Monday, October 20, 2014

Favorites

       I thought that today I would just do a little lighthearted quick post about things that I am currently loving. These past few weeks have been insane with midterms so it feels like this is the first time in a while that I have actually had time to myself to breathe a bit.

ONE// This video has been shared on the Internet more times than I can count. I have seen it on nearly all of my social media platforms. People just can't get enough of it. It is so funny and these kids are literally adorable. See what happens when second graders try a $220 7-course meal.

TWO// My classes. Although this semester has definitely been my hardest schedule work-wise, I am really loving it. At SMC we take 4 classes a semester for 4 credits each. Doesn't seem like a lot, but trust me, I am constantly doing work, completing a project or studying for an exam. This semester I am taking:
          Photo Journalism: This is a required class for MJD and probably one of my favorite media classes ever. They give us a really nice camera for the duration of the semester to complete our assignments. Assignments range from portraits of strangers to sports action shots.
          Ethics: This is my upper level philosophy class. It is a really interesting class and makes you think critically about life. Plus I really like my professor!
          Early Latin America: This class fulfills my history LSR (Liberal Arts Requirement). The material is really interesting and Professor Dungy is really nice.
         Race and Ethnic Relations: I LOVE this class. It is so interesting and Professor Bhave is literally amazing. I would suggest this class to anyone!

THREE// Rugby. You knew that this had to be on my life somewhere! This season has been amazing. We are currently 5-0 and going into our biggest game of the season this weekend against Stonehill. All of the girls have been working really hard and it has been great to be a part of this semester. I am really excited for the last few weeks of the season.
line out from our game yesterday against Holy Cross. We won 53-5!

FOUR// Fall weather. Over the past 3(ish) days, the weather has gone from summer to fall. Earlier last week it was about 75 degrees and currently it is around 46. No complaints here though! I was more than excited to break out the boots today. Fall is my favorite season so I have been really excited about the colder weather!
Candice, Pointy, Q and I went to Shelburne Museum on Friday on our day off. I had never been there before so it was nice to experience it while spending time with some good friends!
(photo taken by Candice)

This puppy loves fall too!



FIVE//Chai tea. This has been my go to hot drink this season. I never really liked chai tea before I got to college but now I just cannot get enough of this stuff. All I do is add a little sugar and a little milk and you have a perfect warm drink.

SIX// I have always loved New York City. It is only about an hour or so from my house and it has always been a place that I have admired. Earlier last week I stumbled upon this website that highlighted beautiful images and GIFs of the city. The pictures are magical and the GIFs have the ability to show a fast moving city in what seems like slow motion. Check out the website HERE

Love,
Susanna

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Do What you Feel

     I haven't written a blog post in a while. I apologize for that. We are currently in the middle of the semester and man am I feeling the stress. It seems like every day I either have a project, paper or exam. Stressful, I know. Also, I apologize for being off of my Monday Motivation routine. I find myself sitting down to write Monday Motivations but when I do, I have no motivation. That period of time normally ends up becoming a nap. When I want to write a post I just can't seem to find that ah-ha moment.
     I am such a sucker for self-help articles and talk shows. Why? I have no idea, I just really like them. Dr. Phil and Oprah are classics for me and two of my go-to shows if need be. An ah-ha moment is important now and then. They aren't things that we can go chasing or things that you can plan for. They just kind of happen...naturally. Sometimes you just need a little kick in the tush to spark those moments, especially when the lovely voices of Dr. Phil and Oprah aren't giving you what you need.

        BREATHE//This is important, and sometimes I find myself forgetting to do this very important thing. When you find yourself seeking for ah-ha moments, it is important to relax and breathe. Relaxing and noticing your surroundings can help to encourage creativity, spark imagination and relieve stress. When things are quiet and you are in tune with yourself, you will be able to accomplish things you didn't know were possible.

       LISTEN TO YOUR FRIENDS//I'll admit it, sometimes I am an awful listener. Like, really awful. I just get way too into my head and nothing can take me away from that. When I do need advice, my friends are the ones that I always go to. It is always great to get new eyes on a situation. They are able to give you fresh new takes on certain standpoints.

       IT HAPPENS FOR A REASON//I don't think that coincidences are a thing. They are the earth trying to tell us something or tie up loose strings. When something happens that seems like a coincidence, don't just take it as one. Acknowledge it. Start to pay attention, some beautiful moments could happen.

