HOW TO EMBRACE RESPONSIBILITY WHILE STILL LIVING AN AWESOME LIFE

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Katherine Killeffer/Thrillist

Trading in your impulsive college years for a 9-5 job can be jarring, but adulting doesn’t have to be as traumatizing as TV makes it out to be. Contrary to popular belief, you can get your act together and still be awesome. In fact, getting your responsibilities in check will only make you more fun to be around, because you won’t drop the ball. Here’s how to make it happen without sacrificing the fun.

Stay organized

Successful people tend to be meticulous planners, so get organized. Opt for a planner that’s aesthetically striking so you want to use it, and keep it small to bring anywhere. The inside should consist of both calendar and a side page for notes. Mark important plans in the calendar section, then write details on the notes page.

Those who prefer digital can sync Google calendar with your phones to add dates mentioned in your Gmail chains to your calendar (Outlook and iOS perform a similar service). Most phones offer one-swipe previews of upcoming calendar items so no unexpected twists come your way. Then share your Google calendar with friends and family so they stop bugging you about their dog’s birthday party.

Automate your finances

Skip errands and paperwork with a little online planning. Add up your monthly bills (use the highest bill of the year as the benchmark) and keep that sum in your savings account, where it earns more interest. Automatically transfer the amount you’ll need to checking after the start of the month. Be sure to leave enough money in checking for unexpected costs. If you’re not exceeding your bank’s limit on savings transactions for the month, you can pay bills directly from there instead — through auto-payments, natch.

Use direct deposit if your company offers it. You can’t misplace it like a check, and many banks give bonuses to new checking accounts that use direct deposit. Multiple accounts will also keep you from spending too freely, since some of your cash is earning money out of sight, and thus out of mind.

Put your credit card to work

A credit card with a rewards program can be a huge advantage if used properly. You’re going to spend money anyway, so why not get a percentage of it back? The key to this is paying off the balance in full every month. Points back for travel or coupon and cash redemption are like free cash.

To stay within budget, try this: put spending money in one pocket of your wallet. Every time you use your card, move that money to a different pocket you’re not allowed to touch. Then deposit the “spent” money into a checking account dedicated solely to paying off the card. That way you’ll earn card rewards while never accruing more debt than your liquid funds.

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Katherine Killeffer/Thrillist

Health is wealth

Nothing says “adult” like actually taking care of yourself. The easiest way to do that? Get yourself a gym membership and freakin’ use it. According to a survey by Goldman Sachs, roughly 20% of millennials are dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle, but a separate study found that 60% of gym members never use their memberships. To make sure you stay out of the majority, opt for a program that holds you accountable. Classpass is offered in 29 major cities across the country — including New York, Austin, LA, Chicago, and Boston — and every time you try to bail on a class you registered for before realizing brunch is more fun than kickboxing, you get charged $15-$20.

Pact (formerly GymPact) operates with a similar incentive, charging you for workout sessions you miss while also financially rewarding you for ones you don’t. So not only can you finally get that six-pack you’ve been after, but you could end up with a higher bank account balance by the end of the week. Clearly it’s a win-win. And hey, that’s more money for brunch (even though you now think kickboxing’s more fun after all).

And since you’re such an automation expert now? Schedule your annual doctor’s appointments online. When 70% of adults across the US are being treated for diseases that could have been prevented, you’re gonna want to keep those checkups going. Refill prescriptions automatically online, and have medication mailed to you, or sign up for a text update from your local pharmacy when your scrip is ready for pickup.

Purge Your Social Media

Do you really need to know what everyone you went to middle school with is doing? No, and you really don’t need to compare your life to theirs either, so stop doing it.

Obsessively checking social media doesn’t just piss off your boss, it also takes a toll on your mental health. Aside from serving as a constant distraction, Psychology Today reported that becoming dependent on social media can lead to social anxiety, insecurity, and depression.

The solution? Purge your social accounts ASAP. Cut back on the 4,000 friends you’ve digitally acquired over the years and pare the herd down to only include your real friends. It’s a lot easier to compare your life to someone whom you know only posts their best-lit selfies.

For the more daring, take things a step further by deleting your accounts altogether. Be it temporary or permanent, undergoing a social cleanse is scientifically good for the soul (trust us, we have an MD). When you spend less time going through the 200 vacation photos your elementary school crush posted, your world gets a whole lot brighter.

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Katherine Killeffer/Thrillist

Stop eating out and learn how to cook

Seamless has been sustaining busy millennials since 1999, but when you spend your last $20 on a spicy tuna roll delivery, you need to admit that you have a problem. On the bright side, you’re not the only one. According to New York magazine, Americans spent $54.857 billion eating out in 2016 versus $52.503 billion spent on groceries. As if our collective inability to boil water wasn’t cringeworthy enough, Nation’s Restaurant News pointed out that restaurant prices rose an average of 2.7% that same year. So not only did we spend a ton of money on eating out, but we also overpaid.

On the other hand, grocery prices did the complete opposite. Federal data from 2016 showed that average price points for food declined 0.2% in January. In short: back away from the takeout app and head to the grocery store at least once a week to stock up on food. Say goodbye to spending $12 on a sad sandwich every day at work and teach yourself how to cook.

For those who are seriously lacking in the culinary department, services like Blue Apron and HelloFresh will help you out. Not only do they supply you with ingredients for five star meals, but they also send insanely clear directions on how to make them. Or save yourself even more money with a beginner’s cookbook or website that will teach you the same basic techniques without the monthly subscription cost. Use the extra cash for weekend splurging — you’ve earned it.

Update and backup your stuff

We get it, waiting out an iCloud update seems tedious when the time could be better spent swiping right on Tinder, but the service makes your life ten times easier. Apple’s online storage container allows you to find important files across all of your Apple products, meaning you’re instantly more organized (remember? From before? You’re doing it now with the literal push of a button.) as soon as you press “update.”

Android users can reap similar benefits. Updating your droid can fix major bugs and stop it from moving at a glacial pace. Plus you can make the update automatic, so you can exercise as little effort as possible. Regardless of which operating system you prefer, updating your software keeps your products running smoothly and thus retrieves the information you need quicker.

