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Summer 2017 Inspiration

To make up for the gloomy, cloudy days we’ve been subjected to, I’ve decided to share my Summer 2017 inspiration taken from my Pinterest board, as well as songs I’ve been jamming to in the car! As I was pinning (and safely driving), I was dreaming of warm summer days spent on the beach, airy and breezy clothes, and of course vibrant greenery. Summer truly makes me ~thrive~, and it can’t come soon enough. Check out the inspiration below!

Missing Spring? Check out my Spring 2017 Inspiration.

Summer 2017 Inspiration

Top Ten Summer Songs

  1. Malibu – Miley Cyrus
  2. Wouldn’t It Be Nice – The Beach Boys
  3. S.H.C. – Foster The People
  4. Sleep On The Floor – The Lumineers
  5. Hyperreal – Flume, KUCKA
  6. Don’t Take The Money – Bleachers
  7. Dancing In The Moonlight – Toploader
  8. Sh-Boom – The Chords
  9. I’m The One – DJ Khaled, Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance The Rapper, Lil Wayne
  10. Slide – Calvin Harris, Frank Ocean, Migos

 

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Irish I Were In Ireland.

In June 2016, my parents surprised my sisters and I with a week-long family trip to the beautiful country of Ireland. It was unlike any other traveling experience I have ever had…every twist and turn on our CIE Tour coach bus left me awestruck by the lush landscape and inspired by the country’s mystifying history.

My parents are no strangers to the motherland, as they spent their honeymoon driving through the countryside. However, this was a life changing experience for my sisters and I. Finally, we were able to connect with our roots and immerse ourselves into our Irish heritage.

So, since it’s St. Patrick’s Day and I’m already reminiscing about my time in Ireland, I thought I’d share the brief itinerary as well as photos from our travels. Boy, what I would give to be in Ireland during St. Paddy’s Day!

Day One – County Dublin

After flying into the Dublin Airport the night before, we started Day One bright and early with our tour guide, Murt, and continued with a bus tour of the city of Dublin. We were also given a personal walking tour of Trinity College, had a chance to view the Book of Kells (sans flash photography), and witnessed the monstrosity of Trinity College’s library!

Day Two – County Wicklow, County Wexford, County Waterford

We travel to Glendalough and took a walking tour of St. Kevin’s Glendalough monastery. The views of the mountains and celtic crosses looked like they were out of a storybook! Next stop was the Dunbrody Famine Ship, a life-size 19th century ship used as an example for what traveling conditions were like for the Irish emigrants who sought a new life in North America. We ended the day in Waterford.

Day Three – County Waterford, County Cork, County Kerry

The morning of Day Three was spent visiting the House of the Waterford Crystal and having a tour of the glass blowing process. Afterward, we traveled to Dungarvan then to Cobh, which was the last port of call of the Titanic. Lastly, we travelled to the Blarney Castle and had a chance to kiss the Blarney Stone. Sure, kissing the stone may seem unsanitary, and climbing the narrow, spiral staircases could be a chore…but legend has it that whoever kisses the stone is given the gift of eloquence and persuasiveness! You can learn more about the Blarney Stone here. We ended our day by venturing to Killarney, which was actually our tour guides hometown! Killarney is the most picturesque town, and is home to the Killarney National Park. Luckily, we were staying in town for two nights.

Day Four – County Kerry

Next was the Ring of Kerry, which is found in between the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks Mountains and the beautiful Atlantic coast. Then, we learned about the lives of early Christian hermits who lived on rocky island, Skellig Michael, at the Skellig Experience. I was blown away that actual people lived on such a steep landscape…but they made it work!

Day Five – County Clare

Day Five was spent saying goodbye to Killarney and hello to the next adventure! We crossed the River Shannon Estuary and continued into County Clare until we were at the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher. The sheer beauty is indescribable. The Cliffs had a stone path for guests and tourists to take pictures to their hearts content. There was also a man-made path for those who have no fear.

Day Six – County Silgo, County Derry

Day six took us to County Silgo where we met a sheepdog trainer. The doggies were so cute, and the sheep were even better! We then traveled up the Blue Stack Mountains to County Derry, were we took a guided walking tour of the city and learned about it’s turbulent past.

