Favorite New Spot: Pour Coffee Lounge

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Tuesday night my sister came to me and said she heard of a breakfast place near Park Ave (in Rochester) and wondered if I’d be interested in going there on our day off together. After that exceptional description I agreed, and Wednesday morning we rolled out of bed and made our way to Pour Coffee Lounge.

Oh my God.

I haven’t stopped talking about it since. The Pour Coffee Lounge is located on 23 Somerton Street, off of Park Avenue. We had a little bit of a tough time finding it, since it’s behind the row of street-side buildings, including Abbotts and Boulder Coffee,  and the (small) parking lot can only be accessed by taking a few back and side streets. But we made it. It’s pretty unimpressive from the outside, but I trusted Bridget’s judgement and in we went.

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It’s the kind of rustic-meets-industrial environment that is homey and comforting rather than isolating and disengaging. The floors were concrete and the chairs were all metal, but the tables and bar were all wooden slabs. Coffee was served in glass mugs and mason jars, and meals were served on wood platters that resembled cutting boards (that description courtesy of Bridget). There were vases filled with flowers and it was bright and airy despite the contrast of the cold floors. It was the kind of place that makes me want to settle in with my laptop and a cup of coffee and stay for a few hours. And there were plenty of people doing just that.

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The menu isn’t extensive, but it definitely has enough. Everything offered is locally farmed or made from locally sourced ingredients. The coffee section is split into “black” and “white” drinks, black being coffees of different brewing techniques, and the white being drinks made with milk, like lattes and cappuccino. We both ordered iced coffee, only to find out that their cold brewed coffee is actually on tap. I had never heard of such a thing but it was strong and delicious. They had local whole milk and raw sugar to mix in, too.

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Bridget ordered a Lumber Jill, a breakfast sandwich, with eggs and sausage, and even better, they have gluten-free bread for her wheat-free dietary needs. She was so obsessed with the bread that after she inhaled her sandwich, she went back up to the counter and asked where they get it from. Turns out, they get it from Ellie’s in Fairport. So if you’re from the area and are looking for good gluten-free bread, that’s the spot. Pour also has a selection of gluten-free cookies and muffins, if a sandwich isn’t what you’re looking for.

After reading the menu for five minutes straight in indecision, I settled on the Lone Turkey. The sandwich came stacked high and it was absolutely delicious. The greens were fresh and there was at least an inch of fresh sliced turkey, plus spicy jack cheese that gave it a little kick. The cucumbers were a nice touch, too, adding a little bit of crunch. And the sourdough bread was perfect; not hard and crusty, but soft with a tiny bit of flavor. I inhaled the entire thing.

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I’ve been telling literally everyone I know about Pour, because I feel like it’s such a gem of a place and I want to go back already. They have waffles on the menu that look absolutely amazing, and are something I definitely need in my life.

Next time I go back, I’m bringing my laptop and making a day of it. A cup of coffee and a muffin, and after a few hours, a sandwich and a glass of wine. Yes. They also have wine and beer. I want Pour to stay the kind of hidden little Park Ave treasure that it is, but I also think everyone should go there because it definitely deserves recognition and business. A+ FOR POUR.

Sunnies by Zenni

zenni-sunglassesI’ve written about my love for Warby Parker before, and I will explain the entire process and company to anyone and everyone because I am a huge fan of the company and their products. But their prescription sunglasses are a little pricy and that’s what I was looking for this time around.

I’ve read and watched a lot of things about the eyeglasses industry and the more I learn the less I want to buy designer eyewear and the more I research different companies who provide the same quality eyewear at a more fair price.

