The College Grad Guide to Looking the Part: “Bro” Addition

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

We have it instilled in us from the time we go off to pre-school, “You can’t judge a book by it’s cover.” Unfortunately, in the real world, an interviewer, recruiter, and employer can judge your look as soon as you walk through the door.

It’s probably easier for girls than guys to make the transition into what’s appropriate and what’s not. Besides, we’ve only been reading fashion magazines since the time we were 12. We pay attention to what our moms, older sisters, and quite frankly, every woman we pass on the street is wearing and how they’re acting. What looks good and what doesn’t:¬†We’ve got it down. We’re pros.

But for most guys, the switch from “college bro” to “meeting with the CEO” can be tough. Your clothes, your shoes, your hair: It all says a lot about the type of person you are. More importantly, the kind of employee you will be. If you dress sloppy, you’ll be categorized as someone who is a sloppy worker. It may not always seem fair, but it’s time to make necessary changes.

If you’re a recent college grad “bro”, or if you’ll be one soon, follow these tips to looking the part while still maintaining your manliness and personality in the process:

The College Grad’s Guide: “Bro” Addition:

1. Keep your hair trimmed and clean cut. It’s not to say that you have to totally conform to one hair style or another, but try to make it to the barber every few weeks or so. At the very least, run a comb through it in the morning, wouldya?

2. Think about the way you speak. Do you use words like “man”, “dude”, and “killa”? It’s time to listen to yourself in everyday conversations. The way you speak with your roommates and friends will greatly affect the way you speak to co-workers. Amp up your speech by cutting out inappropriate words and start thinking about the way you sound to others.

3. You become most like the people you surround yourself by – choose wisely. The people in your life greatly affect the person you will become. It’s time to cut ties with the people who are only interested in drinking from morning to night regardless of what they have to accomplish the next day. And, unfortunately, these might be some of your best friends. Making this change doesn’t have to mean saying goodbye to your bros forever. Just take a step back and think about how much their influence has on you – good and bad.

4. Create friendships with people older than you. Chances are, you’re one of the youngest people in your office. This is a blessing, not a curse. Grab lunch or after-work drinks with some of your older co-workers. Associating yourself with those who are higher up and have more experience can only further your own self – professionally and personally.

5. Go shopping. Even if you have to “drag” your girlfriend, mom, sister, or best girl friend with you. Tell them it’s a day at the mall for you and that they are there to help you with your wardrobe. This won’t take much convincing so set a date and prepare your wallet because it’s time to shop for quality clothes, shoes, ties, etc. — Look good, feel good.

And guys, remember the best college grad guide rule of all:
Work hard – play hard ūüėȬ†

– C

To My College Professors

When you’re in college, professors may seem like constant enemies who all get together in a¬†secret cult and plan to assign all major work one the same day.

But, in reality, and once you graduate, it’s easier to see that our college professors were more like saints who put up with us, who pushed us, who wanted us to succeed.

Five classes per eight semesters equals out to about 35 professors throughout one’s college career (banking¬†on the fact that you probably had the same professor more than once).

I loved my professors, even when I hated them. They always had something to teach me. And more importantly, they put up with me Рwith all of us. My favorite aspect about my college professors was the fact that no two were ever the same. Each one brought something different to the table and varied when it came to the experience that came with them.

To my college professors:

The one who undoubtedly fought with me over every topic, whether or not I was correct. You taught me to raise my voice, to stand by my opinions, and to never let go of an idea that I truly believed in. You also taught me it was  OK to be wrong, and to find new paths in my mistakes.

The one who pushed me; beyond what I thought were my limits. When I didn’t think I was good enough, or when I thought I couldn’t do something, you showed me that no idea was ever too small. That if I wanted something, I could reach it no matter how far it seemed.

The one who believed in me. Who made me find passion beyond the books. Who made me eager to learn because you were eager to teach. Who made sure I was involved in things I would have missed out on because I wasn’t looking that way.

The one who really, really disliked me, and constantly let me know it. You showed me the true ability of proving someone wrong because I knew I could. You taught me how to push myself through tears and bad grades and the feeling of giving up. You made me realize what I did and didn’t want in a major. Even though you were never in my corner, you made me a better student, even if it wasn’t your intention.

The one who broadened my horizons. Who opened new doors. The one who made me realize that first impressions are not always correct. That I could enjoy a topic I thought I cared nothing about. The one who brought a classroom to life.

The one who¬†became much more than a professor, but rather a mentor, and more importantly, a friend.¬†The one I could show up to your office 10 minutes before your next class started because I needed to rant about school, or my stress level, or how the cafe had run out of espresso that morning and I didn’t think I would make it. Even through the semesters I wasn’t taking a class with you – you listened, you understood, and trust me when I say you made all the difference.

