words to live by: noah + the whale
5 steps for creating a gratitude journal to cultivate positivity

surviving life after college: a how-to guide




When I first started blogging (over two years ago!), one of the first sites I started reading was Life After College. The adventures (and misadventures) of the site's creator, Jenny Blake, weren't entirely unlike my own post-college experiences. In fact, one of the reasons I started Positively Present was because I found myself in the midst of a quarter-life crisis and was searching (sometimes desperately so) to get my bearings in my post-college world. After an entire life of structure and knowing what's next on my path -- grade school, high school, college, grad school -- I found myself face to face with the open ended question that was the rest of my life. Sites like Jenny's inspired and motivated me -- and helped me to feel much less alone as a bumbling twentysomething.

Life After College - Book Cover Having connected with Jenny over the past two years, I'm happy to call her one of my online friends -- and I'm even happier to announce that tomorrow she launching her blog-based book: Life After College: The Complete Guide to Getting What You Want. As an avid reader of her site, I've been following her progress -- from finding a publisher to writing and editing to the day she opened the box housing the first copies of her book (so awesome!) -- and when I finally received my own copy of the book a few weeks ago, I was thrilled. Even though I've been out of college for a few years now, I cracked open the book and was delighted to find so many valuable resources inside.

I was also delighted to see two of my very own @positivepresent tweets in the Two Cents from Twitter sections of the book (check out pages 163 and 209!). This is Positively Present's first mention in a real, live book and I have to admit that I feel pretty darn excited about being included in such a great book!

Jenny's book is filled with inspiration and insights about: work, money, home, organization, friends, family, dating, relationships, health, fun, relaxation, and personal growth. Sounds like a lot to fit in one book, huh? It is, but what Jenny's done with all of these important and often stress-evoking topics is amazing. She's created a resource that anyone -- from recent graduates to settled-in-their-lives adults -- can benefit from. I know I write a lot of book reviews on my site (I can't help but share some of my favorites with you!), but this is honestly a must-buy. And here's why... 


The 5 Best Things about Life After College

  • Insightful commentary. Jenny, like me, has been through the real life-after-college experience and she shares her trials and tribulations with great honesty and openness in this book. Having gone through it not that long ago (and still going through it today), Jenny's insights are fresh, current, and, quite honestly, inspiring. Whether you're in a similar stage in life to Jenny, you're just about to graduate, or you did ten years ago, you can gain a great deal of insight from reading about Jenny's experiences -- both personal and professional. Anyone interested in personal development will love to dive into this book and learn from Jenny's experiences. 

  • Interactive experiences. The book is filled not only with Jenny's awesome insight and commentary on her personal and professional post-college experiences, but you'll also find that that book contains a great deal of interactivity. Jenny's created the book with the reader in mind and, unlike some books, she doesn't just offer her advice -- she actually helps you get to work implementing it. My absolute favorite thing about the book is that it's chocked full of exercises to get you thinking about your own life. In each section of the book (aka, each segment of your life), Jenny breaks things down for her readers and asks excellent questions, providing space for you to fill in your answers. Filling out the various portions of the book was such a great exercise for me and really helped me to put in perspective what I want from life -- and how I'm going to go about getting it. No matter where you are in your life, you will benefit from these exercises and, even if you do nothing but answer the questions, you'll gain such a great understanding of who you are and who you want to be. 

  • Inspiring motivation. If you need more motivation than actual exercises that will surely spur you into action, look no further! In addition to Jenny's own wisdom, she shares the insights and experiences of others through two awesome segments featured throughout the book: Notable Quotes and Two Cents from Twitter. (As I mentioned above, two of my tweets were picked by Jenny to be used in the book! Yay!) As a lover of quotes and someone interested in hearing others' opinions, I loved reading through these two sections of the book. I starred my favorite quotes and I'm sure you'll be seeing plenty of them on Positively Present soon. Jenny picked some really motivating quotes that correspond with each section so, as you're reading her insights and filling out the exercises with your own ideas, you're also coming across great quotes and tweets that will give you even more motivation to take the lessons from the book to heart. 

