Photo via Eyes of Style Blog
I don’t say it enough, but I lead a charmed life. I have supportive family and friends. I’m in a new graduate program. I’m working and living in an apartment. I’m writing on a regular basis. And last but not least, I’m able to call Athens, Ga. my home.
Most of the time I focus too much on my troubles. I hone in on the stressors in my life and blow them out of proportion. Instead I should be thinking about the fortunate opportunities and the kind people I know. It’s with these things in mind that I pursue thankfulness and gratitude. Below are some tips for myself (and readers) to appreciate each day a little more.
-Call up a family member (or friend) and let you know you’re thinking of them. The unexpected gesture will likely brighten his or her day.
-Volunteer your time. Time is arguably more valuable than other resources you can offer. Show your care and concern by offering to help someone you know.
-Make a list of highlights in your life. Things may not seem so bleak after counting your blessings.
-Savor the little things. Read a book you’ve been eyeing. Drink lemonade on your porch. Sit and listen to a record. The small things are capable of changing your day.
Journeys start with a small step. Today I took my first small step when I started classes in my graduate program. I’m working towards a master’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a concentration in Public Relations. Today was the first of many days spent pursuing that goal.
I’m pleased with how well the first day went. I’ll be taking three classes and working this semester. I’m used to juggling school, jobs and internships in undergrad. However, grad school is an entirely different experience. I’ll be interested in finding my strengths and weaknesses this semester.
This fall I’ll be taking Public Relations Foundations, Proseminar in Mass Communication and Research Methodology in Mass Communication. It’ll be an intensive period of researching and writing. However, I’m looking forward to it! This is my chance to go outside my comfort zone and meet a new group of people. I’m excited that this chapter has finally begun.
In the PR world, Facebook is practically a necessity. With over a billion active users, Facebook offers the opportunity to reach a huge audience. PR professionals regularly manage public pages to communicate with the audience of their brands. However, Facebook has thrown in a few obstacles recently.
The biggest challenge seems to come from the Facebook Messenger application. Facebook recently announced that it would removing the messaging feature within its main application. Users would now have to download the separate Facebook Messenger app if they want to message on their phone.
However, the Facebook Messenger App comes with a few hitches. If downloaded, the app can delete people and messages from the user’s phone. It will also be able to access a smartphone’s camera, taking photos and videos without approval first. This invasion of privacy has produced a public outcry from Facebook users. Many have opted to not download the app and only message when on a computer.
So what should PR professionals do with Facebook? They should mainly use it for work. On a personal profile, communicators should skip private posts and intimate messages. PR pros should instead Facebook just for public relations. As Facebook becomes more shady in its practices, it’s important to use it conservatively. While Facebook is necessary for brands, it is slowly becoming outdated due to its policies and communication with users.
It’s Friday again! That means it’s time for another feel-good playlist. Check out these fun tunes to brighten your day and kick off your weekend.
“Someday”, Sugar Ray
“Hey Ya!”, OutKast
“Sugar, Sugar”, The Archies
“Come Dancing”, The Kinks
“My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down”, The Ramones
Photo via mint.com.
As a young person, it can be hard to save money. Part time jobs and entry-level salaries hardly pay more than rent and bills. Although I’ll be on a much leaner budget than I was in undergrad, I’m determined to save money this year. Below are ways that I save money along with new things I plan on trying.
- Thrifting. Some people love it, some people can’t stand it. I fall in the former category. I can’t resist picking up an already-used treasure. Most of the times I can find brand name items, but for a fraction of their original price. For thrifting, I turn to Goodwill, Plato’s Closet, Yerdle and Twice Clothing. I also scavenge J & J Flea Market in Athens.
- Eating in. Spending $10-$15 here and there may not seem like much. It adds up over time though! It’s better to invest in groceries on a weekly or monthly basis. Frequent small purchases can end up costing you so much more. Instead I invest in easy-to-cook meals and bags of apples and oranges. They’re low-price and they’re filling!
- Mint app. I have yet to try Mint, but I plan on using it this year. Mint pulls your financial info in one place. You set a budget and then it helps you stick to your goals. It’s like a personal accountant that sends you push notifications on your iPhone.
- Store up your change. It’s easy to toss aside loose change. You may think those nickels and dimes won’t add up. Instead of losing the change, get a plastic jar and store pocket change. Over time, you’ll accrue more than you think. Plus that money can go towards a fun indulgence.
