Category Archives: Academics

These posts focus on the nitty gritty of college academics. Although there are many easily available sources for information about “college fashion” “dorm tours” and “commonly forgotten items”, there aren’t many that post specifically about academics and classes. Here you are!

My Planning Journey

I have gone through many different types of planners, in order to find my favorite one. I still haven’t found it. I use Google Calendar to organize my appointments and daily schedule, but I need a planner to write down my daily assignments and task lists. Here are screencaps of my Calendar spread:

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I used the standard planner offered for free from Marywood, but each day all campus-wide activities were listed in a sidebar, and it was way too distracting and took up too much space. Then, I switched to a Ruskerville planner from Etsy. They were similar to Erin Condren in the layout, but were cheaper and smaller.

This worked for a year, but I needed one that was bigger. Before Ruskerville came out with their larger size, I opted to save up for the Erin Condren Life Planner. This was a mistake. I am not the type to decorate my planner every day. I need something durable and simple, yet aesthetically pleasing.

Up next in my planner venture – bullet journaling. If it’s successful, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, check out my planner Pinterest board with some of my inspiration! bullet journal

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Junior Year Fall Update

Well, things have certainly changed since I last updated this blog; I believe it was in sophomore year. I am wrapping up the Fall 2015 semester, and would like to just share a few things I’ve learned.

This semester, I took:

  • Junior Field
  • Advanced Elementary Spanish
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Intergenerational Justice
  • Quantitative Research in Social Work
  • Human Behavior and the Social Environment

I love most of my classes. I have learned a lot this semester. But I have also come to understand a lot about the world surrounding me, and that people don’t and won’t always live up to my exceedingly high expectations of them. This is a good and a bad thing. For one, I have this new understanding of people, and as I am going into a “people field,” this will help inform me on my journey. On the other hand, I find myself changing in ways I swore I wouldn’t. I realize that I now expect less of people. This saddens me, because my sense of empathy and care for others (even complete strangers) is a personal value that I hold of the utmost importance. I swore I wouldn’t change this, and yet I am finding that more and more often I need to make a conscious choice between caring for others and caring for myself.

Through counseling, meditation, and internal reflection, I have also learned about myself and my response to external forces in my life. I am beginning to understand the role procrastination (ugh) has played in my education and academic performance, and the best ways to combat that. I’m procrastinating many things by writing this right now, but I realize that if I don’t express my feelings in some way that I will lose focus later on, and in turn, lose my ability to perform as well as I can. Prior to this year, I didn’t understand the “why” behind my procrastination and saw it as a personal fault. Now, I can celebrate that I’m a creative being with so many ideas and thoughts in my brain. I no longer have an intense desire to do destructive things (I’ll leave it at that). I have realized how much I offer to the world, and how much of an impact I can have on others.

love sweater

This semester has been the hardest semester. I’m 5/8 through my undergraduate degree and now that we have all been formally admitted into the Social Work program, we’re getting smacked in the face with theory and data analysis. Like I said before, I’m learning so much. I’m watching my friends grow and blossom into super-human world-changers and I’m making lifelong friendships that I value even now.

I can respect myself for my feelings and my intentions, and I love that! I know that if I want to do something, it’s for a good reason. Maybe this is what’s it’s like to be an adult? Many people my age believe that being an adult means independence, but I think it means being able to admit to yourself that you don’t know everything and that your friends and family are there to support you on your journey of not-knowing.

I have enjoyed the process of learning to love myself first. It’s pretty awesome, I highly recommend it to everyone! I surround myself with things and people that I love, and I have been taking time to myself to plan for my future. This can be scary. But I have always had thoughts floating around about what I want in my life, but I haven’t been able to decide because I (like everyone) am a multifaceted being. I am not just one thing. I am many great things, and to truly be happy I need to honor all parts of my being.

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One of my regrets so far is that I haven’t been regularly updating here. I planned this space to be a log of my time in college so I would remember as much as possible. I have a terrible memory. So far, it hasn’t happened, and that’s a goal I will have in the coming months. 

Leaving for Ireland Today!

Wow, this is crazy. In about one and a half hours, I leave my house to go to EWR for a decently long trip to the Emerald Isle. I’m so excited to be in Ireland! I don’t think it has sunk in yet. I’m kind of just laying here in my bed without realizing that I’ll be in a different country very soon. I never got a lot of the stuff I needed because my father wanted me to get it on sale somewhere else, but it obviously never went on sale and I didn’t push it. So I’m missing a camera case, a nice camera strap, enough money, the right shoes and an umbrella/hooded jacket. Sucks.

Of course, that’s why I’m watching House MD on Netflix while waiting for the trip to the lush green country of my dreams. The waiting is the hardest – and the unknown. I’m not exactly sure what this trip will be like. I know what we are doing, like the places we’re going, but I don’t know what it will be like. That’s a terrible description. It’s just that I’ve known everything about every other trip I’ve taken, but I’ve been so focused on the schoolwork aspect of this trip that I guess I haven’t really been “dreaming” of what the trip will actually feel like.

That’s one of the good things about having to take lots of pictures and journal/blog about about everything that happens – I’ll remember  it. I really regret not blogging about my other trips, because now it’s harder to remember what happened. I did take pictures, but it’s not the same if you don’t remember the feelings.

