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!


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

10 Things To Consider When Choosing A College

10 Things To Consider When Choosing The Right College

The other day I was thinking about how this is my senior year of college and I only have one semester left before I walk across the stage and get my diploma. Then, I started thinking about how four years ago I was in my senior year of high school worrying about when I’d hear back from my dream college so I could put down the deposit and start stocking up on merch for school spirit. I know that some high school seniors will soon be faced with the ultimate decision—which college to attend—and not to sound dramatic or anything, but it’s a pretty big deal.

Everyone has their own set of criteria that’s important to them when deciding on a college, but I’m writing this post to give you a little bit of info on some things I wish I had considered before picking a college. Don’t get me wrong, I love my college and there’s not a day that goes by that I’m not grateful I chose it, but I definitely should have considered a few more factors before signing my name in my blood (I’m kidding, no blood was used in my commitment to my college).

So because I know you’re already super stressed with college apps and I don’t want to stress you out with the suspense of a super drawn out intro, here are some things you should consider when deciding which college to attend.

1. Are you living on campus or at home?

This can also help you determine if you’ll be able to afford the college you’d like to attend, since it’s more expensive to dorm. Some people prefer to be closer to home and will opt to either live with their parents or pick a college that’s just two to three hours away from home. Obviously, you can’t commute everyday to a college that’s three hours from your house (I mean, you could try but you’d probably get tired of that really fast). If your parents are cool with you living on campus, you’ll be able to pick a college that’s a little farther from home.

Related: 17 Tips To Make College Move-In Day Easier

2. Do you want to be in a city or college town?

I was convinced that I couldn’t live in the city because it was so crowded and super noisy. I do love my college town but I also grew to love the city. Each has their own pros and cons, but if you opt for a college in the city, you’ll be able to commute to internships and jobs much easier during the semester since offices and companies will likely be located in a city.

Related: How I Landed An Editorial Beauty + Fashion Internship in NYC

3. How accessible is the nearest city from the college town?

If you’re convinced that you’d rather attend college in a small town, being able to easily travel to the city will still be important, especially if you’re planning on having internships or jobs in the city while you’re there. My college is out in Long Island, and the Long Island Rail Road has a stop on our campus, so when I need to get to Manhattan I can just purchase a ticket, hop on the train, and be at Penn Station in two hours. Yeah, that’s still a long time, but if the stop were anywhere else, it would be SO much harder for me to use the train.

4. Are you more comfortable with a large college or small one?

Okay, I’ll admit that picking a college that’s a little smaller than my college’s 20,000+ population would’ve made me a little more comfortable, but we live and we learn, right? Picking a large college means that the campus is often larger—which can mean more walking time to get to class! But if you don’t want to see the same people over and over again, you might like being on a large campus. Smaller colleges make it easier for you to feel like you’re really part of a tight-knit community because everyone knows everyone. But, this can also be a bad thing if you aren’t careful…Talk it out with your guidance counselor to figure out what you really prefer.

5. Does the college contain a wide variety of programs if you’re undecided?

People change their majors ALL. THE. TIME. Trust me, I know—I changed my major six times before settling on journalism! And, I always feel so lucky to have picked a college that has a wide array of programs and degrees, even though I was dead set on studying health science to go to med school. If you aren’t sure what you want to study, make sure you’re attending a college that can give you lots of options to try out.

6. Are there opportunities for accelerated degree programs?

A lot more people are seeking accelerated degree programs in college so they could gain another degree in just 5-6 years total or fewer. If this is something you think you might be interested in a few years down the line, ask a campus tour guide or anyone else knowledgeable about the colleges you’re considering what kinds of degree programs they offer.

7. What’s the mood of the campus like?

Do you walk through campus and feel like you’re surrounded by so much energy? Is the atmosphere super happy or is it really gloomy and dull? You’ll know this for sure if you actually visit the campus a few times before making any decisions. And, obviously, for admitted students day, colleges usually try to go all out to make it seem like their campus is the best, so also try to visit for a regular campus tour. Or, if you have a relative or family friend who attends the university, ask them to show you around on a random day to really get a feel for the mood.

8. Do you prefer large class sizes or smaller ones?

My university has a mix of both, and I got a taste of both since, as a health science major, I was always in large, 300+ student lecture halls. And now as a journalism major, my classes don’t exceed 14 students. Some colleges don’t have large lectures at all, so if you think you learn better in a large class, this is something to ask about.

Related: How To Use Microsoft Office To Take Really Good Notes In Class

9. Do the dining halls cater to your needs?

I know that making the food options a factor in the college you choose sounds ridiculous, but you’d be surprised by how few colleges actually cater to the needs of students who are vegan, gluten-free, or dairy-free. If you’re commuting to college, this may not be as big a deal to you since you’ll probably have all your meals at home, but if you’re going to be a resident, it’s really important to make sure you’ll actually have food that you can eat since you’re paying for a meal plan.

10. Are there enough organizations on campus to keep you feeling fulfilled?

It can be easy to fall into a slump when you’re feeling stagnant on campus. Make sure the college you choose has programs, organizations and extracurriculars that will keep you feeling challenged, and like you’re learning something you can use. Are you looking for Greek Life? Pre-professional clubs and societies? Organizations for people in your major? These are great organizations to join in college. Also, check out my post on How To Use Extracurriculars To Boost Your Resume for more insider tips.

What’s your dream college like? Did you attend your dream college? 

5 Holiday Gift Ideas For Busy Millennials

This post is sponsored by JORD. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

If you’re all too familiar with 18-hour days, meetings and obligations back-to-back, and possibly forgetting about your need to eat lunch once or twice (oops), then you’ve probably forgotten that holiday season is almost upon us. I know, it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day to cross off everything on your to-do list, let alone devise the ultimate holiday shopping list for all your equally busy friends and co-workers (*cough* and yourself *cough*). Which is why I decided to come up with a list of the best gift ideas for super busy 20-somethings.

Last year, I did a holiday gift guide for basically everyone in your life—mom, dad, S/O, friends, etc.—and I had a lot of fun putting that together, so this year I’m focusing on some ideas that millennials with a hectic schedule would love. Plus, I’m insanely lucky enough to be partnering with JORD watch for this blog post, so I’m really excited to share my thoughts on the watch I received! You can be certain that these gifts would be used on pretty much an everyday basis (no re-gifting here!) so make your holiday shopping a little easier and read on to find out what should be on your gifting list this year!

1. A travel coffee mug.

Travel mugs are probably one of my favorite items to have during the winter months because I usually don’t have time to enjoy coffee or hot chocolate in the morning before class since I decided to spend an extra 10 minutes under my warm covers. So, last year I’d make hot cocoa using my Keurig while I got dressed and I’d just pour it into my travel mug and take my drink to class with me. It was so easy and it usually made my day brighter because I’d have something to drink to keep me alert during class.

I think think this would make a fantastic gift for anyone who maybe isn’t a morning person or just doesn’t have enough time to sip their coffee before running out the door. Try finding a travel mug with a cute or funny quote, or try personalizing one to give it that extra special touch.

Related: How To Prepare For Early Morning Classes

2. A planner and pen set.

Anyone who’s a raging workaholic with to-do lists longer than my attention span can appreciate having a system for organizing their thoughts, obligations, appointments, and their life in general. A planner is definitely something that can and will most likely be used on a daily basis, so you know your gift to that Type A weirdo in your life will come in handy. Plus, there are so many cute designs you can choose from! I wrote a review on the ClassTracker planner, which is perfect for college students. Just like with the travel coffee mug, you can also personalize a planner to really make your gift recipient feel extra special. Monogrammed items are always super cute, so look into any brands that can do that.

3. A JORD watch.

5 Gift Ideas For Busy Millennials

If you’re looking for a gift that’s functional and unique, I can definitely say that the JORD wood watch is the gift. Personally, I find that wearing a watch always keeps me on track and aware of the time, especially when I’m in a setting where looking at my phone may come off as a bit rude (meetings, coffee dates—you know the deal). And what really makes JORD watches insanely beautiful is the fact that they’re wooden watches and therefore won’t rust or look super gross after a few months (can you tell I’ve had more terrible experiences with watches than the average person?). When I’m gifting someone a watch, I want to make sure that it’s a watch they’re going to have for a very long time, so the fact that the wood is treated to be splash-proof is really important for me.

