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Time to Tighten the Belt and Put Your Head Down

tighten the clock

There is less than two weeks of classes left in the semester… Let that soak in for a moment before I repeat it.

There is less than two weeks of classes left in the semester!!!

I love school, but I am definitely ready for a break. This last stretch of classes is dizzying for me, to say the least. If you’re like me, you are catching up in classes, finishing final projects or labs, and trying to unearth some time to prepare for finals.

It’s hard-hitting exertion.

As a senior, I do have a few suggestions that may help you stay on top.

Don’t panic: If you’ve ever read “A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” you will recognize this as the most important rule. The split second you begin to panic is the moment everything becomes too much to handle. You need to keep your cranium and think through your struggles. If you need help, just ask. Panicking will stop your critical thinking and leave you nearly useless.

Remember, it’s not over yet: We are close to relaxation and another major holiday; however, school hasn’t ended yet. Hold off your sense of freedom and get prepared for a fight to the finish. We are close to the winners’ circle, so it’s time to put forth our best and last-ditch attempts.

Breaks or bad ideas: If you’ve read any of my other blogs, you’ll know how important I find taking a break. Working too much for a protracted duration will begin to muddle your thoughts and inhibit your skills and knowledge. Breaks help your mind process all the information you’ve gathered and filter it properly.

On the other hand, checking your Facebook page more than a few times a day will only route your concentration. Stay focused!

Sleep is important: When I say sleep is important, trust me. I suffered from sleep deprivation for three years, and it cost me dearly. Sleep is just about the most important function for your body and its recovery.

With that said, you do not need to sleep for 10 hours every night. As a matter of fact, a young adult on average only needs about five hours of uninterrupted sleep to enter the three cycle of sleep and begin muscle repair in the short run. **Disclaimer: you need about seven hours a night to be healthy in the long run.

We’re so close to the finish line! Keep up your hard work and it will be over before you know it.

The Best Places to Study on Campus

Best places to study at UF

To be a successful college student, it’s required to spend long hours with your nose in books studying and researching. If you’re like me, it’s difficult to work in the same place day in and day out. I need variety in my life, even when I’m doing repetitive things like studying.

How my Phone Saved my College Career

I consider myself a very involved and busy person. The only “free time” I have is when I schedule it a few days in advance. I love how this lifestyle keeps me on my toes, but it is difficult to stay on track.

I’ve always struggled with keeping my life organized. Every year at college, I try out a new system, all of which fail. Last year, I began to use my Android smart phone to keep track of my life; it was the best choice I’ve made so far. It’s like carrying a secretary in your pocket.

The simplest yet most helpful feature of a smart phone is the calendar systems. My calendar will sync up with my Google and Findlay account so I can consolidate without having to write things out.

I have the ability to invite other people to my appointments to make sure we are both on the same page. My favorite aspect is that I have the ability to color code different categories, like school, work, sports or free time.

One of my favorite organizational apps is designed to keep track of all the work I need to do. I use GTasks (Google Tasks). This app lets me separate my work into different categories, allows me to write in descriptions, color coordinate and set due dates. It even syncs with my Google and Findlay accounts.

If you are going to a college like The University of Findlay, then I would highly recommend using the Blackboard Mobile app, Bb Learn. The app itself could use some work, but it is still extremely helpful.

With Bb Learn, I can check for updates or class announcements and check for due dates. Most importantly, I can respond to class discussions directly from my phone.

There are a thousand other apps that can be greatly beneficial. I use apps such as Dictionary.com, Microsoft Office, apps for all my email accounts and even advanced calculators. One app, Alarm Clock Xtreme, is particularly helpful for getting out of bed in the morning. It’s louder than my normal alarm clock and can even learn your sleeping habits

There are so many great tools for smart phones to help you stay organized. If you are interested in downloading some apps for your Android (sorry Apple fans), go here or here.

What’s your favorite app to use for school?

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My First Lacrosse Game: Practice Makes Perfect-ish

LAX cheer

Let me start off by saying that I have not been part of any sports team since 2007 or 2008. I heard about the UF men’s lacrosse team in an email sent to the entire student body and decided I wanted to try something new.

College is the perfect opportunity to take a chance and take that leap of faith; you may fail but the consequences are less severe when you don’t have a job or a family depending on you.