Day Seven – Northern Ireland, County Louth

Day seven was spent exploring the enormous structures of Giant’s Causeway, which were formed by volcanic activity. Then, we drove to Belfast and had the freedom to explore the Titanic Belfast museum and witness restored artifacts from the cruise-liner’s fateful night. We ended the day with a traditional Irish meal and entertainment at the Glyde Inn, then reluctantly made our way back to Dublin for our last night.

Day Eight – County Dublin

This was our last day and it was THE WORST. I’d say one of the saddest parts about leaving was saying goodbye to the friendships and bonds formed with the people in our tour group. There is something to be said about sharing experiences with strangers, such as: not having a usable coach bus toilet, having a group member(s) sleep in just minutes before coach departure time, and of course experiencing local pubs together. Murt did say that we were probably one of his most well-behaved group of tourists he’s had the pleasure of meeting, which made it all the more bittersweet.

If you’re enough lucky to be Irish…you’re lucky enough!

The Summer 2016 Playlist You Have Been Waiting For.

In my immediate group of friends, I have been dubbed the Aux Queen, meaning I have proven my extensive knowledge in my taste in music. I never realized what a fine art form this “Aux Queen” position meant until it was given to me.

With this in mind, I decided to compile a list of my favorite songs to get you through the summer months. Play this while you’re driving to the beach, at your family reunion, or dancing alone in your room! Please, everyone dances alone in their room at some point.

Expect a mix of current pop songs, 90s alternative, classic rock, and everything in between. I truly believe music is the best way to express oneself…so here it is folks, the summer 2016 music playlist you’ve been waiting for:

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  1. Cold Cold Man – Saint Motel
  2. One Dance – Drake, Wiz Kid, Kyla
  3. Blister In The Sun – Violent Femmes
  4. Holland, 1945 – Neutral Milk Hotel
  5. The Golden State – John Doe, Kathleen Edwards
  6. I’ll Fight – Wilco
  7. Feel It All Around – Washed Out
  8. You Get What You Give – New Radicals
  9. No Rain – Blind Melon
  10. The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  11. I Turn My Camera On – Spoon
  12. This Head I Hold – Electric Guest
  13. Superstitions – Misun
  14. December, 1963 [Oh What A Night!] – Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
  15. I Feel It All – Feist
  16. Wonderlove – LarryKoek
  17. Holiday – Vampire Weekend
  18. Everlasting Light – The Black Keys
  19. Miss You – Foster The People
  20. Tightrope – Walk the Moon
  21. Naive – The Kooks
  22. My Body – Young the Giant
  23. Water – Ra Ra Riot
  24. I Can Talk – Two Door Cinema Club
  25. Fireshrine – Purity Ring
  26. One Week – Barenaked Ladies
  27. Travel With Me – Misun
  28. Elephant – Tame Impala 200-5
  29. If I Ever Feel Better – Phoenix
  30. That Is To Say – Opus Orange, Lauren Hillman
  31. Touch The Sky – Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco
  32. The Wolf – Mumford & Sons
  33. Jet- Paul McCartney, Wings
  34. Bennie And The Jets – Elton John
  35. Send Me On My Way – Rusted Root
  36. Goodbye Stranger – Supertramp
  37. Make You Feel Better – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  38. Someone New – Hozier
  39. Florida – STRFKR
  40. Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second – STRFKR
  41. Annie – Neon Indian
  42. Swing Tree- Discovery
  43. All Of Me – Tanlines
  44. Slipping Away – Tanlines 200-2
  45. Shark Attack – Grouplove
  46. Good Life – Kanye West, T-Pain
  47. Light It Up Remix – Major Lazer, Nyla, Fuse ODG
  48. Lush Life – Zara Larsson
  49. Corona And Lime – Shwayze
  50. Miami – Will Smith
  51. September – Earth, Wind & Fire
  52. Jump Around – House Of Pain
  53. I Got U – Duke Dumont, Jax Jones
  54. First Date – blink-182
  55. Ocean Avenue – Yellowcard
  56. Don’t Move – Phantogram
  57. Genesis – Grimes
  58. Say It Ain’t So – Weezer
  59. Africa – Toto
  60. Just Can’t Get Enough – Depeche Mode
  61. Tryouts for the Human Race – Sparks
  62. Shimmer – Fuel
  63. Feel The Love – Janieck, Sam Feldt
  64. Floating – Jape
  65. Cough It Out – The Front Bottoms
  66. You & Me, Flume Remix – Disclosure, Eliza Doolittle
  67. All I Got – Santigold 200-4
  68. Guillotine – Jon Bellion, Travis Mendes
  69. My Type – Saint Motel
  70. It’s Strange – Louis The Child, K.Flay
  71. Ohpelia – The Lumineers
  72. Speechless – RKCB
  73. Ghosts – The Head And The Heart
  74. Flashed Junk Mind – Milky Chance
  75. Dancing On Glass – St. Lucia
  76. Australia – The Shins
  77. I Will Be Ok – Flyboy, The Onyx Twins
  78. Our Deal – Best Coast
  79. San Francisco – The Mowglis
  80. Class Historian – BRONCHO
  81. Always Like This – Bombay Bicycle Club
  82. Bold Soul Sister, Bold Soul Brother – Calvin Law, Robbie Hill, Curtis Simeo, Manuel Stanton, Victor Lewis
  83. Santa Fe – Beirut
  84. Spirits – The Strumbellas
  85. California Dreamin’ – The Mamas & The Papas
  86. Lose It – Oh Wonder
  87. Ship To Wreck – Florence + The Machine
  88. I Took A Pill In Ibiza – Mike Posner
  89. Toothbrush – DNCE 200-1
  90. Don’t Let Me Down – The Chainsmokers, Daya
  91. Casanova – Palm Trees
  92. Too Good – Drake, Rihanna

