Surviving Sleep Deprivation

It’s late, like 4 in the morning late, but you absolutely have to finish this project despite having a 9 a.m. class the next day. I’ve learned that running on minimal hours of sleep is sometimes a part of college. Here are some tips I use when I don’t get an adequate amount of sleep.

1. Coffee or Tea:

Seriously, coffee can be a lifesaver when you’re feeling sleepy. Sometimes, it can be the greatest thing ever. One cup can mean the difference between feeling drowsy and losing focus in class, to paying attention and being fully engaged. If you’re not into the coffee, then go with with some tea. Tea with caffeine can keep you from the sleepy feeling just as much as coffee can. Stay away from energy drinks, the short boost of energy isn’t worth the crash.

2. Eat:

If you have a long day of class or work ahead of you, make sure to eat a healthy snack during the day. A healthy lunch or snack will give your body energy to survive the rest of the day. Here are some suggestions for high energy snacks.

3. Power nap:

If you find yourself having to tackle a pile of homework, take a short 20-30-minute power nap to give yourself a boost of energy. Make sure to set an alarm, you don’t want a power nap to turn into a 3-hour nap.

4. Music:

Listen to upbeat music throughout the day to keep your mind in an upbeat and rhythmic state. I find that when I’m walking to class with music playing through my headphones, I’m more focused and feel less like a walking zombie.

These are just some ways I’ve dealt with drowsiness. I hope these tips help you the next time you find yourself yawning throughout the day. For more tips, check out this list.

The Dreaded R-Word

The dreaded R-Word. Recycling. The word almost has a redundant connotation to it these days, yet now is more important than ever to focus on its impact. In 2008, an Environmental Protection Agency study found that the United States alone produced 1.35 billion pounds of garbage. The concept of over a billion pounds of garbage is hard enough to imagine, but it becomes even more difficult when you realize this figure is not an annual estimate– it’s a daily one. More than 250 million tons of waste is produced every year in this country. To make matters even worse, much of this waste is actually reusable material. Each year more than $7 billion worth of recyclable material is thoughtlessly thrown away, never to be used again.

In the past few decades, America has seen a huge stride in becoming a greener nation. The recycling industry generated more than $230 billion in revenue in 2001, employing more than 1 million workers across the nation. However, we are still far from Europe in terms of efficiency and social acceptance. In countries like Switzerland, France and the Netherlands, recycling is mandatory.

While living in Tübingen, I was forced to separate my trash by glass/plastic, biodegradable, metal and miscellaneous items. Anything that was potentially harmful had to be taken to a special facility, otherwise the entire dormitory would be fined when they sorted through it all (and yes, they did look thoroughly). In America, we become accustomed to throwing anything and everything away in one spot without having one thought about it. Our society and culture was developed around consumerism, so it’s no surprise that our focus tends to lean more toward the benefits versus the repercussions.

Others should be aware of the effects of their actions. In the United States, we have a responsibility to develop greener habits and take steps toward preventing irreversible damage. As a nation that produces more trash than the rest of the world, we should become the best at reusing whatever materials we can. Every local community has recycling centers and access to information regarding proper ways of using those facilities. Here in Chico, there are many options available, such as recycling centers, waste recycling & disposal services, and garbage collections. The nation as a whole depends on the actions of individuals. You can teach yourself better habits to take a stand and protect the world for future generations.

Blogging for Dummies

If you’re anything like me, blogs are a foreign concept. Every once in awhile you think, “it would be cool to have a blog…” but then you realize that you know almost nothing about blogs.

Well, have no fear, I will share some tips that I have gathered to help the lost blogger.

One of the biggest problems I personally encounter is what to blog about.

  1. Carry around a small notebook and jot down ideas when they come to you. Instead of sitting down and saying, “okay, now I will blog,” sit down, open your notebook and pick the idea that strikes you at that very moment.

  2. Don’t stress, write about what you want. The idea of a blog is to share your thoughts about something. Your blog will never please everyone, so don’t worry about anyone except your niche audience.

  3. Also look for articles like these, which provide more tips for blog ideas.

Another challenge I face is, what sort of a blog do I want to write? (tips, review, current events, etc.)

  1. This really depends on your blog content. The important thing to remember is to not just word vomit; format your blog post accordingly.

  2. If you are really stuck, do a simple Google search you can find things like this; which provide you with more ideas of what sort of blog to write.

 

Above all else if you want a blog, all you have to do is…

Beauty Tips for your Job Interview

The end of the school year is approaching, and many of us are going on job interviews, which can be nerve-wracking, especially for women. Everyone knows that dressing professionally and choosing the right outfit is important, and for women it is not as straightforward as a collared shirt, a tie and a clean shave. What a woman wears to an interview is determined by the type industry she is applying within, however one thing that should calm the nerves is that our hair and beauty regimen should always stay the same!

