Being post the third degree

So for those of you not in-the-know about my daily life, I've recently completed my third degree program! I finished up my Bachelor of Art at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in May and have been trying to hit the ground running concerning the job hunt.

I learned a lot while living in Madison. Not just about art and graphic design but also a lot about living on my own and the sometimes 'dreaded' aspect of being an adult. I had many firsts while away from Oklahoma:

  • Solo apartment
  • Moving experience
  • Death in the family
  • Occupational stability
  • Financial stability

... among many others that I'm not recalling I'm sure. Madison allowed me the space to develop as a person and I'm glad to have called it my first adventure away from home.

That being said: it was also really isolating at times. I was a 15-hour drive and at least 5-hour, $300 flight away from my immediate family and an 11-hour drive from my extended family. The distance took its toll which helped me make the decision to come back home, even without a job offer in my field straight away.

So as of now, I'm still job hunting but not remaining idle. I know my situation at the moment isn't ideal for anyone in the same boat but its still a paycheck as I look for better opportunities closer to home. I've been trying to expand and work on various creative pursuits so that's been helpful.

Six month check-in

So for whatever reason, this post has been one of my biggest hurdles of the summer. I started school in January (Go Badgers!), but I have yet to make a "I-finished-the-semester-in-one-piece" post. I've opened the same draft multiple times to just close a blank template over and over again. I've tried blaming summer classes, work, trying to socialize, etc. but it seems like I'm just putting off something that I once found pretty easily done at one time.

To try combating this procrastination, I've turned to my most trusted go to: reading. I've been reading a blog, Smart Twenties, and have been really trying to figure out how to stay consistent and motivated. It's still a work in progress but it's been a big help in giving encouragement. My library has expanded a bit more than I'd like to admit (mostly for my wallet's sake), but each book seems to help a bit more for me to figure out what I'm wanting to do with my life and make said life a bit more enjoyable. If you're looking for a good read, You are a Badass at Money and its counterpart, You are a Badass, are both pretty good. The vocabulary makes it really easy to read and the voice is relatable as well, especially for younger readers (if the profanity didn't pull them in at first glance that is).

I've also been trying to look into art as a motivation as well. Since starting school in January, I've been looking into a wide array of artists and designers that have both changed the art world and my own views and outlook as an artist and human being. One of my favorites has been Alan Kitching. (The preceding link is a great book full of his pieces that is up for sale but also a great way to learn about the artist as well.) His work in letterpress is revolutionary and colorful. Other artists are Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock. Both are pretty well known in the art community and deal a lot with the use of materials as art rather than creating a narrative through art.

I feel like I have done a lot of growing these last six months so I'm hoping the next six will be just as lucrative if not more so. Hopefully I'll be able to post a few of my projects that I've worked on through the year and you'll really see how busy I've become! Until next time!

New page for designs

So I've been busy this semester if anyone is still keeping up with me at this point. Most of my time was taken up with Mag Staff last semester at Vox magazine and this semester is no different with Publication Design but much less stressful. The class allows me to be more creative in my opinion and still allows me to have a bit more structure than being an editor was at the time.

As I have started finishing my school career for the time being, I started to look into some older posts from the last year (which have been fewer than I had hoped for) but I looked back specifically on my goals that I had set for myself in September. Out of the three, I at least conquered two of them (Wahoo!) and the third, while it won't happen by the deadline I gave myself, it is on my horizon. Hopefully I'll be able to accomplish it when I'm not stressing over enormous amounts homework or classes to attend. I'm still juggling just as many jobs that probably equal the same amount as a full-time occupation at this point (without getting paid a monetary salary for all of them) so transitioning to an "adult" job might not be that different in terms of the hours, just a different workload depending on where I go into.

Looking back at my time at MU has been an immensely positive experience that I can't believe I survived. The journalism program along with all of the activities I've been involved in over the years has been a struggle at times but because of the people I've been able to meet and the memories I've acquired, I couldn't have asked for a better four year. I especially couldn't have done it without Hannah Pederson or Ashley Reese for keeping me sane over schoolwork and helping me remember to have a day off for some fun once in a while. My parents and family are always awesome by lending an ear to listen, an arm for a hug or an account with money in it for whatever I might need when expenses were overwhelming.

