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Spring Break for Grad Students!

Hey Everyone!!

Long time no chat!! I’ve clearly been having a lot of trouble posting recently, but here’s for another shot!!
I just got back from a fun trip to Punta Cana with 5 of my fellow nursey friends! I’ve gone on a tropical vacation with one of my best friends every “spring break” for the past 3 years, and most of the years we’ve been able to avoid the typical college spring break crowd (we went to Bahamas, then Jamaica). This year our luck ran out as this place was FULL of spring breakers, but it turned out to be a lot of fun!!
I thought I’d share some essential tips for surviving a spring break trip as a post grad!

1.     DON’T feel pressured into doing things you don’t want to just because the “spring break” crowd is doing it
Its true. You’re old now. Looking around sometimes I would think to myself “Gosh, I am almost 10 years older than some of these people”. Believe it or not, we’re not really built for that type of partying like that every day for a full week, so take it easy. Sure, I had a great time reliving my glory days during events the resort had like foam parties and hanging at the swim up bar, but when we decided to venture into the “discotech” one night, I realized that wiggling in a dirty, sweaty room with a bunch of 18 year olds was definitely not for me anymore (especially with a sunburn). Don’t feel like you’re missing out on something like that (but by all means try it), it’s all part of growing up.

2.     DO have fun with the spring breakers!
Undergrad spring breakers are lively crowd to say the least. We enjoyed having fun with them!! Their lively carefree attitude is infectious. We had fun building a whole persona of us being undergrads ourselves, deciding on a college, year and major that we were studying. Being in a place where you know no one, and will never see these people again, makes it fun to pretend to be someone

totally different!

3.     DON’T drink too much, and DO drink plenty of water!
Now, I am ALL for drinking and having a great time. But most post grad bodies aren’t as used to alcohol as our younger undergrad bodies were! It’s easy in the real world to manage your alcohol well and regulate your sloppiness, but when the drinks are free and strong, it’s a little bit harder. Making sure you drink plenty of water and spacing out your drinks will make the vaca a little better for everyone!

4.     DON’T forget to let go of your inhibitions and do things you wouldn’t normally do
These resorts are a place for you to let go and have fun, remember, you’ll never see these people again!! The entertainment staff at resorts are usually very fun and encouraging (here’s looking at you Peter from Jamaica). They have loads of fun games and activities planned for the day including Zumba, games, volleyball and water games like water aerobics and yoga. Step out of your comfort zone and do something you normally wouldn’t do!
5.     DO remember to take a minute to relax and appreciate where you are
Being postgrad, vacations and fun are few and far between. Being in grad school and working makes it hard to find a spare moment in the day to relax, let alone have a week full of fun and sun, so if you’re lucky enough to go on a tropical vacation, make sure you take a moment to sit back in the sun, drink in your hand, friends by your side and think “this is my vacation, enjoy it”. My dad taught me this trick a while ago that he does on vacation, to just relish even just a second of your trip and appreciate where you are, and what it took for you to get there!

I love travelling with my friends so let me know if you have any questions about all inclusive resorts etc., let me know!

Xoxo, Bethany

Gearing Up for the New Semester!

Hey Everyone!!

I hope everyone had a fun and relaxing holiday season, I know I did! But with the close of the anticipated holidays comes a daunting thought, the start of the next semester. However, the week or two before a semester starts are kind of my favorite. You have the anticipation of a new semester, and I am actually find it exciting making plans to make this my “best semester yet”. Granted, I know this feeling will only last until the middle of the first class, I enjoy these weeks nonetheless.
Next semester will be my last semester before I take my APRN boards (yikes!!!). I will be taking “care of populations at high risk” along with clinical rotations. I am more excited for this course than others (here’s looking at you, pediatrics), because I feel well-versed with this population of older individuals with chronic diseases (heyyyyy MICU nurse). It will be challenging, of course, but this semester is exciting because at the end of it I get to take the boards!

So here is a couple of my favorite tips on how to gear up for a new semester!

