2 Year Blogiversary: What’s The Most Read Post On My Blog??

2-Year Blogging Anniversary

The day after Christmas usually isn’t as memorable as Christmas day itself, but for me December 26th marks the day that I started this here blog, and holy wow it’s been two years already!

Now I know how couples who celebrate being together for so long feel on their anniversaries. Well, kind of. If my blog were my boyfriend, I guess. Anyway, I’m glad to have made it to this milestone. I remember during the first couple of months of blogging, I didn’t pay too much attention to how frequently I posted, or whether or not I promoted those posts, or even whether or not a lot of people read those posts. I was just happy to have my own space for writing about what I felt like writing about. But when my sophomore year was finally over, I decided to get serious and set a goal to achieve 1,000 views one month, and wouldn’t ya know it, I did it. Then, my goal was to double that the next month and I ended up with not 2,000 views, but 4,000 page views! Fast forward about a year and a half and I’ve gotten over 80,000 monthly views, built somewhat decent followings on all my social media (Twitter needs a little work, but we’ll get there slowly but surely 😉 ) and got connected to so many other awesome bloggers.

That was a little bit about my blogging back story in case you were wondering. Obviously, it’s not all peaches and cream all the time. There were times when I was just too exhausted from school to really think through upcoming content. And it sometimes sucks when posts you work really hard on don’t get as much attention as you think they will. But keeping your chin up and working hard definitely pays off.

I’ve gotten to work with top brands like Neutrogena and Too Faced, been a VIP at College Fashion Week, attended a Red Carpet Premiere, and so much more. Plus, blogging has helped me garner important skills that made me a more competitive applicant when I applied to my first internship and my beauty and fashion internship.

Last year for my one-year blogiversary post, I wrote about 10 Things I Learned From One Year Of Blogging (check it out if you haven’t seen it yet!), so this year I want to do something a bit different and go through the top 5 posts I’ve written in 2017. This also works really well because New Year’s day is next week, so yay for perfect timing! I’m also going to clue you in on my favorite post I’ve ever written, and we’re gonna take a look back at my first ever blog post. So now that this super long intro is finally over, let’s get to it!

Top 5 posts…

5. 13 Tips For Getting A’s In Your Classes

From the day I wrote this post, it’s been doing consistently well. I think I definitely revealed a couple of ~surprising~ bits of information for doing really well in class, so if you’re interested, take a look.

4. 20 Ways To Be Healthier In College

I’m kind of surprised this one has as many views as it does, but I did put a lot of work into it. I always give tips based on my own experiences and what I observe could work for people, but it was more so on this one because I remember advising myself to do these exact things at the time and I decided to turn it into a post!

3. 9 School Supplies You Actually Need For College

I wrote this one because I was SO SICK of stores and back to school catalogues trying to convince students and parents that they actually knew what you actually needed for class, when in reality people were buying a ton of crap that they’d end up NOT using.

2. 13 Things Not Allowed In Your Dorm Room And What To Bring Instead

Soooooo I actually wrote this one in 2016, but it’s STILL the SECOND MOST READ POST on my blog!! I really love this one so so much because it’s certainly true that A LOT of students bring items they shouldn’t bring into their dorm rooms. I’m not here to rat you out or scold you or anything, but there are actual consequences if you get caught with those items. So, I listed some of them in this post and I provided substitutes that work just as well in their place.

And, my most read post is…

1. 17 Tips To Make College Move-In Day Much Easier

This post ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS gets read every single day! Even when it’s NOT move-in day season for students! That last part kind of baffles me but I guess people want to keep the knowledge in their back pockets? Oh well. Anyway, this is another one that I wrote back in 2016 that has still stayed strong over the last year and a half. Crazy, right? If you’re wondering what the most-read post is that I did in 2017, it’s The 8 Best Free Apps For College Students!

