Monday, March 28, 2016


Hi everyone! I am sorry for the elongated absence, I've been taking some time to spend with my family and friends before the rush of Spring happens! (Which should always be okay ... never regret spending time with your family, even if you have a 6 page Human Development paper to write ...)

Today I wanted to talk to you all about the huge news-maker the past few weeks ... NCAA March Madness Basketball Tournament! What an event, there is really no other aspect of pop culture that celebrates a college education such as this ... which I think is so EXCITING!

There is oftentimes a lot of debate of whether these basketball players (women and men) are able to coordinate their time on academics appropriately because of their commitment to the sport, but I think what is important here is the combination of their athletics and academics.  Not only are they able to play the sport they love for a little bit longer, they are also able to get a great education at very well-respected universities. So, while some of us can get mad and upset when a player misses a free-throw or makes a dumb foul mistake, we have to remember that these are college students who are only 18, 19, 20, 21 years old! These are young kids, not the seasoned and experienced veterans of the WNBA and the NBA, so we need to take it easy on them when they make mistakes.

While some argue that college athletics is a business and should be ran as such, it is so necessary to argue that first and foremost they are also college students, working hard to achieve a life after basketball and after college. Spectators become very invested in the athletic careers of the students, which is great, but I have a challenge for all of you ... Become invested in their educational careers as well. Think about your favorite player or the college team you are/where routing for and ask yourself what their major is or what the major of a teammate is. Chances are you don't know because that's not something that's freely advertised with the student's statistics.

My challenge to all of you is to not only invest yourself in the university's team and their athletic performance but also their educational characteristics that brought them to that university in the first place!

enjoy the chase,

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Scheduling your College Entrance Exams

Hi everyone and Happy Tuesday! I hope your weeks have all started out well and you are being hugely productive with school work and projects! Today I wanted to talk with you all about scheduling your college entrance exams. This is something that may be coming up if you are a Junior in high school or if you are thinking about taking one for graduate school, so I'm here to share my advice with you all!

1. You should always check out that exam's scheduling. So, not only should you be looking at when exams are taking place, but also about how long it takes for the score reports to be sent to the universities that you've requested. For example, most exams are offered once every two months, but if it takes two to three months to get a score report out, it may impact when you schedule yours! If there is a specific deadline to apply to a program by, you will want to make sure the university can receive those score reports in time for that deadline!

2. If you are a Junior in high school, then you will want to schedule to take the SAT, ACT, or both this spring. Typically you should take it in May as that's what is recommended, but you can also plan to take it early in the fall. You can check out the SAT dates and deadlines here and the ACT dates and deadlines here.  **The deadline to register for the May 7th SAT is April 8th and the deadline for the June 11th ACT is May 6th.  Taking an exam or both of them in the spring gives you some time to see how you performed and if you decide to take them again, it gives you some down time during the Summer to focus on studying for them.

3. In your Senior year of high school, you may deem it necessary to take the exam again or try different one in hopes of better results. DEFINITELY DO THIS! I kick myself now at the fact that I didn't take my SATs a second time. My suggestion is to take it right away in the fall (September or October) so that those scores can be sent when you send in your college applications!

4. If you are preparing for a graduate entrance exam like the GRE, the GMAT, or the LSAT, I would definitely schedule to take it in the spring or summer before your Senior Year of college. Studying for these exams is no joke, so it is important to dedicate time specifically to your test prep. If you take it in the late summer, it gives you the entire summer to study and take practice exams. This also gives you the opportunity to retake them in the Fall if you did not perform as well as you wanted!

5. Also, make sure you are scheduling these exams so that you have plenty of time to study and prepare for them. Oftentimes there is quite a bit of preparation that needs to take place, so make sure you allow a few months for that! Personally, when I was preparing for my SAT and GRE, I focused a lot on the math sections, but I was sure to give myself at least three months to work on it!

