Summer Summary

Well, since it has become a terrible habit of mine to not update this very regularly, you once again get a long update- starting in July!

July

During my second month at the new job, I couldn’t have had more fun. I was taken go karting by corporate (don’t worry Grandma- we wore seat belts and helmets and had lots of rules, totally safe),was recognized several times by VPs and seasoned employees for my diligence and high quality work. I was even told by the President that, “the general consensus of the company is if you want something done right, give it to Allison.”

IMG_2527 IMG_2551 IMG_2530 IMG_2526

Needless to say, I made my presence known, and laughed and enjoyed every day more than I ever thought possible at a place of employment. I was given numerous additional tasks to oversee, and was chosen as the first person in our company to receive certifications in shipping hazardous materials (also completely safe).

I educated my colleagues on contra dancing (and consequently my boss now thinks I’m a celebrity since I’m featured in many videos), and I really found my place within Alexium.

July also held new adventures and wonderful memories outside of the office. I had wanted to try aerials for quite some time, and never had a place to explore this potential new hobby. I knew that many studios in Asheville taught these skills, but it was too far to make a weekly commitment to a class. Then, I learned through a friend of a Greenville Aerialist who had her own business and was instructing many others on what she had learned training with the circus in Austin, Texas.

Needless to say, I signed up and I fell in love during my first class. Aerials is another form of expression and dance, and though I am still building my strength, I know that I have already grown so much, and will one day be ready to perform (and I CANNOT WAIT).

IMG_2457 IMG_2786 IMG_2852 IMG_2837 IMG_2833 IMG_2832

At the end of July and beginning of August I had a wonderful visit with two of my closest friends from high school, Annette and Ciara. They flew down to GSP on Thursday afternoon, and I was able to pick them up and take the next day off to spend with them. We went downtown to relax in Falls Park, went hiking at Rainbow Falls (and climbed under a beautiful waterfall), painted ceramics at the Color Clay Cafe, danced the night away, and otherwise goofed around like old times.

IMG_2559 IMG_2662 IMG_2649 IMG_2644 IMG_2642 IMG_2641 IMG_2637 IMG_2636 IMG_2635 IMG_2633 IMG_2632 IMG_2631 IMG_2630 IMG_2617 IMG_2609 IMG_2594 IMG_2587 IMG_2583 IMG_2581 IMG_2580 IMG_2576 IMG_2573 IMG_2572 IMG_2570 IMG_2563 IMG_2561 IMG_2560

It was so wonderful having them in Greenville again, it amazes me how close we’ve been able to stay after all of these years in different states.

August

The beginning of August started out incredibly busy. First, I had the tail end of the girl’s trip to visit me, and the Monday I took them to the airport I had to work and head down into Atlanta immediately after for my training. I spent my week in Atlanta in class learning everything there is to know about packaging requirements and shipping of hazardous goods.

I passed every certification test (there were three) with a 100%, just because I could. Luckily I have a good friend who lives in Atlanta, and he was willing to put up with entertaining me the week I was in town. We ran together, got dinner, and he even took me to his office on Thursday (he is the Lab Manager at a local Brewery), and I got to see how science and beer collide (And I thought of you Rick, because I’m sure you would have loved it).

IMG_2672IMG_2679IMG_2683IMG_2681

Friday after class, my friend drove me to the airport to catch a flight back home to Chicago. As many of you know, that Saturday was my Grandpa Wayne’s memorial service, at which I shared some of my favorite memories of my wonderful grandfather. It was definitely and emotional weekend, and I wish I could have spent more time with family, but that very next morning I caught a 5:30AM flight back to Atlanta, and followed it with a drive back into Greenville.*

*My thoughts and memories of both him and my Grandma Joanie will be written about when I’m ready, so I apologize if it seems I am glazing over this topic, now is just not the time.

After an exhausting start to August, things slowed down a bit. At the end of August I decided to race the Greenville Humane Society Mutt Strut. This 2 mile race raises money for the Greenville Humane Society, and had about 1500 racers registered. Out of all those people, I was the third woman to cross the finish line (not bad for not training for it), and the first woman who didn’t have a four legged companion to do so.

IMG_2756

I also participated in an interview with a PR representative to talk about Furman’s Engaged Living for my former boss- an interview that could be featured in national news (and don’t worry, you’ll know if it is).

I naturally spent as much time possible dancing, and hosted my second charity techno contra the last weekend of the month- and we raised a record breaking $1632.00.

11717571_10207922151398463_1702794569159248110_o 11885671_10208270804754579_2812695733582644270_o 11816310_10208077105992231_6783677199499296805_o 11807527_10208018839655609_6105793725355910565_o 11782328_10208018838495580_500073693834127610_o 11935674_10208338383284000_3541911506070925441_o

September

September was relatively relaxing (which was nice after a hectic August). Towards the middle of the month, my friends and I went up to North Carolina after work to go to Scarowinds’ opening day!

Scarowinds is a seasonal upgrade for a themepark (Carowinds… get it?) where they infuse it with the Halloween theme- adding numerous haunted houses, and scare zones throughout the park to keep you on your toes and get you in the Halloween spirit.

