My 2018 in Numbers: Hope For Mondays Addition

Photo by:  Geneva Patterson

I tend to get annoyingly nostalgic around New Years Eve, and seeing that it is the last Monday of the year, I thought it would be fitting to look back on all the good and the bad that occurred in 2018. It’s easy to consume your mind with the things you didn’t do, or even failed. Instead, I like to take the last few days of the year and reflect on what I did accomplish and the hard things I overcame because I often let the stress of personal doubt bear more weight than it should. In today’s blog post, I compiled a list of my 2018 in numbers by calculating numerous things that I did or that happened to me.

I won’t regale you with events that occurred around the world, in this country, or in the state I call home because the news cycle is practically moving at the speed of light and we were all there to witness it. Instead, I did the math to determine the events that affected the small parameters of my life this year, and which made me more me.

The Good:

  • How many college degrees I earned: 1 bachelor of arts degree after 5.5 years.

  • Number of close friends who graduated college: 3 close friends graduated with their bachelors degrees too.

  • How many articles/blogs I wrote and published professionally: 19 articles/blogs/other content.

  • How many times my articles were picked up by other local publications: 15+ stories picked up. (Unfortunately, some articles are no longer available on certain news sites, which I found through broken links I had saved.)

  • How many people I interviewed: 47 sources interviewed. (Some of these people were interviewed multiple times for more than one story but only counted once. This list was compiled by counting the sources in my published articles and transcribed interviews, not including a few unplanned or short phone calls.)

  • How many times I was interviewed: 6 times. (Fun fact: I was hired after every interview for jobs and internships this year.)

  • How many people that interviewed me (for jobs, articles, random e-book): 12 people.

  • How many jobs/internships I applied for: 7 applications sent. (Fun fact: I applied three times this year to one company until I was hired as an intern.)

  • How many jobs/internships I worked: 5 paying internships/jobs. (I consistently worked 2-3 jobs a week throughout this year. Just started my fifth one on December 28.)

  • Number of books finished: 4 books, and all thanks to my friends’ book club! (I started my fifth one this month, “Children of Time.”)

  • Number of Taco Tuesdays attended: 7 Taco Tuesdays. (My close friends and I get together on the first Tuesday of every month with plenty of taco ingredients and make one big dinner. We started this tradition in June 2018, and we have never missed a Tuesday!)

The Bad:

  • New piercings or tattoos: Zip. (I got my last piercing 4 years ago.)

  • How many caffeinated beverages I purchased: I bought and drank about 240 coffees and teas this year, averaging to 20 a month. (Not including free beverages or when I used cash or gift cards, which was probably a small handful of times. This number is way too high, but now I get headaches when I go 24 hours without caffeine so it’s a work in progress.)

  • Number of vacations taken: ZERO. The furthest I went for fun was either the city of Cave Creek or Tempe. (Besides being 10-miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border while on assignment for Cronkite News, which was definitely not a vacation.)

  • Miles driven in my car: Roughly 800 miles per month, which was about 9,600 miles this year. (This is “bad” because my car is a little old man that I refuse to give up/can’t afford to replace.)

  • How many times I had to get various parts of my car repaired:  7 times, and one tow from Downtown Phoenix to North Phoenix.

Photo by:  Geneva Patterson

The Other:

  • How many elections I voted in: 2 elections. (If I am remembering correctly.)

  • Average number of hours worked each week: about 40 hours each week at various jobs/internships.

  • Number of college classes taken: 6 completed college classes. (5 classes at ASU and 1 at Rio Salado Community College.)

  • Number of concerts attended: 3 concerts including The Band Camino, Dermot Kennedy, and Night Riots. (I already have my tickets for three other concerts in the first half of 2019, so hopefully I will be attending many more next year.)

  • Minutes of music listened with Spotify: About 23,250 minutes.

  • Number of new songs I listened to on Spotify: About 2,940 songs. (Spotify is the only way I listen to music so this is pretty accurate.)

  • Minutes of podcasts listened to on NPR One: About 19,400 minutes. (I average about 1.5 full podcast episodes every morning.)

  • Photos taken and saved on my iPhone: about 1,050. (Not counting ones I deleted.)

  • Posts to my Instagram: 83 posts to Instagram.

