Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What-To-Know Wednesday : Sick @ School

You’re sharing a room with one other person (maybe two).
You’re sharing a dorm with 200 residents.
You’re sharing a campus with 2,000+ students.
Every one of you is moseying around the same rooms, classrooms, and hallways, but not everyone can be trusted to cover their mouth and pump up on that hand sanitizer. That being said, it’s nearly inevitable that you won’t be able to avoid at least a 2-day head-cold experience in this oh-so-sickly time of year.

That first time getting sick once you’ve gone away to school is never fun, I won’t lie to you. But if you take preemptive action to stay healthy and if you stay determined to get rid of anything that comes your way, you have nothing to fear!


 1.) Sleep Is Your Friend

I know from firsthand experience that staying up for hours with your favorite Netflix show can be a tempting routine (I’ve watched all nine seasons of The Office twice through, and I’m currently on round three). But the more sleep you have under your belt, the better you’ll feel the next morning, and the more ready your entire system will be to take on the day.

** Make your bed the comfiest place you have at school. Invest in lots of pillows, a mattress supporter, mattress pads (I’ve got three), the works. Putting a little extra work into your bed is totally worth it for a much better night’s sleep.

 2.) Stay Hydrated

 You’ve heard this one before. But take it from someone who had to force herself to get into a routine of drinking more water. Believe me, once I did, I had more energy, more motivation, and I just started feeling so much better in general. Keeping your system strong is key to avoiding the seasonal plague!


 1.) Eat/Drink Your Way Back to Health!

 Spicy foods are enormously helpful when clearing out all that nasty congestion. In a previous post, I’ve discussed my strategy of adding a hearty helping of Tabasco sauce into some Ramen noodles (chicken and beef flavors are my favorites). If you can add any kind of hot sauce to whatever you’re eating, I recommend it!
As for what you’re drinking, I usually go for milk at breakfast on any ordinary day, because I’m not a huge fan of orange juice. But if I’ve come down with something, it’s orange juice for the win. Gotta get that Vitamin C. And, of course, don’t forget lots and lots of water.

2.) Disinfect, Disinfect, Disinfect! 

This is just as much for your roommate’s benefit as it is for yours. You’re in a tight, shared space, so don’t be afraid to spray all the Lysol you deem necessary, wipe down all your surfaces (especially the ones you’ve been touching the most), and keep reaching for that Bath & Body Works (or your go-to hand sanitizer of choice).

** PSA: Don’t be gross. Take out your soggy-tissue-infested trash early and often.

 3.) Come Prepared

It goes without saying that you should be moving into school with a prepared arsenal of sick-supplies. You’ll be glad you’ve got them on hand if/when you come down with something.
(Not pictured: tissues. Buy several boxes at a time. You’ll go through so many. You don’t want to get in that throw the empty box away, go into your closet to get another, but oh wait, there’s NO MORE situation. Nobody wants to be that girl smuggling rolls of toilet paper out of the bathroom.)

With these tips in mind, you’ll be ready to face flu-season as confidently as ever, and you’ll definitely be able to beat that cold as quickly as it hit you. Hope you all enjoyed today’s What-to-Know Wednesday. Stay tuned for the next Sum-It-Up Sunday on the 1st!

Let's Connect!
Instagram: @claire_cavanaugh
Twitter: @CavanaughClaire

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sum-It-Up Sunday : Week #2

[It's been, dare I say, balmy this week. All the way up to double digits!]

The second week of classes has come and gone, and now I can finally say that I've started getting into a flow. Aside from surviving a quick three-day cold, I've shaken off those first-few-class-jitters. 

Two big events this week: we caught a new flick at Majestic 10, we skiied what will have probably been the warmest day of the season, and I completed my very first official Photojournalism assignment.

The dinner of the Gods, pre-American Sniper. Our movie theater of choice, Majestic 10 in Williston, was absolutely packed. But it was very much worth it! Amazing movie. Very sad, but it definitely made us think.

