Sunday, April 22, 2018

South Chose Me

South Alabama was not my first choice of college coming out of high school. I was originally planning on going to a military service academy, but plans fell through at the last minute. Amongst the public universities I applied to, South was the most generous with scholarships and also the most appealing with their campus. I knew going to college, I wanted the traditional college campus feel: secluded from the city with all the classes in the same vicinity, and safe for me to commute by foot or by bike. South's campus has breathtaking landscaping throughout and the walks between classes are easily accomplished in under 15 minutes (even classes across campus from each other). Aside from that, South is just far enough away from home that I don't feel like I'm still living under my mom and dad's supervision, but also close enough where I could travel home on the weekends if I so choose. South has been above and beyond what I expected to get out of college, and I do not regret ending up here at all. I have no doubt that I not only chose South, Jag Nation chose me.

And when you have lived in the south as long as I have, you know that watching football is a family event. 

Monday, April 16, 2018

One Answer to a Major Problem.

My major is Mechanical Engineering, with a focus in Pre-Medical studies. Yes, as you may have guessed, those two do not typically coexist well, and this means that I have been, and will continue to take 18 or 19 hours per semester until I graduate. It is a struggle, but I do have a reason behind the madness.

When I first came to South, I was on the typical Pre-Med track through a Biology undergraduate degree. After my first semester, and much thought, I decided to change my major to Mechanical Engineering because if Medicine doesn't pan out, I'd much rather have a profession in engineering than biology. My ultimate goal is to become a doctor, though the specialty is to be determined. I have already been shadowing different doctors and volunteer hours, and I'm just about to get in Organic Chemistry, so R.I.P. to my G.P.A.

It is a lot, but it's what I love, so I'm going to smile through the pain and enjoy life regardless. College is what you put into it, so I'm going to get my money's worth.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

We Are Shaping Our Own Futures.

Here at South, we are many things, but in the Engineering Department, we are being molded, assembled, and oriented towards the brightest future possible. Shelby Hall is home to the Chemical, Civil, Computer Science, Electrical, and Mechanical engineering prodigies. Each individual discipline learns how to approach real world problems from a different perspective, but collectively, we are learning to craft an improved way of living for all. Not too long ago, each of the different branches competed in our annual E-week, where we were tasked with different tasks and then granted points on how ingenious, innovative, or unique or solutions were. This year, the standings were as followed: 1)Chemical, 2)Electrical, 3)Mechanical, and 4)Civil. Honestly though, everyone that participated learned a lot about cooperative team participation, how to problem solve under pressure, and how to come up with a solution that is ethical, economical, and ecological; in a way, we all won. To put it simply, the Engineering body here at South Alabama is doing more than learning how to build bridges; we are learning to build tomorrow.
This is the sheet sign that the Mechanical Engineers created. (We got 1st in this category!)

Monday, April 2, 2018

The Only Thing You Really Need.

Many characteristics attribute to one's prosperity in college. The one aspect of my life that I believe has been the most influential is my faith in Jesus Christ. I actually just got back from a mission trip to New Orleans with a group of people from the Baptist Campus Ministry here at South. Through organizations on campus such as BCM and Campus Outreach, many lives are being changed and positively affected by Christ. Personally, my involvement with the church has opened up doors to meet so many new people; most of my circle of friends were met through church and it's always nice knowing people in your classes that enjoy study sessions. Besides the social aspect, God has been with me through college, even when I turned away from him for a little while, and has always been there to comfort me and keep me from stressing out too much over finals. Last but not least, I believe that my faith in Christ and adherence to scripture has helped me thrive in college because the Bible addresses so many aspects of life. The most obvious verse that applies to college in my opinion is Colossians 3:23 where the apostle Paul writes: "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as if working for the Lord." I try to apply this to my life every single day.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Y U So Hard, College?

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Hands down, the hardest thing about college---no matter how cliché it sounds---(not trying to say other things about college aren't difficult; this is just the part I've struggled with the most) is time management. Just like that sentence, college is a day-to-day struggle with trying to fit 101 things into a single day.

In high school, I was busy with a job, AP classes, and sports; but it wasn't so bad because each day was identical to the last and I was able to form a routine. It is not like this in college, sadly. I find myself making a tentative plan most mornings that will allow me to get all of my homework due in 3 days completed, only to find out that very same day my professors all assign new homework that is due in 2 days. It's an on-going battle.

My advice: learn to adapt. You can make a schedule for yourself and be completely ready for your first semester of college when you get here, but I guarantee your average day will look polar opposite to that original schedule by your second week of school.

None of this is meant to scare you; it's mainly meant to open your eyes. You'll succeed in college if you prioritize class, sleep, and study sessions. All other things are a giant puzzle, and it's up to you to find out the best way to connect the pieces.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

What makes South, South?

So why do most people go to college? Easy; to get a degree. For me, South wasn't my first choice of college. I was fully prepared and already packing to attend the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO, when I found out last minute that I a knee surgery from 9th grade wouldn't let this happen. South, being the only other college I applied to (mainly because I loved the campus and they had a Medical College on campus), was obviously where I ended up in the fall of that year. Since being at South, I've realized that there is no other place that would be able to prepare me for the future like South is already doing. I am currently a pre-med mechanical engineering student enrolled in Army ROTC that is also a member of Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity. The engineering department at South is state-of-the-art and all of my professors are eager to help me in any way they can. I've had professors offer for me to research with them in China over the summer, and others that are offering to help anyone in my class make connections with potential employers as we prepare to enter the work force. Me being pre-med, my main goal is to be a doctor. I've been working with the ROTC unit here at South as well as Sergeant McQueen, a National Guard recruiter stationed at South, and as it is currently, I'll be able to graduate college as an officer in the Army and even possibly have my med school paid for in full. No matter what my occupation ends up being, I know that I'll be able to use everything I've learned in Phi Kappa Sigma to succeed socially, economically, and ethically. All in all, everything about South is a catalyst that's working to improve me at every corner as I prepare for life after college.

Monday, February 19, 2018

What Did I Forget?

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As you finish out your last semester of high school, be sure to at least begin thinking about everything on this checklist.

3D box Housing (on or off campus?)

3D box Food (meal plan or mini fridge?)

3D box Major (if undecided, what pre-requisites do you need to do?)

3D box Parking/ Driving (walking, biking, busing, or car?)

3D box Will you bring your pet with you?

3D box Scholarships ($$$$$$$)

3D box Paperwork for Orientation (Immunizations, photo ID, housing contracts if applicable)

3D box Which clothes are you bringing? (DO NOT BRING YOUR ENTIRE WARDROBE. THERE IS NOT ENOUGH ROOM)

3D box What classes are you wanting to take first year?

3D box When is your move-in day?

3D box How often do you plan to visit home the first year?

3D box Are you retaking the ACT? SAT?

3D box Do you have enough paper, pencils, and folders?

This is just a short list to think about as you get ready for college. Obviously, there's a lot more to it than just this, but you will be way ahead of the game if you've gotten all of these checked off before you graduate high school.