Archive | #college RSS feed for this section

#NovembertoRemember: Treat Yo’self

27 Nov

Courtney's Blog Calendar (2).png

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

giphy-1.gif

 

Advertisements

Falling into Autumn #OutrageousOctober

16 Oct
giphy

This is my goal!

Bring on the Fall! For once in my college life, I am completely aware the seasons are changing and autumn will be among us soon! Every year, I somehow let October slip through my fingers and by the time November hits, I question if October even occurred. From Halloween fun, to Midterm stress, and my father’s (and my) birthday, this month is probably the most hectic time for me. However, THIS October will completely different. I am preparing for my favorite season and going to fully embrace the fall. Below I have made a list all of things I am going to do to welcome the new season and I invite you to embrace fall with me!

giphy-1

I NEED this! I wonder if it smells better than other pumpkin ones I’ve tried.

1. Make my home smell like Fall
I love candles to the point where my boyfriend says I shouldn’t buy anymore, but I do it anyways! They are so peaceful and also gives my home an amazing smell, which is always nice. This one is also a great and simple way to embrace the wonderful season because anyone can do it – if you can’t use open flames, there are diffusers, plug ins, sprays, and so many more options! If you like the aroma of fresh-baked goods, the woods, or other autumn scents, I can guarantee it is out there!

From online shopping to your favorite grocery store, there is always a section for candles, incenses, and air fresheners, which has all of the smells. There are seasonal fragrances that are great to fill your home with in order to enjoy the seasons even more. This year, I want to buy candles that smell like apples, cinnamon, and even find a pumpkin one. Unfortunately, I have not had any luck at finding a good smelling pumpkin candle, so if you know a good one, please let me know!

5c8d26b793f7f974f602c75c9d4584d6.jpg

My inspiration!

2. Update my wardrobe to match the changing seasons
Do not be mistaken when I say, “update my wardrobe”. I am not trying to change my whole wardrobe around to make it all fall attire because: 1. I am a college student who has bills and 2. I don’t have time for that. All I want to do is incorporate a few pieces that can give off a fall vibe like cute booties, a few shirts with dark fall tones, and maybe (if I’m feeling adventurous) a fun scarf with plaid on it. I think this is always a fun thing to do because you don’t have to spend a lot of money on changing your wardrobe. Just buying a few things that are something you don’t typically wear, vamp up your whole wardrobe. 

This doesn’t exactly relate to wardrobe, but I also want to incorporate fall colors and Halloween images into my nails. I use to do this all of the time when I was in high school (because I had time then), but I definitely want to at least change my nails twice to match the season. Also it’s a little difficult to do this now because I am a sculptor and my nail polish chips off WAYY too soon. 

3. Dye my hair to fit more in with the fall colors
This one is probably the most bold, reckless, and permanent thing to do on this list, but too late, I already did it! The reasons I wanted to dye my hair in the first place were: I’ve been really into changing my hair lately, I’ve never tried an auburn/red/orange color before, and Pinterest. There were so many creative things that were popping up on my feed to embrace fall colors with hair and I could not resist. Also, with my blue eyes I knew I had to give it a shot because it would make them stand out A TON.

After four hours of sitting in a salon, two ladies drying my hair at the same time, and a little pricey bill at the end, it was TOTALLY worth it! I love my new hair and to my surprise I love it more than my natural hair and all of the other experiments I have tried (blonde and purple balayage, for example). This new look also gave me a huge boost of confidence and a little more sass throughout the day. If you have ever been skeptical about changing your look, just go for it! Worst case scenario, if you’re not in love with it, express that to the person who did your hair and they will change it for you to like it once again. You may also find you love yourself with a new look and it will bring you more confidence than you had before. 

4. Eat/Drink all things pumpkin

giphy-2

I love PUMPKINS! This turtle is too cute 🙂

Okay, okay. I know everyone thinks pumpkin spice is very overrated and “basic” when fall season hits, but I have no problem indulging in pumpkin anything. At first, being the cool person I am (just kidding), I did not want to participate in purchasing pumpkin items because I disliked that everyone went overboard with it, but after trying my first pumpkin spice latte, because my friend made me, I actually loved it and still do today. It brings warmness and nostalgia whenever fall comes around because I treat myself to this every autumn.

