“It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.”

-Bruce Lee

This second weekend back at school, and busy week ahead have proved that I need to work harder at finding the right balance between school time and play time.

I enjoyed a weekend of hanging out with friends and staying out too late. I believe though that these four years in college are meant for that. It is easier to go out and enjoy yourself, your friends and your age in college then after you graduate. While the first few years out of college will be a transition, it is typical you don’t party like you did then, or visit with friends quite as often as you grow. So I will forever be an advocate for having fun! I am the first one to suggest going out and will sometimes be the last one going home. If you have never experienced a college night out, I suggest you do at some point. It is a great way to relax and forget your worries as a student and young professional. Here, however, is where I will add a disclaimer: while you are out having fun, keep in mind that you do have your reputation to protect. I can go so far as to say you also are representing your school and the company you currently work for, it is important to them that their reputation stays intact too.

One of my best friends Becca and me before a night out!

While I am not using this blog to talk about my social life and nights on the town, I am using this weekend as an reference to the weekends ahead. Having an understanding that I want to use my weekends for fun is forcing me to put my school work and extra-curriculars in perspective. I have a busy week ahead, other then going to class, starting tonight with two meetings, two on Wednesday, and one on Thursday. I advocate using college years for fun, but more importantly we are here to learn and to shape who we are for where we want to be after graduation. I purposely scheduled my classes so they would be back to back and then I’d have plenty of time to study. So far I have not used that time so wisely. I have plans to go out Thursday and in celebration of my brothers 19th birthday again on Friday. Saturday is the first WVU football game! LET’S GO MOUNTAINEERS! We will be taking on the Thundering Herd of Marshall in the ‘Friends of Coal Bowl.’ Having an idea of where I want to spend my time later in the week, I know I have to use my free time in the beginning of the week to my advantage. I am currently on a break. I have finished class for today and returned home for lunch and relaxation. I will be meeting two friends for dinner at the Mountianlair (the student union), then have my meetings back to back and after that it is straight to the library for me! My goal today is to finish all my reading and assignments due for tomorrow. Lets just hope by the time I make it to the library I still have the energy to make it through. My motivation will be my immediate reward, going out this weekend and my long term goal of making dean’s list! Honestly, thinking about those two things, just made me that much more ready to tackle my work! I’m sure I will sleep well tonight!

How do you get yourself motivated to get your work done? What are your methods of madness?

xoxo

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Another school year begins…

I realize it has been a while since I last wrote. Now that school has started I hope to be writing more often.

The weeks leading up to WVU move in consisted of wrapping up my summer internship at B104, shopping for home and school supplies, as well as packing up my room. Things got pretty busy, really fast. Not only was I preparing to leave for school, both of my brothers were as well. This year is a big change for my family. Three of the four kids are off at college and the youngest, Kelly who is in 7th grade, is in the high school marching band. Consumed by practices, football games and competitions she will be pre-occupied not thinking too much about the big kids being away.

I started this year off moving into my first apartment! I absolutely love it! This is also the first year I am living on the downtown campus and not the evansdale campus. I no longer have to ride the PRT or rely on buses to get me to and from class. I have a short five to 10 minute walk, depending on my walking speed and the distance of my class building. It is such a great feeling not having to budget 30 to 45 minutes of travel just to ensure I make it to class. I also opted to have a random roommate and not live with any of my friends. My roommate is a freshman from Delaware and we get along great! I enjoy helping her out and she has said countless times she doesn’t know what she would do with out me. I can only hope that we continue our good relationship throughout the year. I have never had a bad roommate issue so if it happens I am not quite sure how I will deal with it.

Every year on the first night of class WVU hosts FallFest. This year I did not attend the concert as a guest but as an employee. This past Friday I interviewed with WVU Arts and Entertainment for a position as a guest services intern. Not a half hour after my interview I was granted the position and accepted. My first task as an intern was to help set- up and execute FallFest. I arrived to the Mountainlair, the WVU student union, around 3 p.m. after my classes. With my supervisor and other interns, we placed signs and set up bike rack guard rails all around the premises. At 5:30 p.m. we manned our stations and about 45 minutes later started letting in the masses. I was placed at the back entrance checking student ids, explaining where to get guest tickets and reminding patrons no bags or purses were allowed. Many guests were cooperative but some created hostile atmospheres when they didn’t like what I had to say. We started cleaning up towards the end of the concert around 12:45 a.m. and I was on my way home by 1:40 a.m. Needless to say, I survived and I am glad this event only happens once per year!

Today was my second day of class. I now have an idea of how much work each class requires and that I need to stay on my game if I want to make Dean’s List again. Ultimately I would love, for at least one semester, to make Presidents List and achieve that 4.0, but as long I reach that 3.5 or above I will be proud of myself. I picked up my text books today and am ready to hit the ground running! I have lots of energy from being dormant most of summer. I am hoping that energy will stay with me throughout the year and be that motivation I need to stay on track.

For those of you reading that have also started school or are starting soon, I wish you luck with all your endeavors and hope you have a good year!

xoxo

“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.”

