Tag Archives: de-stress

What’s One More Language?

8 Jul

To the eyes of a child, summer is the epitome of freedom. There’s no school or homework, they can sleep in and not have a care in the world. Unfortunately, the older a person gets,the more they wish they would’ve done during those long glorious summers. I am not going to sit here and say that I have utilized my summer to the max and not wasted a single minute, because let’s face it, I have spent a good amount of time vegging out in front of my T.V., but I have also begun something I vowed to do three years ago: I am teaching myself German!

Some might ask why I don’t just take German as my second language in school, but as it stands I am already taking both Greek and Latin and adding anything else onto that would be too much (trust me, I tried it).

Why German you ask? Originally it was because I really liked the way it sounds. I also figured it might be easier to learn since English is based off of it, I was wrong in this aspect. It did not hurt that I was informed I would have to learn it in grad school, and so learning it now would provide me with a leg up!

Actually learning the language was interesting. I found a surprising amount of similarities between it and Greek and Latin, this was a relief since I know those languages. As with all languages, the hard part was the vocabulary. I am an audio learner, and so not having an instructor was hard. This was more of a problem because unlike my other two languages, this one is not dead! While I feel like I am starting to understand the language, there is quite a bit more I need to do before I am proficient, none the less, I am proud of the progress I have made and I think I will keep casually learning the language!

Auf Wiedersehen zur Zeit! (Goodbye for now!)


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

Chrissy’s Declassified Midterm Survival Guide

21 Oct

It’s that time of the semester: when all-nighters are a must, the libraries are packed, and anyone hoping to survive can be found with notes in their hands. That’s right, it’s midterms!

Midterm 1

For those just starting out, midterms can be a frightening thing, but with these tips you should be able to get through them without too much trouble.


This is honestly the most important thing a student can do. Not only does your brain get a chance to rest and sort all the information you are going over, it also keeps you healthy. While you sleep your body rejuvenates itself. Staying healthy during this time of year is difficult enough without adding this obstacle, and you need to be healthy for your midterms!

Midterm 6

2) Start studying in advance

This is one tip I have trouble with, but it really does work. You know at the beginning of the semester when your midterms will be, so be sure to start studying at least two weeks in advance. I know that you won’t have all the content of the class by then, but if you start refreshing yourself on the old content earlier, then it you will only have to refresh yourself on the new content closer to the exam!

Midterm 2

3) Drink lots of water

Water is very important especially in Arizona. Drinking lots of water will not only keep you hydrated, but it will also help with your attentiveness in class. Try replacing one of your coffees a day with a bottle of water, you’d be amazed by the difference.

Midterm 4

4) Don’t stress out

I know that this seems a bit hard, but honestly by stressing yourself out over midterms you are really psyching yourself out of doing well. This is not to say that you shouldn’t take midterms seriously, but stressing out will only take time away from studying. Be sure to take breaks and let yourself breathe.

Midterm 3

Good luck on all of your midterms!

Midterm 5


#OutrageousOctober: Facing Your Fears

15 Oct

In my mind, there are two types of people who watch scary movies: those who enjoy them and those who are challenged to watch them. I don’t know about everyone else, but I cannot stand watching scary movies. Why should I suffer through almost having a heart attack every 6 seconds just to wake up six times during the night from nightmares? Can you guess which boat I was in? That’s right, for my blog this month, I decided to face a fear of mine and watch the movie Se7en starring Brad Pitt (which is a scary thing all in its own right).


Now, to face this challenge properly I had to make sure certain aesthetics were in place.

  • It had to be dark. To attain full scariness, a movie must be watched at night. I made sure to watch this well past the sun set.
  • There had to be plenty of snacks that I would scatter around the room every time I got scared.

This was more for me than for any real reason, I have always had the dream of jumping and having popcorn scatter around the room. Unfortunately this did not happen.

popcorn 1IMG_20151014_230115_871

  • I had to watch it with another person who had seen it.

This has to be done for many reasons, mostly because they add to the fearful feelings in the room thus making the experience seem way scarier than it actually is. Luckily my friend Erika was happy to be recruited for this endeavor.


Overall the movie was not too bad. It was much more of a psychological thriller, but I still had nightmares. I am happy that I watched it because it means I faced my fear, but I would not say my fear of scary movies has been squashed, just lessened a little.

Go out there and face your fears everyone!



Keep Moving Forward!

27 Mar

I don’t know about anyone else, but spring semester is always the hardest one for me. With fall semester, I start out so energized and ready to learn, but spring just seems to drag on and on. Unfortunately, spring semester is pretty important so I have had to find ways to keep energized and strong until summer break arrives. Here are three ways I have come up with to keep my scholastic energy flowing:

Blogs swilrs

Changing something up

This semester I decided to change my hair color. I know that it might not seem like much, but it really helps me. It kind of gave me a new start. Now that there are only 7 weeks (!!!!!!!!!!!!!) left until summer, I needed a little oomph, and dyeing my hair was just what I needed to push me to exceed.


