it’s so important not to bite off more than you can chew. taking on a heavy schedule is alright, but make sure you aren’t taking ALL science classes or classes that have labs. that’s not fair to you and it’s not fair to your professors, because you will most likely always be behind.
3. An excel spreadsheet of your schedule.
this is my schedule for fall when i start my doctorate program (omg, right? so many things to do!!). i do this every semester and usually also schedule when i will study whatever subject to ensure i’m not overstudying a two credit class vs. understudying a five credit class. usually i’ll also schedule workout times, meeting times, as well as times to do laundry and even eat so i don’t forget. i’ll usually print this out and tape it multiple places which i access often.
4. A planner.
no excuses. everyone needs a planner. find one that works for you. i’ve switched back and forth between thekate spade weekly agenda and the purposeful planner.as i begin each semester, i write down every single thing listed in each syllabus. that way, i never question what’s due next.
5. Colorful pens and overpriced pencils.
in my planner, i use colored pens because color coding my tasks makes it easier to visualize what class something is pertaining to. for example, pink is genetics, purple is anatomy and physiology, orange is economics, blue is beverage management, green is extracurriculars, red is work, and grey/black is appointments. highlighted items are when things are due. i use the stabilo pens for this (and highly recommend them). for pencils, i use the papermate clear tip mechanical pencils.
6. Calendar displaying this week and next week.
this is so i can wake up everyday and have yet another reminder of due dates and events sneaking up. the left side is this week so it’s a little empty; there’s something so fun about erasing events/tasks completed!!
7. Binders, notebooks, blah blah blah.
in march 2013 i was in a horrific accident where i broke my back in 6 places amongst other things and am still struggling today. therefore, i carry around a 5-subject notebook and take all notes from day classes in that notebook. after class, i come home and copy those notes into a 1-subject notebook specific to that class. i also don’t carry around binders when i don’t need to, so i have a folder for each class that doesn’t come out of my backpack, really. after an exam has passed or the material is no longer going to be tested on (until the final), i empty out the folder into a class-specific binder. this way i’m not carrying a boatload of irrelevant paper around with me. i really like this method and just picked it up last semester and wish i would’ve sooner, because next semester i have 7 different classes… they don’t make 7-subject notebooks. :(((
i feel like its important to rewrite notes and include scanned pictures and diagrams into the course-specific notebook. this helps repetition learners and visual learners!
8. A lapdesk.
i take it everywhere with me. to my boyfriend’s dorm, in the car, when i go home, into the living room, etc. you’d think it’s actually glued to me. never would i have thought one would be so helpful and nice! you can also find larger ones but they tend to be thinner and therefore just flip over more easily. this one i bought for i believe about $20 at target similar to these.
The basic basics:
I don’t care what you say – everyone needs yoga in his/her life! it is so relaxing, physically AND mentally beneficial, and there is no better way to start and end your day than with meditation. doyouyoga.com has some great FREE resources on yoga and meditation.
2. Routine Exercise.
I don’t care what you say about this, either – exercising is proven to increase knowledge retention, sleep quality, mood, etc. etc. ETC. why wouldn’t you exercise?! even when i’m studying in the library, i take longer study breaks about every hour and walk each of the four floors of the lib twice (and take the stairs!). it really gets my blood pumping and when i get back to my study space, i am ready to go.
I also use a Fitbit, which helps me track my sleep, exercise, caloric input and output, flights of stairs, etc. plus the greatest part is i “compete” with my sorority sisters and friends which really motivates me.
a lot of colleges and universities have intramural and club sports too, which i am a part of. that helps me get my exercise in too!
I eat terribly considered to a lot of people and i have no shame at all. i love candy and pop and will always and forever. candy. is. bae. but, i know that when i eat better and drink water (yuck, i can only bring myself to drink water if its a certain brand or from a certain place; you should try on-the-go drink flavorings if you’re like me on this one) i feel a ton better. as long as you balance out the chocolate and coca-cola with water and fruits & veggies, you’ll be ok. plus, drink packets/additions are usually less than 5 calories!!
I can’t stress this one enough. resting, taking study breaks, removing yourself from school NEEDS to happen. if you don’t, you will someday hit a wall and some don’t make it out. get some beauty sleep (although you probs don’t need it!). go to bed early, we college students are old people now.
5. Other commitments.
in addition to being a full-time student, i also work and am in a sorority (as well as a few other low-key clubs). this gives me study breaks too, but i like it because i’m either getting paid or still being productive so i don’t feel badly about not studying. i also participate in a lot of community service; each school year i aim to complete at least 125 hours of community service. it’s easy, fun, rewarding, plus i get a cool medal at the end of the year!
6. My dog!
my dog is the single-most important thing to me. ever. there is nothing better than having a stressful day and having some puppy therapy. rex never fails to brighten my day, and he also provides me with some responsibility that i can’t back out on… so if i’ve ever in a depressive or just sad funk, he still needs to be fed and taken care of. a lot of the times he gets me right back into my daily routine.
if you can’t have a pet, freaking move somewhere you can. or volunteer at a shelter. if you aren’t a dog person, get a pet that you fucking want and is you in animal form. rex really likes food, i really like food. rex acts like he hasn’t eaten in 9 years when he sees food, so do i. go get your companion!!
7. A relaxing bedroom/house/apartment/dorm.
here’s my bedroom. i post it a lot on here and get a ton of compliments (THANK YOU!). i worked so hard on it to make it my own and really feel i’ve succeeded making it the best it can be, although i could probably keep it a little cleaner. a retreat for you to… well, retreat to is just what you need. if you are tight on money or don’t think you are able to decorate, try to get some inspiration either from tumblr or i have a ton of great pins on my pinterest. if you don’t like my “theme” of my bedroom then there are some other themes on there, too! also, try crafting instead of purchasing decorations if you can! it’s relaxing, productive, and you can make it your own.
since i get asked this a lot too, my tapestries on the left are from urban outfitters and my incense burner is from amazon (i don’t remember who i bought it from) and i get my incense from a local smoke shop.
also, if you’ve won any awards, OWN THAT SHIT. display them! wake up everyday and be like yeah, i won this award. I WON THIS AWARD.
thanks guys! i hope you enjoyed this post and it helps you out. please let me know if you would like to see anything else!
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