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5 Things That Happen When You Start Online Dating

Unless you're one part of those unicorn couples that met in high school and managed to not hate each other my senior prom, you've probably tried online dating at least once. Whether you made a fake account just to check it out or are a self proclaimed Tinderalla, most of us have wondered if the possibility of love is worth the never ending influx of dick pics.

Here's the thing though, you can't fully understand online dating unless you've done it. Kinda like having kids or surviving a pap smear. As someone who went in totally clueless, I quickly learned the way navigate the world of online dating, until I eventually found someone who met my demands of pizza dinners every weekend and unconditional love to my cat.

If you're interested in learning what online dating is really like as a twenty something, keep ready to see what happened in my first few weeks of loving for love online.

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You have plans any day of the week

As a self proclaimed homebody, I was surprised to find myself going to art gallery openings and dinner dates on a Tuesday. If you're willing to put yourself out there, you'll most likely be out most nights of the week. It's easy if you choose to focus on one guy at a time, but if you're casually dating a few it can grow complicated very quickly.

You realize there's no such thing as a perfect match

Currently I'm dating someone who was a 93% match to me. Crazy right? From the first message he sent me I was convinced he was my long lost twin, the similarities were just too spooky. Fast forward to today and he bugs the hell out of me. Sure we have a lot in common. but that 7% must account for all the things we cant agree on like where to leave the toothpaste and whether La La Land deserves an Oscar.

By the way, you can follow my Dating in Your Twenties board on Pinterest for more tips, advice and ideas on how to make the most of the relationships in your twenties!

You will want to quit at least once

True story, less than twenty four hours after signing up I cancelled my account. It was just too much for me. Since you're new on the site or app, the system will promote your account more than others. This means you're gonna be bombarded with messages, with my first hour leaving me with at least 60 genuine messages from guys in my city. Don't give up, but also don't feel required to respond to everyone.

You think about your exes less

I'd be lying if I said that all the extra attention and weekend dates didn't make me think about ex boyfriends less. To be totally honest, I kinda slacked on calling my best friends as usual because I was so drained by the end of the day. Online dating will give you a whole new ocean of fish to sort through, and if you pick the rights ones, you won't even have the energy to think about past flames.

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Dating becomes fun again

All in all, I actually really enjoyed the whole process. I went out with only a handful of guys in the end, with each one being complete opposites from one another. As a girl who only ever dates people she knows, it was different to spend a day with a complete stranger. As long as you take your time and continue to prioritize yourself, the entire process should be fun until you find the one that makes you want to close down your account and wonder why you didn't respond to his message sooner.

Do you have any questions about online dating? If you wanna see a specific post, let me know in the comments below!

PS you can now sign up for the weekly newsletter that's jam packed with tips, resources and motivation to help you make the most of your twenty something years. Signing up takes seconds, so make sure you're on the list. 

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Why I Could Never Date Christian Grey

Last night a friend and I went to go watch 50 Shades Darker. Yep, I managed to drag myself outside on a Wednesday night, crazy, I know! Before the movie I ran by Walgreens to grab some snacks, hid them in my laptop case and successfully managed to scam the theater once again. Just call me Joanne.

As someone who's read all three books, you can say I was excited. Fan girl excited? No, I only just read the books last year, but still pretty pumped. Having watched the first movie alone at home I didn't really have the ability to talk about it with anyone, and with none of my friends reading any of the books I kind of just kept all my commentary to myself.

Thankfully my friend hadn't even seen the first movie, which gave me full reign to talk throughout the movie to fill her in on all the stuff she missed in the first part of the series. My helpful hints turned into us giving full on commentary throughout the film, think of it as director's commentary but much more snarky.

By the end of the film we came to two conclusions, Anastasia must use a period tracker app and I am completely unqualified to date Christian Grey. Here's why...

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It's like she never menstruates

We were convinced Anastasia uses one of those period tracking apps, and if so, can she please recommend it to us? The girl never turns down sex because her lady parts are a bloody waterfall, there's never a mention of her needing to wear normal underwear in fear of leakage and bloating is a term she mustn't understand, cause her stomach is crazy toned. Me on the other hand is always surprised by mother nature, even though I actually do use an app! Bloat is becoming my middle name and I think my boyfriend keeps better track of my cycle than me. #embarrassing

I own one too many period underwear

The majority of the movie was spent laughing ever time Anastasia took off her underwear, for the simple fact that they were also so perfect looking. Sure, I own cute underwear that I wouldn't mind walking around the house in, but I also own pairs that have been with me since college and others that are for exclusively for wearing on my period. And none of them look like that. No hate, but really Anastasia, what's your secret?

I'm not good at fancy parties

It's not that I'm introverted, I'm just not outgoingly social. Thankfully Christian sees to share this sentiment, but my limited party abilities extend to what food I can consume, drinks I can have and dresses I can fit into. Plus, I'd most likely have a visible panty line all night. Blame it on my period panties.

