It doesn’t matter what classes you take

Do you struggle with choosing your college courses every quarter?


Do you juggle the questions, “Is this applicable to my future career?” and “Is this worth the money I am paying for this class?


These are the questions that one of our college ambassadors asked herself while registering for Spring classes this week.

Melody goes to the UW Information School. She is going for a Masters of Library and Information Science. This is a two year program.


Here’s what she has to say about college:


“Doing a whole degree in two years is a lot more stressful than the four years I had to explore with during undergrad. Back then, I had time to bounce from chemistry, to anthropology, to music, back to anthropology, and then finally to business.

If I tried to bounce around that much with this degree, I’d be paying so so much money for a hodge podge of classes with no focus. That’s what I told myself at least.

Here were my doubts:

  • What if I didn’t have a strong enough tech background?
  • What if I can’t get a job in what I want to do but I don’t have the skills to go do something else?
  • What if I change my mind halfway?
  • What if the public librarian profession goes away forever? (This will never happen)

I was struggling and struggling; stressing over stressing about classes. I became obsessed with my 2 year plan.

After changing my two year plan countless times I decided to do even more research (I’m trying to be a librarian after all).

I emailed professors of classes that sounded interesting regarding their syllabus and what else goes on in their course. This was a lot more helpful than the 2 sentence descriptions the registration software gives us.

I went to current professors that I liked to talk about my path. These conversations were sometimes great, other times, I came out more confused than when I went in.

I talked to people at my work regarding what they took in school, if it’s applicable, and what skills they wished they got from school. These answers were mixed of course but it was apparent that there were no regrets from anyone.

What helped the most was talking to someone who graduated a few years ago with the same career path as me. They knew some of the professors I was thinking of taking. They knew how stressful it is to choose classes. They had great career advice. Basically everything I was stressing about, she stressed about it too.

But deep down, I still had my doubts about my choices.

It wasn’t until I reflected upon what a great librarian said to me in a Facebook post last week.

“A degree makes you a professional, the experience makes you a librarian”

I realized:

Why am I stressing so much?

This two year degree isn’t the end of my learning. It honestly is, just my beginning. No matter what classes I choose, as long as I fulfill my credit requirements to graduate, I will be fine. I will focus on what I enjoy and choose my classes accordingly. Not worrying about what everyone else is doing and how I need to find ways to better market myself than them. When I graduate, I will still have opportunities to learn.

I will have (more) mentors

I will go to conferences to hear about innovative changes in the library world

I will learn on the job

AND I will always be (though I already am) a lifelong learner.”


Stressing about classes is normal. But stressing about stressing about classes is not. Let loose a little and realize that this degree isn’t the end. You will learn more things throughout your career either through your job or your own initiative.

Here at ArcZap, we are all lifelong learners like Melody. All of us still do college classes just to stay ahead of the game when it comes to programming and business.

So when you register next time, do your research but don’t think of it as the only set of skills you will have for the rest of your life.


Do you say “no” to events too?

Events and networking events are hard to go to. Not all of us are extroverted and feel comfortable with striking up a conversation with a total stranger. It’s just not us.

However, there are many ways and reasons to go to events.


The first reason,

1) Human beings were made to socialize

Socializing makes us happy. That’s why customer service is such a highly valued part of retail. Happy employees, happy customers. Next time you get your groceries checked out, smile and ask the cashier how they are doing. This is a nice gesture for the employee but also for yourself.

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The second reason is more lucrative,

2) You can’t network without meeting new people

Especially for us college students, networking is a fundamental part of getting that dream job (or that entry level job that will get us to our dream job). So practice practice practice. Go to some events that are made up of your existing social group. Or create your own get-together for just your group!

3) Learn something new

Many people go to events (chess club, martial art practice, or MAGIC) to learn something new. Life-long learning is a valuable skill to achieve life-long happiness. Make a bucket list of all the things you wish you knew how to do. Then find other people or groups who do those things. Approach them as a beginner and they will show you the ropes. Who knows, you may find your next best friend.


4) Be able to answer the question, “How was your weekend?” with pride

Some of us love to spend our day offs alone at home. However, why not divide up your weekend in half and do something on Friday/Saturday and then have a lazy afternoon? Being away for a part of the weekend makes the lazy Sunday that much sweeter. Being able to tell your colleagues a little bit about yourself outside of work/school also strengthens your relationship with them. It makes your time with them go by faster because you have something to talk about.

