12 Ways To Avoid Getting Sick In College

This lovely picture was taken by my boy Jack Yu from Yongjianyu.com

Being sick in college is one of the most miserable experiences you’ll have. What’s worse is that it can be really easy for colds and viruses to be transmitted when you’re in college because you’re living so close to others in such small spaces. Yep, germs, snot and who knows what else are everywhere, and will not hesitate to give you absolute hell. So now that I may or may not have just sent chills down your spine (or was that because of the cold you may or may not be catching???) here are some ways that you can avoid getting sick.

P.S. I have only gotten sick twice in my five semesters of college! I think I’ll give myself a pat on the back for that.

1. Bundle up when it’s cold outside. 

I’m not trying to catch a cold just because I wanted to wear a cute tank top and shorts one last time before I send them to the back of my closet. Not dressing appropriately for the weather is one of the easiest ways you can get sick. I know there are lots of events like football games and homecoming that we all want to look cute for, but always consider the weather before picking an outfit. You might need to grab a scarf or a light jacket before heading out.

2. Don’t share food or drinks.

DON’T DO IT. That one sip of your friend’s soda can change everything. Your friend could be just starting to recover from a cold and if they’re still contagious…good luck.

3. Avoid sick friends. 

While we’re still talking about friends, if yours are so sick they’re coughing up a lung, try to spend as little time with them as possible. I know, that sounds totally mean, and if you were sick you’d want to be surrounded by love and warmth from your friends, but I don’t think they’d want you to catch what they have. You can’t avoid all contact with your sick friends, but try to be careful.

4. Don’t feel shy about asking your friends to cover their coughs. 

“Hey, do you mind coughing into your sleeve? I just don’t want to get sick.” This is a pretty polite way to ask a friend to be more aware that they could be spreading germs and getting others sick. You’re obviously not going to say, “COVER YOUR COUGH, B*TCH.” I know misery loves company, but don’t feel bad for nicely saying that you don’t want to get sick.

5. Get your sleep! 

I feel like I mention getting adequate sleep in literally every single post, like the one on how to deal with stress in college. But seriously, words cannot describe how heavenly sleep is. Get it. I know that being out on your own without a curfew to chain you to your bed can make you feel invincible, but you’re going to feel like absolute crap if you don’t sleep enough.


6. Sanitize workout equipment before using it.

First off, not everyone who uses the workout equipment wipes it down when they’re done with it, even though it’s basically like the unwritten law of sanitary gym practices. Second, if that person has a cold and they blow their nose, wipe away some snot, cough into their hands and then touch the buttons on the treadmill, the handles on the elliptical and all that other stuff, you’re picking up whatever they put down. Make sure you give everything a quick once over with some wipes before using it.

7. Throw in some healthy meals where you can. 

Building healthy eating practices can really boost your immune system and make you feel healthier overall. That’s not to say that people who eat healthy never ever, ever get sick but eating healthy can reduce your chances of getting sick and even help you recover quicker if you do. I love eating spinach and rave about it to anyone who’s willing to listen! Try fun ways of incorporating healthy veggies and fruit into your diet, like making smoothies or popsicles.

8. Don’t wash your hair and immediately go outside. 

My momma always warned me against going out with wet hair, especially when it was cold outside. I used to see lots of girls in school do it, but then again I also used to hear those girls complain about being sick all the time. You may not get sick after doing it just once, but don’t make this a habit. Make sure your hair is at least 80% dry before going out into the cold.

9. Wash your hands often.

This one is something we’ve been hearing since kindergarten. Wash your hands especially if you were just somewhere that’s notorious for containing a lot of germs, like a bathroom or junk yard (no, I have no idea why you’d be at a junk yard, but let’s just go with it).

10. Clean your space regularly.  

All the dust collecting on your table and couch can really aggravate your allergies and can even make you sick. Mold can also do this, so keep an eye out for any hygienic issues in your dorm room that you might have to report to an RA, though I hope no one’s dorm room actually contains that much mold…Make sure you vacuum, dust off, and wipe down any surfaces. You can also take turns doing this with your roommate or suite mates.

11. If you feel a cold coming on, act FAST. 

If your throat is starting to feel some type of weird, dry way, you’re probably getting sick and this would be a wonderful time to grab those cough drops and start drinking hot tea like it’s your job. Don’t wait for you to actually start running a fever before you decide to start doing something about it.

12. Relax!

Being stressed AF can weaken your immune system, so make sure you listen to your body and treat it right! If you’re really tired and just need to sleep, SLEEP! If you feel like you need to just take some time to chill and watch Gossip Girl amidst your 50 obligations, go for it! Remember to put yourself first.

What are your tips for avoiding getting sick in college? 

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The Ultimate Study Session Playlist

How many times have you found yourself in this situation: you’re chilling in the library, or your favorite study spot, with textbooks and lecture notes in front of you, preparing for an upcoming exam or just trying not to fall behind in class. All of a sudden, the unthinkable happens: you yawn. And before you know it, you’re yawning some more, and you’re actually starting to feel bored and maybe even a little unfocused.

Okay, I’m done sounding like an infomercial now. Ahem. Listening to music while I study is my favorite way to get me in the mood to do focused work and even maintain my focus. We all have those days when we’d much rather get in an episode or two of Grey’s Anatomy (okay, maybe that’s everyday) but even so, those unread chapters in our textbooks will still be waiting patiently for us. If you’re looking for some music to help keep you in a study-all-day-erry-day state of mind (or just to drown out the loud AF people talking around) take a look at some of my favorite songs to study to.


I never really thought of myself as a lover of rock music, but I have found some songs from this genre that I just can’t get out of my head! When I listen to these songs I feel like I’m in my high-speed, super productive mode because of the beat and tempo. Some of these songs are so great to listen to when you’re speed-typing an eight-page paper — when you’re in the zone, you’re in the zone! 

