Candy for the Grown-up Me

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Be the One Everyone Wants to Meet

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By: Lia Sbisa

It’s no secret the power and benefits that networking has to offer. We’ve been told time and time again…or not, that creating a network of influential and successful people is crucial to one’s success. At a networking event, or just in a venue full of people, we all want to have that golden conversation with the biggest name in the room. It’s only natural to feel that the more people that know them, the more people they know. Your network does not stop with that one person, it extends to all of their networks as well.

As young adults making our way into the working world, and even those already well established in the workforce, it is important to make ourselves noticed and be the differentiator that radiates uniqueness. Be the person that everyone wants to network with at an event or even just at a casual get together.

 

  • Get Involved

 

Whether you’re seasoned in your extracurriculars or just starting out, being a part of something other than work or school is a great way to a) network and b) have something to bring to the table in an introductory conversation. The more you do, the more you will relate to a broader audience (not saying overload yourself).

 

  • You do not have to hold the highest or coolest position.

 

The status you hold within a company may help your networking reputation, but it does not solely dictate how marketable your other attributes may be. Just as we learn from those top notch professionals, they learn from us. Any influential being is on the lookout for more up and coming influential beings.

 

  • Take time to learn about your own experiences and learn to talk about them.

 

If you’re a college student or newly entering the workforce, become an expert on your experiences (internships, jobs, campus news, extracurriculars). Networking with older professionals can be intimidating, but much less tricky if you can relate to an experience even on the most minimum level. If you are more established in the workforce, know a little bit about a lot of things. Nothing is more attractive than being able to hold a thoughtful conversation over something that excites your audience, even if it may not be your cup of tea. This goes for anyone and everyone: READ THE NEWS. However you choose to keep up on current events, just do it, or start doing it if you do not. It is okay to admit that you do not know much about a topic, you become more interesting when you’re interested.

 

  • Be interested in who you’re talking to.

 

As previously stated, you become more interesting when you’re interested. Just a rule of thumb (whether you want to admit it or not), everyone loves to talk about themselves. Be able to relate to a few key topics during a conversation (talk about a travel destination that you have in common, ask about the company they work for and how they got to their position). People like you more when they think you like them just as much if not more.

 

  • Initiate a relationship that grows beyond your initial introduction.

 

Do not let the relationship end with the end of a conversation. If the conversation allows, briefly share your goals for your near future and give a rough timeline of where you’ll be in the next few months and express your interest in keeping in touch. Find common ground and set up a time to check in if you have established a relationship that will last longer than just one conversation. Grab a business card and follow up the conversation with an e-mail reminding whoever it is that you enjoyed their time and throw in your favorite topic from that conversation. 

Believe that you are worth meeting. Be interested. Involve yourself in things that you enjoy. Make people believe you’re worth meeting.

Winter Is Coming: a Student’s Guide to Seasonal Affective Disorder

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by Shafer Higgins

As the days grow shorter and the nights grow colder, many of you may be feeling low on energy, less motivated, and just generally down in the dumps. You’re not alone; according to psychologytoday.com, as many as 10 million Americans suffer from what is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, with 10 million more reporting milder versions of some of the symptoms. The symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder, which often goes by the rather cheeky acronym SAD, include: tiredness, irritability, oversleeping while never feeling rested, appetite changes (particularly increased craving for carbohydrates), as well as loss of interest in activities and feelings of hopelessness similar to depression. While its exact causes remain a mystery, SAD appears to be at least in part a result of lower sunlight levels in the Winter and Fall months, a particularly inconvenient time for students as the worst of its effects can coincide with final exams and projects. If symptoms of SAD become severe enough, medical attention should be sought. However there are many simple and easy to implement methods to help avoid or alleviate symptoms of SAD.

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Physical Exercise

Getting just 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise 4 or 5 times per week can do wonders for relieving symptoms of SAD. As one of the main features of SAD is low motivation, getting out and exercising to combat it can seem like a veritable Catch-22. But have no fear, “exercise” can mean something simple as a brisk walk. Try to time this walk around midday when that scarce winter sunlight is at its most plentiful. Speaking of sunlight…

 

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Light therapy

As noted earlier, one of the primary causes of SAD is thought to be the relative lack of sunlight in the colder months of the year. Sunlight is essential for healthy functioning and is instrumental in the regulation of your biological clock as well as levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin, both of which have a hand in mood levels and sleep patterns. The lower quantity and quality of sunlight during SAD’s dark reign can be alleviated by what is known as a light box, an extra bright lamp meant to mimic the spectrum and intensity of sunlight. A review of some of the best light boxes available can be found here: http://thesweethome.com/reviews/best-light-therapy-lamp/.

