You Got Team AMN to LA!

TODAY IS THE DAY!

**Thank you SO much to everyone who helped me meet, and pass, my goal of $800. Rather you supported financially or morally, I am so thankful for your investment in my education.

24 days ago, I set my goal to raise $800, by donation only, for an educational business trip with my team in Innovative Public Relations.

Today, I flew into LAX with $996.99.
(**All funds not used during this trip will be donated to save the graduate position in IPR.**)

My team and I have been awake for 14 hours and it’s only 2 p.m. (PT). In the amount of time we have been in California, we have met with account executives at Ogilvy, grabbed lunch with the COO of SAM Preccelerator Program and took a detour to ride the Santa Monica ferris wheel. The day is only halfway over and we’ve only scratched the surface of what LA has to offer us.

If you’d like to keep up with Team AMN on this crazy ride, follow Innovative Public Relations’ Twitter handle: @UCMInnovativePR

If you want to check out the full story from the beginning, visit www.gofundme.com/our-first-la-business-trip

Thank you, again, for all of your support. I can’t believe this is happening.

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Help Get Team AMN to LA!: Meet the “M”

Team AMN flies out in ****THREE DAYS****. Today, meet the “M” in Team AMN, then help by clicking here.

Mark Bartlett is the contact force behind our team. He is in charge of reaching out to the human resources Team AMN needs to get our projects done. He also works closely with digital media production students to ensure all videography projects are completed with objectives and deadlines in mind.

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To give you some insight into Mark’s life, he is a Public Relations major from Lamar, Missouri. He is also pursuing a minor in Business and Administration and currently serves as treasurer of the Public Relations Student Society of America. Mark interned at Aspen Contracting in Lee’s Summit, where he worked in the marketing department and helped the recruiting staff with their design projects. This is Mark’s first semester working in Innovative PR and he is excited to expand his education outside of the classroom. After graduation, Mark hopes to pursue a career in the agency world, but is open to the many career paths Public Relations offers.

This team could not have achieved nearly as much without the “M” in Team AMN, nor could we have come so far without the “A” or the “N.” We are a team, and so we travel as such. The tickets have been bought and packing has begun! If you would like to help me travel with this amazing team, please don’t hesitate to donate.

As always, this is possible. This is attainable, but this time it’s “this is happening!”

Thank you, again, to everyone who has gone out of their way to show me their support. Your kindness means the world to me and brings tears to my eyes every day. Check out my “Meet the Team” section tomorrow when I cover my role within the team.

Last Night: A Short Story

I had never seen myself as a girly-girl, until last night when I almost fought a man over my hair. It sounds dramatic when I put it long story short, but I feel like if you heard what happened, you’d see it was warranted.

WARNING: THIS STORY CONTAINS CONTENT SPURRED BY ALCOHOL.

After being out and about downtown, a friend of mine (we’ll call him Rainy for story purposes) invited me to a pool near his apartments after bar close. I accepted the invitation and found myself drinking a gin and tonic at Rainy’s apartment with him, a I guy we’ll call Lester, a girl with the code name Karen, and lastly Stan. We changed into our swimsuits at what seemed to be the same moment as a storm started rolling in. But, did this stop a group of youngins in their early 20’s? No.

We walked out of the apartment to find a middle-American land hurricane. It was a torrential downpour. And the indoor pool we were headed toward was a good distance to get soaked. We nominated Rainy to lead us to the pool because it was dark and the rest of us had never been there before. He took his new position to heart and started running across the courtyard to a street that crossed over to the pool. I heard screaming in the rain ahead of me and looked up to see Rainy wipe out in the middle of the road because he tripped over the curb. (This street was a dead end and it was early in the morning, don’t worry he wasn’t going to get ran over.) I burst into laughter and made sure he was okay before we continued on to the building.

Once we got there, Lester and Karen, who didn’t know each other but left the bar together, decided they wanted to head back to the apartment to get dry clothes for later. They left for a good minute while Rainy, Stan and I chilled in the indoor pool. They were in the pool and I was standing on the ledge. Lester and Karen came back to announce that Rainy’s door was locked and they couldn’t get into the apartment. But, before they could announce it, Lester ran and pushed me into the pool. Me and my brand new high lights hit the chlorine water before I could scream “no.”