Next on the agenda: my weekly skiing-photo-blowout:

[First ever chairlift-selfie...sound the alarm!!]


Saturday was a beautiful day. And since we weren't worrying about dying of hypothermia, our run-count crawled into the double digits (which was a first for Smugg's). 

As for today, I made it into a blustery Burlington to complete my very first official Photojournalism assignment of the semester. For the "Breaking the Ice" assignment, we were instructed to get off campus, approach ten different strangers, and ask to take their picture. As I'm sure you can imagine, this was a terrifying prospect when first introduced. Despite this, I had to keep reminding myself that the worst case scenario would be short and simple: they'd say "no". Unfortunately, that didn't make it any less nerve-wracking. 

Nonetheless, I approached my ten people, and I got my 100+ frames required to earn full points! Most of them were happy to help, others were hesitantly willing, and I think I got two "no"s. But the bottom line is, I did it, and I was able to talk with ten people I otherwise wouldn't have said a word to on any ordinary Burlington-jaunt! Plus, I rewarded myself after...

[My first trip to Al's French Frys, a Vermont-only, diner-style joint. A quick five-minute-drive from campus, it was delicious and cheap...*cough cough*...cheaper than Five Guys, and less grease to boot. Plus, they're open for ice cream in the warmer months!]

Hope your week was as eventful as mine, and I hope you stay tuned for the next What-to-Know Wednesday on the 28th! 

** PROSPECTIVE AND/OR ACCEPTED STUDENTS: I will be on tomorrow night's Knightchat, so be sure to log on at 7:30 PM with any and all questions you may have!! Can't wait!

Let's Connect!
Instagram: @claire_cavanaugh
Twitter: @CavanaughClaire

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What-To-Know Wednesday : Tips + Tricks for Quiz-Studying

You’ll find that even during the first one or two weeks of classes, professors may give out the occasional quiz here and there. But don’t worry, no need to lose it. Whether it’s a little review of a prerequisite’s material, a professor’s way of making sure you read the syllabus, or a quick overview of Chapter One’s key words, you don’t want to be the one that fails the foolproof, first-week quiz just because you didn’t think it’d be a big deal.

So I’m here to tell you the some of my favorite ways to study for one of these “no-big-deal quizzes”, because yes, it’s still going to “count”, so yes, you should still study!

1.) Listen For Cues, Hints, or Outright Obviousness

Even if a professor doesn’t say, “we will be having a quiz next class on the syllabus,” that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re off the hook. So make sure to listen for those subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) cues and hints: “you’re gonna want to know this,” or, “makes sure you give that a careful read-through for Wednesday.” Sometimes a professor doesn’t want to come right out and tell you, because they want to make sure you’re going through the material on your own terms, or because they don’t want to make an already easy quiz too easy. So listen up, and make note of a potential upcoming quiz in your planner!

2.) Do the Reading and Take Notes!

This one might sound obvious. But lots of people are most inclined to skim through a reading to get the general gist, all the while, something much more specific is far more likely to show up on a quiz. So, while you read, make notes of bolded words, lists, definitions, you know- things that just look important. Mark it up, highlight, all that good stuff. Doing all these things while reading will help you better remember material later.

3.) Make Flashcards 

Once you’ve made a note of everything that seems quiz-worthy, make flashcards and go through them all several times to make sure you’ve really internalized the information. Personally, I love using flashcards, and I can’t study any other way. (If I get one right, I put it aside. If I get one wrong, I put it back at the bottom of the stack so I get it again later. I keep going through the stack until I’ve put all the cards aside…victory!!)

4.) Ace It!!! 

…annnnddd bask in the glory of how ready you were, even on class number two!

Study up folks, and be sure to stay tuned for the next Sum-It-Up Sunday on the 24th!

Let's Connect!
Instagram: @claire_cavanaugh
Twitter: @CavanaughClaire

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sum-It-Up Sunday : First Week Back!

[The consistently beautiful ride back to campus last Sunday.]

