5 WAYS THE WORKING WORLD IS UNLIKE COLLEGE

Jumping into the real world right out of college can be an exciting time in a young adults life. It’s a chance for you to put the things you learned in your courses into practical use, make more money and see what you’re really made of.

In high school and even college, you were basically told what to do most of the time and all of the things you needed were provided for you. Working life is different. For students who are more independent this is an enormous relief. For those who are still getting their footing in the real world, this may be a challenge.

Whichever category you fall into, working life is different. Period. Dealing with conflict at work, trying to meet your boss’s expectations and being comfortable in professonial clothing (or like me diverting from the traditional professional duds can be a bit of an adjustment) are all things that may take some getting use to.

On the flip side, you’ll have more independence, more money and a whole new world to explore. If you’re entering the job market for the first time after school, here are some challenges you may face:

 
1. Changes in your social environment

In college, you have a ready-made social life of peers who have similar interests as you. It was easy to find time to hang out and socialize, even with a heavy academic schedule. You lived in a community dorm, shared meals during the designated meal times, walked together to and from classes and had daily practices if you participated in athletics.

When you’re in the working world, you’ll find that your social life will look a little different. You’ll meet people with different backgrounds and ages. Which is an opportunity for you to expand your interests and continue learning after school! You’ll also find that the friends you accrued in college may now be non-existent or you have to strategically plan when you will hang out with the friends you still keep in touch with.

 

2. Responsibility

In college, if you drank too much the night before and had a hangover, or stayed up late and were too tired to make your morning class, you could skip it and get the notes later from a friend. As you can probably guess, this same attitude won’t go over well at work. Although you may be able to get away with it if you have Personal/Paid time off (PTO) in your time bank; making a habit of not showing up to work can create some long-term consequences.With companies attempting to seem more appealing, you do have the option of Working from home (WFH), however, it is not an excuse to not showing up. If you make this a habit of working from home that could also raise some red flags. Showing up on time, paying attention to instructions and being accountable are all important aspects of job responsibility.

 

3. Continued Education

Though you’ll ugain new skills and learn new things at your job, many students find that they miss the constant mental stimulation of college where each semester presented new objectives. The end of college doesn’t mean you have to end your education. I am a perfect example of this; I have made it a point to learn about the other departments I work with such as, digital marketing and creative by accessing Google Academy, HubSpot Academy and Lynda. The best part? They’re all FREE and you can receive certifications which will look great on your growing resume! Though some may feel it essential to go back to school to receive their masters or doctorate, which in many instances are industry specific (i.e. social work). There are a lot of ways to continue learning after school. Use your workplace to leverage those learning opportunities!

 

4. Money

For many, their first job out of college will be the first time they make a real salary, not just minimum wage from flipping burgers or babysitting. Maybe you’ll have the luck or the determination to land a great job out of college (like me!). Maybe you’ll start out as an intern and work your way up. Whatever your salary, this may be the first time you have to learn to budget your money. Rent, bills, student loans, meals, entertainment, etc. Or you’ve made the decision to move back in with your parents so that you can SAVE that money you’re earning. Essentially, all of these things require you to analyze your resources and plan accordingly. It can be exhilarating to be making money for the first time (and you’ll want to spend it on unnecessary things). Finding balance between what you want and what you can afford is another part of the post-college learning curve. Consider meeting with a financial advisor or if you have a close friend or family member that can educate you, by all means, budget away!

5. Work-life balance is a priority

In most recent years, employers are competing for talent who can meet the demands of the many things professionals are tasked with completing. The workplace’s newer employees want time to develop their personal lives and interests outside of work. They also want work to be fulfilling, not just a paycheck. Unlike the working world, college professor’s don’t seem to care about activities outside of the classroom. Because stringent deadlines, having fun does not seem allow for a balance.

It may not seem like it’s worth it while you’re in college, but once you get into the working world, you’ll be much more appreciative of being in the working world! Read more professional advice from Fasst and Fabulouss here.

