Wednesday, September 23, 2015

~Back to School Tips and Essentials~

I wish these were my real glasses frames, but alas, my real ones are just plain tortoise T__T hahaha

Hi everyone! I know school has started for many people already but I just wanted to have a post about some school essentials before I start school again myself! This is also kind of a motivational post for me and anyone else feeling anxious about this school year. Hopefully this pumps us up and gets us excited about what's to come!! WOO HOO!!

I'll start with some tips that will hopefully help us stay sane this school year!

1.) Stay organized!

OK OK I know I'm starting off with something a bit cliche that's on every back to school motivation list. But Just thinking back on how I was last year with organization compared to other years I think organization of my things and time were what I did wrong on my first year of Uni. Senioritis practically seeped into third quarter (somehow skipping fall and winter quarter?!) and I am definitely starting out at a low point my Sophomore year now T____T BUT!! I believe better organization this quarter will be something that will combat the bad vibes I picked up at the end of last year! This year will be stronger!!

A little peek at what I constantly keep in my backpack (minus my laptop + charger)

I don't keep much in my main pencil pouch, I usually just use a pen to take notes so having a nice pen that will last a while (like those 7 year pens maybe? :O) is a great idea if you like hand-writing your lecture notes and whatnot like I do!

Last year I used my planner at the beginning of the year, and that's probably why I did a lot better at the beginning of the year as well hahaha~

I have a four subject spiral notebook with a section for each class. Multi subject notebooks are great for me because it's lighter than having to carry around three different notebooks for my classes. And we don't submit our notes anyways so it's ok if they're all in one notebook!

Folders (especially cute ones!) are my absolute favorite and a MUST HAVE.

My backpack (pre being decorated with buttons and charms lol) nice and sturdy! Holds up SUPER well in the rain and none of my stuff has ever gotten wet! Kankens are cute but I stick to Dakine for durability and comfort ^>^

To help with organization I suggest lots and LOTS of cute folders and a cute planner to keep you in line ^>^ I've found that folders are a lot lighter and easier to carry around campus than a large binder or something similar. Especially when you have to walk from one end of campus to the other every hour hahaha. Folders keep papers from each class separate from one another and not crumpled in your notebook or backpack! Plastic folders also keep your things dry in case your backpack is a bit thin and it's raining and a bit of water leaks through! Or if you have your water bottle in your backpack and it has condensation or if it spills in your backpack. Thankfully this hasn't happened to me at Uni yet :3

2.) Eat! (BEHOLD, some of the many pictures of food from my phone/instagram LOL)

I know not everyone eats breakfast (and especially not this much!) everyday but try to at least grab some fruit or a protein bar on the way out the door! Many people say they can focus without a morning meal, and for some people it actually gives them a stomach ache to eat breakfast! Don't rush into this process if that's your case, but maybe try to eat some small things or drink a healthy smoothie in the morning! It really makes a difference to how you feel throughout the day!

For lunch I suggest something quick and easy as well. Especially if your classes are non-stop throughout the day you'll want something you can eat between class so you can focus, rather than eat in class like I have done before hahaha. A sandwich is good for these situations!

If you have time for a sit down, wholesome meal then definitely do it! You can even look through your notes a little while waiting for your food to come or cool down if you're really a study bugger hahaha.

I know a lot of us love caffeinated drinks, just be careful on how many sweet/caffeine filled drinks you have in a day! Water is really the best option!

And by eat I don't mean a bag of chips in the morning and a muffin for lunch. Yes I know people who took to this type of diet for a lot of the school year, and it's not good! I'm not a nutritionist or health expert, and I do eat things like chips and pop tarts and stuff. And I know sometimes people are in a rush or in a pinch and they have no choice but to eat that way. I just want to encourage at least some of you to maybe think about eating at least a semi-real meal every once in a while? Especially people who live away from caretakers and people who usually provide meals and things *tries to be ambiguous to appeal to a larger audience* Maybe think about eating a sandwich with tasty things like avocado and cheese? Turkey and tomato? Easy pasta dishes? If you have trouble with time management, make your breakfast or lunch the night before and have it ready for the morning! That's what I do :D I dunno you guys, just at least remember to eat something!! Please! I've nearly fallen asleep in class before because I lacked energy from skipping out on a proper lunch (I LOVE strawberry Poptarts 3:) it sucks.

3.) Stay active!

