Finishing Grad School + How to Stay Motivated

Last week was registration, which means everyone on my campus woke up early to get online by 8am sharp. With classes being so small at my university, space is seriously limited. Thankfully I was able to get all the courses I needed, even though I slept in way more than I had planned. Whose bright idea was it to make class registration the Monday after daylights saving?

In the moment I didn't put much thought into the process, mostly focused on grabbing the classes I needed and calculating how much this semester was going to cost me. Hint: a lot. Another hint: don't bother with the whole, "I'm gonna save money for grad school then apply," cause it will never happen. Okay maybe it can, but not in just a couple of years.

Later in the week I realized I couldn't remember what classes I needed to make sure I enrolled in for fall, so after spending some time looking for the academic catalog for my program, I realized what I had been missing all along.

You might also like:  All the Important Things My First Year of Grad School Taught Me


Holy shit balls. I might not have said this out loud, but it's exactly how I was feeling. There was no next semester. There was no next time registration comes around. This was it. Almost three years and a whole bunch of jobs and tears laters, I was at the end of my grad program.

I'm not sure if you've caught any of my grad school posts before, but graduate school has not been a fun experience for me. With my program being discontinued. having to survive financially in the city, and adjusting to life without a support system, grad school was a thing I felt like was never gonna end. Which is maybe why I forgot I was almost at the finish line.

Apparently if I am able to earn all my hours with my clients by August 27th, I'm done! As in, put on a cap and gown and walk across the stage done! This piece of reality has lit a serious fire under my ass and motivated me in a way I didn't think was possible midway through spring semester. If you're feeling the lull of winter not ending or the next three day weekend being too far away, below are some ways I keep motivated to power on through the hard parts.

Practice self care

Rubi three years ago didn't need self care. She spent her time eating anything she wanted without gaining weight and napping at her convenience. Rubi today does the same thing, except the weight gain causes her to get inside her own mind and shit goes wrong from there. Self care is so important, especially if you work a job or have a lifestyle where so much of your day is taken up by other people and tasks that don't directly benefit you. Set aside some time in the morning for self care, and check out my Pinterest board for a never ending list of ideas of how to practice self care in your twenties.

Set a reward to your goal

This is something I've been doing since I was like eight years old, and trust me, it works. Whether you just need to finish an assignment or something bigger like graduate college, designating a reward helps keep you motivated until the end. In my case, I always choose a trip, whether it be a weekend getaway or international vacation. My reason for always choosing a trip is because you get to plan it, which is a self care activity in my opinion.

Make yourself accountable

Goals are 150% more likely to be reached if you tell someone about them. Okay, I just made that up, but it sounds real, right? Telling your best friend or boyfriend about what you're working on not only makes you accountable to them, they can help keep you on track when you start slacking. For example, if you wanna drink less nights out of the week, telling your bestie or boyfriend gives them the opportunity to remind you of your goal and prevent them from tempting you in the first place.

You might also like: A 10 Step Plan on How to Have Your Best Year Ever

Create a motivational playlist

Remember when playlist lived on CDs that we burned at home and labeled with sharpie markers? Well today they are way easier to make, so why doesn't anyone make them anymore? Jump onto Spotify, pull a bunch of your favorite songs from the past ten years, and only play that playlist when you need motivation! This way you won't be bored of them when you need them, and they'll feel like a special treat when you do get to hear them.

Don't push too hard

Back to my school situation. I started my grad program well over two years go. Life circumstances, aka money, made me have to switch to a slower track towards graduation. Sure, I probably could have made it happen in less time, but I would have been miserable. If you come to realize you need extra time or to even reframe your goal, don't feel bad about it. Works towards what works for you, cause at the end of the day, you should enjoy the journey just as much as the end result.



Have you started or completed a grad program? If so, how was the process for you or what are you most nervous about?? Let me know in the comments below!

PS You can now sign up for the weekly newsletter below for tips, resources and motivation to make the most of your twenty something years. 

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How to Move on From a Relationship Without Closure

I've said it one and I'll say it a hundred times more, breaks up are fucking hard. Worse than exams, more painful than doing your taxes, way more terrible than blowing an interview for a job you totally wanted. Doesn't matter how long you were together and if the two of you were never meant to be, they suck through and through and anyone who denies it is a liar.

