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 ūüėČ ) 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!

10 Secrets For Making New Friends In College

how to make new friends in college

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

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

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

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

2. Get to know your roommate.

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

3. Remain committed to the clubs you join.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are your tips for making new friends in college? 

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How To Get Motivated To Get In Shape

You’re probably hearing a bunch of lifestyle platforms, magazines and the like tell you to get ready to get in shape because ‘bikini season is approaching.’ Well, I’m not going to tell you that, and that’s because I don’t really believe in working hard toward a body that society deems as ‘appropriate for bikinis.’ Now, I’m not bashing anyone or any entity that uses the term, ‘bikini body,’ so don’t get me wrong. I’m here to talk to you about¬†my¬†personal meaning of ‘getting in shape,’ which is working toward the goal of achieving your personally desired standard of health and fitness — no matter what that looks like.

So now that we’ve established that, let’s get back into the how-to part of things…Finding motivation — to do anything — can sometimes be pretty difficult. But we must have good reasons for wanting something, right? No one is immune — believe me. There have been many times when I’d say to myself, “Okay, starting today I’m going to make the effort to cut out certain foods from my diet in order to eat better.” And yet, I sometimes find myself barely lifting a finger to get started. If you keep finding yourself at a loss for motivation when it comes to getting yourself into shape, take a look at some great ways to raise those motivation levels.

For going to the gym…

workout

  1. Buy cute new workout outfits.¬†Yes, you can still break a sweat while looking super cute. About two weeks ago during my spring break, I went to the mall and¬†bought a bunch of cute workout outfits. I noticed a really cute pastel theme going on in the active wear section of Forever21 and was immediately drawn in. I bought pastel colored sports bras and muscle tops, the text on which matched the colors of my bras! I couldn’t wait to wear them to the gym — I was even genuinely pissed off that the Monday our classes resumed there was snow and I couldn’t make it there. You’ll have so much fun pairing your adorable purchases, and you’ll have even more fun working out in them!¬†
  2. Come up with a blood-pumping playlist.¬†Come up with a playlist to set the tone for your workout. Go through some bouncy songs for a warm up, power ballads when you’re really picking up the pace and at the peak of your workout, and some lighter but catchy songs for a cool down. One song I always get excited to play during my workout is ‘Exes and Ohs’ by Elle King. Her genre is normally light rock, which is awesome because it just goes to show that you can grab great workout music from any genre, really. Take a look at my workout playlist if you’re looking for some inspiration. They really make you look forward to sweating!¬†
  3. Grab a buddy.¬†If you normally think of working out as your one-way ticket to an exhausting, sweaty, painful hell, well…at least you’ll suffer with a buddy! Friends make things more tolerable (I know this all too well walking outside during those Long Island winters — at least I’m walking with someone I can complain to about it). Knowing that you’ve already committed to this plan with someone else will make you less likely to back out at the last possible minute, so you’ll have¬†to go (and you won’t regret it!)¬†¬†Plus, when you’re with someone, you’re way more likely to be comfortable trying out new machines.¬†
  4. Put it on your to-do list for the day.¬†If your friends are too lazy to go to the gym with you and you¬†haven’t yet convinced them to go, then your to-do list can be one of your closest friends. This is sort of the same idea as going with a buddy; once you add a workout to your schedule, you feel committed to it — like it’s set in stone and you need to fulfill this task otherwise you can’t sleep at night. Okay, maybe you’ll still sleep just fine, but let’s pretend that you won’t so you’ll feel even more committed to getting in a workout. Plus, incorporating workout time into your schedule can become a habit. On days that I don’t have my Zumba or boxing class, I have a relatively packed schedule during the day, so I choose to workout at the gym during the early morning hours. I can go back to my room and shower and change afterward, so I’m refreshed and ready to start the day.¬†
  5. Start off small.¬†You don’t have to run five miles on the treadmill your first day, and you don’t have to bench 175 either. Starting off small doesn’t make you look pathetic or weak, and it can actually be a good thing. When you start off small, the only way you can go is up; you can only improve from there and once you start seeing that you can progress, you’ll be excited to keep going. This is a great way to get you motivated to attain your workout goals.¬†
  6. Use it as an opportunity to catch up on Netflix shows while you work out.¬†When you’re running on the treadmill or using the elliptical, you can kill two birds with one stone by squeezing in an episode of your favorite Netflix guilty pleasure. I’ll be the first to admit that mine is currently “Grey’s Anatomy.” Plus most tv show episodes are about 40 minutes long so that guarantees that you’ll be working out for at least 40 minutes when you go to the gym. Bring your phone, ipad, or whatever device you normally watch your shows on (except your actual tv. Somehow I don’t see that working too well).¬†
  7. Join a fitness class.¬†Fitness classes are commitments in disguise, which is a really good thing! Once you sign up, you’ll feel like you have to go, because making awkward eye contact with the instructor of the class you skipped is pretty awkward! If you go to college and have a gym or rec center on your campus, then you definitely have to take advantage of that — you’re paying for it with your tuition money… I’m currently in a Zumba Toning class and boxing class (see my how-to on surviving boxing class), and there are a few others that I’m super excited to try out too, like POUND. These classes feature a group setting, so you’re definitely not alone. You’ll have so much fun if you really get into it, and you’ll make sure you make time for a class or two!¬†
  8. Make an incentive/reward for yourself after working out.¬†I like treating myself to a green smoothie from Red Mango or a Mango Black Tea Lemonade from Starbucks after a workout. They’re refreshing ways to indulge in something I really like. You can treat yourself to something yummy after you workout because you earned it!¬†
  9. Think about how relaxed you’ll feel after letting off that steam.¬†Especially after you hop in a nice, hot shower! This is one of the simplest, yet most satisfying feelings. Great for stressed college students, parents and teenagers! This is also a great feeling you can look forward to, so that’s even more of an incentive for you to start hitting the gym. Ah, I can feel it now…
  10. Think about how soundly you’ll sleep that night!¬†I mean, who doesn’t love sleep, right?¬†

For eating healthy…

 

