Maintaining College Friendships After College — August 31, 2017

Maintaining College Friendships After College

Now that classes are pretty much back in full swing I want to take the time to talk about college friendships. The 4 (or more) years you spend in college really will be some of the best, and worst, times of your life. You grow more than you ever could expect while in college. You realize things about you that you never would have imagined before. With all of this you make some of the best friends you could ever ask for. These are the friends who understand completely what you’re going through (especially if you’re the same majors). These are the friends that you cry with, laugh with, drink heavily with, etc. The friends that you made in high school are great but your college friends are really your ride or die. That’s why it’s so important to keep in contact with these friends post graduation. Here are some of the tips I have for maintaining friendships after college.

-Make sure you meet up with them at least once a month if it’s possible. Now I understand that people move and things change but put in the effort and go out for lunch or dinner or drinks.

-Continue to tell them everything about your life just like you did when you were skipping classes. Along with that, make sure you stay interested in their lives. Ask about their boyfriends, their job, their family.

-Plan a trip together. This doesn’t have to be a crazy expensive vacation but a long weekend away from everything that’s part of your everyday life is the greatest way to stay connected. Megan and I have made it a goal to do a weekend trip at least 4 times a year, just to get away and gossip like the little girls that we think we still are.

-Text them. It might seem stupid to say but shoot them a text every now and then to see how things are. Sometimes a text can change how a person’s day is going. It’s the little things.

These are just some of the ways that I think you can keep up those friendships that helped you get that degree you worked so hard for. Keep your friends close, you never know when you’re going to need them the most.

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How I Use My ECLP — August 7, 2017

How I Use My ECLP

I know I’ve been talking about it for awhile, and now I’m finally getting around to doing this post. I’m going to talk about how I use my Erin Condren Life Planner. I have a previous post about how I was using my Five Star planner that I got from Target and I still think that’s a great option if you’re not looking to spend the money for an Erin Condren.

This is my first ECLP and I have to say I’m a huge fan. I may not use it the most conventionally but it works for me. I bought my 2017-2018 Life Planner at the end of May I believe and it goes from July 2017-July 2018. I’m sure all the planner addicts already know about all the ins and outs of the planner so I’m not going to go into detail. If you’re interested, there’s a ton of videos on YouTube that go into great detail about the new planner.

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This is my monthly spread. It’s pretty much the same I was doing in my other planner. I have different colored washi tape for bills and appointments. I write my work schedule and work related things in orange (I don’t have a yellow pen otherwise that would be it since I hate that color). I have important things (like this month Tyler’s birthday and my dad’s birthday) on decorative sticky tabs that I got from the target dollar section. On the side I have two yellow sticky boxes for my two different student loan payments. It sticks out to me and reminds me “HEY DOOFUS! Pay those loans this month!”. Pretty straight forward for a monthly spread and it helps keeps me organized.

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Now for my pride and joy, my weekly spreads. I’ve always obsessed over the planner decoration that people have done and the stickers and everything! Being the nearly broke grad that I am I can’t afford to spend money on kits so I’ve gotten creative. If you have pinterest you can search for free printables for the ECLP and BAM! Magic! I bought some sticker paper from staples and print the spreads as I need them. I find decorating my planner to be the most relaxing thing out there. No idea why but it calms me down like no other. So like all Erin Condren planners, this one is broken into the 3 sections which I use as “Today”, “To Do”, and “Work”.

Under the “Today” section I write down bills that are due, appointments, and any events (like the FGL concert next week!!!!).

Under “To Do” I use the cute heart check boxes and write out my daily to do lists. Like my other planner, if things don’t get done on it it’s not a deal breaker, or if I do things a day early it’s not going to ruin my life. I write everything in these checkboxes, even showering, because I get a sick satisfaction with checking things off no matter how small they are.

Under “Work” I put, you guessed it, my work schedule! I also put important things like when the schedule opens to pick up time and payday. I use fun washi tape to put a little more umph for my days off. I sometimes write little blurbs in the boxes like if I floated to another floor or if something insanely crazy happened just for memory purposes.

On the bottom bar I use more washi and put “B, L, D” for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I write down what I eat again just for reference. If I notice that I’m eating something a little too often I’ll try and reign that in and make a change.

The side bar I have a hydrate sticker to keep track of my water intake (I estimate this based on if I drink at least 1 of my water bottles which is 32oz). Under that I have another sticker from the target dollar section that says “Remember”. I use this to jot down any thoughts of feelings I have throughout the week. It can be about boys, work, my family, anything.

