Back to School! Getting Ready for Year 2 at CSU

This past Monday, I moved back in at Colorado State University. Classes don’t start for another week but I was granted early move-in by the honors program (thank youuuu) so I could be all settled in in time for me to take part of the peer mentor trainings for freshman seminars that CSU requires through the honors program. Oooooh. Basically, I’m an instructor for a freshman seminar recitation course. Fun! I get to provide a bunch of resources to freshmen in the honors program and help make their transition to college as smooth as possible. I’m supposed to have a partner, but I’m not going to lie, he’s been a lousy one so far so we’ll see how that goes!

Monday was a fun day. Let me tell ya. Monday = move in. I said all my goodbyes to my dad, Marty, Boo, and Bobo and then was in Fort Collins a little after noon. That’s when the unpacking began. My mom and sister made a second trip back to my house to get the rest of my stuff and then all of the magic in my new room truly happened. I’ll have to post a picture of it some time! The unpacking and sorting and decorating really wasn’t complete until around 6 o’clock and my mom, sister, and I had all skipped out on lunch so we were all pretty drained. When finished with my room, we went to Chick-Fil-A for dinner where I ate WAY too much (but also needed it so we’re fine). After dinner, I said goodbye to my mom and sister and was back in my hall. Bed time followed shortly after. I was pooped!

CSU

Tuesday was a big training day for the peer mentor program. There were so many ice breakers and a lot of good information to help us all be the most successful and helpful instructors to our freshmen. Wednesday was the day I actually got to meet my freshmen and I’m so pleased with the group I got. They seem to be a wonderful group of very smart young individuals and I look forward to seeing them become more confident and comfortable with college. 🙂 I don’t know if many other honors programs run things the way that CSU’s honors program does, but I’m blown away by the attention and support that each student receives.

Thursday was my first day to really just do nothing which was kind of nice but also really weird. This was the day that my sister, Allyson, was moving in at Regis University and also the day that most people were moving in on campus here at CSU. It was also Marty’s tenth birthday. I’m still celebrating and I’m still so thankful that my sweet bubba has been such a wonderful part of my life. Anyway…

Thursday morning, not much happened. In the evening though, the big carnival on campus happened! Despite some threatening clouds and the occasional bit of rain, the carnival continued on. My friends and I didn’t do many of the rides (I’m personally just not a fan) but we did try every single ice cream thing (including snow cones) that was available to us. There was also popcorn and I found out I’m not horrible at skee ball. CSU seriously knows how to throw a welcome party, wow. This was a super fun night because I just got to be around so many good people that I love so so so much. I’m excited and thankful to be with the friends I made last year.

Friday, once again, the morning was pretty slow and relaxed. My friend and I went to get our nails done and also had lunch at Torchy’s Tacos which has become one of my favorite places to eat in the whole entire world. The trashy trailer park tacos are the way to go in my opinion. 🙂 10/10 would recommend.

CSU

In the evening on Friday, there were activities at the Lory Student Center and that was my favorite part of this past week. My friends and I got there an hour before anything actually opened so that we could wait in line to stuff little Rams, kinda like what you do at Build-A-Bear Workshop. We successfully stuffed our Rams and then went on to collect so much free food from Spoons (which is a local Fort Collins favorite), Panda Express (a personal favorite haha), as well as That Bagel Place (which I believe is another Fort Collins thing). We made glitter jars and made sand art and really just enjoyed each others company. My friends and I even made it on the Lory Student Center’s Instagram story!

Yesterday, I had my first day of work with a local tennis facility and I really enjoyed getting to play and TEACH the sport I love. The little lobbers (which were the 4-6 year olds) were my favorite. They were just all so adorable and so so so bad at tennis and I loved it! Teaching is a really different side of things that I think I’ll learn to really appreciate.

This past week was exhausting but so much fun at the same time. I’m so excited to be heading into this school year and see where things take me from here. If you’re a fellow Rammie and you’re reading this, good luck here at CSU! 🙂 If you’ve headed back to school already, I hope things got off to a good start for you and if you’re just getting into classes and you’re not from CSU, I still wish you the best of luck. 🙂 We’re all gonna need it. Especially if your name is Ana Horvath and you’re taking a physics and organic chemistry at the same time… Have a good week!

