Thursday, January 29, 2009

Recession? What recession?

When our country first entered a recession, nobody wanted to admit it.  Political candidates, the media, everyone nervously danced around the term. We all knew what was going on, but labeling it and saying it directly seemed like it could somehow make things worse.

Well, it’s all out in the open now. I can’t turn on a television, open a newspaper, even walk to class without seeing or hearing something about the economic state of our country. While I’m glad we’ve realized what’s going on and are trying to move forward, I’m getting really sick of the word recession.

Yes, I’m graduating in May. Yes, I realize this is a bad time for our economy.

No, I don’t have a job lined up. No, I’m not worried about it.

If I get one more sympathetic look from someone when I say I’m about to graduate, I may scream. Sure, times are tough, the job market is tight, blah blah blah, I’ve heard it all. I’ve heard it so much that it’s just starting to sound like a clich├ęd excuse.

Recent and upcoming graduates need to take control of their lives and, dare I say it, ignore the recession. Expand your search, put in more hours at that unpaid internship, do anything you can to set yourself apart and make yourself attractive to potential employers. The fact is, there are still jobs out there, landing them is just becoming more competitive. So instead of complaining about the economy, get out there and make things happen for yourselves. If you have a dream, follow it. Everything will work out in the end, because it has to – at least that’s my attitude for the upcoming months.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Epting: Day 2

I just got home from my second day at Epting, and I feel like I have more of a grip on how we're going to tackle our project.  It's kind of hard since there are actually five of us (I initially thought there would be three) working together on the style book project and not everyone is in the office at the same time, but once we get everything delegated I think it will run smoothly.

As I mentioned in my last post, we are re-designing the style books for weddings, and will probably eventually move on to other events.  We decided the best method to create the book would be to use Shutterfly, which allows you to digitally create your own scrapbooks and charges one flat rate to print the whole book.  This way all of the interns can access one account and we won't get caught up in software complications or anything like that.  We prepared a budget for the project, and got to work on discussing our thoughts for the book.  

We discussed categories and decided on seven broad wedding categories.  There are endless lists of wedding themes on blogs and in magazines, but we came up with: Traditional Elegance, Contemporary, Vintage, Romantic, Beach, Cultural Beauty, and Nature Inspired.  These will probably change before the final project is completed, but they were what we initially came up with.  Then we divided the themes into decor, lighting, furniture, table settings, and floral.  From here, we will be creating layouts and selecting pictures which fit into each of the themes and categories.  

We've certainly got our work cut out for us, but now that we have a work plan and budget I'm really excited to get started!  More updates to come...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

First Day at Epting Events

So yesterday was my first day as an intern at Epting Events, and it was pretty much what I thought it would be - overwhelming!  First days are always scary, you're bombarded with so much information and meet so many people - there's no way to remember everything! 

The coolest part was definitely touring the building.  From the lobby, you would think it's just a small office with a few conference rooms for client meetings... this couldn't be farther from the truth.  Epting is unique in that they do almost everything in-house (they don't have to work with millions of vendors) - they have a floral department, catering, decorations, furniture & place settings - you name it, it's probably in their massive warehouse.  I could have easily spent hours walking around, looking at all of the cool lights, flowers, and decorations.  We also met other interns and event coordinators along the way, and everyone was super nice.  

Then we got to work on our main project.  I will be working with two other interns on re-organizing style books to show to clients.  This sounds like a small project, but it's really not. Our first part of the project will be wedding-specific, and then as time allows we will move on to other kinds of events.  Yesterday we spent hours going through wedding style books and magazines searching for inspiration for the books and making notes about different themes and seasons.  I'll admit it, I've never been one of those girls who dreamed about all the little details of her wedding... until now.  It's addictive! The flowers, the lights, the food, it's all so fun and extravagant!  I think I'll get to work on planning my wedding now... no, I don't have a boyfriend, but that's just a minor detail.

