Category: Brittany Connely (page 2 of 2)

Five Movies to Watch While Stuck in Quarantine

Right now it feels strange to think we were at UD over a month ago, and that our lives were seemingly normal, and now that we’re living in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. I’m not sure I ever thought that anything that has impacted the world as majorly as this would have happened in my lifetime. At this moment, it feels hard for all of us to stay upbeat and positive, as everything feels like it’s ending, and we have so much free time stuck at home with nothing to do. One thing that I have been doing while not in class, is watching movies. I find they help give me not only a distraction but help me stay positive. If you’re feeling like you’re struggling and want something else to think about, or feel like you need something to believe in the world again, here are the top five movies I would recommend to you.

  1. Howl’s Moving Castle

I’m probably biased towards this movie as it is one of my all-time favorite movies, and something I have loved since my childhood, however I believe movies like Howl’s Moving Castle are a nice breath away from reality, especially right now. Howl’s Moving Castle tells the story of a young girl named Sophie who has a spell cast on her by the “Witch of the Waste” which turns her into an elderly woman. She goes on a journey to try and break the spell, and meets a wizard named Howl and goes aboard his moving castle for a life-changing adventure. This movie is perfect if you just want to be taken away to a fantasy world and feel like a kid again. The art in this movie is amazing and the soundtrack fits in perfectly. It’s hard to put all the things I love about this movie into words, but I would highly recommend this movie to anyone of any age.

2. Perks of Being a Wallflower

I’ve watched this movie so many times since it came out, and could watch it thousand times more. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is about a boy named Charlie who is socially awkward, and is considered at school to be a “wallflower,” someone who tends to stay away from crowds and the spotlight. However, he meets a girl named Sam and her stepbrother Patrick and they change his life completely. This coming of age movie is so powerful and touches on so many issues in the world today. It makes you feel so many emotions from pain and sadness to joy. Even though high school wasn’t so long ago for me, it gives me that youthful nostalgia for those days in my life. It is perfect for those days in quarantine when you’re missing your friends or thinking about all the memories you have made here at UD.

3. Love, Rosie

If you’re looking for another semi-predictable, cheesy rom-com that will make you want to cry, laugh, and want to rip your hair out in the best way possible, then this is it. Rosie and Alex are that couple that always finds their way back to each other but the timing is always wrong. The movie takes you through a journey of their ups and downs and has you constantly on the edge of your seat wondering if they will end up together, or if time and misunderstandings will be too big of a hurdle. This movie is one that will easily distract you from the outside world and make you feel warm inside. It’ll make you believe that what is meant to be will be, which is something that in the world today doesn’t feel like it exists. Our lives may be crazy at the moment and it might be hard to stay hopeful for a better tomorrow when it feels like everything is crumbling down. But this movie, even as lighthearted as it is, reminds us that the best things can come from the seemingly worst things to happen to us.

4. In This Corner of the World

While this movie is an animated film, watching this for the first time made me cry, and I’m not one to usually get emotional over movies. This story is set during World War II and is about a girl named Suzu who moves in with her husband’s family in Hiroshima, Japan. The movie tells of all of the challenges she faces during this time living in a war-torn country. The thing I love the most about this movie is the overall message. This movie portrays that even in the worst times, there will always be hope in the world, and you can always find beauty in something. While normally I’m not the one for wartime movies, this movie made me realize how lucky I truly am for even the smallest things in life that I take for granted. I feel that watching this movie now is perfect timing, especially with everything going on in the world today, and how chaotic life feels. It’s a nice reminder of all the good and positivity there can be, even if it seems like there is no hope.

5. Ferris Bueller’s day off

This movie is honestly such a classic, and a movie that my parents love as well. If you’re looking for something that will have you laughing until you cry — this is it. Ferris Bueller is known as a troublemaker at his high school as he is always slacking off. He decides to take one last day off of school and go on the journey of a lifetime. This movie will keep you wondering how Ferris doesn’t get caught, and laughing at all the close calls he and his friends have. If you’re looking for something lighthearted and exciting, this is the movie for you. It reminds you to live each day to the fullest even with the ups and downs in everyday life. 

