Monday December 10, 2012 -- Wrapping Things Up

As we approach the end of the semester, I will be graduating with my bachelor's degree. My final thoughts that I want to leave are the positive experiences I have had over the last couple of years. I have met people from all walks of life and learned things beyond anything I ever anticipated.

The thing that I appreciate most about my time at UH Manoa is the people. I went through very hard times in this last semester with the passing of my grandmother and the sudden and unexpected diagnosis of one of my parents. I am deeply saddened, but I have been able to work through these tough times with the support of my family, friends, classmates, and professors. While I am deeply saddened, I have been blessed to know that I will make it through this because I am not a number at UH Manoa. The aloha spirit is a way of the life and I have been shocked by the outpouring of support I receive and have received. I was never one to openly share things about my personal life and to put myself in situations where I was uncomfortable, but those risks made the biggest impact on me and the memories I have shared.

To my NSO ohana I encourage you to get involved with your campus and to reach out to the many opportunities that are available to you. Without the relationships and interactions that I have had, I would not have had the same experience. These years at UH Manoa go by so quickly. Take advantage of the challenges that lay before you and take the time to experience new things. Even if it seems like it is something that you are not interested, give it a try!

When you embark on the next semester... think BIG, think GRAND, and GO FOR IT! Take chances and take risks. You never know what you may find. Your entire Warrior ohana at UH Manoa is behind you!

Wednesday October 24, 2012 -- Being a UH Fanatic

Am I a UH sports fan? Absolutely!!! From volleyball to baseball, I am truly a UH sports fan. Whether watching the game from the stands or on TV, being a part of the event gives me a sense of pride. It's always a rush!! I watch the game and I see people I know or identify with. It's really cool to watch them grow and develop over the seasons. When I do go to the games, I see people who go to class and put in hours on end practicing tirelessly preparing for games. I love seeing the talent and hard work that lies within our university. Oh and that feeling after a win is indescribable!!! You almost feel like you were in some way a part of the homerun or the last spike of the 5th set. Everyone gets up and cheers to celebrate the victory. I always think about the families and the moms and dads beaming with pride. While I'm always hoping for a "W" I admit, we win some and we lose some. The thing I always remember is from my childhood (a.k.a.- back in the day). I remember my dad saying, "UH always has ups and downs. We win some and we lose some. The thing is though, when they win we all win!" It's true... when they win "WE" win. The entire state and the entire student body!

Seeing students, alumni, and community supporters in the stands shows me the unique characteristics of our university. I remember growing up knowing nothing else. My whole family and everyone I knew was a UH supporter. Being in Hawaii it's instinctive to support the Rainbows, Warriors, and Wahine! Maybe it's because we don't have a professional sports teams. Maybe it's because we only have one public university. I think it's because we are from a unique place that rallies together when given a challenge. That's something really special about this place. We may be an ocean away from every other school or even farther, but never underestimate what we can do. We are Warriors!

Thursday October 18, 2012 -- Getting Involved

Getting involved has changed my college experience. When I returned to college I was excited and I was happy as I really do love UH Manoa, but I found myself going straight to class and straight home. I wasn't unhappy, but I was missing out on things I didn't even know of. The first group that took my interest was the Speech Communication Society. I am a Communicology major, formerly know as Speech, and the club is focused on bridging the gap between the majors, minors, and faculty. They do several events from a beach bash, to workshops, and also host a faculty vs students bowling night. The bowling is always the talk of the department and I love how the friendly competition gets everyone comfortable and I have seen the relationships between the professors and students grow because of it. They also host a luncheon at the end of the semester. Everyone gets dressed up and they go off to lunch. Active members go for FREE!

I didn't get the first job I applied for on campus, but I did get a job as a tutor and mentor at with the athletic department. I am not a perfect student, but I found it so rewarding to work with student-athletes and I enjoy learning about other students. Through this opportunity, I have found various career goals that interest me and I have been blessed to be surrounded by people that are so supportive of me. I say over and over again, that work doesn't feel like work when you enjoy what you are doing and you are making a difference!

