Welcome to Around the Grove, the official student blog of The Universities at Shady Grove!
It’s unbelievable how already, time has reached this point again. While it is different for every major and department, you may be facing your first, or another round of exams for this semester. There are many tips to help and guide you through this stressful time, and it is different for each and every individual. For instance, Very Well Mind has a few ways to try and reduce stress that I found helpful then as a student in the midst of exams, and now as well, in the very same position.
The first step in particular, has been an immense help for me personally when I had felt overwhelmed with all the assignments still ahead, and exams to study for. It was when I looked at my folder, filled with papers from all my classes in a haphazard order, and my bookmarks on my computer all disorganized from adding so many of them, did I realize I needed to get organized.
When you’re in a rush, or when you feel you need to be to catch up to everything, it’s easy to become disorganized. But taking a few minutes, or even a few hours depending on how much there is to organize, can have such a long lasting impact. With the seasons approaching spring, I took this week to organize all my clothes, papers, bookmarks, really, every little thing that added to my daily stress in small increments. It doesn’t seem like much, but when I was done, I felt so much better. The smallest of things can create the largest impacts, and I encourage you to organize the little things that may not seem to bug you, but it might unconsciously. And if you are already organized, great! Keep it up!
There are many tips in the article linked, and there are many more that you can research. With the amount of information available, you can create a plan that is well suited to you individually. I wish everyone the best of luck this exam season, good luck!
Here’s to the beginning of a new semester and a new year. It has only been two months since we started our Spring 2020 semester and I am already excited and motivated to get a fresh start. I hope you are too! As a student and leader at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG), I have come to realize how I blessed I am to participate in so many wonderful opportunities at our campus. To top it all off, its all free and paid by your tuition! For example, just recently, USG students and Student Council Members were able to attend Advocacy Day at the state capital, Annapolis. There, students introduced themselves to state delegates, senators, and other legislator members. The trip was to advocate for USG and to hear personal testimonies from students who attend USG and why they choose to get their degrees at USG. For example, we wanted the state delegates to know how it is successfully turning out students with the degrees and skills needed for career success. I felt honored to have met my local and state delegates and to have them hear my story as a first generation college student who choose to get her degree with UMBC at the Universities at Shady Grove Campus. I highly recommend attending this event next year as it is open to leaders and student council members every February. It is organized by our own wonderful USG staff members, Steve Simon, Iris Schauerman, and Shelby Speer.
On the side note, there are some events happening on our very own campus for this upcoming week that I would highly recommend attending. One is the International Night. It is on Thursday, 02/20 from 5-8pm in II-MPR. It is one of the most anticipated and fun events at USG! They will have Polynesian dancers, bagpipes playing, Samba, tons of delicious food and amazing student performances and fashion show! I have gone last year and it was so much fun. All of this is free so why not bring your family and friends and enjoy a nice evening!
This week’s Vlog is all about the upcoming International Night next Thursday, February 20th 6-8pm. I interviewed the coordinator of the event and created this informative video.
Music by Elastic Bond: https://youtu.be/LwBizunmmmA
How has everyone’s first week back to USG been? Are classes going well for you? If so, wonderful, keep staying strong as you have been. If not, that is perfectly fine too! Make sure to check in with your advisors as they are here to help you, as well as looking at resources that most benefit you. For instance, at UMD College Park, there is a schedule adjustment period where you can add/drop courses to best fit you. Perhaps there’s a class that just isn’t working for you, or you want to rearrange your schedule a little bit for new work hours, etc. Whatever the case may be, USG is here to help you in your path for academic success.
Regardless, the first week back leads to many changes from winter break, with assignments already piling up and the syllabus listing many more. It can be anxiety inducing many times, with worries stacking on top of each other. For me, it is the same way. I print each syllabus, look over it and worry about how everything will be done in what seems like such a short amount of time.
During winter break though, I had been able to visit the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington D.C. And the best part is, admission is free, with the garden only being a metro ride away from Shady Grove! It was a small part of D.C. but a memorable one. Being able to walk around the garden and immerse myself in it gave me a lot of peace, and looking back on the photos I took then now, give me comfort. It’s a small thing to take comfort in, but still just as important regardless. What I want to suggest most to students is to find something, no matter how small and insignificant it may seem, that you find comfort it. That something can be the anchor you need to get through the semester.
This winter break, I had the privilege to leave the United States and fly across the continent to a small country in Europe called, Denmark. As a student with UMBC, I decided to apply for the study abroad program to Denmark because not only am I senior who is going to graduate this year but I also wanted to experience studying abroad in a European nation by learning about its culture and history. I was already familiar with the study abroad program before because I had the opportunity to travel to Africa for a study abroad trip to Ethiopia with Montgomery College, so I was not afraid to travel and get out of my comfort zone.
