The Pros and Cons of Being Single in your 20s

With some people, being single sometimes has a negative connotation, and in some situations? Sure, that’s fair. Like when you go home with that creepy/not so hot/desperate guy from the bar because, let’s face it, you’ve been on a dry spell and you’re 4 shots deep. Or you consistently have to RSVP for one to every wedding you’re invited to with a plus one because you’re still not in a serious enough relationship to commit to bring a guest, and the person you’ve been non-exclusive with  has also been non-exclusive with several other people.

BUT, aside from the drawbacks of being single, there are a lot of positive aspects as well. Here’s my list:

PROS:

  • Being more independent
    • Not that you can’t be independent with a significant other, it’s just more probable that you have to be independent while single. Actually, it’s kind of forced upon you. Sometimes your friends and family aren’t always around to do certain things and you conform to a lifestyle of only relying on yourself for company or a good time, which can be fundamental for various situations in life. Independence is good.
  • Time with friends
    • Let’s be honest, you’re going to have more time for your friends when you’re single. You’re more than likely more inclined to go out and get drunk with your friends on the weekends, there’s no decision making between his or her group of friends, and when you wake up hungover in the morning, you go get drunk again with your friends. In contrast, when you’re in a relationship, things can be a bit different; the decision to stay in on the weekends is definitely easier because you have someone to stay in with, which is fair, but you also now have two different friend groups and two families to divide free time with, which ultimately decreases the time you would usually dedicate to friends. I’m just gonna say it- I think people have more of an appreciation for their friends when you’re single.
  • Your focus is sharpened
    • Your focus on things in general, but also your focus on you and only you, is sharpened to the clearest point. You have yourself to look out for, so your discovery of self-love reaches its highest point, which is daunting. You have more time to focus on being a better version of yourself, more focus on your career and goals, and more focus on anything, really. Relationships can sometimes be distracting between jealousies and disagreements, and being single allows you to be more selfish which I think is more than acceptable in your 20s.
  • Meeting and experiencing new or different people
    • Of course you can meet new people while in a relationship, but you have to admit it’s more difficult. There are boundaries and lines you have to be conscious of, certain plans you can’t commit to, and there’s an awareness of which conversations are acceptable or not. It’s much easier to meet new people when single. Also, being able to experience new people, not just  strictly in a sexual way, but in a friendly manner, is definitely rewarding and beneficial in early adulthood.
  • No bullshit
    • There’s no perfect relationship, that’s common knowledge. But sometimes while listening to my friends bitch about the dumb things their boyfriends did or didn’t do, said or didn’t say, all I can think is “wow, I’m so glad I don’t have to deal with this bullshit.”

With all that being said, I’m sure there are a lot of people thinking I have it all wrong, especially those in relationships, but let me stop you there. There are also a lot of cons to this lifestyles as well.

Cons:

  • Not having plans
    • When you’re only other single friend has plans without you, you may as well just stay on your couch all night, find something to watch on Netflix, and order a pizza because more than likely, you won’t have any other plans. All your other friends are either staying in with their boyfriends or going out with their friends or families. Buzz kill.
  • Constantly dodging questions regarding your relationship status
    • “So, are you dating anyone?” No, mom, and the answer hasn’t changed since you last asked me just a few short weeks ago. Maybe it’s a generational thing since most of our parents were probably married, or at least dating each other at our age, that they find it so abnormal when we’re not on the verge of marriage and babies. But yeah, the question get very old, very quick.
  • Dry spells
    • As nice as it is to have the ability to spontaneously make out with different people, the opportunity doesn’t always occur and there are periods of time when you almost convince yourself you’re a virgin because it’s been so long since you’ve had sex. Inappropriate? Sure. False? Hell no.
  • Wanting to go out but also wanting to stay in
    • It’s so hard to force yourself to sit in on a Friday or Saturday night if you’re not working or have no one else to spend the night with. Sometimes, there’s nothing I want more than to just stay in and watch TV or read, but then the creeping voice inside my head that calls me a loser speaks up and I force myself to go out because society makes me feel pressured to do so. But, when you have a significant other, you can silence these pressures and have someone to cuddle up on the couch with.
  • ‘Ms. Megan Keough accepts with pleasure.. and I’ll take the chicken’
    • As I touched on briefly in my opening, it does become a tad depressing when you have no one to bring as your date to a wedding when you’re invited with a guest. I don’t want to bring just anyone and I won’t, but I guess it would be nice to be able to invite someone so I could get both the fish and the chicken. And also not be the reason there’s an odd number of people at the table…

