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Like everyone else out there, this year couldn’t have been farther from the dozen or so pathways I had “planned” for this year. All were some combination of graduate in May, study abroad this summer, then either work for the rest of the year in Atlanta and move out to LA in 2021, or just move straight out there. Clearly, none of my meticulous planning came to fruition…but that doesn’t mean this year has been a total wash.

To give better context, here’s a general run-down of how the year was “supposed” to go:

May 8th: Walk at graduation (actually graduate in the summer)

May 9th: Depart for 7 weeks of studying abroad. 3.5 weeks France at the Cannes Film Festival and followed by another 3.5 weeks in Dublin, Ireland, learning about travel writing. 

June 28th: Fly home

June 29th – August 2nd: finish my online walking class

August 3rd: Officially graduate from UGA

From there, I was planning to work on some film and TV sets as an extra, or stand-in, or maybe as a PA, and then hopefully get a post-grad internship for the fall that would set me up well to move out to LA toward the first of 2021. 

I had ~12 alternate timelines drawn out for how 2020 was going to go for me. I might as well have trashed my meticulous notes, but I kept them to remind myself that no matter how much planning you put into something, there will inevitably be an incident (or pandemic) that pops up and rains on your carefully-planned parade. 

This whole thing has taught me how to be extremely adaptable and that it’s not necessarily about your plans going right but more so about your outcomes being fulfilled. While I’m certainly disappointed I wasn’t able to have the amazing study abroad experiences I thought I was going to, I still got a lot out of this summer that I was seeking: spending time with my new nephew and more internship experience to prepare me for life post-grad.

I decided there was no point in graduating early if only to enter an economy suffering through a plague, so I upgraded my Film Studies minor to a major and crafted a new (but incredibly flexible) plan to dedicate this extra year in college to two important areas: honing my craft in screenwriting and critical analysis and completing more internships related to film and television development, the area of entertainment I want to enter after graduating.  

With this in mind, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to land three internships that offer a cross-section of marketing, PR, social media, and personal assistant experience, all of which I feel confident are conducive to my future career. So far, I’m managing my time well between my three classes and internships, but time will tell how well that statement holds up, especially as more and more cases inevitably break out on UGA’s campus and our lives are once again thrown into a contagious uproar. But that’s also why I piled on my academic and workload like I was at an all-you-can-eat buffet…I know at some point or another we’re going to have to move to all online classes, and I won’t be able to go do any of the things I would’ve done in my free time. At least with what I have on my plate, my mind will stay occupied and keep from feeling quite so isolated and purposeless.  

The rest of 2020 (and the entire academic year) is going to be a living experiment in how well we can all learn to adapt and make the most out of these unfortunate circumstances in which we’re all living. Hopefully, if we adapt quickly and look for the silver lining in things, we can transform this series of unfortunate events (pun intended) into newfound opportunities for creating our own good fortune. 

I am an Entertainment and Media Studies and Film Studies double major pursuing certificates in Interdisciplinary Writing and New Media. I hail from Acworth, Ga, and enjoy writing, pointing out inaccuracies in movies, and binge watching any highly-rated show on Netflix with a healthy five or more seasons. Outside of stressing for grades I need to maintain Zell, I also enjoy being sarcastic and spending time with my friends.    *Yes, that is my high school senior picture. It cost a lot of money; I have no shame. 
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