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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Another Life Update: SP17 Edition

Because it’s been a minute since I did one of these, here’s a list of things that have happened in the last few months that I haven’t really been super public about:

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What You Haven’t Read about SXSW

Here’s what you haven’t read about my trip to Austin, TX for SXSW so far…

Last week, I had the pleasure of spending seven days in Austin, Texas. Not only was it great being in Austin, but it was also a pretty popular time to be there. South by Southwest (or SXSW) is the interactive, film, music, and comedy festival that completely takes over the city for almost two full weeks. As part of the completion of my interdisciplinary degree at Columbia College, I was able to attend the festival as part of the AEMMP Digital Distribution & Promotions Practicum course. For my project in class, I was able to incorporate something I was planning on doing down there, anyway. I got to write about all of the bands (good and bad) that I was able to catch, and it was published over on Atwood Magazine. If you’re interested in the music portion of my experience, click on the day-header for those ramblings. This post will serve more in the nitty-gritty of the trip, and what you won’t find on a publication. Thus, “What You Didn’t Read about SXSW Already”

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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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A Weekend Off

There’s a lot of things going on in my life: school, SGA, running, CARA, drum corps, and teaching at Downers Grove South on the weekends. I absolutely love it, I definitely wouldn’t have it any other way, because I like being busy. But like everyone, it’s nice to have some downtime every once in awhile. I’ve had days off here and there, but it’s been about two months since I had two full days off in a row. Which is why I was so beyond over-the-moon when I was able to get this one off.

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Ramblings: On Being A Student Worker

Being a student worker isn’t all that bad. Especially at Columbia. Specifically in the radio department. 

I’ve only been working here for a few months, and it’s been primarily in the office, (I was hired for another part of the department, but hours don’t line up so it’s all good,) but I still love it. All through high school, I worked as the “Office Assistant” for a local, small-town computer store owned by my mom. The only reason I stuck with it for so long was because I didn’t have to pay taxes, I could choose my hours, and I could work as little or as much as I wanted to. It usually was as little as I possibly could, which, looking back, I wish I worked a little more in high school. The other nice thing was a specific amount was set aside for college, I guess I didn’t appreciate it much at the time, but now, it’s been a blessing having my first year paid for completely out-of-pocket. Hooray growing up.

Anyway, working in the office/studio time for the radio department is great, because I’ve gotten to know pretty much all the faculty members and a lot of the students just because I’m in the department so much. I even have the opportunity to do homework while I’m working, but I usually end up surfing the web/tumblr/twitter/blogging. Over the break, we actually would just sit in studio time and blatantly watch movies. Those were the ‘good-ol-days’. Except not really.

The only thing I don’t like about doing that is it makes me feel unfulfilled at the end of the day. For example, during break a few days, I would work studio time from 10am-7pm (or something like that,) and I would spend the entire day watching movies/doing things on the internet. When I’d get back to my dorm, I’d think ‘well, what now?’ Because I had spent the whole day doing things I would normally do after working the whole day. At least now that school has started back up, more people are in the department. Students are making appointments for studio time and to meet with faculty. Things need to be done around the office. And true, there’s still an abundant amount of time to do homework/blog/surf the internet/install protools/whatever you need to do, but there’s always going to be at least one thing that you accomplish in your x-number-of-hours shift.

Of course, I work so many other jobs that I have fulfillment else where, but the radio department is where I would consider my ‘main job’ to be, since I have more consistent hours there, and it really  is a part of my schedule. 

Wait, ‘so many other jobs? Explain. 
You’re going to be sorry you asked.

Probably my coolest job is my position with the Great Northern Radio Show, who I am the Associate Producer for. This is one of the most part-time jobs I have, since the shows only happen seasonally (four times a year,) but it’s definitely one of my favorites and one I’ve learned the most from. Back “at home,” I’m officially the go-to for the Grand Rapids State Bank when they host live shows – I’m their stage manager! All that is, pretty much, is I direct the traffic going on and off stage, and attempt to put the acts in an order that makes sense – from a vibe/physical/sound standpoint. That’s pretty part-part time too. Another very part-time job is my freelance color guard work. I’ve worked with my high school band and I have a clinic coming up with Robert Morris University. I guess that’s more part-time than GNRS, but this is hardly work, since color guard is one of my biggest hobbies (besides radio.) The second most official-type job I have is my cashier position at Chicago Kernel – actually, it was the first job I had in Chicago. (There’s some other jobs I have in the works, but I’m not going to say anything since nothing’s set in stone yet. They do have to do with radio though, and they make me very excited.)

Being a full-time student working full-time hours isn’t the easiest thing ever. But it’s so incredibly rewarding. Getting two paychecks every two weeks, and the random other paychecks after a weekend of hard work is great, and it helps fuel my ever-growing love for vinyl records and food. 

Yeah… going to school in Chicago really isn’t that bad. 🙂