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Much Needed Relaxation #MiddlingMarch

29 Mar

Senior year is no joke! Everyone thinks that senior year is super easy and stress free, but there’s a lot going on in the background that is not school related. You need to continue staying involved, working, and of course going to school. Additionally, everyone is busy applying for graduate school and/or for jobs! It’s super stressful having to think about the future, and make a back up plan. Although many of my friends made awesome plans to go to Mexico and Los Angeles, I was just excited to spend my spring break relaxing at home with my family.

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This spring break, I went back to Phoenix for the week and got the relaxation I needed. I went hiking and running every single day! Very rarely during the school year do I get to step away from the computer and enjoy nature. I spent time just laying in the grass and enjoying the beautiful Arizona sunsets.

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I was also lucky enough to have my birthday land during spring break as well! For my birthday I did so many things such as: ate LOTS of cake, went to a movie, had my family/friends come over, and go on a 8 mile hike!

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I hope you all got the break you desperately needed and deserved! Lets make the most out of the weeks we have left! You’re almost done Wildcats, hit the books and earn your goal grades!

#FearlessFebruary: Adulthood is Scary

29 Feb

As a senior, I am at that point where people are starting to ask me about my post-graduate plans. I am currently in the process of applying to medical schools, but still am waiting to hear back from a couple places. The whole application and interview preparation process has been extremely stressful and nerve racking! Although it’s a scary idea to not be absolutely certain about my plans for the upcoming year, I have begun hoping for the best, and preparing for the worst. I have started thinking about what types of things I would do during my year off, such as continuing to shadow, and getting a job of some sort. I started looking at a couple of hospitals back in Phoenix for medical scribe positions, since I know that position will increase my chances of getting into medical school in the next cycle!

If there’s one thing I have learned during my senior year, it would be to try your best and try your absolute hardest. Although things may not turn out ideally the way I was planning, there’s always another option. As cheesy as it sounds, everything happens for a reason and there is honestly no benefit from stressing yourself out! I know that one day, all the hard work and determination I have invested in my job, school work, clubs, research, and internships will pay off!

Yes, adulthood is scary! Just make sure that during the chaos of your senior year you are still taking time to smile, laugh, relax, and enjoy yourself with your friends/ family!

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#NovemberToRemember: Thanksgiving with Family and Friends

30 Nov

This past Thanksgiving week was one for the books! I was able to spend valuable time with my best friends and family members. Not to mention, this was the first time I was able to relax from school, work, extracurriculars, and medical school applications!


This past Tuesday, I had the chance to plan a Friendsgiving with my friends at my apartment. I was in charge of making the corn, green beans, stuffing, cornbread, and rice. I had my other friends divide up the remaining dishes including mashed potatoes, salad, garlic bread, chicken, sweet potatoes, and pies. We had such a fantastic time catching up and bonding over the delicious foods we had prepared.

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On Wednesday, I headed back home to Phoenix to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family and friends. Every year, my mom has over 20 people to celebrate, so most of Wednesday was spent grocery shopping, cleaning, and preparing the Thanksgiving feast. She made cornbread stuffing, cranberry sauce, roasted brussel sprouts, garlic mashed potatoes, apple cider, and turkey. I loved watching my mom prepare such traditional Thanksgiving dishes with a unique twist!

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On Thursday, we began eating our Thanksgiving feast around noon. By evening, everyone was sleepy, full, but still ready to shop. My family, high school friends, and I all hit the malls around 8pm for the Black Friday deals.

Black Friday

Luckily the mall wasn’t as hectic and packed as I had expected, so I was able to get all my shopping done in peace. I definitely shopped until I dropped, which was relaxing and very much needed!

The rest of my weekend was spent trying to burn off all the food I had consumed by putting up the lights outside and decorating the house!

I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving with their family and friends. We are so close to winter break, I cannot wait to continue to bond with the ones that mean the most to me!

-Erica S.

#OutrageousOctober: Shadowing an Open Heart Surgery

27 Oct

This month for #OutrageousOctober, I did two outrageous things! The first outrageous thing was shadowing an open-heart surgery at the Banner University Medical Center right across the street. The second outrageous thing was that I shadowed the surgery from 6am to 12pm, standing in the same exact spot for over 2 hours (Ouch)!

