Happy 2 Year Anniversary, Duval!

It’s been exactly 2 years since I packed my life up and moved to Jacksonville to attend the University of North Florida. I was going through a lot at the time and the move was the best thing for me. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I thought I would be upset and have a hard time letting my parents leave after moving me in.We went out to dinner that night and they were to leave for home after dropping me off. My dad pulled up to the dorm and I said my goodbyes to the two of them. As I turned my back, I smiled and walked straight to my room and never looked back. Not to mention I’ve met a lot of great people since I’ve moved here!

I have accomplished a lot in the last 2 years. I graduated from college with my bachelor’s after 5 years, I landed 2 amazing internships both of which where a dream opportunities, I built a portfolio based on not only my writing but pseudo designing skills and met some amazing people including the love of my life, Judd. (Cheese ball moment, I know.) I made some amazing memories and documented the majority of them through photography. I look back at the last two years and smile. For one, I have done this on my own through hard work, plenty of sleepless nights and long hours working to make bills. And I was able to enjoy the time I’ve had here. I love Jacksonville and consider these last two years the best of my life! We may be leaving Duval by next summer and I know I will miss this place so much. But the journey is worth it. Exploring new places to live with better job opportunities. I will do what I have to do! It’s been an amazing yet challenging experience but I wouldn’t change it for the world!

Some Moments:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just from the 1st year!!!

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Five Years, 3 Schools & 3 Degrees

After 17 years of homework, tests and paper writing…my educational career has come to an end. I capped it off with a final campaign’s presentation on Friday in which my class competed with another class for a real client. We pitched her our campaign and she loved it! In fact, she chose our group as the winners. It was a very neat experience! As hard and as time consuming as this class has been over the last semester, I have really enjoyed working with my classmates. It was well worth the pay off!

Friday is graduation day. I’ve waited 5 long years for this day. My announcements have been sent, my cap is decorated and my gown is ready to be worn. My parents will be here Thursday and other family members will be here on Friday including my brother. Friday also happens to be his birthday. :)

I cannot wait to close this chapter of my life. I have achieved a lot in the last 5 years. It hasn’t always been easy but it’s been worth it! I am eager to see what the future brings me. I have a lot to look forward to.

In the mean time, I plan on taking the summer to enjoy myself and not stress out too badly about finding a job. I have my part time job and photography on the side. Traveling opportunities have come up for the summer and I plan on seeing some close friends out of state. It’s going to be a great summer!

After 5 years…I’ve gone to 3 different schools: Brevard Community College, Daytona State College, University of North Florida and I’ve  earned 3 degrees: Associate’s of Arts, Associate’s of Science in Photographic Technology, Bachelor’s of Science in Communication & Advertising.

What an exciting and eventful 5 years it has been!

So here is to the next chapter of my life and the years to come! May I never forget where I came from and how I got here today!

My campaign's class celebrating a successful semester!

Downhill Slide.

This is it. The last month of college. The last month of my education, forever. I’m not sure how I should feel about I reaching this point. To be honest, I’m terrified, stressed, and making myself a little crazy. It’s the month in which everything winds down: the papers, projects, or plan books in my case. (Lately, it’s been plan book hell!) Maybe this last month should be treasured. It’s hard to treasure something when you’ve got school work up to your eyeballs. Maybe I should take it all in and enjoy it. Are you kidding?! I am ready to be done! This is the end of one chapter that has been going on for a long time.

Since I was 5, I remember going to school. I had classmates, nice teachers, and homework-which I never wanted to do. I slacked off often and put dance before my school work up until college. I was determined to get off my tiny island and make a life for myself. I studied my butt off. I spent my early college days commuting back and forth an hour each way to photo school. My idea of finals week back then was trying to complete prints for my portfolio and compose an artist statement to pair with it. It was work but it was fun.

Moving to Jacksonville and taking classes at UNF was a huge step for me. It started off a little stressful and messy but ended up being the best decision I ever made. Now, only a month left and I will have the world at my fingertips. (Or at least a piece of paper claiming I am educated!) Yes, things have been beyond stressful. And no, I don’t handle stress well at all. But I am pretty sure I can get through this-99.9% sure that is.

Will I miss it? Maybe

Would I go back and do it over? Absolutely not. I am content with the way my education has turned out and will be more than happy to move on to the next endeavor, JOB HUNTING!

A Countdown Begins.

Tell me when to panic. I have 2 months left of college and still have no clue where I will be come July. I am excited but freaking out that I will end up stuck. I consider myself very motivated and driven to find a job. I’m afraid I will have a hard time finding a job. I refuse to move back to where I came from, it screams failure to me. I always wanted to get out and now that I am, I plan to stay that way.

