Sophomore Slump Or Comeback Of The Year

Well, after almost two weeks at home I have moved past shock and denial, through despair and depression, and am well on my way to recovery with the idea that I am halfway done with college. Seeing my older sister and some close friends graduate this year made me not only incredibly proud of them, but also melancholy about the fact that in just two short years, I’ll (hopefully) be making that same long trek across the stage. Anyway, thinking about the two incredible years I have behind me at Syracuse University and the promising two ahead of me is both happy and sad, but at least I can say I have learned a few things by sophomore year from the people I have met and the experiences I have been fortunate enough to have.

5 Things You Should Learn in College

  1. The hardest lessons to learn are the ones taught outside the classroom“- Cooperation, tolerance, selflessness, acceptance and love are all traits that you can’t find explained in a textbook, but they are perhaps some of the most important to making it in this world. Coming from someone who is driven and self-motivated almost to a fault, I can say that for me, strengthening these skills was one of the hardest yet most rewarding challenges I have faced in my young adult life. If you’re lucky you’ll meet people (*TJAGEW*) that will push you to want to be a better person and forego all judgement while you’re on your way to becoming one.
  2. Take advantage of classroom resources“- I know you’ve heard this a million times before, so why haven’t you done it yet? I used to think going to office hours was a sign of weakness, until I learned the hard way that sometimes it is the difference between failing a class and getting a C. If you’re struggling or even just being lazy, seeking help before you get a wakeup call test grade can save you a few late nights and panic attacks before the cumulative final.
  3. Be selfish“- Never in your life will you get to do exactly what you want to do, when you want to do it, like you can in college. I’m not saying you shouldn’t consider other peoples’ feelings or give back to the community, but take some time to be honest with yourself about the person you want to be and the things YOU want to accomplish. Make a list of what you want to do and don’t let others stand in your way.
  4. Take risks“- Introduce yourself. Join that club. Apply for that internship. Study abroad. The scope and scale of possibilities are endless, especially if you aren’t afraid to take that next step. The higher the risk, the higher the reward. “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” – T. S. Eliot
  5. Accept change“- Days go by and nothing seems different, but when you look back, so much has changed. I can confidently say I am a very different person than who I was in middle school, high school, and even freshman year of college. Every relationship, good or bad, romantic or otherwise, has taught me something not only about other people, but also about myself. I know that as I grow up, different people will play different roles as I move through life, but the most important part is seeing the beauty in every soul, and the lesson in every day.

Pin of the Week: How to Travel in Europe for Three Weeks


This week’s topic: How to Travel in Europe for Three Weeks

Spring break 2013 allowed for plenty of time for browsing Pinterest and in celebration of people getting accepted to study abroad programs, this week’s Pin of the Week is “How to Travel in Europe for Three Weeks”. Although you may be traveling for more than three weeks in somewhere other than Europe, this blog post I repinned from fellow PRSSA blogger Katie Lofblad offers great tips for traveling on a tight budget.

Top Tips for Traveling:

  • Pack Light– Trade traditional suitcases for bigger backpacks designed to maximize space.
  • Pack Smart– Bring only things you can mix and match. You will go shopping!
  • Research– Sure traveling abroad is supposed to have some spontaneity, but you’ll definitely appreciate knowing where you need to go when you need to go there.
  • Spend Money Well– Do a little price hunting so you won’t feel like you have to skip out on any sites on your Bucket List. The experiences will be worth having one less croissant or another London snow globe.
  • Best Souvenir: photos– Save money and use your own photos to make postcards instead of buying them!
  • Embrace Culture– Know some basic phrases in the native language and make an effort to understand and appreciate the local culture. You’ll get so much more out of the trip!
  • Write Everything Down– Whether you make a blog or keep a private journal, take a little time every day or week to write down the places you go, people you meet, and new foods you try.
  • Give Yourself Free Time– Don’t forget that some of life’s greatest moments are the ones we don’t plan for. Don’t be afraid to give yourself the afternoon off and explore a new place or have a relaxing picnic people watching.

If that doesn’t get you even more excited to travel abroad I don’t know what will. As long as you stay open to new experiences and are willing to try new things and stick to some of these tips, I’m sure you’ll have the semester or vacation of a lifetime!

Don’t forget to check out other posts on Steph’s travels blog to learn more tips for traveling abroad.