New Chapter

Hello all,

For those who may not know, I just graduated from Oswego in May, and I must say it still hasn’t hit me that I actually am done there. I guess that’s kind of because I’m in graduate school at Syracuse University now.

As of tomorrow at 4pm, I will have successfully finished my first semester of graduate school with 3 more to go, and I must say I am excited. It’s weird that just three months ago, I was rushing to hand in final papers, and stories. Flash forward to now and I’m rushing to hand in designs, edit feature viedo stories and cover local feature stories.

As much as many recent graduates encourage taking a break between undegrad and grad school, I have truly appreciated going straight though. Since my program is only a year long, I’m basically studying as long as someone my age who may be doing an extra year o undergrad. So in just 5 years, I would had accomplished two degrees. I think that is a great accomplishment and ready to tackle even more.

For now, I’ll be starting fall classes in two weeks, work as the assistant housing director of Bryant and Stratton College, and TA an undergraduate journalism ethics class. This may seem like a lot, but in fall 2011, I had three jobs, three internships, three class, while also working as the president of a club and an RA. So this should be a breeze right?

Although I’m no longer a student at Oswego, I would love to keep writing on this blog and kind of show a glimpse into post-graduate life. The ups and downs. Good, bad. ugly. And whatever other cliché outcome that comes mind.

To commemorate a successful first semester at Syracuse and say goodbye to a hectic last semester at Oswego, I leave you with this video. It is my first multimedia piece from grad school. I’ve done work like this before, but I am especially proud of this video in particular because it marks the beginning of something great for me… my career as a multimedia communications professional.

The Future

The future has always been a concept that terrifies me. Even though it’s a reality for all of us, I hate not knowing what’s going to happen. I hate being afraid that the future isn’t going to be what I envision, isn’t going to work out. This creates a great deal of anxiety for me, and that was anxiety that I felt when I graduated from high school. I was terrified of leaving an environment with which I was comfortable and entering one with which I was not, and my freshman year of college was not very enjoyable; I made mistakes, and I made decisions of which, to this day, I am ashamed, and I can only imagine that it was because, emotionally, I was not ready for college. That’s not to say that I wish that I would have waited a year or two – definitely not; the only way that I could be ready was to experience it, which is ultimately why I’m glad that I did make mistakes. Still, though, I can’t help but feel a deep sense of dread that I’m going to make more, that I’m not ready for the “real world” and what dangers that it has to offer, the worst of them probably being uncertainty.

Luckily, I’m armed with something that I didn’t have four years ago; I’m armed with love. Four years ago, something that really beat me down was the thought that I was meant to be alone and that that was how I was destined to spend the rest of my life. I know; it was kind of ridiculous, but at the time, that’s what I believed, and if I hadn’t found my boyfriend Ray, I very likely would still feel that way. As a teenager, I didn’t really experience a real connection with another person like most teenagers do. Every time that I went to a prom or a ball, I went with a friend; I never knew what a real date was, a real romantic experience. Now, I do, and that very strong connection gives me faith that I didn’t have before.

Yesterday, I graduated, and it felt so strange. I knew that I was supposed to be overcome by an immense amount of bittersweet feelings – happiness because I have gotten through the last bloody and sweaty four years and sadness because I was leaving Oswego behind, a very special place to me that will always have a place in my heart, but I just felt embarrassed because I had lost my tassel. I looked around me for others that weren’t wearing one, but I didn’t see anyone, and I felt so embarrassed. Even now that it’s over, the fact that I graduated from college with an undergraduate degree hasn’t sunk in yet.

I’m now pursuing a really great, ideal job and hope that I get it. I could finally be looking at enough money to buy a car, which would really feel like a major step forward. I don’t even have my license because I’ve never had the support system that I would have needed, and I’ve never had the finances to afford a car. That may finally be a reality, but of course, it’s dependent upon whether or not I get the job. From experience, I don’t seem to interview well; I applied to be a DA on campus three times, was interviewed each time, and each time, I was rejected. I try to be positive, though. and I try to look toward the future as promise. My goal is to have a car by the end of the summer, so by August, and to then have an apartment with my boyfriend by January. On June 9th, I take two teacher certification tests, which is going to be really rough. They are in Syracuse, and the first is at 7:45 a.m. while the second is at 1:00 p.m. Then, I have another on July 14th. I am not good at taking tests; I never have been, so I’m nervous, but hopefully, I’ll be fine. I will definitely make an effort to write as often as I can throughout the summer.

Changing Your Life

I was perusing some of my favorite blogs the other day and while I was on She’s a Fit Chick, I read this post about an article that questions where you are in life and where you want to be. Like Jennifer, I decided to answer the questions. This gets a bit long, but hopefully you enjoy it anyway.

1. Where do you want to be in life right now and in the future?

I’m in a really good place in my life, so there isn’t much that I would change. I’m in my senior year at an amazing college, where I’ve met so many fantastic people and learned more than I imagined. I’ve been involved in various organizations that I’m passionate about, started a club that will hopefully continue to grow and help other students who are interested in the magazine industry, and had a fantastic job at the fitness centers where I’ve discovered passions I never knew I had. Not to mention I’ve been lucky enough to live in New York City twice in a year and work at a magazine I absolutely love and 100 percent support.

