As I'm preparing to move from Columbia, MO to Columbia, SC I've been thinking about some of the things I'll miss and what my favorite things about CoMo are. Most of my time here has been as a student, so if you're considering Mizzou or a new student here you might want to check these things out!
- The local restaurants. I've always been a chain restaurant, chicken fingers and fries, kind of girl but not here. Downtown is a hot spot for some amazing food, check out Flat Branch, Heidelberg, or Harpo's for some good food, cold beer, oh and their patios! If ya venture out of downtown, try The Pasta Factoru, Truman's, or really any of the Mexican restaurants around town!
- The gamedays. Well as y'all know, I'll be taking part in gameday anywhere I go, but I will miss Mizzou gamedays for sure. From tailgating in any piece of grass/empty sidewalk you can find, to walking through Greek Town and never knowing what you'll see or hear, to jumping up and down to Welcome to the Jungle as the guys run in.. Mizzou Football will not soon be forgotten by me!
- The night life. What kind of alumni would I be if I didn't mention some of the most fun places in town?! The Penguin is a favorite, I mean a piano bar is easily my pick any time it's an option! Then you have the Shot Bar, which is not only dangerously delicious, it also names shots after a few people all Mizzou fans should hate.. Hint: cough*Kansas*cough - Harpo's, Campus (better known as Big 12, or Big Tweezy), and Roxy's all deserve a mention as well.
- The location. Here in CoMo you can get to St. Louis or Kansas City in an hour and a half, and the Lake of the Ozarks in about the same. If you want a little further, you can get to Nashville, Chicago, Oklahoma City, Dallas, Memphis, or Minneapolis in 6-8 hours. Basically we are in the heart of the heartland and it's pretty great. Being a Cards fan, it's nice to be able to take a day trip to STL and cheer on the Birds! - Not to mention Les Bourgeois Winery just 20 minutes outside of town that overlooks the Missouri River, it's so pretty!
- The traditions. I won't lie, I didn't take part in all of them but just the fact that they exist is really cool. I was not Greek during my undergrad so I have never had those experiences like some of my friends, but there are other traditions here that all can enjoy. As a student the biggest ones are probably riding the tiger, kissing the 50 at Faurot, jumping in the fountain near the student center, and screaming MIZ in Speaker's Circle. (I can check all those off!) - But another cool aspect is Homecoming and all of the traditions around it. The blood drive, house decs, the parade, and the fact that Mizzou started Homecoming. Stick around Columbia and more things will pop up too!
- The trails. There are trails everywhere! I hate treadmills and it's harder to motivate myself to workout inside, so the trails are a great option. There's so many pretty things to see along them too. There's plenty in town or there are hiking trails toward the outskirts.
- The District. Downtown CoMo is referred to as The District and it's my favorite part of this town. Grabbing some ice cream at Sparky's, sipping on a alcoholic slush from Tropical Liquors, shopping at all of the cute little boutiques, or eating on a patio, I just love it! Walking around downtown offers a diverse group of people, cultures, and activities going on. Yes, CoMo is a college town, but there is more to downtown than just college kids going out. Hit up Broadway and 9th Street for the main places! Oh, and when you're finished head to The Roof at the Broadway Hotel for the beautiful view!
- The entertainment. I touched on this a little mentioning the Blue Note and the nightlife, but here in CoMo there are festivals, 5K's, sporting events, and conferences happening majority of the time. True/False Film Festival and Roots, Blues & BBQ are two huge events that are hosted in Columbia each year. Or if you're a sports fan, like me, what better way is there to spend a day than at a Mizzou sporting event?! Best part about college towns is that there are sports being played All. The. Time.
I graduated 5 months ago from the Hospitality Management program at Mizzou and I begin my Sport and Entertainment Management master's program in 4 months which means the past few months should have been amazing and relaxing right? Well, that's not 100% right, but it isn't 100% wrong either. I did get to take a nice week vacation to Cozumel (if anyone wants me to tag along on their trip hit me up!), I've gotten to spend my weekends at sporting events and concerts, and I've gotten to come home in the evening and do anything except homework. Yay! However, I've also taken a trip to South Carolina that was more of a "how much stuff can you get figured out in 3 days" kind of trip than a vacation, applied and interviewed for multiple jobs, tried budgeting my grad school money 147 times, and kept working/interning three jobs. I'm not here to tell you the diary of my last few months, but for those of you who might be currently, or may be in the future, on this "break" I have some do and do not's for y'all!
