Making The Most of This Summer Without An Internship

Being at Emerson, it’s likely that you’re constantly surrounded by freshmen with more on their resumes than your parents. That’s just the way it is here, which means there can be a lot of pressure to build up your own portfolio through internships or other professional experiences. However, as we all know, starting out can get a little tricky—especially when you don’t get that call back from a position you really wanted. The truth of the matter is that sometimes things just don’t work out, but fear not. Even if you didn’t land the perfect internship position, there are still a lot of ways to stay productive this summer. Here are just a few ways that you can make the most of your four months off from school.

Freelance Work

I’m going to let you in on a secret: even though you haven’t graduated yet, your work is good. Whether you’re a writer, visual artist or filmmaker, just the fact that you’re pursuing an arts degree means that you’re skilled at your craft. Believe it or not, companies are always searching for people that can do little projects for them here and there with no strings attached. This means that you can make some pocket money from doing what you love, all while practicing your skills and getting real world experience. Content-based websites are constantly fielding pitches (like VinylMePlease.com or HelloGiggles.com, just to name a few) and if you have an idea about an article, email them! Alternatively, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has become notorious for inspiring young artists to collaborate on his platform HitRecord, a website that gives artists prompts and then eventually publishes the best works (meaning if you are chosen, a check is coming your way!) Just trust your talent, put yourself out there, and you’re bound to make something great for someone this summer.

A Summer Job

We all know college is expensive. We’ve all seen the memes about it and we’ve all cried to our friends and families about the ridiculousness of a 100 dollar textbook at least once. But what can you do about it? The obvious answer—the one that not even I like hearing—is to get a job. I know, this is only a temporary solution to the much larger issue of absurd tuition funds but it wouldn’t hurt to put a few extra bills in your wallet this summer from a part-time job. Besides, working retail can be fun sometimes if you find the right place and can also be a good resume builder if you’re looking to enter the customer service world at any point. Indeed.com can be a great place to find some local listings, so just log on, type in your zip code, and see what happens!

Build A Portfolio

Something I think that all Emersonians forget sometimes is that our art isn’t just our career outlet. At the end of the day, it makes us who we are, it relieves our stress and social anxieties, and it lets us exercise our creativity. So this summer, instead of selling your art, just think about making it (not for anyone but yourself.) If you’re a VMA, then make some short films that aren’t class assignments. WLPs, write some stories for yourself. Then, at the end of the summer, choose your favorite pieces, compile them together, and make yourself the awesome portfolio that you deserve. Make something that represents you as an artist, not as a professional, and hopefully that will be the distinguishing factor that can help you get the job next time.

Challenging the Literary Canon

After years of being assigned books to read for school, have you ever wondered why the same authors find their way onto every English teacher’s syllabus? I can still remember most of the books I was assigned in high school, throughout my years of Honors and AP English classes. As a freshman, I can recall reading Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck and Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. My sophomore English syllabus emphasized Shakespeare, Hemingway, and Victor Hugo. Junior year was my AP Language course, which consisted primarily of analyzing speeches from great men of times past, such as John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln.

All of the works I have mentioned so far were authored by white men. I can only remember women and/or non-white authors being a significant part of my class curriculum during my senior year. That year, we were treated to an entire unit on Toni Morrison. Song of Solomon by Morrison was even our summer reading assignment. Later in the fall, we were tasked with writing a research paper on Morrison and her writing. But, it’s tragic that Morrison is one of the only black writers I can remember being taught in high-school. Why should a school English curriculum only emphasize one type of author? White, male, straight, cisgender — why is that considered the story worth reading?

When somebody mentions the literary canon, they are referring to the set of authors or works seen as the epitome of greatness. The books you are exposed to in middle and high school typically belong to this canon. That canon overwhelmingly features authors from those categories I already mentioned. This is how we all end up reading and reminiscing over the same “sacred” works. That isn’t to say, though, that there isn’t value in reading Shakespeare. I love Shakespeare. It’s just that we need to make an effort to allow other voices to be heard too.

Race, gender and sexuality are three areas where this diversity is most lacking. As already mentioned, most famed authors are white, straight, cisgender men. Writers who don’t fall into those categories rarely garner that same recognition, yet representation in literature and the arts is incredibly important for marginalized groups. It is important then that as consumers of media we make room for those marginalized voices.

Undergraduate Students for Publishing, a student organization at Emerson, recently hosted a speaker series titled Decolonize the Canon. As its name suggests, speakers at the event spoke about challenging the lack of diversity in the accepted literary and art canons — not only in regards to what artists receive recognition, but as well as what stories they are allowed to tell. Different ideas were discussed, including the importance of challenging what is perceived to be art and the importance of representation in literature. 

Knowing that the accepted canon typically only features certain authors of certain backgrounds, it is necessary to challenge that canon. Engage with the works of authors of diverse backgrounds and experiences and encourage a more inclusive literary canon. As readers, that’s the least we can do.