The good part is, that feeling does't last forever, even though it may feel like it might. If you've ever been through a breakup you know the typical stages of finally admitting it's happening, saying the words, then slowly going your own way? But what if you just skip all that? What if the terrible feeling is just multiplied because the whole breakup was a total surprise to you? Or worse, there's no closure!

Girl, I get it. If I could have minored in anything in college it would be in minor in bouncing back from relationships I probably should have never been in. The worst type of breakup is the kind that leaves you hanging, for an explanation, a final goodbye, or just a fucking apology.Everyone deserves closure, a moment to tell someone how much it all meant to them, to express their hurt and wish each other well despite it all. Unfortunately not every gets this basic human right, because anyone who has ever been hurt knows that relationships are never fair. One person always gives more, compromises more, loves more.

You might also like: 10 Things That Happened the Day I Realized I Didn't Love You Anymore

So how are you just supposed to move on with life like nothing ever happened, even when it feels as if you're life has come to a dead halt? If you're feeling this way, you may still be hanging onto the hope that closure will come, but sometimes, it just doesn't.

And if it does, I'm sure it will come at a time when you've managed to pick up the pieces and move on with life. But right now, you're probably looking for a way to pick yourself off the bed, so while this might not fix the hurt it can at the very least be the first step to moving on from a chapter that not only ended badly, but never truly wrapped up the story line.



Accept the situation.

Coming to terms with the fact that your relationship is the most difficult part, especially when a big part of you wants to call, text and email them until you get some sort of response. Once you've moved past the point of denial, letting your new status settle in your mind is a big step towards moving on with your life.

Breaking down is necessary

If you bottle it up it will all burst out of you at the worst moment, like on the subway home when you see a couple happily carrying groceries home. Avoid unnecessary triggers by feeling all your emotions at once. Call a friend, call an acquaintance, call anyone who will let you vent and cry for as long as you need. While some people say you need to stay strong I'm a strong advocate of letting yourself mourn the end of a relationship.

You might also like: 100 Things to Do Instead of Calling Your Ex Boyfriend

Write it all down

This may be completely strange but since I was fourteen I've taken the time to document each breakup, diary style. Writing down how you feel in the moment, what words were said in anger and the last words exchanged are all valuable steps to take. There will come a time when you forget the small details and begin to fantasize about all the best moments, but having in writing the way you felt when it was fresh will prevent you from making the same mistake twice.

Get angry, fast!

You know how I said you need to break down? Well you cant lay on the kitchen floor forever, I mean cmon, it's not like you cut someone's lvad wire. Once youre done crying it out for a few days and chronicling your failed love story, turn all that sadness into anger because you're about to give yourself a kick in the ass. Remind yourself of every annoying thing they did, unfair argument they used and all the times they just let you down. I'm serious, you better get in touch with your bitter side if you're gonna make it through this.

Change your environment

Chances are that you fell into a routine with your significant other, and their absence is going to lead you to miss all the things you used to do together. Move your furniture around, toss out any unnecessary reminders of them and start visiting places that are covered in memories of the two of you. Trust me, eventually you can go back to your favorite bar, but for now stick to places that wont leave you reminiscing.

You might also like: 8 Reasons to Block Your Ex Boyfriend on Social Media

Build your community

We're all guilty of neglecting our friends when a new boy comes into our lives, and thankfully they are always there for us when said boy ends up being just temporary. Surround yourself with people who love you while also making an effort to meet new people. Having people to call on during those lonely days and long weekends without plans will be so beneficial to moving on.

Define what closure means to you

Closer means something different to everyone. To me, I need a conversation to flesh out why things went the way they did. But I'm a therapist, so you could say I enjoy talking for hours about less than happy things. Figure out what closure what be to you if you could have it, and once you know, give it to yourself. If you wanna have a talk, grab a friend and do that with them. If you need a reason, make a list of all the things that made you less than a perfect pair. Define what closure means, get what you can, then begin to heal and learn for your next love, cause there will be a next love.



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


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How to Organize Your Inbox in 5 Minutes or Less, Seriously!

I am so guilty of signing up for email lists that I am not interested in long term. Think of giveaways, volunteer opportunities, and things that were relevant to me four years ago. I'm looking at you homecoming lineup announcements. eye emoji

Whether one of your goals for the new year was to get rid of clutter or you just cant find that coupon code you swore you marked important, your inbox shouldn't be something that stresses you out on a daily basis.

