15 Ways To Take A Study Break While Still Being Productive

15 Ways To Make Your Study Break More Productive

Okay, I can’t be the only one whose 10-minutes study break always turns into a 40-minute tv show episode on Netflix. There’s nothing wrong with giving your brain a much-needed break, especially during finals week when people are literally camping out in the library—toothbrush and pajamas and all—but the annoying part is that when you get too side-tracked, you aren’t any closer to clearing off your lengthy to-do list. Besides that, there’s more to college students than just college…we’re also interns, photographers, business owners, tutors, poets, travelers and lots of other things. College ain’t the only thing on our plate.

Personally, I feel so overwhelmed when I watch the hours tick away while my projects and assignments still sit in my planner. It doesn’t feel like I’ve done anything fulfilling, although my brain feels like it’s been working nonstop. It’s like I’ve been sitting in front of my laptop for the last four hours just staring at the friggin’ screen! Sound kinda, sorta familiar?

Instead of scrolling through Instagram or Facebook on your next study break, try doing these five things that will actually help you get shit done, even when your nose isn’t in the textbook.

1. Learn something new from a podcast. 

Podcasts have been becoming super popular. They’re so easy to listen to while you have a spa day in your room or cook dinner at night. Some of them are really inspirational and can help you learn about the real world. The Classy Career Girl is a great podcast for millennials who want career advice and tips for building brand awareness.

2. Update your LinkedIn profile. 

There’s no time like the present to really spiff up your LinkedIn. LinkedIn is so easy to use that fixing things up won’t take you too long. If your profile is already super hireable, look for professionals to connect with.

3. Plan the trip you’ve been dying to take. 

Well, don’t plan out every last detail, but take some time to look into plane tickets, possible hotels and activities. Create a spreadsheet to stay organized so you don’t have to re-research everything again.

4. Update your financial tracker. 

For the last month, I did an experiment where I tracked every dime I spent, and it was super eye-opening. In fact, since I stopped keeping track of my spending, it makes me nervous to not know where my money is going, so I’m going to start tracking it again. Make your own tracker if you don’t have one, or Google a printable one.

5. Look for an internship. 

The internship search is actually really exciting, and kind of relaxing, oddly enough. You’re really just browsing around for possibilities so you can easily put on some music and chill while you do this. When you find a listing, save the link in a spreadsheet so you can come back to it later.

Related: 8 Organizational Tips To Conquer Your Job Search 

6. Read the news. 

It’s especially important to remain informed in today’s society. Download news apps on your phone so you can easily read about what’s happening when you have 10 minutes to spare. Also check out my post on the Best Free Apps For College Students for more useful phone apps.

7. Continue/start reading he book you’ve been dying to pick up. 

If you’re like me, then you probably have so many books that you’ve only read halfway. Use your study break to get a little further and read a chapter or two. I also find that reading books helps me re-focus when I feel like my mind is all over the place.

Read also: 5 Easy Ways To Make More Time For Reading Books In College

8. Do yoga or a mini workout. 

YouTube is a great way to find quick workouts that you can squeeze into your day. And, if you do them regularly, you’ll actually see results. Look for a quick, five or 10-minute workout video and follow along right from the comfort of your dorm room.

9. Learn how to make something. 

Learn how to make tonight’s dinner, or tomorrow’s breakfast. If you’ve always wanted to learn calligraphy, start watching an intro video—the ideas are endless. Just think of something you’d like to learn and get started on it while you take a break from math and English.

10. Call your parents. 

You’re probably going to have to call them at some point during the day or week, so why not do it now. Parents are great for giving you advice on dealing with your full plate, helping you get your life together, and talking shit about all the people who annoyed you that week.

11. Build a new playlist for studying. 

I love listening to music while I study, and most other people do, too. If you really can’t focus on studying for your exam, build a playlist that will help you out.

Related: The Ultimate Study Session Playlist

12. Plan tomorrow’s schedule. 

Take a few minutes to think about what obligations you have tomorrow—any meetings, coffee dates, assignment that still need to be completed, etc. Add them to the calendar on your phone or to your planner so you don’t forget.