6. DID YOU KNOW: Most universities will super score your performance on your entrance exams. What this means: If you take the SAT twice and the first time you got a 500 on Reading, a 480 on Math, and a 530 on Writing, but the second time your scores changed a little with a 480 on Reading, a 530 on Math, and a 530 on Writing, admissions committees will use the highest score for each section to "super score" your SAT score. So, they would say that you actually got a 500 on Reading, a 530 on Math, and a 530 on Writing -- this helps oftentimes with merit scholarships or program requirements. This also takes place in graduate admissions for some institutions as well! Because of this, it is always good to take your exams twice in hopes for a higher score in one of the sections!

7. Make sure when you are scheduling your entrance exams that you think about the other events going on in your life. For example, if you know that Prom is the same day as the May SAT and you are the Head of Prom Committee, signing up for that exam may not be in your best interests. If you know that you will be completing an international internship the summer before your Senior Year of college, you may want to schedule your GMAT for the Spring before you leave. You will want to consider what events are going to be stressful and cause you to lose focus on your ultimate goal of performing well on your exams!

8. If you have questions or concerns about scheduling your entrance exams, then talk with your school counselor or advisor, but also speak with the Admissions representatives at the universities you are considering to see what they recommend for the timeline. They may have an inside scoop for their specific programs, so don't hesitate to reach out to them!

Have you scheduled your entrance exams yet? Comment below and share how you are prepping for them in the meantime! Have a great rest of the week everyone!!

enjoy the chase,

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Wish I Knew Wednesday

Hello everyone! Since it is Wednesday, I wanted to share with you all my personal "Wish I Knew Wednesday."

"I wish I had known that it is okay to be scared and nervous."

So, this is going to be a really candid post, but I think it is something we never talk about in terms of the transition from high school to college or from college to 'adult life.' We always talk about how exciting it is and what opportunities are awaiting in the future. But, even through those exciting things, it is okay to be scared for what is to come! 

This is a huge transition in your life and you are wondering if the decisions you are making now, which can impact the rest of your life, are going to be the right ones. I get it! These decisions in the next few months can totally shape the person you become, the career you pursue, and the life you live. 

There are a lot of unknowns when you face a transition; whether it be moving away from home, leaving your friends behind, questioning your personal relationships, changing careers, or just entering an entirely new world that you know nothing about. I think that these unknowns are what spark us to get creative with our thoughts and our ideas for what is to come. You should picture the types of activities you want to be involved in and how you are going to prepare for your classes. These are all good things that help us cope with the unknowns and the "scariness" of transitions. 

What is important, is to not let those fears or those concerns keep you from pursuing your goals. Don't let them cripple you so that you change your plans and choose a "safe route." Without a doubt, you should always have a back-up plan in case things don't work out the way you hope, but you should also still try and embrace the newness that comes with an amazing transition into a new world. 

I'm sure a lot of you are feeling this now as you prepare to graduate from high school, or as you are moving to a new city for an internship, or as you embark on the world of job hunting. All of these things are new and exciting and should not be detracted from just because you have some nerves. 

Personally, I am about to graduate with my Master's Degree and have every intention of moving away from my home, my family, and everything I've ever known to pursue a career and lifestyle that I want. And very candidly, I will tell you that I am scared to death that a job opportunity will not be offered or that I move away and hate every second of it, but I'm not about to let those nerves and worries change the whole course of my life ... and you shouldn't either. 

It is okay to be scared and nervous because that means that you care about something, you care about being successful, you care about your future, you care about your relationships with others, and most importantly you care about yourself and your dreams!

enjoy the chase,

Friday, March 11, 2016

Tips and Tricks for Commuting

Hi everyone! Today we are concluding Chasing College's Commuter Week Series with my tips and tricks for being a Commuter Student!

1. Put some money on your meal card so that if you do get hungry or forget your lunch and a snack, you are able to buy something in the dining hall!

2. Always keep a bag of spare clothes in your trunk. You never know when inclement weather is going to keep you from getting home safely! Especially if you live in the Northeast or the Midwest, it is very possible that a snowstorm can turn bad quickly before your classes are cancelled!

