2 Truths and 1 Lie About Online Dating

The idea about finding someone to date through an app is something I was always against. Restaurant recommendations? Sure. Directions to where I'm going? Please! But a guy to spend my time with and share my popcorn bowl with? No freaking way. Not happening. Never in a million years.

Then I realized something.

I don't spend all my time in bars. My social circle is small and I wear headphones around the clock, so good luck talking to me while I'm out in public. Every guy I have ever dated was either a friend first or I met at work or school, meaning I've never really dated a stranger. So one day I kind of just opened my eyes and realized that I wasn't going to meet anyone unless I a)drastically changed my lifestyle or b)tried this thing that all the kids were doing.

There was just one rule I had, never Tinder. No offense to the creators of the app but Tinder is just the anti-me, and there was no possible way I going to spend my time basically rating people on their looks. Beyond this one rule, I was ready to dive in to the online dating scene, and guess what? It worked out!

If you're anything like me and have spent hours hearing friend's horror stories of they guys they meet, or worse, receive messages from, read on to learn the two things I learned about online dating, plus the lie that I uncovered.

Related Post: 20 Small Signs Your Relationship is Getting Serious

Truth: It takes a lot of time and effort.

Finding a real relationship online takes much more time than simply swapping through profiles on your commute to and from work. Chances are the first few days of being online will lead to you being flooded by messages, with over 90% of them being from people you're not interested.

If your goal is to meet someone you can date long term, sorting through the dozens of messages will not only take time, it might lead you to feel this was all a bad idea. True story, I deleted my account within 18 hours of opening it the first time I made it. Why? I was completely overwhelmed by the number of messages I was receiving, and as someone who doesn't like attention for the sake of attention, it was just too much too fast.

To make this process easier set some requirements for the type of guy you're looking for. Whether that be their education or the type of effort they put into a message, doing so will seriously help you not waste time on individuals you won't have a real connection with.

Truth: Your photo matters just as much as your profile.

As terrible as it sounds, your picture is the one thing that will get people to visit your profile, so make sure it's a good one. My advice is that it not be a selfie and be a photo of only you. If you want to go a step above, uploading multiple pictures of different scenarios is a simple way to feature more of your personality without words.

Even though I poured my heart into my profile, I know that my friendly looking photo is what led people to notice me in the first place. Once you have good photo, don't skimp on the content on your profile. You wouldn't believe how many girls put minimal information and rely on mostly photos to get their matches/messages.

Related Post: 8 Reasons to Block Your Ex on Social Media

Lie: You won't find anyone you genuinely like.

If you've ever listened to your friends talk about their online dating experiences, most likely you've heard them say how no guy online is looking for a serious relationship. They're lying! Chances are they are either a)giving their time to guys who send the same message to every girl or b)not spending the time to find a match who are they compatible with personality wise.

Just because you can set a height requirement doesn't mean you should, so make sure to give everyone a chance with boundaries. I went on multiple dates with several guys who never once gave me a vibe that they were looking to just hook up, leading to my now relationship.

Just like real life, every guy you talk to won't lead to a relationship, so instead of stressing out enjoy the process of meeting new people and letting things develop naturally. To help get to know your matches and their intentions, I recommend you talk to them online for no more than two weeks before going on a real life date.

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If you have a moment, please fill out the survey above! Also, I'd love to hear your experiences with online dating, was it terrible? Did you meet someone? Spill the beans in the comments below!

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20 Tips for College Freshmen

It's absolutely crazy to me that I was a freshmen in college six years ago, because honestly, I remember packing up the truck and driving to my university like it was yesterday.

If you're anything like me, you like to know what's going to happen in any given situation. Meaning you want to know how to deal with balancing your coursework before you've even registered, tips for making friends before meeting your dorm roommate, and how to balance all the responsibilities that come with doing well in school and having a social life.

Weeks before I left for school I spent hours researching everything I could think of. Due to not being able to find answers to everything I was wondering about, I eventually started writing for various collegiate websites to help anxious and excited incoming freshmen like myself. Whether you're an incoming freshmen or close to the end of your first year of college, below are the twenty pieces of advice I wish someone had told me during my first year of college.

Related Post: How to Make Up for a Semester of Bad Grades

Need some advice before you start or end your freshmen year of college? Here are the 20 pieces of advice I wish someone had told me my freshmen year of college. From picking a major to saving money on textbooks.

1. Don't bring everything you own with you. It clutters your already small dorm room and doesn't leave you space for all the free stuff you'll pick up at events.

2. Room with a complete stranger, for an automatic friend and a chance to save your friendships.

3. Always dorm if you have the option! Yes it will cost you way more money in the end but it's fun to share the experience with people who are in your same position. 

4. Join a club, any club, but just join one. Eventually you will move out of the dorms and half of those friendships will end naturally. Friends from orgs are easier to connect with.

5. Don't ever buy a book from the bookstore. Check it out at the library, Amazon, Chegg, Barnes and Noble, or buy an older edition. I saved thousands buy never buying a book new.

6. Sit closer to the front. Pretty sure studies shows sitting close will help you earn a better grade, probably because it's so hard to get away with being on your phone.

7. Another thing, actually turn of your phone, or at least put it away. I used to hate classes that had a no electronics rule but in the end, I aced those classes easily because I actually listened the whole time!

Related Post: 10 Stupid Mistakes I Made My First Year of College

8. Go to all the events on campus, no matter how lame you may think they are. You re only a freshmen once and soon your friends will be too busy to go to the on campus concerts. Enjoy it while you can.
Need some advice before you start or end your freshmen year of college? Here are the 20 pieces of advice I wish someone had told me my freshmen year of college. From picking a major to saving money on textbooks.

9. Don't be the person that goes home every weekend. Everyone will judge you for it and it will make it that much harder to make friends. Stick it out, if you really need you family, skype them.