  • Number of HFM blogs posted: 5 blogs posted here, including this one.

In short, this year I focused on myself and my future as a writer and journalist. I was selfish, but in a healthy way. This was by far the most difficult year in my short life because of how far I was pushed past my comfort zone. My inner-circle of friends narrowed and my experience as a writer exceeded everything I had done before. With a whole year behind me, I am really looking forward to pursuing a career with the knowledge I gained and even experiencing the hiccups along the way with the ones I love and the new faces I meet. I hope that 2018 treated you well, and I hope that 2019 is even better.

Graduating and Finding Success Outside of the Classroom

All photos on this page by:  Geneva Patterson

All photos on this page by: Geneva Patterson

It’s a Monday and one day before I graduate with my bachelors degree in journalism and I think that makes it the perfect time to share these stellar photos by my favorite Geneva Patterson and my thoughts on the past two-plus years.

In the past couple of weeks, a lot of people have been asking me if I am excited to finally be graduating from college, and my typical response was usually how I didn’t feel ready. I haven’t really given myself the chance to be confident in my work and “feel ready” for so long that I didn’t recognize how ready I am now, after five and a half years of being in higher-education.

While in high school, I knew I wanted to complete my bachelor’s in journalism at ASU but I had not idea what that would entail, let alone that ASU even had an entire college dedicated to journalism. However, I was certain about a few simple things. I knew it would take me two or more tries to pass anything math related, I assumed there would be many late nights and early mornings, I had a feeling I would cry a lot (both happy and sad), and I hoped that as an adult I would eventually enjoy the taste of coffee.

But I didn’t know I would actually thrive in college and that I would finally fall in love with learning, and essential build a career off of it. I discovered that my main goal in college was to use writing to communicate any intriguing or necessary information to as many people as possible, and that is absolutely true today, on the day before I graduate.

In this last semester of college, I took one online class requiring me to find an internship. Naturally, with my newfound courage that only took 23 years and is still a little rusty, I took on two internships and a part-time job. During this time, I was able to ease myself into the post-college life and focus on gaining even more experience in things that weren’t strictly news writing. I am endlessly grateful for everything the journalism school and it’s distinguished faculty and staff taught me, as well as my passion for news reporting. But I started to see this path as the only path in journalism school and I lost sight of my dreams of working for a magazine with some relation to art.

Luckily, my internships at the content marketing agency and Phoenix Art Museum provided me just the right tools I felt I was missing. These opportunities gave me hope that it wasn’t too late to gain professional experience and that I could still use everything I learned in journalism school to follow my original path. By venturing out into marketing and magazine writing jobs, and without having to be a full-time student, I basically took a much needed break from college.

Before my internships, I started to feel a strange sense of burnout from being a persistent student, but I also didn’t want to cease any possibilities of success. I want to emphasize how badly I wanted and needed this break from the typical college routine, no matter how much I loved being in college, and maybe you or someone you know has felt this way too. After five years of being a full-time student and my most recent semester taking Cronkite News, I was very proud of what I had accomplished but I also needed to recharge. I didn’t take a break from classes by sleeping in until noon and avoiding anything difficult, as tempting as that sounded. Instead, I took on different opportunities that I never thought I would be qualified for and used what I learned in community college and a university to work on some incredible projects. In this break, I realized how prepared I am to move on to this new chapter of my life and that it is possible to feel success outside of college’s walls.

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A brief side story:

One of my many college necessities was, of course, coffee. The Grand was the first coffee shop in Downtown Phoenix that I really fell for, and that absolutely kept me awake for the past two years. Geneva came up with the idea to shoot some grad photos there and I didn’t hesitate to visit for the 700th time. The Grand holds a pretty special place in my heart, as silly as that sounds. In my first year at ASU, The Grand was the perfect getaway for my friends and I when we couldn’t find a place to rest on campus. From the many early morning lattes to late night Christmas chais, I probably spent more time there than my actual home. The Grand wasn’t just somewhere to get my caffeine fix, and I know my ASU experience wouldn’t have been the same without this place.

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I am excited for what is to come for me and all of the other 2018 graduates. It’s interesting to think that all of my college experiences like writing for hours in coffee shops, meeting countless new faces, and strategically planning the next steps of my education have all led up to this milestone.

