It’s Finally Over… :(

Only yesterday I was a freshman at UNCW… I remember my dad telling me enjoy myself because time goes by really quickly. I didn’t believe him until now. About a week until graduation and it’s finally hitting me, it’s finally over. I’m pretty sad about it but also happy (my brain is currently a loop of this….)

 

My time at UNCW is filled with a lot of horrifyingly awkward stories, but we’ll save those for a different time. I’m glad I can honestly say I didn’t take any COM classes that I REALLY hated (gen ed courses are a different story). Dr. Weber’s Public Speaking course is what made me want to continue with the Communication Studies degree.

My biggest regret is not taking full advantage of everything being offered to me. There are so many services offered by UNCW and the COM department that are so resourceful to students. Take advantage of them! You’ll miss them when you’re gone.

One of my biggest pieces of advice is to NOT STRESS. If you stay on top of your work there wont be a need to stress. So I guess the real advice is to NOT PROCRASTINATE (because that leads to stress and stress sucks). If you learn how to stay on top of everything (work, school, homework), you’ll definitely have time for a social life, which is really important, don’t deny yourself experiences!

Leaving UNCW is bittersweet, but on to bigger and better things!

I’m in debt, sleep deprived, and stressed…. but at least I’m graduating ūüôā

(I wish I could take my own advice.)

Izchel Padilla

 

 

 

The End Of An Era

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When you were little you were always asked, ‚Äúwhat do you want to be when you grow up?‚ÄĚ That question stays with you for the next two decades, especially through college. Your answer probably changed over the years, from ballerina to teacher to news anchor, until now. You spend your whole life planning what you want to be when you grow up, then it actually hits you, and that my friends, is called senior year.

 

I graduate in less than a week. Which is so crazy to think about. After May 5th, I am going to be working full time as an account coordinator at Plan A Advertising here in Wilmington. I started working part time in March and interned there last summer, I am so thankful to have this job offer. Honestly, I was never the straight A student, but everything somehow fell exactly into place as I hoped.

Originally I was not accepted to UNCW. I spent my freshman year busting my butt at community college. I needed to go to the school that I had that gut feeling about, I knew I belonged here. I was determined to study Journalism and possibly be a news anchor. I loved my journalism classes with Mr. Pernell, but once I started taking IMC I knew this was what I wanted to be when I grew up.

 

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The short version of what I am trying to say is, you can schedule your whole life but it is not going to be exactly what you planned. This is for the senior who does not have a job lined up, everything will fall into place. For the freshman who can’t figure out her or his major, everything will work out I promise you. I never planned my life exactly the way it turned out today, but I am so happy with the outcome so far.

 

So thank you to my parents who put me through college. To my sister Savannah who is finishing up her first year at UNCW, make the most of your time here, it will be over before you know it. To my boyfriend Nathan who has always been so supportive, I am so lucky to have you. To Brett, Sam and Nicole who always made my day better and the best roommates. To Sam and Amber for surviving the COM Department with me. To my Her Campus girls, for being so hard working and making me a better leader.

And to the class of 2018, I wish you the best of luck-go seahawks!

 

-Taylor Maloch

 

I Avoided the Thought of Graduating Until Now…

Four years ago, I would have never imagined myself living my best life at the best beach in North Carolina (I’m not biased, I’ve been to other beaches and still believe this is the best one). You see, I was a transfer student. I went to the University of North Carolina Charlotte for two years. My best friend since third grade went¬†DSC_5345to the University of North Carolina Wilmington and I had gone up to visit her a couple of times, during which I was unintentionally slowly convincing myself to transfer there. After my sophomore year, I decided to take a chance and just go for it. These two years have been the best two years of my life to the point where I am still somehow avoiding the thought about graduating this upcoming May. The University of North Carolina Wilmington and Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach itself will forever hold a special place in my heart. To those of you reading this blog, I hope reading this will make you realize to cherish your memories here at UNCW and to take advantage of the wonderful opportunities the university and this little beach town of ours has given us. Here is some insightful advice I now share to you that I have learned along the way here at UNCW.

