Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Junior Year Update + What's to Come in 2019

I know I say this every post as of late, but hello it has been a minute! Happy 2019!

Like always, I could give a ton of reasons why I haven't been blogging: a busy semester, a lack of inspiration, a shattered computer (yikes)... the list goes on and on. To be honest, there isn't one big reason why I haven't been blogging, but rather priorities in my life have just shifted these past few months. When I started my blog, I was a high school student eager to share my passions of organization, fashion, health, and general musings. I craved a creative outlet and found blogging to be the perfect way to channel these interests given a very traditional high school curriculum. I truly love citrus & style and the community it has created (especially all of you amazing people!!), but recently I have found so many other things I am passionate about too. From being the Director of Branding for our Retail Studies Organization to the Apparel Chair for my sorority to even my classes this semester, I have been able to channel these interests in a new and exciting way. And as you can imagine, blogging has taken a bit of a back seat.

Now that it's a new year and I'm finding a desire to get back into it, I have decided to look at c&s in a new way. Instead of an old hobby I am trying to get back into, I want to think of it more like a diary, sharing fun and exciting things as they come along. When I try to keep myself on a strict schedule of posting X times per week, it isn't as fun to me anymore because it feels more like a chore than anything. I have some exciting updates for you if you read on and I think these new changes in my life will be the perfect way to get me back into blogging! So without further adieu, let's get into a Junior Year update and preview of what's to come in 2019!

Get ready for a novel :) 

Junior Year first semester was probably the most unique semester I've had so far in college. It wasn't bad by any means (I adore IU and all of my friends, my classes, etc.), but it was just different than the others so far. For me, this semester was my lightest load I have had academically, so I often found myself with a good amount of down time. On the other hand, most of my friends are business majors and had their notoriously difficult semester called i-Core which gave them far from any free time. As a really social person that thrives off of the energy of others, I learned to enjoy alone time and also became even closer with a few other girls too! 

 On top of classes, Junior Year is often known as the big internship hunt for students in business/retail/etc. I was really fortunate to have seen so many companies through career fairs, networking events, externships and industry seminars prior to this year, so this semester was more of a waiting game for me than anything else. I interviewed, completed final projects and traveled to final round interviews for a few companies and am so grateful to have an internship at a retail company I absolutely love this upcoming summer. I could have seen myself at several internships, but I have a gut feeling that this was the perfect fit for me. More on that in a little! 

Lastly, this was the third semester I had been living in my sorority house, and as much as I really enjoyed my time being in the DG house, near the end I was honestly starting to get sick of being under the same roof as 115 other girls. If you get the chance to live in a sorority house or with a ton of people, I highly recommend it - you get to know so many people on such a personal level and I wouldn't trade it for anything! For me, 3 semesters was just the right amount of time, and I'm really excited to live in my senior year house with 9 other girls next year! 

Now, let's skip next semester for a moment and talk about the summer. 

As you can probably tell from the photos above, I am going to be interning at American Eagle Outfitters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania! I am so excited and fell in love with their company and headquarters the moment I got there. It's funny, the moment I first stepped foot on Indiana University's campus, I knew it was where I would end up going to school. AEO was really similar and I felt at home right away! 

To be honest, AEO wasn't a company I really thought much about career wise until the end of sophomore year. However, after learning that I didn't see myself in New York City right out of college, I was able to narrow down my options a lot and it became clear what was a good fit for me and what wasn't. I was fortunate to have participated in their externship in July, so this gave me the perfect sneak peek into what it could be like to intern there. I recruited on campus, took a retail math test, flew out to Pittsburgh for the final round interviews and was over the moon to find out I had gotten an offer! I met so many incredible people there and felt like it was an awesome place for me to start my career in retail. 

If you guys are interested, I am thinking about writing a post with all of my tips for recruiting, interviewing, career fairs, etc. It can be intimidating to start and I've had a lot of practice over the past few months! 

Ok so before I move to Pittsburgh this summer (!!!), I have one more semester left of Junior Year. Except, I won't be returning to IU. Instead, I'll be studying abroad in.....

... Florence, Italy!

If you asked me in high school if I would study abroad in college, I probably would have told you no. I love to travel but honestly consider myself somewhat of a homebody and couldn't picture living outside of the U.S. for 4 months. As college progressed, I heard more and more about how valuable studying abroad is and every single person I talked to raved about how it was the best few months of their life. Since I am ahead on credits, am able to take classes for my major there, and the cost is very similar to a normal semester at IU, I decided to take the leap and do it! I would be lying if I told you I wasn't absolutely terrified to move to another country, especially since I have never been outside of the U.S. and don't know a single person in my program, but I think it is just the change of pace I need at this point in my college career. I am so excited to take classes like Product Development, Trend Forecasting and Visual Merchandising in such a stylish place in the world, and I'm eager to learn another language too! 

If you've been to Florence or have studied abroad, please comment below or  shoot me an email with any tips or advice you have - I am anxious to learn as much as possible before I leave at the end of the month! 

If you've made it this far, I'm honestly impressed! We had a lot of catching up to do :) Thank you so much for reading along and I hope you're excited for some new content around here very soon! It means so much to me that you take the time out of your day to hear what I have to say and I look forward to sharing these next few exciting months with you via my blog and Instagram! 

Here's to 2019 and the adventures ahead!

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