Don’t forget to also back up your files just in case of a technological meltdown — once your stuff evaporates in cyberspace, it’s not coming back.

Turn your apartment into a real apartment — and keep it clean

Welcome to the world of adulthood, where you have a real job, real bills, and a real salary. With that being said, it’s time to stop living like a freshman in college. Transform your space into an adult apartment by replacing your floor mattress with a legit bed (we’re talking the whole nine yards — bed frame, headboard, comforter, big fluffy pillows fit for a king), and make sure to keep things clean.

Studies have found that messy rooms often signify that their owner is a genius, but that doesn’t make the bacteria lurking in your duvet any less disgusting. Your sheets soak up roughly one liter of sweat a night and 8 hours worth of skin shedding, making them a breeding ground for allergy-inflaming fungi. If you don’t know how to do laundry, you’re going to want to learn stat and clean your bedding on a weekly basis.

Same goes for the rest of your apartment. Rolling around a vacuum for 10 minutes everyday and running a duster along tables and cabinets will do wonders for your social life. When you’re not living in squalor, people will actually want to come over and hang out.

Utilize your LinkedIn account & keep your resume fresh

Full disclosure: getting your dream job takes work. Get ahead by being aware of your resources and how to use them. A 2016 survey found that 85% of all jobs were filled via networking, meaning keeping your resume sharp and updated is a must. Always have it on hand – especially when out at a work event – and get your name out there. Make it stand out by highlighting your accomplishments rather than describing your daily workday, keeping your points direct and concise, and tailoring it to the job you’re looking for. Also, skip the irrelevant info — it’s cool that you worked at that pizza shop in college, but it’s time to let that go.

As a side, don’t forget about the digital space. In April of 2016, 6.5 million jobs were listed on LinkedIn, and according to company execs, keeping your page updated makes you 18 times more likely to be found by recruiters. Capture their attention with an engaging headline and by asking former employers for recommendations. The more clear it is that you do your job well, the better.

If you’re looking to be more proactive in finding your dream job, check out LinkedIn Groups, a place that provides job hunters a way to connect with professionals in the industry they’re looking to excel in. Not only will you find job postings specific to your field, but you can also get valuable career advice from people who are already working in it. Get an inside look at what recruiters in the industry are looking for, and take their advice to heart.

Read the original article on Thrillist.

VALENTINE’S DAY SURVIVAL GUIDE: WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU FORGOT IT WAS V-DAY

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Thrillist/Jen Kahn

Let’s start with the bad news: 53% of women who don’t receive anything on Valentine’s are likely to break up with their significant other, according to a 2014 poll (and it’s doubtful things have changed that much in three years).

Now on to the good news: even though we already reminded you not once but TWICE that V-Day was on the way, we’re still going to help you get your act together with this last-minute guide.

Formally promise to make it up to them
No matter your arts and crafts skills, your S.O. is going to need some kind of effort right now, so try a gift that’s easy to pull off but heavy on personal touch. A jar of date ideas (because remember, there’s a 47% chance that they won’t break up with you) is a an easy DIY project for the creatively challenged. Plus it will cost you a minimal amount of money (for now at least), and won’t take up more than an hour of your time.

Brainstorm 50 different date ideas and write them out on strips of construction paper. Throw them all into a mason jar (less than $5 at any home goods store hip enough to know mason jars are totally hot right now) and put the lid on top. Make a label that reads “Date Night,” and commit to making their picks happen, as written, for however long it takes them to forgive you.

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Thrillist/Jen Kahn

Check out last-minute delivery services
Many companies offer same-day bouquet delivery, but considering that 51% of flower purchases are red roses, you’re probably too late for the flower of love. Pink roses are close enough though, and you’ll save an average of $20 per bunch. Or scrap the roses altogether and buy Peruvian lilies — which represent devotion. Make sure to drop that line in the delivery card.

After that, move onto the sweets. In 2015, 53.2% of people put some Valentine’s dollars towards their date’s sweet tooth. Most larger flower delivery services like Interflora and Fromyouflowers.com offer extras like chocolate and champagne, so get it all in a few clicks.

Alternatively, avoid premium pricing and odd delivery times by being the delivery, and showing up unannounced. Hit the supermarket or florist for a bouquet, and find your town’s artisanal chocolate store, like the epically named Dude, Sweet Chocolate in Dallas, and NYC’s century-old Li-lac Chocolates. For all they know, you planned this for weeks!

Make your own desserts
Show some real ingenuity by bringing your own creations. It’s also way simpler than you might think — chocolate-covered berries.

Start by lining a baking sheet with wax paper to prevent sticking. Melt the chocolate in the microwave for as many one-minute intervals as it takes, stirring after each until smooth. Drizzle the chocolate on top of the berries and let sit for 30 minutes until the chocolate becomes as solid as your relationship will become after this romantic rabbit-from-a-hat is unveiled.

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Thrillist/Jen Kahn

Prep your space
When restaurant reservations aren’t an option, pull off a romantic dinner at home. But before you invite your date over, make sure your place looks like your were expecting company. Like, really clean it.

If you’ve never picked up a duster in your life, search out local cleaning services like Same Day Maids to do the job for you. Have them arrive as early as possible, so you have enough time to get yourself in presentable shape too. Last thing, warm it all up with scented candles (preferably vanilla and sandalwood — which are both aphrodisiacs).

Try out a staycation
In 2015, it was reported that 35.1% of consumers spent a total of $3.6 billion on travel and entertainment plans alone. Translation? A large number of people in your area are taking their baes away for the weekend.

Fake an elaborate getaway by booking a stay at a hotel in your area and take advantage of the perks that come with hotel living. If that last-minute restaurant reservation didn’t work out, room service is a suitably decadent alternative. Afterwards, make like a tourist in your own town and explore everything you typically overlook while rushing to and from work.

Plan an unconventional Valentine’s Day date
Forgetting the usual dinner reservations and flower delivery can be turned to your advantage if you have an unconventional, and ultimately more personal, plan in mind. So use the fact that almost everyone else is going the traditional route to pull off some left-of-field reservations or walk-ins.