5 Gift Ideas For Busy Millennials

I received the Frankie 35 Zebrawood and Navy watch and it’s absolutely gorgeous. The navy goes along with so many of my wardrobe pieces, especially since the weather is getting chilly and I’ve already broken out all my cute sweaters. There are many styles you can choose from, but this one definitely has calm and cool written all over it. Also, the design itself is quite slim, so the person you’re buying for can wear it anywhere without worrying about it looking too bulky or weighing their wrist down.

5 Gift Ideas For Busy Millennials

Oh, also these watches work great as a women’s watch and men’s watch, so if you’re thinking about buying dad, uncle, boyfriend, or your brother a new watch, this is certainly a unique one. If you want to learn about how you can receive discounts on a JORD wood watch for your holiday gifting needs, read to the end of this post!

4. A wallet phone case.

To be honest, I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have a phone case with a built-in pocket for holding cards and cash. My life would probably be a little less efficient than it is right now. I won a blog giveaway about a year and a half ago and the prize was a jimmyCase, and I’ve been using it ever since. It’s really strong and I always keep my student ID, Metrocards, and sometimes a $5 bill in there. When I need to get into my building (since we can only enter with ID card access) I don’t need to pull out my wallet for my student ID—I just hold my phone up to the scanner and I’m in! This is great for those times when my hands are super full and I can’t go through my bag for my wallet. Also, everyone has those times when they’re in a rush and might forget things like their wallet, so being able to keep some cash and cards with your phone eliminates the need for bringing your entire wallet with you.

I’m definitely a huge fan of this gift idea because of how much more efficient it makes the daily grind. Of course, there are so many styles of phone cases with built-in pockets and other ways of stashing cash and cards. And, this gift idea makes for a really great stocking stuffer if that’s what you’re going for.

Related: The 8 Best Phone Apps For College Students

5. A subscription box.

I think so many people are obsessing over subscription box services right now, and with good reason. A lot of them were created with the intention of helping people who are too busy to go out to the store and spend hours in front of one line of products just to look for the best mascara, or the comfiest scarf, or whatever. So, they pretty much just take the guesswork out of picking and choosing products. And, if you end up receiving a product in your box that you really love, you can go to the store and purchase it alone.

Plus, there are SO MANY different services you can choose from! I’ve seen some that are all beauty products, everyday lifestyle products, food and even books, so I think it’s easy to find a service that suits any of your friends or family members. Also be on the lookout for any deals and coupons on the boxes because I know there are a lot of them around this time of year!

5 Gift Ideas For Busy Millennials

Check out this deal from JORD!

I promised y’all info on discounts on the JORD wood watch, so here it is—I wouldn’t lie to ya! So here’s what you do:

  • Follow this link to get your instant holiday coupon code: https://www.woodwatches.com/g/xoitzjazz
  • Fill out the form on the page to receive an email with your coupon code for 25% off a JORD watch.
  • The last day for you to redeem this offer is December 19, 2017, so act fast! (But with Black Friday quickly approaching, I think you’ve got this covered!)

Watch Gift Ideas

What’s on your holiday gift guide this year? 

11 Ways To Treat Yourself After A Difficult Week

Well, hello again—did you miss me? Okay, it hasn’t been that long but this is definitely the longest I’ve ever gone without blogging and holy hell, it sucks. It’s at that point in the semester where everyone is up to their perfectly curled eyelashes in homework, studying, projects for class, work obligations, and all the other crap we’re so desperately trying to ignore right now. And I don’t know about you, but I’ve had it up to here with not having enough time to myself to catch up on a Netflix show, or mindlessly scroll through social media.

I know, I know, things have been wild for you, too. You slept through all of your early morning classes this week; you forgot to turn in a major homework assignment; your group project buddies are driving you insane. Essentially, shit is happening and you don’t have time for that. And, that’s why I decided to write this blog post. While it’s important to stay committed to completing assignments and working toward your degree and professional goals, it’s also extremely important to take care of yourself and make sure you’re happy. You may have read my post on Habits That Will Make You Happier In College (and if you haven’t, go check it out!!) and I really enjoyed writing that post, and it looks like y’all really loved reading it. So I’m kind of zooming in on the small things you can do weekly when you really need a pick-me-up after a hectic week of very little sleep and wearing the same outfit everyday to save what little time you have in the morning.

1. Go on a date with your close friends. 

Friend dates are the perfect way to catch up with anyone you haven’t been able to chill with too much during the semester, and it’s way nicer than the two-second conversation you have when passing each other in the library. Pick a favorite spot and do brunch on a weekend, or get dressed up and go out to dinner with your girls.

Related: How To Enjoy The Summer With Friends

2. Go on a date with yourself. 

If you feel like you need some time to be alone, take yourself on a date! It’s the perfect way to explore something you’re interested in and go places on your own terms—no having to wait for your friends to finish styling their hair, and no having to go where someone else wants to go. Check out museums, galleries, and any tours you might be interested in attending.

3. Bake cookies, cupcakes, or other goodies. 

I had to put this one on my list because this is something I plan to do this weekend! I’m a huge baking fanatic and haven’t made a cupcake in so long, so I’m really excited to do this. Baking can be relaxing and I love seeing the look on other peoples’ faces when I bring them something homemade, so if you’re someone who usually enjoys baking goodies, use your chill time to whip up a batch of something yummy.

4. Hop back on a hobby you used to have a lot of time for. 

I know people don’t usually have time for major hobbies when they’re super stressed with work, but it doesn’t hurt to spend a day doing something you used to love. I could crochet and make bracelets for hours on end before coming to college, so those are two hobbies I would consider picking back up for a day when I feel like getting away from obligations.

5. Sleep in. 

I think this might be a favorite on this list, but you can never go wrong with giving yourself some extra hours of relaxation. And, relaxation doesn’t even need to be getting pampered and giving yourself a mani pedi. Sleeping in will feel so insanely good after weeks and weeks of having to wake up (or failing to wake up) at the ass crack of dawn.

Related: How To Get 8+ Hours Of Sleep In College

6. Try something you’ve always wanted to try. 

It can be something crazy like ziplining or something lowkey like eating at a new restaurant. Either way, this is the perfect time to whip out your bucket list and start trying to cross off a few things (see what’s on the ultimate winter bucket list!).

7. Binge watch a new show on Netflix. 

Next to sleeping, binge watching shows on Netflix may be the second best thing on here. There’s something so satisfying about laying in bed under the warm covers with your laptop on your, well, lap and just getting lost in the next episode of Grey’s Anatomy, or whatever you watch.

8. Host a girls’ night. 

What’s more fun than gathering your closest girls and bonding over some wine grape juice and cheese?? This is the perfect way for a couple of friends to take the night off and catch up with everything that’s happening in each others’ lives. There are so many fun things you can do together—make cocktails, watch a movie, hell, you could even make baking cookies a girls’ night activity.

9. Paint your nails and do a face mask while sipping Shirley temples. 

I guess this is also a cute girls’ night idea, but it can also work for a night of solo fun, especially if you’re as obsessed with Shirley temples as I am. It’s a nice way to have a few hours of peace to yourself and you’re skin will be *glowing* after that face mask!

Related: How To Relax And Enjoy Alone Time In College

10. Do something that inspires you. 

This is a great way to keep your motivation up, too. Use your chill time to catch up on the podcasts you’ve been meaning to listen to for the last few weeks, or start learning the new language you’ve always wanted to learn. Set yourself up to start doing it and you’ll feel so good afterward that you’ll want to continue.

11. Take a day off from doing work. 

This is probably one of the BEST ways to treat yourself. Even if you don’t listen to any of these ideas, simply doing anything but school work is a great way to relax. In fact, I find that sometimes doing nothing makes me feel even better (this coming from a girl who likes to always be doing something!).

What are your favorite ways to treat yourself? 

6 Ways To Maintain A Positive Attitude

Okay, life certainly isn’t a big basket of puppies, cakes, and Starbucks iced coffee; things go wrong when we least expect them to. We forget our presentation notes on our desk because we’re running late; we miss the train and won’t be able to get the next one for another three hours; our week has been so busy that we’ve left certain obligations for the last possible minute—alright, I think you get the idea. And it’s totally okay to get pissed off and throw a mini tantrum when these things happen, but it’s also important to learn how to get over how much your situation sucks and charge forward.

Also read: 7 Things To Do If You’re Falling Behind In Class

I know one bad thing can really ruin a person’s attitude for the rest of the day, but don’t let that get to you and certainly don’t let it stop you from making your day better. At the risk of sounding like one of those people on before and after commercials, I used to be upset for hours when something bad happened or didn’t work out well at all for me. It was so bad that my negativity would pretty much sabotage any chance I had at improving the rest of my day or having a better mood at the very least. Now, I’d pretty much just laugh it off or poke fun at my situation and find a way to make it work for me.

