ORD -> DUB

If you’ve been to school, and you’ve taken an English class, you probably learned that the beginning of something you’re writing is the most important part. Attention-grabbing. Enticing. Compelling. Relatable. Make the reader want to keep going.

Too bad for me, because the best thing I can think of to start off another year of blogging, (and an international adventure and project), is kind of lame:

Well, this is it.

I’m writing this first blog post from a friend’s living room in Georgia. The past few days have been the most relaxing I’ve had in a long time, and it’s given me some time to reflect on the past year (and what’s coming up over the next few weeks). After ringing in the new year with a group of the most passionate, hardworking people I spend my summers with, I’m ready to tackle 2016.

Last year was tough, but rewarding. I officially dove head-first into my second major, stumbled into an internship with one of the most inspiring organizations in the Chicago area, PR’ed twice in the half marathon, encouraged (and sent off) one of my best friends to attend her dream school, lived through my second summer with Spirit of Atlanta, left my dream job, became elected for an Executive Board position on SGA, lucked into a teaching job, and traveled. A lot of domestic traveling.

2015 was fulfilling enough, but I found myself struggling more with academics and not taking strides forward in my professional passion: radio. When the opportunity came to travel to a country I fell in love with through romantic comedies in middle school, and to expand my portfolio while I was there, it was impossible to ignore. Somehow, it worked out. Buying the $750 flight to Dublin and putting down the also-hefty deposit felt like another investment in myself and what I hope to achieve in this new year.

The year of making things happen. The year of saying “yes” and taking chances. The year to do more running in different places. The year I sit up straight and finally put the things I learned over the summer about body language to my daily life. The year to take charge and continue to learn more things about myself and my capabilities.

I have three semesters left at Columbia. I’m excited to be this close to the end, but I’m also a little nervous. I feel almost the same way about these last few days before we board the flight for Ireland. I’m so excited to be so close to leaving the country for two weeks, to be so close to getting to catch up with some friends in London and teach a clinic for an international drum corps. So close to walking along the streets of Dublin and learning more about a country I’ve had on my hit list for years. But I’m also nervous. Nervous that my schooling so far hasn’t prepared me enough. That my writing might not be up to caliber. That I’m not ready to lead a day-long clinic on my own.

But, as with almost everything I’ve done in the past few years of crazy changes and risk-taking, I’m ready to do it with 110%. I’m excited to take pictures, meet new people, and hopefully create an audio piece that shows off what I can do. Something to add another layer to what I’ll show to potential employers in a few months.

Here we go. All the way across the pond. Stay with us.

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Author: erikabunk

Raised in Northern Minnesota, Interdisciplinary major in Radio and Business & Entrepreneurship at Columbia College Chicago. Enjoys long runs on the lakefront path at dawn, public radio, and lefse covered in butter w/ cinnamon sugar. Spends too much time on Spotify, in search of the best record store in the world, and dreams of returning to Reykjavík.

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