10. Dining hall food is awesome because it's always hot and ready plus you don't have to do any dishes! But don't go crazy and start eating ice cream for breakfast, your clothes will thank you.

PS Since you've made it halfway through the post maybe this is a good time to mention that you can how sign up for a weekly newsletter from yours truly, jam packed with tips, resources and motivation to make each week in 2017 better than the last. Signing up takes seconds, literally, so make sure you're on the list!

11. Attend study group invites or review sessions hosted by the professor. If you re gonna be paying for a grade might as well get a good one.

12. Avoid hooking up with someone in your dorm hall. I did, it didn't work out, and it wasn't the end of the world or anything. But I could have saved myself the drama had I just not.

13. If you were awarded work study, get a job! Don't be like me and never get around to it, because getting work study for the next year is hard work!

14. Take photos of every moment, yeah, be that person. The four years go by so fast, you wanna be able to remember every moment of it.

Related Post: 11 Things to do In Between Your College Classes

15. Talk to professors, not about questions or the class, just a normal conversation. If you're shy try with a TA first. It's not so hard once you break the horribly cold ice.

16. Get some information on studying abroad. It will make your college experience unlike anyone else's, it definitely changed my life for the better.

17. Learn to calculate how much you really need to pay for school. The estimated cost of attendance is always ridiculously high. Total up rent, tuition and a few extra hundred for food and books. That's all you need!

18. Make friend with at least one person in your major department. They will be a lifesaver when you need to borrow a book, missed class or are just confused about graduation requirements.

19. Go talk to your academic counselor. Map out what you have to do to graduate in four years.

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

20. Just have fun. I just graduated this past June and I can honestly still remember shopping for my dorm bedding. It goes by so fast, so enjoy every second of it while you can.

If you're a college freshmen looking for advice, leave a question in the comments below! Otherwise share a tip you wish you had known your first year of college.

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!!

Why I Don't Introduce Everyone I Date to My Pet

When this post idea popped into my mind I immediately filed it under the crazy category. The type that sits in my notes app until I upgrade my phone and completely forget it ever existed. Except this time something in me decided this was a topic that needed mentioning, at least for us single gals who see our pets as more than just an accessory in our home.

Max is more than just my cat, he's my roommate, best friend and strongest ally on those lonely nights where the city feels much bigger than I would like. Most people say they rescued their pets from the shelter, but in reality, he rescued me. Without this cat I certainly wouldn't have made it this long in DC, especially not after the breakups, long weekends without friends and rent bills that continue to climb. But despite what was happening in the world outside our tiny studio, I have one little guy who is as happy to see me as the first day I met him. So yeah, I don't just like to bring anyone home to meet him. Call me crazy.

Related Post: 10 Amazing Ways Getting a Pet Changes Your Life

I don't tolerate animal haters

This is 100% a personal preference, but I have trouble getting close to people who hate animals. With disliking cats being the new cool thing, finding someone who says they think all cats are boring, mean, stupid is a major turn off. If they can't be happy around something as innocent as an animal, I have all the information I need to make a decision on where the relationship is headed.

You have to earn both my trust and my cat's

Much like cats, I'm the kind of person who isn't automatically friendly to everyone I meet. While I'm not rude, I definitely keep my guard up until I know I'm around a person who won't turn their back on me. I've noticed a trend that my cat is pretty great at predicting the people in my life who are there to stay, usually completely ignoring those that don't stick around for too long. Maybe he's psychic, maybe I'm crazy, either way, we've got our eye on you.

Related Post: 20 Small Signs Your Relationship is Getting Serious

My cat gets attached just like anyone else

If I had to describe Max, I'd say he is a dog in a cat's body. He runs to the door when I get home, drinks out of the toilet and stares out the window just as much as a dog begging to be walked. Because he's so social, he has no trouble getting to know most people who come by our home. The problem is, I've witnessed firsthand how Max deals with people no longer being a part of our routine. To make sure he doesn't feel rejected or wonder where so and so went, I strive to not bring too many people by him that are only temporary.

My cat is a window into my personal life

It's pretty much a given that if you're gonna meet my cat, you're coming over to my home. Besides getting to spend time with my furry best friend, you're getting to witness the space I spend most of time in. In an effort to not let potential strangers into my home, my cat is both a great reason and excuse to keep people from coming over too soon.

Are you protective of who you let spend time with your pet? I know it's totally different with dogs and cats, so lemme know what you think/practice!

PS You can now sign up for the When Life Gives You Rubi newsletter for tips, resources, and MOTIVATION to help you make every day of your twenties better than the last. Signing up takes seconds, so make sure you're on the list!

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How to Not Bail on Your New Year's Resolutions: 5 Strategies to Stay Committed All Year Long

So many of us enter the new year with a positive attitude, with a set of goals we want to accomplish and the motivation to help us get a jump start towards achieving those goals. Then mid-January rolls along and the magic of the new year has faded. Either the new semester has begun or there aren't any federal holidays to give you that much needed three day weekend. We get stuck, we get bored, we give up.

It doesn't have to be this way though! Just because you spend a weekend (or week) completely ignoring all those things you promised yourself you would get done doesn't mean you should trash the idea for good. Instead, spend a little time prepping yourself so that once you do take the first step, you're ready to face any obstacles on your way to getting shit done.

Read on to learn what five things you can to do help yourself stay committed to your new year's resolutions and goals, then scroll down to the bottom to find the one thing I'm giving you to keep you accountable and inspired year round.

Related Post: A 10 Step Plan on How to Have Your Best Year Ever

Focus on less

Raise your hand if you're guilty of making a goal's list that is way too long to handle. *Raises but hands up HIGH* The more you put on your plate the less time you'll have to focus on each individual goal, so set some time aside to revise your goals for the new year. Try to choose those that matter most to you as well as goals that don't conflict.

