Communicating Happiness: Whoops, I Guess I Forgot Again

Remember that cute idea I had back in April where I wanted to document positive moments through a 100 Happy Days series? Shockingly, I was not as diligent about this as I hoped, but here we are at the conclusion of the series! I wouldn’t necessarily say that life got in the way or I became too busy; but rather, I just forgot to tell you the happy things that occurred.

I think I actually forgot to tell myself the happy things that occurred.

For the past seven weeks I have been living with my grandma on Long Island while commuting to my internship in Manhattan.

The internship has not been easy.

Living with my grandma, however, has been a gift.

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For anyone who has made the comment to themselves about how they need to go visit their grandparents, give them a call, or send them a letter–I highly suggest doing so. And doing so now.

I have always been close to my family, but this summer I am able to have daily conversations with my grandma–rather than seeing her just a couple times a year.

She’ll share stories or make comments about her life as a child, as a mother, and then there are my favorite stories: the one’s about her and my grandpa.

My grandpa passed away the same year I was born, so I never had the opportunity to know him beyond the stories.

This evening, my grandma brought up how today was a near-perfect day. And that it was nice to enjoy it with someone (hi, that someone was me).

She recalled how we leisurely woke up on the Saturday morning. We went to the beach on a beautiful day–my favorite beach day of the summer. We went out for a nice meal, a glass of wine and good conversation. And of course we ended our evening at Carvel because Grandma could never go to bed without ice cream. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from her, it is that you never, ever go to sleep without dessert.

On our way home, she told a story about a day she remembers with my grandpa. It was her idea of a perfect day.

She said they began the day playing a round of golf, and then went to their beach on the south shore of Long Island for a couple hours spent in the ocean. Finally, their day ended at a small restaurant on the water, nothing fancy at all.

This story reminded me of all the days I forget about. The ones that go so seemingly perfect, yet are not the ones I dwell on.

It’s the traumatic days that we can recall minute for minute, but we rarely recall the days we spent smiling.

Those are the ones I want held tight within my memory.

Not the days where I was on edge, upset, stressed, exhausted or sad.

The days full of bliss.

The days like today.

-Rachel

Communicating Happiness: It’s Just Beginning.

I am so beyond ready for my next chapter to begin. It isn’t necessarily that I didn’t like college. After all, I made some amazing memories and learned from wonderful educators at two institutions. Most importantly, I met friends who turned into family and who will be in my life for a long time to come. However, I am one of the recent grads who is extremely happy that college has finished. I understand that many people say that life becomes so difficult from here on out now that we must enter the dreaded “real world.” I understand that what comes next will be plenty of tedious work, financial hardship (paying off those loans), and life struggles that naturally occur when growing older. I firmly believe, though, that what comes next is going to be wonderful.

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I’ve mentioned this to a few, but I unfortunately associate the last four years with more personal hardship than I hope to experience in the next few years. This makes it somewhat difficult to ever say college was the “best years of my life,” even if I did experience so many blessings along the way. Please see a few of those blessings below.

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I realize I’m going to be in the workforce and dealing with new “adult” things, but I just think I am going to find a way through all that mess to keep my passions alive–to find new passions, and to excel while maneuvering my way through adulthood.

I’ve heard time and time again that life does not get any better from here, but I just don’t believe that has to be true. It is in no way going to be easy, but that does not mean it is going to be a bad experience.

You can call me naive, but as someone who learned before she even entered college that life is far too short, I know that I’m not going to let money or jobs ruin who I want to become as a person. I only have so much control over what happens in the days to come, and the part that I can control? Well I’m going to design my life exactly the way I want it to be. Let’s not forget, designing is in my degree.

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My next chapter is going to be full of living. I have so many things I’m passionate about, but haven’t had the resources or time to pursue them. I know that with a demanding career I’m not going to be gaining any more time or free hours in the day; however, I’m going to find the time. I just read a quote shared on LinkedIn that stated how life became much better after this LinkedIn user eliminated the word “busy” from his vocabulary.

That stuck with me.

I don’t want to be too busy for life.

I’m so excited to start my career. But I’m also excited to continue my hobbies and to pick up new ones like photography. I’m excited to travel, which of course is where that career paycheck will come in handy.

