Yesterday, I officially graduated from Ball State University. I’m no longer a student and for the first time, I won’t be going to classes in the fall. The single path ends here and splits into a million different directions.

All smiles after our TCOM Graduation Ceremony.

All smiles after our TCOM Graduation Ceremony.

As I’m trying to think of how to say “goodbye” through my Ball State blog, I realized that I’m not cut out for goodbyes. I can’t even get myself to say them to people who are returning to their home countries that are oceans away!!

College is the first time you get to stand on your own two feet. It’s the first time you test your personal strength, accountability and vision for the future. Everyone has their own college experience – and I’ve come to believe that there isn’t one “right” way to spend your time at a university.

Sometimes students need to switch majors several times before they find what they really want to do – that’s ok. Sometimes students need to leave the 4-year plan and get on a time schedule that better fits them – that’s ok. Sometimes students choose to join student clubs, play intramurals, get involved at church, volunteer, find a part-time job, or experience one of the other thousands of options available on a college campus – that’s ok.

We all get to where we’re going in life our own way. It’s different for everyone.

These 4 years at Ball State University were some of the best times of my life – but now it’s time to move to the next big adventure. As much as I would love to repeat some of my favorite days on campus, I know that it’s time to go. (And I know I have NO interest in repeating many of those papers, projects and exams.)

Friends

Ball State University has provided me with the education and confidence to enter the professional world. I am so proud to call it my alma mater.

At our TCOM department’s graduation ceremony yesterday, Professor Mary Spillman used a quote I’m very familiar with to end her speech. I’ve used this quote at the end of musicals I performed in, the end of my high school career, and now at the end of my college career. It’s never been more true as I look to the future. That Dr. Seuss was one smart man.

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss :)

Cat-in-the-Hat

Live like you were dying

April 22, 2011

People always talk about how they would live if they were dying, and while graduating from college is not on the same scale, in many ways I feel like my days are numbered. Which they are – on Ball State’s campus at least.

Last week, I was in Las Vegas for the National Association of Broadcasters Convention. Five Ball State TCOM students and I went to the NAB to work with Sony as interns. It was an incredible learning experience and networking opportunity.

But it was hard to transfer back to school again. We were so immersed in the professional broadcasting world – one that I am just 2 weeks away from joining. It was so easy to just see myself working side-by-side with the people I met from Sony… And suddenly these last few exams and papers became an annoyance.

Senioritis really hasn’t been a problem for me this year. I’ve known that this year would fly by, so I’ve tried to just take in every moment. But this week, it became increasingly hard for me to focus on school. We also had our Senior Banquet and TCOM Banquet this week – all signs that the end of the school are so very very close.

I have loved my time at Ball State. It was a great school choice and the opportunities I have had here went well beyond my expectations. And now, it’s time to take what I learned at Ball State and use it in the real world… ALMOST.

Next week will be the true test of my patience. 4 exams, 1 quiz and a term paper. Followed by 2 the following week. I don’t want it to go fast – but then again I do.

Clearly, I am a mess of emotions. Pulling me both to and from Ball State; to and from the broadcasting profession; to and from the rest of my life. But I know I will snap my fingers and it will all be done. SO… For today and the next 2 weeks, I will capture that “live like I am dying” attitude. Work hard, cherish the moments I have with my friends and take in every moment.

Haiti Series – Part I

April 7, 2011

With only one episode remaining, my time as the co-host of ConnectionsLive is coming to an end. But I have enjoyed the last few episodes more than any other in my time with the show. This is probably because I was able to broadcast a couple stories I did about my trip to Haiti.

The first part of our Haiti Series aired on April 23. We ran the story I produced about our trip and also had a special in-studio guest, Pam Forgille. Pam has been to Haiti more times that she can count and she led our team during our trip in March.

Here is everything that we ran on WIPB-TV.

Last night was Part II of the Haiti series. As soon as I can get it uploaded, I will share the final part of this series with you all!

