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Back to the grind

Well, we’re about 2 weeks post-graduation.

I wasn’t naive enough to think that the job offers would start flowing the second I was handed my “diploma” (or, the fancy cover that will hold my diploma once it comes in the mail…), but I definitely thought I’d have at least one or two leads by now.

So far, I’ve gotten one (non-paid) internship offer and plenty of “thanks, but no thanks.”

Rough.

One thing I’ve definitely learned through my short, but exhausting job search so far is that, like I said in my previous posts, it’s all about who you know. Even then, it’s pretty hard to nail something down.

What do you think fellow grads? Any success in your job searches? What did you do? How did you do it?

Strength in numbers, people. Strength in numbers.

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Posted by on May 15, 2012 in General

 

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The home stretch

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It’s finally here.

The last full week of classes and of my educational career…at least for now. I never thought I’d see the day, but sure enough, graduation is less than two weeks away.

There’s something strangely motivating about knowing that in just a few short days, I’ll be done for good. All that senioritis I’ve been talking about seems to be somewhere on the back burner and I’m not going to question it. I’m going to take this little burst of motivation and run with it. “To do” lists are currently littered all over my house.

This brings me to yet another piece of advice for youcollege seniors out there–write things down.

I don’t know why, but for me, just the act of writing down what I need to get done helps calm my nerves and get me focused. Maybe it’s the visual learner inside me, but I have a feeling this technique can be helpful no matter your learning style.

I’ve got lists written on paper, on my bedroom mirror, in a planner, and on sticky notes–the paper and digital version.

So, take this opportunity to focus and get on track. We’re almost done!

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2012 in General, JRNL 305

 

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Sports column: Why sports are more than just sports

I remember an instance when I was sitting in the stands during one of the many EMU football games I’ve attended over my four years. Late in the fourth quarter, an inevitable loss was in the horizon among a string of disappointing losses all season. I was a sophomore and witnessing my team post a winless season after a bleak three-win season the year before.

Yet, as expected as the loss should have been, I was devastated. It seemed like my heart was literally aching and I couldn’t shake the sad, hopeless feeling in the pit of my stomach. I vividly remember looking up to a grey, overcast sky and thinking out loud, “Why do I care?”

“Why does a football team have so much stake in my well-being?”

“It’s a game for God’s sake.”

“It means nothing.”

But that’s just it—it meant everything. It wasn’t just a game or just a football team, it was my school, my community, my family. I was watching my family fail again and again and it seemed that no amount of hard work or perseverance could lift them to success.

That anecdote leads me to my ultimate point. No matter how much you love sports or hate sports and what they stand for, there is no arguing that they’re more than just games played on a field or a court, more than just a final box score, more than throwing a ball or shooting a puck.

Sports represent so much of what we hold sacred in our society—family, commitment, hard work leading to success. It’s all so relevant.

I can’t watch a Steelers game on Sunday without feeling nostalgic. I’m not reminiscing about exciting games from the past, but thinking about all the Sundays I spent watching football with my dad.

Maybe getting a pit in my stomach over a loss is a bit extreme.

But, is it really?

Sure, the Pittsburgh Steelers are not truly my family (in the most technical sense of the word), but, like a family, when they suffer, I suffer. When they lose, I lose, and when they win, I win.

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2012 in JRNL 305

 

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Arts Review: “The Hunger Games”

As one of the most anticipated movies of the year, The Hunger Games has received more hype than some of its counterparts in the young adult book-to-movie genre—movies like the Twilight saga and the Harry Potter series; You may have heard of them.

But, there’s always that question when a book is adapted for the big screen: “Will the movie be as good as the book?”

Usually, the answer is no. For books as well-written and intricate as The Hunger Games trilogy, it’s difficult to include every minute detail while still doing the story justice. Something almost always gets left out and someone almost always leaves the theater upset.

Not this time; At least, not for this moviegoer.

While reading The Hunger Games a year ago, I found myself having to constantly be reminded that it was, in fact, a young adult novel. Some scenes were so graphic and vivid that I couldn’t believe a young teenager would be able to get through the first book let alone a series. I might be overly sensitive sometimes, but I’ve read my fare share of young adult novels and almost none of them could even come close to producing that kind of imagery.

But that’s what made the story so brilliant. Images so clear that you thought closing your eyes during the intense parts might help because it seemed like you were watching the story take place, not reading about it.