Let me know what you think in the comments–I’m always interested in listening to new songs and genres!

Always, Meg

Help, My Friends are Graduating.

Hello, and welcome to my latest post in which I ramble about the painstaking reality of being the baby of a friend group.

Before I explain what the heck a baby of a friend group is, I want to give context to the importance of this post. Early this morning, I was doing my regular A.M. routine (i.e. brushing my teeth and dancing in the mirror, because why not) when BAM a sudden realization, epiphany if you will, hit me so hard that I had to make a note of it on the palm of my hand. Thus, sparking the inspiration to write this very blog post.

Alright, back to the matter at hand. Wow, was that pun intended? Yes, yes it was.

Be still my heart

Simply put, the baby is the youngest person among the friends–usually a grade or two below the majority. What is the function of the baby? Well, since I am the self-appointed friend group baby aficionado, I think I have a solid grasp on this concept since I myself am usually the baby. Being the baby means you become friends with people who have been where you’re at, they understand your struggles as a college student, and help guide you in the right direction. It means you’re given a leg up on the competition by receiving quality tips and tricks on how to pass courses, land internships, and stay alive during finals week. It means everyone outside your friend group mistakes you for being older than you really are, resulting in compliments on maturity levels. It also means that they accept you despite the age difference.

But there are two sides to every story, my dear readers. A darkness in the seemingly endless light that is a friend group.

Being the baby also means you have to endure the grotesque, and borderline scarring, event that is graduation. You must watch all your friends walk to receive their diploma and start their new adult lives, as you sit alone on the cold, unforgiving sidelines cheering them on. Woe is the friend group baby.

When I transferred to Penn State Harrisburg in Fall 2014, I commuted to and from school, which enabled me to establish friendships with fellow commuters who were in communications classes with me. Since we were on similar schedules, driving all over creation and such, we spent quality time together in between classes. Ironically enough, they were all juniors preparing for senior year, and I was but a wee sophomore; experienced enough to know the challenges of course registration, but yet still unscathed by the terrors of grad-required classes and 20-page term papers. Fast forward one year later and now I live on campus, no longer commuting, and oh yeah, all those friends from last year are graduating leaving me hopelessly behind.

All dramatics aside, thank you for all the times spent in the library waiting for classes to start, complaining about traffic en route to school, and never once treating me like I was younger than you, despite the age difference. My college experience wouldn’t have been the same without you.

Congratulations to the elders* on achieving your goals, and I’ll see you at graduation!

Always, Meg

P.S.–If you fall I will never let you live it down.

P.S.S.–I will also most likely have it on video.

 

*Elders=friends who are a year or more older than myself. Sorry, I don’t make the rules.

