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Dating in Postgrad

Ah, the dating scene is quite the place to be. A bunch of single, beautiful people casually milling around, laughing lightly and chatting about smart adult-like topics with a chilled drink in their hand.

Too bad I’m not at this scene.

Too bad this scene doesn’t exist.

Too bad this scene is just like the scene in “19 Kids and Counting” where Josh Duggar spills the beans on live TV and gets punched in the face…it will never happen.

The dating life after undergrad is pretty much close to non-existent. So word to the wise, find your mate before you graduate.

Here’s a couple things you’ll find to be true about the postgrad dating life:

1. Mathematically speaking, you’re screwed.

There are just fewer options out here in the real world. Marriage is happening at an early point in life, generationally.

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http://www.someecards.com/usercards/viewcard/MjAxMi0xZGUxMmI2OTE2NjBjNjJm

2. You don’t go places to meet potentials.

Where are you possible going to run into a potential date? The McDonald’s drive-thru? Or maybe the pizza delivery person? Just face it, you don’t go many places where singles are just hanging out. It’s a rough pill to swallow.

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3. You don’t go anywhere PERIOD.

Either you work a 40+hr a week job or you go to grad school. Either way, you don’t have a life anymore. You come home from work and crash on the couch, barely making to the kitchen to scrounge up some Easy Mac. Or you come home late from classes and being at the library all day and don’t even make it to the couch.

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http://www.bustaflash.com/working-memes-20-pics

4. You judge a lot quicker now.

No job? Not in school? Can’t even go and get a haircut? No thanks. I need someone who has more of their crap together than I do, if this is going to work.

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http://www.gurl.com/2013/07/30/imsinglebecause-twitter-hashtag-memes-being-single/

5. You’re poor.

I have no money to go out to places to meet someone. I have no money for a wedding! I have no money for a house! How can I possible date anyone with this bank account? I have to think long-term, here.

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http://www.buzzfeed.com/regajha/miserable-experiences-that-will-make-you-glad-summer-is-e?sub=2559401_1558659

Until next time, xOx

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8 Challenges for the Summer

Don’t just sit on the couch for three months. Set some goals. Have some laughs. Don’t end up like most of the people in these GIFs.

  1. Learn new water tricks to show off at the beach or pool

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Everyone just goes to the pool or beach and lays on a towel. I mean, how impressive can that be? Don’t just be a beach bum and lie there slowing burning and thus, dying. Take this guy for example, he is trying really hard to impress someone. Challenge here: Impress someone with something new you’ve learned

  1. Get a part-time or flexible side job

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Look into babysitting or being a nanny. You literally get paid to play with toys, and then sit in a home watching TV. Sure you need to be fully prepared for anything that could happen, but it is also a really fun job. I mean look at this woman, she obviously knows how to babysitting correctly. Knock the kid out early on, and you’re golden. Challenge here: Twerk so hard it sends someone to the ground.

  1. Go to the gym a couple of times to get yourself into a routine for the fall

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Don’t worry about those people doing hardcore workouts and posting about it every day. Do it your way, on your time, and at your pace. But just do it. Look into different types of classes or workouts, experiment. Kickboxing, yoga, volleyball, Frisbee, swimming, whatever! There are plenty of options to get fit and many places to go to get your workout on…like a bathroom apparently. Challenge here: Don’t deface property.

  1. Try new foods

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Venturing outside your comfort-zone-palette can be good for you. Try a new ethnic food or go out to a new (but cheap, of course) drive-thru, oh I mean restaurant. Try actually cooking food that does not require a microwave, or expand your food horizon to foods that do not need hot water added to it. Challenge here: Eat a new food and wear it somehow.

  1. Don’t spend your precious summer time worrying about your future/life

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Summer is time for great adventures, relaxing, stress-free planning, and sleeping. It is our only time to really detoxify our minds. If you must plan something about your future, do it slowly and peacefully. There are no time constraints during June-August! Challenge here: Don’t go full-Schmidt and panic.

  1. Don’t date for the sake of a summer-fling

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That only happens in movies, or when people forget they live in the real world. Be single and happy about it during the summer. It is three months of just focusing on YOU. Plus, let’s face it, how do people actually meet anyone in the summer anyway? On the plane for an hour? Walking down the same streets you walk down every day out of the year? I do not know where people find summer-flings that they cannot find during the year. What could you possibly be doing that is so much different than the other months of your life? Challenge here: Practice your sassy comebacks.

