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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 😊

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#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!

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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 🙂

Pre-Exam Strategies

16 Nov

We are finally in the last leg of the semester, and now is the time to finish strong. It’s really easy to start slacking off around this time (especially now that Thanksgiving Break is here). Instead of going into total relaxation mode, use Thanksgiving Break to recuperate all your energy so that you can bring your A-game to finals!

To ensure you are best prepared for finals and any midterms you may have before finals – try out my pre-exam study method:

  1. Don’t wait until the last minute! As hard as it is, try to avoid procrastinating – it can be so tempting, I know. But think about it this way, why would you want to have one day where life sucks and you’re studying until 3 in the morning, when you can space it out instead over a few days?the office dwight GIF
  2. Figure out your approach early. Can you get a group together for this exam or do you need to take this on solo? If you can work in a group, communicate with potential members early so that you can call Dibs! in the library! Also, do your best to ensure that you can work well with this group. Some friends (even while being wonderful, hilarious people) can be too distracting for studying purposes. Pro tip: group study rooms in the library are a major key!the office dwight x michael GIF
  3. How many chapters are on the exam? I try to separate days out by chapters – so my rule of thumb is 2-3 chapters per day just so I don’t get overwhelmed. Sometimes you can’t avoid going into crunch mode, but try to start early to avoid that. If you do have to do multiple chapters in one day, give yourself small breaks to recover.dwight schrute GIF
  4. Don’t let stress or nervousness interfere on exam day. Personally, I avoid exam jitters by ensuring that I am as prepared as possible beforehand. Once you know you have done the work, there’s no point in stressing, right? (Please note steps above ;))

Good luck on these final tests, y’all!

-Amna 🙂

Staying Vigilant

27 Oct

Hi, Wildcats! Because the theme of this edition surrounds safety, I thought I would do a bit of a more serious blog. I think we often take our own safety for granted — or at least I do, for sure.

I’m an out of state student, so when I arrived at UA for my freshman year, I of course knew my parents were going to be a little concerned and more protective than usual. I would laugh lovingly at my dad when he texted me reminding me to check that my dorm door was locked. Genuinely, for whatever reason, I had this false sense of security. You hear horror stories and as cliche as it is, you think: It’s never going to be me.

Then as freshman year progressed, these “horror stories” started happening to friends I made on campus. I was no longer so removed from the situation. Think about it — how often do you get an alert email from UAPD? Pretty often. Attacks of all kinds can occur on campus, and an important thing to realize is that we are at even more of a risk because we are on a college campus – as sad as that is.

Honestly at this point, I’m sure all of you have yourself experienced a scare or at least someone you know closely has. It’s upsetting, but you can take steps to ensure you are more cautious. Below are some tips and steps that I use to proactively take my safety in my own hands:

  1. Be aware of who is around you. Are you alone in a room? If you’re walking on the street at night, are there other students populating the sidewalks?
    1. Also another note I have on this —  I know some of you will relate here — if you’re walking alone at night, please, please, please do not wear headphones in both ears. I am absolutely guilty of this, and I get it – music is near and dear to all of our hearts and can make a 15 minute walk across campus genuinely enjoyable. Try putting a single earbud in instead of both though. When you’re out late at night and completely tuned out, you are not aware of your surroundings — there’s no way you can be! If someone is approaching you quickly, and you don’t even hear their steps coming, you’re putting yourself in more danger.
  2. Keep your phone easily accessible. Most of us walk with our phones in our hands so hopefully this won’t be too hard. Additionally, if you for any reason start feeling a little unsafe, do not hesitate to pull your phone out. Dial UAPD, 911, or even your mom depending on the situation, and know that you can press the “call” symbol at any moment.
  3. If you have a car and are parked somewhere, are the doors locked? I often sit in my car and listen to music, finish up a phone call, or whatever have you. But you never know who is watching you (as ominous as that sounds). I have heard horror stories of people just jumping into the passenger side and overwhelming the driver. And again, make sure you aren’t parked at a sketchy grocery store at like 2am! 
  4. For students out late on campus, use SafeRide. This is pretty self explanatory! If it’s late at night and this free service is provided by ASUA, why not take advantage?
  5. Look out for one another. Consider downloading a Safety App. When you go out with a group of friends, text one another and make sure everyone got home safely. Have your close friends on “Find My Friends.” 

There are so many small, easy-to-do, proactive steps you can take now to feel a higher sense of security, and in my opinion, they are worth it. So please be safe, and be a little more cautious this year and for the rest of your years, Wildcats!