3. Keep your textbooks in your car also. I mentioned in the "What's in My Bag" post from earlier in the week that you should try not to keep all of your textbooks in your backpack to help save your back! You obviously still want them around so that you can study when necessary, so keep them in your car so that when you need them, you can pick them up on your way to the library!

4. You should still get involved on campus, even if you live off of it. This is how you are going to establish friendships and make your college career more fulfilling! Get involved and get involved fast!

5. If your campus has a Commuter Club, then get involved with that too. They usually have special programming just for Commuter Students, like: off-campus socials, free pancakes or macaroni & cheese, or trips to a local city! Better yet, if your university doesn't have one, look into starting one for you and your fellow Commuters!

6. Try to give yourself a specific schedule that you are going to be on campus. Tell yourself that you will be on campus from 9:00am until 4:00pm or later. Actively knowing that you need to be on campus will help you to schedule studying, project work, and meetings within those times. Like I said yesterday, do not travel home when you have breaks in your classes. Use that time to work at an on-campus job or to study in the library!

7. Make sure you bring chargers with you or keep them in your car. Without a doubt, you'll definitely want a phone charger within your grasp, but you can also bring your laptop or your tablet charger! Just in case you are staying on campus for a few days or your technology just loses battery quickly. You'll want to be prepared!

8. Keep some spare change with you in case your car breaks down and you need to take the bus. You never know, so you should at least be prepared. Also, if you go downtown for lunch one day, you will probably need some quarters to pay the parking meter! (Yes, these are still a thing!)

I hope you all have enjoyed Chasing College's Commuter Week Series. I've really had fun writing all of these posts and sharing with you all my experiences and insights on being a commuter student! If you have any questions about being a commuter or have other tips and tricks that work well for you, please share below in the comments! Have a great weekend everyone!!

enjoy the chase,

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Spending Free Time as a Commuter

Hi everyone! Today we are continuing on with Chasing College's Commuter Week Series and I am discussing the places on campus where you can spend your free time. This could be between classes or before or after meetings.

If I could give you one piece of advice as a commuter, it is this: Do not go home between your classes! Obviously if you have medical needs as to why you need to go home, that is fine, but just because you have a two hour break between classes, does not mean you should be driving all the way back home, just to turn around and drive back to school. Not only will it save you money on gas, but it will also save you time! You can use those precious fifteen or thirty minutes that you would have been travelling to work on homework, catch up on e-mails, or attend a club meeting.

Therefore, if you are looking for a perfect place to spend your time between classes, you can check out my post on Finding your Study Spot or you can read on to find some commuter perfect spots for reading your e-mails and studying before class!

The Library
This is a rather obvious one, but the library is a great place to spend those couple of hours in between classes, work, and meetings. There are usually a lot of open areas for studying and working, so you can pick a computer table, a study cubby, a group room, or even just a lounge area. There also might even be a cafe there, so you can buy a lunch or just eat your own home-made lunch and snack!

Commuter Corner
A great thing about universities with a high commuter population is that they usually have an area designated for commuter students. Where I work, there is a specific set of offices set aside with couches, a dinner table, a kitchen sink, microwave, and refrigerator. Hanging out in these areas is a great way to meet fellow commuters and get to know more people. A lot of universities actually have them, so be sure to ask about those on your college tour.

An Empty Classroom
While this may seem kind of nerdy or 'square,' working in an empty classroom can be some of the most productive times you'll have. After a few weeks, especially on a smaller campus, you will learn which classrooms are open at which times, so just duck into one and start working on your homework. I wouldn't spread your stuff out too much, in case a class comes in late or if there is a meeting scheduled for that room, but spending time in there is much better than wasting 2 hours going home between your classes. 

With Spring coming and the warmer, beautiful weather on the horizon, another great place to spend your down time in between classes is on a bench outside! Soak up that Vitamin D while reading about Plato and Aristotle.You can sit and chat with your friends as they walk by or find a secluded area of campus that no one really knows about to enjoy the birds chirping and that Statistics homework you need to complete!