       INNER VOICE//I am a firm believer in the voice inside your own head. This voice tends to be the loudest when I am just trying to fall asleep at night. Figure out that time for you and just listen to it. You will receive the push you need to start you in the right direction.

When you finally find your ah-ha moment you will be as happy as Q is in this picture!
(Photo by S.Shigo)


I promise you it is not easy, but once you figure it all out, it will be worth it. So go on, find that ah-ha moment!

Love,
Susanna

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What am I listening to? (Two of my favorites: Beyonce and John Mayer. Basically perfection.)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Don't Stress! Tips to make the College Application Process Easier!

     I have probably said it before, but I cannot believe that I am a junior in college. It honestly feels like just yesterday I was deciding on which colleges to apply to, filling out the Common App in yearbook class and stressing out to my mom about not knowing what to do. Believe me, I know the stress of filling out college applications, I've been there. It is so weird that the first deadline for many schools is fast approaching. If you are anything like me, you are probably totally freaking out right now. No worries! I'm here to help!!

     1. Lists, lists, and more lists. As you know, I love making lists. I make them for everything. Writing lists makes things so much easier when you are applying to multiple schools and scholarships all at the same time. Make a list of all the things that need to get completed and all the information that you need. Also on these lists, write down how much time you will need to commit to each of these tasks. When you are finished with a task, be sure to check it off so you know that you have finished it!

     2. Research, Tour, Interview. Before you start touring schools, research them. If your brother's friend's cousin goes to a school and loves it there is a possibility that you might hate it. So before you make the trek all the way out to visit a school that you have no desire of attending, research it first. Start large and then narrow your search. I knew that I wanted a small school, in New England with the opportunity for me to switch majors if need be. I knew I wanted to be in a college town with an active community. The next step once you have narrowed down your choices is to tour. Being a tour guide, I cannot tell you enough about the importance of a college visit. One thing that we do here at SMC is waive your application fee and give you an $1,000 a year grant if you come take a tour. If that isn't incentive enough to come visit then I don't know what is! Finally, if you find yourself really interested in a school, schedule an interview with an admissions counselor. This will help with answering all your questions as well as allowing the admissions counselor to put a face to an application. (Interested in visiting SMC? Schedule a tour HERE!)

     3. Start early. I cannot stress this enough. A lot of people under estimate the amount of time it takes to complete the college application process. Starting early will ensure that you have ample time to complete all the things that you need to get done in a reasonable amount of time. Tip: ask for letters of recommendation at least 2 months in advance. The people you ask to write the letters have a life too! Asking them 2 months in advance gives them time to write a perfect letter of recommendation for you. 

    4. Avoid common mistakes. There Are a few common mistakes that you should avoid when filling out a college application.
          -Don't pretend to be someone you are not. Sure, I can say I'm Beyonce, but I am not. Filling up your resume with a billion things that you have done is not going to help you. At SMC we say it is better to have a few things that you are really involved and passionate in rather than a thousand little things.
          -Don't forget to proofread. You fill out a ton of applications and all of us make mistakes, but DO NOT accidentally use the wrong school's name in your application. It happens so to eliminate the possibility of that have a friend, teacher or parent read everything before you send anything it.
          -Clean up social media sites. Take the time to set all of your accounts to private during the application process. Just do it. I promise.
         -Don't leave the dreaded personal essay for the last minute. It is pretty much the most important part of your application because it gives you a chance to tell admissions counselors something about you rather than your GPA, classes or personal background. It is really daunting, but once you get a first draft written, you are golden. Start that draft early so you have time to make changes and revise. You want this to be the best essay you have ever written and that takes time. So take that time. I promise you will not regret it!
Scary. I know. But don't worry. I am here to help!
(via)


     5. Don't stress. After everything is complete, T's are crossed and your signature is signed, there is nothing you can really do. Once you hand everything in, don't stress. Things happen for a reason. If you don't get into your top choice, it is not the end of the world. There are thousands of amazing colleges in this country and any of them would be happy to have you as a student. If you put as much effort as you could into your application, you should have nothing to worry about.

Hope this helps and good luck on all of your application endeavors! Want more tips about the college application process? Let me know!

Love,
Susanna

P.S- many of you have been wondering how rugby is going this season. Rugby is going AMAZING so far! We are currently 3-0 in our league. We have a large team this season with numbers close to 50 girls. Yesterday we played Bentley and won 101-0. Annnnddd.... I SCORED MY FIRST TRY! YAY! As always, you can track our team on our Facebook Page HERE!

yea know, just casually stiff-arming a girl. 


