Life Update: Adulting 101

I have become a full-fledged adult since my last blog post. I have a college degree; my own apartment; and a full-time, big-boy job. Since I have been quiet lately, I thought for those who 1) read these and 2) care what I write about would be interested in knowing where I am in life.

And, I have been approached by several people telling me how much they love my blog and read every single one. Some of these people I haven’t seen in years or barely know. Honestly, it is humbling to hear these comments from people, and it definitely reminds me why I do this. I wanted to get back into blogging officially and permanently because of those people.

Moving beyond the sappiness above, here is an update on Kyle Majerus’s life.

 

Graduation

I FINALLY GRADUATED COLLEGE. After four long years of intense stress and rigorous work, I graduated from Clarke University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and a minor in business administration. I will be honest, there was a three-week period in March in which I didn’t think I was going to pass my English capstone (senior thesis and presentation) because I had to re-write my paper three times (20-25 pages each time, mind you…).

BUT, I DID IT. I graduated magna cum laude, as well as with the highest honor bestowed upon a Clarke graduating senior, the Francis J. O’Connor Memorial Award.

Now, I am taking a break from school for a few years. However, I have full intentions of returning for a Master of Business Administration in either marketing or entrepreneurship.

Apartment

I know, I know, for over a year I wrote how I was moving to Chicago right away upon graduation. I even went so far as to interview for a manager position out there. However, after speaking with professors who lived there for years and friends from there, I knew I couldn’t support myself with an entry-level job. Making ~$40,000 a year does not cover paying rent for a 300 sq. ft. studio apartment that costs ~$800/month, utilities, various bills, and student loans. I was honest with myself and told myself that once I get a few years of experience under my belt, I can get an upper-level job and support myself while living in that beautiful city.

Besides, I seriously love Dubuque. And, for those who haven’t visited or been here in a while, the downtown area is seriously stepping it up. The main street has unique shops; the library is outstanding; the Millwork District is breath-taking with shops, aesthetics, architecture, and apartments; the farmers’ market is incredible and quite large; and many other factors make Dubuque downtown an outstanding location. My apartment is in downtown Dubuque, but not in the Millwork District, sadly. That would have cost $1,200/month… yeah, I am good. I totally would have if I had a roommate, but there are only three people I would live with — two live in Chicago and one refused, haha.

But, I love my one-bedroom apartment. It is so cozy and screams “Kyle!” I won’t describe it to you; rather, I prefer the old saying “A picture is worth 1,000 words.” Well, here are 7,000 words.

P.S. My plant is named Vincent.

P.P.S. My apartment is not complete yet. I still have a few more pieces of furniture to get. So, updates to follow in the future!

P.P.P.S. The natural light is AMAZING in this apartment when the blinds are open. Oh, my Lord, it is my favorite things about this apartment.

 

Career

I got the opportunity for a unique experience at Heartland Financial USA Inc. here in Dubuque. I am going through a marketing management trainee program, which they call their marketing academy. I am a full-time employee, not an intern, FYI. I will work in the marketing department as a whole, such as digital marketing, analytics, product development, and sales support. The intention of this program is to 1) make me a well-rounded marketer and 2) train me to become a marketing manager. Instead of working in one specific area, like copywriting, I get to experience the full range of marketing! I am on week three, and I absolutely love it. The work I do is empowering and important.

Oh, and I am a living testament that 1) Liberal Arts degrees are extremely useful in the “real world” and 2) Liberal Arts graduates can work in the business world. For those who are worried about their major and if they are employable: yes, you are. It goes beyond the degree you have. It is about the skills, experiences, and grit that you have. So, make sure you are interning and getting involved in professional development any way you can!

Lifestyle

Finally, I can live my life the way I want to again. College impeded me because I was always bombarded with schoolwork, extracurriculars, and work. Presently, I work, and once I get off, my life is my life. I can do the things I love to do again.

Beyond what I do with my life, I decided to go deeper with how I live my life and commit even more to the minimalist lifestyle. As you can tell from my apartment photos, I really do not have much beyond the basics. And, that was my intention. I don’t need much to be happy, so I simply want what I need. After graduation, I went through everything I owned, and I think I threw away over 75% of my stuff. They just did not bring me happiness or have a use anymore. I desire quality over quantity. Yes, this means I may spend double on a pair on chinos, a sweater, etc. But, these items will last, at least, three times as long, if not longer than the cheaper options.

