Student BlogsWelcome to Around the Grove, the official student blog of The Universities at Shady Grove! Students are able to blog about their college experiences, both inside and outside of the classroom. Read about their triumphs, trials and everyday lives that makes being a college student so uniquely life changing — and challenging. Feel free to connect with them by leaving a comment or asking them questions.

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May Chancellor Chat with Muslim Students

University System of Maryland Dr. Jay A Perman (Source: University System of Maryland).

On Sunday, May 7, I had the excellent opportunity to meet with the Chancellor of the University System of Maryland, Jay Perman, alongside 12 other Muslim students. Every month, Chancellor Perman meets with students across the universities in the state to discuss important issues. This month, he wanted to speak with Muslims and to learn about our experiences at our campuses.

Shelby Speer, whom I work with as a member of the Student Leadership Advisory Council (SLAC), presented me with this opportunity. Shelby emailed me about the monthly chat with Chancellor Perman and without question, I accepted this offer! This is something that is a once in a lifetime chance not to pass up. Even though I am a student at the University of Maryland, College Park, I went to represent USG because this is my home campus. Not only that, but I believe students at USG deserve to have their voices heard and represented, and that was my job at this chat.

We met with the Chancellor at the Hidden Waters Residence in Pikesville, Maryland, which was about 10-15 miles outside of Baltimore. We had breakfast and some drinks such as water, coffee, and tea when we got there. Then we all sat down and introduced ourselves. Chancellor Perman gave his backstory from applying to medical school, becoming a doctor, and getting into advocacy. Hearing his story allowed me to understand who he is as a person, but also as an advocate and why he is chancellor. 

Chancellor Perman asked us questions throughout the discussion that prompted students to speak about the positive and negative experiences at their individual campuses. A few of the topics that we raised questions and concerns about were having accommodations for prayers, food that is halal (permissible according to Islam) as well as providing food during Ramadan, and the Muslim Student Association on campus. Everyone provided a concern and input into the conversation and I was interested in hearing more.

At the end of the two hours we had, Chancellor Perman reassured us that these issues would be taken care of. He was thankful that we shared our experiences with him and even educated him a bit about Islam. Chancellor Perman was confident that our issues would be resolved.

I am glad to have been chosen to meet the Chancellor and represent fellow Muslim students. We took a group photo and networked with each other in order to stay connected while were in school. This event was a great way to close out the year and I very thankful for Shelby and everyone at USG who have supported me as a student advocate during my first year on campus!

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K-dramas to binge while on summer vacation

Welcome to my last post of the semester! I’m so grateful for being given the opportunity to share my advice, recommendations, and stories will you all. I hope that I was able to provide something useful for you to use in the future. Remember to finish out the semester strong! 

Since summer break is starting and many of you will probably have a few hours of free time here and there….I’m going to finally give you all my favorite korean drama (k-drama) recommendations. I’m not saying that you should be watching these in between your internships and summer classes…but that’s exactly what I’m saying. 

Source: amazon 

Strong Woman Bong-soon 

My first ever k-drama! I was a reluctant viewer at first but soon found myself laughing to tears. The story is so comical, so thrilling, that I finished all 16 episodes in one day. It’s about a girl who was hired as a bodyguard for a CEO of a company due to her superhuman strength. It’s so cute. And there’s an underlying crime theme that added the perfect touch to the story. 

Source: imdb


The most exciting show that I watched in 2021. Filled with dark humor, law intrigue, and a gripping backstory, I highly incline you all to watch this. The cinematography is beautiful and the budget of the drama incredibly high, I promise it’s worth your time! It’s about an Italian-Korean mafia consigliere who returns to Korea to find the gold hidden by his former boss and encounters a building full of renters instead….

Source: imdb 

Extraordinary Attorney Woo 

I can gush about how cute it is all day long. Diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, Young Woo excelled in her University classes as the top student. She got into law school due to her excellent memory and thought process. But the real struggle came after she joined a law firm. Each episode is so much fun and involves a different law case. I learned so much from this show! 

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My Final Blog.

For my final blog, I would like to reflect on the semester and plans for the summer in the form of a journal entry! 

May 8, 2023

This past semester has been hectic, but I am so happy with how it went! This semester, I decided to take advantage of all the opportunities possible, but as we know, life can throw curveballs. After having to get another job and joining more things than I could handle. I found myself with five classes, joining DSAC, blogging, adding a minor, and having to work two jobs. Blogging was my safe haven without realizing it. Whenever I felt overwhelmed, I found myself looking forward to putting my creativity into a post for my peers to see. After writing a post, it reminded me that I am not alone, and the person sitting next to me is BMGT 451 is probably feeling the same exact way!

