Mazing Magazine

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Mazing magazine is vision put into practice. It’s a talented group of writers, artists, and idea-makers who want to inspire our generation to pursue creativity in spite of every obstacle, so that’s exactly what we’re doing. Through late-night brainstorm sessions and draft after draft, Mazing is the embodiment of its mission: celebrating young adulthood in all its unsteadiness. Finding inspiration amidst the chaos. Within these pages, we hope you find the motivation you’re looking for, to reach, to create, to hang, to roam, and maybe even survive. And we hope what you find here makes your life outside the page so much more. | @mazingmag

















BETSY FREEMAN | CREATIVE DIRECTOR Hey, thanks for taking this moment to flip through Mazing. Consider actually reading it if for no other reason than to discredit the millennial

KATHRYN SCHUYLER | EDITOR Mazing Magazine, like all good things, was born out of dissatisfaction. As a senior in college, I found conversation after conversation circling back to the exact same thing: how are we supposed to take this next step? Drowning in the prospects of unpaid internships, student loans, and less than fortunate living situations, Betsy and I founded the magazine on the belief that young adulthood should be more than just an uncomfortable rite of passage.

We believed your 20’s and 30’s shouldn’t just be livable, they should be phenomenal.

Despite a shortage of time, money, experience (and pretty much everything else that has sway in this world) Mazing is a compilation of art and writing that came to be because passionate people hustled to make it happen. Mazing is more than just a magazine. It’s a community of readers and contributors who want to chase, to leap, to fling their hesitation aside and work for what matters, even if it’s on a really tight budget.

Above all, Mazing is a passion project—sprung out of passion for the express purpose of bringing that passion to others. Believe us, after reading this issue, you still won’t have time to do everything you want to do. But believe this too: we can make something wonderful out of this wild, careening life.

So join the search party, as we seek inspiration. Fulfillment. Success. A substantive night of sleep. Because if young adulthood can’t be easy, it should at least be fun. We hope you enjoy the read.

lack of attention span statistics?

Mazing has been a practice in exactly what Kathryn and I hope to inspire others to do - pursue creativity and celebrate in the unsteadiness of the first half of life. We work on Mazing in the seams of full time jobs, building portfolios, moving to new cities, connecting with others, and generally trying to stay alive.

Mazing has not been an extra weight during the late night hour, rather Mazing has been the steady fruition of a passion realized. I am thankful for Mazing, but even more thankful and incredibly honored by the hard work and efforts of each contributor, and of course my incredible (& endlessly hilarious) pal Kathryn. The enthusiasm behind Mazing has been snowballing that is on the verge of a creative avalanche.

Mazing is not the cliff notes on how to smoothly avoid challenges in your pursuit of a wholehearted creative life (I’m still looking for that book). No, Mazing is real people, real stories, and real life. Mazing invites a sense of community and collaboration that has the power to warm up any lonely winding pursuit as each contributor shares a bit of their journey in their literature, research or visuals. I am convinced that true creativity, accomplishment, and community are found in courageous beginnings, hard work, and collaboration. I hope you find inspiration and energy in these pages to live that wholehearted dream. I’m in and I hope you will be too.

TABLE OF CONTENTS Earn Your Risk Interview with founders of Apolis and Alchemy Jeff Han


Oh the Places You Can Go Navigating the World Beyond Kelly Collins Fear Itself Embrace your Job Anxiety and Fuel Your Career Megan Litchewski

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Misery Budget Ruin your Street Cred in Just 7 Easy Steps Lindsay Call Budgeting for a Balanced Life Kathryn Schuyler


10 Nights Out Under $20 Ann Flanigan The Joys of Public Transportation Katie Swalm

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Late Night Projects: Poetry, Photography, Illustration Submissions Ann Flanigan, Pete Freeman, Kathryn Schuyler Maggie Boyd, Betsy Freeman, Alexa Goglanian, Adrina Goglanian


Pursuing Your Creativity Despite the Odds Kathryn Schuyler




Crisis Response Team Surviving the Quarter Life Crisis Haddie Smith



Dating and the Job Search Infographic Betsy Freeman

The Mountains Are Calling Exploring National Parks Kathryn Patrick



Salut Wa Salam Invest In Traveling Outside the Western Transatlantic Alejandro Santana-Vallarta Teaching Abroad Why You Should Just Go For It Emily Kent






Jeff Han

Take a walk with me. We are on Traction Avenue in the heart of the Los

That’s pretty crazy to think Apolis was sort of the first domino in

Angeles Arts District. There is a smell of cyprus and fig that baits us into

this train of Arts District shops. How did people treat the two of you

a store, Apolis Common Gallery. We follow.

when you first started?

Raan Parton, co-founder of Apolis: Global Citizen and Alchemy Works,

Raan: I think in high school people would say, ‘that’s cute, you’re being

stands by a candle that conveys the alluring scent. He stands with his

entrepreneurial.’ And then in college people looked at it like a graduate

wife, Lindsay Parton co-founder and buyer for Alchemy Works. Whether

project, so it wasn’t really taken seriously. But it’s really been in the last

it is Raan’s surfeit of humor or Lindsay’s seamless ability to make you feel

eight years where people have treated it as a serious thing, because there

like family, something makes us forget what we have planned for the day.

are a group of people we support.

They invite us to their other store, Alchemy Works, just a few steps away. We follow.

Was it ever discouraging that people just didn’t take it seriously?

I don’t know what it is. You don’t know what it is. But we can’t resist

Raan: There are certain people that catch the vision and are super

peering the shelves of products along the beach-white walls. Is it the light

supportive, and then there are people to this day who ask, ‘are you still

acoustic music playing loud enough to enjoy, but low enough to hear

doing that t-shirt company?’ You are kind of just drawn to people who

conversation? Is it the iced lattes we have in the tulip shaped glasses that

are supportive of your work, especially if your work is very personal

cool us on this warm summer’s day? We don’t know. But we’re hooked.

and is beyond an occupation with a credible employer. Because when people are saying, ‘oh so and so got a job with Chiat/Day or Goldman.

In the last decade Traction Avenue has become an incredible street

They’re all grown up.’ But if the science project you started fifteen years

of shops, restaurants, and art galleries. Did the shops come in at the

ago is your employer, there’s a psychology people have to get over to

same time or separately?

know that’s a real thing and you’re doing it permanently. It’s definitely segmented people who have been super supportive of us since the

Lindsay: Yeah, Apolis was before all of them (the other stores), but

beginning and then there are still people who still don’t get what we’re

the owner of the restaurant next door is a childhood friend of Raan

doing haha, which is fine.

and Shea’s, so they have known each other since elementary school. So when the owners of the restaurant were looking for a space Raan had

What are some myths for a twenty-something who is trying to start

suggested, ‘hey if you’re going to open anywhere why not open next to

their own company?

us as friends?’ It’s just that everyone who comes here is really passionate about creating really cool things. So there is a really easy transition for

Raan: I would say the idea of gaining experience in a big company

the new retailers now, I mean even the big ones that are now moving in

right now is a big myth. Majority of the companies, their industries are

like Shinola is moving in and Salt and Straw are following the smaller

getting re-imagined so quickly and so many of them are being disrupted,

boutique stores that are here. But everyone is just excited with that

so you kind of spend a lot of energy in a company that is not nimble

feeling of you’re building something together.


megan litchewski

enough to survive. You’re kind of learning just a lot of bad habits… To

projects to be involved with their projects, or our time to be solicited for

start an ecommerce fashion company some years ago you would have

their projects. The work begets work. So by doing something you believe

had to invest tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars into software

in for ten years, all of a sudden you start having that reputational success

infrastructure, but now you can basically get SquareSpace for $50 dollars

that people want to work with you. And that then leads to the next

a month. There is a lot of truth in that you will fail young, but it’s better

chapter of larger projects, conversations, and opportunities. So I think

to fail young than when you’re forty with a mortgage and have kids.

being on the top of people’s lists to work with comes from us focusing on community, working with excellence, sourcing integrity, and treating the

Lindsay: Even just getting started is the biggest myth in my opinion.

companies that work with us globally.

