6 Things I Wish I Heard Going into Sophomore Year

24 Jul
  1. It is Okay to Change Your Major or Change it Again
    I want to stress that it is okay if you’re still not certain which path is best for you because you are still in your second year. There is time to explore your options to make yourself happy in the long run. Even if you change your major 20 times, it is best that you find what is the right path to take to get you to your future career. I started school as and Architecture major and I thought that was where I was going to stay for the rest of my college career. Unfortunately, at the time, I couldn’t handle the rigorous course work that was put on my plate and I decided the major I had picked was not a good fit for me. After this, I decided to try business as a major and that fell through as well in my sophomore year. My heart was not in business school, so again, I was at the beginning of searching for a major. After a lot of consideration and talking to advisors, I found my fit as an Art major. This was the best decision that I made during my college career because it was what made me the happiest.

  2. Your Advisor is Your Best Friend
    I know that literally everyone at the U of A stresses this, but it is very useful so I’m going to stress it again. Whether it is your major’s advisor or a potential major’s advisor, they can offer you the best help when exploring majors or picking the correct courses to take to obtain your degree. Along with this, they can help you if you have any questions about your major, future jobs, or graduate school (if that’s where you want to go). I make it a habit to see my advisor at least twice a year just to make sure that I am on the right track to graduate as well as speak to her about what I have been experiencing in my courses.

  3. Ask for Advice
    This goes a little bit further into talking to your advisor. Do not be afraid to ask them questions about their past schooling or about other students’ experiences. Also, utilize students that are in upper division courses, supervisors, or even other students in your classes to ask questions to about their college experience, past classes they have taken, and even their future plans. You can learn so much by the people that you interact with every day if you start a simple conversation. Also, most likely you will make a new friend at the same time! I always ask my professors, supervisors, and other classmates for advice and they help me out a ton!

  4. Life Happens
    Not everything in college is going to be easy and you may have already experienced that in your first year on campus. You have to always keep in mind that you have a life outside of school and sometimes that requires you to turn your focus on outside situations. My sophomore year of college was difficult because I was going through family issues while trying to balance school and it’s hard. The best advice that I can give is to be upfront about what is going on in your personal life if it ever affects your classes. It may require some documentation, but professors are humans too. They will understand if you are going through something hard and cannot completely focus on assignments. They may offer you support as well as an extension on assignments if it is necessary for you.

  5. Embrace Change
    Throughout your college career, you are going to change no matter what. You may find yourself spending time with people you haven’t before and not spending time with others that you used to. You also could find that your values may shift as you start learning more about the world and yourself. That’s perfectly fine and a good thing! You learn so much when you’re in college and you will be a lot different than when you were straight out of high school or after your first year. It’s better to accept the fact that you’re growing and go along with it rather than trying to stay the same person you once were. I changed a lot during my second year due to the amount of classwork as well as my friend circle. Instead of spending time with old friends of high school, I started immersing myself in others that had the same major as I did. It wasn’t a bad thing, it was just different and I had to adjust myself to the dramatic change.

  6. Start Thinking About What Happens After College
    As I sit here as a Senior, I wish that I spent more time thinking about what I am going to do after college than solely focusing on what I had to do at the time. It is never too early to discover what you want to do after college whether you go straight into a job or look into graduate school options. Take the time that you have to try to look ahead to see where you want to be in the next five years or where you don’t want to be. All of the time you spend doing this will be helpful in the end when you get to your last year.

I hope this list helps you start thinking about the things you will experience in the upcoming years of college. All in all, everything that you do matters to your future and never forget that. As I look back on my years as a wildcat, I know that these things would have helped me tremendously on my journey.

Best,
Courtney (:

Bad Summer Habits to Kick

7 Jul

Summertime is when I am so relaxed that it turns into me being as unproductive as possible. Obviously, with us being the middle of July already, this can only fly for a little bit longer. If you have found yourself forgetting that the school year is around the corner, similar to how I am, we have both fallen into bad summer habits! Fortunately for us, there is still time to change those bad habits to good ones before school season is upon us. I have compiled a list of some habits that I’ve found myself in lately and if you are in the same place as I am, I have also put ways to change our lazy summer ways!