Anastasia Takes on Anastasia and Gets Ready to Go Back to School

Anastasia

Once upon a December, your gal (that’s me) was ordering tickets for a show coming to the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. That show was Anastasia, the new Broadway musical based off of the 1997 cartoon Anastasia. I love that movie by the way. I intended to order tickets for Sunday, August 18th (today) but somehow managed to mess up BAD and ordered tickets for last Sunday, the 11th. I didn’t realize that until my family and I were already driving down for the show today at 2 o’clock. I don’t think I’ve EVER messed up that bad in my entire life. My parents keep telling me not to worry but I feel HORRIBLE about the situation. I’m typically not the type of person to make that kind of mistake…

When we arrived at the DCPA, I was already in tears because there goes $400 and great seats to a great show, but fortunately, we were able to snag four tickets at half-price to sit in the balcony and still get to see the show. We ended up going to the 7:30 show instead of the 2 o’clock show and had to spend practically the entire day in Denver waiting, but that’s okay!

My family and I killed time by walking around the Denver Pavilions in addition to the 16th Street Mall, which has gotten SO WEIRD. There’s plenty of excitement along that strip, let me tell ya. One of my friends from school was actually at the 2 o’clock show that my family and I were supposed to be at and we had plans to get gelato after it finished so once her and her family got out, we went and got gelato with them. If you’re looking for good gelato in Denver, Amore Gelato is the place to go. Good flavors and it’s a very cute little shop!

By the time we had chatted and eaten gelato, it was time for my family and I to head back to the theater to actually get into see Anastasia. Our seats weren’t the greatest (in comparison to the seats in the mezzanine that I had originally selected), but we still had a good view of everything and my family and I really enjoyed each other’s company.

The costumes were absolutely gorgeous and the show was just phenomenal. If you have a chance to see it while its on its national tour or even on Broadway, please do. You will not be disappointed. Russian history and culture has always fascinated me and will continue to do so for the rest of my life. I might be kind of biased in that my mom’s side of the family comes from that part of the world, haha. The fact that the last Russian grand duchess and I also share names is pretty cool too. 🙂

I hope you all have a fantastic week and remember to double and TRIPLE check the dates and times for tickets you decide to purchase. You do not want to make the same mistake I did. Tomorrow, I head back up to Fort Collins and my summer will officially be coming to an end. Before I know it, I’ll be sitting in my organic chemistry class wishing I was out on the tennis courts again!

This summer has been a great one, and I hope that you all have had great summers too. If you’re moving off to college or helping your kids or friends move off to school, best of luck to you. Have a great week everyone! 🙂 See you next Sunday.

Out of Online Classes!

online classes
Photo by Sergey Zolkin on Unsplash

As of yesterday, my microeconomics class and my technical writing class are COMPLETE! Woohoo! Online classes are DONE! I still have my physics class to finish at my local community college, but I feels nice to know that my load just got a lot lighter.

Eleven credits this summer may have been to big of a task to handle. I’m a bit worried that I’ll burn myself out for this upcoming fall semester. Considering that I will be taking seventeen credits this fall, I feel nervous about what my work ethic is going to look like. I’m a pretty hard-working person so I think I’ll be able to stay strong but we shall see. Haha, I bet you guys will hear about how all of that goes.

Online classes are extremely helpful for people who can only make those work. Or for me, they’re helpful when you add a business minor to your load and still want to graduate early. Online classes are also cheaper than most classes you can take at a community college or university. Super convenient, let me tell you.

One of the biggest things I struggled with in my online classes was actual dedication to the class. Of course I got all of my work done in a timely manner and to the best of my ability but it was hard to find the motivation. I never met either of my teachers (with the exception of a Skype call to my Econ professor) and I never met any of my peers. I personally really appreciate the personal connection that comes with physically being present in a classroom or lecture hall listening to a professor. I feel that I am more involved and present to learn the material.

