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Student BlogsWelcome to Around the Grove, the official student blog of The Universities at Shady Grove!

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Mid Summer Plans

Well folks, summer has truly begun; the weather has gotten hotter, humidity follows suit, and cold drinks are needed. Some people may even want a nice cold ice cream or milkshake to cool them off from the sun’s rays which really sounds good at the moment(kinda craving a milkshake myself right now :D) which makes sense with how hot it’s gotten.This season would usually be when people would go out to beaches, parks, trails, etc; but we still should practice social distancing and continue wearing our masks; I get that it can be a bit uncomfortable to wear a mask during this season but it will be very helpful in the long run.

So what plans do I have in mind? Well I plan on staying home for the most part due to the pandemic. I also wanted to catch up on a book I’ve been wanting to read called “Saintsville” by Brittani Louise Taylor; I’ll make a review on it the next time I post. I have been waiting for this book since March of this year and it arrived in the mail last Friday. It’s release date was July 7th so I plan on reading it and relaxing while doing so. So be on the look out for the book review because I plan on making one! 🙂

This time of year is actually pretty special to me because it’s when my birthday takes place. Yes I know, I was born during the mid summer heat which can be annoying to most but I’ve somewhat gotten used to it. My birthday is about a week from when this post becomes public and I do plan on celebrating it safely. In case you were wondering, I will be turning 21 this year. For those who aren’t in the US, turning 21 is a huge deal for most people since it means that they can legally drink alcoholic beverages and smoke as well; the last part about smoking used to be 18 but it changed sometime this year to 21 as well.

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

I’m guessing some will think that I’ll go and get my first alcoholic drink when my birthday arrives, well that’s where you’d be wrong. I actually don’t like drinking or doing drugs; it never appealed to me so I don’t intend to drink once I turn 21 or even after that. All I’d want for my birthday is spend time with those who care about me and at least have either a cake or a cupcake(both sound nice). USG wouldn’t be a place for anyone to drink or do drugs as it is a drug free campus and they do take that rule seriously.

If you have any questions, suggestions, or concerns, let me know and I’ll answer them as soon as I can. Happy early birthday to me and I will see you all in the next post!

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Summer Break Continued…..

Summer break — Blog — Smarten Up

It is July and we are half way through the summer. I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the summer heat and their Fourth of July Weekend. I have recently applied for two internship opportunities and they include, the Smithsonian International Relations and the Virtual Internship with National Cemetery Administration History Program. These two programs are open to all majors and the deadline is July 31st. There is no recommendation of letters required and is fairly easy to do. If you are looking for internship opportunities over the summer, it is a great time to find online or virtual internships and reach out to your home campuses. For me, I have been searching for internships since May and truthfully it has been somewhat challenging but nonetheless it is vital to continue to research and seek out internship positions. I also have been seeking out job opportunities such as applying for retail jobs in my area. But did you know that the Universities at Shady Grove has resources to help students find jobs and internship opportunities. For example, Career and Internship Services Center helps you find jobs, careers, and internships positions and plus they are virtually open currently and have upcoming events. https://shadygrove.umd.edu/student-services/CISC.

On the other hand, I have been relaxing over the summer break and working on puzzles and doing embroidery. I have come to appreciate the arts and crafts and work on art projects with myself and friends. Here are some pictures of what I have accomplished and you too can do as well. I would love to hear about what you guys have been doing over the summer and what your plans are for the remainder of the summer. Reach out to me @mimi2491

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Halfway Through The Year!

Well folks, we have made it! We have crossed the midway point of 2020 and have entered the summer season. This decade did not start off how many of us wanted it to but we should continue going on the paths we have started and make do with what we have. A lot of distressful news has been circulating around all of us and of course it can bring us all down from time to time; trust me, I sometimes get too caught in the negativity but I keep my spirit and hope up so I can continue going forward in life. Writing and learning are a couple of ways I keep myself busy if I get too caught in negativity.

I have mentioned that I want to be a Journalist or have a career like this when I get out of university; this is something that I enjoy a lot and it connects me to the major I am studying, Communication. Communication truly is something deep within every culture whether we talk to our relatives through the phone or if someone asks for directions and we gesture where they need to go. Ever since humanity started, we have created different forms of communication over time; I say this because History is becoming a huge topic these days.

