Category Archives: Social Life/Relationships

Traveling With Homesickness

Filed under: Social Life/Relationships, Tips, Travel & Abroad - Angelina
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Serena Piper Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

I have been in Georgia (the country, not the state) for a while now and I am finding adjusting to be a bit more of a chore than I expected. When I signed up to teach English abroad, all I pictured was living in a cool little town with interesting people, and no problems whatsoever. I could not have underestimated this journey more.

I’m in a small village only a 3 minute cab ride from the city, but the village looks like a completely different world. If I’m not wearing earplugs at night when sleeping, I wake up to the sound of chicks peeping, pigs oinking, roosters crowing, and dogs fighting. Being in this village without anyone I know immediately close by, and living with a family with an English level similar to that of an 8-year-old, has made me really homesick. However, I’ve been getting creative with how to soothe myself with this culture shock, so if you are experiencing homesickness abroad, here are my suggestions:

1. Buy Something Comforting

I’m surprised at the number of similar products Georgia has in their mini-marts. Whenever I’m in town, I make sure to stock up on treats: chocolate, Fanta orange soda or Sprite, and Pringles. Not only will you be satisfying your snack cravings, but you will be eating something familiar, which will help you relax. This applies to other products other than food too, although some may be hard to find in a different location.

Can of Pringles

Photo © Food Junk

2. Don’t “Should” Yourself

Do not think, “I should be feeling happy.” Everyone deals with situations differently. Allow yourself to wallow, cry, be sad, and be alone. It is normal to feel this way. Just don’t sit in it for long periods of time.

Sad College Student Traveling Abroad

Photo © A Sharing Connection

3. Reach Out

Email or call friends and family and tell them how you are feeling. Talk it out to whoever will listen. Advice, comforting words, and a new friend will often come of it. You will feel better just talking to someone you miss as well.

College Student Talking On The Phone To Family Friends

Photo © Confused

4. Distract Yourself

There have been plenty of times where all I want to do is curl up in bed and do nothing all day. Unfortunately, that would not only make the situation worse, it would also mean missing out on cool excursions, such as Georgian wine-tasting at local vineyards. It is actually better to make yourself busy so you forget you are homesick!

Martha's Vineyard Travel

Photo © New York Times

5. Pick Up A New Hobby

Take advantage of the time you have available and learn or brush up on a new language, or pick up that book you’ve always wanted to read, etc. The time will pass anyway, so you might as well take advantage of it by doing something fun and intriguing.

College Girl Reading Book

Photo © MindShift

The best piece of advice I have been given in regards to traveling: do whatever you have to to make yourself comfortable. I take things day by day instead of looking at the long term, and that seems to make all the difference in this experience traveling abroad.

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Campus Activities Besides Partying

Filed under: College Life, Social Life/Relationships, Tips - Angelina
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Cameron Tranchemontagne Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

Being a college student doesn’t have to mean that you have to drink or party all the time, or at all. There are other things you can do on a college campus to have fun. Here are a few ideas for you to consider:

1. Go To A Student Org Event

There can be several different fun events to go to hosted by student organizations. These can range from outdoor (or indoor) movies, comedians, game nights (ranging from bingo to video games), concerts, or guest speakers. Often times these events are free or under $5 and you can sometimes even win prizes for going to them! You already pay for most of them with your student tuition so you might as well take advantage!

College Students Playing Bingo Game On Campus

Photo © Macalester College

2. Rec Room

Do you like to play pool? Ping Pong? Foosball? Or endless video games? Then go spend some time at your university’s recreation room! Bring a student ID and you can sign out a set of balls for pool, any video game you want, or paddles and a ping pong ball and stay as long as you want (or at least until it closes). This is a great way to hang out with friends and take a quick study break too!

College Students Playing Ping Pong In Rec Room Campus

Photo © Amarillo College

3. Intramurals & Fitness Programs

Every school has intramural leagues for different sports like flag football, floor hockey, broomball, ultimate frisbee, or soccer. Some leagues are for men only, for women only, and some are coed. The winner of each intramural sport usually wins some sort of prize and it is free to play so what do you have to lose? If team sports aren’t your thing, you could also join a zumba, yoga, or kickboxing class. These are great ways to have fun, stay in shape, and meet new people.

Intramural College Flag Football

Photo © Simpson College

What do you like to do on campus that does not include drinking or partying?

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Staying In Touch While Abroad

Filed under: Social Life/Relationships, Tips, Travel & Abroad - Angelina
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Serena Piper Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

Preparing for my trip to the Republic of Georgia has come with its tradeoffs. I had to leave a familiar town, a great part-time job I’ve had for three years, and most importantly, my family and friends. It was difficult saying goodbye to people who have been my support system for so long. I have gone from seeing them every day, or at least every week, to not seeing them at all. It has made me think of creative ways to keep in touch with them so that it doesn’t seem like it has been so long that I have not seen them.

If you are preparing for your own adventure abroad or doing some traveling, here are some suggestions for staying in touch with those you love:

1. Skype

This is an obvious option for anyone using a computer. Free calls with anyone anywhere and you can see each other face to face! Another bonus, Skype is the perfect way to still have meals together – you can eat breakfast while they are eating dinner!

