Archive | Summer Fun RSS feed for this section

Top 20 Movies to Watch Over The Summer

10 Jun


Shannon’s Picks                                                              Chrissy’s Picks


 The Bourne Identity                                                          Dracula Untold

PicMonkey Collage


Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows                       Bridge to Terabithia



How to Train Your Dragon                                            Lion King



The Hangover                                                                    The Intern



Cast Away                                                                            Sense and Sensibility



The Sandlot                                                                         Howl’s Moving Castle



The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey                           Harry Potter



The Shining                                                                         Shrooms


Romantic Comedy:

The Wedding Singer                                                         The Ugly Truth


Science Fiction:

iRobot                                                                                    Blade Runner


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.


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.


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.


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

Vacation vs. Staycation

12 May

Every summer I am met with the same struggle, should I spend a ton of money going on a vacation and having fun with my friends, or should I stay at home and work. Let’s be honest, usually I stay home. Not only do I not have the money to go on vacations, but vacations, at least mine, tend to be more trouble than they are worth.

Chrissy Blog 9

It doesn’t matter who I go with, whether family or friends, there is always so much drama that I would not have had to deal with if I had stayed home! I don’t know what it is about vacations, but they tend to bring out the worst in people. This year though, I have decided to brave the dreaded vacation, but only for a weekend. I am going to go to California for 3 days with a few friends, and hopefully it won’t be a huge mistake.

Chrissy Blog 6

Usually though, I have a staycation. For those of you who do not know, a staycation is a vacation you take without going anywhere. I tend to be a bit more strict with my staycations than most, I don’t allow myself to use social media, I do not watch T.V. shows that are currently on; instead I re-watch classic movies, I get caught up on books, and I sleep and sleep and sleep. Now, my staycation only lasts about a week because I take summer courses and work, but for that one glorious week I have no worries and no one can bother me. I am not trying to say that you have to do your staycation the same way I do, that’s the beauty of the staycation, it differs for every individual!

Chrissy Blog 8

The rest of my summer is usually spent working and taking classes which for some is not relaxing, but having the same routine I have during the school year is quite nice for me. I tend to take online classes so I can do my homework by the pool or while watching A League of their Own for the thousandth time, and work tends to be a bit more relaxed in the summer, so in the end I do have a nice relaxing summer.

Chrissy Blog 7

Now, whether you choose to vacation with family or stay at home and relax there, just make sure you do relax a little bit this summer. Students really do need the time to reenergize themselves.

Chrissy Blog 5


Feeling Fresh For The Fall Semester

22 Jun

Now that summer has begun, we can really start to unwind and give our brains a much deserved break. I think we should all take the next couple of months to take a mental break so we can be up and running by the time fall semester rolls around. Really immerse yourself into spending time with your family, your friends, and your bed. But if you’re like me, I still like to feel fairly productive even when I’m on break. Now I’m not talking about doing anything too strenuous, just something that will exercise the other parts of my brain that I don’t use for writing 10-page essays. This way, I feel shiny and new and ready to take on a new semester when the time comes.

Here are some things that I enjoy doing in preparation for a new academic year 🙂

1. Clean your house/apartment. Last summer I had a terrible case of insomnia, and I could only lay in bed, staring hopelessly at my ceiling for so long. So what did I do? I cleaned, and cleaned, and cleaned. When my living space is clean and organized, I feel clean and organized.

giphy2. Pamper yourself. Cook yourself your favorite meal (or pick something up if cooking isn’t your forte), eat it while watching your favorite movie, then fall asleep watching another in bed. Just thinking about it puts me in a better mood.

giphy3. Exercise your body, give your brain a break. Personally, I love going on hikes with friends because the scenery distracts me from thinking about the fact that I’m exercising. But considering it’s become terribly hot outside, visit the UA Rec Center and take a dip in the pool.

giphy-14. Read, but nothing too heavy. Since we don’t have to keep our eyes glued to our textbooks as much, we have time to actually read for pleasure. Magazines are great, but books tend avoid who wore what at the Golden Globes if you’re not into that kind of thing.

matilda-reading5. Get creative. Pick up some blue painter’s tape and left over magazines to create a collage on your wall. I’ve done this in both of my dorm rooms and my current apartment. Christmas lights are always a nice touch too 🙂CI-Home-Polish-Francisco-Aguila-photo-collage-bedroom-wall_s4x3_lg

6. Spend time with your family and friends. Pretty self-explanatory, but if you’re running out of ideas, consider doing any of the activities I’ve listed so far with a sibling or a friend you never get to see during the semester.

7. Purchase school supplies. One of the best ways to get excited for school is getting your hands on a 3-subject notebook with blank crisp pieces of paper and pencils with fresh, untouched erasers. It’s been this way since elementary school.

tumblr_n9j56qdvN61t3rqgbo1_500Relax, you deserve it!