Personally, I can’t think of a single reason why I would stay in college for any longer, not even for one more day. That’s not to say I’ve learned everything there is to know about journalism, writing and marketing; but I’ve never felt more ready to continue my education outside of the classroom.

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All photos on this page by:  Geneva Patterson

All photos on this page by: Geneva Patterson

Monday Muse(ic): September '18

Hey there, I wanted to make another Monday Muse(ic) playlist just for you. I will definitely be sharing these playlists at least once a month. However, I did take the month of August to do some soul searching — in song hunting and in general — to come up with a supreme playlist for this month.

If this is your first time hearing about my monthly playlists, welcome! If you came back because you just loved my first one from July, I appreciate your interest in excellent music. For the full Monday Muse(ic) experience, I wrote some thoughts and summaries I have for each song, which you can read below before you listen, after, or during for the full effect.

This is a playlist for your Monday and the month of September. I hope it might even make you feel creative and refreshed. I selected each of these songs with the dreaded thought of Monday in mind as well as hope and what I am enjoying in the moment. You might notice more of The 1975 here than usual. They are clearly my favorite band and they have released some excellent songs recently. Today, they are also announcing some big tour and album release news, so I thought it would only be fitting to sprinkle them throughout this September playlist.

Tell me which songs you liked, disliked, discovered, and fell in love with all over again by commenting here or chatting me up on social media.

Introductions aside, let’s get on with what you are really here for, happy Monday Muse(ic)!

  1. “Roll Up Your Sleeves” by Meg Mac: I would be crazy if I didn’t start this playlist with a very Hope For Mondays jam. “Roll up your sleeves / everything is gonna be alright.” Sorry for the cheese, but it’s a good one.

  2. “Next to You” by John Vincent III: There are many different elements to this song. He changes the mood and swing with each line, but the song is still cohesive and excellent. His voice is just so buttery smooth.

  3. “Jungle” by Tash Sultana: She is one heck of a musician. “Jungle” is one of her most popular songs and obviously one of my favorites. I think Sultana is kind of a louder more rock version of Julien Baker, but still radically different. Her guitar work is truly a work of art. That’s why you will hear her two more times on this playlist.

  4. “Love It If We Made It” by The 1975: I don’t think I can adequately explain with words how incredible this song is, but I will say that it will absolutely have you jumping. It’s beyond catchy, in your face, political, and timely. In this song, The 1975 brings up everything from overdoses and immigration to quoting some infinite Trump lines. It’s worth listening on repeat to grasp each word because most of them stand tall by themselves.

  5. “Now and Then” by Eryn Allen Kane: Hopeful, soulful, relatable, all of the above. This was the first song I heard from Kane and I can say I am a dedicated fan after just this one.

  6. “Cigarettes” by Tash Sultana: I told you you would be hearing her again and now you probably understand why. This song is from her newly released album, “Flow State.”

  7. “Fault Line” by Meeka Kates: I am just going to slightly slow down this playlist with Kates’ song. What I love about this song is its constant jazz-like rhythm and excitement. It’s full of surprises.

  8. “When We Drive” by Death Cab For Cutie: When DCFC released their latest album last month I was shocked and thrilled. I was introduced to them by my freshman year boyfriend from high school, and I have been a dedicated fan ever since. This is one of my favorites from “Thank You For Today.” It’s nostalgic and a modern twist on Death Cab’s sound.

  9. “Superhero” by Lauv: I have been pleasantly surprised to see Lauv rising in popularity recently. I have been playing his latest hit on repeat since it was released.

  10. “Over” by Kings of Leon: It’s no surprise I stumbled upon this song in a coffee shop. Kings of Leon is truly a classic band.

  11. "Near/Far" by Death Cab For Cutie: Another from Death Cab’s newest album, which I adore.

  12. “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME” by The 1975: This song has a much more upbeat electronic sound that I don’t think I’ve heard with The 1975 before. What I like most about this song is the video the band made for it. They brought together a small group of London fans to star in this music video to sing and dance along with frontman Matty Healy.

  13. “Outro” by Tash Sultana: I think the most perfect way to end this playlist is with another impressive song by Sultana. Her ability to produce soft sounds through her guitar work is equally as impressive as her upbeat songs you previously heard.