Monthly Archives: April, 2013

Keeping Contact With Your Friends from Home

When students come to college, in a way, they almost create a new life for themselves.  Sometimes this new life doesn’t include your friends from high school as much as the old one did.  So many promises are made between friends before graduation, like how you’ll Skype every week or visit each other all of the time. In reality most of these promises aren’t kept. This sounds pretty gloomy, but surprisingly, this can be a good thing. When you form a new life at school, you’re finally able to decipher who your true friends are. If a person truly meant something to you in high school, you’re going to make the effort to keep them in your life. It’s important not to force yourself to keep in touch with people you really have no desire to keep in touch with. Just focus on keeping in contact with the people who you can’t imagine not being in your life.  These are the people that you cant be away from for months, but when you see them again it’s like you never left them.

It’s really important to keep your friends updated on what’s going on in your life.  This way, they stay connected with you and when you see them again they’ll actually know what to ask you about your life and have things to talk about.  It’s awkward when you see your friends after a long time and you all have no idea what to talk about because you don’t even know what they’ve been up to.  It’s also important to keep old traditions alive between friends.  I’ve been making one of my best friends red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting every year for her birthday since we’ve been friends. I wasn’t able to make it home for her birthday in October this year, but when we finally saw each other 3 months later over winter break, I gave her the cupcakes and she was still just as happy as she would have been in October.  If you have a tradition with a friend, it’s even more appreciated if you stick with it in college when your apart. It’s also important to text your friends randomly with silly things that reminded you of them or post on their Facebook wall. This lets them know your still alive and care about them.  I know my day is way better when I get a text from one of my friends from home. It distracts me from the craziness of school.

Always try and make an effort to keep in touch with the friends you truly know you miss. You won’t regret it when your home for the summer, bored on the couch because you left everything from school.  🙂

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Finals Week-what it’s like

Since finals week is  just around the corner, it would be a good time to give you a little preview of what it’s like. So, since I’ve only been through one finals week in college, I will pretty much summarize how it went.

Eat. Study. Break. Study. Eat. Study. Break. Study. Eat. Study. Sleep. Repeat.

^That probably doesn’t look too appealing, but when you tell yourself that it’s one week you’ve got to get through and then you get to start fresh, it really motivates you. But here are some more details so that you have a better idea of what it’s like.

First of all, there are many empty classrooms on campus that are left unlocked for students who wish to study in a quiet room with white boards, and usually students will try to get a room with their friends and study all day in there (it’s a first come first serve kind of thing). This is especially helpful if you want to study with and help out others in your class, but of course you can just study in the same room as your friends without having to study together. This is what some of my cross country team and I did. Then, you want to be sure that you give yourself some breaks. Really, they are important! And I’m not just talking about eating either (although that is equally as important), but your brain does better when it has a chance to relax periodically. If you study nonstop you’ll go crazy! Just set aside a time when everyone agrees to stop for at least 10 minutes and do something…my team and I would watch funny YouTube videos which really helped get my mind away from my studies for awhile.

In the dorms the quiet hours are strictly reinforced until finals week is over (aka, it’s quiet 24-7 so that everyone can study peacefully). Around finals week, they also  typically have people come in who give free massages to students to help relieve some stress. Your actual schedule for finals should amount to about 1-2, maybe 3 finals (but highly unlikely), a day.

Apart from what I’ve told you, there really isn’t much else I can tell you about finals week. It’s really similar to what you have in high school, with maybe a little more difficulty added, so just relax and try your best. As long as you put in the studying (which I recommend you do more than just a weekend beforehand), then you should do just fine.

Steps Towards Choosing a Major (Part 2)

Now that you have hopefully made your list and eliminated the points that you don’t see falling under a major you think you’d be interested, it’s time to observe what is left on your list. After studying it, it is time to finally think of the majors you are interested in. I recommend writing them down too. Even if they are random and very distinctly different types of majors, don’t be afraid to write them down. Now compare them to your first list. It’s most important is to look at your interest compared to the majors you’ve listed, then your personality. For example, if you have psychology as  major on your list, and you are have music as an interest or hobby of yours, then it’s possible that you may be interested in musical therapy. Furthermore, you might even have patient and social under your personality,  and have possibly done well in that psych course you took last semester, which makes you an even better match to be a therapist or musical therapist!

Now, don’t get me wrong, not all of you interests, personality traits, courses you’ve done well in, and majors arent going to match up so nicely. But it is good to see which ones do, so you can find good possible fits if you’re really uncertain of what to do and need some direction. Otherwise, do not feel like you need to limit yourself to only the majors that have matched up well with your first list because…

…next I highly encourage you to try and get a realistic idea of what the majors you are interested in are like-job shadow. Researching the majors you’re interested in only gets you so far (although I do encourage you to do so), but actually getting a chance to see what you’d be doing in a particular career is extremely important! Sometimes this is when you find out that majors you originally thought you’d love to do, are no longer something you think’d you like or be able to handle. Also, if you can, try talking to those working in your major of interest, even if it’s just family and friends. This is the best way to get some honest answers to questions or concerns you may have.

