Spring Inspirations

Spring-Colours-Wallpaper

I can tell it is getting warmer (closer to summer)! I want to share a recipe with you which was inspired by spring, sunshine, and freshness. I will also be giving a few tips on how to handle final exam period in college. Spring is a beautiful time of year, but for us students it also means the dreaded finals week(s).

I think what I like most about spring is that it is a time of growth for plants & flowers, fruits & vegetables. Everything begins to look beautiful and rejuvenated; the air becomes warmer, birds sing, and colors bloom. For some reason, I have always believed spring to be a time of personal “blooming” as well. A time where we find new energy – a time for growth, much like our plant friends. I find that “spring cleaning” doesn’t only apply to my physical world but also my spiritual world. Spring seems to bring with it some kind of energy that just propels me out of my winter blues and into cheerfulness (even if it rains).

Fresh Spring Rolls:

  • cooked large shrimp (peeled and de-veined)
  • rice paper wraps (can be found in the Asian aisle of most supermarkets)
  • fresh basil leaves
  • fresh mint leaves
  • lettuce (optional)
  • rice vermicelli (cooked) (also found in most supermarkets)
  • red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • peanut sauce for dipping
  1. Soak the rice paper wraps in a pan filled with warm water. Let soak for about a minute. Remove onto working surface.
  2. Layer the ingredients on one half of the rice paper wrap and leave about 1 or 2 inches of space on the outer sides. Suggestion: layer shrimp, basil, & mint first. Then add your lettuce (if using), vermicelli and red belle pepper.
  3. Fold the sides inward, then roll the rice wrap up tightly.

Peanut Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic (or one large clove)
  • 1 inch fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

Plop all ingredients into a blender and whiz together until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl for dipping.

*No measurements for ingredient amounts are given for the spring rolls, as the quantities are dependent on the amount of rolls you want to make*

P.s. Spring rolls are actually a very tasty study snack food 😉 …a little messy, but very yummy.

My Study Tips for Final Exams:

Finals are around the corner! Let’s get crackin’!

  1. Go to your professor’s office hours or find another time to meet. Never leave things you don’t understand for the last minute. Even if you have nothing you need to clarify with your professor, go see them anyway – they may have some suggestions on how succeed in their specific course/how to properly prepare for the exam (this tip should really be followed throughout the semester).
  2. Take your time. Since final exams are normally cumulative, it is important to allot the appropriate amount of study time and energy for each course you take; so start studying early! Final exams are mentally taxing, avoid putting off studying for a time where you have to cram all your studies together. You will feel confident about your knowledge and feel prepared for the exam if you manage your time properly during your study period.
  3. Do all of the practice available. If your professor has practice exams, do them. If you find other resources with practice exams or problems, do them. Basically, do any and every kind of example problems you can. Practice all of the textbook problems along with anything your professor gives out. It is important to feel confident answering any kind of questions thrown at you. This way, on the exam, you won’t be stumped by wording or order. You can also do a timed mock final exam a few days before the actual exam and see how well prepared you are.
  4. 50-10. The average brain cannot and will not stay 100% focused any longer than 50 minutes (normally). Take a 10 minutes break every 50 minutes in order to refresh your mind.This technique entirely changed the amount of stress I felt. I also did a lot better on exams when using this technique because my brain actually absorbed everything I put into it. Concentration and focus are the most important things when it comes to studying (not the amount of time you spend studying).
  5. Eat, sleep, and exercise. The obvious. You must sleep enough hours in a day, otherwise your brain will turn to jelly (metaphorically, of course) before you even get halfway through a study period. Eating well and exercising (even going for a walk) not only relieves stress and mental fatigue but it also helps raise your energy levels while keeping blood pressure down.
  6. Breathe. It is good to be a little worried about finals, that means you care. Just don’t becomes so lost in test anxiety that you can’t concentrate or enjoy your days. If you relax, you can study more effectively. Take some time to breathe and relax!

These are the “basics”, however, I have found these exact things the most helpful when preparing for exams and I hope these suggestions also help you with your finals! 🙂 Good luck to all you students out there!

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