Job Searching is Work, NOT Luck.

I walked across the stage at graduation with the knowledge that within the next month I would be starting a full-time job using the diploma they were about to hand me. I was told a multitude of phrases when I told people, family, close friends, and all of my mentors were very congratulatory, they knew how hard I had been working towards getting a job post-graduation. My roommates knew that I spent most of my free time applying for jobs and going on interviews that lead nowhere. On top of my school work (and work) applying for jobs was essentially a full-time gig for me.

Acquaintances, random people who felt obliged to ask me what I was doing post-graduation were less congratulatory and were far more likely to tell me how lucky I was. “You know not very many people graduate with a job lined up, you’re quite lucky,” was a response I got quite often. Let me tell you, luck had absolutely nothing to do with it. I had worked my butt off for 17 years in school, and I wanted something to show for it, more than a piece of paper. I worked extremely difficult to get a job- it wasn’t easy but you can do it.

Here are my tips for your job search:

  • Start sooner rather than later- it’s better to start early and know early then start late and no have anything lined up.
  • If it says 3-5 years experience and you’re just graduating college, apply anyway. Use your experience from school, internships, etc.
  • The worst that can happen is they say no. Trust me- you can get really far and they’ll say no and it’ll SUCK, but then you’ll get a different job and be fine. I know from experience.
  • Networking is important, knowing people helps, but at the end of the day, you need to sell yourself. Know your strengths and how you can help a company grow, that’s what will get you far.
  • Ask for help, see if your connections know of any places hiring or know of people that are top rated in your industry that can give you advice.

Work hard to work hard, but if you do something you love it’ll be worth it.

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Beauty.

Beauty always seems to be a discussion, skinny-shaming, fat-shaming, whether or not a famous person has gained/lost too much weight, whether or not someone is even just pretty. My question is why does it matter?

There are days where I feel beautiful, and even the days where I feel fat and disgusting I tell myself I am because I wish I would have heard someone growing up saying they were pretty. Also if you say something enough you’ll start to believe it.

I don’t know why we have to comment on whether or not we think other people are ugly or pretty or whether we think they’re too fat or curvy or too thin or would look better if they did “x” or if they didn’t do “y”, it’s honestly no ones business but their own. Why do you think so many people struggle with body and self confidence issues? It’s not all internal, the internal factors come from outside factors.

It makes me sad to see everyone around me pick at the things they hate about themselves rather than embrace every great thing about them. I know I’m guilty of this as well but I hate that. I hate that we are assimilated into this culture where it is the normal thing not to like yourself. I hope that when I have kids they never push away their fat on their stomachs. I hope they don’t try and hide their flabby chin, I hope they embrace everything that’s great about them rather than only seeing everything that’s wrong with them.

Also, I don’t understand why there is so much negativity towards people when they try to embrace their imperfections and see themselves for who they really are. Sure, there are the immediate circles who are so supportive and are really happy for you, but then there are those people who are so judgemental who seem like they don’t really want happiness for others, they can only be happy if others are suffering and as soon as someone is confident in themselves they start to lose control of the situation. These can be people you know once you start to love yourself, or even strangers.

I see this with people talking about Meghan Trainor. I don’t know much about her, but apparently her song trying to give curvy girls a little more confidence was too upsetting to the girls that every song has catered to previously. Her audience is just different, and the line where she says “skinny bitches” she makes the remark that they are just as perfect as everyone else. Again, other than this one song, I don’t know much about her other than that song makes me happy and feel a little bit better about myself and I shouldn’t have to feel bad about that.

So stop judging every person around you, let them be them. You don’t need to be the person that makes them question their beauty. Let people feel beautiful. Encourage them, don’t discourage them. People are hard enough on themselves, they don’t need everyone else making them feel worse. Also try to say one nice thing about yourself everyday, it will help your self confidence and help you to feel better and see yourself as the beautiful person you really are.