Off-Brand Misery — Loner’s Club

Loner’s Club is a band that was started by two of my classmates, so I basically know celebrities now. Off-Brand Misery is really calming, so it’s a great kick-off for your study session playlist. I seriously listened to this song multiple times in a row because, first off, IT’S REALLY GOOD, and second, I was able to relax and focus on my work while still enjoying the song.

Exes and Oh’s — Elle King

Good Girls — Elle King

Bohemian Rhapsody — Queen


Sometimes songs that don’t contain any lyrics really suit the type of studying I’m doing. If I’m reading a long-form article or doing a reading for class, I typically listen to this type of music so that there are no lyrics getting jumbled up with the words I’m reading and confusing me. I’ve been a band geek since middle school (yay clarinets!!!) so I became acquainted with pretty much all of these pieces by performing them and I’m still in love! (Note: you’ll soon find that Steven Renieke is my FAVORITE composer!).

The Witch and the Saint — Steven Renieke

I love Steven Renieke’s pieces so much because they paint a picture stemming from mythology, and they’re very dramatic. The Witch and the Saint is about twin sisters whose births signified a bad omen. The townspeople considered one sister to be a witch, while they considered the other to be — you guessed it — a saint. I won’t spoil the song for you, but there is a mixture of moods that take place here and the song is definitely worth a listen!

Fate of the Gods — Steven Renieke

Goddess of Fire — Steven Renieke

The Tempest — Robert W. Smith

Bolero — Ravel 


Electropop is a super fun music genre to listen to. I’m very much in love with Marina & the Diamonds and in all honesty, songs from her are the only type of electropop music I listen to. I only included just two of my favorites from her on this list because then I’d basically be naming songs from one artist all night. I love listening to her songs when I’m re-writing lecture notes or doing a more enjoyable type of work (like blogging!) because I really enjoy her music and I like to be happy when I listen to it!

Lonely Hearts Club — Marina & the Diamonds

Sex, Yeah — Marina & the Diamonds

Indie pop:

Just like with Marina, I didn’t know Indie pop was a thing until I really started listening to songs by Lorde. A lot of her songs feel very the-apocalypse-is-coming or the-apocalypse-just-happened-and-look-at-the-world-now and for some reason I totally dig that. I love listening to her songs on a dark, gloomy day while I sit in Starbucks, soft, oversized sweater around me, iced latte in hand and laptop screen illuminating my face (me trying to descriptive, heehee). Her songs aren’t very boisterous, so they’re great for listening to while doing slightly more focused work. These are my two favorites from her:

Buzzcut Season — Lorde

Tennis Court — Lorde


You may or may not know this but my family is Caribbean so I grew up listening to a lot of Soca music. The best way I can describe this type of music is that it’s just REALLY energetic and will make you want to dance! I usually save these songs for the last leg of my study session to really just help me push through and finish strong (and wide awake!).

Kotch — RDX

Whine Up — Kat De Luna

Press It Up — Sean Paul

I Need Your Love — Shaggy

These songs just make me — dare I say — excited to actually sit down and study and get work done. I definitely hope I was able to show you a little bit of what my music tastes are, and introduce you to some songs that make me feel more productive when I’m trying to get work done.

What’s on your study session playlist? 

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The Ultimate Guide To College Game Day

the ultimate guide to college game day

Attending college football games on my campus is one of my biggest goals this semester. You see, I don’t know the first thing about football and I never really cared to go out to any of the games. But this past weekend I went to my school’s football game and actually had a really great time, despite my lack of knowledge for the sport. Plus, it was my first ever time attending a football game as a spectator so I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect other than going, sitting, and, well, watching the game.

If it’s your first time going to a game and you need some super cool *insider knowledge*, here’s what I learned at my first football game:

1. Familiarize yourself with your school’s policy on attending sports games.

Do you have to reserve tickets in advance? Can you just walk right in and sit anywhere you want? If you bring family members how much do the tickets cost? These are questions you should find the answers to before game day arrives! I had no idea that I needed to reserve a ticket for the game; I assumed that because I’m a student I could just show my ID at the gate and walk right in. It was a good thing my friend told me the proper way to attend games at our school.

2. Wear your school’s colors.

At my school, there is never a shortage of red t-shirts that say, “WHAT’S A SEAWOLF?” Wearing your school’s colors is an easy way to feel connected and feel like you’re really one with the thousands of other students who go there. I’m a major sucker for cool collegiate apparel so I have two hats, two sweatshirts, sweatpants, two t-shirts, a long sleeve top, and a football jersey with my school’s logo and whatnot on them (told ya I’m obsessed with this stuff). But if you aren’t going to wear your school’s colors then MAKE SURE you DON’T wear the rival school’s colors accidentally!

3. Do fun nail art to show off your school pride.

Showin my SBU pride with #gameday nail art! 🐾🏈

A post shared by Jasmin (@xoitzjazz) on

I love combining beauty with school spirit! For the game this past weekend, I did SBU-themed nail art using my school’s colors and it was not only super fun to do the night before, but it was also cool to show off. Get creative and make your eye makeup match your school’s colors! I didn’t have red eyeshadow on me, but if I did I would’ve also done that. If you don’t believe in your makeup skills (don’t worry, I believe in you!!) you can never go wrong with stickers. Just buy star-shaped stickers in your school’s colors and put them on your face, but don’t do this if your skin is sensitive to the glue!

4. Dress in layers if you aren’t sure about the weather.

The weather can be surprising sometimes, especially out here in Long Island. On game day, I thought it would be a bit colder because of the wind, so I wore a sweatshirt over my football jersey; if it got hot, at least I could just take off the sweatshirt, and if it got cold I could put it back on. Something as seemingly small as a change in the weather can really take away from your experience — you might even be inclined to leave early if you’re too hot or too cold.

