True Life: I'm a college student.

A blog about my life at Ball State University.

Plus you can win awards…


I”ve posted a lot about how beneficial joining extra-curicular organizations is, especially within your major. There’s one thing I forgot to mention: take all those benefits + you can win awards!

The Louie Awards are an event put on every year by the Department of Journalism. They recognize student organization members for their hard work outside of the classroom. Every student organization in the journalism department is present, and they give awards at their own discretion called “Louies.” Also, scholarships are given.

One of the best parts about the Louie Awards is the atmosphere. It is treated like a prestigious award ceremony–think Oscars but on a much smaller scale. Everyone dresses up and receives awards. This year I received the Dedication Award for PRSSA. :]

Just another inside look into the fun life of a journalism student!

Me + my award at the 2011 Louies!

Me + my award at the 2011 Louies!

Cardinal Communications at the Louie Awards.

Cardinal Communications at the Louie Awards.

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5 tips for handling college work!


Things are getting pretty hectic here in the second half of the semester! Class projects and trying to wrap up Cardinal Comm work is really getting to me. College can be very overwhelming at times, and there’s no class to tell you how to handle all of your classes, homework and extracurriculars while still having a social life! Here are my top 5 tips:

5. Breathe.
It seems silly, but sometimes in crunch time you forget.

4. Work out.
While it may seem like a time waster when you have a lot to do, it will actually give you a boost of energy! In the Ball State Rec Center, the 3rd floor of the workout area is a quiet floor. Who says you can’t read and run at the same time?

3. Make to-do lists.
Don’t let big assignments catch you by surprise! Post-it notes are your best friend.

2. Get a study buddy… or two or three!
One of the biggest advantages of joining a student organization in your major is the study buddies you’ll gain. In Cardinal Comm, I have access to an office full of other public relations majors taking the same classes I am! They’re a great resource.

1. Save time for yourself!
This is the number one most important thing to remember when things get busy. Thursday night is Kait night.

Just some of my study buddies in the Cardinal Communications office.

Just some of my study buddies in the Cardinal Communications office.

Getting noticed


I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “It’s all about who you know.” Well there’s no where that phrase rings more true than in college. Most support, sponsorships and references I’ve gotten for campus events, projects and even internship opportunities have been from who I know. I’m looking for a summer internship right now (which is required to graduate with a pr degree), so I’m recognizing the importance of this more every day!

As our marketing class guest speaker, founder of CapEx Financial, said yesterday: “Who you know gets you where you need to be. What you know keeps you there.”

An opportunity arose to gain recognition for some work my team and I have done for Cardinal Communications. The College of Communication, Information, and Media (CCIM–the college the Department of Journalism is in) hosted a diversity symposium yesterday. Basically, individuals or teams could enter projects relating to diversity. If accepted, the teams set up a display and presented their project to passerby and three judges.

My CC team entered the strategic plan for diversity within our organization that we’ve been working on last semester. Basically, we conducted research and discovered that more diversity = more ideas, experiences and solutions (ultimately, more innovation). This is the first plan that a student organization in our department has made regarding diversity, and the issue is something the college, university and our department really stress!

How does this have to do with who you know? Well our work was recognized by the dean and associate dean of the college, administrative provost for diversity for the university, leader of the multicultural center and many other important people. This event helped put our organization, and us as individuals, on the map with some big whigs at the university :]

Once again, this is me telling you to MAKE THE MOST of your college experience by participating in the many events this campus has to offer–both academic and social! In general, if there is a subject, topic or activity you’re interested in, BSU hosts an event for it. Check out these links to see what I mean >> and

Lastly, network, network, network! Use social media and events to connect to people.

On a lighter note, I was accepted to the Homecoming Steering Committee again this year as the publicity chairman. Our first meeting is Sunday, and I’m super excited!! We won’t know many details until later in the semester, but I’ll keep you posted. If you’re a freshman attending Ball State in the fall, this week of events is something you should definitely look forward to!

Cardinal Communications diversity strategic plan

Cardinal Communications diversity strategic plan




I leave you with this snowpocalypse photography:

No Milk

Unassembled snowmen

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Winding down


After a bitter cold week of walking through snow and below freezing temperatures on campus (ugh), I am finally ALMOST done. One final and one presentation to go. My finals are over on Tuesday, which means I have almost four whole weeks of winter break!!! So I’m not going to think about school at all right? Wrong. :[ I still have Cardinal Comm and PRSSA projects to work on.

Another thing I'm going to do over break is get my resume and portfolio put together so that I can apply for summer internships! Exciting! I'm also very nervous though... I'll let you know how that process goes.

More things to do over break: brush up on some Adobe Creative Suite skills, make plans for Cardinal Comm next semester, work a lot, see friends and family! Oh, and the best part of break--I can finally read books that are NOT required. :]

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!!

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I’ve said before that campus resembles a small community. So what do you do for fun in said community? Let me tell you!