Here are some fun facts about Denmark before I dive into my experience about my time in a small city called, Slagelse and my brief stay at Copenhagen.
Fun facts about Denmark
- One of the happiest countries in the world
- The Danish language has no word for “please”
- The oldest flag in the world
- Have a word for that cozy feeling of togetherness: Hygge
- Danish pastry actually origins from Vienna
- Don’t have any mountains, so biking is never uphill
- More than 50% of Copenhageners cycle to and from work every day
- The Danish alphabet has 3 additional letters: Æ, Ø, and Å
- Have some weird Danish traditions
- You’ll find the two oldest amusement parks in the world in Denmark
- LEGO® was invented by a Dane
- Denmark has 444 islands, but only 76 of them are inhabited
- You’ll never be more than 52km from the ocean in Denmark!
- The Copenhagen harbour is clean enough to swim in
- You can drink water from the tap
- Denmark became the first country to legalise same-sex unions in 1989
- There is an unofficial Danish law for “no one is better than the other”
My group and I stayed at a place called, Gerlev, which is a Sports Academy in Slagelse. My program was specifically about dance and culture and with that I was able to learn how to dance for three weeks while learning about Danish culture and history. As students at Gerlev, we participated not only in our major/minor classes, but we had theme parties, group activities, morning assemblies and team building exercises. Despite the language barrier, I was able to make friends with the Danish and other international students. I was well welcomed and the Danish people were very friendly and accommodating. The food was healthy compare to the American diet and I was able to appreciate the socialization of everyone here in Gerlev. While staying in Gerlev, I learned that it is common for Danish students and other European students to take a gap year after high school and attend a place like Gerlev, where they learn about finding themselves or traveling to other countries before heading to college. This was new to the Americans because it was interesting to learn that there is a culture of self-growth and an emphasis on this type of education.
I further explored this concept and learned that this is known as Folk High School movement and was developed by a guy named, Grundtvig in the 18th century. Grundtvig is said to be the most influential people in Danish history because his work influenced the Danish culture in education, politics and the church. He influenced the Danish education system by advocating that every Danish student should have an education and should communicate ideas and speak out collectively. Grundtvig wanted to educated the Danish youth and take active part in the newborn Danish democracy. Studying about Grundtvig and his impact on the Danish culture was informative and significant because I was able to truly understand the value of the education system of Denmark compare to the United States. Grundtvig’s folk high school movement demonstrates that the Danes value education and believe that every citizen should take part in their nation and democracy and is through education that one can achieve that.
During my stay in Denmark, I had the opportunity to visit Copenhagen and see historical sites. The historical sites that I got to visit were Rosenborg Castle, the Little Mermaid Statue, the West Indies Port, Christianborg, Stock Exchange, Nyhavn, Royal Theater, Marble Church, Amalienborg and the Kastellet. All these historical sites were significant to me because as a history major, I am able to appreciate the historical information but also take from the history of Denmark and apply to my knowledge on European history. My favorite historical places were Rosenborg Castle, the West Indies Port and the Little Mermaid Statue. These were my favorite because I enjoyed studying about the history of Denmark’s monarchy, their role in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and their writers.
In conclusion, my study abroad trip to Denmark has been excellent and I would rate it 9 out 10 of an overall score. I had so much fun and despite being homesick, I was able to get out of my comfort zone, challenge myself further, especially in my dance classes, and appreciate the Danish culture and history while learning about myself in the process. My time here in Denmark is thus bittersweet and I will not forget the bonds I have made with so many people here. Though, I wish we had stayed a week longer, visited more historical sites and learned more about the culture, I am satisfied with how everything went and I am immensely thankful for Gerlev community for accommodating our stay and being so hospitable. I would highly recommend this program to the students at UMBC so they can appreciate the wonderful community at Gerlev Sports Academy.
I went to USG before school actually started to see If there were new things happening, and found some grad students that had their classes started before everyone else. Enjoy this short interview I did with them.
Please comment and share this with your friends.
Thank you all.
Music by Venus X : https://youtu.be/O4qZE7AIFMM
Welcome back everyone! Though the spring semester at USG hasn’t quite started just yet, the blog is back in business. How has everyone’s winter break been so far? This winter break, I spent the holiday season walking around DC, and was able to see the National Christmas Tree. It was a beautiful sight, and for those who have not seen it yet, I definitely recommend it for Christmas 2020!
