Friday, August 1, 2014

Feeling 22?

Image c/o

It's August, y'all. The college kiddos are coming back from European adventures and exciting internships to paint the town red, and I'm sitting on my couch, planning tomorrow's really rare and exciting Starbucks outing before a closing shift. Summer isn't quite the same when you work full-time... and post-grad life isn't quite what I thought it would be.

Apparently your graduating class was full of winners, because everyone you know has a killer LinkedIn page, a blistering social schedule, and is engaged/married/pregnant, right? If you're feeling exceedingly average these days, it's probably because you are: Twenty-two is the most common age in America right now. For recent grads, this means lots of competition in the work force, dating scene, social media name it. Don't be discouraged if you're trying to figure out your "forever job," have no idea which energy bundle to choose, and are still on your parents' health insurance. You're growing up. And there's a steep learning curve!

Baby Lauren wanted to be the first female POTUS, a teacher, or a writer.

Instead of worrying about how you'll get that perfect car and white-picket fence, try to live in the now. (Easier said than done, I know.) Your daily routine will be much less monotonous if you look at each day as a new adventure, instead of drudging into work barely-on-time and with a bad attitude. Try to take in life's little pleasures. Laugh at jokes. Take time to read a book. Watch The Kardashians, if it helps you unwind. And while you still (maybe) have the security net of your family and your hometown, don't be afraid to pursue what you love, while making sure to save up a few bucks for the next chapter of your life.

Recently, I came across "Conquering Your First Year in the Real World" on Lauren Conrad's website. I intially thought the advice was fluffy and not actually helpful in the "real world." I mean, who has time to get together with friends each week when you're working 40+ hours? These little tidbits of information aren't intended to solve all your life crises or pay off your student loans, but they will improve your outlook, even in this scary, uncertain time. 

Here are the five tips she shared.
  1. Set up weekly get-togethers with friends. 
  2. Get on a daily workout schedule.
  3. Draft a beginner’s budget.
  4. Make your house your home.
  5. Don’t stop learning. 
Reading this article made me realize taking care of yourself in these five little ways can inspire you to go after your dreams. When you're not bogged down by everyday junk, you have time to focus on what you really want out of life and how to get there.

I can honestly say I'm feeling pretty jazzed at the moment. I don't know if it was the Zevia or my obsessive love of calendar planning that pumped me up, but I'm feeling much peppier about my next steps.
If you're an extreme Type A, like me, take a few minutes to really sit down and plan your next month. Once you have your work schedule filled in, and have set some workout times and social hours, you'll be able to see how much extra time you have, just to yourself.

I don't have it all figured out yet, but here's what I'm really excited about right now:
  • I planned out my social functions for August, including dinner with girlfriends, a double-date, a little party, and a cool new social group to check out. Having something to look forward to each week or so makes me more excited about life when the long work days start to blend together.
  • I scheduled all my workout times with my amazing fitness coach boyfriend and had him write me a (realistic) plan. I fell off the fitness wagon after graduation and am desperate to get back on, full-force. Writing it down in my planner means it has to happen.
  • Starting today, I'm doing the unthinkable: Keeping all my receipts to track what I think I spend money on vs. what I actually spend money on. It's going to be a rude awakening, but I've got to get my budget under control. Beginners, try LearnVest.
  • I decorated my dining area!!! It's so me now. And I finally got a USB-HDMI cord so we can watch our Netflix on the TV screen. The simple joys in life.
  • I souped up my ePortfolio, LinkedIn, and résumé
  • With most of LC's points covered, I also made sure to take a little me time. A bubble bath, at-home pedi, and lots of YouTube beauty guru videos made for one happy Lauren!
Time to pick up some more Lush bath bombs!

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