2015 Summer Bucket List Evaluation

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The Simpsons Land at Universal Studios Florida

Now that it’s Labor Day Weekend, it’s time for me to accept that summer is, unfortunately, over (even if it still feels scorching hot outside). And it’s probably something that I should have accepted two weeks ago when I school started back up again, but that’s beside the point.

This past summer was one in which I actually compiled a summer bucket list. It’s not that I hadn’t had things I wanted to do during past summers, but, this time, I actually took the time to jot down what particular activities I wanted to do during summer break. And, I’ve got to say, I fared pretty well, especially when considering the fact I rarely do much anything worth talking about during the summer.

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A First Time for Florida

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There’s something about Disney World that occupies children’s minds, pulls them in so much that it’s the only reason they crave a trip to Florida. That’s how it was for me anyway.

I’ve wanted to go to Disney World since I was a child, and, for a while, it was the only reason I wanted to go to Florida. That changed as time went on of course—not the wanting to go to Florida part, but the reasons behind it.

I still wanted to go to Florida because of Disney World, but I also wanted to go for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, just to be able to say I’ve gone to Florida, to experience the change of pace Florida is in comparison to Illinois. And now I can say I’ve done all of that.

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The Power of Words: Meeting Jamie Tworkowski

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Me and Jamie Tworkowski, the founder of To Write Love On Her Arms

I’m not one to smile often, and I never have been. I keep a straight face most of the time, and maybe that’s just my being an introvert. But there are rare instances in which I can’t help but smile, be happy, show everyone the positivity radiating inside of me.

June 8, 2015 was one of those days.

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When I looked at the upper right corner of my Samsung Galaxy S4 and realized the time read “12:00 AM,” when I swiped left twice on my home screen to check my countdown and saw that the orange font had read “0 days,” the excitement came over me. The day had finally come: Jamie Tworkowski, the founder of To Write Love On Her Arms, was having the Chicago (Naperville) stop of his book tour.

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Learning to appreciate the little things

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One of the things I was most excited for when I was entering college was writing for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s independent student-run newspaper, The Daily Illini. I was so excited by the chance of potentially writing for it that I had inquired about when to apply for a spot on the staff the April before my freshman year, when I still had a month and a half of high school left.

I don’t remember what I expected to do there if I got hired. I knew I wanted to be a sports writer there, but that was the extent of it. I do, however, know that I never expected to cover the women’s gymnastics team. I didn’t know what to expect out of that beat coming into it, but I ended up really enjoying it and found a new appreciation for the sport—so much so that I decided to be the women’s gymnastics beat writer for this past year. The most surprising thing I got out of covering women’s gymnastics for two-straight seasons, though, doesn’t really have anything to do with the sport or my being a sports writer.

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