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Finish Strong

21 Apr

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Q: Why don’t I feel motivated anymore?
A: It’s the end of the year sometimes our wind blows out! It’s a totally normal thing we all have to face at some point.

Q: Can I get over this lull?
A: ABSOLUTELY! You just need to spark your motivation.

Q: How do I spark my motivation?
A: Reevaluate your goals! I’m sure we all started this semester with some objectives. They could have been elaborate or simple, whatever they might have been, reintroduce yourself to them to remember why you wake up every day.

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Q: What steps can I take to be happy with what I’m doing? I’m so over school, work, and everything!
A: Are you over listening to music, playing a sport, or binge watching your favorite Netflix show? Give yourself a break! No one enjoys school or work all the time, so taking a break and relaxing can be just what you need to fall back in love with your major.

Q: How long will it be before I feel refreshed again?
A: As long as you need! There isn’t a set amount of time you need to give yourself. We get a whole summer and winter break to feel recharged about each semester. Finishing it can be tough with no breaks. Giving yourself a mental break for a weekend (long weekends are the best weekends) can be just what you need to feel motivated.

Q: What do YOU do to feel motivate?
A: I remind myself who I am and who I want to be. All the exams, projects, and papers are just a necessary step for me to get the future I want to get. I just need to get past those to succeed.

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Q: Is it like this every semester?
A: There are no guarantees about the future. Feeling overwhelmed at the end of the year can be frustrating but if you know how to conquer it once, you can conquer it again.

Q: Does feeling unmotivated mean I don’t like my major anymore?
A: Finding a major is a challenge for everyone. If you’re feeling unmotivated but think you’d be motivated in another major, then evaluating your major wouldn’t hurt. If you’re feeling more burnt out, then it might just be from this time of year. Take the summer to research your major again and see if it gets you excited again!

Q: I’m terrified of finals week! How can I study for all those exams?
A: Studying for finals comes down to priorities. Think about whether or not you’re on the verge of getting a letter grade up, how much the final is worth, the day each final is, and whether or not it’s cumulative. Once you’ve decided what’s most important, study for those early and leave extra time for the not as important finals.

Q: Is there any daily habits you suggest to stay motivated? Some days I feel motivated and other days I just feel groggy? How can I stay motivated more consistently?
A: Developing a healthier daily routine can help with the grogginess. Have a consistent wake-up time and breakfast can be a ritual your body will thank you for! Also getting a good nights sleep after a balanced dinner can do the trick. I know we’re all busy college students, but developing even small healthy habits can start the motivation train for other parts of our life.

Good luck on the end of the semester!

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-Alyssa

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#AdventurousApril: Sorry Dad, I Got a Tattoo

20 Apr

April is a good month for being adventurous. The weather is nice, flowers are blooming, and getting over that mid-semester lull is essential. I decided April 14th, 2017 was a good day to get my first tattoo.

I am a Chemical Engineering major here at the U of A. I enjoy math and science (a little too much) so it made perfect sense to get a tattoo related to those fields. I decided to get a vector. In math, a vector is defined as having a certain direction and magnitude.

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Since I’ve learned about vectors I’ve always found that somewhat poetic. I want to live my life with a certain passion and purpose, just like a vector. I wanted my vector to point forward to always look towards the future. I don’t want to dwell on the past I want to keep pushing forward to reach all my goals.  For all of these reasons, I decided to get a tattoo of a vector on my right ankle.
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Getting the tattoo was a weird experience. I felt nervous but at the same time, I was very calm. I knew that this was something I really wanted so it kept me calm, but I was still very scared of the pain. The person giving me the tattoo could tell I was a little tense so he gave me a test run. He put the needle on my skin and it really didn’t feel all that bad. Once I gave him the okay he started the tattoo and it wasn’t that bad for the most part. The only thing that really hurt was when the needle crossed my ankle bone. At that part, it felt like my ankle was on fire! It hurt really bad, but it was only for a minute then it went back just to my skin which was a lot easier to handle. IMG_6322.JPG

The entire process didn’t take more than a few minutes. It only took a few minutes for me to do something scary and exciting. The next part was definitely the hardest part of the entire process, telling my dad. My dad is not a fan of tattoos and I knew he wouldn’t be too happy that I, his only daughter, got one. When I showed him, he didn’t overreact like I thought he would. He just asked me questions to make sure this was something I wanted forever. I assured him it was and the whole tattooing experience came to a close.

