Sprang Break Forever

This is it, people. It’s the week we’ve all been waiting for since the first day of fall semester. It’s the week that we, as college students, are #blessed with each and every school year. It’s epic. It’s famous. It’s hard to describe. They’ve made movies about it. This week is…spring break.

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As an award-winning spring breaker (literally, I’ve earned medals), and a fifth-year veteran of the affair, I’ve mastered the perfect recipe to create the PERFECT spring break. Let’s examine:

By now, we’ve all been eating salads and working out non-stop since December 26th, getting our booties in tip-top shape for a week of wearing nothing but bikinis. And now that we’ve reached our #bodgoals, we can finally let loose and have all the beers and burgers we want.

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School is out for ONE WHOLE WEEK, so you don’t have to think about classes, or even remember what your major is, for that matter.

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You’re about to take SO MANY SELFIES and cute pictures with your besties and spring break squad, and both your Instagram and SnapChat story are about to be ON *clap* POINT *clap*.

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If you’re like my friends and me, you have spring break-specific alter egos that you’ve been using since freshman year, and you are all well-accquainted with each other’s back stories so that you don’t call each other by anything else while there, especially out at the bars…

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For the entire next week, you have nothing on your calendar or to do list. Except…

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Wake up *drank* beer bong *drank* breakfast *drank* mimosas *drank* beach time *drank* volleyball *drank* ocean *drank* bikinis *drank* tequila bong *drank* boardwalk *drank* bro tanks *drank* flip flops *drank* snapback *drank* sunnies *drank* fanny pack *drank* uber *drank* 40 *drank* beer pong *drank* flip cup *drank* sunshine *drank* palm trees *drank* sandy cheeks *drank* shotgun *drank* *drank* pass out *drank* wake up *drank* jello shots *drank* burgers *drank* hot dogs *drank* tacos *drank* power shower *drank* beer bong *drank* weirdness *drank* car bombs *drank* party *drank* red cups *drank* dancing *drank* jello shots *drank* clubbing *drank* dennys *drank* late night *drank* beach time *drank* kisses *drank* pass out *drank* repeat *drank*

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And sometimes questionable people may ask you to do some questionable things…

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But then after a second you’re like…

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And the next morning you wake up like…

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And you repeat that all every day for an entire week, so by the end of it you don’t want to leave and you’re like…

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Remember, you only get four (or five) (or six) (maybe seven) spring breaks in your entire life, so with that being said…

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Where are you headed this spring break? Tweet me photos of your spring break and I might retweet you!

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Whoever Said Student Government Doesn’t Matter Was Seriously Mistaken

In case you haven’t heard, democracy is very near and dear to my heart. I love that I live in a nation that celebrates the People’s right to choose their leaders, and I regularly remind others how important it is to cast their votes in U.S. elections.

Student government is no exception. This week, the University of Nevada is holding elections for the Associated Students of the University of Nevada (ASUN) offices of President, Vice President, and 22 Senators. If you are a student at my university, I urge you to cast your vote via WebCampus before 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 12. Before you vote, make sure you learn about the candidates’ platforms, especially the presidential candidates, vice presidential candidates, and your college’s senatorial candidates.

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For those who believe ASUN doesn’t do anything of importance, consider this: ASUN has a budget of $2.2 million, comprised entirely of student fees. This money goes toward student programming, such as concerts, shows, movies, game nights, barbecues, tailgates, homecoming events, and more, as well as scholarships and opportunities like the Pack Internship Grant Program, which pays students to participate in otherwise-unpaid internships that can help said students secure a job after graduation. In addition, ASUN helps fund on-campus clubs, organizations, and Greek chapters, and hosts contests and giveaways with prizes ranging from Wolf Pack t-shirts and spirit gear to cameras and iPads. Elected ASUN officers plan these events and programs, decide how much money is allocated toward each of them, and work closely with administration to ensure the comfort, happiness, and wellbeing of Wolf Pack students.

In other words, students at our university pay a total of $2.2 million annually for events and programs that have a direct positive impact on our lives, and we have the power to elect the people who decide how to spend that money. With that being said, why wouldn’t you vote?

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If you still aren’t understanding exactly how ASUN operates, check out this great article in The Sagebrush, written by one of my close friends, that explains the true importance of ASUN and our role as students to understand its operations.

