Give a Little

keep-calm-and-donate-blood-5A quick Google search is all that is needed to find out how much people dislike spiders, heights, the thought of public speaking, and even the idea of death. Another culprit of many people’s fears are needles: they hurt, and you are likely getting one because you are sick and need a shot or need to have blood drawn. I, too, dislike needles, but I have been able to mostly conquer my fear with the thought that having a tiny needle in my arm for about ten minutes can save up to three lives through blood donation.

My first time donating blood was my senior year of high school. I had tried to donate a few times before, but I was always just a little under the recommended weight limit, which I will explain a little later. I heard so many people enjoyed donating blood but I just didn’t get it. Why would anyone voluntarily get poked with a needle and get drained of blood? I thought we weren’t supposed to lose blood? Honestly, I ended up wandering to my high school gymnasium to donate blood in order to get out of my biology class. The thing is, we were learning about the cardiovascular system in class that day! While the rest of my class got to learn about blood, I was seeing first hand the benefits that donating blood has.

Blood donation is a quick, rewarding, and relatively painless process. There are many blood centers in most major cities with one of the most popular and well known being the American Red Cross. Both at my high school and at LMU, however, Medic Regional Blood Center is who facilitates blood donations throughout the year. Each center is a little different, but the process is usually very similar no matter where you go.

To ensure the safety of the donor and the recipient, those who are interested in donating blood need to meet certain requirements in order to donate. You must be at least 17 years old in most states, but in some states 16 -year-olds can donate with parental consent. You must weight at least 110 pounds if you are over 18 and 120 pounds if under 18. The most updated information can be obtained at this website. If you have ever had certain cancers or other medical conditions, have taken specific medications, or have recently traveled to certain countries, you may not be able to donate. A thorough list will be given to you in order to make the process easier. The most important requirement is that you must feel well. Donating with a cold is definitely not a good idea! If you meet the age, weight, and health requirements you are good to continue with the donation process!

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You Gotta Have Passion

College students are notoriously known for their continuous concern about the future: choosing the ‘right’ major, getting internships, studying for the GRE, volunteering, and, ultimately, looking marketable for whatever path they choose to take after graduation. The inspiration for this post came from staff at Webucator.com in which students are trained to be lifelong learners who return to essential skills time and again with free Microsoft training. Some students enter directly into the workforce while some look to go to graduate school. No matter the case, college students almost always have the future on their minds and I am certainly no exception!

There are all sorts of self-help books that are geared toward people my age, everything from books that help you get the best test scores and get into the right college all the way to what majors and careers to go for.  While these books are wonderful resources, simply having them will not help much. If you absolutely hate the subject you are studying, finding any motivation to try and study will be incredibly difficult. Being able to find what you are passionate about will help more than any book ever will.

With passion anything can become possible. If you want to do something badly enough, finding a way to accomplish it will be but a minor bump in the road.  The saying, “If there is a will, there is a way,” rings true especially when someone is passionate, as passionate people are dangerous beings. Passionate people will find a way to do what they want, no matter the cost or the difficulty.

Finding something that makes you react like this is the key to success.

Finding something that makes you react like this is the key to success.

Although there are many admirable qualities that can help lead people to success, my personal experience has shown that passion is the most marketable skill. In a previous post I wrote, I talked about my new found interest in psychology and my ultimate decision to major in it along with English. It never made sense to me until last year to major in such a field. I had always been interested in different areas of psychological research, including personality, intelligence, language learning, and others. I found myself researching and thinking about these things in my spare time.  In other words, I was passionate about it. Fortunately, I still am passionate and I am able to focus a large amount of my education to learn about it even more. Regarding my future, the idea of going to graduate school for research psychology is the road I wish to take. English will always be a passion of mine, but psychology is as much of a passion, if not even more so, as English is. I’ve been told a multitude of times to get paid to do something I would do for free.

As I research future graduate schools for psychology, I have this reaction with every school I look at!

As I research future graduate schools for psychology, I have this reaction with every school I look at!

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