Tag Archives: Wildcat Connections

Top 20 Movies to Watch Over The Summer

10 Jun

 

Shannon’s Picks                                                              Chrissy’s Picks

Action:  

 The Bourne Identity                                                          Dracula Untold

PicMonkey Collage

Adventure:

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows                       Bridge to Terabithia

sher

Animation:

How to Train Your Dragon                                            Lion King

drag

Comedy:

The Hangover                                                                    The Intern

hang

Drama:

Cast Away                                                                            Sense and Sensibility

cast

Family:

The Sandlot                                                                         Howl’s Moving Castle

sand

Fantasy:

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey                           Harry Potter

hob

Horror:

The Shining                                                                         Shrooms

shin

Romantic Comedy:

The Wedding Singer                                                         The Ugly Truth

rom

Science Fiction:

iRobot                                                                                    Blade Runner

rob

Advertisements

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.

Dracula.jpg

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.

Harry_Potter_and_the_Sorcerer's_Stone.jpg

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.

BraveNewWorld_FirstEdition.jpg

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

#AdventurousApril: Archaeology Adventures

18 Apr

April is one of the hardest months in the school year. Everyone is ready for school to be over and yet there is still a ton to do! Added on top of all this is registration for classes, which inexplicably comes with thinking about the future.

Personally, I have always known what I wanted to do both for my bachelor’s degree and my master’s degree, but suddenly out of almost no where, I was not so sure. Essentially it started with my school tour last month. It got me thinking about things, always dangerous, I know. What it really came down to was that I did not think I could be happy being a Professor for the rest of my life, not that I did not want to teach, but I did not want to do research (a big part of being a professor).

Equipped with this new-found information, I had a decision to make: what the heck was I going to do now? I had come into college with a sure-fire plan of what I wanted to do, and now here I was at the end of my JUNIOR year with no idea about what I want to do?! So, I did what anyone would do: I stayed up all night watching Ted-Talk videos trying to come up with a semblance of a plan.The videos actually ended up helping because during one of the videos, I heard someone talking about classical preservationists, who preserve ancient artifacts. I started researching the requirements for this job, and it turned out that all my hard work in my undergrad would not go to waste! I would need the exact same classes that I had already taken, so I was not as hopeless as I thought I was.

The truth of the matter is that most students will change their minds about what they want to do sometime during their undergraduate career, it is just a fact of college. As we grow as people, we find out more about our interests and limits and have to adjust for that. If you find yourself in my shoes, with no idea about what you want to do with your life, don’t fret. Start researching, do some personal digging and figure out what interests you. Take a class that sounds interesting, you never know… maybe Psychology is your thing, maybe you were born to be a Criminologist!  Whatever excites you, go for it!

Christine Ellis

#MiddlingMarch: Chrissy Gets Her Groove Back

29 Mar

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

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

20160314_145402.jpg

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

glass 1 final

Glass 2

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

-Chrissy

New Year, New Me?

21 Feb

Starting Spring semester is always a wake up call for me. I am not sure why, but I am never as motivated in Spring as I am in the Fall. This Spring semester seems to be the worst one of all because I am taking a lot of units and I have my annual laziness epidemic going on. Personally, I think I, and students in general, have a harder time staying focused in Spring because the weather gets better, and everyone wants to be outside. Regardless of the causes, what I need to do this Spring is to get myself organized and set up personal goals.

Edition 28 Blog 5.gif

The most important aspect of a goal is that it is achievable, so while it is nice to think that I can take 21 units and work 20 hours a week, this is really not possible for me. So, my first goal is to work enough to keep me busy, but not so many as to overwhelm myself. I have actually already achieved this goal, I found that working 13 hours a week is best for my current schedule.

Edition 28 Blog 4.gif

My next goal for the semester is to study on the weekends. Often, I have the mindset that the weekend is my time to relax from school, and while I might not have to go to school, I can still do school work. Doing work on the weekend will make my daily work less stressful and help me stay more motivated.

edition 28 Blog 3

My last goal for the semester is to socialize a bit more. I am not sure how it has happened, but since I have come to college, I have become a recluse. It doesn’t matter if it is just hanging with friends at my apartment, having any kind of social interaction will help me not procrastinate as much.

Edition 28 blog 2.gif

Look, I know motivation in the Spring semester is hard to come by, but if you make goals for yourself, we will find a way to get through it together!

