News Articles About Mariah Proctor

News Articles About Topic Mariah Proctor

Stepping Up and Standing Out


November 4, 2011
by Mariah Proctor

It puts me in a bit of an awkward position to explore what it takes to stand out from the pack: If I am unsuccessful, this blog post won’t even stand out enough for you to finish reading it (which is just cruel irony) but I’ll try my best.

It puts me in a bit of an awkward position to explore what it takes to stand out from the pack: If I am unsuccessful, this blog post won’t even stand out enough for you to finish reading it (which is just cruel irony) but I’ll try my best.

By the time you finish high school, you have a pretty good idea of what sets you apart from your classmates. You’ve figured by then that because you get good grades and you excel at this or that, you are set apart and safely defined. Then you begin attending college and find out that you’re surrounded by a bunch of people who also got good grades in high school and also excelled at the exact same this or that as you. Essentially, you meet a lot of other high schools’ versions of yourself.

So how do you set yourself apart? How do you keep from getting overlooked in scholarship applications, interviews and program admissions? Stop trying so hard to find out what they want. Be excellent and work diligently but stop trying so hard to adjust to some imagined expectation of a winner and instead concentrate on figuring out what you truly have to offer. Explore yourself and take note of the winning qualities and the passions that rule your actions. Only in cultivating what you’re actually good for (and we’ve all got something, even when you’re feeling like you don’t) and making those communicable and usable can you stand out from a crowd of anonymity.

In a world where the pool of people clamoring to fill positions is getting bigger, there are already plenty of cookie cutters and checklists, but there isn’t nearly enough heart. So find yours, show it and watch the rest of the pack fade away.

Mariah Proctor is a senior at Brigham Young University studying theatre arts and German studies. She is a habitual globe-trotter and enjoys acoustic guitar, sunshine and elephant whispering. Once the undergraduate era of her life comes to an end, she plans to perhaps seek a graduate degree in film and television production or go straight to pounding the pavement as an actor and getting used to the sound of slammed doors. Writing has and always will be the constant in her whirlwind life story.

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I arrived back in the U.S. on a Friday and the following Monday was the first day of a whole new semester of classes. One second, I was walking around Paris and soaking up the romance of the city. The next? I’m back with the same pack of people as always, as though the summer never happened. I love my friends in college and I love the life I’ve created for myself, but studying abroad is a life apart and coming back to a reality that seems unchanged when you feel transformed can be taxing.

Coming Home and Moving On from a Study Abroad Experience

September 15, 2011
by Mariah Proctor
I arrived back in the U.S. on a Friday and the following Monday was the first day of a whole new semester of classes. One second, I was walking around Paris and soaking up the romance of the city.

When you’re preparing to study abroad, the images that illustrate your anticipation are the ones that you’d find on postcards. You have romantic images of sunsets and famous buildings but you often neglect the mundane – the Dumpsters, the traffic, the bathrooms. You fail to realize that your study abroad will see you taking on a new place in its entirety and those routine, everyday things are not only present but are done differently than back home. That moment of ‘that’s not how you’re supposed to do that’ or ‘the people here are so _____’ is called culture shock; take the edge off by anticipating its inevitable arrival.

Taking the Edge Off of Culture Shock

August 9, 2011
by Mariah Proctor
When you’re preparing to study abroad, the images that illustrate your anticipation are the ones that you’d find on postcards. You have romantic images of sunsets and famous buildings but you often

A practical stranger just walked into my room in her underwear to tell me not to be so rough with the cold water handle of the kitchen faucet.

Getting Along With Your Host Family

July 15, 2011
by Mariah Proctor
A practical stranger just walked into my room in her underwear to tell me not to be so rough with the cold water handle of the kitchen faucet. Yes, living with host families is an adventure but

Most peoples’ perfect study abroad destination is dictated by major. Should you find yourself studying English, you will likely want to go to the land of Shakespeare, Keats and Wordsworth. Ancient Near Eastern Studies will likely send you to the modern Near East. Music may see you joining me here in Vienna. But if you’re undecided, here are some helpful hints in choosing a study abroad destination.

Choosing Your Study Abroad Destination

July 6, 2011
by Mariah Proctor
Most peoples’ perfect study abroad destination is dictated by major. Should you find yourself studying English, you will likely want to go to the land of Shakespeare, Keats and Wordsworth. Ancient

When I was preparing for my first study abroad to Jerusalem, I envisioned myself walking though the cobblestone streets and trying exotic foods and seeing wonderful sights. The one thing that my pre-departure vision never included was other people. I always imagined myself alone and having the time of my life. It wasn’t until we got together, all in one room, that I realized that girl who asked that silly question was going to be there and that guy who looked too cool for school was going to be there and that this trip was going to be full of people and not just places.

Prepping for a Study Abroad: Social Edition

June 13, 2011
by Mariah Proctor
When I was preparing for my first study abroad to Jerusalem, I envisioned myself walking though the cobblestone streets and trying exotic foods and seeing wonderful sights. The one thing that my

Experience has taught me things that the people whose excitement I share as our departure date rapidly approaches have yet to learn. Luckily, I can split my study abroad knowledge into three categories of preparation: what you’ve got ahead, what you’re leaving behind and what to bring along.

Prepping for a Summer Abroad: Logistics Edition

June 6, 2011
by Mariah Proctor
Experience has taught me things that the people whose excitement I share as our departure date rapidly approaches have yet to learn. Luckily, I can split my study abroad knowledge into three

When people hear I’m getting ready to leave on my third study abroad, there are no questions asked – just resentful looks that say ‘Well, aren’t you the cultured little rich girl.’ Okay, maybe the looks aren’t that venomous but the idea holds true. If you are considering studying abroad but think you can’t afford it, listen up: You can.

Prepping for a Summer Abroad: Financial Edition

May 26, 2011
by Mariah Proctor
When people hear I’m getting ready to leave on my third study abroad, there are no questions asked – just resentful looks that say ‘Well, aren’t you the cultured little rich girl.’ Okay, maybe the

So I’m sitting there, my entire head engulfed in paste so that they can make a plaster replica of my face for use in molding masks even when I’m not on campus for the summer. It was while sitting there – staving off bouts of panic and claustrophobia and completely unable to move – that I had another “what am I doing with my college career?” moment. These moments happen fairly often (like when a teacher requires us to roll down a grassy hill or play scream tag) that I take a step back and realize what unusual learning experiences my tuition money gets me.

A Major Decision

May 20, 2011
by Mariah Proctor
Choosing Your Field of Study in Three Easy Steps