40 days, but who is counting?

In a past post, My 40% of Happiness, I noted of learning that happiness is 50% genetic, 10% circumstances and 40% – intentional (you choose). So, I find today to be an appropriate day to reflect since I graduate from the University of South Florida in 40 days.

A lot can happen in 40 days. In the past 40 days, I have transitioned out of my last executive position within my sorority, traveled to Boston with Matt, celebrated the birthdays of my sister and dad, and learned more about myself along the way.

Boston was my most alternative spring break, and thus the most rewarding. It was interesting when people would ask why we were in Boston – Our replies: “I am visiting graduate schools!” and “I have a job interview!” – pause – Where did our lives go?

Things are happening so fast, but I have to remember that I am 22 – and feelin’ it! I had the opportunity to interview with one of my dream PR agencies, and I hope that door opens for me. Plus, Matt got accepted to Northeastern University and I am so proud of him!

We visited the original Cheers, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston Tea Party Museum, Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market, Harvard, Northeastern, among other hot spots. I even got to see my lifelong friend Becca – plug for Becca Bakes – and my friend Megan who I worked with at GolinHarris. Matt and I ate a lot of food, with plenty of lobster & chowda to choose from, and you can bet that I took a picture of everything. Follow me on IG @deekush if you appreciate a meal in your feed at least twice a day. No shame in being branded as a #foodie. Oh, and another plug for comedian Josh Blue who we saw at Laugh Boston!

Matt always tells me that everything works out. And alas . . . it always does.

Now, I am going to graduate from USF in 40 days with every week someone asking me, “So, what’s next?!” I will definitely let you all know as soon as I know. I have had so many opportunities here at USF within sorority life, my on-campus jobs, and the honor of serving as a USF Ambassador (crazy that we just welcomed our new class last week and I’ve reached my 1-year mark!)

40 days seems like a lot, but it is not. I will take each day one by one and enjoy the moments.

Cheers,
Danielle

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One Year, Make It Count

Happy New Year! It is exhilarating writing /14 next to all dates because 2014 is the year I graduate. I distinctly remember coming to orientation at USF in summer 2010 and seeing all the teddy bears, t-shirts and more stitched with Class of 2010. I said to my parents,  “Hey! One day those are going to say 2014.”

Well hello, 2014 and what a ride it has been to get here. There have been multiple posts in articles, magazines, social media, etc. with the theme of NEW YEAR NEW ME. I think it is very important to keep goals, but I also think the best changes come from experiences we don’t think too much about.

Here is some advice to making this year count because every year only comes around once, and you get 365 (366 when we’re lucky) days to make that year count.

1. You ‘don’t need no man!’

Lavaliered!

Some of you who know me may remember when my Facebook name was, “Danielle dontneednoman Kushner.” Professional, right?  I used to stress about others being in relationships, and always wondered what was wrong with me that I could not find commitment from others. After a break up that that taught me a lot, I motivated myself to not focus on who liked my photos, who was texting me, etc. Now I have my one year anniversary tomorrow (Jan. 11, depending when you’re reading this) with Matt, and I know we are in a healthy relationship that I deserve. I don’t need Matt, but I truly want, love, appreciate and am overall a better version of myself because I have him. You know who you do need? – family and good friends, so give them a call more than you do now. I have another  personal goal to call my mom, dad & sister more while reaching out to friends I don’t always hang out with. So my iconic Facebook name is still true and hilarious. Be careful who you friend zone, I should have started dating Matt four years ago!

2. Put the phone down. Unplug. 

“Today I finally overcame tryin’ to fit the world inside a picture frame.” – John Mayor.

This is ironic for me to say because I tend to feel that I need my phone out when hanging out with friends, at meetings, etc. But I’ve recently been called out on it and I appreciate that. This is a goal for myself this year: When I am out to dinner, at a meeting, or any where else where I should be listening to others my phone will be inside my bag on silent. Matt sent me an article that notes you actually remember moments less when you take a photo! We become so consumed with how many people like our pictures we post. If I like a photo enough to post it so who cares who else does? Whether I get 1 like or 150 likes, it should not determine my satisfaction in any situation. I only consistantly ‘Instagram’ food because I think food is beautiful and I am proud to be creative with healthy food. Keep posting your moments, but remember what moments need to be lived. In my defense… can all my GroupMe’s not blow up when I’m out? Here is a video, “I Forgot My Phone”,that really sealed the deal for me:

3. Traveling doesn’t mean going to Europe. 

Traveling is the only thing you can spend money on that makes you richer. According to Google definition, to travel means “make a journey, typically of some length or abroad.” Typically, but not only. This is potentially my last year in Florida so I want to make that count. Some of my travel goals for this year are to stay at the Nick Hotel, re-visit all four Disney parks, spend more time in St. Pete + Clearwater beach, and actually use my Busch Gardens pass before it expires in May. In 2012 I went to Israel and in 2013 I spent the summer in New York, which will always be two of the most enriching experiences in my life. I hope this year you have big plans to just get out there even if it is just taking a road trip to a unique museum that is 30 minutes away.

I challenge you to Google the top things to do in (insert where you live) and do the first thing on that list that you have never done or have not done in the last five years. Or, just read outdoors every now and then. But if you do decide to go to Europe . . . enjoy!!! And remember to not spend the whole time Instagramming!

Videos that will make your day, you just need 3 minutes.


Maybe you’re having a stressful day or week. Be it finals, end-of-the-year deadlines, graduation or the like – take the chance to watch at least one of these videos. I have watched all of these, and have shed tears for each one (warning). Be inspired by people who truly make a difference! I’d love to know which one is your favorite. They are broken down by how much time you have – 3, 5 or 10 minutes. Enjoy!

