Sunday, January 25, 2015

6 things I realized my first semester of college.

I survived my first semester of college-- just barely. It had its up and downs. I made through with only a few scrapes and bruises. I'm just joking. I survived my first semester with out any major hiccups. You may even say that I learned something. Those long hours of typing up papers at the last minute and memorizing equations the last few seconds before a Calc 1 test were all well spent. All that is left to show for my first semester of college are the grades that I earned and the knowledge & experiences gained from the past four months. I did manage to earn all A's my first semester.
The thing about your fist semester of college is that everything is new-- new school, new home, new friends. I, however, did not leave my home; I in the end decided to go the university in my hometown instead of going to a university away from home. There were so many factors that in the end helped me decide to stay home to go to college instead of going out of town. 
I learned so much my first semester of college. Even though I went home to my own bed each night instead of a dorm room, I made friends on campus and felt as though I could make a home their. I have outlined six things that I learned my first semester of college. They maybe viewed as tips, or ,perhaps, they maybe me heading warning. 


  1. Don't be afraid to ask questions. 
    • Why did I make this my number one? First off, to succeed in college, I feel you have to be able to ask questions even when no one else does. If you have a question about an assignment or a particular point that the professor addressed, ask it. You won't look stupid; if you have a question about, someone else probably does, too. 
    • I don't know how many times, I had a question about something but was afraid to ask it during class. I thought people were going to judge me or think I was dumb for asking a question that they may have felt was self explanatory. In the end, I learned, I and my parents are paying good money for me to be in this class, if I have a questions I need to ask.
  2. Be on time to class. 
    • I know this may sound like a no brainer, but let's face it, during high school it was easy to be on time for class. You went to one class right after the other. Teachers and other students urged you toward your next class. There were people always on top of you to make sure you were there on time. You don't have that anymore. Your classes aren't always right after the other. Your parents aren't on you to move it to your next class on time. There are a ton of outside distractions that will tempt you to skip or just make you late. It's up to you to make it there and be on time.
    •  Don't take this as gospel, but I think all teachers say the most important information at the beginning of class. They may outline what will be discussed during class, talk about the test coming up, or state material that will only be mentioned once (at the beginning of class).
    • Don't just be on time for class, show up a few minutes early. That way if you have a question, you can ask the instructor before class. I found that most teachers were at class several minutes early to set up, and were usually happy to answer my questions or help me with my homework. 
  3. Don't wait till that last minute to type up that paper. 
    • Let's be honest, your probably going to wait till the last minute to type up that paper or speech. I'd highly recommend that you don't. I always tell myself that I'm going to type it up early, but then something fun turns up and so, I put it off. So, then it's a night or two before the paper is due, and something major actually does come up. Now your going to have to do that thing, and type up that paper till the wee hours of the night. 
    • It'll probably happen, but that's the college experience, right? I don't know about you, but I'd like to skip that part of the college experience. I find that it always takes me longer than I thought it would to write and type up that paper. When I thought it'd only take an hour, it actually took several more than that.
    • Make time to type up that paper. Make yourself reminders and stick to them. It's easier said than done. Maybe type it up in chunks. Type up one part one day and the next to another part. That way it doesn't seem like such a big paper. Also you could make revisions while your typing it up. If your going to procrastinate at least wait to do that until the second paper.
  4. Keep track of all your assignments.
    • There were several times that I forgot about an assignment on accident. I had plenty of time to do it, but I forgot about it.
    • Write it down. Write all of your assignments in a planner or on a sheet of paper dedicated to all the things that you have to do. I have a planner that I write down everything that I have to do and when it's due. 
  5. Don't wait for someone to talk to you.
    • So, your the only person you know in the class, and you have to sit by someone you don't know. This happened to me in every class I was in. I was pretty shy, and most of the time, I didn't even say anything to the person I was sitting next to. It was really awkward. Outside of class, I would see them, and we would make eye contact knowing who each other was but not acknowledging. 
    • Talk to the person your sitting next. This person your sitting next to you is just a nervous or shy as you. The person may be your coworker in the future or your boss. You may even become friends. You already have something in common. All you have to do is introduce yourself. 
  6. College = Work.
    • Going to college is kind of like going to work. You are going to school with potential coworkers or teachers that could be giving you recommendations for future jobs or scholarships. I'd recommend that you present yourself as so. That doesn't mean you need to dress up, but act like you want to learn something, and that you are care that you paying to be their. College isn't cheap, it's an investment.
    • I had a professor that often spoke about the secondary school system, and the future job market. He advised which classes to take with which teacher because some teachers had great internships or jobs that they offered. 
    • I'd also recommend that you have an advisor or professor that you can speak to about your classes and stuff.
  7. BONUS: Have fun.
    • Don't let your classes always overwhelm you. Take the time to have fun. Spend time with friends, read a book, or watch an entire series on Netflix (hopefully not all in one day.)
By no means is this all that I learned my first semester. However, these are things that I came to realize during my first semester. I hope you gather something from this post. I hope it wasn't completely pointless that I wrote this. These things may seem obvious to you, and they were to me. But they didn't really sink in until my first semester of college. Good luck!


