Before the new year, instead of writing my usual Resolutions or Goals, I titled a page in my notebook: “Follow your dreams.” On that list, I listed four things:
- Start a blog.
- Contact Nikki from The Pin The Map Project, aka my favorite travel blog to follow.
- Get into grad school.
In just three short months, I somehow managed to accomplish all of these goals. I started Caity in Wanderland, and although its layout is still under construction, I manage to post consistently, with a focus on my travels through Italy and life in Hawaii, Portland, and Indy, and have gained followers and made numerous connections.
The first time I perused Nikki’s website, I was instantly inspired. Her layout is so eye-catching, her life is so interesting, and her writing flows nicely – each article starting with an amazing hook that always convinces you to continue reading. Then one day I noticed that she started her blog only one year ago, and she’s already had such success freelancing, writing for very reputable companies, and with her very own site. I just thought “Wow, maybe I could do this.”
My communication with Nikki started with a comment I left on one of her Instagram photos, she was so nice! She even encouraged me to email her with any questions. So I did exactly that. Nikki was extremely helpful with all my questions about pitching to editors, the layout of my page, SEO, hosting, etc. I was honestly starstruck and so grateful for her insight. Now, I just need to stay committed and launch Caity in Wanderland. I’m almost there with the help of Suitcase Designs, which Nikki highly recommends.
After moving to Indianapolis, I had the hardest time finding a job. I moved here to be with my boyfriend of four years and we didn’t know where we would be living until July. I moved here with no connections and no idea what I wanted to do with my life. So with my immense amount of spare time, I studied for the GRE and applied to two graduate programs. Both deadlines were Jan. 15, and I thought if it’s meant to be it’s meant to be. Going into it, I really wanted to go to DePaul, but as I looked more into Columbia’s journalism program, the more intrigued I became.
So Columbia was my top choice, and I just received news that I was accepted. *Throws self numerous dance parties* This 18-month program will help me to achieve a master’s degree in journalism – a field that’s been chasing me since middle school – along with the opportunity to simultaneously intern for some of the nation’s best media companies (since, you know, Chicago is the third largest media market in the country). Columbia even has a semester abroad in Dublin, which I am very interested in!
So what’s next? Hopefully grad school at Columbia! In the mean time I will be reevaluating my list of dreams to follow.