- Use only the money you have. This is perhaps the hardest task. Sometimes it’s easier to use your credit card and wait to pay it off later. However, those credit card purchases can catch up with you and potentially damage your credit. Instead, stick to the money you have. It’ll prevent you from going into debt you don’t need.
Records and stereo all packed up!
It’s hard to believe, but it’s almost moving time. After a great and productive summer in Atlanta, I’ll be heading back to Athens to begin my graduate program.
It’s an exciting but intimidating time. I always entertain the fear of the unknown. However, since I know Athens and UGA so well, I’m not as worried as I normally would be. I love the city and I love the school. I imagine that my next few semesters will be challenging, yet manageable.
Before the semester begins (and I lose track of time), I’d like to make a few goals. Since I’m starting a new chapter, I’d like to work towards a few things. This post will help me keep track of them!
1. Give it my all in my classes. This should sound like a given. However, I want to start off the program strong. I want to really commit myself to my schoolwork.
2. Attend more concerts. Athens offers so many options when it comes to live music. I should at least attend a few per month, especially since I’ll be so close to venues like the 40 Watt and Georgia Theatre.
3. Plan mini trips. Since I’ll be staying in Georgia for at least another year +, I need to get the travel bug out of my system. Whether they be trips in driving distance or are far away, I’ll need at least a few excursions over the next five months.
4. Enjoy the moment. In undergrad I often found myself stressing out too much. I would blow exams or papers out of proportion. In hindsight, I don’t remember those specific papers or tests. Instead I remember the moments I learned or spent time with friends. I want to go into grad school with a new mindset. I want to enjoy school in the present.
I’ll admit that coffee is my vice. I drink way too much of it on a regular basis. My day just feels different if I’ve had a cup of coffee. I normally feel inspired after a cup of joe in the morning. While I try to drink it when I need it (most weekdays), I still consume more coffee than I should. Because of that, I often drink it black to reduce the calories and sugar.
Since I drink black coffee most days, I figure I deserve to treat myself every once in a while. That’s why this past weekend I splurged on a French Press. Although it’s on the cheaper end of French Press offerings, I’m still happy with it. After having made a few cups with it, I’m pleased that I splurged for a Target brand French Press.
It’s been surprisingly easy to use. So far none of the grounds have come through the filter. The coffee also tastes better than ever since I’m more involved with the process. As I continue to use the French Press, I think I’ll try something new with my coffee each month. For me, it’s worth spending a little extra time to make my coffee in the morning.
What are your coffee hacks? Is there a blend you can’t resist? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Dreaming about returning to Ireland.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about travel. It’s all I seem to want to do. To hop aboard a train, fly in a plane or drive to a brand new location. At this point in my life, I’m all about the experiences.
However, since I’m starting a new grad program, I know I’ll be in Georgia for at least the next year and a half. Any excursions I make beyond the Peach State will be limited to a few days. That makes me wonder where I’ll want to live next.
I’ve lived in Georgia my whole life. It’s a great state, no doubt. But I want to try out something different. It doesn’t have to be far away. It just has to be new (and have a thriving community for PR professionals). I’ve made a little list of cities I’d be up for trying. I’m hoping that my next location will either be one of these or someplace similar.
Potential Someday Homes
- Chicago, Illinois
- Nashville, Tennessee
- Portland, Oregon
- Charleston, South Carolina
- Boston, Massachusetts
- Austin, Texas
- Fort Collins, Colorado
- Phoenix, Arizona
Conferences are crucial for PR and communications professionals. They allow us to network and learn alongside other leaders in the industry. Below are just a few of the upcoming PR conferences for 2014. I encourage you to attend if you can!
-PR Writing Summit, 8/7. Held in Chicago, this summits allows attendees to improve PR copy and begin writing engaging content for their audiences! Conference is presented by PRSA and Ragan’s PR Daily.
-Social Media Summit, 8/12. Held in San Francisco, the Social Media Summit offers opportunities to learn from successful brands and communicators. Attendees will learn social strategies and tactics that are invaluable to communicators.
-International Conference, 10/12-14. Held in Washington D.C., the conference focuses on ROI. Communicators can gain practical insight into the value of their work. Professionals can also network with PR professionals of all backgrounds.
-Advanced School of Marketing Research, 11/3-7. Based in Atlanta, this conference offers insight into professional firms who are using advanced and innovative marketing techniques. This week-long experience allows attendees to learn from the experts.