Category: temple unviersity

Advice From a Senior: How to Prep for College

This weekend I visited home and got to chat with my younger siblings and cousin about my best advice for college. As the oldest of all the cousins, I’m the first to go through the 4-year process and working in admissions means I have LOTS of advice about going to college! I decided to share some of my top tips here, too. I’ve learned a lot in four years and I hope some of this advice is of use.

  1. Take high school seriously!

Let me be clear – your GPA doesn’t define you. You are MUCH more than a grade, a score or a mark on a test. However, doing your best in school is really important. Chances are, if you give it your honest best shot, you’re going to come out with a pretty decent GPA. This is going to help when it comes time for scholarship money, and EVERYONE loves free money, right? So don’t give up after you get that first acceptance letter, because your grades matter all the way til’ the end and they could end up saving you some cash in the long run. Temple is really incredible about giving scholarships based on academic merit – you can check out the five different tiers of scholarship they offer here – and that’s JUST based on your academic performance. On top of federal aid or outside scholarships, this annual award could really help! So try your very best and turn in your best work. It’s worth the extra effort in the long run.

  1. Trust your gut.

Choosing a school is hard. It’s SO hard. When you first start looking around, you’ll feel like there are a million options with a million pros and cons. This is kind of true. There are many varied, diverse types of higher education institutions. Some colleges are urban, some are rural, others right in between. You might be one of 26,000 undergrads or one of 2,000. Your school might have tons of on campus housing, or maybe it is typical that every student lives off campus. This is just to name a few examples. My best advice here is to take a big deep breath, explore plenty of diverse options, and at the end – trust your gut reaction! I know it’s corny, but what they say is true: when you know, you know. Let me tell you a story.

When I first visited Temple’s campus, is was only because I had gotten into a school that I simply could not afford. I was interested in checking out Temple, but I was still really upset about not being able to go to the other school. Even still, when I walked down Liacouras Walk for the first time, I suddenly felt comfortable there. I looked around and saw students having lunch, chatting with friends, walking to class, and I thought…”Yeah, I can see myself in their shoes. I think I can really fit in here.” And boy, was I right. I trusted my gut and made the greatest choice I have made yet in my life. Temple opened every door for me, gave me lifelong friends, and showed me where my passions and talents truly lie. All because I went with my gut instinct! So trust yourself, and you’ll end up in the right spot.

  1. If you take an AP class, take the AP test!

This is something I didn’t do and I wish I had. If you’re already in the class anyhow, it’s definitely worth it to at least give the test a try! Those credits, if accepted at your future university, could help you graduate sooner or allow you to check off a gen-ed requirement from your list early on, which will open up room in your schedule for your major classes or other interesting electives. As long as you paid attention in class, the test should at least be something take give a shot at. Double check with your potential colleges if you’re a senior, and make sure they’ll accept the AP credits!

  1. Enjoy the process.

By the 10th college tour, you might feel a little burnt out. If you haven’t found “the one” yet, you might even feel a little discouraged. Just remember one thing – this time in your life never occurs again! Looking at schools and colleges is a unique, exploratory time in your life that you can never get back. I know this sounds silly, but you’ll look back on the process and miss it a little one day. That feeling of being right on the edge of your next big step in life, the unknown and excitement that is ahead of you – that is a beautiful thing! Even if your feet start to ache after one too many walking tours, try to smile and really take it all in. You’ll be glad you did.

Have specific questions? Let me know below! And don’t worry – college truly is the best years of your life. It’s all worth the process in the end.

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5 Weird Things I’ll Miss Like Crazy

I have a few crazy things to address right now –

1. Finals came and went already. Where did that time even go?! Don’t ask me. I spent more than one night not sleeping, working way, WAY hard on assignments. I don’t recommend too many all nighters, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do, right? That was my schedule for the last two weeks of school – work hard during the day, work even harder at night. It really paid off, though! I had an extremely successful semester thanks to my classmates, my friends, and my coworkers. Finals week definitely kicked my butt, but in the best way possible.

2. Campus is so nice on the break! This is my first time ever staying here after classes have officially ended. On the 17th, I moved out of Elmira Jeffries for the final time. That residence hall is the place I called home for 3 consecutive semesters, along with my roommate, Tess. She’s going to London as well – as a result, we both moved out completely at the end of finals week. I don’t think it really hit us hard until we were left standing in the middle of our empty living room, getting ready to turn off the lights and lock up for the final time. For me, the experience sort of overwhelmed me. I wasn’t just saying goodbye to my apartment, I was leaving behind my junior year on main campus. That includes my friends, my job, and everything I know to be “normal”. When we shut the door and shouted a last goodbye to our friendly ghost roommate (that’s another story entirely – we just call her Elmira though) I was suddenly totally aware that this is real, and happening, and coming so soon. I am closing out a chapter of my life and starting a new one, and that is just insane to me. Thank you to all my pals – you make goodbyes so bittersweet, and that makes me happy, because I know I have wonderful people in my life too say “see you later”  to. You make it all worth it, buds!

