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Monday, September 22, 2014 | Last updated: 5:12am

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The end is near



We are nearing the middle of November, and fortunately, the semester is coming to a close. Unfortunately, it is also the conflicting point in time where it is easy to get excited about the end of school, but it’s not yet time to kick back and relax completely.

Here are some tips that I have learned over the past three years to stick it out until the end, while continuing to manage time efficiently.

1. It’s okay to say “no” to your friends.
This situation usually arises at least once: You have a paper due in two days that you know you should have started a week ago, but you don’t want to miss out on the double kegger that all your friends are going to. Chances are, working on your paper will be a better option in the long haul. You probably won’t be missing much, and you will be relieved when you return to your work the next day and realize you are halfway done. Besides, there will always be another double kegger.

2. It’s okay to say “yes” to your friends.
At this point, it may seem like you need to focus all of your precious energy on just making it out of the semester alive, but spending too much time on schoolwork can be draining. Going out to forget your troubles can give you just enough time away to come back with unforgettable memories and a better disposition towards the pile of work. Watching your social life spiral down the drain can be depressing, and it adds more stress. Go out and enjoy your youth.

3. Sometimes, taking time to recharge alone is the best way to clear your head.
Deciding to squeeze in a party and then spending the rest of the weekend recovering from a hangover while wondering how you’re going to finish your homework, study for your test, grocery shop and clean your apartment is enough to freak anyone out. At least a couple of days a week, spend the night alone, watching a movie in your sweats and eating Hot Pockets to get away from the overload of outside stimulus.

4. Organizing and cleaning really does help.
It seems like one more thing on the to do list, but losing essential items like keys and notebooks in your décor of empty chip bags and dirty clothes is just plain stressful. This is especially true when your class starts in ten minutes, and you’re running around in a frenzy searching for clean pants. Taking ten minutes to straighten up your room and make sure you know where things are can take off some of the extra stress. Throw a load of laundry in the washer while you are working on your homework so you aren’t forced to show up to class in a grungy t-shirt that you forgot you spilled nacho cheese on last week.

5. Don’t stress about being stressed.
This is a big one. When you’ve got so much to do, it can create excess noise in your head that makes you feel like you’re unable to do any of it. It’s the classic “deer in the headlights” feeling of college. Acknowledge that you have a few more assignments that usual that you need to complete, but don’t allow your mind to get stuck on the thought. Write a schedule of tasks and assignments to do each day that will guarantee you make it through the week without having to make sacrifices.


Detox after Halloween and Homecoming festivities



The past two weeks have been filled with Halloween costumes, followed by the festivities of homecoming. For some students, this means two weeks in a row of binge drinking. What you need is a week of detoxing, not only for your body but also for your mind. These helpful tips for detoxing after a week or two of trashing your body will help you feel better and get you back on track to finish off the semester strong.

A detox diet is meant to help cleanse your body of toxins that slow you down and make you feel less energized. This seven day diet will get your body to its fully functioning, pre-halloween form, as long as you have the discipline needed to stick to it.

For starters, it’s important to avoid refined sugars, caffeine, alcohol, most dairy products, and gluten. Instead, supplement your diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. To avoid depleting yourself of nutrients, try making a healthy smoothie with coconut water or fruit juice with no added sugar as the base. Add fruits and veggies to the smoothie for a quick and easy meal, jam packed with all the necessary nutrients you need.

The key to detoxing the safe and smart way is to include enough protein and carbohydrates, which are necessary to provide the energy needed for the hectic lifestyle of a college student. Forget about coffee and sugary energy drinks, on a detox diet natural nourishment can offer you just as must energy.

Snack on almonds or other unprocessed foods such as oatmeal or sweet potatoes. This will provide carbohydrates, which your body will turn into energy. For protein, hummus and veggies is a delicious way to make sure that even with so much cut out of your diet, you still receive the protein your body needs.

Perhaps the most vital aspect of a detox diet is to get plenty of water, two liters daily are recommended. Other liquid cleanses have been known to rid your body of toxins as well. For instance, unsweetened green tea is great because it is loaded with natural antioxidants and even speeds up your metabolism.

