Stirring the Pot: Stayin’ Studious Without Losing a Screw

Trying to survive in college is stressful in and of itself; add exams, lack of sleep, and anxiety to the mix and you’re in for a rough time. Here are some helpful tips to stay sane yet studious.

Typically, I like to do investigative pieces — this is a bit of a deviation from my normal style but I found it quite fitting as we’re finishing off midterms and on the cusp of finals season. Yep, the exams and deadlines are here and we’re all in a frenzy of stress, anxiety, and a lack of sleep (which we all know we desperately need). The eyebags are forming, and so is the long, expensive list of Venti Starbucks Nitro Cold Brews, Monsters, and Guayaki Yerba Mates. But to be honest, I just hope you’re all doing okay. Or at least surviving. Anyways, I just thought I’d share some ways to not go completely batshit crazy from all the damn stress you’re probably facing right now. (And trust me, I’m  quite knowledgeable on the subject, as I’m a literal human ball of worry.)

ORGANIZE!

I know this isn’t a fresh, new idea, but it’s honestly the best way to assure you don’t feel as if you’re literally drowning in an ocean of papers, projects, and deadlines. And it’s a lot simpler than it seems — you don’t need to buy an expensive planner or be a bullet journaling master to tackle time management. Simply get a piece of paper (or use your phone notes app if you prefer) and just write out everything that’s stressing you out — all the things you have to do, and when they need to be done by. Literally just spill your brains out onto the page.

By releasing everything from your head to a documented place allows your mind to be relieved from all the pressure of remembering these tasks. Then plug them into your calendar! Plan out the week day-by-day and suddenly your tasks will seem much less daunting: as long as they’re spread out into time chunks — cramming is not the move! 

PRIORITIZE YOURSELF!

Assure you’re keeping your best interests in mind when making decisions. If you know you have a fat paper to write in TWO days that you have yet to start, then it’s probably in your best interest to take up your friend’s last-minute, yet extremely enticing offer to go to that party. Let yourself have enough time to complete your task without the pressure of the deadline waving over your head — pulling an all-nighter while chugging two sour apple reigns from the 7-eleven across the street is not the best situation to be in (coming from personal experience!). Not only can this lead to a mental breakdown (guilty), but it means you’re not doing your best work. But I know you’re still going to procrastinate, so to assure your all-night cram/work session won’t completely destroy your health, make sure you’re taking short breaks in which you leave your workspace and take a stretch or stroll. If you’re going to consume high quantities of caffeine, make sure to balance your water intake with the caffeine (not only will hydrating keep your mind sharp, but it will make the caffeine much more effective and long-lasting). Also, assure you’re eating healthy snacks — some of these could include nuts, berries, granola bars, or yogurt. NO TAKIS. PLEASE.

SLEEP!

Sleep is a precious gift. I know us college kids cherish (and I mean CHERISH) our sleep despite sacrificing it constantly. I know all the doctors tell us we need roughly 8 hours of sleep but honestly, I know I’m not getting it and it’s completely MY FAULT. Sleep is extremely crucial if we want our mental health to be in tip-top shape — one way to combat the lack of sleep I know we all have is by taking power naps. No, not four-hour naps that send us into another dimension of time, I’m talking about 15-20 minute naps in between classes. This short bit of sleep can give you the power to push through the day and be productive when you’re feeling like you can’t keep goin’ anymore. But make sure to be self-disciplined: don’t keep hitting snooze, but give yourself an incentive to get up, such as a good ol’ cuppa joe.

BALANCE YOUR TIME!

One of the most important tips I can give you is to just be self-aware of your productivity. If you know you’re overworking yourself, make sure to give yourself time to relax, let loose, and have fun! Reward yourself for your hard work when you know you deserve it. Make plans with friends or just let yourself sit back and veg on the couch! But this goes both ways: if you know you’ve been slacking a bit and you’re stressed from your lack of productivity in the face of a million daunting tasks, don’t be too hard on yourself.

Beating yourself up and calling yourself a failure isn’t going to do you any good. Remind yourself that you are capable of doing great things, pull your bootstraps on, and get your shit done! Take it little by little, assuring you’re not trying to get too much done in a short period of time. Honestly, the hardest part of doing anything is just starting. Type out that title page, start that outline, pull out that textbook, and break out those highlighters. Tell yourself that the task is NOT bigger than you and that you can take it.

Make sure to stay focused though — as I said before: if you know you haven’t been too productive lately, make sure to be intentional about how you’re spending your time. Don’t lay in bed for six hours if you know you have things to do, even if they’re stressing you out. In the end, your lack of productivity will make yourself feel MORE stressed in the end, and can affect the way you view yourself, which has a direct correlation to the quality of your mental health!

