Finals Study Tips

25 Apr

With finals coming up, it’s easy to get into bad study habits, procrastinate, or even just not know how to study effectively. It’s also the most important time of the year to make sure that you’re on top of studying and assignments, since there’s so much going on. Check out these 8 tips below for how to study well and make the most out of this finals season.

  1. Don’t procrastinate! Study a little bit each day as opposed to a lot the day (or night) before a test. It’ll save you a lot of stress, you’ll remember information better, and you’ll probably do a lot better on your finals.procrastinate.jpg
  2. Prioritize your hardest or most important finals. If one finals is worth 5% of your grade and another is worth 50% of your grade, you should focus more time and energy into the one that’s worth more. Acing an exam that’s not worth very much at the expense of failing one that’s worth a lot isn’t a good trade off.
  3. Make a master study calendar. This could mean planning out how long you’ll study for each test each day, what you’ll work on during a specific time block, and what needs to get done by when. This way, you won’t forget about anything and it makes it easier to focus if you don’t have to decide what to work on.
  4. Block social media. It’s so easy to turn on your phone and end up losing an hour of your time just aimlessly scrolling. It’s best to either block social media, delete the apps from your phone, or control the amount of time you spend
  5. Utilize library databases and citation organizers for papers and projects. Google isn’t a very effective study tool when you’re looking for quality sources. The library and online databases have great sources and save a lot of time scrolling through web pages.
  6. Plan healthy breaks. This could mean taking a walk, eating a snack, taking a quick power nap, etc. Like number 3, just make sure you aren’t blowing hours taking “breaks”.
  7. Utilize different study methods. Try rewatching lectures, reviewing notes, reading the textbook, watching online videos, taking sample tests or doing practice problems. What works for one class might not be what works for another and having a variety of study methods helps you retain information and learn it in different ways.
  8. Stay positive. Stress doesn’t help productivity and if you tell yourself you’re going to fail all of your tests, you’re a lot more likely to. Keep a positive mindset and you’ll be a lot happier, more productive, and have a more successful final season.positive.jpg

Good luck and happy studying!



#AdventurousApril: Amna & Lili Eating Adventure

23 Apr


This Adventurous April, Amna and I *Lili* wanted to step out of our boxes and try a cuisine we were not accustomed to: Ethiopian food!

We went to Zemam’s 2, and it was an amazing experience!

Here is a video we compiled of our eating adventure!

It was a fun time, and the food was delicious!

We definitely recommend coming to Zemam’s and trying their sampler platter!

Have an amazing adventurous April!

-Lili & Amna

My Experience as a Preceptor

20 Apr

Preceptor-ing for one of your classes is a great idea for a multitude of reasons. It gives excellent experience to put on your resume, it can help you forge a closer connection to your professors, and of course, it’s a great way to take some extra units. I spent a semester being a preceptor for my BCOM 214 class — which for those of you who aren’t pre-business majors, is essentially a business writing course. I have to say, I learned a lot from my experience, and here are some tidbits:

  1. This is going to sound strange since I wasn’t working in a team, but I felt a sense of leadership in my role. Even though I had just taken the class a semester before, I felt as though being a student that just went through the course made me acutely more able to provide guidance. If a student came to me with a question about an assignment, I was able to recall doing it myself, but I also knew more clearly how the professor would want them to approach that same assignment now.
  2. I gained incredible experience. Because I am in Eller and this class was a pre-requisite for my major, going through it was already a great learning experience. However, guiding others through it and grading student drafts proved to be invaluable. I genuinely cannot even look at something as simple as an email at this point without editing it in my mind. (So that’s kind of a positive lol).
  3. I learned so much. This goes hand-in-hand with my last bullet point, but I guess having an ‘instructor-esque’ role gave me a new found appreciation for instructors in general. Knowing that I was actually helping a student — especially when they came in for one-on-one help — was so gratifying. Also, I had to learn how to give hands-on instruction without taking over completely and writing the paper for them (this was actually a lot harder to learn than you might think lol)

All in all, I loved being a preceptor. A cool thing about my preceptor-ship was that following the semester, the BCOM instructors threw us an appreciation party! However, even without the party, I’d say having that experience was invaluable. I hope you all consider becoming a preceptor at least at some point in your college career! 🙂

-Amna 🙂

Supporting Your Students through End of Semester Stress and Registration

12 Apr

As the semester is coming to a close, this is the point in time when students are usually feeling mixed feelings of excitement at the thought of the end of the semester, but also feeling of a lot of stress, both with classes and preparing for registration. Here’s a glimpse at what your student might be feeling and how you can help.

