i grow old i grow old

It has recently come to my attention that I am aging.

Tragic, I know.

And, cognitively, you know, I’m aware that I’m not old and depending on who you ask you can’t even say that I’m not young. College students all seem in that hazy in between state of “I probably should have my life together more than I do,” not necessarily young, far removed from old, but definitely older than the Good ‘Ol Days when snack time was government mandated, you could nap pretty much any time you wanted with no repercussions, and bills were something you didn’t have to worry about.

Good times, good times.  

And obviously I know I’ve gotten older, chronologically, but maturity is something that’s hard to pin down and quantify. Everyone knows that feeling you get on your birthday. The clock ticks forward, you’re another year older, but nothing feels different, nothing ever feels different, but you always expect it to. So it’s a little harder to figure out when you “grew up.”

This whole “Oh no, I’ve gotten older, everything’s changed” thing hit me over the summer, actually, so not really all that recent depending on how you look at it.

Now, I really wasn’t doing anything over the summer, which did make me feel kind of useless, but that’s a whole other issue entirely, so I spent the most of my time going to the library and playing Pokemon Go when that was still a thing.

please describe Summer 2016 in one image

Very early on in the summer I had determined that I was getting tired of reading “smart people books” which, as an English major, I felt obligated to do. So after a week of reading said smart people books,  I said a quick apology in my head to my English professors and went downstairs to my library’s Young Adult section.

I’m a young adult, I said in my head, it’s totally socially acceptable for me to be here. Besides, I could totally pass as a high schooler and no one will judge me and okay the person checking out my books went to my high school, just don’t make eye contact. Why are you making small talk?? We barely ever talked to each other! When did you get engaged???

I spent a shameful amount of time reading cheesy teen romance books and, I’ll admit, I loved every second of it and have no regrets.

this was really good

And then, maybe a month into summer break, it happened.

I used to be in love with the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. I loved Greek mythology, I loved the characters, I loved the story, and most of all I loved the writing. It was so clever and hilarious to me and I thought If I ever become a writer, I want to write like that.

we don’t talk about the movie

So anyway, as I was walking through the YA section, I spotted a new book written by Rick Riordan, set in the same Percy Jackson universe, and I decided Well, I’ve got nothing better to do and I borrowed it along with Wink, Poppy, Midnight (which was meh) and The Raven Boys (10/10 would recommend).

also pretty good

When I got back home, I made myself cozy in my bed and cracked open The Hidden Oracle, excited to read another adventure from a series that I had loved so much.

I couldn’t make it through two pages and dropped it to my bedroom floor, where it stayed until its due date.

It’s not that the author had lost the ability to write, if anything he’s gotten better since the first book. I know for a fact that if I had read this five years ago I would have finished all 400 pages in 4 hours and loved every hour, every minute, every second of it. The fact that I couldn’t read this book kind of felt like a betrayal to my younger self. I wanted to like this book, for nostalgia’s sake if anything, but I just had no interest in it.

It was just kind of meh.

I’m not torn up about it. I didn’t cry over the fact that I don’t like books written for middle schoolers, but I was…I don’t know. The closest word I can think of is “disappointed” and even that’s not quite right.

It’s like finishing a book or TV show or movie. The story’s ended, you’ve got your closure, you’ve got another book or TV show or movie waiting for you, but you’re still kind of sad that the last one is over. That adventure’s done, it’s time to move on.  

And I guess that’s where we all are in our lives right now, that old adventure’s over. It’s time to move on to the next one. But it’s okay to miss the old adventure from time to time.

Documentary Recommendation: 13TH

Powerful, infuriating and at times overwhelming, Ava DuVernay’s documentary 13TH will get your blood boiling and tear ducts leaking.” -Manohla Dargis, New York Times

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It is not a secret that the United States of America, despite having only 5% of the entire world’s population, is home to 25% of the world’s incarcerated population. And, despite only making up only about a quarter of the country’s population, black and hispanic men combined make up 58% of all prisoners in the US (NAACP, 2017). Ava DuVernay explores why that is the case in her award-winning documentary, 13TH.

Found on Netflix, the documentary is a powerful and important one. DuVernay exposes the oft-overlooked loophole in the 13th Amendment, which states: “Neither slavery, nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States” (United States Constitution, 1865). Though the 13th Amendment freed the slaves on paper, the loophole it created through the phrase “except as punishment for a crime” has, as DuVernay explores in her documentary, contributed to the mass-incarceration of black men, something that, as author Michelle Alexander describes, is just a new form of slavery and racism.