Another thing that I hated about my particular online classes were the mandatory, weekly discussions. Every week, there was some topic we were required to discuss with discussion group members. In order to receive credit for our discussions, we had to make a post that fully answered the question or questions, respond to AT LEAST two other classmates posts, and then interact with our peers based on responses we got. I was always really good about posting early in the week but oh my goodness, my peers were not. I would answer everything by Tuesday and sometimes Wednesday and wouldn’t hear back from ANYONE until Saturday. Discussions closed on Sundays and I honestly didn’t want to deal with all of that so late in the week, but I eventually just had to because some people are stupid and some are just big procrastinators. Thanks…

Online proctoring for exams creeps me out too. WOW. The process is overkill. I had to be proctored twice for my Econ exams and both experiences with that were just horrendous. It’s creepy that another person can just hack into your laptop like that. I also didn’t appreciate that I practically had to be glued to my seat the entire two hours I took my Econ midterm and final. What if I was uncomfortable how I was sitting, huh? I also found it unnecessary that the proctor had to see my entire room to understand that I wasn’t cheating. I was even asked to take down a tennis tournament draw I have up on my wall from when I won regionals my junior year of high school. How in the world would they expect me to cheat off of that?!

I understand the point of online proctoring, but as I mentioned earlier, the process and extremes to which these services have gone is a bit extreme. Sometimes I just wish people were honest and trustworthy and then we wouldn’t need these creepy, strange proctoring services. Oh well.

Other than these couple of things I mentioned, I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to take a couple of online classes. It has been helpful to my college plans and allowed me to see another side of the academic world.

More importantly though, here’s to a more true start to summer for me! Well, minus physics. But still! Have a good week everyone. 🙂

Summer Classes are KILLING Me

summer classes
Photo by Lacie Slezak

We are now two (maybe, three?) weeks into my summer break and I feel like my online classes and physics class are destroying me. Wow. I may be exaggerating a bit, but maybe I’m not. Anyway, summer classes are tough.

Personally, I decided to take summer classes through Colorado State University’s online courses so that I could get ahead with some of my business minor courses and other classes, since I intend to graduate in the fall of 2021.

Currently, I’m taking an advanced writing class, microeconomics, and algebra-based physics. All of those classes add up to a total of 11 credits. Yay me… My two online courses started literally right after Allyson’s high school graduation which was on May 18th and physics started this past week.

There’s always weekly quizzes and discussions for my online classes which take up a lot of my time, but I understand why the teachers and professors do that. It’s tough to be engaged and dedicated to an online class! For physics, I meet three times a week, for THREE HOURS. And on top of that, my professor hasn’t given us breaks during the days where he lectures for the entire time. I’m gonna need a break at some point. It’s so hard to focus for that long, let me tell ya.

One of the hardest things I’ve noticed about all of these summer classes is time management. If I thought I was good with time management before, this whole summer class thing is REALLY testing that. I’ve decided that Mondays and Tuesdays will be dedicated to my online classes and then whatever other time I have will be dedicated to tennis and other fun summer activities.

I really hope that I don’t regret doing what I’ve done. Summer classes will be crucial to my plan for my undergraduate degree but I also want to have a life and spend time with my family and friends this summer. We’ll just have to wait and see how this all goes! Have a good week everyone. 🙂 See you next weekend.

My First Year of College: A Reflection

first year of college

And just like that, I am done with my first year of college! Wow was that an experience! Here’s what I have to say about my first year at Colorado State University.

It feels like I was just moving into my dorm. At first, living there felt like I was in a hotel but then over time, it began to feel more like my own living space (minus the fact that I shared the room with another person). People were always telling me that it was going to be hard to adjust but I really didn’t find it that difficult. I have always been close with my family and I kept myself busy throughout my time at school so I never really felt “homesick” or worried about my transition into college life and a more independent life.

My first semester, chemistry was rough. I had the worst professor out of the general chem professors offered that semester and had to teach myself a lot of the material. Thank goodness I had a decent high school chemistry teacher. She saved me a lot throughout that class. I squeezed by with a B+ which wasn’t what I had hoped for, but was still incredible considering the amount of work and difficulty of the class.

Second semester, chemistry was tough again but I really enjoyed my honors seminar on dance, my biology class, and my honors section of ecology. I had a wonderful professor for that class and it consisted of only eight other students, considering that it was the first honors section ever offered of that class. My schedule was extremely flexible and I really loved all of the free time I had in the afternoons.

