How To Kick This Semester's Butt, And Hard

How To Kick This Semester's Butt, And Hard

Kick it. Kick it REAL hard.

I enter every semester with the same mantra: this time, I will be organized. It wasn't until my junior year that I really started following that. You've got to kick this semester's butt, and you will with these three tips.

1. Microsoft OneNote is my hero.

Microsoft OneNote is amazing. I keep an online notebook in the program for each new semester. Within that notebook, I create a new page tab for each class I'm taking. Within each tab, I create a new page for every assignment. I also copy and paste the course's syllabus on a new page so I can access it from my computer even offline. OneNote is like having a five-subject notebook without having the pages fray and the cover rip off halfway through October.

2. Ditch the cute micro-planner for a normal-sized one…and actually use it.

Every year, I get a new planner and say I'm going to use it and stay organized. Every year, I abandon it in the first few weeks of the semester. I realized last year that this because the planners I was using were so small and I would lose them or leave them in my car or at home. Last semester, I found a cute planner that was the same size as my other notebooks and I stuck to using it the entire four-month period. It's bigger, you can't really lose it unless you try, and it won't even fall out of your hands when you're carrying the rest of your books across campus because you're too lazy to use a backpack. To benefit from using a planner, you have to actually use it. You should go through your syllabi and mark down all important due dates for the whole semester, so you are sure to not miss anything that will mess up your grade. It takes such a short amount of time to do this, yet will have a huge impact on your semester

3. You need a folder. And a notebook. And maybe a binder. No excuses.

In high school, I would stick any papers my teachers would give in my notebook. This lead to extreme un-organization and papers everywhere. I could never find anything easily! Now, as a senior, I've mastered the notebook-paper-folder organization. I take all my in-class notes in notebooks and put all papers and articles in a folder. I stick the folder in the notebook for easy access and to ensure I don't forget to bring the folder to class. For one of my classes this semester, it's all reading and note-taking. My professor puts her lecture notes up online, so I print them out and take notes on those in class. Instead of the notebook-folder method, I hole punch my notes and put them in a binder. Easy!

Once you start on the right track, you have a better chance of staying on and not falling off. It's easy to just write down assignments on random post-it notes, but it's also easy to lose them and then forget to do your work. This semester, adopt my mantra and actually get organized! You'll feel a lot better about your semester, and I bet your GPA will too.

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To The One About To Graduate

You may not know the next step to take after you get off that stage at graduation, but that can be the best part.

To the one about to graduate:

Congratulations! This is your final semester of your undergraduate college career. You have enjoyed a nice four (five, maybe six) years at your school, and all of your hard work, blood, sweat, and tears is finally about to pay off.

As someone who is about to graduate soon, I am not going to lie and say that looking into the abyss isn’t both thrilling and terrifying. There are few times in a person’s life when your life is absolutely full of opportunities.

There are so many possible choices for you to make as a new graduate. Maybe you want to settle down with your significant other and start a family. Perhaps you want to pursue a graduate degree and become a lawyer or doctor. If you are like me, you are possibly still deciding between many options.

The scariest part of the unknown is simply what it is: not knowing.

However, it should also be exciting. The future is ripe with possibilities, thrills, and sure maybe some disappointments. Not knowing is what makes life exciting.

Yes, your entire life has been clear-cut with someone telling you where to go next. This is the first time your choices are completely up to you, and that is something to celebrate!

You can be a YouTube star or a stay at home mom or dad, or you can travel the world and run a blog from wherever you find yourself on that particular day.

You could become a yoga teacher or a corporate lawyer, or maybe you realize you love education so much that you want to be a professional student for life.

For the first time in your life, there is no wrong choice or necessarily a right choice. You don’t have to go in a certain direction. You don’t need to have everything figured out, and it is okay to fail once in a while.

Your post-graduation years are meant for finding your way. Along the way, you may take a stumble or two, and that is perfectly fine.

As long as you continue to pick yourself up and commit to finding your way, you will find it eventually.

You may not know the next step to take after you get off that stage at graduation, but that can be the best part.


Someone Also Trying To Find Their Own Way

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Confessions of a Single Mother in Her Twenties While in College

My new motivation

It's hard to imagine that at a mere 23 years of age a piece of me is running around, screaming the few words he knows, tormenting the family pets. It's even harder to remember that a few short years ago, this was not my plan. And boy, was I in for a reality check.

Looking around all I see is my friends, my classmates, and my peers going out and having a good time, achieving and exceeding all their goals. They can all take road trips at a moment's notice, to nowhere in particular. Sleeping until 3 in the afternoon on any day is a thing of the past.

What people do not realize is, as a mother in her early twenties, I was made to put many things on hold. A whole new life was in my hands. This was my new life.

Before being a mom, I thought I knew what it was like to be stressed, to be busy. My anxiety and depression were at all time highs. Most of the time I wouldn't make it half a day without a potential breakdown. That was my new life.

I had so many goals set long before the surprise blessing of motherhood. The cold, hard truth was that I was no longer the most important person in my life. Why do I keep reiterating that fact? Because, though I have always been a very selfless individual, I was now thrown into an entirely new level of it all. I know I am not alone.

Now, I balance a work life, college attendance, and try to still achieve all the goals I set out for all those years ago, somewhat changing my path as I have gone along. No more are the late night study sessions or cramming for exams. Nowadays, one must meticulously plan every possible free moment and be open to the fact that nothing will ever go to plan.

Having a support system makes it all feasible. I can see an end, though not within reach quite yet. I am doing so much on my own, little support, but the support I do have makes my goals achievable after all. It reminds me that this does not mean I have to give up. I have a little person that looks up to me, he relies on me. In the big scheme of things, he will be just as proud as I will be of myself.

It is not all bad. The staggering amount of love I have for this tiny human is intensely overwhelming, as is the love he has for me in his smile when he sees me walk through the door after a long, hard day of work. He is my new motivation, where before motivation was lacking. The things I now do for him I once dreaded doing. Study sessions are no easier to get through, but knowing that it will all pay off and provide a sense of stability for my child and myself is rewarding and pushes me through the next chapter and beyond.

You cannot let life get in the way, use your experiences as a fuel to the fire, as I have done. I am prepared for it to take longer, I am prepared for the sacrifice of missing out on a few things while he is young, and I know I will be able to provide for him when he is older and be able to prove to him anything you set your mind to is possible with enough hard work and perseverance.

I am a college student. I work full time. I am a Mom. I CAN do it all.

Cover Image Credit: Harsh The Blog

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