Friday, December 13, 2013

The Silver Lining

When I look at the word count of my seven page paper knowing that there still needs to be a case study completed, an Astronomy test to study for, as well as a Contemporary Novel essay to write, it is hard for me to focus on the bright side. I don't just mean in the short-term since winter break is right around the corner and we are only a few days away from being at home and at peace for the holiday season. What I am saying is that when our dreams of a successful future are not in line with the reality of what we have to do to get there, where do we find that silver lining of hope to keep on persevering even when we are discouraged? 
For many of us, we seek to enter a field that may be popular; but a popular career often translates into a saturated job market. As a person studying Childhood Education, I know that there are many teachers out there still searching for positions. That is a hard reality to cope with, especially since we desire to hit the ground running and get our dream job as soon as we have that university diploma in hand. Or maybe you have fears that your major is so uncommon that it seems you can only find a job "in theory." 

Wherever you are at right now, don't lose heart. There are many success stories of hardworking young men and women striving towards finding their right fit and making it. Your dream doesn't have to stay a dream. However, be willing to make some compromises and put in the extra work. Take up a minor, go for more certifications, attend summer classes, sign-up for an internship (like the Adelphi Community Fellows Program) or take advantage of research opportunities. The possibilities for you to get ahead are endless. When the time comes to conduct a job search, know that all the studying and effort you put in will be rewarded- it just takes time, patience, action, and a positive outlook.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Season of Thanks, Season of Giving

As our November days draw closer to Thanksgiving, we are reminded again and again, to be thankful for all that we have in our lives. However, even during this season- we often lose sight of how to show thanksgiving everyday- not just when the turkey and stuffing come out. I don't know about you but I tend to complain when I feel stressed or dissatisfied with whatever is going on in my life, and that can be anything for anyone of us! Some of you might be experiencing genuine despair, making it hard to express any sort of thankfulness. Maybe you have been Undeclared for the past two semesters and you find yourself frustrated that nothing seems like the "right fit." Or perhaps, you are unemployed and are struggling to make ends meet between tuition and everyday life expenses. Wherever you are at, just take a step back for a moment to listen and meditate on these thoughts.

Being without a job or being Undecided in a major may give you little reason to be thankful, but consider all that you are learning in the process of discovering a way to direct your passion. Think of your support team of people who encouraged you to never to give up. Reflect on those moments when you finally thought to yourself "Hey, I have gift; I just need to know how to use it."

Had I not taken a step back to really look at the big picture, I would not see the many ways in which I am blessed. I am surrounded by my loving family, my dearest friends and my church community. I have been blessed with an education that, despite all the difficulties and strain it may cause now, will payoff in the long-run. I am thankful for the journey Adelphi has offered me as a student and an employee. I am thankful because during this process, I am learning about myself and how I can use the gifts I have been given to bless others.

Giving is the verb that manifests thanks. Discover and then use the gifts you have to show others your appreciation since the power of giving resides in the intent of the giver. So my question to you is not merely "what are you thankful for?", but rather, "how can you show thanksgiving?" Not just during the holiday season, but each and every day. You'll be surprised to see how your outlook on life will change from grumpy to grateful.

Friday, October 18, 2013

FALLing Behind

Autumn is a season of change, of new beginnings, and of hopes that this time around, we will change our poor habits and replace them with virtuous ones. I so enjoy Fall because it inspires me to change for the better, to grow as a person as well as a student. However, it is about this time in October we begin to experience some turbulence in our everyday schedules.
This week and the next are jam-packed with midterm exams, meetings and open planning appointments in addition to the time we spend in class, at work, or trying to grab lunch with friends. Let's face it, it is hard to catch our breath when it seems like, as a friend of mind had said, one day is chasing after the next. Sleep becomes a distant dream, homework becomes a foreboding task, and we suddenly feel the strain of stress as we stare at our laptop screen of 20 unread emails sent to our inbox within a matter of minutes.
Then it hits us: we are falling behind.
Pause for a moment. Take in a deep breath. Look around you. You are not alone in feeling overwhelmed and fatigued after several days of hard work. I say this to you, as it has become my own mantra: "It is going to be OK." Sure, we all want to ace our exams, papers, and projects. But these goals should not be made at the expense of our well-being. We all need a bit of perspective when it comes to doing our best when we experience test after test. Life is full of tests, and not just the academic ones. The question is- are we going to run ourselves into the ground in attempt to achieve our high expectations 24/7 or are we going to put our best foot forward, think positively, and move on from there?
There are times when our academics and life itself demand more of us than we are able to offer. But please do not lose heart. These are short-term trials, tests of character, that give us the choice to either buckle under pressure and give up or stand firm and give it our best. Really all anyone can ask of us is that we do our best, nothing more nothing less. So smile, hold on because with patience and passage of time, falling behind will turn into springing ahead.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Counting on the Compass

Picture this: you are dropped off at a college campus you have never been to before with only a class schedule and a campus map. Some might say that is all you need to get by. However, in reality you would probably get lost despite the fact that you were given a "map" of your destination.

I believe college is not really a destination, but a journey. When on a journey, it is best to have a compass or, in other words, a sense of direction and purpose of what you are striving toward. Currently, as a sophomore, I can assure you that having one year of college under your belt really helps boost your confidence level because you are more familiar with the patterns and routines of campus life. Although the first year of college is often filled with the excitement of meeting new friends, getting involved in several clubs, and dabbling in different studies, it is difficult to envision a clear picture of what lies down the road. There seems to be a hovering question mark above all our heads when it comes to "what will I do after I graduate"? I ask, is it important to know the answer to this question? Yes. Do you need all the details now? Not necessarily.

Let me share with you something I learned so far this semester.
During mid-August, just before the Fall Semester began, I resolved to scope out on-campus jobs on PantherZone. In my freshman year, I had applied to a couple of departments, but I was unable to find a job, much to my disappointment. By the way, I highly recommend keeping an open mind and being proactive during your job search (get ahead of the game!). To my surprise, I was interviewed and then selected as an intern for Adelphi University's Center for Career Development. At first, I was uncertain of how this internship would benefit my long-term pursuit of English and Education. Yet as it turned out, I have access to more resources and information about events in my prospective career field than ever before!

Now that I have been an intern here for about a month, I can attest that the Center for Career Development has been preparing me for what to expect in the workplace. This job has become more than just a paycheck to me; it has become a place where I am treated as a contributing team player when communicating and collaborating alongside my colleagues in the office and at events.

In a nutshell, college requires us to step outside our comfort zone a bit, which is good because otherwise we may never discover our potential and passion for activities outside of our major and hobbies. It is not too late to start, so grab your compass and get out there!