My favorite post of all time…

Is probably my post on How I Landed An Editorial Beauty & Fashion Internship In NYC. I love when people write things about how they landed that dream position, or how they got to where they are now, so I really enjoyed writing this post. I also really love writing anything related to career and internships in general, and my friends always ask me to take a look at their cover letters and help them re-vamp their resumes! So if you ever have any career or internship questions, feel free to shoot me an email (heyimjasmin@gmail.com).

My first ever blog post…

Was 5 TV Shows To Cozy Up To This Winter. At the time, I was really feeling all the shows I was watching on Netflix and was inspired to create this post. If you’ve stuck around long enough to remember that post, wow, thank you lots for hanging out with me for two years!!

So yep, that’s my post in honor of my blog’s second birthday! Don’t forget to take my reader feedback survey to be entered into my giveaway to win a NYX Lip Vault! As a special New Year’s treat, I’m extending the deadline to Sunday, January 7 and the winner will be emailed on January 8. Good luck!

Here’s to more fun events, more awesome brand collaborations, more cool ideas, and more awesome readers like you (I say as I raise my imaginary glass of champagne). Cheers, y’all!

Thanks for sticking around, friends!

Blogger Secret Santa Reveal: My Secret Santa This Year Is…

Hi friends! Merry Christmas! This year, I did something a teeny bit different, and I participated in a Blogger Secret Santa gift exchange hosted by Abigail from Living the Gray Life and Cathleen from Classy Cathleen. I love Secret Santas because it’s super fun having to guess who drew your name. And, if you have a lot of friends to shop for, Secret Santa is the perfect way to exchange presents without spending too much money. This, however, was my first time participating in an exchange with other bloggers, so I was really excited.

Blogger Secret Santa

Pro Secret Santa tip: use Elfster to select the names! I actually had never heard of Elfster until this exchange, and honestly I’m so glad I know about it now. When everyone confirms their participation, Elfster randomly matches each participant with someone in the group, so you know who you’re buying for. And, you can create a wishlist that your group can see, and you can ask questions in the group and private message your gift receiver anonymously so they’ll never know it’s you. Did I have way too much fun using Elfster for the first time? Yes, yes I did.

Anyway, I’m really excited to reveal who my Secret Santa was. So if you’ve already died from all the suspense and me blabbing about Elfster, number one, I’m sorry, and number two, my Secret Santa is…

Stephanie from Hello Sesame

You may recognize Stephanie from Petite Pastels, but she actually recently rebranded and created the super cute blog Hello Sesame. Her posts are seriously fab, and I really got to know her better through Hello Sesame and her ah-mazing Instagram.

I was finally home for the winter since the semester from hell was finally over and my mom told me she had picked up a package for me that had arrived earlier that day. I had been getting lots of Amazon packages over the last week, but, without even looking, I just had a feeling that it was a package from my Secret Santa—and I was right!

Blogger Secret Santa

Stephanie sent me this beautiful Erica Lyons necklace, and I’m just in love! I’ve always been obsessed with statement jewelry pieces because I think they’re just perfect for adding some flair to an outfit, and they look really nice for job interviews. I’m really excited to wear it to the next event or gathering on my calendar!

Blogger Secret Santa

I got this really cute emoji keychain, and I think it’s perfect for any college student since we always need a place to keep our dorm room key so it doesn’t get lost. I’ll definitely be adding my dorm key and my car keys to this for the new semester.

Blogger Secret Santa

I’m probably the most lip balm-obsessed person I’ve ever met. You wouldn’t know it because I’m always wearing lipstick, but I always keep some lip balm on hand to moisturize and nourish my lips so I have the perfect base for any lipsticks. So, I’m definitely really excited to try this vanilla mint ~lip bloom~.

Blogger Secret Santa

And because I’m a writer, I’m obviously obsessed with little notebooks! This one is so cute and perfect for jotting down article ideas, favorite quotes, and other pieces of inspiration that I can use later on. I always get random ideas for blog posts and articles, and I don’t always have an idea notebook on hand to make note of them, so this is perfect for that.

