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Summer Planning

5 May

Planning is an important part of life and a key step to success. Having a great summer also requires an amount of planning. Whether you are planning to stay on campus during the summer or go back home, there are always things to consider. Here is how I decided to plan out my summer!

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Planning for my summer began back in April of last year when I decided to rent out my apartment for 12 months. I decided that this would be a good idea because I wanted to take summer courses. I figured that I could apply for Financial Aid to cover the expenses of the summer classes and that everything would work out as planned. Since I knew I’d be staying in Tucson for the summer, I also began looking for a job. The summer is long and I figured that I would have plenty of time on my hands.

The job search began in February of this year and it went pretty smoothly. I looked for job openings preferably on campus. For the past three years, I’ve been spending my summers lifeguarding for my hometown. I really enjoyed spending time with children and getting to teach them how to swim. I decided to look for job openings at the Recreation Center as a Lifeguard. When I looked on their website, they were coincidentally taking applications for that position. I decided to apply and see where it would take me. In a couple of weeks, I was called in for an interview and got the job!

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One thing that did not work out for me was that I did not receive Financial Aid like I had planned to cover the expenses of my summer courses. So, even though I will not be taking any summer classes, I will still be spending my time on campus and hopefully get to pick new hobbies on the way. Planning for the summer is important! If I wouldn’t have looked for jobs early in the year, then I would have been left without a job and without school over the summer. Always have a backup plan because you never know what will be changing!

-Yolanda

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#MiddlingMarch: Cures for Homesickness

3 Apr

As we head towards the most dreaded part of the semester it is easy to want to give up and miss home the most. I know that when I get the semester blues I start missing my mom more than usual. There is nothing wrong with missing home or feeling blue as long as you don’t let it get in the way of your school work. Here are some things I like to do to get a little taste of home until my next visit.

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Calling your parents when you are missing them is a great way to deal with the anxiety of wanting to go home. That usually works for me, but when it is not enough, I need something more physical. My mom happens to make the best chicken enchiladas so when I am really missing home I give her a call and ask for a yummy recipe. This not only gives me an excuse to give her a call but I also get to eat delicious food. Eating meals that I would normally eat at home makes me feel like I am there and it can really help you mediate through the semester blues.

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Another thing that I like to do to feel like I am home is to listen to music. Music always makes me feel better and is always a form of escape from school. When I am missing home, I like to listen to the type of music my family would play on a road trip. For me, this includes Spanish Rock music from the 80’s but for you, it can be anything else! The great thing about this is that there can always be something to make you feel better. The semester blues are only temporary and you can tackle them with a little positivity, after all, you are halfway done with the semester!

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-Yolanda

What Will Spring Bring?

2 Apr

Spring is one of my favorite times of the year… second to winter, duh. Spring is a wonderful time because the weather is almost always perfect. It is just the right amount of hot and cool everyday. March and April are also the best months because Spring Fling comes around and the best of all, my birthday! So yes I am a little biased towards April. Here are some of the wonderful things that spring has to offer.

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Sunshine:

One of my favorite things about spring in Arizona is that the sun starts to come out. During the winter, days are usually cold and gloomy but during spring, they are sunny and perfect. Feeling the heat on my skin as I am walking to class is great after those months of cold winds!

Pretty Skies

Spring comes with some rainy days but regardless the skies are always beautiful. In Arizona, for the most part skies are clear and blue during spring. Some days we can spot some clouds in the sky that look like white cotton balls.

Roses

One of my favorite things about spring are flowers. You can notice when spring is in full effect because flowers bloom and everything looks so pretty and vibrant. Walking around campus, flowers are really noticeable because they are everywhere so the change from winter to spring is a big one.

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Ice Cream

It is always a great day to eat ice cream but I seem to enjoy it more during the spring. Spring days are perfect for sitting outside and enjoying a good ice cream cone. The warm weather and the cold ice cream give the perfect balance to a great day!

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Nature

Spring is all about realizing how beautiful nature is. During the winter, everything is dead and even though it is still beautiful, it seems less colorful and more gloomy. During the summer, Arizona is way to hot to be outside and actually enjoy the small things of nature. Spring is perfect because it has great weather and beautiful sights.

Green Grass

There is nothing I love more than seeing a garden with perfect green grass. This reminds me of the grass from “Charlie and The Chocolate Factory” where it is so beautiful you can eat it like candy. Green grass makes any building, space, or garden look like a million bucks!

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-Yolanda

Getting Ready

26 Mar

Having a break is great because you have time to be with friends and family. It is also a great time to start getting ready for the rest of the semester. There are many different ways to prepare but my ultimate favorite method is to relax and start with a clear mind, soul, and body. Things I do to relax and start out fresh are:

  • Sleep
  • Cat nap
  • Hibernate
  • Slumber
  • Bundle

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  • Kip
  • Dormir
  • Siesta
  • Catch some Z’s
  • Doze

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  • Snooze
  • Rest
  • Power nap
  • Comatose state
  • Beauty sleep

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-Yolanda

#FearlessFebruary: CrossFit Edition

20 Feb

For February we were encouraged to do something fearless. I continuously thought about ideas to get out of my comfort zone and I had a hard time with it. Turns out, my best friends have been doing CrossFit for over three months and cannot stop talking about it. I have never been the fitness type and the thought of going inside a big gym gives me anxiety.

