Adapting to a New World

I have been in Ireland for about 3 1/2 weeks. I have about a week left. The time has flown by. I wish I was able to stay longer, but I am also ready to go home and see my family. So far being in Ireland truly has been an eye-opening experience. M19756586_10208338411332901_6735908503591229006_ny breath has been taken away around every corner. Although I have fallen in love with this amazing country, there has still been plenty of struggles.

Going into Ireland, my family and I decided to keep my phone on Airplane Mode and disable data, so that I will only be able to use it when connected to WiFi. But, two days after landing in Ireland, my phone stopped charging. We rely on our phones for EVERYTHING! The idea of not being able to have contact with my family freaked me out. I instantly contacted my mom through Facebook Messenger and told her what happened. Without my phone, the only form of contact I would have is an Ireland burner phone that I picked up for emergencies. As soon as they were able to, my parents mailed me a new phone. Sadly, it did not arrive on time due to address complications. I spent the weekend in Dublin with a few friends and without my phone, I learned new ways to get around.

On that Saturday, my friends had to go to a school trip, so I was on my own in Dublin without a phone. I finally learned how to use a map. Yes, we all say that we can read a map and I definitely thought I could, but then I actually tried it. It is a lot harder than it seems, but once I figured it out, I was all set to go. It also helped that I was not afraid to ask strangers for directions.

Every weekend we have been here, we have traveled 19510479_10208242924465789_3812095571599889597_nsomewhere. The first weekend was Dublin, then Cliffs of Moher, Rock of Cashel, and Blarney Castle, then the Aran Islands, and finally Dingle. There were also multiple stops between all the visits, but because we only had a month here, we didn’t want to waste our time. For our last weekend my friends decided to go to Northern Ireland, which is a part of the United Kingdom. But I decided to stay in Galway and go on a bus tour to Connemara, then just explore and enjoy Galway.

Academics are not necessarily harder here, but in accordance to the Cormier Honors College motto, they are different. The lecturers are amazing and truly know the material they are talking about. Learning about Gaelic Literature and Culture and Irish Traditional Music and Dance has been an amazing experience. By reading early Irish 19961504_10208373810217851_3597734124425929242_nMyths and Sagas, I feel as though I better understand the ideals of this country. Along with that, we have learned basic steps in traditional Sean Nós dancing and I was able to learn how to sing in Sean Nós. One of the best parts of that class was being able to watch a group of performers right in front of me. The knowledge they have of their instruments and the passion they have for the music is stunning.

One of the biggest lessons I have learned so far is to not underestimate myself. I never thought I would be able to get around a foreign city by myself. I never thought I would be able to Sean Nós dance andsing. I never thought I would find the confidence in myself to grow here. But I have. I have taken every opportunity that has been presented to me. I am learning to trust my instincts and try new things. This is an experience unlike any other! 19511399_10208289237343582_2190325046622615177_n

It Is Finally Time!

Today is the day. The day I fly to Ireland by myself.

2007 was the last time I flew internationally, that was 10 years ago. I was traveling with my family at that time; I was about 9 years old at that time. So much has changed in those 10 years. I am an adult now and I am expected to be able to handle all these things myself.

I did not think I was nervous going into this. I am not afraid of flying, I am not afraid of going to a different country, but I still started freaking out the couple of hours leading up to my departure. Once I got on the flight, everything seemed to work out. I calmed down. I was ready to take on this next adventure.

After rushing to my next gate in Philly, the gate that would lead me to Ireland, the rest flew by without a hitch. Luckily both my flights were smooth and there were no problems.

Shannon, Ireland

As the plane started to land I finally saw Ireland. It is weird thinking that I am currently in a foreign country. I don’t think it has hit me yet. I am excited to see where this trip takes me. I am ready to explore and fall in love with Ireland!

Prep Work

Traveling.

That one simple word brings about so many different memories for everyone. When I was younger, I lived in Germany for four years because my father was in the Army.  During that time, traveling for family meant driving a couple hours to another country and spend the weekend there. Since moving back to the U.S., traveling has slowly changed.