  1. Instead of thinking about what you can’t have, think about what you can have.¬†You know how you’ll read a bunch of those healthy eating guides and most of them tell you to stay completely away from certain foods if it’s the last thing you do? It can feel a bit discouraging hearing all that, because it’s really hard to part with some of your all time favorites, even if you know they aren’t necessarily good for you (shout out to my beloved chocolate mousse tuxedo cake!) So I started reminding myself of what I¬†can¬†have. I actually write those foods down on post-it notes and leave them stuck to my desk, so every time I’m craving something yummy, I can run by my list.¬†
  2. Search for scrumptious looking alternatives.¬†This ties into my last point. One time, I went to a nutritionist and she kept telling me about all these snack alternatives that I could have, such as celery and things like that. Now, I’m personally not much of a veggie person (except for spinach — I LOVE that stuff) so this wasn’t exactly the type of conversation that got me super excited to buy all the vegetables in the grocery store. So to combat this, I searched the internet for more appealing ways to incorporate certain healthy foods into my diet. This may sound petty, but sometimes aesthetics can really encourage you to add something to your diet. Often times, that’s just how the human brain works.¬†
  3. Take a trip to a grocery store you’ve never been to before.¬†Okay, so confession time: I’ve never been to Trader Joe’s. Yup, that’s right. I usually just get my food from Target. I’m really excited to finally take my first trip to Trader Joe’s because I have a very strong feeling that it will be different from what I’m used to but it will be a really good and impactful change. The grocery stores I’m used to don’t normally have a wide variety of options for vegans, glute-free, or other dietary paths, so I will certainly be exposed to new items. This can really motivate you to not only buy what’s there, but actually start¬†eating¬†that food too! I definitely can’t wait — it makes me happy just thinking about all the new changes!¬†
  4. Try a 30-day eating challenge.¬†Who doesn’t love a good challenge? This is a great way to motivate yourself to pick a dietary lifestyle that’s different from what you’re used to. Because you feel almost ‘bound’ to that challenge, you’re less likely to stray from its guidelines. Plus, there are ample online resources for you to use if you aren’t sure what to eat. One challenge I’m interested in trying out is the 22-day vegan challenge. Personally, I have always been interested in a vegan lifestyle. It’s easy to just look at what vegans eat, but I’d like to try it out for myself. Another great thing about these eating challenges is that it gives you a time limit. It’s easy for anyone to say that they ate gluten free for one week, but one week isn’t enough to see any changes (especially not if you’re eating gluten free. It takes months for gluten to be completely gone from your system). Of course, just under a month isn’t normally enough either, but it’s a much better start. From there, you can decide if this is something you’d like to make permanent.¬†
  5. Now try that challenge with a friend!¬†I think we’ve covered the power of friendship in great detail already. It’s great to grab your suite mate,¬†roommate, housemate, or apartment mate for a healthy eating challenge. You can even take turns cooking dinner, which is super fun!¬†
  6. Watch YouTube tutorials on making healthy meals.¬†I’m not sure why, but watching those meal prep videos not only makes my mouth water, but it also makes me want to create those meals myself. If healthy food videos on YouTube have the same head-over-heels effect on you, then maybe it’s a sign to try them out!¬†
  7. Scroll through Instagram to look at pretty pictures of healthy food.¬†Oh man, Instagram is the same thing, only more effective because there are far more pictures of enticing healthy meals. I started seeing these photos of avocados with eggs half-baked in the middles and I am OBSESSED with looking at these pictures. They look so delicious! I don’t really like eating bare avocados, but this really makes me want to buy an avocado, split it down the middle, take out the center and bake an egg inside it. Without a doubt, this is packed with protein and good fats. I might actually use this as a recurring breakfast option if I try it and like it.¬†

If you’re looking to get started on your road to getting in shape, I hope at least one of these points gave you enough motivation. Don’t forget that another way to get motivated is by remembering¬†why¬†you’re doing this in the first place — for your family, for your personal health, for your confidence — these are also fantastic and some of the most powerful sources of motivation for getting in shape. Good luck y’all!

What motivates you to get in shape? 

How To Avoid Burning Yourself Out

Meetings, office projects, fundraisers…oh my! With the hustle and bustle of a busy lifestyle, it can be pretty easy to one day wake up with zero motivation and actually¬†feel tired of¬†the obligations you’re currently tied to. As an ambitious college sophomore, I am currently the Editor in Chief of my school’s branch of Odyssey,¬†I’m a contributing author at Her Campus Stony Brook, I occasionally write and submit articles to other platforms such as Thought Catalog, I’m an undergraduate college Fellow, a blogger seeking to grow her site into a business, a Camp Kesem marketing team member, oh and I’m also a full-time student. And for next semester I want to be an ambassador for this cool organization, an Associate Justice for my school’s undergraduate student government and I would absolutely¬†love¬†a part-time on campus job! Am I scaring you yet? Are you raising your eyebrow in surprise and shaking your head at the computer screen? It’s cool, it happens.¬†

We all just want to do what it takes to get where we want to be, or to enhance our skills and create more enriched versions of ourselves. So if you’re a natural born go-getter (like me!) you want to take on¬†as many responsibilities as you can, which is often a one-way ticket to burning yourself out! It can happen to anyone at any time, which really sucks because you know it’s not like you to feel that way but in the moment you feel helpless and like you just can’t do anything anymore. Sometimes these times are very short-lived and you’re back to kicking ass and handling your work like a pro. If you want to avoid falling into these black holes of lost energy and motivation, here are some things you can do.¬†

