186 South College

grab your coffee, sit back and hang out with the UD Honors Program for a while

Month: March 2014 (page 2 of 3)

Time to Knock the Cold Weather Out Cold!

I know that this may not come across as “original”, but I’m pretty sick and tired of the cold weather already.  In my mind, once spring training for Major League Baseball begins (which it has, as of February 6th), then winter needs to pack its bags and go back to its frozen tundra until next year.

As some of you have so kindly pointed out, I really do not have much room to complain about the cold weather, and you would be right.  I was extremely fortunate this winter and happened to be studying abroad in sunny Costa Rica during the majority of winter break, so I have not had the pleasure of experiencing this “polar vortex” that everyone keeps referring to.  That being said, the cold needs to go.  I have only been back in the States (as the cool Costa Rican ex-patriots call it) for a little over a month now, and I’ve had enough, so I can only imagine how the rest of you feel.

This is not fun and nobody wants to feel like this anymore.

This is not fun and nobody wants to feel like this anymore.

What might just be the only thing worse than the cold weather is when Mother Nature keeps on messing with us by having a few days of warm weather (like 40ish degrees, which feels like an oven compared to the usual), and then bombing us with snow and misery. Stop being indecisive, Mother Nature!  Make up your mind, and stick to it!

While I have expressed my cold feelings (pun very much so intended) about this weather, I am not advocating that we go out and seek revenge upon Mr. Punxsutawney Phil, as I have shockingly heard some students suggest.  My opinion: we should just “will” spring to come.  It’s really easy, I’ll show you how:

Before you go to sleep, look out your window to the coldness outside.  The wind is howling, the water is freezing, and the trees are shaking.  See it? Good.  Now, I want you to say, neigh, orate this plea: “Oh Mother Nature, would you please take winter away and bring back summer?  It really is time.  I’m dying to break out my spring wardrobe (sun dresses for the ladies, and of course, Bermuda shorts for the bros).”  Hopefully, if enough people do it, it will possibly, maybe, probably not, most likely not work.  Well, hey, it’s worth a shot!  C’mon people, desperate times call for desperate (sometimes silly) measures!

Navigating an Unknown Territory: The Residence Hall Kitchen

Whether it’s for my sorority, for a friend’s birthday, or just because my roommates and I are in the mood for chocolate chip cookies, I’ve had to resort to using the kitchen in my residence hall time and time again. While the actual kitchen itself is equipped with a full refrigerator, a stove, a sink, and an oven, none of the above is useful unless you have other kitchen necessities handy, including bowls, trays, and the like. If you’re anything like my friends and I, we bought next to nothing for the kitchen when we were shopping for college supplies since our residence hall requires us to purchase a meal plan. After much brainstorming and innumerable burnt cookies, I’ve come up with a few tips to help all of the students lacking a kitchen of their own. IMG_3048

Every time I want to make a cake or brownies, I only purchase the mix and somehow manage to completely forget about the oil and eggs that are necessary to make these baked goods actually come out the way they are supposed to. Once I’m back in my warm dorm there is no way I’m going to trek to the grocery store all over again, so I usually try the POD. To my surprise, they always seem to have just what I need. Although we typically think of the POD as just a place to buy Doritos or Oreos, it does carry most of the kitchen necessities that are easily forgotten.

After mixing all of the ingredients in a Tupperware container, it’s always a struggle finding something to actually bake the cookies on. Of course most of us don’t have a metal tray lying around in our dorm room, so we need an alternative. Aluminum foil, something that almost everyone has, works surprisingly well for baking cookies. The fact that aluminum foil doesn’t need to be washed in the tiny bathroom sink after it’s used is also a plus. I highly recommend this method.

While it seems like a feat to bake something decent in the residence hall kitchen, it’s not so difficult once you overcome the minor obstacles. Sometimes we all just need a warm late night snack to aid in our studying, so why not take advantage of the underrated kitchens that our residence halls have to offer?