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Picking the Right College

picking college

It is now the end of April and for seniors graduating high school the pressure is on to pick the right college. I’m sure by now a lot of you have made your decisions, I made mine mid-February, however, there was still a large group of my friends who still hadn’t decided when the end of March was rolling around, so if that’s you, don’t fret, I think they  are all succeeding.

  • Don’t pick a college just because everyone tells you to pick that one. Everyone has their own opinion of what you should do, when really it’s just your choice.
  • Don’t worry if you can’t picture yourself anywhere. I could not find a school that I pictured as my home, now that I have nearly completed I would 100% without a doubt call here home. Like no matter how hard it is to picture some place a home, I think it’s something that the people around you contribute to.
  • Find a place where people are kind and will try to help you make your decision. The school I’m at, I talked to people here about my other options, and they didn’t tell me to go here, they encouraged me to do what I thought was my best option. If people can’t be honest about where you’re going it might not be the best place for you.
  • Think about the geographical location, because it is pretty likely close to where you will end up post college. That’s the area where you going to start making professional connections and moving forward with life. This piece of advice was provided with the help of Eric.
  • While a significant other can help influence a decision,  you should know that if the relationship is supposed to last, it will last no matter what. I don’t know if you could say I know this from experience or not, but I chose my own place and I was very comfortable with my choice when things didn’t work out. I honestly believe that if things are meant to be they will be if you work for it, and it won’t matter if you’re a five minute walk or a five hour drive. Don’t go somewhere for somebody else, unless that’s the place you honestly and truly want to be.
  • It’s not the wedding dress feeling for everyone. When I say this I mean some people think college is like you try it on and you just know, like people feel about wedding dresses, I disagree completely. I don’t think I felt that at any college I visited and I love it here, this is where I want to be, I was mostly neutral about everything I saw, or I hated it. Don’t worry if you don’t feel that way.
  • Go with your gut, it’s probably right. If you had to flip a coin, and heads and tails each designated a school, which side are you hoping for? That’s the side you go with, no matter what shows. That’s what you want to do. You want to do what you want, don’t let other influences change your mind about what you want to do.

So good luck with this decision! It’s so exciting, try not to stress too much about it. If you don’t like where you go, you can always transfer, but you probably will like it. Make your decision with passion and with your views, not the direct influence of anyone else.

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You First.

There’s a whiteboard on my closet so when I sit up in my bed it’s the first thing I see. For the longest time I had “Take care of YOU first!” and I think that is one of the most important messages I can give myself, or anyone for that matter.

I have this habit of putting everyone before me, like I’m that person the airplanes make the announcement to adjust your own oxygen mask before helping others with theirs because my first instinct would be to make sure everyone around me is okay. There’s nothing wrong with that, at all, but sometimes you have to put yourself first.

For me it’s easy to forget about myself and put everyone before me which is why I put that reminder at the foot of my bed so in the morning I would take my vitamins and drink some water. I think everyone needs this reminder- it’s okay to put yourself first. There’s this idea where you have to make everyone think your life is completely perfect- well how do you make your life seem completely perfect if you don’t take the time to take care of yourself? People can usually tell when you aren’t taking care of yourself. I know I might be perceived that way often just by my physical appearance but I think that when I start to slip people can notice. Like I’m definitely not happy when I stop taking care of myself.

There are some people who think that you can only find love once you love yourself. I think that this is partially true. Like I believe that if you can’t be happy with yourself you can’t be in a trusting relationship, you’re never going to be able to take the compliments or the good things someone has to say about you. However, I think that someone could help you to see how wonderful you are, so I believe this is both true and false.

I think as society we need to put ourselves first more. I know there are times in your life where obviously everyone goes before you because that will help everyone in the long run, but can you really help anyone if you aren’t helping yourself first? How can you improve anyone’s life when yours is the last thing on your mind? You can’t burn out before you look and examine your own life, do you know what I mean? There’s so much in your life that you have to evaluate before you can worry about other people. Focus on yourself, because sometimes that’s really the most important thing to do.