And all of the ones in between. You made a difference for me over those four years. Whether it was making my life easier when you could or making my tolerance to coffee stronger, who are the reason I am where I am today, because you made me believe I could – in one way or another.

To my college professors, thank you.

To My College Roommates: Thank You

“Your college friends become kind of like your family. You eat together, you take naps together, fight, laugh, cry, and do absolutely everything together until you can’t remember how you ever lived your life without them in the first place.”

My college roommates were wonderful. And frustrating. And¬†occasionally my bitchy-voices of reason. It’s important to thank them for being there along the way…

Thank you for getting me home safely. On the nights I took an extra tequila shot (or three) when you weren’t looking, or when that boy looked 10x more attractive with my beer-goggles on, or when I wanted to take a quick sit on the middle of the side walk when the cop was approaching, you always knew when to take my ass home. Thank you.

Thank you for listening to me complain. When I had a big test, or the guy in my life was being a jerk, or when I just needed to yell, or cry, or cuddle in your bed and distract you because life was just too unbearable at the moment to be around anyone else.

Thank you for letting me order Chinese food and consume more lomein than any human being would ever like to admit to stuffing her face with. When the dishes were dirty and the fridge was empty, some of the best nights were ordering take-out and sitting around the living room, wine in hand and gossip on repeat.

Thank you for listening to me practice my speech and presentations until you could repeat the words back to me and knew them better than I did. I owe the majority of my college grades to you for keeping me sane during those late nights and library trips.

Thank you for hating people just because I hated people. That was always fun.

Thank you for allowing me to be the obsessive compulsive, organized freak that I am, and insisting on cleaning up the mess you weren’t done making.

Thank you for loving me at my worst.

Thank you for getting into big fights with me. For yelling, for saying things we didn’t mean. Thank you for knowing that it meant nothing at all, and that we would be fine within a few hours, a day at most, and for never leaving my side, no matter how mad we would get sometimes.

Thank you for forcing me to study when I didn’t want to. And for forcing me to go out when I had studied too much. For telling me I’d do better next time after a bad grade, and for taking me out for drinks when I did well. You kept my social and my school life in balance when I forgot how to.

Thank you for¬†your closets and the clothes you allowed me to “borrow” for longer than intended. Thank you for keeping tampons, razors, and body wash on deck and allowing me to steal them when necessary.

Thank you for lying on the ground with me, staring at nothing, talking about everything. For sitting outside on the porch until the sun rose, discussing things that didn’t matter with the people who mattered most.

Thank you for letting me watch my dumb shows that you couldn’t stand, or for picking out a Pixar movie and sitting through it without complaint during roomie movie nights. You rock.

Thank you for allowing me to date someone(s) you knew I shouldn’t because you knew it was something I had to figure out on my own. Thank you for not judging, for keeping my deepest and darkest secrets, and for never letting me forget my own worth.

Thank you for wiping away my tears and making me laugh. Thank you for making me laugh so hard that I cried.

Thank you for not completely freaking out the day I brought a dog home, and for allowing him to be such a big part of your life because he was such a big part of mine. Thank you for walking him when I had a late class, and puppy-sitting when I was away, and feeding him when I had too many glasses of wine. Thank you for treating him like yours, even when he chewed your glasses or shoes.

Thank you for knowing and remembering every little detail I mentioned. About school, about family, about life. You always followed up, checked in, and had the best advice to offer.

Thank you for putting up with me, and my moods, and the nights I felt like singing at the top of my lungs in the shower. Thank you for also not possessing a fire-arm because there’s times I don’t know how you didn’t kill me.

Thank you for doing totally weird and bizarre things with me, and being just as odd as I was at times. For sitting in our cap and gowns a month before graduation taking tequila shots at our kitchen table while looking at pictures from Freshman year. For agreeing to do really crazy things at parties with me because we knew the importance of only being young once. For dancing and singing around the house with me in our pajamas. For taste-testing the disgusting food I would try and half-ass attempt from Pinterest. For¬†lugging kegs into our apartment. For face masks. For waking up and getting out of bed for 3am diner trips when I couldn’t sleep. For Halloween costumes and St. Patty’s Day shenanigans. For letting me be the best me, no matter how stupid we looked.

And most importantly, thank you for your honesty, your loyalty, and your friendship. For telling me that I looked horrible in that outfit, or that I was about to make a terrible choice. For sticking by me when I wanted to start a fight in the bar, even if I was wrong. For yelling at the people who made me sad and for not yelling at me when I let people make me sad. For constantly and consistently being the best part of my college career.