LOVE YOURSELF!

I hope some of these tips help you out. But honestly, give yourself a damn break. You’ve got this! You’re doing great. I know all these things are easier said than done, but just make sure you’re taking it all little by little. It’s not the end of the world if you mess up. We all do it – none of us are perfect students – or perfect people at that. Just try your best, plan as much as you can, and make sure you’re doing everything that’s in your best interest. You’ve made it this far, and honestly, that’s a huge achievement in itself! And as I’m sure you don’t hear this enough, I’m proud of you.

Written by: Olivia Flores
Featured Image: Prescence.io

Electronic House Music: A Concept

In this week’s blog, I am going to focus on my favorite sub-genre of Electronic Dance Music: House Music.

Most of you know of house music from parties, clubs, or festivals. It has a catchy beat that you can’t help bobbing your head or moving your arms to. Others know how to shuffle to this music (I am still learning but I am impressed with everyone who can break out in shuffle).

House music originated in Chicago at a club called The Warehouse in 1977. Frankie Knuckles, who opened The Warehouse, mixed old disco classics and new Eurobeat pop together. Many of these music experiments took place there, and House became the first descendant of disco.

House music is funny to me because there’s usually a couple of words in the song followed by a beat to dance to. It is repetitive, but that’s what makes it fun. It is usually in a range of 115-130 bpm (beats per minute). I know whenever I hear house music in public places, I can’t help but dance to it.

My featured image for this post shows my favorite house DJ, Tchami, during his back to back set with ZHU. This happened this summer at Hard Summer Music Festival. I was in the crowd for this set and it was a huge moment. ZHU and Tchami had never shared the stage before so everyone got to hear their iconic sounds combined.

Tchami usually shares the stage with Malaa, who I saw at EDC Las Vegas last year. I first saw Tchami in 2017 at the Brooklyn Bowl in Las Vegas — I fell in love with house music and I hope to see him five thousand more times.

In this post, I’m going to highlight some of the different types of house music. I will name some artists associated with the each type and some song suggestions to listen to.

Some different types that I am familiar with are Deep House, Bass House, Big Room House, Tech House and Future House.

For some popular house music titles, most of you probably know of these artists and their songs:

Deep House

This type of house music tends to have a lower bpm (around 120 bpm) and has greater influences from soul, jazz, and funk. I intertwine Deep House with Progressive House because they are both very similar. They are closely related to Trance music, as it has long accelerating peaks and troughs that progress throughout the track.

Bass House

Bass house has more baseline while also containing house music elements. It goes much “harder” because of the bass, and is usually around 145-150 bpm.

Big Room House

This is the more mainstream House music. It has lengthy build-ups and releases.

Tech House

This form of house music combines techno styles with house. It has more techno sounding beats with the rhythm of house music. I don’t listen to much tech house but here are some examples I came up with.

Future House

Future house emerged in the United Kingdom around 2010. It fuses deep house, garage house and other elements of electronic music into it. Garage house is known to have pitch-shifted and time-shifted vocals.

These are just a small amount of the many types of House music. This shows how vast the electronic music genre is. I’m still constantly learning about each one and I love to hear the differences. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Written by: Alexandra Gex

Peep This Joint: Dave East – Survival Album Review

The buzz around Harlem rapper Dave East is larger than ever with the release of his debut album, Survival executively produced by the legend Nas himself. 

The album recently dropped on November 8th and features a star-studded cast of guest appearances such as Nas, Rick Ross, Teyana Taylor and Ty Dolla Sign. With a total of 20 songs that run for a little over an hour, it’s clear to see that East came prepared to tell his story to the masses.

He holds respect in the rap game as he has released numerous mixtapes and is adept at collaborating with both veteran guests such as Nas and Cam’ron as well as younger emcees like Gunna and A-Boogie. Over time he refined his signature gritty New York sound and it reflects with how polished Survival sounds. Since the release of his first mixtape in 2010, his debut album clearly portrays a seasoned rapper comfortable in his element as he gives listeners a glimpse into different parts of his life. 

A standout track from the album is the song, “On My Way 2 School” where he invites listeners to be in his shoes as he retells harsh experiences walking to school. East vividly paints how violent and dangerous the journey was just to go to school in a rough neighborhood: 

“On my way to school (On my way) / 

Nike’s and Adidas on my way to school (Either or) / 

You ever seen a homicide on your way to school? (Boom!) / 

You never seen your homie Mama cry on your way to school (Never).” 