Blogger Secret Santa

And you guys probably know that you couldn’t keep me away from chocolate even if you tried. I was pleasantly surprised to receive these sea salt caramel chocolates. They’re so cute, and super tasty!

Thank you so, so much Stephanie for all the gifts! I’m so glad I found out about your blog through this exchange, and I’ll definitely be following all of your adventures in New York City (p.s., we should hang out sometime and finally meet in person!). 

Be sure to check out Stephanie’s blog and follow her on social! 

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Happy Holidays!

Fall Semester Goals Revisited + What I’m Looking Forward To In 2018

Fall Semester Goals Revisited + What I'm Looking Forward To In 2018

I just submitted my last assignment of the semester and all I can say is I AM FINALLY DONE WITH FALL 2017. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I pretty much left campus without looking back even once. Okay, maybe just once because I couldn’t remember if I had forgotten my room key in my dorm, but yeah, didn’t look back once. This semester was super packed for me—I was taking seven classes, was (and still am) on the e-board of my club, got a blog post up every week, worked a part-time job, and assisted with the sports broadcast on campus. I was exhausted like I have never been before, and this was the most I’ve ever wanted to give up on anything (and y’all know I don’t go down without a fight!). But I made it, and I can’t even begin to tell you how freakin’ happy I am.

At the end of last semester, I wrote a post on Things I Learned And My Goals For The Fall Semester, a.k.a. this semester I just had. So I decided to revisit that list by reflecting and checking off whatever I accomplished and scolding myself thoroughly for anything I didn’t. Just kidding. About the scolding part. I’ll probably just keep those unachieved goals on the back-burner for next time.

And, in the spirit of the upcoming new year, I’m also going to do a “what I’m looking forward to in the upcoming year” type of thing, too, so you can see what I’m planning and maybe even help me make more plans because nothing’s really set in stone and I’m always up for new plans. So let’s begin, shall we?

My goals for fall 2017…

1. Go to the gym six days per week. NOPE.

Weeeeeeeeell….

I started the semester off doing this, and for two or three weeks, I actually made it work and adapted my routines to suit my schedule—going in the mornings before class, going at night after class, squeezing in some time in between, yada, yada, yada. But then things got crazy and there was a time when I didn’t go for almost two weeks straight. Luckily, I picked things back up in the final month of the semester when I’d start exercising in my dorm room everyday if I didn’t have the time or if it was too cold to walk to the gym. I actually found that I love doing dorm room workouts and even wrote an article about it.

2. Get my bartending certificate. CHECK.

I finally signed up for the bartending class I’ve been meaning to take, and I got my certificate in bartending and mixology!!! The timing was perfect, too, since my school decided it would be a fun idea to cut a program that brings in lots and lots of money every semester because there’s always a mile-long waitlist for it. So, I was part of the last graduating class for bartending. I don’t think I’m going to use it to work at a bar, but I’m glad I now have the knowledge and know a little bit more about alcohol.

3. Make more new friends in my classes. CHECK. 

This semester, I got to know some really cool people in the classes I took, specifically in my photography class, and she made everything so much more fun. And, I got closer to people I’ve had classes with in the past but never really spoke to, so that counts too, I think.

Related: 10 Secrets For Making New Friends In College

4. Keep posting at least twice per week. CHECK? 

Well, there were times when I did post on this here blog twice a week, and there were other times when once a week was as good as I’d get for the time being. I definitely think that planning out my content better would have really helped that process, but what it really came down to for me was having the time to dedicate to planning. Hopefully, I’ll be able to stay on top of this better next semester, though!

