Alyssa J Freitas

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

What I Watch On YouTube

My brother is obsessed with YouTube. He is constantly watching videos of other people playing video games (yeah...I don't get that either) and an assortment of YouTubers who are known for their humor. Since giving up television, I have found myself craving short videos so I can take a quick break, get a laugh, or find entertainment for just the right amount of time.
What I Watch On YouTube | alyssajfreitas.blogspot.com

Here is what I've been watching on YouTube recently:



My roommate from last year (and forever in my heart), Kajal, sent me this video and I am completely in love. It was shot in Utah and is absolutely breathtaking!



Jimmy Kimmel always has great material, and I love when there are kids involved!



I am a big fan of parodies and these sisters sure know how to put on a great show.


Last but not least, I am forever watching Bollywood videos!

What do you like to watch on YouTube?


-AJF

Monday, March 30, 2015

5 Things I've Learned Since Turning 20

Ok, so my birthday is at the end of January which means I haven't been 20 for too long, but boy have I already learned a lot! I still can't get over the fact that I'm no longer a teenager. When I went for an eye appointment today and the doctor asked how old I was, I hesitated for a good 15+ seconds. Does anyone else feel this way about the whole "adult thing" going on?

5 Things I've Learned Since Turning 20 | alyssajfreitas.blogspot.com

Anyway... despite it only being a few months, so much has happened and I've learned quite a bit. Now read on to experience my newfound wisdom!
  1. It's all about connections. I am sure you have heard this before and are probably sick of it, but it's true! As amazingly talented as you are, if you don't network and build professional relationships you won't get anywhere. It is essential to speak with as many people as possible about your goals and learn what they are trying to accomplish. Understanding how you can form partnerships with others so you can both benefit will serve you well.
  2. You are only in control of you. As a planner and manager of everything in my life, this is a difficult concept to come to terms with. I often find myself happy with what I am in control of but dissatisfied when others don't meet my expectations or don't behave how I would have. But here's the truth (which my mother tells me constantly): Not everyone operates the way you do. Since turning 20 and being faced with situations that are completely out of my control, I have learned to be more accepting and forgiving with myself and others. I suppose this is something I will always be working on, but in only a few months I have gotten better!
  3. Your mind set is everything. Positivity and perspective can have a profound affect on your happiness. No matter what is going on in your life, you can make it better or worse by controlling you thoughts. This is of course a terribly difficult task, but using your nervous or worried energy to do something productive or choosing to be happy can make or break you. Don't let yourself get broken.
  4. Friends are life. Yes your family is important, and sure relationships are great too, but in your twenties the majority of your time is spent with your friends. Make sure you are friends with people you really love and who love you, and don't waste your time on anyone who doesn't fit the bill. Having gone through some tough times lately, I got to see how amazing and supportive my friends are. While I certainly wish what happened didn't, I got the indescribable gift of realizing how completely lucky I am in my friendships. Work hard to have good friends and be a good friend, and you will be rewarded. 
  5. The only relationship you'll be in forever is with yourself. This is an idea I've spent a fair amount of time contemplating recently. Now I know I just described how important friendships are, but at the end of the day the person you are always with and who can never leave is yourself. Since that is the case it is essential to be happy with who you are and able to enjoy your own company

Since this is what I've learned in only a couple of months, imagine what I'll learn in the course of a year!

What have you learned since your last birthday?


-AJF


Friday, March 27, 2015

Must Hear: Andrew Belle

Inadvertently, I have my professor to thank for discovering Andrew Belle. When I walked into my professor's office to practice for my upcoming sales competition, I enjoyed the classical music he was listening to. He told me that he absolutely loves using Amazon Music as part of his Prime subscription because there is tons of music to take advantage of. My family has Prime but I never really investigated what you can get out of it, besides two day shipping (which is wicked awesome! Just wait until we have drones flying along and its mere hours shipping...).