  1. Venture out of your comfort zone.¬†If you just can’t resist the opportunity to add more things to your to-do list (or to build up your to-do list) try adding activities that challenge you. Hear me out. Doing something you’ve never done before can be really refreshing, so you aren’t always stuck doing the same thing over and over again. This adds a little zest to your life and¬†provides you with a better opportunity to acquire new skills and credentials. Great for making those resumes look prettier!¬†
  2. Be a little selfish.¬†It’s okay to be selfish sometimes! Actually, putting yourself first is very healthy. You’re a human being first, not the night editor of a magazine, not the president of the student government, not even a student! So if you’re deciding between kickstarting your gym routine and planning fundraisers for your club, I implore you to not feel bad for choosing the first one. Yeah, that doesn’t mean you let your obligations go to shit while you enjoy yourself, but do make sure you’re squeezing in some you time here and there.¬†
  3. Surround yourself with people.¬†Sometimes, if¬†I feel myself slipping into a mood — you know, the one where you growl at everyone and everything that so much as breathes in your direction — even if I just really want to jump in bed and watch Grey’s Anatomy alone while I terrorize a family sized bag of Doritos, I tell myself that interacting with even just one person will make me feel better. And you know what? It does. It can be your roommate, your sibling, your parents, friends, a teacher or advisor you look up to; seeing the face of something other than your phone screen can really lift your spirits, so you won’t feel as crappy about whatever got you feeling crappy! This is important because sometimes, you burn yourself out as a result of feeling down from a combination of things. Stop those bad moods in their tracks!¬†
  4. Keep your calendar close.¬†Sorry to say this, but staying organized will help¬†keep you from that state of feeling like everything is eating at you. Knowing what your obligations are and when exactly you have to carry them out will keep you from feeling confused about your duties and prevent mix ups that you’d rather not have. But, hey, organization can be fun! Buy a planner with really cool print on the cover so you’ll always look at something pretty when you take it out of your bag. Color code your weekly schedule so you’re looking at a sea of colors instead of the land of all that is monochromatic. So if you haven’t yet been trained in the art of organization, now’s a good time to take up the discipline!¬†
  5. Do the little things that make you happy.¬†I know you just love finding out little tidbits about me so it’s confession time: I look forward to playing music while I brush my teeth in the morning. Every morning. Even if I’m really tired and just did not want to get out of that bed for anything, remembering that I can have a mini dance party in the bathroom always lifts my spirits. If you don’t have the time to allocate for doing something gigantically fun like going to Six Flags or hanging out in the city, you can definitely find the time to make everyday moments more enjoyable. Treating yourself to a milkshake with your lunch every Wednesday will give you a reason to look forward to Wednesdays, for example. There are honestly too many ways you can enjoy the little things in life.¬†
  6. Get enough sleep.¬†Yeah, yeah, yeah, easier said than done, right? Actually, it’s a little more achievable than you think it is. After what I just told you about my obligations, would you believe that I still get at least eight hours of sleep every single night? No? Well guess what, I do. I go to bed early (because I suck at doing work at night and I suck even more at staying up late) and I wake up early so I can get dressed and do work and tend to obligations. This works really well for me, so I’m never sleep deprived so I can stay as sharp as a tack (or my eyeliner wings) and put myself in a more desirable mental state to carry out my duties. If you cannot sleep early for the life of you, then make sure you’re at least waking up late — but not at the expense of class or something.¬†

Feeling more confident in your ability to handle life like a pro? I sure hope so! Just small adjustments can make the biggest differences! You’ll never be bored with your schedule, you’ll stay healthy and you’ll still have fun while doing it all!

How do you avoid burn outs? 

6 Dresses You Need This Spring

Spring is here (believe it or not, Northeasterners!) I’ll let you in on a secret: I hate wearing dresses and skirts. It’s because, well, I just get weird when I wear them — I’m liking it for the first hour and afterward it’s like the glitz and glamour has worn off and I would just rather be in sweats. But at the same time, I can appreciate a really pretty dress, and once in a while I see one that I just feel like I¬†have¬†to have! If you haven’t had spring dress fever yet, these dresses are sure to make you call in sick!

  1. There’s something about cold-shoulder dresses that are innocent yet sexy at the same time! They allow you to expose a little bit more skin without being over the top in any way. This dress gives off a sweet, angelic vibe, especially with the ¬†cute crochet detail on the sleeves. This is a super sweet dress that would go great with a flower crown and brown boots for a sunny spring day. I actually have this dress (just bought it this weekend at Charlotte Russe for $21!) and plan on styling it that way, so if anyone would like me to do an “outfit of the day” blog post with this dress, definitely let me know in the comments!
  2. This beautifully bewitching dress is not only affordable ($32.99 at Charlotte Russe) but also really simple and very breathable! Like the previous dress, it’s not meant to hold any part of your body tightly, which means you’ll be able to move freely while wearing this. It’s a long sleeve dress, so if you aren’t too keen on showing your arms, here’s something for you! I personally love wearing black and can totally see myself in this paired with boots, one of those really cute black hats like this one, and pretty, layered jewelry. Let your dark side out this spring and rock this dress to class, on a date, at a cute cafe, or while hanging out with friends!
  3. Denim is super cute as a dress! Now, I wouldn’t wear denim jeans because I’m a leggings girl, but I would totally rock this dress to class on a nice spring day! It’s simple and attractive and it even has pockets! If there’s anything I’ve learned as a leggings lover it’s that anything with pockets that isn’t a pair of jeans is truly a blessing. This dress is great if you want to get on those casual vibes at a casual price — only $34.99 at Charlotte Russe. The belt adds definition by cinching the waistline perfectly. The hue of this dress is also great for spring — so calm and cool!
  4. Calling all goddesses — yes, I’m talking to¬†you!¬†This dress is so beautiful because it’s very simple, the color and neckline are innocent, and the rhinestone detail at the waist adds just enough flair without taking over the entire dress. Plus, the length is quite elegant — it’ll flow perfectly in the light spring breeze! This being said, the dress’s length makes it a great option if you aren’t too keen on showing some leg. You can even add a denim vest or light sweater over it if the breeze is a little chillier than you’d like. This dress can be found at Forever21 for $39.90, so you can look even more fabulous than you already do for only 40 bucks!
  5. It wouldn’t be spring if you didn’t have even¬†one¬†dress with a floral print on it! I found this cutie at Forever21 for $24.90. The floral pattern paired with the off-the-shoulder style makes this dress super bubbly and super flirty! It’s a bright pattern made for a really bright day of springtime fun, and the rope belt adds definition to the waist of an otherwise loose dress. For even more flower fun, you can wear a flower crown in your hair. Or don’t, you’ll look good either way!
  6. Okay, just one more dress with floral print, I promise. This dress has larger printed flowers and is a good alternative to the previous dress if you want to show off your love for flowers while still keeping your¬†shoulders covered. It’s still really casual, plus skater dresses are always fun to wear!