Because I think a lot of people want to over-plan and try to have everything perfect before you launch. And there’s nothing wrong with

Any parting words of wisdom?

that obviously, to have things presentable and to have things look nice. But starting small and humble in my opinion and just getting started was

Lindsay: Honestly, get started. You’re not going to learn anything from

the biggest lesson that I’ve learned… Getting started helps you not miss a

just waiting for the right opportunity. You learn a lot from figuring it out

lot of opportunities and flexibilities that you should have. Because you’re

as you go.

going to have to make a couple of left turns you didn’t expect.

Raan: I think also, on the start-up side. When people raise money they usually set a timer on the “success horizon” that is most likely unrealistic. I wonder how many start-ups would still be around if they doubled their success horizon. If they had a year to make it happen and were a bit more scrappy by borrowing money from a crazy uncle or figuring out how to make it work… I mean so much of it has to do with patience and the evolution of a business.

What is the relationship of risk and how you two do business? It sounds like the two of you risk a lot.

Lindsay: It is a very calculated risk. We’re doing a lot and we’re pushing on a lot of doors. But at the same time we built our store on a budget of $8,000.00 and we utilized the only allowance we had to get it open. So as much as we do, we’re probably more risk takers in our sense of adventure and wanting to push ourselves. But we are very calculated and we’re not just free and wild and signing up for whatever we think of… There is an aspect of earning your risk... You have to earn your way into being able to take that next step.

How would you two define success?

Raan: I think the ultimate barometer for us, and we still have a long way to go, is undoubtedly “reputational success.” People will request our


haddie smaith




Kelly Collins

The caps have been thrown. The polyester gown has been carefully

# 1. Graduate School

tucked away in the closet. And the diploma—that embossed cardstock

encapsulation of years of work—has been proudly displayed upon

to climb a rung on the hire-ability ladder, or simply wanting to put

the mantelpiece (or, you know, just a regular shelf ). Yes, after years

off those student loans for another six years, graduate school provides

of studying, you have now attained the lofty distinction of College

an intriguing option. Graduate programs—which include Master’s

Graduate. Freed from the constraints of classes, cafeteria food, and that

programs, PhD programs, medical schools, and law schools, among

constant state of poverty, you are now ready to enter…the Real World.

others—prove extraordinarily fruitful in terms of job prospects and later

“According to a recent Pew Research Study, 91% of recent graduates with a Bachelor’s Degree or higher believe their college experience was a worthwhile investment.” You may have heard rumors of this “Real World,” the mystical land of jobs and mortgages and whatever a 401(k) is. You may have even glimpsed it—perhaps you took a gap year, or spent your summers working (they take how much out for taxes?!). But this Real World becomes substantially wider after you attain your degree. While a Bachelor’s degree certainly does not ensure employment, many employers and graduate schools seek the knowledge, skills, and experience that a college education provide. Consequently, earning a degree often leads to both higher job satisfaction and higher salary. According to a recent Pew Research Study, 91% of recent graduates with a Bachelor’s Degree or higher believe their college experience was a worthwhile investment. Yes, it’s a whole new world when you attain your degree. But where in this wonderful world should you go? While options are numerous, four common avenues are: graduate school, jobs requiring a degree, jobs not requiring a degree, or traveling the world.

If you find yourself yearning for more knowledge, striving

career success.

In addition to the sheer knowledge gained in graduate programs (knowledge is power, people!) the job market is ever-shifting in favor of those with graduate degrees. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2020, there will be 2.4 million new jobs requiring a Master’s degree or higher. Furthermore, the earning potential of those with graduate degrees surpasses those without. Though statistics vary by discipline, those with Master’s degrees tend to far out-earn their associates.

Despite these benefits, however, graduate school comes with a heavy cost. Graduate programs take significant time, energy, and dedication (and some cold hard cash). After a lengthy application and testing process (GRE’s, GMAT’s, and MCAT’s, oh my!), most Master’s programs take 2-3 years to complete, while PhD programs generally take 5-6 years. Passion and drive, therefore, are integral components of a successful graduate school career. Without them, slogging through school will be laborious, and you may find yourself wishing you had stayed home to watch The Bachelor instead.

For Heidi Nicholls, a 2015 graduate of Westmont College, passion proved the precipitant for her decision to attend graduate school. As a Social Sciences major, Nicholls developed a profound interest in sociological systems. Four years, however, did not satiate her yearning for knowledge, and she decided to pursue PhD work at the University


of Virginia. “I want to be part of conversations that are important to

any major proves fruitful in the job market.

the world,” Nicholls says. “When I’m presenting ideas I care about, I feel the most alive.” If you truly have a passion for knowledge, or if your job

# 3. Jobs Not Requiring a Bachelor’s Degree

requires it, graduate school can be stop number one.

This truth applies even to jobs that do not need a bachelor’s degree. Today, nearly half of today’s graduates will take jobs not requiring a

#2. Job Requiring a Bachelor’s Degree

college degree according to the New York Fed. This statistic has risen in

For a majority of jobs, however, a Bachelor’s degree proves sufficient.

recent years, leading some to wonder about the cost-efficiency of college.

Indeed, a recent study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that only

However, even graduates in non-degree jobs can utilize their college

18% of jobs today necessitate a Bachelor’s degree. Such statistics can be

experiences in the workplace.

misleading, however, for such data takes into account necessity only—not necessarily employer preference. As the population becomes increasingly

Brendan White, who graduated from Westmont College in 2016,

educated, employers tend to seek college graduates, even for jobs that do

knows this truth well. White majored in French Studies and Kinesiology

not technically require a degree. A recent study by the market analytics

and now works as a shift supervisor at Starbucks. Though making

company Burning Glass discovered a dramatic increase in “up-credential-

coffee may not directly relate to his degree, White finds his education

ing,” a phenomenon in which employers seek to hire college graduates

immensely helpful. “Making coffee is only a small part of what I do,”

for jobs formerly requiring only a high school diploma. Furthermore,

he says. “Deployment and management of people in a high-pressure

projections show that this trend will continue; Georgia University’s

work environment…is a much larger part of my job. This requires

Center on Education and the Workforce projects that by 2020, 35% of

decisiveness, delegation, prioritizing, goal-setting, leadership, effective

job openings will require a Bachelor’s degree.

communication, and tenacity—skills that I learned in college that I now

“Today, nearly half of today’s graduates will take jobs not requiring a college degree according to the New York Fed...leading some to wonder about the cost-efficiency of college.” Many recent graduates, therefore, choose to seek jobs that overtly utilize their education. For Daniel Erikson, a 2015 graduate of Westmont College, a business degree enabled him to land a job at an accounting firm. “My business degree allowed me to go in any direction,” Erikson said, citing the flexibility of the business degree as a “route that allowed [him] to get a job.”

Business isn’t the only major that opens doors, however. Really, having a Bachelor’s degree in any major gives your resume a boost. After all, most recent graduates do not work in a job directly related to their major. As a Federal Reserve Bank Study found, only 27% of recent graduates work in a job directly related to their major, compared to 54% of older adults. Since many of today’s jobs do not require a specific field of study, nearly

see coming to play in the workplace.”

