Pre-Summer Musings: Lessons I learned this semester and why I can’t wait for these next few months

Wowzers.

That’s the only appropriate word I can come up with to begin this blog post because this past semester has been a whirlwind of the following:

1. Internship-related emotional breakdowns (Boy oh boy is the journalism industry competitive…)
2. A whole month of 21st birthday shenanigans (I mean, #YOT21O—You Only Turn 21 Once—amirite?)
3. Exciting adventures in and around my college town of Gainesville (Gorgeous freshwater springs only 20 minutes away from campus?! Sign me up!)
4. Excessive consumption of caramel iced coffees from Starbucks (I may or may not have become certifiably reliant on caffeine… oops.)
5. Enormous growth both inside and outside of the classroom (With a team of 50 gals looking up to you for guidance, you really have no choice but to suck it up and take the reigns.)
6. One heck of a Spring Break adventure (I lost my voice halfway through my week-long cruise… #worthit.)

And that’s only half of it in convenient Spark Notes form.

Through the craziness and sleepless nights, I’ve definitely learned some lessons, and I’m here to impart my fledgling “wisdom” on the rest of the WordPress blogosphere.

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1. You are your own worst critic.
I’m always hard on myself, thinking that whatever I do, say or write isn’t good enough. If you’re currently nodding in agreement, I’m here to say that it’s time to let go of those self-criticisms. It’s one thing to have high expectations for yourself, but it’s a whole other story if you find yourself unhappy with everything you do. I learned the need to loosen up a bit on my self-expectations this semester when I submitted one of my stories for a local news website, WUFT News. I was completely unhappy with the final product and was later pleasantly surprised when my editors raved over the story. I realized that I needed to step back and look at the big picture of how much work and effort I had put into it to see that maybe my work wasn’t too shabby. Cut yourself some slack every now and then.

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Visual Journalism class final project

In lieu of the end of the fall semester, I’d like to share one of my final projects with the blogosphere! For my Visual Journalism class, in which I learned the basics of Photoshop and InDesign for the first time, we were given a lot of freedom for our final project. The only guidelines given were to create our own inforgraphic and have at least one original photo in a magazine type of spread. Though some fellow students chose rather yawn-worthy, statistically complicated subjects, I naturally chose something that I knew would make this huge project enjoyable… fashion! I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of fashion trends evolving over the years, so I decided to compile research and create a timeline to depict this evolution. In order to preserve the quality and make it more readable, I cut the spread in half. Without further adieu, here it is!
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Have any comments or suggestions? Feel free to leave them below! But keep in mind that I had never used InDesign or Photoshop before this class, so I’m still an amateur with a lot of learning to do. As always, thanks for reading!

Exam week chic

Exam week – the bane of every college student’s existence – is among us. Sleep-deprived students hyped up on venti Starbucks iced coffees are schlepping around campus in a zombie-like manner. After pulling all-nighters in Library West, they emerge from its depths in their T-shirts and yoga pants and into the fresh air like a baby coming out of the womb. This past week, I’ve noticed that the stellar fashion choices that are typically present around the UF campus have disappeared, only to be replaced with more comfortable options suited for long days of cramming at the library.

Newsflash: It’s possible for your studying attire to be both stylish and comfortable! New trends like harem pants were totally made for the comfy chic look. I personally see them as a more fashionable version of sweatpants, and the cinched ankles and tapered legs ensure that they don’t look like pajama pants. They come in tons of different colors and prints at popular retailers like Forever 21, Love Culture, Cotton On and PacSun. Some of my personal favorites are these tribal ones for when I’m feeling bold and these chambray ones for days when I’m in a more laid back mood. Instead of wearing harem pants with your soccer team hoodie from high school, opt for a snug patterned sweater or cardigan that will give you a more put together look. Here is an exam week look that I made using my latest obsession, Polyvore:

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You might be asking yourself, “What is this girl talking about? Why should I even try to look presentable during exam week?” The answer is simple and lies in the saying “If you look good, you feel good.” As a strong believer in this saying, I can attest to the fact that looking presentable every day makes me feel more confident. If I’m feeling good about myself, I’m more likely to be productive and studious. See? It’s a chain reaction of sorts. So start at the root of it all, and get exam week chic.

As always, thank you for reading, and happy studying!