Where are you SPRING?

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It’s officially the third week in April and we’re still having 40-degree weather, so the only thing I can ask is SPRING WHERE ARE YOU? Except for the 2 days of 80-degree weather over the weekend, it’s been pretty cold sailing. But in the spirit of hope for warm weather, here is a list of things you should definitely do on the New Brunswick campus.

  • Hang out in the Livingston Circle – Whenever the weather goes above 70 degrees there is a pop up on Livi (sometimes it’s at the plaza by The Wright Cut but mostly it’s in the circle). There’s music, dancing and a chance to be social. All of these added to the ability to just in the circle and soak up the sun.
  • Take a yoga class outside – Whenever it’s warm out, the Rutgers Fitness Centers have their classes outside (Werblin especially) and it’s fun to stretch out and exercise when it’s beautiful out.
  • Relax in Voorhees Mall-  Voorhees mall on College Ave is a great place to read by a tree or have a picnic when it is warm and sunny out. The trees provide a cool and nice shade so it’s not too hot out.

Those are my three tips for enjoying a warm day at Rutgers. But for me, all I long for is a full week of at least 75 degrees, so that I can relax by a tree in Voorhees Mall and study for my upcoming finals.

Finals Finals Finals – one thing that hasn’t been slowed down by the lack of warm weather. Even though the end of the spring semester is usually accompanied by warm sunny days, the lack of them hasn’t prevented exams from coming. If you’re anything like me (an unrepentant procrastinator), then the period of anxiety is slowly coming upon us. But before the weeks of all-nighters, coffee runs, fully booked office hours and packed libraries come upon us, below are a few memes about exams to de-stress.

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MIDTERMS, MIDTERMS- SPRING BREAK WHERE ARE YOU?

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So it’s now the third week of February and Spring Break is just two weeks away; but as great as that is, that means Midterms are upon us! The phase of all-nighters, tons of dollars spent on Starbucks, and hours spent contemplating if college is really for us. As someone who has experienced 4 exam periods at Rutgers, I can say it never truly gets easier, but you learn ways to manage it and get the most out of your studying. Below are some tips that have worked for me –

  • ATTEND THE REVIEW SESSION AND USE THE STUDY GUIDE – This seems like such an obvious thing to do, but as someone who has skipped a review session in the past and paid for it dearly – I don’t take it lightly. The study guide, as broad as it may be, is also very important. Your aim should be to at least understand 80% of the information concerning each topic or question outlined in the guide.
  • NOTES, NOTES AND MORE NOTES – Taking notes saves lives, at least to me. These notes don’t have to be from the lecture, but something that has worked for me is every weekend I read all the resources for the week’s topic (slides, textbook chapter, reading/article assigned) and make notes summarizing it. This helps especially during exam times because you might not have time to go over all the information again and the ease of having to just go through your notes to re-enforce what you were taught cannot be overemphasized.
  • STUDY GROUPS HELP A LOT – I’m not always a fan of study groups as I personally learn better studying alone with my headphones on. But study groups can be extremely beneficial especially after you have studied on your own, as you can learn more information from other students and you get bounce answers off each others backs.
  • DON’T OVER-STRESS YOURSELF – If you’re able to spread your studying over a longer period of time – do it. As an unrepentant procrastinator, I know that isn’t easy but rushing to study is not only a way to forget to study something, it is also just stressful mentally and physically.

Well that’s all I have for tips about midterms. I hope this helps you as much as it helped me and “may the curve ever be in your favor.” Don’t forget, Spring Break is right at the end of the tunnel!cusd spring break-550x0

 

NEW YEAR – OLD ME vs “NEW ME”

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As the new year came around, so did the time-worn tradition of New Year Resolutions. People around the world promising themselves and others that changes would happen and  better version of themselves would emerge. But the resolution is as much a curse as it is a tradition. It puts on pressure to do a complete behavioral or personality change which, in my opinion, is completely unrealistic because a new year is just a new minute on the clock – the movement from midnight to 12:01. For so many years, I was victim to the unrealistic resolution and maybe for the first week or two it would work, but as January would progress I would slowly revert to my old habits and would feel like a failure for the rest of the year.

I decided to do something different in 2018, I consciously made an effort to not make any new resolutions that involved me changing a part of me. Instead, as the clock struck a minute past midnight on the 1st of January, I made a promise to just be better. To improve on what I was already during, to put more effort into it. For example, I replaced resolving to start a new diet or exercise regime with just telling myself to commit to the one I had used in 2017. I resolved to appreciate my self , my mind and my body more to nourish and love them instead of hating and trying to change them. For all my efforts, I have to say I have gone through the past few days of 2018 with a more positive outlook and a renewed commitment to myself.

So as I wrap this post up I enjoin every reader to give my motto a try – BE BETTER.  Happy New Year everyone and I wish you the best of luck and happiness this year and this semester.

