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    Real Life

    7 Ways to Make New Friends in your Twenties

    I’m a contributor for Gen Twenty, and this post originally appeared on GenTwenty.com.

    Let’s face it – making new friends when you’re younger is relatively easy. For most of your childhood and adolescent life, you’re surrounded by people your own age. On the playground, in the classroom and at football games on Friday nights. You sat next to the same group of people in your math and English classes, walked home from school with your best friend and shared a cabin with a group of girls at sleep away camp.

    Years later, you went off to college, where you were one of many nervous freshmen, open to meeting as many new people as possible. Everyone was essentially in the same boat. You crammed for finals with your classmates, went grocery shopping with your roommates on Sundays and walked to parties with the girls who lived in your hall.

    In grade school, high school and college, friendships were generally valued in terms of quantity, not necessarily quality.

    Then you graduate, move to a different city and start a brand new job. In the real world, you’re in an office, working alongside your coworkers who are all in different stages of their lives  – some are married, some have families and some even have grandchildren.

    You’re no longer in the same setting you were in prior to graduation, and meeting people in the same place as you suddenly isn’t as easy as it once was.

    So, what’s next? How do you meet new people? Where do all the twenty-somethings hang out?

    Making new friends after college can be challenging. But, it’s not impossible.

    Here are seven ways to make new friends in your twenties:

    1. Discover your passions first.

    Before making new friends, it’s important to get to know yourself on a deeper level. Life after college is completely unpredictable, but it’s the perfect opportunity for a little self discovery.

    Ask yourself, what are you really interested in? What drives and motivates you every day?

    If you love running, getting involved with a local running club is a great place to start. If you’re like me and have a blog, connect with other bloggers in your area. Doing things you love makes it easier to connect with others who share the same hobbies as you, and will help you form more meaningful friendships.

    2. Reach out to those with similar interests.

    Once you figure out what it is you really love to do, reach out to others with similar interests. Instagram is a growing community, and as far as social media goes, it’s one of the best tools out there for meeting and connecting with like-minded people in your area.

    Maybe you’re interested in pursuing photography and are really inspired by a local photographer you follow on Instagram. Send her a private message and see if you can meet up for coffee or lunch. Not only will this help you grow your professional network and give you the opportunity to grow your skill set, but it will also open the door to new friendships, too.

    3. Connect with mutual friends.

    Grab drinks with your friend and her co-worker she’s been wanting you to meet for months. Connecting with mutual friends will help you ease into meeting new people, without the fear of things getting awkward.

    Because you share a mutual friend, it’s a little easier to break the ice, and it’s more likely you’ll hang out again in the future.

    4. Join a co-ed sports team.

    Even if you’re not the most athletic person around (yes, I’m totally referring to myself), joining an intramural co-ed sports team is a fun way to let loose after work and meet new people at the same time.

    Most young professional organizations have opportunities to join teams, from softball to sand volleyball, so keep an eye out for what’s going on in your area. If it will make you feel more comfortable, bring a friend with you to help calm your nerves.

    5. Find your school’s local alumni group.

    Every city is filled with alumni groups, and joining one is a great way to meet people who went to the same school as you.

    Even if you move across the country, chances are there is a local alumni group that gets together for trivia, game nights, etc.

    Reach out and make new connections. Cheering on your school over chips, queso and margs is an surefire way to form new friendships.

    6. Get tech savvy.

    Chances are, you know people who have met their boyfriends and girlfriends on apps like Tinder and Bumble. We live in a digital age. There’s no reason why you can’t meet new friends the same way.

    If you’re overwhelmed with your new work schedule and don’t feel like you have the time to dedicate to joining every club out there, sign up for apps like Meetup and Bumble BFF.

    They are great resources, and can help connect you with people in your area. 

    7. Don’t be afraid to make the first move.

    Making friends is a lot like dating. It’s actually hilarious how similar the two are. And while it would be nice for people to always approach you at every networking event, remember that sometimes, it’s up to you to make the first move.

    Be brave and put yourself out there. Go to networking events and proactively introduce yourself to people there.


    It might take some creative thinking and a little extra effort, but you will make new friends in your twenties, thirties, and beyond.

    Just remember, most people are going through the same things you are. You just haven’t met them yet.