When I noticed I only had an exact month until graduation yesterday, I didn't know what to make of anything. I'm still searching for a job in my field but I'm trying to remain positive and keep my options open to whatever I might find. I can't wait to walk across the stage though and finally accept my (fake) diploma and see all the work that I've done and accomplished over the last four years. It's been a wild ride but I couldn't be happier and more confident in my journalism career now that it is ending.

Hopefully I'll be able land a job in a the next couple of months that I can brag about next time!

Vox Writing

So during the semester I periodically (cough cough *every week* cough cough) have to write blog posts for my beloved capstone course. 

One of my most recent posts have been about where to find plus-size clothing in Columbia, of which the pickings are slim.

It might not change the world, or women's craving for cheese fries, but at least we can look good trying to.

UPDATE: This post has been updated on the blog. If you would like to see the revised version, get on it.

Some Senior Stinking Semesters

So my last year has begun in full force. Work, Work #2, Magazine Staff, classes, Wishmakers. Lots to handle. I've been complaining a lot which I hope to remedy this semester and looking at the bright side of things. I don't think this is the case as of yet, but I consider it a good goal to keep in mind.

On that note, here are a few of my upcoming goals for the semester:

1. Survive Mag Staff. 

This class is my capstone so go figure it would be difficult. It entails: pitching new stories weekly, blog posts weekly, production nights on Monday and Tuesday, five calendar events weekly, fact checking, editing and proofing accepted stories and weekly meetings with our beat members. Doing all the extra work outside of class has proven to be slightly difficult to manage with my other classes and work but I've gotten it done for the last three weeks so maybe now things will start coming together in a resemblance of a routine of sorts.

2. Lose 50 lbs.

This goal will span the whole year. I want to make sure I'm exercising and eating in a healthy manner. I started realizing how awful I am at eating junk food and doing physical activities. I mainly put it off to being too busy, and, while I am busy, this week has been a trial of sorts of when I can exercise throughout the week. It hasn't gone well but if I tweak it around and remember that each week can be moved around a bit, I think I'll be fine.

3. Going out more.

While I constantly run around, I always seem to be doing a chore of some sort. I understand that my senior year is important but I also want to have fun. Making a few poor decisions won't kill me. At least if I'm smart about them. Staying out too late is the least of my worries sometimes. Thankfully, I have some awesome friends to make sure my decisions don't totally suck.

I'll stick with these for now but who knows, maybe something interesting will pop up that I want to push myself towards.

Last day at DCEO

Well, today is the day. I'm glad I got to go on my own little adventure this summer and man has it been one. I started out know no one here or my way around and I'm so glad I've had the help that I have around Dallas. 

My internship was chaotic at times and slow during others but there was never a moment where I didn't think I was learning something. My managers and fellow interns have been so helpful about teaching me different aspects of the magazine business and how to become a better journalist. Whether it was just asking for directions or standards, someone always was there to help. Even if that meant calling my dad because my car had a problem while on assignment. Trust me, it happened a time or two. 

I couldn't have learned as much without the help of my co-intern, Tory, or my managers, Kate, Hilary, Matt, Christine or Glenn. They are all truly amazing and willing to help anyone who is brave enough to ask. They want you to succeed and want you to grow in whichever direction you choose to go in. 

I can't wait to start next semester but I will miss this summer experience quite a lot. All of my fellow interns did an amazing job this session and I'm so glad to have met each and every one of you!

Interning at D magazine

Well, I haven't written in a while and since I started a new website generator, thanks to my photojournalism class, I'd thought I'd give everyone an update.

Not much has been going on at the moment but my internship has been a good new experience. Besides learning about journalism, I've learned a lot more about living on my own and managing my money. I think that's been the biggest personal change that I've had to go through with only one part time paycheck coming in. But I've managed with quite a bit of help from my parents, whom I will always be grateful towards. 

