13 Goals for 2013 Revisited

Last year I made 13 goals for the year 2013 Let’s take a look at how well I did!

1. Go to D.C. for the Cherry Blossom Festival

Check! … well, kind of…

My roommate and I went up to D.C. over Easter break. I was thrilled to find out that we would be there during the Cherry Blossom Festival. Unfortunately, instead of being greeted with hundreds of blooming trees across the Capitol, we experienced a very wet–and cold–weekend.

Despite the lack of blooming beauties, we got to enjoy Capitol Hill Baptist Church, the Capitol Building, the Library of Congress and, of course, Georgetown Cupcake.

White House

2. Dean’s list/honors list both semesters

Check!

When I made this list, I was supposed to graduate in December. However, I was actually able to graduate in May.

I was able to make all As my last semester of college, though and didn’t have to take any of my final exams. I also received the departmental award for communications studies.

Communications Studies Award

3. Visit friends at ECU

Check!

I did make it down to ECU (in February, I think)! Not only did I get to see Erica and Matt, I also got to see my friend, Briana from high school. My trip was really rushed, but it was nice to catch up with some sweet friends. 

4. Visit Liberty

Check!

This could possibly be the best weekend of my last semester of college. The drive to Lynchburg is beautiful, and I could not have been greeted with more gracious hospitality! Ally and I went adventuring through the farmers’ market, a vintage thrift sale, the Farm Basket and many other beauties Lynchburg has to offer.

On my way to Lynchburg, I got to swing by Salem, VA and see my friend Hannah too!

Ally

Photo credit: Ally Tarantino

5. Go to California

Check!

I started off my trip in Los Angeles with Keely. I got to see the Hollywood sign from the distance, and we went to the beach! I spent a lazy afternoon by the pool and I enjoyed every minute of it! Let me tell you, dry heat is a BEAUTIFUL thing.

After a whirlwind weekend, I took a Megabus down to San Jose to spend some time with my friends Michael and Abby. We toured the Apple campus and even went to San Francisco for the day. The highlight of my time with them was probably meeting their daughter, Ada. She is so precious!

Photo credit: Michael Sumner

Photo credit: Michael Sumner

6. See the sun set over the Pacific Ocean

Check–kinda.

This has been on my bucket list for forever, and I can finally (kinda) check it off my list. I didn’t get to actually watch the sun sink below the horizon, but I did get to see the sunset’s beautiful aftermath.

IMG_3838

7. Graduate

Check!

I’m so cool, I beat my Dec. 16 graduation goal! Orrrr…. maybe it’s more like Dr. Carey’s so cool, he let me graduate with the rest of my class because I had enough credits, just not the last few required classes.

(Don’t worry… I did eventually get my diploma!)

Oops!

8. Get a job

Check!

This took a lot longer than I thought it would. I assumed that I’d waltz out of college and everyone would want to hire me. I had actually given up on this goal for the year by the beginning of November. I had found a temporary job where I was happy and I was sure no one would be hiring someone new so close to the holidays.

Boy, was I wrong! I started my job as the education reporter at the Salisbury Post on Dec. 11. It’s been a challenging and exciting few weeks.

Salisbury Post

9. Hit 50 bylines

Check?

If you include press releases and blog posts for Gardner-Webb and NCDA&CS, then yes, I accomplished my goal. If, however, you want to stick strictly to journalism bylines, I fell just a little short. I currently have 40 bylines between Religion News Service, The Shelby Star and Salisbury Post. That being said, I’ve written 15 stories since I started my job at the Post less than a month ago. I am confident that I’ll reach the 50 byline goal within the next two weeks or so.

wapo

10. Read at least halfway through the Bible

Nope.

I’ve never been able to keep up with a one year reading plan, and this year was no different. I’m not quite sure how far I got, but I know I wasn’t 50 percent of the way through. When I switched to my new phone, I got locked out of my login on my Bible app.

11. Learn to shoot a gun

Check! 

When my dad read my list of goals last year, he decided that No. 11 was one he could help me out with. So, when I went up to Wisconsin on my spring break, my whole family headed out to shoot.

gun

12. Read at least six non-school books

Ummmmm….. about that.

I used to love reading, but I really struggle to find the time to do it anymore. I did read All the President’s Men this summer, but beyond that, I wasn’t able to finish anything.

13. Create at least six signature cupcakes

Check!

Pictured below are my Chocolate Orange (my personal favorite), Snickers, Banana Pudding, Pumpkin, Lemon Blueberry and, of course, my Nutella Strawberry cupcake.

cupcakes

All in all, I’d say 2013 was a success! I experienced some of my highest highs and lowest lows, but through it all, I learned a lot!

What I’ve learned so far

Since I arrived in D.C., the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities staff had been preparing us to live and work as young Christian professionals in the city. We have been from Anacostia to Alexandria to Capitol Hill on a scavenger hunt to help us get acquainted with public transportation in the city. Abigail, Rose and James have imparted wisdom to us regarding city living, including grocery shopping, churches and safety. WJC and ASP program directors, Terry Mattingly and Peter Baker, have lectured on subjects such as journalism, professional calling and different views of Christianity.

The thing that has stuck out the most to me in the two weeks we’ve been here, however, hasn’t been how to figure out which bus to take to get where or how not to get mugged, but it has been our readings and talks about being a Christian in the “real world.”

Many times, young Christians (particularly graduates from Christian colleges) feel pressure to pursue “Christian” vocations. If one feels called to a secular vocation, then the solution is to Christianize it. That’s why we have our Christian newspapers, Christian magazines, Christian music, Christian movies, Christian books… you get the point.

Now, I’m not saying that this Christian-niche is necessarily bad. I definitely believe that there is a place for all of our Christian materials. However, what if some of those editors or musicians or writers would work to become the best of the best in the mainstream? What if rather than creating Jesus-saturated media that only appeals to those who already know Him, they created wholesome, excellent and balanced materials that appeal to (and therefore reach) a larger (and often unsaved) audience? What if…?

It all boils down to how you live your life. I believe it’s just as possible for someone to live a life pleasing to God as a journalist for World as it is or as a stay at home with your kids or as a reporter for the New York Times.

Last Tuesday, I went to Capitol Hill Baptist Church’s intern Bible Study. We talked about I Peter 1:1-2 and everything worked right with what we had been talking about in class!

What we want is not more little books about Christianity, but more little books by Christians on other subjects — with their Christianity latent.   ~C.S. Lewis

Now… here’s the catch… figuring out my calling in life… 😉