Time Management Tips from an Expert Procrastinator

16 Nov

I’m a horrible procrastinator. I leave everything until the last minute- homework, studying, papers, projects, you name it. It doesn’t matter how long I’ve known about the assignment, how easy the assignment is, or how much of my grade it’s worth. One of my goals for this semester was to have better time management. For me, this takes a lot of planning and being intentional with my time. Here are the things I’ve learned to help me manage my time:

  • Schedule the hours of my day. I write a schedule with everything I have going on in my day- work, class, clubs, meetings, etc., then I plan when I’m going to do homework and study. I also make sure I plan time that I’m going to take for myself so that I have time to rest and take care of myself.
  • For big assignments or tests, I plan out what I’m going to do or study on each day for a week leading up to the test or due date. It really helps me when I sit down with my planner and all that I need to get done and schedule things day by day. This gives me a lot of mini-benchmarks so that I know I’m making progress and not putting things off. It also looks a lot more manageable when I look and see that I have to write one page a day for the next week as opposed to seeing that I have a 7 page paper due in a week.
  • When studying and working, I work with no distractions for 25 minutes, then take a 5-minute break. If I sit down and say I’m going to work for half an hour, I waste most of that time sitting around, playing games on my phone, etc. However, when I give myself 5 minutes to do those things, the other 25 minutes are way more productive because I know I have a break coming up.2
  • Wake up early in the morning to do work as opposed to staying up late. I’m a terrible morning person and love staying up late, but I’ve noticed this year that when I try to stay up and work, I don’t really get anything done. I waste most of my time doing pretty much nothing. So now I wake up earlier in the morning and finish assignments. This way, I have more motivations to get things done because I have a set amount of time to finish things before I leave for class.
  • Do quick assignments and study small sections when you have a free 10-15 minutes. We never realize how much random time we let go to waste throughout the day. Those 5 minutes you’re sitting in a classroom before class starts, the 10 minutes you’re waiting in line for food or coffee, 2 minute Hulu commercial breaks. If you add up all of these random times throughout the day, they can really add up to a substantial chunk of time. I always carry around a stack of flash cards and pull them out during these times. Before I know it, I’ve studied a few hours without adding any extra time.

  • Work in a space with minimal distractions. For me, this is at my desk. Whenever I try to work in my living room, I end up wanting to take a nap on the comfy couch, going to the kitchen for a snack, turning on the TV, or talking to my roommate. Without distractions, I can make the most of my time and get things done quicker.3

Doing these things has really helped me manage my time better. I’m not going to lie and say that I’m an expert at time management or that I’ve stopped procrastinating completely (because I totally haven’t), but being mindful of making these changes has helped me to get better at using my time wisely. I notice I get a lot more done and have more free time when I focus on working and being more productive with my time. I hope these tips help you manage your time better too!



Pre-Exam Strategies

16 Nov

We are finally in the last leg of the semester, and now is the time to finish strong. It’s really easy to start slacking off around this time (especially now that Thanksgiving Break is here). Instead of going into total relaxation mode, use Thanksgiving Break to recuperate all your energy so that you can bring your A-game to finals!

To ensure you are best prepared for finals and any midterms you may have before finals – try out my pre-exam study method:

  1. Don’t wait until the last minute! As hard as it is, try to avoid procrastinating – it can be so tempting, I know. But think about it this way, why would you want to have one day where life sucks and you’re studying until 3 in the morning, when you can space it out instead over a few days?the office dwight GIF
  2. Figure out your approach early. Can you get a group together for this exam or do you need to take this on solo? If you can work in a group, communicate with potential members early so that you can call Dibs! in the library! Also, do your best to ensure that you can work well with this group. Some friends (even while being wonderful, hilarious people) can be too distracting for studying purposes. Pro tip: group study rooms in the library are a major key!the office dwight x michael GIF
  3. How many chapters are on the exam? I try to separate days out by chapters – so my rule of thumb is 2-3 chapters per day just so I don’t get overwhelmed. Sometimes you can’t avoid going into crunch mode, but try to start early to avoid that. If you do have to do multiple chapters in one day, give yourself small breaks to recover.dwight schrute GIF
  4. Don’t let stress or nervousness interfere on exam day. Personally, I avoid exam jitters by ensuring that I am as prepared as possible beforehand. Once you know you have done the work, there’s no point in stressing, right? (Please note steps above ;))

Good luck on these final tests, y’all!

