Sundays usually consist of one thing for me—homework. However, this past Sunday I was feeling adventurous, so I switched up my routine. I decided to take full advantage of the perfect weather, so I spent most the day jumping from one thing to another.
I kicked off my morning with a volunteer orientation at an animal rescue in Northern Liberties, Saved Me Adoption Center. I’ve been missing my family’s pups more than anything and I thought this would help. Once I arrived, I let them know I was a runner, and I was paired with the perfect running partner– a dog who loved to sprint! We ventured around Northern Liberties and Fishtown, and I got to know the neighborhood. I had an afternoon Phillies game to catch, so I was only able to spend time with one dog. I am itching to go back and run with my furry friends!
So back to campus I went. I grabbed whatever red I owned and flew out the door to Citizens Bank Park. My friend and I took our seats in the nosebleeds, but we quickly realized my friend’s relative was at the game and had two tickets for us to join her in the suite. Score! On our way to our upgraded seats, we grabbed Chickie’s & Pete’s crab fries. A snack in hand + a great view= us having a ball– pun intended!– at our FIRST Phillies game.
After the game, we needed a post-game pick me up so we headed to Fairmount‘sOCF Coffee House. Refueled, we headed to our last stop of the day– dinner and grocery shopping at the mega Whole Foods at 2101 Hamilton St.
Whew! I got tired just recapping my busy Sunday. As the school year starts winding down, and the final papers and studying start piling up, it’s important to get out and enjoy the fantastic city we live in!
Saturday morning, I woke up to the sound of the birds chirping and the fresh air drifting into my room, right then I knew I wanted to spend as much time as I could in this unseasonably gorgeous weather. My roommate and I quickly got ready, packed some snacks, grabbed a blanket, and headed down to Fairmount.
In hopes to make the most of the day, we headed straight down to Fairmount Parkto relax by the Schuylkill River. We were determined to get as close as we could to the water, but we also had to be conscious of the geese who were also enjoying the nice weather. With the right book and some good music, you’re set for the day and that is where we spent most of our time.
There was a storm in the forecast so we decided to head back and pop into some of the shops on our way. Our first stop was a Book Haven, a mesmerizing book store, filled from top to bottom. In hopes to find the film section, we were surprised by something else–a cat emerged from the back room and rubbed up against us for a nice back scratch.
Looking at books can work up an appetite! We decided to go OCF Coffee House to enjoy some coffee, a delicious breakfast sandwich, and the view of the Eastern State Penitentiary. Despite the clouds covering the sun, we sat outside and were greeted by another (!!!) cat, except this one was orange and wearing a nice gold bow. He sat at my feet and persistently begged with his puppy kitty eyes for some of my food, however, I quickly apologized because I wasn’t going to give up my sandwich.
We continued our stroll down Fairmount Ave. to find ourselves in Philly Flavors ordering some water ice. We wanted to celebrate this “swinter” day as best as we could, and this treat was the cherry on top. With water ice in hand, we headed back to campus. As we left Fairmount, we also said good bye to all the animals we had seen throughout the day. If you’re like me and need that furry, four legged fix, just make your way to Fairmount—just be aware of the geese!
A common conversation I have encountered recently has been about how I got my internship—which is quickly followed by, “but you’re only a freshman.” I think most people think I woke up one morning, applied for the first position I saw, and then instantly got it. I wish! I hold a long list of sleepless nights, tiresome jobs, unpaid positions, and overflowing my plate to ensure I stand out compared to the next person. But with ever sweat and tear, I hold an experience like no other, and some of my favorites include:
Lobbying on Capitol Hill for US support with girl’s educational rights.
Advocating for inclusion and acceptance as a speaker at a TEDx Talk.
Becoming one of the youngest hourly managers at Mission BBQ.
Landing an internship as the Editorial Intern at Campus Philly.
