How To Pull A Successful All-Nighter In College

The semester is coming to an end and with it may follow some nights where you get very limited sleep and even some all-nighters. Maybe you were warned about the dreaded all-nighter before coming to college. Maybe you’ve already pulled three all-nighters this semester. Pulling an all-nighter isn’t the worst thing you could do in college, but it still isn’t something that’s desired (unless you’re weird like me and want to pull an all-nighter just to see what it’s like). It’s like that thing you do when all else fails, or something like that.

All-nighters are physically demanding and they’re also not good for focusing the next day. Sometimes, you might feel like staying up all night is the only way you can cut your mountain of work in half.If you really need to pull one, though, it’s best to do it if your work load the following day is really light (so you don’t exhaust yourself), and if you haven’t stayed up all night recently. With that in mind, here’s how you can make your all-nighter as successful as possible:

1. Find a spot with a lot of outlets.

If you aren’t studying in your room, make sure you can snag a spot close to outlets in your favorite study place. This pretty much means that if it’s finals week you’ll have to try to arrive there as early as you can to even get a seat. You wouldn’t want your phone or laptop dying on you in the middle of your study session — this is a one-way ticket to cutting things short and not being able to finish your work.

2. Dress in layers.

You want to make sure that you aren’t burning up and you’re not freezing cold. I personally can’t focus if I’m cold (I feel like sleeping!) so I’m always sure to bundle up with sweaters so I can focus when I study. Layering is your best bet so you can always remove clothes and put them on as needed. Just make yourself as comfortable as you can.

3. Play music that really puts you in the zone. 

If you can work with music on, listen to something that can really get your blood pumping and really push you to keep working. Sometimes silence can be so boring, so music is a good way to entertain your mind while also allowing you to stay focused. Check out my study session playlist for some great suggestions!

 

4. Stay hydrated.

Drink lots of water throughout your all-nighter. It’s a good idea to keep a refillable bottle with you, plus if you have to get up to go to the water fountain to fill it up again this is a good way to take tiny breaks in between the material. Water is just so refreshing. I love drinking iced water because I feel so much more alert when I do.

5. Don’t drown yourself in coffee.

You’ll honestly probably just be jittery half the time if you only drink coffee all night. Having some is okay but don’t overdo it. Pro tip: it takes coffee about two hours to really kick in; you don’t feel instantly wide awake when you drink it. If you know that 3a.m. is the time when you usually start getting sleepy, have some coffee around 1a.m. so you can power through for another couple of hours.

6. Have easy access to a bathroom.

With all the liquids you’ll be drinking, you’ll need to be able to use a bathroom when you really need to. If you have to walk up four flights of stairs just to get to a bathroom, you may need to rethink your study location. Sure, the exercise is a great way to keep you alert, but it’s not so great when you really, really have to pee and can’t hold it any longer.

7. Take breaks.

If you can’t possibly memorize another formula without a break, take one! Take a few minutes to peruse through Instagram, retweet a few things, and watch cute puppy videos on Facebook. You can set a timer on your phone if you don’t trust yourself to only take a 10-minute break.

8. Wash your face.

Washing your face is really refreshing, and it’s an easy thing you can do to try to keep your eyes open. If you’re in your room, you can even give yourself a mini spa treatment while you work. Apply your favorite face mask and keep it on while you work. When it dries, wash it off and you’ll feel extra refreshed (and your skin will be glowing!).

9. Avoid “closing your eyes just for a minute.”

Usually when I say this, I end up napping for a whole hour and then I wake up to put my books away…and I just go to bed. Sound familiar? Some people are able to nap, wake up, and get back to business. If this doesn’t sound like you then you should try to avoid napping during your all-nighter — the point of having one is to actually stay up!

10. Sleep early the following night.

Pulling an all-nighter means that you’re already screwing with your sleep pattern, so make sure you can get enough sleep the next night to kind of put things back on track. Don’t pull multiple all-nighters in a row. This is just asking for trouble (and possibly a low grade on your test or paper).

What are your tips for pulling an all-nighter?

Related posts: How To Have A Productive Library Study Session

How To Get At Least 8 Hours Of Sleep In College

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The Collegiate’s Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide

the collegiate's ultimate holiday gift guide

I know the holiday season isn’t just about exchanging gifts, but it’s a widely recognized part of it. Buying gifts for the people in your life — gal pals, parents, siblings, boyfriend — is fun at first…then you realize you’re struggling majorly and running out of ideas, time, and possibly money. Ah, don’t you just love shopping for people? I started thinking about the fun gifts that I’d want to buy for my friends and family and then realized that some of these ideas might also be perfect for other peoples’ friends and family. Thus, this blog post was born! If you’re totally stumped on gift ideas, hopefully this gift guide will give you some inspiration.

~For your friends + sister~

the sporty girl 

Holiday Gift Guide

water bottle ~ yoga mat ~ cellphone armband

If you have a friend or two who love working out at the gym, get them some cute workout essentials they’ll surely love. Personally, I’m a huge fan of reuseable water bottles with funny or sassy quotes — they make the gym so much more fun! A yoga mat is perfect for taking to the gym even if they aren’t into yoga because they can use it to lay on when doing crunches or planks. I have been meaning to treat myself to a cellphone armband for a really long time now! If your workout clothes don’t have pockets for your phone but you still want to listen to music while you workout, this is a must!

the writer

holiday gift guide

kate spade journal ~ pen gift set ~ magazine subscription

Okay, they probably already have too many journals to count but I doubt they’d complain about these ideas! It’s so great to have so many places to get your thoughts out when you need to, so you can never go wrong with these ideas. A pretty pen set will probably make your friend cry tears of joy, especially if they’re a major stationery junkie. If they like to write, they may also like to read, so get them a subscription to one of their favorite magazines. Seventeen magazine subscriptions are only $10 for one year!

