One More Week

It’s been a while since I’ve written and I apologize to my followers, but mostly to myself. In my defense, I haven’t had much to write about since the weeks after my internship have been pretty boring. I’ve been working and sleeping the rest of this break away since I’m moving into my first apartment on the 8th and I couldn’t be happier!

My relationship with the boyfriend is going well and we’re planning on meeting up around the 16th for a birthday celebration. Although my birthday is actually on the 22nd, we decided that with him moving into his dorm on the 23rd and classes starting on the 24th, that weekend would be a little too crazy. Also, I was hoping to do it the weekend before, but he may have family commitments, but as long as it’s before school start, he can pretty much come up for any stretch of time throughout that last week of vacation.

And now, we wait. I finished a seven hour shift today and have two more left before I’m done with McDonald’s for the summer! I work on Monday and Tuesday, and was not put on the schedule that starts on Wednesday, though I did let my managers know that I would be available until Thursday if the need someone. Due to many call offs and last minute summer vacation plans, we’ve had low numbers of staff. I’ve even been asked twice in the past week if I could come in an hour early to cover for those who called off.

In fact, one day I was supposed to be off at 5, but when I came in a coworker asked if I could stay until 5:30 because she had to take her kids to football practice. I figured that would be no problem. Actually, it would be great since I worked 7 hours, but had to clock out for a half hour for my break. This way, I’d get paid for a full 7 hours! Oh boy was I wrong. Come 5:30, one person had called off and another was nowhere to be found. Long story short, due to staffing issues, it was nearly 7 before I got off. But, on the bright side, I’m going to need that money when I’m studying full time and can only work a few hours a week!

So, 6 more days. I couldn’t be more excited to start this chapter in my life and I can’t wait to have that apartment to myself (and my two other roommates)! I can’t wait to figure out bills and cooking and have more privacy at school than I’ve ever had before (which, of course, means much more comfortable alone time with the boyfriend when he comes to visit!). It’s going to be a great year and I can’t wait! Now, let’s just hope these next few days fly by so I can be in Athens soon!

The Reason

The Reason

It’s been a while since I’ve updated and I apologize! I just finished up my internship and moved home full time until August 8th, which is when I’ll move into my very first apartment! I also knew this post was coming up and besides a few work stories that really would only be amusing to me, I had nothing to comment on!

11755671_10204794518682614_9214811306749675976_nBut here we are, two days after a wonderful, amazing date with my best friend. I drove out to Wheeling, WV on Saturday morning which is a two hour drive from my home in Youngstown, OH. I absolutely LOVE driving, especially long distances. It gives me time to think, meditate, and jam out to whatever I can find on the radio. I was also lucky because my dad completed a survey, so the family car had XM radio.

Now, there is no good way to get to Wheeling from up North. No direct roads that take you right in, and you certainly won’t be on straight up highway the entire way down. But, the bright side of this is that it’s a beautiful drive. Driving to my college town is pretty boring–just a straight shot down 77… for three hours. In contrast, the drive to Wheeling involves some pretty scenery as well as some cute towns that I have to pass through on the way.

I believe I mentioned in a more recent post that I was having Ryan plan out the date, since I was busy and, honestly, I wanted to see what he’d come up with. So, when he told me we were going golfing I was a little… wary. My dad had tried to get me to at least appreciate golf as a kid, but it really isn’t my cup of tea. Ryan played on the golf team at his high school, so he has much, much more experience than I do. Still, it was an absolute BLAST! We played nine holes of a par 3 course. 10985353_10204794519322630_6081289053298695916_nWe both sucked. I completely failed at everything, though I had a few good hits. Ryan remembered how to actually hit the ball around hole 7, so he did much better than me (though that isn’t saying much when it takes you 5 tries to get the ball in the hole with the putter!).

Since it was unbearably hot, we decided to hit a movie. We decided on Ant Man, since we both love Marvel and it seemed like the best option. As it turned out, the movie wasn’t going to start for another two hours after we finished playing golf, so we decided to take a little drive.

I absolutely love drives. I love just watching cute houses and daily lives go by. Best of all, some of the most wonderful conversations I’ve ever had were in a car. It’s our personal time where we can talk about anything and everything, or just go on about absolutely nothing important. What took me by surprise was that he actually had something important to talk about–the next step.

