Oh, New Jersey! Cannot decide on the weather and must incorporate both extremes to test its residents on their resilience to step out of the house. One good thing about this, though, is that more rain will accompany inevitably due to the intermittent scorching hot periods. For many, that means they can’t go outside and walk, and can risk getting wet. In my opinion, unless you’re a cat, you really have no reason to be afraid of getting wet. Now don’t go out and give yourself pneumonia, but getting wet feels kinda good actually, especially when you step inside and can dry yourself, and for when it gets hot in the same day.
But that’s not the main reason I absolutely enjoy rainy days.
Unlike bright sunny days when the sun is blasting in your face and you sweat at every step you take, or unlike freezing cold winds outside that threaten to freeze solid your face as long as you’re out, rainy days achieve a happy medium. They are not too hot to the point where you have to barely wear a layer, and not too cold to the point where you have to put on an extra 3 layers. They are warm enough for you to walk outside and still cool enough for you to keep your short sleeves. I know, this middle ground is not true of all rainy days, but I am mainly referring to those in April. After all, April showers bring May flowers, don’t they?
Also, there is just something about the calm, tranquil and serene atmosphere that you don’t get from other weather types. Being in the rain makes you feel more appreciative of what’s around you, just sitting there, basking in the raindrops and letting the natural cycle of water take its course. In a way, it makes you feel closer with nature, even in a place as highly urbanized as New Brunswick. It also makes you more introspective, and can alleviate stress through the gloomy surrounding presence of the fog.
One time I was on College Ave, when it was burning hot outside, and was waiting to get inside where it was cool away from the beating sun. Afterwards, I could hear the raindrops thud against the roof of the classroom, and could not wait to go outside in my umbrella, or not. When I got outside, I just felt like walking around, taking in the surroundings with clearer sight than in the sun, when you don’t have to squint, or the wind, where you’re constantly getting your eyes shut by the brutal air. In a place as large and diverse as Rutgers, everyone has commitments, and it can be hard at times to remember that you’re still young, on a beautiful college campus, and that you don’t have to have everything figured out now. I realized as I was taking a walk down to the Scott Hall bus stop that getting overly worried about exams and med school was not going to make the situation disappear. I did not always have to be in a hurry. Just taking the time once in a while to see what’s around can improve your attitude. In today’s world of smartphones and social media, it’s easy to forget that we have an outdoor environment and there are natural surroundings we can appreciate. When not trying to escape it for the comfort of a classroom and more assignments, I was appreciating it more after seeing it under the rain. When I got to my next class, I felt more refreshed and ready to study, and not pressured to go outside or stay inside.
Those of you who say rainy days are depressing and gloomy, I can understand why. But there are other ways to enjoy the weather and make it beautiful. You may not be in control of the weather, but you sure can improve how you view it. Maybe my next post I’ll write about sunny days, which is less gloomy. Despite the criticism I have offered here, I still enjoy a good hot sunny day. I would just prefer to be at Great Adventure, Dorney Park, or down at the beach getting knocked down by waves! But at Rutgers, or any college campus, rain is the best way to keep me on track, reminding me that there is a life outside.
Recently, I was accepted as part of the first cohort of fifty students for the Road to Communication and Media Mentoring Program. It is a new initiative led by Career Services’ Stacey Kohler that pairs a student with a Rutgers alumnus who is working in a communication field. This includes Content Creation and Editing, Digital Marketing (Social Media), Media and Advertising Sales, Media Production, Public and Corporate Relations, and Web and Graphic Design. I am very interested in content creation, or the production and contribution of information to media, and so I was paired up with an awesome mentor, who I will refer to as M. for confidentiality reasons, in that sub-field.
As a Peer Mentor for the Honors Program, this is the first time that I’m in the shoes of a mentee, which is exciting in and of itself! Even more exciting is the journey that I have ahead with M. in this mentoring relationship. Just this past weekend, we had our first ever meeting (of course at Hidden Grounds because why not?!), and I have to admit, I was definitely a little nervous about it, but that quickly changed into a mix of emotions–excitement, happiness, and thankfulness. So here’s just a short list of three reasons why everyone should have a mentor!
I honestly believe that one of the biggest advantages of having a mentor, especially during college, is the support and encouragement that they give you. Treat support like a gift–it’s incredibly precious–because as human beings, that’s a basic necessity. As college students, many of us are at the point where we’re unsure about the future, the steps to take, the path going forward. It’s when we’re overwhelmed by this sense of uncertainty that we need some form of support from others, and a mentor is a perfect source for this. They are there for you.