the beauty queen 

holiday gift guide

liquid lipstick ~ makeup sampler ~ beauty subscription box

Colourpop is a great pick for liquid lipsticks — they’re only $6 each and there are so many shades to choose from! Check out my swatches and review of some of Colourpop’s lipsticks and eyeshadows. There are so many cute makeup samplers available at places like Sephora and Ulta. This is a great gift for the up and coming makeup guru of your group, or that friend who’s just really into makeup. I’m currently obsessing over beauty subscription boxes! There are so many cool services out there, so you can find one that suits your budget and get them a couple of months worth of boxes.

holiday gift guide

makeup mirror ~ nail polish set

A makeup mirror is a perfect gift if your friend is away at college — it allows you to get your makeup done in the comfort of your room rather than trekking to the bathroom on a busy morning! You can never go wrong with a nail polish set — there are so many cute ones. And if you want you can buy a nail file, nail decals, and other nail art supplies to create a DIY nail art bundle.

the fashionista

holiday gift guide

blanket scarf ~ sassy sweater ~ jewelry

Blanket scarves are literally the best things right now! I don’t know what I would’ve done without mine in today’s weather. This is a super cute, affordable gift that your friend or sister could use all winter long if she doesn’t already have one. And if she does, I’m sure she’d appreciate the growth in her collection (just avoid getting her one with a pattern she already has). A college girl’s closet isn’t complete without a sassy sweater! Like, come on, you need to have at least one of those. You can never go wrong with cute jewelry. Icing and Claire’s have some really adorable pieces at very affordable prices.

holiday gift guide

phone case ~ wristlet

Get her a phone case that matches her aesthetic. There are some really cute ones that have pockets on the back so you can hold your ID card, some money, a credit card, etc. A wristlet is a great idea for those nights out when you don’t quite want to bring a large bag but also want to make sure that you have all your essentials that are inside your wallet with you.

the adorable techie

holiday gift guide

instant camera ~ portable charger ~ laptop case

Instant cameras are the cutest things ever!!! Seriously you’ll be the world’s best friend or best sister if you give this is a gift. I have an Instax Mini 70 and it is just so darling and so perfect for college. You can read all about it (as well as other cool college things) in my post on 9 Things You Need To Make College Life Easier. A portable charger is Godsent. You will be a lifesaver if you gift this item. Sometimes we forget to charge our phones but we rush out of the room or house with 40% battery. With a portable charger, you can charge your phone no matter where you are. Laptop cases are an essential college tech accessory if you don’t want a dirty laptop. Laptops are expensive, so treat them right!

the girl who’s always busy af 

holiday gift guide

spa set ~ planner ~ insulated thermos

You can DIY a spa set with a couple of cute things from Target. Grab some bath bombs, face masks, bath salts, and nail polish and put together an adorable little bundle for your workaholic bestie. Planners are EVERYTHING to someone who always has a million things to do. There are so many cute ones, too. Does your sister seem to never have the time to sit at the breakfast table and enjoy a cup of coffee? Get her an insulated thermos so she can have her morning tea or coffee on the go.

Related: 6 Handbag Essentials For The Winter

the traveler 

holiday gift guide

luggage tag ~ travel tote ~ books for the plane ride

Adorable luggage tags are great for spicing up your suitcases, and it makes it so much easier for you to identify your belongings. If your friend is studying abroad this upcoming semester, get her a cute travel tote to carry all her essentials in style. A good book is a great way to not be bored on long trips, and they’re especially handy if there’s no wifi on your train or ferry. Find out what’s on her reading list and gift it to her.

holiday gift guide

beauty travel bag ~ compact mirror

A travel makeup bag is essential for keeping your beauty products in one, neat place. If your friend doesn’t have one yet, this is a fantastic gift. And if she doesn’t use makeup, she can still use it for storing essentials such as lip balm, cotton balls, Q-tips, and more while she’s on the go. A compact mirror is a great travel essential for checking yourself from the comfort of your airplane seat, which means no having to get up and walk to the bathroom!

the girl who just loves her bed

holiday gift guide

bedroom slippers ~ a warm throw ~ decorative pillow

Bedroom slippers are a must in college dorm rooms, especially when you have to go from your carpeted dorm room to the cold tile bathroom in the hallway. A warm, fuzzy throw is really going to come in handy this winter season. You’ll probably get bonus points if you throw in a hot chocolate kit, too (a mug, marshmallows, cocoa mix). And who doesn’t love decorative pillows? There are so many that fit a wide range of personalities and aesthetics, so picking one out will only be half the fun.

~For your momma~

the cook/baker

holiday gift guide

cooking bundle ~ mason jar dessert set ~ recipe book

You honestly can never have too many spatulas, spoons, and adorable measuring cups (especially because when you need them the most is when you can’t find them). This is a great gift for mom, especially if she’s always complaining about not being able to find the kitchen timer. Mason jar recipes are, and always will be, the cutest things ever! They’re so simple but so pretty and they turn into something even prettier. You can never go wrong with a recipe book, especially if your mom is the adventurous cook type of person. And if she isn’t, getting her a recipe book might motivate her to step outside her comfort zone.

the homebody 

holiday gift guide

a photo frame ~ a bathrobe ~ art canvas

Are there just too many pictures cluttering your family photo albums? Show them off with photo frames. My mom always has a picture for a photo frame. You wouldn’t find a single unused frame at our house. A bathrobe is the perfect, everyday gift for literally anyone — not just mom. Bonus points if you get her a monogramed one. Art canvases are another great way to decorate the home and add personality.

holiday gift guide

throw pillows ~ scented candle ~ coffee maker

Does your mom have a not-so-secret secret throw pillow collection? No? That’s okay. Just like in a dorm room, having decorative pillows give personality to a space. This makes throw pillows a super great gift. My mom lives for scented candles, and there are so many pretty ones that smell AMAZING and (quite literally) brighten up a room. Getting your mom a coffee maker is your excuse for spending hours gazing at beautiful Keurigs. There are so many models to choose from!

