St. Norbert College / Studying Abroad at UCC / This is me.

The Top 10 of 2013

I’ve been brainstorming a good blog idea to wrap up the year and I finally found one. Can’t take credit for the it though, all credit goes to Kirsten Johnson. Her description is below:

“As 2013 comes to a close, I’m anticipating the lists of New Year’s resolutions that will appear in my Facebook feed, and while I have nothing against resolutions I find that they are so often based in what we think we are lacking, and I decided I wanted to see if we couldn’t start a different trend…

So, will you join me in sharing your Top 10 from 2013? The Top 10 things – big and small – you are most pleased with that you tried or figured out, accomplished or dreamed up, completed or launched.”

1.) I studied abroad in Ireland and was out of the country for over 150 days.

2.) I started a blog. It’s been a great form of personal expression. But it’s also a wonderful way to connect with others. I published just over 50 posts this year and my blog has been viewed in 43 countries. Crazy business. Making people laugh is just about the best thing you can spend your time doing. I definitely recommend it!
Screen shot 2013-12-23 at 12.26.23 AM Screen shot 2013-12-23 at 12.26.39 AM

3.) I backpacked through Europe with one of my best friends for 27 days straight. We traveled to 7 countries, stayed in 11 hostels, and made our way through RyanAir security 7 times [without getting charged any crazy fees!]. It was amazing and we were incredibly lucky with everything from the weather to meeting up with friends in each country. I don’t even know how we managed it. I absolutely loved every country…but left a piece of my heart in Kefalonia (a Greek island).
Screen shot 2013-12-20 at 1.43.37 PM

4.) I decided to apply to graduate schools for Higher Education and Student Affairs! I have since secured 5 recommendation letter writers, submitted 2 complete applications (at the beginning of December), and have been invited to Indiana Bloomington for interviews (not an official acceptance – yet!). I have 5 more due in January…so there’s still work to be done!

5.) I secured an internship with The Einstein Project [via email] while abroad and spent the summer interning there. I had the opportunity to create and manage my own fundraiser for the nonprofit. It was a month-long fundraiser called “Dine for Einstein”. We partnered with 8 local restaurants throughout the month of August. Each donated a portion of their profits back to us.

6.) I was welcomed back to the Sturzl Center after asking if they needed additional help for the summer. I was able to work there part-time during the summer and will be there for the entire academic year. Could not be happier! I started a professional blog for them in August to help tell the story of service. It has been successful (& enjoyable) thus far!

7.) I obtained an internship with Career Services at SNC to gain higher education/student affairs experience. I am the “Internship Program Intern”. A secondary accomplishment is that I’ve said that title correctly multiple times (out loud)…be proud.

8.) I maintained a 3.75 GPA whilst working a job and an internship. I may not have went to bed before midnight, or woken up more than 15 minutes before I needed to be at work…but I made it through the semester. And all was incredibly worth it. I still wasted time on Facebook and watched Ellen (almost daily), so it wasn’t all that bad. 🙂

9.) I wrote a blog regarding a controversial post that countered the majority opinion. I find it extremely important to eliminate our preconceived notions and challenge what society has always deemed as “normal”.

10.) After posting the article discussed in #9, a mentor complimented my “independent intellect”. That’s in the running for the best compliment I have ever received.

I’ve learned a ton, experienced more than some ever get the chance to, and have appreciated every second of it.

Cheers. It’s been a wonderful year.


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