Thursday, September 21, 2017

Applying to College: Staying Organized

When applying to college, the schools you apply to are looking for a lot of information that you can't turn in all at once. For example, they want application fees, they want official test scores from SAT or ACT, they want official transcripts from your high school AND from your college, they want essays, and they want letters of recommendation. Sometimes they even want things you wouldn't expect a school wanted. So, how to stay on top of it all?

An organization system is key in a time like this: it could be the reason for either getting accepted or rejected from the university you're striving to get into. They're not all going to baby you about what you have left to turn in. You're going to need to check yourself, periodically, in order to see what's yet to be received. Most schools have their own online application status site where you can see the documents received and the documents missing. They sometimes even tell you where you are at in the process: like whether or not you've been accepted or rejected. Sometimes the schools will gather some of your information for you. Other times, you're going to need to rely solely on yourself to take care of everything that needs to be taken care of.

What I've done is create a color-coded spreadsheet (through Microsoft Excel) that indicates everything I have to do. In the first column, I have the name of the university. Then, in the columns that follow, I have a yes or no under the following categories: 1) submitted; 2) fee received; 3) transcripts received; 4) test scores received; 5) recommendation; 6) status; 7) last check (date); 8) notes (where I write down any additional information I want to know about the school).

I also have a previous post that details the information I keep about each school including the acceptance rate, application fee, location, and other pertinent info). https://natternotes.blogspot.com/2017/09/colleges-im-applying-to.html

In each category, I've made sure to put a yes or a no about whether or not the schools have received the different things they're looking for. Then, the color-coding goes by the same system as stop lights. Green for yes, red for no, and orange/yellow for a maybe or not sure situation. This system has really helped me to keep track of ALL the information for each school, and it's really allowed me to stay on top of everything. Maybe it can help you too!

Colleges I'm Applying To!

I've become pretty obsessed over the years with getting into college. In fact, before I even entered high school, I was creating color-coded Excel Spreadsheets detailing some of my college selections. Of course, back then, I wasn't being entirely realistic. I mean, how realistic is it to apply to 56 colleges when you don't qualify for a financial waiver, or even want to really go to even half of those schools. Even then, I separated it by tuition cost, location, application fee, and many more categories.

Then, during about 10th and 11th grade, I broke it down. In fact, I broke it down a little too much, to a point where there were only about 3 schools I was certain about applying to. This was after I visited several schools - sometimes hating the campus, and sometimes falling in love with the campus.

Now that I'm in 12th grade, I've ended up scratching some schools off my list and putting some other ones back onto my list. I went from 3 schools back up to 15 and now I'm trying to narrow it down once again.

I've selected some colleges based on their acceptance rate, application fee, my likelihood to be accepted, and how to apply. Now, you might be wondering why "how to apply" has anything to do with applying to college. But, when you have a lot of colleges that you want to look into, it does. It's time-consuming to fill out countless applications, no matter how much you like to type. (I love to be on the computer doing stuff like this, but when you're imputing the same information over and over again into different applications, it gets a bit redundant).

Some colleges have decided to do away with their own separate applications. Instead, they've jumped on board with outside application websites like the Common App and the Coalition App. Both have their benefits and their drawbacks. But, I especially like when the colleges I've selected show up on these applications. In fact, I've decided not to apply to some colleges, just based on whether or not they are on the sites or not (even though that's probably an indication the school isn't a right fit for you - if you don't have an urging and utmost desire to apply).

I like the Coalition Application because it allows you to easily input your high school and college information. It is a modern and nice set-up that's easy to follow and it gives you flexibility when selecting schools (even though it doesn't seem to have nearly as many schools offered as the Common Application does). I like the Common Application because they have a greater selection of the schools I'm looking for and because I don't believe they charge a "processing fee." I've used both to apply to multiple schools at the same time. They used the information I put into my profile to help me apply, which is why I recommend using application sites.

Ultimately, here's what I have so far.

  • University of Miami
  • Auburn University
  • University of Michigan
  • University of California-Berkeley
  • Florida State University
  • University of South Florida 
  • University of North Florida
  • University of West Florida
  • University of Rochester
  • University of Florida
  • George Mason University
  • University of California-Los Angeles
  • University of Southern California
  • Stetson University
  • University of Dallas
  • Tulane University
  • Rollins College
Some of those schools I'm applying to because they're close to home/family or because my parents attended there. Other ones, I'm applying to because they offered me scholarship opportunities. Other ones, I'm applying to because they offered me a free application. Then, some other ones, I'm applying to just to see whether or not I'd actually get in.

