New Semester Resolutions

Sorry for not writing for a while. I was incredibly busy with finals, then I traveled with my parents back home, where the internet sucked, and now I’m back in college. (Also, I didn’t really know what to write about).

So the new semester is about to start and some of you enjoyed my end of last semester reflections. So I’m going to do the same before this semester.

Academics

1.) Don’t take too many hours

Last semester, I learned a lesson about not taking too many hours. I took on 18 hours (to be fair, I kind of had to to make my degree work but still.) I ended up getting one B and one B+, which screwed my GPA up a bit (It’s still fixable and not horrible). So I learned my lesson and this semester, I’m taking 15 hours.

2.) Take morning classes

Last semester I took all morning classes and it was a great decision for me. I had the whole day to work on getting stuff done and plenty of time to do extra curricular activities. So this semester I’m sticking with doing the same thing.

3.) Pay attention during difficult classes

I day dreamed a bit too much during my accounting and statistics classes. Which is one of the reasons (apart from the 18 hours one) for not doing too hot in them. So my resolution for next semester is to put away my laptop/phone, take notes, and pay attention.

Recruiting:

1.) Don’t Procrastinate with NetworkingSo far, I did not procrastinate with my academics and with submitting online applications. So far I have two interviews that are going to the second rounds so this strategy is somewhat working. However, I did procrastinate on reaching out to recruiters, networking, and cold calling small firms (since this tasks are less pleasant.) I did do some of those activities but definitely not enough so this semester I should focus more on doing that, especially knowing my GPA issue. 2.) Start Going to More Recruiting Events During the first semester, I didn’t go to nearly enough recruiting events. Not only did I miss some free steaks but also opportunities to talk with recruiters, get to know more people, and potentially get a head with my recruitment process. I did go to a few events but not nearly as much as I used to. 3.) learn the technicalsDuring a couple of interviews, I got asked some technical questions. Even though my major is declared as “Finance”, I know as much about Finance as your average High School counselor (ok. Knowing their advice about student loans I know a bit more). Since I know Finance as well as your average person does, you can imagine how awesome I’ve done at the technical questions. To say it was embarrassing would be an understatement. So my resolution is to learn the technical things that I need to know for interviews. It might not come up and I might not need it but knowing this things would be nice anyways and in the worst case scenario, I will waist a couple of weeks learning how to use Excel better and how to do financial models.

Extra-Curricular Activities:

1.) Start Going for more Leadership Roles

Last semester, I started to put myself out their more with extra curricular activities. I ended up being committed to only one of them but to be fair, the other activities sucked (For example, I met a group of feminists who thought that wearing make up was a form of misogyny.)

With this said, I did end up being fairly involved in one of my clubs (I actually attended all meetings, events, and even advertised for it). So my goal for next semester is to go for a leadership role in it.

2.) Do more Case Competitions

I did my first case competition last semester and won third place. I won $100 (ok. I won $160 but $60 is going to Uncle Sam).

Since I’ve been successful at it the first time (and really enjoyed doing it), I want to do more of them. It is a nice opportunity to talk to recruiters, I’ll get to work with more interesting people, and I can win more cash prizes (and who doesn’t like cash?)

Friendships:

1.) Be more straight foreword with people

I had one guy who wanted to be friends with me this semester. I didn’t really enjoy spending time with him but did anyways because I felt like I “had too” and like “you can’t have too many friends”. This story ended with him thinking we were dating (we weren’t) and telling me that he wanted to “break up” with me. I told him, “I’m sorry but you can’t break up with me. We aren’t and had never even dated”.

I laughed about this ridiculous “break up” and felt relieved about not having to talk to that guy anymore. So this story had a happy ending for me. However, I could have avoided all of this by being more straight forward and telling the guy that I didn’t want to hang out with him.

2.) Find a friend who will be “the honest one”

Usually, I’m the one who gives “tough love” to my friends. If I genuinely am friends with someone, I will state my honest opinion and tell my friend to “get your life together” if I see him or her slacking off.

However, I don’t really have a lot of friends who would hold me accountable, give me advice on stuff, or call me out on my BS. I realized last semester that I really want to have such a friend and hopefully can find someone.

So this are my goals for next semester and reflection on my previous ones. Would love to hear about your goals as well.

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The Guide for Choosing Best Friends

First of all, let me start by saying: it’s better to have no best friends than low-quality best friends. I know, human beings are social animals. I’m not suggesting that you lock yourself in your room and spend the whole day watching Netflix and not talking to anyone. If you don’t have a group of friends (and even if you do), you should go out there, socialize, and meet new people. However, you have to be comfortable with being on your own and not needing a best friend for emotional support or motivation. By not being desperate, focusing on gaining skills, and living your life to the fullest, you actually increase your chances of finding a best friend. 

You should not settle for a low-quality best friend simply because you really want one. Settling for a low-quality best friend will most likely make your life miserable, might get you in a lot of trouble, and will end up causing a lot of unnecessary stress. If you don’t have a best friend, it’s perfectly fine. I got my first high quality best friend when I was in 11th Grade in High School. The truth is, finding high-quality best friends is extremely difficult and maintaining these relationships is even more difficult. Most likely you will end up having maximum 10 (more realistically 5) best friends, if you are lucky. 