11178360_10204794520802667_7975605803432377334_nThe next step for us is engagement, though in my opinion, it’s still a little ways off. But, I also have to keep in mind that, while I have two years of school left, he’s getting ready to apply for jobs as this will be his senior year. He’s also apparently felt a little pressure from his family about getting engaged before we move in together, which I can see and understand, though I did mention that while he certainly wouldn’t get a “no” from me, I also don’t want him feeling pressured into anything. It’s freaky, though, thinking that my life can and probably will change so drastically in the coming years. But, I know that no matter the change, I’m will be with someone I love more than anything.

Ant Man ended up not being as dumb as the title sounds. It was actually really, really good and we both enjoyed it a lot. After the movie, we went to his house to have dinner and I was able to chat with his mom and sister for a bit before I had to go.

I honestly could not feel more blessed and lucky than I do right now. I have the most wonderful boyfriend and a great support network of friends. I know that no matter what happens, we’ll get through it. This date, thi11036725_10204794519562636_4465955828820335499_ns being together–even if only for a day–is the reason I do what I do. Long distance relationships are really freaking hard. They take a huge emotional toll, especially when you’re like me and need physical affection. Not being physically there for your partner is awful and I have so much respect for those dealing with longer distances for longer amounts of time. But that first meeting after a month of being a part. That first hug and kiss. That first smile and laugh. That is what makes it all worth it.

My birthday is in a month (August 22nd, heck yeah!) and I’m hoping to have a birthday party the week before, since school starts up again the Monday after my birthday. I’m hoping to invite my college town friends down for a wonderful little birthday-slash-apartment warming party, and hopefully Ryan will make it as well. I don’t know how that’ll play out, so really, I don’t know when I’ll see him next. What I do know is that when I do, I’ll remember “the reason” all over again. I already feel like the luckiest girl in the entire world, I can’t imagine being any luckier.

Wrapping up the Summer

Here we are on the last day of my internship (!!!). I can’t believe that nine weeks has gone by so quickly! When I was in high school, we had nine week grading periods and I remember those dragging on for what seemed like forever. Yet, here I am nine weeks after starting an internship at PR Newswire and I really can’t believe how quickly the time has gone!

In two weeks, I’ll be kinda-sorta moving out and settling into my very first apartment with two of my very good friends, Hannah (as seen in my previous post), and her girlfriend, Gabby. I can promise you, dear few readers I have, that once all three of us get under the same roof, this blog might take a turn for the crazy! But I’m excited to start this new chapter in my life and really take on some adult responsibilities! Bills?! Grocery shopping?! Vacuuming?!!! Bring it!

In the same way that my internship has flown by, I can’t believe how quickly two years of college went. I’m halfway done with my major and in two short years I’ll be thrust into the really real adult world. The real adult world where there aren’t 25 parties on your street on any given Saturday night and half the bars in town don’t card. Okay, I suppose some adult worlds are like that, but the world I plan on entering after college is vastly different.

Still, it feels like only yesterday I graduated high school. The summer after I graduated, I went on many trips and began preparing myself for the major changes that would ensue once I landed in Athens that August. But, I couldn’t have imagined then how very different the changes would be.

About two months ago, my old speech and debate team from high school held a fundraiser to help a team member get to nationals. I remember driving up to my old high school and walking through the halls again. I saw my locker, my old favorite teacher’s room, even the “senior lounge” that was nothing more than an unused room that a few of my friends converted into a senior-only study hall. And, this may sound weird, but the smell was just as I remembered it. It’s like a mix of cleaning product and old books and it bought back memories I had buried under speech tournaments and weekend house parties.

I’ve seen a few internet posts describing how, upon leaving high school, one realizes that they were really only friends with the people they hung around because there was literally no one else. I went to a very small school, so I can relate in a way. While I liked most of my classmates and had wonderful friends, I see now that I’m struggling to maintain contact with just about all of them. Even my absolute best friend in high school–the girl I did literally everything with and with whom people thought I was in a relationship with because we were so close–I haven’t spoken to in over a year. I don’t know where she is or how she’s doing as she doesn’t have many social media accounts. I stumbled upon her Tumblr blog today, but it’s mostly pictures from shows and games she likes–nothing about what she’s up to now.

