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Party Safe by Lisa Pfau & Patricia Huang

PFAU 18 edited 01 Party Safe by Lisa Pfau & Patricia Huang

I know this post is one weekend too late, but maybe you’re at that point where you’re reflecting on your Halloween debauchery and wondering how you let X happen… I really hope everyone reading this had fun at Halloween parties without getting hurt, but that is not always the case. So, what can you do to ensure that you have fun, but also avoid personal harm? Well, there are a few simple steps:

 

  • Have a party buddy – I think it’s so important, especially for young women, to have a close friend or classmate that you trust to go out partying with. This buddy is particularly important if you are going to a party at someone’s place that you don’t know. When I was in Undergrad I was a super nerd, so I didn’t really go out much or even get drunk. However, in Grad School it was a whole different story.  I had broke up with my long-term boyfriend of five years and I just wanted to have. Unfortunately, that fun sometimes got me into trouble, including meeting questionable men, puking on lawns, and going to work hung over.  Yep!  Even us nerdy folks make mistakes. However, I manage to avoid complete catastrophe by making sure each time I went out, I brought one or a posse of female friends. Even though all of us were there to have fun, we also looked out for each other, and if we saw anything questionable going on, one of us would pull the plug and call a cab.  It’s much easier to leave a bad situation when your friend is telling you that you’re going to miss your ride, than get out of it yourself. So, make sure you have someone who has your back when you’re going out on the town.

 

  • Plan a safe way home – Know how to not only get to the party, but how you get home. This includes knowing when the last bus is if you plan on taking public transit, or having Uber, Lyft, or your favorite cab company saved in your phone.  You may even want to write down a phone number, in case your phone dies. Or, and make sure you have cash to pay for the trip, or the number of a friend to call, if you are truly stuck.

 

  • Make a curfew – You also may want set a time when you plan on leaving the party. Things usually get more shady as the evening creeps onward. It might seem like a cool idea to stay out until the wee hours of the morning and find out how the drama turns out, but usually it isn’t what you hoped for. Most likely, it’s a bunch of people passed out, sick, or really agitated by the end of the night. So, have you fun and head home at a reasonable time to get the sleep you need to have a productive day the night after.

 

Halloween parties and college parties are wonderful.  You can make new friends, get a little goofy, and just let loose. But, make sure you are doing all of that in a way that protects your health and safety.

When should you drop a course? by Lisa Pfau & Patricia Huang

PFAU 17 edited 01 1 When should you drop a course? by Lisa Pfau & Patricia Huang

It can be a difficult realization to discover that your original academic plan is not working for you, and you’re struggling to meet the expectations of a particular course. Should you drop it? Or, you should you ride it out and see if you can pass?

 

There are a few things to consider when deciding whether or not to stay in a class that you not doing well in:

DEADLINES: The first and most obvious question to ask yourself, is has the add/drop deadline passed? If the deadline has already passed, well, I guess the university has made the decision for you. Thus, it is important to make a note in your calendar at the beginning of the semester of any important deadlines, such as add/drop or submission for graduation. You don’t want an administrative oversight to jeopardize your future. There are actually two add/drop deadlines to pay attention to. The earlier deadline usually allows you to drop a course and get a full or partial refund. The second deadline usually allows you to drop a course, but you may not be able to get a refund for your tuition.  If finances are an issue for you, it is particularly important to note this difference.  As an aside, I am writing this blog post a week before the first add/drop deadline usually comes into affect in colleges and universities, so you may want to check your own university calendar too.

 

REQUIRED vs. OPTIONAL: Another important thing to note is whether or not the course you are considering dropping is a required course or optional. If it is optional and you are struggling, it may be easier to decide to drop it. However, if it is a required course, you need to consider when you may be able to take it again as you cannot avoid it completely. Some courses only run every two years, so you really need to check with your faculty and department before deciding to drop any required courses to ensure that you will be able to take it before your graduate.  In addition, you need to check to ensure that that particular course is not required for any future courses you want to take as that will also impact your timeline.

 

WORKLOAD: Finally, I would consider the impact of dropping this course on your overall workload. Will dropping this course help to give you more time to focus on other required courses.  It is important to get good grades in the courses that are directly related to your major and degree, so if dropping an optional course will allow you to do that then that might be a good reason to let it go. However, if you are struggling with the course for other reasons, such as not understanding the course content or other factors in your life that are impacting your ability to do well in class, you might want to look into resolving some of those issues before deciding to drop the course. For example, you could look into getting a tutor. Or, you might go to student services and see if you can get some other supports to help you to manage your time and adjusting to university better.

 

Dropping a course is not an easy decision, but sometimes it is easier to admit defeat than to continue fighting a losing battle. Remember it is about winning the war, not one little fight.

 

**All blog content is original created by Lisa Pfau and Patricia Huang. Please respect our intellectual property rights and do not copy any of this content without our prior permission.  However, please do feel free to share widely.

 

KICK PROCRASTINATION OUT OF YOUR MIND!! By Lisa Pfau & Patricia Huang

PFAU 9 comic book edited final 01 LARGE KICK PROCRASTINATION OUT OF YOUR MIND!! By Lisa Pfau & Patricia Huang

“Procrastination may not take up a lot of effort physically…but it takes over the mind!” ~ Stephen Hall

 

To be honest, I procrastinated writing this post about procrastination…

…I put away my dishes. I filled my water bottle. I searched up some good music. I adjusted my writing lamp. I even posted a quote about procrastination to Instagram. An hour and half later here I am finally putting words on paper.

 

Procrastination seems to take little effort, but pretty quickly it becomes a job in itself, taking real effort avoiding the task at hand and filling it with other unproductive and likely unnecessary activities. So, what can you do to kick procrastination out of your head?