No, it’s not sorcery (I haven’t quite mastered that yet) but it is totally worth the effort. Especially since positive thinking can impact various areas of your life. Read on if you want to find out what tips and tactics I used to improve my attitude!

1. Embrace the mess.

I went to a conference this summer where I got to hear the ever-famous Ann Shoket speak as a guest and it was honestly eye-opening. She taught us that crazy shit happens, even to her and she’s the former Editor in Chief of Seventeen magazine! But she taught us that while you can’t always avoid or control messes, you can embrace them.

Acknowledge that things can and probably will go wrong, and when they do, instead of freaking out and stressing yourself out even more, think of a way to improvise the situation.

Related: 11 Things To Do When You Feel Overwhelmed In College

2. Surround yourself with positive people.

If you’re constantly around people who only look at things negatively, you’re going to start having the same outlook. While I don’t necessarily consider myself extremely optimistic all the time, I do try to look at things realistically—seeing both the positives and the negatives to really make sense of a situation. It’s nice to have people who think positively because they can often give you a perspective you might not have thought of since you were too busy feeling angry or upset. Not only that, but also try to surround yourself with people who are doing positive things. This can help you motivate each other, and you’ll have so much fun cheering each other on. And, if you’ve got the time, check out my post on How To Make New Friends In College.

3. Spend time in your favorite place.

I think almost everyone has that one place that they can just go to when they want to escape, or where they feel that they operate their best at. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you probably already know where that place is for me (*cough* Starbucks *cough*). I just feel like I can accomplish anything with dim lights, chill music, and an iced coffee next to me. It’s where I feel the most creative and the most focused. If you aren’t sure where your favorite place is yet, think of this mission as an excuse to wander campus for a bit and go looking for it. And if you’re not in college, wander around your neighborhood for a bit. Discover a new cafe or a new spot in the library or park that you can call your place.

4. Do something that makes you happy at least once a week.

Are you at your happiest when you’re binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix? Maybe popping a sheet of chocolate chip cookies into the oven is your version of relaxing. Whatever your “happy” activity is, try to make some time every week to do it. Trust me, I know that’s way easier said than done, but try moving a few things around in your schedule in order to make time for it. I love baking and used to have a blog full of photos of cakes and cookies that I made, but since I started college, I’ve been slowly baking less and less—I haven’t baked a damn thing all semester (except for cookies for an event I hosted but that’s different). To make more time for baking, I’m going to try simply waking up earlier on the weekends (even though sleeping in sounds really nice).

Related: 10 Habits That Will Make You Happier In College

5. Don’t dwell.

The phrase, “it is what it is” has more or less become a motto of mine in recent months. There’s no turning back; it’s out of my hands; there’s nothing else I can do; what’s done is done. I don’t like dwelling on what could have been or what should have happened if something negative that’s out of my control occurs. I feel like it takes so much energy to cry over spilled milk, and you waste so much time doing that when you could be planning how to be even more awesome next time. We can’t go back in time and change things, unfortunately, so we need to learn to move forward and make the next day or next experience better.

6. Look for the positives in any situation.

This is where having a positive friend group can help you out if you don’t think you’re the best at coming up with the bright sides. The pros don’t have to be anything huge or fantastic, and in fact, they’re usually the little things that remind us that it could be worse. When my friend and I attended College Fashion Week this year, we missed our train back to campus by one minute and had to wait three hours at Penn Station for the next one. My list of positives?

  • At least there are outlets in the waiting area for charging our phones.
  • At least we have some time to go through the free stuff we got.
  • At least I have comfortable shoes to change into.
  • At least we don’t have class in the morning.

While I was really annoyed about missing the train at first, thinking about all those positives and more actually brightened my mood and I didn’t care as much. I was just glad that my friend and I had a fun time and that we were warm and content and could wait it out with each other. It was quite an unforgettable experience, to be honest, but we handled it pretty well and we’re able to laugh about it.

I hope you enjoyed reading my tips for keeping a positive attitude! And, if it’s something you think you need to work on, I really hope you’ll try some of these out.

What are your tips for maintaining a positive attitude? 


Tips For Staying On Track To Graduate College In 4 Years

How To Graduate College In 4 Years

I recently enrolled in my classes for next semester and something major hit me: I only have two classes left for my degree and I’m graduating in the spring. But before I go on about how quickly four years fly by, let me just say that there is no dominating rule that you need to graduate college in four years. Things happen: you might end up doing a 5-year program instead; you might decide that you want to take an extra semester or year—whatever. It’s totally okay to graduate from college whenever you need to. But I know there are some people who might be very concerned with finishing in four years for whatever their reasons may be, so I decided to write this blog post to give you tips on how to do that.

When I entered college as a freshman, I was a Health Science major on the pre-med track, and I studied all science and math classes for my entire freshman year before realizing I didn’t want to be a doctor. After that, I changed my major around a few times but sophomore year I settled on Journalism. At my school, Journalism is the second heftiest degree with 124 credits needed to graduate. My advisers warned me that I may not finish all my classes by Spring 2018 because the major is so demanding and I was already behind, but I was all like, ‘well, watch me,’ and I pushed on. Fast forward almost six semesters and here I am. So yeah, it is possible even if you are behind in your major.

If finishing in four years is something that stresses you out or something you hope to do, I’m sharing things that I’ve been doing in order to stay on track to graduate on time. So, keep reading to find out more!

1. Take “stupid” required curriculum courses seriously.

I’m pretty sure every college has mandatory curriculum requirements intended to make you more well-rounded. So, students are usually expected to take an art class, math class, technology class, and others even if they don’t necessarily fit with their major. I know a lot of people complain about these courses and don’t take them seriously, only to end up failing the course. Or, they may just put off taking these classes because they “don’t want to waste their time” with them, only to end up not being able to get into them when the final semester nears.

Always keep track of what requirements you have left! Go to an adviser and see where you are if you don’t know how to check your progress yourself. Your adviser can even make class recommendations depending on your interests. You may hate having to take these classes, but you won’t graduate if you don’t take them seriously!

Related: 13 Tips For Getting A’s In Your Classes

2. Take classes that can satisfy more than one requirement.

I found that a lot of the curriculum courses I took ended up satisfying more than one curriculum requirement. For example, a graphic design class I took satisfied my art requirement and my technology requirement (bonus points if it also satisfies part of your major or minor!). It’s just an easy way to finish your curriculum requirements faster so you don’t have to think about that remaining two or three during your final semester.

3. Go to your adviser for any and all issues.

Don’t worry about annoying your adviser with your pretty face all the time—that’s what they’re there for! I’m the kind of person who runs into my adviser’s office for almost every little thing (if I can’t find the answer to my question online or something). It’s comforting to have a definitive, authoritative answer to my questions and problems, and I like to address any potential issues before they become major. Follow whatever directions you need to follow for making an appointment with your adviser. You don’t need to see them every week, but a good rule of thumb would be to see them once when the semester begins and see them again before you enroll in next semester’s classes. This way, you’ll know exactly what to take to stay on track.

Related: Tips For Creating The Perfect Class Schedule

4. Come up with a class enrollment strategy before you see your adviser.

I’m kind of a problem-solver and I like to already have a solution in mind before I approach someone with my problem. So, for most of college I’d think of what I want my schedule for next semester to look like, jot down any questions I have about it, and then see my adviser to get their input and show them what I came up with. I know some people say they feel like their advisers take control and force them to take classes they don’t want to take or deter them from taking classes that could fit into their schedule, so this is a way of regaining that control. It’s your college career, after all. Don’t be afraid to voice your concerns and be a little pushy (pushy, but not rude!). When I started the Journalism major, I was so behind that I pushed my adviser to let me take some of my 200-level courses alongside their pre-requisite 100-level courses so I’d be right where I needed to be.

5. First semester freshman year will probably be the only time you have a 12-credit schedule.

Not gonna lie, you’re going to have at least one semester where you’re packing in a shit ton of classes. It’s going to be stressful as hell and you’re going to curse yourself the entire time for doing it, but you’ll feel super accomplished when the semester is over and you can finally say that you did it. This was definitely the biggest way that I kept myself on track for graduating. This semester is insane for me because of that (I’m taking seven classes, yikes!) and while I countdown every week till the end of the semester, I know I’m going to say that it’s so worth it. Plus, it’s really putting my time management skills to the test, so yay for that.

