Wow, a reflection blog post at the end of the year, my originality amazes me every day.

Truthfully, since getting off the train after Christmas, literally since stepping onto solid ground, my life has not stopped moving, aside from sleeping. Work was waiting for me at the office and I needed groceries and to unpack and make use of my gym membership, etc. So I'm allowing my brain to rest a little bit until 2011 and I'm instead thinking back to what I learned this year, my first year (well, half year) as a post grad.

I've learned so much. I know now that the workforce doesn't care so much if you're a bright eyed young adult with a fancy degree. In fact, many employers see your optimism as a deal breaker- it's sad but true. Thankfully, I've also learned that while the majority may be like this, not all workplaces are. Some places are willing to take a chance on you, but it's up to you to do everything in your power to prove you deserve it.

I've learned that paying bills takes a lot of planning. I've learned that dealing with health insurance is one of the most confusing and annoying hurdles EVER, but that I'm thankful I have it. I've learned that it's possible to move to a city you know virtually nothing about, and make a life there for yourself. I've learned how to sublet an apartment, how to find an apartment, how to keep up an apartment.

Most of all, in 2010 I learned that I could do all of these things on my own. I'm a long way from being completely independent, but I am on the right track. See you in the new year post grads. What are a few things you've learned this year?

Don't Feed Into the Hype

I've noticed that New Year's Eve celebrations are often over rated. Your plans rarely turn out as you had hoped: the person you wanted to see ended up showing up with someone else, it snows 2 feet and you can't leave the house, you accidentally indulge in too many libations before the party. Last year Allie and I almost had to cancel our plans because of snow, but we convinced a friend with 4-wheel drive to bring us to the party.

So how can you prevent disappointment on New Year's?
  1. Expectation Management. Don't get your hopes up too high! Don't think it's going to be the best night of your life and it might just turn out that way.
  2. Libation Management. Don't overindulge too soon. Keep a steady pace so you're ready to go when the New Year rings in.
  3. Romance Management. Unless you are in a committed relationship, go solo. Why create more pressure with a relationship that is iffy? And why not find someone dashing at a party who is equally looking for someone to kiss at midnight? If you don't have someone to kiss who cares? You have to live up to no one's expectations but your own, which should already be managed as per step 1.
  4. HAVE FUN!!!! Stop over thinking the night and just have fun.

Good Luck and prosper post grads!


Hi guys, I'm back from a short trip home and I'm fresh out of inspiration, so I'm stealing Shikole's post idea and making a list of a few 2010 highlights.

1. Having the ability to go home and see my family this year, even though I live five hours away. It's been much tougher this year without built in college breaks, but I've still managed to be home for every holiday!

2. Graduating in May & finding a job. Enough said.

3. Meeting so many new friends without losing the old ones. I've met so many nice people since moving to Rochester, and am lucky that I continue to share bonds with my college and high school friends. (getting to see some of them again over Christmas break was awesome!)

4. My boyfriend. I met him in 2010, and while we are very different people, he always sees things in a positive light and I learn from him everyday.

5. Starting out my career in Rochester (especially this summer). People that have never been to Rochester see it has more of an industrial city without much to offer. They are wrong. I live in the best neighborhood, with so many summer festivals, parks, restaurants, shops, nightlife. It has everything. If only I could somehow stop the snow..

3 Days Left!

There are only three days left of this wonderful year of 2010. In reading all my other favorite blogs I noticed that they are all posting the best and worst of 2010. I was considering doing some of the same, but I cannot for the life of me think of anything original to list the best of. I considered my best and worst hookups of 2010, but that might end up being in bad taste. I then considered doing my best and worst food experiments of the year, which still might happen, but I have a couple more I want to try first. I think the very short moral of my story is that I can't think of anything original to do a best of list for.


Please readers tell me what kind of list you would like to read!!!

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays post grads!! We appreciate you following.

My Top Times of 2010

2010 was by far better than 2009. I believe every one of my close friends, as well as myself, were counting down the days until that horrid year came to a close. Thank goodness it brought in 2010. I'm not saying this year was all good, but I'd like to share with you my top 7 experiences of 2010.

1. Graduating College. Finally. After 4 years. We succeeded post grads!
2. Landing a job a mere week after graduating. I'm not sure if I'm lucky or THAT
stubborn, but it happened and it was amazing.
3. Successfully cooking my first Thanksgiving turkey. I brined it and everything.
4. Pirate Bar during Shark Week. Yes we dressed as pirates. And there were shark themed drinks!
5. Snowpocolypse. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.I'm serious, no school or work for 2 weeks but my car got plowed in.And the shovel snapped in half. And we ran out of wine. And there was 4.5 feet of snow.
6. I got my second tattoo, and it's about time. I've been talking about doing it for over a year. This one was for my Dad.
7. I don't really have a number seven yet. There are still 8 days left in 2010. I'm hoping number seven hasn't happened yet.

What were your best times of 2010 post grads? Share with us!

The Sex Playlist

As a follow up to my last playlist, I felt like I needed something a little more fun and racy than chill. So I've decided to share with you a sex playlist instead. Now, there are several different kinds of sex playlists. It all depends on the kind of sex you want to be having. So, I have included a couple songs for Sensual Sex, a couple for Sexy Sex and a few for Raw Animalistic Sex. Some of them are a little unexpected but try them before you judge.

Sensual Sex:
1. The Postal Service "Nothing Better"
2. Rod Stewart "Have I Told You Lately"
3. Marvin Gaye "Sexual Healing"
4. Van Halen "Why Can't This be Love"

Sexy Sex:
1. Leighton Meester "Somebody to Love"
2. Avant "Makin Good Love"
3. Jamie Fox "Slow"
4. Blondie "Heart of Glass"
5. Usher "Trading Places"

Raw Animalistic Sex:
1. Eagles "Victim of Love"
2. Buckcherry "Crazy Bitch"
3. Heart "Magic Man"
4. She Wants Revenge "Tear Me Apart"
5. Eminem "Shake That"

This playlist is by no means all inclusive. But I highly recommend trying it out ;)

And just because I have to please also watch this hilarious video about sex that includes some very good looking men I would very gladly have sex with. No it's not porn, I promise.

I'm a Carrie.. Kind Of..

Disclaimer: Dear readers, If you are not a girl/ Sex and the City fan, you may want to scroll down a few paragraphs. Or read another post...

Today at work as I edited something for my boss, I had this revelation: I'm a writer. I thought I would know this already, since my job pretty much entails writing all day long.. but for some reason I viewed being a writer as this sort of glamorous and unattainable position. I blame Sex and the City.

Carrie Bradshaw, the main character of Sex and the City, is a freelance writer and dater extraordinaire. She pretty much embodied how I saw my post grad life unraveling way back in high school. Everyone identified with SATC characters back then, and while I most definitely was a Charlotte personality wise, I longed to someday be a Carrie in the career department. The desire to work for a huge publication and write a column about my life didn't subside until one day in the beginning of my senior year in college.

One quiet afternoon, I sat at my desk and gazed out of my apartment window, job listings flooding my laptop screen. I couldn't help but wonder (If you didn't catch this Sex and the City reference, shame on you..), could I actually be a writer like Carrie?

I started to research journalist salaries, spoke to one of my favorite professors, and analyzed my current qualifications. The answer I found? No, at this point in my life, I unfortunately cannot be Carrie Bradshaw.

I should have seen this coming, considering the show wasn't even close to reality. To deal, I instead chose to look for positions that involve writing as a major component, and eventually was led to where I am currently working. Is my job glamorous? No. Do I work from home in my trendy Manhattan apartment that I can magically afford based on my freelance income? No. But I do have stability, and I do get to write every single day. I've begun to seek out personal writing in other ways. This blog is one of them (surprise!) and I recently started another called Spare Change Living.

