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#OutrageousOctober: Three Types of Movies to Watch on Halloween

27 Oct

Now there are a lot of things to do on Halloween: themed parties, trick or treating, haunted houses, and general fun all around. My favorite thing that I do on Halloween is stay in and watch movies with friends. I am the kind of person who hates to be scared on Halloween. I stay out of haunted houses and I never watch horror movies. This year for my #OutrageousOctober, I decided to watch a few scary movies, and some not-so-scary movies, and tell you my favorites.

Not Scary: There are many not-so-scary movies on the list, but this one is one of my all time favorites.

Monster House

Monsters house may seem childish, but for a cartoon it is a great movie. It features a haunted house that comes alive scaring the neighborhood children. There is a great twist toward the end of the movie, making it a great Halloween tale.

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Classic Scary: Silence of the Lambs

This classic horror movie is a thrilling look into a psychopath’s mind. An FBI agent uses a series of interviews with a serial killer to catch a killer. This movie brings a new horror factor to Halloween. giphy-27

Horror Thriller: As Above So Below

This thriller movie is filmed in a documentary style following a group of individuals looking for treasure underneath the city of Paris. Beginning in the catacombs underneath the streets of Paris, the group travels deeper and deeper into the ground. Soon the group has to face their own personal demons and strange things begin to happen. Who will make it out alive?

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While I usually do not like scary movies, these movies are a must this Halloween. So grab some snacks and some friends and get ready to get in the spooky spirit with these great horror films.

-Laura

#AdventurousApril: Line Dancing is Hard…

17 Apr

Usually I am a very adventurous person. I love to try new things. This April I had the unique opportunity to go line dancing.

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I thought this was going to be a piece of cake, I love to dance and I am pretty good at picking things up. My goodness was I wrong. There are some places that you can learn the steps and dance along, this was not one of those places. Upon arrival to Stampede, the 18+ line dancing joint in Temecula, California, my friends ran to the dance floor and immediately started to line dance. Needless to say I was completely lost. I felt so helpless from the side lines, the only real way to learn is to get on the dance floor, but I felt so in the way. IMG_5042

I couldn’t seem pick up the steps as fast as everyone, but luckily there were so many people willing to help. While I struggle-bused on the dance floor, my friends and the people around me slowly showed me the footwork and the turns. This made all the difference, not only was I having a lot of fun, but I began to get really good at it.

I started off small with the simple two step, and then moved up to harder dances. We were dancing our boots off for hours and by the end of the night I was able to dance to the song “Footloose,” which happens to be an extremely hard line dance. giphy-25

Line dancing was without a doubt one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done, and I loved every minute of it. I can’t wait to go line dancing again and become as adventurous as possible.

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-Laura

So Now What?

29 Mar

Can you believe that we are half way through the semester? Are you happy with where you are in your classes? Do you know where you stand? These are all questions that should be on your mind. In the meantime, congratulations…we are almost done!

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When it comes to school, it is important to evaluate (or reevaluate) yourself and set goals for the rest of the semester.

Evaluation: How are you actually doing in all of your classes and where do you want to be?

Are your grades where you want them to be?

If you answered yes to this question, that’s great. You started off the semester strong! If you are doing well in all of your classes, it is important to think about how you achieved those scores in the past so that you can continue to be successful in the months to come. It is also important to avoid falling victim to the midsemester slump. This can be a downfall for many students. They did well the first half of the semester, so they believe that they can slack off for the rest of the semester. Start strong and finish strong. It may be a lot of work, but in the end it is so worth it.

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If you answered no to the previous question, it’s ok! Not everyone has the best luck at the start of the spring semester, but now is the time to turn those grades around. Self-evaluation is really important to pinpoint why your grades are where they are. Important questions to ask yourself are: Did I attend all of my classes? Did I schedule myself enough time to study? Did I keep up with my homework? Did I seek out any help from study groups/ TAs/professors? Whatever the case may be, you have to be honest with yourself and make the changes that you want to see. Now is the time for goal setting. Attend all of your classes and set up a structured study schedule. Keep up with all of your homework. Homework is not only points in the class, it’s also practice for the exam. Don’t be afraid to seek out help from someone. You can ask your friends, TAs, professors, and tutors. Set goals that will make you the most successful in the long run.

