Archive by Author

#MightyMay: A Summer in Tucson

6 May

The end of the semester, the end of the academic year is upon us people! How am I celebrating the end of the semester? With. More. School.

Clooney

Yes, I know… when will I have time for a break?! I will be taking a course during presession that will go towards my Spanish minor. In all honesty, I am looking forward to the course’s curriculum simply because it will help keep my Spanish speaking skills on point! Although at this point the only thing I want to do is nap and cuddle with my favorite blanket, one more course wouldn’t hurt? Right?

freaked out

This is where the whole “think positive” concept comes in. My fear is whether or not I will pass the class but will I even have the enough bit of motivation left in me to go through another course right after completing spring semester? Then I think,

“Maddie, it’s only 3 weeks chill out!” At least that’s what I have been telling myself for the past week.

I do however have a month long break until I take another course! While we all dream of extravagant vacations and “the best summer of our lives” there are times where you just have to take care of business. And if that means taking two courses of the summer, then so be it. We all have to do it at some point in our lives plus I always have to be busy, keeps me entertained.

By now you’re probably thinking my summer is going to suck but don’t be fooled I have a few ideas of fun up my sleeve. For starters, I plan on heading to San Diego with my best pals and just relax the days away. It’s not too far, and not too close. Plus a nice tan wouldn’t hurt either! There’s nothing like a cool breeze and the feeling of warm sand between your toes.

SD

Last but certainly not least, I recently acquired an internship position here at the university’s McKale Center! It’s been a goal of mine to have the opportunity to work with Arizona athletics in some shape or form. Luckily, there are some summer openings available and you already know I like staying busy!

I have high hopes for this summer. I plan on completing those last few courses and getting back to my normal fitness routine (maybe amping it up a bit). Most importantly, I am looking forward to another summer to take the time and reflect on the previous year. I still cannot believe I completed my second year of college! Boy does time fly.

So, if you are staying in good ol’ Tucson this summer, don’t get discouraged. Reflect, unwind, and use the time to strengthen yourself up for another memorable year at the U of A!

All best,

Maddie

The Time I Forgot to Eat During Finals…

1 May

I’m sure hearing all this talk about finals, last homework assignments, and exams have you like “Okay I get it, THANKS!” Now let’s take a moment to and ask ourselves, “how am I going to get through these last few weeks?” Start with the basics. Sometimes when we get too ahead of ourselves we might “pull a Maddie” and forget just one minor detail… eating!

 Johnny Depp

It all started with a plan… a plan that was so exciting at first but then crashed and burned due to late night visits to the Cellar, and UA Mart’s ice cream. I was down to my last few dollars on my meal plan when finals came around during my second semester. By last few dollars I mean about $2.50. Luckily, it was my last week of exams and I had a decent supply of oatmeal and peanut butter in my dorm. Breakfast? Oatmeal. Lunch? Oatmeal with Peanut Butter. Dinner? Free Starbucks coffee and some peanut butter. Don’t judge, peanut butter with oatmeal is surprisingly tasty!Peanut Butter  Now by the middle of the week my body was running off of caffeine and you already know, oatmeal. I had a few books left over that I planned on selling online instead of back to the book store. I guess you can say I was pretty stubborn at the time.

Then of course, it hit me. I was putting so much pressure on myself that I didn’t realize how ridiculous I was being.

It wasn’t until my friends Stephen and Sydney said, “Whoa, Maddie, you look awful. Have you even showered today?”

For the record, I did shower, thank you very much! Then I went to over my mirror to see what they were talking about. The bags under my eyes looked like they just got back from Forever 21. My skin and lips were pale, and don’t even let me get started on my hair. 

Needless to say I was really going off the deep end. I got myself together, went over to sell back my books and saved that money to indulge in a huge omelette at Cactus Grill the morning before my two most important finals. It all sounds great but with the way I was treating my body prior to that, I immediately felt sick. The worst part was feeling nauseous during my last two finals of the semester.

Lesson learned! So, no matter what your circumstances are, make sure to take care of yourself first! Taking care of yourself is a no brainer to most of you right? Consider this, if you’ve pushed yourself to the point where you can’t even think straight or rationally then it’s time to stop and breathe! Listen to your body, and schedule time to step back from the books and into a state of relaxation.

P.S. I still put peanut butter in my oatmeal every once in awhile…

Until next time,

Maddie

#AdventurousApril: Just Go for it!

