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#AdventurousApril: Amna & Lili Eating Adventure

23 Apr

Hello!!

This Adventurous April, Amna and I *Lili* wanted to step out of our boxes and try a cuisine we were not accustomed to: Ethiopian food!

We went to Zemam’s 2, and it was an amazing experience!

Here is a video we compiled of our eating adventure!

It was a fun time, and the food was delicious!

We definitely recommend coming to Zemam’s and trying their sampler platter!

Have an amazing adventurous April!

-Lili & Amna

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#AdventurousApril: Spring Break Traveling

12 Apr

My boyfriend, Tyler, is a college baseball player and for our freshman and sophomore years, he was at a school only a few hours away. This year he transferred schools and is currently at a school in Idaho, about a 19 hour drive from UA. Needless to say, we don’t see each other much, so for spring break I decided to fly up to Idaho and spend part of the week with him. Take my word for it though when I tell you that small town Idaho isn’t the most exciting place to spend your spring break. That’s why for my Adventurous April, I set out to have an adventurous spring break in Idaho.

My first day, I woke up at 4:00 am to head to the airport. I flew from Phoenix to Seattle and from Seattle to Lewiston where I landed at around 11:00 am. Originally I was going to Uber to my Tyler’s apartment since he had to be in class for a big test review, but he surprised me by picking me up at the airport and we went to lunch together before heading back to campus for his next class. He toured me around campus and it was cool to see a school so different from ours and get to see where he spends a lot of his time. We also walked along the river where Lewis and Clark came through.IMG_5904.JPG

The rest of the day, we had dinner (we shared a burger bigger than my face, I’m not even kidding), watched a movie (The Emoji Movie per Tyler’s request, so bad), and went bowling (we both bowled personal bests). While not the most “adventurous day”, it was nice to be able to just have a normal day together.

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The second day was mostly school work. Tyler had a midterm the next day so while he prepared for that, I caught up on some online homework I was behind on (I’m a huge procrastinator so online classes can be both my best friend and my worst enemy). That evening though, we went up to a hill overlooking the city. It was so beautiful to see the lights over the whole city and the mountains in the distance. We also danced to The Greatest Showman soundtrack and Disney music which was so fun.

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After that, we went to the grocery store to get ingredients to make tacos. Making dinner turned out to be an adventure in itself, because as we got back to Tyler’s apartment and asked for a knife and cutting board to cut the onions and garlic, I was handed a butter knife and plate. Apparently Tyler doesn’t cook much because he actually didn’t even own a cutting knife. So I spend the next 10 minutes cutting an onion and garlic with a flimsy butter knife. Even I was impressed that I was actually able to do it and pull of a decent dinner.

My third and fourth days were the more adventurous days of the trip. The third day, Tyler and I went up to Washington State University in Pullman because my mom wanted me to visit the campus as I’m thinking about grad school. The drive from Lewiston to Pullman was beautiful, and it was fun to walk around the campus. After that, we went to Tyler’s favorite BBQ restaurant and then went swing dancing. Now, if you’ve ever met me and/or Tyler, you’d know that I’m an awful dancer and he’s a great dancer. So it was both fun and hilarious having him try to teach me the various swing dances and line dances, and it was really fun to be able to meet all of his friends and see what his Thursday nights usually look like. The only downside to the evening was that Tyler dropped and broke my (very expensive) glasses. Luckily, I had packed my contacts but Tyler felt horrible. Side note: don’t worry, I got the glasses replaced for free under my warranty a couple weeks later.

The last day we woke up and had breakfast together, then Tyler took me to the airport. It was a sad goodbye, since we weren’t (and still aren’t) sure when we’d see each other next, but it was a great week to make up for it. From Lewiston I flew to Seattle and from Seattle to Portland. In Portland I had a 6 hour layover, but this was actually perfect because my Godparents live in Portland. I was able to see them and walk around downtown Portland. We went to a rooftop bar and had some delicious appetizers and got to see the city from a few hundred feet up.

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We also had an amazing dinner at an Italian restaurant that was probably the best food I’ve had in a while (which is saying something because I eat a lot of good food). This was really fun because I’ve never been to Portland and it’s such a different city than Phoenix or Tucson. I really liked enjoyed it and it was great to be able to see my godparents.  From there I headed on a plane back to Phoenix and landed just at midnight.

