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#StudiousSeptember: Getting those ZZZ’s In

14 Sep

All around the world, the nagging of parents and teachers can be heard whispering, “8 hours of sleep a day” constantly… So it must be important right? The answer is, definitely. Studies show us those that get less than the recommended 8 hours of sleep operate waaayyy less successfully than those who do. Our bodies become more fatigued and weak with less sleep. But in college it feels nearly impossible to sleep that much, right? Well, not necessarily. I have combined a list of things that have helped others and myself regulate sleep in college. So if you are looking for a couple of tricks for better sleep, give a couple of these a try!

  • Set a specific time 

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Perhaps one of the most important tricks for better sleep. Set a time to sleep! Whether it’s 10 pm, 11 pm, or 3 am, if you can schedule those 8 hours with a specific time in mind to sleep, your body will become used to a routine and begin to naturally unwind around the time you set!

  • Turn the tech off

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I know how tempting it is to snuggle up in your sheets and turn that laptop on to watch the next episode on Netflix before bed. But technology has actually been proven to inhibit sleep patterns due to the light they give off, preventing your body from relaxing. Try and turning off all technology 2 hours prior to bedtime, that way your body has a chance to get ready for some awesome sleep.

  • Try not to do homework in bed

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This next one can be hard for some people to change, doing homework in bed. I know it’s comfy and relaxing, but did you know your body can actually get used to the idea of having work in bed? Your mind may get used to the energy put in while doing homework, making it more difficult for you to essentially “shut off” before bed. Try keeping all work to a desk and chair, it’ll help with your posture too!

  • Chill with the caffeine

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Coffee has the ability to turn your sleepiness into a day full of energy! But drinking coffee or any other caffeine filled drink too close to bedtime can make it extremely difficult for you to sleep, and also throw off any sort of sleeping schedule. If you can, try and keep the caffeine to early morning or afternoon times, that way your body doesn’t have to jitter close to nighttime.

  • Know how you operate

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One of my favorite tricks for better sleep is learning about how you operate best. Do you tend to do homework or studying more efficiently at night or in the morning? If at night, sleep in a bit more if you can so you can prepare for that late night homework the next day. If you’re like me, you operate best bright and early in the morning. I find that if I sleep a bit early and wake up early, I fly through homework faster than if I am doing it in the afternoon when I am most tired. Try both if you can to see which one works best for you!

  • All Lights Off

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There is a reason that we sleep when the sun goes down. Light has a natural effect on our bodies, meaning when the sun goes down, our bodies naturally release chemicals that allow us to know when to sleep. When you have that phone or lamp on at night, this disrupts the cycle our bodies are naturally used to. So turn that light off and try and hit the hay.

  • Power Nap

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Sometimes, we really just can’t get in a full 8 hours, I get it, you’re a college student after all. If you are having a really bad day, try and take a power nap! The trick? Try and keep the napping to 30 minutes or less, because if you go over that time you are tapping into a type of sleep meant for deep night rest. So see if this 30-minute trick will add some pep to your step.

~Mandi

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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
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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.  

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Reality: Not So Much

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

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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.

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

3. You can skip that lecture class and still pass

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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.

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Reality: Three Hours In

4. You will get enough sleep

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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.

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Reality: Sleep Whenever Possible

5. Doing your laundry every week

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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

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Reality: Cleaning In Your 5 Minutes of Free Time

-Mandi

The Dreaded First Semester

25 Aug

The best word I could use to describe my first day as a college student is surreal. As I navigated the sea of people for the first time, I realized the campus looked less like an academic establishment and more like Time Square. It was intimidating to say the least. At the same time, it was an adrenaline rush that made me feel alive and important. The transition was more than a change of school, it was a change of self. It wasn’t easy, but I got through the dreaded first semester.

Like I said, major changes needed to be made for me to properly transition into U of A life. The first step was to acknowledge the need to gain independence This doesn’t mean that I didn’t have a lot of help along the way. I joined an academic success program and the peer mentor that I worked with helped me drastically by imparting all of the wisdom and skills necessary to succeed in my first semester. Even with the fountain of information at my finger tips, transitioning was still hard thanks to a little phrase called “time management”.

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For me, time management was the most difficult thing to get a grip on. It was easy to procrastinate or not plan accordingly, especially when I was stressed out from classes. I had an especially hard time with my math class. When I was stuck on a problem or idea, I saw two available options. My first option was to head to Think Tank or my instructor’s office hours. My other option(AKA the appealing option) was for me to head on home and relax from such a stressful day before starting homework. I could always figure it out at home afterwards right? I went for the more appealing option, which backfired on multiple occasions. I was getting dangerously close to the point of no return and I needed to make a drastic change.  For better or for worse I had to make my academics the center of my life.

