Benefits of Taking a PR Course

My summer has been full of the typical summer activities like lounging in the pool, going to cookouts, and simply enjoying the outdoors, but it has also included HOMEWORK!!  Yes, I said homework! I was not only busy absorbing the warmth of the sun I was diligently working to complete two college courses this summer.  Both of these classes were online, but do not let that fool you in to thinking it made them easier.  That is FAR from the truth! But as I reflect back on the short semester I realize I not only learned a great deal of information, I can actually say I took away some valuable lessons that I will take with me as I work towards my degree and into my professional career.  One of the courses was Human Development and it was extremely enlightening; however, its content was not as intriguing as Intro to Public Relations.  I honestly feel anyone and everyone would benefit from taking a Public Relations course!

Let me explain…

When I first learned that Into to Public Relations was a required course for my minor, Applied Communications, I was not exactly thrilled. I don’t really enjoy standing in front of people giving speeches and I honestly thought that was the concept of this course. However, once the course began I quickly changed my opinion. I need to add that this summer course was a mere five weeks, which meant a lot of material was covered in a short amount of time. There were days I felt overwhelmed with the amount of homework and projects that were due, but I persevered and got it all done! Yay me! With all of that being said, I now want to detail for you some of the lessons I have taken away from the course.  First and foremost, I feel all professionals need to abide by a basic code of ethical conduct which simply put is acting with honestly and integrity at all times. This is a rule to live by!

Next lesson learned, always research, plan, communicate, and evaluate in that order. This makes perfect sense if you think about it. If you do not do the necessary research, which is the first step, you cannot strategically map out a plan and if you don’t have a plan you cannot communicate or evaluate it.  It is a tool that should be utilized when finding a job, buying a house, and even getting married!  All four steps are essential in carrying out life.

The last lesson I will disclose, but certainly not the last I have taken away from this course is establishing source credibility.  Ultimately, source credibility is the ability for others to believe what you say is true.  As a professional or even in a person sense, if your audience does not believe your message then you have NO source credibility and the message will go unheard.  Therefore, by creating a respectful and honest relationship with any type of audience one can achieve the desired results and succeed.

Well, there you go, just a few of the lessons I have learned in my summer Intro to Public Relations class.  I plan on applying them to my life and to obtain my professional goals and I highly recommend a class such as this to any person interested in achieving success in life!


Back To Reality…

Well, it’s almost that time again, back to school. For me this means getting stuff organized, emotionally preparing myself, and getting ready to be extremely busy. As I have mentioned in my ‘About Me’ summary, I have been in college for 4 years now and am working to get my bachelor’s degree in sociology. So, you would assume going back to school would be easy… it’s most defiantly not!

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One of the reasons going back to school is stressful is the moving. Moving, to me, has to be one of the most frustrating things about living an hour away for school. You first have to organize everything, pack it, label it to make it easier to put away, and then move it all! I am hopeful this move will be a little easier because at the beginning of the summer I moved all of the “big” items like my bed, dresser, desk, etc. over to my new apartment. Now, all I have to focus on and worry about are my clothes and small things that will hopefully all fit in my car. I honestly just don’t like the thought of packing, hauling and unpacking; it’s such a pain!

Another reason heading back to college is hard for me is leaving my loved ones. This honestly was one of the hardest things I have ever done before and it was truly challenging for me. I am extremely close to my family, so when I move an hour away I find myself getting very depressed and missing them tremendously. After about the first couple of weeks and I am sure I will start going out and meeting new friends, but until this time I will be very homesick! I definitely feel if you surround yourself with a positive group of people going through the same emotions you are helps. I am also very lucky because I have worked at Illini Country Club for the last five years and I continue to work there most weekends, so I am able to go back home and spend time with my loved ones. Nevertheless, I realize I made it through the first year away from home and it flew by and I simply need to remind myself of that and get my mindset prepared to take on this year!

             Believe it or not there are a few things I enjoy doing to prepare for upcoming semesters. First, I walk my schedule to be sure I know where all my classes will be. This eases my mind because I have only been at SIUe for a year, so I am not 100% confident to know where everything is. Next, when the first week rolls around and the syllabus have been distributed, I fill out my planner. I then color coordinate my classes to help me stay organized throughout the semester and I fill out a monthly calendar that is hanging on my wall next to my desk that enables me to visually see each and every day so I know what is due or coming up. I have found that if I do not do these little things that I become overwhelmed and that is definitely not fun. College requires organization because it gets crazy busy with assignments being due, along with presentations, and don’t forget the quizzes and TESTS!! Taking the time to organize makes a huge difference in my world of going back to reality…COLLEGE!

5 Reasons Why Autumn is the Best Season of the Year!

The cool weather, bonfires, adorable clothing, vibrant colors, and comfort food… These are 5 reasons why fall is my absolute favorite season of them all! Don’t get me wrong, I love summer just as much as the next person, but these past few weeks I have found myself dreaming of fall and all of its glory. The high heat and humidity are enough to make me wish away these next few months of extremely hot weather.