It was a great spring break trip, even if it wasn’t the most adventurous trip I’ve ever been on. It showed me that no matter where you are or what you’re doing, you can have adventure in doing anything as long as you’re having fun and with the ones you love.

Hope the rest of your April can be filled with fun and adventure!

-Jess

#AdventurousApril: A Mountain “hike”

9 Apr

This year for Adventurous April, I decided to take advantage of the beauty nature has to offer right here in Tucson. Even though I was born and raised here, I had never gone up to the top of A mountain. Here’s a photo I took at ENR2 of it from far away, if you don’t know what it is.

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I wasn’t too sure what the experience would be like, and I wasn’t disappointed in the end. We decided to park as close to the top as possible because even at 9AM it was ridiculously hot (I can’t handle the heat once it’s past 75-80 degrees). The trail was pretty clearly paved, but there were a few points where we got confused about whether we were at a fork in the road or if it was runoff from summer rains. Overall, it was a very good way to dip my toes into hiking. The trail was pretty safe, except for a few parts where we came upon a few loose rocks.

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Looking NW at the top of the mountain.

When we finally got to the top, it was a really cool view! I never really realized how spread out the city truly is. It was nice to sit up there and just breathe for a little bit. We even met a nice family with a small child that kept trying to venture to the edge, it was a little terrifying. When it got unbearably hot, we went back to the main path that we had taken and kept going to see the actual “A”. It was not as fun to look at as when it was painted more colorfully in past years, but I am glad that I did it.

-Gabriela

 

#MiddlingMarch: Con(drag)ulations

22 Mar

Ladies, start your engines… 

Graduation is closer than I thought it would be! And if we’re being honest as of this. exact. moment., it’s the one thing keeping me motivated and pushing through the “mid-semester slump” this March.

The mid-semester slump comes for all of us. If you’re not feeling like you’re running on fumes by this point in the school year (even AFTER spring break) then you’re probably not even a real human. Anyways, for the all the real humans, I’m sure you can relate because up until this week I was feeling it. But you know what’s starting to get me through it? The thought of finally graduating in a couple of months!

I’m finally getting busy putting together graduation outfits, pictures, cap and gown… Even the not so fun stuff like audits and dishing those last few dollars the university tries to squeeze out of all of us near the completion of our degree. All these things are a terrifying yet comforting reminder that life as an undergrad is coming to close.

The idea here is: keep pushing past the slumpy times in the semesters because the slumpy times and the proactive times are both going to get you to commencement no matter what. 

The awareness of knowing that the end of my time here at the UA is almost over (interestingly enough) is encouraging me to try my very darndest.

I don’t want to risk not graduating because of a failed class LOL.

Anyways, a reminder to push through the middle of March. I know it’s a hard time, we’re tired, over it, done. But we still need to finish with a bang. Let’s make these last few weeks count as we race to the finish line!

And may the best man… win.

-Diana

#MiddlingMarch: Into the Woods

20 Mar

Raise your hand if you are in a school slump!

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Don’t worry – I am raising my hand too!

Let’s face it, it’s the middle of the semester and we’re exhausted, stressed out, and unmotivated. So what do you do in order to get out of the mid-semester lull? Well… you do something that makes you feel inspired, relaxed, and energized to make it to the end of the semester. Sounds easy right??? 

WRONG! It is SOOOO difficult to find motivation after you have misplaced it. I have been struggling with motivation lately, some may call it senoritis others say laziness, but either way, I NEED to pick myself up and be inspired again. The thing that I always turn to when I am in this mood is to get out of my house and get away from technology. I feel like I always have my face in my phone or my computer and I get really frustrated because I am so distracted from the physical world. When I start to feel like this, I hop in my car with my best friend and boyfriend, Casey, and take a trip to Mt. Lemmon. giphy.gif
Is it the fresh air in my lungs, the wind blowing my hair, or the trees around me? I don’t know, but when I step foot outside all my stress disappears. I feel free as a bird and ready to explore the wilderness. Last time we went up we hiked for about three or four hours and I was in paradise. There were little piles of snow scattered across the land, trees that towered over the mountain tops, and we even saw four deer in the area we were hiking. The area we hiked was absolutely stunning. It was also refreshing to be out of the house and out of the Tucson heat. I wish I could have this feeling all of the time, but the chaos of life always overwhelms me. After our excursion and feeling on top of the world, I talked to Casey about how much better I felt about life. We both agreed to plan more day trips to get out of our element and into the woods.

