avoiding high school senioritis: some tips for incoming freshmen

At this point, you seniors have a semester left of high school. This may seem like it is going to drag on forever, but believe me, it will be over much, MUCH sooner than you know it.

I know this season is difficult. There are so many excuses you can find to slack off during this last stretch of high school, but chances are, if you allow yourself to submit to those excuses, your last year will end up being slightly more stressful.

It’s difficult for me to offer specific advice, because the details of your college experiences will be very different.

However, here are some general things to keep in mind that will help you stay strong and push through to the very end:

1) Keep scholarship searching.
I know this isn’t necessarily fun, but it’s important to keep this in mind. It’s really never time to stop searching for scholarships. There are so many out there to apply for, and even though the process is time-consuming and sometimes frustrating, it is well worth the effort.

2) Get into the college mindset.
A great way to push through any sort of dry season in life is to focus on the road ahead of you. Keep your head up, and keep reminding yourself of the bright, new things ahead of you. Regardless of any stories, rumors, or jokes you’ve heard about stereotypical college life, get excited about the new chapter of your life that begins once you start college. Your college experience will be exactly what you make of it. If you stay persistent and driven, you will grow so much and achieve truly incredible things in college. As you press on through these last few months of high school, remind yourself of all the new, exciting things that are in store for you. Imagine all the wonderful people you’ll meet and things you’ll accomplish. There are so many new doors that will be opened for you at ASU, and it’s such an amazing thing to look forward to. In general, begin to immerse yourself in college life by getting an idea of how you could be spending your time once you get there. A very productive way to spend your free time would be to begin researching clubs and organizations. ASU has an almost overwhelming amount of involvement opportunities, so it is nearly impossible to find absolutely nothing that catches your interest. Going to their websites or making phone calls are the easiest ways to go about doing this, but another way to enhance your perspective on ways to get involved on campus is to make friends with current students and ask them about how they’ve gotten involved.

3) Build your skills.
Chances are, you have many different interests, talents, or hobbies already. Decide right now that you are going to start taking the time to explore new interests and build on some old ones. Take the time to do what excites you. Once you get to college, you will have plenty of opportunities to expand these hobbies even more. When you arrive on campus, keeping your interests in mind will help you quickly connect with certain clubs or organizations that strike your fancy. It might also help to do a bit of research on what ASU offers in terms of extra-curriculars, clubs, and other programs. For example, find a list of clubs that interest you and look at their social media pages to get a better idea of what they’re about and what involvement with them looks like. Or if you’re interested in Greek life, start researching ahead of time and thinking about that process (I am not involved in Greek life, so I really have no actual information about it, but there are many places you can look and people you can speak with to get a better idea of what it’s like). Another extremely important way you can build skills is by volunteering. Any type of volunteer experience in general is always a rewarding and worthwhile experience, but if you are able to volunteer in a way that incorporates your interests, you will find a more specialized reward. For example, if you are interested in art, find an art museum where you can volunteer, or a camp where you can help lead summer art courses for children. If you’re interested in business, volunteering at a non-profit will enhance your platform in the business world and also offer you a great way to network.

4) Talk to current college students.
Getting to know people who have pushed through the stresses of senior year and experienced the whole new world of college will be a great resource to you as you finish off the year. Find people who can speak positively about how hard work during senior year pays off, and ask them all you want about college life. Connecting with people who have been in your position recently will help ease your mind and help you feel more confident that you have the ability to finish this year well.

5) End with a bang.
I don’t know about you, but there’s something so satisfying about reaching the end of a long journey and knowing that you pressed on until the very end. It’s easy to want to slack off during this last year. You’re exhausted and ready to move on. However, your future self will thank you for working so hard until the very end. Fully engage yourself with the place where you are right now, and when it starts to feel overwhelming, remind yourself that the finish line is in sight.

Press on, friends!

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my 2014 new year’s resolution

Every year, I try to set and fulfill a New Year’s Resolution. For instance, my resolution for 2013 was to study abroad. I actually fulfilled that resolution and studied abroad in London, Dublin, and Edinburgh during the summer of 2013! You can read about my adventures while abroad here or in my personal blog.

I put a lot of effort into thinking about what I want my resolution to be. I incorporate my experiences during the previous year and figure out what I most want to change about myself.

My New Year’s Resolution for 2014 is:

Contribute to the Greater Community Around Me

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steve’s 2014 new year resolutions


2013 has been an unbelievable year and it whizzed by so fast that it all seems like it was just one big blur. I have accomplished so much in 2013 and my accomplishments have paved the way for my 2014 New Year Resolutions. For the New Year, I’d like to orient my resolutions around three different aspects of my life – personal, professional, and academic.

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how to fully capitalize on winter break


Finals are upon us! This is the critical time for studying and preparing for the cumulative exams that demonstrate what we’ve learned throughout the semester in our classes. They will quickly pass us by, however, and then Winter Break will be here. You know what that means, right? Christmas, New Years, and practically a month off of college to relax and get ready for the new semester. Having said that, there are a few things that you have to do in order to fully capitalize on your Winter Break. Continue reading

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as we cross the finish line

As the semester draws to a close, I wish you all the best of luck for finals. In the midst of an extremely stressful time, please keep this in mind.

You are enough. You do enough. You have accomplished enough. Continue reading

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go finals!

I have seen them all. “Pulled an all-nighter!” “Dreading next week!” “Can’t wait for it to be all over!” Yes, we all know finals are approaching when everyone’s Facebook status turns into a complaint about having to study. But, what I don’t see is the actual need for complaining at all. We all knew it was coming, but, more importantly, we all should be prepared. We attend college to pursue an education, not to complain about it. No one has forced us to be here. Well, maybe some. But still, we are all adults making the decision to take these classes and are well aware that there are finals to be taken.

Although small, this tough kid knows what is going on. Embrace your finals, don’t fear them.

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how the grinch knows finals

Now that finals are over, we can laugh about all the stress-eating we did and anxiety attacks we had, right???? Or not??? …too soon??

Maybe we’ll be able to laugh about it over the summer, but for now, the Grinch accurately summarizes what we all looked like and went through during that brutal week in December. Continue reading

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and so #campfargo was born


Not even the frigid (well, the most frigid Tempe ever gets) cold could burn out the fiery spirit of Sun Devil football fanatics this week as the Pac-12 Championship game approached. Fans like W. P. Carey freshmen Jordyn Fruth and Ryan Ficker lined up 5 days before the game, armed with tents, sleeping bags, sweatshirts, blankets, a television, laptops, textbooks, and a giant stuffed panda, to be some of the first to get student wristbands for the big game against Stanford. These football fans couldn’t have done a better job of getting ASU pumped up for the game. Continue reading

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5 apps to help you get through finals

I’m knee deep in finals right now, and I know that everyone is feeling the heat. These apps will not only help you through finals, but the rest of the school year. I used to throw around papers, spend too much money on highlighters and notecards,and procrastinate too much. Lately I’ve been ditching the paper and keeping everything in the cloud. Here are my helpful tech savy tips to get you through.

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tackling the holidays on a college student’s budget

As a college student, it always seems like we are working with a financial budget that is a little bit tighter than we would like. But holiday shopping can be easier, and even cheaper, than you may think. After finals are done, the last thing you need is more stress. Here are a few tips to make shopping for your favorite people as easy and relaxing as possible this holiday season: Continue reading

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