Saturday, July 11, 2015

Why Its Not The End of the World to Get Married Young

I have seen several things posted to Facebook lately about things like "26, Unmarried, and Childless" or "14 Reasons You Shouldn't Marry Young" telling people, and women in the 20's that they shouldn't get married until they have their life settled, saying things like "You'll miss having male friends" or "marriage sort of freezes your development." But the problem I have seen with all of this is that no matter what you do, someone is going to tell you what you're doing is wrong.

My boyfriend and I have been together for over three and a half years and we are only 22/23, and I plan on being married in the next year and a half (DISCLAIMER: No, I'm not engaged yet, but we are still planning on things going in that direction). I have heard over and over from people to "wait until you get your life settled before you have to be responsible for someone else" or "you need to enjoy your life before you get tied down" or my personal favorites "what about your career?" or "you don't want to be dependent on a man for your whole life!"

As someone who has been in a longterm relationship for several years, I am tired of hearing this stuff and being shamed for wanting to be married young. Yes I understand that marriage is hard work and it is a team effort to make it work, but that is something I want. Yes, I want a successful career, but I want to have children and be able to spend time with them and be at home. Yes I don't want to be completely dependent on a man, but I do want to have someone that I know will take care of me.

Why does it have to be one way or the other? So many people think that the only way a woman can be successful in her career is to wait forever to get married and not have a family till their 30's and if a woman decides that she wants to get married in her early 20's that she cannot have a successful career or even care about her career. I personally think that there is no reason that a woman (or man) cannot have both; a successful career AND a

Some women don't want to get married at all or want to wait until they are in their thirties to get married, but I am the exact opposite. I have set my goals for my life before I get married; one of the first things that I told my boyfriend when we started talking about getting married was that I would not get married until we had both graduated and how our degree and really that was my biggest requirement because I knew that once I found the person that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with that I would want to do that and spend my life with him and as much of my life as I can.

I got lucky that I got to meet this amazing guy that I know is who I want to spend the rest of my life with at such an early age and that I will get to, Lord willing, spend the rest of my life with him. I want the internet to accept that. Don't pressure people one way or the other; to think that it is a horrible thing to get married before you're 35 or that being single in your 20's is an awful thing because these things are that are good about both things and people need to be able to figure this out for themselves without feeling pressured to do it one way or the other.

What are your thoughts about getting married? When did you get married?
Picture from my senior pictures

Friday, July 10, 2015

Don't mind me, I'm just the intern

What I thought an internship was: doing the work without the pay because I am getting school credit that I paid for...

When I started my internship at WOOF Radio in Dothan, Alabama in May, I had no idea what to expect. WOOF is a small radio station that is family owned and operated and has been for over 50 years that plays soft rock on the FM station and there is a sports talk station on the AM side. I expected to go in, work and hopefully learn something that would help me get a job later. BUT what I got was an AMAZING internship that I never dreamed would be possible. This internship hasn't just taught me theory type things that I have heard about in school, I have gotten hands on experience and so much more. Honestly, I think I have learned more in my 10 weeks at WOOF that will help me in the long run than I think I have learned in college.

Now I did learn a lot in college but internships definitely teach you so much more of a real world learning. If your major or school does not require an internship, do yourself a favor and get one anyway. Try and get multiple if you can. It can't hurt you, you can only go up.

And now that I am graduating in 2 weeks here are the top 3 things that I learned from my internship.

Don't be afraid to try new things:
Just because your major is in one thing, if you are interning at a company that is in your field, just do whatever they ask you do. You will learn more and be more useful in the long run if you can do anything in the field. Don't limit yourself to what you think you want to do, because that's great and all that you know what you want to do, but you might be asked to do a different task and end up falling in love with it.

