The most dangerous way we sabotage ourselves is by waiting for the perfect moment to begin. Nothing works perfectly the first time, or the first fifty times. Everything has a learning curve. The beginning is just that - a beginning. Surrender your desire to do it flawlessly on the first try. It’s not possible. Learn to learn. Learn to fail. Learn to learn from failing. And begin today. Begin now. Stop waiting.
—  Vironika Tugaleva
things i wish i’d known in my first year of university

I’m reaching the end of my time at university and it’s got me all sentimental. and regretful. There are a number of things that I had learned during my time at university that I wish I’d known during first year. 

  • Read everything. The only valid excuse for not reading everything on the reading list is that you didn’t have time, not that you found it boring, or that it wasn’t useful. Because there’s nothing scarier than trying to write an essay on something you studied a month ago, and you have no notes on the topic. 
  • Revise constantly. I wish I’d revisited everything I did a week after I did it, just as a recap. I tended to focus on what I was doing in the moment because it felt the most important thing at the time. Well, during exams, everything is equal. And it’s so frustrating not quite being able to remember something. So, revise. Even just for ten minutes.
  • Don’t spend all of your money on impulse. I’ve bought so much rubbish that I really don’t need. And if I’d saved that money, I could have gone on holiday. Save every last penny you can. 
  • Eat well. I just said that you should save all the money you can, but I think that food is one exception to that rule. Try and save money where you can, obviously, but don’t go for days and days without fresh vegetables because you’re saving money for a holiday. Your mind, as well as your body, needs food.
  • Go and talk to professors in their student hours. I used to find this so awkward. To be honest, I still do. But if you’re going sending them an email and asking for clarification on a topic, consider maybe popping into their office when it’s open to students. And tell them if you’re struggling! If you don’t let them know, then they can’t help you.
  • Take hot drinks with you, to your lectures or to the library. Don’t spend all your money in the library cafe. Bring a flask of tea, and loads of study snacks in a packed lunch box. Trust me on this.
  • Make time to meet up with friends you haven’t seen in ages. Don’t wait for them to ask you. I make sure to socialise with my friends at least twice a week. And by socialise, I don’t mean getting blind drunk and going clubbing. Sit down and have lunch together. Chat. Get to know each other properly. Friendships formed over alcohol never last as long as friendships formed through actual conversation.
  • Do stuff that the university puts on for students. Join societies. Get involved. One of the best nights I ever had at university was a masquerade ball that my college put on. And for some reason, I’ve never done anything like that since then? And I don’t understand why! University is for making memories, and I don’t really have many!
  • Travel around your university town. If you’re university is on a campus, don’t let your life revolve around that one place. If you’ve travelled away from home to go to university, then make it worth your while! See the sights, be a tourist, get on a bus and go to a random town and buy ice cream. 
  • Experiment. This is the time. Dye your hair blue, join a weird and random society and take up a hobby you’d never dreamed of.  If you want to try drugs, make sure it’s a safe environment and do your research before hand. If you don’t want to do that kind of thing, then don’t judge other people for doing so.
  • Give yourself a day off per week. When you’re at university and you’ve got loads of work, it’s tempting to just work constantly - or at least, to work every day, if not all the time. But it’s so much better for your mental state to take a day off to just relax. 
  • Keep up with your chores. When you’re stressed about an assignment, you don’t want to be also stressed about that pile of washing up accumulating by the sink. Keep your room tidy too - clear space, clear mind.
  • Be kind to everyone. You’re going to meet a lot of people at university, some you’re going to hit it off with immediately. But there will be some who really rub you up the wrong way. Don’t worry about it, it’s completely fine to not like someone. But don’t be mean to them. This isn’t high school, you’re all here to learn and there’s just no need to make them feel bad about themselves. It’s just petty and childish.
  • Think about the future. I know that you’re completely wrapped up in your university life right now, but you’re going to have to venture out into the real world at some point. Do things that might help your future career: volunteer, get a job, join a sports club, make connections. University isn’t, sadly, forever.

There you have it! The advice that I would have given myself in the first year of university. Whether you’re just about to start university, or whether you’re just about to leave, I hope this is useful to you.

fun fact: procrastination happens to animals too. it’s a naturall thing.

animal equivalents for scrolling tumblr include:
 - hamsters starting to wash their faces in inaproppriate situations
 - hyenas stopping everything and starting to dig holes in the ground.
 - seagulls starting to ruffle their feathers instead of doing important things

this happens for two reasons: 

1) an animal is in the situation where none of the standard scenarious it has are fitting, so it does the next best thing 
(example: hamsters were put in a vibrating bowl, they couldn’t run or attack, so in about a minute they stopped everything and started washing their faces.)

2) an animal has two conflicting instincts fighting for dominance, so the third one, usualy suppressed by them, kicks in.
(example: when two hyenas meet at the border of their territories, they have an instinct to protect their own territory conflict with an instinct not to cross someone else’s. they don’t know if they need to attack or leave, so both start digging holes in the ground.
example: a seagull sitting on the nest needs to protect her children, but also has to go get some food. instead a seagull settles for ruffling her feathers for two hours.)

with humans it’s usually the second reason.
(example: I’m tired and I want to go to sleep, but I should write an essay for tomorrow. both these things are important, so I’m procrastinating them by writing this post.)

nature is beautiful.
I’m gonna go to sleep now.

