Gotta Use ‘Em All: Getting Rid of Meal Swipes

It’s a problem that all on-campus freshman have faced. Anxiously checking their RU express page to see exactly how many they have left. In-depth discussions about how it’s all part of a con for your money. Leaping over the stack of styrofoam containers from takeout so you can flop onto your bed, clutching your aching, overstuffed stomach as you roll over and try to forget about finals.

Meal swipes. If you’re an on-campus freshman lacking an extraordinary appetite, you’re probably begging to give these away at this point.

For starters, if you will be an incoming freshman in the fall, please take note of this link. Within the first week of school, you can go here and switch to a lower meal plan, even lower than the required meal for freshmen.

Now, for those not savvy enough to know this particular trick, like me my freshman year, here are some practical ways to get rid of meal swipes in your last weeks of school:

  1. Woody’s

The medical school cafeteria is probably one of the more popular options. You can use meal swipes for almost anything from grocery-type items (milk, vegetables) to meals to sweets and ice cream. However, the mistake most people make is that they rush through three or four swipes as quickly as possible. The way to maximize this requires patience. Set aside a few hours outside of the rush, bring the some of the overwhelming amount of work you’ve surely been watching grow over the past few weeks, and prep for some back and forth between your seat and the food area. The limit is every twenty minutes, but if you play your cards right you can be like me in December of my freshman year, walking away from Woody’s 20 meal swipes less and with Christmas gifts for both my brothers and all six of my cousins.

2. Kilmer’s Market, Sbarros, Douglass Cafe, Cook Cafe, Rock Cafe, Red Pine Pizza, Take Out

Good places for meals and food for later. And since several of them are located around centralized areas, you can employ the same method as with Woody’s. The only problem is that if you’re not careful you’ll end up with a fridge of individual slices of pizza, stacks of individual cereal packs, and a significant amount of indigestion (because who can resist that much food sitting in front of them?). Which brings us to suggestion number 3.

3. Befriend upperclassmen

If clubs want to promote events, they offer free food. That’s because most students operate on a low budget. Now’s the time to use that to your advantage. Who could refuse your offer a free meal, be it a swipe into the dining hall, an offer for takeout, or a meal swiped from Sbarros? This is a great way to hang out with older friends, thank mentors for help, or generally socialize.

4. Invite your family

This one is fairly self-explanatory, however, if used in conjunction with number 3, you might run out of guest swipes, so be aware.

What are your favorite ways to get rid of meal swipes? Comment below.

Reactions I Get to Being a Black Belt

So, if you couldn’t tell from the title, I’m a black belt. More specifically, I’m a second-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. I started in first grade, took a hiatus in high school, and started up again by joining the Rutgers Tae Kwon Do team and their demonstration team. It’s definitely built up my strength, both physical and mental, from breaking cinder blocks to dealing with the frustration of mastering tricky kicks. Movies like The Karate Kid portray martial artists as total badass warriors, so naturally, when I, a short, Starbucks-drinking girl, reveal this fact about myself, people have some interesting reactions.

1. You can totally beat someone up!

Yeah, I know the right kicks to land depending on the way someone attacks me. Especially having sparred, I know how to defend myself. But a coached sparring match and an unexpected street fight are two totally different things. Believe me, I’d be just as scared to fight someone who messes with my squad as someone with absolutely no martial arts experience.

2. You’re so tough!

I’ve learned a lot through Tae Kwon Do, like demonstrating good sportsmanship and high spinning hook kicks. But even though I learned all that, I’m just like any other person, with fears, sensitivities, and even weaknesses. Being involved in Tae Kwon Do, for as long as I have been, has made me learn to overcome those things effectively, but has not necessarily eradicated them. So yeah, sometimes (a lot of times) I really need a night like this:

Noreen’s Top 10 List of Books I Wanted to Read Over Break but Didn’t

In an epic trilogy, Philip Pullman unlocks the door to a world parallel to our own, but with a mysterious slant all its own. Demons and winged creatures live side by side with humans, and a mysterious entity called Dust just might have the power to unite the universes–if it isn’t destroyed first.