1. Staying up until the sun rises mornings GIFThis is something that I have started to fall into. With time off, what is better than staying up late and getting up in the afternoon because there are no plans the next day? Honestly, nothing. There are so many nights I spend browsing the Internet, watching a TV show, or talking all night with my favorite people. This is virtually impossible with 8am’s every day of the week and the endless amount of homework when school hits. I am not saying that you should start eating dinner at 4pm and going to bed at 7pm, but try to pick out a few days out of the week that you start going back to your normal sleep schedule. I have found it helpful by trying to go to sleep an hour earlier than your summer self does. If this doesn’t work, start doing more physical activity to tire yourself out a bit during your day. This will slowly change your sleep schedule back to the way it once was.

2. Forgetting what day of the week it is
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There is no denying that I forget what day of the week it is. I’ll swear its Monday and, oops, it’s actually Thursday. I know this is pretty bad, but without the repetitive schedule of classes and the need to know what day it is, my brain just forgets even though it’s always displayed on my phone. If this seems like you, start planning out your days a little more. Even if it something simple like: I plan to clean my room on Monday, go out to lunch on Wednesday, and visit my grandmother on Saturday, this will help your mind wrap around what day it is because you have something planned. Another thing that I am planning to do is buy a large whiteboard calendar for my house and fill it in with important things, like when rent is due, along with fun things, like when I am going to camping. This will make you start to be aware of where we are in the month and how soon school is creeping up so it won’t take you by surprise.

3. Ignoring your U of A email email GIF
This is probably one of my favorite things that I get to do over the summer, but it also sometimes gets me in trouble. For example, forgetting to renew my parking permit. It’s best to keep checking your U of A email even when you are on vacation because it will update you on your finances, notices and holds on your UAccess account, and give you reminders of things that you need to do before the school year starts. Especially with the first week of classes slowly approaching, it is better to get back in the habit now, before you miss something important regards to next semester’s classes. If you feel very ambitious, get rid of some of your old emails and organize your inbox so your email will filter email based on primary emails, social emails, and promotional emails. This will help free up your inbox and also make it so you get all of the important ones rather than be cluttered with many emails at once.

4. Living in last school year’s pigsty
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Trust me, when summer hits I literally try to do the bare minimum for everything, including cleaning! I am still finding old notes scattered in my backpack and books in my car along with a jacket from last winter. Based on the appearance of my house and car, it still looks like I am living in spring semester. If you are in the same boat as I am, take time to clean and organize a bit before the school year starts. You may be surprised what school supplies you may find that you can reuse for next semester or books that you may be able to sell and you can save a bit of money (bonus, right?)! Another thing that can be helpful is to go through your closet. Pick out the clothes that you haven’t worn all year or are getting a little worn out. This will not only open up closet space, but it’s an opportunity to update your wardrobe (my favorite part). Organization is an important part for having a good start of the year, so it’s better to start cleaning now when you still have a large amount of free time.

5. Being in denial about school starting denial GIF
Even though we all wish it were true, summer cannot last forever. The upcoming year is approaching quickly and it is better to keep that in mind during the last weeks of summer, than have it creep up on you last minute. Try to implement a few things now, so you can be prepared to take on the new school year. It is very nice to have a break and be able to do whatever you want without the stress of homework and upcoming tests, but focus on the things you’re excited about coming back to school. You will get to see your friends that you have missed over the summer, come back to the beautiful U of A campus, and learn new things about yourself and your future career. Embrace the fact that you are in college and doing great things to better yourself and your future!