It's expensive to pay application fee after application fee. It's also expensive to send transcripts, especially dual enrollment/college transcripts. In addition, it also costs a pretty penny to send your SAT scores, which is not exactly too thrilling. In fact, it costs me $12 per school that I want to send SAT scores to. If I want to apply to 10 schools, that's $120. Every school I'm applying to wants your scores directly from the testing agency, so there's no way for me to chop that amount down. Plus, I've never seen an application fee less than $30, unless you get a waiver, or unless the school offers a free application, which some do, but definitely not many of the schools I'm looking to get into. Some of the bigger name schools and usually private schools charge anywhere from $50 to $90, which adds up! Not to mention, those schools may be more challenging to get into. 


Hence, if you're trying to get into college, I highly suggest looking at the big picture. It's one thing to apply, but it's another to take into consideration all of the elements that go into applying like application fee, the price to send transcripts, the price to send test scores, etc. Plus, what are your chances of getting in, and would you be able to afford attendance?

Might I add, the earlier you apply, the more exciting it can be! For example, I checked online to see what I had left to submit for one of the schools on my list up above. It came as a huge surprise to me that I had already been accepted to the university. I was elated! I had no idea that they had already received all my information, let alone accepted me 5 days prior to my checking. The earlier you get accepted, the more potential you feel like you have and the more things you start considering in life. Plus, I haven't even finished applying to some of the colleges I've gotten into, and seeing this acceptance letter so early made me question if I wanted to apply to any additional ones after all. I guess that's another thing to add to my chart (when are applications due and when are decisions made)?

I've been waiting my whole life to attend college, and I'm sure many other people out there feel the same way. Just take action before you even have the opportunity to feel the slightest regret.

Friday, June 23, 2017

New Blog: Review Yoh

Hello!

I have decided to launch a new blog entitled "Review Yoh."

Review Yoh is a blog that I have created to share my experiences with traveling. I enjoy traveling, trying new things, and going on new adventures. With this blog, I hope to share with you the ups and downs of the places I visit by providing you with an in-depth review of them.

The link for this new blog is: www.reviewyoh.blogspot.com! Check it out!



I'll be providing pictures and extensive commentary that may be able to help you decide the places you want to visit when you're in a new city or just looking for a place to go.

Please feel free to comment below to give me your feedback or email me at oliviaeyoh@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

Enjoy!

And thank you in advance for reading.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

San Francisco, California!

Until this week, I had never been to the state of California. I've been beginning my parents for as long as I can remember to take me to California. Movies and television shows have instilled in my mind how glamorous California seems to be. I've just wanted to experience it for myself and see if it's all it's cracked up to be.

It is.

My mom was given the opportunity to go to San Francisco for work. Being the king mother that she is, she gave me the chance to come with her. Of course, I took her up on that offer!

San Francisco may not have been my first choice of places that I would want to visit in California, but it's definitely a place I've always wanted to go to. People flock from all over the world to come see the Golden Gate Bridge and participate in other exciting activities.

It's Tuesday right now. We arrived here on Sunday and we will be staying here until Friday. It's definitely been action packed every since we arrived. We left home at 3:30 AM eastern time to board our flight which left right on time. ... at 6:15 AM. Let's just say I was tired. It was very difficult to fall asleep on the 6-hour direct flight there.

The weather is a lot like Florida... but colder at night and when you're close to the ocean. I've heard that the closer you get to the Pacific Ocean, the colder you get. It's nothing like that in Florida, and I live right by the beach. The hills/mountains are unlike anything I've ever seen before. In Florida, everything is flat. You don't encounter hills/mountains very often... in fact, the largest incline you'll go up is probably a bridge! (At least where I'm from).

Ever since we've been here, we've been sight-seeing, exploring new territory, shopping, and eating A LOT. There are so many choices of restaurants! In fact, our tour guide told us that you could eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at a different place every day for three years and still only eat at each restaurant once. He said that because of the high selection of restaurants, most restaurants in the area only last about 6 months! That's insane. I do have to give San Francisco credit though - there's a lot of choices. In Brevard County, there are not many local restaurants: you just have the usual that you'll find just about everywhere in the United States. Not too special if you ask me.

Anywho, the shopping here is insane. When you walk down the street, all you see is the extremely expensive stores - the stores where I probably couldn't even afford to buy one item without going broke. I don't know how they stay in business. I guess all they need to do is sell a thing or two and they're good to go.

So far, we've been to Fisherman's Warf, the Cheesecake Factory (which I've been too before but you can't go wrong with cheesecake), some chocolate stores, Dreyer's Ice Cream, local stores, Macy's, Designer Shoe Warehouse, and a couple others.