For example, making the goals of exercising five times a week and spending more time with friends may not be congruent. You want your goals to fit together, meaning one doesn't get in the way of the other. If you're stuck on how to do this, try molding your goal to include the other, such as finding a friend to be your fitness ally throughout the year.

Make goals you can measure

If you can't measure your goal how will you know if you're making progress? Instead of making a goal like "read more," commit to something tangible such as, "read one book a month." By doing this you can see if you're meeting your goal on a regular basis, as well as give you the motivation to work harder or take a step back.

Related Post: The 10 Best Apps for Your Exercise and Health Goals

Actively track your progress

By making goals you can measure, you're helping yourself track your progress along the way. You can do this by keeping a log of how much weight you've lost, books you're read, or places you've visited. Keeping track of what you've accomplished so far will give you the motivation you need for weeks where you feel like you're nowhere close to where you want to be. In my case, I use my blog analytics to see how much I've managed to accomplish, so it's all about finding the thing that's going to keep you positive on those days that you rather just bail.

Celebrate the baby steps

Most people share their goals with friends and family right as they make them, but for some reason no one talks about the milestones and hardships that come with working towards your goals. Don't be afraid to post about where you've gotten so far, how you're lacking motivation, or anything in between. This is an easy way to track your progress while also receiving feedback from those around you.

Related Post: How to Choose a Word of the Year

Out of sight, out of mind

I'm a firm believer in putting out into the universe what you want to receive, especially when trying to achieve something that doesn't happen overnight. My favorite way to do this is through Pinterest, where I have an entire board dedicated to positive quotes to keep me focused. Print out your goals and place them someone you'll see everyday, change your wallpaper to something that will put you in a good mood, and set reminders on your phone for goals you're sure to forget about.

How are you doing with your new year's goals? Share your progress in the comments below!

PS: You can now sign up for the weekly newsletter for tips, resources, and MOTIVATION to help you make 2017 your best year yet. Signing up takes seconds, so make sure you get on the list!

Why I Deleted Half of My Facebook Friends (+Why You Don't Need So Many)

Sometimes I like to think I'm a special case, that for some reason I'm alone in feeling how I do much of the time. Then I snap out of it and realize there's no way that's possible, because aren't we all a bunch of millennials trying to figure out or next step and who's going to be beside us when we take it?

If you've been here for a while you know my story, I was born and raised in California, attended college in my home state, and through pure hard work managed to relocate to Washington DC with nothing more than a month's worth of rent and two suitcases. Relocating wasn't easy, actually, it was pretty fucking hard. I spent most of those early months trying to keep myself busy, crying in my empty bedroom, and wondering if I had made a big mistake.

Thankfully over time things got easier, I made some friends, met a boy, and found a few jobs that helped at least take away the financial stress. I'd be lying if I said it was easy now, actually, I'd be lying if I didn't sometimes still find myself crying over my decision to move to DC. Do I regret it? Not for a moment. But I did learn one thing on this journey, Facebook is not an actual representation of life, mine or anyone elses.

Related Post: 5 Simple Ways Distance Has Strengthened My Friendships

Think of who you actively reach out to

Moving across the country was a big adjustment for me, more so than any other move I had made prior because I knew this decision was permanent. The first few months of adjusting to my new routine were tough, which is why I spent a lot of time reaching out to friends to help pass the time.

As the months passed I began to notice a trend, I was only calling the same four people when I was having a moment. My call history showed the people I could rely on, those that actively worked to keep in touch with me, as well as the ones I only spoke to on holidays and anniversaries.

Related Post: A 10 Step Plan on How to Have the Best Year Ever

Is what you post online authentic?

No matter who you are, chances are you choose to post only the best moments on your social media. Graduations, birthdays and concerts are all things we want to share with others, but what about the small everyday moments that affect us much longer than any celebration?

Chances are, after graduation some of those big moments will start to happen less and less often. I found myself with few things to celebrate, unless people wanted a monthly reminder that I had managed to make rent this month. Only posting the highlights of my life made me feel as if my online life looked fake, especially with all that was going on behind the scenes.

Sure i could have posted the real moments, the type where I was stressed about money or had no one to attend a gallery opening with, but 95% of my online friends wouldn't understand since all I ever shared was how happy I was. So I made the decision to post less, because back then, I was still hanging on to the idea that all of my Facebook friends were created equal.

Your news feed shouldn't make you feel worse

It's no secret that your twenties can start to feel like a competition the closer you get to 25, especially with all the wedding announcements and extra degrees everyone starts announcing. While I don't recommend you unfriend everyone who has something positive to announce, if you find yourself growing resentful of that person I do suggest you just hide their posts from your feed for a little while. There's no shame in needing to focus on yourself, and I know that can be hard to do when you're caught up looking at wedding registries and vacation photos.

My first year in DC was the toughest, especially when it came to watching my best friends continue to all get together without me. As much as I missed them and appreciated their support, the jealous side of me wished I could be with them in person. For a few months I hid their posts from my feed, just until I could get my life together enough to not feel sad about all the trips and nights in I was missing out on.

Related Post: 11 Things to Do In Between Your College Classes

Prioritize those you want to stay connected to

The reality of moving far from home means many of your friendships will slowly disappear, through no fault of anyone involved. Staying in touch can be hard, but factoring in time zones, work schedule and new friends makes keeping in touch incredibly difficult.

To avoid losing those you are especially close to, prioritizing those friendships is your best option to make sure you don't fall out of contact. Ways of doing this include making sure their posts show at the top of your news feed, creating a group chat and having a scheduled appointment where you both actually speak whether over the phone or through Facetime.

By doing a handful of these things I've managed to keep in contact with a handful of people back home, even though I haven't seen any of them in over two years. Staying close is possible, it just requires work on both parts and a little creativity.

