I’m happy to be back on campus for my second semester at the University of Illinois! My life is more packed than it’s ever been before, and staying balanced is a challenge. I’m lucky to thoroughly enjoy every part of my weekly schedule, so running around from early in the morning until late at night is energizing, not draining. I’m not even addicted to caffeine yet! Stay tuned, though. It’s a matter of time.
For this post, I broke down everything that appears on my Google Calendar. My daily survival depends on having access to my calendar. Here is what it looked like last week!
I know. It kind of makes me want to cry, too.
This semester, I am taking 20 credit hours, which is probably not too uncommon for a performing arts major. My first day of classes fell on a Tuesday this semester, and that day, I attended my two classes and dropped both of them.
Yeah. It was a rough day.
I took this picture early that morning. I had no idea what was coming! After returning to my dorm that night, I realized that I wasn’t going in the direction I wanted to. I completely rearranged my whole schedule. After plenty of consideration, I am planning on completing a dual degree in acting and advertising. Nothing is official at this point, but I am already making progress on my prerequisites within the College of Media, home of the advertising program.
Within the theatre department, I’m taking…
- THEA 175: Fundamentals of Acting II
- THEA 103: Survey of Theatre Production
- THEA 100: Practicum I
- THEA 400: Practicum II
Within the College of Media, I’m taking…
- ADV 150: Introduction to Advertising
- JOUR 200: Introduction to Journalism
I’m also enrolled in a dance class and an honors course:
- DANC 210: Intermediate Jazz Technique
- ESE 199H: Future of Earth’s Resources
So far, I love all of my classes. I hope this feeling lasts all semester!
Some days, I enjoy coming to work even more than I like going to class! I am pretty sure that I have the best on-campus job ever. My only problem is how long it takes to explain exactly where I work and what I do!
My job title is “editorial intern.” I work in the Office of Communications for Enrollment Management. This office exists within the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, and admissions exists under the University of Illinois as a whole. I’ve started telling people that I’m an editorial intern for undergraduate admissions because it’s faster, although it’s technically wrong. Oops!
This is the inspiration wall! The whole office space is bright and clean and fun.
Want to see what I do on a daily basis? Check out the admissions blog! My first task at the beginning of every shift is to edit blog posts written by student bloggers. When I finish, my boss assigns me to a variety of other projects. I’ve written the text for emails, invitations, postcards, flyers, and digital signage. Some of these pieces will be seen by as many as 5,000 people! I’ve even done some work on a webpage that will soon exist on the official Illinois admissions website! I’m so lucky to have this job. The work I do directly impacts prospective students, and I learn new things every single day. Plus, the pay isn’t too shabby!
For the past two and a half months, I have been working on Illinois Theatre’s production of Assassins. For the first part of the rehearsal process, I served as the dance captain. I’ve had a blast being part of the same rehearsal process as upperclassmen acting majors and MFA students, and I have learned so much. The amount of talent and artistry in one room is overwhelming. I rarely have any choreography notes because the cast is great at retaining the choreography, down to the smallest movements of the wrist.
Now that we have entered the tech process, I have a new responsibility! About a week and a half ago, I learned that the stage management team was having a hard time recruiting crew members for the show. There were five positions open for run crew, so I volunteered to be a spotlight operator. The lighting effects for the show are unreal! Getting to see the same show from a literal different vantage point has given me a great appreciation for extensive collaboration required to put on a musical. If the show wasn’t already sold out, I would be telling everyone I know to buy tickets!
After rehearsal ends each night, I head back to my dorm to do homework. It’s usually 11:30 PM before I sit down to start my work. Doing homework so late at night is not ideal for me, but my workload has been pretty light so far. The most time-consuming task I completed since getting back to school was learning a monologue for my acting class. I had to find a play, read the play, find a monologue, cut the monologue, copy the monologue into a Word document, score the script, and do character work (and usually re-read the play). And that’s just the prep work! Luckily, I found a great piece from a Donald Margulies play called Collected Stories. I connected with the circumstances of the play so much that I was totally engaged with my work, even though all the work took place very late at night. Reading, studying, and doing homework for classes that I enjoy will never be a chore!
Illini Union Board
On top of everything else, I recently began my term as the director of marketing for the Illini Union Board! Last weekend, the whole board went on a retreat at Allerton Parks. That’s where I took the mirror selfie that you see at the beginning of this post! In all honesty, I was absolutely terrified going into my term as a director. I felt completely underqualified for this position, but after the retreat, all of my worries fell away. The advisors and the other board members are such kind, helpful people that I know my IUB experience will be nothing but positive. Keep up on the IUB happenings by liking the Illini Union Board Facebook page!
People I Love
I saved the best for last. If I removed everything else from my life and cleared my calendar, my life would still feel complete because I got to hang out with some of the people I love this week. On Tuesday, I ate spaghetti with my dad and my grandma. It was a short visit, but I’ll get to spend most of the day with them next Saturday. I’ll see my mom then, too!
On Friday evening, Joey drove into Champaign and attended an IUB event with me. Getting to spend Friday evening and much of Saturday with him made my crazy busy week seem worth it! In this picture, he was probably thinking about getting more peanut butter toast.
I’m glad that I finally had some time to devote to reflecting on the past two weeks. Both thinking back and thinking ahead make me so happy to live this life. Here’s to the best semester yet!