My tattoo is almost completely healed and I have to say, I love it. I love that it’s not perfectly straight and that the arms on the head aren’t perfectly symmetrical. I wanted this tattoo to be as real and unpolished as the person who has it. We’re both just doing our best. It turned out exactly how I wanted it to. Any sort of discomfort or unpleasantness was completely worth it. I definitely have tattoo fever and am so excited for my next one!

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-Alyssa

 

Spring Cleaning

4 Apr

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The middle of the semester always seems to go exhaustively slow. Having Spring Break be added in there doesn’t offer much help because it can be distracting. In order to overcome this lull, I clean. I know this doesn’t sound too fun, but it works. Spring cleaning my apartment (dorm room last semester) always puts me in a good mood. When my home is clean, I feel like other things in my life can take precedence. It’s clearing up space in my mind for other aspects of my life to take up more room.

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When my apartment is clean I have more time to focus on my academics and other things like playing tennis and eating healthy. It’s also very motivating! After I get done cleaning, I get motivate to “clean” other parts of my life. I sit down plan out the rest of semester. This allows me to review what I have left in store for the semester. I also plan time to be active and spend time outdoors.

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There’s nothing wrong with getting into a funk in the middle of a semester. A problem arises when you don’t do anything to get out of this funk. To get out of my funk I clean. Finding motivation keeps us going to power through the semester. Let’s all finish strong and have another successful semester.

-Alyssa

Aloha, Spring Break

8 Mar

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Spring is undoubtedly my favorite time of year. I feel like March is the perfect month for several reasons:

1. It’s my birthday month! March 13th! #SpringBabies

download.jpg2. Perfect weather. #NotTooHotNotTooCold

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3. Aloha Festival. #Hawaiian

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4. Plants starting to bloom. #Buds

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5. A whole week off. #Break

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6. Longer days. #MorningPerson

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Since March holds a week off for us college students, there’s a lot to be excited for. Luckily for me, my birthday is always during Spring Break and so is the Aloha Festival. It’s my family’s tradition to go to the Aloha Festival to celebrate my birthday. It’s my absolute favorite way to celebrate. My mom was born and raised in Hawaii, which means I am Native Hawaiian. We love going to the festival to celebrate our culture. There are dance and song performances as well as the FOOD. I love Hawaiian food and this is the one time of year when we actually get quality food.

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This is Kalua Pig, my favorite Hawaiian Food

My parents and friends will always get me birthday presents at the Aloha Festival. I love the “Hawaiian Flower” (which is a hibiscus). I like getting earrings or necklaces of this flower. It reminds me of my culture and beautiful Hawaii. Spring is the perfect time of year to think about these colorful flowers. It always puts me in a happy mood.

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Whether your family has a special tradition or not. Spring time is always a good time to go on adventures. There are so many cultural, food, and music festivals going on. Be courageous and try experiencing something new! Happy Spring time everyone!

-Alyssa

Out with the Old

5 Mar

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There’s no time like the spring time to reflect on past experiences. When this spring semester came around, I began thinking about all the positive experiences I had from 2016. Academically speaking, I had my best semester of college during the Fall 2016 semester. My transition to a university from high school wasn’t the easiest, so finally having a semester I was proud of was the highlight of my year. In 2017 I want to continue on this path of high academic motivation.

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I definitely also experienced some challenges that I can learn from. The hardest challenge I faced was losing one of my scholarships due to not meeting one of the requirements in the Spring 2016 Semester. That was the lowest point, academically, I have ever been. I was completely devastated, and that’s why I was extremely motivated to do well in the fall semester. One of my goals for this year is to not repeat mistakes I’ve already made. It was easy to see why I lost my scholarship, so I now know how to keep myself accountable if I start slipping into old habits. Spring cleaning is all about getting a fresh start. Even though our spring semester has already begun, there’s still time to have a fresh start with healthy habits.

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I believe that making mistakes is okay, as long as you learn from them. Unfortunately, it did take me losing a scholarship to get serious about my priorities. If you take any advice form this blog let it be this: Having to learn lessons is a part of life, but don’t make that lesson be permanent. Luckily for me I was only considered on probation for my scholarship (not academic probation) so I was able to get it back. School is above all else, I know that now. I’m determined to correct that error. I want to prove to myself that I am the driven, hard working person I know I am. I have a fresh, positive, motivated attitude. I am ready for whatever this semester has left in store for me.