The last thing is the quote box. I typically google quotes about life or strength or love and write them out. I don’t have the neatest handwriting but right now it works for me.

So that’s how I’m using my ECLP. Like I said, it might not be everyone’s cup of tea but it works for me and that’s all that matters. If you have any interest in getting an ECLP or anything else on their site (and there’s a ton!) then here’s a REFERRAL LINK!¬†You’ll get $10 off your first purchase! Just know that I’ll get a little kick back from it too but it’s helping us both out!

Finding My Happiness Again — August 3, 2017

Finding My Happiness Again

I know it’s been a little while since I posted but I promise it has been for good reasons. I’ve been in a funk and I’ll be the first to admit it. I wasn’t really happy, I had my moments sure, but there were a lot of times where I was down and quite frankly somewhat depressed. I wasn’t happy with my living situation. I wasn’t happy with my financial situation. I wasn’t happy with my relationship situation. All of this was piling up on me and to be honest I didn’t feel like writing about anything. I’ve always said that this blog is more so therapeutic for me as it is anything else. That’s why I’m making myself blog again today. I’m determined to find my happiness again.

I’ll start with my living situation. This is something that right now I can’t really change. I’m not thrilled about living under my mom’s roof again. I don’t like having to tell her where I’m going or who I’m going with. I spent a good part of my adult life being able to come and go as I please and this is something that I’m just not used to. My brother is a complete nightmare most of the time and we really just don’t get along. How am I getting my happiness back in this aspect? I’m doing everything possible to make my goal of being able to move out in the next year a reality. It may not be the best apartment or anything but I’ll be on my own again.

My financial situation goes hand in hand with my living situation. I have a lot of student loan debt. I also like going out with my friends which involves spending money. Add that on top of my regular bills and you can see where money stresses me out. I don’t want to feel like I have to deprive myself in order to sustain any amount of money. I’m trying to find my happiness with this situation in a not always happy way. I’m picking up more overtime hours at work. This is hard because the hospital is in a lot of debt and there isn’t a lot of OT to be had but where I can I am picking it up. I’m hoping this will help me be able to stay afloat while still being about to pay my bills and have fun like a 25 year old should. I do have to work on some of my spending habits and I am. I’ll get there, it just might be a slow start.

Finally my relationships. I mean this with friends as well as guys. I’ll start with friends. Megan and I have been iffy for awhile now. She’s been my best friend for 22 years and I don’t want to lose her but we’re at very different places in life. She doesn’t understand that I can’t be her personal shuttle to places and she needs to get her license. I can’t always be paying concert tickets with her promising to pay me back and then she never does. I’ve started having some hard conversations with her about it and so far I think it’s working, kind of. We have a long way to go but I’m hoping we’ll figure this out. As for guys I’ve spent probably the last month trying to figure out Tyler and I think I have. For now, I’m going to be more than okay with just being best friends with him. I need to realize that whatever happens, happens but there’s no rushing. We went to the beach last week and it was a good start to this for us. I hope it continues to go that way. With all that being said…I’ve been talking to a new guy I met on POF. I’m not ready to spill much of anything with him since we’ve only been texting but I’m meeting him tomorrow for dinner and I couldn’t be more excited. I have a fairly good feeling about him and that’s something I haven’t really felt with any of the guys I’ve talked to. I’ll keep everyone posted.

So there’s a recap of where I’ve been for the past however long I’ve been gone. Nothing overly exciting or new but it was something that made me realize I need to take a break and work through my issues and concerns. I’m nowhere near completely happy but I’m getting there and I’m happy to be back!

No Motivation — July 12, 2017

No Motivation

I seriously have zero motivation when it comes to working out. I last wrote about starting a weight loss journey and how I was so excited about it. Fast forward to now and I’m sitting here dreading going to the gym.

I HATE going to the gym. I hate everything about the gym. I hate the people who are super athletic who think they’re the big shit there. I hate the employees who I feel like are CONSTATNLY judging me. I hate that I feel like the biggest fish out of water there. I thought that buying a gym membership to a gym that’s opened but not staffed 24/7 that I would find a time where I feel comfortable…NOPE! If I go in the morning there’s a bunch of older people who want to talk my ear off while I’m close to having a heart attack on the treadmill. If I go during the day it’s staffed by the employees I don’t want coming up to me to ask how I’m doing. If I go at night I get the meat heads who think they’re the next superhero and screaming and dropping weights. It’s a never ending process and I need to find a better way to get myself moving.

