Welcome to Around the Grove, the official student blog of The Universities at Shady Grove!
For those of us graduating this spring, reality is starting to set in for us.
What am I going to do after graduation?
Where can I find a job after graduation?
Should I pursue a master’s degree?
What have I been doing before now?
As a senior, these questions are starting to look too real. I have asked myself these questions over and over, and if this is you, don’t worry, you are not alone.
If anything, here are some things that I learned. Hopefully, it might benefit you juniors and seniors before it is your time to leave.
1. Apply to jobs early, its hard.
2. Network! People you know may get you to places you never thought you can get
3. Don’t be discouraged.
4. You will fail, but that is ok.
My teacher once said, “reach for the stars and you might touch the ceiling. If you reach for the ceiling, you will never leave the ground.” Seniors, make the most of the time you have left. Start looking into your future now,and use your experiences to help people below you. You may never know what is in store for you. Become an advocate for others, and use your experiences to help someone.
While I’m tired, groggy, and in a consistent haze due to allergies, here we are, back in the classroom from our short-lived spring break. In all honesty, some days, it takes careful thinking and mindfulness to remember the positives that come from working in a classroom filled with 5th graders who have their own version of senioritis. This morning I got an email from a man who came to our school to work with our students as an author-in-residence…even though he was really a playwright. Turns out the play my class wrote was chosen to be performed by Best Medicine Rep, a local nonprofit professional theater company, at the Gaithersburg Books Festival.
Ironically, just two weeks ago, I received a very different email from the same playwright, detailing how funding and grants for opportunities like the one my class had would be cut.
While I’m in a STEM-focused program, you may have heard “STEM” being broadened to include the arts, with the new name “STEAM.” With all the complications and nuances with education policy right now, the struggle to close gaps and understand how to best structure a classroom and school so that every student can succeed…I can understand why decision makers feel a need to push aside the arts in order to prioritize things like math and reading. However, this decision is without it’s faults and detriments to students.
I had never seen my kids collaborate as well as they did when they were working on writing this play. I had never seen certain students break out of their shell all year….until they had the opportunity to audition for the role of Mercy Otis Warren. It’s such a wonderful opportunity, and it would be a shame to see opportunities like that go away.
In most courses, a final exam will consist of multiple choice questions and a few problems to solve. Other courses may have pages upon pages of writing, showing what you have learned throughout this semester all in one paper to read. Both have their merits based upon the course taken. For instance, as an accounting major, most, if not all my final exams consist of multiple choice questions – conceptual and mathematical – and the rest being a series of problems.
But outside of these two formats, a final exam could be a presentation. Currently, I am taking a course called Strategic Management (BMGT495) where a final presentation is the bulk of where we are able to show what we have learned throughout the course along with our classmates as a group.
In the beginning, I had been so worried since giving presentations can be incredibly anxiety-inducing, and groups can be with people you have never met before. But fortunately, the course with my professor had been amazing at fighting this nervousness. We began the course with learning the concepts found in the textbook, and then applying those concepts to case studies and then eventually to presenting our thoughts and findings to the class in our groups. What had started off as something worrying became almost natural to do!
A few tips I found that were helpful before a presentation were –
- Meeting with your group to discuss what topics will be covered (also when, and by whom). Building synchronicity with your group will go a long way.
- Practice! More than anything, practicing what I was going to say in front of a mirror was extremely helpful. In front of a mirror you are able to see your own facial expressions, your hand gestures, and any other aspects you want to know.
- Controlling your breathing was also substantial. Sometimes, when the nervousness creeps in I feel my breath become shallow and suddenly your chest feels tight. I forced myself to breathe in and out in a steady pace, and it becomes so much easier to talk in front of an audience. But make sure to practice at home first, to find a rhythm that matches your tone.
Good luck everyone!
Last week was my first full week in the emergency department. What a wild ride! In reflecting on the 36 hours, there are certain things that bubbled up to the surface. Here they are:
- I love the ER;
- The more IVs you do, the better you get;
- My mentors are amazing;
- The sign of a great employer is one who wants you to be successful and will help you get there;
- Putting a catheter in a real person is different than a mannequin;
- ER unicorns may show up on the same day (pneumothorax and cardioversion, anyone?);
- If you are doing a skill for the first time, don’t tell the patient;
- Agitated psych patients use up lots of ER resources;
- Techs are some kick-ass teachers;
- With a choice of a 30-year old doctor, a 25-year old tech and a 55-year old new nurse, most patients will look to the oldest person in the room to answer their questions (that would be inexperienced me);
- ODs are no joke;
- There’s always lots of food;
- Code grey is when someone escapes from the hospital (don’t ask…);
- Sometimes it’s best to give someone a shower before you treat them (really don’t ask…);
- And the best advice from my manager: “Your job is to do the next thing the patient needs to move along to discharge, admission, pain relief, or diagnosis and when none of those things seem like they are happening, your job is the assure them they are safe and taken care of.”
Most of you are probably starting to study for your final exams and working on your final papers. Some of you are probably starting to feel the pressure and stress of finishing up your assignment. I am also in the same situation. Unfortunately, sometimes, we get lost in our busy schedule trying to finish up projects for school and working that we tend to forget why we decided to go to school in the first place. For this post, I thought I would share some strategies to help you maintain your motivation to finish this semester with a bang! Finding and maintaining your motivation to finish any tasks is always a challenge, BUT there are ways to overcome this. Below is a sample problem that I often encounter each semester which tends to prevent me from accomplishing my tasks. I thought that I would share how I typically approach this problem because I know that other students tend to encounter the same issue.