IMG_2942 IMG_2944 IMG_2969 IMG_2951

I’m not known for my bravery, and I lived up to that expectation. My friends spent the night laughing at my mid-haunted house freak outs and attempts to flee monsters. At one point in the night, I was chased by an evil court jester through the park. He kept chasing me so I took off sprinting. He turned to my friends and told them, “dang, she’s fast. She could be The Flash!” He then proceeded to walk with my friends so I couldn’t rejoin them until he decided he was bored.

That night on our way home, we had an unexpected adventure when my friend’s car broke down on the side of the interstate. We had four people in the car, so luckily we weren’t alone. It was early in the morning hours and we finally had a tow truck show up. Only problem was he could only fit two people in his truck. So, we said farewell to her car as it got towed back to Greenville, and went to a hotel at the nearest exit, and sat there until one of my wonderful Greenville friends made it up there to drive us home.

Towards the end of the month, I went to a concert with a friend who couldn’t find anyone else to go with him. I wasn’t particularly interested in the headliner, but on the way to the show realized that the lead singer of the opening band was the lead singer of a previous band that I had met at Furman back in 2012. So, being the bold individual I am, I reached out to him to let him know I’d be at the show, and after their set I went down to their merch stand to see if they were coming down. As soon as he saw me he had a huge smile, hugged me, and told me it was so great to see an old friend at his show (and yes, I felt really cool).

IMG_2982 IMG_2984

After the show he sent me a message letting me know how great it was to see me, and so I’m halfway to being famous at this point.

1/2 of October

October has started out quite eventful. The first weekend of the month Hurricane Joaquin decided to pay us a visit here in South Carolina, and he brought with him constant rain. It rained and rained, and rained some more. Luckily I live on a hill, so I didn’t have any  problems with the weather. I was also sick, so it was a great way to feel like I wasn’t missing anything by being stuck at home.

That next week I took Friday off, and my former roommate Sam, and I drove to Pulaski, Tennessee to meet up with my parents, Rick, Molly, and Carrie to watch Rick compete. We stayed in this cute little cabin in the middle of farmland, completely disconnected from the outside world.

IMG_3060 IMG_3066 IMG_3106 IMG_3107 IMG_3108 IMG_3109

We had a blast. The scenery was beautiful, and on Saturday morning we watched Rick race the 2015 Warrior Dash World Championships (of which he came in the Top 20). We spent the afternoon enjoying the weather and the evening playing games. Sunday morning I took Molly for a run, and then it was time to pack up and head back to Greenville.

IMG_3112 IMG_3117 IMG_3125 IMG_3126 IMG_3128 IMG_3068 IMG_3070 IMG_3071 IMG_3072 IMG_3074 IMG_3080 IMG_3099

It was a short trip, but much needed. It gets hard being so far away from the people I love the most, so it makes every moment together incredibly special.

IMG_3075 IMG_3076 IMG_3079

Rick- I know I’ve said this before, but you make me so proud to be your lil sis, and one day I want to be just like you.

IMG_3077

Until next time everyone!

A Month on the Job

I cannot believe that it has been about a month since I received my offer from Alexium and made the decision to start my new career. I know I promised more details, and here they are (along with other stories of what I’ve been up to).

First (and most importantly): MY NEW JOB.

Words cannot even begin to describe how much my life has changed (for the better) since joining the Alexium team. I LOVE my new job (and yes, I know it’s still early on). The atmosphere at Alexium is so positive, goofy, yet intelligent (the perfect combination). My CEO is Australian, and one of the chemists on my team is British. And if that wasn’t enough, I truly feel like an important part of their team.

I loved the people at my old job, but if we are being completely honest, I never felt like my role mattered all that much. I felt like such a minor part in the grand scheme of things, and that nothing I did would ever make much of an impact. My job was quite monotonous, and I started to find myself dreading going to work – knowing that I had to talk to people the entire day and possibly be berated for something I had no control over.

Since starting my new job, I have continuously felt like a vital part in my company’s success. I have implemented many of my own ideas in our current system and have been praised several times on the quality of my work.

So what do I do exactly? My role with Alexium is the Technical Coordinator of Research and Development – and it’s quite a mouthful. What that means is a variety of things. First, they took the previously vacated role and expanded it to make it full-time and encompass more responsibilities. One of my biggest projects has been dealing with all of our Technical Documentation. Basically, I took the mess of documents they had stashed everywhere (they’re brilliant chemists… not as great of organizers) and made it all make sense.

I have created a database where all of the documents are formatted, renamed, and logged so that everyone has access to what they need WHEN they need it, rather than having to chase down important documents.

I also have become the point person for other projects, such as our manufacturing runs (a process I actually created today). I have also done quite a bit of research on chemicals, fabrics, and equipment we need. I write reports for projects we have done experimentation on, and I have even become the point person for the lawyers dealing with our patents.

All in all, it’s exciting. Every day we have new projects to tackle, and I feel like I’m going to be challenged day in and day out here. Plus, it feels REALLY good to have your boss turn to you after just 3 weeks of work and say, “Thank God we have YOU now.”