You can also try cranberry juice (not cocktail) because it aids in cleansing the urinary tract and bladder where many toxins live. You also should include plenty of Vitamin C in your detox, because it is a powerful antioxidant and also helps rid the body of harmful fatty deposits. The most important thing to remember while detoxing is not to over do it. Cleansing can be very beneficial, but it can also be very harmful if not done the right way.

Don’t get caught up in losing weight, because that’s not the point. Rather, focus on getting rid of the toxins in your body that make you feel lousy, and creating an overall well-being of body and mind.


Student loans: a necessary evil



I was scrolling through the Internet the other day, because, like many of us, it’s the only thing that occupies my life when I have free time, and I stumbled on a scary pumpkin carving.

It was a really, really scary pumpkin. Carved into the tough orange skin read the words, “Student Loans,” and I screamed and called my mom crying.

Well, this didn’t exactly happen, but it definitely reminded me of the reality of my current financial situation and gave me a glimpse into my economically burdened future.

But then I got to thinking- student loans are sort of a good thing, if you feel like looking at the glass half full.

When the money isn’t there, student loans are. Mind you, if college wasn’t so expensive in the first place the money wouldn’t need to be there and students across the country wouldn’t have to worry about their looming loans after graduation.

But for the time being, student loans are A-OK. They’ve given me a chance to live off campus, and pay for the part of my books and tuition that scholarships and my savings account aren’t able to.

For the time being, student loans give us an opportunity to go to the University of Arizona, arguably the best university in the country, though I may be biased.


Dress in cheap style this Halloween season



Halloweekend is on the horizon, a night when college students can indulge themselves in a night of debauchery, courtesy of the nearest handle.

In a college town, Halloweekend can be the highlight of first semester, but it’s hard to find a suitable costume without breaking the bank. Here are a few costume ideas you can throw together with a few bucks and the garb already in your closet.

Girls: Wrap your body in tinfoil and call yourself leftovers — food, that is. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, you can become a Hershey’s Kiss with a pointy foil hat and a paper-made label. At Walmart, one roll of tinfoil can be bought for $1.49. To avoid the abrasiveness of tin foil against your skin, throw on a skinny black dress and wrap that instead. Strut your look in heels and you’ll be shining the entire night.

Guys: This one is especially easy and perfect for guys who aren’t particularly enthused about dressing up this year. The Barney Stinson look, from “How I Met Your Mother,” is completed with a light blue button up and a slim tie, and coupled with a suit, you’ll be mistaken for the suave womanizer who we all know and love.

Girls: If you’re feeling extra feminist on Halloween, Rosie the Riveter is an easy outfit to throw together by using your own wardrobe. Throw on a chambray and roll up the sleeves, tie your hair up in a red bandana and become the cultural icon of the night. Red lipstick required.

Guys: Turn yourself into America’s most famous fictitious chemist this weekend. The Heisenberg look can be completed with a pair of old glasses and black fedora, which can be found at the Goodwill or the local Halloween thrift shops lining Fourth Ave. Pull out a striped button up from your closet and throw on a brown or black jacket, and you’ll have the DEA after you faster than you can break bad.

Girls: Let’s be honest here — all you really need for this costume is a foam finger and pigtail buns. If you’re not looking to invest in a nude leotard because you’ll only wear it for one or two nights, dress in typical Miley clothes, which includes nearly anything that shows skin, from crop tees, sports bras, leggings, and black boots. If you really want to complete the character, stick your tongue out and wink your eye. You could even lug a sledgehammer along.

Guys: Although you won’t look nearly as aged, become seductive gigolo Hugh Hefner for the evening. Hefner typically flaunts a red robe, but you can get away with any colored bathrobe. Pick up a sailor hat at a Halloween shop for five bucks and grab the nearest slutty bunny – you’ll be head of the mansion in no time.


How to react when a sex scene comes on when you’re with your parents



1) If you’ve seen the film and T.V. show before, and you know the sex is coming, conveniently leave the room. Get up to pour yourself a drink or grab a snack in the kitchen, let the dog out, go to the restroom, or take a fake phone call.

2) Persevere. Sit stone-faced and don’t move an inch. Don’t portray any emotion.

