the Happiest Trip on Earth

On May 21st, 2018 I boarded a 6am flight to my favorite place in the world: Walt Disney World. Even though this vacation was over two months ago, not a day goes by that I don’t think about the incredible memories I had on this trip. I’m sure for those who are reading this, you witnessed my obsessive countdowns and huge spams of pictures (I’m not sorry) but it was honestly the best vacation I have ever had.
It’s crazy to believe that Disney is already over. I remember Mitchell asking me if I wanted to plan a trip with him to Disney in May of 2017. We had just gone on a short (and ridiculously busy)trip to Orlando with our high school choir. This choir trip was the first “real” time I had been to Disney (I’m sorry mom but going when you’re two doesn’t count!) and it immediately became my happy place. I knew I wanted to go back to Disney as soon as possible but going alone with my boyfriend just seemed unrealistic. When Mitchell and I started looking at the prices we realized that it was possible. To quote Walt Disney himself, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” and that is exactly what we did. For an entire year, Mitchell and I worked hard to make this trip happen. Mitchell and I both had summer jobs last year to make the first payments on the trip. Throughout the school year, we kept putting money into our Disney money fund and counted down the days until our trip. 326 days of waiting seems like a lot but I would do it again in a heart beat.
When the day finally came, we were in Orlando by 8am but it still didn’t hit us that we were in Disney. Then we headed to the hotel… and it still didn’t hit us. But then we got on a bus to go to Magic Kingdom… and it STILL didn’t hit us. It wasn’t until we walked off the bus and towards the entrance of Magic Kingdom. Mitchell and I noticed a glimpse of Cinderella’s Castle in the far distance. I automatically burst into tears. This was the moment I had been waiting for almost a year and it was incredible to experience it with my best friend.
Disney is something that will always hold a place in my heart. From a young age I remember experiencing the magic of Disney through the movies and even today I consider Disney movies my favorite movies. The effort Disney puts into all of their parks and films amazes me because they care so much about making people happy and spreading magic to others. Disney inspires me and I hope that one day I can work for a company as passionate as theirs. This trip to Disney has inspired me to apply for their College Program. I hope to move to Florida for a semester and learn from one of the most well-run companies in the world. I hope that doing the Disney College Program in the future will open more doors for my career in Public Relations because I would love to someday spread a little Disney magic to everyone.

**I don’t want to bore you with everything so I’ll just briefly highlight some things that we did**

Of course, we spent the entire first day in Magic Kingdom. We rode almost every ride, ate at Be Our Guest, tried the grey stuff (it was delicious!) and ended the day with the firework show “Happily Ever After” (which is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life) After the fireworks, we stayed in MK and Mitchell got the HIGHEST score in the Buzz Lightyear game and was awarded a “Galactic Hero” sticker. We then went back to the hotel and crashed because we had been up since 3am
The next day we spent in EPCOT which is my second favorite park! We rode every ride and explored each country. We ate SO MUCH FOOD. But I recommend the sugar crepes w/ vanilla ice cream in France (they are to DIE for) and the fish and chips in the UK
The third day we spent in Hollywood Studios and Disney Springs. Unfortunately, we missed Toy Story Land but we still had a great time exploring Hollywood and riding my FAVORITE ride the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. I also got to experience Fantasmic for the first time which was unbelievable.
The fourth day was Animal Kingdom and we started off the morning with a character breakfast at Tuskerhouse. We rode Flight of Passage 3 times and it was the best thing I have ever experienced in my life (I am not kidding it was BREATHTAKING) All of Pandora is absolutely stunning. We rode all of the rides… including Dinosaur which was SO SCARY and I will never ride it again.
Friday and Saturday we spent in Magic Kingdom we rode our favorite rides and explored the gift shops. We met Mary Poppins and Gaston which was so much fun! We also sat up front for the fireworks which was a great way to spend our last night at Disney. On Saturday morning we had an incredible brunch at Crystal Palace with our friends Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, and Eeyore which was a fantastic way to end our magical time at Disney!

