The semester is over – I’m so free! Classes ended April 27th, and I took my last exam May 2nd. Exams officially ended for Carolina on Friday.  It was a rough last week of class because I had two exams just two days after classes ended, and then one more that Monday, meaning a lot of studying was crammed into a short period. I was the first of all of my friends to finish with everything, which has never happened before. Usually I’m the one exams stretch as long as possible for, drawing out the studying for so long. So I was extra happy to be done so early.

Two weeks before exams I ran the half marathon like I had planned! It went really well, and I didn’t have any problems with asthma or allergies, thank goodness. The group of us that ran were my roommates Becca, Melissa and Emily, Becca’s boyfriend James, Becca’s sister Alex and their Young Life teammate Kristin. James’ aunt lives in Chesapeake, VA, so we all stayed at her house. My boyfriend Jon also came to cheer us on. He made a really cute sign while he was waiting for us to finish – it even had glitter glue on it! I think he got some of his mom’s and sister’s cheerleading skills, maybe?? 🙂

I finished with Becca and Alex, and we were right on track with 10 minute miles at two hours, 10 minutes. The last 2 miles were really hard, and if I hadn’t been running with other people I would’ve been really tempted to walk some. They had stations at every mile or two with people handing out water or gatorade and cheering.  They also had a few Porta-Johns along the way for people who couldn’t hold it! At the finish line they announced each person’s name as they ran through and we later found out they were videoing us because they emailed us videos of our last 20 seconds! It was so funny to watch because we felt like we were running so much faster than we actually were. There’s a lot of excitement on race day and it’s so much more motivating to run with people cheering for you – much easier than training at home! I would recommend it to anyone who likes to run…if you can consistently run 3 or 4 miles, you can definitely do it!

The day after I had my last exam I had my first day working at J. Crew! We did some paperwork/training the week before, but last Tuesday was my first day on the floor. I had two more training days on the floor after that, and then yesterday was my first real non-training day. I really like working there so far, mostly because it’s my favorite store and I’m surrounded by such pretty clothes all the time! But the people I work with are also all really nice and friendly. I feel like I have so much to learn and it will take a while before I get the hang of it, though. There is so much more that goes into retail than I thought. I don’t know about other stores, but J. Crew is very demanding in terms of the appearance of the store. I think it would be hard to work there if you didn’t have some perfectionism in you because that’s how management is about how the clothes look. I could spend all my time just trying to keep the store looking decent while people shop, but my main job is helping customers and selling! There is a quota that I’m supposed to sell on average per hour, so that’s the main concern. I’m looking forward to gaining a lot more knowledge about the clothes so I can be more help to customers.

This Thursday I have my orientation at French/West/Vaughan. I think that’s when I’ll find out what team I’m working with. I’m not sure what all the teams are, but I know there is a travel & tourism team and a public affairs team. I think travel & tourism would be my first choice, but the good thing is that I don’t know enough about any of them to be very disappointed about what I get. I’m just excited to get real-world PR experience and see if it’s something I want to do after I graduate!