#4. Travel A smaller, but still significant, portion of graduates chooses to either travel or work abroad. If you regret not going abroad in undergrad, want to deepen your understanding of all of humanity, or simply want to make all your Instagram followers #jealous with your pics of the Swiss Alps, traveling might be for you!

In addition to simply traveling or sightseeing, many graduates decide to engage in programs that allow them to teach abroad. For example, Wendy Waldrop, who graduated Westmont College in 2016, will be teaching English in Turkey in the fall. She says her experience at Westmont inspired her to want to continue experiencing other cultures. “I do think my education has impacted and fed my drive to explore, learn, and continue to grow,” she says. “Teachers stretched my worldview and opened my eyes to worlds I had not yet encountered.” For adventurers like Wendy, working or traveling abroad may be just the thing to do.

Graduate school. Jobs. Traveling. Today’s graduates prove that, even after the caps have been thrown, college educations leads to exciting places in this wide and wonderful world.




Megan Litschewski

In the midst of an overwhelming schedule, I often find refuge in simply

use—LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook—but send a short, friendly

closing my laptop and organizing everything in sight. From color-coding

message, inviting them to coffee or, depending on the person, just an

paper clips to finally sorting through the dusty pile of folders that have

informative phone call to learn more about their role and organi-

colonized the far corners of my desk, my miniature spring clean allows

zation. Before the call or meeting, prep some questions and a very

me to face my to-do list with a clear mind and a renewed insight into the

short description of your past, present and anticipated experiences.

main priorities.

Practicing out loud is key.

“If my own experience holds true, then anxiety can be a uniquely effective motivator when it comes to job hunts.” Several years ago, Stanford psychologist Dr. Kelly McGonigal gave a popular TED Talk called “How to Make Stress Your Friend.” Using three recent studies, she made the compelling point that anxiety is the body’s natural coping mechanism—as long as we see it as a helpful reaction. In one study, people who experienced stress and saw it as useful had a much lower death rate than those who saw stress as harmful. McGonigal described how stress builds resilience and drives us to seek support from others, which releases beneficial hormones such as oxytocin.

It doesn’t take a data scientist to know that, although the job market has bounced back, competition for even moderately lucrative and stimulating positions is fierce. Just thinking of the dozens, sometimes hundreds, of anonymous aspirants sitting in front of their screens, applying to a single job, can induce feelings of hopelessness. If my own experience holds true, then anxiety can be a uniquely effective motivator when it comes to job hunts. Instead of allowing stress to paralyze you, consider the following four ways you can harness your fears and channel them into productive results:


Make a list of ten people at different companies you’re interested


Revamp your resume by copying the format and wording used by people in roles you’re pursuing. Hint: they probably use large

headings, 3-4 bullet points per experience, and verb-led descriptors.


Identify and fill gaps in your skill set by comparing your profile to others in relevant positions. Chances are, you either already

have the same experience but forgot to mention it, or you don’t have the right experience and attaining it becomes the next step in your career path.


Prepare for interviews by listing every project or experience in which you’ve had a positive impact. Then practice responding

to behavioral questions using online resources (I love, with your list of experiences as content. And don’t forget to prepare an answer to the “tell me about a time you failed” prompt. Again, practicing out loud is key. You may have noticed that “Identify appealing job opportunity online and click ‘apply’” is not listed. I know it’s the easiest option, but the success rate of online applications is dismal compare to the four steps listed above.

The next time you find yourself overwhelmed by a daunting pile of tasks or uncertain career prospects, remind yourself that your feelings are completely natural—and they can be your best means of tackling life’s challenges.

in, and contact them. It doesn’t matter which platform you


megan litschewski




Lindsay Call

Budgeting is rough. Especially if you’ve got insurmountable student

income. You’re basically enabling his suburban, apron-clad mind to

loans to pay off, courtesy of your top-notch secondary education that has

believe that topknots are still A Thing and that Mumford & Sons are still

already begun to harass you with fundraising calls. Whether you went to

the most pure inception of the term “indie.” Will you leave that barista

college or not, your twenties automatically equal debt—because at some

condemned to his fate? Your local gas station serves coffee that’s just as

point you had to exchange that beater for a car that’ll actually get you to

caffeinated—and good news, the taste of motor oil is scientifically proven

work or put a down payment on a place to live. Hopefully

to build character. And if you’re weak, there’s always the option of buying

without cockroaches.

beans or grounds and making a cup yourself. I’m sure they’re packaged in an especially Unnecessary Amount of Burlap.

As I looked over my own plan for a budget, I decided to make a list of all the unnecessary things I’ve spent money on recently that I can cut

#2. Cut Apartment Decor Themes.

out in the future. And I came to the realization that all the unnecessary

Whoever invited you to Pinterest years ago or gave Domino your email

things I’ve spent money on happen to be the only things that make me

address is not your real friend. You don’t need to lust after perfectly

look cool.

color-coordinated knife sets that match framed wall quotes and irises in clear, geometric glass vases. You’re better than that. When your friends

Which is how I came up with a foolproof guide to saving money and

whose parents still pay their phone bills tell you their “decor scheme”

living the ascetic’s life—How to Set a Miserable Budget and Ruin

is white, gold, and teal, tell them yours is “the crushed dreams of my

Your Street Cred in Just Seven Easy Steps. Though it stops just short

youth.” Who needs a chair and desk when you’re going to spend the

of moving into a cave, it’s a tested and developed guide that St. Francis

majority of your time on the floor having a breakdown? Besides, keeping

himself would be proud of. Here I present it to you in the hopes that

the floor clear is good for spreading out all the bills you have to pay,

together, we can save ourselves from both spending too much and the joy

dance parties by yourself, and removes the unnecessary obstacles that are

of looking cool—as looks are an expenditure you’ll have to learn to

furniture in the event of a fire.

do without. #3. Eating Out Is For The Rich. #1. Dump Artisan Coffee.

A friend of a friend of mine works for a “five-star Mexican restaurant”—a

Sure, it tastes good. And yes, you look like a beautiful pretentious human

term he admits he can’t say without hating himself a little. Which leads

carrying it around with that Salinger book you never finished but keep to

us to the truth we all know—eating out is for just after you get your

look relevant, if not intellectual. You may even feel a mystic connection

paycheck and it’s your best friend’s birthday and she’s also getting married

with the hip coffee place where you procured it—the exposed air vents,

and moving away. Otherwise, you’re better off sticking to your ramen

reclaimed wood, no parking, and Abundance of Burlap Packaging. But

noodles. How are you going to make your car payments when you’re

when it comes down to it, five bucks (four if you’re lucky) a day isn’t

downing seven-dollar grilled cheese sandwiches in a place that looks like

something you need to be coughing up just for taste. That’s 100+ bucks

Anthropologie and Grand Central Market had a terrible and beautiful

a month that you’re donating to the barista-with-a-topknot’s steady

child? Those cute succulents, darling 1790’s-sailing-ship-nautical-ropes,


betsy freeman


and that good-looking waiter—as well as that sandwich, don’t pay for

budget will stretch far and wide. So what are you waiting for? Don a

themselves. Unless you pretend to get stood up like that guy who did so

frown, sell your extra throw pillows, and start reusing your coffee filters.

and live-tweeted it.

Life is short—you don’t have forever to be miserable!

