I’m About to Turn 25 and My Life is Nowhere Near as Put Together as I Thought It Would Be

I’m not sure about anybody else, but lately I’ve been feeling like I’m in complete limbo when it comes to what the actual hell I am doing with my life.

I have friends building houses, buying houses, friends getting engaged, having babies and friends already in their full time dream jobs.

Then there’s me: working 9-5 in a job that isn’t exactly what I want to be doing for the rest of my life, attempting to save money for a house deposit, while simultaneously wanting to travel to every corner of the world.

10 year ago, I had set myself a life plan.

Married, house and a baby on the way by 25, because 25 seemed like such a ‘have your shit together’ age, plus my mum was married at 21 and then had me at 23, so I just assumed it was an easy goal to strive for.

Source: Pinterest

I’m two weeks out from turning 25 and cannot see myself married, having children or owning my own home in that short time frame (that would take some serious voodoo).

It is simply not at all fair to put so much pressure on myself to have my life together by 25, nor is it something that I necessarily want anymore; so why am I envious and comparing myself to friends and family?

Several mental breakdowns and some incredible pow-wows with my best gal pals later, I’m slowly starting to realise that it’s actually totally okay that my shit isn’t totally put together yet. It’s not as if I haven’t accomplished some pretty fab things in my 24 years thus far.

Here’s a few things I’ve learnt and continue to tell myself when I feel like I’m not doing as well as others around me – and if any of this resonates with you, the following words of wisdom may help relieve that pressure!

I’m still figuring out who I am
Trying to figure out who you want to be and where you want to be is one of the hardest feats that life throws at you. How are you supposed to know what you want to do if you don’t fail and get a few things wrong first? Rome wasn’t built in a day honey.


We’re actually having the time of our lives
I can almost bet my last dollar that while you are torturing yourself over your friends’ latest Instagram post announcing their pregnancy, they’re just as jealous of your banging Saturday night selfies and drunk AF Snapchat story. The FOMO goes both ways.

We’ve learnt how to stand on our own two feet
While you may be living in a dingy one bedroom unit, eating your mi goreng cup noodles and barely making enough money to pay your rent – you’re actually learning valuable life lessons. Being able to pay rent steadily, knowing when to budget for bills, but also having money and time to do things for yourself is only something you can learn when you have to be responsible for yourself – something that deserves recognition.

There’s more time for travel 
Why are we even stressing? We’re literally only in our 20s, there’s so much the world has to offer: people to meet, places to see and lifelong friendships to make. It’s not like back in our parents’ day when travelling was almost not an option. Flights are getting cheaper, students get discounts and you’re just about guaranteed to have some life changing epiphany on a beautiful beach in Spain or at a winery in the French Riviera.

It may still be taking me time to accept that it’s okay I’m not weeks away from putting down a house deposit or having a baby but at least I know not all hope is lost and I’ll get there eventually.

It’ll just be when I’m ready and not because I feel the pressures of society.

How to Break Out of That Slump and Get Your Shit Back Together

I don’t know about anybody else, but that post new years motivation to get my life together has slowly but surely been drained from my being and all I want to do is revert back to Netflix in bed EVER. DAMN. DAY.

Not just me? Didn’t think so!

Well why don’t we try break out of this slump together by trying some of the following ways to kick our asses back into gear.

Source: Giphy

Acknowledge & accept the slump
One of the first steps in getting out of that slump is acknowledging you’re actually in one and figuring out how you got there in the first place.

Once you figure out why you’re feeling like a sloth, accept it , thank it for its time and tell it to kindly move the f*ck on because you’ve got shit to do.

Get inspired
What ever it is you want to achieve, even if it’s just to be more productive, find a muse.

For me, I get inspiration from others who have achieved what I want to achieve, or who are currently on the same creative journey and it’s nice to follow along and look up to them!

Set goals
Now it’s time to set some (attainable) goals.