The eyewear industry basically consists of one monster company, Luxottica, who manufactures basically every eyewear brand you’ve ever tried to buy. Ray Ban, DG, Coach, Tory Burch….and on and on and on. Glasses are decently cheap to produce, but Luxottica will mark up the prices significantly (as we all know). Luxottica also owns several eyeglasses retail chains, including Lenscrafters, so in order to get an in at one of these companies, a designer has to go through Luxottica or their glasses won’t be on the shelves. What companies like Warby Parker and Zenni do is cut out the middle man and manufacture and sell their glasses themselves. That way, they can provide quality eyewear to the consumer (us!) for a much better price. And I’ve found that these companies generally care more about their customers, too.

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SO. I was looking for a good pair of prescription glasses to keep in my car for when it’s really sunny, and I went to Zenni, since that’s where my (frugal) parents have been ordering their glasses for a while now. I found this pair, and then when I was ordering my lenses, I ordered an amber tint to them, so they would be sunnies. I didn’t get them polarized, just glare resistant, because I’m not made of money here.

What’s important when you’re ordering glasses anywhere is to not only have you Rx, but to have your pupillary distance, too. My dad measured mine last summer, since that’s the one thing the optometrist won’t willingly give up to you, but it’s simple, the instructions can be found here, and all you need is a ruler with millimeters. When you make your first order from Zenni, they include a ruler with your glasses for future use.

I ended up paying about $40 total for mine, which is a fraction of what I would pay anywhere else. They came in about a week and a half, and the quality is actually better than I expected. I would equate my frames with my Warby Parker ones, they’re a sturdy plastic, and they’re fashionable. I’m not sure how I feel about the frames themselves, I think I just chose the wrong style, but I would definitely order from Zenni again. They have tons of different styles for both eyeglasses and sunglasses and almost all of the frames are under $30. I am sold and Zenni is definitely worth the money.

Where To Eat in Rochester: Rocco

Continuing with my ongoing exploration of Rochester, my family, Andrew and I went to Osteria Rocco last week to celebrate Andrew being home/Bridget getting Dean’s List/me graduating. My parents had been there several times before and always talked about how good it is, so we finally carved out a night and made our reservation. (Side note, Edwin was also invited “for being nice to Bridget” but he had to work so he couldn’t be there.)

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Rocco is a delicious Italian restaurant on Monroe Avenue, right off the Inner Loop. The place itself is decently cramped, so if you’re planning on going with a party larger than two or three, I’d suggest making a reservation, but they’re really good about it.

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My dad had been raving for months about the appetizers there, saying they were better than the actual food, so we started off with fried mozzarella, fried risotto fritters and house made ricotta and charred bread. They were all amazing. The mozzarella and risotto came in a pool of tomato sauce, warm and delicious. I was most interested in the house-made ricotta. I’m a big cheese lover and something about a cheese made in-house just spoke to me. It was delicious and incredibly fresh. I ended up just eating spoonfuls rather than spreading it on the toasted bread because it was that good.

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They had an interesting mix of cocktails and wines, too. My dad has been on a weird blood orange kick this year, which included a Rochester-wide hunt for blood orange juice, so when he spotted a blood orange martini on the drink menu, he ordered it immediately. I am not a fan of martinis or the taste of vodka, so I settled for a glass of wine. What was great about Rocco was that they have a ton of different Italian wines which are delicious and authentic. The bad part is that they aren’t the traditional “pinot noir” or “merlot” names. But the waitstaff is so knowledgeable and helpful, I told our waiter I prefer a pinot noir, and he gave me the blend that came closest and it was a perfect. I’m no pro at describing wines, but some red wines have the tendency to make me wince and pucker my lips on their way down, but this one was delicious and went down super easy.

They also had house-made sodas, which Bridget was all about, and she ordered one orange and one lemon and sucked down both in about a minute.

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I ordered an eggplant cannelloni, which is basically ricotta cheese and sauce folded into long, flat noodles, with eggplant on top. It was divine. I’m not a huge eggplant fan, but that combined with the sauce and fresh ricotta (!!) was just so delicious. My mom ordered the lasagna, which was basically the same thing, but without eggplant and plus mozzarella and meat and that was just as heavenly. If we ever make it back, I’m ordering that one for myself.