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In either case it is important to remember that you have half of the semester left to be the best you can be, and to ultimately end strong! Bear Down Wildcats!giphy-21

-Laura

#MiddlingMarch: A More Productive Me!

16 Mar

Spring semester is amazing. There is rarely bad weather, Fall finals are done, and you are back from the holidays, rested and ready to start again. Then it hits you: the Spring Semester Slump. You aren’t as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as you were coming back from break. As midterms begin, you start to feel lethargic and would rather binge-watch your favorite show than spend the weekend studying. At least that’s how I felt. My solution to the troublesome #MiddlingMarch was to (*cue dramatic music*) give up Netflix. *collective gasp*

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I never thought it would be a big deal, but I also never realized how much I watch Netflix. I don’t have a TV so whenever I have a break or just want to kill time or sit down to eat dinner in my dorm, Netflix is on. Friends came on Netflix in the beginning of January and I started marathoning all 10 seasons. With midterms approaching, I didn’t want to study because House of Cards. And it hit me.

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I was spending entirely too. much. time. watching TV. Everyone likes to joke and kid that we would rather stay in and watch Netflix than go out or study, but that can become a real problem for me. I stopped being productive both academically and socially, and that’s why I needed a change. Netflix had to go.

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While it is still early in the month, I have already become so much more productive. When I first stopped, I struggled to fill the time that I had spent watching Netflix. Whenever I would tell my friends or family that I was having trouble filling time, they suggested studying, social media, exercise, or the alternative: Hulu. For the first week I mostly just slept. There’s only so much studying a person can do! As soon as I caught up on my sleep, I decided I needed organization and routine in my life. I fell into a routine of studying, sleeping, exercise, and relaxing in the most productive way possible.

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While it’s okay to have the occasional night in with Netflix, it is never okay to let it (or any number of alternative forms of entertainment) interfere with your productivity. If you start to get a little unbalanced in the academics-fun-sleep equation, take a step back, regroup, and fall into a routine you can be proud of. 

-Laura

#FearlessFebruary: Fearless Interviews

27 Feb

For my #FearlessFebruary I decided to face on of my biggest fears: rejection. I wanted to start a new chapter in my life and to do that I had to look for new opportunities. I needed something new, something to look forward to and get excited about. Don’t get me wrong, I love the life I live now, but I needed to move forward rather than stay constant. I decided to apply for three different positions I thought I would want.

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The first position I applied for was to be a Resident Assistant (RA) for the dorms. The second position I applied for was for the Maximizing Access to Research Careers program or the MARC program. And finally I am going to apply to volunteer at some of the hospitals around Tucson. I had been going back and forth about applying to be an RA for months. Would I have the time? Would I be good at it? Would they want me to be an RA? Finally I just filled out the application and turned it in. It was such a rush! I put myself out there for something I thought I would be great at. As my interview date approached I became more and more nervous. The pool of applicants was extremely large and extremely competitive. How could I possibly surpass all of these amazing people who all wanted the job? I wanted to have this amazingly successful interview, but I was so nervous that I didn’t prepare well enough. My interview consisted of questions that I had never thought about and in turn I came off as extremely generic. My interview went horribly, and I didn’t end up getting that job.200-13

I was now focused on doing well in my next interview. This program was also incredibly competitive and I had to submit the perfect application. I wrote and rewrote the answers to the questions, just trying to make it perfect. Two days after I had turned in my application, I got a call back to participate in the interview round. I was ecstatic, very few people make it to the interview round. I then had to participate in one of the scariest interviews I have ever had. It was with the Director, Assistant Director, and three head doctors running the program. I was terrified. That interview went much better than the RA interview, but unfortunately I was not accepted into the program. It was an incredible honor to even be part of the interview as there had been 40 applications and only 16 people participated in interviews.

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Now I am currently working on applying to hospitals around the area. Even though I haven’t been very lucky with the positions I have applied for, I am so happy that I have tried. I thought that being rejected would be the worst thing in the entire world, but it’s not. Just because you didn’t get something this time, doesn’t mean there won’t be a next time.200-14

-Laura Hacker

START NOW!