So tell me, how many Facebook friends would you estimate you have? Do you actively interact with everyone, or pick and choose who to keep up with instead?

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!

20 Tips for College Seniors

Whether you're entering your senior year of college or pushing through your last semester, chances are you're panicked either way. Even though it was years ago I can still remember the first day of my senior year, sharing a room with a girl I had met just a few weeks before, preparing an application for an internship program I had no idea would change the course of my life.

My last year of college was spent writing for my university's blog as well as for Her Campus, meaning I was so focused on gaining experience to prepare me for graduation that I wasn't fully enjoying the experiences happening in the current moment.

Over the past few months I've been sorting through Facebook posts, photographs and notes to myself from that period of my life, in the hopes that I can take my mistakes and successes to help you have the senior year you deserve.

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

Are you starting or ending your senior year soon? I put together all the advice I wish I knew my senior year of college, from resume writing to keeping in touch with friends.

1. Be part of an organization for at least a full academic year. If you haven't yet joined a campus organization now is the time to start!

2. Visit the career center or better yet, attend the networking events and workshops hosted by the career center. You'll thank yourself later.

3. Don't graduate without first having your resume revised by a career counselor.

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

4. Find three professors to write you a letter of recommendation either now or in the future.

5. Take graduation photos weeks before graduation. It will save you the stress of having to deal with crowds.

6. Try to earn some relevant experience, either through work or internships.

7. Go back to your freshmen year dorms and soak in all the nostalgia. If possible, attend a welcome week event.

8. Don't buy your cap and gown on campus, just like books, buy that shit online.

9. Say 'yes' to every free event on campus. Stuff in the real world ain't free and it requires an RSVP.

10. Make sure to visit your academic counselor to make sure you're on track to graduate on time.

11. Did you study abroad? You might still have the chance too! Visit the study abroad office to discuss your options.

Related Post: 10 Reasons to Study Abroad While in College (from someone who did, twice!)

12. Join the alumni association.

13. Sell whatever textbooks you no longer need/want before you're off campus. Doing so will be so much harder once you're not in a university setting.

14. Visit your freshmen year dining hall one last time.

15. Attend graduate school fairs, even if you aren't ready to apply.

16. Research the deadlines for medical, law and graduate school. Don't be caught off guard at the last moment.

Related Post: 10 Stupid Mistakes I Made My First Year of College

17. Think about retaking that class that impacted your GPA negatively.

18. Start looking for jobs before you graduate, just to get comfortable with the process.

19. Spend time with friends as much as possible. Soon most people will go different directions and reunions will be rare.

20. Explore the area your university is in. Chances are you won't stay in the area, so make the most of the time you have in that city.

Related Post: 11 Things to Do In Between Your College Classes

Bonus tip: Enjoy this last year/semester/moment.

Without a doubt, I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed my four years of college. Between meeting new friends and exploring foreign countries, my time at my university was spent both enjoying the moment while doing what I could to prepare for the future.

My last quarter in college was spent in Washington, DC, where I interned in the city and eventually learned this is where I was meant to be. While I dreamt of this experience since I was 13, the internship program meant I wasn't able to enjoy the last few weeks with my college friends.

With graduation coming up and friends announcing their postgrad plans, don't get caught up in figuring everything out just yet. Enjoy the moments you can only have when you live blocks away from all your friends and your only responsibility if passing your courses. Now that I'm out of college I almost never see my friends, my days are soaked up by my job and I envy the days where weekends were for more than rest and relaxation.

Senior year is important, and the actions you take can have an impact on your postgrad life, but make sure to leave a little room for fun and spontaneity in your schedule. Ask anyone who no longer is in college or lives in their college area and they'll tell you things are never the same. Life after college is great in it's own ways, but no time will ever be as carefree as the four years I spent earning my degree.
Are you starting or ending your senior year soon? I put together all the advice I wish I knew my senior year of college, from resume writing to keeping in touch with friends.

Are you a senior in college, or have you already survived that tough time in your life? If you are currently a senior, leave any questions you have in the comments below! Otherwise, share a tip you wish you knew your last year of college. 

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!!

8 Simple Ways to Practice Self Care Every Morning

Popular media depicts life in your twenties as one long marathon of fun. Days are spent at jobs where we have our best work friend to pass the hours with, followed by nights at happy hour where you seem to meet a cute guy everywhere you go. 

Real life goes a little more like this, you wake up to go to work, where most likely your best friend doesn't sit next to you all day. Happy hours are occasional, but most often you have a ton of other shit to do like buy groceries, do that laundry that's been piled up for weeks, and don't get me started on the mess in the kitchen you swore you'd clean up last night. For some people, including myself, you also have the responsibilities that come with attending grad school, ie homework!

It can be hard to take care of yourself when you feel like you're juggling a dozen things at once, but practicing self care doesn't have to be hard, or take up a bunch of time. There are plenty of things you can implement into your daily routine that won't disrupt your day or feel like another thing on your to do list. Read on to learn about eight things you can do each morning to take care of yourself first thing every morning. 

1. Create a morning only playlist

We all have our favorite songs, but I think a few of us are guilty of playing those songs on repeat until the allure of them is gone. Start each morning off right by listening to a morning only playlist. Try to keep the songs upbeat and positive to keep your mood lifted.

2. Do some physical activity

I know, I know!.There's no way in hell you want to get out of bed, let alone workout first thing in the morning, but hear me out! No one is saying you should go for a run or jump out of bed and into pushup position, but doing some early morning stretches or quick yoga get's your blood flowing while giving your brain some time to fully wake up. Plus, I think by now we all now what endorphins can do for the body.

