Day 1 in Brussels

Well today is the day that I officially moved to Belgium for the summer. We got into Brussels at 9 in the morning there, but it was 2 in the morning in St. Louis. When we got off the plane we all traveled in the big group to the guy holding the Mizzou sign. We took shuttles to our apartments and it was not the drive that we expected. Sure, we saw a few older buildings, but for the most part it was just new modern buildings with lots of shopping. It reminded us of DC or Michigan Avenue.

When we got to the apartments, it was amazing. The living room and the dining room are extremely spacious and kind of modern. We went up the spiral staircase to find 3 bedrooms. They were all a little different, but they are decently spacious. It definitely works for how little stuff we even have right now. The best part about the apartment is our rooftop deck. The walls are pretty high, so it’s hard to see the view, but if you climb up a little you can see that it is breathtaking. I know that will be my favorite space in our apartment.

After we unpacked, a lady from the complex came around checking everything and it was the first time that we had a bit of a culture shock. She spoke no English, so it was hard to communicate with her. We had to tap on her and direct her to an outlet that is broken to communicate. Nobody in my apartment speaks a lick of French, so this will be new to all of us.

Shortly after, the guys came up to our apartment to visit and we all decided to go walk around the city. We went down our street and then left and we eventually ran into all the main shopping. There were a ton of cute stores that I want to check out soon and hopefully they are cheap enough. While we were walking the streets, we ran into a waffle vendor and we knew that we needed to try it. Trying to order the waffle was a little funny because we don’t speak French so we looked at the sign and tried our best to pronounce it.

The waffle was nothing like our waffles. Sure it has the imprints of a waffle, but it was almost bitter and it was drenched in chocolate. It was a complete shock because it’s not what we are used to, but it was great nonetheless.

We stopped by a market to get toilet paper, hand soap and a few essential groceries. We just mainly picked up water bottles and something to eat for breakfast tomorrow.

Then we went to an orientation at our Mizzou office with Garreth. I definitely don’t remember how we got there. He was super nice and funny, but I can tell that our class is going to be a lot more work than I was expecting. I have a feeling when I get home from work on the weekdays, we will be super busy and staying in a lot.

He did answer a lot of our questions about traveling on weekends and he suggests traveling a lot around Brussels. He also said that it would be dumb not to go to Paris, Amsterdam and London because they are about an hour and a half away is all. I still think that I want to try to go to Barcelona because he said it’s one of the best cities in the world and it’s a quick plane ride. However, I think that will be my last flying trip. Anyway, I’m overwhelmed and feel like I need to start planning right away.

We then walked to dinner at this cute restaurant. It was paid for all by Mizzou, which is amazing. He gave us a few Brussels choices and I didn’t know what to pick, but I decided to go with this shrimp and mussels pasta. A lot of people tried rabbit also, but I’ll have to save that for another day. Apparently it was really good. I loved my mussels and the pasta was so great too. We also got a few choices of Belgium beers to try. I tried Kriek, which is a cherry beer and it tasted just like candy. I loved it. The second beer that I got was a Heigen(something) and it was also good.

After dinner, we walked home with the intention of going out, but we physically were drained. Instead we got a good nights sleep.

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Tips for Finals

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Pools are open, the sun’s out and summer is on the brain. As a college student, there is nothing worse than studying for finals when it is nice outside. There are so many other things that you could be doing. Here are some tips on how to finish off the semester strong despite the distractions.

1. Update your planner

There are so many tests and deadlines around finals, so keep your planners updated and look at your schedule every so often so that you know when everything is due.

2. Portion it out instead of procrastinating

If you have three finals in one week, don’t wait until the night before to start studying. Take a little bit of time out each day to work on each class. If you have a project or paper, make sure you start working on it a week in advance, so that you don’t freak out at the last second.

3. Make to-do lists

Every night make a list of everything that you need to get done the next day and do not go to sleep until you get it all done. It sounds harsh, but you need to hold yourself accountable to the to-do lists you make.

4. Go somewhere secluded

Don’t study somewhere that you know you will get distracted at. If you do not study well in your room then go to the library or somewhere where you can focus better. We all like to think that our bed is a good place to stud, but at the end of the day our bed is only good for sleeping and Netflix.

5. Don’t procrastinate so you can take some time out for fun

It’s the last weeks of school, so you want to make sure you get to say goodbye to all of your friends. Get your work done so that you can reward yourself with study breaks.

I know that finals week is the worst, especially when summer is around the corner, but if you muscle through it, you’ll be okay!

College Isn’t All Fun and Games

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College is supposed to be the best time of your life. At least that’s what everyone says when they’re older. Don’t get me wrong, college is great. I live in a house with 70 of my best friends. I am learning so many new things.

All you see about college is the parties and the fun. What Hollywood and your parents forget to tell you is how much responsibilities you will have. I work 30 hours a week for no pay. Schoolwork is time consuming. Running two different organization’s social media is time consuming.

People always glamorize college. They talk about the parties and the fun, but they forget to mention that you’re always broke, tired and hungry.

They forget to tell you that the coursework is hard and that you have to spend just as much time as you do on school on extracurriculars to even learn what you actually need to survive in the real world.

I wouldn’t trade anything that I have done, but when I watch movies about college, I think about how off my ideas were about what this time was going to be. College years aren’t stress-free. Not if you’re doing what you need to succeed later in life.

Mix It Up for Motivation: Exercise Classes

Last semester I definitely did not prioritize going to the gym, so it was really hard to get back in the swing of things. I think that a major reason why I stopped going was because it was always the same thing. Every time I went, I would do 30 mins. on the treadmill and 30 mins. of basic ab workouts. I lost all motivation to go because it wasn’t exciting anymore.

