August 24, 2011

Welcome to the "Real World"

Today is the first day of classes at Butler University, and a huge part of me wishes I were walking the halls of Holcomb catching up with friends I haven’t seen since last year. But alas, I’m sitting at my desk revising ad proofs and analyzing promotional results (…and writing this blog post :p). My one year anniversary of being employed is coming up next week (party anyone?) and I’ve been thinking about all of the things I’ve learned over the past year. For example:

Take all the help you can get. Life after college is fun and exciting, but sometimes it’s hard. Even though you think you can do it all, you can’t. If your parents, family, or friends ask you if you need help or offer to help you in any way – take it.

Cut down on Facebook time. Yes – social media is a crucial means of communication, but it’s time to remove those “friends” you met during Freshman Orientation and never saw again. Use Facebook to stalk your crush and communication with your friends, not to tell the world what you ate for lunch or what color shirt you’re wearing.

Stop shopping at Forever 21. Ok – that was harsh. I love Forever 21…on the days I can find something in the middle of all that chaos. What I mean is – it’s time to start investing in those “classic pieces.” Buy a pair of well made black pumps and a trendy sweater (that will last longer than 2 cycles in the washing machine) that can be worn both at the office and at Happy Hour.

Start exercising. All those hours you spent laying on the couch with your roommates watching NCIS marathons and eating Cinnamon Buns ice cream are going to come back to haunt you. Join a gym, buy a bike, start jogging – find a form of exercise that you love and stick with it.

Friendships should make you happy. We all have someone. The “one upper” who always has a better story; the “my life is difficult” who always has something to complain about; the “ulterior motive” who invites you to the party…if you can drive and pay for parking. Friendship is a 2 way street. Be there for your friends and make sure that they are there for you.

It’s ok to stay home on Saturday night. You spend all week running from work to appointments to practice to social gatherings and by the end of the week, you should be exhausted. You worked hard! It’s ok to skip the party scene and lay around in your PJs watching TV and reading trashy magazines. Sometimes you just need time to yourself to recharge.

Being single is F-U-N fun.  For some reason, some people I know seem to think if you’re not married by age 22 you’re destined to become a cat lady.  I beg to differ.  When your single, you don’t have to share the remote, your apartment is devoid of figurines and model cars, and you’re always allowed to flirt. Be confident in yourself, don’t settle for less than you deserve & have fun searching for that special someone.

Use your vacation days. Is your Alma Mater playing in the NCAA Tournament? Go. Are the Reds playing the Yankees on  a Monday afternoon? Go. Do you want to spend 2 days locked in your apartment watching all 6 seasons of How I Met Your Mother on DVD? Do It. Get away from the office & turn off your Blackberry. Everybody needs a day off…that’s why they invented vacation days!

Between leaving home & learning to survive on your own, navigating a new career, staying active in the community, maintaining relationships, and attempting to have a social life, life can get a little stressful. Being a ‘twentysomething’ is a learning process – a lot like a toddler learning to walk. When you finally manage to pull yourself up and wobble a couple steps, you fall right back on your butt and have to start over. Once you get going however, there’s no stopping you. Some of the best advice I’ve gotten and have to give is – Take every opportunity, learn from your mistakes, and always remember to have fun!