September 29, 2011 - 12:07 PM
I think it is strange when January rolls around and everyone makes ‘New Year Resolutions'. Who's life really is marked by January 1? It is all about Fall, September; The real new year.
Even though I am in my last year of college I know this extends outwards. Why? I think it has to do with the weather change. Summer to Fall is the most profound change and easiest to tell when the change starts. By the time January hits, we are already freezing. Besides having to buy a new calendar and retrain our minds to write a new number on our checks, whats different? Nothing really. Fall is a whole new ball game. We have a new season of sports, all sorts of kids go back to school and vacations end at work. September brings a crisp sense of new beginnings, not January.
So what does this new year mean for me? It is the brink of my last year of a formalized education. I am ending an era of my life of all I have ever known. Monday through Friday, September through June, I go to school at 8:00 a.m. and end in the evening. I do my homework, extracurricular activities and hang out with my organized group of friends. All of this, all that I have ever known will be shifted. My world will be my own to mold. And this new year for me will determine, in some part, how I will shape it.
With my last year of my college career at the University of Oregon I am still focused on my grades. Not because I think getting an A- over a B+ will get me a job. I am determined because I believe in finishing my projects. I believe that the way you end something is more important than how you begun. I know that quitters never win and I cannot respect someone who gives up on anything, especially themselves. Taking just a few classes and having all of them be pass/no pass seems like a copout to me. Not trying all the way through my senior year seems like running 7/8 if a mile and walking the last part. Besides continuing to do well in school, I also have a more relaxed goal.
Believe it or not, I want to have fun. Before I enter the ‘real world' I want to not work on Friday's, eat a balanced diet of Rennie's and Ramen and take a road trip with not enough money and too many people. I want to go to a concert the night before a midterm and have a drink with my teacher after finals. I want to always buy the cheaper option and use the excuse "It's ok, I am a college student." My senior year is about hard work yes, but just as much play as well. I will keep you posted on how they both go.
September 18, 2011 - 12:00 PM
It is Fall again and for every sorority member that only means one thing, recruitment. It is the one time of year when a sorority woman eats, sleeps, breathes her chapter. Future potential new members wait eagerly to find out which sorority they will call their own.
Some may scoff at Sorority and Fraternity Life but it is a vital part of many college students life. Over 50 percent of our presidents were in a Fraternity. Almost half of the current female senators are affiliated with a sorority. It can shape your housing in Eugene for two years. Greek life can have a profound effect on where you intern and in turn affect where you will get your first job. Joining a sorority or fraternity is a big decision that thousands of University of Oregon students make every year. With close to 1,000 women joining sorority life this year the preparation process is extensive.
My chapter calls the week before recruitment Spirit Week. It is a time to bond with your sisters and learn how to recruit the best possible woman for our chapter. It consists of five days from 9 a.m. to well past 8 p.m. It is full of cheers, makeup, conversations and stress. All in all it is an amazing experience and it has only just begun!
September 17, 2011 - 12:00 PM
After a relaxing few days at home the moving chaos commenced. I packed up my room and again realized I have way too many clothes. I made a donation bag of clothes and it ended up being at least a quarter of the size of clothes I kept. All the moving hassles of not enough boxes or bags existed. The debate of ‘to take or buy new' was a constant battle that will be fought for the end of time. And then, the moving began.
I got to my apartment before my roommate and began unpacking. With Alder, the road right next to campus, being closed and everyone moving at the same time it created a whirlwind of disaster. It took me 15 minutes to drive four blocks! Part of the reason for this mess was the local companies being everywhere handing out their free lanyards and tote bags. Then the long wait to be connected back to the World Wide Web. (Still waiting, writing this blog post at my sorority.)
The best part of moving back to Eugene is the excitement in the air. All the students buying their essentials at Target, getting their new Duck gear and living on their own for the first time. College is such an exciting time. I realized that this was the last time I will move back to school. I just keep reminding myself that every last is just a new beginning.
September 11, 2011 - 12:00 PM
I never really believed my parents or grandparents when they said the whole country knew where they were when America heard about Pearl Harbor, walked on the moon, or when Kennedy was shot. I never believed it until it happened to my generation 10 years ago today.
I was in sixth grade. It was before I got ready to go to school. My Dad came rushing into my room yelling "J, come look, an airplane just crashed into the World Trade Center." I jumped out of bad just in time to watch as the second airplane hit the Towers. My Dad was shocked. I sat down on his bed. I thought ‘what's happening? Could this be an accident? I was glued to the television feeling numb. I quickly got dressed and my Dad drove me to school. It wasn't until I got there that the news really hit me.
I was studying Egypt in Mr. E's class. I was specifically working with a boy named Ben Mansker where we were researching Amun Ra the Egyptian God. Then I realized, a United Airlines flight hit the WTC. My Dad works for United, he is a pilot, who flies the same airplane. I fell into my seat and started crying. I was so young and yet I still knew how close I was to losing the most important person in this world to me. It took me awhile to stop crying as my Dad went to work. As much as I begged him to call in sick the next day he informed me that he had a duty to show the country that we were better than that. We were stronger and nobody would break America's will. 10 years later, my Dad was right.
I can remember the events of this day as clearly as if it happened yesterday. I doubt I will ever be able to watch the footage of that day again. There has not been a 9/11 that has gone by without my tears. I still get shivers whenever anyone talks about that day. Grandma was right, when the nation stops, our memory imprints it in our minds forever. I just hope I, and the rest of the world, will never have another world-stopping moment like this again.
September 9, 2011 - 12:00 PM
Today was my last day of my internship at Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield. I thought I was looking forward to it ending until the ‘lasts' of everything started kicking in. The last time I would send an email from my @Regence address. The last time I edit a story for the newsletter. My last team call and so on and so forth. I realized how much I was going to miss this place and how much I learned.
Internships are an exceptional way to bridge the gap between school and the ‘real world'. I was integrated into the Strategic Communications team like I was not an intern. I was asked to work on difficult and amazing projects that tested my current skills and added to my repertoire. I was shocked that near the end of the day my co-workers had a little farewell get together for me.
I walked into the conference room where I had sat many of times and met with everyone from my manager to the Vice President of Corporate Services. There was most of my department all waiting there with refreshments. We chatted for awhile and then I was presented with flowers for my apartment, a card that they all signed, a Duck Store gift card and a book called "Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office". I was extremely touched.
All of these accomplished, intelligent people were singing my praises. What? Did I step into a parallel universe? These incredible people thought I was worthwhile? I was flattered and honored.
I never knew I could learn so much in a summer. Not only did my brain work, it worked in ways I didn't know possible. I assimilated myself completely into the culture of Regence and tried my hardest. I was recognized for my success and helped with my failures. Regence has given me the courage to go forward with the next big step of my life. Where ever I end up, I know I will have gotten there because of the support and knowledge of this summer.