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Pizookies. Nail polish. & Netflix. These are a few of my favorite things.

1 May

Homework causes stress. Tests cause stress. Presentations cause stress. Finals cause stress. Does anyone notice a trend here? Let’s be real: COLLEGE IS STRESSFUL. I, for one, have learned that college is stressful. I even get stressed out just writing my to-do list for the week. But, I learned how to deal with stress. And I’ll even let you in on all my stress relieving secrets!

1. Eat comfort food.

If I am feeling overwhelmed, I usually turn to chocolate. But my ultimate favorite is…PIZOOKIES. Yes, I am a fan of the warm, gooey chocolate chip cookie with ice cream on top. If I am feeling stressed, you will usually find me eating a pizookie. Indulge in (insert your favorite comfort food here) next time you are feeling stressed.

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2. Exercise.

After I finish that pizookie, I need to work it off and continue my journey to finding relaxation. I love hiking in beautiful Tucson, or visiting the Rec Center. There are many fitness classes like Zumba, Yoga, and BOSU Blast that you can participate in. Working out can help you stay in shape and relieve that stress you have been accumulating all semester.


3. Watch your favorite TV show.

If you are feeling stressed, you may feel the need to take a break and not do anything for 30 minutes so that you can motivate yourself to jump on it and accomplish that task. Do it. I love going on Netflix or turning on the TV and watching an episode of my favorite show before getting back to work.

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4. Do an activity that calms you.

For me, it is painting my nails. Painting my nails is the perfect way for me to focus on nothing but myself for twenty minutes. I love listening to music and painting my nails every week. It is one of the stress relieving activities that I enjoy the most. Whatever the activity is for you, make sure you take the time to do one activity a week that you enjoy doing. You will stop thinking about that pile of homework you have and give yourself time to relax.

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5. Go outside and enjoy the fresh air.

If you’re thinking, “I don’t have time for any of the things you have mentioned!” this one is for you. Take five minutes (you can afford five minutes), go outside, and breathe. Just take five minutes out of your day and enjoy the view. Those five minutes can help calm you down and get you ready to conquer those assignments.


Those are my top five favorite stress relieving activities I do when I am feeling overwhelmed. But the most important one is knowing that YOU CAN DO IT. You are smart and you will get through the semester! Don’t worry and don’t let the stress get to you! You made it this far and you will finish off the semester knowing that you gave it your all! Remember that hard work pays off!

-Adilene Barrios

Spring Break: Honduras Edition

10 Apr

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Over spring break, I took a trip to Honduras on a Medical/Public Health Brigade through GlobalBrigades. It was one of the best experiences of my life! I learned so much as both a student and a person; I will remember this trip and the friends that I made for the rest of my life. I decided to go on this trip because I love helping others and I loved the idea of making a difference in a country where I knew help was needed.

During clinic days we got to set up a medical clinic and treat patients that do not have access to health care due to a lack of resources. I absolutely loved the clinic days. I got to shadow doctors, interact with patients, and educate children on proper hygiene. There was a pharmacy station and a dental station that I got to work as well. It was the hands on experience that I loved! I worked one on one with the patients and got to assist doctors. The people were genuinely grateful that we were in their community making a difference, which made the whole trip worth it. They were so appreciative of the work that we were doing and thanked us unconditionally. It felt good to see how the work that we were doing impacted their lives.

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The public health days were based on sustainability. We worked in a community and built a sanitation station. The sanitation station consisted of a latrine, a pila (or water storage), and a shower. It was a lot of hard work and lots of cement mixing. I was exhausted, but it was worth it! It was really cool to know that we created something that the community will be able to sustain. The community members would not have access to clean water without the water and public health brigades. The last day of public health we were able to interact with the families and to hear how grateful they were for the sanitation station.

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After six days of work, we were finally done with our brigade. I loved spending my entire brigade helping others. The connections I made with the people of Honduras will be ones that I will always treasure. The friendships that I made with my fellow brigaders was the highlight of my trip! I came into the brigade knowing one person, and I left with a group of people that I now call my friends. The people on the trip have such big hearts and it was great getting to know everyone’s stories. The trip would not have been the same without them. I had a great time and had lots of fun! I learned so much and I cannot wait to go back!

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I learned to see things in a different way. I realized that I take so many things for granted every day, because I got to witness first-hand the struggles that many people face daily. The simplest things such as flushing a toilet, running clean water, or having ice were things that I took for granted. I am learning to live life in a different way. I want to enjoy every day with the people that mean the world to me; I don’t want to take anything for granted anymore. I would recommend it to anyone. If you are given the opportunity to travel abroad on a service trip, take the opportunity. You learn so much about other cultures and about yourself. I hope to go back to Honduras very soon and to travel the world in hopes of making it a better place.