This first year of college, I really learned that if you take time to get stuff done right after class or in between classes, you can allow for more time to do the things you really want to do. The work you put into a class is the results you’ll get out. I studied my butt off this past year and I think that the work I put in really paid off. I’m really proud to say that I made the Dean’s List for both the fall and spring semester (as long as everything went well with my finals this past week!).

Some of my favorite memories include getting cookies from Insomnia Cookies one night with one of my friends, going to get breakfast with my chemistry friends on a snowy Saturday morning, hiking Triangle Mountain with my roommate and one of my other friends, and the countless hours I spent studying and working on chemistry with my chem study group who I am proud to call my good friends. Ram Welcome, dinners with my floor, decorating my friends’ doors for their birthdays, trips to Torchy’s Tacos, and trips back home helped make this school year the memorable and amazing year it has been.

I’m sad to be leaving Alpine Hall 375 but I’m so excited to see what’s next for me at CSU. This next year is going to be tough but so much fun. Organic chemistry, I’m looking at you! Thanks to everyone who helped make my first year of college the magical, fun experience it was. See you in the fall CSU!

Dead Week Part 2: Finishing Freshman Year

dead week

This week is going to be a lot, so for my sake and sanity, I’m gonna keep this one short. Dead Week is here again! This time around I have a dance performance, two different speeches to prepare, a five-page paper to write, a practical to study for, as well as my three final exams to study for. Full plate over here!

This semester has been a wonderful semester and I was fortunate to have so many wonderful professors and lab teacher assistants. The semester had its ups and downs (particularly my chemistry grade) but I’ve pulled through and challenged myself to overcome all the adversity I’ve faced. I’ve made it this far and I only have another two weeks to go so I need to dig down deep, find the strength to finish strong, and get outta here!

My experience in the dorms has been interesting nonetheless and I’ve made a lot of wonderful friends on my floor, but I am honestly SO ready to go home for the summer and then live on my own next semester. I’ll get my own space and won’t have to worry about accommodating and bending my schedule to benefit others.

Dead Week really is a lot about finding the mental capacity and strength to finish everything out on a good note and I’m praying that all of my finals and performances and speeches go well. If you’re interested in seeing my dance performance for my honors seminar, leave a comment and maybe I’ll post it in a future post! My honors seminar is about everyday movement and dance and this final dance is a fun project my professor has us doing.

To those of you also dealing with Dead Week this week, you got it! Stay positive and finish strong. Stay organized and allow yourself some time to relax and get away from the books and papers. If you’re interested in reading my blog post about my first experience with Dead Week, I’ll link the post right here. I hope you all have a great week and I’ll see you next Sunday! (Haha, hopefully…)

Spring Break 2019

Just like that, another break goes by. I don’t get it. I’m at school for a week and it feels like five months. I come home for spring break and it feels like three minutes. Time flies when you’re having fun! And it also flies when you’re not worried about chemistry 24/7 (gotta love being a bio major for that one!).

My spring break started last weekend after Colorado was hit by that interesting bomb cyclone. I got two snow days as a result of that one. Haha thanks Colorado State University and a big thank you to my biology professor for postponing our exam this past Thursday!

There was a lot of tennis played and it felt so good to get back on the court again. I had the opportunity to watch my sister win her first match at 1 singles for my old high school too which was really fun. Go Allyson! 🙂 Hitting with my dad was really fun as always, and I had the opportunity to hit with some of the ladies at the country club my family plays out of.

Being with my doggies again for a longer amount of time was also wonderful. And of course, being with my bird was also a lot of fun. All of the the animals in the Horvath household were happy to be with me again.

I also babysat for two of the days during my spring break. Watching a two year old can be exhausting but man is it fun! Being with kids is just so much fun, even if they can be a bit too crazy and too energetic sometimes. It was really nice to make some money this spring break and it was also just really fun to hang out with a super adorable kid. He always makes me smile and I love that family.

By the time my spring break was coming to a close, my aunt from New Mexico came to visit to celebrate my sister’s birthday a bit late and also just to spend some quality time together. It was a bummer that my uncle couldn’t get work off to also come visit, but I know that I’ll get the chance to see both of them again very soon, like in May when Allyson graduates high school. Woohoo!

