Archive by Author

Deliberate Daredevil

30 Jan

When I think of the word ‘risk-taking,’ the first thing that comes to mind is a reckless daredevil with a blatant disregard for human life and well being. For a long time, I viewed risk takers as the kind of people who you’re intrigued by, but who you don’t want around most of the time because you can’t trust them to be responsible. However, I’ve come to realize that not all risk-taking is bad, especially when you’re in college and you have to impress people.


Por ejemplo, when I first got to college, I was really shy. I’ve always been mildly inept when it comes to talking to new people, but I needed help with chemistry so I gritted my teeth, compiled a list of questions, and dragged myself to office hours. I also started impromptu conversations with my classmates. It’s been two years and I still keep in touch with many of them. One of these lovely people is my boyfriend, Patrick. ❤ If I hadn’t introduced myself, he might have completely passed me by.


As you can imagine, the biggest risk that I took in college was putting myself out there. The thing about risks it that they’re risky (imagine that…). When you take chances, you have no way of knowing whether you’re going to come out intact or whether someone is going to pull a Squidward and break your heart into a bunch of tiny little pieces.


My point is that ‘risk’ is not a synonym for irresponsibility. Chances that you take deliberately need not bring harm to others or yourself.  Taking a risk simply means that you don’t know what the outcome of your actions will be and that can be beautiful and exciting, but also a teensy bit scary. I know that you all have the courage to take positive risks that will enrich both your lives and the lives of those you love.

Cheers to that!


#JumpStart January: Nursing Induction

20 Jan

As members of the Nursing cohort graduating in December 2016, my classmates and I recently had our Induction Ceremony. The purpose of this orientation-esque meeting was to welcome us into the College of Nursing and give us a chance to meet the amazing professors that we will have the privilege of learning from for the next two years. Since only 54 of the 200 who apply each semester are accepted into the program, making it this far is a pretty big deal!


Although I had a wonderful Winter Break, I was more than ready to get back to the regularly scheduled program and preparing for Induction really helped me to get back into the right mindset for school. Even after we were accepted into nursing school, there were a lot of different tasks that we had to complete in order to be officially admitted. From ordering scrubs to getting proof of vaccines that we got 10 years ago, we were forced to avoid procrastination and practice good  habits that will serve us well as classes become more challenging.


All in all, I had a wonderful time meeting my classmates and professors. Everyone has such a variety of interests and I know that we will all learn a lot from each other. I’m excited to be in such a small class and for the opportunity to get so much hands on experience in both the Steele Innovative Learning Center (SILC) lab and in clinical settings. To everyone who is currently in a pre-major, good luck this semester and remember that there are tons of resources on campus to help you fulfill your dreams!





“We Need to Talk”: Break Up Your Week

16 Jan

Between buying books, finding classes, and sorting out schedules, the first few days of school can be a bit hectic. However, there are tons of things that you can do to break up your week into more manageable pieces.

1. Take a nap.

Long, challenging weeks inevitably lead to exhaustion and one of the best ways to combat exhaustion is to give in to it. If you have time, don’t feel bad about taking a short, well-deserved nap. Even if you don’t have a whole ton of time on your hands, indulging in a little catnap will make you feel more energized and enable you to conquer whatever college life throws at you.


2. Hang out with a friend.

When schedules get tight, you might find that you aren’t able to spend as much time with your friends and family as you used to. A good way to prevent your relationships from suffering is to plan time with friends. That way, you have time to support them when they need you and vice versa. Seeing friends makes people happy and is a great way to unwind both during and after a long week.



3. Study a little bit at a time.

Studying a little bit everyday is more effective than cramming and it will make your schedule a lot more forgiving. If you set aside 10  minutes for review everyday, then you’re not as likely to have to schedule huge blocks of time to study at the last minute. This will free you up to do what you want to do more often.


4. Enjoy some you time.

Hectic weeks may make you question why you are here. Do not let them win. Being sure to make time for yourself to do whatever you like to do will help you reconnect with yourself and your goals. You have to see yourself everyday and you are worthy of your time.


Have a great semester!





