The thing I get asked about most is planning: how to plan your week, how to manage your time, how to plan your homework, what tools to use, what pen to use, and so on. Planning is literally my favourite thing to do in the world, so I thought I’d show y’all how I go about planning my week! :) I sit down every Sunday to plan.
Step 1: Get out my planner Planners really don’t have to be expensive: the point of getting one is so that you can keep everything in there instead of in your brain. You can usually get them quite cheap; just get one you like the look of! As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more finicky about what kind of planner I like; I’m currently using an Erin Condren Life Planner, which costs about an arm and a leg, but it’s really quite pretty and it’s really worked wonders for me in terms of productivity. If you’re interested, here’s a link to get $10 off your first purchase! My favourite pen is a blue Pilot G2 gel pen with a 0.7mm point. They’re available on Amazon here.
Step 2: See what I have going on that week At the beginning of the school year, I note down all deadlines, holidays, birthdays, and other social commitments (like weddings) in my planner using Post-It notes. A blank week in my planner looks like this:
As you can see, each day has three boxes, which go down vertically down the page. My planner tells me two things: it’s Liam’s birthday on the 10th and I need to contact my wedding photographer. I’ve been invited to eat at my mother-in-law’s home on Sunday, so I need to contact her this week too as it dictates whether or not I have to cook that day! Anyway, the point is that what I need to do is already in for that week; it’s on a sticky note! Super easy.
I also do something called meal-planning, which means I plan what kind of meals we have about a week in advance. It’s really good when you’re trying to be budget-conscious, and a post about it is coming up!
Step 3: Write down my weekly goals Every Sunday, I sit down and decide what I want to achieve that week, usually based on my yearly goals. Like many of you, I fulfill different activities and roles in my life, and each of role requires something else: I’m a student, a wife, a daughter, a blogger, etc. I’ll write up a more detailed post about that! ♥
So I draw up a list of what I want to achieve.
Once the list has been drawn up, I copy them down on the left-hand side in my ‘sidebar’, like so:
Step 4: Plan my week So now what I need to do is written down and all that’s left to do is plan my week! What that means is that I look at each day, decide on how much time I have that day to work on the things I want to accomplish, and write it down!
I like to plan “top-heavy” weeks, i.e. as the week usually gets a lot busier towards the end, I try to achieve most of my goals on Monday-Wednesday. I also plan that way: when I sit down on Sunday, I plan for Sunday-Wednesday, and on Wednesday, I plan the rest of the week. That’s what works best for me. Here’s how my week is currently laid out:
Step 5: Get to work! Now that everything’s planned, I get to work doing everything I want and need to do! When I don’t get to something on a certain day, I put a diagonal stripe in the box and copy the task down on another day. I make a to-do list every evening by looking at my planner, so that I know how what I’m meant to do that day - it’s really helped me! If you’d like to see more pictures of my weekly spreads in my planner, you can check out my personal Instagram, @sarahboparah ♥
1. Always do your work when you get it and don’t wait until the last minute. Waiting until the last minute to get work done will sometimes allow you to still get things done by their due date but it leaves little room for studying and reviewing between then and in the end will hurt you on exams.
2. Work alone. The best way to learn new material is to do it on your own and struggle through and figure it out ON YOUR OWN. I wish someone had told me this because I really struggled to catch up in classes this past semester because I would do my homework with friends instead of learning how to do things on my own and it hurt me a lot on exams.
3. Find friends you can study with.You want to be able to be productive if you choose to do a study session. Studying with friends might be okay if you work well together but chances are you’ll get distracted. Find people you work well with to study because you tend to learn more that way. For me, that was people I met in class and at office hours.
4. Please oh, please use office hours This is such a big one that freshman don’t use until the last minute. These are your best bet for getting questions answered if you didn’t understand something in lecture, on your homework, etc. Plus, getting to know your prof is very important because they tend to be more helpful if they see you are working hard in their class and they give good letters of recommendation if you make a good impression on them. If you can’t make their office hours, email them or set up an appointment. It’s very important to have good communication.
5. Sit in the front and ask questions Be the nerd of the lecture by sitting in the front and don’t be afraid to ask a question. However, if its a question that requires a lengthy answer, save it for office hours so you don’t the lecture behind schedule.
6. BUY AND READ THE DARN TEXTBOOK So many people tell you not to buy the textbook if you don’t truly need it for assignments but that is so wrong. You will always need the textbook if it is in the syllabus. Period. Read the chapters BEFORE lecture and review it afterward if material still doesn’t make sense. You will learn so much more and remember so much more in a faster time period than if you don’t read it at all. The book is also extremely important for covering details that won’t be covered in lecture.
1. Meet new and DIFFERENT people instead of people like yourself. These people will show you so many cool new things that you’ll never experience otherwise. Meeting new and different people can be challenging and uncomfortable at first if you’re shy like me but it will make your college experience much more worth it.
2. Join clubs but not too many. Take part in activities and clubs that you enjoy but be careful not to overload yourself. Freshman year you should start off by just trying a few clubs here and there just to see what you like before committing to a lot of anything.
