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.

 

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The Random Things That Make My Weeks More Exciting

When working in a structured 9-5 schedule day in and day out, sometimes the days can become mundane and repetitive, almost like a merry-go-round. Aside from the weekends, you most likely do the same thing everyday from the time you wake up until the time it’s time to recharge your batteries again. For me, I typically come home from work and either do laundry, clean, occasionally go to the gym, and by occasionally I mean never, read, blog, watch TV, etc. Nothing too crazy.

But, sometimes during the week, there are small things I tend to get excited about and that’s what I want to write about today. It’s a snow day here in Philly and I have nothing but time on my hands, so here it goes.

1. Giveaways & Promos

In the blogging community, whether you’re a part of a structured organization of bloggers, or you just have your own community through your growing following, you often stumble across really cool deals, opportunities and promos.

Yesterday,  one of the blogs I follow along had a promo code up for a free trial for Rocksbox.com which I had never heard of but it’s similar to Ipsy and Birchbox but for jewelry! So, I’m waiting for my free package in the mail now, I’ll let you guys know how it goes! I’m also going to try and snag a free code for you guys too!

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2. Book launch team for one of your favorite authors? Say no more

This could have happened with or without my blog advantages, but I’m super excited about this. Paul Angone, author of 101 Secrets for your Twenties and All Groan Up, which I have featured on my blog previously, is releasing a new book in April titled 101 Questions for Your Twenties.

I was selected to be a apart of this book launch team along with 200 other fans and readers as we are awaiting our free copy in the mail! After reading, we will review the book on various platforms such as Amazon and Google reads as well as share on our social media. I will definitely putting s full in-depth review up on my site for everyone!

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3. Finding a face mask that actually works at a very reasonable price

I’ve been shopping at Bed, Bath & Beyond for any and all toiletries, as well  as make-up recently, because their prices are so low for the same products I would typically buy at Target for full-price. Not to mention, they ALWAYS have coupons either for $5 of $15 or 20%off your order.

The winter has not been great for my skin so I’ve been on the hunt for a weekly face mask to help and I have finally found a winner! In addition to the mask, the face wash I bought has been a god send too. Both are photographed below!

4. Who doesn’t love free iced-coffee?

I’ll admit, everything about the Dunkin’ Donuts app is irritating anymore, but sometimes, it’s worth the hassle.

I’ve been receiving free beverages based on a point system, I received a free one for my birthday, and using the On-the-Go Mobile Ordering on the days off Flyers or Sixers games is worth it for $1 medium iced-coffees!

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So, maybe try the app again and save yourself some money. Those iced-coffees really do add up.

5. Snow day: no work and all pay

As I said before, it was a snow day in Philly. Yesterday was my birthday so I was able to go out and celebrate last night without worrying about setting an alarm for this morning. And the best part? It’s a paid day off & it might even be happening again tomorrow!

 

Cheers!

 

Advice From Abroad: Travel, Travel, Travel!

As I’ve commented before, everyone’s life after college is going to look different as there are a plethora of lifestyles to live. While surveying different people on their post-grad life, I’ve been choosing people strategically to sharpen these differences and bring into focus why it’s so important to remember that everyone’s path is different after getting that diploma.

“I think that there is a general expectation, or maybe hope, that after you graduate college, you will have it all figured out.  For some, that may be true, but it certainly was not for me.  I knew where I wanted to be, but I had no idea how to get there.  I still feel that way.  There is a lot of undue pressure put on new college graduates.  As obvious as this may sound, you figure it out as you go and that is more than okay.” – Kate, Graduate Student in Edinburgh, Scotland.  

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Initially I was curious how she ended up in Scotland, as she is native to Philadelphia, so she gave me a brief background on what she did right after graduation from La Salle University. “I went on a service trip through La Salle to Kenya for three weeks, where I was inspired to fully pursue the course of study I am presently undertaking (international relations).  I continued to work at the Independence Visitor Center in Center City, Philadelphia where I worked for three years throughout college.  During that gap year, I applied to graduate schools throughout the UK.  I traveled with my mother to Belfast and Edinburgh to visit the two prospective schools I was torn between but now, here I am in Edinburgh!”

So basically, travel is in Kate’s blood and she wants to urge recent graduates to consider their traveling options now while they have the chance. “Please travel! It may be the first instance where you have a large amount of time to do so. There is no better way to connect with other people in this world and yourself.  I can promise you that you will never regret the money spent on making memories while traveling.”

Any transition, small or large, is going to be challenging so I asked her what her what her expectations were for post-grad life upon graduation and Kate commented that, “I knew it would be hard to transition from being a student for 16+ years to not being a student.  However, no one quite prepares you for that first August/September when you are not back in a classroom.  Personally, that was a tough adjustment because being a student was something I felt I was good at.  I had to figure out who I was without the “student” label.  A year out of school can feel like an eternity and adjusting back into being a student can feel just as strange, especially in a foreign academic system.  I still haven’t quite found the academic rhythm I used to have, and I am not sure I will.  However, I sure am having a lot more fun than I did throughout my undergraduate years and that sure is the best surprise!  I’ll take the memories made with awesome people over top marks any day and that has been the best realization I’ve come to in my post-grad years.”