Also, I know that this sounds harsh but a lot of people don’t deserve to have high-quality best friends. Friendship is a realationship that goes both ways. If you are not a high-quality best friend material, than you don’t deserve to have a high-quality best friend. Your bff should benefit from the relationship as much as you are. Otherwise, it’s simply not fair. You should possess the same “best friend” qualities as your bff. If you currently don’t, you should work on developing them first. 

Core Requirements of a High Quality Best Friend 

No matter your preferences, your high-quality best friend must posses this qualities (and you should possess this qualities as well if you are interested in finding one). 

Safety: You should feel safe around this person. Ask yourself: “Am I comfortable having a sleepover with this person without having anybody else around?”. If the answer is “No”, this relationship is simply dangerous and you should not consider this person even as a friend, let alone a BFF. Delete this person’s contact information right now and don’t even think of talking to him/her ever again in your life. 

Trust: You should be able to trust this person with sensitive information and know that this person will not rat you out to your parents/your teachers/ your boss (if you are older)/the police, etc… Ask yourself: “if I were to do drugs in front of this person, what would this person do?” If the answer is “this person will rat me out to the police”, this person is NOT a high quality best friend and you should stop sharing sensitive information with this person. The answers: “this person will slap me in the face and tell me to stop,” “this person will drag me to rehab if it becomes an issue”, “this person will do absolutely nothing”, or “this person will do drugs together with me” are all good answers and depend on your preferences (Personally, I prefer #1 or #2). 

Now, I’m not saying to do drugs in front of your friends. In fact, I think that you should avoid doing drugs. All I’m saying is: make sure your best friend can keep secrets. Nobody in this world is a saint and everybody needs to sometimes complain about his parents or his boss (if older). You do NOT want this information to get out to the wrong people and if you can’t be yourself in front of him/her and constantly worry about what information you are sharing with your bff, than you are not going to be happy with this relationship.

You should also trust that your friend will not steal from you, spread rumors about you, etc… 

Ethics and Morals: you should have clear boundaries of things that you are not willing to do and moral/ethical lines that you are not willing to cross REGARDLESS of wether or not they are legal or illegal actions. This is the only way you will be able to sleep at night. You should also hold your BFF to the same ethical and moral standards. If your BFF breaks one of your ethical/moral lines, you should stop being BFF’s with this person. If you meet somebody who had broken your ethical/moral lines, you can’t be BFF’s with this person. This relationship will simply not work. You will feel unsafe and disgusted by that person (and, by definition, disgusted by your own decision to be best friends with this person). 

Now, different people have different ethical/moral guidelines and when you are young, they are also not going to be 100% clear. Therefore, you should probably have this discussion with your potential BFF sooner rather than later and make sure that you have similar ethical/moral guidelines. (I know, it will be an extremely boring and awkward conversation but it will save you a lot of trouble later.) 

Common Interests: Your BFF doesn’t have to be your clone and like exactly the same stuff you like. However, in order to have a worthwhile relationship, you must have some common things that you both can do together or enjoy. I would say: you should have at least 3 activities that you can agree on. It can be something as simple as you both liking Chinese food or going to the library to study together or play tennis on the weekend. Again, if your BFF likes doing something and you don’t, that’s fine. However, if you can’t come up with a single activity that you can do together, that is an issue and you will end up being miserable because you will constantly have to compromise on what to do. What I learned is that this compromises suck and should be avoided as much as possible. Therefore, do your future self a favor and get a BFF that shares at least some interests with you. 

Supportive: Your BFF shouldn’t necessarily have the same life goals that you have but he/she should be supportive of your long term goals. For example, it’s ok if your goal is to become super rich and your best friend wants to join a Non-Profit and save the world. However, if your best friend thinks that all rich people are evil that’s not fine because he/she will end up dragging you down and make it harder for you to achieve your goals. 

Now, if you are constantly stressed out about getting into an Ivy League college and pulling consecutive all-nighters and your BFF says: “Are you sure that getting into an Ivy League in order to get a high paying job is worth it?” that is a different situation. Your BFF is simply concerned about your well-being and is trying to offer emotional support. Wether or not his concern is valid is a different question for another time. 

Caring, Respectful, and Helpful: Your best friend must genuinely care and worry about you. Your BFF also should respect you. Your BFF should almost be like an extra family member for you (and you for him). If you get sick, your BFF should ask if you are alright. 

If something bad happens,  your friend should be willing to help you during tough times. This help could be emotional (your friend listens to your problems and comforts you) or practical (he offers to help you solve the problem or practical advice on how to solve it). Which type of help you want more of is a preference. I prefer a friend who offers about 60% emotional and 40% practical help. But I know a lot of people who are the other way around. However, the point is: your BFF should be doing something to help (Yes. Listening to you complain/cry IS considered help). 

Your BFF should also help you with small stuff / requests. No. Your BFF is not your secretary. But if it’s something that your BFF can do and is important to you, your BFF should gladly help you out. Best friends are meant to help each other. That’s one of the reason that you should want to have a BFF in the first place. 

Time Commitment: You should spend a significant amount of time talking with your BFF. How much is significant depends on your preference. However, I would say, you should communicate with your BFF at least once every month if you are in College and it’s a long distance thing and at least once a week if you are in High School (and this is assuming you and your BFF are super anti social.) 

Yes. If your BFF now lives in a different place from you, chatting on Facebook or Skyping counts. 