On Tuesday night, Claire Buffie, Miss New York 2010, returned to Ball State University! She spoke to a packed audience about her platform, “Straight for Equality – Let’s Talk.” Claire graduated in 2008 from BSU with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Visual Communication.

When Claire was a senior at Ball State, I was a freshman, and we were both Emens Scholars. The Emens Scholarship is awarded to 5 to 7 students in each class. And even though it’s a smaller group, we all seem to be connected somehow.

I remember at my first Emens’ Banquet that Claire said she had just won a local title and would be competing for Miss Indiana 2008 the next summer. At that time, I had never competed in a pageant before (and never thought I would), but I followed Claire because she was a fellow Emens Scholar. I never dreamed that 3 years later, I would be looking to her as a role model as I prepare to compete for Miss Ohio 2011.

Clair was so humble and down-to-earth. She has a huge heart that is dedicated to helping others be the best they can be. It was exciting to see her again and listen to her speak in Pruis Hall. And it was a honor to spend time with her after her presentation.

It’s ironic timing to talk to Claire this week because we just had our final Emens Banquet on Monday. My last one!

Ball State President JoAnn Gora said she can still remember my first Emens Banquet… I sat right next to her, not knowing what to say or which fork to use. (Thank goodness I’ve been to etiquette training since then!)

It’s sad to see some things ending, but I’m excited to be an Emens Scholars’ Alumni. Going out and trying to follow in the footsteps of the scholars, like Claire, who went before me!

Register for classes?!

March 21, 2011

This week begins course registration for fall classes. And guess what. I’m not submitting a request! It’s such a weird feeling that hasn’t really soaked in yet. But, since I’ve submitted just a few course registrations in my past, here’s a step-by-step guide to register.

(1) Plan Ahead. Meet with your advisor before registration begins.

(2) Select your classes. Don’t just plan for this semester, look ahead and write out all of your semesters. Also, I held onto the book Ball State gave me at freshman orientation. Every year I pulled it out and crossed off the requirements I completed. This way I knew exactly what I had left to complete.

(3) Submit your course request. You’ll have one week, so just get it in by Friday. Be picky with the times you want, but don’t hold your breath – you might not get everything how you want (especially as a freshman or sophomore).

(4) Drop and Add Courses. Ball State will send you a schedule, but don’t think you have to follow it. There is this helpful link that let’s you add and drop classes. Some semesters, I completely re-worked my schedule – changing every single class.

(5) In emergencies, contact a professor. Sometimes you really need to get into a class, but you don’t. At these moments, go to either your advisor or the professor who teaches the class to figure something out.

Also, I walked out of my room this morning and saw this written on my dry erase board.

"Have a great 6 weeks of classes!! We will miss you! :)"

Six weeks. When do you think it will really soak in?

Spring Break Blues

March 17, 2011

My senior year spring break mission trip to Haiti was without a doubt the best spring break of my college career. Living in the Haitian culture and meeting the people who live in Plaisance was an amazing experience – one that is hard to put in words, but that I won’t soon forget.

Now back on campus, I am going through what I’ll call the “spring break blues.” It creeps around this time every year. You just had a great week away from classes, homework, schedules, etc. And then return to school to see the next 6 weeks of stress waiting for you. Add on the fact that it is supposed to snow this week – and it’s a good dose of “spring break blues.”

BUT, a high school teacher once told me that there is nothing better than spring on a college campus. And he’s right. You can see it on everyone’s faces here… Once that weather breaks into the 70′s, we’ll be the happiest people on earth. And it’ll be here before we know it!

Let’s be like Rory

March 5, 2011

There is an episode in Gilmore Girls where Rory Gilmore spontaneously decides to go to Florida for spring break. She makes this decision after she is caught in the freezing, pouring down rain. That weather is precisely what we have here in Muncie. Rain.

After weeks of snow, East Central Indiana has been hit with a downpour of rain. Flooding. Tornados. Rain. AND cold. Somedays you can feel spring creeping through, and those are glorious moments.