While this project will be my biggest focus, I will get to assist the event coordinators with anything they may need around the office.  I also plan to attend as many events as possible to see how the final products turn out.  Overall, I'm really excited about the experience and just can't wait to soak up as much information as possible about this industry.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Campaigns Class Assignment

Over the weekend, I was responsible for compiling the class responses (for my Campaigns class) to a very difficult question – what is a better word for “poverty”?

One of our clients' main goals is to come up with a better word for “poverty,” because they think it has the negative connotation of people who essentially should be blamed for their own bad situation in life.   The reality is that many of these people come from generations of poverty, and it’s really one big cycle that’s very hard to climb out of. 
*Click here for more details about our campaign.

My first reaction to this assignment was that no matter what word we come up with to replace poverty, it’s going to mean the same thing. Almost any synonym you can come up with has a negative stigma attached to it (I have a list of 53 from every online thesaurus possible).  I (and the majority of my classmates, according to everyone’s assignments) thought it would be a better approach to educate people about the true meaning of poverty.   As many students pointed out, it’s more effective (especially with kids in our generation) to be up-front about poverty rather than dance around the term and try to google euphemisms for it.

However, when we brought this up in class our professor told us we needed to respect what our clients want, which is a synonym for poverty with a better connotation. Our class is facing a difficult situation – where do you draw the line between what you personally think is best and what your client wants? Even though more than half of our class proposed an educational campaign to inform people about poverty, do we throw those ideas away because they go against our client’s wishes? Can we pitch these ideas to our clients, or would that offend them since they’re more familiar with the cause and clearly know what is best? Check back, I’ll keep updating on how our campaign is going.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Everyday Crises

Maybe it has to do with the crisis communication case studies I’ve looked at throughout my career as a PR major, but I’m a firm believer that any situation can be saved if it is handled appropriately. After two incidents this week, I’ve been thinking about how this can be applied to every day life, not just huge corporate disasters.

  • First incident: I bartend downtown, and a few nights ago a friend left without paying his tab. Toward the end of the night I reminded him to pay it and he said he was coming right back… which he never did. Since we literally couldn’t close down the registers without having that tab paid, I called around 2 a.m. (when the bar closed) to see what was going on. He had already left downtown and had no recollection of even opening a tab. That’s fine, people get drunk and forget things, I get it. However, he proceeded to yell at me and call me mean names. I just assumed this was because he was drunk, but I got more angry texts the next day, accusing me of overreacting and blaming me for everything that had happened. Do I care if someone walks out on a tab? Not particularly. What bothered me was getting yelled at and blamed for something that wasn’t my fault.

  • Second incident: Our neighbors asked if they could borrow our vacuum cleaner, which I of course agreed to (I should have known better when they followed the request with… “Ours is clogged and our floors are disgusting!”… but by then it was two late). They promised to bring it back as soon as they were done, but by the next afternoon we still had no vacuum cleaner. So I went over to see what was up and they ignored the doorbell. I could see all of their cars outside, not to mention hear them talking through the extremely thin walls of our duplex. After quite a few tries at the doorbell, some guy (that didn’t live there) finally came to the door looking confused so we just went in and took the vacuum cleaner back. Sure enough, when we tested it out it was broken. One of the girls ran over to explain (“we weren’t sure what to do, we were going to come over yesterday… but we never did”). Was I mad they had broken my $200 vacuum cleaner? Absolutely, but what I was more annoyed about was the fact that they apparently weren’t planning to do anything to fix the situation anytime soon. Had they come over as soon as it happened, explained, and apologized it would have been fine. 

Lessons in every day crisis communications: Take responsibility for your actions and apologize when you have done something wrong.

Aaaand that concludes my rant

Saturday, January 24, 2009

To Do: Get Butt to Gym

I like to think I do a pretty good job of balancing a lot of things in my life: 15 hours of classes, 2 part-time jobs, and the internship I'm about to start.  When asked recently in an interview how I stay organized, I thought for a minute before answering, "to do lists."  This seems like a really simple answer, but I honestly depend on to do lists.  If something is written in my planner, it somehow seems more important that I get it done.  

