Tag Archives: fun

#StudiousSeptember: Meal Prepping

29 Sep

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Bust out your aprons and get ready to start cooking! Whether you relate more to the show Worst Cooks in America or Master Chef, I can guarantee you have the capability to prep your meals for the school week. I know right now, everyone is talking about meal prep to get in shape, but there are many other benefits than that. It saves you time and money during the week.

If you are a full student, like I am, it’s very hard to find time during the week to cook and fast food ends up being the majority of you food intake. Meal prepping eliminates this because on the weekend (I usually prefer Sunday) you can cook all of your lunches for the week and put them in tupperware containers. Like I stated earlier, no matter your skill level, you will be able to do this! Meal prepping doesn’t have to be fancy and you can use your simplest recipes to save money and time.

There are many ways you can start to meal prep, but this is a break down of what I usually do for the week:

Before or on Sunday, I will plan out what I will buy at the grocery store for my lunches. (Even though I usually meal prep for just my lunches, you can use meal prepping for dinner if you have late courses, or for breakfast if you are an early riser) Remember that any meal you can make can be turned into a meal prep recipe, just cook more servings! As a college student, I have to budget constantly, which usually is one of the largest factor that controls what I buy. Along with a strict budget, another thing that controls what I buy for the week depends on my appetite. I sometimes get bored with my food during the week so I like to try to have slight variations. For example, if I cook chicken for the week, I will sometimes put green beans with it for one day and on another I will substitute the green beans for wedged potatoes.

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After a trip to the grocery store, it’s cooking time! Instead of dreading cooking a meal for the week, my boyfriend and I try to make it as fun as possible. We will put on music and make an afternoon of cooking. We will prep all of our ingredients and incorporate new spices, while trying to imitate the lovely Chef Ramsay’s cooking (we’ll also try to do our best Ramsay impressions!). Once we are all done, we will divide the meals into tupperware dishes, place them into the refrigerator, and in the morning grab our meals before we are on our way to work and school. Meal prepping is pretty straight forward and is also very versatile once you start learning how to cook more foods. 

Even though now I would rather cook than go to a fast food place, I was not the biggest cook when I first started college. I was busy with classes and I didn’t know how to make anything other than grilled cheese and the boxed mac and cheese. Cooking was a very daunting and difficult task for me until I started to meal prep. I started by looking up different recipes on Pinterest and All Recipes that were easy and simple to make. After a few months of copying recipes, I started to go off of my judgment of spices and food pairings that I like rather than just what is on the internet. I learned I really love to cook and there is so many different things you can do with meat and veggies. Now, this is one of my favorite times of the week because I am creating something new and learning how to use kitchen appliances that were once foreign objects to me like a cast iron skillet and a wok. Cooking is something I think everyone should at least try because it is fun and has a great reward: an amazing meal! Not only is it yummy, but you feel a sense of accomplishment knowing you are the one who created it!

Below I have provided a few simple recipes for you to try whether you are a veteran in meal prepping or trying it for the first time! Have fun and cook on!

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Meal Prep for Breakfast:

     Mason Jar Oatmeal                                                                          Breakfast Burritos
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Meal Prep for Lunch:

        Mason Jar Salads                                                               Pesto Chicken Sandwich

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Meal Prep for Dinner:

Chicken Fried Rice

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I have attached a recipe for chicken fried rice on the title and the photo I included is what my boyfriend and I made this week! Instead of traditional chicken fried rice, we decided to put our own spin on it. For the veggies, we used green onion, carrots, yellow squash, and sugar snap peas and we put in extra chicken! Even if you start out with a recipe, put your spin on it and include what you like!

Best,
Courtney

 

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The Gen Ed that Won Our Hearts

13 Nov

It was 5:45 AM as I turned off my alarm clock and greeted registration day with bleary eyes. I had been waking up at 4 AM to do my homework all semester, but this particular day, I had a case of the dreaded Mondays. My laptop had died at my bedside during the night, my roommate had taken the last Frappuccino and my favorite sweater was nowhere to be found. Things weren’t going my way, but I accepted my fate, plugged in my laptop and logged on to UAccess.

The wifi was crawling along like molasses, leaving me with nothing to see but a bright white page that made my eyes water. Refreshing the page, I looked over the handwritten list of classes my advisor had given me, my academic security blanket. The classes had been in my shopping cart for weeks, but my advisor warned me to be prepared for anything.

Sure enough, my student center looked like text-salad nightmare and the wifi crashed completely. By the time I logged in again 20 minutes later, a disheveled heap of stress at the café, all of my classes were full. Admittedly, I freaked right out.

