Friday, May 8, 2015

Happy ending (of the semester)

Time flies... .Q
I hope it has been a great semester for you so far!
We're almost done, guys! Final exam week is right around the corner.
I know everyone is working hard, please keep up your good work C

Since this is going to be my very last blog post of the semester, I would like to take a moment here to reflect on my PACC leader experience and show some appreciation to my team. This semester, I have learned so much from being a part of PACC program, both professional level and personal level. Being PACC leader is such a wonderful experience for me. 

As a transfer student, I couldn't ask for the better way to get involved with UMBC. I had an opportunity to talk with several Montgomery College students who are getting ready to transfer. I was able to reflect back on my own transfer experience, connect them to the right transition resources both and MC and UMBC, making sure that those students will have the best experience in transferring. 

Moreover, I am blessed to be able to work with awesome and supportive people! 
>>> Shout out to all OCSS staff members, you guys are awesome J 
I appreciate you all!

Good luck studying everyone
Let's get A

s Peace out s 


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Summer DIY's!! 
I hope everyone loves summer as much as I do! I always like to do something crafty if I get to have free time, which I hope you can make some for yourself too..
I left some cool things you can try out.
Remember, try new things, chillax, and have fun!

Rock this!

This would be super practical!

I'd love to try this. 

This is TOO cute. 

Explore your artistic side!

Just in case you have no idea where to start..

Good vibes everyone, Ash~

The final 100

For those of you who ran track, you know what this titles entails, you started with your best foot forward with the the intent to win against the odds of you winning against the person next to you. You don't really know them but you know they will be putting out their own best and will not think twice to let you win, and in fact that even more so adds fuel to your flames of wanting to not only put out your best effort also seeking to win.Now yo realize that you feel as though everything youve faced during the race, good and bad, are now a blur behind you. Now st this last stretch, you know that this is your final chance to push yourself as best as you can. You block all thoughts out of your mind, except for the one egging you on to win, having a tunnel vision view of the goal you saw from the beginning of the race right in front of you. And so you assume your best form and you continue on... Have a wonderful finals everyone!

Commuters!Free Indian Food at the Quad Today!

Hey there Commuters,
Hope you are all doing good what with all the finals week starting, and the papers that need to be written to meet the deadline.

Well if you want to chill out for a little bit and soak up the nice sun outside with a sweet addition of amazing Indian Food come out to the Quad right now!

UMBC Bhagavad-Gita club in partnership with the Catonsville ISCKON Temple is serving the free food today from 11- 2 pm only!

So why wait up go and get your free food because guess what they run out fast!

And good luck to everyone with finals!

Safa Zahangir

Monday, May 4, 2015

Time to celebrate!

Hi everyone! I hope your semester is going well. As the semester comes to an end I know many of you are starting to feel the stress as am I but I come with good news. OCSS is throwing an end of the semester celebration and you're all invited! The event will be held on May 11 during free hour (12PM-1PM) in the Commons room 329. There will be free food and a good time. Please spread the word around campus and feel free to bring friends! We hop to see you all there and good luck on finals! =)

-Best, Chloe 

(Photo taken from Flickr CC 2.0 under username Elmira Strange)

Friday, May 1, 2015

End of the Semester

Hello everyone!

It's almost the end of the semester and we are approaching finals week.
Remember it's important to study ahead and stay focused.
Try not to stress out and get enough sleep.

As the spring semester rounds up with exams,
it's nice to know summer isn't too far away.
I hope you've all had a great semester and to those graduating

Good luck on all your exams!

Bukky ^~^

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Hi everyone!

I hope everyone is having a good end of semester. I know the end of the semester can be super stressful  and hard but you guys are awesome! Keep up the good work!!

Since the semester is coming to an end I wanted to wish everyone luck on the rest of their semester.

(Photo taken from Flickr C.C. 2.0 under username Noukka Signe)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The End is Near!

Hey Everyone!

We are almost at the end of this semester! Not sure what you are doing this summer? Here are some activities that you can do over the summer break:

1. Try a new form of exercise. Been curious about yoga, pilates, spinning, or something else? The summer is a great time to explore something new and see if it's a fit.
2. Join a community sports team. Most places have community sports team that play in the summer; they can range from competitive baseball to completely silly kickball leagues. See what's in your area and what you can join for the few months you're free.
3. Take a class at the gym. Summer can be a great time to get in shape. Your local gym probably has classes you can join that will help you exercise your body -- and relax your brain.
4. Join a community group. Treat yourself to something fun that also gets you out into the community, like a running or hiking club.
5. Try a new video game. Seriously, it's summer. What better time is there to grab a new game and play it without worrying about that paper you'd have to write if it were the school year?
6. Watch a movie marathon. You can rent a ton of your faves or just watch a themed-marathon on a TV network.
7. Spend a weekend seeing all the new releases. Grab a friend and see if you can see all the new releases in one weekend. With food in the theater, there's no reason why you can just spend all day there, seeing movie after movie!
8. Try a new idea: breakfast and a movie. Just wake up? Call a friend and meet at a local place that serves 24/7 breakfasts ASAP. Then amble over to the theater and enjoy whatever movie is next playing. Added bonus: breakfast is cheaper than dinner, and matinees are cheaper than the later shows.
9. Take a bus or a train somewhere new. Flying can be so cheap these days that folks sometimes forget about the bus or train. But sometimes the journey is half the fun, and you'll see new parts of the country you'd never see from the air.
10. Take a quick flight somewhere new. Since flights, especially last-minute deals, can be so cheap, why not hop a flight this weekend and see a friend?

(Photo taken from Flickr C.C 2.0 under username Kim's Pics)
Thank you

Stay positive!


One Month till Summer!

Hey Everyone!

I hope everyone is having a fantastic Tuesday and enjoying the decent weather that we are experiencing! This semester is coming to a close and there's only about 3 weeks left until we face the endless piles of homework, projects, and finals.

Here are a few tips to studying for exams:

  1. Give yourself enough time to study. Don't leave it until the last minute. ...
  2. Organize your study space. Make sure you have enough space to spread your textbooks and notes out
  3. Use flow charts and diagrams
  4. Practice on old exams
  5. Explain your answers to others
  6. Organize study groups with friends
  7. Take regular breaks.
Make sure you all get plenty of sleep before an exam and good luck during the remaining of the semester!!


Monday, April 20, 2015

Take a moment

Hi everyone I hope your semester is going well. As we get closer to the end of the semester more things get added to our plate and it's easy to stress out. Here are some tips on how to keep calm, cool and collected during these hectic times:
1. Take control of the situation. This can be done by accepting the stressor and brainstorming ways to successfully solve the problem
2. Try to stay away from stressful people. I know this can be hard especially if these people are your loved ones but at the end of the day your health and well-being is more important.
3. Think positive! This is one of the best ways to manage stress and brighten one's mood. 
4. Practice some breathing exercises on a daily basis. This is a wonderful way to de-stress while at work or after a long stressful day. Try and see what things it helps you with! 

I hope this helped and if you ever want to blow off some steam you can always come talk to us at the OCSS from desk located next to the Bookstore in The Commons. Have a great day everyone!

-Best, Chloe 

(Photo taken from Flick C.C. 2.0 under username Olga Shaknovska)

Friday, April 17, 2015

Commuter Carnival DATE CHANGE!

How’s it going Retrievers?

I bet you’re all wondering when is the biggest OCCS event of the year, the Commuter Carnival?

Some of you may have seen on our spring calendars that the date is listed for May 6th. At one point, I was even led to believe that the carnival would be on April 28th.

However, in case you haven’t already seen from our brilliant Graphic Design Artist, Diana Chou’s, flyers and banner to the blog posts below from my awesome coworkers, Sonny and Bukky, this year’s Carnival is OFFICIALLY:

April 29, 2015!
The 29th day of April in the year 2015
for my Spanish amigos
el 29 de abril de 2015.
and for any French speakers out there
C’est le 29 avril 2015


(Shine location: The Quad
Rain location: Commons Main Street and Flat Tuesdays)


*To acknowledge that you are aware of the date change, please comment below with your favorite color, and you will be entitled to a FREE high five from me at the OCSS Front Desk! Hope to see you there!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Overview of the semester

As the end of the semester approaches and spring makes itself known
with cherry blossoms and ALLERGIES!
It's time to take a look at what has been accomplished through the semester.
It's time to make sure you've turned in all your work,
Meet with your professors about any questions you might have
regarding your class or grades, and
Prepare for the upcoming fall semester.
Most importantly, it's time to start thinking about FINALS

Final papers, presentations, assignments, and exams.
Remember to get enough sleep so you don't sleep through important details in class,
Use the resources on campus that help with stress like the Mind Spa in the Counseling Center
and events hosted by Off-Campus Student Services like the upcoming:

Commuter Carnival on: Wednesday, April 29th 2015
From: 11:30am - 1:00pm
At: The Quad

For the rest of the semester I wish you all
¡Buena Suerte!
Bonne Chance! and
Good Luck!

Bukky <(^~^<)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Spring is Coming.. oh wait its already hear??

Wow, I think I'm more shocked at how fast this semester has moved than anything else. Time flew by as I was staying in the swing of things juggling classes at two different schools, working as a PACC member, Studying for ungodly amounts of hours while completing homework and quizzes every week, making time to read over some of my MCAT materials,programing with my MC and praying everything would come together. To counter balance this expansive of to-dos list still maintaining my workouts every Tuesday and Thursday night, and keeping in touch with older friends, while still meeting and making new ones.

