About Grad School | I Got A Scholarship!

In my last video, “Half Year Assessment” I mentioned that I’d gotten into a Postgraduate school in London to study for a Master’s in Media Communications.

I didn’t mean to do this but I kind of glossed over this bit of news in favor of making the point that 2014 is half over and I still have so much more work to do.



I have a habit of doing this.  I focus on the future and I don’t always allow myself to live in the present.  I also don’t give myself enough credit sometimes.  Also, I focus on the negative instead of the positive way too often.  I hate to admit this but I tend to be a “glass half empty” type of person and it’s such a bummer because I like to think of myself as a “silver lining” type of person.

In this case I really let myself down by not sharing the news of my acceptance into Grad School sooner.  I didn’t even really give myself a chance to celebrate, instead I immediately started worrying about the tuition cost and doing scholarship research.  Not to mention I never went long without thinking of my massive ‘To Do’ list and the other things that still needed to be checked off.

The funny thing is one of my New Year’s Resolutions was to be less hard on myself and to give myself a little credit.  I’ve accomplished a lot over the past few months.  No – I’m not a homeowner or a wife or mother and I haven’t sold that first screenplay or even gotten published yet but that doesn’t take away from the things that I have done.  I need to remember that.


The truth is I’m ecstatic to have gotten accepted into school.  I’m thrilled.  I’m truly truly excited because honestly one of the reasons why I’d put off even applying for so long was because of fear of rejection.  But I didn’t get rejected.

They said “Yes!”

So…yay!  For real, Yaaaaaaay!  I got accepted into Grad School.  In London!  I’m so so so happy and grateful and thankful and all that good stuff.

Also, I’ve been awarded a merit scholarship.  Again, my mind is blown because I had to write an essay in order to be considered for the scholarship and I’d put it off for a long time because essays totally scare me.  But apparently they must’ve liked what I had to say because again – they said, “Yes!”

The scholarship doesn’t cover my full tuition but every little bit helps.

I still have a long way to go to getting to London though.

There’s a $2500 fee (School Registration + Visa application) that needs to be taken care of before I can even think about booking a flight.

And I have about 6 weeks to get that together.

Oh, I do like to hold things until the last minute, don’t I?

Well, I still work in retail so it looks like I’ll have to try fundraising again.  My last Go Fund Me campaign was a success.  I’m still so grateful to all the people who contributed and helped me get to London back in March.  I did not get the internship with MTV but I’m still happy that I made it as far as I did.

Now I want to try again.

So I’ll start my new Go Fund Me campaign in the next couple of days.  I hope you’ll check it out and perhaps consider donating.


A year in London feels like a dream.  But nothing is impossible so here I go again – chasing the thing I want most.  London.

Once again it feels like it could be within reach.

Halfway Through 2014 | Checking In

I applied to a University in London and was accepted into their Graduate Media Communications program!

I’m happy and nervous and still trying to figure out how I’m going to raise the money to get back to London but for now mostly giving myself a pat on the back.

Yay!  London!  Grad school!  Woo! 

Since we’re in the month of June and halfway through 2014 I thought I’d do a half-year assessment and see what else I’ve accomplished so far…

For reference, here is my Bucket List (Reference)

1. Go to London

2. Get a Tattoo

3. Get My Master’s Degree

4. Get a Hobby/Learn a New Craft

5. Write A Book

6. Shoot Another Short Film

7. Develop/Produce a new web series

8. Go Back To London

9. Get Published

10. Book A Role

I still have a long way to go as indicated by my Youtube video and my updated Bucket List.  I don’t expect to get it all done in 2014 but there are steps that I can take now to ensure I get those other items checked off my list.  That ‘To Do’ list is pretty massive and I’m slowing getting through it.

How’s your year going?

Daily Prompt: My Bucket List Is a Cover…

Perfect timing for this Daily Prompt.

It’s Easter Sunday and this year, on a whim (and after an invite from a friend) I decided to go to Church.  I don’t go to Church often.  Normally I do my Praise and Worship at home, listen to Joel Osteen or something like that.  But a friend invited me to church and so I went.