Owl Make Good Decisions this Semester

16 Jan

The theme for this week’s edition of Wildcat Connections was chosen with a great deal of premeditation and care. We chose owls because of their association with intelligence and wisdom. Although modeling yourself after an animal that sleeps all day and parties all night may not be the best for your success in college, we’re gonna stand by our suggestion and explain some of the reasons that you should become more like an owl.

1. Owls always find time to sleep.


For real, owls sleep all day and spend their nights *flying.* After they get their beauty sleep, they have enough energy to fly, if that isn’t telling enough then I don’t know what is.

Lesson learned: Catch some zzz’s so that your energy levels will be comparable to that of an owl.

2. They do things that they enjoy, even if they’re not good at them.

Above is a video of owls dancing to Ke$ha’s smash hit Tik Tok. They may not be the epitome of grace and poise, but they’re clearly having a good time. These dancing owls remind us that it’s necessary to let loose every once in a while and do something that we enjoy.

Lesson learned: Take time to revitalize yourself with some much needed frivolity.

3. They are incredibly smart.

This owl is helping a struggling human to write a paper.

This owl is helping a struggling human to write a paper.

It is no coincidence that most pictures of owls feature them donning large glasses and reading books. Owls are avid readers who devour knowledge during their time off from hunting. That’s not true, but in order to hunt in complete darkness, owls have to be intelligent predators. If we all took on academic challenges the way that owls go after prey, we would be very smart indeed.

Lesson learned: Open a book and learn from it.

Last, but not least, seize opportunities with enthusiasm and enjoy your time at the U of A!


With so much to look forward to, whooooooooo’s ready for this semester?


How to Treat a Bad Case of the Winter Break Blues

17 Dec

Even though I’m sure that we’re all grateful for time off from school, sometimes too much of a good thing leads to boredom and the Winter Break Blues set in. What makes Winter Break unique is its length. Winter Break is a whopping 25 days long! 25 days. That’s almost a month! The first couple of days are all fun and good, but what are you going to do when the mind-numbing boredom sets in? Because we care, we have compiled a short list of things to do to stave off the Winter Break Blues.

1. Read some books. 


It’s hard to be your bookworm self during the semester because professors have already set up an extensive list of the materials that they want you to spend all of your time reading. During these next 25 days, you are your own master, read what you want and only what you want!

2. Cook and eat some yummy food. 


There’s no better time than the holidays to start cooking up a storm. Even if you don’t celebrate the holidays, there’s still tons of yummy food around just waiting for you to take the initiative. With nearly a month of vacation ahead of you, you’re going to need something to eat at some point, why not go all out and create some delicious?

3. Call up some friends or text them (whatever the young people are doing these days).


Winter Break is a great time to call up those friends you hardly ever see because you finally have time to meet with them. Everyone likes to feel cared about and maybe you can be the one to make someone feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

4. Pick up a time-consuming hobby. 


     You can also keep yourself occupied with a time consuming hobby like knitting or wood carving. Not only will you learn a new skill, but you’ll be able to be semi-productive doing so. To read about real adult responsibilities to get a head start on over Winter Break, read Briana’s Blog “All About that Productivity: Making the Most of Your Break.”

Have a wonderful break, friends.



#DreadedDecember: Nailed It

17 Dec

Ever since I was super little, I have loved to paint nails. It all started with my Grandma. She had the most beautiful nails that I have seen before or since. They were long, well-shaped, and (of course) always perfectly polished. If they ever got chipped or misshapen, she was the only witness because her nails were on point at all times. Between my Grandma and CutePolish (see video below) I was inspired and my love for nail art has only continued to grow (get it? grow? like nails?).

With so much practice, I eventually got really good at it, to the point where people started commissioning me to do their nails for special occasions. And since they were neighbors and family friends, I would do their nails for free. Each time, they would ask me why I didn’t start a small business for my nail art to make some extra cash. Each time, I would enthusiastically agree that that would be a great idea, but I never made a move. That is until now. For Dreaded December, I have committed to finally creating the flyer that will launch my nail art business so that I can quit my day job (just kidding, I love my day job <3).

