Sunday, October 4, 2015

Happy Fall, Y'all!

It's the most wonderful time of the year!!! And I'm not talking about Christmas, y'all! It's FALL! One of my all time favorite seasons because it hold one of my all time favorite months - which happens to be this one - October! You know, ole Anne (of Green Gables, that is) really knew a thing or two because I know my world would not be complete without Octobers. Fall, for me, contains some of the most fun activities of the whole year, so, to get us in the fall spirit, I'll share with you some of my favorite fall things.
  1. Football Season. Saturdays down South during the fall can only mean one thing - football. Whether you're just a go to the tailgate and eat-er or your a die hard fan of the South Alabama Jaguars, there's always a place for everyone during football season. Plus, to kick off a fabulous October, we beat Troy last night in the "Battle for the Belt." It's a great month to be a Jaguar!
  2. Pumpkin Carving. One of my favorites of the whole month. Scary faces, silly animals, superheroes, or whatever, I like all types of pumpkin carving. Plus then you get yummy pumpkin seeds! And I'll let you in on a little secret, I already picked what I'm carving on my pumpkin. Don't tell me friends, but its definitely going to be a "hoot" (hint, hint).
  3. Pumpkin Spice Everything. Don't judge me, y'all, but fall brings out my #totalwhitegirl. Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin spice candles, pumpkin spice coffee creamer, pumpkin spice EVERYTHING. I love it all! Never judge a pumpkin spice until you try it.
  4. Cooler weather. While it gets super hot down here in the deep south, it finally cools off when we get to the fall months. It's time to bring out the cute scarves, plaid, jackets, boots, and all. And everyone knows that fall clothing is the cutest and best clothing.
While I could sit here all day and tell y'all everything I love about fall and all it's goodness, those are my top picks. Hopefully the rest of our fall (and October) will be as wonderful as it started.
P.S.- Campus during the fall is beautiful, and, if you don't believe me, come check it out for yourself!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

HEY! Go Jaguars!!!

Goooooo JAGS! Football season. It is finally upon us, y'all! If you're from any of the good ole Southern states, football season is pretty much considered an actual true season right along with spring, summer, fall, and winter. Though our South Alabama team is still relatively new to the sport, that hasn't stopped us from making some pretty big strides in the football world; in fact, we've even played teams as big as Nebraska, Tennessee, Troy, and Tulane (which we played in the Superdome a few years back)! Of course with all of these great games, there are always the fun memories you walk away with at the end of the night.
For me, my favorite football memory happened my sophomore year. It was the first EVER South Alabama-Troy game, and, for those of you who don't know, Troy is our rival, so it was a huge deal for both of the universities! All of my friends had planned our first tailgating party complete with tons of yummy food and, of course, a good game of cornhole. Everyone was having so much fun until it happened...rain. Like all good Mobilians, we simply got under the tent and crossed our fingers that it would stop. To our complete surprise, it actually stopped! We (like everyone else there) grabbed our pom-poms and sprinted to the stadium to get good seats. But, of course, right when the game started, it started raining...again! Since we were already soaked, we decided to stick it out for our Jags! In the end, we did lose 31-10, but none of us remembered that minor detail (especially since South has won both years after that).

A few good football memories!
All-in-all, that was the most fun football experience of my life! Win or lose, the most important aspect of it all was having a blast with my friends and sticking it out, rain or shine, with #JagNation!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Road To College Life.

From high school life to college life...I don't know about you, but to me, that sounds like a huge life change. Going from being home where mom and dad are there and where all the friends you've had since preschool are to a life where mom and dad aren't there to pester you and your friends have gone off to other schools or stayed back home. Sounds like some pretty big changes, huh? And challenges with these changes happen to the best of us.
See that cute little group of adorable folks in the picture above? That, my friends, is my high school graduating class...and yes, that's all of us! I attended a small private school from pre-k to graduation with most of these same 24 people. Fast forward a few months after this picture was taken, here I am at South (3 hours from home) with more than 15,000 other students, and, for the first time in my life, I didn't know a single one of my classmates. This was a big eye-opening experience for me, and one of the biggest challenges I had ever faced. Of course, I was super excited to come to South when I was planning my dorm room, looking at classes, and all of that fun stuff! However, after all of that faded away and my parents had left me here, I didn't like a single thing about being at South because I was being forced out of my comfort zone with all of these new strangers; in fact, honestly, I didn't like it so much I strongly considered going back home to a school I never wanted to go to just because it was closer to my normal people. But now that I've experienced the best 4 years of college ever imaginable, I can NOT believe those thoughts ever crossed my mind, and I am so thankful I chose to stick it out and give South a chance. Even now that I've graduated, I find myself always looking back at all of the wonderful college friends that I made, all of the great times we had, and all of the amazing experiences South has given to me. It definitely has been the best time of my life! I am certain that if I had not found the best friends that South Alabama has to offer I would've just went back home; thankfully, I met some of them on the first day, and their friendship assured me that I would be just fine for the next 4 years and beyond!
So the moral of my story is...don't let the big transition challenge get to you. Get out of your comfort zone and make some friends - they make your whole college experience SO fun!!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Let's Get Out There and {Field}work!!!

