Tag Archives: Stress Management

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

Don’t Sweat It: Making a Big Decision

30 Jan

With all the decisions we make in a lifetime, there are bound to be some that stick with a person, for good and bad reasons. Choosing to come to college was, undoubtedly, a huge decision to make, one that may not have caused too much inner turmoil for some, but choosing the University of Arizona may have been more difficult. There are many pros and cons to factor in, such as moving away from home or potentially not moving away from home, paying for college, liking the campus, and feeling at home here. Having to sort through all the elements of a decision can leave a person feeling stretched thin, or at the breaking point. Though we have all decided that the U of A was right for us, there are still many important decision that need to be made that can cause massive amounts of stress, such as choosing a major, deciding where to live, deciding who to spend our time with, and deciding how to balance classes and all the other commitments. Here are a few tips that can help to lighten the load and make scary decisions more manageable.

1. Make a List


When making an important decision, it is crucial that you take the time to think things over. Making a list can help give you a visual representation of the pros and cons of each decision. It can be time consuming, and you may end up with pages upon pages of notes, but at the end, you will have a better understanding of the problem as well as the options.

2. Talk it Over


It may feel as if you are at your breaking point sometime during the process, but talking it over with someone you trust can alleviate a lot of the stress. Knowing someone is there to listen and help you make the decision can mean all the difference.

3. Just Breathe


It may sound unimportant, but deep breathing has many positive affects on your body and mind, so don’t count it out. Deep breathing exercises provide much needed breaks for your brain and help you compose yourself before moving forward in the decision making process.

4. Walk it Off


If you ever feel this overwhelmed, follow Dave Franco’s lead and walk it off. Take a walk to clear your head, or do something to take your mind of the stressor, and return when you are more relaxed.

5. Sleep on it


Sleep on it. As the saying goes: do not make decisions when you are angry, and do not make promises when you are happy. When making a big decision, it is best to give your plan at least a day so that you can mull it over before taking action. Sleep is also a huge stress reliever, so don’t underestimate it.

6. Make Your Decision


When it comes time to make your decision, don’t fret. As long as you have really thought about your choices and made the decision you believe in the most, everything will work out exactly how it is meant to. Make your decision and start looking towards the future.

7. Let Go

letgoThis is the most important thing to remember: once you make your decision, don’t look back. Looking back distracts you from the “now”. When you choose the path for you, you must put everything you have into making it work, or else it will fail. Take it from Tyler Durden – Let Go. Wait. Maybe he’s not the best example… but you get the point.

Big decisions (thankfully) don’t come along everyday, but when they do crop up, it can be difficult to make the right one. Everyone has a different way of processing information and choosing the path for them, but hopefully some of these tips will resonate with you. This process can be frustrating, but remember to take deep breaths and give yourself time to mull things over. Keep moving forward!


Dealing with the College Burnout

31 Oct

We have endured our first exam or two. Experienced college’s twist to Trick or Treating. And now we face more exams and Homecoming. If you’re not a bit overwhelmed by now you deserve a round of applause! At this point in the semester  many of us are experiencing the infamous “burnout” meaning, we maybe feeling like this…


So how do we keep going? Obviously we need to make sure we are taking care of OURSELVES. I stress this because I caught myself avoiding my own stresses and concerns. If you catch yourself ignoring your stress, that’s when it’s time to pump the brakes my friends and treat yo’self!treat yoself

Now, I am not saying drop everything and buy a plane ticket to Cancun (although if that’s an option for you, by all means get yourself a pina colada). No, take it from me… I have been there. That place where you feel like all your efforts will not suffice to what’s expected of you.  The burnout is not the most fun place to be. It challenges you and makes you reevaluate your decisions for months.


Dealing with the burnout is inevitable sometimes. The best ways to deal with them solely rely on your perseverance. I struggled with hectic schedules and making decisions that left me second guessing. My way out of the mid-semester slump was just accepting the place I  was in. I guess you can say I sort of told myself to suck it up, as harsh as it sounds…but it actually worked for me.

Remember we’re all going through changes in our lives, the burnout is just a part of the process. Find the time to take care of  yourself, because in the end it’s YOU who needs to cross that finish line.



Stress Less: Keeping Calm, Cool and Collected for Midterms

6 Oct


Edition 8 Header

Take a deep breath, we got you covered in this week’s Wildcat Connections! Learn some helpful tips on how to handle your stress and be ready for those midterms!


#StudiousSeptember: Laugh a Little, Laugh a Lot

6 Oct

We have all heard the expression, “bad things come in threes” and they sure do. Well at least for me they did. I recently had to endure three exams from three of my major business courses all on the same day!  How did I get through it? I laughed. Yes, I laughed but more importantly I found a new way to handle my stress. Don’t make the mistake of thinking this happened over night; for years I struggled with test anxiety and letting my nerves get the best of me. Until exam day, I kept reminding myself to handle what I could and not fret over the rest.

If this happened a year ago, I would have locked myself in my dorm room, only taking a 20 minute break to eat. Sleep? Nope, getting those zs was not an option at the time. Anytime I felt like I was slipping back into my old habits I had to stop myself and reevaluate how I was spending my time. Telling yourself “No, that won’t help at all” really does well, help!

