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#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.



#MiddlingMarch: Into the Woods

20 Mar

Raise your hand if you are in a school slump!


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!!! 🙂 



#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!


#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!


enjoy this picture of my ear

Stay beautiful, happy March!


#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!

Related image

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!



#FearlessFebruary: Operation Goodbye Moana

20 Feb




Stay wild, stay adventurous, stay beautiful,

Lils xx

#FearlessFebruary: Creepy Crawlies

20 Feb

I hate bugs. I always have and I always will. For me, it doesn’t even matter the type of bug – scorpion, spiders, butterflies, lady bugs, crickets. I hate them all. They freak me out and give me the heebie jeebies. That being said, I recently got an internship at the Reid Park Zoo here in Tucson working with zookeepers to take care of the animals. As it turns out, diets for a lot of the animals in the zoo contain various types of bugs – crickets and worms to be exact. Also, one of the education tools is a colony of Madagascar hissing cockroaches. This is why for my #FearlessFebruary, I decided to face my fear of bugs.

Although I hate all bugs, I think cockroaches hold a special place of gross-ness. Even looking at them freaks me out. You know the people that breed cockroaches or eat cockroaches or actually like cockroaches in any way? Yeah I don’t understand those people at all. So at the zoo, there’s a self-sustaining colony of cockroaches that they use to teach kids about insects and exoskeletons and stuff like that. Even though it’s primarily self-sustaining, the zoo keeper still has to change out the food and water. My big step of facing this fear was looking at the cockroaches. I know, that sounds pretty pathetic. I’m sure you thought I was going to change their food or maybe even pick one up. Yeah… I couldn’t quite muster up that amount of courage. It actually took every ounce of willpower I had just to look in their container and not run away freaking out.

The next fear I had to face was crickets. Crickets are’t quite as bad as cockroaches, so I was able to convince myself to actually have to touch them. In the morning, all of the diets for the animals have to be gathered. Part of many bird diets is crickets, which are stored (alive) in a big trashcan with stacks of cardboard. When my zookeeper asked me to go collect the crickets for the day, I steeled my nerves, and approached the can. I’ll admit it took me a few tries to actually reach my hand in there, especially when they started jumping when I picked up the cardboard. Eventually I was able to collect some but I did jump every time one of them touched me.

My last experience was with worms. There are three different kinds of worms that are used as food. Collecting them isn’t an issue, since you just scoop them out of a bucket with a scoop and don’t actually have to touch them at all. However, there are four tamanduas at the zoo that eat these worms. A tamandua is basically a small (think raccoon size) anteater, so to hand feed them you have to put the food in your hand and make your hand into a tube so they can lick out the food with their long,  narrow tongues. This means that not only did I have to hold a bunch of worms in my hand, but I had to hold onto them pretty tightly and for a while while the tamanduas ate them. Talk about creepy crawly. The only redeeming part of that experience was that tamanduas are really cute and pretty fun to feed.

So that’s how I worked to face my fear of bugs. I think the most important part of this experience was that I worked to push myself outside of my comfort zone, but I didn’t push myself too far. For example, I was uncomfortable even looking at cockroaches, so if I would have jumped right into holding them, I wouldn’t have just stepped outside of my comfort zone, I would have blown right past it. This would have probably made a really negative experience for myself, instead of the one that I was in that was challenging but still allowed me to try something new. I think that it’s really important to challenge yourself, but also know your limits and not push yourself too far.

Take the time to do something that scares you today and challenge yourself! I hope you can face your fears this February.


#FearlessFebruary: Adulting is hard

20 Feb

As graduation quickly approaches, there are many aspects of “adulting” that fall squarely on my shoulders that were never there before. This month for Fearless February, I decided to tackle those big challenges and decisions head-on rather than hiding from them.

Taxes: This was the first year where I had to file my taxes on my own without my dad’s help. Thankfully, it was not too complicated! I just used Turbo Tax’s free online filing system, gathered all of my receipts for educational expenses, and got it done step-by-step. Of course, I was nervous so I had my dad check at the very end just to make sure I didn’t completely mess up.

Grad school: This month, I finished my grad school applications! It’s been a long time coming, so it feels great to finally be done. Writing a personal statement involves getting very vulnerable and conveying to admissions committees who you truly are. It took a lot of time and deep thought to figure out what I really wanted to say, but I eventually got over my fears of being real in the personal statement. Thinking about the future so seriously is terrifying, but it is inevitable. We all have to figure out what we are doing with our lives at some point.

It’s been a tumultuous month, but overall that has facilitated a lot of personal growth. No one likes adulting, but it is necessary to overcome the challenge.