Dear High School Over-Achievers,

 

Since graduating high school over a year ago, I still seem to get asked the same question over and over again… “How did you do it all?” If you knew me in high school you know that I was the “aspiring triple-threat actress” who somehow balanced high school theater, dance lessons, voice lessons, and TWO choir classes. Not only was I running from rehearsal to rehearsal… to rehearsal, but I also managed to volunteer my time in extracurricular activities such as Girl Scouts, Youth in Philanthropy, bible studies, volunteer work, and National Honor Society. Oh, and did I mention I also kept all A’s? Yes, I was a High School Over- Achiever. And yes, I made it out alive (and you can too)!

After a year of being out of high school, I have been able to pinpoint things that I had done (or wish I had done) to get through everything. So, here are some tips, tricks and other things to keep in mind that may help you balance your busy schedules. (Oh, and don’t worry friends, family, fans who may not be in high school… this stuff can help with your busy lives too!)
SCHEDULE
This is probably the most important thing when it comes to a busy lifestyle. In high school, I balanced about 6 different schedules; My school schedule, my dance schedule, my play schedule, my sleep schedule (HA), my work schedule, and my voice lesson schedule. (I know it sounds crazy.) BUT there is absolutely NO WAY I could have balanced all these things without a planner of some sort. Now when it comes to getting a planner, get what is best for you. If it helps you to have a weekly journal planner, get it. If you’re more of a digital person, use your phone/laptop. But you must have something. You’re lying to yourself if you think you can remember everything! There is no way you can remember which rehearsal you have to be and at what time when you’re talking about 3 different rehearsal schedules. Because I was balancing so many different schedules, it helped me to color coat each one (dance was pink, theater was green, voice was blue… and so on) Doing this helped me know where I had to be and when. Scheduling will do wonders for you, so please take advantage of it.
PRIORITIZING
This one can be a little trickier. With high school, comes the workload. It is your job to prioritize the work, so you can get the most important things done and out of the way. My favorite way of tackling this is by making a list of things that need to be done in order of importance. Let’s say I had an English paper due on Tuesday, a Chemistry test on Friday, daily math homework, and I had to have all my lines memorized for the play by Friday. Looking at all of this I would ask myself “which on will I struggle with the most?” and in this case it would be the Chemistry test (science is NOT my subject) I would then ask, “Which one is worth the most?” what’s the point of wasting my energy doing math homework that’s only worth two points when I need to write a 100-point paper? Yes, math homework is important, but prioritizing your energy to the things that matter most is a better strategy of being productive. I personally pick up on math quickly and it’s something that comes naturally to me, so I often did my math homework in study hall, lunch, in-between classes, etc. I recommend spending every extra second you have being productive (turn off that phone, don’t goof off, and use that time wisely!)

GET OFF THAT PHONE
This is one that I still struggle with. Nothing holds me back more than my phone and getting sucked into the never-ending vortex of procrastination (aka social media) it’s like an endless cycle, first, you go on Twitter, then Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, then back to Twitter. You spend so much time constantly refreshing until you realize an hour or two has flown by in what feels like a couple of minutes. Your phone can become your biggest obstacle when it comes to being productive. I know it’s hard, but when you need to study it’s best to unplug completely. Turn off your phone and do all your homework THEN you can reward yourself with taking a break on Twitter.
KEEP YOURSELF HEALTHY
If you’re a performer, this is a given. But you need to keep yourself healthy to make sure you can tackle everything life throws at you. I remember I would drink a diet coke for breakfast and think that could get me through the day and then by the time I got home from school, rehearsal, and then dance feel completely exhausted. If I had taken better care of myself, I probably could have been a more successful (and happier) person. Make sure you are sleeping, make sure you are eating breakfast, and make sure you are staying hydrated.

