Student Blog The blog of William Woods University Undergraduate Students

16Mar/161

The Alternative Spring Break

Hi again!

Spring Break is just a few days away, and by the time you're reading this, I am probably making the journey all the way to Nepal. This year for Spring Break, my roommate and I are traveling to Kathmandu to volunteer in an orthopedic hospital. I'm so excited, but I am also very nervous.

Break a Difference Logo

Break A Difference coordinates local alternative spring break trips.

In the past, I've done more typical spring break trips. My first year I took a cruise and last year we traveled to D.C. and Chincoteague. This year I felt compelled to partake in something more service-oriented, which led me to the concept of the alternative spring break. The idea is to spend spring break giving back rather than indulging. Often time, in the midst of volunteering, there are also opportunities to travel and have fun, too.

The logo of A Broader View, the agency through which I am volunteering.

I am volunteering through the organization A Broader View this year.

Alternative spring break trips exist in many forms. There are some very inexpensive trips that take place locally in the U.S. There are also international trips both close to home and far away: from Mexico to India to Nigeria. Whatever the location, a spring break spent volunteering is not only a fun experience but also a fantastic addition to a resume or applications to jobs, graduate schools and more.

Have you considered an alternative spring break?

Best!

~Alexis

 

21Dec/150

Making the Holiday Break Productive

It's break time! At the university level, this break is usually four weeks. In high school, it may only be 2-3 weeks long. And while it's a great time to spend with family and rest/relax in preparation for the spring semester, it's also a great time to be productive. Below are some things that I'm doing to stay productive over break. Hopefully some might be applicable to you, too.

  • Taking an Online Class
    • Over break, I'm taking an intersession class so that I can finish my general studies credits at William Woods. It's a computer class, so the work isn't too demanding and it allows me to knock out three credits really quickly.
  • Studying for Upcoming Standardized Tests
    • This summer, I plan to start applying to medical school, which means I will be taking the MCAT soon. This involves a lot of studying in addition to school, so the holiday break offers a great opportunity to study. Other college students may be preparing for a variety of entrance exams, like the GRE, MCAT, DAT, etc. If you're still in high school, you might be in the midst of studying for the SAT or ACT. Whatever the test, now's the time to get studying.
  • VolunteeringHands On Greater Phoenix Logo
    • While I'm at William Woods, I am involved in lots of clubs and other volunteer opportunities. While I'm at home, I continue this work with an organization called HandsOn Greater Phoenix. The holidays are filled with volunteer opportunities, and it's the perfect time to give back and gain potential work/resume/school application experience.
  • Wrapping up Summer Research

    • I spent my summer doing research, and believe it or not I am still working on the manuscript! This holiday break is an excellent time to keep working on my summer work and is now winter work.
  • Preparing for Summer
    • It seems like a lot to already look ahead to summer, but it's really important. I am spending winter break researching schools I want to apply to, looking into potential jobs, and finalizing the rest of my plans. Spring semester quickly gets busy, so the more of summer that can be situated now, the less work there is for the semester.

I hope your winter break is filled with lots of relaxing mixed with lots of productivity. What are your plans for the break?

Happy Holidays!

-Alexis

18Dec/130

CHRISTMAS BREAK!

 

My little dog, Carla, getting ready for Christmas!

My little dog, Carla, getting ready for Christmas!

Christmas break has officially begun for the students at WWU! 🙂

 

The home stretch of the fall semester can be pretty challenging for some students… After Thanksgiving break (during which most students go home), there are only two weeks left: finals week and the week before. Since Thanksgiving break comes so late in the fall semester, it can be difficult to find the motivation to go back to school to finish up! But once again, we have all made it through and are enjoying our first week off!

 

At WWU, we’re lucky enough to get an entire month off during Christmas break! It seems like a long time at first, but that month definitely goes by pretty quickly once all the holiday celebrations get going. I am always amazed by how quickly the time flies!

 

My fiancé and I just started taking ballroom dance lessons (which is SO much fun, by the way!) so I’m going to spend a lot of my free time over break practicing that! I’m also going to spend as much time with all our families as possible – as well as with some old friends that I haven’t seen in a while, such as my old roommate who graduated two years ago!

My roommate, Sarah, and me the last time we got to see each other -- all the way back in March!

My roommate, Sarah, and me the last time we got to see each other -- all the way back in March!

 

I probably won’t post another blog until the first week of the spring semester, which will begin on January 13th. In the meantime, I hope you all have a wonderful break and a fabulous holiday season! I will talk to you soon! 🙂

14Feb/131

Winter Holiday

I loooooove winter time. Love it. Love the cold, love the snow, love the bundling up to go outside, love the flushed cheeks and cold hands, the snow angels and snow forts that are built - I could go on!

It's one of my favorite seasons by far. I think I also love it a lot because when it rolls around, that typically means I'm home in Minnesota and snuggling with my cat and dog and what's not to love about that?!

My dad was awesome enough to fly down and ride back with me so I didn't have to make the trip alone. My car broke down in the middle of an intersection during rush hour in St. Louis in October, so since then I've been fairly neurotic cautious and aware of every little noise my car makes. I had also only seen him twice between May and December so I thought it was a great way to kick off my break by spending time with someone I love so much.

Almost home! Minnesnowta!

Minnesnowta! This was taken when I was almost to my house!

If you've never experienced snow before, let me tell you - it's awesome! Alright, I'm a bit partial, but after it's done snowing and there's this fresh layer, it's so beautiful! Unfortunately {to me!} Missouri really doesn't get that much snow - the most snow I remember ever seeing down here was in February of 2011. I actually had my first snow days ever in my life then! Yes Minnesota gets a lot of snow, but that means we have the equipment to deal with it so school was never cancelled for me.

I haven't really seen any snow in Missouri yet this year - maybe it means we're in for another big storm soon! One can hope 😉

Snowpocalypse in February 2011

Snowpocalypse in February 2011. There are cars buried under there!

This is what Minnesota looks like in the winter - and this picture was taken in December!

This is what Minnesota looks like in the winter - and this picture was taken in December!

My winter holiday was pretty great - I was able to catch up with old friends, spend time with family, and relax. One thing that I have done for the past three years is jump into a lake with my dad on New Years Day.

It's called the "Ice Dive" and it's become a tradition with the two of us. This year, it was -1 when we jumped (without the wind chill factored in) and it wasn't that bad.....I always say that after we jump but before we do it, it's a different story! The lake we jump into is a really popular one in Minnesota and is pretty big. For you Missourians, I suppose you could say that it's comparable to the Lake of the Ozarks. It's called Lake Minnetonka (in Dakota it means "Big Water").

Dad and I last year after jumping.

Dad and I last year after jumping.

Every year you jump you move up in the ranking system they have in place. Everyone who has never jumped before is considered a "minnow". After five years and five different fish names, years 6-9 you're a "barracuda 6, barracuda 7", etc and then when you hit 10 years of jumping, you become a "shark"! After 20+ years, you're considered a "whale". My dad has now entered the ranks of barracudas and I am a "muskie".

All of the lakes/ponds/bodies of water in Minnesota freeze during the winter so in order to jump into the lake, the ice needs to be cut out. We're talking ice blocks that are over a foot deep! The hole cut is probably about 10 to 15 feet long so after you jump, you have to swim to the other side and climb out using a ladder. Because it's so cold, the ladders have ice formed over them but luckily you're so cold numb you can't feel it.

So that was one of my great adventures while I was home, but I am excited to be back at The Woods to see all of my friends, make new memories, and celebrate my last semester.

I hope you all had a great Holiday break and Happy Valentine's Day!! I love love!

Sally

 

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