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Mary’s Blogging Tips

blogging tips

This post may seem like a stretch after yesterdays but I thought it would be important to share the things I have discovered in my year and a half of blogging- the majority of that daily blogging.

  1. Write about your own interests not what you think interests other people. I’ve made the mistake of doing makeup posts or things that I think people would read and they end up being very popular posts but they aren’t well done or things I would consider my best work.
  2. Numbers don’t matter. I often get distracted by the number of people reading, the number of likes, and the number of comments. The happier I am with the content the less I care about the numbers- produce the content you care about and the numbers will begin to reflect your passions.
  3. Don’t pressure yourself. You don’t need to put pressure onto yourself to be the best blogger ever. If you don’t want to do it, don’t. If you don’t want people to know, don’t tell them. Don’t do anything that makes you uncomfortable.
  4. Save drafts. This is something I am constantly learning the hardway considering I never write a post all at once. I put my computer down for five minutes and the next thing I know the internet has crashed three times and there goes any progress I have made. I even lost the first draft of this post which made me add this to the list. There is nothing worse than losing an hour or two worth of work just because you didn’t click save.
  5. Check spelling and grammar. I need to do this more and proofread more often. No one wants to read anything that’s filled with mistakes. I know my posts probably have a lot of mistakes because I hate to proofread and check my work but don’t do what I do and actually check your work! Most host sites provide a spell check service as do most internet browsers- utilize them.
  6. Always write. Even if you aren’t going to hit publish on a post- write it anyway. It keeps the creative juices flowing and it helps to promote a writer’s mind. The more you write, the more you can write.
  7. Find time.  Time needs to be put into every hobby it turns into a question of how much time do you want to put into blogging? Personally I would like to achieve around  5 blog posts a week with each having about two or three hours work into them, I know this will vary. I would say most people probably post once or twice a week but really it’s what makes you comfortable.
  8. Be passionate. People can tell when you are passionate and knowledgeable about what you write compared to how you are when you are neutral or don’t really care about a subject- show it in your writing.
  9. Make friends. Don’t be afraid of talking to bloggers and commenters. I have met people here that I would consider to be great friends. I talk to them on a regular or semiregular basis we are friends with each other on social media, we have built a relationship that’s more than bloggers who read each other’s thoughts.
  10. Use pictures. Don’t be afraid to add color to words. It really helps. If you don’t take them yourself make sure you give credit but the more you can add to a post the better. Long, lengthy posts are great but some people need a visual with that so add it!

Here are my top ten blogging tips! What are some of yours?

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“Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.”

I accidently took a break that lasted far too long… Again. This week got busy and I got tired and other things got prioritized so my apologies for the lack in posts. It was one of those things that just happened- I realized it and didn’t stop it which is something I should have done. I don’t know this is unfortunately something that happens when I stop pushing myself so I need to start doing that again.

Something I really believe is that you can help to create the life you want. I mean I don’t think anyone has complete control over everything that happens to them but you can control how  you handle things. I strive to be a more positive person so if I continue to act positive I will grow more and more positive even if right now I’m not actually positive if I pretend to be the mindset that I am will grow until I really am a positive person.

This applies to things like “dress for the job you want,  not the job you have” this is a much more literal sense of what I mean. Like I don’t think this means if you want to be an olympic skater you should wear those costume to your job at Burger King, you’ll probably get fired, but if you want to be a CEO and you work in a cubicle, dress like a CEO. If you believe it then you can do it.

A lot of life depends on what you put into it. Your thoughts help to create who you are. If you stand in the mirror and tell yourself how ugly you are, your mind is going to believe you no matter how beautiful you are. If you can stand in the mirror everyday and add one good thing about yourself and how you look, you’ll slowly become more comfortable with how you look. Rather than believing you’re ugly you will start to believe that you’re pretty. Find the good in yourself rather than the bad.

