Quantico – “Run” Episode 1 Review

For those even remotely familiar with “Bollywood,” a very familiar face graced the small screen on Monday night. Priyanka Chopra, a near-household name for Indians ’round the world, stars in ABC’S Quantico.

As the lead in over 50 Indian-language movies, as well as a recipient of the esteemed National Film Award (an award in India akin to the Oscars in the U.S.), Chopra is anything but a newbie to being on screen, which was well apparent in this pilot.

For full article, click here.

2 UF faculty selected to attend program that teaches how to tackle tough social issue conversations

A research organization chose two UF faculty members to work through social issues that don’t have explicit solutions.

Michael Spranger and Muthusami Kumaran, both from the UF Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, will join a program through the Kettering Foundation, which promotes conversations about issues such as poverty, obesity, public safety and environmental concerns, known as “wicked issues.”

For full article, click here.

Picture source: ics.ufl.edu

Life lessons I learned from my first half-marathon

Ok look, I know I promised I wouldn’t write any listicles. But I’m about to drop some real truth bombs, so listen up. For the past, what feels like 2839473289 months, I’ve training for my first half-marathon. I started off not being able to get through a single mile. Literally, when the treadmill hit 0.66 miles, I had to stop to catch my breath or nurse a leg cramp or something.

Even when I pushed myself to run more, I had to deal with all kinds of ridiculous beginner runner injuries like shin splints and swollen ankles and knees and I pretty much felt like an old lady limping on one foot around campus for many weeks. But thanks to the Couch to 5k app, a lot of Kendrick Lamar’s “good kid m.A.A.d. city” album on repeat, and the Map My Run app, I can now proudly say that as of Feb. 15, I’ve run a half-marathon in 2 hours and 30 mins, at an 11:04 pace. Not the greatest, I know, but to be honest, I’m just so proud that I finished. Running for hours at a time allows for a lot of introspection and unnecessary navel gazing so here’s the closest I’m going to get to disclosing the meaning of life on this blog.

  1. Consistency trumps skill. To get from 0.66 miles to 13.1, there is literally no shortcut. There’s no crash-course. You can’t “cram” training the night before, like you *cough* I *cough* study for exams. There’s no way to get from 0.66 to 13.1 other than consistently training for multiple days a week. I feel like if I applied this to all of my other goals, I would be much more forgiving of my initial inability, and have a lot more patience for the process it takes to go from mediocre to competent when you’re trying to develop a new skill.
  2. Competition is a good thing. When I was training by myself, I was running at a pace that was usually slower than 12 minutes. It was pretty bad. But just being surrounded by people on race day — people of all different skill levels and abilities — it pushed me to run and hold a pace much faster than I thought I was capable of. If I looked at competition as a healthy motivator instead of taking it as an attack on my personal abilities, I’d probably have a much healthier relationship and state of mind when dealing with it on a day to day basis.
  3. Don’t compare your first race to someone’s 20th. I was pretty happy just to finish the race. It’s ridiculous to expect to kill the game if it’s your first time playing. It’s great to have people to look up to and to motivate you and give you a goal to keep in mind of where you want to head. But putting your accomplishments in context with your experience is important.
  4. Rest and recuperation is just as important as training. This is something that I only realized in hindsight because “rest and recuperation” feels a lot like doing nothing. When I was dealing with pretty frequent injuries, making sure to abide by my rest days and making sure to cross-train are what helped me get over them. I guess that extends to every day as well. Don’t feel guilty about taking a reasonable break if that’s what’s preventing you from burning out.
  5. Mind over matter. Every time. When I was training on my own, exhausting the same routes and same music playlist every week, I was able to run about 6-7  miles without having to stop. On race day, with an entirely different and challenging route, a new playlist, and the energy of people around me, I was able to push through 10 miles without having to stop. It’s crazy how much of the challenge is a mental one.
  6. Success isn’t a defined destination. This is a conclusion that I’ve been arriving at, not just through running, but in other aspects of my life as well. You always feel like a beginner. There is no moment of “making it,” no matter how many goals you achieve and hurdles you overcome. I finished running my half-marathon, a goal I was working on for months. But immediately after finishing, I found myself idolizing the people with faster paces, or the people who went on to finish the full marathon. There are always people ahead of you, and always people behind you. The expression “Work until your idols become your rivals” is bullsh*t, because it assumes that your idols aren’t working towards their goals either. Your idols are not waiting for you to catch up, so the best you can do is keep working until you attain a level of self-contentment that’s not dependent on the achievement of people around you.
  7. It takes a while to love something. I think all of us have this secret wish that we’re going to find a skill that we’re magically amazing at and love immediately. But with running, I didn’t actually enjoy the process and look forward to running until really late in the game. I guess with anything, you have to invest energy and effort to really develop a passion for it. Now, after my first rest week in months, I’m anxious to get back to running.
  8. Sometimes, problems look worse than they actually are. During the half-marathon, we ran on NW 16th St., that Gainesville natives know, is absolute hell. Crazy rolling hills that I’ve never run before. Every time I’d see a hill, I’d think, “There’s no way I can run that.” But every time, I’d start the incline and realize that it was nothing close to the struggle I thought it would be. Definitely need to apply this my life. The most difficult part of a lot of challenges is to just get started.

