Archive for the ‘Personal Growth’ Category

95 days.

95 days until the end of my four years of college. Is this real?

I remember the last month of the summer after my senior year in high school. I had a countdown going then too — a countdown to the day I was going to move to Austin to start the next chapter of my life. It seems like yesterday!

I remember when I was merely 15 years old and all I wanted to do was turn 16, get my license and drive myself around. I vocalized it to my parents quite frequently, and they always told me the same thing — that time proceeds to pass faster and faster with every year that goes by. At the time, I’d roll my eyes, because geez, 9th grade seemed like it was never going to end!

Well, here I am! I have my first job interview next week (ahh!) with a Dallas agency, I’m heading to NYC again over spring break to (hopefully) do job interviews there,  and I only have 3 more tests left… ever. Those are words I definitely thought I’d never say.

So over the next 95 days,

I want to enjoy the time I have with my friends, experience things around Austin that I have yet to do over the past few years, and soak up as much knowledge as the University of Texas will allow me to in my remaining time.

And a word to the younger ones out there (especially my sisters!) — don’t take a second of what’s given to you for granted… Experience everything you can and soak it up! And just because time flies doesn’t mean you don’t have the time to do every single thing that you want to!

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Today I realized that I have been keeping up with this blog for a little bit over a year, so I took the time to look back at some of the first posts that I had written. I look at myself through this blog a year ago, and I remember how confused I was — about my futures, my goals… myself.

On January 2, 2011, I wrote a post entitled “2011: The Year I Got My Life in Order.” I set one New Years resolution for myself:

decide what I want in life and get motivated to make it happen

Personally, I think I did damn good.

A year ago, I had just gotten rejected from Texas Creative, the original reason I had become an advertising major, I was frantically searching for a last-minute internship, and considering switching my major to Public Relations. Hence the resolution.

But this year I applied and was accepted into the TexasMedia program, travelled to London to work a summer internship, and took a trip to New York City, where I networked with 4 agencies in hopes of securing a full time job come post-grad.

now I’m not really sure where the next year will take me.

2011 was definitely a year that has shaped my future. 2012 will be the year that begins it.

On March 14, 2012 I will be turning 22, and for me that kind of signifies the real start to adulthood. 21 was a year to play and have fun, 22 means it’s time to get serious. On May 18, 2012 I will be graduating from the University of Texas. Shortly after that, if all goes as planned, I will be picking up and shipping out to New York City, fulfilling a dream I’ve had for years.

See that.

That is what I call a plan.

A year ago, I didn’t have one, and I told myself that soon I was going to have one. This might have been the first New Years resolution I actually made happen, ever. Well, cheers to 2011, and I cannot wait for 2012!

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Do you ever wonder where people will be in 5 or 10 years? Like yourself, your family, or your friends?

This week is a very bittersweet time for me. As I finish up my junior year in college, my first round of friends are starting to walk across the stage. This includes friends from both high school and college.

In high school, I was the young one in my group of friends — they were all a year older than me. Watching them graduate and leave me behind for a year was tough. And then the next year it was my turn to step into the unknown. And of course I wondered where the hell we would all be four years from then, but I never thought the day would actually come.

The trials and tribulations of the past four years have been a tumultuous road. I’ve watch my friends fail and succeed. Some of us have lost touch, others have stayed close. I’ve been there for the ones who have hit rock bottom, and I’ve watched them rise up again. Some have moved away, yet some haven’t left the small town we grew up in. Out of my core group of friends from high school, there are 3 of us on path to graduate on time — 2 this year and myself next year.

But now that I have forged a new group of friends and the first half are taking the jump into the real world, I can’t help but wonder what the next 5 years have in store. I hope there will be more success than failure and more smiles then tears. I wish to God that all of my wonderful friends achieve all their goals. I hope I never lose touch with the people that have entered my life throughout the last three years.