Natural Chemistry: you should have natural chemistry with your BFF. What I mean by this is that your relationship isn’t forced. You can both talk or chat for hours without getting bored or having awkward pauses. You can joke around with each other without offending each other. After a while, you know what the other person will say before he/she even says it. This requirement is one of the hardest to find but is incredibly important for a genuine relationship. 

Past History: If you already knew this person for a while, this person made fun of you/bullied you/blackmailed you, etc… in the past, and now this person offers to be your BFF, don’t go for it. Yes. You can forgive. But you should never forget. There is no way this relationship will not end as a disaster. 

Loyal In Front of Others: Your BFF should not embarrass you in front of other people and stand up for you if needed. She should also not abandon you simply because you are not fitting in with a certain crowd or because you had a bad hair day or because of some other ridiculous reason. If your social standing had fallen, your BFF should continue to be there for you and she should not abandon you simply because she wants to improve her own social standing and you are “getting in the way”. 

All of this core requirements are MANDATORY. Your BFF must possess all of them, regardless of your preferences. Otherwise, your relationship will suck and you might get hurt. If your current BFF does not possess all of this qualities, I would recommend for you to reconsider your relationship. You should also  possess this same qualities. If you are not loyal, not trustworthy, not caring, and don’t want to make time for a BFF, than you don’t deserve to have one. 

Optional Reaquirements of a High Quality Best Friend (Preferences) 

Now, you are probably thinking: “Katy. These Core Requirements are easy to meet. I should have a ton of BFF’s” 

Well… you should not forget about preferences. Preferences is something that is important for you that your BFF has but not important for somebody else. For example, you might only want to have BFFs of the same gender as you while I might not care about my BFF’s gender. Keep in mind that preferences are subjective and this list is not an all incompassing list of preferences. I’m sure you will have items that you would want to add to this list. Therefore, instead of following this list, you should probably make your own. Items on this list are simply suggestions. 

Also, keep in mind that your BFF must possess the optional/preference requirements (that you pick) as well as the core requirements. 

Note: This list is NOT a list of my personal preferences. (Some of them are. Some of them aren’t). This are simply examples. 

Gender: If you believe the “girls and boys can’t be friends” theory, than you should probably consider gender as one of your preferences. Worrying about your BFF falling in love with you is not a great idea. (I personally disagree with this theory but this is a conversation for another time). 

Location/Online Relationships: some people are cool with having long-distance best friends (and can maintain those relationships). Some can’t. 

Also, some can develop friendships first on line and than in real life and some must know the person in real life first. 

Drive/ Life Goals: Some people only want to have friends who are driven and motivated to become successful as well as have the same goals as you. They would often form “packs” and make common goals to achieve. This can be very motivational and help keep you accountable. A lot of people need to be surrounded by people who are striving to be the best in order to be influenced by the positive peer pressure of those people. Some people also hate having friends who complain all the time because they think that those people are dragging them down. 

Bad Influence: likewise, some people easily fall susceptible to negative peer pressure and want to minimize bad influence. If you are one of those people, than don’t get a BFF who likes to party all the time and do drugs. 

Illegal Stuff: if you find out that your BFF has a criminal record, you should seriously consider wether this relationship is a good idea. The issue is that other people (your other friends and family) will (justifiably) try to protect you against this person and they might end up going too far. You might continue having a relationship with this person but have to keep it secret (assuming that this person had not crossed your moral/ethical lines) and you can’t be true BFF’s with somebody if it’s a secret (you are not meeting the “loyalty in front of others” requirement). 

Advisor: For some people, it’s important to have a BFF who can offer a lot of guidance and advice and almost be like an older brother or a mentor. Likewise, some people want to be in the “offering more advice” to their BFF role. In this case, make sure that your roles complement each other and probably consider getting yourself an older/younger BFF. (Older BFF if you want advice. Younger BFF if you want to give advice). 

Hobby/Interests: you might want a BFF with a specific hobby/interest. If this hobby/interest is central to your life, include it. 

Personality: This preference will come naturally as part of the “natural chemistry” point so you shouldn’t really spend time thinking about it. Basically, different people have different personalities and get along with different personalities. 

Intelligence: This point will be extremely controversial and non PC but for some people the intelligence of their BFFs is important. A more intelligent BFF means having more interesting conversations and also increases the likelihood of your BFF following through with the core requirements. (Yes. I had one BFF who ended up betraying me simply because she was mentally disabled and got taken advantage of. She didn’t even realize that she betrayed me.)

 So, yes, (as controversial as it is), mental state/mental disability of your BFF can be consideration/preference. If your BFF’s mental illness/mental disability prevents her from having “core requirements” of a BFF, things will not work out and you will get hurt. And, no, it’s NOT your responsibility to “shelter”/be careful with this person. If you can’t be yourself in front of a person because you think that this person will betray you because of her mental disability, this person should NOT be your BFF. 

Future (or Current) Field of Work: Some people don’t want to have BFFs who work in the same field in order to not compete with them or not to compete with them in the future. On the other hand, some people only want to have BFF’s in the same field as them so that they can get to “work together”, share ideas about work, or discuss common issues/offer advice to each other on how to “make it” in a chosen career. 