The realistic version of traveling for my family now is driving a few hours to a nearby state on the East Coast and spending the weekend there or driving a couple hours to New Jersey to visit family. For my parents, that is fine. They have traveled in the past and now they enjoy just staying home and relaxing. For me, everything has changed.

At Longwood University, I was accepted into the Cormier Honors College. This program requires me to attend at least one study abroad throughout my time in college. Finding somewhere to go to was difficult There are so many programs, each offered during different times of the year, and each in various places across the globe.

After much deliberation I decided that I would do an independent program with the Institute for Study Abroad-Butler University. I wanted to be with people I have never met before, so I decided this was the best program for me.

Choosing what country I would go to was probably the easiest part of this process. I have lived in Germany, visited Italy, Spain, Enlgand, and France, so the next country on my list was Ireland.

Next week I will be traveling to Ireland on my own for one month. I will be studying in Galway at the National University of Ireland. During my study abroad, I will be focusing on Irish literature and Irish music and dance.

I never thought I would be flying to a foreign country by myself, but on Sunday, June 18th, I will be boarding a flight headed to Ireland!

Recruitment is Life

Sororities. That one simple word brings so many different thoughts to people’s mind, some negative, some positive. For many people, when they think of sororities they think of cheering girls, glitter being thrown, and the exclusivity of being in that organization. Sorority stereotypes have always existed, but since social media came on the rise, these stereotypes have increased tremendously. Social media is especially used when trying to recruit potential new members (PNMs) through the use of creating recruitment videos.go greek

Recruitment videos are one of the biggest ways to attract new members to the Sorority and get the Sorority known across the nation. These videos can be made with a low-budget using an I-phone and a laptop or they can be made on a high-budget using $200,000 equipment. Individual chapters, which are a specific Sorority at a specific school, decide on how they would like to portray their chapter through these videos. Some Sororities decide to make them more value-based and focus on the unique qualities of their chapter, while other Sororities decide to make the recruitment videos extravagant and luxurious.

Sororities use recruitment videos in an attempt to persuade people to want to join their organization. There are many different ways to use recruitment videos to influence PNMs. In order to effectively use these videos as a recruitment tool, you should follow these 3 strategies.

1. Impression Management
Impression management is the strategy people use for projecting their interests to those with whom they come in contact with. Basically impression management is when people try to influence the perceptions of things onto other people. This is one of the biggest factors that are considered when making Sorority recruitment videos. Sororities are trying to get a specific message across to girls who are interested in their organization. Some of the mindsets the sororities are trying to influence unto others is that they are values-based, unique, or live a perfect lifestyle.

Sororities make videos in hopes of creating the message that their sorority is full of excitement and fun, but sometimes it turns and backfires on them. Sororities also use videos from philanthropic events, PanHellenic events, and socials in hopes of showing that their sorority values certain things and participates in enticing events.

2. Symbolic Interactionism
Symbolic interactionism is based from social interaction with others and how that influences and creates who we are and the society we live in. How people interact with society is created from our past experience and influences from society. In regards to recruitment videos, how Sorority sisters interact with each other in the video is how they want to society to portray them as. They don’t want people to see the negative side of the Sorority, they want the to see how their sisterhood, friendship, and love influences them to be the way they are.

3. Logos and Pathos
Some of the big factors that are involved in effective persuasion for recruitment are Logic (logos) and emotional content (pathos). Logos is finding a good and viable reason for making a decision. Pathos is how deeply someone feels about the claims they are making.  Logos is basically giving logical reasons as to why someone should this decision, while pathos relies on creating an emotional connection with people.

Recruitment videos show logos by literally stating the reasons to join their organization during their recruitment video. They say things that explain what their sisterhood is, what their philanthropies are, and what their values are. Other recruitment videos use pathos by showing what sisterhood means to them. Whether they are talking about how they met their best friend or talking about how they made friendships that will last a lifetime.

