Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Little Girl, Big Aspirations

I came to Hofstra with one goal in mind: to become a broadcast journalist. If you asked me four years ago what I thought I would be doing in college, I would have just named some journalism clubs on campus and maybe a few groups in the theater area. I never could have imagined where my life would be…
       I am now a senior in college, pursuing a double major in broadcast journalism and political science.
Cheer Practice, Fall '13
I am a three time national champion for cheerleading-ready to give it my fourth and final run. I also practice three times a week extra on my own with my partner so that we can qualify and compete in UCA partner stunts in January. I work at an on-campus job 9 hours a week at OSLA , where I get to interact with not only amazing faculty but hundreds of students. And biggest of all I am interning for CBS This Morning twice a week in New York City. I manage to fit all of these things into my week, while taking four classes, holding a 3.8 GPA, and maintaining a social life.
            If you look at my weekly schedule right now it would look something like this….
Monday/Wednesday: Class from 9am until 6pm with an hour of work each day, plus cheerleading practice until 10pm.
Tuesday/Thursday: Intern in the city 4am-12pm (yes, that means a 2:30am wake up time), then work 1:45-5pm
Friday: Classes 9am until 2, Cheerleading 2 until 4:30
Sunday: Cheerleading 10am until 1:30, with a partner practice from 6:30-8pm

        I am now a little over a month into juggling all of these things, and besides the slight eye twitch from stress I am surviving; not just surviving but excelling. So how do I do it? Right now, I can attribute my survival mostly on time management. If you want to succeed in everything, you must be able to give 100% at each destination. To do this, I had to devise a plan. Philosophy homework is done on Monday/Wednesday during my breaks between classes. History homework is done on the train ride back from my internship, and at any down time during work. Political Science homework is done on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. And luckily, for my Journalism 75 class all production is completed during class time.
My CBS intern desk
It is easy to excel in my internship and cheerleading IF I have my school work done; that is always my number one priority. Once homework is completed, there is nothing to stress about. It allows me to be able to enjoy being at my internship and cheerleading because I then have nothing else on my mind but the task at hand.
       But, it’s a lot more than just making a plan to get my school work done. It’s about discipline. Interning in the city puts a major strain on my week. Every Tuesday and Thursday I run on just three hours of sleep. It’s extremely difficult, and after a long day it’s hard to sit down and do homework. But I have to remind myself that it is the price I must pay if I want to make my dreams come true.  Once you discipline your mind into understanding the end result of all the chaos- for me it is experience in one of the top three leading news market places in the world- it becomes easy to stay focused. Reminding myself of the worth of the experience sets me on track.
Fall Festival 2013
        The next best advice to offer is I try to take every moment of down time I have and be productive. Now, I am not saying being productive is getting work done. When in such a situation as this, it is important that if I need some sleep that I get it. Without a power nap I won’t be productive because my body will not be getting the necessary rest it needs to function. Whether it be to take a forty five minute nap after work so that I can get up and do some homework, of if I have some time before practice to do some homework, I never let time go to waste-meaning doing nothing that will ultimately benefit my  production. Every minute wasted adds more minutes of stress on at the end of the night.
        And finally, I have found some little tricks that work for me to stay on top of my work. First, I always rely on my syllabuses. All of my teachers provide a list of homework and when it is due. I try to stay a week ahead of schedule at all times for all my classes, that way if something unforeseen comes up and I am unable to do any work one day I will still be prepared for the class at hand.
         Second, I great way to boost my energy is to try and go to the gym. Yes, it is very hard to get myself to the gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays when I have been up since 2:30am, but working out generally gives me a boost of energy to do some homework after. Or, better yet I will bring any reading I have and do it while walking on the treadmill.
CBS This Morning, control room
        Are you asking – does she really have a social life? The answer is YES, I do. One, I consider cheerleading socializing because I spend hours with all of my best friends. But, in addition to that I do take Friday afternoon and evening to go out, relax, or do whatever the rest of my friends are doing that night. I build this time into my schedule each week as a way not only to relieve stress but to stay connected to my friends.
        Juggling a job, internship, classes, and a social life is do-able, but the most important thing is that you must really want it. The drive must come for within or you will be miserable trying to do all these things. Make sure it is something you really want to do, and from there it becomes easy because in the end the experience will be worth it.

Guest Student Writer: Mariel Carbone ‘14

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