Other than the typical Pumpkin Spice latte at Starbucks, there are other goodies out there that are great to enjoy in this fall season. For the first time, I found pumpkin pie ice cream at the store, which was to die for! Not only did it taste exactly like pumpkin pie, but there were also pieces of pie crust which was a lovely surprise. There are pumpkin spice Oreos (?? which I guess is a thing now), pumpkin creamer (if you like to make your coffee at home), and pumpkin spice cereal (lol who knew?) out there to try. Unless you’re allergic to pumpkin, I would suggest trying some of these new pumpkin items if you haven’t already. Even though it is overrated, you may actually find you like pumpkin things and that’s great!

5. Go ALL out for Halloween
Usually I am putting together Halloween at the last-minute and last year it got so bad to the point my boyfriend and I got our Halloween costumes the day before. This year, it is not going to be that way. Because I am a planner (good joke), I have already took the initiative to plan what I am going to be this year with my boyfriend and started putting up Halloween decorations. We are going to be creepy clowns this year, thanks to the inspiration from IT (even though we haven’t seen the new one yet… lol)! Being an artist, I love to have costumes that incorporate face paint. For example one year I was a scary bunny, a skeleton, and a wolf. All of these costumes, I went all out on my face paint and it was a lot of fun! The Halloween fun does not stop there! Like I said we have started to put up Halloween decorations up (thanks to my boyfriend’s mom for letting us use some of hers). We are going to have scary decorations up for the majority of October, which might be terrifying or bring in more holiday cheer. 

The decorations will be perfect addition to our small get together we love to do every Halloween where our friends come over all dressed in costumes. In the past, we lacked the decorations because we shopped for Halloween last-minute and it was a little weird that the only Halloween aspect of our part was our costumes…but this time will be a lot more fun! I am also going to tap into my baking skills for this event to make Frankenstein cupcakes and Ghost cookies!

Another aspect that ties into the Halloween theme that I love to do is watch scary movies. Rob Zombie has incredible movies he produced, the SAW movies are intense, and The Nightmare Before Christmas is a classic and great because you can watch it over the course of two holidays! Other Halloween favorites include Hocus Pocus, Halloweentown, and Casper the Friendly Ghost (I know they’re kids movies, but I just can’t resist). Watching scary movies really gets me in the Halloween and October spirit, especially when there’s actually a Friday the 13th this month!!!

6. Take time to enjoy it all
Last, and especially, not least I am going to go out of my way to actually enjoy this month. With my hectic schedule (and I am sure you can relate) time goes by way too fast and I hate it. Honestly, I can’t even get over the fact we are already in the third month of the semester; where did the time go?? I am going to try my hardest to enjoy each and every day of this month to not only celebrate the fall season, but to also make the time go by slower. 

giphy-3.gif

I hope this blog inspires you to try to embrace the fall months, even if this is your least favorite time of year. It is great to at least try to enjoy every moment of the year, especially when you are in college. These years you are spending in college will go by quickly (trust me, this is my last year) and it is important to enjoy the path rather than to try to race to the finish line

Enjoy the Fall Season!
Courtney 

Surviving Priority Advising: Your Recipe for Success

8 Mar

The priority advising period can feel really stressful, but it doesn’t have to be! Planning ahead can help you get the most out of your time with your academic advisor. If you are thinking of switching majors, start the process early so that you won’t run into issues during registration.