 

 

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BRAVING THE ANCHOR LEG & BREAKING RECORDS

Ingold, Madison, Forney and Allen have no qualms about coming out on top. In fact, we are the few women in the PSAC who indisputably have one hard-ass of a strength and conditioning coach. I’ve heard from many, “Weiser’s one of the hardest coaches I know.” He’s definitely built his reputation in the conference. I digress. 

Getting four girls together, who actually get along outside of the sport of track and field is an amazing feat. I believe that’s what has attributed to our success on the track individually and as a 4by1 relay. We’ve gotten so close that we will be attempting silent handoffs for the first time in my career; the ultimate goal our coach set for us before the outdoor season began. It’s funny, I never thought that I, Kiara Allen, would be in the position to anchor a relay with such a talented group of girls that I can confidently and genuinely say are my sisters.  
Currently sitting at 32nd in the country, I’m in awe, disbelief (in a good way, of course) that we have been able to do great things because of one thing. HEART. We want something? We go get it. We love a good hunt. We’re hunters. I will never be a person to not put up a fight and I will be damned if I let my team down come May 14th. Though I am more than proud, honored and anxious to anchor the top PSAC 4by1 relay where ever we compete at; I am most humbled and grateful that I have a team where I know they want it just as much as I do. No if, ands or buts about it. With our encouraging words and uplifting spirits, we make sure we choose our words wisely towards one another.

These are my ladies. And I am proud to be their anchor leg; connecting us all together to achieve one thing. WIN. 
You see, way back when, my speed (not comparable to what I am now haha) was a nuisance. I was afraid to really unleash what I could do because I didn’t want people to think that I was showing off or being cocky. Which now that I look at it, they were just haters. But going through that, I wanted to make sure that I reached my full potential once I got the chance to compete in college. With a few bumps in the road, I was finally able to do what I set out to do. With the right people surrounded around me and two very talented coaches who were/are patient with me have/are developed/ing me (and other athletes on the team) to not only reach our full potential but also feel good ourselves when we do good. To feel what it’s like to be hungry. To be hunters.

If there’s anything I’ve learned while being a college track athlete it’s that if what you did yesterday seems big to you today, then you’re not progressing.

 I’ve got 2 weeks left as a college athlete and I’m not turning back. 

PHILADELPHIA ADVENTURES: THE PHILLY FLOWER SHOW

If you are obsessed with flowers just as much as I am, it is a MUST that you attend the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show held at the Philadelphia Convention Center. It is one of the nation’s largest and longest-running horticultural event and features stunning displays by the world’s premier floral and landscape designers.

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Started in 1829, the show introduces the newest plant varieties, gardens and design concepts, and organic and sustainable practices. This year, the show celebrated the centennial of the National Park Service and PA’s majestic natural landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. The 2016 Flower Show theme “Explore America” took visitors through acres of displays inspired by iconic parks like Acadia and Cape Cod, Valley Forge and Shenandoah, Yellowstone, and Yosemite and many more!

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As soon as I walked in, I was so overwhelmed with the vibrant and beautiful colors of every plant or flower I saw. For those looking to hire designers, they set up arrangements for those planning celebrations. It was simply breathtaking!

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In addition to the flower and plant displays and demonstrations of park rangers, there were many vendors where you could purchase merchandise for your garden or trinkets to decorate your home with. My boyfriend and I took to the wine and spirits vendor where they offered wine, vodka and brandy tastings. In addition, they had a butterfly room so that guests could explore the wonders and uniqueness of the special arthropods.

If you ever get the chance to experience God’s creation all in one place, I would do so next year! You won’t want to miss it.

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PHILADELPHIA ADVENTURES: INDEPENDENCE HALL, CONSTITUTION CENTER & THE LIBERTY BELL

About a week ago, I wrote about my ‘Philadelphia Adventures’ to the cutest hipster cafe I’ve experienced in this life! But we didn’t just go to the city to eat! We wanted see the sites and experience something that we don’t get to do often.