So here are some of my goals:

  • Set aside time each week to talk to the ones that have left. One of my best friends from high school now lives in Virginia, and the other one is planning to move to Georgia, so communication is key.
  • Visit the ones that are close by. Quite a few of my friends are moving to Houston after graduation. There’s no reason a happy hour can’t be in order when I’m in town visiting my parents!
  • And of course keep the friendships I already have just as strong throughout the last year, and what will be the best year, of my college career.

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What a whirlwind of a month. Between an internship, preparations for summer, school work and tests, and multiple organizations, my life has been on the go in a crazy way this past month. Tonight was the first night since spring break that I haven’t had a paper to write, assignment to complete, or test to study for, and it feels good.

And with this free time, I get to reflect on the past month and the joys and realizations it has brought me.

First and foremost: Holy Crap, I’m leaving in a month!

Well, technically I’m not heading to London until June, but I will be packing up and leaving Austin in a month to spend about 2 much needed weeks with my family before I start my European adventure. A majority of me is excited, a little bit of me is scared to death.

For those of you who don’t know, I will be interning at the headquarters of Proximity Worldwide this summer. Proximity is a global digital advertising agency, and I will be doing account services-type work for them. I am so excited, both for the hands on experience I will be getting, but also the propel this internship will provide for me down the road in my career search. This is that pivotal internship that is either going to confirm or deny that I have chosen the right major and career path.

And yes, that’s scary.

Secondly, I don’t know if I’ve ever been this passionate about anything in my life, ever.

I was recently given the position of Overall Chair for the University of Texas Dance Marathon. For those of you who don’t know exactly what that is, head over here to find out. But it is a cause I believe in with all my heart, and I am ready to jump in head first and work myself to death making this event be all that it can be.

I was blessed with a great Co-Overall chair and faculty advisor, and now a wonderful exec board of 15 that we will be managing over the next year. Let me tell you, this team will do great things. I don’t want to spoil any of the big surprises we have coming up, but expect some great changes. UT won’t know what hit it.

And lastly, I’ve realized that I truly hate tests, and college has done it’s job.

For the past two years, as my freshman and sophomore years came to an end, I sat here saying, “I can’t believe I’m ____% done with college; I want to be in college forever!”. Now I sit here as my third year is coming to a close. It’s a scary thought. My best friend from high school is moving away this summer to go to nursing school and she said to me, “Alyssa! Summer 2012 you have to come visit me and we can go here and here and here!” I had to respond with, “Well, come summer 2012, I will have a real job.”

At first, yes, the thought was scary. Very scary. But now that I think about it, I realized that college has accomplished what it was supposed to accomplish with me. I am ready to break out of the world of education I’ve been living in for the past 16 years and start doing something I love. Start making a difference somewhere somehow. I’m sick of the British lit tests and the management assignments you get full credit for just for turning in. I am excited for the days where I get up and spend the day doing what I love. And knowing that I get to do that for the rest of my life is all I need to know to send me to bed with a smile on my face.

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If you do not follow @Jenny_Blake on twitter, please do. I ran across her website LifeAfterCollege.org and immediately fell in love with her style of writing and the types of advice she gives. It is practical, down to earth, and exactly what someone like me needs to see. With only a year left in college, I am starting to wonder about what comes next and how I am supposed to handle it. Her website holds some of those answers.

So when I found out she wrote a book, of course I had to buy it! And when I found it for sale on Amazon for a little over $8, it was a no brainer. Since I received it earlier this week, I have taken a little bit of time before I go to bed every night to read a little bit, do the exercises, and reflect on myself and what I want out of life.

I am sixty pages in (out of almost 300!), and I’ve already thought deeper and harder about my goals and future than I ever have. But there was one exercise that really stood out to me that I feel the need to share. It’s something that I’ve never taken time to think that deeply about.