I wonder if I should reach out to her. I feel terrible that we were inseparable for four years and now, two years after high school, I don’t even know her. I’m sure when I left for college, I promised up and down we’d stay in touch because that’s what best friends are for! And honestly, I’m terrible at keeping in touch with people. For someone in a long distance relationship, I really suck at picking up the phone and texting someone out of the blue because I don’t want to bother them. I suppose with Ryan I just know I’m bugging him and do it anyway because that’s what girlfriends are for!

My high school friend never left the town I live in, so now would be the time to get together. But, I only have a handful of free days left since most of my remaining two weeks will be spent ringing out orders at McDonald’s, so getting together wouldn’t be an option. I’m still trying to figure out what exactly is holding me back from sending her a text or following her blog. I think it’s largely the fear of anger or resentment that I didn’t keep in contact, however I would point out that phones go both ways and I’m hardly difficult to catch on social media. I’m also not entirely sure if she falls into the category of people that I hung out with because they were there, or if we would have been friends had we met in a more populated school setting. I like to think that because of how close we were, we would have become friends no matter what. If that’s the case, then, I should reach out and try to make up for the years of lost contact.

I’m going to sit on this for a little bit and perhaps reach out sometime this week. If it’s not reciprocated I can at least say I tried.

I would never, ever in a million years want to repeat high school, since I love college so much. I’m the happiest, most independent, and most confident I’ve ever been. But, sometimes I think about high school and the people I left behind to fulfill my own happiness. Sometimes you have to let certain things–and even certain people–go, and you just have to hope you made the right decision. Then, when you’re thinking back, you have to decide whether or not to let those things back into your life, the consequences of that decision, and whether you’ll actually be able to.

But, for now, I’m going to focus on my last day at my internship and finish my final project. Then, I’ll have a lovely lunch and pack my bags before leaving Cleveland. I made tons of memories here this summer and I’m grateful for the experience, but I’m also excited to return to my home in Athens in a few short weeks. I’m also excited to see my boyfriend on Saturday for the first time in about a month! So, that will be a fun filled blog post to write! Stay tuned and thanks for reading!

Piercing the Mold

Piercing the Mold


You can barely see that teeny tiny little stud!

I remember during freshman year of college, I was talking to one of the girls that lived in my dorm about music. She told me she loved punk, but hated pop, and I said I kind of enjoyed hybrid pop-punk music. She said she wasn’t a fan and asked why I liked it. It took me a moment, but I finally said, “We like music that we feel represents ourselves. So you have punk, which breaks the mold and stands out, and then you have pop which is relatively mainstream. Then there’s me, who wants to break out of the mold, but usually ends up following the mainstream anyway.”

Now, I don’t go following the crowd off cliffs or anything, but I’ve tended to be more conservative when it comes to my own personality and style. I’ve always wanted to dye my hair fun colors, but never had the chance to due to work commitments and speech and debate. I’ve tried countless times to change up my clothing style, but always end up back with the same tshirt and jeans I’ve worn my whole life. I know for a fact that I’d love to have a tattoo, but I’m too indecisive and I’m also scared of needles!

Then, there’s piercing. Since I was 14, I wanted to get my nose pierced. I can’t explain exactly why, but I always thought nose studs were super cute and I really wanted to do something that made me stand out a little more. I have my ears pierced, but I rarely wear earrings, and I know that piercing further up my ear would hurt a ton (I’m a huge whimp!).

My mom, of course, always said no. I went to private school for high school, so there were rules against facial piercings, though two girls in my class somehow managed to sidestep the nose piercing rule. When I got to college, I wanted to get my nose pierced, but my mom threw a fit and I was worried about the ramifications if I did go out and get it done. I’d also talked to my coach and he’d implied we couldn’t get any facial jewelry.

Well, one day I found myself in the Columbus airport waiting for a flight to Texas when my team struck up a conversation about body modifications. My best friend, Hannah, and I expressed how much we’d wanted to get our noses pierced, but couldn’t due to speech. My coach said, “What do you mean? I don’t care, as long as you put a clear stud in when you compete.” In that moment, all roadblocks were taken down. I was 19, had a job to pay for a piercing, and I could get it done without losing speech.

