Friday, April 17, 2015

What I like the most about my college experience

If someone were to ask me what’s my favorite moment or experience so far, I would not know how to reply. Why? Because I just love every single moment I’ve spent at Penn State Berks. I’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of wonderful people and make a lot of fun memories with them.

In only two years, I’ve grown so much in both personality and character. I find it amusing how much can someone experience in such a short period of time. College can go by in a blink of an eye and that is why I’m trying to do as much as I can while I’m still here. I’ve found so many things that have made me fond of our campus, and I know I will find many more in the time that I have left.

To make this sweet and short, these are some of the things that have made me love my college experience so far:
  • I like the close knit environment on campus and how I can walk from class to class and be able to see someone I know. “A college small enough to get to know a lot of people, but big enough to not know everyone on campus,” a sentence that I like to say when giving tours to prospective students who visit the campus.
  • Being able to wobble all the time during orientation and orientation training.
  • Going to my first concert ever during the Lion Ambassador & Blue and White Society All-Campus Conference.
Back Stage with My Hero Zero!
  • Being to go to the offices of various staff members and just talk to them about random things.
  • Knowing that a lot of the staff members on campus know my name.
  • The Faces of high school students when we take them on tour around campus.
  • Helping out with Open Houses.
  • Giving back to the community!
I cooked quiche for people at the Opportunity House in Reading.
  • Talking to my professors about class, even though I’m going to take their class in the upcoming semester.
  • Being part of events like Be a Penn Stater for a Day.
  • Talking about my career path with my friends and/or other people in my major.
  • Our Penn State Pride!

These are some of the things that make me Penn State Proud and glad that I chose Berks as the host for my college experience. As I said before, I’ve had so many wonderful experiences, and I know that there are more to come.

Until Next Time!


Friday, April 10, 2015

Keep Doing Your Best

Melissa singing at church
Finally singing at church!
Senioritis has definitely not hit me. Maybe it is because I know after graduation my journey will only be getting started and my years at Penn State Berks have set a great foundation for what is yet to come. 

While looking back at my years at Penn State Berks I have learned it is important to make a plan and set goals for yourself as you go through college. Your undergraduate years will fly by before you know it and it is important to be prepared for the future that lies ahead. That is why, whether you are just starting college or almost graduating, it is essential to keep going and give it your best shot. Looking back and being able to say I did my best is a great feeling. Knowing you had people to back you up along the way makes for many grateful and inspiring moments.  

I am very grateful to have been a Lion Ambassador and break out of my shell. This was all due to working hand in hand with the loving and caring admissions staff at Penn State Berks. They helped me to feel like part of the Penn State Berks family and were there when I needed some courage for my next tour or just wanted to laugh. Just like Ms. Sue likes to quote, I also think it is a great idea to “Do one thing every day that scares you.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

I learned from my Penn State Berks family that giving up is not an option. There are many doors out there waiting to be opened and it is up to you to make positive things happen in your life. Smiles of the Week during the group meetings also showed me there are many things to smile about, especially now that the sun is out. I know I have smiled and even jumped after reaching a goal.

Whatever your plan or goal may be, just remember to give it your best shot. There will be people cheering and helping you on along the way. Just believe in yourself and keep going. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

Until Next Time,

Friday, April 3, 2015

What I Have Learned At Berks

I never thought college would impact my life as much as it has. From being a Lion Ambassador to an Orientation Leader to a dancer on the Penn State Berks Dance Team, I have learned so much about the college and myself. Being a Penn State Berks student takes pride and dignity. It is up to you on how to show that pride.

Being a Lion Ambassador, I have learned how to express my love for this campus through tours and learned to take pride in being a student at Penn State Berks. Being an Orientation Leader, I have learned how the first year students feel awkward when all of the Orientation Leaders make them dance on the stage. Being on the Dance Team, I have learned that these girls will be my friends forever and how to embarrass myself when we had to do “sassy walks” through the weight room during the busiest time of day. Being a member of the Hotel, Restaurant Society I have learned a lot about being a Hospitality Student from attending the New York City Hotel Show. These are the memories and lessons that I will never forget.

After this semester, I will continue my education at University Park, but I will be so proud to say I transferred from Penn State Berks. I have learned so much about myself. Once this semester is over, I will truly miss the small things about Berks. I will miss saying “hi’ to everyone I knew on my walk to Gaige. I will miss walking up to order a drink at Cyber and them saying, “Do you want anything else besides your usual?” before I even ordered. I will miss getting ready to give a tour of the campus. I will miss our prep talk before the Dance Team halftime show at the men’s basketball games. And, most of all, I will miss being a part of the Penn State Berks family.

