Tag Archives: Success

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

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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

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.

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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—.

Poison study.jpg

Finals Fails: What Not To Do

17 Apr

Ah, the joyous season of finals. A season full of gifts and time spent with loved ones. Gifts of Starbucks coffee and snacks to fuel energy through the studying festivities, and time spent in study groups in the library, night after night. Instead of giving you our tips for success, below are some Final Fail stories from your ASA Peer Mentors. Read through them and know some critical mistakes to avoid when preparing for your finals!

  • Briana: This isn’t necessarily a failure, but my second semester of college I got really, really sick during finals week. It was the worst. I fell asleep in the middle of a study group and nearly failed all of my exams because I couldn’t study. So, lesson to be learned: take care of yourself, especially the weeks prior to finals week. Drink that vitamin C and get enough rest, because nothing is worse than being sick during finals.

  • Maddie: One semester I was down to my last couple dollars in my meal plan. By the time finals came around, I was only consuming coffee, oatmeal, and peanut butter. I was also getting about 2 ½ hours of sleep each night so I was practically in zombie mode. Finally I sold 2 of my textbooks from the last semester and saved those measly $15 for a huge omelette the morning before my two most important exams. My body went into complete shock and I felt worse as the day passed. This made it hard to concentrate during my finals. Make sure to manage your money and time wisely so that you take your finals as healthy as possible!
  • Kaelyn: Spring semester of my sophomore year I was cramming hard during finals week to get a C in organic chemistry and physics electricity & magnetism. This was a low point in life for me and the entire semester had basically sucked, so I just wanted it all to be over.  I made a list of all the things I needed to study and my epic fail was that I was too focused on getting through my finals to-do list that I failed to actually learn the material and commit it to memory. So while I read over all my notes and textbook chapters, I wasn’t actively learning.  I ended up getting a D on both finals but still got the C I was aiming for in the classes, yay.
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  • Zuri: My second semester of freshman year, I had a huge biology final that I was freaking out over. I pulled an all-nighter to study for the exam and ended up taking the exam in my pjs. I remember taking the exam and handing it in. After that  moment I blacked out. The next thing I know I am in my bed in my dorm, having no memory of walking back from the exam. Lesson learned, sleep is necessary! (Also, I don’t know if you’re keeping count, but we are! That’s TWO fails caused by trying to pull all-nighers! It’s not worth it, Wildcats.)

  • Julian: I’m from Tucson but lived in the dorms during freshman year. During freshman year, I loved going home whenever I had the opportunity. I rewarded myself by going home to my family. On the last day of classes, I went home right after I finished my last class. The next morning I woke up super early and drove to school to take my first final exam in college. It was dead day. And then I died when I realized I made a 30 minute commute for no reason. Moral of the story: keep track of time and be completely settled and prepared before your exams. Don’t make your life unnecessarily difficult during these times, you’ll need as much rest and relaxation as possible.

  • Erica: Freshman year I was studying for my huge chemistry and biology finals. I went back on every single chapter, and studied all the notes. I did not take any study breaks! When I went into the exam, I realized I studied sufficiently, but I did not study the right stuff. I saw that on both biology and chemistry cumulative exams, the questions were all old exam questions! Instead of trying to cram in studying everything, I would advise you all to take the time to go over old exam questions/study guides, and prioritize the most important content. It will save you time, energy, and stress! Make sure that for every 50 minutes you study, you take 10 minute breaks. During these breaks, do NOT do anything related to school. Studies have shown these breaks are super important while studying, and help retain content.

  • Sarah: My first semester of college, I was taking calculus with one of my best friends, Chris. We had the brilliant idea to try to pull an all-nighter to study for our exam early in the morning. We couldn’t make it through the night, however, and ended up falling asleep for only about an hour and were almost late to our exam! We definitely would have done better if we slept more, and I have made sure to no longer pull all-nighters.
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Good luck on finals, Wildcats! 🙂 –Sarah

Planning Is Not for the Faint of Heart

6 Mar

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” — Alan Lakein

The best advice I can give to anyone in or about to enter college is to take control of your college career. One way to do that is to plan it out. There an numerous resources on campuses to help you figure out what you need to take/do while you are here. Be a self-advocate. Be knowledgeable. Be in control. This is your experience. Your time. Your degree. Your life. So make it count!