While I valued this tremendously, the one regret I have is not having enough time to put into finding an internship for the summer. Nevertheless, the hunt is not over! I also know that I’m not the only one in this situation, and I can’t wait for summer to come as I continue my education journey! This summer, I hope to rest, work, and spend lots of time with my family and friends! The last thing I would like to document is that I am so proud of myself and the person reading this!

Final thoughts:

Blogging for USG Around The Grove has been such a privilege, and so much fun! This experience has been one of my favorites this semester, and I do not regret taking the opportunity given! It’s been exactly what I needed this semester to get through my hectic life. I want to thank my friend for telling me about this amazing opportunity, and I wish my peers good luck for finals, and the best end of the semester!

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Attending Splashfest, and Everything Else I Did Last Weekend

Last Friday, I visited my friend, Victoria, at Towson University to attend this year’s Tigerfest (Splashfest). Splashfest is essentially a concert, and this year’s performers were NoCap, Young Nudy, and Lil Yachty. I was definitely excited for the concert and spent time listening to each of the artists’ songs to prepare. 

I got to Towson early on Friday morning and met up with Victoria. We got some breakfast and then went go kart racing, which I’d never done before. I quickly realized that I am not great at it, but I still had fun. After that, the concert was going to start soon, so we decided to start getting ready. It was raining the entire day, which was a bit of a bummer, but it wasn’t the end of the world. 

Source: lilyachty on Instagram

We got to the SECU arena a little after the doors opened. Due to the rain, Nocap’s flight was delayed, and he was unable to make it to Towson. So, Young Nudy came out first and performed. I really enjoyed his set, because he played a lot of his well-known songs, as well as some songs I didn’t know. Afterwards, Lil Yachty came out with a lot of energy. He was also naturally funny when he was talking to the crowd in between songs.

He also had a videographer that was recording him while he was performing, and we all saw the distorted footage on the big flat screen in the arena. The set was fun and also nostalgic because he did perform some older songs. He ended the set by performing his newest single, “Strike (Holster)”, which I think most people (including me) were waiting for. 

Afterwards, Victoria and I bought some dessert from Insomnia Cookies, and then went back to her apartment. My night ended with me catching up on Ted Lasso. The next morning, we went to Towson Town Center to shop, but I unfortunately couldn’t find anything to buy (:/). Afterwards, we went to Barley’s Backyard, which was nearby. We got brunch there, which was really good. 

Source: Baltimore Sun

When I got home, I was a lot more tired than I thought because I ended up taking a 2-3 hour nap. I spent the rest of the day unpacking and relaxing, for the most part.

On Sunday, I was mostly doing homework because we’re basically at the end of the semester, which is so crazy to me. This semester went by pretty fast (as always) and I literally can’t wait for summer break!

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My Last Blog Of This Year

As the academic year comes to an end, I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on my experience with blogging. Firstly, I want to say that I have truly loved this experience. From researching topics, drafting posts, to engaging with readers, the process has been incredibly fulfilling.

Before starting this journey, I had considered blogging as a hobby but never really knew where to begin. Having the opportunity to start blogging for USG made it less intimidating and allowed me to explore this interest in a supportive environment. Through this, I have learned so much about the world of blogging and have thoroughly enjoyed it.

The main thing that stood out for me during this experience is the importance of having a creative outlet. As events unfolded in my life, I found both comfort and excitement in writing and using my blog as a means of expression. Whether it was to share my thoughts or explain the things that are important to me, this process allowed me to reflect on my experiences. I have come to appreciate that having a creative outlet is not only a way of expressing oneself but also a means of promoting mental and emotional well-being. It can provide a much needed break from daily routines, a way to de-stress, and a means of personal growth and development.

Also, through my experience with blogging, I have come to appreciate that being authentic is not only essential for building a genuine connection with readers but also for personal growth and development. By embracing my unique voice and perspective, I have been able to create a sense of self-awareness and self-acceptance that has been incredible. As I move forward, I hope to continue writing with authenticity and vulnerability, sharing my experiences and thoughts in a way that resonates with others. I encourage everyone to do the same: to embrace their uniqueness and to share their stories with the world!

Finally, I would like to extend my appreciation to all those who have taken the time to read my blogs. And as this academic year comes to a close, I want to wish everyone the best of luck on their finals and extend my heartfelt wishes for a great summer ahead. Thank you again for being a part of this journey!

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Searching for an Internship?

