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

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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