Categories
Life

I ❤ Musicals

FINALLY!

Once of the industries that has suffered the most from the effects of COVID shutdowns is the world of fine arts — art, theater, dance, music, etc. Broadway went dark on March 12, 2020, and remained that way until a few weeks ago! That’s a year and a half, people! Far too long without the joy that comes from attending a newly anticipated show or revisiting one of your old favorites, whether that’s on the “Great White Way” itself, a national tour stop or a community theater production. Musicals and plays all around the world were affected.

It’s super exciting to see theater coming back stronger than ever. For me, musicals are one of my happy places. There’s a special goosebumps feeling that I get when the curtain rises — whether I’ve seen the show already or not. I got to see Wicked in Charlotte last week, and I was on cloud nine the whole time!!

Nobody asked for these, but in honor of Broadway’s return I thought I’d share a snapshot of some of my favorite musicals:

Wicked

Who’s surprised? I’ve seen it three times and it just keeps getting better. SO clever and funny. The music is wonderful and the set design is so captivating you could find yourself distracted by it in the middle of a scene. The overall visual appeal is unmatched. Favorite song(s): The Wizard and I, Popular, Dancing Through Life, For Good

Hamilton

I mean, duh. Historical rap? No brainer. It’s clever, poignant, and very entertaining. I got to see it in Chicago, which was amazing, and watching the original cast in the recorded Disney+ version made me feel like I was watching it in person again. Favorite song(s) (this is TOUGH): What’d I Miss, One Last Time

Newsies

Journalism! Justice! Dance! The choreography in this show is so dynamic and fun. Honestly, buy me a ticket to anything with music written by Alan Menken. Disney does musicals incredibly well. Favorite song(s) from the soundtrack: Once and For All, Watch What Happens, Seize the Day

Chicago

Classic. Chicago has been around since 1975 and it’s still widely popular, because it’s showstopping, that’s why. The Bob Fosse choreography is iconic, as are the many highlights of the soundtrack, especially “Cell Block Tango.” Favorite song(s): Cell Block Tango, We Both Reached for the Gun

The Addams Family Musical

Not widely known, but hilarious. I got to see the original cast with Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth, and it was an absolute treat. If you love the Addams Family movies and the classic theme song, this will make you happy. Favorite song(s): When You’re an Addams, Full Disclosure

Hairspray

Fun and a good message. The soundtrack is incredible from start to finish, and it’s definitely my favorite jukebox musical. The movie version is great too! Favorite song(s): Without Love, Good Morning Baltimore, You Can’t Stop the Beat, (It’s) Hairspray

Mamma Mia

ABBA ❤ The music is so groovy and wonderful, and the storyline is intriguing yet lighthearted. A feel good story both onstage and on film! Favorite song(s): Thank You For the Music, Mamma Mia, Dancing Queen, Super Trouper

Maybe one day I’ll do a follow up to this post: a deep dive into musicals that are adapted for the screen, and how well they measure up to the stage version. Until then, you can catch me singing along to showtunes 🙂

Categories
Sports

My Tokyo 2020 Highlights

Even though the 2020 Olympic Games ended about a month ago, the captivating moments from the Games continue to remain fresh in my mind. As an avid sports fan, the Olympics are THE event for me. Combining a bunch of sports with talented athletes from all over the world into two weeks is the DREAM. I spent the entire two weeks glued to the TV watching coverage of any and every sport that was broadcasted.

My particular favorites to watch are some of the classics: gymnastics, swimming, track and field, and diving, but really, I’ll watch any sport that’s on.

Now, let’s discuss my top favorite moments from the Games, both in and out of competition:

Caeleb Dressel, Katie Ledecky, and Lydia Jacoby

Now that Michael Phelps has retired, Caeleb is USA Swimming’s new golden boy, and rightfully so. He’s a force to be reckoned with — he won a gold medal in every event that he swam in (that’s FIVE events) and captured the hearts of viewers everywhere, especially after we got to see him talk to his family after winning the men’s 100m freestyle. He’s one of those people that you can just tell is a nice guy, you know? We also got to see Katie Ledecky conquer her third Olympics and dominate in the first-ever women’s 1500m free. 1500 meters?? Casual. One of my other favorite swimmers to watch was newcomer Lydia Jacoby out of Alaska. The 17-year-old beat out veteran Olympic swimmers in the women’s 100m breaststroke to win gold, which was already amazing, but her high school’s reaction was the cherry on top. A great part of the Olympic coverage is the human interest element that they include in between events, spotlighting athletes and their backgrounds — Lydia and her Alaskan high school, Caeleb’s family, you name it. This often results in some heartwarming moments where, no, I definitely wasn’t tearing up during it all. (Yes I was.)

