How to Be a Better Man (and Woman too, I guess)

In my fear and excitement of entering the real world (T-minus 7 months), I’ve been taking a conscious effort to prepare myself for challenges that lay ahead. Where can you find real life advice on growing up to be a better man? The same place you find anything else – the internet.

I’ve fallen in love with a few websites that I feel have helped me to be a little better of a man. These four websites are geared towards men, but really can help anyone become more intelligent, respectful, and handy(I underlined handy because that’s what I’ve done lately. Intelligent and respectful are important too, I guess.)

The first website I started following is Primer Magazine. I love the slogan: “A Guy’s Post-College Guide to Growing Up.” Primer offers advice on everything from managing finances, dating, physical health, style, self-development, and apartment living. I absolutely love their “intentional apartment” segments. I’m a dude. I have no idea how to decorate anything. Right now my living room consists of Blues posters, pennants, and a huge Busch Light bottle. All awesome items, but not what you want in your big city loft when you’re in your upper 20’s. I am making a conscious effort to make my next apartment looks more like a professional’s than a frat boy’s.

My first project is re-finishing furniture. My parents have a TON of furniture so I’m taking some of their old stuff and making it my own.

Here’s my mom’s old college desk. My grandpa originally finished it, and my sister painted it over in all white. I stripped all the paint, stained the top and painted the bottom to a color I think will look great in a dude’s room.

Left: Original White Paint    Right: Stripped Bare     Bottom: Finished Product


Primer’s article, How to Refinish Furniture, walked me all the way through this. I completed this in about 4 days and spent under $50. I was just going to put it on Craig’s List until decided to get a little crafty.

My next projects are making Presidential Coasters (for under $10), and  a giant vintage framed map of Jefferson City (for under $40).

Primer is a great website that has a variety of ways to improve your life. It also has just plain interesting articles. The only downside is there are only a couple of new posts per week. I want more!!!!!

The next website I’ve been following is called Art of Manliness. This one is fairly popular and posts a little more than Primer does. Similarly to Primer, AoM’s segments include: A Man’s Life, Health & Sports, Manly Skills, Money & Career, and Relationship & Family. This one is geared a little more towards the middle-aged man, but the posts can influence anyone. I love there “Manovational” segments, in which they tell stories, share poems, and give advice on being all you can be. Art of Manliness I feel truly understands what it means to be a man, something all men can improve on.

And for you women, you might understand men a little more by checking out some segments. Just sayin’.

The third website is called Gentlemint. It’s basically Pinterest for Guys. I’ll admit, when Pinterest first came out I thought it was a good idea and got an account. After browsing around for a little while I realized it was literally 100% girly stuff. So I deleted my account. You need an invite to get full access to Gentlemint, and I’m happy to send you one if you want. Gentlemint is great for discovering all the manly stuff on the web. It hasn’t had the wide success as Pinterest, so there isn’t a ton of “pins” on there. But every time I go on, I stumble across something really extraordinary. Every girl ever has tweeted “CAN’T STOP PINNNNNING” at least once. Now you guys don’t have to feel left out.

Ladies: Need gift ideas for guys? Gentlemint is the first place you should go.

The final website is called Man Made DIY (DIY standing for “Do It Yourself”). Want to make modern Triangle Shelves? DIY. How about a smoked cocktail? Corn Cob Pipes are cool, too.  You never thought you needed to know how to make Bacon Pixie Stix… until now. Recipes, projects, or just random cool stuff can all be found at Man Made DIY.

The internet can be an abyss of annoying Facebook posts, political rambling, and useless advertisement. These four websites, however, create genuine, useful and interesting content. I strongly suggest you check one of them out. Might encourage you to change more than the color of your desk.

That’s what I think I think.


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