One of the things that always seems to fall through the cracks when I'm busy is working out.  But when I stop to think about it, I always do have time in the day to get to the gym, I just like to make excuses not to go.  Let's be honest, who likes going to the gym?  I'm fine once I'm there, but convincing myself to get up on put on my sneakers is a whole other story.  

So, with Spring Break right around the corner (kind of), I'm trying an experiment on myself.  Every week, I'm going to look at my planner and literally write down what time I should go work out.  I realize how silly it is that I get more motivated to do something just by writing down that I need to do it, but for the last week it has worked!  Check back in a month and a half to see if I'm still checking "gym" off my to do list...

Friday, January 23, 2009

New Internship

I'm starting a new internship Monday at Epting Events, and I couldn't be more excited!  I've always been interested in event planning, but I've never really gotten much experience in this area.  I wasn't planning on interning this semester but apparently I hate having any free time, and when this internship came along it seemed too cool to pass up.

There are a ton of interns and we're all working in different areas while still getting an overall understanding of the event planning industry and what Epting does exactly.  My specific project will be re-doing the style books and venue books.  I'm excited to apply what I learned in my Graphic Designs class a few years ago (which I loved), but I feel the need to point out why I got picked for this specific team.  

I love scrapbooking.

I'm serious!  In my interview we talked about the different teams and what areas there were for people to work in, and as soon as I saw the style books my eyes lit up.  I'm a scrapbooking nerd.  I have an entire bookshelf devoted to scrapbooks from vacations with friends, college years, family trips, etc.  Who knew this was such a marketable skill?  Maybe I should add "professional scrapbooker" to my resume...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

"It's a great time to be an American, and it's a great time to be a PR Practitioner"

The above quote was how Jerry Wilson, Senior Vice President of the Coca-Cola Company opened his speech at today's GA PRSA Luncheon in Atlanta.  And while it's tough to believe that it truly is a good time to be in the industry I've chosen to pursue, I want to believe Mr. Wilson.  Sure, the market is tight and oftentimes public relations is the first thing a company cuts out of it's budget, but Mr. Wilson assured everyone today that we would be okay despite the recession.  

He went on to discuss the main ideas of his book, Managing Brand You, which gives a seven step system to how to think of yourself as a brand:
  1. Audit: Who am I, and how did I get here?
  2. Image: How am I perceived by others? 
  3. Identity: What do I want to stand for?
  4. Positioning: What do I want to become?
  5. Goals: What do I want to achieve, holistically?
  6. Strategies: How will I achieve this goal?
  7. Implementation: Now, what will I do?
The concept of branding yourself is interesting and definitely something people in public relations should keep in mind.  I feel this is especially important for job seekers who are looking to set themselves apart (like I mentioned in my entrepreneurship post) to develop their personal brand and essentially be able to sell themselves to possible employers.

Overall, I had a great time at the PRSA Luncheon and am so grateful to Dr. Sallot and Denise Grant for making it possible for the Grady students to attend.  I met some great people, not to mention had an amazing lunch at Maggiano's

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Brr...

Moving to New York this past summer was undeniably the best experience of my life. I fell in love with the city and learned the ropes so that when I make my real move there after graduation, I’ll know what to expect. I’m okay with taking public transportation everywhere, I know I can only buy small quantities of groceries because I’ll have to carry them all home, and I’m even okay with tiny living quarters (four girls in a one-bedroom apartment for three months, enough said). I got used to how much more abrupt people are in the north, and I can navigate through the billions of tourists in Times Square like a pro.