I’m thinking about buying a bike. I loved riding my bike as a kid and it’s simple, mindless exercise. I think it would be a good investment and it would get me out of the house, which clearly the gym can’t do for me.

I also want to start swimming more. Yes, that requires buying a one-piece bathing suit but it’ll be money well spent. I just have to find a place where I can swim that won’t cost me an arm and a leg and that is open after the summer. The public pools in my town are disgusting. When I was a kid and we went there during summer camp I ended up with planter’s warts that I needed to have frozen off. Never again! I’m not trying to be an Olympian just trying to get in shape.

Sorry for this being a complete rant about me hating to work out. If you have any suggestions (youtube videos, classes, anything!) please let me know! I really want to be committed to this journey but so far it’s not going so well for me.

Starting My Weight Loss Journey — June 27, 2017

Starting My Weight Loss Journey

I was a super chunky kid in elementary and middle school. At that point I knew it was an issue but it never overly bothered me. I went to a small Catholic school and the kids weren’t mean, we were all close knit. I went to high school and started being more active on the swim team and dating. I was losing weight and I loved the new person I was becoming. Fast forward to the summer going into senior year and I met Tyler. We were in a relationship for 7 years and during that time I got extremely comfortable. I noticed myself gaining the weight back that I had worked hard on losing and I was starting to hate myself again. I still do hate how I look. This is why I’m finally saying enough is enough and I’m going to start a weight loss journey.

Starting July 1st I’m going to become a more dedicated person to myself. Writing it down is hopefully going to keep me accountable and I’m going to document my journey along the way.

I have a few ways I’m going to try and shed some pounds…

  • Go to the gym/home workouts: I currently pay for a gym membership that I don’t use. That’s going to change and I’m going to make the money I spend on it worth while. I also have access to a youtube channel and I want to find some home workouts for when I don’t feel like hitting the gym. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated ūüôā
  • Water, please!: I’m going to cut out soda and increase my water intake. I’m not a soda crazy person but I do enjoy it. I want to see if cutting it out completely will help make any difference. I’m also going to *try* and cut back on alcohol. I won’t like, I like to drink and I can throw back more than I’d like to admit. I’ll let myself indulge but I’m going to try not to go as hard as I do as often as I do.
  • Diet: I’m going to try and eat healthier. I’m also going to work on moderation. I’m not going to deprive myself of something if I want it though. If I want some ice cream or brownies I’m going to eat it, just not in as big of quantities as I currently do. I’m not huge on meal prepping but I might give it a shot (if my brother doesn’t eat it from under me!). I’m also going to work on cutting out fast food/take out.
  • Scale: I’m going to embrace it and step on the scale. I’m hoping that keeping track will keep me motivated. I want to see the numbers go down and use that as my drive to keep it up.

That’s all I can really come up with now. If anyone has any suggestions please share them! I’m open to anything. It’s time for me to become accountable and start feeling good about myself.

 

Somewhere on a Beach — June 14, 2017

Somewhere on a Beach

I’ve wanted to go to Punta Cana for as long as I can remember.¬† June 4th-9th I finally made it a reality, and I got to do it with my best friend by my side.

We started planning this trip in January 2017. We met with the travel agent (who was amazing!), talked about what we wanted in a trip (all inclusive and beach), and did our research on the resorts in the area. We started counting down the days, saving our singles for tipping, and buying completely new wardrobes. FINALLY the day came that we were going to fly out of the country and be somewhere on a beach sipping something strong.

I were flying out of JFK which is about a 2 hour drive from my friend’s house. I picked her up at the ass crack of dawn and we were on our way. Our flight took off around 12pm and a little less than 4 short hours later we were landing in paradise. We somehow managed to get through customs with everyone yelling in Spanish and figured out which shuttle was taking us to our resort. We stayed at the Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda (I’m going to write an entire review in another post).¬†We checked in, got settled, and went and started drinking. This was the theme of the entire week. We¬†swam in the ocean, swam in the pool, got burnt and tan, and had the time of our lives. It was exactly what I needed with everything that had been going on with work and at home.¬†Beyond relaxing, beyond calming, and most of all beyond worth it.

Sunday night was a chill night since we had travelled all day. We got some dinner from the buffet, drank to our hearts content, and got to sleep fairly early.

Monday we got our spot on the beach and spent a good portion of the day there with the drinks flowing, the breeze blowing through our hair, and the salt water all over our skin. We made our way over to the pool and the swim up bar and kept the day going. We went to dinner (Italian) and then headed back to the room for a quick nap. We ended the night at the club and danced like no one was watching.

