Word of the Year: 2016

Before last week I had never heard of the trend of choosing a word to define your year. Resolutions are goals I loosely make at the beginning of each January, but choosing a theme to focus my year on was never something that crossed my mind.

If you read my blog semi regularly, or even caught one of my latest posts, you'll know that 2016 started off with a bang. But not the good kind. Comparable more to that feeling you have when you feel you're at your most comfortable, about to drift into sleep, then wham! It's as if you fall to the floor.

I may have stayed standing when the boy I loved broke the news to me on a busy city street, but on the inside it felt as if I was falling hundreds of feet with nothing to grab a hold of. After spending way too many days at home, with blinds shutting out all light that might enter my now emptier apartment, I've finally found the word that will guide me through 2016: perseverance.

Quitting is not something I do very often, especially not if the task or person in front of me means a lot to me. I didn't choose the word perseverance because I have a habit of letting things slide, my problem is sort of the opposite. I put too much effort into relationships that are being carried by me alone, focus all my motivation on one thing at a time, and at times endure too much pain for the simple fact that I don't want to fail. Whether it be at school, home or in my love life.

Currently I've lived in Washington DC for just over a year, and in that time gave all my energy to a group of people who were content judging me on their perceptions of who I was. At the beginning of 2016 I came to the harsh realization that there was not one person in my contact list that I could call to come over and comfort me. Not one. So I'm changing that, one day at a time.

While I've always been a hard worker, I focus my efforts in all the wrong places sometimes. For years I've loved blogging, but I've let it slide ever since I graduated college. For a decade I spent imagining what my life in DC would be like, only to give all my focus to a group of people that I never dreamed of wanting to spend time with.

Related Post: The Cost of Living the Dream

With all my new found time I'm focusing my energy on two things: forming a community online and forming a community in real life. 2016 will be the year I finally turn my goals into actions. January is about to end and so far I'm doing pretty well. I have a few phone numbers of some pretty cool people I've met this month and my blogging is finally catching stride.

The only thing is, this is how it always happens. I catch some motivation, see progress, then I get caught up on one thing or person and let everything I've worked for dissolve. Not this time though. 2016 will be the year I put my all into my blog, even when my stats dip and my followers disappear. 2016 will end with me surrounded by friends, few or many, but I won't ring in the new year alone.

I've worked so hard to find my writing voice and move my ass to the city, and like hell I plan to enjoy every minute of it! All while sharing what the twenty something experience is really like. Hint: it's not breakfast at midnight and falling in love with strangers.

I hope you jump on this journey with me to not quit our goals this year, because they are just too damn important to set aside for some temporary happiness!

Do you have a word for the year?? If so what is it, and if not, what's one thing you desperately want to accomplish in 2016? 

6 (More) Popular Resume Mistakes to Avoid

Creating the perfect resume is freaking hard, especially when you are currently unemployed and willing to take the first job offer you get. With all the stress of knowing that there are dozens of people applying for the same job as you, sometimes small avoidable mistakes fall through the cracks.

Listen, I get it. I moved to Washington DC with just barely over a thousand dollars, no job offers and not even a single job application submitted. I had one month before school started to find myself a job and somehow I did, and I'm pretty sure it had everything to do with my resume. Yes, I was super involved in college but weren't we all? You can try as hard as you want to stand out with your resume but at the end of the day it's just a bland list of all the things you've done. Wait to wow them in your interview, for now, let's focus on making the information easy to comprehend and follow. All while avoiding the six all too common mistakes.

Also, if you haven't caught part one of this series, click here to read the first 6 popular resume mistakes people make.

Vague descriptions.

While I definitely agree that less is more, some people at times get a bit carried away. Strive to have at least three bullet points describing your work experience, because chances are if you can describe it all in two, it's not worth mentioning.


It's 2016 but for some wild reason people are still spelling things wrong! Employers understand when Word fails to tell you that you used the wrong version of a word, but if you are making multiple grammar and spelling mistakes, consider yourself denied. To avoid this read your resume aloud or better yet, have a friend look it over.

Outdated contact information.

This one used to frustrate me to no end at my old job. Listen up guys! If you aren't going to check your email regularly, do not list it on your resume. Employers expect a quick response when offering you an interview, so only list contact information that you will have access to regularly. Then again, it's 2016, so if you don't like receiving emails you better get with the times.

Related Post: How to Make the Best Resume with 10 Easy Tips

Including an objective.

Maybe I'm wrong, I don't think I'm wrong, but putting an objective on your resume is as tacky as putting a photo. Just saying. Many of us are most likely applying to jobs that are stepping stones to our ultimate goal, meaning the objective would most likely be a total lie anyways. Every inch of your resume is valuable real estate, don't waste a single line with something you could just state in a cover letter or interview. Just cut it out, literally.

Mentioning your GPA.

