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#MiddlingMarch: Don’t Let March Meddle with You

15 Mar

Getting homesick is almost inevitable in March. Unless you went home for Spring Break, you are most likely in the same boat as me. Spring Break was fantastic, and I hope all of you had a wonderful time; however, one small qualm that I have with Spring Break is that it’s always so busy. Since there’s only a week of it, I feel this pressure to take advantage of the time, and then I end up planning out some type of event for every single moment. I don’t want to say I have any regrets about this, but I will say that Monday right after break was not exactly the best day in the world for me.

But back to homesickness!! Since I did spend my break with friends rather than family, I have to admit I’m really beginning to miss my crew back home. I don’t know what all of you do to combat homesickness but for me there are three pivotal steps:

  1. First, I let myself be sad. Now, don’t let this get out of control, but if I miss my family, I like to watch videos that I have taken with my little brother and flip through pictures of all of us on Facebook or on my phone. Don’t be afraid of that nostalgia!
  2. Next, I make sure to allot time to talk to different family members. My sister graduated a couple years ago, and she is working as a consultant now, so sometimes it can be hard to find time when we are both free, but it’s just a matter of scheduling it out. On the other hand, my brother who just recently became a teenager, is not always keen on long talks on the phone. So sometimes I try to FaceTime my mom during times when I know he will be home, just so I can catch a glimpse of him. All of this applies to friends back home too!! One really hard thing about branching off from your friends in high school is that you all get so busy. There’s nothing wrong with that; these are busy times. But if you genuinely miss someone, make sure to reach out — I’m sure they would be so happy to hear from you.
  3. Lastly, I go out and do something fun. Being homesick is completely normal and all, but there’s no point in dwelling in something you can’t change. SO RECENTLY I WENT AND SAW BLACK PANTHER. I am a big movie person, and I feel like going to see a movie is the perfect way to treat yourself during the week because you can allocate that specific amount of time out without getting too wild. It was such a good movie, so I highly recommend taking a break and checking it out. Go get some ice cream with a friend or catch up with someone you haven’t seen in a while over lunch — just take a break and have fun. We are in college, so we deserve to have fun!

That’s all I have for now; I hope you all make it through this March and the rest of the year smoothly!

-Amna 🙂


Tips for Traveling Safe

2 Mar

Spring Break is finally here. I’m sure you all have some great plans lined up — whether that be returning home for the week, staying here and relaxing, or taking a trip with your friends. Hopefully, wherever you end up and whatever you end up doing is both fun and allows you to destress from the semester. One awesome thing about Spring Break is that it allows you to recuperate your energy so that when you return, you’re ready to tackle the rest of the semester. But also, it’s time to have fun!

If you are taking a trip with friends, please do your best to stay safe. There are so many ways you can prepare before heading off on your adventures and taking these precautions is the best way to ensure your break runs as smoothly as possible. Below are some tips on how I personally like travelling with friends.

  1. First off, how are you getting there?
    • If you’re flying, who is picking you up? Do you have your passport or other form of ID? Check and check again before leaving. Print your boarding pass or at least double check to make sure your airline emailed it to you, and you can access it from your phone.
    • If you’re driving, are you taking a reliable car? Consider having your car or your friend’s car checked out especially if you know you will be driving a long ways. Also, are you and your friends splitting the cost of gas? Pro tip: If you don’t have Venmo… Get Venmo.
  2. Make sure you’re travelling with trustworthy friends. At this point, you probably can’t exactly change the group you are travelling with, but my hope is that you are with a group of trustworthy individuals! Be a good friend is what I mean here. Don’t leave anyone behind if you’re going to a club or something along those lines. Use the buddy system at the very least. Establish some kind of protocol for ensuring everyone is safe — it doesn’t have to be complicated, maybe it’s just a quick text check in! Also, consider adding your friends on Find My Friends!
  3. Don’t way until the last minute to pack! If you’re going to be out at the beach or in the sun, pack sunscreen. Try to think about what you all are planning for each of the days you will be on vacation, and pack according to the needs of your activities per day. If you’re feeling especially organized, make a check list!
  4. Be cautious of your surroundings. This may sound a little obvious, but if you’re in a new place, and you seem lost — you become a target of sorts. Try to do your research on where you’re going, and plan out your day to day activities to the best of your ability. Keep your head up and look out for one another!

All right, that’s all I have for now. Have a great Spring Break, Wildcats!