13. Email your professors thanking them for a (hopefully) great semester. 

I think it’s important to send your professors a quick message to let them know how much you appreciated their expertise this semester. You never know when you might need to hit them up for a recommendation, after all. Even if the semester wasn’t incredible, just email them to thank them for their time and knowledge.

14. Make plans to see friends one last time before the break. 

The last week is usually hectic for everyone, but if you really want to grab coffee one last time or hang out with a friend before the week is over, take some time to message people for a meetup.

15. Look for new side hustles. 

There are lots of ways to make extra money while you’re in college, but they won’t wait for you to finish your finals. If you’ve always wanted to get paid to take photos or get paid to teach people math, look for the opportunities that will help you do that.

What are your tips for being productive even when you aren’t? 

Blogging Goals For 2018

My 2018 Blogging Goals

Okay, where did 2017 go?? I feel like it was just a few months ago that I was turning 21, going to a red carpet premiere and attending my favorite conference of the year. This year has seriously been huge for me in terms of blogging. I got to attend some seriously amazing events, I made more money blogging and I got to work with some really great brands. I decided to do a post on my goals for the upcoming year now because I don’t want to wait to start working toward my ambitions—no time like the present, right?

And because I want to make sure that I keep improving so that I can give you guys resources on things that actually matter to you, I’ve created a short reader survey at the end of this post that I’d love for you to take. The feedback will tell me exactly what you guys like and what you don’t like, and what you hope to see from me in the coming year. And, if that’s not super *exciting* I’m giving away a NYX Meet The Metallics Lip Vault as a special thank you for taking my survey! *squeals with joy*. I don’t know about you, but I love, love, love products from NYX, and the super sexy, metallic shades will make you the center of attention at any holiday party. So if you want to be entered for a chance to win this set of 12 lippies, take my survey at the end of this post!

So let’s get back to those blog goals, shall we?

1. Make more YouTube videos. 

Starting a YouTube channel was on my bucket list for 2017, and I finally started it in October…with one video. Baby steps, right? That video was a product swatch video for Too Faced’s I Want Kandee and Peaches and Cream collections, and it was so much fun to do (Check out my video if you want to see awkward me talk about beauty on camera!). I want to do more videos where I talk about my favorite products for the month and share recipes and hairstyle how-to’s. Let me know what other kinds of videos you’d be interested in seeing me do!

2. ACTUALLY SEND OUT NEWSLETTERS. 

Over the course of this entire year, I sent out a total of TWO EFFING NEWSLETTERS. Mind you, I promised myself I’d commit to newsletters this year, too. But since three’s a magic number I’m going to make it my mission to send out one more newsletter before December ends—it would be magical if I actually stuck to it this time.

3. Build a more active social media presence. 

This semester, I felt a major disconnect from social media and it sucked. I wasn’t engaging as much on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook as much as I would over the summer, but I want to work on that more. My Pinterest has really blown up over the last few months—I went from just over 200 followers to over 800 in almost no time, and those numbers are still growing. I’m pretty proud of my Pinterest now, and I want to keep using it to attract more people to my site and to discover other sites.

4. Turn blogging into a side hustle. 

This year I was fortunate enough to make more money than I did in 2016 (yayyayyay!) But I want to be able to make a significant income from doing what I love most. I’m going to be graduating in May and who knows what the future holds for me—Maybe I get a full-time job out of college, and maybe I don’t. Maybe I’ll get a cute post-grad apartment in a nice city, and maybe I’ll stay with my parents for a little longer. Either way, I want to be able to afford more things on my own. I do have specific ideas for monetizing more, I just need to start working on them!

5. Reach 200k page views. 

This year has been insane in terms of traffic for me! I can’t believe how many more people I’ve reached since 2016, and honestly I just want to keep on growing and keep on helping people. I’ve seen my numbers transform from 30,000 to 60,000 to 90,000, and with more hard work, I know I can keep increasing my views.

6. Attend more fun events. 

This year, I attended College Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week, a Red Carpet Premiere, and other really cool events. I hope to have way more of those this year. Plus I hope to attend BlogHer this year in Florida since I’ve never gone before.

