Discovering My Own Purpose and Value in Blogging

Ever since I made the goal of not giving up on my dream, which is to create an online community for twenty somethings, I've dedicated a lot of time to trying to figure out my plan of action. As someone who can't so much as clean her apartment without making a list, I like to have a set of steps to follow, milestones to reach and ways to define what success means to me.



Lately I've been very overwhelmed by it all, especially with so many bigger and more popular blogs to compare my little space on the internet to. Even though I totally understand that these bloggers have been doing it for longer, have more time, or are at times just more interesting than me, it can be hard to motivate myself to publish something knowing I get a fraction of the page views they do. And for anyone who says that page views aren't everything, that may be true, but if I didn't care about how many people read my writing I'd publish it all on a private blog.

So much of my weekends are spent reading everything I can about how to create a successful blog. The most popular topics circling the internet right now is that I need to create a newsletter, offer a product, provide value. This may all be true, and even with my love for lists, it can be tiring to post list after list of how to get a job, get over a guy and decorate your space. Don't get me wrong, I love my blog and the content on it, but sometimes a girl just wants to spill her guts to strangers on the internet.

Related Post: The Night I Was Emotionally Slutty

After a lot of thinking I figured out what I have that makes me unlike the other millions of blogs out there. Me.

My personality, my experiences, my thoughts and opinions are something that no blogger out there has. The advice that I give should be applicable to everyone (or most everyone), but the personality behind it will always be uniquely mine. For someone who preaches about wanting to connect with other twenty something about how hard adulting can be, I don't often share the awkward moments I experience in my day to day life.

My content will stay the same and my purpose is still the same, the only thing that will change are more details of my personal life will be woven into posts, plus some extra posts that are completely dedicated to the twenty something experience. Now that I've figured out that my perspective of trying to enjoy life in the city is the value my blog provides, it's a little easier to not have to worry about what my reader is taking away from reading a post. My writing doesn't have all the answers because frankly I don't have all the answers, but I promise to share any I find along the way.



Are you a blogger? If so, how do you deal with blog on blog jealousy, plus, what's one thing you have to offer that no one else does?



P.S. Are you a twenty something that isn't sure if you're living the dream or just surviving it? Click here to learn more on how you can connect with other twenty somethings on Instagram who know the struggle of trying to figure out how to adult while also eating popcorn for dinner one night a week.

7

Making Friends as an Adult

This past weekend one of my closest friends visited Washington DC for the first time. As a person who actually helped me with the process of applying to intern in DC and after became the friend I called on (literally) during all my tough days in the city, having her visit meant a lot to me. We spent four days exploring all the city has to offer, from monuments I've seen a dozen times to restaurants I've always walked past but never visited. It was the most fun I've had all year, then it ended.

My friend had to fly back home and I returned to my life of responsibilities and boring but necessary tasks. Nothing changed from the time she spent at my apartment to the time she entered her car to the airport except for the fact that I was back to having no one in the city that really knew me. This is what adulthood looks like, crazy that we all spent our childhoods wishing we could grow up already.


Making friends as an adult is hard. By adult I mean anyone who is not attending college and is over the age of 21. You need at least three to four years to realize which of your high school friends will remain lifelong friends. Once you hit the milestone of living on your own, outside of a campus setting with a full time job taking up all your time, you realize that your social circle feels grows small quickly.

Moving to the city was a major accomplishment in my life, with my entire college career leading towards where I am today. With roommates and boyfriend my first year in DC, things were relatively easy. Then my roommates all moved out of state and my boyfriend dumped me, that's when reality hit me straight in the face.

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

Hollywood glamorizes what it's like to go through our twenties, with best friends sitting directly next to us at the office and nights spent under bright lights and loud music. Real life is a lot more like how I spent my Easter Sunday. In bed, with an extra large pizza, watching the Real Housewives of Atlanta Reunion, Part 2. Alone.

I'm not complaining,I had a damn good time hearing Phaedra call out Kandi for being a bad friend, but I'd be lying if I didn't wish I had a girl fiend to split that pizza with. But you can't always get what you want, like a chic apartment in the city with a roommate to share all your adventures with.

Life isn't all too bad lately, I've quickly jumped out of my January slump and found myself a group of people who don't make me want to go home before the night has even started. Making friends isn't as easy as it used to be, but it also isn't impossible. Coming up on the blog will be a handful of ways to socialize without the awkwardness that comes with meeting new people. Until then, I could always use some advice of how you manage to get through your twenties with a group of friends you wouldn't mind sharing a pizza and tv marathon with.



What do you struggle with most when it comes to making new friends? Leave me a comment so I know what I should focus on in my upcoming post!



P.S. Are you a twenty something that isn't sure if you're living the dream or just surviving it? Click here to learn more on how you can connect with other twenty somethings on Instagram who know the struggle of trying to figure out how to adult while also eating popcorn for dinner one night a week.


14

What to Wear on Casual Friday: With 7 Outfit Examples

Working at a law firm taught me how fortunate I was to begin my professional career at an organization where every day was casual Friday. Now surrounded by attorneys and clients on a regular basis, the announcement of a casual Friday immediately boosts everyone's mood. Because we are still conducting business with clients on Fridays though, our casual Fridays still lean a little more towards the professional side. Unfortunately, not everyone always gets that message.

Whether you're starting your first job in a professional setting or just cant strike a balance between casual and appropriate, I've taken the looks I've witnessed over the past eight months and compiled a list of outfits you could totally get away with wearing on casual Friday, regardless of your office setting.

Related Post: The 10 Most Popular Interview Questions || With Tips on How to Answer Them



Jeans with a simple tshirt and blazer.

If you want to wear jeans I recommend pairing them with a blazer and simple tshirt or blouse. Dark wash jeans are preferable, but light wash work when paired with the right blazer/blouse combo. To dress up the outfit put on some heels, or opt for a more casual look with some stylish flats.



Knit sweater and black skinny jeans. 

Chunky knit sweaters are great, but not always the most professional. Pull off wearing your favorite sweater to work by styling it with some skinny or straight leg pants and heels.


Graphic tshirt, basic pants and a blazer. 