For example, for the past two years, I wanted this simple gray sweater from Asket. (Yes, for two years I have contemplated buying it.) Yes, it comes with a high price tag, but the quality is worth it. And, I know it’ll last for several years. So, would I rather have a $30 H&M or Target sweater that lasts one year or the $95 Asket sweater that lasts five? Yeah, in the grand scheme of things, the latter is the best option. I think I am going to finally pull the trigger on this sweater next week, I think after two years of contemplating it, I should get it.

Trying to move beyond the materialistic lifestyle is something I am still working on. I still want things I don’t need, surely. But, I will force myself to think about the item(s) for a minimum of two weeks before I make the purchase. And, after weighing the decision and if the desire is still strong, then I know it (they) is (are) something I really do want and need.

Am I or will I become an extreme minimalist? Goodness, no. That is going too far and a bit ridiculous. I will be minimal in most areas of my life, but I still will own some things I do not need or have a bit too much of. I am human.

 

In all, life is good, everyone. All the pieces have fallen into place nicely. Will this be my life forever? No. Will I move around, move up in the professional world, and change aspects of my lifestyle? Yes. Because that is what growing as a person does.

– Kyle Majerus

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Sorry…! I’ve Been Busy!

Why, hello, hello. It sure has been quite some time, hasn’t it? Let’s see… like six months? Damn, feels like last week I was busting out two blogs a week. But, that was back when I had all the time in the world!

Now — well, not right NOW because I am on Christmas break — I am bombarded with college, two internships, my personal self, and student government. Please don’t think I am making excuses for not blogging! I am just stating a simple fact: I have no time to blog during the school year. I take on full credit-load semesters, work for Clarke University and Nicolosi | Galluzzo, LLP as a copywriter intern, and act as the school’s student body president. I am lucky I get time to eat and workout every day. (Honestly, it is a blessing I have time for these.)

But, as I stated, I am on Christmas break right now (for only a few more weeks). So, as I lay here in my bed watching my 40th movie or so, I thought I would fill everyone in on why I have not blogged. Yes, I could have blogged all Christmas break, but when you read, write, and mentally destroy yourself for 16 weeks straight, you kind of want to do nothing during the break. So, really, I have just slept, watched movies, lifted, and played Xbox for three weeks straight… and, I am not mad at all.

Anywho, I am glad you all have asked me where my blogs were at; honestly, it means a lot that people are interested in my writing. I am going to be 100% with you all. I most likely will not blog again after this break until I graduate. This semester will be ridiculously hectic. I have my English capstone, three other courses, I am applying for jobs in Chicago and apartment hunting, acting as the student body president, tying up loose ends before I graduate and move, and working on myself to create the best version of myself… On top of having a social life, working out, and just trying to enjoy last semester. I love blogging and will never give it up. But, I just do not have time right now, and I will start it back up after I settle in and start my career.

So, stay tuned… big things are coming… fashion, lifestyle, and everyday talk.

– Kyle Majerus

 

What to Pack for a Weekend Trip

As this blog goes live, I am in Chicago for a three-day weekend to visit my buddy, Matt, and work on content for my internship. It will be quite an active and fun-filled weekend; I am exploring downtown, finally trying the pizza pot pie I’ve wanted for over a year, shopping (of course), enjoying one too many beverages, and taking many photos around the city. It is important to pack accordingly for such a busy weekend getaway because you don’t want too many or too few items. When going away for a weekend, only pack the essentials for the trip. It will save you a lot of space in your bag and energy to keep track of everything. Below I give you the top items one should bring on a short or long weekend trip.

  1. Two pairs of chinos

    Everyone should bring a pair or two of chinos because they are such a diverse piece of clothing; they are lightweight pants that are designed to be worn in all seasons, and they can be dressed up for a fancy dinner or dressed down for a night at the club or exploring the city. They are just that stinking diverse, everyone!!