And while we’re on the subject--take a good look at your friends. If their birthdays are at the end of the month, it’s a good idea to dump them, as you’ll clearly not be able to afford going to the inevitable birthday dinner and drinks. Think you can afford a cocktail after a month of paying water and electricity? Think again.

#4. Accept Your Fate as a TV Freeloader. Why pay for TV when you can open up that apartment window and watch the raccoons fight over that leftover Thai food that went over? That sounds rough, even for me. The other option is leeching off a friend or significant other’s Netflix account and living with your trash self, which is the one we all end up choosing in the end. And hey—two seasons into Game of Thrones, you just might feel numb enough inside to live with yourself.

#5. Hold Onto That Student Status. Aren’t we all philosophers and students of this great thing called Life? And only the true learners know that if your college (or even high school) I.D. doesn’t have a year listed on it, you’re set for at least five more years of discounts. As long as the guy at the movies doesn’t notice that you don’t have braces anymore, say hello to two dollars off your ticket to Ghostbusters.

#6. Social Media Is Your Mask. Use It. Treat yo’ self is for yuppies who can afford it. However, you can now hide the fact that you’re a starving artist with the magic of Instagram. Simply walk into the nicest restaurant you can, barge up to someone else’s table, and snap a shot of their dish and say it’s for marketing purposes. Dressing rooms of cute shops are made specifically for you to pretend like you’re actually out rocking that expensive dress instead of trying it on and leaving. Social media is all about projecting the lie that you’re living your best life—so use it to your advantage. Nobody will even know.

#7. Remember—Fun Costs You Money. Which is why you should never ever do anything for fun, ever. Are you willing to pay the price—literally?

By purging your life of anything frivolous, you can ensure that your


alexa goglanian




Kathryn Schuyler

We’ve all been there—right after a hefty car repair or those concert

anything you should have or should do because that’s what your friends

tickets you couldn’t refuse—there’s been that moment for all of us that

are into. No one will judge you for buying those shoes at Goodwill,

we’ve got to set (or actually conform to) some hard budget lines. Maybe a

I promise.

recent move or prolonged job hunt has you questioning if those organic veggies are really worth the dough. Or how many drinks at the hippest

Leave room in your budget for gifts and charity

bar downtown will make you hesitate to buy your coworkers a round of

One of the most constricting aspects of budgeting is the limits it puts on

coffee next week?

your social sphere. If you can’t stand not being able to buy your friend

“Budgeting exists to make you feel good about your spending, knowing that you were able to fit in all the stuff that really matters to you.” It seems like solid budgeting always comes riddled with compromises. Sometimes that feeling of overspending guilt makes us shy away from budgets altogether, spending carelessly and hoping everything adds up at the end of the month.

But believe it or not, budgeting wasn’t invented to make you feel guilty about using your money. Budgeting exists to make you feel good about your spending, knowing that you were able to fit in all the stuff that really matters to you. So here’s a few tips to help you budget your way to a more balanced life:

Consider what improves your quality of life Aside from the standard costs of transportation, rent, and utilities (electricity may be optional for you, but not for your roommates), everybody’s budgets will look different. Some of us will spring for that gym membership, and others will be just as happy running on the


a drink just because, or empty your pockets for a worthy donation, consider leaving room in your budget for gifts and charity. A 2008 Harvard Business School study found that spending money on others boosts happiness more than spending it on yourself—so get happy! Not only can your budget be your friend, but it can help make you a better friend. Budgeting in that generosity will lift your guilt and help you say yes to random acts of kindness.

Don’t treat yo’self alone After a hard day, or minor success, or pretty much for any reason, I sometimes feel the impulse to buy myself a little treat as a reward. But here’s the pitfall—often enough, by the time you get home, a roommate will suggest you grab a pizza for dinner on top of the crepes you already bought yourself for lunch. Instead of doubly treating yo’self (and then feeling the post-treat-yo’self-guilt) turn your reward into a group outing. That cup of ice cream will taste 10x better if you enjoy it with a friend, and you’ll win social points along the way. After all, budgeting isn’t about sucking the fun out of life, it’s about having fun a little smarter.

“Ease off the overtime and aim for balance over perfection.”

sidewalk for free. However you fall, consider the stuff that really makes

Remember that budgeting is just another part of the balance

your day, and prioritize those things. Don’t convince yourself there’s

At the end of the day, your budget is just a budget. Don’t let it enslave

you, trip you up, or ruin your mojo. When you’re in the pursuit of a balanced life, know that your budget is just another part of the balance. Maybe some months you’ll have to buy a few more wedding gifts (hello June) and put a little less into your savings. Ease off the overtime and aim for balance over perfection. You may not be a millionaire by next year (hit me up if you are) but if all goes well, you’ll be a little bit happier knowing that you’re using your money well.

alexa goglanian



betsy freeman


Ann Flanigan

YOU DO THE MATH Strawberries, melted chocolate, champagne, sunset

NOT TOO CORNY Try a popcorn taste test (trader Joe’s has lots of flavors) with a classic movie

HIT THE TRAIL With perfectly blended trail mix: motivation is everything

STRETCH YO’SELF Local yoga and pilates studios have new client specials, zumba anyone?

FANCY PANTS Find that fancy hotel with a beautiful patio and grab dessert or a drink. You deserve it.

GET ARTSY WITH IT Grab some basic art supplies and find your local adult education night class. A whole new strata of social interaction awaits.

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 MINUTES Throw an ethnic themed party with take-out and some creative decor.

A LIT TLE CHEESY Don’t underestimate the draw of a good cheese plate. Put together a tray with a sampling of cheeses (Trader Joe’s has a good selection at reasonable prices), add some grapes, maybe a few nuts and a bottle of wine. Party on a platter.

DANCING SHOES Look for community salsa, swing or hip hop nights

PICNIC BY THE SEINE, OR.., Look for some basic dinner picnic options at your local farmer’s market to inspire a basket to take to a park you haven’t yet discovered in your neighborhood or beyond. Parisians aren’t the only ones who enjoy a dinner picnic!




Katie Swalm

The whirling, squealing sound of brakes and tires sliding up to the

payments, service every 5,000 miles, parking permits and tickets; and

red-roofed bus stop slips under every windowsill in San Francisco. San

with the recent “epidemic” of car break-ins in San Francisco, it’s very

Francisco Municipal Transport Agency (affectionately dubbed ‘Muni’

possible that a city-dweller would have to pay the two-hundred dollar

for short) runs regularly, thoroughly, and mostly on-time throughout

fee to replace their car window. Conversely, a monthly pass to ride

the city. Muni is cheap, convenient, and the perfect substitution for

the Muni—including BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit, which travels

ownership of a private vehicle; its riders dodge parking tickets, the rising

throughout the Bay area)—is eighty dollars a month. That’s the cost of

chance of a vehicle break-ins, and the eternal struggle of parking. Not

two tanks of gas. It makes much more sense to take public transportation

every city has transportation that is so entirely adequate; the Regional

for a daily commute and use popular ride-sharing apps such as Uber or

Transport District (RTD for short) of the Denver/Metro area in

Lyft for infrequent trips. Even though Denver is more spread out, public

Colorado, where close to 2.9 million people reside in 155 square miles,

transportation still services the major cities, and an unlimited monthly

doesn’t come close to the practicality or convenience of Muni. To live

pass for all areas is one hundred and seventy one dollars a month. This

anywhere outside of downtown Denver necessitates a personal car. (For

price is still better than the high cost and responsibility of owning a car,

comparison, about 800,000 people live in forty-seven square miles in

and if one moves around a lot, it will still take a rider where they need

San Francisco, making it easier to reach every corner of the city). Not to

to go.

