Thursday, March 26, 2015

Here for a Good Time in the Springtime!

Spring has officially sprung y’all!!  What’s better than springtime in the south than springtime at South?! With beautiful, sunshine-y summer days perfect for heading to the beach, followed by perfectly cool fall days great for cheering on our football team every weekend (Go Jags!), then cooler but still just as pleasant winter days just enough to give us a glimpse of cold, South’s campus is beautiful throughout the year. However, to wrap up the school year, campus becomes particularly beautiful with wonderful spring days that are just right when it comes to weather and good for a nice day outside with friends. Plus now it is finally warm enough but not yet too hot to walk to class and actually enjoy it.  Simply put, it’s just a great time to be on campus.
One of my favorite things about campus during the spring would be finally being able to enjoy our amazing pool at the rec center. If you guys haven’t seen it yet, you are in for a treat when you get on campus. It has multiple different styles of pools all wrapped into one big area, a hot tub on the side, and plenty of lounge chairs to go around. After a long day in class or on the weekend with all of my friends, this is my go to spot when it finally gets warm enough to go outside.
Aaaaaaaand play ball! Another one of my favorite springtime activities would definitely have to be cheering on the Jags at a baseball or softball game. I love getting together a group of friends and heading over to Stanky Field to watch the Jags, and if you happen to go on a Friday night, they also have Friday Night Fireworks! How awesome is that?
So, if you’re ever on campus, be sure to take a moment to look around at our beautiful campus, but especially if you’re here during the spring, rest assured that you will find plenty of fun activities to do to enjoy the wonderful, warm weather!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

So Why Is This Important Again...

Show of hands, how many of you at one point in your life have heard these words from your parents: "College is important so make the best of it"? (raises both hands) I know I sure have and many more times than just once too. But, turns out, your parents (and mine too) were actually right this time (I know, it's shocking, right?). The choice to go to college is huge, and the choice of what degree you pursue is even more important. So, if any of you out there reading this are still wondering if mommy and daddy are right about this whole "college is important" business, then you have come to the right place because this week I have for you...
The Top 5 Reasons Why YOU Should Attend College
(the following reasons are brought to you in part by
  1. Money. (Cha-ching!!) If you didn't guess this one already, a college degree will directly influence your earning potential, and, for most people, your future income will multiply. And who doesn't want that?!
  2. Job Opportunities. Studies have proven that a college degree is more likely to land you a better job like that fabulous dream job that you've always wanted. Can you say big corner office with a gorgeous view?
  3. Education. This is a big one for me personally. Since my dream of being an occupational therapist requires me to attend graduate level school, it is impossible to get there without a prior undergraduate degree. Even if going to graduate school isn't in your plans for right now, you never know when you may wake up one day and decide you want to go to medical school, and with your college degree  already in hand, you'll be closer than you think!
  4. Marketability. As with most things in life, there are a whole bunch of people going for a little bit of something, and that, my friends, could be your dream job. Having a college degree could put you on a higher level than some other applicants because you will already be knowledgeable in the field you have chosen.
  5. Self-Satisfaction. I can't quite say this one from personal experience, but I'm almost there (like less than two months away). I promise you could ask any college graduate that has walked across the stage to get their diploma after four (or more) years of hard work how they feel at that very moment and get nearly the same answer from each of them. I bet they are pretty satisfied with their accomplishments so far in life and can't wait to see what's in store for them next.
And there you have it, everyone! Life is full of options and choices (like whether or not to attend college or what major to pursue) and each of those choices shapes how you're future will look. The possibilities are endless in college, and a college degree can open so many doors for you; all you have to do is go after it!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Fun Times in the Neighborhood (aka Mobile)!!

