3 Non-Academic Things To Do Before Your Freshman Year Of College

Students sitting on grass in front of brick building
Share on FacebookShare on Twitter+1Pin it on PinterestSubmit to redditShare on TumblrShare via email

August is winding down, and fresh high school graduates (like my brother) are preparing to take on a new stage of their life.

Incoming college freshman need to do a lot of official things before you finish “THE LONGEST SUMMER OF YOUR LIFE.” However, you’ll want to accomplish some less official things before leaving home, too—like spending time with loved ones and exploring all you can.

For the Syracuse-bound Little Goose, his big sis’s to-do list for him includes preparing for the cold north. “Chancletas” (flip-flops) are not meant to be worn year round in the northeast. No matter how much you wish you could. For you, here are three other suggestions on what to do.

How To Find Your Ideal Apartment On A Budget

Three windows facing New York City skyscraper and buildings
Share on FacebookShare on Twitter+1Pin it on PinterestSubmit to redditShare on TumblrShare via email

Moving is always a pain. Doesn’t matter where you are. The fees, the packing, the sacrifices—they can scar a person. In NYC, though, moving is pretty much even worse. The rents keep going up, there’s a shortage of good places, and no space to put your stuff.

During my original move to the city, I fell into an apartment that a friend of a friend recommended. Now, going into my second year, I’ve taken a more hands-on approach. I am on a mission to find the perfect place—on a budget of course. If you’re starting your apartment search, here are a few tips I’ve learned to help you get your ideal spot.

3 Networking Tips That Can Help You Land A Job

Blonde woman talking to brunette woman
Share on FacebookShare on Twitter+1Pin it on PinterestSubmit to redditShare on TumblrShare via email

Last April, I finished my first TV gig in NYC. I was happy to work on what I studied. Plus, it’s quite gratifying when you see your name on TV.

Unfortunately, a few months of “funemployment” followed. I started to lose hope and thought I’d never work on another production. I applied to a barista job; I took on more babysitting hours; I reconsidered going back to school—you know, the normal existential crisis a post-grad has.

And then, just when I was about to give up, an email with an exciting opportunity appeared. That’s when I realized all my networking tactics were working. I could breathe easy again.

4 Ways You Can Have A Budget-Friendly Summer

Flaming grill with burgers and hot dogs
Share on FacebookShare on Twitter+1Pin it on PinterestSubmit to redditShare on TumblrShare via email

Summer is my favorite time of the year—and not just because my birthday falls right in the middle of it. The good weather that comes with the endless “summer daze” means more outside events and, with that, endless possibilities for good times.

This will be my first summer in New York City, as well as my first summer as a freelancer. In order to keep up with my loan payments/survive New York, I have to be extra conscious about my spending.

With that in mind, I made a few “suggestions” to myself that I encourage you to follow for a budget-friendly summer.

3 Ways Undergrads Can Become Financial Pros Before Graduation

233453727_9bf49b9d21
Share on FacebookShare on Twitter+1Pin it on PinterestSubmit to redditShare on TumblrShare via email

Here in NYC, the subway is packed with the latest batch of new hopefuls entering the workforce. As I zigzag through them, I wonder how many have loans—and how many are freaking out about the whole “paying back” thing.

This made me start to think about all the small decisions I could have made while in school to positively affected my repayment process. I can’t turn back time. But if I want to keep my job as “best big sister” to the little goose, I can help him prepare for his student loans now that he’s done with high school and heading to Syracuse University.

If you still have time left in school (whether it’s 1 year or 4), take advantage of these tips too.

Freelancing Too “Free”? How To Successfully Make Money On The Side

NERF_N-Strike_Elite_Strongarm
Share on FacebookShare on Twitter+1Pin it on PinterestSubmit to redditShare on TumblrShare via email

It’s been a year since I graduated. Can you believe that? I can’t.

I still think of myself as a “recent graduate” who has just been set free into the real world. In a few days, there will be a plethora of Facebook status updates and “hello real world party” invites from the graduating class of 2014. It’s official. I’ve been in the workforce for a year now. Well, technically.

Truth is, freelancing doesn’t feel like being part of the work force—especially since you have to find other jobs to help you make due.

I Wasn’t Expecting This Expense

Things happened, that's a given. So make sure as prepared as you can.
Share on FacebookShare on Twitter+1Pin it on PinterestSubmit to redditShare on TumblrShare via email

Earlier this month, I received news from back home that my uncle Rafo passed away. When I first heard the news that he was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor back in January, I knew that I had to prepare to travel at a moment’s notice since well, la vida es impredecible (Life is unpredictable). I didn’t expect him to leave so soon. I had managed to save up a few bucks but almost not enough.

Why Freelancing Is Not Really “Free”

carmen portfolio
Share on FacebookShare on Twitter+1Pin it on PinterestSubmit to redditShare on TumblrShare via email

I dove into the freelance world right after college with a few ideas on how the whole thing worked. My professors talked about it constantly during those last weeks of class, and this gave me a taste of what I’d deal with after graduation day.

“Never leave your house without a business card,” they said. “A written thank you card can get you places.” Their stories gave me an idea of what it meant to be a freelancer, but they didn’t tell me how much it would cost me—literally.

A Love Letter To My Tax Refund

2260353_02fa12cf
Share on FacebookShare on Twitter+1Pin it on PinterestSubmit to redditShare on TumblrShare via email

So, you’re single on Valentine’s Day in New York City. But that doesn’t stop you from getting into the spirit of things. New York has that charm about it. It’s not sad; there are a lot a of couples enjoying the day, as well as a lot of friends enjoying each other’s company.

Being the sappy romantic that I sometimes secretly am, I wrote a few love letters in honor of today’s holiday. Maybe three. And well, I’d thought I’d share the one that made the most sense for this here blog: a love letter to my tax refund.

(And if you think writing a letter to money is strange, you haven’t been paying attention.)