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

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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

Who are Saturdays For?… Me!

I look forward to Saturdays after an exhausting work week because I dedicate Saturdays to me, myself, and I. My Saturdays are meant for running errands, spending time alone, enjoying my past times, and essentially doing whatever I want. No obligations to anyone or anything but myself. Boy, do I love my Saturdays.

And, since tomorrow is Saturday (YAY!), I thought I would bring you all along on a typical Saturday in my life. It is filled with fun, adventure, and experiences. While this is a “typical” Saturday in my life, I want to note that sometimes I may just make coffee at home or eat out for lunch/dinner, etcetera, so, this is not exactly what I do every Saturday, but most of them!

This particular Saturday you all are tagging along on was this past Saturday, the 24th of June.

  1. Make a mean breakfast

    One thing I pride myself on is my cooking skills. I was blessed to receive the cooking gene from a parent of mine, so it has always been something I excelled at. After my natural alarm clock wakes me up around 06:00 (…), I jump out of bed and make myself a hearty, delicious breakfast. I aim to hit all the macro groups — carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. For this previous Saturday’s breakfast, I made scrambled eggs with onion and lettuce, a sliced Honeycrisp apple drizzled with cinnamon, toast topped with peanut butter and sliced avocado, and cold-brew coffee. Let me tell ya, it was worth every. single. bite.

  2. Clean up and get dressed

    Trust me, no one wants to see this face in the morning. I have bed head, morning breath, and a sleepy demeanor. Before I head out to tackle the day, I go through my morning personal hygiene routine. It normally takes about an hour or so, but it really depends on how long my shower is. And, then I get dressed and head out. The photo below shows what I wore this Saturday, and the links to the items are provided.

    Shirt: J.Crew White Long-sleeve T-shirt

     

    Pants: J.Crew 484 Navy Chinos

    Shoes: Gray Converse

    Watch: 38mm Series One Apple Watch

    Eyeglasses: Warby Parker “Stockton”

    Belt: Target Cognac Belt

    Socks: Nike Black Socks

    img_2528-e1498354882417.jpg

  3. Head to Charlotte’s

    I go to this coffee shop at least once a week. Shocker, right? This experience will vary based on whom I am going with and why. If I go alone with the intent on getting some work done, I will order either a 16-ounce hot coffee or cold-brew coffee, head to a corner of the shop, and work from my laptop. This place is perfect for it because it sparks my creativity and inspires me to strive for greatness.

    On the other hand, if I go because I am going on a coffee date, then it is a whole ‘nother ball game. I laugh, talk my butt off, and truly get to know the person/people I go with. I will order the same drink but maybe with some food too (like an acai bowl!), sit in the middle of the coffee shop where the traffic is heavy, turn my iPhone and Apple Watch on silent, and truly enjoy the company I am with. It doesn’t matter if I am doing the former or the latter, I will be at Charlotte’s for well over an hour. For this past Saturday, I did the latter, and it went quite well and was truly enjoyable.

  4. Write in my blog

    When I graduate, I intend on becoming a copywriter. In order to improve my writing to be well enough for this type of field, I must write, write some more, and then write even more. I write for at least thirty minutes a day, whether it is for my blog, in my journal, or for my marketing internship. This way, I can find my weaknesses as a writer, get used to the demands of being a writer, and improve my writing skills. On the 24th of June, I wrote for at least two hours and created both blog posts for this week.

  5. Make lunch

    It has been a pretty productive day for me so far, hasn’t it? And, it is not even noon yet! Between 12:00-12:30, I will begin making lunch. Without fail, I make myself a homemade pizza for lunch on Saturdays. On these pizzas, I use Sweet Baby Rays for the sauce; top them with turkey slices, lettuce, onion, sweet relish, pineapple (WHICH DOES BELONG ON PIZZA.), and shredded mozzarella cheese; and season them with basil, pepper, paprika, sea salt, and garlic salt.

    Yeah, my mouth is watering too. Below I have pictures of all the ingredients and the finished product. I also enjoyed my pizza with some tasty lemon water and honey mustard pretzels. 

  6. Watch a movie

    As you could imagine, I am pretty tired from how productive my day has been so far. So, I decide to lay in bed and watch a movie or two. It all really depends on the mood. For some odd reason, I have been on a Twilight kick lately, so for this past Saturday, I watched part one and two of Breaking Dawn. Makes me reminisce back to when I took my cousins to see it in theaters… Ahh, good times.

