5 Reasons I Wish It Was Not Summer Break

5 Reasons I Wish It Was Not Summer Break

Summer break just began the other day, and honestly, it has been a struggle.

Summer break just began the other day, and honestly, it has been a struggle. I didn't realize just how nice the school year way until it was gone. Here are the top 5 reasons why I truly wish it was not summer break yet.

1. I have too much free time

Honestly, I just have no idea what to do with it all. It is too much free time to handle!

2. I got an internship

Yep, no more studying 24/7. Now I get to learn about the profession I want to pursue and gain real-world experience, all while getting paid. It might sound nice, but I would much rather spend every waking moment striving to get good grades.

3. I have lots of time to sleep

Now I am getting at least eight hours of sleep per night. Great, right? Wrong. I am accustomed to getting negative hours of sleep because of school, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

4. The weather is warm

There is nothing worse than sweaty summer weather. I would much rather be trudging across campus in snow boots or with an umbrella.

5. I get to spend time with friends and family

Of course, I missed them, but nothing is more annoying than having to spend an evening just talking to your grandmother or going over to your friend's house for the day. What a waste of time!

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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10 Horrible Fashion Trends From Our Middle School Days

What a time to be alive.

Being in middle school is one of the worst times of your life. You're awkward and you have no idea what to think about everything that is changing. I was cleaning out my closet the other day and found my old pair of Etnies and started reminiscing upon some of the worst trends that ever existed in the 2000s. I look at pictures of myself from middle school and cringe. I really just want to tell my past self to stop shopping at Claire's and Aeropostale. But since I did shop at those stores, I do have many embarrassing photos and fashion choices. Here's a list of popular (and unfortunate) trends from the 2000s.

1. Aeropostale

Buy all the graphic tees! I had at least one in every color. So many skin-tight tees were a part of my wardrobe. These t-shirts would always be spotted in MySpace profiles with people throwing a peace sign. Unfortunately, Aero has filed for bankruptcy, so we will be seeing less of them.

2. Rubber "Causes" Bracelets

You would see people walking around with these things up to their elbows! I had one for pretty much every type of cancer/disease you could imagine. Of course the yellow "Livestrong" bracelets were the bracelets that started the trend. (Thanks Lance for that let down.)

3. Silly Bandz

Yet again, a bracelet trend took over our middle school minds. I remember wearing so many of these wonderful "bandz" that the circulation in my arms were cut off. It was also the best thing to compare and trade silly bandz with your friends. I also scoffed at all of the knock-off brands. I only wanted the real deal.

4. Gauchos

Back when these pants were popular I had at least three pairs in a good variety of colors. I wore them so much, my mother could not do the laundry fast enough. I would compare these pants to yoga pants today because they were just as comfortable. It was always way cooler to wear a poncho with gauchos.

5. Massive Sequin Purses

Every girl had these. Mine was lime green. I thought that these purses were cute at the time, but really they are just atrocious. I'm not even sure why I was carrying a purse in middle school. I really didn't have that much stuff save for my phone, lipgloss, and gum.

6. Wearing Jeans with Dresses

Is that dress or skirt too short? No problem, just wear jeans under it! But really though, I have never understood this trend. Even when it was "popular" I thought that it was just plain ugly. I mean, how can you even look at this picture of Ashley Tisdale and not cringe?

7. Heelys

Hands-down the best trend of middle school. Some of my best memories are in Target Heely-ing around the entire store. I would still wear my Heelys today if I had them. No regrets about these shoes. Every adult that I've ever talked to about them, hated them. I guess that's why they were basically banned from everywhere.

8. Soffe Shorts

I had (have) a pair of these in every color. Having these made you cool. Quite often paired with rubber Old Navy flip-flops or some Rainbows, these cotton shorts were a staple of any middle school girl in the 2000s. My cheerleading really helped reinforce my love for these shorts. But thankfully it seems that "norts" have replaced these.

9. Nike Shox

Who actually cared if the spring-things made walking or running easier. These shoes just looked so cool. While writing this article, I was surprised to find out that Nike still makes these shoes. It was always the sporty-athletic people who wore these.

10. Popcorn Shirts

I never understood the madness that is the science behind these magically shrinking and expanding shirts. They are just straight up fascinating. The best ones were tie-dyed. I had one blue one and thought it was the greatest shirt ever.

Cover Image Credit: Cloud Front

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Elaborative Encoding Needs to Overtake Rote Memorization in Academics

It is time for the age of repeating and deleting to come to an end and the era of lasting learning to finally begin.


I imagine, at some point in the time of your schooling, you have been told the same things as me.

You are anxiously awaiting the arrival of an exam, trying desperately to cram the information into your head in whatever fashion it'll stick. Unsure of your footing in the materials, you are still puzzling through your own study habits in an attempt to figure out the best ones for you. You have been told simply to know the information, right? Your teachers told you to write down everything they said and give it back to them in various forms, right? So you simply write and rewrite and rewrite until your fingers become sore, your eyes have to blink out the exhaustion, and you have a few times the number of copies of notes.

And likely only a dismal amount of information in your mind.

The plain fact of the matter is this: rote memorization, otherwise known as a learning technique based solely on repetition, is ineffective. And oh, I mean wildly ineffective. It is the least likely of the possible study methods to be any kind of beneficial because it will never allow for understanding. It will simply allow you to obnoxiously regurgitate descriptions or formulas and have no idea how to use them.

What can you expect? Rote memorization is based on a surface level understanding of materials and will thus give you a feebly shallow grasp on concepts that are more likely to disappear on the day of the exam than it ever will be to assist. It does not allow you to engage with the knowledge you seek. It is like looking at objects through glass and only through glass - you'll be able to see what is in front of you and can describe it at length, but you will never get a hold on it, and once you walk away, the memory will steadily fade from your brain.

That, my friends, is where elaborative encoding comes along.

Have you ever used a memory device to help yourself learn? Something like a song to remember the states, an acronym to remember music notes names on a staff, anything of that nature? Your mind combined several different areas of study and of your own personal interest and attached them to concepts you previously had nothing to do with. It is not much of a step to make up the difference between repeating something to memorize it briefly and putting random words to a tune to keep them in your mind, but oh my goodness, the outcome of each is vastly different.

Elaborative encoding is a system of learning in which a person connects information they don't really know yet to already existing set of memories or thought processes. By actively connecting what you don't know with what you know, you are forced to truly learn the information and be able to apply it to whatever concepts you choose. You have to know what something means to relate it to a part of your life, and once it is related to a topic or memory that is important to you, it sticks in your brain to the point where you can refresh it with a single thought. With a single phrase! You can tell yourself stories and make the concepts characters, you can write music, you can discuss the framework of a class in the context of your favorite movie. There is no limit to what you can accomplish in learning when you attach information to things that matter to you. And it stays! Oh my goodness, does it ever stay.

Simply repeating information cannot get you anywhere. It will not help you learn, and it will certainly not motivate you to continue on in whatever area of study on which you have set your eyes. Unfortunately, academia is oftentimes not very set on teaching the ways to learn information. For some reason, we are taught mainly what we should know and never how we should know.

And I think that that should change.

It is never too early an age to learn how to learn. It is never too early an age to learn how to function well in life. It is never too early an age to learn how to know what you know, to stave off stress, to build good habits. It is never too early an age to get a running start in what you can one day love.

Elaborative encoding. A mixture of what you know and what you love, unlocking a world of understanding beyond. Have the courage and the know-how to give it a try.

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