So while I'm not living the Carrie Bradshaw dream writer lifestyle, I am most definitely still a writer. Someday in the future maybe I'll reconsider attempting the freelance lifestyle, or maybe not, I have years to see how my life will turn out. I'm content being a Charlotte for now.

New Years Resolutions

I always hate it when people make New Years Resolutions that are unrealistic. Not just unrealistic, but not in their nature. It's been proven that we do what is in our nature (thank you Plato). So if you are the kind of person who hates getting up in the morning, why in the world would you make a resolution to wake up earlier to go to the gym? If you want to go to the gym that badly, make your resolution to go after work/in the evening. There is much more of a chance of you doing it. Instead of making a resolution to lose 5 pounds, make one to eat edamame 3 times a week (if you like edamame of course). It is a healthier choice than chips so it will still work towards your ultimate goal of losing weight, but it's something you are actually likely to do.

Personally I think NYRs are difficult. I get bored easily so sticking to something for an entire year isn't quite in my nature. Last year, in light of that fact, I made my resolution to visit/experience the things in DC that I should have already experienced after living here for 4 years.

During this past year I finally visited the National Cathedral, the Mormon Temple, The Portrait Gallery, The Waterfront down in SW and I have purchased my ticket to visit the Newseum. While this does not nearly cover all the places I still want to go, it is quite a good start and satisfies my NYR. I really liked it because it made me go out and about in the city to experience its splendor instead of just being a sheltered little college student in NW.

I'm not sure what I'm going to resolve to do for 2011 yet. Any ideas?

Packing and Post Grad

Although I'm only going home for a little while for Christmas, and am not doing anything quite as selfless as Shikole (who talks about volunteering on Christmas Day here), I am facing a somewhat superficial dilemma. Packing.

I'm used to driving home for breaks. This gives me the luxury of bringing whatever I want back with me. Laundry? No problem! Summer clothes that I don't wear anymore/ need in my closet? Throw them in the trunk!

Since I'm only going to be home for a few days for Christmas I decided to take the train (to avoid wintery weather and car issues). This means I need to consolidate my clothing for three days + a bunch of presents into one small suitcase.

I'm sensing this whole packing phenomenon will be something I need to get used to. Especially since I'll probably be moving someplace else far away from home when I eventually leave Rochester. Still, it's tough to figure out exactly what you want to wear/ will need with you three days in advance.

This is where I need your help post grads. Send me your packing tips! And follow The Real Post Grad on blogger while you're at it! Thanks!!

My First Independent Christmas

I am not returning home for Christmas this year. I only get Friday off of work and can't afford anything but the bus that would require an entire day to travel. So instead I'm staying in DC for the holidays. For the first time.

I'm still torn about just how I feel about this. I know that realistically and financially this is the right choice. However, Christmas is a holiday meant to be spent with family. Every time I start to feel sorry for myself, though, I think about all those who can't even afford a meal for the holiday. Or those who have no home to celebrate it in. I am lucky enough to have a roof over my head and afford to eat.

So instead of being sad that I am not spending the holiday with my family, I'm donating my time to deliver meals to those who can't afford them. Food and Friends is an organization that provides meals to families that can't afford it because they are financing treatments for illnesses such as AIDS and cancer. They are struggling in more ways that just financially and I am happy to be able to help out in any way I can.

The holidays are a time to be grateful for what you have and help those who have less. In DC alone there are thousands of men, women and children who have no where to live and thousands more who are struggling to put food on the table. Donating 2 hours of my Christmas doesn't even seem like enough.


I want a cat. No, a kitten. A fluffy little fur ball of a kitten to snuggle with. Every time I see my friend's cat, Cooper, it makes me want one even more. But is a pet a good idea for us post grads to have right now?

  1. Cute, Cuddly play thing
  2. You may be saving an animal from euthanization
  3. No more mice or rats anywhere around your house
  1. They cost money to maintain
  2. You have to clean up after more than yourself
  3. It's probably against your lease
So is it worth it? I'm currently thinking not because I'm not sure if I can give an animal the attention it needs either. I can't even give myself the attention I need. But I still really want a kitten.

Friday Friday FRIDAY

Friday has always been my favorite day of the week. Even though it involves work during the day (or previously work and school during my college and high school years), there is just so much anticipation and excitement throughout the day. I am so productive on Fridays because I know there is a break in sight. It's kind of like Christmas Eve. All of the excitement of Christmas Day, but you still get to look forward to it.

Fridays are even more important in my post grad life. I am thankful for my job, but I have to admit, it uses up a lot of my brain power. Fridays are the light at the end of the tunnel. In college, there are of course Friday and Saturday party nights, but there are also Thirsty Thursdays, Wasted get the idea. Pretty much, if you were devoted enough to have a nightlife, you could go out any night of the week and still reasonably function the next day.

In work life there are Friday nights, and Saturday nights. More power to the people that can still go out during the week and function at a 9-5 position. I just can't. Tonight as I sip on a margarita and indugle in Mexican food, I will rejoice knowing that tomorrow I can sleep in past 7:00 am.

Happy Friday post grads! What's your favorite weekend day, and why?

End of the Semester

It's finals week, and I am so stressed about all of my papers, tests, and presentations. I can't wait until I get to go home for a month to relax after this insane semester.

This has been my thought process around this time of year for the past four years or my life. Insane stress levels that resulted in energy drink binges, late night study sessions, and finally that feeling of absolute freedom when it was all over.

This does not exist in post grad world. Well, the stress is still there, but it comes in a different form. For me, my work stresses revolve around writing and researching, because that's what I do all day. I try to write articles that people care about, and then stress about whether they are being read. The stress is lessened, but consistent.. where in the college world, you can have relatively a care free semesters, but a finals week that makes you want to rip your hair out.

As much as I miss parts of college, I think I like the post grad schedule stress schedule much more. What about you readers?

Hit Me!

Allison had a pretty inclusive list of ways to make money outside of your salary. I learned a new one this weekend. It's more fun than babysitting, earns more money than dog walking, and doesn't require giving up any of your possessions. I became a BlackJack dealer this weekend.

There are companies that are hired to make Vegas Nights happen. Whether it be an office holiday party like the one I worked this weekend, a birthday party, or just a fun night of gambling, dealers are in demand. At least in the DC metro area they are.

If you know how to play BlackJack, Craps, Roulette or Poker you should look into these companies. Most will provide basic training for those who have never been on the dealing end before. It's also not that big of a deal if you make minor mistakes. It's illegal to play with real money at these parties so you aren't really taking anyone's money. The top winners tend to win prizes instead. At the party I worked one of the prizes was a 46 inch flat screen television.

And let me tell you, the money is good. Most of the parties last for about 3 hours and the dealers who get to sit down make around $75 for it. That's $25 an hour. Plus whatever tips you can get. Yeah, tips can be good. Not to mention you can meet a lot of eligible people there for all you singles. So go check it out Post Grads, deal yourselves a winning hand.

How to Make Money (When Your Salary Doesn't Cut It)

That's right, I have the secret to making extra income so that you'll never have to work full time again! Do I sound like a bad advertisement on the sidebar of your Facebook page yet?

The truth is, to make money- you've got to put in the time. Working a full time job is an excellent way to secure financial freedom, but sometimes it just isn't enough to take care of all of our other expenses. Here are a few tips for how to make some money on the side, while still have time for your original full time job.

