Category Archives: student life

How to: Vodka Gummy Bears…

So here’s how to make my personal favorite drinking snack.

It’s really easy, but does take some set up time.

So all you need:

  • A quart-sized mason jar or a reusable food storage container (any size will really do)
  • big bag of gummy bears (whichever brand you prefer, I always get the biggest bag possible for multiple batches)
  • a big bottle of regular vodka (whichever brand you prefer, I always just get the cheapest, biggest bottle I can find)

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 12 hours

Step 1: Fill container 2/3 with gummy bears

Step 2: Pour vodka over gummy bears until just covered

Step 3: Put lid on container and put in fridge overnight

This is the best make-ahead party treat (for adults, duh) and it stays in the fridge pretty well until you want/need them. I usually just keep a jar in the fridge for a fun little something on Friday nights to treat myself for getting through the week. Because nothing says happiness like gummy bears and alcohol.

Student life: the exception…

I want to touch back on the First World Problem I mentioned in a previous blog post.

Because this is a real issue and I know there are kids like me out there struggling to come to terms with it.

For my first time readers, the First World Problem is that you live in an area where you are lucky enough to go to school, but getting into college is it own struggle like not qualifying for financial aid or scholarships because of your background as a well-off middle class kid.

So I just wanted to take a second and tell those kids that you’re not alone. And to offer some advice you won’t find anywhere else because no one wants to get down into the dirt with you.

  1. No one in your circle is going to understand your situation. No one. Your parents won’t understand that your entire financial situation is based off of them. Your friends won’t understand because they have their own issues and lives to deal with and they aren’t emotionally capable to deal with your issues right now. And forget about advisers and counselors and mentors at college understanding. They may say they get it, but this is definitely something outside their capacity to deal with, because they have other students and their own lives to deal with. So make your piece with the fact that this is a long, hard road you’re on and that it is a lonely one as well.
  2. There is no way to get through this without sacrificing everything important. Seriously, you will have to cut ties with certain people and go without your favorite coffee creamer and those awesome family vacations with your folks. Because you’re going to be working your ass off in school and at work to make ends meet. Get used to sleeping on Saturday nights instead of partying and people giving you weird looks for getting stuck at work instead of hanging out with them. And whatever they say, all that ‘you can miss one day, you can miss one class’ BS, don’t fall for it. You can’t gain your footing back when you fall behind.
  3. I know you are horribly frustrated. Trust me, I know. No one can give you the answers for this problem. Well, except finding a sugar daddy to pay for all your shit. But that is a very rare occurrence. So keep your head down, your nose to the grindstone, burn the candle at both ends, yadda yadda yadda. But that’s not gonig to work either. Trust me. I know from being there. So what do I suggest? Half-ass everything you can and save your energy for the shit you have to whole-ass like projects and tests. Don’t spend yourself on the menial shit.
  4. Take a break from life if you have to. This is the only rule I follow about my life; my personal self comes first. If that means skipping studying to actually eat a real meal, then so be it. If it’s between a shower and an extra hour of sleep instead of a few hours of overtime, I’m going to pick my bed before anything else. Everyone will try to tell you to keep working hard and just get up earlier and work harder, but for the love of all that is good in this world, do not neglect yourself just to get an A. If you have to redo the semester, so be it. If you have to retake a course 5 times because you absolutely hate it, so be it. Don’t sacrifice yourself just to prove a point. Trust me, I’ve been there.
  5. You’re frustrated. You’re exhausted. You’re pointlessly wondering about where to go from here. I know. So what do you need to do to quit feeling like this? I have some bad news, friend. Get comfy with this feeling cause it’s your reality for however long it takes to get your degree. Shitty, right? But don’t worry. The process is so long and convoluted to get through school while working full time that by the time you get to the end of the road, you’re to be so exhausted and burned out that you’ll have to be carried across the stage to get your hard-earned diploma. And then you’ll spend the next 50 years working just as hard to pay off your loans and buy a house and then die. Fun, right? So do what I do every time I pointlessly search the internet for some magic solution; make a plan, make a back-up plan, then get to work. Which is the last thing you want to do, but plan your plan out so far that every day has a plan. Every year has a plan. Then even if something goes wrong, if something falls through, or you still feel directionless and exhausted, you have the road map right there to tell you if you’re going the right way, if you’re doing the right thing.

