President Trump Just Crushed My Career Plan, And I'm Not Taking It

President Trump Just Crushed My Career Plan, And I'm Not Taking It

I worked hard for four years to tell our country's story, and Donald Trump just made it all for nothing.
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This morning I got a notification from my Politico news app that told me what I quietly prayed wouldn't happen: President Trump froze federal hiring.

My blood boiled and I went silent to the people around me. My career plan, my humble job that I wanted for years, my job that I'd sent in several applications for over the past month, was just snatched away from me by our new President on his third day in office.

I'm a senior studying history and political science. I'm writing an eighty-page honors thesis. I've worked my ass off for four years. I'm graduating in May - perfectly on time - with two degrees.

My dream job that I was working for wasn't to have some cushy office on Wall Street, earn six figures, get a company car, or get bonuses in the form of a trip to Hawai'i each year.

My dream job was to wear a green and gray uniform, walk through fields, hills, and forests, and teach my fellow Americans about our heritage.

I wanted to serve my nation in the National Park Service - I wanted to be a park ranger at our nation's battlefields and teach our people about the sacrifices our soldiers made at places like Valley Forge, Fort McHenry, and Antietam. But President Trump decided that in the end that that's expendable.

I've been wanting to teach our history since I was a little boy. Living my whole life in Pennsylvania, my family took me took me to the Gettysburg battlefield all the time. I became fascinated with how men from my hometown - my unimportant little town where nothing happened and no one went anywhere - came to this sacred place to fight and die for their nation on those three hot July days in 1863 during our Civil War. I developed a personal connection with history.

Deep down in my heart, I feel called to tell our country's story.

That calling got even stronger in the summers of 2014 and 2015 when I got the chance to intern with the National Park Service at Gettysburg. It was a dream come true. I worked hard every day, trudging around those fields in the summer heat - but it barely felt like work. I loved every minute of it. I felt like those brave men who fought there were watching me and I was making them proud by telling their story.

It became a spiritual thing for me.

When I would tell a story of a particular soldier - some poor boy from Virginia or Minnesota or Texas or Maine - and I would make a visitor feel an emotional connection to that story, I felt like I was building the strength of our nation. America was built by average people, and it's kept alive by average people like you and me who remember the stories of the people who came before us.

Not long ago, back before he was elected, Donald Trump visited Gettysburg.

He visited that sacred place and heard the stories of the courageous men there who gave what Lincoln called "the last full measure of devotion." What exactly may have been going through his mind during his visit there, I can't say.

But it doesn't appear that it was any sort of appreciation.

I hope he at least enjoyed listening to that ranger in the picture above. She cares about that place with enough passion that she studies the stories day in and day out. But by the executive order he signed today, it doesn't look like President Trump cares about places like Gettysburg, where Americans like you and me bled and died to hold this country together.

It's not just me that's angry about this.

There are a lot of other people like me who wanted to teach our country's history. One writes a Facebook status saying, "I feel like my whole future's been ripped out from under me. I feel like all of my hard work and careful plans were for nothing."

Another wrote, "Not that my future or my friend's futures matter or anything apparently, but hey, it's kind of important to me to have one of those. You know. A job. And a future. Both would be nice." Inevitably, someone will say, "Well, you should have done something better than go for a liberal arts degree!"

There's nothing wrong with what other people do. Even taking up a trade - that's an honorable way of life, and I'll never look down on it. But wanting to devote your life to commemorating the sacrifice of America's soldiers? How the hell is that not part of Mr. Trump's plan to "Make America Great Again?" He clearly has a much different idea of what America is than I do.

I suppose if I were more patriotic, I would have gone to the Wharton School of Business and become a swanky businessman who licenses his name to sub-par steaks and scams people out of their money when they enroll at a phony university.

Thanks for nothing, President Trump.

Cover Image Credit: Tourism Cares

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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What I Learned From The CMA Journalism Convention

After attending the College Media Association's annual convention, I have a clear dream and the motivation to chase it.

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I've been lucky enough to visit New York City three times in my life, and each trip has left me more in love with the city than the last. The first trip was for less than 24 hours on black friday. I took the train with my grandparents and cousins from New Jersey to Penn Station and spent one glorious day hitting the pavement, topping it all off with attending the Rockettes Christmas show at Radio City Music hall.

The second time was as a graduation present during my senior year of high school. I went with my mom for a few days, and it was magical. Since then, I had yearned to go back to the Big Apple and once again feel the rush of energy that the city gives you every time you immerse yourself in it.

After my second trip, I didn't know when I would get to return, but this past month, I got a golden opportunity to go back to my favorite city in the world. I was invited to attend the College Media Association's annual spring convention for student journalists, from March 6-10. I went along with five other students from my college newspaper, and I was absolutely thrilled.

It was truly surreal to be back. Even though it had been two years since my last trip, it felt like I had never even left. Ironically, the convention was held at the same hotel I stayed at the last time, so I genuinely felt right at home. A lot of my time was spent working, where I got to learn about journalism from experts in the business. All of the sessions I attended were interesting and incredibly relevant to my career, and the speakers were passionate and helpful with their advice.

The highlight of the convention for me was getting to go to the Good Morning America studios to see a taping of Strahan and Sara. Michael Strahan and Sara Haines were so nice and the overall energy of the show was upbeat, positive and fun. I enjoyed every second of my experience there, and I will always cherish the photos I got with the two hosts.

Outside of work, I managed to score tickets to the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and so my roommate and I spent one glorious evening at the Ed Sullivan theatre. It was so exhilarating and fun, and I even got to go onstage while the musical guest, Mumford and Sons, was performing.

After the convention, I walked away with a clearer sense of what my career goals were as a journalist. Throughout my experience both in the sessions and in the television studios, I realized that broadcast journalism was my passion and what I wanted to pursue. Journalism is a field that is ever-changing as technology grows and evolves, so it can feel overwhelming to find your place as a reporter. There's the traditional print route, broadcast, or all of the new opportunities that the digital world is offering, not to mention the in-depth investigative reporting that transcends all mediums. But for me, the feeling of adrenaline when I was in the audience of the tv shows was indescribable, and it was something that made me feel more inspired than ever.

I know it is a lofty goal to be a news anchor on TV, and I know it is a goal that is shared by many others. But thanks to the convention and the bright lights of New York City, I know that it is a goal I want to chase with all my might. I can't wait to see what the future holds, and I am counting down the days until I can return to the Big Apple again.

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