For being the sisters I never had, thank you.

Emily, Nicole, Jenna, Daniella, Abby, Stephanie, and Kelly: From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

‚̧

7 Changes as You Grow Up

While finalizing some plans out loud for a friend’s upcoming wedding to a co-worker this morning, discussing travel time, weather, etc., she mentioned that this was the second wedding I had mentioned within the last few months. I shrugged and said, “Guess I’m getting to that age.”

Ew. That age? Who am I? But it’s true, after college graduation and starting to become a real, functioning human being, I guess we really are starting to get to “that age.”

While that age might not be a set age, and can happen at different times for anyone, there are some things we start to notice as we grow up…

1. Weddings
Your friends start to get married. You soon realize you’re filling your calendar with more save-the-dates faster than you can roll your eyes. All of a sudden it’s like, wow, when did we get so old?

2. Careers
Suddenly, your friends who you thought only majored in Netflix and Tequila are starting to find their niche in the real world and landing jobs.¬†And it’s exciting and scary and new, but at least you can relate to having similar schedules for once.

3. Happy Hours
Sure, you had them in college, but happy hours after a certain point seem to be filled with work colleagues and tend to be a lot classier than they were before you graduated. Age varies and… gulp, you actually kind of have fun without slamming down 16 tequila shots before that clock strikes 6 p.m.

4. Money
You start to realize that when you or your friends have plans, or want to take a trip, there’s no more “I can’t afford it” or “Maybe I’ll ask my parents to pay for me as a Christmas gift!” Everyone has their own income and making plans for a night or long weekend become easier than ever to say OK to.

5. Emails/Texting/Social Media
You email people more than you text. Or you call instead¬†Facebook messaging. It’s a whole new world beyond emojis and “K.”

6. Clothes
You come to the realization that maybe, just maybe 54 crop tops and 26 booty-shorts is a little much, and that you don’t really have places to wear them to anymore anyway. You stop shopping for quantity and you start aiming for quality. “Dress for the job you want, not for the job you have.”

7. Friends
Like clothes, you’d rather have quality over quantity. You get rid of the ‘friends’ that you no longer see or feel a real connection with. You keep the ones who do. You make new ones – through work, organizations, etc. Some just plain drift away. You know you’re old when you can accept this¬†– that some people will always be around and that some people just weren’t meant to, and that’s OK.

Overall, no matter what changes you start to notice and how old you get, you’re always you and you can still throw back seven margaritas before that happy hour ends and you can still do The Wop better than anyone on the dance floor at the¬†next wedding you attend. Oh, and you still look good in those crop tops shoved in the back of your closet that you won’t admit you didn’t throw out¬†with the rest. You’ll still have money issues and learn to balance it between friends and time. Emojis will always be fun, age 14 or 42, and a smilie face will just have to suffice for friendly work emails.

If you’ve reached that age, don’t worry,¬†your dreams still have no barriers and your innocence remains.

“The best is yet to come.”

Follow These Leaders!

Hello everyone!

Two of my old classmates and friends have recently started two separate blogs for their Senior year independent study at Kutztown University. They are focusing on¬†women’s and gender studies, specifically about women and gender in the media.

Their blog posts have been inspiring so far, and have touched on some really interesting topics such as social media, body image, celebrity scandals, self worth, and so. much. more.

Take a few minutes out of your day to check out their amazing work and leave some of your own insight, follow, and share their words with others!

Read Jocelyn’s Blog by Clicking Here.

Read Brittany’s Blog by Clicking Here.

The Best Places for Young Professionals to Shop (Females & Males!)

As a college grad, it can be hard to¬†find a happy medium about where to shop now that crop tops (for girls) and muscle tees (for guys) aren’t appropriate for the¬†professional scene, whichever you may be in.

I’ve done some looking¬†and hunted down, what I personally think, are the best stores for us college grads to start shopping, without breaking the bank!

The Loft (F)
It’s a little pricey, but here’s why it’s worth it: The clothes, they last. They aren’t cheaply made and you’ll wear them forever. Also, this store comes with amazing benefits! They are constantly sending out deals and coupons. The other day, I spent $35 there for a dress, and today they sent me a $50 off coupon just for coming in. They are one brand you’ll want to make sure has your email address!!

New York & Company (F)
I used to think of NY&C as a hit or miss, but if you shop online, there are so many great options and they are always having sales! It doesn’t hurt to ever check here if you’re on the hunt for some great quality work clothes.