 

Is this all super shitty advice? You bet your ass it is. But it’s the only thing I’ve been able to come up with considering that I’m the only I know dealing with this shit.

Let me know if this works for you, or if I just pissed you off more.

Student life: Why I hate common college tips…

I absolutely hate all the advice floating around about college courses. I HATE it. And it’s not because it’s bad advice, it’s because it’s one-perspective advice. It’s all the tips and tricks that particular student found works for them.

So I’m going to go over all the dumb little tips I’ve found to be impossible for me.

  1. Don’t take any classes before 9 am or Don’t take any 8 am classes. This is the most bullshit advice I’ve ever heard. I know when you first get into college you overbook yourself. It’s just what happens. But it is sometimes impossible to avoid taking an 8 am class. At my school in particular, many required courses for my major are only available at 8 or 9, which means that to graduate I gotta drag my ass to class. College isn’t about living the Dream™, it’s about putting in the work to get a future and be more comfortable later in life.
  2. Find a club. I hate this advice because there is no way some of us can be committed to a full course load and a club, especially if you have a job you HAVE to work to afford eating and sleeping with a roof over your head. Not to mention the people who only want to focus on getting through their courses or can’t devote any other personal energy to a club. If you really think a club is going to help you get into some grad school or to get some job after you graduate, then maybe you should also keep your options open about what you want to do after college. I have gotten many jobs without the help of some club and I’m going to get into grad school without a club on my academic resume either, because I’m going to work hard at the other aspects of my life.
  3. Don’t forget to exercise and take care of yourself uwu I hate this advice because it only works for some people. There’s no reason to look at your already packed schedule and try to fit in an hour of intramural sports or 30 minutes at the rec center. If your campus is like mine, then you can bike or walk to class every day, which is just as healthy as hitting the gym every day because you get fresh air, sunshine (on sunny days of course) and some moderate exercise. But there’s no reason to kill yourself trying to keep up with everyone else who’s schedule allows for them to hit the gym or the rec every day.
  4. Focus on school, hustle, hustle, hustle Gods, I hate hustle culture. I hate that fact that people act like if you just work hard enough all your dreams will come true. Let me sit you down and give you some real life advice; You’re NUMBER ONE PRIORITY IS YOU. For me that means I will sacrifice everything except the basic needs. I will not lose sleep or skip meals. All those dumb graphics and dumb rhetoric about ‘stay up late and get up early to achieve your dreams’ is absolute bullshit. You can’t enjoy the fruits of your labor if you’re sitting in a hospital bed with malnutrition and exhaustion. So don’t skip work, dinner, or bed, because you have to make sure you are taken care of before you start trying to make your life better.

As much as good advice is out there, there’s tons more than you can’t even use 9 times out of 10 because it just doesn’t apply to your situation.

 

Student life: How to bounce back from a bad semester…

First thing first: don’t panic.

Shit happens. Don’t start freaking out on me. That’s rule #1 in any survival situation.

So take a deep breath.

Step 1: Don’t shut down yet. 

I know how it is at the end of the semester. You’re exhausted. You’re sick of staying up late and getting up early and you want to eat anything other than ramen. But don’t get into vacation mode just yet.

If you’re already there, then wait two weeks before the new semester and start prepping for class then.

You don’t want to shut down just yet because you need to keep the wheels moving while you’re in that school mentality.

Now, I know what you’re thinking; Why the fuck am I going to keep studying and working after I turned in my 20 page paper and finished my Chem Final?

Because this is where we unfuck the next semester.

Step 2: Unfucking yourself

This is the nitty-grtitty of it. You should be registered for your next semester and have the resources available. (If not, no big deal, we’ll come back to you later).

Think through the past semester and jot down all the times you know you fucked yourself over for school. Was it an extra shift at work? Maybe a first date that had you primping for over an hour and half? Or a birthday party for your grandma?

Jot down all these instances. Literally, put it on paper because you’re going to need a physical form for you to see this.

Now everything that was optional and you could’ve lived without doing, put a star next to it. Everything that was necessary and unavoidable, cross out. Examples of both are; a night spent out drinking with friends from high school you don’t exactly like a lot – optional and unnecessary. Grandma’s 90th birthday party – necessary (unless you got a grandma like me and she wants you to study instead of party so she uninvites you to her party).