USA Women’s Gymnastics

The USA gymnastics team is consistently a lovable favorite from year to year at the Olympics, and this year was no different. Powerhouse Simone Biles returned with a new group of mega-talented gymnasts in tow. What stood out to me the most about USA gymnastics this year, though, was the resiliency and individuality of the women’s team. Simone Biles taking control over her mental health and stepping down when she needed to undoubtedly set an example for young athletes all over the world to prioritize their mental health and speak up about it. Her teammates supported her and proved themselves in the team final to win a silver medal, which was extremely impressive. It was beautiful to learn about Suni Lee’s family and her biggest fan — her dad, who built her a balance beam in their backyard when she was a kid. Listening to their story about their struggles with her dad’s injury and how much they’ve supported Suni’s gymnastics career made it that much sweeter when she won the women’s all-around gold medal. Jade Carey endured some disappointment early on when she placed low in her first few events, but came back to win the gold medal for women’s floor exercise. These women are amazing! Team USA gymnastics is amazing! All of the gymnasts are amazing! No shortage of talent here, folks.

Olympic Race Walking

I mean…come on, this is awesome. It looks easy, but I guarantee you there has to be an art to it that the average Joe doesn’t understand. What’s beautiful about the Olympics is that there is truly something for everyone, variety-wise. And race walking is one of those things that has to make you smile.

The Opening Ceremony sport pictograms

Every Olympiad comes with the beauty of its host country — and part of that is the opening ceremony, which beautifully demonstrates the host culture and welcomes the rest of the world to the start of the Games. One of its key segments is to introduce the pictograms created to represent each of the 50 sports represented at the Games, and Tokyo did NOT disappoint. The whimsical display set everything off on a brilliant start. I love creative things like that, so it had me laughing and entertained the entire time.

Tom Daley’s Knit-A-Palooza

Great Britain’s Tom Daley has proved himself as a fierce competitor in the men’s platform and synchronized diving events, but he’s also proved himself as a fierce knitter. That’s right, he picked up knitting as a side hobby and brought it with him to Tokyo, passing the time when he wasn’t competing knitting away in the stands. By the end of the Games, he knitted himself a festive Team Great Britain Olympic sweater and adorable pouches to hold his gold and bronze medals. Things we love to see? This. Olympic knitting.

Sharing Gold

Every Olympic athlete obviously has their sights set on a gold medal, and they’re pouring every bit of blood, sweat, and tears into the competition to get there. In the men’s high jump finals, Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi both cleared the 2.37 meter (final) checkpoint, which would usually mean a jump-off to determine gold and silver. Instead, they decided to forgo the jump-off and share the gold medal. (No, I’m not tearing up, there’s just something in my eye.) How cool is this? Either one of them could have so easily opted for a jump-off to be the standalone winner. I think this was such a demonstration of the meaning of the Olympics — while it’s true that all of the participating countries are competing against each other for medals, the Games are meant to unite the world under one commonality: a love for sports.

One of my favorite things to watch at the Olympics (and really with any sports event) is sportsmanship between opposing teams or players, because it signals to me that they acknowledge their common ground as athletes and their part in something bigger than just themselves.

I could go on all day about the awesome moments I witnessed during the Tokyo 2020 Games, but I’ll spare you for now. It was also exciting to continue to watch some amazing moments during the Paralympic Games that followed. If I were you, I’d check out the NBC Olympics social media channels for all of the highlights and moments of glory (this isn’t sponsored, they just cover it all and I love it.)

I feel like I was looking forward to Tokyo 2020 for SO long (probably because it took an extra year to get here) and now I’m sad that they’re already over! #postolympicsdepression

Luckily, we don’t have to wait for too long for the next Games to start. Beijing 2022 is slated to start in about six months! 🙂

Categories
Sports

Volunteering at the Wells Fargo Tournament

In early May, my dad and I volunteered at the Wells Fargo Golf Tournament in Charlotte. I was extremely excited for the opportunity to see the tournament firsthand after watching it on TV in the past or hearing about it around town.