Unpopular opinion but nobody gives a shit about your GPA. There, I said it, nobody cares! And this is coming from someone who graduated with a pretty awesome GPA, so don't think I'm just saying this cause I'm not proud of mine. Unless your application is for grad school, your GPA is irrelevant. Once you enter the workforce nobody will bother to ask what your grades averaged out to, and come to think of it, nobody has ever even asked for proof that I even graduated college.

Giving it all away.

Honest moment, I am totally guilty of this one, or at least I was. When I was getting ready to graduate college I was completely panicking at the idea of having to go get my first job. So what did I do to cope? Shoved four years worth of volunteering, officer roles and internships onto two very jam packed pages. Don't do this, instead tailor your resume to each job application. By doing this you can eliminate job experiences that aren't applicable while staying within the one page limit.

What do you struggle with most when creating a resume? Have you been guilty of doing any of the stuff above?? If you're looking for more advice, follow my board for career tips and advice for twenty somethings below!

Follow When Life Gives You Rubi's board CAREER TIPS & ADVICE FOR 20 SOMETHINGS on Pinterest.

8 Inexpensive Ways to Make Your Apartment Feel Like Home

For the past five years I have jumped from living at home, to a dorm room, campus apartments, and eventually my own apartment in the city. It would honestly take me a few minutes to recall all the places I've called home, with my constant moving caused by traveling throughout college. Even though no place feels like a permanent environment for me, I strive to make my living situation feel like home as much as possible. It's a bit difficult though when you have cinder block walls and pages of rules outlining all the ways you don't have a right to customize your space.

The majority of the readers here are women aged 18-24, meaning you are either reading this in your bland dorm room or rental apartment. If you've managed to buy a place at 24, can we please be friends so you can share all your secrets with me? Up until last year I always strived to decorate my place, but moving across the country upped the need for my house to feel like a home.

Related Post: A Complete Guide to Every Roommate You Will Have in College

Now living in my own apartment, there's nothing quite as comforting as stepping through the door every night and feeling like the place is mine. It smells like me, matches my personality, and is scattered with objects that make it feel like home even though I'm 3,000 miles away from everything and everyone I know and care about.

For those of us who desperately need our security deposit back, here are a few ways to make your space feel less like a rental and more of a home.

Invest in a rug.

Yes, rugs are expensive. Why? I have no freaking clue! But be like me and buy a rug online, on sale, with a coupon code. My favorite website to buy a rug is Wayfair, especially because the big stuff ships for free, but Target is another great option when they're having a sale. Investing in a good rug not only adds color to your space, but comfort for those of us who have hardwood floors.

Buy some art, then hang it!

It can't just be me who has the laziest reputation when it comes to hanging the art I buy or make. While I know many places are against putting nails into the walls, with things like Command hooks you have no excuse to not hang all your frames. Mounting a few pieces on the wall will instantly bring some life to the walls and is an inexpensive way to decorate.

Bring some fresh life into the space.

Every girl needs to have a plant in her apartment. Or ten. Whatever your preference is. If you are worried you won't be able to keep it alive, I suggest buying a succulent or cactus. Those things can survive anything. Otherwise big leafy plants really brighten up a small space and look great against bland white walls.

Related Post: How to Never Pay for College Textbooks Again

Pack a piece of home.

My hometown is where most of American's strawberries come from, which is why I can't look at a strawberry without thinking about where I grew up. Apart from that, it's tucked between the beach and redwood covered mountains. Having something in your space that reminds you of home is a nice reminder without taking over the space. Hang a canvas of your home state or display your home team's colors in some way.

Fill your cabinets.

I know, very random, but what's the one thing you always find when you visit home? Cabinets full of food! How our parents manage to never run out of groceries I will never understand, but having your favorite snack when you're feeling down is such an easy way to lift your spirits. To go the extra step, buy something grown or produced locally, like strawberries in my case.

Invite your furry roommate.

If you can bring a pet with you, do it! Two months after I moved to Washington DC I adopted my cat Max, and it was the best decision I've ever made. Having someone to come home to is the best feeling, especially after a long day when the idea of human interactions is just too much to handle.

Related Post: Things My Cat Has No Respect For

Display your photographs. 

For a generation that feels the need to photograph everything from the food we eat to the junk we carry around in our purse, we don't proudly display our photos as much as we post them. Choose a few of your favorite photographs and have them actually printed. Displaying photos is an inexpensive way to put something up on your wall or decorate countertops.

Toss all reminders of your move. 

Who here is guilty of unpacking then leaving the boxes sitting around for weeks? (Raises hand high.) Save yourself the pain of tripping over the junk and of having to look at it constantly by tossing out all your moving supplies! Your home won't feel like home until you get rid of all the things that make it looked like you just arrived. Let's pledge to stop being lazy and toss the things we just don't need.

