Monday, January 24, 2011

Don’t Stress!

by Sherry Cao, CAPS Marketing Assistant

My stress levels were at an all-time high last night. Perhaps it was the amount of homework due for today, or the fact that there is a direct relationship between levels of stress and time passed into the night, but I went to sleep knowing that things had better be better when I woke up (because they weren't very good when I went to sleep!). And they were—because here I am sitting at CAPS writing a blog post, having survived Honors Calc and a double dose of Spanish.

As you probably know, college is stressful, especially when, now that fourth week is here, midterms are looming (or have already begun). Add to that thoughts about what to do this next quarter/this summer/for the rest of your life, and you may well feel overwhelmed. So allow me to share some of my favorite stress buster activities, many of which are unique to the University of Chicago.

Running down 57th Street to the Lakefront—Watch the bluish-gray palette of the waves in winter as you take a breather, and see if you can spot the Lake Michigan iceberg (it exists). Then run back past Powell’s Bookstore and take a look in the free box of books. I picked up On Being Happy and The Shining last time I went.

Cleaning your room—This is mindless domestic work, which is exactly what one needs sometimes. Whenever I clean, I also find lots of stuff that I've lost, so that makes me feel good too.

Going to a basketball game—This is very UChicago in the sense that it’s not. Oh, the irony?

Heading out to Hallowed Grounds (or whatever your favorite campus coffee shop is) with enough money to buy a cup of coffee, and nothing else—Stay and sit for a while. Bring a friend, watch people play pool or just soak in stuff that’s not inherently school-related.

Taking a moment to just breathe—Then organizing and prioritizing. Sometimes the best way to de-stress is just to get all the small pesky things that you need to do out of the way--like e-mailing someone back, paying a credit card bill, or doing laundry.

So, to quote the ever-inspiring J-Mac (Jesse McCartney): “Don’t stress, don’t stress, don’t stress. Girl, you deserve nothing but the best!” And by "girl," he means stressed out UChicago students. Enjoy your week!

What are your favorite stress release activities? Leave a comment below!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

True or False?

by Sherry Cao, CAPS Marketing Assistant

As we all settle into our winter quarter schedules, I’d like to play a little game of “True or False”—CAPS style. I would say CAPS is pretty well-known around campus--but in my experience, not everyone knows just how convenient or helpful their services are. So, play along by reading the following statements and guessing if they are true or false. (Also, you might want to cover up the part of the computer screen that says true or false.)

  1. CAPS is a super long trek from campus.

    This is false. I live in Max P, and it usually takes 7-8 minutes to walk over here. It’s a pretty scenic walk too, with passing by Rockefeller Chapel and all of the lovely Gothic architecture. But if you can't get over here (you're studying abroad, you broke your leg playing broomball, etc.), CAPS does phone appointments too, so go ahead and call us at (773) 702-7040.

  2. You need to dress super nicely when you come to any of our meetings, events, or to our offices in general.

    False (ish). First of all, dressing nicely is always fun—-why else would they have Full Suit Friday? (It’s a real thing, I promise.) Second, most of our events don’t require you to dress up. As long as you’re wearing something that’s weather appropriate (for your sake), feel free to stop by any of our events and meetings! But if you are attending an employer information session (especially with a financial or consulting firm) or coming for an interview, then it's time to don your professional wear. If you're even in doubt about what to wear to an event, feel free to call for advice! (And if you want more advice about what to wear and when to where it, check out this past blog post.)

  3. Making an appointment with CAPS is intimidating.

    This is false—I promise! I work here, and even I felt a little apprehensive going into my first career exploration meeting (which I had last week). I mean, I only had my high school resume in hand, and I NO idea what I was going to do with my summer, much less my future. But that’s totally okay because I came out of my 30-minute meeting with a more professional resume and a better idea of what my summer may look like. I also got activated for On-Campus Recruiting (OCR) during the meeting, which means that I can apply for tons of great internships and externships.

  4. Ida Noyes is a neat building.

    True! The exterior is very cool and detail oriented—I often see student photographers lurking around taking pictures of the stone cherubs or the cobblestones. They also have brass monkey door handles and other monkey-related details around the building (which is honestly a little creepy, but hey, they’re kind of growing on me. Not literally.)

I hope you had a fun—-and educational—-time playing! If you have more questions about CAPS, feel free to leave them in the comment box. Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

How to Hit the Ground Running

by Sherry Cao, CAPS Marketing Assistant

"Happy New Year" seems to be the greeting of choice around the CAPS office this week—and with good reason, of course, as it is the first week of 2011—so Happy New Year to all of our readers out there as well! I hope you all had a great break/New Years/Holiday Season. I did a lot of shopping, sleeping and reading in my three week break, and now I’m back to class and ready to hit the ground running.

Coincidentally, that is also our theme today, and I’d like to show you how you too can hit the ground running in terms of getting ready for the future—whether that means this summer or further down the road. So read on to find out more about all of the great programs CAPS is offering to help you start the New Year off right.

Coming up this week…

  • Wednesday January 5, 12 p.m.: How to Dress to Impress for Interviews. Get a free lunch while learning important interview skills to help you make the right impression.

  • Thursday January 6, 12-4pm: Super Walk-Ins: Half Day. CAPS staff will be reviewing resumes, activating students for Chicago Career Connection and answering career fair, Metcalf and ABG questions. So bring your resume and get your behind in here!

  • Thursday January 6, 4-4:30pm: How to Work the Winter Career Fair. Learn how to make the most of the few minutes you have to talk to recruiters at the Winter Career Fair.

  • Friday January 7, 12-4pm: Winter Career Fair. Come peruse potential future employers’ booths—they have a wealth of information and, more importantly, freebies! This is a great way to explore and learn more about what you want to do.

All of these events will be held in Ida Noyes Hall.

Important Events in the Near Future

  • Wednesday January 12, 5pm and 7pm: Venture2Adventure—this is ONLY open to first years. I’m pretty sure we got a cute little blue flyer along with a luggage tag before we left for break about it—but in case you don’t know, Venture2Adventure is a great event for first years to learn about summer opportunities and resume writing, and catch up with friends over dinner. This will be held in Bartlett Dining Commons.

  • Wednesday January 12, 6pm: Summer Opportunities Fair—Open to all students. Come meet representatives from local organizations as well as University-sponsored organizations and learn about all the cool things you could this summer. This event will be in the Quadrangle Club, which is across from Reynolds Club (1155 E. 57th Street).

You can find out everything you need to know about all the CAPS Winter Quarter events on the CAPS calendar. And don't forget to join the Career Advising and Planning Services group on Facebook to get invites and updates!