5 Tips For Surviving And Thriving In Graduate School

5 Tips For Surviving And Thriving In Graduate School

What I've learned to be a successful graduate student
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Entering into a Master's program has been both exciting and crazy busy. I've been dealing with a ton of simultaneous projects, studying for classes, and fitting in the rest of my life somehow. Here are five things that I've been doing to try and balance graduate school, working two part-time jobs, taking care of myself, and having fun.

1. Schedule in at least one consistent stress-relief activity

I feel better when I make time for yoga each week. There are days that I'm unable to sneak a small session in because of lack of sleep, homework, work, and life. However, too many days without some type of yoga would overwhelm me. That is why I need a small bit of time either in the morning or evening to think about how my day will be or to reflect on how it went.

2. Portable snacks and food

I always make sure that I've got easy snacks like fruit, baby carrots, protein bars, and mini bags of popcorn in my totes for when I'm hungry and stuck in the office or when I'm on the road.

3. A planner

There is no way I can keep track of everything I need to be at, what homework I should work on, what social events are happening and what appointments are coming up without writing it down in my planner. Find out what organizational system works for you and write stuff down because otherwise you'll forget everything and it will be overwhelming.

4. A support system

Don't be afraid to rely on and lean on people. Especially, during very stressful times. This is because having family members, close friends, and significant others around can help you out. They can help you out by running an errand so you have one less thing to do, offering moral support, buying you chocolate, editing your papers, or offering up fun things to do in the little bit of spare time you have.

5. Coffee

I make sure to have it every day and at pretty much anytime.

Are you in graduate school? What are some of your tips and tricks to surviving and thriving as a graduate student?



Cover Image Credit: https://www.mariiacano.com/2018/01/25/surviving-graduate-school-experience/

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10 Dorm Room Hacks

The Basics For College Living
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Any college student will tell you that dorm rooms are small and have limited amounts of space to utilize. Combine that with having to share your room with someone else and the usable space shrinks to half its size. Closet space is probably the worst. Before you go back to school every semester, you probably debate with yourself about what you can bring with you to school and what you have to leave at home simply because there's limited room. There's some simple solutions to these problems. Have no fear, dorm room hacks is here!


1. Furniture Arrangement

If your dorm allows you to rearrange your furniture, this chart is a lifesaver. Before you move all your stuff into your room, you definitely need to figure out if your furniture is where you want it to be. Some times it's hard to decide what set up works the best. Pick a set up that allows you to have the most floor space in your dorm room. And no worries if you don't like the set up you choose the first time, you can always change it later if you don't like it.

2. Maximize Closet Space

This is a classic for limited closet space. Most closets will have a close rod that sits high enough off the ground for this hack. Adding the pop tab allows you to create a second row for hanging clothes, and because this second row hangs lower that the first it allows for the ultimate usage of closet space.

3. Brighten Things Up

While we are on the topic of dorm closets, this is a hack to help with closet lighting. The lighting in your dorm room will vary simply based on the layout on the dorm you are in. This hack is especially helpful for those who have a closet with little to no lighting. Simply take a strand of clear Christmas lights (or colored if you so please), and string them along the inside border of the door. Run an extension cord underneath the door to an outlet in your room. Voila! Enjoy your newly lit closet space.

4. Get Yourself Some Shelves

When living in a dorm room, shelves are your best friend. You're going to have limited floor space. There's no way to avoid it. However, you will have a good amount of vertical space. Shelves will help you to utilize your vertical space. Shelves like you see in the above picture are helpful for culinary supplies such as refrigerators, coffee makers, microwaves, plates, bowls, and silverware. Storage shelves are very helping in keeping items organized. There are also shelves available that sit on top of desks to utilize space, as well as shelves that fit around toilets in the bathroom. So wherever you need extra space, shelves are there to help.

5. Store On Your Door

Utilizing door space also helps when it comes to extra space. Aside from the obvious method of using an over-the-door hanger. The hack you see pictured is great for food storage. Ideally this hanger is used for shoes, so that is also an option if you don't have a spot for your footwear. In this case, it is used to help organize and store your food items. This hanger has also been used to organize and hold jewelry items as well.

6. Keep Things Fresh

The best kind of dorm hacks is when you use items in an outside of the box type of way. By using a car deodorant clip, you can utilize your dorm room's air vent to allow a continuous, fresh smell into your room. And....

In the case that your dorm still runs on older AC units, you can apply the same ideology by laying a dryer sheet or two over the vent openings on the unit while it is on.