– Tim Cahill

This summer I have traveled to three different states excluding West Virginia, my home nine months out of the year, Pennsylvania, my permanent residence with my family and New Jersey where my family and I go for day trips to the Jersey Shore!

My first trip was to Orland Park, Illinois. Orland Park was my home until I was 15 when my dad was offered a new position at work and my family was transferred to PA. The last week of June we loaded the van and drove across PA, through Ohio and Indiana to Illinois, a trip lasting a total of 12 hours. We were in Illinois for just about a week. Whenever we visit we stay with my mom’s parents, my Oma and Opa. Their house is smaller then ours so while the six of us are visiting it is a little cramped but I love staying at their house and miss being able to see them whenever I want. We also held a graduation party for my brothers at my dad’s parents house, my Grandma and Grandpa.

My brothers, sister and me before the boys graduation – June 2012

My dad is one of five and my mom is one of two. There are 12 grandkids, 4 of which are married, and 5 great-grandkids on my dad’s side. There are six grandkids on my mom’s side. As you can imagine our family parties are always big and very lively. I had previously seen most of my family members earlier this year at my cousin Mike’s wedding; but before that had not seen them in about two years. I had a great time visiting with everyone, sharing my most recent experiences, what I plan to do in the future and listening to their advice for as I move forward. The visit went by too fast. The biggest disappointment from the move, and I am staring to tear up as I write this, is that we are not able to see everyone as often. We stay in touch through phone calls and e-mails, but it is not the same as physically being there. Both sets of my grandparents and my dad’s sister and her husband have been out to visit us at least two times each. I enjoy having them here too because then we can show them how we adapted to life in PA and they can see first hand all that we share with them via phone or internet.

My second trip was to visit my friend Chrissy in Virginia just a few days after returning to PA from IL. Last summer my dad had enough frequent flyer miles for a one person round trip, so he offered it too me to fly down to see her. This time I drove myself, a trip lasting only four hours. Chrissy and I met the summer going into our freshman year at WVU. We both attended a week long camping trip through Adventure WV.

Chrissy & me at Blackwater Falls, WV – July 2010

I am not a huge camper but I would give anything to go back to that week if I had the opportunity. Our trip consisted of 20 freshman journalism majors exploring the natures of West Virginia. My freshman year would have been a completely different experience had I not went on this trip and met the people who for that first year I would call my best friends. Unfortunately, as time past we all became more distant but Chrissy and I are still best of friends and I grateful for having her in my life! But I digress. I had a short 5 day visit in VA. We ventured into Washington DC braving the 110 degree weather, spent a day and night at her Lake house visiting with her grandparents from out of state and hung out with her friends who I have come to call my friends as well! I was so glad I got the opportunity to visit again. It was a last minute trip and because of commitments with my internship could not last longer, however I wish it could have! I plan to visit again, that is if she’ll have me!

Chrissy and me at the ESPN College Game day football game WVU vs. LSU – Sept 2011

My third trip was to Atlanta, GA for the Golden Key International Summit! I was in Atlanta for only a weekend but accomplished a lot! The summit was held on the Georgia Tech Campus. Being the only delegate from WVU to attend I was placed in a room with girls from Ohio. I later realized I was placed in their room because WV, OH and KY make up the fourth region of GK. At first I was nervous and felt very alone because I did not know anyone or where I was. Throughout the weekend I met many people from my region and beyond, and became more comfortable navigating the campus. The delegates attended workshops to learn how to better your chapter and how to brand Golden Key on your campus, as well as personal/professional development. After the workshops we had an open day to explore Atlanta. A group of about 15 of us took the GATech Trolley to the MARTA to Underground Atlanta.

Region 4 at dinner in Underground Atlanta – July 2012

It was a cute street, literally underground, of shops and vendors. We enjoyed dinner at a Jamaican restaurant then headed back to campus. The next morning we took part in a Project Live Love community service event, helping in a garden built by and for refugees living in Clarkston, GA. The last night of the summit included a dinner and motivational speech at the Georgia Aquarium. I am so glad I attended the summit. Last year our chapter did not have much involvement, which I found to be true for most of the chapters present this past weekend. After all that I learned about Golden Key and what other chapters are doing to create more involvement I have plenty ideas to kick start a great year at WVU. I can only hope that the other officers are on board, if not we will have to compromise and or put our heads together to think what will work best on our campus! There is a regional summit coming up in February 2013. I am more then excited to attend, to see all my new GK friends and to discuss how the International Summit helped flourish their chapter as well!

Delegates from regions 1, 3, 4 & myself place a GK created sign into the refugee garden

xoxo

“Don’t wait for something big to occur. Start where you are, with what you have, and that will always lead you into something greater.”

– Mary Manin Morrissey

As the summer winds down I am spending my last few weeks home volunteering and completing a summer internship.