But that’s only the work and education side. I’m also in a very loving relationship with my boyfriend of practically two years (13 days away) and I’ve never felt more sure of myself than I do when I’m with him. He listens to my worries, basks in my successes and encourages me to keep pushing even though I doubt myself at times and want to give up. He makes me laugh, I never (ok, maybe sometimes) get sick of him and he’s not too shabby on the eyes, either. What else could you ask for in a boyfriend?

I also have fantastic friends that I’ve kept in touch with throughout life and I can’t wait to see these friendships grow. My roommates in Oswego, Kayleigh and Meghan, are phenomenal; I love my good friends from back home and I can’t wait to be reunited with my ASME friends from NYC! I’m so blessed to know this many amazing people.

So yeah, I’m pretty content right now.

But that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop moving forward. My college career is ending in four months, which means a new part of my life is beginning. The adult part. The no-relying-on-anyone-else part. The make-it-or-break-it part. I’m moving to NYC with two of my ASME friends, Libby and Victoria, and I couldn’t be more excited. Or scared. I’m nervous about getting a job in the magazine industry. You never know if the timing will play out and in magazine world you can’t start looking for a job until two months before graduation (So if I’m a stress ball the last few months of college, you’ll know why). However, I’ll be positive and hope for the best! This time next year, I want to be living in NYC and working at a magazine I love. Hopefully I’ll be able to do it without living on Spaghetti O’s, too!

2. Is there something you’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t?

I’ve always wanted to go on a cruise. Since I was little, I’ve dreamed of traveling on a huge ship to some exotic and warm location with my friends. I don’t care if it’s with my family, a girls’ getaway, a mix of guys and gals, or a vacation with Dustin — as long as I’m with people who are ready to relax and have fun in the sun! This year, I’m determined to go on a cruise, possibly to the Bahamas, to celebrate my graduation!

3. What’s something you would regret never having done in life?

Applying for the ASME summer internship, hands down. I remember looking at the application, talking with my professor about it and wondering whether or not I should apply because all of the students who were accepted last year were from big-name schools. I mean, I went to a SUNY school — did I really have a shot of getting in? Turns out I did. I had no idea how ASME determined who got in, but I later found out it’s based completely on what you’ve done to get ahead. Nobody cared that I went to a state school. If I had let my fears get the best of me, I never would have gone to NYC and worked at FITNESS, met great people from all over the country and had the best summer of my life.

4. What are you doing to make yourself available to new opportunities?

Networking like a mad woman. I try to meet someone new every day and learn about who they are and what they do in life. I’ve learned not to be shy around new people and just say hi. I’ve been meeting with a lot of different magazine editors as well, just to learn about how they got to where they are. The mag industry is very much about paying it forward, so making that initial contact, and then preserving it, opens a whole new world of opportunity every time.

5. What do you like/dislike about your life?

  • I love my friends, family and boyfriend.
  • I like that I’m graduating in four months.
  • I like that I’m living with two fantastic people in NYC in a few months.
  • I like that I’m studying to become a nationally certified personal trainer.
  • I dislike that I’m going to be six hours away from my family and best friend.
  • I dislike that my college friends and I are going separate ways (except for Tom!)
  • I dislike that one of my closest friends and I no longer talk because of what he thinks are irreconcilable differences.

6. What are you doing in your life right now to make it better?

I’m working in my desired career field at a magazine I love, growing a networking organization at Oswego State to help future journalism students, launching an online magazine, meeting amazing people through blogging, and training to run my first half-marathon and complete my first triathlon!

7. Are you comfortable with yourself?

More and more every day. There are things I don’t like about myself, but movements like Operation Beautiful are teaching me that I’m an amazing person despite my flaws.

8. What’s holding you back from what you want in life?

A fear of failing. Which I guess segues into confidence. I’ve been successful at a lot of things because I push myself to the limit and because I’m afraid of what it will be like if I fail at something. I need to learn to forget fear and just go for it. I know life is lived to the fullest when fear isn’t a part of the equation.

What suggestions do you have for fighting fear? I encourage you to answer these questions about yourself and if you blog about it, send it my way!

How is it senior year already?

Graduation is imminent!

The summer has flown by! I can’t believe it’s halfway through summer! I wish that I had more time to work for the summer, but I also can’t wait to go back to school. I’ve been having the weirdest dreams about being late for journalism classes with Professor Gilligan, who I’m not even taking classes with next semester! I think that comes from being late for Investigative Reporting a couple of times and freaking out until I realized that Prof Gilligan was later than me, luckily.

In thinking about the summer flying by, I think the past three years have flown by, actually. For me college has been a blur of staying really busy and doing a million things, and now, all of a sudden it seems, it’s senior year! In less than a year, I’ll be out of college and into the workforce. Holy cow!

