Mari's Notebook

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmastime In The City

I love all the NYC holiday decorations. A few days ago we toured all the Christmas window displays, saw the tree and the Radio City Christmas Show.

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Monday, December 19, 2011

"Everything will be all right in the end. If it's not all right, it's not the end" - Anonymous


I just finished up my last round of final exams and papers and am now officially on holiday break! It feels amazing to be back home, with my family and having all my academic work wrapped up!

Reading week and finals week were very interesting ordeals—a mixture of procrastination heaven and anxious studying—but we all made through it!

I’ve reflected a bit on what works and what doesn’t regarding studying for finals and making it out alive. I’m sure next semester will go much better!

Some thoughts…

What Works:
1.                      Study buddies: but only in controlled studying environments. The last thing you want to do is end up taking study breaks every ten minutes and running over to the dorm next door to debate the politics of Gossip Girl.
2.                      Good food: meals are something that should not be skimped! Trying to skip dinner to have more time to study only leads to late-night runs to the local convenience store and impulse shopping. And besides, it’s never a good idea to study on an empty stomack.
3.                      Exercise: no matter how tired or how stressed, I always made it to the gym. Even just for a quick run, working out is not only a productive study break, it gets you moving! It boosted my confidence level and I didn’t feel as bad about finals impulse eating!
4.                      Rewards: rewards can come in any shape or form. Study breaks are good, a quick episode of a favorite television show, a brief walk, a mindless chat with a suitemate…all-you-can-eat sushi lunch after your microeconomics midterm? I approve.
5.                      Music: music works for some people. For me, it really depends on my mood. Sometimes I need total silence, other times I absolutely need something playing in the background. I love listening to instrumental music, particularly while writing my research papers. A few favorites: A Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack (particularly “Linus and Lucy”!), assorted channels on Pandora, anything by Eric Saade (he’s very good looking and his music is catchy and addicting. Don’t be fooled by the lyrics of “Manboy.” My friends and I had it playing on repeat for quite some time).

What Doesn’t Work:
1.    All-nighters: never again will I willingly choose not to sleep the night before a final.
2.    Studying in pajamas: it is definitely important to be comfy, but I think it is essential to change into new clothes for the day and get into the working mindset. It’s amazing what a pair of jeans and a sweater will do to your productivity level!
3.    Eating only junk food: you’ll only get eater’s remorse. I’ve had my weaknesses the past couple weeks, but every day there’s a new opportunity to have an extra glass of water or grab an apple on your way out of the dining hall.
4.    Clutter: it just gives you a sense that you don’t know anything on the curriculum and that it’s impossible to study effectively.
5.    Late mornings: as important as it is to get enough sleep, I wish I had realized early on that it is better to go to bed early and get up early rather than go to bed late and get up late. The promise of a new day is one of my biggest motivations—better to start that day at 8 or 9 am rather than 11 or 12.

Hope your school years are going well, 
xx Marisol

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Some More Christmas Spirit...

my favorite Christmas song is Carol of the Bells.
Carol of the Bells + light show = Christmas perfection

Just what I needed after a long day of studying.

19 more days! It's going by so fast!

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

A little holiday cheer...
Some highlights of the Freshman Holiday Dinner:
1. General holiday jubilation
2. A surplus of gingerbread houses
3. Cake pops
4. Eggnog
5. Witnessing two guys steal a four-foot reindeer ice sculpture
6. Christmas songs
7. Camera flashes
8. 20-foot-long Challah bread
9. Longest lines of my life
10. Santa hats
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