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

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Stress Management

Stress is very common, especially among students. Some have coping mechanisms to help them through stressful times, but often others do not possess this skill. Stress is everywhere, but how you deal with it depends on you. The most common factor that stresses people out is change especially when they are unpleasant, such as financial setback, failing a course, and so forth. Unfortunately, when stress levels are elevated, it could cause physical signs, such as headaches, difficulty sleeping, and difficulty concentrating (WebMD). Prolong stress could also lead to serious health issues like heart-related problems, depression, and high blood pressure. I have seen the impact that stress could have on people especially with my friends and family so I made it my goal to deal with it in a healthy way. In general, people deal with stress differently, but I thought I would share some healthy ways to deal with stress and provide you with some resources.

Dealing with Stress

  • Breathe – when we encounter a stressful situation, the first thing you should do is to stop and breath rather than panic. When you are calm, you can think clearly. Assess the situation and plan the solution.
  • Do something that makes you feel happy – For me, I stress bake and cook when I have a huge assignment that I have to finish. Taking on tasks that give you instant gratification could give you a great feeling. Below are some activities that some of my friends do to de-stress:
    • Play with their pet(s)
    • Play video games
    • Cook
    • Clean
    • Bake
    • Run
    • Bike
    • Listen to music
    • Paint
    • Draw
    • Spend time with friends and/or family

The point with dealing with stress is doing something that you like and give yourself some space to breathe. By doing something that you like to do or giving yourself a break, you allow yourself to have some space to think about solutions to help solve the stressful situation.

Luckily for you, as a student at USG, you have the Center for Counseling and Consultation (CCC). CCC have different programs from individual counseling to group counseling to self-enhancement session to career counseling. I personally recommend the counseling center because they helped me go through some tough times. They very helpful, friendly, and knowledgeable. Sometimes you just need someone to provide with you with a different perspective to help you think through somethings.  

Dealing with Stress Sources:
Stress Management
10 Tips to Manage Stress
4 Healthy Ways to Cope with Stress

Source: WebMD. (ND). Causes of Stress. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/causes-of-stress#2

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After Graduation, what else?

This is my last semester. I have no idea what I will be doing after I graduate. Sigh…the dreaded graduate.

“My last semester in my 4 year school-career”-just thinking of this scares me and makes me reevaluate my life and what I have been doing over the last four years. Looking back, it was full of studying, working, and striving to be the best, but now that I am closer to the end, I ask myself, “what now?.”

Sigh……what is the world waiting for me to do? Hmm…well, guess I have to find out for myself.

As for now, I’m going to decorate my graduation cap. Thanks for the ideas Anne. If you’re looking for ideas you can get some inspiration from Anne. Check out Anne’s blog here.

Have you thought about what you will be doing after your last semester? Or perhaps you are thinking about graduation first….regardless, think of the future.



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Let’s intern!


Spring break is approaching, but I am not kidding, when I am saying it’s been quite busy last couple of weeks. I will be graduating after fall semester and I want to do an internship. USG career and internship center(CISC)  had helped me immensely to prepare my resume. They also, help me with my cover letters, when I was applying for various internships. I also took ‘LinkedIn’ workshop last semester, where I was able to learn about how to setup your professional portfolio in social media. All of this preparation helped me to attend various networking event. If you are a University of Maryland College Park(UMCP) student and attending Universities at ShadyGrove (USG), you have an advantage of attending events that are held at main campus as well. A part of getting internship, to sign up for internship online course , which will enable an intern to get college credits.

UMCP have various programs at their career center for Undergrad students that would help students transition from college to work environment. For getting an internship experience I started with their ‘intern for a day’ program. The program helps students who never had a prior work in experience to get internship for one day in their perspective fields, with participating employers. Students can get a day experience, learn how it is to work in the industry of their choice. It also builds confidence and helps network, when you approach for an internship. The USG  campus CISC provides opportunities  for students to prepare for future job interviews  through their ‘big interview’ section on their website, where students are able to learn and practice their interview skills, weather they are interviewing for their job or internship. Upon registering, students can find out exactly what interviewers are looking for and learn how to anticipate and properly answer the toughest questions. Once the answers are planned and refined, students can use the practice tool to make their delivery confident and natural. The website has a built-in feedback tool to get objective analysis on the progress and mentors, professors, coaches, or friends.