5. Get straight A’s. SO FAR, SO GOOD. 

Not all my grades have gone up yet, but so far the ones that did get posted are A’s. I definitely think I worked really hard in all my classes and earned whatever grades I receive, so whatever they are I think I’ll be pretty satisfied. By the way, I have a post that teaches you exactly How To Get A’s In Your Classes, if you’re interested in taking a look. 😉

6. Attend every football game at my school. DEFINITELY NOT. 

I literally hung my head in shame when I read this one from last semester’s post. I love college sports (even if I don’t understand them) and attending football games was one of the things I was most excited about for the fall semester. Unfortunately, I had to go home on almost every weekend there was a game being played, and my schedule just didn’t work out with everything. Super upsetting since I probably won’t get another chance to go to a college game, unless I attend one as an alumna (but I’d have to pay for a ticket…). Moral of the story: take advantage of the free games while you’re still in college, even if you aren’t into sports.

7. Work for the athletics department. NOPE. 

So, I applied for a marketing internship with the athletics department at my school and I GOT IT. Buuuuuuut the position expectations ended up not aligning with what I wanted to do, and I didn’t think I could dedicate time and energy to something I wouldn’t put my whole heart into. Looking back, with the semester I had, I probably would’ve had to given up sleep for good if I had taken this position! So I guess this ended up being a win for me anyway.

8. Actually use my financial tracker. HELL (KINDA) YEAH. 

I started off using my tracker, then not using, then for an experiment I had to track every dime I spent for an entire month, and afterward I really became obsessed with tracking my spending. Like, writing down the amount of money I spend on an iced latte actually gives me comfort now. I really like doing it, and it’s important for post-grad life since one of my friends warned me about financial stability after college. And, I was gifted a beautiful budget planner from my college suite Secret Santa, so I’m super excited to use that.

9. Start building good credit. CHECK. 

I finally got my own credit card this semester, and while I have been using it quite a bit recently, I’ve been really good about tracking what I spend and paying everything off. Credit cards are so daunting, but it’s definitely better to start building good credit now and not when you’re ready to rent an apartment that you hope to move into by next week.

10. Decorate my room really nicely. SURE. 

Okay, I didn’t go as overboard with the decor as I thought I would, but my dorm looks cozy at least! My faux fur throw on my bed adds the perfect comfy texture, and I have a decal of the world map adding to some of the black and white aesthetic. And of course, you can never go wrong with a wall of sunglasses and pretty looking perfume bottles on your desk. Maybe next semester I can up my game a little, but this semester was good enough to pass.

What I’m looking forward to in the upcoming year…

1. Spring Break 2018.

This will be the FIRST spring break that I actually do something besides chill at home—I swear on my middle school goth self’s grave. I’m planning a trip to Florida with my friends, so we’re excited to have everything mostly worked out by the end of January. Last spring break, let’s go!

2. HerConference and College Fashion Week.

I have been attending HerConference for the last two years and I’ve had positive experiences both times. I’m always excited to go, and now I can get excited for College Fashion Week, too. I attended for the first time this year and I had an AMAZING time. I got to attend as a VIP and had access to so many amazing free goodies and activities, and got to get really good seats before the show! Plus, I got to bring a friend and everything was so fabulous! Definitely looking forward to the 2018 show.

3. The BlogHer conference.

I’ve never been to this conference but it’s one of the biggest ones in the world, and people come from all over the world to attend it. It’s located in Florida, so it would also be a chance for me to travel. I know the tickets are usually expensive, but hopefully I can swing it this year an end up going.

4. Getting my book off the ground.

You know that book I briefly mentioned I wanted to publish this year? Yeah, it’s still a work in progress. An by work in progress I mean, I have half of one chapter complete. Slow and steady, right?

5. Graduating!

I’m finally about to be out of college! I’m so excited for the dress shopping, the graduation photoshoots, and the walking across the stage for a fake diploma thing. After May 2018, I’m going to be an actual adult and hopefully I’ll have a job or internship or some type of gig lined up.

So that’s my post! I know it was insanely long, but if you made it this far, thanks for sticking with me! And thanks for sticking with me throughout this whole journey. In case you’re wondering what’s going to happen to my college blog when I’m no longer in college, it’s still going to be right here! I would abandon you like that, after all. I hope you’re as excited for 2018 as I am!