Waking up that morning at 4am that morning wasn’t difficult because I was so excited to apply the knowledge I had learned in class to real life clinical situations. After I got dressed and headed over to the hospital, I met the cardiothoracic anesthesiologist, Dr. Ford around 5:30am. I listened to Dr. Ford going over the surgery with a couple surgeons and medical students. The patient was a 65 year old man who had many heart problems, such as a regurgitant and stenotic valve. This means that the blood vessels in his heart are stiff and leaky.

Around 5:45am, I got to meet the patient and his family before surgery. As I watched Dr. Ford and the other physicians reassure the patient and his family, my passion for the medical field was reaffirmed.

At 6am sharp, the surgery began. It was surreal being so close to the procedure, and being able to see every incision that the surgeons made, along with every valve and structure of the heart.

I would highly recommend all of you to get out there and experience your future professions firsthand! Not only will it be a resume booster, but it will excite you and give you the motivation to keep working hard in your courses!



Trends in Fall Fashion

2 Oct

Fall is here (even if it may not feel like it), which means put the flip flops and shorts away! The best part about fall, besides the pumpkin spiced lattes at Starbucks, is the fall FASHION! That’s right, it’s all about layering, being comfortable, and staying warm…but in style. I wanted to share some of my favorite fall looks with you all that will keep you looking glamorous, sophisticated, and fashionable!

1. Leather Coats/ Long Sleeved Dresses & Nude Heels

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I would say that this is my go-to fall style. This is my favorite leather coat: it is a nude-ish pink color, and it matches just about every style (as do the nude heels). During fall or winter, don’t think you have to push the dresses to the back of your closet! If you want to get fancy, but stay warm, I would recommend pairing a long sleeved dress with tights or leggings!

2. Trench Coats & Wristlets

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This is the perfect outfit for a date or girls’ night out!

3. Black Leggings/ Booties/ Leather Boots/ Beanies/ Plaid/ Cardigans/ Blazers

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In this picture you can see quite a bit of diversity with many styles. The plaid, booties, and beanie are cute styles for a relaxed and chill look. The cardigan, blazer, leather boots, and black pants are perfect for a professional or going out look. Either look, relaxed or going out, are sure to grab the attention of everyone in the room! Not to mention the comfort you will experience while looking exceptionally fierce!

4. Long Sleeved Rompers/ Black Heeled Boots

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This look is a bit informal and best suitable for shopping, dinner, or lunch plans. The best part about rompers are that they are very comfortable and typically are sold in a number of colors/ patterns to add some color to your fall wardrobe!

I hope this blog gave you some ideas about the various looks you can rock this fall season! Remember to always layer up, stay warm, and look fabulous!

-Erica S.

#StudiousSeptember: Spicin’ It Up in the Kitchen

30 Sep

This month for #StudiousSeptember, I decided to try out a new recipe since cooking is one of my favorite hobbies! I got into cooking because it relaxes me, and it allows me to recreate my favorite recipes with a healthy spin! A couple months ago, my sister told me about how she made ground turkey meatballs at home for her friends. After hearing about her recipe, I realized how easy it would be to recreate! Last Friday after my four essays and midterms, I seriously needed to unwind! I went to the grocery store and got parsley, lean ground turkey, whole grain pasta, vodka pasta sauce, garlic, and bell peppers!


Prepping the meal by chopping up parsley, bell peppers, and garlic!


The meatballs once they came out of the oven! I flavored the turkey meat balls with basil, oregano, crushed pepper, salt, garlic powder, pepper, and parsley.


Here it is! The finished product with whole grain noodles, garlic, sautéed bell peppers, and vodka pasta sauce!

I was really happy about how the dish turned out in the end! The pasta was really filling but healthy and nutritious at the same time, which was the best part. I had so many leftovers that I was able to feed all my roommates! There’s nothing more satisfying than making a meal that turns out well, and being able to share it with your friends! I definitely needed this relaxing and delicious break after a stressful week! I can’t wait til this weekend when I try another new recipe – I’m thinking some type of chili this week!

What are some of your favorite ways to unwind after a long week?

-Erica S.

How to Successfully Study for Science Finals

8 May

As a physiology Senior, I have taken my fair share of science exams, especially finals! From my three years of experience, I have here a list of tips for you students on how to successfully prepare for your science exams!

(These apply to chemistry, biology, physiology, etc.)

-Go over all past exam questions. Typically professors put old exam questions on the final exam! If you go over old exam questions, these will be easy points for you!

-Look at past in-class quizzes, clicker questions, and online quiz questions. Similarly, professors re-use quiz and clicker questions as well!

-Understand all the key concepts in the course. During finals, I’ve noticed professors want to see you understand the key concepts rather than the minor details. Don’t get bogged down in details (unless the professor explicitly says so)!

