Sunday, May 3, 2015

School's Out! Scream and Shout!

What time is it? Summertime, it's our vacation! Well, almost anyway. Currently, I am 3 days away from being completely finished with finals, and only 6 (that's right, y'all, SIX!) days away from graduation!!! Yay! Words cannot describe how ready I am for summer to be here, even though I only have 2 weeks of summer before I'm right back here at good ole South Alabama for summer OT school classes. But enough about that downer school stuff, let's talk about how much fun I plan on cramming into my 2 weeks of summer. So, without further ado, I present to you...
Ashton's Two Weeks of Summer Bucket List
  • Visit Panama City. Since I'm originally from Dothan, Panama City is just a short drive away and a super fun beach trip, so rest assured, there will be plenty of PC visits in my future.
  • Hike to a waterfall. This one was a bit of a surprise for me, but hey, I'm down for a challenge and a good picnic. Thankful my boyfriend found such an awesome place to hike to one day. P.S. The one pictured is actually the one we're going to see! Isn't it beautiful?!
  • Go fishin'. Another fun priority of summer. Plus, since our hike is so close to the lake, why not take advantage of it?
  • Go jump in a lake. Whether on the boat, jet skis, tube, kneeboard, or the sandbar, at least one weekend out of my "summer" you can find me at Lake Eufaula.
  • Catch up with the friends and the family. This girl loves her friends and family a whole bunch, and since I'm in Mobile most of the year, when I am actually home for a little while, it's nice to catch up with everyone on lunch and dinner dates just to see what's going on in their lives.
  • Catch a movie. Because why not? Plus, the new Avengers movie is out, and I've already promised some folks that I would go see it.
  • Relax. This is probably most important out of everything. While it's all fun to go and do everything, it's nice to take a moment and relax because spring was a long (and sometimes hard) semester, so a break is just what the doctor ordered (not really, but you know).
Well, that's a wrap folks! It's been super awesome to share my weekly thoughts with all of y'all this year, but, sadly, we have reached the end. Just think, soon you'll be off to Southbound Orientation, and then the next thing you know you'll be moving in as official South Alabama Jaguars! Can't wait to see each of you on campus, and I hope all of y'all have awesome (and much longer than mine) summers!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

It's the Final{s} Countdown!

We’re in the home stretch! We’ve almost made it! We can see the finish line! The clock is almost out! Whatever way you want to say it, we’re almost done with school, y’all!!! YAY!!! I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t be much happier to finally see summer. Not that school can’t be fun and all (because it can be), but I just need a break and especially some time for some fun in the sun!
But wait… There’s one little thing standing in our way – finals! Ugh, the dreaded end of the semester finals! Yeah finals aren’t all that fun (or, you know, not fun at all), but when I think of finals, the first thing that comes to mind is study early! In my four years at South, if I have learned anything about studying that would be number 1. You know those people who can just glance over the material and are okay for finals? Yeah, that’s not me! Personally, I get distracted and take lots of study breaks, so I end up needing way longer to study. I also don’t like to cram for finals either because then I end up forgetting so much. Another important thing for me is remembering to go to sleep! Getting caught up in studying the night before and completely losing track of time until suddenly its 1 AM and I’m still awake. Not a good idea! To help me feel refreshed and ready to conquer finals I always try to make sure I get plenty of sleep the night before and eat a good breakfast (or lunch, depending on what time my final is).
Lastly, (and what I’m sure is on your mind as well) when I think of finals this semester, I think of graduation!!! Just two short days after I take my last final, I finally get to walk across the stage, accept my diploma, and will officially be a South Alabama alum! Oh the excitement for new and exciting things to come!!!
So good luck on finals everyone! And just think, after it’s all over, you’ll be one step closer to becoming a Jaguar!!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

It's About Learning to Dance in the Rain!

Rain, rain, go away. Come again some other day! This has probably been the theme song of my life for the past week! I kid you not it has literally rained every single day since last weekend. As I told y’all earlier in my springtime blog, South typically has some pretty great weather and mix that with being close to the beach, and you have like the most perfect place ever to spend four years!
While normally that's what our weather looks like, we do get a few curveballs thrown at us sometimes, and one of those is rain. When telling people I had decided to attend South, the first thing most people told me to do was invest in a good rain jacket and some rain boots! Originally, I thought they were just joking, but I am so happy I listened. Rain boots and an umbrella are almost like a necessity. Luckily, they make rain boots super cute, so I enjoy wearing them on those rainy Mobile days and splashing around in a few puddles on my way to class. Plus, my favorite part of the rainy days is that, right after it rains, it clears up, the sun comes out, and it's back to the perfect, normal Mobile weather. Personally, my favorite way to spend a rainy day is watching movies with my roomies, but sometimes it’s time to get out and embrace the rainy day to have some fun! Like this past weekend, even though it was raining, I made a trip to the USS Alabama, the outlet mall in Foley, the movies, and the beach. Now granted it wasn’t the best weather to be out and about doing everything I had planned, but I didn’t melt (as the old saying goes), and, actually, it was pretty fun still even when we got rained inside the battleship and a few stores at the outlets for a little while.
Basically, even though Mobile can be super rainy (and I mean really rainy…like rainiest city in the US per the WeatherBill in San Francisco), put on that rain jacket and pull up your rain boots and go have some fun! A little bit of rain water never hurt anyone!