So, there’s a lot of ifs and buts, pros and cons, and probably a lot of arguments surrounding these points. But either way, cheers to all you single people and cheers to all of you in relationships!

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Things We Do After Graduation: Brunch

I never really understood what brunch contained or what was even the point of this combination of meals; when I woke up hungover in college, I would either walk to the five star bagel joint (Dunkin Donuts), heat up an easy Mac in my dorm, or fortunately, when I lived in a house, made a pork roll egg and cheese. All of these options sufficed and were reasonably affordable, but now? No, it’s never reasonably priced, never done from the comfort of my own home and the first meal on a Saturday or Sunday after a long night of drinking ultimately turns into an all day extravaganza. Brunch, as fun and as tasty as it is, has ruined my wallet and productiveness on weekends. Here’s a list I’ve complied of aspects that embody a typical brunch outing post-grad.

1. Bloody Mary’s V. Mimosas

  • There are two type of people: those that order cold tomato soup and those that order a drink just to make them feel fancy. Either way, I’m sure both parties are coordinating an artsy Instagram of their hangover cure that will flood their friends’ feeds, or more accurately, shooting boomerangs. Hint: find a place that serves bottomless of either drink, you’ll save so much money.

2. Interesting Specials

  • When I’m hungover, I just want something that’s greasy, contains substance and doesn’t cost more than $12. Also, I would like to be familiar with all or most of the ingredients used in the dish, however, brunch specials tend to be fancy. For example, there’s no such thing as an omelets being served with cheddar cheese at brunch, it has to have something weird like goat cheese.

3. Endless refills of water

  • Without even asking, your waiter/waitress will know you will need excessive refills of water, they just leave a pitcher at your table. Score.

4. Endless complaints about being hungover

  • I am very guilty of being the hungover complainer. Even though I know everyone at the table feels just as shitty or even worse, I still feel the need to remind everyone every ten minutes or so that “I feel like shit”, and chances are, I’m not the only one reiterating this.

5. Recaps of the night before

  • The best part about actually going to brunch as opposed to making a half-ass breakfast in your kitchen, is that you get to sit and chat with all of your friends from the night before and piece together more and more of the night all the while cracking up until you’re delirious.

6. Endless Laughs

  • As stated before, piecing the night together and remembering more and more as you bounce stories off one another, the belly laughing just keeps coming.

7. Splitting the Bill

  • Hopefully if you’re as lucky as I am, you never run into issues when it comes to splitting the bill. The easiest solution is to just split it evenly or you’ll just add to your already existing headache.

8. Where to Next?

  • Although we all promised we were just going for food then going our separate ways, somewhere between the first and last bite, or maybe third or fourth drinks, we all feel like brand new people ready to seize the day- and by seize the day, I mean the bar next door.

Shaking The Sunday Scaries: Near Impossible 

If you’ve ever spent a night out drinking, chances are you’ve encountered the Sunday Scaries and have spent hours wishing them away. I’ve recently found out that not everyone is familiar with this exact term, but do know the feeling once it’s been explained. So instead of trying to define it in my own words, I’ve included two definitions from Urban Dictionary’s perspective, because I don’t think I could have explained it any better myself.