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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wake up Sleepy Head

     I have always considered myself a morning person. Sure, I don't like to wake up really early but, I mean, who does? I may not have the energy or the will to get out of bed in the morning, but I am no means a snoozer. When my alarm goes off I am awake. I just have so much to do in a day and I feel like by snoozing, I am taking up a good chunk of time. But for future warning, you can bet that if I hit snooze in the morning I am either 1. tired to the point where I can't function meaning that I will not be getting out of bed or 2. deathly ill meaning that I will also not be leaving my bed.
     I thrive on routines. I wake up at the same time on certain days, eat at certain times and go to bed at certain times. Over the years getting into a routine has been tough, especially with unexpected late night homework sessions, binge watching YouTube videos or just pure insomnia. But through all of those obstacles I think I have found a few tricks to becoming a morning person and, if you already are one, a better morning person.

ONE// Don't Snooze. This is probably the hardest step, but I promise, it makes a world of difference. It is proven that our brain basically knows our snooze button. Chances are when you hit it in the morning you will fall back into a very light sleep because your brain is expecting your alarm to go off in a few short minutes. This, in turn, messes with your sleep cycle. It might sound crazy, but my alarm has a built in snooze. If I know that I have to be out of my bed at 7am, I will set my alarm for 6:50, sit up and take time to check social media or do what ever I want. As soon as the clock hits 7, I must get out of bed. It gives me time to sit and relax for a little bit while still being on time.
This is way too common for many of us.
(via)


TWO//Sunlight. The best way to wake up in the morning is to be woken up by sunlight coming through your window. Melatonin is the hormone that makes you sleepy. When exposed to the sunlight, your body is signaled to stop the flow of it. It is the way that I wake up in the morning, but if you are concerned about the sun waking you up before your alarm goes off, buy and eye mask.

THREE//Pump up the jams. As said in one of my previous posts, which you can find HERE, I talk about Spotify. Man, do I love Spotify. When I wake up in the morning I normally play one of their suggested playlists just to wake me up a little more. When you have music playing you will be too busy dancing around your room to be upset about having to wake up. Haven't heard of Spotify? That is totally ok! It is completely free to download. If you are interested, you can download it HERE.
     Some of my current favorite Spotify playlists are:
       -Afternoon Acoustic
       -Viral Top 50: US
       -Morning Commute
       -Mood Booster

FOUR//Power Down. An hour before you plan on going to bed, turn off all electronics such as TVs, your phone, iPads or computers an hour before you want to sleep. These screens will make it much harder for your brain to wind down. So snuggle up with a good book or chat with friends before you go to bed.

FIVE// Hydrate. Every night before I go to bed I put a large cup of water by the side of my bed. Drinking water as soon as you wake up not only helps to combat sleepiness but it also kick starts your metabolism to get you read for the day. During the day it is great to drink a lot of water, so this helps with your daily hydration.

SIX// Do things at night. I am the type of person that showers at night. It gives me more time in the morning to slowly drink my coffee or to check social media. I also pick out my outfits the night before so that I am not racing around my room trying to pick out something to wear.

SEVEN// Have something to look forward to. Be it a run, a hot shower or a steaming cup of coffee, having that one thing that makes you want to wake up will make it that much easier to stumble out of your comfy bed.

     Being a morning person is not for everyone and that is totally ok. I am just telling you what works for me. I find it nice to be able to wake up and go to class without the worry of possibly falling asleep during a professor's lecture.

Love,
Susanna

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

How to Plan for the Busy Weeks

Classes are slowly starting to pick up. Sometimes I find myself looking at my planner and thinking how the heck am I supposed to finish all of this? It just seems like sometimes there is not enough time in the day to complete everything that needs to get done. You know those weeks when you have some assignment due, some meeting scheduled, some practice to go to, on every day of the week? Yep, well that is how it has been here.
     Currently I am taking 16 credits of class (which is normal here), blogging, playing a sport, giving tours and maintaining a healthy social life. I guess what I am trying to say is that things get busy, but everything is manageable.

