Living Radically: Graduating Early

Hey readers,

This past weekend, I graduated college! Well, almost. It’s story time.

Three years ago, I graduated high school with every intention to either, A) Travel the world on my own, or B) Move across the country and attend college on the west coast. Instead, I ended up going to college fifteen minutes down the road from my house.

My father is a professor, which means an opportunity for a debt-free education. He works at a business school, which while great, was never a path I wanted to go down. What’s more, I wanted to adventure!!! But with no money saved up and no other prospects, I went to the last place I wanted to be on earth–school with my parents and living at home.

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I have always been the type of person to make the best of any situation, and that is exactly what I did. Freshman year, I joined clubs and found my place learning Mandarin Chinese with an awesome group of people. Sophomore year, I got a job as resident assistant, which allowed me to fulfill my dream of living on campus. That really changed everything, because up until that point, I was trying extremely hard to make friends on campus. The good friends I made in freshman year had graduated or left altogether and like many college students, I had to find some more. While being a resident assistant put me on campus full-time, I can honestly say it is the reason I made my next move: graduate college one year early.

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They say that your vibes attract your tribe, and in my case, I was trapped in a bubble were there were either zero vibes or I wasn’t vibing right. Either way, I didn’t make anymore strong connections at school, and I decided to make the most of my college opportunity in a new way: use my free tuition to take a ton of extra classes and be done with school forever. And so, I did it. I found my class of 2018 gear and changed it all to 2017. I made school about classes and not about making strong connections on campus, and I spent more time on projects like Feminine Boutique (which is way more fun than school).

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Finally, this semester came around. It was the hardest yet, probably because I was so close to the end, and also because I was amidst lining up a job for after I graduated. I kept my head down, worked hard, and managed to make the honor roll for every semester since the beginning of this ride. I chugged through the busy work, the work that actually mattered, and then some. And now, with two summer classes left, I can already say I have crossed the stage and truly took advantage of every opportunity given to me. And, in about two months, I get to finally pursue that dream of traveling the world by serving in the Peace Corps with my partner in crime.

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Moral of the story? No matter the cards you are dealt, keep playing the game. Keep trying, and keep hacking at whatever wall stands in your way, because most walls are worth knocking down. Remember, you are in charge of your destiny.

Living radically,

Marta

Living Radically: Graduating Early

How to Find Cheap Flights

While I normally write about makeup, today I decided to write about another one of my passions (in honor of me being in Colombia at the moment).

Today, I want to talk about how to find cheap flights. While I’d definitely say my passion is travelling, I’d also say finding an awesome deal on a flight really gets me going.  A few days ago I found flights to Europe (Paris) in May for $380 USD round trip. It’s amazing how much cheaper (thanks competition) flights have gotten in recent years.

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Me (Sophie) Kayaking in Dubrovnik

So now let’s talk strategy.  The first thing you want to do is to clear your browser history and cookies. This is how companies track what you have been doing and if they see you look at flights to a certain destination a few times they may start displaying higher prices. To do this just Google how to clear cookies and browser history on your browser.

Next, whenever you search for flights make sure you are using a private browser. Again, if you do not know how to do this Google it!  This makes sure your browser history, cookies, and search histories are not stored.

Once that is done, head over to flights.google.com. Google Flights compiles all different companies and their fares. You can look for different amounts of days, locations, etc. There are different sites that do similar things but I happen to like Google Flights the best. I highly recommend spending some time playing around with all the features to get a feel for how it works. However, I’m going to give you a few tips to maximize savings.

  1. Say you know you want to go somewhere in Europe, my recommendation is to put in “Europe” as your destination, because that way you can see where the cheapest place to fly into is. Generally once on the continent it is cheap to get around so mess around and see if flying into Paris and then continuing onto Milan with a different airline might be cheaper.
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  2. Maybe you’re flexible on where you want to go? Then this is a great way to find a destination. It’s how I ended up in Columbia!  All I did was search for flights to South America and from there got my tickets to Columbia.
  3. Or maybe you know where you want to go, this is still a great tool. Oftentimes you can fly onto the continent you want to be on and then find cheaper flights, trains, or buses to get you where you want to go.
  4. Another thing you can mess with is the dates, maybe you want to go for 1 week but you’re not sure when? Then just take a look at when the best dates to book it are and go from there.
  5. Another recommendation is to check prices every other day for a couple of weeks so then you can really understand what the prices are like. Then you’ll know when you’re finding an amazing deal and you will be ready to book it!
  6. Don’t be afraid of discount airlines! Some
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    My Brother and I in Iceland