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In a nutshell, the Sunday Scaries are virtually the worst feeling in the world; anxiety times a thousand, feeling deathly ill and continuously going over your actions from the weekend in your head. Deleting conversations that shouldn’t have existed, avoiding your parents because you know they think you’re a degenerate, and chugging endless bottles of water in the hopes you can shake this awful feeling has become so routine. And although I know this is my fate after a night of binge drinking and my average resting heart rate probably won’t be lower than 115, I still do it anyway, and I don’t think I’ll ever learn.

While not only feeling regretful or sick, the hatred for your job sets in too. Questioning why you do what you do, wondering if there’s something better out there, and asking yourself if maybe you should have a different plan. Then another hefty question asks, “Do I really need this job?”, and the answer is probably yes, but you try to justify reasons behind not needing it to the point where you convince yourself you might actually not need it, but still wake up on Monday and go regardless.

But wait, it gets worse. Not only do you question your entire being all day long on Sunday, sometimes it carries over to Monday, which in my opinion, is worse than having the scaries on a Sunday. At least then you can lay around, allow in yourself to wallow in self pity from the comfort of your bed and forget that the rest of the world and your responsibilities exist. But on Monday? Nope. You have to leave the house, put on a fake smile and pretend that you’re not still thinking about some of the questionable decisions you made Saturday night, your diminishing bank account and who you drunk texted. Paranoid about almost everyone and everything that surrounds you, your heart just can’t relax. Then, aside from the lingering anxiety of your weekend actions, you start to worry about what’s going on right in front of you, “Did I remember to send that email? Do I have a meeting today? Is there something else I’m supposed to be doing?”. The questions in our heads don’t stop, and continue to torture us until we’re finally clocking out.

So to calm yourself down, while indirectly praying to God, you tell (promise) yourself that you’re not going to go out this weekend to take it easy, save money and be productive. And for the better part of the week, your plan is still intact. However, for me personally, this usually diminishes sometime after lunch on Friday and I begin to rationalize in my head why I deserve to go out; I just worked all week, I had minimal human contact other than my parents since Sunday, and I just got paid. Why wouldn’t I go out?

Then the cycle begins again either Friday night or all day Saturday, and I return to Sunday with the worst possible drinkers remorse and dread the thought of it being Monday. Then, before I know it, I’m sitting in my desk chair once again telling myself I’m going to take it easy next weekend.

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!

The Struggles of Moving Back Home After 4 Years of Semi-Independence

Let me just start off by saying that I’m very aware that moving home after graduation today is the most responsible, and maybe even the only option because of the skyrocketing pile of loans we all have; but in return, we better prepare ourselves to leave our freedom at mom and dad’s doormat and return to a lifestyle we outgrew. This may feel like a step in the wrong direction, but hopefully it’s just a pit stop while we keep piecing together our adulthood puzzle. However, even after knowing why moving home is the most sensible decision, it doesn’t make this hard pill any easier to swallow. If you’re reading this, mom and dad, I love you and please don’t kick me out. Also, I’m sure you’re equally as unhappy about this change as I am, maybe even more.

So here it is. My parents aren’t the most health conscious people when it comes to eating, which is fine, but after eating like shit the past four years, I’m trying to be better about what goes into my diet. So usually I buy a good amount of my own groceries with the exception of the staples like milk or eggs.

On Monday night, after already having a huge blow out with my mom about not remembering to text her that I wouldn’t be coming home the night prior, I went to the food store and bought groceries for myself to last the week. Normal, right? And not for nothing, my parents should be happy I’m buying my own groceries and not expecting them to just provide me with whatever I want and pay for additional items when they go food shopping. Well, in case you didn’t already guess, that’s not the case! The second I walked in the door with, mind you, two bags, the first comment I get thrown at me is, “You better not have bought anything that needs to be refrigerated because there is absolutely NO room for anything else.” Like holy shit, people, it’s not the end of the world if we have to rearrange a few things. I feel like I’m living with my psychotic roommates from junior year all over again who made me feel like an inmate in my own house, minus the bitchiness. This anecdote could be misconstrued as over dramatic, but I’m not exaggerating when I say my parents make comments like this all the time…