If you find yourself in these shoes, it may seem like your academic sky is falling, but don’t panic! Make the schedule you can make with the course options you have left and talk to your academic advisor about it. There are still a few ways to get you on track and into the schedule you hoped for:

1. Get on the wait list, when available

Two of my classes gave me the option of being put on the waiting list. This may seem like a bleak land of limbo, but it’s not. So many students change, swap and drop their classes before registration ends. With the wait list, you’re already in line to take those spaces as they open.

2. Check on the class religiously

If there’s no wait list, keep checking on the class and accomplish the same thing manually. Keep your fingers crossed for the green circle to take the place of the angry blue square next to your class in the class search. As long as registration is still open, there’s still hope for an open seat.

3. Beg your way in

Showing up to your desired class on the first day with a Change of Schedule form is not a bad idea. Some classes are more rigorous than others about attendance, so you may even get lucky on your first day. In one class I wanted, anyone who didn’t show up for the first day was dropped from the roster so the wait-listed students could take their places.

4. Talk to your academic advisor

At the U of A, your advisors are the music makers and dreamers of dreams. They know what’s possible and they can help you see the glimmer of hope in any academic disaster. Ask them for ideas if you get stuck. They’ve seen degrees completed in the most unconventional of ways and can always help you navigate your obstacles to gain that academic success you so deserve.

My registration nightmare ended with a less-than-perfect schedule, but it resulted in the best set of classes I could have hoped for. It threw me off my 4-year plan a little bit, but overall, I still got all of my requirements knocked out without any extra semesters added onto my academic career.

If you find yourself in this position, keep calm, bear down and hang in there! That which doesn’t bend can break under pressure, so take it as an exercise in adaptability, jump the hurdles that are thrown at you and keep on keepin’ on. The commitment you’ve made to your education is a commitment to yourself, and that makes it worth the struggle. Use the resources all around you and don’t be discouraged. You may be forced to take a gen ed at an awkward time, it might shift a prerequisite over to a different semester, but overall, you’ve got this!

-Amanda

 

Prepping Makes Perfect

7 Aug

All good things must come to an end, and unfortunately, that includes summer. As this summer ends, why not make sure you are as prepared as you can be for next year? Last summer you were probably freaking out about what you would need for school, but this time you are much more prepared! Here are some helpful ideas on how to prep for your second year!

Figure out where your classes are…before the first day

This one might sound a little odd, but it really does help! The first day is stressful no matter what year you are in. Not only do you have a new Professor with their own teaching style, but you are receiving all your syllabi on the same day! This can be  vastly overwhelming, and any way you can help relieve that stress will be good!

Plan out your meals

This is something I always struggle to stick to. Often after I plan them out, I don’t feel like eating that meal on that day, but after all my classes it is nice to know exactly what I will be making for dinner. Additionally, if you are able, try to invest in a Crock-Pot or another type of slow cooker. This will allow your meals to cook while you are in class so that you can come home to a cooked meal! You can also use the left-overs for lunches for the rest of the week!

Actually use a planner

You will be reminded of this every semester. Planners are a great way for students to plan out their time and feel like they have a little more control. I cannot use a traditional planner because I never remember to check them or write things down, but I do utilize a teacher’s desk calendar. I take all my syllabi at the beginning of the semester, and write down the important dates and assignments. This allows me to see what I need to do for the entire month so I can plan ahead. You don’t have to use the portable planners, but you really should have some method for staying on track.

Have a designated cleaning day

This is super important for all students. There are points in the semester that you will feel like you have no time for anything else but school, but this is an unhealthy way to think. Letting your living space become too dirty will distract you, and cause your work to suffer. Additionally, cleaning is a great way to clear your mind for a little bit, it is very important to maintain balance.

Make sure to have some fun

While we are at college to learn, remember to take some time to have fun. Now I am not saying you should go out partying all the time, but I am saying that you should take some time to treat yourself to dinner, or read a fun book, or just hang out with some friends on the mall! No matter what your fun entails, make sure to have some!

-Chrissy

 

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!)