    Especially since it is summer, I will advocate for chinos over jeans on a weekend trip because you can wear them even if it is boiling hot outside or extra windy and cool. Since I will be in the Windy City at the beginning of August, I do not know what to expect. Will it be stupidly hot or rather breezy? I have no idea, so I packed both my navy and gray J.Crew chinos. It can be pretty warm outside or a bit windy, and I will be dressed accordingly either way.

  2. One long-sleeve t-shirt

    You can NEVER go wrong with a white long-sleeve t-shirt. They are aesthetically pleasing, minimal, and fashionable. Just like with the chinos, you can wear this shirt in any weather and for many occasions. Is it chilly outside? Perfect, this shirt is long-sleeved. But, is the sun beating down, too? Excellent. This shirt is white so the sun will not be attracted to it. Without a doubt, I packed my J.Crew white long-sleeve t-shirt to wear downtown one of the days.

  3. A belt

    One of my biggest pet peeves is people not wearing a damn belt. They have two important uses: one, they hold up your pants/jeans/shorts, which, you know, is crazy important and convenient. And, two, they are the perfect accessory to finish a look or give your outfit some extra color. Personally, I am a huge fan of light brown belts, and I definitely will be wearing my favorite belt all weekend.

  4. Basketball shorts

    Instead of wearing pajama pants to bed and waking up sweating like crazy, I advise bringing a pair of comfy and breathable basketball shorts to sleep in. Also, you never know when you’re going to the gym, so why not have them just in case? (Sorry, I am a “gym rat” who sure doesn’t look like it…)

  5. Underwear and socks

    Kinda obvious…

  6. Comfortable shoes

    If you know you will be moving about or walking a lot, please, please, please bring a sturdy and comfortable pair of shoes/boots. Do your feet and yourself a favor and make sure you pack shoes/boots that won’t destroy your feet or back. For this trip, I decided to bring my Aldo brown dress boots that have high-quality Dr. Scholl’s in soles inside them. They are soooo comfortable and great for walking (surprisingly!).

    Seriously, I cannot convey how important good walking shoes are. Take it from someone with a fused tailbone from an injury whose ribs pop out of place and hips and ankles get out of alignment. Wearing shoes that support your back and feet are a life saver.

  7. Grooming/Bathroom essentials

    It is necessary to take care of your personal hygiene at all times. Whether you are home, on vacation, or just away for the weekend, bring what you need for proper grooming and hygiene. For this weekend away, I brought body wash, my beard oil, a comb and a brush, deodorant, my toothbrush and toothpaste, Q-tips, lotion, floss, and my beard trimmer. You know, the essentials. I take my personal grooming and hygiene very seriously…

  8. Your Everyday Carry Items

    These will be the items you cannot go a day or even an hour without. You can read about my ECI and what I brought with me to the city here.

  9. Sturdy Backpack

    While some people prefer actual luggage bags, I fancy a comfortable and high-quality backpack. I like backpacks over luggage bags for several reasons. One, it doesn’t feel like you actually have to carry it; rather, you can sling it over your shoulders and go about your day. Two, they are smaller than luggage bags, so you do not risk over-packing for a trip. Instead, you bring what you know you need and will use. Again, less is more! Three, they are pretty dang fashionable. Rocking a fashion backpack will never go out of style. You all already know that I brought everything in my JuneHouse Rose Red Backpack.

    This backpack is amazing. It is very fashionable, high-quality, super comfortable, and goes great with my style. I love to rock very minimal and three-color outfits. So, the pop of rose red from this backpack gives my looks the perfect touch. Just look at how great the combination below works. (Review coming next week.)

    IMG_2668

There you have it, folks. What I advise you should bring on a nice weekend trip. Just remember to pack the essentials because you don’t want to have an abundant amount of clothing, shoes, or items wasting space in your backpack/luggage. Also, you want to leave space in your backpack/luggage in case you buy something and need to store it! And, the Lord knows I will come back with quite a few things and will need the space…

– Kyle Majerus

Why I Blog 

Just over a year ago, I took the initiative to create my own blog site. This was something I have always wanted to do, but I just never had the courage to go through with it until last year.

In all honesty, I did not know why I wanted to do it; but, deep down inside I had this odd urge to become a blogger. After a year, I think I finally discovered why I blog/became a blogger.

