Thursday, March 26, 2015

Spring Time!

The first official day of Spring was March 20th! There are so many things to love about Spring here at USA and in Mobile.

First BEST thing about Spring is my birthday which is on March 22nd. :)

There are so many things to do in the spring here in Mobile and at South.

One of my favorites is  the taking a trip to the beach because the weather is finally about to warm up. The beach is just about 45 min to an hour away from USA. So many of my spring weekends are spent there.

Another favorite is the Color Me Rad 5K event that is held in the spring. What better vibrant, colorful event can do a better job of welcoming Spring to Mobile. This is always an event to look forward.

Bellingrath Gardens which is very close to Mobile also hosts a huge Easter Egg hunt event that is great to attend to celebrate Spring and the holiday.

Spring is my favorite season for so many reasons, especially since it is my season of birth. I turned 21 this year and cant wait to see what this year's Spring at USA in Mobile has to offer!


Me on my 21st Birthday!


Thursday, March 12, 2015

My Favorite Thing To Do Outside of Class!

Being from Mobile, AL, and have lived here the majority of my life, I have a list of things that I enjoy doing outside of class.

However, if I had to choose my most favorite thing to do outside of class it would have to be going downtown Mobile. Some people only experience the night life of downtown Mobile, but I have grown to appreciate it during the day as well. There is always something going on downtown. Some of our most popular events are the Art Walk, Chili Cookoff, Crawfish Broil, the infamous MARDI GRAS,  museums and more. On a regular day there are great restaurants to visit such as Spot of Tea as well as several boutiques to shop.  This weekend they are having a Tour of Mobile showcasing some of Mobile's finest historical homes.

Downtown Mobile has beautiful landmarks, houses, and scenery. To just take a stroll downtown is a day well spent. Between school. work, and campus events, I do not experience much free time. However, when I do going downtown Mobile, is definitely one of the many things I enjoy doing.




Why I Chose To Study Criminal Justice

Picking a major can be very difficult. Not only will picking your major lay the path to your career, but it will also determine what classes you will take/pay for in college. Therefore it is important to take careful consideration when choosing your major to avoid wasting time and money. The good thing is, if you are a senior in high school you have time to decide. Even though it is good to know what your future plans are, if you are not sure, don't feel rushed or compelled to settle. Some student enroll as an undecided major. The majority of your first and second year of college will be spent taking general education courses such as English, History, Math, etc, you will have time to figure out what courses interest you most and it can help narrow down your choices for your major.

However, I was lucky enough to know what I wanted to major in upon enrolling at South. This allowed me to start taking some of the courses that were required for my major my first and second years here at South. I knew I was very interested in the law field, so I chose to major in Criminal Justice. I thought it would be a good fit. I chose Criminal Justice because I knew receiving a degree in that field would allow me to explore different career paths. It gave me options and I liked having options given that I was not 100% sure as to what I wanted to do exactly.

Being a Criminal Justice Major allowed me to take several different CJ electives such as criminal investigations, sexual violence, juvenile justice, etc. Taking these electives allows you to discover different areas in the CJ field, and helped me narrow down what it was I wanted to do with my degree.

I have chosen to pursue being a Probation Officer, and I am confident that my major has done nothing less than prepare me for my career.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

My College Struggle

What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. This is the motto for most college students I assume. Transitioning from high school college comes with many challenges. You have this new defined freedom you once didn't  have in high school. Some's transition was smoother than others, but college definitely takes some getting used  to once the journey begins.

All of sudden what used to be an 8:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m school day suddenly turns into a personalized scheduled day of your own. What do I mean by this? Well in college you are in charge of what classes you will take and better yet in charge of what times you will take them. At orientation, you are given the opportunity to register for classes and make your own schedule that best suits you. Most students will sign up for 4-5 classes per semester to give them a reasonable workload.

Any time you are not in classes is called free time, and what you do with this free time is up to you. My advice, plan wisely. My biggest challenge in college is time- management. I know it seems trivial but, when you get to college you will find the  best thing you can do is keep a planner and use your free time wisely, because you will soon realize that there is not enough free time in the day.

