Wednesday, September 30, 2015

What-to-Know Wednesday : Surviving the Study-Stage of an Exam

Hello all!

No, I can't believe it either...but for many of us here at St. Mike's, exams have already started to roll in. This mostly involves science majors, who usually have several exams per semester in addition to the standard midterm and final. But of course, there's always an exception here or there.

For example, I've got my first Honors Art History exam today! I've been preparing for the past couple of weeks or so, which we all know is a stressful process. But thankfully, with adequate preparation, organization, and a positive mindset, you have the ability to make the study-stage of exams much less daunting! Clue yourself in below!

1.) Identify your preferred study tactic(s).

For me, it's flashcards. Through my many years of high school tests, I found that it's just what happens to work for me. For you, it could be anything from typing out a detailed study guide to simply flipping through your textbook.

If you haven't already, find the tactic that works for you, whatever it may be. This could involve a few test runs before some smaller-scale quizzes, but it'll be well worth the trial and error once you crack the code!

2.) Prepare your study materials ahead of time.

Whether you're making flashcards, printing out maps, or typing up a study guide, do yourself a favor and get those ready at least 1-2 weeks before your exam date.

This will give you all the time you need to actually study your study materials before the exam. Don't wait. You don't want to spend all that valuable time you could be studying on getting ready to study.

3.) Find the perfect study spot and get to it!

Sometimes the hardest part of studying for an exam is actually starting. But usually, once I start, I realize I know a lot more than I thought.

So track down your favorite room in the library/academic buildings, bite the bullet, and get studying!

4.) Take a break!

You're only human...and once you get burnt out from a couple hours of drilling vocab, trying to study through the fog won't do you much good.

Whether you're grabbing a bite to eat, taking a walk outside, or even indulging in a quick power-nap, breaking throughout the process is just as important as the studying itself. So go ahead and push pause...just make sure you get back to studying after!

5.) Take care of yourself.

Getting plenty of sleep, eating well, and exercising will not only keep you healthy for exam day, but taking these steps to stay well will also ensure that you're alert and chipper through the study process.

Don't forget plenty of H2O on your trips to the library!

Do all of the above, and you'll be well on your way to a successful exam!

How do you typically study for an exam? What could you do to improve that routine?

Good luck everyone, and stay tuned for the next Sum-It-Up Sunday on the 4th!

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

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sum-It-Up Sunday : Week #4

Hello all! (And at the risk of rhyming, Happy Fall!!)

It's been another wonderful week here at St. Mike's. Between the noticeable switch to fall weather, my week of catching the seasonal plague, and classes really starting to pick up, it's also been a pretty eventful one!
Perhaps the craziest (unfiltered, no less!!) sunset shot I've ever seen, courtesy of my brother! He sent me this earlier this week after taking a Champlain sunset stroll.

This weekend was Colin's parents' weekend at Champlain, so we all reunited at Pascolo Ristorante Friday night! (I'm pretty sure the closed eyes on the right were intentional, but don't quote me.)
Oh Pascolo insane genius. This homemade pasta was to die for!!
I know, I know. Calm down with the hiking pictures, Claire. I'm even starting to annoy myself. But the 'rents were dying to try Camel's Hump after hearing all about it from us, and I couldn't help but throw a few shots in the weekly review.
Not sure what I was thinking...I blend right into the mountains with this sweatshirt, and I was not down for take two. My dad nearly had a heart attack, but this mediocre shot was slightly worth it.
Gorgeous view at the top! This will probably be the last hike of the season, seeing as fall is upon us and there are some corresponding activities to take care of. (Apple picking here we come!!!!!) But it was a great run while it lasted. We will definitely be back to Camel's Hump once the warm weather comes back around.
Seeing as this was an eventful week with classes, I'm starting homework early today and have to get to it. Everyone wish me luck on my first Art History exam this Wednesday, and stay tuned for the next What-to-Know Wednesday on the 30th!

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

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

What-to-Know Wednesday : "What to Do?!"

 Hello all!

With the first Knightchat of the semester having come and gone just last week, I feel like it's the right time to address one of the most popular questions we get...what is there to do in your free time at St. Mike's? 

Well, where do I start?! As you probably know by now, St. Mike's is located in a pretty ideal area...