Seen you soon Penn State Berks,


Friday, March 27, 2015

What Being a Student Leader is all About

When it comes to the idea of student leadership, many students are not sure what the role entails. It can be an intimidating title, Student Leader. Before I attempted to take on leadership roles, I remember thinking to myself, “How can someone handle more than just being a student?” Well that answer lies with the person who chooses to take on the role. There are a few questions you have to ask yourself. Are you comfortable adding a little more to your plate? Are you ready to give your time to an organization? How can you fit this organization in?

To be totally honest, from my point of view, a student leader is just a regular student who has chosen to take on a little more responsibility. This added responsibility does not make them any better or worse than a general member of an organization or any regular student. These roles are always a learning experience and that is what I love most about them. They give you the chance to learn a lot about yourself and about the cause of the organizations as well.

Quick selfie with some
awesome people
before dinner!
This past weekend was one of the many amazing opportunities I have gained from being a student leader.  The All-Campus Conference at Penn State Berks, hosted by the Blue and White Society and the Lion Ambassadors, allowed student representatives of these organizations from all throughout the Penn State system to come and share in the experience of leadership and community service.

I not only had the chance to meet Lion Ambassadors and Blue and White members from other campuses, but I was able to give back to a community through the Gilmore | Henne Community Fund. This experience in itself was one to remember. It all started with an inspiring speech from the Chancellor, Dr. Hillkirk. After the conference had commenced, I was able to attend a few break-out sessions that taught me a lot about how to work in a team, handle conflict, and how to fix any issues arising amongst a group. It was so awesome! I felt as though I couldn’t take enough notes.

Berks LA mascot Lionel
helping with the egg hunt.
During dinner, we were all given the chance to listen to our keynote speaker, Jay Paterno! He was a phenomenal speaker. Going off of experiences he had in his own life, he motivated the conference attendees as a whole to give back and remember why we cared about our causes in the first place. These messages seemed to spread and rejuvenate the crowd.

We began our tour challenge scavenger hunt, allowing us to bond with members from all different campuses. We broke down into groups and raced across campus with the help of clues to give representatives from the other campuses a chance to learn about Penn State Berks. A little friendly competition is always a good way to get a group talking and joking around. My team had a great time and ended up with some good memories.

My Hero Zero!
The final part of the first day was my favorite part! A My Hero Zero concert! This band, well known to Penn State, had a great show that got us up and dancing. It was impossible not to sing along to the songs they covered. I had a great time with everyone there and honestly look forward to the next time the band comes back to campus. I will see them again for sure!

John Gilmore speaking before the egg hunt.
On the last day of the conference, John Gilmore of the Gilmore | Henne Community Fund spoke to all of us as a whole before we headed out to do our community service. His inspiring story of life lessons and the start of his foundation motivated me to really want to make a difference. As a group, the Penn State student representatives helped each other to mulch a playground and prepare an Easter egg hunt for the community. I have never felt so good about giving away candy, and that is no easy task for me. I have a massive sweet tooth! The community immediately showed the appreciation as they hunted the eggs and played on the playground.

Just a few of those
friends I mentioned.
Looking back on the time I decided to take on these roles, I can honestly say I would do it again in a heartbeat. I have met some of my best friends through these organizations and opportunities like the All-Campus Conference make me feel even more grateful for the chances I have had. I know it always seems so scary to take on a new responsibility, but when it comes to a leadership role it is worth it. I have always found myself trying to find ways to give back to these organizations for all they have given me. Whether it is THON allowing me the chance to fight pediatric cancer or Lion Ambassadors giving me chances to meet those who participated in this conference, I am a very lucky person. As tiring as this weekend was, it was well worth it.

Until next time,

Friday, March 6, 2015

Balancing College Student Life

Balancing work and classes
So, I think it is important to remember that as a college student life can get pretty hectic. I think that it’s completely inevitable. When it’s only February, your least favorite teacher just gave you a pop quiz, and your room is starting to look like a storage room, it might be time for a little self TLS. (Tender Loving Spoiling) It’s something I made up, but it’s starting to sound better and better, the more I look at it.

I know that I, personally, am at the point in the semester when I am starting to feel a little overwhelmed. My 22 credits are all throwing quizzes, projects, and blog entries all at once. And I can’t necessarily stay up until 2:00 a.m. working on all of these assignments, because my internship (on Tuesdays and Thursdays) starts at 8:00 a.m.

This is where having your life in order (or as much as possible) 
comes in.