So how did I get where I am? The first thing that comes to mind– and I instantly spit out– is that you have to start somewhere. This is true with most aspects of life, if you look at people like Stephen Spielberg, he did not just pick up a camera and direct a masterpiece, it took years of perfecting his craft and different experiences to get him where he is today. This concept is the same for everyone. I started my freshman year of high school, but there isn’t a specific time, you just have to put yourself out there and see what happens.
What I did my freshman year has no correlation to what I am doing today, other than teaching me essential skills for the workforce. I learned to be a team player, empathetic, open to the ideas of others, and how to think under pressure. Guess where I learned all of this? JV Field Hockey and Lacrosse. Two sports that I loved that evolved into more.
I can list all of my positions–leadership, work, or volunteer– but that doesn’t matter because I didn’t labor in these positions to boost my resume, but because I loved and was passionate about what I was doing. You will excel when you have a reason for your doings because it will be enjoying and fulfilling. When you are trying to figure out what to apply for, make sure you are applying for the right reasons or else you may be miserable and not able to work at your fullest potential.
Rewind to last semester when I was searching for all types of jobs and internships. Through the magical powers of Google search, I landed on Campus Philly’s Launch Portal. This career site is customizable– list your interests, upload your resume, etc– and full of job and internship opportunities in the Philadelphia region. I spent hours on the site scrolling through all the gigs and bookmarking my favorites until I was content with my list and ready to apply. That’s how I landed my internship here!
Back to the resume thing, I know there is much anxiety surrounding the creation of them. I spent months perfecting mine and got great tips and feedback from my university’s career center. If you’re feeling self conscious about your resume, make an appointment at your school’s career center!
My main reason for coming to school in Philly was the unlimited access I would have to events and happenings around the city. I am always looking for ways to spruce up my week and get off campus, and here are my picks for this upcoming week.
Whether you are a marathon runner or enjoy a casual 5K every now and then, Philly is a great city filled with tons of support and encouragement in your running endeavors. When first I moved up here, I was afraid I would lose my motivation and all the hard work I’ve put into training. I quickly found out how wrong I was.
As someone who has a brother with Down’s syndrome, I am always looking for ways in my community to get involved, spread awareness, and work towards inclusion of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
In high school, my favorite teacher and “sole” sister connected my passion for running with my love for my brother by introducing me to one of the most amazing organizations out there, Athletes Serving Athletes, aka ASA. It’s a running and multi-sport organization that allows a range of athletes to use their abilities to support those living with a disability, giving everyone the opportunity to cross the finish line at a multitude of events.
The love that encompasses the ASA community of athletes is contagious. They are fabulous, loving, selfless people who give their legs, lungs, and hearts to these individuals with disabilities (our athletes) so they can participate in mainstream races and cross the finish line.
From 3 miles to 13 and beyond, passion truly has no limits. I couldn’t just stop at 13 miles, I wanted to share the magic with more people. And so, when I began my first year at Temple, I made it my goal to spread Athletes Serving Athletes out of its central serving and originating area of Maryland and into Philadelphia. We were successful because on November 19, 2016, I was able to captain the first ASA team to race in Philly, which is now paving the way for many more races. As the tentative 2017 race schedule, has rolled out, Philly makes it appearance a couple of times– Love Run Half, the Blue Cross Broad Street Run, and the Philadelphia Half Marathon and Marathon!
In addition to Athletes Serving Athletes, there are many other running groups in Philly with causes of their own.
Back On My Feet runs to revolutionize the way our society sees homelessness, with the idea to use running to boost confidence and self-esteem to set people out on the road to work towards new lives.
The Monster Milersruns with adoptable dogs at partnering shelters to expose the dog to the community and relieve their shelter stress while they wait for their forever home.
By joining a running group, you gain a lot of things—automatic accountability, running buddies, a challenge, but my favorite thing about it is, you gain a family. My home away from home is racing with Athletes Serving Athletes. The longer I go and the more tired my legs get, my heart fills with love and happiness. Becoming a runner with Athletes Serving Athletes was hands down the best thing I have ever done and I want the runners of Philly to get the chance to experience that.