7. Get a blogging planner. 

I used a blogging binder that I designed myself in 2016, and it was pretty damn helpful for keeping track of stats and goals. But as I got busier and busier with school, I felt like I didn’t have enough time to re-group at the end of every month to record progress and goals, so I just stopped using my blogging binder. But this time around, I know that organization will be key to helping me get what I want, so you best believe I won’t stop searching until I find the perfect blogging planner for myself. If you have any suggestions for planners or print-outs for blogging, please please please let me know in the comments! 😀 😀 😀

8. Create a blogging e-book. 

Something that I actually don’t do on this blog is provide tips specifically for blogging. I love talking about blogging, and people constantly ask me for tips about blogging and how to start a blog—seriously, I could talk about this all day. I’ve been wanting to create an e-book specifically for people who would like to start a blog. I’ve actually started it already and I have it all designed, I just haven’t had the time this semester to actually write the content! So, I want to move my butt and get working on that ASAP.

Thanks so much for sticking with me in 2017, and be on the lookout for my 2-year blogiversary post on December 26!!! I’ll be going through all my favorite posts that I’ve ever written—you might see your favorite on the list! Don’t forget to take my survey below to be entered for a chance to win the NYX Meet The Metallics Lip Vault!

Create your own user feedback survey

Thanks for reading, friends! Is there something specific you’d like to see me work on in 2018? If you’re a blogger, what’s your biggest goal for 2018? 

6 Travel Experiences Millennials Should Have Abroad + My 2018 Travel Bucket List

Around this time one year ago, I was making preparations to travel to another country for the first time. Okay, it was technically my third time, but the first two times were when I was so young that I don’t remember a single thing, so I don’t count those times. Anyway, I was about to travel to Ireland on a study abroad trip, and little did I know that this trip would inspire ideas for more adventures. There’s something so awe-inspiring about being in another country to learn and grow. I won’t go into too much detail about the trip, but it definitely made me crave more experiences abroad.

I think that people in our generation are placing more and more importance on traveling abroad and becoming more cultured. However, it can be easy to become obsessed with just getting enough content for Instagram and forget to absorb as much culture as possible. Not only that, but sometimes traveling can be so overwhelming that you may be more concerned with doing rather than what you will regret not doing. So to help you, I’ve come up with a list of experiences all travel-loving millennials should seek to have when they go abroad, whether it’s your first time or fourtieth. Plus, I’m going to be sharing my personal travel bucket list with you. So if you’re curious, read on!

Related: 9 Things You Must Consider Before You Study Abroad

1. Make a new local friend. 

The biggest thing I think I wish I had done in Ireland was actually establish a friendship with a local there. It wasn’t very easy to interact much with locals other than our tour bus driver and shop owners since we had to follow a travel and excursion schedule, as well as a class schedule. People always say that you should try to be-friend locals and I agree 100 percent. They can teach you things about their life in the country that a tour guide can’t tell you. Plus, if you ever visit again, you’ll have someone to look forward to seeing (and possibly to lend you a couch to crash on so you don’t have to pay for a hotel). Making friendships and connections is becoming increasingly important in our society, after all.

2. Try a food item you wouldn’t normally try. 

Unless you’re allergic to it, obviously. I tried fish and chips for the first time in Ireland because that’s just not something that would be served at an American restaurant (FYI, America, you’re missing out!). I personally think that you can learn a lot about a country and its culture by the food that the people eat. In Ireland, the food really spoke to the importance of agriculture since literally everything was locally sourced, and therefore a lot more fresh. Be a little wild and try out the craziest dish in the restaurant. Or just get something that your friends might find bizarre.

P.S., follow my food account on Instagram for my adventures in baking and New York City food and dessert! Here’s a sneak peek below!

3. Eat the foreign version of your favorite fast food.

Okay, I know I just said to be adventurous in what you eat and having fast food sounds like the least adventurous thing you could have while you’re abroad somewhere, BUT even the fast food can be a good indicator of country culture. Plus, don’t you want to know if the Wendy’s French fries actually taste better in France than the ones in your country? I tried Supermac’s, the Irish version of McDonald’s, and it was SO. DAMN. FRESH. Like, I’ve never had a cheeseburger that tasted healthier than this one. It definitely made me dislike American fast food and I eat considerably less of it now, and I’m trying to convince my family to follow my lead, too. If you really don’t know what to have for dinner one night, go to a fast food chain restaurant and see how they do their meals.