How do you make your space for less temporary and more like home? What do you struggle most with personalizing in your dorm or apartment?

The Life Lesson Storm Jonas Taught Me

The current time is 9:17pm on a Saturday night. It has been snowing nonstop since noon yesterday. I think all my wishes that winter just not happen on the East Coast have been dismissed, because winter has most definitely arrived. Living in Washington DC means I have been in the eye of the storm since it began, with CNN covering our city around the clock. To kill time I've watched about every YouTube video in my queue, learned all the lyrics to Selena Gomez's new album and have eaten an embarrassing amount of Doritos.

If you know me at all, you know that I was born and raised in sunny California, meaning I have no clue on how to deal with a record breaking snowstorm. The California native in me panicked when I heard the first snowfall estimate, and my nervous self ran to the grocery store to stock up on just about everything. After waiting in line to pay for over forty five minutes my patience had absolutely melted away and I found myself sending bitchy texts to just about everyone back on the West Coast. It wasn't until my walk home that I realized what an asshole I was being. Yes me, and everyone else who has the nerve to complain about a few feet of snow falling on the ground.

Storm Jonas thought me a lot more than how to prepare for the unexpected. Beyond the importance of having flashlights and bottled water is a lesson I don't think many people are realizing. We all find ourselves complaining about the long lines at the grocery store and terrible commute home, but how many of us pause to be thankful about the fact that we have a home to drive to that's full of warm clothing and full pantries?

I'm sitting here in my overpriced apartment, pumping the heat while painfully annoyed with all the people on Instagram bitching about the metro being shut down and their favorite brunch spot being closed. Living in a city that caters to the needs of rich politicians and ignorant twenty somethings is hard enough to put up with most days, but especially during times like this when you cant help but worry about the thousands of people who live on the street. Snow or no snow.

So before you complain about how tired you are of sitting inside all day and hashtag your photos #snowmaggedon, quit your whining and maybe use this time to sort through your closet for warm clothes to donate. I may whine about things more often than not, but this weekend I have nothing to complain about.

So yes, I am friendless in the city, recently dumped and struggling to finish school, but at the very least I am safe and warm not just during this blizzard but every night. For those of you who are also waiting for this all to pass, I hope you are safe and warm. Let's all use this extra time do make a positive impact in our communities, however big or small.

How to Never Pay for College Textbooks Again

Thirty percent of the debt students owe after college graduation is due to the high cost of textbooks. Okay, I totally made that up, but it could definitely happen! Especially if you're one of those rare people who still buys books from the campus bookstore and purchases the recommended readings.

College textbooks are fucking expensive, and there's no nicer way of putting it. With new versions constantly coming out, it's sometimes hard to find a used copy on Amazon that won't arrive halfway through the semester. After spending multiple years avoiding buying books at all costs, by my senior year I had a full proof method to never having to spend more than 100 per quarter on books. And even in those situations, I always made sure the book got passed on to someone next quarter, cause karma and stuff.

Since most of you reading this are either broke or cheap, two things I definitely was while in college, here are my tips for never having to pay for college textbooks again.

Buying college textbooks shouldn't empty your bank account. As someone who stopped buying college books after freshmen year, I have ways to avoid having to buy textbooks ever again.

Visit your campus library.

While most libraries keep textbooks on reserve, meaning you cant check them out for more than a few hours at a time, novels usually go by different rules. If your course is asking you to buy a copy of a novel, chances are your library has a copy you are able to check out for weeks instead of hours. This is a great option if you are an English major who is faced with buying dozens of books every semester.

Rent books on reserve.

This isn't an ideal situation, but great for courses where you won't be needing to use the book on a regular basis. We've all taken those classes where we only open the book before an exam, and we know which subjects we won't waste time reading the book as the class goes along. Pinpoint which courses only use the book partially and which you won't be reading regularly, and instead of purchasing the book take a few hours a week to go visit your library's copy.

Related Post: The 10 Most Effective Ways to Help You Study Last Minute

Swap textbooks with friends.

If you live in any type of campus housing, this is your best option, especially if you're early in your undergraduate degree. The first two years of college consist of thousands of people taking the same prerequisite classes, which sets you up for the perfect book swapping situation. Round up a large group of people and see what books everyone has accumulated. You can choose to just swap for the semester or permanently, depending on how attached you are to the books you bought.
Buying college textbooks shouldn't empty your bank account. As someone who stopped buying college books after freshmen year, I have ways to avoid having to buy textbooks ever again.

Search online for a free version.

When my best friend told me she had been using free PDF versions of textbooks for years, I was 1)pissed she didn't tell me about this sooner and 2)shocked that was even an option. There's no real rhyme or reason to which textbooks you can find online for free, at least not that I've figured out. Usually the older versions are up online but if you're searching for something like a history textbook, chances are nothing more than the page numbers have changed. My recommendation is that you search the book title along with 'free pdf version' to find the best results.

