It’s Only Goodbye Until Tomorrow.

Welp. I’ll try to keep this short and sweet.

 

Oh who am I kidding? I’m probably the most emotional of the class. 

It has been an absolute privilege being able to be a part of a family with such a warm and welcoming environment. Yes, I said family. No typos here, folks. I have come to love each and every one of you guys, and I can safely say UGST 1000 has made my freshman year so much more bearable. I loved being a part of such a diverse, passionate group of people.  Not one of us is the same, and that made the class so interesting and fun.  

Now then, what have I taken away from this semester?

The main thing that I have taken away from this semester, and really from Laura, is to just converse to people. It’s not hard, y’all. Just. Listen.  You will be so surprised at what you can learn just by listening to someones story.  At first, the idea of actually interviewing another individual made me nauseous. Now, I can’t wait to dig and pry my way into people’s life stories, just to see what they’ve been through, how they got there, where they are today, and what lessons they have to share. Being open with such a diverse class has also intrigued me to want to know people’s stories. This is the biggest lesson I have learned. 

Another thing I’ve learned is that Heather is quite younger than me, and that freaked me out a little. lUv u hEatHer.

I hope to see everyone on campus very, very often, and a UGST reunion must take place. Y’all are awesome, and thanks for putting up with my weird humor and scary sorority-girl front. I swear, I’m not scary, despite the first impressions some of you guys have admitted to me. (; 

Stay golden.

Spirituality and Me

I can honestly say that I really enjoyed Jon’s presentation in class the other day. I had no idea how many religious/spiritual organizations there was on campus, which is so so cool. Although I am a Christian, I think it’s awesome that the school is open and welcoming to so many other types of religions and beliefs.  I love the diversity of the school, and think it’s great that we support our differences through a variety of organizations! In my opinion, spirituality is how your beliefs and values define you as an individual. People may have different religious beliefs, but can share many spiritual beliefs at the same time. I was always taught that no matter what your beliefs are, you are supposed to respect and accept other’s beliefs and opinions, so I felt I could really relate to Jon’s presentation. What I thought was awesome was his idea of “Holy Envy,” which I have always known about yet have never heard a name for it.  I have always seen the good in other religions and beliefs and thought, “hey, that’s really respectable. I like that.” 

Overall, I think Jon’s presentation was a great idea for our class, and we got to learn about each other a little more.  So, a big thanks to Jon for presenting, and a big big thanks to Ms. Laura for making it all happen. (:

Diversity

Judging a book by its cover is human nature.  It’s an automatic trait that we all acquire in which allows us to gather information about the little information appearance gives us.  Of course, again, as humans, we make mistakes, and we are known to use this tool in a negative way.  We have all judged others more harshly than we should, and that is something that we can all own up to. I am absolutely guilty of this, as are all of my peers, and most of the people in the world. With all honesty, growing up in North Texas (specifically Denton) has taught me a lot about toleration and acceptance, and I am so thankful for that.  I judge people off of their appearance, as we all naturally do, but I’m not so much for judging their flaws or differences as I am just curious about their background, life story, name, family history, favorite TV show, etc. Not one of us is flawless, and we are all different.  Accept it, and learn from it.

Well, I mean I suppose I consider myself being identified with various cultural groups. I am a caucasian female, with much pride in her strong Native American and Irish heritage. I was born in Dallas, Texas, so I guess I am categorized with the “Southern” population. Your cultural background says a lot about you as an individual, and can be a key factor to how others judge, or categorize, you. Some values I can identify with include empathy, acceptance, love, faith, and morality.  These are challenged on a daily basis, believe it or not. As simple as they may seem, I meet people everyday whom I feel at least one of these values for, and may not agree or accept them. I’ve met people who have completely misjudged my values, and have been called names that are downright unfair.  I’ve been called out for being the judgmental one, or the one who thinks too highly of themselves. The image you give off may give others the wrong idea, so I have been trying to be more mindful of it. That is all apart of what challenges these values: people who are not advocates for the same values you believe in, or have the entirely wrong idea about who you are. My mom always taught me to “kill em with kindness.” It all goes back to tolerance, and acceptance. Accept it, and learn from it. 

I am such a strong advocate for these values especially because of my upbringing, as well as my experience with how I have been brutally judged. As a caucasian, upper class female, I have always been knocked down by my peers for being such. I want to show people that stereotypes are not valid bases of judgement. Of course, being in a sorority may not be helping my case. But I want others to recognize the hard work and passion that my organization does have, and how we strive to empower each other, and our student body. I don’t want people to see me on campus and say, “that girl’s in a sorority; they’re the stuck up bitches on campus.” Excuse my french, but you wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve heard that. I’d love to show people that, while they may have had bad experiences with Greek Life, that we are not all that bad. Accept it, and learn from it. 