Sometimes being productive in the morning can be very difficult, so here are some tips on how to boost your productivity and stop procrastinating in the morning!

1. Get plenty of sleep-try to get at least 7-9 hours sleep at night so that you actually feel awake and willing to get up in the morning!

2. Change out of your pyjamas-although they are so comfy, keeping your PJ’s on is more likely to make you feel sleepy and want to go back to bed. You can still stay comfortable by putting on workout clothes or yoga pants.

3. Drink a glass of cold water-it’s honestly so refreshing in the morning. Keep a bottle or glass beside your bed.

4. Exercise-anything from 30 minutes of yoga to a walk to the park. You don’t need to go to the gym, but any form of exercise gets the blood pumping round your body, leaving you wide awake and ready to be productive.

5. Lay out everything you need the night before-this includes the clothes your going to wear, work you want to do and anything else you might need. Because it is already laid out you’ll feel less need to procrastinate.

6. Plan your time effectively-making a schedule for the day or using a planner/ bullet journal is great as you can allocate time slots for each task you have to do and it is extremely satisfying to tick things off. It also gives you a structure to stick to, meaning that you will know what you are doing at all times. Just remember to give yourself breaks!

7. Bye bye electronics-make sure to switch off all electronics you won’t be needing and put them in another room. You can even get someone to hide your phone from you if you think you’ll be tempted!

8. Download “Forest” app-I just downloaded this app recently and it’s amazing! It allows you to plant a tree and this tree will grow if you don’t use your phone. It’s super satisfying and really boosts my productivity, especially in the morning!

9. Eat a healthy breakfast-don’t skip breakfast, make sure that you eat something nutritious and filling, as this will make your brain more switched on and alert. I’m going to make a post soon about healthy breakfast ideas, so stay tuned for that. Some include: oatmeal, berries, bananas, smoothies, wholemeal pancakes, yoghurt.

10. Switch up your location-working/studying can be much more fun if you get out of the house sometimes. Try going to a coffee shop, library or a park if it’s a nice day. You’ll be more likely to want to wake up if you’re going out somewhere. ( I’m also going to be making a post soon about study locations, so stay tuned for that as well!)

hope this helps!

(i started this masterpost a month ago… behold, tips and tricks for your procrastination needs!) 

1. get energized!!!

so what i’ve found the most helpful, is before you sit down to do your homework or something of the sort, the best thing to do is to start moving! take a half-hour walk/jog. outside or inside, it doesn’t really matter. but what does is that you get excited and that your mind thinks you’re procrastinating (fool that lil procrastination monkey in ur mind) once ur all hyped, take a little break (go to the nearest fifteen, why don’t you ;) ) and then, chances are, if you think about your work a bit while exercising, you’ll be excited to do it :’) 

2. put something that you know very well as a background noise :)  

so in your mind, there is a little something called a procrastination monkey (check out +this amazing wait but why article to learn more!). in a nutshell, it’s basically primitive(ish? monkeys aren’t really primitive) and it loves to indulge your more luxurious urges. now, you can’t listen to that monkey, can you?? no, don’t. but it fights very hard to be in your mind, so it’s easier to trick it. (just like i’m doing right now, making this post). put on some old movie that you’ve watched hundreds of times, a podcast you’ve already listened to before, a song you’ve heard a bunch of times- anything that’s not new. then study, but don’t really pay attention to it. that way, you can get some work done!!! 

3. put the tasks you have to do in small chunks. 

see, i’ve found that when you have everything in tiny tasks, it seems kinda motivating just to cross something off your list! speaking of that, make a list of your tasks, anyways. but putting it into small chunks helps you to specify tasks for certain projects, and make things not be underestimated and get things done! 

4. put everything you need near you before you start working. 

putting your things nearby makes you not waste time getting them. for example- you put your math homework in your backpack, which is across the room. you then go to get that work, and look! you see a book you’ve been thinking about starting for days. so you decide to read a chapter…which turns into two…hundred pages. see what i mean? putting everything in place gets rid of this distraction. 

5. bye bye phone :) 

put that phone away!! it will only distract you. (i speak from personal experience). however, if you want to listen to music or something, i really recommend the forest app. i really like this app because of the planting trees feature, and i always really like to gain enough money to plant a tree in one of those places! it really makes you feel like a good person, when all you’re doing is doing your work :) 

6. motivate scho-tivate

ok but what if you still aren’t motivated? 

my motivation tag

motivation masterpost by @areistotle

motivation quotes

CLICK THIS

7. make it known you’re doing work. SCREAM IT TO THE WORLD!!

okay, but doing something like taking a time lapse just ~pressures you~ into doing work, because like ??? a study time lapse of yourself doing nothing is stupid. and if someone knows you’re doing work, and you’re not doing it, they will remind you. 

8. my ex’s and social medi-a-a-a

okay more like make social media your ex, but same concept!! get off it. like take me for example - i should be studying for my test tomorrow, but instead i’m making this post! SOCIAL MEDIA WILL DO JUST THAT- make you social. now is not the time to do that. now is the time to go crawl in a hole and do your work. 

9. shia lebeouf it 

JUST DO IT. 

(get ur butt of tumblr and get working. now. you’ll be thankful later.)