Edition 28 Blog 1.gif

-Chrissy

#OutrageousOctober: A Shot at a New Skill

12 Nov

For #OutrageousOctober I wanted to do something totally out of my comfort zone. I figured might as well you know? What better reason would there be to do something new and exciting other than #OutrageousOctober? The only problem with this concept was finding something to actually do. It took me awhile but I eventually thought of something pretty spectacular. Well it was more of my Dad’s idea than my own.

For those of you who don’t know me well, I have a terrible fear of guns. I don’t like them. I don’t trust them. I am nowhere near interested in obtaining one. I had never even shot one. My Dad has been a police officer for over 22 years so it’s not like I wasn’t used to seeing one. I saw my Dad strap on his gun to belt every morning before work and I saw him put it in top drawer of his dresser every day after work. I wasn’t afraid of his gun, it was in its holster my whole life and I never even saw it. I thought he never even used it.

It was his idea to head to the shooting range. I have to admit I’m glad he did. He didn’t just load the gun for then let me pull the trigger. My Dad didn’t think that would be helpful with my fear. Instead we spent the first 15 minutes loading and unloading the gun. He let me use his own personal 9mm. Loading the bullet in the magazine was so hard my hands were shaking and hearing the noise of the other guns being shot next to me made me nervous. My adrenaline was pumping. My Dad had to talk me through the steps so that I could focus. Put the safety on. Release the magazine. Load the magazine. Load the gun. Take the safety off. Pull back the slide. Take a breath. Pull the trigger.

The first shot was rough. It was loud. The gun was powerful and I shot was too far to the right but after a couple more shots I got used to it and my aim wasn’t all that bad. My Dad was really proud. At one point he made a shot in the head of the target and then told me to shoot right next to his, I did. Twice. He wanted me to take a picture holding the Target after like it was my high school diploma or something. I didn’t. I did a lot better than I thought I would have. My Dad and I already have plans to go back. It was an overall good experience for me and I’m glad I got to have this experience with my Dad.

Here’s a picture of my Target. I didn’t take one posing with it but I had to still capture the memory some how. See? I did pretty well for my time shooting.

IMG_1548 (1)

-Lex

 

 

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.

spongebob boat school

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!

boat buddies

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!

Good-Noodle

*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!

 

best day ever
– Becky Mojardin

The 5-MINUTE Cram-Sesh REFRESH Routine

7 May

“Okay, so I’ll study for chemistry until 3am, then I’ll sleep until 6am, wake up and study for calculus until my exam at 2pm. Then from 4pm to 8pm I’ll study for geo-sciences while I finish up that project with my group before I start editing my paper for English…”

We have all listed out these insane schedules at some point. Suddenly we see ourselves as the the 24-hour masters of productivity, equipped with endless energy, focus, and determination. Nothing will stop us! All we need is a few more hours!

We mean well. We’re just trying to get the most out of our study time after all. But we also know how these cram sessions actually play out.  In the end, our eyes start to droop at hour five, we have read the same sentence fifteen times, and our meticulously-planned time schedule has fallen apart, leaving us starving, sleep-deprived, and stressed.

Finals are already upon us, so that recommended three-week study plan is kind of out the window. You may have no choice but to enter into that cyclical nightmare of cram, exam, repeat. But, don’t worry! If you’re feeling sleepy, distracted, or JUST CAN’T EVEN during your study time, there are still some simple strategies you can start using RIGHT NOW to get you fresh, fueled, focused!

 (And if you tell me you can’t spare five minutes….well, I won’t say you’re a liar. But…well…you are.)

Your 5-minute Cram-Sesh Refresh Routine:

1. Go outside.

Did you know that natural sunlight energizes you? This is because it literally resets your brain. You can read about the science here, but it basically has to do with light exposure stimulating the area your brain that controls hormones, body temperature, and other functions that make us feel tired or awake.

So when you’re feeling sleepy, step outside and take a walk for a couple minutes. Yes, you actually have to go outside for this to work (fluorescent lights aren’t enough!). The added movement will also give your body an extra boost, leaving you refreshed and focused.

sun

2. Stretch it out.

I’m not even talking full-on exercise here (although that’s obviously ideal). I mean simple stretches that will get you out of the same hunched-over position you have been in for the last four hours. The best energizing stretches are the ones that:

    • Elongate your spine (even adjusting your posture helps!)
    • Open up your chest (more oxygen, means more wakey-wakey!)

sddd

3. Talk it out.

Now, I don’t mean call a friend for an hour. That is what we call procrastination. But stepping back from your notes or computer screen to chat is an easy way to give your brain a break. If you really want to utilize this time well, here are some energizing topics:

    • LOL . Light-hearted conversation and genuine laughing boosts your oxytocin levels (the social trust hormone). This automatically will lower stress and calm you down.
    • Positivity. Here’s a trick. If you’re feeling down on life and that the world is out to get you, pretend it’s opposite day! People who regularly voice positive thoughts and gratitude in their lives, have been shown to live happier, more productive lives. Optimism: fake it, ’til you make it.

tumblr_m5ulesXgbj1qdr16ko1_500

4. Snack it out.

Another fun science fact is that when the body gets stressed, it messes with your serotonin levels (the neurotransmitter that regulates things like body temp, emotions, and cravings!) The number one craving? Carbs, carbs, carbs. Especially the sweet, salty, buttery kind that is oh-so-good on your tongue, but never seems to fill you up.

We all know that these types of snacks are bad. That’s not news. But there are some snacks that will actually satisfy those cravings and make you feel more alert. Some snack tips:

    • No need to be elaborate. Throw some fruit and nuts into a zip lock bag and call it a day.
    • Have options. If you’re planning on some quality time with the library for 4+ hours, you might as well look forward to a nice spread of yum-yums.

energyfood

5. Reset your environment.

If your plan is to set up camp a the library for days on end, you may want to rethink your campground situation. Sitting in the same place for hours and hours is unnatural for us (though you would think school would have prepared us!). But when it comes down to it, our bodies and brains aren’t meant to be completely still and focused on one thing. In fact, our natural attention span is about 50 minutes.

    • Set up your schedule plan to help your poor brain out by switching subjects or projects every 30-50 minutes.
    • MOVE spots. Similar to getting that sunlight exposure, a change of scenery essentially sets up your brain for new input (making new or old information easier to recall later).
    • Cut out the distractions. If you don’t need your computer, don’t bring it. Mute distracting noises like phones, Facebook notifications, and your best friend in the other room (how you mute them is up to you).

*Bonus Step: Power Nap. (But do it right.)

If you haven’t been getting enough sleep lately or just not enough quality sleep, this week is gonna be rough. Luckily naps can be a major help! Depending on the amount of time you can squeeze in for a nap, checking-out for 20 to 30 minutes can really recharge your mental, physical, and cognitive performance! Check below to see the different types of naps and the benefits of getting in just a couple more Z’s throughout the day!

naps

Good luck on finals, Wildcats! Stay focused and fresh!

–Franny Caputa

“Going Off Script” with Your Education

25 Apr

If I’m remembering my freshman orientation correctly, we were all given pre-generated course schedules, quickly introduced to UAccess, and then told to change our schedule around however we like. Well, at first, that’s great! So much power! It’s our first real opportunity to make our own decisions and finally have some say in how we spend our academic lives. All good things for sure. However, if I am in fact remembering orientation correctly, I was also very confused, definitely on the brink of heat exhaustion, and so overloaded with information that I didn’t even know how to start. I think I ended up halfheartedly scrolling through some courses, swapping one gen-ed out for another, and then calling it a day. The result? A huge block of core classes with some pretty random gen-eds sprinkled in (at very inconvenient times of the day, might I add). It is only when you realize you have six straight hours of pre-calculus, English, and chemistry (don’t forget the lab!), that you realize you probably should have rearranged a few things for the sake of your sanity.

Making your perfect schedule is easy, said no freshman ever. It’s true. Priority registration can be a frustrating time. Maybe all the courses that you so carefully selected end up being closed by the time you register. Or maybe the only section available is at 8:00am and you don’t really enjoy taking economics with your morning coffee. Such are the qualms of a first year Wildcat. The good news? As you move up in the “registration food chain,” the more options and flexibility you will have with your schedule. Your job is to make sure you take advantage of it!

By now you have had a couple rounds of registration completely on your own. No pre-made schedule. Just you, UAccess, and your ability to strategize how much time you will need to get from Harvill to Modern Languages in time for your next class. Crafting the perfect schedule is an art form, really. But carefully selecting your classes isn’t all about convenience. It’s an opportunity to personalize your education!

There are 4 key components to individualizing your college career:

1. Shop Around.

Take some time to get to know UAccess. If your skills are only at “basic survival” so far, now is the time to familiarize yourself with all the different features of your main registration tool. Once you know all the different ways to filter your search, you can hone it to your specific interests, degree requirements, and preferred time frames.

Make sure to use your other main resource: YOUR PEERS. Your ears should be perking up every time you hear that someone is enjoying a class. Ask them about it! Why do they like about it? What’s the study load like? How’s the instructor’s teaching style? If all their answers sound good to you (and you trust the person’s judgement), why not try it out yourself?