- Spend time with others & have fun. - You may be/have been a social butterfly in college or you might have been a work-a-holic, either way, take this time to spend it with family and friends. I have a good chunk of time off before I leave and I plan on spending lots of time with family and taking a trip with some of my friends. Take time away from the stress and work and have some fun, whether that's a trip or a walk on the trails with friends.
- Keep your work ethic. - If I could've went this entire break without working or without a few internships positions I would have been thrilled.. but I needed to make money and I also wanted to keep gaining experience while I had the time. For me, school isn't something I enjoy so if I would have gotten out of the rhythm of being busy and having tasks (for internships) to do outside of work, I think going back to school would be really difficult.
- Over or Under Estimate Your Time. - My suggestion would be to just evaluate your commitments, goals, and even your for fun plans before you commit to something else. I considered getting a second part time job for the evenings because I know grad school is going to be expensive, but looking back now I am so glad I didn't. I would have been exhausted. And would have had not "fun" time.
- Think that life slows down. - Sure I haven't had assignments to turn in, but I've still been busy with work, internships, family events, Girl Meets GAMEDAY, attending concerts and ball games, and spending time with friends. I'm thankful for no tests to prep for, but life goes on and applying for jobs can be just as stressful as multiple assignments due!
- Tarnish Relationships. - I know I talk about relationships and networking a lot here, but literally less then 24 hours ago I had two more examples of why this is important, happen to me! My current job, which I'm scheduled to leave June 30th, asked if I'd want to continue working through July. After expressing that I still need time off to prepare for moving, they said that I could set whatever hours worked for me so that I could still prep for my move and also make some more money. Perfect! The second example is that my future boss contacted me asking if I could find out some information from Mizzou. The only way to get this info was to reach out to a contact I've made through mutual friends. Not only did I get the information my future boss needed, I got more info than just that. My contact helped, without having to, me get my future boss the info and to make a good first working impression on them. Yay! - I promise, the hard work, friendliness, and networking pay off!!
Hopefully you found at least a few of these tips helpful!
I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
I decided on a university for graduate school!! Okay, if you follow my Instagram or Twitter you might have already figured it out, but I felt like a blog post would make it official.. ;) — In a few short months I’ll be trading in my gold for garnet and officially becoming a University of South Carolina Gamecock! Actually I have no plans to trade anything in.. more like just add to what already exists!
After months of preparing for the GRE, writing personal statements, emailing faculty, and searching for graduate assistantships, it finally feels like the big move is actually going to happen! Thank God! - The University of Florida and Texas A&M would have been great choices, but I think I’ve known, for about a year, that if I had the opportunity to go to South Carolina, that is where I would end up. Not only are they a highly regarded university for their Sport and Entertainment Management program, but the title itself drew me to USC. Since my undergraduate degree is in sport management AND event planning, it is nice to be going to a school that offers sport AND entertainment within this master’s program instead of going in the direction of only sport management/administration. To say I’m excited for this opportunity is an understatement!
So now that I’ve been accepted, figured out the money situation (ugh..), and found an apartment all there is to do is wait.. and I’m not a patient person. Luckily I was able to keep my job after graduation until June. — I really am spoiled by this! I can only imagine how hard it would have been to find a job, knowing I’d be leaving in about five months, and that would let me take a week vacation to Cozumel and a week to South Carolina over that time span. Sometimes college jobs aren’t so bad :) — So for now I’m just working, saving money, and spending time with family before I leave. Oh, and finding ways to decorate my new apartment, which doesn’t help with “saving money”…
In a few short months I’ll be heading halfway across the country to the other Columbia in the SEC and getting a taste of the south! Down there they say I’m moving to the “better Columbia”, but I truly don’t know if I’ll ever be able to say that! I am excited to see the differences between the two in all aspects of life, sports, culture, weather, all of it! I’m far more excited than I am nervous for the move. I’ve always wanted to “get out and go” so to speak, so to be able to experience a new part of the country is an idea I love! Plus, grad schools only two years. I may come back, who knows!
Be prepared for a lot more #GoCocks, garnet and black, and southern inspired posts, they’re coming your way!