Ingredients

  • 1 prepared student
  • 1 insightful advisor
  • 1-19 units (add to taste)
  • 1 list of possible classes
  • 1 list of questions
  • 15 minutes of 1:1 time

Instructions

  1. Find a time to meet with your advisor. Check Wise Advising to see when your advisor has appointments. Most advising offices email out a schedule of when you can come in for advising, so look in your CatMail if you aren’t sure. In general, this will be the week before you register. Some advising offices also switch to walk-in only during priority advising, so plan ahead! Walk-in hours are on a first come, first-served basis
    Screen Shot 2017-03-09 at 8.03.26 AM
  2. Open your advisement report. Getting there is simple: log into UAccess and click on “My Academics” to the left of your course schedule. Click on the first link “My advisement report”.
    Screen Shot 2017-03-09 at 8.04.08 AM
  3. Create a draft 4-year plan. Some departments post sample 4 year plans that you can use as a rough guideline. If you’ve already created a plan with your advisor, skip this step. Some things to take into consideration: Pre-requisites for upper division courses, total units needed to keep a scholarship, pursuing multiple degrees, any minors, and completing all Gen Ed requirements. Your plan may look different from the sample one depending on your math placement, or any transfer/exam credits counting towards different requirements, that is ok!

  4. Decide which requirements you absolutely need to complete next semester. Use the search function in UAccess to see when any pre-requisite courses are offered. Try to get them out of the way, if possible. This will help you stay on track to graduate on time. I like to use the “browse course catalog” feature that lets you search by letter, but it’s all up to personal preference.

    Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 9.37.08 AM

    There are two ways to search for open courses in UAccess!

  5. Find those courses on UAccess and add them to your shopping cart. Just click the green “select” button and then hit next and it will be added. This is helpful for your advisor because they can see what’s in your shopping cart and give you advice based off of what you’ve selected.

  6. Decide which other courses you want to fill your semester with. Pick ones that sound interesting and fulfill requirements. Add multiple back-ups to your shopping cart in case they fill up on registration day.

  7. Make sure you will have enough travel time to make it to class on time. Sometimes there’s no way around it, but if you can avoid running from one class to the other because you only have ten minutes to make it across campus you will thank yourself later.

  8. Check for any holds on your account. You can see thesA by going to your homepage on UAccess and looking at the right-hand column. Click the “details” button to see more specifics and get information about how to clear a hold. If you aren’t sure what to do, be sure to bring it up to your advisor and they will point you in the right direction.
    Screen Shot 2017-03-09 at 8.11.09 AM
  9. Write down any questions you have for your advisor and bring the list with you to your appointment. I often forget at least one thing I needed to ask my advisor, having it all ready to go beforehand helps me get the answers I need quickly. If you do forget a question, email them as soon as you remember and follow-up if you do not get a response in 24-48 hours.
  10. Get to your appointment early. This is especially true for walk-in hours, if you have limited availability you will want to get on the list as soon as possible. Most departments also have a check-in process for appointments, so arriving early helps make sure that does not cut into your time with your advisor.

-Gabriela

Work Smarter, Not Harder

15 Jan

super_strength-512Spending Time on Strengths

Everyone is their own worst critic and we often have unrealistic expectations of ourselves. While we challenge those expectations in college, it’s important to keep it real and use our time in school wisely.

It’s hard for us to see a weakness in ourselves and accept it as is. This makes it very tempting to work harder on our room for improvement instead of maximizing our strengths.

To work smarter, not harder in college, we have to identify our strengths and focus our energy on developing them even further. Weaknesses will fill in and follow suit over time while you evolve as an individual.

search-loop-512

Finding your Strengths

We all want to succeed, that’s why we came to the U of A. We hear a lot about “following our passions” and “doing what we’re best at”, but how do we discover these things? How do we know when our passion has been ignited, or when we’ve found our niche?

It sounds like we should just stumble upon these hidden strengths and know them when we see them, but it’s not always so easy to pinpoint. One way of finding out about this is by looking at a challenge and your skills to meet it.

When a challenge presents itself, our response to that challenge tells us about our skills in that area. For me, just a few minutes of algebra problems are enough to remind me that math is a weakness of mine. On the other hand, ask me to draw you a picture and I’ll handle the task with a smile on my face. You might be a person who is very comfortable with math, but stressed out by creative demands. Stress is just an indicator of how we evaluate a challenge, and how we think our resources can meet it.