But there’s one thing I’m still worried about… cold. Surprisingly, this tends to be people’s first concern when I tell them about my dreams of moving to that big crazy city. Sure, I tell them I’ll be fine and that I’ll be too excited about the pretty snow to notice how cold I am.  However, these last few days in Athens have gotten me all worried again. It has been FREEZING, to the point that it’s cramping my style. Last week, my roommate and I justified skipping a workout because it was too cold. Not because we would have had to run outside, but because getting from the car to the gym would have been too much to handle. I’ve been out of paper for my printer for a week because I don’t want to leave my warm house, and I’m pretty sure my gas light has been on for about four days since I don’t want to leave my warm car. This is getting ridiculous.

So I’ll admit it… I’m miserable when it gets below 70 degrees (I was born in Florida, we don’t have winters there). And that may very well mean I'll be somewhat miserable when I do have to leave my apartment in the winter. But knowing all this, I still can’t help it… I’m obsessed with living in New York. The city sucked me in and I can’t see myself anywhere else after graduation, cold weather or not. I guess I’ll just be spending all of my money on coats, scarves, and boots...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Life Lessons from Entrepreneurship

One of the classes I'm enrolled in this semester is Entrepreneurship/New Venture Formation.  I've been wanting to take this class since I found out about it because I've always had an idea in the back of my head that I would one day start my own business.  However, in all reality when I leave the fairy tale land of college and enter the "real world" in a few months, I'll be "working for the man" as my professor calls it/warns against.  So while I'm taking in the valuable information about starting a new venture and filing it away for my distant future, I've also been trying to relate what we learn in the lectures to my future career.  

Today in class, we discussed three important things to keep in mind when forming a business plan.  As we were going over them I realized they're also good advice for forming your own "business plan" in the process of job searching.  If you see yourself as the "product" and concentrate on how to market yourself to future employers, the following information can be very helpful in a job search.  
  1. Be compelling and provocative.  If you can't show how you're distinct and interesting, you're just noise.  As Jack Welch said, "If you don't have a competitive advantage, don't compete".  This is important to keep in mind when presenting yourself to possible future employers.  Especially when the job market is tight, if you can't show what sets you apart then why should an employer choose you over any other candidate?
  2. Be credible.  Don't offer cliches, don't lie.  Back things up with facts.  Instead of saying "I'm creative," say "I designed a promotional postcard for the company I interned within New York last summer."  Don't just say how great you are, prove it.  
  3. Focus on your audience.  If you're applying for different jobs with a variety of companies, you don't send out copies of one identical cover letter.  Market yourself to a specific position in a specific company, and show why you're interested in that one job.  
Although I think my professor would die if he read this post (sorry Mr. Hanks!), I think this goes to show that there are certain lessons that you can apply to any area of business, whether you're going out on your own or working in a huge corporation.  

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Athens: Home Sweet Home

The last three and a half years of college, I've been lucky enough to call Athens, Georgia my home.  I love it here, UGA offers so many opportunities and it's so much fun for someone my age to be here.  Athens is recognized throughout the country as one of the best college towns, we have a thriving music and bar scene, and UGA's football team constantly makes headlines.

All that being said, would you believe Athens' poverty rate is the 5th highest in the nation for counties with populations of 100,000 or more?  What about the fact that 28% of the people living in Athens live in poverty, or that one in four Clarke County children lives in poverty?  Until I started researching the poverty situation in Athens for my PR Campaigns class, I would have never believed these statistics.

As UGA students, we tend not to see the community outside of the campus bubble we spend the majority of our time on.  Sure, we all drive through the "bad parts" of town - but every county has those, right?  

These statistics and ways of thinking are at the root of the problem my campaign team plans to tackle this semester.  We will be working with various foundations and institutions to combat poverty in the Athens-Clarke County.  We're just now delving into the details of our clients, and have been brainstorming questions and issues to address.  My initial reaction to this campaign can be summed up in one word - overwhelmed.  How are 22 UGA seniors supposed to combat such a huge problem that has been plagued generation after generation?  I guess that's something we'll figure out over the next few months... stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Service Industry: Good Work Experience?

