McKenna & Hailey Take A Day

My days typically start between 8:30-9:30 (admittedly, depending on how tired I am) and I prepare for classes by making a quick bagel to go and dressing in something modest and comfortable for my classes. I like to keep my beauty routine relatively simple, typically consisting of applying some tinted moisturizer, mascara, and touching up my brows. My moisturizer is from Origins, my mascara is Roller Lash from Benefit, and I combine Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow and Benefit’s Gimme Brow.

A typical day in my life starts around 7:30. I force myself to get out of my incredibly comfortable bed and get ready for the day. I eat some breakfast, usually Greek yogurt, and drink some coffee while I do my morning devotional and read The Skimm. Then I wash my face and get dressed for the day.

My classes begin with my Statistics for Behavioral Science class, which lasts for an hour and fifteen minutes and then to my Ethics in Media Studies class which is a quick hustle across campus to make it in time for another hour and fifteen-minute lecture. My Ethics in Media Studies class is one of my favorites, as it presents various Ethical Dilemma in journalism, advertising, and broadcasting and we have open forum discussions on various topics with our very diverse class, and it makes for a very thought-provoking discussion.

My first class of the day is for my Honors upper-level classes—the World in the News. It’s a discussion-based class where we discuss different articles we found from around the world. Each week is a different theme; this week, the item is women. Then I have an hour and a half break before my class. I stay on campus and eat lunch that I packed, or I go to a restaurant near campus. I might work on homework, or I might watch The Bachelor.

After I get back to my garage and car, I stopped by HyVee to pick up a few items to hold me over through the weekend. Today I decided to make some steak and rice, with some extra to have for lunch tomorrow. After I make myself a quick meal, I sit down and begin my homework and make a list of what I need to get done through the night.

My biggest lull of the night is where I sit and finish and sort through multiple readings and videos for my Introduction to Art Theory and Criticism and push through essays while watching TV. This class I take to gain credit towards my Fashion Merchandising Minor, and I’ve very much enjoyed discovering new artists I’ve never heard of before.

Then at 12:30 I have a class for my writing minor called Digital Textual Problems, where we consider how we can use computational tools to understand more about literature. It’s one of those classes that you have no idea what you’re signing up for, but it’s been a very thought-provoking class.

Right after my writing class, I have Research, which is part of my Strategic Communication major. It’s learning all about how to research my major. The exact opposite of the kind of Strat Comm I want to do—I want to be creative—but we’re working on a semester-long oral history project, which is writing-based research, so I can’t complain.

Right after Research, I head to my car and drive to work. I work as a teacher and office manager at a local dance studio. Tuesdays, I’m at the desk, so I help answer calls and emails, as well as process payments and answer any questions parents have. This time of year, I’m focused on helping my boss get ready for competitions and our spring recital.


After some tedious hours, I decided to stretch out and do a little yoga to combat the stiffness of sitting in front of my laptop for too long. This is what I try to do (try being the key word here) if I’m feeling unmotivated to go to the gym. I usually look up a 15-30 minute video on YouTube as a Yoga Membership in Lincoln isn’t really in my budget. It relaxes me and prepares me to get ready for bed and take on the next day.

I stick around the studio for an hour and eat dinner, which is either a wrap from Pak-A-Pocket, our neighbors next door, or I heat a frozen meal from Trader Joe’s. Then I help people sign in for our adult dance classes that we offer every Tuesday. I usually join the class for a good (free) workout, and then help my boss close up the studio. I’m out by 9:00.

Then I head home to work on any homework I have due for Thursday. Since I have three classes worth of homework, it can be a lot, and sometimes I push it back until Wednesday. Sometimes I have things to do for my sorority or a non-profit I’m involved in, but I try to be in bed between 10:00 and 11:00. I’ll watch an episode of Brooklyn 99 and then read a little bit—right now it’s Daring Greatly—before I head happily to bed. Then I get up the next day and do it again!

McKenna and Hailey have known each other since the flood and decided to share a glimpse of what a day in their lives looks like. One half in Nebraska, the other in Texas, reconnection comes in the most beautiful of ways.

This collaboration honors that friendship.

I am available for future collaborations in the areas of photography, content writing, and advertising/branding. Follow me on IG: mckennaarthur and Twitter: @mckennaarthur

The Duality of December

The Duality of December

December can be the most beautiful yet most begrudging time of the year for me. The sun is a rare sight, my skin is unbearably dry, and I am frantically trying to relearn an entire semester’s worth of information in a few days while simultaneously balancing work and a sprinkle of social life. In exchange, my mental well-being crumbles.

   My mental health is something that I strive to be open and honest about, and in December, my mental health dissipated. My routine of school, work, friends, more school, even more, work, and less time for me spun me into a spot where I was perpetually exhausted, uninterested in my interests, and refusing to face the realities of my poor mental care habits. After my exams were all said and done, I made an effort to pick up the pieces of my shattered creative habits.

For the first time in almost two months, I picked up a pen and had an open and honest discussion with myself regarding my seeming inability to do any creative work of any sort. My writing folder had multiple months-old separate files of two lackluster sentences of half-developed ideas. I hadn’t taken any photos I was proud of. I hadn’t even tried anything special with makeup. Nothing felt natural enough to pursue. My mantra when I start a new project is don’t push yourself to the point where you’re making stagnant, boring work to get it done. This concept draws a fine line between laziness versus blockage, and I began to realize that the bare trees, brown grass, and clouds along with some schoolwork I wasn’t passionate about were all contributing to this bout of stagnation.

With the stress of school removed and about three straight days of self-care (which included lots of face masks and many listens to Lorde’s Pure Heroine) the fog is beginning to clear, and my December has turned around and I set out on my first project in a long while, which for me was burning through gas to see those light displays that make your stomach flutter with cheer. You can’t exactly stop and smell the roses in winter, but you sure can stop and photograph some light displays.

Most wouldn’t consider Lincoln to be a city that could be defined as beautiful, but the effort put in by the residents indeed show out to spruce up and change the perspective on a town that seemingly never changes. It’s the little things that have sparked me to get back into a routine to create, and I couldn’t be more excited. Below are some of the places that made me feel that spark (too cheesy, wow), and while you can’t be there to experience them for yourself, I put my heart into trying to capture these. Enjoy.

Mckenna is a third-year student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the College of Journalism studying Advertising and Public Relations. She is currently interning for That Green Tea Blog.

All the images are original photos and the property of McKenna Arthur and should be used with permission. We will know if they aren’t. ( yes we will)

Follow Mckenna on Instagram (@mckennaarthur) or send an email to for any collaborations.