Archive for May, 2015

Re: working hard in high school: Also, as someone who basically thought hard work = ambition = optional in high school, I can tell you that learning to work hard and to have some control over yourself and your time is PRICELESS. I thought I didn’t need to work on things that didn’t matter to me, but when I found out what I really wanted to do with my life, I had no idea how to put an effort and wasted a LOT of time learning. So, at least think of it as a time-saving skill or something…

Posting from the Askbox

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I’m sorry to ask because it is really privileged and I realize how lucky I am in my current job and what I can save, but, how do I know when I’m saving enough? I read that you were going to Europe on two trips and I know getting there is really expensive, much less traveling, and I really want to be able to travel to a different country each year. But I’m not sure how much to save for retirement and potential future expenses because this is the first year on my. How do you determine a budget?

First off: I don’t buy into tumblr culture where people constantly apologize and flagellate themselves for privilege. 

Congratulations on having a job and great on you for already thinking about fiscal responsibility. It’s never too early to think about, and the earlier you think about it, the less you have to worry about it later.

Retirement and saving is such an important thing I never try to offer advice on it specific to anyone. To the extent you’re able, take advantage of any 401(k) matching your employer does, and consider, if appropriate, speaking with a professional at some point. (If you’re in your 20s, you have some time before this piece becomes necessary.) Your bank will be HAPPY to sell you a Roth IRA or at least talk to you about it. Do not let yourself get pressured into committing before you want to, but they should be able to give you some info. 

As for saving for travel? 

I do pre-research and get a rough guesstimate of how much each trip will cost, and then I start putting stuff away a few dollars at a time. Some banks have online accounts that make this really easy (I’m thinking about PNC’s virtual wallet, specifically), but you should be able to kind of keep a back of envelope breakdown from your savings account. A lot of our money disappears into couch cushions in the form of $5 Starbucks or $20 cab rides or whatever. I think just being mindful of how you spend your money will help you enormously.

And on the travel itself? Travel in between high seasons and look into B&Bs and guest houses and hostels. I know hostels always bring to mind dorm horror, but many hostels have private rooms, and honestly if you’re traveling to see things you don’t need luxury in your hotel room, you need the money to try all the street food and have adventures. 

Happy traveling! 

PRU. I just finished a week of (lovely, interesting) work experience BUT why do young men get to dress so sloppily? They don’t even iron their shirts! I’M SO ANNOYED BECAUSE I SPENT LIKE HALF A DAY WORRYING THAT WEARING LOAFERS WOULD BE INAPPROPRIATE. (it was fine but! U G H)

I mean, in short, sexism.

But I wouldn’t waste psychic energy worrying about it because I promise you, having hosted work experience students before, we were noting what douchenozzles were dressed like goddamn bridge trolls and judging them for it.

Always be neat and clean. Fashionable and attractive are like, distant distant on the radar.

Pru! Your advice about working hard for what you want is really great and will be super helpful in the future! My problem right now (early college; I have plenty of time, and yet) is that I don’t know what I want, or like doing, and don’t have a clue how to find it. How do you start looking at your options (career-wise or other) and evaluating if you would enjoy them? Any response you can muster appreciated.

Anon! Congrats! This is what we call a “good problem to have.” Problems that stem from being scared from having opportunities, or too many potential choices? Always good problems to have – embrace them!

I think in this case, here is my advice:

It’s likely you have some thoughts on things you are interested in, very general areas. For example, if I had not had my head in a fucking bush puking as a freshman, I might have thought, “Gosh, I really love art history, and museums, but what the hell could I possibly do that involves those?” or maybe if I was stoned and kidding myself about my math skills, I would have thought, “Gosh, I really love astronomy. I wonder what I could do with that.”

I think a thing we fuck ourselves with is assuming that the proscribed, academic pursuit is the best way to go about understanding our career options when sometimes it’s the least illuminating method at our disposal. 

With that said, I would recommend, identify like, maybe four or five areas you’re interested in, and start doing some small scale research. If it’s medicine or (shudder) law or who knows, geography, figure out some real world places where these interests are used in work. If it’s medicine, call up a local hospital press office to see if they do candy striping, or if you could talk to a nurse or a doctor or something, maybe volunteer work to get the feel of the work. If it’s law, same thing, reach out to a few local law firms and see if you can volunteer or even bend someone’s ear about what their work is like. I’ve been contacted by college and high school students in my field of work and I’ve never turned anybody down who pinged me on LinkedIn or reached out through my university career services – I usually even buy them Starbucks. This is also a good time, if you have the option and you feel comfortable doing it, to use your parents. Does your dad or mom know anybody in the fields you’re curious about? Because you bet your ass they will try to help once they realize you’re doing professional groundwork already. But like I said, this is a comfort level thing and I never would have been okay doing this with my parents; that said, I know other people who have and it’s turned out great. You should make it clear there’s no expectation of a job or internship here, you just want to get information.

Once you know more about the practical realities of the work and opportunities you might be setting yourself up for, you can make a better, more informed choice. That might be that the thing you really LOVE? Won’t make a good career. I mean, who cares, you should definitely keep doing it, but maybe find another way to do something you like for a living, so that you can keep pursuing your interests on the side. But no matter what, hands on experience and real life experience from others is going to give you a lot more valuable insight.

Good luck! Happy hunting! This is the fun part!

halewithstilinski:

Supernatural cast dancing on the Supernatural Parody by The Hillywood Show ®   (x)

i struggle with figuring out WHY i should grind and work hard and strive for excellence in the rat race or whatever. i have been working hard all throughout high school, i’m the valedictorian of my class, and i feel just as empty and unfulfilled as i would have had i slacked off for the past 4 years. what even is the point if all of life is just this struggle, this fight to get ahead? i can’t stop thinking about the fact that in the end we all just die and our achievements are made meaningless

I mean this in the nicest possible way, but holy shit this is the most high school thing I have ever read in my life.

Look, all of this ennui and lack of direction you’re suffering? Don’t worry too much about it. You’re laying the groundwork for the wide world of choices you’re preparing yourself to have. I’ve talked a lot here in the last few days about how tough it can be, but very little about why it’s worth it. 

Right now, you are living with your parents and they are paying for your housing and clothing and food and entertainment. At some point in your life, you are going to need to pay your own cell phone bill so that you can keep refreshing tumblr. At some point, you are going to want to go on vacation somewhere amazing, and the only way you will be able to get there is with your own money. The nonsense you’re enduring right now? It’s all the life equivalent of getting a foot through the door. Your good grades and hard work are going to set you up to get into a good school, and the practice you’re getting working hard for your good grades is going to set you up for your professional life, where you have to learn job skills along the way so that you can succeed – which I define as the luxury of having choices in your life. Success is being able to say “no,” or being able to say “yes,” because you want to, not because you have to.  

We all work so we can live. I grind through it so that this July I can get on a flight to London and hang out with Lazlet and go to Cornwall and go to a WITCH MUSEUM. THEY HAVE A MUSEUM OF WITCHCRAFT DID YOU KNOW THAT? And also so that in November I can take another plane and go to Stockholm and then kick around Barcelona and go down to Italy. 

Yes, having to have a stiff upper lip sucks sometime but you can either contemplate the nihilism of hope or go eat some cake and visit a witch museum. I vote witch museum.

thegollux replied to your post: “Sorry to be one of the advice horde kicking down your door! You…”:

oh my god they didn’t just MOVE your stuff they also PACKED your stuff??? LIVING THE DREAM

Full. Fuckin. Service. Movers. So fucking expensive. So fucking worth it.


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