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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

 

Essential Essentials

15 Aug

Here you go, off to college, finally going to be on your own! You have probably been waiting/ dreading this moment all summer, but now it’s finally here! Here are a few things that we think are essential for Wildcats to bring to make living away from home comfortable.

Residence Hall

Living in the residence hall is an experience unlike any other. You simultaneously get a feeling of immense freedom, followed by slight suffocation. A common mistake first year students make is bringing too much stuff all at once. Trust me, you do not need your entire semester’s stock of food in your room the first day you move in. Try to plan your meals ahead of time, that way you know exactly what you need to buy at the store and nothing goes bad.  You also don’t need to bring pots and pans because you will be able to check them out from the front desk in your residence hall. But you will want to make sure you have dish soap and sponges to clean your borrowed equipment. The biggest thing to remember when living in the hall is the importance of preserving space, so instead of bringing your entire wardrobe with you, try to bring clothes that are seasonally appropriate and swap them out as you need them. Having a printer in your room will be welcome, but you’ll want to find a small one because space is limited!

Apartment

Living in an apartment is completely different than living in a residence hall! You will again be tempted to bring absolutely everything you own to your new apartment, but you should think about that first. While this new space is larger than a shared room in a residence hall, it still has a spacial limit. You should try to coordinate with your new roommate(s) for kitchen items such as pots and pans, dishes, and storage containers. It gives you an opportunity to reach out to your roommates before you move in and prevents you from having to buy, pack, and lug all of your own stuff. No one needs three sets of pots and pans! If you are living in a student apartment, chances are it comes furnished. If you aren’t, then that will be another necessity for you to think about.

The overall theme here is don’t get carried away. Bringing too much stuff to your new place will make it feel crowded and messy, and no one wants to live in that! Leaving some of your stuff at home will also make it nicer when you visit!

-Chrissy

Prepping Makes Perfect

7 Aug

All good things must come to an end, and unfortunately, that includes summer. As this summer ends, why not make sure you are as prepared as you can be for next year? Last summer you were probably freaking out about what you would need for school, but this time you are much more prepared! Here are some helpful ideas on how to prep for your second year!

Figure out where your classes are…before the first day

This one might sound a little odd, but it really does help! The first day is stressful no matter what year you are in. Not only do you have a new Professor with their own teaching style, but you are receiving all your syllabi on the same day! This can be  vastly overwhelming, and any way you can help relieve that stress will be good!

Plan out your meals

This is something I always struggle to stick to. Often after I plan them out, I don’t feel like eating that meal on that day, but after all my classes it is nice to know exactly what I will be making for dinner. Additionally, if you are able, try to invest in a Crock-Pot or another type of slow cooker. This will allow your meals to cook while you are in class so that you can come home to a cooked meal! You can also use the left-overs for lunches for the rest of the week!

Actually use a planner

You will be reminded of this every semester. Planners are a great way for students to plan out their time and feel like they have a little more control. I cannot use a traditional planner because I never remember to check them or write things down, but I do utilize a teacher’s desk calendar. I take all my syllabi at the beginning of the semester, and write down the important dates and assignments. This allows me to see what I need to do for the entire month so I can plan ahead. You don’t have to use the portable planners, but you really should have some method for staying on track.

Have a designated cleaning day

This is super important for all students. There are points in the semester that you will feel like you have no time for anything else but school, but this is an unhealthy way to think. Letting your living space become too dirty will distract you, and cause your work to suffer. Additionally, cleaning is a great way to clear your mind for a little bit, it is very important to maintain balance.

Make sure to have some fun

While we are at college to learn, remember to take some time to have fun. Now I am not saying you should go out partying all the time, but I am saying that you should take some time to treat yourself to dinner, or read a fun book, or just hang out with some friends on the mall! No matter what your fun entails, make sure to have some!

-Chrissy

 

Don’t Let Classes in the Summer Be a Bummer!

8 Jun

Summer Pre-Session is over, and Session I is now upon us. Though this session only lasts for 5 weeks, losing academic motivation, whether it’s during the summer or during a full semester, is very common. I myself took two online classes while I was visiting my mother in Oregon last year. This was my first time taking summer courses, and I was concerned that I wouldn’t have any time to relax and truly enjoy my break off. But to my surprise, balancing school and fun was totally doable! I learned to manage my time, making sure I put enough aside to dedicate myself to my homework, and it worked out perfectly 🙂

Near the end of the Spring Semester, I asked each of my students whether or not they were planning on taking summer courses. And the ones who said they were voiced some concerns. The most common one I heard was being worried that taking a class that was condensed into 5 weeks would require them to do a lot more work in such a short period of time. I will admit, the course work is a bit more fast paced, but professors completely understand how potentially overwhelming that can be for students.

The University of Arizona knows that their students deserve much needed breaks throughout the year, especially during the summer. So professors tend to adjust their lesson plans accordingly. So rest assured, taking courses during the summer isn’t as painful as it may sound. But for the sake of making this experience even more painless, I would like to share some tips on staying motivated 🙂

1. Balance classes with fun. Though school is very important, don’t forget to relax and spend time with you friends and family. It is summer after all!

18343-Titanic-Jack-Rose-Spin2. Take plenty of breaks. If you just spent 2 hours reading material for an upcoming paper, reward yourself with an episode of your favorite television show (if you have a Netflix, may I suggest Friends?).

yeah_sure_friends3. Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Speaking from personal experience, if you don’t understand the material try not to spend hours figuring it out all by yourself. It’ll create unnecessary stress for yourself, and cost precious relaxation time. So ask your professors and/or TA.

gif-bigbangtheory-penny-laptop-help4. Exercise. We all have those moments, when we sit down, determined to crank out an essay, but we can’t for the life of us form a coherent thought! The little wheel in your mind doesn’t want to turn, so give it a little push by going outside for a walk or even taking a dip in the pool (considering it may be too hot to do anything else).