“Less is more”, “keep it simple” and “au natural” are some simple rules of thumb to remember when getting ready for your interview. You want 100 percent of the interviewer’s attention focused on what you have to say, not distracted by your appearance. Here are my top tips for your interview beauty routine:

Hair:

Your hair should be freshly washed, whether you wear it up or down it needs to look clean and polished.
Avoid any flashy hair accessories; stick with a hair tie and bobby pins that match your hair color.
If your bangs fall into your face or you’re guilty of fiddling with your hair when you are nervous, consider wearing your hair up and out of your face, so as not to distract the interviewer.

Makeup:

Use natural looking colors, anything too bright or bold will come across as distracting and unprofessional.

Apply minimal foundation only if you need it, remember you will probably be nervous and you don’t want to sweat off your makeup during the interview. If you do put on foundation, make sure it is blended well and matches your natural skin color… you definitely do not want the dreaded foundation line.

A light shade of blush will add a natural hint of color to your cheeks.
For eye makeup, stick with a neutral palette of matte browns and nude shades. It’s okay to wear mascara and light eyeliner, just stay clear from doing anything dramatic with liquid eyeliner and false lashes, even if you can apply them like a pro!

A hint of color on the lips is always a nice way to add some color to your face, but stick with a neutral or muted shade.


Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette – Benefit ‘Coralista’ Blush – Nars ‘Pago Pago’ Lipstick

Fragrance:

The advice here is simple… Don’t wear any. I am sure you smell lovely, but not all scents are pleasing to everyone. You wouldn’t want to not get the job just because the person who interviewed you thought your scent was unpleasant or too overpowering.

Nails:

Your nails should be neatly filed and polished.
A neutral nail is always reliable and professional. Stick with wearing a barely-there color, such as beige or a light pink.


Essie ‘Like Linen’ – OPI ‘Sweetheart’

A Designer’s Perspective

As a graphic designer, I am constantly taking note of the designs I encounter everyday. Most people are drawn to what they perceive as good design, but as a designer I look for good typography and more technical aspects of design.

Books
I have always judged a book by its cover. The cover or the spine is what draws me to pick a particular book off the shelf. A well-designed cover can reflect the effort that was put into the content of the book. As an avid reader, I have discovered that this is most often the case. Each year Design Observer holds 50 Books 50 Covers, a design competition that honors the year’s best book designs.

Restaurants
Restaurants are full of design. When I am pursuing the menu I can’t help but notice the typography. A well-designed menu is much easier to follow whether you are a designer or not. In a restaurant, the visual presentation of the dish can be just as important as the atmosphere that is created by the branding. Recently, I went to a restaurant with a family member and was greeted by the dreaded comic sans displaying their hours on the door.

Presentation
Recently, I was sitting through a series of PowerPoint presentations in a marking class fighting the urge to take over the computer and change the font to something other than Arial. I was relieved when the fourth group had chosen to use Garamond. The way information is presented can have a great effect on how well the information is absorbed. Good visuals make information easier to absorb, a fact that Duarte, a presentation design company knows well. Their work takes presentation design to a new level.

Changing Lives and Gaining Skills

Imagine a life without the daily independence of walking, running, driving, holding and thinking.

These actions may seem ordinary, but to someone who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis, commonly known as MS, they are extraordinary and every movement matters.

According to the Multiple Sclerosis Society, MS interferes with the flow of information between the brain and the body and it prevents people from moving. Every hour in the United States, someone is newly diagnosed with MS, which is a disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms of MS range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis.

Three years ago I began the team Walk it Out Chico State, and led 20 to 30 Chico State students to Yuba City to walk and support the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Northern California. After raising more than $5,000, I was committed to this cause and continued to support this society through annual walks in Yuba City and fundraisers I implemented in Chico. This past year, I was not only the team captain of Walk it Out Chico State, but I was also the Chair and Site Coordinator of WALK MS 2013.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience of working with the Multiple Sclerosis Society and have applied it to the skills I have learned from majoring in journalism. Volunteering with this non-profit organization has given me the skills to be resourceful, creative on a budget and learn how to work with a diverse group of all ages, disabilities and economic statuses.

This experience was challenging, frustrating and at times I wanted to give it up, but the ability of changing someone’s quality of life always brought it home for me. Four years ago, my mom was diagnosed with MS and I believe this society has provided me with a way to support my mom, although I am six hours away from home.

I would encourage all students to align their college experiences with volunteering for a non-profit organization they are passionate about. This will not only open their minds, hearts and understandings of people’s differences, but it will also provide them with tools they can apply to any career path.

Boosting Productivity With Social Apps

Being the social media director here at Tehama Group, I felt it was only right to do my videoblog about three of my favorite social media iOS apps that I’ve got on my Apple devices right now. Not only do I have an iPhone, but I also use an iPad and my Macbook Pro to do my work, so having applications that run cross-device is a big deal for me.