3. Unplug for a moment

Raise your hand if you like to wake up, roll over, and scroll through your notifications. *Raises hand all the way to the ceiling* I know it's fun, most of the time, and I know there's some important info on there, but maybe the best way to start your morning doesn't include the highlights of people's lives. Save the mindless scrolling for your commute, use your mornings for something more productive.

4. Light a candle

I don't know about you, but up until a few weeks ago I had convinced myself candles were not to be lit unless it was dark outside. That or I was waiting for a hot date, but that's not the case! Find a scent you love and light it on mornings when you need a little something to boost your mood. If you have pets like me, wax melters are a safe alternative to use around animals, even when you're not home.

Related Post: How to Become a Morning Person

5. Call your best friend

Growing up my mom used to wake up at 5:30am to get herself ready for work and pack everyones lunches. Some mornings she would call her best friend and have full on conversations before the sun was even up, as in loud, gossip swapping, stomach cramp type of laugh, conversations. If you have a friend with a simialr schedule to you, try catching up in the morning as you get ready for your day. Just make sure he or she is okay with you calling early first!

6. Make an already done list

Making a to do list is my form of therapy, which is probably why I have entire notebooks (yes, plural) dedicated to lists of things I'd like to get done today, tomorrow, and in the future. But here's the thing, all those journals are full of things I have yet to accomplish. Go the opposite route every once in a while and create a list of things you've already managed to get done, big or small. It may seem dumb, but starting off your day feeling like you've already got a jump start on your goals sounds much better than being bogged down by a long list of tasks.

7. Eat something nourishing

I know, again with the healthy lifestyle shit, but hear me out. I love cookies as much as the next person, probably more than the average person, but I feel so much better about myself when I manage to eat a healthy meal instead of a processed treat. Your something nourishing doesn't have to be all green and full of vitamins, but try out something that won't lead you to crash or feel icky within a few hours of ingesting it. 

8. Wake up a little earlier

I think I know what's playing in your mind right now. "Is she fucking crazy, I thought this list was to take better care of myself, what's better than a little extra sleep?!" Hold on a second before you close the tab and call me crazy. Waking up earlier doesn't mean you have to lose out on precious sleep, especially not if you just give yourself an extra 15-20 minutes each morning. By giving yourself to go to bed a tiny bit earlier and waking up earlier, you give yourself a little push room to frantically look for your keys, perfect that eyeliner that will make you feel like a badass all day, or just take your time doing the things you're usually rushing to get done.

What are ways you practice self care in your daily life? I start a new job this week, plus my last semester of grad school, so I'd love any recommendations!

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!

The 10 Best Apps for Your Exercise and Health Goals

So you made a resolution to get your butt off the couch and wear leggings to more than just bed, but how the heck does one actually become more healthy in the new year? I've read countless blog posts and articles telling me to spend less time on my phone, not sleep next to it and a bunch of words on how the blue light is somehow bad for my eyes.

I'm sure most of the information I've read is true, but it's 2017, and I use my phone for everything from tracking the next subway car to my next period. Putting my phone down more is not a goal I think anyone is ready to make in the new year, so why not use that device that's always with us to help us reach some of our other goals?

Listed below are some of the best rated apps to help you get your health and body to where you want it to be. Since I know free is always better, I tried my best to include apps that were free of cost or less than the price of your morning coffee.

Related Post: A 10 Step Plan on How to Have Your Best Year Ever

1. Blogilates

If you've never head of Blogilates or Cassey Ho, get ready to fall in love. Best known for her Youtube videos that pair exercise with her always upbeat attitude, this is a great way to fall in love with working out. Her app features all her videos plus a monthly workout calendar she creates every month. On top of that, there's a forum to connect with others who follow her plans, recipes and an easy to use workout timer.

Free for iOS & Android

2. Cyclemeter

If biking is more your thing, Cyclemeter is the app for you. This app is great for cyclists who want to get the most out of the time on their bike, with features that allow you to track your heart rate, path, and weather conditions. Plus, the app recognizes when you stop so your stats are always accurate.

Free on iOS

Related Post: What to Do If You Still Don't Have a New Year's Resolution

3. Sleep Cycle

Before beginning pilates I had no idea sleep was as important to fitness as working out and eating healthy, but apparently I've been doing well with one piece of the puzzle. Sleep Cycle not only tracks your sleep, it also monitors movement, can differentiate between light and deep sleep, and can help you wake up at the precise window when you'll feel most rested.

Free on iOS, $0.99 on Android

4. 30 Day Fitness Challenge Workout

This app is just what it sounds like, 30 days challenges that will give your exercise routine some variety. The 30 day programs range from ab, arm, glute and full body workouts. On top of that, each has three different difficulty levels with two plans per program.

Free on Android

5. Fooducate

The hardest part of living a healthy lifestyle for me starts in the grocery store. Fooducate helps by allowing me to scan products to see a quick overview on how healthy each item is. On top of this, the app can help you track your mood, sleep habits and hunger levels.

Free on iOS & Android

6. Map My Fitness

If you're looking for an app that can fit all your exercise routines, this is the one for you. Map My Fitness can log over 600 fitness activities, all while monitoring pace, distance, and calories burned. You can also use the app to find nearby routes and join challenges with other users or friends.

Free on iOS & Android

Related Post: WORD OF THE YEAR

7. Zombies, Run!

This app was the highest grossing health and fitness app on iTunes in just two weeks because it managed to take something as dull as running into something you look forward to. Your runs will be transformed into missions where you collect materials, keep humans safe and try to survive the zombie apocalypse.

Free on iOS & Android

8. Daily Water Free

No matter where you are on your health journey, I think we can all agree that we can all strive to drink more water. Daily Water Free allows you to set your own water intake goal for the day, set up reminders, and tracks your water intake over time. The app is simple to use and noninvasive with the scheduled reminders.

