When The Going Gets Tough

So I learned something this week… Always look for the bright side to life. For the last 5 days, I was in Washington DC with 15 other members of my university’s National Broadcasting Society chapter at the national convention. There we listened to professionals talk about the industry and entered some competitions. Well guess what. The whole thing sucked!
The convention was unorganized and the competitions were so unfairly categorized that no one in our chapter left happy. Needless to say, it was a very stressful time. So I kept trying to think… How do you take this stressful experience and find the positive? Well, look for the things that happened in between the actual convention.
I was there with 15 of the coolest people I go to school with. Some I am very close with and others I barely knew. But we all have a connection… We all love broadcasting. We got to do things that I never thought we would ever get to do. Hang out with Lincoln at the National Mall at 3am, almost die of hypothermia shooting a story, and just make new friends! These are the things that make all the stress so much better.
I now have 15 new brothers and sisters who I have shared an incredible journey with. They showed me a great time and I hope we can experience more good times before I graduate.

“It’s Gonna Be Totally Awesome!”

AVPSSo almost everyone in the universe has used YouTube… Unless you have been living under a rock. But have any of you watched full length movies and shows on them?
My professor this week wants me to write a review about a movie or a CD or something along those lines. The thing is though, I can’t think of any of things relating to my blog topic. Sooooo… What I’ve decided to do is write about a show I have watched on YouTube that I have found helps me when I’m stressed. This I hope gives you readers out there ideas about what you can watch to help with your stress.
AVPMThe show I am talking about is called A Very Potter Musical by Team StarKid. If you don’t know what that is then we are no longer friends. Just kidding. This show is actually the first of three separate, 2 hour each musicals, tastefully spoofing the Harry Potter series. It started at the University of Michigan in 2009 when the theater program wanted to do something different. They literally had no budget and everyone doing it dedicated their time and money to make it happen. They wrote, composed, produced, did absolutely everything for this show. The show was so well received by the students at the school, and they decided to put it up on YouTube. That’s how people like me… With no ties to Michigan at all… Found out about this. And I am so glad I did.
For all of you Glee fans out there, you might recognize the lead role of Harry as none other than Darren Criss, aka Blaine. This is how he got his start. And honestly, the whole cast is going to be famous one day (as if they aren’t already). You will love Joey Richter, Lauren Lopez, Joe Walker, Dylan Saunders, and the rest of the gang.
AVPM2Anyways, back to the actual show. The hilarity of each character and funny musical numbers keep you entranced the whole time. You honestly don’t realize that the show is 2 hours long. By the time it’s over you are pretty bummed. The opening number is called “Goin’ Back To Hogwarts” and that sensation you used to get when you were a kid reading the Harry Potter books or watching the movies all comes back. You get so excited to follow Harry and his friends on this incredible journey. Yes, the musical is different as far as the story line order goes because it needs to be comedic, but it’s still no different then it’s original purpose. The minute you hear Harry sing the line, “No way this year anyone’s gonna die. And it’s gonna be totally awesome”, you know you are in for a treat.
CIMG2062I actually had the chance to interview three of the characters from the show when I was at ComicCon in 2011: Joey Richter (Ron), Brian Rosenthal (Quirrell/Shamus), and Brant Cox (Colin Creevey). They were some of the nicest guys I had ever met and really know how to show the fans how appreciative they are. One fan asked them to grab dinner with them and they made sure they kept their promise that they would. They explained to me in the interview that they did these shows for the fans. They knew they had something when they made the first one, and felt it let them down by not continuing with the others. You have to love watching something that has that much fan love behind it.
AVPM3So if you are in a stress mode and need an outlet try watching something. Heck, try watching this or one of Team StarKid’s other 6 shows online. I won’t be offended if this isn’t your cup of tea though. I just want all the readers out there to know that something as silly and entertaining as this can brighten up a day. So give it a try. Relax. Plop your feet up on the couch. Poor a glass of wine (if you’re 21 I mean). Do whatever it is you need to do to enjoy a show. And don’t forget… “It’s gonna be totally awesome!”

If any of you are fans of these shows, check out the thank you Joey, Brant, and Brian gave to all their fans during my interview with them!

Hello… And Goodbye Spring Break

Well… That went by quick. I just experienced the last spring break I will ever have and I feel like I’m still owed a few more days. I know I’m not the only one who has felt that way.
I had so much work I planned on getting done this week and did it… nope! Is anyone surprised? I know at least 4 of my friends who had this happen too. The question is… Once the break is over, how do we catch up with the life that continued on while we were in our own little world?
I guess my best piece of advice is to just take it one step at a time. I have two big things due on Wednesday and had no clue how I would get it done. After thinking… It made perfect sense to do one thing tomorrow and the other on Tuesday. This might not work for some, but for the people who do nothing but work an go to school, it works the best. It’s also better than trying to cram everything on one day.
So it is now 10:40pm on Sunday night and I am going to enjoy the last few hours of my spring break. Don’t worry about the thousands of things you have coming up in the next few days. Enjoy the little freedom you have left. It will be great for your sanity.