And I’m glad I did.

The preacher touched upon reasons why people don’t go to church very often – one of the main reasons was because maybe someone got hurt or betrayed by a so-called Christian/church goer.  I can relate.  I felt like he was speaking directly to me for a moment.  Growing up in church I got hurt a lot by people who were supposed be my spiritual family.  And that was shocking to me – so much in fact, that I left those churches after those experiences.  Wow, like, I really let the actions of mean-spirited “Christians” keep me from joining a church for years.  I mean, my friend has invited me to Church on several occasions but I would just make up excuses not to go.  I need to change that.  Because I’ve missed fellowshipping – worship and praise – Communion Sunday.  I’ve missed it.  That’s not to say that overnight I’ve decided to join a church – I’m pretty set in my ways at this point.  But I do have to let go of the past and stop letting the actions of others dictate my path.  And who knows, maybe one day I’ll find myself back in church again -singing in a choir.  Praise dancing.  You never know…

But I digress.

This prompts asks about our bucket lists.  The Preacher mentioned something about Bucket Lists today.  While I listened to the sermon I kept thinking about all the things I really want to do before I die.  Big things.  Little things.  And then the Pastor said, “If you’re in need of Prayer…we are here…” And I hesitated.  I mean, to go and pray with someone – a stranger – a smiling stranger but still a stranger nonetheless – meant speaking my wants and desires out loud.  I had to not only voice what I wanted but I had to ask for it.

I’ve never really been good at asking for things.

Matthew 7

7“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

So I hesitated.  I wasn’t sure I could ask God for the thing I wanted most right now.  What if I wanted the wrong thing?  What if God has a whole other plan for me?  And if He does, what does that say about the time I’ve spent chasing the things I’ve wanted all these years?  Would it be a waste?

I thought about the term ‘bucket list’ and how that’s just a fancy phrase we use when we are asking for the desires of our hearts.  At least, I’ll admit, it is in my case.  When I said I wanted to go to London – I put it on my bucket list, like it wasn’t that important, it’s just ‘that thing’ I felt I should do before I die.  But really….really…going to London was the best experience of my life.  It wasn’t just on that bucket list to be checked off.  It was on my Prayer List.  My Bucket List might actually be a cover for my Prayer List.  I don’t think I realized that until today.  I had (and still have) a burning, insatiable desire to live in London.  And today, after a bit of hesitation, I went and Prayed with a stranger after telling him just that.

“I want a career.  I want to have a successful, solid career in my field of interest.  I want to be able to live and work in London.  I want to do something important – something that matters.  I have gifts that I want to share and I don’t want those gifts wasted away while I work in retail.  I haven’t been happy for a long time so I guess more than anything…I want to feel Joy again.”

After we prayed he told me to come back to that Church and share the good news.  I teared up a little – OK, no, I actually cried because I felt good.  I’d gotten what I needed – Prayer.  When I walked out of that service I felt light.

It’s so scary to speak the desires of one’s heart.

I was always afraid to say what I really wanted.  But along with learning to knit and finally learning how to put extensions (braids, Senegalese twists) in my hair myself – I’m also going to be braver about asking God for the things I want to accomplish before I die.

Matthew 6:33

King James Version (KJV)

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

In addition to going to London and having an actual successful career I’m asking God for help with overcoming my fear of roller coasters, reaching my weight goal, learning to cook, learning a new language, getting married, starting a family, starting my own business, getting my Master’s Degree, paying off all of my student loan debt, meeting and collaborating with my favorite Youtuber…etc…

The list will grow and change.  Some things that I want now I may not want in the future.  So I’m not going to etch it in stone Ten Commandments style.  But laminating the list might be cool.

Happy Easter!  Check out my new do- still gotta work in my technique but for a first timer I’d say this came out pretty decent.  I’m just checking the floor to make sure none of them falls out….