Hi friends! The semester is coming to an end, and summer is calling our names. Whether you’ll be taking a summer course, working, relaxing, or interning at an outstanding company, I am rooting for you! However, for those of you who are still searching for a summer internship, this blog is dedicated to you

Here are a few things you should complete when searching and applying for internships:

  1. Polish up your resume and cover letters

Your resume/cover letter is what will be reviewed before even getting an interview, so make sure this is updated to the best of your ability in order to effectively and efficiently describe all you’ve accomplished! Here’s a helpful link to get started:

Resume Tips Via LinkedIn
  1. Complete and maintain a “brag sheet”

Write a “brag sheet” that has a list of all of your accomplishments in school, work, certifications, badges, class projects, etc. Make sure to write dates to accompany them and compose a list of unique adjectives, along with your tasks and actions. This will make it easier to compose several resumes because not every job will fit one single resume. Keep in mind that resumes have to fit the job position you are interred in. (Ex: a resume as a Content Creator will require different aspects than a resume for a Marketing Manager

  1. Make LinkedIn your new best friend

LinkedIn is the networking tool I used to score the internship I will be beginning this summer! It’s the easiest networking tool to use, it allows you to network with professionals, peers, and mentors. I like to see it as my “digital resume.” It’s as easy as searching “ex: Summer Marketing Internships” and clicking “Apply Now” to upload your resume. Go do it now!

  1. Ask your network for guidance

Don’t hold back from asking professors, peers, advisors, and those around you for guidance on how they obtained certain positions. Remember: “your network is your net worth.”

  1. APPLY & research your companies

Do not let fear get in the way of a great opportunity, and don’t lose sight of the fact that you are more than capable of achieving your dreams. Apply even if you don’t think you’ll hear back. At the end of the day, a rejection is simply a door to a bigger and better opportunity! Keep track of the jobs you’ve applied for and write down important things such as: company history, mission statement, core values, and job description

  1. Believe in yourself

Take a deep breath, give yourself positive affirmations, and reflect on all your hard work. The only way is up from here! I believe in you. 

Let’s finish the semester strong, USG. I am so excited for Summer to begin and if no one has told you yet, you’re doing great and I am proud of you!

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My journey as a writer

A blue neon sign that says “What Is Your Story?” in front of a window (Source: Etienne Giradet on Unsplash).

Writing has been something that I have always gravitated towards for a long time. When I was around eight or nine years old, I wanted to become an author and write stories and to this day, I still think about one day publishing a novel or two. 

My journey as a writer has grown over the past few years with opportunities that allowed me to craft this skill. The first time I’d say I took my writing seriously was when I was a sophomore in high school. I signed up to take Introduction to Journalism where I got to learn the basics of journalism writing. 

After a semester of taking the class, I ended up joining the newspaper! I was a staff writer for my sophomore and junior years and for my senior year, I was one of the associate editors. My teacher, Ms. Sara Confino, helped me grow as a writer and always supported me as a student. Being in her class was one of the reasons why I stayed on staff for most of my high school experience. 

Upon graduating high school, I entered what many adults would say “the real world”. “The real world” as always, granted me some tough challenges along the way. One of which was my passion for journalism. I eventually started to lose my interest in journalism due to the challenges I could face within the field. 

However, I should understand that getting into my career field of writing is not going to be an easy walk in the park no matter what path I will take. I mentioned in my first blog post that I changed my major from international studies to communication. In hindsight, I realized that studying communication was something that I could have done from the beginning of my college journey. 

Now that I am a student at USG, I have been granted opportunities to help me grow as a writer outside of what I wanted to do originally with my career plans. I started out by becoming a writer here at Around the Grove to share my experience being a student on campus. By sharing my experiences, I wanted students and staff to take away what I’ve learned during my time at USG. 

In addition to the blog, I took a screenwriting class! The class is an elective taught by Dr. Adam Nixon and we primarily learned how to write screenplays for films. Screenwriting was another avenue that I had considered and this class allowed me to not only grow as a writer but as a communicator. 

Even though writing is a life-long career path I’m on, writing has given me a sense of identity and ease in what I want to do. Even in my downtime, I like to write whether that’s journaling about my day or even learning poetry. After a few years of figuring out myself, I realized that being a communication major has helped me expand my career journey and who I am.

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Must-Visit Restaurants to Celebrate Your Graduation

Graduating from college is a significant milestone that deserves to be celebrated with a memorable meal. Whether you prefer a casual atmosphere or an upscale experience, Fontina Grill, Yard House, and The Melting Pot are three fantastic restaurants that offer a range of dining options to make your graduation celebration unforgettable.

Fontina Grill is a hidden gem that offers a cozy and inviting atmosphere, making it perfect for an intimate gathering with family and friends. The menu features classic Italian dishes, such as homemade pasta, wood-fired pizza, and seafood, all made with fresh and locally-sourced ingredients. The staff is friendly and accommodating, ensuring that your dining experience is nothing short of excellent.

