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It’s The Future You Can See

1 Mar

Everyone has goals, whether they are aware of them or not. Whether your goals are academic, financial, health and fitness, or something else – your choices determine whether you will achieve them. No matter where you are in your goal timeline, it is always good to check in with yourself periodically.

Step 1: Evaluate your current situation
Think back to the original goal that you set for yourself. Now look at where you are in relation to that goal at this current moment in time. Sometimes, you’re going to have an “OH SNAP” moment when you realize that you are wayyyyyyy off track. That’s okay, it’s better to know that what you’re doing is not working than to keep going on your current path. Now evaluate what you need to be successful, do you need more accountability or are you lacking the resources to succeed?


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Sometimes it feels like life hits you like this. It’s totally normal, you just have to get back up.

Step 2: Evaluate the quality and importance of your goal.
Now that you know where you are, take a hard look at the goal you’re trying to achieve. Is it realistic and achievable? Read about SMART goals and consider revising your goal. You may need to completely abandon your goal and try something new if you realize that it isn’t that important to you, or it could be helpful to break up a larger goal into several short-term ones. Visualize what it will be like when you achieve your goal to find your motivation.


Step 3: Determine what changes need to be made
This is the hardest part, and you have to be brutally honest with yourself. In order to achieve goals, there will be changes that need to be made in your lifestyle. This is why you need to set achievable goals because making change is HARD. You’re going to have some days that are extremely successful and other where you have some setbacks.


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Step 4: Get your game plan together
Congrats, you’ve already done the bulk of the work! Now you just have to lay out what changes you will implement when, get your support system ready to go, and get started TODAY. Trust me, do not put it off because you will not be as motivated if you wait, I know it from experience.

Repeat this process as often as needed until you’ve achieved your goals. Good luck!




#FearlessFebruary: Adulting is hard

20 Feb

As graduation quickly approaches, there are many aspects of “adulting” that fall squarely on my shoulders that were never there before. This month for Fearless February, I decided to tackle those big challenges and decisions head-on rather than hiding from them.

Taxes: This was the first year where I had to file my taxes on my own without my dad’s help. Thankfully, it was not too complicated! I just used Turbo Tax’s free online filing system, gathered all of my receipts for educational expenses, and got it done step-by-step. Of course, I was nervous so I had my dad check at the very end just to make sure I didn’t completely mess up.

Grad school: This month, I finished my grad school applications! It’s been a long time coming, so it feels great to finally be done. Writing a personal statement involves getting very vulnerable and conveying to admissions committees who you truly are. It took a lot of time and deep thought to figure out what I really wanted to say, but I eventually got over my fears of being real in the personal statement. Thinking about the future so seriously is terrifying, but it is inevitable. We all have to figure out what we are doing with our lives at some point.

It’s been a tumultuous month, but overall that has facilitated a lot of personal growth. No one likes adulting, but it is necessary to overcome the challenge.


College Just Got A Lot More Complicated

7 Feb

As first-year students progress into their second semester, there is often a lot of confusion and big changes in their lives. Their focus moves beyond simply transitioning from high school to college and onto their future and their relationships. Parents can be both helpful and frustrating during this period. These are a few of the things your student may be encountering at this point in time:

  • Healthy vs Unhealthy Relationships
    Maintaining healthy, adult relationships, romantic or otherwise, can be difficult during this period. At times students engage in relationships that can be abusive or toxic. If you notice that they may be in such a situation, it is helpful to have an honest discussion about your concerns. Your student may not initially react overwhelmingly positively, but unhealthy relationships often warp the way someone thinks about the relationship. Be patient, aware, and offer your support, making sure not to be judgmental or place the blame on your student.
  • Major Exploration/Doubt
    After receiving grades from the first semester, some students start to seriously doubt their choice of major. Alternatively, they may be even more invested in their field of choice while still exploring their options. Remember that it is ultimately your student’s life and their choice; it is difficult to detach your own hopes for their future when discussing major choice with them. Avoid pressuring your student to decide down a particular path, instead ask questions encouraging deeper thought into their likes/dislikes, talents, skills, and passions.
  • Future Careers/Graduation Plans
    Thinking about the future can be absolutely terrifying for students at this point in the semester. Some are wondering whether they really belong in college and should even continue after the first year. Others are wondering how their education fits into their overall career and life plans. Encouraging students to schedule a meeting with their academic advisor to create a four-year plan of courses can be helpful in envisioning the end goal of graduation. Advisors can also help connect students with resources and identify supplemental activities such as study abroad, internships, and preceptorships that can help prepare them for the workforce.

