Archive | freshman RSS feed for this section

College Expectations vs. Reality

2 Sep

There are many things that first-year students expect college to be like. A bit of work, some fun, and some new challenges. But there are things that you just can’t expect to come across when you first start school. So I have compiled a list of my favorite scenarios that college has gifted us at some time or another! Enjoy and I hope you have a couple of laughs too!

  1. You will be best friends with your roommate
step brothers

Expectation: Instant Best Friends

The reality and likelihood that you and your roommate or suitemates (whether random or not) are going to be best friends ’til the end of the year isn’t very plausible. This is not to say that you can’t or won’t be good friends with them, there are plenty of people who have great relationships with their roomies. But sharing a space for a whole year can cause issues between anyone. Whether it’s a dispute about sleep, space, or food, you will probably have at least one issue come up with your roommate/s, and know that you will survive it. After the first couple of months of college you will hopefully start to develop your friend group, and whether that includes your room or floor-mates, just remember that living with another person can be challenging at times, and make sure you communicate anything you need to your roommate. It should be added for those of you who will continue to live at home might have an easier time with this one, but still keep in mind, Communication is Key.  

Spongebob choking

Reality: Not So Much

2. You will be healthy and go the gym every day

exercising dude

Expectation: You Every Morning

Let’s be honest, now that you are out of high school and are in total control of your schedule, most people believe that they will go to all their classes, finish their homework, go to the gym, and sleep at an “acceptable time” every day. That is until two weeks in and you are rolling to classes in sweats and eating Doritos and gummy worms at 3 am while trying to finish homework for your 8am lecture. What people don’t realize is that regardless of your class schedule or your ambition, you probably won’t be able to do all those things in one day. My advice? Shoot for more tangible goals, maybe meal prep a little in your living space, try to hit the gym 2 or 3 times a week instead of setting yourself up to be overwhelmed. Trust me. You will be way more likely to succeed and still have a social life if you realistically set yourself up for what you are capable of.

Spongebob exercising

Reality: You Once A Month (If You’re Lucky)

3. You can skip that lecture class and still pass

FBDO

Expectation: Once A Week

As students, sometimes we are a bit overwhelmed or trying to catch up on an important project so we don’t go to class. Ok cool. I get it. We’ve all been there. But if you think about it, you are probably spending a good amount of chunk change to attend the U of A. Do you really want to be that one student at the end of the semester going into your teacher’s office hours 1 week before finals with a bad grade in the class? So my advice, just show up to class consistently and even try to make a couple of friends in the class to hook you up with notes when you can’t come. Trust me, you’ll be way less stressed around finals time.

Spongebob writing

Reality: Three Hours In

4. You will get enough sleep

Winnie the poo.gif

Expectation: Perfect Sleep

It’s. going. to. Get. Crazy. Whether you are taking naps in between your classes or getting 3 hours of sleep a day, you are going to have some rough days. The good news is that most people will be right there with you. So prepare to fill your coffee cups high and blast your classical music to keep you awake while writing that 7-page paper. In the end, just try to get as much sleep as you can, your body with thank you.

squidward sleeping

Reality: Sleep Whenever Possible

5. Doing your laundry every week

cleaning like crazy

Expectation: Amazing Cleaning Machine

Ok. So everyone thinks since the laundry rooms are in the same building that you will have plenty of time to do your laundry on Sunday night. WRONG. Remember that you are an intelligent driven student, but that most people around you are having the same thought processes. So unless you want to awkwardly have someone move your clothes from the washer to on top of the dryer, try to plan accordingly when you will do your laundry, your whole floor will thank you. For those of you lucky enough to have your washer and dryer in your house or apartment, just remember not to leave your clothes in the washer for a week without moving them into the dryer. I am definitely guilty of this one

spongebob cleaning

Reality: Cleaning In Your 5 Minutes of Free Time

-Mandi

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

Top 20 Movies to Watch Over The Summer

10 Jun

 

Shannon’s Picks                                                              Chrissy’s Picks

Action:  

 The Bourne Identity                                                          Dracula Untold

PicMonkey Collage

Adventure:

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows                       Bridge to Terabithia

sher

Animation:

How to Train Your Dragon                                            Lion King

drag

Comedy:

The Hangover                                                                    The Intern

hang

Drama:

Cast Away                                                                            Sense and Sensibility

cast

Family:

The Sandlot                                                                         Howl’s Moving Castle

sand

Fantasy:

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey                           Harry Potter

hob

Horror:

The Shining                                                                         Shrooms

shin

Romantic Comedy:

The Wedding Singer                                                         The Ugly Truth

rom

Science Fiction:

iRobot                                                                                    Blade Runner

rob

Chrissy’s Summer Reading List

10 Jun

Summertime,  the most relaxing word a college student can hear, say, or think. Summertime opens up a plethora of opportunities that are not available during the school year: sleeping until 1pm, going on random road trips, and of course reading fun books. I don’t know about y’all, but I find that during the school year I am way too busy reading the various assigned readings to  actually get any fun reading done! So, I made a list during the school year of all the books I would like to read during them summer and I am now steadily working my way through them! Here are my top 10 books that I would like to have read by the end of the summer. I included short summaries of the books that I found on the publishers’ websites.

Please note that most of these contain adult themes and violence. Please read at your own discretion. 

10. Ella Enchanted: Gail Carson Levine

How can a fairy’s blessing be such a curse?

At her birth, Ella of Frell was given a foolish fairy’s gift—the “gift” of obedience. Ella must obey any order given to her, whether it’s hopping on one foot for a day or chopping off her own head!

But strong-willed Ella does not tamely accept her fate. She goes on a quest, encountering ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, fairy godmothers, and handsome princes, determined to break the curse—and live happily ever after.

Ella Enchanted.jpg

9. Dracula: Bram Stoker

During a business visit to Count Dracula’s castle in Transylvania, a young English solicitor finds himself at the center of a series of horrifying incidents. Jonathan Harker is attacked by three phantom women, observes the Count’s transformation from human to bat form, and discovers puncture wounds on his own neck that seem to have been made by teeth. Harker returns home upon his escape from Dracula’s grim fortress, but a friend’s strange malady — involving sleepwalking, inexplicable blood loss, and mysterious throat wounds — initiates a frantic vampire hunt. The popularity of Bram Stoker’s 1897 horror romance is as deathless as any vampire.  Its supernatural appeal has spawned a host of film and stage adaptations, and more than a century after its initial publication, it continues to hold readers spellbound.

Dracula.jpg

8. The Blood of Flowers: Anita Amirrezvani

Both a sweeping love story and a luminous portrait of a city, The Blood of Flowers is the mesmerizing historical novel of an ill-fated young woman whose gift as a rug designer transforms her life. Illuminated with glorious detail of Persian rug-making, and brilliantly bringing to life the sights sounds and life of 17th-century Isfahan, The Blood of Flowers has captured readers’ imaginations everywhere as a timeless tale of one woman’s struggle to live a life of her choosing.

The Blood of Flowers.jpg

7. The Iliad: Homer

Dating to the ninth century B.C., Homer’s timeless poem still vividly conveys the horror and heroism of men and gods wrestling with towering emotions and battling amidst devastation and destruction, as it moves inexorably to the wrenching, tragic conclusion of the Trojan War. Renowned classicist Bernard Knox observes in his superb introduction that although the violence of the Iliad is grim and relentless, it coexists with both images of civilized life and a poignant yearning for peace

The iliad

6. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep: Philip K. Dick

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was published in 1968. Grim and foreboding, even today it is a masterpiece ahead of its time.
By 2021, the World War had killed millions, driving entire species into extinction and sending mankind off-planet. Those who remained coveted any living creature, and for people who couldn’t afford one, companies built incredibly realistic simulacrae: horses, birds, cats, sheep. . . They even built humans.
Emigrées to Mars received androids so sophisticated it was impossible to tell them from true men or women. Fearful of the havoc these artificial humans could wreak, the government banned them from Earth. But when androids didn’t want to be identified, they just blended in.
Rick Deckard was an officially sanctioned bounty hunter whose job was to find rogue androids, and to retire them. But cornered, androids tended to fight back, with deadly results.

