Rain Rain Go Away

By Shikole Struber

It's been a rainy day in the District. In keeping with our musical theme, I wanted to put forth a song that was appropriate for the weather but also happy. A dreary day is bad enough as it is. No sense listening to music that depresses you further. Enter Jack Johnson. Music perfect for many situations, especially for when stuck in the office and the rain is coming down.

What other music is good for a rainy day?

Chips and Dip... or Shoulders

By Allison Sass

I've been told that I can have a "chip on my shoulder" when talking about the way I have been treated as a recent graduate. For the most part, my "chip" is a result of my job hunt following graduation. Believe me, I know that a stressful job hunt doesn't make me unique from the millions of other post grads seeking employment. It's not just the act of looking for jobs that got me down, it was the attitude of potential employers.

I began looking for jobs during my Senior year of college, sending away application after application without reply. Once I graduated and had more time, I took the next step by calling the places I applied and attempting to speak to anyone who would listen. After I found that it was all to easy to put be on hold and forgotten, I went out into the city on foot, driving forty minutes daily from my college apartment, to hand my resume in to potential jobs personally. Thankfully, I eventually found a position that valued this enthusiasm and who I am as an employee. This certainly was not the case with nearly every other business I visited.

Over the course of my job search I spent a lot of time in waiting rooms, a lot of time being shooed out of offices, and even more time composing followup emails or making followup phone calls to each of the places I visited. The majority of which went entirely unreturned. Too many "I'll call you by Friday to discuss your qualifications!" ended in me calling the business a week later and finding out that no one in the entire company had time to speak to me.

Post grads are often stereotyped as lazy 20 somethings, sucking their parents dry financially, with little motivation to achieve great things. I sometimes wonder how many businessmen laugh together in their offices  about these types of post grads, bonding over their "superior" work ethic.. when it's possible they have a post grad waiting unnoticed in their lobby, eager to get his/her foot in the door.

I am thankful that I eventually found a company that values my enthusiasm and new ideas.  My time at my current job has also shown me that there are succesful businessmen out there that who are willing to look past the post grad stereotype and embrace the idea that recent grads can bring something to the table.  

Frankly, I don't care if there is a "chip" on my post grad shoulder. In the corporate world, common courtesy does not vanish. It does not matter how important you think you are, or how busy you actually are.  Of course, I didn't expect to receive a ten minute long phone call or detailed email from everyplace I interviewed immediately following my interview, but a one minute phone call, or two lined email (even a generic one) within the following week would have likely given me, and other post grads that are actively seeking employment, a little more faith.

It's tough for anyone, regardless of age, to land a position in this economy. I'm certainly not arguing that post grads ought to be given jobs over more qualified individuals. I am instead wondering if the corporate world today is really creating an environment that fosters development for younger generations. How is it possible to excel without being given a chance?

Post Grad Mental Health: Depression

By Shikole Struber 

Mental health is important throughout your life. For the most part, professionals and individuals have a good grasp on most of the symptoms, treatments and how to manage mental health. Most conditions have a specific name and an outlined treatment plan. One realm of mental health that has not been studied specifically is depression in post grads. 

Depression itself is common, but there are several different kinds. 

  • Seasonal Affective Disorder - A type of depressive disorder which is characterized by episodes of major depression which reoccur at a specific time of the year (e.g. fall, winter).

  • Anxiety Depression - Not an official depression type (as defined by the DSM). However, anxiety often also occurs with depression. In this case, a depressed individual may also experience anxiety symptoms (e.g. panic attacks) or an anxiety disorder (e.g. PTSD, panic disorder, social phobia, generalized anxiety disorder).

  • Atypical Depression - (Sub-type of Major Depression or Dysthymia) - Characterized by a temporary improvement in mood in reaction to positive events and two (or more) of the following: significant weight gain or increase in appetite,over sleeping, heavy feeling in arms or legs, long-standing pattern of sensitivity to rejection.

  • Chronic Depression - Major depressive episode that lasts for at least two years.

  • Endogenous Depression - Endogenous means from within the body. This type of depression is defined as feeling depressed for no apparent reason.

*Definitions retrieved from here.  