Related Post: A Complete Guide to Every Roommate You Will Have in College

Scan someone else's copy.

I'm not encouraging you to violate copyright law, or whatever those posters above all the printer/scanners on my campus say, I'm simply encouraging to get your reading done by any means necessary. Your campus will have a book on reserve, I've never heard of a college that doesn't. Instead of taking the book and reading it for those few hours it's yours, walk over to the scanner and make yourself a PDF copy. Emphasis on yourself! If you are jailed for selling an illegal PDF copy, that's on you, we were never here.

What's your best advice for saving money on college textbooks? Do you always buy used or try to get by without them at all?

Why You Should Never Call A Woman Crazy

Throughout my life I've been in a lot of relationships. From some that only lasted a few weeks to others that spanned years. Having been dating since I was 13 years old, I feel as if I have a pretty good understanding of the opposite sex. While I'm not man whisperer and no one texts me good morning on a regular basis, I've shared enough experiences with boys and men to know what I expect in a relationship.

Despite all the men I've called a boyfriend in the past, my most recent love (or should I say heartbreak) was the most adult relationship I've ever had. And even though we were both in our twenties, the way we spoke to one another did not reflect that.

Calling a woman crazy is the most accepted form of insulting a woman today. The moment a woman shows a man too much attention, sends one too many texts or says one opinion too many she is suddenly labeled crazy, hysterical or psycho. The actions that led her to these emotions are never judged, she bears the burden of having feelings and is punished for expressing them.

For months I was called crazy, all so that my boyfriend at the time could feel okay with calling me a list of other things that make crazy feel like a compliment. Never mind I was acting crazy because I felt hurt, betrayed,  and disrespected. I was the one acting crazy, therefore I was the one in the wrong.

It's common knowledge that women are more comfortable expressing their emotions, not all, but most. Guys have been socialized by society to hold it all in, suppress their feelings rather than be labeled weak. The problem with this is that once you enter into a relationship with someone so out of tune with their emotions, any sign of feelings is labeled an overreaction.

Calling a woman crazy does a lot of things, but most of all it silences her. As she continues to try to prove her point, explain her feelings or express her frustrations, she is only digging herself into the whole she's been pushed into. The moment you are labeled crazy is the moment everything that comes out of your mouth is irrelevant. Crazy people don't make valid arguments. Crazy people don't have a clear perspective of the situation. Therefore calling a woman crazy leads her down a path where no matter what she says, she's wrong and you're right. She's out of control and you're an angel for putting up with it all.

As I write this I'm remembering I fight I had with my former boyfriend a few weeks ago. It was prefaced by a long day at the office followed by an equally long night at the bar. I should note it was most likely a Tuesday, which is what led to me suggesting we head home before it turned into Wednesday. Something I said was taken the wrong way and next thing I knew I had been roped into another one of our pointless arguments. In the midst of my crying and trying to convince the man across from me that I didn't mean anything by what I had said, he turned to me and flat out asked me if I was bipolar.

This coming from a man who has no experience in the mental health field. Asking me, a woman getting a masters in clinical mental health if I was bipolar felt like a slap across the face. Me, bipolar? No. I was simply angry that once again the situation had gotten larger than the both of us, and like always, he was unwilling to see it from my perspective.

Calling a woman crazy is the most acceptable way to patronize the woman you love. Or even worse, one who simply is trying to get to know you better. Women are silenced every day by the fear of not wanting to seem out of control, and we are constantly reminded of the consequences we will face if we speak out of line.

I may not be able to change the way we all relate to one another during difficult moments in our life, but as a single woman in her twenties I can control the way in which I allow others to speak to me. Starting today I make a vow to say whatever the hell I want, regardless of how crazy it may seem to other person. I refuse to apologize for having emotional reactions. I cant wind back time and tell my former boyfriend that I wasn't acting crazy, I was simply trying to understand a situation. I cant make him understand how the threat of his words silenced me so many nights. What I can do, along with everyone reading this, is speak my mind regardless of how it will be perceived. As a woman I unconsciously shrink myself in so many ways, the least I can expect is someone to respect my feelings enough to not label them foolish.

Have you ever been labeled crazy by current or former boyfriend? How do you cope with sometimes not being able to prove your point without being labeled as out of control?

6 Popular Resume Mistakes to Avoid

If you are anything like me, senior year of college consisted of too many people asking you what your plans were after graduation. Now a full year later, I've successfully managed to move across the country and transition from a low paying job at a nonprofit organization to my current position at a global law firm. How did I do this? Magic!

Just kidding! I worked my ass off. Not just after graduation, but throughout college as well. With every news outlet reporting how hard it is to get a job in today's economy, I wasted no time during my four years in college. The only problem I've had is figuring out how to put all these experiences on a piece of paper. With so many applicants hoping to hired for the same job, it's difficult to stick out in a sea of high GPAs and low salary requirements.

