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You GOT this!

27 Apr

It’s that time again! Does everyone have there everything’s going to be okay face on???giphy.gif

…..Oh, ok maybe not, but that’s okay, we’ll get there! I GET IT! Finals week is probably the most stressful time of year and I’m feeling it too. Firstly you have already been through a hectic semester and your feeling exhausted. Also, you have MULTIPLE exams/papers/projects/extra credit assignments that are due around or on the same day. This is definitely overwhelming but I want you to try to dig deep to gain the last bit of motivation to get through the year. I know it’s WAY easier said than done, but motivation is everything so I am here to remind you of some ways you can gain the little bit of extra motivation to get through the end of the year!

Remember most motivation comes from within:

giphy-1.gifThe best person who can give your motivation is yourself. You can’t expect or rely on anyone to just give you the motivation you need because this is your thing. You are the one in college and the one who are taking the exams. You need to put the effort into studying and do the best you can. You need to be proud of yourself for the progress you have made throughout the year and have confidence you can finish the year strong! You have worked so hard to get to the place you are now, so keep pushing forward to get the grade you deserve on your last few finals. You have been preparing all year and have all the knowledge you need to do well on your exams, so buckle down and get it done! If you need a little push, look at yourself in the mirror and give yourself a pep talk! I know it sounds silly, but it will boost you up.

Get motivations from others:

giphy-2.gifI know I just said motivation needs to come from you, but definitely to talk to your friends, family, and professors to give you a boost of motivation if you need it. They are your biggest supporters so they are the best people to go to when you are feeling a little down and stressed out. They can also help you with your accountability on staying on track. If you let someone know when you are planning to study for your final, follow up with them to make sure you are actually doing what you are supposed to do. The only thing you need to be careful is not to put too much on their plate. They can only do so much to help you through your stress and at the end of the day, it’s your job to put the effort into doing well on finals, not theirs. Also, these people are the ones you care about and want to impress, so don’t let them down!

Set goals:

giphy-3.gifIf you are someone who likes to see progress, set short-term goals for finals week. Think back to SMART goals and make sure your goals are actually achievable in the timeline you have. For example, trying to catch up on 4 months of reading for one class in one day is unrealistic, but reviewing all previous tests for a class is more realistic. Write down your SMART goals and put them in a place you always look such as on your calendar, bathroom mirror, or desk. If you do this, you can see what you have accomplished in the remaining last 2 weeks of your freshman year and make yourself more accountable because you have actually written down what you need to do to finish the year. Check them off once you complete the goal to feel the accomplishment!

Redirect when you are set back:

giphy-4.gifLife doesn’t stop happening during finals week. You can’t control everything leading up to your final exams/projects/papers, but if you are set back, you can control what you do about it and how it affects you. Don’t get angry about something getting in the way of your studying plan because it happens. Take a little bit to be annoyed that your plan didn’t work out, but then do something about it! Try to make it a problem-solving activity where you have to get creative with your time. You can find extra time in your schedule to get things done if you are organized, so with that said, DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO START STUDYING!!!!!

Positive thinking:

giphy-5.gifAll in all, having motivation is a lot easier if you have a good attitude about it. I know stress is hard to get through and weighs you down, but it is what you make of it. If it helps, surround yourself with positive messages, motivational quotes, or anything else that makes you stay calm under the pressure of finals. At the end of the day, this is only the last push of freshman year and you can only do what you can. Don’t stress out too much!

You have worked SOOOO hard to get to the place where you are and you are so close to summer vacation! It’s only two weeks away!! As you go through your final exams, don’t forget to treat your body right by eating well and sleeping properly. Also, utilize the Finals Survival Week on campus because it definitely makes finals a little easier. Congratulations on making it through your first year of college and I KNOW you will do amazing on your finals! YOU GOT THIS!!!

Keep on Keepin’ on,
Courtney 🙂

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Stress Levels

8 Apr

No matter what semester you are in during your college career, you are going to have to deal with stress. While some stress is good and healthy for you, there are times that stress can become too overwhelming for a college student. The best thing you can do is to evaluate if you are dealing with your stress in a healthy manner or if you need to seek more support. Being a senior in college, I have undergone a lot of different types of stress. In some instances, I have dealt with my stress in healthy ways and others I had a hard time coping with my stress levels. To get an idea of the different types of stress, I have decided to label them to give you a better idea of what I’m talking about. 