Ok that’s it for now. This half-marathon has been a great confidence booster for me, and I’m hoping to ride this wave of motivation through the rest of the semester.

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Gender gaps in journalism classes and newsrooms concern students

Take a look at a typical classroom at the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications, and one fact becomes obvious: girls rule.

Women, in fact, made up almost 75% of total student enrollment in the journalism school during the Fall 2013 semester — and UF isn’t an exception. Women made up two-thirds of the student body enrolled in bachelors and masters degree programs during the fall 2013 semester, according to the 2013 Annual Survey of Journalism and Mass Communication Enrollment, the latest year available for the data.

For full post, click here.

Picture credit: AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

“Good writing is re-writing”

Today was the first day of my Reporting class and it was great. I am so pumped. Slightly nervous. Definitely a little bit anxious. But, for sure excited. Just in the first day of lecture, I feel like I’ve picked up so much writing advice that I am ready to try out and work with. Current attitude: bring it on. It’ll be interesting to see how that’ll change as the semester goes on — because let’s be real, it definitely will.

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That being said, I’d like to add a new goal to my already extensive list of goals for this year: stop complaining. I don’t want to be that person who’s most defining character trait is “tired,” because I feel like that’s what I hear from a lot of people when you ask them what’s up. We’re all students, we’re all busy, and we’re all tired. It’s not a point of pride to brag about how tired you are, and it’s not impressive or pleasant to spend a conversation listing off the reasons you’re so exhausted. It’s — dare I say it — tiring. So from this day onwards, I’m going to work on minimizing the word from my vocabulary. If someone catches me doing otherwise, I’m going to need them to call me out.

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Another high point of today, besides Reporting, was finishing an 8 mile run this morning. I’m still in disbelief because whenever I see the milage slowly increase one at a time on my health app each week, I keep remembering how before I started running, I would have to stop to catch my breath the moment the treadmill hit 0.6. I keep waiting for shin splits to come back and ruin my life like they used to, but *knock on wood* it hasn’t happened yet. This half-marathon may actually happen — who would’ve thought? Definitely not high school me. Maybe not even college freshman me.

Ok pEaCe oUt for now. This week is so far panning out nicely and can’t wait for the semester to start rolling.

Inspiration, a fresh slate, and general good feels

Ok, time to get back to my corner of cyberspace that I’ve been badly neglecting. Updates: winter break is over, and tomorrow begins spring semester filled with horrors such as ~*rEpOrTiNg*~ and *~oRgO cHeM~* — both notoriously difficult classes for which I already may have a tiny knot of anxiety in the pit of my stomach.

But, it’s ok. I feel good. Even though I know it’s just the naiveté that comes with the beginning of the semester, I just have to remember what this moment of motivation and purpose feels like to pull me through the rough days. Easier said than done, I know, but all I can do is try.

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The goals: 1) Emerge from this semester fully satisfied with what I’ve accomplished and the work I’ve put in. No ra-grets. 2) Get some bomb-ass clips out there in different styles of writing that I’ve always wanted to try my hand at. Maybe even creative writing???? We’ll see. 3) Be healthy and happy with who I am. This running thing is going pretty well so far, and with the end in sight (my first half-marathon in February) it’ll be exciting to set new fitness goals. 4) Be fearless. There are so many things I am hesitant about publishing or pursuing because I’m stupidly speculating how it’ll be received and am wary of judgement. I don’t have the time or energy to waste on that pettiness anymore.

That’s the dream for 2015. I love this feeling of a fresh start, and can only try to make the best of it. Also, like most writers, having blank notebooks excites me to an almost irrational level, so that’s always a major plus of starting a new semester of school. ‘Til tomorrow!

The 8 Best Parts of Coming Home for Winter Break

Winter Break is so close, and we’re all anxious with anticipation to escape the confines of our campus. Fed up with final papers, presentations and exams, we Gators are just about ready for this semester to come to a close. Here are just a couple of things we’re most looking forward to about being home this holiday season.

1. Food that doesn’t require multi-step microwave instructions

After weeks of food that’s frozen, dehydrated, canned and every form of preserved, nothing tastes as good as a home-cooked meal. Even meals that you might’ve groaned and complained about as a kid evoke a certain nostalgia and appreciation as a college student returning home. Make sure to enjoy every meal because it’ll be back to microwavable insta-meals in what’ll feel like the blink of an eye.

For full post, click here.

Picture source: hovercraftdoggy.files.wordpress.com

This post was a top chapter article on Her Campus, on Dec. 18, 2014!