The Torture of Waiting for Spring Break

 So unless you’ve been living under a rock or something, you know that NEXT WEEK IS SPRING BREAK. Which, of course, means that this week is one of the worst of the entire semester. I know that you’re probably just as done as I am right now (which would make you 500% done, by the way) so let’s skip the nonsense and jump right into why this week is the literal worst:

1. Midterms

giphy-15

Exams, papers, projects, presentations, and generally hating life. There is so much to do, so little time, and literally none of me that wants to actually do anything. Midterms may even be more stressful than finals because I still actually kind of care at this point in the semester. Kind of.

2. Daylight Savings Time

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Why does this have to happen right before spring break EVERY YEAR? Beside the fact that we’re all exhausted, over-worked college students who don’t get enough sleep as it is, now, during the worst week of the year, you’re going to take away a whole hour of precious sleep from us? No, it’s fine. Why don’t you just announce a worldwide shortage on coffee while you’re at it.

3. What is sleep

giphy-3 copy

Okay, so this one is kind of a combination of numbers 1 and 2, but SERIOUSLY WHO HAS TIME FOR SLEEP THIS WEEK? *Sobs uncontrollably*

4. Thinking of all the other fun things you could be doing right now

giphy-37

My spring break group text will not stop blowing up, my weather app says it’s 80 degrees and sunny in San Diego, and all I can think about is how in seven days, I will be lying in my new bikini on Mission Beach with a margarita in my hand and not a care in the world. Not to mention, the three-hour season finale of The Bachelor is on tonight (#TeamBecca), there is an entire new season of House of Cards I have yet to allow myself to watch, and with the nice weather the West Coast has been having, it’s PRACTICALLY DAY DRINKING SEASON ALREADY. Sigh. These will have to wait.

5. Dieting

tumblr_inline_mkr6h5BWTa1qz4rgp

Dear Girl Scouts, why must you insist on selling cookies right before spring break every year? I currently have twelve boxes of Thin Mints sitting in my freezer, begging to be eaten, but I can’t even touch them until March 22nd, when I can drown my sorrows of returning to the real world by eating an entire sleeve in one sitting. Not mention, it’s Lent, meaning I can’t have chips or candy. PLUS, hello, I’ll be in bikinis all next week, so there goes any chance of me eating carbs anytime soon. I guess I’ll just cry and eat some carrots.

6. So close, yet so far away

spongebob waiting

Everyone knows that spring semester is inevitably not as great as fall semester. There’s no football, and therefore no homecoming, and the general thrill of returning to your beloved college campus has worn off. This year has dragged on since August and we are all completely worn out. What we need is just one week to let loose and blow off some steam, but that week will come just about one week too late. In the words of Miley Cyrus, “I can almost see it, that dream I’m dreaming…” And that dream is spring break, and this week of pure torture is the only thing standing in my way. SPRING BREAK PLEASE COME SOONER.

Want to share in my glorious misery? Tell me on Twitter what your spring break plans are and I might retweet you!

Signature

 

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:

1006091_10205061980615323_3681364578535198618_n

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!