mention, Denver is the worst city in the country to drive for ride-sharing apps such as Lyft or Uber, while San Francisco is the best. Each city

Other benefits include the comfort and peace of mind of riding in a

moves and breathes uniquely, but for those who commute or explore the

vehicle instead of piloting one—with the myriad obstacles and dangers

city every day, public transportation is still the best and most financially

that exist in the city such as pedestrians, pets, trucks stopped in the

sensible option.

middle of the road, car doors opening without warning, and inclement

“Each city moves and breathes uniquely, but for those who commute or explore the city every day, public transportation is still the best and most financially sensible option.” Public transportation has many benefits in a city. First and foremost, it is much, much cheaper than driving a car. If the average price of a gallon of gas in San Francisco is three dollars, it could be up to fifty dollars to fill up a tank. That’s not even considering the cost of insurance, car

weather, driving is a costly accident waiting to happen. Riders can’t control the traffic in the city, so if you run a couple minutes late, you can blame the bus. You can rest assured that you are making the environmentally conscious decision by taking your car off the road and choosing the often-electric or gas-efficient buses. And best of all, you can read or listen to music or podcasts—essentially becoming a more informed and well-read person on your trip to your place of work or residence. There is something magical about gazing out of the rain-streaked window and listening to your favorite music as you drift past the colorful city houses. Just remember to bring a raincoat.

Of course, public transportation isn’t perfect. It’s unreliable and, of course, public. If punctuality is the most important factor, the bus may


betsy freeman


not be the best option. And perhaps most unsettling of all, riders must be vigilant. Not everyone is looking out for each other. More than once, someone has stolen a phone while the unaware user was holding it out. But afterwards, those around try to help how they can. The key to riding is awareness and personal responsibility, but not fear. And all in all, there is less risk taking the bus than taking one’s private car.

“There is something magical about gazing out of the rain-streaked window and listening to your favorite music as you drift past the colorful city houses. Just remember to bring a raincoat.” Perhaps most beneficial of all, public transportation creates solidarity between city residents. Buses create opportunities to meet interesting people or overhear interesting conversations. Yes, buses can be crowded, but sometimes, a stranger provides a welcome distraction. The bus is and will always be filled with stories. Everyone has a different reason for riding and a different place to go. It’s an easy way to get to know your neighbors in an increasingly place-transcendent world, where people are globally, rather than locally, connected. You will gain a sense of self-sufficiency, compassion, and grace—if you listen. When I lived in the city, I became more familiar with my home and where it was situated in its wider context, as well as getting to know all the small, gritty parts of it that I might be disconnected from in a car. The connection alone was worth it.


SUBMISSIONS {people got talent}



We take our breaks in the sunshine. If I had to guess, I’d say there are plumes of chlorophyll in our veins. That’s why we absorb all the blue. It’s a delicate chemistry with the caffeine, I suppose. But with our pay checks on the line, we make due. Post ourselves by the parking meters. Startle at the thick leaves skidding. If it only takes fifteen minutes to write a poem, think of the volumes of our days--if only we could be startled at everything.ff

kathryn schuyler

adrina goglanian


a photo essay by pete freeman


New paint smells a little bit like grief, doesn’t it? The iron rolls like tears, shimmering with the damp Of some plyboard wishfulness. The curtains Set in their brackets. The drill bit dusted With drywall. That first apple juice stain on the carpet. The floor fan whimpering no wine glass Would have shattered if only you were still At the home you’d just departed. Maybe no risk is really the right thing Til it breaks you open again.

kathryn schuyler

ann flanigan

betsy freeman

TUESDAY MAY 17, 2016

the bird twitching notes out on the ledge the way it looks at you but does not see you the constant violence of the jack hammer tireless to reach the center

yesterday boys played ball in their chinos and five-panels that seemed worth noting--something human could be said of them

today the court is empty, the streets are splotched with the nights’ rain a woman in pink shuffles by with her dog. a crane swings an orange tube into a ditch but holds it a second longer than it should

and the jack hammer the wood pecker is relentless

maggie boyd


every vascular thing has this in common: it wants the Wandering Jew its water, its space to be wild the naked tree, an eye to behold it quietly

see how it disrobes slow and bright diverting all attention to the ground where garments lay so when eyes fall again on branches, there is reverence

there are two ways I know I will still be here tomorrow: the steady breathing of my mother and the small purple hairs on her Wandering plant, still shimmering

maggie boyd


I have been spelling the amber shape of desire on stumbled surfaces told only as snow in the lungs. winter rushes into spring and I am warm again but cannot utter anything new

I am learning the void between my small room and the window where you whisper a lonely transmission since I can hear you only in the depth of dreams.

I keep my own window open and trace each night the stars that walk the distance between us I count them and mumble my thanks that they’re faithful and cannot think enough to be otherwise

maggie boyd

alexa goglanian



Kathryn Schuyler

We all know those people—the full-time creative who spends her eight-

It’s undeniable that spending time in the artistic realm is good for

to-five designing ads for a hip start-up. The former teacher who took a

us. It’s proven to improve mental health, reduce stress, increase brain

leap of faith to expand his Etsy shop of ceramics into a full-blown online

connectivity, and boost feelings of love and empathy. But at the end of

business. And who could forget the wedding videographers, who spend

a long workday, a lot of my friends find it difficult to push themselves

their weekdays editing in a cozy coffee shop while embarking on some

in a creative direction, especially if it means choosing a challenging and

exciting road trip every other weekend.

pointless-seeming task over a relaxing night of Netflix.

Meanwhile, most of us are just trying to make it to Saturday to grab a

We often find ourselves in the trap of “that would never be a full-time

couple more hours of sleep.

thing for me”. I can’t make any money off of that. I just don’t have

“For Millennials, creativity can’t be isolated into a hobby—it’s a mode of living, of thinking outside the box, of seeking.” A 2015 survey by InSites Consulting team found that 73% of US Millennials consider themselves to be creative. Definitions of this word ranged from “arts and crafts” to “intelligence.” But what garnered the most support was the idea that creativity means innovation—the desire of Millennials to take an old process and make it new again. And this kind of creativity should not be restricted to your once-a-month crafting hour.

For Millennials, creativity can’t be isolated into a hobby—it’s a mode of living, of thinking outside the box, of seeking. And yet, so much of our ability to be creative outside the “artsy” sphere is cultivated by our time within the “artsy” sphere. A study conducted by the Guggenheim Museum found that creative arts actually improved fifth-graders’ problem-solving skills.

time for a hobby right now. And it’s true. Most of us will never make it as full-time slam poets, or wood-carvers, or microbrewers. Most of us won’t even make enough money to justify our time, if money is the only consideration.

But when it comes to creativity, the fact is that it can’t be about the money. Making room in your off-time to practice in the garage band you know is never going to make it past your local open-mic night may not seem to have a high return value, but it does.

You’re becoming more in tune with your creative self. You’re getting smarter, better. You’re working out a different part of your brain and creating a skill set that flows into your workplace and your friendships. And you’re making a commitment—yes, a commitment—to do something that you love and want to do.

“But even if being an artist isn’t your dreamcome-true, committing to your passions is a way to garner a real sense of accomplishment amidst the disheartening, and a sparkle amidst the mundane.” 47

If you don’t make that commitment, there’s no way this passion is going to become any bigger than it is now. If you save your creative energies for “when you have time,” all you’re going to end up with is a notebook full of half-written songs that won’t even make it to the open-mic night. Commitment to your creativity is the only way to turn that secret dream into a reality. But even if being an artist isn’t your dream-come-true, committing to your passions is a way to garner a real sense of accomplishment amidst the disheartening, and a sparkle amidst the mundane.

