Monday, November 17, 2014

Get To Work: Study Tips for Finals

    This semester is almost over...eeeekk!! Snow is currently falling down from the sky, it is freezing cold and the anticipation of Thanksgiving is really kicking in. But anyways.... the next few weeks will be very hectic for us all. Everyone has started thinking about the end of the semester and the finals that come with those last few weeks. I'm am not by any means telling you how to study, I am just going to give you some of my tips!

ONE// By far my number one tip is to bribe yourself. I will be the first to admit that I hate studying. it is probably one of my least favorite things to do. So when I really have something to get done, like writing a paper or studying for a large exam, I find that giving myself incentives often helps to keep my motivation up. Normally they are things like a 10 minute break, a latte from Einstein's or maybe even a nap. I know a lot of people that also use the gummy bear system for when they have a lot of reading to get through. Place a gummy bear (or any other delicious candy) at different places throughout the text. When you are done reading a certain section, you get to enjoy a delicious treat!
[via]

TWO// When in doubt, YouTube it. I love YouTube. Ask anyone. If I am in my room on my computer not doing homework, I am almost always on YouTube watching videos. If you are tired of reading the material in a book, check on YouTube to see if there is a lecture about the topic. It is a good way to get the same material in a new and exciting way. One of the channels that I use all the time are Crash Course which breaks things up into mini lectures that are normally 15 minutes or less. I also really like MinutePhysics and TED-Ed. Those two are more lecture based but really make you think and can help give you topics for papers if you find yourself struggling with that.
Crash Course has cool videos like this one. There are tons of them that cover all different topics!


THREE// I get distracted so easily. So tip number three is to stop the social media. I know, social media such as Twitter and Facebook and distract you very easily. They always distract me. But guess what? Some pretty clever people invented this pretty spiffy thing called internet blocking apps that help to keep you off of those sites while you are trying to study. Two that I know of are Self Control (which is for Macs) and Cold Turkey (which is for PCs). I know that Twitter and Facebook can be oh-so-fun but also oh-so-distracting when trying to get a lot of work done. These apps make it so that you can't even open the browser page. No more distractions!

THREE// Book pages and notebook pages can get really boring after a while. So add some color to your studying! You can do this many different ways. One of my favorite things to do is rewrite my notes. I write my original notes in one color, like red, then add other colors to represent material out of the book or my own thoughts. I also really like highlighting when I am reading a book for class. Studies have shown that adding color can dramatically change your mood and help to make studying a more positive experience. It also helps to add some sort of visual element to studying. This can mean adding in a picture or drawing a diagram. A visual or change of color can help keep you motivated to break up all of the small print words or single colors.
When you are studying, rewrite your notes in a creative way. Whether you draw pictures, diagrams or color code things, this will help you to retain the information a lot better.
[via]


FIVE// I am not really musically inclined, but if you are, put your notes to music! I mean, I can almost always remember song lyrics more than I can remember about what I just read in a textbook, so why not put that talent to good use? It is pretty easy. All you have to do is think of a basic tune or your favorite song and then just change the words to fit what you are studying for. You may not be the next Beyonce, but you will feel more prepared for your exam!

SIX// Take advantage of any opportunity. If a professor gives you a study guide, use it. Don't just brush it off saying that it is extra work. It will help you. If your professor is organizing a study group but all of your friends want to go downtown, go to the study group. Most of the time professors will give you inside information about what is on the exam, help answer your questions or even give you extra credit points just for showing up. Trust me, you will have time to go downtown once you are done with your finals!

Good luck everyone!

Love,
Susanna

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday Favorites

     So Friday is swiftly coming to a close. Like soon. But ya know, gotta do what ya gotta do I suppose. Typical Friday Favorites coming at ya. Here are some things that I have been loving this week.

ONE// This version of Jealous by Nick Jonas. I will be the first person to admit that in the awkward middle school days I was completely obsessive over the Jonas Brothers. Like I'm totally not kidding. It was a scary obsession. I (thankfully) grew out of that phase, but I mean, come on, have you seen Nick Jonas lately?! He's just so darn beautiful! But anywho. I heard this version of the song and I totally fell in love. Check it out below!!