Inside Emerson’s New Dorm Building

This past year, there’s been plenty of talk about the construction happening on Emerson’s Boylston Street campus. From the building of a new dining hall to Little Building being closed for renovations starting this May, to a new dorm building with its entrance in the Boylston Place alleyway—change is definitely coming to Emerson. But, how much do Emerson’s students actually know about these construction projects? Particularly, how much do students know about this new dorm building? Many students will call 2 Boylston Place their home come next semester, and yet they might not know much about what the Boylston Place dorm will really be like.

As a student who is now a junior, even I’m a bit confused about just what is happening with this new dorm building, regardless if I might not have the opportunity to live there. Still, I’ve been watching this construction happen since I started at Emerson. The sounds of drilling and workers shouting over the noise of their equipment have become all too familiar to my peers and me.

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Backstock for Standing Rock with Pub Club

It has always been important to take action, but now is an essential time to be advocating for social and political change. That includes taking action here on Emerson’s campus, in the greater Boston area, or beyond.

But, sometimes advocacy can mean showing solidarity. Or fundraising in support of an issue or movement. That’s why Undergraduate Students for Publishing (or Pub Club) has decided to spend a week selling its back stock to fundraise for Standing Rock. If you’re unfamiliar with Standing Rock, here’s a brief summary: The Standing Rock protests are in response to a proposal to build the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). If built, the pipeline would threaten the water that many indigenous people in the area depend on. Despite the freezing weather, protests have continued at Standing Rock for months now.

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Upcoming Changes to the Emerson Campus

If there is one thing Emerson students are accustomed to seeing, it’s scaffolding. I don’t remember a time that Emerson’s campus wasn’t dominated by rows of scaffolding that hang ominously above as you wait to cross at the Boylston-Tremont intersection. Scaffolding has been a fixture outside the Little Building (LB) for a long time now. This is to be expected, given it’s an old building desperately in need of some sprucing up. Thankfully, Emerson will begin the renovation process of LB next semester. Starting in January 2017, though, the lower-level of the building will be closed. This means that both the campus fitness center and the Cabaret (at least in their current locations) will be closed as well.

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Emerson Alumni: They Went Here?

Anyone who attends Emerson is probably well-accustomed to hearing about the different celebrity alumni that have walked the school’s hallowed halls (although Emerson has changed campus locations numerous times over the years). Yes, Emerson loves to talk about its Emerson Mafia. Of course, an impressive list of alumni is something for the college to be proud of. It’s nice to know, after all, that a good amount of people who have attended and graduated from Emerson have gone on to do incredible things.

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Pub Club’s Fall 2016 Book Launch

What is Pub Club exactly? Pub Club is short for Undergraduate Students for Publishing, which is one of several publishing organizations operating on Emerson’s campus. The organization provides students who hope to work in the publishing industry the chance to gain some valuable experience while at Emerson. One of the ways Pub Club does this is by publishing two books a semester, under the name Wilde Press.

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The Girl has Lichtenstyle: an Interview with Emerson’s Local Fashionista

Isabelle Lichtenstein, a sophomore here at Emerson, has always loved clothes. She has been the proud owner of Lichtenstyle , a fashion and beauty blog since 2013, and has evolved her message as much as her style in the years since. From outfit #inspo and beauty tips to body positivity, she is taking the industry by storm, making it her mission to advocate for plus size women in the media as well as the mall. We sat down with Isabelle to learn more about her journey as Emerson’s local fashion expert.

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Registration is here!

It is November 7th and registration starts today as Election Day lingers in the distance. And luckily, Effie Trinket from the Hunger Games has something to tell you:

Credit: quickmeme.com
Credit: quickmeme.com

Yes, it has reached that time in the semester where we all have to attend academic advising or department advising meetings, figure out our pin numbers (for those of us who have them anyways), and to wake up bright and early at 7AM on our designated day! And in my case, I have a week to go until I will be able to register for my classes and as someone who surprisingly gets lucky with class registration, I want to provide you with some of my main tips.

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Eating & Crying My Way through Midterms

CREDIT: tumblr user remindmewhatiusedtolike
CREDIT: tumblr user remindmewhatiusedtolike

Midterms are here.

And at this moment in time, I am surprised to say that I do not feel extremely stressed out. Since my exams and projects are spread out through this month, I am anticipating my transformation into the peak definition of a hot mess by the time midterms are done and as finals loom in the distance. I suppose that is why I want more than ever to hide in my basement forty-five minutes away from campus and stay there until all of my academic responsibilities fly away. With this in mind, it is important to figure out the ways we can all destress and to have snippets of quality time where we are able to seek comfort and positivity. And for me, I am definitely one of those people who benefit from eating good food and crying.

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