If you have at least 3 minutes: 

‘Super-Sized’ Random Act Of Kindness
They pay for those behind them in the drive-thru line, and only ask that they pay it forward.

Alex’s Lemonade Stand
Alex was an inspiring young girl whose love for life carries on past her own.

If you have at least 5 minutes: 

Take A Seat – Make a Friend
Soul Pancake really took inspiration to a whole new level. Strangers are asked to share a seat in a ball pit and ask life’s biggest questions.

CBS WKBT News Anchor’s On-Air Response to Viewer Calling Her Fat
I actually just posted this on my Facebook this week. If you have not seen it yet, I highly encourage that you do so. Remember that bullies do not define your self-worth – but the positive voices of all who love you do.

If you have at least 10 minutes: 

Anti-Semitism on the Rise? ABC Primetime “What Would You Do?”
What Would You Do? Is one of my favorite TV shows. Actors and actresses portray scenes of oppression and see how others react. This is a real test of the bystander effect. You can watch other clips on Youtube, I chose this one since it shows oppression against my own religion.

Greatest Marriage Proposal Ever!!!
UGH. Seriously never gets old. This is a popular one, but this proposal will make you wonder how your future soulmate could ever top this. This guy wins.

123 first week in NYC #internlife

Well I can officially say that I have survived my first week as an intern in NYC. I really am getting the best taste of living in NY – because this intern housing is most likely the most probable  I’ll ever find for less than 2000 a month. My flight was great – shout out to JETBLUE and I had wonderful service from the cab to my home.

My view every day and night!

My view every day and night!

1. FRIENDS

You need friends in NYC. Really, you need friends everywhere. Or maybe it’s just me because I hate being anywhere by myself. I’m lucky that one of my good friends from back home is interning in the city as well, and is my suitemate! The first night here I pulled a college freshman move and excitedly went to the meet-and-greet for the housing. Found a girl that I knew way back in the day, and it was a great night of getting out with pizza and wine after that!

I love how much there is to offer here. I’ve got Paige, Andrea and Nevena who are interning over at a well-known cancer research center, and my two roomates who are at high fashion shoe companies.

Also, attending a NYC INTERN PARTY,

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as official/non-official as it was, I met some awesome friends and we have a great NYC summer crew going on!

I love both my roommates and I truly thank my extroverted personality every day of my life. So, if you’re headed to college, an internship a new city – remember there is another person just like you waiting to be friended, so say hello.

2. THE INTERNSHIP – LIKE YOUR BRANDS

Unfortunately a non-clever heading thanks to Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn. My internship is wonderful! I admire all my coworkers and I am learning so much. I’m working in the digital department of the PR/Communications firm GolinHarris. I am getting hands-on experience with social presence and all that goes in to the management of brands with facebook, twitter, instagram and beyond (THERE IS SO MUCH) so please take the time to look up all of your favorite brands on Facebook and give them a “Like” and when you’re enjoying them tell them so with a tweet, because it means more than you think!

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Also have my cousin here, who works at the PR firm above me, so thankful to join the IPG fam with her, I owe a lot of this experience to her.

3. GETTING LOST, EXPLORING, GETTING LOST, EXPLORING 

10148_10151392509141364_410845620_nLiterally in that order. My roommate Darcie and I would love to think that we have the subway down like pros – and we do when we use our phone apps and once we are actually on the subway (or when I nice New Yorker let’s us know we are on the wrong train, thanks again sir).

I can say that I’ve successfully crossed these off the to-do list:
CENTRAL PARK, FAO SCHWARZ, MUSEUM OF NATIONAL HISTORY, HIGH LINE, CHELSEA MARKET, BIG APPLE BBQ, AN ISRAELI PARADE, SAW THE PURGE  . . .

photo 12

. . . and getting casted for a reality TV show (normal).

HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK: 

The highlight of the week absolutely has to be celebrating Amanda’s 21st birthday! It’s so crazy that I celebrated her sweet 16, 18 and now 21. We had a wonderful dinner and night out on the town! I love meeting new friends and also so excited that my PR ladies from USF, Nikki and Ashley who are interning in the city helped celebrate too. Feeling young and wild and free.

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SOULPANCAKE, Have you inspired yourself yet?

 

Are you so sick of turning on the news and reading articles of various tragedies going on in and out of your community? I know I am, and to be honest it is one of the reasons I switched to Public Relations from Broadcast Journalism, I want to focus on bringing out the quality of life and fixing any trouble.

Well, there is always SOULPANCAKE to highlight the good.

I recently was introduced to SOULPANCAKE via their YouTube with their trending video of “Kid President”. Kid President is this adorable little boy who focuses on positivity and motivational speeches to encourage the movement of getting out there and changing the world. The video I embedded at the bottom of this post is the first of the series I have seen, WATCH IT. There are new videos every Thursday!

I also spent 22 minutes (Facebook off, Twitter off, iPhone 5 put away) to truly enjoy “My Last Days: Meet Zach Sobiech”. You have most likely seen this video trending on your Facebook feed, but maybe you haven’t watched it yet.

It is a documentary on how Zach, a victim to pancreatic cancer, chose to focus on living and not the fact that he was dying. Through music and the love of those around him, his story reminds us that every day is beautiful.

I encourage you to honor Zach, who passed away on May 20th, 22 minutes of your life and enjoy his last days.

“I want to be remembered as a kid who went down fighting, and didn’t really lose.” 

And now, if you need something to wipe away your tears, here is Kid President. (Only about 3 minutes out of your life).

“I think we all need a pep talk.”