Upasana Roy on Life Advice for Recent College Graduates

Graduated? Yeah… me too.

Because I have an older brother I always benefitted from having friends who are older than me. Having these friends, I have had the opportunity to pick their brains about everything- what classes to take, how to get an internship, friend advice- you name it! My friend Upasana Roy is one of those friends who I can always count on for advice. She is open, honest, and always willing to provide a different perspective. When I went through my job search, Upasana was there to motivate and support me. Having been a college graduate for some time now, I knew that I had to get her take on the highs, the lows, and everything in between when it comes to coping with life after college. For me and many others, life after Babson has been challenging at times but also filled with hope, excitement, and adventure. For Upasana, a bit of the same. 

The biggest difference between going to college and working post-graduation for Upasana has been how you approach every day. In college, you study for tests and exams, hoping to ace your courses. If you don’t, you just try harder next time. You’re being tested on your competence and your discipline, as well as your willingness to be a team player and learn. After college, every day at work and in life can feel like a test and you really have to strive to do your best because your efforts are reflected in tangible results. Suddenly you’re faced with “adulting”, a term that’s said in humor, but is in fact so real! You’re paying bills, trying to understand your 401K and Roth IRA and navigate finding your own place, figuring out plans moving forward.


Upasana also notes that you have to consider aspects of your life that you haven’t necessarily had to concern yourself with before, like managing your finances and planning your social calendar. Upasana’s advice for you is to invest a little bit of money with each paycheck and recommends looking into Robinhood, an investment app that takes $0 in trade fees, and Public, another platform for beginner investors. In terms of your social life, after college, a big part of acclimating to a lesser degree of socialization is realizing that loneliness is a bigger part of life after college than anyone recognizes. It’s easy to take for granted how much of a bustling social life you had as a college student. It is important to foster an uber supportive set of friends to hold you up in hard times and laugh during the good times! Postgrad depression is a real problem and it is important to make a point of socializing. Be open and honest about your feelings- you are switching lives practically after all. Upasana also uses Bumble BFF, where she says you can meet some really cool people and have good conversations as well as networking events and gatherings with people that have similar interests, such as plant societies, book clubs, dance classes, or gyms! It’s important to stay friends with people and keep in touch, even if they are in different parts across the globe. Make it a point to schedule some time together. Distance shouldn’t mean anything if your friendships are real. Virtual friendships are something to be proud of!

Imposter syndrome is another aspect of post-grad life that can be unexpected for many. Women are especially known for underplaying and doubting their achievements in a workplace setting- yes, this has actually been scientifically proven. Upasana notes that college feels more like a meritocracy, where you achieve good grades when you work hard and perform well. However, in a workplace, you might be at the table with big decision-makers and leaders, but feel underqualified or underskilled in some way. Regardless, they genuinely want to know what you have to say and you bring a perspective that is unique and fresh to how things are going to work. Speak up, Upasana says, you got hired for a reason. 

But, how do you “let go” of the past, when it can be really difficult, especially for those who felt like their best self in college? *major feels*

Upasana mentions that she struggled with this a great deal. She had it ingrained in her brain that college was the best 4 years of her life, a thought process that wasn’t doing her any favors! Upasana’s best friend Divya, once said to her that “that’s no way to think! You should always think that the best years of your life are yet to come! You need to move forward and move on!” Upasana needed that snap back to reality and soon was able to let go of the negativity and perpetual feeling of “loss” that came with leaving that life behind. 

“You haven’t changed, you at your very core are the same. You are the same person, but you might be just a bit older or in a different location” Upasana wisely states. 

The trouble with graduating is that stages of your life are no longer prescribed. Next year you will not become a Senior, now you have to write your own story, while also remembering that your plans won’t always work out and things will change. It’s about changing your level of expectation to solve this problem, Upasana mentions. Always have a plan B. When Upasana lost her dad 1 year out of college, she felt really lost. One of her best friends and confidants was gone and she had a continual “what do I do now?” feeling. No matter how hard things get, Upasana learned that you will survive and having people around you to support and lift you up is extremely important! It can be family, friends, anyone you trust, have a strong support system, and close the loop by being kind to others in return. 


feat. Upansana and I (center)

Now that we have covered the challenges, let’s talk about the joys of post-grad life!

Upasana’s favorite aspects of young adulthood include the ability to control her own finances and saving money on travel and fun purchases. She also has learned to enjoy the little things more, like having dinner out with her mom or having a long phone conversation with her grandma. Upasana says that she lives slower and lighter now than ever before. Upasana has a greater sense that she is able to plan for things to come and that the world is really her oyster. She also gets a lot of enjoyment in seeing her friends transforming and evolving alongside her. 