Tuesday we were pretty burnt so we spent the morning at the pool under a tiki hut and occasionally venturing out into the sun. We braved heading off the resort for a tour of some place (it was all through our travel agent’s company). Quite frankly it wasn’t all that exciting but I was able to get my souvenir tshirt. We had¬†Brazilian for dinner and¬†then watched some of the entertainment of the night on the resort.

Wednesday was another pool day. More alcohol, more sun, more memories. We had Asian for dinner and then again spent the night at the club dancing away.

Thursday (our last full day) we were very conscious of the time because we knew it was the last time we would get to do anything. We spent the morning at the pool and taking it all in. The people, the music, the sun, everything. In the afternoon we went down to the beach again to take it all in. We floated in the ocean talking about how we didn’t want to go back to reality. We started thinking about our next vacation that we would take together. We were there until the sun started to set. We had Dominican food for dinner and sadly started to pack everything up.

Friday was a wash of a day. We had to check out by 12pm and the shuttle was picking us up at 1pm. Our flight wasn’t until 515pm so we were waiting at the airport for a loooong time. We made it home and made the treck back to CT from JFK. I got home around 1230am. Sad and cranky (I hadn’t eaten) I walked in the door and thus ended the vacation of a lifetime.

I know this is a super quick breakdown of everything that happened that week but there really isn’t any way to put into words how this vacation made me feel. My biggest recommendation is that if you want to travel, DO IT! Do it with you best friend, your significant other, your family, anyone. Enjoy your life and live it to the fullest. Everyone deserves the chance to be somewhere on a beach.

Punta Cana Packing List — May 30, 2017

Punta Cana Packing List

There are 5 days until I hop on a plane and leave the country with my best friend! 5 days!!! I’m beyond excited. We’ve been planning this trip since February and it’s finally at our fingertips.

I tend to be an over packer so I made a packing list for the trip. I’m going to post it here. Let me know if you have anything I should add or take off. Also, let me know if you have any advice on what we should do besides drink ourselves silly :)!

Punta Cana Packing List

My Best Friend Became a Police Officer — May 15, 2017

My Best Friend Became a Police Officer

I never thought I’d be able to say those words. I couldn’t be more excited or scared or anxious for him all at the same time. I’m getting ahead of myself though…

I’ve known Tyler since 2009. I was 17 years old and we both had the entire future to think about. He told me on our first date that he wanted to be a cop and that he had wanted that since he was about 10. Now I know all little boys want to be some kind of super hero, whether it be a cop, firefighter, EMT, etc. I also know that as these little boys grow up they tend to lose this idea and pick something based off of their interests. With Tyler, his interests were police officers and the law and the history that came along with it. We continued our relationship and when he turned 21 he started applying to police academies (you have to be 21 to start applying apparently..who knew?).

We were living together and I had watched him apply for countless academies, spend an insane amount of money on the testing, and wait anxiously for his authorization to test. I had seen him go and take the written test and fail by 1 point. I had seen him pass the written test and go to take the physical and miss something on it by seconds. I had seen the heartache and the tears and the feeling of defeat. I also saw the determination and drive that these setbacks gave him. Even though we were living paycheck to paycheck and trying to figure life out, I never stopped encouraging this dream (and I’ll be honest, there are times I wasn’t 100% sure it would happen for him). I watched him study longer, train harder. Finally one day he received the testing information for the NHPD. He passed that test with flying colors and was given the authorization to test for the physical exam. Again, he passed and there was no looking back. He went through the entire hiring process which took months. There were background investigations, reference interviews, meetings with the board of commissioners. He did it all and he was placed on their hiring list. Things got rocky with us and we broke up but he stuck to his guns and didn’t let the bad situation get to him. He started the NHPD academy on October 3, 2016.

The first week he told me was hell. We had gone out to dinner one night and he told me he wanted to quit, it was too much, he couldn’t do it. I looked him dead in the eye and told him no. He had come so far and worked way too hard to quit in the first week. If he wasn’t going to make it it would be due to him not being able to complete something, not because he quit. He stuck it out. Over the next 7 months I watched him gain more knowledge, become more street savvy, become stronger mentally and physically. I listened to him talk about learning the radio signals, taught him how to tread water so he could pass the swimming portion of the class, and heard stories about getting pepper sprayed and tear gassed. I watched his eyes beam brighter each and every time we talked. I¬†saw him go from a civilian to a police officer right before my eyes. 7 months of hell, 7 months of stress, 7 months of¬†developing a brotherhood that I know will¬†be with him forever.