If these gorgeous dresses don’t get you planning your next shopping spree, I don’t know what will! Which dress was your favorite? What other dresses do you have your eyes on? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

The Confused College Student’s Guide to Good Note-taking (Part 2)

So now you know which method of note-taking will survive the abyss that is your lecture hall of knowledge. Congratulations. But if you’re not yet sure how to select the fittest method of in-class note-taking for each of your classes, be sure to check out my previous post. As I was saying, so now you know that annotating lecture slides is your go-to note-taking method for that chemistry class, or typing your notes on your laptop is the best way to keep up during a history lecture. Now we have to take things one step further to ensure that you’re grabbing all the important info (a.k.a. stuff that will be on your exams) you need.

You rarely (if at all) get anywhere in life by cutting corners — looking for the easy way out, trying to skip the hard stuff. But when taking notes in class, sometimes you might want to trim the fat off of some edges. I’m pretty much talking about finding ways to make your note-taking easier, which includes learning how to write quickly and efficiently to ensure that you record only what’s important — that unnecessary fat can really weigh you down! So here’s how you can ensure you’re only writing down the necessary information:

Throw capitalization to the wind.¬†You know how it’s just the law of basic grammar to capitalize the names of people, important places, states, etc.? Sometimes when I’m typing my notes I do this instinctively, but sometimes my fingers fumble on the keys when trying to hold the shift key and press a letter. This may sound stupid to you but it does happen and it does waste some time. Your notes are only for you — you aren’t submitting them for an essay contest! You don’t need to get caught up¬†with capitalizing names of people, cities and the like.¬†

What comma?¬†Punctuation marks such as commas and semi colons are¬†not crucial when it comes to note-taking. You’ll still understand your sentence without a semi colon, so doing away with this kind of punctuation doesn’t take anything away from your lecture notes.¬†

Use ur abbreviations! Put your texting skills to good use in the classroom! Okay, actually, some people write out full sentences when they text, contrary to what many think, but that’s a story for another time.¬†You’ve probably heard this ad nauseum at any school you’ve ever been to, but truthfully, abbreviating really does save you a lot of time when writing. Sometimes I instinctively write out full words when I could have used an abbreviation that would save me less time so I could focus on writing down other important points.¬†

Arrows are more than adorable boho print.¬†I like incorporating simple arrows (like this one –>) into my notes to show cause and effect relationships. It’s way easier than writing, “and this lead to the downfall of…”¬†#timesaver.¬†

Focus on points that demonstrate change.¬†Demonstrating change over time, especially if you’re in a history class or other liberal arts class, is very important for exams and essays. I have a Professor who likes to give a lot of biographical information, which is cool and all (I totally want to know where George Washington got the majority of his teeth from) but I’m not going to write an essay about that! Looking for points that demonstrate change is a good filter to use when trying to figure out what to write down.¬†

List equations in the margin.¬†If you’re in a math class or chemistry class or some other class I find horrid (because I hate math) then you’ll be working with a ton of equations. Making a list in the margin of your paper specifically for equations will help you single them all out so you don’t have to keep writing them down every time the professor presents a problem with them. This saves time like you will not believe!¬†

These few points are rather simple, but super useful! They’re great ways to effectively cut corners without taking away from your learning experience, and I’ve definitely found them to be extremely useful! Do you have any other methods for ‘trimming the fat’ from your lecture notes? Let me know in the comments!

 

The Confused College Student’s Guide To Good Note-taking

Note-taking is essentially a¬†hated part of college life. So would you believe that many college students – freshmen, sophomores, juniors, even some¬†seniors¬†– still have no clue how to take down proper notes for classes? In my last four semesters of college, I have practiced and witnessed many different methods of note-taking, because I’ve had many different professors with many different styles of lecturing. What’s more is that not¬†every single one¬†of my classes has been a large lecture hall with 500 students, so that contributes even more to my professor’s style of lecturing, and thus my method of note-taking.

Really, it’s kind of like a ‘survival of the fittest’ sort of thing – only the better adapted methods will survive (and help¬†you¬†survive!)¬†I’ll walk you through the methods I hail as ‘the best’ for taking good notes, because I believe in helping out my fellow college-goers. You can totally thank me by telling everyone you know about my blog! (Just kidding…but not really).

For the lecture hall with 300+ people: 

This was one of the first classes I experienced when I first started college. It was a general chemistry class and the lecture hall was huge, though admittedly not the largest lecture hall I would have a class in. It may be easy enough to succumb to our beloved high school habits by whipping out the looseleaf and pencil (which is exactly what my first instinct told me to do) but here’s why this might not be the most efficient way to take notes:

  • The professor will likely move very quickly.¬†He or she has, like, 50 powerpoint slides of material to teach to¬†hundreds¬†of students in one sitting, and usually within about an hour to an hour and a half. So don’t be surprised if your professor doesn’t do you the courtesy of spending even close to five minutes on every slide.
  • Your handwriting may become a little…unrecognizable as handwriting.¬†At some point during the scramble to write down every single thing written on the slides, your notes might actually start to look like a bunch of squiggly lines on a piece of paper. Unless you are fluent in the reading and writing of the squiggly language, this won’t be very helpful during your¬†cram¬†study session.
  • You might lose stray pieces of paper.¬†Sometimes even the most organized people have a bit of trouble keeping their heads on their shoulders, and things might get misplaced. Wouldn’t it suck to have an entire page of biochemistry notes go missing right before a midterm?

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Solution:

  • Type your notes on a laptop.¬†Most people can type faster than they can write, so the fact that your professor spends exactly two minutes per lecture slide won’t be as big of a deal, and you won’t have to break as much of a sweat to get important details down. Plus, there are no stray pieces of looseleaf paper that can get lost, and you will always be able to understand the font you use in Pages or Microsoft Word.
  • Pro Laptop Tip: Type your notes in Google Drive.¬†This semester, I realized that typing my notes in Google Drive is easier than typing them in Pages or Microsoft Word. You will have your Google Drive documents anywhere there’s a computer, and everything you do in Drive saves automatically, so you don’t have to worry about losing 11 pages of unsaved notes because your laptop shut down mid-sentence. Plus, some universities give you an unlimited amount of free storage space. I also found that using Google Drive to take my notes allowed me to keep everything really organized because I can see all my folders laid out right in front of me.