One drawback is that they can be rather pricy for someone on a student’s budget. Depending on the severity of the problem, merely making a conscious effort to expose oneself to sunlight as much as possible during the day may be sufficient. Admittedly, a trek outdoors can be a daunting prospect in the dead of winter. For those short on cash and patience for the cold, there may be a solution: while not medically proven, some studies have suggested that exposure to normal artificial light in high doses may be beneficial. Which essentially just means making sure you are spending time in well lit interiors whenever possible.

 

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Get more vitamin D

One of the main benefits of sunlight is that it provides the human body with much needed vitamin D which is essential for, among other things, the warding off of sluggishness and depression. However sunlight isn’t the only source of this essential vitamin. It can also be found in common foods such as salmon, tuna, mushrooms, eggs and any vitamin D fortified milk.

Vitamin D supplements exist as well, though it would be cost effective and doubly beneficial to simply integrate these relatively cheap and healthy foods into your diet as poor eating habits can have adverse effects on mood and energy levels.

 

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Aromatherapy

It is widely held that smell is the sense most strongly associated with emotions, and this recognition could account in part for the explosion of aromatherapy in recent years. Exposure to certain essential oils, particularly bergamot, lemon, and most citrus-based oils, has been shown to elevate mood and sense of well-being. While it is one of the less scientific methods to combat SAD, it is also cheap, easy and poses little to no risk and therefore certainly worth a try.

 

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Stick to a schedule

Maintaining a consistent daily schedule, especially with regards to sleep, can be particularly difficult for students who often have irregular daily schedules. But as erratic sleep patterns are a leading factor in SAD, it’s worth trying to regulate your day as best as you can if you find yourself afflicted with the “winter blues”. Waking up and going to bed around the same time every day has beneficial effects on your sleep. Even eating meals at regular intervals has been shown to stave off weight gain, which is a common side-effect of SAD.

 

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Keep a journal

SAD mimics many aspects of depression, such as loss of interest and motivation as well as feelings of hopelessness. Journaling for around 20 minutes a day can be a useful and straightforward way to exorcise negative feelings as well as activating parts of the brain often left unstimulated during extended periods of low mood.

These are just some of the simple and low cost lifestyle tweaks that can be implemented in the battle against Seasonal Affective Disorder. Stay warm and stay chipper, folks. Winter is coming.

5 Pretty Obvious Reasons to Not Pass Judgement

Children’s naive understanding of the world allows them to live and learn freely, openly and,  until they begin to compare themselves to others, without judgement. I am envious of kids abilities to say whatever they feel, ask any question, and do so without fear of what others will think.

As we learn about the world and grow into teenagers and adults, we develop ideas of what is right and what is wrong based on a variety of external and internal influences. The sequence of events that happen in life will affect based on your reaction to them.

This is the same in our relationships with people. In life, people will come and go. This could be someone you fall in love with, an acquaintance, or someone who walks past you on the street. How you react and interact with these people shapes how you move about in the world.

To put it simply and hopefully not to cliche, how you view others around you stems from how you feel about yourself. If we could all remember how we felt as children  perhaps we could recall the genuine simplicity of interacting with others and improve the way we view each other.

I have come up with five reasons why you wouldn’t want to judge someone before you chat with them.

  1. Imagine how much someone else knows. No one knows everything, everyone has interests, and everyone likes to share what they know with others. There is endless power in knowledge and unless you think you know it all, there is not a single person you will meet who cant teach you something. If you’re open to it, you will always be pleasantly surprised. “Normality is a paved road: It’s comfortable, but no flowers grow.” -Vincent Van Gogh 
  2. There isn’t a person you wouldn’t love if you could read their story. People are fascinating, everyone starts from nothing and over time becomes a unique personality with a unique story. You don’t have to love listening to peoples life stories to appreciate how different we are and how far we’ve all come.
  3. The power of positivity is simple. It feels better to feel good and feels worse to feel bad. Thinking negatively, especially in regards to people, will likely evoke negative feelings in and about yourself. Seeing the good in others and being understanding of people, will allow you to recognize and feel good about your own qualities. Positivity grows exponentially faster than negativity and is significantly easier to put your energy into.
  4. What are you afraid of? While people may come from different backgrounds beliefs and understandings, it will only benefit you to try to understand the why behind their ways. If you are confident in your own values, there should be no fear of the unknown. “When the roots are deep, there is no reason to fear the wind” -African Proverb
  5. You’d hate for it to happen to you. Considering how smart and capable you are, you have a lot to offer and it would be a shame for someone to overlook that based on a judgement. When others engage with you, be kind, be honest, and be yourself. It wont always work out and you wont always agree but if both parties can take away something different or new, then that’s a win.