Reorganize notes 

This one is not quite as fun as dyeing hair, but after I hit the halfway mark I feel the need to reorganize. Going through my notes and refreshing myself on the material I learned in the previous 8 weeks is really helpful. I am able to recall things that, let’s face it, I forgot over spring break. I am also able to see where I can improve on note taking and studying.


Become more active

I know that as a college student, you often feel like you can’t afford to do all the things you want to do. That might be true, but there are plenty of free options too! The most important thing to remember is to get out and not just study. Yes, I know studying is very important, but it will drive you INSANE without proper breaks. Go outside and look at the stars, go hiking one day, or go for a swim at Campus Rec!


After everything, just remember that it will be summer soon and it will all be worth it!


#MiddlingMarch: Girls’ Night Out

13 Mar


March is always a hectic time on campus. Midterms lurk behind every corner, and Spring Break seems so far away. This is why my roommate and I always have a girls night out once our midterms are over. Our girls night out usually involves a nice dinner, followed by a movie, and a dance party in our living room.

My favorite restaurant downtown is the Hub. Their food is delicious and their ice cream is to die for! My roommate and I love to sit out on the patio section and pretend to be fancy business women as we sip our ice tea and talk about life. It is the little things in life that I enjoy most – like having dinner with my amazing roommate. After our dessert of way too much ice cream, we usually head back to our apartment to unwind with a movie.

Though I am partial to watching rom-coms, my roommate loves watching horror movies. Sometimes I can persuade her to watch one of my favorite movies like Something Borrowed or Leap Year, but most of the time we end up watching movies like Jeepers Creepers and Sinister. Either way, we both have a good time being together. Most of the time, my roommate likes to follow up with a dance party in our living room. Though dancing is not my favorite activity, she makes it fun and worthwhile.

-Erika L.


13 Feb

Successfully preparing for exams is one of the hardest things to learn when coming to college. I know that I still have not mastered this art, but I have picked up a few tricks to avoid procrastinating.

Exams are administered so that you can show that you fully understand the material presented in class. In high school, it was easy to study for exams the night before and come to the test completely prepared. I know I didn’t have spend days slaving over the books to get an A on a test. It was a huge wake up call when I had to take a college exam.

After I took my first exam in college, I realized that studying the night before left me under prepared, and subsequently my grades plummeted. I needed an action plan, but I didn’t know how to study. Where to begin?


How to Study: College Style

1. Attend every lecture.

I know this concept may sound silly, but the truth is that it’s easy to skip class. Sometimes life gets in the way, but the best way to prepare for an exam is to have all of the information presented in class. You never want to miss class and play catch up for the exam.


2. Start Early.

Start studying the minute you get the information. By going over the information early, you can get help with material you don’t understand. You can learn the material as fast or as slow as you need to, with no time crunch. By starting early, you can reduce the amount of stress you have come exam time because you have been preparing all along. 200-9

3. Have confidence.

Have confidence in how you study, how you learn, how you organize, and how smart you really are. Keep your head high and know that you are smart enough to ACE that exam. I know that helped me a lot when I walked into an exam. Never think you are going to fail – when you prepare, you do well.


The best way to be successful in an exam is to be prepared and to have good mind set. Plus it’s the best feeling when you know you just aced that exam because of all the hard work you put in.


If you need a good outline for a study schedule, click here for an awesome seven day study plan!


Do What You Love and Love What You Do

5 May

Let me introduce you to my Tuesday/Thursday routine in the last couple of weeks:

6:30am: Wake up, change, eat breakfast FAST… race out the door!








8:00am: Class.

11:00am: Class #3.

12:30pm: Work.

1:30pm: Break? What is break? Right, homework time. Answer emails. Research my future. No break, no break!

2:00pm: Class.

3:30pm: Last class.

5:00pm: Done for the day? No. Still have homework and studying to do.

[At some point I should eat]

11:00pm: I should really stop doing homework and head to bed.

1:00am: I fell asleep on my laptop again. I should get in bed now.










Next morning: Starts all over again.


As a student, life can become a stressful and draining routine if we allow it to. As my schedule above demonstrates, sometimes it can be easy to get so caught up in our role as a student that we do not allow time to be more than just books and homework. Now, I am aware that sometimes making time for activities not academically associated can seem almost impossible and detrimental to our academic well being. However, it is crucial to allow ourselves to prosper in other components of our lives aside from the homework, presentations, tests, and projects we face on a daily.

Even if we wanted to be 24/7 students, breathing and eating class material every minute of the day, this is not the healthiest or most sane option. Remember that we are HUMAN above being students! And this HUMAN component of us needs balance. With that in mind, find what balances you! Feeling balanced keeps you from feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and in the verge of losing it! There are a multitude of things out there to do, so go find your balancing agent! Personally, the following activities are what keep me from going insane!



