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Tips to a Fulfilling Summer

Mindy reading a book while overlooking the quad.
Mindy reading a book while overlooking the quad.

With summer rapidly approaching everyone cannot wait for the school year to end and the relaxing to begin. However, having a fulfilling summer is key when looking back on it once the school year restarts. There is no greater sense of accomplishment when you are cooped up in your dorm room, then to know there isn’t anything else you wish you had done this past summer.

Here are some tips for how to have a fulfilling summer:

 

Read a good book: Being in college a lot of the books we read are in the form of a textbook or based on something we are not interested in at all. A book that you actually enjoy can help stimulate imagination and create focus and concentration. Often time in the summer people are either constantly doing activities or not doing anything at all. It is important to keep your brain working, so why not do it with a book you like. Books related to your passion or field of study can also help you recreate or improve yourself in various aspects. For example, you could be inspired to do one act of kindness a day or discover a new interest of yours within your field of study.

 

Mindy trying a new drawing style that her roommate showed her.
Mindy trying a new drawing style that her roommate showed her.

Channel a new artistic skill: With three “free” months in the summer there is a lot of time to try out new skills. Channel your inner creative ways and pick up a new artistic skill. You can use this skill when you are back at school to relieve stress and relax.

 

Listen to podcasts or documentaries: College may be out for a few months, however you should try and gain some knowledge while on this academic break. Believe it or not, most classes pull real world examples from documentaries or similar outlets. So, watching these ahead of time can give you prior knowledge. You can also watch them for fun, learning interesting facts in areas you have never heard about. Netflix has a plethora of documentaries spanning multiple disciplines.

 

TED Talk: influential and informative videos from expert speakers

Netflix: there are a lot of highly regarded documentaries on Netflix

 

Mindy and her boyfriend kayaking around Barlett Island in Bar Harbor, ME.
Mindy and her boyfriend kayaking around Barlett Island in Bar Harbor, ME.

Research scholarships you can apply for in the fall: While in school there is always constant assignments being given and events popping up. People often run out of time or do not have much time to research scholarships. Scholarships are essential for students who want to lessen their loan debt. Most of the time winter break is the time people set aside to search for such things. However, there are a number of scholarships due not only in the summer but also in the fall.

 

Spend time outdoors: For most of spring semester, especially this year, it has been cold and windy. Our blissful sunny days are followed by snow and cold temperatures. As we head into summer break it is important to soak up the sun and spend all the time we missed, from being cooped up in our dorms, outside. Learning a new outdoors hobby can help facilitate the desire to be outside. Hobbies like gardening, swimming, running, or even relaxing will fulfill your summer.

 

These 5 things were just a few tips of many to help you have a fulfilling summer! I hope that you get the most out of this time off and enjoy the warm weather.

Floods and Massive Landslides in Peru

Recent landslide in Peru
Recent landslide in Peru (“Flooding in Peru.” AvaxNews. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Apr. 2017.)

During the month of March, prolonged rainfall has caused severe river flooding, landslides and mud flows across Peru. Around 150,000 homes, including a lot of people’s businesses have been flooded. Approximately 1,250 schools and 340 health centers have suffered some type of damage. 24 of Peru’s 25 regions have reported damage, the most affected regions are: Lima, Piura, Lambayeque, Ica, Arequipa, Huancavelica, Ancash and Loreto.

As of March 25th, 2017, there have been reported the death of 90 people, about 40 people are injured and more than 15 people missing, cause of this climate phenomenon named “El Niño Costero.” As of right now more than 120.000 people have either lost their family, businesses or friends, the number keeps increasing due to the continuous floods and landslides which is making people move to other parts of Peru.

Aside from people losing their homes, massive landslides and floods are causing the loss of water.

Police trying to move people to a safer place
Police trying to move people to a safer place (“Flooding in Peru.” AvaxNews. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Apr. 2017.)