I wOh my god that needle!as going to get it done over winter break, but realized the piercing would need a few months to heal, and I would be competing the week after classes started. By the time Nationals came around in April, I’d forgotten about it until Hannah said she’d emailed her internship and asked if she could get her nose pierced. They said sure and she was going to get it done before school let out. So, I did the same thing. Okay, I might have implied that I’d already gotten it done, since I interviewed for my internship over the phone, but they said they didn’t care. Once again, the roadblocks were gone.

Except one.

I called my mom the next week and began my conversation with, “Mom, I need to tell you something. It’s important, but I need you to not scream and get mad, okay?”

I found out last week that when I started off with that mini-monologue, she thought I was pregnant. So, when the next words out of my mouth were “Hannah and I are getting our noses pierced,” she was so relieved that she was really agreeable. Not happy, but she knew it was my decision.

I’d already talked to my boyfriend about piercings. He comes from a conservative household and he favors more traditional beauty, but he’s super great when I suggest dying my hair or piercing something. “I love your hair the way it is,” He’ll say, “But I love you more than anything. It’s your body, do what makes you happy.” When I told him I was getting my nose pierced, he told me he didn’t think I would look any more or less beautiful, but that he was happy I was finally asserting my independence.

Hannah and I got our noses pierced on April 24th. As I grew up expressing my want of a facial piercing, I was told I would r10441296_10204254621225515_5183709658162711047_negret it. Okay, maybe three months in is a little early, but I haven’t for a minute regretted getting my nose done. Well, maybe when my boyfriend tries to be cute and pinches my nose. That hurt a little, especially in the weeks after getting it done. But, really, I feel confident, happy, and independent with my piercing. I feel like for the first time in my life, I did exactly what I wanted to do with my own body, without taking anyone else into consideration. I also feel more responsible. I weighed the pros and cons, and got my nose pierced only when I knew I wouldn’t have to give up many other things I love doing. Also, I fought a battle against my fear of needles. It really wasn’t that bad, and honestly, I felt such an adrenaline rush when I was done that I wish I could have pierced something else!

Piercings aren’t for everyone. Some agree with them and other’s don’t–that’s okay. For me, getting my nose pierced brought me close to a friend and also improved my confidence and self esteem. So maybe I do go along with the mainstream, but every now and then I do my best to break–or pierce–the mold!

Putting the R (you serious?) in Romance

When I was a little girl, I was more of a Pokemon kind of kid rather than a Disney Princess type. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my Princesses. Being a princess, after all, was my first career aspiration, and I remember my favorite Disney Princess was Aurora. I also, like many young girls, subscribed to the notion that I was destined to find a really cute (preferably rich) guy who would whisk me away to my happily ever after of singing to trees and talking to animals. Although my imaginary friends and I spent more time rocking in our band or saving the world, my best imaginary friend also had the best and most amazing boyfriend. He bought her flowers, took her on dates, and when he was feeling really romantic would hold her hand in public!!!

After I moved to Ohio just before high school, I wanted a boyfriend more than ever simply because all of my peers had boyfriends. Or, rather, they had one guy friend they liked better than their other guy friends, so they had their parents drive them to the movies on a Friday night. But, I was convinced that the only thing that would make me happy was getting a boyfriend.

That didn’t end up happening, and after a year or two I realized that I didn’t need a boyfriend to make me happy. I had my friends, my speech and debate team, and my family. I didn’t need any more validation from another person than I could already get from myself. Of course, I still dreamed of finding that one guy who would make my heart swoon and would treat me like the princess I’d once dreamed of being.

As you know if you’ve ready any of my previous posts, I met that guy a year and a half ago at a speech and debate tournament in West Virginia. However, we all know that nothing is perfect and my knight in shining armor was just as awkward as I was. I had been “brainwashed” by what mainstream media had taught me my entire life, so when I didn’t get those super romantic dates and compliments every other breath, I began to question the relationship as a whole.

My boyfriend is not the most romantic person in the entire world. I love him to death, but we’re still talking about the guy who got me gum and Poptarts for Valentine’s Day. What I began to realize, however, was that the actual physical gift he had gotten me seemed… strange, but that was just a small part of a wonderful stress-free Valentine’s Day/Anniversary weekend.