Mid Classes

Never would I have ever thought that blogging would seem like a job for me! The classes that I’m in right now are really opening my eyes to how much thought should go into blogging to make it good, and I always just post what I’m thinking about at the moment. I like to think that my thoughts are cohesive and work together, but I’ve been spending more time on my homework assignments than I think I should be. I think I’m the youngest in my classes, and I’m definitely lacking in a lot of the communications background that many students have, so I feel like I have to try more to get to the same level they are all on. I’m surprisingly okay with that, and have actually been enjoying my time working on these projects immensely. With the exception of the first day when my email malfunctioned and sent the readings to my spam folder, I’ve been okay with deadlines and haven’t felt too rushed. Like tonight, I’ve been done with my work for about an hour and am free to do whatever! I do have class tomorrow, so I have to get up, but still. It’s a good feeling.

All Moved In

Immaculata Hall is nothing like what I would have imagined. I have seen pictures, but I don’t think anything fully prepared me for how ratty the rooms were. They have carpet, and walls, which is good I guess, but for what I’m paying…. sheesh. The two worst parts of the room are the door that bangs around even when it’s closed and deadbolted and the weird temperature thing that is constantly hissing at me. I don’t know how I’m going to fall asleep, but I better do it before 11pm so I can get a good night’s rest before my 4 and a half hour journey to Philadelphia tomorrow morning at 5am.

Currently I’m laying on my newly made bed that’s really hard and moves a lot to binge watch Supernatural until when it gets dark, and then I’ll switch over to House M.D., a little less exciting so I don’t lay awake thinking about dragons and soulless Sam.

Tomorrow is the day classes begin, so I think that’s when we’ll start our new blogs for the duration of the next six weeks. I’ll be sure to post the link here in case anyone wants to check out what I’m up to!

IRELAND TRIP

Well, the time is almost upon us – I leave home to go back to Marywood for summer classes in 7 short days, and I’m actually kind of scared. I’m taking two classes, Multimedia Composition & Storytelling and Travel Writing. Both require a ton of reading/work. However, I just finished reading the 17 page syllabus for the communications class, and the major projects we need to turn out are INTERNET RELATED and I’m really stoked! I’m also nervous, because there is a lot of work to be done, but I’m excited for the opportunities and the actual trip itself. We move in to Immaculata Hall on the 13th of this month and begin classes the next day.

We are all required to run our own blogs, so I’ll post the link here if anyone reads this and is interested in my adventures overseas. There will be stories, video blogs, photos, and more random tidbits! Hope to have you guys along for the journey.

DECLARED MAJOR!!!

I’m pretty damn excited! I met with the director of the Social Work program today who handled the paperwork and double checked the classes I signed up for next semester – they’re all good, so I’m on track. That means I can graduate in another 4 years with a master’s degree, how cool is that? The time will fly by, and I only have two more semesters of gen eds before it’s all social work, all the time. Hopefully more cool stuff to come!

New Computer Adventures

I’ve had many a computer in my day. It’s not that I’m picky, I just haven’t found the setup that works for me, you know? I first came to school armed with an ancient Mac desktop and the laptop I’m typing on now, an Asus 15″ that’s seen better days. After being shuffled around to 2 different dorm rooms, I decided that the stationary desktop just wasn’t working – it was too slow, and took up too much desk space. Home it went! Now all I had was my somewhat monstrous laptop, but ironically it’s the closest I’ve gotten to finding the right computing style for me. I’ve noticed that I have a ton of electronics around me, and I’m usually staring at some sort of screen for 90% of my day – better try and condense that number down, and make those hours less frustrating.

Now my dad (an angel) told me that he would buy me a new one, with everything I wanted and needed for school. I took a leap, and asked for a MacBook Pro, 13″. After some deliberation, dad said that he thinks he can buy it for me! That’s awesome news, because if this all happens according to plan I’ll have a computer that I can carry with me for the rest of college and grad school, and maybe even longer!

Feeling Good!

This week has been a turnaround of sorts for me. After slacking off for quite a while, I got my act together last night and majorly cleaned my room. I always consider that to be the first step in anything you can do — if you don’t have a clean room, you can’t have a clean life. So I picked up everything off the floor, threw out 3 bags of trash (3 whole bags!), and wiped out my fridge, sink, and desk.

I woke up today with a better perspective, and promised myself I’d buckle down. After dragging myself to church (I made a commitment, I have to keep it) and having brunch with some friends, I came back to my nice clean room to do some work. I printed out the 20 page scholarly article on the zoot-suit riots in LA, and got reading. An hour later, it was done, with highlighting and notes in the margins so I could formulate some awesome discussion questions for class. Then, I picked up my “textbook” — it’s basically some guy’s dissertation — and began reading the huge chunk that was assigned for tomorrow.

Although I’m still not completely done, I only have 16 pages left. I plan on getting up well before it’s time for class tomorrow to finish it and write up my discussion questions. Progress! It is possible, my friends. I may be in another rut soon, but I can always look back at this post and remind myself of how a few easy changes can bring about a positive attitude.

2nd Week Update

It’s exactly 2 weeks since I’ve been back at classes. The work load has been surprisingly light – only 1 page of written homework, but hundreds of pages of reading. Especially in my Youth Revolt class, the professor openly admits that she regularly gets complaints from her students about the crazy assignments. Today, 130 total pages of reading was due, and it’s not easy stuff.

We’ve been experiencing what’s called the “Polar Vortex”… it’s crazy!! High temp today was 9 degrees, with lows tonight of around -11. Good ol’ Marywood apparently thinks it’s cool to have windows in dorms that have leaks, so I’m stuck basically sucking all of the heating out the window.

I have discovered Law and Order: SVU. I’ve been watching nonstop, and today I saw a commercial for the newest episode on ABC. I wish I had a TV up here on campus, that’d be cool. I could watch the shows I want when I actually want to, instead of having to watch them online the day after.