If you’re not familiar with the risks of being in chlorine after bleaching your hair, it has a tendency to turn the blonde green. Not only did I pay a pretty penny to get my hair done, but I also have a wedding to attend on Saturday. A wedding that my ex, that I haven’t seen in two years, will be a groomsman in. The following couple weeks I will be a bridesmaid in a different wedding. This was not the time to have green hair people!

Okay, back to the story. I got out of the pool to find a towel for my hair and Lester and Karen had already taken Roy to the apartment to let them in. At that point, it was just me and Stan grabbing everyone else’s clothes and cups to take them back to the apartment. As we cleaned, I ranted to Stan about the important events I had coming up. He patiently listened and kept telling me how he understood why I was mad.

We crossed the street and the courtyard back to Rainy’s apartment where Rainy and Lester are standing in the airway. My trek across the yard was enough for me to decide that I had a few extra words for Lester for throwing me into a pool. By words, I mean I  came at him with my fists up.

I screamed at him, “Do you think we’re in high school!? I’m a grown woman! I paid money for this hair! And you just want to horseplay!?”

Rainy and Stan make an effort to hold me back by stepping in between us. Lester put his hands up in defense.

“Why are you so mad!?” he screamed, “it’s just a pool!”

Stan pushed Lester into the house and Rainy stayed outside to try to calm me down. Remember, Rainy initiated this after party and had been drinking enough to not remember this conversation this morning.

“What happened?” Rainy asked.

“What do you mean what happened!?” I questioned. “You were there! You saw him push me into the pool!”

His eyes got big and he started to look mad.

“He pushed you in the pool?” he asked.

“Yes!” I screamed. “That’s what this whole fight is about!”

He stumbled to the door and screamed for Lester to come outside. I could hear Lester refusing before Rainy counted him down like a child to come outside. Lester made it clear he was coming out because he wanted to, and not because Rainy was making him. Rainy stepped up as the mediator in our argument until we settled on Lester agreeing to pay for my hair to get fixed if it turned green before the wedding. Lester happily agreed and apologized for acting like a child and messing around with people he didn’t know.

In hindsight, I had woken up yesterday morning complaining that I was cranky. Maybe I shouldn’t have gone out when I woke up knowing I wasn’t capable of tolerating ignorance.

Lesson learned.

“What’s wrong with Nickey?”

For all of you who were gracious enough to give me advice on my housing situation, I think a plan may be falling into place. But first, I need to get you caught up on some of the events that have happened since 2017 began.

The initial “impasse” I mentioned with my landlord turned out to be a foreshadow of what was to come. Things came to a boiling point toward the end of Christmas break. Harsh words were said, tears were fled, and I lost my bed. (No I’m not a poet, but I liked the way it sounded.) Essentially, we came to the agreement that I didn’t want to be there and he didn’t want me there.

To avoid going into detail, I spent the week before last with my belongings in three different locations and slept on a couple couches. I missed two days of work and fell behind in classes. I started questioning what kind of person I was to have become the homeless girl in this college town. You might be thinking, “Girl go ahead with that studio apartment you talked about!” Well, it’s not that easy. I had already gone the day before everything blew up and signed a lease for August because my lease at my old place wasn’t over until the end of July.

Thankfully, I have an amazing support system where I work. “Family atmosphere” is an understatement when it comes to my coworkers and myself. As soon as I told them my situation, one of them opened up her home to me and gave me her spare bedroom. I collected my things from the places they were spread out over and moved in last Monday.

I can’t explain my gratitude to her because there are no words to say to someone who is willing to open their home to me. She thinks I ignore her, but I’m just trying to process everything that’s happened this semester. I’m trying to get caught up at work, in school, and make sure not to neglect the friends who helped me move. I have a hard time opening up and showing these emotions now because I’ve done nothing but show my emotions for the past two months. It’s become hard to express anything but stress. And I hate it.

I’m sure I will open up to her eventually. But, as for now I’m just trying to figure out where to go next because she will be moving in May. At first, I thought about this with the ultimate dread. I’ve been up and down the streets of this town, meeting every landlord possible for the lease I signed in August. I couldn’t fathom trying to run back through that list and ask if they would accept temporary tenants. But, luckily, I don’t think I’m going to have to.

Today, I sat in a study abroad session. They talked about the experiences, the food, and the wonderful people they met. They discussed the financial ease it is to be able to go through the university for exchange student opportunities. They showed me the options I have to fund the trip and the many places I could go. So, what if what I thought was doom and gloom was just God’s way of answering my prayers to travel?

