Tag Archives: postgrad

I Woke Up at 5 a.m.

20 Mar

On purpose. Yes, this is a big enough deal that I’m blogging about it.

In college, every once in a while, when our to-do lists got longer than our arms, my friend Luke and I would have early-morning homework dates. We would force each other to wake up before 6 on a Saturday (because we hated ourselves, and each other, and happiness), go to Starbucks, and be ridiculously productive for the next four hours, hit the gym when it opened by 10, and basically be rock stars. Or, more accurately, the opposite of rock stars.

My theory is that I hate the world so much for existing at that time of day, that I basically get work done out of spite. Continue reading

On reacting, deciding, and trying to sort out my future

5 Mar

From April 2013 to September 2014, just about every choice I made was a reaction. I wasn’t getting interviews for the 50-some jobs I applied to, then I was offered a summer internship in a field I wasn’t particularly interested in located in an oil boomtown. I took it, sight-unseen. By the end of the summer, I still hadn’t gotten any of the writing jobs I was applying for, so they offered me employment and I took it. Housing was really expensive there, so when a family with a 3-year-old offered to let me rent a room in their house, I took it and moved in. Four days later, my friend decided to come join me, so I found an apartment and signed a month-to-month lease within 36 hours. Then, within four days we found a cheaper two bedroom and signed a lease on that starting the next month. Continue reading

How to throw a party with basically zero effort

6 Feb

Growing up, my parents never really hosted people. I can probably count on one hand the number of times non-related adults came to our house for a social reason. My brothers and I had friends over, but they never did. Somehow, though, I grew up into the kind of person that absolutely loves throwing parties, which I now do about once a month.

Maybe it’s the recent-college-grad in me, but I find throwing a party to be super, super easy. And fun. And I think everyone should do it, although maybe not quite as often as I feel the need to!

Guest list: Basically everyone I know in town. This doesn’t include people like my coworkers or former professors, but basically everyone. My parties in Minneapolis were generally an odd mix of swing dancers, my roommate’s church friends, math PhD candidates, their friends, and other people I collected. I always tell people they’re welcome to bring friends of theirs, and have actually met some cool people just because they’ve shown up in my apartment. Plus, throwing parties so often makes it a great way to turn acquaintances into friends: it’s easy to end a conversation with, “Oh, I’m having some friends over on Saturday, you should come!” Continue reading

Why I write about money all the dang time

4 Feb

This weekend, one of my friends “confessed” that he stopped reading my blog because he was tired of reading about my budget. Now, that’s totally fair, not everyone gets the same ridiculous joy from the graphs on Mint as I do.

But they're so pretty!

But they’re so pretty!

The thing is though, I don’t write about my budget to be annoying, or to brag, or to make people feel bad about wherever they stand. I write about it because having control over your finances can buy you some really valuable things: namely freedom and peace of mind. And because these things are not as hard to achieve as you might think they are.

Too many of my peers feel like their money controls them, instead of the other way around. That results in constant stress, skipping out on things they want to do, reaching the end of the month with $5 to their name, and constantly crossing their fingers that the car doesn’t break down.

When my car needs repairs, I am unhappy, because no one enjoys spending $500 to fix their brakes. But, I can pay for it without changing anything about my lifestyle or going into debt, I just replenish my savings account the next month instead of putting money in investments. It’s a ridiculously comfortable feeling. Continue reading

No expectations here, I’m totally chill

3 Feb

Has dating always been like this?

You start getting to know someone, maybe even go on a real date or two, and then it’s just … stuck. We’re afraid of scaring people away by saying something as simple as, “I really dig you, and I don’t want to see other people.”

Asking something of your paramour – as simple as “you should call me more often” – is terrifying, because we’re afraid of being labeled as “desperate” or “clingy” or (and I hate this slang) “thirsty.”

YES. If I’m dating you (and just because we’re for some reason terrified of the word dating and instead stick with “seeing” and “talking to” doesn’t mean dating isn’t what we’re doing) I want you to call me. I want you to make plans with me. I want to be completely confident that you actually enjoy spending time with me – and if that makes me clingy, then I will wear that label with pride. Continue reading

My nowhere-near-perfect super-great apartment

31 Jan

When I’m in a waiting room of any sort, the first magazines I’ll pick up are about home decorating. I spend a lot of time perusing Apartment Therapy. When I’m home, and have access to cable, I watch HGTV.

But I’m a renter who does not have piles of money to spend on redecorating an apartment that I probably won’t even live in for that long. I love having a home that makes me happy and comfortable, and I especially love not spending thousands of dollars to get it that way. So hello, The Internet, and here is a little photo tour of my lovely post-college apartment (okay, it’s my 4th apartment post-college, but I only graduated 19 months ago, so it counts).

Also, this post is super long. Just a warning.

IMG_1974

When I first visited this apartment and saw the wood floors and built in shelves around the (non-functional) fireplace, plus the fact that it was in my price range, I knew I wanted to move in here. The layout of the living room is kinda awkward, with doors on three walls and the fireplace on the fourth, so furniture placement was tough but I’m fairly happy with how it’s set up.  Continue reading

Picking a future

26 Jan

I wrote a few days ago about the freedom that comes with being graduated – namely, that you get to make your own choices now. However, as with all freedoms, that freedom comes with great responsibility – and outright terror.

I can already feel time slipping away – I’ll be 24 in March. That’s too old to be young and stupid. Heck, when my mom was 24, she was a mom! And as I realize I’m already in my mid-twenties, I can’t help but freak out about all my hopes and dreams, and trying to figure out which ones I really want.

Part of me wants the whole domestic shebang – marriage and kids and a cute little house and the PTA (and of course, I’d have to do the whole finding-a-dude thing, which is easier said than done). Part of me wants to be a nomad, living out of a suitcase (which involves figuring out a way to earn money whilst not being tied to an office, also easier said than done). Part of me wants a high-powered career (and I’m also not entirely sure what that would look like or how to get there). I’m drawn to living in a big city, with a ton going on, and also to a small town, where you run into friends at the grocery store. Continue reading