Tag Archives: Adulthood

Cruising is a Girl’s Best Friend

I spent last week cruising the Caribbean with one of my best friends. I’m not sure what I was more excited about: my unlimited drink package or being able to lay in the sunlight for hours at end. I just couldn’t wait to get away and unwind.

Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman

One thing we didn’t plan for on the cruise was spring break. Being a bit removed from the college life, we completely forgot that the March is when most colleges have their spring break. Lucky us! Our ship was filled with college seniors letting loose and partying one more time before graduation. Most would be annoyed by this rowdy bunch but I was intrigued. I never went away on spring break during college. I wondered if I was ever as carefree as the group of girls we made friends with. Maybe..?

One thing about being on a cruise: If you’re remotely friendly or social, you will have an entourage following you by the end of the vacation. We literally had all sorts of people hanging out with us throughout the cruise. What can I say; we’re a good time!

At one point during the trip, I believe our new friends referred to me as Oprah. What an honor! I was talking to them about life after graduation. There’s advice people beat into your head, mostly around finding a job, being financially responsible and not burning bridges. What they don’t tell you is that the hardest part about graduating college and becoming adults is transitioning your friendships. In college, everyone has the same goal: to make it out alive (aka to graduate). After college, those goals and priorities shift and look different for each person. You’re going to have friends who get married right after college, choose to go to graduate school and some who might be a little lost. I said this to my new friends from UGA and the reaction I

Some of our friends from dinner

Some of our friends from dinner

got was priceless. No one had ever said that to them. Admittedly, they are worried about their friendships, people moving away and life changing. As I talked to them with one of my college best friends next to me, I was honest: it’s hard, you’ll argue, breakdown, freak out and cry..a lot. But just remember, not everyone grows up at the same time. No one’s dreams should look the same. Understanding and respecting that is the key to holding on to those friendships post college.

I love vacations because it gives me a chance to reflect about life. If I didn’t meet these girls, I don’t know if I would have thought about how graduating impacted my friendships. I might not have realized how blessed I am to have friends who respect each other’s decisions and understand one another’s journeys. It wasn’t a vacation of a lifetime, but I got to push pause on reality, let my thoughts unravel, dance until the sun rose and unplug from technology.

Tell me about your most recent vacation! Any big revelations or did you make any new friends?

My favorite picture of Haiti

My favorite picture of Haiti

Time to Transition

We’ve all felt them; that pang of guilt, fear, what have you as we shift from young adulthood to full-blown adulthood. While it may not happen all at once, the transition to fully responsible for yourself and your happiness is a rough journey for most. Growing pains seep into all areas of our life: our family, our interpersonal relationships and our professional life.

It seems that creating boundaries with family is typically harder when you’re closer with your family OR when they are more involved in your life. Some of this may be on them for wanting to know every detail or on us for sharing every detail. As I begin the process of moving out, these boundaries with my family are necessary for my survival. Their drama, insecurities and issues are not mine to take on. Everyone repeat after me: the problems of my parents, siblings and extended family are not mine to fix. I will always love my family, but a line has to be drawn somewhere.

20 somethingLooking at interpersonal relationships is probably where the sharpest growing pains are felt for the majority of transitioning adults. You have your group of friends from all parts of your life: childhood, high school, college and beyond. You believe this group of friends will be with you forever. But then life happens and people mature and experience life phases at different speeds. Some friends are married right after college while others go off to graduate school. Just because everyone is at a different phase doesn’t mean friendships have to end. It means everyone needs to keep in perspective that we are experiencing things differently. It is not always easy but is absolutely worth it. Significant others are a whole other ballgame. Bottom line is you need to find someone who will grow with you, who loves you for all you are today and everything you will become tomorrow.

In the workplace, growing pains are felt in a completely different way. For me, almost all of my colleagues are older than me so they’ve experienced this transition already. Some are sympathetic and remember what it felt like to find their first apartment. Others can’t be bothered. In this time of change, it’s important to remain confident (not cocky) at work. You may not have it all figured out (no one does), but you must be willing to learn. Age is just a number; don’t let it or others intimidate you.

Everyone goes through the transition from recent college graduate to adult at different times and at different speeds. The fact remains that this is the time to be selfish, live your life for you and no one else. Find what makes you happy and do it as often as possible. Book that trip, run that 5K, but whatever it is, do it for you and no one else. As always, a Beyonce song is all too appropriate for this phase of our lives. While “Grown Woman” gives off a cocky vibe, the meaning behind the song is a good reminder for all of us struggling with this transition. We are adults and can do whatever we want. Have a listen below and share your thoughts with me!

Balancing The Growing Pains

“Growing up is never easy. You hold onto things that were; you wonder what’s to come. But that night, I think we knew it was time to let go of what had been, and look ahead to what would be – other days, new days, days to come. The thing is, we didn’t have to hate each other for getting older; we just had to forgive ourselves for growing up.” – The Wonder Years

Like many, I spend this past weekend relaxing and enjoying my Monday off. I headed down the shore with my two of my best friends to dance the night away. We watched the sun come up, slept for a couple of hours then ventured to the beach. Some would say we took it a little too far, but I call it making memories. However, we paid for our fun yesterday at work.