-Adilene Barrios

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Surprise! Now jump off of a plane!

7 Mar

I had always wanted to go skydiving; it was on my bucket list. With that being said, I never thought I was actually going to do it. It’s not number one or two on the list- maybe somewhere in the hundreds. But a few weeks ago, I participated in #FearlessFebruary and I can now cross skydiving off my list.

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It all started last summer when my two best friends, Jen and Jocy, and I decided we wanted to go skydiving. We decided that it would be fun and we would all love the thrill of jumping out of a plane together. Our dream of going skydiving would become a reality when Jen got Jocy (one of your Outreach Facilitators) and I tickets to go skydiving.

It was settled. We would jump out of a plane during winter break. I was excited and terrified at the same time.

We later learned that there was something wrong with our tickets and we would no longer be skydiving. Bummer…actually I was relieved. It is one thing to say you will do something, but actually having the courage to go skydiving was something I lacked. I was more than happy to keep skydiving as a future plan and dream about one day doing it. I later forgot about our plans and decided it was not going to happen anytime soon. I was perfectly okay with that.

My 21st birthday was fast approaching and my two best friends announced that they had a surprise for me. That was all they said, a surprise. Now, let me mention that I am horrible with surprises! I’m scared of all surprises, big and small.

“Make sure to be ready by 8:00 am and we will be there to pick you up,” said Jocy. That was all she said. No matter how much I tried to get the secret surprise out of both of them it was no use. It was a surprise and it was going to remain a surprise.

On the morning of my 21st birthday, I was ready by 8:00 am, just as they had instructed and ready for the unknown. I was nervous, but it was a good kind of nervous. They picked me up and we drove. Our destination: a skydiving place in Maricopa. This was happening! I was going skydiving! Right. Now. It didn’t seem real to me. The item that I had put back on my bucket list as pending was going to be a reality in a matter of minutes.

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Although I was terrified at the thought that I was about to jump out of a plane, I was more than ready to do it. I had wanted to do this for a long time now, and the opportunity presented itself again, so I was going to take advantage of it. It was time for me to be fearless. It was time for me to get out of my comfort zone and accomplish something that I had wanted to do for a very long time.

Skydiving was amazing. The feeling you get as you are falling is unreal. The thrill is indescribable. As the parachute opened, and I realized I was going to live to see another day, I felt relief. I was happy with myself for going through with it.  Touching the ground made me realize how grateful I was for life. I had just experienced one of the craziest, most fun experiences that I would have never experienced had I stayed in my comfort zone.
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I learned a lot from this challenge. I learned that I can do anything I set my mind to. That even as crazy as an idea sounds, if I pursue it, I can achieve it. I learned that I have the bestest friends a girl could ask for. And, I learned, that life is good.

My birthday surprise ended up being a success and I am now able to say that I have jumped out of a plane. This was not only a check mark added to my bucket list, but the realization that fear should not stand in the way of my dreams. As scary as anything can be, the feeling you get when you have accomplished it, is much greater. And that is a great feeling. I hope to do it again soon.

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So next time you are faced with a fear, remember that you are bigger than that fear. You can accomplish anything. Be fearless. Do more. Live more.

I live by the motto, “life is good.” I plan to live my good life to the fullest.

-Adilene Barrios

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year: Homecoming 2013

1 Nov

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…no, not Christmas. It is Homecoming week at the U of A! Get excited, Homecoming week is full of spirit, tradition, and festivities. This is a great time for all U of A students, past and present, to show their Bear Down spirit!

We interviewed fellow Wildcats on the mall and asked them what Bear Down means to them and what they are most excited for during Homecoming week:

Shankar Ramesh, junior, political science major

Involvements: Pre-Law Fraternity

1. What is the definition of Bear Down to you? Bear Down means school spirit.
2. How do you Bear Down? I go to the sporting events.
3. What are you most excited for during Homecoming week? The tailgates and parties.


Leslie Wankowicz, junior, marketing major

Involvements: Theta and RHO

1. What is the definition of Bear Down to you? Bear Down represents a unified UA community.
2. How do you Bear Down? Attending the basketball games, being a part of the community and being involved on campus.
3. What are you most excited for during Homecoming week? Building the float and participating in the parade.


Gale Coleman, Nutritional Services Coordinator at Campus Health

1. What is the definition of Bear Down to you? Bear Down means work hard, keep at it, you can do it, don’t give up.
2. How do you Bear Down? I Bear Down by keeping at it, and figuring out an alternative when needed.                                                                                      

3. What are you most excited for during Homecoming week? Working the Campus Health tent and the parade.


Zach Prunty, freshman, neuroscience and cognitive science

Involvements: FCC, WEB, Camp Wildcat, Bear Down Camp

1. What is the definition of Bear Down to you? Bear Down means to face your obstacles, no matter how much effort you have to put in.
2. How do you Bear Down? I say it over and over and it motivates me.
3. What are you most excited for during Homecoming week? Club Olympics.