This time of year is hard on a college student. After months of being shut inside because of weather, we – like most everyone – are ready for the spring. But, also during this time is a little thing called midterms. And a busy schedule that helped me accumulate 6 loads of dirty laundry.

We all get busy right now – and it’s a low-spirited busy because of the weather. This is why we should all be like Rory Gilmore and take a spring break in the south. Escaping Muncie for a week and soaking in the sun really do revive you to come back and finish the semester strong.

On our way to Disney my sophomore year.

On our way to Disney World my sophomore year.

Friday Night Filmworks

February 17, 2011

I missed seeing Morning Glory in movie theaters. How? Good question. I’m a TCOM major – going to a movie (starring Rachel McAdams) all about my career should have been a priority! Actually, at the time it was in theaters, we were in crunch time for the VBC. Movies were not an option.

So, thank goodness Ball State’s Friday Night Filmworks were there for me. Last weekend, I was able to watch Morning Glory for FREE and on the big screen. Talk about fulfilling a dream!

The movies are shown at Pruis Hall on campus. Admission is free. Popcorn, candy and snacks are 50 cents. It’s such a cheap night! When you live on campus as a freshman (or senior!), it’s so convenient to go to the movies on Friday. And they show great, current movies too! (Harry Potter this Friday!).

My friend Luke was saying that he and his friends went nearly every weekend their freshman year. I wish I would have taken advantage of this deal a little more than I did – I’ve been to 3 movies. It’s an easy, fun night out that doesn’t require much planning on your part!

TCOM Super Party

January 28, 2011

If you are thinking about majoring in Telecommunications or Journalism at Ball State, this is a post you don’t want to miss! It will be crucial to your success in college.

Twice a year, the CCIM hosts a program called “Super Party” for all students. This is where all of the student organizations line the halls of AJ and LB and students can walk by the tables to sign up for any program they want.

Participating in these organizations is the most important thing you will do in college. Sure, you learn TCOM skills in the classroom, but you don’t apply them until you grab a camera and get involved.

When I was a freshman, I was so intimidated walking through the Super Party. I more or less ran by each organization. While I signed up for a few programs, I mostly just envied the seniors who looked so confident in their student organization positions.

Now, four years later, I am one of those seniors. And yesterday, I watched a few freshmen do exactly as I did – breeze by the organizations and grab a slice of pizza on your way out the door. This is a mistake.

I don’t want other people to follow my lead. Sure, I got involved eventually, but I could have learned more. Go to the Super Party and stop at every table you can. Trust me – the seniors sitting there want to pass on their knowledge to you. We all remember what it was like freshman year; some days it feels like freshman year was yesterday.

Today, all of us TCOM seniors (and a few of our professors) have wisdom to pass on to future classes. So, I took my camera around and made this video with some of the best advice you will ever hear. Bottom line – get involved!

Haiti Fundraiser

January 23, 2011

I didn’t have a spring break until I came to college. At home, we had a few extra days off for Easter, but never a full week. Needless to say, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed having a vacation in March.

Freshman and junior year, I went back home to Ohio. Sophomore year, I actually took advantage of the week and went to Florida with some friends. But I’m more excited for my senior year spring break than any of the others.

This year, I’m going to Haiti with a team of parishioners and students from St. Francis Parish. There are 11 of us on the team who have been meeting weekly since September. We learn about the Haitian culture, while planning our fundraisers.

On Friday, we had one of our biggest fundraisers of the year: the spaghetti dinner and auction. A BIG thank you to everyone who came out to eat dinner and support our mission trip!

We do have one more fundraiser coming up in less than 2 weeks. It’s a martini tasting at Motini’s in the Village. Just $15 for anyone 21 and older! Starts at 8pm and ends at 10pm.

This video is of the set-up/clean-up of the spaghetti dinner. It’s not a really good picture of the support from Friday night, but will introduce you to our team members!