If you missed the 7 Helpful Tips for Selecting a Grad School post, check it out to find out some of the ways I decided where to apply! If you’re interested in, or heading, to grad school I’d love to hear about it! Leave a message in the comments or send me a message on the Learn More page!
Well, I've been working on my Goal Journal for over a month and I'm not going to lie, we've had our ups and downs. Part of it is that making my journal a part of my routine has not come as easy as I'd hoped. - Probably because I'm not a "nightly routine" type person. I may go to bed at 8pm, or 4am, who knows. - Before we get too far, if you haven't read my first post, Goal Journaling.. What's That..? I encourage you to do that before reading much further!
If you have read it, I have some pictures of my Goal Journal and what has and hasn't worked for me in this post! If you want to try Goal Journaling, I'd love to discuss what has and has not worked for you as well! Comment below or write to me on the About & Contact Us page!
Bit of Advice.. Make sure you take in to account how much time you actually have to accomplish the goals you're making! - Read for more details below!
1. My template. I've split it up into four sections; goals, quote of the day, accomplished, and blog scheduling. The accomplished section I don't fill out until the end of the day, when I make my Goal Journal page for the next day. I think that by putting 4-6 goals at the top, similar to a to-do list, it makes me think about the next day and what needs accomplished without being overwhelmed by a huge to-do list.
2. Filling it out at night. I really think this depends on the person. Figure out if you're a night owl or a morning person and go with it!
3. What I've accomplished. By tracking this I feel like I've been more aware of what I do and don't do every day, which has helped me be more productive daily.
4. Quote pages. I decided that in addition to one quote a day I would also do quote pages throughout. I LOVE quotes and using them for motivation, so having a decorative page every once in awhile that has inspirational and motivational quotes is really encouraging AND fun to make! (See the image above!)
What Hasn't Worked?
1. Not being realistic with time. I've been a little overly ambitious with my goals each day.. There have been days that I've only accomplished one of six things, which I hate. I don't see anything wrong with setting a lot of daily goals and to-do's, but when I'm only getting one accomplished it makes me feel a little defeated. I really need to look at how much time I actually have and be realistic with what I need and can get accomplished each day. - Don't allow this to make you feel defeated, that is the opposite of the point for this goal journal!
2. Making this a routine. I've had a couple days here and there where I didn't quite get my journaling done for the day. Oops.. I believe that for this to be as helpful as I want it to be, it needs to be an every day task. Even though I'm don't have specific nightly routines, I need to set an alarm or something to make me fill out my journal each day.
3. Balancing goals and to-dos. For the first few weeks I tried to make all of my goals for the day, and accomplishments at the end of the day, these big things. It doesn't have to be. I need to realize that "read a chapter of a book" or "read blogs from Pinterest" is okay to add! Sometimes simple things like that can reduce stress or relax you!
1. Gratitude section. I'm going to add a section to write things I'm thankful for each day as well. I may be thankful for a goal I accomplished or task I got done, but I'm going to also include things like being thankful for time with family or having dinner with friends.
2. Type of goals. As I mentioned before, to this point they've mostly been things I need to accomplish or I want to accomplish for work/grad school/betterment. I want to include things I enjoy as well. Maybe include "read a chapter of a new book" or "spend time reading blogs". Maybe even shopping :)
3. Set an alarm reminder. I'm going to start setting an alert each night to remind myself to fill out my goal page. The longer I do this the more of a habit it will become. Plus I just think it will be more effective if I get into this routine.
4. Tracking money spent. I did this occasionally this past month and I think I'm going to add it to my template so that each night I can reflect on how much money I spent. I think it'll make me more aware and cautious of how and why I'm spending money.
So that's all for now, but stay tuned because more updates and adjustments to my goal journal will be posted soon!
If you have any ideas or questions I'd love to hear from you!!
I used to think that my lack of organization was only because of school, and how much I didn't like it, BUT over the past two years I've realized that isn't the case. My intentions are great, I try to be organized. Like the quote below says, I love all of those things that should add up to an organized life, so much so that either my family and friends pull me from office and school supply isles or I'll spend $50 on highlighters and portfolios without even thinking twice. Don't get me wrong it isn't that I forget the important stuff (school, work, volunteering, events, etc.), but I desperately want a way to avoid the daily chaos in my mind and the 20 to-do lists in my purse. After trying agendas, online calendars, printable forms, and just the good old scrap pieces of paper, I've decided to give a new idea a whirl.. goal journaling.
