1st Semester: Over!

I can’t believe the semester is almost over already. I don’t have any more classes and I’m writing my last final tomorrow morning… at 7:30am… (Sigh) Anyways, my thoughts on this semester: First of all, it went by too fast although it does seem to have been a while since orientation. That is probably only because of all the things that I’ve done this semester. I went to Boston for a few days (to visit some friends who study there), Miami for a few days (because you just have to go see Miami, it is Miami after all), soccer intramurals, badminton club, blogging, gym three to four times a week, American Football, etc. Of course etc. are the things that I maybe don’t want to post up for everyone to read… As a freshman who has not joined a fraternity, I didn’t think I would be doing so much in my first semester other than studying and… well truth is I didn’t know what to expect; but it seems university is really great, and totally enjoyable. I think that it is not just university in general, but it is Florida State in particular. Last week there was this Breakfast-for-a-buck thing I wrote about in one of my earlier posts, it was definitely worth waiting about an hour in line for. The food was great, and the complimentary stuff that happened before was also an amazing experience. It was almost like we weren’t in Florida anymore for a night. There was a snow machine that created artificial snow and it was almost like the real deal. There were snowball fights going on, others were making snowmen, and it was chilly as London! That was an extraordinary experience; to be able to live as if there was snow, in a place that has never snowed before.  At the same time there was a Salsa show at Club Downunder; I heard it was really good, too bad I missed it. I was bowling and playing billiards at the Crenshaw. Just so you know by the way, everything mentioned above was going on at Oglesby Union. I’ll say it again like I have before. This union is great! A lot of things happen there and you are guaranteed a good Friday-night every Friday.

Now I go home and get back to studying for that last final exam. After that, Christmas break!! Ciao.


Finals Week:

Just one more exam to go and then I will be done! Wow! The first semester zoomed by so fast it almost makes me nostalgic if I stop and think about it…..almost.

As much as I love FSU and the people and everything, a good long 10-12 hour sleep is more precious to me than anything in the world, and so I’m gonna pack my bags tonight, give my exam tomorrow and exit into my own personal solitude for the next three and a half weeks. Oh and I’m going to finally do my laundry too…sometime tonight.

Anyway back to finals week. Surviving finals week isn’t very hard. All you have to do is say goodbye to a good-nights sleep and assure yourself of the bright future that awaits you if you do well and that you get 3weeks off after just a week.  So today I bestow on you helpful tips that I found useful during my time of stress 🙂

1)      Don’t Panic

I know that sounds hard but try not to panic that much. First check how much your final is actually worth. If it’s less than 20% then you won’t be really able to bring it more up than a grade so relax the worst that can happen is that you’d have to take the class again next term

2)      But don’t relax to much either

However if the grade is worth more than 20% you’ve hit the jackpot so study hard. However it’s best not to go to class thinking that you need to get an 80 or something to maintain your grade because most teachers have their own ways of computing final grades

3)      Set your alarm and actually wake up…well I don’t have to really explain this one

4)      Coffee

Even though your mother or some health scientist has probably overloaded you with information on how harmful coffee really is, let’s be real and accept that we do need to sometimes stay awake till 5am in the morning and coffee really does help. However I am in no way what so ever suggesting that you fill your blood system with coffee. It’s like a win-lose situation as you have the whole of the remaining weeks after finals to get the coffee out of your system

5)      Eat healthy

I have seriously been eating healthier than I have eaten all semester. There are a variety of organic food markets in Tallahassee and I have been utilizing them to the max. My R.A told us that eating apples and having tea is an excellent alternative to having coffee, I tried that twice and it worked but my Starbucks addiction got in the way.

6)      Get comfortable

Isn’t studying in your jammies the best? I have realized that my retention rate goes way up if I study in comfortable clothes rather than my skinny jeans and stuff. The best part is that I have found many people who come to Strozier dressed in their baggiest but warmest clothes and I feel by no means out of place.

7)      Take breaks

As important as it is not to be distracted when you finally get in the zone to study, taking breaks is equally important. Your brain needs to rest and 20 minutes won’t hurt anyone. You could go eat something, talk to a friend, take a walk or even clean your room (which I did last night) and even though cleaning the room sounds painfully boring it is an excellent way to clear your mind!

Adios for now!! this was my last post for the semester but I will keep blogging when I get back from break! Happy Holidays!

Strozier, The Main Library

You knew it was coming. Here it is; the post about Strozier. If you have read my introduction, then you know that FSU is a highly ranked research institute in the United States. Needless to say then, Strozier has an outstanding amount of resources! Together with the other libraries, its collection has over three million volumes, 78,000 periodicals and serials, and over 600 databases, many of which is available online. Those can be dated way back in the 16-1700s and onward. The library’s new undergraduate common area (ground floor) was renovated to help undergraduate students with anything and everything, from one-on-one tutoring/helping to group workshops, and through the reading/writing center, you can ask for your assignment to be revised and you will be given some great feedback that will allow you to always be able to achieve the highest grades possible on each and every assignment. There are also language tutors for Spanish, Italian, French, and Russian. There is also “Advising First” at the library where you can walk in to their office and ask for advising and they’ll help you right away if they are not busy with other students. There is a more than sufficient amount of computers with internet access spread over the different levels. There are sound-proof rooms that you can reserve for group work with projectors. The atmosphere is just great for doing homework assignments and projects. In fact, I’ve done most of my assignments at Strozier because it helps me focus on the assignment and at the same time, the internet is really fast and you can do all the research you need easily. There are also quiet areas designated for studying and people who need absolute silence in order to work effectively. There is a media center with computers designated for editing pictures, articles, publishing, etc. The screens are all large flat screens and no sound is allowed from computers without headphones/earphones, which makes even the non-quiet zones quiet enough for working on assignments and studying. There is a lot of space between each computer so you can be extremely comfortable. Here’s the highlight though. There’s a Starbucks on the ground floor with a tempting resting area where you can enjoy some silent reading or conversations with friends or work groups, partners, etc. Now, with all that being said, no matter how much you know or hear about this library, you would definitely still be overwhelmed with all the equipment and services that it offers. Click here for a link to the Libraries home page where you can find links to each of the libraries, or click here for a link to the undergraduate common area at Strozier.