When it comes to school we can identify areas of strength and weakness in ourselves by monitoring the challenge level and the skill level we experience from different subjects.

success-icon-15

Getting in the “Flow”

According to the “Flow” model presented by positive psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, the ideal scenario is a high level of challenge met with a high skill level. According to this model, a person can perform at their best and achieve their highest under these conditions while experiencing fulfillment from the task. He adds that you must have clear goals, visible progress, frequent feedback, and confidence in your abilities.

Keeping track of your grades can help with setting clear goals and watching visible progress. Visit office hours for frequent feedback, and keep up the hard work for more confidence in your abilities!

-Amanda

 

Motivation in 10 Haiku Poems

15 Jan

giphy

Be a powerhouse

Take it one step at a time

You know you’ve got this

giphy-1

Time to step over

The things you used to trip on

Gain your confidence!

giphy-2

Sleep 8 hours each night,

Eat balanced breakfasts each day,

Stay fit, win at school.

giphy-3

Failed my math class twice

Changed my major to fine arts

Straight A’s ever since!

source

Strength is knowing that

You’re tougher than your homework

and much more hardcore.

giphy-4

Follow your own dreams

Let nothing get in your way

Blast through obstacles

source-1

Doctor or lawyer?

Or marine biologist?

What am I best at?

giphy-5

Mom wants me in law

Dad wants me in business school

I prefer science.

giphy-6

Mind-numbing classes?

It’s only the beginning

prepare to bear down!

giphy-7

College is so great

It’s hard and it will change you

Find yourself through it

 

7 Changes for Spring

31 Dec

Every student goes through trial-and-error phases at the beginning of their college education. I have tried a lot of new ideas this fall and the successes they brought have shown me some areas where I’ve been doing things the hard way. Here are a few of the changes I’m bringing to my Spring semester to make my life easier. Try them out to save yourself the trouble and avoid unnecessary struggle!

1. Wait to see if I need the book for a class before buying it
books

In previous semesters, I have always felt pressured to buy all of the required textbooks for my courses. I end up spending hundreds of dollars for all of my classes together and some, I hardly use and end up returning them. I have decided to wait until the professor clarifies if we need a book or if I could buy a different edition of the book. This way, I won’t spend unnecessary money if I am able to buy the cheaper version or if I do not have to buy the book at all.

2. Do not pull all-nighters
allnighter

There was a few time this semester that I lacked on sleep. It was mostly caused by procrastinating and it ended up with me getting a lower grade on the assignment. I have realized from this semester that I need to start my assignments earlier or work on them a little each day in order to prevent pulling an all nighter. This semester I am going to set a deadlines. If my assignment is due at 11:59pm, I am going to have it done before 8pm (at the absolute latest) to make sure that I get an ample amount of sleep.

3. Talk to my advisor moreadvisor

As it becomes closer to my graduation, I have realized that my advisor is the best person to talk to if I have questions. This semester, she has really helped me get into classes that I have need in order to graduate. She also informed me about internships and independent studies. I want to continue to have this close relationship with her because she has told me about classes and options that I didn’t know before as well as help me stay on track with graduation.

4. Go to office hours
office

Since I have been at the university, everyone has told me to visit my professor during office hours. Honestly, I had never visited them until this semester. This semester I made an appointment because I was worried about a grade and I was really glad I did. My instructor let me know that one bad grade is not the end of the world and I would still finish the semester with a good grade. After the way that this went, I realized that it was not as scary or as intimidating that I made myself believe it would be. She really cared about my performance in her class and she had great feedback of how I can improve. Next semester, I plan to utilize office hours of my professors to get to know them and to ask questions if I am struggling on a project or in the class.

5. Make my lunch the night before I go to classlunch

When hunger strikes between classes you have no choice but to stop and feed your brain. But what you feed your brain makes a big difference! Instead of grabbing a greasy burger or tasty wrap that will add up to more than my food budget, I’ve learned that packing my lunch is worth its weight in financial aid. Taking a few minutes to pack it before bed lets me grab and go in the morning.