While I can't magically give you work experience or an amazing recommendation letter, I can take my experience with working at an organization that focused on unemployment to warn you about the all too common resume mistakes people make that leave their resume in the 'no' pile.

Let's not waste a single moment more and get to talking about all the things you want to avoid doing before submitting your next job application...

'References upon request.'

While it may be hard for us to understand, this is an HR manager's pet peeve. Typing at the bottom of your resume, 'references upon request,' is not only unnecessary, but sometimes redundant. Many applications today have you include references as part of the application, making the line completely unnecessary. For those applications that don't initially ask for references, the hiring manager already knows you will be willing to provide references. You want the job, don't you?

Different date formats.

Again, this is a small thing that bothers anyone who spends their day looking at resumes all day. If you include the month in one date range, make sure you include the month in all date ranges. For example, if I write I worked at Google from Sep 2012-Aug 2015, but my college dates are 2010-2014, the formatting is not the same. Fix it! It's so simple yet such an eye sore when done wrong.

Related Post: How to Make the Best Resume with 10 Easy Tips

Using the wrong tense.

This mistake would have to be in the top 5, with so many people not realizing what they're doing wrong until someone points it out. When describing your work experience, all jobs and positions you once held should be referred to in the past tense. Talking about everything in the present tense not only sounds like you are currently very busy juggling a lot of tasks, employers will automatically know you aren't and conclude you simply failed to revise your resume. For help with avoiding making this mistake, ask a friend to read over your resume.

Including old information.

My general rule for what to include on my resume is that it needs to be no longer than 2 years ago, then again, I just graduated college and have never put in too many years at one job. While everyone will have a different span of time, make sure the experiences you are including on your resume aren't from too long ago. Talking about a position you held 10 years ago isn't very helpful if you haven't done anything recently to expand on that experience.

Adding irrelevant information.

Just recently I was revising a resume for someone seeking positions in the field of security. In his aim to fill up the page and include as much as possible, he listed a job he held almost ten years ago in a surf shop. Again, he was looking for a professional job in the field of security! How he figured selling surfboards factored in his job search, I don't know. As objectively as you can, look over the experiences you include and ask yourself if they are actually relevant to the job you're applying to. If you cant apply any of your duties or skills to the new job, save the space and remove it from your resume.

Focusing too much on one experience.

Your resume should be an equal balance of all your past experiences, meaning all past positions should have relatively the same amount of bullet points and space given on the overall resume. If you take up one third of the space on the page talking about one job then cram four more positions in the remaining space, that should be a signal that not all of the positions are relevant and necessary. Aim to have the same number of bullet points per position or decrease the number of listed experiences so you can expand on those you wish to.

Are any of these common mistakes on your resume? What's your biggest struggle when trying to update your personal resume?? Let me know in the comments below!

Questions You Will Google in Your Twenties

Our twenties are a strange time where we're expected to act like adults without any real world experience. Because let's face it, living in campus housing off student loans is not real world experience. No one teaches you how to file taxes or read a lease, so when our moms don't pick up the phone there's only one thing to turn to, Google.

Google answers all of our embarrassing questions without judgement, and without it, many of us would probably starve and still be working on that math problem from freshmen year. Since so many of us sit behind our screen and wonder how the hell everyone seems to have it so together, let's join together for a moment and admit all the things we've all Googled at least once. Or twice, no judgement.

Basic cooking facts.

Raise your hand if you've ever searched how much water you need to cook some white rice? (*raises hand) With no more dining hall to keep us fed and lack of money to eat out daily, learning to cook becomes much more of a necessity in your twenties. Suddenly you become paranoid about what will happen if your chicken breast doesn't cook all the way through and are constantly debating the importance of preheating. Thankfully we have Google, which will inevitably lead us to a Pinterest recipe that looked way easier online.

Laundry information.

I have a bone to pick. Why is it that 90% of my wardrobe is hand wash? Or worse, dry clean?! Ain't nobody got time for that. Hand wash in my life translates to perm press, whatever the hell that means. Dry clean means it will probably never be worn or washed, leaving me bitter over the fact that a good portion of my wardrobe is unusable. When moms aren't around to tell us which fabrics shrink, Google has our back on which items are totally fine with being washed normally, despite what the stupid tags say.

Jobs that pay a lot of money with no experience.

Please tell me I'm not the only girl that's ever looked up how much donating my eggs would pay? Because I have, multiple times. And I've looked into surrogacy! No shame in my game. If you've never Googled the salary of a stripper or nanny, whichever you're best suited for, can we trade lives? Cause you clearly have it all together.

How to fill out simple job applications.