    people find it really offensive that they have all these extra fees and that you have to pay for food and drinks on the airline. However, if you’re saving $300, then having to buy $10 worth of food on the plane still leaves you with an extra $290. Additionally, the discount airlines really get you when it comes to baggage. My recommendation is to learn to travel with just a carry-on. I used to be the worst over packer, but since I’ve learned how to travel with a carry-on, travelling and aspects of my life have gotten so much better. I could not recommend a travel backpack enough if you can afford one (this is the one I have).

  7. Another useful platform is an app called Hopper which tracks flight prices and tells you if you’re looking at a good price. It can even tell you when to book!
How to Find Cheap Flights

Tuesday Spotlight: Sophie F.

Sophie is a Canadian-born, Boston-bred student studying over the northern border in Montreal. While she spends much of her time working on getting her degree, she has some favorite pastimes. Makeup, traveling, going on walks, and baking (her baking is seriously amazing). Most recently, she has gotten into bouldering. In case you haven’t noticed, Sophie is a writer here on Feminine Boutique! She writes about the realm of makeup and (soon) travel.

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MG: What gets you out of bed in the morning?

SF: Honestly, my alarm probably, and having to go to class.

This article is the beginning of a mini-series for the Tuesday Spotlight—featuring the writers on this blog’s team. I am excited to share these writers’ stories, and just showcase just how amazing each of these ladies really are. Sophie is a close friend of mine and a great writer! I love her passion for makeup and future success, and her down-to-earth-but-also-wanderlust nature.

Sophie is the most sarcastic person I know with the most literal answer to my first question in every interview: what gets you out of bed in the morning? Yes, she is a motivated person. Yes, she does cool things every day. And, yes, her alarm clock is definitely her call to roll out of bed every morning. “Also, I’m not the type of person to just lay in bed, even on weekends. Once I’m up, I kind of wanna get up and get my day started.”

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My other big dream is to be happy, and that’s always about finding things that make you happy, and finding people that make you happy and surrounding yourself with them.

There are many things in life that can motivate us. There are also many dreams we might have that go hand in hand with our motivations. For Sophie, it is a lifelong dream to one day have her very own puppy. “The little things I am doing to get there is getting my education so I can get a job and pretty much just support a dog.” You can just feel the excitement in her voice when she talks about this.

Along with this, Sophie simply hopes to be successful and happy. “It’s up to me to define what that means.” She is still in college, figuring out what she wants in the future, and learning more every day. While her definitions of success and happiness may change overtime, it is safe to say that she is on her way to figuring out where she is going.

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I always remind myself that [gender roles] are a societal construct. It’s not something that I have to be a part of, and I can change that.

Sophie has worked internships primarily in the field of finance, and has definitely experienced being one of the very few women in the room. “To me, that is actually more motivating than anything else… I can do this.” While it is frustrating to see that she will have to really fight her way to the top, she is ready for the challenge. She hopes to change the male-dominated industry simply by working in it.

In school, Sophie has spent some time learning about gender biases in the workplace. “It’s always so interesting to see what companies are doing to change things and how we can make those differences.” At the same time, she knows that no matter how frustrating her path may become, she cannot let anything stand in her way. She recognizes there may be many obstacles, but she must keep moving forward in order to push past gender norms.

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Do whatever the fuck you want… At the end of the day, you are the one looking out for you.

In her advice to other young women, it’s this: “Be confident and know who you are… keep looking out for yourself.” She uses makeup as an example, and how people tend to think you need to feel a specific way about it. Sophie loves makeup because… she loves makeup. That’s it. That is all there is to it. She doesn’t need rationale to back it up, nor does she need to use makeup in a certain way approved by everyone else. “You are you and that’s amazing.”

Tuesday Spotlight: Sophie F.