Do you have a desire to wear your favorite graphic tee? As long as it doesn't say anything along the lines of 'turn up,' 'YOLO' or whatever the young people are saying I'll allow it. A casual tshirt with your usual work pants and blazer or cardigan is doable, as long as the tshirt doesn't break any dress code guidelines.



Casual dress and simple blazer. 

Pick your favorite casual dress, that is an appropriate length, and pair it with any work blazer. To dress it up you can add some accessories and your usual work shoes. You'll be surprised how many dresses can be used in the workplace with the right belt, tights or added accessories.

Tshirt with your usual work skirt. 

For a casual Friday outfit that requires minimal effort, put on your usual work skirt with your favorite basic tshirt tucked into it. You'd be surprised how much more comfortable you will be by wearing your comfy cotton tshirt instead of something with buttons, cuffed sleeves and collars.



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

Casual printed dress and a denim jacket. 

Summer is coming to Washington DC which means high temperatures and humidity that will give us all something to whine about. Make use of your summer dresses on casual Friday by pairing them with a denim jacket. Most people choose to wear denim on their legs on Friday, but take a risk and wear it on top instead.


Chambray shirt with black denim or pencil skirt. 

If you hate the feeling of denim on anything but your legs, chambray will be your new best friend. Pick up your favorite chambray shirt and style it with your everyday work pants or some black skinny jeans. If your region is warm enough, I love the love of a chambray shirt with work skirt.


If your office also hosts casual Fridays, what's your go to outfit of choice?


P.S. Are you a twenty something that isn't sure if you're living the dream or just surviving it? Click here to learn more on how you can connect with other twenty somethings on Instagram who know the struggle of trying to figure out how to adult while also eating popcorn for dinner one night a week.


0

The Night I Was Emotionally Slutty

My obsession with Sex and the City started young, like really young. With a sister seven years older than me I was watching the Real World by the time I was eight and quoting Samantha before my boobs began developing. It all makes me really uncomfortable now, but it was the early 2000's and television was different back then, even on HBO.

One of the most memorable episodes of Sex in the City for me is Carrie Bradshaw's realization that she revealed too much to soon, labeling herself "emotionally slutty." If I died tomorrow my gravestone would say, "Daughter. Fast talker. Emotionally slutty." It is what it is.



A few weeks ago I was at the bar for my weekly pinball tournament, don't knock it till you try it. In an aim to talk to a guy, any guy, I set my eyes on a red haired version of my now ex, except slightly shorter and with a much better job. I was smitten. The universe was on my side when I was grouped on the same team as him, and this is where our love story begins.

We spent the night talking about the usual DC topics: where we were originally from, our jobs, what we hoped our jobs to one day be and some of our favorite things to do in the city. He was eerily normal and based on my last relationship I was impressed that he didn't insist on taking a shot with every beer he ordered. Yes, my standards are extremely low lately.

Although we were on a team with two other guys, he and I played at a similar level, so the night was spent trying to beat each other for second place. After a night of pinball and friendly goodbyes, I quickly ran home to tell my best friend about the cuter, more successful version of my ex that I had discovered. Then the next day happened, and it all fell to shit.

In typical twenty something fashion I Googled him. I had his first name and knew he lived in the city, but with his cookie cutter name I didn't get anywhere. Then it hit me that I could find his full name using the pinball registry form, so after a few seconds of scrolling I hit the jackpot and found his full name, and that's when my fingers really hit they keyboard.

One of my many skills is being a great investigator, and I know every girl thinks she could work for the FBI, but I'm different. Gimme one minute detail and a name and I will find his full legal name, address, favorite bar to check into and his old Tumblr profile from 2009. What can I say, it's a gift!

Anyways, you know when you're doing a little snooping and find too much? Then you're left feeling bad about what you found but you cant even bring it up cause somehow you look like you're in the wrong. Those last two sentences basically sum up my twenties.

I found too much guys. Way too much.

As I was doing an old fashioned Google search I found a webpage that had his name as part of the URL. My silly self thought, "oh wouldn't it be hilarious if this was one of those embarrassing wedding websites or something." It was. It is! He's engaged ya'll! Like to be married!

This new discovery sent me in a downward spiral of then stalking his gorgeous fiance who legitimately looks like a real life Barbie doll. Their website featured their love story, from how they met to when and how he proposed. It had photos of their venue and a live countdown to the wedding date. To make things worse they had linked their wedding registry, and like a true supporter of love I scrolled through it, and in all fairness, the girl has good taste.

So yeah, I spent the night being emotionally slutty with another girl's fiance. I guess she's just marrying one of those really friendly guys that talks to random girls on the rebound in dark bars. They look incredibly happy and I wish them nothing but the best, but I have made a official request to no longer be grouped in the same pinball team as him. I can't let it slip that I know he vacationed in Greece two summers ago and would love to know if his college roommate ever recovered from that fall.



Are you guilty of ever being emotionally slutty? Share your horror story below so we can all bond over our creepy tendencies. 
0

The 10 Most Popular Interview Questions | With Tips on How to Answer Them

Interviews are about as stressful as first dates, except in this case your risking a better job with a better salary, not a guy who will make you fall in love with him until you discover he has a foot fetish and possibly a drinking problem. (Too much?)

Whether this is your first time or your coming out of a long term relationship job, it never hurts to brush up your answers on the most popular interview questions. Be warned, most are trick questions where the person interviewing you doesn't really care to know what your greatest weakness is. And no, working too hard, caring too much and being too invested in your job are not weaknesses. (Please tell me one of you recognizes that reference.)

Before your next interview grab your resume, cover letter and the job posting, and take some real time to answer the questions below. There's a 100% chance you'll get asked at least have of the questions listed, so it's better to mess up your answers in front of your pet, mirror and friends than in the actual interview. Along with the questions I added a straightforward guide on possible ways to answer each question.



Tell me about yourself. 

This is the time to not only reintroduce yourself, but mention where you studied, currently work and something interesting about yourself to set yourself apart and make you memorable. I'm not recommending you share something odd like your Gilmore Girl's DVD collection, but mentioning that you studied abroad or volunteer somewhere is a good alternative. 

