The Bottom Line: Adulting is Hard.

I searched “Adulting” on urban dictionary today… and I was almost offended by the definitions I found. Granted. They were from 2015, so the times have changed. 

Here is the top definition on Urban Dictionary:

Adulting (v): to carry out one or more of the duties and responsibilities expected of fully developed individuals (paying off that credit card debt, settling beef without blasting social media, etc). Exclusively used by those who adult less than 50% of the time.

Not too bad… still slightly offensive. 

What does exclusively used by those who adult less than 50% of the time even mean?? 

I pay my bills and I never blast my beef on social media.  I adult 85% of the time(pay my bills, pay my rent, cook for myself, work a 9-5).

I also texted my mom saying “I hate adulting” this week. Partially because working a 9-5, commuting 2+ hours, finally getting home, realizing you need to go to the grocery store and then cooking at 8pm is not ideal.

Here is a rude definition:

Being a responsible adult. Used by immature 20-somethings who are proud of themselves for paying a bill.

Okay. Who pissed in your cheerios man??? As a millennial, and someone with great credit, who pays their bills in full every month. I kind of take offense.

 #Adulting is hard. 

The problem millennials face is this:

We were told we needed an education to make money, and then we came out of college with crazy student debts, to then go work for a job that probably does not pay enough. 

Then we are expected to buy a house, have a savings, contribute to our 401k, get married and have kids.

Unfortunately, all these traditional milestones, that come with being a responsible adult, cause us to become consumed with stress. This leads to depression, lack of motivation, anxiety, panic attacks, self doubt, lowered self-esteem, and a bunch of other issues that affect our mental health. (just saying) 

So. 

We then opt to buy expensive dogs(or regular dogs) instead, which gives us motivation to buy a house so our dogs can have a better life, thus putting off kids for a few extra years. (Serious or Sarcastic?) 

Just to be clear.

Animals can improve your mood, reduce stress, encourage you to exercise, reduce anxiety, and make you feel less lonely(sometimes). 

The bottom line is.. Adulting is hard

Socioeconomic trends have changed in the past few years, and are very different for 20-somethings we simply take longer to transition into actual adulthood. 

We aren’t all giving ourselves pats on the backs for paying a bill here and there. Most of us are just doing the best we can. 

SHIT IS JUST EXPENSIVE. 

Some people take longer to gain financial independence, and making fun of adulting is our way of coping with the fact that a lot of us are stuck living at home.

Doomed to spend the rest of eternity making bad financial decisions. 

Such as…  

Spending absurd amounts of money on Starbucks coffee and avocado toast. That is, until we land our hypothetical dream job that pays well, or we move somewhere, where the cost of living isn’t BS.

P.S. Stop spending money on Starbs and avocado toast!

xo, bri

Five Things I Would Tell My Younger Self

Dear Younger Me,

Friendships

You don’t know this yet, but over the next ten years of your life you are going to have a revolving door of people that come in and out of your life. Most of which never stick around, and a few that stick around to long.

This sucks, but you get good at weeding out the people who are bad for you. You also become a great judge of character. First impressions are going to be key, so remember that. You could save yourself a lot of hurt, by trusting your gut instincts on a few of these people. You are going to have to learn to nourish the good relationships too though. You let a lot of people slip through the cracks, because you are kind of selfish and mean. So kill every one with kindness, and adopt that into your life, you cynical bitch.

Men

All of the men in your life are temporary, so stop crying over them, in fact avoid men in general, because they make you put your life on hold and keep you from pursuing your dreams. You’d be a lot farther by now, had you not wasted so many years jumping from one toxic relationship to the next. Also, no man is worth ruining a friendship over, you encounter a lot of women who think this a thing, you’ve also done it yourself, and it always ends poorly. Use your brain.

Love

Love will find you, but you need to find you first. You’re a hot fucking mess and you are going to have to spend a lot of time trying to better yourself. If you think love found you… you need to check the definition of love, because what you found is another person just trying to take control. Oh, and when someone leaves you, let them leave you, and if they come back run as fast as you can. Like to another state. Change you name, change your number, and get the fuck on with your life. You deserve so much better than the strays you keep bringing home.

Most of the “good” guys in your life only stick around for the honey moon phase, then shit gets to real for them and they bounce. So focus on you and the rest will come when it is time. You love to learn and you learn quite a few lessons from love. So, keep your head up and keep on moving.

College

Go away for college and steer clear of Berkeley. That place is a hell hole of idiots and all it did was bring you misery. We meet… maybe three decent human beings there?? The rest were shoving pictures of dead fetus’s in our face, making fun of white culture, which is not a thing. White is a skin tone and I am half Hispanic and PALE as fuck.