~For dad~

the techie

holiday gift guide

selfie stick ~ activity watch ~ ipad cover

Seriously, what dad doesn’t want a selfie stick?? Selfie sticks aren’t as “basic” as society tries to tell us they are. My dad has one and it has made large family photos really easy (and more fun!). There are so many really inexpensive ones, too. If you want to encourage dad to pay more attention to his exercise habits, get him an activity watch. This may be a bit pricey, depending on your budget and the kind of watch you get, but if you can swing it this is a great gift. If dad’s ipad cover is literally falling apart, this is a great time to treat him to a brand new one.

the outdoorsman 

holiday gift guide

sunglasses ~ touchscreen gloves ~ puffer vest

For my dad’s birthday back in October, I got him these great sunglasses that were designed specifically for outdoor use and can reduce any glares and protect your eyes from the sun, and he loved them! He wears them when working on his hobbies outdoors and when driving (and they’re very stylish if I do say so myself). Everyone should have touchscreen gloves this winter because it’s not fun trying to use your phone with your bare hands when it’s brick AF outside. A puffer vest is a great cold weather gift that he can actually use over and over again.

the dad whose closet needs some sprucing up

holiday gift guide

fun ties ~ a scarf ~ a belt

If your dad has that one jacket that you wish he’d get rid of, this is a great way to find him a replacement (and hope that he gets the hint). There are so many men’s style items you can get him.

also…

You can never go wrong with getting either parent (or both parents) apparel from your university’s shop. My college has a bunch sweatshirts, half-zips, t-shirts, and hats that say “Stony Brook Mom” and “Stony Brook Dad” on them, so those make great gifts!

~For your brother + bf~

the gamer 

holiday gift guide

game controller ~ book of cheat codes ~ video game

If your brother or bf has been in the market for a new game controller, this is a great opportunity to gift him one (and show that you’ve been listening to his complaints of not being able to find his old one). A book of cheat codes would also be very much appreciated. When my brother and I would play video games, we were always scouring the internet for cheat codes to unlock cool things. Of course, you can never go wrong with just getting him a new video game he’s been eyeing.

the musician 

holiday gift guide

concert tickets ~ portable speakers ~ headphones

Gift your brother or boyfriend tickets to their favorite band (so you don’t have to listen to them enjoying their music at home). But they might need some quick concert tips so don’t forget to check out that post! Portable speakers are so great, especially if your brother is off to college or if your boyfriend is already away at college. Headphones are perfect for when you don’t want to disturb the entire library, or when the entire library is disturbing you. I also have a post on great music to listen to while you study!

the sports fan

holiday gift guide

wall clock (of his favorite team) ~ sports jersey ~ duffel bag

Get your boyfriend something that’ll make him think of you every time he looks at it — like a clock! If he goes insane over merchandise from his favorite sports team, this is definitely a great idea. A sports jersey is also a cool gift if he doesn’t already have one (or six). I think that everyone needs a duffel bag because they hold a lot of stuff so it makes carrying your belongings so much easier. I use my duffel bag whenever I go home so I don’t have to carry four different bags.

the cook/foodie 

holiday gift guide

waffle maker ~ cooking classes ~ shot glasses

Giving your boyfriend a waffle maker will make it so much easier for him to make you Saturday morning waffles! Ah, nothing like breakfast in bed. It doesn’t have to be a super fancy one; you can probably find one for around $30. Cooking classes would be a super cute thing for the two of you to do together. This place in New York City lets you make your own chocolate so that would be a really cool option. If your brother’s dorm room needs some sprucing up, get him cool shot glasses he can use for decoration, or something like that. But mostly for decoration!

You can never go wrong with…

personalized items 

holiday gift guide

mug ~ bag ~ journal

Personalized items such as monogrammed mugs, bags, and journals always make fantastic gifts. Plus, the little personal touch is very much appreciated! One year, I got one of my closest friends a t-shirt with her name designed on it and she absolutely loved it.

a watch

holiday gift guide

kate spade ~ kohl’s ~ addidas

I know this one isn’t very creative but it still works great because it’s something they can use everyday. There are definitely so many great brands out there, too. And who knows, maybe you might find a cute one for yourself, too!

Cards Against Humanity

holiday gift guide

cards against humanity

Any board game is a cool gift, especially for a college student who wants to have fun with friends while staying in on a snowy Friday night. But Cards Against Humanity is seriously one of the best games you’ll ever play.

~5 fast tips for giving gifts~

1. Always find out if they already have something before you decide to give it as a gift.

Does your friend already subscribe to Seventeen magazine? Does your boyfriend already have Rock Band 3? Try to find out in a sneaky way so that you can avoid wasting your money on something they don’t need a duplicate of.

2. Save up in advanced if you need to.

The money you have in your piggy bank right now may not be enough to get dad a fit bit, so you might have to save up in advanced. I know some people may not think about gift giving months in advanced, but if there’s a gift a family member or loved one has really been dying to have and you need to do a bit of saving up for it, it’s pretty worth it. Put away $10 per week if you need to; save every $5 bill you see — whatever works.

