Tag Archives: college life

What NOT To Do After Getting a Bad Midterm Grade

So, you didn’t do well on a midterm. Maybe you studied for days in advance and felt super confident in the material. Maybe you didn’t study a bit and went in cold. Regardless of what led up to this grade, unfortunately, there’s not much you can do now… about the grade itself, at least. While I completely understand the urge to switch majors or drop out of college, there are other ways to recover from a bad midterm grade.

Don’t silently wonder what you did wrong. The first thing I like to do after getting a midterm grade back is talk to the professor or TA for the class. You may not be able to change your grade, but you can certainly learn from your past mistakes so that you perform better on the next test. By going to talk to your grader, you’ll also be proving that you truly care about the course, which they’ll definitely appreciate.

Don’t waste too much time dwelling. You can totally buy yourself a pint of ice cream and put on a feel-good movie while you process. We’ve all been there. And you know what, it’s okay to do that for a little while. It’s okay to sit in your disappointment and feel all of your feelings in full. It’s just not okay to get stuck there.

Don’t do anything impulsive. I may or may not have seriously considered getting a tattoo and/or dying my hair pink after I didn’t do as well as I wanted to on my first midterm. That impulse lasted less than 24 hours, and I’m glad I didn’t act on it. As tempting as it may be, there’s definitely no need to drop the class or transfer to A&M. You will recover.

Don’t stagnate your study habits. If you didn’t do well on a midterm, there’s probably something you can change about the way you’re studying. Maybe try forming a study group or starting your review a few days earlier. College is all about learning and growing, so try out new study techniques and find out what works best for you.

Don’t give up! Failing a midterm or not meeting your expectations for a midterm grade doesn’t mean there’s no hope for getting your target overall grade in the class. It also doesn’t mean you’re doomed to fail out of college and not succeed in your future career. One bad midterm grade doesn’t define you as a student or a person. 

We’ve all been there. At one time or another, all of us have experienced failures. Accepting those failures is hard, but they can be taken as an opportunity to grow. It’s important to shift our mindset and view failures for what they are: learning moments.

10 Tips for a Smooth Transition from Online to In-person

We’ve all spent the last year glued to our screens, whether it’s trying to decipher what our professor is saying or scrolling through Tik Tok. In the midst of all the Zoom meetings, Discord chats, and Slack messages we have forgotten how to thrive in an in-person learning setting. So, here are ten tips on how to thrive during the transition from online to in-person learning, interaction, and life.

1. You need to calm down

After more than a year of spending time stuck at home with Tiktok being our only form of social interaction, it can be tempting to just say yes to every social invitation that comes our way. But, no matter what you do you cannot make up for the dumpster fire that was 2020, and acknowledging that is important. The pandemic has changed every aspect of our lives and that includes social interaction. It’s okay to want to stay in on a Friday night and binge-watch “Grey’s Anatomy,” you don’t need to force yourself to go out in the fear that you will regret it if there is another Lockdown. Understanding that we cannot make all our decisions based on the fear that the past will repeat itself will only benefit us in our post-pandemic life. 

2. Develop a routine

A big part of the anxiety that accompanies our transition back to in-person classes is ambiguity. Being able to have routines— even for the smallest parts of our lives— can help immensely. Whether it’s having a three-step morning routine that involves making your bed, putting on clothes, and making yourself look presentable for class, or an elaborate make-up routine, having one part of the day remain constant will help structure the rest of your day.

3. Get an alarm clock

It can be tempting to use your phone as an alarm but it’s also the reason you’re late every day. Not only is the alarm on your phone designed so that the snooze button is more prominent than the off one, but it also enables you to scroll through social media first thing in the morning. Having an actual alarm clock not only prevents you from mindlessly scrolling through your Instagram feed, but it also means you’re going to hit snooze a lot less. If you’re like me and are paranoid about not waking up on time, keeping the clock at the farthest end of the room will ensure that you wake up. 