I’m going to take so many pieces of the past four years as I move forward. The lessons. The memories. The people. The friends. The family.

Just as I said at the start of this, I couldn’t “hate” the last few years. I just know that what is next is going to be my time.

It’s going to be my time to do even more. To fail even more. To meet even more people. To fall in love with people and places. And to continuously learn–about myself, the world, and this life.

This is my life. I’m only twenty-two years old. The past few years have given me so much perspective into what I want out of my days.

It’s just beginning.

-Rachel

Communicating Happiness: The Moments I Won’t Get Back

It’s week two and my hope to post a blog each week on the same day has already failed. Not without some effort though! Last night, I opened up my laptop to write, and couldn’t find any words. Apparently after a packed day, I just wasn’t too inspired. Instead of throwing something together just to keep to my “schedule,” I decided I might have better luck waking up and writing alongside a nice cup of (iced) coffee.

Which is where I am at right now. Two weeks into my Happiness Challenge, two weeks into my social media cleanse, and two weeks left of undergrad. It’s quite an eventful time! Over the past week, again no life-changing lessons or moments occurred. However, I had a pretty solid week. Mainly because I was back at home with my family–my entire family! For the first time in four months I saw my sister who was visiting for the weekend from Boston. It was a weekend filled with birthday celebrations, wedding planning, and of course good food and good wine.

With this in mind, I’d consider it a pretty happy week–give or take some super busy days at school. The next couple weeks though? These are going to be good. My school work looks to be pretty manageable, and I’m down to my final weeks in Ithaca. My goal is to hit every hiking trail I can while I still have the chance, and spend as much time as I can with my friends before we head off to our new cities.

It’s hard when everyone likes to ask what we are doing after graduation, when really all I want to do is savor the moments I have while still a student. I don’t want to focus on my internship (which is coming up super fast), but rather on the day-to-day moments that I won’t ever get back.

These are the moments I pass my friends on campus and it’s a nice surprise to my day. They are the moments I finish a stressful project and feel accomplished with the hours spent in front of my computer. The moments I’m laughing too hard around a kitchen table with my best friends. The 70 degree days where I can really appreciate how beautiful this campus is. The moments I remember that I’m graduating from a wonderful college and have earned an education that many people may not even have access to. These are the moments I remember I’m only a college senior, and I have every opportunity still in front of me.

I’m not worried quite yet about my summer internship because I know it’s going to be a huge learning experience, one where I’m going to have to work hard and learn as I go. For now, I’m going to try not to worry. I’m going to have fun. A lot of fun. Because I graduate in 24 days. And I’m not going to get these days back.

-Rachel

“Work Where Your Passion Is”

I know what you’re thinking — long time no blog, huh? My last post dated back to May 13th. For someone who used to love writing constantly, it is sad to see that I didn’t find time this summer to do so. Between work, family, and personal times, it just did not cross my mind to put my thoughts down into words.

What did I do this summer that kept me so busy? I had a rewarding internship working on the corporate communications team for a company that only reaffirmed my career goals. It made me positive that I can find a solid job in the communications field, I can work extremely hard doing what I love, and yet still enjoy life outside of work as well.

I cannot begin to explain everything I learned the past few months, but I can focus on a couple things.

Work where your passion is.”

This summer, I followed my passion. Those that follow me on social media know I worked for Constellation Brands Inc., a company that produces, sells and markets alcohol. Is my passion alcohol? Not by any means.

My passion is communicating. My passion is people. My passion is laughing. And my passion is learning.

My summer involved all of this, and that is why I am not worried about my life come graduation (now a short nine months away). I know that my future will be rewarding because I do not intend to settle for a job, a life, or a career I am not passionate about.

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“Working.”

Throughout the internship, as I began building relationships with several people, there were moments when I did not necessarily feel confident in who I am. What I’ve come to realize though, is that my personality is what contributes to the work I produce. I am a communicator who creates projects. Along with this personality, I am sometimes too loud, I am sometimes too clumsy, and I sometimes go on tangents. However, as long as who I am allows me to continue to work passionately and remain professional—then there is nothing to worry about, and no reason to second guess myself.