Every unnecessary instance (starred) will show you were you dropped the ball on time management. Maybe you got caught up in a new Netflix show. Maybe you dated someone before a messy breakup. But now, you’re wiser than at the start of the semester and can learn from this mistake.

Maybe this means you have to stop hanging out with your friends in the sorority because as nice as they are, they aren’t on the same major as you and don’t have to work as hard to be an architect as to be a doctor. Maybe this means you have to cut your crazy uncle out of your life for a while because he only shows up to bum some cash, couch surf, and party. Maybe this means you have to take a break from your S.O. because while they may be studying history and you’re studying Literature, they may distract you from getting your work done.

This may seem like a shitty thing to do, but you have to remember that you are racking up a huge bill to get a step further in the world. You can’t cater to anyone else’s feelings right now. This is your time to grow and those in your life need to understand that or they need to get out. So tell them either get behind you or get our of the way, because you can’t make it through this journey with half-assed support and people dragging you down and turning your attention away from getting this shit done once and for all.

Step 3: Plan, Plan, Plan, and Plan some more

This is also why you need to be stuck in that studying mindset still.

You have to make a real plan for the next semester. I know that I’ve screwed up a semester or two because I went against my plan and let myself be spontaneous as any college kid does. DO NOT KEEP DOING THIS!

While it’s good to live a little, you are spending thousands of dollars to learn and grow, and spending 4 years being studious and boring is better than spending 10 years stuck in a dead-end job because you dropped out of college.

Everyone will tell you to enjoy your youth while you have it and to live it up while you can, but let me tell you something; we’re here for a good time, not here for a long time, so live it up small but don’t leave yourself SOL when you need cash or time or a better job.

So plan out your study time and work schedule now to get a jump on telling your managers when you’ll be available. This is also a good time to think about if you may need help for next semester. Look into study groups or tutoring for those classes that keep coming back to haunt you. Look at what messed you up this semester; was it poorly written notes? Was it ineffective study groups? Was it Netflix? Was it spending too much making flash cards instead of reviewing them?

So figure out a game plan for the next semester.

Step 4: Let it go 

No, not the song.

Well, kind of like the song.

Just make your peace with this semester. Time marches on and soon this will be just a challenge you overcame for grad school application essays. Now, I know you’re thinking, how am I supposed to get over the worst time in my life? This is so horrible and I’ll never get over it. I’m a disgrace and a waste of space…

I’ll tell you how. You should still be sitting down looking at your plan. Take a deep breath. Now tell yourself the truth; you messed up, but guess what? You’re cleaning up your mess and you’re going to make it better.

So if you need a strong drink and a good cry to make your peace, well you and me both, friend.

The Lie about getting up Earlier…

I absolutely hate this fucking lie that hustle culture promotes.

Getting up an hour or two earlier is not going to change a damn thing.

All those people who preach about getting up before 5 or 6 am, they don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about. Maybe they’re freelancers or something, but for everyone else with a regular job or a school schedule, getting up a hour earlier won’t mean shit in our day to day.

I already get up at 5:30 am to get ready for work. I get up, get ready, pack lunch for me and my boyfriend, then check my emails and have breakfast.  I get to work at 7 and work until 4. I get home and do chores, blog, cook dinner, the like until I go to be at 10 pm.

So if I get up an hour earlier, then I’m going to be asleep on my couch by 9. Maybe this isn’t the case for everyone. Maybe some of you can survive on 6 or less hours of sleep. I know my limit is 6 hours a night. If I get less than that, then I start turning into a confrontational bitch who slowly starts losing her grip on self-control. Maybe you can live on 4 hours a night and function perfectly well.

But based off the numerous studies conducted about how much sleep people need to functional well, cutting back on sleep is not the way to get ahead in this world. Cutting back on the basic necessities, like sleeping or eating will not get you far before your body decides it can’t keep up with your ambition.

So every single person who claims that staying up late and getting up early and working hard are what will get you there. It’s not. It’s being clever with your time, smart about your resources, and open about your options.

Procrastinating: what helps me…

Everyone procrastinates from time to time.

Some people (like me) do it all the damn time and we get very frustrated with ourselves because we feel like we should be able to get over procrastinating.

But every single time we look for help, the advice is usually along the lines of ‘well just stop procrastinating’. It doesn’t work like that, Brenda!

That’s like telling someone that their leg should just quit being broken or that they should quit having depression.