This is something I'm definitely taking on this year. I was afraid to visit the IMA (basically the school gym) at our school last year but this time I'm going to change that >:) I'm going to try and find a workout buddy or at least invest in a nice workout outfit so I feel obligated to work out everyday. Freshman fifteen is too real you guys lol, trust me.

4.) Talk to people!

I had trouble doing this around the end of the school year as well. It's so weird, I start out confident and talk to everyone and make friends at the beginning of the year. And I think the reason I might have tapered off on the socialization at the end of the year was because I was starting to just get really down spring quarter and I didn't really try my best at much at that point. Now I know I'm happier when I have people and friends whom I can relate to and talk to! Don't bottle it up and stick it out on your own, or at least try not to even though it can be hard to meet new people if you're an introvert like me ^__^ I WILL find a study group this year!! I WILL talk to the T.A. when I have questions and am struggling!! I WILL make new friends!! Hahaha

5.) Remember why you're in school in the first place!!

Try not to over stress when it comes to school! Know your limitations, set goals, sort out problems/ask questions when you don't understand, and know that mistakes do happen (BIG and small ^.^) but what matters is how you bounce back.

This reason is different for everyone I'd say. Even though many people say it's because they want to have a good job and have a good life in the future, everyone has different details and things that motivate them to go to school. I could tell you to go to class everyday or buy all the textbooks and read them all front to back, but I know that just isn't realistic for everyone. We all have off days! And that's totally OK :) That's why it's always good to find that one thing that motivates you to do whatever it is you do in life. I mostly just want to say we should do the best we can do and have no regrets! Not trying my hardest and only dipping my toes into things last year is probably my biggest regret for last year and I'll be paying for it with hard work these next three years :D Whether you have chosen to go to school or are not currently in school or in the ideal situation you want to be in right now I hope we all try our best at life together =^__^=

Alright now onto some essentials for school! I'll just lay out some basic things I can't leave home without ^.^

If your fall weather is like what we have in the PNW, you're definitely going to want to invest in some good rain gear haha.

Having a cute rain jacket handy is always a good idea :3 This one is from Urban Outfitters I think?

A rain poncho is able to cover your whole body and even your backpack if you get an extra big one! Urban Outfitters always has cool ones but they aren't always cheap 3: I buy them when they go on sale for $5 lol.

Yep, here it rains in the summer...

And of course in the fall ^.^ But cute rain boots help make rainy days cheerier! 

You'll also be walking around quite a bit if you have a big school campus that has outdoor areas so make sure you have good walking shoes/rain boots if this is also your case!

A laptop is also something you should have handy, but don't think you need to go out and buy a brand new one especially if  you are starting college and feel obligated to do so. It's not always necessary! I recommend going to class for at least a month before you think about buying a laptop. The only times I've really needed it while I was on campus was when I took it to quiz section to work on a group project. But other than that I really didn't need it with me most of the time! I just took it to school so I didn't have to use one of the school computers even though there were a ton available. It's nice to have a laptop whether you live on campus or not but you can definitely get by just fine by using the school computers or a desktop if you already have it. I thought I would need a laptop to help me take notes but it turns out that a paper pad and a pen are my tools of choice for note taking ^.^ I suppose it all depends on your preference though! If you do decide to get a laptop, definitely try to take advantage of any discounts your school might get you on tech!! If you plan on carrying it around (and/or if you commute like me) you probably want a lighter/more compact laptop. I also bring my charger with me and there are charging ports in places all over campus like the library.

Lastly I would say that all you might need is a bit of cash on hand to buy yourself lunch in case you need it for something. Around campus our school card is accepted in most places but sometimes you might find yourself in need of a few dollars, so carry around maybe five dollars in ones and a few quarters? And keep your school card in an accessible place because sometimes you might need that right away as well!

***QUICK PSA ON ALL NIGHTERS: If you know you can avoid them, avoid them. We have all stayed up until 2 in the morning working on an assignment that was given weeks in advance. If you're like me and work best under pressure, I'm sure you've found that all nighters have actually given you some pretty good results in the past. But you know what also has good results? Sleep. We all need more of that as well. So please (me especially included) try to keep yourself (myself) organized and do assignments bit by bit and not all in one night. Thank you.

I hope this back to school post didn't stress you out or make you guys anxious (like it sort of did for me while listing all these things hahaha). But I also hope this school year is a great one for all of us as well!!

xoxo Abby

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