Fish Are Friends. And Yes, Sharks Count.

Environment, film

Summer wouldn’t be the same without those quintessential blockbuster hits that we all know and love. Jaws, one of the most prominent and successful blockbuster films of all time, reeled in $14 million in its first weekend back in 1975. Though the film came out more than 40 years ago, its impact has been everlasting—in a very negative way.

A preview for the upcoming film The Meg, —a term short for Megalodon, the largest prehistoric shark in the world—reminded me of the messaging behind Jaws. If you haven’t seen the preview yet, think Jaws, but with a submarine instead of a boat.

While these films can be fun and thrilling to watch, they send a terrible message about these astonishing sea creatures. Sharks are dubbed as “killing machines” or “deadly predators” when really sharks are nothing to fear. In fact, sharks should be fearing us. In 2013, Marine Policy reported that roughly 100 million sharks are killed by humans annually. And how many humans are killed from shark attacks annually? About five. According to National Geographic, you have a 1 in 63 chance of dying from the flu and a 1 in 3,700,000 chance of being killed by a shark during your lifetime.

When we negatively depict something, we don’t care what happens to it. In fact, we often go out of our way to cause harm. Now due to overfishing and human-caused climate change, a variety of shark species are endangered, ranging from vulnerable to critical. We need to protect these creatures with all of our being, along with the numerous other endangered species on the planet.

We’re in the midst of the one week completely dedicated to these super swimmers—and yes, I’m talking about Shark Week. I encourage you to take the time to learn about the various species of sharks (there are hundreds!) and appreciate them for what they are and offer. In order to protect something, we first must love and understand it.

Look, I’m not saying you can’t support films like Jaws and The Meg, though that wouldn’t be the worst idea. However, if you do decide to support these films and others like them, please don’t support the negative messaging. Sharks are widely misunderstood, just like some of us humans out there. Give them a chance.


To learn more, tune into Shark Week on Discovery Channel or check out some of these other resources below:

Have a fin-tastic #SharkWeek!

Diving Into National Geographic’s Encounter: Ocean Odyssey

Blog, Environment, Science

It’s not every day that you can hop on the subway, head to Times Square, and submerge yourself hundreds of feet below sea level. Thanks to National Geographic’s Encounter: Ocean Odyssey, an interactive and immersive underwater adventure, swimming with sea life has never been easier.

From the moment you step through the aqua-colored mist, it’s clear you’ve left Manhattan and embarked on a journey like no other. Nat Geo’s Encounter guides you from the South Pacific to the West Coast of North America, bringing a better understanding of the magnificent life we’ve discovered and the excitement and mystery of all that remains unknown.

The best part about Ocean Odyssey is the all-ages access pass to some of the world’s most beautiful, but dangerous places. This experience provides fun for the entire family. No waivers necessary. As a 23-year-old nature enthusiast, I can admit that I had just as much fun as the four-year-old explorer stomping around as the bioluminescent coral changed color around her.


While Ocean Odyssey serves as an educational experience about ocean life, this isn’t the typical exhibit-style museum trip. Nat Geo provides meaningful and engaging experiences, like a kelp forest maze, a sea lion training encounter, a 3D ride through a school of fish, and a room full of games and quizzes to keep your wits sharp. Every station gives visitors a sense of how these aquatic creatures live, thrive, and survive in their environments.

I would be remiss to exclude the overarching theme of advocacy and activism throughout the encounter. Nat Geo takes a subject as complicated as climate change and conveys the issue in a way that anyone could understand. There are many moments, both subtle and obvious, that prove how important and urgent human action continues to be. Luckily, there are numerous ways to engage and get involved with important issues like coral bleaching, pollution, and plastic use from signing pledges and promising to make small changes to sharing newfound knowledge with friends and family. Everyone at this encounter can make a difference, and any difference is commendable.

National Geographic has always been and continues to be an environmental organization very close to my heart. It educates young minds of the most critical environmental issues of our time and encourages action and change for the better. I will always support this amazing work and I hope you will too.

Tickets start at $32.50 and can be purchased here.

A portion of the proceeds will support National Geographic Society’s nonprofit work in conservation, exploration, research, and education.


How to Keep Sane During the Post-Grad Job Search

Blog, Personal

If you’re a graduating senior, this post is specifically directed at you and I’m going to give you a piece of advice I should have taken a long, long time ago:

R E L A X.

I know by now you’re tempted to click away in frustration, thinking what I’ve written holds little value, but I urge you to press on.

Graduating is terrifying and there’s a whole lot on your plate. Add job hunting to the mix and slowly but surely, you’ll be consumed by it all. You’ll lose touch with yourself, others, and everything going on around you. Now, I’m not saying throw your laptop out the window and deactivate your LinkedIn account. The search is still important. It just doesn’t need to take over your entire life.


I get it, you’ve heard this all before and you’re rolling your eyes at how cliché I sound, but let me explain a bit further with a personal anecdote:

I applied for a job about a month ago and heard back right away. I had two excellent interviews and a reference check. I thought I had this position in the bag and was already beginning to map out the coming months. I thought wrong. It came down to two candidates and I sadly was not the chosen one. Initially, I felt existential dread. I had no clue what I would do, how I would possibly find a job before graduation, how I would compete with all the superstars within my major, etc. In a matter of minutes my whole life had fallen apart. It sounds dramatic, right? That’s the problem.

In my head, I felt I needed every aspect of my life to come together in a certain way. As a student, I was so accustomed to routine and knowing what came next in life that I couldn’t handle seeing only question marks in my head. I needed a plan, but truly, in the grand scheme, I didn’t.

