Summer!

Summer has the innuendo of taking a break from life and having fun. As children, we were so excited to hear that last school bell ring for the year so we can rush home and play video games, stay up late and go to the pool all day long. The fun of just laughing about no homework to be done, no tests to study for and no curfew for bedtime made life that much more exciting.

For some of us that still hasn’t changed (lucky!); the rest have to grow up and get jobs and evolve into working adults. I spent the first half of my summer studying for my Nursing boards exam and luckily it paid off because I passed and am now a Registered Nurse in the state of Virginia as well as 24 other states. Essentially, this may very well be the last summer I get to have as a college student so I want to make every day count.

I have a bucket list, one of the more timeless goals is to watch a drive-in movie with my husband. Yes they do exist and they are absolutely wonderful. Make the most of your summer because you’re not getting any younger!

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We’re Not Cavemen! We Have Technology!

img-1622127-1-RbfzfIndeed Patrick, we do have technology and it’s marvelous. Recently I had an upgrade from a dinosaur QWERTY slide phone to a Verizon HTC One. Huzzah! Who knew there was an app for just about anything; I can now do my blogging on the go with “WordPress” app, get an update on all my emails and social media, keep track of funds and organize my life just how I want it. Whilst perusing the seemingly infinite world of apps I came upon a couple that would be great for students.

The NOVA App: keep in touch with all of the events on your campus! Blackboard app, although I’ve heard good and bad things about it, I’d rather skip the middle man of opening up my internet browser and just get right to the site. I have my NCLEX exam coming up in just a couple of short weeks so I purchased the NCLEX Mastery app to help me with my core content and practice questions. Just for kicks I also downloaded Pinterest app for all of my creativity things like knitting, crocheting and more recently I’ve added bracelet making to the list.

Alas, the one thing that I have not evolved from was my neanderthal tendency to break things. July 5th was the day I broke my first smart phone.

 

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Transfer from NOVA to GMU

As of yesterday I am an official Patriot studying for my BSN. Hooray! I just wanted to share with you some of my fun experiences with orientation as well as clubs that were available.

I attended the 8 hour session that lasted from 8:30am at check in to 5pm for picking up my GMU ID and registering for classes. The leaders of new student orientation were very informative of what we as transfers should expect. In addition to being a transfer student I am also a military wife which gives my transition a bigger twist but I’ll get into that in a minute.

Orientation started off with name tags, bags, shirts and a bunch of other free stuff. Shortly after we were led to the bottom floor of the Johnson center were various booths representing different resources for students were held to give more information as well as take their Mason ID  photos. Then assembly in Dewberry Hall where student leaders and faculty introduced facts and points about student life and academics. As part of the presentation there were prizes given away for correctly answered GMU history questions as well as school spirit. Yours truly won that section! We were then broken up into sub categorical groups i.e. military students/dependents/veterans, adult students, students who are parents, first generation and general smaller groups for question and answer panel. Each group had a certain concern; military for example had questions about paperwork concerning transfer and how to apply credits earned in active duty to Mason credit, as well as questions about GI bill, housing and veterans with disabilities.

Lunch time! They were nice enough to give us a buffet style lunch of greens and cookies on the 2nd floor of the Johnson Center (where we spent all day). With time to kill I thought I’d make myself a friendship bracelet with GMU Colors green and gold. At this time I also took advantage of the list Mason has of all the organizations and clubs available, I loved seeing how much I had to choose from. I ended up choosing GMU Anime and Video Game Club, Ballroom Club, Close Knit Club, GMU FCA (Filipino Club), Healthcare Leaders Club and Japanese Club. Right away I was accepted into the groups that had a facebook account and met new friends who shared a lot of interests. I was warmly welcomed to all and even made plans to attend weekly ballroom sessions.

The next panel was about colleges which was then further broken up into majors. For me I attended College of Health and Human Services broken down to Nursing majors and finally a specific program RN to BSN. Here we received transfer credit counseling and final details about what was expected of us and how to prepare for our semester.

The day ended with picking up your Mason ID and registering for classes using Patriotweb (a site I highly encourage you learn how to use asap) and using our school email Masonlive to email our contacts. Optional assemblies included Financial aid, tours of campus etc.

To anyone who is planning to attend a summer orientation I highly suggest you bring water, a notepad, a backpack, any device that will have access to the internet (I referenced it many times during orientation for academic reasons not just to play candy crush), questions about campus/resources/your needs.

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Feeling Upset? Try these Pick-me-ups!

frustration

 

It’s perfectly normal to get upset or frustrated once in a while but it’s not normal to stay that way. Try cheering yourself up with these cheap pick-me-ups

If you have access to the internet:

-www.imgur.com = you’ll always find something to smile about

-www.wordpress.com = if you don’t already have one, make one to blog about why you’re upset and get it off your chest.

-www.givesmehope.com = Somewhere in the world someone else is having a bad day and there is someone wanting to help out.

-Video games (preferably ones you are good at) a great way to decompress, it keeps your mind off of whatever upsets you long enough for you to simmer down

-watch a funny video on Youtube or movie

-calming music

-window shop from your favorite store websites

-Message a friend about it

-MilitaryOnesource = if you are military or dependent

If you don’t have access to the internet:

-Hit the Gym or outside= Exercise burns energy and helps you let off some steam. Physically you can release endorphins and dopamine which decreases stress and helps you feel good.

-Read a book

-pick up your hobby

-play with your pets

-write an angry letter and toss it

-clean/organize your space: if you’re unable to exercise, this is great way to get moving and disperse negative energy

-Scream into a pillow. Trust me, no one will think you’re insane, just try to avoid screaming at someone.

-take a nap, old Irish proverb says “The two things you need to cope with life is a nap and a laugh.”

-Squeeze and relax different muscle groups of your body and breathe deeply and slowly with each squeeze.

Things that you should avoid to cope with frustration:

-alcohol

-smoking

-recreational drugs

-fighting

-self harm

-taking anger out on someone else

-breaking objects (phones, chairs, walls, faces etc.)

-driving (especially if you’re an angry driver)

-splurging aka shop therapy and if you decide to do so, cap it off at a certain amount

-sex = keep in mind that it does not matter if it’s with your spouse or significant other or a stranger, using sex as a tool of blowing off steam is unhealthy and toxic to a relationship.

It’s okay if none of these suggestions did not help you but I hope it inspires you to find what makes you feel good in a healthy way. Have a Happy Summer NOVA!

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How to Organize a NOVA Semester

It’s never to late or early to learn.

1. Open up a full month calendar

2. Fill in all the dates with obligations i.e. work schedule, planned vacation, doctor appointments etc.

3. (Optional) List all the classes you need to take, find the professor teaching it and look up their status on ratemyprofessor.com.

4. Under the classes you need to take arrange them in the remaining empty slots of your calendar.

5. once you have your syllabi for all your classes fill in all the test dates, due dates and study dates.

6. (Optional) Fill in campus events

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