Monday, March 4, 2013

Who Even Does That?

With Spring Break a few weeks away I have started to think about what I could do with that valuable time off, but the more I get behind in school, the more I just know I am going to have to catch up on all my crappy readings and studying for another round of midterms the following week. 
And that got me thinking about the whole ideal of "spring break party vacation". Like how MTV seems to devote a whole three weeks to partying in Miami or some other fabulous beach place with all these beautiful young people in barely-there swim suits just dancing around. I remember when I was younger thinking that my spring break would be a month off because of that, but in reality it's still just a pitiful little week. So thanks, MTV. 
And then back in the day in high school watching my favorite and totally intellectual reality show "Laguna Beach", the kids actually went to Cabo or some exotic place like that, and were clubbing all week and drinking and just having themselves a good time. But they were in high school then too!
Now that I am actually in college and life is still not as glamorous as I had hoped, it really just makes me wonder who the hell these people are partying it up on tv. Do you even go to college? Or is that your 5 seconds of fame on camera? And as for Laguna Beach kids, thats probably just attributed to cash money that my parents would never dream of dropping for a underage drunken week in a generally violent foreign country. 
And the sad thing is I will probably come across the "spring break action" on tv while I'm at home with my books, ON my spring break. Oh the irony haha. At least no school means sleep, so I guess there is always a bright side. 
I hope everyone gets the most out of that precious week in your own ways!

Sunday, February 24, 2013


This picture feels very relevant right now.

That is all.
Back to studying!
Good luck to everyone else!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Excuses, excuses.

The beauty of college is supposed to be that you have more freedom over your schedule; in the sense that showing up to class becomes "optional", depending on how you feel about your grades and overall abilities to cram. As my history professor last semester once said:
"You don't have to show up to class, but make sure the Gods of bullshit are on your side come test time."
This semester, however, I have apparently enrolled in a class where attendance is mandatory. Not to sound like I'm not a good student (I really do go to class pretty regularly), but being faced with such time constraints is something that I'm not used to nowadays and is posing a problem for me.

First of all, this class sucks. And by sucks I mean my teacher has the thickest French accent imaginable - the Graduate student who leads the discussion sections is plain rude and regularly gives me the evil eye - and the content of the class is neither Psychological or Anthropological (which is what you would expect from a PsychAnthro class), and should really have been labeled Philosophy, which is a subject I despise. 

Secondly, the day in question that I am really not wanting to show up to this class happens to be Valentine's Day next Thursday. Yes, I am "that girl" who makes her boyfriend take off work the day of some holiday or anniversary because it feels more special that way. In fact, if I was President I would most definitely declare more of the smaller holidays to be official government holidays off. But Valentine's Day is my second favorite holiday, behind Christmas of course, and I refuse to be held to such obligations like my least favorite class of the semester. 

And I know in reality I could just not show up and take a tiny hit to my grade, but the Grad Student Instructor frankly frightens me a little bit, so I am trying to come up with an "on the spot" excuse e-mail ahead of time as to why I can't be there. I've been toying back and forth with "I came down with the stomach flu" and "my car got a flat tire on the freeway this morning and I was stuck for hours!" Not sure if I should go for the dramatic effect, but anyway you get the picture. 
However it plays out I am determined to not be there, so I guess as long as I've already made up my mind there isn't too much I can worry about. And I hope the rest of you decide to ditch on Valentine's day and make the most of that beautiful Thursday! 


Monday, January 28, 2013

Bye Bye Social Life

Guess what I did this weekend? 
There are actually a lot of things I could have done, seeing as it's the first weekend back when all the parties are, friends hang out after being away, and typically there isn't much to do yet in terms of actual school work. 
 But nope, not for Krista.
I have read 394 pages worth of textbooks this weekend alone. 
First week back and they just pile it on. I'm pretty proud of my stamina to get everything done on time as it is assigned to be read, but not gonna lie I feel a little numb right now. And sort of grumpy and irritated, seeing as I didn't go outside for two days, haha. I just seem to have a knack for picking the classes with brutal and really unrealistic amounts of reading, so it should be a fun semester.
Good bye to my social life! I will have to start allotting time to my friends to have "study hang-outs" in order to be social. No time to talk though, of course. We will just sit next to each other and study, just for the sake of being in their presence. :P

108 days until summer vacation; the countdown begins.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The First Day of School Madness

Finally it's my turn to start school! Being on the semester system I feel like one of the last ones to begin the new year of school, so this morning I was a little excited to get back to the grind. As much as I love vacation, having nothing to do and nobody around to hang with was getting pretty maddening itself. And yes, I still take a "first day of school" picture. :)

But of course as soon as I step foot on campus, I'm flooded again with all the new work, opportunities and possibilities of what this semester could bring. Being a transfer student I often feel like I have so much to do in so little time, and I still haven't exactly 'jumped in', so to speak, to all that my education has to offer in terms of extracurriculars. And it seems like all of a sudden they are being thrown my way and I have to make some quick decisions that are making my head spin. Within the next week I have the chance to apply for a prestigious research position with Cal faculty, or I can add another class to my schedule that may be more time consuming but certainly a lot more fun subject-wise, or I can put in more hours at my old job to make some extra cash. On top of all that, when I arrived home from classes today I had a nice little e-mail waiting for me, offering an office research position at the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley, which is an institution with a level of prestige all of it's own. 
So basically now I am swimming in my thoughts instead of focusing on the fresh pile of books sitting in front of me waiting to be read. It's a little scary when you start to realize that the decisions you make now and your path in college can affect your actual career after graduation. Time to put on a brave face, I guess, and hope for the best! 

