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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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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Life is Too Short

Hi, friends. I know a lot of you like my blog because I try to post positive things and spread happiness. This post is different than my usual posts; it’s long and a bit of a roller coaster, because that is what my life has been these past few weeks.

 

My cousin and I went to see Before You Exit in concert a few weeks ago. They are a three piece, guitar based band of brothers (think: Jonas Brothers). We decided to splurge on the VIP package, and it was worth it. We got to meet the guys and attend a small Q&A/acoustic performance session. I was starstruck when Riley, my favorite member of BYE, answered my question. During the meet and greet, they asked us how we were doing, said they were happy to see us, and gave us tight hugs. It was quick, but I’ll never forget it.

Back in April, they announced that Christina Grimmie would be opening for them. I had heard about her before, but I hadn’t bothered to check out her music (I don’t know why, I was missing out). But I decided to listen to her music and watch a couple of her videos to get to know her. Like anyone who has ever watched a Christina Grimmie video, I instantly loved her. She was genuine, goofy, and relatable. She spoke about the nerdy things she loved, like video games, without regard for what others would think. She also spoke openly about her faith in God, which was refreshing. Her voice blew me away. I sing in my church’s choir, but when I heard Christina, I felt ashamed to ever open my mouth again because she was that good.


Photo Credit: Mackenzie Bearup Photography

The concert itself was a lot of fun. We were standing at the barricade in front of Christina’s piano, so I’m positive she saw us jumping and screaming. When the show ended, there was atmosphere of such celebration, joy, and love. I recognized BYE’s friends and family members who were in the audience. I saw Christina, too. I wanted to say hi to her and tell her about how much she inspires me to be a better musician, a better person, and a better follower of Jesus. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance, and now I regret it…

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