How To: Hang Onto Your New Year’s Resolutions

You all know, it’s about that time of year where we forget about those New Years Resolutions that we made two months ago (unless it was too lame for you to do). Some of us resolved to eat healthier, others were determined to get to the gym four days a week, while some decided to not miss a single class this semester *cough* me *cough*. Whatever that resolution was, you may have forgotten about it by now (I’ve noticed the gym is a little less crowded, so thanks!) Kidding.

In all seriousness, I think New Year’s Resolutions are a great thing. It’s a way to kick off our year on a positive note and find a way to transform ourselves, whether it be physically or mentally. Therefore, I came up with a few ways to keep those resolutions because let’s face it – I’m struggling with keeping mine right now too.

  1. IMG_3115Create a schedule for yourself. If you don’t plan out your goals, it makes it much more difficult to achieve them. Plus, if you’re the stereotypical Honors kid, you love to make lists and organize things. If you’re planning on eating healthier, start prepping your meals on Sunday so you have them prepared for all week (but always allow yourself a cheat day). If you’re trying to workout more often (I know these two are cliché but they’re the most common), then pencil it, no, PEN it into your to-do list.
  2. Tell everyone. I know a lot of people, myself included, that won’t follow through with some things if it’s just left up to them. I ran a half marathon in September and Girl Scout’s honor, the only thing that kept me going was everyone knowing about it, and worse, everyone knowing that I didn’t follow through with it if that were the case. Your friends and family provide a great support system, so let them help you!
  3. Tell yourself every day. This could be a bit difficult, but I had one major resolution this year that I constantly remind myself of. I want to stop being embarrassed. That being said, when I do things that I would usually be embarrassed about, I remind myself of my New Year’s Resolution. Catch yourself in the act and it will become habit.

Long story short, try to keep your New Year’s Resolutions! Have faith, fellow college students, it may get easier to resist that 2 a.m. pizza once you can’t stay up until 2 a.m. anymore.

What are some resolutions you made this year? Does anyone even make them anymore? Comment and let me know!


Intern, Out of Time

The second semester of your junior year can be an absolutely horrifying time in your life. Suddenly, all of your fun loving days of lounging around on the green, taking breadth classes on vampires, and changing your major six or seven times a semester are over. Instead, you’re consumed with thoughts of grad school, offering a piece of your soul to the higher powers to help make sure you can actually graduate in four years, and spending endless hours searching for that age-old question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

career fairParamount to (or at least on par with) all of these is the dreaded search for the perfect summer internship. Whether it’s doing research at a medical lab, working as an analyst at Goldman Sach’s, or teaching one-armed underprivileged orphans English in a rural village in Namibia, what you choose to do the summer of your junior year is critical. It can give you invaluable experience on your resume, get you in contact to network with professionals in your field, or, if you’re really lucky, start you off with a career when May 2015 has come and gone. If you find yourself drowning in a sea of half-written cover letters, resume critiques, and your friends’ Facebook status about how they just got accepted into their dream internships, here’s some advice to help you find safer shores:

  1. Put yourself out there. A lot of people I know are uncomfortable with asking for help. When it comes to job or internship searches, though, don’t be afraid to ask for a little push now and then. Reach out to your professors and advisors. Update your Linked-In account and get your peers and supervisors to endorse you with anything that might appear marketable. Did you see a speaker or read a book that made you feel a connection? Reach out to any and everyone that might be even remotely related to what you want to do and see if they have any positions available. Everyone remembers what the job search is like, so even if they can’t help you directly, chances are they’ll pass you along to someone who’s hiring. And if they don’t, the worst they can say is no…which brings me to my next point.
  2. Don’t be afraid to fail. Finding a job or internship is hard. You might not hear back from your first choice, and you might not get your second. As Honors kids, sometimes it’s hard to remember that failure is a part of life. But, it’s important to remember that life is unexpected, and the path you wanted to take may not be the path that’s right for you. Doors close so windows can open.
  3. Take advantage of resources. Everyone knows that Career Services exists, but have you used them lately? Whether you want to try your hand at mock interviews, need to get a quick lesson on etiquette dinners, or are looking for resume critiques, reach out! I know networking events and career fairs can be overwhelming, but sometimes we have to just put on a brave face and take the plunge.
  4. Breathe. No matter what happens this summer, you will be okay. Whether you find your dream internship, do undergraduate research, work a part-time job, or have daily 10-hour binges of The Office (i.e. my winter session), you will find success and you will find happiness. In the meantime, go lounge on the green and do nothing all day. College goes by in a blink of an eye, so take a moment to sit back and relax. You deserve it.


