England, Here I Come!

England, Here I Come!

How I made the decision to study abroad in the UK.
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Since I was a little girl, I've had a passion for a few particular things. These things include elephants, which I must admit has turned into an obsession, Disney, another one of my obsessions, writing, which I am lucky enough to have begun the path to a career, and traveling, which is why I find myself writing this today. The last two items on my list of passions, writing and traveling, are most important to me and encompass most of my goals, as well as dreams, for my future. And these two passions also just so happen to go hand in hand.

Applying to study abroad is the first chance I've had to act on my decision and begin my adventures, and I couldn't be more anxious. Being able to learn about a new place while going to school and preparing myself for my future couldn't sound more appealing. And to top it off, I'll be given the opportunity to learn journalism from a different perspective and entirely different culture, which will further my understanding of the field entirely. There is no better chance for me to be the best journalist I can be than by studying exactly that in a different country in addition to my own. This program will without a doubt give me a leg up on my fellow journalists as I try and succeed in my professional plans, as well as my personal goals.

When deciding where exactly I wanted to study, it was honestly a no brainer. The United Kingdom was my obvious choice and not just because “it's England.“ I wanted to study somewhere where I would be able to get the most of my studies, while also allowing me easy travels to other places and providing a culture I could assimilate into with ease. England had all these qualities, and many more, that made it the perfect choice.

Europe is one of the best places to be a journalist, so why would I choose to learn from anyone but the best? From there I narrowed my search, finding that I really wanted to know the language of the country I would be studying so that I wouldn't be hindered when taking classes at the university. And although I am fluent in both Portuguese and Spanish, I wouldn't be very comfortable taking exams and examining lectures in those languages just yet. I wanted to start off somewhere where I could continue to excel while still having a new cultural experience. Then gradually work my way up to the harder stuff, like language barriers. This made England the perfect destination.

After choosing the United Kingdom, I had to narrow my choice even further, deciding on only one school. The first step I took was to decide on where in England I would prefer. It didn't take me long to decide that I'd like to be close to London, one of the leading journalism fronts in the UK. I decided on the University of Hertfordshire because of its prestigious programs in both journalism and film, which is my minor.

With the help of my journalism advisor, as well as my film advisor, I was able to come to the conclusion that Hertfordshire had amazing classes that would give me the best opportunity to make the most out of my year abroad. After looking through the module catalog, I knew that no matter which of the film and/or journalism classes I took, I'd have an excellent chance at excelling. Because of the location and appealing modules, I knew without a doubt that I was making the right decision.

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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.
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The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:


“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:

“FISH STICK! I NAMED HIM FISH STICK BECAUSE HE'S A FISH STICK, OF COURSE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 59)

When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:


"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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Age Doesn't Matter, You Should Still Play Minecraft

How my 10-year-old daughter has me playing her favorite game…

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Minecraft is an online game by a company called Mojang where players can build and interact with cube-based worlds to create and play however they wish to.

My daughter has become obsessed with Minecraft. So obsessed in fact that she has dragged me into it. I've got an account now and worlds and we play in creative so we can build stuff. It's all rather odd to me, but she loves being able to play together, so we do. Here are my reasons you should be playing Minecraft no matter your age.

1. You Can Create Interesting Worlds

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Apparently, there are tons of different types of worlds that can generate in Minecraft. You could play in the snow, a grassy plain, or even a huge forest of trees. The choices are endless.

2. You Can Build Tons Of Cool Stuff

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We've made a house, a zoo, and are working on a massive treehouse in the sky. The possibilities here are endless too.

3. There Is A Huge Following/Community

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So many people play and know Minecraft that if you get stuck on something like I did, you can always look it up and learn how to get that function to work exactly right when you need it to.

4. It Is A Great Way To Spend Time Together

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Families can spend a bit of time working on a Minecraft world together. You'll get a chance to talk to and connect with your kid and they get to play a favorite game. It's a win-win situation.

5. It Is Actually A Whole Lotta Fun

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This is pretty self-explanatory, but I have had a blast learning how to play Minecraft from my 10-year-old. She has just recently stopped calling me a noob (new player) every five minutes, but if I do something really silly in the game she still says that it was a noob moment.

Overall, if you've never played Minecraft, you should try it out just once to see all the great things this game can do.

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