TWO//Snow! Yes, it has finally entered into winter here at SMC even though winter doesn't technically start for another month or so. We got some snow last night, and by snow I mean a dusting that was practically gone by the time I stepped out the door to go to class, but hey, snow is snow right? It makes me super excited for Christmas time (AKA my favorite time of year). I cannot wait for the Christmas lights on the library lawn trees!

THREE//Tours. I have been giving a TON of tours lately. There is just something about them that instantly puts me in an amazing mood. Today I had people on my tour tell me that it was fantastic and it really just makes me want to cry because it is so kind. I believe that if you truly love what you do then it isn't work and that is how I feel about tour guiding and blogging. PS- shout out to everyone who read my last blog post (SMC Truths read it HERE) it currently has over 150 views which is INSANE. So thank you to everyone because you are all amazing!

FOUR// Yes, another music pick. But seriously, if you have not listened to Hozier you need to stop what you are doing immediately and listen to him. Holy guacamole. I'm obsessed. It is the type of music that will instantly put you in a better mood and his voice is just heavenly. My favorites have to be Jackie & Wilson and Someone New.


FIVE// Holiday drinks. 'Tis the season to be basic and freak out over the red cups at Starbucks. I love Starbucks, I really do but there is not one in walking distance from campus so I find myself going to Dunkin Donuts quite often. Tonight I tried the sugar cookie coffee and it was surprisingly good. I am really interested to try the snickerdoodle one and my favorite salted caramel hot chocolate is back so that makes me one happy lady! (PS- they also have cronuts at DD which I am really interested to try out. How are they? Lemme know if you have tried them!)
If this doesn't put you in the Holiday spirit than I don't know what will! 


     So there we have it, all of my wonderful favorites for this week (and last week....I think).

Love,
Susanna

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Saint Mike's Truths

     For a little Tuesday night blog lovin', here is a quick little post for your viewing entertainment.
As a student at Saint Mike's there are things that are just the truth. They are things that no one has to tell you is true, you just know it. So for all you students that may be interested in SMC, here are somethings that you are just going to have to accept!

1. You must hold the door open for anyone within a 10 foot radius. Everyone holds the door for everyone. No questions asked. Just do it. It shows how much we actually love each other if we hold doors for strangers.
but, yeah.

2. You must go to weekend brunch. Basically the best meal of the entire week. The only excuse is if you are home or have a sporting event to play in. That is it. This also goes for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.
Brunch, Thanksgiving Dinner and Christmas Dinner are by far the best meals in Alliot. 

3. The library or chapel are good points of reference. If someone ever asks you where something is and you can clearly tell that they have no clue where the heck they are going, use either the chapel or library as a guide. They are both main focal points on campus and pretty distinguishable from other buildings, thus making them great points of reference for lost visitors.
When people are totally freaked out that they are lost on campus, simply direct them to where they need to go using the Chapel or Library as a point of reference. 

4. The best picture of the mountains is at the view. Hands down the best place for your typical Vermont mountain picture. Also a great spot for photo shoots with your friends.
you betta weeerrrkkk

5. Whenever you need to write the word "night" you will constantly find yourself writing Knight. I promise you, this happens all the time whether you admit it or not.
The feeling you get when you realize that you have handed in a massive paper and you used the wrong form of night. BRB while I sob for all of eternity. 
6. P-Day is a holiday. Accept it.
this truth dates waaayyy past the 90's. 

7. When an event offers free food, that means it is either Leonardo's, Wings Over or Alliot. Take your chances and plan accordingly.
But it is free food so, I mean, come on. You can't let it go to waste, now can you?
8. AL-EE-OH. That is all. One must never, and I repeat, NEVER, pronounce the silent T at the end of Alliot.
My face when someone pronounces Alliot, AL-EE-OT (I'm looking at you dad.)
9. If you think hot dog day is better than chicken patty day then your whole life is a lie. Never trust a hot dog-er over a chicken patty-er.
PEACE, LOVE, CHICKEN PATTIES <3


10. Squirrels are not afraid of you. But seriously. They will stand in the walkway until the moment when you are basically standing on top of them. They will also eat food right out of your hand if you offer it generously.
Basically. 
11. During finals and midterms, claim your study spaces early. If you are looking for a space in the library, Dion or the academic buildings, claim them as early as possible. If you don't, there is a very high possibility that you won't get your favorite seat by the window or your favorite classroom with a rolly chair.
When you are in your favorite place, finals and midterms can look a little something like this. Be sure to claim your spot early. 
12. The workers in Alliot are the best people ever. I mean come on. How can you not like Abid, Anne or Senadina or even Rosemary. They are all so fully of personality and if you crack a few jokes to them you will most likely make them love you forever which means Lucky Charms even when they aren't out. Also, being on Rosemary's good side is everyone's goal, but only few accomplish it.
"Well hello Rosemary. You are looking beautiful today. Did you do something to your hair?"
     Gosh, there were just too many to pick from, but these are by far my favorites. Maybe another one of these will be up soon? Who knows?! As for now, enjoy!