I always have such ambitious plans going into breaks and honestly they’re not even really that ambitious.

As an English major, I read a lot of stuff and while I went into break wanting to read more stuff, I quickly realized that my brain wanted a break, rejecting any attempt to open a book that was written pre-1950 or had received some kind of literary award. Instead, my soul desired mindless entertainment and to consume internet garbage. It was spring break. I deserved this.

“But, Noreen” cry the people who know me in real life, “All you do is consume internet garbage.”

Fools! Never underestimate the amount of internet garbage I can welcome into my life, especially when I had one week of unlimited free time (which, now that I say it, isn’t really unlimited at all).

I spent the majority of my break sitting around my house watching TV shows on my laptop, having brief, yet intense moments of panic as I searched for a summer job, and being a general useless blob. I regret nothing.

So anyway, here is, in no particular order, my top ten list of books I wanted to read over break but didn’t:

1. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their difference, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’ mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess.

But when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, Achilles must go to war in distant Troy and fulfill his destiny. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus goes with him, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.”

I like Greek mythology. I like LGBT themes. I find the ongoing debate over whether or not Achilles and Patroclus were lovers both fascinating and kind of hilarious.

2. The Cursed Child by J. K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany or Any book from the Harry Potter Series

“It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.”

You’ll have to pry my at-times-illogical-desire to hold on to the Harry Potter series out of my cold dead hands.

3. Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

“It may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime.”

Amir is the son of a wealthy Kabul merchant, a member of the ruling caste of Pashtuns. Hassan, his servant and constant companion, is a Hazara, a despised and impoverished caste. Their uncommon bond is torn by Amir’s choice to abandon his friend amidst the increasing ethnic, religious, and political tensions of the dying years of the Afghan monarchy, wrenching them far apart. But so strong is the bond between the two boys that Amir journeys back to a distant world, to try to right past wrongs against the only true friend he ever had.”

I’ve heard good things about this book and got it for free like a year ago and by God do I love things that are free.

4. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by  Douglas Adams

“The story so far:

In the beginning the Universe was created.

This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.”

I read this quote somewhere I can’t remember and it hit every single one of my sense of humor bones and I decided I needed to read this series. This was five years ago.

5. Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

“Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?”

Dozens of children respond to this peculiar ad in the newspaper and are then put through a series of mind-bending tests, which readers take along with them. Only four children–two boys and two girls–succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and inventive children could complete.”

In my last blog post I talked about how I started to actually feel like I was growing older because I no longer like stuff I used to like when I was a kid. Well The Mysterious Benedict Society is a thing I used to like when I was a kid and I read a few pages of it and it looks like it holds up. I sure hope it holds up.

6. His Dark Materials series  by Philip Pullman

“In an epic trilogy, Philip Pullman unlocks the door to a world parallel to our own, but with a mysterious slant all its own. Demons and winged creatures live side by side with humans, and a mysterious entity called Dust just might have the power to unite the universes–if it isn’t destroyed first. “

So apparently the movie adaptation of this was terrible, an insult to the original series, and a blight upon this world as all book-to-movie adaptations tend to be, but I watched it and I enjoyed it. To be fair it came out when I was nine and nine year old me had terrible taste in everything. I’ve heard good things about the series though from Actual AdultsTM so I’m hoping this holds up too.

7. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

“Kurt Vonnegut’s absurdist classic Slaughterhouse-Five introduces us to Billy Pilgrim, a man who becomes unstuck in time after he is abducted by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore.” 

I’ve read this before, but I wanted to read it again.If you like not knowing whether or not the narrator is time traveling or has PTSD, then this is the book for you. I love Kurt Vonnegut.

8. American Gods by Neil Gaiman

A storm is coming…

Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the magic day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life.”