Free on iOS, free Android alternative

9. 7 Minute Workout

My boyfriend swears by this app, and he can be as lazy as I am, so there must be something spectacular about it. The app is just what it sounds like, 7 minute workouts that range in duration and intensity. Users can also create their own custom workout routines within the app.

Free on iOS & Android

10. Freeletics

If you're looking for a ton of different workout you can do virtually anywhere, Freeletics offers over 900 that range from 10 to 30 minutes.

Free on iOS & Android

Okay so I wanna know, what's your favorite health and fitness app to keep yourself on track?? Also, if you have any online pilates recommendations, throw them my way!

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!

How to Make Up for a Semester of Bad Grades

My first quarter of college I enrolled in three courses, including Introductory Psychology, World History 1500-1900, and Intro to Microeconomics. Had I based my future or even overall college performance on that first quarter, I would have bet my entire financial aid refund on me dropping out and becoming a full time couch potato.

Here's the thing though, one bad semester does not make for a bad college experience, even though it can definitely feel that way in the moment. Intro to Microeconomics kicked my butt for ten long weeks, and in all honesty, the only reason I chose microeconomics over macroeconomics is because I figured the micro in microeconomics meant we wouldn't be covering as much information. Yeah, I was kind of an idiot back then.

Related Post: How to Get All As on Your Winter Finals (or any semester!)

If you just completed your first semester (congrats by the way!) or you just powered through a week of finals followed by a holiday full of relatives asking how school is going, you might be stressing about how to face spring semester with last semester's grades on your mind. As someone who survived the whole terrible first semester experience, and maybe a few other sucky courses along the way, I know you're probably looking for ways to not let that happen again.

The first step is realizing you messed up, so props to you for making the effort to see what you can do better this time around. I can't ace your exams for you or slap the phone out of your hand, but I can tell you what worked for me after the semester I earned grades that were embarrassingly average for someone who would swear up and down she had it all under control.

Identify what subjects you struggled with

Take a look at your transcript and figure out what subjects you struggled with
was it social sciences, stem courses, english, where did the trouble start?
if it was all of them, did you let one hard class unmotivate you, or did you just feel overwhelmed. Or were just just plain lazy?

Related Post: 10 Stupid Mistakes I Made My First Year of College

Can you retake a course?

Retaking a course sounds like a waste of time if you technically passed it, but whether you need to gain the credit or just improve your GPA, it's an option you should consider if the course is related to your degree. This is especially true if you plan to apply to masters programs after graduation.

Have you spoken to your guidance counselor?

Everyone should be doing this at least once per year, but especially if you're struggling academically. Your guidance counselor can tell you what your options are for retaking a course, what grades you need to earn in order to earn a certain GPA, as well as how on track you are to graduating on time based on your current performance.

Find an accountability partner for every course this semester

To tell you the truth, my first year of college I was the girl who sat in the same seat every class and wasn't showing up to make friends. I wasn't unfriendly, but I also wasn't spending more than a minute in lecture hall catching up with my classmates. This came back to bite me though come finals time when I needed someone to study with, which is when I learned everyone needs at least one friend in each course.

Find someone who you get along with and swap information the first day of class. The first week of the semester is when people are most open to socialising in class, so it's the perfect opportunity to make plans to swap notes and study guides later.

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

Don't wait until midterms to start preparing for exams

Raise your hand if you're guilty of this. (Raises hand.) Waiting until the last minute to start your reading, create your study guides and meet with your TA will just leave you feeling overwhelmed and overworked.

As someone who is still in college I get that 99% of you won't complete the readings as class progresses, and I get why, but at the very least keep all your assigments and notes in one place so you aren't scrambling to find everything two days before the exam.

Figure out what keeps you from studying

Let's just all admit that at any moment there are at least ten more exckiting things to do than sit down and study.  I mean cmon, those Buzzfeed quizzes aren't going to take themselves. Figure out what it is that distracts you, whether it be your phone, firneds or extracurriculars, and carve out time in your shcedule where all of that can be put aisde.

There are websites that will lock you out of social media, phones can be put on airplane mode and there are no extracurriculars if you flunk out of school. Once a week is all you really need to hyper focus so that you don't fall behind.

Related Post: 11 Things to Do In Between Your College Classes

The one thing no one will tell you

One semester of bad grades won't ruin you. Guess what, GPAs don't matter after college, at least not really. No employer has ever asked for my GPA, but then again, no one I know with a 2.0 found a job right out of college (or graduated, actually).

Grades aren't everything, but when your one job is school, it matters how much you make of the whole experience. I'm not saying don't care what your grades are, because they are important, but don't kill yourself over a C on that class you worked your ass off for. I got a C in philosophy because it was fucking hard and I hated it, and you know what, good for me for even passing the class. I aced everything else, so do what you can as long as what you do is your best.

Did you ever do terribly in a college class? If so, share below what you did to bounce back from a tough semester.

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!!

How to Choose a Word of the Year

If you're anything like me, you enter every new year with a optimistic view of everything you want to accomplish in the next 12 months. Whether you have a list of resolutions ready to work on starting January 1st or still aren't sure of what you want to focus on, figuring out what to do first can be difficult.

Most everyone wants to get stuff done in the new year, but I think many of us get bogged down by the amount of goals we stack on our shoulders. So what's there to do? Work ourselves into exhaustion or quit on our dreams by mid February? There has to be something better, right?

There is! Instead of setting resolutions this year, or what I like to call goals, consider choosing a word of the year to help you make progress in all areas of your life. Something as simple as choosing the right word can inspire you year long, without the stress of feeling like you failed at getting any one specific task done.

Related Post: A 10 Step Plan on How to Have Your Best Year Ever

What is a word of the year?

