Amsterdam in a day

I just got back from Amsterdam!

Lesson from this trip: be prepared for anything!

We had an interesting weekend the least to say! We got lost getting to our hotel Saturday, and our timing was totally off, but we eventually made it!! (with some help from the locals!)
After we settled in to our lovely hotel, we took the tram to the “Heineken Experience” where we took a fun tour of four levels of the Heineken Brewery. As you can see I learned to brew a great Heineken!

Heineken Brewery, Holland

Stirring the 'wort'

After Heineken we hit up the Hard Rock Cafe for some all-American food! Finally had nachos after going way too long without them! After dinner, we walked around and did a little bar-hopping.

Sunday was pretty hectic, but we got to see the Anne Frank House and the ‘I amsterdam’ sign!

Afterward we hopped back on the tram and got lunch before heading to the bus station to get back to our ferry home to Newcastle!

Hope all is well Hounds!

From Newcastle with love,
Victoria :)

Making the Most of the Career Center

I hate to harp on this since I know everyone does already but I promise it’s for a good reason! The Loyola career center has a wealth of information to aid you in preparing for interviews, writing resumes, and applying for jobs.

We are fortunate enough to have a career center that is in touch with the companies of Baltimore. Every week I get a lovely email from the career center with job and internship postings. I can easily log into Hounds for Hire and submit my resume for the posting I find interesting and if the company likes my resume, boom, I’ll get an email or phone call back, simple as that!

I’m mentioning this to you, my dearest Hounds, because I want you to take advantage of it before it’s too late! Internships for next summer are already up! So don’t procrastinate and go have a looksy since we have a lot of great companies recruiting from Loyola.

Now, I get that the process is daunting (I may seem like a pro, scoff, but it still is to me as well!), but you have to suck it up and just do it like Nike because the feeling of accomplishment when you perfect your resume, submit a great cover letter, or get a call from an employer makes all the hard work pay off. If you need help revising send the career center a quick email with your resume attached and someone can get it back to you in a couple days!

Get your name out there early and often! If you are looking to intern for a specific company, get in contact with someone at the career center, and I mean call or go into the office since it’ll be the quickest way to get in contact with a real person. Emails are great for resume revisions, but in these occasions face-to-face meetings add more value! So make a 15-minute appointment with a career adviser and they can help with anything and everything, from your resume to getting you in contact with the company you’re interested in. After the application process, they can then help with mock interviews to give you some self-confidence when you go for the real deal.

Just a reminder: keep it real. Nothing is more awkward when you lie on your resume about speaking a language or falsifying your responsibilities in a job position because you think it will look good. Let us recall the moment in Confessions of Shopaholic when Rebecca Bloomwood (aka our favorite shopaholic) pretends to speak Finnish and then ends up being introduced to a man who tries to speak Finnish to her and she pretends to know what she’s talking about. I digress by saying, DON’T pretend to speak a language you don’t know! and DON’T pretend to have done more than you really did in your previous positions. If you need help making ‘babysitting’ sound good … go to the career center.

Back on track: Interviewers want to know the real you, not just who you wrote down on paper. To help figure out who the real you is try this simple exercise:
1. Get a piece of paper - the hardest step!
2. Write down five things you’re good at (a sport, analyzing passages for class, organizing, etc.) – these can turn into your skills on your resume.
3. Write down five areas you want to improve on (spelling, summarizing, communication, getting your point across, etc.) – these don’t need to go on your resume, but are helpful to know in an interview because you’ll likely be asked!
4. Do this exercise every few months because once you recognize your weaknesses you can tend to start correcting them!

Good luck my ‘Hounds, I know you’ll appreciate this tidbit of info one day.

From Newcastle with love,
Victoria :)

Studying Abroad

Since I am abroad I feel like this is a subject which I should definitely talk about!

I’m thoroughly enjoining my time spent in Newcastle, England, whether it be exploring, shopping, eating, or going out. I can assure you that unless you’ve LIVED abroad before, there are 100 reasons why you should think about applying to a program!

I’ll give you the top 5 reasons and you can feel free to ask for more if need be:

1. Meeting new people … who don’t speak English. Believe it or not, there are people in the world who don’t speak English (I just experienced this phenomenon this weekend in Paris! Boy was it hard with the language barrier – I ended up doing a lot of pointing and acting).
2. Living in a new city. Every city is different, whether it has a ‘twin’ or not, no two cities are the same. They all have their different mix of neighborhoods, which in turn have their own unique vibes with their cafes or bars and what not.
3. … and then EXPLORING that new city. Every city has a lot to offer, you just have to find what you’re looking for! Don’t hold back by only going to the same restaurants and clubs when you go out. My friend told me she has a list of all the restaurants in town and is crossing them off one-by-one!
4. Discovering yourself. As cheesy as this sounds (which I know it does, because I was reluctant just typing it) it really is true. You get to know yourself better through your experiences abroad. Whether you’re like me and realize that you aren’t as patient as you once thought you were or you discover that you really need to stick to an itinerary on your trips, all of the exploring and traveling you do leads to self-discoveries at the same time.
5. Jumping head first into the unknown. So far, living abroad has taught me that you can plan all you want, but until you actually live in a new city, you really don’t know it. I came here expecting something totally different, and I don’t know how to describe what I was expecting, but this blows it out of the water.