I remember when I was a freshman at USA, I had all these wonderful ideas of what I would do in between classes and after classes. Maybe explore the campus more, hang out with friends, take a dip in the pool at the rec, etc. Well that did not go as planned. This free time, and freedom was so new to me, I found myself biting off more than I could chew. Between having 2-3 classes each day, visiting the cafeteria, my part time job, and homework right after, I found that I spent most of my free time trying to catch a nap any chance I could get. I would be exhausted after a days of work and school and I felt like the days were just passing me by.

This does not mean that it is impossible for you to enjoy and take advantage of all the wonderful events and things USA has to offer, this just means you MUST manage your time wisely. Keep a planner to keep up with important dates. Plan your campus meetings with different organizations accordingly so that it doesn't run into work time. Its all about careful planning and not taking on more than you can handle. You have 4 years to explore all areas at South you do not have to try to do it all at once. Some recommend freshman use their first semester to focus on their studies, then once you get the hang of it you can start diving into work and organizations your second semester.Or you can do it your first, it is up to you! It is possible, it is just all about time management. Start early!

Go Jags




Monday, February 16, 2015

What Led Me To Choose USA !

So in your junior year of high school or if you're like me senior year of high school, you begin to start contemplating on one of the biggest decisions of your life, which college you will attend. This decision will lay the foundation for your future, so it's important that what ever decision you make, you make it for the right reasons. Transferring is always an option if you realize that your first choice was not for you, but there is nothing like getting it right on your first try!

So what led me to choose USA as the university to spend my next four years?

Well, if we are being honest here, USA was not my top choice it wasn't even on my list of options for that matter. I had ruled USA out from the beginning because being a native from Mobile, AL , in my eyes, going off to college was the only way to go. I wanted a change, a different atmosphere than what I was used to. I wanted to meet new people, and become independent. Little did I know, USA would offer me all of those things and more.

My top choices were the University of Alabama, University of Southern Mississippi, and Southern University. While these were my choices my family urged on and on for me to consider South. The more they wanted me to go to South the more I went against it. I was accepted to all three of my choices, and was beginning to narrow them down based on my own personal pro and con list. Then, my grandmother asked me to consider at least attending an USA Day to South, and who can turn down a request from their precious grandmother. I attended a USA Day and shockingly enough the next day I was sending in my application for South Alabama.

I had not made my final decision yet, however, visiting campus peaked my interest for several different reasons.First, being from Mobile I just assumed I knew everything that the campus physically had to offer. Mobile County public high schools have their graduations at the Mitchell Center, and I suggested since I had attended my fair share of graduations that I knew what the rest of the campus looked like. I was wrong. It was like there was this entire unknown world beyond the Mitchell Center that I never knew existed. The atmosphere was amazing.

Second, at USA Day, I met people that had traveled from all over to come see the school. Some people from as far as New York, there was even a girl there from Hawaii. Seeing all of them made me wonder, if a girl from Hawaii is interested in South, I must be missing something. I realized that going here would not hinder my opportunity to miss out on meeting a diverse group of students, another plus on my list.

Third, seeing a residence hall on campus, I realized that, that could definitely be an option rather than living at home. Going to a local school does not mean you should be deprived from living on campus (unless that's a personal decision, for like saving money etc, which is understandable). However, I chose the living on campus option. and that was one of my best decision, because it indeed allow me to become independent, all the while still having that option to visit family if I wanted to.

I became increasingly aware that USA actually offered all that wished to have for my college choice. I also mentioned earlier that it offered more as well. Such as amazing academics (which is most important because you are going to college to have a successful career after all). It also offered me a scholarship that aided me when paying for tuition (USA is known to have one of the lowest tuition rates in the state of Alabama, and along the Gulf Coast.)

These last factors helped me seal the deal, and before you know it I had become a USA Jaguar. I have never been more proud of my college decision. I wish you all the best of luck when making yours.

Go Jags!


Monday, February 9, 2015

First Day of Class!

I do not know about anyone else, but ever since Elementary school the first day of classes has always been a big deal. I always had a "night before class" routine each year. That routine consisted of me always declaring that this year I will be organized so I would spend hours fixing my book bag and binder up for the first day. Then I will bathe super early, when on any other day as a young child my mother will have to ask me 5 times before I got in. Then I would iron my first day outfit or back then uniform down to the very last crease (I never iron on any other day so this meant it was a big deal). Then I will try to go to sleep early to make time past by faster (but we probably all know how that turned out, excitement = no sleep).

