Quick: You’ve Graduated!

I’m not going to lie and say that I had no idea what to expect when I moved in to the University Center for my Freshman year at Columbia. I had expectations — I had huge expectations. I knew I was paying a huge amount of money to go to this school, and I expected them to deliver on every one of those expectations. That was my first lesson: don’t have too many expectations for the big things. Because it’ll probably turn out not how you were expecting at all, and be entirely different…but maybe, that’s what you need.

I wanted to write a big long mushy post highlighting some of the best parts of my college career, but in typical fashion with the rest of my life right now, I totally ran out of time. Plus, I have quite a few pages highlighting each semester already, so why should I make the final one be any different? Plus, the last five months have been so jam-packed with things (both really difficult and really wonderful), so I can’t short-change my last semester.

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Year in Review: 2016

Wow, what a freakin year. As I went through pictures this time around, I found an astonishing amount of goofy selfies and embarrassing snapchat screenshots of my friends, so the fact that I was able to pull as many “normal” pictures as I’ve got in here is nothing short of a miracle. As I was writing this blog post last year, I knew there’d be a lot to talk about… but I never imagined to have the year shake out like it did. Anyway, here’s 2016 in somewhere around 6,000 words. Stay with us.

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Taking in an overlook in Tennessee

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Some Changes/Update

I’ve been meaning to write a blog post for a couple weeks, but in lieu of some life changes and spending a lot of time way too focused on my personal life in the past week… it’s time I finally did something. There’s been a lot of wasted hours spent how I’d work this post, but all I seem to be good at when dispersing large amounts of information is putting it into lists. So let’s stick with that trend:

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Interdi-wha?

I’ve always been a fan of combining things I love. Radio and drum corps? Let’s do an audio documentary on the summer. Audio and performance? Of course my dream job is working behind-the-scenes for a variety show that’s distributed over the airwaves. Travel and music? The class I took in the Fall of 2014 that covered an International music festival in Iceland was one of the highlights of my college career. Bananas and peanut butter? Sometimes I like to feel like a “Hound Dog” and have one of The King’s sandwiches.

Naturally, I decided to do a double-major in Radio and Media Management at Columbia. Now that I’ve spent a considerable amount of time in each of these departments and degrees, I’ve found so many overlapping correlations. To me, it only makes sense to combine the two into this Interdisciplinary Major.

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Less Than 800 Words

Everything is moving so fast, and even though in the moment sometimes it sure doesn’t feel that way, I can’t believe that Halloween is just over a week away. I’m going to blame it on being in the suburbs every weekend for band the primary reason that I haven’t been able to update my corner of the internet with my ramblings and life very often this semester (even though that’s one of the best parts of this year so far). In reality, it’s just because I feel like if I wrote something, and did that every week, I’d be saying a lot of the same stuff. Don’t worry guys, I’m still running (half marathon #6 coming up in just over seven days), I’m working so many wonderful jobs (more on that in a minute), still trying to save as much as I can to make DCI 2016 happen, so ultimately, I can return to my family (gofundme.com/erikamarches2016). In addition to obviously doing my best to stay on top of all of my schoolwork (but we probably won’t be discussing that much). Here we go…hold on.

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Hard Work Pays Off (and so many many thanks)

By the end of the week, I’m usually pretty spent. I’ve got a pretty hectic schedule, and when I’m running on a string of days with about four-five hours of sleep each night, I ask myself if it’s really worth it. Then I spend a half-hour every night scrolling through running-related things on Pinterest.

I’ve been a lot more careful this semester. I’m more aware of my “free” time and how I spend it. I’ve been watching my running; how many miles I’m logging, how I feel the morning after speedwork or a distance run, and days surrounding physical therapy in the past couple weeks. I’m working hard to follow my budget with meal planning, when I’ll make purchases that aren’t complete necessities (but will be sometime soon, such as a pair of day-to-day shoes that work my orthotics that aren’t running shoes.) I’m trying to eat better food, even though I am on a budget. But this isn’t a “look how good I’m being” blog post. Because something important happened today.

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Rambling: Tattoo?

A lot of my blog posts seem to be starting out this way, but I can’t help it, I’m in college and I’m learning things and that’s just where I’m at. Anyway. All while I was growing up, I’d see people with tattoos and I’d think “what ever made you want to permanently get that on your body?” I was all for temporary tattoos, ink it up, in that regard, but I never saw the draw to get something permanently on yourself. Sometimes, I still think that way. But in the past year, I’ve wanted to get three tattoos.

First, I want to get the Spirit of Atlanta delta on my left shoulder. A lot of people who march drum corps end up getting the corps ‘logo’ as a tattoo, because drum corps is such an experience and an honor to get to partake in, that you want to represent it on yourself, at least, that’s why I want one. In less than a summer, SOA influenced my life in a major way, but I’d like to march for another summer before I permanently get the stamp on my body. I’ve wanted to get this one since June 2013, and since I still want it and I still feel the same way about it, that’s how it’s gotten on my list. So probably in September 2015, I’ll be getting this bad boy. 

Secondly, I really want to get a little Mickey Mouse tattoo. I have always loved Mickey Mouse, and I don’t care what anyone else says. I find the mouse very comforting. I like what disney does, and I grew up with it. At the beginning of my freshman year of college, I bought a stuffed Mickey Mouse, and it’s probably what’s helped me get through this crazy busy year – and the month I spent alone in my dorm over winter break. Probably somewhere on my ankles, I’ve been wanting to get this little guy for about the same time that I’ve wanted to get a delta, but that’s probably more to do with the fact that it’s about that time that my eyes were opened up more to the world of tattoos – another drum corps thing. This one will probably happen more around the time that I get the guts to do it – and know for a fact that I really want this to be a thing. 

Lastly, I really want to get something to do with running. Over the school year, I’ve spent more time running than I’ve spent running in my whole life, and I love it. A lot. I’ve started to “design” one with the “13.1” in a four-leaf clover and Chicago written on the side of it. I am in no way an artist, but I like the idea, and it is a pretty big deal to run a half marathon. I think it’d be cool to get one commemorating the first, but we’ll see. My other idea is running-related, and it has to do with the second tattoo I want to get… but you’ll have to stay tuned to find out.