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#MiddlingMarch: Time with Friends

15 Mar

We’re at the point in the semester when things just seem rough. Spring break is over but summer seems so far away. With every assignment you finish and test you take, there’s another one right around the corner to take its place. It can be really hard to find motivation and not get stuck in a rut in the middle of the semester. It’s really important to find things that are going to help motivate you and keep you going through the second half of the semester. For me, that’s making time to hang out with my friends.

I have a really busy schedule, so if I’m not intentional about seeing my friends it doesn’t happen. This makes it really hard to get through my week because it means a lot of times alone in my routine. While it can be so easy during this part of the semester to bury myself in work, hen I make the time to see my friends it really make a huge difference in my week. It helps me de-stress, relax, have fun, and get poured into. My friends are great about encouraging me, supporting me, and just loving me well. This not only improves my mood, but gives me a much needed break and puts me in a better mindset to be productive.

What helps you get through the mid-semester rut? If you don’t have something, you should probably take some time to explore what works for you. You don’t want to burn out before the end of the semester. Try a new workout routine, a hobby, meditation, arts and crafts, reading for fun, or something else to get your mind of school and work. You’ll be surprised how much happier and more energized you’ll feel to help you finish the year strong!

Happy Spring!



Registration Preparation

28 Feb

With registration right around the corner, it’s hard to keep track of everything that needs to be done in order to be ready and get the classes you want and need. Getting everything done at the right time is key, so here’s a timeline to keep you on track.

  • As soon as possible– find out when your registration day is.
  • 1 week before the shopping cart opens– make an appointment with your academic advisor to go over what you need to take and make sure that your 4-year plan is on track. After this appointment, nail down what you’re going to take for the semester.
  • The day the shopping cart opens– find what days/times the classes you want are available and make a list or spreadsheet of all the times your classes are offered.
  • The week before registration– plan out 2-3 possible class schedules with all of the times/days your classes are at and make sure everything you need to take can fit in your schedule. It’s important to have several schedules planned in case classes fill up before you can register.
  • At least one week prior to registration– see if any of the classes you want to take need special permission to enroll (department or advisor permission). Also, make sure you have no holds on your account that will prevent you from registering.
  • The weekend before registration– put all of your classes form your top choice plan in your shopping cart.
  • The morning of registration– wake up at 5:45 to get your computer up and running and make sure that all of your classes are in your cart.
  • 6:00 on registration day– press enroll! Don’t refresh the page after you do. It’s loading even if it take a few minutes and refreshing the page could make you have to start over.
  • Later on registration day– if you didn’t get into all of the classes you wanted, refer to your backup plan and try to get into as many of your necessary classes as possible, even if it’s not the time/professor you want. If you needed further permission that you didn’t know about, email your advisor with issues. BE PATIENT for them to get back because this is the busiest time of the year for them.
  • Months following registration– if you didn’t get into the classes you wanted because they were full, check periodically on UAccess to see if spots have opened up. With everyone moving classes around, spots open up in the class you want.

I hope this can help you have a smooth and successful registration! Good luck!


Midterm Mania

21 Feb

Midterms are in full swing this week! There are so many different ways to successfully prepare, and a ton of campus resources to help you. Here are some tips of how to prepare and succeed on your midterms and where to go for help.

  1. Evaluate what works best for you. If you always try to study with friends but just end up talking, try studying alone. If you always get off task when studying alone, work with some motivated friends.
  2. Find a good space with minimal distractions. This could be your desk at home, a nice spot in the grass on the mall, or a private room in the library. Group study rooms can be reserved for up to 8 students, technology study rooms are available with computers and large monitors, collaboration rooms can hold groups of up to 16 people, or private quiet study rooms can be reserved if you need a place to yourself.modern family.gif
  3. Don’t cram! Everyone does it and everyone regrets it. Start studying early and periodically. If you have projects, make sure to plan enough time to balance those with studying for exams. The library assignment scheduler gives you step by step checkpoints and resources for completing papers and projects. Think Tank’s semester on a page can help you keep track of assignments and visualize when you need to spread out studying and projects.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There’s professor, TA, and preceptor office hours, Think Tank subject and and academic skills tutoring, SI study sessions, private tutoring, and more. But no one can help you if you don’t help yourself first, so help yourself by asking for help!how to study.gif
  5. Make sure you’re minimizing stress and getting enough sleep. Studying isn’t effective if you aren’t getting enough sleep to let the information settle in. If you’re stressed, you’re also less likely to retain what you’re studying. Check out Wellness at Campus Rec for some resources on how to keep yourself healthy, or the RecSPA for massage and other forms of therapy.chillax.gif
  6. Take your midterms as a benchmark for your progress in the class. Use them to evaluate your study habits and understanding of the content. If you’re doing well, keep it up! If there are some things you need to change, make this change before it’s too late in the semester. Your academic advisor is a great resource to help evaluate your progress and where to go from there.