The list goes on, but those are some of the major ones. While the depression a post grad is feeling may fall into one of those categories, no research has been done on how the actual cause of depression might be graduation. There is Post Partum depression that occurs directly as a result of having a baby, which leads me to believe that the emotional and physical stresses of such a major life change as graduation may also have distinct characteristics as a type of depression.



Graduating college is probably the biggest and most open-ended life change. There is no clear path to follow. No guidelines. While we have previously spoken about how the possibilities being endless is liberating, not all post grads feel this way. Not knowing where you are going to live, if you have to move back in with your parents, not knowing what kind of job you want, or what kind you can get, lack of structure and the loss of your support system are too much for a lot of post grads to handle on their own. Depression is very common in the years following graduation, but not commonly discussed. 

One of the characteristics I would attribute to Post Graduation Depression is not knowing what makes you happy. Allison recently posted about making yourself happy first and not trying to please anyone around you. This is also common advice for alleviating depressed feelings. But what if you don't know what makes you happy anymore? We all knew what made us happy in the college setting, but now the rules have changed, the players have changed, the location has changed; what makes us happy in this new game called post grad life? 

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="96" caption="Marcos Salazar"][/caption]

Marcos Salazar is an expert on the Millennial Generation and has included post grad depression as a series in his blog. He outlines some other specific symptoms he thinks should be included in the specific depression that post grads experience. Please check it out here if you would like more information. 

6 Organization Obsessions, High- And Low-Tech | The Frisky

Need help keeping track of all those job interviews? Tend to always lose the business cards you get while networking? Check out these organizational tools.

6 Organization Obsessions, High- And Low-Tech | The Frisky.

Be Happy

By Allison Sass

"Dont worry, be happy". It's a line in one of everyone's favorite reggae jams, but how often to we actually take the song's advice? I know that during my life I have sacrificed doing what I believe will make me truly happy because a.) it was difficult, b.) other people in my life convinced me that I should take a different path, or c.) I was terrified of letting down friends and family.  I've never had horrible outcomes by taking these paths. In fact, my need to please others has actually led me to enjoy some great life experiences. But, I still can't help but wonder, what if?

Your post grad life is the perfect time to move away from the "what if" cycle. You are on your way to financial independence, don't have four-year college dictating your life, most likely don't have children or a husband to dictate your life choices, and may even be in a completely new location where the only person creating your schedule is you.

For now, my happiness is in the works. I'm taking steps to improve my post grad life that I will share in a future entries, but for now (in keeping with our musical themed week) I'd like to leave you with a song that was always quoted by one of my Geneseo Communication professors.

He used to tell us that it wasn't our class grades or his approval, but the effort we put into our work and life that will ultimately make us feel happiest. He would always say "don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy". Here you go, post grads!

Sick Days

By Shikole Struber

I woke up this morning feeling like I had been run over by a truck in my sleep. It is that time of year again, when the drastic temperature changes, allergies, and stress levels all gang up on your body and attack. It made me think about sick days at the work place.

I had to call in sick my 2nd week here because I had pink eye. There was no question that it had to be done. I couldn't open my eyes to even drive to work. But what about when you have a cold? Or flu-like symptoms? Or a fever? How do you know if you should call in sick to work or tough it out?

There are many reasons not to call in sick:

  1. You have a very limited number of sick days

  2. You want to save your sick days for fun

  3. You have sick days but they are not paid

  4. You actually have things you need to get done at work

There are also many reasons you should call in:

  1. Spreading the germs is not going to help your company.

  2. If you are sick you will not be functioning optimally.

  3. It will take longer to recover if you push your body too much

If you really don't want to call in sick though, I would advise taking something to feel at least like a human, even if it's not a high functioning one. Working from home is another great solution. I am currently sitting at my desk trying to do just that. Working from home would save my coworkers from being exposed to germs, and I'd still be getting something done. It might not be as much as I would accomplish at the office, but I'd be in bed with tea trying to recover. The only way to really do that is sleep and rest and vitamins, not so much emails, phone calls and work.


By Shikole Struber

Football is a fantastic reason to sit on the couch with your buddies and hang out. We have done posts before about inexpensive ways to have fun and also different ways to meet people. Football. It's free to watch. It's cheap to drink if every guest brings a 6 pack. And if you open up the invitation to friends of friends it's really easy to broaden your circle of friends or even meet a new love interest. At the very least you get to watch men play the game in those tight little pants.

