Plan A-

So here I am sitting on my Southwest flight eating really stale pretzels headed back to school. I’m getting really dirty looks from the lady next to me because I put my water bottle in the seat between us. But everyone knows that when there is an empty seat, it’s storage for the extra crap you can’t fit in the tiny seat front pocket.  Also, the kid in front of me won’t stop shaking the seat. What is normally a very short and easy flight, is about to be much too long.

As I sit here, listening to music and tweeting about my in-flight adventures-all thanks to the overpriced Southwest Wifi-I’m reflecting back on the month I spent at home. A lot happened.

I saw high beloved high school become State Champions in football. I visited the Huntington Library in Pasadena with my mom. My family got together to celebrate a milestone birthday for my grandma–80!!. And I got to visit the beach to celebrate another birthday with some of my best friends. It was all wonderful and relaxing-it was just what I needed.

But…the biggest thing that happened was I decided to change my major. I know big deal, college students change their major all the time and often more than once. However, this was a big deal for me. I went to the University of Missouri for many reasons but the main and most important reason is that their school of journalism is the best in the country and world renowned. But I didn’t get in. Twice I didn’t get in. And it was absolutely devastating.

Being a journalist has been my dream since I did my first interview for Kevin McCarthy for my high school newspaper.  And attending the Missouri School of Journalism was apart of that dream. I visited the school in February of my junior year of high school and all other plans to be a Duck at the University of Oregon went out the window (Sorry Mom, Grandma, and Grandpa…). Mizzou was going to be my school. And I was going to graduate with a degree in journalism and a minor in Political Science and be a political reporter.

But now here I am, heading into the Spring semester of my junior and I have yet to post that screen grab of my acceptance email to the J-school to various social media sites.  I was so ashamed of myself for not getting into the j-school. I kept asking myself what I did wrong; it felt as I had no future left. There were a lot of tears, sorrow, and sadness because I felt as if everything I had worked for since the day I joined the student paper in high school were just flushed down a giant toilet.

I thought about not coming back to Mizzou at all. I looked into transferring to Fresno State because they could let me in for Fall 2014 and I could still major in journalism there.  But the more I thought about it, the more I realized it just wasn’t the best choice for me. I’d have to take a semester off of school, try to become a California resident again…the list really just goes on. Plus, who really wants to move to Fresno? It’s like Bakersfield, but hotter.

In the absence of my acceptance to the School of Journalism, I have decided to major in Art History. A big change? It’s all relative really. I realized how much I enjoyed Art History the same time I realized how much I disliked Political Science. It’s funny how things work out that way. I am excited to pursue this new major. I’ve come to really enjoy the classes and the topics in which they encounter. This will be new for me. I’m still sad about the journalism school. I might go to grad school for it one day, maybe at Cal Berkeley or I may even give Mizzou a try again. But for now, I honestly just want to get my degree and be done with school. And I still can minor in journalism, so in the end it all works out.

John F. Kennedy once said “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” I’ve always been extremely wary of changes. I’m stubborn and it’s hard for me to adapt to new things. But I believe that Kennedy is right and the last thing I want is to miss my future. Despite what I thought at the end of the fall semester, I know now that great opportunities are ahead. And I can’t wait to meet them with full force.

Cheers,

Mary

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Nelson Mandela

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This is my favortie quote by Nelson Mandela. I have always believed that education is a powerful tool when it comes to being a force for change. If you aren’t educated and knowledgable on the issues that plague our world, then how can you be an advocate for the greater good? I am very sad about Mandela’s passing. I would have loved to have had the chance to meet him. It would have been wonderful to listen to him share his stories and learn what kept him motivated to keep fighting for what he thought was right and just.

There have been many great leaders in the past century but I can think of few that showed as much passion and courage as Mandela. 

May his soul rest in peace. 

 

10 Reasons Why You Should Marry A Sorority Woman (A Rebuttal)

Diaries of an Undergrad

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** This article is a rebuttal to an article called “The Reasons Why You Never Want To Marry A Sorority Girl.” (In case you’d like to read it) Its intentions are not to offend non-affiliated women, but to vouch for the women that are. The chosen pictures of famous sorority women are not meant to represent their respective points either. They were chosen at random as I believe them to be influential and productive members of our society. This article is meant to be viewed light-heartedly. Thank you!

I get it — sorority girls sometimes get a bad rep from what the world outside of Greek perceives us to be like. I’m here to clear those stereotypes up. As a member of a Panhellenic organization, I can vouch for my sisters and the sorority members in my community by saying that we will not only make great wives…

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Remembering JFK

November 22, 1963. A day that my dad remembers ever so clearly. And he was only 7 years old. He remembers the nuns crying at school. He remembers Walter Cronkite removing his glasses when he announced that the president was dead: a defining moment in TV News History.

50 years later, America is still captivated by JFK and wonders about that fateful day in Dallas.  Even my generation, who wasn’t even close to being born feels a kinship with the president and what he stood for. He was and still is the people’s president. And on that fateful Friday, the country mourned the loss of their beloved Jack.

He was not a perfect man as no person or politician can claim to be. But JFK loved his wife, children, and country with deep sincerity. When we remember him, we should focus on his leadership qualities, military accomplishments, and character as opposed to the violent and tragic way he died.