Even better than just voting in this week’s elections — get involved in student government yourself! If you aren’t thrilled about the idea of running for an elected office, considering applying for an appointed position within ASUN. Every position in ASUN is important, and getting involved in student government is a great way to give back to your university and to stay in-the-know about current events.

Even though I will graduate and move on from the University of Nevada in just two months, I still cast my vote this morning because I want to leave my alma mater in good hands. Whether you are a freshman, a super senior like myself, or somewhere in between, make sure you vote in the ASUN elections either today or tomorrow via WebCampus, on the third floor of the student union, or in the lobby of Argenta.

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Did you vote yet? Tweet me a picture of yourself voting and I might retweet you!

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So You Have to Give a Presentation? Here’s How to Get an ‘A’

Last semester, I took a capstone course that required each student to give a presentation at some point during the semester. Mind you, this was a 400-level university capstone course, meaning the it was comprised primarily of juniors and seniors, all of whom were at least 21 years-old. Imagine my surprise when, before his presentation, one student admitted that he had never given a presentation before.

How does that happen? This guy was 20-something years-old, two months from graduating from a four-year institution of higher learning, and giving the first presentation of his life. How. Does. This. Happen? Clearly, the education system failed this student at some point during his education. I digress.

Public speaking, although nerve-wracking, once mastered, is an important and impressive skill. At some point or another, most of us will have to speak in front of a group of people — whether that group consists of five people or five hundred. It’s best to get those nerves out of the way as soon as possible, for the longer you put something off, the bigger your fear for it grows.

Not to brag or anything, but I have received AT LEAST ONE endorsement for public speaking on my LinkdIn profile. So, yeah, I’m pretty much an expert in this topic and many other topics. Here are my tips on how to give an amazing speech or presentation, even if you’re just telling a funny story in front of your friends:

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Confidence

Although probably the most difficult part of public speaking — to be (or pretend to be) confident in front of others while you internally fear that you will say the wrong thing — I believe it is the most important. Confidence carries over into other aspects of public speaking, and sometimes, when you pretend you’re confident, you can actually kill your nerves. Just as it’s best to get the most difficult things out of the way first, I got this tip out of the way from the start!

Practice, practice, practice

Again, if it’s just an anecdote or joke that you want to impress others with later, there is no better way to ensure a smooth delivery than to practice your speech. Practice the timing, cues, and your facial expressions. The more rehearsed you are, the more confident you’ll be in your delivery!

Smile

No one likes to look at someone who looks unhappy, so make sure you will look pleasing to your viewers! Smiling while you talk also makes you sound friendlier, making people more likely to listen to you. (Also a great phone tip, by the way.)

Be authentic

People can sense when others are being fake, so make sure to be as open an genuine as possible while you speak. Take questions, don’t be arrogant, laugh at yourself, be genuine, and have a good time!

Dress to impress

Another tip that can help boost your confidence — dress well! People will be looking at you either way, so you might as well look good, right?

Best of luck to everyone who will be giving a presentation in the coming weeks for midterms! Let me know how it goes on Twitter and I might retweet you!

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Every Emotional Stage of an All-Nighter

At some point during everyone’s four or nine years in college, the inevitable happens — you have to pull an all-nighter. They can be more common for some than others, but everyone is bound to have at least one before they cross the stage on their graduation day. Freshman may even look forward to their first college all-nighter, not realizing the psychological, physical, and emotional torment they put you through. Let’s break down each stage:

7 p.m.

Um, excuse me, when did it get dark outside? I still have so much more work to do…

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9 p.m.

Complete darkness. This is real. I’m studying at nighttime. I did not plan for this. What is civilization doing outside? Are they having fun without me?

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10 p.m.

Still hanging on to that glimmer of hope that maybe I’ll be done soon. Maybe not in time to go out and enjoy the evening, maybe not even in time to enjoy some tv, but maybe I’ll get to bed at a somewhat reasonable hour. Is that too much to ask for?

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11:55 p.m.

WHAT? It can’t already be 11. It’s not even 11:30, it’s straight up 11:55. THAT’S ALMOST MIDNIGHT. How is this possible? Wait, how did I study for almost two hours straight without once looking at the clock? Note to self: maybe these all-nighters aren’t such a bad idea…

12:30 a.m.

These are definitely a bad idea. How was I so much less tired just 35 MINUTES AGO?

