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#DreadedDecember: Off Schedule

14 Dec

When it comes to time off of school, I much prefer winter break to summer. I enjoy spending time at home with my family, but I always dread being off of my daily schedule. I’m usually the person that risks getting burnt out at the end of every semester, because try as I might, making time for self-care on a regular basis is difficult during the last few weeks of school. As a result, I spend the bulk of the first few days of break just catching up on sleep and eating properly. Invariably, my sleep schedule gets thrown out of whack and then I struggle to get it back to normal when the next semester starts.

Don’t get me wrong, there are perks to getting off schedule for a little bit. It’s somewhat refreshing to be able to do whatever I want, whenever I want. Between school and work, that’s not a luxury that I have once classes are in session anymore. I relish the time that I get to just go shopping with friends for as long as I want, or exercise as it is convenient. Breaks are a great time for me to reconnect with the things that I enjoy and that I am passionate about. However, after a few days of this, it loses its sparkle.

It’s okay to be a couch potato for a few days during break, but you have a lot of time on your hands to actually be productive. Take advantage and start planning ahead for the next semester, apply for summer internships and jobs, and start thinking about your future! For me, break is a time that I simultaneously look forward to and dread. Fortunately there are a lot of solutions to make it a lot better.

-Gabriela

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#DreadedDecember: Stressed About Not Stressing?

12 Dec

There is officially a light at the of the tunnel — finals are finishing up/ have already ended! Congratulations!! So now you finally get to go home, eat some home cooked meals, relax, and basically do whatever.

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I’m sure some of you are very proactive when it comes to planning your winter breaks! For example, maybe you’re studying abroad or going on a cool trip with friends and family. Or maybe you’re even earning some extra cash with a winter break job or externship.

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Honestly, I respect that! But for whatever reason, as planned out as I am during the year, that’s how lazy I am during break. And even though it sound ridiculous, it really stresses me out!! I feel like I don’t know what to do with myself. I love hanging out with my family and friends, but for how long can that go on?

This break I am trying to be a bit more regimented. You know, go to the gym everyday, plan outings with my family, eat super healthy (save the holidays), learn how to play NBA 2K to hang out with my brother, play some tennis with my dad, and yeah…

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So yes, that is the plan, but honestly will these thing happen? IDK because honestly I something happens to me when I go home. Maybe it’s the humidity? But regardless, I hope you all have the best winter break, and spend it exactly how you want to!

-Amna 🙂

 

#DreadedDecember: Making Plans

10 Dec

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you all have a great winter break!

-Jess

#DreadedDecember: Buying Gifts

9 Dec

Tis the season to spend your entire paycheck on your friends and family! What I dread most is buying presents. Why?

Because:

  1. What if they don’t like my present?
  2. I’m broke
  3. I’m super broke

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accurate representation of me pretending I have money

Although we might all be in the same boat, my tips to making buying presents a little easier are as followed:

  1. AMAZON PRIME

Free 2 day shipping is the best for the last minute present! Did somebody buy you something and you didn’t for them? Hop on that Prime and get your present with FREE shipping!

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and then your presents show up at your doorstep like:

  1. DIY

Honestly, most people like the meaning of gifts rather than the actual gift. I know my girls love picture frames and cute homemade things that remind them of the memories we’ve shared in the past year. Honestly, these gifts make so many people happy!

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like how cute is this little wreath and headband?

  1. BAKED GOODS

What’s better than food? The answer: nothing. NOTHING is better than food. I love getting cookies and brownies in cute little boxes! I love love love food, and baking is the easiest way to go! You can eat love!

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Show your pep with some music and cookies!

  1. SCHOOL GEAR

Spirit wear is kind of expensive, so I can completely vouch that I love getting University gear from friends. I don’t have to spend money on my own, and I mean, every wildcat loves getting wildcat gear.

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I will wear my gear 24/7 like this!

  1. STARBUCKS GIFT CARD

You cannot – I repeat- CANNOT go wrong with a Starbucks gift card. Even if your friend doesn’t like coffee, Starbucks has so many things that someone will enjoy!

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you’re welcome

So, as the holiday season approaches at the pace of Mariah Carey’s holiday album, take my tips for easy gift giving, and make sure to spread the happiness!

Happy holidays, my friends!

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Stay rad,

Lils xx

#NovembertoRemember: Treat Yo’self

27 Nov

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Sometimes all you need to do towards the end of the semester is Treat Yo’self. This is one thing I always forget to do, especially when finals are approaching. This time of year is so hard to do anything other than school because I feel like I do not have any free time from prepping for finals to the holidays. This month, I have decided to challenge myself to do one thing for myself every day. I know this may seem easy to do, but surprisingly, it has been a very difficult task.