  1. Eat the free Insomnia cookies and buy the Girl Scout cookies you are convincing yourself not to buy.¬†You’re walking towards the library dreading this 20 page conspiracy paper you’re about to write for Bollinger’s class and then you start to smell the heavenly scent of melted chocolate chips cookies. During which you are trying to avoid the nice sweet Insomnia Cookie employee handing out free warm cookies in front of the library. Well, listen to me and listen to me well… do it. Eat the dang cookie, it will take your mind of off this paper you’re dreading for at least 10 seconds, I swear.
  2. Do not wear shoes when it rains.¬†I can’t count the amount of times I’ve gotten to campus thinking the sun was going to shine throughout the whole day. Nope. I get out of my first class of the day, it’s pouring, and I forgot my umbrella at home. The next best thing to do is take your shoes off… and run. When it rains in Wilmington, it pours. Save your shoes and run barefoot, no one will judge I promise. Some people don’t even wear shoes when it’s sunny out. It’s awesome.
  3. Do not under any circumstance wait last minute to print a paper off in the Leutze lobby.¬†Just trust me on this one, don’t do it.
  4. Take applied learning courses. Through the applied learning courses that I was so fortunate to have taken here at UNCW, I have gained tons of hands-on experience that has prepared me for the real world after I graduate.
  5. Study abroad.¬†This is something that I didn’t do and is my biggest regret. The experience and memories are irreplaceable (well that’s just what I’ve heard, but it’s obviously true).
  6. Attend the Leadership Lecture Series.¬†Did you guys’ know that this year we had the author of memoir-turned Netflix series¬†Orange is the New Black, Piper Kerman, come speak on campus? Or that this upcoming Fall, Tarana Burke, the creator of the #metoo movement will be coming to speak? TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THESE OPPORTUNITIES, I’M PISSED I’ M NOT GOING TO BE HERE IN THE FALL. It’s an amazing experience being able to listen and gain insight from such powerful and inspirational people coming from all over the world and for FREE since you are a student.
  7. Get to know your professors.¬†This is a biggie. Getting to know your professors will 100% help you in the long run. They can make for great references as you apply to jobs and they also give great advice. They will always want what’s best for you, don’t let intimidation get the best of ya!
  8. Take advantage of the recreation center.¬†Dude that place is awesome. They even have an awesome outdoor pool and an area to munch at if you’d rather get your tan on and eat than take a spin class.

It’s not a secret… being at the beach was a part of the reason you chose UNCW. So here is some advice to gain the full-on experience of living near beach.¬†

  1. If you don’t already live at the beach (the rent is through the roof I don’t blame you), you better wake up as early as you can on the days that it is 75 degrees and sunny outside and find yourself a good parking spot. Even the traffic is horrendous on Eastwood on nice beach days.
  2. The best place to study at with the best view is SUNday’s Cafe on South End. Now SUNday’s can get a little rowdy if you get there too late… they sell beer and that’s where men in their low 60’s like to hangout and drink while discussing the weather.
  3. On North End, if you drive as far as you can until you get to the very end of the island right next to Shell Island Resort, there is a mailbox filled with letters on one of the accesses. The letters consist of love letters, prayers, thoughts, everything you can think of. If you’re just as much as a hopeless romantic like myself, you will appreciate this. Wait until an hour before the sunset is supposed to go down, get Chipotle to-go, bring a blanket, and read every letter until it’s dark out and you can no longer read the words. Maybe even write a letter yourself.
  4. There’s free library mailbox’s throughout the streets of Wrightsville Beach. Yup, I couldn’t believe it either when I first heard of it. And when you’re done reading one book, you can return it (or keep it if you really loved it) and get yourself another one! The books range from¬†A Savage Place to¬†The Acne Prescription¬†(I’m a skin freak and hate pimples so obviously I kept the book about acne).
  5. Force yourself to wake up and watch the sunrise at least once. Please. This is not me asking you it’s me telling you. There is something so peaceful about watching the sunrise on Wrightsville beach, to the point where no one cares about your morning breath.
  6. Walk the loop. Now if you run it, then props to you my friend that is a 2.7 mile run.
  7. Take advantage of Tower 7’s specials! Monday – 1/2 fajitas, Tuesday – 5$ Tostadas, Wednesday – 1/2 price quesadillas, Thursday – 3$ Baja Fish Tacos. Now you have no excuse not to know about their specials. Sorry!
  8. Last but not least, do not under any circumstance swim in the ocean with goggles and open your eyes. You will be terrified.

