It’s Time to begin, isn’t it?

Finally I have a purpose.

If you read my last post at the end of July, you may know I had been waiting for something…I’m happy to announce I was waiting on my admissions decision into grad school and I was accepted! I am now a graduate student in Cinema Production at DePaul University!

It’s been a hell of ride to get to this point, a year ago I was starting my senior year at Purdue University and there is no way I would have ever  guessed this is what I would be  doing. Three months ago, I became a college graduate and had just got back from Europe…still clueless about what was next. One month and about thirteen days ago,  with the luck of finding this awesome program at DePaul and finding out about an Accelerated Admissions program offered by the College of Computing and Digital Media, I decided to apply for the Fall quarter. And a week later I was accepted.

After lots of preparation and support from my parents, I am now living in Downtown Chicago right in DePaul’s Loop Campus and I could not be happier. I had mentioned before, Chicago is the place I wanted to be since my internship two years ago. I finally made it! I’ll be here for at least two years, and if I’m lucky I will get a job here when I graduate… we’ll see where this adventure takes me.

Today is my first day of class. The adventure I’ve been waiting for is here! It’s Time to begin, isn’t it?

 

30 Random Things That 12 Days in Europe Taught Me

Venice, Italy  2014.
Venice, Italy 2014.

1. European lifts (or elevators) use 0 as the ground floor, anything above is a positive number, anything below is a negative number…makes more sense than G and B, really.

2. Coffee Shops in Amsterdam do not sell coffee…

3. In Germany, particularly Munich, when ordering a beer, 1 liter is a normal serving.

4. …Where you should also never order a Radler (a shandy), unless you want to be made fun of, especially you men, sorry.

5. The word pickpocket is the same in every language. Wallets in front pockets, hands on your purses!

6. Tequila is much better with cinnamon and an orange slice, as opposed to salt and a lime.

7. Always have your hotel address written down to show a taxi driver.

8. Sometimes…you must pay to use the public toilet.

9. Sometimes…there are Italian men outside the restroom taking money for you to use the toilet when it should actually be a free toilet experience…beware of these tricky people.

10. Austrian Schnapps are not like the Schnapps in the States…they’re stronger.

11. White Water Rafting is an amazing experience, even if there is a torrential downpour.

12. Think of yourself as a traveler, not a tourist.

13. If you need a masquerade mask, go to Venice.

14. Learn to say “Thank you,” “Please,” “Cheers” and other basic phrases in the local language…especially, “Do you speak English?”

15. There are lots of people who sell fake bags, glasses, and other products randomly on the street.

16. A coach is more than just a bus.

17. There are Australians…everywhere.

18. Bread, slices of assorted meats and cheeses…classic breakfast.

19. Italian rap karaoke is super entertaining.

20. The game “every time you see someone riding a bike, take a drink” in Amsterdam, is a death sentence.

21. Service stops in Europe are much more elaborate that the ones in the U.S.

22. You want leather? Florence is your answer.

23. On occasion, a seagull will attack and kill a pigeon in Rome…or maybe that was just a one time thing…

24. There are gypsies…there will always be gypsies.

25. Europeans listen to a wide variety of American music.

26. You will stay up late and you will get up early because you only have so much time in each place!

27. Validate your subway ticket to avoid falling up a down escalator.

28. Macaroons…Paris…delicious!

29. Don’t think too much, experience and embrace every taste, smell, sound, touch and sight!

30. 12 days is not enough time in Europe!

Musical Monday: The Walker

Fitz and the Tantrums
Have you ever heard a song on the radio and within seconds you remember a time in your life; because consciously or unconsciously you have associated that song with a particular moment, event, or person? This can be a powerful experience, why do you think people come up with engagement songs, wedding songs, class songs, etc. …because now whenever you hear that song you are reminded of the day you got married, the people you graduated with or the great memories you have from that time in your life!

It really is a brilliant idea, especially if you are a very music inspired person like myself. Say you have a project you’re working on or a 30 day challenge or maybe a week of vacation, why not pick a song to start your day with? Relate that song to what you’re doing some how or at least make it a song you like and after that period of time is up, every time you hear that song, it will remind you the success you had, the memories you made or the people you met.

I am lucky enough to have a song that will always remind me of my 12 days on a European Discovery! On my trip with Contiki Holidays, my awesome Tour Manager chose a song for our group of 49 travelers to associate with our incredible trip. She called it our “Day Song.” Each day, even if it was 7:00am, the first song we listened to on the coach was “The Walker” by Fits and the Tantrums. Which really was perfect for us because not many could keep up with our rhythm during those 12 days! As days passed we began to memorize the words, sing loudly along and even dance along. There were nights we would be out dancing at a club or at a bar and the song would come on, all of us would just go crazy! Every time we hear that song a variety of memories will rush through our brain…

Our adventure through the Red Light District, during a power outage in Amsterdam
The Beer Steins and Cuckoo clocks of St. Goar
Mike’s Bike Tour of Munich with Matt and Chris
White Water Rafting through the mountains in Austria
The Gondola’s of Venice
Exploring the ruins of Rome
Dancing the night away at the Space Electronic Disco in Florence
Travelling to the top of Mount Stanserhorn in Switzerland
Drinking wine and gazing at the beautiful lights of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
and the list goes on!

At first it was just a song, but by the end of the trip it was a part of us. It was, and will now always be, a series of unforgettable memories and moments with a group of incredibly unique and amazing people.

Twenty Two, the Hidden Milestone

DSC_0079

On Monday, I started a new year of my life. At first glance, there is nothing special about being 22. It isn’t really a milestone birthday, but all of the sudden it sneaks up on you, this is an important year full of important decisions and events. In the next two months I am finishing a senior design project, I am looking for a full time job, I am graduating from Purdue, I am saying goodbye to college friends, I am moving out of my apartment and I am going to Europe…that is just in the next two months! If this isn’t a milestone year, I don’t know what is!

The year a person graduates from college is always a big year, it is the time you enter the “real world”. You are about to become a tax payin’, loan payin’, 8-5 workin’, “real person”.  It isn’t always year 22 but that is how it worked out for me, so I have to make it count (like Jack and Rose…minus the whole iceberg thing).

I recently decided Chicago is where I want to go after Purdue, decision made, yes! I had an internship there in the summer of  2012 and fell in love with the people, the architecture, the sights, the festivals, the churches, the art…it was a culturally stimulating experience and I barely brushed the surface of the things to do there, so the Chicago exploration will continue. Though if I don’t get a job first…I may just have to look into street performing (joking but not joking).

Before that adventure can begin I have to finish strong at Purdue. Two weeks from today I have my senior design final presentation. I won’t lie to you, senior design has been a more than challenging experience, then again group projects usually always are. They’re kind of like arranged marriages. And then you have this ‘baby’ of a project that you have to raise together.

I’ve learned a lot from my project, my class in general has prepared me for what it might be like working with all different kinds of people at my future place of employment. No matter how this project ends up, I’ve grown as a leader and as a person from this project, so that’s something.

From there, it’s turning in projects, taking finals, packing up the apartment and walking across that stage. Followed by a thirteen day European tour through eight countries! On June 4th I’ll come back…hopefully to a place to work and place to live…

It’s going to be a busy, and kind of scary, year all around, but I’m excited for what ever else 22 throws my way!