Tag Archives: study

5 Tips on How to Balance Your Life

10 Jan

If you are at all like me, you have a million different things happening in your life at once. You have classes to get to, a job to keep, friends to hang out with, homework to complete, laundry to do… after you balance all of that for awhile, your life seems like a swirling mass of routine chaos. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Here are 5 tips on how to maintain balance in your life.

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1) Keep a Planner

I know that you have heard this one a million times before, but that is because it really does help. If you have everything written down, then you are less likely to forget something, and you can see how much time you have to relax.

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2) Just Say No

It is okay to tell your friends you can’t hang out today because you have other things to do. They will understand! By doing this, you will have plenty of time to finish your paper and do your laundry without having to stay up until four in the morning.

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3) Eat Healthier and Exercise

Sometime this can be tough because unhealthy food is so much cheaper and easier to come by, but even if you change out one unhealthy meal a day for a healthier one, you will start to see a change in your life. There are ways to eat healthy on campus, and there are services that can help you go off campus to get healthy foods as well.

There are a million places on campus to exercise. Trust me I know that exercising is exhausting, and you have a million things to do so you don’t have time to do it, but I have found that I actually have more energy after I exercise than I did before I started. Now I exercise before I go and start on my homework because I have found that it helps me focus.

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4) Focus on Studies

Believe it or not, but you are actually at the University to get a degree, so you should probably focus on that. Yes, it is okay to have fun and go out with friends and assert your independence, but that’s not what you’re paying for. I know it isn’t always fun to stay in and do homework, but you’ll find that when you avoid procrastinating until the last minute, you understand more of what happens in class. Plus if you have no idea how to do your homework correctly, you have the chance to go in and talk to your professor, a chance that is lost if you wait until the very last minute.

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5) Talk to Someone Outside of Tucson Regularly

Sometimes while we are at school, we forget that other things exist outside of campus life. By talking to someone outside of Tucson (whether it be a parent, a sibling, or friend) you will find that your problems seem a bit less overwhelming. An important thing to remember when doing this is that you shouldn’t spend the whole conversation talking about your problems at school…that kind of defeats the purpose.

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Since doing all of these things I have found that my stress levels have gone way down, and my life seems much more balanced.

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– Christine Ellis

Keep Moving Forward

20 Oct


The first exam is always the hardest because there is so much uncertainty. Will it be multiple choice or free response? Will the professor ask about large concepts or specific details? Will the test be curved? Are any of the scores dropped at the end? Will everything be based on lecture, the readings, or both? While some of these questions can be easily answered by reading the syllabus, some will remain mysteries until the first exam is handed out. This semester I was fortunate enough to take two major classes that truly interest me, and that have favorable test structures. One exam score, the lowest, will be dropped at the end of the semester. When my professor explained this, I was extremely relieved. Though it would be ideal if every exam received a high score, dropping one exam provides wiggle room in case something happens.


As the exams approached, the endless studying began. In the first class, I read all the chapters, reviewed the lecture notes and reread the lecture slides. When the exam time came, I was under the impression that there would be 50 questions, but this was not the case. There were only 25 questions, which made me extremely nervous. The questions were now worth twice as much as before. The only thing that could be done at that point was move forward. Most of the questions were from the lecture, but the ones asking for details came from the chapters. My exam was finished in 20 mins, which was the fastest exam I have ever taken. This too made me uneasy, but my exam was confidently turned in and I headed out to study for my next exam. Though my study time was wisely managed for my exam in class one, there was not enough time to finish all the readings for my second class. Preparation for the second class was hindered by other assignments and some of the readings were not completed in time. Reviewing the lecture slides and class notes was my go-to move. When the exam time came, I opened the packet and was flooded with relief to find 50 questions. Unfortunately, the feeling did not last long as many of the questions were from the chapters that were not read. So I tried my best, handed in the exam, and walked out feeling deflated.


While it can be said that my demeanor is generally very calm and relaxed, waiting for exam results brings out the annoyingly obsessive part of me. It took two days for the exam results to be posted, and in that time I checked d2l 32 times. For my first class, my score was an 80%, which was not the greatest but acceptable. It was just high enough to boost my confidence in the class. My second class exam score was very disappointing. When that 70% popped up on the screen, I took 3 deep breaths, reminded myself of the wiggle room, and made a plan for the next exam.