Signature

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…

unnamed-88

My bedroom in my new downtown apartment

And chapters closed…

unnamed-104

I turned 22…

unnamed-5

unnamed-1 copy

Oh, Zephyr Cove

unnamed-29

unnamed-33
unnamed-32

And caught up on much needed beauty sleep…

unnamed-99

unnamed-110

There were surprises…

unnamed-96

unnamed-1

Celebrations…

AP_Giants_Madison_Bumgarner_bc_141029_16x9_992

us-midterm-election-results-2014

And remembrances…

unnamed-36

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

unnamed-38

There were big moments…

unnamed-69

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

unnamed-101

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

unnamed copy 3

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

unnamed-62

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

Little moments…

unnamed-4

unnamed-95

unnamed-97

unnamed-98

And sassy moments…

unnamed-80

unnamed-1

unnamed-118
unnamed-71

There were group projects…

unnamed-123

unnamed-90

Early morning classes…

unnamed-93

unnamed-24

Long days at work…

unnamed-100

Long days in the library…

unnamed-94

unnamed-107

And lots and lots of Starbucks…

unnamed-55

via Twitter

I spent far too much time with this guy…

unnamed-7

And not enough time with these guys…

unnamed-92

unnamed-60

unnamed-59

unnamed-117

There were quiet indulgences…

unnamed copy

Christening my new apartment with a margarita

unnamed-43

unnamed-115

And rambunctious ones…

unnamed-1

unnamed-22

unnamed-9

unnamed-20

unnamed-79

unnamed-27

unnamed-40

unnamed-47

unnamed-82

unnamed-54

There were Sunday mornings in church…

unnamed

And Sundays watching football…

unnamed-106

There were campus events…

unnamed-13

unnamed-17

unnamed-14

Football games…

unnamed-64

unnamed-6

unnamed-68

unnamed-8

unnamed-83

unnamed-75

unnamed-10

unnamed-84

unnamed-65

unnamed-72

unnamed-85

Weddings…

unnamed-49

unnamed-53

unnamed-52

Festivals…

Reno's annual Italian Festival

Reno’s annual Italian Festival

unnamed-86

And birthdays…

unnamed-5

I added to my stuffed giraffe collection…

unnamed-42

And had a few good laughs…

unnamed-3

unnamed copy 4

unnamed-4

There were new places…

unnamed-111

unnamed-113

Familiar faces…

unnamed-121

unnamed

unnamed-7

unnamed-18

unnamed-87

unnamed-26

unnamed-77

unnamed-73

unnamed-16

unnamed-66

unnamed-102

unnamed-109

unnamed-103

unnamed-45

New friendships were formed…

unnamed-74

unnamed-120

unnamed-122

And apparently I took a selfie to commemorate it all!

unnamed-76

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!

she-wasnt-ready

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

Signature

Group Projects, As Told By a Super Senior

We’ve all been there. You’re in some class that your major requires you to take, surrounded by 34 other bozos who are all just trying to get by. You do your best to simply show up, takes notes, and pass the class; when suddenly, your whole world changes. Your professor forces you to actually MAKE CONTACT with some of the other people in this class who you DON’T EVEN KNOW in order to do some sort of group project. Greattttt. Here we go again.

Unfortunately, the best advice I can give in this situation is to work hard and try to get along with everyone. Some professors really try to gauge how much effort each person put into a group project and base everyone’s grades off of that, while others simply give a flat group grade. Either way, you’re better off doing as much work as you can. So, while you’re taking a break from all that work, enjoy my take on the monstrosity known as a “group project.”

1. The moment the professor announces that there will be a group project.

Kanye

At first, you may think back to your younger years when group projects were blessings that meant a lot less work for everyone involved. They were essentially an excuse to hang out with your best friends. Enter college. Now, group projects are nightmares where you end up doing all of the work for people you will never see again. YOU’RE WELCOME, CHAD. YOU’RE WELCOME FOR THAT DIPLOMA.

2. When you see the names of the other people in your group.

Who Are You

3. The initial meeting.

Nothing In Common

4. When the roles of each team member becomes apparent:

The Team Leader

Julius

Everyone actually likes this person because their ideas don’t suck and they get things done.

The Know-It-All

Eye Roll 2

We get it, you’re, like, soooooo smart. Shhhh.

Little Miss Bossy

Shut Your Mouth

Acts like they do all the work, but really they just have to insert their voice into every conversation.

The Team Cheerleader

Stop Talking

Might think they’re helping, but really, everyone else just kind of tunes them out.

The Person Who Agrees with Everything

Confused

Honestly, how are you helping? Do you even know what you’re agreeing to? You’re literally just saying the word “yeah” after each person offers an opposing view in a disagreement.

The Kid Who Has Excuses for EVERY Group Meeting

Take Responsibility

Oh really? Your car died again? How inconvenient, considering you work 80 hours per week and just came down with Ebola.

The One Person Who is Just Kind Of…There

Doesn't Even Go Here

Guys, did we assign him a task? I literally can’t remember his name. Is he even in our group?