The first level of stress is little/normal:

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This type of stress is something that college students feel on a regular basis and is good for you! We have all chosen the college life and that comes with a lot of factors like classes, frequent assignments/quizzes, as well as a jobs/internships or any other extracurriculars you have decided to take on. We can all agree this is constant stress, but we have adapted to it to the point you may not even recognize it as stress anymore; it’s more of a lifestyle. We have developed a healthy way to deal with this type of stress, even if you’re not aware of it. For me, going throughout my week, I designate time for fun things, try to incorporate a workout schedule (doesn’t always pan out), and make sure I am getting good sleep. I’m sure you have your own schedule for this, but it’s good to remind yourself you are going through stress even if you don’t see it that way. I wanted to start with this level of stress first because you are already pro in coping with this and actually SUCCEEDING with stress. As more stress is put on you, take the time to think about how you deal with stress healthily and this is a good starting out point for that. 

The second level of stress is moderate:

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This can be focused around midterms or finals time. We are kind of doing our normal routine, but assignments for our classes are aligning with one another. You have to take extra time to make sure you are completing all of your assignments and having an appropriate time to study for multiple midterms/final exams. This is usually the time that healthy habits to deal with stress start going out the window a bit. For me, around this time I get less sleep, usually stop working out completely because I choose to use that time for studying and working on projects, and instead of cooking I rely on fast food or eat ramen to save time. Looking back at this time, I KNOW I am not dealing with my stress as I would normally do, but at the moment I don’t think about it. I just try to get through the hectic time. Stepping back and trying to evaluate if you are being healthy is difficult to do, but really necessary. 

The third level of stress is overload:

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This stress level is the worst on our list because your stress has become really overwhelming and it is affecting you a lot. It is so much that you try to seem okay, but at some point, you start breaking down and can’t put yourself back together by yourself. Unfortunately, I have dealt with this type of stress a lot over my college career because I have had a lot of family emergencies where my focus was not on school at all and my grades/assignments/classes/work were taking the hit. I had to lean on my loved ones and be upfront with my professors and supervisor about my situation, which I had never done before. This is where I was out of my element of how to even deal with my stress because I couldn’t get anything done. I was upset all of the time and had to get more support. Reaching out to my professors and supervisor was the BEST thing I could have done at the time because they were aware of my state of mind as well as gave me appropriate extensions. If you ever feel too overwhelmed where you can’t even get through your regular routine, reach out to the people around you. Also, consider talking about your stress with a counselor, or even CAPS here on campus. This can be really helpful and necessary to get yourself through your stress. 

In all points of your college career, check in on yourself and ensure you are handling your stress in a healthy way. Especially now with only a few more weeks to go until the end of the year, I know EVERYONE is feeling the pressure. Take the rest of the semester day by day and do your best to get through it. Don’t forget about the amazing resources on campus as well as use your support system of friends and family to help you through this difficult time. 

YOU GOT THIS!
Courtney

#MiddlingMarch: Into the Woods

20 Mar

Raise your hand if you are in a school slump!

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Don’t worry – I am raising my hand too!

Let’s face it, it’s the middle of the semester and we’re exhausted, stressed out, and unmotivated. So what do you do in order to get out of the mid-semester lull? Well… you do something that makes you feel inspired, relaxed, and energized to make it to the end of the semester. Sounds easy right??? 

WRONG! It is SOOOO difficult to find motivation after you have misplaced it. I have been struggling with motivation lately, some may call it senoritis others say laziness, but either way, I NEED to pick myself up and be inspired again. The thing that I always turn to when I am in this mood is to get out of my house and get away from technology. I feel like I always have my face in my phone or my computer and I get really frustrated because I am so distracted from the physical world. When I start to feel like this, I hop in my car with my best friend and boyfriend, Casey, and take a trip to Mt. Lemmon. giphy.gif
Is it the fresh air in my lungs, the wind blowing my hair, or the trees around me? I don’t know, but when I step foot outside all my stress disappears. I feel free as a bird and ready to explore the wilderness. Last time we went up we hiked for about three or four hours and I was in paradise. There were little piles of snow scattered across the land, trees that towered over the mountain tops, and we even saw four deer in the area we were hiking. The area we hiked was absolutely stunning. It was also refreshing to be out of the house and out of the Tucson heat. I wish I could have this feeling all of the time, but the chaos of life always overwhelms me. After our excursion and feeling on top of the world, I talked to Casey about how much better I felt about life. We both agreed to plan more day trips to get out of our element and into the woods.

