Long Time No See!

A lot has changed since my last blog post, which was on January 15th. That’s a long time since I’ve written on my blog. I have been blogging during this gap, but not personally. I started blogging for a website called The Careerists, which focuses on value driven careers through service leadership.

I also decided to take a break from blogging because of my last semester in college. I wanted to enjoy my last semester of undergrad, and make sure I actually got my diploma. As of May 10th, I am officially an Aquinas College Alum. I’m still waiting for the actual diploma in the mail, but that will come soon.

And now that I graduated, I keep hearing the lovely question, “What are you doing now that you graduated?” Yuck. I’m sick of hearing this question.

The day after I graduated, I traveled up north to Leelanau County for my brother’s Michigan wedding reception (basically it was a party for all of my brother’s wedding guests who couldn’t make the actual wedding this past December). Anyway, I was flooded with this question from family friends, relatives, and even some of my brother’s friends.

Thinking ahead, I had a standard answer picked out: “I have an internship on Aquinas’ campus for Circle Theatre until September. Then I’ll be looking for a full time job or bumming on my brother’s couch in California playing nanny.” What I should have said was, “I’m clueless. It’s a miracle that I know what I’m eating for dinner the next day; let alone what I’m going to do with the rest of my life.”

I am not sure what God has planned for me now. I’ve been saying this since Day 1 of my senior year, and now that I’m no longer in school, it is really hitting me. Some of my friends have already stepped into the “real world” of employment, while some are going back to school for their Masters’ Degree or higher. As for me, I’m torn. I want to go back to school, but I’m not sure if I want to go back now. Maybe I’ll wait until I’m a little less in college debt?

I think what God has planned for me right now is to live everyday to the fullest. That sounds cheesy, but if you think about it, I’ve been in some form of school since Pre-K. I have been taking college classes since freshman year, including during summer vacation. I forgot what it is like to not study or not feel guilty about avoiding homework. Now that I don’t have to worry about school, homework, or other academic commitments, I can focus on things that I really love.

In the meantime, I think it’s time to update my “I am a Saint” speech. Here it goes:
“I am Jennifer Lynn Kalchik.

I am proud of my Bohemian, French, and German heritage.

I want to step foot on every continent before I die and make a difference.

I am an aspiring Social Media/PR Expert and Stage Manager.

I live for God, my friends, my family, and to be the best that I can be.

My heart is like a tree, it grows where I please.

I am an Aquinas Alum; I am a Saint.”

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My Final First Week

I’m almost through my final first week of classes in college. I feel a little weird, because most of my classes include freshman. It’s an interesting change, because last semester I took almost all upper-level classes (most of which without the required per-requisite classes). I’m not sure how I feel about being one of the older students on campus now. It’s not a bad thing, however when most of the freshmen assume that I’m also a freshman, I’m a little insulted. In a few years, I might take this assumption as a compliment, however when people assume I’m too young to vote or get into bars legally, then I have justification to be mad.

I like having the authority and the experience of being a senior, but at the same time it means that in a few months I will be graduating from Aquinas. It’s going to be strange when I graduate and will not be able to see my friends on a daily basis. Everyone seems to be going their separate ways, and while I am sad, I think it is for the best. Everyone should be allowed to best the best they can be, and if that means they need to move, then who am I to stop them? I will probably be in this same position in a few years if things do not work out in Grand Rapids.


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Now that I’m starting classes again and my semester won’t be nearly as stressful as last semester, I want to continue writing on my blog.
Not much has changed since my last entry. My brother finally got married and I officially have a sister! I’m working on a musical called Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson at a community theatre. I’m currently searching for full time jobs after my internship. Oh, and my final semester at Aquinas officially begins this week. Where has the time gone?
It’s hard to believe that in less than four months, I will be getting my diploma. I don’t know if I’m excited, relieved, or terrified. Maybe a combination of everything?
This semester my goal will be to become a better listener. I don’t mean becoming a better listener for other people; I want to learn to listen to myself. I need to learn to trust my intuition to guide me in the right direction. At this point of my life, the rest is up to me. I decide where I want to live, what jobs I apply for, and who I want to keep in my life, when I want to start a family, and why I want these things.
I don’t know what I want in life. I don’t know what God has in store for me after graduation, but I plan to stay in Grand Rapids for at least a year while I try to sort things out (and hopefully find a job). If Grand Rapids is don’t have the words or the ideas of what I want to do after graduation, but I know that God will listen to my heart and guide me in the right direction.