While attending one of the networking events, organized by CISC, I got few offers to shadow from some of the professionals I met. Exited and intimidated by the idea of ‘shadowing’ I asked many of my peers, if they have done it before, but did not have any luck finding someone with  experience. Upon mentioning it at career center I found out that they started a new ‘virtual job shadow’ program, in which students can go and see how to shadow an industry professional. USG career and internship center also holds many events, which help students network with perspective employers.

To look for future internships opportunities there are many websites  like Indeed, Glassdoor and Linkedin, that can help students find internships and job opportunities. I have to admit that once I looked at all of them, it was overwhelming to make accounts and learn how to navigate through website all at once. The CISC has ‘career connector’ for this propose, as it enables students to find various job  and internship opportunities, on campus and off side.

Finding internships or jobs can be an intimidating process. As much as approaching graduation date can bring us joy, it can also set us with anxiety of finding our dream internship or job. USG is helping many students like me to find internships/jobs that are the right fit for them .I took advantage of many opportunities that USG and UMCP has to offer. For experience s that I had during networking and interviews? is another blog for another time! Maybe next time!

For now its spring break! Have a good break everyone!

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Fundamental self-care during university education

“Self-care” is a hyphenated buzzword tossed around a lot in fashion magazines and news articles – it is often associated with momentary luxurious actions like taking a bath with bubbles involved or drinking on a work day. However – these bite-sized bits of care fall short when compared to self-care on a deeper level; on the level of the Big Three.

Diet, exercise, and sleep.


Triangle1You may or may not be familiar with this triangle diagram. It’s not perfect, but it does illustrate the strain higher education can place on the different parts of a person’s life.




Triangle1This triangle, on the other hand, is a bit more accurate- but there are still things that could be added. The problem remains the same – you’re faced with what is meant to be an impossible choice. From all the mornings I’ve heard people bragging about how little sleep they’ve gotten and social events they’ve had over the weekend, most people to prioritize their school and work over everything else.

This isn’t healthy – and it’s a losing battle. Forgoing the Big Three will lead to lapses in the other categories as well – inability to pay attention in class, showing up late to family events, etc. You can’t skimp the small stuff and expect to win big.

Spring Break is coming up. Get through the last part of this week, and use the time you have over break to fix your Big Three.

It takes about two hours on an online diet planner to put together a weekly meal schedule, and another two hours thereafter every week to buy what you need to cook your food. Try not to eat out.

Exercise can be a pain – but it can also be a relief of stress. If you’re just starting out, just try to get a few push-ups in the morning and go for a walk in the afternoon. If you’re a bit more advanced, switch the push-ups to chin-ups and switch the walks to runs. Get into weightlifting if you can afford a gym membership.

Lastly, sleep. There’s a lot of reasons in University to stay up late – finishing an online test you forgot about, trying to cram for an exam, or just plain insomnia. Try not to nap in the middle of the day. When you get around to scheduling the remainder of your semester – 24/7, don’t skimp the details – include scheduling your sleep. That includes scheduling an hour before you’re supposed to sleep for your mind to cooldown. Start waking up regularly, early, every morning – even on weekends.

It’ll be tough, but you can do it.

If you’re in nursing school, none of this applies – you’re doomed.

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The New Teacher Movies

If you Google “teacher movies,” it looks like there really haven’t been very many recent ones, especially looking into the past decade. However, many of them exist–on Netflix as documentaries. In my current equity class, we have been assigned two different movies. As a teacher, it’s definitely eye-opening to get a glimpse into a different world, even if it is a classroom with students the same age as me.

However, I believe these movies are worth watching as a graduate student in any major or career path.

The first movie, “Bad Kids,” dives into a school in the Mojave Desert. This school has become the “last resort,” for many students with troubled backgrounds, who have been displaced or otherwise kicked out from other schools beforehand. Their stories are both gut-wrenching and frustrating, but in the end, the patience, creativity, and heart that the staff and faculty at the school show are really inspiring.