What’s your favorite memory from this semester? 

The 5 Best Winter Fragrances To Give As A Gift (Or Get For Yourself)

The 5 Best Winter Fragrances For Gifting

I don’t know about you, but for me, nothing brightens my day quite like spritzing on my favorite warm vanilla sugar perfume from Bath & Body Works before I head out the door. Okay, well maybe a venti iced white chocolate mocha from Starbucks brightens my day up just a teeny bit more, but nevertheless I always feel like walking around with an interesting scent makes me just a bit unique. You know—I think we all have that one scent that we can wear and feel like the baddest bish on campus or in the office. And it certainly makes people enjoy being around you a little bit more when you smell good. So I decided to do a little roundup of some of the prettiest smelling perfumes that I’ve actually tried. These are definitely great for giving as gifts, so if you still need some Holiday Gift Ideas, these are great for adding to your list. And, they smell so beautiful and welcoming that they’re even perfect for the entire winter season.

1. Bath & Body Works Warm Vanilla Sugar—$14

I can say without a doubt that this one has been my no-fail scent so far this season. It’s extremely beautiful and kind of makes me feel elegant when I wear it. My friend actually gifted this scent to me for the holidays and it’s perfect! I think you can’t go wrong with anything vanilla scented, especially since it reminds a lot of people of the vanilla in cookies, cupcakes and other goodies. In a word, this scent is so yummy!

2. Pinrose Gilded Fox—$65

Most of the scents on this list are very warm and spicy smelling scents, and Gilded Fox is definitely one of those! It’s perfect for feeling a little sexy with just a few quick sprays. I think the addition of cocoa in this one makes it the perfect cozy, sit-by-the-fire-place-with-a-cup-of-hot-chocolate scent for the winter. To be honest, you can probably feel the heat just by holding the bottle! If you know someone who’s a little adventurous, this is a great scent to gift them.

3. PINK Warm & Cozy—$10

I love, love, love PINK and pretty much all of their scents, and Warm & Cozy is actually high-key one of my favorites. It’s not as strong as the first two, and has a slightly more floral scent to it, but it still works if you’re going for that carefree, ultra comfy kind of scent.

4. Bath & Body Works Sparkling Limoncello—$14

Okay, this one will make you feel as fancy as the name sounds. It always makes me think of some fancy glass of champagne at a holiday dinner party, and the smell is just so beautiful and fresh. This would actually be the perfect thing to wear if you’re planning to go out to any gatherings or anything like that.

5. Moonlight by Ariana Grande—$59

This is one of those scents that I really like using as a little roller for my wrists, so when I hug people they’re awestruck by how beautiful I smell. The scent itself is kind of strong, but perfect for parties and going out, just like the previous one. It’s definitely always safe to get someone a fragrance in roller form if you aren’t sure they’ll love something strong, so opt for that unless you really know the person well. Plus, they make excellent stocking stuffers!!

What scents are you stocking up on for the winter? 

8 Tips For Having A Successful Phone Interview

8 Tips For Having A Successful Phone Interview

If you’re on the internship hunt and you’ve passed the nerve-racking waiting period after submitting your resume and cover letter, congratulations. You’ve now entered the nerve-racking phone interview portion of the process—yay! Sometimes companies will have you go to their office for an in-person interview, but everyone has their own process, and some may be lengthier than others. Anyway, the point is, the hiring manager clearly saw something in your initial application material that made him or her think you’re a good candidate to add to the ‘yes’ pile, and now you have to impress them even more on the phone.

I feel like a lot of college students and millennials get really nervous when they’re in a situation where they have to speak to a higher up over the phone. As a Journalism major, I’m always talking to doctors, business owners, lawyers and professors on the phone for articles for class. So I personally don’t mind phone interviews as much as most other people do. The stakes are already high since you’re competing with dozens of other extremely qualified candidates for just a couple of intern roles. Adding the dread of a phone conversation on top of that makes it even worse. And not to stress you out even more, but that’s just one part of it.

