Staying Productive During Break

14 Dec

Hey, Wildcats! The end of the semester is finally here! Classes are ending, finals are approaching, and you’re probably starting to mentally check out. While it’s nice to recognize your accomplishments this semester, you also shouldn’t completely flip that mental switch into relaxation mode. It’s never to early to think ahead to next semester, and start preparing for the challenges of the future. Staying productive over break can help you stay on track, and make the transition from play to work much easier.

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It’s so easy to sleep half the day and watch Netflix until 9 pm when you don’t have to worry about studying anymore but there are tons of ways to stay productive during break to avoid that beginning-of-the-semester slump when spring comes around!

  1. Start a project. With no school work to tend to, many students try to do as little as possible during break. After such a long fall semester, it’s a relief to sit back and enjoy your free time. Starting a new project to work on – no matter how big or small – can help you ease into the spring semester much easier. Projects will help you keep your work flow alive, and in the long run, help you get back into the swing of university life!
  2. Maintain your sleep schedule. This may be one of the toughest things to do during break. Why would you go to sleep by 10 pm if you could go out and party until 3 am every day? While staying up late occasionally can be refreshing for some, you don’t want to have a messed up sleep schedule once the spring semester comes around. Fixing your body’s internal clock is one of the toughest things to do, especially over the course of a day or two. Avoid this hassle by keeping a steady sleep schedule.giphy-downsized
  3. Set goals during the break. Start and finish a new book, explore a place you’ve never been to, or write a fictional story. Giving yourself things to work towards during break helps you stay busy and productive, and will help you avoid procrastination in the semesters to come.
  4. Prepare yourself for Spring semester. One of the worst things you can do for yourself as a college student is come into class unprepared. Take the time the read the syllabi for your classes early, grab some books and materials, and even get ahead on some readings. Show initiative and enthusiasm and it will pay off in the long run!giphy-downsized
  5. Stay active. This is definitely one of the harder things to do when Netflix and your couch is calling your name. Make sure you stay active during the break to stay healthy, happy, and productive. Go for a run once a day, take a yoga class, or even ride your bike through your favorite neighborhood. Staying active will maintain productivity for the spring semester.

As students, we all dread returning to school after the holidays. Relaxing and giving yourself a pat on the back for all the hard work done this semester is important. But by remaining productive and keeping a positive outlook, the spring semester can turn out to be amazing and it will help you in the long run!

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-Elizabeth

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Beat the Winter Blues

14 Dec

Congratulations, you have made it through the fall semester! Now you’ve got a few weeks at home to not be stressed out for the first time since August. It will be very tempting to just lay around and be lazy, but now is the time to maximize your fun before the stress restarts in January! Here’s a few things you can do to make your winter break more worthwhile.

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Now is the time to sleep… but not for the entire break!

  • Be a tourist in your own hometown. There’s a lot of cool things in every hometown that you never realized were that awesome, until you started telling all of your college friends about them. So take advantage of being back! Go see all of the things that you’ve missed, or took for granted.
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  • Play with pets. Take them outside, if appropriate, or cuddle on the couch. Most college students don’t have time to take care of pets or aren’t able to bring their family pet with them.
  • Skype your college friends. Being separated from your friends for four weeks can be tough. Take advantage of video chat to keep in touch and feel like you’re basically together, even if you’re miles apart.
  • Take advantage of holiday sales. Buy the things you need or passed on for a while because it was a little too pricey. Take this moment to treat yo self to something nice, you deserve it!
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  • Enjoy home cooked meals and learn how to make them. Even though it’s never as good as when your family makes it, having that knowledge comes in handy when you’re having a bad day or feeling under the weather.
  • Spend time with friends that went away from college or that you haven’t seen in a while. It’s always great to trade stories and hear about what people are up to!
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Whatever you do this winter break, take some time to enjoy yourself. It’s so important to rejuvenate over these weeks and reconnect with the things that make you happy.

-Gabriela

 

#DreadedDecember: Off Schedule

14 Dec

When it comes to time off of school, I much prefer winter break to summer. I enjoy spending time at home with my family, but I always dread being off of my daily schedule. I’m usually the person that risks getting burnt out at the end of every semester, because try as I might, making time for self-care on a regular basis is difficult during the last few weeks of school. As a result, I spend the bulk of the first few days of break just catching up on sleep and eating properly. Invariably, my sleep schedule gets thrown out of whack and then I struggle to get it back to normal when the next semester starts.

Don’t get me wrong, there are perks to getting off schedule for a little bit. It’s somewhat refreshing to be able to do whatever I want, whenever I want. Between school and work, that’s not a luxury that I have once classes are in session anymore. I relish the time that I get to just go shopping with friends for as long as I want, or exercise as it is convenient. Breaks are a great time for me to reconnect with the things that I enjoy and that I am passionate about. However, after a few days of this, it loses its sparkle.