What interests you about this job?

You want to sound like you want it, but at the same time not sound too desperate. Talk about how you meet the qualifications while also having certain aspects that you are interested to learn more about. If your degree ties into the job field, mention why you chose that field of study, and if not, discuss what interests you about that career path.

What do you know about the company?

As someone who has worked in the hiring department of a company, I know that this question can make or break an interview, and it's usually one of the first ones asked. Take the time to read the company's website, learn what ongoing projects they have and what their mission statement is. If you don't know much about the field, at least you can learn what the organization believes it is working towards. 

Related Post: The Best 5 Websites to Find Your Next Job Now!

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Don't try to be cute and give some fake ass weakness, it'll just annoy them and most likely lead them to just have to ask you again. Come up with one real weakness along with what you are currently doing to combat it. For your strength, mention something that ties into your last job role or one of the job requirements for the position you are interviewing for. 

Why did you leave your last job?

Never insult your coworkers or the organization you once worked for, because at the end of the interview it reflects poorly on you. Instead mention that the job wasn't a good fit with a brief synopsis of what made you begin to look elsewhere. If your coworkers were the problem, you can translate that into saying you much rather work in a team oriented environment, or whatever sounds best for the job you're applying for.


How do you deal with conflict/stress in the workplace?

If you work in a retail setting, this is one of the most important questions, but in a professional setting, it says more about how you handle uncomfortable situations. Employers tend to prefer answers that illustrate you taking control of a situation instead of running to HR, although there's nothing wrong with needing extra support. As long as you're ready with a strategy of how you plan to combat conflict and stress, there is no real wrong answer.

What's one of your biggest professional accomplishments?

Do not mention anything that doesn't directly apply to the position, this is your chance to mention relevant work skills that make you look like an ideal candidate. Use buzzwords like cooperation, managing multiple priorities and setting benchmarks for your goals. Practice this one until you get it right, because with the right example it can set up apart from all the other candidates. 

Tell us about a time you failed. 

A time you failed professionally! Not personally, just in case you were wondering if your last relationship was worth mentioning. Don't set yourself to look like a failure though, bring up an example where you took steps to never make that mistake again or learn from the experience. It's perfectly fine to say something didn't go as you planned, as long as you can explain what you took from the situation. 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I'm a bit different from most people when they answer this, in the sense that I'm brutally honest in telling employers what my five year plans actually are. Currently I work in the administrative end of a law firm, and during my interview I let them know I had no interest in human resources or law, I just needed something to do until I earned my masters. Most people don't do this. You can choose how to answer this, the important thing is to emphasize how you are currently qualified for the job. If you can do the job well now, they shouldn't be too worried about where you plan to be in five years.

Why should we hire you?

This is your chance to brag about yourself, so don't be shy! Mention your work experience, past projects and what your plans are if you do get the position. Employers don't expect a perfect answer, but they don't want to see you advocate for yourself. Feel free to mention specific needs mentioned in the job posting or interests you have in projects they already have going on.



What's the hardest question you've ever been asked in an interview? 
3

10 Lessons You Learn Living Alone in Your Twenties

Renting my own apartment last fall was a big step for me. Although I moved out of my home when I was 18, I spent five years living in dorm rooms, shared apartments and group houses. Going from having multiple roommates to none is a pretty big transition, and while it's not always the most fun, I don't think I'll ever go back to sharing my space. Cat and future husband excluded of course.

The various places I lived in throughout college taught me how lucky I was once to live with my mom, leaving her to have to deal with buying basic necessities like toilet paper. cleaning supplies and dish soap. You learn you need all that stuff pretty quickly, but some lessons you have to learn a few times. Like how important it is to make sure you take the trash out the night before the garbage truck comes. Unless you enjoy the look of trash bags piling up in your kitchen.

Over the past few months I've learned a lot about what it takes to live the dream, cause isn't this what I always wanted? My own apartment in a trendy city where there's always something going on and someone new to meet. Or at least that's what we're told to want. I am in no way saying living alone isn't great, but it definitely isn't all it's made up to be all the time

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



Lesson 1: Living alone is a luxury, so be ready to pay for it.

Going in I knew my new apartment was going to literally take half of my monthly salary, and it hasn't gotten any easier. Luckily I have a great job that allows me to rent my own private studio apartment, but I hadn't factored in the miscellaneous expenses like internet, cable, cleaning supplies and all the adorable crap at Target that I need not want.

Lesson 2: You must lean to rely on yourself.

When it's 6am and you're getting ready for work and the power suddenly goes out, you better be ready to deal with that on your own. Don't be an idiot, buy a toolbox, a flashlight and some candles that do more than make your apartment smell like red velvet cake. Trust me, you'll thank me later. Learn how to turn the power back on yourself, it will save you the embarrassment of calling your landlord while looking like a drowned cat.

Related Post: The Ultimate Guide to Finding an Apartment in the City

Lesson 3: You have no one to blame but yourself.

Oh you're short on rent? Maybe you shouldn't have had brunch every weekend. Is your sink full of dishes? Your mom was right, you are a slob. When you live alone you can't blame a gross bathroom on roommates and pretend like those pots and pans aren't yours. You will at one point in time scold yourself for letting the place get so dirty, don't worry about it, we're all turn into our mothers eventually.

Lesson 4: You actually enjoy coming home to a clean apartment.

Before my family ever went on any sort of vacation my mom would force us all to clean the house. It was as cruel of torture that is allowed to inflict on a seven year old. Now, I get it. There is no better feeling than coming home from a miserably long day at work and opening the door to find your clean apartment. No shoes to trip on, no dirty dishes to look at, no pile of laundry to remind you it needs folding. This one you just have to experience to fully understand.

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

Lesson 5: You will find new ways to have fun.

Something happened between me living with all my closest friends and me living on my own, but I feel as if I aged at least 7 years. I was never the type to stay out until 2am and bar hop, but I also used to be able to comfortably stay up past midnight. Last Sunday I literally spent the day gardening, ie planting some succulents, and leisurely dressing my bed in its new sheets and comforter set. It was the most fun I had all weekend and dammit I might do the same thing next Sunday!

