Sunday, January 15, 2012

Great Big Hill Of Hope

I feel as though the subject of my blog is transforming from my adventures in Rome to my adventures and stressfulness of applying to university. I hope you aren't disappointed with me for the less eccentric updates, but right now, applying to university and worrying about what my life will be like next fall is my life, and that's really what my blog is about. I'm hoping that by the end of this coming week I will be done everything there is on my "To Do" list, although its really quite extensive. I kind of feel like I already am in university, because I'm trying to manage "studying" (aka my admissions essay and all the other write ups I have to do), working part time, having a social life, and getting a proper amount of sleep.
I'm in trouble, guys.
I have to admit that I've completely neglected my "getting a proper amount of sleep", and have been doing silly things to keep myself awake when all I really feel like doing is throwing my laptop on the ground and getting some zzz's. I've splashed cold water on my face, made an upbeat music playlist, and drank a lifetime supply of tea, which brings me to the age old question... Does tea make you sleepy, or wake you up? I mean, it is caffeine, which is of course energizing. But all it does is make me feel relaxed and warm. That question led me to google to search for answers, which led me to reading cool articles that have nothing to do with either my applications or the subject of tea.
As for my social life? Its great, but has been overwhelming for the last while. On Friday, the other au pairs and myself had a picnic that consisted of story telling, bonding, and red wine 
Where's Waldo?
at 11 am. There's a new batch of au pairs that just arrived after the New Year, so there were plenty of new faces and friends to make. After the picnic I had to go home and work, which left no room for working on anything university related. But I enjoyed the sunshine, red wine and of course meeting new people, so the applications could wait until another day. On Saturday, I did manage to check a few things off my To Do list, but there's still so much more... Later that night I met up with a bunch of people in Campo dei Fiori to drink wine before heading over to Scholar's. It was so busy and I was happy because I ran into Stephen again. Stephen and I never make plans to see each other, but Scholar's is his second home, so I see him almost every time I'm there. I got really drunk, but it wasn't my fault. Its hard not to get seriously intoxicated upon hearing that lovely pop of the cork on expensive bottles of wine and champagne. Since I've met so many new au pairs, my circle of international friends has greatly expanded.
Now here I am on Sunday night, feeling guilty because I haven't updated my blog in several days, but now feeling even more guilty since I should be working on things for university. Earlier in the day I met up with this new girl from Germany, who I've been in touch with for a 
while over facebook. We met up at Piazza di Spanga and spent the day walking around Rome and I showed her some of my favourite pizza and gelato shops. As busy as I am with my work for university, I'm still trying to get out of the house every day, get some fresh air, and meet up with friends. So if you think my life here in Rome is a complete fairytale, don't be too jealous. It isn't all the time.
Today is the 14th birthday of Clementina, the eldest girl in the family I work for. She is so sweet and artistic and beautiful. I hope that if I ever have a daughter, she turns out like Clemi. At least two dozen of her glamorous friends came over to celebrate. Now, I don't mean to sound like a cougar, but... Italian boys grow up nicely. They know how to go through puberty the right way. One boy marched straight up to me and cooed "bella", and he reached for my hand. Not to shake it, but to gently kiss it and then wink at me through those dark brown Italian eyes. Oh, hun... If I was five years younger and five inches shorter, I definitely would've flirted with you over msn until 9:30 pm.
Earlier in the day I met up with this girl Melissa from Germany, who I've been in touch with for a while over facebook. We met up at Piazza di Spanga and spent the day walking around Rome and I showed her some of my favourite pizza and gelato shops. As busy as I am with my work for university, I'm still trying to get out of the house every day, get some fresh air, and meet up with friends. So if you think my life here in Rome is a complete fairytale, don't be too jealous. It isn't all of the time.