I read Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett so I know I like this guy’s style, I like the premise, and there’s a TV adaptation of it coming out at some point so I thought that I’d finally read it. Nope.

9. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

“Despite their differences, sisters Vianne and Isabelle have always been close. Younger, bolder Isabelle lives in Paris while Vianne is content with life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. But when the Second World War strikes, Antoine is sent off to fight and Vianne finds herself isolated so Isabelle is sent by their father to help her. ” – Goodreads 

I got this as a Christmas present and at the moment it has been sitting on my desk in my dorm room as decoration since then. Oops.

10. Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz

It feels like there’s no ground beneath me, like everything I’ve ever done has been a lie. Like I’m breaking apart, shattering. Who am I? Where do I belong?” – Melissa de la Cruz 

Okay so I actually did go outside a couple times during break, you know, once the streets were no longer covered in snow and I ended up at the library, which I would say is typical me if I hadn’t just written 500+ words about how I didn’t read anything over break. I saw this, thought it was cool, realized I’d never actually seen a book with a Filipino protagonist, then put it on this list.

 

Anyway, I hope you take a page out of my book (hehehehe, I’m so funny) and add some of these books to your to-read list but, unlike me, actually read them.

 

 

Economical Entertainment: Cheap things to do as a Student

So this spring break I’ve been taking advantage of a lot of student discounts. However, I think the best deal I got was at RU Cinema. I got to see MoonlightLogan, and Get Out all on the same day for just $17. So I thought I’d list here some of the available cheap versions of entertainment available to Rutgers students.

  1. RU Cinema

Screen Shot 2017-03-20 at 5.53.05 PM

This is a really good deal, particularly if you bring your own snacks. It’s $5 per movie before 6 and $7 after 6, which is insane when considering how much tickets at a normal movie theater cost. Now granted, they only show 2-3 movies at a time, so you’re limited to what they have, but they’re mostly the good or popular movies, so it’ll satisfy most people.

2. Zimmerli Art Museum

unnamed (2)

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This is a great art gallery and admission is free! There’s always Art After Hours the first Tuesday of every month. My personal favorite is when, during the last reading day before finals, they stay open all night so you can study in the Art exhibits. It’s always really empty and is a really good change of scenery.

3. Performance Groups

Be it the many choirs on campus, dance groups, or theater companies, there’s always some sort of performance going on on campus. Not all are free, but a lot have free tickets available through the Honors Program if you keep your eye on the newsletter.

3. Honors Program Trips

People should really check the newsletters because there seems to be boundless opportunities for free entertainment, be it tickets to the symphony, trips to museums in NYC, or film screenings around campus.

4. RUPA Events

One of my favorite memories from my freshman year is of a friend and I going to a Mystery Dinner Theater run by RUPA. One person at every table was assigned a role and they had everyone go around introducing their character. When they go to the last table, they asked the character to stand up and this six foot guy just shouted back at the host, “I can’t stand, I’m Teddy Roosevelt,” leading to an uproar of laughter from everyone else in the room while his friend explained this was the other President Roosevelt. Outside of that they have a bunch of events every week ranging from quiz nights to broadway shows, it’s just a matter of signing up quickly enough to get a seat.

3. Rutgers Radio Stations

Available from Rutgers Radio and the Core both online and free, my favorite combination. They also provide a really diverse set of programming

4. The Library

I’m kind of mad at myself for not realizing this sooner, but you can borrow DVDs from the library. Not a lot, but as the kind of person who spent three months out of their childhood watching Rear Window every night, it’s nice to have access to them without having to pay for them on Amazon. Not to mention the number of films and plays that are available to stream from the libraries website. It’s useful for some classes and it’s just fun to see what they have if I can’t find it anywhere online that doesn’t cost money/is legal.

5. Cheap transportation

Now if you want to do something in NYC outside of a planned group trip, there are discount bus tickets available for $17(for reference a typical round trip train ticket from New Brunswick costs $28). If you’re going regularly, it’s probably better to get the monthly pass from NJ Transit, but I went to the Met Opera for the first time last week (in the cheap $27 seats on the top floor) and that was a real money saver.