Good luck on your midterms!


#FearlessFebruary: Creepy Crawlies

20 Feb

I hate bugs. I always have and I always will. For me, it doesn’t even matter the type of bug – scorpion, spiders, butterflies, lady bugs, crickets. I hate them all. They freak me out and give me the heebie jeebies. That being said, I recently got an internship at the Reid Park Zoo here in Tucson working with zookeepers to take care of the animals. As it turns out, diets for a lot of the animals in the zoo contain various types of bugs – crickets and worms to be exact. Also, one of the education tools is a colony of Madagascar hissing cockroaches. This is why for my #FearlessFebruary, I decided to face my fear of bugs.

Although I hate all bugs, I think cockroaches hold a special place of gross-ness. Even looking at them freaks me out. You know the people that breed cockroaches or eat cockroaches or actually like cockroaches in any way? Yeah I don’t understand those people at all. So at the zoo, there’s a self-sustaining colony of cockroaches that they use to teach kids about insects and exoskeletons and stuff like that. Even though it’s primarily self-sustaining, the zoo keeper still has to change out the food and water. My big step of facing this fear was looking at the cockroaches. I know, that sounds pretty pathetic. I’m sure you thought I was going to change their food or maybe even pick one up. Yeah… I couldn’t quite muster up that amount of courage. It actually took every ounce of willpower I had just to look in their container and not run away freaking out.

The next fear I had to face was crickets. Crickets are’t quite as bad as cockroaches, so I was able to convince myself to actually have to touch them. In the morning, all of the diets for the animals have to be gathered. Part of many bird diets is crickets, which are stored (alive) in a big trashcan with stacks of cardboard. When my zookeeper asked me to go collect the crickets for the day, I steeled my nerves, and approached the can. I’ll admit it took me a few tries to actually reach my hand in there, especially when they started jumping when I picked up the cardboard. Eventually I was able to collect some but I did jump every time one of them touched me.

My last experience was with worms. There are three different kinds of worms that are used as food. Collecting them isn’t an issue, since you just scoop them out of a bucket with a scoop and don’t actually have to touch them at all. However, there are four tamanduas at the zoo that eat these worms. A tamandua is basically a small (think raccoon size) anteater, so to hand feed them you have to put the food in your hand and make your hand into a tube so they can lick out the food with their long,  narrow tongues. This means that not only did I have to hold a bunch of worms in my hand, but I had to hold onto them pretty tightly and for a while while the tamanduas ate them. Talk about creepy crawly. The only redeeming part of that experience was that tamanduas are really cute and pretty fun to feed.

So that’s how I worked to face my fear of bugs. I think the most important part of this experience was that I worked to push myself outside of my comfort zone, but I didn’t push myself too far. For example, I was uncomfortable even looking at cockroaches, so if I would have jumped right into holding them, I wouldn’t have just stepped outside of my comfort zone, I would have blown right past it. This would have probably made a really negative experience for myself, instead of the one that I was in that was challenging but still allowed me to try something new. I think that it’s really important to challenge yourself, but also know your limits and not push yourself too far.

Take the time to do something that scares you today and challenge yourself! I hope you can face your fears this February.