Many Peruvians do not have access to water, some have to buy water from other people and the prices are very high. Unfortunately, many people do not have the money and resources to buy water. The loss of water is not only happening in the poorest regions of Peru, many of the districts of the capital have reported that they do not have access to water, some temporarily and others for a very long period of time.

Currently, Peru has been declared in state of emergency and the situation over there is not getting any better. Many companies have been helping people find shelters and places where they can stay and be helped but the number of affected people keeps increasing. There have been a few fundraisers here in the U.S. and even at UConn to help the victims of this chaotic situation.  Recently, the Peruvian Student Association here at UConn along with the famous Peruvian restaurant Cora Cora and The Beta Lota Chapter of La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Incorporated had a fundraiser to help raise funds for the many people affected by the floods. Many of these people organizing fundraisers at UConn are shocked with what’s happening over there, especially the ones that still have relatives or friends because they fear for the people they love, other people are compassionate and want to help those in need.

Me, sophomore year, holding the Peruvian flag.
Me, sophomore year, holding the Peruvian flag.

Even though I now live in the United States, I never forget where I came from. I still have family and friends over there and for me it’s very important that people are aware of what’s happening so they can get involved and help, any help is valuable because the situation over there is getting worse. Seeing families losing their homes, their relatives and their little businesses is very sad, especially when it all happens so suddenly.

If you want to get more involved and help those in need, there have been a lot of websites that work with organizations in Peru where you can donate money. If you want to learn more about it or donate, click on the links below:

 

 

https://www.globalgiving.org/peru-floods-2017/

https://www.padf.org/helpperu/

The Leap to Adulthood: Tips to Being Successful

Tulsi's roommates and friends celebrating Friendsgiving
Tulsi’s roommates and friends celebrating Friendsgiving

Often we think of turning 21 as the big step to adulthood, however, there is a key element which is vital to becoming an adult: being able to take care of yourself. Freshman year it is typical that people move into a one room dorm with a meal plan. However, at some point, there are no options for dorms and no pre-made food there for you to eat whenever you want. That is the true leap to adulthood, when you move into an apartment and have to cook and clean for yourself.

Taking care of yourself seems pretty straight forward, you’ve been doing it all your life. But what about when it’s just you, a student with minimal income and no time for anything except studying and Netflix? As one of the many students who has taken this step, here are some things that I’ve learned in my first year living in an apartment:

  1. Food Budget: With a part-time job only providing a small income, it is EXTREMELY important to budget. I plan out my dinners weekly so I can have efficient shopping trips and keep myself from buying extra food. It is also important to factor in other costs such as buying coffees or going out to eat, as it can add up pretty fast.
  2. Cleaning Schedule: Living with roommates can be difficult, but sharing an apartment with multiple people can be even more frustrating. It is important to set up a schedule for cleaning everything from pots and pans to taking out the trash. You should remember that people grew up with different habits, so you should all be on the same page about how to keep things tidy.
  3. Enjoy yourself! Having my own room in college for the first time has reminded me of how great it is to hang out alone. Me time is always a good idea, it gives you time to de-stress and enjoy your hobbies. As usual, its important to manage your time between school work and you time.
  4. Stay social. Living in an apartment is cozy and can lead to becoming anti-social after discovering how great it is to have your own space. Make sure to still get out there and see people, whether its cooking with your roommates or going out to a basketball game with friends. I can say that I have learned so much from my roommates this year, its been great learning about their cultures and experiencing their food.
  5. Make it your own. Have fun decorating your apartment! I spent a lot of time on Pinterest finding things I wanted to make. DIY is the cheapest option when on a budget, as well as yard sales if you’re looking for furniture. Make your apartment an expression of who you are and enjoy doing it with by making things with friends and family.

Living in an apartment is a lot of responsibility, but being able to take care of yourself and your space is an important milestone in your life. Finding your own tricks like I have are a great way to manage the responsibilities while enjoying your life.

Tulsi's room
Tulsi’s room