I know I procrastinate a lot because I feel inadequate. I know, I’m the queen of this hell hole and I feel inadequate? But its true. I feel like anything I turn out is substandard to anyone else even as I huff and mutter under my breath that I’m the best damn (insert progression here).

But that’s what’s helping me get through some of my procrastination.

Fake it till you make it

My life motto most days.

All you have to do is pretend that you’re a spy and you have to do this task and it doesn’t matter how bad because you’re undercover.

But seriously, you just have to tell yourself that whathisname is just as good as you so you have to be better. Or that if this guy can do so can I.

This method usually boosts my motivation for a half-second to at least consider getting my shit done.

But this doesn’t help you magically get your shit. There is no answer that I’ve found for waking up and everything being done.

Baby steps

I’m bad about this. Logically, if you can’t complete the whole task you can at least start on something small to get the ball rolling.

Now I’m an all or nothing kind of person and that has bitten me in the ass more times than I can tell. Sometimes from procrastinating and sometimes because I’m just too damn stubborn for my own good.

But this method has helped me get through so stupid ass essays for school.

Everyone will go on and on and on and on and on about their favorite way of breaking down a task into steps. Do this thing first or that thing first.

But you have to find what works for you. This means brainstorming. If that means sitting down and staring at a computer for three hours trying to break down an essay into parts you can handle, or if that means doing the bare minimum at work while trying to figure out how to handle that big project, then do what needs to be done so you have the right plan in place.

Take Your Damn Time 

This seems counter-intuitive, but here me out. You know how it feels when you half-ass a project and then feel guilty because you could’ve done better, but you rushed and scrambled to get your shit together.

Well quit rushing around like a headless chicken.

Stop for 15 minutes. Take a deep breath. Take another deep breath. Take another.

Now you’re good to keep going. Make a list of everything to do for the day. Now, what has to get done in 10 minutes? 20 minutes? An hour? By the end of the day?

You’ve got your priorities now. So take your baby steps and get the ball rolling. If it means just taking it a little at a time, it’s better than getting burned out and feeling bad about shitty work.

Now, this does mean that some priorities are going to have to be put aside or even dropped to keep other obligations. Let them go. Don’t feel bad about it.

So you miss a homework assignment. So you have to cancel a dinner with your friends to finish a project at work. So you have to stay late at a study group instead of catching another shift at work.

You have to know when to make those calls. But don’t feel bad, because at the end, you’re work is going to be whole-assed instead of half-assed and you’re going to feel motivated to get onto the next task.

Remember, it’s that whole thing of ‘to make an omelette, you have to break a few eggs’, but this times eggs means obligations and omelettes mean meeting deadlines.

 

 

Everyone procrastinates. Just don’t forget to keep moving. And for the love of whatever gods exist, don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re not going to stop procrastinating overnight (if you could, I would have done it already and then summarily conquered the world by now). But you can still make progress.

Image that procrastinating is being stuck in one of those foam pits at a gymnastic gym. Those things are incredibly hard to get out of, but you have to keep moving. Just a little bit will get you closer to the edge of the pit and you can get out. But if you stop moving, you’re going to sink. If you stop moving you’re going to get even more stuck. So take those baby steps and think about how if some stupid grade schooler can get out of a stupid foam pit, so can you.

 

The First World Problem…

We’ve all heard that joke abput #firstworldproblems. It’s funny. Sometimes.

I love laughimg about the Starbucks girls with their uggs and leggings. Because there’s no way that can legitimately hurt someone.

But I can’t stand when try to debate higher education with me.

I’m not saying that higher education is the best and that everyone should go to college, because school isn’t for everyone. What gets to me os the people who look and me and other people like me like we’re stupid for going to college. Like we’re stupid for not going to trade school. Like we’re stupid because we have to pay for college out of pocket.

And then they start this debate and don’t care about all the facts and figures saying that college is way more expensive than the past and kids aren’t getting enough financial aid to cover it all.

I hate having to hold my tongue (and my hands from going slap-happy) because there’s no way I’ll ever be able to explain that college is important for some people to get certain jobs, like doctors and architects. But they keep looking at college like its a choice people can make and still go about their lives and get the job they want. How would you feel is your doctor came into the room like ‘hey this is my first day, just started, didn’t even have to go to school…’?