It definitely did not disappoint!

An added benefit of volunteering: Chick-Fil-A 🙂

We signed up for the tournament coolers committee, which was responsible for replacing the ice and water in each tee box cooler around the golf course. By signing up with this committee, we got to see a bunch of the behind-the-scenes logistics that go into the tournament as well as witness some pretty cool golf moments!

The committee was split into pairs, each driving a golf cart with either water bottles or bags of ice. Then, one ice cart and one water cart would partner up to fulfill either the Front 9 or the Back 9.

My dad and I took the Back 9 on the first day, which was during the Pro-Am tournament. We got to see Christian McCaffrey (of the Carolina Panthers) play a few holes up close! (Sort of a “pinch me” moment to see that, if you ask me)

Once each tee box was vacated by the group of players, we would empty the cooler of its melted ice and used water bottles, as well as the buckets of water used to clean golf clubs. Then, we’d replace each cooler with fresh water and ice, refill the buckets, and go on to the next hole!

On the second and third days of the tournament, we alternated between the Back 9 and the Front 9, which allowed us to take a full tour of the beautiful Quail Hollow golf course.

We got to watch Phil Mickelson play a hole, which was super neat thinking about how I’ve watched him play in countless tournaments growing up and now he was in front of me!

Our committee got to see so many talented golfers play, which was cool in itself but also inspiring to me as a beginner golfer. Picking up golf this past year has been one of the best decisions for me — I love trying new things anyway, but it’s especially fun when it involves getting outside, sports, and hanging out with family.

I wouldn’t say I’ll be ready for the LPGA tour any time soon (lol) but I really enjoy developing a new skill and working to improve my game.

I’m already looking forward to volunteering at next year’s tournament, which will be the President’s Cup!

The PGA was shooting promotional content for the President’s Cup, which is coming to Quail Hollow in 2022!

Categories
Life

Isn’t the point of a blog to…use it?

You would think so, wouldn’t you?

It’s been a weird year.

The pandemic has made me a victim of burnout, which apparently is a pretty common sentiment these days. For a while I lost the general motivation for some things that I usually really enjoy, like writing on this blog. Turns out, a pandemic can cause your mental health to take a pretty big hit. Who knew?

However, thanks to the COVID vaccine and the world opening up again slowly, things are getting better. I feel exponentially better than I did this time six months ago, three months ago, etc.

So now we’re back! I’m excited about the idea of writing regularly again, and I have some fun ideas for things I can do. I want to write a lot of sports content going forward, because I love the idea of putting my passion into writing! I want to offer my perspective on all things sports — whether that be major league sports, the Olympics, collegiate sports, some lesser known sports, you name it. There’s so much that can be written about!

I’m still figuring out exactly how I want to put that together on this site, because I want to continue writing about other things as well as sharing other creative projects and experiences.

In the meantime, a little bit on what I’ve been up to:

Towards the end of the summer, I started playing golf! It’s been so much fun to pick up a new hobby and take lessons. My dad and I played together a handful of times when I was a kid, but now we get to play all the time and I’m loving it!

In November, I started a new position as Brand Strategist at Independent Advisor Alliance in Charlotte! I support the firm’s marketing efforts as well as marketing assistance for the independent financial advisors we partner with. I’ve loved getting to know my coworkers and learning a LOT about the financial industry.

I’ve barely missed a Carolina Hurricanes game this season! Though watching them on TV isn’t the same as working at the games, it has been such a happy part of my week to keep up with the Canes!

I’m excited to be able to get back to church in person as well — I’m grateful that virtual mass exists but it doesn’t compare to being there in person.

I’m also excited to be able to HUG people again!! I think I really took hugs for granted pre-pandemic, but getting to hug my grandparents after months and months was long overdue. As the world begins to open up again, I can’t wait to reunite with friends and family (and give them a big hug).

That’s a general update of what’s up with me these days — but more to come for sure.

Here’s to getting back on the blog!

Lots of quality time with this one lately!
Categories
Life

History Has Its Eyes on You

Hi! I felt it was absolutely necessary to discuss my excitement for Hamilton’s debut on Disney Plus this weekend, which has me feeling like this:

via giphy.com

For some context, Hamilton is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s genius telling of U.S. Founding Father Alexander Hamilton’s story and legacy through a hip-hop musical. It’s incredibly clever, hilarious, poignant, chock-full of talented people and even educational!