This past weekend with my aunt was spent eating (we ate SO much food, I’m not even kidding), more tennis, and good company. We went to Denver to get lunch at BurgerFi and I got to try their chili cheese fries which I TOTALLY recommend. My sister also gave us all a tour of Regis University, which is where Allyson has decided to go for college. The campus was super pretty and super cute. I’m happy she decided to go there. We also walked around Denver a little and got to show my aunt the new premium mall that was just built not too far from my house.

Great weekend, great spring break, and just great people. I feel so lucky to be able to have the opportunities and experiences I do and be with all of the people that I am around in my life. Spring break may be over and that does make me sad, knowing that I have to get back to the books now, but summer will be here before we know it! Have a good week everyone! 🙂

Eating Healthy in College

eating healthy in college
Haha, I tried to get a picture of my lunch from Thursday. That was successful and you also get a little blur from my finger. Good job me, good job.

You’ve heard me mention this before: the freshman 15. Plenty of freshmen struggle with their eating habits upon entering college. There’s so much food available ALL the time and they abuse that. And they eat, and eat, and eat, and before you know it, they’ve gained 15 pounds, hence the freshman 15.

If you’ve been reading my blog since I started college at CSU, you will know that I was determined to avoid the freshman 15, and so far I’ve been successful and actually lost about 15 pounds. With a combination of working out and proper eating, I’ve been able to accomplish this goal. Exercise is extremely important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but it’s also so so so important to eat right. Here’s what has worked for me:

  1. Drink lots of water. Whenever I go to the dining halls, I typically get water and I do my best to drink at least two full cups of water. Occasionally I will drink some iced tea or lemonade but I really try to stay away from the sweet drinks, especially soda. Water is not only good for your skin and body in general but it helps fill you up a bit so you don’t overeat.
  2. Make your plate colorful. While fried food is super duper good tasting, it’s not so good for your body. In moderation, it’s fine, but if the color of the foods on your plate are all a fried brown, you’re doing something wrong. Add some vegetables or fruit to that plate or add a salad. Your body will thank you. Strive for this with every meal and pay attention to the variety of foods you eat throughout the day.
  3. Leave the dining hall feeling not hungry and not stuffed. The wording on that statement might be a little weird, so I’ll do my best to explain what I mean. With eating from dining halls in college, you definitely don’t want to starve yourself. You shouldn’t starve yourself, period! You want to be balanced with the food you eat. If you’re piling on the food and coming back to a table with multiple full plates, you might want to rethink that. Just think about balance and remember that you can always grab a to-go box if you start to feel full. 🙂
  4. Eat desserts in moderation. At the dining halls at CSU, there’s a place dedicated to desserts and I’m sure that it’s that way with most schools. Seeing the rows of cookies upon cookies and plates of cakes and brownies can be extremely tempting, but remember, eat these in moderation! Desserts also taste AMAZING and sometimes its really hard to only take one serving and limit yourself, but all of that sugar really isn’t that good for you or your teeth. Treat yourself every once in a while but don’t go nuts with the desserts.
  5. Seek nutritional advice through your university. Colorado State University has an “Eat Well” program and they have dietitians and nutritionists willing to help figure out foods that you’ll enjoy that are better for your body. In addition to this, all of the menus for food are available online so I have access to the nutritional facts. I don’t pay too much attention to this, but sometimes it’s a great resource for knowing more about calories (even though I’m not big on calorie counting) and nutritional values in general. Most college dining halls have resources like this and within the dining halls themselves, there’s typically information on all of the foods available so pay attention to these! Use your resources and you’ll be set.

Keep in mind, that these are things that I’ve found helpful and they may work for those of you also eating out of college dining halls, and some of them might not, and that’s ok! Find something that works for you and stick to it. Eating healthy in college is important because it helps set the foundation for eating healthy later in life and it’s important that you give your body the materials it needs to function at its best!

