Spring

How to Conquer Finals Week

With the semester nearing an end, finals week is quickly approaching! Wait what?! Where has all the time gone? Here is my list of the 3 biggest distractions during finals week and my expert advice on how to conquer them.

Final Examsimage source

1. PHONE

We all love our phones because they are able to connect us with the world and let us know what’s happening around us at all times. The problem is that with so many social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, Yik Yak, StumbleUpon to check, it can take hours to get updated. Even games on your phone are a terrible idea during finals week, you might as well say good bye to that G.P.A. if you have any games like Tetris on your phone.

 
Game found @ www.flash-gamer.eu

HOW TO CONQUER:  Get a friend to change your passwords during finals week! Make them promise not to tell you the passwords until after finals, not matter how many times you beg. This way after finals you can take as long as you like to get caught up on life, you should also check out the eCampus social media sites for even more updates!

2. FRIENDS

Friends or “study buddies” are great to hang out with when you have nothing to do. In fact they are a ton of fun… but maybe not the best influencers during finals week. You always have that one friend who only has one easy final so they become the biggest distraction you could imagine.

 best friends image source

HOW TO CONQUER: The best strategy for this is to start studying early and give yourself enough time to do what you have to do. Take some time for yourself to get majority of your work and studying done ALONE, so that you can meet up with your friends to take a break at Starbucks.

3. INTERNET

Your phone is pointless now without social media, you have your study breaks with friends under control but the one thing harder to stop is the World Wide Web. It’s always so tempting to get on YouTube and watch goofy cat videos for hours. This one below is hilarious but definitely not what you need during finals week.

 

HOW TO CONQUER: Approach looking up random websites, online shopping and watching funny videos by a reward system. You study for 3 hours and then you get rewarded with an hour internet break. This way you’ll be able to get through your studying much faster but don’t forget to retain the information otherwise this reward system doesn’t work.

HAPPY FINALS WEEK. MAY THE GRADES BE EVER IN YOUR FAVOR.

Top 5 Must Have Songs of 2014

With the snow melting away and the sun coming out, my playlist has begun to brighten up a bit as well. These songs tend to give you the urge to bust a move and break into song; don’t say I didn’t warn you.

1. Happy- Pharrell Williams

Yes, I know everyone loves this song and probably everyone has heard it. But it is nowhere near overrated. You just can’t help but be happy when you hear this song! It just puts an involuntary smile on your face! Click here now to listen.

Pharrell Williams-Happywww.josepvinaixa.com

2. Counting Stars –One Republic

This song has such a subtle motivational aspect to it. The lyrics encourage you to think outside the box and follow your heart while the music is super danceable. Win! Click here now to listen.

One Republic- Counting Starspop-your-life.blogspot.com

3. La la la- Naughty Boy feat. Sam Smith

“La la la” is a fun song for it’s rebellious nature. It’s basically telling you not to listen to and believe everything people say, and I have to agree wholeheartedly. Click here now to listen.

Naughty Boy-La La Lawww.josepvinaixa.com

4. Burn –Ellie Goulding

“Burn” is another song that has a subtle motivational feel. While it’s a dance song that could easily be a love story, it’s just as easily a message to make an impact on the world and leave your mark. Click here now to listen.

Ellie Goulding-Burnhypetrak.com

5. Neon Lights –Demi Lovato

This is easily the most danceable song on the list. Listen to this song and try NOT to dance. Go ahead, try. Seriously, this is such a feel good song. The kind that you dance to in the car (at stoplights of course…) in such a way that the driver in the car next to you starts staring. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything. Click here now to listen.

Demi Lovato-Neon Lightswww.josepvinaixa.com

Add these songs to brighten up your playlist! Any we missed?

Spring Semester > Fall Semester

As winter break is nearing an end, the spring semester is in the looming future. No more sleeping in until three and doing nothing but hanging out in your pajamas all day. You actually have to brush your hair out and get to that 8AM class you’ve been dreading. You should not worry though; it will be easy to think positively as you enter this semester. I have some thoughts on why spring semester is better than fall semester.Blog-Liza 1

1. Time flies by: The spring semester is always pretty short compared to the fall semester, which always seems to last an entire year in itself.  Fall comes with dreading the incoming winter ahead where as in spring we welcome the warm weather with open arms. The season change makes time fly by so that at the end of the semester you’ll be wondering where all the time went!