Plus, it’s fun knowing that every day I’ll be in for endless laughs with my ridiculous colleagues.

———————————————————————————————————

Other than work, things have been going really well. It’s been a while since I’ve written an update about things other than my career change.

Back in April my parents were able to make a trip down to SC to visit me (and see my apartment for the first time). It was so great getting to spend some time with them. I was able to get the entire time they were here off with the vacation time I built up –  which I was so happy to be able to do.

We spent time in downtown Greenville, visited the animal shelter (of course), the Greenville Zoo, and (as many of you know) adopted my new lil sis, Molly, from my former co-worker. And while she may be quite the handful, she fits right in with our family.

IMG_1930 IMG_1931 IMG_1933 IMG_1936 IMG_1937 IMG_1938 IMG_1939 IMG_1940 IMG_1941 IMG_1944 IMG_1946 IMG_1947 IMG_1949 IMG_1950 IMG_1952 IMG_1953 IMG_1958  IMG_1960 IMG_1962 IMG_1963  IMG_1966 IMG_1967 IMG_1968 IMG_1971 IMG_1974 IMG_1976  IMG_1978 IMG_1980

I have also been working diligently on finishing my apartment. .It still has a bit of work to really make it feel complete (but since I’m renewing my lease I get another year to do so). I recently bought patio furniture and finished my outdoor space exactly the way I envisioned it. I absolutely love how it came out, and plan to spend many more summer nights enjoying the weather (as I am while writing this).

IMG_0559 IMG_0560 IMG_0561 IMG_0562 IMG_0563 IMG_0568 IMG_0569 IMG_0570 IMG_0571

Other than that, I have (surprise!) been dancing quite a bit. The two most notable of these events being fairly recently.

905764_10206581529283748_4673343660401196213_o 11052433_10206833343618949_9154941827114127732_o 11041877_10206833409220589_7382785781233032518_o 10866120_10206581528923739_5503062921187912588_o 10648817_10206833388340067_415091561620427488_o 10549946_10207624902167418_6273402761957904546_o 10295401_10206889391580113_3698138010788871614_o

As many of you are aware, I regularly attend charity techno contras. Several months ago my friend Ethan (who was the creator and planner of these events) moved to San Francisco. Not wanting these great charity events to fade away, I told him I  would pick up where he left off, and play host for the event nights. I hosted my first techno at the end of  May, and we raised over $1000.00 for the Meyer Center for Special Children- a wonderful place that enriches the lives of children born with disabilities.

11223940_10207500965429077_3685721058554836722_o

This year I also attended my third Summer Soiree festival just a few weeks ago. I stayed up in Asheville and really had a chance to escape for a few days.

11402329_10152954203981918_5245868742901117495_o 11426204_10152956079761918_1505237736519454070_o

All in all things are going pretty well over here, and I am so excited to see what is yet to come.

New Adventures

It’s been a while since I last wrote, but with recent events I thought it was an appropriate time to update everyone on what I’ve been up to.

As you all know, I have been working for Esurance the past 7 months as a licensed insurance agent. My position has given me some great skills and stories that have taught me a lot since I graduated a little over a year ago. It has been such a great opportunity and has surrounded me with great people.

However, I am beyond excited to announce that this is my last week with Esurance, and that as of Monday June 8th, I will be starting  new adventure as a Technical Coordinator for a company called Alexium.

I interviewed with them last Thursday, and within an hour of leaving the office I was told by  my recruiter that I had an offer, they had cancelled all remaining interviews for the position, and that they wanted me immediately (talk about a compliment).

Once the offer came in, it was nearly impossible to refuse. Normal hours, salaried pay, and an opportunity to explore a field that was a better fit for what I studied in school.

What I didn’t expect was to feel so overwhelmingly sad to leave Esurance. While the customers may be frustrating, and the process becomes monotonous- the one thing I realized is that I really had found a family with my colleagues. They had quickly adopted me and looked out for me in their own kooky way.

I love my Esurance family, and I’m glad that while I may be starting a new job, I’m not moving away. I have really grown attached the people, but it is time for me to explore and really find where I should be professionally. I will have a longer update soon, and I love and miss you all!

So About Those Updates…

With spring on the horizon, I thought that it was only fitting to send a quick message home to keep everyone up to date on my recent adventures. Since my last post was before the holidays, it has clearly been a while- though I’m quickly finding that not as many interesting things happen once you’re working full time (well besides the weird customers I deal with everyday, they are pretty amusing).

I’ve spent quite a lot of time at the office, working hard to prove myself to my new manager, Lisa, and become a force to be reckoned with in the company. Unfortunately, that happens to be a lot harder than I was led to believe after a stellar November made me think I was a more kick-butt agent than I was.

My stats took a beating after I took quite a bit of time off in the month of December- first for getting my wisdom teeth removed, and then for my super brief trip back home for the holidays.