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My parents had told me about the unique way Rocco serves pizza – with scissors – so I was interested to watch my dad and Andrew tackle theirs, especially because someone as messy and useless with scissors as myself would be embarrassing in that situation. So the pie comes out in a circle, uncut. would have cut it across like one would use a pizza cutter, but the strategy that seemed to work best for them was to cut it out, one slice at a time.

All in all, Rocco was a delicious little gem hidden away on Monroe ave. I had, what my dad would call, a lavish meal there, and I will definitely be returning. 

Things To Do In Rochester: Public Market

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A few summers ago, I came home from a year of eating in the Fordham Caf (gross) and all I wanted was fresh, healthy foods. After a few weeks of buying mass amounts of fruits and veggies at Wegmans, my mom declared that my fruit habit was too expensive to support at the grocery store anymore, and that I should start going to the Public Market downtown to stock up.

I had been to the Market a few times in my past, but the early wake-up time required always turned me off. But that first week, my dad woke me up at 8 and off we went. It became a weekly event, starting with coffee and bagels before and tons of fresh produce after. Now I look forward to our Saturday mornings at the Market. At the start of this summer, my dad was working on renovating our family room, so he was too busy for the Market trips, and I missed the fresh strawberries and maple syrup to the max. This weekend was our first trip, and we couldn’t have waited for a more beautiful day.

The Public Market is located at 280 North Union Street, and we usually get to it by taking Portland Ave all the way down, and then there’s signs that point you through the last few turns to the parking lot.

The key to the Market is to get there early. Which is why I have such a love/hate relationship with it. Ideally, we would leave the house between six or seven am, but we don’t usually get there until around nine or ten. But there is still always enough produce to go around.

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There are several different pavillions, two open ones outside, and one enclosed one inside. The most logical way to go through is to just take your time and go through the two outdoor ones and then finish up with the indoor one. The outdoor ones are filled with fruits, veggies and some baked goods, and the indoor one has more meats, fish and pastries. Along the edges on either side there are also a few different food vendors, including Boulder Coffee and Cure Bar and a few other specialty shops, including one where we get the best cinnamon raisin bread.

Another key to the Market is to bring your own bags. Each vendor usually puts their produce in a plastic grocery bag, so instead of carrying an armload of those, a reusable market bag works wonders.

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Our favorite things to get at the Public Market include:

  • Homegrown berries (straw-, blue-, black-)
  • Maple Syrup
  • Fresh herbs (basil and mint this week)
  • Grapes
  • Apples
  • Tomatoes
  • Bell peppers
  • Peas and green beans
  • Cinnamon raisin bread
  • Eggplant
  • Onions
  • Fresh flowers

Not only is the Market produce a lot cheaper than supermarket food, but I feel better about it. It’s all homegrown so I’m supporting local farms and businesses, and the foods feel more wholesome. The strawberries are small but incredibly sweet, the apples are juicy and delicious and the bread is soft and fluffy.

The space of the Market is used during the week, too. On the last Wednesday of each month, the City hosts a Food Truck Rodeo, where all of the Food Trucks gather and blow your mind. Sushi, wood-fired pizza, barbecue, mac and cheese–anything. It’s almost overwhelming, but it’s equally, if not more delicious. I’ve been to both the May and June one so far this summer….

The Public Market is one of my favorite things about Rochester, as it’s so wholesome and fulfilling, and I hope it’s something I continue to do for the rest of my life. It’s something special I get to do every week with my dad and something I look forward to on Saturday mornings, and special time I get to spend doing something with my dad that we both love.

Athleta Love

I’ve barely been employed by Athleta for two weeks and I’ve only had training but I’ve fallen for the company and Gap Inc. in general. The company just cares about its employees more than any company I’ve worked for, and I really admire that.

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The first thing is their slogan: Power to the she. Their main goal is to support and empower women. In a world where gender equality is still an issue, I love this mission. All of their partnerships and community service works to lift up women of all races and sizes and walks of life, and meet this goal, which I think is incredibly admirable, since many companies don’t have any missions at all.