- Freelance projects. If you are a writer, designer, or have any skill that others may not, consider taking on freelance assignments for extra cash.

-Babysitting. We've all done it at one point in our lives. This is a great way to make some additional money! Babysitting hours are often at night, which means it won't interfere with your workday. Come up with rates and post ads on local bulliten boards or community websites to get yourself going.

-Dog Walking. This sounds like something a child might do, but if you live in a city, you'd be surprised how many people would be so thankful to have someone take their dog out for a jog a few times a week!

-Bartending/ Waitressing/ Retail. These second jobs are not glamorous, but the hours generally do work in conjunction with the typical 9-5 schedule.

-Sell things! This is not a consistent source of income by any means, but let's say you need money for a security deposit or for the holiday season. Look around your room and storage space and think about what you really need. List the things you don't need or use on craigslist and see what happens! Downsizing is an excellent way to earn some extra cash.

Any more ideas?

Chill Out Playlist

Do you ever just hate all the music you have in your itunes? You want something new but have no idea where to find it? Me too. I usually ask friends for recommendations. Today a friend introduced me to It has playlists that other people have already created for you to listen to. For free.

While on the topic, though, I decided that I should give you all one of my personal playlists to explore. I've been trying to listen to a lot of chill music lately to calm my nerves and decrease the anger bubbling inside. Have a listen Post Grads and let me know if you have any recommendations for me!

  1. Morcheeba "Over and Over"
  2. Jack's Mannequin "What Gets You Off"
  3. Mike Posner "Please Don't Go"
  4. Eric Hutchinson "Rock and Roll"
  5. G. Love and Special Sauce "Peace, Love and Happiness"
  6. Justin Nozuka "Be Back Soon"
  7. Pink Floyd "Wish You Were Here"
  8. Vampire Weekend "One"
  9. The Postal Service "Sleeping In"
  10. The Eagles "Peaceful Easy Feeling"
  11. Sara Bareilles "King of Anything"
  12. Eric Clapton "I've Got a Rock and Roll Heart"
  13. Thriving Ivory "Secret Life"
  14. Michael Franti "All I Want is You"
  15. The Killers "Spaceman"
  16. Jack's Mannequin "Holiday From Real"
  17. Morcheeba "The Sea"

Holiday Office Parties

It's that time of year again. When the higher ups want to do something nice for their employees but really just force you to spend even more time with your coworkers. Don't get me wrong, I am all for holiday office parties. I am very much looking forward to my own to be held next week. There are some tricky parts of them to keep in mind though while having some team bonding.

  1. Alcohol. What is appropriate? Typically the rule of thumb is just not to get shwasted. It's alright to get your drink on, but don't get sloppy. Remember that you are still around your coworkers in a work environment and they will likely judge you professionally for it. This is a little trickier for my personal office party because my boss doesn't drink. Not sure how to handle that yet.
  2. Are you obligated to go? Sometimes you really just don't want to attend. However, you may lose out on some imperative work place bonding. Unless you have already put in your 2 weeks notice, you should at least make an appearance. What do you have to lose other than an hour of your life?
  3. Conversation. Talking about work is almost inevitable, that is the one thing you all have in common. However, the party was organized for enjoyment, not for work. Find some other common ground with your coworkers. No need to bring the stress of the office with you into the holidays.
  4. Inter-Office Hook Ups. This is the time of year and occasion where people think it's ok to ignore the fact they work with a person and hook up anyway. If that might be you please steer clear of the mistletoe and don't drink too much. I am the only female that works in my office, I'm very grateful that no one is even close to eligible for me.
On that note, enjoy your first Holiday Office Parties Post Grads!!!!


Let's get real. Shikole and I write a lot of advice posts on this blog about things we've learned so far as new post grads... but if you ever saw our gchat conversations, you would probably stop reading this all together. We're barely keeping our heads above water in this crazy post grad world, and sometimes I feel like I should be getting more advice than I'm giving.

Part of me still feels like a college student. Like I'm on an extended full time internship that will end soon and I'll be going back to school. It's not really that I miss being in college. I'm just in disbelief that it's over.

A few weeks ago, an article that I wrote for my company was published in an actual news publication. I brought the newspaper home for Thanksgiving to show my parents, and realized that it didn't really feel much different from when I used to do design/ writing for my college's magazine or newspaper. Except in this publication, my article was alongside professionals in an industry that I continue learn more about on a daily basis. These type of opportunities were things I strived for in college, to get my writing out there, to build up my portfolio. But now, it's really happening. This is what I've worked for and I'm almost indifferent.

This is where I enlist your help post grads. This time around I'm asking for advice. How do I snap out of it? How did you help you brain finally cope with the idea that you are no longer striving to break into the working world.. that you're now actually part of it?

Mean Old Lady Syndrome

I guess I shouldn't classify my current actions under the term "mean old lady" because there are plenty of very nice ones. Unfortunately, after working at a retail store during my college breaks (Homegoods) that was frequented by this percentage of the old lady population, I have built up quite the stereotype.

These type of ladies are enraged when discounted bird statues aren't on sale for more than the 75% percent off markdown price. They complain about unswept sidewalks, huff over the fact that the bathroom is in the back of the store, and write down our names on their receipts so they can make sure to get us "in trouble" if there were any discrepancies.

Unfortunately, during the past week or so, I think I've started to become one.

I'm not sure if it's the suddenly freezing snowy weather, or other womanly problems bringing it out of me, but I have been quite the feisty "old lady" post grad lately. Last week, the road near my job wasn't plowed, leaving it an icy mess the next day. I called up the City of Rochester to complain.

Yesterday, I called up my landlord and told him that we NEED a new flusher chain on our toilet because the safety pin trick he keeps trying to make us use is just not cutting it anymore. He said he would see what he could do, and I said I'll see him within the next two days.

I then called him up again later that night to tell him that our lease states our driveway will be plowed if more than three inches of snow fall. We had about 8 or so yesterday, and I ended up shoveling the whole thing twice (with help from my very nice boyfriend)... no snow plows in sight. This morning he sent a plow over at 2am. Yes, it was annoying and woke me up- but at least it was done.

I think I might actually like this side of me. I've found that if speak my mind with confidence, people will eventually listen and do the things that should have been done in the first place. I hope to keep this part up. But, if you ever find me haggling down the price of glassware in a home decor store, please tell me to snap out of it.

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Did I Mention It's Snowing?

When people told me it snows a lot in Rochester, I honestly didn't think I would notice that much of a change from my hometown (also in upstate NY), or my college town (only 30 minutes away from Rochester). I now understand what it means to live close to Lake Ontario. It means snow, every day. Not blizzard conditions by any means, but just constant, steady, snow.

The photos above were taken from my bedroom window this morning... welcome to winter!

UPDATE: 4:34 pm Today I got myself out of my "I hate snow" funk and went for a walk around my neighborhood in a snow storm. I bundled up with my coat, hat, scarf, mittens, and snow boots and set out armed with my camera. Right now I'm operating without any photo editing software so please don't mind the poor quality of these photos. Here are a few more from my walk today.

This planetarium is pretty much behind my apartment in Rochester!

While I may be just a tad stressed out about my Dodge Neon slipping and sliding to work during these snowy days, I love that this Sunday I could just go for a walk to a local coffee shop and relax, when this time of the year was always so hectic as a college student. No finals, presentations, or evaluations for us, post grads! Just the holiday season to embrace!