Applying for Internships: A Modern Symphony in Five Movements

I. The Search

LinkedIn, Internship, Indeed, LookSharp

They’re called the Dot-Coms (Doo-wop)

Honors Newsletter, Professors suggestions, family friends

Taking suggestions like a DJ (You can reach us at 732 . . .).

You bring them together, listen to their sounds, then list out their chords, harmonious and otherwise.

Go through deadlines. (Vader’s ominous boom)

Go through what is important. (A hopefully Hedwig’s tune)

List them out, heart beating out sixteenths. These aren’t everything (for the future, they’re everything).

Look at it again, think my qualifications are(so begins the motif).

My experiences show.

My interest in this is.

This will benefit me by (that last one’s mostly for you).

II. The Application

Look at descriptions again (They’re either Doo-wop or a random mix. The tunes all are opening deja vu).

Your heart is beating sixteenths. Closing your eyes, breathe. Start them one by one.

Fingers on the keys, start typing out a hybrid tune

My qualifications are (This always feels a little flat).

My experiences show (A memory of clarinet duck. Maybe it’ll be a swan).

My interest in this is (Bring in more flute, some viola, try to sound sweet).

This will benefit me by (that last one’s still mostly for you).

Each one’s a little different than the last, refined to match the specific memory (A little more bass here some more strings there).

The resume follows fast (or some days it comes first, depends on the audience).

Think again.My qualifications are. My experiences gave them to me.

Then the send-off (Sometimes hold out the last note, it give you time to add your samples or clips).

Repeat.

Repeat.

Repeat.

III.  The Wait

Keep sending out apps and searching for new (Doo-wop, calls to 732).

Search. Write. Send. The tunes now comforting, no longer new. (Softening each time, sinking into a lull).

Then you think: what about the others from before. You hear no no noise, no deja vu from them anymore.

You check again, maybe there you’ll see (No, it’s John Campbell, 4’33”).

All is still.

IV.

Then an offer: an interview (The cymbals give a celebratory boom)

Look at the descriptions again (This is doo-wop, but with more urgency, since they want you too!)

Now look more at the group. Where’d they start? What do they say? (Play it like you believe- like you have the knowledge to do so).

Once you’ve learned all you can, take it to the same things again.

My qualifications are (Tuned to a T).

My experiences show (Be prepared for small modifications based on the show).

My interest in this is (Short and sweet, with a little brass).

This will benefit me by (Now they want to hear it too).

Prep, then dress (Each note precise).

Make sure it’s all nice.

Quick, trip, done. Nice to meet you, thank you for your interest, thank you for your time, should hear from us in a couple weeks. (A short ferocious dream)

What’s done is done. Good or bad, can’t change the past.

So just continue on. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Search. Write. Send. Pray to hear back.

V. Wait (Reprise)

Keep sending out apps and searching for new (Doo-wop, calls to 732).

Search. Write. Send. Prep Interview. Some in person, on screen, over the phone. Nice to meet you, thank you for your interest, thank you for your time, should hear from us in a couple weeks. Pray to hear back. The tunes now comforting, no longer new. (Softening each time, sinking into a lull).

The tune feels like nothing now, another routine (The melody is rising though, because it must).

Some nights you lay awake, heart beating out sixteenths, trying to tell yourself these aren’t everything (they feel like everything).

Look at your email once more or the dashboard on the sight (The music’s been stretched out too long, when will it be done?)

You reassure yourself. Someone will want you, they must.

My qualifications are (A dreaded refrain).

My experiences show (One more verse of the same).

My interest in this is (A catchy tune, now stuck to your core).

This will benefit me by (Bringing this to an end).

You check again, maybe there you’ll see (No, it’s John Campbell, 4’33”).

All is still.

An acceptance will come.

It will.

This is It

(Trigger warning: I talk about death and living alone).