Looking towards the future, Upasana is most excited about the uncertainty of life! She is eager to go to grad school, see where her romantic and friend relationships lead her and is motivated to get more healthy this year. More than that, however, Upasana is taking more time to reflect on what she wants for her life and the impact that she wants to leave on the world. 

“We live in such interesting times and I feel so positive about our generation,” she mentions. As long as Upasana is leading the way, I feel pretty positive about us too.

My 10 Favorite Cheesy Movies from the early 2000s

It just can’t get any better than a throwback movie and a bucket of popcorn!

Let’s face it, there is something about a movie that was made in the early 2000s that hits all the marks. You want a movie with laughs (check), romance (check), something your guy friend will still enjoy (check), and a compelling storyline (check)? A movie made during this time will ultimately please. Don’t worry I didn’t spoil any endings, although it was so hard not to! …In no particular order, here are my ten nostalgic favorites.


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Made in 2004, this teen classic is not to be missed. Sleepover is packed with unexpected twists and turns along the way, tracing a group of middle school girls- yes, they definitely look older than I did in middle school- who embark on a scavenger hunt, racing against the clock against the “popular” girls. The goal of the scavenger hunt? To win the coveted fountain lunch spot in high school. Their journey is heartfelt and sentimental, and there is enough comic relief to get any doubter through the movie. Jeff Garlin, who plays protagonist Julie’s dad, is especially funny as well as frenzied police chief Sherman played by Steve Carell. If you need a laugh, a cry, or a journey to a simpler time- where games mean war and scrunchies are in- this movie is just right. 

Josie and the Pussycats

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The fashion is to die for. The music is funky and nostalgic. The underlying theme about commercialism is more progressive for its time than could be predicted. I mean..need I say more? Based on the popular 1970s cartoon under the same name, Josie and the Pussycats features a band of musicians whose aim is to make it big in the music industry. However, when they do land on the top of the charts, they realize that there is more to their music than what meets the ear. Yet, with friendship and passion at the center of their group, there is no telling what these kitty cats can achieve, even if it means breaking convention. If that isn’t convincing enough, just watch it for all of the unstoppable 90s inspired looks. 

What a Girl Wants

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Colin Firth is in this movie and if that isn’t convincing enough I don’t know what is! Amanda Bynes plays leading lady Daphne Reynolds as she navigates life in London, where she locates her birth father and attempts to find her way in British society, despite being raised in Chinatown, New York City. Daphne plays such an incredibly likable character, you’ll find yourself cheering for her throughout the entire film. Her clumsiness, which I can personally relate to, reassures me that sometimes it is much more compelling to live life in your own skin than pretend to be something more pleasing to others. 

Wild Child

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Wild Child is one of those movies I could watch again, and again, and again. I know what to expect every time, but the novelty of watching the movie never wears off. If you are like me, and wish you attended a British boarding school, you are sure to enjoy this one. The movie walks you through the trials and tribulations of being an uprooted, spoiled Californian at a conservative British boarding school and showcases how friends can be made during the most challenging circumstances. Throw in love interest Alex Pettyfer and you have yourself a pretty perfect teen flick. We all love a girl gang, we all love thrift store outfit montages, and we all love a forbidden romance. Transitive property, we all love this movie. 

Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen

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Who would have thought that Lindsay Lohan could have two smash hits in one year, but she did! Playing the new girl in school, once again, Lindsay embarks on adventure after adventure, whether it be landing the school musical’s leading lady, stealing costumes from the dressing room, or sneaking into a famous band’s after party. The soundtrack also is not to be missed, epitomizing those early 2000s sounds filled with electronic guitar and heavy drums. A combination of musical and teenage romcom movie, this is always a go-to. Yes, I might also have this one in CD format. 

Mean Girls

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Mean Girls is a cult classic movie that has engrained itself into American culture in astonishing ways- so much so that Mean Girls Day even has its place on the calendar (It’s October 3rd). Lindsay Lohan, who plays the movie’s protagonist Cady, is the new girl in town who joins in the “Mean Girls” clan in order to bring down the group, operating from the inside. By exploiting each member’s weaknesses, Cady begins to break the friend’s strong bonds and inherent high school “coolness”, but it comes at a steep price. If you want to know what all the hype is about, set aside and hour and a half and immerse yourself in 2000s teen culture. 

