Category: Uncategorized

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.

Senior Year Blues: How to Combat Them

It’s September! I am beyond excited about the seasons changing, the chai tea intake increase, and the sweaters. Oh, the sweaters.

In fact, I’ve been so excited for the fall to arrive that I’ve been wishing away the summer days. I can’t count how many times I’ve said, “I wish it would just get cold already!” or “Can summer end yet? Is it October now or what?”

But in the process of this, I’ve been wishing away precious time of my senior year as well. In fact, my roommates and I figured it out today that we only have about 150 more school days left – OF COLLEGE. EVER. THATS IT.

This fact makes my whole world stop spinning momentarily – just like any change, the thought of college ending is just a big huge looming cloud of blues for me. How can I leave Temple? My best memories are here, my friends, my activities, my first big-girl apartment, my favorite bagel place in town (BAGEL HUT.)…  all of these things make up the best 4 years of my life. It’s hard to imagine that those days are coming to an end. And, it’s easy to get bogged down in the blues when you think of it like that. So if you are a fellow senior, be that high-school or college, here’s a quick fix list to cure that sadness and start making the most of your most exciting year yet.

1 – Change your perspective.
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This one is simple, and the groundwork for the rest of my suggested steps. Quite simply, just don’t think of the eminent end of your time in school as a sad thing. It’s not sad! Everyone has to graduate sometime. College and high-school aren’t meant to be forever (unless you’re reaaaaallly rich….) and they’re meant to come to an end. It isn’t a bad thing to be graduating – in fact, it’s completely a positive. You’ve reached a major milestone – so try not to get too down on yourself. Life is good! You are successful! Your future is at your doorstep! If we start to see this concept in a positive light, instead of a negative one, our whole demeanor is going to change from stormy to sunny. And the rest of your life will benefit as well. Better attitudes are always better in general.

2 –  Make every day count. 

imgresSo you’re right. Time is ticking. You’ve only got so many days left in this routine you call life – so why mope?! Make the most of every single day. Literally. My best suggestion is to always set intentions for yourself. When you go to sleep, reflect on your day to come in the morning. Find at least ONE fully positive thing to look forward to the next day. It can be your lunch, an hour of Netflix you’ll get to watch, a visit with a friend, or a personal achievement you’re about to complete. Find something every night and the next day, cherish it. I do this and I swear by it. When I don’t practice this, I always notice my mood slipping. Give it a shot. And each day, do something meaningful. Make it count.

3 – Journal.

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Sometimes I find that I get anxiety about change because I’m afraid of forgetting. I never want to let go of routines, because I always want to remember the positive things that come out of them every day. To combat this, keep a journal. Even if it’s just one or two lines every day, write down the positives and negatives of your day-to-day life as it is now. You’ll feel better in the process, and then you’ll have something tangible to look back on for memories sake. Plus, you’ll probably come to realize that every stage in life has it’s ups and downs – nothing is ever perfect, so change is always a good thing. Sometimes we just need some self-reflection to see that.

4 – Find excitement in your future. 

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Whether you’re getting read to apply to your future college, heading to a whole new state for Grad school, or preparing to start your professional career as this year ends, you’re headed to a new adventure. GET EXCITED! You deserve to be proud of yourself and be happy about the next path you’re headed down. Dwelling in the moment will only mean you’re missing chances to be happy for yourself. Read travel guides for your new city, plan adventures for your final summer before college, or just pat yourself on the back for making it through whatever stage of life you’re getting ready to end. You did it – relish that.

5 – Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened. 

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Seriously. The age old saying, corny but true. Nothing that ever brought you joy once in your life should also bring you sadness. Only positivity should be harbored within you – it is good for your soul that way. Reflect on all of the great memories, personal growth, achievements, and new experiences you’ve gained through high school, college, or whatever phase of life you’re in. Appreciate every little piece of it. It has made you the person you are today. Be thankful for it, always. It will help you carry your amazing journey forward in life – and you’ll always get to look back and smile.

So there it is, folks. Don’t let the senior year blues get you down! See you on the flip side.

All the best,

Paige

What Even IS My Life?!