So when people ask me why I’m working at [insert retail giant name here] instead of going to school, I simply say that I have The First World Problem: my parents make too much money for me to qualify for government aid and they gave me a great childhood where I didn’t starve and I had a roof over my head so I can’t qualify for 90% of scholarships out there.

Now I’m not nay-saying on all the kids who worked harder than me and got full-ride scholarships or had tougher formative years and are able to get some amazing scholarships. I’m just saying that I’m stuck between a rock and hard place and if I open my mouth the wrong way about it, then I look like a major asshole.

Sure, I am a major asshole, but I’m not against these kids out there busting their asses to get an education.

But I’m saying I have a few critiques of the system.

  1. The financial aid application should not rely on your parents income unless your parents sign a waver agreeing to help with college costs and the propose amount they can help with. My parents aren’t able to help me pay for school because they’re still workong on loans from my older siblings. They should be able to tell the government that they are hnable to help financially.
  2. Colleges should make it easier for kids to petition for financial aid. My best friend tried to petition her school to let them know that her dad had lost his job and that she would need more aid since her mom’s salary would not be able to cover the cost of school. They denied her because they stated that the aid was awarded based of off last years income reported from the financial aid application.
  3. More colleges should allow payment plans. My college which has been around since the late 1800’s just allowed payment plans LAST YEAR. After I had to leave twice to pay off my bills to both school and lenders.
  4. Advisors and financial aid offices should work more closely to help students decide what classes they can take and what they can actually afford to take. Advisors will tell you everything you need to take. The financial aid office will tell you how much money you don’t have to spend out of poclet. But then you have to decide if you can even afford to go taking a full-class load of 15 credit hours at $400 per hour. Because of you’re not full-time you lose your government aid.
  5. The rule for becoming an indepedent student in the eyes of the government don’t even apply to half of the students entering grad school. So the government will look at only my tax information I have to be 25, married, or have a child. I can’t afford two of those things and one is impossible to become overnight. And grad students, kids who have been on their own for years now working and going to school and all that jazz, still have to sit down with their parents once a year to fill out a stupid application for money.

How many of you have been in similar situations? Any one have practical solitions to this mess? Leave a comment or send me an email.

Student life: Study Tips that actually work…

You’re here because you’re procrastinating. You can’t get the info to stick in your information-saturated brain and now you’re scrambling because you have midterms next week. After reading article after article after blog post after blog post, you’re seeing the same bullshit everywhere. And it’s not working for you.

Maybe you were a gifted high school student who didn’t need to study. Maybe all the methods shoved down your throat in school just don’t work or you can’t grasp the intricacies of the method. Worst of all, maybe you’re just trying to find something that actually works outside of what everyone else has been doing since the dawn of higher learning.

So here’s some tips from me that I found work for me.