*Drum roll, please* Below is the long awaited flyer!:

Fairy Tale Nails Flyer

The flyers will go up around town once school starts again in January. In the meantime, I’m good at something, tell your friends. :p

Have a great Winter Break!




Secret Study Spaces

25 Nov

As UA finals week veterans know, the Main Library gets packed during finals. Efforts to book a room or find a desk with an outlet are often to no avail and as a result, tensions run high. In order to alleviate some of this stress, here is a list of some obscure but wonderful study spaces on campus.

1) Worlds of Words Library

Located on the 4th floor of the Education Building, the Worlds of Words: International Collection of Children’s and Adolescent Literature is a perfect study nook for those of us who are still children at heart. This room is filled with comfortable seating and children’s books for when you need to take a study break. It is open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm and Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm. 


2) The Arizona Health Sciences Library

The Arizona Health Sciences Library is open from 7 am to midnight during finals week. It’s most endearing quality is that it has the same amenities as the Main Library, but it tends to be significantly less crowded. There are several floors, some of which are only accessible to Nursing, Public Health, Pharmacy, and Medical students (including all pre-majors) which really cuts down on crowding. It is located directly next to the University of Arizona Medical Center.


3) The Fred A. Hopf Reading Room 

Located in the Optical Sciences Building, the Fred A. Hopf Reading Room is a cozy study nook with lots of windows. Despite its small size, this room is rarely ever crowded and its a quiet study area which is great for people who need their peace and quiet to concentrate. If you find that the Reading Room is not your style, there is also an expansive study area on the top floor of the Optical Sciences Building.


4) The Daniel F. Cracchiolo Law Library

Aside from being absolutely gorgeous, the Law Library is huge. It is home to both quiet and collaborative floors so there’s a place for everyone. Like the Arizona Health Sciences Library, the Law Library tends to be much less frequented than the Main Library. Although it is called the Law Library, all students are welcome! It is open from 7 am to 11:45 pm on weekdays.


5) The Michael and Helen Dobrich Library

The Michael and Helen Dobrich Library is housed in the Poetry Center. It has tons of couches and desks where students can hunker down for hours. This library is surrounded by windows and is located very close to a streetcar stop which is great for students who need to get back and forth from the main campus. Its hours are listed here.


Keep in mind that these are not the only secret study spaces on campus, a more complete list is linked here. As always, Wildcat Connections challenges you to expand your horizons and explore all that campus has to offer by seeking out new study spaces as seen in this video of us on a quest to find the best study spot ever. Take care of yourselves in your preparation for finals, we’re almost there Wildcats!


#NovembertoRemember: Riding Off Into the Sunset

24 Nov

Recently, my mom was able to come all the way from Florida to visit me and it was fantastic! We did all sorts of cool things and one of them was horseback riding. This particular ride was a sunset trail ride at Pantano Riding Stables and my mom was extremely excited to get to ride again after a 5 year hiatus. Riding was one of her favorite pastimes in college, so she was more than ready to literally get back on the horse. I, on the other hand, was not.


As I’m sure you know, horses are huge animals. They tend to weigh at least 1,000 pounds and even though they’re domestic animals, they have minds and personalities of their own. Since I am a novice, I got to ride at the beginning of the party right next to the wrangler (the person who leads the trail ride and is there to prevent disaster). I hadn’t been saddled up for even 5 minutes when my equine companion, Annie, decided to start eating. Apparently, this ticked off a member of her herd who proceeded to neigh in annoyance and attempt to bite her. Needless to say, I was terrified, but luckily they got over whatever was bothering them and the ride began.


Our trail wound through a couple miles of the Pantano Wash, and the desert scenery was absolutely gorgeous. We rode to the top of a small hill to see the sunset and our view was such that the sun went down directly between two mountains. After that, we had to come back down. It was a little bit scary because the slope was really rocky, but Annie pulled through and we both got back to the stables safely. All in all, it was a fantastic experience and I look forward to doing it again soon.

Hope that you also have a November to Remember!