The phone interview is your chance to really ‘wow’ your interviewer and prove that you have the skills they’re looking for. Thinking on the spot can be so daunting, but fortunately, there are some things you can do to calm your nerves and have a pretty good phone interview.

Related: The Ultimate Guide To Good Resume-Writing

1. Find a quiet place. 

You may think that your interviewer might not hear your roommate blasting music through her headphones, but trust me, they probably will. And they’ll probably think you’re inconsiderate or don’t take the position seriously since you couldn’t even find the decency to get yourself a quiet spot. Even though Starbucks is my favorite place for working and studying, I absolutely would not try to make a phone call there because it’s so loud. I usually go back to my dorm where I know I won’t be bothered.

2. Do your research on the company before the interview. 

You probably did some research on the company already when you wrote your cover letter (p.s., never make these cover letter mistakes!) but this is where you’re going to need to do even more research to show you pay attention. If you’re interviewing for an editorial or production position, look for 2-3 articles or videos on the site that you can talk about during the interview. If you’re interviewing for a business or research position, dig around for any recent projects the company might’ve taken on so you could speak about that if asked.

Related: How To Land A Summer Internship

3. Prepare at least two really good questions for the end of the interview. 

It can sometimes be difficult to think of something really good to ask after an interview, especially since a lot of times the interviewer will pretty much give you almost every detail about the position and what the company does. But read me carefully: the hiring manager will take it as a red flag if you don’t ask any questions after your interview. Even if you’ve been following this company since you could spell the word ‘company,’ you can’t possibly know every thing there is to know about it. I sometimes try to ask the interviewer a more personal question like “what was your favorite project to tackle?” They’re sometimes surprised by that but it’s a good way to change things up a bit and get their personal take on something.

Read also: 10 Questions To Ask Before You Begin An Internship

4. Avoid talking over your interviewer. 

Okay, while I don’t mind phone interviews at all, this is where I think in-person interviews are SO much better. But that’s a topic for another time. It’s kind of hard to avoid doing this sometimes because when you’re sitting in front of someone you can read their body language and usually be able to tell when they’re about to say something, but this isn’t possible over the phone. If you do happen to talk over the person interviewing you, simply say something like “I’m sorry, I cut you off. Please continue.”

5. Take your time to articulate your answers. 

Don’t feel like you have to fire off answers instantaneously. If you need to think through a good response, give yourself a couple of seconds. I usually say something like, “that’s a really interesting question,” so they don’t think they got cut off or I’m not listening or something. And it buys me a bit of time to think about how I want to phrase things.

Read also: How I Landed An Editorial Beauty Internship In NYC

6. Avoid repeating the same stuff over and over. 

Okay, I did this a couple of years ago during one of my first phone interviews and I seriously kicked myself for it because it was an interview for a position at one of my DREAM companies, and needless to say, I didn’t get the position. Don’t make the interviewer think that there’s seriously nothing more to you other than the fact that you’re good at managing your time and you love being a team player. Dig deep and really think about the experiences you’ve had.

7. Take every interview seriously, even if the company isn’t your first choice. 

There is no internship position that’s “too small,” “too insignificant,” or “not really much.” Every experience is valuable. So even if your interview is with that one company you applied to for the sake of applying, interview like you’re interviewing at your dream company because this phone call could be the difference between you making $10 per hour at a fun company and not getting anything at all.

Read also: 12 Internship Mistakes To Stop Making Right Now

8. Send a thank you email after your interview is complete. 

I think there’s nothing wrong with showing your appreciation for the opportunity to interview. And, I recently read an article that said that some hiring managers actually like receiving a thank you note through email. Try to send yours within 24 hours after your interview. The article I linked has some helpful points about what to include, so be sure to take a look at it.

What were your best and worst phone interviews like? 

 

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