  1. Cross something off of your bucket list

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First, make a bucket list because it is cool and helps you realize how little you have actually done in your life so far. Then mark something off, so you can feel better about yourself! Even if it seems impossible, write it down because  when you accomplish it, you feel invincible. Kind of like Batman. Except when Bane threw him in the sewer that one time. Don’t be that version of Batman. Challenge here: Don’t be lame.

  1. Go somewhere new, whether it is in the same state that you live in or a new state or new country

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Traveling really changes a person. Seeing how other people live and how different the world looks in other locations can make you a smarter person. Staying in the same place your whole life makes you lose appreciation for places and people. Travel, explore, and get out! Challenge here: Get as wanderlust as possible, and then beg people for money so you can travel even more.

Or make your own 8 challenges. Whatever works.

xOx

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How College did Prepare Me for Life

  1. Being social

That constant crave to be popular on Instagram, Twitter (back in the day), Facebook, Tumblr, whatever and be social also actually did prove to be helpful. The job market is very much a Who-You-Know type place. Trying to be social online sometimes equated to being social in person because how awkward is it to like all of someone’s photos on social media and not feel like friends in person? Plus, you never know when you may need to hunt someone down after not seeing them for 10 years and beg (I mean ask persistently) for a job. So, suck up now and like all those relentless posts of them with “bae,” those downward shots of the Starbucks coffee, and their bare legs at the poolside. You may need them later for a recommendation.

  1. Surviving off of caffeine and limited sleep

Who knew that life after undergrad would be just as tiring and busy as it was those four years? I remember hearing someone say they were told that life is only going to get more hectic from here on out, and I also remember not believing that person. I take it back. Not only are you either working or being a graduate student full time, but you are also juggling life changes, moving, career choices, relationships, money, and adult-like responsibilities. It’s just exhausting. What’s worse is that you can’t even afford Starbucks like you did in undergrad when you were still on your parents’ bill. Now Dunkin Donuts small coffees look better, or maybe even venture to the gas station if it’s a really rough month. At least all those late nights in undergrad were really just training for the big test. Although, those late nights were due to major procrastination, parties, or doing anything considered pointless yet fun. The late nights now are due to the lack of time in the day to get all your chores done and attempt to piece together your life.

  1. Fake it to make it

Don’t lie to yourself. You know you have all had an essay exam or a term paper that you just pulled stuff out of a certain body region and through it into the paper. Miraculously, you managed to get an above average grade, too. If this has happened, you have officially been deemed a faker (to-make-it). This little tactic will help you go in your post-grad life. You have to fake it to make it in interviews, on your resume, at internships where you have no idea what you’re supposed to do, and acting like your life is pieced together. When you run into old classmates and friends from college, you need to act like you have your stuff together; you can’t let anyone really know how panicky you are. I mean, I act like I have mapped out my whole life. Joke is on you, who believe me.

  1. How to properly be cheap

Raise your hand if you’re rolling in the dough. Smack whoever put their hand up! No one our age should be rolling in the dough. Or else you are doing life wrong. And cheating. It’s not fair. So stop. But for the rest of us normal-folk, we are a little cheap when it comes to spending. We know where the ramen noodle aisle is, we know how long our gas light can be on before the car just stops, we have Amazon prime to save on shipping, and we know where to eat based off what coupons we managed to snag from a school coupon booklet. It’s actually gotten to the point where we are so good at it that we should put it under the ‘skills’ section of our resume.

  1. How useless things really are

Not only are a majority of the classes we took in undergrad useless, we did not learn things we actually need to know in life. For example, what is a 401K? Or how does one take care of a home? Or what tax exemptions can we use? Or what budgeting our money properly? Instead we took easy gen-ed courses to keep a high GPA and not have to work very hard. Looking back, all those hours studying at the library and cramming in an essay before the deadline seem very useless now. Why did I care so much about Calculus or Statistics when Excel can just do all the work for me? Why did I write thousands of words on a piece of artwork just for a humanities? Internships, jobs, and graduate school give you more information on how to survive a career and life. Working and getting real life experience are so much more valuable and useful. At least it was a four-year long party in undergrad! Now to start from scratch….

