That Bittersweet moment…

It’s that time of year again, where you have to pack you bags, move out, and do something productive with your summer.

For most college students, summer break is almost here. It’s such a bittersweet moment. On one hand you’re saying bye to all your friends for the summer, but on the other hand you get to look forward to graduation parties, vacations on the beach, and just plain old relaxation. The only one thing that annoys me about summer break is the moving out part. Those that live on campus have to clean everything (and cross their fingers that they haven’t damaged any part of the room) and move out, but then in three months, pack up everything, and move in again. Its just so much work.

Nonetheless, the images of sipping iced tea by the pool, or going on road trips with family and friends, or sitting on the porch and reading a book, or just relaxing on the couch, makes everything better. The last few days (right now) are the toughest, because you are just 1 or 2 exams away from going home. The struggle to study is real.

The important thing about summer vacation is to make sure that it is productive. Make sure that you spend the time wisely. Whether it be internships, research, summer classes, work, or learning a new skill, make sure that you are doing something at all times. It’s really easy to loose yourself and just be a lazy bum and watch TV all day. Therefore, take this time to reorganize your life, after a hectic year of school.

To all the seniors that have graduated, CONGRATS! Wish you all the best on your journey towards changing the future.

Now, to all the high school graduates and transfer students that have just committed to UMBC or to any college for that matter, WELCOME to higher education! Please use your break to learn more about the campus, make connections, and solidify your future/career goals. You have infinite opportunities in front of you so make the best of it! Oh, and also get ready for the many all-nighters, coffee runs, challenging 8:30 am classes, and a little bit of partying. In all honesty, get ready for the best (and most stressful) years of your life.

That’s all the post for this semester, have a GREAT SUMMER BREAK EVERYONE!

We All Need A Hero: A Plea to the General Public

If you’re like me, then you know Soulja Boy. You’ve known Soulja Boy for a long time and you never really got the point of his music career. His songs don’t have a clear purpose. He isn’t Kendrick Lamar, he’s not out here rapping for the community. You could even argue that Soulja Boy doesn’t even rap but instead rhythmically speaks onto a beat. If you’re like me, then you’ve never appreciated Soulja Boy. You never got it.

Until now.

There’s something about the atmosphere of stress and desperation that invades a college campus during finals week that forces you to value the nonsensical. It forces you to value the simple things like, perhaps, putting your swag on. All those songs that played on the airways in back in middle school suddenly have a new purpose. If you need a hero I implore you to look to Soulja Boy.

Words of guidance from Soulja Boy that have increased relevance today:

  • “Ayyyy Soulja Boy Chillin Dog I Just Got My Report Card Looked At It All F’s Took It To Tha Teacher Desk (Throw Some D’s On That On That)” -Report Card
    • Soulja Boy teaches the art of begging the professor. He’s a hero.
  • “When a [expletive] be in your face, just on your nerves, talkin shit, and you just don’t wanna hear it, just be like “yahhh, trick, yahhh!””- Yahhh!
    • Soulja Boy teaches how to cope with annoying people for when the smile and nod fails to work. He’s a hero
  • “This right here is my swag. All the girls are on me, damn. Everybody pay attention. This right here is my pretty boy swag (ayeee)”- Pretty Boy Swag
    • In this song Soulja Boy teaches the art of self confidence, which is essential to survival during finals. He’s a hero.
  • [I-15:] She got to step like this to be a Soulja Girl. She got to step like that to be a Soulja Girl. Girl let me see you. [Soulja Boy:] YOU, YOU!”- Soulja Girl ft. I-15
    • This song is my personal favorite because it gives me an alternative to college. Yes I plan wholeheartedly to graduate and get these degrees, however if it ever at all becomes all too much Soulja Boy was kind enough to break down the steps to an alternative lifestyle: Soulja Girl Living. Give him an award, he’s a hero.

You don’t have to like Soulja Boy (please acknowledge though that everything he touches is fire!) but it is important to have something that will surely bring happiness to your day 100% of the time. These silly things are really important during stressful times and if you don’t already have a method to destress, pick Soulja Boy. He’s logical. He’s fun. And most importantly he’s a hero.

Happy End of the Semester Everyone!

Food on Wheels

Can we talk about these food trucks that have been on campus lately? Normally there’s one cupcake truck that comes on one random day in the middle of the semester, but this semester there’s been a number of trucks on the Commons Loop.