Friday, January 18, 2013

116 Peet's teas

I'm feeling a little depressed after purchasing my textbooks for the fast approaching semester. It got me thinking about how much money we are forced to spend on really heavy books that we won't actually read or retain most of. I really feel like the system is rigged; that's why professors make you buy the book they wrote themselves, isn't it? It's a vicious cycle, and made me start thinking about all the other ways I could be using the same amount money I spent on textbooks, such as...

116 cups of Peet's teas to fuel my studying
30 super burritos (my favorite kind of food)
28 dozen doughnuts from Krispie Kreme (you can see where my head's at...)
Easily three sets of concert tickets, including the cost of the BART ticket to get to San Francisco
6 tanks of gas, in the Bay Area at least
and likely the cost of one fabulous dress from Anthropologie.

The whole thing is a little maddening, and just one more reminder about how poor I am. But I think the best thing to do is channel this anger into my studies in order to graduate and get a JOB that will allow me to live a comfortable life. So that's the goal; think positive while also gearing up for my next set of classes starting next week. Wish me luck, because I'm not sure how realistic that is. :P
Hope everyone else has gotten off to a good start back to school!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Fixing Broke

Being a young college student working on your first degree can be really rough on your bank account. Holding a job at all can be stressful with a full load of classes and school work, let alone finding one with schedule flexibility and that pays above minimum wage. After the holiday gift buying and going out more with friends I'm sure a lot of us, myself included, are feeling the ding to our wallets; so I thought I'd share some of my experiences in staying afloat financially, college kid style.

1. Babysitting can be a great way to make some extra cash here and there for parent date nights or become a more steady job a couple days per week. Working for family or friends is usually the most convient way to go, but websites such as or Sittercity can be safe ways to put yourself out there to find families in your area who need child care. Perks to babysitting are that it is usually above minimum wage, average of $9 - $12 per hour, it can be fun and entertaining to run around and play with little kids, and when they go to sleep you get paid to sit around and study. But as forewarning, I have experienced a few devilish children that made babysitting a nightmare, so don't be afraid to turn down a job or family if it is just not worth it. And of course take precaution if using online sites such as the ones I listed; they are safe but it's the internet, just be smart! 

2. Dog walking is something that I did for a bit in high school, and it proved to be an easy and relaxing after school job. It's a great job for dog lovers, it gets you outside for a few hours of exercise, and you can usually pick your own hours. Check around in local newspaper listings for dog walking gigs or see if there is a local business who hires out walkers for more high traffic work.

3. House sitting/pet sitting kind of goes along with the dog walking jobs, but it is more of a 24/7 responsibility. House sitting is more attractive to many families than using a dog kennel or "pet hotel" when going on vacations because it is usually cheaper and ensures that their animals aren't too freaked out by those big changes. I have had numerous house sitting jobs over the years for family friends and for people I have met online (always be careful with this!!) and make anywhere between $25 - $50 per night. I enjoy it, too, because it feels like a mini vacation for myself; getting away from your normal environment and relaxing in someone else's house isn't too bad. :) Plus, your life and schedule really don't change much and just as much study time is available as usual.

4. E-bay can be your best friend when you need some cash fast. Going through your wardrobe for those clothes you never wear, selling old textbooks from semesters past, and even selling giftcards to places you don't usually shop at are all things that sell really quickly on E-bay! Once you learn how to set up an account and start posting your items, the process becomes quick and easy with the money going straight to your paypal account or card, and with the benefit of a more uncluttered and organized space!

5. Selling wardrobe items to thrift stores is also a great way to sellback clothes for the more fashion forward and shopping savvy college girl. Depending on what is in your area, there are some great second hand chain stores such as Buffalo Exchange (in Berkeley on College Ave) or Plato's Closet that will take your name brand items to sell in their store in exchange for cash or store credit so you can find new treasures. The down side is that they may not pay as much for your clothes as the E-bay option might, but you can always just get a quote from one of the buyers there to get a better idea of what your pieces are worth.

6. Saving used cans and bottles to recycle once a month sounds kind of dirty and hobo-esque, I know.
But it is so easy to do, it's good for the environment, and hey, $20 - $40 extra bucks a month is well worth the small effort in my book! Check around for local listings of recycling centers in your area (in the Bay Area usually in shopping centers or near grocery stores) and start your bottle collection!

7. Work study positions are definitely worth looking into if you qualify for financial aid. When you renew FAFSA for the year, make sure to check the box pertaining to the Work Study option in order to see what is available at your school. How it works is places of employment on campus or businesses nearby work with government funding in order to pay their student employees. Your employer pays only part of your hourly wage, while financial aid pays for the other half. These jobs usually are at or around minimum wage, but the bonus is that many of them are low skill level and not entirely time consuming. For instance swiping library cards at checkout, stocking shelves in the bookstore or answering phones at the reception desk of an office on campus are all examples of the kinds of work study jobs found at UC Berkeley, and for the most part have quite a bit of down time where you can catch up on reading for a class and get some studying done. They are also going to be more flexible with your changing class schedules and can be a good resume builder for when you graduate.

Good luck and happy saving!