Miss Congeniality

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Are you looking for action, adventure, pageantry, and a whole lot of laughs? In almost everything I watch, this is a go-to list of requirements, making Miss Congeniality a personal favorite. Sandra Bullock plays an “unladylike” undercover agent who is forced to compete in a Miss America pagent to uncover pagent criminals that are hiding in plain sight. If you love transformations and montages as much as I do, this movie will surely not disappoint. Again, if you early 2000s love outfits, this one is for you. It’s a pagent for crying out loud!

The Devil Wears Prada

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The Devil Wears Prada is another cult classic that is genuinely iconic. Meryl Streep plays boss lady Miranda Priestly in the movie, who is rumored to be modeled after the Editor-in-Chief of Vogue, Anna Wintour, alongside her struggling assistant Andy, played by Anne Hathaway. The movie chronicles the plight of Miranda’s assistant, as she tries to navigate both the world of high fashion and an incredibly demanding boss. At the outset, Andy scoffs at the fashion world, but slowly her secure footing on the matter begins to slip, as she encounters the incredible perks of looking shiny and undercutting those around her. Want to know how this one ends? You’ll just have to watch to find out!

The Holiday

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The Holiday is hands down one of my favorite movies and has been for quite some time. Jude Law is gorgeous, Kate Winslet is, well, Kate Winslet, and Cameron Diaz and Jack Black play incredibly genuine characters that complete the cast. The movie is about two women who decide to run away from their problems by swapping houses over the holidays and, essentially, their lives as well. There is a fragility and rawness about the story that is heartwarming and incredibly relatable. The movie is a great reminder that life does not have to be perfect to be special. Sometimes, it can just be.  

13 Going on 30

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If you are as much of a Jennifer Garner fan as I am, then this movie is not to be passed up. Jennifer plays the 30 year old version of Jenna Rink, a middle schooler who is dying to be 30 to escape her tormented youth in the 80s. Bringing her youthful mentality to her new life as a successful, wealthy adult, Jenna sees the joys of her newfound adulthood, but also realizes the price she has had to pay in order to achieve her dreams. It’s heartwarming, it’s funny, and the fashion is as trendy now as it was in 2004. Bring the tissues for the heartfelt ending!

My Favorite Holiday Recipes

The food they serve in heaven.

Let’s face it, there is a special place in heaven for holiday foods. Cookies, cakes, filet mignon, creamy mashed potatoes, a cheese plate… you get the idea. Every year, I look forward to the food that fills our holiday plates- it only comes once a year! Here, I have provided the recipes to some of my favorite foods to make during the season so that you can recreate some of them in your own home. Maybe, some of these recipes will make it into your holiday rotation. If they do, make sure to send me a photo!

1. Bûche de Noël Recipe (Yule Log Cake)

Courtesy of Mon Petit Four

This Yule Log cake is one that I make every year. The cake is light, fluffy, and the perfect canvas for decorating and making festive. I like to cut up marshmallows and add them as “mushrooms” as well as adorn the cake with bay leaves, which look like tree leaves. The possibilities for this cute creation are endless!

2. Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Courtesy of Handmade Charlotte

These cookies are a cross between a vanilla sugar cookie and a brownie all wrapped up in one. Soft and chewy, with a little crunch, this chocolate sugar cookie recipe is a holiday go-to! The rolled sugar on the outside also adds a beautiful sparkle, making it a beautiful addition to any dessert table. 

3. Roladen 

Courtesy of Lecker 

A German staple during the holidays, Roladen is a great recipe to add some variety to your dinner rotation. This meat dish is packed with flavor and definitely an indulgent meal to impress any guest. My family likes to pair our Roladen with potato pancakes, and red cabbage… did I mention I was German. 

4. Russian Tea Cookies

A Dedekind Family Recipe



This family recipe is one that we make every year that never fails to surprise and delight. These nutty cookies are the perfect side to any cup of tea or hot chocolate. It’s hard to mess these cookies up! So, even if you would not consider baking your strong suit, give these a try- they are basically fool proof!

5. Scalloped Potatoes

Courtesy of Chocolate Moosey

If you are concerned about calories, maybe skip on this dish. If you are up for a decadent holiday treat, you have to make this dish. Packed with cream, cheese, and all the good stuff, if you are looking for a yummy side dish, you have got to try this delicious scalloped potato recipe. 

6. Pancakes 

Courtesy of Like Mother Like Daughter

Whether it is the holidays or not, this pancake recipe is a go-to. If you think you have a fluffy and tasty pancake recipe, I would try this one anyways- I bet you it will give yours a run for its money. Add chocolate chips, blueberries, bananas, or anything you’d like, but make sure to pour over some maple syrup for a guaranteed yummy brunch.  