I’m not one to conform nor settle. I’ve never followed in the foot steps of my peers, I’ve always gone and done something different. Most of my friends moved away and went to big Universities, I drove an hour 4 days a week to go to photo school for 2 and a half years.  Some chose to get married and have kids, I chose to focus on my education and a career. Some moved back to Brevard, I chose to leave and never go back. (At least not in the next 20 years!)

I’ve been looking at jobs for the last few months but really can’t apply until after graduation.  I countdown the months/weeks/days remaining of my college career yet hold on to the days in an attempt to stall the future. It’s going to be stressful. I’m going to be dirt poor. I probably won’t enjoy the job hunt process/apartment hunt process. (Luckily, I have Judd for the apartment process!) That’s another thing.

Judd applied for 8 internships to hospitals for internships, which would lead him to become a registered dietitian. The application process makes you wait until April 1st for a final decision on where you will be going. It’s a waiting game. Almost a whole month from now until he finds out. Granted there’s only one internship in Jacksonville and the rest scattered around Florida. So we wait and wait to hear if and where he will be going. It’s scary. We’ve been together for a year and a few months and I’d pretty much bend over backwards to make it work even if I had to work and live at a distance from him. (Not ideal but his internship is only 9 months, it’s manageable.)

So I countdown. I sit and wait as patiently as I possible. And I lose sleep at night. Especially tonight.

 

January

My month and year started out in Philadelphia. Judd and I flew up there for vacation and to visit his family who took us to a New Years Eve Greek Festival. The Greeks know how to throw a party! We spent the evening (or should I say wee morning hours) dancing and celebrating. It was a great way to start the new year. Unfortunately, all vacations come to an end and we flew back to Florida just in time for my final semester of college to start.

This semester brought an Advertising Campaigns class and an awesome internship as a copywriter at The Dalton Agency. I started my internship a few days after returning to Jacksonville. My first day went really well-I got right to work on writing some copy for a few of our clients. I was nervous about my first day but felt welcomed and happy to be working with such a creative group of people. I have already written an extensive amount of copy and even had a radio script chosen by a client. Pretty nifty as an intern! The semester started off fairly easy. I have 2 classes on campus and 2 independent study with my advertising design/campaigns professor. I will be working on 3 mini campaigns through the course of the semester to put into a final book/portfolio for jobs in the future. My first campaign is for Papermate Pens-something not many students would want to advertise for but I am having a good time coming up with themes and ad designs.

January happens to be my birthday month and this year I turned 23. I dreaded it and resented even doing anything for my birthday but Judd made sure it was an unforgettable birthday. He booked a room at a bed and breakfast in St. Augustine-a trend we seem to follow for our birthdays since his in November-and my parents met us the next day for shopping and lunch. It was such a good weekend! St. Augustine at night is beautiful so we took to St. George street one night and enjoyed the sights. I am very close with my family so being able to have them there was the highlight of my birthday. (Besides Matthew not being there, he had to work.) My parents also celebrated their 27th Wedding Anniversary this month and seem more in love now then they ever were which is really encouraging to see. I hope one day I can celebrate such an achievement of love.

A few minor bumps in the road this month one included all the car trouble I’ve had which was pretty expensive. One day on the way to my internship, my car started smoking. My first thought was holy cow my car is on fire and I need to pull over but the smoke wasn’t black so I wasn’t too worried. I parked in the garage and called Judd and my father. My dad had no idea what was going on and Judd suggested I call the fire department. Great! So I placed my first emergency call and got a hold of the fire department and gave them the run down and my whereabouts. Five minutes later I hear sirens. My car is still smoking but not as bad as before and I’m shaking thinking I am going to be late for work-not even worried about my crappy car at that point. A generous fire fighter came up to the 5th floor of the garage where I was and asked a few questions. We popped my hood and he said it could be the radiator overheating. It was leaking fluid pretty badly. He said people call al the time for such things so in that respect I didn’t feel to retarded but I still felt special having the fire department come out. We left my car in the garage to have Judd meet me after work and drive it home. I managed to get into the Dalton offices with 5 minutes to spare! After work, Judd met me and drove my car home. It had overheated so we determined to have it towed to the Ford dealership for repair. One thermostat housing and matching component later my car is fixed. Then it wouldn’t start in the dealership parking lot. GREAT! My battery went bad. So one thermostat housing, component, AND battery later and my car is slightly fixed. She still has some issues we are working on but she is almost 10 years old. I may be up for a new car in the next year.

 

January went well overall but I am banking on February being ten times better. Plus I am one month closer to my graduation which is exciting! Below is a picture of the month, from NYE how fitting!

After all the dancing and Retsina!