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The documentary looks farther into the theory Alexander presents in her book, The New Jim Crow. She argues that the idea of black men and women as slaves in the United States has never really gone away, despite the 13th Amendment. She charts the development of Jim Crow, from restrictive voting laws to the idea of “separate, but equal,” and follows these ideas to their role in today’s society, what she calls “The New Jim Crow.” She focuses specifically on the “War on Drugs” waged by the federal government through the late twentieth century, described as backlash against the gains that were made during the Civil Rights movement and the ways in which longer sentencing, the privatization of the prison industry, and general racism has contributed to the extremely high number of incarcerated black men.

I watched the documentary last semester as part of my Gender, Culture, and Representation class, and it was highly recommended by my Gender and Human Rights professor this semester. Though it had been on my list for a few months, I am grateful that I had a class that finally forced me to sit down and watch the film. To call it eye-opening would be an understatement. Prior to watching the film, I was relatively confident in my historical knowledge, at least in terms of the history of the United States. However, 13TH showed me just how many important topics my high school history classes left out, topics that, though they expose the “uglier” side of American history, are essential to the understanding of the racial divide in the United States today. I highly recommend 13TH to anyone interested in the topic of the construction and application of “race” in American society, as well as to anyone interested in general US history following the Civil Rights movement. Additionally, 13TH has a powerful soundtrack, and is visually interesting to view. Next time you’re looking for something to watch, try 13TH. Here’s a link to the trailer: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5895028/videoplayer/vi1201321497?ref_=tt_ov_vi

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MOMA

This past Sunday, the wonderful, always energetic Dean Nazario took a group of Honors Students to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. An art enthusiast, Dean Nazario wanted students to participate on this trip to see the Francis Picabia exhibit. For those of you in colloquium, you missed out on a fun, HP-sponsored event which counts as one of the needed colloquium events.

Here’s a description of the exhibit from the MOMA’s website:

Francis Picabia: Our Heads Are Round so Our Thoughts Can Change Direction is a comprehensive survey of Picabia’s audacious, irreverent, and profoundly influential work across mediums. This will be the first exhibition in the United States to chart his entire career.

Among the great modern artists of the past century, Francis Picabia (French, 1879–1953) also remains one of the most elusive. He vigorously avoided any singular style, and his work encompassed painting, poetry, publishing, performance and film. Though he is best known as one of the leaders of the Dada movement, his career ranged widely—and wildly—from Impressionism to radical abstraction, from Dadaist provocation to pseudo-classicism, and from photo-based realism to art informel. Picabia’s consistent inconsistencies, his appropriative strategies, and his stylistic eclecticism, along with his skeptical attitude, make him especially relevant for contemporary artists, and his career as a whole challenges familiar narratives of the avant-garde.

Francis Picabia features over 200 works, including some 125 paintings, key works on paper, periodicals and printed matter, illustrated letters, and one film. The exhibition aims to advance the understanding of Picabia’s relentless shape-shifting, and how his persistent questioning of the meaning and purpose of art ensured his iconoclastic legacy’s lasting influence.

I am not in colloquium, but I have not been to the MOMA since my freshman year, so I decided to go for the fun of it. The night before, I watched a brief video of the exhibit curator describing the artwork and the artist. I found this very helpful for when I went to the museum for I understood a little more about what I was going to look at.

As we get older, we go through different phases of life in terms of our perspectives on things, our jobs, our relationships, etc. And in the Francis Picabia exhibit, I loved how we could see how his perspectives and what he found important and focused on changed over the years through his artwork. Sometimes when we think of an artist, we think of their particular style, mistakenly forgetting that they may have experimented with a variety of styles over the course of their lifetime. Witnessing Picabia’s different styles, his growth, his transformation, was most enjoyable for me.

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Other exhibits in the museum included a floor dedicated to artwork from the ’60s. Fun, funky, and full of color, my eye was constantly darting around the room. This floor had a few activities for little kids to work their imagination and creativity skills, which I found incredibly adorable and heartwarming.