Billy Post, sophomore, finance and mathematics major with a focus on statistics

Involvements: SMORES Sophomore Honorary, BDC Assistant Director, WEB, Honors College

1. What is the definition of Bear Down to you? Bear Down is a community within UA, everywhere you go you can yell Bear Down and get a response; it is a way of life. It is the University of Arizona’s way of life, a love for the UA community and what it represents, togetherness.
2. How do you Bear Down? I Bear Down by what I wear, UA gear. I am painted up at the football games. I wear the UA colors 2-3 times a week. I also am involved around campus trying to make it the best school.
3. What are you most excited for during Homecoming week? Club Olympics. It is not just a competition within the clubs on campus; it brings them together to showcase what the University of Arizona offers to visitors and alumni.


Alicia Barrios, freshman, education major

Involvements: FCC, Elevate at the University of Arizona

1. What is the definition of Bear Down to you? Bear Down means tradition, it is something that is said for encouragement and it defines the students that attend the University of Arizona.
2. How do you Bear Down? I Bear Down by getting into my studies and having school spirit.

3. What are you most excited for during Homecoming week? Building the ASUA float with FCC and being in the parade.


Ashley Quay, senior, art and geography major

Involvements: Chi Omega and AdCats

1. What is the definition of Bear Down to you? Bear Down means to stand strong and work hard for what you want. Whether it’s in a game or for a test, to Bear Down means to achieve your goals.
2. How do you Bear Down? I Bear Down everyday. I am passionate and work hard by putting 110% into everything I do.

3. What are you most excited for during Homecoming week? I am excited for the football game. I love to see everyone, including the alumni representing the UA and supporting the school they love.

Here’s a list of links of the involvements from our Wildcats!

Prelaw fraternity:
Greek Life Link:
Campus Health:
Camp Wildcat:
Bear Down Camp:
Honors College:

–Adilene Barrios & Hannah McNeal


Extra! Extra! Wildcat Connections: 10/7-10/13

7 Oct

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It’s Monday! And you know what that means: A NEW Wildcat Connections! Take a look at this week’s edition where we highlight how to handle irrelevancy, dissonance and incompatibility. This edition is about finding your fit. We are a few weeks into school now, and we hope that you are loving the U of A, but if you don’t feel as connected to campus as you would like, you still have time. Join a club! Join an intramural team! Go to campus events! If you don’t like how your year is currently going, CHANGE IT! It is up to you to find what works for you, but let us help!

We hope that you have a wonderful week!

–SAO Facilitators

Breakfast IS the Most Important Meal

25 Apr

You have probably heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This is because it helps you gain energy and gives you the focus you need to keep up in your classes. I have learned first hand that it is not a good idea to skip breakfast. As college students, we stay up late and hate waking up early. We bolt out the door without any food in our stomachs. But we should be making sure that we eat breakfast before heading out the door.

Finals are coming up. Plan ahead. Study for those exams. Get a good night’s rest. Have a good breakfast and you should be set! Here are some easy breakfast ideas to make sure you start your day off right!

1. Plan Ahead
Prepare the night before, if you are running late in the morning, you will have everything ready. Cut up some fruit and make a fruit salad. It is a healthy and delicious option for your morning.

2. Make a Smoothie
Smoothies are fast and a healthy choice. You can mix and match your favorite fruit and mix it with orange juice, milk or yogurt.

3.  Pick Something Up on Your Way

If you don’t have time to make something at home, stop by the Student Union to pick something up before class starts. We have many options to choose from, such as Einsteins, IQ Fresh, Canyon Coffee, On Deck Deli, and many more options.

Whatever you do, don’t skip the most important meal of the day. You’ll wish you hadn’t if you do! Remember to plan ahead and you will make it through finals! Good luck!

CAPS Counseling and Psych Services

6 Apr

Today I visited CAPS-Counseling and Psych Services. The front desk secretary, Desiree, was very friendly and explained the different services that CAPS offers. CAPS offers crisis intervention and therapy for students to help them cope with personal and family problems and to help them achieve their academic goals. They offer many programs to help students, staff, and parents. These are a few programs and a brief description of each:

OASIS focuses on people who have been impacted by sexual assault, relationship violence, or stalking.

Parent Matter is a program for parents to call or email to get support.

This is a service that gives students information and advice on how to help a friend who might be experiencing problems.

CAPS is highly focused on student confidentiality and no information is released to anyone unless a signed release has been given by the student.  If you are feeling stressed and just need someone to talk to, make an appointment with CAPS today!

Grades Don’t Define Who You Are.

