What It’s Like Your First Year Out of College

If you’re lucky, the summer after is just like the rest of them. You work your seasonal job, you party with your friends, hit up the beach, and go to concerts. Then the air starts to get a little crisper, and instead of bar hopping its bonfires, apple picking, and pumpkin spice lattes. It’s fall. Normally the anticipation of moving back to college is killing you, but not this year. This year it’s pure dread. You trade in your trendy first day of school outfits for business casual dress code because you start your new job on Monday. As I watched all my snapchat stories this past weekend I had knots in my stomach. I was torn between two worlds. Half of the snapchats were from my friends who were partying it up in college for the first night back, and reuniting with everyone back at school. I felt like I was watching helplessly through the window of a party I was kicked out of. I felt so left out. I should be there, I thought. And all those friends say how much they wish they were you. They say how sick of college they are (but they don’t really mean it), and that they want to start their real life. Let me say this once. You don’t get to skip those shitty years right after college to the golden years when you are with the love of your life living in a nice house with all the fixings of the American Dream. You get to crawl through a river of shit AKA living paycheck to paycheck, paying student loans, and living in grungy apartments. I won’t even mention the horrors of the dating world. So don’t complain when you have a class that runs past 3 p.m. when the rest of us are suffering through an 8 hour shift.

The other half of the snapchat stories are from  friends my age or older. They are making coffee runs for the office, sitting through staff meetings, or posting pics of the creative pinterest dinner recipe they made last night. Let’s be honest, we all started off with the same balanced diet of PBJ, Easy Mac, and Chipotle. Face it: at first we are all helpless without mommy’s cooking or the dining hall providing for us. I still can’t cook a decent dinner without setting aside 3 hours, and by the time I’m done cooking I’m not hungry anymore. It really is true when people say you are so broke that you have disappointment and sleep for dinner.

Okay, so that’s the tough part. You are tired, overworked, and everything is foreign for about a month, and you want to wring your college friends necks because they don’t know how good they have it. But after that, things get better. You start to get comfortable in your new surroundings, and picking up new hobbies and creating a routine for yourself. For example, I do meal prep for the week on Sundays and Wednesdays, and laundry on Thursdays. I also started cooking all my meals at home to save some money. If I said I called my mom once in a while for cooking tips, that would be a major understatement. And that’s okay. You are just starting out on your own and will need some help.

In short, everyone’s first year out of college is different, the common denominator is that it’s stressful. Think about how you felt when you moved into college as a freshman. Excited, overwhelmed, disoriented, maybe a little scared? I know my throat burned and eyes stung when my parents left to go home and I wasn’t with them. I felt the same way when I drove away from home after college to start my new job and live on my own. It’s a huge change, and it’s tough to adjust. Just give yourself some time, and cut yourself some slack when it comes to your emotions because they will run rampant for a bit until you settle in.

So the bad news is you don’t get to go back to undergrad, the good news is this is a huge step, and you should welcome the changes with open arms. You are experiencing new things for the first time on your own. You can work, travel, fall in love, basically you can do whatever you want now. There is so much out there! Live it up!

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

How to keep your brain sharp over the summer

Okay, so I find that my brain goes a bit fuzzy over the long summer when all I do is frolick with my friends, work, play sports, and go to the gym. Anyone else? I thought so. So here’s how I help beat it.

1. Read everyday for at least half an hour. Wake up a bit early and do it. Do it on your lunch break. Listen to an audiobook in the car. Or read before bedtime (real book only at night; kindles can keep you awake).

2. Write at least every other day. If you blog then it’s easy. If you’re a writer..shame on you. You should be writing everyday, even if it sucks, at least get into the habit of doing it. If you don’t write, then try doing creative story prompts just to keep your imagination sharp and your writing skills pristine. Also, hand write sometimes because you can’t let your penmanship go to the dogs either.

3. Try some math games on your phone or computer. Yes when you back to school no matter if your a high school student, a college kid, or still in grade school, the accursed math class is still waiting for you.

4. College kids: Try reviewing some material for your major! Make some flashcards, read a bit from your textbooks. Or just take some notes from your brain. Try to get what’s rattling around up there on paper. You may find that it will be helpful when it comes to exam time.

5. Exercise. This is the one that’s overlooked. Yes, it’s hot in the summer. But a healthy body can facilitate a healthy mind and clear thinking. Just do it. Go for that run. I promise you’ll survive the horrors of cardio even though sometimes I think I won’t. You’ll feel better after!

6. Limit alcohol intake. Especially if you are underage. It kills your brain cells, and believe me you will need every single one of them when you go back to school. Yes, once in a while if you are of age if fine, because everyone needs to let loose from time to time, but just keep it in check.

