Me, Myself and I! Why Self-Care is Essential, and How to Practice It


See if this situation sounds familiar: On my day off last week, I knew that I should read for class, start writing a paper, do some work for a club I belong to, finish a task for work, and then get to bed early. I was already tired and frazzled from the week so far, but I had a busy weekend ahead, so I wanted to get a lot of work done that day.

Typical college day, right? We’re pulled in many different directions; classes, work, clubs and activities can feel overwhelming very quickly. But there is a mindset that can help us feel more balanced and relaxed: self-care.

self-care-calvin-n-hobbesHere’s what I actually decided to do on my day off: I slept late, made some tea, read a magazine, started reading for class, got tired of the reading and took a nap, cooked an actual dinner, and then finished the reading. The next day, I felt more prepared to tackle the work that was left, and I felt more “at peace” about what I could and couldn’t get done.

Did I do all the things that I thought I “should” do? Nope. But did relaxing still benefit me? Absolutely!

What is self-care?

Self-care is just what it sounds like: taking care of yourself. It sounds simple, so why is it so hard to practice? It’s because self-care requires us to do three things, which don’t always come naturally:

  1. Be aware of what we need in order to feel better.
  2. Understand that it’s okay for us to take care of ourselves.
  3. Commit to doing the things that make us feel better, on a daily basis.

Let’s break these things down:

  1. Being aware of what you need can be a very enlightening experience! Sometimes your body tells you very clearly what you need (like sleep if you’re tired, food if you’re hungry), but sometimes you have to look a little closer. A few examples:
    • Does eating a certain type of food energize you, or make you feel sluggish?
    • Does being physically active amp you up, or calm you down?
    • Do you need some time alone to recharge, or do you feel best when you’re with a group of people?
    • How much sleep do you usually need to feel OK the next day?

Self-awareness requires us to pay attention to how we feel, which can feel strange if you haven’t done it before. But once you start paying attention, it’s amazing how much you can learn about yourself!

  1. Once you know a few things that help you feel better, what’s next? The second step requires self-value. Self-value or self-worth is the idea that you feel as if your presence plays a valuable role in the world around you. It is very easy to let other people’s needs and expectations of us (professors, supervisors, co-workers, classmates, family, and even friends) seem like they shouldWhile being responsible, generous, and team-oriented are still important, it’s just as important to help yourself feel your best. It’s like the safety notice on an airplane, telling you to put on your oxygen mask before helping someone else; to be able to do anything else, you have to keep yourself safe!

Take my example. If I stayed tired and frazzled, I probably wasn’t going to do my work nearly as well as if I was relaxed or refreshed. So I might as well attend to my needs, knowing that in the end I’ll be better prepared for whatever else I have to do.

  1. The last piece of self-care is making a commitment to practicing it. The good news is, you’re going to feel better when you practice it! The not-so-good news is, it’s hard to do, even when you really want to do it. To use the airplane example, it’s very easy to help someone else put on their mask first, especially if you’re used to doing things that way. Sometimes, it can also feel like something you do for self-care is just one more thing on your way-too-long to-do list.

It takes a commitment, one day at a time, to remember to put yourself first. It takes a commitment to change your perspective. Self-care doesn’t have to be a task to get done. Self-care is a tool to help you feel better about yourself, and to help you perform that much better at all the other things you do in life.

There’s one big thing to make clear: self-care should not be confused with procrastination. They may seem similar, but self-care is a proactive effort to nurture yourself; procrastination is an avoidance tactic.

So the next time you’re in the middle of a jam-packed week, take a few moments to think about what you need in order to feel better. Then think about whether you’re worth it (here’s agy59mufeoslekbtiq1iv hint: you are). Then be brave and take care of yourself! Maybe not everything you wanted to get done will get done. But how important were all of those things? I’ll bet they weren’t as important as feeling better! So take that nap, or drink that tea, or catch up on your favorite TV show, and be proud that you’ve chosen to take care of yourself!

Lauren Drinkwater
Graduate Assistant
The Counseling Center

Why Intern? Ask a Disney Character

Many of us millennials grew up watching Disney movies, playing the soundtracks over and over, and dressing up like our favorite characters for Halloween (or, if you were like me, you did this way more than once a year). As college students, we also have been told by family, peers, academic advisors, and professors how important it is to have an internship in college. It’s a way to gain real experience in your field and reaffirm you’re headed on the right career path upon graduation. Did you ever think that your favorite Disney characters could want you to land that internship, too? Here’s why!