19 Apr

Growing up I was exposed to several customs and traditions through my Mexican-American culture, and I grew up speaking two languages, Spanish and English. Throughout the years I will admit my Spanish has turned into what most people would describe as “Spanglish”. But I have been trying to perfect my Spanish the best I can. That means using the language often and in every way possible. Now I’m sure many of you can relate speaking a language that isn’t your first can be nerve-racking. Everyone has their fears and one of mine is speaking Spanish with a group outside my family. So, in order to face my fear and get a little adventurous, I volunteered at soup kitchen hosted by a local church this past weekend!

Many people in the Tucson community speak Spanish so I thought this would be the best opportunity to put myself out there and use my bilingual skills for a good cause. At first I noticed my hands were shaking, so I asked myself, “Maddie why are you so nervous? What’s the worst that can happen?” Bad idea. Then I started thinking about all these scenarios “What if someone laughs at me and then scolds me for using ‘un’ when I should have used ‘unos’?!”

I kept to myself for the first few minutes I was there then suddenly had my first encounter with a woman who only spoke Spanish.

“¿Mijita, me puedes ayudar distribuir los sándwiches cuando llegan la gente?”

I was relieved her question was short and simple but still, I responded with a soft “Si”.

Shortly after I began helping her put the sandwiches in bags then made my way to the front where everyone was working handing out food to visitors of the food bank. Several of the visitors spoke English, but I was often thanked with a “Gracias.” I was beginning to get disappointed because I was barely using my Spanish to communicate, I was barely using any language at all. For a period of time I only nodded my head kept smiling.

Eventually I got myself together and forced myself to make my way to the table where all the volunteer chefs hung out at. To my surprise only 2 of the 5 chefs spoke English,

“Yes! Now is my chance!” I got the courage to ask to sit with them and listened to some interesting stories. Most of them were in their late 60s so I got to hear some incredible experiences. The thing that surprised me the most was that I suddenly became comfortable asking all these questions and even sharing some of my experiences and thoughts about being in college. I did however struggle with some words like often mixing present tense verbs with future tenses but they were extremely patient and even helped me along the way.

What made my volunteering experience adventurous was including myself in an environment where speaking Spanish and English was necessary. Once I warmed up to speaking Spanish, I didn’t want to stop and the more my confidence grew, the better my Spanish became. It made me realize that if you want to perfect or improve any skill, all you need is practice. Looking back on my experience, I reminded myself that I can accomplish most things if I take a chance and just go for it. Who would have thought I would have these insightful conversations with other Spanish speakers? Facing a fear or tackling an insecurity is definitely an adventure in itself. It allows you to test your limits and knock down boundaries you would have never crossed before.

Until next time,

Maddie

#MiddlingMarch: The time I forgot about Spring Break…

18 Mar

March madness…the phrase sums up college in March just about right. I’m sure several of you can relate these past few weeks have been quite…well, stressful.

Stressed coffe cat gif

If you’re like me, you probably have been so busy that the thought of spring break barely crossed your mind. I know, I know, “How can you forget about Spring Break?!” It happens, believe me it really does! Usually we think of our spring break plans as motivation to get through our midterms, “surprise” assignments, and other tasks.

Nope, not in this case. My mind was so preoccupied on what I had to complete over the week that I hardly had time to think about my trip to San Diego with my 3 best friends!

Shocker right? Well considering I only spent my time in my apartment, school, work, and the library, planning my trip was the least of my worries.

Until my friend Rose called me…

“Maddie how much will you need for gas?”

“Gas? For what?”

“… San Diego? Remember?”

I paused, then realized “Oh yeah we’re taking MY car to San Diego! Oh wait, we’re going to San Diego in less than a week!”

Stressed Tina

I was nowhere near prepared. My mind was still stuck on my OPTI 200 midterm…if  you asked me what the speed of light was and what were the classifications of lasers oh boy would we have a delightful conversation.

Fast forward three days when I go to Costco with my other two friends Dani and Rachel:

Rachel hands me the shopping cart, “Maddie, what food do you want to eat on the way up there?”

“…Uhh I don’t know Pirate’s Booty?”

Dani nudges my shoulder, “No, we mean REAL food, like fruit and sandwiches, no Pirate’s Booty!”

“… But I love the booty!”

pirates-booty

Two bags of booty, some strawberries, and lemon cakes later it was finally starting to hit me. All the stress and anxiety I held was about to go away. Every headache, every caffeine kick, every day of me saying “no, I don’t have time to waste” was about to just – POOF – evaporate!

Looking back I am really surprised I managed to go on a trip with hardly any plans on my part. I grabbed my keys and just drove. But instead of thinking about my plans for spring break, I was able to focus on my studies. And it made my trip to San Diego a lot more worth it.