4. Engage with your classes

Zoom university has made it easy to not engage with material during class and going back in-person seems especially daunting when you can’t whip out your phone and scroll through social media when your professor goes on a long and boring tangent. However, identifying aspects of each class that you enjoy, whether it’s the friends you have made in that class or your genuine interest in the subject, will make you dread it a lot less.

5. Treat yourself

Whether it’s getting Boba with friends, watching a movie, or gorging on a pint of ice-cream(I am definitely not speaking from personal experience), find a way to reward yourself at the end of the week. The treat doesn’t need to be expensive— it could even be dancing to Taylor Swift music in your room. These treats act as a reminder for what a great job you’re doing and also motivate you to get through the week.

6. Stay safe

We are still in the midst of a pandemic and following COVID guidelines are crucial for keeping yourself and your fellow Longhorns safe. Make sure you download the Protect Texas app and fill out your symptom survey daily as well as get tested weekly. Wearing a mask in classes may seem strange, but it’s the only thing stopping us from going back online.

7. Plan, plan and then plan some more

Now that we are in-person, having a daily planner is essential. Not only does planning your day the night before gives you peace of mind, but it also means you won’t accidentally forget a class or a meeting. Having a monthly planner as well will help you keep track of your assignment due dates. Google Calendar and Outlook are great online planners, but nothing beats pen and paper. 

8. Catch some ZZZs

Lack of sleep is overhyped in college. Just because Brad from your Econ class hasn’t slept since Tuesday and is feeling great doesn’t mean you should follow in his footsteps. Lack of sleep catches up on you when you least expect it and it makes you more prone to illness. With the endless stream of assignments, it can seem hard to get seven hours of sleep but remember those hours of sleep will prevent you from the embarrassment of being woken up by your professor in your eight a.m. class. 

9. Find your style

Now that pajamas are no longer the informal uniform of college students across the world, finding something to wear in the morning can seem foreign. But remember it’s also the perfect opportunity to play around with new styles and try out outfits that are cute from the shoulders down— now that you’re no longer a box on a screen.

10. You are not alone

Remember that you’re not the only one navigating this “new normal” and, yes, you will make mistakes but remember so will everyone else. We are all in this together (cue cheesy High School Musical music) and going back to in-person classes means we are moving forward away from the catastrophe that was the pandemic.

Featured image by Serena Rodriguez

5 Starbucks to drink to get you through your 8:00 AMS: As told by a Starbucks barista

  1. Starbucks Doubleshot on Ice

What it is: LOTS of espresso over ice, mixed with classic syrup , and topped with 2% milk.

Why we love it: The Doubleshot is a great way to get your caffeine fix while also staying cool in the Texas heat. It is an awesome mix of strong and sweet, just like us Longhorns.

How to make it your own: The Doubleshot is one of the most easy to customize drinks on the Starbucks menu! You can substitute any syrup on the menu (caramel, vanilla, hazelnut, sugar-free cinnamon dolce, etc.) for the classic syrup or ask for no syrup at all. You can also swap out the 2% for a variety of kinds of milk (almond, whole, heavy cream, etc.).

Barista tip: Try adding vanilla bean powder for a bit of added sweetness and texture!

2. Chai Tea Latte

What it is: Black tea infused with an element of spice, a hint of water, and 2% milk.

Why we love it: The Chai tea latte is the perfect way for tea lovers to get a kick of caffeine. It is also a great combination of spicy and sweet.

How to make it your own: Chai tea lattes can come hot or iced. Plus, you can switch the standard 2% milk for any milk (coconut, soy, breve, and so on). If you are in the mood for a richer drink, you can request no water and all milk for the hot version of the chai tea latte (the iced version automatically comes with no water added).

Barista tip: Try adding vanilla syrup (regular or sugar-free) to make your tea, and day, a little sweeter.

3. Caffè Vanilla Frappuccino®

What it is: Whole milk, vanilla bean powder, ice, and coffee blended together and topped with whipped cream.

Why we love it: Between the coffee and the sugar in this drink, it’s sure to give you an energy boost to help you make it through any study session. It’s also the perfect treat to congratulate yourself with for a job well done or just for going to all your classes that day.

