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#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.


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.


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!


-Chrissy Ellis

#MiddlingMarch: Tidy Room, Tidy Life

11 Mar

Every Spring Break I do the same thing: I clean. I know, I know duh spring cleaning, everyone does that. The difference between me and everyone else is 1: the level of cleaning I do surpasses that of most people, and 2: the cathartic release my cleanings give to me.

As a child, I was always taught that dirtiness is directly connected to how you feel inside. If you are willing to live in filth, you must be going through a lot of angst in your life. Over the years, I have taken this life lesson and made it into my own release of emotions. As I clean, I am letting out all of the stress I have built up, like my throwing out old papers will also throw out the angst and emotions I felt when writing them. That is why Spring Break is an ideal time to do this because boy have I built up a lot of emotions this semester.


The key to this cleaning is devoting 2 whole days to it; after all, I have had a whole year to bottle up these emotions, it will take a while to get rid of them. Once I have my time set out, I start with my desk. It is both the best and most emotionally draining part of the process so I get it out of the way when I have the most energy. I go through every paper and notebook keeping only the things I absolutely need or things that I am particularly proud of. At this point I usually start a pile to take home (in this pile will be books I no longer need, useless stuff I have accumulated over the school year and other things I might use at home). Once I finish my desk I move onto my closet, donating clothes I haven’t worn in more than a month or that I don’t think I can salvage with sewing.


The bathroom comes next and I deep clean that throwing away almost empty bottles that I keep for absolutely no reason. Then I dust everything.. That usually ends the first day of cleaning. The next day is filled with laundry, the kitchen, living room, and the patio. After all of this I am physically drained, but emotionally rested.


Now, I don’t want you people reading this to think I don’t clean except on these two days. I definitely do, but those cleanings aren’t nearly as thorough or emotionally cleansing as these two days which is the point of doing it. I know that after these two days are over, I will be ready to come back to school and finish on a high note.



The Top 5 Lessons I Learned my Sophomore Year of College

27 Feb

The transition between freshman and sophomore year may not seem like that big of a jump, but the changes that it entails are definitely worth mentioning. Here are the 5 lessons that I took away from my sophomore year in college:

1. Cooking is a thing!


Living in a dorm my freshman year, my food choices consisted of the campus food court and any meal that had the word “instant” in its title. However, finally having an apartment with a kitchen opened a whole new world of food for me. It was like stepping through the wardrobe and into Narnia, if Narnia was full of delicious food.

2. Friday nights are best spent with the Bae


I feel like freshman year was surrounded by the misconception that in order to have a good time in college, you need to go to parties and paint the town red. What I learned my sophomore year is that having a good time does not depend where you go, but rather who you spend your time with. I found that some of my favorite college memories have been spent with my close friends, some pizza, and Netflix. There is no need to feel pressured to go out every night just to say you are living your college years to the fullest.

3. It’s okay to let go of some of your high school pals


Freshman year of college, I felt almost obligated to keep in touch with the friends that I had from high school. At the time it made sense not to let go of the friendships considering we had seen each other every day for the past four years. However, I had to come to the realization that people change and it is perfectly normal if you go onto a different path than some of your friends. To this day, I only really keep in touch with a handful of people from high school, and even that is occasional.

4. Study what your passionate about


All too often it becomes easy to forget why you are in college in the first place. I was lost my freshman year, and found myself stuck in a major that I was not enjoying. It wasn’t until my best friend asked me “if you could go into any field of study and money was not an issue, what would you study?” that I began to realize that I wasn’t happy in my major. Now, after changing my major, I look forward to my classes and the career that lies ahead!

5. Explore! 


College is such a great time to explore, not only what kind of person you want to be, but the world too. Sophomore year is a perfect time to begin looking into study abroad opportunity and opportunities that simple let you travel within the nation. Take advantage of your time as a student, especially before you begin taking those upper division courses. Get to know the world we live in!


Bear Down and Clean Up: Move-out Cleaning Checklist

8 Dec

We are approaching the end of the semester and with finals, grades, and winter break on our minds we tend to forget one small task… CLEANING. Many dorms and apartments require spotless rooms, so better get a head start and avoid any outrageous fees!

Cleaning GifI remember cleaning up my dorm before winter break, and let me say cleaning that room was no joke! I was aware that we had to dust and vacuum, you know the basics. There were other sections of the room that needed extra attention like our trash cans and recycle bins. Fees ranged to $40-150! Uhh, no. Cleaning a room can get serious people! But it’s better to see it in a positive light. Once you come back from break you’ll come back to a spotless living space.

Cleaning a room or area can have its therapeutic advantages. If you need a break from studying try sorting out your closet, or dusting your shelves. Think of it this way, you will give your brain a break and two save yourself from having to clean an entire space all at once.

1) Sort Out your Closet 

You would be surprise by all the things one can accumulate in just one semester. Sort through your closet and see what really needs to stay and what really needs to go. Props from Halloween are always a laugh, until you have a collection of sailor, cowboy, and cop hats. BUY. SELL. TRADE. Let’s all admit… extra cash is nice and so is more space. Check out: Buffalo Exchange on Speedway for some assistance in that department. 

