A Senior Toast! The Top #5 Things Every College Grad Should Do Their Graduation Summer!

Attention Stockton University seniors! Three more weeks and twelve more days (excluding Fridays and weekends) until the last day of school! Thursday, April 28th is only around the corner!

The pressure is on! But why stress about it? Instead of worrying about acing that final exam, practicing for a group presentation, or writing a 10-page paper, take a break and relax your mind by trying to focus on the fun things you can treat yourself to do this summer!

Ok, so we can’t necessarily “run away” to a private island paradise sheltering ourselves from the world and reality, but while we are waiting to hear back from a potential employer or a graduate school, we should take the time to enjoy life while we are still young and carefree!

So what are you waiting for? Put down those textbooks and take out a pen and paper to commence your liberation! Here are the top 5 things you should plan on doing this summer before stepping into your full-time job:

#1) Plan a vacation!

Yes! You are entitled to it! Whether it be a one-night getaway, a fun weekend away or a one-week trip, choose a least one place you would like to travel too before settling into your full-time job or preparing yourself for graduate school. After four long years of college, you deserve to go someplace special that makes YOU happy. The best part is, you don’t have to spend a lot of money or choose someplace luxurious to have fun. Pick one location that you have been wishing to visit for a long time and make it happen! Invite a friend, relative or colleague to make your experience memorable and enjoy it!

#2) Set aside time for the hobbies you enjoy.

Ok, so if life is really tough and you can’t escape home for even a day, take a least an hour or two for the activities that YOU enjoy doing. Whether it be swimming, bicycling or playing tennis, go out and enjoy the nice summer whether doing outdoor activities you enjoy. Remember, once you begin work, it is not going to be easy to take a stroll outside on a nice day. As simple as it seems, enjoy these opportunities while you can.

#3) Take a long walk or drive.

Whether it is after work or in the early hours of the morning, take the time to go on a walk or a long drive. For me, I do it spontaneously when I feel the weight of the world is on my shoulders. Do not plan it, just do it unexpectedly and you will feel a great deal of relief from your struggles. If you have a friend (or even a pet), bring them along as well!

#4) Visit someone special.

Have you ever promised a friend or grandparent that you would visit them on weekends during the school semester, but never found the time? Well, here is your chance! Set aside time to visit someone you promised to see or have not seen in a long time. By doing this, you will feel reenergized by seeing a friendly face.

#5) Meditate and reflect!

Lastly, never forget that self-reflection and meditation on the things you are grateful for in life is essential—whether it be your family, friends, or your accomplishments in college. Take time to lay out in the backyard by a pool or under shaded tree, and mediate (or even write down in a journal) all of the things you proudly achieved to get where you are today—a college graduate!

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Living the American Dream!

As a young woman about to graduate college, I always tend to wonder what life will be like once I leave school. Face it. We have our whole lives ahead of us, so let’s make it count!

Aside from finding ourselves in our careers or worrying about whether or not we will find a well-paying job, it is equally important to focus on all the fun and exciting things we can do in life before we are established in our future endeavors.

I am not just talking about traveling America or sailing around the world to see new places foreign from our homes—I am also talking about following your dreams and your heart’s desires to pursue the career that you alone want to make your legacy in life.

Just take a close look at one of America’s most distinguished pioneers—Walt Disney. The man who started it with a mouse! 🙂

Born to Elias and Flora Disney in 1901, Walt Disney grew up in a small-town in Marceline, Missouri. As a young man with no name in the world, Disney decided to embark on an adventure to conquest his heart’s desire of becoming an artist-a dream many thought would be a useless or impossible profession.

 

After Walt’s first success with Steamboat Willie in 1928, to his media breakthrough with his first feature-length film Snow White in 1937, Walt encountered several hardships throughout the remainder of his career until Disneyland opened in 1955.

Once overcoming financial struggles, tension with rival filmmakers, and heavy competition with other artistic opponents, Walt fulfilled his desire by becoming successful with his passion, which involved not only creating fun cartoons for children, but also to embrace the American family as one union.

Exemplifying the American pop culture of the time, Walt Disney’s dream continues to live on today, as Americans in every generation look fondly on Disney’s success and uphold the spirit to follow their hearts and conquer the odds.

This is one of many reasons why I like to pay homage to Walk Disney, as I always admired that man who launched his dream starting with a mouse. The perfect example of pursing the impossible!

Setting forth this idea into motion, I too intend to pursue my own dreams as I become established in my own career field in Communication and business management.

This summer, I finally plan to publish my first American Civil War diary novella that I have been diligently working on for the past four years.

As I am currently taking the Writing Senior Seminar, in which I will receive timely feedback from my mentor and from peer critiques during my class workshops, my next step is to find a publisher who would be interested in my story.

After I graduate this semester, I hope to make connections with other young historical fiction writers who share a passion in American history as I do with the hopes to receive further insight on the genre and the publishing process.

Although this idea alone sounds far-fetched to me now (considering I never published a book in my life), I am holding on to my heart’s desire as I take Mr. Disney’s advice: “If you can dream it, you can do it!”

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Land That I Love…God Bless America!

There is nothing more appealing to me than a person who loves our country…from sea to shining sea! 

We have come a long way since 1776, as our great American history embodies some of the most empowering and life-changing achievements the world has ever known.

Since the dawn of the Revolutionary War, to the sounding conclusion of the Civil War in April 1865, our ancestors have strived to reform our nation for the better with the hopes to do great deeds and strengthen the American spirit beyond their wildest dreams.

In 1879, Thomas Edison created the world’s first electric light bulb in Menlo Park, New Jersey, while a few year’s later in 1903, the Wright Brother’s first airplane flight took place on a barren field in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Like I said, we have come a long way!