7. Enjoy your summer! Because this is the time where you shouldn’t stress about school related things, but just try to implement these tips as it will help you in the long run in the transition back to school! 🙂

10 Reasons Why I Think I was Born in the Wrong Era

1. I sometimes cannot figure out technology for the life of me. Like just 2 weeks ago I couldn’t figure out how to get a train ticket from a machine. I’m really a hopeless case.

2. I love to write letters. I write my parents when I’m at college, and some of my friends. I write back and forth just for fun because it’s more exciting then just texting each other. We still text, but letter writing is in our arsenal too! I love checking my mail and seeing if I got anything from relatives, magazines, or stupid spam offers. A letter will always be nore exciting them an email.

3. I love classic rock, hard rock, and rock n roll music more than any other genre. I would rather listen to Elvis, ACDC, Lynard Skynard, ZZ Top, Queen, and the Beatles than the trash that is currently on the radio. Here’s two good ones!

See you later alligator by Bill Haley and the Comets  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0bidd0Uhvk

Goodbye Stranger by Supertramp   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsV-rQ23bus

4. I love penny candy stores. Yeah, I try to eat healthy but all the old fashioned candies that my mom introduced me to I find that I love them more than the new candies on the market. Personal favorites are the Sky Bar, Teaberry gum, Banana splits, Mint Juleps, squirrel nut zippers, mary janes, and Clark bars.

5. I also love antique stores. I would rather browse through there than look at the latest technology on the market. There is something fascinating about all the old things you can find in a store and the stories behind them.

6. Star Trek the original series with Shatner and Nimoy is pure gold. Yes the effects kinda suck but what can you expect from a show made in the 60’s. I still love it. It’s a guilty pleasure. When it comes on Saturday nights on Metv and I come across it, you can bet your butt I’m gluing myself to the tv to watch the rest of the episode. I also indulge in a little Gunsmoke or Bonanza from time to time.

7. Charlie Chaplin films…say no more. They are hysterical. My old history teacher from high school got me into them. They are a guilty pleasure as well. But he was such an icon!

8. Sunday best, There is such a thing still, at least that’s how I believe it. I always try to look as proper as possible when heading to the chapel. You wear your cross, you smile, you pay attention, all distractions are put aside and you can worship the Lord.

9. My first job was on an organic farm as a field hand…and I LOVED IT. I learned how to grow countless fruits and veggies. From then on I always stop at farmers markets around my school, or hometown. I can appreciate the soul farmers put into their crops; it’s their life. There is nothing better than fresh fruits and veggies grown in the absence of pesticides.

10. I used to love hearing old stories from my grandparents. I still love hearing them from my parents or other people. I love it when my parents share in interest in movies, tv or music from their time.

Now I’m totally convinced I belonged in the 50’s to 90’s time period.

Hydration Station

Hydration is a a crucial part of dieting and overall body health. Without ample water we start to feel sore, achey, hungry, cranky, groggy, lethargic, nauseous, dizzy, or a combination. The combination bit is when we start to worry, or just feel like total crap. Here are some fun facts and good ways to stay hydrated through the summer heat waves.

1. The eight 8 oz glasses rule really does work. Unless you are exercising, then you need more.

2. Try and steer clear of gatorade unless you are exercising for more than 90 minutes and are sweating profusely. The extra sugar calories are not necessary.

3. If you find yourself with the summer cold or flu, gatorade watered down is good for the flu when you are too nauseous to eat your calories. And with the flu comes dehydration which makes it worse so stay hydrated.

4. While exercising try to have a little water break in the shade every 15 or so minutes. Don’t chug, just sip. Chugging is how nauseous sets in, along with cramps, decreased performance, etc.

5. Try detox waters. They are great for curbing your appetite, and have a nice taste. Usually you can have two glasses before changing your ingredients. I usually go with cucumbers, strawberries, lemon, and lime in mine.

6. Don’t just drink when you are thirsty. Steadily drink throughout the day. I try and shoot for finishing a bottle every couple hours. Thats about 8 oz per hour. And this is on a day I’m not exercising. On an active day I add about two water bottles to the day.

7. Don’t forget about your pets! They need water too! It’s hot and they are wearing a fur coat! If your pets are on any kind of antibiotics it makes them crazy thirsty so make sure they always have water available to them.

8. Hungry and you just ate? Try a glass of water. Most of the time when you think you are hungry, you are just thirsty. Try a glass before and after meals too.

