Life’s A Marathon, Not A Sprint

It’s definitely been a year filled with a multitude of changes, highs and lows, and unexpected opportunities. I guess I haven’t been able to write in a few months because I was short of inspiration, or maybe I was just tired of talking about the same topics and sounding like a broken record. But I think it all really boils down to me beginning to care about how others viewed me; for reasons varying from not climbing the career ladder to living at home to even not having a boyfriend. However, the past few weeks have changed my perspective and silenced these external pressures because what I’ve realized is that no matter what I’m doing, or how much money I’m making, or where I’m living or living with, my family and real friends won’t judge me, they’ll support me, and that is a powerful feeling to embrace.

All of these external pressures of finding a full-time job, finding a boyfriend, moving out, having a plan, etc.– they’re always going to be there because life is constantly changing and that’s pretty exciting. As I talked about in a previous post, life is full of setbacks in which we cannot prepare for, it’s all about how we choose to handle them. I don’t necessarily want to know what the rest of my life holds right now, I just want to take it day by day. I’m not insinuating it’s wrong to have a plan, but it’s also okay not have one as well, but sometimes it’s hard to live in a society that constantly criticizes, instills ideas of conventional-ism and expects you to have your shit together the second you graduate college.

There have been plenty of things that have knocked me down since graduating, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who has faced a plethora of obstacles, and maybe I take some comfort in knowing I’m not the only one, sorry if that makes me selfish but your 20s are all about being selfish apparently.

My resilience has been a great asset to me, particularly in recent months. Between unsuccessful job searching, relationships, frustrations of living at home, financial struggles, it felt like the skies were never going to clear and I was always going to be walking with a rain cloud above my head. Then I stopped feeling sorry for myself  and everything changed; the happiness I’ve found is something I can’t explain, but I found it through different things which I’ll explain in a future post.

Some questions that I really cannot stand and get farther under my skin than possible, are those of “So, what are you doing now?” and “Why aren’t you dating?”. First of all, do not ask me what I’m up to when there’s a 90% chance you follow me along social media and probably know the answer to your own question- just ask how I’m doing, and if I choose to elaborate further then great, but chances are if I don’t see you very often, you probably don’t care that much so stop using that as a filler for small talk.

The dating question primarily comes from family members and since I haven’t dated in a while, they probably all think I’m a secret lesbian, but that is in fact, NOT the case. I have different reasons for being single, but primarily I just haven’t met anyone worth the time yet and I’m content with that because right now is all about me and I want to love myself before I love anyone else.

I think what I’ve really learned this year, virtually through social media postings, is that everyone is on a different path, some are overcoming larger obstacles or taking more significant steps, but that’s just how it is. Half of my generation are getting engaged, married, starting families and buying houses, while the other half is getting blacked out every weekend and soaking up their 20s; I’m happy to say I fall into the second half of that sentence. Whatever your path is right now or how far along you are in this marathon of life, be proud of it because it’s your life and your life is something you should always take pride in.

I was asked in an interview a few weeks ago, ‘What do I define success as?’, and my answer was as simple as this: Being successful, for me, means being completely confident both personally and professionally. When I finally stop second-guessing myself or my work that is when I know I’ve been successful. In addition, the qualities I’ve found that are fundamental to possess in your 20s include, but are not limited to,  perseverance, resilience, strength, confidence, and ultimately, being true to yourself.

                 Remember that life is not a sprint, it’s a marathon, so go at your own pace, you’ll arrive where you’re supposed to be when it’s time, so enjoy the run.

Stay tuned for next week when I discuss the books that have aided me through the frustrations of post-grad life!

Advertisements

The Football Guidebook for Dummies

The time of year is upon us: the time when all the men (or potential men) in our lives retreat into the depths of man caves around the country and neighborhood sports bars become no-girls-allowed boys’ clubs. I’m of course talking about football season. The rules and nuances of the sport can seem overwhelming to the untrained eye and it seems impossible to even pretend to know what you’re talking about sometimes, but never fear. This is exactly why I’m here to help! I’m going to give all of you a run-down on the need-to-know information for this football season, from the basics all the way down to penalties and players.

