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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Things I Didn’t Expect to Learn in Art School

In the last few days of break before my final semester at Columbia College Chicago begins, I’m being as lazy as I can. I’m still working, still running, and getting some last-minute chores done (ordering textbooks, cleaning out folders from last semester, writing a little bit, etc. etc.), but I’m also thinking about what the last three and a half years have held. If you’ve been following us for a little bit, you know that I’m big on reflection. So, in these last few days before the true beginning of the end, I can’t help but think back at all that Columbia has given me — besides the fact that I’ve created my own major, took both accounting and finance, and learned that there’s more out there that I can do well/enjoy outside of radio. 

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136,340 Streamed Minutes in 2016: The Breakdown

I broke down the year overall already – now let’s dig into the tunes behind it

According to my Spotify Year in Review, I listened to well over 130,000 minutes of music. That doesn’t include the hours I spent listening to records, or the radio, or podcasts. I take in a lot of media, but I didn’t think it was nearly that much. I figured since I clocked in so many hours of streaming, I should probably put my two cents out there in what the year looked like musically. I shared with Atwood what I thought the album of the year was — but you’ll have to check that out to see what I thought. I’ll link it here when that gets published. Here, though, we’ll break it down by month, and what struck me as big for that period of time.

January

Hamilton — Original Cast Recording
The past few years over the few days it takes to ring in the New Year, I spend the time with one of my closest and oldest drum corps friends, Kayla. The last two years, she’s introduced me to new musicals I end up being obsessed with for the year. Last year, it was In The Heights. This year, it was the musical that’s taken the world by storm, Hamilton. This bad boy has been on repeat periodically throughout the year, but mostly during January. Easily.

Galway Girl — Steve Earle
Since I spent most of the month traveling, and much of that in Ireland, this was a song that we’d listen to as we got ready for the day or a night out and want to channel our inner “Irish bar music.” “Galway Girl” will forever remind me of the craziness that happened over those two weeks abroad this year.

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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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To: My Younger Sister, a High School Senior

Alright Kenzie, you’ve made it. You’re now a senior in high school — and you’re about to make a few big decisions in the next few months. I probably should have just talked to you about these things when I was home last, but I guess it kind of slipped my mind. Not only that, but now I’m getting a blog post out of it. So thanks for that, I guess. Let’s just call it even.

Anyway, I just wanted to share with you some advice I’ve got for you. Because I’m a senior in college (and I’m your big sister), I like to think that I’m qualified to be telling you these things of what I wish I would have done, or kept in mind, or whatever when I was in your position four years ago. So here we go I guess:

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April-August Resolutions Check-In

Apologies, dear reader, for the prolonged absence, and I know I have some explaining to do… So I figured I’d do it in the form of a check-in on my New Years resolutions. Because believe it or not, I’ve been holding myself to them, and it’s been working in my favor so far. I think.

Anyway, here we go:

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Another Summer of a Lifetime

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Final 2016 set during Semifinals in Lucas Oil – Indianapolis, Indiana

The fact still seems near-impossible to believe that it’s already been a week. A week since we ran chunks of any kind of the show; a week since our last set of 1&1 as a color guard; a week since we were dismissed from a rehearsal; a week since we sang Salvation for the last time in uniform. So many of the things we took for granted all summer — gone in the blink of an eye. I’m nowhere near new to the feeling of post-tour depression and readjusting to the “real world,” but there’s so many things that were different this year, it almost feels like a different kind of PTD.

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