“I’ve got a dream, I’ve got a dream!”

blog1Rapunzel has a dream, that’s for sure, and you do, too! Start by thinking about what your dreams and aspirations are for your future employment. What kinds of tasks do you want to do throughout your work day? What types of companies interest you? If you don’t have any specific career goals to work from, think about your passions and how you can connect them to the job opportunities that are out there. Internships are a fantastic way to explore all of your options and start to figure out what you want and what you don’t want, and what you’ll need to do to achieve your dreams.

“There’s a thousand things to see…”

Much like Aladdin and Jasmine on their magic carpet ride, there are so many new magical things to see blog2at an internship. You get to meet new people, explore a real company’s workspace, sit in on exciting and important meetings, and immerse yourself in a company culture that is nothing like a classroom. If you take a step out of your comfort zone and enter the workplace as an intern, you will have so many new experiences and will be amazed by what you find. You can gain a new perspective and point of view on a field that you might want to pursue upon graduation.

“You’ve got a friend in me.”

blog3As an intern, you could be lucky enough to form relationships with your supervisor, fellow interns, and co-workers that is as strong as the bond between Andy and his toys. You’ll have the opportunity to collaborate on projects, get to know employees personally and learn from them professionally, and even network with individuals in your company’s industry. The connections that you can make as an intern have the potential to land you an awesome recommendation letter or even get your foot in the door for a full-time job. Never underestimate the power of the people you know!

“What’s a fire and why does it, what’s the word, burn?”

Hopefully your questions at work are a little more career oriented than Ariel’s questions about the human world, but think about all of the things you can learn on the job! blog4You finally have the chance to take the topics you study in the classroom and apply them to a real world setting at your internship. You’ll also gain new knowledge about your field from the projects you work on that can’t be taught in the classroom. On top of all of that, you can even learn how the people with whom you work ended up at the company and what kind of path they took on their career journey. This knowledge can benefit you in so many important ways.

While Disney characters may have some great reasons why you should give any internship a try, the Career Center has the experts and the resources to help you make it happen! Explore the resources by major pages, search for internship positions on Hire@TU, or make an internship search strategy appointment.

Finally, take the initiative to attend Internship Week events from October 5-9 and finish off the week strong with the Fall Career and Internship Fair on Friday, October 9 from noon-3 pm in the West Village Commons Ballrooms. Network with 90+ employers and make the connections that can land you an internship experience you will never forget.

As Walt Disney himself would say, “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”

For more information, visit the Career Center’s website or call us as 410-704-2233.

Good luck!
Rachel Ungvarsky
Marketing Intern
Career Center

How to Avoid Having the Wool (sweater) Pulled Over Your Eyes

When I was a teenager, I always looked forward to fall back to school shopping. My mom and I would blog1go to my favorite stores in the mall and I would revel in finding the latest must-have for that season. Before we got to the register though, my mom insisted on looking every item over very carefully. She always took her time, examining each item for spots or damage or just ridiculous pricing to the point of holding up the line at the checkout. In those days, I would just roll my eyes, but I have come to realize that what she did made a lot of sense. Now I apply her tactics to how I evaluate the information I encounter every day.

It didn’t matter how much I loved the store we were in or how many fantastic pieces I had already purchased from there, my mom always insisted on spot checking every item before we bought it. She didn’t automatically trust the seller. Now I try to do the same with the information I consume. When I encounter a new piece of information, especially on social media, I ask myself, “What does the information provider have to gain if I believe what they are saying?” Sometimes it’s obvious. If Kim Kardashian is professing wonderful things about a medication, it is probably likely that she was paid to do so. Other times it is a bit more complicated. What about when a friend asks you to like a non-profit on social media that you’ve never heard of before? Even if you know the messenger and actual money isn’t involved, it is always a good idea to take the time to look over the information carefully before you buy into it. Just by sharing or liking a piece of information, you are, at least to some extent, suggesting that you think that information is worthwhile. blog 2

So how can you tell if a piece of information is legitimate? When it came to clothes, my mom always looked for how well the garment was put together. Were there any loose threads? You can do this with information too. From the longest article to the shortest hashtag, every piece of information has a context. No information exists in isolation. The more you understand that context, the better you will be able to judge the information. Sometimes the information creators make it easy to get to that context—they provide links or citations to where they got their information and you can judge credibility based on their sources. A giveaway that an information source isn’t the best is when they only provide links to their own material, as many of these rogue Facebook sites do. Other times it isn’t that easy and you have to do a bit more research. Even though it does take time, there are tools to help you uncover the true origins of a piece of information, like Google’s reverse image search and even your friendly librarian. Just as a shirt is only as strong as its fabric, so too is information only as strong as its sources.

