text advice

For those of you starting college soon:

- everyone is scared
- I’m scared of college and it’s my 3rd year
- but I know it will be okay once I get into the routine
- people don’t care what you do
- people sleep in weird places
- and wear pajamas to lots of places
- and you make friends in unlikely places and times
- friends will come and go
- you might change your mind on majors
- but you will be okay
- you are going to do so great 💕

It took me twenty-one years to learn that happiness is never given, it is built and it is never about the situation you are in but always your mindset toward it and that if you are ever unhappy in a situation you better run.
—  m. a.

So, it’s that time of the year again, back to school. And right now, some of you are probably panicking a little because, let’s face it, school starts soon and you have not glanced at your to-do list since June. But don’t be afraid, lots of us are in the same boat. I myself ambitiously drafted out a long list of things to do this summer, including studying C++, studying Chinese, preparing for new course work, studying quiz bowl, and exercising. However, I was abroad for five weeks, spent lots of weekends at the beach, slept in, and generally slacked off. Now, it’s not too late to pick up the pace and get into the study grind to get a good start this school year. Below are some useful tips!

Academic Tips:

  • Print off your new school schedule immediately and build your personal schedule around that. (Figure out which time blocks are for studying, exercise, sleep, mealtime, extracurriculars, and chill time.)
  • Buy a planner and start using it. It doesn’t have to be personalized or fancy, just make sure it suits your taste and is usable. Even though you may not have classwork right now, start using it to complete tasks and get in the habit of writing in it.
  • Search up your teachers/professors on RateMyProfessor to (kinda) know what you’re in for. Obviously, those reviews are a little skewed so read them with a grain of salt, but know which professors are lecture heavy and which classes rely on the textbook. This really helped me last year.
  • Get in the habit of reading and writing a bit everyday. That way, your first assignment won’t be nearly as painful. Just write a little in a journal or read some NYT articles to critically engage your brain. 
  • Look over the first chapter of your textbooks. The first chapter and introduction in books really explain what the course is about, so if you’re afraid of feeling stranded in class, read them.
  • If you have questions or concerns about your courses, email your professors or teachers. They want to help their students.
  • Map out where you have to go for each class. Whether it’s changing floor in the same building or booking it across campus, make sure you know where you’re going the first week of class. Highlight your routes on a map of the school if you need.

Lifestyle Tips:

  • It’s nice to sleep in over summer break, but start waking yourself up earlier. Figure out what time you need to wake up, factor in the 7-8 hours of sleep you need, and determine the ideal bedtime. Set an alarm and start slowly winding back your wake up time. For example, if I need to get up at 7:00 AM for school, I’ll sleep until 8:30 for one week. Then I’ll wake up at 8:00 the next week, and 7:30 the week after that so my body can slowly adjust to the earlier mornings.
  • On a similar note, start going to bed at the appropriate time. It may be frustrating to do so when it’s still bright out at night, but this really helps your body adjust. The lights from devices keep you up, so get accustomed to ditching the electronics before you get in bed.
  • Make sure your outfits are school ready. I know my math lecture is in a really chilly old building, so I’m pulling out a few sweaters to bring with me to class. If your school has a dress code (which can be annoying) or uniform, make sure your outfits comply.
  • Get your bag and supplies ready. This is fun for me, because I usually end up shopping and getting some new cute accessories and stationery.
  • Start a new healthy habit with the school year. This is a good time to try to stick in something new. Get a reusable water bottle and try to drink 8 cups a day, or add meditation to your night routine. You won’t regret it!

Now, most of these tips are applicable to both high school and college, but if you want high school or college specific tips, let me know in my messages or ask box and I’ll make another post. Have an amazing school year!

– studyboba (Janet)

but honey you’ve got to get off of this website. you can’t live your life inside on your computer or your phone or whatever. your life is going to waste away if you just read motivational text posts but don’t actually follow through with their advice. just start going outside a little more - start with your backyard. make dates with your friends. don’t have friends? go make some new ones. talk to strangers on the street as you’re waiting for the crosswalk to allow you to pass or for the bus to come. do things that scare you. talk to your family, they’re much more complex than you think. instead of staying in bed and reading go to a bookstore and lounge around on overstuffed chairs with a mug of hot chocolate in your hands. just get out there and live. stop waiting until you’re older or have more money or whatever your excuse is. just start now. where you’re at. take your circumstances and grow from them. and you have got to be positive. your life will change even if you’re faking it. so get off this or pinterest or instagram or twitter or whatever other website you’re on and actually start living. because you avoiding the beautiful world and the beautiful people around you is not really living. you’re just dying very, very slowly.

- my head at 6:39am

When you stop praying, know that it’s only the whispers of shaytaan that has caused you to stop. There are no physical barriers, and you can get up right now, ignore the false limitation in your mind, and pray. The more you do so, the easier it gets. The more you ignore shaytaan, the closer you become to Allah SWT, and that is when Allah will protect you and grant you ease. That is when Allah will give you the strength to overpower these negative thoughts.

Just remember that you have control over your mind and body, and through Allah, you can strengthen that control. Prayer is the first step to cleansing your soul, and the only relief you will find in this world.

Tips to Stay Motivated

I always have people telling me, “I wish I could study like you do, I don’t have that kind of dedication”, or “I wish I was as smart as you.” REMINDER: I work really hard for my grades, and it isn’t something I was born with. So, for anyone telling themselves that they aren’t capable of having that kind of dedication, here are some tips that I used to go from an average student to exceptional:

  1. Don’t compare your progress to anyone else’s. Those pictures you see on Instagram, those people talking about studying for hours and hours, they started right where you are. So don’t worry about what other people are doing, and just focus on your own goals and improving a little bit every day.
  2. The most important step is telling yourself to just do it. I would say about 70% of my study sessions start out with me procrastinating and watching Netflix, before I get down to work. The hardest part is always starting, and sometimes you just have to force yourself to start. Tell yourself you’ll just study for five minutes, then ten. Small progress is still progress.
  3. Find a routine that works for you. That being said, don’t become a slave to your routine. This year, I made the mistake of sometimes becoming so consumed with my studies that I didn’t have a balance. Find what works, set time aside for the things that are important to you, and commit yourself to success.
  4. You have to be patient to see results. Don’t expect to suddenly be able to sit down and study for hours, or have perfect handwriting. You have to stay focused,  make goals, and work towards them. Don’t get discouraged and don’t give up, the results will come.
  5. Make goals. Not just big, long-term, I-want-to-be-a-doctor goals, but things like studying 3 hours on Friday for an exam the next week, or finishing all the little busy-work items on your to-do lists. Sit down and make a list of your big life goals, and then make a list of your smaller goals to help you get there.

These strategies might not work for everyone, but I just hope everyone knows you CAN work towards your goals and achieve them :)

How to deal with loneliness in college

-stay on top of your work because good grades will give you something to be happy about.

-Friday and Saturday nights are very hard so invest in some good headphones and treat yourself to some Netflix.

-if you’re ever invited to do something, just do it even if you feel uncomfortable. Appreciate the little opportunities that come along.

-see how many books you can finish in your free time.

-if you can afford it, a massage is a great way to relax and the physical contact is good for you.

-make friends online. Some of the best friendships (or even relationships) start that way.