7 Tips to Deal with Toxic Relationships

31 Jan

Having healthy relationships, be it with your friends, significant other, coworkers, roommates, or family, can be one of the most important things in your life. The relationships you have with others has a huge impact in your life, especially in college when you have so much you’re trying to figure out. But what happens when that friend goes from supportive to critical? When your roommate only uses you for rides to school?Toxic relationships are one of the hardest things to tackle, but if you approach the situation from the right angle you can really help yourself and minimize your pain. If you think you may be in a toxic friendship or relationship, here are 7 tips to help deal with the issue.

  1. Evaluate the relationship and identify toxic behaviors. Do they only reach out to you when they need help? Do they constantly demean you or make you feel bad about yourself? Are they encouraging of your goals? If you’re having trouble telling if the behaviors are toxic, look online to see what things could be considered toxic.difficult.gif
  2. Talk with the person about what’s bothering you. Their behavior might be a simple miscommunication, or they might not even realize there’s a problem. Be open and honest about your feelings on the situation and have specific examples in mind.
  3. Don’t let your emotions take control of the situation. Obviously you’re upset about something, but don’t lash out at them. Talk calmly and keep a level head and use logic and facts about the situation, even if they respond with emotion. Nothing productive is going to happen if you both just end up in a yelling match.emotional.gif
  4. Bring in a mediator to the conversation if necessary. If you think you or them might respond over-emotionally or if you think the situation might get out of control, bringing in an objective third party is a great way to keep the conversation on track. This could be another friend, coworker, or other trusted individual. Just make sure the person isn’t directly involved in the issue at hand.
  5. Only include people in the conflict that are part of the problem or are going to be part of the solution. Don’t add to the problem by gossiping, making other friends choose sides, or trying to get too many people involved in the conflict resolution.
  6. Practice the interaction beforehand so you don’t get caught up in the moment and say what isn’t necessary. If you go in with no idea what you want to say, you’re more likely to let your emotions get the best of you and derail the conversation.sentence.gif
  7. Don’t be afraid to end the relationship if they aren’t willing to resolve the issues at hand. You can do your part by talking to them, acknowledging your flaws, and working on your side of the relationship, but you can’t make the other person change or meet you halfway. Ultimately, you need to do what’s healthy for both yourself and the other person, and sometimes what’s best for both of you is ending the relationship.                                       over.gif

I hope that this isn’t a situation that you’re in, but if it is I hope these tips can help you deal with the situation as peacefully and productively as possible. Just remember, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” -Eleanor Roosevelt


Opportunities for Spring Semester

12 Dec

Winter break is coming to a close and the spring semester is upon us. While I’m sure we’d all love another week (or more) of time off, I like to focus on being excited for the beginning of the new semester, instead of being sad for the end of the break. The start of the spring semester is one of my favorite times of the school year. It’s a new beginning with a ton of opportunities.


One of the biggest opportunities that spring semester gives is academically. If you didn’t have a strong fall semester, spring gives you the opportunity to make up for it. The first semester is always difficult because you’re getting used to how college classes (and professors) operate, forming new study habits, acclimating to living on your own, and trying to navigate who you are in this new setting. By spring semester, you’re a lot more familiar with how classes work, hopefully you’re dealing with homesickness better, and you’re really getting a sense of who you are. If things didn’t go so well last semester, take this as an opportunity to change your study habits and set yourself down the right path.


Spring semester is also a great opportunity to get involved if you didn’t last semester (or if you want to get involved more). It can be hard to join a club in the middle of a semester. At the beginning of the semester, clubs are expecting new members so it can be easier to integrate into a club. You could also get involved by getting a job or internship. A lot of places on campus are looking to hire and fill positions at the start of the semester.


One of my personal goals for the spring semester is to be intentional with my time. It can be so hard to balance school, work, clubs, and leadership positions with spending time with my friends and taking time for myself. I know that if I’m not proactive in being intentional, I won’t see my friends very much or take time for myself. These things are both really important not only for the health of my friendships, but also my own health. I’m really going to take the opportunities I have to spend time with friends and spend healthy time alone.


Whatever you’re looking forward to with the upcoming spring semester, I hope you seize the opportunities you have in front of you. Whether it be improving your grades, getting more involved, or being intentional with your relationships, be proactive with your semester and make the best of it right from the beginning!