I encourage you to find your “woods”. Find the thing that lets you escape your stress and spikes your motivation. It could be diving into a wonderful book, taking a shopping trip, or driving around town. Life and college are ALWAYS stressful and you deserve to have time to yourself that relieves you from your tension. Good luck with finding your motivation and pushing through to the end of the year. YOU GOT THIS!!! 🙂 

-Courtney

 

The Priority Registration Burger

14 Mar

When I was a freshman, I thought I could handle registration on my own. I could use my own judgment on which classes I can take because it’s ultimately up to me right? This was my mindset as I went into registration week and I had no idea that I was completely unprepared. I only had my five classes in my shopping cart without any backup and to my dismay, they were all filled a few seconds after it hit 6:00am. I tried to reassure myself that everything was ok, there was still time!
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After refreshing the page, the whole system was offline because there were so many other freshmen trying to register at the same time I was. As this happened, I called my friend who was also up to register if she got into any of her classes and if she was even able to register. She and I were in the same boat of being helpless.giphy.gifOnce the system came back online, another bomb is dropped, all of the 8:00am sections for my BNAD class were full. This meant I had to rework my ENTIRE course schedule. At this point, I was over the entire registration process and almost decided to quit. giphy-3.gifFeeling frustrated, I decided to step away from my laptop and ask my older sister what to do because she has been in my shoes before. She recommended me to see if there is a waitlist for the section I want and to make an appointment with my advisor. She said I was overreacting and:giphy-1.gifI appreciated her advice, but I was a little uncertain about actually going through with it. I knew I could see if there was a waitlist on UAccess, but meeting with my advisor was another story. At this time, I was very shy at talking to anyone so any interaction, especially with someone who had high authority, made me very nervous. giphy-4.gifI decided that the best option would be to speak with my advisor, so I sucked it up and made an appointment. Walking in, I felt embarrassed. I was curious what my advisor would say and maybe they would laugh at me because I was a college student who couldn’t even register for classes correctly. I couldn’t have been more wrong. My advisor was very nice, helpful, and reassured me that many students had difficulty with registering. My advisor helped me reorganize my schedule in order to make sure I was enrolled in BNAD as well as kept my other classes in my shopping cart that could work if the 8:00am section opened up. I WAS THRILLED! Not only did I have a complete schedule, but she said I had through the first week of classes to revise my schedule. Meeting my advisor was definitely the smart thing to do and the next day I thanked my sister a million times.giphy-2.gifFrom that point on, I have never tried to register for classes on my own. I ALWAYS seek advice from my advisor before my priority registration date. I make an appointment even though everyone else in my major is trying to do the same thing because I want to make sure the classes I am taking are bringing me closer to graduation. I have had three different majors during my time here at the U of A and thanks to great advisors I am still graduating in four years which was my goal! There are so many things I have learned from meeting with my advisor especially about priority registration, so do yourself a favor a make an appointment before your priority registration date!

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Good Luck! -Courtney

 

How to ‘Midterm’

21 Feb

At this point in the semester, you may feel a little overwhelmed because you have looked at your calendar and you realize you have multiple midterms back to back. I know this feeling and it feels like a huge pit in your stomach.

Take a breath.

It is okay and totally normal to feel the pressure of midterms, but remember, you have tools and resources around you that will help you make it through this tough time. The following list will help you know where to go in order to make it through the midterm season along with small things to keep in mind while you are preparing.

REWARD YOURSELF FOR STUDYING–
This may seem a little like a bribe but that’s kind of the point. It doesn’t just make you WANT to study, but it makes you feel good inside because, after hard work, you will do something fun. You will be more motivated to bust out your notes and textbooks to study if you have something to look forward to afterward. This could also relate to stepping out of your comfort zone and attending a WSIP writing workshop or ThinkTank for an SI session or tutoring session. I know attending one of these alone may be nerve-wracking, but if you reward yourself after, you may have a little bit more of a push of actually going and benefiting a lot from it.