Burlington probably has more to offer than I'll be able to cover in four years. Between that gorgeous waterfront, tons of restaurants and shops, the mall, events and shows, and let's not forget Ben & Jerry's, every day in Burlington is a different one.
 2.) Apple picking!

Shelburne Orchards is such a magical little spot. Super cute, super fun, and super tasty! Be sure to try their cider doughnuts when you go, and of course, bring back plenty of apples!

3.) Take a hike!

Yes, I know I just used this one...but I really love this shot at the summit of Mount Mansfield! There are so many great hikes within a 40-50 minute drive from St. Mike's. So far just this fall, I've hiked Camel's Hump and Mount Mansfield. While it might take the whole day between the driving and the hiking, it's totally worth it for that amazing view at the top!

4.) Go skiing!

(This one gives me a good chuckle, because there seems to be a common misconception amongst Knightchat attendees that skiing is the only thing to do around here! And as fun as it is, it's certainly not the limit of your options, as I hope you've learned by now!) Even if you've never been before, now is as good a time as any to learn! St. Mike's offers an incredible deal on a season pass to Smuggler's Notch, which is a quick (and always gorgeous) 45 minute drive from campus. I go just about every weekend in the winter!
5.) Explore the local parks!

North Beach Park, Burlington

Gilbrook Forest (pretty much on campus!)

Oakledge Park, Burlington
And there are many more, all gorgeous and fun in their own way! Bring a picnic lunch a make a day out of it.

6.) See a movie!

Between Roxy Cinema in downtown Burlington and Majestic 10 in Williston, there's plenty of opportunity to catch a flick on a Friday night! (Or any other day of the week, for that matter.) Ladies, don't forget your tote bags for smuggling some gas-station-snacks (shhh)!

BREAKING- we've recently discovered that there's a couple of mini golf places nearby, which hopefully we'll be able to test out before it gets too chilly!

But long story short, I hope I've opened your eyes to the treasure trove of "things to do around here", because there truly is so much! (And of course, what I mentioned above is certainly not the limit!) However, don't let this stop you from finding your own little spots when you get here! Half the fun is actually finding these places and exploring around.

Stay tuned for the next Sum-It-Up Sunday on the 27th!
What are you most excited to do when you get to St. Mike's?

(For some more answers on other popular Knightchat questions, click here!)

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

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sum-It-Up Sunday : Week #3

Hello all!

It's been another wonderful week here at St. Mike's! Shockingly enough (because I don't think any of us thought it would ever happen), we've slipped out of the 80s! Suddenly, today felt very Fall. Looking forward to a trip to Shelburne Orchards soon!!

But until then, we're enjoying the last bits of summer weather.

Another amazing VT sunset over the library earlier this week!
Lights over Church Street Friday night on our way to dinner.

The best pizza you'll ever have!!! (No exaggeration.) If you haven't been to American Flatbread yet, do yourself a favor and get there. It's usually a bit of a wait because of its popularity, but believe me, it's worth it!!
Starting off the hike right. We decided to conquer Mount Mansfield, the tallest peak in VT on Saturday!

It certainly wasn't an easy one. It was more of an accomplishment than an enjoyable thing. If you're conquering a bucket list, choose Mansfield. But if you're looking for something a little more doable and fun, I would recommend Camel's Hump. (We even came to the consensus at the end that Camel's Hump was still the winner.) Definitely sore today, it was a battle just getting out of bed. But I can proudly say that I've viewed VT from its highest point! And, as Jared would say, I only cried once (minor head-on-rock smacking to blame). But nonetheless, it was a great day, ended perfectly with some Chinese takeout (not pictured)!
Hope you enjoyed my hasty Sunday evening post as I scramble to edit a mountain biking short for Adventure Film and study for tomorrow's History of Rock & Roll quiz!
Stay tuned next time for What-to-Know Wednesday on the 23rd!

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

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

What-to-Know Wednesday : The Power of the Study Spot

 Hello all!

With the third week of classes halfway come and gone (already?? how?!?!!), we've started getting into the swing of classes here at St. Mike's. Of course it varies from person to person, but I find that the adjustment period typically lasts about this amount of time...and somehow, it's flown by.

Along with getting used to the routine of my new classes, I've also started getting back into my homework/study routine. (And I say "routine" because it's pretty darn imperative that one is established!)