It’s okay to be a couch potato for a few days during break, but you have a lot of time on your hands to actually be productive. Take advantage and start planning ahead for the next semester, apply for summer internships and jobs, and start thinking about your future! For me, break is a time that I simultaneously look forward to and dread. Fortunately there are a lot of solutions to make it a lot better.

-Gabriela

Get Your Head (Back) in the Game

12 Dec

We are finally back! I know that for some of us (most of us) the idea of coming back for the second semester is a little daunting. Now’s the time to get back on the study, class, work, and life grind. So yes, it is time to put your head back in the game, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. There’s a lot to look forward to with the start of a new semester!

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  1. A chance to have a fresh start! Honestly, this refers to a fresh start when it comes to school and life. Maybe last year you weren’t as involved as you wanted to be. Join a club this semester! Or maybe, last semester didn’t go as well as you wanted it to go in the grades department. This is your chance to start the semester off strong.high school musical GIF
  2. Now you know what works best for you. I know for me; first semester freshman year was essentially one giant learning curve. I didn’t know exactly how to approach all my classes because each class requires a different approach in college. That might sound confusing, but to clarify: Nobody studies the same for a gender studies class and a calculus class. One is primarily essay based and the other consists of nightly homework assignments. Now, you know how to divide your time appropriately and how to best avoid cramming. Use it to your advantage.high school musical GIF
  3. New Years Resolution. Follow through with your resolution, whatever it be! If you want to start eating healthier, go for it. If you want to start going to the gym more, hit the rec (warning: Campus Rec might be a little more packed at the start of the new year – that’s a good thing though right? More potential friends…?)sexy zac efron GIF(Alright you caught me, not from the movie) 😛
  4. Hang out with the right people. This is kind of a strange one, but based on my own experiences and most of my friends’ experiences, the first group of friends you hang out with in college aren’t like to be the ones you end your college experience with. There are honestly so many people at this school, and even if you’re friends right now are amazing people, it doesn’t hurt to get out there and meet some others. It can be a little scary at first, but I’ll add that I met my best friend in the world my second semester of freshman year.
  5. My personal favorite: you get to buy new school supplies!!!!! This speaks for itself people.

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That’s all for now; good luck with the new semester! (Really trying hard not to make a “Bet On It” reference right now….)

-Amna 😊

New Year, Better You

12 Dec

“New Year, new me.” Raise your hand if you’ve heard someone say this in the past week?

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Raise both hands if you’re the one who said it.

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The hype around changing yourself because it’s a new year is stupid overrated. Why do you have to change your entire self for another year? Also, why is there a sudden personality crisis because the number at the end of the date you write changes?  These ‘changes’ you want to make to yourself should not be dependent because of a year; these changes can happen now, and you should consistently trying to improve yourself. So, with this in mind, here are some ideas for the New Year, and Better you regimen.

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yes, yes we are

  1. Be Kind

What, Lil? I am nice. Sure. Okay. Now, we’re going to jog down memory lane. What was the last mean thing you said – yes even to your friends. I know, like I know you show your friends that you love them by being a little mean. I’m not saying that it isn’t okay, but try to be kinder in general. You see someone struggling to open the door? Go ahead, open the door. Your friend having a rough day? Come sit with them over some coffee. Small things like this improve your relationships.
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2. Eat More.

Okay, I don’t mean buy 5 Highland burritos in one sitting. I mean, eat more from life. Enjoy the moments; live in the present. Take a bite out of the morning; remember the positive aspects in life. Eat THEM UP. But also, eat real food too.Image result for star wars gif

3. Exercise?

I don’t mean like a total crossfit routine, I just mean go on a walk, or small jog. Take a class with your friends at the Rec. Instead of ubering to University blvd. take a walk. Rent one of those bikes that TEP has put around campus. Fresh air is good for your body! You don’t need to reinvent yourself, just improve!

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A for effort

4. Laugh More.

Laughing is literally the only thing that relieves stress. You can laugh about your stress, and still feel good. SO this year, with these goals in your head, remind yourself to laugh a little more and stress a little less. Laugh at the small things in life, laugh at the big things in life. Just LAUGH.Image result for star wars gif

5. Be Happy

This is a hard one. What is happiness? How do you achieve happiness? Well, I don’t really know the answer, but, do the things you love more. Go adventuring. Do not be afraid of change, or improving yourself. Get your Highland burrito, go try that new class at the Rec. Go watch the movie you’ve been dying to watch. But most of all, spread your happiness to others. Some people find happiness in other people’s happiness; so go around infecting others with your happiness.

