Many people have joked that the NFL stands for “Not For Long” rather than the National Football League. The average length of a professional football career is brief, and players are becoming increasingly aware of it. Take Rashard Mendenhall, a healthy 26 year-old running back that recently announced his retirement from football. Mendenhall’s retirement came in the form of a lengthy essay published in the Huffington Post, and many fans were surprised to read why he decided to leave the game so early.
As it turns out, despite the opportunity to earn several more millions of dollars as a professional athlete, Mendenhall would rather quit while he’s ahead to go explore other aspects of life. In his essay, he expresses deep interest in dance, art, and literature. He voices a desire to go out and simply live his life without the constant public spotlight. Fans may have previously realized that Mendenhall was humble and soft spoken, but they likely never knew just how much of a Renaissance man he really is.
I don’t contend that Rashard Mendenhall deserves any special praise for the choice he made. It was a personal decision and he didn’t do anything spectacular for anyone else. However, I argue that he deserves a great deal of respect for the way he handled his business. In a well-written piece directed at his fans, he revealed his integrity and sophistication like no other athlete has recently done. By reaching out to his fan base in this particular manner, Mendenhall showed us that football players are people too. And some of them have hidden desires and interests that we would never expect.
Read his essay here:
It’s the best day of the year! You know what that means, DANCE BLUE! Not sure what that is? Well let me tell you.
It is a 24-hour no sitting, no sleeping student-run dance marathon held at the University of Kentucky. It’s a huge fundraising event that goes toward the Kentucky Children’s Hospital (KCH) and is devoted to Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Research. This year at Dance Blue 2014, over 100 campus organizations participated and there were over 800 dancers who helped raise a total of $1,436,606.24 for the kids.
WHOA. Incredible, right? As a participant in the marathon for the second year in a row, I can only speak very highly of this wonderful philanthropy event. Part of being a dancer in the event is learning a line dance in the beginning to perform at the top of every hour. This might be one of the coolest things to watch, here’s a video from the campus newspaper (Kentucky Kernel) to give you a glimpse of the event.
At times during the marathon it gets hard though and you feel pain in your feet that you never thought you could feel in your life. That you are so exhausted from sleep deprivation, you consider learning to sleep with your eyes open (and standing up – giraffes can do it, maybe you can to?) and for some reason, no matter how many meals they give you, you are STARVING.
The last few hours of Dance Blue make it all worth the pain and suffering though. As you watch the children from KCH get on stage for the Talent Show hour (my personal favorite), you can’t help but forget all the pain. This year there was a cheerleading routine as well as several talented singers and I could never forget the little girl whose talent was doing the splits. Hearing the stories of families personally affected by KCH is the most moving thing you will ever hear, with tears rolling down your face from the positivity and energy you feel or the utter pain you’re in; you realize why you’re dancing. For The Kids. #FTK #DB14If you would like to read more information about this philanthropy, check out www.danceblue.org or if you would like to donate for next year’s marathon (you can never start fundraising too early!!) you can go here www.danceblue.org/Donate/Donate-to-DanceBlue
Since starting my college journey last year I have learned a couple of things: a load of laundry makes wallets cry , coffee is a lifesaver, and the official 8 am class attire is PJs and bedhead. I can, however, say that one of the most valuable lessons I have learned is the importance of internships.
So why exactly should you intern in college?
1. Internships present the opportunity to confirm your choice in major.
You’re young; it’s okay to change your mind once or twice, heck maybe even five times. College is the time to discover yourself, I mean isn’t that what growing up is about? That’s what Internships are for; they allow you to experience something firsthand to see if you could picture yourself continuing to do in the future.
2. Internships help provide a smooth transition from the classroom to the workforce.
Think of an Internship as a bridge, it connects one side to the other. Internships allow you to develop skills that you can’t learn from reading a textbook or sitting through a theory class. Much internship often requires you to complete critical projects and occasionally heavy research that will help prepare you for future job assignments.
3. Internships allow you to sample a company without having to commit.
Let’s be honest here, commitment is a scary thing. Luckily, internships allow you the opportunity to test out the company, managers, coworkers and the work environment without any repercussions. How cool is that you get to test out a possible future employer without any strings attached?
4. An Internship often leads to a job.
Companies look to hire well-trained, quick learners, self-motivated, and hardworking individuals. Many supervisors give feedback to help interns strengthen professional skills before entering the workforce.
5. Internships allow you to network.
In today’s modern day society it’s no longer about what you know, it’s about who you know. Building up credential through internships helps get your name out there and meet people who could potentially be your boss, coworker, or maybe even future business partner
I can’t stress this enough, an internship is the most powerful credential you can have on your resume upon graduation
The New Year is here and everyone is buzzing about how they plan to be the best they can be in 2014. The general weight loss and health posts are flooding your news feed and you may even be part of the movement. Instead, I have laid out small, achievable steps to inspire myself each day. If any of these small steps to daily inspiration sound like they could be beneficial to you in 2014, I hope that you will join me.
1. Find time each day to either reflect on or write out one thing in your life that makes you happy. Even with 365 days in a year I believe this will be achievable. It can be as simple as having a roof over your head. I prefer to write out my thoughts so I have purchased a notebook just for this purpose. If I am having a bad day, week or month I plan on flipping through it and reminding myself of all the happiness in my life.
2. Compliment someone in your life every day, whether it is a coworker, a family member, your significant other or a complete stranger. Recognizing valuable qualities and the good work of other individuals is both humbling and inspiring in itself. This small step will only reach its full potential in my eyes if I am truly genuine in my compliments to others. I will not just compliment someone for the sake of doing it.
3. Stop talking badly about others. Just stop. There are many times in my life I find myself gossiping for the sake of gossiping. If my discussion of another person is not something I would feel comfortable saying directly to them, I think it is best kept to myself. Happy people do not need to address others shortcomings to feel better about themselves. For any negative thought I have about another person I hope to address an area I can improve upon in my own life and switch the conversation.