5 Finals Tips For The Underdogs

I wanted to get this post out quickly before it becomes May 4th and my blog gets even more behind! With studying for finals, I haven’t had much time to brainstorm and really plan out all of my posts for this month just yet. So I’ve had to come up with this on the fly so just stay with me here. I decided that the most appropriate post was one about the main thing on my mind at the moment…finals! So here are 5 quick suggestions and tips that you probably already know but I hope you find them at least a little bit relevant and helpful anyway.

1. Get some sleep!

I know this is like impossible for any college kid to the point where most of us have just gone ahead and embraced the whole no sleep thing. But, I still believe that you can get at least a little bit of sleep. It’s important to do everything you can not to be up all night cramming at the last second. If you want to cram at all, make sure it’s right before you actually take your exam. Sleep is really important, red bull isn’t your friend. Chances are, if you take it, you might end up crashing right when you’re taking your exam and no one wants that. The best way to be fully focuses is with plenty of sleep.

2. Minimize your distractions

Setting aside some time where you just sit down and study all your materials for each exam is the best way to just center yourself on what you’re doing. I realize this is pretty much impossible but try to just stay inside your own little bubble. Don’t bring in any electronics or anything of that nature because you’re bound to get seriously sidetracked.

3. Use some white noise or instrumental/classical music

Music with words can be dangerous while studying because you start to simply focus on that and not what you’re studying. However, there are other types of music that work quietly in the background as you get to work. White noise is a great tool for when you want to buckle down and study. You can also never go wrong with some classical music to get you in the study zone. Modern classical music is good too but some (like the ones that are the instrumental versions of your favorite songs) may be a bit distracting, so watch out for that!

4. Work with others

There are both pros and cons to spending all your time studying for finals for other people, but sometimes it can be a very helpful thing to do. I recommend this one when you share a class with a friend. You both can share your notes and you can get some feedback if they caught something that you didn’t or vice versa. They might also give you some cool study ideas that you’ve never heard of before!

5. Find an organization strategy

Everyone has a different method to studying that works for them. Most students never had any need for them in high school so some of us may still be developing this as we go along in college. That being said, you know what works for you. I just think it’s crucial to at least have something set in place that is your own personal method that you know has worked for you in the past.

Best Longform Sports Stories

1. Mike Tyson

I love this story about Mike Tyson. Sports Illustrated uncovers all of Mike Tyson’s boxing success- beginning to end. He even mentions some of his later work, like his brief appearance in the movie The Hangover. I think he does a great job at really digging deeper into all of these decisions made by Tyson and just respecting what a good boxer he is. It’s definitely something sports fans should read.

2. Watching Rocky II With Muhammad Ali

This is Roger Ebert’s interesting encounter with watching Rocky movies with the greatest boxer of all time. Muhammad Ali is hilarious throughout Ebert’s story, at one point he relates to Rocky’s opponent Apollo. Apollo is the heavyweight champion who is taunting Rocky in the ring. I think Ali has a great sense of humor and I love this story.

3. Young, Gifted, and Homeless

I love how this article talks about some famous successful athletes who have openly talked about their past with homelessness. Sports Illustrated asks, “Well it’s great that these guys who are now successful are talking about it, but what about the kids living through it now?” They explore a high school boy who sees sports as an escape from his life of being homeless. And he’s not alone, the article also discusses the fact that this is an issue that’s only gotten worse over the years. It’s interesting to see things from their points of view.

4. The One And Only

This is a rather depressing story about Dan Marino and how he never won a Super Bowl. His one and only chance of winning one was against Joe Montana and the 49’ers. The Dolphins seemed to be on top but the 49’ers came back in the second half and pretty much blew Miami out. It was devastating to Marino and it still haunts him to this day. He figured he’d get a chance to go back considering he was still young at the time, but he never did. I just thought it was really interesting how such a successful quarterback considers himself not the best because he never won a Super Bowl.

5. Following Terry Fox

I’ve already talked about Terry Fox- a Canadian who ran across Canada on one leg raising money for the Cancer Foundation. However, this is a more recent article that shows the impact that this one man had on millions of people. The documentary began to touch on the reaction from the people who began paying attention to what Fox was doing, but it failed to really go in depth and tell the stories of people that Terry touched. Even after he died, his legacy continued to live on and it’s still doing just that even today. You’ll definitely be inspired after reading this.

6. The Man In The Van

Easily the best baseball profile I’ve read so far during this early start to the official season. The opening line of the story says it all, “The future of the Toronto Blue Jays wakes up in a 1978 Volkswagen camper behind the dumpsters at a Wal-mart and wonders if he has anything to eat.” It really paints a picture of how Daniel Norris is receiving so much hype about what he does on the field but off the field he likes living the life of a minimalist. It isn’t a dramatic story but it’s a fascinating one that really kept me interested in his story.

 

Spotlight On: Jordan Catalano

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Jordan Catalano from My So-Called Life was a total dreamboat. Yes, he had the looks part down but there wasn’t all that much depth too him. Jordan wasn’t exactly the sharpest crayon in the crayon box. I always felt sorry for Brian but I always wanted Angela to end up with Jordan simply because Brian got on my nerves. You got to admit, annoying or not, Brian certainly treated her with a hell a lot more respect than Jordan ever did.

The majority of Jordan’s appeal comes from his looks so I’m not even going to try to deny it. He has learning problems which set him back and frustrate him. He doesn’t want people to think he’s stupid but he doesn’t try to stop them. Instead, he basically just struggles in silence. He’s lucky to have Brian help him out with his schoolwork and with getting Angela back even though he’s not appreciative of that at all.