Throughout all of this I even had to sit back one night and make sure I wasn't overwhelmed. I realized I was great, besides being naturally optimistic about everything, also that its good for me to be very busy still having times where I can sit back and relax. It was one thing to say, that I'm a work hard, play hard type of person but to actually be living it and seeing it is a different thing! Short example being, I've been living so much I barely sleep anymore!.. Regardless I still look forward to being put on top at the the end of the semester in everything I'm doing, and would definitely encourage other people to keep up the good work they're doing. So as some people might still say, "Its darkest before Dawn," and I add on that my Joy comes in the morning. The final lap approaches and I wish everyone the best of luck, because you're running against ME... haha jk jk.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Monday Musings!!

Happy Monday to each and everyone of you!!! As we near the most stressful part of any semester I decided to share my favorite ways to alleviate stress.

1) Read a favorite poem and share it with a stranger. This may sound quirky, but think about how amazing it would be if you were in a supermarket and a stranger decided to share his or her favorite poem with you. Your life is instantly changed and you were just at Giant for some OJ. In case you were wondering, one of my favorite poems is IF by Rudyard Kipling.

2) Find reasons to smile and laugh. Laughter is truly the best medicine. Comedy is a great reminder that we should never take ourselves too seriously and that we should have a reasonable amount of fun.

3) I just acquired an N64 over the weekend along with WCW vs. NWO World Tour. After beating Ric Flair (Whooooo!) with Lex Luger's Torture Rack I instantly remembered how much I enjoyed playing that particular video game. It is this idea that makes tapping into your inner child so important. Find a game from your childhood (and perhaps someone who enjoys that game) and play it for hours!!

4) Cook a new meal. The inter web is an amazing thing. You simply go on-the-line and google ingredients that you currently have in your home. One week ago I made Maple glazed, walnut and bacon brussel sprouts. Before you ask, the answer is Yes! That dish is every bit as amazing as it sounds. Yesterday, I made zucchini fritters that not only came out awful, but they fell on the floor the moment I arrived at my friend's BBQ. Please refer back to item #2 on this list.

5) Write a list of things for which you are grateful. This simple exercise has been heralded as one of the most cost-effective, perspective shifting activities a person do. The idea is that by simply thinking about and writing down the things that you enjoy in your life can do wonders for your mood.

6) Stop by OCSS and ask me for an idea on the spot, I am certain you will be pleasantly surprised!!!


Saturday, April 11, 2015

One month to go!

Hey everybody!

It's April, so I know many of you are currently facing midterms, papers, and projects for your classes. It can be a stressful time, but every once in a while, it's good to put things in perspective! All of you have made it through eleven weeks of classes so far this semester, and there are only four full weeks of classes left. Many of you will be graduating and moving on from UMBC, and the rest of you will hopefully have some time to relax over the summer.

But, with everything going on right now, try not to get too burned out! The weather is finally warming up, which makes a great opportunity to spend some time outside or go out with friends. Later this month on April 29th, from 11:00-2:00 on the Quad, OCSS will be hosting Commuter Carnival, featuring food, fun, and games! There will be an inflatable obstacle course, a mechanical bull, and much more!

Good luck with getting through the rest of the semester! :)

- Sonny

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Ash for Ashtastic Part 2.

Hey guys!  I hope your semester is going as wonderful as mine.
I wanted to give you guys an update hence, this is my first semester with all of you guys. So far, so good. I really like it. I met excellent new people and friends. I've had a blast working with new transfer students and seeing their transition into being Retrievers. All my work buddies (Bukky, Salma, Sam and Hope) have been wonderful to me. The people at the desk always welcome me (Angela, Chloe, Safa and Alvin). Don is a complete lifesaver, I don't know what would do without his help! And I cannot ignore the guys that come and give us support at TSN meetings (Flo, Nathaly and Grace), you rock!
I haven't met ALL of you guys, but I definitely look forward  to it.
I am definitely proud to be a member of OCSS and TSN(:

Good Vibes to everyone!


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

♧ Spring has sprung ♧

~Don't you like when the winter's gone
And all of a sudden it starts getting warm

The trees and the grass start looking fresh
And the sun and sky be looking their best~
 Spring again - Biz Markie

It is that time of the year again >>>  SPRING TIME Hoorayyy!
 green grass  
trees  (with pollen)
They are coming back to live!