I was lucky enough to see the Chicago production of Hamilton in 2017 (one of the best nights ever) in addition to religiously listening to the musical’s soundtrack since 2016.

So, this weekend, Disney Plus released the recording of the original Broadway cast’s performance. Interacting with the show in this new way gave me a new level of appreciation for the musical. With each song, I got a new wave of goosebumps (and there are 46 songs total.) It’s very special to witness a group of extremely talented individuals absolutely thriving on stage and telling a story that is woven together through witty lyrics, alluring visuals and countless other brilliant intricacies.

I could probably write an entire series of blog posts about different elements of the musical, but for now, I want to talk about how topically relevant the show is to today.

It’s fitting to me that this was released on Fourth of July weekend. Not only does the story center around the Revolutionary War and American’s independence, but the show also possesses a relevant theme throughout: pushing the boundaries of what is accepted to achieve something better. As the United States turns another year older, it’s important to look back on what we’ve achieved in the last 244 years and celebrate that. But it’s also important to recognize the road ahead, the work that is still to be done and the amazing things we are capable of doing in the future.

As George Washington tasks Alexander Hamilton with leading a field command towards the end of the war, he sings “History Has Its Eyes On You,” warning him of the immense responsibility that comes with power and influence.

We are a country made up of brilliant minds and big hearts. We are a country made up of different races, ethnicities, backgrounds and stories. We are a country made up of talent, innovation, knowledge, creativity and hope. We are a country that has some work to do.

The recent tragic murders of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor have reinforced the long overdue need for equality and have kept the conversation about racism at national attention (where it should be). As a white woman, I recognize my privilege and my responsibility to not remain silent.

We are called to do better and to ensure that we are educated, we are involved and we are changing the way we think and talk about race. As a country, we must do the work to make the unalienable rights of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” ring true for every single person. History has its eyes on us to ensure that the hate that has been perpetuated for so long ends with us. How will we use our voices to make a difference?

When Alexander Hamilton recognizes the opportunity he has to make a difference and create his legacy, he proudly exclaims:

“I am not throwing away my shot.”

I pray that we vow to do the same.

Click here for a list of resources and ways you can help.

Now, go watch Hamilton and try not to smile, laugh, cry, and fist-pump the air for the sheer cleverness of it all (you will probably do all of these things.) I’m going to go watch it again, and again, and again!

via giphy.com

Cara

Categories
UNC

Thank you UNC!

It’s weird to think about writing this. You never really think about what the ending is going to feel like until you’re in it. Now that it’s time to move on from UNC, it’s a whole mix of emotions, but mostly, I am thankful.

  1. Thank you UNC for always holding special family significance throughout my life but becoming my own special place as I became a student. It’s an honor to be another member of my family that has continued the tradition!
  2. Thank you Allie Barnett for being an amazing roommate and friend! Not all roommate pairings work out, but you’re the best possible scenario. So glad we decided to keep living together past the days of Crusty Craige.
  3. Thank you to the Hussman School of Journalism and Media for helping me discover a passion and a future career trajectory with several unique opportunities and real-world experiences. I came into school as a pre-PT student, graduated with a PR degree and couldn’t be happier about it. Also, a big thank you to the Romance Languages Department for giving me the chance to go out of my comfort zone and study in Spain (or should I say gracias.)
  4. Thank you Kappa Kappa Gamma for making this huge campus a little bit smaller with the help of beautiful, strong women that I am so lucky to call my friends! I wasn’t sure what to expect from a sorority, but I can’t imagine the last few years without it.
  5. Thank you UNC basketball for a national championship my freshman year, many nights celebrating wins over Duke and jumping around in the Dean Dome. Though the past few years have been up and down, I do have unconditional love for you and all UNC sports.
  6. Thank you Newman Catholic Student Center for allowing me to strengthen my faith and meet people who are so centered in Jesus. The service trips, praise and worship, retreats and weekly dinners became essential to my college experience.
  7. Thank you Carolina Tap Ensemble for being the most wonderful way to continue my love of tap dancing in college! Learning from my fellow dancers and performing around campus are some of my favorite memories.
  8. Thank you to the incredible friends I’ve made. I’ve truly met the most interesting, funny, warm-hearted, good people here and I am so grateful. Thank you to the gang — you know who you are. You guys are the bomb.
  9. Thank you to my parents for not only making these four years possible, but also cheering me on along the way. Your constant love, advice and support built me up and helped me get as much out of college as possible!
  10. Thank you UNC for being the southern slice of Heaven. For being the most beautiful campus I’ve ever seen! For teaching me a lot about myself and allowing me to grow and change even when it wasn’t always easy. For putting a huge smile on my face that isn’t going away any time soon. For being everything I wanted out of college and so much more.