NO MATTER HOW BUSY YOU ARE, HAVE FUN.
A busy lifestyle is stressful beyond compare but please make the most out of it. This is your life and you want to remember the fun you had in high school. Look for the fun in everything you do. Enjoy each moment of talking to your friends at lunch, going to prom, supporting your school’s sports teams, sharing the stage with your best friends. No matter how busy you are, you should always make time for fun because high school will fly by and you’d wish you had more of these moments.
BE HONEST
Honesty is so important. Be honest with your instructors. Tell them when you are confused about something, they won’t know until you tell them. When you have so much to do, you don’t have time to get stuck on stuff you can’t do. If you don’t understand Spanish, be honest with your teacher and say, “I don’t understand this.” Be honest with your directors. Let them know ahead of time when you won’t be in rehearsals. They deserve to know, and it is your responsibility to let them know (because it’s hard to rehearse a scene/song/dance without everyone there!) There were many times I wasn’t honest in high school, and those were the times I struggled the most. Not being honest caused me to fail almost every Spanish test because I was too nervous to ask questions. Not being honest caused my directors to be upset with me for showing up late or not showing up at all when they needed me most. Honesty truly is the best policy. But please, remember to be honest with yourself to ensure your health in these busy times.
YOU MAY NOT MAKE EVERYONE HAPPY (AND THAT’S OK!)
I tend to be someone who hates saying no. I’m a people pleaser and I want everyone to like me. One of the things I struggled with in high school was trying to please EVERYONE. Whether it was my teachers, directors, friends, peers, or even my parents, I strived to show everyone how dedicated and hard-working I was. If someone asked for my help, I would try my best to help them at that moment. If someone asked me to be somewhere, I would try my best to work around my already busy schedule. Unfortunately, this got to a point where I became unable to say the word “no” out of fear that I would disappoint someone. I noticed this a lot with balancing my extracurriculars. All my hobbies expected so much out of me that I could not stand the guilt I would have when I couldn’t be two places at once, or when I wasn’t able to finish my work, or not practice as much as I should have for choir/theater. At this point in my life, nothing was worse than the shameful look of disappointment an instructor would give when I failed to reach their expectations. Sadly, this happens a lot to people with busy schedules. I wish throughout high school someone would have told me that its OK to not please everyone. It’s ok to fall behind sometimes, it’s ok to ask for help, it’s ok to say no, and it’s ok to fail. There were those times I went to dance class and didn’t know a single step because I had missed classes. Instead of telling myself “don’t worry, you’ll get it” I would stand there telling myself how much of a disappointment I was to everyone in my dance class. The same thing happened with choir. There were days when I just had no time to practice. I would show up and disappoint my section, my instructor, and the whole choir. The guilt would eat me alive and I just wish in those moments I knew that everything would end up alright. I wish I knew that my choir would get the highest ratings, I wish I knew that I would do well in my dance recitals, and I wish I knew that I would do the right rhythm for my solo in “Into the Woods”. Falling behind doesn’t mean you give up, it means you just need a little more time than others (and that’s ok). Yes, it sucks when your director is screaming your name and calling you out in the middle of a rehearsal when you’re clueless (trust me it’s happened to everyone) but don’t let that discourage you. Just keep moving forward and do your very best and everything will end up the way it should.

I hope that this little list of things will help you in your high school experience, or with your everyday life. If you are a theater/dancer/singer kid, I wish you the best of luck in your high school career. There will be days where you just want to pull your hair out and quit everything but remember that you are doing all of this because you love it! Cherish each moment you spend with your high school friends; each time you walk into the auditorium and each time you dance in that studio. There are days I miss it so much and I wouldn’t trade the memories I made for anything in the world.

the Switch

I was that girl who thought she knew what she wanted to do with her life her freshman year of high school. Everyone who knew me knew I was focused on traveling a bumpy career path, or in this case a bumpy street, and that was Broadway. I wanted to be a Broadway actress.

I started dancing at the age of three, so I had always had that creative outlet in my life. It wasn’t until I performed in my very first Nutcracker that performing became more than just a hobby. Shakespeare wrote, “All the world’s a stage,” and being onstage felt as if I belonged in this world. Performing gave me a chance to be noticed.

Throughout my childhood, I was known as the “shy” girl. People would describe me as “quiet” or “reserved” and they were correct. Little did they know I was suffering from a slight social anxiety. Because of this issue, I didn’t get a lot of courage to speak my mind and I constantly worried about what others would think of me. Now, I know what you’re thinking… why on EARTH would a shy girl with confidence issues want to be on stage? I know it sounds strange but performing allowed me to become someone else. When I was onstage I wasn’t Katelyn Fulmer, I was a character! Which meant that for those few moments, I was able to be the center of attention without having a fearful thought in my mind.