TAKE BREAKS–
No matter what class you are studying for or how long you do it for, you ALWAYS need a break. ESPECIALLY if you have been sitting in front of a screen for hours trying to finish a paper or have your head stuck in a book for hours. Give your eyes a rest by walking outside or doing a fun activity on campus for a bit. Stepping away will not only give your brain a break but when you come back to your studying you will be more refreshed. Some of my favorite places to go to take a break on campus is going to the turtle pond, going down University for some coffee or a little shopping, or even sit down under a tree on the mall. Our campus is beautiful, so embrace the beauty that you may overlook. Another thing you can do for relaxation is visiting the RecSpa. They have different types of massages and time lengths at a very reasonable price. It is great to get out of your head a bit and go into relaxation mode. After you get a massage, you will be ready to get back to studying!

WORK ON YOUR FITNESS–
One of the best stress relievers is to focus on your body and participate in a little bit of fitness. If you are on campus, utilize the Rec Center because it is free to use and it provides for any type of fitness. If you like to lift weights, focus on cardio, swim, or just want to walk, they have an area for that. I know for myself, I’m not the fittest and going to the Rec is sometimes intimidating, but I encourage you to go and work at your own pace.

BE SOCIAL–
Even though you have to be productive, you still need to socialize with other people in order to maintain a healthy balance during midterm season. One way to be social AND productive at the same time you could form a study group! Ask the people in your class if they would want to get a study room at the library where you can all go over the study guide and other notes in order to prep for the exam. If you have the right type of group, these are very successful and a lot more fun than just being in your room by yourself. Another thing you can do to bring a little bit more socializing into your midterm prep is joining a club/organization or visit one of the cultural centers across campus. You will not only have fun, but you can meet new people.

MAINTAIN YOUR HEALTH–
The MOST important thing to remember when prepping for midterms is that you stay healthy both mentally and physically. Mental health is so important to everyday life, especially passing exams. It is important to relieve your stress in positive ways as well as be able to express yourself to people who you trust. If you feel overwhelmed during this time or schedule an appointment with CAPS. They are always there to help you out when you need someone to talk to! The same thing goes for physical health. If you feel like you are getting sick make sure to go to Campus Health. Midterms are twice as hard if you are not feeling well in the duration of the exam, so being on top of your physical health is vital.

All in all, during this time, make sure you do what is best for you and try to do your best with all of your midterms. It is very stressful so make sure you check in on yourself! Also, keep in mind that the UA has so many resources for you to use that are free from cost and can benefit you tremendously in your studies!

Good Luck with Midterms!
Courtney

 

Me, Myself, and I

1 Feb

When you think about relationships, what comes to mind? Most likely,  it’s your relationship with your significant other or your besties. However, you are forgetting about the most important relationship … YOURSELF! With chaos of everyday life, you may find yourself having a hard time dedicating time to check in on how you are doing, but it is actually VERY important to do frequently. I firmly believe that in order to have a healthy relationship with another person, you have to have a healthy relationship with yourself. With that in mind, I have put together a list of things I try to do in order to maintain a relationship with myself.

Alone Time
This one is the biggest struggle for me personally because I find myself constantly surrounded by people. From my family, significant other, and even social media, my attention is always divided and focused on others. Of course this is not a bad thing, but alone time is crucial in order to be healthy. Take time to step back from the chaos of school and friend/family drama. Be alone for a bit to check in on your stress levels and how you feel when you are just by yourself. Alone time is the best to destress and to make sure you are happy with what you are doing with your life as well as who you are spending your time with. It may surprise you to find how much others really influence your life and the decisions you are making. Always check in with yourself when you get the chance.

Treat Yo’self
You may find yourself doing things that others want to do rather than what you prefer to do. I know I fall into this category sometimes! I always try to put others’ wants/needs before my own, but it is very important to take time and participate in activities you enjoy doing. I know ‘treat yo’self’ is usually associated with spending a lavish amount of money, but this isn’t necessary in order to have fun. Take a class at the Rec you’ve always wanted to try, take a walk, or just window shop. There are so many activities you can do without having to break the bank. I tried to do something for myself every day for a month and it actually brightened my mood a lot. Taking a little time out of your day to do something for yourself is very necessary, especially when you are busy!!

Health & Fitness
Another thing that is important to have in a healthy relationship with yourself is taking care of your body. First, start with simple things like integrating more veggies in your diet and start drinking water. Even though it’s a little chilly outside, you still need to be drinking an appropriate amount of water. You are in Tucson, so this is VITAL! This is not only good for your digestive system, but integrating these two things will help with your energy levels and skin. You can also start mixing in a little fitness into your normal routine. Whatever your fitness level is, there are ways that you can be active without hurting yourself. Start walking or go to the gym a few times a week. Little things like this will add up to a healthier you. I believe fitness and health is very important in order to keep you confident and stress-free.