Ask questions:
You are there to learn and those who work there should know that and hopefully they will be willing to help you. I know that I have been blessed to have such an amazing internship with people who really care, but in most circumstances, you are going to get out of the internship what you put into it.
Make connections: 
If anyone has seen the movie The Internship about the two men who loose their jobs and get internships at Google (if you haven't seen it, go watch it, it's hilarious) but in the movie, Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn are the least likely people to succeed in the internship but because of the connections they make with the other interns and those around them, they end up doing a whole lot better than anyone expected from them.  But the whole point of this is to say, don't keep to yourself during your internship. Make friends with those you are with, both other interns and the employees. It will really pay off because especially the employees of the company have been doing whatever you're doing longer than you have and they know more people so they can be great resources for job hunting.

What kind of things did you learn from your internships? Where did you intern at? What advice would you give to those interning or about to start to job hunting??

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Dear Future Freshman

22 days from now I will be a college graduate....hold on, let me let that sink in for a second. I HAVE LESS THAN A MONTH AND I HAVE TO ADULT FULL TIME!!! To me, that is only slightly terrifying. The whole "what are you doing after graduation" question has been floating around for like a year, but now it is getting so much more real. And don't let them fool you into thinking job hunting is fun and really isn't. I don't have to go back to Troy in the fall for band camp or classes, I have student loans that start repayment in January and the rest of my life to think about.

Okay, mini panic attack under control.

Now that I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that I will no longer be able to put on forms at the doctors office "student" or get the "student" discount at stores anymore, I have been doing some thinking, "What are things I want my brother to know when he starts college?" (which by the way, is in a year....that blows my mind more than the fact that I am graduating)

Advice to College Freshman from a Soon-to-be College Grad

The better prepared you are the better you will do: My college classes taught me a lot, like Who's on First, What's on Second and I don't Know is on Third...but I have to say, most of what I needed to know to succeed in my internship was taught from out of class experiences. I spent a lot of time in college doing extra circulars like our TV station and band and things like that have taught me more than my classes. Time spent outside of class is where you have more access to real-world learning. Don't just sit in front of your computer all day long and watch Netflix or play video games, go find a club to get involved in that is in your major. Do something productive with some of the free time you have. Not only is it a great resume booster, but it also helps you network with people who are going into the same field as you, and believe me, that goes a long way later.

Keep Track of Your Free Time: This is something that I have struggled with during my college days and I am just now getting the hang of it while I am interning. Enjoy your free time, but set limits on it. I can't tell you the number of times that I have sat down on the couch and told myself "I'll only watch an episode of 'Say Yes to the Dress' and then I'll go do x, y, and z." and guess what, three hours later, I realize that x, y, and z still haven't been done. Something I have found that makes this easier is just do the work before you sit down. That way you can enjoy your free time. Make a to-do list, have a planner, anything to help you see what needs to be done and helps you keep track of it is so helpful! Just be sure you actually use your planner, just having one isn't going to do you any good...

Be Sure to have "Me" Time: There are days that you sometimes just have to say "Today is for me" and not let anyone ruin it for you. Go read a book or shop a little bit, whatever it is that makes you feel better, because believe me, college will get stressful and hectic and you have to know how to handle it. Even if it is 10 minutes a day to just sit and read you Bible or a good book, do it. I promise it will do you a world of good.

Manage your Stress in a HEALTHY Way: This is sooooo important. I have seen people who don't know how to handle their stress in ways that are healthy and end up physically hurting their bodies. Too much food, lack of food, lack of sleep, alcohol; all of these things are ways to hurt yourself. Go to the gym, eat something healthy, take a nap, all things to help keep your stress levels down, and are pretty good for your body.

Have fun: When they say college is the best years of your life, they aren't joking. You have the freedom of being an adult (which means making some adult decisions) but you are still a kid in that you can go out at 2 in the morning and get McDonalds if you want and no one will really judge you (and if they do judge you, get rid of them, you don't need that kind of negative influence in your life haha). Just don't forget, college is only for a few years, so make the most out of the time you have there and make crazy memories that will give you stories to talk about for years to come.

So for all of you soon to be freshman, or anyone in college or really anyone in life, take some advice from me and learn from my mistakes.

What are some of your best tips to make it through college?