-Amna 🙂

An Arizona Horror Story: Waitlisted

8 Nov

If it hasn’t already happened, it probably will in the future… You plan a week in advance, you wake up at 6:00 AM, you hit that “submit” button, and it’s all downhill from there. Unfortunately, it happens to all of us. Sometimes it just so happens that our semester schedules don’t look exactly the way we wish it would. So where do we go from there?

Well, like many students I’ve also been in that same boat. Even now, in my senior year, I have to deal with not having taken the right classes or being waitlisted for graduation requirements with only a semester before graduation. A bad schedule, closed classes, and waitlists can put a damper on your day. Sure, it’s a little bit stressful feeling like you don’t have many options left to choose from and you’re short on time but with a little bit of perspective you can take a step back and find an adequate solution!

Finding ways of fixing the problem, no matter how daunting, is the first step in paving the road to better days. The first suggestion anyone would give someone who is having schedule troubles is obvious: go see an advisor. Advisors know the ups, downs, and turn-arounds of scheduling. They understand that things happen and they always seem to be ready to provide a number of good alternatives. Who knows? Maybe the one class you thought you had no option of replacing has an alternative or an equivalent that can you can substitute for. And waitlists? Those aren’t forever. In my case, my advisor was great about walking me through the steps of getting on the waitlist and, more importantly, was great about assuring me that the department was working on a way to resolve the issue for everyone expecting graduation in May. Point is, there are solutions.

So yeah, not everyone gets the schedule they believe they deserve. It’s not always fair but it’s the way of the world and in the world, the things that matter the most are not the hardships that come your way but the manner in which you respond to those hardships. Be the person that goes out of their way to find a solution! You’re a Wildcat, you’ll find a way!


How to NOT Freak Out About Not Getting the Classes You Need

7 Nov

It kind of sucks, but not everyone can get everything they want. What’s even worse is that you woke up at 6am to register for a class you didn’t even get. But don’t worry, friends! Although you might not have gotten the exact schedule you wanted, there are ways to solve these problems. There are stranger things than not having a perfect schedule.


Your face when you didn’t get your classes, huh?

  1. Breathe!

The first thing to do, is NOT freak out. I know, I know, you didn’t get the course you need and you NEED it. But, first, for the love of Eggos and your sanity, breathe. Freaking out is not going to get you the courses you need or want. Be a mouth breather, and take a breath!


  1. Waiting list

Hop on UAccess and get on that waiting list! Email your professors, ask if you can get on that waiting list. This is the buffer stage between not having the class and getting into the course. Make sure if you can get on that waiting list you do so. THIS WILL DO YOU WONDERS because people do drop classes, so you’ll be ready!


get ready for that mad dash to the waiting list

  1. Talk to your advisor

DO THIS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Your advisor will help you know if the class you want/need is detrimental to your major and graduation rate.  They’ll help you find substitutes for those classes, or find a way for you to take that course. Your advisor is your Mr. Clarke. They will be there through your thick and thins to make sure you GET what you NEED.


  1. Look at substitute classes

After talking to your advisor, they probably gave you a list of options to go through. If there are substitute classes you can take that help your major course or anything, go for it! Other classes your major requires that you can take. For some majors you can take a class that will put you ahead, and the next semester you can take the class you missed. There are many possibilities, so make sure you explore them!


there’s a world of possibilities out there!

  1. Different class versions?

Online? Community College? Summer/Winter course?

Your advisor will walk you through these options too, so make sure you’re utilizing all of your options! You can transfer credits, so definitely ask around!


run and get that information you need!

With all of this in mind, the first thing you need to do is not stress too much about it. Your advisor and the University want what is best for you. Where there is a will, there is a way. There are many resources on campus to use, and I can assure there is a way and plan to get you where you want to get!


