Prepping for Finals

Happy last week of classes ‘Hounds!!!!

I don’t know about you but it feels like this semester has just FLOWN by!

I’m writing to you this week in preparation for finals week and how to best survive it!

I’ve lucked out this year and all of my finals are reasonably spread out. I actually don’t like this happening because in previous semesters I’ve tricked myself into thinking I don’t need to prepare as much… this is FALSE. I’m combating that notion this year by making a list and checking it twice…. no I’m not Santa, but at least finals week won’t feel like getting coal on Christmas if I’m on the ball by preparing ahead of time.

Here are some tips that have helped me (& that I’ve asked my roomies about!):

1) De-junk your notebooks and binders. I find it helpful to go through each of my classes notebooks and binders and declutter everything. Is the final cumulative? If so, find those necessary notes from the semester. Organize everything by chapter or when it was covered. This will help you feel a little more in control over your upcoming exam and have all the information at your fingertips.

2) Clean your room. Maybe it’s a personal help, but having my room and desk physically neat always help me be more productive when it comes down to studying!

3) Don’t just study. Haha, if only we didn’t have to study at all! But it is proven that you need to get out and distract yourself from studying to refresh your mind; these breaks do wonders for your mentality on the material as well as serve as much-needed relaxation for your tired brain!

4) Eat healthy and be active.  This should really be a no-brainer… Healthy food is the best for you and those green things on your plate are actually really powerful superfoods that will help you retain info and ace that final! Also, get out and walk around, even if it’s only around campus for 20 minutes, that counts! Not only are you getting some exercise, but you’re giving your brain a little break!

5) Just relax! Try to relax because honestly finals should not stress us out as much as they do! We should try to get through finals as calmly as possible, which we all know is a joke considering we have 18 billion other things to worry about on top of finals.

ok hounds, here goes nothing, wish you all luck!!

Have a great final week & good luck on your presentations and finals!!
Victoria :)

Community

After the horrendous events in Boston on Marathon Monday, I started thinking about community here at Loyola. I am so thankful to be able to say I have a great community around me here at Loyola as this painful tragedy uproots my community back home. My friends and professors expressed their deepest sympathies as I held back tears in class Monday afternoon after hearing news of what had happened. I couldn’t help the feeling of my stomach in knots when I had no clue if my friends and family were safe, but it was comforting to know I had outlets available if I needed someone to talk to.

If you’ve had the pleasure of witnessing the Boston Marathon in person, you know exactly how representative it is of a true, resilient Bostonian: fighting our way through the muck to enjoy the victory at the finish line. I have so much pride for my city, my people, and my past as we start to pick up the pieces from this devastation.

I was so proud to see my old Physics professor and track coach from high school in press pictures aiding a woman as an EMT at the finish line after the explosions and I hope my Loyola community now sees me in light of these heroes and understands me and my background a little bit more than they did before. I can’t help but talk about how proud I am to be from Boston and how important that aspect of me has helped me develop into the (hopefully) amazing person I am.

As a community, I was so thankful Loyola had a prayer service for those in Boston… even though I was in class, I was comforted by the fact that the school made the initiative to bring support to students from the Boston area and those who knew people in the Marathon. I can’t express my appreciation enough to the Loyola community for supporting us when we are weak. As a school, we are resilient and our diverse - geographic, socio-economic, etc- we bring a lot of different personalities to campus, all which aid in supporting and caring for others; so thank you.

Thank you to everyone who has given me a smile and asked how I am in the past 48 hours. I may not seem like I give half a grain of sand, but it truly means the world when you know how vulnerable I’m feeling and take that step to give me a warm smile and a hug.

On to more positive things…
In other news, I am officially working for Morgan Stanley over the summer and going through the chaotic process of finding summer housing. These decisions are so stressful!! I’m concerned that if I live down in Fells I won’t see my Loyola friends half as much as I would otherwise! On the other hand, I’m worried that if I live on campus I’ll experience burnout quickly with a 45-minute commute each way and that I’ll miss out the experience of living in Fells like a ‘real adult’ hahaa… such tough decisions compared to solving world hunger, huh?? I guess all will settle as the time closes in on me! In the meantime, I’m seeing a few different rooms down in Fells and if you know of anyone who’s interested in living down there, get in contact with me!! Also, recommendations are always appreciated(I love getting people’s perception on things!)!

