Month: August, 2013

From Classroom to Cubicle

When I moved to Ann Arbor there are two things I started praying for: a church and a job. God gave me both towards the end of July/beginning of August. Of course I was overwhelmed by His blessings and the past month has been one full of change. I am settling into Ann Arbor, starting to meet people, and am in full-swing of developing my professional life. While this is all a relief and really helped ease my stress, a large part of me felt weighed down by missing college life. Sure I mean the late-nights, fun times, but more so, I mean that I missed feeling like anything is possible. For some reason, life started to feel so structured. Last night, I had a little bit of down time and a former WVU Dean’s advice hit me. She once told me, “Don’t lose your energy. So many people become bogged down and cynical. Stay bubbly. It’s so refreshing in this industry.”

Her advice applies to me more now than ever. I love my job so much. It’s fun, challenging, and something different every single day. But, the transition from a classroom to a cubicle isn’t easy! Goodness, it’s like trying to figure yourself out and what you want out of life again. It was so overwhelming at first! I just spent four years working to learn what I want… and now I have no idea?? But last night it hit me… this is actually exhilarating. As I realized this, I posted the above picture on my Instagram last night sharing:

You only get just one life. It isn’t going to be perfect and you’re not always going to have it figured out (no one does). Just don’t forget that life is about living. Make mistakes, invest in travel, indulge in your favorite foods, chase your dreams, serve God, love foolishly, give back, and always be the best person you can possibly be. That’s what I think life is really about.

A reoccurring theme in my life has been looking back and missing things, even things I didn’t think I’d ever miss! And so, when people say enjoy the ride, I think I finally get it.. Embrace change and enjoy every ounce of the journey, especially the uncertainty.




College: Get it right


College was so freakin’ awesome, that I wish I could re-live the experience… make no mistake in thinking that it is so I could do something over and make changes. I would re-live college exactly the way I did and to me, that means I did it right. But, I won’t lie, the transition from high school to college was tough. The weekend before classes I got my first email that read: “Syllabus”. I opened it, excited.. only to close it in tears after reading what that ONE class had in store for me. Woah, man.. I was overwhelmed. Not too mention, that was the first time I had ever even heard of a syllabus. I wish college would have had came with some tips and pointers.. and so I have come up with a list of advice for all incoming freshman at WVU. Read it, enjoy it, apply it. I hope it helps.

