October 15, 2019

10 Study Tips for College


 


Howdy, Y'all!  I recently graduated in May from Texas A&M University's College of Architecture with Summa Cum Laude honors. I feel like if there is one thing I do well, it's finding my resources and knowing how to study.  That's not the case for everyone.  I wanted to be able to help others thrive in college, and give my tips on how to successfully study in college! Some of these tips for college may work for you, others may not.  That's why I am giving a plethora of different study tips for college so you can try some out and see which work for you and which don't.  So without further ado here are some 4.0 worthy tips for studying in college!




1. Use your Campus Resources:  It always amazed me how many people at Texas A&M had no idea about all the resources that were available to students.  The first school I went to was an art school with hardly any resources.  When I transferred to a big university, I was so excited to have different facilities at the tip of my fingers.  If I ever wanted help with something, I figured the school was large enough there should be someone on campus who'd be able to help me.  I'd just search 'Texas A&M & (whatever I was looking for)' and most of the time there was an office that could help me!  A few examples at A&M include: Career Center (Help with resumes, portfolios, mock interviews, and networking), Academic Coaching (helps a student learn how they should study), and Tutoring through the success center.  There were also financial resources and health resources.  I would suggest searching and seeing if your school offers any similar resources. 

2. Go to Office Hours:  Nothing can help you more in school than knowing your professors.  Anytime I had a class I was struggling in, I would email the professor to schedule an appointment with them. This not only lets the professor know you care about the class, but you can ask them more questions you may not be able to in a large college class.  If a professor knows how hard you have been working and trying to improve, they may just give you the benefit of the doubt when it comes to final grades.

3.Take Notes for You:  Take notes the way that works best for you.  There are so many different ways to take notes (here is a link that goes in-depth about some of the more common ways) it is important to figure out which way you learn best.  For me, it was using a bunch of different colors and drawing doodles or sayings that helped connect the material in my head. Try out several different methods until one just clicks for you!

4.Brain Dump:  Before taking any exam, I like to do a massive brain dump of all the information I know just off the top of my head.  I will take a piece of paper, give myself two minutes and just right everything that I know about the material being tested.  Science has actually shown that this helps with a students ability to learn and metacognition. 

5.FlashCards: Flashcards are my all-time favorite way to memorize stuff.  I am a big fan of writing out cards if you aren't covering a ton of material.  I think writing helps it stay in your head better than typing since you have to pay more attention.  However, if you are covering a lot of terms or material quizlet is your best friend! Time is a priority in college so sometimes you just gotta type up everything instead of writing.

6. Teach Someone Else:  It helps to explain the material you're studying to someone else, that way you can see where you have gaps in knowledge and if you have a good grasp on the lesson.  Doing this also functions as a quiz for yourself.

7. Study Groups:  Sometimes studying with other people from your class can really help you understand the information.  Others may have picked up certain topics better or heard the professor say something you didn't.  Plus, some professors are super cool and let you take exams as a group ( Shout out to you Dr. Caffey). Additionally, maybe you know the information really well and teach it to someone else will just help cement it in your mind before the exam. 

8. Take Hard Classes Over Summer: If you know there are certain core classes you may struggle with more and you go to a University, I suggest taking those classes over the summer at your local community college.  Community college classes tend to be smaller in size (so more 1- on-1 with the prof.) and a little less rigorous. I took all my math classes at community college and aced them. 

9. Don't Overstudy:  At some point, you have to stop studying.  Over Studying is a real thing that gives you mental fatigue.  You do not want that before an exam.  Know when to put the books down and realize you're either prepared or your not. 

10. Take Care of Yourself:  Taking care of yourself so your brain has the energy and fuel it needs to perform is super important! So eat good food, sleep, and think positive! You got this! 



Hopefully, these study tips for college can help you get that GPA you're hoping for.  Remember, your mentality about an exam or quiz is half the game. Positivity is ultimately what's going to help you succeed in college!



October 6, 2019

Germany Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord

landschaftspark duisburg nord


Howdy! Y'all it won't be long before I am out of European travel posts! I have been trying to make these posts last for a while and spread them out on my blog (well that, and I don't blog on a regular schedule tbh)  If you didn't know, I did a study abroad in Germany this time last year.  I thought today it would be fun to talk about one of my favorite places I visited in Germany:  Landschaftspark  Duisburg-Nord!  My landscape architecture peeps out there are probably nerding out because this park really set a precedent for post-industrial landscape architecture!

I think what makes post-industrial landscapes so enchanting in a way is that they don't apologize for what the land was once used for, but rather embrace the history and explore the beauty that is redeemed by the idea of fourth nature. I know, I know. You came to my blog because of a sharpie tie-dye shirt, and now I'm over here talking about a fourth nature! I must be off my rocker! But I think the idea of fourth nature is very important in our society currently because of all the talk climate change and Green New Deal.  Fourth Nature is the idea of nature reclaiming the land amongst man-made built environments. 