The truth is simple. Everyone has a different path, yet all of us graduating seniors feel we need to be doing the exact same things: landing the dream job, moving into the city, impressing everyone with impeccable skills, and overall, appearing happy. Unfortunately, this frame of thinking is a product of our society. We’ve grown to believe that success can be determined by a simple equation and if you don’t stick to the status quo, well then you’re just a failure. I’m here to tell you how painfully untrue that is. You are not a failure, not by any stretch.

Upward social comparison doesn’t help either. How many times have you seen some acquaintance post a Facebook status about their new incredible job, living their absolute best life? How did you feel? I can say that I’ve been in both situations – sitting on my bed fuming with frustration, but in the same vein, also unknowingly posting content that made others feel lesser. Comparison can be found in more subtle ways, as well. Look at how education promotes itself. When you apply to a college, you learn how many seniors graduate with full-time job offers, the standard starting salary, and the impressive array of position titles. These are the focus points that end up on a bulleted card sent to your family mailbox. You don’t hear about the way students have grown into better people, or how their perspectives have changed on different cultural issues, or how they found a passion they can feel proud of. Those concepts aren’t tangible measurement tools. So, what can you measure? Money.

The pressures of predetermined success are everywhere and in some cases, impossible to escape. I personally got caught up in the frenzy and lost track of who I was and what I stood for. I forgot to stop and smell the Hofstra tulips. I forgot to sit in the grass and admire all the exciting things taking place around me. I forgot to enjoy my final year as an undergraduate student. I’m not getting that time back and in the next 14 days, I plan to do everything in my power to make up for it.

Looking back, I’m glad my life has fallen into place in this crazy, chaotic mess. I have no idea what I’m doing next month or the month after that and I have no definitive plans in any way, shape, or form. But even still, I am more at peace now than I have been all year. My time will come and in the meantime, I will go wherever the wind blows.

If you’re feeling the way I did, I understand completely. Life is an ongoing challenge that never seems to get any easier. But please, try to relax. You will get a job at some point in time. It doesn’t need to be tomorrow or next week. Enjoy the life around you and keep your mental health in check. All good things come to those who wait and the universe has its plans for you yet.

keep calm

Thanks to 2016, I Found My Sense of Purpose

Blog, Environment, Personal

As human beings, we all partake in interesting rituals and follow social contracts that seem only natural to us. New Years, for example, has become a time to reflect on the chapter we prepare to close, as if the date and time on a clock indicate a separation of past and present. It’s funny how simply shifting from one day to the next invites a barrage of “New Year, new me” posts, promises and resolutions. Well, here’s mine:

This past year has been a whirlwind, filled with tumultuous events that I believe have only made me wiser. 2016 has taught me a lot, and while much of this year has elicited negative emotions, it has also given me the greatest gift of all: a sense of purpose.

Behind the Curtains of the First Presidential Debate

Blog, Uncategorized

On September 26, 2016, Hofstra University had the privilege of hosting a third consecutive presidential debate. With just two months to prepare, the university had a lot to do and very little time to do it. That’s where I came in. I was one of the lucky 300 students chosen to assist in this monumental, historic event. I was allowed to see both sides of the coin, something very few people could see. Most watched the debate on their couches at home, thinking little of what went on to make it all happen. I had the ability to be apart of the action, then watch it all unfold on screen.


The Tip Jar: Maddie Michalik’s Toy Story

Blog, Tip Jar

Imagine sharing an office with hundreds of toys and games. Better yet, imagine getting to play with all of them on a daily basis.

For Maddie Michalik, this dream became a reality when she landed the job everyone grows up wanting to have. I had the pleasure of interviewing Maddie to learn more about her toy-tastic career, so take a look at what may be the coolest job ever:

Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 3.42.05 PM

Where do you work and what is your position?

“I work at Adventure Publishing Group as an assistant editor. I write, lay out, and edit articles for leading trade publications The Toy Book and The Licensing Book. I am the lead editor of The Toy Book’s blog and weekly newsletter. I also report on news and trends, and write weekly product reviews for The Toy Insider, an online consumer website for gift givers. We also produce two holiday gift guides, an online spring/summer gift guide and a print holiday guide in Family Circle magazine. Last, we host two events, Blogger Bash and Holiday of Play, which connect press and digital influencers with the brands they love most!”

“Ghostbusters” Remake Pays Homage To Women In Media

Blog, film

After seeing the “Ghostbusters” remake last night, I left the theater feeling more excited than usual. The film isn’t just a nostalgic rendition of a spooky, slapstick comedy. It’s a statement for women everywhere. “Ghostbusters” packs an all-star cast of kickass women who display strength, charisma, and intelligence- traits rarely seen by women in the television and film sectors.



Blog, TV

Unless you’re a computer guru, you’re probably not interested in coding or hacking. Maybe you’re not even sure what basic HTML is. Those skills might not be for you, but that’s okay. Instead, I can offer a promising TV recommendation that will either open your eyes to what technology can do or foster a swift career change to the tech field.

I’m talking about “Mr. Robot”, a show that forces its audience to rethink everything they’ve ever known about technology, power, and life. It’s darkly chilling and cinematically beautiful. The show is a masterpiece.

Summer in the City

Blog, Personal

After weeks of searching through what felt like an infinite number of sketchy craigslist ads, it was a wonderful feeling to finally open the door to my very first apartment. Everything about this place is perfect, which was made clear to me from the very start. The space is 400 square feet of unique personality and is closely situated to inviting restaurants, shops, the subway, and even a beautiful park right on the water. Living here feels like I found my own personal pot of gold.