For the professor whose lecture slides are mostly images and diagrams: 

You have to pay particular attention to these classes. The lecture slides may only have images of people or objects or whatever, but the professor may be saying a mouthful while on that one slide. Don’t let the simplicity of the powerpoint fool you! These kinds of classes don’t really allow you to skip on taking notes and just look at the slides on the class webpage later – you won’t know what the hell the pictures mean later! I actually have a professor like this right now, and I prefer to actually¬†know¬†what his lecture slides mean at the end of the day. I mean, don’t expect to study¬†a picture of Samuel Adams’s face and know all about his role in America’s journalistic history. Still not picking up what I’m putting down? Here’s how this kind of class can really screw you over:

  • You have nothing concrete to study.¬†You literally¬†cannot¬†rely on images and charts to do well on your exams for this class. Your professor probably wants you to¬†think¬†that you can but, believe me, it’s not going to happen. You still need to take notes for this class because, like I said, when you go to your class webpage later because your professor considerately posts the useless image-heavy lecture slides, you’ll have extremely little to no¬†recollection of what was even discussed in class.
  • This style of lecturing requires you to have a sharp ear.¬†I suck at auditory learning. Even if I’m trying to pay really keen attention to what I hear, I still won’t be able to retain as much information as an auditory learner can. If there’s very little to no text on the lecture slide, you can bet your Starbucks iced vanilla latte that pretty much all of the crucial points are coming from the professor’s mouth.
  • The images should be¬†supplements for what you write down.¬†I’m somewhat of a visual learner myself – somewhat – but even so, I still only like to use images as supplements for written notes. I will definitely draw accompanying diagrams because I know they will help me better understand the material, so you can’t completely discount images in lecture notes. So if you can’t discount them and you can’t rely solely on them, what the hell do you do!?

Solution:

  • Print out and annotate your lecture notes.¬†This is my favorite method of note-taking for¬†any¬†class! If your professor posts lecture slides before class, printing them out beforehand and annotating on the sides is an efficient way for you to focus on what the professor is saying (the important stuff) rather than getting caught in the crossfire of diagrams, talking and all that confusing nonsense. Plus, your attention can only be divided in so many ways. With this method you can focus on the professor speaking and still be able to refer back to the images later on!

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For the¬†class that’s basically like high school:¬†

This is the class where the professor handwrites everything on a chalkboard and you sit there and either type it all on your laptop or jot it down in your notebook. I call this the ‘like high school’ class because these classes – even if you go to a college with 20,000+ students like I do – are usually smaller with about 30 or so students in them – just like the good old high school days! I’ve had a few of these classes now and in the past. My Italian class from freshman year was like this and the law class I’m currently taking is like this, too. Many college math classes are like this, though some may have that large lecture hall component.

Even so, you can’t really go wrong if the professor lectures like this because now you have the ability to match the professor’s writing speed rather than lagging behind and cursing under your breath. You can’t really go wrong with this kind of class. The only caveat I have to offer is…don’t get used to this.¬†Not all of your classes are or will be so forgiving when it comes to note-taking!

Hopefully I have brought you a little closer to note-taking success. Remember that this is only part one of my¬†Confused College Student’s¬†note-taking series! Stay tuned for part two, and let me know in the comments what kind of college lectures you’re taking and how you take notes for those classes!

 

 

 

 

5 Bad Habits I Got Into This Semester

Ugh.¬†Bad habits – they’re so easy to start, but so difficult to break. Nobody’s perfect, and I’ve definitely had my share of crappy habits this early in the spring semester. The good news is that I caught them pretty early, so I have the rest of the semester to fix myself up a bit. You might find that you got yourself into these habits too, or maybe you’ve had these habits for a while and are looking to break them.¬†Don’t worry, I have your back (so I’m basically the human version of a Golden Retriever). I also have some tips on how to break these bad habits! So without putting you in too much suspense (this isn’t¬†Pretty Little Liars) here are the bad habits I managed to get myself into this semester:

Leaving a mountain of clothes anywhere I feel like.¬†We’ve all been there before: after a long day, we just want to come home, take off the clothing that bore the blood, sweat and tears of the day, get comfy and go to sleep. I return to my dorm pretty late at night on most days – even the days when I don’t have my 10pm class, so after running around, attending meetings, interviewing people and being a student, I succumb to laziness and just throw my clothes on the chair at my desk. So basically, I have zero regard for what can still be re-worn that week and what needs to be tossed in the laundry bag. I have been making comments all week about how much clothing is taking up space on my chair. What’s worse is when I need to actually¬†use¬†the chair (as more than just a place to put clothes) I just grab the gigantic pile and dump it on my bed instead. This, without a doubt, contributes to the clutter in your room and, I don’t know about you but this drives me¬†insane¬†(though, clearly not insane enough that I address is as it happens). I have officially gotten tired of not being able to find clothes when I need it, and just having a cotton mountain be the first thing I see when I open the door.

Solution: Putting a shirt on a hanger, it turns out, isn’t super difficult at all. Even if you don’t have time to completely ‘re-organize’ your closet at night, just folding up whatever you take off and creating a¬†neat¬†pile somewhere other than your bed is helpful. Also, I will start putting dirty clothes to wash as I take them off because throwing a shirt in a laundry bag isn’t that hard either.

Not washing my face at night.¬†You’re probably thinking that this is so gross and wishing that I didn’t just share this with you, but I pride myself on being 100 percent transparent with you. =) So yes, I’m not proud of not washing my face at night (I assure you I wash it in the morning, though) but I’m addressing it as a bad habit. This stems from the same idea in my previous point: laziness as the result of exhaustion. At night, I sometimes feel so sleepy that I don’t want to wash my face or do anything that could potentially alleviate my tiredness other than sleep. So I pretty much just wipe off my makeup with makeup remover wipes, sometimes pat some toner onto my face and go to bed. That’s it. Clearly I have no shits to give when I’m tired as hell. I certainly wished I had stopped being so lazy months ago, because my quest to improve my skin has definitely faltered because of that. That should be motivating me to take care of my face day and night, but instead, I temporarily saw it as an ‘unnecessary’ process. Bad idea!