  1. Go on Adventure West Virginia. I wish I would have taken them up on this opportunity. (Regret #1 from college).
  2. Seriously consider rushing a sorority. I went in with the stereotypical ideals and missed out on rushing to become a Chi Omega. To my surprise, I found myself striking up friendships with Chi O’s and they even are committed to my favorite non-profit, Make-A-Wish. (Regret #2)
  3. Get close with 3 professors. It’s a big school, but they will be your IN when classes are full, when you need that extra credit for an A, need resume advice, or a reference for a job.
  4. Attend every single home football game. Even the noon games when you’re still hungover from Friday night. Suck it up, it makes for a great story later.
  5. That leads me to number 5. Don’t go too hard on Friday night. Saturday will lend you plenty of opportunity to make-up for lack of fun Friday night.
  6. And that leads me to number 6. REQUEST YOUR FOOTBALL TICKET AT MIDNIGHT. Don’t forget to claim your ticket and GO to the game to get your points. When big time games roll around and ESPN is in town, you’ll be glad you went. Besides you should be a dedicated fan.
  7. Don’t ever iron chiffon. Not even on low.. especially when you have an interview in an hour.
  8. Be over the top busy. Seriously. It’s awesome and keeps you out of trouble.
  9. Always take that chance you’ve been wanting to take. If you’re thinking about it, do it.
  10. Score an internship or study abroad. Either of these experiences will enhance the college experience.
  11. Do community service for the hell of it…not just to clear yourself from that write-up in the dorm.
  12. Make friends now.. in the dorm. They will be your life-long friends.
  13. You’re broke? Oh well. Find some money and go on spring break every year. Go, go, go.
  15. Become best friends with an upperclassmen. They will get you into all the legit parties and tailgates….Tailgates with food. (Thanks, Trina) 😉
  16. It’s okay to cry.
  17. It okay to have a break down.
  18. A’s are hard to earn in college.. no matter how smart you think you were in high school.
  19. You WILL change your major. No seriously, I’m like 90% guaranteeing you will.
  20. Looking cute everyday is gone. Hello yoga pants and oversized hoodies. You’ll understand the day after your first Texas Tuesday or Thirsty Thursday.
  21. Scars tell the story.
  22. Be friendly and willing to talk to people in class. Don’t be that JERK.
  23. Test your limits. I mean that in all aspects of the statement.
  24. Master the art of flirting for drinks. 😉
  25. Speaking of drinks.. be careful there. DON’T DRINK THE PUNCH AT THE FRATS THE FIRST WEEKEND OF SCHOOL. As an RA for three years, it has never failed for it to have been spiked.
  26. It’s okay to not know who you are or what you want..
  27. Take classes at the rec. Don’t be afraid of them…. Everyone sucks and is out of shape. No one takes them too seriously — except 6 AM Spinning. That is no joke.
  28. Okay, so you have to go to class. BUT an occasional skip is reasonable. I am guilty. Especially on those spring days.
  29. Ah, spring days. Spend lots of time on the green in the spring scoping out all the cute boys and wondering where the hell they hid all winter.
  30. Hike Coopers Rock…. a lot.
  31. Join a student organization. I vote for WVU Wishmakers on Campus. 😉
  32. Boxed wine can save any bad day. Right, Mallory Semler?
  33. Take advantage of dorm programs. They always include free food. See #14.
  34. Make mistakes, now’s the time.
  35. When people want to be there for you, let them.
  36. Embrace the uncertainty, the not knowing. Soon and very soon you’ll be grown up and have your love-life figured out. Let’s be honest, that’s boring. Enjoy the not knowing, the sleepovers, the late nights arguing, the twists, the turns, that won’t last forever and it’s oddly enough a feeling you’ll miss.
  37. Make best friends with the high street hot dog man.
  38. Say yes to all those invites. It sounds cliche, but you won’t remember the nights you went to bed early instead of staying up, spending time in good company… even if it is in your pjs with pizza and wine. (Right, Kaz?)
  39. Learn to balance school and social life. Go out BUT get your ass out of bed the next morning. That’s what defines the dropouts from the graduates.
  40. Don’t leave your dorm without chapstick or headphones.
  41. Enjoy all the free-time freshman year. Busy will hit you in the face sophomore year.
  42. Finals are traumatizing, but by senior year, they’ll be just another exam.. breathe.
  43. Work hard, but reward yourself with play.
  44. Take it in! You’re gonna miss this. Even the times your roommate got on your nerves.
  45. Master hoarding food from the dining halls. Hint: use the Styrofoam cups. 😉
  46. Avoid the Bistro Bacon always.
  47. Never forget who is paying for your education. Don’t waste that person’s time, even if it is yourself.
  48. Call mom and dad at least once a day, even if it’s for 2 minutes.
  49. Go out on your first Friday.
  50. Write it down.. the announcements, test times, etc., or you’ll forget it.
  51. Never go to class with a dying cell phone. ZzZzZz
  52. Don’t take your books to class, freshmen move…
  53. Quarters are very valuable, stock up.
  54. Parking is free after 8 in areas that need a permit. Ticketing begins sharply at 5:30 AM. Lair is free on weekends. Yes, you CAN park overnight in the lair on top and on bottom over the weekend. That sign is a liar.
  55. Take a lot of pictures.
  56. Wait to buy your books. For the love of God, wait. I started out buying them all. My senior year, I only bought one. More than likely, you won’t need them.. You should listen to me on this, but you won’t… and that’s okay.
  57. Set like 15 alarms.
  58. ALWAYS use when picking classes.
  59. Free Starbucks in the Boreman Bistro.. I repeat.
  60. The PRT will make you late… Leave early.
  61. Theme parties! Go all out.
  62. Take in every second of move-in day. It’s crowded, crazy, busy, and hot but your first memory as a student of WVU. You’ll never forget it.
  63. Naps. Take them daily while you can.
  64. Begin good career habits.
  65. Fill your agenda out with your syllabi.
  66. Time your laundry. One, don’t be that jerk that leaves it for 3 hours. Two, someone will move it if they need the washer or dryer. Three, someone will steal your stuff.
  67. Live in the moment. When you’re out having fun, have fun. Don’t get caught up in what’s on your to-do list tomorrow. Think about today, right now, and enjoy it.

My final piece of advice is what I told my freshmen residents every year: “Now is the time to define your dreams, to set your goals, and to make them happen.” Don’t chase careers for money, chase those dreams. You have to get to the desires buried in your heart. Once you find them, you’ll know exactly what path God wants you to take. Always know that He will provide. I was told to go into nursing because I’d never make money in PR… but through following my dreams, listening to God, and not allowing others to push their own fears on me.. I have ended up right where I am meant to be and God provided a fantastic first job.

Enjoy your time at West Virginia University. Before you know it, you’ll hear your name being called at graduation. Embrace Morgantown and the true Mountaineer spirit. Once A Mountaineer, Always A Mountaineer. Let’s GO!

Happy Birthday, Myles!

photoToday, Myles would have been 23. I always think about the person he would have been today. I also always think about how much his fight with cancer and Make-A-Wish experience completely impacted my life. It also makes me wonder who I WOULD be if it wasn’t for him. In honor of his birthday, I will share a video about how his fight against cancer changed my life and a blog post I wrote last year.

Missin’ you bud. I’ll see you again someday…