Change.

Change. Change is an inevitable experience that we all have gone, are going, and will go through. The change may be small, perhaps a new haircut or a change in lifestyle. Or, the change can be large and significant, such as the loss of a loved one, a career switch, or a move.

My most recent change is from college to career. I went from being a student at Clarke University to a financial marketer at Heartland Financial USA, Inc. I also went from living in the dorms (and home for the holidays) to my own one-bedroom apartment in downtown Dubuque. I went from having a roommate who is — and forever will be — my best friend to living alone with a deafening silence. At first, the change did not seem significant. It felt like I was working for the summer then going back to school this fall. But, it hit me today that I wouldn’t return to my second home and favorite place in the world. I am no longer a current Clarkie but instead an alumnus. And, while I still go to Clarke to workout and see my people, it just isn’t the same anymore. It’s all changed.

Instead of fighting change, we must embrace it — all of it. Fighting the inevitable will not stop it from happening; rather, it’ll make the transition harder. I am embracing my change. It’s tough, yes, because Clarke means more to me than people realize. It was where I found my family, my passions, my self. It was my life for four years and counting.

To my senior and junior friends at Clarke: Don’t wish the final moments at Clarke away. Yes, the stress sucks, the course load is overwhelming, and you “just want to graduate and do what you love.” But, don’t forget about the good times — the home athletic games, chatting with Mary Ellen, sitting in your dorm/apartment/place with your friends that have become your family. Take the good with the bad and embrace it all for your final year(s).

Along with the theme of Scotty McCreery’s song “Five More Minutes”: I wish I had just five more minutes as a current Clarkie. Trust me, you’ll feel the same way too, once you settle into the next phase of your life. As cliche as this whole post is, this just adds to it, but I really couldn’t care less because it’s the truth… and I embrace that I’m very cliche. In all, don’t let change get you down or instill fear in you. Change is good. Change allows you to grow into the person you’re meant to be.

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The Asket Sweatshirt: Product Review

With a price tag of $95, as well as $15 for shipping, the Asket Sweatshirt may seem like a preposterous purchase for many people. But, for some, this $110 sweatshirt is well worth it because of the quality, comfort, fit, and versatility.

I wanted the Asket Sweatshirt for two years, ever since I accidentally came across lifestyle bloggers and Instagram influencers sporting such a minimal yet extraordinary piece of clothing. But, with being in college and saving the little money I had, I just couldn’t bring myself to make the purchase. “When you graduate and get a full-time, well-paying job, then you can get it” I promised myself every time I found myself on asket.com looking at the sweatshirt.

Finally, after two years, I made the purchase at the end of June. I literally couldn’t wait another moment; I ordered it while laying on the couch… at 11:30 p.m…. minutes after my direct deposit hit. I slept well that night, knowing I would have this sweatshirt within days.

With only owning the sweatshirt for a little over a month, I’ve worn it more than I care to admit. With the many times I’ve worn it, I’ve made note of the top qualities I love about this sweatshirt. The first thing is the quality. The yarn is 100% Egyptian cotton, which gives the sweatshirt its softness and superior quality, among other things. This sweatshirt is made to last. It isn’t a fast-fashion piece of clothing made to last a year (if that); rather, it’ll stand the test of time for years to come. So, a $110 investment on a six- to seven-year return? I’ll take it. It’s warm, cozy, and makes for a perfect lazy day or up-and-at-em, non-stop-running day. I wear this sweatshirt on Sundays when I lounge around on the couch, as well as when I’m running errands around town.

The next thing that I cannot help but appreciate is the fit. It’s tailored yet relaxed. It provides a great silhouette and doesn’t have bulkiness around the hips and back, but it also doesn’t hug the body in an unflattering way. Asket has a unique fit system, of which there are fifteen sizes in total ranging from XS-XL for size and Short to Long for length. Mine is a Large-Short, but I think a Medium-Long would work just as well. The reasoning behind this: Are you a medium size-wise but need the length of a large? Then a Medium-Long would fit. Or, are you an XL in size but need a shorter length piece of clothing? An XL-Short would work! It’s not generic sizes in which you must pray they fit, but they really fit the clothing to you!

The final most notable quality is the versatility. This can be dressed down with some sweats and a baseball cap, dressed up with a dress shirt underneath and some nice chinos, or in-between with a baseball cap and chinos. The third is my go-to almost every day, but I literally rock all three every week. This all comes back to the minimalistic design: a simple gray sweatshirt. It doesn’t need to look extravagant or have a flashy brand to be great; no, it can be a simple gray sweatshirt, and it’ll be a staple in your wardrobe.

Care to check out Asket and even make a purchase of your own? They sell much more than a sweatshirt, including Oxfords and socks. Go to asket.com and welcome timelessness and minimalism into your lifestyle.

(I’m no way affiliated with Asket. They’re just a brand I advocate for. Not only for their clothing but their business and personal ethics.)