Tag Archives: Habits

Finding My Home at UA

31 Oct

The University of Arizona felt like home to me the instant my feet touched the pavement. During my senior year of high school, we toured the three major universities, Northern Arizona University, Arizona State University, and the University of Arizona. NAU was nice, ASU felt all wrong, and UA was perfect. There are only two moments in my life when peace has completely overwhelmed me; setting foot on UA territory that first time was one of them. I knew, without a doubt, that UA was going to be my home away from home.

Freshman year is always confusing and exhausting, but finding my niche helped relieve some of the stress. I lived in the Blue Chip living community in the Pima residence hall my fist year. Pima was perfect for me. It was small, quiet, conveniently located, and it had a yard to play in. It was comfortable, it had everything I needed at the time (including an awesome roommate). My roommate was randomly assigned, but she turned out to be another version of myself. We were both introverts, loved to read, had the same sense of humor, and shared similar opinions on almost every subject. Finding a close friend right away made me feel accepted and loved.

Since moving off campus, it has been a bit more difficult to enjoy the little things taken for granted my freshman year, but holding on to some of those habits has helped me stay connected. I visit my favorite reading spot at least once a week. Before moving off campus, countless hours were spent on my favorite bench reading, eating lunch, studying, and watching Netflix. Most mornings are too busy to grab breakfast at Cactus Grill, but every once in a while I will treat myself. It is fulfilling to continue some of the traditions that were started my freshman year, but creating new ones is just as nice. Every morning I walk down University Boulevard into campus. Old Main early in the morning is a great sight. It reminds me of my first time stepping onto campus and feeling completely at home. It is not the same for everyone. Some people take more time to find their place on campus. I am thankful that the University and everyone on campus have been so welcoming to me and have helped me find my way. This is where I belong, this is my home.

Old Main in the morning:

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The yard at Pima:

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My favorite bench to sit and read:

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-Erika

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Superstitions? Call it What You Want… Just Do It!

24 Oct

Test taking can bring out some strange habits in all of us. Some people call them superstitions, others call them habits, and for some people it’s just normal.
We do these things because we believe that we will perform better and if we don’t, who knows what will happen.
We asked our Peer Mentors about some of their test-taking superstitions, and here’s what they had to say. Enjoy!

Erika L: I have a fear of accidentally skipping questions and ruining my bubble sheet so I wait to bubble until after I have gone through each question. I listen to music right before the exam instead of cramming or looking over my notes because it helps me get pumped. Cramming while in the test room makes me feel panicked and rushed, so I avoid it. And I always take a deep breath before starting the exam because it helps relax me.

Madeline: Right before an exam I do not for any reason look at my phone or go online. In middle school, I once heard a superstition that stated if you look at your phone, watch TV, or go online right before you are about to take an exam, you will forget nearly everything you have reviewed that day! Now I know this is not exactly true, but I got used to not using such entertaining devices right before my exams. Does it help or not? I couldn’t tell you. However, that’s the cool thing about superstitions. You may not know if they actually work or not, but you keep at it anyway!

Allymyr: On the day of an exam, no matter how tired I am, I always make an effort to look my best. When I know I look good, I feel confident and that’s always important whenever going into an exam (even though I don’t always feel ready going into it). My motto is: “Dress to impress in order to ace that test!” If I come out of a bad exam, I still feel somewhat positive because I still look good no matter what!

Briana: The second I get my exam, I flip to the very last page, read through the questions, and answer the very last question. I think it gives me a sense that I’m almost done with the exam (even though I’m clearly not) because I’ve answered the last question, which reduced a whole lotta stress for me.

Christine: Once I get to my exam, I flip it to the back of the book and I work backwards through the entire test. I have found that this has helped me with my time management because I know exactly how many questions there are left, and how much time I can spend on each thing. I also have a fear of missing bubbles, so I start that from the bottom as well and work backwards, checking every 5 questions to make sure everything is okay. Before a test, I listen to “Against All Odds” by Phil Collins because it makes me feel better if I am under-prepared, and I put on my Frank Sinatra playlist because his voice calms me down. I always sit in the front row to make sure no one/ nothing distracts me. I have a lot of traditions before exams, but I don’t know if they would work for anyone else. They have always worked for me!