Now for the real reason why we all go to events…

5) Free food!

College events have been increasingly providing food for attendees because that’s what attracts us. Food in the dorms is so expensive and the grocery store is just too far away. Cooking is also a hassle in your small apartment/dorm. Or you may just not have time for it.


Now go get that free food!


Where do I find Lunar New Year Events?

Want an event with great food, history, culture, or grand performances? You are in the right place. There are celebrations all over our campuses and we wanted to compile this list of them for you.

Now let’s welcome the Year of the Monkey!



Near Bellevue?

Come to:

The Lunar New Year Celebration

Location: Bellevue College

February 5, 2016 – – 5:00 pm 8:00 pm

The Chinese Student Association invites you to a traditional Lunar New Year Celebration. Celebrate the Year of the Monkey!

Join us Friday, February 5, 2016 from 5 – 8 pm in the Cafeteria for a celebration including festive Chinese food and traditional dance. Honor the coming of Spring with your friends, other students, faculty and coworkers and usher in good luck.

Admission $5 in advance (tickets are available now in the PALS Center), $7 at the door.

Sponsored by the Chinese Student Association, International Talk Time, the Office of International Education and Global Initiatives, Taiwanese Student Association, Indonesian Fellowship, and Student Programs.

Image from:



The Lunar New Year Tea Discovery Program

Date: 2/6/2016
Start Time: 1:00 PM
End Time: 2:30 PM

In this 90 minute presentation, discover the history and origins of true tea: white, green, oolong, black and pu’erh tea and how each of these teas is made from the leaves of the same plant. Also learn about how tea, with its Chinese origins, made its way throughout the world, and how it has touched many cultures to become the popular beverage that it is today. Taste the five types of tea and get familiar with what works with our personal taste chemistry, and we’ll talk about some of the practical aspects such as health claims and caffeine content.

Library: Bellevue Library




Near UW?


Come to:

The Lunar New Year Festival

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Feb 13

11-4 PM

Seattle’s annual Lunar New Year Celebration is back on Saturday, February 13 from 11am – 4pm in the heart of the Chinatown-International District. Come out and help us usher in the Year of the Monkey!

Join us at the Main Stage where there will be non-stop cultural performances from dragon and lion dances, traditional Japanese taiko drumming, Bollywood dancing and the 7th annual Children’s Parade and Costume Contest.

For foodies, over 30 neighborhood restaurants will be participating in this years $3 Food Walk presented by Delta Airlines.. Make sure to collect stamps when you buy $3 items for a chance to win by collecting 5 stamps and turning them in at the Information Booth, last entry will be accepted no later than 4 PM. Winner does not need to be present to win.

– 1st place winner will receive two international round trip plane tickets from Delta Airlines
– 2nd place winner will receive two domestic round trip tickets from Delta Airlines
-3rd place winner will receive (1) Season Pass ticket to Stevens Pass Mountain Resort
-4th place winner will receive two (2) lift tickets to Stevens Pass Mountain Resort

Kids of all ages will enjoy the Arts and Cultural Pavilion, with arts and crafts projects for all!



Tết Festival: Vietnamese Lunar New Year

February 13-14 2016
Seattle Center Festál presents Tết Festival – Vietnamese Lunar New Year, February 13-14. Explore and experience the cultural roots and contemporary influences of Vietnam through live performances, hands-on activities, foods, crafts, games, martial arts and a lively marketplace.
The Lunar New Year Celebration welcomes the return of spring and chases out evil spirits with the traditional roaring lion dance and the crackle of firecrackers. Revisit one thousand years of the Vietnamese history at this festive New Year celebration.

Near Ellensburg?

Come to:

Chinese Lunar New Year Celebration

Saturday, Feb 6, 2016
6:00 pm
SURC Ballroom
$10 advance ticket required

You are invited to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year and the year of the monkey!

The Chinese Students and Scholars Association will be selling $10 tickets Feb. 1, 3 and 5 in the SURC tabling area from 12 – 2 p.m. Tickets will include food, shows and a chance at lucky draw. Advance tickets are required.

Are we missing any events near you? Tell us and we’ll add them to our list!
























Top 10 Interview Tips

It’s that time of the year! Employers are starting to interview for summer internships and jobs. Are you ready to walk in a room and strut your stuff?

