Tag Archives: writing

Post-Abroad Adventure Rut

IMG_0649I left Ireland over a month ago… it’s strange to think I was in an amazing city working in their parliament for two months, then I just packed up my bags and headed home. I’m in a rut. I miss Dublin. I miss the city. I miss the excitement of all the people. I miss walking on streets that are older than anyone I know. I just miss it.

I didn’t travel as much as I thought I would. I didn’t feel like traveling alone to other places. See that’s the thing, when you do the independent program, it is TRULY independent. I am thankful for that. I learned so much more about myself than I could’ve imagined. I now know I love visiting Europe, but I hate touristy things. I walked by the Trinity Library, looked at the line, and continued walking. When I lived in Germany I saw many, many amazing Cathedrals, Castles, parks, etc. but now I just like to sit and watch. I find the best thing you can do in a foreign country is find a cafe, sit there and watch. Watch the people go by about their daily lives. I find it’s more interesting than the Mona Lisa any day, which by the way is super tiny. It was a total let down.

If anyone of you readers is in the post-abroad adventure rut, I feel your pain. Athens is a cool place. I don’t agree it is the most amazing place on earth like many people I know. I think I am getting to the point where I am ready to move on and graduate. Scary as that sounds I’m ready for another adventure. I have a year and a half left to make my mark on Athens. I’ll do it. Then I’ll move on. But for now I’m going to get some sleep. I suggest the same if you’re reading this right now and are feeling the same way. Otherwise, pick up a book or a journal, laptop, anything. Let it all out and get excited for what lies ahead. You’ve traveled around the globe, so who knows what amazing adventures are in store for you! I have a feeling, mine will be pretty fantastic.

x KMSH

P.S. I need to learn how to discipline myself better with these posts… I think I’m going to have to schedule them. “Write blog post 30 minutes before sleep.”

“Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter–tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther…. And one fine morning– So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

-F. Scott Fitzgerald, the Great Gatsby

Procrastination at its finest

photo 5“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” -Abraham Lincoln

I am dedicating this post to procrastination. I haven’t blogged in over a week because I procrastinated. I thought about all of these great posts and what I was going to write and then I just said “I’ll do it later.” I also started this post at 11 a.m. this morning, it is now 11:30 p.m. Blogging is NOT and I repeat NOT always a full time job, but it is a part-time one. Since being home I have found the inspiration to write but I haven’t had my laptop nearby, so I forget everything I thought of. Now I am getting to the point where I need to sit down in Starbucks and write. For some odd reason I always find inspiration at Starbucks (no I’m not a hipster). So I bet you’re wondering how can you get rid of procrastination? Well you can never really get rid of it but you can fight it, here’s how:

#1: Sit yourself down and write. Do not get up from that spot until you have what you want. Even if the blog post is terrible the first time, it doesn’t matter. It will come to you and you can always edit (you should always edit). If you need an inspiring place to sit, check out Starbucks. Maybe it’s the aroma of coffee but it works for me.

#2: Pick the right time of day to blog. I find the best time for me is late at night. Like many writers/bloggers I know, nighttime is when all of the words just come together. Maybe it’s the self-relfection on your day or you are a night owl like myself. In the end, everything sounds better after a long day.

#3: Don’t give up. If the words aren’t coming to you just wait and look around. If you are in a coffee shop or sitting outside while typing, look at your surroundings and maybe you’ll find what you’ve been looking for. Blogging is a part-time job technically but finding the inspiration for it is most definitely the 24/7, all day/all night ordeal.

#4 Procrastinate. You heard me. If you are going to find what you are looking for, mess around. Get up, go outside, watch TV, read a book, anything! Do something that takes your mind off of the blog and when you eventually sit back down the words will come right to you. Like me right now.

I hope these tips were all helpful. If you ever get in a blogging rut like this high-heeled girl was for the past week or so, don’t fret. It’ll end… eventually.

x KMSH

Blogging isn’t just for the Complainers

If you haven’t seen my blog before, welcome! I am a college student and I have this blog. Some people think blogs are for complainers or extremely nerdy people who blog about video games. Wrong! Blogging can seriously help your writing skills and allow you to grow as a professional.