So what is this goal journaling..and why am I trying it..?
I think by now we have all seen the new bullet journaling and the creative "make your own" type journals/agendas people are using, and, well, I'm just not that dedicated. Nor do I want to take the time and creativity to literally color a picture around my to-do lists every. single. day. - I do like the idea of a journal though, they're smaller, they can be more personal, more creative, and they can be as broad or detailed as you want.
My idea with "goal journaling" is to combine a personalized journal and planner and to get better at goal setting. Seriously, listen to people who set daily or weekly goals and how they think it's helped them. You'll want to join in on it too. Goal oriented people are better at managing their time and their priorities. Instead of just dealing with each day as it comes, they have a plan, or at least a few things that they want to accomplish each day. There can still be room for spontaneity and changing plans, but think of it in these ways.. Is writing a paper easier if you just wing it or if you have an outline of ideas? Sure, I've "winged" plenty of papers, but if I have an outline it's usually a better paper. Meetings can be another example. If you go into a meeting with a blank sheet and try to accomplish whatever comes to your mind, you're likely to miss some things, but if you have an agenda or topics to cover you get more accomplished and cover everything you need to cover. At least with my experience that's how it has gone. So, if I can get more accomplished, manage time better, & plan out my days, I'm all for trying it!
My layout for my "journal" is pretty simple (I'm sure there will be edits to this template i've created). The date is at the top, then a list of 3-6 goals/to-dos for the day. After this list I've incorporated a motivational quote, or just a quote that I like for the day. The bottom third of the page is split and one part has "accomplishments", which I fill out at the end of the day when I make the next day journal page, and the other part is my blogging plans. I've kind of fallen behind with my blog posts and I hope that if I dedicate a single area to blog planning it will get me back on track. - Like I mentioned, I think I will do my goal journaling the night before. I'm not a morning person, there is no way I'm waking up early to do this, so i mine as well make it a nightly routine right? I can recap the day and fill out the "accomplishments" section and then set goals for the next day. I also like that I'll be picking a new quote each night before I go to bed. Trust me, it will stick with me better the night before than it would if I tried to remember something at 7am.. Again, not a morning person..
I'm betting that there are more people than just me who have every intention of being organized and are wanting to improve on this aspect of their life, so that's why I'm sharing this adventure (yep, adventure ;P)! I'll give it a try for awhile and then share what I like and don't like, learned, and have improved or not improved on, throughout the process! - UPDATE: Check out Goal Journaling, the First Update! for how my goal journal is working for me!
If you try the bullet journaling and love it, props to you (and teach me your ways!!), but I'm hoping that goal journaling might be a good substitute for me!
-- Click here to read a post from White Petal Travels about bigger picture goal setting! --
As always, have comments? Questions? Ideas?
Leave them below! I'd love to hear from y'all!!
Wanting to go to Graduate School? Trying to make a decision on where to go? Been there, doing that! Here are some of the steps I've taken on my path to research and hopefully make a decision.
What program do you want? For me, I knew I wanted something with sport in the title. I began my search for sport management, sport administration, and sport and entertainment management programs. - Google the program you want and find a list, I used an NASSM website for my search, but I also searched things like "SEC schools with sport management master's programs"
I do not like the cold. Snow..ice.. winter weather of any sort.. yeah none of those things are things I enjoy. Therefore, every school I've looked into has been south of the University of Missouri. There are some really good programs that maybe I should have looked into, but I just don't want to spend 2 years in a cold place. - In addition to weather, I also looked at D-1 schools and as I narrowed down my search and decided I'd like to be a GA in an athletic department, my search became more geared towards SEC and Big 12 Schools.
Most of the schools I looked at had at least some of their required classes on their websites. Some Sport Management programs are within colleges of science and kinesiology, and had a lot more classes based on the science of sport. Not exactly what I'm interested in, so I put them toward the bottom of my list or removed them completely.
4. What do they offer?:
Not that every school's website tells the whole story, but I would suggest doing your research online. See what they talk about on their website, how many faculty members they have, what it has to say about graduate assistants, do they host any conferences, is an alumni base mentioned, or anything else you can find.