    You might also like: On True Friendships and Moving to a New City

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    Real Life

    Feeling Lost? The Simple Quiz That Will Help You Figure Out “What You Want to do with Your Life”

    What would you tell your 21-year-old self? I’d tell her to wear sunscreen, drink more water before she goes out for the night and spend less money on clothes. And while there are other life lessons I’m sure she’d benefit from, one of the biggest pieces of wisdom I’ve learned is this — it’s okay to not have everything figured out on graduation day, or even four years later. It’s okay to feel like your next big adventure has yet to be discovered.

    I’m creative by nature. I’m disorganized and visual and always conjuring up big ideas in my head. Sitting at a desk all day never felt right, and some days, I know I’m meant to do so much more. But, what is it? What am I supposed to be doing? How can I find my passion and make a career out of it?

    If you’ve had any these thoughts, you’re certainly not alone.

    A dear friend of mine (hi, Sarah!) recently introduced me to Clarity on Fire, a blog written by career coaches, Rachel East and Kristen Walker. The dynamic duo writes for millenials who “know what they don’t want, but have no idea what they’d rather be doing.” Sounds familiar, right?

    Their blog content is designed to help you find your passion. Because let’s be honest, we all want our careers to bring us joy, fulfillment and ignite our creativity. But, it’s nearly impossible to get there without truly knowing yourself first.


    SO, LET’S TALK ABOUT THIS QUIZ: HOW TO FIND YOUR PASSION

    Clarity on Fire’s Passion Profile quiz will help you identify your natural strengths, characteristics and challenges.

    There are four possible outcomes, and depending on your results, you could fall into one of the following categories: Firestarter, Tribe Member, Side Hustler, or Thriver.

    I’m a Firestarter, which according to Clarity on Fire, means I am “driven by an internal fire, a deep craving to create, transform and shake things up.”

    I’m attracted to flexibility, rebellion, independence, leadership and freedom. I don’t like to follow the rules (who said rules were fun, anyway?) and I can’t help but challenge the way things are.

    And while I learned about my key strengths, the quiz also helped me identify some challenges. For example, I learned I’m often distracted, impatient, not easily satisfied and overwhelmed by the amount of ideas I have (ha, truth).

    This Passion Profile quiz has been called “scarily accurate” and for good reason. If you are struggling with identifying where your passions lie, take a few minutes out of your day and answer 11 questions. Remember to be honest! Don’t pick an answer because it’s the “cooler” one. Go with your gut for the best results. I promise you won’t regret it.

    Which Passion Profile are you?

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    Real Life

    Career Chat: 6 Tips to Help You Network Like a Boss

    Alright, friend. Let’s talk about networking for a second. Does the word bring on sudden waves of anxiety? Does the thought of shaking hands with random strangers make you want to crawl into a hole instead (believe me, I’ve been there)?

    The whole process can be really intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be.

    With the right attitude and approach, even the most introverted people can excel at building and maintaining strong professional relationships. And an added bonus? Some connections might even blossom into friendships.

    Today, I’m sharing six tips for networking success on GenTwenty, a site that provides twenty-somethings with support and reassurance through all aspects of life (I’m a contributor now, so be sure to follow along!). Pop on over to read the full list.

    I’ll see you there :)


    What are some of your tried and true networking tips?

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    Real Life

    On Turning 26

    Today is my birthday. Today, I’m 26.

    Originally, I planned to write one of those “26 things I’ve learned in 26 years” type posts. But, where do I even begin? I’ve been alive for 26 years, so you’d think I’d have more than a few things to say. Some days I feel like an adult. I do adult things like pay bills, buy laundry detergent and work in an office. But, in many ways, I’m still that same kid, curious and wildly immature and constantly learning as I go.

    In the past year, I lost my job, moved to a new city and moved in with the guy I love. I learned how to deal with comparison and to not feel so guilty all the damn time.

    There’s so much I want to accomplish this year, and my goals are to push myself to think bigger, color outside the lines and not be so afraid to take risks. This is going to be a big year, I can feel it.

    I really want to thank you so much for following my blog, whether you have for awhile or if you happened to stumble upon it today. That is a true birthday gift.

    Cheers to 26!

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    Real Life

    Coffee Talk: The Comparison Game

    Coffee Talk is a monthly series that dives headfirst into real life territory. Consider it like a deep conversation with a friend where nothing is off limits. Take a seat, grab your mug and let’s chat.


    Today’s Coffee Talk topic is one that I’m sure you, your mom, your boss and your friends can all relate to. Yep, you heard that right. No one is safe. So, let’s dive in.