I’m not telling you to go crazy and have a 20-credit schedule every semester; know yourself and know how much you can handle. Don’t be afraid to take it easy one semester, especially if the previous one was really rough. Also, if you’re interested, check out my post on How To Balance School, Work, And A Social Life In College.

6. Take classes during the winter and summer sessions.

When the fall semester of my sophomore year was coming to an end, my adviser told me that I would have to take a winter class in order to have a chance at catching up in the program. Yeah, it was extra money in tuition and living on campus, but it was so worth it. I know taking another class during a time is the last thing you want to do, but it can really be the difference between being behind and being right where you need to be. Pro tip: don’t wait until junior year to see if you can take a 300-level class for your major during the winter session because they usually only offer 100-level and 200-level (if you’re lucky) courses.

Related: How To Survive Winter Session Classes In College


7. Don’t give up if you get locked out of a class during enrollment.

Listen, your advisers can pull more strings than they might be willing to admit. I know the queasy, panicky feeling of seeing the big, fat red ‘x’ on my enrollment page because a class I need is full or I ‘don’t have permission to enroll’ in it all too well, and, trust me, you’re gonna want to freak out at first. But don’t. See if your adviser would be willing to throw you into the class anyway. Most of the time, they can give you permission to take a certain class and you can enroll above the capacity or as a co-requisite. But you’d have to present a convincing case if you’re trying to take the class as a co-requisite with something, so be prepared. I’ve done this more times than I care to remember, and it has helped me out so much.

8.  Take your time when planning your schedule.

You can’t plan a schedule in 30 minutes, so make sure you set aside two or three hours to really think about what you need to take and what can work with your schedule. Set aside some time during the day to just relax and think about what classes are next in your sequence. I like sitting in the couches at Starbucks and blasting Marina and the Diamonds through my earbuds when I plan my schedule because I find the setting so relaxing.

Are you going to be a graduating senior? What are you most excited for? 

The Ultimate Guide To Dublin—10 Fun Things To Do

Dublin Bucket List

If you happen to be a New Yorker, you’ll find that Dublin may be your Manhattan away from Manhattan—bustling sidewalks, city and tour buses charging up and down streets, and aesthetic-looking cafes at every turn (yasssss!). If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you probably know that I spent one week in Dublin on a study abroad trip. I know, I know, that was back in January, but I’ve had this post written up and ready to go for a while now. But I’m choosing to publish it now because it was around this time last year that I applied for my life-changing journey abroad.

Related: 9 Things You Must Consider Before You Study Abroad

So back to one of my favorite places in the world…I found that Dublin perfectly combines fast-paced city life with charming town life, which I didn’t even think could be so perfect. Your Celtic adventure won’t be complete without paying a visit to some of these wondrous Dublin sights.

Since some people might start planning their winter trips or applying to go abroad, I decided that now might be as good a time as any to finally post this. I know Ireland isn’t always the first place people think of visiting when planning a trip to Europe, but it’s an under-appreciated gem. The culture is very different from what we’re used to in the United States, and holy mother of sheep, there are so many of those adorable fluffy babies! I can go on and on about the food, jewelry and nightlife, but I’ll probably save those ramblings for a future post. Your Celtic adventure won’t be complete without paying a visit to some of these wondrous Dublin sights.

1. The Ha’Penny Bridge

The Ha’Penny Bridge is a picturesque pedestrian bridge that runs right over the River Liffey. It connects the north and south side of the city and is gorgeous backdrop for profile picture-taking. Many couples come to the bridge to sign their names and add padlocks to the bridge to “lock up” their love. Though it isn’t a good idea to be caught doing this, the idea adds a romantic air to the bridge. Plus, my friend told me that the bridge was mentioned in one of the books she had read in her childhood, so of course we needed to see it for ourselves. 

2. The Samuel Beckett Bridge

Think of a giant string harp over a river, connecting two bodies of land. That’s the Samuel Beckett Bridge. At least that’s what I think every time I see it. It’s named after the Irish novelist and playwright Samuel Beckett, and get this: the bridge MOVES. It swings open to allow boats to pass across the River Liffey. If you get the chance to see this bridge in action, you’ll probably be too mesmerized to remember to Snapchat it. I really wanted to snap a shot of the bridge at night (it lights up, too) but unfortunately, my Nikon wasn’t awesome enough to capture an awesome picture. Maybe next time, though. 

3. The Dublinia

This is a historical museum that focuses on Viking and Medieval history in Ireland. It’s right next to Christchurch, and admission is free with your Dublin Pass (check out my post on how to save money while studying abroad). The exhibits were interactive and very visual. My favorite exhibit was the one that lets you try out archaeological methods of artifact dating for yourself (by the way, that’s my name spelled out in the Viking language below!).

Dublin Bucket List

4. Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle is full of rich history and beautiful architecture. I really love castles and I love that all of them have a different story to tell, so I was really captivated by this. There are about 800 castles in all of Ireland, and this one is certainly a sight for sore eyes. 

5. Croke Park & The GAA Museum

If you hear the Irish talking about hurling, they’re not referring to the thing you do when you’ve had too much to drink at a frat party. Hurling is a sport played using handcrafted sticks called hurleys and a tennis ball-sized object called a sliothar. Games are played in Croke Park, a vast stadium where your tour guide might also let you check out the changing rooms for the players! The GAA Museum also gives you great info about Hurling champs and is a great place for sports lovers. My group actually got to learn how to play the game and it was pretty cool. I wasn’t great at first but I ended up picking it up before the end of the session. Super fun! 

Dublin Bucket List

6. The Chester Beatty Library

This is actually a museum with exhibits that delve into the histories of different regions of the world, as well as the artifacts that were collected by Chester Beatty (aka the King of Copper) himself. Plus, you get a free Chester Beatty Biography with your Dublin Pass!

7. Trinity College

This campus is probably one of the most gorgeous campuses in the world. Their Long Room Library also houses The Book of Kells, a Gospel book written in Latin. The tour guide asked our group if we had any questions. Guess what everyone’s first (and only) question was…

Where can we buy Trinity College gear? 

Needless to say, I’m very grateful that the question was shamelessly asked.

Dublin Bucket List

8. The National Museum of Ireland — Archaeology

You can literally spend a week in this museum. It’s HUGE. It includes so much history and so many (creepy) cool things to look at. If there’s one thing you look at in this museum it HAS to be the bog bodies! Bogs often preserved parts of trees, artifacts, and even people who lived a long time ago. These bodies probably aren’t something you’d want to see tonight in your dreams but they’re so disgustingly fascinating you can’t look away!

9. The Guinness Storehouse 

You can’t come to the land of Guinness and not see Guinness. The storehouse is a great way to learn more about how the beverage is made, learn how to properly taste Guinness, and sip a proper pint for yourself while getting a 360-view of Dublin. I also loved browsing through the gift shop in the storehouse because there were so many cool things to get there, even if they were slightly tourist-y. I got some of my friends chocolate tiny, chocolate pint glasses with Guinness inside and they loved them! By the way, if you ever buy any alcoholic chocolates or candies in Ireland, just know that you WILL taste the alcohol! 

Dublin Bucket List

10.  Grafton Street

You need Grafton Street in your life. It’s a pedestrian street that’s full of shops and eateries on both sides of the road. You’ll be sure to find souvenirs, quick bites, slow bites, and everything to satisfy your Dublin shopping needs. And if you take a walk down a few side streets, you’ll find cute little pubs and cafes for an evening out.

Dublin Bucket List

Which of these places will you visit? 

Check out: The Ultimate Study Abroad Packing List, 6 Fashion Accessories To Pack For Your Next Trip Abroad

7 Things To Do If You’re Falling Behind In Class

7 Things To Do If You're Falling Behind In Your College Classes

I think we’re about halfway through the fall semester, which is good because yay, the semester is almost over, but bad because that means we’re running out of time to save our asses in the classes we’ve fallen behind in. This semester is without a doubt my roughest semester yet. Like I said in my post on how to balance your academics with your work and social life, I’m taking seven classes, got a part-time job, took on an e-board position, and I’ve also got a few other things under my belt. So yeah, it’s a lot to handle and while I’ve pulled it together just enough to not feel guilty for taking a well-deserved break for a few hours during the weekends, I’ve definitely felt that at some point I wasn’t giving some of my classes the full attention that I should’ve been giving.