Have a good week and pray for Boston. <3

Xo ‘Hounds,
Victoria :)

Reminiscing on what could be… don’t!

Do you ever look back and feel that you missed out on something? Whether it be a concert you really wish you could have attended last summer (that all your friends still talk about, scoff- Countryfest) or that intramural team you should have started last semester (lol – Basketball DreamTeam Jen??), we all may have regrets about not taking the initiative to get involved. Don’t you worry, I’m here to help ease the pain of that could-be nostalgia….

Some tips on having non-regrets:

1. You CANNOT be everywhere, all the time- It’s simply not possible!
I assure you, that while you may think you missed out, you were probably busy!! I know I always have something going on, but if something is THAT important, obviously I’ll make the time to fit it in – like the Cherry Blossom festival next weekend! I purposely carved out some time next Friday night/Saturday morning to go to DC…. on the other hand, Rally in the Ally does NOT count, so sorry my loves. BUT if that were something that was of dire importance you would make time if you really wanted, right? … Exactly.

2. Life will always bring you an opportunity that will make up for, if not bypass, the supposed ‘regret’- I’m a firm believer in fate, so I think there will always be another (hopefully better) chance coming if I feel that I have missed out on something! Why is this true even if you don’t believe in fate like silly-old-me?? Because you simply recognize the fact that you would like to seize that experience if it comes around again! Additionally, it will be more meaningful this time around since you are acting on your desire and thus appreciate this opportunity more than you would have done so originally! (Hope that was not too hard to understand, if you get what I mean?) – For instance, I kind of- sort of- regret not participating in service this semester, but I know next Fall I will totally appreciate the experience more since I realized how much I missed it this semester. I can also admit that this semester has been crazy and that my GPA would have suffered and I would be going mental if I did try to juggle even more than I already have in my hands!!

3. Time for a wise quote…. “Every new day is another chance to change your life.” – while cliche as it sounds, it really is. If you want to do or experience something, GO DO IT!! You are only young once so live your life without having a regret because you may not be able to fit everything in, but at least you fit a lot in and that’s what counts: doing everything YOU want. Don’t let your friends rule the way you make choices, choose for yourself! Go to a cooking class (or don’t Alisha- Mac N’Cheese always works!), take a voice lesson, jump on the Bolt bus to New York for the weekend. College is the best time to take advantage of everything!!

I try to live my life fully and that includes appreciating everything I’ve already been given and taking chances in the future to see where they’ll lead me! Life is too short to be anything but happy so don’t regret not doing something when there is most certainly still time!! My Grandpa didn’t start running until his 40s and went on to complete 17 Boston Marathons afterwards, so don’t you dare make excuses, because your excuses are a lame attempt to avoid taking that leap!

Have a great weekend my dearest ‘Hounds,
Victoria :)

Over-whelmed!

 

Hopefully, you haven’t missed me too much in my absence!

I’ve been running around like a crazy woman, trying to get a handle on my priorities and get my life in order!

So, in my aim to find the root cause of this mis-management we’ll go back a few weeks when it started….

The week prior to Spring Break was mayhem: 3 exams and just over-flowing with homework assignments and the tutor appointments.
Finally, Friday rolls around and I peace out from Loyola.
This is the point where I was deceived…. this was not spring break: I really had work, but the only thing I brought home was my Finance notebook to finish transcribing notes I had taken. Alas, this did not happen either (it was busy work, but I figured I might get some in!).
So, other than turning 21 over break, nothing really important happened, I worked a few days at Dunkies for the extra cash, but really I had a ton of time where I COULD have been doing work, but I neglected it and did so very well by NOT bringing it home.

While I slightly regret not coming back after break more prepared and refreshed (& organized) I really did finally get to relax – mind you my mother still had to remind (depress me) about taxes and the fin aid deadline, it was nice to just lounge, I admit it.

So here we are, 2 weeks after spring break and I’m still feeling the repurcussions. Also, St. Paddy’s didn’t really help for this past weekend… I did minimum work and am paying for procrastinating now…

I’m admitting it: I am overwhelmed by the amount of work I have due this week and the week to come.

BUT there’s a solution!!
I’ve made a LIST – best use of a post-it-note – and have thus prioritized the work i need to get done on one….. On the other, I’ve written the deadlines (or time to get it done).
Obviously, this was my top priority because I haven’t posted in a while!
After I finish here I sadly have to complete more tedious assignments including a review sheet for Information Systems, more note transcription, and an assortment of homework assignments. But thankfully it’s already Tuesday!! and only a week and a day until Easter break!

