Basics are a given. You know their eye color, hair color, and maybe even their height and clothing preference. You know she isn’t a morning person. You know he has a preference for dogs over cats. But how well do you really know them?
Obviously, every character is not going to need all this information, and some will not be applicable for every character. Use your better judgement. I know you have it.
1. Don’t stay in any place that you don’t fit in, that makes you uncomfortable, that keeps you small. Don’t stay in any state of mind that does that, either. Go after the things you want, actively wondering, continually reassessing, with constant self-assurance and patience.
2. Forgive yourself for any action, thought or part of yourself that you find inadequate or out of character; that being said, be restless in improving whatever is within your power and what you find really matters.
3. Remember that it’s ok to want to spend time by yourself, to want to spoil yourself from time to time, to want to forget about the world for a while. Your true self sometimes needs a wider space to manifest itself and maybe a little more time. That’s alright.
4. Remember to stay as far as you can from negative, toxic people. They will always try, consciously or not, to transfer some of their negativity to you. If you can make their day a bit easier, if you can help them gain a new perspective – then by all means, do it. But don’t let them get to you in any way, bringing you down. We are all fighting our own battles, and it’s only when they are ready to see the light that it will reveal itself to them.
5. Exercise and eat well. It’s a cliché maybe, but a healthy mind won’t stick around for long in a sickly body. There are small things you can do, small steps you can take. Just take them, one at a time.
6. Be open to more love, of any kind. Give it space to grow, give it patience. Let it do its numbers on you. Let it change you. Where negativity destroys, love nurtures. And if it ends up hurting, remember that at the end of all that hurt your soul will be much wider, your structure much solid, your understanding much deeper. Hurt from love is purifying, reinforcing, don’t avoid or fear it.
7. Be a good friend, a good child. Give a bit more of yourself; be a bit more open, more attentive, more generous. You’ll find that happiness lies most often in giving, in shared laughter, in confessed secrets. Everything else is hardly worth chasing.
8. Remember that it’s ok to fail sometimes, but only if you really, really tried. Give your all, even when it’s hard as hell. Live with intent, with purpose. Make sure your mark is left on everything you touch, your feelings known, your voice heard.
9. Be brave, kind soul. Fight to discover where your perfectly arranged atoms fit best, make yourself proud and seek as little exterior validation as possible.
10. Have loads of fun, try to find enjoyment in as many ways as possible. Give a chance to new places, surround yourself with interesting people, accumulate experiences rather than things. Youth and strength are limited and I want you to look back knowing it was all a beautiful adventure, a beautiful effort.”
End of Semester Clean Up || Here’s what I do at the end of the semester to reset and tie up loose ends!
1 || Reflect on the Semester || Before you begin the physical cleaning, reflect on what worked and what didn’t work. I like to make a stop/ start/ continue list for next semester:
Stop- for all the things you did this semester that didn’t work. I like to focus on the things I can easily change, versus what I know will inevitably happen anyways (we all have our bad habits!)
Start- little changes you may have thought of over the semester to make things easier. “I should have started my essays the day I got them!” Or “I really wish I studied with friends who quizzed me instead of by myself!”. They can also be things more mental health and self care related. Whatever you think will improve next semester!
Continue- what worked this semester? What got you an A in that class or helped you to relax and de-stress?
2 || Empty Binders & File School Notes || If you are like me and 1) take notes by hand and 2) keep notes for a year, then hopefully you have a good storage system for all those papers!
My friend keeps hers in the binder and has a shelf for them. I don’t have that much space/ don’t want to keep buying new binders so I organize them in a banker’s box. I use labelled file folders & hanging files. I also have a smaller box to store my study cards, and I keep that in a bin with those clear plastic study card boxes.
3 || Clean Up School Supplies || Throw out old, broken, and run out items. Purge what you didn’t use; you don’t need things without a purpose cluttering up your work space! Then make a note of what you DID use & need more of for next semester.
4 || Clean Out Your School Email || Save what is important in labelled files and deleting everything else. Try to get to “Inbox Zero” if possible!
5 || Tidy and Organize Your Desk for Increased Efficiency || That might mean getting some organizers to have certain items easily accessible from your desktop or it might mean getting rid of some things and purging your junk drawer.
6 || Return, Resell, or Consign your Textbooks || You can consign textbooks with your school’s used bookstore or resell them online (through your university program’s Facebook page, amazon, or other sites).
Studying for my English British Authors exam on Friday - this is my reading list! To be honest, this was probably my least favourite course this year, but it will be bittersweet when the exam is over because it will mean the beginning of summer, but also the end of my third year of university.