In the words of my dad, I’ve been “living the dream” since December… that’s a long time! And now, tomorrow, this Dream Life is finally officially coming to an end, and it’s time to go back to school!
The Dream really began a couple years ago, when I first learned that the Olympics were coming to Whistler in 2010. I did some calculations in my head, and figured out that the Olympics were going to be during my 2nd semester of my junior year in college… which is when a lot of people study abroad. So I told my parents I was going to take that semester off (which at this point was at least 2 years away), and work at the Olympics, and then I put that thought in the back of my mind… and my parents laughed.
Then one summer day in 2008, I found the online application for Olympics volunteer positions. Of course, since it was summer, I had free time, and I figured it couldn’t really hurt to apply… so I did! My parents just smiled and nodded…
Then 10 months ago, I found out that I had been offered a volunteer position for the Olympic and Paralympic News Services for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (although I didn’t learn how to correctly say the title of the Olympics until I started working…!). I was so excited, I couldn’t stand it! I immediately forwarded the position offer e-mail to my parents, with the note “Ahh! Now what do I do?!” – let’s just say, their responses weren’t exactly in favor:
Dad: “You tell them that you can no longer do this! You are the best! What an exciting life you have today, and ahead of you.”
Mom: “Congrats on getting the Olympics gig — just don’t quite think it’s worth skipping a whole semester of school for….”
Well, of course, being the determined (or stubborn) girl I am, I didn’t listen to their words of advice. I knew there was some way I could figure out how to get to the Olympics! So I went to the Emerson advising center, met with my advisor, did everything I possibly could to figure it out! Eventually, with the help of my advisor, I set up a directed study for a journalism elective, that allowed me to receive credit for going to the Olympics, if I blogged, vlogged, and wrote some papers about my experience. I also figured out that I could somehow still graduate on time (still a mystery to me!) if I took that semester off.
So there it was! I was all set to go to the Olympics! But then I realized… what do I do with my apartment?! I clearly didn’t want to pay for the 8 months I wasn’t going to be in Boston… well, after a very long, obnoxious, and frustrating process of posting the apartment on every site I could think of, having people look at the apartment, and having 2 different people almost take it… my very nice landlord for some reason decided to let me out of my lease (phew)! I doubt he will ever read this, but landlord, if you’re out there, you’re a life saver! Or a Dream Life saver…!
So finally, about 3 days before Christmas break, and about a month and a half before the Olympics began, I finally really KNEW I was going to the Olympics! Woo! And that is when the Dream Life officially began…!
I spent my winter break at home in Seattle not having to worry about going back to school at the end of January like all of my friends. Instead, I was “worrying” (aka being super excited) about when I was going to attend Olympics training, pick up my volunteer uniform, and pick up my accreditation, Opening Ceremony dress rehearsal ticket, and free bottle of Olympic wine… Yes, it was a very stressful break! (ha)
Then finally it was time for the real Dream to begin! The Olympics and Paralympics combined were the best 29 days of my life. Really, I don’t think they’ll ever be topped (unless I make it to London 2012! Which I will… mark my words). They were the busiest, craziest, most fun, most sleepless, most ridiculous days I have ever had, and can ever imagine having. I worked so hard, learned so much, and had so much fun! I didn’t even think about school the entire time, because it didn’t even seem like school mattered anymore – I was out in the real world, doing exactly what I want to do with my life, and meeting amazing people while doing it!
Of course, all good things must eventually come to an end… so soon, at the end of March, there I was, back in Seattle, with nothing to do but relax and be depressed about the end of the Olympics and Paralympics…! Then I decided I wanted to do the Emerson College Los Angeles Program that summer, even though I was signed up to do it in Spring 2011. But, once again, being the determined (stubborn) girl I am, I figured it out, and soon began the process of searching for LA internships!
I ended up interning at NBC News, which was an amazing experience (read my post about it here: http://cassidyscoverage.wordpress.com/2010/07/28/the-update-blog-continues/ )
My summer in LA was so much fun, so much hard work, and so many learning experiences. But, at last, it was time to return to Seattle, and time for me to face the reality of heading back to school.
Now, after 8 months, I returned to Boston in the middle of August. It wasn’t time for classes to start though, not yet. I came back 3 weeks early to work for the Emerson Channel, making TV shows to air during Freshmen Orientation Week. I hosted a show called the Common Agenda (watch here: http://word.emerson.edu/ca/), anchored the news segment on Good Morning Emerson (watch here: http://word.emerson.edu/gme/), and was a correspondent on Backyard Boston for the On the Menu segment (the best segment… I just went around Boston getting free food and being on-camera! My dream…! watch here: http://word.emerson.edu/byb/category/on-the-menu/).
But now, after making lots of new friends at the Emerson Channel, making some great TV shows (if I do say so myself), learning to Assistant Direct a live show (ahh! So scary/stressful, but so fun!), Floor Directing a live show (again, so fun!), eating way too much free food, and spending way too many late nights in the Emerson DPL, Orientation Week is over. And for all of us Emerson students, whether you’re a new kid or a senior (like me… ahh!), the end of Orientation means one thing… the beginning of classes – tomorrow!
Honestly, it’s going to be a bit tough going back to class. I’ve gotten really used to not being a student – for the past 8 months, the work I’ve been doing has been out in the real world, and though I haven’t gotten paid for any of it, it still seems real. It’s all been exactly what I want do in my life. But it’s time to suck it up, and go headstrong into this last year of college. Time to see how many more things I can learn, so that by May, I’ve gotten everything I can out of this place. Time to work on as many TV shows as possible, so that I’ll hopefully be able to get paid for doing these same kinds of things eventually…! And time to have fun, because once you graduate, that’s not allowed, right? (nah)
So, mom and dad, don’t worry, I’ll get that diploma. And sorry for being so stubborn (determined). Bet you won’t doubt me next time I say I’m going to do something! haha…
And Dream Life, it’s been a great run, but although this is goodbye for now, I’ll be back… right after I graduate!