Friday, July 31, 2015

College Supply Must-Haves

Hello, all! As school quickly approaches (I know high schoolers who have already gone back!), it's time for another school-oriented post. I have always been a school supply junkie! From early on in elementary school, I would make my lists and spend my time shopping for just the perfect supplies. The "Back To School" sections in Staples and Target are like Wonderland for me! (No, really!!) I was one of those ridiculously organized students in high school who has a binder for every class with perfect tab dividers. I knew where every single piece of paper was, if a friend needed to borrow notes, I knew exactly where to find them! However, I knew that college would be different. There aren't numbers hand outs to keep track of and you're in charge of taking your own notes. So, here are a few ideas of the school supply must-haves for college!

1. Computer: Preferably a laptop. Unless you are some sort of Computer Science major or Graphics Design major, I suggest the Macbook Air. I prefer Apple computer over another kind of PC. (Have I mentioned that I vehemently hate Windows?) The Macbook Air is built to be extra-lightweight and runs wonderfully. The Mac running system (OS-X) is super user friendly! They also have a student discount with any valid .edu email address. Take a look here.

2. Bag: Everyone needs a bag, you can't carry everything you need around without a bag. My favorite is the Kate Spade tote (get it here). For days when all I need is my laptop, I carry around my Michael Kors Hamilton bag (get it here.) I have noticed that the Longchamp totes are also very popular and seemingly sturdy (get it here.)

3. Planner: I have gone on and on about how important planners are in the college life. Take a look at my post about choosing the right one for you here. My favorite are the Lilly Pulitzer. Get a 2015-2016 here.

4. Phone Charger: Either carry around a phone charger or a portable spare battery. You either do this from the beginning or you learn quickly that I'm not just suggesting this.

5. Pens/Pencils: Colorful pens are very helpful when re-writing notes and of course pencils are a basic need (especially in any kind of math class.)

6. Post-It Notes: As I mentioned in a post earlier, lists are my life. They keep me organized and I use them on a daily basis. Post-it notes are great for jotting down small lists and sticking them wherever I need. They're also good for reminders or little motivational quotes. They're also a good way to communicate from roommate to roommate (but don't be passive-agressive.)

7. Stapler & Staples: Professors will except you to turn in a stapled paper. And in college, essays and papers are NOT limited to English classes. If you don't turn in a stapled assignment, your professor might not except it. Save yourself the trouble and pick up a stapler and some extra staples. 

8. Notebooks: Taking notes is YOUR responsibility in college. Professors will not hand out fill-in the blank note sheets to fill out while they teach. Notebooks are a great way to keep all of your notes in one place without the hassle of loose leaf paper.

9. Highlighters: Much like colored pens, highlighters are important for note talking. Also, they're great for use when you're reading textbooks. 

10. Index Cards: This is somewhat optional, though I highly recommend it. Note cards are great for studying, especially if you're taking a foreign language. However, there are many apps that provide an electronic version of note cards.

11. Flash Drive: You'll want a flash drive to save your work on. Nothing is worse than finishing up a paper the night before its due (at 2:00 am no doubt) and having your computer crash. Not only do you have a dead computer, but you not have no paper. So save yourself a meltdown and buy a flash drive to double-save your work on.

12. Binders/Folders/File Folders: You will probably want some sort of way to keep track of your old exams, old papers, any handouts, your multiple syllabi (syllabuses?). I have a filing system with file folders and a label maker, but you might want something a little less formal like a binder or folders. 


13. Water Bottle: Every food place on my campus lets you fill up your water bottle for free, so I carry one around and fill it up between classes. Its healthier than drinking soda, and also cheaper than paying $1.80 for a small soda.

14. Headphones: I am someone who loves music, so for me it is a terrible, terrible day if I forget my headphones. Getting from class to class is easier when you can jam out to music. 

15. Hair Ties: Ladies, this one's for you (or you guys with long hair.) Sometimes the day is windier than we expected and all we want is our hair out of our face. I don't know about you, but I'm pretty much genetically programmed to carry a hair-tie on my wrist. These kind that double as cute accessories are gentler on your hair than the basic black elastic. You can get them almost anywhere. Plus, they're pretty darn cute!