-Christine

Top 20 Movies to Watch Over The Summer

10 Jun

 

Shannon’s Picks                                                              Chrissy’s Picks

Action:  

 The Bourne Identity                                                          Dracula Untold

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Adventure:

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows                       Bridge to Terabithia

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Animation:

How to Train Your Dragon                                            Lion King

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Comedy:

The Hangover                                                                    The Intern

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Drama:

Cast Away                                                                            Sense and Sensibility

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Family:

The Sandlot                                                                         Howl’s Moving Castle

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Fantasy:

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey                           Harry Potter

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Horror:

The Shining                                                                         Shrooms

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Romantic Comedy:

The Wedding Singer                                                         The Ugly Truth

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Science Fiction:

iRobot                                                                                    Blade Runner

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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—.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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-Christine

#AdventurousApril: Brunch Time

19 Apr

One of the great things that I love about living downtown is that I have easy access to a lot of amazing restaurants. Living on a college student budget means that I don’t get to go to these nice restaurants very often, which means that I get ridiculously excited when I do have the time and money to go.

I had never been to brunch before. Sure, I’ve gone out to breakfast and I’ve gone out to lunch, but never brunch. One of the reasons is because I’m very picky about when I eat eggs and the foods I combine eggs with. This month, I was feeling super adventurous and so found a place to have brunch. My roommate and I were up early last Sunday morning, and we hadn’t been grocery shopping in a while, so our food options were limited. I turned to my roommate and said “Why don’t we go out for brunch?” This surprised her, but she didn’t want to let the opportunity pass and happily agreed to accompany me to brunch.

We went online and search for good, reasonably priced, convenient places to go for brunch and we found Nook. The restaurant was within walking distance and their menu looked bomb. We got dressed quickly and headed out. It was quite the journey getting there because we weren’t exactly sure where it was. We walked and walked until finally we found it. We chose to sit at the breakfast bar so that we didn’t have to wait, and it was the best decision ever.

I love cooking shows and basically anything food related. I love to cook and try new things. When we sat down, I looked over to my left to see another guest receive her food and I immediately knew that I wanted the same. It was a beautiful platter of eggs, potatoes, and steak. It smelled like heaven. When it was my turn to order, I asked for a lemonade and the steak platter. While we waited for our food, we watched the chefs skillfully construct all these decadent dishes and talked about graduation. The lemonade was perfect. It was just sweet enough and not too sour. My food was to die for. It was perfectly cooked and deliciously seasoned. This was my first time having brunch and I cant wait to go back. The next time someone wants to go out for brunch, I’m recommending the Nook.

There’s a First Time for Everything

4 Apr

Spring Fling is a U of A tradition that most students take part in their first year on campus. My first year however, I was pretty awkward and I did not feel comfortable walking around alone, and none of my friends wanted to go. I promised myself I would do it my Sophomore year, but once again I lost my nerve, I ended up talking myself out of it by claiming I had too much homework. This year will be different. For starters, I have a few friends that are very excited to go with me so it looks like I will finally go to my first Spring Fling.

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There are a few things I am really excited for, one thing is cotton candy. I have never had cotton candy before, and I know I can go to the store and buy it, but I am sure there is something different about carnival cotton candy.

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The bands look pretty cool, I read the description of a few of them, and the Score looked like it could be good. Also, there are quite a few A Cappella groups performing on various days which could be good.

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I don’t know if I will ride any rides, I have seen Final Destination and I am not sure if I am down with that. I might ride a Ferris Wheel so that I can say I rode a ride, but I am not a huge thrill seeker.

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Moreover, I am really excited to spend some times with my friends relaxing and not worrying about school.

-Chrissy

#MiddlingMarch: Chrissy Gets Her Groove Back

29 Mar

Of all the breaks and days off we have, Spring Break is the worst. It is just long enough that we delude ourselves that we can put off doing school work for a few days, but not long enough for that to actually be the case. Please, don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Spring Break, I cherish the fact that I don’t have to be at school at 7:30 in the morning everyday, but coming back from break is always the hardest thing to do.

Personally, to avoid the awkward phase of getting back into the swing of school, I do school-type things over the break. This break, I visited the University of Washington to check out their graduate program. I was able to talk to the Professors I could potentially be working with to get my PhD. Doing this helped me refocus my vision. Throughout your school years, you might forget why you came to college in the first place, and it is a good idea to remind yourself. If graduate school is not in the books for you, spend some time talking to people in your field. Sometimes you have to focus on the end goals a bit to stay motivated.

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Of course, I did not visit Seattle without visiting the sites! I was there for three days, and while one was spent at the University, the other two were spent touring around Seattle. I visited the Chihuly Glass Museum, the Seattle Aquarium, Pike-Market Place (where we saw them throw fish at customers) and of course the Space Needle. It was the right amount of school and relaxing.

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Glass 2

It’s not always easy to flit off to schools you’re interested in, but looking up programs is a great way to focus your mind on the future and to remind yourself what you are working toward. It is never too early to start planning your future!

-Chrissy