Love,
Susanna

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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Dorm Room Essentials: Snacks

     Figuring out healthy eating habits during the school year can often be difficult. As the work load starts to pick up during the end of the semester, eating healthy tends to be the absolute last thing on your mind. Here are some of my favorite snacks to keep close by if I need a mid-afternoon pick me up or a late night snack!

ONE// Fruit. I love fruit. Berries are by far my favorite, but I also love a big crunchy apple or a perfectly ripe plum. Fruit is a quick snack to grab on the run and it is really filling and good for you! Next time you are in Alliot, grab a few extra bananas or a couple apples on your way out to munch on when you are spending a late night studying!

TWO// Trail Mix. I love trail mix but I am really picky about it. Personally, I cannot eat tree nuts, so I tend to stay away from trail mix with nuts in it. I opt for the dried fruit blend or granola. They are a super quick energy booster when I find my eyelids slowly closing after looking at a computer screen for hours on end. My tip is to buy this in bulk. The Costco sized trail mix is often cheaper and gives you a lot more for your money (plus it is delicious!).

THREE// Popcorn. This has been my recent obsession. One of my suite mate's mom makes AMAZING popcorn, and she has given us a huge bag of it a few times. We literally demolished it. Slightly salted popcorn is prefect for a movie night with your friends or a quick snack when you are craving something salty and crunchy. My favorite pick for pre-popped popcorn is the Buddha Bowl Himalayan Pink Popcorn. It is all natural and made with coconut oil, so there is a slight coconut taste too. It is lightly salted and totally delicious! Plus it is all organic and gluten free and comes in a massive bag to keep your tummy satisfied for a few weeks!
So yummy!
[via]


FOUR// Peanut Butter. I love peanut butter. It is the perfect blend of salty and sweet and really versatile! It is perfect for whipping up a quick PB&J for a lunch on the go or to slather onto a banana for that little boost of protein in your mid-morning snack. Skippy is my peanut butter of choice!

FIVE// Granola bars. Granola bars should be a staple in every dorm room. They are perfect for a breakfast on the go or a quick afternoon snack. I really enjoy Luna Bars and Cliff Bars (they just came out with new seasonal flavors like pumpkin pie and gingerbread!) Look for ones that are low in calories but have a high protein content to keep you fuller, longer.
I am dying to try the peppermint stink one! Anything peppermint I adore!
[via]


SIX// Hummus. I adore hummus. My favorites are probably the garlic or the fire roasted pepper kinds. It is great for dipping veggies or for a yummy spread on a sandwich. Plus, it has a ton of protein so a little goes a long way!

SEVEN// Cheese sticks. I love cheese and I will be the first to admit it. I often find that if I have a large block of cheese in the fridge, I will most likely eat more of it in one sitting than I am supposed to. This is why I opt for the pre-packaged cheese sticks. I know exactly the perfect quantity to eat with them and plus it gives me a little bit of calcium throughout the day (because I am really not a fan of milk).

EIGHT// Veggies. Veggies are always good to keep in the fridge whether it be cucumbers, peppers or baby carrots. When you find yourself craving the crunchiness of chips, opt for a handful of veggies. Plus you can eat more of them without all the guilt and they are a lot better for you! You can also pair them with hummus or guacamole for a fool proof and filling snack!