On the magazine side of things, I've realized how much of it is reliant on blogs and websites. The majority of my work has been dealing with posting updates for real estate listings and writing articles based on press releases for the Real Estate Daily and Healthcare Daily blogs that are connected with DCEO magazine. (To see some of my clips, click here!) I feel like it's been productive to keep everyone mindful of the magazine's presence but never realized how much content was needed to producing it throughout the two month period between magazine issuances.

I do think it has been an eye opener as well to see how much interaction with the advertising and art departments have with the editorial side of the magazine. We have so many meetings between the departments that it makes it easier to see a clearer vision for what the company wants out of the magazine. 

In terms of a social life, I feel like a bit of a dud. I'm either at the internship or at my job. And when I'm not at those I'm at home trying to sleep and catch up on a day of Bones and Castle reruns. Oh well. I have made friends at both places but nothing that really goes outside of the office. Plus when your so broke you can't even go to happy hour, it's probably a good idea to stay home anyway.

I have about two weeks to go with my internship and then it's straight back to Columbia. That will be a fun three days. Dallas to Edmond. Edmond to Columbia within about 50 hours or so. What a joy. 

Off to do more work!

Near the finish line!

YAY! So I just enrolled for my senior year classes. Last but not least my first capstone (permission numbers are tricky apparently). So close to being done! Class Schedule F2014

Harry Potter and History of Photojournalism all in the same semester too!

Over the BRRR

I was excited for the new semester I said. I wanted spring I said. It's a new start I said. Only the last of those three statements happen to be true. It has been cold and seems to be eternally in this polar vortex that has hit the midwest. It's awful.

With Columbia Public Schools out for what seems like the eighth day now, I can't understand why it could be too cold for the students of those schools to stand outside for five minutes to wait on the busses compared to the 15 minute walk a college student to walk to and from about one to three classes on average during the day? I know there are other factors that are slightly involved but really? When the temperature is reading as -2 degrees at about 8 a.m. in the morning I still have to go to class, I feel as if something is wrong. And that's not even including when the wind shield made it feel like -20 earlier in the semester.

There are some aspects that I really enjoy about not being in public schools in terms of the make up days and the horrible busses but there are some aspects that I wish were more prominent in our school system. (teachers work day anyone?)

School hasn't made it much more bearable. Don't get me wrong there are days that I enjoy class or moments more like but they do make it bearable in some respects. English is going better in terms of the relative easiness of the class itself but the journalism classes are killing me slowly throughout the semester and we're not even half way through. Editing is being especially difficult. So much grammar is strangling my grade and making me feel very incompetent in my profession. I know it will be worth it and I can't wait for the day that I can make it my b****. That's the goal at least!

Work isn't that bad either. It's just in full swing so I going back and forth during this lovely weather and it's taking its toll. I'm hoping to make this semester a bit more relaxed in the concern to take a step back from work so I have some time to myself rather than just working at every possible moment. I like the paycheck but a chill weekend can work wonders that an extra $20 in my bank account can't always accomplish. So far so good but I know I'm also working the max still which isn't as bad either.

Well, back to work!

New Changes Overload

Well, Hello! Isn't this a pleasant change? Am I actually writing a post for all three of my viewers? Oh, only one? That's okay. I'll take what I can get.

*Disclaimer: This post might be a bit more snarky than what is expected out of big 'ole me.

So many experiences, so many obstacles and the recurring fact that I need to really learn how to exercise is still a reoccurring fact in my daily life.

Well, it's a new semester with the same jobs, same school, same major and same lack of a social life.

So let's start with school. School: the thing that you pay for that is a job but is supposed to get you a job that you want so you can make money to pay back the loans that you took out to pay for school in the first place. Yeah, that.