Lesson 6: You will discover who your true friends are.

Before moving out on my own I never imagined that by doing so I would figure out who in my life was truly there for me, but I did. My move was a bit more dramatic than most, I not only got my own apartment, I also relocated 3000 miles away from home. Before then though it was so easy to get together with friends, we either shared a house or lived blocks from one another. Now on my own I notice that it's my real friends that make the trip across town to see me, call me all the way from California to make sure I'm still alive, and overall make an effort to keep in touch with me despite the distance, big or small.

Lesson 7: You will lead by example.

If you're in your early twenties you can relate to having friends at every stage of adulthood. Some will still be trying to finish college, others will be recent graduates living at home, with strangers or successfully on their own. Before moving to Washington DC I was like most, trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life while aiming to make it look like I had it all figured out. Now most days I have random friends, and some I would barely call acquaintances, messaging me on social media about how I found an apartment in the city, my thoughts on attending grad school right after college and if I knew of any websites to job hunt on.

Related Post: 20 Honest Reasons Why It's Sometimes Better to Be Single

Lesson 8: You will become your own best friend, hero, activist.

In college when I saw a giant spider or evil lizard I knew I could scream and have three other girls my age with brooms in hand to help me fight it off. Nowadays I have a cat who thinks the intruder is a toy and a pair of heels I keep at arms reach to smash it with. Living alone means killing your own pests, talking yourself up to do it, then convincing yourself you deserve a treat for being so brave.

Lesson 9: You will either constantly talk about wanting a pet or talk about your pet.

Growing up I had a pet cat, and with a sister much older than me, this cat was basically my best friend. All through college I wanted to adopt an animal but knew I couldn't afford it, so I waited. Ten years after the passing of my childhood pet I was finally financially able to afford an animal, so with my first paycheck deposited into my bank account I ran to the shelter. Now I have Max, the only guy who listens to my rants, deals with my messy habits, puts up with my bed hogging and is happy to see me even if I've only been gone a minute. If you can, adopt an animal. Trust me, you won't regret it for a moment.

Lesson 10: You will miss this time in your life.

When I moved into my apartment I was in a long term relationship, with a guy that had no day job or responsibilities that required him to wake up when I did or go to bed when I needed to. This meant I was very rarely alone in my apartment. At the time I didn't mind, it wasn't until he dumped me that I realized how gratifying it can be to spend an entire day alone. Not having to worry about putting on pants, lowering the volume or making enough food for two is a time in your life you shouldn't take for granted. So while significant others can be wonderful, don't waste the time to yourself by wishing you had someone to share it with.



What's one thing you learned about yourself when you started living on your own? 
6

The Ultimate Guide to Finding an Apartment in the City

The summer I turned 18 was the same summer I moved out of the small town I grew up in, away from my friends and family and all the things I knew like the back of my hand. Transitioning to living on my own was easy when I had university housing to count on and financial aid to cover my expenses. Eventually I transitioned to renting a house with friends off campus until I made the leap to go abroad to continue my degree.

Then I graduated college and everything went to hell.

The government wasn't going to reward me for having good grades and my mom wasn't going to stop talking about the fact that she couldn't move into her new house until I figured out my next move. Most of my friends didn't travel far for college so they had no issue with moving back home, I on the other hand hadn't experienced living with my mom for more than a few weeks in four years. I was itching to get out. So one boring afternoon in a beach town in California I made the decision I was going to relocate to Washington DC, start grad school and live the single girl's dream. It didn't quite work out that well at first.

Finding an apartment in the city is fucking hard, which is why I actually lived in the suburbs outside the city for my first year. Eventually I got a good job that paid me well enough to afford my own place in the city, and even though it was a long painstaking process, I've never been happier. In an effort to make the process a little easier for you, this is what worked well for me.



Before anything, set your budget. 

Having a set budget will save you so much time, not only during your initial search but also once it comes time to speaking to leasing offices. It's important to set a budget for an apartment that you can afford now, don't be crazy like me and sign a lease to a place you hope to be able to afford with that new job you interviewed for. Thankfully everything worked out for me, but I don't recommend the gamble.

Locate neighborhoods you're interested in. 

If you live in a large city, chances are there are specific areas you love and others you never step foot in. Take a look at a map of the city and choose which are not only affordable to you but also a safe and fun place to live. If you're interested in a certain area but don't know it very well, take a day to explore the neighborhood and get a feel for the people and businesses in it.

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

Start looking as early as possible. 

A lot of people say to look one to one and a half months before you need a place, but that's just crazy! If you've ever tried to lease an apartment in the city during the summer you know that the rent will be higher and the competition will be even higher. While you don't need to sign a lease, knowing what your options are ahead of time will save you a lot of stress closer to your move in date.

Use all your resources. 

Before moving to Washington DC I would have never though to find housing using Craigslist, but if you live in a big city, you know the housing struggle. Using every resource out there will ensure you not only see every available listing, but also that you get the lowest advertised price. Some of my favorites are Padmapper, Apartments.com and apartment management companies.

Visit each apartment you're interested in. 

Some places seem great, until you visit the location and have to walk over a crowd of people sitting on the entrance steps. Taking the time to visit the apartment, look at the building facilities and get a good look at the vibe of the place will narrow down your options, in a good way! I also recommend visiting the apartment's surrounding area at night, a lot can change about a neighborhood once the streets are empty. Don't so much as fill out an application before you visit, save yourself the 50 dollars and get a look at the area first.

Don't feel pressured to sign. 

Once you do visit the apartment, the leasing agent will do and say everything in their power to get you to apply for the apartment, whether they think you qualify or not. Don't feel pressured to apply, even if there's a line of people outside waiting to see the same unit. If there really are a ton of people interested in the same place they wouldn't be pressuring you to apply right that second.

Related Post: Easy Ways to Save Money Every Day

Have your paperwork ready. 

If you do find a place you love and are ready to commit that day, be sure to have your documents on hand to save time. I recommend bringing with you a blank check, government ID, pay statements and anything else that might be needed for the application form. Some places I looked into renting required recommendations from past landlords, and yes, I did list my mom.