“My Research Experience” by Brittany Connely

Research. Honestly, the thought of it is simultaneously exciting and intimidating. Everyone tells you to get involved as soon as possible, especially when you’re on the path towards medical and graduate school.

 But how do you even get involved? When I was a freshman in the honors program this was my main question. It was daunting, all the people I had met just said to email around and ask professors if they had spots open in their labs, to just look around and explore. You might get rejected, but I was told I’d eventually find a place right for me. I was overall lost in the whole process though. I didn’t have any idea of what to do research in and if I was even interested in pursuing it while in college. I only knew that’s what others said I should do.

So when I was scrolling through Handshake and saw a job listing for a student research assistant, I applied. I was nervous, scared I wasn’t going to have the skills needed, and wondering what it would even be like. Little did I know, interviewing for that new position would lead me down a whole new path.

I am now part of the University of Delaware Center of Health Assessment Research and Translation as a research assistant. My main job has been coding, but not in the traditional sense that most people would think of. I go through transcripts of past study groups and apply a codebook to them in a program called “Nvivo”. The goal of my part of this is to find which symptoms correspond and overlap for people with major injuries such as traumatic brain injuries (TBI).

I absolutely love my job and being part of this research project. While going through 70 page transcripts doesn’t sound exciting, being able to read and hear about people’s stories makes the time pass by. Through reading the effects one’s injury has had on their life not only physically but emotionally, I feel like I am learning another side to the story. As a neuroscience major I have learned about the causes and effects and symptoms of certain things like TBI, however, my job allows me to be in someone else’s shoes and see it not just through the eye of a clinician but also a patient.

This was not what I expected research to be like. Honestly, when I was first looking into research I was expecting to be in a lab doing benchwork. But through learning more about clinical research, I have discovered a whole new world that I want to continue being part of. I believe learning more not only about issues medically but also how they affect others in different ways will make me a better doctor and help me on the path towards my future career.

I think that being part of something new and constantly evolving is thrilling. Being involved in research is something I am extremely grateful for and think that everyone should at least try to do once. So I encourage you to gain the courage, take a chance, and email that professor and or apply for the position. You never know how much impact it’ll have on you unless you try. 

 

“What I Learned Freshman Year” by Brittany Connely

It’s time for midterms yet again. Gone are the long summer days spent relaxing in the sun and hanging with friends. It’s time to go back to the books and back to stressing out over classes. Because I am now a sophomore, I wanted to look back at my previous year, and see how much I have grown since then. I learned many lessons through trials and tribulations. Here are four of the major lessons I learned last year:

  • Go out and do everything you want to do, even if it seems daunting at the time.

As a freshman thousands of miles from home, I knew I needed to create a home away from home. My first semester I was extremely homesick, I had attempted to put myself out there a bit, but I didn’t click with anyone I had met so far. So, when Panhellenic recruitment came around, I almost didn’t join. Why would I want to try something yet again to figure out it wasn’t for me? However, everyone I met had such great experiences being in a sorority, all saying it was one of the best things they did during college. So, I figured I would try again because I could always quit if I didn’t like it. Who would’ve known how big of an impact on my life that would have? I met my best friends during recruitment and after I joined a sorority. I found sisters, who are always there to comfort me when I’m feeling down from missing home, and who make me excited to go to UD events like football games and UDance. My sorority truly is my home away from home and makes me want to become the best person I can be. 

  • You can’t always do everything alone.