 Hello all, and welcome to the very first Sum-It-Up Sunday of the semester!
We all just finished the first week of the spring semester here at St. Mike's, and I've definitely been hearing some mixed reviews from peers.
At least in my experience, I've noticed my classes have been getting more and more challenging (in a good way!) as the semesters go by, so this week was by no means a laid back, or as I've heard my roommate say, "fluffy" first week.

However, that doesn't mean we didn't all have a great time getting back into the swing of St. Mike's life.
 With the way our class schedule turned out this semester, Jared and I were able to sneak over to Smugg's on Tuesday for the first ski day of the semester...and let me tell ya, it couldn't have been a more perfect day to go.
It was pretty frigid (that's January skiing), but with my new jacket and all the fresh powder from the snow the day before, conditions were amazing, and we had some of the most amazing woods-runs yet.

 It was one of those days that I couldn't resist the risk of taking my phone out for some chairlift shots.

This was our first run of the day- I wish I remembered the name of the glade, but it ran all the way down the length of the mountain. Super fun, super pretty.

 Couldn't get enough shots in there.

...the sun starting to go down...(cold)

The rest of the week went relatively smoothly with classes, especially since we were able to get that nice break on Tuesday. Every hall had a meeting, just to make sure everything was going well and that things were going exactly how they're supposed to, and things are definitely off to a great start.

At the end of the week, we made it out to Our House again for some amazing mac and cheese. 

I got the incredible Breakfast Mac: bacon macaroni and cheddar cheese, topped with a strip of bacon and a sunny-side-up egg. After having the Shrimp Scampi Mac last time, which I thought would be hard to beat, I have to say that I've found a new favorite, and my very high recommendation goes out to all of you.

 Vermont, you never cease to amaze me. (An apres-dinner Walmart jaunt for some lunch for the next day's ski trip....and a little dessert. And I know what you're thinking, but the cold can't stop us.)

Speaking of cold, just when I thought skiing couldn't get chillier than Tuesday, Saturday proved me wrong. It was so bitter that my phone could only stay around enough to get a quick shot of the new skis before the temperature warning popped up.

 We're talking eight-below at the base, people.

All in all, it was a great first week's crazy to think that the next time I'll have a first week back, it'll be when I'm a junior. Craziness. 
But until then, I gotta focus on being a sophomore, and I've got some homework to get to!
Until next time, folks...stay tuned for the next What-To-Know Wednesday on the 21st!

Let's Connect!
Instagram: @claire_cavanaugh
Twitter: @CavanaughClaire

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

What-To-Know Wednesday : Prepping for the First Class

 Picture this:

You're fresh off a nice long's a brand new semester. Yes, it's great to be back with all your freedom and friends in your second home, but there's one little thing poking incessantly at the back of your mind.... have four new classes that you'll be attending for the first time this week.

You've heard that a certain class isn't necessarily difficult material, but it's a lot of work.
You've heard that a certain professor is super nice, but not so nice of a grader, or vice versa.
But regardless of which rumors you've heard, you're probably wondering the same thing across the board: how do I come prepared for a class when there's nothing due, and how can I stand out to the professor this early in the game?

Essentially, it comes down to what you bring, and what you do. (These will all ensure that you're as at-ease as possible on a quintessentially stressful day, and they'll also be an immediate hint to your professor that you're on it and ready to hit the ground running.)

1.) Check the Booklist Over Break

 You never know what your professor might assign straight from day one, so it's best to be moving back in with all the required books for your classes.

Some students choose to buy them at the St. Mike's bookstore upon return, and others order them over break and ship them to school. Both are acceptable options...but if you want to be hitting that first class as ready (and ready-looking) as possible, your best bet is to order those books as early as possible over break, pack them up, and have them at your immediate access when that first class rolls around Monday morning. (You'll have enough to do moving back in, so you'll be glad that you don't also have to go pick up your books.)

The easiest way to track down that often-elusive booklist? Mosey on over to the St. Mike's website, search "booklist", and that very first result should lead you to the most recent version. (Make sure the appropriate semester is at the top of the page!)