If you tried to clean out your inbox manually it would take hours, and aint nobody got time for that. The easiest way to clean your inbox and KEEP it that way is to get rid of all those automated emails you're just not interested anymore, but who the hell wants to scroll to the bottom of ever annoying email and click unsubscribe. Definitely not me.

There's an easier way, and if you haven't ever heard of it, prepare to be in love.



Unroll.me. Basically the thing that let's me know we are officially living in the feature. One small little website/algorithm/too complicated for me to understand computer machine that will let you unsubscribe for a bunch of newsletters all at once, no digging through your inbox necessary.

Using the program is pretty simple, but if you wanna see it in action, keep scrolling to watch me get rid of all the clutter in my inbox.

Also, would this be a bad moment to mention that you can now sign up for my weekly newsletter? Probably huh? Well oh well, since I mentioned it, you can now sign up for my weekly newsletter. Once a week, no fluff, no trying to sell you anything. Just a bunch of tips, resources and motivation to help you make every day of your twenties (and beyond) better than the last. Okay, I'll step off my soap box now and get to the good stuff.

Step 1:
Visit Unroll.me and at the bottom of the page click 'Sign up.' 



Step 2:
Type in your email. Make sure this email is the one you'd like to clean out, then click the box agreeing to the terms. 



Step 3:
You'll be taken to a page where Unroll.me will ask for permissions. It seems like a lot but I've never had any issues with this email address being hacked or receiving spam. 



Step 4:
Now the system will begin to scan for all your subscriptions. It works so quickly that I wasn't able to take a photo of it while it was at 0. The length of time this takes depends on how much you're subscribed to, but mine lasted no longer than one minute. 



Step 5:
Once all subscriptions are found, you'll be asked to continue. I had a total of 116 subscriptions found, which is probably the reason I cant keep up with my emails anymore!



Step 6:
This is where the fun starts! Your subscriptions are listed alphabetically, with the options to add to rollup, unsubscribe or keep in inbox. What I typically do is either unsubscribe or nothing at all, meaning you don't need to choose "keep in inbox" to continue receiving the emails. 



Step 7:
Once you unsubscribe from a few you'll get this pop up. To extend your limit you can choose to share to Facebook or Twitter. 



Step 8:
This is the tweet I posted to extend my limit. You control what is says as well as have the option to delete it later. You can follow me on Twitter @rarerubi!



Step 9:
You'll automatically be taken back to the page once you share a post. From here you can continue to unsubscribe from subscriptions. The blue bar on the top of the page is what pops up when you hit unsubscribe. 



Step 10:
Once you're down sorting through your list, you'll have a count of how many you unsubscribed from, and added to your rollup. From here you can click continue to finish the process.



Step 11:
Once done it gives you a final breakdown, with another option to share with friends. All that's left to do is click finish!



Step 12:
I know it says you've cleared all your subscriptions, but don't panic! It means only the ones you chose. Wasn't that way easier than unsubscribing one by one?







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Favorite Women to Follow on Instagram

Social media is this funny thing that can make you feel better about yourself one second, then two scrolls later like a complete loser. Because of this, for the past year I've been much more intentional about the people and accounts I follow on Instagram, ditching the bitchy meme accounts for individuals who keep me motivated and inspired.

In honor of International Women's Day, I thought I'd share a few accounts who I look forward to keeping up with. From bloggers, entrepreneurs, to everyday women, there are women of every age, race and location on this list.

If you have any faves, please leave their Instagram handle in the comments below!




Helene in Between @heleneinbetween

Helene is a full time blogger who took her passion for writing and turned it into a full time job. She recently moved to Germany, so on top of helping others figure out how to make their goals a reality, she also writes about her trips abroad.




Taylor Wolfe @thedailytay

I don't remember how I found Taylor, but I'm so glad I did. If you need someone to brighten your mood each morning, you need her Instastories on your feed. Something as basic as walking her dog turns into a hilarious adventure, trust me, you've gotta check her out.




Joy Cho @ohjoy

Another account that I don't remember how I found, but Joy is the perfect example of someone who turned hard work into a dream career. Her Instagram highlights life with two adorable kids, designing home stuff for Target and other major companies, and outfit of the days that will make you wanna step up your fashion game.




