappoint!

Side note: I was able to meet & speak with Ann at Head House Books in Philadelphia about this book which was an incredible opportunity as a writer. 

the-big-life-book-call-outs


All Groan Up by Paul Angone

This book entails the 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 are inspiring and had the ability to comfort me about the immediate state I was in upon graduation. 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.

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. All Groan Up is emotionally fundamental, but also hilarious, witty and entertaining!

All-Groan-Up-Small-Book-Image


Bossypants by Tina Fey

It’s no surprise that Tina Fey is comical in every way, but her writing in this book actually had me laughing out loud. Her wit, honesty and bluntness make this book about finding your way through the details of her own personal accounts will make you feel better about yourself in every way.

I was completely sold after the short 3 page introduction caused by joke after joke. I highly recommend this book not only to those having a difficult or confusing time after college or in adulthood, but anyone in their 20s! It also instills a mantra to carry with you which is that of:

“Either way, everything will be fine.”

untitled.png


Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling

Maybe I’m a bit biased because I love every single thing about Minday Kaling, but this book was an absolute page turner. Similar to Bossypants, which is appropriate because Kaling has been referred to as Fey’s younger sister before, ‘Is Everyone Hanging out Without Me?’, this book instills the theme and importance of resilience in your life. Kaling is so respectable because she is honest and makes fun of herself and doesn’t give a damn what people think.

Part Two, I Forget Nothing: A Sensitive Kid Looks Back, was one of my favorite sections as well as her take on Jewish guys.

These humorous, truthful essays were entertaining and insightful and I’m eager to read her latest book, Why Not Me?

Apologies in advance for anyone who doesn’t know Mindy outside of her character on The Office- she admits she is nothing like Kelly Capore!

P.S. If you haven’t already, check out The Mindy Project  on Hulu!

10335308._UY960_SS960_


Wild by Cheryl Strayed

To be honest, I didn’t think I was going to like this book. I felt it was too heavy and emotional for me especially after reading the first chapter. But I am happy to admit I was wrong because I cannot give enough praise to this book. Truly inspiring and sincere, Wild evoked emotions I didn’t even know I possessed. The feeling of being lost in her own life resonates with me to a certain degree and maybe that’s why I enjoyed following alongside her journey so much, so any post-grad still looking for answers, this book is a great read while you figure it out!

A true story of strength, perseverance and courage, Wild is one to inspire. It is honest and naked to the core.

61K2brgIMrL


101 Secrets for Your Twenties

Author of All Groan Up listed above, 101 Secrets for Your Twenties is a book full of great insights for any post-grad, millennial or anyone trying to survive adulthood.

In his introduction, Angone writes, “I think we can all agree: This twentysomething shoot ain’t easy. It’s a decade exploding with intensity and ambiguity. Anxiety and excitement. Purpose and pointlessness. Answers riddled with questions. Paradoxes mixed with 100 percent certainties. There are so many “firsts”. So much change. So many “what ifs, what nows, and what the hecks.”

This book is crafted perfectly for anyone asking themselves the question, “What now?”

Here are a few of my favorite “secrets”:

  • Making and keeping friendships in your 20s is harder than G.I. Joe’s Abs.
  • Those friends who are uber-successful in their 20s are the outlier- not the norm.
  • A college diploma is not your golden ticket into DreamJobLand.
  • Obsessive Comparison Disorder is the smallpox of our generation.
  • The Freshmen Fifteen is nothing compared to the Cubicle Cincuenta.

51pa2oUsjML._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg


I hope this guideline of books for your 20s was helpful and enticing! Even if you don’t usually read, you may want to give one of these a try, especially if you’re a post-grad and feel like you have no answers!

What I Wish I Knew As A Freshman

With most students heading back to school this week, I want to share a post talking about my college experience and any advice I would have for incoming freshman. I’m definitely not qualified to dish out advice, but I can certainly reflect on my four years and discuss certain aspects I would have done differently, especially predicaments involving financials and long-term effects.

I understand that it’s not easy to make decisions regarding the future when you’re first starting off, everything appears to be more exciting than it actually is and you’re so focused on just living in the now. How do I know that? Because I disregarded any and all practical advice from recent graduates or people who actually did know better than myself. And if I could go back and listen I would because I often want to go back five years ago and shake my eighteen year old self and tell her that college isn’t just all about the partying and newly instated independence from your parents. So, I’ve compiled a list of things I would do differently in college if I were given the chance, and hopefully someone will listen.

If you live anywhere remotely close to your chosen university- LIVE AT HOME.

Although I loved living on campus and have so many great memories from doing so, I would also be significantly less debt now had I lived at home. I only lived 20 minutes from campus and chose to live there instead of driving there for class. Living at school definitely presents you with a different college experience, and I highly advise living there for at least your first year because that’s when you will meet most of your friends for the next four years, but if you have the ability to commute, do so, because once you graduate, you will be financially able to move out of your parents’ house. Now I am 23 still living at home because my student loans restrict me from doing otherwise. It’s probably time for me to start looking into my options. For instance, I could consider refinancing them with Earnest for one monthly payment at a lower interest rate.

Do an internship at least one summer during your college career.

I held two different internships during college, but neither of them took place during the summer. I was so focused on relaxing and having just mindless, part-time summer jobs that I waited until my senior year to have an internship, which I had to do during the semester, causing more stress on top of my already existing stress. Also, most summer internships that are full-time are usually paid so that’s a bonus! I would recommend doing it the summer going into junior year so that the following summer, predisposed at your “last” summer before the real world, can be yours for the taking. My friends and I lived at the beach that summer and I wouldn’t trade that for the world. It’s also incredibly crucial to have some type of internship experience when applying for jobs so keep that in mind!

