Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Summer Challenge

Coming out of an intense finals week is considered a relief. No more papers, no more deadlines and so on. Surprisingly, it is the disappearance of all these tasks and obligations that prevents many students from fully enjoying their summer vacation. When structure in our lives disappears and we are left with open schedules and empty planners, it actually results in a whole lot of nothing, Netflix and Nutterbutters. How many times have you reached the end of a summer and thought "I didn't do a THING!" I am challenging you to do some brainstorming and have a fun, meaningful summer...one worth remembering! 
Here are some ideas to consider...

1) Help Someone Who Needs You
Every town/city is full of people in need. You might help serve meals at a homeless shelter or become a volunteer visitor at an assisted living facility. You can find these opportunities through your city's website or often through local religious organizations.

2. Set A Health Goal
If you are like me, by the end of finals week you probably haven't seen the gym in a while. Now that you have this extra time, set a personal health goal! Look for fitness or sports clubs in your area. Many offer student discounts. If running interests you, Fleet Feet offers wonderful, affordable running groups for all ability levels.  FF is located in most towns. Finally, if you don't feel like joining a group or club, visit Pinterest--->health, for some great ideas.

3. Learn a New Skill
We might think of summer as a time to shut off our brains, and we should all take a little time to do that, but this break is also an opportunity to explore interests outside of school. For example, if painting is something you've always wanted to try, Michael's craft store offers weekly painting lessons for a very affordable price. Most communities also have opportunities such as foreign language groups or meditation/discussion groups (e.g. Chico Dharma Center). 

4. Go to New Place 
Traveling makes us better, more open individuals. You don't need to travel to an expensive, tropical resort to get the benefits. Along the coast of California are beautiful little towns and beaches as well as many, many clean, highly-rated hostels. You can stay at these hostels for $25-30 each night. I personally recommend Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel which is located near Point Reyes. The hostel is on the edge of cliff and has a great hot tub that overlooks the ocean. Many travelers come through here and in a single night I had the opportunity to meet people from both Holland and Germany. Treat yourself to an enriching experience for a low cost.

These are just a few ideas for your summer! Make it fun and make it meaningful to yourself and to others!


Friday, May 16, 2014

Closing Thoughts as an Undergrad

Wow where has the time gone!

It seems like only yesterday I was watching my mom and grandma pull away after dropping me off at the dorms, my stomach slowly sinking as the feeling of impending doom crept upon me. I hated change and loved home, so living four hours away at college was one of the scariest things I had ever done. I felt that there was no way I was going to fit in here, no way I was going to find friend as great as the ones I had left at home, and no way I was going to succeed. Boy was I wrong.

Graduating in 3 years was something I used to just tell people I was going to do because that’s what my program entitled me to do. But low and behold, here I am a soon to be (sane) college graduate entering the credential program, who has had just about the best three years I could ever ask for. I would definitely have to attribute a heavy bulk of that to the Liberal Studies program and the ITEC program, for allowing me such amazing opportunities both in school and in the community. If anything, these past three years have reaffirmed that I am in the exact right major/career path for me.

This past year as a Peer Advisor in Liberal Studies has blessed me with many amazing opportunities to branch out and connect with other in my major. It also allowed me to meet other majors throughout the school and see what they have to offer, as well as show what we’re all about. I have been able to see the extent to which our major really excels and helps set people up for their future. My pride in Liberal Studies has grown exponentially, and I’ve loved taking the time to spread the word to not only other majors, but administrators, incoming freshman, and high schoolers as well. When I look back on my time here as an undergrad, my memories from my year as a PALS will definitely stand out from all the rest.