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.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Do I really have free time?

WARNING: College may lead to an excessive amount of free time. Side effects listed by students with lots of free time includes, but is not limited to: binge watching Netflix, planning their whole life on Pinterest, oversleeping, overestimation of time, poor time management skills and/or procrastination, and are more likely to be persuaded by friends to do unproductive tasks.
As I talked about in a previous blog, college is not nearly as structured as high school. With that being the case, you will find that you have a lot more free time then you've had before. Making the adjustment for some can be difficult but I made a smooth transition into my new found free time.

My transition to free time was an easy one because I still had commitments that kept me on track, like I did in high school. Even before I came to South I had already started trying to find jobs. It took me awhile, but eventually I found an off-campus job. Having a job to take up some of my time made it easier for me to use the time I did have more effectively. I would imagine it would also be the case for student athletes or students involved in Greek Life. Having something to fill a few hours a day or every few days made it much easier to use the free time I had for productive things like studying.

I would suggest that all new students find something productive to do to take up a few hours of their free time a week. I believe that limiting your amount of free time allows you to make better use of it. For example, if you only have 2 or 3 hours of class a day that leaves you with a lot of free time, and in my opinion, makes it easier to lose focus or get off track. Oppositely, not having as much free time allows you to more accurately assess how much you really have.

Also, I would recommend having a planner to allow you to keep track of important deadlines. If you don't keep close a close eye on your due dates, you can really overestimate the amount of time you have to study or forget about a due dates altogether.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Favorite Football Memory!

In preparation for the much anticipated University of South Alabama vs. Mississippi State football game this week, I want to share my favorite football experience with you. My favorite football memory is from my Freshman year, back in 2012. While, I can't tell you who won that day or even who we played, it was a lot of fun to be with friends and "watch" the game. *Side note: For those of you who read previous posts, I have lived in hockey loving states my whole life, so hockey is my sport of choice.* For my friends and I, it was more about being with new friends and enjoying the experience more then the technicalities of the sport. After the game, we went to Baumhower's and had wings! It was an enjoyable night.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Making the Transition

From the time I started high school, I was looking forward to the day I could walk across that stage and receive my diploma. Marking the end of bells every 55 minutes, 5 minute breaks between classes, and nasty school lunches. The thing I didn't realize was how hard going from a jail-like structure to no structure would have really been. 

In college no one is responsible for you, but you. Whether or not you attend your classes will be entirely your own decision. If you decide not to go to class, the school is not going to call your parents or turn you in for truancy. Some professors don't even keep track of absences, making it easy to only show up once a week and on test days. However, as nice as that sounds, those who go to class on a regular basis have higher test scores than those who don't. Oppositely, there are professors who take attendance every class or maybe not every class but give pop quizzes to see who is really coming to class and paying attention. In my experience, finding the motivation to go to class whenever I'm tired or just don't feel like going  was one of the hardest parts of the transition. Making the mature decision to go to class, when no one is making you, will pay off whenever you ace your tests and get to know the professors. 

Don't get me wrong, losing the structure is one of the hardest parts about the transition, but it is one the best parts too. College is a time to grow and find the strength to do the things everyone else has been doing for you your whole life. It may be difficult but it is very rewarding when you walk across the stage at your college graduation knowing you did it completely on your own!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Introduction to Alyssa!

Welcome Class of 2015!

My name is Alyssa Wood and I am a Jag Guide here at the University of South Alabama. I'm writing this to welcome you to our beautiful campus and tell you a little bit about myself. I'm doing this in an effort to allow you to not only get to know me, but familiarize yourself with the questions I can help you out most with.

The Basics: I am 20 years old and I'll be 21 in October. I only have one sibling and that is an older brother who is leaving for the Army this September. I am a junior and am a Psychology major. I do not have a minor right now but I am considering Criminal Justice or Political Science. South was my number one pick for college and I'll explain why in a future blog!

Where I came from: I am from Southern Illinois! I am a military brat and while my dad served his 20 years in the Air Force I lived in: Illinois, Washington (state), and New York. Illinois is where my dad retired and where I went to middle school and high school. In Illinois I lived fifteen minutes from St. Louis and will always consider that my "home".

Group affiliations at South: I am the current President of Psi Chi and Psychology Club. Last year I was the Treasurer of both. I am also a former member of Kappa Delta Sorority. I also attend Baptist Campus Ministries whenever I can!

Things I love: Picnics under the bell tower with friends! Baking home made cinnamon rolls. Anything and Everything cat related. I enjoy watching hockey and the St. Louis Blues are my favorite team. I love spending time in Gulf Shores and Orange beach. I also enjoy dinner on the causeway with friends {The Original Oyster House is my favorite}.