Friday, December 27, 2013

Refreshing Recess - Holidays at Home

Hey everyone! Well, finals are finally over and the break from school has arrived! Each school is different, but I have three weeks of vacation until the next school quarter begins. It has been so nice to take a break from the stress of school and relax at home with my friends and family. So while I am home, I have to take advantage of all the things I can only do at home! Of course, I had to make a trip to Disneyland! Being only 20 minutes away from my house, its the perfect way to celebrate the holiday season. Everything throughout the entire park is decorated, including a holiday themed parade and fireworks show. I love Disneyland as it is, but the holiday spirit makes it a unmissable experience! 

The Disneyland Castle decorated for the holidays 
Mickey Mouse! A Disneyland must
Another tradition I have with my friends at home is an annual Christmas baking party! My friends and I each bring our own recipe for a delicious dessert but there is one catch--everything must be made from scratch! This makes the experience much for fun and meaningful, plus provides a little challenge! I love trying all my friends creations while we dance around the kitchen to holiday music. We even have extras to bring home to our family! Holiday baking--especially from scratch--is a must for any winter break for me.

My finished creation! Chocolate Hazelnut Puppychow YUM

Baking party with my besties
I am having such a fun holiday break celebrating with my friends and family. Check out the video below for highlights from my break leading up to Christmas!

How do you celebrate the holidays with your friends and family? Let me know in the comments below!


Monday, December 16, 2013

Exhausting Exams and De-stres Diversions

Hey everyone! This past week has been filled with coffee, late night studying, screaming, dares, and puppies. It can only mean one thing: finals week. Yes, fall quarter has come to an end at Stanford and each class ends with a final exam or paper as a culmination of everything learned. What's most stressful is the exams or papers are always a large portion of the final grade--sometimes up to 50 percent! Although this can be rough, Stanford does a great job at trying to de-stress the students and pump them up for the weeks after finals: Winter Break! There are always study breaks happening around campus, like dog petting days, coloring in the library, or even free massages to help students cope with all their work. Check out the photos and video below to see how I am surviving finals week!

De-stressing massages

Puppy petting! Perfect way to relax

Getting my dorm ready for the holidays is a great study break

Library study break -- selfies on my phone!

Secret Snowflake dares!

Finals Survival Care Package

Luckily, once finals are over, I have a three week Winter Break from school before winter quarter begins! How do you cope with final exams? How do you get ready for the holidays? Let me know in the comments!


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Big Game - Riveting Rivals

Hey everyone! Here at Stanford, we have a big rivalry with the school across the Bay, University of California, Berkeley. To decide the ruling school each year, both teams face off in an American football game called the Big Game. This is a huge game for all Stanford fans, since we want to beat our rivals more than any other team, so the entire week on campus there are events to pump up the school against Berkeley. The fountains are dyed red, there is a rally and firework show, and there is a huge set up to protect the Stanford Axe and countdown to the big game. What is the Stanford Axe? Learn all about its history and tradition by clicking here. Basically, the winner of the game gets this prized axe as representation of the champion school. The week leading up to the big game the axe is under constant surveillance so it is not stolen and a horn is set off every hour on the hour leading up to the big game. This makes the actual game so enjoyable because of all the fun traditions leading up to it!
Red fountains all over campus
Beat Cal posters all over campus

The horn! Goes off every hour on the hour
Countdown clock
Beat Cal set up in the middle of the quad
Check out the video below for my experience of Big Game week!
How does your school celebrate a big rivalry? Let me know in the comments below!


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Midterm Mayhem

Learning all about the world of economics
Hey everyone! These past couple of weeks at Stanford University have been extremely stressful. Lack of sleep, high levels of caffeine, and absorption in textbooks are traits seen throughout the student body.  Why you may ask? One word--midterms. In high school, there were plenty of homework assignments, projects, papers, and tests going into your grade, so the stress levels were lower for each individual assignment. However in college classes, there are only one or two midterms (every test in college is called a midterm even if it is not in the middle of the term--weird right!) or papers and a final that makes up the majority of your grade. This means that one midterm or paper could make or break your entire grade in a class! Talk about pressure! Since I am a typical Stanford student, I take my midterms very seriously and have been studying like crazy! Last week, I had a midterm in calculus and I have a midterm in economics next week. While I'm reviewing the latest recession theories, one of my roommates is studying hard for her chemistry midterm and another is writing a research paper that serves as a midterm in her writing class. Safe to say, midterms are unavoidable tense time in every college student's life. Luckily, there are curves in most college classes, or introductory ones at least. That means that if a test is really hard, and the majority of the class struggles on it, then the average will be rounded up to anywhere from a B or C and all the other grades will be adjusted as well. Even though you could get a 78 on a midterm, which is usually a C, this could still count as an A in the grade book because most of the class did even worse. This serves as even more incentive to work hard no matter how difficult the class is. Plus, having study parties with your friends is the perfect way to learn and socialize. My dorm even has a couple of upperclassman students that act as tutors to help us with difficult questions in math and science. If I can't study in a group, I love to go to the library. It's a great environment to make sure you get things done and are not distracted.
Working hard or hardly working?