I recently started going back to the gym and was doing that same old routine. I was just making myself go. It was not something I was looking forward to and that’s just not the way working out needs to be. Not to mention, the unbelievably long lines at The Rec did not help my cause.

I decided to get a Tiger X pass, which allows you to take an unlimited number of classes. I took a kickboxing class the other day called TurboKick and it was a great workout. It was a little challenging to follow the steps at first, since I had never done it before, but it was a great workout for my legs and arms. The next day, I took a sculpting class called Pump. This class incorporated  weights, exercise balls and bands in order to sculpt every inch of my body. It felt great being back at the gym and working muscles that I had been neglecting.

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These classes are a ton of fun and make me look forward to going to the gym again. I strongly encourage Mizzou students to get a pass and pick some classes that work with your schedule. It’s also nice that a few of my friends got passes because we encourage each other to go and try new classes.

If you don’t want to pay for classes, don’t be upset. There are a ton of workout videos online that are a lot of fun. Just find something that interests you because going to the gym should be a fun thing, not a chore.

Too much hate over Greek Week pairings at MU

Last night they announced Greek Week pairings by randomly selecting names. This process took away decision-making and politics and based the pairings on chance. This process might be new and it might not make everyone happy, but that’s just what it is.

What I saw at the event and over social media made me very disappointed in the Greek community. Some people laughed, some people complained and some people ran out of the building all because they were upset with their pairing. Honestly, there are so many talented chapters at MU and trash-talking the people that you will work with for the semester is not a good way to start Greek Week. If you express how much you do not want to be with someone, you are acting like you are better than them and not even giving them a chance.

Not to mention complaining about who you are with makes you and your entire chapter look bad. So what if they are not your first choice? So what if you don’t know anyone in those chapters? So what if they haven’t won before? I have found that with Homecoming and Greek Week pairings, you get what you put in. If you trash talk your pairing, they won’t work hard. If you try to get to know them and are nice, they’re going to want to win with you.

Everyone needs to make the most of their pairings because you never know someone or a chapter until you get to know them. It’s supposed to be a Greek community. There is no need to be pessimistic and mean.

What Going Greek Meant to Me

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Before formal recruitment, I was skeptical about whether I was the type of girl for a sorority.  I have never been much of a “girls girl” and I always enjoyed hanging out with guys more because girls in middle and high school can be so catty.  I had so many different friend groups in high school, but I never had those friends that I knew I could count on for anything.  It wasn’t until formal recruitment that I realized sorority life is way more than what you see on movies.  In fact, sorority girls are typically anything but what Hollywood makes them out to be.  Going through recruitment, I learned that this system was nothing like “buying your friends”, but a door to endless opportunities.

I had great connections with many girls from many different chapters, but the house that stuck the most was Alpha Phi.  I felt like, towards the end of recruitment, it was the house that matched my personality best and where I felt most comfortable.  Bid Day really was a start to a whole new beginning because even in my short year as an A Phi, I have so many wonderful experiences that I never would have gotten if I were tackling Mizzou alone.

What have I benefited from Going Greek?

Connections- Being a broadcast journalism major at Mizzou is extremely competitive, but older girls in the house that are in the same field of study really helped get me on the right track.  Not only was their support helpful, but watching their success at KOMU inspired me to jump start my journalism career and strive to be like them.

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Friendships– The first semester of school can be very lonely.  You are no longer going to school with the same people you have known since kindergarten and Mizzou is such a large and intimidating place.  No matter if I had met the girls or not, if there was an Alpha Phi around she always stopped to say hi or ask how I was doing.  Nothing is more exciting than running into new sisters and being welcomed by older girls when walking around campus.  After a while, you really start to get to know girls in the house, especially from your pledge class and I can say with full honesty that I have met my lifelong best friends and cannot wait to see how much living in house together next year will bring us closer.

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Motivation- Being Greek means that almost all of your classes will have another person from your chapter in them.  My sisters were always there to help me study, send notes if you were sick, or encourage you to do your best.  We would motivate each other to sit in the front of the lecture hall and challenge each other not to get our phones out.  It’s just the little things that keep you moving.  Not only are they academic motivation, but motivation to be the best person that you can be. Looking up to older sisters has inspired me to push through my comfort zones and achieve my goals.

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Opportunities- Through Greek Life, I have had the opportunity to hold leadership positions in the house that have taught me about organization, communications, and leadership.  I had the opportunity to help organize a large philanthropic event that raised money for heart health as well as numerous smaller service activities such as volunteering at the Mini Relay for Life, the Food Pantry, Blood Drives, and Dream Factory.  Not only did I have opportunities to help the community, but they look great on a resume as well.

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Workout for Cadio Days

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Cardio: Run on the treadmill for 30 mins.  Start off running at a fast jog for five minutes.  After those five minutes start alternating every 3 minutes between fast incline walks and sprints.  If you are pushing yourself with this routine and going fast, you should get in about 2 and a half miles.

Legs and Glutes:

10 glute kickback raises on 3 angles: outside, straight back, and slightly inside

15 front lunges each leg holding a medicine ball (vary weight to increase or decrease intensity)

15 glute bridges: you can push yourself and do the bridges one legged to increase intensity

15 squats with medicine ball

15 plie squats with medicine ball

Abs:

20 reverse cruches

20 second plank sequence: push up plank feet together, push up plank feet apart, elbow plank, elbow plank bringing right leg in, elbow plank bringing left leg in, elbow plank brining right leg out, elbow plank bringing right leg out

10 side plank sweep throughs each side

1 min hollow hold

30 second hollow hold while rocking

30 lemon squeezers