Second Semester Is Better Than First Semester: Here Is My Experience.

Why 2nd Semester Really Is The Best Semester

Forget all the hype around first semester, there is so much more to come.

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At my high school, the year was split into quarters. Half way through the year (after the second quarter) we had midterms followed by a ten day winter break and back to school until finals that occurred on the last day of the year. With 2,500 people - the same 600 in your grade - the year did not feel that different, so semesters really meant nothing except switching from one elective class to another. The school year felt pretty uniform - I could divide my high school experience up by the year - so, basically in four large chunks. The school year did drag on, if I am being honest. By the last day of school I was always SO over it - the same routine every. single. day. With the same people, and really, no room for change.

With this mindset, I think it is fair to say that I was pleasantly surprised when I came to understand how college school years are set up - by semester. I did not really know what that meant. To me, it seemed more-or-less the same as high school, but with just a longer break. My first semester was good for many things - I did really great in my classes and set a good foundation for myself, learned to become really independent, and got comfortable with the school.

That being said, I still had a lot of things that I wanted to change and was not completely content. I still felt like I had not formed the best relationships with people at school and was a little too attached to friends at home. Being in a program called Freshman Connection, I also had not had the best opportunity to get involved on campus. Not feeling 100% happy with where I was, I was happy to go home for a six-week break, though I was really nervous to go back to school upon the beginning of semester 2.

But, to my surprise, everything started to fall into place.

New classes allowed me to go to Van Munching Hall - the business school - and take a lot more classes geared toward my major. Being a morning person, I liked the timing of the classes so early in the day. My schedule completely flipped from not starting class until 4:30pm to being out of class before 3:00pm. Sorority rush immediately began the first weekend I was back, and I found the sorority I loved which hugely impacted each day. My schedule filled up with fun events and I got to know some of the most amazing girls. I joined College Mentors for Kids, and CHAARG - two organizations that I believe in and have shaped my time so far at UMD.

If you aren't super happy with how things are from the start, do not worry! Things change drastically... it feels like a brand new year. With transfer students and switches all over campus, club fairs re-open and it is practically a new beginning. Now that you are aware of the campus and have figured out study habits and your way around, you will be going in a lot more comfortable and sure of what you are looking for.

If you did love your first semester, then I can assure you second will treat you even better! With the spring season coming around, things will begin to look up. It is the season of new beginnings!


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What To Do When It Rains During Summer

Summer is the perfect time to soak up the sun, but what do we do what it goes away?

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For the past week in lovely Pennsylvania, I have been unable to escape the dreary, rainy weather. I always get super bummed when it rains all week during prime pool time, but it can honestly be unavoidable. Since I have been stuck inside virtually all week, I have discovered some things you can do when it is gross outside during the summer that can still be fun!

1. Go to a local diner. 

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When it's raining, one of the perfect things to do is to go out to a local diner and get some food. One of my favorite diners in my area has a 1950's theme which makes going there even more fun. Diners are the perfect location for dreary, rainy days. In all the movies and television shows, you see characters sitting in dinners with raindrops all over the windows, so it is totally on brand for the situation. In addition, cute, neon, themed diners are great photoshoot locations, so you can make awesome Instagram content while passing time on a rainy day.

2. Binge watch some shows.

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This one is obvious! With all of the video streaming networks, it is impossible to not find something interesting to watch. I have watched countless television shows these past few dreary days and they are all very interesting! I have recently watched When They See Us and Trinkets on Netflix, but the options are endless. Of course, we are likely to binge watch all summer no matter the weather, but take advantage of the weather so you are able to spend more time outside when it's sunny!

3. Learn to cook. 

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While you are inside trying to figure out what to do with your time, maybe try cooking! I will admit, I am not the best chef, but why not experiment with some new lunch or dinner dishes while you have nothing else to do! I have recently taught myself to make homemade gyro sandwiches with all homemade ingredients! The possibilities are endless. With Pinterest, Tasty videos, and simple recipes you find online, you could seriously improve your skills! If you get good enough, you could impress your friends when you get back to college!

4. Do an at-home workout.

Not everyone has access to an at-home gym, but there are so many resources for home workouts. Creators like Whitney Simmons do a ton of equipment-free workouts that are super easy to do at home. In addition, while scrolling on youtube, I have found music-based workouts. They are workouts done by creator, MadFit, and they each go along to a popular song. They're short, sweet, and work your whole body! It's a great way to workout while also listening to your favorite songs!

5. Read a book.

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We all read a lot when we are back at school, but those books are never for our pleasure. When you're stuck inside, why not try out a new book that could actually bring you joy? I love reading by the beach, and sometimes it can be hard to read indoors because of all the other distractions. But when there's nothing better to do, why not? Try a new genre or find a book that resonates with you, whatever works! Once you start reading, you'll lose track of time and maybe it won't be raining anymore once you're finished.

Rainy days in the summertime really put a damper on plans, but we can make the most of it! All of these things have kept me busy these past couple of rainy days, so I'm sure you could find something to do too!

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You Know You're From Trumbull, CT When...

The best memories are made in this boring, little, Connecticut town.

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1. The majority of places you will consider to eat at are in Fairfield or Westport... Colony, Shake Shack, Country Cow, Playa Bowls, BarTaco

2. But if you find yourself too lazy to get on 95 for food, Panchero's is the go-to... never Chipotle. If it is past midnight, the choice always comes down to the McDonalds in Monroe, where you are almost guaranteed to see a group of people you know, or Merritt Canteen.

3. Once you got your license, your Friday night plans consisted of picking up friends, driving up and down Main Street, and, somehow, always finding yourself at the THS parking lot seeing who's car is there because there is nothing better to do.

4. In the Fall, you couldn't wait for Friday so that after school you and half of your grade could walk to Plasko's Farm for ice cream and apple cider donuts... and hope you could get them before the owners would yell at you to leave. (This one only applies to Hillcrest Middle School kids, AKA the inferior middle school in town).

5. You couldn't wait to be a senior so you could officially lead the BLACK HOLE at football games... if you were even willing to go in the cold.

6. You looked forward to the annual Senior Scav, the last week of summer before your senior year where a list of tasks is passed down by the recently graduated class... the official kickoff to senior year.

7. You pass by Country Club Rd. and get flashbacks from the worst Cross Country practices ever. Driving up Daniels Farm Rd. in the Fall and Spring, you are conditioned to yell "hi" out the window to your friends at practice.

8. You knew someone who worked at Gene's gas station... and found yourself spending more time there on the weekends than you would like to admit.

9. You are convinced Melon-heads are real after frequenting Velvet St. to see the abandoned insane asylum with your friends, IF you didn't want to drive all the way up to Fairfield Hills in Newtown.

10. You have had/have been to at least one middle school birthday party at the Trumbull Marriott.

11. You know that the 25mph speed limit on Whitney Ave. is way too slow... and can't help but hit a little air going down the huge hill at the top.

12. The guy at Towne likely knows your name.

13. You never find yourself turning right out of THS... that side of town is irrelevant for those who do not live there.

14. You know to avoid the Merrit Parkway from 4:00-7:00pm at all costs.

15. You know more than you would like to about people you aren't even friends with... in a town so small, things get around very quick.

16. Going shopping really means going to Target, or any store in the mall, for the millionth time that week.

17. The marching band was the best in the state and you would see them practicing, literally, every time you drove by THS.

19. Depending on the side of town you lived, you spent a lot of time at Five Pennies Park or Indian Ledge Park.

20. You would say you couldn't wait to leave, but when you got to college, you find yourself excited to come back to your hometown so you can reminisce on old traditions and make new memories.

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