Well now I can honestly say that after sitting down and writing this blog about the time I’ve spent at UNCW, it has finally hit me that I graduate in 12 days. Thank you Dr. Persuit, this is all your fault. – Marissa Makar

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Sea you later.

I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to say in this post. It’s still really weird to think about the fact that this is my last semester of college and that I’ll be graduating in….like…a week!?

When I entered college, I knew I wanted to do something with graphic design, but not graphic design, something with writing, but not English or creative writing. My mom suggested I try communication studies. My first college class ~ever~ was COM 101, public speaking, with Mr. Bollinger. Most people might be a little turned away when their ~first college class ever~ is public speaking, but not me! It made me excited to see what else my potential major held.¬†After COM 105, with Dr. Weber, I was sold. As I’ve moved through different classes in the major, I realized that COM is seriously everything that I loved wrapped into one lovely little department.

I discovered at the end of the 2017 fall semester that I wouldn’t be staying at UNCW all four years like I planned, I was able to graduate a full year early. To say this was shock to me was an understatement, I was at first sad to be leaving, I still am, but it also opened so many new opportunities to me.

Since I was mainly taking 400 level classes with other seniors, I was able make new friends who were on the same track that I was. Not that my junior level friends weren’t good friends, they just weren’t in the same stage of life and that made things hard at first. ¬†Honestly, taking COM 438 this semester is one of the best choices I made because I got to meet so many new people who shared my interests and didn’t think I was weird because I liked to make memes of my professors. In fact, they took my memes and put it on social media.

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Yes, I made that. Hello, I’m the meme creator. You’re welcome.

I have learned more in college than just how to make dank memes (although that might be my top skill on a resume). I’ve learned how important it is to connect with those who share your interests, I hate networking, but it’s one of the best things you can do during your time in college. I also learned that networking opportunities are hard to come by, so go to COM Studies Week.

*confession: this was the first year I ever went to COM Studies Day/Week. sorry, Dr. Persuit*

So yes, GO! Make the most of the opportunities UNCW and the COM Department provides you because otherwise their few and far in between.

I wouldn’t change anything about my experience at UNCW for anything and I cannot think of a better major than communication studies. Fall in love with what you are learning and doing, it’ll make life a lot easier.

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Sea you later, UNCW.

Logan Prochaska

Born To Be Teal

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At the risk of sounding overly cliché, these past four years have flown by. I’ll be the first to admit that I did not fall in love with UNCW the moment I stepped on campus. Deciding to go to college here was a risk; it was the furthest I had ever been from home and I only knew one other person in a sea of 13,000. I started as a film major, but quickly realized there was more I wanted to get out of my college experience. I never fully understood what Communication Studies was, but decided to give COM 105 a shot. Taking that class sophomore year made me realize I was where I was meant to be. I became a double-major and never looked back.

My best piece of advice to anyone beginning their journey at UNCW would be to get involved. I found the Association for Campus Entertainment at the very beginning of my freshmen year and I can honestly say it changed my life. This student organization shaped me into the leader I am today and provided me with the home and family I never knew I was missing. Planning events for students on campus was the highlight of my college career. Also, I got to meet Jesse McCartney‚ÄĒif my middle school self could see me now, she‚Äôd faint.

Besides ACE, I was also a member of the Club Field Hockey team and an employee of Campus Recreation. UNCW has so much to offer and I am so thankful I got the chance to experience so much.

Senior year may be fast-approaching for you, or a million miles away, but here are some last minute thoughts and pieces of advice to make the most of your time here:

