Thursday, February 26, 2015

Getting Over The College Hurdle

            If someone gave me the task of describing college in one word I would definitely say "experimental". A huge portion of your undergraduate college career is made up of trial and error. Trying to figure out what works and what doesn't work in both social and academic aspects. Fortunately, it doesn't take most people very long to see what works for them and what doesn't. Personally, I find myself more all around successful in college versus high school. I find myself staying more on top of things as well as just genuinely valuing my education a lot more. But of course, it wasn't always as enjoyable as it is now. This is where I'd say the hardest part of college is.

            The huge adjustment process from high school to college was probably the hardest part of college. With that being said I considered myself lucky that adjusting was my hardest part. For others it's usually their workload, being away from home, stress, and of course that infamous freshmen fifteen. Being far from home is actually really fun for me. I enjoy the getaway. But so far my toughest hurdle in college has been just the adjustment. From time management, having to be an actual adult, and staying focused it has definitely been a journey. Successful thus far but nevertheless, it's been a journey. 

            College is such an enjoyable time and I'm blessed to be in the situation that I'm in. From the long nights and productive mornings to the fun memories shared with lifelong friends and everything in between. Don't be scared away or intimidated. Keep your head on straight, stay focused on the long run, and manage your time wisely and you'll be just fine. Get ready for a very memorable 4-5 years. 


Monday, February 16, 2015

Picking Your Major!

            Often times you see incoming college freshmen very indecisive on what they want to major in. There is always that hand full of people that wait until junior year to declare a major and then of course you have those folks that start out wanting to do med school until the first semester grade reports drop. One thing that I would have to say about picking your major is that the choice you make isn't as important as people make it but it's also not as unimportant either. In the end it comes down to majoring in something that you genuinely enjoy. I have that mindset because obtaining a degree that can apply to a job you enjoy doesn't feel like an actual job to me. 

            My major is sociology with a minor in criminal justice. Ever since I was four years old I've wanted to become a police officer and a helper in my community. Several men in my family are involved in some sort of law enforcement career so I've always seen the lifestyle. Living in Southern California all my life I've seen both the good and bad in people and in numerous environments and I know what side of the fence I want to be on. I really want to give back. It wasn't until I reached high school that I realized the salary and benefits from a police department in Southern California. The pay rate is in the top tier nationwide. That mixed with my passion for it really cemented my decision.  One of my cousins is currently SWAT and makes way more than what is needed to live comfortable. With his input as well as other family members they told me the key is to get my degree, my bachelors to be more specific. Your starting rate is higher than those without one but most importantly you can promote faster and choose more of what you want to do instead of being limited. I like figuring out why people do things and what is inside their heads. This is why I chose sociology. I feel like I can carry my major down a detective career path. Also, sociology is so broad that hopefully there will be many career opportunities.

            I'll never forget the advice that my friend's father gave me about 2-3 years ago. He is a sheriff bomb squad/k-9 handler with a degree in criminal justice. He said he wishes he would have switched his major. He told me to pick a major that will get you a number of job but a minor in something that you are passionate about. That really stuck with me and is partly the reason why I'm choosing the route I'm on. I hope everybody keeps that in mind. I mean hey, once we get a job to pay back these student loans we want it to at least be enjoyable!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Choosing The University of South Alabama
               Before coming to South I had no idea that I'd be here.  Most people have a pretty good list of schools that they want to attend. But my story is a little different partly because I am a transfer student. Prior to coming down to Mobile I was playing football in Ohio. After injury and being fed up with the cold weather I decided to go somewhere else to finish my undergrad career and had realized that for some reason I still might be in South Alabama's system. I don't remember how but somewhere down the line I had started an application here at South. Being that this was so peculiar I decided to check out the university as a possible transfer option. I mean the way I see it, I went from California to Ohio so why not to Mobile, Alabama?
            When I was transferring I was set on three different schools. The University of South Alabama, Florida A&M University, and the University of Texas at San Antonio. A lot of things with other schools just didn't work out which really meant that this could be a sign to really consider South. One of my best friends had moved from Mobile to Southern California when we were young and he was saying how I would like it. Being that I've never been to the South before I was very hesitant but things were looking to work out. So I took the risk and decided to transfer here. I honestly can't speak on what stood out or was special because I was never given the opportunity to visit anywhere else before coming here. But what I can say is that since being here I have had some of the best memories in my young life and wouldn't want to be anywhere else. The close family like community and group of people here at South is awesome.
            I feel that choosing where to obtain your education is very important. sometimes the road to your final destination isn't always smooth but it is always worth it. I'm very excited to spend the next two and a half years here at South. I really enjoy this part of the country as well. I know I made the right choice. Go Jags!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

