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I think it can be said that the fall semester here at Fontbonne has flown by faster than anyone thought possible. There were days that I wondered how I would make it to the end with my sanity in tact. With a schedule that consisted of two 12 hour days, two 10 hour days, one 7 hour day, and weekends full of homework and studio time, there were times when it felt impossible. There were many lessons I learned from this semester, however, that I hope to take with me into the next three semesters I have left.

  1. Don’t look at the whole semester at once, just get through one class at a time and one day at a time. When I was trying to get through my longest days it was more manageable if I broke it down by what class I had next, how much time I had to relax/eat, and what I had to get done before the next class started. Breaking everything down incrementally helped me keep my sanity and kept me on track with my work load.
  2. Figure out what your priorities are and go from there. It’s easy to loose track when you’re not sure what to do first, or you’d rather be doing something more fun and exciting. But when you’ve got 15 credit hours, a part time job, and bills to pay, sometimes you have to make sacrifices and decide what your top priorities are. Make a list if that helps. I have made countless lists this semester of everything from my daily schedule to important due dates for projects. It helped me stay organized and that allowed me to sneak some fun stuff in too.
  3. Make time to take care of yourself. I know it can be really hard to make sure you’re getting enough sleep or eating mostly healthy, but it’s so important when you’re going through the stress of college. The amount of people in my classes that got sick this semester was staggering. And all of them missed at least one day of school because of being sick. If you make time for sleep and make a greater effort at eating healthier, your immune system will have a better chance at fighting off the illnesses that circulate each year and all of that will reduce your stress level significantly.
  4. Work on that procrastination. Like now. Not next semester, not next week. It’s easy to put off writing that paper or finishing that project later when you’ve got a week or two till it’s due. I’ve always been really good at putting things off until the last minute, and it sucks every single time. So, in the interest of reducing stress and keeping on track, that will be put at the top of my priority list starting now.

I’m sure there were several other lessons that were learned, but these are the big four that come to mind immediately. The important thing is that you take a look at the things you’ve learned this semester and try to apply those things to next semester, or your life in general. There is so much more to learn and it’ll be interesting to see what the new year brings!

 

Cheers!

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Studying abroad, especially going to such distant countries like the US. .is definitely excited. However, along with the excitement for the trip ahead, packing your stuff would be a challenging mind game if you want to make your stay convenient and comfortable.

  1. Put cash in several places.

Even with the advancement of internet banking today, it is still inconvenient to have absolutely no cash or too little cash on hand. Transferring money from countries to countries is also often charged. Thus, bringing some cash with you is necessary.

There should always be cautious about unanticipated situations. Losing your purse, bag, or baggage is one of those. To prevent getting all your money lost and being trapped in unwanted troubles, put cash here and there. Keep most in your personal wallet that you always have, a large note in your front pocket and some in the backpack.

But of course, remember to always keep your valuable belongings on you.

  1. Have an extra set of clothes in your backpack.

You have packed all your favorite pieces into your checked baggage, hoping to start your new life at a new place with your most confident costumes. But who knows if there would be problems with the baggage transferring between places or flights? You will never know when that one who got his or her baggage lost is you. Besides the terror of losing your belongings, the greater question is, how are you going to appear in front of everyone in your new school with this dirty shirt you had on one day ago before you boarded the flight? The answer is, that extra new one in your backpack.

As it would be placed in your backpack, the clothes should not be of significant weight. A casual clean T-shirt and a pair of shorts should be good enough.

And do not forget your underwear.

  1. Universal adapter is never redundant.

Upon traveling to a foreign country, it is important to check the type of electricity plug used in that country. You do not want to be in that situation where everything is nicely organized except your table lamp cannot be turned on and your phone is unable to charged. Hence the adapter should be in your carry-on bag, too.

  1. Charge everything before setting off.

Keeping in touch is quite the most important thing when traveling to a foreign country alone. Getting all your devices fully charged is a way to keep in touch. Thus, you should charge your laptop, your phone, your tablet, etc. before leaving your house. Do remember to have all the chargers in your backpack just in case those devices run out of battery, which is likely to happen because the travelling time to the US from all countries outside the continent America is long, unless you have your own private jet and pilot, of course.

Also, it is recommended that one should bring a portable charger instead of the charging cable only. Some airports do not have charging stations available or easily spotted. In case of your phone dying in an emergency, the portable little friend would come in handful.

The above are just a few basic tips. Other things such as your beloved teddy bear, or the lucky charm your mother gave you would be up to personal preference. Do not worry too much because studying abroad is a marvelous experience and if you are lucky enough, you can buy other necessities as very cheap prices.

 

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Linh

Tips for finals

by Linh on December 7, 2015

in Academics

So finals are up and this week is almost the last lap of the semester. I believe that all of us have, in one way or another, some struggles to study for exams, especially holiday is so close. Nevertheless, we still need to pass through this period, so that we would not have to worry about GPA or having to retake classes after the long break.

As a master of last-minute studying, I have a few tips for those who work well under time pressure like me.

