Connelly is a senior at UA Little Rock and when I asked her about her plans after college, she didn’t have a set answer. Instead, she had multiple interests in what she wanted to pursue. One of her main aspirations is to build a career in travel journalism.
She recently delved into travel journalism as an assignment during her junior year in her Multimedia Reporting course. She wrote four articles on the outdoors of Arkansas. Not only does she write about nature in her well-written articles, but she also loves to enjoy nature during her free time.
As the conversation flowed, she suggested we go to the library to finish up the conversation.
Once settled at an isolated table in the back of the library, we instantly dove deeper into her experiences with her favorite hobby: experiencing the outdoors.
With a smile on her face filled with excitement, she briefly explained how she got into enjoying the outdoors. Connelly got involved with nature as a child when her family took her on camping trips. She admits that she didn’t like the thought of camping starting out, but she eventually started to appreciate it more.
Now that Connelly is older, she enjoys hiking more than camping. In her free time, she enjoys finding new places to hike around Arkansas with her boyfriend, Bruce Chandler.
“We love going to different places and trying new foods,” Chandler said. “We just really enjoy seeing new sites, road trips; just anything involving outdoors.”
During her weekends, Connelly said that she spends her time exploring the next new place. Taking photographs of her adventures and sharing them on her social media is a way that Connelly keeps her memories of outdoor adventures.
“I think one thing about me that is unique is that I am an avid outspoken person for the outdoors,” Connelly said about herself.
As the interview started to come to an end, Connelly laid down her arm, there in her sister’s handwriting, was a tattoo of a song lyric that completely embodies her as a person:
“Perspective is a lovely hand to hold.” -Relient K
The lyrics are from Connelly’s favorite band and it explains that in any difficult situation you may go through, you have to remember that it’s just a small part of life. She explains that you have to keep everything in perspective and to remember what really matters to you. She uses this as a reminder when she goes through hard circumstances throughout her life.
Determined- a perfect word to describe Connelly.
“She achieved her goals because of her determination. In social situations, music, learning in college and work situations,” said Nikki Connelly, Kelly’s mother. “If she wants something, she goes for it.”
Meanwhile, Connelly is putting her reporting skills to work through an internship with KUAR, 89.1 FM, UA Little Rock’s NPR-affiliate radio station.
“I was so nervous at first, but after working with the news staff, I know how to write news stories and use different software programs.” Connelly said.
Connelly is expected to graduate from UA-Little Rock in Spring 2020. Incorporating her hobbies with her profession is something that Connelly dreams about doing after graduation.
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