Study Tips

Throughout the year, but especially at this time of year, it seems like all you do is study. Studying is probably the most constant thing in college. You know no matter what class you have, you’ll most likely have to study at least once during the semester. Here are some tips to help you get through the many studying hours.

1. Find good studying place. It doesn’t matter whether you lock yourself away in your bedroom, go to the library or go to the park, just make sure it is a place you can focus and won’t be distracted. If you get distracted around people, go to the library or hang out in your closet with a light. If too much quiet drives you crazy, go to the park or your living room. Going along with this, make sure the place is comfortable because you will most likely be there for a little bit. But not too comfy, you don’t want to fall asleep while reading your textbook. 

2. Listen to some music. I highly recommend listening to music while studying. It makes it so it’s not completely boring, but helps you focus and keep your mind rolling. If you’re studying a language, listen to music in that language. If you’re doing homework where you have to write a paper or read over some stuff, listen to music scores (I highly suggest The Lord of the Rings one) or classical music stations on Pandora or Spotify, that way you still have music, but the words aren’t distracting you. If you’re doing something that doesn’t require too much thought, throw some T-Swift on your iPod and sing along while you work. It’s also scientifically proven that music helps you too.

3. Take breaks. It’s scientifically proven that taking breaks while studying helps you retain the knowledge. I generally like to study for a bit, then watch an episode of something on Netflix or read a chapter of my book then study for longer then watch Netflix or read more.  It’s an ongoing process. I think the ratio is 15 minutes of break to an hour of studying. We all know that it usually ends up the other way around.

4. Don’t cram. If you cram, you’ll forget everything right after the test and it might come in handy when you actually get a job. Plus you’ll also burn yourself out if you stay up all night studying before the test. Study for a couple days before the test, take breaks and get a good nights rest the night before.

5. Study groups. When you first get to college, you might think they are weird and unhelpful, but they are actually really fantastic. I suggest setting up a study group for classes that you know will be tough, but also for ones that you might find easier so that you can help others understand what is going on as well. Plus, explaining things to others actually might help you understand it more as well. Also you get different view points/explanations so something might click better than what the teacher was saying. They are wonderful things.

That’s basically all you need to know to get through those terrible studying times in your school career. Good luck and may the force be with you.

The Final Stretch

Spring Fever is real, and it is coming. This is pretty much how I feel right now:

(If you’ve never seen “The Muppets Treasure Island” go educate yourself. I believe it is currently on Netflix.)

We just got out of Spring Break last week. We have entered the final stretch. Only about 5 1/2 weeks left of school. 5 1/2 weeks until freedom! This is possibly the hardest time of the year. You got a taste of freedom from your week of Spring Break and then they snatched it away from you. It’s a much needed break, but some times I wish they didn’t give it to us because now I feel like my brain can’t even function. It was in summer mode a whole week long; it can’t just turn on again! But alas, it has to for the last little bit of school. Here are some tips to help you get through the final stretch of school:

1. Make a calendar, set a time where you will do something to distress and have time to let your brain rest. Whether it’s once a month or once a day, you need this. It will give you something to look forward to, you will get a much needed break and you can use it as motivation by saying “if I get this paper done, I can go play frisbee in the park” or something like that. My roommates and I did this once and it really helped me get through the week because I had something fun to look forward to.

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2. Don’t procrastinate. As much fun as this sounds, it will only stress you out more in the long run. All of your homework from your various classes will pile up and then you’ll be cranking out assignments all in one day/night and hate yourself. And since you would have 10 assignments due, you wouldn’t have time to take a break. Trust me, it’s not worth it to put it off.

3. Go to classes. If you don’t go to your classes, you might miss something and then you won’t understand your homework and then you’ll put it off and then you’ll hate yourself when you still have to do it and you still don’t understand it. You especially don’t want to skip the last month because that’s most likely what your final will be on.

You can do this! You can get through the last month of school! You can make it to summer! Don’t give up! (Is this pep talk working?) Good luck with the last little bit of school!

Clubs

I know I’ve mention clubs before, but I never went into super deep detail about them. We have over 150 clubs here on campus. You can join as many as you want for free! Well, I guess there are a few exceptions (do sororities/fraternities count as clubs?). Then if you want, you can buy a t-shirt if they have any etc. Most are free and you just hang out and have fun.