ONE// I know I say this a lot but, USE A PLANNER. If I did not have a planner I would probably die. Whether you use a paper planner or a planner on your iPhone, just make sure you have one. During really busy weeks, and I mean really busy weeks, I can even organize things down to the hour. This may sound weird, but I have two planners. One is my normal one that I use on a daily basis and the second one is one that I use primarily on Sundays. My Sunday Planner, as I call it, is a more broad planner. I write down all my assignments for the next week along with all meetings, practices and activities that I have to be at. This planner is organized into three categories:
     Could Do's- tasks that could get done if I had extra time, such as non-mandatory meetings and events and shopping.
     Should Do's- important things that I really should do, such as meetings or events. But these things can be rescheduled if need be.
     Must Do's- my non-negotiables such as assignments, studying, practice, mandatory meetings, class and keeping in touch with friends and family.
Upon breaking it all down into these three categories, it is also color coded. Each category has a color and then each day something is due has a different color. As you can probably tell, I am a very visual person.
My daily planner.

My list of things to accomplish for the week.

TWO// Make other lists. Along with my very intense planner, I also make lists for each day. These are often broken down by time segments (morning, afternoon and night). On this list I write down all the stuff that must get accomplished for the day.
I do this every day in a plain, spiral bound notebook. It just helps me to be a little bit more organized throughout the day. 

THREE//These weeks are the hardest time for me with social media. I get distracted so easily so once I open up Facebook it often sucks me in for a few hours. During my busy weeks, I often have to limit my social media usage.

FOUR// During busy weeks I often forget to take time to myself. Balance out your caffeine intake with water. Schedule when to sleep at night or when to take a quick nap (I love naps). Take breaks during the day to go for a walk, listen to some music or talk with some friends.

FIVE// Planning ahead is one of the things that I often forget to do. if you know that you have a busy week ahead of you, do your laundry before the week, get little assignments out of the way, or if you have meetings or appointments that can be rescheduled, do it to clear up sometime. Also, if I know that I have a busy week ahead I will clean up my room a bit so it makes me feel less cluttered.

Love,
Susanna

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Best

     Holy guacamole. It has been nearly four weeks since I have posted. WHAT THE HECK SUSANNA. GET WITH IT. But seriously. I am so sorry for the lack of posts lately. The past four weeks have been a whirlwind of moving in, preseason, classes, rugby and just a whole bunch of other things. I am happy to say that I am finally starting to feel settled in my new living situation for junior year and I am currently loving every second.
     So, as stated above, I've been a tad busy. So, to kind of narrow things down I have picked a few of my favorite things lately. They range in topics, so just bear with me.

SONG// Wowza. I have been listening to A TON of music lately. I have a strange taste in music. I  pretty much like everything. A perfect thing that often helps me find new music is Spotify. Man, I love Spotify. It's pre-made playlists are amazing and it helps me to find new music that I would have never heard of otherwise. Some of my recent favorites are:

     -Shut Up and Dance: Walk the Moon
     -OctaHate: Ryn Weaver
     -Beware the Dog- The Griswalds
     -Don't Wait- Mapei

SUITE// ohhhhmygoodness. I love my suite. But seriously. It is pretty much the best place in the world. I am living with amazing people which makes everything 1000xs better. We finally finished decorating our common room and we are all in love with it. Honestly, we spend way too much time in the common room. On Tuesday and Friday nights we are pretty much all sitting in there watching TLC and just joking around. My room is also amazing. This is my first time having my own room at SMC and granted it gets lonely at times, but it is nice to have my own space. Plus, I loved decorating it!
MY ROOM! I am literally in love with my room. 
(our amazing common room. We have finally finished decorating! Thanks to Candice for taking the picture)



SCHOOL// If you haven't already guessed by my previous posts, I love school. I really do. And this semester is no different. I adore all of my classes. This semester I am taking Photo Journalism, Philosophy of Ethics, Early Latin America and Race and Ethnic Relations. Even though they are a lot of work already, I really enjoy the work that I am doing for them. They constantly keep me engaged and the material is extremely interesting.

RUGBY//  Rugby has been amazing the past couple of weeks. Our first conference game was yesterday and we were all very pleased with the outcome. We beat Providence College 62-5. It was so nice to be out on that pitch again playing with some of my best friends. It was also great to see a bunch of alumni that came back to watch the game. Preseason happened a few weeks ago and it was amazing. Although it was really tiring it was so much fun. We had a camp during the weekend of preseason and Jamie Burke, a USA Women's National player and Candi Orsini, a USA National coach came and taught us some amazing skills. It was a long few days but it was so worth it.
(Rugby camp with the Burlington Women's team.)