I worked in Washington D.C. last summer off of K-street near Franklin Park, so I’m pretty in love with food trucks. Granted, UMBC isn’t sporting Amorini Panini and Korean taco truck, but Baltimore’s trucks seem to have their own flair.

The event on myUMBC said that it was hosted by UMBC Dining Services. It’s kind of nice that UMBC Dining Services are willing to bring in other foods to campus besides what is already here.

It’s clear that UMBC listens to when students want something. So make sure to find out when Kooper’s Burger Wagon, Slante on Wheels, and Icedgems will be on campus next!

Block Party

Two weeks ago, Resident Student Association, threw their annual Block Party event.

Block party is a carnival style event, with cotton candy, face painting, shaved ice, various types of games, food, and much more. During block party, each residential community sets up their own table and provides a game for everyone to participate in. This years theme was nautical, so everyone did some “sea” related. For example, Erickson Hall did organized a sand art table, where people came and decorated small bottles shaped like sand castles with different colored sand. Also, Walker Apartment did a boat sailing competition. Other halls did caramel apples, t-shirt/sock tie dye, and throwing darts at paint balls. Basically it was a afternoon/evening filled with a lot of fun.

Everyone, including, the RSA executive board, the Community Councils, and the advisers, put in a lot of hard work to make this event really big. However, the only problem was that there was a lack of advertising, therefore, not a lot of students were aware that Block Party was happening. Nonetheless, there were a lot of people that came and enjoyed themselves; the cotton candy and the caramel apples were a great hit!

Furthermore, there was a BBQ style dinner at True Grits. There was hamburgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken, black bean burgers, potato salad, and dessert.

Block Party was an event to bring together all the communities and most of the residential students in order to allow an evening of socialization. Like all other RSA events, this event was designed to strength the connections between all the communities in order to better  Residential Life. It was really fun and exciting to help organize, decorate, and take part in this great event.

To all prospective, and incoming students, if you want to be more involved in residential life and throw events like this and help advocate for residential students, then don’t hesitate to join the RSA!!

MCS 390: The Reason I Abandoned My Life for Grey’s Anatomy

I know myself. I know that when I start a show, I become obsessed with that show and it, sadly, becomes a top priority. To make sure I do not fail out of school, I have a strict rule of not watching already aired television shows until break sessions. I watch Jane the Virgin, which is fine because it’s currently airing and there’s only one episode a week so I don’t have the opportunity to ruin my life with that show. Grey’s Anatomy, however, is a completely different story. Eleven seasons. Ridiculously addictive and addictively ridiculous story lines. Characters, who aren’t so relatable, but you love them all the same. Yes. In February 2015, I abandoned all responsibility and watch season 1-4. In March I watched seasons 4-8. Now in April I am trying to undo the damage of my past two months. So what made me break my rule of not watching TV in the middle of the semester?

I did it for an A.

So, I’m Global Studies, Media and Communications Studies double major and every so often there’s a class where I can get credit for completing in both majors. MCS 390, Transcultural Studies in Global Television, was that class. The premise of the class is learning about cultural proximity, how producers in another country will change certain aspects of a television show when adapting it to meet with the norms of that culture. So in order to be successful in this class you have to watch a lot of television. And that was fine, but then we had to watch Grey’s Anatomy and this innocent class took a terrible turn.

So there’s a Turkish Grey’s Anatomy, a Colombian Grey’s Anatomy, A Mexican Grey’s Anatomy and an American Grey’s Anatomy. To analyze the various versions you have to first start with the original and that’s the American version, but no one warned me how good it is.

So here is my warning.

Take MCS 390. It’s an awesome, interesting class. It fulfills an upperlevel and possibly a culture credit. Just beware Grey’s Anatomy and Jackson Avery’s eyes. They see through to your soul.

jackson avery


My Guide to Studying Abroad: Packing

Recently someone asked me for advice on the logistics of study abroad. I studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain during the Fall 2014 semester. I studied history, worked on my Spanish and traveled to Belgium, Morocco and Portugal in addition. Because I am history major, it is my nature to do lots of research before nearly anything I do, study abroad was no different. I am happy to share what I did about phones and money and other logistics while abroad with you, in case you are preparing for study abroad either now or in the future. I will share my suggestions based on about 3 months of research preparation. Having been returned from my time abroad, I am happy to say that in all of these things I was successful and I never lost (or had stolen -) a single thing!

Note: all of these suggestions are made with the idea that you want to save the most amount of money. If money is not an issue for you, lucky you!