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Roy Lichtenstein knows what’s up

 

Some forms of modern art I just don’t understand. It’s message often flies over my head and I just don’t understand how or why it was able to secure and exhibition room in the museum. It is because of my inability to comprehend and truly appreciate some forms of the more contemporary modern art that I find myself drawn to the more “traditional” paintings of the artists I grew up learning about in elementary/middle/high school art class such as Picasso, Matisse, Frida Kahlo, Van Gogh, et al.

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I got the stink eye from one of the workers there for getting too close to the Picasso painting

I was so jazzed to see these artists and more in an ongoing exhibit on the 5th floor. To see paintings such as Starry Night right before my eyes was unreal. I’ve seen this piece in every year of art class since I was 5; I’ve seen someone do their own version of it by swirling paint in a container of water; I’ve even seen a cake’s attempt to mimic this famous painting.

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Photo Creds: Me, because I was actually there in front of this beauty

I’ve never been so excited to be at the MOMA. I think it has something to do with being older — I appreciate it more.

Whenever you get the chance, I recommend going to the Museum of Modern Art because it is a great place. You will have a good time, perhaps not as good of a time as Francis Picabia riding a little cart.

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Francis Picabia: Road Racer

 

A Semester of Shakespeare

If you’re in the honors program, you may or may not have heard about interdisciplinary honors seminars (if it doesn’t come across clearly, that is meant to be sarcastic). They’re really good for exploring different topics, interacting with interesting professors, and/or meeting honors requirements.

For a combination of the first and last reasons, I signed up to take ‘Shakespeare in the Now‘ this semester (though Professor Bartels is really awesome too!).

In regard to the first reason, I’ve always been really into Literary Inspired Web Series (LIWS), series on youtube that adapt works of classic literature. The trend started in 2012 with the Lizzie Bennet Diaries and since then, many groups, almost all small clusters of passionate book nerds with cameras, have given it a try, adapting everything from Peter Pan to Jane Eyre to The Importance of Being Earnest, with mixed results (see a full list here). One of my favorite of these groups is The Candle Wasters, a group out of New Zealand. So far they’ve adapted Much Ado About Nothing, Love’s Labour Lost, and Midsummer Night’s Dream, using the plays as a framework to explore many issues including sexism, gender identity, sexuality, dependency on technology, and climate change, all while still being incredibly entertaining and remaining surprisingly faithful to Shakespeare’s works. Because of this group, the idea of discussing the way Shakespeare can still be relevant today seems even more fascinating to me than it normally would.

As for the second reason: I need 3 more honors credits to stay in the program.

Anyway, the class is really interesting since we get to go and talk about reading and adapting Shakespeare for three hours every week and, even if LIWSes haven’t entered the conversation, it’s still an interesting way to frame discussions about modern issues.

Part of this is seeing different productions of Shakespeare’s works. In addition to assigned readings, we’re also supposed to watch different adaptations that are available from Rutgers’ Libraries, like Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet. In addition to this, we got to go see a live performance of Hamlet at the McCarter Theater in Princeton, tickets and transportation paid for by the Honors Program.

And it was brilliant, fantastic, molto bene!

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The performance was by a group from NYC called the Bedlam Theater Troupe. In the production, 4 actors play all the roles in Hamlet. If you’re unaware, that’s 20+ roles, one of which has the largest number of lines for a role out there, bouncing between 4 people. Still, they managed to make it work with minimal sets and some audience participation. All the actors were amazing and their interpretation managed to make a tragedy seem comedic for a large majority of the time. It provided us with a lot of things to discuss in class the next day.

Beyond the performances, the class also gained a new dimension last week when we discussed King Richard III and fake news. This week we’re going to discuss Measure for Measure, which will definitely be an interesting discussion about power, surveillance, and forgiveness.

Towards the end of the semester, we’re supposed to do a group project where we use Shakespeare to explore a social issue that interests us. I’m hoping my group will find the idea of something like a LIWS as interesting as I do, because, while this class is great so far, making one of those series would be a dream come true.

What if I can’t get an internship?

Hi there! Spring semester is swooshing by, and before we know it, summer will be here! Many of you, including me, probably are looking for an internship. Many of the internships are very competitive. What happens when one doesn’t get an internship? Does that mean they have their whole summer free? Does it mean boredom will be their only company for four whole months? Fear not. Here are a few other things to keep you busy and your summer productive.

