Hello, World! 8 Tips For ‘Adulting’ After College

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Category: College Moves

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My last six months of college passed in a blur. I spent most days filling out graduation paperwork, meeting with professors, trying to find a job while working at my current one, not to mention making sure to call my parents at least once every two weeks. I wanted life to slow down for a minute, but alas, it never did.

It seemed only to get faster and faster, and I—well, I worried. I knew I should feel excited about graduating from college, and I did, but I still felt a bit of dread. But I beat that fear back and successfully moved on from my college life by using a straightforward process: I addressed each of my concerns point by point, then used the following tips to make the transition much smoother.

1. Start Your Job Search Before You Actually Graduate

Most college seniors and grads eventually ask, “How am I going to pay for everything?” I know that I raised the question many, many times. So I addressed it by starting my job search early—nine to ten months before graduation. This is when it pays to have a close relationship with your advisor. But don’t freak out if you haven’t been keeping up with them, since it’s never too late to go to them and ask for leads on careers.

Sure, I wish jobs fell off trees like apples in the spring, but they don’t. Jobs have to be plucked, usually with a lot of ladders and a lot of climbing, so it’s best to start the hunt early.

2. Networking Isn’t Just a Buzzword, It’s a Real Thing You Have to Do

I used to scoff at the whole “it’s who you know” thing, but the idea holds merit. I got my first job because hands shaken and conversations held in person, as well as through online connections. To start, make sure you start a LinkedIn account and add your professors and people you’ve worked with. Then go to every job-oriented event that your college offers. 

I looked at my wardrobe, too. It sufficed for casual events, job fairs, and my job at a boutique, but it needed some polish so I could present myself more professionally in front of potential employers. Just make sure you’re always presentable and presenting.

3. Figure out How Exactly to Adopt Finances for the Real World (There’s an App for That)

I also looked at my finances, something I hadn’t had to think about much during college. I earned enough money from a part-time job to buy a new pair of shoes or go out to dinner with friends. I realized, though, that I needed a better sense of how I spent my money before heading into the real world.

To accomplish that, I researched some financial apps like Mint and Venmo and chose the one that worked best for me. It helped me balance my checkbook, pay freinds easier, instantly figure out a budget by connecting to my bank, and find places to save money. I can’t believe I wasn’t already using some of these!

4. Adopt a New Schedule (AKA Start Waking Up Earlier)

As a kid, I always hated the end of summer because it meant my mom would reinstitute morning alarms and bedtimes. But the routine helped me slip into school mode once my college courses started. Yep, the same is true with life after college. By adopting a schedule before I officially graduated, I woke ready for the day and whatever it held, even that 6 a.m. spinning class.

5. Start Going to “Next Stage of Life” Stores

I love, love, love Pier One, but I couldn’t buy most of their home décor as a college student. I still can’t afford a lot of it on an entry-level salary, although I’ve recently entered the store’s hallowed halls during clearance sales to pick up dishes and throw pillows. The same can be true of any “adult stuff” stores.

But for the must-have furniture for my post-college apartment—things like a kitchen table or living room couch—I searched Ikea, garage sales, Facebook Marketplace, and Goodwill. The four require patience, but they’ve rewarded me with some of my most beloved furniture. However you do it, the key is to switch gears to where you’re actively looking for household necessities, wherever they may be.

6. No Meal Plan, No Problem

I used my college’s meal plan for the first three years, and it was great. The cafeteria boasted at least five different types of food, plus a dessert bar and waffle maker. When I moved off-campus my senior year, I learned quickly how much food costs, not to mention how much time it takes to make.

Those lessons prepped me for post-college life. I immediately started budgeting for weekly or bi-weekly trips to the store, because, hey – I’m not a kid anymore. I even took things a step further with some online cooking classes and nutrition apps to stay healthy and fit, which also helped me learn how to cook better. Don’t take food for granted, be prepared for life without the cafeteria! 