  1. Procrastinate, but not too much: You should go to sleep early at night, but wake up a little early in the morning. I know a lot of us are not morning people, but still. I’m not telling you to wake up early and study, because for some of us that would not be efficient. Instead, take that little extra time in the morning to procrastinate. For me this is extremely efficient because at some point of time during doing work, my brain would lose focus and wander around for a while. To keep it focus all the time during a timed assessment, I procrastinate first. I go online, talk to my friends, listen to music, watch some short video clips. After a while, I would get bored and would be scared because I have not done my work. And then when I go and do it, I can finish it in one blink, because I’m fully focus.
  2. Sleep, but not too much: Again, go to sleep early and wake up early. Take a 6-hour sleep at night, one 30-minute power nap after lunch. You need at least 6 hours for a fresh mind, and 30 minutes to refresh it. That’s what science says and I’m the living proof for this. Lunch can make you extremely sleepy. Just go to sleep, because if you study, it would not be effective, either.
  3. Take breaks. Lots of breaks: I know when it comes to the very last minute, we would panic and study nonstop. But do you realize that even when you “don’t stop,” you actually find the information harder to memorize, the sentences harder to understand? That is because when you have too many things that you are worried and thinking about, your brain would not be able to concentrate. Take it easy, take a deep breath, drink some ice water if you are not sick, send a snapchat to your friends telling how miserable you are. And then open your revision assignments and do it in one go.

These are the things that I found effective for myself. If you are struggling, try these methods. If you are not, good for you.

Happy study!

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There are only 2 weeks left until the very end of this semester. After this is a 1-month break for all of us. Many of us may have cool travelling plans or just go home (if you are not from St. Louis) for Christmas. And of course, many of us would stay in St. Louis and enjoy the Midwest cold.

Food is of course an inevitable part of holidays. Holidays are to gain weight. But not necessarily if you have good AND healthy food – most famous Asian dishes are like that. Though Yelp is pretty helpful, the reviews are not always accurate. Now, I, as an Asian food lover that has tried many Asian restaurants since I first cam to St. Louis, have 3 recommendations to make your cold winter warmer.

  1. Hongkong Dimsum: WeiHong seafood restaurant                                                                                                                 Where: 7740 Olive Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63130                                                                                                                         Why: Though are Not high-rated compared to Lulu and Wonton King, this place is my personal favorite. The Dimsum is served from 12-3pm and are all newly cooked. The place looked sketchy and old but it makes this restaurant look more mysterious. The Dimsum is the best compared to other places since its fillings are tastier. The service is also quite good during non-rush hours.
  2. Pad Thai: Pad Thai                                                                                                                                                                         Where: 12676 Lamplighter Square, Saint Louis, MO 63128                                                                                                  Why: I I I have to agree with Yelp on this one. I had the best.Pad.Thai.ever. There are lots of meats and beansprouts compared to the usually large portion of noodle. It is not too sweet like how they often make it in Thai restaurants in America. This restaurant gives a more authentic taste of Thailand and authentic is always best.
  3. Vietnam’s Bun Bo Hue: Truc Lam                                                                                                                                              Where: 3737 Gravois Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63116                                                                                                                  Why: You have the fullest, tastiest, hottest Bun Bo Hue here. Though Pho are generally more well-known as the signature Vietnamese food, Bun Bo Hue has been rising in popularity. I have eaten this dish at more than 5 Vietnamese restaurants including the famous ones, but this one here in Truc Lam got my heart. The portion is relatively bigger and there are more things to eat inside the bowl, compared to other places. Their service is fast, too. This place is a must if you want to try Vietnamese food.

Hope this list saved you some time choosing where to eat during your winter break!

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Preparing for Finals

by Katie December 7, 2015

It’s a bittersweet time of the year! As students, we have finals to study for and our schedules start filling up during the month of December… but, on a brighter note, the end of the semester is near and so is the winter holiday Since finals and some level of stress are in students’ inevitable […]

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It’s the Finals Countdown

by Brooke December 7, 2015

Hey all, Brooke here! With finals quickly approaching… everything on campus seems to be a little more hectic and a little more alive. With this being my 7th finals week at Fontbonne (whoa!), I have a few pointers (or at least places) that may help you survive these next two weeks! At Fontbonne, we are […]

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Finals are right around the corner. What have you learned this semester?

by Karen November 4, 2015

I have learned several things this semester. The first and most important thing I learned is your education has to be high on your priority list. If you are struggling, seek help immediately, it is vital to your success. My course work consisted of budgeting and finance, economics and finance for non-finance managers. These courses have […]

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Favorite Time of Year

by Dani October 26, 2015

Of all the seasons in the midwest, I have to say that autumn is hands down my favorite one. The weather has cooled down from the hot weather of summer, but hasn’t hasn’t become the unbearable cold of winter. Everything is crisp and there’s a riot of color everywhere. One of my favorite activities in […]

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Do You Ever Wonder If You Could Learn Another Language By Yourself Alone?

by Linh October 23, 2015

I speak three languages. One is my mother tongue. One is part of the school curriculum since I was young. One was self-picked-up due to mere personal interest. Learning languages is difficult, not to mention languages that are not in the same “system” as your mother tongue. Take Chinese and English as examples: the basic […]

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Local Coffee Shops

by Dani October 19, 2015

Maybe I’m broaching a subject that has already been done, or perhaps more than a bit stereotypical? But it’s near and dear to my heart. St. Louis offers up some awesome local coffee shops to fulfill the caffeine needs of any student. If you’re looking for something relatively close to Fontbonne I would have to […]

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