Ministry of Culture recently conducted a survey of 100 US Millennials about why they pursue creativity. In the video showcasing their results, one woman commented, “Creativity is very important to me because it’s the only thing I have control of.” Another participant noted that creativity provides a sense of permanence and success that he can’t necessarily count on from his career.

Committing to your creative time puts the reigns in your hands, to improve yourself, to anchor yourself, to be yourself. So please, for your own sake, dig that film camera out of the back of your closet. Buy a printmaking kit. Make macaroni necklaces if that’s what you’re into. But invest in your creative time, and drag your community along with you. We’ll all be better for it.




Haddie Smith

Everyone will tell you turning 25 is a milestone. A quarter life has been

have become my trusted board of directors as I try to navigate which

spent, with implied carelessness, and it is time for a crisis. It is officially

way to point my next step. They’ve guided me down paths where I

time to decide your future and settle down into a career, a family, and

can flourish by reminding me of my strengths and warning me of my

an identity. If you’re anything like me, this perceived pressure is entirely

shortcomings to direct me away from toxic environments.

unhelpful. Unless, again like me, you’ve skipped hot yoga for the third

They remind me that I am a good empathizer. That I get along great

week in a row and you’re feeling obligated to sweat one way or another.

with kids (or that at least we like all the same movies). They affirm that

“They’ve guided me down paths where I can flourish by reminding me of my strengths and warning me of my shortcomings to direct me away from toxic environments.” When I look at the world around me, I have a hard time finding any real wisdom on handling the Quarter Life Crisis. (Side note, if you’ve seen any self help books along the lines of: Home for the Holidays? 57 Dinner Topics that Don’t Mention Your Ticking Biological Clock! Please send them my way.) But even though society at large has come up emptyhanded, somehow I find myself surrounded by a community of friends who challenge, encourage, and support me every single day. They are my Crisis Response Team. And quite frankly I would not have walked out of this crisis unscathed without the advice and inspiration they have offered me concerning the common themes of career paths, job interviews, and the maze of messy personal lives. And luckily for you, they’ve given me permission to share their nuggets of wisdom:

Just Stop For Directions (You’re not a dad in a 90’s movie.) One of the most anxiety-inducing aspects of the Quarter Life Crisis is feeling like you should be heading down a very distinct path, whether toward marriage, a Master’s Degree, or in my case, a career. My friends


teaching might be a great fit for me. And they’ve gently cautioned me away from the ultra-competitive environment of law school, because really the only thing I have in common with Elle Woods is a mild obsession with chihuahuas. And they also show me pictures of me failing to pull off a pencil skirt and heels. So make your crew your compass: they will rarely steer you wrong.

Give An F About An Oxford Comma If you caught that Vampire Weekend reference, I hope you will forgive the approaching High School Musical one. Applying for far too many jobs, schools, and various other arenas where you will be asked to awkwardly state your greatest strengths and biggest weaknesses is a given during the Quarter Life years. And throughout all of the “I’m a team players” and “My biggest weakness is that I care too muches” my friends have become my tireless team of editors and proofers. They’ve combed through cover letters, resumés, and bios at all hours as I send them in a tearful panic.

“One of the hardest things about navigating the time bomb that is the Quarter Life is feeling that you don’t measure up. That you’re losing the lamest competition ever: the contest to have your life the

kathryn schuyler


most put together.” I have learned so much from them on how to present myself professionally, while still sticking out from the crowd. “Comma here, throw the word ‘oversaw’ in there, maybe avoid using ‘stay fly’ as your email signature.” So use your friends, share resumé tips, and ask them how to spell sincerely (because it only has one L, which I recently learned).

There Is No Mingling Required. I stand before you my fellow Americans as a real live 25-year-old college grad with no wedding Pinterest board. (Ok maybe I saw one dress I liked and I saved it after watching my favorite romcom, Wall-e. I’m only human.) It’s no secret that there’s a little pressure to say your “I Dos” during the Quarter Life. It’s piled on in movies, music and through wellintentioned prodding from grandmothers and that weird uncle we’re all hoping won’t be at Thanksgiving this year.

Luckily, my friends have been there to remind me that it’s ok to be single and not quite ready to mingle in your mid- to late-twenties. And they’ve made my relationship status shockingly easy forget. My self-perceived void is on any given day filled with a hand-lettered valentine, a four-hour FaceTime session, or a package on my doorstep from rural Pennsylvania. It’s pretty easy to forget that Disney is telling you that you’re alone when you’ve got all the evidence to the contrary. So plan things with each other. Celebrate holidays together. Send flowers. Date your friends! And then talk about dating your BFF in front of that weird uncle and laugh about his reaction later.

We’re All In This Together (Ok I apologize.) As much as I am in direct opposition to High School Musical as an institution, there is one thing that that mopey-haired sex-symbol got right: we are all in this together. One of the hardest things about navigating the time bomb that is the Quarter Life is feeling that you don’t measure up. That you’re losing the lamest competition ever: the contest to have your life the most put together. But one of the most valuable things I’ve learned from walking through my mid twenties with my friends is that it’s not a competition, but a collaboration. When my friend lands an interview at her dream job, I feel nothing but excitement. When another friend graduates with her


Master’s, I couldn’t be more proud. And when one of my dearest friends beats me down the aisle, I’m smiling like an idiot right beside her, holding her flowers. The support my friends and I have for each other has helped me to understand that there’s enough success to go around. So breathe, grab your closest color-coordinated friends and do a flash mob dance number somewhere public. Because the best dances, much like crisis management, require teamwork and partnership. And a back flip never hurts if any of your friends can do one of those.

So there you have it folks, the inside scoop. Managing the Quarter Life Crisis is a team effort. You don’t have to fly solo. Just grab your Crisis Response Team, your favorite food to stress eat, and step into your late twenties fully confident that you’ll survive the barrage of questions at your next family get-together.




INTERVIEW/DATE #1 “be yourself”

be on time

pre-game potential questions

first impressions. nuff siad











text? T HE Y SU CK












#2 INTERVIEW. #2 DATE hmmmm


GO B A C K T O S T EP 1 . WHY?



“NEXT STEPS” trial day in the office


{code for free unpaid work}

full day together {hopefully interview vibes will fade}

WAIT. can I tell people? myself?

is it a thing? yes! yay! L I N K E DI N / F A C E B O O K O F I SH


uhhhhh S UP ER B AD



OFFER. COMMITMENT there someting else? H U STL E ! ! ! G E T I T SO RTE D OUT OUT OUT


Photo by kathryn schuyler


Alejandro Santana-Vallarta I’ll be the first to say it: Europe is freaking awesome. Eating real pizza in

in part from the need of young, up-and-coming individuals of the elite

Rome, hiking through the Alps in Interlaken, wandering the late-night

to gain a particular type of prestige. Even with material success, one was

and early-morning streets of Paris and drinking deeply from a frothy pint

unable to fully attain the level of recognition and respect desirable if

in Munich are some of the best memories I will ever have with lifelong

they couldn’t complement their wealth without some nuanced, cultural

friends. There are plenty of times I’d love to just have fresh baguettes

insight. In other words, one’s cultural experiences abroad often served

ready to buy when I walk into a liquor store, eat them on the way over

to legitimize their purchases of foreign, luxury goods like coffee and

to Musée D’Orsay, and sit in front of Renoir’s Dance at Le Moulin de

porcelain. This being the case, time abroad was just as essential, if not

la Galette—entranced for hours by the rhythms of electric blues, blacks,

more so, as university for the cultivation of one’s social and

and light on a canvas 100 years older than me.

professional development.

