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!

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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!!

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!

Tips for Deciding on a College/University

Hey everyone! Since it’s that time of year, when high school seniors have to commit to a college/university (UMBC’s deadline is May 4th), I thought I would post some tips. Getting accepted into college can be both exciting and frustrating; for some it can completely change the way of life. I too had to go through this process, not long ago. So, here are some things to consider before making the final decision.

1) Make sure the particular college has your intended major! Not all colleges offer the same majors, therefore it is really important to make sure that you will be able to study things that you are interested in. UMBC has 44 majors, 41 minors, and 20 certificate programs that encompass all kinds of subjects. Also, there is Interdisciplinary Studies, which allows a student to make their own major. So, basically, you can combine different classes that you are interested in and major in something unique.

2) Find a college that is affordable. Even though you have an option for taking loans, (I believe) that it’s not very wise to take a lot of loans during your undergrad career. Moreover, out of state universities tend to cost a bit more than in state universities, which can be really annoying at times. Hence, make sure to compare all your scholarships and grants!

3) Once you have shortened your list to a couple universities, try to visit them again. For example, UMBC has a New Student Day Program (April 11th, 9:30 am to 3 pm), where new students can learn more about the campus, as well as meet faculty and students from different majors and organizations! This way you get a feel for campus as an accepted student which will make it easier for you to make a decision.

4) Make sure you communicate! This is the single most important tip I have. If you are not sure about something, make sure you call the undergrad admissions offices to clear all your confusion. Even if you think you have a simple question, JUST ASK! It doesn’t hurt to ask it allows you to make informed decisions. Also, make sure you talk to your parents/guardian, counselor, friend, or some one you trust about your future and what your plans are, it will make life that much more easier.

That’s all I the tips I have for now. Hope I’ve helped in some way. I wish all accepted students good luck, and hope to see all of you in the fall!

Welcome to the beginning of a new and exciting adventure in your life!

In light of what has happened…

At a recent group interview, I was asked if I agree or disagree with the statement that “Racism still exists in America.” This is by all means a really controversial topic. I decided to agree with the statement, and used a recent event as an explanation.

When I think about the term racism, I think about discrimination. To me discrimination isn’t just based on color, it could be about sex, gender, faith, and/or religion. Recently, in North Carolina, three Muslim students, in their early 20s, were shot in the head in their own house by their neighbor, a white male. Later on, articles were saying that there was a dispute between them about a parking space. But I just couldn’t understand how such a minor topic could lead the man to take three innocent lives.

All three of them were students, who had bright futures a head of them. Two of them were in dental school, trying to raise funds to go to Syria and treat little kids that had dental problems. A couple days later, the sister of one of the deceased came on TV and told everyone that the three students were active volunteers in their community, and that they lived to help others.

In my opinion, everyone has the right to live, no matter what his/her race, religion, ethnicity, or gender is. I mean, we are all human. Just because someone has a hijab on, or their skin color is dark, doesn’t mean they are automatically terrorists. In our society, we tend to stereotype a certain population based on the actions of others. Just because someone may not look like you doesn’t mean you are superior than them and should therefore kill them. In my opinion everyone is equal, and has the potential to great things for the world, and no one has the right to take this away.

One of the many things that I like about UMBC, is the diverse population of students on campus. When you walk into a classroom, or commons, you will see a variety of students from many different countries, race, and religions. Furthermore, there are a lot of cultural and religious clubs and organizations on campus, and they are all very inclusive. Currently, I am part of the Muslim Student Association, and the Bengali Student Counsel. Both of these clubs throw events that all students can participate in, and they don’t discriminate based on a student’s background.

Its truly an extraordinary experience being part of such a diverse population of students, where one can learn about different race, culture, and religion, and at the same time live and work in peace with everyone.

Picture of the three students that were killed. May their souls rest in peace.

Also, please help out their Syrian Dental Fund so their goal of helping the Syrian children can be accomplished. Link: http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/syrian-dental-relief/206249. Thanks!

Valentine’s Day

Since Valentine’s Day has come to an end, and everyone is done indulging in chocolates, candle lit dinners, and romantic conversations, I just thought it would be a good time to share my thoughts.

Today, I have seen various things, that have made me reevaluate Valentine’s Day. The first situation that I saw was this woman buying flowers for herself. As she approached my register at work, she was telling me that I should buy flowers and a gift for myself. Then I started to think “Okay. That might not be a bad idea after all.” Even though I didn’t end up buying anything for myself, I learned that Valentine’s day could be about loving yourself. If you don’t love your self, then you won’t be able to love the world around you. Only when you believe in yourself, and keep yourself happy, will you be able to keep others happy.

The second situation I saw was one of my coworkers buy chocolates. I asked her who her valentine was, and she said it was for her mother. I started to think once again. Valentine’s day doesn’t have to be about a romantic relation where only couples are allowed to celebrate, instead Valentine’s day could be about any loving relationships in our lives. We can use this day to remind our family and friends how much we love them, and how much they mean to us.