Where do you turn first? If your date is into athletics, strap on your protective gear and opt for laser tag, a day at the batting cages or indoor skydiving. Each will provide an adrenaline rush you can’t get at a hotel bar. More interested in entertainment? Host a horror movie marathon with takeout, or head to an art museum after dark. Neither are typically associated with V-Day, which makes them all the more awesome.

There’s always next weekend
As 82% of people say they’d like an experiential Valentine’s Day gift, planning a future weekend getaway is the “whoops it’s the 14th!” solution to please everybody. Not only will your date be happy, but you’ll also buy yourself time to plan, and that includes finding the perfect gift to give them when you arrive. Once you figure out a destination, move swiftly onto the grand reveal. You didn’t think you were actually going to get out of dinner, did you?

Read the original article on Thrillist. 

VALENTINE’S DAY SURVIVAL GUIDE: WHAT TO DO ONE WEEK BEFORE V-DAY

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Thrillist/Jen Kahn

Look, we tried to warn you already: Valentine’s Day is imminent. Whether you’ve already laid some of the groundwork, or the appearance of hearts and cherubic figures in shop windows has you in panic mode, here’s how to be a hero.

Sort yourself out
Yes, this is about you too. This week should feature haircuts, beard trims, waxes and whatever else you need to be your most smokin’ self by the 14th. According to Uni K Wax, a hair removal chain in New York City, this is a solid call: demand for waxing services increases by 40 percent in the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, and sales in this period grew (ha!) from $250K in 2014 to $460K in 2015.

For those who prefer the DIY route to smooth, use this week to recover from razor burn, accidental nicks, and ingrown hairs. Prevent the latter by exfoliating first and applying a serum after, so your skin will look extra fresh by February 14.

If you’re a dude looking for more of a rugged 5 o’clock shadow, shave two days before to achieve the perfect amount of scruff. When it comes to haircuts, get that trim you’ve been putting off one week before, but don’t overdo it and try an entirely new style. Remember that school photo?

Do your chores
The devil is in the details, so in these last seven days, make a list of mundane tasks you need to check off day-by-day, and give yourself no excuses to skip them.

For example, figure out what you want to wear (because you should know where you’re going by now). Make sure to drop your stuff off at least seven days in advance or you’ll be stuck wearing your gym clothes to dinner, or, possibly worse, at the mall. If you’re driving anywhere, pencil in a car wash the day before. Same goes for the extensive apartment clean; save it for the final days so your space will be in peak condition — and you’ll be peak chill — come the big day.

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Thrillist/Jen Kahn

Work on a killer playlist
Get inspiration by checking out your date’s own playlists on Apple Music and Spotify. If they’re not public, check out Facebook, where Spotify songs also come up when your date is logged into the service. If all else fails, stick to the classics — Frank Sinatra was pretty good at this.

Incidentally, a 2015 Spotify study found that Donna Lewis’ “I Love You Always Forever” scored highest among the 700,000 playlists created for the holiday. If your date doesn’t like it, hit them with that fact and hope they’re attracted to your nerdiness.

Two words: chocolate delivery
A heart-shaped box filled with chocolate has become the ultimate Valentine’s Day cliche for a reason. Because everybody loves them. In 2015, it was reported that $1.7 billion was spent on buying candy, with consumers ordering a grand total of 58 million pounds of chocolate and 36 million heart-shaped boxes for Valentine’s Day. So yeah, if there’s one thing you shouldn’t forget to do, it’s this.

Lock in a chocolate delivery seven days in advance. There are tons of options at different price points, but expect to pay around $15 for a basic box of twelve fine chocolates and up to… whatever you’ve got once you add in extras like flowers and champagne. If you’re still not convinced that this is important, let us remind you that chocolate is also an aphrodisiac. Enough said.

Learn how to give a decent massage
To prep for a sensual V-Day rubdown, start things off by making your own massage oil. Use three parts unscented baby oil mixed with one part unscented baby gel and store in a container for safe keeping. Add scents like lavender and lemon to take things up a notch. Make sure to heat the oil up before use and always put it on your hands first.

As for the actual massage, experts say you should always use an equal amount of pressure to make the recipient comfortable.

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Thrillist/Jen Kahn

Check in on your restaurant reservation
If you followed our advice and made reservations at the two week mark, confirm that your reservation and any accommodations are on track. Valentine’s Day is like the Super Bowl of the restaurant industry (covers are up an average 520% from the same day the previous week), so things can easily go awry.

If you’re still scrambling, it’s worth checking in for last-minute cancellations. With 43% of people booking their tables one week before the holiday, you could get lucky. The easiest way to keep tabs? Download Resy, a restaurant reservation app currently available in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Washington DC, and San Francisco that tracks open tables in your area. If you’re not located in a major city, OpenTable could also help get you the res you’re looking for. We’ll keep our fingers crossed.

Build anticipation
If you plan on letting your date in on your Valentine’s Day plans early, don’t be part of the 52% of people who settle for a measly card; get the romance started early with a romantic scavenger hunt that reveals what you’re doing.

Brainstorm 10-15 riddles (extra points if they’re cheesy sayings that also rhyme), and have each printed on heart-shaped cutouts. After hiding each card in their corresponding locations, buy a bouquet of roses and have the rose petals lead to the first card. Tie the final note to a bottle of champagne detailing what you do will be doing on the big day. Once the reveal is complete, pop the bottle early to celebrate; you really can’t mess up now.

Read the original article on Thrillist.

VALENTINE’S DAY SURVIVAL GUIDE: WHAT TO DO TWO WEEKS BEFORE V-DAY

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Thrillist/Jen Kahn

Editor’s Note: While expressing undying love, or at least “we just met, but I’m digging it,” may not come naturally to everyone, try telling that to your date. Valentine’s Day matters. So to make sure this year’s goes off with the right kind of fireworks, we’ve put together a three-part guide to staying on track. First up: you have two whole weeks left, let’s do this.

Valentine’s Day may seem pretty far away still, but don’t be fooled: you’d better get a game plan. If you’re the type who just took down the holiday decorations, don’t panic! From drawing up a game plan and perfecting the necessary skills, to finding the perfect gift (of course), and making sure your wallet doesn’t burst into flames, we’ve got your back.