Just because I'm in Mobile because of school doesn't mean that is all my life revolves around while I'm here; I mean come on we are all college kids here! And like ant other college kid out there, sometimes I need to de-stress and have a little fun! While it is super convenient that Mobile is located SO close to some great beaches (which I love), sometimes I don't have the time (or the money) to go all the way to the beach or just want to stay around Mobile for a fun day close to home.
So, of course, the next thing to wonder would be - what is there to do in Mobile? Well, I'm glad you asked! Mobile has plenty of entertainment to fit about any personality. You have the Mobile Art Walk, downtown life, amazing restaurants, wonderful shopping, and the list goes on! Personally, my favorite things to do in Mobile would be going out to eat and then a nice shopping trip. The first thing I knew when I moved down to Mobile was that it was certain to have some fantastic seafood fresh off the boat, and it has yet to disappoint me! I have plenty of places I love to go eat here (La Cocina, Foosackley's, San Miguel, Carrabba's, Bonefish, Lapp's, Tacky Jack's, and many more), but just to introduce one for great seafood, my all-time favorite Mobile restaurant is Felix's Fish Camp!
Inside Felix's is a really neat little place with all mismatched chairs; then, the food is amazing; and to tie it altogether, it's right by the bay, and you can see out while you eat! Simply the best!! After eating some wonderful Felix's food, it's time to go shopping! Mobile has some awesome little boutiques where you can find your unique items, and it even has your favorite stores from back home at the mall. It's like the best of both worlds! I know it might sound kind of typical for a girl to like eating and shopping, but don't knock it until you try it on your next visit to Mobile.
As an extra note of things I like to do in Mobile, one of my favorite times of the year in Mobile is Mardi Gras!! While Mardi Gras only comes around once a year, it's a great time to get together with all of your friends to go downtown for the parades! While you're on your Mobile visit, if you want to experience true Mobile style, you MUST check out at least one Mardi Gras parade! It definitely will be the highlight of any visit!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Time To Get It Together.

As you're probably already aware, there are many aspects of college life that are pretty different from life as a high schooler. In high school, you're at home with mom and dad who make sure you take a break to eat dinner, keep up with your classes, and go to bed (or at least get in bed) at a decent hour. In college, that all changes. Here you are the one who decides when it's time to eat, remembers to go to class and study, and chooses when you want to go to bed (or not). Basically, there are a LOT of new freedoms, and with those, there's a lot of new skills to learn as well.
For me, the most difficult aspect of attending college was learning how to manage my time. Not only manage it, but manage it wisely. When I came to South I quickly realized that I now had tons of free time since I only had about two or three classes a day. So now I had all the time in the world to hang out with friends, catch up on TV shows, go lay out by the pool plannerat the rec, do homework, or whatever else I wanted to do. But let's be honest, when you have the choice of hanging out with friends by the pool or doing homework in your room or at the library, who is really going to choose to do homework? Well, it certainly wasn't me, so I soon found myself struggling to stay up with everything I had to do for my classes. Then I found and bought this wonderful little book that changed my whole life and helped me out tremendously - my planner! I put everything in my planner like when tests were, when homework was due, when events were, when I planned to go home, everything. That may sound like I went a little crazy, but trust me, it helped me stay on task with everything I had to do and when I finished all of those tasks I knew I had time to hang out with my friends and do what I wanted because my schoolwork was done. Now, I've expanded my planner to include one planner book, one dry erase planner on my wall, and one planner on my phone just to make sure I have everything completed on time because grad school can get a little hectic and crazy sometimes.
Choosing a bright, fun planner helped me learn to use it more often.
So maybe, struggling with time management and having three planners is not a weak area for you, but whatever it is, don't let it consume and control your life. With a little simple trial and error and problem solving, you can survive the more difficult aspects of college.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Why OT Was (and is) the Best Fit for Me!

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
Choosing a major is a pretty difficult task! I mean how are you supposed to know at 18 what you want to do until your 68? Though it is a very tough decision, once you finally find the field you enjoy so much that you could see yourself there for the rest of your life, it's almost like a huge revelation and finally you know you're exactly where you're supposed to be. For me, this took me a little longer than I actually expected.
As I've said before, I came to South Alabama certain that I was going to be a Physical Therapist - like no ifs, ands, or buts about it. I got my track and started on my basics then I went to shadow one day, and I realized that PT wasn't exactly what I thought it was. Because of this I soon decided that I was not in the right field for me. But what was I going to do now since I had never looked at any other majors? I scheduled a meeting with my advisor and voiced my concerns to her, and she told me I should look at occupational therapy. Like what even is that?! I mean I had two friends who were going into OT, but it wasn't like I had ever talked to them about what it was; after all, I knew PT was for me before now. So with that, I went back to my room and started doing a little research...which turned into a lot of research...which turned into me looking for hours at OT stuff. I had fallen in love with the field of OT. The next day I went to the advising office and had my official change of major filled out and signed, and that's where it all started. For the next two-ish years, I worked on all of my pre-requisite courses and joined the Pre-OT Club (and became the Vice President my Junior year). Then on April 1st of last year, I was honored by South's OT Department to be chosen and one of the few advanced undergraduate students accepted into the OT program for their Senior year. To say it hasn't been crazy and busy would be a lie, but when you're completely loving what you're doing, it makes it hard to think on the occasional negatives.
Love my crazy, sometimes dysfunctional OT fam jam!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Why I Chose the Best College!