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First things first, I needed to identify the triggers that set me down the poor time management path. As a commuting student living with my family, I had to make the decision to do most homework and studying outside my house. There were too many opportunities and distractions at home for me to be productive. The library was the perfect alternative. The mood and atmosphere of the library put me into a “let’s get stuff done” mood. Also, taking my peer mentor’s advice, I decided to seek out help for the issues I had in my math class. I was able to save myself in the nick of time and managed to pull off an honorable B in the class.

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My experience sounds tough, but the truth is I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. Not only were my experiences an opportunity for learning, but they were also invigorating and made my success that much more worthwhile. To be quite honest, I am most grateful to the fact that I had someone to guide me through the chaos of first semester. If I were to give any piece of advice, it would be to seek out a peer mentoring program. The best way to learn how to survive is to speak with those who have already survived. Likewise, the best way for me to make the most out of the knowledge and wisdom that was shared with me is to also share it with others.

-Andres Quiroz

Wilbur and Wilma: A Wildcat Welationship

11 Aug

Who doesn’t love Wilbur and Wilma, the U of A’s very own mascots?WWBLOG2WWBLOG3

These two are basically the life of the party at every event.

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They appeal to those both young and old.

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But do you know the true story of their relationship?

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Was it love at first sight? Are they truly soulmates? Are they just settling? Let’s find out.

Well, as we all know, Wilbur was our first Wildcat mascot. He first appeared November 7th, 1959 at a football game against Texas Tech. He was an instant hit. He was the coolest cat at the game.

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Over the years, Wilbur struggled being on his own.

He experienced  many internal and external changes, as most college student do, amiright?WWBLOG6WWBLOG4

He tried to fulfill his life by traveling, meeting new friends, and changing up his look. But there was still something missing.

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Wilbur was stuck searching for something else in his life.                   WWBLOG7

Wilbur’s friend (maybe you’ve heard of him…) had an idea for a match made in heaven.

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Her name was Wilma.

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Wilma first appeared on March 1st, 1986.

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She was set up on a blind date with Wilbur.

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They hit it off instantly! Although Wilbur did have to fight for her…

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They fell in love so quickly, in fact, that they got married on November 21st, 1986 – only a couple of months after meeting!WC1

Wilbur and Wilma have remained strong and steady through out the years, truly standing as a testament of love and commitment to U of A students all over.

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Here’s to wishing Wilbur and Wilma a beautiful life together… and maybe some kittens in the near future.

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-Julian

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 🙂

Calm, Cool, and Connected

1 May

I’ve been struggling a lot with staying sane during this stressful time in our lives. So I am going to be mostly writing the wise words of wisdom that have been bestowed upon me, oh so recently.

In case any of you are currently dealing with matters that are preventing you from making it to class or completing assignments on time, I am totally with you! These past two weeks have been the worst 2 weeks that I have experienced in this semester. Perfect timing, right? I have had two emergency room visits and one ambulance ride within the past 8 days. If you’re currently caught in a similar pickle, may I just remind you how wonderful doctor’s notes are?! They’ve been really saving my butt, and more often than not, your instructors will be very understanding 🙂

Also, the Dean of Students Office will lend you a helping hand concerning similar issues.

But as the semester really starts winding down, it seems like all of our classes suddenly become a make it or break it type situation (yeesh!). Trust me, you’re not alone, we are all here for you. And by “we” I mean, your instructors, your TA’s, your peer mentors, your friends…the list can go on! My point is, as long as we stick together and help each other out, we WILL survive! You should also give this list a read…

  1. BREATHE…inhale…exhale…inhale…exhale…
  2. Have you eaten anything yet? Grab a snack (after you’re done reading this of course) you deserve it!
  3. How many hours of sleep are you getting? If your exhausted, studying will be THAT much more laborious. And if changing your sleeping patterns is too much to ask, feel free to take a nap my friend.
  4. Write everything down, and I mean EVERYTHING. Write down what assignments you need to complete, the dates they’re due, when each of your finals will take place, and block out time for studying and time for relaxing 🙂
  5. Look to your friends, because they’re probably freaking out a little bit too. Vent to each other about it! Have study sessions, grab yummy food as a reward for all of your hard work. It’s never fun to suffer in silence.
  6. And try to remember, if you don’t get the grade that you wanted, it is NOT the end of the world. I know that it may not seem like that now, but trust me, you will be fine. There are plethora of opportunities to bring you back into the game.
  7. BREATHE…inhale…exhale…inhale…exhale…

Best,

Casey

Practicing healthy habits during finals!

1 May

Caution: Finals are closer than they appear!

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Finals week is a hectic moment in a student’s life when everyday habits such as eating, sleeping, and staying hydrated are forgotten because studying has now become the #1 priority. Someone once told me that in order to live a successful life, one must always be in balance. The key to doing well on finals and remaining healthy and sane is to balance out your schedule.

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Here are three easy steps:

1. Eat a good breakfast, lunch, and dinner each and every day!

– Pack snacks such as baby carrots, granola bars, trail mix, fruit, goldfish, the possibilities are endless! It’s important to eating because glucose (that is found in your food) is what gives the brain energy. If you stop eating, then your brain gets tired, and you can’t retain any of the information you’re studying.
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2. Set a schedule of how many hours per day you will study.