Remember to love each other despite differences, ask questions if you don’t understand, and use your powers for good. At the end of the day it’s honestly so much easier.

Something to consider,

Niki

 

 

Your Complete Instagram Guide to Missoula, MT

In  today’s day in age, any experience (for the most part) is accompanied by sharing that experience on social media. Missoula, Montana is known for it’s beautiful rivers and mountain ranges, however, it is also considered the cultural center of Montana. With an eclectic downtown scene, distinctive dining and strong sense of community, Missoula has a lot to offer as far as experience, both on and offline.

As an Instagram enthusiast myself, and a believer in the #DoItForTheGram mentality, I am all about curating an aesthetic and a strong social media presence. So I present to you your complete Instagram Guide to Missoula, MT to help you navigate the most aesthetically pleasing AND high quality hot spots around town.

Coffee: Black Coffee Roasting Co. 

img_2902img_2903The winner as far as aesthetics and quality coffee in Missoula goes, is definitely Black Coffee Roasting Co. Not only do they provide organic, craft roasted coffee while operating with sustainability, but they’re ambience is seriously on point. With a hipster-chic vibe and insanely good lighting, this is definitely the spot to go if you want some good latte art on your feed.

Walk in the Park: Greenough Park

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Greenough is a true gem, nestled just up the Rattlesnake and covering 42 acres, it is a peaceful place to go on a bike ride, run or, of course, go take photos. In the fall, Greenough is a paradise of colorful trees and crisp autumn air and a complete winter wonderland once the first snow occurs. It’s also just generally beautiful all year round, so if you want to go on a nice walk while taking amazing photos along the way, Greenough is the park for you.

Eats: Caffe Dolce

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As you may be able to tell, I love a good #FoodPorn flatlay. Caffe Dolce is by far the best spot across the board for breakfast, brunch, lunch AND dinner. Not only taste-wise, but to get a gorgeous food pic with minimal effort. Since Caffe Dolce’s establishment is made up of mainly windows, the lighting will always be perfection. Not to mention their tables are the ideal background color and texture, which is essential for any successful flatlay. Oh yeah, and the food looks pretty good too.

On the Town: Plonk

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As a grandma at heart, I’m no expert on the Missoula going out scene. However, I have to say that Plonk scores major points as far as experience, quality and Instagram-ability goes. The classy, big city atmosphere and gorgeous drink presentation are sure to elevate your feed into #InstagramGoals status.

Shopping: The Hip Strip + NOBO 

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Missoula has an awesome local shopping scene. With an array of unique and high quality boutiques, it’s definitely worth exploring when you get the chance, specifically downtown on The Hip Strip and NOBO (aka North of Broadway.) These areas are abundant with quirky shops, gorgeous boutiques, great places to eat and lots of Insta-worthy alleys tucked away perfect for that #ootd!

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Something Sweet: Sweet Peaks Ice Cream

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I know, I’m a true Big Dipper fan at heart too, however, there is no denying that Sweet Peaks brings it in the aesthetics department as well as well as their super unique ice cream flavors that make you go “huh, that sounds weird but also kind of good so I’ll try it.” If you want to capture a cool cone, venture over to Sweet Peaks. Don’t worry, it’s totally okay to cheat on Big Dipper every once in a while, especially if you get a good gram out of it.

Outside: The “M” Trail

img_2993img_2992 Now, I’ll admit I’ve only ever hiked the “M” in high school gym class, and once on a first date when a boy made me, and I was still in the “pretend to not be high maintenance phase” of the relationship. Needless to say, I don’t hike very much. But Missoula is the place for hikes, hiking and hikers so I had to include some kind of hike in this guide, to prevent getting Birkenstocks chucked at my head. All jokes aside the “M” trail is a beautiful hike, which is accessible to all levels of hiking ability and it takes a pretty damn good picture too, I must say.

 

I hope you enjoyed this Instagram Guide. Now you’re all set to go snap some #goals worthy IGs! But don’t forget to put down your phone to really appreciate the wonderful place that is Missoula, Montana. #Blessed, indeed (hate me yet?)

 

Do you have any favorite spots around Montana that didn’t make this list? Leave me a comment to let me know!

 

Photography by Michelle Dufflocq Williams, Aline Dufflocq Williams, McKenna Munden, Cloth & Crown, Betty’s Divine, Our Life Experiments and the University of Montana.