First Month in Florence

Hi everybody! I touched down in Florence January 8th, and have been loving it ever since I got here! I am taking very interesting classes and have also met a ton of really cool U of M students, who I didn’t know until this trip. It took me a little while to get used to some of the cultural differences, but now I feel much more assimilated and I hardly notice some of them. One of the biggest ones I noticed right of the bat was the driving. HOLY COW the people here drive like maniacs. The streets are extremely narrow and curvaceous, yet the drivers still fly around, blowing through stop signs, and somehow managing to miss all the mopeds zig zagging through traffic. I quickly learned that pedestrians do not have the right of way, and to always keep your head on a swivel.

On a more academic level, I am loving my classes. My favorite is the History of Art in the Mediterranean. In that class we learn about why different styles of art are prevalent in certain areas of Southern Europe, and we learn about how different religions and civilizations all played important roles in shaping the culture of the region. Last week in that class we were able to tour a baptistery that is over one thousand years old, and next week we will be touring a museum that contains many ancient statues.

So far this semester has been going great, and I can’t wait to see what February brings. Hopefully my Italian will improve a little bit, and I am excited to continue to experience European culture. Thank you for everything and I will keep you updated next month!

Kicking Off The New Year

Hi everyone! I am sorry for being a few days late on my blog post. My December was great though! I finished on a fairly strong note, and did well on all of my final exams and presentations. I was a little worried about my Econ class because the bulk of our grade is based on one midterm and one final, but I studied hard and ended up getting a B in the class. After my finals wrapped up, I spent the rest of my December hanging out with my family, working, and preparing for Italy!

It’s crazy to think it’s already here, but I leave to study abroad in Italy in six days! I have never been outside of the country before, so I am very excited but also a little nervous because I have no idea what to expect. I have been practicing basic Italian and German phrases too, so hopefully they will come in handy. We just found out our rooming situation and class schedules, and I will be living with two of my good friends, and I will be taking classes that should amerce me into Italian culture. I’ll keep this blog short because I don’t know much else about what is to come this month, but I can’t wait to update you all in a few weeks and tell you about my first month abroad!

I hope you all had a happy holidays, and once again thank you for reducing the burden of paying for college by myself. It has made my college experience much less stressful!

Wrapping Up The Semester

Hi everyone, I hope you all had great Thanksgivings! This seems to happen every other post, but once again I’m sorry for posting this blog a few days late. I’m the worst when it comes to remembering dates. Maybe it’s just that school makes the days fly by, but every month when it seems like it should be the 20th or so, I look at a calendar and it really ends up being the first of the following month.

November was a good month for me. Nothing too exciting happened academically, but now that it’s over I am on the verge of finals. I have two presentations this week, then three exams next week, and after that I will be off for Winter Break! I’m very excited to be off for break, but I’m a little nervous for finals. I have plenty of time to study and prepare this week, but the material this year is much more challenging than in years past. I know everything will turn out fine though! I kind of enjoy the mild stress that comes with finals. I have ADHD so sometimes the extra pressure helps motivate me to stay focused. I’m not a huge fan of the stress that can come along with presentations though.

It’s weird because I am an extrovert who loves talking to new people, but for whatever reason I don’t like public speaking. I had a management presentation a few weeks ago, and I was a little nervous because my class is around 100 students and they’re job was to treat my presentation as a pitch to investors, so I knew they were all very engaged. I went up to present and I started off fine, but about one minute in, I stumbled over a few words and absolutely panicked. I kept presenting and apparently the outside of my body was able to remain calm and collected, but inside my brain was yelling “You gotta get out of here. There’s the door. Run!”. Luckily though I was able to acknowledge the humor and absurdity of what would happen if I actually ran out in the middle of a presentation, which calmed me down and helped me deliver a more relaxed presentation. My presentation this Friday is basically a rerun of the one I did a few weeks ago, but with changes made based on feedback from my peers. Even though I don’t like public speaking, I know that if I practice it this week everything will go fine.

Thanks for spending the time to read this. I wish I had more to talk about, but my November was pretty uneventful. I can’t wait to update you all on how my finals go, and I hope you all have an awesome Winter Break and a Happy Holidays!

Two Months ‘Till Florence

October has flown by! This is mostly due to my heavy workload which keeps me busy, but also because I am counting down the days until I am able to study abroad. I have never been outside of the country before, and I have always wanted to study abroad, so when the opportunity to study in Florence, Italy presented itself, I immediately applied. After finding out I had been accepted, I had some catching up to do, and I spent my October getting on track to travel abroad.

Since I’ve never traveled outside of the US, I needed to apply for an expedited passport so I would receive it in time to obtain an Italian Visa. While I waited for my passport to come in the mail, I worked on other steps that needed to be completed in order to be fully enrolled. One of the more exciting tasks was signing up for the classes I plan on taking. Although the options were fairly limited, I created a schedule that I believe has a balance of classes that benefit my major, as well as classes that sounded interesting that aren’t available in the US. I won’t know my exact schedule until closer to the start of the next semester, but some of the classes I signed up for were Entrepreneurship: Small Businesses in Florence, Sociology: The Mafia and the Media in Italy, an Italian language course, and a course on economic trends in Italy, just to name a few. I am excited to see which classes I get into, and I am confident that my schedule will be very interesting.