So, while we may use our spring break or vacation plans as motivation to get through our March madness, it doesn’t hurt to focus on your current responsibilities. Your mind and body will thank you for the sudden rest and fun that you just so happened to forget about! Whoops!

Until next time,

Maddie

#FearlessFebruary: Just Say “Yes,” Please?

12 Feb

For this month’s Calendar of Courage challenge, I decided to ask a close friend of mine out on a date. I know what you’re thinking “Oooh Maddie, no dating in the friend group”! I’ve been told this about a thousands times by my closest girlfriends but I was willing to give it shot!

I’ve known him for quite some time now and I can admit I’ve developed a little crush on the guy. I thought about the repercussions in asking him out, and my fear and anxiety grew by the second.

dont freak out

Then came the what ifs…

What if he says no and I have to grin and bear it?

What if he thinks I’m weird and we won’t be as close anymore?

Should I text him? What if I ask him face-to-face?

What if I have something on my teeth and he won’t pay attention to what I’m saying and I have to ask him again?!

**GASP!

Okay, so the what ifs didn’t help. For a week I thought of ways to ask him. They ranged from calling him during a random time (you know, the casual approach), texting him a cheesy quote and then casually asking, or setting up a time we just so happen to run into each other at 1:15 on a Friday afternoon…

Now if you haven’t noticed already, I’ve thought this through for quite some time.  My words had to be precise and clear. I was stuck between saying “date” or “hangout”. I didn’t want to scare the dude by labeling it as a date (although I was leaning towards it). But at the same time I didn’t want him to think it was just a casual night where we go get greasy, delicious food.

Time definitely  was not on my side. I had to act and think fast, before that one “lovable” holiday came around.

V-day Urkle

The big day finally came around, the day I was going to ask him out and do it flawlessly. My hair was on point, and so was my outfit. I even saved some gum to avoid stank breath.

Once I build up the courage I texted him asking him where he was and if he could meet me by Modern Languages. Preciseness, my friends, preciseness.

I waited…

waiting

Finally a response! We talked about nonsense for awhile then I popped the big question… I asked him where he was and when I could meet up with him in person.

Long story short we kept rescheduling a time when to meet but couldn’t cross paths. Although I wanted to ask him in person, I ended up texting him again later on that night and asking if he’d like to go out on Saturday for some sushi.

Luckily he answered quickly. Not so lucky, he politely denied my request. At first I was a little salty, but then I realized our friendship is worth more than a bitter moment.

I must say I wasn’t upset over this experience. In fact I was pleased with myself for having the guts to ask him out in the first place. Rejection is not always a bad thing, believe me. You have to push your limits sometimes to see how far you’ll go.

As for my Valentine’s Day plans, let’s just say Brooklyn’s Pizza should be expecting an extra large order of pizza and garlic knots.

Until next time,
Maddie

Stay True, Stay You

5 Feb

At some point in our lives, we face hardships with the ones we care about the most. How do you face conflict or uncertainty with your friends, roommates, or significant other? The truth is, you have to stay honest and really stay true to yourself.

I recently came across an insightful post from Phylicia Rashad. The post stressed independent discovery. In other words, you have to put yourself and your development first. Now that is not to say to shut out your support system. In fact our support systems help us in our growth and development more than we think. One section of the post really had me thinking. 

“Everything you do, every thought you have, every word you say creates a memory that you will hold in your body. It’s imprinted on you and affects you in subtle ways.”

Take the time to really reflect on these words. When we face challenges within our relationships think about how you as a person of your beliefs and stance will handle them. Now especially, we are going to have to deal with bad experiences. It is within the journey of finding our selves.

I recently had to walk away from an unhealthy romantic relationship. For years I felt trapped between making him, my friends, and my parents happy. It wasn’t until recently that I finally realized trying to keep up with everyone’s needs distracted me from my own. I wasn’t becoming the person I was striving to be. Once I stood my ground with my boyfriend at the time and my friends, I finally felt free. I refused to let such struggles leave a negative imprint on me. You will find that once you stand up for yourself, those who respect you will stay. Those that don’t, will leave. Sounds harsh but the truth of the matter is you need to surround yourself with people that will help and support your development.

If you are in the process of trying to juggle your relationship with your significant other, roommate(s), friends, or parents take the time to really listen to your inner voice. It is okay to not know the answer, but that is why so many stress to take care of yourself first. You will discover hardships are easier to handle once you find your own truths and justices. Find things that will reflect a secure imprint on you and that will soon be noticed by those around you.