So, imagine my apprehension when I learned the books would be adapted to movies. As much as I felt uncomfortable reading about children fighting to the death, I knew that taking away from those scenes would be to take away from the integrity of the story.

Luckily myself and other fans of the trilogy, the translation from print to film was seamless.

The graphic nature of the story, however stomach-churning, was not dulled by any means which allowed the story to come to life. It was as if those of us in the theater had to remind ourselves that we were watching a movie about a post-apocalyptic world and not watching our friends fighting in our backyard.

The casting was spot on. I don’t know if anyone could have picked out a better Katniss, Peeta, Haymitch, Rue or Cinna.

Other than some slight plot discrepancies between the print version and the film version which is to be expected, I wouldn’t change a thing about the movie.

Those of you looking to get the full experience of the story, well, I’d advise you to read the book, of course. I’m a firm believer that the book is always better than the movie, no matter how good the movie turns out to be.

Those of you upset by the few discrepancies in the movie, well, that’s why the books are always better. I’d say, take it for what it is and enjoy it as the wonderful film that it turned out to be.

As for me, I’m seriously looking forward to the next movie in the trilogy.

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2012 in JRNL 305

 

Overcoming Senioritis…yeah right.

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A huge problem I’ve run into this semester is the dreaded senioritis. You know, the “I’m graduating at the end of the semester anyway so why go to class or do any work?” mentality.

After breezing through high school, I came to college thinking it wouldn’t be that much harder. Well, I was wrong, and after semester after semester of getting a three-point something, I set a goal of getting at least one 4.0 in college. Last semester, I finally reached that goal–the semester before graduation. Needless to say, after that, it was all downhill.

I’ve been dreading graduation ever since freshman year. I’ve just loved college so much that I’m having issues accepting the fact that I have to leave. Well, since it’s April of my senior year, leaving is pretty much inevitable, and so is senioritis. As the semester progresses, it’s been steadily getting worse, but I’ve tried a few things to help curb the symptoms so I can at least get through the semester with a degree and my sanity.

Making lists of everything, and I mean everything, I need to get done before graduation has been helpful. Seeing it on paper somehow makes it more tangible and therefore makes me more willing to get it all done. It’s also extremely gratifying to be able to physically cross something off your list.

Finding a comfortable place where I’m able to focus on getting work done is also key. It’s important to recognize what time of day you do your best work, also. For example, I like to go to the library in the afternoon or early evening or, if it’s a nice day, I like to sit on my porch and get my reading done–all things that have slightly help control my ridiculous senioritis.

Seniors, there is an end in sight, so try not to let senioritis get the best of you. We’ve worked this hard for four (maybe more) years, why screw it up now, right?

Good luck!

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2012 in General, JRNL 305

 

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It’s all about networking.

As I continue to stress about finding a job after making that fateful walk across the stage at the Convocation Center, there’s one thing that’s always lingering in the back of my mind: Did I meet someone new today?

Seriously.

I’ve talked to countless professors, employers, colleagues, alumni–you name it–and they all say the exact same thing. “It’s all about who you know, not what you know.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure the degree I’ve worked four years four and put thousands of dollars into will come in handy some day, but networking has become one of the most important factors in finding and securing a job. You never know who’s going to know someone that will hold a key to your future.

Cheesy, but true.

So all you other class of ’12 graduates out there, and those of you graduation sometime in the near future, make sure you’re meeting as many people as you can. Brag about yourself (subtly, of course). Invest in business cards–something I still need to do. In an age where networking is as easy as signing up for an email account, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2012 in General, JRNL 305

 

Letter to the Editor

(RE: Locker rooms’ security to get increase soon; http://easternecho.com/index.php/article/2012/03/locker_rooms_security_to_get_increase_soon)

To Whom it May Concern:

In regards to the Warner Pool’s locker room security, I’m not sure why this has been an issue for as long as it has. I love EMU as much as anyone, but considering all the trouble we’ve had with security breaches in the past, students’ safety and the protection of their belongings should be high atop the priority list.

Not to mention, continual safety issues create all kinds of image problems for the university. If student safety is number one priority, eliminating these issues to create a positive image of EMU should be priority number two. After such horrific crimes had occurred on campus in previous years, the fact that four non-students are even able to access the Warner Pool locker room during off-hours is simply laughable.

Efforts to more properly secure areas such as the First Year Center have been beneficial. Now it’s time to stop cutting corners and purchasing old-time phone booths and give this university the proper security that it needs and deserves.

Thank you,

Marissa McNees

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2012 in JRNL 305