Lanschaftspark is an old coal and steel production plant that was transformed into a park. It was designed to embrace the park's former history rather than reject it.  All of the functions within the park are based on the old industrial uses. You can literally spend all day in this park and probably still have more to see!  When we went to visit one of the girls had hurt her ankle and had to be carried up all the flights of steps to the Furnace.  Good thing we had strong guys in our group! We also did a little scavenger hunt map.  Honestly, there is so much to do at this park you will have a blast.  Plus it is absolutely beautiful seeing the juxtaposition of the old industrial plant to the luscious plants. 

 Just a few of the activities you can have fun doing include:
  • Europe's largest artificial diving center (inside one of the old industrial tubs)
  • Blast Furnace viewing tower
  • High Ropes Course
  • Walking 
  • Exploring the Gardens
  • Cycling
  • Playing on all the different fun equipment that the park has built-in
  • Light show at Night
Information to Know:
  • Open 24/7
  • FREE
  • Visitor Center is open Monday thru Friday: 9am to 6pm
  • Blast Furnace Viewing is open unless the wind and weather makes it unsafe to climb up
  • Light Show is Friday-Sunday at night
  •  You can also stay at the old administration building that was converted into a youth hostel for 23 Euros a night.

landschaftspark duisburg nord

landschaftspark duisburg nord
landschaftspark duisburg nord

landschaftspark duisburg nord

landschaftspark duisburg nord

landschaftspark duisburg nord

landschaftspark duisburg nord


landschaftspark duisburg nord

landschaftspark duisburg nord

landschaftspark duisburg nord

landschaftspark duisburg nord

landschaftspark duisburg nord

landschaftspark duisburg nord

landschaftspark duisburg nord

landschaftspark duisburg nord


If you wind up going to this park let me know in the comments! Also if you're interested in more landscape architecture information, stay tuned for a fun announcement! And sign up for the email list (I promise I hardly make emails so it won't be spam!)

September 23, 2019

DIY Pumpkin Decor

DIY Pumpkin Decor

Fall is officially here! Well in terms of date, because the actual temperature here, in Texas, still believes it is summer. It is still hotter than Chris Hemsworth outside, but that doesn't mean it can't feel like fall indoors!  Decorating for fall in my apartment is a bit of a tricky task.  I have my apartment decorated like a jungle.  Of course, I could take all the decor down and redecorate for fall, but I am loving the jungle feel to my apartment.  So how does one bring fall into a very spring/summer apartment? Creativity! I bought some plastic pumpkins at Michaels, and decided to create two options that could bring some fall into my apartment and go with my decor! A jungle Pumpkin and a Pumpkin Spice Latte Pumpkin!  So if you'd like to learn how to make these two cute pumpkins keep on reading!

Jungle Pumpkin:

Materials Needed:
Black Pumpkin
Blue, Green, Yellow Paint
Fake Foliage

DIY Pumpkin Decor


1.) So this pumpkin is super easy to make, basically, I just painted colorful dots around the pumpkin, then painted the stem blue, and finally glued the leaves to the back of the pumpkin.  I told you this was easy! Honestly, I could have just posted a picture and you would have figured it out, but this is a blog, so there must be typed words!

DIY Pumpkin Decor

DIY Pumpkin Decor

DIY Pumpkin Decor



Pumpkin Spice Latte Pumpkin:

Materials Needed:
Orange Pumpkin
Brown Paint
Gold Paint
Pillow Stuffing
Hot Glue Stick
Gold Wire
Letter Stickers

DIY Pumpkin Decor


1.) Start off by painting the pumpkin brown except for the very top.

DIY Pumpkin Decor


2.) Next, paint the glue stick gold. Take some of the pillow stuffing and hot glue it and the glue stick to the top of the pumpkin. 

DIY Pumpkin Decor


3.) Take your wire and cut three equal parts. Twist them together and bend them to create a handle for your pumpkin mug. 

DIY Pumpkin Decor


4.) Finally, add letters to your pumpkin that say pumpkin spice! 

DIY Pumpkin Decor

DIY Pumpkin Decor

Cute pumpkins right?!  They definitely help my apartment feel a little more Fall! 

September 22, 2019

PARK(ing) Day

PARK(ing) Day

This past Friday, I got to participate alongside my firm, in an event called PARK(ing) Day! What is PARK(ing) Day you ask? Well, let me fill you in.  Essentially, PARK(ing) Day is an international event, where a parking spot is transformed into a miniature park.  This is to help raise awareness of the value of urban parks within a community.  Let's be honest, we have enough impervious pavements in our cities, to begin with, so why not build more parks! Rebar Studio in San Fransisco was the first firm to initiate the PARK(ing) Day movement.  