This week I am volunteering with Vacation Bible School at my church, Trinity Lutheran. I am an assistant teacher to the Pre-K class. The kids are so cute and funny, definitely worth waking up before nine every day! I am sad though because of my work schedule I will not be able to attend again until this Friday, the last day. Volunteering at this type of venue is a  valuable experience because I have realized teaching is not my forte, at least not with young children. I enjoy playing with kids, having fun and teaching them essentials about life in a practical setting; but I don’t think I would be satisfied with my career if I was a teacher. However, I respect people who choose teaching as a career. It is hard work to prepare the lessons and then execute them in a way that will be enjoyable for the students. They also, I’m assuming, have much more patience then myself, something I am working on. As a mother of one my students also pointed out, experience with these three and four year olds will be beneficial come the time I decide to start having kids. I know I do want kids but that will not happen any time in the near future.

me as the Bee at Mayfair Concert 2012

I mentioned my work schedule above. I am employed as an un-paid intern at B104, a Clear Channel Communications radio station in the Lehigh Valley. This week we are preparing for the beginning of the last event of the summer, Musikfest in Bethlehem, PA. Currently I have neutral feelings about this 10 day event. Each of the four interns are scheduled to work 6 days plus set up and take down. I think it will be fun once I am there, but it will be tiring. One of the different tasks asked of the interns is to dress up as the B104 mascot, a bee. It is not the most glamourous of tasks but it is one I feel  humbles the intern position. Throughout the summer the Bee makes appearances at station events such as Pool and Park, Van hits, Mayfair concert and Musikfest. It does get extremely toasty in the suit which is not the most pleasant feeling, it’s also difficult to see and walk. Since the eyes are located in the front of the head you can only see directly in front of you. It’s a weird notion considering in the bee head you can turn your own head to the side but you are unable to see anything. The bee shoes are slipped on over your own shoes making your feet two times bigger then what you are used to. If not for the assistance of a ‘bee helper’ finding your way would be close to impossible. Perks of being the Bee are seeing how excited the listeners are, old and young, at its appearance. Everyone wants to take pictures with it and the kids always want to hug it. The most fun experience I had as the Bee was being in the suit and taking pictures with the artists who performed at Mayfair. Artists Chris Rene, Boys like Girls and Chiddy Bang all posed with the bee but had no idea who was in the suit. Boys like Girls were the most curious about who was under the mask, encouraging me to break the first rule of being a mascot, never take off your head when fans are around!

me in the Bee suit with band Boys like Girls

Another task asked of the interns is to contribute to the Mike and Steph in the Morning morning show. Every Wednesday morning the interns plug the Pool and Park event of the day during the eight a.m. hour. Along with the usual morning show contribution, and in the spirit of the Olympics the interns competed in the Mike and Steph Intern Games. Five events were recorded and one by one uploaded to the website. These events are not typical but were a lot of fun.

I am happy with my choice to intern at B104 this summer. The laid back yet professional atmosphere was the perfect segue from the college world to the business world. I believe I have made some good connections and will be sad to leave come August 13. I am grateful for the opportunity and all that I learned there. I am confident that I can take those lessons and apply them to my next position and further in life.

xoxo

Take a look at what’s in store

Hey Everyone!

I would like to take this post to welcome you to the crazy life of Shannon! Throughout following posts to ‘On The Real’ I plan to take you through my day to day, focusing on my most important endeavors.

This August I will be starting my junior year at West Virginia University and I am more then excited and also overwhelmed! I plan to make the most of this very pivotal year, molding myself into the professional that I aim to be while enjoying the nonsense of my last few college years. This year I will be involved in multiple organizations on campus including, Golden Key International Honour Society, of which I am Vice President, and Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society, of which I am Secretary. I also have an internship as a Campus representative, with the position of Social Media rep, for Rent the Runway! I am more then excited to express my leadership abilities, gain experience as well as learn more about the organizations I am associated with, myself, and my career ideals.

Junior year marks my move into my very first apartment! I am ecstatic to be out of the dorms and more or less on my own. Having had issues with friends earlier last year when discussing living situations I currently do not know who my roommate will be. I can only hope it works out for the best like my freshman year random placement did! My mom and I have been shopping in and out of the house for supplies I can take to my new ‘home’. She has also provided me with my favorite recipes of hers that I can’t wait to share with my friends!

Family is a big part of my life and will be following me, in essential, come August. My brothers are twins, 19 years old and starting their freshman year of college this fall. Kevin will be attending Temple University, and Sean will be attending WVU with me! I am so very happy and anxious for them to begin! I wish them the best of luck and know that they can accomplish whatever they set their mind and heart to! It doesn’t end there, my sister, Kelly, will be venturing into 7th grade this year. This young lady surprises me with her love for learning and dedication to her interests everyday. She will be playing in the high school marching band this fall! I am so proud of her being one of, if not the youngest band member! I can only hope that I am being the best role model that I can be for her. Finally, my parents. I couldn’t have gotten where I am today without all of their love, support, guidance and advice. I am forever grateful for everything they have done for me, for our entire family.

That is just a little bit about me and what you can expect to read about as you travel through a year as Shannon. I can tell you now it will be a bumpy ride but a ride I hope you enjoy and one I hope changes me, for the better.

xoxo