Road Trip Nation Process Paper

 

a)    Robin Gansle’s journey seems, to me, be one of uncertainty and confusion. Robin recognized what she was interested in, yet she could never quite pinpoint exactly what it was she wanted to do as a career. She changed her mind many times in college, and eventually decided that being and IT was not what she wanted to do with her life.  After dropping out of that field, Robin began working for American Airlines.  After 9/11, the airline business dropped drastically, and her and her husband decided to move to Seattle, Washington.  Robin really took on photography during the Seattle Sniping incident, when it was too dangerous to leave the household.  After having her first child, she began taking pictures of her children.  A hobby eventually turned into a career for Robin when she moved back to the DFW area, and created her own photography business.  After many trials, Robin was able to lease out her own studio, increasing her validity as a photographer, and helping her business take off.  She now resided in Denton, where she works all over the DFW area.

b)   College made a large impact on Robin’s decision to be a photographer, as well as the circumstances of society at the time.  She enjoyed photography, and knew that the major she chose was not the career path she wanted for the rest of her life. It was an easy and enjoyable hobby for her to pick up, and the resources she needed to educate herself were accessible. The internet showed her everything she needed to learn, and she found the right mentors that gave her all of the right feedback, making her very successful in her business.  Robin values work done well, and work done correctly.  She values her photos being edited with care and correct technique. She also values the ability to work well with her clients, and making connections. This impacted her career choice greatly, because she was able to continue to do what she genuinely enjoyed, while staying close to her home and family.

c)    Looking back on all of the interviews that our group conducted, we learned exactly how much time goes into each of the career paths.  From photographer, to Starbucks manager, to criminal justice lawyer, to gamer, each of these careers take so much time and dedication, on and off the clock. Our group was very surprised to hear some of these work hours, and even helped in our decision to choose our own career paths. We also learned the vitality in going down a path that you are incredibly passionate about.  If you are stuck doing a job that you have no love for, you will always be unhappy with what you are doing. Always go down the path that fits best for you, otherwise work will never be fulfilling or rewarding.

d)   One major theme that constantly stuck out to our group was passion.  As I previously stated, be passionate about whatever it is that you decide on as a career.  Otherwise you will never be happy, and the time you spend will be meaningless.  Another reoccurring theme that our group came across was to always keep growing. Always be working towards something, and to never stay stagnant.  While talking to Lauren, we learned exactly how hard she works to just keep moving towards her goal to become CEO of Starbucks.  She is constantly working up the ladder to become something better, and seeing that is so inspiring.

e)    What struck me about the differences between the interviewees was obviously, their different career paths, yet they all shared the same passion for their career.  Seeing how passionate each person was about their career was exciting to witness, and inspired me to want that same passion for whatever it is I choose. Each person had a completely different personality, accompanied by a completely different career.  As each of them shared their story with us, it was obvious of the excitement and love for what they do within their community, and how it affects others. It made us think about how we are really not so different from one another, and made us appreciate even the smallest of businesses in the community. It’s inspiring to see that spark in each of their eyes about the different roles they play in society, and I only hope to find that.

f)     From what I have learned during this whole process, I think I now have an overall better understanding on what exactly it is like to go down a path you love, and to go down a path that you chose because of a bad decision.  Personally, there is nothing that scares me more than being stuck down a path that I am not passionate about, or that my heart is not fully committed to.   Money is not always the answer to every career choice. If it comes with great pay, that is only a bonus.  You must enjoy what you do.  Robin is so enthusiastic about working with her clients, especially infants.  She loves the interaction between client and photographer, and the relationships she gains.  I admire Lauren’s love for growth, and constantly moving forwards.  My favorite piece of advice that was given to us by Lauren is, “Never stop growing, and never grow up.”  This was so refreshing to hear, because being stuck in a monotonous state of mind is a fear of mine.  Their words of wisdom impacted each of us, and will not be forgotten as we choose our own paths. 

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work!

Teams are super important to your daily life, because I believe that there is power in numbers.  Working as a team allows you the opinion, work, and comradity that I feel is necessary to accomplish many goals. It’s such a rewarding feeling when you know that you have successfully worked together to complete a common goal.  Through teamwork, you are able to life up others in a positive way, split up the work evenly (I’d hope), and feel good knowing that your team has accomplished something that before may have seem so far fetched with only one person. Of course, working in teams is not always easy, and much of the time is difficult based on schedules, work ethic, etc.  But once everyone in the group figures out the common goal, and each person’s individual job, the project becomes much easier to complete. I personally love working in teams, because it gives you the opportunity to know your peers better, and you get to sit down and talk with them about some of your common goals. Overall, I’m a strong advocate for the whole teamwork idea, and I’m happy to say I’ve really enjoyed my Road Trip Nation group. (: GO BYOM