Read the reviews. 

True story: last summer I was sold on an apartment in the city. It was a large studio, close to the major bus line, walking distance to Target and below my budget. I couldn't believe I had found this place. Then on a whim, okay I was bored at work, I decided to Google search, "xyz apartment reviews." The results shocked me. Not only were the ratings terrible, every person that reviewed it wrote in capitals "STAY AWAY FROM THIS PLACE." Bug infested, poor management, unsavory neighbors, suddenly I realized why it was so cheap. Take a few minutes to Google reviews of your apartment prospects, you'll never know what you may find.

Know your non-negotiables. 

Different people have different needs. When apartment hunting I knew I wanted hard wood floors and large windows, the rest didn't matter all that much. To help you with ranking your favorites make a list of the things you would ideally want your place to have, like an in unit washer/dryer, dishwasher or walk in closet. This type of list will help you choose between the apartments you're considering.



Have you ever experienced apartment hunting in the city? What's your best tip for finding a place without all the extra stress?



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11 Things to Do In Between Your College Classes

My university had an unusually high rate of students who commuted, which meant that on any day there were crowds of students hanging around waiting for their next class to begin. For anyone that knows the struggle of having to wait hours between your classes, you know sitting and watching Netflix can grow old after a while. Yeah I said it, by day fifty seven you get tired of watching the same episodes of The Office day after day.

Luckily I had the privilege of always living on campus or relatively close, so even a one hour break was enough time for me to run home, grab some food and lay in bed. Even though I lived close enough to campus to travel home during my gaps between classes I didn't always, instead I started to make more productive use of that time.

Whether you need something to do because you have nowhere else to go or you just rather not watch the time pass, there's plenty of tasks you can get done in between your college classes. And I'm not saying everything you do be productive, because we all know how long that will last.

Not sure of how to spend your time in between your college classes? Click to read of all the productive things you can do while you wait for your next college class to start. Stop wasting your time waiting for you next class to start.


1. Visit the library. 

As terrible as it sounds, spending some time in the library will save you so much stress later. Taking the time to read over your coursework. work on those projects and focus on studying for exams means less time doing all those tasks at home. If you have the time now, save your time away from campus for actual fun activities.

2. Save money on textbooks. 

While you're in the library you can save money on textbooks by reading the textbooks on reserve or scanning yourself a PDF copy. I haven't bought a textbook in years, all by taking advantage of the books my university placed on hold. To learn more about how to save money by not buying books, click here.

3. Grab some food.

The older I get the more I realize how important it is to keep yourself fed. Since you're most likely stressed, running around campus and running off ramen noodles, use some free time to grab an actual meal between classes. Plus, isn't there some study by someone that you learn better when you're well fed?

Related Post: 10 Important Lessons You'll Learn During Your College Internship

4. Visit the gym. 

The biggest downside of my university was having to pay a gym membership fee whether I wanted to use the facilities or not, so do your best to actually visit the gym when you have the time. I'm not saying you have to go lift weights between history and biology, but at the very least you can borrow a basketball hoop and relive your high school embarrassment.

5. Revise your resume. 

Are you applying to internships or close to graduating? In thirty minutes or less you can have someone on your campus' career center critique your resume to better your chances of getting hired. If you don't have a career center, I have some articles on how to create a resume and mistakes you definitely want to avoid.

6. Check in with your adviser. 

Are you on track to graduate? How about to graduate with honors? Visiting with your academic adviser will ensure you don't miss any important requirements while also prepping you for life after college. Since most appointments are less than thirty minutes, you should have more than enough time to meet with your adviser.

You might also like: For more tips on how to survive your college years, follow my >SURVIVING COLLEGE< board on Pinterest for tips on studying, internships, and all things college related!!


7. Attend office hours. 

Pause and think about your least favorite class. Now why is that? Any class where you aren't getting at least a B means you would probably benefit from attending office hours. Especially if there's an exam coming up! Write down some topics and questions ahead of time and go visit that teaching assistant who swears up and down that there's no such thing as a stupid question.


8. Finish some homework.
 

If you have a homework assignment that can be finished in the your spending staring at your Facebook news feed, close your laptop and just get it done! Trust me, future you will be so happy you didn't leave it till the last minute.

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

9. Participate in lunchtime events.

Large enough campuses sometimes host lunchtime concerts and workshops during the afternoon, since they know so many of you are hanging around waiting for your next class to start. There are people who work so hard putting these together, so take advantage of all the free food and information.

10. Take a nap. 

There's no shame in falling asleep in a cozy library cubicle, so if you really need the extra rest, find a quiet area and get some rest. If you rather be sneaky about it I suggest you fall asleep on a textbook so it looks like you're reading it really close, and if anyone asks just say you have terrible eyesight.


11. Enjoy being outside. 

This one may sound weird, but one day you're gong to be 23 and spend your days wearing neutral colors every single day. Take advantage of this time when you can nap when and where you please. If you must watch Netflix between classes, do it outside! Yes the glare is annoying but eventually we all work 9-5 and don't get out of the office until the sun has gone down. Damn daylight savings!



How did you spend your time between classes? Please tell me I'm not the only one who had shows I only watched while on campus! 


PS You can now sign up to receive the weekly newsletter with the best content from here and around the web. Signing up take seconds, make sure you're on the list!


6

Why is there so much blog on blog hate?

After a very long week at work which never really ended (ie I worked all weekend), I decided to take some time to read through my Bloglovin feed that had been sadly ignored. Since I was so behind on reading my usual blogs, I skimmed the list and clicked through to the ones that seemed the most interesting. After reading a few post titles I chose to read two reader surveys and an income report, some of my favorite types because I'm nosy.

After reading the results of the surveys I learned that people had a lot of things to say about the direction blogging is moving towards, most of it being negative. It seems as if I had found the one place on the internet where everyone felt comfortable rallying against how to posts, blogging about blogging, and anything that starts with "5 ways to xyz."

As someone who does two of the three things above, I was at first a bit offended, but then I stepped back and decided to see who was saying these things. People fell into two categories, total hypocrites or bloggers who had just made the jump of buying a domain name. Let's discuss.