This can be a pivotal time for your student. Depending on their experiences, they will need your support in different ways. Remember that first-year students often make mistakes, and it is important for them to take ownership of correcting those errors. Your role in their development as adults can really help them find confidence in their future decisions.


Get Comfy with Being Uncomfy

7 Feb

College forces you to really get in touch with yourself, and that process can stir up a lot of discomfort. Sitting with those feelings will actually help you grow as a person and prepare you for the future. When you start college, you quickly learn that “What’s your major?” is likely one of the very first questions someone will ask you when they meet you. It seems as though your major becomes so inextricably a part of your identity. So when you don’t have one or you doubt the one you’re in, it is very natural to feel uncomfortable about that.

Choosing a major is a big decision; you’re focusing a lot of time on studying it, after all! Just keep in mind that it is not the most important thing in the whole world, so do not stress too much over it. Really think about what interests you and take your time to decide, because it does take a lot of energy, time, and money to earn a degree. Many of my mentors have also told me that often your career doesn’t perfectly line up with your major because of the things that happen to you in life, and that’s perfectly okay. If you’re one of those people that gets really uncomfortable with not having a clear direction, recognize it and let yourself feel that. There will be many more times where you feel the same way in life, so it is best to get a little more comfortable with it now.


Cozy up to the fact that you have complete control over this decision.

You have to be honest with yourself during this period of your life. It’s a little painful to get that real with yourself, but it is worth it in the end. Accept what you are good at, and not so good at. This can affect your choice of major greatly. On the one hand, you can choose one that emphasizes your strengths, or avoids your weaknesses. On the other hand, you can choose one that emphasizes things you are not naturally talented at, but you must commit to working really hard to overcome that.


Find your thinking place to contemplate!

It can be helpful to get advice from others on which major to choose, but be careful when doing so. Family and friends are a great source of ideas, especially because they know you very well. However, their good intentions may be clouded with their own hopes and dreams for you, which may not be compatible with your vision of the future. Consider using professors, academic advisors, or mentors as sounding boards to get a more balanced perspective. They may be able to connect you to options that are not as well-known that may actually be the perfect fit.


Don’t get too wrapped up in other’s opinions!

No matter where you are in your journey, there is the right major out there for you, don’t worry. Just remember that ultimately this is your life, and you are the only one that can make the final decision.


Get Involved to Give Back

18 Jan

How you get involved on campus truly influences and enriches your college experience. There are many ways to make your campus involvement serve a dual purpose- both improving your life and contributing to the University and Tucson communities. Many extracurricular activities provide you with an automatic group, making giving back even easier if you haven’t really done it before.

Here’s a breakdown of ways that you can get involved on campus that often facilitate giving back!

Fraternity and Sorority Programs: One aspect of fraternities and sororities is their partnerships with philanthropic organizations. Those partnerships offer opportunities to impact complete strangers’ lives across the nation. You also don’t necessarily have to be a member to help out! By attending our chapters’ philanthropic events, you are able to make a small contribution.

Honoraries: There are several honoraries on campus! Some are based on eligibility by GPA, year in school, or are focused specifically on service to others. Regardless of the honorary, all of them arrange service projects for their members. In addition to the benefits of membership, you get the bonus of feeling good after participating in such projects.

ASUA Clubs: Joining clubs that are focused on your interests such as academics or hobbies are a great way to make new friends and network! In addition, many of these clubs provide opportunities to engage with the Tucson community and encourage children to consider going to college.

Housing and Residential Life: Joining Hall Council, getting involved with RHA/NRHH, or becoming an RA or DA isn’t just for people wanting to work in student affairs later in life. These leadership opportunities are also a chance to improve the daily experiences of students living in the residence halls.

On Campus Jobs: Many departments on campus hire students to work on-campus. These are also wonderful opportunities to gain leadership experiences and network if Housing isn’t your thing. This can be a very rewarding experience because you are helping your fellow students get the most out of the U of A. 

There are many avenues to focus your energies. If you are already involved with some of the groups I discussed, start taking advantage of the opportunities for service! Since it’s the beginning of the semester, it’s a great time to join something new.


Beat the Winter Blues

14 Dec

Congratulations, you have made it through the fall semester! Now you’ve got a few weeks at home to not be stressed out for the first time since August. It will be very tempting to just lay around and be lazy, but now is the time to maximize your fun before the stress restarts in January! Here’s a few things you can do to make your winter break more worthwhile.


Now is the time to sleep… but not for the entire break!