A Belated 2015 in Review

As of late, I’ve been feeling drained; like a part of my creativity hasn’t been tapped into, causing my insides to gradually decay from the lack of…something. Soon after the dramatics, and a tall glass of water, it occurred to me in mental bold and italic font, “Meg, you have a WordPress. You have a blog.”

This is where my mini-story begins. While refueling my creative juices and reconnecting with WordPress, I stumbled upon a draft titled “2015 in Review”. What could this be? What could this mean? Was it an in-depth look at the highlights of my year? A blog post that should have been appropriately published no later than the first week of the New Year? If you guessed either of the two then *ding* we have a winner! The review was written and saved on December 31st, 2015…and now it’s the end of March.

Woe is me and my lack of free time.

So, instead of letting a perfectly good compilation of memories go to waste, I decided to publish my terribly belated list–because there’s no time like the present, and why not share my best moments of 2015?

Albeit slightly resembling the letter your family receives at Christmas from the overly productive relatives, and exposing my affinity for lists, here is my Belated 2015 in Review.

 

  1. Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? In January I started Musings by Meg! Where this all began…perhaps this is an excuse to throw myself, er, MBM a party…
  2. I also cut and donated 12 inches of my brunette tresses to Locks of Love in January, and it was life changing. For a while I had taken on the identity of “the girl with super long hair”, and to completely change my look (and not have people recognize me) was liberating.

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    Snip-snip.

  3. In July, I spent a weekend in New York City and attended Her Campus Media’s Her Conference with one of my best girl friends, Emily. This event was all about female empowerment in the workforce and was unforgettable. I met so many women in leadership such as Lisa Arbetter, the Editor of PeopleStyle Watch Magazine and Laura Brounstein the Special Projects Director for Cosmopolitan. It’s amazing what women can do when we support one another.

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    Laura Brounstein, Special Projects Director at Cosmopolitan, and I sharing a laugh. Right before this she complimented by eyebrows. Goals. 

  4. At the end of the summer, my lovely friend Katie asked me to be one of her bridesmaids in her wedding! So excited and honored to be apart of her special day!

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    Isn’t this adorable? Can’t wait to celebrate!

  5. In August, I moved into an on-campus apartment after my  year of commuting. Don’t get me wrong, I loved commuting, but living on campus has given me the opportunity to take on more responsibilities at work and school alike! Shoutout to the parental units for the endless love and support!

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    Welcome to a corner of my humble abode

  6. Towards the end of October/beginning of November, the Public Relations Club was officiated by my campus’s Student Government Association. The club’s official recognition was a huge accomplishment, as it was handed down to me by soon-to-be-graduated seniors (Hey, Taylor!) and marked the revival of a previously inactive club, which was left behind many years earlier by graduating students. Currently, I hold the position of club president and club involvement has been growing ever since!

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    Glitter is always the answer at the fall semester Involvement Fair.

  7. In November I traveled to Atlanta, Georgia for the first time (it was my first time traveling without the family, too) with a few Public Relations Club members to attend the Public Relations Student Society of America’s National Conference. What a mouth full, but the information, connections, and memories I made during the trip were insurmountable. I am still awestruck by the opportunity and get goosebumps just thinking about it. Picture this–students your age dressed in business professional attire, live tweeting every event. I was truly in heaven.

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    Views from the 33rd floor of the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. 

  8. Last but certainly not least, throughout classes, lifeguarding, commuting, and living on campus I met some of my best friends…I won’t name names, but you probably know who you are. My life would not be half as exciting as it is if I couldn’t experience and share our memories together. You’re amazing. PS–if you’ve received my snapchats, you’re probably one of them.
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So pure, so unadulterated. 

You can bet this moment in history will make an appearance in my 2016 in Review, but until then.

Always, Meg

The Beauty of Galentine’s Day

You might be asking yourself, “What is this Galentine’s Day Meg speaks of?” Sit back, relax, and allow me to introduce to you one of the very best days of the year.

Galentine’s Day falls on February 13th and is simply a time to celebrate the ladies in your life like, your mother, your best friend, your work best friend, your hairdresser…you get the point. This day is a day dedicated to showing some love and attention to all the ladies that make life a little less stressful and a little more bearable.

