Archive by Author

#AdventurousApril: The Mach 1

19 Apr

If you couldn’t tell by now, I’m all about individual development and personal growth. With that being said, what better way to spread your wings than to face your fears! Although I am not completely scared of heights or being swung around in the air, there are still some carnival rides I have refused to try because they just seem utterly terrifying. So for this Adventurous April, I decided to go to spring fling and try a carnival ride that I have been too scared to try since I was tall enough to enjoy the big kid rides, the Mach 1.

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Once I arrived at spring fling, I had a game plan to spark up my courage by going on semi-intimidating rides first. Beginning with zipper, then the G-force, leading to the ride Insanity. None of those rides were scary to me at all, I just found them to be extremely thrilling. Luckily, my friends and I got there early enough that we only had a 20-minute wait for these rides. After that, it was time to ride the biggest, baddest one of them all -the Mach 1. Although I just wanted to get this ride over with as soon as possible, I ended up waiting one hour until it was finally my turn. (Below is not a picture of me, but this is what the ride is really like.)

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All I have to say is, the Mach 1 is by far the scariest but most thrilling ride I have been on. Compared to the others, this ride actually feels like you are flying, for real. Though even with the nose dives, falling upside down, spinning at fast speeds, I do have to say that ride wasn’t all that bad after all. I probably will even go on it again! In the end, you realize facing your fears isn’t so bad after all. You’ll never know what you are capable of until you try, so do what scares you most! Who knows, you might even become fearless after all.

-Shannon

An Open Mind Opens Doors

7 Apr

Now that it is my third year at the university, I’ve come to learn a few things about managing my life as well as growing as an individual. While both of these aspects can be interrelated, what has helped me as a college student is being able to say yes to more opportunities. The more tasks I take one, I realize I am capable of doing more. Which is ironic because when I look back to freshman year, I was taking on a lot less and I had thought there was no time in the world to do everything that needed to be done. Doing more without overworking myself is what has helped me stay on the right track throughout my college career and is what I am doing to create a better future for myself.

Learning how and when to say yes to new opportunities can open many incredible doors in the future. I’m not saying you should say yes to every single opportunity that comes your way, but that you should keep an open mind and put yourself out there more often! Whether you’re thinking about joining a club, applying for a new job, or looking for an internship, you have to shoot for the stars! Whatever you do, don’t limit yourself. Go for your goals!

Trying new things may feel uncomfortable at first. But, it is the best thing you can do for yourself. Even taking baby steps can make a difference! For example, say maybe there is a school club that keeps trying to reach out to you, and you keep telling them you’re not interested (even though you are you just don’t want to go to the meeting at 7pm). Go attend the meeting for the first time! Who knows, you may really enjoy it and end up sticking with it! If not, at least you can say you tried. You can make new friends, further your career, and make amazing memories by just taking a little risk of coming out of your comfort zone. I promise you will thank yourself later!=

-Shannon

#MiddlingMarch: Treat Yourself!

5 Apr

When you’re up late nights and early mornings working hard to get A’s in school, it can become exhausting to stay motivated to the end of the semester. I’m sure you would agree with me that taking a well-needed break is crucial in order to get over the mid-semester hump. Well, I am a firm believer that you should treat yourself for the hard work you do during the semester to keep yourself motivated through the difficult times. Work hard and player harder, am I right? To make it through the rest of this semester, I decided to use this spring break to my full advantage by spending my free time to catch up/get ahead on school, but also to visit California and soak up some sun at the beach!

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It may not seem very reward worthy, but being able to get some spring cleaning done and catch up with school work was very satisfying. During school, I usually never have the quality time I need to get these things done. So for the first half of my break, I cleaned every inch of my room and now I actually know where everything is (finally). Also, during school, I feel it is so hard to keep up with everything and I even end up playing catch-up when assignments start to build up. So, being able to get some readings done for my classes along with starting the essays I had due coming back from break was nice. Funny as it is, this was a great start to my spring break vacation. But, the real enjoyable part comes from taking a break from all my responsibilities for a few days.

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For the last three days of spring break, I spent my time on the beach in San Diego, California. And let me just say it was AMAZING. Although it was foggy most of the time, there is nothing more relaxing to me than laying on the sand, listening to the waves crash, and smelling the ocean. I may have enjoyed being productive the first days of break, but being on the beach was what I needed to take a step back from all my responsibilities for just one moment and free my mind. During these three days, I enjoyed great food from restaurants near the beach and I spent my time with incredible people. This was the break I needed.