Until next time,

Maddie

#JumpstartJanuary: Reflection

22 Jan

Spring semester is upon us people! While we are currently experiencing the calm before the storm, let’s reflect on what brought us to where we are today. In this past semester alone I have learned so much about myself that I didn’t know I had in me. I am hoping you have experienced the same.

Looking back on last semester what were some things you would change? I bet you’ve heard that question over a hundred times! But really, reflection is a good thing. How do  you want to start off the new year and semester? Consider some of your struggles and successes and use that energy to start off prepared for anything that will come your way.

When I look back on my last semester, I like to compare it to a ball of yarn all bunched up together with pieces going in every direction. Needless to say I missed out on a lot of opportunities. BUT with a little reflection and some set goals we can make the semester a great one!

1) SLEEP

Sleep, it really is a good thing! That’s why so many stress about it so much! One of several reasons why I was not able to concentrate on my work was because I felt like always passing out. Over time, little sleep took a toll on me, then I lost all energy to study, prepare for the next day, or even speak at times. We have all been there, feeling like a zombie (without the desire for flesh and blood) and just breezing through the day with no recollection of any material or events.

Goal: Set a reasonable bedtime. It sounds unrealistic but consider how you will feel through out the day after a full night sleep. My goal is to be in bed by 10-10:30 at the latest. If  you feel like staying up when you don’t have to, just think of those days of running off of 4-5 hours of sleep. NOT FUN!

2) Focusing on YOU

Be selfish. Yup, I said it. Care for others but don’t forget to help yourself as well. If you are anything like me, you’re always lending a helping a hand to your friends and family but then putting aside your own struggles. CALM YO’SELF! I found that burying my stresses and avoiding dealing with them really left me feeling worse physically and mentally. It’s great to be a part of a friend’s support system, but at the end of the day consider your needs too.

Goal: Sometimes heroes need saving. You are not obligated to do things you do not want to do. Set some standards with yourself and mention them to your friends. The late night In-N-Out trips can wait… well, sometimes. Have a happy medium. Do not be afraid to have your own support group!

3) EXERCISE

I will admit, those morning bike rides kicked my butt last semester! I was a 3-sport athlete in high school, so starting college with a not-so physically active schedule hit me hard. Every now and then I would exercise when I could, but eventually I stopped. For me exercising and playing team sports really relieve my stress. Between little sleep, avoiding my own problems, and hardly exercising, my energy went from 100 to 0 real quick. I found that once I started exercising again my vision cleared a bit.

Goal: Start off with at least 30 minutes of exercising. You can run, bike, walk, lift weights (carefully)… anything! I plan to exercise at least 4 times a week just to have time to recharge my mind and body.

 I hope these goals will help you consider some of your own! Whether it be a new year or semester, don’t be afraid to make the necessary changes needed in your lifestyle. Change is good!

Until next time,
Maddie

Let it Go, Let it Go

10 Jan

New year, new you. Although the saying is overrated at this point you have to give it some credit, right? A new year and a new semester has arrived… which means more incentive to change! I don’t blame those who hesitate at the thought of change. Ridding yourself of stressful friendships, bad relationships, or certain behaviors can be frightening. You may not know what else is out there for you or if the change you make will be worth while. But take it from me, once you find a place where you can finally let go of what has been holding you back, the outcomes are rewarding. I hope you will join me in making this semester and this year one full of challenges and successes with the help of these two inside tips.

1) Learn how to be alone.

Sounds harsh I know, but hear me out. Many people experience the desire to avoid being alone, and we hold on to old relationships (be it platonic or romantic) because we like the thought of that relationship more than the reality of the relationship. Here’s a thought: if things don’t work out the first time and the struggle to make it work seems endless, let it go. It is okay to be alone for awhile. I call it the transition period, it’s a time when you figure things out for and about yourself. A time when you discover characteristics in yourself and others that you want to be around. With this, you will find yourself no longer second guessing the decisions you make.

Confidence

2) Follow your own path.

Who else is going to know what is best for you? One bad habit of mine is that I used to compare myself to others. “Why did they do that? Should I do what they did? I wonder if their method is more effective.” I would constantly second guess myself because of this. You have to realize that everyone follows their own beat, finding yours can seem challenging but why do things that do not help your own circumstances? There’s a saying my dad  always tells me: “there are not many leaders in this world, so I choose to follow myself”. Go for those random opportunities. Say no to things that hold you back!

No Gif

 

You cannot change what happened in the past, but you can definitely make a change for the better in the future. The lessons I learned from last semester alone brought me to introduce these two tips for you. You never know what is going to be thrown at you. You never know what obstacles you will have to face, but dealing with the whatever sure becomes a lot easier once you have harnessed your inner strengths.