So here are my tips for trying to keep up with the crazy thing we call student involvement. Ideally, keeping all of these in check is a healthy balance, because they act like a cycle that feeds into each other!

Organization is the most important. You can easily spend unnecessary amounts of time trying to find a document you misplaced, or a shirt that may or may not be in the hamper that you are required to wear as part of a uniform for a club or group. Keeping all of your spaces neat, tidy, and organized cuts back of a lot of time because you will know where everything is and it will take less time to find any item you need!

Don’t forget to sleep! Nothing good can ever come from lack of sleep. When you take the time to get plenty of sleep, or at least a substantial amount of sleep, it works wonders for your body! You will feel more refreshed when you are out and about, not to mention you will be more efficient and energized!

Time management is crucial. With 22 credits and an internship, I can’t let my work and busy schedule get the best of me. I know that during the week, like most students, there are multiple “balls in the air” that we are responsible for juggling. It is important to make sure that when you have time, you manage it to the best of your ability. If there is an hour between classes, if you have, for example, a blog post, that is something you could easily complete in that time!

Katie's birthday dessert
This was the dessert I had
on my birthday!
You do need time to relax and pamper yourself every once in awhile, maybe even a little more frequently. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been extremely stressed and I feel like I am going to rip my hair out! To calm myself down, I put an hour aside to just take a nice hot shower. Try something like that! Or maybe eat some sweets or another food you like!  Girls, consider putting a half hour or so aside to straighten your hair, curl it, or even do your make up. Take some time to focus on YOU, in contrast to taking on the whole world’s problems. Luckily, I am able to manage my time well enough that I can put aside an hour or two to just relax.

Remember that each of these, if completed correctly, help each other. More sleep increases productivity, which allows you to multitask better, and in turn, that gives you some extra time that you can use to spoil yourself.

- Katie

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Managing Your Time

Knowing how to manage your time is a key component of a successful college career. College is a place where you’re likely to have your hands on a bunch of stuff at the same time and, to be honest, it can be really stressful most of the time. This is why knowing how to manage your time will make your workload seem less stressful and you will feel 
more at easy when completing all of your work.

Here are some tips on how to manage your time:

Make a list!
Organizing your work is really important. Having a planner or even using your phone’s calendar can be very helpful in reminding you of due dates. If you have a several things due on the same day, try to order them according to difficulty. The earlier you’re done with those troublesome tasks, the less stressed you’re going to feel as the due date closes in!

Keep your work with you.
It is really nice to get some work done on your assignments whenever you find some free time during the day.

Know what time works best for you.
Are you an early bird or a night owl? Knowing at what time of the day you work best is really important. Try to find out at what time of day you are the most productive and able to focus.

Say no to procrastination!
If you want to finish your work on time, you need to put aside all possible distractions that could get between you and your work. I know that checking Facebook, Instagram, or even staring at the wall can be more exciting than doing your homework sometimes. The best thing you can do is turn off your phone and find a place in which you can work easily without any distractions.

Take a break.
If you feel overwhelmed and/or unable to do your work, STOP! Put your books aside and rest for a while. Doing your work is important, but if you don’t feel capable of doing it and you push yourself to do it for the sake of finishing it, you and your work will suffer. So, take a break, go for a walk, or eat something. Let those brain juices flow and bring those new ideas to you!

Until Next Time!

Diana :)

"8 Ways to Take Control of Your Time - High School and College." 8 Ways to Take Control of Your Time - High School and College. The College Board, n.d. Web. 20 February 2015.

Friday, February 20, 2015

An Element of Fun

“In every job that must be done there is an element of fun.” 
–Mary Poppins
Just like Mary Poppins said, there can be a bright side to everything that has to be done. It is not always about just getting things done. Whether it is finishing homework, working a part time job, or just cleaning up your room, you can always make fun a part of it.

When doing homework or studying for a quiz, you can team up with a friend and break away from your usual routine. You can quiz each other on the material at hand and interact. At work you can decide to smile at everyone you encounter to see who might smile back or to just make someone’s day a little better. While cleaning your room, you could sing to your favorite songs or if you like basketball, like me, shoot some hoops into the laundry basket or trashcan. Whatever the task may be, something positive can always come out of it.

This past weekend, I was able to perform at City Light shelter with the youth group from church. Seeing how our songs and worship dance brought smiles to the audience’s faces was a great blessing. We sang with them, ate with them, smiled with them, and were able to listen to their stories. I had a lot of fun while being able to help others out.

The worship dance

Having fun while doing anything does not only cheer you up, but allows the happiness to flow to others as well. So next time you are working on something, remember to have some fun and enjoy it.

Until Next Time,