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I hold a grudge

Spoiler ahead so if you haven't seen the movie skip over this point. Okay, now that they're gone, there's this scene in the movie where one of Christian's old submissives shows up and tries to basically hurt Ana. Christian manages to calm the woman down then proceeds to start petting her, like full on petting her! In Anastasia's apartment, while she watches. Ten minutes later and after a small fight they're back to normal. If that were me I'd hold onto that grudge for days, cause no man walks into my home and starts petting his ex. Cmon girl, that's fucking weird and you know it.

I'm the jealous type

Apparently Christian keeps a desk drawer full of files of his old submissives, unlocked! To a normal girl who's not from a broken home that's perfectly fine, but to a girl like me who has jealous tendencies and occasional fears of abandonment, that open drawer is basically an invitation. I know me, and me would escalate a fight by tossing those files off the balcony of his skyscraper. Not even sorry, the punishment seems to fit the crime of petting your exes hair in my apartment.

Have you watched any of the 50 Shades movies or read any of the books? Tell me if you think you and Christian would be compatible in the comments below!

PS You can now sign up for the weekly newsletter, where you'll get tips, resources and motivation to help you make each week of 2017 better than the last. Signing up takes seconds so make sure you're on the list!!

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Everything You Need to Write an A Paper in College

When I started writing this post I second guessed if I'm the type of person who should be giving out advice on how to write a great essay. Just yesterday I spent the entire day, sunrise to sunset, writing a project proposal that ended at 24 pages and one empty pizza box. If I was a bad student I wouldn't write this post, but I'm not. Lazy student? Sure, sometimes.

Posts that tell you to not leave it till the last minute are only giving you information you don't want to hear, and that you've probably been told a dozen times. Whether you're starting this paper early or the night before it's due, there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to get a good grade.

As someone who has managed to get an A on every paper I've turned in, in graduate school at least, here are my tips to writing an A grade paper no matter the topic, length or time restraints.

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Don't risk losing it

I cant count the number of times my computer has suddenly shut down or crashed, only for me to lose my entire paper and my mind. Avoid all this drama and wasted time by writing your paper on a document in Google Drive. Plus, this way you can work on your paper no matter where you are, and there's no risk of losing bits and pieces along the way.

Make it read well

If you aren't a naturally gifted writer, using an app like Hemingway Editor or Grammarly will ensure that you don't lose points because your sentence structures don't make sense. This is also a great tool for those professors you have that like to dock points because of a simple spelling mistake.

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Google Scholar

Chances are if you're writing a college paper you're being asked to cite sources. Avoid getting desperate and turning to Wikipedia by using sources you find on Google Scholar. You can ensure all the references you cite will be college appropriate, plus it's as easy to find sources as any other Google search.

PS You can now follow my Surviving College Board on Pinterest for more resources, tips and real life college experiences from twenty somethings who survived!!

Know how to cite

I'm totally guilty of messing up the citation format at the end of my paper, which is why I started using websites like Citation Machine to do the work for me. For most sources all I have to do is type in the name of the book or paste the weblink, and from there Citation Machine handles the rest.

Learn the format

Two years into my graduate program and I still see classmates losing points on their paper as early as the cover page! Yeah, the page that only asks for a title and page number. Find out if your professor prefers APA or MLA, and from there, make sure you aren't missing any crucial pieces like headers, in text citations or page margins.

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Focus on the body

The essay body that is. Don't fall into the trap that you need to write your introduction first and conclusion last, especially when you're not even sure what you'll be talking about yet. My advice is to jump right into writing the first topic paragraph, then go back and define your thesis based on that. It sounds so backwards but trust me, it will save you the time of figuring out what the heck to say in your introduction.

Follow the rubric

If your professor is kind enough to give you a rubric, follow it like it's a step by step guide. The easier way to get full points is to make sure you answer every single question and address every issue. Rubrics also often tell you what specific formatting options they will be grading on, such as citations, page numbering and font size. Rubrics that go more in depth are a life saver, because they literally give you a step by step guide on not only how to organize your paper, but what to talk about.

Do you have any tools you use when writing papers? If so, share them in the comments below!

Psstt, you can now sign up for the weekly newsletter jam packed with tips, resources and advice on how to make the very most of your twenties. Signing up takes seconds so make sure you're on the list!

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20 Things to Toss Out Today: How to Declutter in Your Twenties

Not sure if you've noticed this recent trend, but I predict 2017 is the year everyone becomes a minimalist, or at least tries to. Maybe it's because of the new Netflix documentary, maybe we're all jealous of those girls on Instagram with picture perfect homes. It's 50/50 for me to be honest. 

I know myself well enough to admit to myself that I'll never be a minimalist, but I can commit to having less clutter in my home. Clutter is stuff that just gets in your way, annoys you when you have to sort through it, and in general just doesn't serve a purpose in a daily life. Even though so many people are motivated to have less and organize more in 2017, most resources on how to do that aren't really targeted towards millennials. 

What I mean is, so many of us don't have children's toys to toss out or bins full of family heirlooms. Hell, I don't even have space in my tiny apartment to save family heirlooms in! So what are us inspired twenty somethings supposed to do if we wanna do better but don't know where to start? I got you girl. 