Bucket List Revisited

I was reviewing my bucket list recently and though there was nothing new to cross off the list I realized it needed updating.

Previously, my list included such things as ‘backpack through Europe’ and ‘learn to cook’ and I realized these were not things that belonged on my list.  Sure it would be nice to backpack through Europe or learn to cook but are those things I absolutely have to do before I die?


In the past year, my interests have changed and I think it needs to be reflected in my bucket list.  So I started deleting the things I didn’t really care about and ended up with this:

1. Go to London

2. Get a Tattoo


4. Shoot another short film.





9. Learn Italian





14. Finish My Book




18. Get My Master’s Degree


20. Find a new hobby or craft (other than cooking)

There are only 7 (out of 20) items that made the cut.  I don’t know what I was thinking when I posted the original list in 2013 but the items listed before were not things I was passionate about.  Some of them were actually a little bit silly.

After careful consideration I started reworking the list and came up with this:

1. Go to London

2. Get a Tattoo

3. Get My Master’s Degree

4. Get a Hobby/Learn a New Craft

5. Write A Book

6. Shoot Another Short Film

7. Develop/Produce a new web series

8. Go Back To London

9. Get Published

10. Book A Role

Now my bucket list makes sense.

In the new vlog for 2014 I started to say in the video that the bucket list doesn’t really matter.  But I now realize that’s not true.  I really am going to cross more things off this list.

It may not happen all in 2014.  But that’s OK.  I’d be happy just to cross one thing off the list in 2014 because it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.  I just have to take it one day at a time.

Eventually, I get it all done.



(Official) Bucket List

Is everyone calling these lists the bucket list?  I feel like there might be another name for it.

Anyway, I was reticent to post my bucket list because I was afraid that if I put it out there and I never accomplished some of these things that I would look like a jackass.

But I’ve decided that’s silly.

So here’s my Bucket List (or whatever you want to call it).  A (growing) list of things I’ve always wanted to do and things that I have a new found interest in doing.

1. Go to London

– March 2013, done!  I went for a month and even got a BONUS trip to Paris out of it.  Best trip of my life.  I cannot wait to go back!  Hopefully for a much longer stay.

2. Get a Tattoo

– April 2013, done!  I posted a picture of it- check out the post: “Tatted…Finally!”

3. Get down to 140lbs (Bonus if I get down to 130 lbs)

4. Shoot another short film (and get it into a bunch of film festivals!)

5. Get (at least) 100,000 youtube subscribers (Hey…you never know!)

6. Backpack through Europe (or some variation of that.  I don’t necessarily have to backpack)

7. Drive across the U.S. (or let someone else drive or take turns driving)

8. Learn to cook (like for real, not just a couple of recipes for learn to cool for real)

9. Learn Italian (or Spanish…or both)

10. Master RP (I will have an authentic sounding English accent!)

11. Win a (major) writing competition! (i.e. Nicholls Fellowship or Fox etc)

12. Land My Dream Job (whatever that may be, a job that makes me happy and I can look forward to go to everyday)

13. Try Bikram Yoga and/or run a marathon

14. Finish My Book (Check out my blog – Cabernet in the Dark, (Mostly) True Tales of a Side Kick Girl)

15. Make a new friend (I know, right?  Cue the violins)

16. Make a great first impression (People don’t usually warm up to me until about the 3rd or 4th meeting)

17. Make an impression on someone else (Inspire, enlighten, encourage, uplift!  How can I make you smile today?)

18. Get My Master’s Degree

19. Develop a new skill (Would you believe I’m not really that great with using Excel or Photoshop?  Shhhhh, don’t tell anybody.)

20. Find a new hobby or craft (other than cooking).

I may add more to the list but for now this what I’m looking forward to doing.  My vlog (youtube.com/DawnMelissaVlogs) is mostly about doing everything on this list so check back in with me every once in awhile!

Accompanying video coming soon!

I Went To London…Finally!

Going to London was Number 1 on my bucket list and I finally did it.

Here are some highlights from my trip.  Can’t wait to go back!