My boyfriend is also afraid of rejection, something he told me straight up when we first met. It took him months of his speech coach prodding him to get my number for him to finally ask, and for both of our coaches to set up a date for us to finally go on one. As our relationship has progressed, I know he’s worried that if he picks the restaurant or the movie, I won’t like it. And I’ll admit–I’m terrible at that too! I hate picking what we do on dates, since I don’t want to impose my likes and dislikes on him. I’ll sometimes even go as far as to trick him into picking the movie or restaurant. For instance, I often will say “this is a town you’re familiar with, you pick” and then on the next date say “Well, you’re the guest, you decide.”

What I’ve found is that we have to let go of that fear of rejection. On the first date, sure, we want to make sure our choices best reflect the shared tastes of both parties. However, after months and months of dating, it’s okay to say “You know what, I really want to see ____ on Saturday.” Maybe it’s a chick flick, maybe it’s a restaurant you’ve never tried before, but your partner has to respect your likes and dislikes, and in return you do the same for them. That’s not to say it’s alright to go out of your way to pick something you know they hate, so be sure to at least take them into consideration!

I’ve had a stressful summer, so I requested a day off work this coming week to spend with my boyfriend. I told him that between wrapping up my internship and working 6 days a week, I wasn’t going to be able to plan this one, so I’m letting him take the reigns. I’ve never asked him to plan out a date, though I know I’ll be good with anything. The fact that he’s taking a day himself to see me is already perfect as it is. I hope he knows this, and I’ll be sure to impress on him that I will like anything he chooses because I’m with him.

We’re all afraid of rejection deep down. We don’t want to be passed over for a job or promotion, and we certainly don’t want our partners to reject our likes or advances. Some people are more romantic than others. I will say to go for it–be romantic and take your partner by surprise! But, if your partner doesn’t, remember: Disney (and all mainstream media) is not representative of real life. Just because someone doesn’t literally sweep you off your feet doesn’t mean they don’t love you. Often, when you’re saying your partner never says or does cute things, you’re not paying attention to his actions. My boyfriend isn’t one to compliment all the time, but when he does, it means so much. I also know he loves me, not by what he says, but by the fact that he takes an hour each night to catch up with me on the phone. And if that’s not romantic, I don’t know what is!

In Sickness and Distance

Long time no blog! I apologize, I had a busy weekend. If I wasn’t working at my internship in the city, I was hanging out and good old McDonald’s, and when I was home, I was working on things for the upcoming speech and debate season or sleeping.

I am also a little less than pleased to report that Minions have continued to take over my store, but we’re getting through the onslaught as best we can. And no, that one Minion doesn’t swear–it’s all in your dirty little messed up heads. But, no worried, it sounded like it was swearing to me too!

On the personal front, I’ve also been getting ready to move into my apartment for the upcoming school year. My best friend and I are being added to her girlfriend’s lease and we’re expecting to move in the first week of August. So, less than a month left! Then, I’ll be trading in my non-slip shoes for my suits and hairspray at the local broadcast station I work at in Athens while preparing to tackle the second half of my college career. Where has the time gone? It’s hard to imagine that only two years ago, I was a month away from moving into my first dorm at OU. Now, I’m pulling on my big girl pants and paying actual rent!

So, my friends met me in Cleveland and we went out for a wonderful dinner followed by frozen yogurt. Because my friend’s girlfriend is continuing her lease, she’s already got all the furniture for the living room and kitchen, meaning that we just need to furnish our bedrooms and pick up a few extra things that her roommate is taking back with her. All in all, it’s looking like a great adventure, and I especially can’t wait to use the pool and gym!

Unfortunately, when I got back from dinner, I found out my boyfriend had caught himself a cold. I swear something is going around this summer as one of the interns I work with had this awful flu for about a week. And, my poor dear gets sick at the drop of a hat. What’s worse is that he always manages to get sick around finals week, which only adds to the stress.

In the almost year and a half we’ve been together, I’ve been through many of these colds with him. In fact, the day he asked me out, he was just recovering from a cold he’d caught during the week and wasn’t sure he’d make the 13 hour trip to Iowa for a speech tournament. There are a lot of tough aspects of long distance relationships, but I’d say one of the toughest for me is comforting a sick or sad partner. I’ve spoken before about how good he is with my mental breakdowns, and I return the favor by being as supportive as I can when he gets sick.