16. Gum/Mints: Sometimes you just get that icky taste in your mouth (is that the scientific term?) and you really want some gum. Toss a pack in your bag and you'll be happy you had it one day.

17. Hand Sanitizer: Especially during cold season, this stuff is great! The little ones from Bath & Body Works are my favorite, and they smell so good! 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Blog Faves: The Organised Student

Good afternoon, all! Today, I'm going to introduce you to one of my favorite organization tools!

Ellen is a recent recent graduate from England who runs a studyblr (study oriented blog) on tumblr. There is a whole community of people who basically post "study porn." Its ridiculously motivational and I love it. Anyway, Ellen does a wonderful job running this blog and has created printable to help her followers. She has created an entire line of organizing printable FOR FREE! They are lovely and super useful! Check them out.

Her blog: The Organized Student.
Her Google Drive folder: The Organised Student Printables

Her printables include:

  • 5 page study plan
    • "My study planner"
    • Topics to study
    • Study plan
    • Study schedule
    • Motivation
  • Weekly Planner (with or without times)
  • Daily Planner (version 1.0 and 2.0)
  • Assignment planner
  • Definitions sheet
  • Essay planner
  • "Goal getting"
  • Grade tracker
  • Month @ A Glance
  • Semester planner
  • 24/7 Planner
I hope you all enjoy these printables as much as I do! Have a good day!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

My New Bedroom: Kate Spade Style

Hello, all! I move to school in less than a month and this year, my roommate and I are moving into an apartment! This is practically unheard of at my school. Generally, universities make you stay on campus the first year. Miami requires that you live on campus both your first and second year. So, my roommate and I were gearing up for another 2 semesters in the dorm. However, the university accepted too many freshman and were short almost 300 beds. To solve the problem, they subleases from 2 different student apartment complexes. Read more about it here. So, A and I will be sharing our apartment with two other girls.

Moving from the dorm to the apartment means switching from a Twin XL (the dorm standard) to a full sized bed. As I was thinking about the new bedding I have to buy (which I love buying new bedding), I was thinking about changing things up a bit. Last year, my roommate and I went with a gray and purple color scheme. As I was looking through Pinterest, I had an idea. So, I did what I do and started a new board. After finding many inspiration pins, and making many lists of what exactly I will do with my new bedroom, I have decided. I will have Kate Spade inspired decor! I am very excited for all of the DIYs to come and have already began.

The first thing I had to decide was a pattern/color scheme. Thinking Kate Spade, I decided gold polka dots, blacks/white stripes and a bold pink. As I have scrounged Pinterest for inspiration pictures, these are the best ones that I have rounded up. Fear not, lovely readers, I will of course be posting before and after pictures of my new bedroom. The areas I will be focusing on will  be my bed, desk and wall decoration.

I will very excitedly be moving in August 21st and will most likely spend the entire weekend unpacking and decorating. I am excited for the new adventure that the upcoming school year brings, and I hope that you fellow students feel the same. Have a good day all!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

DIY: Designer Notebooks

Good morning, my dearies! When I was in high school, I was the organized friend. I still am the organized friend. But ever since my freshman year, I have always kept my school stuff very organized. I had a separate binder for every class. Every binder had tab dividers and was color coded. I would even buy color coordinating scrapbook paper, and have the names of the classes on scrapbook paper in the binders. I continued this throughout all of high school. I even still have some of the binder cover inserts that I made. Why? I have no idea.

Since coming to college I have changed my system a little bit. I not keep things filed. I realized that I didn't need to always carry around everything, but I still needed some sort of system. So, I keep things neatly filed in a drawer using file folders and a label maker. (I LOVE my label maker!)

I have always loved cute notebooks. I also like to rewrite my notes. Thus, I don't usually buy cute notebooks. They're a tad expensive for a notebook, and I use too much paper to buy a bunch of them for one semester. So, noticed that regular 70-page, college-ruled notebooks were on sale at Staples for $0.25. I went that night and bough 24 notebooks. There were 7 colored, I actually meant to buy 4 of each color, but I ended only buying 2 orange and 2 green. (Hence the 24.)

