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Playing 'Catch Up'

Sometimes we all need a little push in order for us to make it through a day, a week, maybe a month, but no matter the time frame, we all need a support system to help us through those tough weeks. This week for me was one of ‘those tough weeks.’

I unfortunately did not accomplish as much last weekend as I would have like to because my mom was in town, so all week I felt like I was playing the ‘catch up’ and ‘get ahead’ games. I failed pretty miserably at both games this week, but today is Friday, the week is over and I can start anew. Although I’ve had a pretty stressful week, there have been some things that have kept me pushing ahead.

First and foremost, after a ton of waiting, I got accepted into my study abroad program for next semester. I completed my application for review this past summer, and it wasn’t until recently I was accepted.

It was quite the relief to be accepted, but there was so much paperwork that needed to get done in a certain time frame in order to confirm my place in the program. I’ve never filled out so much paper work in one week, but it’s done and was received by both the University of Minnesota and my other college sponsor for my abroad trip.

I am going to Belfast, Northern Ireland for the semester to study Communication Studies and possibly take one Sociology class. I am going on my study abroad through a ‘co-sponsored’ program. A co-sponsor is another college or university throughout the US that the University of Minnesota works closely with in order to offer certain study abroad programs to U students. My co-sponsor is Arcadia University in Pennsylvania.

Thus far, I have had a great time working with both the University of Minnesota Learning Abroad Center and Arcadia University’s study abroad center. They are both very helpful and are great at communicating with me; making sure things are all set when I depart the U to go to the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland in January.

Although the paperwork and information for my abroad program can seem daunting at times, I am trying to keep my eye on the bigger picture. I can’t wait to get to Northern Ireland and be immersed in their culture. It will be a growing experience for me. I’m not nervous yet, but I’ll let you know how I’m feeling in a month or so.

Secondly, last Monday, October 20th, I had my first band concert of the semester. Up until then, our ensemble, the North Star Band (campus band) has been rehearsing and trying to perfect the five pieces we performed. It was a great concert and we all felt really confident in our performance.

We have two non-audition ensembles here at the U; the Campus Band and the University Band. The Campus Band is split into two sections; the North Star Band and the Maroon and Gold Campus Band. This band meets every Monday evening from 7:35 PM until 9:30 PM. The University Band meets twice a week, Monday and Thursday, for about an hour each time. I have found this to be a great way to connect with our amazing School of Music, while not being a music major. This is also a great way to continue on with a hobby of mine that I love and started in the sixth grade.

On top of dealing with study abroad things and band rehearsals and concerts, I have been trying my hardest to balance my on-campus student job at the Office of the Assistant Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, the work for CLA Ambassadors, such as filming for our videos that will premier later this semester and welcoming CPEO parents on this campus to give them a taste of what the University of Minnesota is like, as well as my internship at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities. Most importantly though, I have been trying to stay on top of school and have a ‘get ahead, stay ahead’ mentality. Like I said before, that just wasn’t the case this week.

Balance has been the theme for me as of lately. I am balancing as well as I know how right now, and I’ve been doing okay. Really, it seems like I am complaining about having my schedule be so booked, but I would truly have it no other way. I am growing as a student and as an individual so much this semester and I am looking forward to a great semester abroad in the spring.

But as for now, I guess I’ll start playing the ‘catch up’ game again. I hope to not fail miserably this time.

Dare to Live Out Loud,

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