Istanbul or Bust

During our giveaway a reader had requested more posts about travel. Lucky for Rachel, I plan on doing just that when I get my tax return. I have been considering many places to go for my 10 vacation days from work. I was thinking Israel because I love Jewish men, and also Germany because I'm German and love beer. I considered Maldives because my roommate showed me a gorgeous hotel and resort there that has an underwater restaurant. But I think I have decided that I really want to go to Istanbul. I went online and found a round trip plane ticket as well as 7 nights at a hotel for only $850. I would go in March around my birthday and fly out during the week which cuts down on flight costs.

Hotel Agan is the best one I found. It is located within walking distance of the Blue Mosque, one of the many sights I plan on seeing while there. It's officially called the Sultan Ahmed Mosque but gained it's nickname because of the blue tiles inside.

The Topkapi Palace is another site I plan on visiting. It was the main residence for the Sultan during the reign of the Ottoman Empire. I would love to walk through such a beautiful building and gardens that has been in existence for so long. I'm especially interested in visiting the Harem. I've read about them in so many books and want to actually see what one looks like.

The last place currently on my list of places to visit is the Grand Bazaar. Haggling with the Turks sounds like a great way to spend an afternoon.

Any other suggestions on where to go in Istanbul?

Snow Day

Oh wait... no. Snow days don't exist anymore in the post grad world!

While I believe that many parts of my undergraduate education failed to prepare me for the working world, this was actually not one of them. My college, located in very winter-y Western, NY, had two official "snow days" the entire four years I attended. Both were during my freshman year. One was due to a blizzard, and the other because the insane wind chill made in dangerous for us to walk outside. Apparently those snow days were the first in 50+ years.

So basically, I'm used to figuring out ways to make it to class and work during inclement weather. The difference now is that I am reliant on a car to get me to my job that is about 10- 15 minutes from my apartment. In college, I either lived on campus, or close enough where I could walk to campus if I needed to. In post grad life, it seems like the annoyance of winter weather is magnified.

To cope, I'm trying my best to make sure that my car maintenance is up to date, that I have my handy small shovel in my trunk, and an ice scraper. Today I avoided the nearest highway, where people tend to get into accidents if it's raining outside, and opted to take slower city streets home from work. Remembering to brake slowly and avoiding sudden jerks of the steering wheel are two more tips that have helped me stay safe in the snow these past few years.

Happy un-snow day post grads!


Just as post grad life has thrust me into the world of self acceptance, it has also taught me the importance of originality. This stage in our lives allows us to separate ourselves from each other, to explore our own interests, without constraints that bundled us in groups before. Before graduating we were all college students and we were all members of a certain major. Before that we were all high school students, and before that we were all angsty pre-teens with lots of braces and glasses...oh, just me? Okay, moving on..

At this point in my life, I have some friends that are traveling, some attending grad school, some living at home, some working typical 9-5 jobs, some working in retail, some living across the country. The point of all this is that we are no longer grouped together so closely, and it's really inspirational for me to see how everyone is moving in different paths at this point in their lives- yet still moving forward. I know that each of these experiences make my friends unique from me. I hope to learn from all of our differences.

To cap off this Thanksgiving holiday, I'd like to say that I'm thankful for the differences between each and every one of my friends. I hope that we all can retain our originality in the future and continue to move forward on the path that's best for us, not for someone else.

Pumpkin Pie Milk Shakes

Have any leftover pumpkin pie? Tired of eating it? Make it into a milkshake. It's a very simple recipe. All you need is a blender, vanilla ice cream, leftover pumpkin pie, and some milk.

Add all ingredients to the blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into cup. Add straw and whipped cream. Enjoy!

If you don't have a blender you can also add the ingredients into a large bowl and blend with a handheld mixer. Yes this is how I had to make my own shake because I couldn't find the blender. Just be careful not to whip it all over yourself. It will make a mess.

Country Challenge!!!!

Long ago I discovered the quiz website Sporcle. It has all kinds of quizzes from geography to sports to entertainment to literature. It has alleviated much boredom and created many a competition. Last year a friend and I had a competition to see who could complete the Countries of the World quiz first. There are 195 countries. It took about two weeks but I finally won.

I just tried the quiz again for the first time since winning that competition and got only 166/195. I guess that's pretty good though for not playing in over a year.

How many countries of the world can you name? And how long will it take you to get to 195? Give it a shot and let me know how you do!!!

Black Friday

I never understood the appeal of getting up at 4am to stand in line with tons of other people to spend money I should be spending on other things. But that is Black Friday. I think it is likely one of the most American traditions there is. It combines competition with lots of spending.

When I began writing this post I was going to give advice on how to survive the hustle and bustle. Then I realized I have no advice. Instead I'm going to give ideas of things to do INSTEAD of participate in this (horrible) American Tradition.

  1. Go to a museum. They will be empty so you can enjoy them to the fullest.
  2. Stay home! There are tons of marathons on tv. Just avoid the crowds altogether and watch some of them.
  3. Create some new recipes to use those Thanksgiving leftovers. Turkey salad anyone? How about some Pie Shakes? Latkes from leftover potatoes?
That's all I've got for now. Except maybe working, but that's not a choice so much as torture. Happy Black Friday!

And the Winner is....

Congratulations to our very first giveaway winner Kim P.! She will receive the Urban Outfitters owl bank in whatever color she chooses. The results were based on the number of comments and our winner was randomly chosen using the True Random Number Generator! Stay tuned for our next giveaway and Happy Thanksgiving to all of our readers!

Old Friends

Today is going to be a busy day. I woke up early to pack things into my car because after working 8:30- 12:30 today, I'm going to be making the 5 hour trek home for Thanksgiving! I'm excited to just relax at home and enjoy the fact that I actually don't have any huge papers or assignments looming over my head. Since I finished packing my car with an extra half hour to spare, I thought I'd write a little post dedicated to my dear old friends.

In high school, you're lucky if you remain friends with people from week to week. I was lucky enough to somehow fall into this great group of friends. We've stayed close throughout four years of high school AND four years of college, despite the fact that we were scattered across the state, and now across the country. Somehow, we find time to see each other whenever we're home and I'm thankful that I get to see a few of them tonight!

Like I mentioned in my recent post on day dates, my main tip for post grads looking to keep in contact with old friends is to schedule, schedule, schedule. If you don't make the time to see each other when you're home on breaks, it's just not going to happen. Keep each other updated through phone calls, texting, email, facebook, twitter... whatever your favorite social media site/ method of communication may be.

Happy Thanksgiving post grads! I hope you all get a chance to see some old friends, relax with family, and eat some great food this holiday!

Day Dates

Since we work alternating schedules at the moment, it's pretty difficult for my boyfriend and I to find time to see each other. We work it out somehow, but most of our dates occur in the evening, and consist of eating together or watching a movie, while we are both exhausted. This Sunday, we magically both had off from work during the day and decided to make the most of it.

We drove out to Buffalo (about an hour drive from Rochester, where I live) and went to the Albright Knox Art Gallery (my idea) and the Buffalo Zoo (his). It was probably one of the best day dates we've had, and definitely our first one in a longgg time. This something I've had a hard time adjusting to as a post grad.

The main advice I can give to any post grads out there in similar situations is to make sure that you plan ahead for you date nights/days. If you don't make official plans, it's likely that things will come up and your time together will be even more limited.

Also, make sure that when you plan day dates, or any dates for that matter, that both of you get the chance to do something fun. When I mentioned how much I wanted to go to the art gallery in Buffalo, I watched the light fade from my boyfriend's eyes and knew this probably wouldn't be his idea of a great daytime activity. Luckily (since we planned ahead) he did a little research about the zoo and we ended up each getting to something together that we really enjoy.