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The message I want to get across to all viewers is that you need to take a break and treat yourself for all the hard work you do through school. Whether treating yourself means sleeping in, spending more time on hobbies that you finally have time for, going to the beach, or just spending time with friends, treat yourself with something that makes you happy. Then, since you took some time off for yourself, you’ll be able to come back from break even more motivated to finish the semester off strong and work even harder for your future!

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-Shannon

5 Reasons You Should Take Summer Courses

19 Mar

1.) You can take fewer courses during the semester.

This is the number one reason why I choose to take summer courses. This can really make your semester less stressful if you have a job, are in involved in clubs, are you just want to have a little more free time to yourself. Also, by spreading out your workload throughout the full year instead of two semesters, you are really able to focus on your courses to get those As!

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2.) You can use this time to GRO a course. 

If you’re like me and struggled with that one class that was just too difficult and you were not happy with the grade you received, you should consider doing a Grade Replacement Opportunity (GRO) over summer if that course is available. This may not sound too appealing, but it will save your GPA and you will thank yourself later! Plus, if the course you didn’t do well in is needed for you major, you may need to know that material for future use as well. So, second times a charm!

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3.) You can get ahead – graduate earlier if you want.

You don’t need to be an over achiever to want to get ahead in school. If graduating earlier is something that interest you whether it is because you want to apply to graduate school earlier, apply for a professional job that is on the market, or whatever it may possibly be, summer can be the key to that.  I should mention that some courses are available online as well. So, if you are not a Tucson resident, you can still get ahead while working in the comfort of your home!

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4.) You can work on your minor and/or double major?!

If your major requires that you to complete a minor, or you have decided to double major because why not, use summer to knock out those courses. Taking extra courses during the semester is not an easy task, so summer if the perfect opportunity to work on them.

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5.) You don’t get out of the swing of things.

Last but not least, you won’t get out of the school routine. If you don’t have a busy summer scheduled, you might as well be productive right? Taking courses can be really beneficial when the school year starts up again. If you stay in the routine throughout summer, you will already be use to waking up early and studying for school (this is better than taking a few weeks at the beginning of the school year to get into a routine again). Overall, it may seem like compromise to give up part of your summer to take courses for school. But, there are only really great benefits that can come from it!

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#FearlessFebruary: Facing Haunting Foods

24 Feb

There are two types of foods I have been terrified to try since I was a kid: olives and cherries. For more than 10 years I have not tried these two foods again. Something about the taste and texture of olives I just find unappetizing. But, I decided it has been long enough that I give them a second chance to see if my taste buds have changed. It is time to face my fears. Welp, here’s what happened!

The contenders

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First up, olives…

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YUCCKKKK… I still do not like olives. To be completely honest, I had to spit it out. But, hey I still gave it a shot!

Let’s hope cherries have a better result!

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Well, cherries definitely taste better to me than I remember. Although I am still not crazy about them, I will eat them if they are offered!

Overall, trying olives and cherries terrified me. It was not trying new foods that was my fear. My fear was trying foods that I remember being gross to me as a child. But, I am glad I faced my fears and I tried them again. I found out I actually like cherries! Now, I can have cherry pie, cherry cake, cherries with cherries! Olives, on the other hand, I am still not a fan. Maybe I’ll give them another chance in another 10 years. There are still a lot more foods that I refuse to try, I’ll have to blog about that next time!

-Shannon

Balance Work and Play All Day

3 Feb

I think it’s safe to say we all feel as if there is not enough time in the day to get everything finished. How is it possible to get all your school work done, get enough sleep, make it to the gym, eat clean meals, and keep a social life, all on top of being a great student every day? It is tough… And at one time or another, we have all felt so overwhelmed that we can’t keep up. Sometimes it is just too difficult to cram everything in one day. But, sometimes there are ways to be able to balance everything in a small time frame. My first semester at the university was definitely the most difficult time I had trying to balance my life. Sadly, I was close to losing good friendships because I was just not able to make time for the people who cared about me. However, that first crazy semester taught me that there is enough time in the day to balance work and play!