Background: controversial stuff like religion, ethnicity, family lineage, etc… is a preference for some people. If this is you, I recommend keeping this one private and finding creative ways not to be friends with people who don’t satisfy this criteria. With this said (even though I disagree with you), you should have it as a preference if it’s extremely important for you. 
Honesty: you are probably wondering why this is a preference. The reason is: some people don’t like being offended and would prefer for their BFFs to sugar coat everything and lie to them to make them feel better. Others would rather have BFFs who are brutally honest. Some people are in the middle. 

Money: If you, yourself, are rich or come from a wealthy family, being friends only with people who are wealthy will eliminate the issue of having fake friends who are there simply because you are wealthy. (There are other ways to filter real from fake friends but you might do this for convenience.) 

However, this only applies to you if you are wealthy. If not, you shouldn’t try getting rich BFFs. This would be simply hypocritical of you. Especially, you shouldn’t get rich BFF’s who don’t possess “core requirements”. If you want to, have them as friends or “use” them (although this is unethical) but don’t get emotionally attached or share your dirty little secrets. Sure. Go on that trips to Maldives. But don’t start discussing your deepest secrets with this person. 

Note: you might end up having a rich BFF who possesses all of the other requirements. If this happens and it’s a genuine relationship, great. If not, it shouldn’t matter. You should focus on making yourself rich (if you want the lifestyle), rather than making money one of your BFF preferences. 

Again, this is not a complete list and there are loads of stuff that you can add. The optional parts are really up to you and I (or anyone else) can’t say what should be on it because I don’t know you as well as you know yourself. However, I would say having 4-5 preferences is normal, having 6-7 is OK, and having more than 8 either means you are repeating yourself (can combine stuff into a similar category) or you are writing down superficial nonesense. 

Keep in mind that all of the preferences have to be things that are very significant to you in a best friend. It shouldn’t be stuff like “I want a BFF who looks less attractive than me so that I could look hotter than her” or “I want a BFF who likes to take selfies/looks good in them”. If you choose your best friends based on incredibly superficial criterias like this one, you will (most likely) end up with low-quality best friends. 

Most people who are genuinely caring would not want to participate in superficial nonsense such as High School popularity contests or being friends with people simply to form a “squad”. More importantly, you shouldn’t care about this type of superficial nonsense. Your BFF should be there for you to provide support, companionship, and help you during tough times NOT to play a game of politics, look good in pictures, and be your accessory. If you want to play this game, play it with “friends” but don’t get too attached and don’t confuse them with “best friends”. They are not. Trust me, you WILL get hurt if you make this mistake.
Similarly to the “rich” topic, your best friend might be popular and if it’s a genuine relationship, that’s great. But it should not be a preference. If she is popular, great. If not, you shouldn’t care. 

Finally, if you are currently in High School/Middle School and all of the people are superficial/you know would not be high-quality best friends, don’t get desperate and settle. Focus on yourself, your skills, and living a life that you enjoy and, eventually, you will naturally find a group of best friends. (Although it will be a small group and that will be fine.) Things will get better. 
Choose your friends wisely, 
XOXO

Katy Bronsk 

Reflecting on my Freshman Year of College

My Freshman year of college is done. I’m done with my finals, my grades are up, and my friends had left home for the Summer. At first, I felt very disappointed with how my freshman year went. However, simply hating yourself for something or being disappointed is not very productive. Besides, I’m still an honors student and I have made loads of friends so I’m probably being way too harsh on myself. Instead of making this into a “I’m so disappointed in myself” story, I will reflect on my successes and failures and what I learned from them that I can apply next year (and that you can learn from as well).

Academics

1.) Quality is Better Than Quantity

What I mean by this is: it’s better to take fewer hours and get all A’s than take 17 hours and get a mixture of B’s and A’s. During my second semester of College, I took 17 hours. I thought that I could handle it because I took 16 during my first semester and got a mixture of A’s and -A’s as my grades. However, I was wrong. My cumulative GPA is still a 3.7 so I didn’t screw up too bad but I could have done significantly better if I had taken 14 or 13 hours.  I would have had more time to focus on each subject. Also, picking 3 difficult classes (calculus, chemistry, and management information systems) as part of those 17 hours was probably not the bad idea. I also would have had more time to join clubs and activities instead of being constantly stressed out about my grades.

I’ve done this because I wanted to declare my major earlier than everybody else. I achieved this goal but had to pay with a lower GPA.

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Resolution For Next Year: Take less hours (maximum 16). Have a greater balance of easy/hard classes. Also, use Ratemyproffessor.com. No need to make my life harder than it has to be.

2.) Write What Your Professor Wants to Hear

I need to give credit were credit is due. I got this idea from Wall Street Playboy’s blog. They have written a post titled “The Real Guide to Our College Education System”. I’m not going to summarize the whole blog post here because not everything in it is relevant and because you can search for it yourself and read it.

One of the arguments that their blog post had made is that college teaches you to think like someone else and that if you write what your professor wants to hear in the essay, you will get a better grade (especially in humanities/social science/general education classes).

I tried this strategy out in my Sociology class. In the first essay, I’ve expressed my opinion on one of the issues in the class and got a B-. On the second essay, I have written what my professor wanted to hear (about how income inequality sucks) and got an A. I have used a similar approach for the exams, and again, got A’s on them.

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I think you can guess  on which one I told my own opinion. Hint: It’s the first one.
The quality of both essays were similar. I spent exactly the same time writing the second essay as I spent on the first essay and I don’t think that my writing skills had significantly improved in this short period of time. However, I had the same opinion as the professor on the second essay and a different opinion on the first one, which had made all the difference.