It was clear that improvements needed to be made. I vowed to attend class and pay attention, even if the information seemed repetitive and boring. Promises were made to read all the chapters, re-watch the supplemental videos, and review the lecture slides. I am proud to say that these promises were kept and both my exam scores improved by 12%. My first class exam score went from an 80% to a 92%, and my second class exam score went from an 70% to a 82%. Though higher scores can be reached in my second class, it is clear that my hard work has paid off and I am optimistic about the future.



Five Tips for Relaxation

6 Oct

As an incoming freshman, when it came to studying, I wasn’t riding the struggle bus. I was driving it. I had a peculiar problem, though. My studying went swimmingly…I had trouble with my study breaks. I didn’t know what to do with that time. I usually spent my study breaks telling myself I’d take a quick, five-minute nap. Next thing I knew, I was waking up three hours later.

Over time, I learned some tips on how to have quick, effective study breaks. I want to share those with you!

1. Eat a Snack


Put the potato chips aside and pick some food with brain power! Nuts, dark chocolate (yes, chocolate!), and apples have been proven to enhance your mental alertness and memory function. Need some ideas for other good study snacks? Click here.

2. Have a Dance Party


If it were up to me, every second of the day would be a dance party, so this is my favorite tip. Studying usually means sitting in one place for a pretty lengthy amount of time, which makes your body tired and consequently makes your brain tired. Pick your favorite song, put in some headphones, and bust a move!

3. Go Outside


Get in touch with nature and go outside. Harvard Medical School completed a study on the effects of being outside and found that by leaving the indoors, your body absorbs Vitamin D, your mood becomes happier and more optimistic, and your concentration will improve. (Extra points if you combine a dance party and go outside like Sandra Bullock).

4. Try a “One Song Workout”


Just like the dance party, doing a one-song workout will wake you up and get you energized. Just Google “One-Song Workout” and a number of different routines will appear to go along with songs from your favorite artists.

5. Watch a Cute Animal Video


As silly as it may seem, watching cat/dog videos is a great way to spend your study break. Study breaks should be a time for you to let your brain relax and do something that will brighten your mood. Just make sure not to fall into the black hole that is YouTube.

Happy studying, Wildcats!


Supernaturally Bored: Combating Academic Boredom

18 Sep

It is all fun and games to pick the 9 am Art History class that fits perfectly into your schedule, until its the third week into the semester and you don’t want to get out of bed. Even if you do drag yourself out of bed and into class, you know that you will be that one person who sits in the back and sleeps. So you decide to save your time and energy and just stay home. You have nothing against the subject or even the professor, it’s just that you find it boring so early in the morning.

You are not alone. Many students find themselves in a class that no longer piques their interest. Academic boredom is a real issue. If students are not compelled to go to class and learn the subject, then their grades are more likely to suffer for it. Having a full course load of classes that are not exactly the bees knees can be completely overwhelming. But, situations like these are when we must pull ourselves up by our boot straps and get down to business.

Here are some tips provided to us from the Winchester brothers of Supernatural. Even when their enemies are unfathomably powerful, Sam and Dean Winchester always persevere. The life of a Hunter takes more than just brute strength, it takes vast mental capabilities as well. The first thing the boys do when they catch wind of a supernatural crime is gather information and do research. Sam and Dean, much like college students, detest reading through hundreds of pages of texts only find two sentences of relevant information. But if they ran into a situations without preparing themselves, they would not have made it past the first season. The Winchesters have survived because of their ability to force themselves to do what it necessary…but not all of us have that same drive. The best course of action? Stay engaged to avoid academic boredom in the first place!

Academic Boredom may have you looking like this:


Or maybe even this:

tumblr_mjjgelEHKk1s1ucvoo1_500 tumblr_inline_mjmsgpbyQ71qz4rgp tumblr_inline_mjmsh7plvs1qz4rgp

But after implementing some, or all of these tips, the results should have you looking more like this:


1. Treat yourself
When you have a long reading or writing assignment, try breaking down the work into smaller parts and rewarding yourself every time you complete a section.


2. Turn off electronics
When studying or in lecture, turn on the do not disturb option on your electronics for freedom from the outside world. If the assignment you’re working on doesn’t require internet access, turn off your WiFi and remove the temptation to goof off.

