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!

 

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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!

Love Yourself

Valentine’s Day is, in my opinion, an overrated holiday filled with unnecessary expenses like flowers and chocolates that are overly priced this time of year due to the high demand. Oh, and don’t forget the $5 card from Hallmark that your significant other will most likely toss in the trash a week from now. However, the holiday holds a respectable meaning behind it, which is obviously love. A day to celebrate love, appreciation and gratefulness… kind of sounds like a similar holiday we already celebrate in November, but it’s fine.  Here ends my negativity towards the holiday, and why I now view it as more than just a day for people in relationships, which is what society has come to depict it as.

First off, Valentine’s Day was a lot cooler when the whole class was your Valentine. Everyone got a cute little card and a bag of candy, and your teacher would throw you a party with enough junk food to make you sick. February 14th used to be a lot easier and fun as a kid, then it got weird and hyped up in high school and college, but now it’s becoming pretty cool again.

As someone who has a lot of friends in relationships, it makes my heart so happy to see them in love not just today, but everyday.  And to see my guy friends step up to the plate for the day? Refreshing.

This year, according to other blogs and social media accounts I follow, the trend of “Galentine’s Day” is becoming progressively popular, which I think is awesome. Your girlfriends are the ones who let you bitch to them about the same things over and over again, talk you off the ledge when you have drinker’s remorse, drink a bottle of wine with you in the middle of the week just because, shop with you, kill the dance floor with you, and probably hold your hair back while throwing up after a long night out. WHY NOT appreciate these lovely ladies in your life on Valentine’s Day, they’re basically holding you together like glue! And to all of my girlfriends out there, and you know who you are, I love you to the moon & back.

I’m also feeling a lot of love for myself today as I recently started a new job in a  full-time position, finding my daily routine, planning exciting things for later in the year, and above all else, finding the happiness I deserve. Sometimes we don’t appreciate ourselves enough, so today can also be a day to reflect on the person you are and think about all the things you love about yourself. Be as conceited and self-absorbed as you want today, we deserve it.

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So, whoever you are, go out and treat yourself tonight! Whether it’s a bottle of wine, a pizza, dessert, a scratch off (guilty pleasure), or whatever it is you love, go get it! Because you are loved, appreciated and beautiful, and you definitely don’t need a life size teddy bear or flowers to tell you that. Love yourself, today and everyday.

Happy V-Day everyone, cheers!

I don’t know how to do my taxes, but I can tell you when Michelangelo died

At the end  of a recent post, I started questioning why our college educators waste their time teaching us irrelevant subjects that have no relation to our focus of study, like philosophy and history. And I’m not insinuating that I didn’t enjoy these courses, because most of the time, they landed at the more vibrant end of the spectrum after putting my course load into perspective. However, they serve no purpose to me, especially when it comes to getting a job, starting my career, and making important decisions that effect me long-term. My concern here is mostly that these irrelevant classes that make up our “core curriculum”, could have been replaced by more useful and insightful tips for everyday life. (And also that most classes like these require you to buy a custom made textbook from your hippie and homeless looking professor that your school store never buys back).

For most of us, we graduate from school and are faced with decisions regarding our loan payments like how many years we wish to make payments for, where to consolidate them, fixed or variable interest rates, etc. Now for us business majors, we were fortunate to have finance classes included in our curriculum, so we know a thing or to about that language of rates and numbers that’s almost incomprehensible. But for those of you who were in either a School of Liberal Arts or School of Nursing, God help you and pray that you’re blessed with parents who can help with these hefty decisions.

As it’s now February, it’s accountants favorite time of the year- tax season! And as a lot of my friends are slaving away day in and day out crunching numbers, my other friends are probably clueless on how to even begin filing their taxes. Even as business major, I don’t think I could do it alone. Why weren’t we taught something useful like this? Tax season is something that is inevitable for the rest of our lives as long as you hold a job. And since all us tax payers are all looking for the same end goal, to receive the biggest return, it’d be nice to have an idea on achieving that.

Other useful things that might not be relevant to us now, but will be in the future, are expenses and responsibilities like mortgages, home owners insurance, life insurance, drawing up wills, etc. I’ll stop there because I hope that most people reading this are no where near dying, but still, it would be nice to have common knowledge on these concerns when the time comes.

Truth be told, when I’m faced with any practical life decisions, I don’t think knowing about Dolly Madison, Aristotle, when the Sistine Chapel was painted, how to cite a research paper, or how to determine how train X made it from point A to B, will prove useful. Sure, some of this might be interesting knowledge to possess, prove helpful during a round of Quizzo, or serve as random fun facts, but I don’t find them as being worth the amount they cost in tuition dollars. But again, I guess we’re not paying for what we actually learn, just the proof that we put our time in and got that expensive piece of paper at the end.

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!