Truth be told, I’m learning who I am. I am building the confidence to make it through life without losing my self-assurance. It is so easy to focus on your own misfortunes or insecurities when in reality life is whole lot happier after you accept each piece of your personality, your body, and your intelligence for what it is, and make the most of the life you’ve been blessed to live.

The past few months have not been an easy time in my personal life; however, working at my internship has been such a bright light in those rougher times. I met amazing people, laughed a lot, built new relationships, and of course worked harder than ever to create and design several communications projects. If I did not enjoy coming into work each day, then I’m not sure how I would’ve handled this summer. I learned that if you love what you do, it can become a creative outlet to focus your attention on producing high-quality work, rather than focusing on things in life you just cannot control.

I encourage everyone to find a job, a hobby, exercise, or an activity that allows you to do the same. It really makes all the difference. I know moving forward in my final year of college, I’m going to remember to find those creative outlets that allow me to decompress and to relax in between all the serious moments life sends my way.

-Rachel

Right Where I’m Supposed to Be

When I imagined where my life would be when I was coming up on 21 years of age, I didn’t necessarily imagine where I’m at right now, but this is by no means a bad thing. I think when we are kids and teenagers we create certain expectations for ourselves. I assume this is something we never really let go of, though. I thought at this point in my life I’d be a little more sure of myself, have more professional experience under my belt, and have already traveled abroad. Maybe it’s due to social media and seeing others’ experiences, or maybe it’s my own experience at two pretty competitive schools, but I tend to feel as though I should be doing more–have a better internship, work more often, work out more often, look a certain way, feel a certain way.

I get caught up in planning out how I want my future to be. As much as it’s great to have goals, I don’t believe we should undermine our current successes just because we think we should be doing even more. I may not have landed the prestigious internship just quite yet, but I have collected experience that is driving me closer to that goal. I may not have studied abroad, but I’ve traveled to multiple cities and lived in two completely different college cultures. I may not have my life together quite yet, but it’s still just getting started.

This summer will be my last before my final year of undergrad. There is a ton of pressure placed on communication students because of the notion that we must have the best internship or else we cannot compete post-graduation. I am still in the middle of the application process and I’m already overthinking the next six months. This is because I have an expectation for this summer–get a “perfect” internship, head back to IC with confidence, leave IC next spring with a job.

The plan is actually a pretty good one if you eliminate the pressure. I shouldn’t be worried because I’m doing everything I should be. I am right where I’m supposed to be. It’s the final semester of my junior year and I’m taking the right steps to move forward in my professional development. I shouldn’t be stressed over what will happen three months from now, a year from now, and especially not five years from now.

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because this is where I currently am at. *parkie*

They say your awkward years are your early teens. Well I actually think 20 is another awkward stage. You’re no longer a child, but not quite yet an adult. You can’t even go buy a drink yet–oh the college struggle. Even though I tell myself not to plan my life out, I constantly have the urge of wanting to be in my mid-twenties. This might be because I’m always around people older than me, or it might just be because I watch a lot of movies and TV. I’m not sure why, but I want the job, the apartment, the travel, the life.

I can’t say I’m one of the students who are going to be stressing once college nears its end and I’m no longer in that second awkward stage. Will I be stressing to find a job? Of course. Stressing about entering the “adult world?” Not so much. I’m excited for the opportunity to live out a life that I’ve been working toward before my college career even began.

I think I’ve grown a lot over the past two and a half years and I do believe that any adversity I’ve faced is going to improve my chances of success out in that adult world. I’ve experienced moments that I wish I never had to, but I like to think I’m living a good life through any hard moments.

I go to school, I work hard and I learn. My current job is to be a student, a daughter, a sister, a friend. Who knows what my life will actually be like when I’m 25. Maybe I’ll have studied abroad, maybe I’ll be working for a great company, maybe I’ll already have switched careers (fingers crossed this is not the case because I adore PR).

I know I’m right where I’m supposed to be–at that awkward 20 years old. And I am going to take each day as I go. I still am going to plan and prepare. That’s something I can’t stop doing because I enjoy setting personal goals. I am, however, going to try and worry less about my life going according to the set plan and instead enjoy the ups and downs that life has in store for me.