The last year has been filled with so many changes that haven’t been experienced by everyone in my group of friends. A handful of us are employed, commute to work and spend 8+ hours a day in front of a computer. Others are in graduate school; some are living on their own and others are still in school. All of our lives are different. At times, it doesn’t feel like all we do is work and yearn for the good old college days.

havefunOne thing I’ve learned in working during the last six months is that everyone deserves a work-life balance. Too often, you hear that term used with working parents and not with newly employed young adults. One way I’ve gotten a handle on this real-world thing is by making sure I balance everything in my life. The work-life balance is important for young adults because it:

  • Prevents burnout: As new faces in the workplace, most of us are eager to prove ourselves and will take on multiple assignments in order to do so. While this is admirable, it isn’t always realistic. 
  • Helps our friendships: See the quote above! My friends and I had a year of adjustments with misunderstandings about schedules, budgets and attitudes. We are all working so hard we tend to forget about our friendships…and that each of us is struggling with the adjustment. The frustration of opposite schedules and long-distance relationships often proves to be a challenge. BUT, we all are learning to balance and keep one another in check.
  • Improves the quality of our work: This speaks for itself. Working on a project at the 20th hour isn’t good for anyone involved and certainly won’t be your best work.
  • Puts the focus on our well-being: Work is important but so is our health. In college, your health is typically thrown out the window. Being conscious of the work-life balance allows for focusing on balance in all forms like what you’re eating and how often you’re working out.
  • Shows our parents we can do: Mom and Dad need to realize the work-life balance is a real thing now that their babies are adults. They’ll have to adjust too!

The team members I work with often help me achieve a better work-life balance. My friends and family also keep everything in perspective too. This weekend showed me that it is perfectly fine to take a much-needed break and enjoy time with my friends. I plan to focus more on the work-life balance and hope you do too!

Getting “It” Right

panelYesterday, I was fortunate enough to be invited back to Temple University for the Public Relations Student Society of America’s (PRSSA) alumni panel. I was an active member of PRSSA for three years and served on their executive board during my senior year of college. So when their president reached out inviting me to attend, I knew I had to go.

I was 1 out of 5 young alumni who sat on the panel yesterday. We introduced ourselves, spoke about our time at Temple and then answered students’ questions. While the purpose of the panel was to share our knowledge and experiences with students, I know I learned a few things yesterday too.

Temple MadeWhen you first graduate, you are very much against being called an alumnus. It’s the denial phase: I did not graduate, I will be back here in the fall, etc. For probably the first time in nine months, I realized the importance of my alumni status. Not only are my opinions valued, but I have a huge network of other Temple alumni who are willing to help. The lightbulb absolutely went off in my head yesterday. Being an alumnus isn’t a bad thing, instead it’s something I’ve very proud of.

More than anything, yesterday was reassuring and gave me a much-needed boost in confidence. I finally feel like I am getting “it” aka adulthood right. I had students telling me how awesome I was, how well I speak in front of an audience and asking me all sorts of engaging questions. I was reminded that I am successful, that I have a job utilizing the skills I worked so hard to cultivate in college and that it is all coming together. Sometimes it’s nice to hear it from someone else.

Lastly, yesterday was a great example of how paying it forward is really important. I had mentors and help from PRSSA during college. So it was only natural for me to mentor younger members and speak at the panel. Never underestimate the impact you make on people’s lives and make sure to give back what you have received.

Thank you Temple PRSSA for inviting me back yesterday! It was truly a blast!

 

All Grown Up

I am not a big fan of the word adult. I don’t like being called one and I often joke with my friends that we are nowhere near adults. Despite my efforts in trying to stay forever young, I’ve grown up more in the last two weeks than in the last two years. Let me explain.

Perhaps the most obvious adult activity I’ve participated in during the last two weeks occurred today. While it is not my first time voting, I did feel empowered this morning casting my vote. One positive part of growing up is earning the right to vote. With that right comes the responsibility of educating yourself about the candidates. I hope everyone exercised their right to vote, a right so many were denied in the past.

Throughout the last month, I’ve been redoing my room. New paint, new curtains, carpet cleaned and picture collages updated; the room has done a complete 360. Since I was away at school for the last four years, I didn’t bother to change my room at all. Now that I’m home, it was time for a change. I also got rid of a lot of clutter in the room, making it look much more grown-up. Having a bedroom that represents my age and not my shoe size has made me much happier.

Yesterday, my two friends and I donated blood. Again, this is something that I’ve done before, but this time it felt different. I’ve never donated blood with my childhood friends before. It showed me that we have evolved from little girls to young adults who are willing to give back. We also knew that our donations were going to Hurricane Sandy victims. For us, it was a small way to help so many people who were effected in our area.

About two weeks ago, I leased a 2013 Scion TC also known as the car I’ve wanted since I was sixteen. I absolutely had a mini panic attack when I made the down payment and figured out the insurance. It was a big step for me, being completely in charge of something for the first time. I’ve never felt more like an adult than I did when I signed the papers for my car. It was both exciting and terrifying.

So here’s the biggest reason I feel more like an adult lately: I got a job. Consider this the official announcement. I will be starting at Pricewaterhouse Cooper in Manhattan next week as part of their project management team. I am extremely lucky for this opportunity and can’t wait to start next week. As I read through employee benefits and 401K information, I couldn’t help but think, this is it, life is going to start. As much as I’ve tried to deny it, college is over and it’s time to be an adult. While this next phase of my life is a bit scary, I am finally ready to experience all adulthood has to offer. I guess this growing up thing isn’t as bad as I thought!

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