I know it may be a little soon to start prepping for fall semester, but it will make things easier on your for when the school year starts. Still enjoy your summer lazy days and take advantage of your time off. Spend time with family, binge watch Netflix a bit, but still think about the upcoming year and on things that you have to get done. One thing that will definitely help is turning your bad habits into good ones. Obviously, this won’t change overnight, but start with one thing at a time! wink kristen bell veronica mars finger guns you got this GIF

Best,
Courtney (:

Let’s Get Crafty!

23 Jun

It’s time to get crafty! Getting down with some arts and crafts is a great way to freshen up old decor, discover new talents you may have, and it’s just a nice fun way to relax. For your use, we complied some great craft ideas (with the links attached for instructions) from Pinterest that you can get creative with this summer!

Bring your plastic drawers to life.

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http://www.ohohblog.com/2015/07/how-to-upgrade-plastic-drawers.html#_kwv5B4

Keep your roommates up to date on your status with a cute clock. 

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http://www.gurl.com/2017/02/21/cool-college-dorm-room-signs/

Become an artist by designing your own mugs!

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http://www.teenvogue.com/gallery/diy-mothers-day-gift-ideas/amp

 

Our Summer Movie List

23 Jun

Courtney’s Choice                              Shannon’s Selection

Adventure

 

Animation

 

Comedy

 

Scary

 

Romance

 

Documentary

 

Fiction

 

Family

 

Mystery

 

Movie Series

 

Let us know some of your top movie choices to watch this summer! 🙂 
-Courtney and Shannon

Summer Bucket List

9 Jun

Summer is the time to break out of your comfort zone and explore new horizons! Plus, for most of us summer actually gives us the free time to do all those things, so why not? Whether you are staying in Arizona over the summer or not, I encourage you to try something new! For myself, I have made this bucket list which I plan to complete by the end of summer.  Luckily, Arizona is perfect to get you outdoors!

1. Go Horseback Riding 

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2. Visit the Grand Canyon

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3. Try Hot Air Ballooning

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4. Jet Ski at Roosevelt Lake

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5. Experience a Pink Jeep Tour Ride

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6. Fly from a Zip-line

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7. Explore Colossal Cave

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At the end of the day when you take a moment to look back on all that you have done, what will your life be fulfilled with? Making a bucket list can be a great way to accomplish all the memorable experiences you wish.

Make a bucket list and do the extraordinary! 

Summer Goals for Online Summer Classes

9 Jun

Summer classes can be stressful because they are very fast paced and you have just given your all during the fall and spring semesters.  At this point, you may lack a little motivation, sort of how I am feeling! This is my third summer at the U of A taking summer courses and trust me, it is worth it, but it also is a little bit of a struggle getting to the end. I have put together a few goals of mine for my summer classes, along with some tips for you if you are or will be enrolled in courses this summer.