You almost slapped the stupid out of some entitled prick, who was sitting in the back of the class that day. Then you called your dad and told him you were quitting college, and that you should have gone to Davis or UCLA or any of the other ten colleges you got into, while you were walking to the nearest bar.

I went on a tangent about how he said “all I know about white culture is that they can name all the dog breeds, and don’t like spicy food”. Well, as an animal lover and someone, who had multiple dogs growing up… Yes, I can name quite a few. Avoid this place at all costs. It’s not worth the stress.

Success

Anything you need to succeed you already have. Everything you want is possible. Any dreams you dream, you have more than enough drive to make them a reality. You will accomplish anything you put your mind to. Trust your instincts.

The world has so many things to offer you, so stop living life on the side lines. Get out there. No matter what you do, you are on the right path. Some ways are a little longer than others, there are a lot of bumps in the road, a lot of bad decisions, and a lot of talking to yourself. That’s okay though. I hear that people, who talk to themselves often, are supposed to be more intelligent.

Also give yourself some credit and learn to take a compliment. You are SMARTER than you think and you are STRONGER than you think. Chase the light until you become the light.

XO,

Bri

Lies I Tell My Boss: How I Convinced My Boss To Let Me Bring My Dog to Work.

Before I became a Legal Assistant I was still serving tables post college. After I graduated I applied to hundreds if not thousands of jobs daily. Every month that passed I hated waiting tables more and more. Every job I didn’t get… started to make me feel as though I’d never stop waiting tables. I kept picturing myself in the movie Waiting , wondering if I was going to be the angry shot lady screaming while walking up from the kitchen.

When I interviewed for the position I have right now, my boss told me off the bat- “your resume is not one I typically would consider“. I was taken by surprise, but moved on to have one of the best 45 minute interviews and conversations of my life.

As someone who was entertaining the idea of law school and him being a lawyer, he completely understood the position I was in. He understood everything I was trying to consider going forward. I was not sure if I wanted to commit three more years of my life to college, if I was doing it for the right reasons, if it was ultimately the right move and he respected that.

During my interview he asked me what the most common lie I tell is and after telling him, that I have an extremely hard time lying in general and that I suck at it… the one thing I lie about often usually involves my dog..

For example if I am late to work it is because I could not wake the precious sleeping fur child I have come to love and adore. Same goes for when people ask if I want to go out.. I usually lie and say I can’t, but truthfully I’d rather be at home with my dog.

It is not an exact science and in my particular line of work, I do, however have to occasionally lie here and there. I didn’t want him to think I was a square, so I told him I lie for my current boss all the time, and that white lies for others is acceptable. I honestly do not know why I said that. Oh well…

A few weeks into my job I began plotting. I finally asked him, if I could bring my child(dog) to work with me on Halloween. I claimed that he was part of my costume, and that I was going to bring him to my dad’s block party after work. Joke is on my boss, I don’t dress up for Halloween. My boss knew right then and there I was plotting. He said, “you really are always plotting aren’t you? Don’t act like this isn’t a ploy to bring your dog to work from now on”. Am I that obvious?

However, I knew if he met my sweet baby angel he would be fine with me bringing him to work every day.

Ready to Impress.

My dog is now the office mascot. Everyone loves him. Clients call, and ask how Q(my dog) is doing? . He even has his own stocking. I checked it this morning though and apparently someone put coal in it.. what a Grinch.

I partied pretty hard over my Thanksgiving break, because… family is difficult and I was not feeling great when I came to work Monday. So, I told my boss I had a stomach bug. This was not a total lie. I was honestly not doing so great. I really wanted to just go home. Joke was on me this time though, because I ended up getting extremely sick the next day and I was sick for two weeks straight.

Bottom line is… I have no shame apparently. I just flat out stopped lying to my boss all together. Once we got comfortable in the work place I caught him watching Deadpool on his lunch break.. he was still working he literally never stops, but now I make all of his dinner reservations under Wade Wilson. He caught me editing my book at my desk and his nosy self asks, who is the golden child? That is now my nickname. Once we cut the BS we got to enjoy the work dynamic that I feel lucky to have. I can’t say that would work anywhere else. I definitely got lucky, to get the opportunity to bring my fur baby to work, work on my own projects, figure out my future, and have a supportive boss in the process.

How to Get Into Your Dream College and Not Break the Bank

Hello there, 

I bet if you are reading this you may have been like me, using money as an excuse to not attend college, or one of those people, who did not think they were smart enough for college. I was one of those people who took two years off of college after high school, and then reluctantly decided to attend  junior college. On the bright side anyone with a GED can attend a JC, as long as you take the placement tests.