Get ready to swing at these courses with all your resources!

So get ready, and go get what you want!

Stay beautiful,

Lils xx

There’s An App For That

3 Nov

Nowadays, technology is something you simply just can’t avoid, you wouldn’t even be able to read this blog without it. Between all of the digital learning platforms, social media, and organizational capabilities technology has a lot to offer us. But all of those awesome benefits come with a price- we become responsible for being safe when we use these tools. In addition, we have to keep up with the fast pace of new threats popping up all the time. I’ve chosen just a few things that are especially relevant for college students to talk about, but be sure to do your own research too!

Facebook and Snapchat

From sharing photos to promoting events to keeping in touch with people around the world, Facebook and Snapchat are spaces for you to express yourself and maintain your network. Most people would probably say that their friends overshare information on social networking apps. While that could be perceived as a nuisance, it can actually be a threat to your safety. Check your privacy settings and make sure that posts and photos aren’t visible to the general public, and never friends someone you don’t know in real life. Avoid sharing your location if it is unnecessary, it makes it easy for stalkers to find you. When going on vacation, don’t make an announcement- it leaves you vulnerable to being robbed. It may sound outrageous, but these things have happened to others.

Dating apps and sites

-Using dating apps and websites is all about personal preference. They provide an opportunity to meet people you might not have otherwise interacted with. However, there is no guarantee that the person on the other side of the screen is who they say they are. Be extremely cautious about how much personal information you reveal to these strangers. If you do decide to meet them in person, drive yourself or have a way to transport yourself. If the date does not go well or they turn out to be a creeper, you don’t want to get trapped in a car with them. Always meet in a public place and tell someone where you are going. It’s up to you if you want to give them your phone number or Snapchat username, just know that you lose control over who they may give that information out to after you do so.

General computer safety & viruses

Always have an antivirus software installed on your computer. As a U of A student, you have access to free downloads of antivirus programs at https://softwarelicense.arizona.edu/. Be aware of websites that commonly infect computers, such as sites to pirate movies, and don’t visit them even if you have antivirus software. When using email, don’t download attachments from spam emails or click on links. Phishing scams often seem legitimate, but may ask you to provide your password or other personal information, which is a big clue that it is a scam.

Unsecured WiFi

We all love to use free WiFi, but do not connect to unsecure networks. It is incredibly easy for hackers to gain access to your computer this way. Additionally, never enter your passwords if you do use an unsecure wireless connection. They’re great for a quick Google search, but not the place to do your online banking or schoolwork.

Taking steps to be safe virtually could save your life or protect you from identity theft. While the consequences of not adequately protecting yourself can be terrifying, the good news is that you don’t have to be a tech expert to stay safe.


Think Safety, Because I Love You, Man

2 Nov

You may have noticed that in college, the weeks are for studying, while the weekends are for going out. This is something that you will constantly be exposed to during college, and while going out and having a good time can be amazing, it can also expose you to some dangers. It’s important to be aware of these things, so that you can maximize your fun time out while also being careful with the things you do and the people you meet.


You’ve probably heard some horror stories about people going out and things going wrong. Don’t fret, I have put together some important things to remember when you go out – whether it be to a party or just exploring Tucson!