  7. Go for a walk

    Because I am a fitness freak, I have to exercise some way, shape, or form every day. Since I refuse to lift weights on the weekends or run on a dreaded treadmill, I will walk the Clarke Drive stretch and back — which comes to about 2.5 miles. A decent walk if you ask me. This also allows me to clear my head and relax. This past Saturday was perfect weather for walking. It was not too hot, not too cold, the sky was clear, and the gnats were minimal.

  8. Devour some dinner

    Dinner time for me is 06:30, and I always make this meal a large one because I know I will not be eating for at least thirteen hours. I focus on protein and carbohydrates for this final meal. This past Saturday I decided to make a honey-drizzled chicken breast, baked beans, cinnamon oatmeal, a mixed salad topped with honey mustard, and lemon water. It was pretty healthy and very filling, which is the goal. Of course, I had a cup of coffee after because, well, coffee is life and I’m addicted.

  9. Take a bath

    Oh, yeah. I am a huge advocate for baths. I will take baths until I am not physically able to. I was feeling a good, calming bath last Saturday, so I took in my cup of coffee, lit my Suit & Tie candle, dimmed the lights, and truly, truly enjoyed myself. 10/10 recommend you all give it a go.

  10. Get ready to take on the night**

    As a 21-year-old college student, you all know what I do on weekends. I go downtown to enjoy an adult beverage (or six). The summer squad and I like to have a couple drinks before we go downtown so we can save some dollar bills. Getting ready and the pre-game session goes from about 22:00 to 23:00, and then we take on the night.

  11. Go downtown**

    Our routine for going downtown is this: start off at Easy Street playing bags and enjoying some drinks (I like brass monkeys), head to either Lot One or 1st & Main to socialize with myriads of people, and ending at the Venue so we can dance. We normally return to the apartment building around 01:45 – 02:00. It is always a good time.

**This is typically what I do on Saturday nights; however none of my friends who go downtown with me were in the area this past Saturday, so I just stayed in and prepared myself for the busy work week and extremely fun weekend ahead. I played a lot of Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, which was just as fun as going downtown if you ask me.

Well, there you have it. A “typical” Saturday for me. I, personally, love it and have no desire to change it. Some say, “Saturday’s are for the boys,” but I say that they are for “me.”

– Kyle Majerus

Hot Coffee vs. Cold-brew Coffee

With living in an apartment this summer, I have had the opportunity to embark on a coffee-inspired journey in which I brew various types of coffee. So far, I have brewed hot coffee; iced coffee; and cold-brew coffee. Of the three, hot coffee and cold-brew have been, without a doubt, my absolute favorite. However, which one do I prefer more? Below, I compare the two based on the following criteria: preparation time, the amount of ground coffee grains required to prepare it, overall taste, and the lasting effect on me.

 

 

  1. Preparation Time (Using a French press)

    Hot Coffee: It takes ten minutes to prepare hot coffee. Five minutes of this time is boiling water in the kettle, and the other five minutes is allowing the coffee to steep in the French press. That is it. Once these two steps are done, the hot coffee is ready to be poured and enjoyed.

    Cold-brew Coffee: Cold-brew coffee takes a significantly longer time. In fact, it takes twelve to twenty-four hours for cold-brew coffee to be correctly prepared. You prepare cold-brew coffee by putting 2/3 cup of ground coffee grains and three cups of room-temperature water into the French press. Then, you store it in the fridge for twelve to twenty-four hours so the coffee may steep. After that, you press the coffee grains down, and it is good to go!

    So, hot coffee easily trumps cold-brew coffee based on the first criteria.

  2. The Amount Required

    Hot Coffee: This all depends on how much you make. For a French press, it is advised to use two tablespoons of ground coffee grains for every six ounces of water. For me, I only use five ounces, which is just enough to fill my coffee cup, so I use one and a half tablespoon of ground coffee grains. I like this a lot because I am able to make a small bag of Verena Street Cow Tipper coffee last a month.

    Cold-brew Coffee: Cold-brew coffee is drastically more. As I wrote above, it takes 2/3 cup of ground coffee grains and three cups of room-temperature water to prepare the cold-brew coffee. This depletes your coffee supply rather quickly. Which, as a poor college student, is NOT the most ideal or preferred method.

    Once again, hot coffee is triumphant.

  3. Overall Taste

    You may be puzzled by this because you may think all coffee tastes the same. You, my good sir or madam, are wrong. Coffee tastes entirely different based on the way you make it, the roast you use, and the flavor. I, personally, use medium roast coffee from Verena Street. However, even though I use the same type of coffee, the hot coffee tastes completely different than the cold-brew coffee.