We did a bus tour around the city but were not able to make it to Sausalito. When we come back, that's definitely the place I would want to explore next. Next on the agenda is eating at "The Stinky Rose," and probably do some more shopping. Then, tomorrow, we're taking public transportation to Berkeley, California so that I can visit University of California, Berkeley and see if it's something I would be interested in. I've always dreamed of going to school in California, but until this week, I'd never actually been here to experience it for myself. I can't just go to a college that I've never visited before - that doesn't seem like a very wise idea... what if I hate it?! At least by visiting one of the UC campus's, I can possibly get an idea of what it might be like to attend college here.

Then, we're probably going to visit Alcatraz Island, the former federal prison, and see what that's like. I'm quite excited for that, surprisingly!

I've been having an absolute blast - just like I expected I would. I was a little bit nervous because I was afraid I was getting my hopes up for no reason. As it turns out - I'm having an extraordinary time. I have to come back. Except, if I ever come back to California (when I come back...) I would want to visit Los Angeles or San Diego first. I want to explore all of California - this is just a portion.

I think I've yet to accept that I've actually been here. I've been waiting my whole life to come here... and now that I'm actually here... it doesn't even seem real. I have to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming.

Then again, I don't think it's just California that has me so excited. I think it's the city lifestyle. I don't live in the city so when I get to go to one, it's breathtaking. There's so much more to do here! Of course, if I liked Miami and New York City, how could I not like San Francisco.

I can't wait to discover even more!

Here are just a few of the pictures I've captured while I've been here. There will probably be more to come later! Thanks!

The sign we were greeted with at the airport.

The incredible Golden Gate Bridge!!! Enough said.

 The incredible 7 story Macy's. Unlike anything I've ever seen before.

The hotel we're staying at.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Upcoming Summer

It has been quite some time since I've posted something on here.

What can I say? Life has been pretty hectic lately, to say the very least. I've been busy finishing up classes and getting ready to start new classes directly after. Fortunately, however, I did manage to knock my course load down from 7 to 5. However, by the end of the week, there shall be only 2 or 3 left. I guess I've never been one to study lightly. I like to keep busy and school is the best way I can figure to do so.

This summer I am taking two classes at the local college and an additional class online. I'm taking a math class, World Religions, and Criminal Justice Operations. If I finish that up, my next class will be Law Studies then Leadership Skills then Critical Thinking. I always have a plan for what to do next. Once I complete one thing, I have to move right on to the next thing.

My last day actually going to school is tomorrow, actually: May 22, 2017. I have my final exam tomorrow afternoon and once that's completed, that's one less class to worry about. But, I know that's not the end of it. I still have the other classes to keep in mind and a part time job that I need to stay on top of. I've had this job since about September 2016 and it's pretty good - it gives me something important and beneficial to do with my time.

With that being said, it means that summer is right around the corner. In fact, it's less than 24 hours away for me (even though there won't be much change... I'll still be going to work and doing schoolwork online). However, despite all that, I still have some little vacations planned for the summer. This upcoming Friday my family is going on a cruise and we're bringing my best friend along. It'll be my mom, dad, me, and Ash. I'm extremely excited. This will be the first time I've ever brought a friend on a cruise with me, let alone a vacation of this magnitude. (Even though we're definitely planning to travel the world together in the future). I usually just make friends when I'm on cruises, but this trip is going to be a whole new ball game.

After I get back from the cruise, the following week I am taking a mini vacation with my cousin to Miami! I absolutely love Miami! It's one of my favorite places to go, despite the fact that I've only been there a few times... probably three maximum (driving through doesn't count). This time is going to be a little different though since I'm going with my cousin who is approximately 21 years of age. I typically go with my mom and dad and have hard core supervision (or I just go for educational purposes like visiting University of Miami). I'm not quite sure what we plan to do there for three days besides eating, shopping, and going to the beach... but I'm sure we'll figure it out! It should be an experience that we'll never forget... I'm just wondering what the hotel situation is going to be like.