3) Awkwardly laugh and tell your parents, “This is totally not how I did it last time!”

4) Burn your house down, change names, leave the country.

5) Fast-forward.

6) Take off your shoe and throw it through the screen.

7) After the scene, initiate ‘the talk’ with your parents.

8) Close your eyes and exclaim “Ew, gross!”

9) Critique the scene’s lighting, the actors’ performances, the cinematography, etc.

10) Act normal because you’re a mature individual


The 5 things I learned interning in NYC



I spent last semester interning in New York City and I learned more at that job than I have in all my years of education combined. When you’re thrust into the ‘real world,’ you’ll learn a lot more than you can in a classroom. I’m not to say teachers aren’t valuable, however it’s difficult to get a real perspective behind the comfort of a desk.

Breaking your comfort zone and leaving your area of expertise are the only ways you’ll learn what you’re really made of. Here’s a list of the lessons I learned while in New York City.

1.Make a list of the things you love and the things you’re good at and where they overlap is where you’ll be the happiest.

Choose a career path that you love with all that you are. Choose something that you’ll be excited to do everyday — make it so the weekends are just an awkward lull between the times you get to spend living the dream. Think about this: if money didn’t matter and you could do whatever you wanted for a living, what would it be? Whatever you just said, do that. Most of us hunger for jobs that leave us a one in a million chance. As difficult as it may be, believe me, you’re going to want to take that chance.

2.Never compromise who you are for what you’re doing.

The real world is demanding, chaotic, and scary and it’s so easy to lose yourself. Never sacrifice your principles to get ahead. Chances are if a job is asking you to do something that makes your moral compass go haywire, it’s probably not the job for you anyways.

3.Worry a little less and work a little harder.

Worrying will get you nowhere, I repeat, nowhere. Spend less time thinking about what you have to do tomorrow and more time thinking about what you can do right now. Have a little faith. Rely on your talents and your drive. If you’re good, you’ll get there.

4.Say yes to everything.

Seize every opportunity that comes your way. You’re never too good to learn. Every opportunity offers something to learn and it’s one more thing you can put on your resume. Employers like to see people who are ambitious so go carpe that diem.

5.It’s okay to be a little lost.

College has this stigma that you have to know exactly what you want to do and how you’re going to do it. From my experience, it’s perfectly fine to be a little lost for a while. Your dream job is attainable; you just have to be willing to fight for it. If you don’t quite know what is it yet, don’t worry, you will.


iOS 7 update revamps look and usability of iPhone



Apple has done it again. Since its release, iOS 7 has been the talk of iPhone users around. It’s smooth, it’s smart and it’s sexy.

Since iOS 7’s release on Sept. 18, users have had some time to adjust to the aesthetic overhaul. The upgrade is more than just a few pokes and prods at the basic design of the phone.

In changing everything from the home screen graphics to the typography, Apple has completely revamped the all-too-familiar iPhone layout, leaving it with a minimalistic and bubbly design.

Apple has designed a clutter-free home screen with bold colors and flat icons. It ‘s also juxtaposed this simple style with 3D movement and fading images to develop a layout that’s easy on the eyes. As for the practicality of the phone, the Control Center looks to be the most functional, giving users access to the clock, camera, calculator, flashlight and music settings with one simple upward swipe.

Speaking of music, it looks like Pandora has some more competition. IOS 7 introduced the new iTunes Radio, allowing users access to an unlimited music stream based on genre and artist recommendations.

Apple has also made it easier to scroll through and manage multiple pages of Safari by incorporating 3D scrolling tabs. Also, you can now pull up more than eight tabs at once.

It’s hard to imagine that 50 years ago we were communicating via plastic bricks and electrical cords.

For some people, the change will take some getting used to. For me, I feel like the president’s secretary, or Katy Perry’s manager. I feel like I carry the world’s most expensive and impressive object in the palm of my student loan-stained hand.


An open letter to morning classes



This is an open letter to my Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. French 102 class. While there are only 10 of you in the class, I feel the need to address a few things. As morning classes are the worst thing college has to offer, they can present some serious misconceptions about a person.