  1. Take advantage of UNCW’s internship programs.¬†I did three internships throughout my time here and I loved every single one of them. Through the Film Department, I was able to work at Screen Gems Studios here in town and spend a summer interning at a production studio in Los Angeles. With COM, I worked at the Wilson Center downtown.
  2. Find the student org that’s right for you. There are hundreds of student organizations on UNCW’s campus, and if you don’t find one you want to join, you can make one yourself! No only will you make some incredible friends, you’ll also find clubs that allow you to utilize skills you’ve learned in your classes. I used skills from my IMC classes every day with my positions in ACE.
  3. Get out of your comfort zone.¬†There are definitely days where I just wanted to sit inside and binge the entirety of Grey’s Anatomy (which I did freshman year, don’t judge), but take a leap every once in a while. I would have never spent the summer in LA if I stayed in my comfort zone.
  4. ELECTIVES!¬†The one thing I wish I could have done, but didn’t have the space in my schedule for, was take more classes that were not directly tied to my majors. If you have the space, give it a shot! You could even take some courses outside of your focus in the COM Department and broaden your horizons. My favorite part about COM is how versatile and expansive it is–take advantage of that!
  5. Take in a sunrise or two.¬†What’s the one thing we talk about the most in relation to UNCW? How close we are to the beach! Take advantage of Wrightsville Beach’s beauty and see the sun rise over the ocean.

UNCW has changed my life in the best possible way and it is going to be hard to leave.

 

-Katie Solinski

Figure out YOU and make it happen!

College is a great place. It’s a place you can learn what you want. ¬†A place where you can meet people your age and spend time with them constantly. ¬†College is also the first time you get to be an adult and as scary as that can be, it’s great when you decide to take control.

Hey everyone, ¬†my name is Sean Owens and as you’ve probably figured out from the recent blog posts: ¬†I’m a senior who will also be graduating soon.

Everyone comes to college for different reasons and from different backgrounds, but the best advice I can give you is to figure out who you want to be and make it happen. ¬†College is the first place you can really choose on your own what’s best for you.

When I first came to college, I knew that I wanted to be a Theatre and a COM major, that I wanted to be academically successful, and that I wanted to do a lot of film work. ¬†I also knew that no one was going to make that happen for me, but I wasn’t afraid to start from the ground up. ¬†Here’s a step to step guide that might help you if you’re feeling a little lost.

1. Set your goals. ¬†I’m not going to tell you that you need to have a 5 or 10 year plan right now, but you do need to have some idea of what you’re doing here and what you hope to accomplish before you leave. ¬†For me, I wanted to do at least a play a¬†year and then do some films, I thought an even dozen would provide a good resume; instead, I ended up performing in 9 plays and over 3 dozen film projects. ¬†Why? ¬†Because I set my goals and then had other people push me towards them.Image result for goals meme

2. Get friends to push you towards your goals.. This is probably the best part of college. ¬†You’re in a place surrounded by amazing people who are the same age as you are. ¬†Find a club, meet up once a week, take some classes, but do it with people that are going to help you to grow and push you to be better. ¬†It’s hard to want to sit on your couch when all your friends are doing cool stuff!

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3. Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know something. ¬†Everyone is lost when they’re first starting out. ¬†Talk to your parents or family when you want some advice. ¬†Ask some friends weird questions. ¬†Seek out your professors! ¬†The professors here at UNCW are great and they’re willing to help you figure life out, but you have to ask. ¬†Show you’re actually interested and most of them will help you in any way they can (including writing recommendation letters for you which is a HUGE– make sure you write a Thank You note if they do).

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4. Go the extra mile. ¬†This doesn’t have to be on every assignment, but you will help yourself by doing the extra bit when you have time and it’s something you’re passionate about. ¬†Your resume will be stronger and your portfolios after college will look much better with quality work to fill in the spaces!

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5. Lastly, DO WHAT’S BEST FOR YOU! ¬†It’s okay to say ‘no’ sometimes when you need a weekend, but don’t make that a habit because it wouldn’t be best for you. ¬†If something is a little less traditional then that is okay, as long as it is best for you. ¬†After college, you don’t have to always do what everyone else expects either, just make sure you can justify why you made the decision you made. ¬†Either way, remember: you’re an adult now. ¬†At the end of the day, you have to make your own decisions.

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¬†In short, you guys got this. ¬†Make sure that you’re willing to put in the work and your college experience will be a blast. ¬†It’s better to get stuff done and have some pizza than to be freaking out when you’ve procrastinated till the night before on your 20 page paper.

Oh, and a freebie: DON’T PROCRASTINATE. ¬†Seriously. This is coming from a professional. ¬†It’ll help. ¬†I promise.

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Well, we’re leaving you all in goods hands: your own. ¬†(And of course, all the staff and faculty of UNCW).

Good luck,

Sean Owens