-Amna 🙂

Midterms, Registration, and More!

11 Oct

Fall is finally here, and with the changing of seasons comes the onslaught of midterms! This can be a very stressful time for students, but I would say it’s an especially stressful time for first-year students. I remember that for me, personally, just the prospect of midterms would bring on anxiety my freshman year.

Think about it: in high school, students are tested essentially every other week on a relatively small amount of material. Now, they have to account for a month and half’s worth material, and in addition to that, they can’t even be sure of exam formats since this is their first time testing with a particular professor. These are the first round of tests that freshman will be taking as college students, and that is a big deal!

However, there are ways to plan preemptively and make it through midterm season! For example, students can take advantage of the University of Arizona Think Tank. Think Tank offers a wide variety of services for a multitude of subjects. Additionally, many of these services are of no cost at all. So depending on a student’s level of need, they can get whatever kind of assistance they require! Additionally, to stay on top of their assignments, students should be taking advantage of the library’s resources, like the Assignment Scheduler! The library also has free study rooms that students can book for group and/or individual work.

In addition to thinking about midterms, students must also think about next semester since registration is upon us! The place to get all of a student’s registration information would be uaccess.arizona.edu. In the blue boxes along the right side of UAccess Student Center screen, students will see when registration opens up for them and if there are any holds on their account which may not permit them to register for courses! In addition to that, their academic advisor will be listed in one of these blue boxes. As a senior at the UA, I cannot impress upon students enough how important it is to visit your advisor before registering for courses!

Lastly, while seasons are changing, a lot of students are catching small (or large) colds. Getting sick in college is rough – you no longer have your parents readily available with warm soup and warmer hugs!! Even if you’re not feeling ill, it is completely normal for students to feel homesick during this time of the semester. Personally, as an out of state student freshman year, October was when the glow of being “independent” started wearing off, and I started counting down the days until Thanksgiving break!

To avoid feeling isolated and to confront homesickness, students should consider talking to a peer mentor at the UA. For example, ASA Peer Mentors has an excellent staff of students who are willing to listen, guide, and assist in the best way they can! Additionally, if students are living on campus, then they can always speak to their Resident Hall Advisors (more commonly known as RA’s)! If they are looking for additional support and would prefer talking to professional on campus, CAPS is an amazing resource offered by the UA as well. The Center for Counseling & Psych Services (CAPS) exists so students can discuss their personal problems, find personalized treatment, and stay on track with their academic goals.

That’s all for now — as you can tell, the beginning of Fall can be quite a stressful time for students, but if they take advantage of the multitude of resources around them, they will be just fine!

-Amna

 

How To: Hack Registration

9 Oct

As chaotic as it might seem, registration for the spring semester is just around the corner, Wildcats! I don’t know about all of you, but I feel like the semester just started, so the idea of already planning for the next one has me a little frazzled! Luckily, there’s nothing to worry about because if we all just take a few of these preliminary steps —————————————————–>> we should be golden for registration!

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So let’s get started!

  1. GO SEE YOUR ADVISOR. This is my third year registering for classes y’all, and let me tell you I have made every excuse to avoid doing this. (Don’t get me wrong, I really like my advisor, but sometimes it feels like such a hassle to make the appointment, you know?) But please, just do it! It will be worth it. Your advisor will talk you through all the courses you need to take for graduation, major, scholarship, and financial aid purposes. All you have to do is sit there, listen, take some notes, and OH YEAH, make the appointment.If you still have to fulfill your gen ed requirements, ask around for some interesting ones! Trust me, there are some great gen eds out there and you do not want to get stuck taking one that you’re not going to enjoy. Do your research; ask around! reaction adventure time interesting tell me more GIF
  2. Before signing your life away to a class, check your professor out on ratemyprofessors.com. This site provides you with the student perspective of particular professors. Each student post contains the course taken, grade received, as well as personal input regarding the professor or class in general. Make sure to read through a good chunk of them to get the most unbiased review! In addition to ratemyprofessor, utilize UA’s Teacher Course Evaluations. After logging in with your UA net ID, visit this site and input all the data for the course and professor you want to search.
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  3. Become more familiar with UAccess! My hope is that all of you are already placing your courses of interest in your shopping carts. If that’s not the case, don’t worry – there’s still time! Go to UAccess.arizona.edu —> Click on your Student Center —> and hit “Search” on the drop-down list on the left side of the screen. Remember, if you ever feel overwhelmed in this process, refer back to my first point: make an appointment with your advisor! In addition to loading up your shopping cart, also make sure to check the blue boxes on the left side of your Student Center for any holds or notices on your account that might stop you from registering. cartoon adventure time high five jake the dog finn the human GIF

That’s all for now! Good luck with upcoming registration, Wildcats!