I totally get where people are coming from, after a while it gets old to hear people debate about the blogger versus wordpress thing. At the same time though, we have all once wondered which is better, which is why people keep coming up with new opinions, posts and suggestions. As for the hate towards listsicles (if that's even a word) and how to posts, how often do the people complaining honestly give a shit about a weekend recap that has no real point? Really though, how many of us actually read a post that provides no value to us?

Unless you are absolutely in love with a blogger and feel like you are internet friends, many of us don't care that you visited some restaurant and snapped some pics. Oh you're painting your house? Cool, how about also mentioning your why you chose that paint brand so I can learn something while admiring that beautiful shade of blue.

Everyone has a right to write and read whatever they like, but I'd like to know when people who were doing the things they were complaining of began bashing those who like to blog with a purpose. And I don't think I'm saving the world, but at the very least before I hit publish I ask myself,  "does this need to be read? Will this help anyone in any way?"

All this blog on blog hate is just making newbie bloggers more unsure of how to get started, something they'd never figure out without all those 'how to blog' blogs. Which in my case, I fucking love, sorry not sorry.

So while we all may not love to read or write the same things, that doesn't mean we need to become internet warriors and use the comment section to tear down each other's writing. Fashion bloggers, I may not be interested in how to style that cute dress, but you'll never find me dissing you for taking that dress for free, using affiliate links and posing the same way in all of your pictures. Do you girl! I'll keep posting my how to posts cause there's someone out there that needs to figure out how to write a resume, get over their ex-boyfriend and enjoy their twenties all at the same time.



Where do you stand on this side? Are you over the direction that blogging is taking and wish it would get a little personal again? Let me know in the comments below, cause like I said, I'm nosy. 


Now to happier topics, I made an exciting announcement on the blog this week about a new project I'm hoping you'll love as much as I do. Click here or the image below for a quick rundown of how you can connect with other twenty somethings!


12

Announcing a New Hashtag for Twenty Something Women

Hey everyone, I'm going to try to keep this quick and to the point. Two ways no one has ever described the way I tell a story.

Over the past few months I have finally transitioned out of the idea that I have to blog for everyone and that my only value is as a college blogger, since that's how this all started for me. Publishing regularly on my website has taught me that I'm attracting the exact demographic I fit into, twenty something women who are trying to figure out adulthood one day at a time.

Like most twenty somethings I'm obsessed with Instagram, maybe a bit more than the average person. My obsession with snapping photos of my brunch and lazy Sundays inspired me to create something that I hope you all will be as pumped about as a I am, a new hashtag to link all of our confusing, photogenic, an ordinary life moments.

I'm making a hashtag ya'll, and I wanna invite every single one of you to use it!

Related Post: All the Lies I Tell on Instagram



If you want a way to connect with other bloggers, young professionals, cat obsessed, wine drinking, Netflix watching women, use the hashtag #survivingour20s whenever you post to Instagram. This isn't one of those Instagram challenges where you need to follow a prompt or fit a certain photo aesthetic, I want to see your everyday moments that feature what it's really like to be a twenty something today.

Like the creeper I am, I will be liking any photos tagged with #survivingour20s, so make sure your Instagram account is set to public so that I and others using the hashtag can interact with you.

And one last thing, just cause it says #survivingour20s doesn't mean you need to be 20-29 to join the community. I'm all about including everyone, so don't let the number stop you from participating. Life is complicated as hell no matter what your age is, so feel free to use the hashtag to let everyone know you're getting through all those confusing situations.

I'll be the first to admit that I thought my twenties would be a little more nights out with my besties and a little less eating popcorn for dinner with my cat. Let's let everyone know how living the dream can sometimes feel like we're just surviving it.

I can't wait to see what you guys come up with, see ya on the gram!

P.S. If you wanna follow me on Instagram, I wouldn't mind it.




Comment down below if you know of any other Instagram hashtags specifically for twenty somethings or if you plan on using the hashtag!

17

How to Become a Morning Person

The first thing to do before training yourself to become a morning person is to figure out why you aren't a morning person. Are you just really tired when you wake up or just in a terrible mood? Your energy and mood play a big part into how the rest of your day will go, so first things first, why is it that you hate getting out of bed each morning?

Once you have that figured out you can narrow down which things will help getting out of bed easier each morning. And before you attempt to try all these things all at once, choose one or two and go from there. Unless you're into overwhelming yourself and quitting before making any real changes.



Pack your bag before bed. 

How many of us spend the last few minutes in our apartments each morning running around looking for our purse, wallet, keys and all the things we can't leave the house without? Life would be so much easier if we could just get ready, pick up our bag and walk out the door. Except we can, if we would just pack the damn thing before we went to sleep! Get your stuff together the night before, trust me, it will seriously reduce your morning stress.

Choose an outfit, if you can. 

Major props to anyone who can pick their outfit the night before because this is the one thing I can't master. If you're like me and can never predict your morning bloat, choose something simple like your coat or blouse and work from there. Not having to start with a blank slate each morning will make it easier to figure out what to put on. 

Find a place for that thing you're always losing. 

Each and every morning I used to realize I had  no idea where my metro card was. Every. Damn. Morning. Then I started putting my metro card on the floor by the door. Is it the best place for it? No. But at least I know where it is. Identify the thing that always makes you miss your bus and designate a spot for it. No one should start their day on their hands and knees looking for those keys that they swore they put on the coffee table. 

Shower before bed. 

If you find yourself feeling rushed in the morning or too sleepy to get everything done, save some time and get some extra sleep by showering the night before. I personally shower the night before to not only sleep later each morning but also save the time of having to blow dry my hair.

Or shower in the morning to wake yourself up.

Are your mornings one long blur of trying to get yourself out the door and to work on time? Taking a shower in the morning might need the thing you need to wake yourself up and be fully energized before starting your day. Yes it requires getting up earlier, but it also helps you stay up.

Rise with the sun.

