19/02/17 || I’m sorry I kind of went mia for a bit, I just am so stressed right now that I needed a bit of a break from everything, so there’s no point in me putting all the days I’ve missed into one. But I have studied and I’ve been productive during all the days I’ve missed out to updated, I’ve done my exam this week and I guess it went alright, I’ve answered to all the questions so I should’ve passed. I started studying for my next and (finally 🙌🏼) last exam which is in like three days, that’s why I’m probably so stressed, I have no time to do a huge amount of work.

Since I consider myself a big sis to all of you, I have made a small list of academic and misc. tips to make college/university not suck as bad.

Academic

  1. If you get distracted in large lecture halls, sit in the front row. I discovered in large classes that I was sometimes more focused on the girl in front of me being on facebook, than I was on the actual lecture. Sitting in the front is always a good idea. It is honestly the easiest tip I have for you.
  2. RECORD YOUR LECTURES! How ever you decide to take notes, you can also record your lectures. I use notability to take notes and to record my lectures with. When reviewing before an exam, recordings are a lifesaver. Also just reviewing after class, it deff helps to clear up anything that was slightly unclear in your notes.
  3. Dress comfy for class. Literally no one care what you wear to class. Don’t feel like you haaaave to look cute, I understand wanting to look good to feel good for yourself but sometimes nike shorts are gonna be your best option.
  4. Book group study rooms in the library. If your libraries on campus are anything like mine, they’re always packed. BUUUUUT it is very likely that your library has a way to reserve library rooms, thus guaranteeing you a silent study place on campus. Book ahead for finals week!!
  5. GOOGLE DOCS. Once you make a good study group, condense all of your notes together on a google doc shared between you all. Google docs and slides  are also amazing for group projects and presentations. Become familiar with both, they are your new best friends.

Misc.

  1. Starbucks has a loyalty program, get on it. I worked as a barista and literally the gold card program starbucks has will safe you a ton. There are literally 10 Starbucks on my campus, you will become familiar with yours. Download the app and start collecting points now! Also a pro-tip, skip the lattes and frappuccinos. Drip coffee is the best option for you, it is cheaper, better for you, and has the most caffeine besides the iced coffee. Also, once you’re a loyalty member at starbucks, refills on all coffee and tea is FREE
  2. Keep snacks in your bag, it’s not rocket science. You get hungry, eat. The more protein, the better. 
  3. Easy way to talk to someone in class. Pull out a pack of gum. Has not changed from high school. Having “class friends” is needed. They’re great for getting notes from if you miss class and for getting together to study with!
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Pages from my Starbucks x Moleskine 2016 planner: One of my favorite + go-to color schemes. I usually use this color scheme on pages that have long to-do lists or full schedules. It calms me down when I browse through them and makes the workload look tolerable. 😊

Some planner/journal design tips:

  • If your planner/journal doesn’t have a standard layout or style like mine, try to envision how you want the page to turn out before designing it. Decide on a color scheme, the materials you will use, and the placement of photos and other elements. That way, you’ll save time and avoid having a messy and non-cohesive layout.
  • Having difficulty drawing, painting, or making stuff in general? Make use of prints and words found in magazines or catalogs! (old issues will do!)
  • Recommended supplies: Elmer’s Disappearing Purple School Glue Stick, Scotch Magic Tape, and 0.4 mm Pilot G-Tec C4 Rollerball Pen

P.S. I’m working on a Planner/Journal 101 series since it’s almost time to get our 2017 planners! If you have any questions, send them my way through the ask box and I’ll do my best to answer them when I launch the series! 😘

college witch tips!

being a witch and living in a tiny dorm or apartment is a hassle… but here’s some (cheap and easy) tips to make your life a lot easier coming from a college witch!

quick note: if you are a student, you can get six months free of amazon prime with a student email account, and from then on out prime is only $50 instead of $100! amazon is a great place for tons of cheaper witchy resources (and really worth it for textbooks).

💎 crystals! whether you’re sharing a room with someone or in a room by yourself, plenty of people collect and use crystals. check for local flea markets or see if there is an occult shop in your area, there’s bound to be some there. great starter crystals are clear quartz (an essential crystal), amethyst, and rose quartz!

