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!