Admission Blogs

Spring Break in SF

(Kelly) Permanent link
When I decided in high school that I would be moving to San Francisco for high school, my friends all said that they would come visit. Throughout my almost four years, some of them have been able to and over Spring Break this year, one of my best friends from high school will be visiting for the week. She goes to school at Ithaca College in New York and has never been to the West Coast. We've had amazing weather for the past few weeks and I'm hoping that it continues through Spring Break. I have a feeling that it will rain that week since we've barely had any this Winter but I hope that I'm wrong! Even though I've been in San Francisco for almost 4 years now, it's fun to show visitors around because I get to do all of the tourist-y thing that I don't normally do. I'm really excited to share some of this city's amazing food with her, maybe check out a museum or two and do some other sight-seeing. Before she gets here, though, my roommates and I need to do some serious apartment cleaning because we have tons of house-guests planned for the next three months!

Last Midterms!

(Kelly) Permanent link
This semester, I don't actually have any midterm exams. I do, however, have 2 midterm papers to write. The first is for my Law, Politics and Baseball class and I'll be writing about Baseball and the American Dream. While this class about baseball doesn't fulfill and major, minor or core requirements for me, I'm excited to take it because I'm a baseball fan(Go Yankees!). The second is for my Social and Political philosophy class and I'll be writing about some of Plato, Marx, and Bakunin's writings. Thankfully, the papers are not due at the same time; one is before Spring Break and the other is due after.

This Semester I'm looking forward to. . .

(Kelly) Permanent link

This semester, while I'm looking forward to spending time with the people I've met at USF before graduation and people start to move away, I'm most looking forward to my internship. I will be interning for buildOn, which is a national non-profit that empowers high schoolers to serve locally and globally. While the students in their programs do regular service projects in their communities, they also participate in global education lessons and fundraising. The money they raise goes toward building schools in developing countries. Some of the students get to travel to those countries to help begin the schoolhouse construction and to learn from and about the communities that they impact with their fundraising. BuildOn currently builds schools in Mali, Malawi, Nicaragua, Haiti and Nepal.

One of the reasons that I'm really looking forward to this opportunity is that I am a buildOn alum! In high school in Connecticut, I was a member of my school's buildOn program. I travelled to Mali during my sophomore year with other students from Connecticut and New York. That trip had a huge impact on me and definitely influenced my choice of major. I'm also exited to gain more experience in the professional non-profit world as I get closer and closer to graduation.

Winter Break in CT!

(Kelly) Permanent link

I just spent my last Winter Break of my undergraduate studies back on the East Coast visiting friends and family and getting lots of sleep. I spent the majority of the 5 week long break in my home state of CT. I began the break spending time with family for the holidays and doing lots of crafting of Christmas gifts. After the holidays I tried to spend as much time with my friends from high school as possible. The majority of the people that I know from home stayed somewhat close to CT and each other for college and despite all of their vows to visit me in San Francisco when I decided to move here, very few of them have actually made the trip. Because of this, the little time that I do spend at home, I spend as much of it as I can with everyone, catching up on each other's lives. This break was a little different than previous ones because the majority of my friends, like myself, will be graduating from college this Spring. There were quite a few conversations about what we'd all be doing in a few months' time that including a bit of freaking out. Thankfully, it seems as though everyone is in the same boat of not having a solid idea about what is coming next so we all were able to commiserate and try to help each other out.

I also got to do a bit of traveling, visiting a friend in Boston and family in Williamsburg, Virginia. I barely saw any snow which was a little disappointing but also made traveling easier.

Going back to the CT!

(Kelly) Permanent link

Greetings from somewhere above Wyoming (according to the little airplane on the screen in front of me)! I’m officially done with the Fall semester and on my way to the East Coast for Winter Break. The end of the semester is always a pretty crazy time but this particular semester wasn’t too bad for me. I had three 10pg papers due on the same day, which forced me to do some serious time management. I’ve always been a bit of a procrastinator so that was a challenge. Once I sent all of the papers in, though, I only had one actual test during finals week.