If you are one of my loyal fans (can we make up a cool name for this?) by now you know I changed my major multiple times. This just means I got REALLY good at creating 4 year (or less) plans!

Now it is time to create YOUR 4 year plan!

1. First you will need a white board and a array of expo markers.

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** Note: although whiteboards give you the space to create this amazing plan, they are not permanent, nor easy to take places. You might want to consider paper and colorful pens/pencils.**

2. Second, you will need resources regarding YOUR major. U of A has helps you out with Degree Search. Here you will be able to find your major, career ideas, and a 4 year plan! Now you might be thinking “can’t I just use that 4 year plan, why do I have to make my own?” The answer is of course you can use that one, but in order to be in control of your time here, think about making your own. 

3. Get to it! Based off of the information you have found the courses you need to take for your major, start planning it out. 

Additional things to consider:

An internship. Do you want one? When? 

Study abroad. Talk to your advisor to see what makes the most sense with your major/minor and interests. You’ll also want to think about when you want to go.

Do you have an interest in adding another major, minor, or certificate? Do you have time?

By knowing what is required of you and your timeline, you will be able to make these decision and take control of your time here!  

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— Elena

Conquering Time Management: A Personal Success Story

21 Nov

Some people think taking on 19 credit hours, a year long internship, as well as juggling a job 5 days a week is an impossible endeavor. How could you possibly have the time to do all that? How could I possibly manage my time well enough to actually succeed in all my classes, my internship, and a paying job? In all honesty, there is no easy way or secret formula–it’s all about mastering my time management skills.

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Trust me, this took many years of practice and self discipline, but I can most certainly say that I would not be as successful as I am in college without this vital skill. I always had the drive to push myself and allow myself to utilize my time to the fullest and in the most efficient manner.

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For me, time-management has never merely been about planning or keeping a planner (aka my holy book), but it’s about personal drive, a vision, and goals. I challenge myself periodically and take the process of self-improvement head on. It’s what encourages me to get out of bed in the morning really–the idea that I, as an independent young thinker and doer, have the power to make the things I want in my life happen for myself–it gives me the feeling of ultimate accomplishment.

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Indeed, I am a bit of an overachiever, even a micromanaging perfectionist if you will, but these harrowing traits of mine have always led me to maximizing my chances for success in higher education and the future. In the end, I can proudly say that I successfully maintain a 4.0 GPA, give quality analyses within my internship, and exhibit a positive and attentive attitude in the workplace.

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~Leylah Hadrovic

Sophomore, ASA Peer Mentor

Keep Moving Forward

20 Oct

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

-Erika

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Eager Beaver: How Much Effort is too Much?

29 Aug

Here we are, the second week of class and you’re beginning to get a feel for your classes. But are you really? A common mistake first year students make is taking too much stuff to class. These Eager Beavers are known for being far too overprepared for class. I did this myself my first year in college.

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Everything in my backpack had a purpose; what if someone needed to use my stapler or worse, what if I forgot to staple my math homework together? Somehow, the world was going to end if I did not have my stapler with me. I often found myself making excuses like this to carry around basically my entire stock of school supplies until one fateful day I forgot my stapler in my dorm! I was already late for class and there was no way I could turn around and get it so I went to class stapler-less and… everything was fine.

It turned out that I was taking all of this unnecessary stuff to class because I was still nervous about being in college. I knew what would happen if I wasn’t prepared. I saw Legally Blonde, I did not want to get thrown out of class! It turns out that 1) teachers aren’t nearly as scary as the ones portrayed in the movies, and 2) if I stopped worrying about having every pen I own in my backpack (just in case the entire class needed one) that I would be a lot more comfortable in my skin and at the university.