    Hot Coffee: I consider hot coffee to be less flavorful and have less of a caffeine kick. I honestly believe hot coffee is lacking in the taste category, which is a shame because I drink it every morning. It is just, well, dull. Don’t get me wrong, it still tastes delicious, but, still.

    Cold-brew Coffee: On the contrary, cold-brew coffee is bold, packed with flavor, and downright delicious. Every gulp sends my taste buds into a frenzy. I think this has to do with the amount of time you allow the coffee to steep in the water. While the hot coffee steeps for five minutes, the cold-brew steeps for twelve to twenty-four hours. This allows the coffee to fully infuse with the water and give it that outstanding taste.

    Without a doubt, cold-brew coffee is the undisputed winner when it comes to overall taste.

  4. Lasting Effect

    Since I have been drinking coffee every day for the past three and a half years, I really have developed a high tolerance to the caffeine. This is a good and a bad thing. It is good because it is just an excuse for me to have another cup of coffee. But, it is a bad thing because it is just an excuse for me to have another cup of coffee… which I know, for a fact, is not good for my health. The sacrifices I make for coffee.

    Hot Coffee: It has little to no effect on me. I can have a cup of hot coffee at 7:00 a.m. (07:00) but will be exhausted and wanting a nap by 8:00 a.m. (08:00). I honestly only drink hot coffee in the morning for the taste and the warm sensation because the caffeine has no effect on me.

    Cold-brew Coffee: This makes me wired. In fact, when I made it for the first time, I ended up drinking the whole French press worth. By the time I got to work an hour later, my hands were slightly shaking from the amount of caffeine I ingested. What is more, the shaking lasted well over an hour, then I was finally able to come down from the caffeine high.

    It is quite obvious that cold-brew coffee is significantly better than hot coffee when it comes to the lasting effect.

Both the hot coffee and the cold-brew coffee have their positives and their negatives. The former is easy and fast to make, and the ground coffee grains required is the minimum. However, the taste does not blow my mind, and it has hardly an effect on me. The latter has what is arguably the best taste and makes me wired, but it takes a ridiculous amount of ground coffee grains and time to prepare.

When taking everything into account, I truly believe that the cold-brew coffee takes the cake. Yes, it can be a nuisance to prepare and costs a pretty penny, but it is absolutely delicious and has the effect that coffee is supposed to. I give my full recommendation to you all to try the cold-brew coffee. If you either don’t have a French press or just don’t want to go through the process of making it, head to a local (so, not a corporate coffee company) coffee shop and order it. You will be very impressed if you are a coffee lover like me.

– Kyle Majerus

Coffee Dates are a Key to Happiness

I truly cannot convey how much I love going on coffee dates. It doesn’t matter if it is with a friend, a family member, an acquaintance, a significant other, or even the random man or woman I meet at the counter, coffee dates are a time of joy, inspiration, intriguing discussion, and delicious coffee.

I love going on coffee dates for two reasons. One, I get to enjoy a high-quality cup of Joe, and two, it allows me to talk about life with whomever I go with. I would consider myself somewhat of a coffee connoisseur and a coffee addict. Not ashamed of either if you want me to be completely honest. Coffee is fabulous. Anyway, when I go on coffee dates, it allows me to embark on a savory journey of trying new types of coffee. In fact, I had my first cup of black coffee and my first cold-brew coffee while on a coffee date. Now I am addicted to both. A pretty big part of the coffee date experience is enjoying the actual coffee, which I undoubtedly do.

Referring to the latter reason, when I write “to talk about life,” I mean having a deep heart-to-heart with the person whom I go with, in which we discuss our fears, inspirations, dreams, and ambitions. It is truly a chance to not only discover who the person I go with is but also who I am. I used to save my “coffee date where we talk about life” with someone very special to me, but now I have opened up to the opportunity of talking about life with others as well. In fact, three weeks ago, when I had my first acai bowl and cold-brew coffee, I had an intense talk about life with my buddy Colin. We discussed both our moves to Chicago, the English major and how fantastic it is, and the struggles we have been through recently. It was a thought-provoking conversation that allowed our bond to strengthen. Colin is a great guy, let me tell ya.