Does this mean that you have to be skeptical about every piece of information you encounter? It depends. I once awoke at 2am to find a bat in my bathroom so I asked Google how to remove it and the wikihow site (complete with pictures) worked just fine. When it comes to academic papers and any personal decisions that matter—like information involving your health, your money, and your reputation—you’re going to want to be skeptical and invest the time to do your research. While there is a return policy for most bad fashion choices, bad information choices can live forever in our social media world.

Learn more from a librarian and many other academic services on campus at this semester’s Academic Resources Fairs this week!

Academic Resources Fairs
Whether you need help with your paper, a tutor for your class, or help choosing your major or study abroad program, the Academic Resource Fair has you covered! Stop by the library and learn about the many resources and tools available for your academic success.  Prizes will be given away!  Stop by for 10 minutes or stay the entire time!

Monday, September 21st
Tuesday, September 22nd

Joyce Garczynski, Cook Library

The Truth About Graduate School: A Realistic Approach

The graduate school application process often can become overwhelming, especially if you feel like you are completely on your own. If you are graduating in the next year, you’re probably asking yourself, “Does my desired career require a graduate degree? What kind of graduate program should I be researching? Do I want to apply to an in-state or out-of-state school? What happens if I don’t get accepted into my desired program?”

As a graduating senior this year, I am asking myself all of these same questions. To help ease some of your stress and anxiety, I want to share with you a student success story about my former coworker from the Career Center, Shane Henise.

Shane graduated from TU last May with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in LGBT studies. He is a very outgoing individual and passionate about research, especially in regard to the LGBT community. Shane wanted to pursue a career in research after obtaining his Ph.D., so he only applied to schools that offered his desired programs.

“The graduate application process is long and frustrating at times, but reaching out for support was absolutely essential to ensure that I was putting my best self forward,” said Shane.

Before applying to graduate school, Shane had several advisors from the Career Center review his resume, personal statement, and personal essay for each and every school for which he submitted an application. It is essential to tailor each item you submit to the specific university program to which you apply.

To say Shane would have been completely optimistic and hopeful throughout the application process would be a lie. After submitting all of your applications, perhaps the most stressful part isn’t meeting the deadlines, but instead the suspense of waiting for the universities to accept or decline your application. Unfortunately, all of Shane’sStudent Success Story- Shane Henise Ph.D. applications were denied. When this happens, it can be extremely disheartening. One thing Shane learned from this process was the importance of having a back-up plan. Shane was very thankful he applied to a Master’s program as well, which offered him a spot in their program. While Shane was still disheartened that his dream Ph.D. programs did not work out as planned, the Career Center helped Shane through this stressful process by giving the support he needed. Shane learned that things often have a way of working out. Although Columbia University declined his application to the psychology research Ph.D. program, they offered him a spot in their Master’s in Psychology Research program, as they felt this was the better fit for him. Shane already started the program this fall semester.

Some advice we can take away from this story is to begin the grad school process early. Make sure you research your desired schools and programs and be sure you have a range of schools in mind, including your dream (or reach) school(s), your middle option(s), and your safety or back-up plan. For everyone, these plans will be different.

My grad school options are more limited because of the program I wish to pursue, so I will be applying to Loyola University and Johns Hopkins University for their School Counseling Master’s programs. My back-up plan is to find a job after graduation if graduate school does not work out next year. It is important to figure out your options now and remember to keep an open mind. The purpose of this story is not to dissuade you from applying to grad school, but instead help provide you with a realistic insight that sometimes things do not work out as planned. Even if you aren’t accepted into your dream program for some reason, something else will work out, perhaps maybe even for the better!

The Career Center understands how stressful the grad school process can be. Advisors in our department went to graduate school and now have master’s degrees. No matter where you are in the graduate school process, the Career Center staff is here and wants to help you! In addition to online resources and the graduate application appointments offered at the Career Center, there are some upcoming events to help prepare you for the application process. Check our calendar of events for more information on How to Finance Your Grad School Education, How To Write A Killer Personal Statement, and How To Stand Out From The Crowd In The Grad School Admissions Process.

Good luck!