Think of it as a defining trait or characteristic that inspires, motivates or describes the types of things you want to get done in the new year. For example, if you chose the word joy, your resolutions/goals would all relate in one way or another to the word. Goals could include: only purchasing items that make you happy in the long run, saying yes more to plans that you look forward to and no to those you want to cancel on the night before, or finally finding that physical activity that you look forward to doing every day. (That's possible, right?)

Once you find the right word, at that's left to do is tailor your resolutions/goals to your chosen word. If you're the type of person that writes your resolutions down and displays them somewhere, you can decide to instead write the word instead for a subtle reminder of what's pushing you to get work done.

Now that you know what a word of the year, it's time to figure out which word is right for you. Answer the questions below to help you choose a word that you can carry with you throughout the year to keep you motivated and accountable.

Related Post: My Word of the Year for 2017

What is your resolution/goal for the new year?

This step helped me the most this year, because by writing out my goals for the year I was able to better visualize the type of work I would be doing, as well as obstacles I would most likely face. Take a day or two to think about what you want to accomplish, narrowing it down to things that are both attainable yet challenging.

Is there anything that connects all your new year's resolutions/goals?

Once you know what you want to do, take a look at what you've come up with. Is there a common theme to any of the goals? Is there something missing from your life each year that leads to you giving up on your goal?

For example, if you resolutions were to get outside more, be more active and meet new people, a word like explore would fit all three. Be creative with your word, or better yet, try to pick a word that has multiple meanings!

Related Post: What to Do If You Still Don't Have a New Year's Resolution

Who do you want to be in the new year?

Think about the reason you are making resolutions and setting goals for the new year. What about those changes do you hope impacts who you are, or better yet, who you want to be? I'd like to think most of us like who we are, but understand that some parts of ourselves could use some improvement. Take some time to consider what aspects of yourself you'd like to improve on, and from there use those traits to help you in choosing a word.

Are you more of a word of the year or resolutions type of person? Either way, share one thing you hope to accomplish in the new year in a comment below!

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Word of the Year: 2017

Last year was my first time choosing a word of the year, even though I have experience spending my year focusing on goals and ideas I hope to accomplish by the end of it. If I had chosen a word in 2012, the year I catapulted my life to get me to where I am today, I think hustle would have been pretty accurate. But since I've grown into a more is less person, having over a dozen resolutions now overwhelms me, which is why having a word of the year is all I really need to focus my energy.

Somewhere in my blog roll I found a fellow blogger talking about her word of the year, which is what sparked my interest to choose one of my own for 2016. If you know me personally or follow my life online at all, you know that 2016 was a fucking whirlwind. Like I get it, a bunch of people think their year was super terrible but let me speak about mine for a second.

Related Post: What to Do If You Still Don't Have a New Year's Resolution

I got dumped on New Year's Day, I don't think I need to go on but I will. Then my last few friends left the city to leave me literally without a person to call on within a 500 mile radius. Fast forward to the spring where I found myself dating a total commitment phobe, only to later realize I too had developed serious trust issues with men. Oh, and I quit my awesome job at a law firm to finish that damn masters degree that led me to move to Washington DC in the first place.

Related Post: A 10 Step Plan on How to Have Your Best Year Ever

2016 was crazy ya'll. Like, your ex boyfriend's new girlfriend leaves half a dozen batshit crazy comments on your blog then turns around and calls you crazy. The point is, 2016 year was one weird moment after another, but it wasn't all bad.

I built a community of women online, who like me, found themselves in a city with no one to lean on. I thrived at my job and found myself receiving promotions I didn't think we're even within my reach. I met a guy who despite my chronic self doubt has found a way to love me and my ability to get hair on every surface of his condo. And best of all, I continued to write throughout the year when I found the time, energy and motivation. No 2016 wasn't perfect, but it was the year I started living for me again.

So here I am at the beginning of 2017, wishing I could travel back in time and tell myself how much better it all gets. Looking into the new year I want to choose a word that builds on the accomplishments I made in 2016, yet still encompasses all the new goals I have for this new chapter. After a little brainstorming and maybe a few lists, I think I found my word. Cultivate.

Cultivate: to acquire or develop (a quality, sentiment, or skill)

Synonyms: improve, better, refine, elevate; educate, train, develop, enrich

My current goals range, yet the overarching theme to them all is that I have a foundation in everything I want to work on in 2017. With my starting a new job the second week of January, one that I have been training for throughout my college experience, cultivate explains my desire to fine tune my skills to better serve my clients.

The past two weeks have been spent literally sorting through my life, everything from clothes to my inbox. My focus on having less to better enjoy everything I bring into my life is so that I spend less time and energy on things that only serve me in the short term. Cultivating my succulent garden, the style of my home and capsule wardrobe will all hopefully work together to rid my life of unnecessary stressors and clutter that inevitably will stress me out after a long day.

Related Post: 10 Important Resolutions Every Twenty Something Should Make

Lastly, cultivate is the perfect word for the community I want to continue to grow online. Both in this blog and in my local group of women, I want to keep working on blog posts and events that help everyday women like me remember that they're not alone if figuring this thing we call the best years of our life.

So tell me, are you more of a resolutions or word of the year type of person? Either way, share one goal or theme you have for the new year below!

What to Do If You Still Don't Have a New Year's Resolution

So the new year has come and gone, plus it's Monday (meh), and you find yourself with no resolution to talk about with your coworkers, friends, and in all your Instagram posts for the next week. Sure you'd like 2017 to be a major upgrade from last year (don't we all?), but figuring out what aspect of our life to focus on can be tricky.

There are always the goals everyone sets: lose weight, find love, stop spending my weekend nights doing things I only wish I had bailed on five minutes into the night. But how the heck do you set a goal for something you clearly have no idea how to accomplish?