Already we have stepped foot into 2020, a year for me that holds so much weight as it is finally the year I graduate. It settles me into reality that yes, a new stage of life is approaching and I need to be prepared every step of the way. At the same time, it’s bittersweet how my life as a student at USG will also be coming to an end, as I loved every moment with the amazing students here. Maybe it’s because it’s a whole new year, but the fact settles in even more deeply than before.
Regardless, it is better to keep moving forward than to look back, so I wish everyone the most success on whichever path they embark on in 2020! And please remember, that it is always alright to take a break, to take some time for yourself both mentally and physically. It isn’t worth it to keep pushing when either your mind or body cannot take it. The pace doesn’t matter, so keep moving forward fellow USG students!
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and happy new year!
Finals are just around the corner, not to mention the multiple amounts of assignments, final projects, papers and exams to complete–all crammed into a relatively short amount of time. Let’s not forget that there is also high levels of anxiety and stress to top it all off. But what can you do to relief this stress and anxiety? And what are the steps you can take to alleviate this pressure during finals week. Here are some tips to help you prepare for the busy weeks ahead to hopefully help you stay calm, organized and feeling well. While it is important to get good grades and pass your finals, it is also vital to take care of yourself. These tips will help you balance finals week by providing you with practical wellness tips that will help you conquer your exams while staying healthy and happy!
10 Tips to help De-stress for Finals
- Get Enough Sleep
- Be Kind to Yourself
- Get Some Light Exercise
- Try Meditation
- Eat healthy snacks
- Make a to-do list
- Take frequent breaks
- Change study location
- Adult Coloring
- Watch a funny video
Here is a link to USG events that are happening right now for De-stress Week: https://shadygrove.umd.edu/news-events/events/de-stress-week
Here are some Memes to make you laugh while you study for the Finals!
Welcome back after a much needed short break. Much needed Thanksgiving break and madness of shopping is over (we still have cyber Monday to look forward to) and now… its the last end of the semester till we are hit by our exams. More then ever, every thanksgiving break made me realize how nice it is to sit in a class room and challenge my self mentally, because Thanksgiving challenges me physically, creatively and yes sometimes even socially. Thanksgiving meal preps and keeping my home throws me back into ‘mommy mode’ where I am determined to do everything in ‘perfection’ in the mommy world. Over the years I have realized that, I should not strive for perfection when it comes to family and relationships. One cannot control many things and sometimes imperfections are the blessings in disguise. So… like never before, this year, I decided to take it easy with my thanksgiving and reached out to another close family member for help. This is what family is all about. It is important for us to cherish family, no matter good, bad form it comes in. Relationships are never easy, but at the end of the day they are relations that if given a chance will stand with us, for us.
I am graduating this semester. In the spirit of beautiful holiday season, I am thankful for all my professors and fellow classmates, who have been with me, guided me, pushed me and when I fell low pulled me up through this journey. Leaving USG truly feels like I have created relationships with people for people for life. Saying good bye to USG with much love and appreciation.
Having come this far, means that every student here has a story, a reason, and their own motivations. When studying can become too tiring, what motivates you? How do you keep yourself going? Those can be questions that can be hard to ask yourself, but asking is the first step to remember why you’re here, what you have done to get here, and how amazing it all truly is.
Though the questions might feel too grand in scheme, motivations do not have to be. For example, when I opened WordPress to start typing this blog post, I wasn’t really sure what to even write about. It’s only when I took a few sips of coffee, a little too hot on the tongue, with headphones playing a playlist shuffled with songs I’ve never heard of that I thought, maybe I should write about motivation. Because it was in the little, routine things such as a cup of coffee and a melody in my ears that have always motivated me to work a little harder, to keep going a little more forward.
As Thanksgiving break comes closer, it can be harder to find that motivation you need for all the exams, papers, and projects that just happen to be right before break. It can be difficult to find something new that can motivate you, and it might even put your schedule off-track. I tried changing my schedule around for a change of pace, but instead of helping me focus and become motivated, I felt like I had been on unstable ground and confused. It might be the same for you, or different, so make sure to try everything at least once during your academic career here at USG.
For now, I’m sticking with my too many cups of coffee and tea in a day, and playlists from all genres to keep me going as I work on studying for exams once more. The Priddy Library has been the ideal place for me to study ever since I arrived at USG, with its cozy atmosphere and the bustling of students working just as hard surrounding you at every corner. It’s a place I’ve been in so many times, it feels like an intimate home now. Make sure to stop by and visit, and good luck with studying everyone! Thanksgiving break is just around the corner 🙂