The Gym
Why not use your free time to get in some exercise and catch up on your favorite tv shows or vloggers. Or, if there is a dance or fitness class that you've been wanting to try, take advantage of that too! Just pack a change of clothes in your bag so that when you're done you can freshen up. Just remember, if you go to the gym and catch up on your fitness and television, you can use the time at home after your classes to study and work on projects!

Also, I know for me, if I were to go home in the middle of the day, it would take all of my strength to get back to campus in time for class. Don't temp yourself with your comfy couch and your snuggly dog, just stay at college and you can work on all of that extra stuff that needs to be completed for your classes!  Have a great day everyone!!

enjoy the chase,

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Commuters Get Hungry Too!

Hey all! I hope you are enjoying the Chasing College Commuter Week Series so far! In my last blog post about what I keep in my backpack, I mentioned that you should always have a snack or two tucked away in case you get hungry or in case you forget your lunch/dinner at home. (Which happens to me ALL the time!) So let's get started!

No matter what, you should try to find food that fits any diet restrictions you may have or if there is a specific style of eating you are trying to adhere to (Gluten-free, Vegan, etc.). You should always have things that are non-perishable and that can easily be eaten on the way to class, before a meeting, or in the car on the way to work. All of these items are just my suggestion, but they have been lifesavers when I've needed them to give me enough energy for four more hours!

These are just a great thing to have tucked away in your backpack, purse, gym bag, whatever it may be. They don't get stale quickly and they usually can keep your hunger away for quite some time. They also are not messy when eating in or out of class!

Trail Mix
This can be a healthy option if you desire it to be! I prefer the trail mix with the chocolate, raisins, and peanuts, but you can also find the mixes with a bunch of different types of nuts, dried fruits, or other things. Check Mix is another similar option that can give you lots of energy to last through the day!

Cracker Snacks
Cracker snacks are a staple in my household. They are really filling but also don't have a high calorie count. They are inexpensive but still delicious! If you can't find the exact ones you want, you can always make some peanut butter cracker sandwiches with your favorite peanut butter and type of crackers. 

Apple Sauce
This is not quite a non-perishable, but it is a healthy option that can be filling for an 'expected' snack. If you are planning to pack a snack anyways, then this is a good option. You can also take a plastic spoon from the dining hall or campus cafe to eat the apple sauce while you're in class or when you're in the library studying. 

Sometimes, I crave something that is salty and crunchy, but yet not quite as fattening as a bag of potato chips. When this happens, I cook up a bag of popcorn and take about a third of it for lunch and for a snack for later. It is definitely a comfort food for when you are feeling stressed.

Granola Bar
Quite an obvious one, but granola bars are a great pick to have in your backpack that will last for weeks and not get stale or gross. Because there is such a huge number of granola bars out there, you will always be able to find a kind that you like. Whether you want a protein bar, a vegan one, something with chocolate, or just granola, you can always find something at the grocery store! 

Girl Scout Cookies
Sometimes you just need something sweet and girl scout cookies are a great way to take the edge off of a bad, horrible, no good day! We are currently in Girl Scout cookie sale season, so why not take advantage of it and pick a couple of Samoas or Thin Mints in your bag for the day! Did you know - some Girl Scout troops actually sell their cookies in the Dining Halls or Campus Centers of college campuses because they know college students will by some from them? This is why it is always important to have some extra cash tucked away in your backpack!!

Again, these are just my suggestions, but are some great and inexpensive snacks that you can tuck away in your backpack for a few days for when your hunger strikes! You never know when you are going to gain an appetite or need something to give you some energy for studying, so always having a snack at hand can help you a lot with your commuter lifestyle!! Stay tuned because tomorrow I'll be talking about places to spend your downtime between classes on your campus.

Is there a snack that you can't live without in your bag? Please share in the comments below your favorites!

enjoy the chase,

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

What's in your Backpack?