Football is magical. It's not just about the game, even though that's important too. You can find out a lot about a person by watching a game with them. Are they team loyal? Or state loyal? Do they just root for the team that's likely to win? Do they always root for the underdog? How do they react when there is a touchdown? How about when there's one by the other team? How much do they listen to the other people in the room when there is debate about a call?

Pay attention to the games and go meet some new people. Go Team!

Sunday Lounging

By Shikole Struber

It's football season. Many are caught up in a game right now. (Not happy the Giants are losing) There's a lot of energy and emotional charge when watching the game. I prefer to lounge and relax on a Sunday. Here is one of the many songs that I like to listen to on the couch while reading a book on a Sunday afternoon.

Relaxing on a Friday

By Allison Sass

Shikole and I have decided that this week will be a musical one! We are sharing our favorite songs that help us cope with post grad life.

Many people who don't listen to Broken Social Scene might find this song to be strange, but to me, it's one of those songs that you listen to while laying on your bed, relaxing after a long week. It takes me back to my Sophomore year in college when this song was part of the opening for a play I was in.

What are you favorite relaxation songs? Leave some comments!

Feel Like A Zombie Come Back To Life

By Shikole Struber

It's Friday. Thank the heavens. It's been a long, trying week, and there are just 5-6 hours until freedom. In honor of Friday, here is Usher's newest. "DJ got us fallin in love" is my new favorite. I listen to it on repeat during my commute. It's a fantastic pump up song.

Post Grad Profile: Erica

Erica Decker took a leap that many post grads fantasize about by moving across country from New York to San Francisco. Learn more about her career journey below!

What did you want to do going into college?
I was always one of those people who knew exactly what she wanted and how she'd do it. Even when I was dead wrong, I was sure of myself. I was so sure that I knew what I was doing, that I, without much of a second thought, went to Clarkson University for business and left very little wiggle room. My university was small and best known for its Business and Engineering schools.

What did you end up doing?
It turned out that I loathed business school. During that time, I was miserable, but happened to be roped into designing a website for the entrepreneurs organization I was in. That project ended up being way more fun than I could imagine, and I quickly decided to transfer to a school that would offer a digital media program. The problem was that the new school couldn't house me on campus, so I deferred my acceptance for one semester and started to take courses in the Communications department at Clarkson, which was really small. I fell in love with my professors and new classmates, and decided that Clarkson was too awesome to leave, even if it meant that I had to shape my own academics to an extent. I created some of my own classes, became involved in a web-related work-study job, and made some freelance websites on the side.

What is your most ideal post grad life?
I love what I do right now, and can't picture changing it at this point in my life. I'm a User Experience Designer at an agency called Marker Seven in San Francisco, California. My job is intellectual, challenging, artistic, and scientific, and I think it suits me perfectly. The sad part is that in this economic depression, I felt that I had to move clear across the country in order to launch my career. San Francisco is still booming for tech, much more than the rest of the country. Ideally, I'd love to be closer to family and friends.

Where did you go?
As mentioned, I moved to San Francisco, California. I'm originally from upstate New York. Man, I miss Fall and apple picking!

How did your plan change along the way?
In the course of my 3.5 years of college, I changed my major 4 times. I struggled with what I found interesting, what felt worthwhile, and where I wanted to be. I went through a few months in college debating on whether or not to transfer. I changed my mind a million and a half times on whether or not I wanted to graduate early. I fluctuated in my decisions on where to move after school. Back home? Back to Boulder, Colorado where I interned? Boston? NYC? Connecticut? California? Eventually, I just had to stop thinking and go with my gut. My plan is constantly changing and probably always will.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
Do what makes you happy, and do it with confidence. That attitude can get you pretty far in life, I think. If your plan changes, that attitude will carry you through it and make the change of plans a good thing. Don't waste time being miserable. When I'm 70 years old, I want to look back on my life and have awesome stories to tell my grand-kids. If that's going to be the case, I need to make every change of plans into something awesome.

Apartment Hunting: Craigslist Edition

By Allison Sass

Craigslist has become a one stop source for almost anything you could desire..old furniture, cheap electronics, jobs, classes, and even apartments. I found my current living situation through craigslist and would definitely recommend that others consider the option as well. Here are a few handy tips to remember when apartment hunting online.