3. Avoid buying shoes for someone.

I avoid buying people shoes because first, something I think is cute is DEFINITELY not always cute to my mom. Essentially, your taste might be completely different from someone else’s. And second, sometimes a person’s shoe size ranges depending on the brand and width of the shoe, so you can’t always be too certain unless you see them try it on first.

4. Picky person? Get them something they use a lot of.

You already know that they clearly like it and use it often, so you don’t have to worry about them not being satisfied with the gift. If they’re running low on something they really love, this is the perfect gift idea.

5. Include gift receipts where necessary.

If you get someone something like perfume or a bath set and you don’t know if they’ll love the scent, include the gift receipt so they can return it if they need to. If you bought them a purple duffel bag but you don’t know if they’ll like the green one better, include the gift receipt.

What’s on your holiday shopping list? 

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter for more fun things in the daily life of a college gal!

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7 Handbag Essentials For The Winter

7 winter handbag essentials

I hate winter with such an unbelievable passion. I hate how cold it gets; I hate when the nice, neat snow turns to slush and then turns to ice and you feel like with just one wrong step your life will flash before your eyes; I hate walking to class when the snow is coming down and there are snowflakes stinging your face. But one thing I do like about winter is buying cute accessories and things to accommodate for the weather.

In college (and in life), a smart looking handbag is a must because you might attend some professional events, some interviews, and some sophisticated gatherings. With winter coming, you should also make sure that you stuff your handbag with all the necessities just in case you need something in a hurry. Here are some things I’ll be putting in my handbag this winter:

1. Touchscreen gloves

These are LIFE-SAVING. Well, they’re finger-saving because you won’t have to worry about your fingers freezing while you’re outside trying to send a quick text to mom. Touchscreen gloves are perfect for when you want to use your phone comfortably in 10-degree weather. In my opinion, they’re better than having just regular gloves because you can’t use your phone with regular gloves on — if anything, you might have to take them off, use your phone, then put them back on, and that’s pretty inconvenient for your cold hands! Target has a nice selection of touch-sensitive gloves; that’s where I got my pair!

2. Lip balm

I can’t even remember how many times I’ve shared my love for lip balm with you. If you’ve been following my blog for a while now, you probably know that I’m lip balm-crazed. I have a collection of lip balms and I’m not ashamed of it. If your lips tend to get extra dry during the winter, then lip balm is a must. Super dry lips can lead to painful cracking, so make sure you keep your favorite balm in your bag. Right now, I’m obsessing over this all natural lip balm from BeeByGBeauty’s Etsy shop. It’s made from beeswax and the peppermint and vanilla ones are perfect for winter! Head on over to my Instagram to check them out and don’t forget to follow Glynnis Cowley on Instagram!

3. Tissues

Runny noses are so good at catching you off guard. I seriously have no idea how they do it. All the more reason to come prepared with a packet of tissues. There’s not really an excuse to not keep them on you because the packets are so small, and some companies even make slim, wallet-style tissue packets so they fit conveniently anywhere. Buy packets in bulk so you can just replace the one in your bag when you run out.

4. Cough drops

Ever notice that you never have a cough drop when you desperately need one? Same. They’re especially great to have when you feel yourself starting to get a sore throat. Remember, it’s so easy to get sick during the cold weather. You don’t need to stuff an entire bag of cough drops in your bag, but having just a handful on you at all times can really be helpful.

Related: 12 Ways To Avoid Getting Sick In College

5. Sunglasses

The sun can be out even if there’s snow on the ground! I never go anywhere without sunglasses in my pocket, in my bag, on my head, etc. I even carry sunglasses with me on rainy days just in case a few rays of light decide to make an entrance. If you’re a sunglasses super fan like me, you’ll probably be carrying them around anyway!

6. Insulated travel mug

Like I said before, winter is the time when so many people come down with colds. It’s super annoying when you have a sore throat or stuffy nose and just need some hot tea to soothe your throat or clear your sinuses and then you can’t find it anywhere on campus or in your area. Just as annoying is if you’re out in the city and the prices of hot drinks don’t suit your budget. To avoid this, make your hot beverage before you leave your room or home and carry it with you. I got a really cute insulated travel mug in my swag bag at Her Conference this summer, so I’ll definitely be using it in the coming weeks!

Related: 19 Things I Learned From My First NYC Conference

7. Earmuffs

Sometimes it isn’t quite cold enough to feel like you need a hat, but sometimes the weather surprises you (just like those runny noses). My mom always made me wear a hat regardless when I was younger because she said that it’s bad for the really cold air to get inside your ears. This is where earmuffs come in. Some of them are small enough to keep in your bag, so you can whip them out and put them on when you need them. If you aren’t a fan of earmuffs, knit headbands are a great alternative. I crochet and have made so many, and given so many to friends as gifts over the years. They’re so cute and stylish and will keep your ears warm!

What are your winter handbag essentials? 

Also check out: 10 College Beauty Essentials

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter for more fun things in the daily life of a college gal!

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7 Things I’ve Learned From Being A Part Of Her Campus

7 Things I Learned From Being Part Of Her Campus

I’m in a very serious relationship with writing. I love it so much that I want to get paid to do it every single day for my adult life. But if you had asked me my freshman year of college what I wanted to do with my life, I would’ve told you that I wanted to be an anesthesiologist. What a jump, right? So when I decided that science and me just weren’t going to work out, I changed my major to Journalism and immediately panicked because it was bad enough that I was already behind in the program, but I also had no writing clips and no experience writing anywhere.

Her Campus was actually the first platform I joined to get my thoughts, my words, and my sass out there. If you don’t know what Her Campus is, it’s basically a site where girls from colleges all over the country write articles that get read by other fab college girls. Plus, the logo was super cute so of course I had to join! It’s been nearly a year and a half since I joined my school’s chapter of Her Campus and it’s been such a rewarding experience so far, not to mention Her Campus has taught me some seriously valuable things.