The lacrosse game took place this past Saturday in Bowling Green, Ohio. We competed against BGSU and the University of Akron. We lost both games.

I am not ashamed to say we lost because I am extremely proud of my team. We played hard and shocked ourselves with our level of competitiveness. For more than half the team, myself included, this was the first lacrosse game we’ve ever experienced.

Our team is about 10 or 15 guys short of a full lacrosse team. Our competitors were able to keep fresh and rested players on the field while did not have enough people for substitutions. Luckily, we trained for this.

Our small club sport has more in common with a career than I ever imagined. During practice, we focus on specific areas such as passing, shooting and defending. We train so that we can do these things without the need to think about it.

Game time is the combination of all these different aspects put together. I was shocked by my first experience in a lacrosse game. The only reason I was able to be competitive came from muscle memory and not from skill. I wasn’t able to rely on my intellect or athleticism as much as I’d hoped, but rather the game play forced me to rely on the proper motions I trained for.

In school, as in practice, we focus on different areas of our careers. In my public relations major, some classes focus on writing, some on presenting and others on completely different aspects. When you finally get a job, you are required to be proficient in all of these different areas.

The first job experience may shock you, but if you study hard, your training will take over. The smoothness and proficiency will come with time.

Writing on the Fly

no time

“If I had more time, I would have written less” - a lot of smart writers

The written word is a beautifully intimidating concept. The right words at the right moment can start revolutions and inspire cultural reform; the wrong words can earn you a fat ‘F’ on a term paper. Not everyone is cut out to be a Mark Twain, but if you had a month to write a paper, chances are, it would be well written...at least there will be a better chance.

Let’s be honest here, students will never have that much time to devote to writing. Even the anti-procrastinators are forced to push off papers until the last minutes due to large workloads. Despite the ever-waging war against time, it is still possible to put together a solid paper with short notice.

Outlines will save time: Many people falsely assume pre-writing will take more time in the long run. You are writing more, after all. The fact is, it is difficult to stay focused without direction. Moving directly into the draft process leaves you without direction and requires more re-reads to ensure your paper makes sense.

A quick outline will help you stay focused, takes the mystery out of what you may say, and removes the need to edit your paper’s flow. Close to 100 percent of my writing starts with an outline; those which I decide to skip the pre-writing generally are more difficult to follow. Here is a quick and easy template to follow that takes ten minutes or less:

·         Thesis or three main points
Point 1
·         Discussion A
·         Discussion B
Point 2
·         Discussion A
·         Discussion B
Point 3
·         Discussion A
·         Discussion B
·         Reworded thesis or three main points

Read your draft out loud: When you read something you wrote, you often will read through the mistakes you already made without noticing. Reading out loud like it’s a speech will aid you with finding incorrect punctuation, making sure sentences flow together, and finding incorrect word usage.

Break up your paragraphs: Despite popular belief, each paragraph does not need to be longer than a few sentences. While reading a lengthy paragraph, it is easy to feel overburdened by the subjects. Breaking up a paragraph will help separate your thoughts and ideas and it makes it much easier for your audience to read.

Carefully check the start of your sentences: If every sentence starts with a pronoun (he, she, him, her) then you should immediately throw up a red flag. The same goes for conjunctions (because, although, before). Variety adds tremendous strength to your writing and makes it easier to read.

What are some writing techniques you use to meet the due date?

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You Need a Hobby, Kid: A Perk of Liberal Arts

new hobby

Do you find yourself getting bored with your regular routine? Every day you go to class, see a few friends, do homework or work then just relax until you sleep.

Expectations vs. Reality: A Child’s Perspective


The Joys of College Finances

hipster lincoln

My stomach is singing the afternoon blues while my writing hand is claiming foul play; my mind is already trying to count sheep. There is so much to get done with so little time and the bank keeps calling just to remind me how poor I am.

Intramural and Club Sports: Why Not?

UF Men's Lacrosse Team

I brace myself and plant my feet while I wait for the thud of a crosse against my wrist pad to sound. I know it will hurt because it hurts every time. The impact of the blow should intimidate me, but I can’t help but smile. I love this sport!


Expert Directions: the 'Oh Crap' Commuter

Campus Map

Getting across campus quickly and efficiently is an art. Whether it's a wet and rainy day or you slept through the alarm, knowing how to properly weave in and out of campus buildings may save your butt. 

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