Athleta is also partnered with brands that aim to serve the community. Girls on the Run is a non-profit organization that promotes healthy lifestyles for young girls, and the fact that Athleta partners with them shows how much they care, not only about their company and employees, but about the community as well. They also provide classes and training programs for customers.

In-store, Athleta also has free Luna bars (a long-time favorite of mine) as well as free alterations, should someone need them. And their return policy is amazing too. They encourage shoppers to wear the article they purchased, and even work out and sweat in it, and if they don’t like it, they can return it for a full refund.

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Not to mention, I’m head-over-heels obsessed with most of their products. Not only are they adorable to work out in, but they’re also wearable outside the gym too, and incredibly stylish.

The more I learned about the company, the more I fell in love. It’s just so different from any other place I’ve worked, and their whole mission and message just makes me feel good about being employed there.

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Another thing is their starting wage. No Gap Inc. employee gets paid under $9 an hour, and starting later this year, it won’t fall below $10. I think it’s extremely important that companies understand their employees and their costs of living, and the fact that Gap pays so well is so different and ultra impressive to me.

Gap Inc. as a whole works to be socially responsible, be it for the environment or community relations or human rights, they strive to do what’s right and I really respect that. I’ve done a ton of research on the company, out of my own curiosity and interest and the more I find the more I love. I’ve been saying now that my dream job is to work at corporate Gap in San Francisco, because I genuinely believe it’s an amazing company and somewhere where I’d absolutely love to be. A girl can dream, right?

 

all images courtesy of Athleta’s instagram 

Rejection…ouch

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I’m obviously extremely stressed about post-grad life. My parents and friends and friends’ parents are constantly saying, “enjoy your summer, it’s the last you’ll ever have,” and similar things, and while I get it, the idea of having a relatively impressive degree and nothing to show for it is extremely disappointing. The first few weeks of summer were tough but I persisted and applied for as many jobs as possible each day. And finally, after about a month, companies started responding. One interview turned into a few and I was feeling extremely optimistic…until I didn’t.

I did everything I could. I was professional and prepared and I followed up. I even sent hand-written thank yous and followed up again. But I didn’t get any jobs I interviewed for. It was tough on me and a blow to my positivity. I thought maybe this was it, I was going to end my search and finally find something.

It’s foolish, I know, to expect to get an offer after your first or second interview, but I had been confident nonetheless. Now, I am less so. I’m back at square one, applying to every job I can until someone calls. While all of the jobs I interviewd for felt right, I’m taking the message that they weren’t. I know what is meant to be will be (que sera, sera) and that I will end up where I truly belong, but in the meantime I am beyond frustrated. I have a degree from a fairly competitive university and also have been interning since my sophomore year, in hopes that finding a career would be easier. Everything in my life thus far has been in order to prepare me for a career and I don’t yet have one and I can’t even explain how discouraging that fact alone is.

I do have faith and confidence in myself but it is so hard to be knocked down, especially when each day is one day closer to the end of that six month loan repayment deferral period. Athleta should keep me afloat and I am incredibly grateful for that, but all I want is my career. I’m not meant to be a student or an athlete. I know deep in my bones I am a person who’s meant to have a career and give her all to that position. I’m ready.

I have also been enjoying my last summer, going away with friends and spending time getting adequate amounts of sleep. I’m just hoping someday I look back, happily from my job, thinking, wow, that was such an amazing summer and I’m so happy at this job.

 

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Life Lately

Ironically, after I wrote my post about not having much going on or much inspiration, I started getting ideas. Mostly, just a kind of general update about my life. Because even though I claim to not be up to anything, I’ve been out and about here and there.

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1. I have a semi unhealthy addiction to Sips. Their iced coffee is delicious and I’ve been there more times this week than I’m proud to admit.