I took a serious look around my apartment, plus a bunch of resources I've personally used, and created an inventory of things you can totally toss out to help you get one step closer to a clutter free home. If you have any ideas, please leave them in the comments below. Seriously, I'd love more ideas for stuff to get rid of in my own home.

Related Post: 8 Inexpensive Ways to Make Your Apartment Feel Like Home

1. Hotel + travel size toiletries

We all think we're going to use them, then instead we stash them away for the next few years. Cut the clutter and toss them out.

2. Old magazines/newspapers

Think about it, when's the last time you actually picked up an old magazine or newspaper and reread it. Probably never. Pick a few favorites and recycle the rest.

3. Boxes for things you've bought 

Raise your hand if you have a collection of old boxes. *Raises both hands* There's no reason to keep all the boxes to your shoes and electronics, especially if the warranty has ended. If you must keep them, break them apart and stuff them underneath your bed, but that's only for expensive electronics with an existing warranty!

4. Old makeup and nail polish

We all like to pretend like makeup doesn't have an expiration date but we've all seen those Pinterest articles. Toss out anything you don't use, or anything that you can't remember when you bought it.

Related Post: 10 Lessons You Learn Living Alone in Your Twenties

5. Nonperishable food you never cook with

Am I the only one who plans to eat canned soup but never does? Dig through your cabinets for food that has been taking up space for too long, better you donate it while it's good than let it sit forever.

6. Worn towels and blankets

If you have enough towels for an entire family but live alone, pick your favorites and donate the rest. Animal shelters are always looking for these types of donations, new or used.

7. Extra buttons

You know all those buttons that come attached to our clothes? Yeah, you probably will lose it by the time you need it. Toss them out before you have a whole collection you can't sort through.

8. Plastic Bags

I'm not sure why we do it, but for whatever reason we like to keep bags we get at the mall. Getting rid of junk starts with the stuff you need the least, and I'm sure 90% of you won't have a real use for any of those bags.

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9. Pens and Pencils

During my last cleaning session, I found no less than 50 pens all around my apartment. I'm a single woman living in a studio apartment, there's no reason why I need to own 50 pens. Small stuff like this turns into big stuff, aka the dreaded junk drawer, so grab a few and toss the rest.

10. Journals and notebooks

Maybe this is a writer thing, but to go with all those pens are a collection of journals that I'll never be able to fill up. These I had trouble parting with, but my rule was to toss any that were more than 40% used or too worn out to wanna take out with me.

11. Destroyed pet toys

I'm not like a regular cat mom, I'm an overzealous cat mom. There is no toy my cat has does not have, tried or rejected. The problem is that I have way more toys than he can ever need, so I've pledged to stop buying any more and throw out those that are beginning to fall apart.

12. All of your ex boyfriends shit

I know you have it, you know you have it, so stop holding onto it and just throw it out. It's probably the easiest thing to get rid of, and will most likely clear up some space in your closet or underneath your bed.

13. Purses you never use

I've gotten better about this over the years, but there's still a bunch I could let go of. Take a loot at what you own and make a pile of what you've used over the past two months. Whatever doesn't make it into that pile, reconsider whether you really need it, or even like it.

Related Post: 2 Truths and 1 Lie About Online Dating

14. Free event tshirts

College me loved getting a free tshirt, even if all they had left was XXL in a color that washed me out. Current me has lost half her closet space to all those shirts, which is why they've gotta go. Grab a few of your faves and donate/toss the rest. Trust me, after a while you won't miss them.

15. College textbooks

If you don't need them anymore, get rid of them. Sell whatever you can to Amazon or other students, and donate whichever are left.

16. Pillows

You know that pillow you don't like using and always finds its way to the floor? Get rid of it. Life's too short to have crappy pillows! New motto for 2017?

17. Mugs

This bad habit I definitely picked up from my mom, because for a single twenty something there's no reason I need over a dozen mugs. Cut down how much you have, and if you're feeling motivated, downsize how much drinkware and plateware you have overall.

18. Hair products

It sucks to throw away product, even the stuff you don't really love. If you rather not toss it, give it to a friend or commit to not buying anymore until all your products are used up.

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19. Ticket stubs + pamphlets

As someone who is super sentimental, I have trouble throwing away ticket stubs and other items that represent memories. But unless you do something with them, they start to pile up until you eventually lose them. Do something with them, Pinterest has plenty of ideas, or toss them out.

20. Old electronics

For whatever reason I have trouble letting go of old electronics, don't believe me? I wrote a goodbye letter to my iPhone 4s, yet it's still sitting in my drawer. Toss or sell anything you don't use anymore, because I cant think of a rational reason we keep it anyways.

Now I wanna know, what do you have trouble tossing out? Is one of your goals for 2017 to be more minimalistic or would you rather just be organized? Let me know in the comments below!

PS You can now sign up to receive the weekly newsletter, full of tips, resources and motivation to make each week of 2017 better than the last. Signing up takes seconds, so make sure you're on the list!

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