I’m Danielle, but I’ll also respond to “that girl who loves classic rock more than anything else in the whole wide world” (or something else along those lines). I’m currently a junior here at SJU and spend my time working with Radio 1851, writing for The Hawk, being the Editor’s Assistant at REBEAT Magazine, or posting to various blogs – including this one!
I don’t really know what I want to do after college yet, but I hope to combine my love of writing, traveling, and the arts to create not only a career, but a lifestyle. I love life in all its beauty and splendor, and hope to spread that love and enrich people’s lives.
– Joni Mitchell, ‘All I Want’
This may be the most cliché statement I’ve ever typed, but here it goes: sometimes, it seems, you learn the most valuable lessons in the least likely places at the most inopportune times. Sometimes they’re lessons you didn’t even know you needed to learn.
I’m typing to you from Melbourne, Australia, which is roughly 10,285 miles away from Hawk Hill. Two weeks ago, I left the United States with four Beatles pins, three stuffed bags, two pairs of glasses, and a broken laptop in my backpack.
You read that right: my laptop decided to stop working a mere two hours prior to my flight from New York to Los Angeles.
– Peter, Paul and Mary, ‘Leaving on a Jet Plane’
Well, actually, I do know when I’ll be back again: four and a half months from now. November 19.
In a little less than eight days, I’ll be heading over 9,000 miles across the world with no one I know (know one I know yet, anyway). In just over a week I’ll be in Sydney, Australia, and in two I’ll travel to Melbourne. And once there, I’ll be officially a University of Melbourne student for the next four months.
I’m typing all of this,
– Aerosmith, ‘Dream On’
In my last post, I teased that one of my greatest experiences as an intern at XTU came only a day after I began working there.
And it’s about time I tell you what that was: I just so happened to meet Steven Tyler (yes, from Aerosmith!) while he was visiting our station to promote his new country record.
Let’s jump back in time to the first day of my internship. On Monday, January 25, I left my home on SJU’s campus and made my way into my newfound second home: the radio production room.
– Queen, ‘Radio Ga Ga’
(Before I begin this post, let me just say: WOW, it feels so good to be back! I’ve had to take a bit of a break from blogging lately to focus my energy on other endeavors; last semester, my classes required me to spend all of my spare time studying and working on group projects, and this semester’s internship has changed my sleep schedule — and my life — completely. But I’ll get to that.)
Monday morning, 3:45 AM. One of the four alarms I have set on my phone begins blaring what would normally be considered a fairly pleasant tune;
– The Beatles, ‘Come Together’
On Sunday afternoon, I headed over to campus to represent Radio 1851 at the Fall View open house. I’d never been to one of SJU’s open houses before today; after I applied as a senior, my family and I took a guided tour and, more or less, decided on the spot that St. Joe’s would be my new home for the next four years.
As I woke up that morning to the brisk morning air coming through my window, the only thing on my mind was snuggling back into my blankets.
– Crosby, Stills & Nash, ‘Raise a Voice’
Northern Arizona University. Texas Southern University. Umpqua Community College. Community College of Philadelphia.
What do students of these four schools have in common?
They all experienced some form of gun violence on their campuses within the past week.
St. Joe’s students were given a taste of this fear this past week, after discovering a threat on the site 4Chan directed at “Philadelphia area schools” posted over the weekend. It spoke of a “beta uprising” that had begun on the West Coast would continue on the East on Monday.
– Led Zeppelin, ‘Ramble On’
Let me ask you: have you ever had a dream – a huge, seemingly unattainable dream – that you chased after, strived toward, and ultimately lived out to the fullest of your capabilities?
Let me preface this with the fact that I consider myself immensely, inexplicably blessed to have such selfless parents,
– Pink Floyd, ‘Hey You’
I’ve said this before in other posts I’ve written about college, but I believe it still holds true: living on campus can often feel like living in a bubble. Our primary concerns include studying for exams, completing homework assignments, writing essays, and working some sort of job; often times, we get lost in this fairly comfortable world of academia, forgetting that there is a whole entire world outside of our physical and mental borders.
If I’m being completely honest here, I find myself in this bubble quite a bit. That being said,
– The Beatles, ‘Back In The USSR’
Finish my summer job: check. Unpack my posters, clothing, and food: check. Spend hours putting together my IKEA furniture: check. Buy my schoolbooks: …almost check.
And just like that, summer is officially over. Classes are back in session and campus is bustling. Before you know it, you’ll be back in the swing of getting up early, going to classes, savoring free periods, and seeing your friends in the Barbelin courtyard.
For those who are new to SJU, whether you’re a freshman or a transfer,
– The Who, ‘Going Mobile’
I’m writing this to you from a café in Kraków, Poland. It’s nighttime here; back in the States it’s mid-afternoon.