I first came across Galentine’s Day while watching episode 16 season 2 of Parks and Recreation. In this episode titled, “Galentine’s Day” Amy Poehler’s character, Leslie Knope, invites her gal pals to a sit down lunch allowing them to swap presents, chit chat, and celebrate themselves.

I remember seeing this episode of Parks and Rec and thought it was a pretty great idea, considering Valentine’s Day is usually the day for singles to self-deprecate about their relationship status. The beauty of Galentine’s Day is that instead of wallowing in the loneliness that is brought on by a commercialized holiday, we capitalize on the fact that romantic love is not the only kind of love that can be recognized and celebrated!

However, there’s nothing wrong with celebrating Valentine’s Day. In fact, I’m sure it’s nice to have a day dedicated to roses, candy hearts and plush-stuffed bears–kitschy stuff the media portrays couples usually gravitating towards. As a little kid my parents would buy my sisters and I mini heart-shaped boxes of chocolate. In elementary school we were encouraged to bring and distribute tiny cards with taped on candy to our classmates. Valentine’s Day has always been the day to spread love but, in my new adult life, I’ve realized the common misinterpretation of Valentine’s Day is that you’re either taken or single, and that relationship status somehow determines the quality of your holiday.

On the contrary, being single on Valentine’s Day is no easy feat. It’s exhausting, speaking from experience, seeing friends in happy relationships post about Valentine’s Day activities, while you sit at home alone with a trusty stash of Nutella. So what do the single counterparts have? A solid Wi-Fi connection and borderline weird, emotional attachments to a tragic character on a Netflix show. Woo.

As I end my argument for why Galentine’s Day is one of the very best days of the year, I should mention this day should not be confused with “I hate Valentine’s Day, so let’s hate those who are in relationships Day” or “This is a girl-only Day”. Galentine’s Day is just a simple, lighthearted time to recognize the friends in our lives and show them love! If we have a day dedicated to showing love to our partners, why can’t we have a day dedicated to showing love for the gals in our lives?

8 Reasons Why Snow Days are the Worst

You know the drill.

You wake up, shuffle to the shower, walk back to your room and see your phone light up with notifications about campus closing for a snow day. Your inner child screams with joy, but your semi-adult self winces. While a snow day means no classes…it also means a few other less than ideal realities. Here are 8 reasons why snow days are the worst.

1. For whatever reason, you always underestimate the amount of snow you’re going to get. I do this every year. I need to start taking the weather men and women more seriously. 200-3.gif

2. Then, inevitably, whether you want to or not you’ll have to go outside. Remember that car you own? Yeah, that’s outside waiting for you to shovel it out. Sure it’s easier to lay in bed with Netflix, but when the snow ends and you decide you need to be a functioning citizen you’re going to want access to your car. Pro tip: don’t forget those windshield wipers.

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3. If you procrastinate shoveling out your car you’re limited to where you can go and…you have to stay indoors. Especially if your town hasn’t hit the roads with salt yet, it’s a daring choice going out in the wilderness.

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4. You’re left to face your *actual* responsibilities. Being alone in your room all day with no chance of escaping makes you realize that maybe you should fold your laundry and perhaps take out the trash…and also that your apartment bedroom isn’t as big as you once thought it was…

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5. You start to take this snow day as an opportunity to get sh*t done. Nope. You were wrong. All that you accomplished were blanket snuggles, texting your mom that the heat is working and eating anything and everything in your kitchen.

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6. Some people like the snow. You know the people I’m talking about. The one friend who texts you first asking if you “want to go outside”, like it’s normal. If you’re one of those people and you’re reading this, it’s nothing personal. I would just rather stay warm, and there’s a possibility I question your sanity.

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7. However, if that person has a way with words and you actually venture outside, it’s almost impossible to stay dry. No matter the amount of layers you are wearing, just know the snow has a way. Snow is relentless, snow does not quit, snow is not your friend.

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8. And finally, when you start getting used to the snow and start thinking that maybe, just maybe, you can become one with the cold…it all melts. If we’re going to have a snow day it should at least last more than one day. I mean, come on Mother Nature. Who’s side are you on anyway?

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Eh, but who needs it. The snow always bothered me, anyway.

Firsts

I’m the first-born child, so I’ve always been the first to do something. The first to get her driver’s license, the first to go to college, the first to move away from home…again. Today marks the day before the first day of my junior year–except it’s a little different this time. I’m living on campus.