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1:05 a.m.

When did 10 p.m. turn into 1 a.m…This is the absolute WORST time to fall asleep. If I go to bed now, not only will I not have finished all my homework, I will be tired all day tomorrow. But if I press through… Well, we know what happens when I press through. Maybe I’ll just see how I feel in 10 minutes…

2:40 a.m.

Welp. I guess there’s nothing I can do about it now. The all-nighter has taken ahold of me. It’s time to give in.

2:45 a.m.

YOOOOO I’LL TELL YOU WHAT I WANT WHAT I REALLY REALLY WANT SO TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT WHAT YOU REALLY REALLY WANT

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2:47 a.m.

Maybe I’ll just close my eyes for a few minutes…

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2:48 a.m.

Why can’t I close my eyes

3:10 a.m.

Must. Make. Coffee. But. Can’t. Feel. Legs.

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3:40 a.m.

I think that coffee actually made me more sleepy…

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4:01 a.m.

*~wHaT aRe ThEsE sTrAnGe FeEliNgS i’M hAvInG~*

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4:02 a.m.

WHAT WAS THAT I SAW SOMETHING

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4:20 a.m.

Rollin’ rollin’ rollin’… keep those fingers rollin’

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4:21 a.m.

Why am I so weird

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4:22 a.m.

What is existence

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4:23 a.m.

Have I had any actual thoughts for the last 60 seconds or was I just staring at the wall?

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4:24 a.m.

Wait am I hungry?

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4:25 a.m.

Maybe this all-nighter has gotten the best of me. Maybe I really should give in and power nap for just, like, two hours.

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4:26 a.m.

Still contemplating sleep…

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4:27 a.m.

Not sure if still contemplating sleep or actually sleeping…

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4:28 a.m.

OKAY MAKE UP YOUR MIND

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4:29 a.m.

Alright, alright. I’ll set my alarm for 30 minutes. No, 40 minutes. Okay let me just finish this one small thing first…

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6:10 a.m.

Oh. Is that sunlight? I forgot that was a thing. I was beginning to think I was trapped in my own eternal nightmare.

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6:40 a.m.

….Aaaaand I’m finished with my homework! Just in time to lay down and get a full twenty minutes of sleep before my alarm goes off.

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7:00 a.m.

*Alarm going off* Is this real? Is anything real? Did I honestly just fall asleep? Wait, did I really pull an all-nighter or was that just the most elaborate dream ever? Ugh, just five more minutes…

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7:05 a.m.

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Whether planned or unintentional, all-nighters are cornerstone learning experiences in anyone’s college education. Here’s to hoping I never have another one after I graduate!

What are some of the weird things you do during an all-nighter? Tell me on Twitter and I might retweet you!

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A Look Back at This Semester

It seems like just yesterday that I returned home from Washington, D.C., moved into my first apartment, and embarked upon my last Fall semester as an undergraduate. Sometimes, we all get so caught up in school, work, clubs, our social lives, our families, our relationships, and our daily to-do lists that, before we know it, an entire 16-week semester has passed us by.

If you read this post, you know that I love taking time to reflect. So, in the spirit of personal reflection, let’s recap this semester, shall we?

There were new beginnings…

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My bedroom in my new downtown apartment

And chapters closed…

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I turned 22…

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Oh, Zephyr Cove

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And caught up on much needed beauty sleep…

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There were surprises…

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Celebrations…

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And remembrances…

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In memory of the lives lost during the 9-11-2001 attacks

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There were big moments…

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Serving as the Chapter President for the College Republicans

With Reno's Mayor at the time, Bob Cashell

With Reno’s former mayor, Bob Cashell

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At the Nevada Governor’s Mansion before walking in the Nevada Day Parade

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With Nevada’s 2nd District Representative, Congressman Mark Amodei

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Presenting my “idea worth spreading” to the University of Nevada

Little moments…

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And sassy moments…

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There were group projects…

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Early morning classes…

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Long days at work…

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Long days in the library…

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And lots and lots of Starbucks…

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via Twitter

I spent far too much time with this guy…

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And not enough time with these guys…

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There were quiet indulgences…

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Christening my new apartment with a margarita

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And rambunctious ones…

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There were Sunday mornings in church…

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And Sundays watching football…

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There were campus events…

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Football games…

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Weddings…

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Festivals…

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Reno’s annual Italian Festival

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And birthdays…

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I added to my stuffed giraffe collection…

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And had a few good laughs…

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There were new places…

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Familiar faces…

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New friendships were formed…

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And apparently I took a selfie to commemorate it all!

