To say the past seven days have been a whirlwind would be an understatement. In the past week [or so] I have graduated from Ohio University with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism, taken some time to further explored the beauty in downtown Cincinnati, and traveled to south Florida, visiting my dad and brother, exploring the sea, Everglades National Park, and soaking up some sunshine! While this blog is full of photos recapping my most recent adventures, I’m also including some advice for future bobcats, visitors to Cincinnati, and SCUBA divers…enjoy!
Two of my three roommates and I, outside our home in Athens, after our graduation commencement. The ceremony speaker was fantastic, Nancy Cartwright, or as many of you may recognize her as, Bart Simpson, provided the audience with great attention-grabbing humor as well as thoughtful advice to more than 4,000 undergraduates, many of which left the commencement to embark on the job market. Here is a summary of her main points:
- Do what you love.
- Surround yourself with people who believe in you and your dreams.
- Hitch your wagon to a winner.
- Be a professional.
- Trust your instincts.
- Decide exactly what you want to accomplish.
- …and she ended with the wisest words: “Eat. My. Shorts.”
Thanks Nancy, er…Bart…
This photo represents just a small portion of the amazing individuals I had the chance to live amongst in Washington Hall on East Green during my freshman year. No doubt about it, many of the folks in this photo will go on to accomplish amazing feats. I was fortunate enough to be a part of a residential learning community [LC], meaning Ohio University grouped students [who volunteered to be a part of the LC] enrolled in the Scripps College of Communication into the same residents hall…a most fantastic and beneficial idea!
The Importance of the Collaboration of Colleges
I cannot stress how important it is for students studying communication–whether it is journalism, mass media, video or audio production, organizational communication, interactive multimedia, photojournalism, etcetera–to respect, and at least attempt to understand, the creativity and skill in their peers areas of study. Throughout my undergraduate career I took on a number of projects demanding skills outside my “designated” field of journalism. I had to learn to shoot and edit video to produce a 22 minute documentary in Zambia, produce my own high-quality photos for newsletters, blogs, and freelance assignments, and design logos, posters, and promotional items for campaigns. Many times I reached out to other students I met my freshman year. Each and every time these individuals, whether they were my close friend or just a friendly acquaintance, were more than happy to teach me a bit about their craft.
As Ohio University transitions to a semester calendar this fall [rather than the far less common quarter system], and as each of the schools in the Scripps College of Communication [E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, School of Media Arts & Studies, School of Visual Communication, School of Communication Studies, and the J.W. McClure School of Information and Telecommunication Systems] eventually find their home under the same roof–old Baker center, which will be renamed “The Schoonover Center for Communication” once all the renovations are complete–it is my hope that ALL students in the College of Communication will take time to study the areas their peers aspire to become experts in. I hope no student gets so enthralled with their major that they fail to learn other highly applicable and beneficial skills. To any incoming bobcats taking part in the residential LC:
- Leave your doors open–invite your neighbors, floormates–anyone, really–in and get to know them, you may end up learning a few things, meeting your future roommates or even a future love interest…it all happened to me!
- Keep your options open–explore the other areas in communication. My guess is if you’re already enrolled in the college you’re definitely interested in the art of conveying messages to audiences, but you may discover a new method or platform to convey those messages that could change your career path and aspirations.
- Keep your eyes and ears open–new opportunities are born every day. Talk to people about what you’re interested in and someone who knows a guy, who knows a guy may drop an amazing opportunity right in your lap, you just need to look and listen to what is happening around you!
- Be nice to people and work really, really hard–Making friends and networking will take you far, especially as a Bobcat and a member of the Scripps family. If there is one thing I’ve learned during my time as an undergrad it’s that Bobcats love Bobcats. I am so grateful for the genuine concern and eagerness to help students out that our alumni provide for us. Also, work HARD. Dedicate your time to projects you’re passionate about and truly want to be a part of, it makes the work much more enjoyable. People [upperclassmen, peers, professors, mentors] take notice of hard workers, and when a great project or other opportunity arises someone may just remember who it was that willingly took some extra initiative on another project and for that they may approach you with a life changing opportunity–again, this happened to me, and I could not be more thankful!
Back to Cincinnati, for a little while anyhow…
Following graduation and move-out I headed home to Cincinnati for a few nights. I was accompanied my beau, Andrew Thomas, also a recent graduate of Ohio University and Scripps College of Communication [Media Arts & Studies]. Though he is from Syracuse, New York, because his dads family is from northern Columbus and his grandpa was a fervid Cleveland Indians fan, which the Cincinnati Reds happen to play the week we were in town, he was rooting against my favorite hometown team. But, I am happy to announce the Reds swept the Indians, phew! We attended the game with two other Bobcat pals.
Dinner on the famous BB Riverboats
Andrew and I also took some time to celebrate his birthday, a tad belated, as well as three wonderful years together! We glided down the banks of the Ohio River on the River Queen. If you’re looking for a great night out in Cincinnati I highly recommend the sunset dinner cruise by BB Riverboats, we had a blast!
Onward, to south Florida
Following graduation and my adventures in the land of Skyline Chili, Reds Nation, and Riverboats I traveled to south Florida to visit my dad and brother. A lesser known ambition of mine: It is a life goal of to visit all of the 20 major national parks in the United States, so I was quite excited to spend my first day in south Florida exploring the Florida Everglades. We took an airboat tour around the glades, checking out the plants and wildlife, a trip I definitely recommend to anyone visiting south Florida.
Out to Sea
Ohio University offers courses through their outdoor pursuits department that can certify you for scuba diving. I am proud to say I was certified at the end of May. My brother and dad are also certified so we spent some time exploring the stunning reefs and wildlife in the Atlantic.
The first day of diving we took a boat out to North North Dry Rocks and Horseshoe Reef near Key Largo. The reefs were beautiful. We saw a great variety of fish and quite a few barracudas. The coral structures were magnificent. My favorite fish were the parrot fish [pictured below]. They remind me of the fish from The Rainbow Fish, one of my favorite books when I was younger. On a separate day brother and I took a trip to the Blue Heron Bridge in Riviera. If you’re a diver you have to check this bridge out! It’s nice because you can enter the water right from the beach, but what’s truly great about it is the abundance of wildlife! The sea floor is littered with giant starfish and sea urchins. Under the bridge are schools of fish ranging from small minnows to large angel fish. Be sure to take some time [and bring a flashlight] to look in the sunken boats and bridge corners for lobsters, crab, shrimp, and even a few octopi.