Everything feels just a little bit backwards. My parents are often just falling asleep at midnight when I’m waking up at six in the morning. Trams run on tracks above ground, unlike SEPTA, which rides the rails below Philadelphia. Obiad, the largest meal, is eaten at midday, contrary to more filling American dinners eaten later in the evening. Ice cream, or lody, seems to comprise more than half of Krakowians’ food pyramid,
– Bob Dylan, ‘Mixed-Up Confusion’
I’ve noticed lately on this blog that people have been writing about their majors, and I realized I’d recently written a piece in that same vein. This originally appeared on Femsplain, a website that serves as a community for anyone who identifies as female to share their stories and receive support.
I believe, though, that the topic of the piece transcends gender; it’s something many college students can relate to, as a great deal of students have likely been made to feel insecure about their choice of major at one time or another,
– The Beatles, ‘Paperback Writer’
…Well, not exactly a paperback writer; more so a music journalist.
And that’s precisely how I’ll be spending a good chunk of my summer, thanks to an internship I’m doing with REBEAT magazine, an online publication centering around “mid-century music, culture, and lifestyle.” If you know me (or at least if you’ve taken a glance at my bio) you’ll understand how excited I am about this opportunity.
The last thing I expected to do this summer was find a suitable internship position;
– Alice Cooper, ‘School’s Out’
After finishing final exams and moving out of dorms, apartments, and houses, we have finally been graced with the presence of the hallowed summer vacation.
My first week of break has been almost strictly unwinding, as I just restarted working at my summer job yesterday. My sleep schedule has already been turned upside-down; four in the morning feels a lot more like four in the afternoon than it ever should, thanks to sleeping in late and drinking coffee at midnight (genius idea, I know.) My childhood room is just as I left it so many months ago: record player and stack of albums in one corner,
– The Bee Gees, ‘Edge of the Universe’
Finals week is upon us, which means stress levels are heightening by the minute and relaxation time is vital to mental survival.
I can’t think of a much better way to relieve tension than participating in the Paws for a Study Break program at St. Joe’s. The wittily-titled event brings local therapy dogs to the Drexel Library and Post Learning Commons for a few hours on reading day, which is the day before final exams begin. Students sign in and are then allowed to pet, play with, or even just fawn over adorable,
– David Bowie and Mick Jagger, ‘Dancing in the Street’
Ah, summer: a time for frolicking in the sunshine, relaxing by the pool, road-tripping with friends (and, if you’re anything like Jagger and Bowie, dancing in the street.)
So where does work-related stress fit into that mix?
Whether it be from parents, from society at large, or even from yourself, there is a great deal of pressure placed on us as students to find a summer job. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, however, being that the months between May and September typically provide students with more free time than we know what to do with;
– The Beatles, ‘The Inner Light’
Well, not exactly… rather than travel over 12,000 miles round-trip in an afternoon, I journeyed to the North Lounge of Campion to attend a lecture called “The Land of Genghis Khan: Then and Now.” The lecture was sponsored by the Asian Studies program, the History Department, and the International Relations program.
I initially decided to go because it was an opportunity to receive extra credit for my history class, Forging the Modern World. This event in particular appealed to me because I might have some familial roots in Mongolia;
– The Who, ‘Relax’
Completing group projects. Writing papers upon papers. Following through on social commitments. Working. Studying for quizzes and exams. Participating in extracurricular activities. Filling out the FAFSA, applying for loans. Registering for classes, being wait-listed, cramming GEP classes into your schedule. Figuring out housing, finding a roommate, putting a downpayment on a house.
The middle of the semester can make you feel as though you’re in the middle of a nervous breakdown.
It seems to me that the beginnings and the ends of semesters are typically smooth sailing; it’s the middle periods where the figurative waters become choppy and I begin drowning in work.
– The Beatles, ‘Two of Us’
APEX has just recently come to an end. After spending my spring break doing service work in Hazard, Kentucky, I set foot once again on St. Joe’s campus this past Saturday evening. I was exhausted (I still am) after getting around a collective 20 hours of sleep during the weeklong trip. My muscles were sore from tearing up boards, hammering nails, swinging a sledgehammer, and crawling under a house to fix leaky pipes. I spent my break physically drained, hyped up on coffee and sugary cereal.
And it was one of the best weeks,
– Paul McCartney, ‘Heart of the Country’
Spring break is only five days away. Last year at this time, I was thrilled over the idea of heading home, hanging out with my family, indulging in home-cooked meals, sleeping for outrageous spans of time, and watching every movie I could think of starring Jeff Goldblum.
This time last year, I was also envious of my freshman classmates who were zealously planning and packing to go on APEX. For those who don’t know, APEX is a common abbreviation for the Appalachian Experience, a program that allows St. Joe’s students to volunteer in the Appalachian region during spring break.
– The Beatles, ‘I’m Only Sleeping’
Friday night, 9:04 PM:
It is then that the cognitive dissonance sets in, filling my mind with conflicting thoughts and potential FOMO. My heart knows that I’m thoroughly craving curling up in my bed, smearing on an indulgent face mask, and reading a book or working on my writing. I want to listen to Bruce Springsteen and drink oolong tea.
I want to be alone.
But my head is screaming, “That’s not the college experience! You need to go out whenever you can and do everything!