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Lastly, I learned this. And by Vitamin C, I mean drinking some orange juice and saying a quick prayer before running across the street.

xOx

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Start of Class, Start of Mental Games

The new school year has officially begun. Naivety and underestimation is in the air. And as a graduate of the wild, free, memory-making undergrad, you become more aware of the beauty of being a freshman again. You also become more aware of how old you truly are. There is no turning back because as a graduate student you are not allowed to be naïve, irresponsible, or lost.

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So as you walk the campus looking at all the young students milling around, you realize 1) you’re lost but don’t want to ask an undergrad where a building is because you will look dumb and 2) you are lost in more ways than one that no undergrad could ever help with. It is a big change being on a campus as a graduate student (law or medical student included). Even if it’s a familiar school and familiar grounds, something deep down within you feels changed. Don’t try to ignore or deny it, it’s a part of life now and you need to accept and adjust.

But there are some things you will never adjust to. Like when you’re looking for your classroom on the first day of the new semester with that practiced, fake smile like you know exactly where you are going, and suddenly a new undergraduate student asks you for help. It went a little something like this:

Female Student: “Excuse me, miss, where is Bryan Hall?”

Me: “Yup you’re almost there” and walk away.

Total shut down. And wait, did she just “miss” me?! That means I’m old to people who are only 4 or 5 years younger than me. Then it suddenly sinks in how the university campus world sees ME now…

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Just when you think the worst realizations have occurred that you will have to deal with, you finally do find your classroom and sit in those rickety chairs with the desktops that flap up from the side. You look around the room and see faces of people who really are older than you: people already in the work field, those who have been in their profession for many years, those who are married with kids, those who have already figured out their life. It’s then that you suddenly feel like a child again…the child that one of these real adults brought along with them, a child who should be writing in crayon and having a coloring book rather than a textbook.

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Then you start mentally freaking out that this is not the right decision. You shouldn’t be here. Grad school isn’t for you. This life isn’t for you. I just want to stay at home and play with kittens and puppies all day. You went from being the oldest person on campus to the youngest and dumbest person in the room within 15 minutes.

In the midst of your mental breakdown, the professor starts speaking and introducing himself or herself. Only to then inform you to call him/her by his/her first name. Say what now?? I don’t think that’s even in my biology to call a professional and my elder by his or her first name.

After explaining the syllabus and how it will all work there’s a final realization….

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So in conclusion, you’re screwed… but everyone around you is in the same boat, just in different phases of life. You are not the dumbest in the room. You are not the only one who feels misplaced. You are just part of this whole new world called “graduate school” and expectations are higher. But that means you need to play the game and fake it until you make it, baby!

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And we’re right back to the child thing again. Stay young, my friends!

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Phases of Post-College Life

There are many phases of life after graduation. You’re completely normal for going through all of these. Don’t be afraid… just be a tad concerned.

1. The Hopeful Phase — “I have a chance! I’ll get my dream job and be able to travel finally!”

This first phase has tricked us all. Got me, too. It’s hard not to be positive when every university/college encourages you to chase your dreams. You know what I have to say? Thanks. For. Nothing.

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2. The Graduation Day Phase — “Wait, it’s over already? No, no, no, no, no I don’t think I’m ready for this.”

Now the idea of not having a clear future hits close to home. As you sit there with your beautifully stiff cap and gown on, you think about how you are about to be released into the world. How many of us were actually ready for that one? (Those going back to school don’t count. You don’t need to worry about your job…yet…you’ll be next, though, darlings.) You start to panic and beg to be let back into the university to maybe get a second or third degree. Please?

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3.  The Beginning of this “Career Search” Phase — “I’m going to look for my dream job. I have a college degree so I’ll be ahead of most people out there.”

Graduation-Day-Depression is over, and you are determined to stay positive and find your career job. People all seem to have jobs around you, so how hard can it be? The naive determination keeps you going. Hold onto this last childish-hope that you have. This phase will probably either last a few days before the next phase starts up or it will never end for you. Stay strong, my friends!

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4. The REAL Job Hunt Begins Phase — “I’m just going to add every little useless detail of my accomplishments to my resume. That should definitely get me the job. What’s a little embellishment?”

You start getting a little desperate now. Don’t worry, it’s natural. A little embellishment isn’t a lie exactly and is not always illegal. It will only get you in trouble when your future employer is smarter than you…and chances are they will always be. But that never stops people! Keep chasing that laser.

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5.  The Realization Sinks In Phase — “Yeah, I’m screwed.”

Realization that there may be no hope for you. Beware, this is a pretty low phase. Some may even become zombie-like, and if you come across people like this stay far far away.