I had the idea to cover them with scrapbook paper to make them more attractive, but didn't really want to go to the effort. Then I figured, why not? I'd rather spend a few hours with Mod Podge hands than have boring notebooks for the next four months. So, I went to Michael's. My mom and I were furniture shopping a few exits up, so we went to a different one than our usual. I found a few single-sheet scrapbook sheets that I liked, but forgot the Mod Podge. So, on the way home, we stopped by the Michael's down the street from our house. On a display rack, we found a pile of 12x12 scrapbook page books. They were on sale for $5! (They're usually about $20). I fell in love with the first one I flipped through, grabbed the glue and headed home! 

I ran into a few bumps along the way, but in the end they turned out looking pretty great and I'm very happy with them. 

Step One: Collect your supplies. I ended up using:
A paper plate (to put the Mod Podge on).. A foam paint brush.. Matte Finish Mod Podge.. A Ruler.. A Pencil.. An Exact-o Knife.. Grocery Bags(To cover the table).. Notebooks.. Scrapbook Paper..  A Magazine(As a cutting pad. Use a sheet of cardboard or craft mat)..

Step Two: Trace and cut your paper!
Its better to have a little extra than to not have enough. You can do this one of two ways: 1. Trace the outline of the notebook cover. This way is guaranteed to have correct angles and such. Or 2. Measure the notebook cover and then measure out a corresponding square on every sheet of paper. I went with option 1, I thought it would be faster and cause less frustration. Now cut them out. I used a ruler and an Exact-o knife because I knew it would be faster, but you can use scissors.

Step Three: Glue it on!
This is the hard part. "Paint" the Mod Podge onto the cover of the notebook. Don't get too close to the spiral, you don't want to glue your cover to the spiral. Make sure you get extra glue around the edges! When the edges start to come apart, then you have trouble! Carefully place the cut piece of scrapbook paper on the notebook cover. Again, this is when its better to have extra than not enough. Make sure you press them together, it will insure that you have a well-glued piece of scrapbook paper and no bubbles. Let them dry!

Step Four: Trim off any extra!
Take a pair of scissors to the edges. Make sure there isn't any extra paper hanging off the side. 

Step Five: Enjoy your new notebooks! 

Problems I ran into: 
1. Not placing the paper correctly. There was one specific notebook when I put the glue on and then placed the paper on the cover and realized that there was a strip at the top of the notebook where I could still see the cover. How I fixed it: I pulled the cover off (careful because it will curl) and I very carefully replaced the paper to fit correctly.

2. When they began to dry, the covers began to curl. Now when I say "curl" I mean that they didn't stay flat. How I fixed it: after they're dry, place something heavy over them for a day or so. The covers will flatten out in no time! 

The best thing about designing my own notebook covers is that I can have as many notebooks and I want and they all match! I have 5 classes and usually use 2 notebooks for some classes because I like to re-write my notes.

Hope this inspires you to DIY your own notebooks for a fun touch of your own! 

Friday, July 17, 2015

How To: Pay Less For Textbooks

Good morning all you lovely people! Textbook buying is a tricky business. Why? Because they're astronomically expensive. Of course professors always want to use the most current addition, meaning the most expensive. Then there are the professors who write their own books, require that you buy them, and then don't really use them. Here are a few tips to (hopefully) ease the process of textbook buying. 

1. Check out Rate My Professor.  More often than not, you can find your professors on Rate My Professor. There is a section in each rating for "Textbook Use." The options range from "What Textbook?" to "Essential to passing?" That can give you an idea of whether or not you should even buy your textbook at all. 

2. Wait until classes start.  Sometimes, on that first day of class, the professor will tell you if you actually do or do not need your textbook. If they don't, just ask. Chances are you weren't the only person to wait and aren't the only one with that question. Also, try finding someone who has taken the class before and ask them the frequency of textbook use.

3. Don't buy retail. Seriously, whatever you do, don't buy them from your school. There are tons of other places to buy them from where you don't have to pay full price. What ever you do, avoid big name stores such as Barnes & Noble. 
Grab your ISBNs and look here: Slug books, Abe Books (My favorite! I've gotten books here crazy cheep!),  eBay (Don't be afraid to try bidding.), Amazon.

4. Buy used books. If you don't mind, just buy used books. They're cheaper, plus you get someone else's thoughts and notes! Usually people don't destroy books, maybe just some highlighting. You can get these at your school bookstore, or online. 