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Don’t worry, everyone is nervous during an interview. Even those who have had experience in interviewing get nervous. With our team’s combined decades of interviewing, here are the top 10 tips we want to share with you.

1) Research the company

It is important to deeply understand the mission of the company and their current news. You can do this by setting up a Google Alert or check their website and blog a few times the week before your interview. Try to think about what you can contribute to their mission and how their mission fits with your experience and background

Depending on the company, you can go as far as researching the people interviewing you. When you get called in for an interview, as the receptionist the names of those who will be interviewing you. Sometimes knowing their faces beforehand eases your nerves and eliminates the nightmares you may have of faceless interviewers.

2) Make a list of all the things you want to learn

Especially for those who are in college or coming out of college, employers want to see that they want to learn. Show that you have a passion for life-long learning and a passion for their company. Even though you may not have the experience, interviewers will take note that you are confident and inspired to work for them. In many cases, this gets you a job over someone who has more experience.

3) Prepare for the hard questions

Here are some top questions that stump new interviewees.

  • What is your weakness?

For this one, don’t make something up. Make it a genuine answer. If you are not a public speaker, tell them. But add that you constantly come out of your comfort zone by volunteering to speak while presenting for group projects. Show that you know your weaknesses and that you are facing them head on.

  • What do you currently like about your job?

There may be nothing that you like about the job. But dig deeper. Do you like your coworkers? What about the work you do? This is also a great opportunity to look at the bigger picture and share that you are a small part of a bigger mission. Letting them know that you have a great work ethic and outstanding outlook on jobs that are not top priority speaks highly about you.

  • What do you currently dislike about your job?

This is a hard one. If you are looking for a promotion, you definitely don’t want to offend the company. If you are at a new one, you also don’t want to offend the company. You can always default to explaining that there is little opportunity to grow and use what you learned in school. Maybe there is little training for your entry level position. Explain that you want to make a bigger impact on the company’s mission and give examples of the type of impact you want to make.

3) Craft a story

There are many questions where they want to hear what you have done with your professional life already and what results came out of them. These questions help employers see who you already are and how you handled situations before. This is called behavioral interviewing.

This type of interviewing is great to practice because it is truly the hardest.

The steps are divided up with the acronym STAR:

  • Situation/Task
  • Action
  • Result

Look for the most impact you have ever made in a class assignment or a work project. Tell them about the project, tell them your role, what you did, and what was the result.

4) Practice

Especially for those story interview questions, practice practice practice. Have a friend listen to you. Make notes on situations that you may want to share and use. Make it sound relaxed and natural. Focus on the questions and try not to wander too far from them.

5) Dress for success

Dress like you already belong in the organization and position. Let them imagine you working there from the first step you take towards them. This makes you look serious about the job and subconsciously gives you a leg up.

6) Look prepared

Bring copies of your resumes and references. Bring a notepad to jot notes down and even bring your own notes with permission.

7) Body language

Body language is key to a successful interview. To make it easier, smiling and greet everyone from the moment you step out of the car. This gets you in the mood of being optimistic and cheerful. Then right before, go to a quiet, private area like the restroom to breathe and powerpose. You can even do some standing yoga in there to get the blood flowing. You don’t have to but at least get your arms above your head and feel taller and more powerful.

8) Ask questions

With your handy-dandy notebook, jot questions that come up during the interview. Show them that you are a curious person who wants to know all the details before taking a job. These questions can be as simple as asking about the growth opportunities within the company or just details about the job itself.

9) Be bold

This will make you stand out of the crowd. Be confident. You got called back for an interview for a reason. This means that you are qualified and look great on paper. Whatever is on the paper is already who you are. So show them who you are! Add a special piece to your wardrobe that is characteristic of you. This way, you feel comfortable in your interview outfit and maybe you’ll be complemented on it. It may even start a bonding conversation.

If you are feeling really bold, then there is a question you can ask at the end of the interview that may get you the job. This question has been circling around the internet and shown to work.

“Have I said anything in this interview or given you any other reason to doubt that I am a good fit for the role?

This question allows you to fix any mistakes that the interviewers saw in your interview and allows you the opening to correct them. Nothing is more bold than this.

10) Thank your interviewers

Your interviewers took time out of their day to sit and listen to you talk. Give them a thank you note, an email, or even a mailed letter to show that you acknowledged their time. This shows that you are courteous and polite, something they may not expect out of a young student. Write this and get it in their possession within 48 hours. Show them that you are fit for the job.