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2. According to my countdown app, I’m looking at only 15 sleeps left until London, England!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT EVEN!!!!!!! I can’t wait, but I have noticed in the last few weeks, as everyone else left campus and left me here to work, I’ve spent more time thinking about the little things that I’m going to miss a million times over.

So for your reading pleasure, the 5 Weird Things I’ll Miss Like Crazy:

5. Those Water Bottle Filling Stations All Around Campus:

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I wasn’t kidding about this list being weird. I LOVE THIS LITTLE GADGET. They’re all over campus because we have a huge push for sustainability at Temple – and these are just one way we reduce carbon emissions (by eliminating waste created by plastic bottles that can be tossed out after 1 use). All I know is, they sure are convenient. Obsessed with them, honestly. Goodbye, water bottle fillers.

2. Roaming Data aka 3G

This is a lame one, but I’m definitely going to miss the internet access on my phone. REALLY lame. I know. In all reality, I know I won’t actually miss this at all! Because I’ll be way way busy living a rad life abroad. But, it will definitely be an adjustment. Although I know its absolutely for the better, I will miss bothering Siri on a regular basis without wifi. 😉

3. The Owl Loop

If you’re unaware, the Owl Loop is a shuttle that runs on campus after dark, and leaves from the Tech Center. Like I said, I’ve been the queen of all nighters lately. Basically, the Owl Loop has saved me from SO many cold walks home to EJ. Living in the city means I am used to walking, and commuting, and taking the train. So the luxury of just being able to sit down and let someone else get me home for a change is literally game changing. LOVE it. I’ll miss it quite a bit, but at least I’ll be able to explore London on foot.

2. Having a Job

If you know me, you’ll know I love routine and familiarity almost as much as I simultaneously love adventures. Having a regular schedule, the same work shifts each week, and familiar faces in the office are major factors to my daily happiness. I’m going to miss that, so so much. The good news is, I’m taking classes and interning while I’m abroad – which means, in some respects, I’ll eventually have a routine just like home. So it’ll all work out! But nothing will replace my owls. I’ll miss you all!!

1. BAGEL. HUT.

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WHY YES, I DID SAVE THE BEST FOR LAST, THANK YOU. Listen up. Bagel Hut is my place. I eat there too much. Way too much. Anyone that knows me knows my infinite, undying love for “B-Hut”. I joked a few times that the first place I’ll have my parents bring me when I land in May is Bagel Hut, but I really don’t think I’m kidding. That’s how much this place means to me in my heart and soul. Oh Bagel Hut. I’ll be back for a toasted dark Sesame with cream cheese really, really soon.

Owlting: The Ben Franklin Bridge

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Around the office, we joke that whenever a bunch of us Owl Ambassadors go out, it’s an “Owl-ting”! I love a good owl pun so this really tickles my fancy.

Some of the best Owl-tings are the unexpected ones. Last weekend, after having a really great weekend with a wildly successful Open House (3,800 attendees! Come visit us!), Billy B, a fellow owl and I wanted to unwind.

We started by getting a late brunch at Morgan’s buffet style dining hall, which I have yet to eat at this year. Not having a meal plan means I usually cook or just grab food on the go, but Billy happens to be my favorite person ever and gave me a meal swipe to join him for unlimited breakfast.

I really love breakfast.

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Told you. Look at that face.

As we were chatting, Billy asked me if I wanted to go down to Old City to walk the pedestrian path along the Ben Franklin Bridge. If you aren’t aware, that’s the bridge that connects us directly to New Jersey. I had no idea you could walk along it, and I also sort of hate bridges. Ask any of my friends from home about how I used to put my feet up if we drove over one! Either way, I NEVER say no to a trip to the city, so of course I went!

I feel like these pictures really speak for themselves. I’ve never seen so much of Philadelphia’s skyline all at once… absolutely. insane. I almost teared up actually, because I was just so impressed by seeing all of the city at once. I totally owe Billy, because I had no idea this view was even an option as far as getting to walk the bridge. It’s one of his favorite spots in the city and I’m so happy he let me see it too. 🙂

Because when it boils down to it, I am as much apart of Philadelphia as every building on the skyline and every person on the sidewalks and every car that drove past us while we walked the bridge up and down. That feeling was so rad – after three years of school here, and as I get ready to depart for London in 53 days, nothing was more peaceful than to know that I really do have a home here to come back to.

