Going back…

This Thursday I went back to my old high school. This time on my own to give a presentation to a class full of students who are getting ready to graduate. While I was presenting I remembered what it was like to sit in their seats. I took that very same class two years ago and heard a similar presentation on blogging and never in a million years did 17-year-old me believe that I would be blogging let alone win awards for it and then be giving talk on how to blog.

Below is about as wild as I got. Semi-Formal and I was stone cold sober. I guess another piece of advice I would give to myself at 17 is, there will be lots of time to get drunk and not remember nights. Enjoy these ones while you can because everything is about to change.

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My amazing twin and I. Miss you, darling ❤

It made me realize just how much life changes when you leave the comfortable halls of high school. If there is anything I would say to 17 year old me or to any of the 17-year-olds sitting in that class Thursday morning listening to my talk on how to blog it would be this: let the world hear your voice. It is an amazing thing to say what you feel. It is empowering and freeing. Trust me, it is.

I was the kid who has always loved to write but has always been terrified of sharing my voice and my work with the world. In my classes I rarely shared my work and if I did it was usually only with the teacher and only because I had no choice. Then college happened and all of a sudden I was in a new environment with new people and I realized that eventually if I was going to be successful I was going to have to share my work. Then this blog happened and it gave me an outlet to do so and slowly develop my voice. I have and now it isn’t so scarring in fact it has become therapeutic.

So to all the 17-year-olds never ever be afraid to share your voice and try something new. Your perspective is important and needed. Your experiences are unique and deserved to be shared. As I writer I ask you to share your gift with the world, let us learn from your mistakes with you. Let us grow with you and let us experience along side you. There is nothing more powerful in this world than an empowered voice.

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Experience Friday. The Summer Time Edition.

It has been a ride. I have done so much in 4 short months. I have grown and changed. I had an amazing time and truthfully I can’t wait to get back to school and learn more this year. This program has done so much for me and I made the best decision to come to SLC.

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To start I am going to do a quick numbers recap. Hold on

In 4 months…

2 jobs
4 provinces
6 cities
2 campgrounds
5 trails (hiked to many times to count)
4 beaches
4 ‘hellos’
6 ‘goodbyes’
1 social media meltdown
and 1 unforgettable Kenny Chesney concert

I have really done it all. But what have I learned?

Disconnecting is important

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I am the person who will/would spend every second I could working but that is not healthy. PEI, Camping, Hiking, and Skipper have shown me that I do my best work when I have had time away from the work. I hope I can add that into my school year and become more successful because of it.

Social Media will make you honest

This summer I saw how fantastic social media can be but I also saw the dark side of it and how as much as it is fantastic, it also gives people power. It lets them be faceless. All of a sudden they can say whatever they want from behind a computer and feel invincible regardless of how horrible/hurtful their words can be. So my advice? Don’t give people the chance to hurt you. Stay honest and stay true to you. And always always always be aware of the things you are posting online.

Work hard and good things will come your way.

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At the beginning of the summer I was worried about where I would be working in the fall. I was told this was a summer job only and then well the web designer left us and all the responsibility fell onto my small shoulders. I am now happy to say that my hard work and ability to adjust and wear many hats has lead to me keeping my job for the school year and as long as I would like to.

Be kind and patient.

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Being 19 in a world that is still young with computes means that well I was not an old dog needing to learn new tricks. I was the puppy, eager and wanting to play with them and that has meant that I am the most fluent in my office where everyone is 20+ years my senior. This means that I get a lot of what I would consider basic questions and you can’t get annoyed or put them down because they can’t convert a PDF or reset passwords because I don’t know a lot about the business world or have the deep experience they do. The best way to tap into that knowledge is to form a partnership and be patient.

Be professional.

This is my last point and I cannot stress this enough. You MUST be professional. At 19 many of my peers and occasionally me as well have been known to have a lot of fun being young, which is fine and expected but you have to clean up your act in the office the next day. Act mature. Act like  grown up and present yourself in a way that well makes you reliable and a needed addition to any team. Don’t be the co worker who was caught smoking pot in the washroom. No one wants to hire that guy.