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Sitting under the statue of ‘The Father of the Navy,’ John Barry.

I was able to visit the The Constitution Center, The Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. Being able to see all three for the first time was an amazing experience and allowed me to see our country in a different light. At each, we were able to get tidbits of information that we did not know before. Out of the three, Independence Hall was the most interesting due to the fact that it had artifacts that were actually used during the 1800’s.

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If you have not visited, you must go!

Consider yourself a Pennsylvanian? Go to votespa.com to register! The upcoming primary election will be held April 26!

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PHILADELPHIA ADVENTURES: ICI MACARONS & CAFE

When it comes to choosing a place to eat in Philadelphia, the options are limitless! As a former barista, I am always on the search for a cafe or bakery that not only sells great pastries and coffee, but has a cool atmosphere prompting you to want to capture every moment with a camera.

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After much research on Google Reviews and Yelp I had a list of cafés that I wanted to visit during my first time being a tourist in the ‘City of Brotherly Love.’ Traveling by foot, we ended up passing it and getting lost. Goes to show how much of a ‘diamond in rough’ this little shop is. I was inspired to find a location that was similar to the renowned bakery called LaduréeAlthough ICI was not as chic, it still served its purpose of having exceptional pastries and coffee as well as providing a city hipster vibe.

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With their minimalist drink menu, you shouldn’t have a hard time choosing what drink you want to indulge in. However, their array of macarons, and pastries such as croissants, cheesecake and tarts, you might catch yourself in a bit of a predicament. You’ll want to get everything!

What I ordered: Cappuccino, half dozen macarons (see flavors in picture below), croissant and hot chocolate (all of which was very good!) My favorite flavor of macaron that was purchased was the Earl Grey (the first one I ate which is not pictured).

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Hot Chocolate

 

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The next time you’re visiting, be sure to check out ICI Macarons & Café near Old City.

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Address:

230 Arch St.

Philadelphia, PA 19106

Phone:

(215) 608-8938

BF Approved

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TRADITIONAL NEW ORLEANS BEIGNETS RECIPE

About a year ago, my parents traveled to New Orleans. As a souvenir, they brought back Cafe du Monde beignet mix. I decided to finally cook them and share my thoughts on them.

History

Beignet, similar to the English “fritter,” is the French term for a pastry made from deep-fried choux party. Beignets can also be made from other types of dough, including yeast dough.

Beignets are a traditional dessert in New Orleans as a breakfast served with powered sugar on top. They are traditionally prepared right before consumption to be eaten fresh and hot. Variations of fried dough can be found across cuisines internationally; however, the origin of the term beignet is specifically French.

In the United States, beignets have been popular within New Orleans Creole cuisine and are customarily served as a dessert  or in some sweet variation. They were brought to New Orleans in the 18th century by French colonists, from “the old mother country,” and became a large part of home-style Creole cooking, variations often including banana or plantain – popular fruits in the port city.

Today, Cafe du Monde is a popular New Orleans food destination specializing in beignets with powered sugar, coffee with chicory, and cafe au lait. Beignets were declared the official state doughnut of Louisiana in 1986.

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Picture courtesy of purewow.com

I first became aware of this delicacy watching the vlogs of The Lavigne Life on YouTube. They previously resided in New Orleans and showed themselves and a bunch of friends at THE Cafe du Monde for Dee’s celebration! Watch their vlog here! They have recently moved to Arizona!

I have included a recipe in this post so that you can try them for yourself! Your taste buds will be singing!

Here’s a picture tutorial of the steps to make Beignets!

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Use an abundance of flour to roll it out.

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Dough will rise to the top after about 1 minutes in the oil.

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Final product 🙂

 

Recipe: http://bit.ly/1J7mWr6

Source: http://bit.ly/1Rqh3GA

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REASONS TO VISIT BARBADOS

As many of you may or may not know, I had the wonderful opportunity to go outside of the United States for the first time in my life. Yes… at the age 22, I was able to venture down to the Caribbean for some much needed relaxation. Not only do I want to document and share my experience for you, but I also urge you to visit this vibrant and unique country.