The second movie, “Teach Us All,” focuses on equality of access to steady education. The movie came at the anniversary of the Little Rock Nine, but makes a clear argument, with great evidence, that the issues we sought out to fix in the years following the Civil Rights Movement still linger today. The movie moves across the country, from Los Angeles to New York, showing how in 2017, we are still struggling to provide the same, quality education for students of all shapes and sizes.

Why watch these movies as someone who works in a lab, someone who doesn’t have children or someone who just has no interest in the topic matter?

These movies will change that. It won’t change who you are, but both movies make you reflect on your own experiences in school. The students in a school are the kids that will grow up to be the decision-makers in the world that many of us will still be in. It’s really eye-opening to see what these students are going through. Many of us won’t have the time or capability to step up and make a difference. However, being a part of a body of adults that is aware and well-informed is a realistic step to a better education system.

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Nearing the End


This winter, I had been fortunate to have begun my internship at a public accounting firm with a focus in tax. At first, I had been so worried, anxious about the work I would be doing, and the sheer responsibility of it all. No longer would the consequences of my actions affect factors such as grades, but now there would be an impact on clients, and the people who make the firm what it is today at every step.

I wondered to myself so many times – How to succeed at a tax internship when I have not taken a tax course yet? I had heard before applying that interns are not expected to know much, only to have a positive attitude and a willingness to learn, but still there had been a nagging worry at the back of my mind. But sayings that survive the passage of time do so because they are correct after all! I began the internship in January, furiously taking notes and trying to make sense of everything with the jargon and computer software. My mind had been whirling with all this new information in an unfamiliar setting, and at the beginning, I felt so incredibly overwhelmed.

Now though in the middle of March, the last month of the internship, it almost seems ridiculous to look back at my thoughts and how worried I had been. Yes, I still look at tax returns and wonder what I am doing most of the time, but it is almost fascinating how quickly we can learn and adapt. Throughout these three months, I have already learned so much about accounting that a textbook can not convey through words. Only through practical experience and hands-on teaching can some concepts be truly learned, and this internship has proved that. In these months I have also met incredible people who have helped me by answering all my questions, questions I thought must have been so silly but no questions are silly, and cannot thank them enough.

I wanted to share my experience to encourage everyone to apply for externships and internships whenever there is the opportunity. Our classes are extremely important to set the foundation for knowledge, but afterwards, practical experience can help you so much – Gaining knowledge, forming connections, and growing from a student to an employee in a working environment, dynamic and incredible. I wish everyone the best of luck, and please visit the Career and Internship Services Center for any questions! They are here to help.

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Let’s Celebrate Women!

Did you know that March is National Women’s History month? Talk about Girl Power! There are numerous women that are doctors, scientists, engineers, CEO’s, entrepreneurs and so much more. This year’s theme is “Visionary Women: Champions of Peace & Nonviolence.” I’d like to take the time to recognize some women that have contributed to making history!

  1. Shirley Chisholm – The first black woman elected to U.S. Congress in 1968
  2. Dolores Huerta – Mexican-American labor leader, civil rights activist, and co-founder of the National Farmworkers Association
  3. Patsy Takemoto Mink – The first Asian American woman elected to U.S. Congress and co-authored the Title IX Amendment of the Higher Education Amendment
  4. Patricia Bath – an American ophthalmologist, inventor, humanitarian, and academic
  5. Sally Ride – The first woman in space in 1983 when she was a part of the Challenger space shuttle crew
  6. Berta Cáceres – Environmental activist and cofounder of Copinh (the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras)
  7. Aretha Franklin – legendary singer and musician with multiple firsts within the music industry
  8. Toni Morrison – The first Black woman to win the Nobel Prize in literature
  9. Eleanor Roosevelt – The first “first lady” to change what it means to be “The First Lady” in the Presidential office.
  10. Margaret Sanger – Fought for reproductive rights

These are just a few women from the many that have made contributions to society. Let’s take this month to honor not only the women who have paved the way but also to the women who are making history as we speak! Happy National Women’s History month, everyone!

As always, thanks for reading and ‘til next time! 😊

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Your Power in Communication

The Universities at Shady Grove is having a panel discussion and networking event in collaboration with the Undergraduate Communication Association, UMD Communication Department, and the Montgomery College Alumni Association. The panel is focused on ‘Your Power in Communication.’ The event will give students from Montgomery College and the Universities at Shady Grove the opportunity meet and network with industry professionals and learn about the diverse opportunities in the field of communications.