Solution: If, for whatever reason, you adopted this bad habit like I did, here’s a super simple solution: instead of washing your face right before you’re ready to go to bed, wash your face about an hour and a half before your intended bedtime. Often times, washing your face wakes you right up and you may not be able to fall asleep after doing this. Having a clean face means that you can guiltlessly fall asleep anytime while surfing Instagram or Yik Yak!

Eating chocolate literally every other night.¬†There was a point in time not very long ago (literally last week) when I’d eat chocolate or any chocolate-related edible more or less every other night. Sometimes, I just had a long day and wanted to treat myself – because I am a firm believer in treating yo’self – other times, I just thought of that Kit-Kat bar as dessert after dinner of a vegetarian rice bowl. I also had fun with mixing things up a bit; on Monday, I might have a Kit-Kat bar; if Wednesday was particularly crappy, I bought a generous slice of chocolate mousse cake from my school’s mini bakery; and on a Thursday afternoon I might feel particularly adventurous and hit up the Red Mango on campus for spicy Aztec chocolate flavored froyo. I don’t need to be a nutritionist to know that consumption of this much chocolate is definitely¬†not¬†doing¬†me any favors in the long run; it certainly gave me a sense of instant gratification, but honestly, that’s probably the worst type of gratification. I do not deny that chocolate is incredibly delicious in every way, shape and form, but moderation is definitely key.

Solution:¬†I am actually doing very well with a little experiment I created for myself. It’s a bit of a surprise that I’ll be posting about in a few weeks, so you’ll know all the details of this in a few short weeks! In the meantime, I still have a solution! If you’re as tempted by everything that is good and chocolatey like I am, start by cleaning your kitchen, pantry, or room of everything that contains chocolate (no, not by¬†eating¬†it all!) Give¬†them¬†to your roommate, your siblings, or even just keep them hidden from sight. Next, find healthy substitutes for the Snickers bar you like so much. I began using grapes as a substitute for when I have chocolate as a snack. If you love having a scrumptious chocolate-glazed donut for breakfast with your coffee, try substituting the chocolate donut with maybe a plain old-fashioned donut (which contains less sugar) or even something completely different like my new favorite, the spinach foldover from Starbucks!

Convincing myself that curly fries go with everything.¬†I fell into the habit of eating curly fries with almost everything – grilled cheese sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs – you name it, I will put curly fries on it (yes, even ice cream because why not). Curly fries are like the next best pick-me-up in my opinion (after my beloved chocolate) but they are rather greasy and not something that should be consumed every single night – especially not if you’re trying to get toned abs and arms! Yet, I am super guilty of opening my life up to curly fries. For others, it may not be curly fries specifically – you might have this habit with pizza or take out, or some other unforgiving food item.

Solution:¬†Try to challenge yourself to try a new food item everyday. This is especially cool if you live on a campus with many different dining halls or if you live in an area with a bunch of shops or food stores. If you usually cook and don’t eat out, challenge yourself to try a new recipe every few days. Mixing it up can ensure that you don’t form any new bad habits with other foods that aren’t necessarily good for you. This will broaden your palette and encourage you to be a little adventurous with your tastebuds!

Leaving my dirty dishes there to rot for, like, a week.¬†Okay, I have a busy schedule, so sometimes when I cook for myself in the kitchen, I’ll leave my dirty dishes just sitting in my room for more than just a few days – forks, spoons and all. There are very obvious reasons why you should never do this, including the fact that anyone who comes into your room may be slightly appalled by this. Sometimes, it’s not a time thing, though – I just don’t¬†feel¬†like doing the dishes at that time.

Solution:¬†I know this resonates with most college students who dorm and like to cook in the kitchen, so – from one college kid to another – I have a solution for us all! If you don’t do your dishes because you don’t feel like it, try making scrubbing the crumbs off your plate a little more enjoyable by playing some music while you do your tasks. Music definitely makes everything more fun, and you can always look forward to getting in your daily jam sesh in the company of syrup-covered plates and crumb-speckled bowls. Another way to liven things up a bit is by doing the dishes with friends or roommates. This is an…interesting…way for you to spend quality time with your friends or get to know new roommates. If your issue is that you don’t have time to clean the dishes after dirtying them up, then try allocating time in your schedule specifically for cleaning up after yourself. Yes, your dirt is important too! Setting as part of your schedule gives you more of an obligation to the task, and we all know that scheduling things is basically like setting it in stone, so you pretty much¬†have¬†to do it. Keep in mind that this bad habit may not necessarily be washing the dishes specifically for you; it may be vacuuming your house/apartment, cleaning up your room, etc., but the ideas behind the solutions are the same.

Hopefully reading this blog post didn’t keep you back from anything like, say, doing the dishes! But if they did, at least you procrastinated productively while learning a little bit about what my life has been like for a few weeks (don’t you just love learning new things about people?) Tell me something about yourself –

What bad habits did you get into and how will you fix them? 

 

 

10 Lessons I Learned Two Weeks Into The Spring Semester

This weekend concluded my first two weeks back for the spring semester of college, and let me tell you, I’ve already learned quite a lot and¬†not¬†just from my lectures! I’m always writing about lessons you can learn from your experiences, as you might have read in my post about things I learned during the fall semester. I wasn’t really expecting to do a pot on lessons learned¬†this¬†early in the semester, but a few things worth mentioning definitely came up – for good or bad!