How to make it your own: The whole milk in frappuccinos can easily be swapped out for a different type. You can also add java chips or hazelnut syrup to create a more complex and unique flavor.

Barista tip: Add an affogato shot (a shot of espresso poured over the whipped cream and Frappuccino) for some extra caffeine and a stronger taste.

4. Guava Passionfruit Drink

What it is: Coconut milk, a guava juice blend, and pineapple-ginger syrup shaken over ice. 

Why we love it: This is the perfect summer drink. It’s fruity, bright, sweet, and most importantly cold. Plus, the vibrant pink color of the Guava Passionfruit Drink makes it a great addition to anyones Instagram.   

How to make it your own: The coconut milk in this drink can be swapped for any other milk on the menu. If you’re not a guava fan, you can also ask to substitute a peach juice blend in place of the guava. Plus, depending on how much on a sweet tooth you have, the number of pumps of pineapple-ginger syrup is completely customizable. 

Barista tip: Try getting the Guava Passionfruit Drink blended with creme base for a delicious slushie-like version. 

5. Cold Brew with Dark Cocoa Almondmilk Foam 

What it is: Cold brew (brewed for 20 hours), ice, and a topping of almond milk blended with mocha syrup and cocoa powder. 

Why we love it: This is the drink you have been waiting for, dairy-intolerant folks! There is just almondmilk in this delicious drink. The strength of the cold brew mixed with the sweetness of the chocolate foam makes a yummy and low-calorie (only 40 calories in a grande) treat. 

How to make it your own: Even though “almondmilk” is in the name of the drink, you can still swap it out for any other milk. If you’re a chocolate-lover, you can ask for pumps of the mocha syrup in the cold brew as well as in the foam. 

College Explained in Images: SpongeBob Squarepants Edition

Tests, homework and the grind of daily life can make college pretty tough sometimes. But at least we can laugh at our pain and shortcomings. Want to know what college is really like? These moments from SpongeBob should do a good job of depicting the struggles that come with getting that degree.  

College is…


1. Spending hours on an essay… 

Photo courtesy of Nickelodeon

    …Yet having nothing to show for it

Photo courtesy of Nickelodeon

2.Convincing yourself that sleep is for the weak

Photo courtesy of Nickelodeon

3. Failing (in some way) over and over again

Photo courtesy of Nickelodeon


4. Your professors making literally no sense in lecture

Photo courtesy of Nickelodeon

5. Being so drained you can’t think straight

Photo courtesy of Nickelodeon

6. Wanting to be alone and then freaking out when you finally are

Photo courtesy of Nickelodeon

7.Waking up for an 8am after two whole hours of sleep

Photo courtesy of Nickelodeon


8. Not being prepared for an exam and then using your imagination to finesse it

Image result for spongebob school
Photo courtesy of Nickelodeon
Photo courtesy of Nickelodeon

9. Checking your bank account and being shook

Photo courtesy of Nickelodeon

10.  Realizing you’re just a big weenie 

Photo courtesy of Nickelodeon

How to Read a Syllabus

Courtesy of Cartoon Network

Whether you’re a freshman or a sophomore, the opportunity to register for courses will no doubt be one of your favorite college experiences. It’s almost as if, once a semester, you get to experience the equivalent of a virtual DMV. Rather than looking into the soulless eyes of a government worker, you get to stare at this

while thousands of other students register for the same twelve-person jazz appreciation class you need to graduate.

However, before you even get to register, you need to set aside some of that free time you have during the peak of midterm season and research the classes you need to take. For many classes, there are at least a handful of choices you have in regards to the professor you select. So, how do you know which one to choose? In my opinion, one of the best things you can do is look at course syllabi and check for various red flags. Let’s take a look at a sample syllabus to learn what these red flags look like.

Graphic by Kara Fields

No class or professor will be perfect, but hopefully this guide will help you spot some red flags from the course syllabi.

Graphic by Kara Fields