Study party at the library
Even though midterm time is stressful, that doesn't mean students don't have time to let lose and burn off some steam from studying! Last week, we played Oregon in football, one of the best teams in the country, and won! It was so fun watching this extremely close game, and we even got to storm the field afterwards. Also, this weekend we had frosh formal! This was like a high school homecoming dance but at the college level--it was the perfect excuse to dress up, take pictures, and dance the night away with my friends! 
Storming the field - Stanford victory!
Stanford wins 26-20!
Roommies at the game
Stanford fan section! Can you find me?

Walkway to the formal
Girls headed to Frosh Formal
Dorm loving for the formal
Although midterms can be rough, the experiences I've had in college outweigh any pre-test stress. I can't wait to share more of my Stanford adventures with you!

How do you study for midterms or tests? What do you like to do for a study break? Let me know in the comments!


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Homecoming Happenings and Alumni Antics

Go Stanford!
Hey everyone! Last weekend was homecoming at Stanford University. Homecoming in college is different than homecoming in high school, because the main aspect of college homecoming is the alumni reunions! Every 5 years after you graduate, your class has a reunion back on campus. There were 14 different classes back on campus this year, with the even the class of 1943 back for their 65th reunion. Although there are a ton of events for alumni on campus, like tailgates, dinners, and class talks, there are events for current students as well!
We had the homecoming American football game on Saturday against UCLA, one of our main rivals! Not only did all the alumni and students go to the game to cheer on the football team, but all the alumni from the band and cheerleading squad got to go preform during halftime with the current students. This was such a good experience to witness, as hundreds of people preformed on the field, quite a difference from the normal halftime show. And to top it all off, we won the football game! It was an extremely tight game, but I like to think all the spirit from the student section helped pump up the players to score those extra points to bring us to victory. Check out my video below to follow me around campus during homecoming alumni weekend and see all the events going on!

It was so fun seeing all the alumni back on campus, and I cannot wait for my first reunion after I graduate!
What does your school for alumni/homecoming? Let me know in the comments!


Monday, October 21, 2013

Top Ten Tips in Surviving your First Month of College

Hey everyone! Now that the first month in college is coming to a close, I have taken part in a ton of cool experiences. However, adjusting to living away from home is hard, and there are definitely some things I wish I had known before I started school. Check out the video below for my top ten tips in surviving your first month at an American university!

What was your hardest part in adjusting to a new school? Let me know in the comments!


Friday, October 4, 2013

Classes and Community, Traditions and Tasks

Hey everyone! This week is my second week of classes at Stanford University. Although the caliber is higher and concepts can be challenging, I love how intellectually stimulating the classes are. Being surrounded by so many smart people makes discussion interesting! We also have a huge campus, so I have to ride my bike everywhere to get to classes. Check out the video below to see some other cool parts of the Stanford Campus!

My freshman dorm has also put on many fun events for us to get into the college spirit. We have ice cream social nights, Insanity work out sessions, themed parties, and birthday showers where the birthday student gets thrown in the shower on midnight on their birthday! The biggest tradition for the freshman dorms is the scavenger hunt in San Francisco. The dorm is divided into teams with a list of tasks to complete that take place all over the city! We had to ride three forms of public transportation, buy unpronounceable food, find a obscure dragon statue, and even try on clothing worth over 1,000 US dollars. Bonus points if a boy tries on an expensive dress! This was a super event to help me bond with different people in my dorm and explore the city of San Francisco that borders Stanford!

Strike a pose!
America themed party!

Scavenger hunt madness-boy in a dress! Bonus!

Day in San Fransisco
Thrown in the shower on my birthday!

What traditions do you have in your school? Let me know in the comments!


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Dorms, Roommates, and Football, Oh My!

Hey everyone! This week was my first week at Stanford University! So much goes into moving into college and living in a dorm room. Check out the video below to find out all about my experience.

Some of the most exciting aspects of my week were move in and the first football game! On the first day, I met all of my roommates (I have four because I am in a quad-style room) and I got to set up my dorm room with all my cool stuff! I got to put all the storage stuff I bought to good use because I had a lot of stuff to put in my little room. Below is a picture of me and my roommates in front of our dorm!
Moving in!

Roommate love
Next was the first football game. American football is extremely popular, especially at the college level. Stanford has a good football team, so the games are extremely exciting. There is even an amazing Stanford marching band that plays at all the games and pumps up the crowd. It makes the experience even better! Check out some pictures below from me and my friends at the game!

