Therapy for the Skeptic

“I’m going to therapy.” When that statement was first true for me, the sentence felt slippery, like I couldn’t quite wrap my hands around it, like trying to hold one of those weird liquid-filled sparkly gel blobs we played with as kids (really, what were those?). Or like trying to roll those Spanish “r”s or pronounce those deep-throated “e”s like the French do—it sounded unnatural when I tried to say it. So instead, I said “I’m going to see Sarah” or “I have an appointment” or, mostly, I just don’t say anything at all, keeping it tucked away in my I’d-rather-not-say collection.

4 Ways to Earn Free Starbucks

As I’m sure most of you can relate, my budget has been openly shaming my excessive coffee spending habits. But I bring tidings of joy to you Starbucks-lovers-on-a-budget: there are ways to earn free Starbucks.

When You Feel Stuck

It's Monday night. I'm gathering up all of the trash because tomorrow is garbage day. I feel like I just did this two days ago, but no, a whole week has gone by. A whole week of nothing exciting, nothing life-changing—nothing different at all.

5 Meal Tips for the Broke and Busy

If you do grocery planning and shopping right, it can be easy, fun, and budget-friendly. As a recent college grad, I know your time is limited, money is tight (maybe more than expected), and healthy food just doesn’t sound good at the end of a long work day. But I have some tips and tricks that will make this transition easier for you when it comes to planning and preparing your meals. I’ve also included one of my favorite recipes below, fried Quinoa; it’s both healthy and mouth-watering!

What Will You Do Next?

“What will you do next?”

I’ve been asked that question three times in the last week.

I’ve fielded this question before—we all have; the moment our graduation date appears on the year’s horizon, every family member, friend, and kind stranger who discovers you’re a near-graduating student presents this question to you. It’s been two years since I graduated college, and I still don’t have a good answer to this question, despite the younger me who thought 24 years-old meant your life trajectory was set firmly in place.

For the Person Who Loves Work and Rest Equally

I was taught that there are two types of people in the world: people who can never take a break, and people who never want to get to work. At my office, it was announced a few months ago that in 2017 we will instate an unlimited vacation time policy; half my coworkers cheered, the other half put together a strongly worded email to the CEO. Some of them hadn’t taken more than a day at a time off in years. Others used their vacation days up so quickly they had to plan each hour out to the T.

Holiday Spending: A New Way to Spend Your Holiday Budget

Oddly enough, Christmas shopping has become more difficult now that I can afford presents. With a decent budget and dozens of people to gift, my creativity and shopping abilities have been put to the test. My Google searches are all paraphrases of “what to get (insert relative/friend here) who likes (insert hobby/interest here).” After hours on Amazon and Etsy, I found myself at Walmart last Saturday staring at prepackaged spa gifts and touch sensitive desk lamps. My mind spent the whole time trying to fit items to recipients and price tags to budgets. I spent my money, spent my time, spent my energy, and spent my patience. Hours later, I lay on the couch still searching for the right present for all the right people in my life.

Top 10 Most-Read Posts of 2016

One of the best parts about running That First Year is getting to read all of the stories y’all send to me and thinking “Wow, that gal or guy is one helluva writer!” I’m forever grateful to be given this opportunity to take care of this space, creating community through stories shared of That First Year after college and beyond.

Below is a list of 10 posts that received the most reads this year. Give these posts a read as we bring this year to a close.

The Lesson of Loneliness

The other night, I drove the long way home, making lefts and rights that took me further from my vacant apartment. I listened to the kind of music that makes you think thoughts and feel feelings, and I passed by homes decorated for the holidays, the light within spilling out into the December cold. I’ve always admired these beautiful southern homes, but I don’t necessarily want the house or the massive paycheck you need to buy said house; I just desire the warmth that I imagine is inside.

The Weary World: Practical Ways to Give This Christmas Season

So how can we help the oppressed around the world during this season of giving? How can we help bring forth a “new and glorious morn” for our brothers and sisters who are suffering? One way is to donate to the charities and nonprofits who are doing the hard work on the ground to alleviate suffering. Here is a list of suggested organizations who are in need of your support this Christmas season.