1. You’ll always have time for a laugh.

College is hard, so make sure you laugh harder! This semester, in addition to being a writer, I’m also one of the social media coordinators for my school’s chapter, which means I work alongside other girls to keep all of our social media pages up to date and full of fun, encouraging content. We post links to all newly published articles from our team, but we also sneak in quotes and pictures to give our followers a little chuckle, or even a smile. You know how good it feels when you’re having a crappy day but you go on Facebook and there’s that one quote that just lifts your mood? Yeah, we totally get that, which is why we do it.

2. I’ll never run out of ideas.

If there was ever a doubt in my mind that I’d always know what to write about, there isn’t one now. As a chapter member of Her Campus, I’m exposed to so many articles written by girls just like me on a daily basis. They’re so much fun to read and often, they’re a source of inspiration for future articles. I always feel like I learn something about someone else, about the world, about an issue, and so many other things when I read Her Campus articles. Plus, as a member of Her Campus’s InfluenceHer Collective, I’m also exposed to work from so many other bloggers that I might not have been able to connect with otherwise. Seriously, there’s never not a creative moment.

3. You don’t need to take the road that everyone else is taking in order to succeed.

This past summer, I had the amazing experience of being able to attend Her Conference 2016 in New York City and learned so many things! (Btw, one of the ways you can attend Her Conference is by being a chapter member. So if you join, I hope to see you at next year’s conference!). At the conference, Joyce Chang, the Editor in Chief of SELF magazine, spoke to us about how we don’t need to attend grad school in order to achieve success. The option can be really tempting, especially since so many of our peers are making plans to further their education after undergrad. But this piece of advice really gave me a sense of security in knowing that even if I don’t attend another four years of college, I can still end up with an extremely rewarding career in the media industry.

Related: 19 Things I Learned From My First NYC Conference

4. If you really want to grow, take a step back and evaluate yourself as a writer from time to time.

Of course, you’ll end up with great writing clips to add to your portfolio. I’ve written about how to be healthy in college, how to flaunt your curly hair, and how to survive finals week with the flu, but I evaluated all of that and decided that I should use this as an opportunity to add things that I haven’t written about yet — topics I have less experience writing about; more focused, and specific ideas in the form of identity articles; things that could potentially go viral. This platform is so diverse that you may be holding yourself back by sticking to your comfort zone. When I started pushing myself to look for more, I became more confident in my portfolio, and I also had an insatiable drive to keep trying new things!

Writing for Her Campus is definitely a great way to start your career. So far, writers for Her Campus have moved on to jobs and internships at Glamour, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Seventeen, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, The Washington Post, People, Teen Vogue, InStyle, The Huffington Post, MTV, Digitas, Ogilvy, and so many more, and I definitely hope to be a part of that group!

Check out other articles I’ve written for Her Campus by clicking here!

5. You’ll always look forward to team meetings.

It’s funny because I actually just got back from a Her Campus team meeting, haha! I love our meetings because I always see new faces, which means we’re getting bigger and bigger. It’s also so nice because we can just talk freely with each other in a judgment-free zone, and just be ourselves with each other. Her Campus updates are also always really exciting because there’s always something new going on that I can’t wait to get on board with. Btw, this is also a great way to make new friends and get to know other people with similar interests. This is really important to me because my university is very STEM-focused, so it always feels great to be with a group of people who understand your goals and your strengths.

6. Working with social media is super fun.

This one is super big because I feel like now, platforms want to see that you’re very well-rounded. Just being able to write isn’t enough anymore. Within our team, we have a group of girls who tackle social media to make sure there are posts on all pages every single day, and we also have a team of photographers who submit photos weekly. This really gives us an opportunity to work on other skills that companies will find valuable. So if you’re a social media maven in the making, this is a great way for you to get more practice online. If you think you’re into photography and want a way to train your skills, this is perfect. Getting to take over our social media pages every week is so much fun because I feel like I’m interacting with all of the girls who love our chapter. Plus, we can interact with and support other chapters online too.

7. There are so many girls with the same interests as me that I can’t wait to meet.

Being a part of the chapter at your school gives you a little taste of like-minded girls out there. When I went to Her Conference, OMG, I was astounded by the number of girls who were there for the same reason that I was: I love Her Campus and I want to connect with others on a professional level. I met so many people and gave out business cards, and I still speak to some of the girls I met there. Sometimes it can be easy to see people with similar interests as you as competition, but being genuinely nice can speak volumes. I definitely know that we’ll keep supporting each other’s work, and this makes me even more excited to meet more people.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my experiences at Her Campus! If you want to learn more about starting a Her Campus chapter at your school, visit www.hercampus.com/chapter to read more about the position and apply!

Are you also a chapter member of Her Campus? What have your experiences been like so far? Do you think you’ll join or start a chapter of your own?

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter for more fun things in the daily life of a college gal!

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How To Write A Kickass Paper In College

How To Write The Best College Paper

So, I do a lot of writing, clearly. I mean, I’m a blogger (duh), a Journalism student, a former Editor in Chief at Odyssey, and I write for a billion platforms and things. I’m usually that person in my friend group who everyone comes to for writing advice, help with editing papers, and all that good stuff. In high school, you could probably b.s. half your paper and still do well enough to laugh about it after class with your friends, but college papers are nothing like high school ones. Professors expect much more from you: a higher level of information gathering; more advanced writing techniques; concrete proof that you actually understand the material/prompt and you didn’t just pull all those words out of your ass.