This PARK(ing) Day event was cool in the aspect that it was my idea to have our firm participate.  Y'all, imposter syndrome at your first job is a very real thing, and something I have definitely been dealing with in my head. It is nice to be able to look at this event and be like "I did that".  We didn't have a huge turnout to our PARK(ing) Day, but it was a last-minute event, and we didn't have a ton of exposure.  Still, it was fun! As John Bela from Rebar put it, it is a gateway drug to urban transformation. Let's be honest, the green movement is really picking up traction too with all talk about climate change. PARK(ing) Day is just one way that the conversation is reframed to discuss how our public spaces are used.  One aspect of our Parklet that we tried to incorporate is the idea of educating the public about both native plants (which are a great choice for sustainability) and what we as landscape architects do for the environment. 

Since you probably didn't get to visit our AWESOME Parklet, let me tell you what all was in it! First off, mini fall-themed cornhole. I know, you're jealous you didn't get to play. We obviously had lots of plants, mostly native.  There were also tables, Parking day information signs, checkers, and fun moss letters to take pictures with. I may be a little biased about those letters, I made them. 

I am excited to see what all our Denton PARK(ing) Day could transform into in the future!  If you have any questions about sustainability or Landscape Architecture, feel free to comment or email me! I'm always happy to answer.

PARK(ing) Day

PARK(ing) Day

PARK(ing) Day

PARK(ing) Day

PARK(ing) Day

PARK(ing) Day

PARK(ing) Day

PARK(ing) Day

PARK(ing) Day

PARK(ing) Day

PARK(ing) Day

PARK(ing) Day

PARK(ing) Day

PARK(ing) Day

PARK(ing) Day

PARK(ing) Day



Trip to Highclere Castle

Trip to Highclere Castle


Have I been saving this post for the upcoming theatrical release of Downton Abbey just so I can garner more traffic to my site? Well, of course! Last October, I took the special Fall tour of Highclere Castle.  To say it was a magical experience would be an understatement. I have been a huge fan of Downton Abbey since I first watched the show in 2012 after a long day at the hospital (a story for another time).  When I decided for fall break to travel parts of England, I knew I had to go see Highclere.  The Autumn tour is quite a bit more pricey than the spring tours, but it was worth every penny.  Be warned: Buy your tickets in advance! I bought mine in August for the October Tour and they were almost already sold out! We even got to meet the Earl and Countess, and the butler! Also, being a landscape designer, I was immensely excited to see the grounds designed by Capability Brown

I wanted to share what my experience was like at Highclere Castle, that way if you are a Downton Abbey fan and are planning on visiting you will know what to expect!

Downton Abbey

1. Getting to Highclere:  If you're a tourist and coming from London, it's best to buy a train ticket to Newbury.  I used Trainline.com and got tickets significantly cheaper than any of the other avenues. I would make sure to give yourself a little wiggle room as far as time goes because trains are notorious for never being on time.  Plus, Newbury was a pretty cute little town.  Their mall had a store where you could play ping pong for free! It was fun needless to say.  Now, once you're at Newbury, you'll have to take a taxi to the actual castle.  There were actually several at the station ready to go.  Book your taxi back in advance! We didn't do that, so we had to wait at the castle for a while before we could go back to the station.  (again, thankfully we left wiggle room in our schedule so this was fine)  

2.) Exploring the Grounds:  If you get there early, then you will have time to walk around the grounds of the castle before the actual tour.  The area is absolutely gorgeous! I mean Capability Brown is a genius so I can you really expect anything less than perfection? The bench that you always see the characters talk on is also out there! 

3.) The Tour:  So the tour itself takes you through the different rooms of the castle and to the Egyptian exhibit.  If you didn't know, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon helped discover the Tomb of King Tut. A lot of the artifacts found now find their home at the New York Met, but there is still a sizable collection at Highclere itself. Looking through the different rooms of the castle, the tour guide lets you know some of the little filming secrets, such as the real Earl prefers the desk in the library to face away from the window.  While we weren't allowed to photograph inside the castle, it basically looks identical to the show.  The only difference is that there are family photographs in the castle.  The real family actually resides in a home elsewhere on the property but still use Highclere. 

4.) Tea Room:  After the tour, you get fed the most amazing food I think my taste buds have ever had. truely incredible! I still dream about it, to be honest. Savor it if you go.  After that, there is a gift shop you can explore before heading back to catch the train in Newbury.

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey


I hope this brief rundown helps you plan out your trip to Highclere Castle!  If you go please tell me all about it!  Oh, and don't forget to check out that cool ping pong place in Newbury!