Resolution For Next Year: Wall Street Playboys are right about this one. Use this strategy next year because it works.

3.) Controlling Your Emotions During Exams is Important

During my first Math exam, I ended up getting a really bad grade because I freaked out during the exam. I tried to solve the questions on it but ended up getting stuck on the arithmetic part, getting angry at myself, and “quitting” in the middle of the exam. On the next 2 exams, I have done significantly better (more than 24% better) because I was calm and in control of my emotions. As my Calculus professor had said: “It’s all in your head”. Yes. Studying for exams is important. But being in control of your emotions is just as important.

Resolution For Next Year: Don’t really have one. I learned how to not get nervous and remain calm so don’t really have anything to add.

Social Life

1.) Academics and Extra-Curriculars are More Important Than Social Life

This one relates to the academics point. This year, I have spent way too much time socializing and not enough time studying.

In High School, my High School Counselor had written in my letter of recommendation that I was anti social. The issue is that I have a tendency to try to prove people wrong and so I spent the whole freshman year by socializing with anyone and everyone, from a homeless guy next to the University to a millionaire trust fund kid to liberal arts kids to a guy whose triple majoring in 3 demanding subjects. I ended up going out almost every day. Even though I met a lot of incredibly fascinating people, I have ended up ruining my grades (partially because of this) and not participating in enough extracurriculars, since socializing took a lot of time.

Resolution For Next Year: Spend less time socializing (once or twice a week) and more time studying.

2.) Socialize With The Right People

Even though I socialized a lot, I ended up making a lot of random friends instead of making friends who can help me succeed or friends who are also studying finance/business. Yes. I have made some friends who also want to do something finance or business related but not enough.

Not only have I failed to make friends within my area of study, I have also failed to make a lot of friends who are motivated to do something with there lives and who, in return, would motivate me to do something. A lot of my friends are liberal arts majors and don’t understand why I’m doing what I’m doing and think that I should just switch to studying a more “fun major”.

However, having said all of this, I have found 2 best friends, who are just incredible human beings and who have always been there for me this year. One of them, I have met at Austin’s Pizza, after I have had a really bad experience with one of the guys. The second one I have met in my MIS class and she had taught me a lot of useful information about how to deal with my parents. I can’t thank God enough for putting this people in my path and I will definitely continue being best friends with them in the future.

Resolution For Next Year: Start socializing with people who can help me, who share my life goals, and/or who are motivated to do something with their lives and who will not drag me down. Stop socializing people who are not supportive of me and who have completely different goals and ideas about life. Don’t try to argue with them and waist your time. Continue being friends with my current 2 best friends because they are amazing.

3.) Remember People’s Names and How They Look Like

I have met so many people this year that I don’t remember half of the people that I’ve met. The problem is that a lot of those people remember my name and, somehow, a lot of those people think that I’m their BFF. And I don’t even remember who they are, where I met them, and what they are studying. I would usually pretend to go along with what they are talking about and pretend like I remember who they are (even though I don’t). I’ve used this strategy until one of those people had asked, “what’s my name?” in the middle of the conversation. I just stood there, mortified. Because whatever I did, I could not remember her name.

Resolution For Next Year: Keep track of who I meet and remember them. Because, apparently, I am a very memorable human being.

Extra-Curriculars

1.) Better to Join Less Clubs but be More Involved

Similarly to academics, quality trumps quantity.

I have joined a bunch of clubs my freshman year and ended up quitting most of them. In my High School, I didn’t had a lot of options when it came to extra-curriculars. In college, there is just so much to do and so many clubs to join. I felt like a kid in the candy store who wanted to try out everything. Even though I had a lot of fun (and don’t regret it because I figured out which clubs to join next year), I ended up not participating in any clubs meaningfully and (obviously) haven’t gotten elected for any leadership positions in any of the clubs.

Resolution For Next Year: Join 1-2 of the right organizations and participate a lot. Try to get a leadership position in one of those clubs by the end of next year.

2.) Meetings Are Boring But Necessary

For the finance related organizations that I have joined, the weekly meetings are pretty boring. You just sit there, listen to some people who make presentations, and pretend not to be bored. It’s like attending an additional class. Even though the information that they were talking about was interesting, you, yourself, are not doing anything. You just sit there and listen to other people talking. Because of this, I ended up not going to a lot of the weekly meetings.

However, what I have realized is that those meetings help  you  make friends with the right people. All of the people at this organizations are interested in the same things you are interested in. This means that it would be easy for you to find people to participate in  competitions, which are relevant to your major, with. It would also be easy to find people who have similar issues and concerns that you do and who understand you better. So even those meetings are boring, they provide a great opportunity to meet new people.

Resolution For Next Year: Suck it up and attend weekly meetings at those organizations in order to make friends with the right people easier.

So this are the my most important resolutions and things that I’ve learned for next year. Hopefully, I can stick with my plan for next year.

Hope you had an incredible year,

Good luck with Finals if you are still taking them,

 

XOXO

 

Katy Bronsk

PS: Sorry for not writing for so long. I just had a lot of exams that I had to do and then I started my Summer job so was getting used to the new work load.

 

 

 

 

 

Why I don’t Want To Have Children or a Family?