Good luck! Are there any other tips you have encountered that have landed you the job or internship? Share with everyone!


Cut the cheese! It’s National Cheese Lover’s Day

Just when you feel like Winter Quarter is bogging you down, an amazing thing happens. That amazing thing is cheese.


Did you know?

Nobody really knows the origin of cheese

According to the International Dairy Foods Association, the cheese dates back to 4000 years. The only origin is a legend of how it was made.

“According to an ancient legend, it was made accidentally by an Arabian merchant who put his supply of milk into a pouch made from a sheep’s stomach, as he set out on a day’s journey across the desert. The rennet in the lining of the pouch, combined with the heat of the sun, caused the milk to separate into curd and whey. That night he found that the whey satisfied his thirst, and the cheese (curd) had a delightful flavor which satisfied his hunger.”

The first cheese factory in the US was in Oneida, New York.

This was in 1851.  Peruvian_cheese_open_air_market.jpg

1/3 of the milk produced in the US is used for cheese

Thank you farmers!


The most popular cheese in the world is MozzarellaMozzarella.jpg

The most popular cheese recipe is macaroni and cheese8401086278_5da2fc999e_o (2).jpg

That’s not surprising


There is a database of 1,777 different cheeses at

Complete with fun facts of the day, a Twitter feed, and serving tips


The Smithsonian created a map celebrating cheese found around the world

Their tagline: “This sharp interactive will make you feel gouda all over”


Cheese is most flavorful at room temperature

Wait 30 minutes before servingBrie_de_Meaux.jpg


Approximately 10 pounds of milk makes 1 pound of cheeseMilk_Vat.jpg

That’s a lot of milk!

But at least it gives us the simple pleasures of cheese and crackers, burgers, grilled cheese, and so much more!



Now go take a study break and get some cheese or some other item of indulgence



































Our 2016 Resolutions

Yeah yeah, New Year’s resolutions are a bit cliche. Lose weight, get smarter, all of that jazz. However, these are more than just resolutions (though they include losing weight and getting smarter) they are also goals. Very achievable goals we have thought about for the last 2 weeks. We want these goals to better serve ourselves and better serve all of you.


Continue reading Our 2016 Resolutions

10 Songs to help you ride through Winter Break (Add your own!)

It’s a new year and the start of a new quarter (or semester). This is also the time of the Post-holiday Blues. None of us want to get out of bed, let alone study.


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Winter quarter is the worst. You just finished a 3 week break full of festivities and family time. Before that, you had a break to eat a huge meal while assimilating with your family again.

Thanksgiving table

Now, you are bombarded with assignments and projects with no breaks for approximately the next 10 weeks.


At least there is coffee.

AND music!

Here is a list of 10 songs that will boost your mood and help you ride out Winter Quarter.

Yes, everyone has a different taste in songs. You may like some, you may like none. That’s why there is a comment section below! Share songs that you listen to while you are studying or taking a break from studying.

The River Flows in You – Yiruma

This song is too good. It’s perfect for those bus rides to class and for a self-reflection study break where you ponder if college is worth it. Usually you will decide it is while you listen to this.

Chasing the Sun – Hilary Duff

Yes. You may remember her as Lizzie Mcguire. But now she is 28, a mother, and singing/acting again. Many of us may relate to her daydream video since we may not see the sun for another 3 months. At least there is hope 🙂

Never Gonna Give You Up –Rick Astley

Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen

It’s Queen. No explanation necessary.

Crystallize – Lindsey Stirling

Any of her original songs. You can’t go wrong.

Rey’s Theme – John Williams

Movie soundtracks can really help while writing long papers. And who’s better to think about than Rey? This one isn’t leaving our work playlist anytime soon.

I’m not Afraid -Eminem

For a laugh, check out Eminem’s My Salsa song. You’ll never look at him the same again.


Survivor – Destiny’s Child

We all need a voice to tell us we will make it through. This song does it for some of us and who else wants to hang out at this beautiful beach?

It’s My Life – Bon Jovi

This song is especially awesome when you choose a major that your parents don’t agree with.

Here Comes the Sun – Beatles

Once Spring comes a bit closer, this song will be even more relevant. It will be come sooner than you know it.

Want songs specifically to help you focus? Check out this list from or this list from Odyssey Online.

And don’t forget to add some of your own picks in the comments below!

Happy Zapping and Studying!