  1. There is no shame in dropping a class.¬†There’s this one class in particular that I’m currently enrolled in that I thought would be a cool elective for my minor, but it turns out that, due to the set up of the class and the teaching style of the professor, getting a good grade will be extremely difficult for me – even if i strain every brain cell I have to my name. I really should have dropped the class before the deadline because dropping a class after the deadline has passed would result in a ‘W’ on your transcript. Now I’m left with a miserable class for the rest of the semester that I need to somehow find a way to pull things together in. I mean, I could have walked without any collateral damage since there was no required textbook for the class and I’ve only dedicated my time to a couple of lectures. But I guess it was either my stupidity or my personal pigheadedness talking, convincing me to power through it. FYI, there are¬†very¬†few times when you¬†shouldn’t¬†listen to your gut telling you to ‘power through’ something and¬†this¬†is one of those times!¬†
  2. ‘Only’ taking 12 credits isn’t such a bad idea.¬†If I had dropped the previously mentioned class I would have been taking a total of 12 credits this semester – just enough to be a full-time student. I admit that this is where my pride got the best of me (and totally kicked my ass, too). I guess there was just something about settling for the minimum that I’ve never liked (if you haven’t already guessed, I grew up as that irritating little overachiever). But if taking 12 credits meant that I wouldn’t be swamped with work and filling every minute of my schedule with a new task or meeting¬†then I should have just swallowed my pride. And to think that I had wanted to take 22 credits, keep my job as an editor, plan a TED Talk, stay on the emergency response team¬†and¬†keep writing for a magazine!¬†
  3. Don’t be so quick to buy or rent a textbook.¬†Last semester,¬†I began the wonderful act of renting my textbooks instead of buying them, because who doesn’t love saving money? This semester, I kind of went all rent-crazy and automatically sought after cheap rents…until my friend – who is in like half of my classes – told me that he just borrowed the required textbooks from our school library – free of charge. You can’t even begin to imagine how many times I kicked myself for not thinking of that! Even though I was able to rent my textbooks for relatively cheap, I still spent a total of 100 dollars for all of my classes when I could have spent extremely little to nothing if I had attempted to borrow the books from the library. Well, now I know the importance of being more frugal and a¬†little¬†stingier with my money!¬†
  4. Actually, don’t be so quick to obtain textbooks in any way.¬†For this one journalism class, I rented, not one but¬†two, textbooks only to find that even though they were ‘required’ texts, we didn’t need to have them because the professor doesn’t plan on using them much at all. I heard this with my own ears. The professor actually encouraged us to refer to the¬†PDF version of the online textbook¬†(which is free) for times when she will actually use the text. That’s another reason why I’m learning to not jump the gun when it comes to textbook gathering. It may be a bit of work but I think hunting for PDFs and borrowed texts will be much easier on your wallet!¬†
  5. Your closet should contain at least one fancy party dress.¬†A few days ago, I got a Facebook invite to this on-campus Masquerade Ball and I was pretty excited to go. The only thing I had that was even remotely close to how you should dress for a black tie kind of event was a short, fitted black dress with white polka dots. I paired this with tan boots and a red handbag and headed to the dance with my friends. It didn’t take long for me to feel like my wardrobe choice wasn’t my best call that night, but it was what I had. You’re probably wondering, ‘what girl doesn’t even have an LBD in her closet?’ Well, now I know the importance of a nice LBD, and I will certainly begin my search for one ASAP. College events that require formal dress don’t happen often, but they aren’t nonexistent.¬†
  6. Stay a million miles away from sick people.¬†I am literally coughing and sneezing my brains out as I type this. My cold medicine has been my BFF for the last few days and I’ve given up on homework assignments and readings because I literally (and I absolutely mean this)¬†cannot.¬†Stay the hell away from people who don’t have the decency to cover their coughs when in close proximity to other individuals. Yeah, I know that getting sick is a natural thing and it happens to everyone, but if someone clearly doesn’t make even the slightest move to protect others from catching whatever they have, then you better make damn sure that you protect¬†yourself¬†from whatever they have. I just experienced firsthand how much of a struggle it is when you have 450 pages of text to read, articles to write and edit and a quiz to study for while you have snot dripping down your chin and your lungs in your throat. Life is much easier if you can avoid the common cold.¬†
  7. Submitting crappy work will make your life harder.¬†So for that class I mentioned before, I had a lab assignment due this weekend and I really tried to use the resources to the best of my ability. I even sought extra help and resources but to no great avail. Even though I knew parts of my assignment were done crappily, I had a headache and my cold just wasn’t cooperating with me, so I submitted the lab the way it was. Not too long ago, I received a message from my professor telling me that I should resubmit the assignment. Yep, I deserved that. I had felt as though I had no choice because I was in terrible shape and was pressed for time, but even coming back to the assignment later when I’d (hopefully) feel better would have been a better option. Haste makes waste, so do things right the first time around and you won’t have to bear the consequences.¬†
  8. Even when you can sleep in, don’t.¬†Sleep is such a wonderful, precious thing, but it can really eat up your time! On some days, I start class in the afternoon and I always make a list of everything I’m going to do before the start of my class, but I take my dear sweet time to wake up and get dressed in the morning, which always throws my schedule off. In the end I always angrily roll my eyes as I storm out of the room to start my day because I know that I should have been out the door at least an hour ago. If you got your eight hours for the night, it’s high time you get out of bed and tackle the day. Believe me, I always fall victim to a nice, toasty bed in the dead of winter, but when you have things to do, you want as few delays as possible.¬†
  9. Laziness is no excuse to stop taking care of yourself.¬†This is going to sound really bad, and I definitely do know better, but sometimes I’m too lazy to go through my entire facial care routine before going to bed so I just take off my makeup and hit the hay. That’s it. Without a doubt, this has delayed my skin’s progress and never fails to make my face feel crappy every time I put my cheek to my pillow. There is absolutely no excuse for not taking care of yourself, at least no valid excuse.¬†
  10. You don’t have to be top dog in every little thing on campus.¬†I like to be part of every little thing because I enjoy getting involved and meeting new people and making friends. I feel like I have a lot I can¬†contribute to whatever organization I lay my creative little hands on, so naturally I’m a go-getter. At the same time, this doesn’t mean that I seeking to conquer basically everything on campus is a good idea! Being careful of biting off more than you can chew is something I’ve always warned others of and have always tried to warn myself of. For the most part, the responsibilities I held last semester just carried over into this semester, so things were already set for me. I really only took on one new task (planning the TED Talk) and everything else (aside from my schedule) stayed the same for me. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t half-dying with everything right now. Knowing when to step back and be content with what’s already on your plate can really conserve your energy (and sanity). There’s nothing wrong with not wanting added stress!¬†

