Time to Set Your Alarm Clock!


Classes start tomorrow. Yep, that’s right! No more winter break. A lot of us will probably have to re-arrange our sleeping schedules to fit our class-periods, or, maybe you’re like me and you’re taking all of your classes online this semester (depending on how many credit hours you’re taking, this may mean no sleep).

For quite a few students, this is their first semester. To all of them, I would like to wish a very warm welcome and I’m sorry I wasn’t around during your orientation. Though, for many of us, this is the last semester before graduation. Many of us are very close to the finish line, just a few more months, a few more classes.

To all of you who have enough credits to call this your final semester, I want you to remember that you are really close to victory. I know you can make it to the end! Don’t lose the momentum. I especially encourage you to end your time at STLCC on a high-note, shoot for the highest grades you can get, get involved in that club you’ve been thinking about joining, help out at activities across campus, this is your time.

Of course, this is also true for all of you who are new or somewhere in the middle of reaching your degree. Get involved, in your education and on campus.

I hope you all have a great semester, and I’ll meet you at the finish line!

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5 Tips to a Stress Free Semester


Hey there guys and gals,

Stress it’s something we all deal with and now that school is starting back up there is a lot less time for students to goof off. School is stressful but here are some ways to cope.

Sleep well – The way you do in school is effected by how you sleep. Getting a good night’s rest will be able to keep you active and alert throughout the day.

Eat a balanced breakfast – Although students tend to live in a lifestyle where there are a lot of choices of what to eat. We all need breakfast. By eating a healthy breakfast the brain off on the right path in the morning, which keeps it full and focused until our next meal.

Seek help – There will always be things that not everyone will understand. However, that doesn’t mean giving up. If you get stuck on homework seek help by going to a tutor or asking the instructor. They will know how to help. Also, this isn’t an excuse to not do you’re work. Attempt it first with your notes if you still are stuck or there’s something you’re just not getting then go to the instructor and tutor.

Don’t procrastinate – Coming off of break you tired and trying to find your way back into the class routine. Trust me, I know where you’re coming from, I’ve been in the same position. That doesn’t give you the right to procrastinate though. As the longer you push off the assignments the later you have to work on them. By scheduling time for yourself to do the assignments you will give yourself the ability to do well in the class. Having trouble getting going? Try This: Start on the assignment for just 20 minutes if you feel like you need a break after that amount of time take a small one and repeat until the assignment is done.

Have a plan – If you find yourself freaking out over the semester and are about to have a mental breakdown then take a deep breath and try this. Write down what is stressing you out then write what about it specifically is stressing, note: “everything” or “I don’t know” isn’t helpful here. After that, break down what you could do to lighten the stress and boom there is your plan. Just stick with it and you’re off.

These have helped me and I’m sure they can help you. If you have some other fun, school appropriate, stress relieving tips feel free to post them below.

Signing off until next time,

G.S.

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Continuing With a Quote


Previously, I made a post based on the quote “Nothing ever happens like you imagine it will, but, if you don’t image, nothing ever happens at all. Imagining isn’t perfect. . . But imagining being someone else, or the world being something else, is the only way in” from John Green’s book Paper Towns. Over the past couple of weeks I have been thinking about that post and what I said (yes, I’m one of those people who still thinks about things that I wrote even a year after I’ve gotten the grade back). I have a few other points to make relating to the ideas of that post.

Primarily, I want to focus on the fact that you can do anything. You may have heard this before, “the sky is the limit.” In so many ways it’s true, even if what you become was not your intent. It is possible to be a combination princess/singer/astronaut/president, the thing is, you are most likely going to be a babysitter and/or a parent when achieving these things. Think about it: you play pretend with the kids, to them, you are a princess (yes, even the guys), a singer, an astronaut, a president, and so much more.

But, sometimes, you do get what you want. Imagining isn’t perfect, but it’s a start. Create an image in your head of what you want to be, and then go for it. Do you want to be an artist? Then draw, paint, and sculpt! It doesn’t matter if you think that what you’re doing is good or not, one day it will be. Maybe you want to be a musician? There are some great bands out there that started out having no idea how to play an instrument. How about a writer? Write anything and everything. As a writer, I can assure you that when you’ve practiced you will hate most of what you write, that doesn’t mean it is bad; in fact, your Spanish instructor may ask for an autograph on a bi-lingual poem you wrote. It doesn’t take much, just a bit of time and elbow grease.

I should have made this clearer in my previous post. Just by imagining yourself somewhere does not mean that that’s where you will end up. Picturing yourself in a position is just the start. It takes work and determination to get there. Last time I asked you to imagine yourself in the situation you want to be in and to write it down (or draw it). Now, I am challenging you to take that image of yourself, and do whatever it takes to make it happen. Does your dream involve going on to a university? Start looking at schools and sending applications! Do you want to be a writer? Start writing anything you can; start a blog, write poems and short stories, or instructions on how to complete a particular task. It will likely be difficult to get where you want to be, you will face a number of struggles. There will be high and low points. Where you end up may not seem like what you wanted when you started, but it’s a place, it’s a way in.

This has been life advice from a 16-year-old.

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A Quick Note to All Students


This semester I am taking all of my classes online, one of my instructors shared this notice with her class:

COSAND CENTER POWER OUTAGE NOV. 23

A power outage at the Cosand Center has been scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 23, from 5:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Since the Cosand Center is home to many of the college’s shared information technology services, this power outage will require the shutdown of core services such as:
•       Banner.
•       BlackBoard.
•       Faculty and staff email.
•       STLCC website.   
These services will be unavailable during that time.