In other news, I interviewed at Morgan Stanley for their Operations Analyst Summer internship, so pray I get the position!!

St. Paddy’s Day was a total blast: Everyone on our floor had friends over, so we saw 100 different people without even leaving the building!!
My friend Tom and I were wishing for luck from St. Patrick for the call from Morgan Stanley, so hopefully it got through to him!!!

Have a great week my ‘Hounds!!

Love and Luck,
Victoria :)

 

 

Life in Baltimore

I’m exhausting my ‘study abroad’ topics… essentially because I’m desperate to make my life as similiar as possible to that in Newcastle (this includes daily dinner tea- which is really lunch to the Brits!).

As you might be able to guess… I’ve caught the culture bug.
I’ve noticed since I’ve gotten back all I want to do is travel and learn about other cultures.
Just this past weekend, I took the MARC train to DC on Friday afternoon to visit family!
First off, the MARC ticket is only $5.75 with your Student Advantage card- and still only $7 without!

So I went to DC to visit family and have dinner… this lead to a cultural experience in and of itself- we celebrated Chinese New Year with homemade Sweet and Sour Soup and Cashew Chicken!

As you can see I had some munchkins who provided me a better-than-abroad adventure playing flashlight tag & double piggy-back rides! So, my traveling bug was minorly cured after going to DC and experiencing a set-back with the return train. I missed it, oops! I had a 10:30 train and we were having such a good time that I was 10 seconds late to Union Station… aka I got to watch the MARC train pull out of the station. While it made me want to cry at first, I embraced the spontaneity of the moment and decided to explore the area around Union Station.

While it was not my idea of a Friday night, I ended up loving the little adventure I had!
Now, the next place I’m planning on visiting is…. HOME, for Spring Break.
But I do turn 21 over break, so you can be sure I’ll have a lot of new territory to explore in town when I get back!!

Until next week ‘hounds,
Victoria :)

 

Summer Internships

I know we all LOVE applying for 1,800 internships and getting rejected from 10 of them with no responses for the other 1,790. So I’ve decided to write about my love/hate relationship with the application>interview>acceptance/rejection process involved with the game of the summer internships.

Application:
If you’re a business major like myself, you know the importance of the ‘experience’ that a summer internship provides. I can vouch for it! Last summer I learned a lot working at Bright Horizons Family Solutions in their Parent Marketing division. I got a taste of the real world and a possible position I might be interested in when I graduate.
I’m on the same hunt this year, searching for positions I think sound interesting and I know whatever happens, it’s God’s willing…. Hopefully it leads me to a position I’ll love and a future employment offer, but that might be a bit much to ask of Him.
So I’ve been submitting applications and cover letters like the busy body I am and I’ve gotten my share of rejection letters (from my top choice may I add). While these letters are extremely disheartening (I literally shed tears over BCG) they only serve as a reminder to continuously keep improving ourselves. Maybe my ambition will get the better of me one day, but until then I shall only keep kicking ***! All of my previous positions have asked me to come back which I know is a HUGE sign of my work ethic and (hopefully) great personality! So my little ‘hounds, keep your head up…. and keep applying for more!!

Interviews:
Interviews used to be the worst part of the whole process, but ever since I got some experience with interviewing I decided it really was not as awful as I thought. I realized that I had anxiety over people not liking me, but really that’s the point of the interview! The interviewer wants to get to know you if you’ll be spending the whole summer with their team! The interview is a chance for you to ask questions about the position and the company that’ll you may be spending 3 months with, so it’s good to go prepared with a few questions and an interest in the position and the company itself. Also, brush up on your resume and know some basics that will be likely brought up in the interview, aka strengths/weaknesses, experiences where you’ve had to make tough decisions, your decision-making process, and your past experiences.
Hopefully the interviewer will see the real you and realize what an asset you would be to their team!

Acceptance/Rejection:
After what seems like years, you will finally get an email of acceptance or rejection. Now, it may be hard to take it with perspective if you get rejected, but don’t think of it as a rejection of your skills, but rather a rejection of your personality, lol. Try to take these rejections with a grain of sand because you will eventually find one that will be meant for you, I truly believe it. Also, if you get rejected, it would still be really polite if you sent an email back thanking the interviewer for their time. I know it hurts, but have manners, reassure the older generations that there’s hope for our generation yet!