Instead of commuting I decided to live in an on campus apartment, which will serve me well since I’m heavily involved on campus. This is also the first time I’ve had my own room in a shared apartment complex with three other girls. The last time I lived on a college campus, I shared a teeny-tiny dorm room with two girls. So, this is HUGE. It’s wonderful. I have leg room! I have the space to make it personally my own.

Welcome to a corner of my humble abode

Welcome to a corner of my humble abode

I’m so excited to start this year and look forward to the opportunities that await me! We Are!

Her Conference 2015 Weekend–Sunday

In my previous post, I introduced the first part of my New York City weekend, detailing my Saturday excursion in anticipation for the main event of the weekend–Her Campus’s Her Conference! Without further ado, here’s a look at Sunday.

Looking back on the day-long event, it was arguably the most empowering event I’ve ever attended. Allow me to paint you a picture. The venue was in the Financial District, NYC (the Convene to be exact), with pristine white walls, industrial accents and wooden features. Tons of girls around the same age as myself were dressed “collegiate-chic” and carried Her Campus “swag bags” with tons of mini goodies and treats. The atmosphere oozed with anticipation for what the day has in store. Besides, it’s not everyday we get to listen to and meet some of the most successful people in industries like public relations and journalism.

Let’s start at the beginning–shall we? Registration for the event started at 8:30 am, which meant I had to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed well in advance if I wanted to get from Manhattan to the Financial District in time. My alarm was set for 7:00 am. That was enough time for me to wash up, get dressed, apply makeup, have a quick coffee and for my aunt to catch me a cab (to pick up Emily at her hotel) all before 8:00 am. I should probably add that, that was my first time taking a cab by myself. I’m basically a New Yorker now, right?

I met up with Emily, and soon we were on our way (via taxi) to The Convene. Once we found the building we took two huge escalators to the second floor, to which we were greeted by so many young women. Seriously, I’ve never seen that many girls in one room at one time. Upon registering, we were given a lanyard with name tags, a black journal that read “Do What Makes You Happy” and a tote bag with the Her Campus logo on it, commonly known as swag bags, filled with mini beauty samples, body washes, coupons from their sponsors and so much more.

Our prestigious nametags and the adorable notebook.

Our prestigious nametags and the adorable notebook.

Thankfully, the notebook had a schedule for the events of the day so we were always on time and on track. At 9:30 we had the first keynote speaker of the day–Lisa Arbetter, Editor of People StyleWatch. Yes, we got front row seats. And yes, we also did fangirl. Some things we learned from Lisa:

  • Great leaders aren’t born–they are made.
  • Plan, but prepare for those plans to change…and change again.
  • Shut up and do good work.
  • What you fear will happen, will happen. And you will live.
  • Be decisive. You can always change your mind.
Lisa Arbetter--Editor of People StyleWatch

Lisa Arbetter–Editor of People StyleWatch

Lisa soothed our worried souls and over-thinking minds, especially when it comes to figuring out life after college and post-grad jobs. During the Q/A, she touched on topics such as: how to build confidence in the fashion industry, how to deal with bad bosses, the staple clothing item every girl should have (hey ladies, it’s a black blazer), her thoughts on the future of fashion magazines (they aren’t going anywhere), how to network, as well as how to stay grounded in the fast-paced fashion industry.

After the first keynote speaker, we chose to attend a PR related panel titled, “What ‘I work in PR’ really means” for the first session. I loved it. Absolutely loved it. We met four PR ladies, Rachel Jerome- Account Executive with Mission Media, Suzette M. Martinez-Malavet- Account Executive with BLJ Worldwide, Colleen Wormsley- PR & Talent Relations Manager with DoSomething.org and Krista Tietjen- Account Executive with Sunshine Sachs. Some things I took away from these talented ladies:

  • That not everyone is cut out for the job, only those who are passionate.
  • PR is consuming and demanding–but well worth the effort.
  • The ability to make and maintain relationships is key.