My first year, I started out as a freshman at Paul Smith’s College in the Adirondacks. I remember moving in all anxious about meeting people, but excited to start studying (I’m such a nerd). I had already been to boarding school my junior year of high school in Arkansas, so I wasn’t afraid of being away from home, but there were those moments of “am I going to fit in?”

The nice thing about PSC was that there were 800 students there. And there was a ratio of 7:2 guys to girls; that was very beneficial :) Overall, people were very warm to me because of the size of our community. I loved it there. The students are fun, and the teachers are great. I miss it there sometimes. I left because the program wasn’t the strongest – environmental writing. I had my fun, but moving on to Oswego was a good decision.

Sophomore year came and went. I got used to the bigger size of Oswego and the weather. The classes are my favorite part of Oswego (nerdiness once again). Also, I really enjoy the ability to connect with other people on campus, whether they’re faculty, staff, or students. I feel like with the size of Oswego, there’s the opportunity to build close-knit groups, despite the thousands of students. You find your niche with people of like interests, and you gravitate toward each other, but that takes a little more time than I expected.

I feel like Oswego has been cliquey, though. It’s a lot harder to make friends at Oswego than it was at PSC because people aren’t as open with each other. Where I knew nearly everyone’s name at PSC (no joke), at Oswego my sophomore year, I felt a little lost in the masses at Oswego. It wasn’t until this past year, junior year, that I finally felt like I found my own niche.

The problem I think that I had was that there is only a relatively small group of student activists who have similar causes as I do, despite the thousands of students. Oswego has a lot of divisions from fraternities and sororities, who can tend to seem solely exclusive for members of Greek organizations, to sports groups, who seem to be exclusively for athletes, to the members of Humans v. Zombies, who tend to be just for those who enjoy LARPing (live action role playing).

Maybe it’s just my Southern background that makes me feel like the people at Oswego are a little more separatists than unitarians (in the literal sense of the words_, but, maybe that’s just college life. Anyway, tangent aside, I feel like my time at Oswego has been really great. I’ve made some friends and done A LOT of activities on campus. I’m just looking forward to life after college for a little bit. The time of living for partying on the weekends has been over for a while. I’m ready to start doing what I love as an occupation, and then go back to school in a couple of years.

New adventures!

Happy April! Things have finally settled down within Student Association, for the most part! Steven DiMarzo was elected president after a long, hard fight. Some people are still angry but all I have to say to those who are still angry is, why? We’re all here for the same reasons as the end, the students of SUNY Oswego. We all want change, we all want a better tomorrow. So put aside your resentment and come together, lets make things happen. Holding grudges about things doesn’t get anything done, it only hinders the process and the opportunity to create change for an improved student association. I guess it’s easier for some to understand than others but it’s all a learning experience.

On a lighter now, I’ve unofficially finished pledging Alpha Phi Omega, a national co-ed community service fraternity! We had 30 pledges this semester and it has been one heck of a ride! I’ve made a lot of great friends through the experience and hope the relationships will last for years to come! We cross on Sunday, April 11 and I really can’t wait! It’s going to be so excited. Next weekend, we go to sectionals. It’s a leadership conference for APO. I am running for a position on eboard next year, the leadership chair. I think it fits in with my major and minor quite well. Elections are on April 27, a little nerve wrecking but we’ll see what happens!

Also, I recently applied for an internship in Walt Disney world in Orlando, FL and I was accepted! wwoo hooo! However, I don’t think I’m going to take the opportunity. There are just more cons than pros to the experience. I would be gone for 7 months and I wouldn’t really be furthering my education here because the classes I would be enrolled in, I have already taken here at Oswego. So that means I would be a semester behind when I return. Also, I would miss out on my trip to Italy and Student Association. It also isn’t really fitting to my career choice. It’s just a confidence booster knowing that i was accepted into an extremely competitive internship :) I can’t complain. Speaking of internships, I was also accepted into an internship in our Development office on campus. I’m very excited about it. I start in mid-May and will continue right up until I leave for Italy.

It seems as though I talk a lot about my extra curricular activities, you’re probably thinking does this girl ever go to class? Of course I do! I really enjoy my classes this semester. My management class has really got me thinking about what I want to do in the future and only solidifying my decision to look into West Virginia University even more. For my job at Maurices, I was recently asked if I wanted to start the MBA program, is a training program to become a store manager. I was completely honored when my manager mentioned it to me. I really enjoy my job there and the people I work with. The company is so different than most other retail stores. I eventually would like to work in the corporate office in Minnesota. I’ve got a little bit more research to do on that but I’m exticed.

I’ve got a lot going on lately and it’s starting to get a little bit scary. I’m applying for graduation next week. Like REALLY?!?! I have two semesters left and so many more things I want to do! I am still in a little bit of shock from it. I can’t believe it’s almost time for me to move on with my life from undergrad to graduate school. Wow, that’s kind of depressing?! Anyway, I have class in a half an hour and I’m going to grab something to eat quick.

Have a wonderful day:)