Do androids dream of electric sheep

5. 13 Reasons Why: Jay Asher

You can’t stop the future. 
You can’t rewind the past.
The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play.

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker—his classmate and crush—who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why.
Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.

13 reasons why.jpg

4. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter has no idea how famous he is. That’s because he’s being raised by his miserable aunt and uncle who are terrified Harry will learn that he’s really a wizard, just as his parents were. But everything changes when Harry is summoned to attend an infamous school for wizards, and he begins to discover some clues about his illustrious birthright. From the surprising way he is greeted by a lovable giant, to the unique curriculum and colorful faculty at his unusual school, Harry finds himself drawn deep inside a mystical world he never knew existed and closer to his own noble destiny.

Harry_Potter_and_the_Sorcerer's_Stone.jpg

3. Brave New World: Aldous Huxley

The astonishing novel Brave New World, originally published in 1932, presents Aldous Huxley’s vision of the future- of a world utterly transformed. Through the most efficient scientific and psychological engineering, people are genetically designed to be passive and therefore consistently useful to the ruling class. This powerful work of speculative fiction sheds a blazing critical light on the present and is considered to be Huxley’s most enduring masterpieces.

BraveNewWorld_FirstEdition.jpg

2. The Other Boleyn Girl: Philipa Gregory

When Mary Boleyn comes to court as an innocent girl of fourteen, she catches the eye of the handsome and charming Henry VIII. Dazzled by the king, Mary falls in love with both her golden prince and her growing role as unofficial queen. However, she soon realizes just how much she is a pawn in her family’s ambitious plots as the king’s interest begins to wane, and soon she is forced to step aside for her best friend and rival: her sister, Anne. With her own destiny suddenly unknown, Mary realizes that she must defy her family and take fate into her own hands.

the other boleyn girl.jpg

1. Poison Study: Maria V. Snyder

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace- and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia. And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly’s Dusté and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison. As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear—.

Poison study.jpg

#AdventurousApril: Archaeology Adventures

18 Apr

April is one of the hardest months in the school year. Everyone is ready for school to be over and yet there is still a ton to do! Added on top of all this is registration for classes, which inexplicably comes with thinking about the future.

Personally, I have always known what I wanted to do both for my bachelor’s degree and my master’s degree, but suddenly out of almost no where, I was not so sure. Essentially it started with my school tour last month. It got me thinking about things, always dangerous, I know. What it really came down to was that I did not think I could be happy being a Professor for the rest of my life, not that I did not want to teach, but I did not want to do research (a big part of being a professor).

Equipped with this new-found information, I had a decision to make: what the heck was I going to do now? I had come into college with a sure-fire plan of what I wanted to do, and now here I was at the end of my JUNIOR year with no idea about what I want to do?! So, I did what anyone would do: I stayed up all night watching Ted-Talk videos trying to come up with a semblance of a plan.The videos actually ended up helping because during one of the videos, I heard someone talking about classical preservationists, who preserve ancient artifacts. I started researching the requirements for this job, and it turned out that all my hard work in my undergrad would not go to waste! I would need the exact same classes that I had already taken, so I was not as hopeless as I thought I was.

The truth of the matter is that most students will change their minds about what they want to do sometime during their undergraduate career, it is just a fact of college. As we grow as people, we find out more about our interests and limits and have to adjust for that. If you find yourself in my shoes, with no idea about what you want to do with your life, don’t fret. Start researching, do some personal digging and figure out what interests you. Take a class that sounds interesting, you never know… maybe Psychology is your thing, maybe you were born to be a Criminologist!  Whatever excites you, go for it!

Christine Ellis

Worst Moment Ever

15 Apr

It was the Spring Semester of my first year at the U of A and I felt like registration was going to be a breeze. Registering for my Spring courses had been easy. I orchestrated a nice schedule for myself, got up early with my roommate, clicked the finish enrollment button and within minutes I had all the classes I needed.Unfortunately I was wrong. This would be the worst registration experience of undergraduate career.

