Posts Tagged summer

Calm and Quiet Summer

ashley-85This summer has been anything but exciting. Coming home later than I did last year has made it quite difficult in finding a job. While most kids would think this is an awesome way getting to spend their summer, I can assure you that it is not. One thing that I have done this summer was get back into reading for pleasure. With so much free time on my hands I have been passing the time with reading.

It started with me first reading to my nephew, who turned one last month, to having the desire to read for myself. This is something that I haven’t really done since the summer before my senior year of high school. I got so busy with getting ready for college and then going to college and working and all of these super grown up things that I let go of the one thing I enjoy the most.

While I still really wish I had a job this summer I am thankful that I have been reminded just how nice it is to read something that is not academic for a change. While you are getting ready to go to college and spending all that time becoming an adult, just remember to keep the things you enjoy near and dear to your heart as you never know when you will need them. Always make time to do something that makes you smile. You never know when you will have the time to do some of these things, but when you do you will remember just how special they are.

R. Kelly had it Right!

seanna-85Last summer, I found love and excitement amidst 90+ kids in a youth program that focused on high achieving first-generation, low income students who wanted and deserved to attend college after graduating high school.  My heart’s still with the program, but this summer, I’m one of those kids…and my focus is graduate school.  I was accepted as a McNair Scholar student through Claremont Graduate University, so I’ve been taking classes and preparing for my GRE for the past four weeks.  I’ll be doing research on the influence of stereotype threat among African-American female college students, and I actually took the GRE this afternoon (one more thing off my plate)! 

This past week had its ups and downs as I anxiously awaited another standardized test that would be influential for my future.  Words that I’d never seen before, like peccadillo and burnish, were on the verbal section…and the math questions weren’t hard but DANG you’ll pick the wrong answer if you don’t pay attention!  In the middle of the week, I found out that an OBSA Staff member will be leaving the school because he was accepted into graduate school.  Although it made my own ambitions more of a reality, I was really shaken up that night.  This graduate-school prep program has seriously made me start thinking about the next step.  Where will I be two years from now?  My blogging days will be over for CSO, but hopefully I’ll still be able to give back in other ways!

When I look back on my days at Pomona, I know the overall experience will have been amazing.  The professors…students…classmates…I’ll never find another atmosphere where there are so many creative and brilliant personalities in one place.  I’ve learned so much about myself in my time here, and truly found a direction that I’d like to head in the future.  However, the years have sped by and I know the next two will be even faster; hence, one of the reasons behind my sadness over hearing that the Staff member was leaving.  He’d been a part of my campus experience since I started at Pomona…and he’ll no longer be here to praise me for my grades or provide encouragement when exam times near.  He reminded me that change happens, even when we aren’t ready for it.  This program has made me consider my future, and acknowledge that it’s already upon me.  In addition to balancing school work and personal time, I also have to maintain thinking about five years from now, while also appreciating every moment of each day.

Enjoy the people in your life and moments that you share.  Never get so caught up in thoughts of tomorrow that you forget about today…but also…never feel so lost or drowned in present adversity that you lose sight of future aspirations.  When things get rough, I tell myself… “This too shall pass”…and when I catch myself thinking about months and years down the line, I tell myself… “Slow down, you’ll never get to relive today.”

This summer has been a time of reflection and hard work.  I’m finding out more about who I am, what I’d like to pursue in upcoming years, and how to successfully achieve those goals.  Whatever you may be doing this summer…whether it’s working or relaxing or traveling all over the world…keep in mind that things are about to change very soon…school starts up in the fall, and since you can’t turn back the hands of time…make every moment worth it!

“If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.”
Gail Sheehy

Adventures in Brazil!!

jesse-85It’s hard to believe that just a few weeks ago, I was in a different country, time zone, and hemisphere. Up until college, I had only known California and small, poor parts of Mexico (where my family is originally from) but now I am enjoying the culture, language, and beaches of Brazil!

I am currently participating in a Harvard Summer Study Abroad Program that gives me the opportunity of studying- and experiencing- three very unique cities of Brazil: Sao Paulo, Paraty, and Rio de Janeiro.

I never thought in a million years that I’d be able to travel the world, see so many new things and have so many new experiences but here I am- doing just that. And for FREE! Definitely one of the great things about college. Make sure you start brainstorming where you want to go for when you get here! Colleges usually have a very wide selection of Study Abroad Programs to choose from. Where will you go?

I will be chronicling my experiences in Brazil through a video blog. Below is the introduction to the journey!