After a discussion with my roommates yesterday about part-time job opportunities, I started thinking about all of the work experiences I've had throughout high school and college (server, cocktail waitress, bartender... you name it, I've done it).  One roommate said her mother didn't want her to work in a bar because doing secretarial work would look better on a resume... I kind of think the opposite.  

As someone who has worked in the service industry since the age of 16, I'm a firm believer that everyone should have the experience of working in a bar or restaurant at some point in their life.  I sometimes wonder if my part-time job experiences are something I should include on a resume, or at least mention in interviews.  I say this not because I think my future employers in the PR world will be impressed with my skills at balancing four plates of food or mixing Alabama Slammers, but because I think working in the service industry says certain things about a person.

I've learned a lot about customer service and how to be patient in dealing with difficult people.  My people skills definitely have benefited from waitressing and bartending, since these jobs require me to carry on conversations with and basically entertain complete strangers.  In an industry like public relations, where I need to be comfortable and confident talking to strangers, I know my practice in part-time jobs will help me.  

I've also learned to be professional and responsible.  This kind of goes along with good people skills, but the service industry has taught me to always behave like a professional so as to represent the bar or restaurant I'm working for in a positive manner. 

Lastly, I've learned time management.  Balancing a full load of classes and two part-time jobs is hard work, but it helps me prioritize so I can get everything done.  I stay motivated to finish my school work because I know I need to go to work (and I'm motivated to go to work so I can afford rent in NYC in 5 months!).

What do you think - are restaurant and bar jobs something important to include on a resume or in an interview?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Course Expectations

Every semester, I get so excited about my classes during the craziness of the first week.  I love getting syllabi, buying books, and getting organized with new school supplies (I know, slightly dorky).  I realized though, that usually my perception of a class during the first few days turns out to be pretty different than how the rest of the course ends up (do professors do this on purpose?).  So I thought I would take a minute to write down some thoughts about my classes so I can look back at the end of the semester and see how right I was.

  • PR Campaigns - I'm really excited about this one.  It's our capstone class for a Public Relations degree, applying everything we've learned so far to a real campaign.  Our class is working with entities concerned with combating poverty in the Athens-Clarke County area.  I've also volunteered to be one of the class leaders (for Honors credit) so I feel like it will be a great experience.
  • Journalism & Mass Communication Law - Okay, who really gets excited about this class?  It's definitely important information, but I know it's going to be really hard work and a lot of reading.
  • Rhetoric & Pop Culture - I wanted to take a fun class for my last arts & science credit, and I'm pretty sure that's what I'll get with this one.  The professor seems really cool and the subject matter is really interesting.
  • Strategic Management - Another capstone class, this one is the last one I need for my Management degree in the Terry College of Business.  I'm expecting a lot of theory but it should be helpful information that I can apply to any job I have in the future, management-related or otherwise.
  • Entrepreneurship - I've been waiting for years to take this class! Our professor told us we could miss class if it's a nice day outside but not if we have a job interview - he wants to encourage us to start our own business rather than "work for the man".  Although I'll probably be "working for the man" in about 5 months, it's always been a dream of mine to eventually start and run my own business (hence the Business degree).  We get to come up with a business plan for our company, so it should again be a great hands-on learning experience.
So I guess I'll be looking back on this post to see how accurate I was about which classes I loved/hated, but at this point I'm pretty optimistic about all five...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

If You Don't Have Anything Significant to Say, Don't Say Anything at All

The last few days have been pretty hectic... I've been getting unpacked from Winter Break, going to class, buying books and school supplies, studying (keeping up on my reading was a New Year's Resolution I forgot), and working.  I've been so wrapped up in my busy schedule that I've almost forgotten to post on here.  The truth is though, I haven't felt like I had anything important to say.  Which brings me to an important point about blogging...

If you don't have anything significant to say, don't say anything at all.  