I’ve been going through a very hard time lately with family issues and I have been encouraged by a lot of people to focus on myself, rather than worry about things that out of my control. This is something that is very difficult for me to do, hence why I am trying to slowly integrate things to just focus on myself into my day-to-day schedule. As you can see above, I have created a fun calendar that lists everything I am trying to do for myself throughout this month to keep myself accountable. After the day has passed, I look on my calendar and mark if I accomplished my treat yo’self task or not. If I don’t complete giphy-downsized.gifthe task for myself, I try really hard to do the one for the next day. The things I have put on this calendar are things I think are realistic for me to accomplish with my hectic schedule; some of these include: painting my nails, sleeping in, using a facial mask, and sitting out by a fire. All of these things are simple, but are fun and relaxing to me (which is much needed!).

The first week of the month all about doing things for myself, I did very well! It was fun to do things for myself and acknowledge the impact. I started to be happier throughout my day and I had something to look forward to every day that was not for anyone else or for school. I let my coworkers know about my challenge and they would do a great job asking what I did for myself that day/week, which was not just helpful for keeping myself accountable, but also encouraging to keep doing the fun tasks on my calendar. As the month continued on, honestly, I started to slack on treating myself every day. Schoolwork and family started to dominate (like always) and looking at my calendar, I was disappointed I missed out on doing things I was really looking forward to. Some of the things I was really upset about not completely were going to Mt. Lemmon (I’ve been trying to go up all semester, but have not gotten there), do my nails (I haven’t done them since September), and meditate (I’ve wanted to try this for awhile now). Even though I didn’t get to do these things this month, I always have time to do this AFTER finals week.

I have learned a lot about doing this little challenge. I’ve learned to list things out I really want to do for myself and remind myself to take a little time out of my day to do it! It was amazing to set a time of free time for myself, during all of the chaos. I’ve learned to set time to check in on how I am doing and to take a break. After this month, I definitely am going to try to keep this going from here on out.

It is so important to take time out of YOUR day to TREAT YO’SELF!!!

-Courtney

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#NovembertoRemember: Vegetarian (for 2 Weeks)!

26 Nov

Hi everyone, so for my November to Remember blog I wanted to try something that I have been thinking about for some time. I wanted to go two weeks completely without meat!

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Personally, I didn’t really think this would be that hard for me. My meat consumption isn’t that high any way, and I don’t even really like red meat that much. (I know, In N’ Out fans out there, please don’t hate me). Also, I would like to say that my reasoning behind this wasn’t exactly noble — don’t get me wrong, sometimes I see those videos about how they slaughter animals, and I am ready to give up meat… until you put some chicken nuggets in front of me, that is. But no, my reason for doing this was more so because I wanted to see how I would feel afterwards. Could I handle it?

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I have lot of friends that have gone vegetarian, and are hoping to turn vegan one day, and they rave to me about how amazing they feel! I am genuinely so impressed by them because even though there are more vegan/vegetarian options out there these days, there is a good deal of preemptive work that they have to do. But they are so passionate and willing. SO OF COURSE, I had to be able to handle just two weeks with ease.

rabbit eating GIF

Spoiler alert: Wrong. It wasn’t easy! I eat meat more than I thought. The turkey sandwich I grab before heading to work (Shout out: On Deck Deli) — no longer an option. The traditional desi biryani my roommate’s mom makes for us  (bless her heart) — no longer an option. I was having to make some big purchases on my not-so-big food budget.

Don’t get me wrong – hummus is so good. So are celery and carrots and all of that! But it was… A LOT of hummus.

By day 5, I was feeling a little light headed, so I made sure to eat eggs and get some protein in my body! That’s another huge thing — I was concerned about how my energy levels would be, but once I started being conscientious of putting certain nutrients in my body, I started feeling better! I started feeling really good actually. Also, for whatever reason, I even started working out more than usual. (Maybe for the smoothies at Campus Rec lol?)

Despite that however, by the final day, I was ready for meat to be back in my life. This experience was a good one overall, and it also made me gain more respect and appreciation for my vegan/vegetarian friends. Props to y’all, honestly! Maybe one day I will try again because I was feeling pretty good, and those kale smoothies aren’t as awful as I thought they’d be LOL. Good luck with your own adventures, Wildcats!

-Amna 🙂

#NovembertoRemember: Volunteering to Save the Earth!

25 Nov

Hey, everyone! Recently, I’ve become inclined to start pulling my weight to help the Earth stay happy and healthy. We all know the basic ways to do this: recycle, ride your bike, turn off the lights when you’re not home. This month, though, I decided to volunteer for the first time in my life!