Unfortunately (for some), this post doesn’t come with a YouTube-sensation worthy video of me post wisdom teeth removal. I had the procedure done due to realizing the necessity of the operation after my teeth really started to be a pain during training. After months of panicking about how bad it was going to be and psyching myself out, I went in to get all four taken out in one go.

My former roommate Sam went with me to be my designated driver after the procedure, and to everyone’s surprise I woke up from the anesthesia completely alert and unaffected. Sam told me it was almost weirder for her when she came back and I was completely fine, since she spent the thirty minutes in the waiting room prepping herself to deal with a drugged up version of me. I walked out of the office unassisted and was even messaging my mom about our insurance coverage for my prescriptions  (and sending completely coherent messages). My recovery was quick and completely painless. I only took ibuprofen, and mainly just to keep the swelling to a minimum (and I think after several months I can say my intelligence seems to have remained intact).

Before I knew it, it was the holidays. I had managed to arrange my hours so that I had time to make a quick trip home. I was only in Chicago for four days, and they were jam packed with holiday happenings and family, and I wouldn’t have asked for it any other way. The only thing I would have wanted to change about my trip home was making it just a little bit longer. By the time I got back to South Carolina I was exhausted and ready for a break- not to be back in the office!

I spent New Years Eve working, and in the evening I took a trip up to Asheville for a New Years Eve red-carpet themed dance- which was the best way to spend the last night of 2014. I waltzed into 2015, and capped off 2014 in the best way I know how.

January and February flew by- but not without a few notable events, namely the concert I attended on Valentines Day (which my friend Laura flew in from St. Louis for less than 24 hours to attend with me) in Shelby, NC, and our Carolina “snow storms” that hit us in the later part of the month.

The first storm was actually pretty bad since it brought ice rather than actual snow, encasing everything in over an inch of solid ice. It took forever to thaw my car out (the first fifteen minutes being dedicated to just getting the doors opened). There was so much ice that the gates to my apartment complex were frozen shut for quite a few hours. The second storm was ridiculous. It brought a mere dusting of snow, but the governor declared a “State of Emergency.” But hey, I’m not complaining, it got them to send me home from work an hour early and delay my start for a half hour the next morning.

Other than working, I haven’t gotten into too many unusual adventures. I have (obviously) still been dancing and running, and slowly adding to my apartment to make it feel more and more like a home, and am now looking forward to the summer and the warm-weathered adventures to come. Hopefully some will lead me back to Chicago! Miss and love you all!

1417611_10206514524368667_14824703425037537_o 1617790_10206008394355733_6372384257018556174_o 1798889_10206450774094950_6967081809143238893_o 10487613_10206514565529696_2816542428788664054_o 10830723_10206514611770852_8322433626218616067_o 10830740_10206440563999704_8614616112111202783_o 10848814_10206327241846721_7644129029019278068_o 10922294_10206327229006400_122971496282873753_o 10922324_10206325774890048_7243609265231019036_o 10951387_10206514611890855_8748350589034091595_o 10974214_10206514566849729_4685000634345854241_o

Way Overdue Update

Wow!
It’s been a while, as many of you have noticed, and the question of “what have you been up to?” is one I’m going to attempt to answer, because, as you can probably imagine, a lot has happened since the end of May.

I spent my summer in Greenville, working for Furman as a Summer RA for my third year in a row, while trying to figure out my life post Furman. I had my eyes set on staying in Upstate South Carolina, at least for a little while longer. I had been hired onto Furman’s Summer Housing Staff for the third year in a row, which allowed for me to stay on campus (with the benefit of free housing), and secure myself three more months of career searching. I did manage to score an internship as well, which I started early July.

I was clued into my internship by a friend in the dance community who had told me that his marketing department was currently conducting a search, and, before I knew it I was hired. At my internship (which, unfortunately, was in Asheville, NC), I was in charge of various different tasks within the marketing department. Some of them were more fun than others, but my favorite project of all would probably be the CEO’s blog. I regularly wrote for the blog throughout the summer on topics that pertained to our company (which was an environmental data collection software provider).

On top of commuting to my internship and working my job on campus, I was also helping Furman Housing with some of the New Student Orientation Sessions, on top of conducting my post-summer job search. I was sending my resume into every company that had an opening that I qualified for, and interestingly enough most of the companies who asked me to come in and interview were insurance companies.

I interviewed any and everywhere, and packed my schedule to make sure that I got in as many opportunities to secure my future here as possible. One day I even managed to pull off three different interviews in the span of a few hours (talk about exhausting!).

In the end, I knew which company I liked the best out of the ones who had asked me to come in, and I had my eyes set on trying everything I could to make sure that they wanted me more than all the other companies. Fortunately, I managed to impress my first interviewer so much  that he called me back that evening to ask me to come in for a second round interview. Before I knew it, I was offered a position, which I accepted.

I spent a lot of the summer running around trying to save as much money as I could while looking for work and a place to live once I had somewhere to work. Luckily, it all started to fall into place just in time. I was told that as soon as all the background check tasks were completed I would get my new hire packet, and after being forced to move out of my summer assignment (due to a mishap planning on Housing’s behalf) I managed to find a cute little apartment just outside of Greenville. It’s a one bedroom, one bath in Greer, SC.