Now there are some people who really don’t like History class and all that which is understandable since a lot of events did happen before our time. I personally like learning a bit of history as there are somethings that interest me about older civilizations. Like with the Incas using a device called a Quipu to keep mostly numerical information but hopefully we can make out other uses that they used the Quipu for. I encourage you all to do some research of past civilizations or of your home country as it appears that this is something many people in the US are doing due to everything that has happened.

If you happen to be a History lover, you can come to USG to get your B.A in History from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). There are main focuses on Policy History, Public History, and International Historical Perspectives. If this interests you, here is a link to their website to learn more information.

Hopefully you all enjoy the summer and if you have questions, concerns, or suggestions let me know and I will take them into thought! I will see you all in the next blog!

Image by Dung Tran from Pixabay
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Why Study History?

Growing up in the Montgomery County Public Schools, I always had a passion for social studies and reading. I had learned about history from ancient civilizations to European and American History. But one thing that always struck me was the perspectives of minorities was lacking and underrepresented. Not until college did I learn about marginalized history of Africans, Asians and indigenous groups and what their place meant in our world. Now, as a History major with a minor in Public History, I am able to appreciate history as a profession and the perks it comes with it. For example, as a well-trained student of history with UMBC at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG), I can analyze primary and secondary sources; develop historical arguments; make historical connections; and utilize reasoning about comparison, causation, and continuity and change over time. Indeed, these skill sets demonstrate my ability to not just read and write historical papers but also think critically.

Picture of Me with the Author of the Book titled, “From Slave Ship to Harvard

My understanding of history began to change when my history classes were no longer about memorization of facts and dates, but were focused on critical thinking. History is more than just memorization of facts and dates, it is thinking analytically and understanding how historical events and people changed over time.

British Empire map. The Graphic. Supplement. July 24th 1886. London; 1886. Source: Colindale,.

So why do historians study history and why is history so important especially in this day of age? These questions can be summed up by Peter N. Stearns, author of “Why Study History.” Stearns lists seven reasons why one should study history:

https://www.historians.org/about-aha-and-membership/aha-history-and-archives/historical-archives/why-study-history-(1998)

  1. History Helps Us Understand People and Societies
  2. History Helps Us Understand Change and How the Society We Live in Came to Be
  3. The Importance of History in Our Own Lives
  4. History Contributes to Moral Understanding
  5. History Provides Identity
  6. Studying History Is Essential for Good Citizenship
  7. History Is Useful in the World of Work
Source: Google Images/Amazon.com

Indeed, “History is more than just the living record of nations, leaders, and wars. It’s also the story of us. It’s packed with tales of how someone stood up for what they believed in, or died for love, or worked hard to make their dreams come true. All of those things are concepts we can relate to; it’s enriching to know that so could the likes of Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, or Martin Luther King. Plus, history is just plain interesting. Everything you like about your favorite movies, television shows, and fiction novels is yours to experience right here in reality when you study history.”

Source: https://www.arcadiapublishing.com/Navigation/Community/Arcadia-and-THP-Blog/June-2016/Why-It%E2%80%99s-Important-That-We-Study-History

If you are interested in history and want to learn how you can be a historian, I would check out the History Student Association (HSA) or hear from your very own historian at USG with Dr. Nolan, the Director of the UMBC History Program: https://shadygrove.umbc.edu/history.php. I would also encourage reading our very own history journal at the Priddy Library or checking online through this link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bz9D6o1gHBBbcUF6bVFIZEdZVlk/view. You can also email me at Mariam8@umbc.edu

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Early Summer Experience (Happy Pride Month!)

This summer has been somewhat busy for me. I mentioned in my last blog that some of us still have to go through summer classes even though the academic year has come to an end. I am not one who would normally take summer courses but if I need to take one or two, I would. This summer I decided to take a summer course but the pandemic is still an issue in the world and here in the US; so Summer I classes have to be taken online. I am fine with this decision since I had gotten used to the idea of classes being online(also my course was already online). With that in mind, let me share how my experience with my online course has been like so far.