Read Also: The Ultimate Study Abroad Packing List

4. Consume the media in the country you’re visiting. 

This one really speaks to me because I’m a Journalism major, and I chose to write my final essay for class on the differences and similarities between American media and Irish media, but this is a great way to find out what’s important to the people in another country, as well as what their approach to newspapers and magazines is like.

5. Live in a hostel.

Okay, I didn’t have fantastic experiences in the hostels in Ireland, and it seems like they’re usually either ok experiences or bad experiences for other people, but I don’t wish that I didn’t have the experience of staying in some in Ireland because for a lot of travelers, hostels are affordable ways for them to take shelter while exploring a city. As someone who really hopes to travel more in the future, I thought it was important for me to understand hostel culture early. Plus, I wrote an article about my experience that got published on Thought Catalog and got hundreds of shares!

6. Embrace not having wi-fi. 

We’ve definitely become a culture obsessed with wi-fi passwords and the ability to post to Snapchat and Instagram. The only time we had wi-fi on our trip was when we were inside the hotels and eating at pubs and restaurants. So when we were walking around and exploring the city, we had no way of connecting to a signal to use the Google Maps or anything for finding our way around or texting to find our other classmates. This forced us to pay extra attention to where we were going and what was around us. Instead of being dead set on one destination, I became more ok with playing it by ear and just wandering to find something that really caught my eye. It’s amazing what you’ll see when you’re actually watching.

My 2018 Travel Bucket List

I really hope to do some serious traveling around in 2018. While I’d love to see every corner of the earth, I’m trying to make this bucket list as realistic as possible because 1) I don’t have that kinda cash to be climbing every mountain and booking every flight, and 2) I just hate getting my hopes up for something that isn’t practical for me. This list definitely doesn’t include all of the places I want to visit, but it’s what I think could be doable for me in 2018. So, without further ado, here are the places I’d like to visit in the new year—will you be in any of these cities??

1. Quebec City, Canada

I’m obsessed with cities that have rich historical importance, and Quebec City is full of it. I want to learn more about the French influence there, and what better way to do that than to actually visit. I really would love to visit for a few days, nothing too crazy. Maybe it could be a family trip for me.

2. New Orleans, Louisiana

I have been dying to visit New Orleans for almost a year now. Again, it’s the French history calling my name. Sami Mast, a blogger from The Classic Brunette, did a post on her experience staying in the French Quarter of New Orleans and that really sealed the deal for me. Maybe it could be a possible spring break trip for me and a friend.

3. Paris, France

I have been telling my parents that when I graduate we are taking a family trip to Paris. I know, it sounds kind of spoiled of me, but I’ve never had a summer where I could just take a few weeks to relax and visit somewhere new since I have always jumped straight into internships after my semester ends. I’m obsessed with French beauty and French pastries—my favorite croissants are the ones I make myself, and if I cook you dinner I promise there will be eclairs, not to mention the fact that my blog is called Macarons & Mascara. I am low-key already planning for it. I downloaded a language learning app to teach myself French, and I’m forcing my family to do it too, so there’s that.

4. Edinburgh, Scotland 

My family is part Scottish and being in Ireland and seeing everyone discover new pieces of themselves there convinced me that I needed to visit Scotland to learn more about my family’s roots there.

5. Havana, Cuba 

It’s not just a super catchy song by Camila Cabello. I’m a writer at my school’s chapter of Her Campus, and for the first time ever they have organized a spring break trip for writers. The deadlines are coming up super fast, and the deposit is a bit much, so whether or not I actually go will be dependent on if I can rack up the money for it in time. Still, this is probably my best chance at getting to see Cuba’s rich history and culture firsthand, so you best believe I’m going to try everything I can to be on that trip.

Do you have any travel recommendations? What’s on your 2018 travel list? 

Read Also: 10 Fun Things To Do In Dublin