I had no idea what to expect coming into the university. I enrolled in 18 units (easy peasy, right?), was working part-time, and decided to join a club. I thought it should be a piece of cake since I was very busy and active in high school. I found out the workload was completely different and I had no free time. Then, when I did have free time over breaks or over the weekend and my friends wanted to hang out, I said no and decided to spend that “extra” time to myself. It may seem unfair, but it was nice to use the rare free time I did have to just relax and watch TV. Though, I was left missing my friends. I realized I needed to reevaluate how I spend my time and brainstormed ways I can multitask.
 If only I knew before how easy it actually is to maintain friendships while being a dedicated student. I learned I don’t have to just see my friends out on the weekend, I learned how I can be productive with my friends. Now, instead of studying by myself, I study with my friends at the library or any other study room where we will actually do work. Instead of going to the gym by myself, I can go with my friends. Granted we won’t be able to talk as much, but we’re still able to be in each other’s company. Lastly, I tried to get my friends to join a club with me. We only went to a few meetings before we got lazy. But hey, it worked for a little while!

My point is, it is possible to balance school with your personal life, you just have to find what works for you. It is possible to be a great student, maintain friendships, and keep a job. Part of it is trial and error, but once you figure out how to multitask and work smarter, not harder, you’ll realize you had more time on your hands than you had thought!

-Shannon

 

Yogatta Be Balanced

6 Jan

Inhale the good, exhale the bad. When life gets hectic, you need to be able to have some sort of niche that helps you de-stress. Whether that’s going for a run or reading a book, taking a few hours out of the week to cool down is needed for a healthy lifestyle. For myself, I have always found that burning off energy has been the best way to unwind. Typically I go for a run, but I decided to challenge myself and try something new…yoga! (Also, stay until the end for a great article about easy breathing exercises!)

I think we’re all at least a little familiar with yoga. Deep breathing and holding long poses is what it’s all about. But to say the least, it looks much easier than it actually is. My experience from doing yoga was that it was challenging. However, I never felt so great after a workout in my life.  Also, I have never been so sore the next day in my life.. ha ha! Without exaggeration, yoga has changed my life in a way.

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The different breathing techniques and stretching positions can really allow anyone to relax. Even if you’re not a person who works out regularly, yoga can be for you. Yoga allowed me to get rid of any negative energy, toxins, and surprisingly gave me more energy at the end. Experiencing yoga has definitely been one of the most rewarding activities I’ve done. As a college student, I believe getting rid of excess energy is important to stay balanced and to keep a healthy mindset. One thing people get worried about is not having enough time to workout. The funny thing is once you make time to workout, you realize you have much more time in the end than you had thought.

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The point is, yoga was my niche for winding down. You just have to find what works for you! Finding your way to relax will reduce anxiety, brighten your mood, improve your concentration, sleep habits, and really just improve your health overall. If you’re not able to set an hour away a day to go to yoga class, I’ve included a marvelous article about breathing exercises you can do anywhere! It’s all about balance, managing work and play. Remember, life is too short to be stressed, make sure to set aside some time for you as well!

Read me! http://greatist.com/happiness/breathing-exercises-relax

-Shannon

5 Tips to Get Your New Years Resolutions to Stick

25 Dec

New year, new you, right? We all have things we would like to change about ourselves for the better in the new year. But trying to break a bad habit overnight is easier said than done. Actually, science says it takes 21 days to break a habit. Which would explain why most people crack their New Years resolutions even within a week. It is all about mental strength and having the willingness to actually make a change. So, that’s what I’m here to help you with! Whether you are trying lose a few pounds or stay more organized this new year, these tips can help you make it over the 21 day hump and become the new you!

First, make sure your goals are realistic. 

If your resolutions aren’t measurable, it’s not really possible to reach your goals. So, you need to make sure your goals are realistic and that you are able to measure the progress. If you write down what you want to achieve, then plan out how you will achieve it, you will be successful!

Second, create a schedule.

Creating a schedule and getting into a routine is the best way to form a new habit. Even getting through the first day of your planned schedule is enough to make you do the same thing again the next day. You can use a personal planner, a calendar, checklists, or even set alarms on your phone to help remind you of your schedule!

Third, surround yourself with motivation.

Using motivational quotes and being around motivational people can really be helpful when adjusting habits. Leaving sticky notes around your house that mean something to you can help in those moments when you feel your old habits creeping up again. Or, telling someone about your goals so that way they can check up on you and remind you how rewarding it will be in the long term can make all the difference. Remember to always stay positive and reward yourself for the little steps!

Fourth, give yourself 5 seconds before acting.