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6. The Cynical Phase — “Why did I even go to college? Why did I spend thousands on tuition for no hope of a future?”

People start being very cynical around you…or maybe you’re making everything seem cynical because of your state of mood. I mean how useless can you get? A crisp, white piece of card-stock engraved with gold writing with your name in the largest font…maybe it could be a giant name tag to mark my territory? I told you Phase 5 was real rough; it even bleeds into this phase. The only difference: people start reminding you how screwed you are.

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7. The Bottom-of-the-Barrel Phase — “I think I’ve officially hit rock-bottom.”

This is when you succumb to all those feelings of inadequacy and apply to any and every business you pass on the street. It’s nothing to be ashamed of; everyone has had a job like this. If anything, it just means that you’ll never give up and keep pushing through the tough times! Also, just beg employers to make up jobs so you can be employed: “I’ll be the window-washer for your three small windows.”

Although this classic joke never gets old…unless it’s you, then it’s very very old.

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8. The Completely Hating This Adult Life Thing Phase — “I’m worth more than this!”

SO you finally get a job and you make close to nothing. So half the battle has been conquered, I’ve gotten a job (whether your career one or a temporary one), and I’m still poor. Working doesn’t just equate to money, instead it equates to time spent getting just enough to pay taxes and eat Ramen noodles. Mmm I can just taste that sodium now.

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9.  The Poor Person Phase (everlasting?) — “So what do I want to do this Friday night? Let me hunt for change under the couch first.”

It’s definitely time to reevaluate the financial situation. This phase may last forever, but just remember you’ll make it through. Shoot, if you’ve made it to Phase 9, then you’re golden! Look how much you went through already. Be strong and proud of that accomplishment. I like to think things are just getting more expensive.

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10. The Can-Things-Get-Any-Worse Phase — “Now everything is a just joke to me. Haha…ha…h…”

This is when you start to analyze and compare every aspect of your life. Stay sarcastic, my friends. It’s all we may have left by this phase.

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And remember, you have an army of new graduates being funneled through this Phase System ahead of you and behind you. Just think how many more phases there will be for those graduating after you! Consider yourself lucky in that sense. And consider yourself lucky to have gotten an education because some people weren’t able to be like you. Stay strong and good luck!

P.S. – I’m at Phase 4 FYI.

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So you’ve graduated.

Congrats. After a party that lasted four years straight (and that thing people call “school”), the commencement ceremony is supposed to be the grand finale. As much as that may be a little true, the day after consists of a serious hangover…and not the type from alcohol-induced graduation celebrations.

It’s the day after where you realize you are no longer a student at that college and you are now expected to have your life figured out. No more using the gym for free, no more walking on campus saying “yeah I go here!” and no more getting away with procrastinating. Even if you were a good student (like me, since I am a perfectionist), everything goes downhill after graduation day. Like you haven’t heard that question “So what are you doing next year?!” enough, but now it is “So what are you going to do now?” Notice that exclamation mark was dropped? That’s not by accident. People ask the question now with a dry tone expecting a legitimate answer. Have you got a legitimate answer?

I don’t.

Although people say it’s okay that you don’t know, it’s not. See in college, especially senior year, you could get away with procrastinating and making up answers to questions about the future. However, the time has come to really piece together parts of your life. My opinion? Charts. Pros and cons of getting a job or continuing your education. Would you benefit from furthering your education? Does your field require it? Would you be able to make it through more years of studying? Can you find a decent job that will help your future?

Both options involve major financial considerations. Some people had this in undergrad: taking out loans, working one or more jobs, paying all of your own bills. But even these people are in for a tough time. People expect more out of you now. No one is sympathetic to you anymore compared to when you were a ‘struggling student trying to get a good education.’ Now it’s more of a welcome to the adult life of many people in this world, you’re one of us now. This doesn’t come with a welcome party, though. So don’t bring your party shakers and champagne. (Also, you can’t waste money on those things now! You’re an adult!) It is a tough but serious consideration, so don’t make the decision lightly. But don’t let it get you bogged down either. This really is a new chapter in life that you should be excited and happy about. You made it through college, which means you are good at faking it enough to make it through the whole “career” thing.

So in summation, good luck. Although don’t take all the luck because I need some, too, you know. And you thought this would be easy, you silly graduates.

image from: http://www.clearpointcreditcounselingsolutions.org

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