  1. Ask about parking. Having never lived in a city setting before, I always assumed that parking would be included with rent for wherever I lived. It’s not. My current apartment thankfully offers off street parking, but many Craigslist advertisements conveniently forget to mention parking in their ads. That’s because there isn’t any.

  2. Do not visit an apartment alone if a landlord cannot be present for your tour. Grab a friend, parent, anyone and take them with you to check out the place. Besides having a second opinion, it’s important that you don’t enter a stranger’s home alone.

  3. Ask about on-site laundry or the closest laundromat. This is something else that is also left out of many Craigslist apartment ads.

  4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. An online advertisement can make any apartment sound great. Make a list of questions and bring them with you when touring the place. Find out why the previous tenants are moving, if possible.

  5. If for some reason you are moving across country, have no friends in the area you are moving to, and cannot see the apartment in person, request pictures. Lots of pictures, of every room. Also be sure to Google map the address of the apartment to check how close it is to your necessities. Is your new job 45+ minutes away? Do you have to drive a half hour to get groceries? Learn about your surroundings before committing.

Connectitude, Linkativity, Transformitation

By Shikole Struber

Don Draper isn't the only TV show character to give tips on the job world. Barney Stinson of How I met Your Mother is also a career guru, in his own way. He might've been onto something when he suggested creating your own words. Everyone seems to be doing it these days. The Jersey Shore cast "smushes" and the new song "Bottoms Up" mentions getting "slizzard." Barney's words are a little more job appropriate though, the most noted being:

Possimpible - Where the possible and impossible meet. When you go beyond the possible and beyond the impossible

Barney also promoted the Video Resume. Which is not a bad idea if you do it right. There are some helpful do's and don'ts of a video resume here. And for your viewing pleasure, Barney\'s Video Resume.

Good luck job hunters. And remember, nothing, and everything, is possimpible.

Can Unemployment Be the Healthiest Time of Your Life? - DivineCaroline

Maybe there are some positive aspects of not having a job. Sunday night blue's are definitely relatable for all us working stiffs.

Can Unemployment Be the Healthiest Time of Your Life? - DivineCaroline.

The Recession is Over?

By Shikole Struber

Apparently the recession is over. Could've fooled us. Personally, I think that this conclusion was reached because of how the statistics used are calculated. I was never big on economics, actually I hated that class with a passion. But I did take one economics class in college. While there I remember learning just one important thing.

The "unemployment rate" is a lie.

This number counts only those who are unemployed and still actively searching for work. This recession has been so long and so bad that many people gave up searching, at least for a while. I think that is why economists have claimed the recession is "over." The technical numbers show that unemployment is improving. I think the real picture is a lot less pretty. I can see the unemployment rate seeming better but because more people have given up looking.

I also partially blame structural unemployment for this issue. The skills needed in the job market right now don't match the skills of those who are unemployed. The market is looking for well qualified teachers, nurses and people in technology. The most popular majors include business, international studies and social sciences. Not quite a match.

I won't believe the recession is over until it's calculated more accurately. And until I have a job in my field that pays more than I'm making now.

Post Grad Profile: Emma

Emma Kerr faced the same types of discouragement as most post grads. But she made the most of it and ended up on a beautiful island.

1.     What did you want to do going into college? I wanted to do a combination of journalism and political science, to eventually be some sort of political reporter.

2.     What did you end up doing? Well, I stuck with the journalism part, but after I hated my first poli-sci class and figured out that I didn't like politics as much as I thought I did once I was surrounded by it, I decided to turn to another interest that I had since I was a child- the environment.  I got involved with some groups at AU that focused on environmental issues and I realized that I could also make a career out of environmental reporting.  I decided a little too late in the game to have an environmental science major, which was fine with me since I figured out quickly that I did not want to do organic chemistry or calculus.  After choosing several literature electives, I was very close to a literature minor as well, so I ended up with a major in journalism (print) and minors in environmental science and literature.