We have clubs that range from chemistry to belly dancing to Harry Potter. You can find a club here that goes with pretty much anything you’re interested in. And if you can’t find one that you really want to join, all you have to do is start one up. You get a few people and an administrator that would want to be the ‘head’ of the club and you’re all set. My friends started a four square club just a few weeks ago.

Last week the Polynesian club had a cultural luau concert. They had different dances from each Polynesian country. It was really cool. Here are some pictures from that. They’re kind of hard to see, but what can you do? IMG_1238 IMG_1243 (1) IMG_1243 IMG_1246 IMG_1250

This was probably one of the most fun and interesting activities I’ve been to.

Here’s a picture of the Harry Potter club playing Quidditch:

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It was really fun to walk them playing. They had a kid dressed in one of those morph suits that was all gold running around as the snitch, it was hilarious.

I’ve seen the guitar club playing out on the quad every once in a while. I’ve seen some people playing the bongos, I’m assuming their part of a bongo club but maybe they just like to play the bongos together.

The point is, the clubs here are flippin awesome and you should join some or make your own. It’s a good way to make friends and be social and get new interests.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Whenever someone thinks of Cedar City geographically, they remember it’s close to St. George. Since St. George is always hot, they naturally assume Cedar City is hot as well. Wrong. Well, it is hot during the summer, but regular hot, not St. George hot. During the winter though, it’s not. Well, the past few weeks have actually been quite nice, but that’s not usual.

Now, I’m not trying to discourage you from coming here because it gets cold. I just want to prepare you for what you will have to deal with in the winter. Sunday and Monday of this week, it snowed NONSTOP. It literally started snowing at midnight Sunday morning and didn’t stop until Monday night. Here are some pictures of that.
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This view is of a hilly area that is in front of the Education building.
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Lovely view from the ELC.

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My car (ignore the sticky notes on it). It doesn’t look too bad, but it literally took me 15-20 minutes to clean it all off.
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A happy snowman my friend made on the Business Quad on campus. If you look in the view from the ELC pic, you can see it from farther away. It’s 8 ft. tall.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis was actually from a couple years ago. I just thought I’d share it with you because it’s cute.

These last few pictures are to show that the snow isn’t all that bad. It can be fun if you make it fun. You can make snow angels, snowmen, have a snowball fight, draw faces on cars, or even just make hot chocolate, curl up in a blanket and hang out in your warm house. Everyone has their own snow traditions. If you don’t, come up with some before you move here so you’re ready. My friend has a hot chocolate maker and it’s one of the best things in the world. It makes the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had and it’s the perfect thing for a snow storm. I’ve come super close to buying my own. Come to think of it, I don’t know why I haven’t…Wal-Mart, here I come.

So thank you Punxsutawney Phil, for predicting 6 more weeks of winter. I will never doubt you again.

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And just for fun, here’s a funny scene from the movie “Groundhog Day” (If you’ve never seen it, go watch it. Now.)

Groundhog dayHappy Winter!

Fun All Around

Whenever you come to visit Cedar City, you kind of realize how small the city is. You might think “What does one do for fun in a college town like this?” well here I am to tell you. I’ll start off with the not-so-cool plans and lead up to the way cool plans.

In Cedar City:

Wal-Mart is one of the biggest hang outs in Cedar. My friends and I would go hang out there on Friday nights all the time. We’d go play with the kid toys, have picture scavenger hunts (watch out, some times they kick you out), dig through the $5 movies (there are some great find in there) and there’s food. What’s not to love?

Discovery Park is a great place to hang out. My friends and I always went at night and played hide-and-seek, zombie tag or just hung out. It’s a wooden park that is super great. There’s tons of little domes, bridges, monkey bars, swings and just places to play on. It’s pretty much one of the greatest parks in the world. You’re not supposed to go at night any more though because the cops now patrol it. Lame.

The bowling alley is actually a really cool place. It’s decorated all retroey (yes I just made that word up), they have a $5 night on Tuesdays I think. The food there is great (bowling alley food is always the best). It’s probably one of the coolest bowling alleys I’ve ever been to. They also teach the bowling alley class you can take at SUU there. The lady who teaches it is the manager of the bowling alley and she’s fantastic. I scored a turkey (three strikes in a row) while taking that class.

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There’s an improv comedy club here in Cedar called Off The Cuff. If you’ve ever heard of Comedy Sports in Provo, Utah, it’s kind of like that. I’ve never actually seen them, but I’ve heard that it’s really funny. I’ve been to Comedy Sports and it was hilarious so I imagine this is hilarious too.