6. Use checklists more often
giphy.gif

In the past I’ve tried keeping mental notes on homework and assignments each day with plans of getting things done as soon as I get home. I think we all know how that works out. Even if you do remember that day, Netflix and a nap on the couch come calling and all the details fade into a cloud of “I’ll do it later.” Instead of letting my memory turn into a hot mess this semester, I began to use checklists in my planner to organize ideas. Not only does it keep things in order, but it’s satisfying to cross things off as you accomplish them.

7. Utilize Writing Workshops
writing

I am not the strongest writer. I have improved over the years, but the time it takes me to write a paper is ridiculous. It’s hard for me to organize my thoughts and get a good solid idea that goes along with the prompt. By using the Writing Skills Improvement Program workshops, I was able to improve my writing skills free of charge.

Overall, changing a few things here and there make a big difference in the amount of time, money and effort it takes to meet your goals each semester. Try out a few of these tips and tricks to simplify your academic life so you can focus on the things that matter.

Good Luck in Spring Semester!
Courtney

Start Strong this Spring!

31 Dec

Going back to school isn’t easy after a long winter of sleeping in, movie marathons, and enjoying the cool weather, but now it’s time to start the ball rolling on a bright new semester. With a little push at the end of your break, you can make the transition easier.

Here are a list of tips to help you get back to Bear Down mode!

sleep-clipart2

Start a Sleep Schedule

Instead of cracking the whip over your head with an alarm clock on the first day of class, give your body a break and prepare it for the new schedule you’ll be operating on once school starts. By setting your alarm a little earlier each day, you can work your way up to that 8am wake-up you’ve been snoozing through this winter.

trashcan-99117_960_720

Pre-Spring Cleaning

Set up your study space before you need to use it and you’ll have less in your way when it comes time to cracking open those new textbooks. Getting the extra clutter out will help you clear your mind and get back to that razor sharp focus school requires.

sign-304883_960_720

Do a Campus Walk with your Schedule

Nobody likes to walk into the wrong classroom on the first day of class. Try taking your class schedule on a campus walk before school starts to eliminate the kinks when it comes to finding your new classes.

reader-310398_960_720

Review for the New

If you’re taking classes in new subjects, try doing a little research to get ahead. Buy a phrasebook before your first class in a second language, or review your notes if you’ve studied the topic before. Not only will your professor know you’re super smart, but you’ll be the best study buddy in your class.

2000px-pictograms-nps-misc-snack_bar-2-svg

Start Making Meals in Advance

Start preparing lunches for the week now and you’ll have a healthy habit by the time school starts. Not only will this save money, but it will save you from a diet of fast food and vending machine snacks. Sometimes picking a day on the weekend to prepare meals for the week is the best way to streamline your schedule.

study-1206676_960_720

Get Your Supplies Early

Getting those school supplies lined up before the semester starts will ensure your preparedness. If you’re like me, this will also kick start your enthusiasm with shiny new pens and notebooks you just can’t wait to use.

This also goes for your wardrobe! Instead of buying random items and trying to mix and match, lay out some outfits and see what you need to up your game fashionably.

heb_project_flow_icon_02_charts_and_calendar-svgBudget

Start making a list of your expenses and create a budget for yourself. This will help you when financial aid comes in and begins burning a hole in your pocket. It’s better to plan wisely and stick to your limits than to end up starving during finals! If your funding looks a little weak, then you’ll know in advance if you need a student job or a loan from a family member.

Try out a few of these ideas and Bear Down for Spring!

Happy 2017!

-Amanda

 

My Registration Nightmare

13 Nov

It was 5:45 AM as I turned off my alarm clock and greeted registration day with bleary eyes. I had been waking up at 4 AM to do my homework all semester, but this particular day, I had a case of the dreaded Mondays. My laptop had died at my bedside during the night, my roommate had taken the last Frappuccino and my favorite sweater was nowhere to be found. Things weren’t going my way, but I accepted my fate, plugged in my laptop and logged on to UAccess.

The wifi was crawling along like molasses, leaving me with nothing to see but a bright white page that made my eyes water. Refreshing the page, I looked over the handwritten list of classes my advisor had given me, my academic security blanket. The classes had been in my shopping cart for weeks, but my advisor warned me to be prepared for anything.