5. Be prepared to spend about 3-4 hours at the game.

Football can be a little slow because the clock seems to stop frequently. There isn’t really an exact time limit for the game, so it can really go on for a while. If you know you have a lot of work to do but you’re still determined to have a good time at the game, get as much of your work done as possible before the game, because you might be haunted by the thought of all the exams you still have to study for and you might want to leave early. Also, make sure you have adequate phone battery. You probably won’t bring a portable charger with you (especially not if you carry a tiny crossbody) so make sure your battery can last at least until the game is over.

Btw, don’t forget to check out my post on how to get organized so you can keep track of all your assignments and not miss a game!

6. Don’t bring food or drinks with you.

Security at the gate will make you throw it out before entering. And don’t think you can get away with hiding it in a big bag because they check your bags as well. If you’re intent on not spending a dime for overpriced concession stand food, eat a big meal and hydrate before the game. I caved and had to buy a cheesy pretzel (which a WASP crawled on!) because I didn’t eat enough before leaving my room.

7. Get to the game on time.

But if you’re attending homecoming, plan to get to the game early because you may not get the seats you want if you arrive late or even on time. Homecoming is, like, a next level football game that literally everyone and their mother wants to go to because of all the festivities going on, so you must account for all that. During normal football games, sometimes it doesn’t get really crowded until around half-time, but if you really want to take your football experience to the *next level* you should try to make it to see the whole thing.

8. Beware of bees!

It was still fairly hot for September weather and bees and wasps were EVERYWHERE. I know that they say the key to conquering those little mother truckers is to just stay calm and be still and they’ll leave you alone. But let me tell you, I cannot count the number of times when a wasp flew near me and even though I was still and tried to not pay attention to it, it only got bolder and got all up in my face. It seemed like there was no actual way to win, so I ended up just standing behind the rail rather than sitting in the bleachers because I got sick of all the buzzing. Just keep in mind that if you want to beat the bees, you might have to try to attend a game later in the season.

9. Don’t stay glued to your phone screen the entire game.

Look up and actually try to follow the game. I know the temptation of wanting your Snap Story game to be strong that day, but just make sure you also try to follow what’s happening. And if you’re like me and don’t understand what the terms mean or why they stop the clock, like, every 30 seconds, it doesn’t hurt to go with a friend who knows a little something about the sport and can explain to you. It’s hard to genuinely have fun when you don’t make the effort.

10. Really get into the game and have fun!

Get on your feet and cheer! Sing along to any songs and join in on any chants for your school. I sometimes think that I’ll look ridiculous cheering and singing but then I realize that I feel awkward when I don’t. Just getting into the vibe of things can really help you have a lot more fun and ultimately enjoy your experience. So don’t be afraid let yourself enjoy the game!

I really hope this post provided some insight into how to prepare for a college football game, and even motivated you to go out to one if you haven’t thought of it. I definitely hope that I can make it to all of the home games this season!

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Twitter to keep up with all of my posts and crazy/fun happenings! 

Have you been to a college football game? What was your experience like? 

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11 Things To Do When You Feel Overwhelmed In College

How To Deal With Stress In College

Is it bad that I’ve only had three weeks of classes and I already want the semester to be over? No? Okay, good. Don’t get me wrong, I do love most of my classes and I feel like they’ll only get better and better, but I wish that were true of the amount of work I have to do! I definitely feel like I’m always doing homework, no matter how much of it I complete; when I finish one class assignment, I have to start preparing for the next. Ya know what I mean???? And if you have a packed schedule, it feels way crazier!

I’m very good at managing multiple tasks and I don’t get stressed often at all, but this week it really hit me hard and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t upset about it. If you’re in the same boat as me, here’s how I started dealing with this stressful week and how I will continue to manage it.

1. Keep track of your assignments and obligations.

I know, doing more work is the last thing you want to do at this point, but at least knowing exactly what you have to do will help you stress less because you won’t have to rip your hair our trying to remember what assignment you had to do for Chem lab, or when your English paper is due. My post on how to get organized in college has more snazzy organization tips.

2. Break up your obligations into manageable bits.

Don’t try to complete assignments for five classes in one night! Knowing your limit can really help you pay attention to your own needs as a human being because, believe it or not, you still need to eat and sleep. If you know that you get tired by midnight and can’t focus anymore, aim to complete assignments for just two classes that day and you can plan to do the others on other days. Also, if you know that one particular assignment is very big and you doubt you’ll be able to finish it in one sitting, plan ahead to break it into chunks so that, first of all, you don’t procrastinate the assignment, and second, it feels more manageable.

3. Reconsider your schedule.

I’m not saying you should drop every single class that requires you to put in a little more effort than you expected, but if there’s a class that’s giving you absolute hell, or you feel like the number of credits you’re taking is a bit too much for you at the moment, drop it. I can be really stubborn when it comes to this because I used to think that just powering through it — no matter how stressful it might get — is better than quitting. Boy was I wrong! There’s no shame in needing to drop something from your schedule! This is something I learned during the first two weeks of class last spring. For the record, I absolutely do not regret dropping the class I dropped! Good riddance!

4. Give yourself a break.

Like, actually take a night off to just chill and do something you want to do. If you feel like you need an hour or two of “Gossip Girl” treat yourself to it! If you just feel like taking a nap, more power to ya. I hate forcing myself to do work when it feels like my brain is turning to mush! Besides, I’m unable to retain what I’m studying if I can’t get my brain to focus. Even if you aren’t tired, it’s still important to take a *short* vacation from the books and just hang out with friends, chill by yourself, or do something fun.

5. Cut out any social drama. 

Seriously, this is the last thing you should be worrying about when you’re already stressed. Being mad at your friend or having one of your friends be mad at you can honestly really hit you hard; I’d be lying if I said that I wouldn’t feel even a little upset if a good friend of mine was angry with me for something. You don’t need to have this take over your mind, so to try to avoid drama, misunderstandings, and all that other annoying stuff, be straightforward and honest with your friends about everything — if someone does something you don’t like, tell them politely! Don’t talk crap behind their back because they’ll likely find out and it’ll cause so much unwanted crap!

6. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. 

If you’re like me, then you probably love getting involved in pretty much everything going on and you tell yourself, “yeah, you got this, you can take this.” Stop doing that. You’ve likely got enough on your plate as it is, and adding more obligations to that smorgasbord won’t help you feel less overwhelmed! There are definitely some things that I would have loved to do this semester, but I know that if I add anymore obligations to my schedule I basically won’t sleep. Like, at all. We can’t be the president of every club we like, and we can’t grab every part-time job we’re able to swing.

7. Drop whatever doesn’t work for you anymore. 

This might be what you have to do if you somehow managed to fill your plate a little too much. If there’s an obligation that demands too much from you and doesn’t give you even half the return you expect after putting in so much work, then maybe it’s time to let it go. There are some things that are definitely worth the blood, sweat, and tears (even if there are lots and lots of tears) but use your discretion to figure out what just isn’t, especially if it’s the thing that’s causing you to feel the most overwhelmed. I know that just dropping something sounds even a little selfish but you shouldn’t have any qualms about looking out for your personal health!

8. Do some work in the company of friends. 

Friends who struggle together stay together, after all. That was totally a joke (kind of). But I find that when I’m literally losing my sh*t I tend to feel better if I at least do it in the company of others. Ranting to your besties about how much work you have to do feels really good, and in return you get to hear them rant about all the work they have to do and that kind of reminds you that you’re all in the same boat together. But it’s cool because you’ll get through it together, too. Seriously, just talking to a friend about how you feel can make a difference. Likewise, if you feel that speaking to a therapist will help, don’t be afraid to schedule an appointment.

9. Exercise. 

That doesn’t mean you have to go hardcore at the gym and run six miles to sweat out all your tension; doing less strenuous activities can also be very alleviating so don’t forget about those! Simply taking a walk around the track while you listen to music can help you unwind. If your campus gym offers free fitness classes, definitely take advantage of those, too!

10. Take a nap.

I never nap. Ever. But if I feel like I have the weight of 30 textbooks on me, then a nap sounds pretty damn good (I’ll probably take a quick one after I’m done with this post!). Naps are very refreshing and I feel like when I wake up again my mind is a lot more clear and I have a little more energy to complete any tasks that need to get done. But also don’t force yourself to take a nap if you aren’t actually that tired because you’ll likely just end up laying in bed playing with your phone for three hours instead.

11. Appreciate the little things in life. 

I always enjoy getting to play music in the morning while I brush my teeth and shower. I love putting on lively, happy music so that I start my day the very same way. It’s small and sounds cheesy but it makes me look forward to the rest of my day, and even makes me feel like I can just fly through everything and basically be a badass. My post on how to make your mornings more exciting has more suggestions on small things you can do.

I hope you found this post really useful and if you are feeling very overwhelmed right now, I hope you’ll consider trying out one of these tips! Of course, everyone’s different and what may work for me may not work for you and vice versa.

What are your tips for managing stress in college? 

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7 Matte Lipsticks Under $8

7 matte lipsticks under $8

Beauty confession: I’m in absolute love with matte lipstick. To be fair, I prefer a matte finish to basically everything — eyeshadow, foundation, eyeliner????????? — so I really love the look of perfectly mattified pouts. While I do splurge from time to time and buy a more expensive lipstick so long as it’s the right shade and the consistency and finish are amazing, I’m also cheap AF and like to keep the costs down so I turn to drugstore lip products.

But to be honest, I used to absolutely hate lipstick! Yep, I was a lip-balm-goes-with-everything kinda girl (which is still pretty true for me because if you’ve read my post on college essentials you’d know that I hoard lip balm like it’s my job. But anyway, I started experimenting with lipstick about a year ago when I dyed my hair blue because I just really wanted to travel outside of my comfort zone and try something new to see if I’d like it. Well, I certainly fell in love with lipstick and I wear some pretty much everyday! Over the span of that year, I have found a few really awesome lipsticks that my life wouldn’t be complete without (okay, I’m being dramatic here). But nevertheless, If you haven’t already tried these products, give them a go!

1. NYX Lip Lingerie in ‘Teddy’

Let me start off by saying I love products from NYX and always run straight for them because they’re affordable and of really great quality, and there’s always a large selection of everything. Second, I adore a nice, brown lip. Brown lipstick is one of my favorite shades, especially on dark, gloomy days when I want to look a little edgy without going for a full blown black or dark purple lip. Brown lipstick also just goes so great with my tan skin and silvery hair! ‘Teddy’ is a fairly dark brown (think of the fur color of one of your favorite teddy bears!) so those who aren’t used to wearing browns may be a bight shocked to see that it’s really pigmented and dark. The liquid lipstick dries very quickly, but I have never felt that it was too drying on my lips. I hate super dry matte lipsticks that leave your lips feeling parched, so this is just perfect for me! $6.99 is very affordable for a matte lipstick of this quality, and I actually decided to purchase this because my Urban Decay matte lipstick in ‘1993’ (a much lighter brown than ‘Teddy’) wasn’t matte enough for me.

2. NYX Liquid Suede Liquid Lipstick in ‘Sway’

Like I said, I adore products from NYX! I also really seem to love liquid lipsticks, too, maybe because I feel like applying lip products with a wand applicator gives me much more control and allows me to apply it more precisely to my lips. But anyway, let’s get to the good part about why ‘Sway’ is too damn perfect to ignore: IT’S PURPLE. But not like a dark, vampy, plum-y purple; IT’S LAVENDER. I thought that having lavender lips would look really cool and be really fun at the same time, and it has taken me a lot of trial and error before I finally found the perfect lavender shade to go with my skin tone, but this is finally it. The Liquid Suede line is extremely matte and dries very quickly, and at $6.99 a pop, you really can’t not fall in love! The line is also pretty big and has other pretty shades that you should try — I also mention a few others here as well!