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Thrillist/Jen Kahn

1. Start putting money aside
In 2016, the National Retail Foundation reported that the 55% of Americans who celebrated Valentine’s Day spent $19.7 billion, with nearly $12 billion going towards gifts, $1.7 billion towards sweets, and $4.5 billion towards romantic dinners. Each individual shelled out an average of $146.84 last year, and under-35s splurged an average of $185. It’s not exactly chump change, which is why it’s a good idea to start saving now before you have to throw it around like a Rockefeller in two weeks.

For those who can’t say “no” to Seamless coupons or after-work happy hours, money saving apps like Digit and Unsplurge will do it for you. Digit is an automated savings account that monitors your income and spending habits, and socks away about 5.5 percent of users’ income on average. In two to three days, Digit takes anything from $2 to $17 and puts it in a separate savings account you control. If you request to withdraw $13.22 daily, you’ll hit $185 in 14 days. Save $20 a day and you’ll have a nice cushion to spend over if needed.

Unlike the automatic savings account, Unsplurge sets actual monetary goals. By setting a goal of saving $100 per week, you’ll have an additional $15 to spend on chocolate by the end of week two. Get encouragement from the app’s community coined “the Town” to help reach your goal quicker. Who knew peer pressure could be so lucrative?

2. Creep, a little, on your S.O.’s social media
If you just started dating, we strongly advise that you keep your social media stalking light; you don’t want your V-Day to turn into an upcoming episode of Law & Order: SVU. But even if you’ve been together for a year, remember that falling into a routine is equally as hazardous as not having anything planned at all — so do due social media diligence.

Lots of outdoorsy photos and shared travel articles? Opt for something more original than making reservations at a restaurant, like a romantic picnic in the park or a day trip. If your date’s Instagram feed is filled with food porn and perfectly-lit brunch photos, find yourself an eccentric restaurant that offers a tasting menu so they can try a little bit of everything. If their Snap story is just one, long night out, plan a romantic night at a cocktail lounge with a dress code.

3. Make restaurant reservations — stat
According to the restaurant app Reserve, 25% of Americans celebrate V-Day by going out to eat, meaning reservations at fancy schmancy restaurants are already hard to come by two weeks out. According to Google Trends data from 2010 to 2015, Italian restaurants are the most popular choice amongst couples, with French and Spanish coming a close second and third. Moral of the story? If you’re already behind on reservations, this top three will be tough, so have a backup plan.

If you can’t get a reservation at your first choice, research apps and sites like… the one you are reading now (!) for spots that opened within the last three months; they’re more likely to have open tables and Valentine’s Day specials to get you in the door. Regardless of where, keep one super important thing in mind: if you want a special accommodation, make sure to mention it when placing your reservation so the staff has time to adequately prepare.

4. Test run your romantic homemade meal
Whether rustling up your date’s favorite romantic dishes or unchartered culinary territory, have a tried-and-tested game plan. If you’re lacking basics like a decent pan, large knife, and eating utensils that aren’t plastic, head to a home goods store — now is the time to stop living like a caveman. When you’re all set, start cooking it up, and take notes along the way so you can make any necessary adjustments come V-Day.

For those who think dumping out your Seamless order onto real plates is the equivalent of a home-cooked meal, fake some culinary skills with meal delivery services like Blue Apron or HelloFresh, which provide simple step-by-step recipe, complete with photos, for personalized meals.

5. Learn how to make a legit cocktail
While a bottle of wine is sure to set the mood, impress with some newfound bar skills first. Pencil in a mixology course two weeks before Valentine’s Day. Classes are often sold at discounted rates on Groupon and Living Social, and will make you an impressive party host ever after.

For further inspiration, head to your favorite cocktail lounge or bar on off hours (early afternoon tends to be the best time) and have a candid conversation with the bartender over a drink. Any tips on simple cocktail recipes, complimentary flavors, and presentation will help you in the long run.

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Thrillist/Jen Kahn

6. Book with a florist
In 2014, an estimated 257 million roses were grown specifically for Valentine’s Day. To put that astronomical number into perspective, if you aligned each rose tip to tip, they would circle the Earth approximately four times. So yeah, buying roses on V-Day isn’t going out of style anytime soon.

However, it’s also not helping your wallet. A dozen red roses cost about $20 more than any other color, and a bouquet on Valentine’s Day is often priced twice as high as on any non-romantic day. While you could save a few bucks by heading to the grocery store, chances are the bouquets aren’t as fresh and thus won’t live as long, making them a waste of money in the long run.

While red roses are always on point, nonconformists can buck the trend with red tulips. Not only are they cheaper (you can probably grab a bunch for as little as $10), but according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, they’re also a declaration of love. You’re not being a cheapskate, you’re being symbolic.

7. Check shipping times
If you decide to purchase your gift online — as 27.9% of consumers did last year — keep pesky shipping times and costs in mind. Free shipping means the product could arrive anywhere from four to 12 days after purchase, and even expedited shipping gets risky: not only do the rates get higher (you can pay as low as $7 for 2-3 day shipping or as high as $25 for next day), but if there’s any service issues, there’s no way you’re getting that delivery before V-Day. Our advice? Start looking — and buying — now.

It’s also important to keep in mind that while one-of-a-kind pieces are thoughtful, they also sell out quicker than products bought at a department store. Assume that anything you see now will be long gone next week. If you’re going way fancy, and looking to get something engraved, make sure the proprietor has at least two weeks to finish the job. Trust us — you’d never live that one down.

Read the original article on Thrillist.

10 OF THE MOST AUTHENTIC PROHIBITION-STYLE BARS ACROSS THE US

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Bible Club

The 18th Amendment was passed in 1919, providing the entire nation with what should have been a 13-year killjoy, but nothing could have stopped the Roaring Twenties from being defined by glamour and booze. In fact, despite not being legally able to produce, import, transport or sell alcohol, the era was known for literally the opposite, with partygoers sipping on gin in secret speakeasies and others housing an ungodly amount of alcohol in their homes. While Millennials clearly missed out on the historical event, modern-day nightlife pros have managed to bring back the Prohibition-era with hidden bars you can only get into with a password, and elaborate cocktail menus that even Al Capone would find satisfying.