  • Be a tourist in your own hometown. There’s a lot of cool things in every hometown that you never realized were that awesome, until you started telling all of your college friends about them. So take advantage of being back! Go see all of the things that you’ve missed, or took for granted.
  • Play with pets. Take them outside, if appropriate, or cuddle on the couch. Most college students don’t have time to take care of pets or aren’t able to bring their family pet with them.
  • Skype your college friends. Being separated from your friends for four weeks can be tough. Take advantage of video chat to keep in touch and feel like you’re basically together, even if you’re miles apart.
  • Take advantage of holiday sales. Buy the things you need or passed on for a while because it was a little too pricey. Take this moment to treat yo self to something nice, you deserve it!
  • Enjoy home cooked meals and learn how to make them. Even though it’s never as good as when your family makes it, having that knowledge comes in handy when you’re having a bad day or feeling under the weather.
  • Spend time with friends that went away from college or that you haven’t seen in a while. It’s always great to trade stories and hear about what people are up to!

Whatever you do this winter break, take some time to enjoy yourself. It’s so important to rejuvenate over these weeks and reconnect with the things that make you happy.



#DreadedDecember: Off Schedule

14 Dec

When it comes to time off of school, I much prefer winter break to summer. I enjoy spending time at home with my family, but I always dread being off of my daily schedule. I’m usually the person that risks getting burnt out at the end of every semester, because try as I might, making time for self-care on a regular basis is difficult during the last few weeks of school. As a result, I spend the bulk of the first few days of break just catching up on sleep and eating properly. Invariably, my sleep schedule gets thrown out of whack and then I struggle to get it back to normal when the next semester starts.

Don’t get me wrong, there are perks to getting off schedule for a little bit. It’s somewhat refreshing to be able to do whatever I want, whenever I want. Between school and work, that’s not a luxury that I have once classes are in session anymore. I relish the time that I get to just go shopping with friends for as long as I want, or exercise as it is convenient. Breaks are a great time for me to reconnect with the things that I enjoy and that I am passionate about. However, after a few days of this, it loses its sparkle.

It’s okay to be a couch potato for a few days during break, but you have a lot of time on your hands to actually be productive. Take advantage and start planning ahead for the next semester, apply for summer internships and jobs, and start thinking about your future! For me, break is a time that I simultaneously look forward to and dread. Fortunately there are a lot of solutions to make it a lot better.


#NovemberToRemember: First trip to East Coast

24 Nov

Prior to college, I never traveled much except for the occasional road trips around Arizona or California. After my freshman year, I finally got the opportunities to travel to new states for conferences. This month, I got the courage to take a trip by myself for the first time. I flew from Tucson to Philadelphia to visit family and tour a grad school, and it was an adventure I will never forget.

The week leading up to my trip, I was so stressed out. I was terrified that I would hate being in a big city, that I would miss my connecting flight, or that the clothes I packed wouldn’t be warm enough. Luckily, I’ve flown enough times at this point that things like checking in for my flight and getting through security don’t stress me out anymore, or those things would have also made it onto the list as well. The first flight was pretty quick and easy, but I had a really short connection between flights. To top it off, my gates were nowhere near each other, forcing me to run through an entire terminal to make it on time. My heart was racing, but I finally got on the plane and three hours later I could see more trees with orange leaves than I could count. At that point, I could not contain my excitement.

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Part of the city from the sky.

For the first hour or so, I honestly was overwhelmed by how beautiful everything was. Having lived in Tucson my whole life, it was amazing to be in a place I’d always dreamed of- with real seasons. One thing that I was not quite expecting was how people drive on the East Coast. You always hear about how terrible driving there is, but you can’t truly understand it unless you’re in the middle of it. The next three days were action-packed with visits to the university, wandering through downtown, and going to visit all of the historical sights.

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The real Liberty Bell with Independence Hall in the background.

Growing up, American history was something I truly loved learning about. After all this time, I finally saw the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Carpenter’s Hall, and real colonial homes! We also visited the Museum of the American Revolution and the National Constitution Center. While things got a little repetitive, because each place wants you to have a full experience even if you know nothing about American history, it was incredible to see real artifacts from our nation’s founding.

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City lights at night.

All too quickly, it was time to go home! I was honestly really sad to leave, because I finally found a place where I could be free to explore and grow even more as a person. I love being in nature, and I was pleasantly surprised that it was not difficult to go from the heart of the skyscrapers to the forest. This experience definitely helped me gain more confidence in my ability to be an adult. I really love traveling, and I can’t wait to do more of it!