Commuter Week continues today with "What's in your Backpack?" This is everything that I like to keep in my backpack/bag that I carry around all day. Since I am now a commuter, there are a lot more items I need to keep in my bag, as compared to when I could just go back to my dorm room. This is by no means an all encompassing list, but these are all things I use on a daily or weekly basis!

First things first, I just want to talk about my bag. This is the Vera tote by Vera Bradley and can be found here. What's great about it is that it is HUGE and has a bunch of little pockets that can hold pens and pencils, gum, and all the little odds and ends that you may need throughout the day. The only downside is that you have to carry it on one shoulder, which can hurt your back while you're walking around campus. If you can find a somewhat large backpack that you like, then that will work just as well!

1. Notebook - I use a 5 subject notebook for all of my in-class notes and notes on any reading assignments for class. This keeps everything contained and I don't have to carry around five huge binders for all of my classes. It keeps things more organized and compact, which I like.

2. Folders - I have a folder/pocket for each of my classes where I keep any hand-outs and the class syllabus to review. It's not shown in the picture, but a few years ago I came across this epic folder contraption that has 6 pockets and tabs for each one that you can label. I have used it religiously throughout my six years of college. Whether to organize course assignments, a big project, or my club meeting information, it has been really useful and compact which is awesome! This is the closest thing I could find to how mine is designed.

3. Laptop/Tablet - Carrying around a laptop all day long can get very tiring, especially if yours is bulky like mine is. If you have a smaller/lighter laptop or if you have a tablet, I would suggest carrying that around in your backpack. I know that I rarely ever carry my laptop around because I take notes in my notebook and if I need to use a computer, I will just use one in the library. This will save your back and it will also save you from worrying about it getting lost or stolen.

4. Flash Drive - I cannot tell  you how necessary having one or two flash drives on your person at all times is. I literally store both of mine in my wallet ... that's how important they are to me and how much I use them. You can save everything you need on them ... class assignments, applications, student club materials, stuff from home ... everything. They can plug into any computer, so if you are working at one in the library, you don't have to worry about losing everything you've worked on!

4. Gum - Sometimes you just want fresh breath and something to chew or keep you focused on your school work and not on your growling stomach!

5. Snacks - I'll have a post about this tomorrow, but having some quick snacks tucked away in your backpack can be a lifesaver. Personally, I have forgotten my lunch at home so many times, so having those back up snacks in my bag have been so great! Tomorrow I'll be talking about my favorite snacks to pack in my backpack and keep with me while commuting!

6. Water Bottle - Whether the water bottle is empty and you plan to fill it up in the dining hall or if it is a plastic one from the store, you should always have a water bottle with you. You never know when you're going to get a cough in the middle of the day or get a headache and just need to hydrate. You should always have water with you to keep you hydrated and able to focus on your day!

7. Pen, Pencil & Highlighter - This one is rather obvious, but if you are going to be in college, you need at least three pens, a pencil, and a highlighter so that you can take notes in class, prepare reading assignments and presentations, and do some group projects. I say you should have three pens because last week, literally all, but one, of the pens I had died on me in the middle of a three hour lecture -- so when it comes to writing utensils, the more the merrier!

8. Post-it notes - I love post-it notes but they definitely help you stay organized when you are working out of a backpack. You can add them to your notebook, your agenda, or your phone to remember something when you get home. They are super useful and don't take up much space!

9. Small purse - This could be just a little pouch or wristlet that contains the following items: chapstick, lotion, a hair-tye, tissues, money, your wallet, and band-aids. If you are a guy and don't feel all of these things are necessary that is fine, but I would definitely suggest having chapstick, some money, and your wallet in your backpack. Chapstick is obvious - if you're walking outside constantly in the elements, your lips are bound to get chapped. The money and your wallet is also obvious, you never know when you are going to forget your lunch or dinner and you need to buy something from the cafeteria or something from a local restaurant.

10. Agenda and Idea Notebook - Both of these are my personal preference, but you should definitely have an agenda in your backpack so that you can stay organized on what assignments are coming up, meetings you need to attend, and other events that are on the horizon. I add the idea notebook in there as well because this is something I have been doing this year and I really like it. Whenever I have a question or revelation about something in my career or in my schooling, I will write it down so that I don't forget about it!