"So, are you going to college? Oh, that's cool. Well, where are you going?" During your senior year of high school, I'm sure you've been asked those exact questions or some variation of them at some point; am I right? That seems to be the next logical question everyone has once they find out that you are a senior. But if you're like me, maybe you didn't know the answer to that until almost the end of fall semester.
So, since you already know the end of the story of where I chose to go to college, I'll start by telling you how I made the best decision for college! For starters, I looked at the kind of college I wanted to attend. For me, that was pretty simple since I did not want to go to a community college close to home; I wanted to get out of my hometown and see what else was out there. That decision led me to look at more of the university type schools. The next step - a big school or a smaller school. This was another easy decision for me. As I've told about in the past, I came from a really small private school (like "I graduated with 26 people" small) that I attended from pre-k to graduation. Since that was the kind of environment I came from, that was where I felt more at home, so it only seemed right to attend a university on the smaller end of the scale. By this point, I had narrowed my search down to two choices - one closer to home where everyone I knew was planning to go or one farther from home where no one I knew had even thought about going. Tough choice, huh? Then, it came down to what I tell everyone I love about South and the main reason why I chose South - where do I feel happiest and most at home? I had already visited both schools, seen both campuses,  and even been to football games for both teams. After adding all of these components together, the choice then was very clear, and I was very confident in it - South Alabama! After coming on a tour at South, I knew for certain this was the perfect school for me. No community bathrooms/showers (HUGE plus), a place I could wash my clothes each week for free, an amazing rec center with the most perfect pool I had ever seen, a beautiful campus, the field I wanted to major in, and the nicest people who seemed to see a friend everywhere they went - why would you choose to go anywhere else?! In the next couple of weeks, I sent in my application and all the paperwork, and a few weeks after that, I was officially a Jaguar!!! And now four years later (and three months from graduation), I am certain that I could not have chosen a better place to attend college, and I am still just as happy to be a Jag as the day I received my acceptance letter in the mail! GO JAGS!!!
Move-in weekend freshman year... The beginning of my journey as a Jaguar!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

It's the First Day in 13th Grade!

Ahh, the first day of school. You're all ready with your brand new binders/notebooks, your brand new pencils/pens/erasers, your brand new backpack, and you're off to school. How exciting is it that its your first day of COLLEGE?!?! I mean it doesn't get better than that, right? You have your class schedule in hand, start walking toward the academic buildings, but wait...which one are you supposed to be in? Uh-oh. Now, that's how my first day of college went with no clue where to go, and I definitely don't want yours to go the same way. The first day is stressful enough as is, so here's a few ideas to make sure your first day goes a little bit better.
  • Know when the first day is. As silly as that sounds, I had a friend who thought we moved in a week before classes started and ended up missing all of her classes the first day.
  • Take a walk around campus before school starts. Really, do it! If you're planning to walk to class, start off from your room with campus map in hand and find the building you're class is in.  By walking, you'll easily find the shortcuts you can take to make your walk a little easier. Oh, and make sure to check with your RA as well. Sometimes, they take their hall residents around campus to find their classes. Just be sure to pay attention and not just go with the flow of people (you'll appreciate that later!).
  • Stay calm. The first day brings a lot of jitters, but don't be nervous. Plenty of students have went before you and survived the first day of college, and you will to!
  • Have your class schedule with you. Whether it's a screenshot on your phone or a paper copy in your hand, make sure you have that...unless you plan on memorizing it before the first day. Whatever you do, definitely don't be this guy below.
Most importantly, enjoy your first day! And remember to have an interesting fact about yourself ready, that is every professors favorite way to have you introduce yourself.