Check out this brief video about the three apps I currently love the most, all which have a social media aspect to them! All are free, and two out the the three are available for Android as well as iOS! Rockmelt, Hootsuite and Wunderlist 2 have not only helped me to increase my productivity this semester, but are absolutely awesome to use and gorgeously designed. Check them out!


April Showers? More like April Sunshine!

Well, it’s officially warm in Chico. After a seemingly endless winter and nonexistent spring, summer seems to have arrived early. No one seems to mind this change in weather because when Chico heats up, we all look for ways to chill out and cool down.

If you’re like me, you’re always seeking new outdoor activities to enjoy during the summer. Well, look no further! Here are my top five Chico faves:

1. Bear Hole: A common favorite, Bear Hole is located in Upper Bidwell Park, a short drive, or a long hike away. I love Bear Hole for its scenic views and cool waters. The underwater tunnels are incredible too!

2. Thursday Night Market: I am a huge fan of two things: shopping and food. The Thursday Night Market is a great way to combine these two loves of mine in the company of great friends-and it’s just a short walk from home! Meander around downtown Chico and sample fresh goods and produce from local farmers.

3. River Road Bike Loop: The orchards are in bloom! If that isn’t reason enough to try this 20-mile bike loop, I don’t know what is. In just a few hours, you can escape reality and dive right into a world of serenity and natural beauty. I love to “stop and smell the roses,” or the cherry blossoms on this gorgeous ride.

4. One Mile: Chico’s beach, One Mile is a great place to enjoy time with family and friends, host a barbecue or simply sun yourself near this pool-converted river.

5. The WREC: Since the weather is getting warmer, it’s important to keep that summer bod in shape! For those especially sweltering days, cool off in the air-conditioned Wildcat Recreation Center. Work out on state-of-the-art exercise equipment or splash around in the enormous wade pool.
Happy hiking, biking, swimming and shopping!

Greek Life at Chico State Back Stronger Than Before

As a lot of people may know, last semester Chico State’s Greek system came to a screeching halt. With recent deaths and situations getting out of hand, President Zingg suspended all Greek life in Dec. 2012. Everyone was put on a probation period but luckily all five Panhellenic sororities came back on campus.

With being newly reinstated, a lot of privileges were taken away. It was hard having all of this happen my senior year of college and my last semester in the sorority. I felt like I have worked so hard to become the leader and person I wanted to be for my chapter. Among many other events that we got back, we were still allowed to have recruitment or as a lot of people know it as, “rushing a sorority”.

Going into recruitment, many chapters including my own, thought that the suspension would be a major setback. I thought to myself, “why would anyone want to join a sorority in a time like this? We don’t look good in the eyes of the school with being suspended, and having majority of the main events taken away. What’s the point?”

As it turned out, every week leading up to recruitment more and more girls signed up. Breaking recruitment records, there was a total of 400 girls that signed up. That’s the largest group that we have had in a long time. Despite all the negativity going around, we pulled through and gained 63 great new members to each of our chapters.

There were many doubts regarding the success of the newly reinstated chapters. With restrictions and limitations on old events, it was hard to envision how Greek life would be. But with having such a great recruitment and huge turnout, we were all able to prove that our chapters are not based on the social aspect but the true bond of sisterhood and how it can benefit and enrich your life.

Adopting a Second Language for Success

What does it mean to be a native Spanish-speaking student with an English writing major? Well, for starters, at least for me, it means that I like to take on a challenge. There are really not a lot of students out there whose native language is Spanish (or other) and venture in a field predominated by the English language. It is hard.

But being bilingual only means that I am smart and have less chances of having dementia when I’m old, as described in this New York Times article.

However, it wasn’t easy. When I started, I felt that most of the time I was trying to catch up with my peers on assignments. As I progressed, it became easier. And today, I am totally rocking it!
Now, my peers are catching up to me. That is probably not true, but we are definitely at the same level.

Now that I am approaching the end of my era here at Chico State, I have started to reminisce about everything that I have learned, and I sometimes question if I have indeed, learned anything. But then when I write, it is then that I understand I have indeed learned a lot. I feel privileged to have received the best education from the best professors. Yup, Chico State has amazing, incredibly genius and dedicated professors that want and expect nothing less than perfection from students. For example, the professors of the Journalism and Public Relations Department.

English as my second language has only made me unique. And then that accent of mine, it just adds a plus to my uniqueness.

I would not change anything I have done even if it were possible because if I did, I wouldn’t be at this moment writing my blog. Because no matter how difficult college was, it has made me into the person that I am today, and I like who I am.

It is also about the experience of what it is like to succeed and make it through college. I knew as alluring as I might be (just kidding) it wasn’t going to be enough, so I worked very hard to be better, to be unique. And I think I am.