                                                      Andrea

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

I love finding new soup recipes to try. It's winter, and so, it's pretty chilly outside. Because of this, I have been in a soup making mood. I have been trying to make a new soup once a week. A great thing about having soup is that it goes great with sandwiches like paninis. My amazing boyfriend got me a panini grill for Christmas, and it's amazing. I have been using it daily. Soup is also easy to make for large families, which I have. 
I purchased some tortellini from the store and decided that I wanted to incorporate into a creamy tomato soup. I found a ton of great recipes. 
This creamy tomato tortellini soup is amazing. I could eat the whole bowl, but I restrained my self. It's really delicious. My family loved it especially with grilled cheese that I made with my panini grill (yummy). I'm drooling just thinking about it.  



Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup
adapted from The Recipe Critic

Ingredients: 
  • 1 package (9 ounces) refrigerated cheese tortellini (also the tortellini found in the pasta isle works)
  • 2 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) condensed tomato soup
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 2 cups half-and-half cream
  • (or 3 cups milk & 1 cup heavy cream)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese (I used the Italian blend cheese, use what ever is on hand)
  • Additional shredded parmesan cheese for topping, optional
  • Oyster Crackers, optional

Directions: 
  1. Cook the tortellini according to package directions. In a large pot, add the tomato soup, broth, milk, cream, tomatoes, onion powder, garlic powder, dried basil, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and reduce soup to a simmer.
  2. Drain tortellini and add to the soup. Add parmesan cheese. Serve and sprinkle with additional cheese on top and/or crackers if desired.
  3. Enjoy! 

I hope you enjoy this recipe. Oh, and I hope everyone had a safe and joyous holiday season. 

Peace, love, bake on.

                            Andrea 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies {my favorite cookie EVER}

Hello world! I hope everyone had a very joyous Christmas and a happy New Year. During the Christmas season I made Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies. To me the holiday equals baking season. I made several batches of these delicious Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. A few times I added both chocolate chips and crushed Andes Mints. I love them. I love going to Olive Garden and getting them when they give you your receipt after paying the check. These cookies came out soft and chewy every time. They are my go oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. 




These cookies are hands down my favorite cookie. I could eat a whole batch by myself. So let that be your warning, they are addicting. Bake and eat at your own risk. Don't let my poor photography shy you away from such a life changing, yummy cookie. 


Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Radiant Dust 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or some other chip)

Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture until just blended. Mix in the quick oats, and chocolate chips. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto lightly greased baking sheets.
  3. Bake for 11-12 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 
  4. Eat up and enjoy. (My favorite is to eat them while they are still slightly warm. I also love to dip them in almond milk.)




I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. Until next time.

Peace, love, bake on.

                                    Andrea