Just outside of Strozier is Landis Green. That is the main park on campus. It is such a beautiful place to chill on nice sunny days. It gets more and more enchanting as spring draws nearer.  Eventually you will just not be able to resist lying down on its grass. It is also a great hangout and place for casual sports such as throwing a Frisbee or an American football around. Sometimes people play soccer there too. Finally, the Legacy Fountain is a fountain located in the center of the park and adds to its beautiful and pleasant aura.

Post 4: Just one more week to go….

Noles minced the Gators!!!!! WOOH! 31-7 what a game!

Even though I was in Miami for thanksgiving break (and I am completely in love with Miami) what I really wanted was to be back in Tally watching the Noles spear the gators and celebrating here and not there!  We get to go to the ACC championship game, FSU is also the state champion after 1999 and we also finished the season ranked inside the top 20! This has in my opinion been an awesome season for FSU.

For those of you who don’t know Florida State University and the University of Florida have had a long standing rivalry which gets pretty intense. This rivalry is not just limited to the football field but goes in all corners around academic to diversity in student population.

So back to the game, when we started the gators (UF) took a lead of 7-3, but after that the Noles didn’t let them score and rounded up the game at 31-7. And right after the game it was found that Maryland had beaten NC State which gave FSU a chance to take part in the ACC championship which will be held in Charlotte, NC. Pretty cool stuff, huh?

Apart from that exam week is here 😦 and the tension is killing me. I have 3 finals and one multimedia presentation next week!!! I have to run to the library every morning at 9 to get a good spot because by 10 the whole place is full and don’t even get me started about studying at night! I can’t do all-nighters no matter how hard I try and two nights ago the library was so crowded by people that I ended up sitting on the floor between the book shelves (it was surprisingly comfortable) but that was also because I was too lazy to check the other floors for available seating.

FSU has 8 libraries; my favorite is Dirac Science library because it’s really quiet there but Strozier or Club Stroz as the lingo here goes is the most popular, mostly because of the wide variety of facilities it offers. It is open 24 hours a day for 5 days a week. All of the libraries have a lot of sources both in online and hardcopy form (the website says over 3 million) they also offer free tutoring for most of the classes. There is academic advising and one-on-one help options which comes in handy when you have multimedia or research projects. The website also helps with a free citation manager which I think is really helpful because I’m terrible at citations. Also the study rooms are sound proof and they have smart rooms too which are really cool!

A word of advice before I sign off and head to study again: Even though I am the kind of person who studies best in my night suit studying in the room isn’t really a good idea….there are just too many distractions like food and a cozy bed 😦

Well, this is going to be a hard week….adios for now!!!!

Classes and Registration

It is time to register for classes for spring. I had meetings with advisors last week which reminded me of the one thing that can be easily undervalued at university: advising. It is crucial to think carefully with an advisor before registering for classes at the beginning of each semester. A mistake can cause you a whole lot of trouble just like I was caused a lot of trouble. Thankfully, there are many advisors who are gladly willing to help any student of any major. There are general advisors and major-specific advisors. If I had one thing to tell you to do with regards to registering for classes, that would be to sit down with an advisor and discuss your schedule thoroughly. Registration is done online, and once you have discussed your schedule with an advisor, all you have to do is go online and find the courses that you want to register for and register for them. The hard part is figuring out your schedule. There’s this thing at FSU called “Advising First”. It is all about helping students build the best possible schedule. They have their own website. Click here to view it.

Once that is taken care of, you finally start going to class. During the first week of class, you have the opportunity to change your schedule. This first week of classes is called drop/add week. You can drop classes and add others as you see fit as often as you need as long as you do so during drop/add. This is very useful, as many times when you plan a schedule with an advisor, you may not be able to register for some of the classes you want to take because it is full. This especially happens to freshman since they are the last group that’s window of registration opens, as it opens after it does for the seniors, juniors, and sophomores, respectively. During drop/add, people always seem to drop out of classes and those just might be the same classes that you wanted to take but were full. Now you can take those classes. So you have to always go back to the registration page and check to see if classes have opened up and be the first to sign up for them.

Classes are really comfortable here at FSU. Professors are really understanding and sympathetic towards students most of the time. I only didn’t say always instead of ‘most of the time’ because I haven’t been taught by every professor at FSU, but so far, all my professors have been great with the students, including myself. They try to make class as enjoyable as possible too. My economics class can sometimes be the most fun part of the day. The professor always tries to come up with ways to make class activities as enjoyable as they are practical and useful in helping the students remember the points of the lesson; and he does a terrific job at that. All professors have “walk-in” hours too; so if you have questions about anything you took in class, you can meet with your professors during those walk-in hours and they will definitely help you out.

Most important points to remember:

1)      See an advisor as soon as you arrive at FSU.

2)      Register for classes as soon as you’ve figured out a schedule with you advisor.

3)      Professors are willing to help, so go to them during their office hours if you have questions.

As long as you remember those three things, you should be just fine.

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