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With all of this in mind, I want you to have a great year. I want you to be the best you you can be. I don’t want you to change your personality, rather, build on it, nourish your soul and your body so you can be that happy beacon. After all, you don’t have to be a new you to be better!

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Much love,

Lils xx

 

Opportunities for Spring Semester

12 Dec

Winter break is coming to a close and the spring semester is upon us. While I’m sure we’d all love another week (or more) of time off, I like to focus on being excited for the beginning of the new semester, instead of being sad for the end of the break. The start of the spring semester is one of my favorite times of the school year. It’s a new beginning with a ton of opportunities.

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One of the biggest opportunities that spring semester gives is academically. If you didn’t have a strong fall semester, spring gives you the opportunity to make up for it. The first semester is always difficult because you’re getting used to how college classes (and professors) operate, forming new study habits, acclimating to living on your own, and trying to navigate who you are in this new setting. By spring semester, you’re a lot more familiar with how classes work, hopefully you’re dealing with homesickness better, and you’re really getting a sense of who you are. If things didn’t go so well last semester, take this as an opportunity to change your study habits and set yourself down the right path.

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Spring semester is also a great opportunity to get involved if you didn’t last semester (or if you want to get involved more). It can be hard to join a club in the middle of a semester. At the beginning of the semester, clubs are expecting new members so it can be easier to integrate into a club. You could also get involved by getting a job or internship. A lot of places on campus are looking to hire and fill positions at the start of the semester.

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One of my personal goals for the spring semester is to be intentional with my time. It can be so hard to balance school, work, clubs, and leadership positions with spending time with my friends and taking time for myself. I know that if I’m not proactive in being intentional, I won’t see my friends very much or take time for myself. These things are both really important not only for the health of my friendships, but also my own health. I’m really going to take the opportunities I have to spend time with friends and spend healthy time alone.

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Whatever you’re looking forward to with the upcoming spring semester, I hope you seize the opportunities you have in front of you. Whether it be improving your grades, getting more involved, or being intentional with your relationships, be proactive with your semester and make the best of it right from the beginning!

-Jess

#DreadedDecember: Stressed About Not Stressing?

12 Dec

There is officially a light at the of the tunnel — finals are finishing up/ have already ended! Congratulations!! So now you finally get to go home, eat some home cooked meals, relax, and basically do whatever.

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I’m sure some of you are very proactive when it comes to planning your winter breaks! For example, maybe you’re studying abroad or going on a cool trip with friends and family. Or maybe you’re even earning some extra cash with a winter break job or externship.

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Honestly, I respect that! But for whatever reason, as planned out as I am during the year, that’s how lazy I am during break. And even though it sound ridiculous, it really stresses me out!! I feel like I don’t know what to do with myself. I love hanging out with my family and friends, but for how long can that go on?

This break I am trying to be a bit more regimented. You know, go to the gym everyday, plan outings with my family, eat super healthy (save the holidays), learn how to play NBA 2K to hang out with my brother, play some tennis with my dad, and yeah…

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So yes, that is the plan, but honestly will these thing happen? IDK because honestly I something happens to me when I go home. Maybe it’s the humidity? But regardless, I hope you all have the best winter break, and spend it exactly how you want to!

-Amna 🙂

 

#DreadedDecember: Making Plans

10 Dec

I love winter break. I get to go home and see my family, boyfriend, and my best friends from home. I also get time to relax and prepare for the upcoming semester. While this is all great, it can be really stressful for me to balance doing everything that I want to do over break and making plans with so many different groups of people. That’s why my Dreaded December is making plans over break.

I’m definitely much more of a planner as opposed to being spontaneous. I like to know when I’m doing things, especially when I’m planning so many things with so many people. Added to this, both my best friends from home and my boyfriend and I decided that instead of giving gifts, we’d do something fun for Christmas. For my best friends, that meant finding two days that fit all three of our schedules for a short road trip. When you throw in the fact that we’re all trying to spend time with our families, one of my friends is working and has family in from out of state, and my other friend is traveling a few times, and that was an adventure. As for my boyfriend, he lives out of state during the school year, so we try to spend as much time together as possible. However, he’s traveling with his family twice over break and still has to keep up his workout schedule (he’s an athlete). Throw my family’s schedule and holiday plans into the mix, and it’s really just a lot to balance.

Some of the ways that I’ve made this a little better is by planning as much in advance as possible. This has helped me know when I’m free and what fits best where. Another way I juggle these plans is by doing stuff with my family and boyfriend together. My family loves him so it’s a great way for us to all spend time together. As for my friends, it’s all about communication and making the time for each other.