My Strategies: Time management (dividing a huge task into smaller tasks), taking breaks, providing incentives to yourself for each accomplishment
Procrastination is and will always be my number one challenge especially when I am required to read multiple reading materials to write a research paper. This tends to happen when I have to write a long and comprehensive research paper that requires me to read 15 or more research articles (typically for class). To counter this issue, I would divide my large project into smaller parts so that the reading and writing portions would not overwhelm me. With the smaller parts, I would set goals and provide an incentive (break and watch TV for 30 minutes to an hour) for me to help me maintain my motivation level. Recently, I learned about a strategy of using literature table via excel sheet to record relevant information (to my paper) in an excel file. The goal of this strategy is to pick out relevant information from each article and put them in a category in your excel sheet that will help you when you start writing your paper; this is to have a visual summary of your articles so you will not have to reread them to search for the information that you need. I liked this strategy because it does not require me to reread all of my articles just to extract the information that I needed. If you are curious about this method, below is a screenshot of my Literature Table from my seminar paper to give you an idea of what it is.
Overall, self-awareness is key to overcoming any challenges. In my case, I know that procrastination can hinder my performance especially with writing long papers. However, because I know this problem can happen, I have the tools to overcome it. No matter what challenge you face, always know that you have the resources to problem solve these issues. If you struggle with procrastination, like me, and would like some help identifying your own strategies to overcome it, I would suggest stopping by the Center for Academic Success and schedule an academic coaching session for time management.
None of us expected this shocking news about rich parents bribing others so their children can have better opportunities.
Most students here at USG transferred from a two year institution to continue their education. Based on my observations from students around USG, we pride ourselves on our hard work and the fruitage that comes out of it. Unfortunately, it hurts when you see others put little efforts and do better than you because they have money and bought their way into success.
If anything, there is one thing you learn from this experience, work hard for your own success and pride yourself on how hard you worked to become what you are.
Thankfully, here at USG, resources are available that support student success personally, emotionally, and professionally.
USG knows the hard work students put into their success and has decided to reward us with free food and goodies. The Student Appreciation Cookout on April 24th from 4-6PM will be the chance to share your student pride and hard work with everyone, whiles enjoying some free food. Use this opportunity to enjoy your hard work and to remind yourself that you are a fighter!
If you attended USG last semester you may recall a certain music video circulating in preparation for the Winterfest Bazaar. There may or may not be a similar project currently under construction for an upcoming USG event – keep your eyes open wide.
In other news, Spring Break came and went. Did anyone even notice?
It’s all over the news, internet, or the featured books at a library. Meditation and mindfulness are growing strong as tools to help people with a variety of problems, such as stress, anxiety, depression, or the inability to keep their mind from racing.
I’ve tried and failed multiple times to get into meditating. I’ve gone to classes, downloaded apps, and read some books to try to figure out why I couldn’t get into that serene headspace and just let go. However, I knew I needed to find something to get me into a similar mood/state of being. With the stress of final papers, testing season, and transitioning between quarters at work, it has already started to wear down on my focus, motivation, and general energy level.
Meanwhile, for completely different reasons, I started training for a 5K in January as a part of a New Years Resolution. While the first few weeks were definitely me trying to convince myself to not stop or walk back to my apartment early, the later weeks proved that longer runs were a great way of meditating.
I think one of the hardest parts of meditating is keeping your mind empty and letting your thoughts go. However, with running, you’re able to let any other worries, thoughts, and wandering thoughts go because you’re focusing on your breathing and the rhythm of the run. This didn’t happen automatically. It took almost three months to get to the point where my mind wasn’t a stream of conscious thoughts related to how much I hated running, how bad my legs hurt, how hungry I was, how creepy it was at night, or some other random musings. But once I got to the point of clearing my mind of everything but the mechanics of running, it became so relaxing! Yes, I was still tired at some points and my mind would break from counting fourth seconds breathing in and four breathing out. Overall, it helped me relax and clear my mind to tackle the day (morning run) or de-stress and “get over” anything that bothered me from work (evening run).
Honestly, I skipped my run this morning…and I’m all over the place.
If you’re interested in getting started, here are some of the best resources:
- C25K: Free app for beginners!
- Runners World: includes a wealth of articles and helpful tips for a wide range of running levels
- Active: Lots of resources, a great community with advice, and a place to find races to motivate you!
It’s almost incredible how with a click of a button, we are able to connect to so many across the world in a second. Maybe you met a recruiter once at a social event, or you wanted to connect to an old friend from high school. Whoever it may be and for whatever the reason, networking has become a click away thanks to websites such as LinkedIn.
Before having transferred to USG, I had no idea what LinkedIn was. I’ve heard of it, but hadn’t given the website much thought despite how incredible it is. On the website I had been able to connect with classmates not just from USG, but from community college and beyond. You can also connect with recruiters, professors, and coworkers for instance. It’s fascinating how wide the scope of the website is, how it enables you to connect to so many people and share each other’s experiences and achievements.
After realizing the importance of LinkedIn in networking, I’ve been on the website so much! There is no pressure to post, so I recommend taking your time to read articles and to learn about internship and career opportunities, interviewing skills, and more. It’s an incredible resource, so take the time to create an account and explore. Good luck everyone!