📚 the library! your school library will have some sort of resources. also don’t worry about people thinking you’re strange for checking out books on magick… i promise they don’t care!

🕯 candles and incense! when i lived in a dorm, i hated not being able to light candles and burn incense. invest in some battery powered candles! you can get packs at local dollar stores or walmarts. as for aroma related magick, purchase some oils and mix them with some salt water and spray them around your room! oil warmers or wax warmers are also wonderful alternatives. 

📖 a grimoire/book of shadows! i highly suggest keeping a personal book. no, you don’t have to get some elaborate leather bound book that came straight out of hocus pocus for it to be legit. you could find a sketchbook somewhere, use a three ring binder, or buy a hardback book at a thrift store and paint over the pages! your book is what you make of it. it is your own novel of personal magical experiences and knowledge, so make it your own!

🌵 plants! invest in cacti and succulents especially if you are a beginner or live in a tight space, they’re easy to manage throughout the rough mishaps and late nights of school work. cacti are great for protection and banishing negativity, where succulents bring love and healing. both plants can represent the ability to survive through conditions others cannot. if you have a balcony, take advantage!

⚗️ jars! now is a great time to collect containers from thrift stores, gather old pickle jars, and look for sales and coupons craft stores may have since most of them will have all sorts of neat jars.

🔮 an altar! if you don’t have a roommate to worry about, great! do your thing. if you do (and the don’t exactly seem cool with the whole witch thing), you can make a subtle altar of candles, crystals, and some plants or flowers. they don’t have to be elaborate. you could keep a small altar in a shoe box or draw one in your bos/grimoire! get creative!

✍️ sigils! use sigils. abuse sigils. put them everywhere. write them in binders or on your skin, write them on sticky notes or ripped paper and put them places you’ll see them or bury them outside. sleep with a protective one under your pillow. there’s so many things to do and its so easy to use them!

🎨 get creative! you can make crystals out of salt (another thing you should invest in), learn how to read playing cards if you can’t afford a tarot deck, and never forget you can find the coolest things at thrift stores. paint can be your best friend!

☕️ tea and coffee! a keurig is a wonderful investment. whether you like coffee or tea, it gives you boiling water fast without leaving a dorm. enchant your keurig and remind yourself of the properties in your drink to help you learn.

✨ decorating! take advantage of things like twinkle lights and washi tape! if you don’t know about washi tape, its a decorating tape that does not damage walls. create constellations or sigils with washi tape on your walls! amazon also sells many cheap tapestries. give yourself a comfortable and pleasant space to live and work!

⏳ plan! enchant your planners to help you remember due dates, and while you’re at it, keep track of moon phases and other events! many calendars will tell you when full moons are.

⚖️ meditate! this is something i find very important to stay sane during hard semesters. if you have a roommate, maybe meditate in the morning or late at night laying in bed. you could also meditate when they have classes. its okay if you cant every day, but its important to remember to save time for you.

🏃‍♀️ walks! if you live in a dorm there’s a big chance you’ll be walking to class. enjoy these walks with nature, read outside every now and again, but make sure that you are always safe.

⏱ take your time! you do not have to collect all of these things in a week, month, or even year. witchcraft is all about intent and energy. you hold the power, the items are only there to help. manifest your own power, collect at your own pace.

🔎research! always research properties of things. buy cheap dried herbs from grocery stores and work with them, figure out what to put in your coffee to help you with your day, and learn how to enchant crystals to help you feel a little more confident about your studies. most importantly, learn to balance your studies and your witchy research, and don’t let witchcraft get in the way of your schoolwork. school should come first always!

i hope this helped some of you college witches, new and experienced! i am always open to answer questions! happy casting!

[20170101 09:23]

Welcome to my studyblr! This is my first original post on this blog and I’m really excited for the new year :) These are some of my notes from my neuroscience class last semester and I’m kind of sad that it’s over because brains are cool dude (I’m a prospective neuroscience major so more brains in the future~). 