The second session I went to was titled “Climbing the Ladder: Journalism Jobs Later On”. We met Andrea Stanley- Senior Editor at Seventeen Magazine, Rachel Silver- Social Media Director at Birchbox, Amy Odell- Editor of Cosmopolitan.com and Dan Koday- Editor-at-Large for Time Inc./MIMI. There, they spoke about how they arrived at the positions they hold now and what it takes to work in journalism as well as how to manage those who are working in journalism. Many of the panelists noted how they started at the bottom and had to adjust to not necessarily making content, but instead managing those who do. They also stressed some things they look for in potential interns:

  • Good interns should beg for work. Don’t just wait for it.
  • Be passionate, personable and positive. No one can warm up to a stone cold face all the time.
  • Have good ideas and be obsessed with social media. (this works for me since I already am lol)
  • Be punctual–but I think that goes without saying.

Next, was lunch which was sponsored by Chipotle! So you already know I was all about those burrito bowls. After lunch we had our second keynote speaker, Terri McCullough the Director of No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project. While she told us about her organization, she didn’t go into much detail about what she does specifically as director, which I was disappointed about. But hey, at least we learned more about the organization.

Emily and myself at Her Conference 2015

Emily and myself at Her Conference 2015

The next session was titled, “The Evolution of Success”, with Joan Kuhl, President and Founder of Why Millennials Matter. She stressed the idea that if we as women in the workforce band together, the workplace would be an easier, more efficient environment to work in. Which begs the question: why can’t we accelerate the “me” mindset and also include others? This session was refreshing, uplifting and motivating especially for us young women who aspire to reach our full potential. Some things I took away from Joan’s presentation was:

  • With self belief anything is possible.
  • Relationships matter!!!
  • The differences and similarities of mentors and sponsors.

By this point in the day I was blown away with everything I had learned already and more importantly–how much I  learned about myself. However, it wasn’t over just yet. For the final keynote, Laura Brounstein, Special Projects Director for Cosmopolitan Magazine, introduced the finale of the day: #ActuallySheCan: Reaching Your Full Potential. The #ActuallySheCan campaign strives to instill in young women that they can actually do anything they put their minds too. Hence, actually she can. Laura’s speech was about always working to the best of our abilities and reaching our highest potential, regardless of the voices in our own heads. This left the entire room in awe of the charismatic woman who Laura is.

Laura Brounstein and myself for #ActuallySheCan

Laura Brounstein and myself for #ActuallySheCan

Soon after, the entire conference was invited to take a group picture. Some girls (including myself) were handed signs that read, for example: “Just here for the dance floor” with the #ActuallySheCan hashtag on the bottom. With all the girls from the conference in one large huddle we all immediately started introducing ourselves. Was it because we were all trying to process the events of the past few hours or the lack of elbow room? Who knows, but what I do know is, that in that moment I truly felt unstoppable.

Emily (second from right), myself (far left) and the wonderful ladies we met at the conference!

Emily (second from right), myself (far left) and the wonderful ladies we met at the conference!

I know, that is the most cliché statement anyone could say after going to an event such as Her Conference, but then again, how else am I supposed to feel? From 8:30 am to around 5:15 pm, I was not only surrounded by powerful women in industries across the board who made me feel invincible, but also young women who share similar dreams as myself and found the words of the panelists just as inspiring.

From meandering New York City to listening in on the best advice from women I aspire to be like–this has truly been a weekend I will never forget. I managed to take my very first train ride (it’s been a long time coming) and meet Editors of major magazine companies all in just two short days. Trust me, I’m still in shock–but the good kind of shock. Her Campus’s Her Conference event left me with the kind of shock I’m supposed to feel when I know I am making the best decisions for my present and future self–and I couldn’t be any happier than I am right now.

Always, Meg

Her Conference 2015 Weekend–Saturday

I had originally wanted to post this earlier in the week, but due to a busy schedule…a week later will have to suffice.

This past weekend (last weekend) I had so many “firsts” crossed off my life to-do list. However, so much has happened that I can’t possibly fit everything into one blog post–it would be insanity. So, I decided to write two separate blog posts, one for Saturday and one for Sunday. Here it goes.

Rewind to three weeks ago. A friend of mine, Emily, messaged me asking if I wanted to go with her to an all day affair on a Sunday in New York City called Her Conference, an event through Her Campus. I’m not one to pass up an opportunity that gets me out of my comfort zone, so I accepted. I bought my conference ticket and was ready to go weeks in advance. I was thrilled to be given this opportunity because throughout the day we would listen to accomplished magazine editors and inspiring keynote speakers. Plus, meet girls not only from around the country but also around the world who share the same ambitious qualities as myself.