Summer School Ain’t So Bad!

10 Apr

This summer I will be taking physics 2, which focuses on electromagnetism, at my local community college (Chandler-Gilbert Community College). Although I’m not thrilled to be in class four days a week, from 9-12 every day, I am looking forward to getting some credits out of the way! Since I am a physiology major, physics and math are definitely not my forte. Instead of struggling and taking many courses during the school year when I have a million other things going on, every summer I have taken one or two math-intensive courses at either Chandler-Gilbert Community College or Mesa Community College. Within the past three summers, I have gotten calculus 1 and 2 and physics 1 out of the way, which is a fantastic feeling!

Taking a summer course isn’t all that bad because you make friends in your classes instantly. You and your classmates bond quickly since you are stuck in the same place for 3 hours everyday! I have made many friends the past couple summers. And believe it or not, I still keep in touch with them.

During summer school, the pace is faster than during the normal academic year and while this may seem scary, it actually proves to be advantageous. First, you finish faster, which is always a plus. And since the class is going at a faster pace, you are forced to study and stay on task, as opposed to the normal college-student procrastination. As you can see, I am not all that bummed about having to take a summer course. See what options are available for you! Bear Down Wildcats and let’s get some A’s over the summer!!

-Erica S.

Wildcat Tradition: Spring Fling!

3 Apr

The sun is shining bright, the flowers are blooming, and the sweet smell of summertime is in the air. All this change can only mean one thing: SPRING FLING IS HERE!

For all you new kitties out there and even more mature cats who have not yet experienced this, Spring Fling is 3 days filled with rides, food, excitement, and pure Wildcat awesomeness! Whether you’re there for the rides and thrills or to get your grub on, we guarantee you’ll have an epic time!


But how did a carnival end up on Wildcat turf?

It all started in 1974. The Associated Students of the University of Arizona (aka ASUA) decided that the UA needed a creative way for clubs to fundraise! Thanks to that brilliant thinking, Spring Fling has developed as a prime fundraising opportunity for clubs and organizations on campus. Talk about combining fun and business!

Now, Spring Fling is the largest student-run carnival in the nation and 7th largest event in Tucson. Over 25,000 people attend it!


All this magic just doesn’t happen over night. Nine student directors are hard at work year-round to plan all the details. Talk about commitment! There are also numerous volunteers who help before, during, and after the event. So all Wildcats are on board with this one!

If you’re looking for some fun right on campus, don’t miss out on Spring Fling! With over 35 rides, 20 different food booths, and awesome music from the band Small Pools… this event is one you won’t want to miss!

Spring Fling Hours of Operation:

April 10: 4-11pm*

April 11: 11a-11pm*

April 12: 11a-6pm*

* Admission closes 1 hour prior to carnival closure.

– Lucero

Change Your Course With A Summer Course!

6 Mar

Now I know taking summer classes doesn’t seem like the most glamorous way to spend one’s summer break, but hear me out!


Summer courses at the U of A are scheduled in 2 sessions, each class lasting 5 weeks. Now this means that you’ll be learning the material at a much faster pace than you normally would during the Spring/Fall Semester, and they will most likely occur more than 2-3 times per week. But don’t let that intimidate you! Though this may sound a bit overwhelming, when you’re only taking 1 or 2 classes, it really isn’t all that bad.


Last summer, I stayed in Oregon with my mother for about a month. And during that time period I really didn’t have much to do considering my mom was at work for most of the day. So I applied for financial aid (yes, there is such a thing for summer courses) and once I got the A-Okay, I enrolled in 2 online classes since I knew I would be out of the state. So even if you won’t be in Tucson for the summer, taking online courses is always a great way to keep you busy!


Because I was taking 2 classes, versus 4 or 5, my workload was SO much lighter, and incredibly easy to handle while still having time to relax during my break. I got A’s in both class, which raised my GPA by almost .2 points! And we all know how beautiful that can be 🙂


So try not to write off summer courses right away, because it’s a manageable and efficient way to “point” your GPA in the right direction and get ahead, while still having the time to enjoy your well deserved summer break.

Best of all, registration for summer courses is now available on  UAccess!



Summer Opportunities: Studying Abroad

9 Apr

The school year of 2013-2014 is almost at an end, and it’s been an adventure. Deep inside I know most of us are ready for the semester to be over, but unfortunately we still have four weeks of school left. We need to power through these last couple of weeks, and end the semester with a bang!

However, after we dominate finals guess what time it is?  SUMMER TIME! 


