Wake Up Smiling!

Two more weeks of classes and then finals week will be here. These next few weeks are the hardest. We’re tired, we have a lot of pressure on us, and it is hard to find motivation to keep going. But one thing I have learned throughout my years as a student is to not give up! It is so easy to do sometimes, but like I have been saying in my previous posts, stretching your limits will make you a stronger student and person.

But it is not an easy task. So, what can you do to stay away from being consumed by stress?

SLEEP!

Are you like me? You wake up to your alarm and hit the snooze button just the right number of times in order to make it to class on time? You may end up skipping breakfast and revert to neglecting your appearance. I mean, who really cares if your hair looks perfect like Taylor Swift’s or Tom Cruise anyway?

Well, there is good news! I found a few tips to save ourselves from stressing out and save everyone else around us that have to deal with our wild hair and grumpy attitude. I will list them below but you really should click on the link because it does a much better job of explaining why this list is important. http://www.collegecures.com/2011/5-tips-to-help-you-get-out-of-bed-and-get-going-with-your-day/

How to start off your mornings

  1. Turn a light on as soon as your alarm goes off
  2. Go to bed earlier
  3. Exercise (Even just stretching will get oxygen to the brain)
  4. Do what you need done the night before (I like to get my bookbag ready for the next day)
  5. EAT BREAKFAST!
  6. Just do it!

Good Luck!

Winter Colors

I love the first snow fall! It’s been about 8 months since we have seen the ground covered in white. However, the one downside to living in NEPA is that the snow doesn’t stay and just melts, turning everything dull brown for the winter. By February we are all wishing color would come back into our lives.first snow on campus

Here’s a thought, what if we all had Christmas lights up until the snow is gone? Actually, can I tell you a secret?…At my house we keep one set of lights up all year around :) Yeah it’s a little weird, I know.

In fact, after doing some research, I found that the tradition of Christmas lights probably came from the Medieval German tradition called Yule. “Yule is a tradition believed to have been started in Germany wherein people will celebrate the winter solstice and the short dark days of winter by burning the ‘Yule Log.’” The symbolism of burning this Yule Log was to ward off evil spirits and welcome light into the darkness of winter. (http://bit.ly/V96EhF)

Germans also began to bring evergreen trees into their homes which symbolized life and the upcoming spring. Did you know that Pennsylvania was one of the first places to have the Christmas tree tradition because of the German immigrants? This tradition grew to decorating these trees with ornaments and eventually lights in 1882. During the Great Depression, communities held the tradition of lighting a tree in their towns as a symbol of hope.  After World War II ended, consumers began to make and spend more money and the market experimented with niches such as outdoor Christmas lights.

So that is the story behind these lights. Christmas lights represent bringing cheer and hope into the cold dark days of winter. Or as I like to put it, Color :)

Here is a video of what a few people from University of Dayton do to their houses for Christmas. I think it would be so neat to do something like this on campus!

http://lights.onthefive.com/

Good Luck Hunters!

Well today’s the day that many Pennsylvanians have been waiting a year for. Opening season for hunting! Parts of my family are avid hunters and get a thrill out of sitting in the freezing cold woods to scout out a big buck to bring home for the table. I do like eating deer meat, but for some reason I don’t find the enjoyment of getting up early to go hunting. I have been called a hypocrite because I eat meat but won’t shoot it…

But if you think about it, how many of us get up early on Black Friday to hunt for that perfect gift for our family and friends. You may see a wife buying an electric razor for her man after he has grown his mustache out for Movember or a guy buying an ipod for his girl for Christmas. Hunting for that perfect deer is not for everyone, and shopping for that perfect bargain is not for everyone. But we both can be happy with the other’s enjoyment. Me…I didn’t do either this year. My enjoyment was sleeping in and rejuvenating from school. The last thing I need is a concussion from an overly competitive shopper or hypothermia from hunting.

Now it is back to the last three weeks of classes. These will be my last days on campus. It is bittersweet, but mostly sweet. Penn State has truly shown me what I want to do when I graduate and I am excited to begin the next chapter in my life.

Silent Sacrifices

I am sorry I left you all hanging for a little while. I am sure you all can feel this intense week as well; papers and projects being due. But Thanksgiving break is in the air! Just a little bit longer before that warm turkey and stuffing is sitting on your table. Hopefully you will be able to relax and enjoy family/friends.

It is good to stop and observe what you have and how blessed you are to be in the life you are living. There are so many people in the world who do not have the things we do.

This week I was able to see somebody else’s life and the battles that he goes through every day. This man is not just one person; he is a part of a multitude of people who see different from us. He is a soldier.

Monday, we had a Veteran’s Day presentation where veteran of the National Guard and alumni of Penn State Wilkes-Barre, Rob Donahue, came to speak about what soldiers go through, and still go through. A big part of being soldier is sacrifice. There were things that Rob had to miss out on; the “normal” things that most Americans have, such as a high school graduation party, family events, holidays, etc.