I'll leave you with this picture of a Kodiak bear, which we saw at the zoo. I wanted to keep him as a pet.

Giveaway extended!

Our Urban Outfitters owl bank giveaway has been extended! You now have until Wednesday 11/24 at noon to enter! Don't miss out on our very first prize!

View contest details here!

Brand Me

Pound my skin. Take that needle and insert it. Yeah, right there. Oh that's perfect, that's exactly how I want it.

And my second tattoo was complete.

My personality is not one you would think compatible for tattoos. I get bored easily, have ADD, and I cannot stand commitment (even signing a two year lease for our house put me into a panic).

But I like tattoos. Each one is unique. Each one has a different story that goes with it. Where you went to get it, when, why, with who. Not to mention the story leading up to getting it. What made you decide on the design? A tattoo can say a lot a bout a person.

The whole process of the tattoo is what I like I think. I look past the permanence because of the wonderousness of it. Tattoos have been around for thousands of years. They are a part of several cultures and have many different meanings to each. Tattoos transcend race and gender and economic class. They are all inclusive which also has a hand in why I like them.

Do any of you other post grads have some ink they would like to share?

10 Tips For Surviving A Bad Day

This Frisky article caught my eye after a couple weeks worth of bad days. While I agree with most of them, the number one tip on the list is a fantasy cure. They tell you to sleep. If I actually could sleep every time I had a bad day I surely wouldn't be as tired as I am. I like the idea to watch a funny movie much better.

10 Tips For Surviving A Bad Day


I was a Communication major in college, and I believe that in order to thrive in life, we need feedback! Bouncing ideas off of one another is what makes the world go round.

We need your input to help us take this blog to the next level. We want to write about what you want to read! So comment on our giveaway entry, and spread some of your amazing ideas- you might win something cute in the process!

Also, we only need your first name on the entry, so we're able to identify who won! If your worried about leaving your full name on here, then that problem is solved.

Go comment, share ideas, and win something!!!

Gobble Gobble

The holidays have begun! And so has the excuse to cook to your little heart's desire. I am making my very first Thanksgiving dinner this year and am very excited. My sister is the only one (that I currently know of) who will be subjected to it, but I still find it exciting to be doing it myself this year.

I've come up with a delectible menu which includes:

- Green Bean Casserole

- Fresh Mashed Potatoes

- Turkey with a garlic basil butter sauce

- Pumpkin Pie

- Biscuits

- Apple Pie

- Sam Adams Cherry Wheat

Now I know you're thinking "What about stuffing?!" And I have a answer for you. My sister is in charge of the suffing. She has been for the last 8 years or so. I will give up that part of my first Thanksgiving dinner to carry on the tradition.
The one part of all my previous Thanksgivings I will not be carrying on is forced immediate cleanup of dinner. This ruins it! I cannot wait to just sit on my couch and relax after the feast. The dishes can wait.

Our First Giveaway!

Hi readers, since starting up this new website we've noticed a spike in readership and we are so thankful you all enjoy reading our daily stories.

To say thank you, and encourage all of our readers to start commenting, we've decided to hold our very first giveaway! It's easy to enter. All you have to do is comment on this entry! In the comments be sure to leave your name and also give us one topic you'd like to see us write about in the future.

The contest will go on until this Sunday (11/21) at noon, at which point we will take a cue from some of our favorite bloggers and use a random number generator to determine a winner based on the number of comments we receive.

The prize?

Well, we love Urban Outfitters...and owls.. and saving money. The three of these things generally do not mesh very well- until today!

Our lucky commenter will receive this adorable owl bank from Urban Outfitters in any color they desire, to be shipped out no later than Monday morning! It could be your day to start saving that loose change post grads! (Or you could just display it in your apartment).

The commenting contest begins now! (We will email you for your address after the contest is over- so be sure to check back on Sunday and see if you won!) Questions? Email us at

Self Acceptance

I've been noticing lately that since becoming a post grad I care a lot less about what people think of me. I've always tried to be that type of person.. the one who did her own thing despite the norm. Yet, deep down there were always lingering insecurities that I'm sure most young women and men have to deal with.

I think we start to become more happy with who we are when we're in college. Some might say these are the years we "find" or "discover" ourselves, but I really think college is the time when we just accept who we are, quirks and faults included.

In high school, at least in my high school, there was always some sort of quiet pressure or competition. If you weren't great at sports, then you better be into the music or the arts. If you weren't into either of those, then you better be an honor student and part of student government. Any combination of the above was sort of an extra self confidence boost we could take with us throughout the school day, as we wandered the halls, already insecure about our personality, appearance, or latest relationship status.

Once you were in college, all of these pressures were released. You had the chance to start all over again, pursuing only what interested you. In my four years as an undergrad I did things I never thought I'd have the courage to do. I took on leadership positions, performed a ten minute long monologue in front of hundreds, and even took a risk in pursuing a major that wasn't necessarily going to land me with a position immediately after graduation. Yet, after all of this, I still felt like I could probably love myself a little bit more.

Post grad life has essentially thrown me over the edge into the cool waters of self acceptance, because in this world, believing in yourself and your own strengths is the only way to make it through. A boss isn't going to hire you if you only like yourself a little bit and relationships aren't going to flourish if you aren't willing to stand up for what you believe in.

Most of us have great support systems of family, friends, or significant others. But if you don't accept yourself, the crazy cloud of emotional distress and endless opportunities that is post grad life might eat you alive. So let's keep on accepting ourselves post grads. I'm making no apologies for who I am, and working to better myself only because I want to, not for the approval of others.

In the comments, I challenge our readers to make a list of five things they have learned to accept about themselves since graduating. In my next post I'll share mine..

Time Keeps on Slipping Slipping

Into the future...
I'm with Allie in that I've been complaining on lot on here lately. And I can't stand doing it. I would much rather have nothing to complain about. Ah well, no life is perfect I suppose.

But Steve MIller said it best. His song "Fly Like and Eagle" opened my eyes to why I've been complaining. And why, in at least part of my life, I am miserable. I'm not feeding the babies, or shoeing the children, or housing the people. My job is pointless. I help the rich and powerful of this city do even less for themselves than I thought they did.

Instead of going to the Apple store and buying an iPad, my company buys it, sets it up, delivers it to the door, and trains people in how to use it. This takes several hours to complete. And technology consultants are not cheap. Trust me, I do the billing. I realized today that it actually makes me sick that some people have the money to afford this instead of doing it themselves. When there are so many without food and homes in this country and abroad it just doesn't make sense to me.

Most of our clients actually do good things as well. I am not criticizing them as people. They earned their fortunes. Being wealthy is an American dream. It's the fact that there is such a gap between the wealthy and the poor that sickens me. And again it is not the fault of the wealthy that the poor are indeed poor. I do, however, feel like there is so much more they could do with their money than pay a consulting firm so they don't have to buy their own iPad. Especially with the holiday season upon us, I feel like money should be spent with a bigger picture in mind than just your own presents. The future is upon us too. What are you going to do about it?


I feel like I've been complaining a lot on this blog lately. Well, maybe not on the blog.. but I definitely have in real life to my family and friends. Instead of complaining today, I am going to make a list of a few random things I am thankful for (in honor of Thanksgiving and my mini Thanksgiving vacation that is soon approaching!!)

I'm thankful for...

- Notorious BIG and Girl Talk. Without their musical stylings, I don't think I would make it through runs or my time at the gym.

- The City of Rochester (or mother nature technically), for allowing it to be sunny springtime weather in mid-November.

-My friends& family who listen to me vent all the time about life as a post grad.
-My job. I'm lucky to have job that is so in line with what I went to college for, or a job at all, really.