-Amna 🙂

 

#StudiousSeptember: Stick to the Syllabi!

26 Sep

We are officially in the thick of September, Wildcats! Likely by now, a lot of you are just about to or already have taken your first midterms of the semester. However, before you let the stress get the best of you, remember: the semester is just starting! Take the time to get organized ahead of time so that when the time for your exams comes you can … Get your head in the game?

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Okay, I really wanted to get that high school musical reference in there, but you see what I’m trying to say LOL. Anyway, for me personally, when I’m getting ready for the semester, I always dedicate time to studying my professor’s syllabi.

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So no, that does not mean that I quiz myself on the percentage worth of clicker points in classes! Here’s a more detailed list of exactly what I look for:

  • Does this professor have a time table laid out for when assignments are due?
    • If so, it’s time to whip out those planners! Or if you’re not into planners, then maybe even go print that page of the syllabus. For me, having my planner filled out ahead of time with important due dates is really important. I can check at the end of the day that I’m not forgetting anything! This is a major key, especially for freshman in my opinion, because it can be hard managing so many different classes in college!
  • Are the exam dates listed?
    • Same as my last point: opening your planner on Monday and seeing that looming “CHEM EXAM” on Thursday might not be the best sight to behold, but it sure beats forgetting about that Chem exam, am I right? dancing angry reactions zac efron feels GIF
  • If it’s a points based class, how many points do I need to get an A?
    • This is more important than you might think! All classes are set up uniquely. In some classes, quizzes are just a quick check for the professors to make sure the class has a general understanding of the material. In other classes, the culmination of all your quizzes could be worth more than 25% of your grade! Make sure to check out these details.

That’s all for now — don’t stress too much this semester and try to get prepared ahead of time!

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-Amna 🙂

 

My Not-So-Irrelevant Gen Ed

11 Sep

We have all been in that one class where we basically sit there with our eyes narrowed wondering, “Why though?”  It’s almost a freshman rite of passage at this point! And I must say, I was feeling the salt my freshman year in some of my classes.

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^ Although, I wasn’t smiling like the Morton salt girl (ha ha), she helps lead me into my next point: One of the gen eds that I found particularly hard to swallow (salt pun continued?) my freshman year was my Weather & Climate class.

I would like to start out by saying that I’m a business major (MIS, specifically), so this Gen Ed was not exactly applicable to my field of study. Additionally, my professor LOVED all things weather and climate. Like he would absolutely chase a storm or something just to see it. So sitting in class, I guess I could say I was entertained to some extent, but at the same time, I knew if he walked through the calculation of dew point temperature ONE more time, I was going to lose it.

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Also, his absolute love of the subject led to him assigning quite a bit of work to the class. Our quizzes were extensive to say the least. I genuinely felt like I was putting a lot of work into this gen ed – potentially more work than I was putting into my Accounting class (as a business major!). I was feeling the frustration, people.

One day, however, I was doing some homework at a cafe, and the people next to me were discussing global warming. Not to get political, but they were discussing how there was no “real proof” for it, and my eyes were absolutely rolling to the back of my head. However, instead of festering in my quiet rage/contempt, my mind was shifting to topics like “air quality index” and the low heat capacity of the ocean. In that moment, I realized that I was actually retaining a lot of the information from my gen ed.

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Now, obviously even before taking this gen ed, I realized that our atmosphere and general things like weather, are important to understand and have a definite effect on my day to day life. But sitting there across from these randoms (who no, I did not lecture – although maybe I should have?) made me realize that if I genuinely try to take everything I can from these gen eds, I can come out of college a more diverse, well-rounded, and intelligent individual.

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SO, after all that, here are some of my tips on how to combat GEN ED INDIGNATION:

  1. Try to sit down with the perspective of someone with a genuine interest in the subject. Having an open mind and at least feigning interest to some degree can make a difference.
  2. Do your best (with the help of tools like ratemyprofessor.com) to find professors that are passionate about their subject. I genuinely believe that my Weather & Climate professor’s love for his own class contributed to my ability to retain information.
  3. Make friends in your gen eds! It makes it a million times better studying for a topic that don’t have a lot of interest in if you have someone sitting through the struggle with you.

Alright, that’s all I have for now! Good luck with your gen eds, Wildcats!!

-Amna 🙂