He got the news of his deployment during his first semester of college at PSUWB, and had to leave in October to begin training for Iraq. During his presentation, Rob spoke of the things that soldiers don’t have that many Americans take for granted. Things like:

  • Fresh air (there was always the smell of burning garbage, and bodily waste because there were no sewers).
  • Mattresses, sheets & blankets (they mostly slept on cots)
  • Peaceful sleep at night (“you are always prepared to expect the unexpected”)
  • Running water
  • Hot, long showers
  • Food choices (MRE’s were pretty much what they lived on)

Being 18 at the time of departure, transferring to a whole different world and culture was difficult for Rob. But he had the will and dedication to serve his country and to gain the finical means to go to college.

There were so many things that he said he had seen that were difficult to describe, but he did his best to share the vast difference between cultures. He mentioned how children that grew up in the area he was in were surrounded by violence everyday and it was all they knew. For example, young boys were forced to carry around bombs.

The mission that Rob and his team were on was to build up what very little Iraqi law enforcement there was in order for the Iraqi’s to not be dependent on outside aid to fight terrorism.

While driving through the streets of Sadr, Iraq, Rob was hit by an IED. He suffered from burns and brain injury which resulted in migraines, black outs, and he went through months of uncertainty of whether he could recover.

He received the Purple Heart from his run in with an IED

After his duty was complete in the military, Rob came back to finish school. It was hard to get use to a normal life again. He found himself subconsciously scanning the streets for bombs as he drove to school and such just because that is what he had been trained to do. “It’s tough to come back and stay focused and see kids (his fellow colleges students) acting normal, when you don’t feel normal from all the things you have seen and dealt with”, Rob described.

The help he received from the Veteran Affairs helped him to find some sort of normal. He encourages veterans coming back from war to find these resources to help them. He said it was good to talk to other people about the experience.

For those of us here in school that have not gone into the heat of battle and don’t know what it’s like, Rob told me that the best thing we can give a veteran or current soldier is encouragement, appreciation, and support.

Sometimes an open ear and hear of gratitude will be uplifting to them. Show your appreciation to a Veteran today! It doesn’t have to be just one or twice a year. They need to know that we care.

Remain Cool

It’s starting to SNOW on campus!!! This means the awkward time of year has come where you ask yourself, “should I pull out my winter jacket and risk looking out of place, or should I keep my reputation as the cool one on campus for suffering through the blistering cold with just a hoodie?”

Gradually you will start to see more and more students give in to the cold and begin to wear their marshmallow like coats; only then will you know it’s safe to switch over. But for now what do you do?

My advice…Layers. As any hunter from this area knows, keeping warm is a matter of wearing a good number of thin layers.  A shirt under your hoodie or sweater with a light weight jacket will keep you warm and away from looking like the Michelin Man in your bulky coats. Another benefit to wearing layers is being able to accommodate to different room temperatures on campus.

We all know how you can have a class in one room (Barry Auditorium for example) and find yourself shivering, and then later go to another classroom in the same building and start sweating. This is where having layers comes in handy. You can just peel off one layer or put an extra one back on to keep you at the right temperature.

Tis a Gift to Be Simple

Hello friends, I hope you are all doing okay from the storm! If you can read this post today, you are probably grateful to have electricity. I know I am! I was able to take the two days I had off from school to catch up on school work that  I was behind on (in this age, internet has become very necessary for homework). I had a lot to do yesterday, and it seemed like I wasn’t getting anywhere with finding the research I needed. It ended up being a very late night for me. I guess you have to have at least one of those every semester.

I remember my first all-nighter; I was writing a paper for my English class, and there was a lot of information to find. Frustration consumed me to the point of exhaustion and I fell asleep…so much for my first all-nighter huh? Thankfully I was able to finish it the next day, but had to skip my economics class. Sorry Dr. Knapp!

Anyway, last night I was in the same scenario, but I had a surprise that made my night a little brighter! My boyfriend (knowing that I was struggling), called me at 10:30 for what I thought would be a pep talk. Instead, he asked me to come outside and there he was standing in the rain with two cups of hot chocolate! We talked for a little bit and he left for his hour long journey home. This thoughtful action made a big difference in my attitude. I was able to get the rest of my work done (without any naps) because I was filled with delight from his thoughtfulness.

The moral of this story: A simple action can make a big difference in someone’s day. And my boyfriend is a pretty great guy :)

 

A Day Through The Mountains Of PA

I have the privilege of driving 35 minutes to school every day. I say privilege because my drive is an amazing one through the mountains of Pennsylvania. Yes, there are definitely times where I just wish my car would turn into Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and fly me home, but for the most part I enjoy driving.

A view of my drive (Don’t worry my sister was driving when I took this picture)

Although Spring is my favorite season, Fall is definitely my favorite time to travel. The mountains are breathtaking with trees popping with color. I secretly love driving through a bunch of leaves falling from the trees. It is just one of those little things that make me smile. In fact, there are a lot of little things that can make us smile, we just need to slow down and observe them. It will make our mood a little better and are days a little brighter.