Society portrays Valentine’s Day as something only individuals in relationships can celebrate. Also, society has made it so significant others have to get expensive gifts for each other, or else things might go wrong. People stress about Valentine’s Day so much that they forget about the most important thing on this day, and that’s love.

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be about fancy presents, or eating at expensive restaurants, it can just be a simple gesture or word of kindness, appreciation, and love. For example, you could go to your parents, or your siblings and tell them that you love them and will always be there for them. Also, you could gather up with a few of your friends and enjoy a nice movie. Even though you could do that on a normal day, having a shared experience on a day to commemorate love, makes it all the more special. Furthermore, for those of you who are in a relationship, you guys could chose to do something new and out of the ordinary, like bake together.It will be enjoyable as well as spice up your relationship.

On another thought, how cool would it be to go up to a random homeless person on the street, give them some chocolate, and let them know that there is someone out there that loves them for who they are and all that they have done and do. Wouldn’t that be really amazing? Maybe, I should do that next time?!

Anyways, the point of this post is to say that please don’t stress about Valentine’s Day, because it is (in all honesty) a normal day, where you can enjoy normal experiences with your loved ones. And remember, experiences create memories, and memories last for ever!

Nonetheless, HAPPY LATE VALENTINE’S DAY and I hope everyone had a blast!!

My Roommate and I

Before coming to college, everyone is worried about who their roommate will be, whether they will be a good match for each other, or whether they will be able to bond or not. However, I was fortunate enough to find a great high school friend who agreed to room with me. Everyone was saying that rooming with a friend would be a problem and that we would start to hate each other. But to be completely honest, I have enjoyed living with the same roommate for the past year and a half. Now, that doesn’t mean we don’t have our ups and downs. Sure we do; everyone does. But at the end of the day, we know that we are the perfect match for each other.

Contrary to popular belief, my roommate and I have bonded even more than we did in high school. We practically do everything together, whether it be eating, doing homework, or procrastinating. It’s really convenient to have a friend who shares the same interests as me because then we can jam out to the same music and be weird together. Furthermore, it’s easier to do homework, and study for exams, because we help each other with everything.

I know that whenever I need her, she will always be there for me. I know this for a fact because after coming to college, I was having some personal issues and it was hard for me to adjust, but my roommate was there to help me out. I knew that I had a shoulder to cry on, or someone to fall back on. But most importantly, I knew that I had someone that I could rant to, who would actually take the time to understand me and give me advice.

Moreover, we have a relationship where we can communicate even without talking (I know that’s kinda cliche, but trust me, we have our moments)! Furthermore, I trust her a lot; I tell her everything and anything that’s going on in my life and I know that she won’t tell other people, but rather comfort me when I need it.

But what truly makes me happy is when people acknowledge that there are some rare cases where high school buddies can be college roommates without killing each other. For example, the other day, we were at a meeting, and the adviser said “One doesn’t go anywhere without the other!” Now, I know that might sound weird, but it just makes our friendship that much more stronger.

Therefore, I want to take this blog post, to thank her for being part of my life, and always being there for me. I also want to tell her that (even though at times I don’t go outside to get food in the cold) I am always there for her whenever she may need me, and that I will always go out of my way to help her! Lastly, I want to encourage everyone (prospective and current students) to find their one true friend. One can have many friends, but there is only one (or two) person(s) that truly brighten up our lives. It may take some time to come across such a person, but it’s worth the wait.

 

College 101

Let me start this post off by saying WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT TAKE PSYCHOLOGY CLASSES (or any class for that matter) FOR GRANTED!! I have learned this lesson the really hard and painful way. Even though psychology classes may seem easy because most teachers just give busy work, there is a lot of reading and understanding required to ace the exams.

I was among those people that felt that psychology will be an easy A, and now I am suffering, I thought I could put off the chapter readings until the last moment, (WHICH WAS A HORRIBLE HORRIBLE IDEA), but now there’s only three days until the exam and I still have a lot to read. I keep thinking that the professors lectures are easy to understand, and the first exam was quite easy, but I am not registering the fact that exams progressively get harder after the first exam. Also, the class being at 8:30 in the morning doesn’t really help. I am not a morning person, and therefore, waking up in the morning is the worst thing ever, which means I am more prone to skipping class, which means that I will end up missing a lot of important notes in class.

But alas, I have to study and do well on the exam. Hopefully, god will be on my side this time!

So the main points of this post are:

1. Never take a class (especially psychology) for granted.

2. Do not procrastinate (but I am pretty sure you have heard this a bunch of time and you will still do it, just like me). To me, procrastination is like the devil, it lurks behind you and only comes upon you when you really don’t want it.