Which I then followed up by asking what she found to be recurring frustrations surrounding her life right now which she answered, “This is probably a cliché answer, but I would have to say the uncertainty of what to do next.  I think at least once a day about how I am spending a lot of money on a fancy piece of paper that is a master’s degree to not be sure of whether or not I will be able to use the knowledge and skills I hope I am acquiring in the professional world.  That is a risk all students take who are pursuing higher education. You have to factor reality into your goals and sometimes that can be quite discouraging.” 

There is definitely something daunting about her last statement, but it definitely holds a lot of truth. However, hearing other people voice the same thoughts that I have in my head makes it somewhat less discouraging because it brings me to the realization that there is this whole community of twenty-somethings facing the same confusion and questions, and that makes post-grad life a little less extreme.

Although Kate stressed multiple times in her survey that she loves everything that is embodying her life right now, as humans, we still face obstacles. Kate added that, “The biggest obstacle I feel I faced and continue to face is myself and the own pressures I put on myself.  I have fallen into episodes of “Imposter Syndrome” where I did not give myself credit where credit was due.  My first postgraduate semester at the University of Edinburgh was a bit tough because of this.  It took me a while to feel that I deserved to be among my peers.  I wouldn’t say that I would do anything differently, but I wish I would not have psyched myself out so much and accepted that moving at your own pace or feeling like a rookie in new situations is perfectly fine.”

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It was interesting to see this answer come up because in the previous survey I conducted from a grad school student, their answer was pretty similar.

In addition to her advice on travel, Kate also encourages college graduates to keep in touch with former professors.

“After graduating, keep in touch with professors who have had a positive impact on your academic experience during your undergraduate education.  They will love to know what you are up to and love it even more if they knew how they have inspired you.  You will need them later as well if you intend to pursue postgraduate education and they will most likely be more than happy to help.”

Kate’s life in Edinburgh is a life that one should admire. Seeing all of her pictures from traveling to different countries throughout Europe makes me jealous but also so proud of her for having the courage to do something most cannot, which is moving out of your comfort zone and finding a home away from home on your own.

I asked Kate to leave me with some quotes she lives by and this one seems fitting.

“You’re looking at a middle-class guy. I am who I am.” – former Vice President, Joe Biden.

“I am proud of where I come from and the family I come from.  There is nothing I love more in this world than my family, friends who are family, and the city of Philadelphia.  I am a firm believer in the importance of remaining true to yourself and your roots.”

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

Eagles Fans: We Celebrate As A Team, A City, and As One

Criticized for our enthusiastic fandom surrounding The Philadelphia Eagles, we do not apologize for supporting such a deserving and dedicated team.

Without a strong fan base, a football team is just that- a football team. I’m proud to live in a place that is able to unite for a common love and interest. It’s inspiring to support a team that stays determined when faced with difficult obstacles, continually thanks their fans, and WINS!

As a city, we may get a little rowdy, a little loud and a little proud, but we’ve waited years for this opportunity.

I think that as a community of believers, we have earned the right to publicly celebrate our team whom is recognized for their underdog story, because we have followed along this journey for years.

Admittedly, I’m not someone who follows football regularly, and although I am genuinely excited for the Superbowl, I think I’m more excited for the players, the coaches, and their families, the die hard fans and everyone else who bleeds green.

It’s no secret that Philadelphia sports teams have struggled in recent years, and it was devastatingly disappointing when Carson Wentz was injured mid-season when their was a beacon of light pointing towards our spot in the Superbowl, but the Eagles didn’t give up.

Nick Foles wasn’t expected to lead us to victory, but he sure did in true fashion, and will continue to deliver on Sunday in Minneapolis as we take on the New England Patriots.

As a Philadelphia native, it was incredibly disappointing to read an article from Philadelphia Magazine that rendered their was ‘white privilege‘ regarding the celebrations following our winning of the NFC Championship.

In today’s society where everyone is perceiving actions and statements differently, it’s sometimes difficult have a united front. But when it comes to sports and a city that wants nothing but to celebrate their teams success, it’s upsetting that people can believe it has anything to do with something so controversial.

We live in such a diverse city where sports is an almost universal language. We celebrated that Sunday as a team, as a city, and as one. No questions asked.

After all, we are the City of Brotherly Love.

A friend of mine compiled a video of clips front the celebrations following the winning of the NFC Championship that went viral and I am more than pleased to share it here:

 

The anticipation continues to rise as we’re another day closer to winning the Superbowl and we sure are thrilled to watch those Eagles fly.

GO BIRDS!