In all, coffee dates truly are a remarkable experience. Yeah, some may see it as a monotonous get-together with someone else, but it is much more than that. It is an experience in which you will grow as an individual, discover things about yourself, lament about the struggles you are facing, and enjoy some sweet nectar of the gods (or, “coffee” for those who don’t know me well). Now, go grab a friend, a family member, your significant other, or whomever you want to, and then go on a coffee date. Find a comforting little coffee shop (so, NOT Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts…), and talk about life. I promise you will find happiness from it, either from the conversations, the coffee, or both.

– Kyle Majerus

Summer Bucket List

Ahh, summer. This is one of the only times all year I am not bombarded with homework and stressed out with organizations. I just work during the day, relax at night, and thoroughly enjoy my weekends. Since it is summer, I have much more free time because I have no serious obligations like I do during the school year. I figured since I have much more time on my hands, I could compile a list of activities and goals I wish to complete throughout the next few months. Without further ado, I give you my summer bucket list (as of now):

  1. Eat an acai bowl from Charlotte’s Coffee House

    Acai bowls — a thick fruit smoothie in a bowl, topped with fruit, peanut butter, oats, and a honey or agave nectar glaze — have become the hype lately. I never even heard of them until everyone and their mom started talking, tweeting, and Facebooking about them. So, after discovering what they are, I made it my mission to try one; and, where else would I go then my favorite coffee shop on this planet: Charlotte’s Coffee House on the corner of White Street and 11th Street in Dubuque, Iowa. This coffee shop is welcoming, cozy, and aesthetically pleasing. Also, I heard they have the best acai bowls in the area. What more could I ask for?

    Luckily for me, I already knocked this off my summer bucket list last Saturday. A buddy of mine and I met up for breakfast and to talk about life, and I had a delicious cup of cold-brew coffee and a beautiful acai bowl. Oh, it was heaven; 10/10 would recommend to anyone. They also make for some pretty neat photos.

     

  2. See a Cubs game at Wrigley Field

    Not many people know this about me, but I am a huge baseball fan. In fact, I played baseball all throughout elementary school and for three years in high school. Nevertheless, as any other baseball fan and ex-player, I love to visit baseball stadiums and watch live baseball. Now, I have been able to watch three games at Miller Park, tour Busch Stadium, and even play in the Metrodome for high school baseball, but I have never been to Wrigley Field.

    As a future Chicagoan (in exactly one year, might I add!), I feel like this is a must-do. All I need is an ice-cold beer, a Chicago dog with extra everything, and some baseball to make me feel at home. I have made it my number one goal to visit Wrigley Field this summer. Well, as this post goes public, I can happily say I am in the process of purchasing my ticket to see the Cubs play at the beginning of July. So, in less than one month I can check this off the list too!

  3. Wine taste

    I am in love with wine. Well, only white wines and sweet red wines, none of that dry stuff. Fortunately, there is an upscale winery in Dubuque, Iowa, and all my friends and I love going to Stone Cliff Winery and tasting the delectable wines they have for $5. With it being close to my apartment and so cheap, it won’t be too tough to make an appearance or two there this summer.

  4. Eat a Pizza Pot Pie

    Don’t tell me you never heard of a pizza pot pie?! Click this link right now and check it out. I promise you will not be disappointed. Heck, you might even add this to your own bucket list. A pizza pot pie is a gift from God, and I will devour one before the summer is out. Sadly, this may have to wait until August when I visit some pals of mine, but it will happen nonetheless. You know what, I may even buy two and eat them both… who knows.

  5. Spend a weekend on the lake

    Since this is a summer bucket list, I have to have something about visiting a lake, right? It is kind of a requirement. Normally I would just go to Lake Joy in Belmont, Wisconsin, but my roommate’s girlfriend has a lake house in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and her family is more than happy to host us for a weekend. Without a doubt, we all will spend a weekend or two up there boating, jet skiing, and enjoying adult beverages. I cannot wait to have a Summer Shandy on their boat; there is nothing better in life than a boat rocking under your feet while drinking something lemony and sweet. I sure am looking forward to completing this one.

  6. Finish The Historian

    Last summer I started a novel by Elizabeth Kostova titled The Historian. It is a detective fiction/mystery about a graduate history student who receives a mysterious book that implies Dracula is still alive. Once he begins to investigate this, strange events begin to occur to himself and those around him. That is all I will say on it, but I definitely recommend it. I, unfortunately, did not have the time to finish it last summer, but now since summer has — thankfully — returned, I can! I only have about 300 pages left, which is a walk in the park for an English major.