The last month of school is packed with tests, papers, homework, and finals. Often, over half of a student’s grade in a class is determined by things they are doing in this last month. This can bring a lot of fear, anxiety, nervousness, and uncertainty regarding their classes and grades. This is also the time when it’s hard for students to find motivation to continue working hard since they’re so close to being done for the year. Furthermore, some students have never been under stress like they are now, a fact that can be very difficult to manage. Encourage your student to take care of themselves by trying to get enough sleep, eating well, and doing their best to manage their stress. You can also point them towards resources such as Campus Health, Think Tank tutoring, and professor office hours to help them manage all their schoolwork and stress in a healthy manner.

Another milestone of the month is registration. Students are planning and registering for classes for next semester. While the prospect of the future is exciting for many students, it can also be daunting as they aren’t sure what they want or need to take, how to make sure they’re on track, or when and how to register. The best advice you can give them is to point them in the direction of their academic advisor. Their advisor knows exactly what they need to take and when to keep them on track for their degree. They can also help students know when and how to register.

After registration is over, be sure to follow up with your student. Many students don’t get the classes that they wanted or have difficult schedules coming up in the fall, so it’s important to support your student, even if it’s just by offering a listening ear. It’s also important to remind students that even if they’re in a rough position regarding next semester that they still have to finish strong this semester with finals coming up. Registration and finals mark the busiest time of the year for students, so it’s important that they know they have a good support system that’s there for them. Take the time to be that support system for your student today.

#AdventurousApril: Spring Break Traveling

12 Apr

My boyfriend, Tyler, is a college baseball player and for our freshman and sophomore years, he was at a school only a few hours away. This year he transferred schools and is currently at a school in Idaho, about a 19 hour drive from UA. Needless to say, we don’t see each other much, so for spring break I decided to fly up to Idaho and spend part of the week with him. Take my word for it though when I tell you that small town Idaho isn’t the most exciting place to spend your spring break. That’s why for my Adventurous April, I set out to have an adventurous spring break in Idaho.

My first day, I woke up at 4:00 am to head to the airport. I flew from Phoenix to Seattle and from Seattle to Lewiston where I landed at around 11:00 am. Originally I was going to Uber to my Tyler’s apartment since he had to be in class for a big test review, but he surprised me by picking me up at the airport and we went to lunch together before heading back to campus for his next class. He toured me around campus and it was cool to see a school so different from ours and get to see where he spends a lot of his time. We also walked along the river where Lewis and Clark came through.IMG_5904.JPG

The rest of the day, we had dinner (we shared a burger bigger than my face, I’m not even kidding), watched a movie (The Emoji Movie per Tyler’s request, so bad), and went bowling (we both bowled personal bests). While not the most “adventurous day”, it was nice to be able to just have a normal day together.


The second day was mostly school work. Tyler had a midterm the next day so while he prepared for that, I caught up on some online homework I was behind on (I’m a huge procrastinator so online classes can be both my best friend and my worst enemy). That evening though, we went up to a hill overlooking the city. It was so beautiful to see the lights over the whole city and the mountains in the distance. We also danced to The Greatest Showman soundtrack and Disney music which was so fun.


After that, we went to the grocery store to get ingredients to make tacos. Making dinner turned out to be an adventure in itself, because as we got back to Tyler’s apartment and asked for a knife and cutting board to cut the onions and garlic, I was handed a butter knife and plate. Apparently Tyler doesn’t cook much because he actually didn’t even own a cutting knife. So I spend the next 10 minutes cutting an onion and garlic with a flimsy butter knife. Even I was impressed that I was actually able to do it and pull of a decent dinner.

My third and fourth days were the more adventurous days of the trip. The third day, Tyler and I went up to Washington State University in Pullman because my mom wanted me to visit the campus as I’m thinking about grad school. The drive from Lewiston to Pullman was beautiful, and it was fun to walk around the campus. After that, we went to Tyler’s favorite BBQ restaurant and then went swing dancing. Now, if you’ve ever met me and/or Tyler, you’d know that I’m an awful dancer and he’s a great dancer. So it was both fun and hilarious having him try to teach me the various swing dances and line dances, and it was really fun to be able to meet all of his friends and see what his Thursday nights usually look like. The only downside to the evening was that Tyler dropped and broke my (very expensive) glasses. Luckily, I had packed my contacts but Tyler felt horrible. Side note: don’t worry, I got the glasses replaced for free under my warranty a couple weeks later.

The last day we woke up and had breakfast together, then Tyler took me to the airport. It was a sad goodbye, since we weren’t (and still aren’t) sure when we’d see each other next, but it was a great week to make up for it. From Lewiston I flew to Seattle and from Seattle to Portland. In Portland I had a 6 hour layover, but this was actually perfect because my Godparents live in Portland. I was able to see them and walk around downtown Portland. We went to a rooftop bar and had some delicious appetizers and got to see the city from a few hundred feet up.