Support and advice are closely related yet still a bit different. Supporting someone doesn’t necessarily mean giving them advice. Advice, on the other hand, has vital advantages of its own. Words of wisdom from your mentor can primarily provide you with a sense of reassurance. Whether it be on career choices, internships, school projects, time management, friend issues, chances are that your mentor has them covered because they’ve experienced similar obstacles.
Mentors are very valuable people who influence and augment your personal and professional growth. They push you to do your best, but at the same time, urge you to give yourself enough credit for your achievements. Your mentor will give you great feedback on both your successes and failures. Feedback is something that we don’t always get, but your mentor will give you honest suggestions to improve as a person as well as a professional.
Even during my initial meeting with M., I definitely felt supported, got tons of insightful advice, and even grew a little as a result. Mentors like M. have your back on a range of issues and concerns. Most importantly, they’re rooting for YOU. I highly suggest forming relationships like this one at one point in your lives as it is incredibly advantageous. To connect with someone on this level is beautiful, and that relationship is everlasting.
Hi everyone! I hope midterms are not killing you yet! Last week I attended an amazing information session that Mr. Sobol hosted on applying to medical schools. Now, honestly, I have attended a couple of information sessions before that HPO and other organizations hosted, and I found these sessions were repetitive and cursory. However, this one was very detailed and much more insightful! I would like to share with you some important things I gleaned from this information session.
- When it comes to choosing medical colleges, it is important to first go on the HPO website and actually see what medical schools Rutgers students have gotten into. There is a better chance that these colleges will be a good fit for you as well! Also, purchase MSAR because this database of medical schools gives detailed descriptions and statistics on recent matriculating students, curriculum, grading system, financial costs, and more about each medical college.
- Make sure your Facebook and other social media accounts are professional. This includes your email address. I never thought about this until I attended the information session! Mr. Sobol mentioned how some medical colleges can view your social media accounts to learn more about how you present yourself, so just remember to clear up any silly or embarrassing pictures you may have on Instagram or Facebook. In addition, if your email is something like email@example.com, then you may not come off exactly as professional…
- Don’t apply Early Decision if you are not more than 100000% sure you have a good chance getting into the medical college. This is because if the medical school you apply Early Decision to waitlists you, then you might be too late to submit your applications to other medical colleges in which your chance of getting in might have been higher.
- Go to open houses and make connections. When you go to open houses, you will get to meet with the deans and other staff members of the medical schools. It will be a good chance to get to know them so they can put a face to your application. It would be even better to follow up after the open house by emailing them any additional questions or comments you have about the medical school. Using Linkedin to connect with other doctors and deans of medical schools is also good.
Here are some tips I learned for medical school interviews.
- Research each medical school before going to your interview. Really get to know what they have to offer; look into their programs, curriculum, affiliated hospitals, clubs, etc. Pick few aspects that really stand out to you and be prepared to discuss why you like these aspects.
- Have sell points. Be prepared to talk about what makes you a strong applicant. Remember, instead of saying how you are better than other applicants, focus more on what makes YOU a good fit.
- Talk about failures and hardships to show what lessons they have taught you.
- When they tell you, “tell me about yourself”, don’t freak out. Try to talk about your background, education, clinical experiences, leadership roles, a couple of fun facts and end it firmly by asking whether there is anything else the interviewers would like you to explain further.
- Prepare questions for the interviewer. These could be about any of the aspects you researched on while looking up the medical school (curriculum, clubs, unique programs, etc.).
- Make sure you are well versed in the current health topics that are spurring in the medical fields. Try to go to depts.Washington.edu/bioethics to see what ethical topics medical professionals might deal with! Read the health and medicine section of news websites!
- Good posture, maintaining eye contact, and a firm handshake can go a long way!
In the past week, we finally welcomed warm and sunny days!! After many months of frigid cold and feet of snow, we finally were able to experience a change of things. I myself rode my bike on campus for the first time in months. Even though I love sweater weather, it felt so relaxing wearing a simple tee and shorts. Everyone around me was having a great time. Students biking, skating, running, and enjoying their warm weather clothing. Felt great for once!
But these coming months we will be experiencing New Jersey’s wonderful, topsy-turvy weird weather!! Confused?? Well let me describe a day we probably will be experiencing very soon. You have a 10am class. You step out of your house (or dorm) in your warm weather clothing and feel a shiver in your spine. Its freezing!! You go back inside, grab your big bulky jacket, and head out to class. After class, you come outside and literally feel the heat get to you. It is sooo hot and you find yourself sweating because you have your jacket on. Now you have to carry that big old thing everywhere.