This blog is my third… ya… I would never keep up with any of my old blogs so I eventually just deleted them because they just sat there on the internet with one post. Blogging has taught me responsibility and motivation, because I have to keep up and posting or what’s the point in having one? Blogging can also help you network. Some of my followers are people in PR, studying PR or in other professionals in sectors that interest me i.e. fashion. Now this post is for the Scripps Summer Challenge (#ScrippsSummerChallenge on twitter) for my PRSSA chapter and I already tweeted I had a blog but had to be responsible and finish the challenge.

So if you have an interest in a career such as PR, journalism, fashion, sports, anything! You should blog. Remember it is not your online personal diary… I block those blogs. Yes there are people with video game blogs, but how else are you supposed to know how defeat the boss challenge? Blogs can teach you much more than you think. If you follow professionals, they usually give advice. You can find tips/tricks on anything, DIY challenges if you are crafty.Basically blogging can help you grow as a person, a professional and a writer. If you are bad at writing, well here’s your chance to become good at it.

P.S. Wearing heels out for my last hurrah in Dublin, yes I know there are cobblestones but if I fall I’ll at least look good!

x KMSH

Freestyle? More like Freelance

“Like a lot of freelance cartoonists, when any opportunity like that comes along, I have a hard time saying no, whether it makes sense or not.” – Jim Woodring

Last week I embarked on my first freelancing opportunity. Unfortunately it’s for free but all I thought was this person likes what I’m saying, I’ll get to add to pieces to my portfolio and build my resume even more. Now this is a first time thing for me, so I’m going with my instincts. Working with OU’s student-run PR firm, ImPRessions (nationally affiliated with PRSSA, I might add), I’ve learned that in PR you sometimes have to go with your gut.

Looking for guidance I emailed my old Account Supervisor, who has now graduated. Sad. But she was able to give me ideas I hadn’t thought of. I sat there staring at her email, examples of content marketing, the client’s website/Facebook/Twitter, etc. late last night, then it finally came to me.

The pitch needs to be worked on design wise but all this man wants to hear is my ideas and I’m ready for him. Wish me luck! I’ll report back this evening!

Wearing flats today because it’s been gorgeous here and my feet just can’t do the heels in hot. Wishing I would’ve packed my wedges. Boo.

x KMSH

You’re an Intern right? Where’s my coffee?

IMG_0556Okay, the general stereotype is that interns get coffee. After 3-5 internships/PR related jobs I can tell you that is not true. If all you do is make copies and get coffee, I’m sorry you have a crappy internship. I am not saying you should be one of those entitled interns who thinks they can do anything and are awesome at what they do. When I was really homesick one day I had one of those moments… thankfully my mom snapped me back into reality through a harsh but needed email. Doing something totally new without any direction is scary, remember my previous post? I had to call medical card and disability services, along with all of these other departments. I had no idea what I was doing. I got frustrated, mad, and all I wanted to do was go home. Like home, home. I said I am not here to do this, this is not PR-related. I was a brat. An entitled little brat, which is how a lot of college students are ending up these days… and according to my mom they make up the unemployment rate for college grads.

coffee

One of the other interns in my program has her first internship this summer. She hasn’t really learned any PR-skills yet but I can’t help but feel sorry for her. She has to do the dishes, buy all of the newspapers for the office, clean up after work and close up. Her main job is putting the newspaper clippings about clients into the computer. She continuously tells me, it’s my first internship so it’s okay. Funny thing is, is that I was originally offered this internship and turned it down.

I wasn’t going to pay all of this money to simply answer phones. Unpaid interns are taken for granted but when I have the skill set and some experience, it would be nice to feel like you’re being put to good use. Not being the office b*. I did advise her that if she doesn’t learn anything soon to just ask and say “Hey, I would really like to learn about this.” Internships are supposed to be a learning experience (don’t forget that Starbucks-run intern).

You will make copies, do busy work, answer phones, make annoying calls and maybe get your boss coffee. However, if it’s the right internship you will also get to do actual work. I started out by creating a media database and mailing lists. Looking up every single pub in my T.D.’s county took almost two days with having to make mailing labels. Now I feel good that he has an entire filing cabinet drawer full of different mailing lists and he will always know that I did all of that. So what if you don’t get to write a press release or social media post right away? Your time will come. If it’s your first internship and you don’t really have the skill set yet, please do not let yourself be the office b* but ask questions and be engaged. You may receive more work if they see you are willing to put in the hard work and learn.

