Sweet Solitude: 5 Tips for Living Alone

Sweet Solitude

Living alone is exactly what you make of it. I never expected to live alone after college, but I ended up in a situation where I needed to find an apartment on a deadline and a studio apartment in the downtown section of my hometown was available. So I applied, got the apartment, and lived by myself for a year.

And I LOVED it.

Seriously, not that I don’t love my current situation more, but living alone was an amazing opportunity for me. It taught me independence, improved my work ethic, and gave me the confidence to get out and experience more. Sure, I was working 50+ hours a week to barely support myself, but you do what you have to.

If you’re in a situation where you might be living on your own, it can be a little unnerving. How many horror movie situations have played through your head as you try to imagine your first night in your own apartment? Here are five ways you can make your time of solo living safe, productive, and overall happy.


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5 Lessons I Learned My Senior Year of College

5 Lessons I Learned my Year

My senior year of college started with a mix of excitement, sadness, and fear. I lived in an on-campus apartment with my best friend and the girls who would over the course of the year become my other best friends. I planned two major music recitals, one because it was required for my degree, the other because said best friend and I apparently decided we didn’t have enough work to do. And over the course of the year I developed the skills and strength to step off of campus and into a mature, adult life.

Who am I kidding with the last one?

Looking back, senior year really was one of the biggest years of my life. While I learned a ton over the course of college, it is the lessons I learned at the end of my time at Westfield State that really stuck with me.

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Move-In Day! The Giant List of Dorm Essentials You Really Don’t Want to Forget!

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list of dorm essentials

It’s move-in time! You might be scanning your packed bags one last time or you might already be unpacking in your new dorm. Either way, here’s a big list of dorm essentials you’ll need for a successful year:

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How to Rock the Farmer’s Market on a Budget


How to Rock the Farmer's Market on a Budget (1)

Farmer’s markets are like a mix of everything people our age care about. They’re local, artisan, and they’re packed with all sorts of healthy and/or delicious foods. The only downside is that farmers markets can be pretty expensive. So you may have been shying away from going to your local market or maybe it never even occurred to you to check one out.

That’s how it was for me until about a year ago, when I moved from Boston to a nearby city and did some exploring on a Saturday morning. Now I’m totally in love with farmers markets, despite the fact that I don’t exactly have a Whole Foods budget. But with a little thought, you can make your local farmer’s market a beloved part of your summer and autumn.
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Saturday Roundup: 8/20/16

Saturday Round-Up marigold ale

Marigold Ale launched nearly three weeks ago and I can’t believe everything that’s happened in that time. I’ve connected with so many great people, read everything I can find about blogging, and picked up a regular freelancing gig because of my blog.

My summer course finished up last night and I have a week until my fall course and final graduate elective begins, so I’m looking forward to a little time off to spend with my family and work on establishing Marigold Ale more.

So for this post, I figured I’d do a roundup of the past few weeks of things I’ve written, loved, and shared. So here are some links for your lazy Saturday afternoon. Enjoy!

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5 Storage Tips for Tiny Apartments

5 Storage Tips for Tiny Apartments

Your home is your castle, even if it’s the size of a closet. It’s amazing how much stuff you realize you’ve accumulated when you’re moving into a tiny apartment and the idea of storing it all can be intimidating and frustrating. But don’t feel like you have to accept being overrun by piles until your lease is up. Here’s some advice on how to keep your little castle from feeling cluttered and overwhelming.

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10 Tips for an Amazing First Semester

10 Tips for An Amazing First Semester

First semester of freshman year can be terrifying. You go from living at home with your family and the friends you’ve had since you were little to suddenly having to fend for yourself in an unfamiliar environment. My first day of college was blazing hot and I remember saying goodbye to my parents, sitting on my new bed, and just listening to the noise of the campus coming in through my dorm room window and open door. This was finally college, after years of dreaming about it.

Your first semester can really set the tone for your whole college career. Once the novelty of living in the dorms and going to class wears off, you’re still living in the dorms and going to class. So you need to find ways to stay focused and motivated through the term. These are ten tips to help you get off to an awesome start in college.

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7 Books You Should Read After College

7 Books You Should Read After College

I graduated from college five years ago, a fact I can’t always wrap my head around. That afternoon, I left my graduation ceremony and drove west on the Mass Pike toward the rural apartment I’d been gradually moving into over the past week. My first post-college job, counter help at the deli of a tiny grocery store, had absolutely nothing to do with my degree. I was living over a hundred miles away from my tight-knit family with no clue what I was going to do with the rest of my life. But it was time to sink or swim. In times like these, books can be a comfort. They can show you different ways of thinking about your circumstance, show you what might be coming, or just let you know you aren’t alone.

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Get Pumped: 5 Quick Tips to Jump Start Your Motivation

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jump start your motivation


Motivation is such a tricky thing. Even getting motivated to write this article is somewhat of a challenge. I love writing, but it’s hot in my apartment, my baby is teething, and I’ve got a final project and exam to get ready for this week. And I’m not exactly motivated for that last one either. Sometimes you need to do something to jump start your motivation. Here are a few ideas to help you get motivated for schoolwork or any other task in your life.

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10 Tips for Peaceful Living with Roommates Post-College

Ten Tips for Living Peacefully with Roommates Post-College


Roommates in college and roommates outside of college are two very different beasts. In college, you didn’t have any legal entanglements. You had separate meal plans, separate finances, and if everything was going terribly, you knew that you’d never have to see this person again after the school year ended. While roommates after college are also temporary, there are lot more strings attached. I had a few roommate situations after college and they all had their ups and downs. But here are ten things I learned in that time that will hopefully make your time with your new roomies smooth sailing.

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Surviving and Thriving In College and Beyond