-Amna 🙂


Midterms, Goals, and Spring Break

26 Feb

This can be a stressful time of year for students. In my experience, the middle of spring semester of Freshman year is when you have the realization that you’re no longer “new” at this. At this point, you have a grasp of what the expectations are so far as your classes and how you will examined. Along with that, you probably have a good idea of campus and how things work around here.

However, Spring semester can be challenging in many ways. To start, it’s longer. Additionally, there aren’t as many breaks to cushion the stress of midterms. For me, March of spring semester is when homesickness really hit. I didn’t even realize what was going on — I was taking midterms and of course, there was some drama going on with friends and such, but one day I realized that I really missed having family around. I missed having that constant and unquestioning support system. The important thing parents can do when students are stressed out with midterms and college life in general is just be supportive.

There are tons of resources around campus that students can utilize during these stressful times, and it can be nice to have a reminder of what they are. For example, if your student is very stressed, they can visit the CAPS center. Professionals there are equipped to find solutions specific to the needs of students in college. Personally, I think college can be isolating at times, especially for freshmen, so sometimes all your student may need is a third party that is willing to listen.

Along with coping with stress, students are coping with tricky classes. ThinkTank is a great resource during midterms especially. They have helpful tools and study groups allocated for specific courses and open, walk-in hours for subjects like English and Math. This is a resource that is often overlooked, but it shouldn’t be because there are ThinkTank offices all over campus. Additionally, the Campus Recreation center has more to offer than its giant gym. The Rec often offers free group fitness classes for students to try out and relieve stress (especially around midterm and finals periods), and additionally, they have an entire spa dedicated to caring for students.

March is a very busy and stressful time in college. I guess a good way to describe it is like college has formed this little bubble around you over the months, and March is when you realize you need to come up for air, but it’s really hard to manage it. If your student made goals at the beginning of the semester year, this is a point in time that they might be getting a little off track. Often times, we get so wrapped up in what is going on in the present that it’s hard to actually reflect on how we are handling and managing our goals. For me, I like writing them down – just to have them firmly on paper — and then, take some time to actually think about why I am making these goals for myself. Even if your student feels off track, let them know that it’s perfectly okay — there’s always time to get back into it, especially when they’re only freshman in college.

This year, Spring Break is coming a lot earlier than most of us are used to! I remember when I was a freshman I had some grand ideas about what a “college Spring Break” might entail, but honestly it just depends on your student! Maybe they’ve been really stressed out and homesick and they are just looking to return home for the week. They could even be getting some Rest & Relaxation right here in Tucson! Or, perhaps they are heading over to Rocky Point or California with their friends. All of these are viable options — as parents, you can support your students by doing your best to ensure they are vacationing responsibly. Are they taking a reliable and safe car if they are going for a long drive? Are they going with trustworthy friends that will be looking out for them?

I remember my parents were (understandably) a little concerned about the prospect of Spring Break. I just tried to be open and honest with them, and I think that having that trust established is what allowed them to relax. However, do remind your students that the semester isn’t over after the break. They should of course take the time to destress and all, but there will still be plenty of midterms and finals and essays waiting for them when they return! 😉



#FearlessFebruary: Boxing!

21 Feb

This month I wanted to try something that I have been inclined to try for a while, but haven’t had that last push of motivation to actually do. So… I tried boxing! I have always wanted to give this a try for the purpose of it being a great and intense workout, but also because I think I could learn cool self defense skills from it. However, I did always think it might be a little intimidating walking into a “boxing club” with literally zero experience.

I knew I had to try it though when I learned that Boxing Inc. gives out one free class to newcomers!

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There are three locations in Tucson for Boxing Inc., but I went to the one on the East side. For those of you that might want to stay closer to campus, the University gym is right on Campbell. Anyway, I just called them and asked to sign up for a free class, and from there, it was just a matter of attending one!

I’ll start by saying, they definitely didn’t just let me into the ring from the start. That would have gone over terribly (lol). There was a lot of partner work and sparring, and one thing I really loved is that they made sure I warmed up my muscles before letting me throw out some wild jabs (which was of course tempting to do).

Something I was really surprised to learn was that there’s almost a zen philosophy to boxing. I naively figured it was mostly about anger and letting out all your aggression, but it’s really not. There was a quote that read, “The past is useful only if it is used to prepare for the future.” Now, I guess this correlates to losing a fight in the ring, but then taking that loss, and working hard to get a win in the future. Basically, it’s about being resilient and learning from your mistakes, and of course this applies to life as well. I feel like it’s so easy to get bogged down by one “loss,” and everyone tells you to “learn from it,” but that’s always easier said then done. Boxing forces you to take your future into your own hands — everything is up to you, the harder you train, the better your outcome. It’s all about you putting in the time.