11. Car Keys - You should really have a second set also in your backpack or in your small purse, just in case you get locked out of your car. Especially if you are travelling somewhat far to your university, you may not have the option of calling your mom or dad to drop off your second set during their lunch. This will help you just in case you ever accidentally keep them in the ignition or shut them in the trunk.

12. Headphones - If you want to listen to music or watch a video in the library, you have this opportunity. There are days when I am at work and just want to listen to the radio on my phone while I type away at the computer. If you forget your headphones at home, you don't have that freedom, so make sure you have a set tucked away in a pocket.

13. Books for Class - This is another obvious one, but you need to have some of your books for class in your backpack. You don't have to carry all of them at once, and I will talk about this later in the week, but if you keep one or two of the most important books you need that day in there, that would be good. Again, you don't want your bag to be super heavy, so keep all of the 'non-essential' textbooks in your car or at home.

14. Umbrella - Last but not least, you should definitely keep an umbrella in your backpack. You will honestly never know when you are going to need it. Somedays are monsoons and some are quick bouts of sprinkle, nonetheless, you will be thankful when you have that $5 umbrella from Walmart tucked away in your backpack!

There are obviously so many other things you could have in your backpack, but in my opinion, if you are a commuter student, these are the most important items to carry with you! Is there something else that you cannot live without during the day? Feel free to share it in the comments section below! Tomorrow, I'll be talking about some great snacks to keep with you while you commute between college, work, and home!

enjoy the chase,

Monday, March 7, 2016

Should I Commute to Campus?

Hi everyone and Happy First Official Day of Chasing College's Commuter Week!!!

Today, I wanted to to discuss with you all the impacts and considerations you should think about before deciding whether or not to commute to college. There are actually a lot of things to think about so make sure you consider the following items:

  • Commuting to college as a Freshmen can decrease your access to friendship networks. If your college campus is highly residential (students live on campus), then a lot of your peers will be creating those friendships simply because they live on a specific floor as someone else. There is a lot of programming done within the first few months of college to ensure that new students are meeting the people within their floors and learning all about college. If you don't live on campus (at least for that first year) you could miss out on some great social opportunities.
  • A great thing about commuting -- and most people's draw to living off campus, is the opportunity to save money. Paying for a room and board, no matter the type of school, can range from $9,000 to $15,000 for the school year. So, whether you choose to commute from your parent's house or from an off-campus apartment, choosing to commute to college can save you some good amount of money. 
  • Make sure you check with your university to see if it is an option to live off campus. They may require all first and second years to reside on campus or it may be a stipulation with your merit scholarship that you have to live in the residence halls. No matter your reasoning, just double check with your university's policies before signing a lease or missing the housing application form's deadline. 
  • Living off campus adds more time and hassle to getting to and from your university's campus. You will not have the privilege of rolling out of bed 15 minutes before class, nor sprinting across campus when you learn that the bookstore is having a Flash Sale. In all seriousness though, if there is bad weather or heavy traffic/construction on the roads, you could wind up being late to a lot of classes or events.

You'll want to make sure you have a reliable vehicle for commuting to
and from campus. Constantly worrying about whether your car will
make it to campus today will not help ease your stress in college! 

  • Being able to live on your own or with your parents allows you a chance for a "normal" life in college. By this I mean you don't have to worry about loud parties in the residence halls, you can eat home-cooked meals, if you want to live with a significant other or friends who attend another college you can. Especially if you feel "a little mature" for the residence halls or have daylong internships or student teaching, having your own place to come back to and relax can be really helpful when things get stressful!
  • If you have a strong connection to your family, community, or a job, it may be a lot easier to live off of campus and be immersed in the life that you know and love. Especially if you are balancing a lot of outside things from school, it may be necessary to live with your parents or by yourself. It all depends on your familial make up too, so if you feel that living with your family while you're going to college will help you succeed in the long run, then why not look into commuting to college?
  • If you had to choose between which years to commute and which years to live on campus, I would definitely suggest living on campus your first year, and possibly your second, so that you can make all of those friendships from your residence hall. It also gives you the opportunity to engage in campus life fully, attend late night meetings, and work on group projects early in the morning or in the middle of the day. Living on campus your first year gives you a great foundation for being successful at that university! Also, by the time you are a Junior or Senior and want to live off-campus, you will have established friendships with people who live at the university, so if you're ever in need of staying overnight, you have those connections!