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Looking back, I’m reminded of all the wonderful memories I made this semester. When all is said and done, I think this semester was a successful one, and maybe even one of my favorites. Clearly, I had a lot of happy moments, and I learned from my moments of doubt. I reminisced on the time I spent in D.C., and I made a little home in my new apartment. I must say, however, that my favorite part of this semester was being surrounded by such incredible people.

Now, I have one final semester of college to look forward to! Ahhhh, that feels so weird to say!

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What was your favorite part of this semester? Show or tell me on Twitter and I might retweet you!

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Are You Better Off?

Let’s take a moment to reflect on who we were when we first began our collegiate careers. Whether you’re like me and in your victory lap (or third), or you’re only in the first semester of your freshman year, it’s likely at least a few things have changed about you since you first stepped foot onto your college campus. You’re likely shaking your head at your former self, or maybe your former self would be shaking their head at you. Let’s evaluate:

Have you blossomed into your looks?

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Or…

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Have you been taking care of yourself?

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Stayed relatively the same weight?

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Or are you all about those #gains?

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How’s your attitude?

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Or…

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Have you kept up with old friends?

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Or…

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Have you branched out?

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Or…

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Have you actually learned a lot in class?

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Or…

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Have you matured at all?

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Or…

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Are you responsible with your money?

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Or…

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How are your job prospects?

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Or…

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And finally, how are those grades?

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Or…

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I think we can all agree that we’re better off now than we were during freshman year. Sometimes, it’s best to not look back.

How have you changed since freshman year? Show or tell me on Twitter and I might retweet you!

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Happy Halloweekend!

Ah, Halloweekend. An occasion observed primarily by undergraduates across our nation, this weekend-long celebration of Halloween (see: getting drunk in costumes) is upon us again. This year, the gods smiled down upon the campus coeds of the western world and placed the main event (actual Halloween night) on a Friday, as it should be. Why is this so important? If you don’t know, then you’ve clearly never tried mustering up the energy a Halloween party requires…on a school night. Thanks a lot, Halloweens 2010-2013.

The concept of Halloweekend is truly an anomaly. Who, in their right minds, would drag out the already-debauched holiday of Halloween into a three-night, alcohol-fueled, polyester-rampant, slopfest? College students, that’s who.

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First of all, we college students have no chill. We celebrate any and all occasions aggressively. Christmas? Let’s get grandpa drunk while wearing excessive amounts of tartan and listening to Mariah Carey on repeat. Aced, or failed, your final exam? Go ahead and grab that beer can out of your backpack and shotgun it while maintaining eye contact with your professor. It’s Tuesday? Kegger.

On top of that, we just do not care. About anything. College students are always willing to push the envelope from barely-socially-acceptable to “You need church, man,” which is exactly why on Halloweekend, a college student might dress like Woody from Toy Story one night, an Amish person the next, and Miley Cyrus a la the 2013 VMAs on the third night. Gender-specific costumes? As if that matters.

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Everyone knows that Halloween is the time when you can transform into literally anything your heart desires. You want to be a Playboy bunny? Sure. An insensitive societal reference? I’ve seen it. Twerking banana? Go for it. The result of all these random drunken costumes coming together in one place at one time is the most marvelous kaleidoscope of madness you’ll ever behold. Anything goes.

When else can you see Forrest Gump lifting up Lieutenant Dan’s wheelchair so that he can do a keg stand, while Gumby shmoneys with five Britney Spears from different music videos, and Bill Clinton shares a cigar with a nun?

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So…why not do it three nights in a row?

…That’s the thought someone actually had when collegiates of a former generation held the inaugural Halloweekend.

And thank goodness they did. Halloweekend is one of the best weekends during any undergraduate’s school year, and this year, we have been #blessed with the gift of Halloween on a Friday. A weekend like this does not come around often. Cherish it while it lasts.

Please remember to be safe this weekend as well! Drink responsibly and remember what your mother taught you about stranger danger.97438_v1

What are you wearing this Halloweekend? Send me pictures on Twitter and I might retweet you!

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