So yeah, writing papers in college is NOT always very easy, and if you aren’t careful you can leave some major points on the table. If you have a final paper on the horizon, here’s my advice when it comes to writing them:

1. Pick your topic ahead of time.

The gun has gone off the minute the professor introduces the assignment. You don’t need to have every detail of your assignment worked out at this point, but it helps to at least have even a vague idea of what you want to write about (go to your professor’s office hours to really come up with a solid proposal).

Here are some things you should consider to help you pick a topic you can really write about well: 

  • What are your interests and how might they connect to the class material?
  • What are some things you’re just curious about finding out more on?
  • What issues are you most passionate about?
  • What topics do you lack an understanding of that you’d like to understand better?

2. Talk to your professor if you want to change your idea/proposal.

Don’t just assume that they’ll be cool with it, or that your new idea doesn’t need any work. Your professor might even help you discover a bigger topic that you can write about, or even point you toward excellent resources that you can use for your paper. A quick email explaining your reason for change will suffice, but if you want to have an actual conversation about your proposal, just go to office hours.

3. Read the assignment guidelines before you begin writing anything.

You can lose so many points for not doing this because you won’t know what the professor expects from your paper! Reading the guidelines can also hint at what sources you should use, what information should definitely be included, and ultimately what the point of the assignment is. If none of this is clear to you, verify with classmates or ask the professor.

4. Create an outline.

I LOVE OUTLINES. They’re God’s gift to people who have a million ideas in places they didn’t know they could keep ideas. Creating an outline will help you organize pieces of information so you know where to talk about certain things, and you can always add more tid-bits as needed, move things around, and never forget a thing. You can make your outline as detailed or as not detailed(?) as you want. Just simply using bullet points is a great way to get your thoughts and information on paper.

5. Is your opening paragraph reflective of what you’re going to be talking about?

If you don’t know what you’re going to say, that will be reflected in your opening paragraph. This is also why it’s really important to think about your topic in advanced. Don’t write an opening paragraph that tells people you’re going to talk about how Facebook gets in the way of intimate interactions and then use the rest of the paper to praise it for speedy contact with others in the rest of your paper. This would be an example of an unfocused paper. Not all professors would be okay with this, and the ones who aren’t will definitely deduct points. It helps to get another pair of eyes on your opening paragraph to see if the connection between your opening and the rest of your paper is clear.

6. Don’t add a million quotes to your paper.

And if you do add quotes, DON’T pick the ones that take up a quarter of the page. You actually shouldn’t have a quote take up more than three lines of your paper; so much for that level of bullshittery. If you’re employing the excessive use of quotes because you don’t know as much about your topic as you should, then your professor will know. I know that sometimes there are just so many amazing quotes that will suit the paper so well, but you can’t use them all. Paraphrase some of them and cite them anyway. Also, pick quotes that propel your points forward; don’t pick a quote that basically repeats what the previous one just said.

7. Explain every quote you include.

You can’t just leave a quote hanging with no explanation to keep it company — quotes get lonely; they have feelings, too. Okay, not really but you get what I’m trying to say. Does this quote support my idea? Yeah? Good, then explain to the reader how it does that.

8. Avoid rambling for “filler.”  

If your paper needs to be at least five pages long and you have four, don’t talk nonsense just to fill up that last page. I know it can get to that point where you just want to be done with that paper ASAP, but take a break and come back to it and maybe another way to present the information will come to you. If you’re writing a statistical paper, use informative graphs where appropriate to help you take up some room. If you’re analyzing a book or text, draw connections between other books, if you’re allowed to. Just make sure that everything you include supports your thesis and moves your paper forward.

9. Don’t be repetitive. 

If you feel like you’ve already said something, chances are you probably did. I used to have a major problem with repeating my ideas in elementary school essays, and it was never really caught by anyone, so I kept doing it until I got to high school and had to practice how to avoid repeating myself. Here are some helpful strategies I employed to solve this problem:

  • Designate a new idea to each paragraph, so you only talk about that one thing in that specific place.
  • Keep some sentences short and sweet — get right to the point. Every sentence doesn’t have to be long and flowery.
  • Find more evidence to support your thesis. You might be repeating yourself because you don’t currently have enough substance to back everything up.
  • Rephrase the prompt.

10. Verify statistics, dates, and other numbers. 

Not every website can be trusted. Recently, I was working on a presentation for class and I initially used the internet to look up information on a specific, not-so-famous person and found birth and death information that I THOUGHT was accurate until I came across mention of the person’s birth and death in a textbook and found that the two sources gave me completely different years! Learn from my almost mistake, y’all. Numbers are super important, so don’t assume that because one source said it, it must be true. This ties into my next point…

11. Use sources other than the internet.

Use a textbook, library book, encyclopedia, newspaper, etc. Many universities have databases that you can access for the low, low price of $0, so make sure you take advantage of this for any papers that you have to write. You might be able to find much more information from a different source.

12. Avoid simply “summing it all up” in your conclusion. 

In elementary school, we were told that this was okay — this was “how you write a good conclusion.” Not in college, my friend. You have to go a couple steps beyond that. Here are some ways you can improve your conclusion:

  • Connect your points back to a larger-scale phenomenon.
  • Connect back to real-world applications/experiences.
  • Show how your points might be actionable.
  • Briefly explain a possible intent of the author.

Of course, it depends on what class the paper is for, so use your discretion.

13. Grab a partner and read each others’ work. 

I do this all the time with one of my friends and it’s seriously helpful. We catch mistakes that the other made that we ourselves wouldn’t have found in our own papers. If you don’t have any friends in your class, ask a friend who isn’t taking the class at all for some feedback. This doesn’t sound helpful, but it is! You have the opportunity to figure out how your paper sounds to someone who has little to no knowledge about your topic. Are your points clear? Did you properly explain terms and information that might otherwise be confusing? Does this person feel like they learned something from reading your paper? Hopefully the answer to all of these questions is yes.