Taken from my instagram @izzybooks

How to write a bomb ass personal statement

I’ve had a few asks about how to write - as one of you put it - a bomb ass personal statement. I’m a bit reluctant to write this, seeing as I haven’t actually got an interview/offer yet! But I guess it might be helpful to those of you applying around now :)

HOW TO START

  • Bullet point what you want to include - I suggest listing out what you want to include. It’s a good idea to do this at the beginning, to make sure you don’t leave anything out; and it can help form the basic structure of your statement.
  • Do not start at the start - this is one of the most important things I learnt when writing mine. It is so hard to write that first sentence - so just leave it until the end, and begin writing with the actual content, something you’re more comfortable writing about.
  • When you do get down to writing that first sentence - do not start with a cheesy quote or the typical “I have always bee passionate about…” as these are things that can immediately put off an admissions tutor. Try and be original, or just simple: “I want to study X because…”

THE CONTENT

  • Just keep writing - don’t worry about the 4,000 character and 47 line limits. Literally just write, and keep going, even if you think what you’re writing is bad - just get all your ideas out there, and put down everything you would want to include. It’s so much easier to take things out rather than adding things in. My personal statement was around 8,000 characters at one point!`
  • Get the balance right - different unis want different things from personal statements, so check their websites to make sure you’re getting in what they want. You need to get the balance of intellectual curiosity/passion for the subject with your personal qualities and extra-curriculars. 
  • Back up everything with evidence - don’t just say you are great at working in a team, give examples that demonstrate that you have worked well in successful teams in the past.What to include?

WHAT TO INCLUDE

  • Why you want to study that particular course
  • Why you are the right person to study the course
  • Extra things you have done to show commitment or interest about the course - volunteering, subscriptions to journals, further reading etc.
  • Any relevant work experience
  • Any relevant awards you’ve won (e.g. maths challenge or physics olympiad) or responsibilities within the school (e.g. prefect or house captain)
  • Demonstrate desirable skills for your course - problem solving, teamwork, leadership etc.

WHAT NOT TO INCLUDE

  • Cliches - like “Ever since I was born I have wanted to study…”
  • Quotes - this is a personal statement, so don’t start quoting other people! Plus way too many people do this to make it original.
  • Jokes - it may be that the person reading your statement has a very different sense of humour than you do.
  • Really long sentences - you want your personal statement to be as easy as possible to read, and long confusing sentences won’t help that.
  • Repetition - it’s such a short document, you don’t have space for this. Plus it gets boring!
  • Names of unis - the unis you apply to have no idea where else you have applied, so don’t name any of them in your statement.

THE ENDING

  • Do not end on a cheesy quote or joke. Just sum up why you’d be a great candidate and reinforce what you have told them throughout the main body of the statement - that you’re fabulous!
  • Once you have finished a draft you can start trying to cut down on the word count. Maybe ask a teacher to look at your spelling/grammar, and you can always get your friends’ opinions too, on what should come out, and what should be kept in. Make sure you don’t let other people have too much influence - it has to be a personal statement!

Below you will find my Academia FAQ. If you still can’t find something feel free to ask! My Study Tips page should be helpful, as well.

Study Strategies

“How should I study for…?”

School Supplies

General College

College Majors and Pre-Career

GPAs and Grades

Studyblr

Overrated First Year Advice

Disclaimer: I don’t mean to discredit the posts that have these suggestions in them… However, I know that for people going into first year university, it can be stressful seeing pages and pages of “must-dos” and feeling like you have to do them all. As always, different things work for different people! 

Talking to Profs 

  1. Getting to know profs personally. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to profs personally, don’t feel like you have to. In upper years, it can be really valuable to know profs for recommendations, etc. but in first year this is less important. Profs also don’t usually mark your work in first year, so you don’t need to suck up to them for good grades. 
  2. Going to office hours every week. Going to office hours can be very valuable if you have questions about the course or an assignments. However, I see a lot of posts telling students to go every week even if they don’t have a question. You don’t need to do this unless you want to! Often times, profs will even request that you talk to your TA before them.
  3. Emailing the prof if you miss class. Unless you go to a very small school, the prof is not going to notice if you miss class. You don’t need to email them telling them why you were absent, you can just go to a different section of the lecture or get the notes from someone. (If you have labs/tutorials/seminars, the same does not apply!! Email your TA.) 

