Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Why YOU Should Wake Up Early in College

College students seem to endlessly suffer from the inability to wake up early. When I was in high school, apart from falling asleep in class, I rarely heard people complain about having to be at school at 7:30 a.m. Monday - Friday. Now in college, here are a few things I have heard:
  • "I can't take that class until next semester, because now it is only offered at 8:00 a.m. and I would probably fail it."
  • "You have class at 9:30? Wow! My first class is at 2:30 p.m. I wake up between noon and 1:00 p.m. every day."

Does that sound familiar? Probably. It is a shame, but also pretty cool to be honest. 

Things to do todayI guarantee you that if you wake up at 5:00 a.m. or even 6:00, you could walk down your hall and see that practically no one is awake. You could check your Facebook or Twitter and see no posts. You probably aren't getting texts asking to meet up to study or meet for lunch. You will be left alone.

What is a better condition to go get things done? If you can't seem to focus during the day on one of your classes because of so many distractions, what is there to distract you now? It's not even light outside. Imagine being done your assignments for the day, or getting ahead in your classes, or even having laundry done before your roommate even wakes up! 

Look at how much your day can open up if you wake up early. If you can get the nitty gritty things done in the morning, that leaves you time to do all sorts of things, from exercise, hanging out with friends without being nervous of failing classes because you're not studying, or pursuing a new hobby. 

But some people claim that it's just impossible to wake up early. I can't do it, I just go back to sleep, they'll say. Do you know why that is? It's probably a number of things. One, they don't have the right motivation, and two, their sleep schedule won't allow it. 

If your motivation is right, that drive will carry you out of bed in the morning. Knowing you need to finish that paper, or study for that critical exam before other commitments steal your time is motivation for me. You must figure out if waking up early is for you. Weigh out the benefits that you could reap from doing so. 

Now onto another issue, the sleep schedule. If you're like me, you can easily fall into a crappy sleep schedule, where you go to sleep at 1:30 a.m. and cannot wake up until 10 or 11.  It's likely that one day, whether it be your job, role as a parent or spouse, or any number of reasons, that sleeping in until McDonald's breakfast is over probably won't cut it. Why not fix it now? 

Waking up at 5:00 a.m. is easy if you go to bed at 9:30 p.m. You just have to adjust your sleeping schedule to let it happen. From my experience, the way that I fix my sleep schedule into permitting waking up early is to just shock my system and then be consistent. If you're used to going to waking up at 10, just muster up the will power to get out of bed at 5, or whatever time you want one day, and start there. It'll be a tough morning. Grab some coffee. 

During this first day, just try to be productive. Get things done, work out, have a great day so that by night time you just want to drop early. Keep this going for a few days, and it will get easier. Trust me. I started doing this, and after a few days, I was tired and ready for sleep at 9:30 p.m., and woke up 10 minutes before my alarm feeling pretty good the next day.

Waking up early provides some amazing opportunity for productivity. It is definitely a good habit to adopt before you begin your college journey. 

- Taylor

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Executive Position Life Lessons

LA Secretary Katie Zambanini
I am very fortunate to say that, in my four and a half semesters so far as a student at Berks that I’ve had some fantastic opportunities to be a part of multiple clubs and organizations that have brought me happiness, networking opportunities, leadership experience, and much smiling and laughter!

Along with brining me happiness, smiles and laughter, my involvement with these organizations and clubs have brought me something else as well, and these are executive positions.

During my time serving as multiple different executive positions of different clubs and organizations, each title has brought me more than just another item to add to my resume. These titles have enlightened me and taught me “little life lessons” that I know will not cease to help in my day-to-day life.

"Success is achieved through sacrifice and great attention to detail." (Unknown) 

Secretary has taught me that you must be detailed with anything you attempt. Generally, the secretary of a club records minutes of what is talked about during the meeting so that it can be referred to and it can be accessed for future needs. It is ideal to take the best notes possible in order to give the best representation of what happened during a meeting. Likewise, if you are detailed and putting a lot of effort into everything you do, the results can amaze you!

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” (Charles Dickens)

Vice President has shown me that you must support others. As the Vice President, it is your job to not only support your board, but your president. If the president is unable to complete their duties for some reason, it’s your job to step up and support them, which usually tends to mean (but isn’t limited to) aiding them in completing what must get done. When your friend needs you, it’s your job to step up and help them. A vice president is to their president, how a friend is to another friend. You’re always there, having their “back”, so that when necessary, you are there and able to support them and are familiar with the best way to do so.