I’m very happy to be going home for the holidays and to see my family and friends on the East Coast but this trip is a little bittersweet. Tomorrow USF will host the December Graduation ceremonies and a number of my friends and classmates will be celebrating their graduation. It will be weird and a little sad to return to campus in January without those people. One of my best friends from school will be graduating and moving to Massachusetts in about a month and I will definitely miss her. However, I’m incredibly proud of her and hope that, as a native Californian, she doesn’t hate her first cold winter too much.

Also, this is most likely the last time in my life that I will have a five week long Winter Break. When I return to USF in January, I will be beginning my eighth and final semester. The question that I will hear from every single person that I see over break will be “what are you going to do after you graduate?” And my answer right now is “no clue”. I’m totally okay with that, though. I’m completely happy with my life at USF right now and I don’t want to spend my last semester obsessing over what is going to happen after May. Don’t get me wrong; I’ll be networking as much as possible and interning throughout the semester. I just don’t want to miss out on fully experiencing my last semester. 

But first, I get to spend five weeks relaxing and celebrating the holidays. I hope you all have a great holiday season and I’ll send more updates in 2012!

Thanksgiving in Marin

(Kelly) Permanent link

    My first Thanksgiving in San Francisco was the first (and pretty much only) time that I got really homesick. Everyone of my friends from home goes to school much closer to home than me so they were all home for the first time during Thanksgiving break of my freshman year. Cross-country flights at Thanksgiving are ridiculously expensive and our break isn’t long enough to warrant a trip home. Luckily, I have lots of family in the Bay Area so I’ve been able to spend the holiday with them each year. It has been great getting to spend so much time with family that I didn’t get to see much growing up and the rest of my East Coast family is jealous that I get to spend time with everyone!

    Even if I didn’t have family out here, I think I would have been able to survive Thanksgivings on the West Coast. I have quite a few friends who also don’t go home for the holiday. Usually, they tag along with another friends’ family who lives nearby but sometimes they even host their own Thanksgiving celebrations in San Francisco. This year, I spent my holiday break with my family in Marin County (just north of San Francisco) and got to hear all about how excited my younger cousin was on her first Thanksgiving home from college in Santa Cruz. It reminded me of my freshman year Thanksgiving and how thankful I am to have such great family and friends here in the Bay Area. Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

Mid Terms and Studying

(Kelly) Permanent link

    This semester, my midterms were spread out throughout October and November so I had time to do all of my studying and paper writing-or so I thought. During the times when I had midterms, I ended up also attending a couple of conferences. The first was in the end of October and was the Not For Sale Campaign’s Global Forum on Human Trafficking. I took a class with the President and Co-Founder of Not For Sale, David Batstone, when I was a sophomore at USF and have been volunteering at the Global Forum for the past two years. There were about six USF students volunteering this year and the event was great!

    The second conference was the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice in Washington, DC. About 1200 people, representing Jesuit colleges, universities, high schools, parishes and other communities affiliated with the Jesuits, attended the Teach-In. We spent the weekend listening to speakers and participating in different breakout sessions all focused on different social justice issues. A student from USF even gave one of the mainstage talks! The last day of the Teach-In was a day spent lobbying on Capitol Hill. Along with the rest of the USF delegation, I spoke with representatives from the offices of California Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein about the Dream Act. Thankfully, I found some time at the airports and planes to get some of my work done! 

Back to the Books!

(Kelly) Permanent link

      Last time I blogged here, I finished up by talking about gearing up for my senior year. The first few weeks of the semester went by in such a blur after that! I moved into a new apartment on a Monday afternoon and had my first class of the semester on that Tuesday morning. I spent the next few days getting all of my stuff out of storage, getting my room organized, meeting my new professors and classmates, and catching up with all of my friends that I hadn’t seen in months. A huge number of my friends and classmates had studied abroad the previous semester so it was really exciting to see everyone again and hear all about their experiences.