Whenever I tell people that I don’t want to have children and I want to spend my life single, I get a lot of weird reactions from my family and friends. My friends think that “it’s just a phase” and that I will probably grow out of it. My parents have the classic “who will take care of you when you are older” reaction. A lot of my classmates think that I’m being selfish (which is true. Thank you for the compliment.) or simply don’t get it. The most popular reaction, however, is the question “why?”, with the person who’s asking me having a confused reaction on his face.

Since my reproductive choices are apparently  an incredibly popular question, here are the reasons why I don’t want to have children or a family:

Why I Want to Remain Single for the Rest of My Life?

1.) Sharing

Marriage is a partnership. You will have to share things and this sharing will most likely not be equal. Either he will have more expenses or me. Either I will do more chores or him. It’s almost impossible to split all chores and all income equally, since it’s almost impossible for both people to earn the same amount of money or to have the same amount of time to do the dishes.

The thing is, I don’t like to share income and I’m incredibly happy with living alone. I also would feel incredibly unhappy not having everything shared equally and get upset over it. Either I will not feel valued for taking on more chores/paying more or I would feel guilty for him having to take on more chores/pay more.

2.) Time Commitment

Having a serious relationship with somebody is a serious time commitment. I tried it with someone in High School and it didn’t work out, mainly for this reason.

Having a boyfriend will mean that you will have to go out on dates together often, which takes time that could be spent studying, doing an internship, networking, or getting another leadership experience on your resume. The people who are saying that you can accomplish all of this things with a boyfriend are partially right. Yes. You can have a perfect GPA and a boyfriend because GPA is out of a fixed number. But there is no fixed number on things like leadership experience, networking, part time jobs, or internships. The more you do (assuming with good quality), the better. This means that the cost of having a boyfriend is less (or with worser quality) one of the career-related things mentioned above–a cost that I’m not willing to pay. As I assume, a similar situation will continue to happen as I graduate from University, there will always be one more career-related thing that I can do and focus on.

To be completely honest, I would be willing to pay this cost (and I do pay it when I hang out with friends sometimes) if there were no compromises involved. But they are involved. You would have to make compromises on entertainment activities and do things that you might not 100% like in order to make him happy and he will have to do the same for you. For example, he might want to go watch a football game that you might not want to watch. Or you might want to go out on a date and eat sushi while he might prefer stake. Since I don’t like making compromises when it comes to how I spend my free time, remaining single seems like the best option because I can “pick and choose” what I want to do when it comes to friends. I know I would not be able to do the same in a more serious relationship.

4.) Loss of Mobility

When you don’t have a husband, you can move from place to place anytime you like (or your job requires you to do so). When my psychology teacher back from High School (I still keep in touch with him) asked me where I was planning on going after I graduated from college, I said: “I don’t know. Wherever I get the best offer”.

Being single allows for me to have this mentality because I have nobody that I need to be at the same place with. If I have to (or want to) move to China for two years, I can do so. If I had a husband, this would mean that either he would have to lose his job and move together with me or I would have to give up on that idea and stay with him (again, sacrifices and compromises. Two things that I’m not OK with).

Since I would be incredibly upset at having to give up a better offer because of having to be there for somebody, I would definitely not be willing to make this trade off.

5.) Risks

This is not as important as the factors mentioned above for me, but there are risks of getting hurt involved in this decision. Your boyfriend or husband can cheat on you or you might end up in an abusive relationship. Not having a boyfriend or a husband eliminates those risks for me. If there is no relationship, there is no way that it might go wrong.

(Again, if it weren’t for the other factors, I would probably be OK with taking the risk so not as significant, but worth mentioning.)

6.) Not Interested in Having Children or Having Sex

The two things that having a husband would full fill are having children and sexual relationships with him. Since I’m not interested in having children or sexual relationships, having a husband or a boyfriend outweigh any potential benefits that I could get out of it. (Arguably, you can also get both of those things from other sources, such as hookers for sex, so having a husband sounds like an even worse idea now that I think about it). Since I’m not planning on having a family, having a husband just seems not worth it.

Some of my friends have mentioned benefits such as having emotional support and companionship. However, having emotional support and companionship can be easily full filled by having friends and hanging out with them. Having friends doesn’t have the same trade offs because you are not sharing income, making the same type of sacrifices, or having to compromise on what to do all the time. Yes. Your friend can pressure you into doing something. But it’s much less and more reasonable than if you have a boyfriend or a husband.

Why I Don’t Want to Have Children?

1.) I don’t like them

A lot of child free people would talk about how they like children.

I’m not going to do that because, the truth is, I don’t like children. I have a nephew and spending time with him is the worst thing ever. I find children annoying and I always did. Even when I was a child myself, I found other children annoying and I couldn’t wait to grow up so that people would stop using the annoying, “baby voice” (when an adult exaggerates words so that the child would understand better) with me.

The truth is, I can’t really explain why I find them annoying. I mean, I find really small children annoying because they scream all the time, can’t talk or walk or do anything productive, and I would need to change their diapers (which I would not want to do). But I find children ages 3-10 annoying as well and, to be honest, I don’t really understand why myself.

The point is, spending time with somebody that I hate just because it’s expected by society for 10 years is not something that I want to (or will) do.

My mom would often say that it would be different if they would be mine because of hormonal changes. However, I think that that’s a really big gamble that I would not want to take. Not to mention that I’m 100% happy with my current hormonal balance.