I didn't go crazy LinkedIn stalking professors or anything, but some people do. You can look at what kind of research they do, where they got their degrees from, and how many there are in a department. Instead of doing a lot of research, I emailed departments or visited them. Asked some questions and asked for curriculum lists, fliers, etc. It allowed me to introduce myself to faculty as well.
Spreadsheets have been helpful because it has been the way I have organized information and easily been able to compare schools. You can label them and separate the whatever way works best for you, no way is right or wrong!
Talking to people about my interests and grad school has really benefitted me in a lot of ways. Not only did I get advice and different point of views, but I also learned about connections that I never knew were there. Many of my professors, mentors, bosses, and friends knew people at the universities I have researched and either gave me their names or told me things I never would have known otherwise. It was definitely one of those times that even though I didn't want to bother people, I am glad that I asked for help and discussed my interests with people.
If you have questions leave them below! Or if you have done a grad school search and have more tips leave them below as well!
My first year as a student was spent trying to figure out what my major should be by taking classes that I thought I may be interested in. I ended up in a sport management and a parks, recreation and tourism class and decided that sport management was the path I wanted to pursue. After that, my fall semester of sophomore year was filled with more classes within the area of sport management and event planning. During my courses I had guest speakers and upperclassmen visit and talk about organizations. I began doing research to find some that would apply to me and looked like good organizations to be a part of. I had no idea that what I was about to apply to would become one of the most important and best decisions I made throughout college.
Towards the middle of my sophomore year, a few members were invited to a meeting where two upperclassmen were announcing that they were going to bring a student chapter of International Special Events Society (now known as International Live Events Association) to Mizzou's campus. I decided since this fit the events portion of my major, I wanted to join as a founding member and the first Director of Public Relations for the organization. Finally, toward the end of my sophomore year I, along with two others, decided to start our own sport management/venue management organization for the upcoming year. With the addition of the two new clubs both of my emphasis areas had organizations dedicated to them specifically and the opportunities for students increased quite a bit.
Was I crazy for becoming so involved so suddenly? Maybe.
Would I do it all over again? Absolutely.
So why were these organizations the best thing I did in college?
See my 5 reasons below (in no specific order):
I'm being 100% honest when I say that all of my closest friends are people I met through student organizations. More specifically, they're people I traveled with through student organizations.
One of my close friends said just the other day, "And to think, we became friends and got to know each other all because we met in the back seat of a car on our way to a St. Louis networking trip three years ago." This statement really hit me because it's absolutely true, we didn't know each other at all and from that one trip became friends. After that, when we decided to start our own organization she was one of the first people to come to mind and we've just become closer as time has passed. Organizations didn't just help me to meet people with similar interests, they are truly responsible for some of my best friends from college and memories that I'll remember forever. Let me tell you, driving for 7 hours overnight with four other people that you don't know real well give you plenty of time to learn more about people than you probably want to! Sure, I know some times these people you're traveling with end up being people you don't like, and that's okay, but I gained way more friends out of experiences like this than I did enemies.
2. Professional Network.
I've kept business cards and an Excel sheet of people tied to the sports industry that I've met and networked with because of student organizations. I understand that professors and departments have a lot on their plate, but without my involvement in student organizations my connections, leads after graduation, and knowledge of the industry would be quite a bit smaller. Through planning trips to St. Louis, Chicago, Kansas City, Nashville, Las Vegas and Columbia, South Carolina, I've established a professional network that I can feel really good about. I'm so thankful that I dove in and became very active with student organizations so that I had the opportunity to learn outside of the classroom and create relationships with people throughout the country. Because I decided I wasn't okay with always staying in my comfort zone, I traveled, networked with industry professionals, planned trips and events, and attended conferences, I have been rewarded with mentors and people I can ask for advice or help if I need it. (See my post on what networking is here!)
Yes I am (just about!) done with my undergraduate degree, have sat through hours of classes, done way too many group projects, and listened to good and bad guest speakers, but the most valuable knowledge I've gotten throughout college has come from two places; work/internship experience and student organizations. I think most of the time the knowledge gained from networking trips and conferences is more beneficial than what was taught through textbooks and lectures. You get to learn in a variety of ways, from multiple people and, for me, that is something I really enjoyed. I also think the professionalism and professional development that can be taught is important. Through organizations I had resume lessons, business card creation, social media lessons, professional email guest speakers, and a variety of others that I now use daily.