NINE//Seltzer Water. I am a Diet Coke addict. I just love Diet Coke, but it really is not the best thing for you. So when I find myself craving a bubbly drink, I will often reach for Seltzer water. Often times when we think we are hungry, it is just our body telling us that we are thirsty. During busy weeks I find that I neglect drinking water even though it is really important. Whether you like your seltzer water flavored, plain or mixed with a little juice (cranberry juice and seltzer is my favorite) it is always a good thing to keep on hand!
Polar has been coming out with some crazy flavors recently! I think the candy cane and granny smith apple ones would be good. I am not sure if I would like the eggnog one though!
[via]


TEN// Cereal. Cereal is always good to keep on hand. While you may be drawn towards Coco Puffs or Lucky Charms, try to stay away. Look for cereals that are sweet but also high in fiber to keep you fuller, longer. Cereal is perfect to throw in a bag and munch on you way to class or to sprinkle on top of yogurt for a delicious breakfast.

     So next time you are at the grocery store looking for snacks to keep on hand, try to pick some of these up. Not only will they help satisfy any cravings, but they are also healthy too!

Love,
Susanna

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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Don't Worry, Be Happy

     It is tough to be happy all the time. Even the happiest of people have their bad days or get into a bad mood funk for a little bit. Some days can seem like the pretty typical "I woke up on the wrong side of the bed days" while others might feel like you are jumping off of Mt. Crap into the Desert of Doom. Either way, it happens to all of us. We get stressed beneath piles of work and nothing can seem to take us out of it. We all have bad days. I know that I definitely do.

     Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it means that Christmas (my favorite holiday) and Black Friday (my favorite day) are right around the corner. I love Black Friday because I get to spend the day with my mom (hey mom!) and I get to buy gifts for people. There is something in doing a kind act for someone that instantly makes me happy. I have channeled that energy of that day into my life when I feel like I am in a funk. I realized that I can instantly boost my mood by doing something nice for someone else. Kindness can change a lot in our world. For strangers. For people you have a personal connection with. You can instantly become happier by going out of your way to do something nice for someone else.

     We often get so consumed in our bad days that we forget to notice the good that we can do in the place that we live. Random acts of kindness don't have to be crazy, outlandish acts, just little things to tell people that you care. Here are some of my favorites on a college campus!

ONE// Smile. This one is soooooo simple and often people forget that a smile can go a long way. I learned in my sociology class this semester about this thing called ethnomethodology. It is basically a way of understanding the way that people make sense of the world by noticing their experiences in their day-to-day life. Have you ever noticed that you put your head down to avoid eye contact with strangers? Next time try sharing a smile and eye contact with a stranger. You will get the instant feeling of happiness and they will feel it as well.
I took this picture of my friend Duff at our rugby game this past weekend. I adore how happy she looks in this picture and it just makes me so happy!

TWO// Buy someone coffee. The line at Einstein's or Cafe Cheray can often get long. So ask the person behind you their order and say that you have got it covered. If you have ever had anyone buy  coffee for you, you know how it can instantly change your mood. So return the favor. Not only does it make you feel good, but it will also boost the mood of a stranger.
This picture is from last year when I opened the top of my latte at Dunkin Donuts to cool it off. I found this adorable heart and my day was instantly made. I <3 DD.


THREE// Offer someone your seat. The library and Dion can often get crowded. I have a ton of friends that have "their seat" in these places. But often times you can see the stressed out faces of students during crunch time when they are tirelessly looking for a seat to study. We often get so attached to our "seats" that we forget to notice that the act of giving them up is such an easy way to help a person out. Doing this will likely make a person's day.

FOUR// Hold open a door. This one happens all the time on campus and it is something that I am entirely thankful for. People will often go out of their way to open and hold doors for strangers around campus. If you have ever had your hands full and tried to open a door you know how frustrating it can get. Having a stranger run across the room to open a door for you can instantly make you feel better. So do it for someone else to return their favor.

     No matter how you choose to spread the love, there is no better time to do it then when you are feeling down in the dumps. On those days, being kind to others may seem like the absolute last thing that you want to do, but not only will it boost your mood but it will impact the person on the receiving end in a positive way as well. So make your day better by helping someone else out as well!

Love,
Susanna

PS- We are competing in NATIONALS this weekend at Rutgers University in NJ. If you are in the area, feel free to stop by! Our game is at 5 (maybe 5:30), so come on down!

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(im OBSESSED with Hozier. Trust me, he will be in a favorites post soon.)

Friday, October 31, 2014

How to Use a Syllabus.....Correctly

      With 4 classes, we get a lot of syllabi. Most of time we get them the first week of classes, otherwise known as syllabus week. I love syllabus'. They save my life more times than I can count. Sadly, a lot of students don't get all the benefits from a syllabus because they don't know how to correctly read them.
      I know that the semester is coming to a close soon (eeeekkk!!), but hopefully this will help in the following weeks along with the semesters to come! Here are some of my tips!