3. Don’t be afraid to say no to alcohol, drugs, and even hanging out. College students say “You do you” and they really mean it. You don’t have to feel pressured to do anything you don’t want to do and no one will judge you for that. If you find “friends” who do judge you, make some new friends. Also, remember that school comes first so if you have a large project to do and your friends want to go out, its ok to say no. Your friends should understand that in college, you really need to get stuff done and that schedule can be different than theirs.
4. Be okay with being alone but completely surrounded by people. You are almost guaranteed to different schedules than your friends so you’ll learn that you’ll often be eating or doing school work alone. This is perfectly normal! Learn to like it because it’s nice to do things on your own. You may feel lonely sometimes but you’re also always surrounded by people. It’s hard to find actual privacy in college especially when you live in the dorms and share a room with a roommate. It will be strange at first but you’ll find the right balance of being along and being with people over time.
Roommates and Dorms
1. “A clean room is a clean mind.” Keeping a clean room will help you to study because you’ll be able to easily find everything you need instead of digging through piles of clothes and other belongings. Dorm rooms are also very small so putting things in their rightful storage places is essential for keeping a tidy room.
2. Study outside of your room as much as you can. If you’re like me, you can distract yourself easily especially when you don’t want to do something (like study). By getting the majority of your work done in the library or somewhere else on campus other than your room, you have less options to distract yourself whereas in your room, you have all your stuff to pick up and lose hours of study time with.
3. Be straightforward with your roommate. If your roommate is doing something that bothers you, tell them clearly right away (politely). Otherwise, they’ll never know and continue to do what is bothering you. In order to avoid arguments, tell them right away very nicely and they should stop. It might be their room too, but you need to make sure that you’re happy as well.
I hope this was helpful. This is only SOME of the tips I could think of for right now but I have tons more tips and advice that I love to share. If you have any questions about these tips or want to know more, feel free to ask.
When I was seven, I went to an art museum
with my mom and my aunt and three of my cousins
and we had a good time, until we had to leave and
we saw two girls holding hands in front of us
and my mom said, ‘Those are lesbians,’ as if they
were things instead of people and her nose wrinkled
up into crinkles of disgust and I traced those
lines into my palms and I swore that I would stay
away from those ‘corrupted gays.’
When I was eight, I had a lot of close friends
and there was this one girl that was so beautiful,
I could not keep my eyes off of her; she talked
to me while we waited in the kickball line
and I remember wanting to impress her with
how far I could kick that red rubber ball—
but I fumbled because as I stepped up,
all I could think of was ‘gay.’
When I was ten, words like ‘gay’ and ‘lesbian’
were categorized with ‘shit’ and ‘fuck’ because
those were bad words and saying them meant
a lot of staring and pointing and laughing and
yelling from both of my parents because nothing
was as accursed as two people of the same gender
loving each other— and that’s when I learned
that you can even mess up when it comes to love.
When I was twelve, I saw my first episode of
‘Pretty Little Liars’ and my cousin was going on
about how great it was but when the girl who
kissed another girl was on the screen, we both
felt awkward because all we have ever been taught
was that we were going to fall in love with boys
and that any other fate meant that we were mentally ill.
When I was thirteen, I stole a title that did not
belong to me because being bisexual was so much
easier than admitting I was a lesbian because maybe
if I worked hard enough, I would end up with a boy
and I did end up with a boy…for six months plus the
life of a rose and as that flower died so did my hopes
of ever ending up with a guy.
When I was fourteen, I told myself that I had to stop
lying because I knew I was living between identities
that were never true to me and I found myself falling
for girls that I had known my entire life and that
scared me so much because seven years ago,
my mother crinkled her nose and I told myself that
I would never love a girl because then my mother
could never love me.
But then soon, over Skype, I began to fall in love
and the shape of who I was and who I wanted to be
started to form right in front of me— and she had
a name that made me smile every time it flashed
on my phone and she had a voice that talked me
to sleep most of the time and she had hands that
touched me so gently and she had a mind that was
so open to me and she had a heart that I wanted
to hold and all I knew was that I couldn’t hide
in the shadows anymore and I told her I loved her
and she didn’t look away and I told her I loved her
and she said ‘I think I feel the same way’ and
I told her I love her and I can finally feel the rest
of the world starting to say, ‘Okay.’
To anyone who has ever felt alone because of who they are
You have no idea how long I’ve been working on this. I might have started two or three years ago, but I couldn’t get it working (the bad news is that it STILL doesn’t work properly). Every couples of months, I dig it again from my “unachieved projects”, was spending hours, days, at trying various things without success. For all these years, I’ve tried to use a picnic table as base, but no matter what I could do (rename the bone for plate as the bone for homework, for example), I never managed to make a Sim doing his homework on these desks, and it’s all I wanted to do. So, last time I tried, I gave up. Instead of using a picnic table, I made the chair-desk from a chair, and it needs an invisible desk to be used. So, Sims can do their homework there, use a scribbling pad or a computer. Yeah. But the bad side is that Sims clip into their desk when they move from the chair, of course.