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When that hard work and effort pays off…

The Good News

Last week was a stressful week, I was hit with exams, assignments, obligations and I was having a hard time handling it all.  In the midst of my stressing, I received a blessing.  The study abroad office sent me an email with the words I had been praying to hear.

“Congratulations, you have been chosen to receive the 25 Year Anniversary Study Abroad Scholarship.”

Days later:

I received another email that I was the recipient of the “Anthropology in Rio Scholarship” as well.

For a student who had never received a scholarship before, I was brought to tears, immediately posting a grateful status on facebook, calling friends and family and telling everyone how excited I was that my dreams of study abroad are being made possible.  Not only will I be taking part in an enriching experience in another country but I will be the first in my immediate family to study abroad.

Lesson #__: YOU TOO CAN TRAVEL. Don’t think that just because you aren’t rich you won’t be able to afford study abroad.  There are many loans, scholarships (Global assist) and fundraising opportunities out there.  There are organizations that fundraise trips to travel abroad and do volunteer work.   Look at your options, the world is much much bigger than UT, Austin, Texas and the United States.  I challenge each and everyone of you reading to research study abroad opportunities and really work hard to make it happen.

I have many friends who have traveled abroad.  My friend Paulina has been to Italy, Ireland and she is currently interviewing for a one week internship with the One Campaign in Africa.  Two of my friends DeAnna (Black Theatre History) and Jordan will be traveling to Ghana this summer.  Those are just a few of the examples.  These students are already an inspiration to me, just think of how traveling will enhance their impact on campus, in their future careers and eventually the world!

As for now, I need to brush up on my Portuguese, watch Brazilian telenovelas and thank God for the incredible gift of travel.  2012 is going to be the best year so far.

A Holi Experience

This year was my first time at the annual celebration of Holi. Holi an event based on a Hindu holiday where people throw colorful powder on each other, dance to music and just enjoy the day.  It lasted about three hours and for me it was like a mini-reunion with all my friends I hadn’t seen as much during the semester.

Jorge, Stephanie, Juan, Ish, Hugo Domi and I after Holi

Jorge, Stephanie, Juan, Ish, Hugo Domi and I after Holi

Rosa, Tiffany, Angie and me waiting to get powder :)

Rosa, Tiffany, Angie and I waiting for powder.

Me and my awesome friend Clara (Left) and Lafe family :)

Me and my awesome friend Clara (Left) and Lafe family :)

PHOTO CREDIT: ANDY MOORE

PHOTO CREDIT: ANDY MOORE

Polly (running away from me), me, Ira and Mercedes

Polly (running away from me), me, Ira and Mercedes

Rez Week

Words cannot explain the awesomeness that was Rez week. A great worship week that brings hundreds of students to Gregory plaza every semester.  Not only did I enjoy teaching, but I drank the free tea and coffee that Rez week serves weekly.  I only got the chance to attend one night but it was an enlightening spiritual experience for me and my friends as we laughed, sang and prayed together.  I do talk openly about my spiritual beliefs because they are a big part of who I am.  It keeps me centered and in the world of college where everything is coming at you full speed, having that grounding force is always needed.

Getting the help I needed

In addition to scholarships, I’ve also taken my academic progress into my own hands.  This semester has been an extremely challenging but I learned that you should always ASK FOR HELP at the first sign of a problem.  Not when it gets super difficult.  For my Biology class, I started going to the Sanger Learning Center on campus and getting tutoring.  Because I am a Longhorn Scholars, I get 10 free tutoring hours each semester.  Yes, I’m going to take advantage of them from now own.

Lesson#__: Don’t be ashamed to ask for help. I was never afraid to ask for help, I was just ashamed that I needed it.  So I’d go from one exam to the next claiming that it would get better.  I had an “I GOT THIS” attitude.  Apparently, I didn’t have it and my Biology test score decreased a result of poor time management skills.  Now, I am going to tutoring at the Sanger Learning center and I feel a lot more confident about my next exam.  I look over my Biology notes on a daily basis.  I cannot wait for the next exam next week.

My friend Lisa also did my hair this week! It was nice to treat myself and even nicer that one of my best friends offered wash and flat iron my hair.  It immediately changed my attitude about stress.  Appearance isn’t everything but in times of high stress a new hair do, cut or nice shirt might do the trick to change your outlook.

I was into the music
dance like no one is watching :)

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April 4, 2012 | | Comments are closed for this post
photo of Jelisa