Just think about how extraordinary it is how we started so small in 1903, later inspiring to enhance aircraft technology into B-17 bomber planes in the 1938. Only a short duration of 35 years!

Take a look of how long we have come since 1903!

The First Flight 1903: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RriKI7u72Xs

The Navy’s Blue Angels F-18 fighters flying high on Super Bowl 50 in 2016: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14LNxfDbR38

Needless to say—nothing beats the power of American Ingenuity!

So where am I going with all of this information?

 It is important to reflect on our past in order to better ourselves in the future. Therefore, we must tell the stories of our past, which is similar to what I do when writing my historical fiction stories that I plan to one day publish.

Ever since I was a little girl, I can vividly remember the days when I cuddled beside my grandfather Dza, listening to his classic war stories when he served as a Navy seaman in World War II.

 And still, to this day, I am blessed to have my all-American hero Dza as a living history of the “Greatest Generation.”

I can also remember those unforgettable days when I sat in between my father and Dza watching those old military documentaries of the two World Wars, the Vietnam War, the U.S. Navy, and the Space Race in the 1960s.

This is when I first began to learn of our great American history and of some of our nation’s finest heroes and military aircraft.

Maybe these are just few of the many reasons why I am an unconditionally proud supporter of our nation…and the main initiative of why I love to write, reflect and recapture some of the most compelling times of our nation’s history.

Based on this idea, I am currently working on a Civil War diary novella in hopes of publishing this summer after graduation. My goal with the diary is to show readers the relevance and importance how the War Between the States evolved and enhanced our nation’s greatness for the better, and how its’ aftermath prompted the following generations to progress and establish new ideas to transform American politics and culture.

 In the seventh grade, I was told to write a five-page diary through the voice of a person witnessing the American Civil War, and a few years later, when I was taking my first Creative Writing course in my junior year of high school, I started to revise the diary as a young adult diary as opposed to a simple 5-page elementary school diary.

Not only did I change my thirteen-year-old voice, but I made the story’s content more relatable to young adult readers as the story revolves around the character’s personalities, first-time romances, and challenges coping with war and devastation at young ages.

I am continuously editing my work in the Writing Senior Seminar this semester for about an hour each day, as I now have 250 pages ready to go!

 As such, I believe every story should be told—just like my grandfather Dza’s and stories of our nation’s greatest heroes who have accomplished so much before us.

We must never lose that drive that is forever engrained in our souls—the blood, sweat and tears endured while building this great nation. So do not forget our roots and what our ancestors have done for us to be where we are today.

Most importantly, never forget the stories of those who continue to fight for our freedom!

 

 

 

Dreams Come True!

Happy New Year! Here we are, ending our first month of 2016! As seniors, there is so much ahead of us that we should be looking forward too…graduation, summer, (possibly grad school?) and our future careers!

Although the road ahead of us might seem scary, we must always uphold our faith in the positive. Whether if we are applying for grad school, debating between career choices, or even if you don’t have the slightest clue as to what you want to do when you graduate, it is of essence to have strong faith and encouragement in yourself and your abilities to succeed.

Easier said than done, right?

Not to fear. We are ALL in the same boat!

As Communication majors, we have the power to network, expand and grow! So what are you waiting for? Don’t be afraid to get yourself out there! Never let even the smallest opportunity pass you by, and most importantly, keep optimistic no matter how the circumstances may seem.

When I graduate from Stockton this coming May, I cannot wait to begin my career full time and experience new and exciting adventures that are in store on the horizon. After four years of college, I enthusiastically anticipate what will soon come in the near future (even though I cannot see “everything” that is in store for me).

Stay focused, stay optimistic, and be open to everything you encounter, and you will succeed!

As a spiritual individual, I love to spread happiness and encouragement to my family, friends and classmates.  One particular way on how I stay focused to keep my positive energy is by following the Joel Osteen Miniseries on Facebook, which I find some spiritual words of encouragement and wisdom each day.

For today, Osteen writes for us to keep in mind:

“One of the best things we can do is take a few minutes every morning and make positive declarations over our lives. Write down not only your dreams, your goals and your vision, but make a list of any area you want to improve in. Before you leave the house, take a couple of minutes and declare that over your life.” –Joel Osteen

Keeping this idea in mind, we define ourselves who we are as individuals, and above all, the person we want to become in our lives. Regardless of what you “think” is impossible, don’t give up on your dreams no matter how “far-fetched” it may perceive to others.

So even in your darkest hour, never give up hope on yourself and your dreams!

Overall, it is of importance to remember the BEST things happen to us when we least expect it! When one door closes, another door opens, which I was always raised to believe. Because in the end, even if we reach the point when we are at our lowest low, our dreams do come true if only we have faith in ourselves and the impossible!

Even in doubt, persevere and DREAM BIG!

And as they say in the Navy, “Don’t Give Up the Ship!”

Wishing everyone in the Class of 2016 the BEST this year!!!

Lauren

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome! My name is Miss Lauren and I am a proud All-American Sweetheart. God Bless our United States Armed Forces & God Bless America!

To the Stockton Class of 2016…

Congrats to the Stockton University Graduating Class of 2016! This coming May, I plan to graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and Public Relations, with a minor in Writing. I can hardly believe it is my last semester in my college career.  As adventure awaits, there are so many surprises in store for us. So what are my goals? Dream big, and shoot for the stars! Plan ahead and pursue your endeavors to your fullest potential.  So what are we waiting for? Lets get started and make our final year count!

Feel free to join me in my blog, and until we meet again, Fair Winds & Following Seas!