2.) I Would Not Enjoy the Work, Itself

I tried babysitting my nephew and I did not enjoy taking care of him. Changing diapers, cooking meals, and playing imaginary games with children are not activities that I enjoy doing. In fact, I hated doing it so much that I found myself a part time job so that I could remain in Austin for half of the summer and will get myself some really demanding internship for next summer so that I wouldn’t have to go home and babysit.

Taking care of children is a pretty dirty job. You need to change diapers, wash their stuff, etc… To be honest, I would rather stare at Excel for 16 hours a day than look after children.

3.) Time Commitment

Taking care of children would require a lot of time that I would rather spend focusing on my career. The majority of woman who have children end up taking maternity leave, quitting to spend time with them, or working part time or less hours. I wouldn’t want to take any of those options because it means that I would be losing time that I could be working (and doing something that I love) on my children (whom I’m pretty sure I will not be able to love as much as “making it” at work. At least not for the first 10 years). This loss of time would mean that I would have a less solid resume, get promoted less quickly, and earn less income. The wage gap is partially caused because of this issue and by avoiding it, I would partially (or completely) avoid the wage gap. Similarly to having a husband, having children is a time commitment that I don’t think would be worth it.

Also, I know that this is a romanticized version of reality but I feel like having a child just doesn’t go together with being a career woman today (Congrats to you, ladies, who made it work). Being a nun in a monastery called Goldman Sachs (or any F500 would do) and devoting your life to the God of Capitalism feels like something I would want to do.

4.) They Are A Bad Investment

According to the US Department of Agriculture, the average cost of raising a child in the U.S. (I’m using U.S. as an example because most of my readers are from the U.S) is $233,610 until the age of 17 and that’s not including college fees. There are a lot of better ways to spend this much money, such as buying a car, a bigger house, or  going on vacation.

My friends  would often argue: “Yes. Kids are expensive and require a lot of time. But they are a good investment”.

I’m currently majoring in Finance and, as a Finance major whose future job will be based around analyzing companies and investments, I think that having children is a horrible investment:

  • you are not making any ROI for at least 18 years (and that’s being optimistic), since your child can’t work until than or will have a negative cash flow (he might get a summer job but that will not cover all of the costs of his life). (Ok. there are some incredibly talented kids who do end up giving ROI earlier but they are so rare that expecting for that to happen is more like “gambling” rather than “investing”.)
  • You have to continually invest in them for those 18 years. If you have a bad year, you can’t just decide not to invest money into your child, which you can do if you are investing into stocks or bonds. You also can’t “scale down” your position. You can’t spend less money than a certain amount on your child, which means that you can’t practice the same level of risk management as you would with real financial assets.
  • Even if your child will pay all of the money that he or she will earn in his or her lifetime, the ROI would not be that great if you factor in the risks. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median household income per year is $41520. This means that your child will make around $20,760/year. The poverty threshold in the U.S. (which I’m assuming is the lowest amount of money that your child will need to survive off of) is $12,082 per year. This means that the maximum ROI that your kid can pay back is $8,678 per year (3.71%). This sounds like a horrible ROI (which is completely imaginary because there is no way your kid would agree to participate in this). You can get a better deal by investing your money into government bonds. And you know, in that case you will actually have to do absolutely nothing, which means that you will not have the opportunity cost of the time spent taking care of the kid. It also means that it will take you 26 years from when your child starts to pay you to get all of your money back. 18+26= 44 years until when you will cover the costs of your investment.  That is an incredibly long time frame to wait to start making a profit.
  • There is no way for you to force your child to pay you the money back, which means that you might not even get that ROI. Unlike being a shareholder or giving debt, you can’t legally force your child to pay you back a certain percentage of his income. If your kid turns out to be an ungrateful bastard, he will not pay you anything (additional risk). Yes. Some countries have laws according to which your child has to pay you back a certain percentage after you retire. But you can’t decide on this percentage before your child is born like you can for a real company or interest rate that you want to get for a loan. That percentage that you will get back, in most cases, will be lower than the investment.
  • Children are a risky investment. They are risky because you can’t analyze them and predict how successful they will be before they are born. With companies, you can evaluate the idea, look at cash flow, the potential business model, the projected growth of the industry, the CEO’s credentials etc… You can’t do any of this with a child. (I mean, with modern science, I guess you can look at his/her DNA and try to predict something from that. But aborting a kid for being a “risky investment” would be highly controversial and unethical, to say the least.) You also can’t diversify your investments. You have to spend 233K on one child. You can’t spend 20K on one child, 3k on another, etc… like you can do when investing into stocks, bonds, options, etc..

This are the main reasons why I don’t want to have children. I can probably expand this list and will probably do so in the future.

Feel free to disagree,

 

XOXO

 

Katy Bronsk

 

NOTE: This is a continuation of my previous post but, as I have already mentioned, one of my friends had requested that I write on this topic.

I’m A Virgin

I have a confession to make: I’m a virgin. And I do not plan on changing that anytime soon.

I’m not judging anyone who choses to have sex in college or in High School. As long as it is consensual, I think that everyone should be allowed to have sex with whom ever they like. As you can also probably tell by now, I’m a huge fan of “do what you like and what makes you happy” mentality so I don’t want to judge anyone for their decisions. I’m just going to be talking about my personal decisions for deciding to remain a virgin through out High School and probably why I will remain a virgin through out college.