In all the travel blogs and any talk online about studying abroad, I am sure you will see how much people love to talk about packing. Everyone has their own thoughts on the best way to be cost, space and weight efficient. I suggest you look up all these various ways to be so and choose the one that you think will best suit you. I travel quite a bit, so have a routine for packing and what I know I NEED to take. However, I had never packed for such a long period of time before and I wish I had done things a little differently. If you have ever been to Europe you know that there is cobblestone EVERYWHERE. If you didn’t know that before and are going there, remember that important point. I want to use this as an example for context in traveling. If you will be traveling a bit you do not want to be carrying giant or 3 suitcases on cobblestone, up stairs or in mud. When I arrived in Europe, the first hotel I stayed at did not have an elevator or a handicap way to get into the hotel. I carried my giant suitcase up quite a few stairs and was sweating by the end. Perhaps where you are going has cobblestone that will tear your suitcase, perhaps they don’t have elevators, perhaps you will have to walk a while with your suitcase in order to get to your destination, perhaps you are going somewhere where you will get to drive up to front entrance and someone takes your suitcase to your room for you. Be prepared for anything. If you are going to a place you have never been before, do not expect conditions to be the same as they are in the USA. I saw girls who had brought 3 giant suitcases and were struggling whenever we had to go from one place to the next and carrying them up the stairs. I only had one giant suitcase but I still felt I had brought too much. Literally, you feel the weight of your decisions. Be sure you can carry your suitcases on your own and try not to take more than 1 suitcase. You can always purchase another to bring back with gifts for all your friends and family. Things to consider are storage of your suitcases while living there, weight, allowance and being able to move the suitcase yourself. I suggest packing a week before then rolling your case around to make sure you can handle it. If it’s too heavy TAKE THINGS OUT. Below is a vague outline of my thoughts on what to pack .


  • Medication I needed, enough for the entire time I was gone. If you take any medications regularly, be sure to talk to your insurance provider and doctor well in advance to have enough medication for your time out of the country.
  • Contacts and travel toiletries (enough for 1 week, until I had time to buy toiletries there). Do research on where you are going – are toiletries something you can buy there? It won’t be your favorite brand, but immerse yourself in the culture. Maybe you will find something even better there, I did.
  • Really comfortable and cute shoes
  • Unique things from home, like my pillow. I love my pillow.


  • Enough clothing for all the seasons I thought I would experience. Do not think you know the climate of a place you have never been. You can read about it, think you understand, but I really think it is something that has to be experienced. And once experienced, if you find you need a coat there will be a store that caters to that environment where you are. I took a winter coat because I knew I would be there for winter and I never wore it. I didn’t need it. Winter there, although similar temperatures just feels different. I wish I had just taken clothing for the current season and bought more clothing there.
  • Too many clothes in general.
  • Books (real ones). I didn’t have a tablet when I went on my trip, but I do now. I have been a long time supporter of hard copy books. I have a giant bookshelf in my bedroom and I love it. But books are heavy and take up space. I bought a tablet to save space and money on my next trip. I will now be e-reading.


  • I don’t believe in wearing sweatpants in public, but I love a lazy day in sweat pants. I didn’t pack them because I knew I wouldn’t be wearing them often, but it turns out I missed them quite a lot. It’s one of those little comforts that I missed from home and would definitely take them next time.
  • A nice camera. I don’t own a camera. I have always just used my iphone, it takes nice enough photos and is easy to use. But, after all the marvelous things I saw, I realized the importance to me of sharing those memories with friends and family. With a nice camera, I know now the sharing of my experiences would be much better.
  • Old Bay – no explanation needed.

UMBC’s New Student Day

UMBC New Student Day 2015 (April 11th) was a great success!!! So many admitted students showed up, the crowd was marvelous!

Admitted students got the chance to walk around campus, and get a feel for the UMBC environment and culture, before they make their decision to join UMBC. Also, admitted students got the chance to meet and communicate with students and professors from different majors, per-professional programs, and organizations all over campus. The day was filled with fun facts, and various reasons why UMBC is simply the BEST!

One of the organizations that I want to vouch for is the Resident Student Association. The RSA is a organization comprised of the residential student body, who advocates for on-campus students, and creates interesting events for everyone to socialize and enjoy. Furthermore, joining RSA gives you the gateway to from connections with people in Residential Life, who can boost your applications to become Residential Assistants, and Desk Staffers, and write recommendations for you.

