Working at the Library

DSCF2749I have been working at my local library almost every other Saturday for the past couple of months. Today was one of those days. I love my job and I have been employed by the city since July 2008, which means I am coming up on 7 years this summer! Time flies by so quickly…

Here are a few reasons why working in a library is awesome for college students:

  1. Technology – In my opinion, this is the best job ever. I monitor the computer lab and answer questions like where to check my e-mail, how to send a resume, what to do when the font is too big. During downtime, I work on library projects and even my own homework!
  2. Circulation – When I worked in this department, I shelved books all day. While this may sound boring to you, it actually was far from boring. Sure, I would get a headache once in a while from all of the alphabetizing, but it got me to walk around the library and explore all of the amazing books that we have to offer. I know which books and authors in the Fiction, Non-Fiction, Mystery, Young Adult, and Travel sections are popular and get checked out most. I pretty much know where anything and everything is like the back of my hand. Plus, there are some really interesting books that I would have never known existed, like Time Management 101 or the Twilight Series in Spanish. This also means I get first pick on when they are returned into the bins for me to check out.
  3. Writing/Research Experts – Since you know everyone at the library, they are always helpful and know the answers to whatever you need. When you have a research paper, they are experts at proofreading and helping you research.
  4. Flexibility – Your managers and supervisors were all students once. In most cases, they are extremely supportive of your academics and will be more than happy to give you finals week off or additional days for homework and/or school events.
  5. Perks – You will know about community events since most libraries are hubs for the city and the state. For example, since I am looped into the city’s network, I know when certain laws have been passed and are beginning to be implemented. You might have team building parties, free lunches, and other fun social activities. My library has a Young Women’s Professional Association with bimonthly meetings, where we just get food and network.

Closing Thoughts – For a college student, working at a school or local library is extremely beneficial to being connected to your community. This job definitely helps motivate me to do well in school too. My mom also worked at her library when she was in college to pay her way through. Ask your school about work-study at the library and hopefully they will be able to give you more information. Make sure to visit your local library too if you are not from the area!

Challenge Half-Month Check-In

Earlier this month, I wrote a post about my current money saving challenge (Click Here: http://ow.ly/N2CSz). I am now at the halfway point of this month and I am proud to say that I am still going strong. It has its bad and good days. For example, I went to school and ate most of the food I had packed, then went to work, and was starving and ate anything I could get my hands on basically. Some days, it is getting easier to curb my diet and get used to eating smaller portions. Plus, bringing food from home saves time on going to the cafeteria and having to wait in line and buy food. Since I carry it around with me, I can eat whenever I want to!

The current contents of my wallet

If you read my previous post on this topic, I shared how shocked I was that I had broken even – as in I was not able to save any money because all of the money I made was put right back into bills. The goal of this challenge was really to not only pay off my car loans but also to start saving up money to move out of my parents’ home and buy my own house. I had a talk with a close friend of mine, and he put a positive spin to it and said, “Well it’s a good thing you started doing this now. If you hadn’t started saving, you would be in debt.” I thought this was such a good positive way to look at my situation, instead of being pessimistic and scared of the future. Thank goodness I started this strict financial regime – I got smart just in time.

Update on Late Night Studying

After The Blog Post: So last night, I posted a blog about the 24 hour study nights at school. Turns out after I wrote out the post, I started dozing off real bad. Like I said, I think I’m too old for these all-nighters. I tried to study but I kept falling asleep. Eventually, we got kicked out of the student union because the cleaning crew had to come through and clean the venue. We moved into another study room but it didn’t stop me from falling asleep.

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What I Did: A strategy I tried to use to stay up was to drink lots of water. It didn’t work very well because I did get up for what felt like at least ten times to go to the bathroom but as soon as I sat back down to study and looked at my notes, I fell back asleep. It was slightly embarrassing but my friend was taking a nap next to me too. Her boyfriend was the only one I think that stayed up the whole night.

What I Saw: At the beginning of the night, the student union was filled with students, around midnight. The students were loud, studying and socializing in groups. Around 1:30AM or so, people started to go home or falling asleep. When we finally left school to go home around 4AM, I was shocked to see some people were still awake and studying hard with their notecards and laptops. Others seemed like they were having really deep (or delirious) one-on-one conversations. And of course, there were people falling asleep too.

