Wednesday, April 15, 2015

College Leads to Careers

What career am I striving for and how has college helped me prepare for that career? If you have read some of my previous blogs, you know that I am pursuing a career in Occupational Therapy. South has done so much to prepare me for this career. To start, South introduced me to the career. I had not heard about occupational therapy until I came to South. When I figured out pharmacy was not for me, I did some college major venturing. I found out that South has a really great program for OT and they have a Pre OT club as well.  I attended one of the club meetings one evening and found out a little bit about the program and the career itself. Ever since that night, I have felt a calling to occupational therapy. My adviser, career services, and professors in the graduate program have really helped prepare me by making sure I am on the right track. My adviser makes sure I take the classes I need for the graduate program, while also instructing me on how to balance the classes I need for my major which is professional health sciences. Career services helped me create a resume that will look good to the graduate program. Professors of the graduate program have helped me become a competitive applicant by advising me on what I can do outside of my academics. My current professors in the classes I am taking are preparing me by providing the basics to the classes I will be taking in the graduate program. The other pre OT students have really been helpful as well. They offer a since of support and I would not be able to get through sometimes if it weren't for my fellow pre OT students. I have also formed some relationships with some of the occupational therapy students and this really helps a lot because they have first hand experience and they are able to mentor (academically, mentally, and spiritually) those of us following in their foot steps. Although making relationships outside of my friend group is way outside of my comfort zone, it has definitely been worth it to receive all of the support, encouragement, and advice that I have received from these relationships. South has already helped prepare me so much for my career and I know it will continue to prepare me as I continue my education here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Do Over, Please?

Some of the Beautiful Friendships I've Made at South
Before you go to college, you get advice from everyone...and I mean EVERYONE. You get advice from people at your church, educated people who spent their whole life in college, people who have little college experience, your great aunt who does not even know what the word college means, your brother who is in the fourth grade...EVERYONE. One thing most of them will tell you is to enjoy your time in college because before you know it, you will be out of college and in the real world. If there was any piece of advice that I really did not take to heart, it was this one. I thought there is no way that the next seven years of my life spent studying is going to fly. Well I was wrong and they were right. It does fly! I am sitting here looking back and I am wondering where the time has gone. I am going to be a Junior in the fall. I have almost completed my first two years of school and it feels like I was just sitting in my orientation chair last week. So if I was given one do over it would be to listen to this advice and treat my time here a little differently. I still have a few years a head of me and I will definitely treat my time here at South with more respect. Freshmen year I rushed the weeks by until the next time I got to go home. Going home is what I lived for and it is what got me through my days. I would look at my calendar and see that I only had 19 more days until I could go home for a weekend and it would be my encouragement to get through that week. Don't get me wrong, I still greatly value the times I get to go home but I have also started valuing the time I spend here more as well instead of just rushing it by. Since you are going to get advice from everyone and their grandmothers, let me throw in a piece of my own: Your time in college will fly by so enjoy it while you are in it and do not take it for granted.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The University Of South Alabama in One Word

Growth. Growth can mean many things. Growth can mean the process of increasing in physical size; the processes of developing or maturing physically, mentally, or spiritually; or the process of increasing in amount, value, or importance. If I had to sum my experience here at South up in one word, that word would be growth. Since coming to South I have been given so many opportunities to grow in different areas of my life. As much as I wanted to avoid it, the freshman 15 (maybe a little more than 15 haha) found me the second semester of freshman year.  That is a not so positive way that I grew physically. I mainly experienced growth in the mental and spiritual aspects of my life. Coming to South, I had to rely on myself. I did not have my family there to fix my problems, or cook me dinner, or tell me what decisions to make. It was time that I took everything they taught me and decide how to make my life my own, This caused a lot of growth! The maturity level of me as a senior in high school looks way different than my maturity level as a freshman in college. Even though it is only a year apart so much growing up had to happen in that time span that forced me to become more of an adult. I am so thankful for the opportunity to grow in that way because the young woman I am becoming makes me proud! South has also enabled me to grow so much spiritually. I found a really great church to plug into. I have made so many close friends at this church and and have been able to serve along side them. No matter what beliefs you have, there is a church here in Mobile that is sure to fit your needs. The BCM has also been a wonderful ministry to be a part of. Going away from home and facing a lot of new "real world" trials has really caused me to lean on my faith to get me through. Because of this, my spiritual life has grown significantly! I could go on and on with all the ways I have been able to grow here at South, but I don't want to get too mushy on you guys. If you are looking for a place to grow in every aspect of your life, the University of South Alabama is a great pick! Happy growing!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Spring is in the Air