Next, I got involved with NSO. NSO has been a window to learning about another portion of the student body and I learned a lot of leadership skills and learned a lot about myself. There were so many opportunities and challenges and I feel that it made a huge impact on my college experience. I found out that I really like working with other adult students, organizing, planning, and executing ideas. All that aside, the most rewarding part of being with NSO has been to meet new students and see them around campus. It's so awesome to see all the students and to see them having fun, smiling, and doing their thing :)

I am also a member of an honor society and while it is great to be a part of the organization I am glad that they are focused on doing community outreach and service.

I encourage everyone to get involved. If ever in doubt, start off with something small. Look within your department or for something that interests you. Getting involved will enhance your college experience. You'll get to know other people, learn more about the campus and student body, learn lifelong leadership skills, and work with people who are interested in your success as much as you are.

Wednesday September 26, 2012 -- How to Deal with Midterms

Midterms are just around the corner if they haven't begun to hit you already. I remember my first semester in college feeling very overwhelmed and anxious about the fact that they were so unknown and so intimidating to think about. My words of advice for avoiding stress are as follows:

My top 10 ways of avoiding stress and cramming during midterms and finals
10. Create study groups! We are very social beings and being supported by others reduces anxiety.
9. Take intermittent breaks. Don't overload yourself.
8. Come up with several study methods: flashcards, writing things out, etc.
7. Work on the study guides as soon as possible!!! That's the best way to become familiar with the content and discover where you're at.
6. Write out your exam schedule and set priorities.
5. Think about what has worked for you in the past and what hasn't worked... come up with a midterm plan-of-action. It will be useful every semester.
4. Read all your assigned readings and match them up with your notes from class. Application creates long-term memory results.
3. TALK TO THE PROFESSOR!!! Create a relationship with him or her :)
2. Avoid cramming!!! (Plan early and be sure to set time aside to rest and relax)
1. Be confident!!! - Think about your previous accomplishments!

It will pay off in the long run if you plan ahead. Stick to your schedule and you will be fine! Good luck!!!

Wednesday August 29, 2012 -- My First Day of School

My first day at school was epic! I was so excited to start the last semester of my bachelor's degree. What to wear? Where to go? Where are my classes? All those questions raced through my mind leading up until the moment I stepped onto campus. Once I got here, I found just the right parking space and had my NSO cup in hand. Off to a great start I was thrilled to see former classmates, friends, and all the new students on campus. I sincerely love this place!!! At that moment I knew that it was going to be SUPER important for me to appreciate every moment and to make this the best semester ever.

The first stop I made was at the campus center computer lab where I saw many familiar NSO faces. It was so awesome. On my mission to always be prepared I printed out the syllabi for my classes as well as the lecture notes. The girl sitting next to me needed help and since I am an NSO at heart I proceeded to help her. I looked at her and could remember that feeling, like it was yesterday.

Next stop... Starbucks!!! Venti cool lime refresher, with strawberry. Oh yeah!!!

Then, I proceeded to my first class, Interrogation and Interviewing! It was packed!!!! It also had a bunch of people still trying to get in. I was so grateful and realized I was really lucky to have a spot. Just a few seats over was a fellow NSO employee, Erik and WWW leader, Sheana. (Sweet!) As people started to come in everyone had smiles on their faces and I began to greet other students. Everyone was so happy... Did I mention I love this place??? Learning in this environment amongst other happy people was going to be awesome.

Going on to my next class I saw some of the fellow NSO leaders along the way and it was cool to see them in their own element, yet they still kinda looked like they were leading people by giving out directions. LOL... It was cute :) This next class was something I was worried about all summer because this professor is notorious for being extremely difficult. Not letting it deter me, I walked in confidently! Being a Communicology major, the topic intrigued me... Deceptive Communication. Funny thing was that the class made up of 75% males. Hmmm! What does that mean? Hahaha.

After that, I went to grab a bit to eat at Paradise Palms. I had the gyro and filled my NSO cup up with water. That was it, I had a great day!