Must Hear: Andrew Belle | alyssajfreitas.blogspot.com
I wasn't really sure where to start so I just chose a random playlist. A song by Andrew Belle came on and I was completely captivated. I proceeded to listen to all of his music from his album The Ladder and his EP All Those Pretty Lights. There's also The Ladder Remixed and In My Veins. Andrew's newest album, Black Bear, isn't available free to Prime members but you can sample some of the songs through Amazon Music. His work is simultaneously upbeat and soothing, with great instrumentals and a to die for voice. I could go on and on about what a great artist he is, but why don't you just check it out for yourself!


If you like what you hear, check out Andrew's YouTube channel here!

Who's your favorite recently discovered artist?


-AJF

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Why I Gave Up Television...Except For Downton Abbey

If there's one thing in my life that I've given too much time to without reward, it is television. Sure, there's entertainment value and it's a good way to relax during downtime, but in the long run it is not providing substantial benefits. When I got back to my dorm room after a long day I used to grab a bag of Tostitos and some chocolate and turn on Netflix. As good as it was to zone out, I realized that there is far too much to learn and experience to waste time not using my brain.

Must Hear: Andrew Belle | alyssajfreitas.blogspot.com
Now, I'm not saying that I've stopped relaxing or allowing my mind to take a break; rather, I've found a better way of doing it. When I want to enjoy my downtime I still get out my Tostitos and chocolate (if you've never done this you need to try! I eat a few chips then take a bite of chocolate. Sweet and salty is the best) but instead of turning to Netflix I pull out a book. I've always been, and always will be, an avid reader so making more time in the day for that pursuit is a joy!

But what about when I don't really want to use my brain? Well, that's where dancing comes in! I turn on Bollywood music and jump around the room just having a grand old time with me, myself, and I. It is so important to be your own best friend at times, and for me there's nothing like dancing in front of the mirror and laughing at my attempts to be a Bollywood star. Plus, I'm exercising right? Right. There's no doubt that moving about lightens my mood.

In the title of this post however, I do concede that there is one television show I will continue to watch and that is Downton Abbey. For those of you who don't know (and if you fall into that category: where have you been?!?!) Downton Abbey is a British drama centering on the Earl of Grantham and his family, as well as the servants of the Downton household. It comes on PBS and the  fifth series (what seasons are called in British television) just finished. I love the costumes, drama, and accents so much! And there are many historical events and references so I still sort of feel like I'm learning. If you don't already watch I recommend you start! It is going to be hard to wait nearly a year for it to come back (which means a year without any television for me!) but it will be worth it.

Would you ever give up television? If you could watch only one show what would it be?

-AJF     

Monday, March 23, 2015

How To Choose A College

Decision making is a funny thing. Most of the time when you make a decision it is not long lasting or life altering. Although it may seem like it at the moment, choosing where you go to college does not dictate your future! If things aren't working out you can always transfer or change direction. Now that I have hopefully put you a little bit more at ease (I know this is a stressful time...), you should think very seriously about where you decide to go to school.

Everyone has different criteria and places more importance on certain aspects of schooling. I'm going to share with you what went in to my decision process, what I wish I had done differently, and give you suggestions for making the process as easy as possible!

How To Choose A College | alyssajfreitas.blogspot.com
I can distinctly remember using the College Board website to obsessively save colleges, make side by side comparisons, and read student feedback. I felt empowered because although my parents had their criteria, this was the first major choice I was making in my life without being told exactly what to do. The first step I took when facing this decision was to create a list of criteria. When doing this you should keep in mind:
  • Your friends should not be a major influence on you. My best friend and I share everything and are always asking for each other's opinions. When it comes to choosing a school it is extremely important to make the choice that is right for you. You are looking for a place that will further your professional and intellectual ambition, so use your preferences to guide you.
  • Don't be married to rankings. It is so so so easy to get caught up in rankings and wanting to go to a school because of the perceived prestige. Yes it is true that these rankings have value, but ultimately when you get into the workforce you will be evaluated on the skills you have developed and the evidence you can present that you are a good candidate rather than the ranking of your school. If you are going to look at rankings, one I recommend is the SMI (check out my post about this method of ranking here).
  • Take everything you hear with a grain of salt. When all you and your friends, and your family, and your teachers, and your mailman are talking about is college it can be easy to be swayed all different ways as you hear a variety of advice. Much of it can be valid, just be sure to remember who the source is and do your own research.
So what was on my list of criteria? Initially I wanted (in no order of importance):
  • A strong business school
  • A small/medium undergraduate population
  • A campus (i.e. not a city)
  • A catholic school
  • In the Mid-Atlantic or New England (but really, no further south than New Jersey)
  • High value (meaning a good price for the return I thought I would get with job placement)
All of these criteria were guiding points for me as I picked which schools to apply to. I did apply to some bigger schools and non-Catholic schools even though it did not quite fit all of my criteria, but because it excelled in one area or another. Once the acceptances came in, it was easy to eliminate based on price. If there was not enough scholarship I couldn't go. Everyone will have that one thing which will help them narrow down the choices. For you it might be the feel of the campus when you go to visit or perhaps it will be that you realize the distance from home is too much (or perhaps too little haha).