If you’ve got an idea for a blog post or a question for me, feel free to leave a comment on this post or reach out to me on my new “Contact Me!” page which can be accessed in the menu above. I’d be happy to hear from you. I hope you all have a great week! See ya next Sunday. 🙂

When Things Don’t Go Your Way: College Exams

college exams

So this past week, I had my first exam for my second semester of general chemistry. I studied super hard for it and took several practice tests. My study group and I worked through any confusion we had and just like that, Wednesday (exam day) rolled around. During the exam, I felt super confident. After the exam, I felt super confident. Seeing my grade on Friday, I didn’t feel confident at all. Why college exams?! Why??

It was truly devastating to see my hard work go down the drain like that but sometimes you work really hard and you don’t get the results you asked for or worked toward. From what I’ve learned, that’s a part of life! It sucks, but you have to learn to move on and not make the same mistakes down the road.

Hearing all of my friends do well on the exam crushed me and honestly, after seeing my grade, I was feeling pretty down. One of the things I learned from this experience is that grades matter, but they don’t define you. This is something that high school teachers drilled into our heads but it didn’t sink in until now. A test is a test and I know that I have a better understanding of the chemistry material than was reflected by my grade.

Also, from this experience, I’ve learned that it’s okay to not say anything about how a test went. If a friend asks about how it goes, it’s honestly none of their business. My grade and circumstances are my grade and circumstances while their grades and circumstances are their own thing. For myself and other people who have been in this situation, it’s important to understand that we are our own human beings and we all mess up in our own ways. The only people we can compare ourselves to are ourselves.

So now looking forward to this next exam, I’m not going to bite myself in the butt for my last unfortunate performance. I’m going to study just as hard and take what I’ve learned from this experience. The only way to go from here is up with my grade in chemistry. This isn’t the way I planned to start off my semester in general chemistry II but it is what it is!

College exams can be a real kicker and sometimes, you don’t know what you’re going to get. You do know that you’ll always come away from an exam with more knowledge though, regardless of the outcome. This not only relates to college exams, but it can relate to many other things in life. It’s important to remember that you learn from everything you do and it’s all about a growth mindset. Keep this in mind!

If you’ve got an idea for a blog post don’t be afraid to leave a comment on my new page, “Contact Me!”. You’ll find this page in the menu above. 🙂 And even if you don’t have an idea and just want to say hi or ask a question, that’s okay too. Have a good week everyone!

When Your Dorm Room Becomes An Aquarium

aquarium and ecosystem of my little shrimps and snails
On the far right, in the last jar, you can see one of my snails saying hello. 🙂 If you look hard enough, you may be able to see a shrimp. They’re very hard to find, mostly because most of them are fairly transparent.

So you might be asking yourself, “Did her dorm room flood?”. The answer to that is no, thank goodness. For my honors ecology class, we were asked to make five small ecosystems. We could do this in what ever way we wanted to using the jars provided. Other than that the only other rules were that the ecosystems are closed, meaning that the jars remain shut, and that we cannot use invertebrates.

For my closed ecosystems, I chose to use cherry shrimp, ghost shrimp, and Japanese algae eater shrimp. I also used zebra nerve snails. For plants, I’m not quite sure what my longer plant is, but I know that the moss I got was java moss, which the shrimp and snails enjoy.

Last weekend, I went home to set up my miniature aquariums and spent a lot of time at PetCo and online, doing a lot of research on all of my little fellas. Ghost shrimp are actually really cool, weird creatures and so are all of the other shrimp and snails I got. The project was due this past Friday and so when I came back up to CSU last weekend, I became a mother to 13 little snails and shrimp together. They were all in their little ecosystems and throughout their time with me, I tried to give them as much light as possible, so that the plants could photosynthesize and provide all of my shrimp and snails with enough oxygen and food.

Unfortunately, my cherry shrimp and ghost shrimp passed away before I even handed in my ecosystems, but that’s ok, I guess that my snails will have more food and nutrients available to them. RIP Cherry and Ghosty Goo (name courtesy of my sister).

The goal of this project is to create ecosystems that are self-sustaining and will support life up until the end of this semester. I’m not totally optimistic about how my ecosystems will do, but the process of making each little aquarium or ecosystem was really fun and insightful. I’m hoping I don’t kill any other shrimp and that I don’t lose any snails in this process either. We’ll see how this goes! Have a good week everyone.