SPNG Tags: Chuck / Deal with it / </p><br /><br /><br /> <p>Looking for a particular Supernatural reaction gif? This blog organizes them so you don’t have to spend hours hunting them down.

3. Move around a bit
Staying alert in lecture can be a challenge sometimes, so give your body something to do whether it’s bouncing your leg, squeezing a stress ball, or just chewing gum.


4. Mark the most important details from lecture
Try using a highlighter to mark the most important information or the information the lecturer specifies as being on the test. Copying down these important details onto one flash card is another great way to do it.



5. Create your own focus space
Try training your body by only studying in one area, but not your bed – leave that for sleeping. This will ensure that you won’t be tempted to sleep while studying, or unable to keep your mind from racing while trying to sleep. 


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6. Bring up material in daily life
The more you talk about what you are learning, the better it will stick in your mind.


7. Quiz yourself
Don’t be afraid to check up on what you already know and get a better sense of what you still need to learn by quizzing yourself.


8. Study breaks
Try studying for 20 minutes then taking a 5 minute break to give your brain a rest. During that break, listen to your favorite song or have a dance party. Larger chunks of studying time can seem daunting, but will also allow you to sneak a nap in during your day, which is always a plus. 


9. Give your brain a rest
Do something you love, like take a walk, read a book, go for a run, or watch Supernatural.


10. Plan for the future
Look up classes that seem interesting and learn more about them before adding them to your schedule. This will ensure that classes are tailored to what you like instead of just being convenient.


School can be overwhelming and unbearably dull at times, but don’t let that deter you from doing your best. Try new things and find what works for you. Picking classes that don’t interest you is the same as flushing money down the toilet, so choose wisely. Make your education mean something by studying what you like and getting the most out of your classes.  It’s true that there will be classes that are required for your major, but use these tips to stay strong. Dedication and discipline have allowed the Winchesters to defeat ghosts, ghouls, angels, demons, leviathans and many more evil beings. So take it from the them and keep fighting the good fight. 


The Magic of 10.

20 Jul

As students, and human beings in general, time is of essence. The idea of “free” time seems illusionary and unattainable, but perhaps it is the manner in which we perceive free time that constrains us to believe it nonexistent. What I mean to say is that perhaps when we think of free time we think it to be an expansive amount of time like an hour or more. What if you had 10 minutes at this very moment free of responsibility and restrictions? What can you possibly do in 10 minutes?

In my busy schedule, 10 minutes can allow me to do a numerous amount of activities. Here are my top 10.

1. Eat.

Sometimes 10 minutes will be as much time as you will get to grab lunch or a snack in between classes, work, or any other commitments. Take advantage of it!


2. Work out.

Feeling in need of an energy boost or perhaps a release of stress? 10 minutes can be more than enough time to get your heart racing and blood pumping with 10-minute workouts. If they are high intensity workouts, they can serve to burn a good amount of calories.

3. Make a to-do list.

Ten minutes can help you organize yourself for the remainder of the day or the week even. Create a to-do list of what needs to get done, what deadlines are coming up, and what other commitments you have to keep front and center. You will be surprised at how much organization can flourish from just 10 minutes.


 4. Meditate.

Take time to find some peace if that is what your heart desires. Ten minutes of yoga, breathing exercises, sitting under a tree, or whatever relaxes you can have an immense impact on your mood and the rest of your day. Find peace and concentration in ten minutes by doing what you love.



5. Play games.

Allow your inner child to come out! Find a game to play in 10 minutes. Whether it is solitaire or a friendly game of tic-tac-toe, 10 minutes can be enough to get your creative, competitive juices flowing. Go solo or share the game with a friend! Just do not get too competitive.



6. Tune into the news.

Hop on the news train and submerge yourself with the latest news. Nowadays, a newspaper, the internet, the tv, or even your phone will allow you to read/listen to the news. Just 10 minutes can be enough to update you on all that is going on in the world.


7. “Me” time.

Yes, most of these activities are already about “me” time, but this bullet really emphasizes the idea of doing something that you really love. For example, dance your heart out to those embarrassing songs you are too afraid to admit you like or go on a photography adventure. Whatever it is, do it!