On Saturday, November 4th, I volunteered for the Arizona Assurance Adopt-A-Street Cleanup through Tucson Clean and Beautiful. Many of the people who volunteered were people I know pretty well, so it was a great way to connect with friends as well as help clean up the streets of Tucson! We were able to clean up one whole mile of sidewalk along Euclid Ave, collecting things like non-biodegradable foam cups, cans, glass bottles, etc.

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Volunteering for a street cleanup really opens your eyes to the damage that a single person can do to the Earth. It’s important to remember not to throw your trash on the sidewalk or street – many man-made products will never biodegrade into the Earth.

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I was able to make a difference as well as spend time with people that I enjoy being with! College is all about trying new things and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, so don’t be afraid to make some new memories. Through this experience, I’ve learned how important it can be to do whatever you can for the Earth, no matter how big or small it may be. I also learned that experiencing these things with people you enjoy being around can make it extremely fun. Next time you decide to try something new and exciting, push your friends to try it with you!

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-Elizabeth

#NovemberToRemember: First trip to East Coast

24 Nov

Prior to college, I never traveled much except for the occasional road trips around Arizona or California. After my freshman year, I finally got the opportunities to travel to new states for conferences. This month, I got the courage to take a trip by myself for the first time. I flew from Tucson to Philadelphia to visit family and tour a grad school, and it was an adventure I will never forget.

The week leading up to my trip, I was so stressed out. I was terrified that I would hate being in a big city, that I would miss my connecting flight, or that the clothes I packed wouldn’t be warm enough. Luckily, I’ve flown enough times at this point that things like checking in for my flight and getting through security don’t stress me out anymore, or those things would have also made it onto the list as well. The first flight was pretty quick and easy, but I had a really short connection between flights. To top it off, my gates were nowhere near each other, forcing me to run through an entire terminal to make it on time. My heart was racing, but I finally got on the plane and three hours later I could see more trees with orange leaves than I could count. At that point, I could not contain my excitement.

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Part of the city from the sky.

For the first hour or so, I honestly was overwhelmed by how beautiful everything was. Having lived in Tucson my whole life, it was amazing to be in a place I’d always dreamed of- with real seasons. One thing that I was not quite expecting was how people drive on the East Coast. You always hear about how terrible driving there is, but you can’t truly understand it unless you’re in the middle of it. The next three days were action-packed with visits to the university, wandering through downtown, and going to visit all of the historical sights.

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The real Liberty Bell with Independence Hall in the background.

Growing up, American history was something I truly loved learning about. After all this time, I finally saw the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Carpenter’s Hall, and real colonial homes! We also visited the Museum of the American Revolution and the National Constitution Center. While things got a little repetitive, because each place wants you to have a full experience even if you know nothing about American history, it was incredible to see real artifacts from our nation’s founding.

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City lights at night.

All too quickly, it was time to go home! I was honestly really sad to leave, because I finally found a place where I could be free to explore and grow even more as a person. I love being in nature, and I was pleasantly surprised that it was not difficult to go from the heart of the skyscrapers to the forest. This experience definitely helped me gain more confidence in my ability to be an adult. I really love traveling, and I can’t wait to do more of it!

-Gabriela

#NovembertoRemember: Cooking for Thanksgiving

23 Nov

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

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

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

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

-Jess

#NovemberToRemember: Tennis

22 Nov

This November we were prompted to do something memorable. Because I happen to think the most memorable times are spent with good people (good people, good times, right?), I decided to include one of my oldest friends in this memory making process. Jess and I met when we were fourteen our freshman year of high school and have stayed good friends ever since. Of course, my decision to move to Tucson and her decision to stay in Phoenix has made it so that our time spent together is few and far between: we’ve grown into our own selves over the years but have thankfully managed to stay close.

That’s why when Jess called me up a few weeks ago to invite me to a show her favorite band was playing in downtown Tucson, I was instantly game.

One of our favorite things to do together when we were younger was to go to as many shows and concerts as possible. Sadly, with the business of school and work I stopped making shows a priority. Fortunately, Jess’s visit couldn’t have come at a better time. Not only was I going to get to see my dear friend, but I was also going to go enjoy a great live performance (one of my favorite things in the world) and get some good blog content for this month!

All in all, the evening was great. We caught up, I met some of her new friends, and we all enjoyed a sweet show by a little band called Tennis. Definitely a cool sounding and even cooler looking group of people, let me tell you. The really great part of the night though was for sure getting to hang out with friends, both old and new.

-Diana