7. Chocolate cake

Courtesy of Add a Pinch

If you are unsure of what holiday dessert will be a crowd pleaser, it is never a bad idea to go with a chocolate cake. This cake I make for birthdays, holidays, and “just cause it’s Monday” and it never fails to delight. The chocolate flavoring really comes out strongly, given the added espresso, and the coordinating icing recipe makes for a match made in heaven! 

It’s Candle Time with Nadia Kim

When it comes to candles, Nadia has got you covered.

When I think of my friend Nadia Kim, I think of how she smells- does that sound weird? Yes. Nadia is my go-to in terms of who to ask when it comes to anything scented, especially candles. When Nadia and I were roommates, I always admired her perfectly curated selection of candles on our window sill. Although we are roommates no longer, as she has traveled back to her home country of Korea, I still admire her selection of candles neatly placed on her apartment window sill from afar via Instagram. To give you the scoop on all things warm and beautiful, Nadia has weighed in on her favorite candles and the best way to burn them.

In Korean, Hyangsoo means both perfume and nostalgia. Although I’m sure it’s a coincidence, I associate memory with scent a lot, and thus I consider it the most personal and intimate sense. Having moved at least once a year to at most three times a year, I longed for a method to make my room feel more homey. Out of all home fragrances, including sprays, diffusers, and incense, candles are my favorite. The scent and the flickering warm light give me the relaxation I love at the end of the day. 

My favorite scents are floral scents that are good to use all season and basically foolproof. But, I stay away from overly artificial and sweet fruity scents, since they give me a headache. I also recently started to get more items with woody scents like sandalwood and vetiver.

My current favorite is Le Labo Santal 26. I first met this scent when using a tester for the perfume. It reminded me of a mix of a library and a cozy bonfire. Although this is a unisex fragrance, it was a bit woody and masculine, and I didn’t have the courage to use it myself, so purchased the candle. Since September, this has been my absolute favorite. The woody note gives it the perfect coziness for fall nights, and the hint of vanilla balances out without making it smell too intense.


The candle is made of soy wax and is hand-poured. So don’t be alarmed if you see imperfection- even in the image, a bit of wax is lifted off the glass but don’t worry. The smaller size candle is in a tin can, which is also manually distressed, so each container is different. Even the labels are manually attached, and you can customize the message that you want. A sweet message for a gift would make it extra personal, and funny messages for your sister to not use it without your permission could be the perfect message too.

Nadia’s Favorite Candles 

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Soohyang Secret Garden

If you want a candle that gives off a strong floral scent.


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Diptyque Londres & New York

If you want a candle that you can use as an interior decoration item as well.

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Boy Smells Hinoki Fantome

If you want a candle with an incense-like scent making you feel calm.


How to Best Burn a Candle

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1. Get a candle warmer lamp.

Something new candle users often mistake is to blow out the candle before the wax has melted evenly. Candles remember where they are burned until and only burn wax in that small area, resulting in wax around the edges left and wasted. This is referred to as tunneling. To avoid tunneling, manufacturers advise to let the candle burn for two hours or more for the first use, depending on how fast the wax melts. 

While we want to use every bit of wax we paid for, we’re always worried if we’re using it too much. Situations like this are when a candle warmer comes in handy. The bulb emits light and heat that evenly melts the surface of the wax. Thus your candle will always have an even surface, not to mention no tunneling whether you’ve burned it for ten minutes or the whole day. Also, there is are no actual flames! Although not ideal, it would be safer to leave a candle warmer on all night rather than a candle.

2. Trim the burnt wick 

Screen Shot 2020-10-22 at 9.18.25 PMHave you ever heard popping sounds after you lit your candle and a thick black smoke? It’s because of the already burnt part of the wick, that popcorn looking round tip. So, before you light your candle again, trim this bit. It’s also more convenient to do this after the wax has hardened from your previous use, so if the cut bit falls into the candle, you can just hold the container upside down to get it out. 

If you want to be extra and go all out, niche brands like Diptyque sell wick trimmers, but you can use ordinary scissors for it. 

3. Don’t blow out the candle. Instead, use a lid to cover it.

So, we’ve just made the room smell all nice, but when you blow out the candle, it quickly makes the room smell smokey- not in a good way. Instead of blowing out the candle, cover the candle with the lid. Once there is no more oxygen, the fire will extinguish soon with a minimal amount of smoke contained under the lid. Just make sure that the lid is safe to use with fire. Avoid ones made of plastic or paper, or any other flammable material.

4. This is also another item that might make your bougie collection a bit more boujee *wink, wink*

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When the candle jar is too deep, this lighter does the trick in lighting your candle without burning yourself and its definitely a show stopper, sure to impress your friends.