Senior Year Madness

This post is more therapeutic for me than anything else. Disclaimer: For those of you who don’t want to read a whole few paragraphs of me venting about my life, stop and exit now…

Going in to senior year, I knew I would be dealing with a lot of things on my plate. Usually, I’m not one to crack under pressure or really give in to stress. In fact, being busy is something I need in my life for motivation. But the past few weeks have been really hard on me. For those of you who want a refresher, here’s my list of involvements:

–          Student Ambassadors – Secretary

–          Club Basketball

–          Alpha Gamma Delta sorority

–          DIS (Directed Individual Study): Co-Coordinator for Rock for a Cure, Breast Cancer Benefit Concert (the biggest commitment of them all for now)

Not to mention, I have a full load of some tough classes:

–          Public Relations II

–          Media Law & Ethics

–          Broadcast Journalism

–          Communication Theory

–          Lifespan & Human Development (a basic study psychology requirement)

OH and I also have two jobs:

–          Sales Associate at American Eagle

–          Hostess at Fox & Hound

SO, with that being said, some days I’m on campus from 10am to 10pm… Mondays are the worst. I’m trying really hard to balance school with involvements and hanging out with friends, but honestly it feels like I barely have a social life because of my hectic schedule. Interacting with friends only happens if I see them on campus or at a meeting. It really sucks.

Being overwhelmed is not a fun feeling. I’ve been losing sleep, having anxiety, and worrying a LOT recently. I’m really working on cutting down some of these commitments to actually get some free time. I just spoke with the Fox & Hound managers and they were understanding of me taking a break from working there. As much as I’d like to make money, my mental sanity is a bit more important at the moment.

I don’t really have much more to write besides the fact that I’m trying to take each day at a time. I’m slowly realizing that I’m only human and I can’t change the number of hours in a day. On Sunday I took a power walk around the Wrightsville Beach loop which really helped clear my mind. I need to start taking advantage of the fact that I’m literally less than 50 yards from the ocean and have a beautiful bay/marsh area that’s a 5 minute walk to get to. Also, I’ve been resorting to music for comfort. The song “Be OK” by Ingrid Michaelson popped up on my itunes the other day and I thought it was actually perfectly fitting for my life right now.

Seriously though, I don’t want to worry people about me being down. I’m trying to stay positive and tackle each day as it comes. Luckily, I have some really awesome friends here who I can vent to about this stuff (shoutouts to Raleigh, Esme, Taylor, Molly, & Julia). As the fall weather approaches, I’m going to try my best and enjoy my beach house while the sun is out and it’s warm outside. Did I mention I got a hammock for my balcony? I’m really excited about that.

Whoever actually read this post, thanks for putting up with my venting and complaining. I promise I won’t do this often, but sometimes it feels good to let out some frustration. I may actually have a free Saturday night this weekend to go out. Things are looking up (I think). If anyone has suggestions on how to get rid of some stress and anxiety, I’m all ears! That’s all for now. Back to my night of sending emails, doing homework, and making to-do lists out the wazoo!


London Nostalgia: 1 Year Anniversary

As I’m writing this blog post, I’m sitting on campus outside on this beautiful day, sipping on my Dunkin Donuts caramel iced coffee and eating a breakfast sandwich. Life really isn’t bad. However, I can’t shake the nostalgic feeling I have to head back to London. While sitting in the sunshine with a Dunkin treat is probably one of my favorite things to do, I’d happily sacrifice all of it for a plane ticket back across the pond.

Today marks exactly one year since I landed at the London Heathrow airport to begin the most exciting three month journey of my life. As many of you know, this blog used to be dedicated to my study abroad experience and sharing my travel stories with family and friends. I’ve found myself occasionally clicking back and reminiscing on all the cool things I did last fall. I’ve recently had the strongest urge to just escape from my insanely busy life, ditch my commitments, and go travel the world. Today is definitely one of those days. I never really made a reflection post about how my study abroad experience has changed my life, so I’m using this as a mini-reflection piece.

While I had my ideas about what London would be like, I never expected to experience all the amazing things I ended up doing overseas. I joined the Roehampton basketball team, made a few best friends, travelled to Scotland, Ireland, Spain, France and Italy (twice), and learned a whole lot of stuff about myself.

I know that if I went back to Roehampton today, things wouldn’t be the same. Some of my basketball friends have graduated, my flatmates would be gone, and the Newman 4 crew won’t be living in Newman anymore. Can someone get me a time machine please?