Monday, April 13, 2015

When I Grow Up, I Want To Be.....

When I grow up, I want to be… Do you remember thinking when you were a kid what you wanted to be when you grew up? Maybe a fireman or policeman? Maybe a ballerina or a princess? For the longest time, I always wanted to be a veterinarian because I wanted to play with dogs all day long. Then, one day, someone told me that’s not exactly what they do, so I changed my mind pretty quickly. As I’ve said before I haven’t always wanted to be an occupational therapist, but now that that’s where I am in my life, I couldn’t be happier.
If you’ve been reading my blog or if you’ve ever even skimmed over it, you’ve probably noticed that OT is my life and what I want to do for the rest of my life. But I thought I might give you a little more insight on the goals I have in mind for my career as an OT. As an OT, I can work in many different kinds of settings like nursing homes, hospitals, outpatient clinics, schools, and many more. My dream OT job, however, would to be able to work in an outpatient rehab clinic with stroke patients. These patients interest me the most because, in one of my shadowing days, I was able to watch a lady who just 8 months earlier was unable to move her left arm due to a stroke actually moving weighted therapy balls up onto a shelf (kind of like putting up dishes at home) with her left arm. It was truly amazing and helped me decided that I wanted to help people just like that. Thankfully, I attend a great school which has helped me in achieving these goals! South has an awesome OT program, and I was blessed last April to be chosen to start that program a whole year early as an advanced undergrad student. This opportunity has given me the chance to meet my wonderful classmates who I love, to learn a whole lot (and I mean a whooooole lot) about the field that I love, and, soon, to actually go out and practice in fieldwork as an occupational therapy student. I am so blessed to attend South Alabama where I was given the chance of a lifetime to chase my dreams to help me achieve my dream career goals!
P.S. Since I’m writing about OT and how much I love it, I only find it appropriate now to wish everyone a happy OT month!! Occupational Therapy: Transforming Lives, Building Independence

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

I Call a Do Over!!

Have you ever had one of those moments where you’re like “I really wish I could do that over again”? I know I have…and more times than once at that. Though I believe that everything does happen for a reason, there are some things that I wonder what it would be like if I could redo something.

Throughout my college career, there aren’t actually very many things that I would choose to do over again if given the chance. I suppose if I truly had to choose one thing to do over I would more than likely choose to get involved sooner. If I've said it once then I think I've probably said it a million time, it is SO important to be involved on campus. Take it from someone who didn't really care to be involved in anything her first few months at South, it is not at all fun to sit in your room and do homework/watch TV every single night while your friends are out having fun with organizations they are involved in; it's actually pretty much the most boring feeling in the world, so I had to get out and find something I liked. Finally, I ended up being involved in about 6 clubs at once, and while it was sometimes super busy, I never enjoyed anything in college more than being involved, getting to meet new people, and making many new friends. Also, one awesome thing about South is there is literally a club for everyone! South offers over 200 clubs (check out the list here) and organization for students, so there is no possible way to not find at least one that you could enjoy!! Getting involved in at least one club or organization will make a huge difference in your college experience and will make your time at South so much more enjoyable. Can't find one you like or think of another club that would be cool to have? Start your own club (where do you think all of these clubs came from)! So you may miss your favorite TV show one night, call mom and tell her to record it to watch next time you come home or watch the rerun when it comes on because once you get involved with a group on campus, you'll be having too much fun with all of your new friends to even think about the fact you missed it!

So, the moral of the story is – get involved early! I promise you will not regret it one bit, and it will make your college life so much more fun and enjoyable! I only wish I had gotten involved sooner, so I would have had more time to spend in the clubs I loved and with the best friends I could ever ask for.

One of my favorite clubs I was ever involved in and actually blessed to serve as Vice President for - Pre-OT Club!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

One Word to Sum It All Up

“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world” [Robin Williams] As we’ve all been told since we were little kids, words are a powerful thing. But try thinking about one word to describe something. That’s a pretty difficult task if you ask me. For this week, though, I’m going to give it a try and tell you one word that describes South to me. So here we go. My one word to describe South is…
Okay, big word. So let’s start with a little definition (courtesy of Merriam-Webster’s dictionary): “to supply something with light, to shine light on something, to make something clear and easier to understand.” So why this word, you ask? Well, I’m sure you’ve all heard the phrase “the light at the end of the tunnel,” right? You know like when you reach the end of something like high school or college, you finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Well, that’s kind of how I see South for me. When I first came to South, I didn’t truly know what I wanted to major in though I thought I had an idea, I had no idea what it was like to live away from my family, I had no idea how to make new friends, and things like that, so it’s kind of like coming up to the tunnel and being totally in the dark with only a little, teeny-tiny flashlight. But as I’ve taken classes, gotten used to life at South, met lots of new friends, and had tons of fun experiences, I started to accomplish new things, and at that point,  I could  look around in my tunnel with a big flashlight (think camping flashlight). Now that I’m only a little over a month away from the end of the tunnel, I can really see the light, but I can also look back at all the fun over the last four years and see how South has opened my mind to new thoughts and ideas, exposed me to other individuals from different places, and expanded my world. It has certainly challenged my ability to achieve goal, but it has also expanded my knowledge base and gave me more confidence than I started my college life with. South has truly shined a new light on many things that, in high school, I thought I never would accomplish.

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!