It’s important to not only avoid half-assing your major classes, but also avoid falling completely behind in their requirements. I know that’s easier said than done, but at this point in the semester, it’s especially important to make sure you can pick up any fallen pieces before they completely slip through the cracks. If you worry that you haven’t had the time or energy to dedicate to completing all assignments to your satisfaction, or if you simply haven’t been on track to complete your assignments read on for tips on how to deal!

1. Be honest with your professor about where you are. 

Communicating with your professor at any point of the semester is extremely important. If you’ve noticed a pattern of you struggling to complete assignments, try to discuss this with your professor and see if they can give you tips on making the class more manageable. Also be honest about your other obligations from the start so they don’t write you off as being lazy or unprepared (which can, and does, happen!). For one class, I was having trouble properly doing an assignment and when I emailed my professor, I told her that my class and work schedule restricts me from being able to do any solid reporting during the day, which is the only time I can do my reporting for the assignment, and she was able to give me better advice.

2. Don’t wait for the last minute to ask for a deadline extension. 

I know a lot of people complain that their professors are assholes for not giving them a deadline extension…on an assignment that was already due! Professors will 9.5 times out of 10 NOT be sympathetic to you if you wait until after the assignment is due to ask for an extension. You definitely do have five minutes to shoot the professor a quick email explaining your obligations/what will make it difficult for you to turn in a solid assignment on time, so don’t be mad if you get a big, fat ‘no’ two days after the paper or project was due. Try to ask a week before the assignment is due if you foresee yourself being unable to turn it in on time. The more notice your professor receives, the better. You’ll feel less stressed if you know you’ll have extra time to complete something.

3. Use the weekends effectively to catch up on work. 

I do the bulk of my work during the weekends because I don’t have classes during the day to worry about, and it makes me feel more at ease just knowing that I have an entire day to use to the best of my ability to get work done. It depends on which assignments are more of a priority in the moment, but if your homework that week isn’t as hefty, try to catch up or get ahead on anything that you think will become a problem in the future. Or just try to put as much effort into the assignments you currently have.

For my graphic design class, I know that at the start of the week the professor usually asks us to turn in sketches for a project, so I use my time to make these ideas as detailed as possible so she has more to critique in class, and I’ll know exactly what I can do to improve it before turning in the final piece. This helps me expend far less time scrambling to perfect the final version before it’s due.

Related: How To Recover From An Unproductive Day

4. Designate specific days/times for working on assignments for a particular class. 

If you’ve got a few hours in between your first two classes, you can use the time to start the homework you just got assigned in your first class, or make a habit out of doing tomorrow’s assignment during that time. Just establish a routine that you think you can stick to, and it will be easier to stay on top of your work. This can actually prevent you from falling behind in your classes.

Related: How To Create An Effective Study Schedule

5. Organize yourself. 

Okay, this should probably be the first thing you do, but that’s cool. Whether it’s the first thing you do or the 10th thing you do, make sure you get organized! Use your favorite planner to jot down everything that’s due and anything that’s past due so you can think more clearly and devise a better plan for tackling those assignments. I always work better when I know exactly what I have to left to do, especially since it can be easy to forget about all the little assignments you have, and especially if it’s for a class you’re trying to not concern yourself with too much since you have other classes that are more demanding. But, it’s always the little things that get us, so be sure to use your planner so you know what to watch out for and what you need to pay more attention to.

6. Be realistic about how much work you can complete in any given time. 

Dude, we’re only human! Finishing your entire to-do list on Saturday before 1a.m. sounds like a dream come true, but unless you have a really short to-do list, or your list consists of eating, sleeping, Netflixing, and repeating, you’re probably not going to do everything you intended. Setting goals that are unobtainable can actually cause you more stress if you find that you couldn’t complete them. Avoid this by assessing your situation and your schedule before you divide up your time amongst assignments. Your adviser can also help you do this, so don’t be shy about making an appointment or walking in.

7. Relax! 

I know you’re probably already stressing about falling behind, but stressing more does more harm than good. Take an hour to just breathe and watch an episode of your favorite Netflix show. Or, take an hour to just chill in bed and do everything but your homework—it’s completely fine! Clear your head so you can get back on track with a peaceful mind. I’m not a mediation master of finding peace, but I think this works. Plus, I sometimes find that just chilling energizes me to kick things into intense work mode and I get SO much stuff done!

What classes are you stressing about right now? How do you deal with them? 

How To Spend Money Responsibly In College

This year has been pretty big for me financially and while I’m excited about all the super adult changes that have been happening, I’m also lowkey scared. I’ve been making more money blogging this year, I got a small part-time job on campus, I got my first credit card, and (unfortunately) I have more expenses. Not gonna lie, it’s pretty overwhelming and I’ve been trying to start better spending habits, because if I can’t be financially responsible now when I don’t have as many expenses on my plate, I’m probably going to be a mess when I have to worry about rent, groceries, and bills.

I think that everyone says that saving money is really hard, but honestly spending it responsibly is even harder. Unless you’ve mastered the art of pulling stacks of green out of the air, you’re probably going to find yourself torn between buying the things you want and need and pretending like it’s not the end of the world if you don’t shell out the cash for a new laptop to replace your fried one. Kinda hurts, doesn’t it?

See also: How To Be Money-Smart When Studying Abroad

I know lots of people will probably tell you that the best way to make this pain hurt a little less is to be more conscious of your spending, but that’s way easier said than done. So here are some things that I generally try to keep in mind when trying to be more mindful of how I spend money.

1. Avoid eating out frequently. 

Especially if you have a campus meal plan! I know dining hall food isn’t always very appetizing and sometimes you get tired of eating the same thing, but ordering pizza or Chinese food every week means you’re spending money that you wouldn’t have had to spend if you just cooked what you have or used your meal plan on campus.

2. You don’t need to party or buy alcohol because everyone else is doing it. 

Going out can be really tempting when everyone else wants to, but it’s also costly. Do what’s best for your budget, not what’s best for someone else’s boredom. Going out every week will definitely kill your wallet, especially when you also have to factor in transportation costs.

3. If you see something you think you really, really want…just wait. 

I am SO guilty of always seeing something that I think I need ASAP but then not caring about it two weeks later. Before you splurge on that limited edition eyeshadow palette or that expensive jacket you don’t know what to pair with, give it some time. If you find yourself still dreaming about the item, it’s safe to say that you’re good purchasing it.

4. Use student discounts when you make purchases. 

There are so many sites and services that are happy to give students money off on purchases—you just need to find them! I wrote a post about a service called UNiDAYS, which is perfect for saving money on your favorite brands, so be sure to check that out.

5. Splurge once in a while. 

It’s totally okay to splurge; just make sure you really want it. I usually try to put some money off to the side specifically for the items I want to splurge on. I really like the idea of saving money with a specific purchase goal in mind, so when I actually use the money I don’t feel bad because I had planned on using it in the first place.

6. Get rid of any subscriptions you’re paying for but not using.

I hear people talk about subscriptions and memberships that they pay for but don’t use far too often and it honestly makes me cringe. I understand the logic behind it—you think you’ll actually use it because you’re paying extra money for it—but when you find that you’re literally just throwing money out the window on something you aren’t using, you should seriously just consider canceling. It’s a waste of your hard-earned cash, and to be completely blunt, if you really wanted it you’d be using it.

7. Make note of what you spend your money on. 

But don’t be like me and say you’re going to write everything down and then not (oops). Just be aware of what you’re spending money on if you’re using a credit card. This way, if you see an unfamiliar charge on your bill, you can address it. If you don’t want to get a physical notebook for this, just create a simple Google spreadsheet.

8. Don’t abuse your credit card. 

Honestly, I was excited for my first credit card but also kind of stingy about making purchases. Like, I debated using my card for the first time on a purchase that was credit card only because I was so nervous to use it after all the stories of crazy interest rates and all that. Make card purchases that you know for a fact you can pay off completely when your bill arrives. If you only pay the minimum amount on your bill, that’s when you accrue the dreaded interest. So while you may feel powerful with a credit card in your possession, don’t go overboard!

9. Always be aware of the amount of money you have left. 

This is pretty self-explanatory but one of the best ways to be smart about how you spend money is to always know how much you have. This will help you decide if you really want to go out tonight, or if you can really afford the handbag you’ve been eyeing.

10. Be a smart textbook shopper. 

My freshman year, I spent $500 on textbooks because I bought them all brand new and didn’t open my eyes to a beautiful thing called borrowing from the library. Being smart about where and how (and if) you buy textbooks can help you save so much money. I won’t go into too much detail because I have a full post on How To Save Money In College, but make sure you exhaust all other options before buying a book brand new or even used.