Source: Fontina Grill Facebook

For those who prefer a more casual and laid-back environment, Yard House is the perfect spot to celebrate your graduation. With an extensive selection of craft beers on tap and delicious pub fare, such as burgers, sandwiches, and wings, this restaurant has something for everyone. The outdoor patio is a popular spot during the warmer months, providing a relaxed and comfortable setting to enjoy your meal.

Source: Michael Chavez

If you’re looking for a unique and interactive dining experience, The Melting Pot is a must-visit restaurant. Known for its fondue-style cuisine, this restaurant offers a four-course meal that includes cheese fondue, salad, a variety of entrees, and chocolate fondue for dessert. The atmosphere is upscale and romantic, making it an excellent spot for a date night or a special occasion.

Source: The Melting Pot

No matter which restaurant you choose to celebrate your graduation, make sure to make a reservation in advance to ensure a spot. With their fantastic menus, inviting atmospheres, and top-notch service, Fontina Grill, Yard House, and The Melting Pot are sure to make your graduation celebration one to remember for years to come.

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Awkward Pauses During Interviews

We all have those awkward pauses during interviews. After you’ve asked a question and your interviewee finishes answering, does your mind go blank on how to respond to them? I’ve often found myself in embarrassing situations where I constantly looked back on how I responded to a person. That’s why I’ll be informing you about some of the ways you can respond after your interviewee finishes answering! 

Source: careerlunch.com

Thank you 

I’ve come to realize that sometimes a simple thank you is enough. Say it and move onto the next question. Even if you feel the urge to add on more words to make it seem like you are contributing to the conversation and avoid the awkwardness, thanking them for their answer and then transitioning to the next question can be a safe bet. Try it! 

Take notes and relate

While the person you’re interviewing is talking, try to take some notes on the important things they say. Sometimes, you can find a key point that is relatable to your own life or perspective. Latch onto that idea and after they finish speaking, tell them about it. It’s okay if the conversation moves in a different direction and you’re in a time crunch to ask all of your questions. You can always revert back to it.

Ask them to elaborate 

One safe option is to always ask them to elaborate on the things they say. But before you do that, make sure you do your research on the person so that they’re not asked to repeat information that is easy to know. It keeps the conversation interesting on both ends! Plus, it’s always nice to know that the person who’s interviewing you really cares about the interview and has done prior research. 

That’s interesting! 

Simply say “That’s interesting! I didn’t know that. Thanks for sharing.” Personally, these words have helped me avoid being the most awkward interviewer ever. Instead of trying to wreck my brain to find something to say, this phrase is often more than enough. 

Source: tenor

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Binge Worthy Movies and Shows! 

With the semester coming to an end you guys are probably finding yourself having some down time before all the exams, final projects, and presentations are due. Although this time should be spent studying and planning, there is always time for self-care! I recommend that if you have a little break in between studying and working that you watch a show or movie! Today I’m going to share a movie and two shows on Netflix and Hulu that I have been loving and highly recommend you guys to binge!

Murder Mystery 2 (47% on Rotten Tomatoes)

Although this is the sequel to “Murder Mystery,” I highly recommend this one, because I actually liked it better than the first! This is a movie starring Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler. It’s a comedy and mystery about a couple launching their new private investigator agency, but find themselves landed in an international murder mystery when a friend gets abducted. This movie was a light watch that contained comedy and action. I also wanted to point out that this sequel had a lot of Indian and European culture in it, so it was really pretty to watch!


Emily in Paris (47% on Rotten Tomatoes)

Although Emily in Paris now has three seasons, I highly recommend watching it, because the episodes are not that long, and are light and fun to watch! This is one of those shows that you can put on when you’re doing chores! Similar to the movie, this show has a lot of beautiful European culture, and drama in it! I also highly recommend this if you’re a business major, because the main character is a marketing executive who gets placed at a Paris firm to give the company an American point of view! 


Abbott Elementary (90% on Rotten Tomatoes)

Abbott Elementary is a show streamed on Hulu that is actually a sitcom in the form of a documentary, which sounds weird, but the point of the documentary aspect is the comedy itself.  The show is about five teachers and a tone deaf principal who have found themselves placed at a Philadelphia Elementary School that doesn’t always get the resources and help that they need. However, these teachers will do anything in their power to have their students succeed! This show is once again really light-hearted and super easy to watch, and episodes are not that long!


I hope you guys found these recommendations to be interesting. I would love to see comments about which one was your favorite, if you guys did end up watching any! Despite the semester coming to an end, I hope you guys have found a bit of peace and comfort in your journey this school year, and I hope everybody the best in these final upcoming weeks as the school year comes to a close!

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