The Kid Who Actually Does What They Say They’re Going To Do

Real MVP

For the most part, this kid just keeps their head down. That’s cool, man. Thanks for not being a terrible human being. You the real MVP.

The “How Can I Help?” Guy

Why So Stupid

By not asking how you can help every ten seconds, that’s how. Just grab your laptop and get to work.

The Slacker

Let Me Down

This person doesn’t do anything, but feels entitled to judge the outcome of the project. No, no, you did not earn that right.

5. The first time you attempt to work on the project and you realize you’re in way over your head.

Scared

6. When you meet with your group a second time and you realize you’re down to half of the people you started with.

All In This Together

Pause, not.

7. All Nighter #1.

Diet Coke

IhatemygroupIhatemygroupIhatemygroupIhatemygroupIhatemygroup.

8. When you sneak a peek at some of the other groups’ projects and you realize how terrible both your group and your project are.

So Jealous

Are they hugging? Oh my gosh they’re literally going to be in each other’s weddings, that’s how well they’re getting along. Why don’t they just go ahead and submit their project for a Nobel Prize because I AM SO DONE RIGHT NOW.

9. When you meet with your professor to calmly “address some concerns” you might have with your group’s ability to complete the project in a timely fashion.

Isn't Fair

Code for: “THERE ARE THREE OF US DOING THE WORK OF TEN PEOPLE RIGHT NOW AND IT’S NOT EVEN FAIR BECAUSE LOOK AT HOW YOU STACKED THE OTHER TEAMS AND I DIDN’T SLEEP LAST NIGHT AND I WANT TO DROP OUT AND I’M DYING.”

10. When the professor assures you that everyone else is going through the same feelings right now and that you’ll get it all done.

Don't Believe You

11. All Nighter #2.

Bunny

12. When you’re just so done with the project and you realize there’s still so much more to do.

Duct Tape

Does anyone else want to help me or…?

13. The day before the group project is due when everyone is freaking out via group text/e-mail thread.

Surrounded by Idiots

You want to be like, “THIS IS WHAT I’VE BEEN SAYING FOR WEEKS.” But instead, you’re just like:

Whatever

14. All Nighter #3.

Don't Deserve This

I’ve had five hours of sleep in the last 72 hours and at this point I’m not sure where reality ends and my dysfunctional imagination begins.

15. When you give in and decide to go to sleep for two hours, wake up early, and finish the project.

Tiana

16. WHEN YOU WAKE UP AND YOU’RE SO FREAKED OUT THAT THE PROJECT ISN’T DONE SO YOU JUST JUMP OUT OF BED AND START WORKING BECAUSE YOU JUST HAD TWO WHOLE HOURS OF SLEEP AND OMG YOU’RE NOT SURE IF YOU’RE DELIRIOUS OR YOU ACTUALLY HAVE ENERGY BUT OMG THE PROJECT IS DUE IN FOUR HOURS.

Wake Up

17. The sweet, beautiful moment that you thought might never come when the project is actually complete, and you just kind of stare at it in disbelief.

So Beautiful

18. When your group asks to see the project before you turn it in, and they all thank you for your hard work.

One Man Wolfpack

And they’re waiting for you to thank them for their hard work, too.

Don't Be Cocky

19. The sense of relief you feel when you hand in the project.

Dying

Internally, you’re still freaking out over one last thing you could’ve perfected, and on the other hand you’re like, “NOT MY PROBLEM ANYMORE.”

20. That first long nap you take after the project is over.

Nap Right Here

21. When the professor tells you that you will be evaluating your team members based on their performances.

Revenge

Karma, my friends.

22. When people from your group still try to get everyone together after the project is over. Um, no.

We're Not Friends

23. When you finally receive your grade.

Self Five

In the end, somehow, it all seems worth it. You remember that you’re in school to make good grades, earn a degree, and find a solid career. More importantly, it’s obvious to others who the hard workers are in life. If you’re one of those people, you’ll go far. If you’re a slacker, well, I’ll take my fries Super-Sized, thank you.

via Twitter

What are some of your group project horror stories? Share them with the hashtag #BanGroupProjects2014 and I might retweet you!

Signature