Skype Video Call Chat

Photo © Stefan Erschwendner

2. Postcards

Postcards are inexpensive enough that you can stock up on them in craft stores, airports, trinket shops in your visiting country, or you can even make them yourself! Print your photo at 4×6, turn it over and write your message, then stick on a stamp and write your friend’s address where they would normally go on a postcard and pop it in the mail!

Homemade Photo Travel Postcard

Photo © Ellen Jo Roberts

3. Email

Since you probably won’t have phone access (unless you pay the extra fee for international service), email is the next best thing. However, if you do have coins, try the payphone at a nearby cafe. Depending on where you stay, there will most likely be a phone available.

Email Communication

Photo © Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Video

A lot of people like to keep a video diary which they update weekly or even monthly. This is a fun way to bring life (and reassurance) to what you’re experiencing, instead of just writing words. It will also be something great to look back on when you arrive back home and to share with your friends and family.

Travel Video Vlogging Diary

Photo © Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keeping a journal and/or online blog of your travels will also help when you don’t have time to write each individual person. Just send one email out announcing the blog link and let everyone know it’s the best way to stay updated because of your unpredictable schedule. They will be able to leave you comments and follow your day to day adventures.

 

Happy travels!

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Homecoming Guide

Filed under: College Life, Seasonal Celebrations, Social Life/Relationships - Angelina
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Cameron Tranchemontagne Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

When I was a college freshman, I had no idea what the big deal was with homecoming. I had never been to a homecoming, nor had I seen anything about homecoming, all I knew about it was that it had something to do with alumni and people were really excited for it. After the first one came and went, I couldn’t wait for the next one. If you are about to experience this magical day for the first time, get ready because you are about to have the most fun you can imagine.

College Celebrating Homecoming In Parade

Photo © The Augusta Chronicle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homecoming is considered by many to be the biggest event of the year at any given University. It gives a chance for alumni to come back to reunite with old friends and see how much campus may have changed. It also helps alumni re-connect with the university and any organization they were a part of when they were undergrads such as: fraternities, sororities, honors societies, clubs, and campus activism groups.

University Alumni College Group

Photo © College of Social Work

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love getting to meet all of the alumni and listening to them tell interesting and hilarious stories about when they were undergrads. Often times there is a tailgate early in the morning where all the local student organizations set up stations for alumni to visit and share a few beers and burgers with students. Then there is generally a homecoming football game which will typically bring in the biggest audience of the year.

College Homecoming Football Game

Photo © Knox College

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many people tie drinking to homecoming, but you don’t have to drink to participate and have fun. In fact, I didn’t drink at all at my first tailgate. I simply stood around and talked to people and ate the cheap yet delicious hot dogs we were grilling.

University College Homecoming Tailgaiting

Photo © stuart isett

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simply being in the raging atmosphere fueled by school spirit and pride is intoxicating enough to make the moment one of the most memorable in your time as a college student, and hopefully again when you come back as an alumni.

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3 Reasons To Go Greek

Filed under: College Life, Post Grad and Career, Social Life/Relationships - Angelina
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Cameron Tranchemontagne Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

Greek organizations in college campuses across the nation are recruit new members at the beginning of each year. Each one recruits differently either through formal “rush” events or just by getting to know new people and inviting them to hang out at the house. Here are three reasons why you should go Greek:

1. Connections

The more friends you have in college, the better the experience will ultimately be. Your social life is just as important as academics. Having fun and making memories is an important part of college. The connections and bonds you form now will carry over with you after school as well. Joining a Greek organization will expand your network immensely that will come in handy after graduation.

Male College Greek Fraternity Friends

Photo © TEAM

2. Academics

Having a good balance between being social and homework is key and Greek life is a great way to find that balance. While there may be a lot of fun and games, you are also required to maintain a minimum GPA (usually about a 2.5) and awards are given to those with the highest GPAs. Also many fraternities and sororities have an appointed academics chairman to help you study if you fall behind or direct you to more academic resources.

Greek College Students Doing Homework Together Outside

Photo © Levo League

3. Resume

If you go in for a job interview and the interviewer was in a Greek organization in college, or in the same one as you, you will have a much better chance at landing that job. This is not just because you both have something in common, but also because each organization has its own values to live by and the employer will know that you have the same work ethic and values.

You can also show a lot of leadership experience if you hold an officer position. Fraternities and sororities have a president, vice president, marketing chair, recruitment chair, financial chair, etc. There are also weekly formal meetings used to plan out activities or discuss possible issues.

College Greek Life Employment Benefit

Photo © Best Online Colleges

Aside from all of the above reasons, just do it for the memories. You will form bonds that can’t be broken and memories that are unforgettable. My fraternity, Lambda Chi Alpha, helped me figure out what I want to do and how I want to accomplish it. It also helped me mature into a responsible young man with my head on straight. Joining the right Greek organization can make or break your college experience and will give you a perspective and experience unlike any other.

Are you (or have you been) a part of a Greek organization? Which one?

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