A Letter To Lauren

Thank you Paul for writing me this letter! It was beyond perfect and made me smile so big!

The Captain's Speech

Dear Lauren,

You requested this letter exactly eleven months ago, but let’s ignore that, okay? My official excuse is this letter got stuck in a mailbox. You may wonder how that’s possible. So do I. But let’s not ask questions because sometimes our imagination is better than concrete answers.

Before I go any further, I notice a countdown clock (calendar?) on your blog. 37 days until your wedding! Congratulations! I know first-hand how stressful planning a wedding is and what you must be going through in the final weeks leading up to it.

Actually, I have no clue, but that sounded like a comforting statement to say, so I said it. Alright? Don’t hold it against me. 

I am curious what’s on the menu, though. 

The last wedding I went to, they served squash soup. I didn’t like it, so I ate it fast and pretended that it wasn’t…

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Five Tips for College Seniors: Securing a Job After Graduation

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For those of us who took the traditional track of continuing our education back to back to back, all we know is how to “school”. If you think about it, you realize that those of us who will be graduating college in May have been in school for the past seventeen years of our life! So when put in perspective, joining the real world can be really scary.

Daunting is the word I would use to describe how I feel about graduating, getting a job, starting my own life… and I will admit that my number one fear is not finding a job. Many of the people I look up to do not have advice for me in how to prepare, so that my fear does not come true, but earlier this week I had the opportunity to speak with Anna Benefiel, a new addition to the office I work in.

Anna is a graduate of MIT and John Hopkins University after studying Biotechnology intensively. Lucky for me, she has found herself at The University of North Texas’ Department of Economic Development. During a get-to-know-you lunch she and I shared, Anna learned my last name, my interests, and my concerns. Through this, she gave me some insight into ways to help land your first job, your dream job, or a job in the right direction.

  1. Update Your LinkedIn Account. LinkedIn is a powerful tool in the professional world. Many businesses and clients will search LinkedIn in order to find the type of employee they are looking for. If they don’t find you through LinkedIn, a potential employer may look you up to verify your resume or just poke around. If your LinkedIn is not up-to-date with your latest employee status or education level, you may be overlooked or surpassed for a position. Don’t know what LinkedIn is? Poke around or set up an account here.
  2. Network Through Career Fairs. Networking is one of the most important aspects of getting a job. Looking good on paper is only part of the battle, but getting your name out there is another. The more places you go, the more potential employers and companies you will meet. Most universities and larger surrounding cities host career fairs; take advantage! Career Fairs are just a bunch of companies that get together to look for future candidates they may want to hire. It is important to not only get your name and face out there, but to also figure out what kinds of companies are in your field and what they are looking for in an employee. Be sure to have your resume handy and dress in business attire when you attend.
  3. Practice Interviewing. Interviews can be frightening and intense, but the more practice you get, the more prepared you will be. Practice interviews can be as low-key as sitting at the kitchen table with your roommate or actually landing an interview for a job you don’t want or don’t need, but you go anyway. The more interviews you go to, the easier it will become to handle your stress and awkwardness. Go over possible questions and come up with bullet points on how to answer (not scripts) and remember to be personable and yourself.
  4. Find Your Tribe. This was probably the best piece of advice! Finding your tribe is all about finding the people who are where you want to be. They most likely share similar interests or backgrounds as you or maybe they are someone who inspires you. Your tribe is probably not as far as you think. If you want to be a comic book writer then attend Comic-Con; author, then go to book signings. Just find people who can help you get to where you want to be.
  5. Start Now. There is no time like the present to start attending career fairs, working on your resume, updating your LinkedIn account, and finding people in the industry you want to be in. Don’t think you have to wait till May to apply for positions or figure out what you need to do to get your name out there. Begin researching now!

I hope these tips are helpful and I would love to hear if you have any other tips or tricks that you think are important for college seniors to know before heading out into the real world to find their first job!

DIY: Mason Jar Soap Dispenser

For awhile now I have been dipping my toes into different hobbies, but I have finally found one that really strikes my fancy. Do It Yourself. Those words were all the rage a couple years ago and [in my opinion] have dwindled down here recently, but I have just started to mess around with thrift stores and creativity. I have found that I am extremely spray paint happy (thanks Jeremiah!) and have a rather ordinary liking for mason jars.

So I give you my first actual DIY project: Mason Jar Soap Dispenser.

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You’ll Need:

  • mason jar
  • soap bottle
  • spray paint
  • glue

Step 1: Locate your soap bottle and remove the pump. You will want to thoroughly wash the pump, so that there is no soap left and then dry it off.

Step 2: Locate your mason jar and set it upright on a table. You will need to make a large hole in the center of the lid. I recommend using a screwdriver and a hammer. Put the screwdriver in the center of the lid and tap the top with the hammer until you create a hole. [Personal Note: This was the hardest part for me. It took a long time to make the hole and then I had to find larger objects to make the hole bigger in order to fit the soap pump.] Continue to make the hole bigger until it can snugly fit the soap pump.

Step 3: Unscrew the lid. Take it outside and spray paint it whatever color you like. [Personal Note: I suggest spraying some kind of sealant over the lid, so that it doesn’t chip or scratch.]

Step 4: Trim the bottom of your pump if it is too tall for the jar. Make sure it sits just above the bottom of the jar.

Step 5: Hold your lid upside down and apply glue to the inside of your hole. Slide the pump inside the hole and then apply more glue around where the pump touches the hole. Let dry.

Step 6: Fill with soap.

Step 7: Screw the lid w/pump back onto the jar.

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Voila! You now have a cute mason jar soap dispenser!

Blogging Anniversary

A Precious Penny has officially made it to one year!! 

It’s crazy to think that I have been at this blogging thing for 365 days. I was in such a bad place when I started this blog to help myself realize my self-worth and to gain some confidence. I have met so many amazing people and made some great friends!

I am really glad that I decided to start attempting to express my feelings, because I have learned so much from this blog and the people who have braved talking to me. I appreciate it all so much and logging in and reading about your lives always makes me smile and reminds me that I am not alone!

Although I am still not exactly the person I have always hoped to be and I still have lots of growing to do in the self-confidence department, but I am in such a better place than I was last year on this day.

I love you all and I can’t wait to see what the next year has in store!

❤ Lauren

Return of The Girl

Coming Home - Edited

Let’s just disregard the last post I wrote over a month ago declaring that I was done with this site. Truth is: I am not.

A clean slate is what I thought I needed. A new space. But turns out that is not what I needed at all. I kept creating sites for different reasons whether that be documenting my progress or starting over. But this blog has a special place in my heart. My progress can be seen here and here is where I will continue to grow.

On my most recent site, I would try to write and nothing would come. I haven’t been proud of much that I have written on there and I kept thinking man if only I could post to A Precious Penny, and then I remembered that I could. The only thing stopping me… was me!

For some reason I felt that now that I am not depressed, I needed a new spot to express myself and that I needed to express myself in a way that would be accepting of those who know me, but I no longer feel that way. I just want to write about it all in whatever fashion I feel necessary.

When people ask me how I am doing I tell them that I am doing great; better than I have been in awhile. It is the truth and I want to share this side of me with all of you!

The Girl is back!

❤ Lauren