Monday, February 19, 2018

What Did I Forget?

Image result for generic college emblem

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.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Not What You'd Expect

This semester is the first semester of my Junior year in Mechanical Engineering. As you could imagine, my classes are beginning to become a tad... more difficult to put it simply. With that being said, I believe I am falling in love with South more and more as I progress further into my major-specific classes.

Image result for math is hard imageThis semester, in particular, has shown me just how significant it is for a professor to love their job, and love their students. One teacher in particular that I feel has gone out of his way to make my education more worth-while is my Differential Equations professor, Dr. Gayan Abeynanda. Yes, DE is the math class you take after Calculus 3 and, no, it is not as fun as it sounds (I really thought I was through with math after all 3 Calculus classes. The joke is on me I guess). As difficult as the course material is, Dr. Abeynanda attempts to make the class fun by dropping little humorous phrases into his lectures and allowing open discussion throughout the class (Basically, instead of raising your hand and waiting to be called on during class like it is in high school, he encourages students to speak up while he is explaining a difficult subject--even cutting him off if necessary-- in order that they might understand more clearly). Even in office hours, he is more than willing to help you with homework, lecture note questions, or just talk about your future aspirations and what you aim to do with your life. I've enjoyed how close I've gotten to Dr. Abeynanda so far and I know that I will continue my relationship with him even as I get into more difficult classes. I know he won't turn me away until after he has done his best to help me.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Top 3 Things to Think about when Trying out Tentative Colleges

Not sure where to start when it comes to college? In my opinion, you need to at least know these three basic principles:

1) Location: Do you want the college to be in state/ out of state? How long of a drive from mom and dad does it need to be? Where do you want to live? If on-campus, can you see yourself getting to class easily by walking, biking, or riding a transit bus? If off-campus, do you have a reliable car and the self control to wake up in time to drive to class every morning; and on that note, how is parking at the college( plentiful or hard-pressed)? What major city are you close to? Are there things to keep you entertained on the weekends?

2) Housing: This gets put off until the last minute by a lot of students and it ends up backfiring on them when they get to college and need a place to live, books, and all within one week of classes starting.
Once you've narrowed down your colleges to the top three, sit down and really think about where you plan on living. If it's off campus, find roommates with plenty of notice so that y'all can find a cheapish house and nail down all the details without the stress of your first semester of college thrown on top of the situation. If you want to live on campus, apply as soon as possible! A lot of colleges are first come, first serve in that department and if you are one of the last to apply, you may get stuck with a dorm you really didn't see yourself in, or with a roommate that for some reason really can't seem to agree with your manner of living.

3) Connections: Obviously, you are going to be attending a college that has the major you're interested in, but that's not all that's important. Also consider: Is there an Honors College and would that help me in my major? How are the co-op opportunities? Can I study abroad?

Don't be stressed if you haven't given any thoughts to some of these questions. Even for those of us that may not have gone to our first college of choice, everything eventually falls into place and you learn to adapt and make this your home.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Campus Tours

Anyone that knows me well knows that I don't like waiting. Not saying I'm impatient, it's just that if there is a more time efficient way of doing something, I'd prefer that route every day of the week! Here at South, we offer a lot of different outreach opportunities for incoming students to learn about, and to get a feel for the campus and student life as a Jaguar. The best event, in my opinion, is the daily campus tours which are hosted by the South Guides.
Based in Meisler Hall, these South Guides are student workers that actually are students here, which means that they can not only give you the interesting facts and folklore surrounding certain buildings and locations on campus or around Mobile, they can also give you an honest insight into what their daily schedule is like and tangible ways incoming students can get connected when they get to campus.
You'll start off your tour with a bus ride around campus, sort of getting a general idea of the campus and where the different colleges are located in relation to each other.--- Now, like I said, I prefer fast and efficient and this is by no means an in depth look into every single major; if you want a more personalized experience look into our "A day at USA" initiative we started this year!--- Your first stop during the campus tour is one of our Residence Halls. Here, they let you go inside one of the showcase residence halls here at South(though there are very many different styles to choose from) so that you can get an idea of what on-campus living can feel like. Depending on the size of the group you're with, you might be able to slip into our Dining Hall to get a quick peak as well! From here, you'll get back on the bus, see a little bit more campus, and then arrive at the Rec Center. This is probably my favorite part of the tour because I LOVE OUR REC. The entire main floor is pretty much dedicated to aerobic machines (treadmills, ellipticals, etc). Additionally, there's a large central weight area that just got brand new machines this semester! Next to the weight area, 4 full basketball courts with 2 optional volleyball nets stay buzzing almost every week night as students blow off the stress they've built up all day. Upstairs, there's an indoor running track and a smaller, quieter workout area for those of us who are trying to get back in shape in a more secluded area. Also on that side of the rec is 4 racquetball courts, 6 ping pong tables, and indoor rock wall, and an indoor soccer arena. If you travel to the other side of the rec, there's an indoor swimming pool, sauna, outdoor pool lounge, and a giant hot tub that can fit 25 people (though you won't see me in a hot tub with 24 other people under my own free will).
So after you finish your tour of the rec (which you'll love!), they drive you back to the student center where you'll get a chance to visit our bookstore. And even though your campus tour is "officially over" at this point, now that you have a general understanding of where everything is, you can always do a self tour afterwards and if you get lost, just ask any Jag you pass on the sidewalk and we would be more than happy to point you in the right direction!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

South Bound with a Purpose

Getting plugged in to organizations when you get to college is extremely easy. In fact, I would argue that it's a little too easy to get involved in things. I was a little overly ambitious the first semester I was down here, and I get involved with a fraternity, AED (pre-med honors society), Circle K International (Key Club for college students), church, work, and the ASPCA (animal shelter). The reality of the matter is, no matter how much I truly wanted to be a part of all of these things, there's simply not enough time in the day, nor enough me to go around. My advice would be to find one, maybe two things that you are extremely passionate about and devote all of your time to those. And if you are a pre-med student like myself, believe it or not, medical school would rather see that you volunteered at one place for 15+ hours per week for all 4 years of undergrad instead of seeing 25 different organizations you were a member of maybe 30 minutes a week each.

With that being said, here at South, there's a club for just about anything you can think of. I've attached a link to our website that has a list of all of our clubs and organizations for your enjoyment.
Additionally, events such as "Get on Board Day" happen every semester. These are events that the university puts on in an effort to explain just how much the incoming students have to choose from.

The field is prepared and bountiful, it's just up to you to decide where you want to plant your roots!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Just Keep Swimming

For every trial I've faced since being at South--whether it be getting sick, sleeping through class, taking 18 hours every semester, not getting sleep due to homework, stress--I've used the same thought to get me through: "Others have done it, so why can't I?" Similar things that run through my mind are: "It could always be worse", "My pain is nothing compared to Christ's crucifixion", "It will all be over soon", "Work hard now, play hard later." While these may not be the best inspirational quotes for everyone, they help me keep things in perspective and realize that my current trials are only a means to an end: graduating college, and then having a career.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Last Name: "Ever," First Name: "Greatest."

The best student association on campus by far is "Driven."
This small group devotional (currently held in one of the Student Center meeting rooms on Thursday Nights at 7) was started this year by Lighthouse Baptist Church in Theodore and is lead by their Music Pastor, Jason Felt. Jason, along with some of their youth that attend South, decided they should start a small bible study (open to all) that dives deep into the spiritual truths that the Bible teaches. I look forward to seeing this organization grow more and more each year.