Today was the first day of classes and the first time to really get my new schedule with work a try. Not that it really went as planned but hey what does on the first try? Starting off at 9 a.m. was not too bad, especially when I try to go to the book store, or excuse me, the Mizzou Store, to buy the last two books that the University Press has yet to supply the class with. While I know this first class of the semester will be harder than most, I also know it deals with the majority of the practical functions that I will need to know to start my career.

Then went two hours that I used to fill out my first internship application! Hopefully, it went well because it encompasses a lot of the objectives that I would want to pursue as a career and it's with National Geographic, so that in and of itself would be an amazing experience.

Then creative writing. Not too bad and at least there are a few familiar faces which I wasn't expecting at all. Once class ended was when it went downhill. I wish I could be literal but it was mainly uphill through my part of campus.

I finished class and was kinda happy about being done early. That was short lived. I arrived with my friend at the Student Center and realize my second coat(it's cold outside, cut me a break) is back in the classroom. On the third floor. With maintenance working on the elevator. Did I mention I need to learn how to exercise? Just thought I'd remind you.

Then we get to work. Work is fun the majority of the time. When it comes to the schedule, that puzzle needs to stay in its box. We are also short staffed so I expected it and thankfully everyone has been extremely cooperative and helpful in finding a way to get everything put together until the new people come on staff, which will (fingers crossed) be resolved by next week.

The other job seems to be fine. Lane Bryant had to cut some hours over the break apparently so they are fitting me in when they can but I can live with that. At least I'm still getting a few and I can focus on the desk a bit more for the time being.

Now. Major time. So many things going on. To start out: internships are one of the most annoying things to apply for. I'm trying to reach out and try to be appealing on paper to at least get me in the door but there's still so much that I feel can't be explained on two sheets of paper. I know the companies that I'm applying for know that and can empathize, it's just stressful. Especially when you know that you need one to get a decent job anywhere and if you don't, you show up with very little hands on experience which is a big deal in this industry. So as far as credibility and reliability go, you need a lot of it.

As far as a social life though, I've actually had more time with friends and relaxing than a while. A good long break was greatly needed, much deserved and well spent so at least now I'm not as stressed as I was towards the end of the semester but I still have a way to go. Maybe that exercise stuff will help with that. Eventually. When I can breathe and after I finish exercising is more like it.

Well, that's all I got for everyone! Or maybe just you...sitting by yourself...with a bed full of Cheetos...

Have a lovely semester!

Well... Boo.

I've been meaning to update for some time now. Let's say for about a week. It's probably been longer but by this point I really am not sure how long it's been. Exhaustion. Deprived. Stressed. Busy. Chaotic. Pressure. You name any of the synonyms to these words, I'm probably feeling them.

Usually, I try to remain optimistic, but at a certain part of the semester, there comes a point where I just feel like I'm about to fall backwards and be knocked unconscious by the calendar that I try to keep up against the wall. I know I am lucky and blessed to be able to go to school, be able to work the two jobs that I have, and be involved with so many people and organizations but sometimes I need to have a soapbox for my first-world, middle-class problems.

I have four weeks of classes left and feel like I am not as prepared for any of them as I ought to be. Everyone will say, "Oh, don't worry. You'll do fine." No. Don't start that. Pity parties have been a forte of mine lately so let me have it out and I'll get back up in a bit.


1. Austen paper/Austen Final. Make sure I have a killer argument about the books that I have read since high school and used to get a 4 on the AP Lit test senior year. Should be okay. That is until I got an email from my professor asking me to change the premise of my paper because I need to remember what a Byronic hero is(a.k.a. Snape/Heathcliff).

2. English Test/Final/Memorization and Paper. Ugh. I just have to keep tabs on reading and making sure I do the memorization so I can memorize more stuff for extra credit. OK. I'll try not to hyperventilate.

3. Intermediate Writing Article. Another Ugh. This class is unstructured in the worst ways possible. I just can't connect with this class and want to do the work. It doesn't help that most of this work is working for outside of class interviews to finish the really only article I have to turn in. Yeah try fitting those into my work schedule.