I learned this lesson the hard way.  For me, Chem103 was an absolute nightmare. I hadn’t ever really struggled with classes as much as I did then. I was used to just putting in the effort and getting good results. However, with chemistry, this wasn’t the case. I didn’t get it, and because of that, I avoided studying. This turned into bad test scores, and instead of going and getting the help I needed, I thought I could solve the issue on my own. While I ended up passing the class, it wasn’t the grade I wanted, and I knew that if I did more I could’ve done better. So, when It came around to take the next chemistry class, I dedicated myself to it. When I had questions, I asked the TA or teacher for help, when I had a test coming up, I prepared ahead of time, not just the night before. When I got back my tests, my results paid off greatly. That lesson continues to be extremely important as I head into harder classes such as organic chemistry and microbiology.

  • Don’t be afraid to use UD’s resources.

This goes along with my second lesson, however this has to do with me personally, rather than my academics. In my second semester of freshman year, I was dealing with depression, due to some events in my life that had affected me. It was more than just not wanting to go to class, I felt like I couldn’t even get out of bed and go. Even though I was getting more involved and therefore should have been happier, I just felt nothing. It got to the point where I knew if nothing was going to change, I was going to have to drop out of UD and go back home, which I knew wasn’t the solution. So, I went to UD’s Center for Counseling and Student Development (CCSD) and scheduled an appointment with a counselor. After meeting with them for the rest of spring semester, I was able to pull my grades up and start going back to class. While I knew there were many different resources to help students here, I didn’t think that anyone used them and that asking for help would be strange and difficult. However, after making that first step to use the services provided, I realized how important they were and how, even though it may seem strange or embarrassing at the time, there are so many other students that may feel the same way. I never would have recovered from the hardest period in my life without the CCSD, and I wouldn’t be where I am today, enjoying what I’m doing and thriving in my classes.

  • Enjoy the process, don’t just focus on the results.

My whole life, I’ve always been planning for the next step. When I was in high school, I was already thinking about where I should go to college and what I would do next. Because of this, I feel like I didn’t enjoy myself as much as I could have. I stressed over things that don’t matter and didn’t branch out and enjoy the process of growing up. Now as a sophomore in college, I realize that while the future is important, so is the present. While I can’t stop myself from thinking about medical school, and what I need to do to achieve my dreams, my whole life is no longer just focused on that. Many people say that college is supposed to be the best years of your life, and while that may not be the case for everyone, and may not feel true to me right now, I want to slow down and do things that I know will make me happy, not just things that I have my whole life to think about.

Whitewater Rafting with the UD Outing Club by Brittany Connely

Before the school year began, I made a list of all of the things that I wanted to accomplish within my four years here at the University of Delaware. One of the most important goals I wanted to accomplish was to try many new things. So when the opportunity arose for me to be able to go whitewater river rafting, I quickly rushed to sign up. Little did I know this adventure would allow me to experience more than just river rafting.

We left on a sunny Friday afternoon with a ten hour bus ride ahead of us. I didn’t know anyone else going on the trip, which scared me just a little. I had been used to going on trips without knowing many people, but this was the first time I had done anything like this while I was so far away from home. Therefore those ten hours mostly consisted of me attempting to do homework and napping. When we arrived, I came to my first brand new experience: trying to set up a tent when it was dark and pouring rain. I was used to setting up tents from being in Girl Scouts, but it was freezing cold and all of us were exhausted from the long ride. Luckily with a group of three other girls, we set up our tent and attempted to get a bit of sleep for the long day ahead of us.

Then came the actual whitewater rafting. I expected only to be going into lower level rapids, as this was many of our first times out on the river. However I discovered that we would be going down level five rapids, the highest level anyone is allowed to go down recreationally. Not only did we have to sign waivers with a page full of warnings, but the instructor kept repeating that we could die today. While I knew this chance was slim as we were going with experienced instructors, I still knew that accidents could easily happen. I have always been an adventurous kind of person, but this was the first time I had done something this daring. When we got onto the boat and went through the first series of rapids, I became less worried and was having a great time. Until we made it to our first level 5 rapids. When we were in the middle I remember paddling hard and then just seeing this huge drop of waves before us. We all stopped and just looked at it in shock. After we made it through the drop, we all just started laughing. Even though we still had a bit of fear, it was such a thrilling experience. Making it through these rapids together and spending the day on the boat, brought me so much closer to this group, though I had never met them before.