Gap (M/F)
I’m slightly, overly, maybe, possibly¬†obsessed with Gap, not only for work clothes, but also more along the lines of comfy, day-to-day clothing that classifies you as an adult without making you look over 35 years-old like some shops. They don’t always have the greatest sales, but if you can hunt down a good sales rack or even an outlet shop, you’re bound to find something.

J.Crew (M/F)
I love J.Crew, and while their prices may be through the roof on occasion, they always have really good deals for guys!! J.Crew, for ladies, might not always be the best for everyday shopping, due to prices, but when you need something fabulous, you know where to head.

Ralph Lauren (M)
R.L. has clothes for women, too, but for the professional world purpose, and because most of you probably aren’t heading the country club to play polo any time soon, I’m going to keep this one strictly for the boys, and here’s why: While their robes, hats, and ties may be insanely over-priced, there are good deals here. Their dress shirts and pants are affordable and most importantly, they’re long-lasting and comfortable.

Kohl’s (M/F)
Kohl’s is one of the best places to shop for both men and women’s dress clothes. They offer different lines, brands, and tons of styles to choose from. For women, there’s Vera Wang, Lauren Conrad, ELLE, etc. For guys, there’s Harbor Bay, Dockers [insert dad jokes here], Haggar, and so many more! You won’t find this many good, affordable, choices in one place anywhere else

H&M (M/F)
I was hesitant to put this on the list because quite honestly, the clothes just aren’t great quality. But, I’ll admit that I have found a good pair of dress pants and a blazer or two from here and since they finally made ordering online¬†accessible for the U.S. a couple months back, I guess they deserve a mention ūüôā With their¬†cheap prices, there is a wide variety to choose from, making it worth a shot if you’re looking to grab a few things at once without spending a ton – just be careful because some things are more poorly made than others!

 

While I do occasionally stop in stores such as Forever21, Charlotte Russe, etc. etc. for a pair or leggings or tank top, I end up spending more money on replacing the clothes. Try to stay away from stores that cause you to end up practically stealing your money in the long run, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the check out.

 

Look good, feel good.

Happy shopping!

 

 

 

 

Where are some of your favorite places to shop for professional/casual clothes? Share below!

Why We Need to Stop Blaming College Universities For Crime

You can’t turn on the television without hearing another story about some college student from some university who has either died, been abducted, robbed, assaulted, roofied, etc.

And, of course, every school that this college student attends gets, let’s just say, a bad rep.

Parents start to worry about sending their kids to this school specifically, incoming students drop their admissions, and schools are left scurrying to give an explanation. When really, it’s not their fault to begin with.

Take it from me, someone who, while in college, had her apartment broken into (twice), was assaulted on the street, and robbed.

My roommate and I were walking home one night from the bars when two guys and two girls who were walking ahead of us decided they were looking for trouble. We were assaulted by all four, one who was carrying a concealed, stolen gun, and robbed. Luckily, they were caught and charged.

However, our university caught the backlash of the community and other parents. Our story was on the news and word spread like wildfire.

I read comments online from others about how we “shouldn’t have been out that late” and “the school needs to do something about the crime in the town.”

No. For one, it wasn’t our fault for staying out late and walking home from the bar, a block away from our apartment, in a pair, at 22 years of age. We could have been walking home from watching a movie at a friends house, or the library, and it still could have happened. And no, it wasn’t the school or the town’s fault. If anything, it’s thanks to them that we were okay and that these people, who didn’t even attend the school or live in the town, were brought to justice.

We were lucky, and I felt bad that our university had to take the rap for what had happened to us. Especially because I never once, in my entire four years attending school, felt unsafe. I was never, ever afraid and I was never uneasy about my safety – even after the assault and the break ins.

We just happened to be in the wrong place and the wrong time, and it could have happened to anyone,¬†anywhere, at any university. In fact, they do. We see it happen every day and we read the stories online and we watch¬†it being reported on the news. The point is, we need to stop blaming the universities as if they are responsible, because they’re simply not.

The best thing a university can do is to educate students on what to do, who to call, and reassure them that they are on the student’s side, no matter the situation, because college students will continue to¬†find themselves in trouble all of the time; even in some of the safest places across America.

We didn’t blame the school or police for our lack of safety that night. The media did. The school and police never once blamed us for being legal seniors walking home at 2am. The community did. And because of that, the school and the police came off terrible to those tuning into the news that Sunday evening.

As a society, we need to stop accusing universities for the terrible things that happen on and off campus. If they could prevent it, they would. But unfortunately, we live in a world where bad people will always exist and bad things will always happen. And that’s not a single college university’s fault, it’s society’s.