Winter Break: Part 1

Okay so to be honest, I was really not looking forward to being home for almost an entire month for winter break. It’s not that I don’t love my family or my house, I just don’t have much going on here anymore. With my four years of starting a life in Wilmington, I have lost some ties here in Cherry Hill because of time and distance. I expected to be doing a whole lot of nothing at home. And as much as I love some relaxation time, there’s only so much time I can spend on my couch. With that being said, this break has actually been a lot better than I expected so far. I’ve enjoyed my mom’s homemade baked goodies, snuggling with my dog, and sleeping in as late as I want in my comfy bed. All of these things are norms when it comes to being home on break, but I also have been trying to have a bit of a social life at home too…

It’s been a bit of a struggle being home during previous breaks because as I’ve said before, I’ve lost touch with some friends at home and end up hanging out more with my parents than I do with people my own age. I obviously do have SOME friends at home that I’m still really close to (hey Yael, Genevieve, and Allison), so I make it a point to see them and catch up. Other than that, I end up experiencing awkward run-ins with kids from high school and play the “should I acknowledge that we know each other” game very often. It’s hard to stay in hiding in Cherry Hill.

Anyway, this past week I’ve already seen Anchorman 2 (with its awesome and hilarious cameos), went to a holiday party with family and hung out with my cousins, “modeled” in a photo-shoot for my Genevieve, and hosted a spontaneous mini reunion with a group of girls I grew up playing basketball with (Paige, Kim, Yael, Genevieve). We ended up drinking wine, catching up, reminiscing, and watching some hilarious home videos dating all the way to elementary school. It really felt like I was back in third grade when I called Paige’s home phone number to invite her over (something I haven’t done in years)! It was really cool to see how even after a few years of being apart at different schools, we can all come back together like old times and just laugh about things. It was interesting to see how different each one of our college experiences is.

Coming up is the highly anticipated Gurkin Christmas Eve party where family and friends (lots of Jewish friends who don’t have much going on that night) come over our house to mingle, eat, and drink. I’m really excited to see everyone reunite tomorrow!

I’m happy to say that this break has gotten off to a great start. Hopefully I can keep adding in more plans with friends in to my schedule 🙂

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Fall Semester Wrap Up

While I should be wrapping up some presents right now, I’ve decided to take a little time to write a wrap up of my fall semester instead. It has been by far the hardest semester I’ve had at UNCW with tons of ups and downs. My schedule got really crazy towards the end and I barely had time to write for my blog. But thankfully, I have plenty of downtime at home here in NJ so I can write a bit more.

I finished the end of the semester with all A’s (and one stupid B), and will officially graduate magna cum laude from UNCW in May. It’s insane to fathom that I have just one semester left at my amazing school, so I’m really going to enjoy every last second when I’m back in Wilmington in January.

Since I last wrote, a lot of things happened back at school. I hosted Student Ambassador Senior Sendoff at my house where we celebrated and said goodbye to our two graduating seniors, Austin and Kristen. It was fun having all my ambassador friends at my beach house. The last few days I spent in Wilmington were really great, partly because of the great weather but mostly because I was free from everything school-related. I finally had some free time to enjoy hanging out with friends and celebrate. A few really good friends graduated this semester so I had the chance to see them walk at the commencement ceremony. Shout out to Molly, Austin, Kristen, Elias, and Andy! It was exciting to see them parading around in their caps and gowns, but also sad because some of these people are leaving Wilmington and I don’t know when I’ll see them next. The weirdest thing about going to the graduation was the one thought I had in the back of my mind… that will be me, right there in those seats, next semester. Just five more months. It’s really starting to creep up on me, and I don’t like it one bit.

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The second I got back to Wilmington after my Thanksgiving break, I spent most of time at the library studying and working on some major group projects. The work that I’m most proud is my final public relations campaign project that I worked on all semester with a group of three other girls in my PR II class. We worked so hard on putting together an entire PR plan for our client, the public relations/integrated marketing communication/advertising (PR/IMC/AD) subdiscipline in the Department of Communication Studies. After countless hours of meeting together and coming up with creative theme and design ideas, we came up with a campaign to help promote and improve the subdiscipline in my major. My group came a long way from the beginning of the semester when we got randomly paired together. None of us knew each other’s’ names, and I was unsure of how we’d work together. I am really thankful for Morgan, Crystan, and Marlene (AKA Jennifer’s Angels) as my group mates and new good friends. On the last day of finals, we presented our entire PR campaign and 100-page plan to our client, and I even shed a tear when it was over because I was just so proud of how it all came together. I always take pride in my work, but because of all the time we’ve spent on this project, I had an even stronger connection to this campaign. When it was all over, my professor sent us all an email praising our work and how she is looking forward to using some of the materials we produced for the client. I’m really happy that I found a subject that I’m passionate about and enjoy learning. My PR II course was a great step to get experience in producing materials like I would in a professional career.

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Now that I’ve mentioned the whole career thing… I guess I can expand on the new project that I’m now working on over break: an online portfolio. I’ve spent hours creating a website that showcases all the work I’ve done during my time in college, including both my professional experience with internships and the course work I’m most proud of. My portfolio will also display my resume and recommendations so that potential employers can really get a feel for what I’ve accomplished so far. The site is actually almost finished, and once I publish it I will post the link on this blog!

More to come soon about the rest of Winter Break and Christmas! Happy holidays everyone!