Chelsea & The City: Looking back, moving forward and apartment shopping

Last week I went with the Ball State Journalism Workshops office to the annual Journalism Education Association high school national convention in good ol’ San Antonio. I’ve gone with Ball State for the past three years and it is always a blast. The trip is really important to me because Ball State recruited me at this convention when I was in high school; Now I am the one behind the booth doing the recruiting.

Working the convention booth in San Antonio Jennifer Prandato and Anna Kaiser.

The highlight of the convention is always giving critiques for the high school publications. They get so excited and nervous to talk to us, which is hilarious because I remember feeling the exact same way. I love doing them because they are all so open and willing to learn. It’s a great experience. San Antonio was fun, too. We got to see the Alamo, enjoy a little Texas sun and enjoy some great margaritas.


Sunday was a very strange day for me. I was sitting in our magazine’s office around 4 p.m. getting ready to send off my last issue to the printer. The other editors had left and I was waiting for the final PDF to export — which, by the way, takes forever. It takes so long, in fact, that I had no one left to text, I caught up on all my Letterpress games and I ‘liked’ every Instagram from the past two days … and it still wasn’t done. When I turned around to see what else I could do to entertain myself for the next 15 minutes, I saw an issue of the very first magazine I designed freshman year shoved in a corner. At first I laughed to myself — remembering all of the awful spreads I had done — then I started to reminisce.

I have been in such a huge hurry to finish college up until this point, that I made a list of all the things I need to do to finish just to see how close I am every day. All I tell myself is, “you’re almost done.”

My professors all tell me I’m crazy, and I tell them I can’t wait to be out in the real world. But on Sunday I realized I haven’t been taking the time to enjoy this last little bit of time I have. This was the last publication I will ever do for student media, and the weird thing is, all I have known for the past three years is working on student media.

A lo-res sneak peek at my last issue of Ball Bearings magazine.

As much as I say I hate it and I’m ready to be done, I really don’t think I am. That building …  those offices .. those computers — they all hold so much meaning to me that I never realized. They were there when I didn’t know what I was doing and they are still there today as I finish my last magazine as design editor. That was my first “I can’t believe I’m graduating moment.” And it kind of freaked me out.

But in the spirit of freaking out, I decided the only logical thing to do was make an I-need-to-do-this-before-I-graduate list. I’d love to hear about any of your last college hurrah stories!

Last week I mentioned that soon I’ll be moving to New York City, and this weekend I am excited to head up there to look for an apartment. Fingers crossed! I clearly have no idea how to apartment shop, though. On Saturday I called a few places to make appointments and all I got was a laugh and, “Call back the day before you’re ready.” This will be quite an adventure. As long as I don’t end up in a shack under the Brooklyn Bridge I think I’ll be fine. Wish me luck!


(Chelsea Kardokus is a senior journalism graphics major at Ball State University. See more of her work here.)

About Chelsea Kardokus

Chelsea Kardokus is a designer at TIME magazine.

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