One thing I love to do at Ball State is Friday Night Filmworks. This was especially great when I lived in the dorms with no car! Every Friday night, a group called University Program Board (UPB) shows a movie on a huge projection screen in a nice auditorium. The movies are ones that are out of theaters, but not on DVD yet. Example, last night they showed Eat. Pray. Love. Anyway the best part about this movie is that its FREE and only $1 for non-BSU students. They also sell popcorn and soda for $1. Who doesn’t love a free movie?

UPB hosts a ton of other events on campus throughout the year. In the fall, I went to Quad Bash, which is basically a huge party on the quad. The whole event was free (and $5 for non-BSU students), and they had free pizza, snow cones, cotton candy, lemon chills, etc. Then there was a rock climbing wall, inflatable games I can’t even describe and a sumo wrestling pin (which I totally participated in). At the end of the year, UPB sponsors a huge carnival (again, FREE), with all of the wonderful food, games and rides that a carnival should have!

Another FREE example. Every holiday season and spring, the Honors College provides food for its members in the kitchen of the Honors College house. So yesterday before class, I snagged some pulled pork sandwiches, veggies, chips and candy for lunch!

One of the coolest features of Ball State (and it’s brand new!) is the new recreation and wellness center. Not only does it have tons of workout space, but it has multiple basketball courts and an indoor turf field. If sports aren’t really your thing, because they’re definitely not mine, there’s also a rock climbing wall, Quizno’s, ping pong and other recreational goodness. Oh… and it’s all FREE. Click here to see what else it offers.

There are other campus events I’m forgetting or not listing for length/time reasons, but you can look them up on the Campus Life section of BSU’s site. Or check out all of the fun things UPB puts on!

So I guess what I’m trying to say is, don’t worry about getting free food and entertainment around here. They’ve got you covered.

Some of us being goofy at the LateNite carnival last year.

Some of us being goofy at the LateNite carnival last year.

Schmilson & keep your door open!


KEEP YOUR DOOR OPEN when you live in the dorms. As much as possible. This is how you meet people :]

Don’t get me wrong, when I lived in the dorms I wanted to get out and have my own place! But having your own place comes with a lot of extra responsibility. Not to mention the constant trouble of parking on campus. Here are some things I loved about the dorms and some pictures of my room freshman year! By the way, I lived in Schmidt/Wilson (specifically Schmidt room 406! I still remember!), which is the tall Johnson building. Unlike most dorms, we had Z-shaped rooms.

I miss…

1. Rolling out of bed 10 minutes before class started and walking there

2. 99 cent grilled cheeses at LaFollette

3. The gas station in LaFollette (This is what we called it. It’s basically a convenience store. There’s no gas of course haha.)

4. Singing in the public showers

5. Going to the neighbors’ rooms when I was bored

6. Late nights in the floor study lounge

7. The secure sense of community

8. 100+ homework help options right at my fingertips!

9. Free internet

10. MEAL CARDS (Meal plans come with your dorm experience. You never have to carry money. Just go to an eating place on campus and use your student ID as cash!)

I remember iving in the dorms was one of the scariest aspects of college for me, and I always wanted to see pictures of what a dorm room was like! So hopefully you find these helpful!

Best decorated door ever!

Best decorated door ever!

This was before we had any posters up.

This was before we had any posters up.

This was one side of the "Z."

This was one side of the "Z."

This is part of the middle aisle.

This is part of the middle aisle.

“]This is the other side of the "Z"--I had top bunk :]

This is the other side of the "Z"--I had top bunk :

This is the middle aisle again.

This is the middle aisle again.

My roomate and our friend hanging out in front of the TV!

My roomate and our friend hanging out in front of the TV!

This is my roomate feeding the ducks at the duck pond behind our dorm.

This is my roomate feeding the ducks at the duck pond behind our dorm.

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Happy Fruesday!


Fruesday?! That Ball State Student just misspelled Tuesday… or Friday…

No folks you heard it right. Today is Fruesday. We students have a love/hate relationship with Fruesday. It seems that no one really thinks it’s a good idea (especially the professors), but we have Friday classes on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving break to make up for the Friday we missed for Fall Break.

Every year the Daily News posts an article, and there is talk about how the University Senate is going to recall Fruesday. Never happens. So next year when you hear people talk about it, which they surely will, don’t get your hopes up.

I rather love Fruesday this year because two of my three classes were cancelled! Which works out perfectly for me because I’m currently laying in bed with a horrible cold.

But all this is not what I’m really posting about! What I’m really posting about it HOW I ended up with this head cold on Fruesday.

Friday at 5 in the morning I was on campus meeting up for the annual Cardinal Communications Chicago trip. Every year the organization takes students to Chicago to visit public relations, advertising and design firms. This year we went to Ogilvy and Mather (their big thing is advertising), RedEye (a division of the Chicago Tribune) and…… KETCHUM PR!!

Ketchum is where I really really REALLY would like to land an internship upon graduation. They hardly ever hire for entry level jobs outside of their intern pool. So basically, if you work your butt off as an intern, you’ll get a job with them.

Learning how the agency life is structured and operates on a day-to-day basis made me even more excited–and anxious–for my job as a public relations practitioner. You of course don’t have to go into agency work, but this is where I’ve been seeing myself. It’s fast-paced, ever-changing and from the sounds of it, rarely boring. In an agency, as opposed to corporate or nonprofit PR, you get to work with multiple clients at one time.

