Habits Of Productivity For The College Girl Boss

Habits Of Productivity For The College Girl Boss

The library WILL become your second home... if you're doing it right.


The key to success in college can be expressed in one word: productivity. It's true… the most successful college student is the one who can balance all their social and academic demands. Maintaining a (relatively) organized schedule and staying on par with assignments is really critical in getting the most out of your time at school. I learned very quickly that managing all of this can be overwhelming at times… your professors do not give you constant reminders of what is due and when, so finding the time to get everything done can seem impossible, BUT it does not need to be. Here are some things I have found to be very helpful in keeping up the grades, getting the most out of your classes, working toward your goals as well as having a lot of fun and being very involved on campus. If you can adopt even a few of these attitudes, then you're golden.

Find your study spot.


It is important to learn to adapt and study anywhere, because sometimes you do not have time to go all the way to the library just before class... but it is important to find your one spot. You know... that one spot that you are really comfortable with and stay for hours on end to get assignment after assignment done. Personally, I am a diehard McKeldin Library second floor fan for homework and studying. Recently, I also found that sitting in the study area in the Edward St. John building is a great spot for getting a lot of reading done. Try different places around campus to find where you are most productive… it does not even need to be a library! Nooks in hallways, hidden libraries, study areas in buildings, unused classrooms, or spreading out in the grass on the mall… there are endless spots on campus.

Dress for success.


This is has been true for me in every aspect of my life for years… if I want to get a lot done, or even have the ideal day, I dress for success. I feel better when I feel good about my outfit. When I straighten my hair, put on a little makeup, and wear something a little nicer than sweatpants, I feel a lot more prepared to take on the day. It makes you feel more awake and puts you in a productive mode.

Coffee, coffee, coffee!

Lisa Fotios

I have accepted the fact that on early mornings, or any mornings for that matter, I rely on coffee to keep me alert. When I do not have coffee, my eyes slowly shut and have trouble opening back up after I blink. Some of my favorite ways to get my caffeine is making it in my keurig, going to Footnotes cafe on the first floor of the library, going to McDonalds, or even making my own coffee at the Union Store in Stamp. A dose of energy in the morning will keep you awake and able to survive hours of class, studying, club meetings, and being social.

Organization is key.

Lisa Fotios

Organization is so, so, SO important in maintaining a productive day. Keeping material from each class organized into different folders, sections of a notebook, or file on your computer is essential! Not even just your school stuff, but your stuff in general. Implementing routines and ways to ensure you do not forget to make your bed each morning, clear out your backpack, and put away your makeup that you used to get ready is going to keep you from feeling lost and confused.

Use calendars and agendas.

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The thing about college work is that it requires a lot of self-discipline. The professors are not going to remind you every day of the week that you have a test coming up and hint to you the answers to the questions. They may not even announce an assignment that is due by next class. The only way I have been on track with all my classes is by going through the syllabus, taking a photo of it to keep in my phone at all times, and marking down due dates on the month view, as well as specific assignments by the day to check off when completed. I am also a huge fan of Google Calendars, I input club meeting dates and places I need to be or even just reminders about my social life. Find a system that works for you and, most importantly, stick to it. Keep it consistent so you make a habit of following it and keeping up with what is going on.

Set aside a cleaning day.


Sunday is widely known as the day to get it together, but I believe that you should choose a day in the week that you only have 1-2 classes and a little extra free time to clean up. Dorm rooms get stuffy, so it is good when you can use multi-purpose cleaner, vacuum, do your laundry, wash your sheets, organize your shelves, throw away your overflowing garbage and rinse out the 15 dirty plastic cups. For me, that day is Thursday… it ensures all these things get done at least once a week because it is easy to forget.

It's okay to stay in!

Lisa Fotios

I love going out on weekends, and even certain weekdays, with my friends. But, going out 3 times a week can be draining. It is okay to say you are going to stay in on a Thursday night to catch up on some things, get ahead on next week's work, or even just leave some time for self care and a movie.

Decorate your laptop with stickers!


This definitely is not necessary, but it adds a nice touch! Buying a clear plastic case for your laptop and finding cute stickers that match your aesthetic with quotes or things that you like is inspiring! It makes picking up your laptop a little more fun. Personalizing your stuff is so fun, and decorating your laptop is a great way to express yourself on a college campus.

Find a pastime on campus that is worth your time.


There are plenty of ways to get involved on campus. At UMD there is a club for practically any interest or desire. I do, though, recommend joining something that will better you as a person and perhaps give back. Sororities, academic clubs, workout clubs, and service clubs are great opportunities. In your pastime, it feels really good to be doing something worthwhile. Since coming to college, I have felt a want to give back. I have realized there is plenty of time for Netflix and social media, but in your extra free time doing something productive with your time can help you feel amazing and can be a huge stress reliever.

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Are Soulmates Real?

Is your perfect other half out there?