“When the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence, it may be that they take better care of it.” (Cecil Selig) 

President has taught me many things, but one of the most important things is that, very similar to your attitude and your mindset, life is what you make it. It is your job to take initiative to change something that isn’t up to par. Many people look up to individuals in the role of president, and if you can take the initiative to act in a way that can inspire others, everyone can accomplish an incredible amount. If the grass looks greener on the other side, change that. Reflect on if you are taking the best care on your side. If you are not happy with something that is going on, do something about it. When others see you taking this initiative, they may feel inspired to act as well. Presidents are leaders, and must act like one, to not only inspire others, but also give a positive example for others.

“What I liked about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.” (Karl Lagerfeld) 

Historian has taught me that moments and memories are too important to let slip away. As historian I was in charge of managing the photographs that our group took. These pictures allowed us to look back and almost relive the moment. Many of these moments were so special and could not be lost. It is important to do what is necessary to hold on to important moments and memories, whether it is taking a picture, saving a postcard, or anything in between

Overall, executive positions can help you develop as a person, not only professionally, but also mentally and emotionally. I wouldn’t trade these, or any of the countless other lessons I’ve learned for anything. They have all helped me develop as a person and grow as a student leader.  


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Embedded Course Trip to South Africa

Hello everyone! I had such an amazing Spring Break 2014! This past Spring Break I had the opportunity to spend 10 days in South Africa, Johannesburg specifically. I had the chance to go through an embedded Honors course here at Penn State Berks. This course and trip have taught me so much about how other people and cultures live. We did so many exciting things!

Penn State Berks Spring Break 2014 group

Petting baby lionsWe went to a place called “Lion Park” that houses many different animals, lions in particular. They send you on a mini-safari to see them. My favorite part of our trip to “Lion Park” was when we were allowed to PET A BABY LION!!! THAT’S RIGHT GUYS I GOT TO PET SIMBA!!

Another exciting and life changing experience was when I got to go volunteer at Nkosi’s Haven, a South African NGO that provides support and holistic care to those effected by HIV/AIDS. Playing and interacting with the women and children of Nkosi’s changed my perception on what it means to live. These children, despite living rough and hard lives, smile and play. This happy, youthful spirit puts a smile on my face and helps me remember that we are all happy to be alive.

Basically my week in South Africa was amazing, the people changed the way I think, the animals made me remember how small I am, and the food was to die for! Please, if you are ever given the opportunity to go abroad, do it! It is so incredibly worth it!



Friday, March 21, 2014

The Sweet Life of Planning Campus Activities

Jeanine at APCA
First morning of the conference!
Super excited and still full of energy!
#apcababy #apcaintern
Being on the Campus Activities Executive Board definitely has its perks! Before Spring Break I was given the opportunity to go to the Association for the Promotion Campus Activities Conference, or APCA, for short. APCA is basically a conference where students go and get to listen to different performers or speakers, test different novelty products, or play different games that are all available to be brought back to our campus! It’s basically a weekend of getting to dance, listen to music, and get lots of free stuff.

Although this would be my first APCA, I was given the unique opportunity to be an APCA Staff Intern! Basically I got to do a great deal of behind the scenes stuff. I put up signs, check breakout rooms, and also got to know the people who run the entire event.

Education Session Sign
Our Education Session Sign!
I have to admit I was a little bit nervous, especially since it was the first time I got to stay in a hotel by myself for a night! (The Hershey Lodge is amazing just in case you were wondering!) I was also nervous because four of my fellow executive board members and myself were presenting a breakout session on Series Programming (which I wrote the proposal for and am the current chair for at Berks). I was uncertain as to how it would go over, but we pushed on anyway!

Finally Friday arrived! It was crazy to start since I was working the registration table but I was relieved to see my delegation arrive! We had our breakout session starting in about two hours and we were all excited and ready to rock it! Luckily for us, the ed session room filled quickly and people were engaged and interested! We even got a great deal of positive feedback. It was such an incredible moment to see hard work and dedication pay off! I have never been so proud of something in my entire life!

Jeanine and John Doland with Adam Grabowski
John Dolan and I with Adam Grabowski!
He tweeted about us having his original
T-Shirts! #hispters
The rest of the weekend was just plain fun from that point on. I got to play with Mindy the Monkey, pet Pokey the Porcupine, make my own mug, laugh at comedians (especially my favorite Adam Grabowski), and hear amazing speakers like Bobby Audley all while being fed chocolate, dessert and other snacky food! I have to say that seeing the performers and learning more about all the hard work that not only they put into it, but the conference staff put into it is amazing! I learned so much and had such a fantastic time! I am so thankful for all the amazing opportunities that I have received by being involved at Berks!

Jeanine with Advisor Brittney and Bobby Audley
My advisor, Brittney, with Bobby Audley and I! We loved him!
He taught us so much about living outside the comfort zone
and never giving up! #DontBe #leadershipspeaker
Until Next Time Interweb Friends,

P.S.- Hashtags were kind of a thing all Conference! #muchlove

P.S.S.- I love my delegation more than words!