Sound familiar? Super cold morning and sweating hot midday to evening is the usual New Jersey winter-spring weather. It is a problem that has no solution in my opinion. Yeah you could go back to your car or dorm and drop your coat but who has the time for real!?
LOL there is another option. One that I hate myself so much for doing. Knowing it will just be very hot later, I decide to NOT take my jacket while going to my morning class. The freezing temps of NJ mornings is just bone-shattering. Is it really worth it I ask myself when the weather gets hot? I have come to conclude that I rather would carry my jacket around in the burning heat then not have it when I most need it!!
My experience with this horrible NJ phenomenon is one that is just sad. Last year this time, I was taking bio lab. This class is a 4 hour class that either meets 8-12pm or 2-6pm. Being the early bird I am, I decided to take the morning class. Since I am a commuter, I had to leave home at around 7am (bio lab has a strict attendance policy).
So as you can tell it was literally freezing in the morning when I left, like 18-22 F. Getting to class I would be so relieved and so thankful for my big wool jacket. Four hours later…I stand in awe how DRASTICALLY the temperature can change. Now it was literally like 88 degrees!! How does the weather change so much in such little time!!
Well as you can imagine, I unload the 4 extra layers I have on myself and find myself dragging all of that in my hands to the nearest bus stop. Fortunately my car was close by so I made a quick stop and dumped all my winter gear in my car!
New Jersey is crazy and we all know that. I honestly do not know how I have survived this for two decades. Do I think about moving to Florida or California? Yeah maybe three times a day. But you gotta accept all the good and the crazies that this amazing Garden State can offer you. #ILuvNJ
A few months ago, the concept of “love yourself” came to the forefront of my mind after I started listening to an album by BTS called Love Yourself: 承 Her. In an interview, the leader of the group, RM, says, “If you can’t love yourself, you also can’t love other people. You mistake other people’s love and wander. You need to think about ways to love yourself. We’re in a time period where, through social media, you can easily know how others are living, but paradoxically, loving yourself may be the answer.”
In an era where stress about life, work, and school (midterms anyone?📚) seems everywhere, the concept of “love yourself” can be more important than ever. But although I made it my goal to treat myself better this year, it was difficult to define what that meant. Sure, when it came to taking care of my physical health, I could try to eat healthy 🍽, sleep more 💤, exercise 💪, and drink more water 🚰. However, when it came to taking care of my mental health, I was less sure on how to proceed. I knew that being grateful and having a sense of humor are important, but emotions can be complicated.
One thing I realized is how much more willing I am to do things for others than for myself. Take cooking for example. I will take the effort and time to make better food for others than I will for myself. Or in the case of gifts, I am more willing to make or buy presents for others than for myself. While in “The Only Way to Keep Your Resolutions” (2017), DeSteno explains why people put more effort for others by describing how social bonds (and the gratitude and compassion that come with them) can increase self control and perseverance, the concept of “love yourself” reminded me to pay more attention to being kinder and more caring towards myself 💕.
A week ago, I happened to read about self-compassion, which according to Wong (2017), is “treating yourself with the same kindness, care and concern you show a loved one”. College can be stressful, life can be stressful, and it can be easy to cross the line between critical and overly critical. Realizing and accepting that we’re imperfect in an imperfect world 🌎 can give perspective to our problems, help us develop resilience, and may even reveal how much we have in common 🤓.
In the process of figuring out how to “love myself” both physically and mentally, I learned how important self-compassion, self-care, and social bonds can be. Although it may be difficult, I hope we all try to accept our flaws to work to improve them, and to forgive ourselves when we fail. In the year ahead, please remember to treat yourselves with the same amount of compassion and respect you use to treat others 😊❤️!
College is a completely new experience and for us students who have freshly graduated from twelve years of schooling, it’s a huge transition. After a few rough weeks of figuring things out, I’m pretty much in sync with the grading system in college. I know that as a high school senior, it seems pretty terrifying to say goodbye to regular assignments and routine chapter-by-chapter tests. Fear not, I’m here to help you out!
This is the biggest difference between high school and college. You no longer have year-long classes that are slow paced and in-depth. College courses are fast-paced, extremely well planned out and comprehensive. Time flies in college. Why? Because classes end within a semester — that’s 15 weeks. If you take away holidays and breaks in between, a semester is pretty much finished in 3 months.
Because colleges offer so many courses at different levels and concentrations, it makes sense for them to be split into semester-long courses. In high school, you gain an overview and a general introduction of history, biology, chemistry, and math. Once you get to college, you choose what you want to focus on depending on your interests, and for each topic that you indulge in, a semester is more than enough.