-Rachel

Public Relations, Soccer, and Sunshine–How I’ll Spend My Summer Vacation.

Yesterday was my first step into the real PR world. It was my first day at my internship, and it couldn’t be with a more perfect organization for the goals I have for myself this summer (no pun intended).

My excitement walking into Sahlen’s Stadium actually resembled a kid on her first day of kindergarten.

This wasn’t because the stadium tour involved sitting in the sun on the turf watching players practice the sport that took over twelve years of my life–even though this was something that I couldn’t be more thrilled about. But it was because I get the chance to experience everything I was taught in my media relations class–to learn firsthand how to professionally write a press release specifically for the team, how to coordinate media requests, how to implement social media campaigns. Yes this may sound boring to many, but for a communications student who has only written class assignments from case studies, this opportunity is a huge deal that leaves me with pure excitement.

The thing about this internship is that even after the first day, I can connect so many concepts I learned from my professor to this sports industry and more specifically, to this single Rochester Rhinos organization. No matter what industry you are in, the organization has key messages, a key audience, and different vehicles to utilize and implement different ideas. It may look simple from the outside, but so much goes on behind the scenes to make a professional sports organization run smoothly, and this summer is my first chance, not to sit up in the stands and watch the Rhinos play the games, but to sit in the press box and take game notes, to work with the media and players, and to LEARN how communications skills, plans and campaigns are applied in the “sports world.”

Maybe I’m getting excited too soon. After all, I’m still in the orientation process. However, tomorrow is my first game as a member of the Rhinos organization. And even being an intern, the smallest one on the “corporate ladder,” I couldn’t be happier to embrace every moment and lesson that this summer has to offer–no matter how small the task and no matter how many mistakes that will inevitably be made in my first internship.

#GoRhinos

A little throwback for the soccer-themed summer.

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-Rachel

City Farewells and Summer Hellos

And just like that my two years at BU have finished. From the last final, to packing up the dorm room, and then onto a traffic-filled drive out of Boston for a weekend pitstop on Long Island with my grandma. Exams are no longer on my mind, which is why I have time to let it sink in that a lot of changes are coming my way in the next few months.

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BU set the foundation for so many aspects of my life–both personal and professional. It’s going to be a lot to get used to when August hits and I don’t return to the amazing city, but that does not mean I’m any less excited for what I can make of these next two years in Ithaca. I’m ready for the college town, the beautiful campus, the hiking trails, all the organizations, the sports teams, and most of all the Park School where I can continue learning the world of communications.

As i mentioned, I have a lot of changes to come in the next few months, starting with my very first internship. Cue the nerves. My excitement to step foot in the “real” PR world definitely comes from the classes I took at BU where I became eager listening to my teachers talk about their own experiences. This is my first chance to be in the action of the industry and learn from the experts in the field. I can’t wait to practice, can’t wait to absorb all the information that my mentors have to share with us newbies of PR.

For the past few years, soccer has unfortunately only been a part of my life through knee pain as a reminder of my injury-prone self playing the sport years ago. I’ll always miss playing the game, but this summer I’m lucky to bring the sport back into my life. I may not be playing, but I get to experience a different side to the game. The behind-the-scenes. I have the opportunity to combine my education in public relations with my favorite past time–a pretty ideal set-up.Rochester_Rhinos_2011.svg

Interning with the Rochester Rhinos is my first step into the sports communication industry, and I couldn’t be more excited (and nervous) to begin this experience in just one week. I have so much to learn and I believe this summer will be the perfect way to bridge the transition from one college to another.

Lots of changes–changes happening this year, this month and even this week. All the transitions will take some getting used to and a lot of deep breaths, but I like to think that I’m taking steps forward in my college life, my personal life, and now with my future career.

From one hard farewell to my first college home to one hello to the busy summer before my move to Ithaca. I’m ready for you, Summer of 2015. The summer filled with family, hometown friends, sun, running, Ithaca prep, learning PR and now even soccer. Who knew I would ever get the chance to say that one again!

For now though, at least for this one week, I’m going to enjoy a little R&R with family before the summer gets a little more serious!

-Rachel