Living a little outside of Greenville gave me the ability to save a little money when it came to rent, and overall this was one of the best places I had looked at when I was researching apartments. It’s in a great neighborhood with some really nice houses, and it is very convenient as far as getting to work (about 15 minutes away) and accessing the highway. For being at the intersection it is at, it’s surprisingly quiet, and I’ve never had any problems with noisy neighbors (then again, nothing could be worse than living underneath the frat apartment my senior year, so I suppose I have low expectations).

IMG_0522 IMG_0523 IMG_0529 IMG_0519 IMG_0520 IMG_0521 IMG_0524 IMG_0525 IMG_0528 IMG_0527 IMG_0526

Once I signed for my new place, I had just a couple weeks before it was time to move in, which was incredibly stressful. Due to the mishap with my summer assignment, this forced me to move twice within the span of two weeks. Luckily, Furman Housing loves me so much that they paid movers to help me get off campus since they botched the moving situation so much. So in the end, I couldn’t complain.

I obviously spent a good portion of my summer dancing, including a dance weekend I attended in June, called Summer Soiree, as well as several techno events.

1622446_10204539570796062_498909316426223078_o 614969_10204074428771167_7376215259370852670_o 1273535_10204842126559767_8310063818056372073_o 1556402_10204539465913440_7737135239879580327_o 1909127_10205485078113154_4904839702758848146_o 10272675_10204715549355416_5808266557080730340_o 10329945_10204911661618100_4790004655782180498_o 10448472_10204547725239918_3015919021505267437_o 10403817_10204643152305535_7910952287500542492_o 10467000_10204651638677689_4592880292586233717_o 10535573_10205145362100466_7535372965918417566_o 10514399_10204643128664944_3072556896782010279_o 10514397_10204817339420104_8601153640959682466_o 10482022_10204817343700211_3247426878789619075_o

Since moving off campus, my apartment has become more and more like a home and is starting to come together. I have also started my job at Esurance as a (now) Licensed Sales Agent. The first two weeks were training for licensing, at the end of which we had to take a test in order to be able to sell insurance. I managed to not only pass my test with what would be considered an ‘A’ in grade terms, but I also received the highest grade my company has ever seen, earning me the nickname of ’93’ around the office.

A few weekends ago, I attended another dance festival, called LEAF (Lake Eden Arts Festival). I had attended this same festival last fall, and it did not fail to impress me once again. The weather was amazing (during the days at least), and there was so much fantastic dancing. It is always nice to have a weekend disconnected from the outside world and really be in the moment, which is exactly what LEAF is for me.

10688100_10154785257900381_5616491436953191024_o 10678778_10153270202188642_8581880758361672335_n 10636892_10154785259645381_2390195963672976501_o 10574474_10153270201423642_5949823772839915545_n 10553703_10205599026601795_2498798859489528035_o 10421156_10153270201913642_8326127577468865007_n 1972444_10153270201293642_4956593781362904116_n 10271455_10205599026881802_6710123275899393251_o 1796826_10205599027201810_8948167522743546585_o 68975_10153270201383642_4759083426623660236_n 1391714_10153270201753642_5265928299853432885_n

I just finished my last day of new hire training last week, and I have moved onto the LaunchPad portion of training. LaunchPad is basically my job plus heavy mentoring, just to make sure we have people around to answer our questions and make sure we understand the processes. It has been a great learning experience, and in just one week I feel a lot more confident in my ability to do my job. Thursday was my highest sell day so far, and I managed to close 6 policies.

Over the past week I have really started to enjoy what I do even more than I thought. It doesn’t really seem like a glamorous job by the description alone. However, the combination of my fun coworkers and ridiculous customers makes me really excited to continue to see what I can do. Being the baby of the company (not necessarily in age anymore, but in experience) I have a huge desire to really show them what I am capable of (and kick some serious butt).

I am still working on decorating my place, but it is definitely starting to come together. It has definitely been an adventure, and I am only getting more excited to see what lies ahead of me in my post-graduate life.

10676209_10153153214643642_565143776111649042_n 10409206_10152291214747842_6170544248243959542_n

I miss everyone back home so much, and I hoping to be able to work out a trip home for the holidays (and quickly learning how difficult it is to plan trips away when they aren’t built into your schedule for you). I hope everyone is doing well, and I will try to stay more up to date on these posts!

End of One Chapter

Well I have clearly fallen off my usually prompt updates these past few months, but the end of any semester is crazy and as you can imagine the end of the last semester of my undergraduate career was even crazier than most.

Since I last updated you, I clearly have been up to a lot. Towards the end of April while I was finishing up classes I was able to go see Daughtry in concert for what was my fourth time. He was performing at Converse College out in Spartanburg for their spring concert (how they managed to get a name like him for their spring concert I still don’t understand…). The show was incredible. My friend Laura (who, like me, is a huge American Idol buff) and I were so close to the stage, and it was such an amazing experience to be that close to him performing. I also was able to interact a bit with the opening act to Daughtry’s show, which was pretty awesome as well (they are a small band from ATL called The Well Reds).

