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

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Together we can fight COVID-19

Hey everyone,

Here is a short informative video regarding COVID-19.

In this period of time we all need to take all the precautions, and cooperate with officials to prevent ourselves and our loved ones from Corona Virus.

Please be safe and stay positive during quarantine time.

Song link : https://youtu.be/m1vpfvh3JJ4

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Coronavirus

With classes on campus cancelled in Maryland, and across the country, it is crucial to remain updated on the status of Coronavirus cases, as well as how to keep you and your loved ones safe.

The CDC provides guidelines on how to protect yourself as the virus spreads. At the time of writing this, the United States has around 3,000 cases. As seen in countries such as China and Italy, the spread of the virus is rapid and the number can rise much faster than expected. Thus, it is better to be on the side of caution and follow the guidelines provided by the CDC, as follows:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water as well as utilizing hand sanitizer (that has at least 60% alcohol content).
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • If someone is sick, avoid close contact with them, as well as practicing social distancing.
  • If you are feeling sick, try to stay home if possible. But if you must go out, wear a face mask.

As classes are online now, it is also easy to lose focus, especially in times of anxiety. Please make sure to utilize the resources that are available to you, respective of your school, and take this time for yourself to rest. You have done amazing so far, and it is the time to breathe, and push through to the end of the semester.

But most importantly, please remember to utilize the CDC guidelines and stay healthy this spring.

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Universities at Shady Grove Student Council: Who We Are and What We Do

Student Council at the Universities at Shady Grove

Did you know that we have an elected student body government at the Universities at Shady Grove? Or maybe you have heard of us but still do not know what we do and what are purpose is. Well, I am here to tell you all about it. I am a member of the student council representative At-Large for University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) and that means I represents students from UMES. This also means that I represent students at USG with any questions, concerns and issues they might have. USG is made up of nine Maryland institutions and each institution has two student council representatives with a total of 16 undergraduate representatives in the student council. Each student council representative is an advocate for students and encourage students to have their voices heard. As student council members, we want to make a difference and help improve student’s experiences at the Universities at Shady Grove.

History of the Student Council at the Universities at Shady Grove:

According to the Universities at Shady Grove’s Student Council Page, “The USG Student Council was established in 2002 to serve as an advocate for the USG student body. It strives to provide a forum for students to voice their concerns and to facilitate the undertaking of improvements to enhance the USG student experience in accordance with the USG Student Council By laws. Members meet on a regular basis and engage in activities to better USG, such as Town Halls, community service projects, student life activities and more.” 

Mission of USG Student Council:

The mission of USG Student Council is “To serve as a student advocacy and advisory group which acts as a liaison between the students and administration of USG to communicate on behalf of the undergraduate student population. The group also serves to identify and engage in activities which enhance the student experience and are supportive of the USG community at large.”

Source: https://shadygrove.umd.edu/student-services/csef/student-council

Why You Should Run For Student Council:

As a student council representative, you get to learn the necessary leadership skills such as communication, organization, outreach and advocacy. These skills will not only boost your confidence but will enhance your leadership experience and look great on your resume. If you are interested in applying for student council, the application is up and will be advertised throughout the campus. Elections are coming and if you want to make a difference and advocate for your fellow peers, then I highly encourage running for student council. If you are interested in knowing who your representative it, here is the link to check out who represents you: https://shadygrove.umd.edu/student-services/csef/student-council/student-council-directory

Student Council Representatives 2019-2020

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USG International Night 2020 Vlog

Hey Everyone,

On Thursday, February 20, 2020, USG International students, staff, and others from the community came together to celebrate their beautiful culture with different offerings like cultural food, performances, and showed their cultural clothing. As a student from a different country, I was excited to watch, and learn from them. This event always signifies how diverse our school is. Here is my take of the night, I can’t wait for the next one.

Enjoy!!

Bemnii

Song list

Hungboo By Peggy Gou https://youtu.be/nzSeTexV5E4

Premier Gaou By Magic System https://youtu.be/d9zaFGANyrI

GWETA By Toofan https://youtu.be/RJ2e_V_2XAk

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Another Round of Exams

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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!

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USG Advocacy Day and What to Look Forward to this Week…..

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!

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New Vlog about the upcoming event – International Night!

Hey everyone,

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.

Enjoy.

Music by Elastic Bond: https://youtu.be/LwBizunmmmA

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Comfort in the Smallest of Places

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.

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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.

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Winter Break: My Study Abroad Trip to Denmark

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.

The statue is of the Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen

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”

Source: https://www.visitdenmark.com/denmark/highlights/history-and-culture/fun-facts

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.

Having fun doing arts and craft with the Danish Students

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.

Morning Assembly Song Books- influenced by Grundtvig

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.

Copenhagen, Denmark
These colorful buildings are part of a town called, Nyhavn and it attracts millions of tourist from all over the world

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.

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Are students ready for the new semester? VLOG #1

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

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