Cirque“It’s just like any other day.”

“You care a little too much about your birthday.”

“I think you put more stock in your birthday than my Kindergarteners. That’s sad, you know that, right?”

This last observation came courtesy of my mom, who is in fact a Kindergarten teacher. The other comments were uttered at some point or another during my month-long birthday countdown by my roommates/friends/sister.

I’m not sure what it is exactly, but it’s sadly true: I have always loved my birthday in an unnatural, five-year-old-child-who-just-arrived-at-Disney-World way (and I am pretty obsessed with all things Disney). Deep down, I know that it’s a regular day of the week, nothing special.

Upon further examination, I might look forward to my birthday so much because it breaks up the monotony of a fairly boring time of the year. Think about it: what does March have to offer (besides St. Patrick’s Day)? March is (a) usually still cold; (b) void of any majorly exciting, family-gathering-type holidays (think Thanksgiving status); and (c) smack-dab in the middle of the school year, typically at a test-heavy time.

Heavy introspection aside as to the reasons why, I still get excited when March rolls around, even though I’ve had some disappointing b-days in the past (picture crying into cupcakes). Even for this past birthday, for example, I turned…22. Not the legally novel opportunities of 21, not the new decade happiness of 20…nope, 22. Nothing remotely interesting occurs as a result of being 22, besides people screaming/quoting those infamous Taylor Swift lyrics at you: “I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU…”

So, last Monday, March 3rd, I turned a whopping twenty-two years of age. And, for the first time in forever (shout-out to the lyrics from one of my Disney favorites, Frozen), I actually had a birthday worthy of all my pent-up birthday hype.

First of all, two words: snow day! Even though I hail from the freezing, barren woods of Connecticut, I’ve actually never had a snow day on my birthday before. I watched the first season of Heroes on Netflix, and generally stayed in my pajamas all day. It was amazing.

Second of all, my family totally and completely went above-and-beyond this year. For ages, I’ve wanted to see a Broadway show for my birthday. I fully consider myself a “theater kid,” and am always ecstatic to watch a professional production. I also lived in New York City for three months this past summer, but even before that, I’ve always called NYC “my city” just because I like absolutely everything about it (and because it’s fairly close – about two hours away from my home-home). But, of course, ticket prices for a Broadway show are more-often-than-not through the roof – especially when ordered beforehand as opposed to standing in line at the Time Square Ticket Booth.

AladdinThis year, however, Aladdin opens on Broadway. And as anyone who knows me can attest, I’m a Disney nerd; I love Disney World, Disney movies, ABC, Marvel (now a part of Disney)… Anyway, because Aladdin hasn’t even premiered yet – the official date is March 20th – tickets have been a lot cheaper than normal. So, when I opened the small envelope containing my birthday gift for this year, there was (*drumroll*) a ticket to go see Aladdin on Broadway during my spring break. The best part? My mom and sister are coming too.

So, to give my birthday gushing a moral: sometimes, something that you look forward to might not meet previous, and possibly ridiculous, expectations (which has definitely happened to me several times). But other times, something that you’ve been waiting for just might exceed your expectations.

As Disney proposes, dreams can come true, after all.

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