7. Don’t Be Boring, Develop a Hobby

Speaking of online cooking classes, I discovered something unexpected while watching them: I actually really enjoy cooking! It relaxes and recharges me, and the fare always delights friends I’ve invited over for brunch or dinner. Something about graduating college is the perfect opportunity for becoming a more well-rounded person – a person who is ready to make even more friends and dive into a career!

Protip: Watching other people cook refreshes my spirit, too—but I refused to watch my favorite chefs on Netflix or Hulu with anything less than a pristine stream, so consider upping your internet speed to join the ranks of non-dorm room internet speeds.

8. Ask for (and Accept) Help

Another thing I recognized is that I needed help. It was actually a freeing thought. I still remember asking my manager for help with a difficult customer and watching in awe as she remained kind yet firm. I also visited with my college’s counseling center. I felt so overwhelmed the last few months of college that it was sometimes hard to get out of bed. I didn’t know how to talk with my family or best friend about it, so I scheduled an appointment with a counselor. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done and something I plan to continue doing. Everyone needs help sometimes, myself included.

Since I took those eight steps, I’m “adulting” fairly well. No, I don’t have everything figured out, but that’s part of being a grown-up. Nobody has life all figured out, and I for one am glad. Life would be boring if we all solved its challenges in the exact same way. But as you use these and similar tips as you move from college life to work life, you can feel more confident in yourself and in your transition.


Cassie Tolhurst is a recent grad, digital journalist, and tech enthusiast. When she isn’t stalking Twitter she is spending time with her loving family and dog. Her passions include the newest mobile gadgets and what’s streaming on Netflix.

We Try out the App That Digitally Arranges Your Furniture With Just a Picture

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Category: Home Decorating

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As DIY’ers and decorators, there’s nothing we love more than an empty room just begging to be styled and filled with beautiful pieces. But some rooms can be a little tricky. Do you put the couch over here? Or maybe you need a small table over there? It can be hard to visualize how pieces will work in a space, especially when you’re starting with a blank canvas. Plus, if you’re buying a few new pieces of furniture, it can be difficult to tell if they’ll really fit and work well in the space. No one wants to purchase a dresser only to find out that it’s actually way too big or small.

An Online Tool to Help You Arrange Furniture

Luckily, there’s a new tool out there that takes all of the guesswork out of the arranging furniture process. It’s called Modsy, and this growing service is changing the game for decorators… but also for new homeowners trying to decide on new furniture or anyone else who has a room that needs some TLC.

Techcrunch.com

Essentially, you can “try on” certain layouts in your specific space in order to visualize how it will work in that room before you move things around, or before you buy anything new. The service costs about $70 (which isn’t exactly free), but in the long run, it may help you avoid design regret (like when you buy a piece that simply doesn’t work for the room), leaving you with a space that is much more functional for your home.

Here’s how it works: You send over photos of your space, some measurements and details on both your vision and style. They then send over a professional 3D rendering with a 360-degree visualization tool.

Real Life Spaces Using Modsy

When we first heard of Modsy, we weren’t quite sold. How could it actually work? But then we saw that a few of our friends in the blogosphere used this service when working on room makeovers. We could hardly believe these photos…

Photo by Bower Power Blog; 3D Rendering of Bedroom via Modsy

Above is the 3D rendering of our friend Katie Bower’s bedroom. She used Modsy to visualize the furniture setup in her bedroom before buying all of the pieces.

Here’s what that space now looks like in real life…

Pretty crazy, right?! Here’s another one.

Photo by Chris Loves Julia; 3D Rendering of Room via Modsy

Above is the 3D rendering from Chris Loves Julia’s nursery. Below is how the actual room turned out.

Let’s Give It a Try

We’re currently working on a living room makeover for a friend, and their tricky living room layout had us questioning where exactly we should place all of the furniture in the space. So we figured this was the perfect time to give Modsy a try and find the most functional livingroom layout. Here is how the website lays out their service:

After setting up an account on our phones, we sent in photos and measurements and they then gave us a blank room to review. 