5. Try out ebooks. Do you have an iPad? an eReader? Check out your ebook options. Sometimes schools will even offer that option. Ebooks are usually cheaper (sometimes even half the price), and you can cary them around without nearly the size!

6. Rent your books. The best place to rent books? Chegg. They have great prices and always send you little extras in your boxes that are super useful for college students. (RedBull anyone?) You can also rent textbooks from Amazon and from your school, but I have found that Chegg has the best prices. 

7. Share with someone else. Last year, my roommate and I shared a chemistry book. We had 2 different professors and mine didn't use it nearly as much as hers, so I just grabbed hers when I needed it (almost never). But maybe you know someone who is going to be in the same class as you, ask if they want to share a book (and the cost). And bonus, you have a built-in study buddy,

8. Don't buy them. Now, stay with me here. Most professors keep copies of their textbooks in the library. Usually you can't take them out of the building, but hey, free textbooks. This is an especially good option for professors who use their textbook only a handful of times throughout the semester.

9. Trade with someone. Check out this website, which takes care of everything for you (and it's free!). Or, trade with a friend of yours. Is she taking a class that you took last semester? Are you taking a class that he took last year? Swap books! Does your class have a Facebook page? Post on that with what you have an what you're looking for. Same thing for Craig's List

Happy buying all! Try not to hate textbook buying. I know they can be expensive, but if textbook buying leaves a bad taste in your mouth then starting the year won't be as great as it could be. Enjoy your new books!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Gotta Love: Agendas/Planners

Hello, all! As we hit the half-way mark of July, school begins to cross our minds. And what is the best thing about another year of school? A brand spanking-new agenda. Ever since I got my first agenda in elementary school (I know call them planners) I have loved them. I have explored many brands and many options and have found my favorite. But there are so many choices! Ugh, I know! But, I'm going to try to present the best ones. 

1. Lilly Pulitzer. Of course the first thing that comes to mind is Lilly. Last year was my first year trying out a Lilly planner and I LOVED IT!! I seriously considered buying a different brand this year, one that would keep me just a tad bit more organized, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. My favorite thing about the Lilly Planners is how lively they are! I buy the "large" size. For comparison, they are about the size of a iPad, a tad smaller. I would recommend this size. My mom originally bought the "small" size which was about the size of a long, thin notepad and because of its size, she hated it. On the other hand, my next door neighbor had the "jumbo" size and I thought it was huge. It was about as big as my computer. 
Price: $17-$34 Buy them Here

The 2014-2015 Planners. 
2. Plum Planner Designs. This was the option that I almost bought instead of a Lilly. They are customizable and come in a ton of different options. They come in regular, monthly, family, teacher, student, wedding, and fitness options. You can add extra things like note pages, to-do lists, etc. There are a ton of cover options and you can even add a monogram or photograph to your cover. And for all those options, they are pretty reasonably priced. Many compare them to Erin Condren life planners. The only thing that I dislike about these is how "boring" they are. Compared to a Lilly, the actual pages can be a bit plain. However, this does leave room for your own creative hand. I simply don't have the time for that, though. I want a planner that is ready-to-go. Their customer service is great, and they're very polite. Everything is through Etsy.
Price: $16-$35 +add ons Buy them Here

3. Kate Spade. Who doesn't love a little bit of Kate in their life? Or in some people's cases, a lot of Kate Spade. She always brings us elegance and class with a pop of color and a touch of fun. Her planners are no different. The insides are very classic and elegant and the covers are classic Kate. I recently found some floating around Macy's and go to take a look at the insides of them. I have to say, I was a little disappointed. As I mentioned, I like my planners to be very lively, and while the Kate planners are very graceful, they're pretty boring on the inside. Perhaps if I was 10 or 15 years older, than I would snatch one up. But, right now these aren't for me. However, they do come in many different sizes and styles. From a filofax style to a notebook style. From a large notecard to a notebook, you can get whatever is your fancy.
Price: $14-$36 But them Here

4. Erin Condren Life Planners. I have never had the opportunity to flip through an Erin Condren. If you're curious, you can check out the website or check out videos on YouTube. However, I have heard some pretty great things about these. They seem like a good choice for those of us who take organization seriously. They are semi-customizable. There are horizontal or vertical weekly layout options. They also have interchangeable covers. There are "Ready To Ship" options, or "Create Your Own" options. They're a tad pricier than our other options, but I've would imagine they're probably worth it. Erin Condren also sells notebooks, cell phone cases,  lesson plan books, file folders and many other things. 
Price: $50-$55 Buy them Here

There are Etsy shops dedicated to making stickers and add ons for Erin Condren planners.