From there, you're just looking for your class section along the left side. Once you find your section and the books listed beneath it, your best bet (if you're online shopping) is to search for books by their ISBN (it'll be right there on the list), just to make sure that you're getting the exact edition/revision/cover-art/various other specifications that your professor will be going by.

** I've found that the best deals are typically with used books on Amazon. Plus, you can make a student account that guarantees you free 2-day shipping on your books, and they'll buy them back from you once the semester ends! (Just search "textbook buy-back" on Amazon once you're ready to return!)

2.) Bring Everything You Normally Would

You should be going to your first class with all the supplies you would bring to the 35th class: writing utensils, a planner, a notebook/folder/binder/all of the above, any required books, and any assignments that may have been given over break (rare, but it happens. Remember to check your St. Mike's e-mail over break for any messages from professors!).

This way, you'll be prepared for any notes to be taken, handouts to be given, or assignments to be assigned. And believe me, most professors assign at least a little bit of work after the first class. (But no worries, we're talking minimal.)

3.) Etiquette, People!

And, of course, don't treat the first class like a flimsy syllabus-overview/meet and greet. The main thing to take away from this post is that the first class isn't a freebie or an uphold the same class "etiquette" that you would for next week's classes, the week after, etc.: come on time and be engaged. Treat it like any other class, between what you bring and what you do. This will ensure that you're as well prepared as possible, kicking off your semester to a roaring start!

Be sure to stay tuned for Sum-It-Up Sunday on the 18th!

Let's Connect!
Instagram: @claire_cavanaugh
Twitter: @CavanaughClaire

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Xmas Break Video + Blog Update!

Hello all! I hope everyone had a great holiday, and an even greater kickoff to 2015!

After three weeks of skiing, eating, working, and sleeping, I'm officially back for the spring semester- and I couldn't be more excited! We endured a lot of driving, unpacking, and resettling today- but I couldn’t let the first Sunday of the new semester go by without a quick update.

Around the beginning of break when I already had a ridiculous amount of photos built up, I decided I might want to take a different route for the returning blog post. Instead of attacking you all with an overwhelming outpouring of photos, I got the idea to make more of a highlight reel of key moments. (This way, I finally got to test out iMovie!)

So, I recorded videos all through break to be compiled later: rock-skipping on a frozen pond with Jared and my brother Colin, the two of them tasting a ghost-pepper-gummy, and our New Years skiing adventure to Wildcat Mountain, as we stayed in my aunt and uncle’s condo in North Conway, NH (featuring my cousin Dylan).

 I had a lot of fun making it, and I’m pretty happy with how it came out! I’m hoping to do more in the future…Jared brought up his GoPro for future Smugg’s trips, so it’s definitely likely that you’ll be seeing more of these!

Hope you enjoy! (Also, make sure to scroll down after the video for a blog update for the upcoming semester!)

I had a pretty awesome break- I like to think I hit the trifecta: I had a lot of fun, I was productive, and I got a lot of rest! What more could you ask for?!

As for the upcoming semester, I’ll be changing the way I do my blogs, so each post has more of a succinct point to it. I’ll be blogging Wednesdays and Sundays, soon to be known as What-to-Know Wednesdays, and Sum-It-Up Sundays. ;)

If you didn’t guess from their oh-so-clever titles (that I spent a silly amount of time coming up with):
- Wednesday posts will cover a different set of student life tips and tricks each week (like my post about class registration, my post about keeping organized, etc.)
- …and Sunday posts will “sum up” my week, highlighting all the things to do in and around St. Mike’s.

This way, I won’t be trying to combine these two areas into one big post, and each post will be clearer, more direct, and hopefully that much more helpful!

Wish me luck on my first few days of classes- and be sure to stay tuned for the first What-To-Know Wednesday on the 14th!

 Let's Connect! 
Instagram: @claire_cavanaugh 
Twitter: @CavanaughClaire