I eliminated The College of New Jersey initially because it did not meet the Catholic requirement. I was really just looking for any way I could to narrow down the list. I so wish that I had taken the time to fully investigate the school and realize that what was most important, like a strong business school and proximity to home, was what made TCNJ the best. I came to see that growing in my faith was something I could do, through the Catholic Campus Ministry, without being in a Catholic school.

Looking back, I wish that I had been more open minded and given TCNJ a chance from the starting gate. My dream school was sitting right in front of me, but in my haste to narrow down I discounted it. So what should you do to avoid a mistake like mine?
  • Realize there is more than one way to meet your requirements. For me, I had to realize that my faith journey did not need to be furthered by my school, but rather that if I sought the resources it would actually be a better way to grow. 
  • Don't just focus on looks. We all (well maybe not all, but most of us) want to go to a picturesque school with ivy covered buildings straight out of the movies. Or perhaps modern buildings are more your style. Whatever you may be looking for aesthetic-wise, remember it's what's on the inside that counts. You may think to yourself, "I won't be happy if I have to be on an ugly campus" but just trust me when I say that yes, although it will contribute to the experience, it should not be one of your top concerns. 
  • Have realistic expectations. When visiting schools, I did not expect the freshmen dorm rooms to be as tiny and outdated as they were. But at some point you need to realize that this is reality and where it is important, like with alumni networks and academic rigor, you can demand the best. When it comes to accommodations or food, you may just have to accept it. 
Finally after dragging out the process longer then I needed to, I decided to come to TCNJ and I could not be happier with my decision. The game changing moment for me was when I truly looked into the academics, realized I would be foolish not to attend the top business school in the state, and talked with the dean of the school. Funny story there: I emailed the dean of the business school, not realizing what a big deal that was, and asked him if he would sit down with me to talk about making this decision. The fact that he took the time to meet with a prospective student when he has an ENTIRE SCHOOL TO RUN just shows how much attention TCNJ gives to undergrad students. Hopefully you have an aha moment like this, or something that shows you that this school is the place for you. You don't need to expect that in your college search, but there should be something that stands out to you about the school you choose.

So now that I've told you all about what went on for me, let's go over the steps you should take to make the process as painless as possible.
  1. Develop your criteria list. You will have, of course, had requirements which led you to apply to the school. Now is the time to refine it and have your very top priorities ironed out. Ranking your requirements will make it easier to evaluate your schools.
  2. Eliminate the schools that you know aren't going to work. This can be very hard when it's your dream school and something like money may be the issue, but it will be better to let go of something you know you can't have early on so you can more quickly put your attention on the viable options. 
  3. Visit or re-visit the top schools. Going to the top contenders with your priorities in mind and asking questions to clear up any areas you are unsure about can be hugely beneficial. 
  4. Ask for the opinions of people who matter. Your parents and guidance counselor can aid you in weeding out the schools which are surely great, but aren't the best for you. 
  5. Make a pros and cons list. Once you are able to narrow it down to two schools, it's time to whip out your pen and paper and make a list. Weigh out the benefits and drawbacks of the two schools to see where they stand.
  6. And drum roll please...make your choice! 
Once you have all the information you need to make an informed decision, send in that deposit baby because you're going to college!

How are you making your college decision? If you are already in school, what was the most important thing to you when you were choosing? 


-AJF    

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