Sorry about the sap! Please enjoy the photos. I’ve also included a panorama of the view from the Race Street Pier, which sits just next to the bridge itself. We walked to the end, sat and talked, and watched the Duck Tour boat/cars come into the water. I waved to them all – I’m sure those duck tourists absolutely loved it.

Later today is my pre-departure meeting for London Spring 2015! It’s getting so much closer, I can’t believe it. Can’t wait.

Have an amazing Friday, world!

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7 Real Owls that Perfectly Describe a Temple Open House

Attention, attention, attention – it is that time once again.

OPEN HOUSE SEASON HAS ARRIVED. 

That’s right folks. The fall can only mean one thing around our office, and that is preparation and excitement for some of the most exhausting but rewarding days as a tour guide.

Sunday was our first Open House of the year! I live for the hustle and bustle of our big admissions events. They are well worth all of the energy and time that gets put into them every year. I could recap it play-by-play, but I think I’d rather highlight some of the little, albeit cool/fun things that happen as a result of our admissions days. You might be surprised by some of them!

But Paige, you may ask, what’s so crazy about open houses?!

I would tell you myself, but I think my owl friends can do an even better job than me. Here is a list of some of the craziest and coolest parts of our large visit days, as told by those cute little animals we call our mascot.

1. The Owl Office is jam-packed with Tastycakes for at least two days before the event. 

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If you haven’t attended an Open House, you should know that Tastycakes and soft pretzels are a staple – we offer them to our visitors to provide a real “Taste of Philly” personally, one of my favorite Open House touches. This means our owl office is full to the brim with these delicious treats as we await the big day. We don’t break into them early, but just being surrounded by such a huge amount of sheer sugar is the perfect way to gear up.

2. Open House Days mean very, VERY early mornings.

Although the 6 AM alarm is one of the hardest parts of the day, once we’re all away and coffee is coursing through our veins, we are fired up to meet and greet all of the potential families and students who are headed to campus. The biggest shout out to our AM crew who is up even earlier than the rest of us! Getting up early means the Owls are radical at consuming coffee, as well. Are you shocked? We aren’t.

3. Open House helps us perfect the speed walk. 

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With so much going on throughout the day, not only in the Liacouras Center (where our day starts) but also ALL over campus, we’ve all gotten very good at getting places quickly without breaking a sweat. Sneakers are obviously a must. The Owl Ambassadors can thank Open House for the pep that is always in our step!

4. Open House Days just keep getting bigger and bigger!

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On Sunday, we had 4,700 visitors checking out campus – our largest yet! I don’t want to speak for everyone else, but I know this fact warms my Temple-loving heart so much. I wish EVERY prospective college student checked out Temple at least once – so to know that so many students and families attended our event makes me the happiest.

5. SOOOO many important questions are answered! 

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Yes really! One of the coolest things about Open House as compared to our other regular tours is that they are essentially a one-stop-shop to learn about literally any aspect of Temple University you can imagine. Whether you already have a working knowledge of Temple and only have a few questions or interests, or you’ve got something to ask at every information table you see – if you have visited us before, or you’ve never stepped foot on campus – Open House is such a valuable day for you. For anyone, really! I even love when I get to greet Alumni of Temple who learn something brand new they didn’t know before. Open House is an awesome way to access tons of people with all the Temple answers you need, and do it all in one day.

6. All of us look forward to big event days – they are a hoot!

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It doesn’t feel like work when it’s something you love, and all of the Owl Ambassadors, admissions staff and volunteers have one thing in common – we just really, really love Temple. We wouldn’t do what we do if we didn’t. So this makes Open House days, and other admissions events, some of the most rewarding and fun days of our year. Yes, our feet are sore and we all nap as soon as we get home. But it’s all worth it to meet and help prospective students get to know Temple just a little bit more.

7. Can’t stop, won’t stop – we aren’t done yet!

Dancing-Animals-5Sunday is over, and my feet are recovering, but we aren’t wrapped just yet – we’ve got another Open House lined up for the fall on November 8th. If you are interested in seeing some of these things come to life, or you’d just like to see what all the owl hype is really about, register for the next Open House by clicking here.  It’s worth a visit – and how can you say no to all of these adorable little pals?!

Hats off to everyone who was a part of the success that came yesterday from our first Open House of the school year, and I can’t wait to do it again!

[gifs and images courtesy of giphy.com]