Plans for New Year’s Eve?

First of all, Happy New Year! 2015 has been an incredible ride for ArcZap.



We focused on bringing events to you and finding out what you want. Next year, our resolution is to make it all bigger and better!

We will be celebrating by reflecting on all that we accomplished this year in various places, but what about you?


Let us help you with that! Here are some events happening in all of our campuses:

See the ArcZap events list here

Continue reading Plans for New Year’s Eve?

How to be Lazy Productive Over Break

Teachers say: “Have a great break!”

Classmates say: “I’m going to be productive this winter break”

You say: “I’m just going to sleep in and eat cookies while watching TV all day”

You are not alone. The gloomy weather and time of the year makes it super hard to be motivated.

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What other time in the year can you catch up on your favorite shows?

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Or read all those books you put on order at the library?


Here are 5 ways to be lazy and productive before school starts again.

1) Set an alarm and do a free Youtube workout every morning.

This may seem daunting at first but doing this will give you energy for the rest of the day. Our favorite right now is the channel fitnessblender.

Start out slow with a 15 or 20 minute workout (kickboxing!!!!) then move on to the 30 or 40 minute workouts. If you are feeling extra motivated after a few days, try the 5 day workout challenge. You won’t regret it!


2) Download a learning app

Were you one of those classmates that bragged that they were going to learn something this winter break? Well, why not do it for real?

Want to learn to code? There’s an app for that. Learn HTML is a good start. The Hour of Code is another fun one to get started.

Want to learn a new language? There’s an app for that. Libraries subscribe to Mango Languages so that you don’t have to. Why not get those tax dollars to work?

Want to just exercise your mind? There’s an app for that. Lumosity is a popular one. It’s free and created by neuroscientists. What’s not to trust? Coursera or Khan Academy for educational lectures or TED for inspirational TED talks are awesome as well.

If you haven’t figured it out already (but we’re sure you did), there’s an app for anything. Just search for something you are interested, download it, try it out, and brag about your productivity to your friends!


3) Learn to cook!

Nothings worse than gaining the Freshman 15 or just the holiday gut. It means that cooking healthy during college is a necessity.

Watch TV and learn how to cook. There’s a huge variety of cooking shows on Netflix. After each entertainment TV show, watch a cooking show to say you are learning how to cook. Why not?

If that doesn’t work, there are amazing apps that teach you each step to cooking your new favorite meal. Nom Nom Paleo is a delicious choice.

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4) Get an audiobook

Do you have to take the bus to work or to school? Maybe to that temporary holiday retail job that you just started? Well, make the commute worthwhile through audio ebooks! Buy them or get them at your local library.

Feeling a bit depressed? Get free therapy through listening to biographies of people who had to struggle to succeed. Mindy Kaling’s books are hilarious! Other popular ones are Amy Poehler’s Yes Please or B.J. Novak’s books.


5) Find a creative outlet

Better yet, use your creative outlet to create gifts for your friends and family. Learn to knit, crochet, sew, or just color! Coloring is a great way to decrease stress and have fun. Have you seen this awesome coloring book yet?

Color it, frame it, and give it away. What a better way to start off 2016.



Are you ready to be lazy productive now?

We certainly are!



New Features: Mobile and More

Have you logged in lately? There have been many new changes to ArcZap! But here are the major changes and new features:

1) Look and feel

We went with a friendlier interface this time with a softer color scheme and friendlier fonts. The event calendar is easy to navigate and the side menus have been consolidated.

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Event calendar UW.JPG


2) Navigation bar

Groups, Events, and Messages  now share the side navigation bar with easy access from the top

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3) Mobile friendly

Look for events on the go and upload photos right away! We want to make searching for your next party fast and easy.


4) Goodbye to “spam” emails

Emails are no longer sent immediately but instead come in a single daily summary email.

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However, you can choose to receive event invites and reminders immediately.

Emailing your group alias will stay normal but comments, updates, and messages will be sent in a summary email once a day.

5) Event Reminders Revamped

Event Reminders are individualized and you can have it text you, email you or both.



6) Event editor

If you own a community or a group, there is now an event editor that can tell you when there are errors in events to be corrected. Tutorials for this will be given to those who curate events.

7) Are you sponsored by a community?

Groups who have a sponsor community, can see the community events amongst your group events. This reduces your need to check both places.



Now… screenshots can only show you so much. So, try out some of these features for yourself!