As some may know, I am a Communication major under UMD; so my course falls under UMD’s courses for Summer I. I am taking a course that is called COMM 324 which is a course about Communication and Gender. I began taking this course on June 1st and will continue to take this course until July 10th. Despite taking this course for about three weeks now, I was able to learn so much in such little time. It is a bit time consuming as I do have to write a discussion and respond to another student’s question(s) for that week. I’ve created a routine to ensure that I can finish my assignments in a timely fashion and leave time for me to relax for the rest of the week.

I’m also aware that it is Pride Month and let me tell you, this course did teach me about the difference between gender and sexuality which I know can very useful for the near future. I intend to learn all that I can about how gender varies and how Communication can influence this subject as we rely on Communication to inform, persuade, and entertain us about different subjects. I want to be mindful and respectful of how people see themselves; and give them a place to be comfortable with themselves. So I want to take some time and include the LGBTQIA+ community as they do deserve recognition even after this month ends.

If you are new to USG and are someone who doesn’t identify as male or female, this piece of information is for you. At USG we have two All Gender Restrooms, one in Building III right next to the SAS Office and one in Building IV(BSE). For everyone; here’s a link to the LGBTQIA+ services we have on campus to join, support, and find people like you. USG wants the campus to be a place where everyone can be themselves.

Image by Ben Kerckx from Pixabay

If you have any questions or concerns, comment below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Hope you enjoyed this blog and I’ll see you in the next one!

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Summer Break during Covid-19

Image Source: https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/fun-things-to-do-at-home-during-coronavirus-quarantine

Spring semester is finally over and now we have summer to think about and plan for. Some of you maybe taking summer classes, while most of you are thinking about relaxing and planning activities to do during Covid-19. It has been very difficult indeed, to deal with everything closing; our malls, our movie theaters, heck our own sit in restaurants. Nothing seems to be open and nothing to do. My plans for summer seemed to go mundane as they say. Sleep, eat, watch TV and repeat. I am not taking any summer classes either but I am planning to apply for graduate school to UMBC Masters Program in History, to the Fulbright Application and hunt for internships and a job. But nothing seems to be fun with everything closed. So what can one do during summer break while waiting for fall semester to start and open up slowly?

Here are some suggestions to what people are saying you can do during Summer Covid-19. According to Niche.com, Julia Campana lists ten out of twenty-five things to do during quarantine: https://www.niche.com/blog/25-things-to-do-in-quarantine/

  1. Read A Book
  2. Learn to Cook/Bake
  3. Have A Self-Care Night
  4. Go For A Walk/Bike
  5. Draw/Paint
  6. Journal
  7. TIE DYE
  8. Start that Blog or YouTube Channel You Want
  9. Clean/Organize Laptop Files
  10. Write a Letter to Your Loved Ones

And remember, it doesn’t have to be boring and mundane like mine. We can all try to make the best of it and keep ourselves active and positive. It is also okay to do nothing and just relax. We all need a break and sleep sometimes. But if you are working at a job, taking classes, or relaxing, always remember to stay positive and hopeful. This too shall pass. If you have any suggestions or ideas, or would like to let us know how you are doing during the pandemic, please write to me @mimi2491

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Preparing for Summer Classes (Also congrats Class of 2020!)

Hello everyone! I want to first give a huge congratulations to the Class of 2020!! You guys have endured such a huge change this year and despite that, you all came out on top!! I am proud of all of you!! I wish you all good luck on your future endeavors and may this experience help you grow as people and members of society!! Remember, the USG community like the Career and Internship Services Center (CISC) will always have your backs no matter where you all are in life!! Go out there and thrive! 🙂

Now for us who still have to continue our education this year, we are aware that summer classes begin this week and many of us like myself have to get ready to take on this challenge. As summer I classes are mostly online just like this past spring semester, hopefully would have prepared us to face this challenge with ease. Of course we all are not from the same school as our campus hosts nine Maryland universities. Each university has a different way of handling these online classes which makes it difficult for me to give a point of view of this.

As I mentioned in my bio for this blog, I am a UMCP student; so my course would take place in their site which is the Enterprise Learning Management System (ELMS) Canvas. I’m sure those of you who don’t go to UMCP have a website similar to ELMS as your way to access your courses throughout the semester; this is the time to get familiar with that in case you have not already (which most of us have.) My main piece of advice for this time would be to always log in to the websites whenever you can.