  1. Study Abroad

This is a great opportunity to travel and learn while earning college credit at the same time! Rutgers has amazing study abroad options that you can explore! From studying art history in Rome to wildlife ecology in Kenya, there is something for everyone! Granted, these trips can be quite expensive, but there are various National Study Abroad Scholarships students can apply to! For funding information or more financial aid options, the Office of Financial Aid is always happy to help. Now go out there and explore! Do be aware that the deadlines for most summer study abroad options are around March 3rd.

Here is the website with all the study abroad information:

http://globaleducation.rutgers.edu/index.cfm?FuseAction=Abroad.ViewLink&Parent_ID=0&Link_ID=D35DF441-5056-9B67-E4B89064D3BDB3A4&pID=1&lID=1

2. Undergraduate Research

Instead of applying for a formal summer research internship, maybe it will be more fun and unique if you went out and looked for research that fits just what your interests are. For example, if you are someone who has always wondered about how stem cells play a role in spinal cord injuries, then you can find a couple of professors who are conducting research in that very field. Rutgers is an excellent research hub. I am sure you will find exactly what you want! A good way to look for professors who are doing research in the area of your choosing is to go to the specific department (i.e. Life Sciences) and examine the tab they have just for research. Find a few professors whose work interests you, and then write thoughtful emails to them showing your genuine interests. It really helps if you read their research and mention points from it that really stood out and intrigued you. Be sure to ask them if they are available to meet with you to further discuss their research. Good Luck!

3. Learn New Skills

There are a plethora of useful skills that one can master over the summer! From learning how to code to learning how to sew, there are many life skills that everyone can try to learn. Here is a list of few skills that you can get started on if you’d like:

  • Writing a book
  • Sewing
  • Knitting
  • Cooking
  • Keeping a Daily Journal
  • Fixing a Leaky Faucet
  • Inventing an app
  • Reading a Map
  • Fixing a Flat Tire
  • Performing CPR and Heimlich Maneuver

Learning new skills exercises the brain. Plus, it is so much fun! What will you learn this summer?

Well, I hope these give you few ideas on how to be busy this summer. Make this summer memorable and fun! Four months is a lot of time! Have fun!

More Music Rambling

I never have anything exciting to write about on here. I don’t do anything, man. Like, I could get into the topic of that March for Life thing that’s happening this weekend, that I didn’t even know was a thing until two days ago, but frankly that sounds like a can of worms I don’t want to open because I’m not great at dealing with sensitive topics. (I mean if someone waaaants me to talk about a topic like that, tell me, because I do enjoy lively debates. It’s just I’d need to be cautious, and I doubt you care about my opinions on abortion anyway, cause why would you. But let me know, we got freedom of speech, yay ‘murica). SO I’m just gonna talk about music again, except less like a set list of recommendations, but more free form because I haven’t heard anything specific and new that I love (and I’m a lazy child).

This stems from me realizing you have to like, actually study for classes??? Shocking, I know. In high school I literally didn’t do anything outside of school and got A’s. College is harder apparently. I heard a statistic somewhere that even though the average IQ is 100, you need at least an IQ of 110 to do well in college. Don’t quote me because I very much could be wrong, I don’t even remember where I heard that fact, but if it’s true, how dare they set us up to fail like this; I’m personally offended. Anyway, my initial point in bringing up studying was: listening to music helps people study. Or it helps me at least. Took me two years to figure that out but we got here eventually, which is better than not getting there at all.

What do I listen to when I study you ask? For some reason it depends on the subject. Which I find ridiculous, because literally all my subjects are physics, but even between physics subjects I need to listen to different things, which is like, strange. But so be it, here’s how I break it down:

Mechanics (study of like, motion and stuff in physics. A lot of torque, a lot of things rolling down ramps)- death metal. I don’t listen to specific bands in particular, I usually google death metal compilations. Though if you want a band name, Dawn of Demise is usually decent for studying purposes. I don’t know why, it just works. Perhaps it’s a way to relieve the aggression I have for not understanding the physics of a wheel rolling down a ramp.

Thermal (study of temperature relating to heat/energy exchange and stuff)- dubstep. I can’t listen to metal for thermal. I have no clue why. But dubstep works weirdly well, and I focus on my textbook a lot more listening to it. I’ve been listening to compilations by the YouTuber Alex MTCH if you’re interested. I’m praying that now that I have the right music to help me focus on studying, I’ll end the semester with an A (hahaha… ha…. pls. I need the grade).