When I first started attending JC, I noticed there were a lot of negative stigmas that surround the idea of it. It was associated with those, who did not take their education very seriously and people who spent more than the needed time to obtain their AA or transfer to a four year. It was a go at your own pace on your own dime, way of education.

Junior college is sometimes considered a place for people who are a lost cause. It comes with a level of judgment. You get the “oh that’s cool” response. As opposed to if you go to Berkeley you get the “wow that is really impressive, you must be really smart” response. I’d like to think that isn’t the case for the majority of those attending. I did come across many people, who had no intention of finishing college. A lot people use junior college as a stepping stone to get into a great four year college, and the best part is we never have to take the SAT. 

The idea of junior college is becoming more popular, and a lot of people are going to junior college, because it is a fraction of the cost. Therefore, financially it is a very smart decision. You don’t have to pay for room and board, if you live at home, which is obviously not all that appealing. You can also apply for financial aid to minimize costs. Most of the classes that you take for your general ed transfer over as well! So you aren’t wasting all this time at a four year college, trying to figure out what you want to do for quadruple the price.

 Financial Aid is a beautiful thing, I got reimbursed for my first semester, granted, my first semester only cost me about $700 for tuition, books and supplies. Which, is nothing compared to what Berkeley cost me a semester. Berkeley was $14,000  for tuition each semester, and their parking permit added on another $380, their books would add on another 400+, and that doesn’t even incorporate the cost of rent. Living expenses are absurd.

For those of you, who use the excuse that they can not afford college, you most likely qualify for financial aid and grants. My junior college offered a BOG waiver, which actually waived my tuition, if I maintained good grades, and went to school full time. This was fine by me, because I was trying to get out of there as fast as I could, and financial aid provided me with 4-7k every semester. It was crazy, but who doesn’t love free money.

Getting out of high school, I had pretty much given up on my grades, I did not apply for college, I did not take my SAT, I did not even attend graduation. I was a flaming hot mess. I took two years gathered myself, and took my placement tests for my JC. I unfortunately had to take math and Spanish again, which was not fun. Two years off apparently makes you stupid. I signed up for 16 units, and I never looked back. I even took summer classes every year… 8-12  units each summer.

 I started off pursuing marketing, and business, and I later switched to political science and philosophy.  I was entertaining the idea of law school. I always had this go big or go home mentality, which seems to backfire occasionally, because political science and philosophy isn’t what jobs are looking for outside of college. They are, however, great for law school. #Ooops. 

It took two years to obtain the 60 units I needed to transfer, and I applied to UC Davis, UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, Cal Poly, and San Jose State. I know I sound like an overachiever I apologize. I’d like to believe it was my overly personal, personal essay that got me into Berkeley and LA, but i’m sure the 3.9 GPA I somehow managed helped wonders. I applied to colleges I would have never been able to attend outside of high school. And I did it in exactly 2 years, because when your you want something you get it done.

This is where people screw up, you have to just knock it out of the way and understand that the money comes later. I put in minimum effort for my classes, and still managed to pull off straight A’s. You have to be actively trying to fail the classes at JC, to do poorly. If you attend you should succeed, office hours definitely make the difference between As and Bs. Do not be afraid to get to know your professors at JC, I know my professors would practically beg for students to come to office hours. 

 I narrowed  down my options to UC Davis, UCLA, and UC Berkeley, because those were the three, who had offered me full rides. Yes 25k -30k of financial aid and scholarships. No I did not apply for any of them, I just applied for my FAFSA, and the rest was apparently done for me. I get that not everyone will get this same luxury, and a lot of people have to go through hoops to get scholarships, and grants, but just know they are there for you, and you need only apply. Make sure you fill out your FAFSA every year, because most people do qualify for a pell grant. Most of the people I came across in college were in the same boat as me, and had free rides as well. The grants and scholarships typically require you to maintain a high GPA, and attend school full time, for those of you considering attending part time. 

I almost finished Berkeley a whole semester early, but I decided to change my major to Political Science after my first year. I still graduated at the same time, and even before some people, who had started college years before me. Now that I have graduated a lot of people have asked me how on earth did I get into Berkeley (which means they probably thought I was dumb), and what did I write for my personal essay?

First of all, I was so embarrassed by my personal essay, that I had anxiety for months, thinking maybe I shouldn’t have wrote what I wrote. Thinking it was too personal.  My personality oozed off the page as it does with all my writing. I deleted every copy of it… But I guess it couldn’t have been that bad, because I didn’t scare any of the UC’s off.