Hello Friends! As I type this, I am taking a moment’s break from my work at my internship in London – something I haven’t yet mentioned but one of the coolest opportunities I have here.

My placement is with a music venue, which hosts club nights and live shows in all genres, ranging from very popular soul/jazz/funk shows all the way to Bhangra nights (I’m not sure what it is either, no worries.) My role is media marketing, social media coordination, and PR work for an album that was just released! Finally, I’m stepping into the world of music PR like I have always wanted to. It’s been one of the coolest, most useful experineces I’ve had being abroad so far, so I wanted to mention it! 🙂

After work today, I’ll hopefully go get some delicious ice cream with my roommate Tess, and then tonight at 11:30pm I’m hopping on a LONG bus with my boyfriend up to the North of England – to Newcastle! I will finally get to see the English countryside properly, and maybe….just MAAAYBE, we’re going to check out Alnwick Castle — AKA THE INSPIRATION FOR HOGWARTS:

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I’m geekin’ out, ya’ll.

So basically I get to travel…again. I’ve been so blessed with the trips I’ve taken while I’ve been here. The cool thing about Europe is that nearly everything is connected by a train or bus, and flights are short even if you do have to take to the sky. It makes it easy and quick to get away from London (a transportation hub, of course) and to see some really amazing places. Wondering where I’ve been?

I could rant for hours about each and every place and all the food, sights, smells, sounds and good times I’ve had, so I think I’ll just pick ONE picture from each place to show you how I best remember each city.

Let’s take a little Eurotrip, yeah?

Brussels, Belgium:

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Cardiff, Wales:

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Lisbon, Portugal:

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Belém, Portugal:

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Amsterdam, Netherlands:

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As the program carries on, I will be seeing Paris, Normandy, hopefully Ireland, Germany, maybe Poland, and I’m ending my trip with a beautiful, beautiful journey down the Italian coast with my best friend. What a beautiful world out there. If you ever get the chance to study abroad – please take it from me. IT IS WORTH IT. It is worth every long application, every penny saved, every hour spent sleeping on a bus. Do it. Follow the dream – it’s possible!

I’m scheduling some posts to be added automatically to this blog every other day. It will include a lot of food, some crazy stories, and more. Look out for them!

Wait…What’s a Beigel?

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Hello America!

I’m in London now. LONDON! Can you believe it? I still wake up every morning in what feels like a weird, heavily-accented dream. It’s been just about a month now that we’ve been living and studying here and I can’t even begin to describe to you my experience thus far. I’ve been trying to come up with a way to break this down for the blogosphere. I could ramble on about the British way of life, the fact that there are streets here older than my own home country, the food, and even the weather – but one of the craziest things I’ve noticed while I’ve been living and learning here is that there are so wild, random, hilarious quirks of London. They seem insignificant, but they are exactly the things that come together to make up whatever the idea of “being British” really is.

Some are silly, some are just plain odd, and others are really, really useful. Please carry on reading, for your viewing and consuming pleasure, my list of the Top Most Bizzare & Awesome Things about London.

1. Bagel is spelled wrong (Beigel) …but they taste so right.

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The first time I saw a sign for a ‘beigel’ I stopped dead in my tracks and pointed up at the sign, saying “Is that a typo?” Turns out no, it’s definitely not, and beigels, when you can find them, are absolutely NUTS here. NUTS!!!!!! If you read my blog you probably know how much I love Temple’s Bagel Hut. I would never be disloyal, but I have to say, the bagels here are incredible. They’re often baked Jewish traditional style, and you can even just eat them warm without cream cheese. THAT’s how great they taste. They’re 25 pence, (cents here) so you can literally just fish around in your pocket for some loose change and get to taste one of the most amazing things to ever happen to British society. You have. No. Idea. So maybe they spell it funky, but if a few extra letters equals that much delicious taste, I will personally change the official spelling in Webster’s. Beigels 4 EVER.