At South, I have encountered many, many classes which, at the time, I definitely considered my absolute favorite class ever. Freshman year, there was Intro to Drama which is kinda like an introduction to theatre class and was tons of fun (I highly recommend that as your fine art class!). Sophomore year, it was between Intro to OT where I found my love of OT and Abnormal Psychology (call me weird, but I love learning about mental health and psychiatric stuff). Junior year, it was, by far, Outdoor Adventures (kayaking, ropes courses, and tons more as a class - it doesn't get better), Senior year, it was my OT Context class; learning about the many steps to each task and getting to cook and do crafts was SO fun.

But, this year, the choice for favorite class was a little more difficult because all of my classes are interesting because they're all OT related. However, if I had to pick just one, it would hands down be my Level One Fieldwork class. This class is pretty unique as it is never in a classroom. Each semester, we are assigned two different local facilities to go to (one for the first half of the semester and one for the second half) once a week and get to do some hands on OT work. For me, this type of learning is perfect because it helps me solidify everything I learned in class by actually doing it out in the "real world." Plus, I have been able to meet some amazing OTs who have taught me so much about their own practice as well as helpful ways to remember everything I learn in school. Another awesome thing about fieldwork is many of my site supervising OTs are actually South OT program graduates, so it's awesome to hear their stories from their time in OT school and see how far they've come since they were where I am now.

Overall, it's an awesome experience as an OT student and lover, and it's so great to be a part of a program at such an awesome school which gives each its student growing opportunities such as this!

Also, for this class, we get to make fun projects that we think could help patients at our facility.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Hey There!

Hey y'all! My name is Ashton, and I am a JagGuide here at the University of South Alabama. Just a little about me... I am originally from Dothan, AL (which is way over on the southeastern corner of Alabama). I recently graduated from South this past May (Class of 2015, y'all!) with a Bachelor's degree in Professional Health Sciences. I am now a second year graduate student in the Department of Occupational Therapy and was an advanced undergraduate in the OT program. If you follow my blog long enough, I'm sure you will learn all about my love of OT and the fun of being in OT school as well as about all of my awesome times here as a South student. As a student at South, I have been involved a few different clubs and organizations such as Baptist Campus Ministries, Phi Eta Sigma Freshman Honor Society, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Converge Campus Ministries, Pre-Occupational Therapy Club, and South Alabama Students of Occupational Therapy Association. And just because we do this for almost all of our classes on the "get-to-know-you" day, one random fact about me is I am a huge animal lover and rarely meet one I don't think is adorable.  So that's me, and I look forward to meeting and talking to all of you future Jaguars soon!
See, told you I loved all animals - even the mascot ones like SouthPaw and Miss Pawla.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

WOW! We're Back, South!

Welcome new Jaguars, and welcome back old Jaguars! It seems like it's been forever since I last wrote to y'all! I hope everyone is getting settled into their classes and schedules and has had an awesome first two week!
I can definitely tell it is going to be an awesome year already! We have so many faces (new and old) on campus, and lots of new, fun events going on. For me, it's definitely going to be a fun year because it's my first year as an alumna of South Alabama, my second year as an OT graduate student, and my first year as a "big" for my grad school "little."
Looking back to my first weeks of classes (which seems like forever ago now), honestly, I wasn't sure of my decision of coming to South. I didn't know a single person here; I was sharing a room in the Residence Halls with someone I had never met before; and I wasn't really involved yet with other students. It wasn't the most fun first two weeks, but, after getting out and becoming more involved, I met so many new friends and started to love every minute of being at South.
This year at South, however, there's a new program called WOW (aka - Week of Welcome)! Sounds pretty fun, right? Well, that's because it is!!! WOW shows all of the new students all the places they belong at South. There's a full schedule of events starting at Move-In Day last week and going all the way to tomorrow night with the Evasons Mentalists Show. WOW was a super fun week of events to help everyone find their place on campus by getting involved and meeting new friends.
Today, another JagGuide and I attended Get On Board Day and were able to see so many students looking at all of the different clubs and organizations available to join at South (and, believe me, there are a TON!!). Everyone looked like they were having so much fun and so many people seemed to find a good place to check out and possibly be one of the many places they fit in!
So check it out! There are two more events left in WOW! And, future Jaguars, be sure to check out your WOW next year!