The Sheep Tunnels. I’ve never actually been in them, but people explore them all the time. They’re graffiti’d and underground and creepy. I think hobos live in them. There’s once or twice a year when farmers take their sheep up and down the mountains through these tunnels and they close the streets down and have a little sheep parade. But people explore them for fun when there aren’t any sheep parades going through them.

Close to Cedar City:

St. George is just 45 minutes away. There’s tons to do there. Also it’s warmer so if it’s snowing here and you’re sick of the cold, hop in the car and you’ll be in warmer weather in no time. My friends and I take trips to St. George at least once a month. There’s the mall, the outlets, laser tag, warm weather, mini golf, more choices of places to eat, did I mention warm weather?

Zions National Park. It’s a great place. It has tons of beautiful hikes and there are some weekends where it’s free to go. If you’re this close to such a beautiful place, why not go and enjoy the beautiful world? It’s between 45-60 minutes away from here. They have the famous Angel’s Landing, Observation Point, Emerald Pools and more! Plus there’s a cute little town on your way that has awesome shops you can look at.

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Brian Head is about 45 minutes away as well. It’s a skiing resort for those who don’t know. I’ve never been but I’ve heard the snow is great and if you love snowboarding or skiing it’s the place to be. They also hire a lot of students to help out during the winter.

Viva Las Vegas! Vegas is only a few hours away. Tons of students go down for the weekend just to hang out and have fun. Plus it’s really warm there. I’m not a big Vegas person, but you could just hang out on the strip. Go gambling if you’re of age and have money…I’m honestly not sure what else. I know there’s more but I’ve only been once and I didn’t do anything…so ya…

Well there are some ideas for you so you don’t get here and get bored. There are tons of more things, but I can’t come up with any more off the top of my head. You’re all clever so you’ll be able to come up with more things to do as well.

The “Little Gems” of SUU

I know you already think that SUU is pretty fantastic, who doesn’t? There are small class sizes, a cool library, The Globe Theatre, ghosts etc. But to me, it’s the little things like these that make SUU even cooler.

1. We have FREE Zumba classes for students! I went tonight and it was literally one of the best things in the world. Guys: the room was packed with girls. If you’re looking to meet someone, that’s the place to go. For those of you who don’t know what Zumba is, it’s exercise but fun. You dance, but do dance moves that are fun yet still get you strong. It’s the best way to exercise. Plus you get to learn some new dance moves so when you go to dances, you can do more than just hop up and down.

2. We have “Toilet Times”. These wonderful creations are in your stall in every bathroom on campus. When you’re sitting on the lou and don’t have much to do, you can look to your left or right and there should be a toilet times that you can read. It usually has what events are going on within the next week or so, fun facts (I have learned so much from the fun facts these past few years) and other cool things. It might sound weird to you now, but  trust me, it’s awesome.

3. They are making a documentary on the “Old Sorrel” story of how SUU came to be. They shuttled anyone who wanted to go up today to watch them reenact the story. I wish I could have gone, but I went to class like the good student I am. But here’s a pretty cool picture of it.

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(Whenever I think of this, I keep thinking of the line from the movie Holes “you must carry Madame Zeroni up the mountain” but that’s not important.)

4. We just got a new sushi place in our rotunda. I’m not a huge sushi fan, but I know some people are. Personally, I’m happy we have a Papa Johns because they have the best pizza in the world. Also T-Bird Grill has some pretty good fries. But getting a new sushi place is pretty cool, and I’ve heard it’s pretty tasty. Yummy Sushi opened Monday in the Sharwan Smith Student Center next to Papa Johns.

5. Gunther. We have a big rock sitting in the Business Quad that has been painted over a bazillion times. Clubs use it to advertise for activities they have coming up. This week, the Bronies club painting My Little Ponies on there because they have an activity soon. Apparently it used to be a lot smaller, but it got so many coats of paint that it started to grow bigger. Speaking of clubs, we have over 150 on campus.

6. “The Dancing Calves”. In the SUU Museum of Natural History, we have our very own two-headed calves. I wish I had a picture but I didn’t take one, and I can’t find one online. They were born here in Cedar, and due to radiation, they were stuck together. They didn’t even live once they were born. Sad story. But at the museum they also have cool rocks and other animals you can find in Southern Utah. 