Later that night, after warming up and eating a delicious dinner, we went to a music performance celebrating the last weekend of the camp, before it closed for the season. I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Being from the west coast, everything just felt so different. Being here for the band was no exception. There were so many different people there enjoying the music. There was a old man dancing like there was no tomorrow. A little boy who danced so hard he had to take a break and get water in between the sets. A lady who was aggressively whipping her scarf to the beat of the song. These were only some of the many different people I saw there. I felt like I had become part of a different community, something that I had never truly experienced.

Even though it had been such a short journey, at this point I felt like I had gained so much. I became friends with people that I had barely met a day ago, and we talked as if we had been there for a week rather than just one day. This expanded my horizon, as many of my friends have been honors freshman from living in Redding. These people were from all different places, majors, and years. Hearing their experiences not only made me excited for the future, but made me want to continue going on trips, just so I could continue hearing from people whose lives were so different from my own.

Now that I have gotten this kind of experience, I want to continue putting myself out there, trying things that scare and challenge me. After all you never know what you’ll learn from trying something new until you do it.

My First Week of College…on Crutches by Brittany Connely

College. It feels like it was just yesterday that I was stressing over the SAT, deciding where I wanted to apply to, and writing a bajillion essays. I’m a daydreamer, so pretty much ever since freshman year, I was dreaming about what college would be like.  Would I get to have the true “college experience”: making a whole bunch of new friends and having the cutest dorm? I had so many premonitions on what my first week could be like. One thing that I had never factored in, however, is that I would be on crutches.

Ever since I was 14, I have had pain in my hip. When the pain first occurred, doctors suspected that it was something that could be easily fixed, so they sent me to physical therapy.  After attending for months with no improvement, my mother marched into the doctor demanding an MRI and other tests be run on me, to figure out what the real problem was. After various tests, I finally got a diagnosis for what was bothering me. I found out that I had a severe labral tear in my right hip and hip dysplasia. Soon after the diagnosis, I had surgery which cut down the bone so that it would fit better in my hip socket and fixed my labrum. However this surgery only got rid of the pain momentarily, as my hip dysplasia was worse than they had thought. It would require another very invasive surgery to fix the problem.  After delaying this surgery for a couple years, and feeling the pain getting worse I decided I had to have it done before I left sate so it would not impact me for the rest of my life.

In scheduling the surgery I was adamant about not starting off at UD on crutches. I even said that I’d rather be wheeled across the stage at my high school graduation ceremony than deal with that. I believed that I would be left out as the loner, or be the only one on campus with a major injury. I didn’t want to be pitied, I didn’t want to be the girl who couldn’t go out with her friends because she couldn’t walk across campus. Unfortunately life was not on my side. I had my surgery on June 28, 2018.  After the surgery my doctor told me that I needed to be on crutches for longer than I had expected, so my nightmare was coming true. Again, my hip was stopping me from doing things I wanted to do.

However, that nightmare turned into being something that helped me rather than hurt me . While I couldn’t walk around campus, I rode the UD shuttle bus, learning how to navigate to where I needed to go. Being on crutches was also a conversation starter, not just for people to feel bad for what I had gone through, and I’ve met some of my closest friends from it. I also was not the only one on crutches, there were plenty of other people going through different situations but dealing with the same thing that I was.

So the moral of my story is that even if things don’t always go the way you had planned it, something good may come out of it. Being on crutches was seemingly the worst possible situation, yet many positives came out of it for me. So whether it’s an injury, not getting the job you wanted, or something else that doesn’t go your way – just think that in the end it will almost always turn out better than expected.

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