Plan, plan, plan!
I find the more pre-planning of my semester I do, the more apt I am to be able to fit in the fun things I want to do. For example, I know I want to head up to Boston at the end of February for my best friend’s birthday, so writing it down in my planner first will visually remind me that I need to make sure all my work is done for that week before then, leaving me time to relax while I am away.
I also dig through my syllabus extensively before the semester starts and make sure all important assignments, school events, and exams are easily visible on my monthly calendar so nothing sneaks up on me last minute.
I use a Lilly Pulitzer Agenda in medium. I like these planners because it gives me a clear monthly calendar, as well as weekly calendars to plan out my days more specifically.

Does a new semester even exist if you don’t buy new school supplies??? This is by far my favorite part of a new semester. Picking out a new binder and dividers for my classes, as well as sprucing up my office area with some new pieces always invigorates me and motivates me to get studying! I haven’t gone shopping yet, but I am definitely going to splurge on a new set of my favorite pens, the Paper-mate Inkjoy Gen 0.7 pens. They come in so many pretty colors, and write so smoothly, they make writing notes and papers (slightly) more enjoyable, and every bit counts!!

I like to make sure I am starting a new semester with a blank slate. Making sure my bedroom and office are organized and spruced up before a semester helps me enter the year with a calm attitude. Walking into a pretty area that I designed to study allows me to feel more relaxed and puts my mind in the right state to get down to business. Making sure everything I might need is at arms length and organized in my office is key. I also find it cathartic cleaning and organizing and throwing out things that I don’t need anymore.

Along the lines of cleaning, I enjoy going through old notes and papers while I am organizing my office before the start of each semester. Looking back at past classes and work that I’ve done reminds me of how far I have come since I have started the program. I am on year 3 of 4 and the time has really flown by. Sometimes, I feel like I am just squeaking by without actually learning anything, but when I take the time to look back at all the work I’ve done, it reminds the that slow and steady wins the race and before I know it I am going to be totally done!

So those are my favorite things to do while gearing up for a new semester, I hope you enjoyed it! I feel like this is also applicable for general new years organization! I think its important for us to take a moment every few months, reorganize, and restart. With everyone’s busy schedules, pressing the “restart” button every now and again couldn’t hurt, right?!

Xoxo, Bethany

It's the Holiday Season!

Hey Everyone!
Holiday season is in full swing and this is by far one of my favorite times of year! So full of tradition and excitement, this season brings with it the promise of love, family, and a fresh start and new year when all is said and done.
This year is definitely not disappointing.
Every year, the weekend before Christmas, my family goes to an old inn called the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, MA (this was our 30th year!!). This beautiful old building brings with it both nostalgia for my youthful Christmas seasons, as well as a peaceful tranquility I am able to appreciate more now that I am an adult. My days there consist of sitting by the fire in the lobby with a book and chatting with the family and friends who have also made this Inn a staple of their Christmas tradition.

I have gained an increasing affinity for red wine this trip, specifically Mark West Pinot Noir, as suggested to me by my cousin!

This year I also took a trip with one of my best friends to NYC for a night to really bring in Christmas week. We stayed at a beautiful hotel, Hotel Sofitel, courtesy of Expedia (we book our tropical vacations through Expedia so used our earned ‘points’ to get a free night at this gorgeous hotel!

We explored the city during the day at night hitting up tourist staples such as Bryant Park, Rockefeller Center, and Times Square.
We also went into the Flatiron district for drinks and dinner, hitting up Rolf’s (which has hands down the best holiday decorations ever, however had a line at 5pm and once you got in you are packed in the bar like sardines). We headed over to Eataly for dinner, but not before we took a quick power nap in the outdoor hammocks!!

The grand finale of our trip was the life taping of Good Morning America’s ugly Christmas sweater party! We woke up at 5:30 to get to check in at 6 (our hotel was 1 block away from the studio in Times Square). However things got hairy when my friend ran to Starbucks for much needed sustenance and we missed our check in and had to wait in standby (which after much lamenting, arguing and sadness, we were finally assigned seats in the seating room!!). It was so much fun to watch the behind the scenes of the show and I even got on camera!!

Hope everyone has an amazing Christmas, and here's to resolving to a more consistent blog schedule come 2017!

Xoxo, Bethany
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