7. President Wyatt. Our school recently got a new president. He came to us from Snow College, and I’m so glad he joined us. When our school played Quidditch, he totally dressed up like Dumbledore. I couldn’t even tell that it was him when I saw him walking around. I was in such awe that Dumbledore was on our campus. Then someone told me it was him and I was in even greater awe that he would be that awesome to dress up as Dumbledore for the whole day.

Also here’s this cool video “What Would You do with an SUU Master Key?” starring him.

He’s pretty great. Plus, he’ll wave and say hi as you pass him on campus instead of ignore you like the people you kind of knew in high school.

It’s not always the big things that count. Sure, they do matter, and they’re great, but it’s the little things that bond us together as a school.

Celebrities at SUU

Throughout my three year stay here at SUU, there have been multiple accounts of famous people coming to visit here. My very first year, for homecoming we had Rocket to the Moon come and have a concert for us. If you don’t know who they are, you are uncultured and need to listen to them. One of my favorite songs of theirs is “Baby Blue Eyes” which you can look up here: http://youtu.be/UcUODundEtQ. One of their more famous songs is “Like We Used To” which you can listen to here: http://youtu.be/US46cHVj0-M.

My second year here, we had Hellogoodbye came and had a concert right before they went on tour. If you don’t know who they are, you are even more uncultured than if you don’t know who Rocket to the Moon is. Their most popular song is most likely “Here in Your Arms” http://youtu.be/5qKu8HE38Yg. If you’ve never heard this song, you are missing out. This was one of the most popular songs when I was in junior high. It was my alarm in the morning for a really long time.

Also my second year, we had a Kenny Loggins concert. You might not recognize the name (I didn’t when people said he was coming) but you will most likely recognize one of these songs: “Footloose” (from the movie “Footloose”) http://youtu.be/wFWDGTVYqE8 and “Danger Zone” (from the movie “Top Gun”) http://youtu.be/siwpn14IE7E. If you don’t know either of these, or only know one and not the other, go watch the movies. They are fantastic! Also, I was just reminded of possibly his most famous song “Return to Pooh Corner” from Winnie the Pooh http://youtu.be/wQhCNOV5Gnk. If you’ve never seen Winnie the Pooh, what kind of restricted childhood did you have??

After the Kenny Loggins concert, we had a concert by Chris Wallace. I didn’t know who he was until the concert. His songs aren’t too famous yet, but they’re still pretty good. His most famous is probably “Hurricane” http://youtu.be/KbTICN114sU or maybe “Keep Me Crazy” is his most famous because that one has an actual music video http://youtu.be/0t3dezrKJyg. My favorite by him though is “Ready to Fall” http://youtu.be/HCabom0xphw.

This Year we had Three Dog Night come and have a concert. I only know one song by them and it’s “Joy to the World” http://youtu.be/yf-d-Ka30EY. They are an older band so I won’t be super offended if you don’t know them, mostly because I don’t really even know them.

Now before I came to school here, they also had famous people come. My sister got to escort David Archuleta to his room before his concert for the alumni. If you don’t know who he is, I’m super offended because I’m going to marry him one day and you should know who he is. My favorite song by him is “My Kind of Perfect” http://youtu.be/YaW5e2ANG2s?list=RDYaW5e2ANG2s.

I also heard a rumor that before Imagine Dragons was famous, they played here, so that’s pretty cool. If you don’t know who they are, shame on you. My favorite of theirs is “Demons” http://youtu.be/mWRsgZuwf_8.

And we don’t just have famous singers come, last semester, we had the famous poet Billy Collins come and read some of his poetry. He has only read his poem “The Names” twice. It was written for 9/11. He read it once for the supreme court because they asked him to write it. He then read it on 9/11 here at SUU for the last time. It’s an amazing poem, here’s a link where you can hear it http://youtu.be/XG7sl9yzgkc.

This week we’re having Will Jardell from the television show “America’s Next Top Model” coming to speak to us for Identity Week.

Last semester I also went to see Irving Roth speak. He is one of my new heroes. He was one of the Jews to survive The Holocaust. He now goes around doing motivational speaking. It was one of the most amazing things of my life.

I’m sure we’ve had way more than the people I’ve named. That’s one of the coolest things about SUU, we have famous people coming to visit all the time. If the possibility of meeting someone famous doesn’t excite you, then I don’t know what will.