First Day of School Do's and Dont's

            Everybody remembers their first day of high school and how they felt walking into that big scary campus. Some people might have excited and ready to start something new while others were probably scared for their young lives. Personally, I like new things and I like big scary new things. Unfamiliar social settings are always fun for me due to that new challenge and that new rush. Obviously some people feel totally opposite and cringe at the thought of something new. For example, your first day at your new school and this time it's college not little cute high school. Hopefully my tips and tricks will make your new experience fun and not scary. 

            My first day here at South I was a little surprised by the size of the campus. The layout and size is definitely much larger than advertised but don't let that scare you. I was also surprised at how genuinely nice the people here are. Use that to your advantage and make as many friends as possible. The more people you meet, the more connected you are around campus which always helps you in numerous ways. My next piece of advice would be to just get to know the campus. Fortunately I was on campus a few days before class started so I just put on my headphones, grabbed a campus map, and set off to tour the campus. Not only does it make it easier on you come first day of class but it just makes you more comfortable with your school. Next I would say just be yourself when you come to college. You're going to hear about staying on top of your schedule and stuff like that which is important but I feel like people don't tell incoming freshmen to be themselves enough. Know who you are and be that person. Start real friendships on a good foundation because too many times you'll see people self destruct trying too hard to fit in. My last piece of advice would be to get a calendar or some type of planner. Time management is too important to be forgetting about it in college, I had a strong opening GPA but it could have been even higher if you get things done when you have the opportunity.

            To sum all of that up, just relax and enjoy the next 4-5 (hopefully) years of college here at South. Once you get used to the new environment, people, and schedule college will be one of the best experiences of your life. Stay focused and just remember that nothing is ever bad as it seems just like nothing is ever as good as it seems either. Hopefully we'll see each other on campus!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Roommate Experiences.

Roommate Experiences.

            Prior to college, most people had the luxury of having their own private space. Whether it was their own room, a private bathroom, or even a car, it's pretty safe to say that most people had some fashion of personal space. On the other hand, for those of you my age who had to share a bunk with a sibling, I really do apologize. But back to the topic of private space, welcome to college dorms where private space is limited. Now don't get me wrong, my experience living on campus was nothing but exciting and fun but nevertheless it is a big adjustment if you're not used to it. After my experiences in the dorms here at South, I like the fact that freshmen generally live on campus their first year. 

            I am currently in my fourth semester here at South and now living right across from campus in an apartment complex called the Grove. Upon arrival last year I stayed in the freshmen only dorm Epsilon 1. The building had just been completely remodeled a few months prior so the conditions were great. After meeting my roommate I knew the semester would be a smooth one in terms of living conditions. My roommate was a dude from Mississippi who was really laid back and fortunately organized. I'm not the most organized college student but I am very clean so fortunately we saved what could have been a disaster. Our schedules synced together pretty well so nobody was really at an inconvenience even when I'd have to wake up at 5:30 am to head to ROTC personal training. Everything was going smooth that first semester in the dorms.

            Fast forward to spring semester. Everything is still fine we just started to see less and less of each other. Whenever I'd be coming in my roommate would be heading out and vice versa. That really wasn't a problem for me because I'm comfortable in both a group setting as well as being alone too. However if I were to change one thing it would just be seeing more of each other to become better friends. Everybody always says "The best roommate is a gone roommate." But I think that is false because I assure you some of your life long friends will be the ones you meet in college and it can all start with that first roommate. Don't miss out!