This is it. I’m reaching the edge of my senior year, and I can start to feel the fingers of Henry Rutgers himself begin to push me closer and closer to getting off the campus and graduating.

Somewhere in that energetic pull, there’s a stern reminder that I can always visit and I should obviously bring my future husband and children to the place where I spent 4 years of my life.

I had assumed that once I hit my senior year, I would feel as if I would never want to leave. In a way, part of that is true. I will absolutely miss my freedom here; I’m going back to live with my parents after graduating for I’m not sure how long.

But there’s a few things I learned about myself this year, and I encourage you to figure out where you stand about them as well.

1. I refuse to live alone in the future.

Even living with a pet isn’t enough for me. I need actual human contact.

I learned this point the hard way. I came back a week early from winter break to live at my apartment and work. I spent most of that week alone, and I found out that not having someone around to talk to about my day and hear about theirs in return was excruciatingly lonely. I understood what science meant when stating that we are social creatures.

2. I need something to look forward to as I’m studying or else it seems very pointless.

Having goals is always a good thing; orienting yourself so you follow through to reach your goals is even better; completing goals and forming new ones is the best.

I’ve specifically planned activities for myself every single weekend at Rutgers. These activities range from snowboarding (which I just did this past weekend and have fallen absolutely in LOVE with), to the SASHP Winter Formal, to going home to hang out with my parents.

Yes, you heard that right. I hang out with my parents. This leads me to my next point.

3. Realize that you have a very short window of time here, and that you really should make the best of it.

I don’t entirely mean at Rutgers. I mean that all of life is very short. My parents never expected that their entire lives would pass in the blink of an eye, but it has and now they have three quite capable kids ready to take on the world.

And somewhere along the way, I realized that my parents had gotten old. Their habits started melting into habits I’d expect from the elderly, their faces changed, and they started laughing more and teasing each other more.

It’s like they fell into a pattern with each other that was different from their earlier pattern. They embraced life as it is and began focusing on the positive.

I’m not going to lie, so I’m going to tell you that I’m deathly afraid of losing them. I know death is part of life, but I realized the world lied, or at least, it didn’t clarify when it talked about death.

When the world talks about about the fear of death, the world is talking about living through the death of other people, not the death of yourself.

If you yourself die, things are easy. You’re gone. But watching someone else pass? That, that’s really hard. That’s where the fear comes from.

Many of you might know this intimately and I’m truly sorry you do at such a young age. But it also is what is. I wish I could offer more support (CAPS can always help!)

 

So do yourself a favor and force yourself out of bed to get to that Rutgers event you weren’t sure about going to. Go and buy that polaroid camera, bro. Go and call up that old friend you’ve been wanting to talk to for years. Just do it.

There’s a good chance you won’t regret it.

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.

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!

How to Fix Your Sleep Schedule When You Make Terrible Decisions

Listen, I love sleep more than most things in this world and I’m not ashamed to admit that. And ever since coming to college, I feel like all of us have acquired a deeper appreciation for sleep.

First of all, being asleep means that you’re not awake. Which means you don’t have to deal with things like classes or homework or actual work. Second of all, sleep is a socially acceptable reason to lie in bed and do nothing, which is honestly what I want to do all the time except that I have things like classes and work that need my attention. Third of all, sleeping is just amazing. I know it, you know it, we all know it. I really don’t need words to explain something everyone already knows.

So yeah, I love sleeping. But I also love, apparently, making poor choices regarding my health and sleeping habits.

I won’t tell you guys what time I went to sleep every night during winter break because I want you to still respect me in some capacity, but just to give you a general idea of how bad of a decision maker I am, let’s just say that the answer rhymes with shmive o’clock in the shmorning.

I feel like I shouldn’t have to say this, but I’ll say it anway – coming back to Rutgers was…difficult. And exhausting. I’m pretty much tired all the time and I hate coffee (I know, I know, unpopular opinion) so I don’t even have caffeine to help me.