-Go over all study guides that are posted.

-Attend preceptor and professor review sessions. During these sessions, preceptors and professors often give away some tips and hints!

-Form study groups and come prepared with questions to ask your group mates!

-Utilize the resources at the library, such as the private study rooms. Reserve a study room at

-Erica Shroff

#MightyMay: End of the Year Celebrations

5 May

Hello Wildcats! It’s that time of the year, finals time! This is the time where the library is as busy as can be, and it often gets hard to find a spot to study. Not to mention that the Starbucks lines on campus are out the door, when all you want is another cup of coffee to keep you going. There is no doubt about it, the end of the year is often one of the most stressful times of the year! Not only are finals taking over our lives, but end of the year events keep piling up!

This month I attended a physiology department banquet and will be attending a Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tucson banquet. During the physiology department banquet, all the physiology staff members were awarded with various awards, such as: “Funniest Professor,” “Carpe Diem Professor,” “Best Class,” “Most Likely to be a Superhero,” etc. I had such a blast watching some of my favorite upper division physiology professors win these awesome student-nominated awards! Seeing the smiles on these amazing professors’ faces when they were handed the awards was a great feeling as a student! Although I was quite intimidated being in a room filled with all the faculty I have had as professors, it was a great experience to get to know them outside of the classroom. I even got to mingle and talk to some of the faculty I had never met before! This was definitely an unparalleled experience of mine!

Soon, I am looking forward to taking a study break during finals to attend the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tucson banquet at the Reid Park Zoo! I will be joined with my little brother and his family during this banquet celebrating the end of the academic school year. They will be announcing the “Little of the Year” award, which is given annually to a little brother or little sister that has shown exceptional growth. Last month, I filled out a long nomination form for my little brother, so fingers crossed that he wins! It would be so exciting to see my little brother’s shining face as he wins this prestigious title. I know his parents and siblings will be so impressed with all he has accomplished this year!

Although the thought of midterms, finals, and end of the year reports are haunting my dreams at the moment, I have had an eventful month thus far. I also have a lot of exciting events planned that I look forward to attending. Stay calm, Wildcats and rock those finals! We are almost done! 🙂

-Erica S.

#AdventurousApril: Exploring Trails in Houston!

15 Apr

This month, my sisters, brothers-in-law, and I decided to be #adventurous and check out new biking/hiking trails around Houston. Although my sister Jenny lives in Houston, she hadn’t even gotten a chance to hit these trails…we were all in for a surprise! Once we reached the forest, we didn’t see any clearly marked paths, which would probably concern most people but we were all excited to become explorers and find our way out of the trail. We unanimously decided to explore the blue and green trails, which were known as the “hard” trails. I would like to consider myself rather athletic, but once I saw that we would be doing the hardest trails, I got a little nervous. Once we were on the right path, we all had a blast because the trail was challenging due to the incline (not to mention the high humidity). Not only did we get a workout from the fact that it was hilly and rocky, but we were on a time-crunch. By the end of the trail, we found ourselves sprinting to find our way out because we had a show to catch in the next 20 minutes. Here are some beautiful pictures from our #AdventurousApril:

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Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 4.29.48 PM – Erica S.

Summer School Ain’t So Bad!

10 Apr

This summer I will be taking physics 2, which focuses on electromagnetism, at my local community college (Chandler-Gilbert Community College). Although I’m not thrilled to be in class four days a week, from 9-12 every day, I am looking forward to getting some credits out of the way! Since I am a physiology major, physics and math are definitely not my forte. Instead of struggling and taking many courses during the school year when I have a million other things going on, every summer I have taken one or two math-intensive courses at either Chandler-Gilbert Community College or Mesa Community College. Within the past three summers, I have gotten calculus 1 and 2 and physics 1 out of the way, which is a fantastic feeling!

Taking a summer course isn’t all that bad because you make friends in your classes instantly. You and your classmates bond quickly since you are stuck in the same place for 3 hours everyday! I have made many friends the past couple summers. And believe it or not, I still keep in touch with them.

During summer school, the pace is faster than during the normal academic year and while this may seem scary, it actually proves to be advantageous. First, you finish faster, which is always a plus. And since the class is going at a faster pace, you are forced to study and stay on task, as opposed to the normal college-student procrastination. As you can see, I am not all that bummed about having to take a summer course. See what options are available for you! Bear Down Wildcats and let’s get some A’s over the summer!!

-Erica S.