My secret to becoming a morning person was making sure my blinds were open before I go to bed each night. Natural sunlight is so much more comfortable to wake up to instead of the loud alarm that usually rip us into consciousness. If you have the ability, crack open your blinds to see how some simple sunlight will make it easier to wake up by the time your alarm goes off.

Related Post: 10 Ways Working Full Time Changes Your Life

Don't wake yourself up too early.

One of my freshmen year roommates used to set no less than six alarms each morning. Not because she had a hard time getting out of bed, but because she planned to press snooze on each one five of those six alarms. It was so freaking stupid. If you know you are going to ignore your first three alarms save yourself the sleep and just set an alarm for the time you'll actually wake up. Why wake yourself up to spend the time waiting for the next time you'll press snooze?

Create a morning playlist.

Music is the one thing that can get your hyped for anything, whether that be a night out or an eight hour day in the office. Putting together a playlist of all your favorite upbeat songs will boost your mood and energize you without too much effort on your part.

Stock up on morning specific foods.

Don't only treat yo'self on Sunday brunch, take an hour out of your week to go buy groceries specifically for things to munch on during your morning. Coffee can be great for those who need a boost in energy, but having pastries and fruit are also great treats to motivate you to get out and stay out of bed during your morning routine.

If all else fails, place your alarm across the room.

My heart goes out to those people that just cannot wake up with their alarm. I don't think they're lazy at all, just how not wanting to be out until 2am doesn't make me a lazy bum. If you truly cannot get yourself out of bed and moving in the morning, force yourself until it comes naturally by placing your alarm across the room. It will feel like torture at first but eventually you won't even mind it.



Are you a morning person? If so, what motivates you to get out of bed each morning, and if not, let me know what things stresses you out each morning!
4

Easy Ways to Save Money Every Day

My overall theme for this year was to live for me more, which I talked about a little in my word of the year post. The two things I love to do are blog and travel, both cost a little money, but the latter definitely more. Keeping those two things in mind I've been more aware of how I spend my money, and a common theme in my life seems to be walking into Target for tampons and walking out with two bags full of stuff. Just stuff, nothing in particular, no theme, no rhyme or reason as to why I thought I needed it all.

Since I want to stop thinking about travelling and just do it, I've taken small steps to limit my spending, especially because my only two bills are rent and cable/internet. Since January I've been able to save enough money for my first trip to Texas, so I'm gonna tell you how you can save money every single day this year.

Related Post: Are You Really Enjoying Your Twenties?



Make coffee at home.

Or tea, or a cocktail, or whatever your preference is. My point is drink at home! I personally don't drink coffee but I can't imagine forking over that much money every morning for something that will be gone within the hour. Buy a coffee maker and save yourself the time and money that comes with running into your favorite coffee shop each morning. 

Pack your lunch.

I haven't mastered this completely, but packing lunch just two days a week saves me at least twenty dollars. If you're already cooking dinner at home all you have to do is make a slightly larger serving and saves the leftovers for the next day. Trust me, keep your receipts for the week so you can see how much you spend in the course of five days. The number will 100% motivate you to pack a lunch the following week. 

Take public transportation. 

Catching a cab or ordering an Uber is so damn tempting when you've been at work all day or it's freezing outside, but resist the temptation! Riding the bus or subway is a fraction of the cost and sometimes faster depending on the time of day. The only time I say screw this rule is if you're out really late at night or in a shady neighborhood.

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

Say no to delivery. 

My apartment is definitely in a great area of Washington DC. A seven minute walk to Target, five minutes to a grocery store and on the same block as a Papa Johns. The last reason might explain why there are five empty pizza boxes piled in the corner for my apartment. Even though delivery is only three dollars I force my butt to get out of bed if I want pizza, cause according to my own money saving rules I should be cooking at home. If the restaurant is withing 15 minutes walking distance, go pick it up!


Wait 24 hours before you purchase any non necessities. 

The easiest way to not fall into the trap that is online shopping is by walking away from your cart for 24 hours. I know it's fun to add things to your cart until you hit the free shipping minimum, but letting those items sit for a while might give you some perspective if you really need it all. Also, a lot of stores will send you a coupon code during that time away to encourage you to purchase your order. 



What's one thing you want to try to spend less money on? Share any tips on how you save money below, because I could definitely use some more suggestions!
5

How to Deal with a Bad Roommate

When I packed up all my dorm gear and hoped in my mom's car for the 400 mile drive to my university I was only worried about one thing, my two new roommates. Yes, I was one of the unlucky few that had to share a shoe box sized room with two strangers, and to make it more difficult, they were best friends both named Jessica. And no, neither one of them went my Jessie or Jess, just Jessica After just a few days I fell in love with both of them, but I was lucky. My next door neighbor spent her entire first semester begging campus housing to reassign her, which never happened.

College roommates are a hit or miss, and while most people won't be terrible, eventually you will get housed with someone who finds a way to push your buttons like no one ever has before. Instead of freaking out until you eventually hate coming home at the end of the day, take steps to fix the problem on your own, and if that doesn't work call in some reinforcements.



First, calm down. 

I am very guilty of freaking out in the moment and going off on people, but hey, I had my reasons. Instead of doing this take time to relax because no one wants to be criticized by someone who is throwing insults at them that probably have nothing to do with the situation. Even if your roommate is a loud slob who never flushes the toilet, stay on topic girl, or at least don't bring it up till you dial down your feelings.

Get some space. 

You don't need to pack up and move out but I do recommend you not spend all this time around someone you cant stand, especially if they have no clue what's bothering you. Whether you get away for a few hours or a few days, space gives you an opportunity to calm down and think over what's bothering you. Plus, being surrounded by the person who is bothering you in ways they aren't even aware of is only going to annoy you more.

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

Set up a time to talk. 

The worse feeling in the world is when someone corners you with a conversation you weren't ready to have. Letting your roommate know that you want to sit down and talk about xyz gives them a chance to gather their thoughts and think about any issues they might have as well. Setting up a specific time means neither one of you can back out or act is if you have no idea where all these opinions are coming from.

List what is on your mind. 

Writing down what exactly is causing you to be unhappy in your living situation will help you realize what doesn't really need to be mentioned and what thing bothers you the most. Plus, if you're just listing things as you go, you're much more likely to bring up things that are either out of their control or you have no right to ask of them. Make a list, it will keep the talk on topic.