8. Reach out.

This can be a great time to write a letter to an old friend that you have not talked to in a while or perhaps an email or Facebook message. Ten minutes is all it takes to make somebody’s day a little better.


9. Study.

You might be thinking to yourself that studying in 10 minutes might not be the best strategy. Well, if you are trying to study a semester’s worth most likely 10 minutes is not enough, but if you are trying to gradually learn something then this is the perfect time. Ten minutes is a good time to learn new vocabulary words in another language or memorize those calculus equations.


10. Write.

Express yourself freely. Write a blog, a journal entry, a poem, a story, anything that will liberate your mind. Ten minutes can be a great chance to create something unique and express yourself to the best of your ability.


       Some of these ideas might seem unworthy of your time. Perhaps you think them to be wasting time, but remember:

“The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time” -Bertrand Russell


Happy ten minutes (:


Lucero Pesqueira

Five-Step Survival Guide for Freshman Year

30 Aug

1.  Join any clubs of interest.  As a science major, I joined Bio5 Ambassadors and the Society of Professional Engineers. These clubs fit me perfectly because I was able to meet with fellow Wildcats of similar majors and gain upperclassman advice on what classes to enroll in next year. So, sign up for all clubs that spark your enthusiasm during club fair. Since clubs require minimal time commitment, they are an easy way to make friends and connect to campus. In addition, some clubs will offer free food as an incentive to come to their first meeting. And as poor college students, never turn down an opportunity to eat free pizza, cookies, and Eegees (two more days to catch this month’s flavor, cherry pineapple).

a(Freshman year at my roommate’s club kickball tournament.  I’m the Asian, fourth from the left.)

2.  Set more than one alarm.  Professors usually start class on the minute, so it’s important to wake up on time for class to avoid missing the beginning of lecture. However, this is easier said than done. To wake up, I rely on two phone alarms and one iPad alarm, which I inconveniently place across the room so I am forced to get out of bed. My advice is to not rely on only one alarm; class attendance is crucial, so do whatever it takes to get there on time!

Six-sleeping-corgi-puppies-5(Obviously these corgis didn’t hear their alarm clock)

3.  Buy a planner.  Unless you have an incredible mind like Rain Man, relying solely on memory is a mistake.  Use a planner to create a daily to-do list and record all homework assignments in it.  The UA Bookstore currently has a fantastic planner for $8.99 that includes important UA dates (i.e. when you can Bursar and last day to return textbooks), and is prefaced with several pages of UA resources info (i.e. ThinkTank, Ombuds, etc).  Not to mention, there are coupons and stickers inside!

picstitch(I literally write down every single reminder, task, and assignment in this thing.)

4.  Don’t fall behind in class.  Just don’t.  After a rough first semester of classes, I finally made the grand discovery that I needed to ask questions if I was confused about the subject at hand. In calculus, I gave up on learning trig substitution because it was just too hard, but the consequences of that decision haunted me through the end of the semester. Not understanding one concept initiates a snowball effect for the rest of the class. That one confusing concept that you never fully understood bleeds into the next concept and the next. Before you know it, you can’t keep up and the entire class becomes a blur. Moral of the story? If you’re not getting it, ask questions. Don’t snowball down the hill to failure.

to do math(My life freshman year…don’t be me.)

5.  Don’t be afraid to go to office hours.  Seeking help from your professors can be intimidating. The first time I attended a professor’s office hours, I seriously considered heading home when I saw I was going to be the only student there.  But instead of shying away, I took advantage of the opportunity to have one-on-one tutoring, and it paid off immensely. When you attend office hours, not only do you understand the subject matter more clearly, but you also demonstrate to the professor that you are an engaged, proactive learner. It’s important to get to know at least one professor outside of lecture; you never know when you’ll need a letter of recommendation. However, one word of advice: before you show up, ensure you have attempted the homework and have specific questions prepared, so that you are not blindly asking the professor to repeat their entire lecture.


(Just keep calm and look at these playful puppies.)

–Kaelyn Garner

What’s New at Your University Libraries?

19 Oct

Our Guest Blog Series continues with another Blog from the UA Libraries!  A quick glance at your syllabus should serve as a reminder that the end of this semester is quickly approaching.  Don’t forget about all of these great services at the library!  Thank you, David, for contributing to our Blog!