3. NYX Liquid Suede Lipstick in ‘Cherry Skies’

Like ‘Sway’, ‘Cherry Skies’ costs $6.99 and is, again, ultra matte. The one thing that can be a tad bit off-putting about this particular shade is that it’s a bit more drying than the others I have. But ‘Cherry Skies’ is such a gorgeous, deep red and I love it so much that I’m willing to tolerate it! To combat it, though, I just apply a very generous layer of lip balm (again with my lip balm obsession!!!!) and the liquid lipstick glides right on. The lip balm doesn’t affect the application of the lipstick in any way, nor does it affect the pigmentation — another thing I LOVE about this lipstick is that everything is extremely pigmented, so there’s no need to layer on excessively (unless you like to). This shade is a fab fall lipstick because it’s really dark and pretty sexy, so needless to say, it’s going to be my go-to for any fun, fall events at my school!

4. NYX Liquid Suede Lipstick in ‘Soft Spoken’

I promise, this is my LAST NYX product on this list!!!!!! I think you definitely believe that I’m in love with these products by now! I have a lot of very show-stopping lipsticks in my collection, which is why I wanted to make sure I didn’t leave for college without buying just one more toned down lip color. ‘Soft Spoken’ is a pink-brown that looks more natural against my skin, though, it still provides really nice pigment. It’s my new favorite for those days when I’m not exactly sure which lipstick to apply, or when I’m really rushing to leave my room but want to apply something quickly. Just bear in mind that, like I said, this looks a little natural against my tan skin, so if you have lighter skin, this may come off a bit more brown than you might expect and if you have darker skin, this may seem a bit more pink. Guess how much it costs — $6.99!!!

5. Katy Kat Matte Lipstick in ‘Maroon Meow’

This is the first Katy Kat Matte lipstick I’ve ever tried and I’m really excited about it!!!!! This line just seemed so beautiful and cute and I just needed to grab even just one, so I chose ‘Maroon Meow’ which is a bit of a plum-y shade — a significantly darker purple than ‘Sway’ from NYX. I love purples so I really enjoyed this color. The one thing that was unimpressive about this lipstick is that it claims to be matte but I didn’t really experience that here. As weird as this is going to sound, I wish that it was a little less slick and moist looking because what really caught me was the ‘matte’ element I expected to find. Maybe we can call this more of a moisturizing matte?????? It’s still a very pretty color and if you actually aren’t sure about diving into the wonderful world of matte lipstick, this would be a really good sort of “test” line that doesn’t give you straight up matte your very first time using it because sometimes you have to get used to the feeling of matte lipstick. I got this at Walgreens for $6.99.

6. ULTA Matte Lip Crayon in ‘Sparkle’

This lip crayon costs around $8 at ULTA but I actually received this for free in a swag bag from Her Conference back in July and I was so excited to try it out! ‘Sparkle’ is a really pretty pink shade that’s actually matte, which I was a bit surprised by because lip crayons I have used in the past were a little more slick than I had expected them to be, so this was a very pleasant realization. ‘Sparkle’ was a bit less pigmented than I would have liked, and even though it’s a medium pink, it was just a bit too light for my skin tone, however, it looks perfect on my mom’s lighter skin!

7. Wet n’ Wild MegaLast Lip Color in ‘Don’t Blink Pink’

Wet n’ Wild holds a special place in my heart because it was the first makeup brand I turned to when I started using makeup in high school. I remember the first product I ever bought from them was a waterproof mascara and it became my go-to! Wet n’ Wild is a super affordable brand (these lipsticks only cost $1.99!!!!!) and they have some really great quality products. ‘Don’t Blink Pink’ is a really hot pink — like really hot! Surprisingly, it’s one of the most daring shades I’ve ever purchased (yes, more so than lavender colored lipstick) because this lipstick just screams “LOOK AT ME AND MY FAB LIPS.” The lipstick itself is really creamy and is, in fact, matte and even when I rub it off after a long day, the tint still remains on my lips, so props for staying power!

I hope you decide to try out some of the lipsticks on my list (because they are the bomb dot com!!!!!). And if you love this type of post, definitely let me know in the comments what makeup products I should round up next because I feel like I own and have tried a lot of different products that I can definitely talk a lot about with you!

What’s your favorite matte lipstick? 

Don’t forget to check out my post on college beauty essentials

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter!

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The Ultimate Guide To Organizing Your Life In College

how to get organized in college

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by May Designs. As always, all thoughts and opinions are completely my own, I’d never lie to ya! 

Whoever said college was easy is a big liar and I’d like to high-five their face with a chair. It’s not necessarily always the academic part of college that makes things difficult — it’s the balancing other aspects of your life with the academic part that really gets us every time. As a fairly ambitious collegiate, I can say that without a doubt, it gets difficult to organize your duties and plan your time when you’re looking out for your school work, job, extracurriculars, social life, and even your personal life too!

The good news is that when that…rather large…slice of life gets a little crazy, getting into the habit of staying organized can really help you digest things a little easier. Like, you’ll actually be able to breathe a little! This is definitely one of my favorite posts because first, I can go on and on about organization for hours (but don’t worry, I won’t chat your ear off this time!) and second, I love an opportunity to just organize myself and lay everything out right in front of me so that I never feel like I’m blindly running through college (and tripping and falling on my face in the process!).

1. Hang a dry-erase calendar on your wall and look at it every. Single. Day. 

But don’t put it directly above the head-side of your bed because it might fall off and give you a good midnight surprise! My terrible attempts at being funny aside, keeping a calendar in sight in your room can help you plan ahead — appointments, campus events, meetings, parties, due dates of homework assignments, etc. I like using colorful dry erase markers to make my calendar look a little prettier and more exciting so that way I actually enjoy looking at it! Because of this, my calendar is also a great piece of dorm room decor for me, so now you have even more of a reason for buying one. But remember to always refer back to it so that you stay aware of important dates that are approaching.