So my dearest ‘hounds, I know the daunting process of applying for internships looms, but honestly the more applications you fill out, the higher the likelihood you’ll actually get one!

Also! There are TONS of resources on campus to help you through the process!
-The Career Center for everything related to your future–get to know the staff, it’ll be helpful!!
-The Writing Center for your cover letters…. they help me make my cover letters much more eloquent than I write them!
-The Counseling Center…. if you get rejected and need someone to pick you up!
-Starbucks….. for the caffeine needed to finish all your applications!

Because I’m avoiding applying for more internships… I wrote you a haiku on internships (all you English majors please feel free to revise!)
One day an intern
I’ll apply for eighty-five
I’ll chose only one.

Until next week Hounds!! :)
Victoria

Friends

It’s funny how you change so much from the beginning of college, and especially after I’ve come back from studying abroad… I’ve noticed that while I’ve become a lot more open-minded and tolerant of people I wouldn’t have liked before, I also do not wait around for people to make up their minds. Yes, this is may sound a bit pushy, but it’s a conscious choice I’m making to live life to the fullest and to not let anyone hold me back from enjoying my (limited) youth.

I used to get so stressed over how people perceived me (& still often do!) and while I’ve never been the type to try to ‘win’ people over into being my friend, I had conformed. I wouldn’t call myself a fake or anything, I was just not openly voicing my opinion, which ended up causing me stress.

I came to realize though, this kind of behavior is internally destructive. I felt like I was keeping so many of my opinions to myself that it was eating at me. I would get annoyed with someone, but instead of voicing it, I internalized it and it would only stress me out more by not saying anything!!

I’ve come to accept the differences that make my friends who they are and ultimately the reason I love being friends with them, because we challenge each other! And those friends who I disagree with and in a way that conflicts with my personal values, I still talk to and hang out with, but I make sure that our conversations are never in-depth to the point that my values are put in jeopardy.

It may seem wrong of me to choose friends based on the similarities and differences in our values, but my mother’s always told me, “Choose your friends wisely.” And until recently I took it as a grain of sand, but it really make sense! Why wouldn’t I want to surround myself with friends who support me in all my endeavors, who believe in honesty and integrity, and who strive for success in all that they do? I’ve come to embrace the fact that I have the power to control who I chose to be in my life, and who I’d rather only have lunch with once in a while.

A final quote on friendship….
“A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself.” – Jim Morrison

On a much less serious note: last night I had the pleasure of accompanying my friend Cody to a jazz concert where they do a ‘pick out of a hat’ kind of ordeal and end up mixing and matching bands to do an impromptu ensemble. It was amazing! Even though the impromptu band members didn’t know each other, they performed as if they had played together for ages! Whether it was their ability to adapt or their creative impromptu skills they played wonderfully and it was such a great experience to try something new in Baltimore!

Have a great week ’Hounds,
Victoria :)

Remembering campus

While the last few weeks have been a whirlwind with finals from Newcastle, settling in to my room, and remembering all the friends I had on campus, it has finally come to a little bit of a normal schedule. The only thing is: I’ve forgotten where some of the buildings are  (surprising yet momentary lapse in memory). But not to worry, I remember all the relatively important ones are … aka I don’t think there are any more to remember!

My top priority (after classes of course!) is the FAC, after gaining the ‘Study Abroad 15′… and if you haven’t heard of it, it’s a new trend aka it’s completely made it up. I’ve always been an avid FAC user so it’s nice getting to see familiar faces again, not to mention the ability to use it at great hours. You will definitely see me at those 7 a.m. spin classes (unless my alarm doesn’t go off, hhhmmmm wonder how that happened?)

It’s been a little harder for me to embrace Baltimore after Newcastle, especially being from Boston after the Pats-Ravens game, when I literally cried … Nonetheless I’ve started to remember street names and those little places I used to love going. Recently, my roommate actually introduced me to Buffalo Wild Wings at the White Marsh mall, and I’m now slightly obsessed with their boneless Honey BBQ boneless wings.

But I’ve also come to appreciate campus more in the sense that the farthest walk from Bellarmine is the library which only takes 10 or so minutes, which is much shorter than my walk to classes in England!

