Friday, July 27, 2012


Camp has been keeping very busy.  I don't really think I had a moment free these past two weeks where I wasn't working - either that or I was sleeping.  I think the most exciting thing was the major storm that happened last night.  We were told earlier in the day we would be moving out of tents and into the dining hall to sleep.  However, we tried to do Thursday night campfire down at the lake like we always do, but couldn't.  I was down there setting up when all of a sudden it got dark.  We grabbed everything and threw it in a van and raced up to the dining hall to set up there.  Campers walked briskly up with sleeping bags and pillows.  Campfire was fun but the storm was loud.  We all survived which is the most important.

So, some tips for college?  Being at camp, it's been hard to recall what you may want to know.  My suggestion is to use your time wisely.  I only get to be home for about 36 hours before I have to head back to camp.  It doesn't give me much time.  I spend as much of it organizing, cleaning and packing for the school year to start.  Also, I spend time with my parents.  When I arrive at college, I probably won't get to see them much.  It helps to plan your time too.  If you want to see specific people, or go somewhere, plan it out.  It will help you do everything you want to before the school year starts.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

College Essentials

Hey All!!! I survived my first week of camp.  No major injuries only a few bruises and bug bites.

I had so much fun this week teaching girls about computer science.  It was a blast to see their faces light up when they got their program to work.   They all had blast watching each others video they made using Alice.  I don't know if I would ever like to teach programming for a living but it was worth the experience to know I can do it.  Who knows, maybe by the end of the summer I'll have enjoyed it so much I would love to teach it.  So, gain as many experiences as possible in College so you know what you can do well and what you may need to work on.

Most incoming first-years are probably packing and trying to figure out what you may need.  Here are some essentials I think you may need or want when living in a dorm:
  • Command Hooks.  They definitely help when hanging up towels and coats.
  • Internet Cord.  Campus has WiFi but occasionally when everyone on your floor is connected to it, you may experience slow connection and/or be bumped off.  It just saves frustration when your trying to get work done that you know you will always be connected.
  • Nice Outfit.  It doesn't have to be semi-formal nice, but something job interview appropriate.   Any other formal event at school gives you enough warning to pick something nice out or get it mailed from home.
  • Pencil Sharpener, Stapler, and Hole Puncher.  There are some floating around campus (e.g. Library) but I never seem to be headed past them on my way to class.  It is a nice feeling when you know that papers won't get lost when you hand them in or your pencil isn't dull in your dorm room.
  • White Board.  Most are magnetic so it helps to place notes or papers on it to remember what has to be done.  Also, it helps when you have to write a reminder and then you don't have to erase it. 
Hope this helps when you pack.  Any questions let me know!!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Summer and Gearing Up

So my summer has been crazy busy as I'm sure most people's summer's have been.  Coming home after living away at college can be weird.  When my brother left for college I didn't think anything would change.  However, we both grew and changed.  When I went to college I was better prepared for what it would be like to come home.  I knew I would grow up living on my own.

Last summer I spent almost every week away from home.  I went to Maine, Florida, and New York.  I also worked two jobs:  my high school job (which gave me the opportunity to work at the US Golf Open) and at a residential summer camp.  So it goes to show I wasn't home a lot last summer.  It was a great summer and I wish I could have done it all again this year, but alas most of it has been spent at home.

So my summer so far has consisted mostly of cleaning out my room (and believe me it needed it) and doing chores for my parents.  I was able to throw one trip in there and headed to Boston to visit with some St. Mike's buddies whom I missed very much.   It was my first time in the city and I had a blast!!  However, being home mostly has been weird for most of the time at school when I want to relax, I head to my dorm room.  I've taken this up at home and sometimes my parents question if I'm all right.  I'll have to say it has led to some bonding where we sit around in my room and hang out (which I never thought I'd say).

I again am working at the residential camp and I'm super stoked to be going back!!!  This summer not only am I being a Assistant Unit Leader, but I am also given the chance to teach the girls about Computer Science.  I did spend time last semester looking for an internship but nothing panned out so when my boss gave me this opportunity I jumped right on it.  I'll get to work with girls on a project which I'm hoping they will share my enthusiasm!!  Hopefully I have time on my one full day off a week to be able to post some updates as I don't always have internet.

I know most people are packing for college so some tips for packing for college:
  • Make a list.  Lists always help you know what you have and what you need.  Also, make a list of what you've packed in specific boxes.  It helps in unpacking too.
  • Shop in your room.  You don't need to buy a set of new hangers.  Take the ones your shirts are on.  Also, I found I had some extra notebooks and a mess kit from camp when I was little so it cut down on what I needed to buy.  Some people (like me) think you'll be living out of two houses but in reality I bring what I want from school home for a long weekend and rarely touch what I left there.
  • Talk to your roommate.  You both don't need mini-fridges or microwaves so split the costs.  Also, if one of you wants to do something like loft a bed, it helps to communicate before hand so you both know what is going on.
  • Store college supplies elsewhere.  Talk to the rest of your family about this first.  It helped me to shop in my room and then carry out to a different location so nothing that wasn't supposed to go didn't end up going or disappearing.
  • You don't need everything.  I have trophies, pictures, and extra yarn for crocheting projects.  My first semester off I didn't pack everything but I did pack extra.  You don't need to do this.  College life is busy with hanging out with friends, work, and clubs.  I find that I can last until my next time home or parents visiting before I need my next crocheting project.
  • Don't worry about forgetting.  My parents were paranoid I was going to forget something so they made me unpack, repack, list, and re-list more than once.  You aren't moving to the middle of no where.  If you realize you need something you can find it.  (One thing that helped me and my room mate, which we hadn't thought of, was a door stop.  We found one easily but just a suggestion.)
I wish you luck with your packing endeavors and have a happy summer!!!

p.s. Most of my posts will be like this for the summer, an update with tips about packing.