Because we weren’t totally sure on the style we wanted for the space, we had them give us two design options. One was a bit more glam and feminine, the other a bit more contemporary. This was their interpretations:

We ended up loving the second design, and realized how easily a sectional could fit in the space! We also didn’t realize we would have enough room to add a bookshelf next to the couch, and this helped us view the space in a whole new light. 

This was another rendering from a different angle. We were able to plug-in a few pieces that the homeowners already own to make sure they could continue to work in the room. 

In the end, we were left with a functional layout that we’re confident will work as we help to design this room. It actually worked! While we still have a-ways to go with their space, we are both so excited to get to work and bring this vision board to life.

You Too Can Master the Art of Arranging Furniture

As two gals who can’t seem to get enough of home design and decor, we were incredibly impressed with this visualization tool. Here are our takeaways:

Pros:

  • Surprisingly easy to use
  • Slick, modern app design
  • 3D renderings are professionally done and easy to grasp (and amazing to look at!)

Cons:

  • It ain’t cheap. $70 per rendering (and $199 to include an adviser!)
  • It takes a little over a week to get renders and operates within business hours, so plan ahead
  • Recommended furniture through Modsy store can be great, but also a bit sales-y

If you’re struggling to decorate your new home, we hope you’ll give this tool a try. Hopefully, it will help you determine the best layout for the rooms throughout your home while providing you with design inspiration that is specific to your taste. Plus, you may even gain some confidence when it comes time to buy new pieces of furniture in your space, because you can try before you buy! Happy decorating!

The Battle to Regulate App-Based Movers

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Category: Moving Industry News, Regulations

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Well, those government regulators are at it again.

The legislation is coming for those “summon random people to move your stuff” apps that work like reaching your hand into a mystery box, yet serve a market that is relatively untouched.

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How Do I Find (and Keep) a Great Babysitter in My New Town?

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Category: Money Saving, Neighborhood Advice

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People who move to a new location often immediately find themselves with this super under-appreciated problem:

“Hold on…where am I supposed to find a babysitter around here?”

Considering realtor calls, landlord visits, emergency hardware trips and much, much more, there is no doubt this usually falls under-the-radar until maybe even after you’re already moved in. And if you’ve moved away from friends and family who used to keep an eye on things, good luck.

This is why learning about all the different babysitting options goes hand-in-hand with moving. What kinds of sitters are out there? Where and how can I get them? And is there anything special I should know about?

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Don’t Try to Beat the Heat: Tools for Knowing When it’s too Hot to Work

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Category: Business Basics, Regulations

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[Synopsis: We have to work, no matter the heat. Let’s just make sure we don’t get beat by it.]

In our industry, business is busiest when the heat is hottest. Yes, the crazy days of summer are coming fast, and it is time once again to put it in high gear.

But as our days fill up and our crews are stretched to the limit, let’s not forget that even superhumans like us are still human. Even while we tell ourselves to keep cranking no matter what the thermometer says, our bodies can only put up with so much. If we don’t pause to take care of our bodies we can lose a lot more than a few minutes of daylight.

As the Omaha World-Herald reported in August of last year, a moving company employee who was packing and loading boxes inside a truck on a day with a heat index of 112 suffered a heat stroke and, though transported to a local hospital, died that same day.

“If you’re working in those extreme triple digits, you’ve got to train your workers to recognize the symptoms of heat stroke and seek immediate medical attention,” said Darwin Craig of the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

In this article WebMD covers symptoms, treatment, risk factors and prevention as related to heat stroke. They also give information for recognizing and treating heat exhaustion.

There is also an app provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Association called the Heat Safety Tool, which provides the heat index and risk level of any given work site. It’s a free download for both Android and IOS, and is available here.

We’ve all been out there, sweating it up in the heat, kicking butt without thinking of slowing down until the job is done. But hey, that sun and that heat don’t care how strong and determined we are. So let’s take this issue seriously so we can all get our jobs done safely.

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