  7. Visit an art museum 

    I have been obsessed with visiting art museums since I was a freshman in high school. There is just something emotionally stimulating and inspiring about observing others’  creative works and their reasons for their masterpieces. Dubuque has a small art museum downtown which I intend on visiting, but where I really want to go is the Art Institute of Chicago. I was fortunate enough to have a field trip here for my freshman year ceramics class in high school (which sparked my love for art museums), and I have not been able to go back since. The art museum has some fascinating exhibits on display; truly, the medieval suits of armor are remarkable and “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” is something to behold. While it is pricey for admission, I know it is worth it because you get much more bang for your buck.

There you have it, folks. My 2017 summer bucket list. It is still rather short and not too extravagant or impressive. However, I intend on adding to it as the months go on, and, hopefully, I can complete every one by the middle of August. This is going to be one eventful summer because it is the last one before I am off to begin my adult life. Time to make some unforgettable memories with the best of friends.

– Kyle Majerus

Four Tips from Someone Who Does Too Much

I can’t say “No!” to anyone. If I get asked to join a club, help out at an event, or take on a role, I instantly say “Yes!” without a second thought. I like to be involved as much as I can and help out when I am needed. This created a HUGE issue for me the past few months while in college. I became stretched too thin, and this resulted in me losing sight of what mattered in my life, myself, and my happiness

Just to give an idea of how busy I have been this past year:

I am the CSA (student government) Executive Treasurer; I am the Benchwarmers’ President (last semester I was the president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer simultaneously); I am the Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Tenth Muse literary magazine; I work three jobs – a circulation desk worker, a tour guide, and a microeconomics tutor; I am on my third phase of CU LEAD (a leadership program at Clarke University); and I am a part of Investment’s Club and Future Young Professionals.

On top of sixteen and seventeen credit hours, working out every day, managing five social media pages besides my own, and my social life (Haha, what is that?).

There is not a second in the day that I can relax. If I am not tackling my mile-high stack of homework, I am working on my CU LEAD project. If I am doing neither the former nor the latter, I am at meetings for one of my various obligations. It is never-ending. I do not have time for myself. This can – and will – result in a major crash-and-burn at some point because no one can handle being on the move seventeen hours a day, five days a week.

For this reason, I have come up with four tips for those who feel they are involved too much or just need a breather.

1. Say “No.”

Really? Say “No.”? That’s what you got? Yep, it is as simple and as hard as that. Saying “No.” gets the potential obligation off of your radar, and you can worry about what really matters instead. However, if you’re like me, saying “No.” can seem damn near impossible because you do not like to disappoint anyone. But, you really are not disappointing or upsetting anyone; rather, you are just letting that individual know that you have no desire to partake in what he or she is requesting.

2. Take a breath.

Running around like a chicken with your head cut off for seventeen hours a day can sure get exhausting. Before you know it you are about to collapse because you forgot to breathe in the past ten minutes. So, stop what you’re doing, close your eyes, and breathe.

Tip: If you have an Apple Watch, it has a “Breathe” app that really lets you hone in on your breathing. I have it set to notify me to breathe four times a day. Totally has been working out lately.

3. Take a few hours a day to enjoy yourself.

Go to your favorite coffee shop and order that double espresso shot you have been craving, or maybe that three-cream-two-sugar caramel frappuccino that tastes so sweet. Personally, give me a black coffee and a banana nut muffin. I will be so content.

Or, take the time to do what you want to do. That could be playing a video game, journaling, blogging, or cooking. It is crucial to have “you time” every day to remind yourself that you have your own hobbies outside of school and your obligations.

Me? I reward myself every day with an hour of YouTube and an hour of “The 100” on Netflix. Both help me escape my obligations and remind me why I need to be with myself for a few hours a day.

4. Have a beer with your closest friends.

No matter how busy you are in life, there is always time for a beer/beverage with those who are close to you. My roommate and I have recently picked up the hobby of buying a six pack of mix-and-match craft beer and seeing which ones we enjoy the most. The winner so far: Nitro Milk Stout. Delicious. Expensive, yes, but delicious. Just relaxing and tasting the flavors of a high-quality craft beer can really calm one’s nerves. Don’t like craft beer? Hey, your loss, haha. But, find a drink you do like, sit back, relax, and crack a few with your buds.

 

I hope that my four tips can help any overworked, burned-out guy or gal relax and take the stress away. Just know that you can always say “No,” breathing truly helps, “you time” is crucial, and there is always time for a beer with your best friends.

 

-Kyle Majerus