ONE// Use it to finish projects early. As a media studies major, my life is consumed with projects. When your semester is jam packed, it is really useful to get started (and finished) with things early. Towards the end of the semester all of my classes pile up. Typically, I will have at least one major thing due for each class at the end of the semester. This two week period is actually the worst, but there are ways to avoid it and utilizing your syllabus is one of them! Find projects that you can finish early on weeks when you don't really have that much work so when it comes to the end of the semester you have less on your plate!

TWO// Schedule your life. A syllabus is not just used to tell you what you will be doing in class that semester. They are given to you to kind of give you a heads up on how much time you will need to commit to that class during the semester. Your whole college career isn't all about school, but it plays a major part. Prep your semester by using your syllabus!

THREE//Don't just use the syllabus for important dates, use a planner too! I love planners, you know that. (I wrote a post about how I organize my life. Check it out HERE) When reading the syllabus, make sure you have your planner handy to write down when important assignments are due. I am the first one to admit that I lose things sometimes. By writing down important dates in my planner I am covered if I lose my syllabus.

FOUR//Create to-do lists from it! This is my normal task on Sunday. I sit down and look at my syllabus for each class and make a list of all the things that I need to do that week. It helps to prepare me for the week so I know what I have to do and when. Sometimes I will do it for two weeks at a time. One week may be busy while the other may be a little slower. If that happens, I normally plan ahead and get other things done (see number 1!). When I complete something on my syllabus, I either will highlight it or cross it off. It makes it easier to quickly look at when I have too!

     I hope this helps when you feel a little stressed. A syllabus for a class is literally my best friend and I treat it like one! Professors often spend a lot of time creating them, so take good care to them and use them. I promise, you won't be disappointed!

Love,
Susanna

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Class Clip: Photo Journalism

       I have mentioned in a previous post that I adore my Photo Journalism class. This class is by far one of my favorite classes this semester. As an MJD major, I am required to take it, but honestly I would have loved to take it even if I was not in this major. This class meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:45-10:50 with Professor Swope. First off, I love Professor Swope. Photo Journalism is what he is truly passionate about and it shows through this class. He really knows what he is talking about and he is super personable at the same time. He is by far one of my favorite Professors in the MJD department (but I love all of them so....yeah.).
I took this picture one weekend when I was just fooling around with the camera.
     At first I thought that this class was going to be easy. I mean, how hard is it to take a picture. FALSE. This class is actually pretty difficult. It teaches you a lot not only in the technical aspects of photo journalism but also more personal aspects. It teaches you a lot about yourself and your comfort zones along with your ability to manage your time. The great thing about the class is that they give you an amazing camera to use throughout the semester to complete your assignments.
     Each week we have an assignment due (except for larger assignments that require more time). Our first assignment was probably the hardest assignment for me. It is the infamous Breaking the Ice assignment where essentially you walk up to random strangers and ask them if you can take their picture. How hard can it be right? Holy goodness, it was terrifying. I always thought that I was ok in situations where I had to talk to strangers but boy was I wrong. I was terrified the entire way through this assignment. I finished it though which was such a relief. Even though it was really hard, I was pleased with the outcome and it felt really good to know that I had accomplished it.
     Each week the assignments differ. They have been anything from a perspective assignment to action sports to honest emotion. I have enjoyed every single assignment that I have done so far. Most of the time is doesn't even feel like work because I like it so much. Here are some of the pictures that I was able to take this semester!
I took this picture for my Sports Action picture assignment. This was at the Women's Soccer game against SNHU.

I took this picture for my Sports Action picture assignment. This was at the Women's Soccer game against SNHU.
     Currently for this class we are starting to get into Multimedia. Our current assignment is to cover an event and take sound and audio clips to create a picture slide show. I am really excited about this assignment because I love using the programs that are necessary to complete this. I am really looking forward towards the rest of the semester in this class!

Love,
Susanna

PS! I almost forgot! Yesterday I was officially accepted to study abroad in London, England for Spring semester! I am extremely excited and I will definitely be posting more about it soon!

PPS! There is also the first KnightChat of the semester on Tuesday October 28th! Be sure to check it out HERE

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