Recognize Your Strengths
I cannot stress this enough! As a society, we always feel like we need to be humble all of the time, but you need to recognize how amazing you are!!!! Everyone on this planet has great strengths that set them apart from everyone else, so embrace yours. There is nothing bad about giving yourself credit on the things you are great at. Whether you’re great at making new friends, an amazing guitarist, or an incredible organizer, be proud of who you are and what your strengths are.

Forgive Yourself
Always remember you are human and you are going to make mistakes in college and in the future, but that’s not bad. Life is a learning experience and no one is perfect. It is very important that in your life, if you do make a mistake, forgive yourself, learn from it, and keep moving forward!

Don’t Put Too Much Pressure on Yourself
I guess this one kind of goes with forgiving yourself, but this is just as important. As you are at the UA always try to do your best, but if you fall short of what you expected, it’s okay. You are a freshman in college (which is incredible in itself) and you are still learning the ropes. You can’t know everything!! Along with this, deciding your major and future career takes a lot of time, so don’t get upset with yourself if you don’t know all of the answers yet. Always do your best, but never put too much pressure on yourself to be perfect. Set realistic goals.

As you move forward in your college career keep in mind that you need to check in on yourself in order to be successful. There is nothing wrong with telling the people in your life that you need to spend time alone to do the things you want to do as well as being confident in what you are doing every day. Try your hardest to keep a good relationship with inner and outer self. Self-care is always necessary especially if you are going through stress!

Take Care,
Courtney 🙂

 

Court’s Top 5 Personality Quizzes

15 Jan

When I was younger, I would be that person who searched the internet to find quizzes that determined what type of person I was. Yes, this does include what Parks and Recreation character I am because this is the info I NEED TO KNOW!! (If you’re curious, I was Ron, which makes sense because I love to build things!) No, seriously, I know the concept of personality quizzes could be viewed as being egotistic or unnecessary because (1) you’re taking the time to read about yourself, and (2) you’re the person who knows yourself best, but it actually gives you really good perspective on the things you enjoy and can help you focus on the amazing qualities you possess.

As you go through college, its important to focus on your strengths because this is what makes you stand out in a crowd. You already have this amazing strength that can only be improved!! I cannot stress enough that focusing on strengths rather than weaknesses will get you further in life. In order to find your strengths, you do need to self-reflect and one of the easiest ways to do this is to take a quiz about it. Below I have listed a few personality/strengths identifying quizzes that I have found helpful in my life in terms of learning more about myself. Hopefully, you will find them as helpful as I did 🙂

1. StrengthsQuest:
(http://www.strengthsquest.com/home.aspx?g_source=logo)

This is my personal favorite if you want to know what you’re strengths are. Even though it costs $9.99, I would suggest taking it because it gives you great feedback. It takes you through a series of questions and will show you your top 5 strengths out of a list of 34. The 34 strengths are within the categories: executing, influencing, relationship building, and strategic thinking. I have taken this quiz and I have to say it was spot on with my personality and my strengths when I work and interact with others. This is a great site too because it only gives you the top five results therefore you can focus just on your strengths and have empowerment to work on them rather than work on weakness that can only be improved so much. It’s so easy to overlook what you are already good at in order to bring up things you’re not so good at, which can possibly be a waste of time. Highly Recommend!

2. Harry Potter Sorting quiz (Pottermore):
(https://www.pottermore.com/)
I know this one isn’t as straightforward and obvious as other personality quizzes, but it does give great information about your personality and what qualities shine through most. This one is entertaining because the quiz is based on Harry Potter (obviously) and based off of fun, Harry Potter-related questions that will sort you into one of the houses. For example, it will ask you what your pet companion would be if you were in Hogwarts, either cat, owl, mouse, snake, etc. It’s actually very interesting how accurate their descriptions of the houses are compared to your personality. At training for my role on the Wildcat Connections team last year, the overall theme of our office was Harry Potter and we all took the sorting hat quiz. It was amazing to see how accurate this quiz was in all of our different staff members. I am a Hufflepuff, which I was skeptical at first because I was hoping for Gryffindor, but reading further through the description, this was very correct!