  1. Spend 30 minutes every day unwinding. This seems counter-intuitive, I know. But if you just spent 6 hours learning and running around, you’re overloaded mentally. First thing I do when I get home from classes (unless I have to work right after class), is take off my shoes, put on a pot of coffee, grab a snack, and do some quick little chores, like the dishes or starting a load of laundry. These are all mindless tasks that you don’t have to spend any real thinking time doing. It also helps set you up for the next few hours. You have coffee (or tea if you don’t want to drink coffee that late, or milk or water or juice or whatever you drink) to keep you going through your homework, your dishes are done, you have clothes started for tomorrow.
  2. Set up your desk. Don’t count this time as part of your break. This is your pre-study prep time. Set up your desk with all the things you need, like you pens, your notebooks, your textbooks, your notecards, your laptop, your drink and snacks. Get your computer up and running and the online homework portal up. This is were everyone else shirks away in their tips; there is no way for you to do your work 90% of the time without being on your computer. 90% of homework is completed or submitted online so you will need your computer.
  3. ‘Eat the Frog’  This is a tip I saw floating around on the internet. It’s basically just starting with the thing you hate most. The thinking behind this is that when you do the thing you hate most first, you won’t push it off, you won’t half-ass it, you won’t ‘pretend’ it doesn’t exist (I’ve been there, don’t lie to me). This isn’t exactly what you want to hear, but you still have to get the work done. So if you have to work on Lit, Math, and Chemistry, and you love Math but hate Chemistry, then work on Chemistry first. Channel your energy hating it into beating that stupid class into submission. Then to reward yourself, work on your favorite class last to give your brain a little break.
  4. Give yourself a montage. Something that oddly inspires me to work hard is pretend that I’m in a movie. So play some music in the ‘background’ (headphones please, not everyone shares your taste) and pretend that Speilberg is filming a dramatization of your life in a Legally Blonde-esque montage of you doing schoolwork and putting your nose to the grindstone. Don’t act all embarrassed by this, you do it in your head already when you’re on a bus ride. So just channel Elle Woods and pretend you have to put your ex-boyfriend in his place by being better than him at his own game.
  5. Google is your new study buddy. Everyone acts like your teacher or your textbook hold all the answers to the class. But that’s utter bullshit. Your teacher may be an expert in the field but sometimes it’s hard to communicate ideas to each other. It’s the drawback of language and human thought. So don’t be afraid to Google a concept or find a Youtube video explaining it. Not everyone learns the same way, so you’ll have to do some legwork on your own to find what works best for you to learn a difficult concept in a week. And Google is very useful for finding practice exams from other professors across the world, or presentations, or study guides.
  6. Avoid brain-drain. You know the feeling; you’ve been staring at the same page for an hour and nothing is soaking in. This is your indication to take a real break. Now, people preach about taking breaks every hour or so, but I take breaks after I finish a flow. A flow is when you get rolling on a project or a section of reading and it’s all just rolling along. So why break a flow when the timer goes off, instead of riding it to the end and keeping the productivity going? But when you get to brain-drain, call it night. Only go back to the desk if you will absolutely fail tomorrow. So when you ride a flow to the end, get up and refill your cup, grab a handful of trail mix or something, and switch projects.
  7. Plan time Do this at the end of your study session. Pull out your planner and update your assignment tasks. Personally, I put vague notes in my physical planner, like ‘Lit class, reading sess, essay revise’ and in my digital planner I put all the details, like page numbers, upcoming projects, essay to-dos. When I plan, I cross everything off that I did accomplish for the day and plan for what I need to get done tomorrow excluding things like pre-assigned reading or homework that needs to be completed daily. This helps me to stay on track with my studying and lets me plan for the next day, including where I can study between classes or what I can push off if my homework runs late.
  8. Work, School, Play. In that order exactly. Everyone brags and boasts how they were able to go to school full-time and work full-time and all they did was prioritize, blah, blah, blah. I take my priorities into account by the hierarchy of needs by Maslow. If you don’t know what this is, Google is your friend, remember? So I spend my time working more so that I can eat and sleep in a real bed. Then I study to get myself ahead in the world. Then if I have anytime left, I plan for dinners with my family or date night with my boyfriend or movie night with my friends. But they don’t get my priority. If you really feel lonely, you have a magical device that allows you to contact people anytime, anywhere.

 

Some of these topics I may cover in depth later, but please take to heart that you don’t have to do things like everyone else. If you still need answers, or you’re just frustrated that you can’t get this whole school thing to work, hit me up. I’m an open ear if nothing else and maybe all you need is to just talk your problems out.

Why I’m doing this…

So I just want to clear the air. I’m not here to blog and make money off all you people on the internet. There’s enough of that going around. Would I like to make a little cash here and there from my blog? Hell yeah. But I’m not working to turn this into the ‘full-time career’ that every other blogger brags about.

Because that’s just not feasible. At all. How are these people able to quit their jobs as productive members of society just to sit around all day and rake in money from other hard-working people? I don’t want to quit my job to blog all day (I do want to quit because retail sucks ass, but because I want to blog all day).

I love working, and I know that some things just can’t be accomplished yet with technology, like stocking shelves or mopping floors (okay, I know rumbas are a thing, but those aren’t good for commercial places yet). I don’t want to sit back and let the cash roll in.

I’m blogging just to get some of what I think out into the great internet void. Because you can only complain so much to the people you know. And it’s fun to watch people to get all pissy because I’m throwing their lying asses under the bus for trying to mislead regular people into thinking that all their problems can be solved with a simple blog post and some affiliate links.

So don’t think I’m doing this just to get money from you or to live off the system and money made from other people’s generosity. I’m just here to scream into the void.

Student Life: Organization…

Just a heads up: There is an affiliate link below and I may get compensation if you decide to click through and buy some of the neat stuff I’m showing. But don’t worry that I’m trying to charge you out the ass; there’s extra charge for you. You’re the best, I appreciate you!

