A laundry list of what to do during your winter break


(Above: not shredding the gnar.)


So, the 2017 fall semester is coming to an end. Many of us call Chicago home, while a good group of UIC students think that they are from Chicago but are really from the suburbs (such as myself).

After spending about four months at UIC, it is definitely nice to take a break and come home for the holidays to spend time with family and friends. Winter break officially begins on December 16th, 2017 and ends on January 16th, 2018. You might have some apprehension regarding not knowing what to do during break.

As do I.

Because humans really like to read lists, I have compiled a few things that will hold you over until the spring semester.

1. Get a job, you lazy bum. I recommend the seasonal positions for Mobile Sales Consultants at Best Buy, Cart Attendants at Target, or even working for the Pavilion at UIC. Maybe even sign up to be a lifeguard at your local outdoor waterpark.

2. Go snowboarding and SHRED THE GNAR!!!

Continue reading “A laundry list of what to do during your winter break”

Full or…Fuller House?

When the news came to viewers that Fuller House, the sequel to the ‘90’s sitcom, Full House, would be airing on Netflix, I was ecstatic. Growing up, Full House was the show I would watch every night at 8 p.m. with family and friends. With all the laughs, tears, and [slight] heartbreak when the series ended, it immediately makes the top of my list when it comes to listing my favorite TV shows.

full house
FULL HOUSE (ABC-TV, 1987-95) Shown: (l-r) Blake Tuomy-Wilhoit, John Stamos, Lori Laughlin, Dylan Tuomy-Wilhoit, Dave Coulier, Andrea Barber, Mary KateAshley Olsen, Jodie Sweetin, Bob Saget, Candace Cameron, Scott Weinger

However, when I started Fuller House, I was a bit disappointed with how it turned out to be. Although the show has several parallels to the original series, it is a show that only got me excited when there was a reunion with a majority of the characters.

The first episode begins with the entire cast reunited, with the exception of Michelle (Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen). The crowd goes wild when each cast member individually makes their entrance on screen. However, when Michelle gets mentioned, the cast does a poor job of trying to making the Olsen twins feel guilty for not being in the sequel. The cast stares directly at the camera for way too long and makes the situation awkward. Michelle’s absence in the show is constantly brought up which loses the concept of it being funny.

full house michelle gone

While watching the show, I’ve noticed there are several split screen moments or repetitions from the original series. In the first episode, the show starts off with the original theme song that brings back several memories to the viewers, however right after, the song comes on again, except it is sung by Carly Rae Jepsen. In this theme song, there is a split screen with the characters from how they looked in the original series to how they look now. At the end of the show, they do another split screen when the cast is singing to get Tommy (DJ’s baby) to stop crying, similarly what they did to Michelle when she was crying in the original series. If anything, it made things nostalgic.

fuller house

The plot lines are very similar to how they were in the original series as well. With DJ (Candace Cameron Bure) being a single mother, her sister Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin) and best friend Kimmy (Andrea Barber) move in with her to help her raise her kids, which is exactly how the original series was, except the genders are reversed. When DJ’s oldest son Jackson is upset about sharing a room with his younger brother Max, it is the exact same plot line from the original series when DJ was upset about sharing a room with Stephanie. Another similarity is when the boys miss their father and DJ tells them they can tell them anything they want to know about their dad and that they will watch homemade videos to help them remind them of how their dad was—the same plot line was done in the original series when the girls missed their mother.

So overall, Fuller House to me is a trip down memory lane because the plots are similar to the original show and only made me miss the original series a bit more. After all, nothing can beat the classics, right?

What do you guys think of the show? Leave your comments below!

Motivation is Key

As a freshman, I am still getting used to being in college. I’ve been staying up later each night than I ever did in high school; the work load is way worse than any of my four years in high school; and exhaustion eventually takes its toll on me while I am forcing myself to stay up and study during the wee hours of the morning. And I know it’s only my first year, so it is going to get a lot harder as my college career progresses. But I still find it difficult to stay motivated while studying for an exam or working on a paper due the next day – and I’m positive I’m not alone there. So here are a few tips I use to keep myself motivated while studying:

1. Breaks: Take lots of breaks! One way I find helps me be more productive is studying for about 30-45 minutes, then taking a break for about 10-15 minutes. It helps me clear my head from all the work I’m doing for a little bit, then I get back to business feeling less stressed out.

2. Chill music: I can’t study in complete silence; but I can’t study with the TV or upbeat music blaring. So I put on an artist that I enjoy, but at the same time doesn’t make me want to abandon my studying and start dancing (i.e. chill music). For example, I listen to The XX, Radiohead, Bon Iver, Death Cab For Cutie, Grizzly Bear, Regina Spektor, etc. often while studying. (These are also good options for Pandora stations if you want that style of music but some different artists as well). If I’m hearing relatively calm music, I’ll feel relatively calm, and therefore I’ll focus more.

3. Tea time: I make myself a cup of tea when I’m feeling overwhelmed with the work load I have. Along with the chill music, it helps make me feel less stressed out and sets the good studying vibe. (Plus, it’s good for you and tastes delicious!)

4. Bribe yourself: Whenever I’m studying, I say to myself something like the following: “If I finish studying for English by 10:00, I’ll allow myself to watch an episode of my favorite TV show on Netflix.” The motivation forces me to finish studying and then I get to treat myself for working so hard.

5. Stay positive: Remind yourself of this: You are smart. You are trying your best. Don’t let the stress overwhelm you and make you feel bad about yourself. Just know you are trying the best you possibly can and stay positive and if you try hard enough, your results will reflect your actions. Don’t get discouraged.

Things to avoid:

1. TV: For me, the TV is distracting and prevents me from doing my work; especially if something good is on. Just turn it off. (Side note: if keeping the TV on low works for you, go right ahead and keep it on for background noise. But keep it low, otherwise it might distract you too much.)

2. Dance-y music is for dancing: If you listen to upbeat songs that make you want to dance, you aren’t going to focus and won’t get anything done. Keep the music slower/toned down, but still enjoyable.

3. Don’t let your breaks be too long: If you take an extended break, you’re really just quitting on your studying. 10 to 15 minutes max.

4. Friends/roommates: As much as we love socializing with our friends and/or roommates, socializing can also be a distraction. If you have to, make it clear to your friend/roommate that you’re trying to focus and could use the silence (unless you’re studying together, then by all means discuss what you’re studying).

5. Don’t push yourself too hard: When you’re in college, it’s easy to feel the need to pull an all-nighter. For me, staying up too late trying to memorize a few more things for an exam the next day makes me miserable and stressed out and want to give up for just a few more measly minutes of sleep. Start early, take short breaks when you need to, and just don’t work too hard.

I hope these tips help you get better at studying!