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Now, I am not saying that you should come to class unprepared. But there’s a fine line – you don’t need to be prepared for everyone else! You should have a notebook for the classes you have that day, 2-3 pens and pencils, maybe a highlighter, a schedule of your classes, some gum, reading materials you need for the day, and of course, the staple of any desert dweller, water.

       eager beaver 5                                                              

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So take a page out of my book: the world will not end if you don’t have a hole punch, no one will hate you for not bringing a pencil sharpener to class, and your back will thank you for not carrying around 60 pounds of paper with you wherever you go!

Just relax, be yourself and know everything will be okay.

-Christine

                                                                            eager beaver 2

How to be “Ready” like Spongebob

29 Aug

Have you ever admired Spongebob for always being prepared for the day? I know I have! It’s understandable if by this point you still don’t have the hang of things. Just take a second and BREATHE! You’ll get there, you just need a little help. Here are some tried and true steps that were passed down to me, and now I’ll share them with you!

1. Introduce yourself to your instructors:

Although it seems scary and ultimately intimidating, it’s a crucial step towards preparedness. Even a simple hello before class will help your instructors recognize you. They may not remember your name yet, but then again, if I had 300 students, I might be a bit forgetful too. That’s okay though! The goal here is to let your instructors know that you care about your grades. Matching a name to a face comes later!

2. Sit at the front:

You might be thinking, “teacher’s pet,” but it’s not like that in college! While attending boating school, Spongebob always sits in the front row in order to be more attentive. Sitting in the front allows you to engage yourself more in class and limits distractions. Students who sit in the back tend to be more talkative and disconnected from the class. I had a TA once tell me that students who sit in the front always get good grades. I didn’t want to believe it but, my first year told me otherwise.

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3. Make friends in class

You’ll have a day (or a few) when your alarm clock doesn’t go off. You rush to class and you’re late. You can’t very well ask the instructor to just repeat everything again. Instead, you can ask a buddy after class to pass you the notes! Shocker! This step is very important because it’s good to know that someone has your back. Making friends in class allows you to have study groups before big exams, additional help on a topic you were confused about during class, and someone to share knowledge with. Don’t be afraid to exchange numbers!

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4. Go to office hours

You might have heard this one over and over but, I can’t stress how utterly important this step is. If all the other steps I mentioned are baby steps, this one is a leap! When I first visited a professor during office hours, I thought to myself, “This is going to be awkward! I’m probably going to be the only one there! What if he/she thinks my question is inarticulate?!” Truth be told, it was nothing like that. There were several other students present, he was very friendly, and I left utterly content with how much help I had received. Also, going helps your instructor recognize you better. Suddenly, those simple hellos from step one are even more beneficial!

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*Be a good noodle like Spongebob and go to office hours!

5. BREATHE!breathing gif

If you go back and watch any episode where Spongebob enthusiastically yells, “I’m ready!” he takes in a deep breath right before! If you at any point in time feel like any of the following: upset, fed up, nervous, angry, irritated, and/or about to EXPLODE! Stop for a second…and breathe! This last step allows you to compose yourself. It’s important to realize that you are not the only one having a rough day, we have all been there and miraculously survived it. You will survive! Next time you’re sitting in class and you start to wonder why the heck you even rolled out of bed, ask yourself, “What would Spongebob do?” and I promise you’ll have the best day ever!

 

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– Becky Mojardin

Dissonance Makes the Mind Grow Stronger

4 Oct

By this time in the semester, the honeymoon period has worn off – or at least it has for me (yes, even seniors feel that way). It’s getting harder and harder for me to drag myself out of bed for that 8am class. This is even harder if you have a hard time relating to your classes. Many times, classes drag because there is a dissonance, or disharmony, between the class and previous knowledge, beliefs, or maybe even your interests. Let me let you in on a little secret — and it’s going to be legen — wait for it

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 …dary! The truth is, the best knowledge and growth comes out of dissonance.

If you’re uncomfortable, that means you’re challenged.

If you’re challenged, that means you’re growing.

College isn’t just an intermediary step between you and your career, meant to be one more hoop to jump through.