Will I do it again? Sure, if the opportunity presents itself. But I love sleep so I doubt I will stay at school past 1AM again. Have you studied all night before at school? Does your school have 24 hour study halls during finals week? Leave me a comment below!

24 Hour Studying at School

I feel like an undergraduate again. Ah the good ol’ days…

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This week is finals week at school so the campus is open 24 hours, including the student union centers and the library. After work, my friend, who goes to the same school as me, asked me if she wanted me to join her and her boyfriend to study on campus. I figured this would be  good chance to check out how finals week runs at school.

I go to Cal State Fullerton and there is free parking on weekends. Since it is (was?) Sunday, I knew I could park in the parking structure, even though I don’t have a parking permit. Or on the week days, you can park after 10pm and they won’t cite you, at least that is what my friend told me. We stopped by McDonalds first and picked up food before we went to school. We were going to go to the library but realized food might not be allowed so we went to the Titan Student Union. I met her boyfriend and we ran into our friends at school.

I remember I got the e-mail about these late night extended hours but I barely skimmed the e-mail since I knew I wouldn’t want to be at school that late. Haha, jokes on me, because now I’m here typing this blog post. I am so exhausted though. My eyes are tired and I feel like I could just fall asleep right here. It is 1AM and I just keep thinking I’m way too old for this…Haha hope you got the reference! Hope you’re all sleeping well and good luck on finals!

Lucky Penny

The problem with having an amazing day off work and school is that the next day when you have a million different responsibilities, you won’t feel like doing any of them. The balance between relaxing, school, and work is tough for most people and it is something you need to discover on your own.

This morning started off just all right for me. I got woken up at 7AM by my brother, who was being loud while he was getting ready for school. I slept in and eventually got up around 10:30AM. I ate a delicious breakfast and packed a simple lunch, then got dressed and ready for work.

It had been raining while I was snoozing and it continued to shower very lightly as I pulled up to the parking lot. I was reminded of my final project that is due tomorrow and starting to regret not starting it yesterday. On the plus side, I was able to complete one errand today and go to the bank to cash in my checks from work. I ran into a few friends, but instead of the normal energy that I feed off from people, those conversations were completely draining. My head was somewhere else. In the clouds? In bed? At school? Who knows. I thought to myself negatively, “Today is going to be a long day.”

And then the universe gave me a sign. As I walked into a dressing room that I normally don’t use, I found a little lonely penny. I reverted back to the little child in me and sang in my head, “Find a penny, pick it up, all day long you’ll have good luck!” This was the push I needed to get me through the day and finish my finals strong! I’m excited for summer to start and I am going to change my attitude to change the rest of my day around — no matter how rainy or gloomy it is!

My First College Wedding Part 2

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What I Saw: The outdoor ceremony was beautiful, short, and sweet — less than ten minutes! The venue was perfect and the decorations were over the top amazing! The theme was Disney everything! There was a bar and drinks too. After the delicious chicken dinner, all the single ladies got to dive for the bouquet. My friend that caught it was nice enough to let me get a quick snapshot with it (featured in yesterday’s post). The bride and groom had a money dance to fundraise money for their honeymoon. A money dance is where you pay the couple cash to dance with one of them. At the end of the night, the dance floor opened up and everyone had an amazing time! My body hurts so much from all of the shaking, moving, and grooving, especially my back, and the rest of my body is sore, haha! So, this is what it feels like to be old…

I loved my first wedding experience and now, I cannot wait for the rest of my college friends to get married! My friend and I were placing bets on who is going to get married next in our group of college friends last night. Until next time, I need to give my body a good rest, and now I know to be prepared for all of the dancing!

My First College Wedding

Last night, I had the amazing opportunity to witness my two friends and former roommates say, “I do” and celebrate their love! This was my first college wedding and the only two other weddings I remember going to were when I was the five year old flower girl and the second was when a distant family friend got married again when I was younger – so basically people I didn’t know. This was the first time where I actually knew the bride and groom!

What I Wore: I was not sure what to expect last night, but I went all out and wanted to look as nice as possible for their special day. I even texted the bride a week before and asked her what kind of attire and dress I should wear! Since it is a spring wedding, I ended up going with one of my favorite red dresses and borrowed my mom’s vintage sun hat. I even decided to wear my wig for the first time and clip-on earrings, then finally topped the whole ensemble off with my nude pumps!