All those kids out there working and studying have all sorts of tips and tricks to keep on track. So I thought I would give you all my unnecessary input. Cause why not?

While working full-time, it’s hard to keep things under control, and adding in social time and clubs is next to impossible.

And everyone has their ideas on how to stay organized. EVERYONE.

But there’s no right answer to these questions. There’s no one way that works for everyone and sometimes you have to mix and match tips to find what works for you. Here’s what works for me, most of the time :).
Two forms of calendars: one paper and one electronic

Using two calendars helps me really keep track of everything. Most people say just use one, but this method helps me because it’s two reminders: a physical copy I can hold and carry and a digital one that I can set reminders for constantly from my phone and laptop.

Having both a physical planner and a digital calendar makes me keep deadlines in mind at all times so that I’m not overbooking myself on other assignments or meetings.

I take the time at the end of each day to make sure each is updated for the next few days so I’m always on track.
Two notebooks

This is a common tip and if you’ve ever tried you’ll see why. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this method, allow me to elaborate.

You can two notebooks. Simple enough. One is for your pretty notes and one is for class/reading notes. You begin by writing your notes in the ‘ugly’ notebook, from reading or from class, taking as many notes as possible. Then when you go over your notes for studying later in the day, you rewrite them in your ‘pretty’ notebook.

It sounds completely redundant and like a waste of time. But it’s a great study tool. Because not only are you having to recall from memory what was reviewed in class, but the repetition from writing the notes again makes you remember it better.

This method has really helped me work on recollection and associating concepts.

Color-coding and Filing Systems

This seems like another obvious idea. But for those who are clueless with filing systems, then listen up.

Every semester I try to keep every thing based in color-coded files based on the class subject; say, purple for lit classes, red for math, blue for sciences, etc.

As you get assignments back, you file them in these folders. How? One side use for handouts given in class, like resource pages, and one side for worksheets, homework, quizzes, and tests by DATE, oldest in front, newest is slipped in the back.

Then you have all your materials ready come test time to review.

Also color-code between classes. In your planner(s), color-code your time for classes and study time per class. For example, Math Class 1 is red in your planner, Science Class 1 is blue, Lit 1 is green, and so on. Then when you look at your schedule, you can quickly glance over it and see which classes you have coming up and what you need to study that night.

Wilderness Scout Bag

You can guess what this one means. Always have your bag prepared for the day.

Besides all the stuff you definitely need, think of all the things you MAY need. Maybe you’ll get out of your second class early and this will give a few minutes to review between classes. Maybe you’ll get stuck late at your lab tonight so bring a snack.

Here’s everything I pack in my bag for class everyday:

  • blank notecards and notecard holder (these can usually be found around back-to-school time)
  • calculator
  • phone charger
  • pencils
  • E-kit
    • Tampons and/or pads
    • Band-aids (you never know when those heels will give you a blister or you’ll get a nasty papercut during research)
    • Hair ties
    • bobby-pins
    • ibuprofen/acetaminophen
    • make-up if you wear it
  • planner
  • Colored pens
  • Holding folder (this is a folder/binder I carry to hold my papers until I get to class or home from class to file away properly)
  • Any books for Lit classes (unless you have a digital version, then maybe an e-reader if you have one)
  • A granola bar or two, or some trail mix
  • Water bottle : More often than not I don’t carry a water bottle on campus because I basically live off coffee and caffeine but stay hydrated folks
  • My laptop and charger (depending on where I’m going and what I’m doing that day)

This seems like a lot, but most of it fits in a pencil case or those smaller accessory pockets of a standard backpack.

Keep your bag organized and ready for the day so you can maximize your time but not having to search for papers, or pens, or your books, or a snack.

Notice I didn’t include my keys or wallet in this list and that’s because as an adult those are things you should be remembering every day.

Study Space

This is going to be your hub for school work. Most people think of a desk in their room. And that’s exactly it.

Keep this area clean and prepped for work every day. And after a long of studying and reading, it seems like a hassle to clean off your desk space, but it feels so satisfying to throw that shit in a drawer and be done with it for the day.

But keeping this area clean is critical to keeping your space organized. You’ll be able to find notes, flashcards, and worksheets with ease, especially using a color-coding system and folder system.

What little things kept you organized during your school days? Or maybe you’re struggling right now? Chat me up in the comments and let’s see what we can come up with it.