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This has quickly become my mantra this year and I have never been happier. For as long as I can remember, I have always gone somewhere with someone. No big deal, right? Wrong. Going anywhere alone sounded crazy for the longest time and I always dreaded just the idea of it. Recently, I have taken up *practically* hibernating at Starbucks. This has lead to me not only being more productive, but has also been my first stepping stone into truly unleashing my independence. I’ve done countless things 100% on my own since then and even strike up conversation with friendly strangers from time to time. I know it may not seem like a huge accomplishment just yet, but it’s all about the stepping stones, people. My goal by the end of the year is to be a-okay (and actually enjoy) going to a movie on my own. My goal in the next couple of years is to move to a place where I know absolutely no one (just don’t tell my mom just yet). When I step back and think about where I want to be five years from now, my options are truly endless. Life is about adventure and dreaming big…and I can’t wait to see where my post-grad adventures take me.

Keep on dreamin’, friends.
~ B.

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I think it can be said that the fall semester here at Fontbonne has flown by faster than anyone thought possible. There were days that I wondered how I would make it to the end with my sanity in tact. With a schedule that consisted of two 12 hour days, two 10 hour days, one 7 hour day, and weekends full of homework and studio time, there were times when it felt impossible. There were many lessons I learned from this semester, however, that I hope to take with me into the next three semesters I have left.

  1. Don’t look at the whole semester at once, just get through one class at a time and one day at a time. When I was trying to get through my longest days it was more manageable if I broke it down by what class I had next, how much time I had to relax/eat, and what I had to get done before the next class started. Breaking everything down incrementally helped me keep my sanity and kept me on track with my work load.
  2. Figure out what your priorities are and go from there. It’s easy to loose track when you’re not sure what to do first, or you’d rather be doing something more fun and exciting. But when you’ve got 15 credit hours, a part time job, and bills to pay, sometimes you have to make sacrifices and decide what your top priorities are. Make a list if that helps. I have made countless lists this semester of everything from my daily schedule to important due dates for projects. It helped me stay organized and that allowed me to sneak some fun stuff in too.
  3. Make time to take care of yourself. I know it can be really hard to make sure you’re getting enough sleep or eating mostly healthy, but it’s so important when you’re going through the stress of college. The amount of people in my classes that got sick this semester was staggering. And all of them missed at least one day of school because of being sick. If you make time for sleep and make a greater effort at eating healthier, your immune system will have a better chance at fighting off the illnesses that circulate each year and all of that will reduce your stress level significantly.
  4. Work on that procrastination. Like now. Not next semester, not next week. It’s easy to put off writing that paper or finishing that project later when you’ve got a week or two till it’s due. I’ve always been really good at putting things off until the last minute, and it sucks every single time. So, in the interest of reducing stress and keeping on track, that will be put at the top of my priority list starting now.

I’m sure there were several other lessons that were learned, but these are the big four that come to mind immediately. The important thing is that you take a look at the things you’ve learned this semester and try to apply those things to next semester, or your life in general. There is so much more to learn and it’ll be interesting to see what the new year brings!

 

Cheers!

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Studying abroad, especially going to such distant countries like the US. .is definitely excited. However, along with the excitement for the trip ahead, packing your stuff would be a challenging mind game if you want to make your stay convenient and comfortable.

  1. Put cash in several places.

Even with the advancement of internet banking today, it is still inconvenient to have absolutely no cash or too little cash on hand. Transferring money from countries to countries is also often charged. Thus, bringing some cash with you is necessary.

There should always be cautious about unanticipated situations. Losing your purse, bag, or baggage is one of those. To prevent getting all your money lost and being trapped in unwanted troubles, put cash here and there. Keep most in your personal wallet that you always have, a large note in your front pocket and some in the backpack.

But of course, remember to always keep your valuable belongings on you.

  1. Have an extra set of clothes in your backpack.

You have packed all your favorite pieces into your checked baggage, hoping to start your new life at a new place with your most confident costumes. But who knows if there would be problems with the baggage transferring between places or flights? You will never know when that one who got his or her baggage lost is you. Besides the terror of losing your belongings, the greater question is, how are you going to appear in front of everyone in your new school with this dirty shirt you had on one day ago before you boarded the flight? The answer is, that extra new one in your backpack.