#OutrageousOctober: When Nothing Goes as Planned

28 Oct

When I first heard that the other peer mentors and I would  have to complete an #OutrageousOctober challenge, I immediately panicked. ‘Outrageous’ has some negative connotations and I don’t understand why we can’t have a #JudiciousJanuary or #MellowMarch every once in a while. Despite my doubts, I literally put my best foot forward for #OutrageousOctober, by signing up for the Monster Mash and 5K Dash hosted annually by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Tucson chapter.


For a non-athletic person like me, making the commitment to run 3.1 miles (or any number of miles for that matter) is a big deal. To prepare for the race, I started running a mile every day for a week. Once I got comfortable with that, I started adding half a mile everyday until I got all the way up to 3 miles. Everything was going exactly as planned and I was beyond excited for race day to arrive!


A few days before the race, I came down with a cold, but I wasn’t disheartened. But then, on the eve of race day, I got the stomach flu. As you can imagine, the prospect of running 3.1 miles while bogged down with not one, but two illnesses was overwhelming. I was so disappointed because I was sure that I wouldn’t be able to go to the race at all.


Fortunately, I started to feel better the next day and I made it to the race. Even though I wasn’t able to run the entire time in my sickly state, it was still a fantastic experience. My friend decided to come along with me and although things didn’t go as planned, I have no complaints.

Pat and I

To those who celebrate, have a fun and safe Halloween!


Home is Where the Heart Is so Don’t leave Yours at Home

17 Oct

At the risk of sounding absurdly sappy, home is not where the heart is, home is where the hearts are because the people who carry them want to be close to one another. For many of us, starting college coincides with being on our own for the very first time. But, as long as you have your heart, you also have your home and you can bring what you love most about home with you wherever you go. Knowing what I would miss the most about home allowed me to incorporate all of the things that I loved about my old home into my new home. It’s easy to begin putting this into practice by making a list of the top 3 things that you’ll miss about home. I wanted to share mine.

1) My Family

First things first, I’m not the realest. No matter how hard I try to play off my sadness about leaving my home in Florida, I know that I will never stop missing home (and there’s nothing wrong with that). I had been under my parents’ roof for so long that I was sure that moving away would be a relief. Although the freedom to eat dessert before dinner and go to bed whenever I want is pretty rad, not seeing my family everyday is still a big deal. To conquer this dilemma, I brought them with me.

Skype is a beautiful thing and since I can’t be with them in person most of the time, every Saturday at 10:30 am is theirs (at the very minimum). Setting aside a chunk of time to talk to your loved ones can help make the transition to living on your own significantly easier because you realize that no matter how far away from them you are, they’re still there for you. Sometimes all it takes is a 5 minute phone call in between classes to make both your day and theirs.


Me and the lil bro. What we are doing, I don’t know.

2) Having Real Home-cooked Meals

Although it can be difficult to carve out time to make healthy meals, I realized this past year that it was something that I had to start doing. Besides being healthier and cheaper than most of the meal plan options, preparing and eating home-cooked meals was always something that I enjoyed doing with my parents (especially my mom). Meals at home were a time for friends and family, not solitude. To make my living space feel more like home, I often prepare and eat dinner with friends or Skype my parents in. This has made living in a residence hall a lot more tolerable because there are few things more relaxing than chatting with friends or getting to know new people over a meal. If you have friends who also miss home-cooked meals, then you might be able to set up a regular time for a college family meal.


3) Creature Comforts

When moving to Arizona, I knew that I couldn’t leave my pillow pet or my fuzzy wuzzy socks behind and that I would need to have hot cocoa in my room at all times in order to remain a happy, well-functioning human being. Creature comforts are different for everyone, some people have a favorite stuffed animal, while others like to use only a specific type of hand soap. A good way to make your new living space feel more home-y is to get in touch with the aspects of your old living space made you the happiest. For example, I love to wear makeup so I brought my vanity (a mirror atop a drawer where I can put all of my cosmetics) with me to school. If you’re the kind of person who has pictures of family and friends all over your walls, it’s probably a good idea to bring some of those with you. The shock of being in a new place combined with the stress of school can sometimes distract us from the important task of making our environment conducive to our happiness. But if you surround yourself with objects and people that you like, you’re going to do just fine.


Best of luck in creating your home away from home. 🙂