February 2020

Powering through another semester

Three simple tips to finding motivation 

As the calendar resets for another year and winter break comes to an end, it can be hard to return to the daily grind of school and work. The cold, dreary weather may make us want to hibernate, but it’s hard to do that when essays, reading assignments, and other responsibilities pile up. This can be even worse for upperclassmen in their last few semesters who have already gone through the motions year after year. With that in mind, how can students find motivation to press on?

One tip is to focus on the end goal. If someone signs up for college knowing how demanding it can be, it must be for a worthwhile reason. One reason might be to pursue a fulfilling career instead of a monotonous minimum-wage job. Another might be gaining valuable life experience. For example, living in a dorm builds independence, and various clubs or other outlets on campus provide opportunities for gaining skills in certain careers. A third reason might be seeing more of the world, since FPU offers many study abroad programs in various countries. So whether you came to FPU to pursue a dream career, build experience, or simply see more of the world, focusing on that reason will give you motivation to keep pushing through the tide of stress.

Another tip is to plan fun events throughout the semester. In the Bible, even God took a day of rest, so there’s no way Sunbirds should be expected to work 24/7. The mountains, the coast, or even the desert all make for potential day trips, each offering activities such as hiking, camping, or exploring. If that’s too far out of your way, movie theaters, restaurants, and shopping malls offer fun nights out right here in Fresno. Even if only once a month, going out with friends, family, and significant others can break up the monotony of the daily routine and provide much-needed rejuvenation.

Finally, another tip is to find joy in the simple moments of each day. Even on the most average day, something is bound to make you smile—a conversation with a friend, a warm cup of coffee, a funny joke. While these moments might not be particularly significant on their own, they really can add up, and carrying them with you throughout the day would be a simple way of finding motivation. On the flip side, looking for ways to provide these moments for others can also put you in higher spirits.

In addition to these tips, you might find help from other Sunbirds’ ideas. Tristan Rollin, senior English major, finds that taking breaks throughout the day helps him to stay motivated. These breaks can take the form of switching from a stressful assignment to an easier one or even setting aside time to rest from work altogether.

“I’m not throwing away hours upon hours, but just a nice short break is really good to take the pressure off,” Rollin said.

In addition to taking breaks, Rollin also finds that physical activity helps him stay on top of his homework.

“I work on my family’s dairy, so I feel like getting outside and getting exercise or getting work done [on the dairy] is another great way. Physical activity is a great activator for mental activity,” Rollin said. 

These are just a few tips to staying motivated, and even if they don’t work for you, there are plenty of other ideas out there. Keep searching for the method that works, and don’t let the stress of life prevent you from pursuing your future—getting that degree will be worth the effort.

Francesco Parisi

Sticker Culture sticks to College Campuses

The college phenomenon that disappears shortly after

Sticker Culture is a relatively recent trend that has emerged among the younger generation, particularly college students, and it is the tendency of covering nearly everything with stickers. Whether it is a water bottle, a laptop or even a car, it seems like most surfaces of the average college student are decorated with some sort of image or inspiring quote that sets it apart and indicates ownership. In an environment where almost everyone has a Hydroflask and an Apple laptop, stickers are an easy way to individualize and personalize items.

Stickers are an easy way for students to declare what they stand for, what matters to them, and who they are.

Nate Van Dyke

There are a very wide range of stickers available and you can see them represented throughout campus. The range of stickers seems to match the range of intention for them. Some seem to serve as inspirations and reminders with famous quotes or bible verses, while others serve as more of a form of individuality and as a way to stand apart from the crowd. They can even represent ways of life, such as stickers that show off belief systems or hobbies. And finally there are those that seem to serve the purpose of bringing a feeling of nostalgia for owners as well as those around them, such as quotes from Parks And Rec or pictures of favorite characters from The Office. 

No matter the intention, stickers have become part of campus culture and a way for students to relate to one another and to staff. Companies and organizations have begun to offer stickers freely in the hopes of expanding their brand marketing. Even Student Life has been offering stickers for their events in the hopes of enticing more students to them. 

But why is this? What makes stickers so special? I believe that it has to do with individuality and connection. Stickers are an easy way for students to declare what they stand for, what matters to them, and who they are. They serve as a way to connect with people who have shared experiences and to open up conversations with people that don’t. 