Another standout song is “Mama I Made It” which is a love letter to the woman who raised him. The track exudes a classic ‘90s feel as East boasts his admiration for his mother. Reminiscing on the past when his mom slapped him when he “used to try to cuss” to brighter days today where “she aint never gotta worry ’bout no rent,” it’s clear to see the love. Having a song dedicated to your mother on an album is always a respectable and welcomed move and Dave East clearly outdid himself on this one.

The Harlem rapper revealed in an interview with legendary west coast radio host Big Boy that he listened to all of his favorite rappers’ first albums to prepare his mindset for his own.

“I went and played 50’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’. Snoop’s Doggystyle, Nas and Illmatic,” East said. “I played everybody’s first album just to see what their energy was at. Like ‘What time was you on when you knew this was your debut to the world?’.”

Overall the decision proved to be a wise move as his debut album is a shining example of his lyrical gift and vivid storytelling. This album is definitely one of the most solid albums released so far this year and is a must-listen. 

Go peep this joint right now!

Rating: 9/10

Written by: Johann Oribello

21 Questions: Angela Juat Campos

womxn smiling

Inspired by Humans of New York, this is 21 Questions; a fun way of getting to know the students, faculty, and staff of SDSU. This week is Angela Campos.

“My name is Angela Juat Campos and I was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, but I grew up in Patterson, California as known as the central valley (or the butt crack of California, however you prefer).”

How do you feel about the question, “Tell us about yourself?”

“It depends on the context and who is asking. It used to be more of a daunting question, for example, if you asked me this about 4 or 5 months ago, I would have stumbled and been more unsure. Now I feel more confident in answering. Mainly because it is something that I have been practicing in my head and in real life. I want to be seen as someone that is confident enough to know who they are. While sometimes it can be a daunting question it can be empowering—and that’s on period.”

So, tell me about yourself?

“I am a first-generation, American college student and a fourth year at San Diego State University. I am a queer, Filipinx artist, radio personality for KCR college radio, and Creative Director at Egalitarian Magazine. Currently, studying Communication and Art with the aspirations of becoming an educator or working in media or for a company that has morals that I can support. I want to help others realize their own potential in any setting. I want to be someone that can encourage others to be authentically themselves despite people that may want to tear them down or tell them that something is not the standard or norm.

Some people think that I am out of pocket. People tend to react to me in a way that I find humorous and they find me humorous as well. Mostly because I am different and react to things so genuinely it is hard to hide how I am feeling. So, people can see what I am thinking or how I am feeling just from my facial expressions. As much as I hate to admit it, I would say I am a people person, and people make me happy. I want people to know that I am honest, open-minded, and I love hearing people’s opinions and stories. Also, doing my best to learn from other people and my own experiences. I love listening to people… and… I am a clinical Pisces!”

What is something that people usually get wrong about you?

“Damn… I feel like people think I am oblivious to things. When in reality, I am quietly observant. I am very attentive, sometimes too attentive, to the point where it may bother or distract me.”

What brought you to San Diego? 

“Hot ladies’… cool weather… just kidding, but I wanted a change of pace, change of environment, and the possibility of meeting a wide array of people, like-minded or not.”

Are you family-oriented?

“Damn, I don’t know… I want to say yes, but a lot of my opinions and views stray away from my family’s traditional, normalized ideas, but I do think about them a lot. I owe it to them for helping me get to where I am today, and I do appreciate them to an unfathomable degree.”

Do you believe that struggles make you stronger?

“Yes, every struggle that I have overcome has made me a stronger person and from those experiences, I have been able to learn from myself and help others based on what I have gone through—period.”

Do you have an idea of where you will be at the end of this year? 

“I will be feeling more accomplished and more mature.”

Who are you listening to right now?

“Erykah Badu, Alicia Keys (older), Alton Ellis (classic reggae), Yellow Magic Orchestra. Also, some of my favorite concerts have been Vampire Weekend at Cal Coast Open Air Theater and Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals at Golden Gate Park, Outside Lands 2019.”

Do you like who you are now?

“Yes, I love that bitch. I hate her but I LOVE her.”

Do you have anyone to thank for where you are now?

“Yes, multiple people. Both of my parents, my cousins Erin and Lynn, my godmother Adele, and a big one to the friends that have stayed with me to this day—period.”

If you could tell your younger self something what would it be?

“Stop worrying about things that don’t matter, because nothing matters—period.”
– Angela Campos, pronouns: She/Her/Her’s
  • You can listen to Angela’s radio show Angela vs. the World Wide Web on KCR Wednesday mornings at 10am!
  • If you want to keep up with Angela via social media, you can follow her @acjuat and @digitaldater on Instagram.
Written by: Jasmine Alexander
Photo by: Jasmine Alexander