I woke up early, put on my glasses, washed my face, brushed my teeth, grabbed my laptop and walked downstairs to the common room with my roommate. We both grabbed donuts and hot chocolate and settled in at a nice table. I logged into UAccess and pulled up my shopping cart. I had 5 minutes to spare, so I ate my donut and sipped my hot chocolate. At 5:59am I refreshed my page. At 6:00am I pressed finished enrollment. At 6:03am I was redirected to a page and was blocked from enrolling. At 6:10am I had logged in on 3 different devices and tried to finish enrolling countless times. By 6:15am my R.A. was helping me figure out why I wasn’t able to enroll. Turns out I was already considered a sophomore because of all the Advanced Placement Credit I had come in with and all the units I had already completed. I was devastated.

Missing my enrollment period was the worst thing that could happen to me in that moment. Being a science major, there was a very specific order I needed to take my classes in, and it also meant that many of my classes were in high demand, making the whole situation even worse because of the competition for seats in my classes. I felt stupid and dumbfounded because I thought I had everything under control. I thought I could do it all on my own. I didn’t really have anyone in a position of authority I felt comfortable approaching to ask questions. I planned to have my advisor meeting after I had registered so that we could just double check things. I didn’t know that I would actually need help. I was also a little angry because I didn’t even know where to look to find out what was wrong. I felt under prepared and disappointed.

Thankfully, I was able to scramble around and pull things together over the next few months so that in the Fall, I had all the classes I needed. I would check UAccess multiple times a day to see if the classes I needed opened up, and I was fortunate enough to make the cut at the last minute. My schedule was not sexy at all. There were 8ams and art history classes and nothing was convenient or easy, but I learned how to push myself and to stay focused on what matters most. I do not recommend missing your enrollment period at all, it is hectic and just awful. All I can say is that I made it through, and I never messed up on registration ever again.

There’s a First Time for Everything

4 Apr

Spring Fling is a U of A tradition that most students take part in their first year on campus. My first year however, I was pretty awkward and I did not feel comfortable walking around alone, and none of my friends wanted to go. I promised myself I would do it my Sophomore year, but once again I lost my nerve, I ended up talking myself out of it by claiming I had too much homework. This year will be different. For starters, I have a few friends that are very excited to go with me so it looks like I will finally go to my first Spring Fling.

Spring Fling 3.jpg

There are a few things I am really excited for, one thing is cotton candy. I have never had cotton candy before, and I know I can go to the store and buy it, but I am sure there is something different about carnival cotton candy.

Spring fling 2.jpg

The bands look pretty cool, I read the description of a few of them, and the Score looked like it could be good. Also, there are quite a few A Cappella groups performing on various days which could be good.

Spring break 4.jpg

I don’t know if I will ride any rides, I have seen Final Destination and I am not sure if I am down with that. I might ride a Ferris Wheel so that I can say I rode a ride, but I am not a huge thrill seeker.

Spring Fling 5.gif

Moreover, I am really excited to spend some times with my friends relaxing and not worrying about school.

-Chrissy

#MiddlingMarch: Chrissy Gets Her Groove Back

29 Mar

Of all the breaks and days off we have, Spring Break is the worst. It is just long enough that we delude ourselves that we can put off doing school work for a few days, but not long enough for that to actually be the case. Please, don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Spring Break, I cherish the fact that I don’t have to be at school at 7:30 in the morning everyday, but coming back from break is always the hardest thing to do.

Personally, to avoid the awkward phase of getting back into the swing of school, I do school-type things over the break. This break, I visited the University of Washington to check out their graduate program. I was able to talk to the Professors I could potentially be working with to get my PhD. Doing this helped me refocus my vision. Throughout your school years, you might forget why you came to college in the first place, and it is a good idea to remind yourself. If graduate school is not in the books for you, spend some time talking to people in your field. Sometimes you have to focus on the end goals a bit to stay motivated.

20160314_145402.jpg

Of course, I did not visit Seattle without visiting the sites! I was there for three days, and while one was spent at the University, the other two were spent touring around Seattle. I visited the Chihuly Glass Museum, the Seattle Aquarium, Pike-Market Place (where we saw them throw fish at customers) and of course the Space Needle. It was the right amount of school and relaxing.

glass 1 final

Glass 2

It’s not always easy to flit off to schools you’re interested in, but looking up programs is a great way to focus your mind on the future and to remind yourself what you are working toward. It is never too early to start planning your future!