Then, towards the end of June, I'm going one place I've wanted to go my entire life. I've been beginning my parents since as long as I can remember to go to the state of California. I've probably been asking to go there ever since I realized what California is. I feel like there is so much to do there - lots of opportunities, lots of places to explore, lots of things to see, etc. Of course, I want to go to the more popular cities like Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, etc. Well, my mom was recently presented with the opportunity to go on a business trip to San Francisco, California. She even offered to bring me along. Of course, I took her up on it! We're leaving for California at the end of June and we will be there for a week. It should be some good quality time with my mom. My mom will be working most of the time but we tacked on a couple of additional days to the trip so that we could have a few good days together. While we're there we will probably do a wide variety of things including:

  1. Visit Alcatraz Island (my mom has been there but I have not. It seems like quite an interesting place to explore and I've heard great things about it. It seems like that is one of the most popular attractions for people when they are visiting close by).
  2. Of course, I want to see the Golden Gate Bridge... despite my moderate fear of bridges.
  3. Hike up the Twin Peaks. (It's come to my attention that they rise 922 feet from the ground and they give you an incredible view of San Francisco... I need to take some extraordinary pictures while I'm there and this may be the perfect place).
  4. Food. Of course, I need some authentic, delicious food... that's not available in Brevard County, Florida. Something new. Something different. Something delicious, above all.
  5. Shopping. (When I look at the map it appears as though my hotel is located right next to a major shopping center. How exciting! I know how I'll be keeping myself occupied while my mom is working!)
  6. Cable Cars! (Enough said).
  7. It can't hurt to visit Union Square. After all, it is close to the hotel I will be staying at.
  8. Visit University of California, Berkeley Campus. (I've always considered going to a University in California so hopefully this college visit will give me a good idea of what it's like across the country. Who knows, maybe after this trip, I'll have a lot to consider regarding my higher education... but I don't know how excited my parents will be about that).
At this point, I'm thinking that the San Francisco trip may be one of the most exciting adventures I take this summer. It sounds like there is a ton to do in San Francisco. I'm really looking forward to getting out of my comfort zone, seeing a new place, exploring new territory, and more. This is an opportunity that I haven't had up until this point and I greatly look forward to taking it up for all it is worth.

Anyways, despite these exciting adventures, I know I need to stay focused on my school and my work. I need to hit the books often and keep attending work in order to stay on top of my A game... after all, it will pay off in the future. However, with all that, I will be taking some education trips as well. Me and my cousin plan to visit a ton of universities and hopefully make some decisions about where we want to attend school in a year or two. We're planning to travel around Florida to places like Tallahassee (Florida State University), Tampa (University of South Florida), Miami (University of Miami), Orlando (University of Central Florida), Jacksonville (University of North Florida), and a couple others... I am biased towards a couple of those schools. My education is something that actually really excites me so I'm looking forward to these college trips!

Therefore, this summer is going to be filled with trips from the Bahamas to San Francisco California. I'll also be "marking my territory" throughout the state of Florida from hitting the West Coast to the East Coast and traveling South as well as North. I'll be all over the peninsula! 

Thank you for reading! I plan to be writing a lot more posts this summer now that my workload has shifted to a more soothing level lately. Feel free to comment below if you have any feedback or would like me to write about something imparticular in the future. You can also email me at oliviaeyoh@gmail.com! Thanks!

If you have any suggestions about what the best things to do in San Francisco are, please comment below! I would love to get some ideas about what I can do to keep myself occupied while I'm there. Thanks!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Stress, stress, stress

I think that the word "stress" might be the only word that can describe my life right now.

It seems like I never get a break anymore. There is constantly something that needs to be done, an event that's coming up, an inconvenience that pops up, and so much work, work, work. I knew what I was getting myself into when I decided to take on 7 classes... 3 at the college level, 3 at the honors level, and 1 class that I have no interest in taking at all. However, I did not realize that I'd be stressed to the point of insanity.

They say that you can handle anything life throws your way... but is that truly true?

We all work very hard... and for many different reasons. Some work hard to make money. Some work hard to be successful. Some work hard to make friends. We all work hard at different things and in different ways. What are you working towards?

Today I made a list of all my responsibilities to show somebody close to me...

  1. Government Class (my favorite, so I'm not too concerned).
  2. Philosophy Class (another favorite... not too concerned about that one yet, either).
  3. Composition Class (not my favorite... but I'm trying to make it through in one piece).
  4. Algebra.... (no comment)
  5. Physics .... (constantly being thrown curveballs here...)
  6. Business Class (the teacher gives a lot of work, but I expect it to benefit me later in life).
  7. Care & Prevention of Sports Injuries (the class is interesting, but I have to study hard... which I should be doing right now, actually).
  8. Extra Curricular Activities... (Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society, National Honors Society, WJMC Youth Advisory Board.... the list continues).
  9. Working 20 hours a week.
  10. Trying to maintain a social life.
  11. Need I continue?

The next thing they said was... what are you going to get rid of?

Do I really want to get rid of any of it? NO. Because that's not my personality. I don't wanna give up! I wanna keep on pushing through every day, no matter how difficult it may be.