Sure enough, my student center looked like text-salad nightmare and the wifi crashed completely. By the time I logged in again 20 minutes later, a disheveled heap of stress at the café, all of my classes were full. Admittedly, I freaked right out.

If you find yourself in these shoes, it may seem like your academic sky is falling, but don’t panic! Make the schedule you can make with the course options you have left and talk to your academic advisor about it. There are still a few ways to get you on track and into the schedule you hoped for:

1. Get on the wait list, when available

Two of my classes gave me the option of being put on the waiting list. This may seem like a bleak land of limbo, but it’s not. So many students change, swap and drop their classes before registration ends. With the wait list, you’re already in line to take those spaces as they open.

2. Check on the class religiously

If there’s no wait list, keep checking on the class and accomplish the same thing manually. Keep your fingers crossed for the green circle to take the place of the angry blue square next to your class in the class search. As long as registration is still open, there’s still hope for an open seat.

3. Beg your way in

Showing up to your desired class on the first day with a Change of Schedule form is not a bad idea. Some classes are more rigorous than others about attendance, so you may even get lucky on your first day. In one class I wanted, anyone who didn’t show up for the first day was dropped from the roster so the wait-listed students could take their places.

4. Talk to your academic advisor

At the U of A, your advisors are the music makers and dreamers of dreams. They know what’s possible and they can help you see the glimmer of hope in any academic disaster. Ask them for ideas if you get stuck. They’ve seen degrees completed in the most unconventional of ways and can always help you navigate your obstacles to gain that academic success you so deserve.

My registration nightmare ended with a less-than-perfect schedule, but it resulted in the best set of classes I could have hoped for. It threw me off my 4-year plan a little bit, but overall, I still got all of my requirements knocked out without any extra semesters added onto my academic career.

If you find yourself in this position, keep calm, bear down and hang in there! That which doesn’t bend can break under pressure, so take it as an exercise in adaptability, jump the hurdles that are thrown at you and keep on keepin’ on. The commitment you’ve made to your education is a commitment to yourself, and that makes it worth the struggle. Use the resources all around you and don’t be discouraged. You may be forced to take a gen ed at an awkward time, it might shift a prerequisite over to a different semester, but overall, you’ve got this!

-Amanda

 

The Gen Ed that Won Our Hearts

13 Nov

It was 5:45 AM as I turned off my alarm clock and greeted registration day with bleary eyes. I had been waking up at 4 AM to do my homework all semester, but this particular day, I had a case of the dreaded Mondays. My laptop had died at my bedside during the night, my roommate had taken the last Frappuccino and my favorite sweater was nowhere to be found. Things weren’t going my way, but I accepted my fate, plugged in my laptop and logged on to UAccess.

The wifi was crawling along like molasses, leaving me with nothing to see but a bright white page that made my eyes water. Refreshing the page, I looked over the handwritten list of classes my advisor had given me, my academic security blanket. The classes had been in my shopping cart for weeks, but my advisor warned me to be prepared for anything.

Sure enough, my student center looked like text-salad nightmare and the wifi crashed completely. By the time I logged in again 20 minutes later, a disheveled heap of stress at the café, all of my classes were full. Admittedly, I freaked right out.

If you find yourself in these shoes, it may seem like your academic sky is falling, but don’t panic! Make the schedule you can make with the course options you have left and talk to your academic advisor about it. There are still a few ways to get you on track and into the schedule you hoped for:

1. Get on the wait list, when available

Two of my classes gave me the option of being put on the waiting list. This may seem like a bleak land of limbo, but it’s not. So many students change, swap and drop their classes before registration ends. With the wait list, you’re already in line to take those spaces as they open.

2. Check on the class religiously

If there’s no wait list, keep checking on the class and accomplish the same thing manually. Keep your fingers crossed for the green circle to take the place of the angry blue square next to your class in the class search. As long as registration is still open, there’s still hope for an open seat.

3. Beg your way in

Showing up to your desired class on the first day with a Change of Schedule form is not a bad idea. Some classes are more rigorous than others about attendance, so you may even get lucky on your first day. In one class I wanted, anyone who didn’t show up for the first day was dropped from the roster so the wait-listed students could take their places.