Lately, a question that has often plagued my mind is the concept of a soulmate. Is there a soulmate in the world for every individual? The idea of a soulmate is a fascinating thing. The dictionary defines a soulmate as "a person ideally suited to another as a close friend or romantic partner." It's quite a phenomenon that in a world of seven billion people, one individual is your ideal counterpart. As I grow older, I observe my friends in long-term relationships and the feelings that they've developed as time has progressed. It's interesting that people my age have committed themselves to another individual devotedly for long periods of time. I often wonder if I'll encounter such a love anytime soon.

When friends talk about marrying their current lovers after college, I feel panicked and wonder if the clock to find your soulmate has already begun ticking and I'm moving at a pace far too slow. It's good to believe in soulmates because it gives hope to people. If I believe that I have a soulmate in this world, I can live believing that someday everything will fall into place and my perfect partner will stumble into my life. Sometimes I wonder how love even works because it's crazy that two individuals just happened to both like each other and decided to see where this initial liking could take them. Often though, many people experience one-sided loves and it makes you wonder if you're doing something wrong compared to people who have coupled up. I'd ideally like to chalk up unrequited loves and romantic mishaps to the existence of soulmates. I tell myself that things didn't work out because it wasn't meant to be. I often glaze over the mishaps afterward and wonder why it didn't work out. I'm a dreamer and I'll paint these picture-perfect love stories in my mind which left me disappointed. However, living with the hope that soulmates exist helps.

Do soulmates exist in this world? Maybe all my mishaps and one-sided loves are the result of the world telling me it was not meant to be. The idea of soulmates gives me hope that one day, everything will work out in the end.

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Everything You Need To Know About The Government Shutdown

The longest government shutdown in history will impact every American.


In the early morning hours of December 22, the longest government shutdown in United States history began. At this writing, the government has been shut down for 24 days -- and counting.

The current shutdown revolves around President Trump's request for over five billion dollars to fund a U.S.-Mexico border wall, which he sees as a necessary response to the "massive Humanitarian Crisis" taking place at the southern border -- the flow of migrants from Central America. Democrats in Congress, who fervently deny the severity of the situation, refuse to allocate funds towards a wall, instead looking to negotiate other measures for border security. Unable to pass bipartisan spending legislation, the government remains closed.But what exactly is a shutdown, and what does it mean for ordinary Americans?

A government shutdown occurs when the annual appropriations bills that fund several government agencies and programs fail to reach passage by both Congress and the president. Congress is in charge of creating these bills, and each year the president must sign them into law in order to fund the government for a new fiscal period. In October, at the beginning of the current fiscal year, only a few of the necessary appropriations bills were enacted, and Congress had until December 21 to enact the rest. However, due to congressional infighting and the President's incessant demands for a wall, the government failed to reach a spending agreement by the deadline, and a shutdown ensued.

Without appropriated funds, any departments or agencies deemed "non-essential" are put on hold under a government shutdown. This means that many federal workers, including those within the Food and Drug Administration and National Park Service, are furloughed, or put on temporary leave without pay. The remaining employees, who work in departments or agencies considered "essential," are forced to work without pay until appropriations are made by Congress and the President. Once the government is open again, they will receive their missed checks in back pay.

Put simply, the 800,000 Americans who work for departments affected by the shutdown have been without a paycheck for almost an entire month now. In past weeks, several of these workers have taken to Washington to protest the shutdown and have appeared on television to voice their frustrations. Forced to deplete their savings to make ends meet, they worry about how they'll make their next mortgage payment and keep their families fed. Paying for daycare services for infants, or college tuition for young adults, has become almost impossible for some.

And government employees aren't the only Americans affected by the shutdown. Though social security checks are sent out and Medicare is paid for, the issuance of insurance cards could cease, meaning that those newly eligible for Medicare could be turned away. Hundreds of sites with hazardous waste or polluted drinking water will go uninspected by the EPA. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, responsible for feeding thousands of impoverished families, cannot last another two months without funding.

Perhaps the scariest effect of the shutdown is its impact on the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), responsible for screening passengers at airports. Since the shutdown began, airports across the country have dealt with a shortage of staff, causing long lines and massive travel delays. George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Texas and Miami International Airport in Florida have both been forced to close entire terminals in response to a staffing shortage. On January 14, TSA spokesman Michael Biello tweeted that TSA "experienced a national rate of 7.6 percent unscheduled absences compared to a 3.2 percent rate one year ago, Monday, January 15, 2018." Although the agency claims that security has not been compromised during the shutdown, the lack of workers leaves many travellers skeptical.

As President Trump continues to exploit the "crisis" at the border (see the televised address) and top Democrats defend the merits of legal immigration, it is unclear just how long the shutdown will continue. In the House, Democrats have passed spending bills supporting the immediate re-opening of affected federal departments, but such bills have not yet been brought to the Republican-controlled Senate. There have been no meetings scheduled between the White House and congressional staff, and Trump has abandoned his idea of declaring a national emergency. It seems the only thing left to do is wait.

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