However, I remember the gist of what I wrote, which was basically my story and my journey. The real thing I’m sure those UC’s ate up was my concluding statement. I had said that I am the first in my family to attend college, and I am the second oldest out of seven kids. None of which, think college is an option for them, all of which are in dire need of a role model, and that is what I aspire to be for them. 

I learned that in your personal statement for college, while you are limited on words, it is good to be personal, and not to write what you think they want to hear, because they are interested in you as a person, and not what they can already see about you on paper, given your transcripts. For many years of my life I thought that college was off the table for me, and it was amazing to see what I was capable of, and I’m sure everyone is capable of it if they allow themselves to get into the right mindset. You have to want it. 

Steps to get into your dream college- (in a nutshell). 

  1. Take Junior College Seriously
  2. Get good grades
  3. Figure out what you need to transfer for your major on assist.org 
  4. Complete all prerequisites
  5. Utilize the Transfer Admissions Guarantee (TAG) program for a college you want to get into (Mine was UC Davis)
  6. Apply for other colleges that are not on the TAG program, because not all UC’s or state schools are on it. 
  7. Write a killer personal essay, with emphasis on the personal part! -You are unique so stand out. 🙂
  8. Don’t be lazy- get into a good college then slack off. Kidding. Kinda. 

Mistakes Millennial’s Make When Trying to Save Money

Saving money can be very difficult, as a 24 year old, starting my career, paying off my student loans, and saving for a house. I’ve come to value my money a lot more. I had to take a good look at where I spend most of my money, and where I can save the most, by establishing my wants and needs.

  1. Buying Starbucks Multiple Times a Week

If you go to Starbucks say five days a week every week for a year you are spending well over a thousand dollars. My grande vanilla latte with almond milk costs me about $6 dollars, if I get a coffee every day five days a week on my way to work then I am spending about $1,440 a year. That is 120 a month, for something that honestly brings me nothing but the sudden urge to use the bathroom.

A good way to stop the habit, is by looking at the ingredients that are in a Starbucks drink. Obviously anything that is not black coffee. It most likely has a minimum of 14g of fat, and is probably around 300+ calories, and the sugar puts it well into the range of diabetes in a cup. I always cut out Starbucks for at least a month, when I am trying to lose weight, and it usually comes off a lot quicker. So save money, and be healthier?

When it comes to saving money it is in your best interest to ditch the Starbucks habit. The lattes, frappuccino, and microwaved breakfast sandwiches, that are usually cold in the middle have got to go! Sorry Starbs. You have to be limited it to a well deserved treat once a month.

2. Not Limiting the Money you Spend on Food

If you have decided to take a look at where you spend the most money, then you have probably realized you spend a lot of it on food. Cutting back on eating out, is one of the easiest ways to cut your monthly expenses in half. My first week at my 9-5, I door dashed food to my office three days a week. After the fees, tip and cost of food, I was spending 20 bucks a day on just lunch. My boss probably spends 100 bucks a week on door dash for lunch. That is 4,800 bucks a year. My 3 days a week is 2,880 bucks a year. That is insane. I could have put that $2,880 towards a vacation. Had I not pissed it away on food.

The reality is to save money you have to be mindful, and stop being lazy, bring lunch, cook at home, and make your own food. It is okay to treat yourself to outings, but try not to do it multiple times a week.

3. Not Staying on the Family Phone Plan

Once upon a time I left the family phone plan, to literally spend 95 bucks a month on my phone, when it is about 40 bucks to be on the family plan. So I spent $1,140 a year, when I could have been spending $480. Possibly nothing at all, because my family was not forcing me to pay for my line prior to me getting my own. Ride this wave as long as possible.

4. Overspending on Alcohol/Bars

If you are going to go out drinking make sure it is either happy hour, with a a killer happy hour deal, or make sure it is bottomless mimosas for brunch. Bottomless mimosas cost around 15 dollars, which means you have to at least consume 3 to make it worth it, given that mimosas are usually around $7 a glass. Going to the grocery store though and getting orange juice, and 2 bottles of champagne for the house is going to cost you well into the 30 dollar range, and.. if you are sharing between 2- 4 people then you are limiting yourself to a glass or two.. just saying think about it 15 dollars unlimited, and a good time. Or else you risk the chance of underestimating the amount it will take to have a mimosa party at home. Either way bottomless mimosas are a steal if you do it right.

If you are a social butterfly who goes out to the bars, stick to vodka soda, rum and coke, beer, or basic drinks, they are 6-7 dollars instead of 12-14 dollars for that fancy cocktail. This will make the difference, between having two drinks for say $14 plus tip, and $24 plus tip give or take.

