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!


 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:


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

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Abnormal Psychology

Abnormal Psychology

:: Did you know that according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, approximately one in four adults or 61.5 million Americans, will experience mental illness in a given year? That means that there is a very good chance you or one of your family members or friends has a mental illness.::

Do you know someone that suffers from an eating disorder? Have you seen TV shows where a person has a "split personality"? Do you watch hoarders and wonder how or why a person would live like that? Have you ever wondered why people are bipolar or depressed? Do you want to know what causes these disorders?

If so you would likely enjoy taking my favorite class-Abnormal Psychology! I'm a very passionate psychology major so I'm going to try not to completely nerd out while I tell you about this class.. In short, Abnormal Psychology is about abnormal or atypical behaviors in humans and what causes them and how to change them. This class really helps you connect with, and understand people living with a psychological disorder. As I listed earlier, this class will give you a basic understanding of disorders such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Eating Disorders, Bipolar disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Schizophrenia, and Dissociative Personality Disorder (aka "Split Personality Disorder") just to name a few. Taking this class really helps you see mental illness in a different light and it is all fascinating. I would encourage everyone to take this class!

Side note: Always remember that people living with mental illness are more than their disorder. They may have a disorder but they are human just like everyone else and want to live like everyone else. And, just because someone has a disorder does not meant they are "crazy". People living with mental illness can overcome their symptoms with proper psychological help and lead happy, successful lives.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

We Got Spirit, Yes We Do!

 Every year homecoming week falls right around my birthday and this year the big "Clash of the Claws" homecoming game is just two days before my birthday! The coinciding events, and the fact that it is fall and we are finally feeling it down here, makes this time of the year extra special for me. Walking around campus this week you can feel the excitement for the big game. And, there is not a shortage of things you could be doing this week because our SGA always has the week planned out with fun events and competition students and student groups can participate in. One of my favorite events - that is actually going on as I type this - is "Junk the Jungle". This is when everyone comes together and throws toilet paper all over the trees in our traffic circle in the middle of campus. Junk the Jungle is a fun event that really brings everyone together for a fun and laughter with friends. Not only that but it helps relieve stress caused by midterms that usually fall around this time.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Only because I came to South...

I chose the University of South Alabama for several reasons and one of them is because of their psychology Program. I would have never guessed that I would have had the opportunity to be as involved in it, as I am now. To make a long story short, after attending exactly ZERO meetings for Psychology Club and Psi Chi, I went out on a limb and ran for an officer position. I was elected to be the Treasurer of both clubs and that is when my experience here changed.

I didn't run for officer looking for a change or trying to make a change, but little did I know that moment changed the course of my college career, A LOT. Because of that position, I am not only enjoying my time here at South {e x p o n e n t i a l l y} but I am also more involved with the psychology department. I am now serving as the President of Psi Chi and Psychology Club! Because of this position, I have had the opportunity to meet and get to know several professors in the psychology department.

Also, this semester was the beginning of my involvement in research for Psychology. I am currently working in Dr. Currier's lab for PTSD and Moral Injury. If you know anything about me, you know that I am very passionate about our troops and helping them in whatever way that I can. I believe this opportunity of being able to work with the population I've always wanted to work with came only because I came to South.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

So, you're a senior. What's next?


Okay, it's your senior year of high school and you're wondering what you should be doing to prepare for college. Here's a list of things to do in order to keep you on track!


Applying to College: Apply early! By doing so, you are giving yourself time to spare if something goes wrong. I have talked to many frustrated students that say that their high school was supposed to send in their transcripts weeks ago only to contact them and be told that they never sent them for one reason or another. This is not fun to have to worry about and it's good to leave yourself with time in case of a situation as this. Also, by applying early you are giving yourself an advantage for scholarships, housing, and orientation registration. All of those things are first come, first serve.

ACT/SAT: Keep trying to raise your ACT/SAT score! South will accept all of your ACT/SAT scores and will use your highest score for admittance and scholarships purposes.

Grades: Don't slack off during you senior year. You might be almost finished but you're not just yet, so buckle down and keep doing the best you can to improve your GPA. Your GPA is one of the vital parts of getting into college and it also is a factor in whether or not you will be getting scholarships.


Paying for college: If you haven't had a discussion with your family about how you plan to pay for college, now is the time. In January, you should start thinking about the FAFSA and making sure you have all your tax paperwork together. Even if you don't think you will receive anything for FAFSA or if you think you will be fine without it, we strongly encourage everyone to still submit it.

  • Scholarships: If you haven't already you need to be looking into scholarships! Never underestimate how much a few hundred dollars will save you here and there. The University of South Alabama has an up-to-date list of scholarships broken down by whether or not you are paying in-state or out-of-state. Also, check your college (i.e. College of Allied Health or College of Arts & Sciences) for college specific scholarships and then check with your major department for a list of scholarships! There is an abundant amount of online scholarships finders that are really helpful for finding scholarships! Keep looking and do as many as you can!

Save your money: Keep in mind if you will be having to pay for travel costs to get to college such as gas money, hotel rooms, and plane tickets. Also, if you are a student that needs a job, sometimes they can be hard to find right away. So, it's good to have a month or two worth of spending money for going out to eat, gas, and money you might need for bills.

  • Important documents: Find your birth certificate and social security card, especially if you are not going to be close enough to home to drive back and get them. You will need them if you are planning on getting a job and it's always good to have them anyway. I would suggest getting a safety deposit box at a local bank and keeping it there so you won't lose them.


The most important thing is have fun! Senior year will give you an overload of emotions and trust me it will have it's ups and downs. Sometimes it is easy to only focus on the stressful or sad things that are going on at this time like friends separating, different deadlines to meet for both high school and college things, leaving home, or thinking about how to pay for college. But, no matter what it is important to not forget that this is a time you won't get back again. This is the symbolic closure of your teenage years and the beginning of your life as an adult. Life will never again be exactly how or what it is at the moment you are in right now. Spend your last year of high school making memories! Get together with your friends as often as you can and spend time with your family. Take lots of pictures and laugh often.