#DreadedDecember: Making Plans

10 Dec

I love winter break. I get to go home and see my family, boyfriend, and my best friends from home. I also get time to relax and prepare for the upcoming semester. While this is all great, it can be really stressful for me to balance doing everything that I want to do over break and making plans with so many different groups of people. That’s why my Dreaded December is making plans over break.

I’m definitely much more of a planner as opposed to being spontaneous. I like to know when I’m doing things, especially when I’m planning so many things with so many people. Added to this, both my best friends from home and my boyfriend and I decided that instead of giving gifts, we’d do something fun for Christmas. For my best friends, that meant finding two days that fit all three of our schedules for a short road trip. When you throw in the fact that we’re all trying to spend time with our families, one of my friends is working and has family in from out of state, and my other friend is traveling a few times, and that was an adventure. As for my boyfriend, he lives out of state during the school year, so we try to spend as much time together as possible. However, he’s traveling with his family twice over break and still has to keep up his workout schedule (he’s an athlete). Throw my family’s schedule and holiday plans into the mix, and it’s really just a lot to balance.

Some of the ways that I’ve made this a little better is by planning as much in advance as possible. This has helped me know when I’m free and what fits best where. Another way I juggle these plans is by doing stuff with my family and boyfriend together. My family loves him so it’s a great way for us to all spend time together. As for my friends, it’s all about communication and making the time for each other.

While I do like to combine groups and hang out with my boyfriend and friends or family and friends, sometimes I like to have the 1 on 1 (or 2 on 1) time with them. To do that, it really comes down to being intentional with my time and not wasting it away in front of the TV or sleeping. As much as I want to rest over this break, I’d rather rest in the company of the people I love than by myself.

I am dreading the planning process and trying to juggle everything over a relatively short period of time. However, I’m also really looking forward to spending time with my loved ones and doing a lot of fun things together. I know I’m going to be making a lot of memories over this break, and although there are some things about planning I’m dreading, I’m really looking forward to the time I have.

I hope you all have a great winter break!


Maximizing Your Winter Break

8 Dec

I really love winter break. It’s a month of no school, being at home with friends and family, and relaxing. The one downside is that when it’s over and I look back on it, a whole month has passed and it seems like I got nothing done. While it’s great to sit around and take time to relax and recharge, there are a lot of ways to balance having fun with being productive and making sure your break isn’t wasted.

  1. Volunteer. I personally volunteer at a local animal shelter, something I don’t have time to do during the semester. Volunteering looks great on your resume and is actually a lot of fun and very rewarding. Winter break is a perfect time to do it because you don’t have the commitment of full-time school.

  2. Make plans with friends/family so you don’t waste your time just sitting around the house doing nothing. If you’re intentional about spending time with loved ones, you’ll ensure that you don’t sleep/Netflix your whole break away. Plus, you’ll probably have more fun and make a lot of really good
  3. Get a seasonal job. This way you can make some extra money over the holiday season to set you up for the upcoming semester.

  4. Do the things that need to be done that you normally don’t have time for. Update your resume, clean up your desktop, apply for scholarships, research grad school or career information, apply for internships for the next semester or summer, etc. These things are all easy to do but normally get forgotten or neglected when classes are in full swing.

  5. If you have nothing to do, learn a new skill. You could take up cooking, baking, knitting, crafting, a new sport, etc. There are so many fun things that are so easy to learn through Youtube or books.knitting
  6. Take a winter course. There are a lot of good classes offered over winter break that can help you catch up if you’re a little behind or get ahead. It could also lighten your load if you’re scheduled for a really busy spring semester.

  7. Do things you enjoy that you normally don’t have the time to do. A lot of the hobbies and activities we like to do get left behind when we start college. For me, that’s playing basketball, the clarinet, and knitting. I just don’t have time during the semester, so I love taking the time to do these things I enjoy over break.

  8. Take time to rest and treat yourself. Ask for a spa day for the holidays, cozy up with hot cocoa and a good book, take a relaxing bubble bath, or try out a new face mask. You deserve some rest and relaxation.relax

However you choose to spend your break, I hope you have a happy and healthy holiday season and winter break and are able to have some fun and rest that you deserve!