A final note about adjusting back to campus: I’m still learning where everyone lives and the fact that I don’t have anyone’s number anymore, sooo getting in touch with people has become limited to FB messages. Yes, my life has been reduced to a joke.

All I can say is thank goodness for internet on my Blackberry again! I definitely missed constant internet access (well that and the map app.) Finally, I’m able to navigate instead of relying on Google directions I typed into a blank text message and then asking people along our route.

While I haven’t made it off campus too much yet since I don’t really count getting groceries as a social outing, I did have the pleasure of attending ACA’s Chinese New Year with two of my roomies, Laurel and Lexy, and my friend Christina (who I’ve known since summer O – just goes to show how people stay friends after all this time!)

I do plan on going into the city for the Super Bowl this Sunday which will be a blast if the Ravens win (even though I’m NOT a Ravens fan).

Until next week Hounds,
Victoria :)

Back to campus

Well, it certainly feels great to be back on campus, despite the fact that I am concurrently taking finals from Newcastle!

I only have one more final for Cognitive Psych which shouldn’t be too bad since it’ll be a multiple choice exam, thankfully! It’s been weird being back on campus seeing familiar faces and at the same time missing all my friends from England and uni over there.

To get out of my slump, I’ve thrown myself into organizing my life so that when I’m finished my finals, I can transition easily to focusing solely on Loyola classes. This may seem completely mundane, but it really puts my mind at ease knowing that everything is orderly.

Also, I’ve started to form my school routine and figure out when the best time to go to the gym and get groceries will be.

Fridays will definitely be the highlight of my semester, as I am interning for Northwestern Mutual again and I can’t wait to get to learn more about the investment side of the firm. I really enjoyed the hands-on experience I had last year and I hope to achieve even more this year!

I also get to return to my lovely tour guide position where I’ll get to talk to all the potential students, which is so fun because I remember when I was applying and visiting college campuses and it’s just nice to be a part of their visits and ultimately their decisions.

Another club I’m excited to get back into is Forensics Society, best known as Speech and Debate! We’re trying to recruit more students, so if you’re interested get in contact with me!! We should be heading to a few competitions this season in the surrounding states so I’ll definitely be busy!

Finally, I’m most excited about my new role as a Student Board Member of the New England Chapter of the Alumnae Association. I know what you’re thinking: ambitious. And yes, I am, but only because I want the best for all my New Englanders who may find it hard to find Loyola connections at home. Apparently, New Englanders make up 14% of the current Loyola population strong which means I have some work to do on getting together a networking event for us to attend!

I’ll get back to you next week!
From Loyola with love,
Victoria :)

Christmas in England

As I prepare to head back to the States for Christmas I have noticed some of the same traditions and quite a few different ones from what we practice.

Many of the Brits attend a pantomime, which is a show for all ages! I had the pleasure of attending a ‘panto’ for my English class, and was completely entertained! The whole point of the panto is to get the audience involved. It was such a riot seeing the cross-dressing Dame and her (or is it his?) outfits, such as a Chinese take-out container with pom-poms and the interesting fishbowl with some goldfish swimming around inside! It’s a popular form of holiday entertainment and many of my English friends have said it’s a tradition in their family to see one each holiday season!

'Father Christmas' and I

Another difference is that many call Santa by a different name: Father Christmas. Our Loyola group went to York for the day to go to York Minster, the York Castle Museum, and the Christmas market. I finally got a picture with Father Christmas at the castle (while there was a line of children waiting behind us!). Also, I found out that Santa Claus has been wearing the wrong colors in America ever since Coca-Cola did an advert using Santa in a RED coat instead of the traditional green! (Oops, I thought America had it all right!)

While they might call Santa a different name they still have wonderful Christmas trees. We stopped in the center before we left York to get a picture next to their great Christmas tree:

Caga Tios fill a market stand outside the Catedral de Barri Gotic

I just got back from Barcelona last night where I had a fabulous last trip tasting the great food and seeing the sights of the city! In Spain they have these little wooden logs called Caga Tio that children are supposed to ‘watch after’ (as in cover with a blanket and feed him Turron) until Christmas Eve when it supposedly ‘poos’ treats for the good children after dinner.

 

Good luck on all your finals Hounds and have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!
I’ll see you back on campus in January!

My last post from Newcastle with love,
Victoria :)