Summer can be one of the greatest moments ever, or they could potentially be one of the worst. Some people plan their break very carefully, while others just go with the flow. Some students take a couple extra classes, while others work throughout the summer. Regardless of how you plan your time off, I want to talk to you amazing people about studying abroad during the summer.


It is extremely important to plan ahead if you’re interested in studying abroad. The reason why it’s important to plan ahead is because the application process is quiet long, but don’t let that stop you!

The University of Arizona has a magnificent study abroad program. They have programs all around the world which provides you with many different options to choose from. If they don’t have a program that fits you, don’t to worry, they have highly skilled advisors to help you find one that is just right.


The study abroad program offers four main programs.

  • UA Faculty-led: Programs organized and/or taught by UA professors and staff.  Students take classes with other UA students.  Participants earn direct UA credit, which means grades received are calculated into the UA GPA. Students pay a set program fee, regardless of residency status.
  • Student Exchange: Students attend one of UA’s partner institutions abroad for a semester or academic year and attend classes with a mix of local and international students.  Participants pay the equivalent of UA tuition and earn transfer credit, which does not affect the UA GPA. Please note: space is limited in some exchanges, so apply early!
  • Direct Enroll: Similar to exchange, students attend one of UA’s partner institutions abroad with a mix of local and international students.  However, students pay the host institution’s tuition plus a UA Registration Fee.  Students earn transfer credit, which does not affect the UA GPA.
  • Third-party provider: There are 7 UA-affiliated third-party program providers (CEA, CIEE, DIS, GlobaLinks, IAU, ISA, and Semester at Sea) that draw students from all over the U.S. The experiences you gain from these programs can vary significantly by provider and location. In most cases, students take classes with other US students, but some programs also offer classes with a mix of local and international students. Students pay a set program fee, regardless of residency status, plus a UA Registration Fee.  Students earn transfer credit, which does not affect the UA GPA.

Very self explanatory right? If you have any further questions about these types of programs feel free to contact the Study Abroad office. Before you apply to a program there are a several steps you need to take. 

            Step 1 Attend a Study Abroad 101 Information Session: All students interested in studying abroad must attend Study Abroad 101, a one-hour session that is full of helpful information.

           Step 2 Create a Study Abroad ProfileDoing so will provide necessary information to our study abroad coordinators so they can help you select the program that is best for you.  There is no commitment at this point and it’s free to create a profile. 

           Step 3 Consider Your Program Options: Like I said there are hundreds of programs to choose from in approximately 60 countries which range from 4-10 weeks. Use the program search tool to help you narrow your search. If your looking for programs that best suites your Major/Minor check out a few on the Study Abroad for your Major/Mnior page.

           Step 4 Meet with a Study Abroad Coordinator: Once you have narrowed down your choices, meet with one (or more!) of the study abroad coordinators to get more details, and ask any questions you might have. You can book an appointment with them online

            Step 5 Meet with your Academic Advisor: Like I said early PLAN AHEAD! Talk with your academic advisor as early as possible about your intent to study abroad. One you’ve selected a program, you should meet with your academic advisor to make sure the program satisfies your academic requirement and keeps you on track for graduation. VERY IMPORTANT. 

          Step 6 APPLY!: Once you’ve have completed all these steps, you are ready to apply to your program. Apply by clicking the “Apply Now” button on your program’s page. However, keep in mind that each time you open an application, your Bursar’s account will be charged a $80 non-refundable application fee, whether you decide to complete the application or not. So be sure you’re ready!  This is also a perfect time to check Scholarship Universe for study abroad scholarships. 

I know this was a lot of information to take in, but once you’ve completed these six easy step you’re ready to launch into a summer of a lifetime. It is too late to apply for this summer, but plan ahead and apply for the Summer of 2015. There is a saying that has always stuck with me, and I hope that you find it just as motivating as I did:

“Those who study abroad wish they would of done it again, and those who’ve never studied abroad wish they did.” – Unknown

Pretty Cool! - Imgur-Valeria

Summer School YAY!

24 Mar

Now, I know that as soon as I recommend taking summer classes many of you are going to…

tumblr_inline_mpzwziGcX31qz4rgpLet’s make an agreement. We’ll all keep an open mind until the end of the blog!

I know that school can get really tiring and annoying, but considering summer school is actually something that can pay off in your future! I first started contemplating the idea after I met with my academic advisor my sophomore year. We mapped out my four-year plan and I was not liking how many units I would have had to take my Senior year. I knew I wanted to further my education and seeing friends go through the process, I knew I needed to take an easier workload those semesters to be able to survive! At that moment I realized that although I was tired of school and definitely needed a break, taking classes would benefit my future more. My brain didn’t like me at that moment in time, in fact I felt it doing this to me…

tumblr_mrli80kGmN1s9cwawo4_250It was at this time though that I knew I had to prepare for what was ahead of me. I asked my advisor for tips on taking classes. I also went to classmates who had taken summer school before and they all gave me different advise.