With no rental commitments for the summer, it seems to me the best opportunity to become the gypsy I’ve always wanted to be. Maybe Thailand? Maybe Jamaica? Maybe Czech Republic? Having no obligations other than work, which can be worked around, for the summer might be exactly what I asked for.

So, I promised you a plan. It’s a loose plan. But it’s a plan. First, live with my lovely coworker until May, then be a gypsy, then move into my (beautiful) villa in August.

Honestly, what else do I have to lose while becoming a woman in college?

 

I Couldn’t Make It Up

Like usual, I woke up in an optimistic mindset about my day. I got dressed, danced in my mirror, kissed my boyfriend and was off to class.

Except, I wasn’t off to class. When I went to crank my car, I found my key bent in half by some unfathomable force. This is a good time to mention that the class I was headed to has a zero tardy policy.To be more specific, the classroom door will shut and lock at 9:30 a.m. Naturally, I panicked and emailed my professor with a picture of my key and a description of my situation. I never got an email back.

I finally roped a friend into giving me a ride to class. However, when I arrived, my worst fears were confirmed. It was past 9:30 a.m. and the door was locked. I knocked and knocked. No one came to my rescue. Finally, I sank to the floor with my ear against the door, trying to get some sort of education today.

I laid there listening for about 10 minutes until a girl finally opened the door. I fell in and the entire classroom stared.

I stood up and said, “I’ve been sitting out here for so long, can I come in now?”

All my professor said was, “Oh, we didn’t hear you knock. I got your email, yes you can come in.”

I couldn’t get to the prime seat I had assigned myself the first day of class because my tardiness lead another student to take it. So, I sat my rear-end down in the back of the class and considered it a good day just to have gotten to be there.

 

First Week? I’m Weak.

“No drinking or eating in my classroom…no cellphones on the desk…don’t be late, this is your job…you will be penalized for late work..”

The majority of high school students around the country are getting lulled to sleep by the monotonous speeches of syllabus week. Oh how I miss that lullaby.

This semester marks the beginning of my junior year of college, and if there’s anything I’ve learned over the years it is that a collegiate syllabus is the bible of a course. Unlike high school, the syllabus is referred to MULTIPLE times throughout the semester. They have valuable information like deadlines, office hours, and study tips that I’m sure I’ll be panicking over later in the semester. They are a professor’s form of a contract in which they like to say, “well, you had the syllabus! You should have known!”

The only question I have, after an hour of losing my sanity from combing through these documents is, “how many times do you think we’ll hear the professor say ‘check the syllabus’ this semester?”

Time will only tell.

 

 

 

 

 

Craving a Mentor

When we were little, adults placed a huge emphasis on having a role model or “hero.” It was important for developing individuals to have someone to look up to and help guide our decisions. I remember writing stories about the people that influenced my life. We even had a specific date where we would bring them and introduce them to our peers. My question is, why have role models become few and far between for young adults?

The argument could probably be made that role models eventually shift to “mentors” when speaking of young adults. But when observing my peers, I don’t see the half of them even having mentors. I, myself, don’t have a mentor. Of course, I am still influenced by the people I called my role models long ago, but I am in a different place in life now, both physically and mentally. Now, I have tried expanding my search for a role model from just my family members to those I interact with daily.

When I look around, I don’t see any one person that I truly would want to learn from. I don’t see any one person that shows humility, charity, love, enthusiasm, diligence, expertise in an area of my interests, a willingness to teach, etc. Those whom I have attempted to look up to have shown their quirks. They’ve appeared to be a “selfless do-gooder” but eventually show themselves as having an ultimate self-righteous goal.

Am I naive to think that there is someone in this small town community that exemplifies the majority of the qualities I am looking for in a role model, and ultimately myself? Should I focus less on finding the seemingly perfect person and realize that everyone has flaws? When do I draw the line between “it’s just a flaw” and honest bad character?

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I am disappointed that I haven’t been able to find any one person that I return to for guidance in this life. I feel like I’m striving to be a better friend, citizen, student, employee without any direction from a mentor. I’m specifically seeking a mentor that doesn’t attempt to force their own agendas, but genuinely cares for where my future is headed and how they can impact my life, how they can make me a better citizen for this world.

I am willing to learn. I crave a source to ignite passion for my major and my community. Who in this college town can sacrifice their time to impact a developing adult? The emphasis on wisdom from an outside person shouldn’t stop at adolescence, but in this case extend beyond even becoming a woman in college.