Sure, it's important to update regularly especially if you're working to develop a following for your blog, but if you don't have timely, interesting information to present then what is the point in writing?  It's the same idea as news releases - if you don't have timely, interesting information then nobody is going to cover your story.  

I'm definitely excited about the semester though, and plan to post regularly about what is going on in my classes.  I have a full load of 15 hours - Public Relations Campaigns, Journalism & Mass Communication Law, Rhetoric & Pop Culture, Strategic Management, and Entrepreneurship.  I'm also planning to either intern or work for UGA's Creative Consultants (a student run PR firm), and am working two jobs - so it's going to be a busy last semester! 

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New Years' Resolutions?

So I'm about 6 days late on all this, but I've been thinking about "New Years Resolutions".  Well, not so much resolutions, because we all know nobody keeps them.  Here's my list of things I want to happen in 2009...
  • Find a way to balance school, 2 jobs, an internship and a social life.  I kind of lacked on the last part last semester, so it's a good thing my jobs are my social life. 
  • Put enough money in my savings account before I graduate to at least cover my first month's rent in NYC.
  • Become more knowledgeable about the Internet & social media.
  • Work on my blog's exposure and getting more readers.
  • Graduate
  • Find an apartment I like/can afford in NYC.  The first requirement should be easy, we'll see about the second one... 
  • Make a true effort to keep in touch with friends after graduation/moving.
  • Start an entry-level job or internship (ideally shortly after graduation).
  • Finish cleaning out my room at my parents' house.  And accept that I really now have to start calling it "my parents' house" instead of "my house".
  • Clean out/re-paint my townhouse in Athens.
  • Learn to flareOkay, now I'm starting to ramble so I'm going to stop the list there.
I think that should keep me busy...

Monday, January 5, 2009

Sarasota: We Live Where You Vacation

I don't know if it's because of the start of the new year, the fact that I'm about to start my final semester of college, or that my mom "suggested" cleaning everything out of my closet while I'm home (read: "told me that I no longer live here, so I should get my stuff out"), but I've been really nostalgic lately.  Today, while I was laying on the beach reading and relaxing, I realized how lucky I was to grow up in beautiful Sarasota.  Now, as I get ready to move even farther away from home, I keep getting more attached to and appreciative of the little beach bubble that I was born and raised in.  

In high school I hated Sarasota.  I don't know what more I wanted... we had good malls, movie theaters, beautiful beaches, and nightlife (not that I was involved with that in high school).  It just goes to show you how you take anything for granted if you're used to it.  After 18 years of living here, I was so ready to get out and move to another state to try something new.  Now when I come home on vacation, I realize what an amazing city it is (especially when I get to go to the beach in January).  Living a plane ride away instead of a car ride away will probably mean I get to come home less.  Of course, I'll come home to see my family for Thanksgiving and Christmas but I can't spend my summers laying on the beach and going out with my old high school friends like I'm used to.  I'm glad I've finally grown up enough to see what a beautiful and vibrant city I'm from, but it would have been nice to appreciate it growing up.  

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Don't be a 'Twitter Whore'

I jumped on the Twitter bandwagon in September when I was involved in UGA's Connect Conference.  In my first few days using it, I got a crash course in this new phenomenon.  Since October, I've stayed on Twitter mainly to follow professors and professionals in the PR world, especially those who are experts in social media.   

There are definitely different types of people on Twitter - those who use it just for personal use, those who use it to keep up with industry trends, and companies using it for business.  Before I get any further into this discussion, I have to post this video a friend pointed out to me a few days ago.  


Personally, I think this video is an example of everything that is wrong with Twitter.  It should be used constructively as a social media tool, not as a way to stalk people (there's enough of that on Facebook and Myspace).