Related: The Ultimate Guide To Buying Textbooks In College

11. Purchase your needs before your wants. 

I mean, it’s pretty clear what’s more important here. If you dropped your laptop and need to repair it so you can turn in assignments then you should obviously make that a priority.

12. Travel as cost effectively as possible. 

If you can walk, walk. it’ll save you bus fare, a train ticket, gas money—whatever. Always consider all of your travel options before you decide what to do. Transportation fare adds up very quickly over time, after all. For one of my reporting classes, I often have to travel off campus and while I’ve been taking the train a lot, I think it may be more cost effective for me to rent a car and drive to where I need to be. So, I’m probably going to just start doing that instead. So that means no more spending $30+ on round-trip train tickets!

What are your tips for responsible money-spending? 

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8 Organizational Tips To Conquer Your Job Search

Confession: As I’m sitting here at Starbucks in the company of a venti iced white chocolate mocha and a bagel with about two bites left, I’m lowkey freaking out over the fact that in the coming months, my job search game is about to be upped ten-fold. Hell, maybe even one-hundred-fold. The point is that the job search, internship search, whatever-professional-position search is gonna get crazy for every graduating senior. And with a 20-credit schedule, club e-board meetings, and a part-time job, you may not even have time to think about how stressed you already are with the job hunt.

In the past, I’ve given tips on landing an internship—also pretty stressful. So this time I want to focus on keeping yourself organized when on the prowl because, not gonna lie, if an unpolished resume or typo-filled cover letter doesn’t screw you over, an unorganized mind will.

Yep, it’s true and it’s just as painful as it sounds. Maybe you’re not going to get the position at one of your favorite companies even though you’re uber qualified because you missed the deadline in the heat of preparing for other things. Or maybe you just couldn’t remember if you submitted the cover letter but decided to give yourself the benefit of the doubt. Or perhaps you’re bound to accidentally submit an incomplete application with all the pressure from class you’ve been under lately. It can happen and you don’t want it to happen to you. 

I’m still working toward gaining complete control over my organization for jobs and internships, but I really want to share what I’m going to do. So if you’re pretty much in the same boat and want to finally get your shit together, read on.

1. Make a list of all of the companies you want to work for.

List out all of your dream companies and companies you admire. It’s important to have an idea of the environment you’d like to see yourself in so you know where to start and you’re not just blindly throwing cover letters left and right. Even if you don’t think you’re experienced enough to work at your dream company, 1) don’t sell yourself short, and 2) you never know. Put this list into a spreadsheet if you really want to up your organization game. I actually keep a folder on Google Drive specifically for organizing all things jobs and internships, so consider keeping your list here.

2. Find out the deadline for every single company.

Sometimes, you’ll find a job listing that explicitly states the deadline. Other times, you’ll have to do some digging. You can find out deadlines by reaching out directly to the hiring manager, tweeting to the company, or even just searching for the same company and position on another job search site to see if they included additional information elsewhere. Deadlines help you set goals. If you know an application is due in three weeks, you’ll budget your time so you work on your resume one week, your cover letter the other week, and still have time to polish it off during the final week. That’s just an example, but work on your applications the way you want to. Just don’t put yourself in a position where you couldn’t make a submission because you missed the deadline.

3. Think about location—can you narrow down a specific geographic area you’re looking to work in?

It really helps if you already know which state or country you’d like to work in, especially if it’s not in your home state or country. Now, actually packing up your life and moving there is a whole other process, but we’re not worrying about that right now. Personally, I’d like to apply to places in L.A., San Francisco, Boston, and Manhattan. This helps you narrow your search so you’re not as overwhelmed.

4. Be aware that you may have to submit more than just a cover letter and resume.

if you thought writing cover letters for internships were annoying (me!), wait until you have to submit references, and create additional content specifically for the application process. You’re gonna wish it were as simple as resume and cover letter. If this is the case, make sure you’re aware of the application materials ahead of time to allow yourself enough of an opportunity to get them all together. Don’t take a chance on saving any part of your application for the last minute because of course this is when everything that could go wrong will.

Related: 6 Cover Letter Mistakes That Won’t Get You An Interview

5. Gather a list of references.

Create a separate document or spreadsheet where you can keep track of any references you may need. Know who you’re going to reach out to, and record the date you reached out to them, whether or not they responded, and if they have already sent your recommendation letter to the company that requested one. Look to former bosses, professors, and anyone else who knows your work well for recommendation letters. Reach out and ask if you could list them as a reference. And if you haven’t spoken to them in a while, now’s a good time to reach out and say hi, or invite them out to coffee. I actually wrote a post on what it was like to go on a coffee date with an editorial assistant so I could pick her brain about the industry, so if the idea of getting coffee with a professional seems daunting, check out my post for advice.

Related: How To Survive Networking Events As A College Student

6. Keep all your work samples in one place.

This is one of those things that I have yet to get around to doing but I know is a must! Make sure you keep all of your professional work wrapped up in a neat little bow so you’re not scrambling to submit clips the night before the application is due. Since I want a job at online magazines and media sites, I’m going to have to put together a professional portfolio website with all of my best samples of published work. But in the meantime, I’m going to keep a list of links to articles I’d want to use as samples, so I have them ready. Pro tip: save any online work as a PDF file, because links can get broken and for whatever reason, a post might get taken down, so you want to make sure you have evidence of the work you did.

7. Create a color code system.

Whoa, what??? I know, this sounds super hardcore, but it doesn’t have to be! I love using different colors to show progress. So if I get rejected from a position, I’ll highlight that entire row in my spreadsheet in light red, or simply write ‘rejected’ in red next to it. It’s easier on the eyes and you’ll know exactly what you’re looking at with just a quick glance.

8. Mark off the positions you finished applying to.

Use your color coding system for this too! As soon as you hit ‘submit’ go back to your spreadsheet and put a check next to the position, do the strikethrough line, highlight it in green—whatever you need to do to show that you successfully completed your application and you don’t have to worry about it anymore. This way, you won’t have to second guess yourself on whether or not you did indeed make a submission.

I hope these tips help during such a stressful, chaotic time!

How do you stay organized for the job search? What’s your dream job like? Let me know in the comments! 

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How To Balance Class Work, A Job & Your Social Life In College

How To Balance School, Work, and Social Life in College

Oh man, I seriously feel like I haven’t had the time for us to have one of our little heart-to-heart advice things that I do here because this semester is CRAZY. Holy hell, it’s INSANE for me right now, and I’m sure you’re really feelin’ the weight of yours, too. Which is why I was inspired to write this post.

This semester is unlike anything I’ve had before because I have more commitments now, more classes, and I’ve really stepped up in some roles. I’m taking seven classes (which I don’t recommend doing!), I got a small part-time job on campus cuz ya girl needs that cash flow, I’ve moved up to an e-board position for a club I’ve been part of for two years now, I’m taking a bartending class for a certification, and I’m assisting with the sports broadcast on my campus. Oh, and I’m also on the brink of creating my YouTube channel and blogging, even though I haven’t been sticking to my usual blogging schedule as of late (I promise I’m still here!!!). So a lot of people get surprised when they see me Snapchatting from the gym and they ask me how I even have time for all that.

Not gonna lie, it took me a few weeks to stop staying up till 3a.m. to do homework, and to finally feel less overwhelmed even though the amount of work I’ve been getting isn’t getting lighter anytime soon. I really believe that a huge chunk of success and feeling happy in college is due in part to effectively balancing all of your obligations, so I’m sharing what I’ve been doing to manage all the hats I wear. It can be so easy to feel like you aren’t paying enough attention to your school work, or like you’re missing out on all the fun stuff your friends are doing because you just have so much on your plate. If you’ve got a crazy semester and you aren’t quite sure how to balance everything, read on to find out!

Related: 11 Things To Do When You Feel Overwhelmed In College

1. Make use of your weekends as much as you can.

It’s totally fine to have a lazy, unproductive day once in a while, and Saturdays and Sundays are perfect for that. But you’d be surprised by how much more chill your weekdays get when you finish all or most of your assignments during the weekend. The assignments in each of my class feel like mini projects because they require so much time, attention, and iced coffee, so I know that the weekends are my best bet for planning their completion and, well, completing them!

Plan everything out ahead of time in your planner so you know what needs to get done (if you don’t have one yet, check out my thoughts on the ClassTracker Planner!). The list might be daunting, but if you use the weekend to tackle them, you won’t have to lose sleep doing the assignments during the week.