You can probably say that these are lessons well-learned, because I certainly won’t be making the same mistakes twice! I’m currently working on ways I can combat whatever mishaps I can because doing nothing is way worse than trying and failing. Please let me know what you think and also what your new semester experiences have been like by leaving a comment below! ¬†

How To (Productively) Survive A Snow Day

You’re¬†laying¬†beneath your toasty comforter, a fresh, white blanket has just covered your campus and you have just receive a magical message from your university informing you of class cancellation for the day. Alas, the mercy of the day is at your hands – with great power comes great responsibility! Okay, I know that bed and Netflix are looking pretty good right about now, but you and I both know damn well that this could lead to some unwanted consequences. Unless you’ve been studying your brains out all week long and can literally puke up the Kreb’s Cycle on command, Netflix will probably have to get in¬†the backseat on this snow day. So instead of burrowing into bed¬†all day long,¬†here are some ways to pick up the pace on your snow day:

  1. Do some winter cleaning.¬†I have met very few of my peers who actually manage to maintain a spotless room throughout the¬†entire¬†semester (yes, these people¬†do¬†exist!) If you barely made it through the first few weeks of classes without accumulating a large pile of God knows what in the dark corner of your room, then use this snow day to finally get to the bottom of your bottomless pit of throwaways. That pile of clothes that has¬†now engulfed your seat at the desk (guilty!) could really use some sorting through. If the floor of your room hasn’t seen a crap-less day yet, now would be a good time to give it a once (or thrice) over. And if you’re garbage can is literally suffering with crumpled up pieces of paper, now-moldy food and the guilt of days past then do yourself a favor and dump it!
  2. Plan out the rest of your week or the following week.¬†I’m basically obsessed with planning, but it doesn’t mean that a little organization can’t help you out! Use this time to match exams, projects and papers to due dates. Even marking down upcoming homework assignments is a great way to help you keep your head in the game and keep your stress levels down – running around like a headless turkey is¬†so¬†not cool anyway. Writing things on calendars is pretty much a second¬†hobby for me, so this serves a dual purpose. Planning out what lies ahead is also a great way to build better organizational skills and improve time management.
  3. Schedule appointments/meetings as needed.¬†Don’t wait for that day when you have five classes in a row, a meeting for the chess club and two papers to finish to actually decide to make a move to schedule important appointments. This is day is the best day to shoot the dietician an email asking for an appointment, or if you need to meet with your professor, there’s no time like the present to call or email and schedule a meeting. Likewise, if any administrative tasks need to be done, or at least need consideration, your snow day is the probably the best day to do them. Plus, you’ll be able to really sit down and think everything through, and once you’ve called up for all the necessary appointments, you can now add them all to the calendar you were just using to plan out your week!
  4. Paint your nails.¬†Hey, a gal can be super busy sometimes and may not even have the time for a quick manicure! It’s best you use this free time rather than class time to get down to your digits. And maybe while you wait for your nails to dry you can read a chapter or two from your textbook for your history class!
  5. Revise class notes.¬†Okay, you’re actually going to do¬†some¬†sort of school work on your snow day! Besides, what kind of snow day survival guide would this be if I didn’t urge you to do school work at some point? You’ve probably heard this since high school and are probably tired of hearing it in college, but the benefits of reviewing class notes while they’re still fresh from lecture are pretty evident. It’ll be way easier to recall the extra statements your professor made about integrals when reviewing your notes earlier rather than waiting a few weeks before the exam to review. You don’t need to spend five hours reviewing notes; even just spending twenty minutes per class is helpful.
  6. Get a head start on lengthy class readings. As a journalism major I can basically talk your ear off about lengthy readings for homework. My classmates and I are enduring some pretty intense crap this semester where reading is concerned. From journal entries to multiple chapters in the textbook, to court cases to the newspaper daily Рany of us who have already made the deadly of mistake of putting off work can tell you to jump on it while you have the chance! If your professor wants to ram your skull with knowledge and assigned you a five-chapter reading for homework, then at the very least use your snow day to read one of the five chapters. Bonus points if you make it to two.
  7. Cook a week’s supply of dinner.¬†For those of you who don’t have a meal plan or just prefer to not eat the notorious campus dining hall food (which surprisingly¬†is¬†not¬†like a meal at a five-star restaurant) then chances are your belly relies on what you cook (or don’t) for the day. Cook up a week’s worth of fettuccine in your dorm kitchen and refrigerate what you don’t eat. This way, you won’t need to use your precious study time to cook later in the week. You will literally have food for days!
  8. Go to the gym (if you can make it there!)¬†Personally, I’m not a fan of leaving my dorm if there’s snow (and ice) on the ground, though I do love a good workout. If you are gutsy enough to stalk through the half a foot of snow on the ground through campus to the gym, then I probably don’t even have to tell you that this is a good way to be productive on your day off. The gym is actually has more to offer than just sexy abs and toned arms – this is a great way to escape stress if you’ve been busting your bum all week long. Releasing some of those worries while hitting the treadmill is great for your day off. Now you’ll have more room to worry when classes start again (just kidding!)
  9. Grab lunch or dinner with friends. ¬†One of the reasons why I despise the snow so much is because I worry about slipping and falling on my journey to the dining hall for food (among other things). But, hey, if I’m going to slip and fall, I’m going to slip and fall in the company of my friends so we can all laugh together. Then maybe one of them will slip and fall and we can all laugh at that person together. Everything is better with friends – especially foolishly struggling to maintain balance on icy turf. Using part of this snow day to grab a bite with buddies doesn’t cut into a rigorous daily schedule, so you won’t have to worry about missing out too much¬†about staying on track for the day. Plus, maybe repeatedly complaining to your friends about all the exams you have coming up will help you remember their dates!

Many of these are how I’d typically spend my snow day (which I actually had today). They don’t all have to be plagued with binge watching¬†Grey’s Anatomy¬†(really good show) or Snapchatting how bored you are in your room.

What’s¬†your¬†favorite way to spend a snow day?¬†