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Closing Thoughts

Hello everyone! Well, as the title suggests, this will be my final blog post. I've had so much fun blogging this year and telling you all about the happenings at UP! This week I've been almost living in the library; I'm excited to take my finals and enjoy my summer! I just have a few closing thoughts about this year, what I've learned, and what I find most important.

1. Come to UP with an open-mind. Whatever pre-judgements you may have, get rid of them and be open to new experiences. This will let you meet more people, enjoy more experiences, and have a ton of fun. Even extend it to your academics. If you know you have to take class that wasn't your first choice, have an open mind and remember the positives.

2. Hold onto old friends, but also give yourself some room. Personally, my best friend is halfway across the country and we don't see each other very much. There's a natural "growing apart" phase, but after we got past the change in our friendship we learned to adjust to the distance. It is also easier to make friends at UP if you aren't constantly attached to your phone, updating your friends on every little thing. Put aside the phone, and be with the people in your immediate vicinity.

3. Only bring necessitites to your dorm. If you find you need other things, Fred Meyer is about five minutes away.

4. Call someone once a week to just say hi, tell them about your week, or just listen. I find that I get so absorbed in college that I forget about the world out there. It is very helpful to be reminded of the bigger picture.

5. Bring some pictures from home.

6. Give yourself a lot of time to study for your first exam. Also, ask the professor the best way to study for their exams. They'll appreciate that you ask them and it will help you succeed!

7. If you've never heard of 8tracks.com, start listening to it.They have the greatest study playlists that helped me concentrate this year.

8. It's okay to be homesick or just plain sad at times. The important part is dealing with it effectively. If exercise helps you clear your mind, do that. If watching Hulu is your method of distraction, that's perfectly fine too.

9. It is not impossible to find a balance between studying, socializing, and sleep. Don't believe that myth that you can only pick two. It just takes practice.

10. Don't be afraid when you notice that college changes you. Whether you change your mind about big ideas, fashion, hobbies, or education; do not worry! It's completely natural and should happen.

I hope you all have a great summer and enjoy school, wherever you go! It's been a pleasure being your freshman blogger correspondent. If you find you have questions over the summer, do not hesitate to contact me! 

Sunshine=Happiness

Happy sunny, beautiful, and all around magnificent Sunday to you all! On the Bluff it is about 80 degrees, and currently Villa is having some sort of strength competition that I will be checking out when I'm done writing. From my room I can also hear the baseball team warming up and there isn't a cloud in the sky. I think that Portland is celebrating Earth Day and I absolutely love it! 

This weather is coming at a perfect time because I'm gearing up for Dead Week. I've stocked up on study food (cookies, crackers, candy, fruit), and I've organized the upcoming week to be as productive as possible. Or at least I hope so. Last week I was able to send some of my clothes home, and that's when it hit me: the end of the year is coming! 

The way Dead Week is organized is that all students go to their normal classes, but generally professors use the time to review for the Final Exam. However, professors do continue teaching new material, which was a shock to me last semester. I feel way better prepared for the next two weeks this semester because I know what I need to do. For example, now I know that when they say the Library fills up, they are not kidding. Over the course of the year, I've also found other study areas, so if the Library is too full, I'll have other places to go. 

I'm so glad I got a taste of summer weather this weekend, it's given me the motivation to really work hard these next two weeks. Summer, here I come!

Tip 12: After taking each final, try to fit in some sort of exercise or other activity that both gets you moving and will clear your mind!

On Campus Jobs

Hello everyone! Well this weekend was Weekend on the Bluff which meant tons of prospective students and sunshine! I'm not sure how the Admissions Office does it, but it seems that whenever there are pre-freshman on campus, the sun magically comes out. I am definitely not complaining about this fact. And no big deal or anything, but Macklemore and Ryan Lewis did a concert at UP last night.

Let's talk about on campus jobs this week. There are tons of jobs at UP, from hall desk receptionists, to working in the commons, even to being the school mascot. These jobs are posted online in late August, and my suggestion to the Class of 2016 is to get a jump start on it! Although there are a lot of jobs and some are specificially set aside for freshman, there are a ton of applicants. So during the summer, I would prepare a sample resume and a cover letter if you plan on having an on campus job. On campus jobs are really convenient because you don't have to worry about bus schedules or paying for gas. Also, employers realize that you are a college student first, so they are more than willing to work around your class schedule. For this reason, there are also limits on the hours per week that students can work because they want you to succeed in school. I got my job as a student blogger by sending an email over the summer saying that I was interested in the position. So, if there's a job that you really want, I would suggest letting the employers know before they even post the job listing that way they'll remember you!

