Things I Learned This Summer

Hi friends! In previous posts, I’ve mentioned that I spent the summer away at an internship. I didn’t give any details because I wanted to wait until I was back home before I said anything on the blog or social media about it. Now that I am back, I can officially discuss my summer internship experience with you all!

I spent this summer at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Cornell has been my dream school for years, so I was extremely excited to get this opportunity. The first few weeks were an adjustment, since upstate New York is very different from Florida. It’s beautiful, but in a different way. Here are some pictures I took around campus and while hiking through Ithaca’s waterfalls.

I learned a lot this past summer, so I decided to write about a few of those things! Here they are:

Feel the fear, but do it anyway

I was nervous to spend the summer in a new city, away from my family and friends. Still, I knew it would be a great opportunity for me to grow, not only as a young professional, but as a person. It was intimidating to live so far away from home for such a long time but I did it anyway. I did miss home a lot (it would hurt me to open my weather app and my hometown would always be the first city to come up…), but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I think my parents took it harder than I did.

Trust God’s timing, not your own

Last summer, I applied to the very same internship program. Unfortunately, I didn’t get in. I was sad about it for a little while, but I knew I could try again next summer. Now that I’ve actually had the experience, I think it was for the best that I didn’t go last summer. Throughout the past year, I have matured and become more capable of standing on my own two feet. I knew that not being accepted was God’s way of protecting me. He knew (even though I didn’t) that it would have been much harder for me at that point in my life.

Don’t stay in your room

As an introvert, I would feel more comfortable staying in my room than going out. But just like everything in life, there must be a balance. It’s okay to hang out in your room every once in a while, but it’s also okay to go out every once in a while. Go and eat out with your friends. Go to the living room and talk to your roommates. It’s true that the best memories I have of this trip were of spending time with my roommates, not of being alone in my room.

Be respectful of others, and they will be respectful of you

One of the things I was worried about before starting was that my roommates and labmates wouldn’t like me. But (unless they are truly awful people) if you respect them, they will respect you in return. I used this strategy, and it worked! I got along well with my roommates and my internship-mates. We ended up spending a lot of time hanging out together and we still keep in touch.

Routines are great, but you’ll learn a lot if you take a break from them

I love routines. I could swear by them. But this summer, I took a break from my routine to try something completely different. I actually created new routines and a new normal when I was away. After a break from my usual routine, I am now ready to get back into the swing of things and begin my senior year back at my home school.

I had a lot of fun this past summer. It was a fantastic learning experience that I am so thankful for. I hope to be able to return to Cornell soon!

How was your summer?

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Summer 2017 Favorites

Hi, friends! Happy August! I’m so sorry that it’s been a while since my last blog post. Many of you may know that I spent the summer interning in a lab at my dream school! I have had a great time, made amazing friends, and learned so much. I’ll write more about my internship experience in a future post, but for now, here are the things I’ve been loving while I was away!

Songs:

Find Yourself by Before You Exit & Great Good Fine Ok

My favorite band, Before You Exit, recently released a song with their friends, a duo known as Great Good Fine Ok. It’s a fun, upbeat, dance-able song with a good message: don’t let someone find you until you find yourself. They released a very aesthetically pleasing music video for the song, too. It was filmed a few weeks ago when the two groups performed the song together for the first time in New York City during one of Great Good Fine Ok’s shows.

Getaway by Parachute

This song by Parachute, another one of my favorite bands, definitely describes the way I feel about this summer. It has been a getaway from my usual routine to try something new. So, I have chosen this song as my “theme song of the summer.” I know that when I hear it in the future, it will bring back the wonderful memories I am making right now as I explore a different part of the country.

 

Movies:

Spider-Man: Homecoming

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I have not stopped tweeting about this movie and about the star of the movie, Spider-Man himself, Tom Holland. Ever since I saw the new, Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War, I was looking forward to a solo Spider-Man movie. I had very high expectations and it did not disappoint. It was so much to watch. I’ll definitely be going to see it again.

 

Wonder Woman

Okay so I might not have seen Wonder Woman yet, and I’m not too much into the DC cinematic universe (it’s a little too dark for my taste), but I’ve heard so many great things about this movie that I’ve decided to give it a chance. I’ll watch it when I get the opportunity.

 

Activities:

Writing

Along with my internship, writing has been keeping me busy. I haven’t been writing much for the blog because I was given the opportunity to write for Uloop, a website geared toward college students. I think a lot of you would like it, so check it out! Check out my posts here!

Hiking

The city I spent this summer in has a lot of beautiful hiking trails, so I’ve spent a fair amount of time hiking, too. I’ll post more pictures later, but here’s one I really liked!

Researching grad school

Now that I am a rising senior, it’s time to start applying for graduate school! I remember thinking a few months ago that grad school was so far away, but now it’s staring me in the face. When I wasn’t in the lab, hiking, or writing, chances are, I was looking at grad school programs and how to prepare for them.

(Would you guys be interested in posts about my grad school application journey? Let me know in the comments!)

 

How did you spend your summer? What songs, movies, and activities have you been loving? Let’s talk in the comments, I miss talking to you all!

 

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6 Ways to Beat Procrastination

Hi friends! Procrastination is a big problem among college students. It’s hard to focus on schoolwork when we have things that are more fun, like TV, movies, music, books, and social media. Because of this, I decided to write a post about how to fight procrastination.

6 Ways to Beat Procrastination | Procrastination is a big problem among college students. It's hard to focus on schoolwork when we have things that are more fun, like TV, movies, music, books, and social media. Because of this, I decided to write a post about how to fight procrastination.

Have a procrastination problem? Here's how to beat procrastination! Click To Tweet

Ignore interruptions, focus

Turn your phone on airplane mode, resist the temptation to go on other websites on your computer, and turn off the music (unless it’s instrumental or you think you work better with it). Also, get yourself some water so you’re not tempted to get up during your study session. These things will help you ignore interruptions and get more done in less time!

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7 Ways to Relax After Finals Week

Hi, friends! Yesterday I took my last final, and that marks the end of my junior year of college. In honor of the end of finals week, I wrote this post about ways to unwind after finals week. Congratulations on all of your hard work this past semester, and I hope this is the start of a great summer! So here are a few ways to relax after finals week.

 7 Ways to Relax After Finals Week | Here are some great ways to relax after finishing a tough semester!

Here's how to wind down and relax after a tough finals week! Click To Tweet

Don’t worry about your final grade

It’s so hard to NOT worry about your final grade, especially if you don’t know how well you did on your final exam. But you need to recognize that at this point, there’s not much more you can do to change your final grade. Rather than stress out over something you can’t change, try to forget about it and focus on the amazing summer you have ahead! (Don’t be like me, who spent yesterday constantly checking Blackboard to see if my final test grade had been posted yet…)

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What I’ve Learned From Blogging

Hi friends, today is my blog’s 3rd anniversary! I started Welcome to Aly’s World in 2014 because I wanted an outlet for my writing. I didn’t know what I was doing, I just wrote about whatever I was interested in at the time. In the summer of 2015, I started to take blogging more seriously. I scoured Pinterest for posts on how to run a blog. I learned a lot, and I put what I learned into action. I became part of the college blogging community. I love this community because we’re all so helpful and supportive of each other.

Over these three years, I’ve learned a lot about blogging. I thought I’d take the opportunity to share what I’ve learned!

It’s good to learn the rules, but only follow them if you want to

Just as I said in my New Years’ Update: Blogging My Way post, there are plenty of people everywhere who will tell you how to run your blog in order for it to be “successful”. I’m not even going to lie: I’m one of them. But just like every other creative endeavor, you are allowed to bend the rules. It’s good to learn the rules, though, so that you can know where, when, and how you can bend them. Ultimately, you don’t have to follow anyone’s advice. You can run your blog however you want to. So when you read a post giving you suggestions on how to run your blog, take those suggestions with a grain of salt; take their advice only if you want to.

Your blog can grow with you

When you blog for a few years, you will grow and change. So should your blog. It wouldn’t make sense to keep blogging in a certain niche just because it was the same niche you were in last year. I’ve seen people transfer from being college lifestyle bloggers to travel or blog/business building bloggers. That’s totally okay! If you’ve grown and changed and no longer like writing about what you’ve been writing about, then start writing about what you do want to write about. You are not obligated to write about something just because that’s what you’ve always done.

Blogging is a community

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is that blogging is a community. An isolated blogger won’t get very far. However, if you’re part of a community of bloggers who are engaging with each other, more people will read your posts, and you’ll have many more posts to read!

Now, how can you be a part of a community? Simple: find others in your niche, reach out to them, and respond to them when they reach out to you. Find others in your niche through Twitter chats, Pinterest group boards, or Facebook groups. Message them! Chances are, these bloggers will be happy to receive a message from you.

Just do it

If you’re considering doing something, just do it. For example, when I started Welcome to Aly’s World I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to take it. But I still started it and posted whatever I wanted. This didn’t produce great posts or many pageviews, but it helped me get the blogging ball rolling. After publishing a few mediocre blog posts and reading about how to improve my blog, I decided to implement certain things I learned from those posts. I worked on improving my website and the quality of my content. Now, a lot of those original posts have been deleted, and I am producing much better, more helpful posts. Don’t be afraid to start!

Those are the things I learned after 3 years of blogging. It’s been such a great ride! Here’s to another wonderful year of this blog!

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Digital Tools to Get You Through Finals Week

Hi friends! Technology has completely changed the game when it comes to studying for finals. Let’s take advantage of the technology we have! Here are some digital tools that will come in handy during this crazy weeks we call finals week.
Digital Tools to Get You Through Finals Week | Here are some websites that'll help you study for your finals!

Finals week is coming up! Here are some digital tools to help you ace your finals! Click To Tweet

SelfControl.

When you’re studying, it’s easy to get distracted and want to procrastinate by going on time wasting websites like Facebook or Buzzfeed. This app won’t let you get distracted by blocking these websites for a certain period of time. It’ll give you no choice but to focus on your work!
Download SelfControl for Mac here. If you’re using Windows, try StayFocusd on Google Chrome.

Pomodoro Timer.

The Pomodoro Method helps you stay focused by having you focus on only one task for 25 minutes and take a 5 minute break. It makes sure your break length doesn’t get out of hand, but it also makes sure that you don’t go too long without a break, either.
Access an online timer here.

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Taking Care of Your Mind and Body During Finals Week

Hi, friends! We’re approaching the most stressful part of the school year… finals week. Because it’s such a special time in the school year, I decided to do a three-part series on having a successful finals week. Every Monday, for the next three weeks, I’ll publish a new post for the Successful Finals Week series. Today’s post is about taking care of your mind and body. Your mind and your body are the vehicles that will help you achieve success, so you can’t neglect them!

Taking Care of Your Mind and Body During Finals Week | You won't perform well on your finals if your body is tired. Here's how to take care of your mind and body so you can be successful on your tests!

Finals week is coming up soon! Here's how to take care of your mind and body so you can do your… Click To Tweet

Don’t waste time and energy stressing out.

It’s so easy to get overwhelmed when you see how much you have to study. Instead of stressing out, focus your energy on getting the work done!
Homework: Be mindful of your thoughts. If you notice that you’re starting to get overwhelmed, take a deep breath and count to ten. Then, focus your energy on studying instead of stressing out…

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Super Smart Study Strategies for Finals Week

Hi, friends! Finals week is coming up quickly. Most students will shiver at that thought, but never fear! Here are some tips to help you have a successful finals week.

Smart Study Strategies for Finals Week | Here are ways to prepare yourself for finals!

Find out the practical details of each exam.

Will it be cumulative? If not, which chapters will it cover? What format will it be in (multiple choice, essay, short answer…)? How much time will you have? This will give you an idea of what you need to study. There is a good chance this information will be on the class syllabus, but if it isn’t, ask your professor.
Also, make sure you know exactly when and where the exam will take place, since some exams might not take place in the classroom at the normal class time…

Finals week is coming up! Here are some smart study strategies to help you succeed 🙂 Click To Tweet
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5 Powerful Active Recall Strategies

Hi, friends. Today I’m publishing a guest post by Kay from Smart Student Secrets. I love this post because it’s full of great information and actionable tips on how to incorporate this information into your study strategies. I hope you enjoy it!

I used to struggle with tests before I learned to use active recall for studying.

The test would be sitting in front of me. I would be scrunching up my face thinking, “I know this… I think I know this… What was that answer again…” I would come up with answers but I never had any confidence because it was always a struggle. This is a problem that I now understand.

I was familiar with the material but I didn’t know it well. This is the problem that active recall solves.

You shouldn’t have to struggle to remember everything on your tests. You’re not a bad test taker. You just need to learn a few new strategies. These strategies can increase your test scores and turn you into a top-notch test-taker.

It gets better than that too. You’ll also save a ton of time learning for class.

In active recall, you need to practice remembering “it” to remember “it.” “It” is whatever you need to study.

What Is Active Recall?

Active Recall is a principle of learning. Here is the simple way to understand it:

You need to practice remembering “it” to remember “it.” “It” is whatever you need to study.

The most common active recall tool students use is a set of flashcards. When you read one side of a flashcard and then remember what’s on the other side, you’re using active recall. If you flip the flashcard over without remember then you’re not using active recall…

In active recall, you need to practice remembering “it” to remember “it.” “It” is whatever you… Click To Tweet
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How to Seamlessly Transfer Schools + My Transfer Experience

Hi, friends! You may not know this, but I’m a transfer student. I decided to write a post about my transfer experience and tips for prospective transfer students because I haven’t seen many posts about transferring. However, I did find 2 helpful articles for those who are interested (they are linked at the end of this post!). Transferring schools can be both exciting and nerve racking. The application process and getting settled into a new school is work, but if you approach it in a timely and organized manner, you will be just fine. Here is my personal transfer experience and some tips for those who are considering transferring schools.

Are you a transfer student or interested in transferring? Here are a few ways to make the process easier.

My Transfer Experience

I graduated high school at only 17 years old. Because I was so young, my parents didn’t want me to go away just yet. So, I decided to attend a community college (I already had some credits there thanks to dual enrollment!) and earn an AA to then continue to a state university. I was there for a year, and it was a great year. I am thankful for my experience at that school because it allowed me to start gaining experience in STEM at such a young age. I did well in my classes and it was comfortable…

Are you a transfer student or interested in transferring? Here are a few ways to make the process… Click To Tweet
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