On May 12, 2017 I got to witness¬†that brotherhood take their oath and be sworn in as officers of the NHPD. He won an award for graduating top of his class. He walked across that stage with his head held high as he got his badge. My best friend made his biggest dream a reality that night and it’s only just beginning.

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If you ever read this Tyler, know that I’m so unbelievably proud of you. I saw the struggle, I saw the tears and I shared them with you, and I saw you overcome everyone telling you no. I’m proud to be your best friend and honored to have been able to see this dream come true. Be smart, be safe, have fun, and go give ’em hell! No matter what know that I’ve always got your six.

Sometimes Adult Life Sucks — April 20, 2017

Sometimes Adult Life Sucks

When I was younger I always wanted to be older and have an adult life. I wanted a full time job, I wanted money, I wanted more responsibility. Fast forward 20 something years and here I am..an adult. I’ll be completely honest with you that being an adult isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. Let me explain…

  1. Student loans and bills are super stressful. I get paid biweekly and my checks are decent, but I still struggle to be comfortable which stresses me out more than anyone understands.
  2. Contracts have way too much fine print. I stupidly joined a gym in January. I thought I had read the entire contract front to back and understood it all. I signed away my life for 2 years. This isn’t your typical gym membership either where it’s 10 bucks a month, this is 32 dollars a month and the contract is for 2 years. I called to see if I would be able to cancel the membership and they said only if I died, became disabled, or paid the entire payoff of the membership. Ummm, what?! I know this is mostly on me but come on, a little bit of slack would be great.
  3. Full time jobs are exhausting. I only work 3 days a week and honestly I feel dead to the world when I get home. I spend my days off being low key just because I have no desire to exert energy. It’s usually a struggle to wake up and go to work, and when I don’t have work it’s a struggle to want to do anything.
  4. Your friends will never have the same schedule as you ever again. This might just be for nursing but it’s true. Megan is a full time teacher and that’s what she loves (or so she tells herself…). She works Monday through Friday and has every weekend off. I work 3 random days during the week and work every third weekend. It’s so difficult to have times where I can see her and hang out. Same goes for my nursing friends. I want to hang out with Sarah so badly but we typically have opposite days off. It’s frustrating and quite frankly lonely.

I could probably list 100 more reasons why it sometimes sucks being an adult but I’ll keep it short and sweet. If you’re not at the point where you’re completely an adult, don’t rush it. Enjoy every minute of high school and college. Your time to be an adult will come.

If you are an adult and struggling with it like I am, take some deep breaths and remember you made it this far and that you’re not going to give up now. My dad always told me “it’s going to get harder before it gets easier” and becoming an adult is just another speed bump in the road.

It’s Okay to be Alone — April 12, 2017

It’s Okay to be Alone

Let me be the first to say that I love being in love. I enjoy everything about it. Knowing you have someone who always has your back, who wants to spend as much time with you as possible, and kisses you whenever they want just because they can is something I’ve always longed for and for a long time I had it.

I’ve spent a lot of time looking back through my planner which I’ve made kind of into a journal. This planner is the one that will have my first full year of being single in it. This is something that for 7 years (and really longer than that since I never gave myself a lot of time between breakups in high school) I never had. Everything that I was doing always included a guy. I was always so busy with school and work that the only things I wanted to do were spend time with Tyler. I never really went out or took me time. That changed this year. I started taking me days, getting manis and pedis, randomly driving down to the beach just because I could, starting a career! You name it there’s a chance I tried it this year and I’ve documented it all in this planner. Every ticket stub from a concert or sporting event I went to is in there, baby shower invites, sticky notes with how I was feeling while I was doing what I was doing. Looking back on it I realized how exciting this year has been for me so far. Sure, there have been many low points where I’ve been sad and hated everything but there has been so many more happy times that for once I was okay with doing alone.

So this post is for all the single girls (and guys) out there who are learning how to be alone again. Know that it’s okay, it’s more than okay! It might not seem like it right now but you’re going to make it and you’re going to thrive. Stop spending time alone in your room (although those days are necessary too) and start spending time with your friends! Do the things you always wanted to do..go to that sporting event, schedule that hair appointment, take that trip you’ve always dreamed of. When you do all of this, make sure you document it all somewhere. Look back on it often and remember how good it felt to do something for yourself, without having a boyfriend or girlfriend attached to you. Remember that feeling when you get into your next relationship and always put yourself first, you deserve it.