I’ve ended up meeting friends I can’t really imagine living without now. I’ve had to deal with lack of Internet and phone malfunctions and it really makes you appreciate everything a little bit more. Obviously, lack of Internet isn’t going to happen for everyone (or maybe it will?) but you will all be faced with challenges that you have to overcome, whether it’s the social awkwardness of making new friends in the first weeks or learning the Metro system in London. You’ll encounter endless learning experiences in such a short time. I can’t believe I only have a month and a half left since it seems like we only got to Newcastle three weeks ago!

If you couldn’t tell, I am all for you sophomores putting in your applications for studying abroad. Get your application done, so you don’t have to make up statuses about ‘studying abroad’ in Baltimore, cause that isn’t cool … Don’t make excuses about it either, ’cause you are talking to the queen right here. I knew it would be expensive and that it might be hard to find a job here, but I kicked butt all summer, working 65-70 hours a week to save money for tuition and going abroad. It really does pay off and these memories are unforgettable. <3


In other abroad news, I just got back from Paris! I had an amazing time at the Eiffel Tower, Versailles, Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe, Moulin Rouge, Louvre, and eating croissants like no tomorrow (I start my carb-free diet tomorrow [ugh, maybe?]).

Arc de Triomphe

My friend Aliyah and I (right) at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris!

Crepes Truck

The guy made crepes on a truck. So cool.

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower <3

Applying yourself after midterms … Trust me, you should!

Now, after Midterms you’re probably exhausted after cramming and pulling an all-nighter or two, but you can’t pretend that it’s slack time just yet. During the two-ish weeks following mid-terms you will be most susceptible to a bad grade (or more) since you’ve likely gone into zombie-mode after all the studying you did.

I’m begging you not to toss your textbooks over the railing on the fourth floor of Sellinger just yet. I hate to be the one to break this to you, but my experiences so far have led to this important discovery:


Your professors keep teaching and consequently testing and quizzing you, so you’ll want to put your books back in your Longchamp or backpack and breathe. I’m not telling you to continue with your crazy study sessions or however you got through midterms. I’d just like to make sure you’re aware of what’s going on in classes and to keep everything in check with your schedule.

Get Ready for… Registration!!

Hopefully you’ve all survived midterms back at Loyola!! We’re only in the 4th week of classes here, so I’m coming along well so far!

In under 2 weeks I’ll be partaking in the sacred (and stressful) ritual of Registration for next semester.

If you’re a freshman, you won’t fully understand the art of creating a beautiful and miraculous schedule just yet. Everyone else will enjoy reminiscing on the toils of registration….

There’s the “Registration Time” scenario: aka you have a registration time past 2 p.m.(very heart-breaking, trust me, I’ve been there!)… I somehow lucked out with a 7:30 a.m. registration time, aka lunchtime here lol!

There’s the “Overlapping Classes” issue: aka you have the right classes picked out, but then realize they overlap = NO, you actually aren’t allowed to take them sorry!

And finally there’s the worst scenario of all…. “Upperclassmen Stealing Your Classes” : aka you cry every time another space fills up in Sign Language or Basket-weaving (oh wait, we don’t have the latter!). I can also admit that I won’t have this problem as badly as previous semesters!

Now, I have some solid recommendations to avoid the (quite normal) freshman break-down during registration…

  • Go to registration prepared! Let’s repeat it together, PREPARED. Don’t be like many of my friends freshman year who decided to wing it and ended up having their friends plan their schedules for them, Christy this is your one and only shout-out!
  • Also, it’ll be significantly easier if you come to registration with other options for classes, so if you don’t get your first choices, you can hopefully maneuver some variation of classes you’ll enjoy – maybe you’ll have to sacrifice a core requirement for one of your major classes you hoped to get in earlier, but at least you’ll have 5 classes!
  • If you don’t get what you need there’s two options:
  • Add/Drop : Your new favorite site -you’ll be on it significantly more than Facebook until you get the classes you want!
  • Over-Ride Forms : Departments use them to determine if they need to add another class to the schedule, so definitely fill one out even if you plan to do add/drop! Since there might be a whole different section opening!