Leylah: When I study before my exams, I chew a specific flavor of gum. So on exam day, I always have to chew that same brand and flavor of gum to help my memory and test taking efficiency. For me it really does work!

Erica S: Before an exam, I have a tradition of calling my mom and/or texting my sisters. For some reason, I feel like they are able to calm me down and let me know everything is going to be alright. They always tell me that I have prepared to the best of my ability, so even if it doesn’t go well, at least I gave it my all. I also try to look my prettiest, because one of my best friends has always told me “if you look pretty, you do pretty.” Although it is always tempting to roll out of bed before heading to an exam, I now try to wear a dress and look my best!

Elena: When I receive an exam, I normally look at the last page (especially if there are essay questions) and write notes about everything I remember about the topic before I start the rest of the exam. If it is a multiple choice exam, the last thing I do is fill in my scantron. In high school, one of my teachers told me that peppermint jogs the memory, so on test days when I am really struggling, I try to find a peppermint and hope for the best.

Everyone has different superstitions, just do what makes you feel more confident! And good luck!

-Elena

#StudiousSeptember: Making Healthy Habits

3 Oct

Coming to college can be such a big change. I felt so free, I could go anywhere, eat anything, and go to bed whenever I wanted. When I was dropped off by my mom, I was left with a big box of ramen and endless possibilities. But when school started to get harder and my ramen ran out, I started to go eat at the Student Union a lot. I remember not having a car and no money besides my meal plan, and no way to go make my own food. Soon my overwhelming course schedule created a habit where I hardly got out of my dorm, and getting food at the Union turned into getting snacks at U-Mart. At the end of my freshman year I realized that I had become victim of the freshman 15 by not being as active as I could have been and not eating healthy meals. I had created some very unhealthy habits for myself. This prompted me to learn better habits for myself and created a new Sophomore year resolution.

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Better Habit Part 1: Being more active

When I was in high school, I was in the Marching band and took Aerobics for PE.. but college doesn’t have PE and I didn’t join the Pride Marching Band. With all of my classes, I prioritized my study habits and social life over going to work out. I decided to learn a new exercise technique and joined a Zumba class at the Rec Center. The first class that I went to, I almost passed out and I realized then that I really had to become more active. Because I paid for the class, I told myself I was going to go everyday, but as my classes became more hectic I found myself not going as much I had planned. I felt too tired to go to my 8:15pm Zumba class after a day of work and classes. I knew that I couldn’t slip back into my old habits, so I started to plan ahead, only go work out on certain days and do homework in advance. This proved to be the best system for me, not only was I not procrastinating, but I was able to start being more active. Zumba has turned out to be challenging, but very fun and definitely worth my time.

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Better Habit Part 2: Eating Healthy in the Dorm

While there are a lot of healthy options are offered at the Student Union, the long lines and similar food can get old fast. I found that I was eating out more, spending more money, and buying more snacks than I was actually making myself food. Dorms are hard – there’s no full refrigerator or pantry, and you find yourself eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and ramen for every meal. Taking SafeRide or the CatTran to get groceries seemed like a hassle, and then the groceries never seemed to last anyway. I had to really refine my techniques if I was going to start eating healthier my Sophomore year. I learned not to buy a lot of bread, because it seemed that I could never finish a loaf before it went bad. I would buy fruits and vegetables once a week, that way it wasn’t as much to lug on the CatTran. I stopped eating out and saved my money for grocery trips, as well as stopped snacking when I study.  I also started to drink a lot more water to curb my appetite and stay alive in this heat. While all of these things sometimes are a struggle, I find myself falling into better habits. To stay interested in the healthy food that I eat, I look for healthy recipes whenever I am on Pintrest. I recently made a healthy version of chicken broccoli fettuccine alfredo.

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Eating healthy and working out can be a challenge, trust me I know, but this year I have started to feel so much better. I’m not getting sick or feeling tired, like I was at the end of Freshman year. I truly am happy about learning better habits and breaking old ones to make my Sophomore year and the rest of my college career healthy and enjoyable.

-Laura