3. Do the readings for each class ahead of time so you can be prepared for class, and won’t have to read 135 pages in 3 days!!!! I truly cannot stress this enough!!! DO THE READINGS!!!!!

4. Do not take morning classes if you are not a morning person or else you will hate yourself and everything in this world and most probably skip all the classes. But then again, if you have an awesome roommate who will wake you by in the morning (like my amazing roommate, Sabine), then by all means, go ahead!

5. Do not get addicted to TV shows (like Criminal Minds/Vampire Dairies/Scandal), because (trust me when I say this), they will be the DEATH of you!!

6. Lastly, please get your priorities straight. Do your most important things first and leave the least important things till the end (or try to do a little bit of something EVERYDAY). This way you will get your work done and won’t get tempted by peer pressure (like me, who gets peer pressured into watching TV shows by my (still amazing) roommate).

Anyways, hope these things come in handy!!

Or you could just always be a bum on the streets (which at this point seems like a very good decision….) ….

(But in all honesty) once your in college, please don’t be a bum on the streets! 🙂

RSA’s Annual Dogapalooza

This year, I am privileged to be a Student TeleCounselor in the Undergraduate Admissions Team. My job is to call prospective students and give them an opportunity to learn exciting information about UMBC from my perspective as a current sophomore in the hopes that they will feel more comfortable with UMBC and thus increase their interest. So, one of the most frequent question I get is if there is anything to do on campus over the weekends or during free time. And to answer this question in one sentence, there is ALWAYS something to do on campus, whether it be a club event, Student Events Board (SEB) event, Resident Student Association (RSA) or Community Action Board event (CAB).

SEB holds events almost every single day; starting from Welcome Week, where they have events for incoming freshmen, until the end of the year. For example, SEB shows weekly movies (22 Jump Street – 10/16), and has monthly bus trips (Kings Dominion – 10/18). They also host events such as Comedy Hour, Open Mic Night, Breakfast & Bingo, and much much more.

Furthermore, RSA also hosts events, such as S’mores Social during Fall and Spring, Midnight Breakfast, Midnight Dessert, and Block Party. Most recently, RSA hosted its annual Dogapalooza event, which is basically a friendly Battle of the Residence Halls. The event took place from 9/23 until 9/27. Each day there were two to three events what all students could participate in (even commuters). There were events such as Inflatable Obstacle Course, Inflatable Jousting, Watermelon Eating Contest, Bingo, Dodge ball, and last but not least a Community Picnic. After all these events take place, the judges determine which residential hall won most of the events and had the most participants. The winning residential hall gets $200 and a big trophy. This year, Susquehanna Hall won!! None the less, everyone comes together and has loads of fun, because I know I had an amazing time a the Inflatable Obstacle Course.

However, the main point of all these events led by awesome organizations is to help build a sense of community, where everyone is friendly, and the environment looks and feels very welcoming. Hence, no one will ever feel lonely or bored on campus. This campus is small enough that you will see your classmates more than twice a day but big enough to host all these fantastic events, where students can socialize and make new friends.

Therefore, even though this campus puts a lot of emphasis on academics, there are great ways to have fun, party, socialize and network!

So, come out and attend some of these events, and broaden your experience here at UMBC!

3 exams, work, study, homework, labs, meetings…what is my life…ahhhhhhhh!!!

Last week was the most stressful week since the start of my sophomore year.

I had 3 exams, 7.5 hours of work, 2 lab classes, club meetings, and on top of that a whole lot of online assignments and studying.

Now, I have been through stressful times, however, I didn’t realize that sophomore year would start of like this. Last year, everyone did tell me that sophomore year was going to be hard, but I guess I was in denial. It’s really hard for me to cope with stress because I keep on thinking about all the things I have to do and never get anything done. But thankfully, I have an amazing roommate and friends, who were also going through the same situation. So, at the end of the day, we all helped each other prioritize what we needed to do, and studied together.

It’s really quite amazing how much the new relationships I have formed thus far have helped me better cope with stress.

From my point of view, stress can be both good and bad. For example, if you know that you are going to get stressed out easily, you might decide to get all your work done a couple days before it’s due and not procrastinate, which is an amazing thing. On the other hand, stress can lead to other health/mental issues. But, nonetheless, everyone has to go through stress in some form or another throughout their college career, and it all depends on how you deal with it.

For example, I have an excellent support system of friends and family, who will always be there for me and help me through difficult times, whether it be stress, emotional problems, educational problems, etc. However, along side a dependable support system, you can also try to find creative ways to deal with stress, such as meditation, or drinking calming tea, or writing a journal, or sitting near a pond or some place quite.

Soooo, the main point here is that, stress is something inevitable, but we can all overcome it.

To conclude, I did survive last week. I managed to get all my work done, and study enough for my exams.

Noww….I just have to survive my Orgo exam next week. Wish me luck!!