2. Outlets have off & on switches – read: SUSTAINABILITY IS HUGE!!!!!

Alright. Ya’ll might think that the USA is all about that going green thing – wrong. Not compared to England. They LOVE to save the environment. Which is awesome! Just living here makes me feel like I’m saving the world a little more every day. All of the outlets here have little power switches on them – which took me a while to get used to (“wait…this isn’t charging at all.”) but really does make an energy saving difference. The push for keeping London clean and friendly for the environment is everywhere you go – even in public. It’s an awesome, refreshing change and already has instilled within me better habits like turning the lights out when I’m not in the room, walking places when possible, and always recycling (its fool proof here! so many color coded bins!!!!)

3. There is no right way to walk on the sidewalks.

You know the rule in America. Stay on the right, and so will everyone else. There is a definite traffic flow on the sidewalks. Not so much here. My roommate and I were convinced when we got here that it was proper to walk on the left of the sidewalk, just like the cars here drive on the left side of the road (which, side note, is the correct way to drive, according to history. America & other places just decided to change that up! You learn something new everyday folks). Turns out, walking on the left is not something everyone does. In fact, no one really does anything specific. People just sort of go where they want on the sidewalks – right, left, a little of both – and it makes for some serious people-dogding. At first, this was SO tricky for me. Now I’m pretty used to the back and forth shuffle of the streets. BUT! There is one guaranteed rule of thumb – if you are on an escalator coming out of the tube, you have to stand on the right so people can walk quickly up the moving stairs if they choose on your left hand side. This one is a huge no no to break – we have learned the hard way, folks.

4. Dogs. Don’t. Use. Leashes.

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MOM!!!!! DOGS JUST RUN FREELY HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!! (hey mom.) That’s right, even the animals are proper enough to be let loose around this place. I’m not sure if it’s just the way the culture is, or the training of their animals, but for whatever reason dogs know not to stray from their owners when they walk through parks and even sometimes on streets. Although I have seen this less on the sidewalks (cars and lots of people probably are a concern) in Hyde Park, home of my afternoon runs, the dogs just do their thing. Sometimes they stick close to mom & dad, other times they run ahead and check out the scenery while they wait for their human to catch up. As a dog lady, this warms my puppy loving heart. It also presents a real challenge, as all I want to do is run up and hug that dog until it can’t handle the love anymore.

5. There is no such thing as a 1 pound bill.

It’s a coin! Never in my life have I used so much change before, ever. Instead of having a wad of singles, my wallet is always crazy heavy from the weight of one and two-pound coins. Personally I think it’s way cool, because the coins are gold colored and I feel really regal. So that’s neat.

6. Pretty much everyone is friendly and the food really is quite good.

I say this because people warned be that the Brits are cold and the food is bland. I haven’t had any poor experiences here with either food or people! I’m happy to report the British folk eat really well, and they smile, too. Overall, I have had such an amazing experience thus far. For me, it’s all about immersing myself in what is really proving to be quite a different culture. I can’t wait to see what the next three months hold for me and the rest of the Temple crew while we’re here, but hopefully you learned a little from me so far.

Miss you, Philadelphia! (Especially miss you, co workers & bosses!!!!! xoxoxo)

Pip pip cheerio!

Paige

3 Chilly Weather Tricks — Temple University Style

Holy moly my people, it’s November 2nd. I cannot believe it but it is so true. Today was the fall back version of Daylight Savings — aka I SLEPT LIKE A BABY! There is nothing more valuable in college than anything free. That includes a free hour to sleep. Trust me on that.

So yes, I slept the day away. And when I finally emerged from my humble apartment today, I noticed how bitter cold it felt already. For a moment I was sad because fall is almost gone. But then I remembered how much I LOVE the winter and I got pumped all over again!

Regardless, I realized that here on campus there are a few ways to really keep warm specific to our campus. If you’re like me warmth is all you need some times so I just wanted to drop by with 3 key tips to keeping warm at Temple. Trust me. YOU GOTTA KNOW.

1. Get coffee at a food hut or truck for your chilly commutes.

Sure you could grab some joe from Starbucks or Saxbys, but let it be known — the cheapest coffee on campus (and arguably most bold and delicious) is at the food huts. Why are they so good at the grinds game? I don’t know. But don’t question it. Carry a few dollar bills on you in cash all the time so you can grab a coffee on campus. Not only will your wallet be happy, the coffee will warm your insides as well as your chilly hands! Owl Recommendation: Pretzel and Coffee hut outside of Paley Library. Best in town.