5. Jonathan Adler. Another option is an J. Adler planner. They have character and usually sport brightly-colored patterns. I have never used or flipped through one, but they look good. The only thing is, I couldn't seem to find and 2015-2016 ones, only 2015. Maybe they're just not out yet? Keep an eye out and maybe you'll find one. 
Price: $20 Buy them Here
Check out Paper Source or Lifeguard Press for even more options! 

Have a good day lovelies!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

How I Am Preparing For The New Semester

Hello, all. Hopefully everyone's weeks started out well. Fourth of July is over, which means that school supplies are beginning to populating the "seasonal" section at Target. I don't know about the rest of you, but this is my favorite time of year. I will forever love new school-supplies: pencils, notebooks, highlighters, pens. I could go on and on but, you get the point. As the new semester approaches, I get more and more excited and I try to find more and more things to do to get prepared. 

1. Make a list!
Here's a list of thinks you could make lists for: (see a theme here? check out my post on lists)
a. Packing list for moving back to school
b. School supplies
c. Textbooks that you need to buy
d. Anything you need to buy for your dorm
e. Toiletries to buy for school
f. Things to need to get done before school (ie. Hair cut, clothes shopping, etc.)

2. Shop!
If you're headed into your first year of college, then this is probably the most amount of pre-school shopping you've ever done. You get to basically equip a whole new room. Make sure you don't forget anything! 
If you're headed into a new semester in general, don't forget a few key items. such as: fresh school supplies, a few wardrobe staples, textbooks, a school bag, etc. 

3. Spruce up your wardrobe!
I know, this could be lumped together with Shop! But wardrobe shopping is a thing of its own. Check back later for a late summer/fall fashion post! Grab yourself a new pair of shoes, a couple pairs of your favorite jeans, a few graphic t's while everything is at back-to-school prices. Who doesn't love a sale!

4. Familiarize yourself with your textbook!
Now, this one is a subjective. Some people prefer to actually get to class and talk to the professor before they order their textbooks. I prefer to order my textbooks before hand, that way I can shop around online and get the best deal possible. I like to familiarize myself with my textbooks before I start the semester. This way, I can scan over the content and know what I'm going to be learning. So far, I have read the introductory chapter of the two books I have bought. I am also going through and pulling out the vocal words by chapter. That way I can get a head start on what I'm going to be studying over the next few months. 

5. Read up on your professors!
Take advantage of Rate My Professor. Even if your specific course isn't listed in the reviews, you can get a feel for what kind of teacher your future professor is. That way you know what to expect and aren't blindsided when you don't do your reading and there is a pop quiz!

6. Take a look at your schedule!
Sit down and write out your schedule. Look at your free time. Look at the buildings your classes are in. What food is closest? Where is the most centralized parking lot? Look for blocks of time that can be used for studying. Don't forget to put in some Netflix time!

7. Don't forget to enjoy the rest of your break!
School can be stressful, so don't forget to enjoy the free time you have left while you still have it. As much you may love school, you will miss your free time. So, enjoy it before it's gone.

Monday, July 6, 2015

A Year In Review: 26 Things I Learned My Freshman Year Of College

Good day, all. I finished my last final 7 weeks and 5 days ago. I took my last exam at 8:00 on a Wednesday, and came home that night. That day was dreadfully painful. I couldn't wait to go home. I was emotionally spent from finals. My study meter had pretty much been running on fumes for a day or two. So, I was glad to get home.

1. Learn when to and when not to do your assigned reading.
Sometimes you can get away with not doing your reading, sometimes you have to do your reading upon threat of failure. Learn the difference.

2. Make friends with your neighbor, especially when your neighbor is your R.A.
I lived in a small corridor on the third floor of a classic freshman hall. If I opened my door, the first thing I saw was my R.A.'s door. Her and I became friends pretty quickly with how often we saw each other, plus she was super nice!! I also got to know the girl to my left. Her roommate was atrocious, but she was pretty great. Her and I would probably talk constantly over the summer if she wasn't spending it hiking through Alaska.