9. Eat water rich foods like cucumbers, watermelon, and salad can help aid in keeping you hydrated as well!

10. If you are outside for long periods of time you can eat salty foods like pretzels along with drinking your water. Most people think that this just makes dehydration worse, and it will if you eat the salty food and don’t drink water with it. But together the salt helps your body retain the water as your kidney have to filter it before expelling the urine. If you find you are over-hydrated and your pee is completely clear you may have low salt content which can mimic dehydration symptoms but you can tell it apart by your urine color. Dark yellow=dehydration. Clear=hyper hydration or hypoaltremia (salt deficiency)

11. Throw some chia seeds in your water or gatorade bottle. The seeds expand and absorb water, helping your body retain fluid in hot conditions. They are also a great source of fiber, protein, and omega 3’s.

12. You should be well hydrated at least 30 minutes prior to the start of exercise. You should hydrate during your sport or workout. Lastly, rehydration is critical as well. Continuee to drink at least a few hours post exercise to replace the fluids lost in sweat. For every pound lost, about 16-24 oz of water should be drunk.

Hope you guys found my tips helpful!

The Perks and Problems of the Tea Drinker

Perk: So many more different flavors than coffee. Less calories. No sugary lattes with cream or foam.

Problem: When the office says they are going for a coffee and doughnuts run, your heart sinks. What about tea? If I bring that up as a substitute is that rude? Tea and biscuits will always take precedent over coffee and doughnuts.

Perk: It’s impossible to screw up making tea. The only thing that can happen is its too strong, in which case you add more water to troubleshoot. Very easy. Forever listening to everyone bitch about how their coffee order got screwed up while you silently chuckle to yourself.

Problem: Because there are so many kinds, you often want the one that your cupboard is out of…damnit. The coffee drinkers are just like “hehe I only take my coffee one way.” But if they run out of any milk, sugar, creamer, or whatever other blasphemy they put into the accursed drink they would twitch too. Or if they ran out of coffee they would destroy the place.

Perk: Green teas can speed up you metabolism and can aid in weight loss! WOO HOO

Problem: Common problem of the coffee and tea drinkers: have to pee every 10 minutes. I’m not kidding.

Perk: There is a tea cure for every possible ailment. Feeling a little bloated? Drink peppermint tea. Sore throat? Green tea  with honey will solve that. Also in the picture below are all the options. They also missed that chamomile can be good for insomnia and anxiety! Voila! Paleolithic medicine at your finger tips.

How to Choose the Right Tea for Every Condition

Problem: If I miss optimal tea time which is around 2 p.m. I get a little cranky. I’m on a schedule people. Don’t ask why. It just is a nice afternoon snack of tea and biscuits at this hour. And before you ask I am part English, no I did not grow up with tea time. I started it on my own in college and it was often when I was doing homework.

Perk: It’s delicious! And can come in caffeine or decaf flavors just like coffee. Have you ever seen someone sadly drink a cup of tea? No? It’s because it’s impossible! It’s the superior drink!

The 5 Stages of Grief When an Athlete’s Season Ends

My season has been over for almost two months now, but some division I teams are still going, and the high school teams are finishing up now. We all know the athletes that cope and readjust back to a NARP (non-athletic regular person) lifestyle just fine. But then there’s some who struggle and some who are just inconsolable AKA me. Here are the signs and symptoms separated by stage of grief to watch for.

1. Denial

Two weeks till the end of the season. The athlete is completely aware of their imminent doom, but they continue to deny it.  They continue to live in their perfect fantasy world of never-ending season land. They frolick happily through the field of flowers until some schmuck mentions that they only have x amount of games left. Then you see this blank stare that says, “I’m fine, haha, that’s a long way off. No worries. I’m not worried. No one else is worried. The season isn’t even close to ending.” But the end is sneaking up on them and the gif above is an accurate representation of them starting to acknowledge the truth.

2. Anger

sportsmeme1

This can be the night before their last game. If it’s not a championship game everyone is kinda relaxed and the athlete who has reached stage two is fuming. Why isn’t everyone else pissed that tomorrow is our last game? Or if it is a big game they start doubting their athletic ability in every way. EX: I feel stupid for that crappy play I made yesterday, for fouling someone, for striking out, for getting yellow carded. Whatever their insignificant mistake was they will replay it their head over and over. Don’t talk them out of being angry, just give them their favorite gatorade and back away slowly. Don’t take it personally. The next day they probably will have moved onto stage three anyway.

3. Bargaining

You start begging for those non-conference games that got cancelled to be rescheduled. The clock starts to run out. You are running out of periods, innings, and injury time. Can I just please have one more at bat, one more play, just one more of something. I promise I’ll come to every 6 a.m. practice, workout, and meeting. I’ll be good. Just give me one more minute on the field.