In researching ways for businesses to use Twitter, I came across a great blog post offering 50 ideas on using Twitter.  Some of the main points were:
  • use Twitter Search to listen for your name and your competitor's names
  • talk to people about their interests
  • share links to things in your community
  • have more than one twitterer at the company
  • ask questions
  • follow interesting people
  • share the human side of your company
  • comment on others' tweets, retweet what others say to build community
  • Twitter at events can help people build an instant "backchannel" 
It seems that more and more companies are getting on Twitter to set themselves apart from competitors.  I wonder if soon Twitter will be something businesses have to do simply to keep up with the times rather than to be unique.  

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Every Dawg Has His Days

New Year's Day is always a big milestone and means a lot of things to different people - a new diet, a new workout plan, quitting smoking, etc.  However, this New Year's Day was a different milestone for me - it was the day of my last Georgia football game as a student.  Sure, I’ll probably make it back to a game or two every year but I’ll never get to devote as much of my life as I do now to Georgia football.

I guess I should give a little history here… I went to a small high school that was too focused on academics to have sports teams.  Students could participate in teams at their district schools (I did this for track), but the main thing we missed out on was school spirit. After seeing my friends at all the big high schools get so excited over rivalries and having a team to cheer for, I knew I wanted to go to college somewhere that could make up for what I had missed in high school.

So three and a half years ago, I went to not only my first UGA football game, but my first football game ever.  I didn’t have the slightest clue what a first down was, and I had certainly never seen anything like the excitement in Athens on game day.  My roommate and I headed out aimlessly that Saturday morning, dressed in UGA tank tops and jeans… only to run straight back to our dorms to change after seeing how dressed up everyone was!  I was so confused by the dresses, heels, and pearls around me and never thought I could get used dressing up like these crazy Southern girls every week.  Oh, how things have changed.

Now I know more about college football and what’s going on in the SEC than my dad and brother.  Who would have thought I, who back then didn’t know how many points a touchdown was worth, would one day be able to talk football with the boys?  Football sucked me in, and I’m officially addicted - not only to the sport itself, but to the overall culture of Georgia football and what it means to have school spirit.  I own more red and black dresses than I ever thought imaginable.   I could do all of the Georgia cheers and sing the fight song in my sleep.  I wake up on game days earlier and more excited than I did on Christmas morning when I was a kid.   Now I truly understand what people mean when they say football is a religion in the South.

Athens is a wonderful city and will always hold a special place in my heart for many reasons, but one of the biggest reasons is Georgia football.  Win or lose, rain or shine, nothing makes me happier than being in Sanford Stadium cheering for my team. GO DAWGS!!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Hello, 2009.

I realize that I've been kind of MIA the last few days, after just talking about how important it is to update your blog frequently, but I just got back from an amazing few days in Miami for New Year's Eve and Orlando for the Capital One Bowl (Go Dawgs!).  That being said, I'm finally back home with time to reflect on last year and look ahead to 2009.  

When we were out celebrating New Year's Eve this year, I couldn't help but think back to my senior year of high school when we were ringing in 2005.  Ever since I could remember, we had defined ourselves as "The Class of '05" - a year that seemed to far away, until that night when 2005 became a reality.  This year I had a similar feeling, as I've been looking forward to (and sometimes dreading) 2009 as the year I would graduate college since the moment I graduated high school.  Looking around at all of my friends, I couldn't believe we'd all made it to this point (and that we're all graduating on time!).  I've known some of these people since elementary school, and it's crazy to think that in 5 months we'll be going our separate ways and starting our "real" jobs and lives.  

2009 is going to bring a lot of transitions: graduating college, finding a job, moving out of the townhouse I've lived in for the past 3 years and into an apartment in New York, and the list goes on... Only this graduation, unlike high school, is a lot less certain.  3 and a half years ago, I knew I was moving to Athens.  I knew I would live in the dorms with my random roommate that UGA assigned to me.  I knew what my major would be, and what classes I would be taking. 

Right now, looking ahead, I have a lot of unknowns.  Aside from living in New York, I have no idea what I'll be doing a year from now.  And I couldn't be more excited to see where the year will take me.  Bring it on, 2009.