What’s New at Your University Libraries?

Charging Stations for Mobile Devices

Is your cell phone or tablet almost out of power? We have free charging stations in the lobbies of the Main, Science-Engineering, and Fine Arts Libraries.
Reserve a Study Room

You can now use your smartphone to reserve a group study room at the Main and Science-Engineering Libraries. Groups of 3-8 or 9-12 UA students can reserve one of 32 rooms at the Main Library or one of 12 rooms at the Science-Engineering Library. Reserving with a smartphone is easy:

No smartphone? No problem. You can reserve a group study room online atrooms.library.arizona.edu (a Chrome or Safari web browser is required). Staff at any of the library Help Desks can also help you make a reservation.
6-hour Quiet Study Rooms

You can check out quiet study rooms for 6 hours at the Main and Science-Engineering Libraries. There are 37 rooms available at the Main Library and 10 at the Science-Engineering Library. A valid CatCard is required.
Technology Study Rooms

Need a quiet place to do a Skype interview? Want to see different parts of a group project on different laptops? Use our Technology Study Rooms, available at the Main and Science-Engineering Libraries. A new collaboration station with multiple laptop hookups and a large screen monitor is available at the Main Library. Skype interviews can be done at both the Main and Science-Engineering Libraries. You can reserve the rooms online at rooms.library.arizona.edu with either a smartphone or a laptop (Chrome or Safari web browser required). Learn more about the Libraries’ multiple study spaces at library.arizona.edu/services/study-spaces.
Text Alerts

Sign up to get text alerts on your phone when you have books ready to pick up, overdue books or equipment, and books that are nearly due. For more info, please visit library.arizona.edu/help/how/text-alerts.
Equipment Lending

From laptops to netbooks, iPads to Android tablets, calculators to metronomes, you can borrow them from the University Libraries. To see everything that’s available, go to library.arizona.edu/services/equipment-lending.

– By David Buffington (UA Libraries)

Living Art: UA Poetry Center

4 Nov

The UA Poetry Center

During my adventure around campus this week, scouring every last corner for amusing places to visit, I came across University of Arizona’s Poetry Center, hidden on Helen St. and Vine Ave. With words jutting out of red handrails, a mini outdoor amphitheater, and an secret patio to boot, there was no way I was going to pass this place without stepping inside.

Inside the Entrance

First thing I noticed was the comfortable lounge chairs and sofas for reading and studying. There were plenty of amusing books as well–expected of a library. But each minute I spent in this library, the more surprises I found. This place is nothing like the libraries I’ve been in.

  • A Loft–there is a nice little loft hidden above the library with a great view of the campus. Imagine coffee shop windows, but better.
  • A Children’s Corner–this little corner has toys, picture books, drawings, and a KANGAROO. I don’t think there’s another kangaroo anywhere else on campus, unless someone can prove me wrong.
  • The Turning Wall and Patio

    The Turning Wall–hidden in the back of the library is the most serene patio I’ve ever encountered. A shady, outdoor area is provided for anyone who wishes to enjoy the weather. Architect Les Wallach’s belief that “the space where poems are housed is itself a sort of organism, or environment in which poets are made” is borne out in poetic gestures such as the unexpected paradox of a “turning wall” allowing filtered sunlight to enter the library. You gotta see it to appreciate it.

There is actually a lot more to check out at the Poetry Center. Unfortunately, I lost track of time enjoying The Turning Wall. Let me know what else you see when you visit!

Events and Activities

The Poetry Center has readings, guest speakers, and even activities for children all the time. Here is a small sample of what they have in store:

  1. A Reading by Michelle Tea
    11/13/2010 – 7:00pm
    “The writing that I love, it’s the Other telling the part that got left out, the truth.”
  2. Poetry Joeys: Fairy Tales and Myths & Legends
    11/13/2010 – 10:00am – 11:00am
    A Saturday morning reading and writing activity group for children ages four through ten.
  3. Poetry Goes for a Hike
    Begins 11/17/2010 – 6:00pm
    Hike: Saturday, November 13, 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
    Workshop: Wednesday, November 17, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

East side of Library

Poetry Center Hours
Monday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Tuesday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Wednesday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Thursday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Sunday Closed

For more information, please visit poetry.arizona.edu/

Source: poetry.arizona.edu/