In the center of our fine city, you’ll find Center City. Other cities say “downtown” when referring to their version of Center City, but Philadelphians are known for being lingo pioneers.
I frequent this section of Philadelphia more than any other, but each time I discover something new. Getting there is a quick SEPTA subway ride from Temple’s campus. We hopped off at the City Hall stop and I made my roommate for an impromptu photoshoot in the subway. She was embarrassed, but I was loving it, I found a stairway that caught my eye and starting posing, twirling, and smiling—you can easily turn anything into a photo shoot spot and a stairwell in the subway is no exception.
Photo shoots aside, my favorite part about my Center City commute has to be walking up the stairs from the subway and being greeted by the skyline, the bustling of the city, and the beautiful City Hall building.
What next? Shop ’til we drop. Chestnut and Walnut Street have a lot of shops to do just that. We made our way to our first destination, but were easily distracted as we noticed a two-story Five Below at 1529 Chestnut St. It was filled with everything Philadelphia related and as both of us are from out of the state, we acted like complete tourists and fell in love. We found these awesome Philly themed canvases that we would later use for our girl’s night.
After we weaved our way in and out of all stores, we were tired and hungry. Finding a spot to relax and order food wasn’t hard. Some of my favorite spots so far are Mac Mart and sweetgreen, both equally delicious, but one is definitely a little healthier than the other. We decided on Mac Mart and treated ourselves to the “In the Buff” Mac and Cheese, which is a delicious buffalo chicken infused bowl of greatness.
With shopping bags in hand and mac and cheese in our bellies, we headed back to the subway station. Like something out of a movie, the sun began to set in the backdrop, allowing an iridescent glow to bounce off City Hall, and my roommate and I exchanged a look of contentment and said our goodbye as we made our way back to campus.
It was time to rip off the band aid and do what I came to Philly for: explore and broaden my knowledge with real experiences. I wanted to go beyond the walls and halls of my campus to divulge myself in the culture of Philadelphia.
I gathered my friends, charged my camera, searched for that last SEPTA token in my wallet, and then set off for a day meandering up and down South Street. We were all ecstatic and ready to complete our “must-see” to do list. Our first mission was food, and we soon realized this was going to be an easy find, but a very hard decision.
From pizza to BBQ, they had it all—and we finally decided on Woodrow’s Sandwich Shop for mind-blowing sandwiches and incredible house cut fries and truffle whiz. I am a sucker for meatball subs, and let me tell you, this did NOT disappoint. As I bit into the toasted garlic roll, it all simply melted into my taste buds and left me wanting more. But wait, it gets better, the crispy home cut fries were already perfect, then you dipped in the homemade truffle whiz—yum! I am always hesitant to spend money on food, but in the end, it’s always worth it, especially in Philly. If you ever find yourself wandering up and down South Street, make sure you wander yourself over to Woodrow’s.
After we filled our bellies and washed down the goodness with some chai from the Bean Cafe, we were ready to shop. If you’re a vintage junkie like myself, then South Street is your go to place. As we walked down the street, I would stop all the girls and send them into every vintage shop we saw. The one that stood out the most to me and one I will be visiting often was Retrospect Vintage. Not only did it have an assortment of clothes, but furniture, jewelry, trinkets, and much more. The history and stories collected into this one store was amazing and overwhelming, and I plan to go back soon and seek out every inch!
While making our way back to the South Street SEPTA station, we made one last stop– Big Gay Ice Cream! Why not finish our perfect day with a cherry on top? The options array to satisfy every craving out there. In addition to the delectable ice cream, the vibe of this place is one-of-a- kind and a must see for yourself place.
As a college student living and going to school in Philadelphia, it is so important that I take advantage of my surroundings and the city that is my extended campus. The opportunities are endless, the memories made are priceless, and the places to take pictures are bottomless!
Gather your friends and get out there, I promise you it is worth it.