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We also had an amazing dinner at an Italian restaurant that was probably the best food I’ve had in a while (which is saying something because I eat a lot of good food). This was really fun because I’ve never been to Portland and it’s such a different city than Phoenix or Tucson. I really liked enjoyed it and it was great to be able to see my godparents.  From there I headed on a plane back to Phoenix and landed just at midnight.

It was a great spring break trip, even if it wasn’t the most adventurous trip I’ve ever been on. It showed me that no matter where you are or what you’re doing, you can have adventure in doing anything as long as you’re having fun and with the ones you love.

Hope the rest of your April can be filled with fun and adventure!


Your Easy Guide to Priority Registration Advising

12 Apr

So it’s finally your week for advising during priority registration season. You’re probably thinking, “How am I going to get everything I need in just 15 minutes?” Remember that during this time, they will only discuss your courses for next semester, and the appointment will go much better if you come prepared. Here’s my checklist so you can quickly make sure you are ready to go.

  • Check out classes on UAccess and put them into your shopping cart, or make a list
  • Have backup courses/times selected and add them to your list as well
  • Figure out what questions you have. For example: Am I eligible to take these courses? Do I need to take any pre-requisites or co-requisites? Will I be registered in enough units? Will I graduate on time?
  • The morning of your appointment: gather your lists and questions and any paperwork that you need. Also, remember to bring some sort of writing utensil in case you need to jot anything down.
  • Show up about 10-15 minutes early for your appointment to ensure that you get the most out of your meeting and do not delay the schedule.

Priority registration can be somewhat stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Put just a few minutes into preparation, and you will minimize stress and maximize the usefulness of seeing your advisor. Good luck with registration!


How to Stay Sane this Registration

12 Apr

Registration, one of the worst times of the semester. I’m not over exaggerating; registration sucks.

I would say don’t be scared, but I don’t want to lie to you. What if you don’t get the classes you want? What if your professors suck? What if you miss the date?

Although registration is terrifying, there is a way to stay sane. You can be scared but also keep your cool.



This is the most important thing you can do. Although you can’t technically register until your registration date, you can ACTIVELY ADD courses to your cart right now. This means you can go into UAccess and add the classes you want into a queue. You can’t register for them yet, but you sure can have them on ‘file’ for the hectic 6am morning of registration. This will limit your anxiety to just clicking the ‘register’ button on the day of registration.


Add them now, you won’t have to work as hard morning of registration.


Has anyone had a really terrible professor? Like a really bad professor? Well, before you add classes to your shopping cart, hop on to see what professors are teaching the courses you want to take. This will help calm you down, knowing you have great professors teaching the courses you need/want. More often than not, there will two or three different professors teaching the same course, so you’ll know you have registered for the best professor possible.


me pretending to understand material from a professor who can’t teach.

  1. 5:50 AM

SET YOUR ALARM FOR 5:50 AM FOR THE DAY OF REGISTRATION. I kid you not, 10 minutes is a perfect amount of time to prep for the 6 AM chaos. You can click the ‘register’ button at 6AM, so you need to make sure you are ready by then. SET A REMINDER IN YOUR CALENDAR THE SUNDAY BEFORE TO REMIND YOU TO SET YOUR ALARM FOR THE 6AM MORNING. Make sure you remind yourself to register. I’ve forgotten many times. HA. So trust me.


this will be you for 15 minutes on the Monday of registration. LOL

So, my friends, I wish you the best of luck registering.

May all your classes be open and your professors be amazing.


Much love,

Lils xx

#AdventurousApril: Viva Las Vegas

9 Apr

This month, we were tasked with the very serious and very vital job of going out into the world and doing something adventurous. I say very serious and very vital not to mock but to accentuate the fact that adventure is absolutely a necessity of life. People nowadays tend to get too caught up in the seriousness of their everyday routine that they forget to go out and so something out of the ordinary.

So of course I’m one to talk. I probably live one of the most mundane kinds of life there is to live. In all honesty, school and work have slowed me down quite a bit from my younger, more irresponsible days (definitely not a bad thing). But I miss getting to have some fun and bringing some spontaneity to my life! With graduation approaching soon, I won’t have much of a chance to let loose what with work and responsibility looming over my head like a dark but hard-earned cloud.

What then, is a girl to do? Get on an airplane and head to Las Vegas? That’s exactly what I did, friends.

My roommate recently turned 21 and her one birthday wish was to head to Vegas for a birthday celebration. This was not only her first time in Sin City, but it was my first time there as well. And we did everything. We walked the strip, we explored the hotels, we visited day-clubs and nightclubs, we ate fancy, wayyyy overpriced food… the list goes on and on. Who knew you could pack so much into two days of a weekend?