My values

Have you ever had to really think about your values, list them out, and then rank them by importance? Probably not. It’s not an easy thing to do. It took me a few days to complete the exercise, which consists of listing 20 top values, taking it down to 10, and then ranking your top 5. Here are what I came up with and why:

  1. Accomplishment: I’ve always been someone who thrived off accomplishment. In a way, it’s what keeps me smiling and what makes my world go round. In no way do I mean this in a narcissistic way. Every action we perform has a purpose, and because of that, something can happen as a result of every effort we put forth. Accomplishments are the positive results of our efforts. When we don’t accomplish anything, that’s wasted time and energy, and we know that we need to put our efforts somewhere else.
  2. Family: I think this one’s easy. My family is my everything, and because of that I know that even if I lose everything, they will still be there for me no matter what. My mom will always be my confidant, my sisters my best friends, and my dad my rock.
  3. Passion: What is life if you live it without passion? The passion we exert each and every day is what keeps us breathing. It’s what drives our motivations. It forms our goals. Without passion, life would be dull. There would be no excitement. There would be no real reason to live fully.
  4. Hard Work: Nothing is possible without hard work. I thrive off challenges, and I take pride in the hard work I put forth to accomplish my goals. I work hard at school, at work, at my internship. I don’t see the point of doing something if you’re just going to half-ass it. Either work hard, or don’t work at all.
  5. Fun: I am a firm believer that laughter is the best medicine, and spontaneity is a necessity. No matter where I go in life or who I am with, I will be having fun. I’ll tell a dumb joke or I’ll dance on a bar with my best friends around me or I’ll laugh so loudly that everyone in the room stares. But I’ll do it and I’ll love it and I’ll be feeling that certain feeling that I get when I’m having such a great time there’s no where else I’d rather be.

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New Years resolutions are littering my twitter feed and Google reader. Some people want to lose 10 pounds, some only 5. Some people want to read more, learn more, be more spontaneous. To me, New Years resolutions seem so cliché, so I have never really participated. I’ll be honest, if I say I want to lose weight, I’ll be very enthusiastic about going to the gym… for about two weeks.

This year my mindset is a little different. The past few weeks have been a very relaxing break from the stress that is college life. I’ve had time to really reflect on what I’ve done over the past two and a half years and really think about what I want to do with my degree and where I see myself in the future.

And I’ve come to a conclusion. I’ve developed one New Years resolution that is broad, but captivating. It is simple, like I think all resolutions should be, and offers a big picture and a big goal:

When I am 40 years old, married with kids, and have a career, I want to look back and say that 2011 was truly the year I got my life in order, the year I decided exactly what I wanted in life and the year that I really got motivated to make it happen.

So bring it on 2011, I’m ready for you.

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When I first decided that I wanted to be an advertising major at Texas, I dreamed to be a Texas Creative. The classes sounded so fun, the portfolios were amazing, and every student that made it through P3 had a loaded resume and amazing portfolio to take on job interviews.

Oh, how things can change.

One of our main assignments for the prereq for Texas Creative (Adv 325, Introduction to Creativity) was an “Idea Journal”. Needless to say, I did not score to high on it. Apparently my creativity isn’t what its supposed to be for a creative.

So this made me think. Instead of being disappointed about it, I examined my options. I thought about myself, and I asked myself if being a creative was really what I wanted to do with my career, and basically my life. The answer to that was no.

I am an internet geek. I am obsessed with any Apple gadget that hits the market… I’m still crossing my fingers I’ll have an iPad under the Christmas tree, but that’s wishful thinking. I am obsessed with social media. Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare. I want to blog. And I want my blog to be read. I actually look forward to the changes in Facebook, instead of being one of the millions complaining. I’ve grown up with social media, and social media has grown up with me.

With an advertising degree and a minor in business, I think this could work. It sounds like I could have a future in internet marketing, advertising, and branding. And it would actually be something I have fun with and something I’m interested in. Which is esentially my dream job.

I don’t know how I’m going to get this blog read. I don’t know how to rack up hundreds of twitter followers. I’ve been sending out resume after resume hoping to line up some amazing internship. Follow me here. Tell your friends. This is my journey. Oh, the places I will go. Just wait.

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