4. Talk to your academic advisor

At the U of A, your advisors are the music makers and dreamers of dreams. They know what’s possible and they can help you see the glimmer of hope in any academic disaster. Ask them for ideas if you get stuck. They’ve seen degrees completed in the most unconventional of ways and can always help you navigate your obstacles to gain that academic success you so deserve.

My registration nightmare ended with a less-than-perfect schedule, but it resulted in the best set of classes I could have hoped for. It threw me off my 4-year plan a little bit, but overall, I still got all of my requirements knocked out without any extra semesters added onto my academic career.

If you find yourself in this position, keep calm, bear down and hang in there! That which doesn’t bend can break under pressure, so take it as an exercise in adaptability, jump the hurdles that are thrown at you and keep on keepin’ on. The commitment you’ve made to your education is a commitment to yourself, and that makes it worth the struggle. Use the resources all around you and don’t be discouraged. You may be forced to take a gen ed at an awkward time, it might shift a prerequisite over to a different semester, but overall, you’ve got this!

-Amanda

 

#StudiousSeptember: Study Tips for the Chronic Procrastinator

20 Sep

procrastination

If you’re like me, you procrastinate everything. It doesn’t matter if it’s studying for a giant exam that’s worth 25% of your grade or the smallest assignment that should ideally take you 10 minutes to complete.  Admittedly, pushing everything back to the last minute in college isn’t necessarily a good or easy thing to do. While this may have worked in high school, it can easily come back to bite you if you aren’t careful about planning and time management. Over the years, however, I’ve learned a few things about how to effectively get things done and limit procrastination.

  1. Write down EVERYTHING! Not only will you be able to see what days or weeks your schedule is busier, but if you write it down the chances of you forgetting to do it are slim to none. Even if you’re sure you’ll remember to do that last minute homework assignment, chances are you’re eventually going to forget to do something. But if you write it down, you’re much less likely to forget and resort to writing a five-page paper in the hour before class.Bruce Almighty.gif
  2.  Overestimate how much time it’ll take to do things. So many times I’ve thought “That assignment will only take 30 minutes” and then end up spending 2 hours on it. If you overestimate time, you won’t get stuck being unable to finish because you didn’t allocate enough time. Plus if you plan for something to take you 3 hours and it only takes 1, you just made an extra two free hours in your schedule!
  3. Plan specific times to do tasks. If you look at what you have to do and just say “Oh I’ll just do that later”, chances are “later” will just keep getting pushed back. But if you say “I’m going to do that at 2:00” then you’ll be more likely to do it because you gave a specific time.later
  4. Be very explicit about what you need to accomplish. Similar to doing something “later”, if you plan to “read your textbook” or “study”, you’ll crack open a book, pull out your notes, and call it a day. But if you specify to “read and highlight chapter 4” or “work through 5 practice problems”, not only will studying be easier because you know exactly what you want to do, but you’ll also see yourself making a lot more progress.
  5. LIMIT DISTRACTIONS! It’s way too easy to get roped into Netflix, your phone, video games, etc., and end up wasting hours without accomplishing anything. If you don’t have the self-control to stay away from distractions (because, let’s be real, binge-watching Friends is way better than reading a biology textbook), use an app or other site to block distracting sites for a specific amount of time, or get a trusted friend to hold your phone while you study.Distraction.gif
  6. Find the best place for you to focus. If you can’t get anything done in your dorm or home, go to the library. If you don’t like the big space of the library, try a study room. If you hate studying indoors, go outside for a while. It’s better to move than be unproductive where you are.
  7. Lastly, JUST DO IT! It’s so easy to put things off until you absolutely have to do them. But trust me when I say it’ll feel so much better just to get things done early. Not only will you not be continuously stressing about them, but you’ll also find yourself with so much more free time that you’ll definitely appreciate.

Just Do It.gif

I hope these study tips could help you some! Procrastination is a dangerous habit to get trapped in. But with a bit of motivation, discipline, and planning, you can beat the addiction and find success in studying!

-Jessica