Allowing Perception to Change Others

By Lesley Hitson

Balance – it is more than just a concept. For Riley Baldwin, a 21-year-old student at the University of South Carolina, creating a balance between money and time is a lifestyle. Years of work experience, academic drive and encouragement from her primary mentor enable her to overcome obstacles and live out her life motto.

Baldwin hails from a small town called Chapin, South Carolina. She begins her senior semester at the USC this fall. She graduates in December with a degree in public relations.

Though public relations is her major, Baldwin considered majoring in something within the art field before transferring to USC. Influencing her final choice of a major, is gaining a healthy balance between work and social life.

“It’s a money versus time thing. I want to appreciate living yet also focus on work – striking a balance,” she said.

Baldwin says understanding the need to experience and appreciate life began before USC. Her grandmother has been a primary mentor, encourager and supporter.

“She [Baldwin’s grandmother] gave me the opportunity to travel and experience life, which many people don’t get. She showed me the world and all it could be.”

Because of her grandmother’s impact on her life, Baldwin’s dream job is travel writing.

“I want to cover the best places to stay, eat, travel, etc. And for specific locations, anywhere culture based.”

Baldwin has overcome her biggest life obstacles: indecisiveness, impulsiveness, and comparison and the general college culture.

“I was thinking everyone has everything figured out, but that wasn’t necessarily true.”

Atop her long list of academic work, Baldwin had to work a full time job. She says that for about seven years, she had a full-time job while in school. Currently, she works as a paralegal at a private criminal defense firm.

“I’ve done everything [regarding job industries]. Anything you can think of, I have probably worked: restaurant industry, law, etc,” Baldwin said.

“Perception is everything. The way you view things has the power to change others.”

Hitson is a public relations senior

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