MW University // August 18, 2014

Sixteen years of sitting in a classroom, and you’re almost there. College is almost over, and soon every friendly face will ask you about your future plans. Some of us can answer the “what are your plans after college” question with grace, charm, and confidence. Others will stumble through our answer, desperately trying to finagle our way around their judgements and our own confusion. This necessary life transition can seem intimidating and it is easy to be fearful of the unknown. But as you hang on to the last days of student life, there are a few things you should do to ensure the easiest transition into “real world adult life” when all of the college fun is over.

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Check out our “Surviving Senior Year Checklist”!

  1. First and foremost, senior year requires a highly organized calendar. Whether you use your phone, an organizer, or Google calendar, it is important to have easy access to your calendar so it may be constantly updated. During the year you will have classes, numerous meetings with mentors and counselors, career fairs, interviews, deadlines, etc., and it is important to stay organized.
  2. Perfect your resume. Now is the time to take a look at all of the jobs, activities and accomplishments you have had while in school, and connect the dots. You want to show employers and admissions personnel how your overall experience as a student allows you to contribute to their organization. Your resume should be tailored for each position that you apply to, but it is good to start off with an exceptional skeleton.
  3. Meet with your academic counselor. You should confirm with your counselor that you will complete all of your required classes before graduation. This meeting is also a good time to review your transcript and resume with your counselor, in case you require a recommendation at a later date.
  4. Meet with mentors, professors, and past employers that you may want to list as a reference or ask to write a recommendation on your behalf at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters. During your first meeting of the year, you should ask any questions you may have regarding your specific industry, go over your resume, and ask if there is anything additional you can do during your last year. In the beginning of the spring semester, you should update these individuals on your progress and request anything you may need for your job quest or graduate school applications (unless you are submitting your applications in the fall).
  5. If you are considering graduate school after college, take your standardized tests and complete your graduate school applications, aiming to submit in the first round of applications, which is usually in November or December.
  6. Take some time to do a thorough search through your social media accounts, and delete any media that may be interpreted as “unprofessional.” That means the albums “beach day with babes” and “red cup function” must disappear. Personal branding is incredibly important at this time. Make sure your brand reflects the person on your resume.
  7. Develop your LinkedIn profile, and add your connections from college and internships. Your peers will be beneficial for your job search now and in the future, and although you want to create new connections, don’t forget about the ones that you already have!
  8. Visit the Career Services and Alumni Office on campus. Believe it or not, it’s their job to keep you connected, and they want to see you succeed! Take the time while you are on campus to introduce yourself. Career Services is also a great place to get feedback on resumes and cover letters--take advantage!
  9. NETWORK! Attend job fairs, resume workshops, panel discussions, profession-related events, and anywhere else that you may make a valuable connection. You may not see the value in some connections now, but all connections may benefit you down the line. Build professional relationships now, and you will be glad you did later.
  10. SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH YOUR FRIENDS. After graduation, things will change. Some friends will move across the country; some friends will be unemployed; some friends will be so employed that they disappear off the face of the earth; and, some friends will get married and start families. All in all, you will never have the opportunity to hang out like you do now. Go on vacation with your BFF! Take advantage of your last spring break! Party like a rockstar with your gals! Because pretty soon responsibility will take precedent over friendship--that’s just adult life.
  11. HAVE FUN! You have the rest of your life to be an adult, and only one year left of college. Take advantage of the events, free food, and resources! You might as well go out with a BANG!

Feeling nervous about your senior year or plans after? Watch these TED Talks.

Published in MW University

Dating // March 11, 2013

Scrap your Mr. Perfect list.

What if I told you that when you annihilate the borders of restriction you allow in a tide of eligible men?

Would you be willing to release and let go of what you think will make you happy in a man?

Yes?  Cool.  Stay with me a minute.

Courage is key here.

Up until now, your checklist has been a self-erected barricade to love and probably held you back from getting precisely what you want – and more. Is it possible that your list has become a convenient excuse allowing you to dodge the challenge and closeness of a real relationship?

Often it can seem easier to remain single and independent, than to expose ourselves to the vulnerability and intimacy that is inherent in love’s blind faith.

So with fear at our backs – what do we do?  Seconds after meeting someone, we compare him to our Mr. Perfect list and judge him as not “the one.” Sound familiar?

(I’ve been guilty of it too, ladies.)

Who is Mr. Perfect anyway?

He is an idealized vision you have of the man you should be with for the rest of your life. He’s an illusion – a fictional character you’ve created based on limited, crumbling, and faded information from your past. It will be impossible to find the right man for you now – in the present – while your check list is based on an old, less brilliant version of you.

Take notice of where you are anchored.

Is it in the past, in fiction, or in reality?

Get to the pulse of your consciousness.

Let’s use me as an example.  I am 35 this October, and about 7 years ago, I sat down and wrote out my perfect man checklist.  I sealed it in an envelope and put it in a wish box under my bed.

My Mr. Perfect looked like this:  6'2", sandy blonde/brown hair, and boyish, all-American good looks. Think Matt Damon, but taller. He would be a power executive at a major firm who had VIP meetings on his cell phone, while drinking a wheatgrass juice on the way to the gym.  He had to live in the city, and have an impeccable sense of style.

Four years later, I still hadn’t found him. Why? Because I constructed this list based on old thought patterns, reactions, and judgements. I was unable to see that anyone else existed.

And I was lonely.

I needed to create a new normal for myself – pronto.

I set out on a mission to penetrate the present. I ripped up my perfect man checklist, and immersed myself in discovering what was true for me now. I began investigating the way I dated.  I let go of the stale ideas of what I thought would make me happy in a man. I was petitioning the universe to bring me something completely new and fresh.

Today, I’m in love with an amazing man who brings me complete elation.  He is 5'11", with dark and thick black hair, sexy ethnic eyes, hates wheatgrass, and has an obsession with coffee. He is passionate about his career, which is prosperous, but he’s certainly not wheeling and dealing major real-estate ventures. He owns his home out toward the desert, and to my lovely surprise, I enjoy listening to the rustle of the trees at night rather than honking horns.

See the contrast?

My ideas of the ideal man were so pale and so restricted compared to his shine.

Are you short-changing yourself?

Is it possible that your vision of the perfect man is way too narrow?

Why confine yourself to some fantasy idea of who you think you should be with?

Love is art, and art is risky.

Take a risk.

Torch self-limiting dating concepts.

Love is waiting for you on the other side.

And she is pure and she is encouraging.

Published in Love + Dating