29 Mar


When I was in high school, getting good grades was very important to me. Even if I was getting a B, I knew I had to try harder to make it an A. I had to be the perfect student. Grades were a big part of who I thought I was.

When I arrived at college, things began to change. The transition was a bit rough, the workload and assignments were a lot more challenging. I had a hard time keeping up with it all and I did not get the grades I  wanted. At the end of semester when grades came out,  I ended up with a D in a class and I was devastated. That was the lowest grade that I had ever received. I felt like a failure. But, then I realized that grades do not define who I am. I tried my best and unfortunately ended up with a bad grade. This was a huge learning experience for me. I learned that not everything is going to go the way I want it all the time. I must work harder next semester in order to achieve the goals I set forth. I realized that I had to change my study habits in order to see better results the next semester. Many times we set out on a path believing it is the right one, unfortunately you may have to walk all the way to the very end to realize you have to retrace your steps and take a new route.

After I learned about the GRO process, felt a lot better knowing I could retake the class with a new perspective. I knew that the next time that I took it I would give it my 110% and get a better grade. Always remember, it is not the end of the world if you get a bad grade in a class, you can always go to Think Tank or your professor’s office hours for extra help. Although the first grade will still show up on your transcript, the new grade will be averaged into your GPA. This information made me feel a lot better. I learned a lot from this experience and although it was unfortunate, it was a growing experience and one that I will put to practice more often.

Hitch a Ride!

21 Feb


If there is one resource on campus that I use regularly, it’s the Cat Tran. I honestly don’t know what I would do without it! It’s cold right now, but think back to August – it gets HOT! Nothing is worse than walking into class drenched in sweat.

A lot of the classes that I am taking this semester are located on the Medical campus, and sometimes (well most of the time) I don’t feel like walking all the way over there. What do I do instead? Take the Cat Tran. It is an easy, FREE way to get around campus. What’s better than FREE stuff? Nothing, if you ask me.

There are six different routes that help transport you to any place around campus. The Purple, Teal, Green, and USA Routes take you all around campus.

The Orange Route is designed for students who live off campus or park in designated lots from campus. There is a special pass required to ride the Orange Cat Tran. Check out Parking and Transportation Services for more information on the Orange route and the pass.

Staying late on campus and need to get home? There’s a Tran for that.
The Night Cat is available from six to midnight.

Wherever you may need to go, the Cat Tran has your back. Make sure to check the schedule on where to catch the shuttle and times for pick-up. You can also grab a brochure on any Cat Tran or download it onto your phone.

Next time you need to get somewhere around campus but don’t feel like walking all the way there, hitch a FREE ride!

I Think I Need Some Extra Help…

19 Feb

Midterms are fast approaching. If you feel as if you are falling behind, the time to act is now. It is your responsibility to get the extra help that you need. Fortunately, there are many resources that you could use as an aid. Make sure to utilize all of these resources if you are struggling with a class or two.

1. Your Professor
Your professor is a great resource to use. After all, they are teaching the class and they know exactly what they expect you to know for exams and assignments. Make sure that you attend office hours regularly in order to get that extra help that you need. Asking questions will help you get the answers that you need directly from the source, and it will show your professor that you care about learning. Having an academic relationship with your professor will definitely help you understand the material better, and they are there to help and want you to do well in their course. Going to go see your professor is also a free resource, so make sure to take advantage of it! Don’t be afraid of your professor! Go into office hours! Make it a regular thing, you won’t regret it!

2.Think Tank
The Think Tank is a great way to get help from a tutor. If you have already seen your professor and think that you just need that extra practice, a tutor is a great resource. The Think Tank offers many different resources for academic success. If you are struggling with math or science, there is a tutor for that. Need test taking tips and practice? The Academic Skills tutors are there to help. The Think Tank also hold Weekly Course Reviews. There is also the Writing Center where you can get extra help writing your papers. The Think Tank offers both free and fee based help, so make sure to check out their website for details.

3.Supplemental Instruction (SI)
Many courses are partnered with the Think Tank and have SI Sessions. SI is a FREE service that provides regularly scheduled , out-of-class study sessions. The SI sessions are led by students who have previously taken the course and attend lecture with you. They know exactly what is going on in class and set up weekly activities to help you  understand the concepts better. The more you practice, the better you will do on the exams. There are many SI sessions throughout the week, so you could probably make it to at least one a week. Make sure to check the SI Schedule for a list of different times and locations where SI sessions are held.

4. Form A Study Group
Who knows what you are learning better than the people taking the class with you? Make friends and form study groups in order to get extra help from your peers. People learn in different ways, so forming study groups helps to get the same information in different ways from different people. If you have a question, who better to ask then your buddy sitting next to you! Study groups are also fun, and a lot more interesting than studying alone.