Now fly my young ducklings, I have faith that you’ll all succeed with my great advice! (Mostly since I’ve survived all the toils of registration I listed above!)

In other news, I spent the weekend in Newcastle – quite a change I know! – but it was very enjoyable!

Friday night a bunch of my flatmates and I joined another floor for the BioSoc Social. I rode a mechanical bull for the first time! Also, you may be thinking… Victoria isn’t a Bio major is she? No, I am not, but I learned some great Bio jokes to try to fit in with all my Bio(& many non-Bio) counterparts!

How many cells does it take to screw in a light bulb? an infinite amount, they keep replicating! (trust me, I don’t get it either!!)

My new Bio pick-up line: Can I be your DNA heliocase and unzip your genes? (I didn’t know Bio jokes were so naughty!)

Saturday we went to an Ale and Cider-tasting at the Newcastle Cricket Club and discovered a new, delicious deli on the other side of town (I’ll definitely be returning for a turkey-brie-cranberry sandwich!!)

Sunday was my re-coop day, where I finally just got to chillax and organize my life, it was all sorts of amazing/relaxing/re-energizing!

Finally, I joined a gym in the city center (spelled ’centre’ here) last week! I’m glad to have found a reasonably inexpensive membership so as I can still get a workout without breaking my back, err I mean bank!

Have a good week ‘Hounds!
Victoria :)

Avoiding the ‘Freshman 15′… and any increments that may come after!

I remember as a freshman, one of the most challenging things to maintain (other than a proper sleep schedule) was a healthy diet. Obviously life gets hectic; somtimes we find ourselves slipping from our good habits we had and getting lazy with our choices in food.

Yes, I get it, a burrito is easier to eat than a salad on-the-go, but at the end of the day, we should feel good about our bodies and the food we ate. And hopefully if we make good choices and get regular work-outs in at the FAC, we won’t gain the dreaded ‘Freshman 15′ or any of the 5lb increments that could potentially follow… We all know that come Friday, you WILL order Pizza Mart/make a stop there before you return to campus for the night, so those burritos will add up fast if you aren’t making healthier choices before nightfall

Keep these tips in mind as you continue through the semester…

  1. Pay SOME attention to what you are eating, aka is there something nutritious in it?
  2. I know it’s hard having to cook for yourself after Mom cooked for you every night all summer, but you can find similiar things available at the grocery store. try making a list before you go or even asking your mom for a recipe or two!(It’ll even help make you feel at home!)
  3. Eat breakfast to avoid binge eating later in the day, I promise it’ll work.
  4. Make going to the FAC a regular occurrence. Not only does it keep you energized, but it’s also proven to help keep you happy! So even if it’s not the gym, just do something! It’s as simple as going for a walk around campus or the Inner Harbor on the weekend!
  5. Remember that a healthy lifestyle is a continuous commitment to your body’s well-being which contributes to your mind’s ability to keep absorbing knowledge, so stay healthy Loyola!

Have a great week and remember that healthy choices aren’t hard and can contribute more than you realize to your well-being!

Just an update on my adventures abroad:
This weekend, the Loyola group had the privilege of traveling to Keswick to go to the Newland’s Adventure Centre for a great weekend packed with nature intensive activities. We completed their Ropes Course, we went Ghyll Scrambling (Click here to watch a video!), and we climbed a mountain!

Kathleen(right) and I on top of a 'mountain'

Kathleen(right) and I after our ascent! What a view!

Panoramic View of the Lake and Mountainside!

Panoramic View of the Lake and Mountainside!


Time Management: Loyola Style

As Greyhounds, we take GTL very seriously (you know- as part of our motto of ‘Mind, Body, Soul’) but sometimes it’s hard to fit everything into our hectic schedules. So this week, I’m writing to help everyone figure out how to manage school, work, and play.
We all have 5 classes(at least), not to mention a club or two, and like many in the student body- I also enjoy getting in my daily workout at the FAC. So how are we suppoed to survive the daily grind without getting stressed out or burned out??
Well, as a wise, old junior I’ve come up with a few tips for my fellow ‘hounds:

  1. Make(and keep) plans and study times in your planner(by the end of your 4 years, it’ll be your bff).
  2. Get enough sleep, simple as that!
  3. If you need help in a subject -or even formal study hours- get a tutor from the Study, they’re free and there for your benefit! ….Click here for the Study’s website!
  4. De-stress by your own means of stress-release. For me, it’s the gym, but it can be at the park, reading, wherever and whatever you need to re-coop from the pressure of the day.
  5. Stay on top of your schoolwork… I know it piles up VERY quickly, so refer to numero uno.
  6. Use the weekend as just that… Go to the Inner Harbor for a few hours, or take a day trip to DC (MARC tickets are only $7) so you really can’t go wrong! We all need to take a chunk of time to forget about school for a few hours as to prevent burnout- which can end up harming you more than forgetting about your homework one night.
  7. As silly as this sounds, have a support group in place. I don’t mean a legit therapy group (unless that’s your thing) but rather a network of friends, family, and even professors who can recognize when things are out of sorts in your life. Your friends won’t be afraid to call you out when you’re acting weird, so take their criticism kindly as they are likely just watching your back.
  8. Get out and have fun! You have 4 years in college to go (a little) crazy, so use it to your advantage! There won’t be another time where learning and fun are as synonymous as they are now. We have college as a learning experience, and that means both in- and outside of the classroom.

Hope these help as midterms are starting back at Loyola!!

Some news from Newcastle… I had the pleasure of visiting Dublin, Ireland this weekend and had an amazing time with some of the girls in the program! See some of my pictures below!

At St. Stephen's Green!

At the Gravity Bar at the Guiness Storehouse

Enjoying our 1st Guiness at the Storehouse in Dublin!

Trinity College Campus

Trinity College Campus

  Until next week Hounds!
Victoria :)

Un-Settle Yourself!

We are finally settling into our weekly routines for the semester and it feels good to begin to see the same faces and have (some) control over our hectic lives. What we don’t realize is that the same mundane routine is actually not good for us. Our ‘routine’ actually limits our ability to get the most out of our college experience!
Being abroad has enabled me to see that more clearly now, since NOTHING is the same as it is at Loyola. I only picked my classes last week, I get a full workout from all the walking I do everyday, and the pizza here doesn’t compare to Pizza Mart’s(not to mention that they don’t have Reese’s!… ok I had to mention that.)
While the people here are different in many ways – like the fact that they don’t wear rain boots when it rains and their accents make English almost unrecognizable! – the 38 of us Loyola juniors are in almost the same spot as these “freshers”… We only know a handful of people, we are learning a new city, while trying to make new friends and find our classes, and of course, we all miss our Mom’s home-cooked meals… or rather Chipotle!

I admit now that I have taken the comfort of a routine schedule for granted, but I know that this experience only comes but once -well as a fresher, now twice! I’ve made a vow to myself to try to make the most of my time here by adventuring into new interests and trying things I normally wouldn’t! I’ve already started to embrace the experience, and I know that I’ll have few regrets because I can say I did something new. Recently, we went to Tynemouth to see the Priory and eat classic fish and chips! It was so much fun just being in a town I didn’t know exploring the little shops. It was so enjoyable to experience a new town and to know that I’ll have experiences like this one the whole semester!I’ve signed up for Gourmet Society, aka cooking! At the current moment, I know how to cook pasta and sauce, Kraft’s Mac & Cheese, and the occasional batch of french toast when I’m in need of breakfast! Our first cooking night is tomorrow and we’re making sushi! This is a new encounter for me since A)I’m not really a sushi girl and B) I can’t cook, if you couldn’t tell!
Wish me luck on my sushi adventure!!
From Newcastle,
Victoria :)

Unpacking the Excess Baggage

As we settle into our dorms for the beginning of a new semester (or a first semester for many!), we all come to school carrying some type of baggage, whether it be from home-sickness, a recent break-up, or my case: a lack of luggage (literally lost luggage!)
I flew British Airways from Newark, NJ to Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK and somehow my luggage got misplaced, so I arrived in Newcastle with only my backpack and a carry-on! At least with my particular situation I was given the opportunity (err, I didn’t really have a choice haha) to pack lightly for our trip to London as well as release my grip I had on my Blackberry and give up constant contact with my Facebook account with the lack of phone service and WiFi.

My friend Christina and I(right) at King Cross Station in London, UK

While at times I felt as if I were in a third world country without phone service and internet connection, I quickly began to enjoy the freedom and appreciated my new surroundings without the dependence on technology I previously had.
As we start this new year, we should try to pay more attention to what is in front of us in person rather than the profile of some cute football player on FB. We all should take into consideration that everyone is basically in the same situation as us… Getting back into the swing of school and finding a reasonable balance between our academic and social lives. We can better accept others’ attitudes and mood-swings when we think of how people react differently to situations and give them some slack rather than sling an attitude back. Additionally, we can control our own outbreaks and frustrations just by knowing that others are in the same situation and we can even try embracing the chaos of a new school year rather than stressing over it! All it takes is a little patience and we’ll soon be halfway through the semester!
Wishing all you students a great school year!
From Newcastle,
Victoria :)