3. 16 Personalities:
(https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test)
16 Personalities is similar to StrengthQuest in terms of its quiz format, but it is free and is based on Meyers Briggs. It will take you through a survey of about 100 questions and will give you a very detailed result. First, it will assign you to one of the four categories: diplomat, analysts, sentinels, and explorers, which all have 4 subcategories that goes deeper into your personality, future job qualities, and strengths. Overall, I found this quiz to be very informative based on other personality quizzes I have taken and it was also nice to be given the Meyer Briggs code in order to explore into this further. If you just wanted to take one quiz, without a cost, I would suggest this one!

4. This Emoji Test Will Reveal Your Dominant Personality Trait
(https://www.buzzfeed.com/perpetua/emoji-factor?utm_term=.jkj6KYpl2#.gc4aMrnmq)
I decided to throw this one into the list because it was very different than any other quiz I have taken about my personality. The title says it all! It will give you a visual image of the emojis you find on your phone and you pick which one is your favorite out of about 30 emojis. What I thought was cool was that it went through all of the sections (expresions, food, symbols, etc) rather than just the smiley faces sections. Even though the results were not that detailed, it was interesting to see an aspect of my personality what displayed through my favorite emojis. The result I got was curiosity, which was very accurate in my life. I am always questioning things around me and trying to create new things (duh… I’m an art major). I also had one of my coworkers, Gabriela, take the quiz too and it was pretty on point about a quality about her too. This one may not be the most accurate or detailed, but it is very fun to take if you have a few minutes on your hands. 🙂

5. Life Path
(https://www.seventhlifepath.com)
Life path is a website that is created by a woman who is very interested in numerology. Honestly. I have never thought much about numerology until one of my friends suggested using this website, but I can honestly say, the results were pretty accurate, in terms of where I am in my life and what qualities/values I have. All you have to do is put in your name and birth date, then the website does the rest. In my results, I got the number 3, which describes a life path that is creative and very sensitive, which I am. The first results are only about a paragraph or two. This is also a free service, but if you want to have a more detailed analysis based off of this information, all  you have to do is submit a form with your information and after a few days, you will receive a 22 page document with information regarding your strengths, weaknesses, and personality.

Overall, I feel like it is very beneficial to take quizzes like these in order to understand your personality, which impacts a lot of what you do in school and future job opportunities. Obviously, if you are very analytical and introverted, you would want a job different from a person who is extroverted and innovative. Knowing everything about yourself is import in order to narrow down your interests in majors, future jobs, and your strengths and weaknesses. College is all about discovering who you are as an adult and quizzes like the ones I have provided are not only fun, but informative when you are learning about yourself. I suggest taking time to take at least one to see how accurate it is and who knows, you may learn something new about yourself. 🙂

Take Care,
Courtney

Spring into the New Semester

5 Jan

One thing I always find difficult is transitioning from winter break back into school life. I’m not going to lie; I love the life of getting up late, binge watching Netflix, and actually getting to see my family without the stress of homework. Even if I wish I could be a couch potato for more than a few weeks, I know it’s time to get back into my college routine. GOODBYE lazy Courtney and HELLO productive Courtney!! Ok, ok… I know it’s not that easy (but I wish it was!). How do you find the motivation to come back after a long semester and a well deserved break? Well, it takes a little time to get fully back into your groove. Here are a few things I like to do in order to get back into the semester!

  • New Supplies/Clothes – One of my favorite things to get me back to “school”
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    New Semester, New You! Be confident 🙂

    Courtney is to get new things to help me get excited. I don’t know about you, but the best thing about getting new clothes or supplies is to USE them, so holding off until the first day of school to wear a new outfit or bust out your new planner gives you something to look forward to! For me, I usually get new pens, at least one new notebook, and possibly an outfit or two. It’s a gift for myself to start the new semester (why not treat yourself?) and it gets me eager to start school again.

  • Put Last Semester Away – This one is simple, yet important! Go through your desk/backpack/folders/notebooks and get rid of or put away things from last semester you don’t need anymore. Do you really need the flyer you got on the mall that you stuffed in your backpack while you were on your way to class or your Gen-Ed syllabus? Probably not. Throw away the things that you can get rid of permanently like ripped folders, but keep anything that will help you in the long run such as old notes from math that you can reference just in case you need to this semester. I suggest putting all the things from last semester in a box or a drawer that you want to keep and get rid of anything unnecessary.
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    GET RID OF THINGS, but maybe not your computer 😉

    I failed to do this between Spring 2017 to Fall 2017 and it had an impact because I had all of these papers that I did NOT need, which made my bag cluttered. I felt like I was stepping into the same semester again because I was bombarded with old notes and other items that reminded me of last semester. Spring 2018 is a new opportunity to improve your GPA and move forward, not to dwell over the previous semester.