It’s no use setting unrealistic goals like ‘earn one million dollars in the next month’ – that’s an exaggeration, but you get the point – because when you don’t achieve those goals you head right back down to slump town.

I find setting weekly goals that I can easily accomplish help keep me motivated to achieve bigger and better things down the track.

Mental strength
Out with the pessimism and in with the optimism!

You can’t sit there and dwell on all you have to do or everything you should have done, you need to focus on staying positive and increasing mental strength so that you can endure any bumps in the road.

Source: Giphy

Practice what you preach
Now it’s time to put all of this positive thinking and goal setting to the test.

Start really small. The whole point is to just do something. Something that will make you feel better, so get out there and kick some goals!

Start right now.

Time to polish that resume!

If you’ve just finished your degree or you’re looking for work, there’s a good chance you’ll need to update your resume. There’s an even higher chance some of you reading this haven’t done it in years.

Your resume is your introduction to potential future employers – and first impressions count. Here are some tips to help you give your resume the update it deserves.

1. Check for god damn spelling mistakes
I’m that one friend everyone sends their resume to for feedback. I can’t tell you the amount of times someone has spelled something as simple as their own email address incorrectly, put down the wrong phone number or made mistakes that would have been picked up on if they’d taken the extra five minutes to do a final edit themselves.
My best advice is to leave it for an hour or two (or overnight, if you can) then do your final check before sending off to a potential employer.

First, triple-check that your contact information is absolutely correct. Then, spell check using the spell checker on Word or whatever program you’re using. Last of all, do a final check yourself to be sure nothing was missed by the spell checker.

2. Make a generic copy, then tailor it to suit the position you’re applying for
You should ideally have two versions of your resume: a generic copy with all of the key details in it, and then a copy that you’ve made specifically for the position you’re applying, making sure to addresses all of the criteria in the job description that is relevant to you and your skill set. The resume you submit shouldn’t copy the requirements of the job verbatim, but the recruiter should be able to pick yours out of the pile and say ‘yep, they can do what we need them to’. Copying the exact wording of the job description is sloppy, and won’t be the best impression for a future employer.

3. Your high school probably doesn’t matter 
Once you’ve made your tailored resume for the job you’re applying for, make sure the ‘stuff’ on your resume is actually relevant. If you have a degree or higher education qualification, your high school probably doesn’t matter. If you’re applying for a job in your field of expertise and you have tonnes of experience, your first job in fast food isn’t relevant anymore. Although, if you don’t have a lot of experience, I’d leave it on there. Your early jobs are a great way to showcase your problem solving and people skills!

Essentially, keep it simple and prioritise quality over quantity. You want to hone in on the experience you have that will give you the edge in the new role, rather than focus on the small stuff and make it a painstakingly long read for the recruiter. Don’t go overboard with the amount of pages. If you’re resume is over four pages long, you especially need to take this advice. Less is more!

 

4. Don’t go overboard with pie charts or graphics
There’s a trend at the moment where people are adding pie charts to their resumes. I urge you not to jump on the trend – someone is going to take one look at it and wonder why you’re only 18% proficient in Microsoft Office. Graphics do add a nice and personalised touch to a resume, but don’t go overboard. You don’t want to stand out in a bad way. Don’t pick colours that are too bright, stick to a readable font like Arial and ensure there is plenty of white space.

5. Back yourself
Under your work experience, don’t just say ‘worked on a project’. Say something like, ‘I worked on a communications project that reached an audience of 800 people and was 90% successful’ or ‘social media engagement grew by 40%’. You want to tell the employer what you did and what it meant for the business or customer to show that you have the skills and the stats to back yourself up.

Now, I’m not a recruiter. But if you can polish your resume and go into each application with confidence and a good attitude, you’re bound to go far.