Literature classes- classical music. I feel like this is a common one. The way I got through my colloquium book (which wasn’t even a bad book, I just have a horrifically short attention span and with every sentence I read in 30 seconds, another 5 minutes was spent doing nothing but staring at a wall) was listening to stuff like Bach and Mozart.  All the reading core classes I took were spent listening to classical music, too. It’s always nice to listen to these types of pieces anyway.

Really, what’s most important is I can’t study with music that I can understand the words to. Cause then I’ll start singing along, and I lose all motivation of actually doing work. That’s why instrumental pieces or really fast screaming metal works the best. But that’s just me. Do y’all listen to anything while studying? Any suggestions? I don’t even know if you guys CAN comment, but if you can, suggestions are always nice.

Quick side note, my post became a list. Gosh darn. Here’s a physics pick up line to apologize for going against my word of this post not being a list (I thought I made the pick up line myself, but someone told me they heard it before me, and I don’t even know if it makes the most sense in regards to actual physics, but use it anyway. If you have non science friends they won’t know the difference): “Hey baby, are you the event horizon? ‘Cause it’s tearing me up that I can’t get close to you.” Have a good day, now.

Facts Matter. Our Planet Matters.

No matter what side you are on in any debate, on any topic, facts do matter. Whether you are against something or for something or if you have truly no opinion, it is still vital to know why you stand for a particular position. For me, understanding the reality behind climate change is essential, and that is what I want to bring to your attention today.

So what is climate change? As the phrase itself indicates, it is the process of temperature, precipitation, humidity, wind and seasons (elements of climate) shifting. Monitoring climate change is important as it shapes natural ecosystems, which in turns, shapes us humans and the way we live. While some changes in the climate are expected, the current problem lies in the rate at which those changes have been progressing. The most important shift we are currently concerned with is the warming of the planet, known as global warming. According to Washington state’s Department of Ecology, “rising levels of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere have warmed the Earth and are causing wide-ranging impacts, including rising sea levels; melting snow and ice; more extreme heat events, fires and drought; and more extreme storms, rainfall and floods”. To better understand the shifts in not just the temperature, but also the climate as a whole, here is a visual indicating climate change trends in the U.S.A.

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On a broader level, here is how global warming is predicted to impact the entirety of the world:

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These trends are projected to not only continue but to also accelerate, and they will pose significant risks to both humans and to our planet. Global warming impacts our health, our agriculture, our freshwater supplies, our coastlines, and natural resources that are vital for the survival of the human race. But we’re not responsible for this, correct? This is an environmental problem, not a us problem, right? Wrong. Absolutely wrong. Humans are very much so responsible for climate change; just take a look at this visual explanation.

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To sum up some facts and numbers, let’s look at data provided by both NASA and the U.N. (this information is readily available on their websites).

  • The current warming rate of the planet is unprecedented in the past 1,300 years.
  • Increased levels of greenhouse gases causes the Earth to warm in response.
  • Global sea level rose about 17 centimeters (6.7 inches) in the last century. The rate in the last decade, however, is nearly double that of the last century.
  • Most of the warming of the earth’s surface occurred in the past 35 years, with 15 of the 16 warmest years on record occurring since 2001.
  • The year 2015 was the first time the global average temperatures were 1 degree Celsius or more above the 1880-1899 average.
  • Data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment show Greenland has lost 150 to 250 cubic kilometers (36 to 60 cubic miles) of ice per year between 2002 and 2006, while Antarctica lost about 152 cubic kilometers (36 cubic miles) of ice between 2002 and 2005.
  • Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the acidity of surface ocean waters has increased by about 30 percent. This increase is the result of humans emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and hence more being absorbed into the oceans.
And for you visual learners, here are some data-driven images that I believe hit the nail on the head:
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Let’s be the generation that recognizes climate change as a detrimental issue. It affects us today, it will affect us tomorrow, and it will continue shaping how we live on this planet. We survive as long as Mother Earth survives, so let’s remember that it is our responsibility to take steps to halt global warming.
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Conquering Your Fears? I’ll Pass…

I think we’ve all heard about this tactic to help conquer your fears – it involves facing what you’re afraid of head on, and hoping you don’t pass out in the meantime. Whether it’s spiders, snakes, or heights most people will tell you how “it’s not that bad.” No matter how much you fear something, no one can make you confront it if you are not willing.