2296YMX5. Stay organized. Invest in a planner (if you don’t already have one). Feeling overwhelmed is what procrastination feeds on. When we feel that we have too much on our plate, we want to avoid it all together. So compile a list of all the assignments you have due and split it up evenly throughout the week. Also getting to place a check mark next to each item is incredibly satisfying.

tumblr_n6cyv0QbeX1tr2c16o1_400I wish you all the best of luck during the next few months, you’ll do great! (You’re a Wildcat, so why wouldn’t you?)

Best,

Casey 🙂

#JumpStartJanuary: … And We’re Back!

1 Jan

We. Are. Almost. Back. 

January is here. The start of a new semester. A new chapter in all of our lives.

A time reflect before the we start the new year. A time to start off on the right step. A time to really get ready for the next 5 months! 

I decided to truly prepare myself for this next semester BEFORE January 14th. I have to say, I think this might be the first semester I have successfully done this (oops). 

I started with my home life. I have moved every single year. If I am going to be completely honest, I almost never completely move into a place. IF I unpack all of my boxes, it happens sometime around March (when my move occurred the previous August… again, oops). So to say the least, my room is never as organized as I would like it to be, especially when I start a new semester. 

I decided to start with my room. After finals ended last semester, this became my project. I can do a big clean in one day, no problem. But finding a location and organize the stuff I have been avoiding for the past 6 months… that’s when I start to lose interest and ANYTHING can distract me. So I pushed through and did a little organizing every day. 

I feel like a clean and organized living environment is good for the soul. When I go home, I am comfortable, I think I know where everything is, and most importantly, I am not tripping over boxes of stuff. 

Will I make the claim that my room is perfect? 
No. 
But it looks pretty and spacious and I can’t ask for much more. 

Onto the next task: textbooks. Once I started my room organizing and cleaning, I found old textbooks that I never sold back or did anything with. So I had to add that project to my list. I have started the process of selling my books online. I’ll keep you updated with that experience.

Oh and then the age old ordeal of buying textbooks. I decided to start early with some research and figuring out which retailer will give me the best deal. I am still working on that process but I am just about ready to order some books! This is always the most depressing time of year as money leaves your bank account for large, heavy, and (sometimes) boring books. 

The last thing I needed in order to be prepared for this semester was school supplies. For the last few years, I have been just winging it as the semester goes on, I figured it would be nice to go out and purchase a few new note books. So far so good!

-Elena

 

Tame those Beastly Nerves

25 Aug

Here they come. Those nerves. The beastly nerves. One week before classes start and you start to feel the butterflies that are quickly turning your stomach around. How can it be you ask? Simple. Classes are coming and well I am sorry to inform you my friend, but you got the nerves. Know that you are not alone. A good chunk of students experience some form of discomfort before classes start. Whether the discomfort takes form in over excitement, nervousness,or sleepiness (for some of you) there are always ways to tame those negative feelings.sleepyAlright in order to tame the beast you must know what the beast is.

Ask yourself: what is your beast?

 

kitty Personally, my beast takes form in nervousness. It is not a  beast of an issue, but it does well in keeping me preoccupied mentally a couple of days prior to the start of classes.

There is no wrong way to tame this beast. There is, however, my way. This may work for you or it may not.

A massive contributor to my nervousness comes from the idea of not being well prepared for the first day. This definitely has the ability to make or break my mood when it comes down to my outlook of the beginning of the semester. This, also, is a quick fix. How do you fix being under prepared or poorly prepared? Simple: prepare adequately! And how do I prepare adequately you ask? Simple again: I reference my syllabi and professors’ emails. Most of the time these sources will provide me with an idea of what you need for the class whether it is a textbook or calculator.

Also, buying the necessary materials is crucial before school starts for two reasons: 1) being prepared with notebooks, pencils, and the like and 2) there is still things left for sale. From prior experience, it seems that after school starts everyone is out to buy materials. Now in terms of textbooks, you will have a list of required as well as recommended books under your booklist tab on UAccess. Use this resource. It is very helpful and you can even go buy the textbooks even before classes start officially.

So I am prepared now…no more nerves right? Wrong. I still feel myself nervous about the teacher. What will he/she be like? How will they teach? What will they think of me?!

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I think to myself calm down. This too is an easy fix. A couple of things can be done to tame this issue. First possibility: contact the professor directly and see what she/he is all about. Introduce yourself and let them know what you are all about, in a professional manner of course. Do not want to make that move? No worries. Ask around. Talk to previous students, former TAs or preceptors, any one who can get you the details on this professor of yours. Do your research!

Ok, so two things out of the way. I am cool now right? Almost, but not quite. Last thing to take care of: knowing where my classes are. Once again, I know this has an easy fix, but my nervous system will not cool off. For some reason, it insists on making my life more intense than it needs to be. Anyways, two possible fixes to this problem: map out the locations before your first day of classes or carry a handy dandy map with you. I know that during orientation everyone received a calendar with a map on the back, make use of it! Knowing the locations of every class helps me feel less stressed about the possibility of getting to class late or getting lost.

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That is my beast my friends and some ways I try to annihilate it! Whatever your beast is learn from it and do not let it get to you. With that said, happy first day of classes! BEAR DOWN.

 

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Lucero Pesqueira