Related: How To Create An Effective Study Schedule

2. Grab dinner with friends and use that time to socialize.

I mean, you have to eat at some point so you might as well turn dinner into hangout time for you and your friends. I know your schedules won’t always match up but even if you’re able to eat dinner together twice a week or three times a week, you’ll still get in some much-needed squad time. It doesn’t even have to be a meal—sign up for a fitness class together; join a club together; study together.

Related: 10 Secrets For Making New Friends In College

3. Be open to change.

I’m a meticulous planner, but I’ve definitely come to realize that—in the words of former Seventeen EIC Ann Shoket—life is messy and you need to embrace the mess. I know that planning things out can help you stay on top of your schedule, but don’t try to plan your day out down to the last minute because it will only stress you out if things don’t go the way you needed them to go. Have a general idea of what you’re doing during the day, but be flexible enough to go with the flow if things don’t work out.

4. Don’t save things for the last minute.

This goes with what I was saying before about getting all your shit done over the weekend. If you wait until the day before an assignment is due before you actually start it, you’re likely going to hole yourself up in your room until you finish, and you’re going to stress and won’t be able to take care of any other obligations you have.

5. Get in the habit of waking up early.

I know no one wants to ever have to do that but if you’ve ever had an 8a.m. class or work an early morning shift, you’re already familiar with the absolute *joy* of waking up at the ass crack of dawn. Actually, this is what I started doing in order to get my workouts in! On days I know I won’t have time to go to the gym at night, I wake up two hours before my first class and I work out. It’s honestly more refreshing and I actually don’t feel tired during the day! I shower afterward, so I’m really awake and I reward myself by dressing extra cute and doing my makeup a little extra nice.

If you think you need more hours in the day, just try waking up earlier to better accommodate your schedule. You might find that it’s the perfect time for you to study, or hit the gym, or pick up on that passion project you’ve had to step away from. You don’t have to be up at 5a.m. to do things; start small.

Related: How To Prepare For Early Morning College Classes

6. Set reminders for yourself.

I like scheduling my obligations into my phone as I make plans so I don’t forget anything. Gotta FaceTime your best friend at 5p.m.? Have a study group at 4:30 that you can’t miss? Schedule them in case you forget! I like setting my reminders for 20 minutes beforehand so that in the event that I do forget, at least I have some time to recover from the initial surprise and re-plan if needed.

7. Do work in between classes, if you can.

When my classes were really spaced out, this was my ultimate secret to almost never pulling all-nighters, but now that I have almost no time in between, I can’t really do that. But if you can manage to complete a few assignments while you wait for your next class, you’ll have more time at night to go out, attend club meetings, work, and even just have some chill time.

8. If you can’t take on more, DON’T.

This is the time when everyone and their mother wants you to join their club, or apply for their thing, or pick up an extra hour at work. Biting off more than you can chew will make it more difficult for you to keep up with everything else going on for you. I so badly wanted to also be a writing tutor this semester, and I even applied for the position but didn’t get picked and honestly it worked out for the better because I don’t even know when I’d have the time to tutor! Remember that you also don’t need to fill in every single gap in your schedule. Try to leave a free hour or two that you can use to relax if you really need it!

9. Be honest about your schedule.

So yeah, this goes hand in hand with my last point…to avoid piling on your plate, you have to be honest about what you can and can’t do. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t know how to say no to people and it always comes back to bite me in the ass when I’m suddenly overwhelmed because I have so much going on—ugh! Just because you’re free when someone asks if you’re free doesn’t mean you have to use that time to do what they want you to do. Maybe you’d like that time to unwind and treat yourself. Or maybe you want to reserve that time to hang out with a friend or special someone. Simply say that your schedule is really packed and you can fit anything else in—even if they swear on their mother’s father’s aunt’s cousin’s uncle’s grave that it won’t take up much time at all.

10. Only take on the meaningful obligations.

Something I’ve definitely come to realize is that it’s better to have one or two big obligations that make a significant impact for you than to have a bunch of small things here and there that you can hardly talk about. Sure, the small things might be fun and nice, but if you’re spending so much time and energy on those obligations and you can’t really use them to help yourself down the line, it might be time to walk away. Focus one one or two things that you can really put your attention into. You’ll get more out of the experience because you won’t be running your energy levels dry on five different things! If you feel like you need to drop culinary club and the math society to have an internship geared toward your desired career, it’s probably better to just do the internship.

Related: How I Landed An Editorial Beauty + Fashion Internship In NYC

I want to hear how your semester is going so far! What’s your favorite part of the week and what’s your least favorite? 

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10 Habits That Will Make You Happier In College

A question that college students often ask is: how do you stay happy in college when there’s so many things going on? The short answer is, well, it’s hard. When you’ve got projects and papers due every other week and assignments flying at you at full speed, it can be pretty easy to always feel like you’re drowning. Not to mention the fact that you’ve got to balance all this with your other passions. I’m sitting on a train to the city as I’m typing this, and let me tell you, I can go on and on about the fact that there needs to be way more hours in the day. But simply put, it’s super easy to feel totally drained in college and you’re not the only one. 

The long (and honestly much more encouraging) answer to this age-old question is actually what I’m going to be outlining in this post. Over the years, I’ve found that adopting certain habits have actually helped me keep my head above water and feel overall much more satisfied with my college experiences. And since this is, without a doubt, going to be my toughest semester yet and the toughest for many other people, I decided to share those habits with you. Read on to find out what they are! 

1. Learning how to have experiences on your own.

Everything is better with company. Correction: Some things are better with company. Sometimes it’s much more relaxing and fulfilling to swallow your pride and go to that festival by yourself, or attend that event on campus alone—yes, even if you think you’re going to look awkward as hell by yourself. The truth is that your friends won’t always be there to help you have fun, so you need to learn how to make your own fun! Trust me, it’ll pay off and you might actually enjoy taking yourself on these little excursions by yourself.

Related: 12 Ways To Enjoy The Summer With Friends

2. Making more time for friends.

I know, I literally just said you have to learn how to be by yourself, but that doesn’t mean you should totally exile your friends from the kingdom that is your hectic college schedule. I used to put my schedule ahead of hanging out with friends because in my mind, it was more alleviating to just get shit done. But then this would lead to me feeling very unsatisfied even after I’ve finished everything. So I always feel so much better studying and working in the company of close friends. It’s nice to know that there’s someone with you even when you have the worst assignments ever. Plus, you’re still getting your work done! If you’re really busy, you can also make time for friends by suggesting you eat dinner together on certain days, or planning trips to the gym together.

Related: 10 Secrets For Making New Friends In College

3. Taking chances more often.

Sticking to the same routine is familiar and comfortable, but sometimes it also gets boring. Make a habit of shaking things up once in a while, because how many surprises do we really get in life? Whether it’s applying to study abroad when you’ve never left the country before, or trying out a new fitness class you’ve never heard of, the thrill of a new experience can really boost your mood and help you stay wonderfully curious. 😉 Again, it doesn’t have to be a major gamble on your life or anything; just go for the small things, even if it’s just changing up your Starbucks order every Monday or something.

4. Starting a relaxation routine.

OH. EM. GEE. Seriously, if you can’t remember the last time you had a moment of chill time, it’s probably time for you to have some chill time stat!!! I know, easier said than done. But it’s important to at least have a go-to relaxation routine that you can jump into when you’re feeling super stressed. I’m still trying to nail my ultimate routine, but part of it definitely includes cooling under eye masks and lots and lots of Beyoncé. You don’t need a three-hour routine, either. Even just having an hour to yourself to get your head together can make such a difference. Get in the habit of doing this regularly.

5. Stop seeing your peers as competition.

Ugh, seriously, constantly plotting ways to stay two steps ahead of Tom, Dick, and Harry so you can be the best in the class is SO. EFFING. EXHAUSTING and so not worth your energy! I seriously hate seeing classmates prefer to tear each other down and try to be slick with each other instead of helping one another out! Yes, someday you very well may be competing for the same job or internship, but right now you’re colleagues. So instead of using your energy to remain a lone wolf and avoid helping your classmates, form a study group or group chat for internship links or something. Quid pro quo, my friend, quid pro quo. If you really need help, or if you’re looking for connections, your classmates might just be the ones to help you there.