The 10 bars below certainly have this era covered in spades, serving up some of the best Prohibition-style drinks and drama in the US. Both with authentic (and in some cases award-winning) cocktails, bartenders that embrace the grace and spirit of the times, and decor that will make you think you’ve taken a ride in a time machine. Oh, and if you are into the secrecy thing, many of these spots take the speakeasy tradition to the next level, complete with passwords, trap doors, and hidden signals for patrons to decode. So, step back in time by visiting any of these bars.

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Joe Starkey

 Bourbon & Branch
San Francisco, CA
Vibe: Walking through the doors of Bourbon & Branch will make you feel like you’re hanging out with Jay Gatsby himself. Complete with five separate rooms each with their own passwords, entrances and various cocktails, this San Francisco speakeasy is one of the few that forbids patrons from taking photos or using their cell phones inside. So, sorry, your Instagram brag will have to wait until you’re back outside the bar.

Best kept secret: Head back to 1925 and take a seat at The Ipswitch, the bar’s incredibly exclusive and super-secret basement room that can only be accessed through a trap door in the floor. Named after the actual speakeasy that took over the space during Prohibition, the only way to gain entry is through sheer luck. Your best shot at getting in is to book a large event at Bourbon & Branch and hope you made a good impression with the hostess.

What to order: The tasting menu, which comes with an apéritif, a main, and a digestif, available at The Wilson (one of the five rooms the bar has to offer).

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Neil Santos

The Franklin Bar
Philadelphia, PA
Vibe: Found in the basement of the former Philadelphia Franklin Mortgage & Investment Company, the Franklin Bar exhibits a Prohibition lore that’s enticing even to those who don’t care about speakeasies. Initially home to one of the country’s largest rum-running rings, the space now exudes a dark and alluring ambiance that gives off a swanky edge similar to that of the Roaring Twenties.

Why you should go: Not only are the cocktails complex — most of the drinks are either frothing with egg whites or boasting a flamed peel — but they’re also made with hard-to-find spirits in order to provide drinkers with a truly one-of-a-kind taste. If you’re looking for something less bougie, head to the upstairs bar, where the atmosphere is more lax, divey and full of fruity cocktails.

What to order: Queen’s Gambit — Decker and Brian Letizia grapefruit bitters, bonal, blanc vermouth, Maurin Quina, dry vermouth and Old Tom gin.

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The Owl Bar & Merkle Photography

The Owl Bar
Baltimore, MD
Vibe: Hotel bars tend to have questionable reputations, but Baltimore’s Owl Bar is doing a solid job of demolishing the stereotype. Located inside the historic Belvedere Hotel, the Owl Bar sets the tone with stained glass panels, antique chandeliers, and intricate murals. The décor is enough reason to stop by for a drink, but for those really looking for 1920’s authenticity, take solace in knowing that F. Scott Fitzgerald and President Hoover were once guests at the Belvedere and presumably visited the bar you’re sipping your gin in.

Best kept secret: Originally opening in 1903 and formally known as just “the bar room,” the Owl Bar (which reportedly got its official name after World War II), used ornamental owls to tell patrons when liquor was available. If the owls’ eyes were blinking, it meant that the shipment arrived and the coast was clear. When the feds were around, the eyes stared straight ahead.

What to order: Prohibition Punch — E&J VS Brandy, Jamaican Rum, Peach Brandy, black tea, lemon juice, all-spice dram, Angostura bitters and blood orange bitters.

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Violet Hour

 The Violet Hour
Chicago, IL
Vibe: Modeled after the bootlegging hubs of the 1920’s, Chicago’s Violet Hour is an alluring retreat chock full of dimly lit chandeliers, plush velvet drapes and jazz tunes that will instantly transport you back nine decades. The city’s first go-to for craft cocktails, the Violet Hour — which is hidden behind a mural-covered door — keeps up their ace reputation by requesting that visitors only bring guests they’d also bring to their mother’s house for Sunday brunch. In other words, leave the Hemingway of your friend group at the bro bar down the street.

Why you should go: Getting its name from a stanza in T.S. Eliot’s poem “The Waste Land” and Bernard Devoto’s The Hour, the Violet Hour won a James Beard Award in 2015 for its outstanding bar program, meaning it demonstrated excellence in cocktails, spirits and beer service. Clearly this is the place to be if you’re looking for a really, really good drink that puts a sophisticated spin on old classics.

What to order: Rangoon Fizz — Beefeater gin, lime, house ginger, mint, and Angostura Bitters.

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Yelp/Sean K.

Williams & Graham
Denver, CO
Vibe: While Williams & Graham initially used its bookstore façade to keep its real identity under wraps, national accolades have brought in partygoers from around the country who are looking to experience a true-to-form Prohibition-style speakeasy. The main entranceway is a secret passageway in the form of a swinging bookshelf, which then leads you to a dimly lit, wood-paneled bar encased by stamped tin ceilings, red walls, and high-backed booths.

Why you should go: Aside from getting to go through a real-life trapdoor, Williams & Graham’s cocktails are award-winning and served up by suspender-wearing bartenders who take pride in their craft. The menu is also constantly changing, though every concoction (regardless of the season) is guaranteed to please. Did we mention you get to go through a trap door?

What to order: Mahogany Botany — St. George Botanivore gin, Leopold Bros. Apertivo, cinnamon syrup, blood orange juice, lemon juice and soda water.

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Farrah Sheiky

The Gibson
Washington, DC
Vibe: With a strict cap of less than 50 visitors inside at a time and a no-standing policy, the Gibson offers a space all Prohibition-enthusiasts can admire: an embossed leather bar, cozy seating, and flickering candles at every table. Located in Washington’s U Street corridor, the Gibson is easy to miss with its nondescript plain black door, but the nearby call box suggests there’s something more exciting behind it. Once inside you’ll find dim lighting, hidden booths, and a seductive feel that’s practically begging for a real-life flapper to take a stool at the bar.