Even though we are all completely capable of drafting an email with our resume attached, why do we still feel the need to Google how to end an email and how much is too much? Instead of taking time to apply for jobs, we focus our energy on looking at other resumes, cover letter formats and the proper way to say goodbye without sounding to informal.

Relationship advice. 

While we would all prefer to go to our friends for advice, sometimes it's 3am and you just don't want to call them. Or they are so fed up with your relationship that they will choose to not answer. Google is great for getting millions of opinions of what that text really meant and how soon is too soon to reply. No, the opinions of strangers on the internet will never be as good as those of your friends, but you gotta work with what you've got.

Medical opinions. 

Sure, most of us have insurance, but what's the point of having it if our moms don't book our appointments anymore. I have zero shame in admitting my mom forces books me all my appointments, and in my defense, the woman can make any receptionist squeeze me in. When our moms don't answer the phone and we're too lazy to go to urgent care, Google is always there to make our illness seem 100x worse. Yes our headache could be just a headache, but maybe it's a tumor, so why not finish off that bucket of ice cream?

What's one embarrassing thing you've Googled lately? Or more than once. Or every single time because your brain refuses to remember anything other than song lyrics!

A Complete Guide to Every Roommate You Will Have in College

When you stop to think about it, college roommates are weird, or at least the situation is. Transitioning from living with family to sharing a very very small space with a complete stranger has been normalized, as if we would expect this sort of thing to be normal for people of all ages.

Throughout my four years in college I had more roommates than the average student, mainly because I moved around a lot and jumped from housing to housing. Although they all didn't become lifelong friends, I managed to coexist with each one and make the best of every living situation. Now in my twenties and living on my own, I can't imagine ever sharing a room with a total stranger and trusting them enough to leave all my belongings in their possession. But isn't that the beauty of being eighteen?

The Athlete

Living with a college athlete made me gain so much respect for all the hard work they do year round, but also opened my eyes to all the money that gets funneled into college athletics instead of other areas in need. My sophomore year of college one of my three roommates played softball. As part of a Division 1 team she spent all her free hours lifting weights, training and getting prepared for the season. Roommates like this are great to keep you motivated, especially since you don't have half as much going on, but can also sometimes be a little absent due to their demanding schedules.

The Bookworm

Earning good grades and focusing on school is something we should all do, but there's a healthy balance you have to find when it comes to school and life. One of my freshmen year roommates used to have complete breakdowns around midterms and finals, all because she was worried about failing an exam. The best way to support a roommate who values school above everything else is to encourage them as well as you can when they are beyond stressed and do your best to not fall into a hole where you believe your grades define you and your college experience.

The Wannabe Commuter

While you want to be sympathetic for this roommate, a few weeks into spending every weekend night by yourself will leave you wishing they would just move out already. Moving away from home can be hard, so I totally understand that it takes time to adjust, but if they go home every single weekend, maybe they're better off staying home. While you should be friendly to this type of roommate, make an extra effort to form friendships outside of your living situation.

The Sex Addict

Okay maybe they're not addicted, but this is the first time they have a designated space where they're 100% sure no one will walk in. Hopefully. I'm not here to tell anyone when they can get frisky, do you boo boo, but please pull your bed away from the shared wall. I really rather not no the moment it starts and ends. Okay, thank you, be safe!

The One Nobody Talks To

Being shy is totally fine with me, being antisocial is a bit...well, annoying. My second year I lived with two very good friends, and one more girl that had no interest in spending time with us. While the three of us were excited to welcome her into our lives, she was more interested in spending all her time in her room or with her boyfriend. While you aren't obligated to become best friends with your roommates, be sure to at least say 'hello' when passing each other in the hallway.

The Best Friend

Does she take the place of your other best friend? Not always. But she is there to keep you awake during late night study sessions and binge on the newest season of Grey's Anatomy. I was lucky enough to have two roommates my freshmen year, one who only wanted to spend time with her family and another who was always down to go on an adventure with me. If you are lucky enough to bond with your roommate, hold onto them, because as more time passes you'll notice how hard it is to hold onto friendships you made your freshmen year.

The Gym Fanatic

God I hated this girl. Hate is a strong word, but I really disliked running into her. I have so much respect for people who don't sit around with a family size bag of Doritos, but please don't ask me on a daily basis if I want to go work out with you. My answer is no, just like the other forty two times. Living with a healthy person can be super motivating, or super annoying, depending on how often they love to bring up their morning zumba class into the conversation.

The Party Lover

Having a fun friend can be great, especially if you're the type that's up for anything once. Living with the fun friend is a bit different though, especially if you're the type that some nights just wants to stay home and do nothing. I was lucky enough to have a roommate who enjoyed a night out but also understood my need to just relax some weekends. As long as you both have an agreement to not infringe on each other's space, living with this personality type shouldn't be a problem.