I had a friend order two long islands at the bar the other week and they were 15 dollars each. My whiskey sour is about 12 dollars, the craft cocktails were well into the 12-14 dollar range. This is for a nice bar, if you really want to save money and still make it out, do the pregame at home, and get a nice buzz before you hit the bar. Also consider getting out to some lovely dive bars for a good time.

5. Not Paying Attention to What you are Buying

Being self aware of how much you spend is key. I use to never think or look before swiping my card. I still don’t…I probably never will. I do however, wish I would do the do I want it, or do I need it test, when buying crap. Had I learned self control, I could have taken myself to Europe twice by now, if I had managed the funds better.

6. Overspending on Rent

Okay! After college if you are moving home, it is okay to stay at the parents house and save up everything you can. Independence is cool, but living paycheck to paycheck is not. I have been on my own for seven years now, paying rent, and I have not been able to save up the dent I need to buy a house. Had I sacrificed my pride, and moved back home to save on rent, groceries, and living expenses. I could have saved a good 30-40k in just a year.

If you are opposed to this idea, then make sure you aren’t spending all of your paycheck on rent, maybe consider roommates to help alleviate the cost. What I found is that when I began the 9-5 life, I really was only home to eat and sleep, and I can do that anywhere, without shoveling out the money to live by myself.

You have to think of the big picture. Do you want to waste $1,500+ on rent a month.. which adds up to around $18,000+ a year, given you spend more on utilities, food, etc. Or do you want to be putting that into your own investment, making you better off in the future and buying a house. I’d personally rather buy a house, and not piss away rent every month, and put the money towards my mortgage.

7. Not Utilizing Budgeting Apps

By determining how much you want to save every week, month, or year, makes it that much more likely, that you will be putting that money aside to reach your goal. Using apps such as mint or albert to budget and manage your expenses is a good way to start saving and reaching your goals, as well as help you see where your money is going every month! You can also use acorns to invest your spare change!

Interviewing Post College: The Unfortunate Truth

Congrats! You’ve graduated college now what? The soul sucking process of interviewing begins. This is your first shot at potential rejection, but don’t worry it’s part of the process. 

My first interview outside of college I blew drastically. I wanted the job so much I just was beyond nervous. The job I had applied for did what everyone told me no job did, and asked me for my college transcripts. They had also requested I  take a personality test and send it to them prior to the interview. This made me nervous because:

  1. My college transcripts were not impressive even though I attended a top ten school. 
  2. The job literally said job training provided, and no experience necessary

My interview took place over the phone. Which was cool, because they they can’t see how nervous I am, but they can probably hear it in my voice. I found a quiet place to talk, and answered the phone, which honestly the anticipation was unreal. She started the interview off by asking me to tell her about myself. I had rehearsed this.. but completely botched it. She then hits me with the so it looks like you really struggled at Berkeley. A complete slap in the face and wow did it throw me off. What do I even say to this? She basically just said I’m incompetent and asked why, as if going to a top ten college was not enough. Now I’m incompetent because I didn’t get enough As? The interview ended- complete and utter disaster I was mortified. 

Instead of laying down, and never interviewing again I decided I needed redemption. I applied for multiple jobs a day, and started googling how to crush your interview. This is what I’ve learned. 

  1. Go in as if you don’t want the job, that way if you don’t get it it’s not that big of a deal and it will calm your nerves. 
  2. You are supposed to sell yourself, so be confident in everything you say.
  3. Don’t view it as an interview. Act like it’s a conversation where two people are getting to know each other. This honestly helped me the most. Because I have conversations with people daily and never get nervous. 
  4. Always send a follow up email when possible. Simply thanking them for their time and reminding them why you think you’d be a good fit.
  5. Do not take the rejection personally, and move on if you get rejected.
  6. Practice makes perfect so practice a lot. You can google common interview questions, and I know indeed has a good list, and potential answers that might help you out.
  7. If you get the job celebrate! 

I went into my next few interviews with a completely different mindset and crushed them all. I actually started to enjoy them and even began turning down jobs. I began to be a candidate, even though I may have lacked the experience that others may have had. I was still able to sell myself on my abilities and skill set. Simply by using the confidence I had in myself, and the way I was able to portray that to my potential employer.

Lastly, I cant stress how important it is to not get discouraged, when you face rejection. If you find yourself struggling to even get interview, take into consideration the time of year it is. I noticed that in the summer after everyone had just graduated, there is a surplus of people in your area applying for jobs. This just means there are more people to compete with, but it will die down. I found it easier applying in September and a lot of people find it easier in January as well. It is very common for people to get depressed looking for jobs after college, due to the excessive amounts of rejection, but the process is normal and it is something a lot of us go through, so hang in there and keep applying.