3.     What is your most ideal post grad life? It's sort of a whole jumble of things.  I would really like to cover environmental issues for an organization or publication, and I would love to be able to travel to do this.  After studying abroad in Durban, South Africa I would also love to work abroad in sustainable development or conservation, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, but I'm not really sure how to make this possible yet.  Right now I don't want to head into grad school but might consider doing so eventually for wildlife biology, natural resource management, conservation, or sustainable development.

4.     Where did you go? After sending out a flurry of applications for permanent positions with no positive responses, I panicked and figured I would try for at least temporary summer employment.  I applied to various things and eventually was offered an internship at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, located on Assateague Island in Virginia.   I had worked at the Eastern Massachusetts Complex of National Wildlife Refuges in the summer of 2008 so I had some experience with this.  I had a great summer with the Eastern Mass. Complex so I was very excited to come to Chincoteague for the summer.  I work in the Visitor Services department here, so I interact with the public to educate them on the resources we have in the refuge, the wildlife here, why the area is managed the way it is, and the recreational opportunities on the refuge.  I also conduct a variety of outdoor programs for the public, like crabbing and clamming, as well as indoor programs on different wildlife.  I also helped lead the day camp we had here for 3 weeks this summer.  My time here was extended through the fall until mid-January so I'll be helping to prepare for fall festivals we have here and I'll be continuing to work in the Visitor Center as well as starting to do some environmental education work with school groups that visit in the fall.

5.     How did your plan change along the way? I've learned more about the seasonal employment opportunities with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (who manage National Wildlife Refuges) and the National Park Service so now I am also applying for temporary and seasonal positions with these two agencies.  There are many refuges and parks all over the country that if hired I could work at for 6 months or a season and I could explore a new part of the country, so I'm now interested in this and continuing my visitor services work or environmental education work.  I really like being in the country and having all the outdoor opportunities, but I miss the city too.  I'm also still applying for all sorts of communications positions and positions with environmental organizations and non-profits in cities too.  While my plan has been broadened, I'm also still pretty darn confused as to what I should do or what I can even do next.

6.     What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far? Apply apply apply.  A few is not enough.  And really try not to get discouraged.  Find something positive in every day if you can and focus on what still makes you happy even if you're freaking out about unemployment or not really enjoying your current employment.

Indulge in Your Passion

By Allison Sass

When living in the post grad world, extra curricular activities that may have defined who you were in college basically vanish. Suddenly, you are working for 8 hours a day and are exhausted.. missing the days when you were "stressed" over the fact that you had a magazine layout session and paper to complete in one weekend.

Whether you were involved in a club like the college magazine or newspaper, a greek organization, a musical group, or any other extra curricular activity, once you're out of college you realize quickly that it's up to you to create your own non work-related activities.

One thing I am hopefully going to be doing for the next month is a photography workshop, so that I can make use of my digital slr camera and potentially meet some others interested in photography in the area. Google workshops in your city and I guarantee you'll find a workshop that suits you! Believe me, there is everything from self-defense courses to knitting out there!

Something I miss about Geneseo (that has nothing to do with academics) is the art building's awesome practice rooms where I could play piano to my heart's content. I recently purchased an affordable keyboard, so I can now practice in my apartment! Craigslist is an excellent resource for musical instruments if that is where your passion lies- just remember to use caution, as with any online site.

What about you readers? How have you indulged in your passions in your post grad lives?

Motivation, Still a Problem

By Shikole Struber

There are still so many things in post grad life that you need to muster up some motivation for. It might not be an assignment, but it's just as hard.

If you are unemployed, you need motivation to search for jobs, then to apply for them. Cover letters are hard and take a lot of time and effort. There is also motivation needed to follow-up with applications, go to interviews, and through it all to keep applying for even more jobs in case you don't get any previously applied for.

If you are employed you need motivation to get up and go to work. There are mornings that I just look at my alarm clock stupefied because I can't grasp why it's making such loud noises when I want to sleep. You also need motivation while on the clock to complete the tasks assigned to you. It's inevitable that you receive that tedious task from your boss on Monday morning that is going to take hours to complete and all you want to do is put it at the bottom of your pile.

So how do you stay motivated post grad? It's not like there's a professor breathing down your neck to finish things. There might be a boss but they need to do their own job and not focus on yours. Some ideas...