Share a problem, but also provide a solution. 

This isn't applicable to everything but more often than not it's a step towards a resolution. If your roommate loves to have people over and you can't stand having company, instead of complaining about the constant visitors suggest that their be a set time that you are okay with having people over. By doing this you both can come to a resolution in that moment instead of saying you'll figure it out but never actually do anything about it.

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

Be ready to receive criticism. 

Oh you thought you were the perfect roommate? You're not. Whether you lose way too much hair or have a bad habit of leaving your purse by the door, I'm sure you annoying quirks too. By letting your roommate know you want to talk about some issues you're having you are also giving them an opportunity to speak on the things bothering them. So listen up!

If nothing changes, reach out to your resident adviser. 

If after all this nothing changes, there's no shame in calling in a third party to help solve your issue. Sure your RA can't make your roommate talk on the phone less, but if your problem is something larger or makes your living situation undesirable, they definitely can step in.

If you live in the real world where there isn't an RA down the hall and your landlord would slam the door in your face if you ever told him your roomies won't do their dishes, good luck girl, I've been there. If you have crappy roommates and are living in an apartment/house with people you found on Craigslist, forget everything I said and just get even. Also maybe look into a new living situation.



Did you have any roommate drama while you were in college? Leave me your best horror story and I'll share one of mine!

4

10 Reasons You Didn't Get the Job

So you applied for the job, followed up, got an interview and went home feeling like the job was yours. Awesome! You didn't stress when you didn't hear back right away because duh, they probably are interviewing a bunch of other people. They even told you you'd hear back after a week. Then you did finally hear back, except you got the generic email thanking you for your time and encouraging you to apply for any other open positions. Or worse, they just completely ghosted you. No email telling you they chose another candidate, no explanation of why it wasn't going to work out. Awesome.

This has happened to all of us, so first off don't feel like a total loser. Months ago I had two interviews at two different organizations. One place never bothered to contact me again while the other offered me a job that very week. So sometimes it has nothing to do with you, but don't get too comfortable with that idea, cause you might've fucked up. Let's figure out what went wrong together.

Related Post: The Best 5 Websites to Find Your Next Job Now!



1. You couldn't connect your past work experience.

Having plenty of work experience is great, but what's the point if you cant relate your experiences and skills learned to the job your applying to now. Take time to find ways to connect your past work with the new job your applying for.


2. You weren't able to communicate effectively.

The people interviewing are going to judge you, on everything, especially the way you talk. Regardless if you're voice is squeaky like mine or weirdly deep, they are going to pay more attention to how often you pause and say words like umm, like or uhhh. While it may seem unfair, constantly needing to stop and say words like those makes you sound unprepared and unprofessional.


3. They wanted to hire someone internally all along.

Sorry guys, but most companies are required to hold interviews even if they plan to hire someone from within. If you had an amazing interview and met all the job qualification but still didn't get the job, chances are they already had someone in mind to begin with.

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

4. You didn't click with the interviewer.

A few months ago I walked into an interview room and immediately knew I had zero chances at being hired for the job, and I hadn't even answered my first interview question yet! The reason? The woman I was interviewing with literally looked me up and down and then continued to have this weird frown/smirk on her face. I was toast. If you don't feel comfortable talking during your interview for at least one moment chances are you guys aren't hitting it off, and employers aren't looking to hire people who won't seamlessly blend into the office environment.

5. Your salary requirements were too high.

Companies have a rough estimate of what they're willing to pay potential candidates, which is why many ask for salary requirements upfront during the applications process. Pay attention to what other individuals with similar jobs and experiences are making and base your salary requirement off that. If you're lucky, Glassdoor will list past salaries from people who work at the company you're applying to making the hardest question to answer so much easier.

6. Someone else was willing to work for less.

Let's say they listed the job's salary between 40 and 50 thousand dollars a year, so to be competitive you listed your salary requirement as 45 thousand. You might have all the experience necessary and have had a great interview, but as soon as someone else with great experience walks in saying they are willing to do a job for thousands less, chances are they are going to prefer that person. While this not be the case everywhere, many nonprofits I've worked at are looking for people to fill positions with qualified applicants who also have low salary requirements.

Related Post: 8 Popular Reasons You Weren't Called for an Interview

7. You didn't prepare for the interview.

Taking the time to come up with answers to the most popular interview questions isn't enough anymore, which is why it's important you take time to research the organization you're interviewing with. Taking thirty minutes to read their mission statement, how the company is organized and what ongoing projects they have is a great way to show the person interviewing you this is more than just another job you applied to.

8. Your references weren't supportive.

Everyone knows not to list people who don't have good things to say about you, right? I seriously hope so. On the other hand, don't list someone as a reference that can't have longer than a two minute conversation about you. Prepping your reference on not only the job you are applying to but also your past work experience will give them much more to say besides the generic, "oh yeah, she was great."


9. You weren't dressed appropriately.

Dress for the job you want, not the one you have. Just because you may be applying to a low ranking job doesn't mean you can show up to the interview in your old cardigan and a button up. Put on a damn blazer! At my current job I escort all of our potential new hires into the conference room where they'll be interviewed, and so many come dressed as if they forgot we're a professional office environment. Dress appropriately, and if you don't know how, that's what Pinterest is for.

Related Post: The Best 4 Places to Buy Cute, Affordable Work Clothes

10. Your background check made you look bad.

Most people know what to expect when a background check is being run, but depending on the type of job you are applying for the employer might be more interested in one aspect over another. If you have anything that might come up in a background check it's important to be upfront about it. A good place to bring this up is in the interview, that way you have the opportunity to explain the situation and how it wouldn't affect your ability to do the job.


For more career tips and advice for twenty somethings, follow my board on Pinterest for a constant stream of new information!
Follow When Life Gives You Rubi's board CAREER TIPS & ADVICE FOR 20 SOMETHINGS on Pinterest.


Have you ever had a great interview and then just never heard back? What do you think wen't wrong or are you still wondering about some like I am?
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