Related: Networking 101: How To Survive Networking Events As A College Student

6. Stop thinking you always have to be the best.

I know many of us are used to the fame and prestige that comes with being known as the smartest kid in high school, or he best karate student in the dojo, but you don’t always have to be numero uno. Everyone falters and fails, and you’re no less smart or less talented when you do. It takes a lot of energy to be envious of someone for understanding something you don’t, or for picking up a skill faster than you can. Do yourself a favor and let it go. In fact, use it as an opportunity to be-friend that person and ask for tips or advice. You’ll have more energy to be happy when you’re not constantly trying to outdo your “rival.”

7. Learning to be happy for other peoples’ successes.

You’d want your friends and peers to be happy for you when you have a major victory, so learn how to not be insanely jealous if someone you know gets an internship you wanted, or when your friend gets their dream job and you have nothing. Dwelling on what other people have will make you miserable, and your time is much better spent thinking about what you can do to further your own goals while taking the time to celebrate accomplishments with friends.

8. Dressing up for class once in a while. 

No, there is nothing wrong with dressing up for class a few times a week; there doesn’t need to be a special occasion for you to whip out your prettiest crop top and cutest ankle booties. Dressing up can seriously boost your mood, even when you have class until 10pm without a break and a slew of meetings afterward.

Related: How To Dress Stylishly And Professionally On A College Budget

9. Developing a good relationship with at least one professor.

When I was in middle school, I used to have that one teacher who I could randomly visit during lunch or during trips to the bathroom just to talk about my progress in school and how I’m doing. In high school, I had the same thing. And now, college is no different. It’s really nice to have someone who could offer you a new perspective, someone on the inside who’s been through all this already who isn’t your mom or dad. Don’t get me wrong, I still tell my parents everything, but having a professor you trust can really put you on the path to success. They will go the extra mile to make you more comfortable in the program and address any goals and give you advice for the future. Get to know your professors during syllabus week and see which ones you click with the best.

10. Complaining less.

Honestly, I’m still working on this, but I think I’ve gotten better at it over the years! I usually complain as a means of venting to people, but it’s also really important to recognize when complaining is actually stressing you out more, or causing you to make a bigger deal out of something than necessary. Plus, complaining can affect your friends if it gets to the point where they feel like they rarely hear a good experience come out of your mouth. Try journaling if you feel like you need to get your thoughts out. Or complain to your parents because I think they want nothing more than to squash your fears and stress. I’ve also been trying to look for the positive in everything, even when things don’t work for me, so that usually helps me feel better about any situations!

Hope you guys liked this post and you’ll give these tips a try!

What are your tips for having a happier college experience? 

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6 Fashion Accessories To Pack For Your Next Trip Abroad

6 Fashion Accessories You Actually Need To Pack For Travel

This is a sponsored post in partnership with StudentUniverse and Her Campus Media. All words and opinions are my own.


This year is the year that my travel senses were tingling, and not even just tingling—they were. FLARING. UP. I traveled to Ireland on a study abroad trip in January (which was super expensive, but I’ll get into that later). It was my first travel experience, so naturally, I tried to prepare myself as much as possible by reading a ton of blog posts about clothes and things to pack for travel. But it wasn’t until after the trip was over that I actually realized the importance of some of the things I did bring, and some of the things I failed to bring. Which brings me to this post…

I feel like fashion accessories are things that people often overlook because 1) they think it’ll just add unnecessary weight to their luggage and 2) they tell themselves they can just buy whatever they didn’t bring pack when they go to malls or boutiques abroad. So that’s why I’m here to clear the air and tell you what accessories and items you’ll actually need no matter where you travel.

But back to this whole ‘traveling is expensive’ thing…Not gonna lie, my study abroad bill for the winter semester left me mentally scarred, and since then, while I don’t regret my experience AT ALL, I’ve decided that it’s just so much cheaper to travel on your own since you won’t be paying for tuition, books, credits, or anything like that. And there are actually services and companies out there that, you know, actually want college students like us to go out and see the world because we’ll learn so much more when we’re not in a classroom setting. If you want to get discounted rates on flights, tours, and group travel for your next adventure, I highly suggest taking a look at StudentUniverse. There are so many exclusive deals and so much insight into traveling that you’ll seriously be inspired to book a ticket ASAP! Don’t forget to download their mobile app for easy access, and take a peek at their site to see if you find any accommodations that pique your interest.

6 Fashion Accessories You Actually Need To Pack For Travel

So after you’ve booked a ticket and accommodations that actually fit within your budget (or your parents’ budget), you can get packing! Here are some accessories you shouldn’t leave home without.

1. A cute passport holder.

I know this isn’t exactly a fashion accessory, but it’s still a really important accessory for traveling! really wish I had invested in a super cute passport holder because it’s a good way to keep your important documents—passport, ID, boarding pass—in one place where they won’t get lost or crumpled or torn. Plus, every time my group moved to another city in Ireland, our professor collected our passports for safety reasons, so it would’ve been good to have something to easily identify my passport book. Get a really cute one that you can use over and over again. Bonus if you can get your passport holder to match your luggage tag!

2. A pretty pair of sunglasses + a case.

Sunglasses are my favorite style accessory ever!! I have way too many to count, so naturally it was difficult to choose which one I’d take with me (spoiler alert: I ended up choosing two to bring along for the ride because I was so indecisive). You definitely don’t want to spend money on sunglasses while abroad (unless they’re, like, designer in the area or something) because they can be really expensive. Make sure you have a nice pair as well as a case to protect it.

Related: How To Be Money Smart While Traveling Abroad

3. Cute all-weather boots.

Seriously, no matter where in the world you go, you cannot forget to invest in and pack a good pair of weatherproof boots that fit you well—not too big and not too small! In Ireland, we climbed cliffs, trekked through muddy, rocky, slippery areas, and scaled narrow castle stairs, so it was important for me to get a pair of boots that would keep my feet warm, protected, and dry. These can get pricey depending on the brand you purchase from but they’re well worth the money. Get one that fits snugly on your feet so you’re not waddling around if you have to climb rocky cliffs or anything like that.

6 Fashion Accessories You Actually Need To Pack For Travel

Related: The Ultimate Study Abroad Packing List

4. A backpack or knapsack.

You’ll want to be able to carry around important items when you go on excursions, and I think that any cute, trendy little backpacks or drawstring bags are perfect for that. I got a little crossbody bag, but it didn’t really do much good since it was so small. I could only fit my wallet, phone, and any really small items. Which meant that most days, I didn’t bring a bottle of water with me if I didn’t want to bother my friend to hold it in his backpack for me—huge no-no! Always make sure you have a way of holding all your necessities in one place.

5. Your favorite no-fail stockings.

I didn’t pack any nice pairs of stockings because I didn’t think I’d wear any dresses or skirts since it might be cold in Ireland in January. But I realized that they were important to have when we had dressier events and gatherings. You don’t need to bring every pair of stockings Target has to offer, but make sure you bring one good pair that is versatile enough that you can pair it with any outfit.

6. A beanie or baseball cap.

Y’all, let me tell you: getting sick while traveling the world and making new experiences and memories is NOT fun. A lot of people in my study abroad group ended up getting so sick that they had to miss a day or two of really cool excursions and day trips. I was lucky enough to only catch a runny nose and slight headache for a few days, but even then it was torturous! Protect yourself from the weather by bringing appropriate hats, scarves, gloves, etc. It depends on where you’re going and the time of year, but if you know you’ll be in a cold environment, bring a hat that you can wear to cover your ears. If the climate is a little warmer, opt for a cap just in case.

6 Fashion Accessories You Actually Need To Pack For Travel

(P.S., that’s me by the Cliffs of Moher with my eyes closed looking really stupid but nonetheless warm and cozy with my hat).

I really hope this post gave you some ideas as to what accessories will actually help you have a better travel experience! And I really hope you’ll take a look at StudentUniverse—I know I’m definitely going to take advantage of their opportunities while I can (and ya girl knows there are some major travel plans in the stars!). If you want to learn even more about StudentUniverse, come check them out at College Fashion Week, an event hosted by Her Campus to showcase the best fall trends word by real college gals like us (super excited!!!!). While I was unable to attend last year’s CFW, my friend did go and said she had a blast, so I’m certainly looking forward to the experience. Plus, it’s Her Campus, and if there’s anything I’ve learned after attending HerConference for two straight years, it’s that they know how to organize the BEST events EVER. The New York show is being held on Saturday, September 30, so if you’re available, come through! 😉

Are there any travel plans in the stars for you? Are you attending College Fashion Week?? Let me know!!

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