Megan @bodyposipanda

Hands down the best account I've found in months! If you aren't aware of the body positive movement on Instagram, stop what you're doing and go follow this account. Through Lauren I've been able to find a ton of other accounts I love, which are very needed since I think I'm finally hitting that part of my twenties when my body feels like it's going through a second puberty. Trust me, your mental health will thank you for this.




@Dee.nasty

If you want a reason to laugh while on Instagram without all the cattiness that can come from meme accounts, Dee.nasty is a hilarious comedian living in New York City. Apart from the skits she creates with her friends, her everyday life is hilarious and strangely relatable.



Celeste Barber @celestebarber

Such a random addition but she is the definition of a cool mom. When she's not recreating celebrities ridiculous Instagram photos, she's harassing her hot husband and making hilarious comments on motherhood.
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5 Things to Do This Semester to Boost Your GPA

Grades were all that were on my mind during college, and sometimes even today. Sometimes it feels like no matter what you do, you just can't get the grade you want. If you find yourself struggling to get that 4.0 GPA or just pass that difficult class, keep reading for my tips to boost your GPA in the span of one semester.

Whether you're reading this freshmen year or your last semester of senior year, these tips should be applicable no matter what stage of college you're in. For more tips on how to make the best of your college years, check out the college category of the blog for a full list of related posts.

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



Pay attention to your class schedule

Some classes are just hard, in my case, I sucked at philosophy. Taking a course on what it means to think was way out of my league, which is why I ended the class with a C grade and a vow to never take a class in that subject again. When registering for classes, pay attention to the subjects you struggle in and try to not register for two difficult courses in the same semester. If you can't avoid it, opt for an elective or subject that comes easy to you to lessen the stress you'll feel during the semester.

Learn your study habits

No two people study alike. In my case, I work great under pressure and have never had a problem writing a paper the night before it's due. In college, I had a roommate who would start assignments weeks before they were due. Figure out your study style, then prepare accordingly. If you plan ahead, then make use of that time by scheduling out readings and assignments throughout the weeks. If you like to leave things for the last minute, make sure you keep good track of your notes and study guides so you're not wasting any time trying to find all your study materials.

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

Talk to your professors

If you're struggling in a course, the best thing you can do for yourself and your grade is to talk to your semester. I know it can be nerve-wracking, but only they know why you didn't get full points for an assignment. Being open and honest with them let's them know you're trying your best, plus gives you an extra opportunity to ask questions one on one.

Form a team

Having a group of friends and classmates to help you in a class is necessary, especially if you have a habit of missing class every once in a while. A few people is all you need to make sure you never miss notes, can reach out for help on assignments, and later get together to study during finals week.

By the way, you can follow my Surviving College board on Pinterest for more content related to making the most of your college years!



Consider a second chance

No one talks about the fact that you can retake a class, and no, you don't have to fail a course to justify retaking it. If a specific class grade is pulling your GPA down, think about the benefits in retaking the class. If you have the time in your schedule, why not? Don't be embarrassed about it one bit, just think of it as a simple way to boost your GPA while being a step ahead of everyone else.


If you've already survived college, drop a piece of advice for current twenty somethings that are still struggling with exams and group projects!


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6 Simple Money Saving Apps and Websites

Sometime after turning twenty three, I realized I couldn't spend the rest of my life spending all my money on pizza and Target home decor. In the process of saving for my last semester of grad school and quitting my comfy job at the law firm, I started to put more of an effort in saving money when it doesn't require too much effort.

Coupons take too much time though, and buying x amount of products to save money seems counter intuitive, which is why I love the apps and websites listed below.

You might also like: The Easiest Ways to Save Money That Feel Impossible at First



Ibotta

My sister pointed me in the direction of this app, and I'm so glad she did. Ibotta lists all major stores and offers you cash back on items you're already buying. From clothing to groceries, there's cash back available for a variety of things. All you have to do is shop like normal, scan the barcodes of the stuff you buy, and then snap a pic of your receipt. Typically I get the money credited to my account within the hour.

To get a free $10 credited to your account, you can sign up through my referral link or enter WLYNAAT when you download the app. Plus, by using my link, you get added to my team which makes it easier to earn the monthly team bonuses, aka, extra free cash!