I wish very much that I could be there to make him soup or grab him a blanket when he’s feeling unwell. But, let’s face it: I’d burn that soup–I can’t cook!

In all seriousness, it does suck that I can’t be physically supportive when he’s sick or sad, but there’s a few ways I’ve found that really help.

First, I always let my partner know that I’m here for him. Whatever he needs, I’m here. Whether that’s a shortened nightly phone call so he can get to bed or a long venting session, I make sure he knows that I’m good with whatever will make him feel better.

Second, I redirect all conversation off of myself and towards him. I feel that I’m terrible at talking about myself. I’m a good story teller, and I can make my days sound really interesting, however that usually turns the focus of the conversation on me. He doesn’t mind at all and likes hearing about my day (working at McDonald’s is really pretty interesting!), but when he’s not well I make sure he’s driving the conversation. It helps him vent (because getting sick is a pain), and also lets him end the conversation whenever he needs to get to sleep.

Finally, I get really, really sappy. Now, we’re not that long distance couple that will Skype for hours on end and fall asleep with the cameras on each other. Honestly, getting a text back from him is a mini-miracle! But I turn the sappiness up a notch and send him cute pictures or I love you notes as a little pick-me-up. Even if he doesn’t respond, I know he got the text and it made him smile. And then I can bug him about his bad texting habits later.

I’d give a lot to be able to curl up on the couch with my boyfriend and a cup of hot chocolate on a day we’re not feeling well. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem like a possibility in the near future, so, we do what we can to be there for each other. It’s a way that works for us, and may not for other couples. If there’s anything I’ve learned from this experience, it’s that when you’re miles apart, the best hug is a cute text or a random “I love you” to get you through the day.

Social Media for Dummies (Or Your Boyfriend)

In my two years of doing college speech and debate, I’ve met so many wonderful people from within the communication field. In any round I’ve been in, I always find myself chatting with the other competitors who are in communication-related fields, and all of the coaches I’ve met have been able to give me great guidance on the industry. So, I’ve come to conclude that most participants in speech and debate have or are perusing communication related majors, or are in an unrelated field, but competed in high school.

Of course, there’s always people who manage to break away from the mold and one of those people is my boyfriend. He is a petroleum engineering major who never did speech in high school. His parents worked at the same college he goes to, made friends with the Director of Forensics, and encouraged him to try debate. dealership-social-media

So, yes, he does have a little communication background, but when it comes to social media, he’s lacking big time. He has a Facebook, but has no profile picture, cover photo, and the other posts on his wall are tagged pictures from either myself or his speech team. I, on the other hand, have my Twitter, my Facebook, my Instagram, and my LinkedIn. I’m not the most active on my social media, but I make myself look good.

Now, we’re coming from two totally different worlds. I’m on path to become a Public Relations… something. And in this digital age, social media is a huge chunk of any PR role. Throughout the internship I’m currently completing, I’ve been told that I must have social media, however I have to ensure that I make myself, my “brand” if you will, look appealing to anyone who might want to hire or get to know me. If I can’t prove that I have social media with a decent follow base, I may not get hired.

These things are evil....

These things are evil….

On the other hand, my boyfriend isn’t going to need social media at all, so the only thing he’s missing out on are the constant Minions that plague my wall. However, as he prepares to enter the job market, I’m attempting to push him to at least make his LinkedIn profile find-able. When I searched his name, he was literally the very last person that showed up. I had to scroll through four pages to find his profile, which means that no one is going to be able to find him when he applies for jobs.

How important is LinkedIn? I really don’t know. In my industry, it’s important to keep an updated profile so that people can find and connect with you. In engineering, I assume it’s part of the regular social media checks every company does. But having a LinkedIn profile can’t hurt.

I’m planning on helping my boyfriend create a LinkedIn profile before he starts his job hunt this year, and I implore any of you who might read this post to do the same. It’s tedious and annoying, but hey, you get to brag about how awesome you are for a little bit and find some interesting articles related to the industries you’re interested in going into. You may not have a Facebook or Twitter, but a LinkedIn certainly wouldn’t hurt. In this day and age, there’s many people just like you (some even have the same name!), so you want to stand out. If you don’t go to the second page of Google when looking something up, why would a busy employer go to the second page to find you?

Feel free to follow my Twitter @KatSafreed