- Wegmans. Wegmans is the best grocery store ever, and I will miss it when I leave Western, NY someday.

What are you thankful for post grads?

New, New, New!

Hi everyone, Shikole and I are so excited to switch over our Wordpress blog to our new website! There are a few changes from our old site to watch for:

1. The author of each post can now be found at the top of the post, right under the title and next to the date.

2. We are now updating our blog through blogger, which means that if you're on blogspot, follow us!!

3. We are still under construction. This is the preliminary layout for our new site. In the coming weeks we will be fine tune-ing the site so it is as accessible and aesthetically pleasing as possible! Things will be changing, but we will still be updating our entries daily!

4. We have added a new anonymous advice section! Click on the Advice tab and ask away! We will be publishing relevant answers (of course your name will not be included), so please don't feel afraid to share your opinions on the blog or ask Shikole and I any questions!

That's about it for now! I hope you all had great weekends, I know I did!

The Simple Things

Last night I stayed in. I planned on drinking some wine and reading Cosmo to unwind from the week. Instead it ended up being house bonding night with cards and Rockband and drinks. Other than the hangover this morning, it was the best night I've had in a while.

Today I went with a few friends to the National Portrait Gallery. I had never been before and there were some really great exhibits open, like Elvis at 21. I didn't realize he was so sexy. Norman Rockwell also had an exhibit open which was really good. I must say the "Jury" portrait was my favorite.

The point of my little anecdotes is that the simple things in life are important and make you happier than you might think. I've been in a bad mood all week and these two very simple things made me very happy again. You don't need to go out or do something special. Being able to relax and be yourself and enjoy the company of friends is the best feeling in the world. So post grads, go relax!

Do You Ever Wish You Could Totally Change Careers?

The Frisky read my mind today...

Do You Ever Wish You Could Totally Change Careers?

Is it Monday again??

By Allison Sass

Today was just one of those days.  It was beautiful out here in Rochester, but other than the weather, things just seemed to fall flat. I am so stuck in my daily routine of work, gym, dinner, sleep that sometimes when I wake up in the morning, I just can't wait for it all to be over. 

So today I am shaking things up. I'm taking myself out on a date to buy new boots, some groceries, and I then I am going to workout later using my trusty pilates dvd. Take that, schedule!  Sometimes you just need days like this to stay sane and regroup.

Tomorrow is Friday and this weekend looks like a promising mix of hiking and friend time. On Monday I fall into my post grad schedule once again. Such is life.

Save Me

By Shikole Struber

I'm drowning.  This week has been a brutal one at the office. A coworker was out sick for 2.5 days and I had to cover for him. And we were being audited today, so I had to prepare for that. And my boss's wife is a week and a half overdue with her baby, so he has been unexpectedly at the doctor's office. Oh, and I don't get tomorrow off for a holiday.

While everything is going and my adrenaline is up and my focus is on, it's great and I'm in my element. But if my focus is off, even just a little, or I stop for a second to breathe that's it. I get so overwhelmed. My job is not in the field I studied. I've picked up some things but for the most part I still feel like an outsider in IT world. And the past few days when I've been doing so much that isn't even in my job description I've felt like I was drowning.

And then I had a minor change of heart when I realized I have some new things to add to my resume. Have you ever prepared a small business for a state level payroll audit? I hadn't either until now but you can bet it's going to be added to my resume. All the stress will at least impress a future employer. Have you ever written an RFP? Do you even know what an RFP is? I didn't either. I was given the assignment, figured it out, wrote it, and it was accepted with only minor additions.

While I have been feeling like my lungs are filling with water lately, the air has finally started to replace it.

Layers of Post Grad

By Allison Sass

I saw the movie Inception last night... yes I know, I am behind the times, but I saw it in theaters for $1.00, so I'm gonna say it was worth the wait.  The movie involved the process of having dreams within dreams within dreams, you know the feeling when you think you wake up from a dream but you're really in another one?  I couldn't help but  think about how much this idea parallels post grad life.

Sometimes I think about my post grad life in terms of layers.  Layer 1 is sort of the broad acceptance of the fact that I am no longer a college student/ a semi-real adult.

Layer 2 focuses on my desire to succeed in post grad life, and all that accompanies success: healthy relationships, a career, making use of my college education. I often reach layer 2 when I focus too much on layer 1.

Layer 3 is what I like to think of as my post grad inner child.  In this inner most layer, I become lost in thoughts about what life could be like if only I were a few more years younger, lived closer to home, and had time to rethink the direction of my life.

It's so easy for me to get lost in these layers, consumed by what could be or should be... but then I get a kick. In Inception, the "kick" is that feeling of falling that wakes you up out of a dream, the jolt that brings you back to reality.

In the post grad world, my "kick" is my paycheck, my freedom, or the thrill of finding another article relating to water conservation that I can blog about for my company (don't mock me, this is my life).  These "kicks" bring me out of my post grad layers and back into reality. But, much like dreaming, I know I'll fall back into my layered fantasies sooner or later. Let's just hope these kicks keep on coming!

Goodbye Sunshine

By Allison Sass

For weeks I have been so eager for Daylight Savings time to end so that it would be light out again in the morning as I got ready for work. Fumbling around in my closet in the pitch black and leaving the house as the sun rose was not my idea of a good start to the day.

Now, it's happened. We got that long-awaited extra hour of sleep and all is right with the world. Oh, except for the fact that in my new post grad life, I will not be enjoying weekday sunlight for quite some time, aside from the light streaming into my office.

For those post grads who have 9-5 jobs like me, it's going to be slim pickings in the daylight department for quite some time. To deal with this, I'm going to try to take walks during my lunch break, and make sure that I head to the gym right after work to avoid my instinct to flop on my bed after a long day.

Some blog posts I've been reading have suggested wearing bright colors on these short days to make things more cheery. I'll give it a shot, though I'm wearing a flowered shirt right now and feel pretty much the same.

Another thing I might try is to set a specific goal for myself to finish by the conclusion of the winter months- by March or so. I'm thinking about training for a half marathon, maybe that will be my goal? We'll see...

What about your post grads? How do you plan on making it through the lack of natural sunlight blues?

Dealing With Unpleasant Neighbors

By Allison Sass

We've mentioned before that post grads don't exactly have the best pick when it comes to living situations. We're either paying too much for comfort/location, or living in a place we can afford that might not be up to all of our standards.

In college, the neighbors we became accustomed to dealing with were mostly fellow college students. But, if you moved off campus during your time in school, you definitely understand that apartment living and school sponsored dorm living are two very different things.

I was inspired to write this post based on my current next door neighbors who just had a curse word filled screaming match in our adjoining driveway at 8 pm. It's not the first time this has happened, and while it's annoying, I've learned to cope. I hope that all of the families with young children on the street have learned to deal as well.

Here are some tips on how to deal with less than perfect neighbors:

-Don't allow them to speak down to you. Our age can sometimes lead older unpleasant neighbors to not take us seriously. Use that college education of yours and show them that you mean business-politely, of course.

-Play by the rules. If your lease states that you get to use the driveway, don't let your neighbors get away with parking their cars there, or worse, blocking you in. Ask them respectfully to adhere to the rules, and if it becomes a consistent problem alert your landlord, or the police. The same goes for you if the roles are reversed. Mutual respect will make your apartment living experience much more pleasurable.

-Remain approachable. Don't start off your relationship with your neighbors in a huff. Say hi when you see them and keep relations diplomatic.

How do you deal with your neighbors- have any other post grads out there dealt with similar problems?