  1. Read the book fully.
    Let’s all be honest: We have all cut corners while reading a course’ textbook and unfortunately this doesn’t work when you’re enrolled in a summer course because that is where the majority of the learning is done. The instructor’s, of all of my previous courses, rarely put together lectures to post on D2L and fully rely on the students to read then ask and answer discussion questions. My goal for all three of my summer courses is to read the textbook so I can set myself up for success. I am going to give myself two days to read each chapter and to have time to answer questions if I need to.
  2. Start assignments, readings, papers early.
    In a summer course, the instructor usually gives their students access to upcoming assignments early on in the course. Instead of waiting until last minute to start my assignments, I want to get ahead so I can spend more time on my projects and not stress because of a time crunch. I will use the same technique with my reading to start long assignments a few days in advance, including weekends, to make sure that I have time to proofread and read over what I have written. There are no excuses that I cannot do this because I have more free time with less courses to worry about.
  3.  Participate in optional discussions.
    Usually in an online class, the teacher has an open discussion thread that is open throughout the course’s duration to ask questions to classmates or to contribute to a discussion with classmates on chapters or topics. These are not usually led by an instructor, rather is just used for the students. In the past, I have not used this discussion thread, but in my pre-session course I saw some great information and topics being discussed by other students. I want to at least post in this thread once during my current session 1 summer course to see if it helps.
  4. Complete extra credit assignments.
    In past classes, especially during the hectic school year, sometimes I miss these assignments because I am just too busy to spend extra time on a project that is not required for the course. Now that it is summer and I have extra time on my hands, it is a lot easier to complete extra assignments to help my grade. In summer courses it is a little rare that they will offer extra credit so when I see it, I always try to get it done.
  5. Check email and D2L every day.
    This has already became a habit for me since I have been a UA student and it is the best advice that I can give anyone who is a student here. I have my email connected to my phone and I continually get notifications if my professors email me. This is especially vital in a summer course because it is so fast paced. Things can change immediately from the instructor and it is always good to get this information ASAP. This is a goal that I will continue to have throughout my college career.
  6. Interact with other students and teachers via email.
    This has been a goal of mine for awhile now and I still have a hard time doing this especially in an online course. We do not meet in person so getting to know other students and the teachers is more difficult. In my pre-session course this summer, I did have some questions about a few assignments so I ended up emailing the teacher. To my surprise, she was super excited that I reached out to ask questions and she ended up forwarding the help that she gave me to every one else in the class to help them out as well. I realized that professors appreciate when a student reaches out to ask questions because it shows that the student is very engaged in the material. When communicating with other students it can definitely be a little more difficult. In my last summer course, we had a partner for an online course and we helped each other out a lot other than just on group projects. I recommend even if you do not have an assigned partner, use the classlist and email some of your classmates to see if anyone wants to help or have a discussion with you about the material. They are in the same boat as you are and you can work together so you can both do better in the course.

Hopefully these goals have helped you a bit and have given you ideas on how to succeed in your online courses. I know summer classes aren’t ideal to a fun and relaxing summer, but if you get things done ahead of time you will still have a fun, adventurous summer vacation!

Best,
Courtney

Study Abroad Prep Tips

30 May

This summer, I will embark on a journey I would have never thought possible for me, I will be studying abroad in Germany! Studying abroad during my college career let alone visiting Europe had only seemed like a dream to me. But, I’ve learned that if you work hard to reach your dreams, they will come true, and I have never been so excited for anything! However, there is a catch. You need to make sure you are fully prepared before taking on an adventure abroad.

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Before getting to the fun part of studying abroad, you have to do the not so fun stuff first, and preparing for the trip is definitely a process. If you are interested in studying abroad, here are some tips I think will benefit you in preparation:

1. Pay attention to deadlines and start in advance! Each study abroad program will have specific deadlines for when things need to be completed by like purchasing your airfare, getting your passport, and much more. Missing deadlines can be a big deal and could jeopardize your chance to study abroad, so make sure to stay on top of things! Also, you want to make sure to begin the application process at least a semester in advance. Doing so will give you enough time to fully prepare everything you need.

2. Know your finances. Firstly, you want to find a program that is in your price range. Although everyone would like to go to London, it is also very expensive so considering other locations can be very helpful. Look into the total cost of your program which will include housing, tuition, airfare, food, and extra expenses to see how much you need to budget for. If you cannot afford the total cost, consider reaching out to family members for help, looking into scholarships and grants, and compare rates of different loans. Doing research on your finances will help you determine which programs are realistic and how you will be able to cover it all.

3. Do research of your host country. It will be very easy to get caught up in the excitement before studying abroad. However, there are a lot of little things you might not even consider but are very important to be aware of. For example, Europe has a different electrical system than here in America, so you would need to buy a plug adapter in order to charge your electronics. Another thing is that in Germany they don’t give you plastic or paper bags at grocery stores, so you will need to provide your own cloth bags to grocery shop. Knowing the little things like that can really save you from looking too much like tourist. Lastly, get to know the customs of the country. Find out what is respectful in that culture. Although some characteristics and norms are okay here, they may be considered rude and offensive somewhere else.