The Upperclassmen

While I know upperclassmen technically means junior or senior, I'm talking about something a little higher up. Graduate students. My junior year I was on track to study abroad, which meant I needed a temporary living situation for a few months. Living with a graduate student opened my eyes to how different earning a masters is, and just how important it is to enjoy every moment of your undergrad experience.

The Perfect Match

You know the saying, "when you know, you know." And trust me, I knew. This person is a rare gem, your rare gem, and once you find them, never let them go. The two of you match in cleanliness, music taste, the temperature you prefer to fall asleep with at night and are able to enjoy both long conversations and comfortable silence. I found my perfect match my senior year of college, which unfortunately meant I only lived with her for six months. We were perfectly in sync, and by in sync, I meant we loved to talk over one another and take regular naps.

Did you form a strong friendship with your college roommates or just gain a frenemy? Let me know the your highs and lows of living with a stranger in the comments below!

Are you a twenty something or millennial in need of support, advice, or sometimes just a second opinion? If your answer is yes, click to join Surviving Our 20s, where you can connect with others who are also adulting the best they can! Joining is FREE and the relationships you can build are priceless.

10 Ways Working Full Time Changes Your Life

There should be a pamphlet that comes along with your diploma as you cross the stage at your college graduation, or at the very least an email sent out notifying you that freedom as you know it is gone. Unless you enjoy sitting at home all day, watching TV, avoiding questions from relatives about what exactly you plan to do next with your life.

Somehow I transitioned from full time college student to full time employee in the span of two weeks. Never mind that I had grad classes after work, my job alone was enough to make me completely change the lifestyle I had grown accustomed to during my four years of college.

College for me was fun, but my time wasn't spent doing the most typical things. I passed on frat parties and formals, instead opting to study abroad, volunteer locally, and enjoy the years when no one judges you for taking a mid afternoon nap? What the hell was I so tired from? I have no clue.

Working forty or more hours a week means your life basically revolves around work whether you like it or not. No more binge watching your favorite show until 3am or skipping laundry. Yes, technically you can still do all those things, but are they worth showing up to the office in a dirty blouse and yesterday's makeup?

While so many things change once you graduate college, even more changes once you start your first real job. Paychecks and holiday parties will keep you motivated, but every once in a while you'll miss all those things you used to do before your life was all neutral colors and fitted blazers.

Related Post: Lies People Tell You About Being in Your Twenties

You actually want to go to bed early.

Spending a day sitting in front of a computer is a lot more exhausting when you aren't taking Buzzfeed quizzes and stalking friends of friends. After a stressful day at work, sometimes the last thing you want to do is stay up late, no matter how much you love that show. Going to bed at 10pm  used to be a punishment, but in your twenties, an early bedtime feels so much like a reward.

Snacks basically keep you alive, and awake.

Slow days in the office will leave you starved for energy, which is why you need to have a secret stash of snacks everywhere! Mindlessly munching on something has kept me awake during countless overtime hours, moments of waiting for my clothes to finally be out of the dryer and commutes home that I felt would never end. Listen to your mom, pack a snack before you go.

Weekends are for more than just partying.

Before I worked full time I had the freedom to run errands when I wanted and at the pace I liked. Then work took up the majority of my day, leaving things like grocery shopping and laundry to be done on the weekends. While you can totally find the time to fit it all, if you spend an afternoon doing all the things no one really wants to do, like shop for toilet paper, you might find yourself less motivated to go out and more inclined to enjoy the apartment you spent the whole day cleaning.

Related Post: How I Rather Spend My Friday Night 

Friends will begin to fall into categories.

Throughout college my friends were definitely polarized, but not at all in a dramatic way. My various interests meant that I had friends who were really into school spirit, others who loved to travel and a few that were just trying to make it through the four years. Making friends as an adult is a lot like this, where different people will fill different roles in your life. Work friends are great for lunchtime conversations and keeping you company at office parties. College friends will be the people you call on when you are overwhelmed with life. Having friends who you call on for specific needs isn't necessarily a bad thing, as long as you give as much as you take.

Your drinking will mostly happen in between the hours of 4-7.

Happy hour is this thing that you either get or you don't, like the Kardashians. With limited time to spare before having to drag your tired ass home, people now opt to drink and socialize between the hours of 4-7pm when drinks and food are much, much cheaper. At this schedule, you'll definitely be home by 9 to start preparing for your next day in the office. It's an endless cycle, but you grow used to it after a while, I promise.

Vacations are something you have to plan ahead of time.

Currently I'm passing through this awkward stage where I'm technically still a student without the benefits of things like winter and summer breaks. Throughout school our vacations were always planned for us. Everyone was free from responsibility on the same day and our plans were always the same, travel home, eat all the food our moms would make us, then travel back and complain about the upcoming semester. Adult life is a little different. Vacations are something you have to ask permission for, and once you do get the time off work, you won't want to spend it sitting on your mom's couch.