  • Get Organized – You have one semester under your belt and now you know what is working and not working in your college routine. PLEASE take the time and organize not only your bedroom/backpack, but also your “life” schedule. Allow free time in your hectic routine for time dedicated to yourself, studying, people, and hobbies. One thing I have always struggled with is leaving room in my schedule for things other than school. Even if you’re still working on your Spring schedule, try to map out time dedicated to certain activities. Trust me, planning it out time is more effective than trying to find time when you can.

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    Dedicate time for the things you like!

  • Be Optimistic – If you had a rough last semester, THAT’S OKAY!!! 🙂 College is very difficult to get use to because it is completely different than high school. Freshman year is a transitional period to get to know yourself, understand which studying habits work and don’t work, and comprehend the amount of work needed in order to get good grades. Don’t beat yourself down if you didn’t get the GPA you were hoping for because you are going to take more classes and you can always bring your GPA up over time. If you don’t know what you want to major in, THAT’S OKAY!!! 🙂 When you first come into college and pick out your major, it might not be the one you stick
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    Take this semester to find what you want to learn about!

    with because you don’t know what you want to do until you start to go through classes and learning about the subject in more detail. You can explore as many majors as you want to in order to find your fit. Honestly, I didn’t find my major until Spring semester of Sophomore year and I am still on track to graduate in the time I wanted to. You still have time to make these difficult decisions. Keep in mind this is only your second semester of college and you shouldn’t know everything. Second semester helps you develop further academically, socially, and mentally. Even though it’s hard work to grow, it’s is a good thing. Try to stay optimistic about the new semester because it brings in so many new opportunities!

Good luck in your first three days of classes; I know you will do great! You are already getting adjusted to college and this semester is a new opportunity to try new things, meet new people, and learn more!! I know college can get tough, but at the end of the day you are paving out your future, which is AMAZING!!! Pat yourself on the back for getting through your first semester and start looking forward to the Spring! It will be everything you make it to be!

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Have a good start to the semester! -Courtney 🙂

 

Transitioning Back into College Life

27 Dec

Winter break is coming to an end and it’s time students start thinking about the upcoming semester. Some students may feel they have a great handle on the new semester due to a strong first semester, while some may feel a little nervous to return due to a difficult transition from high school to college. Wherever your student is, the new semester and New Year bring great opportunities to succeed.

With the New Year, everyone has goals to benefit themselves and this includes students. Some goals include: creating better study habits, gaining a healthier lifestyle on campus, or getting more involved in campus activities. Goal setting is very important in college because it will help students stay on track during the upcoming semester. However, some goals may be a little unrealistic. It’s important that goals follow the SMART goal template. Their goals should be ‘S’pecific, ‘M’easurable, ‘A’chievable, ‘R’ealistic, and ‘T’imely. This will ensure that their goals are not simply hopes and they will eventually accomplish them. For example, a goal that does not follow the template would be “I want to be healthier”. Of course this is a great goal to have, but a goal that follows a SMART goal template would be more detailed such as “To be healthier, I am going to eat three healthy meals a day and go to the gym twice a week for 30 minutes. I will make this a habit within one month.” As you can see, the second is much more specific, has a timeline, and is realistic, which will ultimately help them get to the end of their goal. Whatever your student has in mind for the upcoming semester and year, make sure you support them and check in on how they are pursing their goals. As a student, their schedule is very hectic and it can be overwhelming at times, but having a loved one check in on what they want to accomplish will help them get there!

Along with goals, the new semester is approaching quickly and there’s a lot for students to do in order to prepare to come back to college. Students should not wait until the last minute to start prepping because waiting until the last minute to do anything is stressful! Students should be in the process of finalizing their schedule for Spring semester and if they need help to do so, they should schedule an appointment with their advisor as soon as possible. Students have the opportunity to change their schedule with little hassle in the first week of classes, so if they still need time they have it. Along with their schedules, it is important to make sure their finances are in order and if there are any questions, encourage them to reach out to financial aid or the bursar’s office. Another thing they should keep in mind is making sure to have everything they need for their dorm/apartment, supplies if they need new ones, and start ordering textbooks for their new classes. As you can see, coming back to the semester is a lot of work and can be stressful, but if they are organized and on top of it, it should be a smooth transition back.