Please bear with me here as I go through this unenjoyable time in my life where I have to collect my best pieces of Journalism for my portfolio, write two essay's regarding why I deserve a scholarship to the University of King's College in Halifax, and collect three 
reference letter's. Do you remember me mentioning this in my last blog post? You will never guess who agreed to be my third reference. His name is Eddie, and he's a Journalist at the local newspaper in my city. I've been in touch with him recently because he's been mentoring me on life as a Journalist. He's given me a lot of advice and guidance through what I should expect in this life that I'm choosing. Eddie went to Ryerson University, and he told me that 15,000 students applied to the Journalism program, and only 1,500 were accepted. Then, out of 1,500 students, only 50 of them actually graduated. Only a dozen of those people currently have a job in Journalism.
Do these facts scare me? Am I choosing a career path that is a very difficult and competitive road to be on? Am I worried that I'm going to have a difficult time finding a job, and one that actually pays well? Am I worried that I will be one of those people who don't make it? Yes. Yes, I am terrified of all of these things. But these questions and the unsettling facts make me want to do it even more. I know that what I'm doing isn't easy, but nothing in life that is easy is rewarding. I know that Journalism is a competitive field, but that's ok. I'm driven, and 
A Journalist's yearly paycheck.
I'm the competitive person that others should be watching out for. I will be one of those people who make it into the field, because I'm hardworking and passionate about everything that I do. And the pay? Not all Journalists earn small paychecks. But like Oprah Winfrey said, "Don't worry so much about the number on the check. If you let your passion drive your profession, every check will just be a bonus for doing something that you love." And I do love it. Its like my own personal baby, and no matter how many times it pulls my hair and screams and doesn't allow me to sleep at night, I don't care. I love it.
Since I already introduced you to Eddie, allow me to explain how thankful I am to have him in my life. When I e-mailed him one week ago, I attached a copy of an article I wrote and told him my story. I told him that we met before but I'm not sure if he would remember me, that I'm an aspiring Journalist, and that I need to send a portfolio to the school to show them my work. He e-mailed me back that very same night and said that of course he remembered me, and that he read my article and was very impressed. He passed it along to the city editor and now its going to be published. He also agreed to write me a letter of reference, and without my asking, gave me tips and advice on life as a Journalist. We've been e-mailing back and forth for over a week now, and our conversations bounce between professional to personal. When you really put yourself out there, not only do you seek help from someone who can do great things from you, but you can also gain a friend. Eddie's letter of reference was so touching that I decided to share it here with you all. With a letter like this from a professional Journalist, I don't see why I have any reason to not be admitted to the University of King's College.
To Whom It May Concern:
"There is nothing better than a curious mind. It should be the number one trait of every Journalist out there.
MichElle Pressé is an individual who doesn't lack curiosity. She has plenty of it. Whether she's exploring the beautiful world to find out what opportunities there are or reading the daily newspaper, there is an unquenchable thirst that resides in her always inquiring mind. There's no doubt in my mind that MichElle would make a superb Journalist one day.
I first met MichElle when she was still a student at Lakeshore Catholic High School. As a reported for the local newspaper, The Welland Tribune, I visited the school one day to interview MichElle about her involvement in the school's Fair Trade Club. MichElle was well spoken, articulate, and knowledgeable when I interviewed her for my story. In turn, MichElle
That's right. I knew how to rock the sweater vest.
turned the tables and asked a few questions of her own. We started talking about my profession and what it entails. Calculated while conversational, MichElle had the ability to engage in discussion while asking the five Ws that any reporter is trained to do.
A great passion for Journalism resides within MichElle. I could tell with each conversation I had with her.
I encouraged her to write a piece for the InPort News, a local weekly newspaper published in the City of Port Colborne. The story revolved around her experiences of traveling abroad. The story was well written and engaging to the reader. Impressed with her work, I 
encouraged her to continue with her writing aspirations. 
Every aspiring Journalist needs a place where he or she can learn the skills of the trade. There is no doubt in my mind that MichElle has what it takes to be an exceptional Journalist one day. That is why I believe she is a perfect candidate for your institution."
Even though there are stressful things happening in my life right now, its kind words like Eddie's that make each day worth while. Or something small, like getting a perfect score on Cosmopolitan's Guess The Celebrity Six-Pack game. Which I'm amazing at, in case you were wondering. And then there's the surprising moments that turn a bad day into a great day, like when your mom sends you a big package filled with magazines, candy, makeup and other goodies. 
If you're interested in reading the article Eddie wrote about the work I did for Lakeshore's Fair Trade Club, please click the link below:

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