Friday, October 25, 2013

Finding an On-Campus Job

This past summer, I started looking online for an on-campus job for the school year. While I was looking, there were a lot of jobs that involved dining halls and food service, but I wanted to avoid that if I could.Two of the summer jobs I’ve had have both involved food service, and while there’s nothing wrong with food service, I was hoping for a change.

I applied to seven different on-campus jobs this summer that would either provide me experience so I could build up my resume, or they were customer service positions, which I have experience in and have found I enjoy. When I found out about a job in the College of Education, Health, and Society, I was beyond excited. It was perfect.

Image I took for the EHS Instagram.

Currently, I work in the College of EHS as a Student Reporter and a Communications Assistant. In addition to keeping this blog, I also conduct student interviews which are put on YouTube on the Miami University EHS YouTube channel. This week, I also began posting tweets on Twitter and pictures through Instagram for EHS.

I’m glad that I have the opportunity to do something I love (writing) and that I have the opportunity to work with and learn more about some of my classmates through the interviews I conduct. I’ve enjoyed working for the Communications Team and I’ve been happy with my experiences so far.

Having a job that builds my resume is also a benefit since none of my summer jobs have been related to my major. In addition to loving writing, I also love photography, and with Instagram and the interviews, I am able to apply my skills as well as some new ones that I have learned.

Finding a job on-campus was important to me and I was amazed at how many options there were on the student jobs website.

(If you’re interested in following the Twitter account, the handle is @MiamiUEHS and for the Instagram account it is @miamiohehs)

Friday, October 18, 2013

A+ for Academics

When I was looking at schools, the strength of the overall academic atmosphere played a role in my decision making.

Image I took this week outside of Pearson Hall.
I was seeking a healthy balance. I didn’t want a school that would challenge me to the point where I didn’t think I could handle it, but I also wanted a school that would challenge me to think outside the box and do the best I could. I definitely found this balance at Miami.

All of my classes push me to think in different ways and to look beyond the obvious. While I think that my high school prepared me well for this, I don’t feel that Miami has set the expectations too high.
In my experiences here so far, my professors have been willing to help me when I’m struggling with certain topics in class, and it’s obvious that they want me to understand and that they want me to succeed.

At the beginning of each semester, almost all of my professors have expressed that they want students to visit them during office hours. That’s what office hours are for, after all. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned about office hours, it’s that everyone should take advantage of them.

In office hours, everyone will receive individualized, or nearly individualized, attention on issues that they may be having in the class. This one-on-one time with the professor can really help, as it’s easier to really focus on any issues or problems with understanding the content.

What I have learned through attending office hours is that I’m usually not the only student in the class who is having trouble grasping a certain concept. Frequently, I find that other students will attend office hours when I’m there and we all work together with the professor to tackle problems that we’re having. 
Knowing I’m not the only student in the class who is struggling has definitely helped in some of my more difficult classes.

Academics are definitely valued at Miami, and it’s obvious through the willingness of the professors to help students succeed both inside and outside of the classroom. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

I Love to Write

Image I took of a blank journal page.
I love to write. There, I said it. Unusual for a college student, right?

How many college students feel the same way? Not many, I bet.

I know it’s odd that I sometimes actually look forward to writing papers, depending on the topic/subject, of course. But I can’t hide it. I love to write. It’s as simple as that.

I don’t know exactly when I started to love writing. If I had to guess, it would have to be somewhere in my middle school years. While in high school, my passion for writing kind of fell to the wayside for a little while, but I picked it back up.

 I don’t exactly have a favorite thing to write, but I do enjoy writing literary analysis papers, poems, and even the occasional research paper – really, how many people admit to that?

The biggest reason I think I like to write is that writing is free. While there will always be grammar rules and some structural restrictions, depending on what the writing is, writing is therapeutic. It’s easy to put a pen to paper (or in most cases these days, fingers to a keyboard) and just write, or type, I suppose. Write down feelings, write down facts, write down stories – write anything.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have teachers and professors in my schooling career who value writing just as much as I do. While not all of my teachers have shared this passion, I can say that the ones who did/do have definitely influenced me in my decision to become an English teacher. I hope to one day inspire my students just as some of my teachers inspired me.

Words are a form of expression. They reflect us. We choose our words because they suit us. We each have our own writing style, just as we all have our unique personalities. I think this is a big part of why I love to write. I am free to write what I want and how I want to. I haven’t necessarily always liked being told what to do, and writing gives me a reason to take charge. I have the authority. It’s my choice.

Writing is an escape. For me, it’s an escape from dealing with the stresses of life and college, and it allows me to put my feelings into words when my mind is spinning and I can barely form a thought. It helps me “get a grip” on reality. When all else fails, writing will always be there. It’s as simple as that. I love to write. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Finding the Right Balance

Image I took while studying for finals for the fall semester last year.
College is stressful. Everyone knows that.

It’s a constant battle between what I call the 5 S’s.
1)      Sleep
2)      Social Life
3)      Studying
4)      Showering
5)      Snacking (eating in general, really)

The trick with these 5 things is that you can only pick a couple of them at a time, depending on the week, it could be 3 or 4. For me, usually its only 3. A lot of times, you have to multitask when doing these, so things overlap and it can end up being all 5, but that’s not easy. For example, a lot of the time, I find myself eating while working on either work or homework. As I type right now, I have a coffee and a breakfast bar sitting next to me.

As for the content of the list, I know. It's weird that showering made it on the list, but really. You need to make time to shower at some point. As for sleep, well, sleep isn't always a priority, as it should be. Some nights I can get 8 or 9 hours of sleep, while the next, I'll only get 4 or 5. It just depends on my workload.

As your workload shifts, your priorities shift. This week, I had 13 papers due (don’t worry any prospective college students out there – this is NOT a typical week). I opted to sleep, study, and shower. Clearly eating is in there too, but it mostly occurred while I was studying/writing paper after paper.

Having a social life in college takes up a lot of time. Luckily most of my friends are just as busy as me, and they don’t seem to mind that I don’t always have time to do things with them every week. But, when I’m really stressed and do need a break, it’s good to know I have people to do things with, and the same goes for them.

It’s a struggle to find the right balance, and sometimes I feel like I’m being pulled in a thousand different directions. Early this week, I knew I really should focus on my papers, but I had promised my friends last week I would go off campus to eat dinner with them. So I went, but that meant that I had more work to do later.

Every choice has a tradeoff. Opt to take a break from homework for one night, and the next night you’ll have more to take care of.

But college is fun. That’s what I need to remind myself when things are particularly stressful. My friends and I watch movies, eat ice cream, bake things in the dorm kitchen, paint nails – things that seem simple enough, but they’re enough of a break and a stress reliever that they help make college life less stressful.