2. Create a to-do list on your phone. 

I’m an avid user of to-do lists, especially when I list things out in the exact order that I want to complete them in. All you need is a pen and paper and you can feel the sweet victory of crossing things out on your list after completing them. Ah, what a wonderful feeling it is! While I usually write lists in my planner, I have really taken to writing lists in the Notes application on my phone because I always have it in my hand so it’s easy for me to take a quick peak while I’m on my way to class if I forgot what other things I needed to do that day. Sometimes I have those days where I even need to list the fact that I have to go to class just so I can look at everything collectively! Yeah, it happens, we have those moments.

3. Make homework one of your priorities. 

Not gonna lie, I’d much rather go through a season of Gossip Girl than a chapter in a textbook, but homework is a necessary evil. You should probably do it. Correction: you must do it. Turning in homework assignments can be the difference between an A- and an A, or a C- and a C, so don’t squander those points! You’ll be super upset with yourself if you put it off for the last possible minute and have to stay up until all hours of the morning to complete it. Keep homework assignments near the top of your to-do list. I like to make sure I finish at least one big upcoming homework assignment before I hang out with friends. Plus, hanging out with people is a good study/homework break!

4. Use a journal to keep track of your fitness goals. 

May Designs Notebook

Like I said, college organization isn’t just about the schoolwork. If you have some fitness goals you’d like to achieve, keeping a journal is a great way to not just keep track of them, but to also motivate you to keep at it! The one above is from May Designs and it’s not only super gorgeous but it helps me keep track of my meals and snacks, and daily water consumption, and I can leave myself notes in case I think of something like a nutritious recipe I want to try out, or if I want to reflect on the day.

How To Get Organized In College

Organization in college

On the first page of the book, you can write out your goals to remind you of why you’re working out and eating healthy. For me, it’s because I’m asthmatic and my freshman year of college was my first time having an asthma attack in more than five years. Looking back, I think it might’ve been because of my weight gain (Freshman 15 doesn’t play games!). So I’m determined to shed some weight and put myself back in a healthier position so that I don’t suffer through another asthma attack like that.

How To Get Organized In College

But inspirational story aside, I am very much in love with this journal and I also love that you can really personalize it to make it your own (who doesn’t love monogrammed things????). I have my name on it and let me tell you, it took me DAYS to finally settle on a design and monogram style because there are so many designs to choose from and they are so beautiful!!! And if freedom with your book’s cover isn’t enough, you can also choose what your inside pages look like. I chose for mine to be the fitness journal, but you can also choose weekly and daily agendas, a prayer journal, budget planner (hint, hint if you love saving money in college!), and more. I received the ‘Classic Book’ which is 5” x 8” and contains 80 pages.

5. Set up a routine for calling your parents. 

Crap happens and before we know it, we’re forgetting to call our parents, who would probably love to hear from us even just once a week! Keeping up with your family can be a bit crazy when you already feel like you barely have time to eat and breathe, but planning a time to call mom and dad and adding it to your schedule will ensure you don’t forget to do it. If Saturday mornings before you start the day work for you, then make that your day and time for phoning home. It’s nice to hear our parents’ voices when we’re miles away from home, plus, they’re great people to rant to when everything about everything is seriously irritating you!

6. Speak to advisors for advice on your classes. 

But don’t just see your advisor one time at the beginning of the semester; try to meet with him or her at least two or three times throughout the semester so that you’re still in the loop of everything you need to do for your degree, and so that they’re still in the loop of your career goals. They can’t help you properly if you don’t tell them what’s changing for you. You don’t have to figure out this sort of stuff all by yourself!

7. Wake up at the same time everyday. 

I adore the days when I can sleep in a little, but to be fair, sleeping in for me is waking up at 9:30 in the morning, so maybe I’m not really an expert on that! Waking up around the same time everyday will help you get approximately the same amount of sleep every night (assuming you’ll be going to bed around the same time as well). This allows you to have some type of consistency with your schedule, and even if you wake up at 7a.m. when your first class doesn’t start until 1p.m., you’ll be more likely to use all that time to be productive; go to the gym, do some homework, go to work, make time for appointments, etc.

8. Keep track of all the jobs and internships you apply to. 

Sometimes I apply to a position and then a week later when I continue my search, I happen upon the same opportunity and think, “whoa, this is totally up my alley, I should apply!” and then it finally hits me that I already applied…That, my friends, is Jasmin’s forgetfulness at its finest. Be sure to keep track of all these opportunities — even the ones you get rejected from or aren’t qualified for — so that you don’t forget that you already looked into them. I like to simply organize them in a Word document as though I’m writing an outline. So helpful for referring back to!

Btw, be sure to check out my guide to resume-writing for some pretty top notch tips (if I do say so myself!) on how to stand out and write a pretty freaking good resume!

9. If your current shift at your job doesn’t work too well anymore, look into changing it. 

I know that’s sometimes easier said than done because managers often need to consider other factors before giving you the thumbs up to change your shift, but it’s worth an inquiry. If your shift in the campus library ends at 4:50p.m. and then you have a three-hour class at 5p.m. and therefore no time to eat a meal and catch a breath, consider switching your shift to a time in your schedule that works better for you. When everything in your schedule is literally back-to-back, it can get hard to, well, survive. Make life a little easier by working this out.

10. Set specific days for doing your laundry, and cleaning up your room.

Don’t succumb to wearing the same pair of underwear four days in a row because you forgot to do laundry. Also, don’t get into the habit of not cleaning up after yourself in your room because dorm rooms are smaller than we sometimes think they’re going to be, which means living in filth and untidiness won’t give you a comfortable college lifestyle and you might be less productive. Remember to take care of yourself while away at college. Add these chores to your handy-dandy weekly calendar so you don’t forget!