4. Depression

This is by far the worst stage. You feel like you got hit by a freight train. It’s over. It’s really over. This sucks. This sport took up so much of your time and you don’t know what to do with your life until next season. You’re anxious and feel lost and empty without your hectic sports schedule so you start to go to the gym. Then your athletic trainer tells you off and to ease up and let your body recover. WHAT ELSE AM I SUPPOSED TO DO? That 2:30 feeling where everyone is tired? You are moping in your room looking for something to do other than think about how you can be at practice right now. You constantly check your email looking for messages from your coach. Are we doing any post season stuff? What about summer workouts? And then there’s the returning of the uniforms. You pretend like it’s no big deal, but your heart is actually being torn in half. This stage can last anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks.

5. Acceptance

You start to feel better, and other priorities other than being sad about your sport take over. Finals, moving out, and partying are now in full swing. But here’s the best part…the travel season starts in less than a month! YAY MORE SPORTS…LIFE IS GREAT. HALLELUJAH. You start to focus on training and prepping for that season so you feel like your life has purpose again.

There never truly is an off season so the grief stages never last too long. 🙂

Do’s And Don’ts of Working Out

Today I ate a small but power punched breakfast of cheerios and bananas then dragged my sorry butt to the gym for a workout with my friend. We squeezed as much work as we could into an hour, and we pushed through the soreness and conquered the chest and shoulders. Instead of feeling drained and lifeless, we both felt energized and ready for more if time permitted. It was a great way to start my day and it reminded me of all the successes and mistakes I’ve made since I started lifting when I was 12. Here are some of my takeaways of the gym compiled after years of experience.

DO: Work out in the morning if possible. It leaves you feeling energized for the rest of the day.

DON’T: Leave your workouts for after 8 pm. This can leave you wired at night when your body is trying to power down. Try to complete workouts 3-4 hours before bedtime so you don’t disrupt your sleep cycle.

DO: Drink water while you work out. A few sips here and there will do. Don’t guzzle it. One extreme is you pass out from dehydration and the other is you vomit from too much sloshing around in your stomach. Either way it causes a raucous at the gym, and the last thing you want is unwanted attention.

DON’T: Eat a heavy meal before you work out. This can lead to vomiting, and decreased performance because your body is putting all its energy into digestion instead of working out…NOT GOOD. A light snack like a granola bar or a banana before the gym should carry you through.

DO: Check your form. If it isn’t correct this can lead to injuries, decreased results, and not targeting the correct muscle for the exercise.

DON’T: Over do it. There is a distinct difference between soreness and pain. An easy way is soreness is bilateral and pain is often unilateral. That tight feeling and pain in the muscle belly often comes before the real injury (a strain) Watch for it. If you feel pain..stop the exercise immediately. Over doing it can lead to staleness and disinterest in working out. Here are the signs of overtraining! BEWARE.

DO: Mix it up. Mixing it up can help prevent plateauing in results, staleness, and overtraining. Try different moves targeting the same muscle groups. Play around with sets and reps (ex: try sets to fatigue with lower weight). They can all yield different results.

DON’T: Think that you have to feel sore to have had a good workout. This is a myth. Yes, it’s a good feeling. But all that soreness indicates is that muscle damage has taken place. Not a lot unless you are experiencing pain. The damage is at the micro level. All this means is that a few tiny fibers have torn and they will lay back down thicker than before. This is how muscle forms. But it is not always necessary to gain results. Don’t fixate on it.

DO: Eat a post workout meal. Something light within 20 minutes. Like a protein shake, a granola bar, or an apple w/ PB. Eat a full meal within two hours of your workout. Make sure protein is included. You need it to help recover before your next workout.

DON’T: Skip cardio. Jogging sucks. But once you start building up endurance its not so bad. But if you run for fun I question your sanity.Yes long slow distance cardio can decrease your power output if it’s done everyday. But once a week for recovery is not a problem. The other days of the week do high intensity intervals of running (3-4 laps of jog curve and sprint straightaway on a track) or biking. Also sprints are great for power output (try it twice a week). Start slow  with 45 degree turns then progress to 90 then 120 and 180. This will prevent injuries associated with sudden change of direction or cutting maneuvers.

DO: Take rest days. Once or twice a week is necessary. More than that if you are just starting off. It’s for the exact same reason you don’t work the same muscle groups in a row. YOUR BODY NEEDS REST. Do some yoga. Go swimming, hiking, or just plain relax. Your body will thank you, and your brain will too.

What do you guys think? Did I miss any? Should there be a part 2?