Monday, February 23, 2015

So, is attendance required for this class?




Being in college is amazing and something I looked forward to all through my high school years. I was envious of college students who had the freedom of being out of the house and getting to decide for themselves whether or not to go to class everyday. Once I had my first taste of this, I immediately realized that skipping classes would be a bad decision. The temptation to skip class is real and it will taunt you. Gone are the days of your school and mom hounding you go to class. Most professors don't even require attendance. It's all up to you to now... You'll have to  dig down deep at 6 a.m. when it's cold and rainy on a Monday and every bone in your body is begging you to stay in bed. 


For me, this was the most difficult part of adjusting to college. I am a night owl and by nature I want to stay up all night, so waking up to go to my classes has always been difficult. Since being in college, I've had to learn that I can't stay up past midnight or I'll be snoozing through my alarms the next day. Setting a time to go to bed has definitely made my morning alarm a little more tolerable. I've also learned that turning on a lamp and standing up right when my alarm goes off is a good way to make sure I don't fall back asleep. I think it's okay to skip a class and take a "personal day" every now and then. After all, we are in college and  this is probably the last time you will have the luxury to do that. Just be smart about taking days off class. Student's that regularly attend class do better than those who do not. 


Monday, February 16, 2015

Psychology Majors




This week I want to share with y'all how I chose my major. For as long as I can remember, I have been inquisitive. I am constantly thinking, wondering, and observing people and things around me. I also have a big heart and am always trying to help people whenever I can. I think you just know when you are meant to do something.. and my something is psychology.

Psychology just came naturally for me because of my love for helping and my curious mind. At a young age, I gravitated towards things like participating in science fairs and peer mentor groups. Those are the perfect stepping stones on the journey to becoming a psychology major because psychology involves a lot of listening and research.

Being a psychologist is something I would love to do because no two clients or two days at work would ever be the same. It's a job where things are always changing and learning never stops. It's a job where I can positively impact someone's life and help them get through their struggles. Recently, I decided to work specifically with the military population and their families. I couldn't think of a more rewarding group to work with than those who have put their lives on the line for our freedom.


Monday, February 9, 2015

Why I Chose to be a Jaguar!



I vividly remember the end of my junior year/beginning of senior year when I was checking out colleges. I recall spending lots of time looking up colleges online while I was procrastinating on school work. At the time, I was living in O'Fallon, Illinois but I always dreamed of going out-of-state for college. This caused a lot of conflict in my house. My parents frequently hounded me with questions as to what I would do if (insert horrible scenario here) and I wasn't close to home. So, to keep the peace in my home I applied to four schools. My top four choices consisted of three colleges within a four hour drive from home, even though two of those were out-of-state. Then, there was my top choice at a whopping 13 hours away..South Alabama. 


South was my number one choice for several reasons. First of all, I LOVE Alabama. I have been visiting my Aunt in Birmingham since I was in 3rd grade. I loved the southern hospitality and the lack of cold weather. Over the years I really began to want to attend college somewhere in Alabama. On one of those days where I was procrastinating on doing my school work, I did a Google search for "Universities in Alabama". Immediately, I stumbled across a list that had South Alabama on it and was instantly sold because South Alabama = beaches, right? Not only that, but I could be out-of-state and get the full college experience...BUT my aunt would be about 3 hours away in case one of my parents crazy "what if" situations ever happened. 



Also, I've known for a really long time that I want to be a psychology major. As any good student would do, I went straight for the psychology department's page and began to learn about their program. I remember being really impressed when I saw that South had a doctorate program for psychology. In my mind, I was thinking that because they had a PhD program, that their undergraduate program will probably really prepare me for graduate school. And, maybe I can even get into their PhD program one day. 


Now location, location, location.  South is situated perfectly in Mobile, Alabama, which in my opinion, is the heart of the gulf coast. I was super excited to see that if I drove east for an hour or two I could be in Pensacola, Panama City, or Destin, Florida just to name a few. Also, right in our own backyard is Orange beach and Gulf Shores! Then, to our west is Biloxi and New Orleans! So, if I ever wanted to get out of Mobile, there would definitely be places to go for a fun weekend. Not to mention that Mobile is a pretty cool place, too! Mobile is where Mardi Gras started and is set right on the bay! 

Now to compare my top two choices: South and a comparable sized university in Missouri. The university in Missouri had some things south didn't. I preferred their dorms to South's residence halls. They had way more dorms and I liked that the majority of students lived on campus. However, I didn't like that all rooms had at least two or more beds in it and shared a bathroom with another room that had two or beds in it also. I also didn't like that they had community showers. South, does not have community showers and the normal room has two people and they have their own bathroom. I also felt on the fence about knowing a lot of people who were currently enrolled there or planning to go there. I wanted my own experience and to make new friends and step out of my comfort zone. I also didn't love that I was still really close to home and my mom was suggesting that I could come home every weekend. 