What are your college organization tips? 

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10 Secrets For Making New Friends In College

how to make new friends in college

Social life can play a big part in your college experience, whether you want to believe it or not. You don’t need to be the most popular kid on campus, and let’s be real, that contest has “cliche high school food pyramid movie” written all over it. I like surrounding myself with people because I find that I enjoy all my experiences more (yes, even studying!!) when I have friends with me. I know, it feels like forever since we had to introduce ourselves to new people, and actually get to know someone, so it may feel like you’re a little lost (a.k.a. me almost my entire first semester!!!!!).

There is no concrete “method” for making new friends in college guaranteed — you won’t make one little change and then end up with 50 new friends in a few days. But you can try doing a few different things to get to know some new people and possibly become friends with them.

1. Don’t hole up in your room all day long.

I made this horrible mistake for my first few months as a college freshman, and I honestly regret it. I didn’t know how to talk to people or how to make new friends since I haven’t had to get to know new people since high school. I was also too comfortable with the two friends I did have, so if they didn’t want to go to an event that I wanted to go to, I just decided that I should stay in because I didn’t know how to do things by myself. Eventually, I realized that that kind of attitude was holding me back from getting to know people, so I started going to events, taking up recreational classes, and thus began making new, amazing friends! Moral of the story: unless your dorm room has some magical gravitational pull that just attracts potential new friends without even trying, don’t hide in there all semester.

2. Get to know your roommate.

Your roommate could end up being your first new college friend, so don’t squander any potential opportunities to become friends with them. Get to know a little bit about where they’re from, what their major is and why they’re interested in the field, and other cool details. There’s so much you can bond over with your roommate. And if you live in a suite, the more the merrier! You’ll have the opportunity to get to know even more people. If you live in corridor-style accommodations, it might be even easier for you to get to know all the people on your floor because you’ll be sharing a bathroom with them and will be able to see them almost everyday. Did you check out my post on what to do before you meet your roommate? It could really help you avoid any potential conflicts with them!

3. Remain committed to the clubs you join.

It’s really easy to just sign your name and email on a sheet of paper for a club at the club fair, but don’t attend three meetings for the entire semester and then stop going to meetings; you won’t actually be able to enjoy the club and you’ll definitely miss out on getting to know a group of great people. Pre-professional clubs on campus are a great way to meet people who have similar career goals as you. You’ll definitely be able to help each other out and become great friends. Also consider joining Greek Life. Not every organization will be for you or have the same values as you, so don’t let some digging around deter you from joining something that can really change your life.

4. Small classes are the best for making new friends.

I say this because it may be a little difficult to do this if your class is in a lecture hall with 300+ people, but if you have even one college class that’s really small it’ll be really easy to make casual conversation with a classmate. In my Italian class, the professor makes us do textbook exercises in small groups, so this is the perfect way for me to talk to my classmates and get to know some of them. I actually already made a new friend this semester from that class! You don’t do group work in large lecture halls. You’re lucky if the professor puts a problem on the board and asks you to turn to your neighbor and discuss it for a minute, but that rarely happens. All of my journalism classes are really small (under 20 people) so it’s a great way for me to get to know people. Also, small classes usually begin with some type of icebreaker or with the professor asking for everyone to introduce themselves, so at the very least you’ll know everyone’s names.

5. You might only get one chance to add them on social media and get their phone number!

The other night, my floor had a meeting so we can all socialize and get to know one another and I met some really cool people, except I forgot to ask them if they had Facebook accounts so we could connect with each other. And I couldn’t find them on Facebook myself because I didn’t even know their last names. Oops. If you speak to someone and they seem cool and you guys get along, don’t forget to ask for their social media or even ask for their number. Asking for someone’s number isn’t as terrifying as it seems (if you remember to do it, unlike me!!!). When I was a freshman I was always surprised by how quick the people I met were to ask for my number. It showed me that there’s no harm in wanting to text someone one day to grab lunch or to go to an event. This also made me more likely to ask someone else for their number because you may not miraculously run into them again.

7. Actually message them to go grab some food or hang out.

After you get their number, don’t forget to actually use it, especially if the two of you really hit it off! One day I decided to take a Zumba class at the rec center on campus and I met a cool girl there. We exchanged numbers and the following week I messaged her to see if she was planning to go to Zumba again, and lucky for me it was a yes. From then on we met up and walked to the rec center together and we’ve been doing that for three semesters! Sometimes all it takes is that one text to start a real friendship. Even if you aren’t usually the kind of person to reach out to ask someone you just met to hang out, give it a try and see where it goes. I have already learned from experience that it’s rare to have incredible experiences if you keep staying in your comfort zone; besides, college is a lot about trying new things!

8. The first few months of school are the least awkward time to meet new people.

I say this because during the first maybe two or three months, everyone wants to get to know everyone; people don’t really have their “groups” formed yet; and people are generally the most friendly at this time when the course load hasn’t yet spurred the urgency to stop hanging out with people and start getting down to business (ah, what a rush that is). I’m not saying that it’s *ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN* to try to make friends after the first three months of school, or worse yet, if you do try to make friends afterward *ABSOLUTELY NO ONE WILL TALK TO YOU*, but you might feel a little awkward trying to meet new people then. I know I definitely felt like it was ‘too late’ for me to meet new people and I wasn’t really motivated to try, which can really hold you back from, you know, trying. This is definitely going to sound cheesy, but it’s never ‘too late’ to try anything! The only thing holding you back is yourself.

9. Make a good first impression by just being yourself!

Don’t act like someone you aren’t just to fit in; it simply isn’t you and you owe it to yourself to make friends who love the real you, not someone they want you to be. Sometimes I’m weird, like really, really weird; I tend to babble on and on, my eyes tear up when I start talking about something I’m really passionate about, and I can laugh nonstop like a hyena when I find something really funny. But, hey, that’s just me. I usually have those moments where I meet someone new and I just let my whole self out and then realize that there’s a chance they’re thinking that I’m really weird, but it’s okay; if they welcome my weirdness it means they genuinely like the person that I am. Plus, some people can just tell that you have a great character, so don’t hide that!