3. Make studying a priority.
Seriously, guys, just do it. You're there to study. Let me repeat that. You are paying to learn. How about you actually make some use of loan/parents/your money.

4. Don't forget to have fun.
This is important. Its the common "Work Hard/Play Hard." I admit, I enjoyed my share of weekend house parties, but I also busted my ass during the week and I deserved to have some fun. You deserve the same. Have fun when you can, but don't forget to study! (see #3)

5. Find a good study place.
If that's your dorm, your living room, the basement, the library, a comfortable tree, the student center, or a cafe in town, just find somewhere you can be productive. That special spot may change every few weeks. It also may be a magical unicorn that you will love forever. No matter, find it and love it.

6. Join an activity.
Or 10. (Don't join 10, you'll drive yourself crazy.) But pick something you love, find others who love it and share that love. I spent my fall semester in the marching band spinning color guard and could not have loved it more. I also danced with the campus ballet corps, which I absolutely love. I found great friends and loved it. So, find something you enjoy and join said group. If there isn't a group on campus already, make one.

7. Learn to take naps.
Seriously. Naps were my best friend on Thursdays during first semester. When I would stay up until 3 or 4 am the night before finishing my lab report and then get up to go to my 8 am lab. I learned to take a nap those days.

8. Find something that makes you happy.
Unless its something dangerous and stupid like murdering people. Don't murder people. But find something that makes you happy so you can relax because college can get seriously stressful. For me, it was dancing. 

9. Do your laundry on a regular basis.
Just do it. Find a spot in your week that is free and do your laundry on a regular basis. You'll thank yourself when your favorite shirt is always clean when you want it.

10. Make a week-view schedule.
I don't mean every week (unless you want). What I mean is if you find yourself getting bogged down, take the time to make a weekly schedule. Map out where and what you spend your time on. I did this first semester and it really helped me see where I was spending my time and where I was wasting my time. This is actually really helpful, it showed me where I have spare time to do whatever it is I needed to do (ie. STUDYING).

11. Don't be an asshole to your roommate.
They know where you sleep. If you're an asshole, they will get revenge. Plus, it is just plain rude.

12. Rush or don't rush, no one will judge you.
This one pretty much speaks for itself. If you are at a college where there is a greek life, you'll be faced with a Hamlet situation: To Rush or Not To Rush. Here's one thing I can tell you: it doesn't matter. If you want to rush, more power to you. If you don't want to rush, good for you. No one will give you flack for one decision or the other, and if they do then maybe they shouldn't be in your life. So, don't worry to much about it. If you want to rush, then best wishes! If not, don't sweat it.

13. This isn't high school.
I am one of those people that was built and bred for college. I feel so ridiculously at home when I'm at school. So, as you can imagine, I was about as prepared as I could be for school. I had checklists, I had read class descriptions over and over, I had my schedule memorized. I was ready. And most of all, I knew I would be fine. What I didn't consider: how much my classes would smack me in the face. I was determined to not be one of those people who walked into college thinking I could get by on the same amount of studying I did in high school. I knew that wouldn't cut it. But, when it came down to it, it was habitual. I was used to it and because of that, I had a difficult time adjusting. After I realized that I wasn't studying enough, it was early enough to fix it, but don't let that happen to you. Realize that college requires more studying than high school. 
And on the other hand, this isn't high school. No one cares how cool you were, no one cares what your GPA was, or your SAT/ACT score. You could have been a carnival worker in high school and people wouldn't care. This is college, all anyone cares about is who you are whilst in college. 

Just buy a planner. I promise it will help you.

15. Clean your dorm.
It will make you happier when things are cleaner. So, tidy up every once in a while. Even if you're busy, try to remember. In my dorm, you could always tell if I was having a particularly busy week because my side of the room because a pile of clothing. But on Sundays, I would always clean while watching the game (during the fall).

16. Decorate your dorm.
As small as the room may be, it is your home for the next 9-ish months. So, decorate it. You'll be happier if you feel at home.

17. Don't be afraid to freak out.
Everyone breaks down sometimes, it is normal and it is OKAY. Let yourself do it. But, when it is over, pick yourself back up and change what needs to be changed.