Not to keep talking about the kitchen, but it’s also frustrating that I want to make different dinners than what my parents make but it’s hard because 1) the kitchen is small, 2) my mom thinks it’s rude when I don’t want to have what she’s having, 3) I’m somehow always in their way even if I cook 2 hours after they do and 4) even if I do wait those 2 hours and cook myself a meal, the second I finish the last bite I can already hear my mom saying for the six hundredth time to clean up the kitchen. So, it’s not even enjoyable and I rarely do it.

Anyway, I realized I really took living at school for granted and didn’t realize how truly beautiful it was while it was happening. All those times I came home for a weekend, or even just a day- regrets!

Don’t get me wrong, I love my home and family. I mean it could definitely be way worse; but man, do I miss coming home after a long day and being able to just plop on my couch, catch up on social media, and relax without being interrogated as if I just committed a murder. “Why are you home so late?”, “Where were you?”, “Who were you with?”. Get the point? Sometimes I sit in my car for a few minutes outside of my house just to avoid 20 questions. And if it’s not the questions then it’s the repetitive, mundane comments like “Take your stuff up when you go up.” “Put your shoes on the steps.” “Hang your coat up” etc.

What I miss even more than coming home and not having to answer to anyone , is the people I was coming home to. Of course it’s nice being given the option to move home after college and not being forced to live on my own right away, but I miss having roommates my own age- people that have more common interests, like to gossip, and watch the same TV series. Not to mention, sometimes just wanting to drink a bottle of wine in the middle of the week for no reason. Although, I think I could easily persuade my mom into that one… she’s a good time.

Don’t even get me started on why living at home post grad is an obstacle and continuing struggle in the dating world, whether you’re in a relationship or not. You know what I’m getting at!

When it comes down to it, I really shouldn’t complain about living at home right now considering its dirt cheap, aka free, and I don’t have a whole lot of money especially after factoring in student loans; not to mention my constant, unsuccessful internet sourcing job search. But now I realize that paying rent pays for a lot more than just the literal roof over your head, electric, and gas- you’re paying for freedom and independence, a different and exciting lifestyle and an area more suitable for your job and/or social life.

So while everyone else on my Facebook feed is getting engaged, married and/or having babies, my only goal right now is to move out at my bank accounts earliest convenience. But until then, hopefully my parents don’t kick me out after reading this, and I can start saving up to make the move and truly experience my 20s!

 

I could be rich, or at least not broke if I wasn’t such a degenerate

Where is Ed McMahon when you need him? I could use a fat check in my name delivered to me right about now- student loans, car insurance, phone bill, credit card bills (my own fault), and just every day living expenses. Seriously, how does anyone afford to live if you weren’t already born into money?

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The system is ass backwards. It’s almost frowned upon if you don’t attend some sort of collegiate institution after high school, but for us that do, who think we’re doing the right thing for our parents and for ourselves in the long run, we’re the ones that are just frowning after the four years are up.

College: 4 of the most expensive years of your life where you generally take 120 credits of bullshit, except for the 5 or 6 classes that actually focus on your major, that usually don’t even happen until your fourth year. And all of the stress of tests and papers and finances, and of course all of the dreaded presentations, is all for one small piece of paper that basically says ” Hi, I’m the idiot who just cried every night for  four years, blacked out every weekend to forget all my weekday problems, which then turned into the weekday problems, gained weight, and went to 40 different classes to basically remember nothing from them, and guess what? I paid $60,000 for all of this.”  Keep in mind that this piece of paper is in a language that the average person can’t even read.

4 years and 1 expensive piece of paper later, and I still have no idea what I want to do. The worst part is that those four years of being a degenerate have just formed me into being a bigger degenerate, just with more debt.

See the problem?