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Exam Cram Stress

I apologize for not writing on here as often as I should be. I have the ideas for what I want to write, except not the time. Blame cramming for exams on top of the fact I leave for California this week.

With how many things I have to do, I’m burned out. I’ve hit senioritis and there is no going back. As much as I love school, I’m looking forward to escaping my school life, even if only for a week.

I’m excited to see my family this week, old and new. My cousin was recently promoted in the military and my brother is starting to move into a new house after the wedding.

With all this exciting and stressful news in my life, it was hard for me to celebrate my birthday last week. I’m not usually the kind of person who likes bragging and reminding everyone that it is my birthday. It didn’t feel like I had any reason to celebrate this year: I could already drink legally and everyone I wanted to celebrate with was just as stressed as I am. It took me a while to realize that it’s okay to celebrate even with so much stress piled up in my life. I think once the wedding is over and I’m officially done with exams, that will give me a better reason to truly celebrate my birthday.

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Three Weeks

Wow. Only three weeks left for the semester. Time flies by doesn’t it? While part of me will miss some of the classes, I’m excited to have a lighter load of classes for my final semester. True, I will still be at 18 credits, balancing two jobs, and handling a few Stage Management jobs, but I know it won’t be near as bad as this semester. It’s not that my classes are awful; they’re just a lot of work.

I’m also a little burned out. I can’t wait to not worry about papers or homework during Winter Break. I’ve had to cut back a lot this semester on my social life and extra curricular activities. At the same time, I don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing. Since I am graduating in May, I want to focus on my grades and activities I really care about. Oh, and finding a job after I graduate; that would be nice.

Overall, I’m not sure how I will feel exactly after this semester. I want it to be over, but at the same time, it means I’m that much closer to graduation.

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I’ve been thinking a lot about home lately. More specifically, the home were I grew up. Speaking in numbers, I’ve experienced several things with the term “home”:

  • 5 different places to call home
  • 4 years of having more than one home
  • 3 different buildings which I called my home when I lived on Aquinas’ campus
  • 2 years at my current house (or Ethel Haus as my roommates and I like to call it)
  • 1 home where I can always go back

I’ve noticed recently that when I say I’m going home, I have to specify. I think one reason is because I live in Grand Rapids for school, but my real home is further away. I keep calling it my parent’s house, because that is where my parents live. I keep forgetting that I live there too.


I don’t know what makes my parent’s house so special to me. It resides in the middle of nowhere, the WiFi is awful, there are loud dogs that are constantly barking, farm equipments blaring at 6:00am, not being able to drive 5 miles without hitting a body of water, and the closest neighbor is within driving distance. When I lived there full time in high school, I loathed these things. Now that I live in Grand Rapids, I realize how nice it is to hear coyotes at night instead of blaring sirens. I’ve learned to enjoy looking outside my window at night and seeing stars instead of other houses.

I took these little things for granted, and now that I don’t have them in my life on a daily basis, I really miss them. I’m not sure if I miss them enough to want to move back to the area after graduation, but it is nice once in a while to escape from city life and the hustle and bustle of obligations in college.


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Craving Change

I’m the kind of person that constantly craves change in my life. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the things I have in my life; I just get bored very easily. The change can be mundane, such as changing my favorite type of coffee drink or favorite type of clothing, or it can be drastic like adding a new piercing or tattoo. I’m at the point where I want a more drastic change.

That drastic change I want is with my hair. I’ve been growing out my hair for the past 3-4 years, and it is the longest it has ever been. I would like to continue to grow out my hair, but unfortunately I know that my hair can never be donated because it has been colored too many times. That was the main reason I was growing my hair out originally, in the hopes I could donate it to someone who needed my hair more than me. I’ve learned from experience that I can’t pull off short hair.

I’m getting a little annoyed with my hair, mostly because I’m at the time of year where it is a pain in the butt to look decent on a daily basis. However, it is quite nice to be able to throw my hair into a bun or side-braid if it’s not cooperating.