I will also have videos about my experiences in China and Spain, which are coming after Brazil! I am excited to see the world through a new lens. These study abroad programs will definitely provide exciting adventures. I hope you tune in!



After endless papers, countless pages written and read, I finished freshman year. Exhausted, sleep deprived, eager and most importantly proud of what I have achieved during my first year of college, I turned in my last paper, went through the odyssey of moving out and began my journey home. The stress of finals made home appear like a an oasis in the middle of the desert. After being away for six months and after being under the most intense academic pressure I had ever experienced, home was a necessary stop for I needed to “recharge” my batteries, and as many of my professors suggested, reflect on the successes and downfalls of the year that had just ended. I thank them for their advice for I was considering taking summer courses but after some thought, I realized that that would not have been the best idea since I was mentally exhausted from six months of intense academic expectations.

College tires you out, as high school has done to those who are seniors now. You can only write so many papers and read so many books until you stop enjoying what you are doing and begin to see it as a burden and a hassle. I experienced this at one point during spring term where, when it was sunny and really nice outside, I found myself in the library doing readings for my comparative politics class. Had it been earlier in the term (and less sunny outside) I would not have been complaining about the work that I had to do. After talking to some of my friends about this issue, we came to the conclusion that at the end of the day, we are still kids (although we are older than 18) and that there is a need for us to have fun and put aside the academic pressure that piles on us. Also, we arrived at the conclusion that we need to match our determination to succeed with an approach that assures that we are healthy psychologically. If our minds are tired or stressed, we will not perform our best and thus, a bit of fun from time to time is necessary.

I know that some of us fall under the category of those hard workers that are always looking for something to do. There is nothing wrong with that since it is that work ethic that has gotten you to the position in which you are right now. But remember that you are not a machine (a fact that I tend to forget a lot of times) and that you need rest and time to relax. It is a proven fact that you learn more and are able to assimilate more material when you are not under stress and thus, there is a need for study breaks.

And so, my message in this short blog is that those who are seniors (and now high school graduates), enjoy your summer after what I am sure has been a stressful year. For those who are rising seniors, enjoy your summer as well because you are going to need to be well rested for what will be a really intense year, full of applications and essays. Have a great summer guys!

Oh, the Places YOU Will Go!

abigail-85A year ago around this time, my high school principal read us a passage from Dr. Seuss’s famous book, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” At that moment, my friends and I had no idea what the point of it was, I mean after all, we weren’t children anymore; why read to us from a children book?  A year later, I have finally made sense of that infamous passage:

“Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own.
And you know what you know. You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”

I finished my first year at Dartmouth College in a way I hadn’t foreseen: energized. Finals went well; I didn’t pull any all-nighters and didn’t stress at all. Now, I have a summer to reflect on everything that happened between September and now, a summer in Brazil! I will spend 10 weeks in Salvador, Bahia furthering my understanding of the Portuguese language and learning more about Afro-Brazilian Culture. Dartmouth is a partner school of ACBEU (Associação Cultural Brasil-Estados Unidos) and I will be taking classes alongside students learning English. No amount of exclamation marks can emphasize my excitement of visiting a foreign country but I will say this: THIS SUMMER WILL BE ONE TO REMEMBER!

During the first week of September I will come back to the U.S and spend a few weeks at home until it’s time to come back to Hanover. It’s hard for me to believe that in another year I’ll be reflecting on an amazing summer and preparing for another memorable term. This is only the beginning and I’m sure you all will also have some wonderful news to share in the upcoming months.

Desejo a todos o melhor e boa sorte!

Play Term

ashley-85This year, I took a class during what my school calls May term. This is one class that is 3 hours every day for 3.5 weeks. That sounds like way too much right? At first I was a little worried too. 15 hours of class a week, with the same professor! As I just started my final week, I am here to say it wasn’t that bad. You might think that having only one class means there is a lot more work, but with me it was not that way (that doesn’t mean, unfortunately, that there was less either.) Only having one class did give the professors more time to be creative with the material and the class. The class I am taking is Social Work in Action and for the class we have taken field trips all around the community and even one to Chicago to learn about all of the Human Services agencies in the community. It has really opened my eyes to what is out there! After semesters and a May term, I can say that this class is the class that I have gotten the most out of. It was well worth the extra month of school.

If you are already in college, then I would suggest to look and see if your school offers something like this. If they do then I would definitely suggest taking it. I know that means giving up a little bit of your summer, but it is definitely worth it.