Sometimes it seems like curve balls are always being thrown at you - and sometimes it seems like there's no way out.

Someone I love today told me quote, "I know you'll be able to do this. She gave you a minor setback to a major comeback. This is when you show her you're one of the smartest people in this country." Now I've gotten advice before... from all sorts of people... but for some reason, this advice resonated more than it has with others... perhaps because I heard it from someone I never expected to hear it from. It's funny how that happens.

Now, that's enough about me. I'm sure there are tons of people out there struggling with stress... lots of stress. In fact, I know there about people out there far more stressed than I may ever be. For example... presidents. I don't think it's a coincidence that they come out of the office looking far older than they did going into office...

Thanks for reading! If you would like to contact me, please feel free to email me at oliviaeyoh@gmail.com! I look forward to speaking with you. Thanks.

Friday, February 24, 2017

My Best Friend's Birthday: 17 Hours

Hello, everyone! This blog post is going to be about what I will be doing for my best friends birthday! Of course, I will only publish this on/after my best friends birthday so that she doesn't get sneaky and read it ahead of time. This post will be me explaining what I've done to celebrate my best friend on her birthday after three years of friendship.

This is here to give other people potential ideas but it is also here for me to remember what it is that I want to do... I'm overflowing with ideas. I fear that if I do not write them down, I will forget!!! Okay, here it goes:

I've decided to do the theme where my friend opens a gift every hour. However, I don't expect her to literally open a gift every single hour... the girl needs time to sleep! So, since she's turning 17, I will have her open a gift every hour.... for 17 hours! Simple enough.

I kind of want her gifts to go back and forth. Some of them will be simple while other gifts are more thoughtful and tailor more to her tastes. So, she'll open a few big ones here and there and a few smaller ones here and there. She can open them right on the dot. It'll start at 7:59 a.m. sharp! (You may ask... why at the "59" mark? This is because I want her to open a gift right before her birthday is over... if she opened a gift at 12:00 it would be midnight... the start of a new day... therefore, her birthday would be over).

My best friend did so much for me on my birthday... so much that I started crying tears of joy. It's only fair that I do the same for her. (I have to say, it was a little challenging trying to come up with ideas when on a budget).
  1. 7:59 A.M. - A balloon! (Who doesn't want to walk around school with a fancy little balloon on their birthday!?)
  2. 8:59 A.M. - CANDY (Some of her favorite candies to kick off the day and give her extra energy... not that she'll need it).
  3. 9:59 A.M. - A cute, framed photo of the two of us (to cherish one of the many memories our friendship has entailed... sometimes even endured).
  4. 10:59 A.M. - Popcorn... (because popcorn is a must when you're watching movies on your birthday or around the time of your birthday).
  5. 11:59 A.M. - A gift card to Charlotte Russe! (Where we always go shopping).
  6. 12:59 P.M.- A box of chocolates... (After all, it was just Valentine's Day).
  7. 1:59 P.M. - a packet of information reminding her of the amazing cruise we'll be going on (just a few months after her birthday... already booked).
  8. 2:59 P.M. - a pack of gum.
  9. 3:59 P.M. - a heart-shaped candle (don't ask... I don't have an explanation).
  10. 4:59 P.M. - A delicious chocolate chip cookie from her own workplace (Panera Bread).
  11. 5:59 P.M. - THE COUPONS. (These are personalized "coupons" made for my friend. Some of them say "A free hug." Some of them say "A free meal at Jason's Deli (on Olivia)." They're cute little things that my friend can use whenever she wants).
  12. 6:59 P.M. - a picture was drawn by myself in order to represent out friendship.
  13. 7:59 P.M. - Candy once again... (she's gonna need something to eat when she opens the next gift).
  14. 8:59 P.M. - The love letter ... (A letter explaining how much she means to me and how important our friendship is to me).
  15. 9:59 P.M. - A compilation of pictures sent to her (on her devices). (Will be sent right on the dot).
  16. 10:59 P.M. - MORE CANDY (You can never have enough candy... right?)
  17. 11:59 P.M. - Best friend song (created by myself). At 11:59, the song will be sent to her devices and she can listen to "The Best Friend Song" (my own version, of course).
And finally, HAPPY BIRTHDAY BESTIE <3
I hope February 24, 2017, is/has been an incredible day for you <3

Thank you for reading, everyone! I hope everyone liked what I put together. Let me know what you think. Come back and visit again soon! Please feel free to e-mail me in regards to anything at oliviaeyoh@gmail.com! Thanks! See you in March!