Ain’t Nobody Got Time for Stress

21 Nov

At the end of the semester, everyone gets stressed. If you’re thinking to yourself, “I don’t get stressed”, then you’re either lying to yourself or extremely lucky. For those of you also in the boat of being stressed with those last assignments, preparing for finals, and extracurriculars, I promise that you will survive it. Everything seems impossible until it’s done. One of the most important ways to survive the stress is to find something fun to get your mind off of things for a while. This will help you feel better and allow you to better focus on the tasks at hand. What relieves stress is different for everyone, so try a few things out! Here’s a few of my suggestions

  • Exercise: Whether you do 15 minutes, an hour, or more this is a great way to get out any negative emotions. After you exercise, you can also benefit from endorphins that keep you feeling happy.
  • Cook: Make yourself some comfort foods! Whether this be boxed mac n cheese or your favorite family recipe, cooking can be a great way to get your mind off of things. Plus, you get to enjoy yummy food afterwards.
  • Craft: Unleash your creative side with crafts! You can paint, do wood burning, making soaps, sewing, whatever you enjoy. Because these are things most of our classes don’t allow us to engage in, it really helps to relieve stress from school work.
  • Listen to music: Music has a wonderful way of expressing emotions. For some people, it actually helps to listen to sad or angry music, but for others, only upbeat tunes will help improve their mood. Spotify has a lot of great playlists for free if you don’t know what you want to listen to.
  • Do nothing for a bit: With hectic schedules, sometimes it helps to literally do nothing for 10-15 minutes. This probably will feel weird at first, but this is a good time to just let your mind wander or meditate, whatever your preference is.
  • Hang out with friends OR be by yourself: It’s okay to hang out with friends for an hour or two as a study break! But if you need some alone time because you’ve been with study groups non-stop, then take some time to be by yourself.

This list is not the end-all, be-all of options by any means. No matter who you are or what your interests are, there is something out there that will help you relieve stress. Just be sure that your stress relievers don’t turn into the whole day, losing your productivity.



There’s An App For That

3 Nov

Nowadays, technology is something you simply just can’t avoid, you wouldn’t even be able to read this blog without it. Between all of the digital learning platforms, social media, and organizational capabilities technology has a lot to offer us. But all of those awesome benefits come with a price- we become responsible for being safe when we use these tools. In addition, we have to keep up with the fast pace of new threats popping up all the time. I’ve chosen just a few things that are especially relevant for college students to talk about, but be sure to do your own research too!

Facebook and Snapchat

From sharing photos to promoting events to keeping in touch with people around the world, Facebook and Snapchat are spaces for you to express yourself and maintain your network. Most people would probably say that their friends overshare information on social networking apps. While that could be perceived as a nuisance, it can actually be a threat to your safety. Check your privacy settings and make sure that posts and photos aren’t visible to the general public, and never friends someone you don’t know in real life. Avoid sharing your location if it is unnecessary, it makes it easy for stalkers to find you. When going on vacation, don’t make an announcement- it leaves you vulnerable to being robbed. It may sound outrageous, but these things have happened to others.

Dating apps and sites

-Using dating apps and websites is all about personal preference. They provide an opportunity to meet people you might not have otherwise interacted with. However, there is no guarantee that the person on the other side of the screen is who they say they are. Be extremely cautious about how much personal information you reveal to these strangers. If you do decide to meet them in person, drive yourself or have a way to transport yourself. If the date does not go well or they turn out to be a creeper, you don’t want to get trapped in a car with them. Always meet in a public place and tell someone where you are going. It’s up to you if you want to give them your phone number or Snapchat username, just know that you lose control over who they may give that information out to after you do so.

General computer safety & viruses

Always have an antivirus software installed on your computer. As a U of A student, you have access to free downloads of antivirus programs at Be aware of websites that commonly infect computers, such as sites to pirate movies, and don’t visit them even if you have antivirus software. When using email, don’t download attachments from spam emails or click on links. Phishing scams often seem legitimate, but may ask you to provide your password or other personal information, which is a big clue that it is a scam.

Unsecured WiFi

We all love to use free WiFi, but do not connect to unsecure networks. It is incredibly easy for hackers to gain access to your computer this way. Additionally, never enter your passwords if you do use an unsecure wireless connection. They’re great for a quick Google search, but not the place to do your online banking or schoolwork.

Taking steps to be safe virtually could save your life or protect you from identity theft. While the consequences of not adequately protecting yourself can be terrifying, the good news is that you don’t have to be a tech expert to stay safe.