I’m scared of poisonous snakes, crocodiles, and sometimes the dark (especially after a scary movie). But what I want to talk about today is a fear and avoidance of truly being frightened. I want to distinguish this from the fright I get from watching scary movies: I willing bring that terror onto my self, I welcome it. And I know that the movie is not real. I’m talking about fright that occurs from events in the real world.

Let me tell you a little story to clarify what I mean about a fear and avoidance of truly being frightened.

A few years ago, during winter break, I went to Mountain Creek up in Vernon Township, NJ to ski; it was a ladies promotional day and we received a discount on the rental gear. I had never gone skiing before — my parents preferred to stay indoors rather than outdoors when there was snow on the ground. I believe this was also my cousin’s first time skiing, or she hadn’t gone in years. Either way, we agreed that it was a good idea to sign up for a ski lesson and learn the basics over a few hours. We got accustomed to walking with the skis on our feet, went down a really tiny snow covered mound, and practiced moving our skis into the position necessary to stop or slow down. After practicing our newly cultivated skills on this barely-even-an-incline-slope, my cousin and I, feeling confident, headed over to the ski lift to try out the big girl bunny hill.

As we went up, the nerves hit me. Compared to the ant hill that we had just spent a few hours on, this bunny hill that we were about to tackle was more like a mountain. It took me a few moments to actually go down the hill after getting to the top, and as soon as I started sliding down the slope, I immediately regretted my decision. Gravity was affecting me a lot more than I had anticipated and I was flying — or at least it felt like I was. Wind whipping my face, zipping past young children who making their way down the hill, I was panicking. Honestly. I tried moving my skis as one does when they want to stop, but that didn’t work. Scared that I was going to take out some poor, unsuspecting child due to my inability to ski, I purposely leaned to one side and made myself fall and stop moving. I did this a few times until I was about 2/3 down the slope. I wondered whether going down that tiny mound a few more times would have prepared me more… probably not.

Anyways, I’m 2/3 down the hill and I tell myself I’m going to make it to the bottom without making myself fall. I stand up and go… aaaaaand then I want to stop. I am going much faster than I wanted, the stop method still wasn’t working, and there was a crowd of people gathered at the bottom of the hill that I was sure I’d strike out. It was during this last stretch of skiing that I got truly frightened and experienced the emotion in a way I had never before. I didn’t think that I was going to die, but I thought I was seriously going to injure myself and others. I was completely out of my element, recklessly out of control, and I didn’t like the feeling. I didn’t feel free, but confined.

Seasoned skiers may read this have no idea what I am talking about. But whatever I felt that day has kept me away from the slopes ever since. A lot of my friends enjoy skiing and want me to go along, but I can’t. They’ll say, “Oh that was just one time, just try it again. It’ll be better.” Perhaps, but maybe not. I’m not too willing to find out.

I fear the feeling I got when I went skiing for the first time. I want to avoid experiencing that same fright and terror for the time being. Maybe in the future I’ll have the desire to give skiing another shot, but until then, I am perfectly content staying indoors, with my blankets and hot chocolate.

The New Year that Comes Too Fast

With the first month of 2017 almost over, I wanted to compile a list of some of the things that people would like to accomplish in the new year. My fellow bloggers were kind enough to give me some of their responses, and my own is included at the very end. Honestly, if someone asked me what my New Year’s Resolution would be at the beginning of each year, my response would most likely be this:

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Seriously, sleep is the best invention of our time. Whoever invented it is a genius.

Jokes aside, the New Year may seem like it comes fast every year, and it just keeps getting faster and faster as we grow. However, it is really the best time of the year to take a step back and analyze where we stand and what personal qualities need to be improved for the future. Even if I had some unpleasant experiences or difficulties in 2016, this year I can tell myself to leave those problems in the past and start fresh and improve. I hope you readers will be able to do the same. Let’s all make 2017 better.

Because it is the beginning of the semester, many students will want to focus on their schedules and prepare for exams, so this post will not be as long as the others. I really hope it can inspire students to believe they can fix whatever curve balls or RU screws they encounter.