1505562_10152007653248344_7341893236083993555_n 1904214_10152007651798344_6352040047040095633_n 10150654_10152015783185458_139514654012532306_n 10264721_10152007654678344_3492726614160084059_n 10275907_10152007652563344_1279360376002175541_n (1) 10299951_10152007655328344_69534609472462538_n

That same weekend I also went out to Clemson for a techno contra fundraiser.

859923_10204148098889509_7981144898039891502_o 1782564_10204132395976946_4687393670949775728_o 10001109_10204132427257728_3654703165219551459_o 10256841_10204148134330395_9577004569330572_o 10263979_10204148049488274_714266351689028279_o 10271391_10204148099249518_4762025603469126252_o 10273250_10204148062928610_5812834609923959352_o

During the last week in April was also my last day of class! At Furman, we have a tradition that on the last day of class, the seniors get into the fountain in front of the library. It’s a bit of a right of passage, and so of course I spent about an hour playing volleyball and hanging out with other seniors there.

10156146_10152865695654922_5989971372339883242_n 10172572_10152077420232467_6126447774000826325_n 10264548_10152865699944922_5411262390857918661_n 10271231_10203414424378577_2465635628297918187_o

That same night we had our Senior Sendoff, which consists of senior superlatives, free champagne toast, the last class picture and a farewell from our school president, Dr. Kohrt.

1014330_672530616148199_6460017697968150685_n 1545164_10152865708979922_4805632357342042861_n 10153774_10152865710029922_8769984532982771852_n 10170917_10152865708244922_4148706230363318279_n

I finished out my semester strong, ending up not having to take any in class exams (which is always amazing) but instead had papers, portfolios and take home exams to work on. Then it was time to spend the rest of my days catching up with old friends and saying goodbye to those who were also graduating before my family made their way down to Greenville. Tim was the first to arrive coming here straight from school and arriving that Wednesday evening. I picked him up from the airport and we cooked dinner as I caught up on the end of his school year. The next night, I took him for his first contra dance up at Warren Wilson College, and we had a blast (he picked up on it very quickly too!).

IMG_0381 IMG_0382 IMG_0384 IMG_0375 IMG_0387 IMG_0386 IMG_0388 IMG_0372 IMG_0371

The rest of the week my family continued to arrive until my older brother, parents and Aunt Deb and Uncle John were all here in Upstate SC. We had so much fun over graduation weekend, going out to eat, spending time at the pool, and visiting the Humane Society.

Oh yea, and I graduated.

1614199_10152411918924727_7917256979922888011_o 10269630_10152100976487467_1480830144775406512_n 10306738_10152889960289922_4484461507152294674_n 10334350_10152516737797577_4740313459369566021_n

IMG_0316 DSC00392 DSC00421 DSC00425 DSC00429 DSC00431 DSC00433 DSC00437 IMG_0401 IMG_0403 IMG_0424 IMG_0468 IMG_0469 IMG_0472 IMG_0473

Rick and Tim stuck around for a few days after the rest of the family left, and I was able to take them both dancing that Monday evening (and Rick loved it too, even if he won’t admit it). The boys both helped me move into my new apartment before heading home, but I had such a blast spending some time with them here on campus.

Since graduation I have been doing a lot of dancing and taking a class (because that’s what you do after you graduate, right?). My class just ended yesterday, and I will be starting my summer job this coming week. I’m super excited to spend one last summer on campus as I look to find a career path for my post-graduate life. I will continue to keep this blog running to update you guys on what I’ve been up to, and I hope to be able to come visit soon!

Love you all so much, and thank you for all the love and support these four years. I couldn’t have done it without all of you!

859321_10204184877968963_4002768779580924617_o 966562_10204079553815925_5916446837399417314_o 1502674_10204079512254886_6477461109313147807_o 1510920_645449222177751_1895078522397087103_n 1801338_10204184993851860_6182694694262168024_o 10012932_10204184850328272_3334801936395172320_o 10255522_10204374612552209_682445384360230568_o 10257628_10204079554135933_1196432441750671420_o 10259160_10204356863468493_7054852696367654693_o 10272669_10204079513574919_8125036993657907690_o 10295991_10204184851408299_4507336234766991847_o 10298585_10204374653113223_7510096135120144299_o 10321589_10204200236152908_6124590417991564920_o 10338541_10204184870288771_8227971057427832706_o 10363460_10204292352375756_8992005584215658221_o 10372994_10204356863668498_280676468587635836_o 10380437_10204374518709863_5721588184964807239_o 10382325_10204356843267988_6772249845262867860_o

Long Overdue

I can’t believe almost a month and a half has passed since I last posted! This semester is just flying by! I apologize for the lack of communication on my end, but it’s been a busy few weeks here at Furman! The second week of March was spring break for Furman students, and this year I decided to stay in Greenville rather than go anywhere special. I spent a lot of time working at the Admissions Office (and while not particularly thrilling, the paycheck that deposited about as much money as my classmates spent over break made it worth it), and of course dancing and enjoying the weather. 