The panel discussion is taking place on Wednesday, March 6th from 3:00pm to 4:00pm in Building III in Crockett Theatre located in room 3241. The networking event is taking place from 4:00pm- to 5:00pm.Screen Shot 2019-03-06 at 3.28.56 PM.png

The event will be moderated by Carolina Galeano. She is a multicultural TV producer for MCTV at Montgomery College. MCTV is an award-winning, nationally recognized full service HD operation, providing a 24/7 cable channel and professional video production services for the Montgomery College community.


Among the presenters at the panel discussion is Doreen Thomas. She is a former student at the Universities at Shady Grove and Assistant Manager for the internship program at the T. Howard Foundation. The THF is to promote diversity in media and entertainment by increasing the number of diverse and underrepresented groups and underserved communities within the industry.The panelists also include Geneveive Leary, the Digital Communications Coordinator at the Madison House Autism Foundation. Their mission is to create awareness of the lifespan challenges autistic adults and their families face. They find, develop, promote the solutions that allow adults with autism to make choices, live as independently as possible, hold jobs, feel connected to their communities and become participating members of our society.The panelist, Steve Hull, is the Editor and Publisher of Bethesda Magazine.Bethesda Magazine is a bimonthly magazine distributed in Montgomery County, Maryland which began in 2004. It is named after the prosperous suburban area Bethesda, Maryland.James Hill will be speaking at the event. He is the Associate Director of Communication and Partnership at the Nonprofit VOTE.Sandy Almeida is an Email Marketing Specialist at 2U.Michael Hammerstrom is the Manager of Marketing and Engagement at CuriosityStream.

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Challenge to Spring Graduates…

Graduation…what a gas! It was the end to a fabulous two years at USG and a great beginning for all of us starting our nursing careers. There are lots of college graduation traditions including the hanging of scrub tops in the cafe and decorating mortarboards. A what? You know, those flat-topped hats worn during graduation. Apparently, they are called mortarboards because they resemble the tool used by bricklayers to hold mortar.

All I know is that our class overwhelmed me with their mortarboard creations for our graduation that took place on Friday, December 14. There was a lot of glitter, flowers, painting, glue-gunning, and fancy lettering going on during our Kaplan review sessions. The best way to tell you about them is to show you. And you thought nurses were just a bunch of science nerds…Enjoy!

So for the Spring 2019 Nursing graduates, see if you can top these!

Which one’s mine, you ask? All I can say is that Diana Prince would approve…


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Goal Setting and Motivation

Staying motivated and resisting the “itis” or senioritis (when your motivation and/or performance declines during your last year or semester) is hard. I experienced this during my senior year in

undergrad and I am trying my best to not fall into this state during my last semester in my current grad program. It is tough because you start to daydream about your graduation and start to slack a bit. How do you prevent this from happening? Interestingly enough, I took a motivation course last semester. I thought I would share some tips that I learned from class that I thought were useful especially during this time of the year.  

How to stay motivated?

  • Set your goal (in this case, you are trying to graduate with your degree)
  • Make a plan on how you can stay on track to graduation
    • Remind yourself why you are trying to graduate with your degree
      • Strategies to have visual reminders of your goals
        • Write out in big bold letter where you can see it on a daily basis
        • Write out positive message or your desired outcome on sticky notes and post them all over your residence where you know you will see often
    • Give yourself an incentive to finish projects and/or assignments
      • You need to make manage your time wisely especially if it is your last semester
      • If you are starting to fall through the cracks, talk to your instructor about strategies that you can implement or option to bring up your grades
      • If you need help with time management or writing, the Center for Academic Success (CAS) provides academic coaching (including time management and organization) and writing consultation. I would recommend setting an appointment with them to learn effective strategies for you with time management and/writing

For me, I remind myself that I want to do well in my classes as a sign that I have learned what my professors intended to teach me. My goals are to graduate knowing that I have learned what I could from the program and obtain a new job where I could utilize my accumulated knowledge. Overall, it is important to remind yourself of your goal(s) whether it is to obtain a job in your career field or to be a college graduate. Whatever it is that motivated to pursue your higher education in the first place, use it to avoid the pitfalls of the “istis”!

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