Alteration

We were supposed to get snow last night in Columbia. Being from California, I enjoy looking at snow but I certainly do not enjoy long walks to class in the snow. I’m sure you can imagine my delight when I looked outside and saw only icicles. I have always thought icicles were beautiful and kind of mysterious in an odd way. The ones hanging on the tree outside my sorority house this morning really caught my attention. I’d never seen so many in one place before! I decided to take a picture and then send it to my warm family members on the West Coast. I then got to playing around with the pictures, editing the filters to enhance the crabapples and the light between the the branches. It turned out to be just a fun, early morning thing to do while I was jamming to Ed Sheeran before class started. Check out the picture on my Instragram too!

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Be thankful. Express gratitude. Recognize blessings.

My 4th grade teacher always said we should have an “Attitude for Gratitude.” Every month, she sent out a class newsletter to the parents with updates about what was happening in the classroom and what not. For the month of November, everyone had to write down one thing they were thankful for. I wrote I was thankful for my best friend, Katie. Another student wrote he was thankful for entertainment. Why do I remember such trivial facts? Because we both got told our answers weren’t “correct” in front of the entire class.

Clearly, that was a traumatizing event as I still remember it. (Plot twist, I remember everything. I have the memory of an elephant.) But I’d like to think that since my 4th grade lesson on gratitude, I’ve learned a little more about what the word means and what it means to live it daily and express it.

To me, gratitude works hand in hand with being grateful and recognizing your blessings. Blessings happen everyday. They don’t have to be big or out of this world.  It can be getting an extra five minutes of sleep, receiving good news, earning good marks in a class, or simply running into a friend that you haven’t seen in quite some time.

The month of November is often associated with being thankful.  I call it the “Thanksgiving Spell”.  I mean I get it. Leaves are changing into beautiful reds, ambers and golds. The summer heat is melting away which means boots, cardigans, and scarves. Towards the end of the month you get to nom on mounds of carbohydrate based foods. Whats’s not to be thankful about? But blessings and things to be thankful for don’t just happen in November right? Shouldn’t we be thankful all year round? But then that begs the question-do people even know how to be thankful anymore? Do they know how to recognize a blessing without asking for it first?

I don’t know the answer to those questions. But I do know that everyday it’s important to be thankful, express gratitude, and recognize the blessings no matter how big or small. That is something I am trying to do everyday. It’s a challenge because life throws curveballs but it’s a challenge I think in the end, is worth it.

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A Little Ditty about…Music (and Jack and Diane)

I love to sing…in the car with the radio blasting so my passengers can’t hear how off key I am. The only musical talent I posses is the ability to read music-thanks to 6 years of band. But truth be told, I don’t know a single person that doesn’t love music. Everyone has their favorite band or genre. Every song has the ability to remind a person of a memory or elicit emotions of pain, joy or love.  Music is the universal language that connects all people together. When I got my first iPod in the 8th grade, (Shout-out to my mom and dad) I loaded up all 4GB with The Beatles, John Mayer, Van Morrison,  Ashley Tisdale, Vanessa Hudgens and the High School Musical soundtrack. Eclectic, right? Much to the dismay of Disney, my taste in music has matured since I was 13, but I still listen to a variety of music. I like experimenting with different genres and sounds and artists. But something I have only realized just recently is that I like music that leaves me feeling inspired. I like listening to songs that leaves me feeling like I can take on the world. Okay, that’s dramtic, far fetched, whatever you want to say. But if a song can have that effect on a person, than I think the singer/band has accomplished way more than just a $1.29 sell on iTunes. Here’s a mix of what I’ve been really into lately–

  • Jack and Diane-John Mellencamp-Favorite line: “Hold on to sixteen as long as you can/Changes come around real soon/Make us women and men”
  • Wonderwall-in the style of Straight No Chaser–  I’m really drawn to this song and I haven’t been able to quite figure out why. Maybe I need to be saved?  (“And maybe, you’re gonna be the one that saves me”). But I love the simple A Capella style of SNC.
  • Drive-Incubus-The song opens with talking about fear and uncertainty and how it’s going to take over but then there are these powerful vocals that are like “Whatever tomorrow brings, I’ll be there With open arms and open eyes yeah Whatever tomorrow brings, I’ll be there, I’ll be there…” #Powerful
  • Wouldn’t It Be Nice-The Beach Boys– I credit my love of the Beach Boys to my mother as she often had them playing when I was growing up as a kid. But there is just something about this song. The opening instrumental hook has made it one of the Beach Boys most famous songs. It is by a no means a love song, but a ballad about wanting to move on to the next step in your life-a phase I’m currently find myself in.
  • Strawberry Bubblegum-Justin Timberlake— Okay, first thing-this song oozes sensuality. But it’s Justin Timberlake, what did you expect? But what I think I like about this song is JT’s approach. He obviously pines after the woman in question but he doesn’t feel the need to use crude language or degrade the woman when describing their encounter or relationship. And that can be hard to do in today’s music industry. Also, his voice just sounds silky and smooth like a nice espresso-I dig it.

I attribute my music taste to my parents. No, Steve isn’t into JT but my parents brought me up around good, wholesome music  and that has allowed me to develop my own tastes over the years. Though the older I get, the more similar our musics tastes get. Funny how that works. For daily song inspiration, check out my “Song of the Day” on my Instagram! Cheers, Mary