Salaried Workers Have No Rights

By Shikole Struber

It was brought to my attention yesterday by a law student that salaried workers have no rights. Labor laws are only meant to protect us from unsafe work environments, but apparently being overworked is perfectly safe. Employers are not obligated to pay us for overtime. They can have us work for as many hours as they choose. And we cannot refuse to work more than 40 hours a week.

The exceptions to this is workers who are paid hourly or if by some chance there is a stipulation in your contract about hours.

This is the reason Americans hate their lives. It is amazing to me that no person, politician or human rights advocate has done anything to change this practice. Other countries work less than 40 hours a week and are much happier and more prosperous. Americans do nothing but work. Mostly because they can.

If there was a cap on number of hours a week a person can work, more jobs would have to be created if an employer wants the same amount of work to be completed. Americans would also be less stressed, which would improve health.

This may just be an overworked, over stressed post grad venting about the number of hours I'm made to work, but mark my words, if I ever run for office, this will be my platform.

November Slump

By Allison Sass

October was a great month to be a post grad. I got to enjoy a bunch of outdoor activities and embrace fall, minus dealing with midterms and other college assignments. Now, October is over, and the first few days of November in Rochester have started out at around 30 degrees in the mornings. Yesterday there was even icy slush on the stairs from my apartment.

I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving, since it'll be the longest time I've been home since early July. Other than that, November has got me in a slump. I need your help readers- why is November a great month for post grads?

Sanity Restoration

By Shikole Struber

The Rally to Restore Sanity/Fear occurred in DC this weekend. It was quite an experience to attend. I don't think I had ever been at a rally here that had so many people in agreement on something (in this case that politics and the media that cover them are getting out of hand and needs some sanity restored to it.) Most others were political and very  partisan with many counter-activists. This one felt more like the country was unified, except for maybe the confused media.

There were a plethora of witty signs to accompany the confusion. As well as songs and chants and some tree climbing. For some reason several of the grassy areas of the National Mall were closed off by fences. No one was sure why. But someone started a chant that went "Restore common sense. Take down the fence."

The rally also included the most inclusive groups of people I have ever seen in one place. There were small children, older citizens, people of every race and ethnicity, people of several religions and earning classes, and people from all over the country. I was absolutely amazed at how well all these people got along as well. It really was a rally where we were all just friends. Except for one woman who decided to scream in a shrill voice at people who stepped on the grass like it was her job to discipline them. That woman was not our friend. It was also very entertaining because it was Halloween weekend and several rally participants were in costume. We witnessed Quail Man (personal favorite), Cookie Monster, a Duck, a Cave Man, a Nun (yes I', sure it was a costume, it was a dude) and many many more.

I think the rally was a step in the right direction for the country. Hopefully it will decrease the overly exaggerated, fear inspiring media stories and increase the rationality and common sense of the nation. It was comforting as a post grad to know that at least some other people are on the same page as us.

First Comes Love...

By Allison Sass

There's no questioning that breakups are hard for everyone involved. The end of a relationship signals the end of a chapter in your life and suddenly all you can remember are the good times you spent with the person.

Eventually you do move on, and find that you are happier without the relationship. You can look back on the fun times and remember them without gut wrenching pain.

That is, until you find out that your ex has found someone new. The pangs of distress start to rush back, but you suffocate them- telling yourself that you wish only happiness on your old flame.

Then you find out that your ex is getting married.  In the post grad world, marriage all of a sudden becomes very real.

My first, long-term boyfriend and I dated for 3+ years, calling it off in college because of distance and the fact that what we wanted out of life was just so different. Imagine my surprise that less than a year after our breakup he was engaged, and 6 months later, married. In the world of Facebook and blogging, nothing is kept private. I watched it all unravel so publicly online, and was in complete shock.

I remember that the day he was married was the day I moved into my first apartment before my senior year at SUNY Geneseo. It seemed appropriate, since my focus on academics and my future, and his focus on settling down quickly was ultimately what drove us apart. That doesn't mean I didn't shed a few tears.

As much as I hate to admit it, you will likely find yourselves in a similar predicament at one point in the coming years post grads. Maybe not in the next year or so, but mid to late 20's are prime marriage years. Here's a few tips on how to deal:

- Don't go to the wedding! If you and your ex are civil, you might find a wedding invitation turn up in your mailbox. Think about how your stomach feels as you open. If you are calm and purely happy for the couple, then attend. If your stomach does somersaults and you immediately toss the invitation across the room- think twice ( a nice congratulations card will do).

-Stay out of it. What hurt the most to me was that my ex's wedding was plastered across social media websites. Even if I wasn't looking for it, it somehow sprang across my computer screen. However, this does not give you the right to ask your mutual Facebook friends about wedding details, or comment on anything about the wedding. Take the high road, post grads!

-Allow them to do the contacting. Do not send them emails after the wedding "catching up", when really you are "checking up" on their new lives. Even if you casually email prior to the wedding, allow them to make the first move in contacting you after things are official.

-Stay positive. Whether you are with someone great and the whole wedding business has just got you nostalgic, or you are alone and bitter that your ex is not, don't worry, your time will come. Just think you've got all sorts of fun weddings to look forward to! Family members, friends, and someday, if you so desire, your own.

Quick Tip Of The Day: Save Big With Coupon Codes

If I had known about this before I'd be saving a ton of money!

Quick Tip Of The Day: Save Big With Coupon Codes.

What Does it Mean to Be a Grown Up?

By Shikole Struber

I just used the unexpected extra money I had this week to make an early payment on one of my student loans instead of buying new boots, flats, and a bag.

Legally we are adults at 18. However very few of us act like it then. The decision I made this morning got me thinking about what it actually means to be a grown up, and if somehow I have become one.

Here are some things I think contribute to being a grown up:

  • Taking responsibility (for anything and everything)

  • Making the responsible decision instead of the fun one (paying loans instead of buying shoes)

  • Being honest (goes with taking responsibility. Why lie about who made a mess of the kitchen?)

Those are the major characteristics I see that separate a child from a grown up. What do you think contributes?

Consider Your Readers At ALL Times

By Allison Sass

As recent grads, it's likely that most of you have at least thought about blogging, for either personal of professional reasons. Blogging is the thing to do right now, and I love it (obviously). I think that blogs are a great way for people to connect and share their opinions.

If you start a blog that you hope will attract a large fan base of readers, it's important that you are respectful to your readers. You might think, but this blog is MINE and if decide that I want to whine and put down others, I can do what I want. And.. you can. But don't expect to still have loyal readers when you're through.

Yesterday after work, I came across an article about a Marie Claire blogger downing a new television show that revolves around a romance between two overweight individuals. In her blog, writer Maura Kelly says, " I find it aesthetically displeasing to watch a very, very fat person simply walk across a room." and blames the new t.v. show for promoting obesity. Did she not stop to think that many of her loyal readers might be struggling with their own weight related problems?

What saddens me the most is that this blogger isn't just a cynical recent graduate with a hatred for the world, or an angsty teen. She is in her 30's and supposedly an accomplished writer. The fact that Marie Claire  published this blog on their website gives this well-respected women's lifestyle magazine a tarnished reputation.

The moral of all of this? Think long and hard about the audience you are attracting with your blog, and whether your blog is straight up offending them. It's one thing to talk about taboo subjects- it's entirely another to call your readers "fatties".

 Technology is great, and our generation embraces it more than most. It's also great to have an opinion, all good bloggers do! But please remember state it gracefully, keeping your readers in mind.. or else you'll find yourself in a Maura Kelly comment bashing situation, with noone to blame but yourself.

Stay classy, post grads.