– It’s not beneficial to study for over 8 hours straight if you aren’t taking breaks in between. I like to tell students to set a max of 3 hours of study time, a 20-30 minute break, and then resume studying for another 3 hours.

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*Don’t be like Spongebob!

 

3. Sleep!

– I have heard of student’s who only sleep 3 hours before an exam or even worse don’t sleep at all before an exam! Don’t do this!

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In order for you to be mentally prepared for an exam you have to rest the night before. Our brain’s is one of the only 2 organs in our body that never stops operating. It is constantly operating all day and night for the rest of our lives! While we sleep, it is still operating but we are giving it the opportunity to rest. I like to think of it as a track runner; throughout the day it is sprinting to it’s fullest potential and at night it is jogging casually.

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If you follow these three easy steps, I can guarantee that you will come out of each final with flying colors!

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Good luck Wildcats!

-Becky

 

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.

Your Guide to Summer Internships

9 Apr

It’s easy for students to fall into the idea of having a completely work-free three months of summer. Of course you want to relax, but sometimes it hits the third week of summer and you’re already bored. What are you possibly going to do for three months? tom2 Summer break is the perfect opportunity for college students to get an internship. We’re not distracted by a full schedule of classes, club meetings, exams, etc. If the realm of internships is an entirely new world for you, here are some things to know: 1. Résumé If you haven’t yet, this is a good time to start cleaning up that résumé. You’re about to finish another school year, so add the clubs you’ve been involved in and show off your GPA! Finalizing your résumé is the first step to finding an internship. 2. Keep an Open Mind tom6 Think about your future career. Is it in an office? Is it outdoors? The purpose of an internship is to get “real world” experience in the field you want to go into. Remember to keep an open mind. If your dream is to be a lawyer, your first internship probably won’t have you pulling an Elle Woods anytime soon. My first internship in a law office had me shredding paper and filing, but it was still awesome to see day-to-day operations. 3. Consider Your Location – Tucson, Home, or Abroad? If you’re sure that you’ll be spending your summer back home, then look for internships in that city or town. If you happen to find an internship in Tucson and you’re scrambling for summer housing, many students who are leaving for the summer are subleasing their apartments. Residence Life also offers summer housing in certain residence halls. There are also options to have an internship abroad. Although I’m sure you may be able to independently find an internship abroad, many students go through the Study Abroad department on campus. It is probably too late to apply for this upcoming summer, but remember that this is an option next summer! Keep in mind that internships abroad typically cost money. 4. You Might Not Get Paid, But It’s Surprisingly Worth It tom3 My first internship wasn’t a paid position. Actually, my first paid internship is happening this summer. Don’t let that bring you down, though. That internship where I was shredding papers and filing all day? They’re the ones who led me to this paid position! I cannot stress enough how invaluable the connections are worth. You may be graduating some time soon and you never know who will be hiring when you graduate! 5. Finding an Internship tom5 There are many companies and organizations that specifically have internship programs. If you’re interested in public health, you can simply google “public health internships in Tucson”. Ask your friends who have been through internship programs. They’ll be able to tell you about their experience and give you tips. You can also ask your academic advisors. When companies are hiring interns, many of them reach out to academic advisors for majors that coincide with that career field. If all else fails, approach them! When I wasn’t able to find an internship program, I found a company that I wanted to work for and sent in my cover letter and résumé. They hired me! The hiring manager commended me for being proactive and going for what I wanted. 6. Internships Are Awesome. Have Fun With It. Even if you’re not being paid or you’re doing simple tasks, always observe what’s around you. I always loved looking at the work the lawyers in the office were doing and realizing that it was only a matter of years until I was as cool as they were. I don’t even care how uncool that sounded. Seeing how your career field operates every day just makes you that much more motivated to work your hardest because, believe it or not, that’s you in a few years. tom1 Happy Internship Hunting!

-Briana

Adventure Is Out There!

7 Apr

If you are anything like me, you have high hopes and dreams of one day being able to travel the world and experience new cultures. However, every summer I find myself sitting on my living room couch snuggling with a bag of Cheetos while watching America’s Next Top Model reruns.

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Summer can be a hit or miss vacation for some people; it can be two months of Netflix binge watching, adventures, or perhaps both. Experiencing college, I have realized that I am in need of adventure, which is why I have taken the initiative to apply for a summer study abroad program!

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Study abroad is an incredible opportunity offered by universities around the globe. This experience allows students to complete university credits while also immersing themselves in a new culture. I personally wanted to go to a country with a language I am unfamiliar with and whose culture is vastly different from my own: I chose South Korea.

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Although I have yet to hear on my acceptance status, I know that if accepted I will have an experience of a lifetime. All too often it is easy to fall into a cycle of everyday stress. College is a stressful time, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun! Try new things and learn about the world that we have in front of us while you can!

Adventure is out there, Wildcats!

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-Zuri