While I kept reminding myself to stay calm and do what I could, there was still a part of me that wanted to go into panic mode. My mood suddenly switched from collected to “dang girl you better chill!”

Just when I thought I was on the right track, my nerves kicked in. I had no idea what anyone was talking about around me because I centered my thoughts on those three exams.

Then I realized, “What am I doing? There’s only so much I can do.” After that, I laughed at the thought of the unnecessary stress I was giving myself and went on with my day. I found it silly to start freaking out and pacing back and forth instead of getting myself together and controlling the situation.

Managing your stress does not happen instantaneously. Take it from me when I say the struggle is real! However, you develop the skill faster than you think. If I were to experience a bundle of exams around this time last year, I honestly would have had a nervous break down. Any skill you acquire comes with experience.

As it turns out that keeping a calm and collected attitude actually benefited me on the day of my exams (huh, who knew?!). So, my send off to you is to remember to take action with what YOU can control. Stressing over factors simply out of your hands can keep you from moving forward and preparing for whatever will be thrown at you. Remember to stay positive. This too shall pass!



The Metamorphosis of Spring Break

7 Mar

It’s no secret that spring break is a pretty big deal for us college kids. Whether you are a new student to the Wildcat life or if you have been Bearing Down for a couple years now, you probably start the spring semester with a few big things to look forward to, and one of those involves taking part in the most important week for students across the country: spring break.

The allure of having a week off to have the time of your life is extremely exciting. It’s quite possible that spring break could be the biggest moment of your semester, even the highlight of your life. I mean, just think about it.

The possibilities for greatness are endless. Spring break has definitely taken on a life of its own. Like many other students entering college, spring break symbolized a transcendent experience for me—one in which I was finally able to throw down like an adult and do some crazy stuff. And I have to admit, I intended to make the most of my spring break vacations by going out as much as possible.

I came into college thinking about all of the fun that I would have. I was mostly intrigued with the buildup to spring break. I was thinking Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Rico, California, Jamaica, anywhere with a beach, sun, and piña coladas. As a youngin’ (before I was 21) this was exactly what I envisioned.


or this


Of course, it never really worked out quite like this picture, but hey, I did my best with what I had. Without giving too much detail about my previous experiences, I would say that I lived up to most of my expectations of what I wanted spring break to be (minus traveling to Puerto Rico and Jamaica). For freshman and sophomore year, I thoroughly enjoyed going out and having as much fun as possible.

But after dealing with some heavy course loads during my sophomore and now my junior year, my view on spring break changed dramatically. I rarely spend anytime back home with my mom. I can count on one hand how many times I was able to make the trip back down to Rio Rico during the entire year. Sometimes all I want to do after a crazy week at school is spend some time with my family and our crazy dogs.


This is Malika. She likes to sleep like a sloth.


And this girl is just the most playful pitbull you could ever meet!

But, with the added responsibility that comes with pursing an education, working everyday, and outside commitments, it just didn’t allow me to take much time off for myself.

It’s safe to say that I had reached a boiling point. I started to feel very overwhelmed with school and realized that I had no free time during the year and was desperately waiting for spring break to come around and save me from going crazy.

You might be feeling this way as well.

My response to feeling burnt out was a sense of dissatisfaction once spring break came around. By this point, I was just so exhausted that I didn’t even want to go out that much. This feeling was me coming to the realization that, after spending the whole year trying to keep up with the faced paced university life, the last thing I wanted to do was to try and keep up with the mainstream hustle and bustle of spring break. This spring break, I am going to cruise in the slow lane.

Part of this means that I won’t be out searching for the wildest parties or craziest events. Rather, I am going to take my time and do some meaningful travel with my family–enjoying whatever falls in our path and relieving ourselves of the day-to-day stress that we go through. And I am more excited for the spring break than I have ever been!

I am not in favor of trying to lecture you into thinking about spring break differently by any means. If anything, I want you to do whatever makes you happy during your well-deserved time away from school. Whether you stay local or travel far, this is your time to do to with it whatever your heart desires. All that I am trying to point out is that at some point you will find out what that free time really means to you. You don’t have to go all out during this one week. You might tire yourself out more than you realize.

Plus, how much can you really cram into one week?

If I think about some of the more popular things to do on spring break, travel, beach fun, and nightlife come to mind. The traveling and finding a spot along the beach take up a lot of time. And why drive all the way to California, for example, and not take in all of the beautiful sights along the way? Or stop by a fruit stand and get some fresh oranges, maybe even dare to take a nibble at some of the street food, or talk to a few locals in a new place.

From my perspective, its the small things that count.  So if it feels right take the time slow down for a few minutes. I promise it will be worth it.



Midterm Madness: Wildcat Connections October 14-20 Edition

15 Oct

Check out the latest edition of Wildcat Connections! Midterm Madness is upon us and this edition is full of ways to manage stress, improve study skills, and ideas for when you need a study break.



Wildcat Connections (Monday, February 18, 2013 – Sunday, February 24, 2013)

15 Feb

Click the image below to read the newest edition of Wildcat Connections.  We’re preparing for midterms BEFORE we prepare for spring break…

Image of Harry Potter and Friends with inspirational quote.