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The reason so many careers require a college education isn’t just because of the foundational knowledge you’ll learn (although, that’s important too) — it’s also because they want employees who are intelligent and mature.  In fact, according to research from the Association of American Colleges and Universities, 93 percent of employers want hires who can think critically and communicate clearly, and 95 percent say that new hires should demonstrate intercultural skills and the capacity for continued learning. College is where those skills are cultivated, and the transformation from a caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly happens! College students are immersed in new experiences and knowledge, which broadens our minds and our understanding.

As a high school student, I thought I knew it all. Everyone does. You’re introduced to new concepts like politics, you learn about history, you’re more aware of the world around you – and then it happens: you think you can fix the economy single-handedly. No one has ever thought up the solution you just did, based on one class period of new knowledge. College challenges those grandiose assumptions about your ability to affect change that rapidly and completely, all by yourself. Deeper knowledge reveals just how complex those issues are. Deep-seated beliefs are confronted because college often forces you to ask why you believe the things you do. Self-reflection and new perspectives are what make that transformation into what employers want happen. You don’t necessarily have to do a 180 on your beliefs, and often times your beliefs will remain intact. Your reasons for believing just become better.

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My 16 year-old self can totally relate. Just look at her…she knows all!

So, if you find that you’re just not connecting with your classes at any point in your college career (or now), here’s what you can do:

 1.      Self-reflect. A lot.

Take time to really think about what it is you’re learning. What is it that’s causing dissonance? Is the topic uninteresting to you? Does it go against what you believe? Once you figure out what’s causing dissonance, you can start to figure out why that dissonance is there. If the subject is uninteresting to you because you don’t know anything about the topic, you can rectify that by learning more about the topic and hopefully interest will follow. If it’s a difference of opinion between you and the instructor, take time to think about why you disagree. If you still find yourself opposing your professor, don’t let it get to you. It’s just one class out of about 40 in your undergraduate career. Think of it as a chance to understand the other side a bit better and strengthen your own argument.

2.      Make a list of pros and cons for your classes.

This goes hand-in-hand with number one. The cons side of this step will help you root out what it is you don’t like about the class. More importantly, each class you take has its merits. (If you need the reminder, refer back to my blog about gen. eds. from last week.) The pros side of the list will remind you of what you can gain from the experience! Hopefully, this can help you bridge your dissonance with the class.

3.      Look at course catalogs for class descriptions.

The best way to beat dissonance is to be proactive rather than reactive. Read class descriptions and contact the professor if you have any questions before you register for the class. Remember, the schedule of classes is out and the shopping cart function is active on UAccess. Take your time registering for classes to make sure they’re a good fit for you before you start them.  If you start a class and don’t like it, switch it out. You’re not married to your schedule, so if you can get out without causing yourself too much trouble, go ahead! You’ve got a few weeks at the beginning of each semester to make those changes, just remember that switching into a new class late means you have to catch up.

4.      Talk to someone else about your classes.

When I was younger, I would sometimes get stuck on a homework problem. After becoming frustrated to the point of tears, my mom would always say, “Explain your problem to me.” I would usually tell her some bratty thing about how she wouldn’t know what I was talking about anyway, but she’d insist. In the process of putting my thoughts into words, I’d always have an “aha moment.” The clouds would break, birds would sing, and I would feel on top of the world again. Treat your classes that way. Maybe putting your thoughts about your classes into words will help you make the connections that are missing, or maybe the person you’re talking to has input that can help connect the dots for you, whether they’re a friend, family member, or trusty academic advisor. The key is just to find that one thing in the class that you can relate to or appreciate, like the new concepts you’re learning, your professor’s teaching style, or the new author you were introduced to.

When it comes to feeling like some of your classes are irrelevant to your life, you’re not alone. College can be overwhelming and busy, and questioning your environment is always a good thing. It can lead to some new self-realizations and discoveries, and can make you feel more confident about your choices. And, if you get nothing else from this blog, remember – mom always knows best!

Speaking of moms, call yours! It can do wonders for your attitude and motivation. Family Weekend is coming up a in a couple of weeks, so invite your parents and bratty teenage (or younger, or older – but still bratty) siblings out to see you in Wildcat Country!

— Tori Outfleet