Allowing myself some time to listen to some good jams helps me recollect my brain and rejuvenate my being. A healthy dose of singing along lifts my spirits and awakens me in every possible way!



What better complement to music? I love to dance. I might not be the best dancer, but no one has to know this if I dance in the comfort of my kitchen. For me, dancing has liberating effects. A good dance can liberate my mind and body. It helps me exercise the creativity that sometimes is oppressed by my schoolwork.

Just be careful not to hurt yourself.


Screen shot 2014-05-05 at 8.31.57 AM

Appreciating the beauty around me keeps me grounded and in tune with more than my books and laptop. Knowing that I have all this beauty at the tip of my fingers makes me feel alive and more than a student!

TV Shows:


Guilty as charged. Sometimes we all just need to live in someone else’s world even if for a small amount of time. For me, this does the trick! Sometimes all it takes is a mental shutdown to come back fully charged. Truth be told, my guilty pleasure is The Following.



Whether you love it or not, exercise has a powerful impact on your well being whether it be physically, emotionally and/or mentally. Revamp your system through a healthy dose of movement in whatever form that may take for you. Aside from de-stressing, you are also exercising those limbs that, if you are like me, are constantly inactive during classes and work.



By socialize, I do not mean go find a study group. No! The idea is to take a break, get away from studies that might cause you stress. So what if study groups is all you know? Well, lucky for you the UA has an abundance of different clubs from which to choose from. Find your niche! Or simply go old school and attend an event or location where you know no one and make a friend. This is definitely scary to do, but it can serve as a personal challenge and you might make a best friend.



This is probably the first tool one resorts to during break time or for distraction purposes. The Internet can have some awesome sites to help you get your mind off of that enthalpy work. Explore away here! The possibilities are endless…. Just don’t drift for too long.


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This is my most preferred stress reliever! I mean how can it not be? It’s free, expansive, and the most liberating of all. Whether you go out and explore a new hike trail or simply walk among the grass, nature has a calming and recollecting effect about it that anyone can connect with. The variation of the scenery and weather allows anyone to find their perfect fit! Go be one with nature.

As you can see, there exist a million ways to relieve stress. These are my personal favorites that allow me the opportunity to detach myself from the stress and chaos of the forever-ongoing homework I face on a daily. The key to sanity is allowing yourself to do what you love and loving what you do. Find what balances you!


                                                                                                    – Lucero Pesqueira

Places To Nap, Read, and Creep

22 Feb

If you have a schedule like mine, there’s an awkward hour here and there in between classes/clubs/meetings/office hours. I set it up like this so that I wouldn’t have to do anything impossible, like rushing from the ILC to Harvill in less than 10 minutes.

Unfortunately, I live off-campus. Don’t get me wrong. I love the freedom and privacy that comes with not having to live with a whole wing of other students under the supervision of an RA. But when there’s time to kill and you’re stuck on campus because an hour is just enough time to get home and then immediately start heading back to school, not being able to go back to a dorm kind of sucks.

To remedy this, I have been exploring campus for the past few years in search of nice, quiet places to spend an hour of time and de-stress. In no particular order:

5th Floor of the Science and Engineering Library

This floor houses the University’s collection of books about art. I recommend grabbing a few from the shelves with pretty illustrations (It’s like picture books for non-six-year-olds.) and retiring to a desk near a window overlooking the Mall. It’s also a good place to people-watch, which is totally not a creeper-type of activity and something that I do not do. Maybe.

Any Tree

The nice thing about going to a university that is also an arboretum is that there is no shortage of trees no matter where you go. We’ve been getting what I consider perfect outdoor napping weather, which is even better in the shade of a tree. Bonus points if there’s a grassy slope within the scope of the shade, which is pretty much nature’s version of a living room recliner.

Turtle Pond

Situated on Park Ave. between Speedway and University Blvd., the turtle pond on campus is a great place to sit and read while occasionally glancing over at the orange koi swirling about in the water and the snapping turtles coming up for air.

Ben’s Bells

If you go a little further down University Blvd. into Geronimo Plaza, you can find the Ben’s Bells Studio. Ben’s Bell is a local non-profit whose mission is to remind everyone about the power of kindness in the community. Volunteers are always welcome during open studio hours (10AM – 5PM, Tuesday – Saturday) and can come in to make or paint clay pieces that will later be distributed randomly around the city. No artistic ability is required, and it’s an activity that has a really therapeutic effect, which is what the founders of the organization discovered when they were trying to cope with the death of their toddler son.

Obviously, this is not a comprehensive list. To be honest, I am too selfish to share a couple of my very favorites (I don’t want them to get too crowded until after I graduate!), but a lot of the fun is in finding your own favorite relaxing places on this 380-acre campus. So go forth and explore, Wildcats!