Until next time,
Maddie

 

 

#DreadedDecember: Home for the Holidays

17 Dec

Moving away from home did not really phase me all that much. I was ready to start a life of my own and follow whatever path fate had for me. Sure, I missed my hometown’s weather and my bed!

Now I really do believe in the saying “there’s no place like home.” It wasn’t until I found out my holiday visits back home this year would be my last that I realized how true it is. My dad recently got a promotion, so my parents are expecting to move out of my childhood home this Spring. I am thrilled my dad finally got the position he’s worked hard for. I’m happy that my mom can spend more time with my dad since the drive to work will be half the time.

Every now and then I would come back home and help my mom pack up our things. At first I was okay with the news. I even started packing all my possessions from when I was little and found some pretty interesting stuff!

But then… I went back home for Thanksgiving and it was a holiday well spent. We cooked all of the delicious dishes, breathed in the nice cool air, and I finally got to see how fall should really look! I started looking around at all the pictures and furniture and it hit me. This will be the last Thanksgiving and Christmas I will have in the place I’ve cherished for so long! I was devastated. No dorm room, no apartment, no studio loft can ever replace the memories made in that house.

I began reminiscing on the smells of my mom’s home cooked meals. I visited my old hiding place right by the big oak tree in my backyard. I even pretended to throw one last pitch to my dad right where we used to practice all my change ups and screw balls!

There were plenty of other characteristics to that house that I will miss dearly. Of course I will never forget the memories, good or bad. While I may not return to the same cozy, brick home for next year’s holidays, I remind myself it was my family and friends that made living there such a fun ride.

So, my send off to you is, if you feel like home will never be the same, a house is just a house. But the time you spent growing as a person there is way more important.

-Maddie

Bear Down and Clean Up: Move-out Cleaning Checklist

8 Dec

We are approaching the end of the semester and with finals, grades, and winter break on our minds we tend to forget one small task… CLEANING. Many dorms and apartments require spotless rooms, so better get a head start and avoid any outrageous fees!

Cleaning GifI remember cleaning up my dorm before winter break, and let me say cleaning that room was no joke! I was aware that we had to dust and vacuum, you know the basics. There were other sections of the room that needed extra attention like our trash cans and recycle bins. Fees ranged to $40-150! Uhh, no. Cleaning a room can get serious people! But it’s better to see it in a positive light. Once you come back from break you’ll come back to a spotless living space.

Cleaning a room or area can have its therapeutic advantages. If you need a break from studying try sorting out your closet, or dusting your shelves. Think of it this way, you will give your brain a break and two save yourself from having to clean an entire space all at once.

1) Sort Out your Closet 

You would be surprise by all the things one can accumulate in just one semester. Sort through your closet and see what really needs to stay and what really needs to go. Props from Halloween are always a laugh, until you have a collection of sailor, cowboy, and cop hats. BUY. SELL. TRADE. Let’s all admit… extra cash is nice and so is more space. Check out: Buffalo Exchange on Speedway for some assistance in that department. 

2) Dust, Dust, It’s a Must! 

The Arizona heat is great, but behind that greatness is a bundle of dust and dirt! Remember to dust and wipe down your counters and shelves. For desks and other wood surfaces, use a damp wash cloth or an old t-shirt you found after sorting through your closet!

3) Vacuum

I find that everyone suddenly becomes on vacuum patrol once cleaning for winter break begins. If you live in one of the dorms, claiming the vacuum for those 30-minutes is like trying to get to Starbucks before the morning rush: A MISSION. Take advantage of early mornings and late afternoons to check out a vacuum and save yourself the wait. As for you apartment and house dwellers, sharing is caring.

4)  Scrub SCRUB your Trash Cans?

I mentioned earlier how even the smallest of objects, like a trash can, requires a wipe down or two. I am scared from the fact that I had to scrub my trash and recycle bins at the dorms to avoid a fee. Although it was already clean, I did not want to take my chances. This goes for any object. Mirror? Windows? Door Knob? Desk and drawers? SCRUB and wipe down! You can use any damp wash cloth, I prefer using disposable cloths. Just add some soap and water and you are good!

Handi Wipes

5) Recycle 

We all know we tend to put papers and other things here and there throughout the semester. Don’t forget to recycle, donate, or throw away miscellaneous things before you leave. Save yourself from the clutter and more importantly save the planet!

Recycle

Here is another checklist from Apartment Therapy that will hopefully remind you of other important cleaning tasks! Best of luck during finals, remember a clean space is a happy space, my friends. May the Swiffer be ever in your favor.

-Maddie