Obviously, (perhaps not obvious to all of you, but obvious to anyone who might know me), I am not preparing to become an MMA fighter or anything along those lines. But, I definitely learned from this experience. ALSO, a huge takeaway — there is A LOT of cardio. So before you get in there, make sure you have a good amount of stamina in you. 🙂

– Amna 🙂


Ready, Set, Go(al)

18 Feb

Goal setting can sound intimidating and tedious, but it doesn’t have to be either of those things. Whether your goal is personal or academic, it can be nice to put it down paper. One thing that helps me is telling my close friends and coworkers about my goals so that I feel motivated (and let’s face it: pressured) to complete them. Obviously, everyone has their own method when it comes to setting goals, but just in case you need a little inspiration here is my method:

  1. Write it down. It can be hard to remember what your long-term goals are when you are caught up in daily life. If it’s in writing, it feels more real (at least that’s the case for me). You can write down the necessary steps that will lead to accomplishing your goal, and then place that gratifying check mark when you complete a step.
  2. Try to specify exactly what you want as far as an outcome. This is really important. For example, if your goal is to workout more, how exactly do you measure when you achieve that? Maybe you tell yourself to work out three times a week or maybe you give yourself a “goal weight.” Regardless, having a finish line can make your goal a lot more actionable.
  3. Give yourself some kind of timeline. Depending on the goal – long term, short term, academic, or personal – the timeline is subject to debate. But set something loosely so that you can hold yourself accountable for meeting your “quotas.”
  4. What’s motivating your goal? So this is a little weird, but I do like thinking about this a lot. If I want something very badly (enough to write it down in my planner of all things!! (lol)), I better have a good reason for it. Make sure you have a healthy and smart reason for pursuing that goal so that you can go for it without anything holding you back.
  5. Schedule a little time in to reflect on where you’re at with your goals. Just think back on it. Are you making progress? If not, that’s totally okay. If this is something that you are passionate about, start taking steps towards progress. Even if they are just baby steps! 🙂
  6. Don’t go overboard! I can’t stress this enough. We are still so young, and there’s no need to have it all figured out right this instant. I have a tendency to overextend myself, and I have realized in my three years here — college is supposed to be fun too. So chill out sometimes!

-Amna 🙂

Time to Transition

28 Jan

Even at the age of 21, I still feel like a kid most days. However, a lot about my life has changed (necessarily) since I have become a college student. There were so many things that I took for granted when I lived at home with my parents. For example, delicious and healthy meals, laundry, and even a clean house to come home to. It’s so important to have a handle on these seemingly small aspects of life when you’re living on your own or even with roommates. To be truthful, they aren’t all that hard to do, but it takes time to adjust to having these responsibilities. Here are some examples of how I have noticed a change in my own lifestyle since becoming a college student.

  1. I actually think about what’s for dinner. Eating out is expensive, and if you plan to make dinner you have to allocate time for preparation! Also, you have to make sure you have sufficient groceries at home. Luckily, my roommates and I have a system where we trade off on dinner prep based on class schedules. But still, eating healthy on a budget can be tricky. Do your best to score deals! Surprisingly, Sprouts has pretty inexpensive produce, but I never would have known that had I not done some exploration over my past couple years here.
  2. Being responsible with money. This is something that we have to deal with for the whole of our lives. Depending on your living situation, allocating money for rent, groceries, and having fun is a big responsibility. Budgeting really makes thing easier in the long run, but taking the time to actually sit down and figure out how much money you spend and where that money goes, makes (me at least) feel pretty old!
  3. Surrounding yourself with kind and driven people. Obviously, we have friends before we start college, but during that high school period I feel we all change somewhat. You learn over time, maybe throughout your life, what kind of people push you to be better and compliment your personality well. However, I do feel that college serves as a trial period (especially freshman year). It’s very easy to start hanging out with a group of people and then just stick with that same group, but my advice would be to take some time and explore who and what else is out there. Even if you are a Tucson native with an established friend group coming into your freshman year, it never hurts to meet new people. There are more than 40,000 of us here!
  4. The importance of evaluating your own mental state. I hadn’t really thought about this too much before college. But sometimes when school is at its worst and my stress levels are sky rocketing, I feel like I don’t even have time to think. Taking time for yourself is so important because when you don’t, it absolutely catches up with you. Just try to remember that your mental health is number one. Even if it’s a walk by yourself to gather your thoughts or a full on massage, treat yourself.
  5. Embracing change. This is an important part of being a young adult. A lot will change over the coming years, and that’s a good thing! Sometimes when aspects of my life are changing, I start feeling like I’m losing control. But one thing you can have control over is making the best out of any situation that you are in. Things will work out the way they are supposed to in the end (or that is what I tell myself lol)!