I encourage you to find your “woods”. Find the thing that lets you escape your stress and spikes your motivation. It could be diving into a wonderful book, taking a shopping trip, or driving around town. Life and college are ALWAYS stressful and you deserve to have time to yourself that relieves you from your tension. Good luck with finding your motivation and pushing through to the end of the year. YOU GOT THIS!!! 🙂 

-Courtney

 

#MiddlingMarch: Don’t Let March Meddle with You

15 Mar

Getting homesick is almost inevitable in March. Unless you went home for Spring Break, you are most likely in the same boat as me. Spring Break was fantastic, and I hope all of you had a wonderful time; however, one small qualm that I have with Spring Break is that it’s always so busy. Since there’s only a week of it, I feel this pressure to take advantage of the time, and then I end up planning out some type of event for every single moment. I don’t want to say I have any regrets about this, but I will say that Monday right after break was not exactly the best day in the world for me.

But back to homesickness!! Since I did spend my break with friends rather than family, I have to admit I’m really beginning to miss my crew back home. I don’t know what all of you do to combat homesickness but for me there are three pivotal steps:

  1. First, I let myself be sad. Now, don’t let this get out of control, but if I miss my family, I like to watch videos that I have taken with my little brother and flip through pictures of all of us on Facebook or on my phone. Don’t be afraid of that nostalgia!
  2. Next, I make sure to allot time to talk to different family members. My sister graduated a couple years ago, and she is working as a consultant now, so sometimes it can be hard to find time when we are both free, but it’s just a matter of scheduling it out. On the other hand, my brother who just recently became a teenager, is not always keen on long talks on the phone. So sometimes I try to FaceTime my mom during times when I know he will be home, just so I can catch a glimpse of him. All of this applies to friends back home too!! One really hard thing about branching off from your friends in high school is that you all get so busy. There’s nothing wrong with that; these are busy times. But if you genuinely miss someone, make sure to reach out — I’m sure they would be so happy to hear from you.
  3. Lastly, I go out and do something fun. Being homesick is completely normal and all, but there’s no point in dwelling in something you can’t change. SO RECENTLY I WENT AND SAW BLACK PANTHER. I am a big movie person, and I feel like going to see a movie is the perfect way to treat yourself during the week because you can allocate that specific amount of time out without getting too wild. It was such a good movie, so I highly recommend taking a break and checking it out. Go get some ice cream with a friend or catch up with someone you haven’t seen in a while over lunch — just take a break and have fun. We are in college, so we deserve to have fun!

That’s all I have for now; I hope you all make it through this March and the rest of the year smoothly!

-Amna 🙂

#MiddlingMarch: Time with Friends

15 Mar

We’re at the point in the semester when things just seem rough. Spring break is over but summer seems so far away. With every assignment you finish and test you take, there’s another one right around the corner to take its place. It can be really hard to find motivation and not get stuck in a rut in the middle of the semester. It’s really important to find things that are going to help motivate you and keep you going through the second half of the semester. For me, that’s making time to hang out with my friends.

I have a really busy schedule, so if I’m not intentional about seeing my friends it doesn’t happen. This makes it really hard to get through my week because it means a lot of times alone in my routine. While it can be so easy during this part of the semester to bury myself in work, hen I make the time to see my friends it really make a huge difference in my week. It helps me de-stress, relax, have fun, and get poured into. My friends are great about encouraging me, supporting me, and just loving me well. This not only improves my mood, but gives me a much needed break and puts me in a better mindset to be productive.

What helps you get through the mid-semester rut? If you don’t have something, you should probably take some time to explore what works for you. You don’t want to burn out before the end of the semester. Try a new workout routine, a hobby, meditation, arts and crafts, reading for fun, or something else to get your mind of school and work. You’ll be surprised how much happier and more energized you’ll feel to help you finish the year strong!

Happy Spring!

-Jess

#MiddlingMarch: GO GET PIERCED

14 Mar

When it comes to keeping motivation at a high – especially after Spring Break and before midterms – I am usually at the end of the snooze spectrum. I lack almost all motivation and all drive to get anything done.

This March, my idea to get my up and up was to get my ears pierced again. LOL.

I’m not saying I enjoy pain, necessarily, I just enjoy getting pierced HA. It’s something I’ve always done when I feel bored or mellowed out. It brings some sort of excitement into my week and has me looking forward to the next week.