Amanda Sands
Marketing Intern and Public Speaking Intern
Career Center

Starting Your Semester Off Fresh!

1The start of the semester is here and hopefully by now you have figured out where all of your classes are.  Now you need a few tips on how to get your semester off to the right start.  We hope to help you make the most of this fresh start with tips about planning/scheduling, studying spots/groups, making the most of your resources on campus, and getting involved.

You’ve spent the past week being bombarded by future assignments, projects, and paper expectations from every angle, and now it’s time to organize that information.  Before you find yourself in class, panicked that you missed your first assignment or that you have a paper due next class and you don’t know the topic, find a way to organize all your assignments into one place. For some people, this means writing everything down in a planner. Color coded with stickers emphasizing importance.  If the thought of a color coded planner makes you sick, that’s OK. Find something that works for you. Use google calendar, an app on your smart phone, or even a white board hanging up in your dorm room.  Have one place to keep all your due dates as a reference to keep yourself on track. Not only will this help you stay on top of your school work, but you can also see some free time in your schedule, where you can plan to go out and have some fun.

A successful study session begins with where you choose to study. Picking a study spot is an important first step in making the most of your study time. If you are finding that your study habits aren’t effective, you may find that changing your study spot will bring better results. Need some ideas other than your dorm room? Try out the Cook Library, Student Union, or Starbucks if you need a change of scenery for productive study sessions.

Now that you have your study spot, it’s time to think about who you may want to study with. After you spend some time studying individually, you may find it is helpful to talk through the material with a study partner. This partner doesn’t have to be your best friend or roommate. In fact, sometimes it’s better to not be best friends with your study partners so you won’t be easily distracted. Find one or two classmates who are looking for study partners and team up!qqi8v

Now that you have a planning method and a study spot and group you need to start using all of the campus resources that are available to you.  The biggest resource on campus that is underutilized are your professors.  They should be the first person that you go to when you have a question about your course, because they are the ones teaching the material and grading the assignments.  They know what you need to be doing more than anyone else.  There are also a lot of other resources on campus that are free to students such as tutoring for courses in the Academic Achievement Center and in the Writing Center.  There is also free help with resumes, finding internships, and interview preparation at the Career Center.  There are an abundance of resources on campus that are free of charge that you should be taking advantage of, they are just a quick “Towson Search” away.

As a freshman or transfer student, it’s very easy to walk around campus and think that you don’t know anyone. Getting involved in student organizations is a way to form new connections and friendships. There are many ways to get involved on campus. From club sports to special interest and service organizations, there’s something for everyone at Towson. Not only does getting involved give you something else to do besides classes, but it gives you an opportunity to meet people with common interests. Getting involved helps give you some sense of belonging. You have the ability to make a difference and have fun doing things with people from all walks of life. Some of the people you meet in these organizations will turn out to become lifelong friends.

Now you have the keys to making the most of the fresh start of the semester.  Planning is key and it is important that you track your coursework somehow.  Next you need to find a place to study that you can make your own and a group of people that will help you achieve all of your goals.  You also want to be taking advantage of all of the resources available to you on campus.  Lastly, get involved on campus in either a club, group, or on campus job, it will help you form friendships that could last a lifetime.

Graduate Students
Kristy Gustavson, Steven Hand, & Marissa Insinna

Learning Specialist
Jeremy Boettinger

MISSION POSSIBLE: Creating your own academic mission statement!


MISSION POSSIBLE: Creating your own academic mission statement!

When you think of a mission statement what comes to mind? Most people immediately think of a successful business. After all, mission statements are used to define the core purpose and goals of a business or, as the definition states:

noun: mission statement; plural noun: mission statements

  1. a formal summary of the aims and values of a company, organization, or individual.

However, the one word in this definition that is always overlooked is “individual.” That’s right, a person or group of people can also have a mission statement, which means so can you. The obvious follow-up question would then be: why would you need or want a mission statement? The answer might surprise you.

Why a Mission Statement

As the mission statement defines a company, so too can it define you. The importance of defining who you are cannot be understated, because as you go through your academic career, you will make many choices that may change where you are in your path to a degree and make you question who you are as a student. You may choose a new major or may not be successful in a certain course, and you will inevitably face challenges at some mission-impossible-ghost-protocolpoint during your academic career. But through it all, if you can return to your mission statement, where your core values and beliefs and goals remain true, then the sting of adversity will be easier to bear and the euphoria of success will be tempered with humility. Your mission statement can be the foundation of your academic experience if you frame it correctly which is the next step. Ready? Let’s go….