With classes going on around your additional involvements at St. Mike's, whatever they may be, it's important to set aside time (and, as I'll argue, a specific place!) each day for work. So without further ado, feast your eyes (and minds!) below on the Power of the Study Spot!

As I've mentioned before, I like doing my homework in a classroom in one of the academic buildings. (Of course I can't give away the specific location at risk of losing my study spot!)

Ok that giant photo might give it away.

But more importantly, the point here is to designate a specific place in which you do your work or studying every day. If you want to take things one step further (which I recommend you do), make sure that study spot is the same study spot each time.

As you'll find, homework at college can be quite the mental game. It's often impossible to focus on homework and studying when it's gorgeous outside and you have that temptation, especially on a campus like ours in a place like VT.
Ugh, homework?! But I could just as easily go to Church Street. Get some Ben & Jerry's. Go to the Farmer's Market. Go on a hike. Up a mountain. Away from here.

It's understandable; you're only human. But thankfully, finding a tried and true study spot will help push these temptations out of your mind. By going to the same place every day to do your work, that mental switch will flip when you get there. By going to the same place every day, you associate that place with getting your work done...right down to the core of your being!

With that in mind, it's probably best that you avoid picking a study spot with a big gaping window overlooking campus and all the fun things everyone is doing. Also steer clear from places that typically get crowded or noisy. And please...please stay away from your room! Unless you've got the strongest will power of all time, it's pretty likely that the temptations of your TV, chatting with roommates, and your bed will be too much to handle. Make it easy on yourself and pick a relatively isolated, quiet space. Classrooms in the academic buildings, small lounges on your floor, or private library rooms are some great choices.

Good luck, happy studying, and stay tuned for the next Sum-It-Up Sunday on the 20th!

What are some of your tried and true study strategies?

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

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Sum-It-Up Sunday : Week #2

Hello all!

It's been another busy week here at St. Mike's. So busy, in fact, that I'm blogging tonight much later than usual! So without further ado, I'll get right to it!

This Saturday, I attended my very first Burlington Farmer's Market!! (I know, I've been here for over two years, that's insane. I'll be going much more often now!) It was AMAZING- so many people, dogs, great food, lots of cool stuff. And best of all, I was able to meet up with my brother (who attends Champlain College, for those of you who missed my first Sum-It-Up Sunday!) and meet some of his friends from school!
Also found at the Farmer's Market: this incredible doughnut. Now that I know Burlington has a doughnut bakery, I might be in a bit of danger. But nonetheless, I got a taste of what Doughnut Dilemma has to offer at their Farmer's Market tent this Saturday...and boy oh boy, was it a great taste. My eye led me to the bright pink-frosted doughnut, which turned out to be raspberry. YUM. I was an instant fan. Will be back. Look out.
Next, we made our way down to the South End for the annual Art Hop! This was my first time attending (yes, a lot of firsts this Saturday), as I was required to do so for my Art History class. But now that I know what a fun time it is, I'll more than likely be returning next year! More photos below...
**cue the flashback to freshman year...blacklight posters. all the blacklight posters.
The good weather held out just long enough for us to get back from our Burlington excursion on Saturday. Today, however, was a dreary one. But the walk to dinner had us admiring this gorgeous double rainbow! (The "double" part is pretty faint in this photo, but trust me, it was there. "All the way across the sky.")

Bear with me and this short post tonight! More to come on the next What-to-Know Wednesday on the 16th. Stay tuned!!

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

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

What-to-Know Wednesday : The Stories Behind My Bulletin Board

 Hello all!

When you go away to school- whether it's your freshman year or your junior year- it's important to bring parts of your home home to your second home. It could be stuffed animals, family photos, or in my case, it could be a bulletin board showcasing some memorable moments from the past couple of years.

Not only does it make my dorm room a little homier, but it also reminds me of some of my favorite places, things I've accomplished, and some amazing things I've crossed off the bucket list recently!

I also included a photo of my bulletin board in the last What-to-Know Wednesday, so I thought it would be fun to go through everything this week and provide backstories for each memento that's tacked up there!

First thing's first- this is a visitor map from one of my favorite places back home: Rockport, MA! It's an adorable little coastal town, and I've made a point to get there at least a couple of times each summer for the past two years.