7. The Power Of Command Strips

I highly recommend tapestries as a method for decorating a dorm room, especially if you have a big wall space to cover. Tapestries come in many sizes, as well as different designs that range from patterns to real-life pictures. However, tapestries can be tricky to put up. Many dorms wont allow you to use nails or push pins when decorating. This hack allows you to use command strips and clothes pins to work with this rule. While the focus of this hack is on tapestries, it is worth it to say that command strips are awesome for decorating and are worth the investment.


8. Fill The Gap

So what exactly is the point of putting a pool noodle next to your bed? Typically dorm beds cannot get pushed close enough to the wall to prevent there being a gap between the bed and the wall. Because of this, items tend to fall through the gap to the floor. I cannot tell you how many times this happened with my phone during my first semester of college. By laying a pool noodle in this gap, you can help prevent any items falling through the gap. Pool noodles also have another use for one's dorm bed. Many dorms have bunk beds or have beds that can be lofted. I had to stay on the top of a bunk bed one time that didn't have a side railing. I was so worried about rolling of the bed at night. I've had friends that have the same worry with lofted beds. Using a pool noodle, you can rest this fear. Place the pool noodle on the outside edge on top of the mattress underneath your fitted sheet. Keeping the noodle in place, pull the sheet over the noodle, and tuck it back in. The pool noodle now acts as a barrier for your body whenever you role over in your sleep.

9. Fold Strategically

This is one of my favorite dorm hacks I've ever come across. I tried it with my drawers and I'm never going back. As stated before, you will have limited dorm space. This includes drawer space. By using this folding method, you can not only fit more pieces of clothing in a drawer, but it also keeps your drawer organized by allowing you to see what article of clothing you are looking at without disrupting the whole drawers.

10. Protect Your Hair Ties

Obviously this hack is aimed toward females students, but if you are a male participating in the man-bun trend then this may be helpful to you as well! When you go to college, you will lose more hair ties than you have ever lost in your life. I will start a semester with a hundred hair times and will end the semester with two. I don't understand it. I don't know where they go. I just know they disappear. Use this hack and avoid the frustration that is losing hair ties.

These were only ten hacks for your dorm room. There are plenty more hacks available out there, you simply just have to search. Hopefully this article helped you get started on the basic dorm hacks to make college life a little easier.

Cover Image Credit: SoJenCellars

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5 Struggles That Coming Home For The Summer Pose

Summer isn't always what you think it's going to be, especially when you're coming home.

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Summer break is amazing in so many ways: you're given countless hours to yourself, no daily stresses concerning school and assignments, and no overbearing pressures to go out every single night. However, coming home (usually) means you're back living with your parents and back to abiding by their rules, despite the fact that for around ten months, you were the only person making the rules in your own home. Despite the perks that come with summer, I have composited 10 reasons why summer can be hard to bear.

1. Having a set curfew.

I find it almost comical that I was able to "run free" for 10 months in Tallahassee with no regard for what time it was, but while at home I get the "it's time to come home" text from my parents as soon as 11 o'clock rolls around. For the entire school year, I was able to stay at friends' places until the sun came up, at walk out of clubs around closing time with no fear of getting punished for staying out too late, but now, I have to constantly plan around my curfew and ensure that I'm home before I get on my parents' bad side.

2. Having to get a summer job.

It was always a rule in my house that jobs were only meant for summer since my parents felt that getting good grades were our primary priority, so now that school's out, I'm working at my local Panera and dog-sitting for my neighbors, even though I absolutely hate dogs. Working isn't the worst thing I've had to do, but when I have to miss beach days and parties for a job that only pays $9 an hour, it sucks!

3. Countless days of boredom. 

College has made me accustomed to being surrounded by other people and activities 24/7. Sure, there were a couple of hours a day for alone time, but the majority of my day was spent hanging out with friends, going to my sorority, going out, and attending class. Now that I'm home and far away from my friends and the social aspect of FSU, I find myself bored and lonely.

4. Less freedom and independence. 

While away at school, I was able to do pretty much anything I wanted without my parents finding out. I was able to go get fast food in the middle of the night, go out to clubs, and sleep at my friends' place whenever I wanted. Sadly, now that I'm home, I can't just leave whenever I want or do whatever I want; I have to tell my parents when I'm going to places, where I'm going, who I'm meeting, and when exactly I'll be home.

5. Having to unpack and sort through your old clothes and the ones you brought to school.

Being the youngest has gifted me with an overabundance of hand-me-downs, everything from prom dresses to shoes to jewelry. However, over the years, the amount of clothes I have accumulated is insane; coming home has forced me to sort through the piles of old clothes and things I don't want anymore in order to make room for the multiple suitcases I brought back from school. My room looks like a tornado swept through it for three weeks now, despite the countless hours I have spent organizing, donating, and folding.

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