But let me tell you guys–the real adventure here was the hit I let this trip take on my bank account. I never treat myself to these kinds of splurges, ever. It’s just not something that I’m used to doing! But I did. And it was worth it. Because at the end of the day, I got to have some fun and make some memories with a few of my favorite people.


#AdventurousApril: A Mountain “hike”

9 Apr

This year for Adventurous April, I decided to take advantage of the beauty nature has to offer right here in Tucson. Even though I was born and raised here, I had never gone up to the top of A mountain. Here’s a photo I took at ENR2 of it from far away, if you don’t know what it is.


I wasn’t too sure what the experience would be like, and I wasn’t disappointed in the end. We decided to park as close to the top as possible because even at 9AM it was ridiculously hot (I can’t handle the heat once it’s past 75-80 degrees). The trail was pretty clearly paved, but there were a few points where we got confused about whether we were at a fork in the road or if it was runoff from summer rains. Overall, it was a very good way to dip my toes into hiking. The trail was pretty safe, except for a few parts where we came upon a few loose rocks.


Looking NW at the top of the mountain.

When we finally got to the top, it was a really cool view! I never really realized how spread out the city truly is. It was nice to sit up there and just breathe for a little bit. We even met a nice family with a small child that kept trying to venture to the edge, it was a little terrifying. When it got unbearably hot, we went back to the main path that we had taken and kept going to see the actual “A”. It was not as fun to look at as when it was painted more colorfully in past years, but I am glad that I did it.



Stress Levels

8 Apr

No matter what semester you are in during your college career, you are going to have to deal with stress. While some stress is good and healthy for you, there are times that stress can become too overwhelming for a college student. The best thing you can do is to evaluate if you are dealing with your stress in a healthy manner or if you need to seek more support. Being a senior in college, I have undergone a lot of different types of stress. In some instances, I have dealt with my stress in healthy ways and others I had a hard time coping with my stress levels. To get an idea of the different types of stress, I have decided to label them to give you a better idea of what I’m talking about. 

The first level of stress is little/normal:


This type of stress is something that college students feel on a regular basis and is good for you! We have all chosen the college life and that comes with a lot of factors like classes, frequent assignments/quizzes, as well as a jobs/internships or any other extracurriculars you have decided to take on. We can all agree this is constant stress, but we have adapted to it to the point you may not even recognize it as stress anymore; it’s more of a lifestyle. We have developed a healthy way to deal with this type of stress, even if you’re not aware of it. For me, going throughout my week, I designate time for fun things, try to incorporate a workout schedule (doesn’t always pan out), and make sure I am getting good sleep. I’m sure you have your own schedule for this, but it’s good to remind yourself you are going through stress even if you don’t see it that way. I wanted to start with this level of stress first because you are already pro in coping with this and actually SUCCEEDING with stress. As more stress is put on you, take the time to think about how you deal with stress healthily and this is a good starting out point for that. 

The second level of stress is moderate:


This can be focused around midterms or finals time. We are kind of doing our normal routine, but assignments for our classes are aligning with one another. You have to take extra time to make sure you are completing all of your assignments and having an appropriate time to study for multiple midterms/final exams. This is usually the time that healthy habits to deal with stress start going out the window a bit. For me, around this time I get less sleep, usually stop working out completely because I choose to use that time for studying and working on projects, and instead of cooking I rely on fast food or eat ramen to save time. Looking back at this time, I KNOW I am not dealing with my stress as I would normally do, but at the moment I don’t think about it. I just try to get through the hectic time. Stepping back and trying to evaluate if you are being healthy is difficult to do, but really necessary. 

The third level of stress is overload:


This stress level is the worst on our list because your stress has become really overwhelming and it is affecting you a lot. It is so much that you try to seem okay, but at some point, you start breaking down and can’t put yourself back together by yourself. Unfortunately, I have dealt with this type of stress a lot over my college career because I have had a lot of family emergencies where my focus was not on school at all and my grades/assignments/classes/work were taking the hit. I had to lean on my loved ones and be upfront with my professors and supervisor about my situation, which I had never done before. This is where I was out of my element of how to even deal with my stress because I couldn’t get anything done. I was upset all of the time and had to get more support. Reaching out to my professors and supervisor was the BEST thing I could have done at the time because they were aware of my state of mind as well as gave me appropriate extensions. If you ever feel too overwhelmed where you can’t even get through your regular routine, reach out to the people around you. Also, consider talking about your stress with a counselor, or even CAPS here on campus. This can be really helpful and necessary to get yourself through your stress. 

In all points of your college career, check in on yourself and ensure you are handling your stress in a healthy way. Especially now with only a few more weeks to go until the end of the year, I know EVERYONE is feeling the pressure. Take the rest of the semester day by day and do your best to get through it. Don’t forget about the amazing resources on campus as well as use your support system of friends and family to help you through this difficult time.