Santa Monica Pier
On Sunday I touched the Pacific Ocean for the first time! It was certainly a chilly experience, but hey, I was standing on a beach in the ocean in late November, so I couldn’t complain. My sister and her good friend joined me for a lovely study break to the Santa Monica Beach, which included a delicious lunch, lots of pictures, amazing gelato, and some great boutique shopping. With one final week of classes ahead of the Caltech girlies, a trip to the beach was the perfect way to de-stress and be reminded that there is life beyond textbooks and problem sets.
Jules ordering lunch!
If you’ve been following me on Twitter (@catziac) then you most certainly know that I have already begun my two-week stay in California! (#occupycaltech anyone?) I have already had Wasabi-rivaling/Mari’s-rivaling sushi, seen both men’s and women’s basketball games (Caltech lost both, but more on the epic-ness of Caltech bball later), and caught up with some of my favorite Caltechians in the world. I’ll be here for the last two weeks of Caltech’s fall term, so while it’s a vacation for me, it certainly won’t be for my sister or her classmates. However, I’ve promised everyone that I will be a helping hand (I have already have done six loads of laundry…) and not be too distracting!
Caltech vs. Stevens
julia, the laundry santa
will DEFINITELY be hitting this later in the trip
College. Finals. Are there any two more frightening words? You might be hard-pressed to find a scarier combination, but college finals don’t have to be soul-crushing, especially if you’re in the know. Here are a few things to know about finals at Union:
1. Reading day, study weekend — Union gives students the Wednesday after classes have ended but before finals begin to prep or just take a breather. Even better, after having a few finals on Thursday and Friday, students then get the entire weekend to study before the second half of finals are given on Monday and Tuesday.
2. Crowded yet desolate — There is simply no in-between on the Union College campus during finals; the library is packed, yet Upper is empty. There is a line waiting for the Nott to open up for studying, but walking there feels apocalyptic. Students have all different final schedules, meaning half leave after Thursday, while the rest are in it for the long run. Either way, think creatively when choosing your study spot because anything conventional will surely already be claimed.
3. Health and happiness — Staying focused mentally and performing well requires taking care of yourself physically. For a lot of students that means hitting the gym to get you endorphins going or grabbing an extra banana from lunch to go for a study snack later. At the same time, a bag of chocolate from Reamer campus center has been known to do wonders as well…
4. Nothing is for certain — Yes, I’m talking about the Sunday power-outage that affected most of main campus for almost six hours. When it comes to studying, you have to be prepared for anything and everything, so make sure to avoid putting all of your eggs in one basket: make flashcards, study sheets, powerpoints, or whatever else suits your study demands the best, but always make sure to have duplicates and send yourself an extra electronic copy J.I.C. (just in case).
5. Don’t study — Sometimes the most important thing to do while studying for finals is to not study. Remind yourself that there is life beyond your pen and paper; the world doesn’t operate according to bubble sheets. And remember those people you know called “friends?” They miss you and they need a study break too. Treat yourself to a mani/pedi or a little trip to the movies. Even some good take-out and an episode off of Hulu can be the perfect fix. Finals are important, but they shouldn’t have the final say on your life.
Whether you’re all set with exams or just beginning, you deserve a little musical study break — and I don’t know of a more fitting song than one that pays tribute to the little upstate city we all call home. Who knows, maybe if our exams go well we too will “move to Brooklyn from Schenectady.”
Kate Spade’s colorful 2011 collection is TO. DIE. FOR. The accessories are particularly holiday-worthy (and you know that once finals are over, holiday outfits are all I’m going to be studying…). Even better is that everything is so reasonably priced! It’s too easy to get caught up in the muted tones of fall, so Kate Spade’s commitment to color is definitely appreciated. After browsing these gems, I can’t wait for home cooking, warm fireplaces, sparkly outfits, and celebrating with relatives!
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