13 Feb

Successfully preparing for exams is one of the hardest things to learn when coming to college. I know that I still have not mastered this art, but I have picked up a few tricks to avoid procrastinating.

Exams are administered so that you can show that you fully understand the material presented in class. In high school, it was easy to study for exams the night before and come to the test completely prepared. I know I didn’t have spend days slaving over the books to get an A on a test. It was a huge wake up call when I had to take a college exam.

After I took my first exam in college, I realized that studying the night before left me under prepared, and subsequently my grades plummeted. I needed an action plan, but I didn’t know how to study. Where to begin?

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How to Study: College Style

1. Attend every lecture.

I know this concept may sound silly, but the truth is that it’s easy to skip class. Sometimes life gets in the way, but the best way to prepare for an exam is to have all of the information presented in class. You never want to miss class and play catch up for the exam.

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2. Start Early.

Start studying the minute you get the information. By going over the information early, you can get help with material you don’t understand. You can learn the material as fast or as slow as you need to, with no time crunch. By starting early, you can reduce the amount of stress you have come exam time because you have been preparing all along. 200-9

3. Have confidence.

Have confidence in how you study, how you learn, how you organize, and how smart you really are. Keep your head high and know that you are smart enough to ACE that exam. I know that helped me a lot when I walked into an exam. Never think you are going to fail – when you prepare, you do well.

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The best way to be successful in an exam is to be prepared and to have good mind set. Plus it’s the best feeling when you know you just aced that exam because of all the hard work you put in.

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If you need a good outline for a study schedule, click here for an awesome seven day study plan!

-Laura

#JumpStartJanuary: Clean Sweep

26 Jan

A new year is an amazing time for a clean start. Many people start off the year by making a new years resolution to better themselves. Instead of creating a new years resolution, which I would never stick to, I decided to clean house.

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Throughout the years I had kept so much stuff: clothes, bags, shoes, school papers, and just general junk. Instead of throwing all of this stuff away when I didn’t want it any more, I kept it saying, “I will wear this again” or “This will come in handy one day.” I was so wrong. Now had this closet at my parent’s house looking like something out of Hoarders. Not only did I have this closet filled with out of date things, I had old presents and mementos from my recent break up, all of which needed to be cleaned out.

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I felt that the cluttered things in my life were keeping me from moving on, almost like they are chaining me to my past. By cleaning out and getting rid of all of the things I didn’t need was a way for me to break away from the past.

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This turned out to be a bigger task then I thought.

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After days of throwing out everything that was too worn down or ragged, I ended up with several bags to donate.

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Not only was I able to free myself from the chains of my past, but I was able to appreciate my past. I took a look back at some of my favorite outfits, favorite stuffed animals, old books, and old journals, and appreciate all of the phases I went through and got past. The awkward middle school phase filled Hollister apparel and braces. I was able to get rid of my high school P.E. uniform and realize how much I do miss mandatory physical exercise.

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I was holding on to all of these memories, but it was time to let them go. I will never forget the things that I learned, but I could now move on and grow.

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-Laura

Not According to Plan

5 Dec

Coming to college can be so exciting. You made it to this wonderful place where you are have no curfew, eat what ever you want, make tons of friends, and still manage to get perfect grades. Most Freshmen come into college with these expectations, I know I did, but by the end of the semester things somehow didn’t go according to plan.

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When I came into college, I thought I was ready to be my own person. I was going to go to bed at a reasonable hour and cook all of my meal and become super fit. What I didn’t realize was that dorm rooms aren’t exactly the best place to go to bed early or cook all of my meals. With a roommate less then ten feet away who stays up all hours and the pile of homework at the end of the day, going to bed at a reasonable time and having a nice cooked meal was is a rare occurrence. Cooking my own meals was much harder then I expected, and I rarely went to the dorm kitchen to cook a meal. So microwave meals became more frequent. Once the food my parents bought me depleted, I resorted to eating out at the Union more than ever. After a semester of these habits left me sleep deprived and 15 pounds heavier, I truly realized that I had to be much more accountable for my health and wellness.