Breathe. First things first, stop calling it a resolution. Sure calling it a goal is basically the same thing, except getting rid of the word that makes you think of past failures, time limits and unmet expectations is the first step towards actually getting to where you want to be. And hopefully before next December rolls around!

Setting a resolution goal is something you have to choose for yourself, based on your own needs, wants and lifestyle. But if you're anything like me you have the usual things you wish you could improve before all those things your relatives warned you about come true. Or do only my aunts like to remind me that soon my smooth skin will shrivel up and I'll balloon up overnight?

If you aren't sure what to focus on, or just need a big of guidance, read on to see what you can do to narrow down your ambitions so that this time next year you can brag about all you accomplished in 2017, and what you're doing that year instead to build on your progress.

Identify something you regret in 2016

This might be a resolution left unfinished or something completely unrelated, but regardless of what it is, if this regret is bothering you consider taking that energy and transforming it into something positive in the new year. For example, if you weren't able to travel last year for whatever reason, set a smaller goal such as saving money or traveling within your own country to boost your spirit and motivate yourself to make it happen when the time is right for you.

What's the one thing you think about every day

Everyone has one thing that they nag themselves about daily, or at least a few times a week. Lately for me it's been my weight, the combination of my birth control coupled with my love for snacking has changed my waistline dramatically. Identify one thing that you're self critical about and consider focusing on that this year.

Related Post: 10 Important Resolutions Every Twenty Something Should Make

Think back to this time 2015

I'm a firm believer in giving yourself, and your resolutions, second chances. Just because you didn't meet your goals last year doesn't mean you should ditch them. If there's a goal with pursuing into the new year, such as reading x amount of books or running a marathon, don't ditch all the work you put in just because the year on the calendar has changed.

Do something for your future self

Over the past two weeks I've spent all of my time sorting through all of my belongings? Why, you may ask? I'm determined to make my life less cluttered in 2017, meaning my mornings will be less stressful and my nights more about relaxation. Pick something you can do for your future self, whether it's automating a task that you always find yourself forgetting about or buying that item that will keep you smiling for months.

What's one goal you're too scared to put out there?

Think about this one for a second, what's a goal so big and scary that you don't even want to tell your closest friends about? The one thing you wish you could accomplish but aren't sure if you have the energy, time or commitment to get it done. If this is the route you want to go, and I totally think you should, take the steps to work on it to build your confidence. Once you've made some strides tell someone you trust, until you're at a point where you want to tell your whole social circle.

Okay spill, what's one thing you want to work on in 2017? For me it's definitely learning to live with less and give more energy to the things that make me happy in the long run rather than short term spurts of joy. 

January Goals: Jumping into the Deep End

I'm not sure about you, but December at my house was a whirlwind of emotions. The month started off very motivating with my new planner to help me look forward to every new day. Then somewhere in the middle I fell into a panic about making a decision about my job offers, only to be followed by the feelings that pop up every year around the holidays.

Once in a while on this blog I mention the struggles that come my version of having it all, including not having much of anyone to spend the holidays with. This past Christmas I had the option to spend Christmas with a family I've gotten to know, but for the first time in years I passed on the invitation, wanting to reclaim the belief that I can be whole and happy on my own.

Well, all that free time led to a lot of stress cleaning, which leads to overanalyzing. But here's the thing, I kinda accomplished a lot in December, including a lot of my December goals. Instead of going through them one by one, I'm gonna pick my favorites (and not so favorites) to recap how I did before I jump into my January goals.

Related Post: A 10 Step Plan on How to Have Your Best Year Ever

December Goals: So how did I do?

Publish one personal post > Success
I may have left it to the last possible moment but I did it, and that's what counts, right? My last post for 2016 was a year in review style post, where I used my favorite form of social media to recap the most memorable moments of the year.

Host holiday event for org members > Success
Midway through the month I posted that I would be in the city during the holidays, opening up my home to anyone tho found themselves in a similar situation. The night before Christmas I got a message from a new member who shared she too was alone over the holidays, and with that info we decided to spend the day together. We ate way too much sugar, binge watched The OA in one sitting, and for a few hours forgot the fact our family was thousands of miles away.

Promote top performing posts > Fail
Okay, so technically I didn't knock this one out of the park, but I finally realized why this is so hard for me. My name is Rubi, and I hate Twitter. I find it boring, useless, and having to open the app on a daily basis pains me, which is why I often just rather not share my posts at all. So guess what, I quit. Instead of quitting on my goals because I don't like sharing my thoughts in 140 characters or less, I've decided to let my account go and focus on forms of social media that I genuinely enjoy.

Related Post: 10 Important Resolutions Every Twenty Something Should Make

January Goals: Jumping into the Deep End

Blog Related Goals

Create and stick to my editorial calendar

I'm really good at filling a calendar with post ideas, it's getting those posts edited and scheduled where I could use some help. With my new planner by my side and this month already outlined, I'm hoping going to work my butt off to make sure to not slack on my content.

Share my blog IRL

A few years ago I used to promote my articles all over my personal social media profiles, nowadays most of my friends don't even know I write. I plan to change this because 1)I work too hard to not flaunt what I love to do and 2)anyone who doesn't support you doesn't need to be in your life, or mine.

Related Post: How to Deal with Negative People in 5 Steps

Everyday Life Goals

Complete decluttering project

The last two weeks of December were spent sorting through everything I own, which meant a lot of trips to the disposal room. What's left is either in its place or in bags ready to sell or donate, so I'm going to push myself to get it all out before the end of the month.

Attempt a pilates challenge

During my Christmas break boredom I started doing pilates, and oh my god it sucked! It sucked in the way that feels fine in the moment, maybe even a bit boring, but you wake up the next day and it hurts to bend over. So if a simple workout like that can kick my butt, I think it's worth trying some more.

What are your goals for the month of January, or 2016 in general? Also, if you know of any online pilates classes, please share them with me!