Tomorrow, I will be doing a "What's in my Backpack?" post to continue in Chasing College's Commuter Week Series!! Have a great day everyone!

enjoy the chase,

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Commuter Week is Coming!

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend spent with family, friends, and textbooks! In all seriousness though, I hope you are finding your weekends to be both relaxing and productive.

So, I just wanted to update you all that Chasing College's Commuter Week series is happening this week! I thought it would be a fun and exciting series that gives you all a glimpse at the commuter lifestyle in college. Especially if you are considering commuting in college or are contemplating moving into an off-campus apartment next year.

Some of the topics I will be discussing include:why you should commute, tips and strategies for being a commuter, things to have in your car or in your backpack, and where to spend down time on campus if you are a commuter.

If you have any last minute questions or something you want advice on in terms of commuting to college, feel free to comment below or tweet me and I'll be sure to talk about it this week!

See y'all tomorrow for the start to COMMUTER WEEK!!

enjoy the chase,

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Making the Most of Spring Break

Hi everyone! It is almost the weekend and for myself and students at other universities across the country it is almost Spring Break! This week off of classes is usually extremely needed by students to unwind, take a break from classes, and just relax for a few days ... I know I'm ready for a few days of no classes!! So, with that I wanted to write today's post about making the most of your week off this Spring!

I think what everyone wants to do on their Spring Break is travel ... specifically someplace warm or tropical to get away from the Winter weather! If you have the resources and the time, why not travel to a new place and experience an exciting new culture. In a past post I talked about the perfect spots for Spring Break, so check it out here!Whether you are going to the beach, to the city, or out in the country to visit family, make it a learning and growing experience for yourself! Take along a book to read for fun or visit an interesting museum with your group of friends!

A great thing about Spring Break is the amount of opportunities that are out there to volunteer, whether in your college community, local community, or someplace else in the country or in the world! Look for the opportunities to serve others while gaining leadership and career experience. When I was in undergrad, some friends of mine actually traveled down south to help with care clinics in rural parts of the country. They provided check-ups and other non-extensive medical attention to people who otherwise would not have access to it. There are tons of great opportunities like this that are afforded to college students, so ask your professors or administrators about programs they would recommend. 

Obviously, I'm going to mention working on school projects and reading ahead for assignments. While this may not be the best part of Spring Break, you should definitely try to get some work done. Whether it is reading research for a huge paper or working on a final portfolio, start on it! You will kick yourself if you don't get work done, so set aside some time throughout the week to work on it. Two hours here and there mixed in with some Netflix and sleeping can help you get ahead for when classes start again!

Take your week off to visit your high school friends. If they have Spring Break at the same time, that works great, but if not don't be discouraged. Why not plan a road trip to their university to see them. It is always interesting visiting friends when they are in college because you get to see what they are experiencing and you get to meet all of the new friends they've made. Make new memories with them so that your friendship can continue to survive into your adult years!

With a week off from school, you may finally have the opportunity to shadow a career mentor that you have been wanting to. Whether it is the whole week or just a day, use that time to see how an office works or to meet a career mentor for coffee. It can give you a good glimpse on where you want to guide your career and possible internship ideas for next summer. Use this free time to start thinking a little more about what you want to do and what other experiences you want to gain during your college career!

Most importantly, make sure you relax and enjoy your time off and time spent with family and friends! Let it be productive, but also let yourself be lazy a little bit! 

enjoy the chase,