      While I enjoyed my time in DC, I was so excited to get back to the USF community. Those first few weeks back were hectic but one thing really sticks out for me when I think about that time: my first dance class of the semester. The Dance Program at USF is pretty small but such an amazing program. That first class felt like coming home to a family reunion of sorts (cheesy I know, but it’s true!) and made me so grateful for being a part of that community. Though the rest of the semester is looking like it is going to be just as busy as the first few weeks were, I’m looking forward to every bit of it! 

Gearing up for School!

(Kelly) Permanent link

    After a whirlwind of a semester in D.C., Cyprus, Greece and Turkey, I moved out of my dorm on May 4th to start my last (and longest) summer vacation as an undergraduate student. On May 4th, my only plan for the summer was to get back to San Francisco as soon as I possibly could. I missed the city and the USF community incredibly while I was away and booked a plane ticket for early June back to the Bay Area. For the majority of the summer, I’ve been living with family in Marin County (just north of the city, across the Golden Gate Bridge) and taking the ferry into San Francisco for a few days each week to work in the Office of Admission and see friends who are in the city for the summer.

    Fortunately, I’ve also had some friends from around the country visit San Francisco this summer. I love having visitors and showing them around the city that I’ve come to love. My absolute favorite thing about San Francisco is the city’s food. While you may have to wait in a line to get Blue Bottle Coffee and the most amazing waffle ever at the Ferry Building downtown or for ice cream at Bi-Rite in the Mission, the food is well worth the wait. 

   Now I’m gearing up for my senior year: moving into a new apartment, getting books for my classes and welcoming everyone who spent the summer elsewhere back to San Francisco! 

Hi All!

(Kelly) Permanent link
Hi all, my name is Kelly Mills. I'm a senior originally from Norwalk, CT. I moved out to San Francisco 3 years ago to attend USF and love both coasts. I'm majoring in International Studies with minors in African Studies and Peace and Justice Studies. At USF, I'm involved in the Not For Sale club, a couple other social justice-focused clubs and the USF dance ensemble. With classes I've taken during my time at USF, I've travelled to Cambodia to research human trafficking and Greece, Turkey and Cyprus to study conflict resolution. I've absolutely loved my first 3 years at USF and I'm excited to share a little bit of my senior year on the hilltop with you!


(Kelly) Permanent link

Happy Summer! I just got back to the Bay Area after a semester in Washington, D.C. For the Spring Semester, I participated in a program called USF in DC, taking classes at American University 3 days a week and interning the other 2 days. I was a member of the Peace and Conflict Resolution Seminar with 22 other students from around the U.S. and the world. We spent the majority of the semester visiting with different organizations, companies and individuals who work in the Peace and Conflict Resolution field in D.C. and studying different conflicts. I interned at the International Labor Rights Forum, an advocacy organization that focuses on the rights of workers globally. I learned about ILRF through a USF Professor, David Batstone, whose own non-profit, the Not For Sale Campaign works with ILRF. The internship was my first experience working in a formal office from 9-5 and taught me A LOT about what my future job may entail.

The highlight of my semester was a 3 week field research trip to Cyprus, Greece and Turkey. My classmates and I studied the Cyprus Conflict in-depth for about a month and a half before travelling to the Mediterranean. In Cyprus, we met with a huge variety of speakers and organizations. We even got to visit the UN Buffer Zone that cuts the tiny island in two and met with UN Peacekeeping troops stationed on the island (the UN peacekeeping mission in Cyprus is the longest running UN peacekeeping mission and has been active on the island since 1964). All of these UN visits were especially interesting to me after taking a class at USF the semester prior to living in DC on the history of the UN.

I went to DC hoping to figure out whether or not I could move back to the East Coast after graduating in the Spring. While I was reminded about how terrible living in the snow can be, I also really enjoyed much of what DC had to offer and now I’m even more undecided about where I’ll be after I graduate!