2) Dust, Dust, It’s a Must! 

The Arizona heat is great, but behind that greatness is a bundle of dust and dirt! Remember to dust and wipe down your counters and shelves. For desks and other wood surfaces, use a damp wash cloth or an old t-shirt you found after sorting through your closet!

3) Vacuum

I find that everyone suddenly becomes on vacuum patrol once cleaning for winter break begins. If you live in one of the dorms, claiming the vacuum for those 30-minutes is like trying to get to Starbucks before the morning rush: A MISSION. Take advantage of early mornings and late afternoons to check out a vacuum and save yourself the wait. As for you apartment and house dwellers, sharing is caring.

4)  Scrub SCRUB your Trash Cans?

I mentioned earlier how even the smallest of objects, like a trash can, requires a wipe down or two. I am scared from the fact that I had to scrub my trash and recycle bins at the dorms to avoid a fee. Although it was already clean, I did not want to take my chances. This goes for any object. Mirror? Windows? Door Knob? Desk and drawers? SCRUB and wipe down! You can use any damp wash cloth, I prefer using disposable cloths. Just add some soap and water and you are good!

Handi Wipes

5) Recycle 

We all know we tend to put papers and other things here and there throughout the semester. Don’t forget to recycle, donate, or throw away miscellaneous things before you leave. Save yourself from the clutter and more importantly save the planet!


Here is another checklist from Apartment Therapy that will hopefully remind you of other important cleaning tasks! Best of luck during finals, remember a clean space is a happy space, my friends. May the Swiffer be ever in your favor.


When Living Off Campus Gets Real

25 Sep

To stay or not to stay on campus – that is the question.

Whether ‘tis more beneficial and fulfilling to the mind to go home

The couch and bed that calls thy name

Or stay on campus all day

And be productive and involved. To socialize, to be…

That really is the question. So maybe living on campus isn’t a possibility for you like it wasn’t for me.

Or may be it is, but it isn’t your cup of tea. Whatever the reason, you live off campus. And here is the reality of that:

1.   You work a little harder than most to get to class.

Whether you are battling traffic or walking for days, you have a new obstacle that on-campus students do not (unless you live in Arbol or Babcock—those dorms are pretty far).


 Traveling is a necessary evil. Period. So just get up those few extra minutes to get to campus on time. Simple enough.

2.   You might feel out of the loop.

 Sometimes you might not have the luxury of staying on campus a little later due to transportation issues or responsibilities. This might mean you’re not as involved in clubs or that residence life experience others might have. This does not mean you can’t be part of the hype of college life – it simply means you have to modify your schedule a bit to accommodate for it.


The real deal is you either stay on campus forever or find those specific clubs and groups that you really want to be involved with and just stay for their meeting times. If the problem is transportation, try scheduling around meeting times. Maybe you can carpool on those days with members. The UA has some transportation options that may work for you such as SafeRide or CatTran. Where there is a will, there is a way!

3.   You’ve got 2 hours to kill in between classes, now what?

It might not be feasible to go home for your breaks if you live off campus. Maybe getting there will take you those 2 hours of break, and then coming back… it’s just not going to happen! There’s something that feels off about that, almost as if you have nowhere to go.


For this one, it depends on you. There are various solutions that you just have to feel for yourself. Option one: stay on campus and kill time by doing homework. Two: meet with friends and hang out. Three: explore clubs and other potential extracurricular activities. Four: EAT! (Who isn’t a fan of this one?) Five: Find a place to nap (the lounges can be good for this). There are numerous fantastic options for this one, so find the one (or combination of many) that suits you!

When living off campus, you need to take the bad with the good.

 The Good:

1.   In living off campus you have more freedom.

The restrictions of guests and noise levels aren’t present. You also have your own bathroom, kitchen, and room, which to many is AWESOME!


2.   You gain more responsibility.

As a college student you slowly, but surely learn big kid responsibilities. Sometimes, living off campus provides you with a faster and more pronounced experience of those responsibilities since you have bills to care for and a home to maintain clean. The beauty about this one is you’re gaining real-world skills that’ll come in handy when you’re out of here! These opportunities, as well, build up that adult thing called “credit score”.


3.   Really make it your home.

Even though on-campus living allows for decoration and personalization, it can only go so far. If you’re living off campus, you have more flexibility to decorate as you wish. Paint it up, put up those posters of Justin Beiber that maybe you’re a little embarrassed by, scent the house with some lovely candles…the possibilities are endless!


Honestly, I enjoyed my time living off campus! It provided me with experiences I would not have gotten living on campus such as dealing with neighbors, transportation, having a location of my own and monthly bills of my own (woo!), etc. After 3 years of off campus living, I am on campus for the first time now and the differences are quite apparent to me.

 As you get through your first year, you will gain the sense of what’s best for you and what you like! Happy living Wildcats!

– Lucero Pesqueira