14. Have your laptop read your paper to you. 

Yep, you read me right. My professor actually told me that MacBooks can read what you wrote out loud to you. This super great for grammar because you’ll find mistakes you didn’t even realize you made! If you have a Mac, here’s how you can get your laptop talking:

Click the apple icon at the top –> System Preferences –> Dictation & Speech –> Text to Speech –> Open up your paper –> Edit –> Start Dictation 

There you go! This has been a super valuable tool that I’ve been using ever since I found out about it. Do you know any other secret gems about Macs? Let me know in the comments! 

I’m not completely sure if PCs can do this as well, but if they can let me know and I’ll update this post!

15. If you aren’t asked for your opinion, don’t give it. 

I’m sure you have exceptionally brilliant thoughts, but if you’re writing a non-biased paper, you can’t afford to lose points for expressing bias. Another big no-no is making assumptions where they aren’t needed.

16. It’s okay to use new vocabulary words to sound fancy, but make sure you use them CORRECTLY. 

I love learning new words (especially big, sophisticated sounding ones!) and I love using them in everyday, casual conversation. But, if you aren’t completely sure that a word suits the context of your sentence, don’t use it. If you use a Thesaurus for finding synonyms, try to pick a synonym that’s in the same field or subject as the word you’re trying to replace.

17. Know what style you’re using. 

Different writing styles have different rules. Do not use them interchangeably in the same paper. If you aren’t sure what style to use, ask your professor. Sometimes I get asked by peers to edit their work and when I ask what style they’re using, they have no idea, so I don’t know if I should make certain changes to their paper. I use AP Style for every single class that I’m in, but other classes in other majors may require papers to be written using other styles.

18. Use an online citation maker for your bibliography. 

I love EasyBib because it’s, well, easy! Be sure to input the correct information so that you get a correct citation!

19. Don’t save your paper for the last possible minute! 

I love leaving at least a couple of days in between finishing my paper and the due date so that I can come back to it with fresh eyes and the intention of merely polishing it off with some finishing touches. If you’re still writing your paper less than 10 hours before it’s due, you won’t have this liberty, or at least you might not be able to exercise it as well as you might like to. Organize your time and plan ahead so you don’t have this problem.

Related: The Ultimate Guide To Organizing Your Life In College

What are your tips for writing a killer paper for college classes? 

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How To Finish The Semester Strong

how to finish the semester strong

Winter is coming. That means your fall semester is ending (by the way, I just started watching Game of Thrones and I’m obsessed! Can you tell?). One thing every college student knows too well is that the semester can be a roller coaster ride — often with more valleys than peaks. But getting stuck in that valley really sucks and that’s definitely NOT where you want to be at the end of the semester! Being stuck there means that you might be making trade offs that won’t benefit your academic career: you decide to not study for your bio exam because you’re in the mood to go out that night; you decide that a class isn’t important because you haven’t been attending all semester so what’s the point in showing up now; you’re just too exhausted from working hard all semester only to not be performing as well as you had hoped. We’ve all been there at some point!

Despite this, remember that it’s still not terribly late to make a few adjustments to get back on track. Those final strides can really make a huge difference, after all, so don’t ignore them.

1. Review your handy, dandy syllabus.

Syllabi are pretty easy to forget about, but taking a second look at them will help you see how far the material has gone and re-group. It will also tell you when your next paper, quiz, or exam will be so you can start preparing.

2. See your adviser to prepare for next semester.

One of the worst ways to end the current semester is by being unsure of the next one. Be sure to see your adviser about classes you should take next semester, how far along you are in your major’s program, and if you’re still on track to graduate in the time you had wanted to. Don’t think that you can do it all by yourself and get away with not visiting your adviser even once; classes could be added or removed from your degree program.

3. Get back into using your planner.

If you aren’t a fan of planners, get back into whatever method you used to keep yourself organized — to do lists, writing on a calendar, app on your phone. And if you never used any of these methods, consider adopting one, especially if not doing anything hasn’t been helping your organization. Let’s be real, there are just too many assignments and obligations to keep track of with just your brain.

Be sure to check out my tips for getting organized in college!

4. Stop zoning out in class.

When you’re already exhausted, it’s easy to think about how great a quick nap would feel, or dream about the wonders of a cup of coffee. But unless the anatomy of your pumpkin spice latte will be on your next exam, it’s best you pay attention in class. I’m super guilty of having a short attention span, so I like to sip from a cold water bottle during class to keep me refreshed and alert.

5. Go to your professor’s office hours.

One of my professors gives us participation points for going to her office hours, and to be honest, I’ve been leaving those points on the table all semester! Going to your professor’s office hours can help you understand anything you’re struggling with, and your professor can guide you down the right path with your homework assignments. School work doesn’t have to be a lonely struggle.

6. Make it a point to improve on your previous test score.

Change up your study habits; study with a classmate. Find some way to do better on your next exam if you haven’t been receiving the grades you were hoping for. It can be easy to get stuck in the mentality that those curves will save your grade, but sometimes they aren’t enough. Treat every class as though there are no curves at all so you can push yourself to do as well as you can.

Related: How To Have A Productive Library Study Session 

7. If you haven’t been taking notes all semester, start!

Really though??? I may be totally wrong about this, but I don’t think there exists a college class where you can sit there twiddling your thumbs and make it out alive and with a really good grade. Grades aren’t everything, but they’re pretty important. You may need to obtain a certain grade in a class before you can advance in your program, so that’s an important thing to be aware of. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 of my guide to good note-taking for some killer tips!