Here’s a list of other little things that make me smile. Read them and then tell me some of your own.

  • Family/Boyfriend/Friends
  • Cupcakes
  • My dog’s quirks
  • Sunsets
  • Hot Chocolate w/ peanut butter toast on a cold day
  • The first snow fall
  • Campfires
  • The serenity of a forest
  • Mountains!!!
  • The moment after I clean my room
  • Singing in your car and then seeing someone starring at you like your crazy
  • Disney music

I am sure I could go on, but that is enough for today. Now, it’s your turn!

I hope your day is filled with lots of little things to make you smile :)

Breaking Pens and Ripping Folders

Some things I’ve learned through my internship that have nothing to do with marketing but everything to do with life is that breaking pens and ripping folders happen.

Yeah I am a klutz, I am sure some of you can relate. Obviously we don’t mean to order 20 extra boxes of candy for a club fundraiser, but sometimes your mind is too out of it to think of what you are doing. (Thank you Jackie for fixing that potential catastrophe!!!!!!)

The thing is, we rush ourselves way too much. Something my dad says is, “It is better to slow down and get it right the first time than to have to deal with the expense and time of doing it over again”. I think part of this problem is not thinking ahead. When it comes down to the wire we tend to make more mistakes than if we were to do it without the time pressure.

This also applies to school work too. I used to think that if I waited till the last minute I would get my work done faster because I have more motivation to get it done.  While I did get my work done, the quality of my work was lacking. Something I have learned in my Advanced Business Writing class is that you should try quickly to write out your thoughts (without editing anything) and then come back to it later and take your time revising your work. This is something I would like to try more. I think that if I do this well in advance, my school work will get better grades and my work will be higher quality.

But I know there will still be times when I will mess up. Instead of getting frustrated with myself, sometimes I need to just laugh it off and then fix my problem with a clear mind.

To end on a random note, I took this picture the other day but I don’t know what to put as its caption. Any ideas?

The Penn State Wilkes-Barre Fit

It is definitely open house season at Penn State Wilkes-Barre. High school students are filling the walkways on campus. I remember my first trip to campus. It wasn’t an open house, but a visit my mom set up. Leslie, in administration, showed me the campus and I filled out an application. I remember her asking me if I had any questions, but honestly, I did not know what I should be looking for in a school. I knew they had to have the major I was interested in, needed to be decently priced for a good quality education, and I needed to know I would feel comfortable there.

I came again with my older cousin to a couple of her classes. This was the trip where I decided that this campus was the place I wanted to invest my next four years. I’ll never forget walking through the beautiful Arboretum and watching my (who I thought was extremely shy) cousin say hi to a bunch of people. She said that you get to know everybody on campus; a fact that I now experience every day. Sitting in my cousin’s psychology class, I listened to the lecture and I saw how comfortable the kids were talking with the teacher.

Two other colleges also had my interest, but somehow this one felt right, like I belonged here. It just fit me! Of course I questioned myself on whether this feeling was something I should base my academic career on. But because I knew that PSU W-B had the other two aspects I was looking for, I thought that it was worth a shot. This decision was not made by comparing colleges online or over the phone, it was my willingness to get out of the house and experience it. So for all of you high schoolers wondering what you need in a college, put down the pamphlets and schedule an appointment. If you only look at pamphlets and brochures you will never know what the school is really like. Take it from a marketing major, colleges can say all they want to persuade you to apply, but they cannot truly prove it to you until you experience it.

Also, check out as many schools as you can. You don’t know what you are missing out on if you never look. Our own campus will be having our major open house this Sunday. You can find out more about it here: http://wb.psu.edu/Admissions/admevents.htm

Maybe I’ll even see you on campus sometime!

Abundant Acorns and Warm Socks

You definitely can tell that Autumn is here when you wake up every morning and cling to your warm bed as long as you can. Eventually you find the courage to get out of your cocoon and grab a pair of warm socks to keep your toes from freezing.

I had an interesting conversation with a couple, the other day about the different forecasting myths that constitute a harsh winter. I had previously heard that an abundance of acorns was a sure sign that winter was going to be bad; they mentioned the that wooly bears with narrower red bands was another sign to a great ski season.

All of this talk led me to wonder what other silly myths were out there that we use to determine the forecast. I found a website (http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art14389.asp) that demonstrates some of these myths where “you can tell” if the weather will be bad. Here are some of them:Image

  • Cows laying down in pastures means rain is coming
  • Cats that have their backs towards the fireplace means snow is on its way
  • Squirrels collecting food will become busier than normal means a harsher winter
  • The amount of fogs in August can predict the amount of snowfall in the winter
  • A large quantity of leaves remaining on the trees in late fall also means a harsher winter

I know that these cannot be accurately tested but I think it is quite interesting/silly to see how we measure the cause and effect of animals, plant life, etc., to weather. So next time you are walking on campus and get hit with an acorn from on of our towering trees, remember that snow will be falling next!

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