I booked my train tickets, connected with my aunt who lives in Manhattan (who thankfully let me stay with her) and spent my Friday night packing. Due to excitement and fear of missing my alarm, I only slept a few hours and woke up bright and early Saturday morning to make it to the train. I made sure to book the same train as Emily so I wasn’t completely alone. But, let me tell you, my first train ride was a great experience and I seriously wish I took the train sooner in life! Something about seeing so many professional-dressed people in one car made me feel rather important–like I too was on my way to a business meeting.

We got to Penn Station around 10:45 am where I met with my aunt and said goodbye to Emily until the conference. From there, I hauled my luggage to my aunt’s apartment and continued on around the city. I’ve been to NYC before, the first was the typical Times Square excursion and the second was a day trip to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. However, I had never been to Central Park or walked around the city in day light! So, this was my chance to see more of the cities treasures.

The first part of my Saturday was walking around the Central Park Conservatory Garden, not too far from the apartment. Although it was blazing hot outside, the shade from the trees allowed me to fully appreciate the gorgeous greenery.

Central Park Conservatory Garden

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Central Park Conservatory Garden

Then we grabbed lunch at a cute little restaurant called The Barking Dog Luncheonette. What was interesting about this restaurant was that they allowed dogs (with leashes on of course) to sit with their owners on the outside deck.

Salmon Bagel sandwich with cream cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions and capers at The Barking Dog Luncheonette

Salmon Bagel sandwich with cream cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions and capers at The Barking Dog Luncheonette

After lunch, we made our way to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Currently they have a huge Vincent Van Gogh exhibit displaying his Irises and Roses. Unfortunately, I was unable to get pictures of the paintings due to their age and fragility. However, I was able to snap a few shots of The Met’s costume exhibit which featured China: Through the Looking Glass–which was absolutely breathtaking.

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Eventually we made our way up to the roof of The Met, which had great views of the Manhattan skyscrapers. Honestly, they made my heart pound. Nothing more beautiful than a breezy afternoon overlooking one of the greatest cities–in my opinion.

The Met rooftop overlooking Manhattan

The Met rooftop overlooking Manhattan

Once the rooftop became crowded we decided it was time for a seriously needed coffee break. We could go to Starbucks–or an original coffee shop in Central Park. Obviously, we chose the latter. After exiting The Met, we turned right and meandered through the park. I was able to see the Belvedere Castle and walk through The Ramble–which was no easy feat and, seriously, not for the faint of heart. With winding stone walk ways and paths, it’s easy to get lost in the lush surroundings and stumble down The Ramble’s trail.

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The Belvedere Castle

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We finally made it to our coffee stop, The Boathouse. It was a cute little restaurant overlooking a lake in which people could row boats back and forth. Our next stop in Central Park was the Model Boat Pond, which was arguably my favorite part of Central Park. It had a secluded feeling to it, even though the gorgeous buildings peeked through the trees in the distance.

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The Model Boat Pond

After our time in Central Park, we built up an appetite which led us into a quaint little Thai restaurant called Enthaice. I opted for pad thai (the usual) and ordered some interesting appetizers. I love little shops and restaurants in cities because if you were to take a tour bus or follow a tourist-y itinerary…you would completely miss these unmarked gems. Which in my opinion, makes them more unique and original.

After dinner, we got fro-yo and headed uptown to my aunt’s apartment. I spent the rest of my Saturday night reflecting on the past 24-hours, as well as preparing for the next busy 24-hours. I’m so thankful to have been given the opportunity to travel into New York *by myself* on the train and to explore the lesser known parts of the city.

The city that never sleeps or turns their lights off

The city that never sleeps or turns their lights off

There is nothing more exhilarating than learning through new life experiences. As a natural creature of comfort, I actively look for ways to expand past my comfort level and mentally, intellectually and emotionally grow as a person. I truly believe the best way to do so is to step out of the comfort bubble and find things that scare us, accept new opportunities and make experiences out of them.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built”. Well, Eleanor, I couldn’t agree more.

Always, Meg

P.S.– Stay tuned for my post about my day at Her Campus’s Her Conference event!