And of course, our main objective should be to graduate and know where we want to go and what we want to do when we leave Rutgers. The holidays may be over, but certainly our time as dedicated and motivated young individuals is not. The break may have been too short, but there will be more breaks to come throughout college and throughout life. With all that being said, here are some New Years Resolutions from the SAS Honors Program Blog Staff Writers:

“Survive. And graduate.”
— Nida Saeed

“Ditto to Nida, tbh. Let’s aim for a higher GPA this semester, shall we?”
— Becky Kowalski

“Don’t be so hard on yourself and appreciate yourself every now and then.”
— Aishwarya Madhikar

“Drink more water. (Seriously, if you don’t see me with a water bottle strapped to my hand, push me into the nearest water fountain please).”
— Fairooz Khondker

“Not waste half the day sleeping — wake up at a reasonable time in the morning on days where i dont have classes or have classes in the afternoon.”
— Stephanie Smyczek

“Manage my time better(i.e. Get more of X, Y, and Z done) and make sure that I’m happy doing it.”
–Kim Peterman

“Increase overall general awareness and curiosity. Whenever someone talks about something I may not know much about, I have a tendency to zone out and miss actual interaction that could benefit me. It’s good to know other aspects and events going on in the world even if it may not seem of particular interest at the time.”
–Neelay Inamdar

 

I wish everyone the best of luck for the new semester! It may not be 2016 anymore, but it’s still Rutgers with the same exams and academic web registration system that helps some and hurts others, and most of the time does both.

Looking for Internships: a Mini How-to Guide

I am lucky enough to be interning at Visual Country this semester. Here’s how they describe themselves: “Visual Country is a creative production partner to global brands and the agencies that support them. Headquartered in Manhattan, we create short-form video and digital content experiences that delight and engage users across channels, devices, and platforms.” This was my dream internship, especially since I had just recently left the pre-med route and didn’t have much experience elsewhere and was interested in the creative work they did.

I’ve only been there one day, but I already know that I’m going to love it and that I’m going to learn quite a bit interning with them this semester.

This is why I wanted to put together a mini-guide for how I did it, especially for all of you SASHPers who want to get their feet wet with some hands-on experience. But first, I wanted to say this: if you don’t feel ready to start working yet, don’t berate yourself. You will have the rest of your life to work, so starting a little later with real-life experience isn’t detrimental. Be kind to yourself, bro.

I have had “find an internship” on my to-do list for at least two years, but I never felt ready enough to conquer that optional (depending on your major) part of college. It wasn’t until this year that I finally felt ready, so I looked around and applied.

However, you should also note that many of the outlets provided to you may not be available after graduating college. I’m speaking specifically about Rutgers CareerKnight.

Utilize Your Own College’s Resources Before You Look Anywhere Else

Rutgers CareerKnight was super helpful as I was applying. You can upload your resume, numerous cover letters, and extra materials. You can also add jobs and internships to your favorites to look at later, and the best part is that the deadlines are clearly listed for each opportunity. I would recommend you all poke around there, even briefly.

CareerKnight also has a student-alumni connection database, with which you can find alumni at Rutgers who are in careers that you’re interested in and ask them questions!

There’s also campus events on finding internships, applying, and interviewing! Use those resources! You’re paying for them somehow!

Google, Google, Google

I honestly just typed what I was interested in in Google search, looking specifically for companies in the beginning instead of just internships. If you type in ‘internship,’ you lower your chances of finding startups and agencies that may be looking for interns. Google carefully; the words you use to search are important. This is actually how I found my current internship.

Use Other Job/Career/Internship Websites

I also utilized Indeed.com, and I know when I’m looking for jobs after I graduate, I’ll still be using this resource. You can also add favorites and Indeed will give you possible jobs (as does CareerKnight) based on your previous searches and your resume.

There is also Inroads, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, and National Society of Black Engineers. (I think I must’ve accidentally attended an engineer meet or something). There are countless others; you just have to find them.

Apply to as Many Places as Possible

Do this especially if you’re applying to really big-name companies. I didn’t apply to as many as I had on my list though, but that’s because things ended up working out where I received interview opportunities quickly after application.

 

I do understand that this is quite general advice, but sometimes, the general advice is what gets you started. Happy looking, and don’t beat yourself if things don’t work out. There are always, always, always opportunities somewhere on the horizon.