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 therealpostgrad@gmail.com.

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 www.therealpostgrad.com! 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.