Friday, December 12, 2014

Blooming Grounds

Here is a commercial I had to make for a class! It was a group project where we had to pick a local business and create a commercial for them. My group chose a local coffee shop. We created every aspect of this commercial, from the filming to the editing. I hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Stress. This word can seem quite terrifying. For me, stress is something that I try to avoid at all costs. Even if I put my best efforts forward, stress still seems to creep its way back into my mind. Stress isn't necessarily all bad all the time. Sometimes stress can be a motivator to get work done, but other times it is just an annoyance that keeps you up at night.  I've recently realized that I do a lot of things to create extra stress for myself that isn't necessary or conducive to my work and I also have a few tips to help relieve some of those stressful things.

 Here are a few things I do that add to my stress:

Over analyzing- I am someone who cannot get my brain to shut off. If I have something that is stressing me out, it will continue to pop up in my thoughts and cause distraction. 

Procrastination- What can I say, I tend to keep things to the last minute. This has been something I have struggled with for a long time and I know can be a common problem. Sometimes it seems like I cannot get myself to work on something unless I'm under the pressure of a deadline.

Over-involvement- Being involved is a very good thing, especially in college when there are so many opportunities. But getting involved in too many things can cause stress. I don't know how some people can balance everything they put on their plate. 

Now, here are a few thing I do to help relieve some of the stress:

Take some time- When my brain is rushing and I feel overwhelmed, I make sure that I take some time to myself. I'm someone who needs to be alone to be able to get my thoughts into order. Whether it be spending some time playing my ukulele or watching cooking videos on Youtube, I use this time as an escape.  

Treat yourself- If I have a lot going on and I am feeling stressed, I reward myself when I get something done. This seems to make the stress seem a bit more manageable. It could be a treat of a snack or an opportunity to scroll through my social media. These little treats make stressful tasks less intimidating, 

Think positively- Just having a positive mindset can relieve some of the intimidation of stress. Being optimistic in a stressful situation can cause it to be less daunting. I like to tell myself that this stress I am dealing with will not last forever and that everything will be fine. Just thinking that way can be a relief. 

These are just a few pieces of stress and a few solutions. It's important to know your limits on stress and understand how to handle it yourself.

What are some things that stress you out? What do you do to make that stress less intimidating?

Thanks for reading and have a lovely day!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Photography Project- Activities Fair

On Wednesday Aug, 27  2014, Saint Mary's University hosted their annual Activities Fair.

Students in the Plaza at Saint Mary's University for the annual Activities Fair

This event takes place every fall semester on campus. Students gather in the plaza and are surrounded by tables set up with all the clubs and activities Saint Mary's has to offer. Representatives from each club have a table where they can set up and talk to students about their club or activity. Students can walk around and interact with any club or activity that they are interested in.

A line of tables for students to talk to representatives of clubs

Director of Student Activities at Saint Mary's, Lance Thompson, is very fond of this event. "It's one of my favorite things that happen at Saint Mary's" says Thompson. Thompson see's the fair as an opportunity to be able to see what can be in store for students at Saint Mary's: "It's everyone coming together and looking at the future of what you may or may not do." Another part of the fair that Thompson enjoys is the community that can be seen. "Freshman, Transfers, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors. Everyone is there."

This also gives clubs a chance to boost their membership. ASCD President and Saint Mary's Junior Katie LeTourneau believes that the Activities Fair was very helpful to her club.  "We talked to over 40 students who we might not otherwise be able to make connections with." The fair is a chance for the clubs and activities to introduce the new students into activities on campus. "We were able to talk to a lot of freshman and talk about what we do" says LeTourneau.

Katie LeTourneau (right) informing a student about the ASCD club

Emily Ahart (left) and Hannah Friedrich (right) talking to students about the Student Activities Committee

The Activities Fair drew a large crowd to learn about opportunities to get involved at Saint Mary's. Many students were able to look at their options and get connected with people who have similar interests. "It can change lives," says Thompson "it's exciting." 

A group of student learn about opportunities on campus

Monday, September 15, 2014

A Little More About Me

Hello All,

Now that we're here on this blog, maybe I should tell you a little more about me. I realize that sometimes it's nice to know a thing or two about the person behind the words you're taking the time to read. So let's dive in!

My name is Catherine Burgraff (I've also been known to go by "Cat", you can make your choice as to what you wish to refer to me as). I'm currently a Junior at Saint Mary's University where I am studying Public Relations. I am an active member of the Student Activities Committee on my campus where I am co-chair of PR. 

I grew up in a somewhat small farming community in southern Minnesota. When I was growing up, my father was the Executive Director of the local theater. Because of this, I found a love of the arts at a very young age. I have been in and watched more theater productions than I want to take the time to count. I love theater, and even though I haven't been in any productions for a few years, I still love to go to a play or musical and enjoy the show

Another large part of my life is music. One of my favorite activities is to sit and turn on music to just listen. I don't have a preference as to one particular style or sound, I just like music. I played the clarinet for eight years and I have participated in choir for longer. I also have recently learned to play the ukulele, which is something I have a tremendous amount of fun doing. 

Something that is a major factor as to who I am is my faith. I am a Christian and that molds a big part of me. I've recently had the opportunity to work at a Bible Camp where I was able to dive deeper into my faith and grow closer with God. I'm hoping to go back to that camp and work again with an even deeper love for Christ. I'm also considering applying for an internship there so I can figure out how to combine my field of study and my love of God.

As to my future, it's kind of a question mark. I'm not completely sure what I want to do after I graduate. I really have an interest in social media, so I'm hoping to incorporate that into it somehow. I'm still exploring my interests and figuring what types of career paths I can take with a Public Relations degree.

So that might be more than you wanted to know, but hey, it happens. Thanks for taking your time to learn a bit more about me. I hope it's helpful to you when reading my future posts!

Have a lovely day!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Greater Awareness

  I recently went for a hike with a close friend of mine through the bluffs around my school. While we were gazing over our campus from a spot near the top of a bluff, I got to thinking about my surroundings. I took in the endless curtain of trees around me and the sun setting over the horizon.

Here is a picture from said hiking adventure

  I began to realize how little time I take to stop and look at what is around me. Being a college student, I spend a lot of time staring at a screen or rushing from one place to the next. I have classes to go to, social media to maintain, and activities to participate in. I don't make an effort to take time out of my day to even look at what is going on around me. This made me think of a quote I had known from Roald Dahls novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-

"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it"

  This really struck a chord with me. What might I be missing by being arrogant to what is happening around me? How will I be successful in the future if I can't take the time to know what is happening in the world? This situation made me think of a YouTube video that became very popular last spring. It is entitled "Look Up" and is all about how in this day and age, we are too reliant on technology. We are not paying attention to what is happening around us. 

Here is the link to the video if you haven't seen it:  

  This video helped me to see that I am probably not the only person who is not looking at what is happening in their surroundings. It also made me realize the potential problems that I may face by being less aware. 

  I've decided to challenge myself. Just like that day hiking through the bluffs, I want to take more time and effort to realize how blessed I am in my surroundings. I want to be more knowledgeable in current events as well as what is happening in my immediate vicinity. I encourage you to do the same. 

  Have you seen this as a problem happening around you? Or maybe even in yourself? What do you think people can do to become more aware of their surroundings?