After a few weeks of busy work I now write his press releases and press statements. I am currently in the midst of putting together his first newsletter. I write parliamentary questions on his behalf (he doesn’t even need me to read them back to him anymore), write letters to constituents, write speeches, advise him on social media and many other PR-related tasks. Today my boss said, if I win the lotto tomorrow I am going to give you a piece of paper and you will write down the amount I need to pay you each week to keep you here until I quit politics. It was nice to hear that I have done a great job. Interns are highly underestimated. It’s all work and no pay but one day you’ll look at your office intern and say, I know exactly how you feel. Now where’s my coffee?

x KMSH

P.S. Have you checked out Lauren Berger’s book ‘All Work No Pay’? She’s the queen of interns and it’s on my summer reading list!

 

Internships can be scary

I have always been told that there are parts of your internship that will freak you out a little but on Wednesday I had a shocking yet frightening task to do: writing a speech for my boss to use in parliament. As soon as he walked out of the room, I immediately started cursing to myself. He had 10 minutes to speak and I had to write the entire speech on an abortion legislation going through the Dáil right now. The first challenge was writing about something I have an opposite viewpoint on and the second was actually writing the speech.

Luckily I did have research from another Deputy that was given to me to use as a source and I know my T.D.’s style. At first I was having trouble with the length. The issue could have been talked about in four minutes but in the end, my boss said he could talk for another half hour if he wanted to.

My first draft: too short. Second draft: grammar/editing mistakes. Third draft’s a charm, or so I thought. It turned out my boss was later given 20 minutes after I had already left work. He was also given extra time on his other speech that night as well. When I did walk in to the office the next morning and he had said it went well and was able to add things/make it work I felt so relieved. I sunk in my chair for a second just enthralled that it went well.

Moral of the story here is there are tasks you will have to do at your internship that will scare you and you will be cursing to yourself. The fact that I wrote a speech that was used in Parliament was a pretty big deal for me and I may have the chance to do it again since my boss liked it.

One thing I will tell you and it’s a little hypocritical, but don’t be afraid. You can for the first few seconds but then focus, put on your big girl/big boy pants and get to work. Your internship is meant to challenge you, so if you are scared/nervous you must be doing something right.

This is why you should always wear high heels when you are scared, they are the understated weapon and you’ll still look good while freaking out on the inside.

x KMSH

When in Dublin, do as the ‘Dubliners’ do

IMG_0554I have exactly one month left as of yesterday and I would be posting all of these great pictures of Dublin but sorry Readers, I don’t have any… When you work and live in a foreign place, you get settled and do what everyone else does who inhabits the area: go on about your day as normal.

I’ve done this living abroad thing before. I lived in Düsseldorf, Germany and I saw so many amazing places around Germany because they were so close but nothing actually in Düsseldorf. I went shopping on the Köingsgallee and ate at fabulous restaurants in the Alt Stadt but didn’t care for the tourist sites. I simply lived my life as anyone fromDüsseldorf would.

Now I’m guessing you are thinking I’m a little crazy. I’m in an amazing city, that is world renowned for its ‘things to see’ but when you see the lines of coach busses full of tourists slowing down traffic in the morning you just pus

IMG_0391

h through the crowd and go to work. I have acclimated to life in Dublin pretty well. I know where to eat and drink within the city (on the side of Trinity College that isn’t Grafton Street), how to figure out which bus gets me home and my internship responsibilities.

I still would like to see the Trinity Library and maybe a few museums but the honeymoon phase is over, so point me to the cutest little coffee shop where I can write. I am more enthralled with the beautiful buildings around me and the stories these old streets hold. Leinster House, where I get to walk in every day to pick up the post, was once owned by the Duke of Leinster who tried to petition the King so Irish taxes stayed in Ireland. He also had too many children to count. This may be the history nerd in me but I’d rather roam these winding streets and take in the Dublin air than push through tourists too see the ‘things to see.’ I have seen those things… that’s what Dublin should use for it’s PR campaign. It isn’t about going to every museum and park that Dublin has to offer, but walking through the streets and doing what the ‘Dubliners’ do… live life.

It’s midnight here and I have work in the morning. I always tend to be best at collecting my thoughts when I need to go to bed but when the pen calls you to the paper, it’s best to pick it up and start writing.

This girl’s feet are destroyed by the heels that she’s been wearing through the streets of Dublin. Darting after buses in heels isn’t always wise, but at least it was worth the while.

x KMSH