My friends and I got a chance to see cherry blossom in D.C. last year.
We have to wake up super early just to beat the crowd. 
But let me tell you... it was so worth it :)

It is true that you can just enjoy freshly bloomed flowers, 
literally, anywhere at this time of the year. 
even in your backyard / along the walkway / around the campus

If you guys get a chance this weekend,
and if you are not too busy with your schoolwork,
 you should pay them a visit! 
It is going to be great experience that you get to do every once in awhile 

2015 Peak Bloom Predication Dates: April 11 – 14, 2015

These are some photos that we took during the trip last year. 
It's really pretty. You just have to see them for yourself.

*Don't forget to register your classes for Fall semester* 

Peace out 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Paint-A-Pot!Come on out to the Last Commuter Connection of the Semester!

Hey There Commuters!
Hope you all are doing well and enjoying the early April showers as we wait patiently for the May Flowers!:D

Just wanted to remind you all good commuters to come out to our last Commuter Connection of the semester Health First- Living and Eating Healthy at the Lower Flat Tuesdays from 12-1 pm as we wrap up our CC events for the Spring!

So don't wait up, take a break from your studies and chill with us as we will have some delicious healthy foods for you all and Paint-A-Pot!

I look forward to see you all there!

Safa Zahangir

(Photo taken from Flickr C.C under username Susan von Struensee)

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Hello Everyone!!

I hope everyone had a good spring break and isn't to stressed with all the work they have! I know my professors seem to be slamming us with work... But I hope that is not all your guys cases!

Spring has officially started but yet the weather seems to still think it's winter sometimes... Confusing!

Since I am a TSN leader I love everything TSN I  would love to update you all on what we are up to!

This past Wednesday... A day ago, even though it feels as if it was forever ago.. We had out last TSN workshop! We played jeopardy and celebrated our students being RETRIEVER READY and going out on their own. Of course we are still of assistance to anyone who needs.
But no fear we have another event coming up for you guys on

What: TSN SOCIAL- stay updated for more details to come ;)
When: Monday APRIL 13th from 12-1!! 
Why: because it's fun!! And you get to chill with your friends and TSN leaders

It was one of our last socials and it's going to be very fun! A flyer with more details will be out shortly but please mark your calendars because it's going to be a lot of fun! And bring all of your transfer student friends :)

That is all for now..

But if you ever need anything or just want someone to chill with!! Please don't hesitate and contact our OCSS office :)


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Hrabowski Announces Raffle for Honorary Degree

Baltimore (AP)- In a nationwide unprecedented statement, longstanding President Freeman A. Hrabowski III of UMBC will sponsor a raffle for undergraduates to try their chance ultimately for an honorary bachelor’s degree from the university. This should come as no surprise, as Dr. Hrabowski has a proven track record of motivating students and achieving results using out of the box ideas. Students have hit social media hard in an uproar of excitement after learning about the contest, saying “this is the best thing to happen since Chic-fil-a opened on campus”, and others calling the President “da real MVP”. One biology student on Academic Row said she would be the first in line and, “may the odds be ever in her favor”. Tickets can be purchase at the CIC desk in University Commons with cash or Flex; the cost of which has yet to be determined.
     If you are still reading, then you are probably sitting there with either an incredulous look or big grin on your face. Yes, yes. Today is the first of April. And while the chances of H-bow actually giving out an honorary degree are nearly zero (well, who knows, he is a pretty cool dude), the fate of your academic career and degree is ENTIRELY in your hands. April also means registration season for the Fall. Here are some helpful tips to help you get though it successfully and keep your degree within the cross-hairs:

1.  Have a long term goal.
This is not just ‘getting your degree’. Think longer than that. What do you wanna do? Are you going to grad school? Med school? What if you just want to find a job in your field after graduating (we have even more resources for that!)? Have this goal in mind when planning things out. Take classes/electives that best suit your goal. If you’re still unsure, ask your advisor. They were sitting in the same chair as you, once.
 2.  Don’t think about credits, think about workload.
 We all have other responsibilities outside of school like family, work, research, internships, student orgs, bae, or playing with a cute little puppy that greets you with a disproportionate amount of excitement for his size every time you come home. It’s not just about going to class and coming home every day. But most classes have work to do outside of class, projects/papers, plus reading and studying. This time varies from person to person. Take this into consideration, but you know you the best.

3.  Don’t just show up at your advising appointment and expect your advisor to do everything for you.
 Do your homework, son. Know your degree requirements. Look at what’s offered and when they’re offered to build a schedule or two to present to your advisor. Have contingency plans in case the class or section you really need to get into is closed or has a really long wait list. Keep your options open and your mindset flexible.  

4.  Sometimes you don’t really have much of a choice, but when you do create a schedule that matches yours personality.
If you like to either sleep in late or get up early and nap in the afternoon, schedule accordingly. If you are all about getting things done, a block of non-stop classes might work for you whereas if you are the procrastinator type, you might want to leave room between every class to get those assignments done.