    Think of the last time you scrolled through your Instagram feed and thought to yourself,“This girl literally travels the world, has the perfect wardrobe, the perfect hair and the perfect boyfriend. And, said boyfriend/photographer is always there to capture every perfect moment. HOW is this real life? If only I did things that were more interesting…”

    Sound familiar? I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve been there. In an age of filters and curated feeds, it’s easy to get caught up in someone else’s highlight reel. And when you do, you might wonder why your acai smoothie bowl-free life suddenly looks dull in comparison. And there it is. That word. Comparison.

    Maybe you’re trying to start your own business but growth is slow, and you’re scratching your head, wondering why it’s not as successful as Alice’s, who started hers at roughly the same time. Maybe you pulled several all-nighters studying for finals, and were happy with your B, but then found out Kim got an A and now your grade doesn’t seem worthy of celebrating. Maybe you have a blog, and get frustrated because it’s not growing as quickly as you’d like, even though you put in the time, money and extra effort. Maybe you eat healthy 90% of the time, exercise frequently, but still don’t feel like you look as good as the girls in the magazines you read. Maybe you’re single and feel like all of your friends are in relationships. Or, maybe you’re in a relationship and it feels like all of your friends are getting engaged.

    No matter which industry you’re in, where your passions lie or what path you’re on, there will come a time when you compare where you’re at to where someone else is. It’s completely normal. Sometimes it can even be healthy. It might spark some new ideas or encourage you to work harder. But, when you begin to obsess over someone else’s success to the point where you feel down on yourself, that’s when the comparison game takes an ugly turn and can actually hinder your personal growth and well being.

    When those thoughts creep in, the key is to acknowledge them, and then follow these tips:

    DON’T COMPARE YOUR BEGINNING TO SOMEONE ELSE’S MIDDLE

    My sister called me recently, and told me how frustrated she is because she “doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life” (I think it’s safe to say we’ve all been in this boat at some point). She told me how I seem to have everything figured out, and how I’m doing the things she wanted to do (blogging, planning a new little business venture, etc.). That’s when I stopped her. It made me laugh because a) I don’t have anything together and b) if she only knew where I was at when I was 20. I’m five years older than her, so I’ve had a little more time for trial and error.

    And then it hit me. There have been times when I’ve compared myself to other bloggers and felt like I was so far behind. But, I was looking at everything through a skewed lens. I was comparing myself to girls who have been in the blogging game for five years or more, when I’ve been in it for two. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, just remember, the people you look up to were once in the same spot as you. You’re exactly where you need to be at this moment.

    TAKE A BREAK FROM SOCIAL MEDIA

    Lately, I’ve been carrying my phone with me less and less. Next time you find yourself in a deep, dark Instagram hole, try and put your phone away for at least an hour. Taking a break helps you focus on the present, your friends, family, significant other — the stuff that matters! And remember: you are not defined by your social media stats.

    TURN NEGATIVE THOUGHTS INTO PRODUCTIVE AND BENEFICIAL ONES

    If you start to feel down on yourself, try and approach your thoughts through a different perspective. Instead of thinking, “look what she has that I don’t have,” think of the ways she’s inspiring you to try the new restaurant you’ve been wanting to go to, or to take that road trip you’ve been thinking about for months. And, if there’s someone you know who’s doing great things, reach out to her to schedule a coffee or lunch date. You can learn so much from others in your industry. And, it might surprise you to learn they had their own struggles along the way, too.

    WORK HARD AND HAVE FAITH THAT YOUR TIME WILL COME

    Keep your eye on your goals, and work hard to achieve them. If you have a passion for something, you have the ability to make it your own. No one else can do you better than you can!


    What are your thoughts on the comparison game? Are there any pieces of advice you follow to help you through it?

    Feature image via Issy Croker for The Magic Elephant

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    Living, Real Life

    Apartment Tour (Before): One Month Down

    Fritz and I recently moved into our first apartment together and despite the slight learning curve for both of us (I’m messy, he’s not), it’s been an amazing month. We now have a legit adult apartment to call home. I mean, seriously. The place has a dishwasher, garbage disposal, air conditioning and a washer and dryer.

    My last one bedroom apartment was 100% mine, and while I loved that place and all of the life lessons living alone taught me, I didn’t always love scrubbing melted cheese off of plates by hand, or shoving my arm down the sink to fish out random pieces of food. Or calling the fire department at midnight because the wiring was so old the place literally almost burst into flames. And don’t even get me started on the creepy basement I had to do laundry in. I’m convinced it was at one time a crime scene.

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