-Chrissy

New Year, New Me?

21 Feb

Starting Spring semester is always a wake up call for me. I am not sure why, but I am never as motivated in Spring as I am in the Fall. This Spring semester seems to be the worst one of all because I am taking a lot of units and I have my annual laziness epidemic going on. Personally, I think I, and students in general, have a harder time staying focused in Spring because the weather gets better, and everyone wants to be outside. Regardless of the causes, what I need to do this Spring is to get myself organized and set up personal goals.

Edition 28 Blog 5.gif

The most important aspect of a goal is that it is achievable, so while it is nice to think that I can take 21 units and work 20 hours a week, this is really not possible for me. So, my first goal is to work enough to keep me busy, but not so many as to overwhelm myself. I have actually already achieved this goal, I found that working 13 hours a week is best for my current schedule.

Edition 28 Blog 4.gif

My next goal for the semester is to study on the weekends. Often, I have the mindset that the weekend is my time to relax from school, and while I might not have to go to school, I can still do school work. Doing work on the weekend will make my daily work less stressful and help me stay more motivated.

edition 28 Blog 3

My last goal for the semester is to socialize a bit more. I am not sure how it has happened, but since I have come to college, I have become a recluse. It doesn’t matter if it is just hanging with friends at my apartment, having any kind of social interaction will help me not procrastinate as much.

Edition 28 blog 2.gif

Look, I know motivation in the Spring semester is hard to come by, but if you make goals for yourself, we will find a way to get through it together!

Edition 28 Blog 1.gif

-Chrissy

#JumpStartJanuary: Organizational Tools Galore

29 Jan

There are a lot of different ways people organize their life. As a college student, finding the way that works best for you can be quite challenging, but it is essential to college success. I am going to go over a few different kinds of organizational tools and how they could potentially be used.

The Planner

  • This is one of the most commonly used organizational tools in college. Students go through and write down assignments that are due each day. Ideally, the student will carry it with them everyday and add to it as more assignments get added. This tool is great for students that are on the go; it allows them to double check assignment due dates on the drop of a hat.

planner.jpg

The Post-It Notes

  • These tools are less common. Many times students will use these to make lists. This is more of a short term tool, meaning most students will use them for day to day lists, but they will not have their entire semester planned out on one. This tool is useful for a student trying to stay focused. Having a to-do list right on their desk often helps students remember what they need to do immediately.

Post it notes.jpg

The White Board/ Mirror

  • Much like the Post-It Note, the white board is often used for lists, but on a much bigger scale. Obviously, there is a lot more room on a white board or mirror compared to that of a Post-It. Often times students will utilize this tool when they have large projects, or many assignments in various classes. This helps organize assignments into a bigger picture.

White board.jpg

The Teacher’s Calendar

  • Personally, I find this tool to be the most useful. I have used a teacher’s calendar every year I have been at school and it has helped me tremendously. The teacher’s calendar or desk calendar as some refer to it is a larger than normal calendar that one can hang up on the wall or put on their desk. Many times, students will go through their syllabus and write down important dates (such as exams), assignments (including but not limited to readings and essays) and note important dates for the class. Using this tool can be helpful because it allows students to see upcoming assignments well in advance and can aid in planning for projects.

Calendar final

The Carrier

  • While this might sound like a contagious disease, the carrier is actually just a name for a person who carries (get it?) around their syllabus to their classes. While most people don’t use this tool, those that do have an added benefit of always having access to assignments. Most people do not carry physical copies of their syllabus to class, instead they have them saved on their phone or other electronic devices.

folder-main.jpg

Now, of course these are only a few of the many many many different kinds of tools that students use to become more organized. While I strongly promote the use of a calendar, that might not be the best tool for you, but it is important to find what does work and to utilize it; there is no point in having a planner if it sits at home collecting dust. So go out there and get organized!

organized-desk.jpg

-Chrissy Ellis