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My friends have been pressuring me to do CrossFit for months now but I never wanted to give it a try because I felt like it wasn’t for me and I also thought it was very scary. I’ve heard it’s the most intense workout you can do, and the thought of failure really scared me. After months of thinking and procrastinating heading to the gym in order to get a good work out, I decided to join CrossFit.

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I am currently two weeks in and I totally love it. It had been some of the hardest but most fun-filled workouts that I have ever done. Not only that, but the environment I am in and the way people greeted me and supported me was really comforting. CrossFit definitely made me come out of my comfort zone and I am glad that it did. I can see myself doing this for a long time and the best part is that I am having fun while doing it.

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-Yolanda

 

Setting SMART Goals

19 Feb

Setting both long- and short-term goals can be beneficial. It helps keep track of your progress and it can keep you motivated. SMART goals are a great way to attain your goals and keep yourself accountable. I used SMART goals to accomplish my goal of getting straight A’s one semester. Here is how:

Specific: When setting a goal, you must make sure that it is specific. When setting a goal, a common mistake is to set a goal that is too broad. The more specific a goal is, the more likely it will be for you to reach it. An example of a specific goal that I set for myself was to have a 3.75 GPA by the end of the semester. A broad goal would be to say “I want good grades this semester.”

Measurable: Another important part of goal setting is to be able to measure your progress. This will keep you motivated and it will hold you accountable. A good way to know when a goal is measurable is to ask yourself if you will know when you have reached your goal. If there is a way to determine when you have reached your goal, then your goal is measurable. An example would be: “I will have a 3.75 GPA by the end of this semester.”  The goal is measurable because by the end of the semester you can see whether you reached your goal or not.

Attainable: One common mistake that many of us make while setting goals is that we raise the bar a little too high. Don’t get me wrong, it is wonderful to challenge yourself but also realize what your limits are and the time that you have to accomplish your goal. There is nothing wrong with working up to something before you go on full blast. I set an attainable goal of a 3.75 GPA because I believe that with my current grades it can happen. Something unattainable would be to expect a 4.0 GPA.

Realistic: Having realistic goals are important in order to achieve them. If a goal is not realistic, then it is likely you will not attain that goal. An example of an unrealistic goal would be: “I am going to get 100% on all of my assignments” This goal is not only unrealistic, but unreasonable. A realistic goal can make all the difference between succeeding and failing.

Timely: The last part of a SMART goal is to give yourself enough time to achieve it. Make sure to understand what your goal entails so that you can come up with a good deadline. It’s important to give yourself enough time to reach a goal, but you also don’t want a goal without a time limit. If I were to decide that I wanted a 3.75 GPA in the middle of the semester, I would not have enough time to make it happen. Give yourself time and achieve your goal!!

-Yolanda

#DreadedDecember: Gift Giving

19 Dec

Most people love to give gifts. Don’t get me wrong, I also like giving but I find it extremely hard. Every year my family does a Secret Santa Exchange for Christmas since there are so many of us and every year I struggle to find a gift. I like giving gifts when it is random and I find something at a store that made me think of someone. Having to find gifts for a Secret Santa Exchange almost feels like homework to me. It might be the idea that it is just for that specific person and I have to find the perfect gift for them. Some people are great at giving gifts no matter for who it might be. Thankfully my mom is one of those people and she always helps me find gifts for others.

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This year my roommates and I decided that we are going to do a Secret Santa Exchange. To my surprise, I found a gift for my roommate right away.  This time I think that it might have been easier because we made a small list of things that we wanted or needed this Christmas. Having that list made it easier to find something that I wanted to give and that I knew the receiver would love. If you are like me and have a hard time giving gifts, don’t feel bad. Some people are better at gift giving than others and that’s okay. You have to find what works for you by asking for a little more information. This year, I asked my family to provide me with a small list of things they would like just like with my roommates. This way everyone taking a part is happy and it becomes a win-win situation without making it stressful to find that perfect gift!

Don’t be afraid to ask people for what they would like and have a fun time with it! I found that if I went shopping for a gift while I was in a great mood, it was easier to find a gift. So don’t be afraid and have a wonderful time shopping your heart away (without breaking your bank account). Giving gifts is a good thing and I find that every year I learn a little more about my family from doing the Secret Santa Exchange. Who knows what I will learn about my Uncle Marcos this year!

-Yolanda

2007

Finals Study Tips

2 Dec

The semester is coming to an end very quickly. With Thanksgiving break, it is easy to think that it’s all over, but don’t be mistaken, it has just started. We all got to taste a bit of winter break and now it’s time to buckle down and attack finals head on. Here are a few tips to take on finals!