The reason why it really doesn’t matter that Jordan is so well liked because of his looks is because that’s what a lot of teen girls like. Our first crush may not be on the most intellectual guy. I can’t speak on behalf of all girls but this is what I’ve personally found in my own life and in those closest to me. We’re drawn to the popular angsty teen guy because that’s part of who we want to be. We may be a really good girl who’s never done anything dangerous in her whole life but we don’t let that side show. We dream of rebelling with the hot James Dean type. He rebels against his surroundings and that draws the girl in.

Angela maintains her fascination with Jordan throughout the entire first and only season. This is more than just a crush for Angela – Jordan is everything to her. Is this the right decision? Well, it is to Angela and that’s all that really matters at the end of the day since she’s the one forced to live with her choices. Jordan screws up big time – he sleeps with Angela’s best friend. He does this mostly due to the fact that Angela won’t put out and her friend does after the both had been drinking a lot. Setting the plots and storylines and aside and looking at strictly the facts, Jordan is screwed up. And Angela is okay with that and so therefore we’re okay with that too.

The Transformation of Taylor Swift

At the young age of 16, Taylor Swift released a country debut album that put her on the map. She sang relatable songs that she wrote herself based on relationships, friendships, and the everyday high school life. Her lyrics were honest, angry, and full of angst. Her image wasn’t as angsty- she dressed in cute and bright colors with her trademark curly blonde hair. She played the guitar and openly embraced who she was. She continued to release albums that spoke to teen girls going through similar problems. Her songs weren’t always catchy pop songs, though many such as, “Love Story” “You Belong With Me” and “Our Song” were. It was the more personal and acoustic songs that appealed to listeners, “Fifteen” “White Horse” “Tim McGraw” and “Teardrops On My Guitar” told beautiful stories and were more country than anything else.

Taylor Swift began experimenting with other genres long before “1989.” “Teardrops On My Guitar” on the first album had its own pop single made just for radio. On her second album “Fearless,” “Love Story” and “You Belong With Me” were the two pop hits. Her third album, “Speak Now” was filled with more and more pop radio friendly songs. “Mine” and “Back To December” were two of the songs that was played on pop radio. Her other single “Mean” echoed with more of a country vibe than a pop one. “Red” was filled with more mature lyrics and even more pop songs which led to her first fully pop album, “1989.”

I’ve talked a lot about the change within her music, but her image and fashion in general has also evolved rather dramatically. One of the most notable being her view about feminism. This article

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Here are two early Swift classy and modest fashion choices. Both also feature her signature curly hair.

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This one isn’t all that different from the first two. It was taken in 2010 during her Speak Now tour. I love her cowboy boots.

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Two years after her Speak Now tour, Swift transformed while on her Red tour. This was the first time she ditched the curls and she’s embraced straight hair. Besides the obvious red lipstick and pretty much everything red, Swift also frequently wore high waist shorts. She also rocked the Stevie Nicks hat.

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Here’s Swift earlier this year with her chic hair, the usual red lipstick, and classy vintage outfit.

Taylor Swift goes to florists and pottery shops in New York City

I love this outfit because of the vintage hair. I’m also obsessed with her hair piece. She also looks stunning in this dress and her purse is simple yet brings her outfit together.

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This is my favorite Swift outfit- besides the weird trimming on the mint outfit. The trimming feels out of place. But I do believe that this is a classy outfit that works for her. It’s vintage and the bangs always work for T Swift.

I think that these pictures give some idea as to the change that has happened with Taylor. People give her a lot of flack for changing her music, lyrics, and her image in general but people need to realize that she’s 25 years old. Since she is that age, it wouldn’t make sense for her to be writing songs meant for a younger audience. She has respect for her young fans but she’s also changing so why not represent that in her music?

 

 

The Significant Differences Between High School and College

I didn’t feel all that different after I started my first semester of college. Part of that was due to the fact that I live off campus. The other part was that I didn’t really make that many friends. However, the change that happened within myself and how I have started to approach things has been significant. In high school, it mattered who your friends were but in college, for the most part people seem to do their own thing. For example, if you go to the library in college, it’s quiet with everyone working in their own spaces. This may seem obvious but at my high school, it was more of a hangout where you could do whatever you wanted. This was my introduction to the fact that college is taken a lot more serious. It’s the real deal and getting good grades is more significant since you’re paying for your education so you don’t want to let down whoever is paying your tuition down.

Another big difference that I personally found is that the food is indeed better. You have more options even though I mostly eat at the same spots pretty much everyday or so. But in high school, you got what you got and even the best meal in high school isn’t as good as the worst meal in college. This may seem harsh but the differences are certainly there in terms of food.

High school was much more strict in terms of being released from class. It was amazing to me that professors often let us out five to fifteen or twenty minutes early. Sometimes the classes are scheduled much longer than what the lesson plan calls for and the professor doesn’t want to start something new so they just let us out early. When taking a test or final, you don’t have to wait until everyone has finished. Once you finish yours, you can go. This was rather mind blowing to me when I first started college and it’s a nice thing to have. Teachers weren’t allowed to let you out early in high school without getting in trouble. They also handed out pointless busy work after tests instead of letting us go.

These are just a few changes that I’ve noticed between high school and college. I’m sure there’s many more to come since I’ve only just finished my first semester. I look forward to this next semester which is something I rarely (never) did in high school. For high school students ready to give up completely, hang in there and wait for the light at the end of the tunnel.