As fall approaches the cool weather is one of the first things I look forward to because it is both refreshing and relaxing. I would much rather be cold than hot any day! I cannot stand the hot days of summer and feeling like I need to take a shower as soon as I step outside. It is absolutely disgusting! With cool weather comes nights next to a warm fire, listening to the crackling of the wood, admiring the memorizing orange-blue yellowish flames rising into the sky while being consumed with the smoky aroma of burning wood snuggled up next to my boyfriend. Nothing better than a bonfire, crisp fall air and being with my amazing boyfriend!

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If you are counting, the third reason I love autumn is the fashion. Who doesn’t love boots, sweaters, leggings and hoodies? This has to be the most comfortable season for clothing in my opinion. My go to fall outfit includes my favorite brown boots, an over-sized sweater and leggings. This is not only amazingly comfortable, it is also versatile. I say this because this attire can go from the classroom, to a football game, to a night out on the town and in every situation you are cute and comfortable. Fall clothing is not just comfortable as I just described, it is simply adorable.

The next reason autumn is my favorite is the beautiful reds, oranges, and yellows that take nature hostage. It is breath taking to travel just about anywhere in the fall and be surrounded by such beauty. Because I love this scenery so much I have always had a dream of being married in the fall. I love the idea of having pictures taken outside surrounded by the vibrant colors of the landscape.  Beyond my wedding dreams I love to go for car rides in the fall and simply bask in the magnificence of nature. This is just another reason I cannot get enough of my favorite season!

Last, but definitely not least, the food! One of the things I look forward to the most is my Mom’s cream of potato soup.  It is incredible!!! The flavor is scrumptious it is a bowl full of perfectly cooked potatoes topped with crumbled bacon. Yum! Another fav is the glorious melting chocolate with roasted marshmallows smooshed between graham crackers, SMORES!  And how could I ever forget to mention the gooey caramel apples and mouthwatering apple cider!  I cannot wait for fall just typing this blog!  Bring on the cool weather, bonfires, comfy clothes, colorful trees and delicious comfort foods. I hope you enjoyed the 5 reasons why I enjoy autumn! until next time…


Yoga Time

Photo Credit: Mattias F Flickr via Compfight cc

Hello everyone! I hope you’re having a fantastic day. Today I would like to talk about a popular form of exercise, yoga. I have very recently (about 3 weeks ago) started beginners yoga with my Grandma. From the beginning I fell in love with the way it makes my body feel and the movements I never thought I would be able to accomplish!  First, I want to explain my Grandma’s passion for yoga.  She began her journey to become a yoga instructor about 3 years ago after her retirement.  While she was pursuing her enthusiasm to bring yoga to others she kept telling me and my family how wonderful it is and what it can do for your body. So, a few weeks ago I told her I would join her and my cousin Kailey to see what the buzz was all about. As I mentioned before, I fell in love with it! It was extremely relaxing yet engaging at the same time. I also loved the way my body and mind felt after about an hour of posing and breathing. Now, I am a beginner who does not have much experience, luckily my Grandma understood that and went easy on me for the first time. To give you a glimpse here are some of the things we did in our first session. First, you begin by sitting with your legs crisscrossed on a yoga block. A yoga block is a solid foam rectangle that allows you to get better posture. You want to act as though there is a string coming through your spine out through the top of your head to create a straight line through your back. Meanwhile, you are breathing deeply making your chest rise and stomach expand. Next, we went into a table top position on all fours, and did the “cat and cow.” The “cow” is when you are looking up while pushing your stomach to the floor, then transitioning into cat. “Cat” is when you round your back, dropping your head to the floor then returning back to “cow.” After “cat and cow” we move on to “pigeon” pose. This is starting off in a lunge, picking up your leg while the other is extended behind you and placing your leg folded in front of you on the mat, putting your weight on the folded leg. This position is tough for me because I have sore hips from having a server position and standing most days, but is a great stretch and helped me tremendously. While continuing to breathe deeply, we went into our “warrior one” position. This position is standing with one leg behind you extended and the other bent at the knee creating a straight line at the ankle. After staying in this position for a moment, we continued into “warrior three.” This is where you fold at the hips, bringing one leg into the air behind you, then putting both arms forward. Personally, I cannot do this pose quite yet. I can get my leg up but balancing on one leg with your arms in the air is easier said than done. Last, but certainly not least, my favorite part, lying flat on our backs while letting every inch of your body relax and allowing yourself to breathe and enjoy the quiet peaceful environment. This is my favorite part because you get to clear your mind of all the things going on in your life and to look within and truly acknowledge your body. At the very end, you come back to a seated position with your eyes still closed and my Grandma reads an inspirational quote and ending with Namaste. (a gesture or acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another). I personally have found that yoga is one of the most stress-relieving, enjoyable experiences I have had in a long time.  I am addicted! If you have never attempted yoga because you think it may be too difficult for you, DO NOT underestimate yourself and give it a try! Below I have linked my Grandma Fancy’s yoga website. You’re more than welcome to explore and contact her if you’re interested in learning more. Namaste!