I could probably go on forever, but the message is clear: I love UNC with all of my heart and always will. It’s bittersweet to wrap up this chapter, but I will carry these four years with me forever and cheer on the Tar Heels for life. It’s always a #GDTBATH

Thank you UNC! I’m Cara Siliakus, and I’m a Tar Heel.

Categories
Life

an unprecedented event

I held off writing about this for a while because of the magnitude of it all. I’ve just been processing everything slowly as it all unfolds. I’ve been trying to wrap my head around both the immediate halt that the entire world has come to as well as the unthinkable sacrifices that doctors, nurses and other essential workers are making for us daily.

When I left Chapel Hill for spring break, I was looking forward to coming back for the rest of my final semester at Carolina. I still had my last sorority formal, my last dance show and my last few weeks of being an undergrad at the southern part of Heaven. My friends and I were going to take graduation photos and walk in Kenan Stadium on May 10 as new graduates. I was so excited to finish out the Carolina Hurricanes’ hockey season as an intern and work more games for Carolina Athletics. I am incredibly upset that those things have all been cancelled, there’s no way around it. It’s not fair.

But that’s life. I know that I am incredibly lucky to be healthy and blessed with people and places in my life that I miss. I know that this virus has been incredibly cruel to people around the world in heartbreaking ways. In the weeks since I’ve been home, I’ve been thinking about those people a lot.

Though it would be really easy to mope about all of this, I’ve been trying really hard to seek out the good news in the world in an effort to remain positive. One of my favorite ways to do that right now is watching John Krasinki’s weekly show, Some Good News (I highly recommend it!) Also, I’ve been trying to come up with fun ways to stay busy at home (after I’ve finished my school work, of course). I finally have time to read books for fun (what a concept), paint and draw, play board games and do puzzles. I’ve been able to spend quality time with my mom, dad, and dog, and catch up with friends and family via FaceTime or Zoom.

There’s no sugarcoating it, this is a weird, devastating time. And as someone who struggles with mental health, namely anxiety, this is really a challenge. But I’m doing my best, I’m trying to use this time to turn to God more than ever. I know everyone is doing their best to make it through this.

And when it’s all over? Just think about the joy! Think about the reunions and smiles. The hugs (I miss them so much) and excitement that will come with doing the things we miss right now. We will never take any of the small things for granted again, and maybe that’s a small silver lining of all of this. May we learn from this to relish in every moment, unsure of what the next day will bring.

In the meantime, let’s all keep staying inside. Maybe I’ll use this time to update my blog a little more frequently! We’ll get through this. ♥

Categories
Life

Why You Should Learn a Second Language

Hola, hoy voy a discutir los beneficios de aprender una idioma segunda y voy a convencerles estar de acuerdo conmigo. Hi, today I’m going to discuss the benefits of learning a second language and I’m going to convince you to agree with me.

I’ve been taking Spanish classes since kindergarten, and I recently completed my Spanish minor at UNC. Not only has it been fun to learn throughout school, but it has also been exciting to keep up with it on my own and use it in other countries. At first, I didn’t realize that learning a second language had so many different benefits for me and my life. Everyone should learn a second language because it provides health benefits, opens you up to new people and cultures and allows you to develop personal/professional skills.

I think it’s safe to assume that everyone wants to be healthy, right? Learning a language is beneficial for many reasons, but if there’s one that stands out among the rest, it’s the countless ways it improves your health. Research compiled by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) shows that learning a second language leads to increased cognitive ability and brain function as well as improved memory skills and attention span. A study from York University in Toronto discovered that of dementia patients, those who were bilingual developed dementia an average of 4.5 years later than their monolingual counterparts. I think it would be hard to argue against developing a healthier mind and body as a byproduct of doing this.