  1. First things first, the home team in Philadelphia is the Eagles, and we’re currently 3(win)-1(loss) on the season. Now that’s out of the way…
  2. We are part of the division called the NFC East. The other teams in this division are the Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, and New York Giants. Any time we play these teams, it’s a big game.
  3. Some of the big name players you need to know:

             -Carson Wentz: QB 1, the greatest of all time, our Savior, and the King of Wentzlyvania. This guy is supposed to restore the Eagles to their former glory. This is Wentz’s second season and some are concerned he might fall into the sophomore slump. So far, he’s been pretty impressive, but there’s still a lot of season left.

           -Nelson Agholor/ Alshon Jeffrey: The life of the Eagles’ Wide Receiving core. These are the guys that Wentz is trying to throw the ball to most of the time. Last season, Agholor couldn’t catch the ball to save his life and all of Philadelphia chalked him up as a bust, but it appears that he’s worked on those bricks for hands this off-season and there might be some hope. Speaking of the off-season, the Eagles acquired Alshon Jeffrey in one of the most highly anticipated pick-ups in recent Eagles history. He was picked-up from free agency (don’t worry I’ll explain this in a bit) from the Chicago Bears.

          -Darren Sproles: Shortest player on the field at only 5’6” but boy can this guy move. He’s our slippery running back known for quick footwork and turning seemingly impossible plays into big yardage.

          -Zach Ertz: Carson’s favorite target and our Tight End. The tight end is a multi-purpose position. Sometimes they act like a blocker and sometimes they act like a receiver. He’s not the fastest on the field, but watch out for him to make some clutch 3rd down plays!

         -Fletcher Cox/ Lane Johnson: These are the big boys on the field. The linemen are there to make the big tackles and protect the quarterback

Now that we know some basics of the Eagles, let’s go over some of the most important rules and concepts of the game.

  1. Football is played five days a week, if you count college games! Sunday is the biggest day for the NFL, and Saturday for college. Thursday, Monday, and sometimes Friday games do occur every week though.
  2. The game starts with a coin toss. The captains of both teams meet at the 50-yard line. Whoever wins the toss can elect to receive the kick-off and start on offense or defer to receive the kick after halftime. Both have their advantages and the choice really depends on the team’s individual strategy.
  3. The football field is 100 yards long, with a goalpost and endzone at either end. To score points, the ball has to get into the endzone by either running or throwing it in OR kicking the ball through the uprights. A touchdown is worth 6 points on it’s own. After the touchdown, there’s the point after touchdown (PAT) attempt. The team can kick and get an additional 1 point, or go for a two-point conversion by running or throwing it into the endzone again. The kick is generally the safer option. A field goal on its own is worth 3 points.
  4. In order to move down the field, teams have four “downs” to go 10-yards. They can pick from a variety of plays in the playbook to try to get the next 1st down. If teams get to 4th down without getting the 10 yards, they have two options. If it is say 4th down and inches to go in a close game, a coach might decide to go for the last play and convert a first down. If they miss, however, it is what is called a turnover on downs and the opposing team gets the ball in that spot. This is why most teams will chose to punt the ball on fourth down, launching the football far down field with the punters kick.
  5. Not everything goes in football. There are a plethora of penalties that a team can incur.
    1. False start/offsides: if a player from the offense moves over the line of scrimmage before the quarterback snaps the ball into play, it is called a false start and it is a 5-yard penalty, which means the ball is moved backwards on the field five yards. The same goes for the defense. This is called offsides and it moves the ball forward on the field 5-yards. For example, say it is 2nd down with 7 yards to go and a player on the defense jumps over the line. The referee will throw a yellow flag and the next play will be a replay of 2nd down but there will only be 2 yards to go.
    2. Roughing the passer: The quarterback is considered sacred in the game of football. He is one of the few players in are not allowed to touch if they aren’t holding the ball. If a defensive player tackles the quarterback after the ball has left his hand, that’s a 15-yard penalty and an automatic first down.
    3. Holding: Pretty much any player can be guilty of a holding penalty, but the most common offenders are the big lineman who are trying to let the running back or receiver get a few extra yards or stop someone from getting to the quarterback. This penalty will cost you 10 yards and is exactly what it sounds like, holding on to the other player to stop them from advancing.
    4. There are hundreds of different penalties in football and the more you watch, the easier you’ll be able to identify them.