8. Start working on any unhealthy sleeping habits.

A great way to finish strong is to move toward becoming well rested and thus, less exhausted. If you’ve been average six hours of sleep over the course of two days, you’ve definitely got to do better than that. Don’t sacrifice your well being to half-ass a study guide or drool over obnoxiously long readings every night. You’re a human, not a robot. Take a look at my post on how to get 8+ hours of sleep to find out how to do the seemingly impossible even with a packed schedule!

9. Don’t get sick!

I know it can happen to anyone at any time, but coming down with the flu can really make you miserable, and you need to be on top of your game! If you haven’t gotten sick this semester yet, congrats — I’m with ya there. But be sure to go the extra mile to really make sure you don’t get sick at the worst possible time of the semester. Doing something as simple as wiping down workout equipment at the gym before you use it can really make a difference. For more tips like this one, check out my post on how to avoid getting sick in college.

10. Set weekly goals.

Stay on top of your progress and always be on the lookout for things you can improve on. If you’ve been getting five hours of sleep every night this week, next week try to go for six hours of sleep every night; if you procrastinated on two assignments last week, make it your goal to only procrastinate one (or none! Baby steps!). The best thing about goals is that they can be whatever you feel like you need to work on, and you can go at your own pace!

What are your tips for finishing the semester on a high note? 

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8 Things To Know About Halloween In College

8 things to know about halloween in college

Halloween is my favorite day of the year. Like, EVER. I love the movies, the candy, the decorations and especially the makeup tutorials! But as far as I’m concerned, I eat candy, watch horror movies and do a creepy smoky eye any day of the year — it’s just extra nice to know that other people are doing it with me on this day. As I’m a junior in college, this is my third Halloween in college, and even though I should totally be the master of all things Halloween by now, I feel like I’ve learned something new about college Halloween culture every year, including this one. Along the way there were some laughs, some regrets, some fantastic times and lessons for next year, so I thought I’d share them with you in this post!

1. Halloween can actually turn out to be a week-long thing in college. 

This is because there will be lots of different Halloween-related events on campus going on on different days. Your building might host a scary movie night today, a campus group might host a costume contest tomorrow, etc. Halloween is no longer reserved for just October 31st when you’re in college. Keep your eyes peeled for activities that might interest you! Which brings me to my next point…

2. Take advantage of Halloween-related activities offered by your campus/building. 

Residence halls at my college offer pumpkin carving for free. It was actually at an event like this that I carved a pumpkin for the first time! Events like these are also great ways to have fun with your friends, bond with a roommate and even make decorations for your room for free whilst enjoying free snacks (so much freeness! Yay!).

3. Make plans ahead of time. 

This year, I thought I’d just try to be spontaneous and wing it — grab a friend and go to an event at the last minute; gather some people for a quick movie night. While spontaneity is super fun, your plans can quickly turn to mush if you realize you don’t have the means to do something, or if people are busy because you didn’t give them enough notice in advanced.

4. Don’t feel weird about dressing up in a costume.

People won’t judge you for dressing up as much as you might think. In fact, they’ll be impressed that you put in the effort and are totally rocking your costume. From cat ears and all black attire to a Mad Hatter costume that’ll actually make you go mad with jealousy, it isn’t uncommon for people to seize on the opportunity to have fun with accessories, wigs and makeup that they wouldn’t otherwise wear. At my college, some professors have been known to give extra credit in class if you wear a costume!

5. You might really want to go to that party you didn’t think you wanted to go to.

This is another reason why you shouldn’t feel weird about investing in a costume. Halloween parties on and off campus usually suggest that you wear a costume, so you might as well have fun with it. I don’t usually attend parties in college, but there were definitely some that arose on campus that I wanted to attend but I didn’t have a costume, so I already felt disinclined to attend. Also, at events there are costume contests and, let me tell you, the students who enter go ALL OUT for their costumes!

6. No costume? Paint your face using everyday makeup! 

I was mentally kicking myself for forgetting to bring my Halloween face paint kit from home, and I was convinced that I couldn’t do anything at all for Halloween, but then I realized that I could use my everyday makeup — eyeliner, highlighter, foundation, liquid lipstick, etc. — as facepaint for Halloween. Thanks to some YouTube inspo (and an entire contour palette my roommate gave me a month ago) I did a deer makeup look.

Oh deer, Halloween is approaching! 🎃 idea from @sineadycady 💕

A post shared by Jasmin (@xoitzjazz) on

 

Aside from my everyday foundation, mascara and eyeliner, I used a contour palette and a white eyeshadow stick for this look. I absolutely love the way it turned out and I didn’t have to spend an extra dime! Moral of the story: when in doubt, get your makeup out!

7. Everyone and their mother will be making Halloween treats in the kitchen. 

If you and your roommate want to bake adorable Halloween cupcakes, guess what: so might the people who live down the hall from you, and the people who live down the hall from them, and so on. Try to find a time when the kitchen won’t be as heavily in use, so try to avoid baking in the evening and early morning.

Don’t forget to check out my tips for cooking meals in college!

 

8. Halloweekend will be one of your laziest weekends. 

You might not feel like doing any type of work during Halloweekend because everyone’s excited and making plans to celebrate and have fun, and you might also have some plans. I got my work done but at the same time, my mind often lingered on the question of what horror movie I would watch that night, how I would carve my pumpkin later, what outfit I would wear to take pictures with said pumpkin, yada, yada, yada. If you decide to try to get work done, check out my tips for being productive during your study session. Fortunately, they kept me on track enough to finish everything I needed to do this weekend (and I still had time to have fun!).

What did you do this Halloween? 

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