To all students who, like me, are online this semester, I suggest figuring out how you can work around this. Most instructors will give you about a week to work on assignments due in BlackBoard, I suggest trying to get everything done before November 23.

Of course, you may have classes that have stuff due the day after and that is when you plan to do it. Still, I highly suggest getting it done before the scheduled outage.  You never know when there will be an unexpected technical issue, especially after this.

To my fellow online students, what do you plan to do on this school-less day? Me?  I’ll probably write my honors paper, when I get done with that, I’ll probably dance.

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“Nothing ever happens like you imagine it will . . .


. . . but then again, if you don’t imagine, nothing ever happens at all. Imagining isn’t perfect. . . But imagining being someone else, or the world being something else, is the only way in.”
-John Green, Paper Towns

I’ll admit, I’ve been on a bit of a John Green kick in the past few months. I’ve read and re-read his books a few times, and even based one of my English papers on a quote from him. Reading his books, this one particular quote strongly resonated with me. My love for this particular passage largely has to do with the fact that I am a writer. If I don’t imagine, I will never be able to write a story. Largely, it is an excuse for me to daydream. But the concept applies just as strongly throughout life.

Think about it. When we’re little we imagine ourselves being in a certain career. Of course, this isn’t always where we end up (I wanted to be a combination princess/singer/astronaut/president… I’m not royal, and I can’t sing to save my life, but the last two still aren’t necessarily counted out!), but it’s a way of thinking about our future… and nothing happens like you imagine it will. By the time we’re in our teens, we’re a little bit more rational in our choices, and we imagine ourselves in the places we want to be. Of course, if you never imagine yourself being what you want to be, you’ll never get there. A huge part of getting through life is imagining where you’ll be next*.

When we’re children, adults often tell us to grow up and stop day-dreaming so much. “Be realistic.” You want to know a secret? Adults imagine themselves in other places, too. The fact of the matter is, the minute to stop imagining yourself in other places is the minute you stop making progress in your life. If you stop imagining yourself getting a promotion at work, you’ll stop acting like there’s a chance of it happening, and you will never get it. If you don’t imagine yourself with straight A’s, you will never achieve it. Psychology runs a lot of our lives, keeping the bar set high for where you want to be makes it easier for you to go beyond where you thought you could go.

I have a small challenge for you. Imagine yourself in whatever situation you want to be in. Are you a doctor? Scientist? Writer? Combination princess/singer/astronaut/president? Do you imagine yourself being married? Having kids? Finishing college? Write down (or draw if you prefer) what you imagine yourself being and becoming. If you’re willing, feel free to share in the comments below.

*This is not an excuse to daydream in your classes. You still need to go to class, pay attention, and do all of your work. Don’t quote me as an excuse to get out of school-work, trust me, it won’t work.

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The Walk of Shame


A year ago I was in Comp. I with the amazing instructor, Mrs. Lisa Haag. One thing that I really enjoyed about her class was that there were no due dates for final drafts. I’ll admit, I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist, so I was grateful to have that freedom with time to work on my final drafts. She did, however, require that rough drafts be brought in on specific dates for peer reviews.

I will admit another thing: In every class that I take, I will be seated directly in front of the instructor’s desk in the front row. Because of this, I tend to overhear a lot of the whispered conversations between instructors and students. The most common statement I would hear sitting in Mrs. Haag’s class? “I’m still working on my paper.”

Yet another confession: Despite the fact that that I love to write, and intend to make a career out of my writing, I am slow. I will stare at a blank page for hours, spend days doing research in different topics, and have nothing written… sometimes I won’t even have an idea of what topic I want to write about (it took me 30 minutes just to come up with the idea for this blog post). Ask me to write three sentences about anything and I will stare at the paper for about 10 minutes before my pen will touch the page. This tends to go back to my perfectionism; even my roughest draft has to be as close to flawless as possible. Still, I always turn my assignments in on time.

Mrs. Haag didn’t ask for anything perfect when she asked students to bring in our papers on peer review day. She wanted our rough drafts. Still, for every paper (there were five) I would always see one person go up to her desk and tell her, “I’m still working on my paper.” I have deemed this journey to the instructor’s desk The Walk of Shame. I understand that life gets busy sometimes, occasionally some people won’t be able to get all of their work done on time. But when it comes to the education that you’re paying for, I highly recommend finding the right balance and getting all of your work done. If this balance means that you take 12 credit hours per semester instead of 18, do that! It’s better to take 12 credit hours and get all A’s and B’s than it is to take 18 credit hours and have to retake all of them.

Mostly what I am asking of everyone… don’t take The Walk of Shame. Do all of your work and turn it in on time.

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Ten Things to do This Summer (If You Haven’t Already)


10). Listen to Britney Spear’s new song, Alien, without autotune.
9). Read Haribo Sugar-Free Gummy Bear reviews on Amazon
8). Learn how to make paracord bracelets
7). Get a summer job.
6). Quit your summer job.
5). Get a boyfriend/girlfriend.
4). Give boyfriend/girlfriend Haribo Sugar-Free Gummy Bears.
3). Write a novel (or a song about gummy bears).
2). Make a list of things to do this summer.
1). Register for the fall semester.

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