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  1. Start Early: It can be easy to forget about finals and start studying last minute. Remember that you have other finals to study for as well and the best thing to do is to start studying early. Studying early can help release so much pressure because you will feel prepared. Not only that, but you will not have to cram information last minute. Divide your work each day and this way you will have enough time to study for all of your finals!giphy
  2. Rest: One of the most important things to keep in mind while getting ready for finals is to rest. Rest is very important because it can help you retain more information. The brain does not work properly when it is tired, so make sure to give it the rest it needs. Cramming before an exam can make your head hurt, but putting information a little at a time can make all the difference between an A or a B.giphy (1).gif
  3. Take Breaks: Studying for long hours can be exhausting. To help you stay focused and motivated make sure to take 10-15 minute breaks every hour. This can help you clear your head and come back and see material differently. Use your breaks between long hours of studying to check Instagram or eat a snack! There are different ways that you can make breaks to your advantage by using them to motivate you to keep on studying.200
  4. Relax: After a long day of studying make sure that you can relax. Relaxing can mean different things for different people. I know that for me, relaxing means watching an episode of Friends on Netflix. Relaxing can help take away some of the anxiety that comes with studying for a big exam. Remember that you have done all that you can and that the outcome will show that!
    200-2-Yolanda

 

#NovembertoRemember: The First Climb

19 Nov

Living in Arizona has its perks. We might not have a relaxing beach but we do have beautiful sunsets, desert scenery that takes your breath away, and awesome rocky mountains. I have lived in Arizona all of my life, yet I had never gone hiking to appreciate the things that make Arizona so great. In my hometown, there is a little mountain that people like to hike called Telegraph Pass. Ever since my senior year in high school I promised myself that I would go hike Telegraph Pass but I never seemed to have the time. Once I came to live in Tucson I heard of all the hiking trails available and I made a new resolution to go hiking in Tucson. I’ve lived here for a year and I had not found the time to go hiking.

I decided that I had to hold myself accountable if I wanted to get this done so I told some friends to go with me and they agreed. I packed a bag with water, snacks, a hat, and sunglasses and I felt ready to take on Seven Falls. As Sunday morning came around, I felt very excited for my first hike. We got to the hiking trail and started our journey not really knowing what we were doing. It was also my friends first time on that hiking trail so they did not really know where to go either. We decided to follow a young couple in front of us who appeared to know where they were going. Once we saw that there were no more signs around, we decided to ask in what direction Seven Falls was and we were told that we were on the wrong path and had to turn around. We ended up hiking a trail that leads to Bear Canyon but we didn’t even make it because we turned around in hopes of finding Seven Falls. By the time we found the correct trail, we were exhausted. We decided to end our hiking journey there and went for lunch.

Overall, I really enjoyed hiking. Even though it was not exactly what I was expecting, I got to see beautiful landscapes as well as spend time with my favorite people. I think that the next time I go, I’ll know where to go so it will be a lot more fun. A piece of advice for those looking to go hiking is to not be afraid to ask for directions and always look at the bright side. We might not have made it to Seven Falls but we still got to make a great memory!

-Yolanda

#OutrageousOctober: Outrageously Fit

28 Oct

Going to the gym in my hometown was not a challenge for me. The gym I went to back in Yuma, AZ was small and not crowded. My favorite thing about that gym was that most of the time I was the only one there. When I came to the UA, going to the Rec was hard for me, so I started going with a friend.

Making my way to the gym with a friend helped me stay in my comfort zone and I liked that I had someone to turn to. My friend always had workouts planned for us so I didn’t even have to worry about knowing what to do next. With college comes a busy schedule, so my friend and I had a hard time collaborating our schedules. We came to the conclusion that we would have to start going to the gym separately. By this time, I thought that going to the Rec alone wouldn’t be so bad but I was mistaken.

I didn’t like going to the Rec because it was too big and I felt that there were machines that I didn’t even know about. My workout felt a little rushed because I wanted to get out of there as soon as I could. The Rec is a great resource if you know how to utilize it and it just happens that I don’t know how. At first it was hard because I didn’t know what to do next, I felt overwhelmed by all the different options. So then I started bringing a routine that I had found online and going off of that. This worked for about a week until I started getting tired of looking up routines and of doing the same ones.

What worked best for me was going to the gym with a friend but that isn’t always possible. Going to the gym alone is overwhelming and intimidating for me. I came back to school this year with a resolution of wanting to go to the Rec more often. Going to the Rec for the first time this year was like the first time I ever stepped in the Rec. Someone mentioned to me that I could purchase a Fitness Pass at the Rec and go to as many fitness classes as I wished. This seemed like a good idea to me especially because I like having someone to push me in my workouts. I wasn’t fond of trying these classes by myself and when my first class came around I felt so awkward and I didn’t know what to expect.

Buying a Fitness Pass this semester was probably one of the best decisions I have made regarding my health. This awkward feeling that I had at first went away within the first week. There were many other people who would go alone which made me less self-conscious and we are all there for the same reason: To workout and have fun! I like not feeling intimidated by all the people and weights/machines. Getting over this fear of going to Rec alone has definitely gone away and I feel like I have stepped out of my comfort zone.

-Yolanda