  1. Never go out alone. Always go out with a group, or even utilize the buddy system! This is one of the most important rules. Going out in a group will lower the chances of something unfortunate happening, and you’ll always have someone else with you to rely on.
  2. Utilize “taxi” services, like Uber and Lyft. These services just make life easier, especially if you didn’t bring your car to college with you. Now you never have to worry about parking! I’m sure your parents and teachers have always told you never to drink and drive, it’s essentially the golden rule. Uber and Lyft are safe, easy, and they can even be fun!giphy-downsized
  3. Always carry your phone with you. In the Digital Age, this almost goes without saying. Personally, I never go anywhere without my phone on me! When you go out in a group and get into a crowded room, it can be extremely easy to lose track of your friends. If you have your phone, your friends are just a text/call away! Always make sure to check in with your friends every so often when you’re out, and at the very least, have at least one person know where you are at all times.
  4. Making friends is great! Going out is all about meeting new people and having fun. But keep in mind that not everyone has good intentions! Make sure to always stay in a public space – especially if you’re with a stranger. If someone asks you to go somewhere alone with them, kindly direct the conversation a different way or tell them you need to find your friends.
  5. Keep your eyes on that drink! When you’re drinking, it’s pretty easy to lose track of your drink. With everyone dancing and moving around you, you may set it down somewhere only to find it and pick it up again later in the night. That is no bueno! Make sure that if you’re drinking, you always keep your drink with you and never accept drinks from strangers.
  6. Know your limits. Sometimes, we bite off more than we can chew. While challenges are great, it may not be so great when it comes to alcohol. Binge drinking is popular in college, and even though going out and partying with your friends can be great, alcohol poisoning is not. Make sure you know when you’ve had enough, and slow down! The whole night is ahead of you.giphy-downsized
  7. Don’t be afraid to help someone out.  Every once in a while, alcohol poisoning strikes. Alcohol poisoning can be extremely dangerous, and depending on the severity, even fatal. If one of your friends gets alcohol poisoning, it’s important to call the police or an ambulance right away. Many college students hesitate to call for help because many engage in underage drinking. Here is the truth: the police care more about keeping people safe than getting you in trouble.

College experiences can be some of the best of your life. You’ll make memories and friends that will last a lifetime! While college can be fun, it’s also important to remember to put your health first. Be smart and be safe, Wildcats!



How the University Keeps Students Safe and Immersed in the Community

30 Oct

With students being approximate 2/3 of the way done with their first semester, they’ve learned to handle academic stress, how to stay organized, and how to work the washer and dryer. There are three things that parents do worry about that are more difficult for students to learn:

Building Community

Although students have a handle on their school work, often times, we see students struggle with maintaining friend groups in which they can truly be themselves and be immersed in the community. Luckily the University has many different resources to help students build their sense of community, as well as find people that have similar interests as them. The University’s office of Diversity & Inclusion offers a student clubs and organizations list, a place where students can find inclusive clubs and organizations correlated to different cultures and traditions. If students want to join clubs or intramural sports, ASUA has a full list of all of the club opportunities here in the Wildcat Country. Lastly, if students want to get involved (volunteering, going to sporting events, or participating in philanthropic events), there is the “Getting Involved” page that the University has compiled.

Many times students aren’t immersed in the community simply because of a lack of awareness of all the resources at their disposal. There are so many ways your student can be fully engaged at the University without having to pay loads of money to join a club.

Campus Safety

This is the part where most parents worry. But, our campus goes through many measures to ensure that the students will be as safe as possible. The first thing that our campus has are the ‘blue light’ posts. Around campus are these posts that have a button that lights up. If a student feels endangered or feels like they are being followed, students can press the button on the post and keep walking. As the student walks and presses more buttons, UAPD tracks their movements and will catch up to escort a student who is feeling unsafe to their destination.

CAPS is the University’s Counseling and Psych Services that provide a safe space for students to talk about any issues or problems. This ensures the University’s efforts of ensuring student mental safety.

SafeCats is a proactive educational campaign that relays information related to safety through email and newsletters to students.

Social Safety

Ensuring safety around the social scene of college is another difficult task for Universities to offer. Luckily, there are campus resources, as well as other social services that keep students safe.

SafeRide is a free taxi-like service that shuttles students to and around campus. The drivers are students that attend the University who have gone through screenings and tests.

Companion is an app that many college students have on their phones that update their friends where they are and sends them a text when they reach their destination.

The more students utilize these free safety resources, the more assurance parents, families, and friends can feel about students going out.

I have used most of the safety resources our University, and as a female student here, I can assure that I feel safe. I have never felt really uncomfortable or threatened around campus. Although I have never felt this way, this does not mean students do not. Our University strives to make the University as safe as possible, extending these resources as far as possible.


Safety First!

27 Oct


We all like to feel that U of A is a safe place, especially considering this is where we go to class, study, work, eat, and even live. U of A has a lot of safety precautions in place, but it’s still a large college campus. It’s important to be proactive and aware when it comes to our personal safety. Here are some of my tips for how to stay safe and feel safe on campus.