ImageImageImageImageImage

The Wednesday of Spring Break, my freshman year roommate, Mary, came to town to visit me. We went downtown and acted like the goofballs we are before she left the next morning, and on the last day of break I went up to my friend’s house in Asheville to practice aerials and other cool tricks to use on the dance floor.

ImageImageImageImage

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Image

The two weeks after break were packed with homework, extra hours in the office, and conferences with professors. I was able to go see the movie Divergent with my friend Kat before heading up to dance in Asheville one weekend, and the next we had another techno contra (which always prove to be a lot of fun).

ImageImageImageImageImage

Just last week my submission for the commencement speech auditions was due, and after a lot of help from family and friends with revisions, I submitted my speech. Unfortunately I found out a few days ago that I did not make top five, but I am glad I at least tried. Though it will be hard to sit through graduation knowing that someone else is giving the speech I wanted to give, I am very grateful for all the support I had in my attempt. 

While that news was hard to take, I did receive the good news that I have been chosen to be a part of summer staff again this summer, meaning that I will be staying on campus again. Though the position only lasts through August, I’m glad I have extra time to find work in the area, and I am still waiting to hear back from the internship I really want for the next year. 

This weekend was really busy, but an absolute blast. Friday we didn’t have classes because it was Furman Engaged day, which is our annual student research day here on campus. I had to present my research as I have the past three years, and I think that my presentation went over really well, which was a relief since I found out about it the week before the event. After my presentation session was over at about four, I packed up for a night away and headed to Clemson for some dancing. After that, I headed over to my friend Danielle’s house for the night along with my friends Luke and David, because we had all signed up for a race near her place that next morning.

Image

ImageImageImageImageImageImage

Saturday morning we woke up early to head over to our friend Madelene’s apartment to meet up with her and another friend, Molly to head over to the Color Run. We got separated during the actual race, because it was so crowded, but we had an absolute blast, and were absolutely covered in color by the end. 

After the Color Run my friend Molly and I met up with her dad a few other of her family’s friends to go horseback riding. We went for a three hour ride through the woods, and I had a blast. My horse was a bit of a diva and refused to walk through water, in stream or puddle form, and also was not too fond of mud. We split between walking through the trails and riding fast, which was definitely an exhilarating feeling. This is only the second time I had ever been on a horse, and the first time that I had ever been on one going any faster than a walking pace. After we finished our ride, I headed back to Furman to clean up and head out to contra for the evening. I was beyond exhausted when I came home that night, but it was a weekend well spent.

 

Looking forward, I only have 10 class days left of my senior year, and then it’s time for finals (during which I have one paper, one portfolio and one exam only) and then some of my family will be headed to Greenville to watch as it’s finally my turn to cross the stage. 

I have decided to take a fun class for May, so I will be staying on campus after graduation and through the summer, and I am so excited to see what the summer has in store for me, and I’m hoping there are some great opportunities on the way!

ImageImageImageImageImage

From Snow Days to Spring Time

It’s been a while since I have last posted, and so I decided it was time to update you all  on what I’ve been up to this past month.

1939922_10203670703554924_576875009_o 1939665_10203670799037311_1496871951_o 1926068_10203671063443921_995428655_o 1926029_10203671028803055_1031953526_o 1921035_10203671076804255_2116712404_o 1913376_10203558657393840_2029239812_o 1909169_10203670703914933_1927469484_o

Life has been busy here in Greenville, in a variety of ways. Not only have classes kicked in full swing, but I have also been making time for myself and doing things that I both want and need to do with the quickly approaching reality of my graduation this May.

The weekend after my last update, my good friend Matt came down to visit. Some of you may remember him because he worked on my staff last year, but unfortunately had to transfer for personal reasons. Since it was his birthday, he decided to make a weekend out of it and come down to visit Furman, and we were able to take him out to eat and spend a lot of time with together before he had to head back home, which was such a wonderful treat.

Of course, I have also been spending a lot of time dancing, making some trips up to Asheville, which is becoming yet another home for me here in the South. I have made a lot of friends there, and I am greatly enjoying being a part of that community.

1517998_10203479662339013_1515630986_o 902839_10203670704074937_1639096496_o 857862_10203479661578994_1892829427_o

As far as classes go, things have been going fairly well. I am really enjoying my writing course, and I have gotten great reviews on my first story, which was incredibly exciting. Though there is definitely room for improvement, I was excited to see that my story was received well by my reviewers (which is something I was really worried about). My first peer advisor actually told me that although at first he didn’t feel that my story was “his type” he quickly found how much he enjoyed it and thanked me for writing it because, according to him it was a “wonderful experience.”

Since my last post, I have also had the luxury of not one, not two, but THREE more snow days. Just two weeks ago, Greenville got hit by some winter weather, and, in true Southern style, had no idea how to deal with it. This cancelled classes for three days due to ice on the roads, which also meant that my math test was delayed for an entire week (something that really probably worked to my advantage). I spent those days being incredibly productive, reorganizing my life and studying to prepare myself for my test (which ended up going fairly well!).