I hope this has all helped and puts you on the right track towards picking a major that is right for you!

Steps Towards Choosing a Major (Part 1)

If you’re a senior in high school who’s feeling more and more panicky as you approach graduation because the uncertainty of a major is constantly in the back of your mind, then I understand your pain. Indecisive is probably one of the best words to describe me.

Throughout high school, I probably changed what I wanted to major in at least 8 times. Some of my indecisiveness came from the fear of committing (as far as psychologically, since you can always switch while in school) to a major because it meant limiting myself and missing out on all the other majors out there. Some of it was conflicting ideas of what I could see myself doing, and what I actually wanted to do. Feeling like I didn’t know all the different options out there was also a huge part of it as well. As for the rest of it, well, it was just what makes me so indecisive in the first place.

If you’re like me, and despite the people who are telling you not to worry, that you- “you still have time”-yet you continue to worry anyways, then I would really like to help you out. Hopefully, this way, I will make you feel less worried, save you some money (as far as taking classes you didn’t need to if you do decide to switch in college), and maybe prevent you from making some of the mistakes that I did!

First of all, I do want to tell you that you do have time. I’m not here to tell you to start panicking more and that you need to pick now. I’m here to assist you and give you the tools you need to help narrow it down and come closer, or maybe even at the step of deciding, a major that is right for you.

First off, brainstorm your ideas of #1. what your interests are,# 2. what your personality traits are, and #3. what subjects/activities you do well in. Then, get them down on paper so you can visually see everything at once. Seeing it will help you put the whole picture together and dissect the information.

Next, with your list, study it with picking a major in mind. The order to study it in that I recommend is as follows: interests –> personality traits –> subjects you do well in. By studying your list in this order, which brings us to the next step, it prevents you from crossing out things you shouldn’t in the elimination process. Why do I say this? Your interests are at the top of the list because you even though you might think that your best subjects are more important, if you don’t have much of a passion in that given subject or if it doesn’t align with your interests, then it’s not something you should base a decision on that effects your future life. As for personality traits coming second, they are so important because in the working place, you are going to want to be fit for the job, and this means having the characteristics that each job entails. It’s one thing do be interested in a job, but entirely another to actually be able to do it.

Now, let me give you my own personal example of what I mean by all this. I took an AP psychology course in high school and did very well in it. The tricky part was that I also was very interested in this subject. However, I loved biology at the same time, but absolutely hated chemistry, yet I knew that I did have some interests in the science field. So, with Benedictine having both an awesome school of science and school of psychology, I ended up here. Then, first semester I took one psych class while taking some core and sciences classes that I needed to fulfill. Although I did exceptionally well in the psych class and enjoyed every minute of it, my professor, who was a substance abuse counselor (my prime interest in this field) when she wasn’t teaching, always shared her experiences. It wasn’t until then, that as much as I was interested and and did well in the class, I couldn’t see myself actual doing what she did. I just didn’t have the personality for it.

So, with that being said, try making that list and then crossing out what you find necessary in the order I suggested. That way, in part 2, I will try and help you eliminate more and bring you closer to deciding. Do not worry if you have interests on your list after the elimination process that line up with subjects you don’t do particularly well in- mine did the same! I will be here to help you out in part 2!

How to make your dorm room feel like home

Moving to Jaeger was exciting, yet I missed my own room and house.

Here are some tips when you want to make your dorm room to feel comfortable as living at home.

Your bed:  Sleeping in college is crucial so you want to feel as comfortable as possible.  One thing you can do to make your bed comfortable -add another mattress or memory foam on top of the mattress given to you. This will give you the extra comfort needed! Always make sure you have enough pillows to sleep with. I like to do my homework on my bed because it’s comfortable and I always need extra pillows to support my back when I’m sitting up.

Your floor: Jeager hall has floors that don’t have any carpet. One of the things I brought was a rug. Having a rug in your room will add a little color in the room. Especially during the winter when the floors are cold, putting your feet on the rug when you wake up adds extra comfort.

Decorations: Add posters to your room to make your room  lively. Some people even add colorful lights to their room just to make the room look fun. Add a fun chair for when your friends come over to hang out.  Bring photos of loved ones! Having photos in your room will just remind you of great memories with your loved ones and will make you feel right at home.

Bring items from your house:  I love candles, unfortunately they are not allowed  in the dorm so, one of the things I brought from my own home was my Scentsy. For those who don’t know what a Scentsy is, it’s a wickless warmers that leaves an amazing scent in your room for hours. Having a Scentsy helps me relax when I am studying. It also lights up the room when the room is dark. I also love to read books, so I brought my favorite books to my dorm just to read on my free time.

Those are a few basic tips of making your dorm feel like your home. Sooner or later you learn to adapt to living away from home. Make the best out of living in a dorm and have fun!