-Amna 🙂

Get Your Head (Back) in the Game

12 Dec

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

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

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

-Amna 😊

#DreadedDecember: Stressed About Not Stressing?

12 Dec

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

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

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

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

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

-Amna 🙂


Fun Ways to Stay Productive this Break!

8 Dec

It’s almost time to start heading home for the break, Wildcats! I hope you are all excited to spend some quality time with friends and family. I don’t know about all of you, but for me, every time I head home, I start acting and feeling a bit lethargic. It’s like all of a sudden all the late night study sessions are finally making their impact, and I physically cannot move off the couch. If you can relate with this, then don’t worry — you deserve the break!

keep trying hang in there GIF by GIPHY Studios Originals

I mean, you made it through finals (Congrats!) However, to avoid spending the entirety of the break laying in bed, try out some of these tips:

    1. Consider getting a winter break part-time job! The break isn’t too long, but it’s always nice making a little extra cash. Plus, if you work at a retail store you can get employee discounts!!! Don’t sign on for too many hours though; as I said – you deserve the break!winter swimming GIF
    2. Force your family to do all the fun winter stuff! So my family is all about family time, but for whatever reason that basically just means going out for dinner all the time. But it can be nice going to Zoo Lights, Winter Haven, or whatever the equivalent is in your town!christmas winter GIF


  1. If snow is accessible to you, play in the snow! Okay, I’m from Houston, TX so this is not really an option for me – but that seems like a fun thing to do, so definitely do it if you can.snow day winter GIF by Disney
  2. Go on a road trip with your friends! There’s a million fun things to do always (that’s just my opinion, but it requires some creativity), but sometimes it’s hard to find them in your hometown. So go on an adventure with your friends! It doesn’t have to be such an expensive endeavor – try to get some deals with Airbnb and sites like that.charlie brown snow GIF
  3. Get up early (okay, I know, why would I even say it?), and go to the gym! It will honestly give you energy and make you feel much better about eating all the food you will inevitably eat (because you’re home).cold cat GIF

Okay, that’s all I have for now! Hope these tips help out some. Regardless, hope you all have the best break ever.

-Amna 🙂

#NovembertoRemember: Vegetarian (for 2 Weeks)!

26 Nov

Hi everyone, so for my November to Remember blog I wanted to try something that I have been thinking about for some time. I wanted to go two weeks completely without meat!

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Personally, I didn’t really think this would be that hard for me. My meat consumption isn’t that high any way, and I don’t even really like red meat that much. (I know, In N’ Out fans out there, please don’t hate me). Also, I would like to say that my reasoning behind this wasn’t exactly noble — don’t get me wrong, sometimes I see those videos about how they slaughter animals, and I am ready to give up meat… until you put some chicken nuggets in front of me, that is. But no, my reason for doing this was more so because I wanted to see how I would feel afterwards. Could I handle it?

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I have lot of friends that have gone vegetarian, and are hoping to turn vegan one day, and they rave to me about how amazing they feel! I am genuinely so impressed by them because even though there are more vegan/vegetarian options out there these days, there is a good deal of preemptive work that they have to do. But they are so passionate and willing. SO OF COURSE, I had to be able to handle just two weeks with ease.

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Spoiler alert: Wrong. It wasn’t easy! I eat meat more than I thought. The turkey sandwich I grab before heading to work (Shout out: On Deck Deli) — no longer an option. The traditional desi biryani my roommate’s mom makes for us  (bless her heart) — no longer an option. I was having to make some big purchases on my not-so-big food budget.

Don’t get me wrong – hummus is so good. So are celery and carrots and all of that! But it was… A LOT of hummus.

By day 5, I was feeling a little light headed, so I made sure to eat eggs and get some protein in my body! That’s another huge thing — I was concerned about how my energy levels would be, but once I started being conscientious of putting certain nutrients in my body, I started feeling better! I started feeling really good actually. Also, for whatever reason, I even started working out more than usual. (Maybe for the smoothies at Campus Rec lol?)

Despite that however, by the final day, I was ready for meat to be back in my life. This experience was a good one overall, and it also made me gain more respect and appreciation for my vegan/vegetarian friends. Props to y’all, honestly! Maybe one day I will try again because I was feeling pretty good, and those kale smoothies aren’t as awful as I thought they’d be LOL. Good luck with your own adventures, Wildcats!

-Amna 🙂