Since the snow has melted, we have had some signs of springtime pushing through which is something I am really excited about. I am still trying to find some plan for post-graduation, and I will definitely keep trying to find new opportunities to ensure my future in Greenville as the semester continues to wind down.

1524042_10203670780676852_1881550636_o 1537867_10203558653193735_1384487061_o 1606482_10203479696859876_218366181_o 1618049_10203670701474872_315680899_o

This past week was amazing, seeing as how I was able to spend 3 days in Asheville dancing a lot, and spending time with good friends. I attended a send-off party for a friend in the dance community this past Wednesday who is leaving for a 3 month adventure through Southeast Asia. Last night I attended a dance in Clemson, and afterwards spent time at my friend Danielle’s house with a bunch of other dancers. We had a blast, and I will get to see several of them again tonight at an oyster roast I am going to at my friend’s house (obviously for the people and not the food…).

1618101_10203479691659746_1335378899_o 1622458_10203476523220537_1913030950_o 1654828_10203670780876857_1464629231_o 1655133_10203546374526776_1370291850_o 1655467_10203593428543097_1698419389_o 1781200_10203558653433741_1289006151_o

I am beyond excited to see what the semester continues to bring, but I have to say that I am having a hard time believing how fast it is all passing me by. Luckily, I find it very easy to already claim this semester as one of my best ones yet. I am really taking the time to do things that I enjoy while staying on top of my studies, and it’s hard to believe that just this week it was time to buy my cap and gown and graduation ring! I will continue to update you on my adventures, and I really hope that it starts thawing out back home soon!

1781492_10203546379886910_1842403896_o 1781577_10203545608787633_453651476_o 1782578_10203670799477322_414051018_o 1796909_10203479696899877_452741261_o 1888939_10203670722235391_1591993082_o 1891530_10203546373286745_1837703109_o 1900536_10203558646153559_1428363669_o 1907859_10203670995602225_821939689_o

The Final Countdown

It’s hard to believe that I am already back at Furman for my final semester here. I still remember moving in like it was yesterday, and the time has just flown right by! That being said, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t excited to be in the home stretch. While I love my school, I have come to the realization that I am beyond ready to start my life and really see what I can do. I have spent my whole life learning these skills, and I am excited to finally put it all to use and really test myself and my abilities.

Today we actually had our first snow day of the semester, which is why I had time to write this mid-week. To be completely honest, we had maybe an inch of snow, but the university decided that the ice forming was too dangerous to ask students and faculty to actually have classes today. Watching students taking pictures in the snow when it first started yesterday was ridiculously amusing, because for the first few hours, you couldn’t even see the snow they were trying to take pictures of (Southerners just get so excited about these things). The amount of begging on social media for a snow day was a bit overwhelming, and I could tell the moment that everyone received the cancellation email, particularly my neighbors who live above me seeing as how I think they knocked down every piece of furniture they owned with the news.

This semester I am only taking three courses. I was only required to enroll in two to finish out my double major, but in order to guarantee my financial aid (and because I really just wanted to take on something different) I decided to take a writing course on top of my stats class and my senior seminar. As you can all probably guess, I absolutely love writing, I always have, and I’m really loving the course so far. It is a Fiction Writing course, which is a bit challenging for me since all my writing has been based on personal experience (and I struggle a bit with character development), but that just makes it that much more exciting. One of my goals is to one day author a novel, and I really think getting feedback on my work will help me be able to reach that stage one day. 

My other two classes are going alright so far, my stats class is a bit frustrating because my professor is clearly not fit to be teaching the course, which is something that really irks me. He’s a really nice man, so it’s hard to be annoyed with him, but I just feel as though it isn’t fair to the class to have a professor that cannot adequately teach the material. Hopefully things will turn around, but I’m being a proactive as possible to make sure that I stay on top of it.

Since I have been back, I have been spending a lot of my time dancing as well. Since the semester hasn’t been too busy (and with only three classes, the amount of work IS less) I have had a lot more free time during the week, which is much appreciated. While I don’t want to give the impression that I don’t enjoy spending time on campus, I have definitely found a niche in the Greenville/Asheville community. 

ImageImageImageImage

I have also been working two jobs on campus (for Admissions and Housing, just like last semester) and looking for jobs post-graduation. The application for the SoCon internship that I really want goes live this weekend, which I am looking forward to finally submitting so I can stop worrying about it. 

ImageImageImageImage

Other than that, I have been trying to schedule time to do some leisure reading and working on my photography skills with my new camera that I bought (and absolutely love!). I’m looking forward to this final semester and all the exciting moments that come with it! I hope you are all doing well, and that this winter ends soon (for both you and I!). 

ImageImageImageImageImage

Lastly, I would just like to put a little shout out in here to my wonderful Coach B. I know that I have said it already, and that many of you already know, but Coach B. just gave birth to a BEAUTIFUL baby girl. I am so happy for you and your husband, and I cannot wait to watch her grow up and be the first representative of the second generation of our XC family! 

Here are some shots I’ve gotten with my new camera!

ImageImage

Image

ImageImageImageImage

ImageImageImageImageImage

Image

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage