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?

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!

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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