  • Incredible price. Normally I don't talk about prices when it comes to books because, in my little world, books are in their own category when it comes to money. I'll pause before buying a new dress or a new iPad app and ask, "Do I really need that?" but when it comes to books, I'm pretty much willing to spend anything, any time. If you weren't aware by now, I adore reading so, to me, spending money on books is just part of life -- like spending money on food or rent. I'm sure I would have paid whatever Jenny was asking for her book, but when I found out that it's less than $10 on Amazon, I was shocked. You can't even get some ebooks for that price! Totally incredible! Jenny's book is filled with amazing advice, insight, and exercises, and it's pretty crazy that you can get it all for less than $10!  

  • Invaluable resources. Almost as much as I loved the Notable Quotes and Two Cents from Twitter (did I mention that my tweets were in the book? pages 163 and 209!), I loved the Recommended Reading sections in the book. If you're a reader like me, you're always looking for new and inspiring books (and, in my case, I'm always looking for good reads to share with you guys!). And if you have Jenny's book in your hand, you don't have to look much further. Throughout the book, she shares tons of great resources -- books you should read, websites to check out, etc. To me, this type of information is invaluable. When you're reading a book like Jenny's and realize you want to explore one of the topics in more detail, one of the best things you can stumble upon is a list of books relating to that topic. Jenny puts it all right in there, right at your fingertips, making it, well, just plain awesome. 

As you can see, I'm pretty into this book. If I were to write a book, this is what I would want it to be -- insightful, entertaining, interactive, and inspiring. And I can honestly say that whether you're about to graduate college, you're a recent graduate, or your college days are a hazy memory, this book is for you. Jenny offers so many great insights on every aspect of post-college life -- and she shares so many excellent resources too! If you're at all interest in learning more about yourself and your life, this is book is a must have. To learn more about the book, check out the Life After College book website. To purchase a copy of the book, check it out on Amazon. And if you can't wait to get started on getting what you want, download the free 10-step checklist from Jenny's site. It's a great way to get started on the path to living an awesome post-college life -- the life you most definitely deserve to be living! 


 What advice would you offer for living life after college? 
If you're still in college or just out of college,
what advice would you like to receive?  



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I read a piece of her book on amazon. It is interesting. I really feel into the quicksand of her Ralph Waldo Emerson Quote. It goes like this,

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense."

I believe in this quote so much. I have to put it on my wall. Something like this has to be internalized if anyone of us seek a life better than what we are living. Doing as much as we can. Giving our all everyday. This is where happiness and success lies.

> insightful, entertaining, interactive, and inspiring
That sounds like a powerful way to describe the experience

When I graduated from college, my mom kept telling me to take a deep breath and not to freak out that I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my life. And I've had some wonderful experiences and worked in some really cool jobs that have nothing to do with what I'm doing now. And I'm grateful for every one. :)

Jonathan - That really is an excellent quote. So perfect for those of us who want to stay present and not harp on the past. At times it can be a difficult one to internalize, but it is critical advice for living a positive, present life.

J.D. - Yes, all of those words quite accurately describe the book and, to be honest, the life after college experience in general. There's a lot of great information in the book that really inspired and motivated me!

Molly - Sounds like your mom had the right idea. Right out of college it can be hard to realize that you don't have to have all of the answers right away and taking a deep breath -- and a step back to gain perspective -- is excellent advice. As you know from experience, sometimes the best opportunities and learning experiences are the ones we don't expect!

Thank you so much for this wonderful review -- I am blown away!! I really loved seeing the book through your eyes -- thank you so much for all of your support throughout the entire journey. I'm so happy that you're enjoying the book, and thrilled that two of your tweets made it in!! Thanks again :D

Jenny - You're welcome! Thank YOU for writing such a great book, filled with so many wonderful resources and exercises. I'm so happy to have been included in it. Good luck with the big book release week!

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