This is a map from when my boyfriend and I visited Montreal for a weekend in our freshman year. For those of you considering a spontaneous getaway, be warned that it's not a cheap trip- but it's a lot of fun if you plan ahead and spend wisely! 
Yet another map- this time a trail map from a hike I took this summer up Mt. Monadnock in New Hampshire! It was a super strenuous but fun hike, with a breathtaking, rewarding view from the top!
My souvenir from the premier of the second Hunger Games movie!
My ticket from a Ben & Jerry's factory tour this past winter! We had already been in the area all weekend skiing Stowe, so we figured we'd make a stop on the way back.
Our freshman year, my boyfriend and I dressed as a cowboy and cowgirl for the Halloween Dance, and I've kept my "holster" ever since!

The trail map from the hike we just took this past weekend at Camel's Hump!
A little friendship charm that a coworker of mine from home gave all us girls at the end of the summer. It was another great summer lifeguarding at the YWCA in Newburyport, MA. I worked with a lot of great people who, if they weren't already, became even greater friends.
Naturally, I've saved the best for last: the mementos from my study tour to China this summer! It was an incredible trip, through which I learned so much about another part of the world, and more importantly, about myself. At times, it was certainly no picnic. It was challenging and testing. We were so fully immersed in a culture so vastly different from our own, with people who led lives profoundly different from ours, in a part of the world I never thought I'd see. However, I'm so glad that I did it. I proved to myself that I could eat pigeon meat and drink camel milk. I proved to myself that I could hike to the world's tallest natural arch and climb the untouched, forbidden sections of the Great Wall of China (and lemme tell ya, those were no Camel's Hump). I proved to myself that I could camp out in freezing temperatures and explore the city in scorching heat (in a country that doesn't believe in cold beverages, mind you). I proved to myself that I could come within a mile from the border to the Middle East, surrounded by crowds of Arabic-speaking strangers who couldn't seem to wrap their minds around why we were there. I bought a bracelet from a vendor on the modern-day Silk Roads. I rode a camel on a three-hour-trek to our campsite. Craziest of all, I braved all the bodily functions sans toilet. And those are stories I'll have to tell for a lifetime.
Leftover currency from China that couldn't be converted back to US dollars. (Referred to jokingly by my leading professor as "Mao Bucks" throughout the trip.)
And, lastly, my favorite part of going to China: riding this gorgeous creature, whom I fondly nicknamed Sheila, three hours through the Taklamakan Desert (also known as the Sea of Death). In a fleet of moody, loud, unpredictable camels, Sheila was calm, cool and collected. I mean, she knew enough to pose for this picture and look right at the camera, so that should tell you everything. I'll always remember Sheila as my good friend across the world.

What would you put on your bulletin board?

See you all next time for Sum-It-Up Sunday on the 13th!

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

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Sum-It-Up Sunday : Week #1

Hello all!

Well, it's official- we've come out of our first week of classes alive! So far, I'm loving my classes. This semester, I have everything in the afternoon, which is definitely a change of pace for me. I'm adjusting well so far, and I've found that it's been nice having the morning to get a good breakfast, go to the gym, and take some more time getting ready for the day than I was able to last year with 8 AM classes!

I had a great first week and and weekend, so without further ado, here comes the weekly review in photos!

Reppin' all our favorite spots at The View, which, as suggested by name, is the best view on campus. 

Our first trip to Church Street of the year- complete with breakfast sandwiches from Kountry Kart (likely the best sandwich you'll find downtown)!

A dorm visit to my brother, who just started his freshman year at Champlain College! He's a quick ten minutes from St. Mike's, so play-dates are convenient!

We all know by now that VT sunsets are the best's the first one (of many to come) I documented this year!

On Saturday, we hiked Camel's Hump in Huntington for the first time! It was a great one, and while it was certainly a workout, the view at the top made the sweaty backpacks and twisted ankles well worth it. 4,083 ft, everybody!! Give it a shot, you'll never feel more on top of the world.

Another stroll down Church Street today- this time we stopped by a Taco Gordo cart and got two carnitas (pork) tacos for just $7. Fresh and delicious!

Then we made our first trip of the year down to the Champlain waterfront, which, as I've mentioned a gratuitous amount of times before, is far and away my favorite spot downtown. You just can't beat that view!

Thanks for reading everyone, and be sure to tune in for the next What-to-Know Wednesday on the 9th!

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