I became a blogger to express myself and my passions. Some people express themselves through artwork. Others, through poetry or music. Me? I do it through writing. It is a wonderful way to get all my thoughts and feelings out of my head and into the world. Sometimes, I just word vomit all that comes to my mind, and it actually makes enough sense to those who read it, and they get a look inside my always-racing mind. When I cannot convey my inner thoughts orally, I do it through writing.

I became a blogger to gain experience and build a portfolio. Thankfully, I started this blog long before I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to be a psychologist, then a teacher, and then a Public Relations Specialist. Now, I finally discovered my dream job: Copywriter. In order to set myself apart from others who want to enter the copywriting world, I must have a diverse and impressive portfolio. Even though this is a side hobby of mine (for now.), it still is an excellent addition to my portfolio. It shows that I not only have technical writing skills but creative writing skills as well. In addition, it displays that I am a frequent and consistent writer. Finally, it allows those who read my blog to understand my personal voice and how I write.

Finally, I became a blogger because deep down I somehow knew I wanted to pursue a life in writing. I always loved writing. In elementary, middle, and high school I never had an issue with essays or research papers; on the contrary, I always loved the “challenge” of completing them. Now that I look back, I am amazed I did not realize my love for writing until my sophomore year of college. I would probably be a far better writer if I dedicated my high school days to developing my personal voice and actually paying attention to grammatical rules. Oh well, you live and you learn.

Some may see blogging as a side hobby or a “thing to do for fun.” But, to others (like me), blogging is a part of who we are. It is an extension of our inner selves. I could not be more proud to say I am a blogger, and this is something I will never give up on.

– Kyle Majerus

Ten Things I Can’t Live Without

I don’t know what it is about this week, but I really feel like blogging lists. On Tuesday, I posted a list of 21 things I learned since I turned 21. It is quite interesting if I do say so myself.

And then for today, I had a serious urge to list out the ten things that I am unable to live without. Some of the things in this list are quite reasonable, others, not so much. I present to you, ten things I am unable to live without (in no particular order).

  1. iPhone 6

    My iPhone 6 plays a crucial role in my daily life. It is how I stay connected with friends and family, where I turn to in awkward situations in which I need to appear like I am “distracted,” it is my daily planner, it is how I stay ahead on my never-ending work emails, and the device I check all my social media on. I honestly and truly could not live without my iPhone 6. It either is always near me, or I am on it.

  2. MacBook Pro

    Another Apple product I would die without is my MacBook Pro. This is my lifeline. I write my blog posts on it; use it for every single one of my classes — homework, presentations, and papers; and the device I use to write and edit copy for both of my internships. Sure, I use it for fun, like YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, and Netflix, but that is beside the point.

  3. Series 1 Apple Watch

    The final Apple product I can not live without is my Apple Watch. It is so convenient to use for my calendar, reply to text messages, clock my workout, and respond to emails. Also, I can pair it with literally any outfit combination. I am very dependant on this bad boy. You may read more about my love for my Apple Watch here and here.

  4. Family

    I value family above all else. I do not know what I would do or where I would be without my grandparents, siblings, aunts/uncles, cousins, and, of course, my mother. I am thankful for the family I have been given. I would never trade them for the world. I know it will be tough to leave them all next year, but I know I will come back to visit.

  5. Friends

    I also highly value my friends. Just like my family,  I have no clue where I would be without my friends. I have old friends, like my high school classmates, but also new(ish) friends, which are my college friends. I love the former to death and miss them all, but I know we all have gone our own ways and are living our own lives. The latter will forever be my “squad.” We all have been there for each other during our highs and lows of college. I will miss them greatly after this upcoming school year ends, but I know a few who are moving to Chicago, too. That city is not ready for us.

  6. Food

    I’m not being a smart a**. Sure, I do need food to survive, but that is not why I put food on this list. I included it because I am obsessed with food; I literally plan my day around my meals, not my meals around my day. I cook delicious and nutritious meals that make me cherish every bite. Damn, I love food.