If you have a meal plan, USE IT.

I know as well as the next person that cafeteria food isn’t always appealing or appetizing, but if you’re paying for a meal plan, you might as well get the most out of it and save your cash for other things besides eating out with your friends multiple times a week. Part of the reason I was always so low on cash during college was because my friends and I would decide to go off campus for dinner or lunch instead of swiping into the dining hall, or in later years, making food in our kitchen at the house. And trust me, I know the thought process of “It’s only $7” or “I get paid tomorrow so who cares” but once you start consistently thinking those things, the tab starts to add up and your checking account continues to diminish.

You do not need a new outfit every weekend.

I suppose this one more accurately applies to girls, but maybe not. Some weeks when Friday would roll around, my roommates and I would begin to think about what we would be wearing out that weekend and even between four full closets and over stuffed drawers, not one of us would be able to find an outfit acceptable enough to wear out. This resulted in a mall trip, usually ending in the swiping of our debit cards. Trust me, the black shirt you just purchased resembles the other 500 black shirts you already own.

If possible, get a part-time job.

I know that it isn’t always possible with heavy workloads during different semesters, but if you can, hold a part-time job during the school year. If you have to sacrifice a Friday or Saturday night for work, just do it. I promise that the frat party will be the same next weekend. You also don’t want to be that person who has mom and dad constantly wiring money to your account every week as an “allowance”, no one should be getting an allowance after the age of sixteen.

If you’re unsure about what to major in, go to community college first.

This might be my biggest regret. I went in as a History major, then to Communications, then into the School of Business until finally declaring Marketing my junior year.  Although I believe I received a good education at my four year college, those first two years of taking gen eds could have been done at any school for a way lower price. So, if you’re undecided, take your early credits somewhere else and then transfer to a larger school!

GO TO CLASS.

I’m not saying I was a no-show to every class or someone who just showed up for the mid-term and final, but I definitely did my fair share of skipping. Attendance can so critically effect your grade, it’s scary. It doesn’t matter if you ace every test, project and assignment, you could still end up with a B in the class due to lack of attendance. I understand there are times where skipping is necessary, but try to stay under the allotted amount of skips allowed per semester.

Starting college is such an exciting time that is filled with so much opportunity you don’t even realize. But the decisions you make during your time there truly do effect you in the long run. How much effort you put into each class, how you spend your summers, where you live, how much money you borrow in financial aid, who you date, what you do on the weekends. Everything has a consequence, whether that be positive or negative, is up to you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Setback Is The Platform For Your Comeback

It’s been one year since graduation, and I’m more unsure than ever of what my future holds. Crossing the stage, receiving my diploma I didn’t know what to look forward to, but after many setbacks this past year, it’s becoming more of a realization that life is just full of the unknown and it’s completely out of our control. Setbacks are a part of everyday life; whether they stem from anxiety, missed opportunity, hasty decisions, bad decisions, or the trials and tribulations of human life, they happen, and sometimes all we can do is embrace the mess and stay hopeful.

This year hasn’t exactly been easy, and at times I’ve truly doubted my abilities and worth. Anyone who has had to experience job searching post-grad can understand what I’m referring to. The time and energy we can spend applying for positions, the majority of them just being for the hell of it, usually lead us nowhere- not even a call back. So, maybe we thought finding a job would be easier, but we’ve come to know that even landing an interview can be an obstacle, or a setback.

Sometimes I’ve been presented opportunities that I’ve ran from or turned down because of my anxiety- anxiety regarding irrational things or petty fears, but if you’ve read the last two posts before this, you’ll know that anxiety is no joke and can sometimes cause self-inflicted restrictions that aren’t easy to settle. Although I’m dealing with these things day by day, it’s still caused setbacks.

Decision making can be tough, especially when it deals with life changing choices and not just deciding between which bars to go to this weekend. Making hasty decisions can lead to setbacks, because most of the time, it’ll be the wrong choice. It’s important to weight out the pros and cons of every choice before finalizing, but we’re only human and sometimes we trust our initial instincts more than we should.

Realizing you went to school for something completely uninteresting to you- setback; time to apply for grad school!

Having to live at home longer than you wished or thought you would have to- setback.

Still driving the car you drove in high school because your “adult job” salary can’t afford you to upgrade- setback.

Got laid off due to something completely out of your control- setback. 

Unfortunately, we are all just dealt a shit hand on occasion. We can work as hard as we can and still come up short. We’re put in situations that we’re forced to remove ourselves from, even when they just put us right back where we started.

It can often feel like we’re not progressing, achieving or experiencing, but that’s not true. Everyone has a different route to take, some may take longer to get to their destination, but we’ll all get to where we want to be. But guess what? I have no idea exactly where I’m going, and I’m okay with that. Life is constantly recalculating our plans with unexpected setbacks; whether it is you lose your job, the person you thought you would spend your life with ends the relationship, you get pregnant, you fail your program, someone gets sick, you get transferred out of state- the list goes on and on. But maybe that’s the point, right? Facing challenges, dealing with unexpectedness and tackling these problems every day is what we’re equipped for as humans. Nothing ever goes as planned, but that’s the exciting part of life, anything can happen- good or bad- and we just have to embrace it.

So don’t cry over spilled milk, just clean it up and pour another glass because something great is waiting to happen. But if we dwell on all of the annoyances in life, we’re just prolonging the destination.