When I was in High School, I have tried dating and hooking up with guys (It never went as far as having sex. Usually it would go as far as kissing and stop there). What I realized is that I feel better turning guys down than I feel actually hooking up with them. Even though I don’t regret dating them (well… I do some of them), I do feel like dating/having sex/making out/and eventually having a family is just not for me. In this post, I will discuss the sex part and in the next two blog posts, I will discuss the long term relationships and why I don’t want to have children in my future.

This decision mostly comes down to two psychological factors for me: feeling in control and feeling more valuable. 

NOTE: This is my personal feelings. Everybody has different things that make them feel more valuable, happy, and in control.

Feeling More in Control 

When I find a guy attractive and then I turn him down, I feel more in control because I feel like I have enough discipline and will power to resist my natural temptations. Every day, we are tempted to do so many things, such as procrastinating or eating that extra ice cream. However, whenever I resist my natural desire and temptation to do something, I feel more in control of myself. The same is true when it comes to sex. To be honest, I have met and received offers from guys whom I found attractive but I would always turn them down because I felt the need to resist my natural desire to have sex with them. Resisting this temptation and saying “no” when deep down inside I do feel like saying “yes”, makes me feel more disciplined because it makes me feel like I won against my own temptation to do what I wanted to do but realized that it wouldn’t be the best decision in the long term and most likely will complicate things.

Since discipline and self control are two things that do make me feel good at the end of the day, practicing it when it comes to sex by refusing it, makes me feel good enough not to want to do it.

This is probably the reason why I enjoy checking out hot guys without flirting with them. In a way, it’s a test of self control that I enjoy taking. (Yeah. I’m weird. I like to focus on how guys look instead of their personalities often, look at male actors/models that I find attractive, and wouldn’t mind going to strip clubs once in a while.)

Feeling More Valuable

When guys find me attractive (and yes. I enjoy looking attractive. Mostly for myself, though. I often like checking myself out in the mirror) and make offers for me, I do enjoy turning them down. It makes me feel more valuable because I feel like I’m a rare and incredibly expensive, precious, diamond that everybody wants to own but no one can afford. Basically, I enjoy feeling desirable but unattainable, which makes me feel more valuable. I’m guessing it’s kind of like how celebrities feel. They know that the majority of people love them and find them attractive but can’t get close to them, which makes them feel admired and, therefore, more valuable. It’s the same type of concept only on a smaller, more personal, level. (NOTE: I do not derive my self worth from the number of guys that I turn down. That would be silly and stupid. I have more important stuff to focus on. I derive my self worth more from my accomplishment in College and, later on, will probably derive my self worth from my career.)

To be fair, when I meet a guy, I do always make it incredibly and explicitly clear that I’m not interested in doing anything romantic or sexual with him (usually, I make it clear not right away but if he invites me over to a frat party or to his room or if he asks if I have a boyfriend. Saying it right away would be way too awkward.)  I also try to make it clear as soon as possible because I do think that leading somebody on is kind of mean to the other person, since he thinks that he has a shot when in reality he doesn’t. If the guy continues trying to be persistent about it, I usually stop being friends with the guy as well. If he does something like try to get me to send nude pics of myself, I usually simply block him and try to never speak to him again (unless it’s a group project or something and we are in the same class and I have to work with him.) I stay away from those types of people as much as possible because nothing good ever comes from this. I also always meet a guy in a public place at first. I do meet some of my male friends at their place but only after I get to know them better and have an understanding that we are both on the same page. I also never accept expensive gifts from guys (things like birthday presents are fine because friends give those as well) and insist on all bills being payed equally, if we go out and eat.

Guys: If a girl says that she is not interested, this means, she is not interested REGARDLESS of her internal motivations. “No” always means “No.” Not interested means not interested. It doesn’t matter if she secretly finds you attractive but turns you down because she gets a sense of control out of it or because she finds another guy more handsome than you. Either way, she will not agree to sleep with you. In fact, you being annoying about it, will make you even less attractive. So focus your time an energy on doing something else. Don’t be an S-Hole and respect that. There are loads of girls who want to have sex and who want to have boyfriends. Focus your attention on them. You have more chances of your relationship actually going somewhere in that case.

I can also add other points, such as time commitments, not wanting to be cheated on, fear of pregnancy or STDs, fear of falling in love with somebody from having sex, etc… but I understand that most of those points are not incredibly valid. If I wanted to do it, I would find the time. Not wanting to be cheated on is more relevant to the “why I don’t want long term relationships” topic so I’m living it off for now. Fear of pregnancy or STDs is also not that valid because condoms and birth control exists now days and I could ask my partner to get tested. The only one that is a bit valid is the “fear of falling in love”. However, I do think that I would have enough discipline and self control to not let that happen.

I’m also not mentioning religion and the “you should not have sex before marriage” argument because I am never planning on getting married and I’m not that religious. For this same reason, I’m leaving off the “wanting to find the right guy” because, again, I’m never planning on finding the right guy (but more on this next week). Again, both of those reasons are valid for some people but they are just not valid for me.

All of this is my personal experiences and opinions as they relate to my personal life. I know that the majority of you disagree with me and, to be honest, I don’t care.

 

Have fun, as long as it’s consensual,

 

XOXO

 

Katy Bronsk

 NOTE: The suggestion about this post was made by one of my friends.