There’s so much to know about football I could never fit them into one post, but here are some more miscellaneous things to know

  1. Free agency, that thing I mentioned earlier with Alshon Jeffery, means that a team can get that player by just offering them a contract. No trade is required because the player isn’t contractual obligated to any team.
  2. Games are divided into four 15-minute quarters with a break after the 2nd quarter called half time. While theoretically the game should only last an hour, with stoppage of the clock, penalties, and other things most games last around three hours.
  3. If the score is tied at the end of the four-quarters, there is a sudden death overtime period of 15 minutes. The first team to score wins.
  4. The quarterback is usually the player that throws the ball but there are some trick plays where the running back might throw the ball to confuse the defense. This formation is called the Wildcat.
  5. There is only allowed to be one forward pass on any play, but the player with the ball can toss the ball backwards to another player to keep the play alive. This is called a lateral pass.
  6. A safety in football is a defensive position but is also the name of what happens when offensive players holding the ball are tackled in their own end zone (the one opposite of where they are trying to score). When a safety occurs the defensive team gets 2-points. These are pretty rare but do happen.
  7. An interception is when the defense catches a pass from the quarterback instead of the wide receiver. They can run as far as they can until they get brought down. An interception is also known as a pick and if the player runs all the way back down the field and scores a touchdown, it is called a pick-6, due to the 6 points a touchdown is worth.
  8. There are three separate squads of players on each team: the offense, the defense, and what is known as special teams. Special teams players can be on the other two squads too but they are the ones who are on the field for kick-offs, punts, PATs, and other plays that aren’t necessarily offense or defense specific.
  9. Sometimes teams will call a timeout righhhhhht before a kicker goes to kick a field goal. This is called “icing the kicker” and is meant to throw the kicker off in the hope that they will miss the kick. This usually happens right at the end of the game when the kick is going to decide the winner.
  10. One of the most confusing concepts for a football novice is the on-side kick! An on-side kick is used when a team is down in points with only a short time left in the game. Instead of launching the ball all the way down the field like on a traditional kickoff, the kicker bounces the ball off the ground and into the air. As long as the ball travels forward a minimum of 10 yards, the kicking team is able to recover. They are not always successful in recovering and it gives the receiving team great field position closer to the end zone, which is why it is rarely used early on in the game.
  11. Another way a team can turnover the ball is through a fumble. A fumble is when the running back, receiver, or even the quarterback loses the ball after getting hit by a defensive player, but before their knee hits the ground, which would rule them down by contact. Once the ball is fumbled either team can recover it, which often leads to a large number of players in a pile wrestling for the ball. The quarterback is a little more complicated when it comes to fumbling. If the quarterback loses the ball in the process of throwing the ball, or when his arm is coming forward, it is just an incomplete pass. For the quarterback to fumble, the ball has to go backwards.
  12. You may have heard the phrase “move the chains”. This refers to what happens when a team gets a first down and the literal chains that measure out 10-yards in length are moved down the field. You will see the chains on the sidelines with two orange poles at either end to help gauge how much further a team has to go to reach the first down. When you watch on TV they project a yellow line onto the field so you can see the 1st down line.

Is your brain fried yet? I know it is a lot and this is barely breaking the surface in terms of football information, but this will definitely get your foot in the door of football conversations for the rest of the season. Don’t be intimidated by the people who seemingly know everything there is to know about the sport. My suggestion? Fake it ‘til you make it and don’t be afraid to ask questions!

There’s still a lot of season left and plenty of time to learn some more. Good luck and let’s go Birds!

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.