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To be honest, you will end end preparing everyday until you depart for your trip like I have. But, overall I believe this experience will be truly life changing. I have never been outside of the country before, so for my first experience out of the states to be in Europe is very special to me. While I will be focusing on my studies at the university in Germany, I will be able to experience the culture, food, and way of life there as well. The world is such a big place, why not go and see it! I hope to encourage you all to take that leap out of what you are familiar with and go explore somewhere new!

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Tucson Adventures

30 May

This summer, I have decided to kick back and spend my time in my hometown, Tucson. Being born and raised here, I know Tucson isn’t the most glamorous city and it may seem like there’s not much to do out here in the desert. Also, in summer it’s sometimes hard to go on extravagant adventures because the air conditioner is calling your name! If you’re staying in Tucson and need some ideas on what to do this summer, this blog’s for you! Here are some adventures that I am going to go on this summer!

1. Hiking/camping
If you want to escape the heat, there are so many mountains that you can explore on! Being in higher elevation, means less heat for you to endure. I love hiking on Mount Lemmon and camping in Reddington. You could easily google some great spots and find one that is best for you!4755277923_cddaa12a97_b.jpg

2. Geocatching
If you do not know what this is, definitely check it out! Basically it is a worldwide scavenger hunt! You download the app “geocatching” on your phone and set your location and it will show you hiding spots of little knick knacks. They give you hints of spots around you and you can go find it, retrieve the item and put one of your own in there so someone else can find it!

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3. Cave Exploring!
Caves are absolutely amazing and beautiful! I have always wanted to explore a cave and there is Colossal Cave that is not too far away, but I have never been. I have heard great things from other people who have gone, so one of my summer goals is to go to this cave or even a few others!

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4. Rocks and Ropes
I have been to rocks and ropes one time on a girl scout field trip and I was super scared of heights at the time, so I didn’t have that much fun. Now that I’m older, I want to face my fears and try to go on these rock walls!

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5. Breakers Water Park
Breakers was an all time favorite spot of mine when I was younger! My family and I had so much fun here back in the day and honestly in summer, it’s a great way to get out of the heat. There are so many slides and a lovely wave pool that you can relax in! This is a spot that I’m going to go to this summer!

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Stay cool this summer and hopefully if you’re staying in Tucson this gave you some fun activities to do!

Best,
Courtney

5 Easy Ways to Relax

15 May

Summer is finally here! After putting a year’s worth of hard work in, make sure to get some YOU time this summer and relax! Relaxing can be very easy to do, but I think when we get caught up in the school year we forget how important it is to take some time to wind down. I understand it is hard to have the time to do so, and that is exactly why you need to use summer to your advantage. Whether it is sleeping in, reading a book, doing yoga, it is time to refresh! For your enjoyment, I have made a list of 5 easy things you can do to relax!

1.  Deep Breathing Exercises

Deep breathing is a great way to relax the mind and body. Taking 5 minutes a day to focus on your breathing and lowering your heart rate can have great significant outcomes on your overall health.

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2. Scrapbooking

Even though scrapbooking might be a little old-fashioned, it is still such a relaxing and rewarding activity. There is no limit as to how creative you can get with your scrapbook, let your imagination run wild!

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3. Take a Bubble Bath

Pretty easy way to relax right? Just fill up your tub with hot water, and add a bath bomb and light some candles if desired!

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4. See a Movie

Taking a moment to sit down and watch a movie is a great way to escape reality and get lost in a film. Usually, movie theaters will have a discount for students or have a discount at certain times, so buying a ticket shouldn’t break the bank. But if anything, you can always just watch a movie at home!

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5. Explore Nature

This is my number one go-to. There is nothing more relaxing than becoming one with nature. Go for a hike, enjoy the scenery, and appreciate all mother nature has to offer!

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Feel Good Summer Song List

15 May

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Turn up your speakers and get ready for a Feel Good Playlist from one of your ASA Peer Mentors. I have provided different genres for your music pleasure! Hopefully, you know and enjoy some of these songs, but also get to hear some new ones! Comment other fun songs for Summer 2017!