I hope that eveyone who came to Weekend on the Bluff had an amazing time! If you have any questions about UP, don't hesitate to contact me!

Tip 11: Once you get contact information for your rooommate, start talking! Discussing rules and different ideas for your dorm room will make the transition that much easier.

The Value of Easter Break

Hi guys! Last week was a four day week because we had Easter Break, starting on Thursday at 4 and going through Monday. I had a great time with my family, ate tons of candy, and in general enjoyed the good weather. I also participated in a dodgeball tournament, which was tons of fun!

What I didn't guess was how valuable Easter Break was going to be. Of course I loved seeing my family, visiting, and spending time together, but I also got vital relaxing time. Counting today, there are 24 days until the end of the year, and last weekend was my final chance to relax. These next four weeks are going to be insane! I have five essays, two presentations, and two exams in the next three weeks, along with dead week and then finally finals week! I was  extremely grateful for the time to relax and enjoy the calm before the storm.

I have also decided to make goals for next year. This year was a transition year and since I feel that I have a better handle on things, I am able to make some corrections for next year. One thing is certain, I am going to join clubs next year and be more involved. Excuses aside, I did have a very busy year, but next year I will use my time more wisely and get more involved with UP since it is such an amazing place! 

I remember last year I started counting down the days to graduation starting in April. It is unfathomable to me that a year has passed since then, but yet again I find myself counting down the days to summer! 

Tip 10: I know a lot of you have already made your college choice by this time. If you're going to UP, buy a purple Pilots sweatshirt and start early with the school spirit!

Through New Eyes

Hello world! Well this week has been an especially rainy one here on the bluff, but despite all the rain, spring is really starting to show. Cherry blossom trees are blooming, other flowers are starting to bloom, and thankfully all the rain provides very green grass! Last week I had three exams so I was pretty busy with that, plus we scheduled classes! I'm actually really looking forward to my classes next year. This weekend I went to a Bluffoons improv show, and it was wonderful! They did a great job!

So this weekend I had some family visit me from California and they were so excited to see UP! They really enjoyed the experience, and it was actually a great experience for me because I got to see the campus through new eyes. I was able to really take in all that UP has to offer, which I realize, is a lot. Everywhere you turn there are flyers and posters, offering new experiences to those who are interested. There are tons of clubs, speakers coming to campus, opportunities for retreats, and weekly activities. There is honestly no good reason to ever be bored on campus; there is so much to do! 

Seeing the campus through someone else's eyes was a valuable experience because I was able to see the beauty, and the opportunity that the campus is built on. Not only do we have amazing academics and professors, but there is also a energy in the community that survives despite the dreary weather. I had started to lose sight of that energy, but showing someone else the campus made me open my eyes to it once again.

As my first year is winding down (a little over a month!) I'm starting to look back on everything I've learned this year. Of course I've learned an immeasurable amount academically, but I've also learned a lot about what it means to be responsible and independent. This year has flown by, but there's still time left. I can't wait to see what this final month brings me!

Tip 9: Bring some sort of stress relieving activity to college with you. For example, I have a box of crayons for those times when I just need to do something simple and relaxing. It helps so much!

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More about Zoe More about Zoe

 

Zoe Schmidt

Name: Zoƫ Schmidt

Class: Freshman

Major: Organizational Communications

Minor: English

 

Hometown: Salem, Oregon

Activities: Reading, writing, hiking, watching football, fishing, snowmobiling, and hanging out with friends.

 

Favorite Professor: Dr. Pitzer and Dr. Kerssen-Griep

Favorite Class: Communication studies 101

Favorite Commons Meal: Grilled cheese with French fries and chocolate milk

 

Why I Chose UP: I chose UP because of the small campus and welcoming community. Also, everyone is so nice here! It doesn't hurt that the women's soccer team is totally amazing either.

Favorite Thing About UP: The campus. Especially in the spring time when the cherry blossoms are blooming.

 

Advice for Prospective Students: Make sure you visit campus and try to meet some professors and students. It will give you a real feel for just how close this campus is.

 

Get in touch with me!

Schmidt15@up.edu