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  1. Be aware of your surroundings. It’s so important to pay attention to what’s going on around you. Look around when you’re walking alone, pay attention when you’re getting into your car, and notice people that are around you. This isn’t to say you have to look over your shoulder every 2 minutes, but just pay attention to what’s happening around you.
  2. Don’t walk around distracted. This includes having on headphones, texting, or searching around in your bag. You can’t really be fully aware of your surroundings if you’re attention is on something else.
  3. Try to avoid walking alone at night. I try to avoid walking alone at night whenever possible. I know that sometimes it’s unavoidable though, so I call a friend or family member. That way someone knows that I’m out and alone and knows when I get to my car/house/wherever safely. On the other hand, there would also be someone who would immediately know if I was in danger.
  4. Always make sure someone knows where you are, especially at night. I always tell my roommate a general time she should expect me home. If I’m not home by then, she checks it to make sure I’m okay. Or if I know a friend of mine is walking/driving alone, I’ll tell them to text me when they’re home. These may seem unnecessary, but it’s an easy thing to do to look out for yourself and your friends.
  5. Keep a low profile social media presence.Sure, you want all your friends to know what you’re doing and where you’re going at all times. But you don’t want strangers to know all of that information too. Take a few minutes to review your privacy settings, and keep your accounts private so you can approve who sees what you post. Also, don’t check in to public places or share your location on something like snapchat maps. Strangers shouldn’t know where you are at all times.
  6. Be informed about campus safety precautions. Obviously everyone knows “911”, but it can be really beneficial to know non-emergency police numbers. U of A also has a great emergency blue light system, and Saferide is a great resource for traveling at night as well.
  7. Consider taking a self defense class. This is a case of “it’s better to have and not need than need and not have.” Hopefully you’ll never be in a position where you’ll have to defend yourself (and if you follow these tips, you’ll be less likely to be in that position), but it’s a good skill to have just in case.jimmy
  8. Use common sense. There’s no substitute for your own common sense. As long as you are aware that there are potential dangers both on and off campus and you take precautions against these things, you have a low risk of ever encountering something dangerous. Be smart and take care of yourself.

Have a happy and safe semester!

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Staying Vigilant

27 Oct

Hi, Wildcats! Because the theme of this edition surrounds safety, I thought I would do a bit of a more serious blog. I think we often take our own safety for granted — or at least I do, for sure.

I’m an out of state student, so when I arrived at UA for my freshman year, I of course knew my parents were going to be a little concerned and more protective than usual. I would laugh lovingly at my dad when he texted me reminding me to check that my dorm door was locked. Genuinely, for whatever reason, I had this false sense of security. You hear horror stories and as cliche as it is, you think: It’s never going to be me.

Then as freshman year progressed, these “horror stories” started happening to friends I made on campus. I was no longer so removed from the situation. Think about it — how often do you get an alert email from UAPD? Pretty often. Attacks of all kinds can occur on campus, and an important thing to realize is that we are at even more of a risk because we are on a college campus – as sad as that is.

Honestly at this point, I’m sure all of you have yourself experienced a scare or at least someone you know closely has. It’s upsetting, but you can take steps to ensure you are more cautious. Below are some tips and steps that I use to proactively take my safety in my own hands:

  1. Be aware of who is around you. Are you alone in a room? If you’re walking on the street at night, are there other students populating the sidewalks?
    1. Also another note I have on this —  I know some of you will relate here — if you’re walking alone at night, please, please, please do not wear headphones in both ears. I am absolutely guilty of this, and I get it – music is near and dear to all of our hearts and can make a 15 minute walk across campus genuinely enjoyable. Try putting a single earbud in instead of both though. When you’re out late at night and completely tuned out, you are not aware of your surroundings — there’s no way you can be! If someone is approaching you quickly, and you don’t even hear their steps coming, you’re putting yourself in more danger.
  2. Keep your phone easily accessible. Most of us walk with our phones in our hands so hopefully this won’t be too hard. Additionally, if you for any reason start feeling a little unsafe, do not hesitate to pull your phone out. Dial UAPD, 911, or even your mom depending on the situation, and know that you can press the “call” symbol at any moment.
  3. If you have a car and are parked somewhere, are the doors locked? I often sit in my car and listen to music, finish up a phone call, or whatever have you. But you never know who is watching you (as ominous as that sounds). I have heard horror stories of people just jumping into the passenger side and overwhelming the driver. And again, make sure you aren’t parked at a sketchy grocery store at like 2am! 
  4. For students out late on campus, use SafeRide. This is pretty self explanatory! If it’s late at night and this free service is provided by ASUA, why not take advantage?
  5. Look out for one another. Consider downloading a Safety App. When you go out with a group of friends, text one another and make sure everyone got home safely. Have your close friends on “Find My Friends.” 

There are so many small, easy-to-do, proactive steps you can take now to feel a higher sense of security, and in my opinion, they are worth it. So please be safe, and be a little more cautious this year and for the rest of your years, Wildcats!

-Amna 🙂

#OutrageousOctober: Acting in a Haunted House

25 Oct

I don’t do scary things. I’ve never been to a haunted house. I’ve watched one scary movie in my life and had my back turned to the screen 95% of the movie. When I would go trick or treating as a kid and a house had a haunted house you had to go through to get the candy, I’d make my sister and all my friends go in front of me so they’d get scared first. I’ve just never understood why people choose to get scared. Now don’t get me wrong, I like Halloween. I like the when the weather cools down (if it cools down), the costumes, the candy, the cheesy Halloween movies, and the start of the holiday season. I just don’t like the scary part of it. That being said, I’m also not an actor. The extent of my acting career was a few elementary school class plays, so when I had the opportunity to act in a haunted house as a fundraiser, I figured it was perfect for my Outrageous October.

Because I’ve never been to or acted in a haunted house, I had no idea what to expect when I arrived at Slaughterhouse, one of Tucson’s most popular haunted houses. I showed up at 4:30 wearing the assigned uniform of a black t-shirt and jeans. When my full volunteer group was present, an employee of the haunted house came to get us and have us sign in. From there, we went to a window and got our character assignment for the night. I was assigned to be a clown. I’m not really scared of clowns, but with the new movie It, I figured it was a pretty good place to be in if I wanted to be able to scare people. Once we had our character assignments, we went to an actors’ tent and sat and waited to be called back to get our costumes, hair, and makeup. We aren’t allowed to show pictures of hair and makeup until after the end of the haunted house season, but just take my word for it when I say it was pretty much everything you’d expect clown makeup to be. After a brief actors’ meeting, we were put in position for people to start coming through the haunted house.

Pretty much what I was doing in the haunted house was standing in a hallway and jump scaring groups of people as they walked by. Scaring people was admittedly fun. Because of the lighting and other effects, often times people couldn’t tell if I was a real or a fake clown, so they were extra scared when I jumped out at them screaming. I made a lot of people jump, scream, and I even made one guy fall on the floor which was pretty funny (don’t worry he wasn’t hurt). It was especially funny when I’d really scare a person and the other members of their group would voice how they were impressed. While there were obviously a few people who didn’t get scared which was a little awkward when you’re right in their face, I was able to scare most groups. However, my feet, knees and back HURT. I have a bad back and knees anyway, so standing straight against a wall for four hours was pretty brutal. On top of that, I was sweaty, I was hungry, and my throat hurt from screaming. It was a long four hours for sure.

Overall though, I’d say I had a pretty positive experience and definitely stepped outside of my comfort zone. It was fun getting to play a totally different character and scare people. It was also really cool to get a behind the scenes look at what goes on at a haunted house. It’s easier to not be afraid when you realize that it’s just actors in costumes playing a carefully crafted part. It was more difficult than I expected in terms of the physicality of the job, but I know it was for a good cause in fundraising for one of my clubs. I don’t know if I’ll be on the other side of a haunted house any time soon (I’m still a pretty big chicken) but it was fun to try something completely new to me and do something a little “outrageous” to celebrate the season.