It’s incredibly hard to save money right now. Between all the monthly payments I have to make that I mentioned before, I also mentioned the costs of everyday living aka my inner alcoholic, shopping addict, and food lover.

It’s honestly a vicious cycle. All week I can tell myself I’m going to stay in this weekend to save money and how nice it’ll be to take a weekend off and detox my body, catch up on some sleep, and just relax. Then Friday comes along… Around 4 o’clock I get ancy and realize how much I don’t want to sit in and how bored I’m going to be, with the occasional wave of FOMO that could be experienced. Then I take the plunge and start sending out the “What are you doing tonight?” texts to my friends and just like that, I’m spending $50.

Then on Sunday I’m hating myself for all the money I spent on drinks, ubers and hangover food, but on Monday I’m having the same attitude about not going out the following weekend then Friday comes..you get the point.

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I’ve always chose happiness over money, but I think soon I have to go with the money. I’ve accepted that I might have to work a job I don’t necessarily love for a year or two and then hopefully be able to afford to go back to school for something I’m more interested in, which will obviously just put me further into the hole, but it’s okay, I can defer my undergrad loans while in grad school haha. And if I really have to start going out less on the weekends to save, I think I can do it, I’m not a complete alcoholic.

 

 

 

I’m gonna go to the gym… The most common lie among college students

The dreaded thought of the gym.

But also, the dreaded sight of my body in the mirror after four years of binge drinking, binge watching, eating out, cafeteria food, etc.

College is over, time to actually follow through with what I said the first week of freshmen year, “I’m gonna go to the gym later today”, and actually fucking go.

Having to actually exert a lot of energy at one time, sweat and feel like you’re dying…. sounds fun. And while you’re dying, the feeling of  regret for ever getting up off your comfy couch and wishing you were back there snacking on your salt and vinegar chips. But then, you get to a certain point during your work out when the burn actually feels good, and by the time you’re done you pat yourself on the back for dragging your ass to that gym and each day from then on gets a little bit easier… Eventually…Hopefully.

In college, it was really hard to keep up a good habit of going to the gym between classes, meetings, work, homework and having a social life- at the end of the day, all I wanted was my bed and a good episode of Friends. It’s also impossible to avoid gaining weight or trying to lose weight when you fall into the peer pressure of your roommates and friends to “let’s just order pizza tonight” or “just skip your 8 am tomorrow and get drunk”. And although I’m still really tired at the end of every day now, I know that I need to convince myself to go.

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I’m not saying I gained so much weight in college that I’ve become unrecognizable, but I sure as hell was a lot tinier and fit four years ago, and honestly, more comfortable in my body. And I’m really good about eating right, with the exception of my cheat days that turn into cheat weekends, but the thought of consistently going to the gym is a dreaded one.

I’m 22, the time of my life where I should be in my prime, and I felt way hotter at 18 than I do now. Unfortunate to say the least.

I’m definitely (trying) drinking less, eating better, on a better sleeping schedule, and less lazy than I was the past four years, so the next habit I need to get into is going to the gym at least four times a week. Lose at least a couple pounds, so I can start feeling like myself again, in the physical aspect.

I know that I can force myself to do it, it’s just gonna take a lot of convincing and debating in my head. “You do not need to watch another episode, you don’t need to lay on your bed any longer, you’ll feel better once you’re done” Blah, Blah, Blah.

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Personally, I find it easier to go to the gym when you have someone else that’s in the same boat as you. It’s a little more motivation to go and more fun to work out with a buddy. And it’s easier when you have someone other than yourself forcing you to go.

So, to anyone reading this with similar thoughts and feelings, girl or guy, force yourself to go! I know I’m not the only one who thought they were going to be die hard gym freaks in college, and was never gonna be one of those girls who fell into the Freshmen 15- Don’t lie to yourself.  We’re as young as we’re ever going to be, and you know what they say, Look Good, Feel Good. As much as I hate that saying, it’s so damn true.

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