What I Brought: I stuffed emergency touch up make-up in my black faux leather purse. I brought my camera and I tried to get as many pictures as possible! Of course, I could not forget a wedding present. My friends had a Target wedding registry, but I went ahead and got them a gift card instead so that everyone else could get them what they asked for and if they changed their mind or needed anything else, they could get it themselves.

What I Saw: Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post!

One Month Challenge

One month ago, on April 1st (yes, very ironically on April Fool’s Day), I made a promise to myself that I would stop going out and spending money until I paid off all of my car loans. I am happy to announce today, that I was able to successfully complete this challenge for the first month!

I stopped going out to eat with friends. I did not shop for groceries and just ate my parents’ food from home. I also packed all of my lunches so at school or at work, I would not have to buy food. While I did go to the mall, I did not spend any money. The only things that I did use money for were insurance bills, gas, car payments, and my credit card.

I was happy to see all of the money I was saving, but it also really shocked me at the same time that I barely broke even this past month. It scares me that despite living by my bare essentials, I didn’t end up saving any actual money. In fact, I may have gone into the negatives. The most important lesson that I learned from this though is that with the way that I am currently living and the money that I am making, it is not enough to sustain my life. If I want to live comfortably and happily, I need to be making a lot more money than I am now and seriously budget. This is why I am in college trying to get a higher education degree so I can get a higher paying job and live the life I want to. This realization definitely makes me want to study harder and motivates me to do my best and push forward this last month before summer starts! Happy studying, everyone! ONLY ONE MORE MONTH UNTIL SUMMER!

P.S. My friend did the math on what I have left to pay for my car loans, and it will still take me another 18 months…Haha, so I don’t think I can keep up this challenge for the entire time but I can definitely try! I will keep you all posted on my progress!

App Games

My favorite game right now is 1010! It has a really simple concept that pays a nostalgic homage to everyone’s favorite, Tetris, with a slight twist. Instead of single pieces falling down, you get three random pieces. You place those pieces onto the grid, with the goal to hopefully have them form a line that will then be cleared.

If you don’t play with a strategy or play your pieces most efficiently, the game can get messy super fast and end within only a few plays. After playing it a few times, you will find a strategy that will work for you.

This is a great game to play at school while you’re waiting for the campus bus, in an elevator, while you’re in line to check out a book from the library, or before your class starts. It doesn’t take too much focus and there is no time limit so you can really think out where you want each piece to go.

I’m warning you now though. This game can get pretty addicting pretty fast. For me, I always want to beat my high score, which you can see on the right side of the trophy at the top of the screen shot. Last night, I played for a few hours and didn’t even notice the time fly by. Do you think you can beat me? Go ahead and I dare you to try! Here is a link to the game: http://1010ga.me/

Enjoy! And “may the odds (pieces?) be ever in your favor!”

Papers and Following Directions

I do not mean to sound arrogant but I have always been decent at writing. It was something that came easily to me and even without trying, I would get passing grades on all of my writing assignments. I also have a knack for looking at everything differently and thinking outside of the box. This makes my writing extremely creative and my reader/ grader usually likes how my paper or essay stands out from the sea of same papers.

For the first time in my life, I finally had a professor that did not appreciate my writing style. A few weeks ago, I received my grade for our first project. I got a 39/50, so 78.00%, which is below a B-. The professor was nice enough to offer me the opportunity to revise the paper for possible full credit if I followed the outline that was given and resubmit it in two weeks.

I was shocked. I remember the directions were to follow the outline that was given to us and then just delete the outline and ta-da! There is your paper. For a graduate student, I just thought that was way too easy. So I took my own spin on it and added some things that I thought were relevant. Clearly, it was not appreciated.

While I did not receive my second for this project, I did just receive my grade for our second project – 75/75. Not only did I get an A+, but I got 100% — FULL CREDIT! I learned a very valuable lesson though: Follow the instructions given to you, and if you are not sure, ask! I am lucky that this professor gave me a second chance, but I know not all teachers will do that. Make sure to give yourself extra time to visit office hours or send an early draft is possible!