TREATS// I don't normally gravitate towards sweets, I tend to prefer salty things. But one of my friend's mom made some AMAZING treats for us in the past few weeks. Her homemade granola bars were heavenly and just when we thought it couldn't get any better we were given cookies and cream cupcakes. HOLY GOODNESS. They are so good.

MEMORY//You are probably sick of hearing about summer camp. But I am sorry, I just can't talk about it enough. I love the place. Earlier today I was looking back at pictures from it and it just reminded me how much I miss it. If you have not considered working at a summer camp, well then, you seriously should. I can't suggest it enough and I miss it every day. The friends and memories that I made at camp are ones that will last a lifetime.
(l to r: Max, Jordan, Me)
Lifeguard training with these two goons!
(Nicole and I at our Fairy Tale staff dinner! She was Mulan and I was Flounder from the Little Mermaid!)
Love,
Susanna

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Secrets to Success: The First Semester

suc·cess·ful: (adj) accomplishing an aim or purpose. 

     One of the things that our society is categorized by today is how successful a person is. Everyone strives to be successful. Personally, I do not think that success is something that can be ultimately reached. More so, I believe it is something that is only chased.     
     As I have been going through my college career, I have sort of been trying to figure out my definition of success. What is the deciding moment between a moment that is successful and a moment that is not so successful? What are the things that I have been doing that have pointed me to those successful moments? It has taken me a little time, but I think I have a few answers. 
     My success secret is simple. A lot of people think it is more difficult than it actually is (I was one of those people until I really thought about it.) And the big secret is........ if you say you are going to do it, do it.
     Honestly, I wish I had figured these things out when I was just starting college. As said in previous posts, my first year of school was rough. I wasn't challenged as much as I should have been in high school so I thought that just skating through college was the only option. I was wrong and my grades showed that. Granted, they were not awful, but they were just not what I wanted them to be. 
     Sure, I do things last minute. Things get stressful. I may cry. But things get done. If I say I am going to do something, come rain, sleet, wind or snow (most of the time its snow up here in VT), I will do it. To be able to do this, I have some tips that I have figured out. 

ONE: Be on time. All of my friends make fun of me because I am always early to things. If I have class at 12:15, I am on my way to that class by 12. I am not sure why, but I just hate being late. Lateness is probably one of my biggest pet peeves and it honestly pains me to be late to something. I find that sometimes this takes just as much self control as it takes planning. You can plan out your exact route and times to do things, but if you hit that snooze button one time or take a few extra minutes on Pinterest, then all of that planning goes to waste. It is all one big compromise. This applies for almost everything in my life, not only showing up for class or tours, but also for submitting assignments and papers. 

TWO: Keep yourself organized. Sometimes it gets hard. Trust me, I am in no way the most organized person. My room looks like a bomb went off with clothes, makeup, hair products and all of my rugby gear all over the place. But when it comes to big things, I am always organized. If I don't write down when something is due, I will almost always forget. I am a big fan of to-do lists and calendar alerts in my phone. What ever you need to do to keep track of our life, do it! 
I am a HUGE fan of planners. I love planners so much that I actually have 2 of them: one for school work and one for blogs and extracurricular activities. To go a little bit further, I even color code them. I know. I'm weird.
(image)

THREE: Figure out deadlines. This one goes hand in hand with number two, so just stick with me. While somethings spell out deadlines for you (papers, exams, quizzes, projects) other things my not be as clear. I find it 10 times harder to be able to complete things when there isn't a deadline spelled out for me. I always do the classic "I'll do it later" thing. Always always always figure out a date that gives you a reasonable time frame to complete a task and stick to it. 

FOUR: Set Priorities. This is a biggie. If I say I am going to do something, I don't want to disappoint anyone by not completing the task. That means that if I have way too many things on my plate and someone asks me to pick up another I have to tell them "no" straight up. In previous years, I thought saying no was a bad thing, but trust me, it's not. Saying no is one hundred times better than saying yes and then having to back out at the last minute. It is still something that I find really challenging today. I always want to please everyone and I feel like by saying no I am letting them down. Through this I constantly have to remind myself that I am actually preventing myself from letting them down by saying no. 

FIVE: Define. What does success mean to you. You can never be successful until you have a clear idea of what it is. I usually start with my biggest, larger than life goal and work my way from there. When good is good enough, I'm done and accept the fact that it is good enough. I can definitely be grouped into the category of a perfectionist sometimes. I want everything I do to be perfect. But in the end, I just have to get things done. 

What does success mean to you?

Love,
Susanna

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