Don’t get me wrong, fundraising is a pain in the butt and no one likes doing it, but if you are in student organizations and can help raise funds, then you can probably get opportunities similar to mine! We even got our University department to donate a significant chunk of change to help us travel to South Carolina twice. We did a case study competition, but it was actually pretty fun and I love that place so spending a total of 9 days down there in 75 degree weather vs. staying home where it was 30 degrees and snowing is wonderful in my opinion! If I would have paid for everything for any of these trips the cheapest probably would have been $500 at minimum, $1,200 max probably (flights from Mizzou to University of SC are NOT cheap), but for a few of the trips I paid $100. The most I ever paid was $400, and that was Vegas for a week. Not exactly a cheap place to be for a week with 13 other college girls.. But with that being said, three of these trips were for conferences and two were for networking and venue tours. The education and connections I gained from these trips was worth way more money than I actually paid to attend.
I’m going to piggyback this one off of the travel section to start with. The experience of attending major conferences and participating in case study competitions has really set my education apart from some of my peers. I attended an event/wedding planning conference that had a lot of sessions related to marketing and social media. I never would have learned any of that at Mizzou, none of my major specific classes teach that, even though it is extremely useful to event planning and entertainment. (and now my blog!) - With the case study, it taught me creative ways of thinking that has really shown through in group projects and presentations the past couple years.
Outside of what happened during the trips, the planning of these trips (let me tell you that was definitely a “learn as you go” type experience the first time!) was great experience. Obviously you have travel plans to figure out, a budget to set, and advertising for these trips, but there is so much more to it! I gained other skills I never expected to through college. I learned how to create websites, a lot of marking and PR, I’ve set up fundraisers and philanthropic events as well. I never expected to review resumes, cover letters, business cards, on and on, but I have and I do and it has only helped me professionally. Public speaking is the last, but maybe most important one that I want to mention. By being put in front of people and speaking at meetings, leading fundraising events, contacting industry professionals, the list goes on and on, I was forced to become more comfortable in front of people and not allow myself to hide in these situations like I used to. The obviouse skills you'll gain (networking, industry knowledge, friendships, etc.) are great, but those additional skills (budgeting, planning, time management, public speaking, marketing, etc.) are so valuable as well!
As always, if you have questions comment or email me!
Be on the lookout for additional posts about student organizations in the future!
I've known December of 2016 is when I'd graduate for two years now. It's always been this date that seemed so far away! When my best friends graduated a year ago it only made the wait seem longer. Then another group of friends graduated in May (after what was probably the worst and longest 5 months of my life..) and December couldn't come soon enough! This semester has flown by and my eagerness to graduate still hasn't faded, but the fact that I'll soon be done is no longer this endless count down, it's a date less than a month away!
Now to the realization of graduating..
The seating at Faurot Field is designed so that the students sit on the east side and the west side is for alumni (or donors might be more accurate), and the end zones are just mixes of all kinds of fans. The tradition is that the student section starts the "M-I-Z" chant and the alumni side says the "Z-O-U" part. At graduation that is something our Dean does, he tells us the story behind the "M-I-Z-Z-O-U" and then he says "M-I-Z", letting the graduates shout the "Z-O-U".
It wasn't until the second half of the football game though, when the student sections started the "M-I-Z-Z-O-U" chant that I kind of felt like we were in the wrong place. Well actually, my friends are alumni so maybe I was the only one out of place. Anyways, it was just a moment in time where something that has seemed so natural suddenly makes you stop and think.
Yet, Friday when it was the alumni side's turn to say "Z-O-U" I realized the change; in three short weeks I'd no longer be a Mizzou student, I would be alumni.
By no means do I want to tack on another semester or go back to freshman year, but leaving this school makes me a little sadder than I expected. Regardless of the ups and downs this University has had, (and let me tell you the ups and downs during my time here are unlike many schools have seen in their entire existence) it has been my home and the place that has helped me become the person I am today. When some of your best memories, best friends, and greatest accomplishments have all come from one place it is bound to mean a lot to you. I'm so ready for the next part of my life and the new adventure that grad school will be for me, but Mizzou will always hold a special place in my heart!