Some of you may be thinking College is another story.Well it is, there are a few extra steps I had to add to my routine before starting my first day of classes at USA.

The first difference and addition I had to make is getting over nerves before feeling excited. I was always nervous about first day of classes in grade school but not nearly as nervous as I was before starting college. Partly because in high school and middle school you were already familiar with the student population. However, at USA it was a different story. Here I was about to embark on my adventure at a 4 year University that had as student population of 15,000  from over 200 countries, expecting the unknown.

I found a couple of steps helpful when starting my first day of classes that made my experience a lot less stressful than what I expected.

1. Make sure to make a schedule that best suits you at Orientation. If you are not an 8:00 a.m. person do not sign up for 8:00 a.m. classes and vice versa for afternoon or night classes. Having the perfect schedule places you more at ease before the first day of classes and a benefit of college you get to make your own schedule! You will have help from advisers at orientation however, to make sure you are picking an appropriate schedule for your major as a first time freshman. That way you are not biting off more than you can chew.

2. Having move in day the weekend before classes helps those that are travelling away from home. That way it gives you time to get settled in before you have to deal with the unexpected. Also it gives you a chance to get familiar with the campus on your own to avoid getting lost of the first day as well. Whether you live on or off campus take it upon yourself to take your schedule and find all of your buildings and classes before the first day come around. Many on campus organizations will actually get together to show incoming freshman where there classes will be located the Sunday before they begin. They are here to help you, show up and take advantage of it.

3. Get a good night of sleep! Nothing makes you more prepared than waking up rested.

First day of College does not have to be as stressful as it seems. Make it one to remember! GoJags


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thanksgiving!

So by the looks of my title, you probably think I am about to ramble on and on about the delicious food I will be eating on Thanksgiving. As exciting as that would be, I probably would not make it through my blog with out drooling on myself. So to avoid that instead I would like to share with you some of the many reasons I have to be thankful.

I would like to start by saying that I am so thankful to be a student at the University of South Alabama! I have so many reason to be thankful, but just to name a few:

A Promising Future: This is what I have as a student at USA. My major is Criminal Justice, and even though it is not as high of a demand as Nursing or Engineering, the professors, faculty and staff in my department really work hard to ensure that we have a smooth transition through out college and entering into the job market. The advisers take the time to sit and consult with you about your future plans and help you figure out the best path for reaching your goals. With the help of the CJ department I have had the opportunity to volunteer with our local Rape Crisis Center here in Mobile, and next Fall I hope to land a great internship within my field. One thing I know for sure, is my adviser and other faculty will be a great resource when trying to make that step.

My Job: I was so blessed to have been hired at the New Student Recruitment Communication Center on campus my freshman year. The Recruitment Communication Center was just opening and there was a poole of 200 applicants who were hoping to be chosen for the job. I was one of the 27 students chosen in 2012 and I have been an employee ever since. Throughout my time here I have met some amazing people. Between my boss and my co-workers I for sure know that I have established life-long relationships. With my job, I have the opportunity to also engage with prospective students looking to begin there college career at South. Being able to share my experiences with them and also make their visits to campus worth their while is always a great feeling.

Opportunities: I have had countless opportunities as a student here at USA. There are so many ways to get involved and make great connections. I am a member of Women of Excellence (WOX), Vice President of First Generation College Students (FGCS), a member of fashion organization House of Jags, served as a Statistics tutor for the Math Department for a semester, a member of the Gathering Campus Ministries, a member of Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society and National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Every one of these opportunities have helped develop me into the person I am today. I have also had the opportunity to develop many friendships along the way. Also this Summer, I will have the opportunity to study abroad in London, England which I know will be beyond exhilarating.

Friends: Lastly, I would just like to say that my experiences here as a student would not have been complete without the people I was/am able to share them with. I have made life-long friends here  and I am so glad that they are apart of my life and journey here at USA. There is nothing like always having someone  there for the good and bad, or just someone that can give you astounding advice and encouragement when you need it.

I can just go on and on about how thankful I am to be at South Alabama Jaguar. I am for sure that I would not have experienced even half of what I have experienced if I would have chosen somewhere else to attend school. So grateful for everyone who pushed me in this direction. I wouldn't have it any other way!

GoJags