Why you should go: The Gibson’s ever-changing cocktail list will have you coming back for a different taste every season. But don’t feel obligated to stick to the menu — bartenders are more than willing to concoct something original based on your tastes. Their modern take on vintage drinks also means that there will never be liquid nitrogen clouding your whiskey glass. (Translation: more room for booze.)

What to order: The Cat’s Meow — Red Wine, Cruzan Black Strap Rum, vanilla, lime and champagne.

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Midnight Cowboy

Midnight Cowboy
Austin, TX
Vibe: This downtown Austin bar is easy to overlook with its drab brown exterior, but the single red light bulb marking its presence sticks out. After buzzing “Harry Craddock” on the call box, you’ll be escorted into a long, narrow, dark bar that boasts lavish black leather booths and floral wallpaper that gives way to sections of exposed brick. Despite being in the middle of Austin’s rowdy 6th Street, Midnight Cowboy strives to create a more relaxed atmosphere with its house rules, including no phone calls, laptops, or loud conversation. While guests are encouraged to flirt with staff, they’re also asked to refrain from excessive displays of affection. Some rules are meant to be broken, but not these — unless you’re into spending your night on the street.

Best kept secret: While the cocktail lounge is now quite upscale and fancy, with its low lighting, vintage bar, and three private rooms — it was formerly home to a brothel in Austin’s red light district. Similar to its current state, the original space was concealed as a massage parlor and operated for more than 30 years. That’s a lot of happy endings.

What to order: Rattlesnake — rye whiskey, lemon juice, Turbinado syrup, egg white, absinthe rinse, and Angostura bitters.

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Emilie Baltz

Employees Only
New York, NY
Vibe: This 12-year-old cocktail bar nestled in NYC’s West Village is masked behind a neon psychic sign, but unlike other speakeasies, the bar’s cover is actually legitimate; when walking through the door, you’ll notice an actual psychic sitting in the small vestibule. Once you’re told your future and how you’ll never have to worry about money again, you can proceed to the bar area, where you’ll feel less antsy about burning a hole in your pocket from trying every cocktail on the menu. Bartenders in slick white chef coats cater to a diverse crowd looking to feel like they’re decades away from modern-day New York. The feeling is easily achieved thanks to the bar’s dark lighting and occasional bar-top burlesque show.

Why you should go: New York may be coined “the city that never sleeps,” but sadly bar kitchens tend to close early, even on weekends. Employees Only is an exception, especially for anyone who feels like sticking around until it closes at 4 am. Cooks offer those hardcore stragglers chicken soup as a parting gift for staying late.

What to order: Billionaire Cocktail — Baker’s bourbon shaken with fresh lemon juice, EO grenadine, and absinthe bitters.

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The Bible Club

The Bible Club
Portland, OR
Vibe: From the outside, the Bible Club looks like any ordinary suburban house, but a single green light in the upstairs window hints otherwise. As soon as visitors turn the doorknob (which dates back to the 1800’s), they’re transported back to the Jazz Age. The intimate space was originally built in 1922 and is filled to the brim with vintage chairs, wooden bar stools, and American flags with only 48 stars, before Alaska and Hawaii were recognized as states.

Best kept secret: Since the era predated the glass and tin Boston Shaker, bartenders use only hand-pounded metal three-piece shakers when making cocktails. On top of that, the majority of bar equipment and room décor is American-made before 1930 and sourced by the bar’s owner from auctions and estate sales.

What to order: The Zombie — Wray and Nephew Overproof Rum, El Dorado 5 Year Rum, cherry heering, BC grenadine, lime and orange.

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Bathtub Gin

Bathtub Gin & Co.
Seattle, WA
Vibe: This old-school speakeasy is conspicuously tucked in an alleyway that patrons could easily walk past without a second glance. But take a closer look and they’d find a worn-down plaque that reads “Bathtub Gin & Co.”, a posh, Prohibition-style drinking lounge that embodies the era’s candid swankiness. Its cozy downstairs area boasts an actual antique bathtub in the middle of the floor (hence the name), while intimate nooks, lamps made out of Hendrick’s bottles, and old-school books give it the old-school charm of the Hemingway era.

Why you should go: If you’re looking to sip on a skillfully-made cocktail while having quiet conversation, make sure to drop by the bar early. If you’d rather party like Gatsby, head to the cozy space on the weekends, where workers say unexpected friendships are commonly formed due to the tight space. Aside from its drool-worthy twists on the era’s classic cocktails, Bathtub Gin & Co. also offers an extensive list of international gins that would make F. Scott Fitzgerald jealous.

What to order: Singapore Sling — London Dry Gin, Cherry Heering Liqueur, cointreau, benedictine, Angostura bitters, grenadine and lime juice.

Read the original article on Thrillist.

A NOCTURNAL ANIMAL’S GUIDE TO THE COUNTRY’S BEST SPOTS AFTER DARK

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Marko Milanovic/Stoksy

When it comes to a night out, hitting up bars and dance clubs is for the basic. Why cram yourself into an overcrowded bar when you can wander dark streets and go on uncharted adventures until 5am, encountering all the fun the night has to offer while the rest of the world is sound asleep? For the night owls who are up all night, there’s a ton of unusual late-late-night spots to choose from around the country, each proving that the real freaky fun starts after dark. Whether you’re after burlesque shows, late-night art galleries, or looking to get some ink, there’s something for everyone. Trust us.

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The Box

The Box 

New York, NY
8pm – 5am

New York is overflowing with nightclubs, but The Box is unlike anything else the city has to offer. Owned by several theater moguls, this exclusive Lower East Side club offers its stage to performers and musicians, but is specifically home to The Hammerstein Beauties, a group of decadent burlesque ballerinas who entertain their late-night guests with salacious dance routines. But at 1am, the real show begins. Staff remain tight-lipped on what to expect (apparently you have to see it to believe it), but they do promise some serious entertainment. In the meantime, sip on some specialty cocktails, check out the aerial dancers hanging from the ceiling, and enjoy what the ladies have to offer until 5am. While it might not be for the faint of heart, is anything tame that late at night/early in the morning?