To get things started I want to point out that I do not think I am an expert or that my resume would blow everyone else's out of the water. Trust me, I have friends who have had incredible opportunities that I am so jealous of! With that said though, I have more people than you would believe ask me how I got all of my jobs, internships, volunteering opportunities, etc. and how they can get them. It's simple, just go for it!
My experience has included working for a MINK League baseball team, the university conference office, a D-1 NCAA athletic department, three conferences, two case study competitions, three extended networking trips, multiple day trips/tours to venues and sport organizations, volunteering with anything from Special Olympics to Susan G. Komen for the Cure to toy drives for hospitals, and leading student organizations. This isn't a blog post to spotlight what I've done, it's a post to spotlight what YOU could do & how I've gotten all of the opportunities I've had. You have to keep in mind too though that even though all of the above seems applicable to the sports and events industries, I've had jobs just to make money too (doctor's office receptionist.. data entry.. retail..). We're in college, we have to do what we have to do right? Students loans and groceries don't pay for themselves!
Don't sit and expect things to just fall in your lap, that's not how gaining experience works. That's not really how anything works (unless you're one of those lucky ones who I wish I could be more like some day!) - I've gotten the chances I've gotten by just going for it. If you see the opportunity try to figure out how you can participate. Apply for the job, ask to job shadow, volunteer for events, join student organizations, whatever opportunity you see, do it! The worst you can be told is no, or, my personal favorite, receive no response.
Ask for help! - If you are anything like me you may view asking for help as bothering people or being needy, but that isn't necessarily true. If I've learned anything, it's that if someone doesn't want to help you they won't. Asking isn't hurting anything, but you do need to be considerate of people's time and, please, do not ask basically a stranger to get you a job. Again, this is not how this works! -- I got past my "oh I'm bothering people by asking for help or advice" when I started getting involved with student organizations. I had to be the initiator when I scheduled networking trips or asked about internship information for members. Sure, there were times when I didn't get a response or got a somewhat rude reply, but for every one of those I also got one (or more!) very supportive, helpful responses. I say ask for help because having a mentor or getting other people's point of view can help more than you know. The more you share your interests with people, the better chance there is that those people will tell others.. and then others.. and then others.. and an opportunity may come out of that, or you may apply to a job and someone may say "oh Mr. Jones told me he met her a month ago at an event." Which could lead to an unplanned recommendation or, if you aren't careful, could be a bad thing as well. Isn't networking awesome? Just a quick example, i once shared with a professor that i would like to learn more about venue operations and what that looks like on the day of a game. He emailed me a week later and said that a director of operations at Mizzou Arena would be open to students job shadowing and volunteering with them during a basketball game. Sometimes it is as easy as that!
A couple do's and do not's that go along with asking for help:
Be the last to leave, help before, during, and after the event, keep in contact, tell them you'd like to help again, ask questions while you're there, have a positive attitude, I could go on. Be excited to be there and put fourth your best effort. Leave a good impression and do your best, that's how to make the most of the opportunities you get!
Leave your thoughts or questions below!
I'd love to help or talk more about the topic!
Quick facts for you before I dig in...
1. You will make friends in college that are not the same age/year in
school as you.
2. Living in the same city, or in some cases same building, as your friends
will not last forever. Enjoy it!
3. Priorities will change for people, for good and bad reasons.
4. Friendships take work sometimes.
5. Social media can be great, but it will never take the place of actually
seeing your friends.
For the past three weekends I've gotten the chance to spend time with friends and family that I hadn't been able to spend much time with lately. Some of them I hadn't seen in three weeks or so, others it had been six months since seeing them. With that being said, when you stop and think about that, it really sucks to go long periods of time without seeing your best friends. Particularly when at one point you saw them anywhere from once to seven times a week! College is great, don't get me wrong, but this post is some of the things I've learned as a student, near graduate, and dealing with friends who have graduated. Everyone's situation is different, but this girl has learned a lot!