As it would be placed in your backpack, the clothes should not be of significant weight. A casual clean T-shirt and a pair of shorts should be good enough.

And do not forget your underwear.

  1. Universal adapter is never redundant.

Upon traveling to a foreign country, it is important to check the type of electricity plug used in that country. You do not want to be in that situation where everything is nicely organized except your table lamp cannot be turned on and your phone is unable to charged. Hence the adapter should be in your carry-on bag, too.

  1. Charge everything before setting off.

Keeping in touch is quite the most important thing when traveling to a foreign country alone. Getting all your devices fully charged is a way to keep in touch. Thus, you should charge your laptop, your phone, your tablet, etc. before leaving your house. Do remember to have all the chargers in your backpack just in case those devices run out of battery, which is likely to happen because the travelling time to the US from all countries outside the continent America is long, unless you have your own private jet and pilot, of course.

Also, it is recommended that one should bring a portable charger instead of the charging cable only. Some airports do not have charging stations available or easily spotted. In case of your phone dying in an emergency, the portable little friend would come in handful.

The above are just a few basic tips. Other things such as your beloved teddy bear, or the lucky charm your mother gave you would be up to personal preference. Do not worry too much because studying abroad is a marvelous experience and if you are lucky enough, you can buy other necessities as very cheap prices.

 

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Patricia

Christmas

by Patricia on December 7, 2015

in Extracurricular

After my exams, I will start celebrating Christmas! I will start hanging decorations on my porch and I will hang up both Christmas trees. We have a green one and a white one. I will also bake cookies. This year I am going to make a yule tide cake. I will make sugar cookies, wreath cookies, pecan crescents, chocolate-covered pretzels, and some new recipes. I will also work at McDonald’s, but not too much because I have some Christmas shopping to do. I also have to give my parents a wish list. The day after Christmas we are visiting my grandma in Indianapolis again. We are not sure what gift we will get her. Even though she is very very short on funds, she always manages to buy us Christmas presents. You can never refuse a gift from her, she will just mail it to your house whether you like it or not!


 

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A Look Back at 2015

by Linh December 7, 2015

It is almost that time of the year again where people make wish lists, to-do lists, and all kinds of possible lists they can come up with. I, too, have a bucket list of things that I want to do before the year ends. Of course, some of them are leftovers from 2011. Those crossed […]

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End of Semester

by Patricia December 7, 2015

I had to write a list of things I have to do this week before next week. Hopefully I can get all my projects done before my exams next week. I’m almost done with my statistics project which I was not expecting. I’m currently working on a project for entrepreneurship. I’m starting the Just Keep […]

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Tips for finals

by Linh December 7, 2015

So finals are up and this week is almost the last lap of the semester. I believe that all of us have, in one way or another, some struggles to study for exams, especially holiday is so close. Nevertheless, we still need to pass through this period, so that we would not have to worry […]

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7 Things to Fall in Love with at Fontbonne

by Brooke December 7, 2015

This is the beginning of the end. That’s what I keep telling my friends at least. Senior year is upon us….and basically half over. Everything that happens this year is essentially my last as a Fontbonne Undergrad. This is crazy to think about, but also super exciting at the same time. Why so sentimental? Well, […]

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Bye 2015!

by Rebecca December 7, 2015

This year has been wild from start to finish! I rang the New Year in by getting a tonsillectomy. My little brother with Down syndrome graduated high school!! I got to spend the fourth of July in Panama City Beach and missed a day of work because the car broke down in Alabama on the […]

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Thanksgiving Aftermath

by Patricia December 7, 2015

Visiting my grandma for Thanksgiving was fun! On Wednesday when we got a hotel, the lady at the desk saw that we had 5 people and gave us a free upgrade. We got a suite with 2 bedrooms. On Thanksgiving we watched the Macy’s parade in new York  and I got to go swimming. Then […]

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Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.