So obviously, as I am wont to do when I am confronted with something that a normal human adult would probably able to fix, I turned to Google for guidance (I can’t ask my mom, she thinks I go to bed at 9 PM every night).  

So gather around children, I’m sure I’m not the only one who messed up their sleep schedule this break, and here are some tips to get your life back together (according to Google):

  • The first article I clicked on was from WebMD, which seemed more legitimate than WikiHow. The first item on the list was to  avoid blue light which means that turn off and look away from anything with a screen, so I was already sceptical of my ability to follow this list and then I read item two, which was “Skip Naps,” at which point I x-ed out of WebMD, never to return.

  • The second article from Her Campus had the more reasonable goal of only taking 20-30 minutes naps (which is also backed up by another WebMD article, in case you didn’t trust Her Campus for some reason. Alright, okay, so I did return.)
  • And all of the articles I read had this point in common: STICK TO A ROUTINE. Meaning go to sleep at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. Don’t fall into the trap of staying up later on the nights before days where you don’t have to be anywhere until 5. Because I have fallen into that trap. Multiple times. I’m pretty sure it shaved off maybe five years of my lifespan.
  • And of course, there’s the obvious avoid caffeine, try to stick to regular hours, and exercise.

So welcome back to Rutgers after a tragically short break. We’ll get through this somehow.  

Rutgers Press Internship

Since freshman year, I’ve read the SASHP Newsletter every week when it comes out. Often, there are a bunch of cool events and/or opportunities that I would love to try, but often there are schedule conflicts.

However, in one of the first few this fall, there was an announcement for an internship in the Health and Clinical Medicine Department at the Rutgers University Press. As someone with a heavy background in both biology and grammar, this seemed to be a perfect way to combine my bio and language knowledge in a unique way. Thankfully, it was perfectly timed to allow me to apply as well. I had just enough time in my schedule to squeeze it into my schedule.

So I sent in a resume and cover letter. Two weeks later I had an interview and I got the job. And honestly, it’s a really great experience(and I get paid!).

My internship is in the Acquisitions Department, which focuses on recruiting editors/authors, making sure that they submit their manuscripts on time, and preparing those manuscripts for editing and publishing. Mostly, I communicate with editors/authors and work on contracts and manuscript prep, plus any other miscellaneous tasks that my supervisor can come up with.

While that might sound boring, the array of books we work on makes it pretty interesting. We work on everything from textbooks to self-care manuals to books about advances in a particular specialty. They have editors and contributing authors from not only New Brunswick (i.e. Rutgers, RWJ), but from Chicago, Arkansas, Dublin, Athens, and Mannheim. And while the writing may at times be dry or formatted completely incorrectly, the topics are always diverse and range from epilepsy to cardiovascular health to ovarian cancer. Now we’re even working on some more unique volumes like a children’s book to help those with special sleeping issues and a medical school textbook that helps to teach psychology through film (mostly the one’s based on Stephen King novels).

All of which make the work, which is at times is boring, incredibly cool.

My supervisor is new to her position, having only taken it three months before I arrived, meaning we’re learning a lot of department procedures together. This is the third internship-type position I’ve had with someone who was relatively new to the position. It’s a situation that I think is beneficial if you’re just starting out in a certain workplace. Since the supervisor doesn’t have an established rhythm, you have the opportunity to work with them to mold the position into something that works for both of you rather than having to fill the shoes of a previous employee. That gives you a chance to do more or less or maybe just different things than others in your position, as long as your boss likes it.

For example, in this internship, I’ve not only managed communications with editors/authors, created contracts, and formatted/edited manuscripts like other interns, but have also done illustrations, helped develop proposals, and helped calculate budgets.

Overall, this has been a cool experience that has combined two things I have studied a lot of over my college career and has introduced me to a career field that I wouldn’t have even thought of otherwise. Thankfully, I read the SASHP Newsletter, otherwise I wouldn’t have found out about it.