Now…back to the New Student Day. This was a great opportunity for students to get used to a particular environment, and learn some of the important information, including information about majors/minors/certificate programs, class size, student teacher ratio, tuition, living on campus, resources such as career center, tutorial centers, writing center, etc., social vs. academic life, transportation, and etc. Moreover, out of state students got the chance to stay overnight on Friday (April 10th) in the residential buildings, which furthered their great vibes for UMBC. By obtaining all this information from different schools, allows you to make an informed decision, so that you don’t have to constantly transfer from one school to another.

Furthermore, for those who could not make it on Saturday, please visit the campus during the week day (even if you already went on a tour) to get a feel for campus.

And for everyone that has been admitted to UMBC, hope to see you here in the fall! Also, please call the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, at 410-455-2292, if you have any questions or comments!

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Did you know that every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted? Or that 1 in every 5 college women experience a sexual assault?

It’s very clear that sexual assault is a major problem in the U.S. for many people. UMBC does not take this issue lightly. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and UMBC is filling the calendar with events for students!

Take Back the Night, an event that is common on college campuses, will start on 6:00pm on Thursday, April 16th on the Commons Main Street. I’ve been to a couple of these vigils in my days and they are always wonderful events. UMBC’s Take Back the Night will feature an information fair, as well as a survivor speak-out. This event allows survivors and supporters to convene together in hope, resilience, and cohesiveness.

Check out this link for a complete list of all the events and opportunities for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. There are tons of opportunities to learn how to prevent sexual assault, what to do to report, and how to support survivors.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month at UMBC is sponsored by the Women’s Center, University Health Services Health Education, and Voices Against Violence.

UMBC Theater Students Thrive

From March 26 to March 29, the UMBC Theater Department performed “These Shining Lives”, by Melanie Marnich. Now that the show has passed and I won’t be spoiling it for anyone who wants to see it by talking about it.

I’ve seen a number of UMBC Theater Department shows and this was one of my favorites. The show featured a small cast of seven with UMBC student Martha Robichaud as the lead.

“These Shining Lives” chronicles the life of Catherine Donahue in the early 1900’s as she starts work at the Radium Dial Clock Company is Ottawa, Illinois as a painter of clock faces using radium. Catherine builds a family of other women at the clock company, while her husband reluctantly supports her working.

Eventually, it becomes very clear that the women of Radium Dial have been poisoned by the radium. After years of grueling court cases, appeals, and social isolation, while suffering immensely from the debilitating sickness of radium poisoning, the women win a legal battle against Radium Dial. Fairly soon after winning, Catherine Donahue dies.

The story was beautifully written and the actors portrayed their characters extremely well. They even sported tasteful Chicago accents. It’s clear why UMBC’s Theater Department is often praised.

Check out “Leah’s Dybbuk” on April 30-May 3, 2015 to see the Theater Department in their next production!

What is important to you?

My boss gave a speech recently and he mentioned that after asking current students why they had selected a certain college and why, they shared that the reasons they had chosen a school then and today would be very different. They explained that what they thought was important in picking a university was actually not as a student at a university. I find this idea to be absolutely true for me. When graduating high school, it may be difficult to understand the importance of finding a school that will help you to get a job, but it is actually one of the most important things to consider in making a school decision. When deciding on a school, I really thought deciding which school culture would provide the best social experience for the next four years of my life. I wanted to be happy for the next four years of my life. My thinking in the beginning of the process was that I needed a school that had all the things that could make me happy during my four years of college.

I was wrong, and I am so glad. Now, as a graduating senior with a job after graduation, I look back at my years at UMBC and know it provided me with absolutely everything I needed to be successful for the rest of my life. UMBC was not my first choice. I chose UMBC for financial reasons, and am so happy that that is the way it turned out. In the beginning, I thought because UMBC may not be able to provide things like a rock wall or a football team that my four years at school might be less fun because those are the the kind of things I was told would make college fun. They are not. Anywhere you go, there will be a group of people like you, who enjoy doing the fun things you do. I know though now that UMBC has been the best choice in the way of providing me with excellent resources to achieve an paid internship each summer, and now a full time job offer for after graduation. Things like the career center, excellent professor mentorship, volunteer experience on campus, and rigorous coursework have prepared me for graduation, work life and beyond. I thought I just wanted to make sure college was the best 4 years of my life, but now I know with the resources and skills UMBC provided me my best years won’t be limited to my college years, but will last for the rest of my life.