18. Carry a phone charger.
'Nuff said

19. Take your computer EVERYWHERE.
Now, this may not apply to you. Some people have ridiculously large 20" turbo computers that weigh more than I do, but I have a Macbook Air, so I take it everywhere with me. Plus, it hold a charge pretty well, so I can always pop it open and browse the internet, or go over some typed notes. 

20. Don't over-do the partying.
Don't get me wrong, there is nothing bad about having some fun now and then, but don't over do it. However, don't party so much that your grades start to fall, your parents get pissed and you eventually wind up in the hospital because you have alcohol poisoning.

Just *sigh* please where flip flops in the shower. It's just nasty if you don't.

22. Talk to your professors, they can be an incredible asset.
I took the time to ask my Intro to Psych professor a couple of questions and talk to him about what I want with my future. He is now one of my biggest mentors, he offered me a position as an Undergraduate Research Assistant, and I have a ridiculous amount of opportunities because of that. And all I did was email him and ask to chat with him after class for a few minutes. 

23. Professors can be incredible assets or incredible asshats. They can also be both.
My chem professor first semester was a butthead that slept with his grad students (or that's what the lecture gossip spit out) But if you went to him with good, clear questions, then he could be very helpful.

24. Call your mom.
She loves you and will always be there for you. Call her. If you're having a good day or if you're having a bad day. Call your mom.

25. Buy some throw pillows.
You will spend a lot of time on your bed unless you are one of the lucky few who have room in their dorm for a lounge chair or sofa. You will thank yourself.

26. Explore different note-taking methods and find one that is right for you.
Taking notes during lecture is important. Sometimes the professor will expand on a topic in a way that isn't in the book. Writing that down is important. Even if it isn't on the exam, it can help you further understand a topic. So, find out which way you take notes best and stick to it. I suggest anything with colored pens. 

The first year of college is certainly an experience, and is different for everyone. Never be afraid to fall, only be afraid of not picking yourself back up. Nothing, I repeat, NOTHING can prepare you for your individual college experience. You may love it. You may hate it. You may find yourself. You may find that college is just not the place for you. No matter, make it count. Do what you're there for and study. At the same time, don't forget to have fun. College can be incredible if you embrace it. 

To all, have a good day. And to you future freshman, best wishes!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

My Life in Lists

Good morning, all. It's been a while, I know. But really, I would be surprised if you haven't come to expect that from me by now. Let's just say I'm pretty comparable to Lorelai Gilmore with her catalogue project. I pick something up, work on it a little bit and then put it down for months at a time. As you'll notice, we have a bit of a look change here at Prep You Very Much. I felt it was time for a change. There is more to come, in time.

I have a type-A personality. I take control of everything. In my life, there is a place for everything and everything is in its place. Why? Because I'm a list maker. I spend my life making lists. Grocery lists, shopping lists, packing lists, class lists, to-do lists, contact lists, textbook lists. The "notes" section in my Lilly planner is spilling over with lists. Lists on the pages, lists on post-it notes. Its how I stay organized. Its how I stay sane. 

Quick anecdote: Last year, when I was preparing for my freshman year of college, I had pages and pages of lists. I had a list of everything I needed to take with me. I had a list of everything I had to buy, separated by categories. I had a list of things I had left to do. When I finally packed everything up in Ikea bags (what aren't they good for?), I inventoried everything and made lists of what was in each bag, including the sub-bags.

While that may seem a bit excessive and a bit obsessive, it's how I stay organized. I may have had a folder of lists (each in a sheet protector) but I also left for Oxford that morning knowing that I had everything I needed. (By the way, you never can think of and pack EVERYTHING that you will need in college. You'll buy more and more stuff as the year goes on. Just accept it.) 

The point is, I like lists. It's how I stay focused in school. It's how I remembered to pack everything for both prom weekends. It's how I stay sane in my every day life. If you find that you have organization problems. If you find that there is always something you're forgetting to pack on your way to the beach, or something you're always forgetting at the grocery store, or are always forgetting that one assignment, make a list. Say it with me "Make a list." They are beautiful, wonderful, magical things they keep life in order. 

To all I say, have a good day. Oh! and Happy Fourth of July Weekend!