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Room Escape

Room Escape

Los Angeles, CA
Open until 1am on Fridays and Saturdays

Instead of being trapped inside your house when the clock strikes midnight, why not trap yourself in a Zombie Lab and save the world? Los Angeles’ Room Escape offers an intense hour-long escape mission, where visitors in groups of two to six race the clock to crack the code and get out of creepily-themed spaces. With rooms like Central Bank, the Cold War Bunker, the Zombie Lab and Prison Break, it’ll be hard to decide where to get locked up first, but regardless of your final choice, an adrenaline rush will follow. When you’re stuck in a Zombie Lab with bloody handprints on the wall in the middle of the night, you’re going to want to get out of there — quickly.

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NYC Ink

NYC Ink

New York, NY
Open until 2am on Thursdays, until 4am on Fridays and Saturdays, and until 1am on Sundays

What better time is there to get a last-minute back tattoo and tongue piercing than at 3am? Greenwich Village’s legit late night tattoo parlor NYC Ink looks like a highly impressive smoke shop when you walk through the door, but the neon purple “tattoo” sign in the back instantly reveals that it has more to offer. Late night patrons have the option of going through shelves of elaborate glass pipes before taking on the needle — or heading straight to the one-room ink station where artists take their designs to new levels. But the best part about dropping by right before the store’s 4am weekend closing? No lines, no noise but the needle, and no chance to turn back. Plus no one will look twice when you request a tramp stamp of a unicorn puking a rainbow.

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House of Yes

House of Yes

Brooklyn, NY
Open until 3am on Tuesdays, until 4am on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and until 4:30am on Fridays and Saturdays

Despite being the hipster capital of the world, Bushwick’s House of Yes is one of the few places in Brooklyn where beanies and flannels are exchanged for psychedelic sideshows, trippy decor, and titillating burlesque dancers eager to put on a show. The neighborhood’s underground venue is home to eclectic late night performances, including immersive movie screenings, elaborate circus productions, live music, and innovative fashion shows. As if that wasn’t enough to ward off boredom, the club also delivers various themes throughout the week, and visitors who dress in costume are often rewarded with priority entry and free drinks. Once you walk through that door, there’s not a dull moment until you make your way back to the real world at 4:30am.

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Chris Blakeley/Flickr

Can Can 

Seattle, WA
Open until 2am on Fridays and Saturdays

While sitting through two hours of Ewan McGregor singing isn’t everyone’s ideal way to spend a Friday, hanging out at the Can Can at 1am is. Seattle’s Moulin Rouge-inspired cabaret mixes interactive performances with comedy and cocktails, providing an incredibly intimate setting for those looking to experience a very thin barrier between performers and audience members. On weekends, head to the Midnight Show, which features a rotating cast of singers, dancers and performers who are as unconventional as they are shocking. In a venue this tight, you’ll see every provocative angle the show has to offer. What’s not to love?

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Art All Night

Art All Night

Trenton, NJ
24 Hours

This 10-year-old art movement annually takes over Trenton, New Jersey’s industrial Roebling Wire Works to provide art junkies with 24 hours worth of art and entertainment. Every third weekend in June, artists ranging from abstract novices to well-seasoned veterans to that kid in high school who really liked making collages in their spare time, submit their work free of charge so thousands can discover their talent in a gallery-like atmosphere. In-between paintings and sculptures is live music on multiple stages, interactive art, films, lectures, and food. With 50,000 square feet of space, there’s no shortage of things to see into the wee hours of the morning.

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Full Body Cast

The Full Body Cast

Boston, MA
11pm – 2am

You don’t need fall foliage and jack-o-lanterns on the ground to see Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Boston’s theater troupe the Full Body Cast proves it. Their version of the deviant 1975 cult classic film is reenacted every Saturday night while the original plays in the background, but it’s hard to pay attention to Susan Sarandon when you’ve got a real life scantily-clad Columbia, Rocky, and Dr. Frank-N-Furter standing in front of you. Tickets are $15, but the real money should be spent on the $2 sh*tbag, which includes a newspaper, a noise maker, a party hat and toilet paper that is specifically encouraged to be thrown at the actors. The best kind of freaks definitely come out at night.

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Reana/Flickr

Pick Me Up Cafe

Chicago, IL
Open until 2am

While the rest of the city tends to pass out after eating too much deep dish, some people aren’t as lucky. That’s where Pick Me Up Cafe comes in, a retro-inspired cafe where writers, students and late night workers gravitate towards secluded booths, sip on massive Zombie coffees, and hide behind their laptops in hopes of productively passing the time. Drop in at 1am to spend the night with the rest of the city’s writers desperately looking for inspiration in the dark. Genius strikes at strange hours, so stay late and hope you find it.

Read the original article on Thrillist. 

MILLENNIALS ARE KICKING THEIR NEGATIVE STEREOTYPES TO THE CURB, HERE’S PROOF

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JEREMY NGUYEN/THRILLIST

You’ve heard it before: millennials are lazy. They’re whiny entitled brats who don’t actually want to work, but instead, want to spend their days swiping right on Tinder, hooking up with strangers instead of actually dating them, and complaining about the government without trying to change it. Sure, this might ring true for a select, highly conspicuous few, but the majority manifests the complete opposite. Contrary to popular belief, this generation is ambitious, private, hardworking, and eager to make change. Yes, really.

To make the world a more congenial place for all generations, we swiped left on some of the most popular millennial myths and misconceptions. Enjoy reading this on your miraculous handheld computing device.

The Myth: Millennials are lazy and unambitious.
The Facts: Millennials are actually hard workers who want to prove themselves in the workplace.

Calling an entire generation lazy is a bit of an over exaggeration, to say the least. If anything, millennials are more ambitious because they’re often plagued by the stereotypes that define them, and therefore have more to prove. So what’s the easiest way to disprove this theory? By looking good on paper. In 2013, NACE reported that from the mid-1980s to the mid-2000s, the amount of college graduates taking on at least one internship grew from less than 10 percent to well over 80 percent. In other words, millennials are just as willing if not more to take on coffee runs and stipend-less work than baby boomers, despite the fact that a job offer isn’t guaranteed. However, when interning millennials make their way through the job market, their resumes show they’re qualified and determined workers.

Take Melissa Crosta, a recent PR and Journalism graduate from Monmouth University, who currently works at Nickelodeon after having three production and digital games internships as an undergrad.