I find this advice to be very important because I have taken an online course before at Montgomery College and there was a time where I did not check in and I missed an assignment due date which had me mortified! Since then, I would always check to see if assignments are posted or not. I would get on ELMS everyday to ensure that my assignments for the week have been posted or not; I would also make sure I complete these assignments in a timely manner so that I can focus on other things like house chores and free time so I don’t overexert myself on the course.

For those who are taking a summer course, I wish you all good luck(wish me luck too :D); if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to comment and I will see you all in the next post!

Image by Thomas-Suisse from Pixabay
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Welcome to My New Beginning!

Hello everyone! I want to welcome you all to my first blog! It feels so amazing to begin this new chapter of my life! Despite all that is going on, I hope that my blogs can bring some peace and comfort from everyday life. I know most of us might be dealing with a lot recently, especially college/university students with final exams. Trust me, I know the struggle; having to remember concepts from way early in the semester, trying to understand current concepts you can’t seem to grasp yet, and having to work on assignments on top of studying. I get kinda stressed thinking about it…but don’t worry, let me give you some advice on how to make these times a little less stressful.

  1. Review your notes: Always look back at your notes from your classes. Those will be a lifesaver, especially in your most difficult classes. I take notes for all of my classes just in case I need to look back at them later for an exam. I would take notes in a specific way; something called Cornell notes. These notes are designed to help you take down notes during class and once you’re out of class, you write down questions and prompts to help you better understand your lessons. This allows to review your notes multiple times instead of just looking at them the day before your exam. Here is a sample of what part of Cornell notes looks like;
Part of my notes for one of my difficult classes

2. Manage your time: This is something many people say to do. This does involve getting to know yourself some more; like how long does it take to write a page of a paper, which assignments need more attention, or what class do you struggle with more? I always try to pre plan my week to ensure I have time to other things like study for exams. Like I decided to spend this last week working on final papers and dedicated this past weekend to study for final exams I have this week.

3. Ask for help when needed: Just because you ask for help doesn’t mean you’re weak. Whether it be asking help from fellow peers or professors, do it. USG is such a close community, there is bond to be someone who understands your struggle and is willing to reach out and give advice to help you. Like the Center for Academic Success, they can help you with your academic needs like time management, writing review, and study strategies to name a couple of things. Here is a link to their page in the USG website.

Thank you all for reading my blog! Comment any questions or concerns you have! See you all in the next one! 🙂

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Preparing for Finals Week During COVID-19

How to Survive Finals Week - UVM Bored

Finals are just around corner and it can be stressful and daunting. But not to worry, I have some tips and recommendation to help with preparing for finals week. Before I delve into discussing some tips and recommendation, its first important to understand how everyone is transitioning from in person classes to online classes. This transition has not been easy for us or for the Universities at Shady Grove (USG) community. It has brought some challenges and ordeal to many of us as we try to navigate this as best as we know how. The circumstances of the COVID-19 has brought attention to how we function under technology and how to go about using online platforms for classes and meetings. Personally, this online transition has been indeed stressful and challenging but nonetheless, I have been resilient and positive. My transition from in person classes to online classes reminds me of taking an online class that I took last year on the history of Japan. It was my first time taking an online class and it was interesting to learn how to navigate blackboard and be held accountable for my assignments and tests. Having to say this, our online finals will not be easy and may not be difficult either. But I hope that my tips and recommendation will suffice and help to prepare for finals week.

Ten Tips to Help Prepare for Finals Week:

  1. Create a study guide
  2. Ask questions
  3. Attend the review session
  4. Have a study group session
  5. Take frequent breaks when studying
  6. Sleep early and stay well-rested
  7. Avoid Cramming or pulling an all-nighter
  8. Study smart-not hard
  9. Take care of your Mental Health
  10. Don’t stress and be kind to yourself

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Clear your head and enjoy Nature!

Hey everyone,

During quarantine besides taking online classes, I have been doing different activities to take my mind off from the stress around me. Here are some footages I captured at Martin Luther King Jr. Recreational Park which is now one of my favorites places to visit and walk routinely.

Enjoy this vlog and comment down what your routines are that helps you through this pandemic.

Thank you

Peace and Love

Bemnii

Song link https://youtu.be/4p8xCG4lk2I

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