New goal: I will grow my hair longer until I graduate from Aquinas. When I graduate, I will cut my hair as a sign of the next phase of my life. Plus, this gives me another reason to be excited for graduation!

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Counting my Blessings

The stress is starting to build; I have less than a month until I go to California for my brother’s wedding. While I am excited to be in the wedding, I’m also a little reluctant because of the timing. I’m spending what little free time I have working on homework, projects, and finals.

As a distraction from school, I’ve been thinking a lot about how fortunate I am. A big storm hit my college last night and knocked out the power. Classes were cancelled until they restored most of the power, and I still had to go to work today. I was a little sad, but I remembered that I was earning money. My house still has power and running water, while other houses in the area and some of Aquinas aren’t as fortunate; other parts of the country aren’t even that lucky.

Around this time of year, I usually get stressed about things in my life I should be grateful for. I’m fortunate to be able to go to Aquinas, have a roof over my head, a great job, and have friends and family to celebrate special moments with. It’s easy to forget about those things when other commitments start to take over your life.

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Six Months

In exactly six months, I’ll be done with undergrad and will officially become an AQ Alum. Where has the time gone?
I still remember my freshman year like it was just yesterday. Meeting my roommate and best friend Marissa for the first time, living away from home, seeing Lady Gaga in concert, my first college classes, and most importantly, I started the journey of discovering what I wanted in life.
I’m not exactly sure how I feel about graduation yet. Part of me is excited because I won’t have to take out any more loans or buy textbooks, but another part of me is confused and a little scared. I’ve been attending school for most of my life, and I don’t know what to do afterwards. I won’t have to worry about exams, homework, grades, or anything like that.
I’m also going to miss seeing my friends on a daily basis. True, some will still be at AQ for another year or so, but others will be moving on with their lives just like me. I think I had this same feeling when I was about to graduate from high school as well. However, I was very excited to start college and meet new people. I was looking forward to starting the next chapter in my life, and that’s how I need to view graduation.

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Theatre Research of Africa

I’ve spent most of the weekend catching up (or rather, getting ahead) on a massive pile of homework. For those of you who aren’t aware yet, I will be missing the full week of school right before finals week for my brother’s wedding in California; I won’t be returning until Sunday night going into the Monday of finals week. This is when most of my assignments are due. When you have to miss a full week of school right before finals week, you won’t blame me for being a little paranoid.

I’m focusing right now on my theatre history paper. I’m taking this class for my Theatre minor, and it focuses from the Origins of Drama to the Reformation period. Most of what I’m learning in the class is from Europe and Asia. For my paper, I wanted to focus on a different part of the world that means the most to me: Africa.

Elephants in Malawi, Africa

Originally, I was bouncing back and forth between topics for this paper. I’m not really sure what made me stumble on this topic, but I’m glad I did. I’ve decided to focus on Pre-Colonial Performing Arts in Africa, and compare some of the theatre elements to the elements found in the Western world during this time.

I think my favorite part of the paper so far is my introduction. I’m the kind of person that has to write the introduction first before I start on the rest of the paper. Here is what I have so far:

“The entire continent of Africa tends to get compressed together because of the similarities of culture for each country. There are many traditions of theatre in Africa and thus there are multiple histories of theatres and performances in Africa. Pre-colonial African theatre not only included conventional drama on stage, but also non-literary forms such as dance, mimes, story-telling, masquerades, and improvised threatre. Most people assumed that African culture remained stagnant for several centuries.”

I think why I love this topic so much is because I’m seeing some of the biased opinions I first heard about when I decided to study abroad in Africa about two years. Naturally, I wanted to prove people wrong by experiencing the culture myself. When I visited, I was only able to visit a handful of countries (Malawi, Kenya, Zambia) and I only stayed at each location for a short period of time. That’s not enough time to truly learn about a country, and it also proves my point that there are more countries in Africa that are unique from each other. We tend to get offended if other countries compared the U.S. to Canada and Mexico right? That’s how most of the countries in Africa feel as well.

My goal for this paper is to try and summarize the entire Pre-Colonial period in Africa regarding Performing Arts in one paper. And hopefully, I will change some opinions about Africa along the way.

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