  1. Set yourself a deadline. You have 2 hours to complete this task and then you are free to focus on something else.

  2. Have clear goals. Make sure you apply for 4 jobs in an hour. Then it can be break time.

  3. If you aren't in the mind-set to start being productive, set a reverse deadline. Tell yourself you are going to begin productivity at 3pm, no matter what.

  4. Create a reward for finishing your task. Promise yourself a smoothie on the way home from work if you finish that task you didn't want to do.

Flowchart: What Kind Of Roommate Are You? | The Frisky

Roommates are not just for those in college. Finding a living situation that you can handle post grad is even more difficult. Everyone seems to be at a different place in their life. Use this flow chart to grasp what kinf of roommate you are, and the kind you want.

Flowchart: What Kind Of Roommate Are You? | The Frisky.

Some Advice for College Readers

By Allison Sass

The Frisky post we shared below touched a nerve with me as I was once (a few months ago) one of those college students who chose to complete a major they loved (Communication, more specifically Journalism & Media Studies) that did not necessarily provide me with a clear-cut future or what some may view as a "well-rounded" education.

I think I felt the wrath of the Communication major stereotype most during my Sophomore year of college when I lived in dorm that was full of pre med majors who often expressed how the Communication major was "the easy way out". It was during this semester that I decided I was going to make the absolute most of my major, not for the benefit of my judgemental peers, but instead to prove to myself that I wasn't wasting my time.

Here's a secret that many undergraduates don't always realize.. unless you plan on pursuing a career that leads directly into some sort of graduate program, your undergraduate major doesn't matter so much. As one of our commenters Jenny mentioned a few posts down, employers want to know that you can be dedicated to something and that you have the drive to progress academically.

So listen up all of my Communication, Anthropology, Gender Studies, English, Art History, Theatre, Independent Studies, and countless other open-ended majors- you are not alone and you can succeed! You don't have to have regrets like the author of The Frisky article. If you feel like your college classes are not giving you the well-rounded experience you desire, seek it out on your own.

Join clubs and community groups, take internships, and read up on topics of interests during your college breaks. If you have a passion for your major, you will find ways to excel in it outside of the classroom.

It may take longer than your friends on track to law school, graduate school, or med school, but with a little patience and perseverance, it's possible for anyone to make the most of their major!

Leave us a comment and let us know how you made your "useless" major work for you!

Post Grad Profile: Alex

Alex Levine is a prime example of how dreams, goals and life can change while in college to shape your life when you get out.

1.     What did you want to do going into college? I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do going into college.  I was considering pharmacy school, but was basically pre-med.
2.     What did you end up doing?  I ended up dropping the pharmacy and pre-med ideas because I realized I didnt want to be behind a counter my whole life, nor working around sick people.  I graduated with a B.S. in Biochemistry, and wouldn't have it any other way.
3.     What is your most ideal post grad life? Post-grad life was a difficult choice for me.  I very much wanted to drop the classes and pick up a 9-5 job at a chemical company.  Had a few good leads too.  However, I decided that if I was at all interested in getting a PhD (which has always been the dream), that I needed to go straight from undergraduate into grad school.  It was the only way to keep the motivation to pursue the PhD.  I think I made the right decision.  So ideally, to answer your question, I want to be in grad school pursuing a PhD, and being successful.  Time will tell whether the latter will be true.
4.     Where did you go? For undersrad I attended Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY.  Then for Graduate School I am now at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) working toward a PhD in Biochemistry
5.     How did your plan change along the way? I think I answered this aready.
6.     What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far? There are 3 things I've learned in the past 4 years. A) How to live B) How to love  C) How to learn.  In that order. Now that I'm in grad school, I'm learning how to be myself.

Confessions Of A Regretful Gender Studies Student | The Frisky

It sucks when you don't realize you picked a useless major until you graduate and try to get a job...

Confessions Of A Regretful Gender Studies Student | The Frisky.

The Pyramid of Good Jobs

By Shikole Struber

In case you weren't already regretting the degree you just received because it seems to be useless in this economy, here is a handy dandy pyramid to make you regret it more!

7 of the top jobs are in IT. Which would rock for me if I actually did something IT related where I work. Healthcare is another category overly represented on the chart. If you plan on going for your masters any time soon, I would recommend getting it in one of these fields.