Learning a second language is also a great way to open yourself up to new cultures around the world, because the reality is, the United States is a melting pot of cultures in itself, and there are countless other cultures to explore around the world. The ACTFL reported that language learners develop a more positive attitude toward their target language’s culture and people. It will only benefit your appreciation of cultural diversity and allow you to fully immerse yourself in new cultures if you are learning the language. Additionally, many people in the U.S. have family members that live in other countries, and learning a new language is often incredibly helpful if not crucial to communicating with them.  My dad is from the Netherlands, and some of my family still lives there today. My cousin, Stacey, is my age but grew up with her native language as Dutch. The first time we met, Stacey had only begun to learn English and we couldn’t really say much to each other. However, over the years, her English has rapidly improved, and now we’re able to speak English to each other almost like she’s a native speaker. In return, I’ve started trying to learn Dutch so I can use it the next time we visit. If she hadn’t started learning English in school when she was younger, we would never be able to have conversations. Learning another language is incredibly valuable when it means that you can speak to your family members from different countries.

Being able to gain perspective and learn about other cultures also develops your sense of empathy and understanding for those that are different from you. Between my sophomore and junior year of college, I decided to study abroad through UNC in Sevilla, Spain. I spent six weeks there taking Spanish for business classes and living with a host family, and I quickly learned that Spanish culture is different from American culture. My host mom, Ines, spoke zero English. Without having learned Spanish, I wouldn’t have been able to talk to her at all — but with the limited skills that I did have, I was able to have full conversations with her, and we were able to bond over the TV show, “Friends,” which we watched every day during lunch, dubbed in Spanish. While I was living in Spain, most of the people there knew some English and could help me out if I struggled with my Spanish, but it was extremely helpful to be immersed in the culture and language fully so that I could further develop my skills and force myself to think and speak in Spanish all the time. Studying in Spain for six weeks didn’t make me fluent, but it definitely improved my Spanish and gave me immersion experience I couldn’t get at home.

In addition to health benefits and cultural appreciation, there are several professional and personal skills that can be developed from learning a second language. The ACTFL has cited research suggesting that problem-solving, decision making, observation of detail, multi-tasking and creativity all have grown as a result. The organization has also compiled research to show the positive effects of learning a new language on academic performance, reporting higher SAT and ACT scores. The American Academy of Arts and Sciences reported that bilingual people have access to a wider variety of jobs out of school, as well as improved communication and networking skills. Virtually every job in any industry could benefit from bilingual people, whether that’s in the medical field, engineering, business, media, etc. International travel is also made easier when you can speak at least some of that country’s language. 75% of the world doesn’t speak English, even though it may feel like most countries have qualified English speakers. Learning a second language also improves your adaptability to situations and overall confidence.

The Pew Research Center reported that a median of 92% of European kids learn a second language in school, while only 20% of American kids learn a second language in school and 7.5% of college students are enrolled in a foreign language course. This statistic is crazy! But school isn’t the only way to learn a second language.

There are a bunch of excuses you could make for not learning a second language — it’s hard, it’s expensive, I don’t have time for that, I’m out of school, etc. If you don’t want to spend money on Rosetta Stone or have time for in-person classes, you can do it for free on apps like DuoLingo. Even five minutes a day could be helpful, and learning it a little bit at a time will make it much easier. Additionally, there are several languages that share the same roots as English, so a lot of the words sound like their English versions anyway. Who knows what kind of doors a second language could open up for you? Wouldn’t it be cool to impress people with a language that they don’t know? It’s an awesome skill to keep in your back pocket, and a skill that provides you with health benefits, a view into new cultures and an opportunity to gain valuable personal and professional abilities. Deben aprender una idioma nueva porque con muchas idiomas, las posibilidades son interminable. You should learn a new language because, with multiple languages, the possibilities are endless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
UNC

Fall 2019 Semester in Review — God is SO Good!!