Cartwheel

If you spend as much money as Target as I do, you need to download Cartwheel. The app features Target items at a discounted amount. If you're unsure of whether the item is on sale, you can use the app to scan any item to see if there is a discount that applies. At checkout, all you have to do is scan the barcode on the app to receive you instant discount.

RetailMeNot

This website offers coupon codes for nearly every website out there, but to be honest, I mainly use it to save money on pizza. I don't think I've paid full price for a pizza since college. All you have to do is type in the company, choose the coupon code that fits your need and save money instantly.

Your Grocery App

Did you know that most major grocery stores have their own app? I mainly shop at a store named Safeway, which has an app that links up with your rewards card. Most stores have coupons that you can load onto your store card, so all you have to do is punch in your phone number and see your total go down.

Ebates

If you shop online often, Ebates is a website you need to start using ASAP. Basically, you get paid to shop online.  You don't need to type in any promo codes or scan receipts, all you do is visit Ebates, choose the store you want to shop in, and check out as usual. Every three months they mail you a check with all the money you earned by shopping online.

Similar to Ibotta, if you join through my link, you get a free $10 added to your first check. If you sign on through the app, you can use the code MANCIL97 instead.

Honey

If you've ever used Retailmenot, Honey is the lazy person's version of that website. If you use Google Chrome, you can install this extension to automatically pop up with promo codes when you're gonna check out. Honey will choose the best promo code, but I do recommend sometimes double checking to make sure you're getting the best deal.



What's your favorite way to save money? Share your tips in the comments below!

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


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March Goals: Planning Spontaneity

Do you get annoyed when people say, "whoa where did the time go? I feel like the month just started!" Cause if so, prepare to feel triggered.

Where the hell did February go?! I know I've got a lot going on but I genuinely am not sure how this month flew by me. Yeah I got a ton of stuff done, but I'm not sure how able I was to enjoy all of it. Between balancing all my school assignments and my growing client caseload, my sleep has been terrible and my home gets closer every day to being swallowed by the piles of paper lying around.

Thankfully, one thing I have under control are my blog. My page views have been wonky lately, and by wonky I mean they suck. I have a minimum I never dip under but I full on cannon balled into it the past few weeks, and while I'm not sure why, I do know what does work.

Spontaneous posts. Posts that offer you nothing other than a chance to get distracted and maybe laugh at me, which is why I started writing years ago. My post, Why I Could Never Date Christian Grey, was the top performer this month, even though I wrote it at 8am before I had even gotten up to pee. This taught me that people want some relatable content as well, so I'm gonna do my best in March to publish more of this when the inspiration strikes. Okay, on to the goals.



February Goals: How did I do?

Send out newsletter regularly >> Success
If you aren't yet signed up for the weekly newsletter, what are you waiting for? Once a week I sent out an email full of content from here and around the web, to motivate you and get you pumped for the week ahead.

Think before I spend >> Success
To be honest, this wasn't so hard. I did find myself almost buying a bookshelf I didn't need but then I simply closed the tab and walked away. I'm still thinking about it so I might go back, but this out of sight out of mind trick really does work.

Related Post: The Easiest Ways to Save Money That Feel Impossible at First

Develop a routine >> Fail
Still a big, fat nope. I try, I really do, but bouncing between my home and my boyfriend's condo makes it hard. Plus work and school exhaust me, but I'm getting there, slowly.

March Goals

Blog Related Goals

Reach 600 followers on IG

I think I've finally figured out Instagram, as in, I know what to post and when. I've been avoiding investing time and money into this social media follower, but this month I plan to decide just how much I wanna put into my account.

Reach 300 Twitter followers

I know I said I was ditching Twitter, but I've found the easiest/laziest way to engage with followers on there. I'm gonna give it one full month to see if I can boost my followers and see any improvement in my traffic from Twitter.

Publish two relatable posts

In the month of February, the post that got the most engagement was one I wrote at 8am on a whim. I currently have no idea what I'll write about, but I'm sure something will pop off.

Everyday Life Goals

Read one full book

I freaking love to read, but I always leave it for last. I just bought a bunch of new books from my favorite thrift store, so I'm gonna set a small goal and vow to read one.

Organize one part of home

My organization goals have been very neglected, but a few hours is all I need to fix one small portion. I'm thinking all the kitchen drawers, so let's see if I bail.

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

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