Biggest Post Grad Fantasy

By Shikole Struber

I've had a lot of fantasies in my life. Some of them I've fulfilled, some are too far out there to ever make a reality, few of which I'm willing to share here. My absolute biggest fantasy so far as a post grad, though, has got to be running away.

I know, it sounds like I'm an angst filled thirteen year old who hates her mother and thinks she can hitch hike to the next town and be happy. But I'm serious. My biggest fantasy is to just get in my car and drive. I don't want to tell anyone where I'm going. I don't want my cell phone so I can't be reached. I don't want to put in notice at work or worry about being late.

Think about it. Complete freedom from all responsibility. Except for maybe car insurance payments so I can get around. Responsibility is driving me insane. All I want to do is run away. Even if it's just for a week I think I'd be happy.

What is your biggest post grad fantasy?

Thank You For Not Stealing My Bike

By Allison Sass

Oh wait, you DID steal my bike.

This weekend, my bike was stolen by an inconsiderate, mean hearted person. While I am still fuming, this incident has been just another lesson, pushing me far out of my post grad naive bubble. 

While a bike might be safe unlocked under the porch in some neighbors, my quiet dead-end street in Rochester is apparently not one of them. What gets me the most is that the thief didn't waste any time. I hadn't even had my bike at my apartment for a week before it was taken.

As Shikole learned with her recent car break in, locking your personal belongings away is important, no matter where you live. Too bad I didn't even have a chance to purchase a lock for my bike before it was gone..

Oh well, you live and you learn.. such is the life of a post grad.

Thank You for Not Stealing My Car

By Shikole Struber

This morning my roommates and I went out to my car for a nice field trip to IHOP. To my surprise and confusion my passenger door was somewhat ajar, as was my glove box and little compartment between the front seats. Luckily nothing had been broken or stolen (probably because I have nothing to steal and the doors were unlocked so no point in breaking anything).

I have to admit that many many people have been telling me to lock my car for years and I never listened. I am stubborn like that and never saw the need because my car is a piece of shit. This reckless behavior finally caught up with me. While I was extremely lucky that my car is still where I parked it, and nothing was taken or broken, I will also now admit that I should have listened and locked my car.

I'm not what you would say scared that someone opened the door and looked around. I am just a wee bit concerned that they have some of my personal information now. The glove box was open where my registration and insurance card is kept. Nothing was missing but it could've been looked at.

All I have to say now is that I have learned my lesson and at least it didn't also get egged or something.

The End

By Shikole Struber

It is the last day of the challenge to not eat out or order in for 1 whole week. I think I have saved about $45 by doing this. It made me feel less guilty about spending money on other things, like a cab to the bar last night. It's amazing how much eating out adds up. It is more convenient and less messy, but you have to weigh the worth of your money and that of loading a dishwasher.

The challenge also helped me venture out and find new things to cook, and also helped me discover what some things are actually used for. I had never used tomato paste before this challenge. I didn't really understand why it existed. But it did make a great addition to soup.

Challenge number 1 successfully complete!

Owning It: De-Stress Techniques

By Allison Sass

We all have an inner dork lurking within us. This is very different from the "ironic dorks" that so many post grad "hipsters" pride themselves on being, or the "stereotypical dorks" that thrive on memorizing calculus formulas and shopping for their newest pocket protector.

Inner dorks are much more embarrassing. These are the quirks that make up so much of who we are, yet we try as hard as possible to protect from being seen by the outside public. Well readers, I am going to level with you and offer up a few of my own my quirks. There are far to many for one entry, but since it's friday, I thought I'd talk about the ways I de-stress after work.

I do de-stress using some pretty common techniques. I go to the gym often, read, or enjoy a glass of tea or wine. But lets move past the boring stuff here- bring on the embarrassing!

One of my favorite ways to relax before heading to bed is to watch TLC/ HGTV/Discovery Health tv shows. Do they provide me with actual knowledge? No.. well maybe more than the Jersey Shore.. but mostly no. I just love watching newlyweds redesign their homes and polygamist family drama.

I also love to play the piano, I have this awesome keyboard in my room that I should probobly bust out some classical or indie rock music on. Instead I enjoy learning how to play 90's pop songs (I learned Hit Me Baby One More Time last week) and Taylor Swift tunes (although I've already stated in a past entry that her music is my guilty pleasure).

When I do indulge in my stereotypical evening workouts, I like to listen to the most vulgar rap music I can get my hands on. The more cursing and offensive innuendos the better, for some reason this pumps me up on the treadmill.

Since Shikole and I have been friends for a very long time, I'd thought I'd wrap up this post by sharing one of our relaxation traditions when we are both home in the Hudson Valley. You would think we look forward to doing the typical, shopping the night away, seeing a movie, girl thing, but no no no.

What we enjoy most is buying nerds rope from our favorite Stewart's gas station, heading to our local community college parking lot, sitting there (in the car still) and gossiping. I guess the community college could technically be considered a landmark now though, since it's where Snookie went to college before hitting it big on the Jersey Shore.

What do you do to relax that you don't normally share? Write your relaxation tips in the comments and own your inner dork!

The Food Challenge Rages On!

By Allison Sass

The post grad food challenge has actually been a lot easier than I thought.. especially cutting out caffeine. While I generally don't need caffeine daily, I do sometimes crave it, especially on a crazy workday. Well, today was one of the most hectic I've had since starting at my new job and I didn't even consider caffeine an option. (I also didn't have any.. but maybe that's the key for me, out of sight, out of mind.)

I'm sticking to my excercise routine and headed to my spinning class in a bit. Who knows, maybe I'll keep this vegetable heavy diet going past this week? It's all about finding a healthy balance.

While many post grads wouldn't think to subject themselves to a caffeine free diet, I highly recommend you try, even if it's only cutting back from two to one cup of coffee a day.

 A healthier you = more productive employee = more energy after work = a fufilling post grad life. I know, I know.. I often trick people into thinking I was a math major in college.

Let's Get It On

By Shikole Struber

While I recognize this may be a taboo topic for some, in reality, sex is a part of life. It does not need to be shied away from and should certainly be addressed here because it is a part of life for many post grads.

When I finally get off work an hour and half after I'm supposed to there are only two things I want: a beer and some great sex to relieve the stress the day produced. But in post grad life it becomes more difficult to get it on as often as we'd like, for people both in a relationship and those who are single.

The schedules of people in a relationship don't always match up to allow for nightly romps. One works nights or one doesn't get home until after dinner time or you live too far from each other to realistically be able to see each other during the week. Or both partners can be too tired after work to exert the energy for sex. Bottom line is that the lifestyle post grad has forced on us is not always conducive to mind blowing action in the bedroom.

And if you're single, let me tell you, you either need a very reliable booty call buddy or you're screwed, and not in the way you'd like. It's not easy to just "find" someone. Dating takes a lot of work. And sometimes you just want to get laid.

Sex is good for us after all. It has been proven to:
  • Reduce Stress
  • Release endorphins (making us happier)
  • Increase our immune system function

Less stress, less sick, and more happy. More benefits can be found here.  I think all those things would help us in post grad life!

Is it possible to have a fulfilling sex life post grad? (Some) Married couples seem to have accomplished this. Maybe it just takes time to adjust. I was speaking to a woman a couple weeks ago who informed me that it took her and her body about three years to adjust to schedules and attention span expected in the working world. I really hope she is wrong because I don't think I can last three years being exhausted every day, however the adjustment aspect seems legit.

Rememeber that sex can make you healthier, and should not be ignored as a topic because it is taboo. Good luck post grads. I hope your immune systems get boosted.