Mandy Boyle

NEPA-er with Moxie. Writer. Sometimes Actor. Nerdy Girl.

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Growing

This past week, I’ve tackled a variety of adult activities.

I’ve dealt with a major credit card company. I started doing my taxes.  I took an hour out of my day to try to understand health insurance. I spent an hour on the phone dealing with a hospital bill from when I got a concussion in November. Overall, I came to the conclusion that being a grown up sucks – but unfortunately, that’s how people have made it to be.

Growing up looked a heck of a lot more glamorous when I was 14. I can still remember telling everyone how I was going to go to NYU to be a journalist. I was going to live in New York city and sip on some sort of pink creation sparkling in a martini glass in some dimly lit, swanky bar. I was going to wear really nice clothes that fit well and have thicker hair. I was going to live comfortably. I was going to have an adorable cat named Aristotle. My apartment would be akin to something out of the movie Amelie.

Things didn’t turn out that way. Great-grandparents got sick. Loved ones died. Financial woes started to occur. Cars died. Life just happened.

There were a lot of reasons why things didn’t turn out the way I planned, but now as I’m getting older, I’m looking back and realizing that they probably didn’t happen because they weren’t meant to. I’m a firm believer in everything happening for a reason, no matter how painful or wrong an experience may feel. In my own case, things happened because, well, they had to.

Along the way, everyone told me that this was part of growing up. Growing up. Yes, that process which alludes us until we look back and realize we’ve wasted too many years and made too many compromises. This is what growing up means to a lot of people.

I refuse to let it mean something bad for me.

No growing up.

Why be limited to directions?

Remove the up.

I’m growing – into the world and into what I want to be.

Why should I have to waste my time? Why should I have to settle for something less? Certainly my dreams aren’t the same as when I was 14, but still, I can pursue the things I want. There’s no crime in that. It’s not unreasonable. It’s not impossible. Screw the system. It’s time for a change.

All in favor of growing to reach your goals: start shouting. Screaming. Disrupt things. Let ‘em know that you’re ready to start taking control of what you want. You still have to pay your taxes, but damn, you’ll feel great while you do it.

Moral of the story: Don’t let adulthood suck.

Whoa! This thing changes colors…

Amethyst

Image courtesy of: http://www.flickr.com/photos/beggs/ CC BY 2.0

Indeed. It does.

February is almost here (in a few more hours), so I thought with the change in month should also come a change in color. Amethyst is February’s birthstone after all.

Speaking of which – the countdown to my birthday has begun. Stay tuned. Things are busy (I’m a college student!) but I’m planning on writing an Independent Study and Senior Project post this week.

Smile!

-Mandy

Getting Ready

Yesterday, I took some time to sit down and actually start thinking of a direction for the blog. I wrote down some post ideas and got a better grasp on what exactly I want to accomplish with this blog. Granted, I’m still unsure, but at least I feel like I’m not wandering blind :)

Based upon the requirements of both my senior project and my independent study, I’ve come up with a list of topics. Let me know what you think and as always, I’m open to suggestions :)

  • Green Marketing
  • Social Media
  • New PR practices
  • Changing Face of Journalism
  • What is a reporter? (pro vs. “civilian”)
  • Internet laws/controls (eg: the FTC blogger regulation effective 12/1)
  • Starting up your own blog
  • College newspapers
  • What to measure in social media
  • What to measure in blogging
  • The overall experience of working on my senior project
  • Must-read books in PR, Advertising, and Marketing

What do you think of these post ideas?

What would you like for me to write about?

The Senior Project

The Wood Word

The Wood Word, Marywood University's Official Student Newspaper

Let’s talk senior project.

Miss Amanda Toth and I made a decision last year.

The Wood Word, our University’s newspaper, had to be online.

Way back when in 2008, The Wood Word was available online in the form of a PDF, which would often take time to download, and for some, would be too cumbersome for their internet connections. Now, with a newly designed University website, it’s more difficult than ever for budding young student journalists (or readers for that matter) to find the newspaper we work so hard on.

The time has come for that to change. Last fall, Amanda, the Editor-in-Chief, and I sat down and started discussing options. We both had just started blogging, were somewhat familiar with WordPress, and felt that we could do something that would be user-friendly enough so that future staff members could tackle the project of managing, posting, and editing an online publication.

Now, I personally have a love of online communications. After interning in the Internet Marketing Department at Solid Cactus, I found that blogging, search engine optimization (SEO), and social media were invaluable skills that could be utilized in tandem with the traditional media tactics I had already become experienced in throughout my studies in the Advertising and Public Relations program at Marywood. Despite my soft spot for outdoor and print media, I knew that online was the right place for me. Today, I currently work part-time as an SEO Specialist for Solid Cactus, writing copy, generating online strategies, and implementing communication tactics that actually mean something outside the classroom. I’m doing it for real…and loving every minute of it.

So, bringing that love and experience to the table when it came to our senior project was a no-brainer. With this project, we both had a chance to implement real change within our University while at the same time expanding our skills in new media communications. We both blog personally, we both are committed to The Wood Word, and we both wanted to do something beyond any of the projects we’ve tackled in the classroom. And, truth be told, I think Amanda and I make a great team. We both bring different strengths to the table, plus, we’re both committed to being successful at this – ingredients which will  prove to be invaluable over the next 15 weeks as we make our senior project idea a reality.

The Plan:

1.) Design and implement a website dedicated to the publication. We need an online presence now more than ever.

2.) Create style guides, manuals, and other important documents to perpetuate the success of an online edition.

3.) Be rock stars at promoting the new site through events, campaigns, and of course, social media.

4.) Publish unique and engaging content on the new site that will engage readers, improve visibility of the paper, and reinforce positive branding messages in relation to the paper itself, as well as the academic departments which support it.

5.) Learn a lot. Laugh a lot. Have fun with it.

Welcome to the journey. It’s going to be one heck of a ride.

Moving Forward

Even though you may want to move forward in your life, you may have one foot on the brakes. In order to be free, we must learn how to let go. Release the hurt. Release the fear. Refuse to entertain your old pain. The energy it takes to hang onto the past is holding you back from a new life. What is it you would let go of today?” - Mary Manin Morrissey


What would you like to let go of?

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