4. Visual Communications Test/Multimedia Project. This class is the easiest of the lot. YAY! And I have an extra credit event that I hopefully can go to but I still have an A so were good for the time being.

5. History Tests/Final. Easy shmeesy. This class is pretty easy since the professor gives us exactly what is on the tests. I might as well have an A+ in this class as a given.

These are the classes while I am also working with both jobs that think it's fun to pull me in both extremes. When can I sleep? Then add some of the groups that I'm in and no wonder I've been craving chocolate like the cookie monster liking cookies.

I feel like I have a tendency to rant about my busy schedule that I make up myself. I know that I do. Don't worry. You can yell at me for it.

I know also that I like to stay busy. But having a down day is coming harder and harder to come by in the coming weeks. Having an hour to myself to just lay on my bed is a luxury. Hopefully I'll figure out something to manage the ridiculous amount of things I have to complete. :P

sums up my life right about now…

New week! Good Outlook!

Well while last week was exciting, it definitely could have gone better. I'll start with a synopsis of what occurred last week and then go on to why it's better.

Work: I got a new employee to look after! This is slightly good news as we need some coverage at the desk during certain times but little has happened with said employee. I still need to train and move her into the schedule. So that will be something to look forward to in the next couple weeks.

Social Life: I went on TWO dates! With two different guys but hey don't judge. It was definitely exciting but neither really lead anywhere. It felt a bit like prom: it's exciting to get ready for, but the dance isn't really that fun. Oh well, it was worth a shot and I fully realized how badly I suck at mini-golf and bowling.

I at least got to hang out with my friends a bit more this week. Even if it was only between classes or a quick bit to eat on Friday.

Class: Dread! It's at the point in the semester where I just don't care about going to class some days. The halfway mark came and went though which is reassuring but doesn't make it any less daunting to finish the semester. Reading about 400 pages a week is getting old. Even though I can skive off on some of the readings it is starting to become a struggle to read some of the books and authors.

Upcoming for next week:

Work: I get paid. This is essential for any college student and since I worked up the maximum number of hours that I was allowed (unintentionally) I will be getting an awesome paycheck. It also helps that I get paid every week since both jobs have different pay days. So getting about $100-300 per week is always a nice installment to my life with which I welcome with ease. Now if only I can stop buying clothes and becoming more like my little sister that would be awesome. At least she would approve of the clothes I buy and the fact that I get them at a discounted price will please my mom to no end. And the clothes aren't black!

I also don't have to work next weekend at either job, which will lower my paycheck but hey it's my birthday on Friday and I will have no inclination to come in to work no matter what.

Social Life: I TURN 21 ON FRIDAY! That and I have another date that Saturday. :) More of a traditional date than bowling or mini-golf, dinner and a show(there's a musical on campus), but the guy has a bit more promise as in we have yet talked about sports. So hopefully it will be a good way to spend my weekend.

Class: Well, this will always be a pain. I think I have 2 tests through this week and one will be on my birthday. But the test on my birthday should be pretty easy. I scored a 95 on the last test so it was a good outcome without a lot of preparation. At least I can stand going to that class the most out of the others. And then I have my visual communication midterm so hopefully that will go well since there are only two tests in that class. At least I only have to wait about one more week until I start reading Pride and Prejudice in my Jane Austen class! Right after Mary Wollstonecraft.

So, hopefully everything will go right this week and meet my high expectations. If not, well that's why sleep and music are necessary in my life.

Insecure and Sticking with it

There are quite a few things that I become insecure about on a regular basis. My weight, my appearance, my intellect, my job performance, my writing abilities. It happens to all of us at one point of time or the other. Don't get me wrong, I am usually a confident person when I'm used to the situation, like going to work or writing an essay. I know I can accomplish both.

What I get most insecure about is if I've done it to the best of my ability.

I like knowing I did a good job. I like knowing I look appropriate for the occasion or pretty when I try on my outfit. (It's not going to be nice all the time, come on I'm in college, sleep deprived, and not rich enough to buy all the clothes or cosmetics to work with for half an hour in the morning.) I like knowing that I am smart or at least did a good job on the test that I studied my butt off for throughout the last week.