A small part of you will feel guilty.

This might only apply to me due to my environment the last few months, but does anyone else sometimes feel a hint of guilt for landing a great job? Or just a job that allows you to live comfortably? While I know finding a job is hard right now, I have never firsthand experienced trouble finding work. Dating a man who spent months unemployed opened my eyes to just how fortunate I am to have focused all my energy in college on growing my skills. So while it's not something we often talk about, guilt is something that comes with the success of starting your career.

Related Post: How to Make the Best Resume with 10 Easy Tips

Some nights you will opt to do nothing.

Nights like these don't even need to be preceded by a busy day at work, because having absolutely nothing to do at work can be just as mind numbing. Once a week I come home completely done with the world, only to walk in, hug my cat and watch whatever channel was already on the TV. Self care is not stressed enough, so take one night a week to do nothing, and enjoy every moment of ignoring all your responsibilities.

You will become unsure of how to spend all the extra money.

Why does no one mention that all the extra money you earn from getting a real job does not equal more fun? Yes, you have more money to spend, but who has the time? Now that I'm finally earning an income that allows me to travel comfortably I have to deal with requesting vacation time far in advance and coordinating with friends who never seem to be able to pull it together. Save your money for something special, I'll let you know if I figure out what that is.

You'll appreciate your parents more than ever.

I now understand why my mom would come home from work and yell at me for not having emptied the dishwasher. No she didn't ask me and no they weren't my dishes, but she was fucking tired of spending the entire day at work! Single moms who work full time and manage to not raise hoodlums deserve a medal of honor because I sometimes barely manage to remember to feed myself and the cat. Even then, I think the cat is on a healthier diet than me.

How has working full time changed your everyday routine? How do you manage to do it all while still getting enough time for yourself??

A Letter to Myself in 2015

I'd like to say to myself that 2016 started off with a bang, but I can't. My first day of the new year was spent crying, questioning the decisions that have led me to where I am today, and calling just about everyone in my phonebook for strength.

Facebook time hop reminded me that two years ago today I was also crying, but for very different reasons. January 2, 2013 I was boarding a flight to London, something I spent months working for and even more months anticipating. The time I spent living in the United Kingdom sparked in me a love for traveling, which eventually led to me relocating to Washington DC after college graduation, falling in love and slowly realizing my dream wasn't as perfect as I imagined.

Last year on New Year's day I spent my time wandering the streets of Northwest DC, taking photos on a disposable camera and still believing that if I worked hard enough everything would fall into place. New Year's 2015 I had a boyfriend who loved me, roommates to talk to when I got home, and barely enough money to pay my monthly bills. A year later I find myself in a much better job, enjoying every moment of my graduate program, but completely alone.

If I could go back and talk to myself at the start of last new year, I would warn that version of me that giving all your time to a group of people who have zero interest in getting to know you will only lead to one day feeling as if you are completely alone in a room full of people. Committing yourself a relationship where you are always the first to call, apologize and move forward will only lead to you waking up one day exhausted, unloved and unaware of where to go next.

This new year I finally began to listen to what my friends back home had been saying for months, and I finally listened to my gut instinct and realized nothing was ever going to change as long as I was the only one willing to admit change needed to occur.

Unfortunately I spent 2015 supporting a man who gradually lost all respect for me, making small talk with people who were openly rude to me, and laying in bed at night wondering why no matter how hard I tried to make the people around me like me, they never did.

Washington DC has been my dream since my 8th grade visit, and like an idiot I believed that my dream was possible while also spending time with people whose idea of fun was my nightmare. I cant count the number of hours I have spent sitting in a bar, making smalltalk with small minded people, inhaling secondhand smoke, and just wishing that just one of them would give me an ounce of chance to show them I wasn't all the bad things everyone assumed I was.

If I could show this letter to me in 2015, I would write in all capitals that it's better to spend my nights alone than to spend them crying on my bathroom floor while someone sat in the next room without a care.

I cant say for sure if things will get any better in 2016, but I am in control of the people I allow to into my life. So for now I am alone in a city full of people, but at the very least I can come home and not worry about what argument I'm going to fall into, what someone is going to say about me as I step away to the restroom, or what innocent gesture will be considered rude.

If I could talk to the version of me on January 1, 2015, I'd tell her that nothing is going to get better as long as I continue on the same path. So starting today I've removed myself from the people who openly dislike me, I've quit trying to convince a man that I am worth respecting and I will do everything in my power to take back the dream I had at 13 years old, the one where I'm a strong, independent woman, with her own apartment in the city, a cat to cuddle with at night, and friends to call on when she's grown bored of sitting at home.

If you've ever experienced being alone in a city I'd love to hear how you got through it. And if you have any advice on how to make friends as an adult I could really any advice.