Studying and Grades

  1. Starting to study for tests six weeks in advance. This is one piece of advice that always baffles me. The semester is only 12 weeks long (usually), so if you have a quiz in week 6, you can’t start studying for it much before week 4 or 5. Also, there is no way you will retain the finer details of things if you learned them 6 weeks before writing the test. 
  2. Guaranteeing a 4.0. I see a ton of posts telling students how to guarantee a 4.0 average or straight As. But honestly, as much as you do all of the readings and go to lectures and follow all of the studyblr advice out there, you can still get a TA who won’t give any mark higher than an 80. Just try your best and know that even though getting high marks is great, it is not the only indicator of success in uni. 
  3. Sitting in the front of the class. This is not a necessity. A lot of people post that if the prof can see your face and remember you, you will get better grades. However, in first year, the prof doesn’t mark your papers usually and even if they did, your paper doesn’t have a photo of you on it. Also, they teach so many classes I doubt they just naturally remember the first three rows of each one and no one else. Just sit where you are comfortable and can pay attention and see, and you will do fine. 
  4. Choosing your major in high school or based on what job you think you will get. If you think you want to major in something and then it turns out you hate it, that is fine! Your major should be a subject you are passionate about and can get good grades in, not something that you chose in high school or will “guarantee” you a good job (although, its also okay if your major is all of the above). 
  5. Taking full notes on a topic before the lecture. If you are going to the lecture with a ton of info already, it is easier to get distracted or to feel like you don’t need the lectures at all. Instead, take notes in the lecture and then supplement them with notes from readings or bonus material rather than the opposite way. 

Textbooks

  1. Buying textbooks online. I definitely think that buying textbooks online can be a good idea, but sometimes it is just easier to buy them from the bookstore. For example, if you are not sure if a site is legit/the book will come in time/its the right edition, etc. it might just be safer to get it in person or buy it used on campus from an upper year. (Remember, you can probably sell it next year!) 
  2. Buying old editions of textbooks. If you have the two books side by side and can tell that they are very similar, go for it. But often times, two different editions are totally different and can just mess you up. Science and math books often have different practice questions, and even in social sciences and humanities, the content can change drastically in one edition. 

Lifestyle/Personal

  1. Buying extra storage and furnishing for your dorm. Make sure you do a virtual room tour or talk to someone about the layout before you buy a ton of storage. Most dorm rooms that I have been in have a ton of storage (mine has a closet, a huge desk, shelves to the ceiling, a dresser, and cabinets for extra storage). You don’t want to show up with way too much stuff. 
  2. Keeping 1000 things in your backpack. If you live on campus, you don’t actually need to carry every single thing on earth in your bag. It will get annoying carrying around a heavy backpack while walking. Unless you are going to the library for a huge study sesh or can’t make it back to your room all day, pack lightly! 
  3. Avoiding wearing “freshman clothes”. No one cares what you are wearing. People often wear pajamas or just track pants and a baggy t-shirt to class or the caf. If you like dressing up, that’s great! But don’t feel like certain clothes are off limits. 
  4. Living at home meaning you aren’t independent. Posts that look down upon living at home or going to your home university are garbage posts in my opinion. Being able to live away from home is a privilege, and many people are not financially, physically, or emotionally able to do that. If you are living at home, do not feel bad about it. You are still an adult and you are still independent. 

Hope this helps reduce some rising freshman anxiety! And remember, if you do want to follow any of the original tips, that is okay too. :) 

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Thank you so much for all the nice feedback, tagged photos, and stories. The people from the studyblr community have become such a huge part of my life this year and I’m so glad that I’ve gotten to know more of you. I’m proud of the person you’ve become and I wish you all happiness and success. I’ll continue to root for all of you this 2017!

As my token of gratitude, here are the last set of printables I’m releasing this year!

Year at a Glance
black and white / colored

Monthly Calendars
Yes! It’s the whole set and you now have bigger spaces to write in everything you need! You can also choose from two options: week starts on a sunday / week starts on a monday

A tagged snapshot of your computer, phone, or study space using these freebies would be very much appreciated. (Use #thearialligraphyproject or #arialligraphy!) 😊

I’ll see you all on January 5th for the third post under the Plan and Play series!

Love,
Ariadne