2. Take the Owl Loop or TUr Door shuttle service.

If you’re working at the Tech Center or just kickin it on campus and you find that the sun has set and the temperature has dropped a ton, don’t you sweat. (Haha. You won’t be sweating!) Do yourself and your wicked cold bones a favor and skip the walk home. Take our shuttles instead! Both run dusk to dawn from right outside of the Tech Center. One goes on a designated loop to all residence halls – the other works by giving the driver your specific address within a reasonable range off campus. Regardless, you’ll get to skip the cold walk home and instead get curb side drop off from yours truly, Temple. Do it people! You’ll thank me later.

3. Wear a HAT!!! (Temple gear, that is.)

I can’t believe this is making my top three list but it just has to. In case you were unaware, your body heat can escape easily from your head. Covering that baby up helps to maintain a regular body temperature and keeps you warm. I see so many people who get the hat memo on campus which is the bomb. On campus a hat is going to be essential to keeping warm. We love hats at Temple. If you don’t believe me, just check out our bookstore and observe just how many options we have for hats. Just do yourself a favor. Root on your owls and get a spirited hat to keep your body heat in! It works. And it’s cool. Just listen to me on this one.

That’s not hard, right? So yes. Wearing a good coat is a must. But these three additions will help you to keep warm during the busy and rewarding tail end of the semester. Are you lovers of winter or another season? Let me know!

Until next time, STAY WARM YALL.

Xoxo Paige

Time flies and flies and flies

Sometimes, life goes by so quickly I barely notice it’s happening. This month hasn’t been any different!

Lately I’ve been so so busy with preparing for London so I DEF can’t complain. In the last month I’ve applied for tons of scholarship, finished my forms, selected my potential internship field, anddddd applying for my work visa!

Holy crap y’all. I’m really going to London.

Every form I compete means I’m one step closer and it’s blowing my mind. I can’t wait but I’m also so nervous. I’m going to miss TU SOOOOOO much. I guess you don’t notice how much you love something until it’s gone, right? I can already tell that’s the case with me and campus. I’ll miss Bagel Hut, and tour, my bed in my apartment, the windy days out on Broad St, Zumba class, my friends, even the long stairways of Anderson Hall. I’ll miss it all.

But each day will be a new opportunity In a new city. And that is worth every sacrifice I’m making to take this chance. I can’t wait!!!

I can’t wait to blog about this weekend coming up! Lots of fun to be had. Can’t wait to talk to y’all soon!!!

Across the Pond in 103 days(ish) – I’m going to London!

Well hello again blogosphere! I cannot believe I’m about to say this, but it is the 5th week of classes.

PEOPLE. THE 5TH WEEK OF CLASSES!!!!! Where has the time gone? This means there are only 9 weeks of class left before the end of my first semester as a junior. I won’t get hung up and sentimental, but I will say this: time flies when you’re having fun. It feels like I just moved back into my residence hall, but its already been over a month! I’m basically in shock as you can probably tell.

Of course, I am excited for this semester to be in full swing. But I’ve also got another major topic on my mind that is looming in my near future. It’s one I am infinitely excited to announce, even though it still doesn’t feel real.

As of last week, I am officially accepted and attending the School of Media and Communication’s London semester program – I will be living, learning and interning in London during the Spring 2015 semester! 

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So this blog is about to get that much more interesting – posts from London will be plentiful!

I cannot wait to get to experience this brand new culture and country. I owe the biggest thanks to my family for supporting my big, lofty dream and making it a reality. I’m about to be an Owl Abroad! 🙂

In other recent news, my good blogger pal, co worker and lovely friend Chelsea just recently wrote an awesome post about our office outing to Restaurant Week! If you aren’t familiar, Philadelphia restaurants offer fixed prices for three and four course meals that would otherwise cost something my student budget can’t quite handle. We had SO much fun. Read Chelsea’s post to hear about our adventure in detail, but check below for some pictures that I snapped of our ‘Owl-ting’.

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Have a fabulous week! xoxo

Paige