-Alyssa

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#FearlessFebruary: Room Escape

27 Feb

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For my #FearlessFebruary Blog I decided to attempt a Room Escape, with another peer mentor, Mehruba. In case anyone reading decides they want to try the Room Escape, I won’t go into too much detail to spoil it.

Mehruba and I were very nervous about this adventure because we both have never tried anything like this. I am not claustrophobic, but I do slightly panic when I feel like there isn’t enough air in a space. For example, if I don’t get a lot of space at concerts I become really anxious that I won’t be able to breathe. I know it’s an irrational fear, but it still creeps me out. Leading up until the day we went, I was pretty excited. I love solving puzzles so I thought this would be something I would truly enjoy. The worry didn’t set in until the day of our scheduled appointment came. That morning, I began to slightly panic. I was worried about what would happen if we couldn’t solve a single puzzle. Nerves were in full force once I arrived at the place along with Mehruba.

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I was close to giving up, but Mehruba was there to calm me down. She practically forced me into the building and we geared up for our hour long adventure. We weren’t allowed to have phones for any outside help. My phone is like a safety blanket, so this was a little challenge I had to overcome. Once we were in the room and the timer began, Mehruba and I were a mess. We had absolutely no idea where to start. There wasn’t any sort of direction!

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The timer wouldn’t stop and we definitely felt the pressure. We were given a hint and were able to find the first puzzle. The puzzle itself wasn’t too hard to solve, getting there was the issue. Once that task was done we went into a frenzy again looking for the next piece. We hit a wall and needed another hint. By the time the second hint was given to us. It was so nerve racking knowing that we were being timed! Luckily, I saw vents in the room so the idea of not having any air didn’t phase me.

We were given a second hint and it led us on the path we were supposed to take to escape the room. We were able to move forward, but unfortunately, it wasn’t quick enough. Mehruba and I weren’t able to complete the final puzzle and we did not escape the room. We both felt defeated, but proud. The Room Escape wasn’t like anything I expected. We had to think so far outside of the box that it tripped us up. We were proud that we were able to get as far as we did and I know if we had 15-20 more minutes we could have solved it.

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Our Room Escape adventure was very nerve-racking, but I’m glad it was something I followed through with doing. If you want to have a fun challenge for an hour I would highly recommend Room Escape here in Tucson! Good luck!

-Alyssa

Selecting a Major a la Alyssa

27 Jan

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Ingredients:

Spices and herbs

1/4 cup minced patience

2 cups openness

4 tablespoons self-awareness

1 1/3 cups freshly ground optimism

3 ounces of slow cooked research

1 dash of adventurousness

 

Steps:

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1. Start off by sautéing the self-awareness on a low setting. Make sure to take your time really getting to know your interests and dislikes

2.Turn heat on high and add freshly ground optimism. This will be the spice to your recipe. DO NOT SKIP.

3.Begin roasting research in the oven at 350°F. This takes the longest amount of time. Rushing into a major you don’t understand can cost you time and money.

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4. Add 2 cups of openness and dash of adventurousness to the sauce. Sometimes you realize something you had your mind set on isn’t going to work out. There’s nothing wrong with exploring the many options that are available to you.

5. Once research reaches 450°F, remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

6. After 10 minutes pour sauce over research and add minced patience.

This is a beginners recipe, making mistakes is okay. Most people don’t land their major on the first try, which is why they allow you to switch. The most important thing is to be in a major that you are happy with, no one wants to eat undesired food. Also, there is no one right way to complete this recipe. Add flare and make it your own.

Bon appetit!

-Alyssa

 

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#DreadedDecember: Going the Distance

21 Dec

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I’m like many other college students in that I don’t like to do extra work. I have so many things going on that the only time I do extra work is when I absolutely need to. Going into finals, I was calculating my grades and started getting paranoid. Although there were so many grades that weren’t entered, I felt I needed to step into high gear to “save” my grades. I didn’t want to take the time to do extra work when there was only a small chance I wouldn’t get the grade I wanted to, but I did it.