Top 10 Stress Relievers

Stress levels are different for everyone. On a scale of 1 to 10, someone’s 7 could be another’s 3. It all depends on what you can handle. Either way, everyone has to deal with stress at some point or another. The question of how you do it is another story. I did a little research to find out how people work to tolerate their stress and I found a list from The Mayo Clinic. While I do agree with some of these, other’s I think don’t work at all. So… I have created my own Stress Reliever Top 10.

Keep A Journal10. Use A Journal
Writing out our deepest thoughts is sometimes more helpful than it may seem. No matter how awful those thoughts are, writing them out may save you from actually performing them. Also, it doesn’t even have to be writing. Drawing is a great way to get out stress. It could be nothing but scribbles and circles, and it could still help. This is your private book. No one will read it. Whatever you want goes in. It’s an outlet to getting out anything you may be feeling. It’s also your choice whether or not you want to keep it. Some people find it therapeutic to throw it out to symbolize the removal of the toxins from your life.

Talk To Friends9. Talk To Friends
Some people say this doesn’t help them, but for most it does. One of the upsides to having friends is having people to talk to. Does talking have to be about the stress you’re enduring? No. It can be about anything. Talk about movies, crushes, anything. Whatever it is, it will help keep your mind off of the thing you’re stressing about. If the thing you want to talk to them about is the stress, then just getting it off your chest may relieve some tension.

Avoid Alcohol8. Avoid Drinking
One of the most common and easiest stress relievers is alcohol. While many people truly enjoy a fine glass of wine with a fine meal, or a special event may call for a glass or two of champagne, most people consume alcohol after work either as a way to unwind or as a social tool. Excessive consumption, of course, can lead to health problems. However, drinking is not the only potentially harmful way of coping with stress. There are other things that are just as harmful. It’s very important to stay healthy in times of stress and make good choices when it comes to drinking. If this part of your life is not in control, managing your stress will be almost impossible.

Exercise7. Exercise
Many people exercise to control weight and get in better physical condition to become more healthy or physically attractive, but exercise and stress management are also closely linked. Now if you’re like me, you have no stamina at all and think this is the worst idea. But, exercise provides a distraction from stressful situations, as well as an outlet for frustrations, and gives you a lift with a surge of endorphins as well. Whether it’s a walk around the park, or signing up for a big race, do something physical and set goals. You’ll do big things and get rid of big stress at the same time.

Music6. Music
Music therapy has shown numerous health benefits for people with conditions ranging from mild issues, such as stress, to severe ones, such as cancer. When dealing with stress, the right music can actually lower your blood pressure, relax your body and calm your mind, especially slow, quiet classical music. However, everyone is different. If hardcore gangster rap is your thing, give it a shot and see how it works.

Watch Television5. Watch Television
I know what you’re thinking, when the heck do you have time to watch television when you have so much going on? It doesn’t have to be for a long time, but even just 30 minutes can help. It doesn’t matter the genre of show, just something that you enjoy and can get lost in. For many people, that could be something funny. For others, they prefer to get lost in a good crime drama. Whatever it is, enjoy it and for the length of that show, and forget everything negative you’re dealing with.

Sleep4. Sleep
It is so important to get your sleep. Most people need 8 hours, but some doctors say adults can run off of about 6. It all depends on the person. Make sure to set a day where you are sure to be able to sleep in, or go to bed early. If you know you have a free day coming, make sure to not book anything during that time! Use it to rest and get yourself back up and running.

Read3. Read
I can’t even begin to explain how relaxing it is to dive into a good book. A lot like the television, you don’t need to do it all day, but take a few moments to read just a chapter. It doesn’t even have to be a book. It can be a magazine, or an article. Whatever it is, use it to escape the reality you’re facing. Just make sure you don’t get so sucked in you forget what you still have to do. I’ve been there and it can make things a little more difficult. This step takes a lot of self control.

Cook2. Cook
This is one of my favorite things to do when I am stressed. While a lot of people like to work out, or punch something to get out the stress, I like to chop things up. As morbid as it sounds, using a knife to chop up an ingredient is a great feeling. All your pent up frustrations go into the knife and out comes some nice looking minced onion. Loose yourself into your cooking to make your friends and/or family an incredible and healthy meal.

Breath1. Breath
It’s inevitable that you’ll be faced with stressful situations. A quick way to calm down is to breathe in….and breathe out. Even if it seems a little silly, try it. I use this all the time, and find it works great.