First, no one says all friends have to be the same year in school as you. They don't have to be the same major, plan to end up in the same town as you, same gender as you, same background, same hometown.. I could go on and on, but I think you get my point. What's that saying, "Find your tribe and love them hard"? Well as silly as that quote may sounds to some people (me!), it isn't necessarily wrong. Every person, or every group of friends, has their quirks and reasons they're brought together. This can be a really good thing, or it can honestly be a bad thing. For me, it has been an incredible thing. Most of my friends have come from student organizations, work, and, unfortunately, group projects in class. Because of this, most of my friends I've had throughout college have had very similar interests to me, but even with that, my friends have dispersed all across the United States.
I regret nothing about who my friends are/were throughout college, but it was a huge change when the majority of them graduated a year to six months before I do. I love that you have the freedom in college to be who you want and hang out with who you want, but my advice to college students would be to choose carefully. Choose good people to be around and realize that if your interests or age are different, then once one of you graduates, things can and probably will change.
Second, living in the same town as all of your best friends is literally one of the best things in the world! It is something that I think most college kids take advantage of until it's gone, but I'm telling you right now, do not take advantage of that! Enjoy sleeping on couches, having the weirdest meals because everyone is out of groceries, doing homework while you drink a beer and yell at the baseball game on tv, enjoy all of it! Once one or more of you leave it becomes harder to see each other, or even to simply call each other. You can make it work, but don't take for granted the fact that the people you are closest too are physically close to you. Trust me, it is a lot easier to drive across town than it is to fly across the country!
Third, realizing people's priorities change is huge, but you also have to figure out what you're going to do about it. I'm not saying call people up and yell at them for not paying attention to you, or judging someone for choosing to pursue something different than they wanted in college. What I mean is, how much are you willing to put into ensuring your friendship with that person continues? How close do you want to stay to that person? I have quite a few friends that are essentially social media and, what I like to refer to as, "good memory friends". Ya know, the people who still like and comment on all your social media posts, as you do to theirs as well, and who you receive a text or Snapchat from when something reminds either of you of a good memory from the past. If any of these people called and said they needed help I would 100% do my best to help them or talk to them for however long they needed, but it isn't the same as when we all lived in the same city. I've realized this, it sucks, but you have to decide how much you're willing to put into these relationships. For me, there are some that I make a continuous effort to stay close with, but others have fallen into that "good memory friends" category, which is fine with me, but realizing you won't stay as close with everyone as you once were due to distance and priorities isn't easy.
"The most beautiful
discovery true friends
make is that they can grow separately without
Fourth, this kind of piggy-backs with the third topic, but friendships take work sometimes. Are you willing to work at it, or put some effort into maintaining it? Everyone on this Earth is busy and has obligations, but are you willing to work around those to hang out with your friends? Are you both willing to cut the distance in half for a visit? Can you set a date to do something and schedule around it to guarantee that time? There is not a right or wrong answer, but I've realized that to stay close with people after they graduate, or just move away in general, you have to put out effort to work to stay friends. If you have favorite sports teams, keep up on their team in addition to yours so you can talk to them about it. If you have a free weekend, go visit them. If there is a concert you both want to see, then buy the tickets and put it on your calendars asap. It's not as simple anymore as getting together at 9pm to watch the game or go out and then seeing them the next night to do it all again. You have to decide if you're willing to pay for an extra tank of gas, take a day off of work, or pay attention to their interests or lives even when they aren't around, so that you have that common ground and have designated time to still hang out.
Lastly, social media is great but it is not the same as hanging out in person with your best friends. Between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, texts, and all the other outlets there are now, you can keep up on people's lives better through the internet than you can from calling them on the phone. However, (and yes I am a millennial saying this) social media will never take the place of spending time with your friends. Most of my best memories from college stem from a spontaneous decision to go somewhere, playing a game of basketball in the kitchen, getting wrapped up in a sporting event in which none of our favorite teams were playing, or something equally as random. You can't get that from sharing memes on Facebook or sending a Snapchat with a deer filter over your face.
My advice for you all is to take the time to see your friends as much as you can, when you can. I need to take my own advice on this one. It is important to your friendship with that person or persons, but it is also important for yourself. After spending the past three weeks with friends that I hadn't seen in awhile, yes I am behind on school work and work, but it feels good to have fun and be around people I miss more than I ever admit to.
College and graduating college are great times in a person's life, but there are drawbacks with everything. The more you can learn about what's ahead, the better you'll be at dealing with it. I'm still trying to figure out how to maintain relationships and visit people. It's a work in progress.