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Another expectation is that you will make tons of new friends and hang out with them all the time. I know that I lived in a dorm my freshman year and while I did make friends, it was much harder than I expected. High school is a much smaller community and you have classes with most of the same people for all four years. In college, while you do meet people in your classes, you only have that class for one semester and then you are thrown in with an entire set of new people. While dorms are an excellent way to meet people, I really had to go out of my way and make conversation with the girls in my hall. I had to go out side my comfort zone and attend hall meetings and join clubs.

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Finally you are expected to do all of these things and get perfect grades. When I came out of high school I thought I was going to get all A’s. I had been in AP classes and those were like college, right? I was so wrong – I didn’t know how much I had to put into those courses. I had no homework, which made me think the class would be a breeze. Then the first exam came, and I got a D. I couldn’t believe it. I thought I had that exam in the bag. I started to study more and then I had my second exam, I got a C. I knew I had to do better, but I had so much time left to improve my grade! So I procrastinated. Around the first week of November, I realized I only had a month to improve my grades. I studied like crazy, got a tutor, went to office hours, and attend every class. I have never worked so hard in my life. I ended up with a B barely, but I really came into college thinking every class was going to be easy.

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What I’m saying is that coming to college, you have these preconceived notions about what’s going to happen, and they might not necessarily happen. I know that once I started college, everything changed and I really had to roll with the punches. You may not have the year you expect to have but you learn from your mistakes and you try your best. I wouldn’t take back my freshman year for anything, mistakes and all.

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-Laura

#NovembertoRemember: The Fabulous Roadhouse Cinema

25 Nov

For #NovembertoRemember, I had no idea how what I was going to do to make a lasting memory. I have lived in Tucson for most of my life and I have pretty much done everything there is to do in this smallish town. Luckily an old theater that had closed down has reopened to become one of the coolest theaters in town.

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From what I heard this movie theater was a completely different experience. Movies in style. You pre-order the seats which turn out to be big reclining lazy-boy chairs. I really wanted to enjoy this experience so I chose to watch Interstellar, because there was no way I was going to watch a 3  hour movie in crappy theater seats. Not only do you get to watch your movie in complete comfort, you get to order anything off of their full menu and eat at your seat. You have no idea how amazing it was to watch a movie and receive food via call button. I wanted to spoil myself that day and I ordered a burger, fries, and dessert.

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The Roadhouse Cinema has become my new favorite movie theater. I felt spoiled and had one of the best movie theater experiences ever. It really is a college student’s dream! And you would think that all this food plus a movie ticket would be expensive, but it’s not unreasonable! You can get a seat for about $10 and each entree is about $10 also. You aren’t skimped on food or service, and I promise this is an experience like none other.

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-Laura

#OutrageousOctober: Staying Strong Through the Twists and Turns

4 Nov

To get out of my comfort zone this October, I decided to face one of my biggest fears, roller coasters. I really don’t even hate roller coasters – I think they are awesome. The parts I hate are the heights and the fast speeds. Now I know that they don’t really break down all that often considering how many times they run, but what if I was that time?! For my birthday I was given season passes to Six Flags Magic Mountain in California and I thought that now was better than later to face my fears.

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Now there are a number of big rides in the park to face my fears, but I decided to start small and ride a ride called The Revolution. This ride is just your basic roller coaster, goes fast but not too high and there is a loop. As the roller coaster came to the end of its run I just burst out laughing, I was completely terrified during the roller coasters run, and I knew that it was one of the smallest coasters in the park. I had to try something big something that would really give me a good example of how the day was going to go.  I was going to take on X2.

X2 is a crazy roller coaster that is sure to terrify anyone who goes on it. All of a sudden I became really quiet, my hands were clammy, and I didn’t feel  great. I felt sick for the entire 2 hour line wait. Finally it was there in all of its glory and I was terrified. It really didn’t help that my friend kept telling me completely bogus stories about the ride breaking down. The theme of X2 is that you’re in an unidentified aircraft entering a government restricted area. It was absolutely terrifying. I truly thought that I would never want to ride another roller coaster again when I finished, and that I would have a terrible time in the park for the rest of the day. But I was surprised….I really had a lot of fun. I can’t wait to take on more coasters.

Before the ride I felt like this: I was definitely a type A

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After I was definitely type XTREME

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Now I can face every roller coaster!

-Laura Hacker