“I knew the position really well due to my internships, and throughout my three years as an intern, I always went above and beyond in hopes that one day I could potentially be hired,” she explains. “Although my major only required one internship, I kept going back because it was a great resume builder and I wanted to have as much experience as possible.”

Yup, the generation we sometimes (lovingly) compare to sloths are working hard to beat out the competition and attain the career they want.

Millennials are also the most highly educated generation to date (a feat not easy to conquer if they really are lazy AF), and are working harder than generations before them — literally. In a study from ManpowerGroup, 19,000 millennials in 25 different countries were surveyed about their work lives, and findings confirmed that a large chunk of millennial workers aren’t enjoying the cozy 40 hour work week generations before them were used to. Eighty-three percent of American 20-somethings reported working more than 40 hours a week, with 23 percent of them working over 50 hours a week. On top of that, 21 percent of U.S. millennials are working two or more jobs to make ends meet. Who knew?

The Myth: Millennials love whining, but don’t do anything to change the things they whine about.
The Facts: Millennials came out of the woodwork full force during the 2016 primary election, proving they’re eager to make a change at a cardinal level: by voting.

If there’s anything we got out of the 2016 primary election, it’s that 1) you don’t have to be a millennial to be very, very, very self-involved, and 2) people who actually are millennials want to change the world. The New Hampshire primary kicked off with a whopping 11.2 percent of millennial voters showing up at the polls, making it the second highest youth turnout in the last 20 years.

But beyond millennials speaking up by rocking the vote, they also believe that they truly can make a difference. In a 2013 study from Telefónica where 12,000 millennials in 27 different countries were questioned on global change, 62% said they believed they could make a local difference, while 40% said they could make a global one.

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JEREMY NGUYEN/THRILLIST

The Myth: Millennials are, like, so entitled.
The Facts: Millennials are anything but privileged.

While reality shows tend to illustrate differently, millennials are poorer, more indebted, and less employed than the generation before them. Not only was the so-called “Me Generation” thrown into an economic recession, but according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median income of young adults today is $2,000 less than their parents’ paychecks were in the 1980s. So not only do millennials work tirelessly to get a job in the first place, they thereafter struggle to make ends meet with their low-paying positions.

“I was rejected about 75 times before I got my first real job,” explains Katie, a 24-year-old marketing assistant. “It took a while until I even got my first interview with someone. But I didn’t let it get me down — I was determined,” she explains. “I scanned through job listings every day, applied to everything I could, and interviewed in front of the mirror until I was comfortable. And then finally, a few months into my search, I was hired.”

So unless “privileged” these days means drowning tears of rejection in a dollar cup of not-artisan ramen, you’ve got the wrong idea about that 20-something dude in the artfully disheveled (JK, it’s just old) flannel.

The Myth: Millennials are the most narcissistic generation ever.
The Facts: Selfies aside, millennials are very community-based.

Sure, millennials like a good selfie with expert lighting and angling, but that doesn’t mean they don’t care about anyone else around them. In fact, a 2014 study by the CIA found that millennials were more likely to value giving back to society than the generations calling them narcissistic in the first place. And when it comes to the work place, many would rather succeed as a team than singularly.

The Myth: Millennials are killing the dating scene and promoting hookup culture.
The Facts: Everyone wants love — even 20-somethings on Bumble.

Millennials love a good swipe, but not everyone with a dating profile is looking for a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am/sir situation (not that there’s anything wrong with that). According to the Pew Research Center, college-aged and post-college aged Americans are the most likely to turn to online dating — and 46% of them know someone who met their spouse or long-term SO online. Love in the digital age is possible, no matter whatCatfish (and every single person in their mid-40s) says.

The Myth: Millennials are job-hopping, unreliable employees.
The Facts: Nope.

Based on the generation’s ADD stigma, millennials have earned themselves a reputation as frequent job hoppers, but data shows it’s not specific to this generation — it’s actually a common characteristic among young workers in general. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job tenure for 20-something Americans is almost exactly the same as it was in the 1980s, and even slightly lower than it was in the 1990s.

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JEREMY NGUYEN/THRILLIST

The Myth: Millennials have it easier than the generations before them.
The Facts: LOL.

Every generation thinks they had it the worst, but extensive data shows that millennials have a pretty good argument on their side. Recent grads from the Carter or Reagan administrations entered a booming economy that was adding between 150,000 and 250,000 jobs a month. Today’s college graduates are entering the workforce in major debt, with scarce job opportunities and disappearing industries. In January of 2016, Generation Opportunity reported that the unemployment rate for 18-29 year olds was around 8 percent, which is an epic fail compared to the 3.7 percent for those over the age of 29. Aside from that, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a loss of hundreds of thousands of middle class positions due to outsourcing and the development of new technologies, leaving job options for millennials even more limited. The U.S. Postal Service fell from over 700,000 full time employees to 487,000 between the years 2005 and 2014, while travel agencies, newspaper publishing, and mortgage brokerages also took a huge hit in terms of employment growth. And to really put a damper on things, millennials are also making less money. The median income for a 29-year-old millennial is about $35,000, an average salary lower than the previous generation. Cue the tears.

The Myth: Millennials would rather gouge their eyes out with a fork than work towards a legitimate career.
The Facts: Millennials want to work and they want a career  — badly. (They also want their eyes).

Considering the generation’s stifling student debt — today’s recent grad carries an average of $30,000 in student loans — millennials have no choice but to work. However, while their financial struggles give them little choice, they also want to work.

According to the U.S. Labor Force, one-in-three American workers are millennials, and by 2020, the generation will make up roughly 50% of the U.S. workforce. Research from C Space also showed that the majority of millennials prioritized a fulfilling job over one that paid more money or promised security, showing that young workers value their careers.

“I find that millennials, more than anything, want a career,” explains job counselor Eileen Sharaga. Roughly 60-65 percent of her client base is made up of millennials looking for career guidance and tips to help them market themselves, get through interviews, and build better resumes. “I help people figure out what they should be doing by helping them figure out who they are. The lazy ones aren’t going to seek me out.” True that.

Read the original article on Thrillist.