Sticker culture seems to be another step in the direction of the overwhelming desire of this generation: to connect and to matter. Just being students indicates that most of us want to make a difference in the world and leave our mark, but even beyond that, we have a desire to be connected to each other in meaningful ways. We have a desire for community. 

And that is what stickers represent: community. They let other people know what communities you are a part of, but they also open doors to those that aren’t a part of those communities. A question about a sticker could be an opening for a person to be pulled into a community, which is an underlying desire of all humans. Humans by nature want to be connected with other humans in meaningful ways, and stickers are one of the ways that we have found out how to do that. 

How to have a cute Valentine’s Day on a budget

Asking students around campus their affordable  Valentine’s Day plans

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching with the arrival of red hearts, roses, candy and pink decorations. Whether you are in a relationship or simply looking to have a fun day with your best friends, it’s time to celebrate love with the most important people in your life. If you don’t want to have another night at home watching Rom-Coms for the third year in a row, but you also don’t want to break the bank, here are a few ideas for a fun night while staying on a college student’s budget.

If you are wanting to try something new with your significant other, try Color Me Mine in River Park! They always offer great deals for holidays, such as no studio fee, and it’s fun getting to make something special. 

For those who are competitive, then an escape room is the place for you. Fresno and Clovis have 3 escape rooms between the two cities and each room can hold up to 7 people. An escape room can average out to about $27 per person, which can be expensive, but there can be tricks to saving!

Sophomore psychology major, Jaalyn Sotoa-Stuebing, intends to spend her Valentine’s Day with her boyfriend, Trent Greene, offered her own words of advice. 

“Because of school and practice we will most likely exchange gifts during the day and go to a nice dinner at night,” Sotoa-Stuebing said.

As we head towards the month of February, Sotoa-Stuebing doesn’t let her budget stop her from gifting her boyfriend a special gift or evening. 

“I save up a few months ahead of time so that I have a bigger budget for myself. I’m hoping to save for one gift that he will truly appreciate with a heartfelt letter, because I’m a quality-over-quantity person,” Sotoa-Stuebing said.

While going out can be fun, it just isn’t for everyone. For those who enjoy a nice evening in and want to have a special night, food, movies and a face mask might be the best way to go. Me-n-Ed’s makes heart-shaped pizzas this one night of the year, and if you add in a Lush face mask with a themed movie night, it is the perfect way to have fun while also winding down from the week.

Junior psychology major, Destiny Estrada, reflects on both past Valentine’s Day plans and gifts as she starts preparing for next month. 

“Last year I had a game night in with my girl friends as we watched movies and made dinner together. It was simple yet really fun,” Estrada said.

She looks forward to this year as she plans on celebrating with her new boyfriend, Andrew, while staying on her budget. 

“I give myself a budget of what I feel is right and I don’t allow myself to go over. I make it work,” Estrada said.

While being single on a holiday may not sound like a good time, Freshman business finance major Grant Highstreet, feels otherwise. 

“I feel good about being alone. I’m just living and I love FPU, so I know I’ll have a good time that day,” Highstreet said.

Straying away from the traditional Hallmark night, Highstreet has different ways to enjoy his night in. 

“My plans for Valentine’s Day consist of sitting in my room on my Xbox, playing 2k with my friends. If I were with my friends from back home, though, we would normally do some type of outdoor activity like ping pong,” Highstreet said. 

For those also looking for outdoor adventures, Yosemite is only an hour and a half drive from FPU. If you want to get away from campus for the day or have never been, this is a good time to go. 

But if you have school, work, or practice all day and can’t leave but still want a piece of the outdoor life, the Downing Planetarium is an excellent place to go. It is $5 for students and is located at Fresno State, easily accessible for locals and college students. 

Although Valentine’s Day can be one of the most romantic holidays of the year,  it can also be one of the best excuses to eat chocolate and enjoy quality time with your best friends. Even if you’re on a budget, there is no reason to have anything less than a memorable and love-filled Valentine’s Day, because what’s truly important is that you spend it with those you love and who love you back. Also, remember to stop by any store on February 15th for some delicious marked-down chocolate, of course!