My semester abroad really introduced me to the idea of true independence. While I’m used to being relatively far away from home, three months in another country takes being “away from home” to another level. All I have to say is thank goodness for Skype. The experience of travelling on my own has also helped me grow. I can now take on foreign cities/places with determination and confidence. My sense of direction is so much stronger, and my “street smarts,” as my dad would call it, has improved too. I feel more cultured and drawn to foreign people since returning back to America. Travelling and seeing all the things I did is truly the opportunity of a lifetime (not to sound cliché).

I can’t wait until the day that I visit London again. I need a job that travels. A lot. Since all of this reminiscing is starting to make me sad, and because I have to get to class, this post will now come to an end. Maybe I’ll Skype some of the Newman 4 crew soon to put me in a better mood!

AGD Recruitment

I’m finally sitting down to write this post after the craziest past few days ever. Since before classes started up, I have been attending sorority practices in preparation for recruitment here at UNCW. And when I say “practice” I’m basically referring to a full time job, because that’s how much time I felt like we spent preparing. Don’t get me wrong, we definitely needed practice. It has just been a long few weeks…

In a nutshell, recruitment is three rounds (Philanthropy, Sisterhood, and Preference) and one heck of a long week. There is a LOT that goes in to this whole process: what to say, what not to say, practicing chants, grabbing girls at the door, what to wear, how to vote, etc… the list goes on.

To be honest, I was somewhat dreading this whole recruitment process going in to it. I have never had to experience fall recruitment (since I rushed in the spring of my sophomore year and went abroad fall of my junior year), and I was hoping I could magically get out of this whole process. However, that was not going to happen, so I put on a happy face and participated. Surprisingly, I learned a whole lot about recruitment that I never knew before.

New recruitment lingo I’ve learned:

PNM – Potential New Member. Any girl who’s not Greek already.

Rush Crush – A girl you fall in love with during recruitment and NEED to have her in your sorority. Seriously, you’d give your left arm to give this girl a bid.

Bump Group – The group of girls in your sorority that you will “bump” into while they are casually having a conversation with a PNM. A way to transition into conversations with girls who have no idea that your bump process is completely planned and you have a set girl to speak to next. (This process sounds complicated unless you’ve been through recruitment before…)

Bid Day – The end of recruitment when the new girls get a bid to join your sorority and run to your group on a big lawn where everyone is freaking out hugging each other and taking pictures throwing up their “gang” sign with their hands.

With all sarcasm aside, there is a point to posting about the end of recruitment. I’ve never considered myself a “sorority girl.” Ever. But I can sincerely say that this recruitment process has opened my eyes to a deeper understanding of what it means to be in a sisterhood. I had my reservations before joining a sorority, and a few more even after getting in. As much as I was not looking forward to recruitment training and rush week, this entire process has helped me understand how strong and supportive these girls are. Alpha Gamma Delta is more than just girls going to parties and hanging out. I’ve learned quickly that some of these girls will jump in front of a moving car for me. They can tell when something’s wrong and I haven’t spoken a word to them yet. They are there to share my happiness, but also support me during harder times.

I don’t want this post to sound cliché, but AGD recruitment has changed my outlook on sorority sisterhood. It has reminded me why I’m choosing to stick with the chapter through my senior year. The last round, Preference, is a truly special ceremony when our select final groups of PNMs come in one last time before making a decision. We make this round serious, and have the opportunity to connect on a deeper level with a PNM we have invited back. After this heartfelt conversation, usually involving tears, the girls in our chapter have a special ceremony where we play “You Make It Real” by James Morrison, and pass around a candle. I’m not one to really get emotional about this stuff, but there was an energy in the room that I couldn’t help but embrace. Looking around at all my sisters with tears in their eyes, I found myself tearing up too with my heart about to burst out of my chest. The love, passion and sincerity that everyone feels for this sisterhood is something that is hard to describe with words. Finally I can say that I felt that same deeper connection to Alpha Gamma Delta that I was trying hard to find.

Bid day is now over and a group of 32 new “babies” has joined our chapter. I’m really looking forward to getting to know each one. Everyone is raving about the new pledge class already! I will say that the bid day event was a bit anticlimactic in my opinion, but it was great to see how happy the new girls were to join our sisterhood. While I was upset that my “rush crush” ran to another sorority, I learned that everything happens for a reason and girls end up with the chapter that will be best for them. I’m still a little bitter about the computer/voting system works, but we can’t change much now.

I’m really looking forward to this semester with our new “baby squirrels” to see how our chapter can help them grow and also see how our chapter can grow from them.

That’s all for now. More updates about our new girls to come soon. Now it’s time to go friend 32 new girls on Facebook and welcome them to Alpha Gamma Delta!

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