 

“Whatever form of procrastination comes in, learn to identify it, root it, and kick it out! ~ Jim Howard

 

Procrastination usually comes in for me in the form of small little administrative tasks or detailed searches on Google or unnecessary tidying or straightening up.  When I feel like I’m really busy scurrying around, but not really getting anything substantial done, I know that I’m procrastinating. I tend to do this when I’m nervous about a tasks or imagine it to be more difficult or painful than it is in reality, such as writing this blog post! Yeah, writing a blog post takes work, but once I get going it usually just flows. It’s the getting started that takes 80% of the effort. Fortunately, there are a few things I can do in those moments to get me back on track:

 

  • POSITIVE SELF-TALK: If I’m already worried about something, beating myself up about dragging my feet to face it will only make me want to avoid it more. Instead, I try to take a moment to be with my anxiety, acknowledge it, and reassure myself that it’s not as bad, hard, scary, whatever as I dream it to be. I also remind myself how many times in the past I have faced a similar situation and been successful. Finally, I even acknowledge that procrastination is normal, and take a deep breath and get started. As I said in the previous paragraph, getting started is often the hardest part.

 

  • I START: Even if I only finished part of what I planned for that day, I feel like I achieved something. Sometimes just putting pen to paper for 10 minutes is enough for me to get over the original obstacle that was holding me back and fueling my procrastination. Then, the next day it is much easier to get to work immediately because those 10 minutes helped to restore my confidence and reduce my stress. Instead of staring into a blank overwhelming abyss of possibility; there is something on paper and the finished post suddenly seems only a few keystrokes away.

 

  • BREAK BIG PROJECTS INTO SMALLER TASKS: Writing 50+ blog posts can seem overwhelming, but if I break it down into one blog a week that seems doable. Now, that I had a timeline, I can also start thinking of topics that might fit that time of the school year and plan ahead (in other words, use my usual procrastinating tactic of list making for good). This planning ahead will prevent me from getting trapped by my incessantly need to research and generate ideas when I’m avoiding writing an essay. No need to think of a topic for that week because I already have one planned out in advance. I can even break each blog post into parts (opening hook, introduction/personal story, tips, closing statement). Then, if I can’t get the whole post done at once, I can at least finish one section at a time.

 

  • SET DEADLINES: My blog post needs to be up every Wednesday morning at 6:00am, so I need to finish it before then. Granted, it is currently 9:45pm on Tuesday night, so I’m not setting the best example. But, come on, technically I still have 8 more hours to get it done. Of course, this situation tonight is not ideal and highly ironic given the topic of this post, but having a weekly deadline at least forces me to get it done. I also add other boundaries, such as my office closing at 10pm and not taking my computer home, so actually I only have 10 more minutes to finish up. But still, if I can’t finish by 10pm and I’m really stuck, I can take my computer home with me on the subway and keep working.  Not ideal, but it sure beats a 5:00am scramble. Setting mini-deadlines leading up to the big deadline can help to prevent an overwhelming scramble and poor job at the last minute.

 

  • REWARD YOURSELF: After I’m finished this post, in the next 5 minutes, I’m going to head home to watch a cheesy show about a Mountie and teacher in the early 1900s Western Canada on Netflix. The best part of all of that is that once I submit this post, it will be completely off my mind and I can enjoy my tv time and have a restful sleep without worrying about how I’m going to wake up at 5:00am to finish my post. Procrastinating by watching Netflix is fun too, but whatever you’re avoiding is lurking in the back of your mind, infringing on your R&R. It’s so much nicer when you can really enjoy a reward AFTER completing a task instead of  using it as a distraction.

 

Yeah, so we all know a lot of these tips.  In fact, you may be procrastinating by reading this article on procrastination RIGHT NOW!  That’s totally what I would do. Oh well…no one is perfect.  We’re all a work in progress. In fact, I went back the next day to edit this post one more time after it was online because I noticed some typos.

It takes time to break old habits and replace them with old ones (20-something days according to many lifestyle programs), so congratulate yourself for taking the first step and realizing you have a problem that you want to change.  Use that procrastination moment to your benefit and start to implement some of these simple steps to get yourself back on track. Just start, do your best, and let go… That’s really all we can do every day. 🙂

 

Both the written and visual content of this post has been created by and is the intellectual property of Lisa Pfau and Patricia Huang. Please do not replicate any of the above content without our consent. However, please do feel free to share this post and its authorship widely. 🙂

 

Before & After Editing Sample: High School English Essay Introduction

IMG 13221 2 300x297 Before & After Editing Sample: High School English Essay Introduction

Introduction for a High School Literary Essay – First Draft

Enigma Response

In the beginning of the play the woman, Helen, was begging the man, Paul, to “return” to her. Paul said that Helen had hurt him too much and would not change his mind. Helen begged and begged, but Paul still resisted. Then when Paul said that he can live without Helen, Helen decided to tell him the truth. She said because she just get to know love, she noticed that she never actually loved him. However she knows that Paul loved her and felt guilty about it. She said the only way to push him away is to hurt him. After Helen finished, Paul asked if she was leaving. Helen then brought up that that day was the day of their first kiss. Then she rips the calendar to pieces and exits. They would have reunited even if Paul stopped her or a simple embrace. Though Paul doubted her and didn’t do anything.

 

Introduction for a Literary Essay – Final Draft

How Do We Nurture Love?

At school, when two people coincidentally like each other, everybody expects them to go out and become a loving couple. However, just because they like each other does not mean that they are meant to be with each other.  In the play Enigma, by Floyd Dell, the two main characters – Helen and Paul – seem to be destined for heartbreak. Although Helen and Paul may be attracted to and care for each other, their actions and harsh words hurt each other over time.  They do not seem to be considerate, collaborative, and compatible, qualities necessary for a successful relationship.