I have always known that my family, more specifically, my mother’s side of the family was from the island of Barbados. However, I felt somewhat detached to the culture and not particularly connected with the Bajan way simply because I had 1) never been to the motherland and 2) my mother, her siblings and cousins adopted the American way of doing things. I had no idea that I had this long lineage of family that I had NEVER met in my life. It was so refreshing and heartwarming to meet people that I happened to be related to.

Here are a few tips for your next visit to the island of Barbados:

1. If and when you can go during ‘Crop Over’ Crop over is a traditional harvest festival celebrated in Barbados. The central theme of crop over is the conclusion of the sugar cane season. They throw a week long celebration commemorating the ending of the sugar cane season simply because the sugar cane season is a great contribution to the Barbados economy; I’ll drink to that!

In addition, crop over has a lot of live music ‘soca’ artists; this year Rihanna made an appearance. It is a really big deal and you won’t want to miss a crazy time.

2. Don’t just visit the ‘tourist’ side; visit the countryside too— I am so lucky to have family down on the island so I rarely ventured into the ‘tourist’ side of things. Besides, being a tourist down there is expensive. Sandy Lane, the more upscale portion of Barbados, is usually where all the celebs get married or vacation. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely want to vacation like a celebrity at some point, later down the road, but it was a very humbling experience seeing the countryside and how everyone helps one another when needed.

The first day that my family and I got there we ventured up to the mountains of Bethsheba. It was quite beautiful as you can see from my photos I took. After getting lost quite a bit we had lunch at The Atlantis, a hotel near the bay; which was quite a treat.

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(From L to R) My cousin Jazzy, Me, and Uncle Rupert. This land and its surrounding area; my uncle will build a town including a hospital, mall and housing.

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Made a little pit stop to get some refreshments and take in the beautiful landscape of Apes Hill.

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Some crops and more landscape of Apes Hill. Not pictured, but behind me was a hut that sold refreshments and souvenirs. This area was a very popular spot where tourists visited from the resorts of Sandy Lane.

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My cousin and I taking impromtu pictures in the middle of the road. But, lets be honest, how cool is this mural of this lion?!

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The Bay near The Atlantis Hotel.

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My cousin and I thought that the architecture was so cool here. We took advantage of it and took many pictures!

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All of the following pictures were taken at Codrington College, school of theology for the Anglican church of West Indies.

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On the steps of the Codrington College, a school for the delivery of theological education and training, in St. John, Barbados.

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Loving life.

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A little garden behind Codrington College.

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(From L to R) My brothers Eric and Corey, me, and Jazzy.

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4. Going to the beach is a MUST– Before stepping on foot of a Barbados beach, I have been told by many natives including my grandmother and some aunts and uncles that the water is “crystal clear” and the sand is beautiful. You know, at the time of confession, I thought it was all but an exaggeration, but after seeing it for myself, that water puts all the American beaches to shame! The water was sooooo clear and I couldn’t help but to want to get in (I have never fully submerged myself in an ocean before in my life). I guess the fact that the ocean felt like a swimming pool is what prompted me to let go of whatever fears I had of going into the ocean. Below are just a few pictures that my cousin took of me while I was on the beach the first day that I was in paradise. The place that my family and I stayed at gave us access to a private beach so no crowds, which was great!

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Posing on the sand!

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0255. Be sure to try out Chefette– Chefette is Barbados version of fast food. They have literally everything on the menu from fried chicken, pizza, orea cream pies and their native dish called ‘roti’. From what my aunt was telling me, McDonalds lasted all but 2 months down in Barbados because the food was not of “quality” to the natives because the food lacked seasoning. Man, these people LOVE their spices.