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Doing the extra credit project really wasn’t that bad. My assignment was to elaborate on any topic we had covered throughout the year. I needed to create a 10-minute presentation on it and then present it to the class. This wasn’t really too bad considering that I really did enjoy the class. I let my teacher know I was doing an extra credit presentation and we picked a day I would go. Me being me, I waited until the day before I had to present to start. I made myself focus really hard on the presentation and got it done in a couple hours. Focusing wasn’t easy, but when I started I made myself not stop until I finished.

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I went into class nervous about the presentation. I’m not the best at public speaking so I was definitely not excited for it. When I got up to present I noticed most people were on their phones. I was ecstatic when I noticed this because if no one was listening to me then there’s no reason to be nervous. I gave my presentation and it went pretty well. It was one of the best presentations I’ve ever given. I ended up getting the grade I wanted in that class! Doing extra work isn’t always the most fun thing but ensuring you get the grade you want it worth it.

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#NovembertoRemember: Airplane Adventure

19 Nov

I wanted to do something special for my boyfriend, Daron. He’s been working so hard this semester and I wanted to help him celebrate all that he’s accomplished.

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Daron absolutely loves planes, he’s even majoring in Aerospace Engineering. I decided to surprise him with tickets to the Pima Air and Space Museum! They have a ton of huge planes ranging from new exciting ones to antiques that are no longer operational. I knew it’d be a little slice of heaven for him.

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I’m horrible with surprises, so it was extremely difficult to keep the secret from him. I wanted to tell him every day leading up to it, but I stayed strong and waited until the day finally came. I woke up on a Saturday morning to find Daron in the living room playing Xbox. I tried my best to hide my smile with no success, he immediately knew something was up. His first words to me were, “what’s going on?” I asked if he had any plans for the day and he said, “you’re looking at them.” I then broke, I couldn’t hold it in any longer! I screamed, “well how about going to the Pima Air and Space Museum to look at planes all day!” Immediately my boyfriend got excited. He asked if I was teasing him then I showed the tickets for proof and he jumped up. We got ready then the happiest day began. The whole time driving to the museum my boyfriend was looking up the museum because he didn’t know what they offered. The more planes he saw on the website the more excited he got.

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We finally arrived at the museum and began exploring. He wanted to see every plane and every display down to the smallest detail. To be honest, I’m not the biggest plane person, but seeing and hearing how excited Daron was made me excited for him. His favorite planes to look at were the fighter jets.

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He explained all about how the main reason planes took off (pun intended) was for war. Even though it’s sad that that was a huge motivation it helped progress planes to what we know today. We spent about 2 hours wandering around the museum, then it was time for my last surprise. There was a bonus tour to see the museum’s “graveyard” of planes that I surprised my boyfriend with.

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I swear in almost 3 years of dating him he’s never looked at me like he looked at those planes. Daron had an amazing time, as did I. Making the people you love happy is one of the best things you can do in life. It was absolutely a November to Remember.

-Alyssa

Time for Turkey

18 Nov

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8:00AM- Breakfast, keep it light to conserve room

9:00AM- Time to help my dad prepare the turkey

9:30AM- Bad dad joke involving turkey

10:00AM- Begin cooking turkey

11:00AM- Preparation to cook potatoes and stuffing

11:15AM- Realize we forgot something that’s vital in cooking

11:30AM- Run to store to get said forgotten item

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12:00PM- Preparation to cook stuffing and potatoes

12:30PM- Begin cooking potatoes and stuffing

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1:00PM- Preparation for football

1:30PM- Finish last minute items: gravy, corn, and asparagus

2:00PM- Turkey’s ready along with other sides

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2:15PM- Everyone serves themselves and we all sit in the living room

2:30PM- Begin eating and watching the beloved Dallas Cowboys play the Thanksgiving game

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3:00PM- Eat and football

3:30PM- Eat and football

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4:45PM- Call grandma at halftime to wish her a happy Thanksgiving

5:00PM- Football

5:30PM- Eat dessert and either cry or celebrate depending on the outcome of the game

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6:00PM- More dessert

7:00PM-  Dad tells my brothers and me to clean up

7:15PM- Fight over cleaning up

7:30PM- Clean up

8:00PM- Relax and enjoy more food

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you enjoy it no matter where you are or who you’re with!

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-Alyssa