For the most part, I only knew my most interesting classes existed because of word of mouth. We can easily get limited by our declared major when it comes to searching for classes, so it’s a great idea to ask people outside your college (especially upperclassmen). The good classes tend to fill up quick, so start asking around…

tumblr_mk32c7x56r1s9n4cro1_250

2. Know Yourself..

Know when you are most likely to be alert, productive, and motivatedThen make sure to apply that to your schedule! I know. I know. Again, easier said than done. Sometimes there is just no getting around an inconvenient schedule, but being mindful of your personal (and biological needs–you know, food, water, sleep) is a big step in taking an active part in your life, rather than remaining bound to your academic demands alone.

tumblr_llh7us2Hp71qa9xtyo1_500

Another thing to keep in mind is that while creating a well-timed schedule is important, do not fall victim to convenience either! If you have been eyeing a really cool sounding course for a couple semesters now, (but it’s always at four in the afternoon), don’t miss out on it just because it’s at a less than ideal time! Balance isn’t about equality in every area of your life. It’s about weighing the costs and benefits, and carrying out your priorities accordingly.

3. Go Off Script.

Tools like Degree Search and Smart Planner are great for creating your four-year plan as they offer a general overview of your coursework and degree requirements. However, much like that schedule you were handed at your orientation, these are only suggested plans. You can look at them kind of like degree templates. The structure and relative timeline of your core classes (i.e. the required courses for your degree) are included, but when it comes to upper division credits, electives, and which semesters you take them, that’s pretty much up to you!

tumblr_lzwm2hKMGx1qhkwbs

4. Get Creative

Did you know that you can invent your own minor? Not every degree requires a declared minor, but if that’s the case, it doesn’t have to be a chore! It can actually be a great chance to take classes outside your major and be a little crafty with your education. These are called Thematic Minors.

The process for declaring a thematic minor is fairly simple. All you have to do is create a proposal that outlines courses from two or more subject areas and how they apply to a common theme. This is then approved by your advisor or college.  For instance, I was able to blend my nursing prerequisite courses with the coursework I had already completed for a linguistic minor. The result? I declared a thematic minor in biolinguistics. Fancy, huh? It’s a pretty cool way to take classes that seemingly are “just for fun,” and also get credit for them!

barney-yes

The beauty of degree-seeking is that as long as you complete your degree requirements, the rest is up to you! You can explore other fields of study, gain experience through an internship, or even take up a fitness class. Take every opportunity to put yourself into your eduction and add in aspects to your education that are going to motivate and excite you.  That way, when you look at your four year plan, it’s not “I have to take another Tier II INDV,” it’s “I get to take a class on Werewolves and Vampires!”

 

–Franny

Major Change Reporting for Duty!

23 Apr

Whether you came into college with a major picked out already, or thought you’d find one along the way, choosing a major and sticking to it is a huge anxiety for many students. Worse, after you choose a major, you may decide it’s not right for you. What do you do then?

Well, for too many students, step one means freaking out and talking yourself out of it. I mean, you’ve already put in so much work! How can you possibly throw all that away even if you hate your major classes and dread going? I’ll tell you how. Take a deep breath, follow your heart, and take the leap!

See, here was my strange journey. My freshman year, I started out with a history major and an adolescence, community, and education (ACE) minor. Then, my sophomore year, I added an English major. Second semester, I dropped my ACE minor. Junior year, I dropped my history major down to a minor, and added my ACE minor back. Only to drop that poor ACE minor once again. It was a bit of a juggling act, but all accomplished with absolutely zero waste! In just a few weeks, I’ll be graduating with an English major and history minor, on time and with just the right amount of classes to graduate.

That’s the trick to changing your major – look at your requirements and see what carries over. Best of all, there’s a handy tool called the What-If Report to do all that thinkin’ for you!

Introducing the What-If Report!

Introducing the What-If Report!

While your major change may not be as clean as mine, don’t let a few unnecessary classes that you took keep you from pursuing the major you want! Seriously, if you think throwing away an entire semester of classes is bad, think about how much worse staying in your unwanted major is. You spend four years and who knows how much money pursuing a degree for a career you don’t even want any more.

So, would you rather spend a bit of extra time in school because you changed your major, or spend your whole life in a job that makes you miserable?! Okay, so that last part may seem a bit dramatic, and maybe it is. But it’s not far off – that could happen. And changing your major and having a ton of classes become useless is a worst-case scenario. Chances are that your transition into a new field of study could be easy as pie!

-Tori