Not everything about starting a new semester is stressful; it should be exciting! Students have the opportunity to join clubs, get a job if they want to, and bring their GPA up if it is not where they want it to be! A new semester is not exactly a new start because they have completed their first semester, but it brings the opportunity to learn from their last semester and bring it along with them during the upcoming. Freshman year is all about students finding their rhythm and this experience is different for all students.  To help your student, encourage them to pursue what they want to in the upcoming semester. They know what they need to do in order to have a good second semester of college and support is one thing they definitely need! Students have access to tons of supportive resources on campus to help them pursue their goals.

Winter break is a great time for focusing on things outside of college, but this can lead to getting out of the swing of things. As they come back, along with creating goals and prepping, they should be focusing on maintaining a balance of school and their wellbeing. Even though the first few weeks of school are usually a little mellow, they should start making healthy routines to ensure when things get stressful, they are ready for it. They should map out time in their week that is dedicated to studying, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and free time for doing things they enjoy. In college, it is difficult to find a balance with conflicting priorities, so it takes time to find what works. It is definitely helpful for students to have loved ones that are supportive and remind them to take breaks once in awhile and focus on themselves.

As the new semester approaches take the time to talk with your student and be there if they need help in any way. Some students need more help than others, but don’t be too intrusive if they have things covered. That is obviously easier said than done because you are their parent or loved one and you want the best for them, but trust your student to be responsible and will start off the new semester on the right foot! College is for students to learn how to do things by themselves and become more independent, but gentle reminders never hurt. The best thing to do at this time is to be understanding and help your student transition back into their college routine.

-Courtney

#NovembertoRemember: Treat Yo’self

27 Nov

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Sometimes all you need to do towards the end of the semester is Treat Yo’self. This is one thing I always forget to do, especially when finals are approaching. This time of year is so hard to do anything other than school because I feel like I do not have any free time from prepping for finals to the holidays. This month, I have decided to challenge myself to do one thing for myself every day. I know this may seem easy to do, but surprisingly, it has been a very difficult task.

I’ve been going through a very hard time lately with family issues and I have been encouraged by a lot of people to focus on myself, rather than worry about things that out of my control. This is something that is very difficult for me to do, hence why I am trying to slowly integrate things to just focus on myself into my day-to-day schedule. As you can see above, I have created a fun calendar that lists everything I am trying to do for myself throughout this month to keep myself accountable. After the day has passed, I look on my calendar and mark if I accomplished my treat yo’self task or not. If I don’t complete giphy-downsized.gifthe task for myself, I try really hard to do the one for the next day. The things I have put on this calendar are things I think are realistic for me to accomplish with my hectic schedule; some of these include: painting my nails, sleeping in, using a facial mask, and sitting out by a fire. All of these things are simple, but are fun and relaxing to me (which is much needed!).

The first week of the month all about doing things for myself, I did very well! It was fun to do things for myself and acknowledge the impact. I started to be happier throughout my day and I had something to look forward to every day that was not for anyone else or for school. I let my coworkers know about my challenge and they would do a great job asking what I did for myself that day/week, which was not just helpful for keeping myself accountable, but also encouraging to keep doing the fun tasks on my calendar. As the month continued on, honestly, I started to slack on treating myself every day. Schoolwork and family started to dominate (like always) and looking at my calendar, I was disappointed I missed out on doing things I was really looking forward to. Some of the things I was really upset about not completely were going to Mt. Lemmon (I’ve been trying to go up all semester, but have not gotten there), do my nails (I haven’t done them since September), and meditate (I’ve wanted to try this for awhile now). Even though I didn’t get to do these things this month, I always have time to do this AFTER finals week.

I have learned a lot about doing this little challenge. I’ve learned to list things out I really want to do for myself and remind myself to take a little time out of my day to do it! It was amazing to set a time of free time for myself, during all of the chaos. I’ve learned to set time to check in on how I am doing and to take a break. After this month, I definitely am going to try to keep this going from here on out.

It is so important to take time out of YOUR day to TREAT YO’SELF!!!

-Courtney

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