My passion for theatre grew, even more, the next couple years of high school. I started acting and voice lessons to build up my skills, I continued dancing, and I participated in the musicals at my school. I was growing into a stronger performer every day. But what I thought would strengthen my confidence, ended up destroying it. You see, I was a dreamer stuck in the pessimistic jungle known as high school. My senior year of high school was the worst for my confidence. I allowed the harsh comments and petty drama to sabotage the hard work and passion I had. What used to be my escape, became the thing I dreaded the most. I even felt discouraged at home. I would try to practice my music in my room, but every mistake reminded me of how I wasn’t good enough. When it came to college auditions, my destroyed confidence followed me, so it did not surprise me when I got rejected from every school’s program.

I don’t want it to sound like theatre ruined me because it didn’t. I loved every second of my performing days and I would do another show in a heartbeat. I also loved all of the friends I met and the mentors I had. It just takes a very strong personality to do theatre for a career, and it was not right for me, so I had to make the switch. To any aspiring actors out there, DO NOT LET PEOPLE DEFINE YOU. That was my mistake, and it’s something I have now learned from. Sometimes I wonder what my life would have been like if I didn’t listen to all the people who brought me down. I wonder if I would have ended up at NKU. I wonder if I would have found my sorority. I wonder if I would be the person I am today.

Psalm 37:5 says “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn.” Everything happens for a reason and looking back, I would not have changed a thing. God has given me so much at NKU and I am blessed with opportunities. He made me fall so that I could come back stronger. I decided to make the switch to PR because it was more stable for me emotionally and luckily, it is something I am extremely passionate about. I knew acting would be hard and I knew if I stuck with it I would never have become the confident young woman I am today.

Let’s Begin!

I’ve been playing around with the idea of creating my own blog for a few months now, but for some reason, I kept feeling discouraged. I kept asking myself what would my blog even be about? Who on earth would bother to read it? Would it just be a waste of time? Well, I’ll be honest… Five months ago I didn’t even fully understand what a blog was. I figured a blog was for Crafty Moms to share DIY tutorials and recipes with each other. I had no interest in making one for myself. It wasn’t until March that I realized how important it was for me to brand myself using a blog.

For those who may not know me, I am a Public Relations student at Northern Kentucky University. Public Relations has to do with the relationship a company has with its audience or customers. Today, a lot of PR is done through social media. Back in March, I toured a local PR Firm located in Covington, KY where I got to speak with Professionals in PR. These PR Agents stressed the importance of branding yourself on all media platforms in order to stand out from the sea of applicants for any PR position. One of these platforms being a blog. I remember one worker mentioning that blogs have the ability to show off your writing skills, creativity, and personality. After hearing all of that I knew that I had to look into making one.

If there’s one thing to know about me it’s that I am a perfectionist (It’s both my biggest strength and biggest weakness). I knew if I wanted to make a blog it had to be perfect. SO I did some research. I began reading so many articles on how to make a successful blog. I even read blogs ABOUT blogs. Sadly, this started to discourage me. You see, most blogs have a certain theme or message they want to reach to their audience. For example, a blog about fashion tips or a blog about cooking. I had NO idea what to write about (and to be honest I still don’t…) so I went through this phase of “just waiting for the perfect idea” to pop up for me and my future blog.

As you can probably see, I found this “perfect idea” with the help of some friends (Hannah and Taylor if you are reading this you are my inspiration!) I decided to make a personal blog. With this blog, I hope to feel more comfortable as a writer in hopes that it will prepare me for my future in Public Relations. I also hope to feel more comfortable sharing my personal experiences and journey with all of you. I plan on learning as I go with this blog because I am pretty much teaching myself. I’m working hard to “go with the flow” on this blog in order to break away from my perfectionism. With that being said, my motto for this blogging journey is from my favorite musical, Newsies. “Whatever Happens… Let’s Begin!”