Written by Amanda Louise

Amanda Louise is a writer and photographer based on the South Coast of New South Wales, Australia. You can view more of her work at http://amandalouise.squarespace.com/

Image credit: Giphy

How to thrift like a pro

With the cost of living only growing, thrifting is a great way to update your wardrobe and invest in quality pieces without breaking the bank at the same time. I’ve thrifted SO MUCH over the years – from great vintage pieces to work wear and designer clothing with the tags still on.

It’s a cheap way to revive your look or pull together the things you need for work, uni or an upcoming event. Plus, it’s sustainable and better for the environment than heading down to your local shopping centre and buying a cheap shirt that won’t last longer than three washes. Here are my tips on how to get the most out of your next visit to Vinnies or the Salvos:

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1.Be Open

No thrift store is the same – some are huge spaces dedicated to clothing, and others have a tiny clothing section at the back. Visiting a thrift store can often feel overwhelming due to the sheer size or number of items inside.

To combat this and get the most out of the store, a good approach is to have an open mind and take it slow. If you’re set on finding a specific item from a specific brand in a specific size, you’ll leave the store feeling deflated when you don’t find it. Because there’s a very high chance you won’t. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to find a particular item, for example a pair of blue jeans or a plain black skirt, but don’t let this stop you from exploring what the rest of the store has to offer. If you walk in there knowing you want a pair of light blue Acne jeans in a size 32, you’ll be leaving empty handed.

Take your time and don’t rush. Don’t stick to the confines of gender categories or size categories. Check out the jackets even if you’re searching for pants. If you’re drawn to certain styles or colours, look there even if it’s not your normal style. Avoid falling into the trap of only running to the designer label section (if there is one) – it’ll be slightly more expensive and sometimes brands will fly under the radar and end up with the other stock. By having an open approach in thrift stores, you’ll be surprised at what you might find.

2. Don’t just shop in areas known for their great thrift stores

Areas that are known for their great thrift stores often make the items more expensive. Also, by the time you get there, no doubt everything good will have been thrifted before you even arrive. While these areas are still great to visit and often you will find gems, the best places to thrift are in the suburbs or whatever random store you come across on your day off.

I’ve thrifted in most cities in Australia, and found 90% of the best purchases in suburban stores. I found a brand new Forever New faux leather skirt with the tags still on for $5, a brand new Diana Ferrari jacket that retailed for $170 originally with a $10 price tag and an almost brand new Cue white button down work shirt for $4 in a random thrift store in a small town on the South Coast of NSW. There’s another thrift store in a suburb near me that gets sent left over clothes from brands like Atmos & Here. I once found Zimmerman and Kenzo in another. I also found an amazing Mt Fuji tour guide vintage jumper in the men’s section of another suburban Vinnies. Trust me, the suburbs are where it’s at.

3. Look out for sales

If you find a thrift store you really like or if there’s one you drive/walk/bus past every day, look in the window and see if there’s a sale coming up. This is a great time to go thrifting – you’ll save some extra $$$ and the buzz of lots of people around makes it way more fun.

4. Try it on

The day I found Kenzo jeans in Vinnies was one of the greatest moments for me in thrifting history. I saw the label, bought them immediately. Got home – and they didn’t fit.

It’s a good idea to try everything on before you buy, especially with vintage clothing or older styles as the sizing can be very different. I’m normally a size 14-16, but I’ve fit into size 10 before in a thrift shop. Keep that in mind while you’re browsing the store, and don’t be afraid to try something one or two sizes too big or small than what you are today.  

5. Don’t be a brand snobdfb.jpg

Two of my favourite and most worn thrifted items were originally from Target. Although I do love the thrill of finding big brands in these stores, don’t shy away from the rest. You don’t need to spend money to look great, and the label on the back of your shirt is meaningless if the item is ill fitted or doesn’t suit who you are.

Happy thrifting! 

Written by Amanda Louise

Amanda Louise is a writer and photographer based on the South Coast of New South Wales, Australia. You can view more of her work at http://amandalouise.squarespace.com/

 

Image Credit: Uproxx, Emma Chamberlain