It seems when you become so accustomed to a routine that you begin to go into autopilot and don’t even think when acting, you just go. Try giving yourself 5 seconds to think before falling into the same old habit so you can make a change and not regret your decisions later!

Lastly, make gradual changes. 

Let’s be honest, if you tell yourself you are going to stop eating carbs just cold turkey, that probably won’t last long. But if you tell yourself you are going to eat less carbs in a day, that’s totally realistic and you are more likely to stick with that goal. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Give yourself small adjustments you make everyday that will help you succeed. And if you don’t do so well at first, don’t beat yourself up! Make your next move will be one that you will be grateful you took tomorrow. You can beat the 21 day rule and make your New Year’s resolutions happen, as long as you have a plan. It may not be easy at first, but you can achieve anything you put your mind to!

#Dreaded December: There’s No Such Thing As a “Break”

22 Dec

After a long semester consisting of late nights, early mornings, and hours of studying, the last thing you want to do during your winter break is to be productive, right? Typically during winter break, I like to go into hibernation and catch up on some TV shows. But, I realize now that graduation will be here before I know it. Which means I really need to boost my resume before getting into the real world. So, this break I will be making moves to apply for an internship in Barcelona, Spain!

Although doing an internship in Barcelona may seem glamorous, the process to get the internship set up is difficult and long. That’s why I have decided to dedicate my winter break to getting the majority of my application done. Not only do I need to work on my application, but I also need to get my passport too… (ugh). Granted the application isn’t due for another 3 months. But, I know that once spring semester hits it’s going to be a lot harder to work on it. So, my plan is to make a plan!

I don’t want to bore you with what the application documents consist of but just know it definitely a process. Along with producing the documents, I also need to meet with multiple people in different departments to get paperwork approved. My first step is to make deadlines for when I need specific things completed. Without deadlines, I know there won’t be any progress. Creating deadlines and following through with them is what needs to be done if I actually want to study abroad. Although this break won’t feel like much of a break at all, I know it’ll all be worth it!

The further I get into my college career the more I realize there is really no such thing as a break. However, how you make the most out of that time is ultimately your own decision. I could stay home and do nothing all break, but what’s the point of that? Although I am dreading this process at the moment, I know I will be thanking myself later when I’m in another country developing my professional and personal skills. Who knows, maybe I’d even get a career abroad one day. I believe that you have to dream big to be successful, especially as a college student. Never limit yourself, you can accomplish anything you put your mind to. Like Nike says, Just Do It!

-Shannon

 

5 Things to Do in Tucson over Winter Break

18 Dec

Take a trip up Mt. Lemmon

Mt. Lemmon is a great way to get outdoors this break. Yes, I included a photo of Mt.Lemmon when it snowed last year. But, who knows, there may be some snow up there now! Mt. Lemmon’s beautiful lake, adventurous hikes, and shops are just a few things to check out. Just the drive up there is an adventure of its own!

Check out the holiday lights in Winterhaven

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Sadly, this may be the last year Winterhaven will be having its legendary light festival due to funding. So, you have to see it before it’s too late! This neighborhood goes all out with holiday lights. There are different themed houses, water shows, and some houses even have a light show to match the music they play! It’s free to walk around, but you can also pay to take hayrides and other transportation rides through the neighborhood.

Explore all the things Trail Dust Town has to offer

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If you haven’t already, get a little taste of the wild west at Trail Dust Town! Stunt shows, Pinnacle Peak Restaurant, and amusements for all ages can all be found at this fun town. Pinnacle Peak has been my favorite since I was a kid. They have a no tie policy. So, if you walk in this restaurant with a tie on, they will cut if off and hang it from the roof! I love it! For over 50 years, Trail Dust Town has been keeping the Western spirit alive in Tucson.

Try a new restaurant like Bobo’s

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Bobo’s may be a small restaurant, but the food is incredible! Known for their breakfast, Bobo’s is definitely a great place to get a bite with family and friends. What’s even better, the prices are all cheap too!

Get in the holiday spirit with Zoo Lights at Reid Park

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The Reid Park Zoo Lights will take you to a winter wonderland this holiday season. Although the animals will probably inside keeping cozy, you will be able to enjoy the twinkling animal themed lights while enjoying hot coco. For an additional fee, you can even take a camel ride! Rumor has it that Santa will be there too!

Get out there this break and make some lifelong memories!

-Shannon