6. Get on a boat!– My cousins, my mom and I decided we wanted to get on a boat to spice up our vacation. It was litterally, so much fun! The cruise was 115 BBD ($57.50 in US dollars). The Tiami Cruise experience was 5 hours long and included lunch, unlimited drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks), and snorkeling! It was just an adventure and I would do it again in a heartbeat!

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My family I met for the first time!

198 243Overall, the week that I experienced in Barbados was awesome! I have a better understanding of my heritage and I met some new family members along the way. If you are ever wondering where to visit for you next vacation, make sure Barbados is a part of your plans. It’ll be a time you’ll never forget!

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10 THINGS TO DO BEFORE SUMMER IS OVER

Don’t we all wish that summer nights and days would last forever? I know I do. Unfortunately, its natural for our beloved earth to go through its seasons. But you don’t have to dread it just yet. With September 21 (first day of fall) steadily approaching, but we’ve gotta make the best of what is left of summer. You’ll thank me and yourself later. Don’t miss out on your best summer while it’s still here!

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1. Learn how to sail a boat or how to surf. So, you’ve always wanted to learn how to sail a boat or even be taught how to surf. Why not learn now? Right now is your chance. There are sailing and surfing lessons available everywhere you’ve just gotta do some searching.

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2. Rent out a yacht with some friends for the night. Not gonna lie, this may be a bit on the pricier side, but if you have a big crew, splitting the cost shouldn’t be so bad, but who doesn’t want to feel like Kardashians for a couple of hours?! There are plenty of places that have this opportunity, especially in NYC. Get to it!

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3. Go camping. For some this may not be their thing (bugs, wolves, bears, oh my!) but it’s all about the people you’re spending your time with and making new memories. Even pitching a tent in your own backyard could be just as exciting. Don’t knock it til’ you try it.

Hands up, while driving a convertible.

4. Go on a road trip with family, friends or a significant other. Road trips allow for true bonding time. Also, if you want to test a relationship and see your significant others true colors, try staying in a car with them for hours on end. Hopefully it’ll make your relationship and not break it.

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5. Splurge on something designer on Super-Sale. The annual Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is going on until tonight! I know you’ve been eyeing those Tory Burch Riding Boots for awhile now. Treat yo self! You’ve earned it!

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6. Rent a sweet ride. Have an event to go to like a wedding? Even if you don’t have any place special to be, renting a limo or car for a girls night out would be pretty sweet! Just like the yacht, this could be a bit pricy but get a bunch of your pals together and split the bill for the night of your life!

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7. Plan a romantic glam picnic. This one is for all my lovebirds out there. And guys, if you don’t know what to do for your special lady, try this out and see the look on her face (you can thank me later). All you’ve gotta do is find a nice park nearby, get your favorite treats and a bottle of your fav wine or champagne and you’re all set. Just make sure alcohol is allowed at the park… or you can sneak it ;).

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8.  Go to an outdoor concert or performing arts event. There are plenty of these in NYC! The Today Show Summer Concert Series has been very popular for 20 years now. Make sure you get there early, though, space is limited and people love FREE! You can also find live performances in Lancaster, Pa at TellUs 360. You can’t forget the Made In America Festival September 5-6 in Philly.

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9. Plan a staycation. Staycations can be a lot fun because who doesn’t like to stay in hotels? The plush beds, you get to be as messy as you want, maid service, the list goes on and on. To plan a staycation all you need to do is to book a hotel in your hometown. This is perfect for people who don’t have the vacation funds to go on an exotic vacation. You’ll feel like you’re on vacation just for the sheer fact that you’re staying in a hotel. The best part is, you won’t even need to leave your room because room service has got your back.

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10. Go amusement park hopping. This one is for the thrill seeker! If you love amusement parks as much as I do (I intern at one) you’ll love Hersheypark, Busch Gardens, Cedar Point, and you can’t forget Disneyworld/Disneyland. Make it a weekend trip with friends that you’ll never forget!

What’s your favorite way to celebrate summer? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

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