If you are in high school and looking at colleges, then look out for programs like these and talk to the schools and their students about their programs. It is definitely a unique opportunity and something that I think is definitely worth looking into. You never know what you could learn, it might be something that could change your life!

If you do consider doing something like this, or even a summer school option, then pick something you are interested in. It will make giving up that time a lot easier and you will have a lot more fun with it than you think.

Fun in the sun???

lot-85If you haven’t heard it a million times since now I am going to say it again: Congrats on getting those acceptance letters! I can understand the gratifying feeling when the good news comes and the realization that all the years of hard work has culminated into something tangible. You should be proud and remember to enjoy the last days of senior year. However I would implore you to start thinking of life once the graduation ceremony has come and gone. The summer is a prime time to make sure that the transition to college life will be seamless with as little turbulence as possible. Thus I have outlined two key pieces of advice:

GET A JOB: It’s that simple because there is no way around it. As you know college is expensive and you might think mom and dad will be there to bail you out, but there are no lessons learned from always falling back on the same people. An objective during the college experience should be independence on some level. No I’m not saying that parents won’t be in the equation but I am saying that self-reliance is something to be strived for. If you’re like me paying for books, extracurricular activities and miscellaneous items can amount to a hefty bill. Thus I would encourage all of you to start saving NOW. I understand prom is around the corner and you probably want to buy that outrageously expensive dress- which will only be worn once- but in the long run it’s not worth it. I have learned a lesson this year on how to prioritize and sacrifice. There are two categories when it comes to spending money: wants and needs. You need textbooks and a laptop, you don’t need to buy those extra pair of shoes or that 45′ inch plasma t.v for the dorm.

Internships & Community Service: These are important to building towards a new resume. One thing students don’t realize is that once high school is over, many of the accomplishments such as: National Honor Society, Key Club, and Student Government are no longer admissible on resumes in the future. During your freshman year you can rely on those high school achievements to secure jobs and other opportunities on campus but that is only because of youth/ inexperience. This summer I am clearing all my high school achievements and starting over with what was done in my freshman year. It would be wise to start looking for opportunities for possible career experience. For example if you are a political science major, start looking for internships in your local elected representatives office. Whether it be a state senator or even a U.S. Senator it doesn’t matter the experience will give much needed insight and boost your resume. The same can be said for all majors and areas of interest. The relevant career experiences that I speak of are not the type that are found easily, you might have to contact an office or ask for parental advice, but the work in the long run is worth it.

Summer 2010 went by way too fast

tereza-85Summer is over and I am now in my 2nd year at Augsburg College. My summer was pretty fun, but mostly relaxing. I mainly worked and spent time with my son Cristian. It was nice to have a break for a bit without the stress of homework (which I assume that most of you also enjoy).

So far my 2nd year is going pretty well. It makes me feel good to know that I already have one year done and behind me. This term most of the classes that I am taking require a lot of reading. I am a pretty slow reader so I always dread when I have to do a fairly large chunk of reading for my 4 classes.

What I have learned to help me out is to not sit down and try to read all 150 pages at once. From my experience and from what I have heard from my other classmates, if you try to do a large amount of reading in one sitting, towards the end, you are not able to pay as close attention as you were in the beginning. You may begin to get tired and bored, and it puts a strain on your eyes.

However, if you break it up into smaller sections and read for hour increments, you will not lose focus and will still be able to take in and retain the information. There have been many times where I will read a page (or few), then I stop and try and think back and realize that I have no idea what I just read. I then have to go back and re-read what I did not take in. This becomes very time consuming and at times irritating. This process is what works for me and as you go through college you will learn what works for you when it comes to getting your homework done and studying.

Summer Time

dalonn-85It’s been an extremely long time since I’ve blogged. A lot has happened and changed. As my year at St. Johns was winding down, my parents constantly complained about the tuition being so high and said many times that I have to consider transferring.

Over the summer I worked at a day camp, Holiday Hill. This was my 5th summer there. This year I was the flag football instructor but also helped out with other stations and events such as rock wall and lower field sports. So my whole summer consisted of me working and going through the transfer process.

I am now attending Southern Connecticut State University enrolled as a Marketing major. I am relieved by all the financial stress and I am looking towards having a great year. Now that my major is declared I get to work more in my major. Because I have a year under my belt of college, I know what works and what does not.


Always contact your professor whether via email or in person to make sure you understand the material

Join student study groups

Find an area (not your room) where you can study productively

Be organized

Time Management

“Keep Striving”