  7. Squat/Deadlift Belt

    Fun fact for y’all: When I was in 7th grade, I fell off a slide and cracked my tailbone; however, I never went to the doctor to get it looked at. Not one year later — on the SAME day and SAME slide — I fell off and re-cracked my tailbone. Again, I never went to the doctor… Well, now I have such a bad back that every week my rib pops out of place, my hips fall out of alignment, and my right ankle gets dislocated. I am a chiropractor’s dream… Anyway, now every time I lift legs, I must wear a squat/deadlift belt otherwise my back gets utterly destroyed.

  8. JuneHouse Backpack

    Sure, I have only had this backpack for a week, but I am in love. The sole reason I want for school to start up is so I can use this backpack every day. As for now, I just use it to carry my MacBook, chargers, and glasses to work every day. It will also be my go-to backpack next year to carry all my essentials through the day.

  9. COFFEE

    Duh. Obviously.

  10. Lists

    I. cannot. live. without. lists. I mean, my last two blog posts are lists for crying out loud. I have so much going on in one day that I must list out absolutely everything — my to-do lists, shopping lists, grocery lists, lifting exercise lists, homework list, you name it, and I list it out. Without lists, I would have failed my junior year of college. Not joking. They saved me on more than one occasion because my mind is so clustered from all I have to do.

Whether they are tangible or intangible, I cannot live without every item on the above list. They either give me support and love — like my family and friends, or they make my life more convenient — like all my Apple products and squat/deadlift belt.

– Kyle Majerus

21 Things I Learned Since I Turned 21

It is hard to believe that I have been 21 for just under five months already, saying it seemed like it was never going to come when I was 20… In fact, I remember my whole 21st birthday celebration like it was yesterday; I know exactly what I did, where my friends and I went, and what I wore. 

Well, since my 21st birthday I have had a lot of life changes (for better or worse), and because of these changes, I have learned a myriad of lessons/things. The lessons/things I learned are either random, inspirational, or personal, and I thought it would be nice to share these with everyone. So, without further ado, I present to you 21 new things I learned since turning 21: 

  1. I have an unhealthy addiction to coffee.

    I’ll admit it. I am addicted to coffee. But, not like a normal addiction (if there is such a thing?). Like, I am so bad that I crave it every second of every day, and I will drink six — yes, I said six — cups in one sitting. However, I consciously am aware of this addiction, and to counter it, I am starting to only allow myself to have one or two cups a day. So far, so good. Day two, done.

  2. Cold-brew coffee is a damn gift from God.

    I would say that my coffee addiction has a correlation with my love for cold-brew coffee. I literally make three or four batches a week. Cutting the cold-brew coffee with unsweetened almond milk and ice just adds to its deliciousness, which makes me crave it even more. I really don’t see myself going back to plain Jane coffee. I am glad I learned about cold-brew coffee this summer. 

  3. Chicken and avocado are my favorite foods.

    I learned that I am obsessed with chicken and avocados. I eat some form of chicken — usually skinless breast — every day. What is more, I will gladly pair it with half an avocado because, well, avocados are ridiculously healthy for you, delicious, and good fats. If I am not eating avocado with my chicken, then I will use it as a topping for my morning toast. You know what they say: “An avocado a day keeps the doctor away.” (Okay, I may have made this up…)

  4. I have OCD and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. (Diagnosed.)

    Yep, I have been diagnosed by my doctor with OCD and GAD. No shame what-so-ever. They are both rather common and treatable. I just have to take medication every morning until my brain is able to counter the overacting chemicals inside it! I truly and wholeheartedly believe I developed GAD from my junior year of college. I was just so stressed and stretched too thin. Oh well, you live and you learn! As for my OCD, it is not terrible. I only have two OCD ticks: I make sure my iPhone and Mac chargers are dry before I plug them in, and I must check to make sure the stove, oven tops, microwave, and toaster are off before I leave the apartment. I am glad I learned I had these two issues. This way, I could get them addressed properly.