The Girl Who Played With Fire

The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson

The second installment of this mystery series was a lot less slow in the beginning. Same characters,different mystery, same great writing. The leading lady finds herself in some trouble in this book, And of course being her stubborn self she makes the mystery difficult for everyone. Her computer skills however are absolutely incredible. Working at an IT company and reading about her hacking skills makes me look at what goes on at work a lot differently.

At times I found the story to be quite unrealistic. *Spoiler* I cannot see anyone being shot three times, once causing brain matter to be exposed, being buried alive, and then digging herself out. Not going to happen. It was at this point I lost some interest because it was no longer a realistic story.

I really enjoyed the paternity twist. I did not see that one coming and really liked how it played out.

Overall Rating: 3.6/5 Stars

Post Grad Weekend Trips Home

By Allison Sass

In college, we had breaks planned for us every month or so that would give us a chance to go home to or enjoy an extra long weekend at school with no homework. In post grad life, you have limited paid vacation time (at least at first!) and must focus all of your traveling into the weekend timeframe.

I just traveled home for labor day weekend, my first trip home since I started my job in July, and have a few tips for post grads that are now forced to plan their own weekend getaways.

1. Make sure you have lots of water, caffeine, and snacks on hand if you plan on driving home right after your workday on Friday. I thought this would be no problem for me, but about 3 hours into my 5 hour drive home, I was thankful I caved in and drank that energy drink.

2. Watch the weather! If you are driving home on a Friday night and the weather forecast calls for torrential rain the entire evening, consider waking up early the next day and leaving then instead.  Driving in the rain is no fun, but driving in the dark in intense rain is just plain dangerous.

3. Plan ahead! Make plans for the time you will spend at home. Since you'll only be there for about 48 hours, you'll want to pack as much fun into your weekend trip home as possible. Don't waste time there just sitting around and figuring out what to do.

4. Leave your work at work. As someone who stresses about work while outside of the office, I know that it's especially important to leave you work behind when traveling home for the weekend, especially if you have a long drive! Make the most of your time at home. Don't worry, your work will be there waiting for you after the weekend!

Coffee Add Ins

Coffee is essential to many college students and post grads alike. And it is much cheaper to make it at home than go to Starbucks every day. There are tons of things you add at home, though to make it just as flavorful as a Starbuck's coffee.

  • Cinnamon. You can either add it to the grounds before brewing or straight to the cup of coffee.

  • Ginger. The ground kind in the spices section

  • Vanilla. You can add extract right to the cup or ground up vanilla bean in the grounds before brewing

  • Cocoa powder. Make a mocha at home! At some cocoa, or Hershey's syrup or even Ovaltine for a chocolate twist to your coffee

  • Mint. You can get peppermint extract just like you can with vanilla.

What other flavors can you add to coffee at home?

We Want to Hear About YOU!

Hi readers,

Thanks so much for reading our opinions daily on The Real Post Grad. We love giving advice and sharing our post grad experiences with you!

Now it's your turn to share your experiences and advice with us! In the next week, The Real Post Grad will be profiling recent graduates! Send us an email at therealpostgrad@gmail.com if you would be interested in answering a few of our questions about your life after graduation.

We want to hear from people dealing with all aspects of post grad life, so if you have a story to tell, contact us!

End of the Honeymoon

By Shikole Struber

The honeymoon period of my relationship with post grad life is officially over. The novelty has worn off and I am now bored. Not just bored, though, I'm also restless, fed up with my rebound job, and wanting a change.

I've flirted with the idea of auditing classes at my alma mater to make a positive and productive change, but decided against it becuase the classes would never count towards a degree. I then considered learning a language, Rosetta Stone style. (This is idea is still in the works, i need to pick a language and find the funding.) Then I started researching graduate programs...in Saudi Arabia and Israel. Yes, I feel like I need THAT much of a change.

After all this thought about starting to learn again, I also realized I am not meant to be at this job. My boss has very different priorities and values very different things in the work place than I do. I miss nannying, and being outside in the sunlight. I miss writing. I miss small children. I miss free food at work. I'm tired of being on hold, and being asked to do things I don't know how to do.

While I don't know if returning to nannying is the best decision, I have made one important decision. My honeymoon period is over and my rebound job has to go.