While I do like to combine groups and hang out with my boyfriend and friends or family and friends, sometimes I like to have the 1 on 1 (or 2 on 1) time with them. To do that, it really comes down to being intentional with my time and not wasting it away in front of the TV or sleeping. As much as I want to rest over this break, I’d rather rest in the company of the people I love than by myself.

I am dreading the planning process and trying to juggle everything over a relatively short period of time. However, I’m also really looking forward to spending time with my loved ones and doing a lot of fun things together. I know I’m going to be making a lot of memories over this break, and although there are some things about planning I’m dreading, I’m really looking forward to the time I have.

I hope you all have a great winter break!

-Jess

#DreadedDecember: Buying Gifts

9 Dec

Tis the season to spend your entire paycheck on your friends and family! What I dread most is buying presents. Why?

Because:

  1. What if they don’t like my present?
  2. I’m broke
  3. I’m super broke

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accurate representation of me pretending I have money

Although we might all be in the same boat, my tips to making buying presents a little easier are as followed:

  1. AMAZON PRIME

Free 2 day shipping is the best for the last minute present! Did somebody buy you something and you didn’t for them? Hop on that Prime and get your present with FREE shipping!

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and then your presents show up at your doorstep like:

  1. DIY

Honestly, most people like the meaning of gifts rather than the actual gift. I know my girls love picture frames and cute homemade things that remind them of the memories we’ve shared in the past year. Honestly, these gifts make so many people happy!

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like how cute is this little wreath and headband?

  1. BAKED GOODS

What’s better than food? The answer: nothing. NOTHING is better than food. I love getting cookies and brownies in cute little boxes! I love love love food, and baking is the easiest way to go! You can eat love!

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Show your pep with some music and cookies!

  1. SCHOOL GEAR

Spirit wear is kind of expensive, so I can completely vouch that I love getting University gear from friends. I don’t have to spend money on my own, and I mean, every wildcat loves getting wildcat gear.

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I will wear my gear 24/7 like this!

  1. STARBUCKS GIFT CARD

You cannot – I repeat- CANNOT go wrong with a Starbucks gift card. Even if your friend doesn’t like coffee, Starbucks has so many things that someone will enjoy!

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you’re welcome

So, as the holiday season approaches at the pace of Mariah Carey’s holiday album, take my tips for easy gift giving, and make sure to spread the happiness!

Happy holidays, my friends!

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Stay rad,

Lils xx

Maximizing Your Winter Break

8 Dec

I really love winter break. It’s a month of no school, being at home with friends and family, and relaxing. The one downside is that when it’s over and I look back on it, a whole month has passed and it seems like I got nothing done. While it’s great to sit around and take time to relax and recharge, there are a lot of ways to balance having fun with being productive and making sure your break isn’t wasted.

  1. Volunteer. I personally volunteer at a local animal shelter, something I don’t have time to do during the semester. Volunteering looks great on your resume and is actually a lot of fun and very rewarding. Winter break is a perfect time to do it because you don’t have the commitment of full-time school.

  2. Make plans with friends/family so you don’t waste your time just sitting around the house doing nothing. If you’re intentional about spending time with loved ones, you’ll ensure that you don’t sleep/Netflix your whole break away. Plus, you’ll probably have more fun and make a lot of really good memories.family
  3. Get a seasonal job. This way you can make some extra money over the holiday season to set you up for the upcoming semester.

  4. Do the things that need to be done that you normally don’t have time for. Update your resume, clean up your desktop, apply for scholarships, research grad school or career information, apply for internships for the next semester or summer, etc. These things are all easy to do but normally get forgotten or neglected when classes are in full swing.

  5. If you have nothing to do, learn a new skill. You could take up cooking, baking, knitting, crafting, a new sport, etc. There are so many fun things that are so easy to learn through Youtube or books.knitting
  6. Take a winter course. There are a lot of good classes offered over winter break that can help you catch up if you’re a little behind or get ahead. It could also lighten your load if you’re scheduled for a really busy spring semester.

  7. Do things you enjoy that you normally don’t have the time to do. A lot of the hobbies and activities we like to do get left behind when we start college. For me, that’s playing basketball, the clarinet, and knitting. I just don’t have time during the semester, so I love taking the time to do these things I enjoy over break.

  8. Take time to rest and treat yourself. Ask for a spa day for the holidays, cozy up with hot cocoa and a good book, take a relaxing bubble bath, or try out a new face mask. You deserve some rest and relaxation.relax

However you choose to spend your break, I hope you have a happy and healthy holiday season and winter break and are able to have some fun and rest that you deserve!
-Jess