  5. People notice your hard work/Hard work truly pays off.

    During my junior year, I was the student body treasurer; president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer of Benchwarmers, our fan club; a Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Tenth Muse literary magazine; a CU LEAD Graduate; a member of Investment’s Club and Future Young Professionals; the circulation desk worker; a tour guide; the Microeconomics tutor; and I maintained a 3.9 GPA. (Let me state right now that I am not boasting. I am just summing up my junior year.) Now, I didn’t know how much of this year’s hard work would pay off, but because of all these experiences, I received the following opportunities for my senior year: student body president; the marketing/copywriter intern for Clarke’s Marketing Department; the copywriter intern for Nicolosi | Galluzzo, LLP; and the CONNECT Coordinator. I am so blessed to have these four experiences; they will help me immensely in my future career.

  6. The most unexpected friendships can be the best ones.

    Summer 2k17: The summer I developed friendships I never thought I would. Living on campus during the summer is an experience because it is only you and about 20 other people. Well, those 20 people become real close with you real quick. There are some people here whom I never thought I would get close to, but somehow, someway I did. One guy in particular, He Who I Shall Not Name (Haha, I crack myself up.), whom I became friends with, turns out to be exactly like me in every way possible. We both have had the same relationship experiences, we dress the same, we have the same outlook on life, we ask the right questions about life/we go deeper than the surface area, and we want the same things from our future wives. It was pretty bizarre once I learned all these things about him because I just never thought we were so similar. 

  7. Your 20s are meant for self-discovery.

    During this time last year, I had my whole life set in stone. I knew where I wanted to end up, who I was, and whom I wanted to be with. My life was planned out until the day I die. Well, life does not work like that; it isn’t supposed to be decided when you’re 20. After some changes, I learned that your 20s are meant for self-discovery. You’re meant to focus on you, and then the rest will fall into place. I learned that it is okay to be alone and find yourself. 

  8. I truly enjoy being isolated.

    I sit in my apartment alone every day for over five hours. During this time, I think through my issues, watch my favorite TV shows — currently, Girls and Game of Thrones, write, read, and just enjoy being by myself. I learned that I enjoy my isolation. 

  9. I also enjoy being around people.

    On the contrary, I also love being around people. This summer has been dedicated to developing relationships with people, and I have happily became extremely close with the people living on and around campus this summer. I make sure to spend time with every person at least once a week. 

  10. It is never too late to pick up new hobbies/interests.

    Since I turned 21, I learned that it is quite simple to pick up new hobbies and discover what really interests me. So far, I picked up cooking, exploring, journaling and traveling this summer, and I am about to pick up photography. I am so thankful for every new hobby/interest, they all make me who I am.

  11.  Dad hats are the greatest thing ever invented.

    Never really have been a hat guy. But, I now wear both my LYM (Love Your Melon) cap and Natascha Myers cap at least once a week. They pair great with different looks and are just too stylish. I learned dad hats are pretty darn cool. 

  12. Long Islands are the most delicious but dangerous beverage ever. Like, ever.

    Sweet and delicious but stupidly strong. Long Islands are one of my favorite mixed drinks. Even though they can get pricey, they are worth it because it’s one and done. For me, anyway. 

  13. The best beer on tap is Blue Moon.

    Never really cared for beer once I turned 21. But, after I had the privilege of trying Blue Moon on tap, I never looked back. Yeah, I drink it with an orange, duh.

  14. Drinking whole bottles of wine is fun.

    Sure, I have done this once. Alright, twice. Just like Long Islands, these are pretty dangerous because they are so sweet and cause a killer hangover.

  15. 04:00 is the best time to discover things about yourself.

    This past Saturday I received a text from a friend who was just so confused and felt lost with life. She did not know what she wanted to do after college, what she wanted spiritually, etcetera. So, I had her come over and we ended up talking outside until 05:00. In the 2.5 hours we talked, I went on such an emotional and spiritual journey in which I learned and discovered so much about myself. It was really something else.

  16. Your GPA isn’t everything…!

    This is coming from someone with a 3.7 cumulative GPA and got a 3.9 all last semester. I learned that your GPA won’t get you your career, but the hands you shake, how well you network, the internships and the experience you have, and your willingness and drive will. Sure, I will strive for all As because that is who I am as a person, but I won’t stress about it as much my senior year.

  17. I want to be a copywriter.

    I finally, finally, finally learned what I want to do with my future. For those who don’t know, a copywriter is someone who writes copy for a company. Copy is the words in advertisements, social media posts, blog posts, email campaigns, slogans, etcetera. Not the little “R” in the top-right of a company’s name. This job is perfect for me; I love to write, sit on social media, and blog. What more could I want in a career?