This is what I took out of it: take classes in pre-session or summer session 1 and take classes that are actually going to interest you! I have a Spanish minor and I still needed to complete some units so I decided to take a Spanish class and another one towards my Psychology major.

Now, I’m not going to lie to you. Summer school can be a drag. Monday – Thursday from 9 – 12 was not easy to do! I often had those moments where I just wanted to quit. After much frustration both of my classes were done, and I couldn’t be any happier, I was finally done.

tumblr_inline_mueumhn0ZT1r0qz7tHaving taken the first two sessions still gave me half of July and August to enjoy my summer!

My second time around with summer school was less smooth sailing than the first. I didn’t want to be stuck in class all those days so I decided to take online classes IN THE SAME SESSION. This was by far one of the stupidest mistakes I’ve made while being here. Both classes involved a heavy workload, I had a summer job, and I needed to sleep somewhere in-between. My month of June consisted of:

tumblr_inline_mkwh2ugi1z1qz4rgpBut I had great support from both my teachers, boss, and family! That helped make this “hell month” that much better. Once again I was able to finish and the celebration began!

Many people think that when you take summer classes that that is ALL you will be doing that summer. Truth is, that’s a lie. Summer classes give you the opportunity to get ahead in school (no one said it was easy) and still gives you enough time to enjoy your break! Just DON’T take a class every session or you will be booked the whole summer. As friends told me, I would recommend taking classes that you will enjoy, this way they won’t feel like such a drag. And before finalizing anything make sure you visit your academic advisor and make sure that the classes you are taking are going to help you finish your degree.

Regardless of classes both of my summers were eventful! I got to go to the beach, which is my favorite place in the world with the people that love me the most!



OWLing Summer Fun!

13 Mar


Do you remember your orientation the summer before your freshman year? Do you remember a group of college students guiding you through our fight song? Well… funny story, I was probably one of those college students guiding you through your exciting transition to the University of Arizona.

As a Tucsonan, I have often spent the summer here, and well, if you haven’t spent a summer in Tucson, it’s not fun when it hits the triple digits. Once it hit those triple digits, all you think about is air conditioning. Because of this, I spent every summer inside with the air conditioning on full-blast, not doing much. However, Tucson does have great pool weather for those who like to get their tan on. Have you seen how wonderful the Campus Rec pool is? Still, it never occurred to me that I could actually do something productive in triple-digit weather. All I thought about was sleeping in late, and becoming a couch potato. Who doesn’t like to be a couch potato?

My freshmen year, spring semester, I stumbled across the orientation page one night and saw an ad that said:

                        “Now Hiring Orientation and Welcome Leaders for Summer 2012.”

My first thought was, “Wow! They get paid for that?”  I remembered my orientation leaders having so much fun and enjoying their time with each other. They were also knowledgeable and welcoming, which made me feel right at home. I looked at the application, and basically said, “WHY NOT?” and that’s how it all started.

I got selected to be an Orientation and Welcome Leader for the summer of 2012. I was extremely excited mainly because I was getting paid and earning a bit of cash. However, my experience became much more than just a summer job.

As an Orientation Leader, I learned so much about the University of Arizona, and about the transition students go through their freshman year. It was a privilege to work with a great institution like UA, and to work with incredible supervisors.  I think the most rewarding experience during my summer as an Orientation and Welcome Leader was getting to know my coworkers. They have become a huge part of my college experience. I will always have Orientation to thank for wonderful memories , and for the people that I have in my life because of the opportunities afforded to me.

Here’s a quick peek of the Orientation Leaders, behind the scenes…


It’s always fun to have a photo shoot with Wilbur and Wilma


Excited to meet everyone at 7:00am!


Ready to Bear Down!

Summers don’t have to be boring and uneventful. No matter how high those triple digits get it’s always fun when you have someone suffering the same heat with you. Summer jobs can be a great opportunity to build your resume, and make yourself more marketable. If you get a summer job on campus, you’ll have the chance to interact with professional staff, and develop a professional relationship with campus partners. Also, summer jobs can get you a little extra cash in your pocket – who doesn’t like a little extra cash?

There are different ways to get involved on campus during the summer. You can log in to Wildcat Joblink and look for summer jobs offered here on campus. Also, keep a look out for those listserv sent to your Catmails; they usually have important announcements including summer job opportunities. You can always apply to be an Orientation and Welcome Leader (OWL) for next summer. Keep a look out for those applications towards the spring semester. Overall, summer jobs can be a great experience not only professionally, but also socially. Make your time at UA unforgettable, and remember to always Bear Down!