So spring is officially here!! That excites me greatly because Spring is my favorite season second to f
all. The weather is warmer, the flowers are blooming, the grass is greener, and overall the outside environment just becomes so happy. Another reason spring time excites me is because after spending most of my time indoors in efforts to stay out of the cold, I have cabin fever and I am ready to get OUTSIDE! Campus life seems to pick up a bit more as well! There are so many things to do!! This weekend one of the Sororities hosted a really fun event called Bump it like Beckham to raise money and awareness for abuse. I participated in this event and it was a really fun just spending time outside and getting to know people in other groups and organizations.  We got in huge inflatable balls and played soccer. I spent most of my time rolling around on the field because people kept bumping into me and I had a hard time staying on my feet. It was definitely a blast! Intramural sports are always a fun way to get involved on campus in the Spring. I hate working out. but with all the stress that comes with college exercising is necessary to stay healthy and to relieve some of that stress.  Last spring I played on an intramural softball team. We called ourselves the bench warmers. It was loads of fun and even though the further you get into your spring semester the heavy the school work load gets, I was able to use practice times and game times as a study break. Since we are only an hour away from the beach, the college group at my church likes to take short worship beach retreats. It is such a refreshing time to relax and have fun in the sun. Another fun campus event that comes every spring is Oozeball. This is a mud volley ball tournament and it is easily one of my most favorite things to do on campus in the spring. I can not wait to play again this year!!
Like I said before exercise is a necessity in college so I try to find fun ways to get moving. What is more fun than running a 5k while getting colored powder thrown all over you? You can always find a group or organization hosting a color run or some sort of 5k on campus to raise awareness and money for different charities and fundraisers. With all of the fun things offered on campus during the spring, you are sure to find something to get involved with and have fun!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

College is a Good Idea!

If someone asked me why they should go to college, what would I say? There are so many reasons you should go to college. Most careers in this day in age require at least a bachelor's degree, so if you plan on doing what you love the rest of your life, college is definitely a good way to get that started. Even if what you want to do does not require a college degree, I would still encourage you to go to college because it will make you more rounded as a person and better qualified for what ever job you are seeking. If you have know idea what you want to do with the rest of your life, start by going to college. You learn so much more about what the world has to offer and it is a great place to create networks.

For me, college has been an amazing experience! In the beginning, I thought I knew what I wanted to do with my life but when I got here I was completely wrong. Being here has shown me what I love and have a passion for and what I want to spend the rest of my life doing. Coming to college is also a really great bridge that allows you to do some growing up. It is a lot more independent than high school, but you have a chance to grow up a little before you are thrown out into the real world. I have learned so much about myself while being in college that I do not think I would have had the chance to learn had I not gone to college. I have really grown as a person and I have made what I am certain will be life long friendships. Most people have that support and love from a group of close friends, but the reality is that most of them will go their own ways after graduation so coming to college allows you to create that support group of people who value the same things, are in the same classes, and that live life along side of you that you can carry with you throughout adulthood.  So if you are on the fence about whether or not to enroll in college, take my advice and really consider it. Believe me, you will not regret it and it will be worth while.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Things to Do Outside of Class

The University of South Alabama is a beautiful campus and has a lot of stuff to offer than just academic classes. The recreation center has so many different classes offered every day and night. The classes range anywhere from weight training and boxing to zumba and yoga. There are indoor and outdoor pools, indoor soccer field, rock climbing wall, and many more activities hosted by the rec center. Outdoor Adventures hosts things like moonlit canoeing trips. Student life and Jag Productions always have fun events planned on campus. The different residence halls and apartments also are always hosting fun events to be a part of. There are tons of clubs and organizations to invest your time in outside of class. South also has disc golf courses, ponds to fish out of, nature trails, and plenty of trees to hang a hammock up in. 

Mobile is a beautiful city filled with fun things to do. I am a nature girl and also a kid at heart so I enjoy going to the park with my friends. There are several beautiful parks around Mobile and some are even by the water. Mobile Swing is another place I like to spend my weekend evenings. It is really fun to get a group together and go swing dancing. Every restaurant and shopping place you can think of is in Mobile so those are places that get my free time as well. There is a movie theatre not far from campus and Jag Productions sells five dollar movie tickets to South Students. The list could go on and on but I will mention one more. If you are up for driving several miles outside of the city, THE BEACH is also a super fun way to spend time outside of class! 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

What's My Schedule?

One of the toughest things about being in college is maintaining a schedule. In high school it was so easy because you relatively had the same schedule everyday. For me it looked a little like this:
                                 Monday through Friday- 8am-3pm School
                                                                       - 4pm-10pm Work
                                                                       - 10pm-12am Home Work
As you can see there was never very much wiggle room in my weekday schedule. Now my schedule looks a little more like this:
                                Monday, Wednesday, Friday -9am -10am Class
                                                                               - 12pm-1pm Class
                                                                               - 3pm-7pm Work
                                Tuesday, Thursday                -9:30am-10:45am Class
                                                                               -12:30pm-1:45pm Class
This schedule has way more gaps in it. These gaps should be filled with studying, but sometimes that is hard to do because there are a lot of other things that sound way better than studying after being in class. Things that I find myself filling these gaps with include sleeping, eating, hanging out with friends,sleeping, going to every Bible study I can find, and did I mention sleeping?! You really have to ground yourself and make rules for yourself in order to get in the habit of using your time wisely while keeping in mind the number one reason you are here. You are here for an education, and just going to class will not cut it. They say for every hour you are in class you should study two hours.

If you struggle with filling your free time with things other than studying, my advice to you would be to make a schedule. Just like your class schedule is set in stone, make yourself a schedule that you have to follow. Allow yourself some fun time, but like I said before; keep in mind why you are here!