Dear class,

First, I’m sorry for being the empty soul that hauntingly walks into class everyday, like a demon in the night. Outside of these trecherous morning classes lies a funny and often bright young lady — but as it stands, you might never see that side of me.

That being said, I promise I know how to smile, too. I did not suffer with braces for five years in order to never smile again. I was raised in a British household and for the most part, I know what manners are and how to exercise them accordingly. I was always “yes ma’am” and “no sir,” but for whatever reason, that part of my brain isn’t even close to functioning before 11 o’clock in the morning. That’s the reality of it.

I promise I know how to dress myself. Yoga pants and flip-flops are not my usual attire. It may seem like I own a stockpile of old sweatshirts that rival Goodwill’s, but that is not my typical day-to-day. Would you all believe me if I told you I won “Best Dressed” and “Best Hair” in high school? I know some of you cocked an eyebrow at that.

Lastly, I promise that what you see at 9 a.m. every day is completely different than what you might find a 1, 2 or 3 p.m. I know in a different world with later classes, I would more than likely be friends with most of you. But as fate has it, and my major requires it, I was forced into these morning classes.

And thus, I leave you all with a better sense of awareness. While this 9 a.m. French class could potentially be the death of me, at least I tried. My hope is that some of you can sympathize with me from this letter, and in turn, we’ll get through this semester together. After all, nous sommes tous dans le même bateau, n’est pas?


Even science says it is better to give than to receive



We’ve all heard that it is better to give than to receive, and occasionally we follow this motto during specific times of the year – the holiday season for example. The rest of the year, though, you can bet we’re all too focused on what we need and want for ourselves to think of others.

But in a recent study by the University of Buffalo, which took five years and three universities to establish, scientists have found it’s actually better for your health to give than receive. “How” you ask?

About 900 subjects were interviewed about stressful events in their lives during the past year and the occasions they assisted or gave tangible items to their friends or family. The subjects did things like providing transportation to people they did not live with or did errands, housework and the shopping for them.

“We tested the hypothesis that providing help to others would predict a reduced association between stress and mortality for the helpers,” said Michael J. Poulin, P.H.d., the principal investigator.

As it turns out, the study found that stressful situations were less likely to contribute to a person’s death when they’re also helping others. It’s kind of morbid, but poignant nonetheless.
Now, I understand it’s harder as college students to go out on a shopping spree for others when we can barely afford the sterile tasting ramen noodles we eat every night, but it’s something that can be easily done no matter how you stand financially or how much time you have.

Our generation wasn’t raised to be very giving. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. But it’s also something we can fix by changing the little things in life.

You can donate clothes and items to Goodwill we don’t use anymore. Or how about babysitting at no charge for a couple who hasn’t been on a date in months? Even the gift of a smile is enough to brighten someone’s day and give you your health benefits.

Even Ben’s Bell’s started a “Be Kind, Step Up” to encourage acts of kindness by giving out bracelets to those who were caught paying it forward.

Whether you can do it or not, you should try to pass it along.

To see the study:
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-02/uab-sfi020413.php


Pantone spring 2013 color fashion report



If you find yourself feeling frisky for a fling this season, have an affair; with color.

To be sure, otherwise improper behavior is entirely acceptable this spring, as the newly announced spring 2013 Fashion Color Report by Pantone is blush worthy. A flirty array of delightfully subtle hues and tones that simply exude the essence of all things flighty — Pantone has concocted a saccharine collection for spring color wear.

And Pantone, the world renowned color classification corporation, knows color.

In the palest hues of breathy pinks, ethereal greens and cerulean blues, Pantone has imagined spring as it is seen in nature. Tones suggestive of overtly floral and coy glances feel fresh and cool as the doldrums neutrals of winter swiftly retreat. Rising sweetly from the cold remembrances of all too recent winter we are whisked into a color scheme that pairs nicely with any straying notions.

Shades of “Zesty Yellow,” “Dusk Blue” and “Grayed Jade” certainly sound as intriguing as they appear. Brilliant colors indeed, that transition gracefully between altering seasonal wardrobes.

As spring is a season of whimsy and flippant regard, dress your most bold behavior in the softest shades Pantone so divinely arranged. You’ll be flirting most fashionably with disaster.