Getting our foot in the door at these high-end Chicago agencies was no easy feat, and I wouldn’t have been able to visit them if it weren’t for my membership in Cardinal Communications. I also wouldn’t have the networking experiences I’ve had. I’ve learned that in public relations, and honestly life in general, it’s all about who you know.

The Chicago committee in Card Comm arranged a dinner in Chicago with 5 CC alumni working in the area. That put me in touch with 5 people who used to be in the exact place I am. And they were all more than willing to pass my resume along.

I wonder what students who aren’t involved in Cardinal Comm or PRSSA or other pre-professional organizations are doing with their lives. Not getting jobs I take it? Like I say in every other post: JOIN JOIN JOIN!! Do more in college than just show up to class.

It’s now officially Turkey Day Break. Since I don’t live in the dorms and my family is in Anderson, which is about 20 minutes away, I”ll be staying right here in Muncie working. Assuming I get over this cold quickly that is. Happy Thanksgiving!

Oh yeah and then there are classes…


Sorry for the lack of video posting I did last week. Oops :/ I’ll get to it promise!

This post is all about the part of college I tend to forget to talk about: classes.

It may seem funny that I often leave this important aspect of college out of my posts. That’s because to me, college is so much more than class. If you’re only going to class, you’re not getting the full college experience.

I bring up classes because right now all of Ball State is waiting for their spring semester course schedules. We request classes through a program on the Ball State website, and your schedule is made based on seniority. Honors college kids get first preference ;]

Choosing classes for college is much more exciting than for high school because there are a billion choices. If you find a class that interests you, and it’s not required for your major, chances are you can still take it! This is a great way to explore what you want to major in. Example, freshman year I went into school thinking I might be a lawyer. HA. I’ve really veered off of that path. But the reason I lost interest is because I took a political science class and found it extremely dull. I didn’t want to learn about law. So I switched to PR.

PR is part of the journalism department, so the first 4 classes you take are with other journalism majors: advertising, news editorial, magazine, photojournalism. I knew I enjoyed writing and public speaking, so I took these introductory courses and narrowed my major down to PR.

So what about the random history major? I love history. I don’t have any idea what I’ll ever do with a history major, but it allows me to take classes I enjoy and earn a second degree from them.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, you don’t have to know what you want to do with the rest of your life when you enter college. Part of college classes are figuring out what you want to do. Core curriculum at Ball State takes at least 3 semesters to get through (I’m just now finishing mine), so you have some time. I feel like this is the number one thing freshman dread: making such a huge decision right off the bat.

In truth, many freshman are undecided on their major. Even those who are adamant about what they want to do often change their minds. And that’s the beauty of it–you can do that!

So best advice for you: take basic classes in different fields. Find out what you like to do and then declare your major. And if you end up hating it… switch!

Here’s a picture of me in one of my classes:

Some classmates and I at the top of the Duomo in Florence, Italy.

Some classmates and I at the top of the Duomo in Florence, Italy.

Class in Italy :]

I took an Italian honors colloquium. We studied Italian culture and history for a semester and then visited the places we talked about for 2 weeks (Rome, Venice, Florence). Our assignment: keep a journal of our experiences. Best class ever.

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Becoming a Twitter freak. It’s fun!

Tonight was the 32nd Annual Schranz Distiguished Lectureship in Public Relations. AKA… SCHRANZ.

This is the single biggest event in the PR department at Ball State. The Schranz family donates thousands of dollars each year to our department, and if they’re not satisfied with their lectureship–well it’s goodbye money! So basically we work hard and kiss their butts all evening. Sometimes in public relations, you’ve got to do a good butt kissing.

So my Schranz day started out at 3:45 p.m. in the Cardinal Comm office (CC organizes and promotes the lectureship each year). I then stood out on the street corner with a parking sign for an hour and a half (welcome to the real life of event planning), got a 30 minute pizza break and returned to the lecture hall to take surveys of attendees.

Here comes the awesome part. We set up 400 chairs in the student center ballroom for this event…. we had to add 300 more!!!! That’s the greatest problem you can have as an event planner. Of course it was hot and crowded, but the presentation was awesome! Our speaker was Lisa Baird, the chief marketing director for the U.S. Olympic Committee. She’s also worked in marketing for the NFL. Big stuff right there.

She shared this awesome Proctor and Gamble commercial during her lecture that kind of made me want to cry. You should check it out because it’s a great public relations piece:


Oh while we’re on this subject of great campaigns, check out this awesome video from the (RED) campaign, which raises money for the Global Fund in Africa. I ran across this commercial the other day when I was looking at (RED)’s branding strategies for a report on what inspires me professionally! They’re awesome.


Tomorrow I think I’ll take you on a tour of my second home (the journalism buidling-AJ) and show you the Cardinal Comm office. If I do that tomorrow it means I’ll figure out how to upload the videos from my camera by at least Saturday… ha.

Oh! And follow @CardinalComm on Twitter. My team just finished our social media plans for in-house, and we update helpful tips, advice and other great articles dealing with integrated marketing communications and young professionals!

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