My (Happy) Thanksgiving!

As an International student, my first experience with Thanksgiving and Black Friday was the fall semester of my Freshman year at Rutgers. It was an interesting experience that I didn’t fully get to appreciate as I spent most of the time just trying to understand it as much as possible. So this year I decided I was going to participate in all the stereotypical Thanksgiving week activities and enjoy it for all it was worth. And that is exactly what I did! I spent the week in Georgia with my aunt and her family and it was wonderful. There is something about the southern air and people that just amplified the feeling of family. We woke up at 5 am on Thanksgiving morning and loaded the turkey full of stuffing and put in the oven and then started making the food for the day.

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Here’s a photo of the beautiful bird.

By the time my family started arriving at noon, everything was pretty much ready. We had turkey, fried chicken, loaded mashed potatoes, apple pie, cake and much more. The day was spent between eating and watching rented movies together; it was amazing family time. For me, the first part of the holiday had ended and the main event was starting- SHOPPING. I spent my Black Friday at the Mall of Georgia and I have to say it is the biggest mall I have ever seen (it has every store you can think of). I got there at 7:30 am and was out of there by 1 p.m. It was crazy and most lines for checkout had about a 10-30 minute wait, but it was worth it. Below are some helpful tips on how to take the best advantage of your shopping experience during Black Friday.

  • Big malls with many stores are best. Don’t hit individual stores or small outlet malls if you can help it because there’s always traffic and you don’t want to be lugging bags to the car. Plus, changing malls or locations just disturbs the shopping flow.
  • Make a list of what you need or want to get; that way you buy what you really need first or want to get first and if there’s money remaining, you can check out different stores and find something you like.
  • Go in the morning – I found out the hard way that a couple of stores ended some of their best sales at noon and those lines to check-out made it impossible to get done on time. So it’s better to get there early and leave early.
  • Check out new stores – I got some of the best deals from stores I’ve never shopped at before.
  • If you can go to the mall early on Friday then don’t cut into family time on Thursday to shop. Some stores don’t even open on Thursday.
  • Hit the stores that are crowd faves first (e.g. Victoria’s secret, Forever 21). It’s best to get done with those lines early or better yet be done with the store before the long lines start.
  • Last but not least, wear comfortable shoes. You are going to be walking up and down the mall for a while. No cute shoes are worth the blisters of feet ache.

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That is it guys, hope you enjoyed my post and my advice. I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving and good luck at school this week!

LIVING ON BUSCH, CLASSES ON COLLEGE AVE, WORK ON COOK- The Life of A Daily Rutgers Bus Hopper

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Every Tuesday for me starts at 8 AM, as I get ready to catch the 8:30 REX B from Allison Road Classroom to Red Oak Lane. At Red Oak, I switch to either an EE or F bus which will take me to Biel Road (hopefully) in time for me to start work in the Cook Cafe at 9AM. At 1:30, I get on a bus at Biel again to take me to College Hall where I can get back on the REX B to take me back to ARC ( where I usually get on an A OR B bus because at that point I’m to lazy to walk to my apartment). All these buses and it is just about 2 PM, I haven’t yet proceeded to go to class on College Ave.  On Tuesdays, I take an average of 7 buses through the day or more sometimes. That is the life of this daily bus hopper.

I lived in Frelinghuysen hall last year and I didn’t know how much I would miss it till I left. I’m a Journalism a major so therefore all my classes are at SC&I and while living in the river dorm, I took for granted the easy walk to class, the quick power nap I could take before my next class and the way I was able to avoid most of the bus stress. But the great thing about Rutgers is that on every campus there are little spots where you can relax, study and sometimes avoid the stress of the bus. For me, that is the Art Library on College Ave.

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Nestled in between Murray and Voorhees hall, the library is located inside a wide brick building. With the fading gold-lettered sign proclaiming its name, it is easy to ignore and move on with your day, but for those who know it, it is a haven. I first encountered this building, during finals season of the first semester of my freshman year. The study lounges in my dorm were full and Alexandra as always was packed. I hated taking the buses, so going to a library on another campus was not even a possibility. I finally decided to just study in a class, and as I walked to Murray hall, I noticed the building beside it with letters that seemed to say library. Having no other option in mind; I walked in and fell in love because a lot of people didn’t know it existed there were tons of space. My favorite place to study in the library is the couch chairs in front of the big window. The chairs are amazingly comfortable and have a table attached to them so that’s practical and we can’t forget about the wonderful view of voorhees mall ( there also happens to be excellent lighting here for selfies). It has become my sanctuary- where I can relax in between classes and work instead of heading back on the bus to Busch. 

So my advice for my fellow bus hoppers ( and I know there are many) is to find your own space on whatever you campus you are on, that will be your place to rest or study or watch a movie, just where you can feel at home. P.S. I wouldn’t mind sharing mine with you.