Because everything is compressed into a semester, college courses have fixed syllabi with little flexibility, but it’s nice being able to visualize exactly how the course is organized and which assignments are due every week. Even your dates for midterms and finals are announced early on! This is a blessing to everyone who loves calendars.
MIDTERMS AND FINALS
Ah, thinking about having only two exams for an entire course was my biggest fear coming into college. But, trust me, it’s not that bad. You have to remember that courses are only one semester long, so having two to three exams in that time span is entirely appropriate. It is stressful to imagine that the majority of your grade depends on these exams, but keep in mind that there will be other assignments to boost up your grade. Extra credit is rare, but attendance, participation, and/or weekly assignments can each account for about 10% of your grade.
Midterms and finals take preparation and work, so do not bring along your procrastination tendencies from high school to college. They will not work here. There is no way you can prepare for exams in one night. Give yourself a week or at least an entire weekend to prepare for exams. They’re really not that bad, even if they are cumulative.
Letter grades are all that matter in college. In high school, everyone is caught up in their percent and number grades, but in college, as long as it’s an A, no one cares if it’s a 90 or 98. Another huge difference is that some classes won’t regularly post grades on assignments. There might not always be a portal to view all of your grades, so a lot of your time is spent keeping track of your grades and making estimations of where it may lie.
A lot of classes in college use curves. So basically, your grade is dependent on how others perform in the class. At times, this is great because even when your average is a B (or even a C!), you can still end up with an A. But other times, this is a huge drawback because your grade can be lower than what you expect depending on the class grade distribution.
College homework is a lot easier than high school homework. Even though the work may take longer, it is definitely easy. Most of my work is comprised of readings, online assignments, and preparing for exams. It’s nice to not have loads of busy work and daily assignments anymore. Also, classes don’t meet every day, so this gives me time to space out work and keep stress levels down.
NUMBER OF CLASSES
Whereas taking around 8 classes was the norm in high school, that’s a lot in college. In college, most students take around 15-18 credits per semester which adds up to about 5-6 classes. Also, you no longer have relaxer classes like P.E. and study hall! Each class you take will have a purpose- either for your major, minor or core requirements. You might throw in a few for personal interest, but you have to be wise in time management and organization. Each class is about an hour and 20 minutes (labs are 3 hours), so create your schedule wisely.
Self-deprecation is something that affects everyone, some more than most. For me, it is still something that I am battling today. But I have realized recently, that in order to improve my self-image and become the person that I truly want to be, I have to be aware of the bad habits that I engage in that lead to the lower image that I have of myself. I am going to identify two of these habits and address ways that I over come them. And hopefully, I might be able to help some of you who suffer from low self-esteem too.
1. Do you compare yourself to other people?
One of the biggest problems that I face, is that I compare myself with my classmates. I look at other students and wish that I could be as smart, as social, or as productive as they are. These thoughts only make me feel inadequate. They don’t help me become a better person; they only bring me down. Now, whenever I find myself comparing my capabilities to other people, instead of thinking about how much I don’t like about myself, I think about how much I do like. For example, I think about how I am proud of the amount of work that I have done for the class, and I remind myself that I put in as much effort as I can. Those small reminders really help me feel more confident in myself, so try it the next time you feel like you are not as good as your peers!
2. Do you ever feel like you are not living up to your own expectations?
We all set high expectations for ourselves. We want the best grades, while also being able to balance extracurriculars, maintain our health/fitness goals, and build strong social relationships. Realistically, it is not fair to hold ourselves to such high standards and expect to attain all of them, because if we fail to achieve everything we want, it can lead to feelings of inadequacy. Instead, we should reevaluate our expectations of ourselves. For example, I make goals in my journal that I hope to achieve in the month. They are not crazy goals like “get an A on every exam” or “work out every day”. Those are extreme goals that I know I cannot meet. Instead, I make reasonable goals like “work out at least twice a week” and “start preparing at least two weeks in advance for each exam”. Those may not seem like very specific goals, or it may not seem like I am pushing myself enough, but honestly goals like these have been working for me. They remind me of what I want to accomplish, while actually being within my range of abilities. And when I am able to accomplish these goals, it feels really good and motivating!
I know how hard it is to stop comparing yourself to others, because I used to do it all of the time. But it only does more harm then good. I am overcoming these self-deprecating habits and you can too! Stop wishing you were someone else, and instead learn to love the person that you are. Recognize your strong points and use them to your advantage. I have given you two tips that have greatly helped me, so now I challenge you…to become the best and most confident version of yourself!