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2. After a year of collecting bracelets, and then statement necklaces, I’ve started dabbling in statement earrings. I’ve been wearing the same pearl studs since 10th grade, but when I want to seem a little dressier I wear some that dangle a little. I have a pair from Forever21 and one from Old Navy that pretty much get the job done, but I’m sure I’ll end up collecting way more than I need. I also grabbed these lip products while Bridget and I were out the other day. I’ve been eyeing the NYX Butter Glosses ever since I got home, and I didn’t already have a nude color, so I finally pounced. And since I needed a concealer and CoverGirl was running a buy one get one half off deal, I grabbed this Jumbo Gloss Balm, since during the last week of school I lost my favorite from Bite Beauty. The color isn’t an exact match, but the bright pink is perfect for summer time.

3. Athleta. I got a part time job! Just a minor step, but it will help to stop the hemorrhaging of money that’s been going on lately. Plus, Gap Inc. is a truly delightful company. I would even love to consider a career at corporate Gap in San Fran someday. But for now, I’ll be spending nights and weekends at Eastview with luxury women’s workout apparel.

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4. I have an oddly shaped or proportioned body. I don’t know what it is about it exactly but I feel like I don’t look right in normal crop tops and I’m rarely confident in them. However, I snagged a few last week, one from Forever21 and one from Express with longer lengths and I’m absolutely loving them. They’re short enough in length to show enough skin, but I don’t feel uncomfortable in them at all. On the same day, Aeropostale had bralettes on sale for $7, so I grabbed one on a whim, and I’ve been wearing it, what feels like, constantly. They’re comfortable, and look really pretty under see-through shirts or tank tops, and I don’t mind if the straps show, because of how cute the lace looks.

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5. Andrew is coming home next week! His third quarter at school has come to a close and he’s coming back the 19th for two and a half weeks and for the 4th of July. Our favorite holiday. Not only is Andrew coming home, but all of our out of town friends are coming. Kara, Mitch, Lauren, Dylan. I am so excited.

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6. For graduation, my parents surprised me with a car. We had been talking about buying a used one for months, and then I stopped hearing about it so I stopped asking and continued saving. On my graduation day they gave me a set of keys on a Fordham Alumni keychain and I almost started crying. It’s the cutest little black 2004 Nissan Sentra and I am incredibly lucky that my parents were able to provide me with it. Hopefully, soon I’ll have a job to drive it to… But, this weekend I took the longest drive I’ve ever done to New Jersey to see Kaitie and go to Scott’s graduation party. It was so exciting to see everyone and be on the beautiful rooftop. I can’t wait for Kait to come visit hopefully soon.

7. I’ve been working on several different shows lately, which isn’t something I normally do. I like to binge on one at a time until it’s finished, but since I’ve been home I’ve been hopping between Orphan BlackParks and Recreation, House of Cards and, of course, Orange is the New Black. They’re all so different but when I get tired of watching hours of one, I just switch and get back into another.

I think that’s mostly everything I’ve been up to. Kaitie is planning on coming to visit sometime soon, and hopefully soon I’ll have updates from my job hunt. In the meantime, I’ll be here applying to more and making some money selling yoga pants.

 

Strugglin’

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I’ve been going back and forth about writing on this blog. I like writing, but so much in my life is uncertain right now. I don’t have a job or anything to do with myself besides look for a job and try to enjoy summer and that stresses me out. Some people, when stressed, dive into their blog as a place of refuge. I used to. But now I feel like I have nothing to say. There’s no drama, just questioning.

Maybe when I find a job and settle in and get into a rhythm I’ll find it easier to sit down and write posts, but at this point I’m legitimately struggling to think of content. I’m not going to write every week that I’m still not working, still searching and applying. I hate spending free time blogging because I feel like I could be using it so much more efficiently, searching jobs, writing cover letters, helping around the house so I don’t get kicked out…

I love my blog and I love writing, but I am painfully aware that I’m not in school anymore and I don’t have the same free time and experiences to share. For now, I will continue to write when I do something interesting or if a career comes up, but until then, I’ll just be here, trying as hard as I possibly can to join the workforce and be a productive member of society.