A Winter of Firsts

8 Dec

For freshmen college students, they’re entering a season of “firsts” in their lives- first round of finals, first college winter break, and for some students first time back home since the summer. This is a time that can be overwhelming for some students as they’re preparing for tests, writing essays, completing projects, preparing to move out of their residence hall or off-campus housing, arranging travel plans, wrapping up with clubs, and probably attending a holiday party or two (or seven).

So how do students handle all of this stress?

First of all, staying healthy is crucial. Stress causes immune systems to break down and students often neglect exercise and healthy eating during finals. This is the time when these things are the most important. Encourage your student to eat well, hit the rec center for a study break, and manage their stress in healthy ways. The University offers a variety of stress-busting activities, health and wellness activities, and fun study breaks for the Finals Survival Week. It’s also really important for students to stay focused. It’s so easy for students to neglect studying because they’re either busy with break preparation and maximizing on fun, or they’re mentally checking out early in anticipation of break. I know that the closer the holidays get, the harder I find it to focus. That being said, it’s more important now than ever to focus, buckle down, and get done what needs to get done.

After finals and the semester ends, students are faced with a new challenge- what to do over winter break. For most students, this means going home. My freshman year, I wanted to do nothing more than hang out with friends and family over winter break and just relax. While this is obviously necessary for students, winter break is also a great time to be productive, especially to do things that they don’t have as much time to over the course of the semester. This could mean applying for scholarships and internships, make or update their resume, volunteer, or get a seasonal job. Students should really strive to balance between having fun over break and still being productive with their time.

Along with being productive, students should spend this time celebrating their accomplishments over the semester with their family and friends. Students have worked hard over the past few months and need some well-deserved down time! Enjoy the holidays (if your family celebrates) and spend time making memories with your student. If they’re anything like I am, they’re really looking forward to this break and time with family and friends. Enjoy the time together!

I hope you and your students all have a wonderful winter break together!


#NovembertoRemember: Cooking for Thanksgiving

23 Nov

A few weeks ago, my mom called me to talk about what our family was going to do for Thanksgiving. Typically, we get together with our family that lives in town at either my family’s house or my grandma’s house. While not a huge ordeal like some people’s families, we usually have around 10 people, so it’s still a pretty large dinner. Ever since we were kids, my mom and grandma got tasked with the cooking, but neither of them particularly like to cook, especially not Thanksgiving dinner. While I was on the phone with my mom, she surprised me by asking, “Do you want to cook Thanksgiving dinner this year?” I was caught off guard a little bit. “You want me to cook the whole dinner?” I replied. “Sure, why not?” my mom said. “We’ll help some, but do you want to do most of it?” “Umm ok, sure,” I said. I guess I was going to cook Thanksgiving dinner this year.

This isn’t really that unusual of her to ask. She hates cooking whereas I actually enjoy it, so it only makes sense that I’d do it. I’m actually pretty excited about it too. One of the reasons I really enjoy cooking is that I’m kind of a picky eater, so if I cook, I make things that I like. Usually on Thanksgiving, there are a lot of foods that people make that I don’t eat. Potato salad, green bean casserole, creamy jello, frog eye (it’s this weird creamy pasta salad… I don’t know why anyone thinks that’s a good idea). With all of these things on the menu, my plate is usually a bit more empty than anyone else’s.  I’m excited to be able to cook all of the foods that I love to eat, as well as learn how to make some of our family classics.

While the task seems kind of daunting right now, I’m really excited about it. I love to cook so it’ll be fun and a challenge to take on something so big for the first time. I’m also excited to learn to make new things and experiment a little bit outside of what I’m comfortable with. I love Thanksgiving and the start of the holiday season so I’m ready to kick it off. I think this will definitley be a November to remember for me because I’m mixing my family traditions with my own style. I’m so excited to tell you about how it goes after next week, but for now I have a menu to prepare 😉

Hope you all have an amazing Thanksgiving of your own and make some memories with your loved ones!