How to Create a Personal Mission Statement

Step one: your core. When you look at yourself in the mirror don’t only look at who you see but also look at what you want to see. You could see traits such as confidence, empathy, courage, humor, strength, caution, ambition, and adventure. These are the types of characteristics that will anchor your personal mission statement and like a company, this would also be what you would want people to know about your business.

Step two: your strengths. Like your core, knowing and utilizing your strengths will make you more successful. A tool available to every Towson student to assist in this process is StrenghtsQuest. If you have yet to look into this resource, make it a priority early on in your academic journey.

Step three: your goalsWhat do you want to accomplish? Since this is your academic mission statement, these goals should be primarily related to your major, GPA and graduation goals. However, remember, as previously mentioned, things rarely go as planned, so keep these goals general enough so you they will work throughout most scenarios that you might encounter.

And now you’re ready!

Here are some final tips; keep it short and to the point. Be positive and honest and be inspiring!

Mission accomplished? Share it with us! Send a highlight of your mission statement to @TUacad with #mymission and you will be entered to win a prize!

Remember that your academic journey will be uniquely yours, and your mission statement should be a reflection of the possibilities of that journey. Below you will find the highlights of mission statements of two very successful personalities to inspire and guide you as you come up with your own academic mission statement.

“To have fun in (my) journey through life and learn from (my) mistakes.”  – Richard Branson

“To be a teacher. And to be known for inspiring my students to be more than they thought they could be.”  – Oprah Winfrey


Robert Karp & Emily Halligan
Academic Advising Center

Making the Most of Your Summer Internship

The end of the semester brings with it numerous things aside from final exams and summer vacation. Many students are beginning summer internships, taking summer classes, or preparing for internships in the fall.

blogFor Benjamin G., a TU Business Administration major with a concentration in Economics and a Psychology minor, this summer means being part of the summer internship program at Zappos in Las Vegas!

“The application/interview process was unlike any other process I have ever experienced,” said Benjamin. “I was challenged to not only think outside the box, but also to do more with less.”

He continued, “Sending in an error-free resume was crucial. I visited the Career Center multiple times before applying. It’s amazing how one small error can break your chance for an interview.”

The Career Center and their employer contacts have some awesome advice to share with you in order to make the most out of your summer working experience. Teshia Davis and Harry Florio, Jr., Assistant Vice Presidents in Human Resources at SECU, will show you firsthand what sets candidates and interns apart.

Ms. Davis’ tips for current students are:

  • Make sure you build on essential classroom skills: team work, group projects, communication, etc. Companies seek students with these essential skills. If you are taking summer classes, you can ensure to build on these skills to add to your resume.
  • Find an internship or job opportunity that relates to your degree, and make sure you are interested in the position. If you don’t have an interest, the employer can tell!
  • Remember to research the company before your interview.
  • Proof read your resume and cover letter to ensure they are error free. Remember, employers typically glance at these documents for 30 seconds or less!
  • Be yourself in the interview and show your true personality. Although you are nervous, try not to let that show.
  • Come into the position with an open mind, and be willing to assist in projects.
  • Remember that any job opportunity is bidirectional. You are aiding the company, but also ensure you are taking something away from the experience.

Mr. Florio is Towson University alumnus. He values the education and determination of Towson students, which is one of the reasons he enjoys hiring our Tigers. He shared with us that he wishes he had opportunities for internships and experiences that Towson students have today.

Mr. Florio recommends the following to ensure students gain the most from their experiences:

  • Create your personal brand. Perfect your 30-second commercial and show the company the unique skills you have to offer.
  • Keep your resume to one page, and highlight the most relevant experiences to the position.
  • Take classes or gain experiences to improve your communication skills. Employers desire students who have strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • Practice before your interview, but do not sound like a robot when reciting your responses.
  • Ensure your voicemail and email are professional.
  • Be prompt in responding to questions during the interview, and do your research to have questions prepared for the organization.

Check out these tips in action, and learn more about Benjamin and other student successes stories on the Career Center’s student success page!

While the semester is coming to an end, the Career Center is ready to help you prepare for your future. We are open all summer and here to help you with your career-related needs, such as perfecting your resume or preparing for an interview.blog2

To set up an appointment, or for more information, contact the Career Center by calling 410-704-2233 or visiting

Amanda Sands
Marketing Intern and Public Speaking Intern
Career Center


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