That doesn't always happen though. I've failed a test. I've definitely left my dorm room in sweats or without makeup more than I'd like to admit. I've messed up and made mistakes at my job that might be seen as common sense. I haven't been spit-spot perfect.

I don't really want to be though. While I'm overweight, I still like what I wear and how I look. It might take some time for me to find the right store or outfit but I can still look nice and pretty if I want.

I read a lot of books, but I don't really see the point in reading some stuff that doesn't interest me. I've tried completing Atlas Shrugged for over a year and I still have barely cracked the first 200 pages.

I have a new second job and have gotten told I was doing things wrong. I also have an awesome staff that respect me and are there for me when I need them. They help me in my inexperience and support me in the decisions I have to make to make the desk run smoothly.

I won't get everything right. Sometimes I won't try to get everything right. There is not enough time in the day to really worry about it though. I definitely have worried about it more than I needed to but that plays a part in the insecurity too.

Don't refute insecurity, embrace it. You are better than you know and while it might not always show, you have done your best. I definitely need to remember that more and I hope you will too.

Little Changes Here and There

So I've made a few changes within the last week. I've been looking for a new hire at my Desk Supervisor job. I've asked not to work Tuesdays and Thursdays at Lane Bryant so I can focus on my work. I am working with some awesome organizations to feel good about myself. And last but not least, I am about a quarter of the way through the semester and I haven't flunked out yet. I don't know what it is but life just seems a bit more important than school right now. Don't get me wrong, my classes are great and I'm not doing horribly in them, I just — I guess I'm in a rut. Hopefully I'll snap out of it soon but I don't know just in a funky mood lately.

My organizations are really keeping me going. I get to work with awesome people that are really passionate about their programs and want to succeed. They honestly make me feel so much better and feel like I'm not even working. It just feels like we're hanging out each week to keep in touch. Wishmakers on Campus and Anit-MU22 have been the two biggest impacts in my life at the moment and it's awesome to get to share my week with them. If you want any more information on the groups just comment or go their links to find their facebook pages. Their awesome people and will help and work with you to reach your goals through their organizations.

While I have been making a few changes, I still feel the same at the moment. I think just with the hustle and bustle of everything, I haven't really settled in to a good routine, especially when it comes to sleep. Trust me, I take time out for myself just a bit tired once in a while during the week really slows me down.

On a happy note, I turn 21 in a few weeks! Along with my sister but she gets to go to a shmansy pansy high dollar restaurant and the OU v Texas Football game. Which, lets be honest will be epic. :) She'll have an awesome time, I just need to have a plan of my own. Probably let my friends pay for my drinks and sleep in all weekend. At least I'll be happy even if it isn't that exciting.

Well off for food! When am I not getting food to be  honest? At least it will be better than it has been. Until next time!

$4 Million Tennis Story Finally published!

This is a bit late in the aspect that my story was printed about a month ago but I wanted to comment on how happy I was that my biggest struggle finally came into reality because of an awesome reporter. I had been working with this tennis story for over the course of the month during reporting and it was one of the longest assignments that I had the privilege to work on. So many people were involved and had to have time to find the correct information for me to use in the article that I didn't want it to just go to waste without publishing it. Not only that, but it was a big piece. MU has put $4 million into hosting the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Championships. That is a lot of money for a program that had a conference record of 2-11 and a 9-12 record overall. Don't get me wrong, a few of the players had amazing seasons but at the same time, our program is very small and, at least last year, was one of the lowest ranked teams in the SEC.

However, it wouldn't have been possible if it were not for the amazing Danielle Renton, who helped finish the story and oversee the editing process with me and Zach in the last few days that I was present. She finished my interviews and asked a few of the lingering questions that were surrounding the piece. It also happened to be one of the longest stories that I had written over the summer and lost very little in the editing process from what I remember. I was extremely proud of the product that Danielle produced a few days after I left and am so glad I could give it to her.