But hey, this weekend I’m driving down to New Jersey to see Kaitie for Scott’s grad party, so that will definitely be worth sharing afterward. :)

PostG Week 2: I Stopped Crying

It’s officially been two weeks since I got back from the Bronx and my college career ended and I did, in fact, stop crying every day. The initial sadness wore off, and I still talk with most of my good friends. I’m more concerned now with spending time with my friends here and enjoying my time with them, as well as trying to get myself employed.

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Now that we’re all finally 21, there are lots of fun things we can do in Rochester that we just weren’t old enough for in summers past. Last Friday we planned a little ladies’ night and got dinner and headed to the zoo for Zoo Brew. It was nice to hang out with just the girls, since we’ve been hanging out with the whole group for so long. We laughed and had a few drinks and then ran into literally everyone we went to high school with at the bar after.

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Memorial Day weekend my friends and I packed up a few cars and drove down to Keuka Lake for a night. I had been feeling a little under the weather with what I thought was allergies, so I took a Zyrtec and made the trek. It was amazing to just be up in the woods with friends and a few beers just laughing at anything for a night.

It turned out, however, that I had some kind of respiratory infection and I slept for like, three days straight after I came home. Besides writing cover letters and applying to jobs, I would just sleep hours on end. Luckily, Wednesday brought me to the doctor and since then I have been feeling tons and tons better.

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And then this weekend was Erin’s 22nd birthday weekend, so we went all out for her. Saturday night we went to the bars in downtown Rochester as a whole group. I’m not typically a bar lover, but I managed to have tons of fun, and not have any New Year’s Eve disasters.

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Lauren is moving away at the end of this week, and Erin will be gone in August, so despite my impending job search, I’m also trying to spend as much time with my friends as possible, since I really have no idea what the future holds for me. I’ve started looking for a part time job so that I can at least have something to do, and money to spend while I search for something full time and long term. This whole situation definitely isn’t ideal, and I actually hate the whole process, but I’m trying as hard as possible, and tomorrow I’ll wake up and try harder.

In the meantime I’ll also spend a ton of time with my dogs.

Postgrad: Week 1

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My first week after graduation has been rough. I can’t even imagine what it would be like for people who loved all four years of school. I’ve cried every day since walking the stage (embarrassing), and life just feels so…weird. I’m in a weird flux between loving life and living on such a fixed schedule to doing absolutely nothing but applying for jobs with no end in sight. I haven’t unpacked the mess that’s waiting in my room, and to op it off, I’m breaking out. Bad.

Everyone tells you to enjoy that period of time between college and starting your career because “you’ll be working for the rest of your life.” But it’s hard to enjoy an indefinite stretch of time where all you have to worry about it finding your career before the student loan bills start coming in. Everyone says “you’ll find something,” but it feels like there are so many people all looking for the same job with only so many positions. I torture myself, thinking of just how long this could last. You’d hope it would be less than six months but it is so unbelievably uncertain you really don’t know.

Not to mention it’s embarrassing. I just graduated from a really good school with two and a half years of internships under my belt and I’m still telling people that I don’t know what I’m doing, where I’m going? Mortifying. And even if I get a part time job just to bring in some money to save, all I can think of is, I paid all that money for a degree and this is what I’m doing??

I try to keep myself busy, thoroughly applying to as many jobs as possible, and joining a gym. It helps to work off steam, but it’s also another thing to spend money that I don’t necessarily have. I just feel kind of lost and directionless and so unbelievably bored. Life is weird and sad and stressful, but I just keep praying that everything will work out soon. I’m just infinitely thankful my parents are in a situation to support me until I do find something.

In other news, after this week my mother will no longer tolerate my “wallowing,” so hopefully the post-grad depression eases soon.