1. Closer (Cover) by Boyce Avenue ft. Sarah Hyland
I’m pretty sure that no one knew the Modern Family star had such a great voice! Her unknown talent has been revealed with Boyce Avenue with a cover of the Chainsmokers song, Closer. I love this acoustic version!

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2. Green Light by Lorde
Lorde is finally coming out with a new album titled Melodrama and I don’t know about you, but I am super excited. Her voice is very unique and this album is supposed to be brighter than we have ever seen her!

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3. Cold Cold Cold by Cage the Elephant
Cage the Elephant has many amazing hits, especially Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked. Cage the Elephant takes on a new sound in their new album titled Tell Me I’m Pretty. Their softer style will definitely make you feel good!

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4. Believer by Imagine Dragons
This is absolutely my favorite song right now! This song is so powerful, it pumps you up and you feel like you can take on the world! If you have not heard of this song, you need to listen to it ASAP!

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5. Highway by Bleeker
This is a perfect road trip song! Not only does it relate to the streets you take, but it hypes you up and makes you want to dance! Every time I hear it in my car, I can’t help, but singing and grooving a bit!
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6. Wanting you by Street Urchinz
This lovely song was suggested by Shannon and it has a reggae feel to it. It’s almost like a Bob Marley meets Red Hot Chili Peppers. I just got introduced to this band and I want to listen to them more after hearing this!

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7. Malibu by Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus has once again changed her sound dramatically. I have to be honest, lately I haven’t been a huge fan of Miley’s but this song has made me think twice. This JUST came out and I have listened to it a ton of times! To see her happy and hear her bright lyrics, it’s hard not to smile.

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8. Sweet Disaster by Dreamers
This is one of my all time favorite songs right now. It is calming, relaxing, and the vocals of this group is fantastic. They are not that popular at the moment, but hopefully in the next few years they will become more well known for their AMAZING songs!

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9. Sunday Morning by Maroon 5
You definitely can not make a feel good playlist without putting this song on it. Every time I hear this song it is like I am riding a bike in a park or drinking the perfect cup of coffee and watching the sun rise. I know this song isn’t the newest, but it sure is a jam.

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10. Shape of You by Ed Sheeran
It is no doubt that this is one of the most popular songs right now and I am not surprised; Ed Sheeran’s voice is simply perfect! Enough said.

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11. Can’t Stop The Feeling! by Justin Timberlake
Of course, our playlist had to include the one and only JT! Since he was in NSYNC, this man has always caught the attention of music lovers and continues to come out with hits all of the time. There is no way that anyone can sit still when this song comes on.

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12. Stay by Zedd and Alessia Cara
This is one of the best duos. With Zedd’s incredible music and Alessia’s sweet, but powerful voice it’s hard not to like this song. It is one of those amazing summer songs that is played every time you’re with your friends!

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13. Blame by Bastille
I have been listening to Bastille since I was in high school and they never disappoint! Dan’s velvety, deep voice always pairs great with the intense emotions and melodies in all of their songs. Blame is just the same!

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14. Human by Rag’n’Bone Man
This song came out not too long ago and Rag’n’Bone Man is a powerhouse. He has such an intense voice that can captivate you in the first lyric. I hope he comes out with more amazing hits like this soon!!

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15. Something Just Like This by the Chainsmokers and Coldplay
I will leave you with another amazing collaboration! Come on, Chainsmokers and Coldplay?? Pretty amazing, if you ask me! This lovely song is perfect for one of your well deserved relaxing days on your summer off!
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I hope I have left you with some new music to listen to this summer that you can make memories with! For me, music is everything and I would not know what to do without it. Like I stated earlier, if you have any music suggestions for me on my summer adventures, I would love to hear any! Comment below if you do! 🙂

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Have a GREAT start to your summer!
-Courtney