Tonight I am writing as my final night of summer comes to an end. It is hard to believe that I will be starting my senior year of college and that I already move back in ten hours. That is CRAZY, where did the time go and not just summer, but these four years? Like it feels as if it was just yesterday that I started my freshmen year at Greenville College and now here I am in my senior year with two semesters til I cross that stage to receive my Bachelor of Science degree.
This summer has been one of the most interesting and yet wonderful summers I have ever encountered. A lot has happened to me musically and yet this is the first summer in three years I have not done a live audition for a music reality show. I have submitted one via the World Wide Web, but this is the only contact I have had. The freshmen to sophomore summer I auditioned for The Voice in St. Louis, Missouri and for the sophomore to junior summer I auditioned for American Idol in Springfield, Illinois. This summer I submitted an audition for final season of American Idol and now I am just waiting for a response. Anyways, not only has my summer included surprising music stories, but a whole lot more. This summer has been a blessing to me in so many ways and I have learned a lot.
First summer story, I figured I would start with a BANG and all I need to really say are two words, CARRIE UNDERWOOD! Yes, this is still wonderfully confusing to me how this happened. I still do not believe that it happened, but truth is it did and I am so beyond thankful for what happened. For those who do not know very briefly I will say this, back in June Carrie Underwood posted my rendition of “Little Toy Guns” on her Facebook page and that video has reached over 80,000 views. For something like that to happen to me and having someone as BIG as Carrie Underwood to notice me out of thousands of submissions is crazy and I could not be any more thankful than I already am. Thanks to her recognizing me more and more people are watching my videos and following me on my social media sites. Something really huge that happened because of this was I got on the front page of my hometown’s newspaper which was really nice and the article that was written was really well done and I could not have been any more pleased with it. Another a huge thing that happened after she posted my video was I was asked to perform on Branson Country USA when I was vacationing down there with my parents for a few days. Their booking manager heard I was in town and contacted me with information about performing and sadly it did not work out, but the broadcast that reaches over 80 million people did a very nice shout out to me and told people who I was and where they could hear me, which was one of the best things ever. It is crazy that a 30 second cover video could do all this and it is all thanks to Carrie Underwood. This has given me such confidence in myself not just as a musician, but a person and that is something I cannot say thank you enough.
While I am still on the topic of music this summer I also had the pleasure of meeting Bryana Salaz from NBC’s The Voice. It was such an honor to meet her and listen to her live at the RibFest in St. Charles, Missouri. She was someone who I voted for constantly and it was a really amazing opportunity to meet her and talk with her. And TONIGHT something else happened that I was very amazed and thankful for, I posted a 15 second #InstaCover on Instagram of “Burning House” by Cam, who is one of the chart-topping Country females right now and she liked and commented on my video and that was amazing. I could not believe it and I still cannot, it is crazy to believe that these famous people are listening to me, like WHAT IS THIS LIFE?
Next story would have to go to my soon to be alma mater, I had the opportunity to be a camp counselor for the first time in my life at a Science and Engineering camp of all places (#Iwasnotsmartenoughtogetintosciencecamp #Sotheyhiredmeasacounselorinstead). Going into this process I was nervous, I have never done any camp counseling before and here I was about to take on two weeks’ worth of camp. Now I have done a lot of helping with kids before in a youth group setting, but this was completely different. I mean 18 juniors and seniors in high school for two weeks. To sum the GC Science and Engineering Camp up in a few single words they would have to be, blessing and incredible. If I was honestly supposed to write my ever thought about this camp it would be a hundred pages long, there were just so many things that happened and I loved every minute of being with those students. From the Family Feud marathons, to the late nights of card playing and conversations, to the chugging of Ski ( a BETTER version of Mountain Dew) and tea, to movie nights, to our last night ALL NIGHTER, to everything I learned so much from those students and made so many memories that I cherish. They were all so bright and intelligent, and very kind hearted and fun. They made a lasting impression on me and I hope I did as well; my goal was to inspire and to be someone they could trust and I just hope I did that, it is a little over a month since the camp and I still talk with a lot of them on a regular basis. They will never know just how much they impacted me and I am grateful for them all, I look back on pictures, I look back on videos, and I look back on the words they left me and my heart is just full of gratitude and love for them. I wish them the best because they deserve it and it will be amazing to see what they do in this life. One thing that they seemed to say as a whole that made my heart smile was that we came into this as campers and counselors and now we are leaving as a family, that was something I never saw coming and I am so glad that it did. They will forever hold a special place in my heart.
I was very nervous about going into this summer because I knew it would be my last summer before I had to enter the “real world” and looking back it makes me smile because this summer has been a really incredible one that I thank God for because He has given me all that I need and without Him none of this could have been possible. This is the first time I am walking into college feeling confident and strong. I am ready to see what this year has in store for me and I am ready to make my senior year of college the best yet. I am ready to take every challenge that comes my way, words to live by; Head Up and Heart Open. Senior year came up fast and I hope it does not go by too fast. So much more has happened this summer and I also need to thank my parents and my family for being the most supportive bunch there could be, love them to death and I would not be where I am today without them. Family is important and I don’t think I tell them as much as they deserve it. Same goes to my friends as well in a way, they are my home away from home and they make it feel like a family as well when I am at college, so I count myself very lucky for that. Thank you summer for treating me well and making this one for the books.