So much of someone’s perception of themselves is based on what their minds create. Yes, this is also based off of what other people say about them and I do know there’s psychological things that prevent this from happening too, but control as much as you can. Try to build up your self image enough so that it’s harder for people to tear it down. Once you start you to create a positive image of yourself and a positive mindset you can develop it. Or if you want it to be negative you can do it that way. You can help to create what you want in life for a good part of that. Well maybe not- it’s starting to work for me, so maybe I’m weird or maybe it’s really all in what you think. Try to promote what you want to see in your life and maybe you’ll start to see it.

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Short Cuts to be a Pretend Adult

I don’t know if you guys know this but I pretend to be an adult, it’s in my twitter bio. I do things that make people think that I’m a grownup- heck the kids I babysit think I’m old, which is half true. I make up a lot of stuff to make it seem like I know what I’m doing. I mean if you’re close to me you really know that I don’t know what I’m doing (ever). I thought that maybe it would be useful to share my tips to be a productive pretend adult so that other people can do the same.

  1. Put your dirty towels on top of your favorite dirty clothes so you don’t take them out of the laundry and wear them again. It forces you to do your laundry so that you can wear your favorite items.
  2. When you know you have to wash your bed sheets (do it once a week and feel good about yourself) take off your pillow case because no one wants to sleep on a bare pillow.
  3. Limit the number of dishes you have that way you wash them faster because you run out faster.
  4. Don’t buy the fatty stuff. If you are trying to avoid potato chips don’t buy them at the store then they aren’t sitting in your room waiting to be eaten and tempting you.
  5. If you’re around sick people vitamin C is your best friend. They make them like cough drops and it’s in a lot of drinks and it’s good to not get sick.
  6. Bribe yourself to do work, but use very mundane things like showers and fruit snacks (of course fruit leather because fruit snacks are too sugary for my liking) and if you are really struggling use chocolate and little trips to the store.
  7. Do fun things that keep you young. I don’t like saying that because I’m only 20 but coloring and painting and doing any other crafts are relaxing. I’m also at that age where people think “abstract” art is cool so my random lines of paint are oddly visually appealing to some.
  8. Exercise and if you hate it like me, bribe yourself with Goldfish. That’s what I did yesterday. I’m trying one of those 7 minute workout app things and I’m sure it’s not effective at all, but I will pretend it is until I find the time and motivation to go on a real run.
  9. Pick positive influences and people to surround yourself with. There is no reason to be an adult and have “friends” who don’t give two shits about you.
  10. Go to Target, look at the grownup stuff, skip it all and then buy some chocolate or other random things you will never need. Target’s great for all of that.

What are your tips of being a grown up? I need all the help I can get.

I’m Content

I’m sorry about my brief three day break, I didn’t intend on this happening but I ended up just living life. I’ve been hanging out with my friends and trying to be an active participant in life, a change that I’ve been working on for a few months now. I actually went on a hardly documented adventure yesterday and it was the most fun I’ve had in a long time.

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The documentation of my day trip.

Up until today I’ve been very content and the only reason I’m not today is because of the day and history and such but I’ve been so content with being back at school. I feel much more at ease here, mostly. I am finally happy with where I am, I feel like I’m surrounded with people who enjoy my company and people’s whose company I enjoy. I’m just content with where I am and who I am, the only thing I’m not content with is what I’m doing.

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

-Jim Rohn

What I’ve really realized is that life is all about the people who you surround yourself with and the influence they have on their life. I strongly believe that you are the average of the people who you are closest to. It’s very important to choose those people carefully because even if you aren’t actually a bad person if the people around you are it will rub off. I would say that I’m very adaptable to the people who are around. Not to say I’m a different person depending on who’s around but once I start hanging out with someone a lot I start to pick up on their mannerisms and their habits. That’s probably weird to admit but it’s true!