2. Spring Break: Sun rays and tan lines mean it’s time for Spring Break. The spring semester has the best week of the year, while the fall semester only offers minimal holidays and indoor shelter from the cold. If you decide to take it easy with a book, travel across the country or soak up the sun with some friends- you can’t go wrong. Spring break is always something to look forward to.

3. Summer is around the corner: The best thing about the spring semester is that you are very close to summer. When the fall semester begins, the daunting thoughts of an entire school year ahead can be stressful and overwhelming for some. By spring you know what to expect and can get through the semester with ease and obtain the ultimate reward of summertime.

With these three motivations, I know that I plan to make spring semester more enjoyable and easier to make my way through it. Remember your coat on your way to class now but get ready to shred those layers by April. Bring on the Spring Semester!

4 Simple Ways to Kick-start Spring Semester

I find myself at the start of every semester saying how I’m going to have the best semester yet. But it never fails- just a few weeks in and I’m back to my procrastination ways. Next semester, I begin my final year of school and I’m determined to have the perfect year. Here are some of my tips to start off your spring semester the right way:

new-school-years-resolutions

1. Buy a planner. If you don’t keep a planner, I highly suggest investing in one. My planner is my life.  If I didn’t have my planner I would have no idea what I should be doing. If having a planner isn’t your thing, develop a system to keep your school assignments on track. Go through your syllabi and write everything down for the semester.

2. Clean sweep. Prior to the beginning of each semester, I clean everything from my room to my bathroom to my computer’s desktop. I feel so much better when everything is clutter free. Performing a clean up will start your semester off on the right foot.

3. New school supplies. Throw away your old notebooks and invest in new notebooks for the new semester. Color-code your classes to keep everything aligned. Call me crazy, but I have matching folders, notebooks, post-its and highlighters for each class. It’s a simple way for me to stay organized.

 

4. Set goals. Want to achieve all A’s? That’s great! Rather than just saying, “I’m going to get straight A’s this semester, set check-mark goals that you can cross off throughout the semester. I love crossing things off. Break down your classes and set goals such as “Earn a B or above on Exam 1” or “Begin paper two weeks before due date.” I always break down my papers from when they’re assigned to the due date so I don’t leave it all for one night.

It is important to keep your motivation throughout the spring while still making time for fun, especially if this is your last semester in college! What are your new semester’s resolutions?

The “What I Wish I Knew about Education Abroad” List for Students

study-abroadAs the semester comes to an end, the majority of us are focused on surviving finals week and getting home for the holidays. However, many students, myself included, are preparing to spend time studying abroad for a few weeks, or even a semester. Although I am now very excited for my trip, my education abroad journey has not been all smooth sailing. There are a million and one things I wish I had known when I began planning my trip abroad. Here are just a few tips that I hope will make the process a little easier for anyone who is considering education abroad.

START EARLY: I repeat, do NOT wait until the last minute to start planning your trip (like I did). Although it’s not impossible to plan an education abroad trip last minute, it is definitely more difficult. If you are at all interested in studying abroad, go meet with an education abroad ASAP. Different programs have different requirements. It is absolutely never too early to get started!

 
Decide where you want to go: One of the most important education abroad decisions you will make is where to go. One of my majors is Spanish, so I chose to study in Seville, Spain in order to complete the requirements for my major. Many colleges offer many areas of stud. But, you need to think about which cultures and experiences will benefit you the most academically. No matter where you go, you will have a great time and make awesome memories, so make sure it’s going to pay off towards your degree.

Find a friend: Chances are, you know someone who has studied abroad in the past. Use them as a resource! Don’t annoy them of course, but ask them to get coffee or lunch with you someday so that you can ask them questions and advice.

Don’t let money stop you: If you’re anything like me, you may be hesitant about education abroad because you think you can’t afford it. Surprisingly, my semester abroad is going to cost me less than a semester at my home university. Now, this may not be the case for everyone. But I promise, education abroad fees include A LOT. And, you can usually apply any scholarships, loans or grants that you receive at your current school to education abroad fees. There are also TONS of scholarships available to students who want to go abroad.

Although a good GPA, campus involvement and leadership experience are all important aspects of an impressive resume, education abroad gives students an advantage over the rest. Employers and graduate programs love seeing that a student has studied abroad. Not to mention, I have never spoken to a student who regretted their education abroad experience. Have any questions or suggestions of your own about education abroad? Let us know in the comments section below.