10. Don’t be afraid of cutting off people who aren’t genuine friends.

I certainly don’t go to college for drama so if I smell it brewing or if I think the person I’m talking to is two-faced or just not genuine, I stop talking to them because I don’t need to hang with that crowd. You owe it to yourself to stay committed to your personal values, so don’t feel like you have to stay friends with someone if you don’t like their attitude. Making the right friends is just as important as making friends!

What are your tips for making new friends in college? 

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6 Things To Do To Make Your Mornings More Exciting

how to make your mornings more exciting

Sidenote: The cupcakes in my photo have absolutely NOTHING to do with boring morning routines. I just thought it was a really pretty, fun picture on my camera roll so I decided to use it for this post! Aren’t they delicious? Anyways…

Sometimes I hate waking up early in the morning. Correction: I hate getting out of my nice, warm bed early in the morning. Waking up at 7a.m. to get ready for class can be such a mundane routine, and the list of things I’d much rather be doing goes on and on! Despite the drawl occurrence, I have found a few ways to actually make getting out of bed in the morning much cooler. No, seriously! I actually like, and maybe even look forward to, waking up early just because of a few small changes I’ve been making for a while now.

So you’re probably wondering what *magical* things I do to make some of the most boring morning activities surprisingly appealing. Sadly, there’s no actual unicorn magic involved here. But you can use your cool college student powers (that was totally the most bogus thing I’ve ever made up, and so to quit while I’m still ahead I’m just going to cut to the tips now!).

1. Play music while you shower.

Instead of listening to the water trickle from the showerhead in the morning, I like to listen to some Beyonce, Pitbull, and some of my other favorite artists. It really just makes me happier and makes me feel more lively and ready to take on the day. Plus, I also use the songs as a way to tell approximately how much time I’ve spent showering. I adore really long showers, but I can’t spend a lot of time showering because I have class to get to. Plus, it’s inconsiderate because my suite mates would need to get ready to start their days as well and I wouldn’t want to hog the bathroom. Each song I listen to is approximately three minutes long so I make sure that I don’t stay in the shower for longer than three songs. Btw, you don’t have to pay money for music — just use Pandora or another free music service! My post on how to save money in college has even more tips for not completely ruining your bank account in college!

2. Wash your face with a really nice smelling facial cleanser.

There are so many delicious smelling facial cleansers now from brands like Neutrogena and Olay. They all smell so yummy that it makes me so happy to use them in the morning! It even improves my mood if I wasn’t feeling so great before. Maybe the nice smells release endorphins in your brain or something (this is why I’m not a science major!). I currently use a facial cleanser from Neutrogena® for acne because it was recommended by my dermatologist and, unfortunately, it doesn’t have any distinct, beautiful smell (*sad face*) but I have tried the grapefruit line from Neutrogena® and the the Morning Burst® line from Clean & Clear® and both are heavenly!! A good facial wash is also one of the things I mentioned in my college beauty essentials post because it’s such an easy way to clean your face and get totally refreshed in the morning before class. What’s your favorite facial wash right now? I’d love to hear what you guys are using! 

3. Create a breakfast tradition.

Is there one specific place on campus you just love eating breakfast at? If you can, make it a habit to go there and order your favorite breakfast items to start the day right and satisfyingly. Don’t succumb to the bad habit of not leaving yourself enough time in the morning to have an actual meal — this can actually ruin your day because you’ll be hungry and in a miserable mood. My favorite place to have breakfast is at my school’s Starbucks because I love ordering an iced green tea latte with an everything bagel with cream cheese. Perfecto! Another breakfast “tradition” you can do is simply having “pancake day” with your roommate or suite mates. Your group can get together and make and enjoy pancakes together. Plus, this is a great way to bond and get to know each other better. You’ll definitely look forward to these food-filled mornings!

4. Walk to class with friends. 

If someone who lives on your floor in the residence hall is also in your first class of the day, introduce yourself and walk to class with them. Walking across campus by yourself is really boring and not very fun. Having someone to talk to can really lift your spirits and make you feel really good about going to class — even if it’s at eight in the morning! Plus, having a friend to sit with in class can also make the class itself more enjoyable — especially when you have to sit through six straight hours of lectures all day long!

Also, if your schedule is nauseatingly long and tiring this semester, be sure to check out my post on how to survive back-to-back classes.

5. Change up your hairstyle regularly. 

I don’t know about you but my *super diverse* lookbook for hairstyles consists of my hair let down or in a really simple ponytail. Clearly, I’m super creative when it comes to styling my hair. Taking a little extra time to have fun with your hair in the morning can really make you feel more excited to go out and start the day so everyone can see how cool your hair looks and compliment you (compliments are always nice to hear, haha!). Plus, you get something pretty to show off on Instagram! I actually would like to start varying my hairstyles more to make things a little more fun. There are so many interesting ways to add a little pizzazz to a simple bun, braid, or ponytail and I’d definitely like to start trying them out!

6. Do ANYTHING that’s a little out of the ordinary for you! 

Go for a quick jog before you start class. Do some yoga in your room to loosen up before you start the day. Go to the most peaceful spot on campus and just sit there and chill for a few moments — do ANYTHING that you wouldn’t normally do! Changing things up a bit can be really exciting, especially if you initially think you won’t like the change but you end up loving it. Personally, I think I might try to do some yoga in the morning because I feel like yoga is very out of my element; the movements are slow, controlled, and graceful, but I’m used to very fast-paced workouts so this would be an extremely interesting change for me. I might end up liking it and I may decide to include it permanently in my daily routine!

What’s your favorite way to spend the morning? Also, I’m looking for new hairstyle ideas! Let me know in the comments if you have any! 

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