So, my decision was really easy. I followed my heart and chose South for my love of Alabama, the location, and their psychology program. I have no regrets and feel like I am at home here, which is really how I've felt since my first tour of campus! 


Monday, February 2, 2015

Do as I Say Not as I { Did }





Dear Future Jaguars

When your fresh faces come to South, I will have been here for three full years and will be starting my first semester of senior year. I have learned a lot over these past years and want to pass on some wisdom I've gained during my time here. First of all, be kind! It can really benefit you down the road if you are kind to everyone you meet. I treat everyone I meet with the same kindness and respect whether you are a student, professor, or custodian. You never know who really needed a smile that day or when you might need that person's help later. Another, tip would be to get involved.  I was not involved in anything the first semester of freshman year..it was awful. I lived off campus and I was from out-of-state and I knew almost no one here. My experience quickly turned around the following semester when I got this job, joined a sorority, and got involved in Psychology Club. I was so much happier after doing all of that because I was getting out of the apartment and meeting people I probably would not have met otherwise. Being involved has also allowed for me to meet professors and build connections with them that will really be beneficial to my career down the road. Keep your grades up! Grades are so important and will define you during and after college. During college, your grades will determine when you get to pick your classes and if you can get an on campus job. After college, it will determine if you will get into a graduate program or picked for an internship. While you may be a good person your grades starting now will make up at least 80% of who you are. Make your GPA something you are willing to brag about! 

Above all else, enjoy your time here at South! My experience here has been nothing but wonderful. I wish the same for you! 

Your Jag Guide

Alyssa 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Save the Roommate Drama for your Momma!





College is one of the first times you will ever probably live with someone who is not family or possibly even someone you don't know. All of my roommates have been random and I've had different experiences with all of four of them. I would like share what I've learned...


1. Communication is key: Learn to communicate your needs and wants, people are not psychic. Laying around and pouting about your roommate's poor cleaning skills, loud friends, or loud TV/MUSIC, etc, will not help anyone. Find a way to communicate that works best for both people. If you two are having a conflict and can't resolve it, go to someone outside the situation for help. South has RA's in every resident's hall that can help sort through things with you, counseling and testing services can help, and even sometimes apartment managers will try to act as a mediator between roommates. 

2. Do onto your roommate as you would like done onto you: In other words, lead by example. If you want your roommate to clean their messes up, clean yours up too. If you want your roommate to introduce you to their friends, introduce them to yours. If you want your roommate to be quiet when you are sleeping, then try your best to be quiet when they are. Don't expect behavior from your roommate that you yourself do not exhibit.


3. Be honest from the beginning: This is important At some point you will probably fill out a survey asking what kind of person you are. For example: Would you say you are very clean, clean, or not clean? Do you smoke or drink? How often do you study? These questions exist so you can hopefully be matched with someone who is similar to you. The problems and stress arise when someone was not completely honest on the survey. If someone who drinks and smokes is paired with someone who doesn't and hates it, you can imagine what kind of crazy semester that will be. Also, if you are someone who needs alone time sometimes tell them that upfront. Say something like, I love hanging out you and/or our friends, but sometimes I just need to take a nap or have a day to myself. Then they know upfront so there are no issues later.

4. Fighting small battles is easier than big ones: Express your problems early! It is not healthy to be steeping in your anger about something that is driving you nuts. It is easier to nip a problem in the butt right away rather than waiting until you are on the brink of losing our mind to say something. At that point you lose the ability to communicate effectively and your roommate will thing you are crazy for yelling at them about something small. 

5. Pick your battles: This is also important when thinking about number 4. Sometimes, after weighing the pro's and con's it might be best to hold your tongue on an issue. If you are going to your roommate everyday with a list of complaints, you will look like a psycho. Your list might be filled with true and valid issues, but that will immediately make your roommate shut down. Figure out what matters the most for you and tell them that. 

6. Respect each others property and privacy: This can tie in with number two. Don't go through your roommates things when they aren't there. Don't borrow or more things without asking first. No one wants someone else moving their things around without asking. This is also can be a safety issue. Be careful with you bring into your room and make sure if a friend is in your room that you are with them. Your roommate doesn't want their laptop stolen because you left someone unattended in your room. Lock your doors and windows. You might be okay with leaving the window open while no one is home or not locking your doors, but that's not safe. Respect your roommate by keeping yourself and property safe. 
7. Sometimes you just have a crazy/bad roommate: Sometimes no matter how much effort you put in to everything I just listed, things never change. Try to change rooms. If you can't, hold on tight and be the bigger person. Stay positive and know that it's not permanent and just try to hangout with friends and get out of the room as much as possible. 