I think it’s just important not to associate yourself with negative thoughts and energies because it’s not worth you changing your emotional complexion to fit in with someone else or adapting to someone else. By making the choice and effort to surround yourself with people who truly care and are positive influences on your life will really provide a better mentality for yourself. Life is so much better when people respect you and your opinion rather than the opposite.

Be content. Find people who let you be that way. Don’t dwell on the negatives of life, focus on the positives. Allow yourself to be happy because happiness is what’s important and that should always come first.

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Mistake are Important.

I make a lot of mistakes, I would say I mentally or verbally say “whoops” at least ten times a day. I like to say that I learn from my mistakes but more often than not I don’t. I’m very much the person who thinks that the last mistake I made doing the same exact thing was a fluke and it won’t happen again, even if I make the same mistake ten times, by ten I usually learn.

I am unfortunately one of those people that values mistakes long after they happen. I look for warning signs in new relationships that caused an old relationship to fail– for example I will never include homemade cookies in a gift to a guy I’m dating since two relationships failed after me giving them cookies. I’m not saying that’s why but who know? It could be a contributing factor.  However, I also believe that I learned other things from those failed relationships. If a guy breaks up with you and says he still wants to be friends, he doesn’t really want to be friends. If everyone tells you that a guy is a womanizer and a player, he probably is. If your parents don’t like one of your friends, they probably aren’t a good friend. If someone is nice to your family and makes an effort to get to know your siblings, they’re probably a decent person. If food doesn’t taste right, it’s probably not right.

Mistakes are this part of life that in the moment everyone dreads more than anything, yet later they help you make so many choices and decisions. You mistakenly trust the wrong people, mistakenly hurt the right ones, take a right turn instead of left, show up to an event an hour late because you wrote down the wrong time, finished a paper is a rushed week and it turns out you had another week to do it. Mistakes happen and then you remember to second check yourself. You learn the right characteristics of a good person and the ones a bad one, you remember to put on the directions rather than ignore them because you think you know the way, you double check times when you know you have plans that day, and you really read the dates in your syllabus so you aren’t trying to do a billion assignments in one week. Mistakes form habits and what you do on a daily basis. They are the foundation for everything you do. As much as we as people hate making them they can be fun and exciting or filled with dread and regret. In the end it’s these that help us to develop as people. Mistakes are beautiful and fantastic and altogether terrible but they are so useful in personal development that just makes it perfect.

I am trying to treasure my mistakes and keep them as a type of award for doing something dumb or not doing something at all in order to produce good in my life.

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Ignore Problems: They Still Exist

I have this huge problem where I think if I ignore a problem for long enough it will just cease to exist. For example today I ordered gloves. It’s mid-January and I live in-between my house in Lancaster PA and Northern Maryland, it’s been winter for a good two months in the areas. Like it’s snowed at least three times since I’ve been home and I just ordered gloves for the winter. My chapped and cold hand have been shoved in my pockets since I broke out the winter jacket in late October/ early November just because I thought my hands wouldn’t be cold if I ignored the problem.

I think this is something I have always done and something I will probably always do. If you ignore something long enough it will just go away, this is false, it will probably get worse. You can’t just pretend a problem doesn’t exist, it seems like a really good tactic but it’s not. If we could just ignore problems then there wouldn’t be things like war, because we could just ignore a country causing problems and they would cease to exist to us. Which would be good, but also bad because you have to face all of your problems.

Problems suck plain and simple but there isn’t much you can do to avoid them. You can pretend they don’t exist, you can try and hide from them, you can procrastinate and try to hide but eventually face them, or you can just face them right away. It’s usually best to just face them right off the bat. I mean I’m not comparing my glove problem to any other problem because it’s really not that big of a problem but I should’ve just bought a pair one of the million times I was at Target because I go there all the time.

Face your problems head on because the longer you wait to deal with them the worse they’re going to get. Take my advice and don’t buy your gloves in mid-January.

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