This might not be for everyone, but, if you’re down with getting some needles stabbed into your body, Sacred Art down 6th St. has a buy one, get one free piercing charge! If you’re looking for one piercing, grab a friend and both you of you can get something pierced for $28!

I’m not saying go get everything pierced, and feel pain, but, honestly, it helps me look forward to something. I usually will do it on the weekends, so I motivate myself with the thought of getting something pierced to get me through the week.

So, with this in mind, maybe go get something pierced – if you’re willing – and have a good march through March!

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enjoy this picture of my ear

Stay beautiful, happy March!

-Lil

#FearlessFebruary: Boxing!

21 Feb

This month I wanted to try something that I have been inclined to try for a while, but haven’t had that last push of motivation to actually do. So… I tried boxing! I have always wanted to give this a try for the purpose of it being a great and intense workout, but also because I think I could learn cool self defense skills from it. However, I did always think it might be a little intimidating walking into a “boxing club” with literally zero experience.

I knew I had to try it though when I learned that Boxing Inc. gives out one free class to newcomers!

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There are three locations in Tucson for Boxing Inc., but I went to the one on the East side. For those of you that might want to stay closer to campus, the University gym is right on Campbell. Anyway, I just called them and asked to sign up for a free class, and from there, it was just a matter of attending one!

I’ll start by saying, they definitely didn’t just let me into the ring from the start. That would have gone over terribly (lol). There was a lot of partner work and sparring, and one thing I really loved is that they made sure I warmed up my muscles before letting me throw out some wild jabs (which was of course tempting to do).

Something I was really surprised to learn was that there’s almost a zen philosophy to boxing. I naively figured it was mostly about anger and letting out all your aggression, but it’s really not. There was a quote that read, “The past is useful only if it is used to prepare for the future.” Now, I guess this correlates to losing a fight in the ring, but then taking that loss, and working hard to get a win in the future. Basically, it’s about being resilient and learning from your mistakes, and of course this applies to life as well. I feel like it’s so easy to get bogged down by one “loss,” and everyone tells you to “learn from it,” but that’s always easier said then done. Boxing forces you to take your future into your own hands — everything is up to you, the harder you train, the better your outcome. It’s all about you putting in the time.

Obviously, (perhaps not obvious to all of you, but obvious to anyone who might know me), I am not preparing to become an MMA fighter or anything along those lines. But, I definitely learned from this experience. ALSO, a huge takeaway — there is A LOT of cardio. So before you get in there, make sure you have a good amount of stamina in you. 🙂

– Amna 🙂

 

#FearlessFebruary: Climbing Camelback

20 Feb

Around the Wildcat Connections office, February means it’s time for some fearlessness! Some of us like to get piercings or dye our hair wild colors, but this semester I decided to with something a little bit more outdoorsy. If you’re a Phoenix native, like me, then you definitely know how much of a destination spot Camelback Mountain is for avid hikers. Now, I am all about the hikes… Arizona is a pretty awesome place to hike in but Camelback has always been one of the few places in Phoenix that I never really got around to experiencing. It’s always had a sort of intimidating presence (the climbing over giant boulders with a handrail really did it for me).

But since it is February and this month is all about being fearless I said “What the heck? Let’s do it.”

Last weekend I was up in Phoenix for my younger brother’s birthday (which was super nice btw) so it was the perfect time to get down on this huge boulder of a challenge. Just as I expected… This hike kicked my butt. In a good way! Keep in mind that I haven’t been very active these last few months basically because I suck and my laziness has taken over my life ever since I took on work, school, and research. Don’t judge me, I swear it’s more time consuming than it sounds… Add to that my not so healthy habits during that entire time and you got a heck of a (breathing) problem.

There are a few good things to come out of my asthmatic adventure, though. For starters I got to the top of the mountain LOL. The weather in Phoenix this weekend was pretty great too which made it all the more enjoyable. I also got to spend some quality time with one of my really good friends since I totally made her do the hike with me.  All in all, it was just a much needed workout and it resulted in a pretty amazing view of Paradise Valley. 🙂

Doing a little something that makes you a bit nervous can sometimes be a great thing. Not only did I get over my weird hesitancy at hiking Camelback but I got in some really good exercise and also the realization that I NEED to start being active again. I definitely encourage anyone reading this to go and do something fearless not just this February, but every once in a while!

-Diana