Advice For Going MIA

Before I start, I apologize to my professor who grades this blog. I’m kind of going off the assigned guidelines for this post. Please see future posts for the assignments.

Hello Wonderful Blog Readers!
I am very sorry I have been MIA for the last week or so. A few weeks ago, I had surgery to take care of some problems that I have been dealing with for the last few months and am now doing much better! While I was recovering, and even before the surgery, I fell extremely behind on my school work and couldn’t go to work. This got me thinking about all the other people out there that have had to go through this and how they got through it. I talked to a few of my friends and they really helped me come up with some ideas on how to catch up with life.

Like I said before, the two things I fell extremely behind on… and am currently still behind on… is school work and employment. With school work, I emailed all my professors letting them know about the surgery and how long I would probably be out for. While most of my professors were extremely understanding, there was that one that wasn’t. They didn’t understand how I couldn’t just do my work from home and email it in. I explained I was on massive pain killers before and after the procedure, but they still had issues. I had no idea what to do. That’s where my friends came in. They were absolutely amazing. A few of them would sit with me and help me do my work… even while I was in a Vicodin induced haze. Yes, an assignment that should have only taken 10 minutes took us 3 hours… but it got done. They helped me with everything from coming up with a topic… to actually typing it up for me as I relayed what I wanted written. The work was 100% mine, but I couldn’t have made it happen without them.

As far as the employment goes, hopefully you have a very understanding boss like I do at my two jobs at the university. My surgery was on a Thursday, but had to start my bed rest the Monday before. I knew about the surgery a little over a week before it happened, and so my boss let me add some extra hours to my schedule before my bed rest started. This really helped me out because with bed rest and recovery time, I was going to be missing about two weeks of work. That’s almost impossible to make work financially when you have rent and bills to pay.

Because of that one professor, there were days I had to be on campus for that class even when I was suppose to be at home recovering. To help me out, my boyfriend drove me to and from campus, but sometimes he would be late getting me. Not his fault, he had school too. When that happened, I would go to the office of the on campus TV studio I work at and hang out there. If I had the strength, I would set up some microphones or push the record button on the tape deck, and my boss would count it towards my hours. I technically was working. Those are things that get done at my job, he just let me do them instead of someone else. He also didn’t push me more than I could handle. It may have only been 15 minutes that would be put on my time sheet, but it was there. Every minute I worked helped me make up the hours I was missing. I am extremely grateful for that boss and what he did for me.

I guess the advice I have for all my readers out there who have been through something like this is to keep the lines of communication open. I was so worried about what my boss and professors would say about missing so much, but they were more understanding then I could have ever imagined… Well most of them. Also, ask your friends for help. Yes they have lives too. But if they are really your friends, they will find a way to help you out.

Some Photo Inspiration

So this link doesn’t exactly want to embed into this post so please bear with me. Take a few minutes out of your daily blog reading and check out this slide show I made. All the photos in it tell a story about how to just relax. All the photos in it are also one’s I personally took. Some are from past vacations I took, and others I took just for this assignment, but all make a point.
In past blog posts, I talk about different ways to just relax and enjoy life when you can. Well these photos help. Anytime I feel completely stressed, I just stop and look through my old photos. A lot of them are from back home in California, some from here in Pittsburgh, but all of them mean something to me and always know how to calm me down.
A few posts ago, I talked about taking vacations. Some of these photos help show that maybe a vacation is something you need to order to achieve your goals. All these places I have been to have helped lead me to where I am today. Whether it’s in a positive light or negative.
My advice for you is that when you are stressed out, do what I did and look through some old photos. Most of the time, they will take you to a time when you were extremely happy… and for just a few moments… it’s like nothing else in the world exists.

When Life Gives You…

A lot of people have been asking me about my little subtitle I have at the top of my blog site. It says, “When Life Gives You Lemons… Make Orange Juice“. I figured I should explain my reasonings for it because it does have a lot to do with the theme of this blog.

A lot of people know the phrase, “When life gives you lemons… make lemonade”. That to me is so predictable. Obviously, that’s what you’re going to do with them. My mom taught me that you should always take something and make it something else. When she ran an Ebay based business, she had the catch phrase, “When life gives you lemons… make lemon soup”. That’s where I got the orange juice idea. She took the expected, and made it unexpected.

Lemons

Like I mentioned in one of my early posts, I was an absolute stress ball because of my intense schedule. However, I now take that craziness and make something of it. I use it to find life lessons for not only myself, but for others… You my loyal readers. The lemons is the intense life… the lemonade is the stress. Screw that… Make orange juice!

So thank you Mom. Thank you for always teaching me to take life by the horns… and giving it a hug.

When life gives you something… why do what is expected? It’s the things that you do out of character that gets you noticed.

Orange Juice