True to my typical posting schedule, I’m here almost at the end of January to talk about my wonderful fall semester! I do have a good excuse though  — I’ve been fulfilling my role as a student and as an intern 🙂 Here are the highlights of the first half of senior year:

  • Work has been SO much fun! I’ve worked games for a few different sports so far with UNC athletic communications and each one has been different and exciting in their own way. I’m looking forward to working at some of the spring sports this semester as well. At the Hurricanes, we’re halfway through a super exciting season! Everything about the job has been fun, especially the people I work with and being able to be a part of fans’ game day experiences.
  • Classes went well this semester, and I earned a spot on the Dean’s List again! My favorite class was “Public Relations Campaigns” where I got to work with three of my classmates to create a campaign for FOX Sports and MLB’s partnership. It was incredible to get some real-world campaign development experience, especially for a cool client (that’s sports-related, A.K.A. one of my biggest career interests). Our campaign got an honorable mention for its creativity!
  • In November 2018, I went on the Carolina Awakening retreat with my church at school, Newman, and this year I returned as a small group leader! The entire weekend was even better than the previous year (if that’s possible) and was full of so much love, prayer and worship. Weekends like these are when I am able to see God’s love most evidently in my life!
  • When I wasn’t in class or working, I spent free time with my wonderful pals 🙂 Not only did we make a bunch of fun memories on campus, but we also got to take a few little trips as well! We took a weekend trip to Topsail Island and a fall break trip to Beech Mountain, and both were awesome! Other fun moments this semester include Kappa social events and weekends in Chapel Hill.

As I’m writing this, I’m trying to soak up the last semester of undergrad at UNC. There’s so many more exciting things to come this semester and this year. More to come!

Cara

Categories
Life

Four Current Favorites & Four Things I’m Looking Forward To

Music: This isn’t a new find for me, but one of my favorite musicians right now is Ben Rector. He’s a brilliant American singer-songwriter that plays the piano and guitar in additional to his vocals. I would probably describe his genre as “wholesome pop-rock” — it’s feel-good music about love and life that is so dang catchy! I would highly recommend his most recent album, Magic (2018), and if you really like it, there’s a live version too, Magic: The Tour (2019), from his tour that I went to and LOVED. He puts on an amazing show and is pretty funny too. Other good songs include “Brand New” which has gotten pretty popular, “Forever Like That”, “Fear” and “The Men That Drive Me Places”, but really, you can’t go wrong with any of his albums.

Movie: This isn’t in theaters anymore, but I saw Rocketman over the summer and loved it! It tells the story of Elton John’s early life and the beginning of his amazing career. Taron Egerton, who plays him in the movie, is extremely talented and sings all of the songs in the movie himself. The visuals, acting, music and authenticity of the story were very impressive and entertaining to me — it’s definitely a movie I would watch again, especially because of how much I love Elton John’s music!

TV Show: My newest show that I love to binge-watch right now on Hulu is the NBC comedy, Community (2009-2015). I’m a sucker for NBC comedies anyway (Friends, Parks and Rec, The Office, Brooklyn 99, Superstore, The Good Place, etc.) but this one especially has an all-star cast of comedians that I’ve seen all over the place in  movies, TV shows and other entertainment: Joel McHale, Alison Brie, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Gillian Jacobs, Donald Glover, Jim Rash, Ken Jeong, John Oliver and Chevy Chase! It follows a study group of unlikely friends at a community college where chaos regularly ensues. It’s extremely creative, very funny and clever. I’m entertained by every episode and its oddities always make me laugh!

Podcast: I’m always looking for things to listen to in the car on the way to work, and I’ve been loving Father Mike Schmitz’ podcast with Ascension Presents (he also does them in video form on Facebook.)The episodes range from 4-9 minutes each and offer a priest’s insight about certain topics that relate to Catholicism and everyday life. I love learning things I didn’t know about my faith as well as hearing about things from a different perspective than mine. I definitely recommend this if you want to find a way to change up your prayer routine — praying doesn’t have to be a traditional “Dear God” kind of prayer all the time, it can be countless other things including learning more about your faith!

Things I’m Looking Forward To:

  1. Fall Break spent half at Beech Mountain with friends, and half at home with family!
  2. Carolina Awakening 12, Newman’s annual retreat (Register at uncnewman.org if you haven’t already)
  3. The Holidays — Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are fast approaching and it’s one of my favorite times of year!
  4. More Hurricanes games — The Canes have started off the season strong, and I can’t wait to work more home games at PNC Arena! I may be biased, but Canes games are a whole new level of fun (which you should come see for yourselves)

 

Happy Fall!

 

Cara 🙂

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