I won’t be the last person to have these thoughts, and neither am I

If I’ve bored you with this bit of historical anthropology, rest assured I’m

the first. In the West, a tradition about 300 years old and originating

not taking you back to AP European History class. Instead, I wish to

in England lives on today—one that commercial entertainment calls

point out the blunt reality that many of these luxury goods—chocolate,

EuroTrip, my friends and I named #EurBroTrip, colleges call a semester

coffee, tea, porcelain, ivory, diamonds, silk—are not Western or

abroad, and graduates receive as their graduation present. Whatever one

European, but in fact the product of colonizing Asian, African and South

calls it, these trips all draw their inspiration from ‘The Grand Tour,’ an

American peoples and territories.

extended trip through continental Europe that upper-class youth, though mostly men, took between finishing school and starting their working life.

The journey for these young twenty-somethings was part fun, part educational, and in effect, an experience that arguably amounted to a cultural pilgrimage of Europe. Cities like Paris, Rome, and Venice were a must for visiting as they were cultural capitals of the continent along with historical sites such as Herculaneum and Pompeii. The Italian cities of Naples and Florence were also popular as cultural centers of the Renaissance, and most travelers extended their tour to include stays in Spain, Portugal, Germany, Eastern Europe, and the Balkans.

The interest in all this exposure to the cultural heritage of Europe came

“The world had opened not only itself, but also myself, to me, inviting me to dig a bit deeper beyond the surface and teaching me to ask better, and more important, questions.” Walk into a coffee shop, and you’ll see sackcloth bags of beans imported from Guatemala, Kenya, and Malaysia. Countries like the US, Germany, and Switzerland may manufacture and sell the most chocolate, but Côte d’Ivoire, Indonesia, and Brazil are in the top 10 for producing the most cocoa, the plant used to make chocolate, in the world. The list could go on, or you could just look at the tag on your clothing or the very fine print on packaging telling you which foreign country manufactured your



Photo by Haddie Smith


easy to click-and-buy item from Amazon, in which case you’d be moving

from the colonialism of yesterday and into today’s globalized economy.

Along with just having had a great group to process my experiences with,

For a majority of westerners, these countries have and will continue to be

and some seriously novelty experiences like four-by-fouring in Wadi

a mystery shrouded in security risks and cultural misunderstanding—a

Rum and spending Easter with Ethiopian Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem,

supporting actor at best to the dominant Eurocentric history many

my time spent in the Middle East has been a Grand Tour all its own. The

of us learn in school. I am not going to pitch you some self-righteous

hospitality, love for story and general warmth of people from the region

millennial rant about the historical injustices done to developing

sticks, and makes Western hospitality seem downright rude. Trying to

countries, shouting around about the ills of white supremacy, capitalism

understand the political point-of-view of Muslims, Christians, and Jews,

and theocrats. Rather, my interest is in stoking intrigue into these places

along with their various religious and national divisions (that could be a

and their people, whom we see as being ‘Other,’ different, apart

couple anthologies to write about) has given me an alternate lens from

from ourselves.

which to understand and critique Western history. It also makes the news seem less scary in its illustration of a region that most people only

Though I have listed many countries in my examples, I can speak

recognize as being the birthplace of hummus and a stop on the

only from my experiences traveling through the Middle East. I spent

spice trade.

three and a half months of my sophomore year in college studying in Turkey, Jordan and Israel-Palestine; last summer working a month-long

In other words, I enjoy not living in a historical vacuum where I only

internship in İstanbul; and the beginning of this summer traveling

understand the events and processes of today through a limited cultural

in Egypt investigating job and education opportunities. That’s about

lens that exists separately from the past and has no bearing on the future.

six months of life in the span of two years in the region, whereas

It has allowed me to connect with a wider range of people, understand

professionals working in academic, government, private and public

my own context, and not live with a close-minded and a historical

sectors have devoted whole lifetimes to studying it and still find its

worldview. I loved my three weeks backpacking through Europe because

cultural and political dynamics hard to understand. Though I know more

it was freaking awesome, but I couldn’t have both appreciated and

than the average person, I also can’t say everything that could be said

critiqued it had it not been from my time studying in the Middle East

about the Middle East.

immediately before. Objectivity is not what I claim, only a capacity for

“It has allowed me to connect with a wider range of people, understand my own context, and not live with a close-minded and ahistorical worldview.” I can, however, say that my time spent traveling in the region has opened up my way of looking at the world that would have otherwise been impossible had I stayed in the U.S. or traveled to another Western country. My time in the region has challenged me in all aspects of life, from the most public as we debated religion, politics and history, to the most personal as I grappled with trying to build a better way of understanding my need for others, my emotions and sexuality. The world had opened not only itself, but also myself, to me, inviting me to dig a bit deeper beyond the surface and teaching me to ask better, and more important, questions.


interacting with the world that has grown, and still has some growing to do. I doubt you wouldn’t want the same.

Griffin Lamb




Emily Kent

Before I spent a year in South Korea, I had no prior teaching experience.

Rest assured you can live and teach abroad, but why should you? Here’s a

In fact, I wasn’t particularly interested in teaching at all. I did, however,

few things I loved about teaching abroad:

feel the need to explore a context outside my own, in a meaningful way, and teaching English provided that opportunity. Native English speakers

Learning a New Language

are in high demand abroad, and for some, it’s a ticket to see the world.

Learning a language by immersion can be frustrating, but it’s wild fun.

It’s really pretty perfect for people in their 20’s, because, depending on

Every day you use that bit of new vocabulary feels like a little victory,

the country, all you typically need is a Bachelor’s degree.

and encourages you to learn more. And you really can’t help but learn, because all you hear all day long is that language. My program offered

I ended up in Korea because the opportunity presented itself. Chances

a language class, and it was a great way to jump start my learning. But

are you’re in a similar situation: you’ve got a friend in the Peace Corps or

if you’re a little more independent, there are certainly enough online

you know someone who worked at a particular elementary school and

resources and ways to find tutoring that you could do it on your own.

raved about it. You can find lots of great opportunities word of mouth,

And while many schools encourage teachers to speak only English in the

but if you have no direct connection, a quick Google search will give you

classroom, I found that using some Korean in lessons made me a better,

all the details. gives a good rundown of various programs

and more likable teacher.

and countries as well as some job listings. Another resource I found useful was ex-pat vloggers on Youtube. Watching their videos is a really great way to find some tips and tricks more specific to the country of your choice.

What I have noticed is that there are basically two types of teaching programs: paid and volunteer. There are upsides to both, and depending on what you want out of your experience, there are a lot of programs worth considering. I went to Korea as a volunteer, and, in addition to teaching, I worked in a soup kitchen and women’s shelter. My program provided a stipend, housing, travel opportunities, and valuable training with partner organizations. All of this made for a pretty diversified working experience. You might find a volunteer program with similar support and structure, but, if you feel like doing your own thing, a paid program might be better for you. That said, either experience is what you make it.

“It’s not so much ‘finding yourself’ as it is taking a step back and truly getting to consider all the possibilities.” Travel If you’re a volunteer you might be working with a small stipend, but it’s possible that a lot of traveling experiences are built into your time abroad. And if you have a more generous salary, your proximity to fun vacations spots is multiplied. Point is, if you’re already abroad, you might as well go to all those places you’ve dreamed about for cheaper than you would traveling from the U.S. I managed to make it to the Philippines, Thailand, and India besides traveling extensively through Korea itself, so, it can be done, even on a budget!