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There are many misconceptions when it comes to Greek life, especially Sorority recruitment. Recruitment videos play a vital role in how Sororities grow and expand. Persuasion comes into play when constructing recruitment videos. There are so many different things that have to be considered when creating these videos and how you want to portray yourself as. As much as you try and portray yourself in one way, someone could see it as something completely different.

Persuading someone to think in a specific way is difficult, messages can be misconstrued and feedback can be negative. But, by focusing on the different elements of persuasion, encouraging PNMs to join a specific sorority will become easier!

3 Days of Peace & Music

woodstock-1969 (1)Music. One of the few things that binds various cultures together. Music represents the passion and emotion people have, but do not know how to express. It is an outlet for anger, for sadness, for loneliness. From the very formations of civilizations, music has been an integral part of the culture. It is what has brought people together during hard times and given them hope during their darkest hour. In today’s society, one of the biggest ways music has brought people together is through concerts and music festivals. Music festivals allow for public opinions to be voiced.

Public opinion can be formed by exposure to various sides of debate. The first Woodstock, in 1969, was a place where public opinion was formed and promoted. During Woodstock, free speech was used in order to form the public’s opinion. Free speech is basically being able to express one’s opinions without retaliation. Woodstock is a perfect example of how free speech allows for the public’s opinion to be expressed, especially through song lyrics.

“One generation got old/One generation got soul/This generation got no destination to hold,” “Volunteers” by Jefferson Airplane. This is one of the more iconic songs that was played during Woodstock. Jefferson Airplane had an exhausting set, but when this song was played the entire audience came back to life. The song discusses that because of the Vietnam War, there is no future that awaits their generation. The public’s opinion about how they felt about the Vietnam War is clearly expressed in this song.

Another song that helped shaped the public’s opinion was “The Fish Cheer/I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die” by Country Joe and the Fish. This song was one of the defining moments for the festival and helped start the antiwar campaign against the Vietnam War. “And it’s one, two, three what are we fighting for?/Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn, next stop is Vietnam/And it’s five, six, seven, open up the pearly gates/Well there ain’t no time to wonder why/Whoopee! We’re all gonna die,” these iconic lyrics helped initiated the anti-Vietnam campaign.

Reinforcement is consistently encouraging an idea or belief. Many of the performances during Woodstock focused on reinforcing the idea that war is not good and that society is going downhill. Country Joe and the Fish and Jefferson Airplane are two of music groups that helped reinforce the idea of an antiwar movement against the Vietnam War.

Woodstock was one of the biggest and most known music festivals, with “close to half a million people” in attendance, was created in order to promote peace in the country. It is guarded as one of the most impressive music festivals and had brought so many different people together with little to no violence. Woodstock was a place for people to peacefully protest the Vietnam War. Since the first Woodstock, music festivals have been popping up across the country. All these various festivals focus on so many different genres, such as blue, rock, EDM, country, and more. Some of the biggest music festivals today are Electric Forest, Electric Zoo, Electric Daisy Carnival, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and Coachella. Each of these music festivals are starting to bring out their own form of persuasion.

Dear Senior Self

Everyone starts off college with all these hopes and dreams. After the first year, many people change those dreams and they find out what they really want to do with their life.

I went into my first year majoring in Communications with a concentration in Digital Media. My goal was to work on the radio. I loved broadcasting. I loved how so many people could hear and listen to what you say. But near the middle of my first semester, I r
ealized that this is not the path for me.rotunda

I decided to change my concentration to Public Relations and add a minor in Business. I changed this because I feel as though I am better in organization and planning. I want to plan and put on events, such as concerts in stadiums, galas, fundraisers. I hope that by the time I graduate Longwood University, I am still planning on this career.

Freshman year was a year full of changes. I moved in with total strange, I lived 2.5 hours away from my family, and I joined a Sorority, Sigma Kappa. From only being initiated in Sigma Kappa for one semester, I have already seen myself grow and gain confidence. When I graduate I hope to have made a difference in not only my sorority, but also in other people’s lives. I do not want to sit on the sidelines. I want to help change our society for the better.

Love,sk
Your Freshman Self