Personal Note: I have been through the good, the bad, and the crazy when it comes to roommates. I have had four different roommates and have been through a roommate who stopped taking their medicine(literally), an unexpected pregnancy, the drunk and drunker, and the two best friends I could have imagined. I would recommend living on campus as opposed to off campus. Keep in mind that most apartment complexes, yes even the student ones, will not let you end your lease or get involved in roommate problems. RA's will help and you can move up the line from there if you find yourself in a bad roommate situation.

Here are some photos of things my current roommate and I have done together!

My roommate and I are always cooking and baking together! Here is the fruit pizza we made together the other night




My roommate and I, are always decorating our apartment and we often make a lot of things on our own. We made those wreaths to hang on our bedroom doors! We also bought a {pitiful} Christmas tree and went shopping and picked out ornaments for it together. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Thankful for South!

thank·ful

 adjective \ˈthaŋk-fəl\
: glad that something has happened or not happened, that something or someone exists, etc.
: of, relating to, or expressing thanks
 
 
Since I began my college search, I quickly narrowed in on the University of South Alabama. As much as this campus quickly began feeling like home {I took two or three campus tours.. and I'm from Illinois haha} I never would have imagined that the school and community would come to mean so much to me. There are two groups I specifically am thankful for:

-Psychology-

 
I am so thankful to be apart of the best department on campus! *in my humble opinion* The Psychology department is a close nit family and I'm so grateful to be apart of it. This year I was honored to be elected President of Psi Chi Honor Society and Psychology Club.  With this election I have grown even closer to my department. Ms. Lisa Nash the secretary quickly became like a second mom to me. While this is nothing that perspective students look for, it was an added blessing and I'm so thankful for her. She always keeps up with everyone in the department and knows everyone by name and what is going on with there lives. She is always there to lend a word of advice or a hug, and of course a pencil whenever needed. The department head, Dr. Christensen has been nothing short of a wonderful help to my college career and I strive to make him proud of the encouragement he's given me. Dr. Powell, my advisor and advisor for Psi Chi and Psychology Club is always there when I have questions and we quickly became very close. Dr. Currier my mentor and leader of the PTSD and Moral Injury lab has been a very important part of choosing my specialty! He is such an encouragement and he has really pushed me to be my best. My lab group is also wonderful! We are a truly a team and we push one another to be the best and reach our goals! I also want to give thanks to two of my favorite psychology graduates, Tyler Bell and Ms. Deb! Tyler, has always believed in me even when I didn't believe in myself. He has also been just a phone call away to tell me that I can accomplish whatever I want to accomplish. I just have too much to say about him but I'll leave it at that.. And, Ms. Deb is one of the sweetest ladies I know! She has saved me so much money by lending me books and was a huge reason for my success during my time as Treasurer last year! I am so thankful for the psychology department and all they have offered me!
 
 
 

-Office of New Student Recruitment-

As soon as I heard the office of New Student Recruitment was starting a communication center I was dying for the job. I was excited to have a job that would enable me to go back home to Illinois for the breaks and that would get me involved on campus. This quickly became more than just a job for me. I have met my closest friends through this job. I consider all the Jag Guides to be my family. I have spent birthdays and holidays with them and they have really made me thankful to be a Jag! This job has allowed me to reach out to all of you perspective students and has given me an outlet to relay my (almost) embarrassing amount of love for South to future Jags. It's hard to describe what South means to me or how much I truly love this campus. I'm also thankful for my wonderful boss, Kristin Odom. She is the epitome of a hard working woman and her dedication is admirable. Good luck in your future endeavors and your new position in Enrollment Services!
 
There are no words to describe how thankful I am to be apart of such an amazing, caring community. I love my campus and South Alabama has become a lot more than just a place to get my bachelors. It's become my second home and my second family. Thank you for the opportunities and the friendship!
 
Happy Thanksgiving, and Go Jags!
 
 


 
 
 
I also want to dedicate this blog to a friend lost too soon, and a reminder that life is short and should be cherished. Rest in Peace Zack! You were a great friend to many people and your happiness was contagious. Be thankful for each day you have!
 
 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Favorite Campus Activities!


My favorite campus activity was going to see a comedian Jaguar Productions brought to campus my freshman year! He was hilarious and made several jokes about our school stealing our country name "USA" and our school colors being red, white, and blue.

I can't remember his name but he was very funny! It was such a fun night with some of the best friends I had made so far on campus, that I met through our CAS100 class. This class was a mandatory class for all freshmen arts and science majors, but it was one of the most fun classes I had. I made lifetime friends from that class and got to do fun things for homework like go see a comedian.

Going to see the comedian was an actual assignment but it didn't feel like it because it was a lot of fun and with my closest friends. The comedian was even nice enough to stay and talk to everyone after the show and take pictures with those who wanted one. I can't remember his name for the life of me right now but he was pretty well known and had been on Saturday Night Live and talk shows. This event is by far the best activity I've attended.

Brittani, The Comedian, and myself