Increased Political and Cultural Awareness

associated with volunteering or teaching abroad that you should research

Learning about the politics and culture of a foreign country is an

and guard against. Everything I listed above is about how going abroad

obvious perk of living there. Before going to South Korea, I was pretty

can benefit you, but, ultimately, you should be motivated by something

unaware of the nation’s situation as it is eclipsed in American media by

more than wanderlust.

its neighbor to the north. While in South Korea, I learned about the political climate firsthand. In my year there, I was consistently fascinated

What drew me to Korea was trying something new, but what kept

by the complicated history of the Korean Peninsula, what divided it,

me there was discovering my love for teaching. Once I was there and

and my own nation’s role in all that. If you’re an American, particularly

established, I became invested in people’s lives and the country as a

a white one, it always pays to hear what others think about the U.S. I

whole. It’s life-changing, humbling, exciting, and ultimately a privilege.

took a trip to the recently opened and hotly debated naval base on Jeju Island, where I watched as residents of the small fishing village protested by holding a Catholic mass outside its gates. Policemen lifted priests in chairs so cars could pass in and out of the base, and at the end of mass, everyone danced. Had I not come to Korea, I wouldn’t have been aware that there are routine protests that end in choreographed dances, and the convoluted ways in which these protests relate to the United States.

I also learned lots of crazy little cultural things, specific to Korea, like how Confucianism has permeated business practices or the effect that Japanese colonialism has on middle school girls’ haircuts to this day. But what gave me the most cultural insight was staying in people’s homes. Wherever you are, try to coordinate home stays (take a look at Homestay. com) with families on national holidays or even just some weekends. That way you get a better idea of the traditions and daily life of the place you live.

“What drew me to Korea was trying something new, but what kept me there was discovering my love for teaching.” Career/Life Discernment While abroad, I spent a lot of time considering my post-grad steps. It was a sort of limbo where I could really devote time to a five-year plan, unburdened by cultural expectations. It’s not so much “finding yourself ” as it is taking a step back and truly getting to consider all the possibilities. Plus, if you really like teaching abroad, you might decide never to come back!

There are some problems (voluntarism, White Savior Complex, etc.)


Griffin Lamb



Kathryn Patrick

As a young adult with a compulsive desire to travel, to explore every

away from any light pollution so as to see thousands of glittering stars

unexpected corner of the world and have grand adventures, it can be

nestled against the outline of the Milky Way, made the short trip the

difficult to try to reconcile my wanderlust with the empty pockets

perfect getaway. Not to mention that the only expenses included gas,

common to college students or recent graduates. Fortunately, for those

the $15 park fee, and a sack of groceries.

who long to wander, but don’t necessarily have the funds for interna-

tional jaunts and hotel stays, the United States’ National Park Service

National parks not only provide affordable activities and

provides the ideal opportunity to travel, cheaply, to some of the most

accommodations, but an incomparable break from reality, surrounded

stunning places in the world. Traveling within the U.S. by car eliminates

by trees, oceans, lakes, and mountains. With distance from the

the frightening costs of international airfare, and you’d be surprised by

demands and stresses of everyday life there comes a particular kind

the number of national parks within reasonable driving distance from

of peace. Nature offers you space to think and to wonder, to breathe

home. With 58 national parks around the U.S. from Acadia to Zion,

deeply without the weight of responsibility threatening to crush you.

such a trip can be perfect for a school break with friends, a summer

I always get my best reading done out in nature; with my back against

vacation with family, or even a solitary, soul-searching expedition.

a rock or a tree, and none of the distractions of the real world, it’s easier to get swept up in a story, to become fully absorbed in a way

Why National Parks?

that I never can anywhere else. Trips to national parks with family

During a recent two-day respite from my summer job, I was able to

and friends can also present an invaluable opportunity for bonding.

take a trip with my family to the Great Sand Dunes National Park in

Relationships are strengthened by playing Uno by flashlight in a tent,

Colorado. Only a three hour drive from my hometown, the chance to

roasting marshmallows side by side while dodging campfire smoke,

spend even a couple of days exploring the tallest sand dunes in North

and gazing together in awe at nature’s marvels.

America fully made up for the time on the road.

“National parks not only provide affordable activities and accommodations, but an incomparable break from reality, surrounded by trees, oceans, lakes, and mountains.” Having some space from the busyness of everyday life to watch the sunset over the glowing, sandy pink dunes, to catch up on reading set to a soundtrack of birdsong and wind in the trees, and getting far enough

Tips and Tricks While setting out upon the sometimes daunting task of planning a trip, the National Park Service’s website might be a good place to start. It’s easy to navigate, and can help to find and research parks near you, providing information about location, hours, fees, and services for your next trip. Though prices vary from park to park, costs to enter and camp overnight are a fraction of the cost of hotels, resorts, and theme parks. One possibility to consider is purchasing the America the Beautiful Park Pass, which, at an annual fee of $80, covers entrance, standard amenities, and day use fees. As entrance fees alone for each park may range from $15-50, purchasing the pass can be well worth it if you plan on visiting multiple parks within the



year. Campsites are typically an additional nightly fee and can often be

Though visits to national parks may be affordable and spiritually

secured without any reservations, depending on the season. For the cost

rejuvenating, there is also sometimes a distinct lack of frills. Bug spray

of buying, renting, or borrowing a tent, RV, or trailer you can obtain a

is an absolute must on any trip, especially during the summer months.

temporary home for however long your trip may be, with the flexibility

Resign yourself to smelling like Deet for the entire trip (especially

of spontaneous extensions of your stay. Though I, myself, am a dedicated

considering showers might be few and far between) and then accept the

tent-camper who grew up with mantras like “leave your house at home,”

fact that you’re going to end up being mosquito bait anyway. There’s

a trailer might be a wise idea for a first-timer trying to ease into the

nothing that can help you gain a greater appreciation for the small

whole nature thing. For the more seasoned veterans, backpacking within

luxuries of regular life (beds, running water, air conditioning) like a

national parks can also be a viable option, as backcountry permits can

camping trip. It’s a chance to live by a different set of beauty and hygiene

often be obtained for the low, low price of absolutely free.

standards, something that can be surprisingly refreshing every once

in a while.

While short trips like mine can be a great escape from reality without

If you are an adventurer with a love for travel and a desire to do it

having to wait for an extended break from school or work, in my

cheaply, national parks might be the perfect venue for your

experience a 5-7 day trip is usually the best time frame. Whether over

future wanderings.

spring break or summer vacation, planning a longer trip usually allows you to fully explore a park and all it has to offer. Though famous parks like Yosemite and Grand Canyon certainly have their own merit and are well-worth seeing, some of the lesser known parks can provide a unique and sometimes more personal experience. Try planning a trip to Great Basin or North Cascades!

Relationships are strengthened by playing Uno by flashlight in a tent, roasting marshmallows side by side while dodging campfire smoke, and gazing together in awe at nature’s marvels. To keep food costs low, a National Parks traveler can subsist on locally purchased groceries, and the addition of a cooler and camp stove can expand the variety of meals quite a bit. In my personal opinion, hot dogs never taste better than when cooked over a campfire, particularly when you know there’s going to be s’mores to follow. Most of the activities at the park also come cheaply, with free ranger-led programs, day hikes, and other attractions. You can usually find this information at the visitor’s center, as well as educational material on the area’s history and the science of its wildlife. Why spend a small fortune at a resort or amusement park when you can explore the bottom of a remote canyon or climb a rugged mountain peak?



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