This week has been very busy, but incredibly fun. I am extremely excited for the brand new adventure I am about to embark on! What kind of person would you want to room with? Let me know in the comments!


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Packing and Preparing: College Dorm Room Essentials

The months leading up to the beginning of college are filled with many emotions. Excitement for the start of a new chapter in your life, anxious to get up to campus when you are waiting at home, and stressful when you are...packing! Yes, packing up everything you use on a regular basis into a boxes and transporting it to a new location in the country can be very stressful. I am in the middle of the college packing process right now, and it can be a bit overwhelming at times! I have been shopping around to find all the additional things I am going to need for living away from home! This includes bedding, storage, laundry supplies, cleaning supplies, lamps, etc! My dorm room is my home away from home so I need all the home essentials!
Hooks and electrical cords...oh my!

All the university dorm essentials!

Picking out storage for my dorm room

Going to need a lamp for my desk!

Thats one successful shopping trip--getting dorm ready!

Some of my dorm room essentials

I am super excited to live in a dorm room, but where I am going to put all my clothes and decor is another issue. If you think packing for a vacation is hard, imagine packing for college! But, to be a smart packer, you gotta bring the essentials. Sure, while you might want to bring your entire shoe collection, there will be no space for it in that tiny dorm wardrobe. Instead, look to other resources like under the bed storage to help store all your supplies, clothes, or anything else you need! Check out the video below to see the essential items I am bringing to my college dorm!

What would your dorm room essentials be? What can you not live without in your room? Let me know in the comments!


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

California Competitions

Hey everyone! This week I spent with my family traveling to different areas in California and attended some exciting events before I leave for college. First, my family headed south to Del Mar in San Diego for the horse races! This is an ongoing event throughout the end of the summer. Most people travel to the Del Mar horse track to socialize with family and friends and see which horses win the races! It's fun cheering on your favorite horse to win, especially when it's friendly competition against a sibling. It's always fun to pick the winner! And you can't forget your big floppy hat! A must have for any summer horse race event. Check out my photos with my brothers and my cousin at the horse races below!
And they're off! Which horse is going to win?

My brothers, my cousin, and my hat!
 A few days later, my family traveled north to Anaheim to watch the baseball team the Angeles play. However, this wasn't any ordinary game for us, we had dugout suite tickets! This meant our seats were right next to the field next to the players' dugout. It was amazing! We could see all the behind-the-scenes action and had an up close look at the players on the field. It was a great way to feel connected to the game and experience it like a player would! And to top it all off the Angeles won - what a great day! Check out some pictures below!

My brothers, their friend, and a player right behind us!
Our seats
Right next to the action!
What events do you like to go to with your family? How far do you travel for them? Let me know in the comments below!


Thursday, August 22, 2013

It's the Final Countdown

Hey everyone! I have been enjoying my last few weeks of summer before I head up to Stanford University. Since school is just around the corner, it is important to get in any last minute summer adventures. Because all of my friends are traveling all over the country for college, we wanted to do some fun activities specific to California before everyone left. I've spent the last couple days of my summer doing some pretty exciting things!
One day, my friend and I drove to Los Angeles to hike to the top of the Hollywood Hills. This is a very popular hike in southern California because trail leads you to the Hollywood sign! Although it was a long way up, the view was amazing! Check out the pictures below to see our hike experience! It was so fun to spend time with my friend before she leaves for college, and hiking to the Hollywood sign is something we can only do in LA! It was a great end of summer adventure.
The beginning of the hike--see the sign in the background?
The Hollywood sign behind me
The view from the top!
There is the sign--success!
My other friends and I are obsessed with music, especially Taylor Swift. We thought the perfect end of summer experience would be to go see her live in concert! We even got to take a limo to the arena. It was an amazing concert and I loved being able to share my love for Taylor Swift tunes with my friends! We danced and belted the songs all night long. My voice was even gone in the morning! It was so fun to see one of my favorite artists live and if one of your favorite musical artists plays a concert near you I really recommend attending!
With the limo on the way to the concert
In the arena--there is the stage behind us!
However, summer isn't all just fun and games. Most people, like me, have a summer job to save up spending money for college. While work can be boring, I lucked out because I teach tennis at a summer camp for little kids. I guess my summer has more fun and games than I thought! I stretch with them, teach them how to hit a killer forehand, and even go in the pool with them to cool off since playing tennis all day and hot summer weather doesn't mix well. Finding a fun summer job that caters to your skills is the best way to earn money and fill in the long summer hours before school begins.
My fellow camp counselor and awesome campers

Starting off the day with some stretching
Don't want any injuries!
If you and your friends are leaving for college soon, or even just going back to school, having some last minute adventures is a great way end the summer right. Try to seek activities native to your hometown because it will make the experiences even more special. Have fun and let me know in the comments how you spent the end of your summer!