Once my passport arrived, I was able to apply for an Italian Visa. This part of the process was a little less exciting than choosing my classes, since it mostly consisted of paperwork and meetings, but it was still exciting in the sense that this whole process is foreign to me. After completing my final Visa meeting this morning, the idea of studying abroad in Europe seems less like a fantasy and more like a reality. There is still quite a bit that needs to be done throughout the remainder of the semester, but I am happy to say that I am currently on track to travel this spring.  I can’t wait to write blog posts in a foreign country, about my experiences at a foreign school, and I am incredibly excited to gain an international perspective of culture that is so important to have in this day and age.

First Month Into The Semester

Hi Guys,

It’s crazy to think I am already halfway to graduation! Classes are becoming more challenging, but since they all have to do with my major (besides the last science credit I needed to get out of the way), they have been much more interesting. My favorite class is Entrepreneurial Management, because although I am interested in my major, which is Econ, ideally I hope to start and run my own company one day. About a week ago, we had to come up with ideas for a company and pitch them to the class. There are about 70 students in the class, and after everyone presented, we voted on which ideas we thought were the best. Out of the 70 ideas, ten ideas were chosen, and from there we broke off into teams to work on our semester project which is planning and creating our businesses. I’m proud to say that my idea was one of the ones chosen, so on Monday I spent the class interviewing students who were interested in being in my group. Today I finalized my team, and I am excited to begin working and creating a solidified business plan!

I enjoy my other classes as well. My accounting class is very interesting, but it can stink sometimes because it’s at 8 in the morning. I enjoy waking up early, but my brain isn’t ready to think about assets and liabilities before 10 am. My Econ class is also very interesting, but for some reason the professor’s voice makes me want to fall asleep. Luckily there are no in class activities or an attendance policy for lectures, so some days I instead spend the hour and a half at the library taking notes on the chapter we’d go over in class and watching Khan Academy videos on the material. So far it has seemed to be more beneficial than his lectures, and I have scored well on all the homework. The only class I don’t enjoy is my Biology class. I find what we learn interesting, but I’ve never been a huge science guy… It’s too theoretical for me. I enjoy math and econ because I can see the problem that needs to be fixed, and once I complete it I’m able to see what I did step-by-step. Science, on the other hand, has always seemed imaginary and pointless since I’m unable to see an atom or chromosome outside of a diagram. I’m not saying science is fake, It’s undoubtedly real, I just prefer solving problems that I can see through logical thinking.

So far this semester has been going great! Next Monday I have my first two midterms, and hopefully if I work hard enough this week, I’ll do great on them. Thank you to all the people at Concord who support me and allow me to get a degree without going into insane amounts of debt. You guys are the best! Have a great start to your fall, and I will update you all next month and let you know how October goes!


Wrapping Up The Year

It’s crazy to think that I only have a week and a half left in the school year. My first year at the U was unreal, and even though it was quite a hectic journey to get to where I am now, I am happy that I transferred twice and ended up at the University of Minnesota. I have two finals left until I’m officially a Junior, and although both classes are very difficult, if I keep my nose to the grindstone every day for the next week I am confident that I will finish strong! With that being said, I need to keep this blog post brief because I am currently studying for my Business Statistics final, and as much as I’ve tried to find free time, these past few days have basically consisted of studying and sleeping.

Thank you for reading my posts each month. It helps me stay on track school wise, and motivates me to make each month as successful as it can be. Good luck to all the other students who are wrapping up their semesters, and I hope you all finish strong. If I’m not mistaken, the last blog post of the school year is in May, so I will check back in with you all in one month and I’ll let you know how my finals ended up! Have a great spring and I’ll check back in soon!

A Solid Month of March

Hello everyone, I hope you’re all enjoying this beautiful Minnesota “spring” weather. I apologize for the being a couple days late on the blog post, I’ve been so busy this past month that I din’t even realize we had entered into April until it was too late. With that being said, let me give you the run down on what’s been keeping me so occupied.

For starters, school has been going good this semester! All my classes have been pretty demanding since I am taking fairly advanced courses, but I enjoy what I am learning and I think I am ready to officially declare my major which will be Applied Economics. I was considering switching majors and majoring in Ag Food Business because I felt as though I couldn’t keep up in my Econ class, but after getting our first exam back I realized that I did better than most of the class. As long as I stay focused and work hard, I should do fine. I don’t want to become an economist after college, but no matter what field of business I end up in, an Applied Econ degree should come in handy. This is especially true if I end up with a career in commercial real estate, which is what I am currently hoping to pursue.

The other thing that has been keeping me busy was a summer job hunt. I have spent the past two summers landscaping and have really enjoyed it because it allows me to work full time and make a solid amount of money to help with school. This year however, the company I worked for decided they were not going to hire college workers who can only work during the summer, because it was too much of a burden to hire and train in new employees midway through the season. Although this really turned up the pressure to find a new summer job, it was honestly a blessing in disguise because I ended up applying for, and getting hired, as a sales intern at State Farm. Although I loved the employees I worked with while landscaping, this job will give me a first step into the professional world, and will be a great intro to sales and cold-calling which could come in handy in future careers.

One last thing I want to include that was neither time consuming nor school related, and shouldn’t technically be included in this blog, was that in March of 2018 I went on a plane for the first time of my life! Really random, but I wanted include it because for my entire life I’ve been fascinated by flying, but never had the opportunity as a child. This spring though, the opportunity presented itself, and after saving up a couple paychecks from weekend side jobs, and searching for cheap tickets, I was able to finally get off the ground and into the skies!

Overall, this past month has been great! I am excited to keep on working hard so I can finish this semester strong. I hope you all have a fantastic Spring, and I’ll check back in at the end of April!