  18. I need a side job at J.Crew because I spend so much money there.

    Favorite store hands down. Thankfully, they do not have one around Dubuque, otherwise, I would be dirt poor. My two favorite pair of chinos are from J.Crew, and they cost $70.00 each… Once I move, I know I will need to work here for some type of discount because J.Crew is my go-to for all my clothes.

  19. It is a-okay to say “no.

    Say “no” to opportunities you don’t want to do, people you don’t want to see, or questions you don’t want to say “yes” to. There is no reason you have to say “yes” to everything. I did my junior year, and I paid for it (both positively and negatively). You have no obligation to explain why you say “no” either.

  20.  Money spent on experiences is not a waste.

    I have no problem dropping $70 on a pair of chinos but will have issues coughing up $30 for gas to fuel a road trip. This summer, I learned that that is not the way to live. It should be the opposite. For $30 I could either spend a night at the movies and out to eat, or I could put that money into gas and drive to a city and stay with friends. What is more, I could spend days at my friends’ house and gain all kinds of memories and experiences from it. I learned to pick the latter when I can.

  21. What my next two tattoos will be.

    Some of you may not know, but I have three tattoos already, but I learned that I am not done yet. My next two tattoos will be the Chicago skyline on my left inner bicep and the semicolon (not sure where yet). The former is for my love and obsession with Chicago, and the latter is meant for suicide awareness.

 

Photos from images.google.com

*The Chicago one will not have the bottom heart and words.*

There you have it, everyone. 21 things I learned since I turned 21. Like I said in the beginning, some are just bizarre, random things that seem odd to learn, while others are truly important lessons to learn. I am amazed at how much has changed in a few months, and I am stoked to see where I am in life in just a few more.

– Kyle Majerus

Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things

For those of you who don’t know, minimalism is a lifestyle in which a person chooses to live with the most basic of things, e.g., clothing, furniture, and possessions, but gets the most bang for his or her buck. For example, minimalist prefer quality over quantity, so he or she may purchase a high-end winter coat that will last him or her for years instead of four to five cheaper coats that will only last a few months.

Now, I would consider myself a minimalist in terms of clothing; I only wear five shirts and sweaters, four pairs of pants, and three pairs of shoes. Instead of owning a ridiculous amount of clothing that I will never wear, I just purchase high-quality pieces of clothing that I cycle throughout the year and create various combinations. And you know what, people rarely notice. They do not notice that I just wear the same thing in a different variation. This is what minimalism is about. Creating the most out of the basic items. The absolute best pieces to get to create a minimalist wardrobe are chinos in navy, gray, and black; sweaters in black and navy; white button-downs; and white sneakers. You do not realize the creations you can make, everyone.

Some of you may be wondering what got me into the minimalist lifestyle, and I would say a huge inspiration would be a documentary called Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things. It follows around and interviews a variety of minimalists who gave up their Wall Street-like, materialistic lifestyle and adopted a minimalist one. It is quite moving honestly. I urge you all to check it out on Netflix because, who knows, you may find a desire to give up the lifestyle you live for a more minimal one.

When I watched it for the first time during my freshman year of college, I ended up throwing away three containers of junk from my room and another two containers of clothing. I realized how much space I was wasting and what little value these items were. It felt absolutely freeing to do.

After watching this documentary for the second time this past weekend, I actually ended up clearing out my apartment closet and room of unnecessary clothing and items that I do not need or never use. It allowed me to declutter my life in various ways and focus on what is important: myself. Now that I do not have so much junk to distract me, I can work on myself, discover who I am, and fix the issues in my life. The documentary does a great job of conveying that minimalism is not an image that hipsters adopt; rather, it is a lifestyle that allows a person to stop focusing on what doesn’t matter, i.e., materialistic items, and start focusing on what really should matter — people, experiences, and oneself.

Let me know if any of you give it a watch, and also let me know if it inspires you to become a minimalist!

– Kyle Majerus

Featured Image: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/minimalism_a_documentary_about_the_important_things/